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

Libya air force chief says '50 killed' in strikes on ISIS in response to Christian beheadings

Libya's air force chief said Monday that at least 50 people had been killed in air strikes by Egyptian and Libyan warplanes launched after die-casts beheaded a group of Egyptian Christians.

There was no way to independently confirm the claim made by Libyan air force chief Saqr al-Jaroushi to Egyptian television.

Jaroushi told the private CBC Extra broadcaster that Egyptian and Libyan warplanes had struck ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) group targets in the country including bases and weapons depots.

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Tens of thousands of defiant Danes march to honour terror attack victims

Tens of thousands of Danes gathered at torch-lit memorials around the country on Monday, commemorating victims of deadly attacks on a synagogue and an event promoting free speech that shocked a nation proud of its record of safety and openness.

Singing John Lennon's Imagine, defiant Danes promised to uphold their trademark open society and showed solidarity with the country's Muslim minority after reports the gunman was a Dane with Palestinian roots and a passion for Islamist issues.

The 22-year-old gunman opened fire on a cafe in hosting a free speech debate on Saturday, killing one, and attacked a synagogue, killing a guard. He was later killed in a shootout with police in his neighbourhood of Norrebro, a largely immigrant part of the city with a reputation for gang violence.

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Five French teens held for vandalising Jewish graves: prosecutor

 

French prosecutors said Monday they had taken five teenagers into custody suspected of vandalising hundreds of Jewish graves, an act that prompted fresh pleas for Jews not to turn their back on France.  

The boys are aged between 15 and 17 and all come from Sarre-Union in Alsace, eastern France, where around 300 tombs were defaced and damaged on Thursday.  

The youngest came forward after seeing the scale of the reaction across the country to the vandalism, prosecutor Philippe Vannier said

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Greece rejects six-month extension of European Union bailout, talks stall

Greece rejected a proposal by its euro zone partners on Monday that it should accept a six-month extension of its international bailout programme while sticking to the terms of its agreement with lenders, casting talks on its debt into disarray.

European Union officials said the talks were over unless Athens changed its mind after a leftist-led government won power last month and vowed to scrap the 240 billion euro (S$372 billion) bailout, reverse austerity policies and end cooperation with EU/IMF inspectors.

A Greek official said Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis had rebuffed a draft statement put to him at a euro zone finance ministers' meeting in Brussels that spoke of Greece extending the current programme.

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'Cloud' over Mars leaves scientists baffled

Amateur astronomers have spotted two strange, cloud-like plumes high over Mars, deepening the mystery of what constitutes the Red Planet's atmosphere, a study said Monday.

The phenomenon was observed on March 12, 2012 over the "terminator", the boundary between day and night on Mars.

One of the plumes developed in around 10 hours and lasted for about 11 days, shifting shape from "double blob protrusions" to pillars which merged into a "finger", the study authors wrote. A second was spotted nearby on April 6, 2012, and lasted about 10 days.

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