While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Feb 9 edition

Ukrainian servicemen rest on a tank in Artyomovsk of Donetsk area, Ukraine on Sunday as world leaders met in Munich to try to broker a peace deal. -- PHOTO: EPA
Ukrainian servicemen rest on a tank in Artyomovsk of Donetsk area, Ukraine on Sunday as world leaders met in Munich to try to broker a peace deal. -- PHOTO: EPA

Leaders scramble to avert "dramatic spiral" in bloodshed in Ukraine

The leaders of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France agreed to meet in Belarus on Wednesday to try to broker a peace deal for Ukraine amid escalating violence there and signs of cracks in the transatlantic consensus on confronting Vladimir Putin.

The four leaders held a call on Sunday, two days after Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande travelled to Moscow for talks with Putin that produced no breakthrough in the nearly year-long conflict that has claimed over 5,000 lives.

After the call, Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko said progress had been made and that he was hopeful the meeting in Minsk would lead to a "swift and unconditional ceasefire" in eastern Ukraine, where pro-Russian separatists have stepped up a military offensive in recent weeks, seizing new territory.

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Up to 22 killed in clashes between soccer fans and security forces in Cairo - source

At least 22 Egyptian soccer fans were killed in clashes on Sunday night when security forces barred them from entering a stadium to watch a match, a doctor at a hospital told Reuters.

The doctor who spoke in condition of anonymity said his hospital in the east of Cairo received 22 dead and eight wounded.

The trouble happened at a match between two Cairo clubs, Zamalek and Enppi. Police used teargas to disperse the crowd, security forces said. The health ministry said 20 people were injured but did not confirm any deaths.

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All eyes on British newcomer Sam Smith at Grammy Awards

In a sea of pop music's leading ladies at Sunday's Grammy Awards, all eyes are on British newcomer Sam Smith with six nominations amid speculation that he could emulate Adele's 2012 sweep at the ceremony.

"I don't think it takes a massive crystal ball to think that it's going to be Sam Smith's night," said Lyndsey Parker, editor of Yahoo Music.

Much like Adele, who swept the Grammys with six wins, Smith, 22, is nominated in the night's top three categories for record, album and song of the year, after his debut album In The Lonely Hour stormed the U.S. charts last year, led by his soulful song Stay With Me.

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Gandalf turns into Sherlock Holmes as Ian McKellen plays detective

Ian McKellen transformed himself from Gandalf into a nonagenarian Sherlock Holmes for Mr Holmes shown in Berlin on Sunday, giving the veteran British actor a chance to portray one of England's most treasured characters.

McKellen, making his second movie with Bill Condon, said he had leapt at the opportunity to work with the American director, with whom he last filmed in 1998 in Gods and Monsters, and at the opportunity to portray Holmes.

"He's one of the great Englishmen and he never lived - it's astonishing," McKellen said at a news conference after the movie was shown at the Berlin International Film Festival.

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Football: Manchester United player 'made sex tape in toilet, passed video between team-mates'

A player from English Premier League football club Manchester United was allegedly filmed by team-mates as he and a woman engaged in a "sex act" in the toilets of a nightclub.

British newspaper The Independent, citing The Sun on Sunday, says the video - which involves a woman in her 20s and an un-named player - was then passed around and viewed by team-mates.

The Sun claims the club, holder of a record 20 English league titles, is investigating the matter, which is alleged to have taken place at an exclusive Manchester venue.

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