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


Russia UN envoy says 'cannot exclude' war between Russia, US

Russia's UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia urged the United States and its allies on Thursday to refrain from military action against Syria over a suspected chemical weapons attack and said he "cannot exclude" war between Washington and Moscow.

Speaking after a closed-door UN Security Council meeting requested by Bolivia over threats of military action in Syria by US President Donald Trump, Nebenzia said the situation was even more dangerous because Russian troops are in Syria.

"The immediate priority is to avert the danger of war," he told reporters. "We hope there will be no point of no return."

When asked if he was referring to a war between the United States and Russia, he said, "We cannot exclude any possibilities, unfortunately, because we saw messages that are coming from Washington. They were very bellicose."


Trump eyeing return to TPP trade pact: US Senators

President Donald Trump has instructed trade officials to examine re-entering the 11-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership, Republican lawmakers said on Thursday.

The decision would mark an abrupt about-face from a president who had campaigned against the trade deal.

Trump withdrew the United States from the TPP immediately after taking office in January 2017, and his officials have said repeatedly he prefers bilateral negotiations.


'Burning man' image wins AFP top prize at World Press Photo

Agence France-Presse photographer Ronaldo Schemidt won the prestigious 2018 World Press Photo of the Year Award on Thursday with a fiery image of a masked Venezuelan protester which judges said symbolised a country "burning".

Schemidt's photo, taken during violent clashes with riot police and protesters demonstrating against President Nicolas Maduro's regime in Caracas last year, invoked an instant emotion, the judges said.

Mexico-based Schemidt was covering the demonstrations for AFP in May 2017 when the then 28-year-old Victor Salazar went up in flames as he and other protestors were trying to destroy a police motorbike and the gas tank exploded in his face.


Model Janice Dickinson tells trial that Bill Cosby drugged, raped her

Retired supermodel Janice Dickinson testified on Thursday that comedian Bill Cosby drugged her under the guise of giving her a pill for menstrual cramps then raped her at a Lake Tahoe home in 1982.

Cosby, who played the loveable patriarch and "America's Dad" on The Cosby Show, is standing for his second criminal trial on allegations of drugging and sexually assaulting former friend and colleague Andrea Constand, 45, in 2004.

"I wanted to hit him, wanted to punch him in the face," said Dickinson, a highly successful model in the 1970s and 1980s. "I felt anger, was humiliated, disgusted, ashamed."


Google's Gmail is set to get a major update

Rumours are flying that Google is on the edge of releasing a major update to the web version of Gmail - one of Google's most widely used products, boasting at least a billion users.

In a statement, Google did not confirm specific changes but did acknowledge that it is working on an update to its email service.

"We're working on some major updates to Gmail (they're still in draft phase). We need a bit more time to compose ourselves, so can't share anything yet - archive this for now, and we'll let you know when it's time to hit send," the company said in a statement.