While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Sept 9

Performers take part in a concert at the Pyongyang Indoor Stadium on Sept 8, 2018.
Performers take part in a concert at the Pyongyang Indoor Stadium on Sept 8, 2018.PHOTO: AFP

North Korea 70th anniversary celebrations get under way

Hundreds of trucks carrying thousands of troops lined a Pyongyang riverbank in the predawn darkness early on Sunday, as nuclear-armed North Korea prepared to celebrate its birthday with a huge show of military strength.

Sunday is the 70th anniversary of the 1948 foundation of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, as the North is officially known, three years after Moscow and Washington divided the peninsula between them in the closing days of the World War II.

Such set-piece dates are a mainstay of the North’s political calendar, particularly when round numbers are involved, and have traditionally been occasions for showing off its latest hardware. But the rockets may not be on show this time, analysts say.

At a concert on Saturday evening that kicked off the celebrations, the imagery on display focused heavily on the economy, with only a few short military segments, none of them showing missiles.


Woman held for attempted murder in British knife attack

British police arrested a woman for attempted murder on Saturday after reports that she chased a man through a shopping district with a large knife before stabbing him.

"A 28-year-old woman arrested this morning on suspicion of attempted murder remains in police custody," police said after the incident in the northern English city of Barnsley.

Assistant Chief Constable Tim Forbes of South Yorkshire Police earlier said officers were "keeping an open mind as to the motivation".


Subway station buried in Sept 11 attacks reopens

When the twin towers fell on Sept 11, 2001, they came crashing down on the Cortlandt Street subway stop on the No. 1 line. The station was buried under debris, its sturdy beams bent like paper clips.

For nearly 17 years, the station has sat unused – achingly missing from the New York City subway map – even as a new sprawling World Trade Center complex has sprouted aboveground.

At long last, the station reopened at noon on Saturday with transit officials, politicians and eager riders gathering to welcome it back. Sleek, bright and airy, it bears little resemblance to its old, dank self. Row after row of words of freedom and inspiration run down the walls.


Alfonso Cuaron’s Mexican ‘masterpiece’ Roma wins top prize in Venice

Mexican director Alfonso Cuaron won the Golden Lion top prize at the Venice film festival on Saturday for Roma, which critics have called not merely a movie but “a vision”.

With its highly emotional story centred on an indigenous maid working for a middle-class family in Mexico City in 1971, it has been hailed as Cuaron’s most personal film – and also his best.

Cuaron told reporters that in an incredible coincidence “today is the birthday of the woman the movie is based on. What a present!”


Football: Spain puncture England's feel-good factor in Nations League opener

England failed to build on the momentum of reaching the World Cup semi-finals to begin their Nations League campaign as Spain came from behind to win 2-1 at Wembley in Luis Enrique's first game in charge.

Gareth Southgate couldn't have asked for a better start in England's first game since returning from Russia as Marcus Rashford swept the hosts into an early lead.

But Spain, who crashed out in the last 16 of a chaotic World Cup after firing coach Julen Lopetegui on the eve of the tournament, punctured the feel-good factor surrounding the Three Lions by hitting back through Saul Niguez and Rodrigo before half-time.