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While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Dec 12

3 min read

US Congress passes defence Bill despite Trump veto threat

The US Senate overwhelmingly passed a sweeping defence budget Bill on Friday  with a veto-proof majority, defying President Donald Trump who has threatened to block the legislation six weeks from leaving office.

With both chambers having now passed the measure by sizable majorities, lawmakers from both parties have collectively thrown down the gauntlet before the outgoing Republican leader and signalled he would face an override if he moves to veto the Bill.

The US$740.5 billion (S$1 trillion) measure has earned Trump’s ire in part because it does not abolish a law granting social media firms liability protection for third-party content on their platforms.

Trump has railed repeatedly against the law, known as Section 230, and says giants like Facebook and Google are biased against him.

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Car strikes multiple people during protest in New York: Reports

A motorist struck several pedestrians taking part in a protest in Manhattan, New York on Friday, police and media reports said.

NBC News reported that the incident occurred around 4pm (5am on Saturday, Singapore time) in the Murray Hill area and that the driver was in custody.

It was not immediately clear how many people were hit by the vehicle or the extent of their injuries.

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Pornhub rocked by child abuse, rape video claims

Adult content giant Pornhub is in turmoil over claims it turned a blind eye to videos of child abuse, rape and revenge porn, leading Mastercard and Visa to cut payments to the site as lawmakers in Canada, where it is based, seek to hold it accountable.

Pressure has been mounting on the porn giant since the publication of an expose by New York Times writer Nicholas Kristof, who accused Pornhub of profiting from abusive content – and appealed to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, a self-proclaimed women’s advocate, to crack down.

“Why does Canada host a company that inflicts rape videos on the world?” Kristof asked – sharing the harrowing stories of several women who attempted suicide over pornographic videos posted without their consent as teenagers.

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Genetic variants linked to severe Covid-19, study shows

Scientists said on Friday they had identified genetic variants that made patients more likely to develop severe Covid-19, in a breakthrough that could see new and existing drugs help patients survive the illness.

To determine why some people develop severe lung inflammation when sick with Covid-19, researchers analysed mutations on the genomes of more than 2,000 critically ill patients across Britain.

They compared their genetic make-up to that of a control group and identified as many as eight sequences that were more common among the Covid-19 patients.

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FKA twigs sues Shia LaBeouf, citing ‘relentless’ abusive relationship

Just after Valentine’s Day in 2019, musician FKA twigs was in a car speeding towards Los Angeles. At the wheel was her boyfriend, actor Shia LaBeouf. He was driving recklessly, she said in a lawsuit filed on Friday, removing his seat belt and threatening to crash unless she professed her love for him.

They were returning from the desert, where LaBeouf, star of Transformers, had raged at her throughout the trip, FKA twigs said in the lawsuit, once waking her up in the middle of the night, choking her. After she begged to be let out of the car, she said he pulled over at a gas station, and she took her bags from the trunk. But LaBeouf followed and assaulted her, throwing her against the car while screaming in her face, according to the suit. He then forced her back in the car.

The gas station incident is at the heart of the lawsuit that says LaBeouf, 34, abused FKA twigs physically, emotionally and mentally many times in a relationship that lasted just short of a year.

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