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

FBI investigating California massacre as ‘act of terrorism'

The FBI is investigating this week’s massacre in which a married couple killed 14 people in California as an “act of terrorism,” an official said on Friday, as sources said that the female shooter apparently pledged allegiance to a leader of the militant group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

US investigators are evaluating evidence that Tashfeen Malik, 27, a Pakistani native who had been living in Saudi Arabia when she married Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, had pledged allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, two US officials told Reuters.

They said the finding, if confirmed, could be a “game changer” in the investigation, though another source cautioned there was no indication that ISIS “even knew” who the shooters were.


TV crews allowed inside California shooters' home

Television crews were let inside the home of the California shooters on Friday, rifling through the couple's personal effects for any clue to what drove them to gun down 14 people at an office party.

Crews were given access by the landlord to the Redlands apartment rented by Syed Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik, who lived there with their six-month-old baby daughter.

A scrum of journalists flooded into the apartment, filming and snapping pictures of the family's possessions - from baby toys to computer paraphernalia.


Santa's not dead... Norway newspaper sorry for obituary

Children can rest assured that Santa Claus is alive and well, after Norway's largest newspaper apologised on Friday for announcing that he had died at the age of 227.

An obituary had appeared on Aftenposten's website on Thursday announcing that Santa had passed away after a very long and active life.

The notice added that a funeral for Santa, born on Dec 12, 1788, would be held on Dec 28 at the "Chapel of the North Pole".


Letter to Mars? Royal Mail works it out for British boy aged five

Britain's Royal Mail has turned to Nasa for help after a five-year-old boy wrote in asking how much it would cost to post a letter to Mars.

But Oliver Giddings probably won't be able to send a letter to outer space as the price - £11,602.25 (S$24,631.22) - is well beyond the reach of most children's pocket money.

In its reply to Oliver, who wants to become an astronaut, the Royal Mail explained on Friday how the figure was calculated.


Football: Real Madrid thrown out of King's Cup over ineligible player

Real Madrid’s woes deepened on Friday when the Spanish soccer federation (RFEF) expelled them from the King’s Cup for using an ineligible player in Wednesday’s last 32, first leg match at third-tier Cadiz.

Real included Denis Cheryshev in their starting lineup for their first match of the 2015-16 competition even though he should have been serving a one-match suspension and the Russia forward opened the scoring in a 3-1 victory.

Real president Florentino Perez insisted on Thursday the club had not broken the rules as neither Cheryshev nor Real were notified he was banned.