While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, July 18 edition

Stephanie Fincher is overcome with emotion at a prayer vigil across from the strip mall in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where a gunman struck.
Stephanie Fincher is overcome with emotion at a prayer vigil across from the strip mall in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where a gunman struck.AFP

US shooter's travel, phone probed for possible motive

Investigators are searching for evidence that the man who killed four US marines may have contacted Islamic extremists either online or during overseas travel but so far have found nothing, the FBI said Friday.

Mohammad Youssuf Abdulazeez, 24, opened fire on two military centres in Chattanooga on Thursday, gunning down the four Marines and wounding three people before dying in a shootout with police.

But, after a senior US lawmaker said he believed the evidence pointed to an attack inspired by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) extremist group, the FBI warned against jumping to conclusions about a possible motive.


For the first time, ISIS child beheads Syrian soldier, monitoring group says

A child soldier recruited by Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) apparently has beheaded a Syrian army officer, the first such documented decapitation, the founder of a group monitoring the Syrian conflict said on Friday.

The child is among several hundred so-called "Cubs of the Caliphate".

They are children, ranging in age from pre-teens to mid-teens, given military training and hardline indoctrination after being recruited near schools, mosques and in public areas where Islamic State is operating.


Palestinian teen who sobbed before Merkel can stay on in Germany

A teenage Palestinian asylum seeker who burst into tears in front of Chancellor Angela Merkel during a televised debate will be allowed to stay in Germany, officials said Friday.

Merkel’s encounter with the teenager named Reem – who speaks perfect German – has gone viral.

The debate entitled "Good Life in Germany" took place in the northern city of Rostock, whose mayor was reported as saying that he had no intention of sending Reem and her family back.


Football: Beckham group makes deal to build MLS soccer stadium

English football icon David Beckham and his investment group have reached a deal to build a new football stadium next to the Miami Marlins baseball park, according to media reports on Friday.

The Miami Herald and South Florida's Sen-Sentinel newspapers both outlined the deal for Beckham's group to fund the 25,000-seat stadium announced by Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado.

Beckham's stay in Major League Soccer with the Los Angeles Galaxy brought him an option to purchase an MLS expansion team at a reduced price and he selected Miami as his market.


Japanese singer Koda Kumi says sexy image due to low self-esteem

It is surprising to hear sexy Japanese pop queen Koda Kumi, known for her provocative dance moves and cleavage-bearing style, say she has low self esteem.

"There are things about me that I don’t feel so comfortable about, but I use fashion and other things to boost my confidence,” said the singer via a translator at a press conference in Singapore on Friday, ahead of her first solo concert here on Saturday.