While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Feb 20 edition

Cameron seals ‘Brexit’ deal after marathon EU summit

European leaders finally sealed a deal Friday on British Prime Minister David Cameron’s reforms after hours of haggling at a marathon summit, paving the way for a referendum on whether Britain will stay in the EU.

The European Union’s two top figures, Donald Tusk and Jean-Claude Juncker, presented its 28 leaders with draft proposals at a long-delayed dinner after hours of painstaking face-to-face talks on an issue that threatened place in the union.

Tusk tweeted: “Deal. Unanimous support for new settlement for #UKinEU.”


US escalates fight with Apple over iPhone in attacks probe

The US government on Friday sought a court order to force Apple to help unlock an iPhone as part of the probe into last year’s San Bernardino attacks, escalating a legal showdown over encryption.

The motion brought by the Justice Department sought to debunk Apple’s claim that cooperating with the FBI probe would undermine overall security for its devices, and laid out the legal case for technical assistance.

“The order does not, as Apple’s public statement alleges, require Apple to create or provide a ‘back door’ to every iPhone,” said the motion filed in a federal court in California. “It does not provide ‘hackers and criminals’ access to iPhones; it does not require Apple to ‘hack (its) own users’ or to ‘decrypt’ its own phones.”

The move came as Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump called for a boycott of Apple products until the tech company agrees to help the government.


To Kill A Mockingbird author Harper Lee dies at age of 89

Harper Lee, who wrote one of America’s most enduring literary classics, To Kill A Mockingbird, about a child’s view of right and wrong and waited 55 years to publish a second book with the same characters from a very different point of view, died at the age of 89 on Friday.

Mary Jackson, the city clerk in Lee’s hometown of Monroeville, Alabama, said by phone that Lee had died.

A woman who answered the phone at the office of Harper Lee’s attorney, Tonja Carter, read a statement on behalf of the family that said Lee “passed away early this morning in her sleep. Her passing was unexpected.”


Formula One: Mercedes take new car for a spin

Reigning world champions Mercedes took their new F1 car for a test drive at Silverstone on Friday for a filming day.

World drivers champion Lewis Hamilton and his German teammate Nico Rosberg clocked up almost 100km in the "Silver Arrow".

The test was conducted behind closed doors but some photos of the new car were later shared on social media.


Football: United fans bemoan 'new low' as local paper turns on Van Gaal

A leading supporters' organisation said Manchester United had plumbed a "new low" as the local newspaper took the unusual step of calling for manager Louis van Gaal to be sacked following Thursday's Europa League defeat by unheralded Danish side FC Midtjylland.

Some United fans who made the trip to Herning, where match tickets cost as much as £71 (S$140), were heard to turn on their own side with abusive chants as United suffered a miserable 2-1 loss.

Sean Bones, vice-chairman of the Manchester United Supporters' Trust, said: "I have never heard our supporters sing songs like that, in all the games I have been to."