While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, May 18 edition

A selection of news stories that happened overnight, May 18, 2016.

US eases some sanctions on Myanmar to support political reforms, economic growth

The United States eased some sanctions on Myanmar on Tuesday to support ongoing political reforms, but maintained most of its economic restrictions in an effort to punish those Washington sees as hampering the country’s newly elected government.

US officials said they were easing sanctions to encourage the “historic” progress in Myanmar, including the formation of the country’s first democratically elected government in more than 50 years.

The moves included removing Myanmar state-owned banks from a US blacklist and the lifting of sanctions against seven key state-owned timber and mining companies.


Belgium ignored Paris attacks suspect's possible link to ISIS: Report

Belgium ignored a possible link between Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) just weeks ahead of the massacre that killed 130 people, broadcaster RTBF reported on Tuesday.

The authorities had spotted a post on Facebook they thought belonged to Abdeslam featuring the Islamic State flag three weeks before the Nov 13 attacks, but failed to follow up, according to the Belgian broadcaster.

Although the national terror threat centre was told about the post in October, security officials didn't take a closer look, RTBF said, citing a leaked parliamentary report.


Canada introduces bill to protect transgender rights

Canada's Liberal government introduced legislation on Tuesday to protect transgender people from discrimination and hate crimes, a move that comes as the push for such rights has sparked controversy in the United States.

"Our laws must reflect the rich diversity and inclusiveness which are among our greatest strengths as Canadians," said Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould, who was joined by members and advocates of the transgender community.

"We believe this legislation would ensure that everyone can live according to their gender identity and express their gender as they choose."


BBC backs down on ditching online recipes after public outcry

The BBC has vowed to keep many of its most popular recipes online, following a public outcry over plans to close its popular food website.

In a statement issued late on Tuesday, the British broadcaster said it would move as much as possible of the content currently on its BBC Food website - set for closure - over to the BBC Good Food site, which is owned by commercial arm BBC Worldwide.

“In response to the massive public reaction, we have decided to accelerate our plans to move our content,” said one source. “People won’t lose the recipes they love.”


Football: Manchester United ease past Bournemouth to seal fifth spot

Teenage striker Marcus Rashford celebrated his England call-up with a goal as Manchester United ended their Premier League campaign by beating Bournemouth 3-1 in Tuesday's re-arranged Old Trafford fixture.

In a game carried over from Sunday following a postponement caused by the discovery of a fake bomb accidentally left behind during a terror training exercise, United needed a 19-goal victory in order to steal past Manchester City into the fourth and final Champions League qualifying berth.

Goals from Wayne Rooney, 18-year-old Rashford, named in England's provisional Euro 2016 squad a day earlier, and substitute Ashley Young secured the three points, but it was only enough to lift Louis van Gaal's side above Southampton into fifth place.