While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Feb 14

An FBI wanted poster for Monica Elfriede Witt, a former US air force counterintelligence officer.
An FBI wanted poster for Monica Elfriede Witt, a former US air force counterintelligence officer.PHOTO: AFP

US charges former Air Force intelligence agent with spying for Iran

The US Justice Department charged a former Air Force intelligence official with spying for Iran, saying she exposed a fellow US agent and helped the Revolutionary Guard target her former colleagues for cyber attacks.

US officials said Monica Witt, who worked for years in US Air Force counterintelligence, had an "ideological" turn against her country and defected in 2013, turning over information on US intelligence operations against Teheran.

"It is a sad day for America when one of its citizens betrays our country," said Assistant Attorney-General John Demers, announcing the indictment.

"This case underscores the dangers to our intelligence professionals and the lengths our adversaries will go to identify them, expose them, target them, and, in a few rare cases, ultimately turn them against the nation they swore to protect," he said.


13 killed in bus accident in North Macedonia: Minister

At least 13 people were killed and more than 30 others injured when a passenger bus overturned on a highway in North Macedonia, the health minister said.

Speaking to AFP, Minister Venko Filipce said the number of dead may increase due to "people in surgery and in critical condition" following the accident, which happened around 20km from the capital Skopje. Around 50 people were on the bus.

Since Tuesday, the former Macedonia has been known by its new name the Republic of North Macedonia following its historic agreement with neighbouring Greece.


Google, Apple face calls to pull Saudi app allowing men to monitor wives

A Saudi Arabian government app that allows men in the country to monitor and control their female relatives' travel at the click of a button should be removed from Google and Apple's online stores, a US politician and activists said.

Human rights campaigners argued the tech giants are enabling abuses against women and girls in the ultra-conservative kingdom by hosting the app.

The free Absher app, created by the Saudi interior ministry, allows men to update or withdraw permissions for their wives and female relatives to travel internationally and get SMS updates if their passports are used, said human rights researchers.


Mission complete: Nasa announces demise of Opportunity rover

During 14 years of intrepid exploration across Mars it advanced human knowledge by confirming that water once flowed on the red planet - but Nasa's Opportunity rover has analysed its last soil sample.

The robot has been missing since the US space agency lost contact during a dust storm in June last year and was declared officially dead on Wednesday, ending one of the most fruitful missions in the history of space exploration.

Unable to recharge its batteries, Opportunity left hundreds of messages from Earth unanswered over the months, and Nasa said it made its last attempt at contact on Tuesday evening.


Hamilton fires F1 title warning as he takes new Mercedes for a spin

Lewis Hamilton has delivered an ominous warning to his Formula One rivals by vowing to improve on his almost flawless championship-winning campaign in his Mercedes.

The British driver emerged from his winter hibernation at Silverstone on Wednesday to get his first taste of the car that he hopes will fire him to a sixth world title.

The 34-year-old won 11 of the 21 races in 2018 to beat Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel and secure his fifth championship with two rounds to spare.