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Saturday 15 December 2018

Koreans celebrate despite Olympic defeat

The Korean women's hockey team, the first in Olympic history to combine players from North and South, lost 8-0 to Switzerland last night in its debut game in front of a raucous, sellout crowd on a historic night mixing sports and politics on an international stage.

Kim Yo Jong, sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, watched with South Korean president Moon Jae-in. They were joined by North Korea's nominal head of state, Kim Yong Nam.

The two North Koreans are on a landmark visit to the South amid a flurry of abrupt reconciliation steps and invited Moon to visit Pyongyang in what would be the third inter-Korean summit talks since their 1945 division.

The Koreas often use sports to find a breakthrough in their strained relations. The ongoing rapprochement mood flared after Kim Jong-un said he was willing to send an Olympic delegation. Moon, who wants to resolve the nuclear standoff diplomatically and peacefully, quickly responded to Kim's outreach by offering talks.

Many experts say Kim's overture is intended to use improved ties with Seoul as a way to weaken US-led international sanctions. These toughened after a series of big weapons tests last year that included its sixth and largest nuclear test explosion and three missile launches.

Warming ties between the Koreas could complicate Seoul's ties with Washington, which wants to maximize its pressures on Pyongyang.

Hong Kong bus crash leaves 18 dead

A double-decker bus crashed in a Hong Kong suburb yesterday evening, killing 18 people and injuring dozens more. Passengers were quoted as saying that the bus, which tipped over, was full and travelling very fast.

And on Indonesia's main island of Java, at least 27 people were killed in a bus crash on on a winding slope in Subang district of West Java when the vehicle's engine apparently lost power and rolled backward and hit a motorbike before falling into a grass field..

Democrat memo blocked by Trump

The White House has said that US president Donald Trump is "unable" to declassify a memo drafted by Democrats that counters Republican allegations about government surveillance powers in the FBI Russia probe.

The rejection of the memo is in contrast to Trump's enthusiasm to release a Republican document last week - despite the objections of the Justice Department.

Cattrall lashes out at her former co-star

Kim Cattrall has lashed out at her former Sex And The City co-star Sarah Jessica Parker over her response to Cattrall's brother's death.

Cattrall (61) previously announced that her "one of a kind" brother Christopher had died unexpectedly after she had appealed for help in finding him.

Now she has posted on Instagram: "I don't need your love or support at this tragic time Sarah Jessica Parker."

She wrote: "My Mom asked me today 'when will that Sarah Jessica Parker, that hypocrite, leave you alone?'

"Your continuous reaching out is a painful reminder of how cruel you really were then and now.

"Let me make this VERY clear. (If I haven't already) You are not my family. You are not my friend. So I'm writing to tell you one last time to stop exploiting our tragedy in order to restore your 'nice girl' persona."

Last year Cattrall was quoted as saying that the Sex And The City cast were "never friends" and that Parker "could have been nicer" after Cattrall turned down a third Sex and the City movie.

Sunday Independent

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