While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Nov 4th edition

Prematurely deployed slowing device could "well be" behind Virgin spaceship disaster

A prematurely deployed slowing device could "well be" behind the Virgin Galactic spaceship crash, Virgin boss Richard Branson said on Monday while hitting out at "hurtful" critics and "self-proclaimed experts".

Investigators have pointed out that a lock-unlock lever, used to activate a process in SpaceShipTwo's tail section - typically to slow it for re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere - had been moved by the co-pilot.

A short time later a so-called "feathering" process - in which the tail section rotates to increase drag on the spacecraft - was deployed, at which point the pioneering vessel began to disintegrate.

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Catalan govt asks top Spanish court to allow independence vote

The Catalan government said on Monday that it has petitioned Spain's constitutional court to allow it to go ahead with this weekend's symbolic vote on independence which has been opposed by Madrid.

"We have presented this petition to prevent the constitutional court from suspending" Sunday's referendum, the spokesman for the Catalan government Francesc Homs told a news conference.

Spain's central government on Friday launched a fresh judicial challenge by petitioning the constitutional court to block the vote.

Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria said the Catalan plan for the symbolic referendum, with volunteer poll watchers and same-day voter registration, represents a "legal fraud" and "a perversion" of democracy.

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Five killed, one injured, as shooting dramas rock Switzerland

Five people were shot dead and a man was seriously injured on Monday as two unrelated shooting dramas rocked normally placid Switzerland.

A man is suspected of shooting one woman to death in an apartment in the northern city of Basel before killing another woman and critically injuring a man in a nearby flat, the regional public prosecutor's office said.

The killings came just hours after three bodies were discovered in the Alps town of Wilderswil in what appeared to be a murder-suicide.

The shooting dramas shook usually tranquil Switzerland, which is relatively unaccustomed to gun-related crimes.

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Football: Chile keen to host 2030 World Cup

Chile are keen to host the 2030 World Cup finals their newly re-elected football federation (ANFP) president announced on Monday.

Mr Sergio Jadue, who was re-elected to his post as president of the ANFP on Monday, said they could do it either on their own - which would be the second time in their history as they hosted the 1962 finals - or jointly with Uruguay.

Mr Jadue said he would be in a better position to focus on the possibility of hosting the 2030 edition after Chile organises next year's Copa America and the Under-17 World Championships.

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With big album on sale, Taylor Swift pulls music from Spotify

Singer Taylor Swift, whose new album is likely to have the biggest opening week of sales in a dozen years, on Monday pulled her entire catalogue from online music streaming service Spotify.

Singers and bands, including Beyonce and Coldplay, in the past have delayed releasing albums to Spotify to give retailers an exclusive window to sell their albums, but Swift has taken the unusual action of pulling all of her music from the service.

The action may discourage Swift's fans who use the service and overshadow the singer's announcement on Monday of a world tour that is set to begin in May in Louisiana.

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