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

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Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani defends legality of porn star payment

Hours after President Donald Trump said his lawyer Rudy Giuliani did not have "his facts straight," the former New York mayor issued a statement on Friday saying US$130,000 (S$170,000) in hush money paid to an adult-film star before the 2016 election was not an election law violation.

Giuliani on Thursday had connected the payment to Stormy Daniels by the president's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, to keep quiet about a 2006 sexual encounter she said she had with Trump to the election, remarks that raised the possibility that the transaction violated federal election law.

"There is no campaign violation. The payment was made to resolve a personal and false allegation in order to protect the President's family. It would have been done in any event, whether he was a candidate or not," Giuliani said in a brief statement "intended to clarify the views I expressed over the past few days".

Giuliani in a TV interview on Thursday wondered what would have happened if Daniels' claim of an affair had come up in a debate between Trump and his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, adding, "Cohen made it go away. He did his job."


Trump back in step with NRA after doubts over Florida high school shooting

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President Donald Trump enthusiastically embraced the National Rifle Association on Friday, vowing not to tighten US firearms laws despite suggesting after a Florida school shooting that he would take on the powerful gun-rights group.

At the NRA's annual convention in Dallas, Trump called again for arming teachers and increasing school security to head off future mass shootings like the one in Parkland, Florida in February that killed 17 people. Such measures are supported by the NRA.

With Republican control of the US Congress up for grabs in November's midterm elections, Trump used the NRA platform to return to rhetoric he used in 2016 to excite pro-gun voters, warning that Democrats are determined to take away Americans'guns.


Apple shares hit record after Warren Buffett increases investment

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Apple shares hit a record after Warren Buffett told CNBC he bought an additional 75 million shares of the iPhone maker in the first quarter.

The Apple purchase, costing between US$11 billion and US$14 billion (S$14 billion and S$18 billion), adds to the almost 170 million shares that Buffett-run Berkshire Hathaway owned at the end of 2017, when it was already his biggest shareholding.

Just days before Buffett disclosed the larger stake, Apple reported quarterly results that topped analysts' estimates on surging services revenue and stable iPhone performance.


Catherine Zeta-Jones to star in Facebook dark comedy Queen America

British Oscar winner Catherine Zeta-Jones will star in the dark comedy Queen America, the first major series produced by Facebook, which is seeking a foothold in the uber-competitive market for original content.

The sultry 48-year-old actress, who took home an Oscar in 2003 for Chicago, confirmed her jump to the small screen - fittingly - in a Facebook post.

Queen America takes a look at the cutthroat world of beauty pageants in America. Zeta-Jones stars as ruthless coach Vicki Ellis, who is in high demand from girls and women hoping to be the next Miss America.


Football: Klopp banking on Champions League run pulling in new targets

Jurgen Klopp believes Liverpool's run to the Champions League final will encourage the club's transfer targets to sign for the Reds ahead of the new season.

The Liverpool manager is confident that, with his side facing Real Madrid in the showpiece match in Kiev and also on the cusp of securing a Champions League place next season via a top-four Premier League finish, the Merseysiders have both the financial muscle and the football appeal to attract top players.

Liverpool would earn as much as £69 million (S$125 million) if they beat a Real side who are bidding to become the first club since Bayern Munich in the mid-1970s to win three successive European Cups.


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