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


Donald Trump admits he has no tapes of James Comey meetings

US President Donald Trump admitted he does not have recordings of his private meetings with fired FBI director James Comey, after fueling speculation for weeks of secret Oval Office tapes.

But Trump’s belated admissions did little to quell allegations that he has sought to stifle investigations into possible collusion between his presidential campaign and Russian interference in last year’s election.

“With all of the recently reported electronic surveillance, intercepts, unmasking and illegal leaking of information, I have no idea whether there are ‘tapes’ or recordings of my conversations with James Comey, but I did not make, and do not have, any such recordings,” Trump said on Twitter.

The admission threw a new twist into allegations, fed by Comey’s own claims, that Trump wanted the Federal Bureau of Investigation to pull back on its probe into the Russia scandal.

Those accusations are believed to now be part of an independent Justice Department probe into possible illegal obstruction of the investigation by the president.


Suspect in Michigan airport stabbing attempted to buy gun before attack

The man charged with stabbing an airport police officer in Michigan unsuccessfully attempted to purchase a gun before the attack, which is being investigated as an act of terrorism, federal officials said.

The suspect, Amor Ftouhi, 49, of Quebec, Canada, has been charged in federal court with violence at an international airport for stabbing Jeff Neville, an officer at the Bishop International Airport in Flint, in the neck. Neville is expected to recover.

The 12-inch, serrated knife Ftouhi used in the attack was bought in the United States.


Mourners remember US student Otto Warmbier held prisoner by North Korea

Thousands of friends and family members gathered in suburban Cincinnati to say goodbye to an American student who died days after returning to the United States in a coma following 17 months in captivity in North Korea.

Otto Warmbier, 22, was arrested in the reclusive communist country while visiting as a tourist. He was brought back to the United States last week with brain damage, in what doctors described as state of “unresponsive wakefulness,” and died on Monday.

Some 2,500 mourners attended a Thursday morning memorial at Wyoming High School. Warmbier graduated from the school in the Cincinnati suburb of Wyoming as salutatorian in 2013.


Football: Liverpool sign Mohamed Salah from Roma

Liverpool completed the signing of Egyptian winger Mohamed Salah from AS Roma for a fee reported to be 39 million euros (S$60 million).

The 25-year-old agreed a five-year contract with the Premier League giants.

Salah, who has also played for Basel, Chelsea and Fiorentina, has been capped 52 times, scoring 29 international goals.


Ron Howard enters Star Wars after Han Solo movie directors depart

Oscar-winning filmmaker Ron Howard is stepping into a galaxy far, far away for the upcoming Star Wars Han Solo spin-off movie, Lucasfilm announced, after the film’s production was thrown into upheaval by the surprise departure of its directors.

Howard is one of Hollywood’s best known directors with films such as Frost/Nixon and A Beautiful Mind to his credit.

Lucasfilm’s president, Kathleen Kennedy, announced earlier that filmmakers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, best known for the 2014 hit The Lego Movie, had left the project due to creative differences.