While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Dec 22


Defying Trump, over 120 countries at UN condemn Jerusalem decision

More than 120 countries defied President Donald Trump on Thursday and voted in favour of a United Nations General Assembly resolution calling for the United States to drop its recent recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Trump had threatened to cut off financial aid to countries that voted in favour.

A total of 128 countries backed the resolution, which is non-binding, nine voted against and 35 abstained. Twenty-one countries did not cast a vote.

Washington found itself isolated as many of its Western and Arab allies voted for the measure.


Mike Pence visits Afghanistan, says US will 'see this through'

Vice-President Mike Pence made an unannounced trip to Afghanistan to meet its leaders and underscore US commitment to the country, four months after President Donald Trump agreed to an open-ended war against insurgents here.

Pence arrived on a military plane at Bagram Airfield under the cover of darkness on Thursday night, leaving Washington on Wednesday.

He proceeded to fly via helicopter to Kabul, where he met President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah at the presidential palace. Pence said he hoped his presence there was tangible evidence that the United States was "here to see this through".


Prince Harry and fiancee Meghan Markle release engagement pictures

Britain's Prince Harry and his American fiancee Meghan Markle have released a series of portraits by New York-based fashion photographer Alexi Lubomirski to mark their engagement.

Lubomirski, a former assistant to Mario Testino, famed for his photos of Harry's mother Princess Diana, took the pictures this week at the royal retreat of Frogmore House, near Windsor Castle, west of London, where the couple are due to marry on May 19.

"I cannot help but smile when I look at the photos that we took of them, such was their happiness together," Lubomirski said.


Sylvester Stallone 'categorically disputes' claim of 1990s sexual assault

Actor Sylvester Stallone on Thursday denied an accusation that he raped a woman in the 1990s and said the allegation was "completely fabricated".

Celebrity news site TMZ reported on Wednesday, citing law enforcement sources, that a woman had recently reported the allegation dating back to the 1990s against Stallone to Santa Monica police.

Stallone's attorney Martin Singer said on Thursday that a woman had "filed a police report alleging a rape that occurred 27 years ago".


Football: La Liga chases record Asian audience with early Clasico

La Liga's drive to build its audience in Asia and establish itself as the most popular league in the world prompted Saturday's "Clasico" between Real Madrid and Barcelona to be scheduled at 1pm local time, officials said on Thursday.

The showdown between Spain's two most successful and popular sides usually takes place late in the evening.

However, Saturday's 1200 GMT (8pm Singapore time) kickoff will allow viewers in countries such as Vietnam and Indonesia, where the game will start at 7pm local time, to follow the action in prime time.