While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Dec 19

The Amtrak train 501 which derailed onto Interstate 5 near Olympia, Washington, US, on Dec 18, 2017.
The Amtrak train 501 which derailed onto Interstate 5 near Olympia, Washington, US, on Dec 18, 2017. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

Passengers killed when Amtrak train on new route derails in Washington state

An Amtrak train derailed on Monday (Dec 18) in Washington state on its inaugural run on a faster route from Seattle to Portland, Oregon, sending passenger cars tumbling from a bridge onto a major highway, killing a number of riders and injuring nearly 100. 
 
The derailment caused “multiple fatalities,” Ed Troyer, a spokesman for the local sheriff’s office, told reporters at the scene, though he did not offer a specific number.
 
The train struck several cars on Interstate 5, he added, causing injuries but no additional deaths. 
 
Thirteen of the train’s 14 cars jumped the tracks, and five vehicles plus two semi-trailer trucks were involved in the accident, Washington State Patrol spokeswoman Brooke Bova said. 
 

 

US military personnel fired shots on Monday (Dec 18) as they stopped a man who tried to force his way into a British military base used by the US Air Force, police said, although a security source said it was not thought to be a terrorism incident. 
 
The Mildenhall Royal Air Force base said security staff locked down the base, used by the United States military to refuel US and Nato aircraft in Europe, at about 1300 GMT (9pm Singapore time) following reports of a disturbance. 
 
“Shots were fired by American service personnel and a man has been detained with cuts and bruises and taken into custody,” Suffolk police said. “No other people have been injured as a result of the incident.”
 

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US vetoes UN resolution rejecting Trump's Jerusalem decision

The United States was further isolated on Monday (Dec 18) over President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital when it blocked a United Nations Security Council call for the declaration to be withdrawn. 
 
The remaining 14 council members voted in favour of the Egyptian-drafted resolution, which did not specifically mention the United States or Trump but which expressed “deep regret at recent decisions concerning the status of Jerusalem.”
 
“What we witnessed here in the Security Council is an insult. It won’t be forgotten,” US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said after the vote.  It was the first veto cast by the United States in the Security Council in more than six years, Haley said. 
 

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Trump's National Security Plan warns of 'great power competition' with Russia and China

President Donald Trump's first national security strategy envisions a world in which the United States confronts two "revisionist" powers - China and Russia - that are seeking to change the global status quo, often to the detriment of America's interests.
 
But while the document outlines a detailed plan to push back against China's global economic ambitions, it says little about dealing with the kind of cyber and information warfare techniques that Moscow used to try to influence the 2016 presidential election.
 
The strategy, which Trump presented in a speech Monday afternoon, is the first comprehensive effort by his administration to describe an all-encompassing strategic worldview. Administration officials said it was drawn from speeches Trump had delivered during the presidential campaign, in Europe and Asia and at the United Nations.
 

Twitter begins enforcing rules on 'hateful, abusive' content

Twitter said it began enforcing new rules on Monday (Dec 18) aimed at filtering out "hateful" and "abusive" content on the social network including messages which promote or glorify violence.
 
The platform has long faced criticism over how it deals with hate groups and content, which led it to removing verification badges from prominent US white nationalists last month.
 
"Specific threats of violence or wishing for serious physical harm, death, or disease to an individual or group of people is in violation of our policies," the new rules state.