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While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, June 15

Trump says ‘Iran did do it,’ as US seeks support on Gulf oil tanker attacks

The United States on Friday blamed Iran for attacks on two oil tankers at the entrance to the Gulf and said it was seeking international consensus about the threat to shipping, despite Teheran denying involvement in the explosions at sea.

Thursday’s attacks raised fears of a confrontation in the vital oil shipping route at a time of increased tension between Iran and the United States over US sanctions and military moves in the Middle East, Teheran’s proxy groups in the region and its nuclear programme.

“Iran did do it and you know they did it because you saw the boat,” US President Donald Trump told Fox News.

He was referring to a video released on Thursday by the US military which said it showed Iran’s Revolutionary Guards were behind the blasts that struck the Norwegian-owned Front Altair and the Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous in the Gulf of Oman, at the mouth of the Gulf.


Four candidates at top of Trump’s list to replace Sarah Sanders, says source

US President Donald Trump has four leading candidates under consideration to replace outgoing White House press secretary Sarah Sanders, a Trump confidant said on Friday.

The four are deputy White House press secretary Hogan Gidley, Stephanie Grisham, who is first lady Melania Trump’s communications director, former State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert and outgoing Treasury Department spokesman Tony Sayegh, the source said on condition of anonymity.

Sanders said on Thursday she was stepping down at the end of the month as Trump’s press secretary after about two years in the job.


Swiss women stage mass strike demanding overdue equality

Hundreds of thousands of women across Switzerland held a strike on Friday to highlight their wealthy nation’s poor record on female rights, recreating the passion of the last such walkout 28 years ago.

In Zurich, the financial capital and the country’s biggest city, tens of thousands of protesters clogged the streets, blowing whistles and banging pots and pans.

“Men, go do the ironing,” one sign read.


US infant boy cut out of murdered mother’s womb dies at hospital

A baby cut out of his murdered teenage mother’s womb died on Friday at a Chicago hospital of severe brain injury nearly two months after the attack, the family said.

Marlen Ochoa-Lopez, 19, was killed on April 23 by a Chicago woman and her daughter, who lured the expectant mother via a Facebook group to their home with the promise of free baby supplies.

Police say Clarisa Figueroa, 46, and her daughter Desiree, 24, strangled the teen, who was nine-months pregnant, and cut the baby out of her.


Golf: Rose fights off challenges to stay top at US Open

Birdies were harder to come by at the US Open on Friday but a rock steady Justin Rose had enough of them to take a two-shot clubhouse lead midway through the second round at a chilly Pebble Beach Golf Links.

Rose, the 2013 US Open champion, led by one shot overnight and added to his advantage with a grinding one-under 70 that featured three birdies offset by two bogeys to take control of the leaderboard at seven-under.

With no one in the early wave able to take a run at the 38-year-old Englishman, including two-time defending champion Brooks Koepka and Tiger Woods, it will be up to the later starters to see if they can knock Rose from top spot.


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