While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, May 14 edition

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko delivers a speech in front of the New Safe Confinement over the fourth block of the Chernobyl nuclear plant on April 26, 2017.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko delivers a speech in front of the New Safe Confinement over the fourth block of the Chernobyl nuclear plant on April 26, 2017.PHOTO: AFP

Ukraine's president skips Eurovision after shelling kills four

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Saturday (May 13) cancelled his planned appearance at the Eurovision Song Contest final in Kiev after a shelling attack in the war-torn east reportedly killed four civilians.

The Kiev-appointed head of the conflict-riven Donetsk region said earlier Saturday that the deaths occurred when "Russian occupying forces" shelled an apartment bloc.

"Three women and one man was killed," Pavlo Zhebrivskiy wrote on Facebook.

The deaths marked the single biggest loss of civilian life since a new Easter truce in the three-year war went into effect on April 1.


India to boycott China summit amid Kashmir concerns

India signalled it will boycott a summit in Beijing on Sunday (May 14) on boosting China's trade links to the rest of the world, setting off a new dispute between the neighbours.

The two-day summit is expected to be attended by Russia's President Vladimir Putin, Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and 26 other leaders.

Without announcing a formal boycott, an Indian foreign ministry spokesman highlighted concerns about China's so-called One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative, a massive undertaking to link the country with Africa, Asia and Europe through a network of ports, railways, roads and industrial zones.


Paris 'love locks' sale raises thousands for refugees

A charity auction selling off "love locks" from Paris bridges to raise money for refugees on Saturday (May 13) brought in over US$270,000 (S$377,000), though the event was briefly interrupted by protests from far-right nationalists.

For years tourists inscribed their initials on padlocks and hooked them to the railings of bridges, most famously the Pont des Arts near the Louvre, throwing the key into the River Seine to express their undying devotion.

But officials cracked down on the practice and started removing the locks in 2015 after one section of the Pont des Arts collapsed under the weight of thousands of locks.


Football: Arsenal maintain top four hunt with impressive Stoke victory

Arsenal maintained their pursuit of a top-four finish with an impressive 4-1 victory at Stoke City but the Gunners still need other favourable results if they want to play in the Champions League for a 21st consecutive season.

Restored to the starting line up, Olivier Giroud opened the scoring from close range after 42 minutes and Mesut Ozil doubled the advantage after the break. He collected Alexis Sanchez's defence-splitting pass before beautifully chipping Jack Butland.

Peter Crouch set up a potentially nervous finish with a 66th-minute goal - though replays appeared to show the ball going in off the forward's hand - but Sanchez and Giroud, with his second, sealed an impressive victory with scores in the 76th and 80th minutes.


Tennis: Simona Halep outlasts determined Mladenovic to retain Madrid title

Simona Halep won the Madrid Open for the second consecutive year after staving off a fightback from Kristina Mladenovic, of France, to win 7-5 6-7 (5) 6-2 in a thrilling marathon three-setter on Saturday (May 13).

The third seed produced her best tennis in the decider after edging the first set and being pegged back in the second by 14th seed Mladenovic, who was playing in her first final at premier mandatory level, the grade immediately below grand-slam tournaments.

Romanian Halep was playing in her third Madrid final in four years, having lost the 2014 showpiece to Maria Sharapova, and her victory made her the second woman to retain the title after Serena Williams in 2013.