While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Dec 11

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US Democrats unveil Trump impeachment charges

Democrats in the US House of Representatives announced formal impeachment charges against President Donald Trump on Tuesday, a historic move that set the stage for a divisive trial in the Republican-led Senate ahead of the 2020 elections.

The two formal charges, or articles of impeachment, accuse Trump of "betraying" the country by abusing power in an effort to pressure Ukraine to probe a political rival and then obstructing Congress' investigation into the scandal.

The Democratic-controlled House is almost certain to vote to impeach the president. It could take up the matter next week.

A trial would then be held in the Senate, likely in January. No Republican in either the House or Senate has come out in favour of Trump's removal from office.


Brazil president Jair Bolsonaro calls activist Greta Thunberg a 'brat'

Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro on Tuesday called young Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg a "brat" after she expressed concern about the slaying of indigenous Brazilians in the Amazon.

Bolsonaro questioned the coverage news media have given Thunberg, 16, who who on Sunday tweeted a link to a story about the murder of two indigenous people in Brazil's Maranhao state.

"Greta said that the Indians died because they were defending the Amazon," Bolsonaro told a group of journalists. "It's impressive that the press is giving space to a brat like that," he added, using the Portuguese word word "pirralha".


Holiday rom-com Love, Actually inspires British election memes

Love, Actually is all around this year in Britain's pre-Christmas election.

The 2003 romantic comedy about the love lives of assorted Londoners over the holiday season has played a surprisingly large role in the campaign for Thursday's general election.

It has inspired political ads from both Labour and the Conservatives, and Love, Actually star Hugh Grant has been out on the campaign trail urging voters to oust Prime Minister Boris Johnson.


President Halimah gets ceremonial welcome in Germany

The familiar strains of Majulah Singapura could be heard in the winter cold of Berlin on Tuesday on the lawns of the historic Schloss Bellevue in a ceremonial welcome to mark the visit of President Halimah Yacob.

She was calling on German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier at his official residence on the second day of her five-day state visit to Germany.

She is making the first state visit by a Singapore head of state to Germany at Dr Steinmeier's invitation.


Nine-year-old Belgian prodigy Laurent Simons drops out of university

A nine-year-old Belgian boy who was due to graduate in electrical engineering has dropped out of his Dutch university due to a dispute over the end date of his degree, his father said on Tuesday.

Young prodigy Laurent Simons hit the headlines worldwide when it emerged he was on course to receive his degree from the Eindhoven University of Technology in December and become one of the world's youngest graduates.

But his father Alexander told AFP he had now quit because the university wanted to delay his degree until next year, while insisting his son now had new plans.


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