While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, May 3

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was called to testify in Congress about Cambridge Analytica.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was called to testify in Congress about Cambridge Analytica.PHOTO: WASHINGTON POST/ MICHAEL ROBINSON CHAVEZ

Cambridge Analytica to close after Facebook data scandal

Cambridge Analytica, the British marketing analytics firm, announced on Wednesday that it was closing and would file for insolvency in Britain and the United States after failing to recover from the Facebook data scandal.

The decision follows weeks of intense pressure on the company, hired by Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, after allegations emerged it may have hijacked up to 87 million Facebook users’ data.

It claimed it has been “vilified” by the “numerous unfounded accusations” which torpedoed its business and left the firm with “no realistic alternative” but to go into administration.

“Despite Cambridge Analytica’s unwavering confidence that its employees have acted ethically and lawfully... the siege of media coverage has driven away virtually all of the company’s customers and suppliers,” it said in a statement. “As a result, it has been determined that it is no longer viable to continue operating the business.”


Texas teen charged with plotting ISIS-inspired shooting at mall

A 17-year-old boy in Plano, Texas, has been arrested and charged with plotting a mass shooting inspired by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria militant group (ISIS) at a shopping mall, law enforcement agencies said on Wednesday.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and police said high school student Matin Azizi-Yarand had planned the attack for mid-May and had sought to recruit others for the shooting. Authorities also said he had drafted a “Message to America” justifying his planned attack.

The FBI and local authorities in Collin County, Texas, said that at the time of his arrest, Azizi-Yarand had sent “more than $1,400 (S$1,800) to others” to buy weapons and tactical gear.


Five killed in crash of US military cargo plane

A military cargo plane crashed in the southern US state of Georgia on Wednesday, killing all five people aboard, an official said.

The C-130 “Hercules” cargo plane from the Puerto Rico Air National Guard crashed around 11.30am (11.30pm Singapore time) near the Savannah airport.

Photographs on Twitter showed the wreckage of a plane engulfed in flames and billowing black smoke.


Iraqi man who threw his shoes at George W. Bush is running for office


Muntadhar al-Zaidi might be most famous for his shoes. Back in 2008, the Iraqi journalist attended a Baghdad news conference with George W. Bush. The then-president was there to tout the successes of the US invasion.

Zaidi was not having it. In quick succession, he chucked his two loafers at the president's head, shouting, "This is a goodbye kiss from the Iraqi people, dog. This is from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq."

Now, the 39-year-old is running for a seat in the Iraqi parliament.


Football: Liverpool to play Real Madrid in Champions League final

Liverpool reached the Champions League final after riding their luck to contain a fired-up AS Roma in a 4-2 defeat at the Stadio Olimpico on Wednesday that sent them through 7-6 on aggregate.

The five-times European champions, who will face holders Real Madrid in the May 26 final, twice took the lead but were forced to hang on in the second half as Roma created chances before Radja Nainggolan’s two late goals put them ahead on the night.

Liverpool’s Sadio Mane was their most potent attacking threat and gave them the lead after nine minutes, but a bizarre own goal by James Milner levelled for Roma.