While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, April 17 edition

Mini copter pilot charged after landing on US Capitol lawn

A protester who landed his mini helicopter on the US Capitol lawn appeared in court on Thursday to face charges of flying an illegal aircraft and violating national defence airspace.

The arrested pilot, according to the Tampa Bay Times who had interviewed and filmed him prior to his audacious flight, is a Florida man who was conducting civil disobedience – in this case a demand for campaign finance reform.

Hughes, who is reported to work as a mailman in Tampa Bay, Florida, landed his mini copter on the grounds of the US Capitol - the monumental seat of Congress in the heart of Washington - on Wednesday.

The incident sparked a security scare and forced Capitol Police to place the building under lockdown for a period in the midst of Washington's busiest tourism season.

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Polish man confesses rape, murder of 9-year-old French girl

A Polish man has confessed to raping and killing a nine-year-old girl after snatching her from a French playground within view of her mother, in a crime that has shocked the country.

France was left reeling from the crime in the northern city of Calais, where flags were lowered to half mast as details emerged about how the girl, Chloe, was kidnapped, raped and strangled in the space of an hour and a half.

An estimated 5,000 people took part in a solemn march Thursday evening in Calais in her memory, according to local authorities.

The 38-year-old Polish suspect, who has a long criminal history and had served time in prison, confessed to the crime after being arrested on Wednesday night near the woods where the child’s naked body was found.

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A dog's life: Study reveals people's hormonal link with tail-waggers

Dogs are called "man's best friend" - women's, too - and scientists say the bond between people and their pooches may be deeper than you might think.

Researchers in Japan said on Thursday that oxytocin, a hormone that among other things helps reinforce bonds between parents and their babies, increases in humans and their dogs when they interact, particularly when looking into one another's eyes.

They described a series of experiments that suggest that people and their canine companions have mutually developed this instinctual bonding mechanism in the thousands of years since dogs were first domesticated.

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Football: Chelsea duo on shortlist for PFA player of the year award

Chelsea pair Diego Costa and Eden Hazard were named on Thursday on the shortlist for the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) Player of the Year award.

The Premier League leaders are the only club to have two players nominated for the end-of-season accolade.

Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho, Manchester United keeper David de Gea, Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane and Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez are also on the shortlist.

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'Chewie, we're home': Star Wars trailer delights fans

Hype surrounding the eagerly-anticipated Star Wars reboot made the jump to light speed on Thursday as the movie's makers unveiled a new trailer that delighted fans with a glimpse of iconic characters Han Solo and Chewbacca.

The action-packed second trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens showed spacecraft dogfights and a chase involving the Millennium Falcon before concluding with the unmistakable voice of Harrison Ford as Solo.

"Chewie, we're home," Solo says to his Wookiee friend, who offers a signature roar in reply before the trailer closes with a shot of the iconic yellow-on-black Star Wars logo.

The trailer was premiered at the Star Wars Celebration convention in Anaheim outside Los Angeles, sending fans who had flocked to the event - many wielding light sabers and wearing full Star Wars regalia - into raptures.

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