While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Feb 12 edition

Chapel Hill murders: Police say parking dispute, Muslim community fears hate crime

Residents of the quiet college town of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, awoke on Wednesday morning to news of a fatal shooting in a modest apartment block.

When the news first broke on Tuesday night, many likely assumed that it was yet another domestic dispute gone tragically wrong, thanks to America's lax gun control laws.

But the victims were a young Muslim man, his wife and her teenage sister.

Police say preliminary investigations show the shootings of (above, from left) Deah Barakat, 23, his wife Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, 21, and her sister, Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19, were motivated by "an ongoing neighbour dispute over parking".

But the father of the women is in no doubt as to why they were murdered.

Read more here

Costa Concordia captain Schettino sentenced to 16 years' jail for cruise disaster in which 32 died

An Italian court on Wednesday sentenced Costa Concordia captain Francesco Schettino to 16 years and one month in prison for causing the 2012 cruise ship disaster which claimed 32 lives.

Schettino, 54, was sentenced at the end of a 19-month trial, three years after the giant liner struck rocks off the Tuscan island of Giglio.

The disgraced skipper - who had earlier tearfully appealed to the court for mercy - was convicted of manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning his ship with passengers and crew still on board.

Read more here

'American Sniper' Chris Kyle said man who would later shoot him was 'nuts'

Shortly before being slain, Chris Kyle, the Navy Seal whose autobiography was turned into the hit movie American Sniper, texted a friend next to him in a pickup truck saying the man who just moments later would shoot them both was "nuts", a defence lawyer said on Wednesday.

A Texas jury heard opening statements and the first witness testimony in the trial of former US Marine Eddie Ray Routh (above), 27.

He is charged with murdering Kyle and Chad Littlefield, Kyle's friend and neighbour, in February 2013 at a shooting range about 110km south-west of Fort Worth.

Read more here

Ex-tennis champ Bob Hewitt allegedly told victim 'rape is enjoyable'

Australian-born former tennis champion Bob Hewitt who is standing trial for rape and sexual assault in South Africa allegedly told one of his victims "rape is enjoyable", a court heard on Wednesday.

The woman told the court that Hewitt, 75, assaulted her during a private tennis lesson when she was a teenager in the early 1990s.

"At a private lesson, he was quite jovial... we were discussing tactics, and he said to me 'rape is enjoyable in all cases and if I rape you, you need to lie down and enjoy it'," she said.

Read more here

Fifty Shades Of Grey begins worldwide roll-out, whipping up a box-office frenzy

Fifty Shades Of Grey, the long-anticipated movie version of the bestselling erotic novel, began its worldwide roll-out on Wednesday, opening in theatres across France, Germany, Belgium and Serbia, days ahead of its key target territory the United States.

The film, starring Jamie Dornan as a billionaire with a penchant for S&M and Dakota Johnson as a virginal student who falls for him, is being marketed as a torrid touchstone for a generation too young to remember 9 1/2 Weeks or Last Tango In Paris.

While the official "premiere" was to take place later on Wednesday at the Berlin film festival, early reviews were already coming in - with many European cinema-goers finding it failed to live up to its racy billing.

Read more here

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.