While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, April 27

A US government handout photo shows the US' new Secretary of State Mike Pompeo meeting North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang.
A US government handout photo shows the US' new Secretary of State Mike Pompeo meeting North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang.PHOTO: REUTERS

Mike Pompeo becomes US Secretary of State

The US Senate confirmed Mike Pompeo as President Donald Trump’s secretary of state, and the former CIA director set off immediately on a trip to meet key allies in Europe and the Middle East.

Pompeo, a former Army officer who was a Republican congressman, is regarded as a Trump loyalist with hawkish world views.

Pompeo is already deeply involved in diplomacy. Trump sent him to North Korea three weeks ago to meet with the country’s leader, Kim Jong Un (photo, above), ahead of a summit with the US president to address Pyongyang’s nuclear programme.

Moments after Pompeo was sworn in, the State Department said he would visit Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Israel during the weekend after attending a Nato meeting on Friday in Brussels.


Comedian Bill Cosby convicted of sexual assault in retrial

Comedian Bill Cosby was convicted of drugging and sexually assaulting a onetime friend in 2004, marking the first such conviction of a celebrity since the #MeToo movement that has brought down rich and powerful men for their treatment of women.

Cosby, 80, best known as the lovable father from the 1980s TV hit The Cosby Show, faces up to 10 years in prison for each of three counts of aggravated indecent assault against Andrea Constand, 45, following a three-week trial.

After weeks of maintaining decorum during the trial, Cosby exploded following the verdict when prosecutors asked the judge to take him into custody, saying he was a flight risk in part because he owned a plane. “He doesn’t have a plane, you a*****e!” Cosby responded in a booming voice as he leapt to feet.


Agitated Donald Trump unleashes in TV interview

A riled-up Donald Trump let loose on everything from the Russia probe, to "crimes" by his opponents, to his legal tangles with a porn star on Thursday, in a free-wheeling interview live on TV.

Trump called in to the popular breakfast show Fox and Friends, to mark the occasion of First Lady Melania Trump's birthday, he said.

Despite a cosy welcome from the three hosts - regular cheerleaders for the Republican president - the interview almost immediately took an awkward turn when Trump was asked about his gift for his wife.

Over the animated half hour that followed, Trump rattled through grievances and boasts in a virtual monologue, delivered at machine-gun speed.


Global study finds 44 genetic risk factors for major depression

International scientists have identified 44 genetic variants that can increase the risk of developing major depression and found that all humans carry at least some of them.

The new findings could help explain why not everyone treated with antidepressants sees their condition improve, the scientists said, and could also point the way towards new medicines.

In the largest study of its kind, scientists also found that the genetic basis for depression is shared with other psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia and that a number of the variants are linked to the targets of antidepressant drugs.


Football: Profligate Arsenal punished by 10-man Atletico Madrid

Arsenal's hopes of sending outgoing manager Arsene Wenger off with a trophy suffered a major blow as they could only draw 1-1 with 10-man Atletico Madrid in the first leg of their Europa League semi-final.

The Gunners played with an extra man for over 80 minutes at the Emirates Stadium, with Sime Vrsaljko's early red card handing them the initiative.

However, they were made to rue a host of missed chances before and after Alexandre Lacazette headed them in front on the hour mark.