While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, June 19 edition

French President Emmanuel Macron attends a ceremony marking a World War II anniversary as voters go to the polls on June 18, 2017.
French President Emmanuel Macron attends a ceremony marking a World War II anniversary as voters go to the polls on June 18, 2017.PHOTO: AFP

President Emmanuel Macron's party wins massive majority in French parliament

French President Emmanuel Macron's centrist party won a massive majority in parliamentary elections on Sunday, dominating the country's traditional forces in a dramatic re-drawing of the political map.

Macron's year-old Republic on the Move (REM) and their allies were set to win between 355 and 425 seats in the 577-seat National Assembly, according to partial results after the second round of an election in which many high-profile figures were thrown out.

The result, if confirmed, would give 39-year-old Macron one of France's biggest post-war majorities, strengthening his hand in implementing his programme of business-friendly reforms.


Resort outside Mali's capital popular with foreigners under attack, two dead, 32 rescued

Suspected terrorists crying "Allahu Akbar" stormed a tourist resort popular with western tourists on the edge of the Malian capital Bamako on Sunday (June 18), briefly seizing hostages and leaving at least two people dead.

Security forces have so far rescued 32 guests, a security ministry spokesman said on Sunday. He had no further details.

The gunmen attacked Le Campement Kangaba in Dougourakoro, to the east of the capital Bamako, a resort foreign residents often visit for weekend breaks. There were no details of casualties but the attack was continuing on Sunday evening.


Portugal declares three days mourning as battle to contain deadly forest fire continues

Portugal declared three days of national mourning on Sunday after a forest fire triggered by thunderstorms in the north of the country killed more than 60 people, many of them fleeing in their cars.

At least 30 people died in vehicles, with more bodies found near cars on the side of a road and others in rural areas near Pedrogao Grande, Secretary of State for Internal Administration Jorge Gomes said in comments broadcast Sunday by RTP.

According to an initial analysis by the Judicial Police, the fire was caused by a dry thunderstorm, Gomes said. Government officials said an assessment will be made of the cause.


Cricket: Pakistan thrash holders India to win Champions Trophy

Fakhar Zaman and Mohammad Amir shone as Pakistan defied the odds to overwhelm arch-rivals India by 180 runs and pull off a major upset in the Champions Trophy final at The Oval on Sunday.

Fakhar capitalised on a lucky escape to strike a superb 114 and lift Pakistan to a commanding total of 338 for four and fast bowler Amir ripped out India's top three batsmen before the defending champions subsided to 158 all out.

Pakistan had come into the tournament as the lowest-ranked team and lost heavily to India in their opening group match but they beat South Africa and Sri Lanka to make the semi-finals where they knocked out hosts England.


Cars 3 speeds past Wonder Woman at North American box office

Disney's Cars 3 raced past superhero flick Wonder Woman to number one at the North American box office over the weekend, with a US$53.3 million (73.7 million) haul, industry estimates showed Sunday.

The third instalment in Pixar's Cars franchise featuring Lightning McQueen and his longtime friends fighting off a challenge from a new generation of racers is voiced by stars including Owen Wilson, Cristela Alonzo and Armie Hammer.

Despite being knocked down to second place, Wonder Woman still had an impressive showing.