While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Dec 13 edition

Thailand's Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn walks with Royal Consort Princess Srirasmi after greeting foreign royalty in Bangkok on 2006 file photo. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Thailand's Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn walks with Royal Consort Princess Srirasmi after greeting foreign royalty in Bangkok on 2006 file photo. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

Thai Princess Srirasmi steps down from royal post: Palace

Thailand's Princess Srirasmi, third wife of Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn, has resigned from her royal post, a palace statement said on Friday.

The announcement appeared in the Royal Gazette and follows a high-level corruption investigation that has embroiled several senior police, military officials and one of Thailand's richest men and has implicated relatives of Princess Srirasmi.

Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn asked the government to strip his wife's family of their special royally-bestowed surname in November, after seven of her close relatives were arrested for alleged graft, with charges ranging from bribery to defaming the monarchy.

A palace statement released late on Friday said Princess Srirasmi had decided to give up her royal status.

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Air traffic control failure disrupts flights over Britain

Hundreds of flights to and from London were disrupted on Friday by a technical failure at England’s main air traffic control centre that a senior government minister described as “simply unacceptable.”

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said he had demanded a full explanation for the glitch that forced authorities to limit access to the country’s airspace at one of the busiest times of the year.

Flights in and out of Heathrow, which calls itself the world’s busiest international airport, were halted for at least an hour before it said operations were beginning to resume.

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Sierra Leone cancels Christmas as Ebola crisis deepens, banning public celebrations

Sierra Leone said Friday it was banning any public Christmas celebrations as the spiralling caseload of Ebola infections continues to spread alarm.

Soldiers are to be deployed throughout the festive period to force people venturing onto the streets back indoors, the government’s Ebola response unit said.

Palo Conteh, head of the department, told reporters in the capital Freetown there would be “no Christmas and New Year celebrations this year”.

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Dow drops 300 points as US stocks plunge

The Dow plummeted more than 300 points Friday as US stocks took cues from a rout in European equities following another big drop in oil prices.

At the closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average stood at 17,292.84, down 303.50 points (1.72 per cent).

Losses in European markets were even deeper.

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Football: Liverpool can still compete with United says Brendan Rodgers

Brendan Rodgers insists Liverpool can still compete with Manchester United in the transfer market despite their contrasting results in the last window.

Reds boss Rodgers has watched the majority of his pre-season recruits struggle to adapt to life at Anfield, while United manager Louis van Gaal has largely been successful with his transfer dealings since arriving at Old Trafford in July.

With the two bitter rivals meeting at Old Trafford on Sunday, Rodgers was peppered with questions about his failings in the transfer market at his pre-match press conference on Friday.

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