While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Dec 30

US President Donald Trump is welcomed by China's President Xi Jinping in Beijing in 2017.
US President Donald Trump is welcomed by China's President Xi Jinping in Beijing in 2017.PHOTO: REUTERS

Trump touts 'big progress' after phone call with China's Xi on trade

Both the US and China talked of progress on Saturday after telephone talks between their leaders over a trade war that has helped rattle global markets.

"Just had a long and very good call with President Xi of China," US President Donald Trump said on Twitter after the call with China's President Xi Jinping.

"Deal is moving along very well. If made, it will be very comprehensive, covering all subjects, areas and points of dispute. Big progress being made!," Trump said.

Washington and Beijing imposed tit-for-tat tariffs on more than US$300 billion (S$400 billion) worth of goods in total two-way trade earlier this year, locking them in a conflict that has begun to eat into profits and contributed to stock market plunges.


Gravely ill boy whose Yemeni mother had to fight to visit him in a US hospital dies

A young boy whose mother had to fight for permission to visit him from Yemen as he lay gravely ill in a US hospital has died, a rights group said on Saturday.

Two-year-old Abdullah Hassan, who held American citizenship through his father, had been suffering from a rare genetic illness in its terminal phase. He died in a children's hospital in Oakland, California.

Despite her son's grave condition, Shaima Swileh had been repeatedly turned down when applying for a visa because of the travel restrictions ordered by President Donald Trump against six mostly Muslim majority countries including Yemen.


French hero who saved hundreds of Jewish children dies aged 108

French Resistance hero Georges Loinger, who used his ingenuity and athletic prowess to save the lives of hundreds of Jewish children during World War II, has died at the age of 108.

A talented athlete and cousin of the famous mime artist and fellow Resistance member Marcel Marceau, Loinger would smuggle the children in small groups across the Franco-Swiss border by throwing a ball and telling them to run after it.

Another ruse involved dressing children up as mourners and taking them to a cemetery whose wall abutted the French side of the border. With the help of a gravedigger's ladder the "mourners" would clamber over the wall and head for the border just feet away.


Football: Firmino sparks five-goal Liverpool as leaders open nine-point gap

A Roberto Firmino hat-trick proved the highlight of Liverpool's 5-1 demolition of Arsenal as the Premier League leaders opened a nine-point gap over Tottenham Hotspur, who lost 3-1 to Wolverhampton Wanderers at Wembley.

With third-placed Manchester City playing Southampton on Sunday, Liverpool capped an astonishing month with their ninth successive league victory to leave manager Juergen Klopp conceding that he "had nothing to moan about".

Struggling Cardiff City and Fulham bolstered their survival chances with added-time goals in 1-0 wins at Leicester City and home to Huddersfield Town respectively.


Tennis: Djokovic equals Nadal with fourth Mubadala title

World number one Novak Djokovic won a fourth Mubadala World Tennis Championship title on Saturday, coming back from a set down to beat Kevin Anderson 4-6, 7-5, 7-5.

Djokovic claimed victory on a fifth match point against his South African opponent who won the pre-season exhibition tournament in 2018.

The 31-year-old Djokovic previously claimed the three-day event in the UAE in 2011, 2012 and 2013 and has now matched Rafael Nadal's record of four titles.