While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Dec 17 edition

Fed raises interest rates, cites ongoing US economic recovery

The United States Federal Reserve raised interest rates for the first time in nearly a decade, signalling renewed confidence in the US economy.

The long-anticipated announcement was made after a two-day policy meeting among the central bank's top officials.

The Fed statement said: "There has been considerable improvement in labour market conditions this year, and it is reasonably confident that inflation will rise, over the medium term, to its 2 per cent objective."


China summons US envoy to protest US authorisation of Taiwan arms sales

China summoned the US charge d'affaires in Beijing to protest against the US administration's authorisation of US$1.83 billion (S$2.5 billion) arms sales to Taiwan and said it would impose sanctions on the firms involved, China's state news agency Xinhua reported.

According to Xinhua, Vice-Foreign Minister Zheng Zeguang described the US sales authorisation announced on Wednesday as going against international law and basic norms of international relations and said that they "severely" harmed China's sovereignty and security.


Teen punches Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy in face, breaks his glasses

Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy suffered a scare when a 17-year-old youth punched him in the face during a campaign appearance in his northwestern fiefdom of Galicia, breaking his glasses.

A source in his ruling conservative Popular Party, who refused to be named, said the 60-year-old conservative Spanish leader was walking through the city of Pontevedra on the latest stop of his push for re-election in Sunday polls when the incident happened.

The source said the teen approached and hit him, "knocking off and breaking his glasses", adding that Rajoy was fine and had continued his walk through the city.


Football: Chelsea board considers Mourinho future - reports

Jose Mourinho's future as Chelsea manager is in suspense over his failure to lift the team out of their alarming slump, according to British press reports.

The Daily Mail said that the Chelsea board was due to meet to discuss Mourinho's position on Wednesday, while the Daily Telegraph claimed the club's hierarchy was drawing up a list of potential replacements.

Premier League champions last season, Chelsea are currently just a point above the relegation zone after losing nine of their 16 matches to date. They have, however, reached the Champions League last 16.


'Perfect' say satisfied Star Wars watchers in Singapore

Reactions to the Singapore premiere of Star Wars: The Force Awakens have been largely positive, as visibly excited audiences emerged from the screening with happy faces.

Several viewers pointed out how the new film in the iconic series successfully managed to appeal to nostalgia as well as introduce a new set of characters.

Said one watcher: "The movie will satisfy everyone. Fans will love that it is familiar yet new at the same time, while new viewers will love droid BB-8. I thought the movie was awesome."