While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Dec 20 edition

Obama warns North Korea over Sony hack: 'We will respond'

US President Barack Obama on Friday warned North Korea it would face retaliation over a cyber attack on Sony Pictures and pledged not to bow to dictators, as an envoy for Pyongyang denied involvement.

Threats issued after the November attack prompted the movie giant to cancel the Christmas Day release of The Interview, a madcap satire about a CIA plot to kill North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un - a move that President Obama described on Friday as 'a mistake'.

Earlier, the FBI had said it had enough information "to conclude that the North Korean government is responsible for these actions."

Read more here

Too 'ugly' to rape: Brazilian lawmaker's comment sparks fury

A debate about sexual violence in Brazil sparked by a lawmaker's comments on the floor of Congress has spread beyond government chambers, triggering a national debate about rape and sexism in the South American nation.

Opposition congressman Jair Bolsonaro (above left) told Maria do Rosario Nunes (right) in Congress he would not rape her "because she was not worth it."

His comments have sparked national fury in Brazil, a traditionally male-dominated society where 137 sexual assaults are reported daily.

Read more here

Vatican lit up by Christmas hope and love

The Christmas lights went on at the Vatican on Friday, sending out what Pope Francis described as a message of "light, hope and love" at the end of an extraordinary year for the Catholic Church.

For Francis, it has been an extraordinary 12 months, with his global popularity helping to bring hundreds of thousands of believers back to the church and his reforms renovating an institution battered in recent years by clerical sex abuse and financial scandals.

His influence on the global stage was spectacularly illustrated this week when he was hailed as having played a key role in facilitating a historic rapprochement between the United States and Cuba.

Read more here

Formula One: German bank sues F1 magnate Ecclestone for over $500m - report

German bank BayernLB is seeking €345 million (S$557 million) in a lawsuit against Formula One magnate Bernie Ecclestone over the 2006 sale of the sport's rights, according to a report.

German press agency DPA says the Bavarian bank has filed a fresh suit in Munich against 84-year-old Ecclestone, the chief executive officer of Formula One. The Bavarian state bank accuses the British billionaire of bribing one of its executives to influence the 2006 sale of Formula One's rights.

Ecclestone has counter-sued BayernLB by filing a suit in London, according to reports.

Read more here

Football: Under-fire Rodgers makes sharp exit from media briefing

Brendan Rodgers was in no mood to hang around as the under-pressure Liverpool manager made quick work of his weekly press conference on Friday.

Rodgers is usually expansive when facing his regular inquisition from the English media, but he provided only short responses to questions ahead of Arsenal's visit to Anfield on Sunday.

Criticism of Liverpool and their manager has grown over the course of a disappointing season, which has seen them fall well off the pace in the Premier League title race and crash out of the Champions League in the group stage.

Read more here