While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, June 26 edition

Charleston mourns church massacre victims

Mourners held the first funeral services on Thursday for the nine African-Americans slain last week in a Charleston church by a white supremacist.

Hundreds filed past the open coffin of Ethel Lance, 70, at a funeral home in North Charleston, ahead of an afternoon service for Sharonda Singleton, 45.

President Barack Obama is scheduled to deliver the eulogy at Friday's funeral of another victim, Emanuel's chief pastor Clementa Pinckney, 41.


Malaysian billionare Francis Yeoh gives struggling Rome opera $1.5 million

Malaysian tycoon and performing arts lover Francis Yeoh has given Rome's struggling opera house €1 million (S$1.5 million), the opera said Thursday.

Yeoh, chief of the huge YTL conglomerate, was quoted by the Teatro dell'Opera di Roma as saying he hoped the gift would help the institution "distinguish itself on an international level as one of the most prestigious and excellent artistic centres in the world".

Yeoh has financed numerous classical music concerts at home and abroad.


Courtney Love launches Twitter tirade as French anti-Uber protests turn violent

Protests against ride-booking app Uber turned violent Thursday in France as cabbies torched cars, blocked roads and attacked a vehicle carrying American rocker Courtney Love.

Among the some 2,800 cabbies who took part in the strike, police arrested at least 11 across the country in connection with confrontations that erupted as the drivers blocked access to airports, train stations and major roads.

In a tweet, Love wrote that protesters “ambushed” her vehicle and “were holding our driver hostage”.

“This is France?? I’m safer in Baghdad,” she said.


In reversal, Taylor Swift to stream only on Apple

Pop superstar Taylor Swift said Thursday she would stream her latest album only on Apple, capping an 180-degree about-turn after she threatened a boycott.

Swift on Sunday issued an open protest to Apple over compensation to artists on its upcoming streaming service, leading the tech giant to reverse course and step up payments.

In response, the 25-year-old singer, who had initially threatened a boycott, said Thursday that she would stream her blockbuster album 1989 on Apple Music.


Rick Owens fashion show turns political with anti-Merkel sign

A model at a Rick Owens fashion show on Thursday in Paris brandished a banner saying "Please Kill Angela Merkel - Not", prompting the designer to note he had nothing to do with the "act of protest".

A male model who is known as Jera, according to fashion publication WWD, flashed a white cloth which bore the message written in black marker.

"It wasn't my idea. He pulled it out and I punched him when he came backstage," Owens told AFP after the show.