While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Jan 29

Independent presidential candidate and current president, Sauli Niinisto, greets and thanks his supporters during an election reception in Helsinki, Finland, on Jan 28, 2018. PHOTO: AFP

Finland's president Sauli Niinisto re-elected for second term

Finns on Sunday (Jan 28) re-elected their popular and pragmatic president Sauli Niinisto, who is credited for maintaining a balanced relationship with the nation's powerful neighbour Russia at a time of simmering relations between Moscow the West.

"I am surprised and touched by this big support," Niinisto told reporters in Helsinki, who secured over 62 per cent of the vote with nearly all the ballots counted.

Niinisto, 69, avoided the need for a second-round of voting and won outright on Sunday, a first since Finland introduced a two-round presidential election by popular vote in 1994.


Republican US senators urge Congress to revisit bill to protect Mueller

The US Congress should revisit proposed legislation to protect special counsel Robert Mueller after President Donald Trump tried to fire him last year while he investigated the Trump campaign's ties with Russia, two Republican senators said on Sunday (Jan 28).

In separate television interviews, Senators Susan Collins and Lindsey Graham expressed dismay at reports the Republican president had told the top White House lawyer to order US Justice Department officials to fire Mueller.

"I've got legislation protecting Mr Mueller, and I'd be glad to pass it tomorrow," Graham told the ABC News This Week programme.


Isolated Qatar signs agreements with Oman

Qatar signed a memorandum of understanding with Oman on the development of bilateral investment and trade on Sunday (Jan 28), nearly eight months into a crisis between the emirate and its Arab neighbours.

The Omani news agency ONA said the agreement signed in Muscat covers a wide range of cooperation sectors including the production and export of food products from the sultanate to Qatar.

Omani Agriculture Minister Fuad al-Sajwani, quoted by ONA, said the memorandum reflected the "solid relationship" between the two countries.


Music industry hails Jay-Z before rap-heavy Grammys

Hip-hop is being recognised as never before as the Grammys get underway on Sunday (Jan 28) with Jay-Z, who once boycotted the industry awards as biased, leading the nominations.

The music industry's biggest night, taking place in New York after 15 years in Los Angeles, also looks set to rally behind the #MeToo movement to end sexual harassment with guests planning to wear white roses as symbols of solidarity.

Hip-hop has an uneven history with the Recording Academy, the body of 13,000 music professionals that determines the awards, with only two mostly rap works winning the most prestigious Grammy of Album of the Year.


Football: Batshuayi brace puts Chelsea into FA Cup fifth round

Michy Batshuayi scored twice as Chelsea beat Premier League rivals Newcastle United 3-0 to advance into the fifth round of the FA Cup at Stamford Bridge on Sunday (Jan 28).

Batshuayi's goals in the 31st and 44th minutes and a Marcos Alonso free-kick 18 minutes from time were enough for Premier League champions Chelsea to see off Rafael Benitez's struggling side.

The Belgian's striker's first was the result of a neat team move, Pedro's superb through ball splitting the Newcastle defence and leading to Eden Hazard slipping a pass inside to Marcos Alonso.


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