While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, April 24 edition

Obama takes blame for operation that killed two hostages

President Barack Obama revealed on Thursday that an American and an Italian hostage were accidentally killed in a covert US counter-terrorism operation near the Afghan-Pakistan border in January, taking “full responsibility” for the tragedy.

A senior Al-Qaeda leader, an American, was also killed in the operation and the group’s English-language spokesman, US convert Adam Gadahn, died in a separate strike.

Lifting the lid on a previously classified finding, a solemn Obama expressed his “deepest apologies” to the families of 73-year-old economic adviser Warren Weinstein and aid worker Giovanni Lo Porto, 39.

Obama gave few details of the operation, which officials suggested was a drone strike that took place against an Al-Qaeda compound inside Pakistan.

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Scientists urge moratorium after Chinese ‘edit’ human embryos

Global scientists on Thursday renewed calls to halt controversial research to genetically edit human embryos after a Chinese team published details of a stunted but breakthrough attempt in this new frontier in science.

First reported by Nature News on Wednesday, the paper by Junjiu Huang, a gene-function researcher at Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, and colleagues appears in a little known online journal called Protein and Cell.

In it, researchers describe how they edited the genomes of embryos obtained from a fertility clinic.

The embryos were non-viable, and could not have resulted in a live birth because they had an extra set of chromosomes after being fertilised by two sperm.

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Tragic newborn baby is Britain's youngest organ donor

A newborn baby who died after just 100 minutes became Britain's youngest organ donor after his kidneys and heart valves were given to adult patients, the National Health Service said Thursday.

Teddy Houlston and twin Noah were born in Cardiff, Wales, on April 22, 2014, but parents Jess Evans and Mike Houlston already knew that Teddy would not survive after being diagnosed with incurable condition anencephaly - in which a baby is born without parts of the brain and skull.

Details of the case only emerged on Thursday as part of an NHS campaign to encourage organ donors.

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Defying the odds, Hubble telescope still going strong after 25 years

Nasa on Thursday marked the silver anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope with fireworks, of a celestial kind, conveyed by the orbiting observatory itself.

To commemorate Hubble's launch on April 24, 1990, Nasa selected a picture of a stellar nursery located about 20,000 light-years away in the constellation Carina.

From its orbital perch 547km above Earth, Hubble's sharp eye can distinguish individual stars in the cluster, which is teeming with about 3,000 newborn ones.

Hubble has "fundamentally changed our human understanding of our universe", said one scientist.

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Boxing: Ex-heavyweight champ George Foreman favours Pacquiao to defeat Mayweather

Former world heavyweight champion George Foreman likes Manny Pacquiao over unbeaten Floyd Mayweather in their welterweight showdown next week in Las Vegas and warns a loss could devastate Mayweather.

Foreman has plenty of experience in superfight history, having suffered his first career defeat in a mega-bout spectacular in Zaire to Muhammad Ali in the fabled 1974 "Rumble in the Jungle."

And he sees a strong start for Pacquiao, a big rally by Mayweather but a decision for the Filipino icon, who is 57-5 with two drawn and 38 knockouts.

"I think Pacquiao to win six rounds, the seventh will be kind of even. Mayweather will come on in the last rounds but it will be too late. The fight will be won by a single round," Foreman said.

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