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


US probes North Korea's willingness to talk

Washington has opened channels to North Korea to find out if the regime is ready to talk about giving up its nuclear weapons, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Saturday.

His office in Washington quickly clarified that North Korea has shown no interest in such discussions.

Speaking after a day of talks with China’s President Xi Jinping and top diplomats, Tillerson told reporters that US officials are in touch with Pyongyang.

The disclosure follows an escalating war of words between US President Donald Trump and North Korean strongman Kim Jong-Un, and Tillerson issued a call for calm.

Asked how he could know whether the North would even contemplate responding to new sanctions by coming to the table, the US envoy said: “We are probing, so stay tuned.”


Thousands rally for unity across Spain as Catalans prepare to vote

Thousands of flag-waving protesters rallied in cities across Spain, including Barcelona and Madrid, in favour of national unity on Saturday, a day before a banned referendum on independence for Catalonia.

In Barcelona, the capital of the northeastern region, a crowd of several thousand filled a square in front of the headquarters of the regional government which is pushing ahead with the vote even though the courts have ruled it unconstitutional.

The referendum planned for Sunday has sown deep divisions among Catalans and stoked passions across Spain, which is experiencing one of the biggest crises since democracy was restored after the death of dictator Francisco Franco in 1975.


A380 superjumbo makes emergency landing in Canada: Air France

An Air France A380 superjumbo passenger jet travelling from Paris to Los Angeles was forced to make an emergency landing in eastern Canada on Saturday following “serious damage” to one of its four engines, the airline said.

“Flight 066 landed without further damage at the Goose Bay military airport in Canada and all of the 520 people on board were evacuated with no injuries,” an Air France spokesman in Paris told AFP.

The landing went off “normally” for the jetliner carrying 496 passengers and 24 crew members, the spokesman said. The airline was exploring options to get the passengers to the United States.


Football: Man City stay ahead of United with win over champions Chelsea

Manchester City stayed ahead of age-old local rivals Manchester United at the top of the Premier League on with a deserved 1-0 win away to champions Chelsea.

After Jose Mourinho's United romped to a 4-0 victory over bottom club Crystal Palace, City had much the better of the late game at Stamford Bridge.

A second-half goal by former Chelsea forward Kevin de Bruyne won it and left them just ahead of United on goal difference.


Formula One: Vettel smiling through the pain of qualifying last

Sebastian Vettel still had a smile on his face after qualifying for the Malaysian Grand Prix, as the German put on a brave face despite the pain of the latest setback to strike his championship challenge.

The Ferrari driver, who trails Mercedes rival Lewis Hamilton by 28 points in the standings, will start Sunday's race dead last after power unit problems prevented him from setting a time. Hamilton, meanwhile, will begin on pole.

"It's very bitter but then it's motor racing," said the four-times champion, who ran into trouble in Saturday's final practice session and had his engine changed before qualifying.