While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Nov 20

European Union's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier holds a news conference in Brussels, Belgium, on Nov 19, 2018.
European Union's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier holds a news conference in Brussels, Belgium, on Nov 19, 2018.PHOTO: REUTERS

EU ministers agree terms of 'painful' Brexit divorce

European ministers signed off on Britain's draft divorce deal on Monday as they launched a "painful" final week of negotiations on future cross-Channel ties.

Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier and the Union's Austrian rotating presidency said the negotiated text would be presented to EU leaders at a signing summit on Sunday.

"The first, difficult step is done," said Austrian European affairs minister Gernot Bluemel, whose country holds the rotating EU presidency, after the ministers' meeting.


'I believed we were going to die': An elevator in a Chicago skyscraper fell 84 floors

"Clack clack clack clack" was how they described the sound of your worst nightmare.

Just after midnight on Friday, a group of six people was descending from the 95th floor of Chicago's 875 N. Michigan Avenue building, the famous, 100-storey skyscraper formerly known as the John Hancock Center, when they heard it, as 50-year-old tourist Jaime Montemayor told CBS Chicago.

The group in the elevator had gone up to the 95th floor to visit a swanky restaurant overlooking the skyline, and they had chosen the express elevator on their way down. But suddenly, it started moving a little too fast for comfort.


Colorado man gets life for murders of pregnant wife, children

A Colorado man was sentenced to life without parole on Monday for strangling his pregnant wife, smothering their two young daughters and dumping their bodies in an oil field so he could pursue a romantic affair.

Christopher Watts, 33, was spared the death penalty at the urging of family members of his wife, Shanann, 34, who was 15 weeks pregnant, and their daughters Celeste, 3, and Bella, 4.

"This is perhaps the most inhumane and vicious crime I have handled," Judge Marcelo Kopcow, who has 17 years on the bench, said in the packed and windowless courtroom in Weld County District Court.


F3 driver Floersch has surgery after huge Macau crash

Teenage German Formula Three driver Sophia Floersch has had successful surgery with “no fear of paralysis” after an aerial crash at the Macau Grand Prix, her team boss said on Monday.

Floersch, 17, suffered a spinal fracture at the street circuit on Sunday when her car catapulted off the track and into a photographers’ bunker while travelling at more than 275 km per hour.

“Everything is working and everything is in order,” team boss Frits Van Amersfoort told the BBC.


Taylor Swift uses music muscle to seek higher payouts for others

Pop music titan Taylor Swift on Monday announced a new record deal with Universal Music Group that will give her greater control over her own music and could boost future payouts to artists for music played on streaming service Spotify.

Swift, who with best-selling albums like 1989 and Reputation is one of pop music's wealthiest and most influential artists, said the deal with Universal Music Group (UMG) included an agreement that any potential sale of UMG's shares in Spotify "result in a distribution of money to their artists, non-recoupable."

"They have generously agreed to this, at what they believe will be much better terms and paid out previously by other major labels," the Fearless singer told her 113 million Instagram followers in a posting.