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

US President Donald Trump meets Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the White House.
US President Donald Trump meets Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the White House.PHOTO: REUTERS

Trump says sees possibility of US-Japan trade deal by May

President Donald Trump said on Friday that trade talks with Japan were moving along nicely and it might be possible to reach a deal ahead of his visit to Japan in May.

Speaking at the start of a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Trump said Japan was buying a large amount of military equipment from the United States and Washington is pressing Tokyo to get rid of its agricultural tariffs.

Abe told reporters at the White House he was looking forward to the trade discussions and underscored the importance of the ties between the two countries.

Japan has been resisting US pressure to link trade with currency issues ahead of the talks between the two close allies. In addition to trade, they were expected to discuss North Korea and other issues of mutual interest.


Joe Biden outpaces pack, raises US$6.3 million in first 24 hours

Joe Biden raked in US$6.3 million (S$8.5 million) in the 24 hours since launching his presidential bid, his campaign said on Friday, outpacing Day 1 fundraising of all other Democrats in the crowded 2020 field.

Online donations to the former vice-president, already considered the frontrunner among the Democrats seeking to challenge President Donald Trump, averaged US$41, and 61 per cent of total money raised came from new donors who were not on earlier Biden e-mail lists.

The dollar figure eclipsed the US$6.1 million opening-day haul by rival Democrat Beto O'Rourke, a former congressman from Texas, and the US$5.9 million raised in 24 hours by liberal Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who is second behind Biden in the polls.


Shootout in Sri Lanka at house used to make suicide vests

Sri Lanka’s security forces on Friday raided the location where they believe Islamist radicals recorded a video pledge to Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi before carrying out the deadly Easter attacks.

Police said they found an ISIS flag and uniforms similar to those worn by the eight fighters for the film before they launched Sunday’s attacks against three luxury hotels and three churches, killing 253.

During a separate search, security forces and military came under fire, although there were no reports of injuries, police said.


Football: Salah and Mane send Liverpool top for now

Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah both struck twice as Liverpool kept the pressure up on Premier League title rivals Manchester City with a predictable 5-0 thrashing of relegated Huddersfield Town on Friday.

Liverpool moved to the summit on 91 points, two more than City, but Pep Guardiola's side will regain top spot with a win at Burnley on Sunday.

It was Liverpool's seventh league win in a row and with a trip to Newcastle United and home game with Wolverhampton Wanderers the two remaining games in the season, Juergen Klopp's side could well keep that streak going until the end.


Taylor Swift drops peppy song and pastel-drenched video

After a bout of social media teasing pop star Taylor Swift made good on a vow to drop new music, releasing early on Friday the rainbow-colored video for her latest single, ME!

The chipper track the 29-year-old superstar says celebrates individuality is a sharp departure from her previous album and much harsher lead single and video for Look What You Made Me Do, which went heavy on black and white and saw her grapple with her very public celebrity dramas.

"Me! is a song about embracing your individuality and really celebrating it and owning it,” Swift told ABC late on Thursday, where she made a brief appearance at the National Football League draft.