While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Dec 23

US President Donald Trump speaking at a campaign rally in Battle Creek, Michigan. PHOTO: AP

White House predicts Nancy Pelosi to 'yield' on impeachment delay

The White House tried to make the case on Sunday that Speaker Nancy Pelosi has put herself in an untenable position by stalling House-passed articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump in hopes of shaping the upcoming Senate trial.

A senior administration official suggested the top Democrat in Congress would soon relent, paving the way for leaders in the Republican-controlled Senate to settle on the contours of a trial that is likely to result in Trump's acquittal on charges of obstruction of Congress and abuse of power.

An influential senator and key Trump ally predicted that the drive by Denocrats Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer for new witnesses and testimony would be for naught.

"She will yield. There's no way she can hold this position," said Marc Short, the chief of staff to Vice-President Mike Pence. "We think her case is going nowhere."

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Over a dozen injured in southern Philippines bombings

A series of explosions rocked a southern Philippine city known for Islamic State-linked violence on Sunday night, wounding at least 17 people including soldiers.

A hand grenade was thrown into a military truck patrolling Cotabato City in the restive southern island of Mindanao, with eight soldiers and four civilians sustaining injuries from the bomb's shrapnel.

It was quickly followed by an improvised explosive device blast in the nearby town of Libungan, wounding five civilians with one in "serious" condition.

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Dozens injured in 69-vehicle US pileup

A pileup involving more than 60 cars on a major interstate in Virginia on Sunday morning injured dozens of people, according to state police.

The accident happened just before 8am on Sunday on westbound Interstate 64 in York County near Williamsburg, Virginia State Police Sergeant Michelle Anaya said.

No fatalities were reported, but it took crews hours to clear the roadway and reopen all lanes of traffic.

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Football: Chelsea outplay Tottenham with Willian double

Chelsea enjoyed a timely return to form to outplay Tottenham Hotspur in a 2-0 away victory in the Premier League as Frank Lampard outwitted his former mentor Jose Mourinho in their managerial battle on Sunday.

Willian struck both goals for Lampard's side in the first half as Chelsea consolidated fourth place while Tottenham's dismal afternoon went from bad to worse as forward Son Heung-min was shown a red card just past the hour mark.

It was a dispriting day for Tottenham on and off the field with allegations of racist behaviour by one of their fans.

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Fashion designer Emanuel Ungaro dies aged 86: Family

French fashion designer Emanuel Ungaro, who described himself as a "sensual obsessive", has died in Paris at the age of 86, his family told AFP on Sunday.

Ungaro, who retired from fashion in 2004, died on Saturday after two years in a "weakened" state of health, a family member said.

He was born in Aix-en-Province in southern France in 1933 to a family of Italian immigrants, and moved at the tender age of 22 to Paris, where he was trained by Spanish couturier Cristobal Balenciaga before launching his own label nine years later.

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