While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Feb 24 edition

United States vows 'lasting defeat' of ISIS as French Rafale jets from aircraft carrier join fight

A French aircraft carrier launched operations against ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) on Monday as the new Pentagon chief summoned top generals and diplomats to Kuwait to review the war effort.

US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter vowed the extremists would suffer a "lasting defeat" as he convened the extraordinary meeting of more than two dozen senior military officers, ambassadors and intelligence officials at the sprawling US Army base of Camp Arifjan.

Washington forged a coalition of Western and Arab nations to confront ISIS after the Sunni extremist group seized control of large parts of Syria and Iraq and declared an Islamic "caliphate" last year.

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ISIS uses social media to groom British Muslim girls - think tank

ISIS is using social media and the promise of adventure to lure British Muslim girls to join its cause, an anti-extremism think tank said on Monday, as police attempt to trace three London schoolgirls believed to be heading to Syria.

The three friends, two aged 15 and one 16, left their east London homes last week and caught a Turkish Airlines flight to Istanbul without telling their families.

The Quilliam Foundation said there had been a concerted effort from ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) to use websites like Twitter, Ask.fm and Facebook to groom young girls into believing they have a moral duty and obligation to join the militant group.

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Anwar could lose Parliament seat today, as PKR has not asked he receive royal pardon

Malaysia's Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim will be automatically disqualified as a Member of Parliament today as Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) has reportedly not asked for a royal pardon for his release.

PKR secretary-general Rafizi Ramli said Monday that the party's former leader, who had represented the Permatang Pauh constituency, had not issued instructions to ask for such a pardon, according to the Star.

Malaysia's Federal Court on Feb 10 upheld Anwar's five-year prison sentence on charges of sodomising his former aide Saiful Bahari Azlan in 2008, after rejecting his appeal.

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European shares close at new seven-year high after Greek deal

European shares closed at a new seven-year high on Monday, boosted by a deal late on Friday to extend Greece's financial rescue package.

Britain's FTSE 100 index was the only major index to close lower, albeit only slightly, after HSBC reported a 17 per cent drop in annual profit. The bank's shares fell 4.6 per cent and weighed on peer Standard Chartered.

Investors in continental Europe were encouraged after Greece sealed a deal with euro zone partners to avoid a banking collapse by accepting a conditional extension of its bailout programme and agreeing to present a reform plan.

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Taylor Swift officially world's top seller in 2014

Taylor Swift was crowned the world's top-selling artist in 2014 on Monday, although an industry group said that the Disney soundtrack Frozen would have beaten her.

The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, or IFPI, said that Swift was the world's most popular recording artist last year when accounting for physical sales, downloads and streaming.

Swift dominated US charts in late 2014 but the group said that she was also among the top five artists in the next largest markets of Germany, Japan and Britain.

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