Singapore grounds Boeing 737 MAX aircraft after 2 deadly crashes

SINGAPORE: Singapore's aviation regulator has ordered the temporary suspension of all Boeing 737 MAX aircraft into and out of the country, it said on Tuesday (Mar 12).

"The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) is temporarily suspending operation of all variants of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft into and out of Singapore in light of two fatal accidents involving Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in less than five months," it said in a statement.  The suspension will take effect from 2pm on Tuesday, the regulator said. SilkAir, which operates six Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, will be affected by this suspension. SilkAir, the regional wing of Singapore Airlines, said the grounding of 737 MAX planes will impact its flight schedules.

Taiwan holds military drills to halt invasion amid rising China tensions

Taiwan's military held large-scale drills on its west coast Thursday amid growing tensions between the self-governed island and an increasingly belligerent Beijing.

Aimed at thwarting an amphibious invasion, Taiwan's armed forces dispatched tanks, rocket launchers and combat helicopters to beaches near Taichung for the island's first live-fire drills of the year.
"Our military stands ready to counter any threats ... including those from Communist China," Maj. Gen. Chen Chung-chi, a spokesman for Taiwan's defense ministry, told CNN.

    White House announces second Trump-Kim summit

    Washington The White House announced Friday that a second summit will take place between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in February.

    The announcement came after Trump met with Kim Yong Chol, North Korea's lead negotiator on nuclear talks, for more than 90 minutes in the Oval Office and discussed "denuclearization and a second summit, which will take place near the end of February," according to press secretary Sarah Sanders.
    "The President looks forward to meeting with Chairman Kim at a place to be announced at a later date," she added.
      Trump welcomed Kim Yong Chol into the Oval Office shortly after the North Korean envoy met with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at a Washington hotel. Pompeo, who also in the White House meeting, invited Kim and his delegation to lunch after the Oval Office discussion.
      Shortly after the White House meeting, Sanders was pressed by reporters on why the US should believe North Korean promises regarding denuclearization.
      "We've continued to make progress. We're continuing to have conversations. The US is going to continue to keep pressure and sanctions on North Korea until we see fully and verified denuclearization. We've had very good steps in good faith from the North Koreans in releasing the hostages and other moves so we're going to continue those conversations," she said.
      Sanders also characterized the meeting as "productive."
      "The President had about an hour-and-a-half-long meeting. There was a US delegation; we'll send out those specific names here shortly. I can tell you Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was in the room, as were others from the President's team. It was productive and we're going to continue those conversations," she added.
      Kim Yong Chol had arrived at Washington Dulles International Airport on Thursday evening, bringing with him a letter from Kim Jong Un meant for Trump, a source familiar with the denuclearization talks between the US and North Korea told CNN.