While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, March 1

North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho speaks at a news conference following the end of a summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump, in Hanoi.
North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho speaks at a news conference following the end of a summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump, in Hanoi.PHOTO: REUTERS

North Korea offered realistic proposal but US wanted more, says foreign minister

North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho said North Korea made realistic proposals at a summit with the United States, including dismantling its Yongbyon nuclear complex in return for a partial lifting of sanctions.

The United States demanded one more measure beyond dismantling Yongbyon, Ri said at a news conference on Thursday.

He said if the United States partially removed sanctions, North Korea could permanently dismantle all nuclear material production, including plutonium and uranium under US observation.

Ri told reporters that Pyongyang was seeking partial sanctions relief, not a complete lifting of sanctions.


Trump believing Kim on tortured American sparks firestorm

Donald Trump's remarks on Thursday about taking Kim Jong Un's word that he knew nothing of the torture of an American college student while in North Korean custody has sparked a bipartisan backlash back home.

The US president appeared to side with the reclusive leader about the 2017 case of Otto Warmbier, who a US judge concluded was tortured by North Korean authorities.

Warmbier was released in a coma and died shortly afterwards.


Italy's Venice to charge admission fees for tourists

Venice council has voted to impose an entrance fee on day-trippers to help pay for the upkeep of the much-visited lagoon city, setting a precedent that other tourist hotspots are watching closely, the mayor said.

Around 25 million tourists pour into Venice each year, of whom around 14 million spend just one day there.

Many take picnics with them, bringing no income to local businesses.


YouTube to block comments on most videos showing minors

YouTube said it will disable user comments on a broad array of videos featuring children to thwart "predatory behaviour" after revelations about a glitch exploited for sharing of child pornography.

The Google-owned video sharing service announced further steps to crack down on inappropriate comments a week after an investigation showing how comments and connections on child porn were being displayed alongside innocuous videos.

"We recognise that comments are a core part of the YouTube experience and how you connect with and grow your audience," YouTube said in a posted message to creators. "At the same time, the important steps we're sharing today are critical for keeping young people safe."


Formula One: Leclerc takes Ferrari to fastest time of winter

Highly-rated Charles Leclerc set the fastest time of winter testing as Ferrari again laid down a powerful marker ahead of the new Formula One season.

The 21-year-old Leclerc clocked 1min 16.231sec off 138 laps with Thailand's Alexander Albon, in a Toro Rosso, the only other driver to dip below 1min 17sec on the penultimate day of testing ahead of the season-opener in Melbourne on March 17.

Thursday's action also saw crashes for Pierre Gasly in a Red Bull and Lance Stroll behind the wheel of a Racing Point.