While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, June 23

Romanian navy special forces take part in a Nato drill on the Black Sea, near Constanta, Romania, on June 22, 2022. PHOTO: AFP

US is hopeful for positive Sweden, Finland Nato bid resolution

The United States is hopeful that there will soon be a positive resolution of the issues between Turkey, Finland and Sweden regarding the Nato accession bids of the two Nordic countries, the State Department's top diplomat for Europe said on Wednesday.

Speaking at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) hearing, Karen Donfried, assistant secretary for Europe and Eurasian affairs, said Washington understood that the talks between the parties earlier this week had been constructive.

Finland and Sweden applied for Nato membership in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

But the bids have faced opposition from Turkey, which has been angered by what it says is Helsinki and Stockholm's support for Kurdish militants and arms embargoes on Ankara.


Zelensky: Ordinary Ukrainians resisting Russia my role models

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Wednesday his role models were ordinary Ukrainians who resisted invading Russian forces, and he compared Russia to the fictional arch-villain Lord Voldemort in the Harry Potter books.

Zelensky, dressed in a military uniform, was answering questions via videolink from students at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at the University of Toronto.

Asked by one student who his role models were, Zelensky said: "The people of Ukraine... and there are very many of them... An ordinary Ukrainian farmer who could take his tractor and close off a road to Russian tanks, an ordinary woman who would go out and stop armoured vehicles with her bare hands... Those are the people I look up to."


Polio virus detected in London sewage samples

A type of poliovirus derived from vaccines has been detected in London sewage samples, the World Health Organisation and British health officials said on Wednesday, adding that more analysis was under way.

No human cases of polio have been found in Britain, where the crippling disease was fully eradicated two decades ago.

The WHO said in a statement that "type 2 vaccine-derived poliovirus (VDPV2)" had been found in environmental samples in the British capital.


Rupert Murdoch and Jerry Hall said to be divorcing

Rupert Murdoch, a media titan, and Jerry Hall, a model and actor, are getting divorced, according to two people with knowledge of the decision. The people would speak only anonymously to discuss a personal matter.

Bryce Tom, a spokesman for Murdoch, declined to comment. Representatives for Hall could not immediately be reached for comment.

Murdoch's divorce, his fourth, is unlikely to alter the ownership structure of businesses he holds stakes in, which include parent companies of Fox News and The Wall Street Journal.


Eight medical staff to be tried over Maradona's death

Eight medical personnel will stand trial for alleged criminal negligence in the death of Argentine football legend Diego Maradona, according to a court ruling made public on Wednesday.

No date has been set for the trial of the eight over Maradona's death in 2020, which prosecutors say was due to "omissions" by his caregivers who abandoned him "to his fate" during home hospitalisation.

Maradona died aged 60 in 2020 while recovering from brain surgery for a blood clot, and after decades of battles with cocaine and alcohol addictions.


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