While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, March 27

The Russian Embassy in Washington, DC.
The Russian Embassy in Washington, DC.PHOTO: AFP

US, EU announce biggest expulsion of Russian diplomats since Cold War

US President Donald Trump on Monday (March 26) ordered the expulsion of 60 Russians, including 12 spies, from the United States and closed the Russian consulate in Seattle over a nerve agent attack earlier this month in Britain.

The expulsions are the toughest action taken against the Kremlin by Trump, who has been criticised for not being firm enough with President Vladimir Putin of Russia.

This is the largest ever mass expulsion of Russian or Soviet officials from the United States, a senior administration official told AFP. 


White House disparages porn star’s story of Trump affair 

The White House on Monday (March 26) cast aspersions on adult-film star Stormy Daniels over a much-watched TV interview in which she said she was threatened with violence to keep quiet about an alleged sexual encounter with Donald Trump in 2006. 

The Sunday interview drew the biggest audience in years for the news programme 60 Minutes, said network CBS. 

White House spokesman Raj Shah said at the daily White House briefing, “The president doesn’t believe any of the claims Ms Daniels made in the interview last night were accurate.”


Whistleblower questions Brexit result, says campaigners broke election law 

A whistleblower at the heart of a Facebook data scandal on Monday (March 26) questioned the result of Britain's 2016 Brexit referendum as his lawyers presented evidence that they said showed the main campaign for leaving the EU had broken the law.

With just a year until Britain is due to leave the European Union, two whistleblowers - one from the British political consultancy Cambridge Analytica and one from the Vote Leave group - have alleged that Brexit campaigners funded their campaign illegally.

By doing so, they have pulled Brexit into a scandal that has forced Mark Zuckerberg to apologise for how Facebook handled users' data, and raised questions about how Donald Trump's 2016 campaign employed data.


EU presses Facebook on sharing of user data

The European Commission pressed Facebook on Monday (March 26) over whether EU citizens’ data were among those improperly harvested by a British political consultancy, after the US regulator said it was investigating the firm’s privacy practices. 

That piled yet more pressure on a firm that has lost more than US$100 billion (S$130 billion) in market value in the last 10 days. 

Facebook shares fell more than 5 per cent on Monday after the US consumer protection regulator made public its investigation of how the social network allowed data of 50 million users to get into the hands of Cambridge Analytica. 


Football: Portugal suffer first-half collapse in 3-0 loss to Dutch

European champions Portugal suffered a dramatic first-half collapse and had Joao Cancelo sent off just after the hour in an embarrassing 3-0 World Cup warm-up defeat by the Netherlands on Monday (March 26).

Memphis Depay, Ryan Babel and Virgil van Dijk all scored after taking advantage of uncharacteristically slack defending by Portugal as the Dutch, who failed to qualify for this year's World Cup, secured a first win for new coach Ronald Koeman.

Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo began the match a hat-trick away from matching Hungarian Ferenc Puskas's record of 84 goals as Europe's all-time leading international marksmen but never looked like scoring one, let alone three.