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

Chapel Hill murders: North Carolina Muslims call for calm as students are buried

The families of three Muslim students shot dead by a white neighbour said an emotional farewell to their loved ones on Thursday, reiterating calls for the killings to be treated as a hate crime.

More than 5,000 people gathered for the funeral of Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23, his wife Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, 21, and her 19-year-old sister Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, who were killed by an anti-religion neighbour.

“We are definitely certain that our daughters were targeted for their religion,” the father of the sisters, Mohammad Abu-Salha, told AFP. “This is not a parking dispute, these children were executed with shots in the back of the heads,” he said, surrounded by tearful family members as they prepared for the final funeral prayer.

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Italy's birth rate drops to its lowest in more than 150 years

Fewer babies were born in Italy in 2014 than in any other year since the modern Italian state was formed in 1861, new data shows, highlighting the demographic challenge faced by the country's chronically sluggish economy.

National statistics office ISTAT said on Thursday the number of live births last year was 509,000, or 5,000 fewer than in 2013, rounding off half a century of decline, and prompting government warnings that the country is "dying".

“We are very close to the threshold of non-renewal where the people dying are not replaced by new-borns. That means we are a dying country,” Health Minister Beatrice Lorenzin said.

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Obama takes selfie, preens in spoof video

Being president of the United States is not all drone strikes and crisis meetings. Occasionally you get to have a bit of fun.

A video released on Thursday shows Barack Obama doing just that, posing in front of the mirror with aviator sunglasses, playing around with a selfie stick and struggling to enunciate "February."

In a skit recorded by BuzzFeed called "things everyone does but doesn't talk about," Obama can also be seen blaming himself for making cookies too big to dunk in a glass of milk - "thanks Obama" - and drawing a picture of his wife Michelle.

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People dump eight million tonnes of waste into ocean: Study

Shoddy waste management and littering across the globe likely added eight million metric tonnes of plastic to the ocean in 2010, posing significant dangers to marine life, scientists said Thursday.

The five worst offenders listed in the study published in the journal Science were China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Sri Lanka.

The United States ranked 20th.

The study is the first of its kind to measure the amount going in from 192 countries with a coastline in 2010, instead of the amount currently in the ocean, which previous studies have examined.

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Former 'Next Top Model' contestant with vitiligo is inspiring the fashion world

Chantelle Winnie is taking the fashion world by storm.

The young Canadian model, who loves an English breakfast of sausage, bacon and egg, is the It girl of diversity in a world pilloried for brutal uniformity.

Diagnosed with vitiligo aged four, the same skin disorder Michael Jackson had, she overcame bullying and years of rejection to achieve her dream of becoming an international model.

Plucked from obscurity to appear on America's Next Top Model and chosen last year as the face of Barcelona label Desigual, she loves every second of her whirlwind, "amazing" life punctuated by lots of sleep and her mother's breakfasts in Toronto.

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