While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Aug 4

US envoy Nikki Haley said the "credible" reports of Russia violating UN sanctions were "deeply troubling".
US envoy Nikki Haley said the "credible" reports of Russia violating UN sanctions were "deeply troubling".PHOTO: REUTERS

US envoy to UN accuses Russia of violating North Korea sanctions

The United States on Friday accused Russia of violating UN sanctions on North Korea, citing “credible reports” that Moscow was granting new work permits to North Korean labourers despite Russia’s denial of any such actions.

The Trump administration also imposed targeted US sanctions on a Russian bank it said had facilitated a transaction with a person blacklisted by Washington for involvement with North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme.

This came on the same day that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, less than two months after a landmark US-North Korea summit in Singapore, flew back to the city-state and suggested that continued work on weapons programmes by North Korea was inconsistent with its leader’s commitment to denuclearisation.

Russia denied a report by the Wall Street Journal that said Moscow was allowing thousands of fresh North Korean labourers into the country and granting them work permits in a potential breach of UN sanctions.


First woman fined in Denmark for wearing full-face veil

A 28-year-old woman wearing a niqab on Friday became the first person in Denmark to be fined for violating a new controversial law banning full-face Islamic veils in public places.

Police were called to a shopping centre in Horsholm, in the northeastern region of Nordsjaelland, where the woman had become involved in a scuffle with another woman who had tried to tear her niqab off, police duty officer David Borchersen told the Ritzau news agency.

"During the fight her niqab came off, but by the time we arrived she had put it back on again," Borchersen said.


A pregnant woman ordered a latte at McDonald's and received a cup of cleaning fluid

A McDonald's franchise in Canada has apologised after serving a pregnant woman a cup of cleaning fluid instead of coffee, a mistake the company said has occurred in the past with other customers.

The woman, Sarah Douglas, 31, who is eight months pregnant with her third child, ordered a medium latte at a McDonald's in Lethbridge, a city in Alberta, Canada, on the way to her son's baseball tournament.

Driving on the highway shortly after, she flipped open the spout on the lid and took a sip. Immediately, she knew something was wrong. "It just felt like my mouth was burning," she said.


Weinstein's lawyer asks court to dismiss sex crimes case over intimate emails

Harvey Weinstein’s defence lawyer on Friday demanded that a New York court dismiss the sex crimes charges against him, explosively disclosing “warm” emails between the disgraced Hollywood tycoon and his alleged rape victim, in which she said “I love you.”

Ben Brafman, one of America’s most celebrated defence attorneys who helped former IMF boss Dominique Strauss-Kahn escape criminal prosecution for alleged sexual assault in 2011, called for the entire indictment against Weinstein to be dismissed, based on the emails and a barrage of technicalities.

The 66-year-old former Tinseltown titan is out on bail and has pleaded not guilty to six counts allegedly committed against three women in 2004, 2006 and 2013. The next hearing in the case is scheduled for Sept 20.


Football: Barcelona sign Vidal from Bayern

Barcelona announced on Friday that they had reached an agreement with Bayern Munich to sign Chile midfielder Arturo Vidal in a deal reportedly worth 30 million euros (S$47 million).

Vidal, 31, was whisked away from Bayern’s pre-season training base on Friday morning with the club’s director of sport Hasan Salihamidzic to finalise the details.

His arrival will make up for the surprise departure of Brazilian midfielder Paulinho, who Barcelona loaned to Chinese side Guangzhou Evergrande.