While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Dec 15

Plane passengers are checked by health workers shortly after their arrival at Jakarta's international airport. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

Omicron spreading at unprecedented rate: WHO

The new coronavirus variant Omicron is spreading at an unprecedented rate, the WHO said on Tuesday, urging countries to act swiftly to rein in transmission and protect their health systems.

Since the new, heavily-mutated variant was first detected in southern Africa last month, it has been reported in 77 countries, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters.

But, he stressed, “the reality is that Omicron is probably in most countries, even if it hasn’t been detected yet.”

WHO expert Abdi Mahamud, meanwhile, told the press conference that modelling indicated that some countries in Europe – already battling a fierce fifth pandemic wave – could see Omicron become the dominant variant within days.


Kentucky clears tornado debris; 12 children among 74 dead


Clean-up crews in western Kentucky’s devastated communities on Tuesday ramped up their Herculean task of carting away mountains of debris left by last week’s killer tornadoes as the search for additional bodies came up empty, Governor Andy Bashear said.

While the state’s death toll remained at 74, Beshear disclosed that a dozen children were among the tornadoes’ victims. The youngest was a two-month-old infant. The oldest to die was 98 years old, he said.

“I still expect that we will find some more bodies. There is just so much destruction,” Beshear said at a briefing, adding that more than 100 people remain missing and eight of the victims have yet to be identified.


Police release video of suspect in Toronto billionaire couple murder

Remote video URL

Toronto police announced on Tuesday a suspect - captured on neighbours' security cameras - in the strangulation murders of pharmaceutical tycoon Barry Sherman and his wife Honey four years ago.

The unidentified person - the first to be named a suspect in the case - was seen walking in the area of the couple's home around the time of the double homicides, Detective Sergeant Brandon Price told a news conference.

"This individual's actions are highly suspicious," he added.


Football: Man City hammer Leeds 7-0 for seventh straight win


Manchester City crushed Leeds United 7-0 at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday (Dec 14) to make it seven Premier League wins a row and move four points clear at the top of the table.

Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds were simply brushed aside by a City side who were at their very best after they took an eighth-minute lead through Phil Foden.

Foden slotted home, after Leeds keeper Illan Meslier had come out to stop an effort from Rodri, for the 500th Premier League goal scored by the club in 207 games under Pep Guardiola – the fastest any team has reached that landmark.


Billie Eilish says watching porn from age 11 'really destroyed my brain'


Grammy-winning singer Billie Eilish has spoken about an addiction to watching pornography, starting at age 11, and how it gave her nightmares and messed her up when she started dating.

Eilish, who turns 20 on Saturday, was speaking on The Howard Stern Show on Sirius XM radio.

"I think porn is a disgrace. I used to watch a lot of porn, to be honest. I started watching porn when I was, like, 11," the Bad Guy singer said, saying it helped her feel as if she were cool and "one of the guys."


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