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

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'Defend democracy': Pelosi calls Trump 'ongoing threat' in impeachment debate

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday called Donald Trump a threat to American democracy who left Congress no choice but to impeach him as bitterly divided lawmakers debated before historic votes on charges accusing the Republican president of abusing his power and obstructing Congress.

With billowing partisan differences on full display, the Democratic-led House of Representatives launched a planned six hours of debate on the two articles of impeachment arising from the president's actions towards Ukraine.

Trump would become the third US president ever to be impeached.

That would set the stage for a trial in the Republican-led Senate next month, with House members acting as prosecutors and senators as jurors.


US lawsuit says immigration courts are now deportation machines

The immigration court system under the Trump administration has become a "deportation machine," two groups said in a lawsuit filed in federal court on Wednesday.

The lawsuit filed by the Southern Poverty Law Centre in Washington DC, and Innovation Law Lab of Portland, Oregon, said that instead of being fair and impartial, judges in immigration courts answer to Attorney-General Robert Barr and are pushed to deny applications for asylum.

"The immigration courts make life-and-death decisions every day: vulnerable people seeking asylum in the United States depend on a functioning court system to protect them from persecution, torture, and death. Yet, in the immigration courts, the tradition of judicial independence has been turned upside down," the lawsuit against President Donald Trump and Attorney-General William Barr says.


Baby boy abandoned inside garbage dumpster in Greek city

Greek police said on Wednesday they had arrested a 24-year-old woman on suspicion of attempted infanticide after a passer-by found a days-old baby abandoned in an in-ground garbage dumpster in a southern city.

The baby boy, which is between six and 10 days old, was transferred to hospital, where he was found to be in generally good health.

Police said the suspect was believed to be the baby's mother.


Football: Firmino strikes late to take Liverpool into Club World Cup final

Roberto Firmino came off the bench to score a stoppage-time winner as Liverpool edged out Mexican side Monterrey 2-1 at the Club World Cup in Doha on Wednesday and set up a final this weekend against Flamengo.

The game had started very well for Jurgen Klopp's team, with Naby Keita firing them into an early lead, to the delight of almost everyone in the crowd at the Khalifa International Stadium.

However, Monterrey quickly drew level through Argentine striker Rogelio Funes Mori and the most recent winners of the Concacaf Champions League matched the Reds for long spells.


Rise Of Skywalker reviews among most critical in Star Wars galaxy

Walt Disney's highly anticipated Star Wars movie The Rise Of Skywalker divided film critics on Wednesday, earning more detractors than any film in the saga since 1999 movie The Phantom Menace.

Rise Of Skywalker, which debuts in theatres around the globe on Thursday, is the ninth and final installment in a story begun in 1977, when George Lucas introduced a young space hero named Luke Skywalker alongside an enchanting collection of droids and otherworldly characters.

On the Rotten Tomatoes website, 57 per cent of 157 reviews for Rise Of Skywalker were positive as of Tuesday morning. That ranked as the second-lowest score among the nine films, ahead of only the 53 per cent for The Phantom Menace.


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