While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Jan 2

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell at the Capitol in Washington on Jan 1, 2021. PHOTO: NYTIMES

Rebuking Trump, Republican-led Senate overrides defence Bill veto

President Donald Trump's fellow Republicans in the US Senate on Friday overrode his veto for the first time in his nearly four years in office, pushing through a defence policy Bill against his strong objections days before he leaves office.

Meeting in a rare New Year's Day session, the Senate voted 81-13 to secure the two-thirds majority needed to override the veto with bipartisan support. Eight previous vetoes were upheld.

The Friday session, widely seen as the last before a new Congress is sworn in on Sunday, also appeared to end for now a push by Democrats to increase Covid-19 relief cheques from US$600 (S$800) to $2,000 sought by Trump.

Senator Bernie Sanders again joined Democrats in a bid to force a vote on higher payments, only to be blocked by Republicans.

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New Year arrives with US hitting 20 million Covid-19 cases

The United States marked the New Year on Friday by passing the extraordinary milestone of 20 million Covid-19 cases, after global celebrations welcoming in 2021 were largely muted by the pandemic.

The US has floundered in its efforts to quell the virus, which is spreading rapidly across the country and has already caused over 346,000 deaths - by far the highest national death toll.

Worldwide hopes that Covid-19 vaccines will bring a rapid end to the pandemic in 2021 have been shaken by the slow start to the US vaccination programme, which has been beset by logistical problems and overstretched hospitals.

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Covid-19 woes, not new checks, weigh on post-Brexit passengers

Travellers braving trains between London and Paris on the first day after Britain's exit from the EU customs union experienced additional checks but were more worried by the extra rules required for travel in a pandemic-haunted world.

A much reduced Eurostar service is taking passengers between the French and British capitals during the pandemic, with London-bound travellers needing to quarantine on arrival and those heading to Paris requiring a negative Covid-19 test.

Those stepping off the train from London onto the platform at Gare du Nord in Paris found new customs checks awaiting them, with limits, taxes and even bans on bringing in some goods.

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Rescuers find body after landslide in Norway, 9 still missing

Rescuers found one body on Friday, two days after a landslide in southern Norway swept away at least nine buildings, police said, with nine people still missing.

Another 10 people were injured after Wednesday's landslide in the residential area in the Gjerdrum municipality, about 30km north of the capital, Oslo.

Emergency workers are continuing their search in what Bjoern Nuland, head of the health team at the site, said was still a rescue operation. A search-and-rescue team from neighbouring Sweden was assisting.

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Football: Five Man City players to miss Chelsea trip due to Covid-19

Five Manchester City first team players have tested positive for Covid-19 and will not be involved when they play Chelsea in the Premier League this weekend, manager Pep Guardiola said on Friday (Jan 1).

A surge in infections at City among players and staff forced the club to lodge a request with the Premier League to postpone Monday's game at Everton. City also closed their training ground as a precaution.

The club said last week that striker Gabriel Jesus and defender Kyle Walker had tested positive but Guardiola refused to divulge the names of the other "three important players" who would not be available for Sunday's clash.

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