While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Jan 20 edition

Iranians carry 'I heart Muhammad' signs in protest over cartoon

More than 2,000 Iranians, many carrying "I heart Mohammed" protested Monday outside the French embassy in Teheran, chanting "Death to France" and urging the ambassador be expelled because of a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad.

The demonstration, one of many held throughout the Muslim world from Chechnya in Russia to Niger Africa, was in response to French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo's use of the cartoon in an edition published a week after 12 people were killed by Islamist gunmen at its Paris offices.

The image has angered many Muslims as depictions of Prophet Muhammad are widely considered forbidden in Islam, and has triggered protests in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, some of which turned deadly.

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Pitched battles in capital as fears grow that Yemen's US-backed government may collapse

Shiite militia in Yemen fought pitched battles with the army in the capital Sanaa for several hours on Monday in the biggest challenge yet to President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi's rule.

At least nine people were killed and 67 wounded as the militia, known as Huthis, surrounded the residence of Yemeni Prime Minister Khalid Bahah and fired on a convoy carrying him, surrounded the presidential palace, seized an army base, took control of state media, and drew accusations they were mounting a coup.

The violence has raised fears that Hadi's US-backed government, which is a key ally in Washington's fight against Al-Qaeda, will collapse and Yemen will become a failed state similar to Somalia.

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European Union to launch anti-terror projects with Arab nations, Turkey

The European Union said Monday it will launch anti-terror projects with Muslim nations and boost intelligence sharing following the Paris attacks, as anger over the Charlie Hebdo cartoons fed fresh protests and violence.

Foreign ministers meeting in the shadow of the Islamist attacks and a wave of arrests across Europe agreed on the need to work with Arab nations and Turkey in particular to counter the growing threat.

After talks in Brussels with the Arab League chief and European ministers, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said that “probably for the first time there was real deep awareness of the need to work together.”

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Indian police quiz former UN diplomat Shashi Tharoor over wife's murder

Delhi police questioned a former high-flying UN diplomat and Indian government minister late Monday in connection with his wife's murder, a case that has dominated local media headlines.

Sunanda Pushkar was found dead in a five-star hotel room in the capital last January, two days after she alleged on Twitter that her husband Shashi Tharoor had been having an affair with a Pakistani journalist.

Television footage late Monday showed 57-year-old Tharoor leaving his New Delhi residence flanked by security guards, pursued by a huge media scrum.

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Football: Chinese billionaire Wang Jianlin wants Atletico stake

Chinese billionaire Wang Jianlin plans to buy a 20-per cent stake in Spanish league champions Atletico Madrid, media reported on Monday.

Atletico chairman Enrique Cerezo will travel to Beijing this week to close the deal with Wang, owner of real estate and cinema giant Dalian Wanda, and a keen football fan, Spanish newspapers said.

Madrid sports daily AS said Wang planned to pay 40 million euros (S$92.8 million) for the stake.

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