While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, June 13

Ex-White House aide agrees to testify to House panel investigating Trump

Hope Hicks, a top aide to President Donald Trump during his 2016 campaign and his first year in the White House, has agreed to testify before the House Judiciary Committee on June 19, according to people familiar with the matter.

Hicks would be the first former Trump aide to go before the committee investigating whether Trump tried to obstruct a probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

But Hicks might not answer many of the panel’s questions, citing the president’s assertion of executive privilege on events that occurred inside the White House.

Earlier this month, the White House instructed Hicks not to cooperate with a congressional subpoena for documents related to her White House service.


Trump confident Hong Kong, China will ‘work things out’ after protests

US President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he was sure China and Hong Kong would be able to “work things out” after mass protests in the city against an extradition Bill that would allow people to be sent to mainland China for trial.

Hong Kong has been rocked by some of the worst violence it has seen since Britain handed it back to Chinese rule in 1997 with a guarantee of extensive autonomy and freedoms, including a separate legal system and freedom of speech.

US Representative James McGovern, a Democrat, told Reuters he and Republican co-sponsors planned to put forward legislation that would likely raise the standard for determining whether Hong Kong was sufficiently autonomous to receive special treatment from the United States on trade and economics.


Man on trial for Chinese student’s murder obsessed with Ted Bundy: Prosecutor

An Illinois man accused of kidnapping and killing a scholar visiting from China two years ago was obsessed with Ted Bundy and other serial killers, a federal prosecutor said, as the man’s trial opened on Wednesday.

Brendt Christensen, 29, could face the death penalty for the abduction and presumed slaying in June 2017 of Zhang Yingying, a 26-year-old student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, about 200km south of Chicago.

Her body has not been found.


Nuclear wasteland selfies draw ire as tourists flock to Chernobyl

A spate of selfie-taking tourists at Chernobyl – one wearing little more than her underwear – in the wake of a hit TV series on the world’s worst nuclear disaster has sparked anger, with the show’s author urging more respect for the dead.

The nuclear plant and the abandoned town that neighbours it in Ukraine have witnessed a spike in visitors since the drama, made by HBO, aired in May to rave reviews.

But some have been criticised for failing to respect the site’s tragic history with inappropriate selfies – an increasingly common theme at disaster zones.


Chris Froome out of Tour de France after suffering serious injuries in training

Chris Froome will miss the Tour de France after hitting a wall at high speed and suffering severe injuries in a training accident at the Criterium du Dauphine on Wednesday, Team Ineos leader Dave Brailsford has confirmed.

“It’s clear he’ll take no part in the Tour,” Brailsford told French television while four time Tour de France winner Froome was being treated at the scene in a parked ambulance.

This year’s Tour de France embarks from Brussels on July 6 and the loss of the iconic four time winner will shake up ambitions at several teams.


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