While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Sept 20


US ready to restart talks with North Korea immediately, says Mike Pompeo

The United States is ready to restart negotiations with North Korea “immediately”, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday, with the aim of completing North Korea’s denuclearisation by January 2021.

Pompeo said he had invited North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho to meet in New York next week where they are both due to attend the United Nations gathering of world leaders.

The United States has also invited North Korean representatives to meet with the US Special Representative for North Korea in Vienna at the “earliest opportunity”, Pompeo said.

Pompeo cited North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s decision to“complete the previously announced dismantlement of the Tongchang-ri site in the presence of US and international inspectors as a step towards the final fully verified denuclearisation of North Korea”.


Alibaba’s Ma says one million US jobs pledge thwarted by trade row

Alibaba founder Jack Ma said his ambitious pledge to create one million jobs in the US had been scuppered by the trade row between Beijing and Washington, Chinese state news reported on Thursday.

The billionaire owner of China's largest online shopping portal made the headline-grabbing promise to Donald Trump last year, as Beijing courted the then-newly elected president.

But Ma told Xinhua that his pledge had been made on the basis of continued cooperation and trade growth between the US and China, and would now be difficult to fulfil.


Britain, EU clash over who should give ground on Brexit

British Prime Minister Theresa May clashed with EU leaders on Wednesday over who should make the next move to break the Brexit logjam, as the clock ticks down to get a deal.

EU Council President Donald Tusk opened a crucial summit in the Austrian city of Salzburg with a stark warning that Britain’s position on key issues must be “reworked”.

He warned negotiations on Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union were reaching a “decisive phase”, amid fears that it could crash out in March next year without a deal.


U2's Bono and Pope discuss Irish sexual abuse crisis

Bono, frontman for Irish rock band U2, met Pope Francis on Wednesday and said afterwards he is an extraordinary man who is sincere in his pain over a sexual abuse crisis in Ireland.

Bono and the Pope spoke for more than 30 minutes at a meeting to team up the rock star's ONE organisation, a global campaign and advocacy organisation that aims to end extreme poverty, with a papal group named Scholas Occurrentes, which helps foster cooperation among schools worldwide.

"I explained to him how it looks to some people that the abusers are being more protected than the victims and you could see the pain in his face," Bono said. "I felt he was sincere and I think he is an extraordinary man for extraordinary times."


Football: Ronaldo controversially sent off, Lyon stun Man City

Juventus kicked off their Champions League campaign with a 2-0 victory at Valencia in a match overshadowed by a controversial red card for Cristiano Ronaldo, while tournament favourites Manchester City were stunned at home by Lyon on Wednesday.

Ronaldo's Champions League debut for Juventus lasted less than half an hour as the Portuguese star was red-carded after a collision with Valencia defender Jeison Murillo.

After tangling with Ronaldo, Colombian Murillo tumbled to the ground holding his face, and referee Felix Brych consulted with the assistant official beside the goal before giving the competition's all-time record goalscorer his marching orders.