While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, May 27

Ireland ends abortion ban as “quiet revolution” transforms country

Ireland has voted by a landslide to liberalise its highly restrictive abortion laws in a referendum that its prime minister called the culmination of a“quiet revolution” in what was one of Europe’s most socially conservative countries.

Voters in the once deeply Catholic nation backed the change by two-to-one, a far higher margin than any opinion poll in the run up to the vote had predicted, and allows the government to bring in legislation by the end of the year.

“It’s incredible. For all the years and years and years we’ve been trying to look after women and not been able to look after women, this means everything,” said Mary Higgins, obstetrician and Together For Yes campaigner.

Putin and Abe discuss peace treaty over Kuril islands

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japan‘s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Saturday pledged to move forward on a peace treaty to solve a territorial dispute over the Kuril Islands.

The Soviet takeover of the islands in the closing days of world war II has poisoned relations between the two countries for 70 years.

“We believe it is important to patiently continue the search for a solution that would satisfy the interests of Russia and Japan and that would be accepted by the nations of both countries,” Putin said at a news conference following the talks.

Venezuela frees US missionary Josh Holt after two years

American missionary Josh Holt, held by Venezuela without trial on weapons charges since 2016, was heading home with his wife on Saturday after the South American country’s socialist government unexpectedly released him.

They were being accompanied by US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, who met on Friday with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, Corker’s office said.

The freeing of the Mormon missionary from Utah came despite deepening US -Venezuelan tensions that in the last week saw tit-for-tat expulsions of diplomats, Washington’s refusal to recognize the May 20 re-election of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, and the imposition of new US sanctions on Caracas.

Alan Bean, US astronaut and moonwalker, dies in Houston at 86: NASA

American astronaut Alan Bean, the fourth person to walk on the moon in 1969 during the Apollo 12 mission and commanded a crew on the Skylab space station in 1973, died in Houston on Saturday, federal officials said.

He was 86 years old.

“Alan Bean once said ‘I have the nicest life in the world,‘”National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Administrator Jim Bridenstine said in a statement. “It‘s a comforting sentiment to recall as we mourn his passing.”

Brilliant Bale breaks Liverpool hearts as Real Madrid win Champions League

Gareth Bale came off the bench to score twice, including one of the all-time great goals in a Champions League final, as Real Madrid beat Liverpool 3-1 in Kiev on Saturday to take the trophy for the third year running.

Bale’s jaw-dropping overhead kick in the 64th minute put Real 2-1 up moments after his introduction, following a dramatic start to the second half in which Karim Benzema gave Real the lead as a result of a Loris Karius howler.

Sadio Mane had briefly restored parity, but Bale put Real in front again and then made it 3-1 late on with a long-range strike that the unfortunate Karius could only punch into the net.