While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Jan 31 edition

France will formally probe the AirAsia plane crash following reports that a French co-pilot was at the controls when the accident took place. -- PHOTO: AFP
France will formally probe the AirAsia plane crash following reports that a French co-pilot was at the controls when the accident took place. -- PHOTO: AFP

French judge to probe AirAsia crash

France has opened a formal criminal investigation into the crash of an AirAsia plane in the Java Sea last month while a French co-pilot was at the controls, a judicial source said Friday.

A judge will investigate possible "manslaughter" in connection with the crash that killed all 162 people on board.

Flight QZ8501 went down in stormy weather on Dec 28 in the Java Sea during what was supposed to be a short trip from the Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore.

Read more here

Al-Qaeda in Yemen chief says France top enemy now, not US

The ideological leader of Yemen-based Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) said Friday that France had surpassed the United States as the top enemy of Islam.

With the “weakening” of the United States in recent years, France has replaced America in the “war on Islam,” Ibrahim al-Rubaish said in an audio message published by AQAP’s media arm on YouTube.

US intelligence agencies consider AQAP to be the most dangerous branch of the militant network.

Read more here

Mitt Romney not running for president in 2016

Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney said Friday he will not run for the White House again in 2016, ending weeks of intense speculation that he would mount a third campaign.

“I believe that one of our next generation of Republican leaders, one who may not be as well known as I am today, one who has not yet taken their message across the country, one who is just getting started, may well emerge as being better able to defeat the Democrat nominee,” Romney said during a conference call with supporters.

The announcement essentially ends Romney’s three-week public flirtation with a potential third campaign.

Read more here

Golf: Tiger Woods shoots career-worst 82 to miss cut at Phoenix

Former world No. 1 Tiger Woods fired his worst score as a professional, an 11-over par 82, to miss the cut at the US PGA Phoenix Open on Friday.

Woods stood last at 13-over 155 for the tournament, his first tour event since last August after recovering from a back injury, and said he was healthy but simply needs more tournament work to try and recover his top form.

“I’ve got to continue with the process. I’ve got to keep things in perspective. Sometimes it’s difficult. No doubt about it.”

Read more here

Second baby boy for pop star Shakira and footballer Pique

Colombian pop star Shakira has given birth to a baby boy, named Sasha, her second child with Barcelona footballer Gerard Pique, the celebrity couple annnounced on Friday.

"We are happy to announce the birth of Sasha Pique Mebarak, son of Shakira Mebarak and Gerard Pique, born January 29 at 9:54pm, in Barcelona," they said in a statement.

"The name Sasha is of Greek and Russian descent and means 'defender of mankind' and 'warrior,'" they added.

Read more here