While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, May 12

China believes that tariffs were the genesis of the trade dispute, and that if both sides wanted to reach an agreement, then all tariffs must be eliminated.
China believes that tariffs were the genesis of the trade dispute, and that if both sides wanted to reach an agreement, then all tariffs must be eliminated.PHOTO: AFP

China still 'cautiously optimistic' on US trade talks despite new tariffs

China and the United States have agreed to hold more trade talks in Beijing, Vice-Premier Liu He said as US President Donald Trump ordered his trade chief to begin the process of imposing tariffs on all remaining imports from China.

Liu voiced a measured optimism on reaching a deal, but said there were "issues of principle" on which China would not back down.

"Negotiations have not broken down," Liu, China's chief negotiator in the talks, said in Washington on Friday, according to state television on Saturday (May 11).


Pearl Bank Apartments may open for public viewing again following overwhelming response to photo walk

The horseshoe-shaped block in Outram which was completed in 1976 to provide homes for the middle class. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

Some 40 members of the public fanned out across Pearl Bank Apartments on Saturday (May 11) to capture the 38-storey horseshoe-shaped landmark in Outram ahead of its redevelopment.

The event, which started at 3pm, was hosted by property developer CapitaLand which acquired the site through a collective sale for $728 million in February last year.

CapitaLand worked with Mr Ivan Kuek, the founder of an Instagram community with about 15,000 followers, to organise the photo walk. Mr Kuek said it was a "rare opportunity" to document not only the facade but the interior of the structure.


Gunmen storm luxury hotel in Pakistan port city of Gwadar, killing at least one

The Pearl Continental is the only luxury hotel in Gwadar and is where foreign and Pakistani business delegations as well as diplomats stay when visiting the city. PHOTO: PEARL CONTINENTAL HOTEL

Three gunmen stormed a luxury hotel in Pakistan’s southwestern port city of Gwadar on Saturday (May 11), killing at least one guard and battling security forces inside, officials and the army said.

Balochistan Home Minister Ziaullah Langove said most guests had been evacuated from the five-star Pearl Continental Hotel, which helicopters circled as fighting was underway. He said there were reports of casualties, but did not give details.

The military said three gunmen killed a guard at the entrance to the hotel when they entered. Security forces had cordoned off the area and cornered the attackers in a staircase leading to the top floor, the military said in its statement Balochistan Liberation Army, a group fighting for greater autonomy in Pakistan’s poorest province, claimed responsibility in an emailed statement.


Sporadic clashes as 'yellow vests' rally in France

Protestors hold a French flag and a yellow flag at Bellecourt square in Lyon, central-eastern France, during an anti-government demonstration called by the "Yellow Vest" (Gilets Jaunes) movement, on May 11, 2019. PHOTO: AFP

"Yellow vest" protesters gathered in Paris and other French cities Saturday (May 11) for the 26th straight week of rallies against President Emmanuel Macron, with scattered incidents of violence but overall a marked decline in the size of the crowds.

Several hundred people began marching near the Jussieu university in the centre of the capital, chosen to show solidarity with teachers who went on strike this week against an education reform project.

"It's going to be a day in support of parents, families and everyone in the education system," Jean-Christophe Valentin, a city hall worker at the rally, told AFP.


Spider-Man screenwriter Alvin Sargent dies at 92

Alvin Sargent was credited for Spider-Man 2 (2004), and with collaborators for Spider-Man 3 (2007), and The Amazing Spider-Man (2012). PHOTO: SONY PICTURES

Alvin Sargent, the veteran Hollywood screenwriter who won an Oscar for his gripping portrayal of breakdowns lurking under the surface of an affluent but guilt-ridden family in Robert Redford's 1980 film Ordinary People, died Thursday (May 9) in Seattle. He was 92.

The death was confirmed by his daughter Amanda Sargent.

Sargent also won an Academy Award for his script for Julia, Fred Zinnemann's 1977 film, with Jane Fonda and Vanessa Redgrave, based on a chapter in Lillian Hellman's memoir Pentimento, about her friendship with a woman who died fighting the Nazis in the years leading up to World War II.