While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Jan 28 edition

Brutal blizzard batters US northeast, New York spared its brunt

A blizzard swept across the northeastern United States on Tuesday, closing schools, cancelling thousands of flights and leaving residents in the hardest-hit parts of Massachusetts and Connecticut digging out as much as 60 cm of snow, though New York City was spared the storm's brunt.

The governors of New York and New Jersey lifted travel bans they had imposed a day earlier and New York City's subway system restarted after being closed for 10 hours, but officials urged people to stay off snow-covered roadways.

The snow was forecast to continue into early Wednesday morning in eastern New England, which could set a new snowfall record in Boston, where 46 cm of snow was already on the ground by midday, often piled higher by strong winds.

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Finance minister Yanis Varoufakis: Greece's shaven-headed  'Dr Doom'

Yanis Varoufakis, handed the potentially explosive role of finance minister in Greece's new anti-austerity government, is known as "Dr Doom" over his stance on the country's deep economic woes.

Varoufakis believes the shattered country can never begin to recover until its massive international rescue package is completely renegotiated.

Varoufakis, a shaven-headed 53-year-old economist who has taught at universities in England, Australia, Greece and the United States among other countries, is already a frequent interviewee around the world and highly active on social media.

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American, French, South Korean, 2 Filipinas died in Libya attack

An American, a French citizen, a South Korean and two Filipinas were the five foreigners killed when gunmen assaulted a luxury hotel in Tripoli on Tuesday, a security official said.

Earlier, Issam al-Naass had said five foreigners died after the gunmen set off a car bomb outside the Corinthia Hotel in the Libyan capital, then rushed inside and opened fire.

He did not give the identities of any of the dead.

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Astronomers find oldest known star with Earth-like planets

International astronomers said Tuesday they have discovered the oldest known star in a distant galaxy encircled by five Earth-sized planets, signalling that planets formed throughout the history of the universe.

The system is 11.2 billion years old and was born near the dawn of the galaxy, said the report in the Astrophysical Journal.

The star has been named Kepler-444, since it was found with the help of NASA's planet-hunting Kepler spacecraft.

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Taylor Swift says Twitter, Instagram accounts were hacked

Pop star Taylor Swift said her Twitter and Instagram accounts were hacked on Tuesday, but the rogue posts were quickly removed from the social media services.

The 25-year-old Shake It Off singer, whose album 1989 has been atop the charts for the past three months, has built a following of young fans through social media and has the fourth-most popular Twitter account, with 51.4 million followers.

"My Twitter got hacked but don't worry, Twitter is deleting the hacker tweets and locking my account until they can figure out how this happened and get me new passwords," said a statement posted on Swift's personal Tumblr page.

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