While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, April 6 edition

Trump chief strategist Stephen Bannon (above, in a file photo) was removed by the US President from the National Security Council.
Trump chief strategist Stephen Bannon (above, in a file photo) was removed by the US President from the National Security Council.PHOTO: EPA

Stephen Bannon loses National Security Council role in Trump shakeup

US President Donald Trump removed his chief strategist Steve Bannon from the National Security Council (NSC), reversing his controversial decision early this year to give a political adviser an unprecedented role in security discussions.

Trump’s overhaul of the NSC, confirmed by a White House official, also elevated General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Dan Coats, the director of National Intelligence who heads all 17 US intelligence agencies.

The official said the change moves the NSC “back to its core function of what it’s supposed to do”.

It also appears to mark a victory for national security adviser HR McMaster, who had told some national security experts he felt he was in a “battle to the death” with Bannon and others on the White House staff.


US may widen ban of carry-on computers on planes

The United States may soon expand its ban on air passengers carrying computers on board on US-bound flights, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said.

The threat of a terror group trying to blow up an aircraft mid-flight is constant, he told a Senate hearing on border security, suggesting that the current ban might not have gone far enough.

"It's real, I think it's getting realer," he said of the threat. "We may take measures in the not-too-distant future to expand the number of airports."


Small explosion in Bangkok on eve of new constitution

A small pipe bomb exploded near a symbolic location in Bangkok, the eve of the signing of a new constitution that will allow for an election to end military rule in Thailand.

Police said the device had exploded inside a dustbin in the centre of the city close to the Democracy Monument, which has been a rallying point for pro-democracy protests over the decades.

Two street cleaners were taken to hospital with ringing in their ears, but there were no other injuries, police said.


Mother stuffed anorexic daughter's body into suitcase: Report

A grieving Russian mother stuffed the body of her anorexic ex-model daughter into a suitcase and threw it into the sea after she starved to death, Italian media said.

The wasted remains of Katerina Laktionova, 27, were discovered late last month after fishermen spotted the small black suitcase in the waters off Rimini, a city on Italy's Adriatic coast where her mother worked as a caregiver.

An initial murder probe was dropped after an autopsy showed the young woman had died of hunger days before her body was dumped.


Football: Hazard brace gives Chelsea vital 2-1 win over Man City

Chelsea recovered from their shock weekend blip with Eden Hazard's double securing a nervy 2-1 victory over Manchester City that maintained a seven-point lead at the top of the Premier League.

Their defeat by Crystal Palace on Saturday reignited the title race but Chelsea responded with a gritty display to keep second-placed Tottenham Hotspur - 3-1 winners at Swansea City - safely at arm's length with eight games left.

Hazard's deflected strike gave the hosts a 10th-minute lead although City keeper Willy Caballero should have saved his effort.