While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Dec 30

Donald Trump pauses during a Christmas Eve video teleconference with members of the military at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida. PHOTO: AP

Trump faces firestorm after identifying alleged whistle-blower

Donald Trump faced calls from his own party to show more restraint on Twitter amid a storm of outrage on Sunday over the president revealing the name of a man widely thought to be the whistle-blower who triggered his impeachment.

Criticism has been growing since Trump retweeted an attack that included the name of the reported CIA staffer at the heart of the Ukraine scandal - an act that could violate the whistle-blower's guaranteed anonymity under the law.

"If the president would tweet a little bit less, it wouldn't cause brain damage. But the president does not have to take my advice, nor do I expect him to," Republican Senator John Kennedy, a key Trump ally, told Fox News Sunday.

Trump is ending 2019 as the third president in US history to be impeached after pressuring Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden, a rival in his 2020 re-election bid.


Two parishioners shoot and kill gunman in Texas church attack

A US chief of police says two parishioners fatally shot a gunman who opened fire at a church near Fort Worth, Texas.

White Settlement Police Department chief JP Bevering said during a news conference on Sunday afternoon, that the shooter fired once in the West Freeway Church of Christ before congregants retaliated to cut his assault short.

Officials say one other person was shot and killed in the attack on Sunday morning and another was taken to a hospital in critical condition.


'I threw a coffee table': Witness fought rabbi house attacker

When a machete-wielding intruder stormed into a rabbi's house in a New York suburb during a Jewish festival late on Saturday, Joseph Gluck fought back.

"He was a big, husky, guy," said 30-year-old Gluck on Sunday, recalling that the attacker wore a scarf covering his face. "I could only see his forehead and his eyes. He came in wielding a big knife, sword-like machete."

Gluck was one of several people at the rabbi's property during celebrations for Hanukkah. "He started hitting people right and left," continued Gluck, adding that the attacker did not say anything as he slashed victims.


Putin thanks Trump for helping foil terrorist acts in Russia

Russia said on Sunday it had thwarted terrorism attacks reportedly planned in St Petersburg thanks to a tip from Washington, bringing personal thanks again from President Vladimir Putin to his US counterpart Donald Trump.

Russian news agencies cited the Federal Security Service as saying that thanks to the information, two Russians were detained on Dec 27 on suspicion of plotting attacks during New Year festivities in St Petersburg.

The Kremlin said Putin passed on his gratitude to Trump during a phone call on Sunday for the tip from US special services.


Football: Liverpool's 'brilliant' 2019 just a building block for Klopp

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insists the European champions must build on a "brilliant" 2019 to turn a 13-point lead at the top of the table into a first Premier League title in 30 years.

Klopp's men were not at their flowing best and needed the help of two VAR reviews to continue their relentless march towards the title with a 1-0 win over Wolves on Sunday.

Liverpool have now won 18 of their first 19 league games of the season and lost just once in the calendar year in the league, on top of winning the Champions League, Club World Cup and Uefa Super Cup.


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