While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Feb 3

Randall Margraves (left) lunges at former team USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar (in orange) during victim statements of his sentencing in the Eaton County Circuit Court in Charlotte, Michigan, US, on Feb 2, 2018. PHOTO: REUTERS

K.T. McFarland asks Trump to withdraw her nomination as US envoy to Singapore

K.T. McFarland, picked by President Donald Trump to be the US ambassador to Singapore, withdrew from consideration for the job on Friday after her nomination became stalled in the US Senate.

McFarland was on Trump's presidential transition team and later appointed deputy national security adviser under Michael Flynn.

Trump nominated McFarland last May to be the US envoy to Singapore. When the US Senate did not act on the nomination by the end of 2017 the White House resubmitted her nomination in early January.

On Friday, McFarland, a former Fox News national security analyst, said in a letter to Trump, "I am asking that you withdraw my nomination to be the US Ambassador to Singapore... I have come to this decision reluctantly, because I believe in your mission."


Donald Trump approves release of secret memo in fight over Russia probe

The US Congress released a Republican memo on Friday alleging abuse of power in investigations of Donald Trump's election campaign, after the president accused his own Justice Department and FBI of bias against him.

In authorising the explosive move - denounced by his opponents as a bid to undermine special counsel Robert Mueller's probe of his team's ties with Russia - Trump set up an extraordinary confrontation with America's top law enforcement authorities.

Ignoring the advice of the FBI itself, which warned that the four-page painted an inaccurate picture, the president gave his green light to declassify the memo drafted by the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, former Trump transition team official Devin Nunes.


Larry Nassar sentencing hearing halted as father lunges at disgraced doctor

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The enraged father of three daughters sexually abused by Larry Nassar charged towards the former USA Gymnastics national team doctor and tried to attack him during a sentencing hearing in a Michigan courtroom on Friday.

Randall Margraves was nearly within striking distance of Nassar before officers tackled him roughly to the ground in front of his shocked daughters.

The judge later accepted Margraves' account that he "lost control" of his emotions and said she would not punish him.


Dow falls more than 650 points, down 2.6% in biggest drop since June 2016

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The Dow suffered its worst drop in more than a year and a half on Friday as US stocks plunged on disappointing earnings from big companies and worries about higher interest rates.

At the closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 2.6 per cent or 665 points to 25,508.91, its biggest decline in percentage terms since June 2016.

The broad-based S&P 500 sank 2.2 per cent to end the week at 2,761.27, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index fell 2 per cent to 7,240.95.


Football: Man United fighting to be second best, says Mourinho

Jose Mourinho effectively conceded the Premier League title to Manchester City on Friday, admitting that his Manchester United side are competing to be "first of the last" in the table.

United lost in midweek at Tottenham, allowing their local rivals to open up a commanding 15-point lead, with just 13 games remaining.

But Mourinho insisted that there is still plenty for his team to play for in the league this season, with second place and qualification for the Champions League his primary focus.


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