While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Nov 30

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Trump slammed after retweeting anti-Muslim videos

Britain criticised US President Donald Trump on Wednesday after he retweeted anti-Islam videos originally posted by a leader of a far-right British fringe party who was convicted earlier this month of abusing a Muslim woman.

The White House defended Trump's retweeting of the videos, as criticism poured in from US-based Muslim advocacy groups and the Anti-Defamation League.

Jayda Fransen, deputy leader of the anti-immigration Britain First group, posted the videos which she said showed a group of people who were Muslims beating a teenage boy to death, battering a boy on crutches and destroying a Christian statue.

Trump's decision to retweet the videos prompted criticism from both sides of the Atlantic, with some British lawmakers demanding an apology and US Muslim groups saying it was incendiary and reckless.


Bosnian Croat war crimes convict dies after taking 'poison' in UN court

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A former Bosnian Croat military commander swallowed what he said was poison in a UN war crimes courtroom on Wednesday and died shortly after losing an appeal against his 20-year prison term.

Slobodan Praljak's apparent courtroom suicide, which was broadcast on a video feed, came in the final minutes of the last judgment at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, which closes next month after 24 years.

The white-bearded Praljak, 72, was taken to hospital after drinking from a flask or glass as an ICTY judge read out appeals rulings against him and five other convicted Bosnian Croat war criminals, tribunal spokesman Nenad Golcevski said.

"I just drank poison," Praljak told the stunned court. "I am not a war criminal. I oppose this conviction."


US scientists take step towards creating artificial life

In a major step towards creating artificial life, US researchers have developed a living organism that incorporates both natural and artificial DNA and is capable of creating entirely new, synthetic proteins.

The work, published in the journal Nature, brings scientists closer to the development of designer proteins made to order in a laboratory.

Previous work by Floyd Romesberg, a chemical biologist at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, showed that it was possible to expand the genetic alphabet of natural DNA beyond its current four letters: adenine(A), cytosine(C), guanine (G) and thymine(T).


Apple releases fix to security flaw in Mac operating system

Apple released an update to its latest operating system for Mac computers and said it is changing development practices after a significant security flaw was disclosed that allowed people to log in without a password, potentially making private user data vulnerable.

The issue, discovered in the macOS High Sierra operating system for laptops and desktops that was released in September, would let anyone enter the word "root" when prompted for a username, and provide no password when logging on to the device.

That would permit unfettered access to the file system for a Mac, exposing private documents on that particular computer. One user reported the ability to also access the computer using the root login remotely.


US radio host Garrison Keillor fired over claim of improper behaviour

US radio host Garrison Keillor, creator of the long-running folksy variety show A Prairie Home Companion, has been fired over an accusation of inappropriate behavior, Minnesota Public Radio said on Wednesday.

"Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) is terminating its contracts with Garrison Keillor and his private media companies after learning of allegations of his inappropriate behavior with an individual who worked with him," the organisation said in a statement. It gave no details.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that Keillor told it in an email that the behaviour involved him putting his hand on a woman's back.


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