While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Jan 6

Iranians march on Jan 5, 2020 in the streets of the north-western city of Ahvaz to pay homage to top general Qassem Soleimani, after he was killed in a US strike in Baghdad.
Iranians march on Jan 5, 2020 in the streets of the north-western city of Ahvaz to pay homage to top general Qassem Soleimani, after he was killed in a US strike in Baghdad.PHOTO: AFP/FARS NEWS

Iran steps further back from nuclear deal, says no limits on enrichment

Iran announced on Sunday it would abandon limitations on enriching uranium, taking a further step back from commitments to a 2015 nuclear deal with six major powers, but it would continue to cooperate with IAEA, the UN nuclear watchdog.

Iran had been expected to announce its latest stance on the deal this weekend.

But its announcement coincided with a major escalation of hostilities with Washington following the US killing of top Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani in a drone strike on Friday in Baghdad.

State television said Iran would not respect any limits set down in the pact on the country’s nuclear work: whether the limit on its number of uranium enrichment centrifuges to its enrichment capacity, the level to which uranium could be enriched, the amount of stockpiled enriched uranium or Iran’s nuclear research and development activities.

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Attack at elite India university injures at least 23

At least 23 people were hurt at a prestigious Indian university on Sunday (Jan 5) in what police said were clashes between rival student groups but which an opposition politician blamed on a student organisation linked to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Unverified videos on social media appeared to show a group of several masked attackers roaming the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) campus in New Delhi wielding batons as students screamed.

Sitaram Yechury, general secretary of the Communist Party of India, called the attack a "collusion" between the JNU administration and "goons" of a student group linked to Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

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Spain's Sanchez loses first bid to return as PM, eyes fresh vote

Spain's Parliament rejected Socialist leader Pedro Sanchez's bid to be reappointed prime minister on Sunday but he appeared on track to win a second confidence vote later in the coming week.

Sanchez needed 176 votes - an absolute majority in the 350-seat assembly - to be confirmed as prime minister for another term.

He lost the vote as expected, with 166 in favour, 165 against and 18 abstentions.

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Football: Liverpool kids knock Everton out of FA Cup

A stunning strike from 18-year-old Curtis Jones gave a youthful Liverpool a 1-0 win over Everton in their FA Cup, third round tie at Anfield on Sunday.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp made nine changes to his side, giving starts to three teenagers, while his Italian counterpart Carlo Ancelotti opted for a largely full-strength Everton lineup.

The gulf in experience between the two sides was barely evident, however, and will simply add to the pain for Everton, who are without a win at Anfield since September 1999.

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Frozen II surpasses original to become biggest animated film

"Frozen II" surpassed sales of its predecessor "Frozen" in its seventh week of release, becoming the highest-grossing animated film ever, while "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" was this weekend's top draw, extending Walt Disney's box-office dominance into 2020 after a stellar 2019.

"The Rise of Skywalker" brought in US$33.7 million this weekend in US and Canadian theaters, researcher Comscore estimated Sunday, while "Frozen II" generated US$11.3 million in ticket sales domestically to help reach a global gross of US$1.33 billion.

That puts the sequel ahead of the original film's US$1.28 billion global gross, Comscore reported.

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