While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, March 18

Donald Trump's personal lawyer called for Robert Mueller's probe into alleged collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign to end.
Donald Trump's personal lawyer called for Robert Mueller's probe into alleged collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign to end.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

Call by Trump lawyer to end Mueller probe tramples vow to cooperate

President Donald Trump's personal lawyer called for Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe into alleged collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign to end, hours after the former FBI deputy director was fired by Attorney-General Jeff Sessions.

The statement was a dramatic shift from the Trump legal team's previous commitment to fully cooperate with Mueller.

Trump's lawyers have asserted in the past - and Trump said again on Saturday - that the president's campaign didn't collude with the Russian government, and predicted that the probe would be complete by now. Democrats warned the president against trying to shut down the probe.

"Just end it on the merits in light of recent revelations," Trump attorney John Dowd said, in an emailed statement on Saturday.

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Sweden, North Korea talks end, may help pave way for Trump-Kim encounter

The North Korean and Swedish foreign ministers ended three days of talks on Saturday on the security situation on the Korean peninsula which may help prepare the way for a planned meeting between US President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un.

North Korea’s Ri Yong Ho arrived in Stockholm on Thursday for talks with his Swedish counterpart Margot Wallstrom amid a flurry of diplomatic activity concerning the reclusive country and its nuclear ambitions.

Trump reaffirmed on Friday that he was willing to meet Kim after South Korean officials passed on an invitation earlier this month. North Korea has so far not publicly acknowledged the invitation.

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Florida school says it was aware of bridge cracks before fatal collapse

Engineers and state and university officials met hours before a newly built pedestrian bridge collapsed, killing six people, but concluded that a crack in the bridge was not a safety concern, Florida International University said on Saturday.

The two-hour meeting on Thursday involved FIGG, which is the private contractor for the overall design of the bridge, the school, Florida Department of Transportation officials and Munilla Construction Management, which installed the bridge.

A FIGG engineer "concluded there were no safety concerns and the crack did not compromise the structural integrity of the bridge," FIU said in a statement on Saturday. About three hours after the meeting concluded, the 950-tonne, US$14.2 million bridge fell down, crushing vehicles stopped at a traffic light on the eight-lane roadway below.

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Football: Record-breaker Salah hits four as Liverpool crush Watford

Mohamed Salah struck four times in rampant Liverpool’s 5-0 thrashing of Watford that lifted them back into third spot in the Premier League.

The unstoppable Egyptian needed only four minutes to put his side in front and he doubled his tally just before halftime.

He set up Roberto Firmino for a cheeky effort early in the second half before placing a shot through a crowd of Watford defenders to complete his first Liverpool hat-trick.

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Tennis: Federer beats Coric to reach Indian Wells final

World number one Roger Federer survived a scare from unseeded Borna Coric to beat him 5-7 6-4 6-4 in the BNP Paribas Open semi-finals and keep his bid for a record sixth Indian Wells title alive.

The crowd erupted when Federer broke Coric to love to take the deciding set and end the unexpectedly competitive two-hour 20-minute battle against the 21-year-old Croatian on a windy morning in the California desert.

An upset was on the cards when the speedy Coric used his ferocious backhand to take the first set off the Swiss, the first time Federer had dropped a set at Indian Wells in nine matches. He then broke Federer to start the second set and silence the stunned crowd.

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