While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Dec 11 edition

CIA torture report revealed 'inexcusable crimes': Edward Snowden

Former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden said Wednesday that the United States had committed "inexcusable crimes" during its torture programme detailed by a US Senate report.

Speaking via videolink at a Paris conference organised by pressure group Amnesty International, Snowden - who exposed secret NSA documents - said he was "deeply saddened and to a great extent angered by what I read."

"The Senate investigation and the report they have released is extraordinary for a number of reasons... The things we did as a result of this programme are inexcusable crimes," added Snowden.

Read more here

Monaco's royal babies, twins Gabriella and Jacques born, says palace

Prince Albert II of Monaco and his wife Charlene on Wednesday welcomed their twin babies to the world, as cannons roared and church bells tolled in the tiny Mediterranean principality.

Despite being born two minutes after his sister Gabriella, Jacques is next in line to head the House of Grimaldi, whose origins go back seven centuries before equality between the sexes.

Gabriella Therese Marie was born at 5.04pm (12.04am Singapore time) followed by Jacques Honore Rainier at 5.06pm, the palace said in a statement, adding that the newborns and their mother were “doing well”.

Read more here

Norwegian police sorry for 'security breach' at Nobel ceremony

Police apologised for failing to prevent a man from disrupting the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in Oslo on Wednesday after he brandished a Mexican flag near laureates and the Norwegian royal family.

"It's a breach in security for which we apologise," Oslo police Chief John Fredriksen told reporters. "It shouldn't have happened."

The man waved the flag in front of Pakistan's Malala Yousafzai and India's Kailash Satyarthi as the Nobel laureates received their prize to rapturous applause.

Read more here

Russian magnate buys and then returns James Watson's genetics Nobel prize

Russia's richest man says he is returning a Nobel prize he bought at auction for US$4.7 million (S$6.1 million) just days ago to the man who put it on the block: controversial American geneticist James Watson.

Mining, steel and telecom magnate Alisher Usmanov has revealed in a statement he was the anonymous buyer of the 1962 Nobel Prize for Psychology or Medicine that Christie's auctioned at Watson's request on Dec 4 in New York.

But in the same statement, Usmanov's USM holding company said the oligarch - whose net worth is estimated by Forbes at US$17.6 billion - will be returning the award to Watson.

Read more here

Football: Chelsea end Sporting's hopes of making Champions League last 16

Chelsea sent Sporting Lisbon crashing out of the Champions League as the Blues got back on track with 3-1 win at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.

Jose Mourinho's side had suffered their first defeat of the season at Newcastle on Saturday and they wasted little time erasing the bitter taste of that Premier League loss with a dominant display in their Group G finale at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues were already certain of qualifying for the last 16 as group winners, but Sporting needed a point to be sure of progressing in second place and they weren't up to the task.

Read more here