While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, June 7 edition

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A man wielding a hammer and shouting "this is for Syria" assaulted a police officer outside Paris' Notre Dame cathedral.

Notre Dame attacker shouted 'this is for Syria' before being shot

A man armed with a hammer shouted "this is for Syria" and wounded a policeman before being shot and wounded by other officers outside Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, one of France's most famous tourist sites.

The Paris prosecutor's office swiftly launched a counter-terrorism investigation into the attack, the first since President Emmanuel Macron won power last month and days before the first round of a parliamentary election in France.

Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said the attacker was carrying the identification card of an Algerian student and that preliminary information indicated he had acted alone.

Dozens of armed police sealed off the area and put the Gothic cathedral into lockdown with nearly 1,000 tourists and worshippers inside.

Tuesday's attack will put a renewed focus on France and Europe's struggle to deal with unsophisticated, low-tech attacks in the countdown to the first round of the parliamentary election on Sunday. A second round will be held on June 18.


Donald Trump's blocking of Twitter users 'violates US Constitution'

A free-speech institute sent a letter to President Donald Trump demanding the prolific tweeter unblock certain Twitter users on the grounds that the practice violates the First Amendment of the US Constitution.

Trump's @realDonaldTrump account recently blocked a number of accounts that replied to his tweets with commentary that criticised, mocked or disagreed with his actions. Twitter users are unable to see or respond to tweets from accounts that block them.

The Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University in New York said in its letter that the blocking suppressed speech in a public forum protected by the Constitution.


London and the Internet radicalised my son, says attacker's mother

The Italian mother of London attacker Youssef Zaghba (above, right) says she tried to prevent him being radicalised, "but he had Internet" and fell in with the wrong crowd in the British capital.

Zaghba, 22, has been identified as the third of the three attackers shot dead by police after their attack in London on Saturday that killed seven people and left dozens injured.

His mother, Valeria Collina, a convert to Islam who is separated from the attacker's Morocco-based father, told Italian weekly L'Espresso that she thought her son had been radicalised by a combination of online propaganda and contacts in London.


Amal Clooney gives birth to twins, George Clooney's publicist says

Amal Clooney gave birth to twins, a boy and a girl, her husband George Clooney's publicist said, the first children for the international human rights lawyer and her movie star spouse.

Amal Clooney and the Oscar-winning star of films like Ocean's Eleven and Three Kings married in Italy in 2014, making them one of the world's biggest celebrity couples.

"This morning Amal and George welcomed Ella and Alexander Clooney into their lives. Ella, Alexander and Amal are all healthy, happy and doing fine," publicist Stan Rosenfield said in an e-mail. He added cheekily, "George is sedated and should recover in a few days."


Football: Man United world's most valuable club, says Forbes

Manchester United have overtaken Real Madrid as the world's most valuable football team, US magazine Forbes announced in its annual global list ranking the sport's wealthiest clubs.

United's enduring brand appeal and aggressive sponsorship strategies had helped the Premier League side reclaim top spot for the first time in five years, with a worth estimated at US$3.69 billion (S$5.08 billion), Forbes said in its survey.

Although Real Madrid have enjoyed unparallelled success in the Champions League - clinching unprecedented back-to-back titles on Saturday for a record 12th crown - United have roared past the Spanish giants in the commercial stakes.


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