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

Iranian supreme leader Ali Khamenei at the Shrine of Khomeini in southern Tehran, Iran, on June 4, 2018.
Iranian supreme leader Ali Khamenei at the Shrine of Khomeini in southern Tehran, Iran, on June 4, 2018.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

Iranian supreme leader Khamenei says Iran set to boost enrichment capacity if nuclear deal founders

Iran’s top leader said on Monday (June 4) he had ordered preparations to increase uranium enrichment capacity if a nuclear deal with world powers falls apart after the US withdrawal, and he vowed never to accept limits on Teheran’s ballistic missile programme. 

Tensions between Iran and the West have resurged since President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of world powers’ 2015 nuclear deal with Teheran, calling it deeply flawed. 

European signatories are scrambling to save the accord, which they see as crucial to forestalling an Iranian nuclear weapon, by seeking to ring-fence trade with Iran against new US financial sanctions to dissuade Teheran from quitting the deal. 


After two weeks, Malaysia's King consents to PM Mahathir's choice of Attorney-General 

Sultan Muhammad V has agreed to the Mahathir Mohamad administration's choice of Attorney-General (A-G), despite widespread concerns in Malaysia that the candidate is not from the Malay Muslim majority.

In an unexpected concession in the early hours of Tuesday (June 5), the National Palace said Malaysia's supreme ruler, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, had withdrawn its consent for incumbent Apandi Ali to continue as the nation's top lawyer.

"His Majesty decreed that... on the advice of the Prime Minister, he has consented to the appointment of Mr Tommy Thomas as Attorney General," said a statement from the palace.


Jordan's king replaces PM to subdue protests

Jordan's King Abdullah replaced his prime minister on Monday (June 4) in a move to defuse the biggest protests in years, over IMF-backed reforms that have hit the poor.

Government plans to lift taxes have brought thousands of people onto the streets in the capital Amman and other parts of Jordan since last week, shaking a US-allied Arab country that has remained stable through years of regional turmoil.

King Abdullah appointed Omar al-Razzaz, a former World Bank economist, to form the new government after accepting Hani Mulki's resignation, a ministerial source said. Razzaz was education minister in Mulki's government.


Trump asserts 'absolute right' to pardon himself

US President Donald Trump aggressively hardened his defense against the Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation on Monday (June 4), branding the probe "unconstitutional" and declaring that he has an "absolute right" to pardon himself of any crime.

While both claims lack strong legal foundation, according to most experts, they signalled that the president is doubling down against Mueller's probe into campaign collusion with Russia and whether Trump sought to obstruct justice.

"As has been stated by numerous legal scholars, I have the absolute right to PARDON myself, but why would I do that when I have done nothing wrong?" he said on Twitter.


Facebook 'not aware of any abuse' of data by phone makers

Facebook said Monday (June 4) that it does not know of any privacy abuse by cellphone makers who years ago were able to gain access to personal data on users and their friends.

The social media leader said it "disagreed" with the conclusions of a New York Times report that found that the device makers could access information on Facebook users' friends without their explicit consent.

Facebook enabled device makers to interface with it at a time when it was building its service and they were developing new smartphone and social media technology.