While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, May 14

US President Joe Biden delivers remarks during the US-Asean Special Summit, in Washington, on May 13, 2022 PHOTO: REUTERS

US tells Asean leaders summit marks ‘new era’ for ties

US President Joe Biden said on Friday a first summit in Washington with leaders from Asean marked the launch of a “new era” in the relationship between the United States and the 10-nation bloc.

Addressing the second day of a two-day meeting, Biden said “a great deal of history of our world in the next 50 years is going to be written in the Asean countries, and our relationship with you is the future, in the coming years and decades.”

The summit marks the first time that Asean leaders gathered as a group in Washington and their first meeting hosted by a US president since 2016.

The Biden administration hopes the effort will show that Washington remains focused on the Indo-Pacific and the long-term challenge of China, which it views as its main competitor, despite the crisis in Ukraine.


G-7 backs more aid, weapons to Ukraine in show of unity

Foreign ministers from the G-7 group of rich nations backed giving more aid and weapons to Ukraine as they met on Friday (May 13) in what Germany called a "powerful sign of unity" to deepen Russia's global isolation for invading its neighbour.

The European Union's foreign policy chief Josep Borrell announced a further €500 million (S$700 million) worth of military support that should be approved next week by EU members, and expressed confidence that the bloc will agree an embargo on Russian oil.

British Foreign Minister Liz Truss announced new sanctions targeting Russian President Vladimir Putin's financial network and inner circle, including his ex-wife and cousins, and also called for ramping up weapons supplies to Ukraine..


Ukrainian forces thwart Russians, as fight shifts to Donbas

Ukrainian forces destroyed parts of a Russian armoured column as it tried to cross a river in the Donbas region, video from Ukraine's military showed on Friday, as the Ukrainian defence minister predicted many weeks of grinding fighting ahead.

Ukrainian forces have driven Russia from the second-largest Ukrainian city of Kharkiv in their fastest advance since Kremlin troops pulled away from Kyiv and the north-east over a month ago to focus their offensive on the Donbas region bordering Russia.

The city, which had been under fierce bombardment, has been quiet for at least two weeks and Reuters journalists have confirmed Ukraine now controls territory stretching to the Siverskyi Donets River, around 40km to the east.


27 killed, dozens injured in fire in India's capital


At least 27 people died and dozens more were injured in a massive fire in a building in the Indian capital New Delhi on Friday (May 13), emergency services said.

"The fire has been put out now. The total number of dead is 27. Search operation is on," a fire department official told AFP.

Broadcaster NDTV reported that more than 40 people had sustained burns and were hospitalised.


Golf: Mickelson withdraws from PGA Championship

Reigning champion Phil Mickelson, who hasn't played since the release of controversial comments about the Saudi-backed LIV Golf series, has withdrawn from the PGA Championship, the PGA of America announced on Friday.

The 51-year-old American left-hander became the oldest major winner in golf history last year when he won the PGA at Kiawah Island for his sixth career major title.

But he has not played since January after his remarks to author Alan Shipnuck supporting the Saudi-backed rival to the US PGA Tour went public in February.


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