While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Dec 12

Police respond to a reported explosion at the Port Authority Bus Terminal on Dec 11, 2017 in New York. PHOTO: AFP

Man in custody after explosion near Times Square, 4 injured: New York police

A Bangladeshi man with a homemade bomb strapped to his body set off an explosion at a New York commuter hub during rush hour on Monday (Dec 11), wounding himself and three others in what New York Mayor Bill de Blasio called an attempted terrorist attack.

The suspect in the incident in the Times Square subway station near the Port Authority Bus Terminal was identified as Akayed Ullah, 27, the New York Police Department commissioner said.

The suspect had burns and lacerations while three other people, including a police officer, sustained minor injuries.

Ullah is from the Bangladeshi city of Chittagong and is a US resident, said the country's police chief. He had no criminal record there and last visited Bangladesh on Sept 8, the chief said.


Britain's May hails new optimism in Brexit talks after deal

Prime Minister Theresa May hailed "a new sense of optimism" in Brexit talks, telling parliament on Monday (Dec 11) an agreement to move negotiations on to future trade ties would reassure those concerned Britain may leave with no deal.

May, weakened after losing her Conservatives' majority at a June election, rescued an agreement last week to move the talks to unravel more than 40 years of union on to a second phase after easing the concerns of her Northern Irish allies over the future role of the border with EU member Ireland.

But the discussion of Britain's trade relationship with the EU after Brexit contains many pitfalls and could widen differences among her top team of ministers, or cabinet, over how Britain should look after it leaves the bloc.


Morawiecki sworn in as Polish PM amid dispute with EU

Mateusz Morawiecki was sworn in as Poland's new prime minister on Monday (Dec 11) and European Council President Donald Tusk called on the new leader to pursue European unity.

Poland's ruling Law and Justice Party (PiS) is at odds with the EU over immigration, logging in an ancient forest and government attempts to control the courts and the media. Critics say the eurosceptic party's policies have subverted democracy and the rule of law.

At the same time, acrimony between Tusk and the PiS dates back years.


Trump accusers urge Congress to probe harassment claims

Three women who claim they were sexually harassed by Donald Trump called on the US Congress Monday (Dec 11) to investigate the president's behaviour and allegations of his misconduct.

The White House has repeatedly rejected the allegations by the three women, who first came forward with claims of harassment during last year's presidential race.

Rachel Crooks, who claims the real estate magnate forcibly kissed her on the mouth after she introduced herself to him at Trump Tower in 2005, urged lawmakers to "put aside their party affiliations and investigate Mr Trump's history of sexual misconduct."


Apple to buy song recognition app Shazam

Apple said Monday (Dec 11) that it would buy leading song recognition app Shazam in a fresh bid to secure an edge in the intensifying battle of streaming services.

Apple, whose streaming service has rapidly grown but still has only half the paid subscribers of Spotify, said that Shazam has consistently been one of the most popular items on its App Store.

"Apple Music and Shazam are a natural fit, sharing a passion for music discovery and delivering great music experiences to our users," Apple said in a statement.


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