While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Dec 2

US President Joe Biden (right) and French President Emmanuel Macron said they were committed to holding Russia to account for its deeds in Ukraine. PHOTO: REUTERS

Biden ready to speak to Russia’s Putin over end to war

US President Joe Biden said on Thursday he would be willing to speak to Vladimir Putin for the first time since the Ukraine invasion if the Russian leader truly wants to end the war.

Mr Biden was speaking during a state visit by French President Emmanuel Macron, who has said he will speak again to Mr Putin after his trip to Washington and has warned against cutting off the Russian leader.

At a joint news conference with Mr Macron, Mr Biden said he had no immediate plans to contact Mr Putin but left open the possibility.

“I’m prepared to speak with Mr Putin if in fact there is an interest in him deciding he’s looking for a way to end the war. He hasn’t done that yet,” Mr Biden said.


Prosecutors won’t appeal in MH17 case, making verdicts final

Dutch prosecutors said on Thursday they would not file an appeal regarding the outcome in the trial over the 2014 downing of Flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine, making the verdicts final although the suspects remain at large.

A Dutch court last month convicted three men and sentenced them to life in prison for the shooting-down of the Malaysian airliner as it flew over eastern Ukraine on its way from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur on July 17, 2014.

All 298 people aboard were killed. Victims came from 10 different countries, 196 of them from the Netherlands.


‘Rogue wave’ kills person on Antarctic cruise

One person died and four were injured when a massive wave smashed into an Antarctic cruise ship during a storm as it sailed off the southernmost tip of South America, the company said on Thursday.

The Viking Polaris cruise ship was sailing on Wednesday towards Ushuaia in Argentina – the main starting point for expeditions to Antarctica – when there was “a rogue wave incident,” a representative of the Viking cruise company said in a statement.

“It is with great sadness that we confirmed a guest passed away following the incident. We have notified the guest’s family and shared our deepest sympathies,” said the statement.


‘I like Hitler’: Kanye doubles down in wild Infowars stream

Kanye West sparked outrage on Thursday by declaring his “love” of Nazis and admiration for Adolf Hitler himself during a rambling, hours-long livestream with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.

In the extraordinary appearance on Jones’ Infowars, West – now known as Ye – wore a black mask completely covering his face, as he ranted about sin, pornography and the devil.

“I like Hitler,” West said at one point.


Japan stun Spain with 2-1 win, but both reach World Cup last 16

Japan staged their second stunning turnaround of the World Cup to beat 2010 champions Spain 2-1 on Thursday with two quick-fire goals and advance to the last 16 along with their beaten opponents, dumping Germany out in the process.

The prospect of an early World Cup exit for Japan was transformed into one of the greatest nights for the Samurai Blue after coach Hajime Moriyasu revamped his side at halftime.

Ritsu Doan, one of the substitutes, hammered in a shot from the edge of the box in the 48th minute which Spain goalkeeper Unai Simon - whose poor clearance had created the danger - could not keep out.


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