While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Jan 24 edition

US President Donald Trump signs order to withdraw US from the TPP

President Donald Trump moved Monday to pull the United States out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, making good on a pledge to scrap a deal he denounced as a "job killer" and a "rape" of US interests.

The move drew an immediate rebuke from fellow Republican, Arizona Senator John McCain, according to MSNBC cable news in the US.

Embarking on his first full week in office, the 45th US president began rolling out his policy agenda after a tumultuous first weekend for his administration by signing a series of executive orders.


United States says it will prevent China taking over territory in international waters

The new US administration of President Donald Trump vowed on Monday that the United States would prevent China from taking over territory in international waters in the South China Sea, something Chinese state media has said would require Washington to "wage war".

"I think the US is going to make sure that we protect our interests there," White House spokesman Sean Spicer told a news briefing. "It's a question of if those islands are in fact in international waters and not part of China proper, then yeah, we're going to make sure that we defend international territories from being taken over by one country."

Spicer was responding to a question as to whether Trump agreed with comments by his Secretary of State nominee, Rex Tillerson, on Jan 11 that China should not be allowed access to islands it has built in the contested South China Sea.


Boy severely burnt while re-creating popular YouTube hand sanitiser stunt

There are a handful of popular YouTube videos - some of them with views in the tens of thousands - that show fingertips glowing with unearthly blue flame.

The videos, made by amateur Internet daredevils in nondescript kitchens or darkened workshops, typically begin with pools of alcoholic hand sanitiser being set alight.

Few come with warnings. One video, "How to hold fire in your hand (fire bending)", which has been viewed more than 2 million times, exhorted viewers not to worry "and just do it because it has no pain involved". That was not the case for eight-year-old James Ditucci.


Puppies found alive in Italy avalanche hotel boost hope for survivors

Rescuers recovered three puppies from under the rubble of Italy's avalanche hotel Monday sparking fresh hopes some of the 23 people still missing after five days could be found alive.

Fireman Fabio Jerman said the discovery of the three shaggy white Abruzzo sheepdog pups meant there were still air pockets in the collapsed luxury spa resort, "an important sign of life, which gives us hope".

A new route was being dug into the wreck in a last-ditch effort to find survivors, as questions mounted as to whether the disaster could have been avoided.


Disney reveals next Star Wars film title: The Last Jedi

The next chapter in the beloved blockbuster Star Wars saga has a title: Episode VIII will tell the tale of The Last Jedi.

Lucasfilm on Monday (Jan 23, 2017) released the title without additional explanation. The film, directed by Rian Johnson, is due in theatres on Dec 15, 2017.

"We have the greatest fans in this or any other galaxy. In appreciation of the fans, we wanted them to be the first to know the title of the next chapter in the Skywalker saga: Star Wars - The Last Jedi," the studio said in a statement.