While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Jan 9

Activists protest against the carbon dioxide emissions trading in front of the World Congress Centre Bonn, the site of the COP23 UN Climate Change Conference, in Bonn, Germany, on Nov 17, 2017.
Activists protest against the carbon dioxide emissions trading in front of the World Congress Centre Bonn, the site of the COP23 UN Climate Change Conference, in Bonn, Germany, on Nov 17, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS

German coalition negotiators agree to scrap 2020 climate target: Sources

Germany's would-be coalition partners have agreed to drop plans to lower carbon dioxide emissions by 40 per cent from 1990 levels by 2020, sources familiar with negotiations said on Monday (Jan 8) - a potential embarrassment for Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Due to strong economic growth and higher-than-expected immigration, Germany is likely to miss its national emissions target for 2020 without any additional measures.

Negotiators for Merkel's conservative bloc and the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) told Reuters the parties had agreed in exploratory talks on forming a government that the targeted cut in emissions could no longer be achieved by 2020.
 

Billionaire behind Trump impeachment ads to bankroll Democrats for US House

Billionaire environmental activist Tom Steyer, who has spent millions on national ads calling for the impeachment of President Donald Trump, will spend US$30 million (S$40 million) this year trying to help Democrats win control of the US House of Representatives, he announced on Monday (Jan 8).
 
The former hedge fund manager, who told reporters he will not personally run for office in 2018, said he will also continue his national campaign calling for impeachment.

"My fight is in removing Donald Trump from office and removing Donald Trump from power," Steyer said.
 

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Oprah for president? Speech sparks fevered speculation

Could Oprah Winfrey run for president and beat Donald Trump?
 
Hollywood, liberals and ardent fans are abuzz with speculation that the billionaire chat show queen is harbouring White House ambitions after an impassioned Golden Globes speech.
 
Winfrey had barely finished calling for a "new day" following a sexual harassment watershed, before calls snowballed for one of America's most famous women, a self-made tycoon born into poverty, to run for the highest office in the free world.
 

Sisi under spotlight as Egypt sets late March election date

Egypt will hold a presidential election in late March, authorities said on Monday (Jan 8), starting the countdown towards a likely second term in office for incumbent Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
 
Sisi has yet to announce his candidacy for the ballot, which was scheduled for March 26 to 28.
 
But he is widely expected to run, having won a landslide victory in the previous election in 2014, the year after - as a military commander - he led the overthrow of elected president Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood.
 

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British PM names new minister for Northern Ireland

British Prime Minister Theresa May appointed Karen Bradley as Northern Ireland Secretary on Monday (Jan 8), shortly after James Brokenshire resigned from the post due to ill-health.
 
The switch, part of a long-awaited Cabinet reshuffle by May, comes nearly a year to the day since the collapse of the once-troubled province's semi-autonomous government.
 
Bradley, 47, has been serving as culture secretary since July 2016, after first entering parliament in 2010.