While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, April 10 edition

US warns Beijing against 'destabilising' South China Sea

The United States warned on Thursday that China’s effort to expand its territory in the South China Sea by building on disputed islands was a threat to regional stability.

A newly released set of satellite images has revealed that China is artificially expanding a reef in disputed waters, presumably to strengthen its territorial claims.

“In our view, China’s land reclamation and the construction activity are fuelling greater anxiety within the region,” State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke told reporters.

Rathke said Washington is concerned that China “might militarise outposts on disputed land features of the South China Sea.

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Obama hails best relations with Americas in 'decades'

President Barack Obama said US relations with other countries in the Americas were the best they have been in decades, as he headed to a regional summit in Panama starting Friday.

Ahead of a two-day summit that is expected to see the first substantive meeting between US and Cuban presidents in half a century, Obama said decades of mistrust were easing.

"It's no exaggeration to say that our relationship with the Americas is the best it's been in many decades," the US leader said, in an interview.

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French TV channel restarts full operations after 'unprecedented' ISIS hack

France’s TV5Monde television channel resumed full operations Thursday, 18 hours after an “unprecedented” hack by self-proclaimed Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants, who shut down transmissions and hijacked its website and social networks.

Authorities said the hack was likely a “terrorist act” and urged media companies to be “vigilant", warning that further attacks could not be ruled out.

For most of Thursday, the channel was forced to broadcast pre-recorded programmes after what TV5Monde boss Yves Bigot said was a cyber-attack “unprecedented in the history of television.”

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Singer Taylor Swift says mother has cancer, urges screening

Pop star Taylor Swift, famous for sharing important events in her life, said on Thursday her mother is suffering from cancer and urged her millions of fans to tell their parents to get screened for the illness.

The Shake It Off singer said in a post on the microblogging site Tumblr that her mother was feeling fine, but she and her brother asked her to go for a check-up.

The 25-year-old Grammy winner who has more than 70 million fans on Facebook, said her mother, Andrea Finlay, wanted the news to be known so other "busy" parents will be reminded to get checked for the disease.

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Golf: Woods up against it as Rose leads Masters

Tiger Woods was struggling to kick-start his career at the Masters on Thursday, while Rory McIlroy made a quiet start to his bid for a slice of golfing history.

While the two big names of the day strived to find their best form at Augusta National, others stepped up to set the pace on a day when perfect playing conditions opened the door to sub-par scores.

England’s 2013 US Open champion Justin Rose and US journeyman Charley Hoffman were the clubhouse leaders by mid-afternoon with both carding five-under 67s.

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