While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, March 28


Theresa May's offer to quit fails to move key opponents of her Brexit deal

British Prime Minister Theresa May offered on Wednesday to quit in a bid to get her European Union divorce deal passed, but the Northern Irish party crucial to getting the agreement through parliament were unmoved and said they would reject it again.

If the Democratic Unionist Party had swung behind May, it might have convinced many eurosceptic rebels within May's Conservative party to back her deal, but the DUP's move made it highly unlikely it would get through at a third attempt.

The DUP's decision now puts pressure on parliament to come up with a plan to prevent a "no-deal" Brexit on April 12, the new deadline set by Brussels last week.

May's departure would not alter the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement, but it could give Conservative eurosceptics who have opposed it a greater say in negotiating the terms of Britain's future relationship with the EU.


Trump tells Russia to get its troops out of Venezuela

US President Donald Trump on Wednesday called on Russia to pull its troops from Venezuela and warned that "all options" were open to make that happen.

The arrival of two Russian air force planes carrying nearly 100 Russian troops outside Caracas on Saturday has escalated the political crisis in Venezuela.

Russia and China have backed President Nicolas Maduro, while the United States and most Western countries support opposition leader Juan Guaido.


Facebook bans praise of white nationalism, separatism

Facebook will ban content that references white nationalism and white separatism, taking a major step towards curbing racism and hate speech on the site.

The social media giant's policies have long excluded posts on white supremacy, but Facebook said it did not apply the same lens to expressions of white nationalism because it wanted to be able to include "broader concepts" of nationalism such as American pride and Basque separatism, which are linked to people's identity.

After an investigation by tech publication Motherboard and conversations with experts in race and civil rights groups, Facebook said in a blog post on Wednesday that it concluded "white nationalism and separatism cannot be meaningfully separated from white supremacy and organised hate groups."


Air pollution linked with psychotic episodes in British teens: Study

High levels of air pollution in England and Wales have been linked with psychotic experiences in teenagers, such as hearing voices and intense paranoia, scientists said on Wednesday, as poor air quality in British cities comes under scrutiny.

Children and adolescents living in a city were twice as likely to have had psychotic experiences than those living in rural areas, said researchers at King's College London, who described their study as the first of its kind in the country.

"We found that adolescent psychotic experiences were more common in urban areas," said Joanne Newbury, lead author of the paper, published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry.


Shakira denies plagiarism allegation in Spain court

Colombian singers Shakira and Carlos Vives denied during an appearance on Wednesday at a Madrid court that they plagiarised part of their Grammy award-winning hit La Bicicleta.

Music publisher MDRB filed a complaint in 2017 in a commercial court in Madrid on behalf of Livan Rafael Castellanos, a Cuban singer known as Livam who alleges that the catchy tune copies parts of the melody and lyrics from his own song called "Yo te quiero tanto" (I love you so much).

"I had never heard it in my life," Shakira, 42, who lives in Spain, told the court when asked about Livam's song.