While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, July 1 edition

Greek protesters waving EU flags during a rally in Athens.
Greek protesters waving EU flags during a rally in Athens.PHOTO: EPA

Obama: Greece crisis could hit EU growth but no 'major shock to system'

US President Barack Obama warned Tuesday the unfolding Greek financial crisis could have a "significant effect" on European growth but said it would exert no "major shock" on the global system.

With cash-strapped Greece on the edge of default on its debt to the International Monetary Fund, Obama called the situation in the euro zone country one "of substantial concern".

"Obviously, it's very painful for the Greek people and it can have a significant effect on growth rates in Europe," he said during a joint White House press conference with visiting Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff.

However, he added, "In layman's terms, for the American people, this is not something that we believe will have a major shock to the system."


Two MH17 victims' remains 'unlikely' to be found: Dutch minister

Chances of finding human remains of the last two victims of last year's MH17 air crash in Ukraine were "unlikely", Dutch Justice Minister Ard van der Steur said Tuesday.

International investigators have so far matched identities with the remains of 296 of the 298 victims on board the Malaysia Airlines flight.

The jetliner was shot down on June 17 last year in war-torn eastern Ukraine, where government troops are battling pro-Russian separatists, and all on board were killed.


China PM kicks off France visit with climate pledge, Airbus deal

China's Prime Minister Li Keqiang made a long-awaited pledge to curb carbon emissions during a trip to France on Tuesday in which a Chinese company also inked an US$18 billion (S$24 billion) deal with Airbus.

France has rolled out the red carpet for Li as it seeks to ratchet up economic cooperation with the world's second biggest economy and some 50 trade deals are expected to be signed during the prime minister's three-day visit.

Among the first was a deal with Airbus to buy 75 long-haul A330s - 45 confirmed and 30 under option - in an accord valued at US$18 billion.


British shoe seller tries to crowdfund Greek bailout

A British shoe shop worker has launched an online crowdfunding campaign to raise the money for Greece to meet its IMF debt repayment due on Tuesday, saying he just wanted to help austerity-stricken Greeks.

Thom Feeney told AFP outside his shop in London's Covent Garden that he had been overwhelmed by the response and the messages of support, raising €209,000 (S$315,000) by 1600 GMT (midnight Singapore time) after just two days.

More than 13,000 people have donated to the IndieGoGo project "Greek Bailout Fund" so far but it was still a long way from the final target of €1.6 billion that Greece needs to make its debt payment.


Hollywood royals Affleck, Garner announce divorce

Oscar-winning actor/director Ben Affleck and his actress wife Jennifer Garner – one of Hollywood’s A-list power couples – announced the end of their 10-year marriage on Tuesday, ending months of rumours.

“After much thought and careful consideration, we have made the difficult decision to divorce,” said a joint statement by the couple, who have three children together.

“We go forward with love and friendship for one another and a commitment to co-parenting our children whose privacy we ask to be respected during this difficult time,” they added.