While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Dec 20

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Due to rules mixup, US House must re-vote on tax Bill

The US House of Representatives must vote again on Wednesday on a tax plan it just passed because minor elements of the Bill failed to comply with Senate rules, Republican leadership said.

After the House on Tuesday approved the nation's most sweeping tax code overhaul in three decades, it was headed to the Senate for a Tuesday night vote.

But Senate Democrats will demand that three provisions in the Bill, including one allowing the use of savings accounts for home-schooling expenses, be stripped out because they violate the so-called Byrd Rule on forbidding extraneous elements from being included in certain budget Bills.

"In the mad dash to provide tax breaks for their billionaire campaign contributors, our Republican colleagues forgot to comply with the rules of the Senate," senators Bernie Sanders and Ron Wyden said in a joint statement.


US says Facebook, Microsoft disabled North Korean cyber threats

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Facebook and Microsoft disabled a number of North Korean cyber threats last week, a White House official said on Tuesday, as the United States publicly blamed Pyongyang for a May cyber attack that crippled hospitals, banks and other companies.

"Facebook took down accounts that stopped the operational execution of ongoing cyber attacks and Microsoft acted to patch existing attacks, not just the WannaCry attack initially," White House homeland security adviser Tom Bossert said on Tuesday.

Bossert did not provide details on the actions by the two American tech heavyweights but said the US government was calling on other companies to cooperate in cyber security defence.


Israel arrests Palestinian teen after soldier-slapping video

Israel's army arrested a Palestinian teenager on Tuesday (Dec 19) after a video went viral of her slapping Israeli soldiers in the occupied West Bank as they remained impassive.

The video shot on Friday, apparently with a mobile telephone, showed two Palestinian teenage girls approaching two Israeli soldiers, before shoving, kicking and slapping them while filming on mobile phones.

The heavily armed soldiers do not respond in the face of what appears to be an attempt to provoke rather than seriously harm them.


London cafe unveils the 'selfieccino' - self portraits in froth

A cafe in London is taking barista art to a new level by giving customers the chance to sip on their own self-portraits.

The Tea Terrace, based in House of Fraser's Oxford Street branch, has become Europe's first location to deliver the "Selfieccino," which features an image of customers' faces on the frothy topping of their drinks.

Patrons send their headshots via an online messaging app to the barista and are given the choice of either a cappuccino or hot chocolate as their canvas.


Tennis: Former Wimbledon champ Marion Bartoli announces comeback

Former Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli announced her professional tennis comeback in a video posted to her Instagram account on Tuesday.

The 33-year-old announced her retirement immediately after winning the 2013 Wimbledon title, fulfilling a lifelong ambition.

"It's going to be a huge challenge, I still have a lot of practice ahead of me," she said.


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