While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, May 30 edition

Iraq forces poised for Fallujah assault

Elite Iraqi troops were poised Sunday to assault one of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group's most emblematic bastions, Fallujah, as the extremists counterattacked in both Iraq and neighbouring Syria.

The fighting prompted a new exodus of thousands of desperate civilians and deep concern for the many more trapped in the battlegrounds.

The overall commander of the Fallujah operation, Abdelwahab al-Saadi, said Saturday it was a matter of hours before the Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) entered the city.


United Nations concerned about rising political tensions in Cambodia

The United Nations on Sunday voiced alarm at the escalating political tensions in Cambodia, including attempted arrests of politicians, amid allegations from the opposition that Prime Minister Hun Sen's ruling party is persecuting it.

Last week Hun Sen said Cambodia's next election will be in July 2018. Meanwhile leaders of the opposition are facing legal charges they say are politically motivated to stop them challenging the veteran premier in the vote.

"The Secretary-General (Ban Ki-moon) is concerned about the escalating tensions between the ruling and opposition parties in Cambodia, particularly arrests or attempted arrests," UN spokeswoman Devi Palanivelu said. "A non-threatening environment of democratic dialogue is essential for political stability and a peaceful and prosperous society."


Killing of gorilla to save boy at Ohio zoo sparks outrage

The killing of a gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo after a four-year-old boy tumbled into the ape's enclosure triggered outrage and questions about safety, but zoo officials called the decision to use lethal force a tough but necessary choice.

More than 2,000 people signed a petition on Change.org that sharply criticised the Cincinnati Police Department and the zoo for putting down the animal and called for the child's parents to be "held accountable for their actions of not supervising their child."

Cincinnati police on Sunday (May 29) said the parents had not been charged, but that charges could eventually be sought by the Hamilton County Prosecuting Attorney. A spokeswoman for the prosecutor did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


Libertarians name former Republican governor as presidential pick

Gary Johnson, the former Republican governor of New Mexico, on Sunday (May 29) won the presidential nomination of the Libertarian Party, a sliver group hoping to make an outsized impact in this election year.

Johnson came within a half-point of scoring an outright first-ballot victory at the party's nominating convention in Orlando, Florida; a second ballot put him over the top, with 56 per cent.

"I tell the truth, I am not a liar," Johnson told the group, insisting that his frank approach would appeal to disaffected voters and help the long-marginal Libertarians achieve "major-party status."


Motor racing: Former F1 driver and US rookie Alexander Rossi wins 100th Indy 500

 American Alexander Rossi, a former Formula One test driver in only his sixth IndyCar race, won the 100th Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, nursing fuel over the last 36 laps for the victory.

The 24-year-old Californian spent three years as an F1 test driver before racing five times in the series last year. He switched to IndyCar this year but was never better than 10th in the series until taking his historic 200-lap triumph on the 4km Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval.

"I have no idea how we pulled that off," Rossi said. "I just can't believe we have done this. It's an amazing result."