While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Jan 28 edition

Fire crackers and fireworks set off at the stroke of midnight during the Chinatown Chinese New Year 2017 Countdown Party on Jan 27, 2017.ST VIDEO: KEVIN LIM

Fireworks, feathers and 'facai': Year of the Rooster off to crowing start at Chinatown countdown

Crowds ushered in the Year of the Rooster with a crowing start to the Chinese New Year, with festive songs, skits and crowd-pleasing fireworks at the countdown in Chinatown.

People thronged New Bridge Road and Eu Tong Sen Street, where the countdown was being held from 9.30pm till past midnight.

The party featured stage performances including musical numbers by Mediacorp artists Zoe Tay and Tay Ping Hui.

Some roads were closed and buses diverted for the annual party, and security was stepped up this year.


US President Donald Trump tries to defuse Mexico feud in 'friendly' phone call

US President Donald Trump said he had a friendly phone call with Mexico's president but asserted he will renegotiate trade deals and other aspects of the countries' ties because Mexico has "beat us to a pulp" in the past

The two men spoke for about an hour on Friday, a day after President Enrique Pena Nieto scrapped a planned meeting in Washington next week over Trump's instance that Mexico pay for a multibillion-dollar border wall.

"It was a very, very friendly call," Trump told a joint news conference with visiting British Prime Minister Theresa May.

"We are going to be working on a fair relationship and a new relationship" with Mexico, Trump added. "But the United States cannot continue to lose vast amounts of business, vast amounts of companies and millions and millions of people losing their jobs. That won't happen with me."


Lindsay Lohan meets Erdogan, Syrian Twitter girl Bana Alabed

US actress Lindsay Lohan met Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and seven-year-old Syrian girl blogger Bana al-Abed in Ankara, the Turkish presidency said on its website.

In a picture taken at the presidential palace, a smiling Lohan is standing next to Erdogan, who is embracing Bana, and his wife Emine.

Bana shared a short video on Twitter, in which Lohan says: “We want to send to all of the people in Syria and Aleppo suffering, and to all the refugees, we are here supporting you and you can hang on and be strong. Just like Bana has.”


Muslim woman assaulted at JFK airport; man charged with hate crimes

A Massachusetts man who yelled that President Donald Trump "will get rid of all of you" faces nine hate crime charges for assaulting a female Muslim airline employee at New York's John F Kennedy International Airport, authorities said.

Robin Rhodes, 57, of Worcester is accused of assaulting Rabeeya Khan, who was wearing a hijab, or head scarf, while working at Delta Airlines' Sky Lounge, prosecutors said in a statement.

Rhodes, who was waiting for a connecting flight home after arriving from Aruba, approached the door of the office where Khan was working and said, "Are you sleeping? Are you praying? What are you doing?"


Tennis: Rafael Nadal wins epic battle to set up dream Federer final in Australian Open

Rafael Nadal had to be at his battling best to outlast Grigor Dimitrov 6-3 5-7 7-6(5) 6-7(4) 6-4 at the Australian Open to set up a mouth-watering ninth grand slam final meeting with his great rival Roger Federer.

The 30-year-old Spaniard looked every inch a 14-times grand slam champion as he slugged it out with his 25-year-old opponent over nearly five hours on Rod Laver Arena to reach his first major final since the 2014 French Open and 21st overall.

"Grigor was playing unbelievable, it was a great match," Nadal said. "I feel very happy to be part off it, I enjoyed it a lot. To qualify for the final in a match like this is amazing."