While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Dec 14

French special police forces secure an area during a police operation where suspected gunman Cherif Chekatt was killed.
French special police forces secure an area during a police operation where suspected gunman Cherif Chekatt was killed.PHOTO: REUTERS

Main suspect in Strasbourg attack has been killed, say police sources

The suspected gunman, who killed three people at a Christmas market in Strasbourg, has been killed, two police sources said, ending his 48-hours on the run.

Cherif Chekatt was killed in the Neudorf/Meinau area of the city after a police operation was launched around 2100 hours on Thursday (4am on Friday, Singapore time) about 2km from where he launched his attack on Tuesday.

Chekatt was killed after firing on police officers, who returned fire, one of the sources said.

Reuters reporters near the scene heard three to four gunshots after a huge police operation with armed forces from the BRI and Raid units.


Virgin Galactic reaches space for first time

Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo, VSS Unity, flew higher than it ever has before, surpassing what the US Air Force considers the boundary of space, and marking the first manned flight to space from US soil since 2011.

The brief, suborbital flight – with two pilots on board – was a key milestone for the company headed by British tycoon Richard Branson, who is striving to send tourists to space at a cost of US$250,000 (S$340,000) a seat.

No spacecraft with people on board has taken off from US soil since the American space shuttle programme ended, as scheduled, seven years ago.


Trump says five people on short-list for chief of staff

US President Donald Trump said he has five people on his short-list to become the White House chief of staff when John Kelly leaves the post at the beginning of the new year.

Trump is in search of his third chief of staff after Kelly and Reince Priebus.

"We're interviewing people now for chief of staff," the president said, describing the candidates as "really good ones" and "terrific people" who were mostly well known.


US lashes out at ‘predatory’ China, Russia in Africa

The United States lashed out at “predatory” Chinese and Russian involvement in Africa as it announced a leaner footprint on the continent that insists on accountability in trade and peacekeeping.

In a speech billed as unveiling a new US strategy on Africa, national security adviser John Bolton echoed Trump’s “America First” philosophy, showing a distrust of international institutions and a sense of stark competition with rival powers.

Bolton denounced China for its aggressive quest for natural resources and its rising military and maritime presence – warning that the balance of power in the Horn of Africa could shift to Beijing – and accused Russia of using the continent to seek past imperial glory.


Janet Jackson gets Rock Hall of Fame place on Brit-heavy list

Janet Jackson finally won her place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Thursday, when the pop singer was named as one of seven music acts to be getting a place in music history.

Jackson, 52, the younger sister of the late Michael Jackson, will join Fleetwood Mac singer Stevie Nicks and five British bands - Def Leppard, Roxy Music, Radiohead, The Cure and The Zombies - as the latest inductees, the Rock Hall announced.

Billboard magazine said it was the biggest British line-up in the 33-year history of the Cleveland-based Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.