While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Sept 7


Top Trump aides rush to disavow NYTimes ‘resistance’ article

Top aides to Donald Trump scrambled on Thursday to deny authorship of an anonymous New York Times opinion column that slammed the US president’s leadership style and described “a quiet resistance” to him within his own administration.

By early afternoon, eight senior officials had disavowed the piece, including Vice-President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defence Secretary James Mattis, while hammering the author for writing it and the Times for publishing it.

Trump seethed about the piece and presented it as one more jab from the ranks of disgruntled critics in denial about his presidential successes, even as Washington was consumed with speculation about who wrote it.

First Lady Melania Trump said in a statement on Twitter, “To the writer of the oped – you are not protecting this country, you are sabotaging it with your cowardly actions.”


12 passengers sickened on two flights arriving at Philadelphia airport

All passengers and crew from two American Airlines flights arriving at Philadelphia International Airport on Thursday  were held for medical review after 12 people became ill with flu-like symptoms.

A total of 250 people were undergoing medical evaluation as a precaution, and the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was notified.

Both of the flights had arrived at the Philadelphia airport on Thursday afternoon, one from Paris and the other from Munich.


US charges govt-linked North Korean in WannaCry, Sony hacks

The US government on Thursday charged and sanctioned a North Korean man in the 2017 global WannaCry ransomware cyberattack and the 2014 cyberassault on Sony Corp, US officials said.

The charges, part of a strategy by the US government to deter future cyberattacks by naming and shaming the alleged perpetrators, also alleged that the North Korean hacker broke into the central bank of Bangladesh in 2016, according to a criminal complaint.

Park Jin Hyok worked as part of a team of hackers, also known as the Lazarus Group, to try to breach multiple other US businesses, according to the complaint. In 2016 and 2017, Park’s targets included defence contractor Lockheed Martin. The complaint said there was no evidence Lockheed was breached.


Hollywood star Burt Reynolds dies at 82

Burt Reynolds, whose good looks and charm made him one of Hollywood’s most popular actors as he starred in films such as Deliverance, The Longest Yard and Smokey And The Bandit in the 1970s and 1980s, has died at age 82, a spokesman for his Los Angeles agent said on Thursday.

Reynolds died on Thursday morning at the Jupiter Medical Centre in Florida, The Hollywood Reporter said, citing Reynolds’manager, Erik Kritzer.

At the peak of his career, Reynolds was one of the most bankable actors in the film industry, reeling off a series of box office smashes until a career downturn in the mid-1980s.


Han Solo jacket, Marty McFly hoverboard for sale at movie props auction

Fancy wearing Han Solo's jacket? Or perhaps donning Indiana Jones' fedora hat? Or how about a trip on Marty McFly's hoverboard?

Movie buffs have a chance to get their hands on a treasure trove of memorabilia from fan favourites such as Star Wars, Indiana Jones and Back to the Future II in an auction of film props and costumes in London this month.

London and Los Angeles-based Prop Store, which sells the items, is putting more than 600 lots from some 150 movies and television shows, under the hammer on Sept 20.