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


Trump slammed over ‘facelift’ Twitter outburst against TV host

Donald Trump unleashed a brutal personal attack on respected female television host Mika Brzezinski, sparking an instant backlash, in the latest stunning salvo in the president’s ongoing war with the media.

Trump’s Twitter outburst – in which he describes the journalist “bleeding badly from a facelift” – appears to have been triggered by Brzezinski’s sharp comments during the morning show she co-hosts with Joe Scarborough on the left-leaning MSNBC network.

“I heard poorly rated @Morning–Joe speaks badly of me (don’t watch anymore),” wrote Trump, an avid cable news watcher.

“Then how come low I.Q. Crazy Mika, along with Psycho Joe, came to Mar-a-Lago 3 nights in a row around New Year’s Eve, and insisted on joining me. She was bleeding badly from a face-lift. I said no!” he tweeted.

But the vulgarity of his latest assault triggered a torrent of criticism including within his own party. “Inappropriate. Undignified. Unpresidential,” tweeted Jeb Bush, Trump’s rival for the White House nomination last year, while the top Republican on Capitol Hill, House Speaker Paul Ryan, conceded the President’s comments were “not appropriate.”


US plans to sell Taiwan about US$1.42 billion in arms

The United States plans to sell Taiwan US$1.42 billion (S$2 billion) in arms, the first such sale under the administration of Donald Trump and a move sure to anger China, whose help the President has been seeking to rein in North Korea.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told reporters the administration had told Congress of the seven proposed sales. The State Department said the package included technical support for early warning radar, high-speed anti-radiation missiles, torpedoes and missile components.

Nauert said the sales showed US “support for Taiwan’s ability to maintain a sufficient self-defence capability,” but there was no change to the United States’ long-standing “one China” policy.


ISIS has lost 60% of territory, 80% of revenue: Analysts

The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group has lost more than 60 per cent of its territory and 80 per cent of its revenue, an analysis firm said, as the militant "caliphate" turns three.

The group declared its self-styled "caliphate" across swathes of Iraq and Syria on June 29, 2014, prompting the formation of a US-led coalition in a bid to halt its advance.

In January 2015, ISIS militants controlled about 90,800 sq km, but by June 2017, that number dropped to 36,200, said IHS Markit.


Football stars land in Argentina for Lionel Messi’s wedding

Lionel Messi’s Barcelona teammates landed in private jets in his Argentine hometown on the eve of the star striker’s celebrity wedding.

Curious locals watched stars such as Luis Suarez and Carles Puyol as well as ex-Barca and current Chelsea player Cesc Fabregas disembark at the small airport in the northern city of Rosario.

A host of footballing stars including Barcelona striker Neymar and ex-Barca star Xavi Hernandez were expected among the 260 guests at Friday’s wedding at the Hotel City Centre Casino.


Football: Germany beat Mexico 4-1 to reach Confederations Cup final

Germany’s Leon Goretzka scored two expertly-taken early goals to set them on the way to a thumping 4-1 win over Mexico in a dramatic, end-to-end Confederations Cup semi-final.

Mexico had more chances and more possession but their defence left wide open spaces which were ruthlessly exploited by Germany’s young, experimental team.

Goretzka struck twice in the first eight minutes before Timo Werner and Amin Younis added two more in the second half, though Marcio Fabian’s 89th minute goal for Mexico was the most spectacular – a viciously swerving drive from 35 metres.