While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, July 25

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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson promises a bold new Brexit deal

Boris Johnson promised in his first speech as prime minister to lead Britain out of the European Union on Oct 31 with "no ifs or buts" and warned that if the bloc refused to negotiate then there would be a no-deal Brexit.

Johnson, who has been hailed by US President Donald Trump as Britain's Trump, is sending the strongest message yet to the EU that he will be taking a distinctly tougher approach to negotiating a revision of the Brexit divorce deal.

He took over from Theresa May at one of the most perilous junctures in post-World War II British history - the United Kingdom is divided over Brexit and weakened by the three-year political crisis that has gripped it since a 2016 referendum vote to leave the bloc.

"We can do a deal without checks at the Irish border," he said. "It is of course vital at the same time that we prepare for the remote possibility that Brussels refuses any further to negotiate and we are forced to come out with no deal."


Robert Mueller warns of continued Russian interference in 2020 US election

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Former special counsel Robert Mueller offered little beyond the already-published findings of his investigation into Russian election interference and possible obstruction of justice in his testimony to Congress on Wednesday, both denying Democrats fodder with which to push for impeachment and directly contradicting President Donald Trump on several counts.

But he cut above partisan politics to warn that Russia's systematic and sweeping intervention in the 2016 election remained a threat for 2020, saying: "It wasn't a single attempt. They're doing it as we sit here. And they expect to do it during the next campaign."

Many more countries are developing the capability to replicate what the Russians had done, added Mr Mueller, who was FBI director from 2001 to 2013.


Amanda Knox to wed and asks public to pay for it

Amanda Knox, the US student who was exonerated of killing her roommate in Italy, has announced she is tying the knot and is asking the public to fund what she promises will be a "crazy" wedding.

Knox, 32, said she will be marrying Christopher Robinson, 35, in a non-traditional ceremony and the pair needed financial backing for their space-themed nuptials.

The couple said they had earmarked money for the wedding slated for next year but had to spend it last month on Knox's first trip back to Italy since she was exonerated in 2011 of killing her British roommate Meredith Kercher in the central Italian city of Perugia.


Topless sunbathing going out of fashion in France, survey shows

Once widespread in France, topless sunbathing is going out of fashion, a survey has shown, with fears about harassment, body image and health seen as prompting a trend to cover up more at the beach.

Fewer than one in five Frenchwomen under 50 said they sported a "monokini", compared to 28 per cent a decade ago and 43 per cent in 1984, according to the survey by French pollster Ifop.

Young women aged 18 to 25 said harassment, criticism of their bodies and being ogled by men were their biggest barriers to going topless.


Blade Runner actor Rutger Hauer dies aged 75

Hollywood actor Rutger Hauer, who became a global cult icon for his role as the scary yet thought-provoking humanoid android in the 1982 sci-fi classic Blade Runner, has died at the age of 75.

Hauer's non-profit HIV/Aids charity, the Rutger Hauer Starfish Association, said on its website it was announcing "with infinite sadness that after a very short illness, on Friday, July 19, 2019, Rutger passed away peacefully at his Dutch home".

Dutch media said Hauer was buried at a private ceremony.


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