While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, June 3 edition

Scott Pruitt takes questions about the Trump administration's withdrawal of the US from the Paris climate accords.
Scott Pruitt takes questions about the Trump administration's withdrawal of the US from the Paris climate accords. PHOTO: REUTERS

Isolated US lashes out at climate critics

The White House hit back at criticism of Donald Trump's decision to scrap a major global climate deal, accusing Europe of trying to "shackle" the US economy and refusing to acknowledge climate change is real.

With the United States virtually isolated on the world stage, a string of administration officials went on the offensive Friday to justify the Republican President's decision to abandon the 195-nation Paris deal curbing global emissions.

Trump's top climate adviser Scott Pruitt was indignant: "The world applauded when we joined Paris. And you know why? I think they applauded because they knew it would put this country at a disadvantage.

"The European leaders, why do they want us to stay in? They know it will continue to shackle our economy," said Pruitt, who serves as Trump's Environment Protection Agency administrator.

That combative tone came amid a wave of bitter condemnation from around the world and as Trump and his aides refused to say whether he believes climate change is real, in line with the global scientific consensus.


US asks visa applicants for social media handles

The United States has begun asking some would-be visitors applying for visas to provide their identities on social media, among other more vigorous screening methods.

A State Department official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told AFP new security procedures had gone into effect on May 25 for travellers deemed to present a risk.

The plan has already raised the concerns of civil liberties advocates, who fear travellers who pose no terrorist threat may be stigmatised for their political or religious views.


German rock festival evacuated over 'terrorist threat'

One of Germany’s biggest music festivals was interrupted on Friday over a “possible terrorist threat,” police said.

Organisers asked fans at the three-day event to leave calmly “in order to help police investigations” but said they were hopeful the festival would resume on Saturday.

The three-day “Rock am Ring,” held at the famous Nuerburgring sports complex near the western city of Nuerburg, is scheduled to run until Sunday. It draws tens of thousands of people annually.


Tennis: Nadal blasts court 'danger' after Goffin freak accident

Rafael Nadal and Garbine Muguruza led a wave of support for David Goffin, who quit his French Open third round match on Friday after hurting his ankle when he got caught up in court covers.

Belgian 10th seed Goffin was leading Argentina's Horacio Zeballos 5-4 when he chased down the ball towards the back of the Suzanne Lenglen court. However, his right foot got horribly jammed beneath the rolled-up tarpaulin covers before he tumbled into the wall and a linesman's chair.

"It's terrible. It's really bad luck. I always thought that that tarp was dangerous and not in the right place," said Nadal.


Football: Juventus bar Zidane's path to history with Madrid

Only Zinedine Zidane's former club Juventus stand between the Real Madrid coach and football history in Saturday's star-studded Champions League final in Cardiff.

A head coach for only 17 months, the former France playmaker can become the first manager to win back-to-back European Cups since AC Milan's Arrigo Sacchi in 1989 and 1990 and the first in the Champions League era.

"If you'd said I was going to live all this when I was a child, I wouldn't have believed you," Zidane told Friday's pre-game press conference at the Principality Stadium.