While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Dec 21

US slams China for corporate cyber espionage, indicts two spies

US authorities unveiled indictments against two Chinese nationals linked to China’s government who took part in a cyber spying campaign that hacked a range of American government agencies and corporations and violated a 2015 pact, escalating tensions between the two nations.

The US Justice Department charged Zhu Hua and Zhang Jianguo in computer hacking attacks on the US Navy, the space agency Nasa and businesses in numerous sectors.

The defendants hacked computers to steal intellectual property and confidential business and technological data, according to the indictment.

US and British authorities on Thursday also condemned China for violating 2015 agreements to curb cyber espionage for business purposes, slamming Chinese efforts to steal other countries’ trade secrets and technologies and to compromise government computers.


Trump won’t sign Senate spending Bill, Paul Ryan says as shutdown nears

Donald Trump will refuse to sign the Senate’s version of a stopgap spending Bill that would avert a partial government shutdown because it doesn’t include funds he’s demanded for border security, House Speaker Paul Ryan said after a White House meeting with the president.

“We want to see an agreement that protects the border,” Ryan told reporters on Thursday. “We’re going to go back and work on adding border security to this.”

The visit by Ryan and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy was hastily scheduled after conservative House Republicans revolted and insisted they wouldn’t vote for the Senate’s temporary spending Bill because it lacks money for a wall at the border with Mexico.


Gatwick airport turns to the military as drones ground Christmas travellers

Britain sent troops to its second-biggest airport after an unprecedented attempt to cripple Christmas travel with large drones forced all flights to be cancelled.

As thousands of passengers waited at Gatwick Airport, south of London, police hunted unsuccessfully for the operators of the large drones which reappeared near the airfield every time the airport tried to reopen the runway.

Police said there was no indication of a terrorism motive behind the devices, which first appeared on Wednesday night.


Stockings and puddings as London Zoo animals get Christmas treats

From an advent calendar filled with Brussels sprouts to breakfast served in a stocking, animals at London Zoo got an early taste of Christmas.

Keepers served the sprouts, a popular side dish on festive tables in Britain, to the zoo’s western lowland gorillas.

Bactrian camels Genghis and Noemi got their breakfast of hay in a large red stocking while Asiatic lionesses Indi, Heidi and Rubi woke up to their own version of a Christmas pudding – a cinnamon and nutmeg-scented ball.


Judge refuses to dismiss sex assault charges against Harvey Weinstein

A US judge ruled that the sexual assault case against Harvey Weinstein can go ahead, rejecting a defence motion to dismiss the charges facing the disgraced Hollywood mogul who has become the face of the #MeToo movement.

Judge James Burke set the next pre-trial hearing in the criminal case against the 66-year-old Weinstein for March 7.

Weinstein, who appeared in court wearing a dark suit and blue tie, is facing five counts over an alleged rape in March 2013 and a forced act of oral sex in 2006.


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