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While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, June 9

Workers start to remove charred scaffolding around Notre-Dame Cathedral

Workers began on Monday (June 8) the delicate and risky task of dismantling 200 tonnes worth of charred and twisted scaffolding left surrounding the centuries-old Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris after last year’s fire.

The scaffolding had been erected for renovation work on the cathedral’s old spire before the fire engulfed the major tourist attraction on April 15, 2019, destroying the spire and the roof in a disaster that stunned the nation.

The operation, delayed from mid-March by the new coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdown, is an important step in the restoration of the cathedral that French President Emmanuel Macron promised to rebuild within five years.


Biden’s ‘compassion’ meant world to Floyd family: Lawyer

Lawyer Benjamin Crump is seen with Biden, Floyd’s uncle Roger, Reverend Al Sharpton and Representative Cedric Richmond. PHOTO: BENJAMIN CRUMP / TWITTER

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden showed compassion that “meant the world” to George Floyd’s family on Monday (June 8), according to a lawyer for relatives of the unarmed black man who died in police custody.

Biden met with Floyd’s relatives in Houston for more than an hour, said lawyer Benjamin Crump, who posted a picture of himself on Twitter after the meeting with Biden, Floyd’s uncle Roger, civil rights activist Reverend Al Sharpton and Representative Cedric Richmond.

“He listened, heard their pain, and shared in their woe,”Crump said of the private meeting. “That compassion meant the world to this grieving family.” Floyd died on May 25 after a white Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes.


Bail set at $1 million for policeman charged with Floyd murder

The bail was set at the first court hearing for the former police officer, Derek Chauvin. PHOTO: AFP

A Minneapolis judge set a US$1 million (S$1.39 million) bail for police officer Derek Chauvin Monday (June 8) as he made his first court appearance charged with the murder of George Floyd, the 46-year-old African-American man whose death sparked nationwide protests.

Chauvin, who was filmed on May 25 pressing his knee on handcuffed Floyd’s neck until he expired, appeared by video from Minnesota state prison to face charges of one count of second degree murder, one count of third degree murder, and one count of manslaughter.

Dressed in an orange prison suit, Chauvin, 44, answered questions matter-of-factly in the procedural hearing, which did not require him to submit a plea.


Brazil ‘driving in the dark’ on COVID-19 as data scandal deepens

People wait at the bus stop in the city of Sao Paulo, Brazil, on June 8, 2020. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

Brazil drew further criticism for its handling of the coronavirus pandemic on Monday (June 8) after it published contradictory figures on fatalities and infections, deepening a scandal over the country’s Covid-19 data.

The discrepancy prompted criticism from across the political spectrum as a senator called for a congressional inquiry.

Initial health ministry data released on Sunday on Brazil’s number of cases and death toll was contradicted by numbers uploaded to the ministry’s online data portal.


South Korean court denies arrest warrant request for Samsung heir

Samsung Group heir Jay Y. Lee arrives for a court hearing at the Seoul Central District Court in Seoul, on June 8, 2020. PHOTO: REUTERS

A South Korean court on Tuesday (June 9) denied an arrest warrant request for Samsung Group heir Jay Y. Lee after prosecutors accused him of accounting fraud and stock manipulation.

The ruling provided at least temporary relief for the vice chairman of Samsung Electronics. But he may face further pressure from the case at a time when the world’s top maker of smartphones and memory chips contends with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on demand.

Prosecutors last week asked the court to issue an arrest warrant for the 51-year-old Lee, as part of a probe into alleged accounting fraud involving a Samsung drugs affiliate and a 2015 merger of two other affiliates.


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