While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Jan 30 edition

Protests against Muslim travel ban swell across the US, as Trump team doubles down

The United States was hit Sunday by a second day of protests denouncing Donald Trump's ban on travellers from seven Muslim countries as the president stood unrepentant in the face of judicial stays and global outrage.

Protesters gathered outside the White House and in New York's Battery Park, across the harbor from the Statue of Liberty - America's famed beacon of freedom and immigration - and more were expected at airports nationwide.

Trump signed the temporary ban as an executive order on Friday afternoon, suspending the arrival of all refugees for at least 120 days and barring visa holders from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.


Global backlash grows against US President Donald Trump's immigration order

A global backlash against US President Donald Trump's immigration curbs gathered strength on Sunday (Jan 29, 2017) as several countries including long-standing American allies criticised the measures as discriminatory and divisive.

Governments from London and Berlin to Jakarta and Teheran spoke out against Trump's order to put a four-month hold on allowing refugees into the United States and temporarily ban travellers from Syria and six other Muslim-majority countries. He said the move would help protect Americans from terrorism.

In Germany - which has taken in large numbers of people fleeing the Syrian civil war - Chancellor Angela Merkel said the global fight against terrorism was no excuse for the measures and "does not justify putting people of a specific background or faith under general suspicion", her spokesman said.


Prominent Muslim lawyer gunned down in Myanmar, while holding his grandson

A legal adviser for Myanmar's ruling National League for Democracy was shot dead outside the country's busiest airport on Sunday, in a rare outbreak of what appeared to be political violence in the commercial capital, Yangon.

Police arrested a lone gunman, but a motive was unknown in the killing of 65-year-old Ko Ni, a prominent member of Myanmar's Muslim minority.

The apparent assassination comes amid heightened tensions in Buddhist-majority Myanmar, where leader Aung San Suu Kyi is under pressure over a heavy-handed security operation in an area of the country's northwest that is populated mostly by Muslims.


Football: Manchester United cruises, as Watford, Hull and Leeds suffer FA Cup upsets

Premier League clubs Watford and Hull City, and Championship side Leeds United paid the penalty for fielding weakened teams when they were all knocked out of the FA Cup in the fourth round on Sunday - but holders Manchester United won comfortably.

Like Liverpool, beaten at home by Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday, the three beaten sides miscalculated in resting so many players ahead of league games in midweek and could have no complaints at going out of the competition.

Yet United went through, winning 4-0 despite making nine changes at home to Wigan Athletic, who are in the bottom three of the Championship.


Cockfighters reap Year of Rooster bonus in Thailand

Prized birds faced off in front of thousands of spectators at a stadium near Thailand's capital on Sunday as celebrations for the Year of the Rooster brought a windfall for some.

Although cockfighting is banned in many countries on grounds of animal cruelty, it is a lucrative business in Thailand as well as a popular pastime. Sunday's top bird sold for over $100,000.

"This year is a very good year for us. It's the year of the golden rooster. The value of the roosters has gone up," said Banchej Changyai, 55, who was running the contest south of Bangkok on the second day of celebrations for the Lunar New Year.