Thursday 20 October 2016

While you were sleeping – the stories you missed overnight

Published 09/12/2015 | 06:55

A paramilitary policeman wears a mask on a cold morning as people gather for a flag-raising ceremony amid heavy smog at the Tiananmen Square, after the city issued its first ever
A paramilitary policeman wears a mask on a cold morning as people gather for a flag-raising ceremony amid heavy smog at the Tiananmen Square, after the city issued its first ever "red alert" for air pollution, in Beijing December 9, 2015. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

In Syria, Dozens of people left the last insurgent-held area in the city of Homs on Wednesday under a local peace deal between the government and insurgents, a group monitoring the war said.

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The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the first bus had left the area and that around 750 people were expected to leave the western city during the day.

That number will include scores of fighters and civilians, with priority given to women, children and the severely wounded, the Observatory's head Rami Abdulrahman said.

Meanwhile in Australia, Federal Police raided the Sydney home on Wednesday of a man named by Wired magazine as the probable creator of cryptocurrency bitcoin, a Reuters witness said.

The property is registered under the Australian electoral role to Craig Steven Wright, whom Wired outed as the likely real identity of Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous figure that first released bitcoin's code in 2009.

More than a dozen federal police officers entered the house, on Sydney's north shore, on Wednesday after locksmiths broke open the door. When asked what they were doing, one officer told a Reuters reporter that they were "clearing the house".

Read more: Federal police raid home of 'bitcoin creator'

And in the US Presidential race 2016, world leaders, rival presidential hopefuls and even the creators of Harry Potter and The Shining all agree - Donald Trump's call to block Muslims from entering the United States goes too far.

The Republican presidential frontrunner's statement advocating a "total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States" was blasted as bigoted, unconstitutional and potentially dangerous for American interests abroad.

Prime Minister David Cameron, breaking the custom of British leaders not commenting on US presidential contenders, slammed it as "divisive, unhelpful and quite simply wrong".

UN spokesman Farhan Haq said secretary-general Ban Ki-moon denounced "any kind of rhetoric that relies on Islamophobia, xenophobia, any other appeal to hate any groups".

Harry Potter author JK Rowling decried Trump on Twitter as worse than her fictional villain Lord Voldemort, while horror novelist Stephen King wrote: "That anyone in America would even CONSIDER voting for this rabid coyote leaves me speechless."

In the Irish headlines, the Irish Independent lead their front page with the latest in the weather. 'Heavy rain and gales to bring more floods' reads the front page. The newspaper reports that more weather warnings are in place across eight counties as Shannonside is on high alert.

'Cabinet pledges €15m for flooding victims' reads the front page of the Irish Examiner. Homes and businesses affected by Storm Desmond have been promised €15m in humanitarian help from the Government, the newspaper reports.

The Irish Times also leads with the weather and the headline 'Shannon 'to rise half a metre' due to rain and spring tides' The newspaper reports that water levels at Limerick City and Athlone are expected to peak on Friday and Saturday.

The Herald leads with the story that under-threat gang thug Wayne Bradley has fled to Lanzarote after his release from prison. 'Gangster Bradley flees threats' reads the front page of the newspapeer. The 36-year-old is understood to be staying at a relative's apartment for his first few weeks of freedom.

Both the Irish Daily Mirror and the Irish Sun lead with the story of Louis Walsh's mother being in ill-health. The music manager and former X Factor judge has told of his heartache after his mother was diagnosed with Alzheimers. 'Louis: My Mum has Alzheimer's' reads both the front pages.

Finally, the Irish Daily Mail leads their front page this morning with Joan Burton's Labour election promises. 'Joan's sweetener: Nine months paid leave for parents'.

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