While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, June 14

US secretary of state Mike Pompeo (centre) during US President Donald Trump’s press conference after the Trump-Kim summit at Capella Hotel on June 12, 2018.
US secretary of state Mike Pompeo (centre) during US President Donald Trump’s press conference after the Trump-Kim summit at Capella Hotel on June 12, 2018.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

US aims for 'major' North Korea disarmament in 2-1/2 years: Secretary of State Pompeo

The United States hopes to achieve "major disarmament" by North Korea within the next 2-1/2 years, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday (June 13), speaking the day after President Donald Trump met North Korean leader Kim John Un for a historic summit.

Mr Trump and Mr Kim met in Singapore on Tuesday and reached a short agreement that reaffirmed the North's commitment to "work toward complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula", but provided no details on when Pyongyang would give up nuclear arms or how that might be verified.

Mr Pompeo was in Seoul on Wednesday to brief South Korean officials on the summit.


Britain's Theresa May defeats final Brexit challenges in parliament

Prime Minister Theresa May defeated the final challenges to her Brexit blueprint in parliament on Wednesday (June 13), leaving plans for Britain’s departure from the European Union still largely on track but her authority weakened. 

Lawmakers supported the government’s position to reject amendments to the EU withdrawal bill that challenged May’s commitment to leave the bloc’s customs union and single market, leaving the overall shape of her Brexit strategy intact that will transform Britain’s trading relationships for decades. 

But it was a vote in parliament on Tuesday (June 12) that left her seemingly at the mercy of two groups in the Conservative Party - those who want to maintain the closest possible ties with the EU, and others pressing for a clean break. 


Attorneys for Trump lawyer Cohen to end representation: Source

Michael Cohen, former personal lawyer for US President Donald Trump, is expected to part ways with attorneys handling the criminal investigation into his business dealings, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Cohen's lawyers Stephen Ryan and Todd Harrison of McDermott, Will & Emery LLP, a Washington and New York firm, are expected to complete a review of documents seized by federal prosecutors in an April raid on Cohen's home and office.

The court has set a Friday deadline for completion of the review.


Sarin, chlorine used in two attacks in Syria in 2017: Chemical weapons watchdog

The world’s chemical weapons watchdog said Wednesday (June 13) that deadly sarin and chlorine were used in two separate attacks in the village of Latamneh in northwestern Syria in late March last year.

“Sarin was very likely used as a chemical weapon in the south” of Latamneh on March 24, 2017, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons(OPCW)  said in a statement. 

Its fact-finding mission “also concluded that chlorine was very likely used as a chemical weapon” at Latamneh’s hospital and surrounding area on March 25, 2017. 


Twitter updates app to highlight big events, news stories 

Twitter Inc said on Wednesday (June 13) it is changing its service to give more space to major events such as the World Cup, earthquakes, royal weddings and elections in a bid to make it easier for people to find interesting tweets.

Twitter has tried to stand out with users and advertisers by emphasising live events and instant news, in contrast with social networks such as Facebook Inc that have made news a lower priority than posts about family or friends.

San Francisco-based Twitter said it would begin notifying users in its app when an event was happening that might interest them, and that it would promote such events in a dedicated section of Twitter's search page.