While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Feb 1 edition

US President Donald Trump and Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly (right) at a White House meeting on cyber security, Jan 31, 2017.
US President Donald Trump and Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly (right) at a White House meeting on cyber security, Jan 31, 2017.PHOTO: AFP

US travel 'extreme vetting' to include social media, phone contacts

Travellers from seven predominantly Muslim countries singled out for "extreme vetting" will face scrutiny of their social media footprint and phone records, the new Homeland Security secretary said.

Secretary John Kelly sought to explain President Donald Trump's travel ban four days after he issued it with no warning, setting off mass protests, legal challenges and confusion.

"There are many countries, seven that we are dealing with right now, that in our view and my view don't have the kind of law enforcement, records-keeping, that kind of thing, that can convince us that one of their citizens is indeed who that citizen says they are," Kelly said in a press conference.

For that reason, he said, US authorities will investigate visa applicants' social media use and telephone contacts, "so that we can see who they are talking to."


Chinese billionaire Xiao Jianhua abducted in Hong Kong: Reports

A Chinese billionaire has been abducted in Hong Kong by mainland agents, according to reports, triggering more concerns over security in the city after the disappearance of five booksellers.

Financier Xiao Jianhua, founder of Beijing-based Tomorrow Group, was staying long-term at Hong Kong's luxury Four Seasons hotel, according to reports in overseas Chinese-language media.

Xiao, who is usually looked after by a group of female bodyguards, was led away from an apartment at the hotel by Chinese security agents, the Financial Times reported, citing a person familiar with the investigation.


French presidential candidate Francois Fillon got his wife and kids jobs paying $1.5 million: Report

French presidential candidate Francois Fillon got his wife and two of his children jobs that paid nearly €1 million (S$1.5 million), according to new claims in the Canard Enchaine newspaper.

The conservative candidate's wife Penelope earned €900,000 as a parliamentary aide and at a literary review owned by his friend, and two of his five children were employed as parliamentary assistants, earning a further €84,000, the report alleged.

Fillon was the long-time frontrunner in the presidential race but his popularity has dropped since the same newspaper alleged last week that Welsh-born Penelope had earned half a million euros, but that it could find no evidence of the parliamentary work she did.


Football: Rooney going nowhere says Mourinho

Jose Mourinho has confirmed Wayne Rooney will remain at Manchester United for the rest of the season despite reports linking him with a move to the Chinese Super League.

The Chinese transfer window does not close until the end of February and the England forward's name has been linked repeatedly with astonishing offers from a country where professional football is enjoying an explosion in financial investment.

But Mourinho insisted on Tuesday that Rooney, 31, will stay in his squad until at least the end of the season, despite having long since lost his status as an automatic first-choice at the club where he has been such a key player for the last 13 years.


Football: Ighalo leaves Watford for China's Changchun Yatai

Nigeria striker Odion Ighalo has joined Chinese Super League side Changchun Yatai from Watford on a permanent deal, the Premier League club said.

No financial details were given but British media put a £20 million (S$35 million) figure on the transfer.

The 27-year-old scored 39 goals in 100 appearances in two and a half years at Vicarage Road, including 17 goals in Watford's first season back in the top flight after securing promotion in 2014/15.