While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Dec 14 edition

President-elect Donald Trump with Kanye West in the lobby of Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in New York, Dec 13, 2016.
President-elect Donald Trump with Kanye West in the lobby of Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in New York, Dec 13, 2016.PHOTO: NYTIMES

Rapper Kanye West meets Donald Trump, fuelling talk of performance at inauguration

Rapper Kanye West turned up at Trump Tower for a meeting with Republican President-elect Donald Trump, firing up social media and fuelling speculation West may have discussed performing at Trump’s inauguration.

West, 39, and Trump posed for photographers in the lobby of Trump Tower after meeting privately upstairs.

It was the first major outing by West since he was released on Nov 30 after a week in a Los Angeles psychiatric hospital with an unexplained condition, and quickly became the top trending topic on Twitter.

Asked about the purpose of the 15-minute meeting, Trump told reporters: “Friends, just friends. He’s a good man. Long time. Friends for a long time.”


Syrian rebels say Aleppo truce deal struck, to take effect shortly

Syrian rebels said a ceasefire with government forces in Aleppo, agreed after talks between insurgents and Damascus' ally Russia, was to begin late on Tuesday and would include the evacuation of combatants and civilians.

The deal, acknowledged by Russia and Syria, signals Damascus' biggest victory over insurgents fighting to unseat President Bashar al-Assad in nearly six years of civil war, driving them from their last major urban stronghold.

A rebel official told Reuters that Moscow and insurgent factions agreed in their talks to a halt to air strikes, which he said took effect early on Tuesday.


Philippines' Duterte says he may not 'be around' till end of term

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said that he might not "be around" until the end of his term, and that, after winning the presidency at 71, he had found out late in the day that "I don't need it at my age".

The previous day he had told a gathering of business leaders in the Philippines that he suffered from back pains, migraines and Buerger's disease, a cause of blockages in the blood vessels, associated with smoking during his youth.

Duterte, who will be 77 at the end of his six-year term in 2022, is the oldest person to be elected president in the Philippines since the post-war period.


US pastor films himself telling kids 'Santa does not exist'

Parents queuing with their children to see Santa at a US mall were left fuming after a pastor filmed himself telling the kids that Santa Claus "is not real".

Evangelical pastor David Grisham pulled off the stunt at Amarillo’s Westgate Mall in Texas over the weekend in an effort to teach kids “that Christmas is about Jesus Christ,” and then later posted the three-minute video to his Facebook page.

“Kids, I want to tell you today that there is no such thing as Santa Claus,” he can be heard shouting while walking alongside the long line of children and their parents.


Wait nearly over for Star Wars fans as 'Rogue One' opens

The waiting is almost over. Hundreds of thousands of fans will finally get to see the new Star Wars spin-off film as it opens in cinemas across Europe.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story has already notched up the highest first day pre-sales ever in the US after last year's The Force Awakens.

The story, about a maverick Rebel force who mount an almost suicide mission to steal the plans for the imperial Death Star, is set just before the very first Star Wars epic, A New Hope.