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

Emmanuel Macron attends a campaign rally in Albi, France, May 4, 2017.
Emmanuel Macron attends a campaign rally in Albi, France, May 4, 2017.PHOTO: REUTERS

France fights to keep Macron e-mail hack from distorting election

France sought to keep a computer hack of frontrunner Emmanuel Macron’s campaign e-mails from influencing the outcome of the presidential election, with the electoral commission warning that it may be a criminal offence to republish the data.

Macron’s team said a “massive” hack had dumped e-mails, documents and campaign financing information online just before campaigning ended on Friday and France entered a quiet period, effectively forbidding politicians from commenting on the leak.

Polls have been predicting that Macron, a former investment banker and economy minister, is on course for a comfortable win over far-right leader Marine Le Pen in Sunday’s election, with the last surveys showing his lead widening to around 62 per cent to 38 per cent.

The election commission, which supervises the electoral process, warned social and traditional media not to publish the hacked e-mails lest they influence the vote outcome, but may find it difficult to enforce its rules in an era where people get much of their news online, information flows freely across borders and many users are anonymous.


82 Chibok girls kidnapped by Boko Haram are released

Boko Haram militants have released 82 schoolgirls out of a group of more than 200 who they kidnapped from the northeastern town of Chibok in April 2014, officials said.

The girls were released through negotiations with the government, one official said, asking not to be named.

A military source said the girls were currently in Banki near the Cameroon border for medical checks before being airlifted to Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state.


Rape charges dropped in case used by White House to support immigration crackdown

US prosecutors are dropping charges against two immigrant students accused of raping a classmate, a case that made national headlines after the White House brandished it as proof that an immigration crackdown was needed.

Prosecutors in the state of Maryland near the nation's capital said they would not pursue rape and sex offence charges against Jose Montano, a 17-year-old from El Salvador, and Henry Sanchez Milian, 18, from Guatemala. Police had accused the male students of raping a 14-year-old girl in a bathroom during school hours.

The allegations from the March incident became a lightning rod in the already intense US debate on immigration. It took on national dimensions when White House spokesman Sean Spicer said "tragedies like this" were the reason US President Donald Trump "has made illegal immigration and crackdown such a big deal."


'Mother' should not be used to describe a bomb, says Pope Francis

Pope Francis criticised the naming of the US military's biggest non-nuclear explosive as "the Mother of All Bombs", saying the word "mother" should not be used in reference to a deadly weapon.

The US Air Force dropped such a bomb, officially designated as the GBU-43 Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) on suspected Islamic State in Iraq and Syria fighters in eastern Afghanistan last month. The nickname was widely used in briefings and reporting on the attack.

"I was ashamed when I heard the name," Pope Francis told an audience of students on Saturday. "A mother gives life and this one gives death, and we call this device a mother. What is happening?"


Football: Man City thrash Palace to move into third place/h4>

Manchester City strengthened their Premier League top-four aspirations with a 5-0 thrashing of a woeful Crystal Palace side at the Etihad Stadium.

City never looked back after David Silva’s 50th goal for the club in the second minute although it was not until the second half that the floodgates opened with Vincent Kompany, Kevin de Bruyne, Raheem Sterling and Nicolas Otamendi all on target.

Victory moved City into third place with 69 points, above Liverpool on goal difference. Fifth-placed Manchester United, who play sixth-placed Arsenal on Sunday, have 65.