While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Feb 20 edition

North Korean ambassador summoned by Malaysia's MFA over Kim Jong Nam murder

North Korea's ambassador to Malaysia Kang Chol has been summoned to appear at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday morning (Feb 20), after the envoy accused Malaysia on Friday of conspiring with the secretive nation's enemies over the murder of Mr Kim Jong Nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Sources told The Straits Times Mr Kang has been called up for a closed door meeting, and a statement will only be issued in the afternoon.

"As of now, only the police and the foreign ministry can comment," a source said, referring to the alleged assassination.


Iraq launches offensive on last ISIS stronghold in Mosul

US-backed Iraqi forces on Sunday (Feb 19) launched a ground offensive to dislodge ISIS militants from the western part of the city of Mosul, and put an end to their ambitions for territorial rule in Iraq.

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced the start of the offensive in the northern city, asking the armed forces to "respect human rights" during the battle and to take care of those displaced by the fighting.

ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) militants are essentially under siege in western Mosul, along with an estimated 650,000 civilians, after they were forced out of the eastern part of the city in the first phase of an offensive that concluded last month, after 100 days of fighting.


Sweden asks the US to explain Trump comment on Sweden

The Swedish embassy in Washington has asked the US State Department for an explanation of a comment made by President Donald Trump that suggested there had been some sort of security incident in Sweden on Friday (Feb 17).

The US President was speaking at at a political rally in Florida on Saturday when, in connection with the mention of a need to keep the United States safe, he said: "You look at what's happening in Germany. You look at what's happening last night in Sweden.

"Sweden. Who would believe this? Sweden. They took in large numbers. They're having problems like they never thought possible."


SpaceX blasts off cargo from historic Nasa launchpad

SpaceX on Sunday (Feb 19) blasted off its Falcon 9 rocket carrying the unmanned Dragon cargo ship, packed with food and supplies for the six astronauts living at the International Space Station.

The white rocket soared into the cloudy, grey skies over Cape Canaveral, Florida at 10.30pm Singapore time on Sunday.

The mission was the first to take off from Nasa's historic launchpad 39A, the origin of the pioneering US spaceflights that took astronauts to the Moon in the 1960s and 1970s, as well as the space shuttle missions that ran from 1981 to 2011.


Football: Zlatan Ibrahimovic fires Manchester United into FA Cup quarter-finals

 Manchester United's Zlatan Ibrahimovic came off the bench to score the winner as they recovered from an early deficit to beat Championship strugglers Blackburn Rovers 2-1 away in the FA Cup fifth round on Sunday (Feb 19).

Rovers, whose priority is to avoid relegation to English soccer's third tier, took the lead in the 17th minute through Danny Graham but Marcus Rashford levelled before halftime.

Twelve-times FA Cup winners United dominated the game after the break at Ewood Park but had to wait until the 75th minute for Ibrahimovic to slot the winner after being set free by a precise long pass delivered by fellow substitute Paul Pogba.