While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Dec 24

FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe plans to retire in a few months when he becomes fully eligible for pension benefits.
FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe plans to retire in a few months when he becomes fully eligible for pension benefits.PHOTO: REUTERS

Facing Republican attacks, FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe plans to retire early next year

Andrew McCabe, the FBI's deputy director who has been the target of Republican critics for more than a year, plans to retire in a few months when he becomes fully eligible for pension benefits, according to people familiar with the matter.

McCabe spent hours in Congress this past week, facing questions behind closed doors from members of three committees. Republicans said they were dissatisfied with his answers; Democrats called it a partisan hounding.

McCabe, 49, holds a unique position in the political firestorm surrounding the FBI. He was former director James Comey's right-hand man, a position that involved him in most of the FBI's actions that vex President Donald Trump as well as the investigation of Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while secretary of state, a matter that still riles Democrats.

When Trump fired Comey in May, that meant McCabe had to stay - first to run the agency until a new director was in place and then to take the political heat for decisions made by his former boss.


US envoy Pete Hoekstra apologises after being caught out for 'fake news' jibe

The new US ambassador to the Netherlands apologised on Saturday (Dec 23) after denying he once said the country was in "chaos" because of Muslims and accusing an interviewer of peddling "fake news," only to be caught out by Dutch television in a bizarre exchange.

Pete Hoekstra, who starts as ambassador to The Hague next month, made the blunder while being questioned by a journalist over remarks made at a 2015 conference.

When the reporter challenged him about referring at that event to Muslim-inspired "chaos" and to dangerous "no-go zones" in the Netherlands, Hoekstra responded: "That is actually an incorrect statement - we would call it fake news... I never said that."

The clip is then played. But Hoekstra then goes on to deny ever calling it fake news.


Miss America CEO forced out as controversy envelops the organisation

The head of the Miss America Organisation was forced to resign on Saturday (Dec 23), a day after the revelation of emails in which he disparaged previous pageant winners.

The Huffington Post on Friday published emails sent between pageant chief executive Sam Haskell and organisation staffers and board members that included sexist, insulting comments about former Miss America's and laid bare deep dysfunction within the organisation.

After the report was published, 49 former Miss America winners signed a petition asking for Haskell to step down.


Football: Man City claim 17th straight win, Kane equals record

Manchester City racked up a 17th consecutive Premier League victory after Sergio Aguero’s 100th and 101st Etihad Stadium goals inspired a 4-0 win over Bournemouth on Saturday (Dec 23).

Aguero scored twice and set up Raheem Sterling as Pep Guardiola’s side made it 18 wins and one draw in the first half of the season and provisionally opened up a 14-point lead at the top of the table.

Harry Kane equalled the record for Premier League goals in a calendar year with a hat-trick in a 3-0 win at Burnley that lifted Tottenham Hotspur to fifth place, while third-place Chelsea drew 0-0 at Everton.


Mariah Carey returning to Times Square to ring in New Year after sound debacle

Mariah Carey must have made a New Year's resolution to ensure a better sound system.

The pop diva confirmed that she will return to Times Square in New York to ring in 2018, a year after she was humiliated by technical issues at the annual televised ball-drop.

"We can all agree that last year didn't go exactly as planned and we are thrilled to move forward together to provide America with an incredible night of music and celebration," Carey said in a joint statement on Friday with Dick Clark Productions, which runs the show.