While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, July 21


Trump ‘on tape’ discussing payment to Playboy model: NYT

US President Donald Trump's long-time lawyer Michael Cohen secretly recorded a conversation with Trump two months before the presidential election in which they discussed payments to a former Playboy model who said she had an affair with Trump, according to lawyers and others familiar with the recording.

The FBI seized the recording this year during a raid on Cohen's office.

The Justice Department is investigating Cohen's involvement in paying women to tamp down embarrassing news stories about Trump ahead of the 2016 election.

Prosecutors want to know whether that violated federal campaign finance laws, and any conversation with Trump about those payments would be of keen interest to them.


Knife attacker on bus in Germany arrested, several injured

Several people were injured in an attack by a man wielding a knife on a bus in northern Germany, officials said on Friday, although his motive remained unclear.

The packed bus was heading in the direction of Travemuende, a popular beach destination close to the city of Luebeck, when a man pulled a weapon on passengers.

The bus driver immediately stopped the vehicle, allowing passengers to escape.


India's Modi stunned as rival Gandhi crosses parliament to hug him

Indian opposition leader Rahul Gandhi surprised Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday when he interrupted a no-confidence debate by walking across the parliament floor to give his rival a hug.

Modi easily survived the no-confidence vote thanks to his parliamentary majority but not before a 12-hour debate in which his Bharatiya Janata Party battled with Gandhi's Indian National Congress, in a warm-up for elections due by May.

After a speech accusing Modi of promoting crony capitalism, Gandhi addressed such criticism: "You have anger against me, you can call me names, you can abuse me, but I don't have a speck of hatred against you. I will take out this hatred out of you and turn it into love," he said before striding across the floor to put his arms awkwardly around the seated prime minister.


Disney axes Guardians director James Gunn over offensive tweets

Guardians Of The Galaxy franchise director James Gunn has been axed from the third movie over a series of offensive messages posted on Twitter several years ago.

The tweets, mainly from 2008 and 2011, joked about taboo topics such as rape and paedophilia.

"The offensive attitudes and statements discovered on James' Twitter feed are indefensible and inconsistent with our studio's values, and we have severed our business relationship with him," said Alan Horn, chairman of Walt Disney Studios.


Taylor Swift in all-star film version of Cats: Reports

Pop superstar Taylor Swift will take to the silver screen alongside Jennifer Hudson in a film adaptation of the popular hit musical Cats, reports said on Friday.

The movie is the latest project for British filmmaker Tom Hooper, who brought novel-turned-musical Les Miserables to the big screen and won an Oscar for directing The King's Speech.

Cats, composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber and featuring the classic musical ballad Memory, opened in London in 1981 and originally was staged on Broadway from 1982 to 2000, the fourth-longest run in history.