While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, June 27 edition

A police officer walking past blood at the Imperiale Marhaba hotel after a gunman opened fire on June 26, 2015.
A police officer walking past blood at the Imperiale Marhaba hotel after a gunman opened fire on June 26, 2015.PHOTO: REUTERS

Gun attack kills at least 37 at Tunisian beachside hotel

A gunman disguised as a tourist opened fire at a Tunisian hotel on Friday with a weapon he had hidden in an umbrella, killing 37 people, including British, German and Belgian tourists, as they lounged at the beach and pool in a popular resort town.

Terrified tourists ran for cover after the gunfire and an explosion erupted at the Imperial Marhaba in Sousse resort town, 140km south of the capital Tunis, before police shot the gunman dead, witnesses and security officials said.

“This was always a safe place but today was horror,” said an Irish tourist who gave only his first name, Anthony. “He started on the beach and went to the lobby, killing in cold blood.”


French beheading suspect was 'normal neighbour'

When suburban deliveryman Yassin Sahli set off for work on Friday, his wife said it seemed just like any other day.

Within hours, the 35-year-old father of three was arrested on suspicion of beheading his boss, then ramming their van into an industrial gases site in south-east France, setting off an explosion that authorities called an attempted act of terrorism.

"Yesterday, he was at work, he came home as usual. We spent a normal evening and in the morning he left for work and didn't come home between noon and 2. I was waiting for him," a woman identified as his wife told Europe 1 radio.

Sources close to the investigation said the wife, who has not been officially named, was subsequently arrested and was being held by police for questioning.


Obama sings Amazing Grace at funeral of slain pastor

An impassioned President Barack Obama led thousands of mourners in singing Amazing Grace on Friday at the funeral of a slain pastor in Charleston and urged Americans to eliminate symbols of oppression and racism, including the Confederate battle flag.

In a speech likely to be considered one of the most memorable of his presidency, Obama paid an emotional tribute to the nine people shot to death at the church and pleaded for Americans to use the tragedy as a way to bridge racial divide.

The shootings last week sparked an intense dialogue over the legacy of slavery and its symbols after photos of the white man charged in the shooting surfaced showing him posing with the Confederate flag and apparently posting a racist manifesto online.


Disney bans selfie sticks over safety fears

Disney will ban selfie sticks starting next week at its theme parks around the world, the company said on Friday, joining a growing list of attractions that restrict the camera accessories for safety reasons.

Beginning Tuesday, the company will not allow selfie sticks - extension rods used for taking self-portraits with smartphones - at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, or Disneyland in Anaheim, California.

The ban will begin on Wednesday at parks in Hong Kong and Paris.


Actors, celebrities whoop with joy at US gay marriage ruling

Actors, singers and Hollywood celebrities, many of whom have played a major role in driving acceptance of gay rights in mainstream culture, whooped with joy at the US Supreme Court's ruling that made gay marriage legal nationwide on Friday.

Twitter lit up after the historic decision, with #LoveWins, accompanied by a rainbow-coloured heart, and #Supreme Court quickly becoming the top trending items on the social media site.

“Finally And at Last! The Revolution Of Love has Begun!” said singer Madonna, while US comedian and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres simply said "Love won."