US, N Korea gear up for talks

South Korea's President Moon Jae-in on May 28 said there could be more impromptu talks and summits with North Korea's Kim Jong Un, as US officials prepare for a historic meeting between President Donald Trump and Kim. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump, days after scrapping the summit, suggested that the talks' success could help the North realize its "brilliant potential." "I truly believe North Korea has brilliant potential and will be a great economic and financial Nation one day," Trump said on Twitter. "Kim Jong Un agrees with me on this. It will happen!," the president said, confirming that a US team "has arrived in North Korea to make arrangements for the summit".

Mahathir axes high-speed rail link with S'pore

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on May 28 said he was scrapping a project to build a high-speed railway to Singapore, in an ominous sign for the neighbours' famously fractious relationship. Mahathir, who won a surprise election victory this month against Najib Razak's long-ruling coalition, is seeking to repair the country's finances which he says deteriorated dramatically after the former government became embroiled in a huge financial scandal. The leader said it was a "final decision" to scrap plans for the bullet-train line between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, which had been agreed on several years ago and was expected to cut travel times to 90 minutes from five hours by road today.

Italy on path to fresh polls

Italy's president set the country on a path back to fresh elections yesterday, appointing a former International Monetary Fund official as interim prime minister with the task of planning for snap polls and passing the next budget. The decision to appoint Carlo Cottarelli to form a stopgap administration sets the stage for elections that are likely to be fought over Italy's role in the European Union and the euro zone, a prospect that is rattling global financial markets. The euro zone's third-largest economy has been seeking a new government since inconclusive March elections, with anti-establishment forces abandoning their efforts to form a ruling coalition at the weekend after a standoff with the president.

Migrant 'Spiderman' hero saves toddler

A Malian migrant who scaled a four-storey Paris apartment bloc with his bare hands to save a child was honoured by French President Emmanuel Macron on May 28 and offered citizenship. Two days after his daring Spiderman-style rescue -- viewed millions of times online -- Mamoudou Gassama was received by Macron at the presidential palace. "You have become an example because millions of people have seen you. It is only right that the nation be grateful," Macron told the 22-year-old, adding that his immigration status would be "put in order." During the meeting, Macron also proposed that Gassama, who received a medal and certificate for bravery, join the French fire service.

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