While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Jan 12 edition

Donald Trump gives his first press conference since July 2016YOUTUBE

Donald Trump divests business interests, lashes media for 'fake news'

At his first press conference in months, US President-elect Donald Trump, standing next to a pile of papers which he said he had signed to turn over control of his business empire to his sons, lashed out at unsubstantiated reports in some media that he had been compromised by Russia.

He said he would start work on building a wall on the border with Mexico, which Mexico would eventually pay for "in some form."

The Affordable Care Act commonly known as Obamacare would be repealed and replaced "essentially simultaneously".

On his pledge to create jobs, he said “I said I will be the greatest jobs producer that God ever created, and I mean that.”


Donald Trump rejects ‘phony’ dossier of allegations

President-elect Donald Trump flatly denied “phony” explosive allegations about ties with Russia and lurid behaviour on a trip to Moscow that have tainted his election victory and threatened to engulf his presidency.

Just over a week before Trump takes office, the United States has been rocked by unsubstantiated claims that his aides colluded with the Kremlin to win the election – and that Russia has compromising sexual material on Trump.

“I think it’s a disgrace that information would be let out,” Trump said, training fire on media outlets that published the allegations and the intelligence agencies who he suggested may have leaked it. “It’s all fake news. It’s phony stuff. It didn’t happen,” he said in his first press conference in nearly six months.


Donald Trump's secretary of state pick Rex Tillerson takes firm line on Russia

President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, said he favoured maintaining current US sanctions against Russia for now and said Nato allies were right to be alarmed by Moscow’s aggression, but he refrained from calling Russian President Vladimir Putin a war criminal.

Relations with Russia dominated Tillerson’s confirmation hearing as senators pressed him on whether he agreed with sanctions imposed on Russia for cyber attacks during the US presidential campaign and for its 2014 annexation of Crimea.

"I would leave things in the status quo so we are able to convey this can go either way,” Tillerson said, though he said at other points during the hearing that US sanctions disrupted American business overseas.


Volkswagen pleads guilty, agrees to pay $6 billion to settle US case

Volkswagen took a major step towards resolving one of the darkest chapters in its history, pleading guilty to an emissions-cheating scandal and agreeing to pay US$4.3 billion (S$6.1 billion) in criminal and civil charges as the US announced charges against five new individuals.

As part of its settlement, Volkswagen pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy, obstruction of justice and using false statements to import cars to the US.

Volkswagen executives Heinz-Jakob Neusser, Jens Hadler and Richard Dorenkamp were among those charged with conspiracy.


Football: Leaving Chelsea for China 'not a step down' - Oscar

Oscar insisted that quitting the English Premier League to play in China was not a step down - but admitted that the mind-boggling financial offer was a definite incentive.

In his first substantive comments since leaving Chelsea for an eye-catching €60 million (S$90 million), Oscar said the big-spending Chinese Super League would eventually rival the best leagues in the world.

"I don't think it is a step down," said Oscar, who is training in Qatar with his new team Shanghai SIPG, who reportedly made the Brazilian international one of the highest-paid players in the world. "I think in China they are making a great project for me and all the good players that are coming to the league. I am pretty sure that in the future the Chinese league will be one of the best leagues in the world."