While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Feb 8 edition

Islamic State 'sentenced' US hostage Kayla Mueller to death last year, says activist

The young American hostage who Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) says was killed in a Jordanian air strike was condemned to death by the militant group last year, according to an American Muslim activist.

Islamic State seized aid worker Kayla Mueller (above left, with mother Marsha) in 2013 in northern Syria and initially gave her a "life sentence" in retaliation for the jailing in Texas of a Pakistani woman whose case is a well-known cause among Islamist militants, said activist Mauri Saalakhan, who leads a US campaign to free the Pakistani.

The militant group said on Friday that Mueller, a 26-year-old from Prescott, Arizona, was killed when Jordanian fighter jets bombed a building where she was being held.

Read more here

Ukraine leader brandishes Russian troop passports to 'prove' Moscow presence

Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko on Saturday brandished in front of world leaders several passports taken from Russian soldiers in what he said was proof of Moscow's "presence" in his country.

His gesture at the Munich Security Conference came as Western leaders challenged Russian President Vladimir Putin to prove he wants peace in Ukraine, warning both sides that a new Franco-German peace drive may be a "last chance" to stop all-out war.

Poroshenko charged that "mountains of lies and propaganda have been heaped (onto) the wall of hatred erected between two once very friendly nations". The border was now "swarming with Russian tanks, armed personnel carriers, multiple rocket launchers and ammunition," he said.

Read more here

Amal Clooney wants to meet Egypt's Sisi over jailed journalist

Prominent lawyer Amal Clooney has requested a meeting with Egypt's president to push for the release of Al-Jazeera reporter Mohamed Fahmy, a letter obtained by AFP on Saturday shows.

Clooney, who married Hollywood star George Clooney last year, has thrown her legal clout and celebrity behind Fahmy to secure his release.

An Egyptian government official had said that Fahmy, a Canadian citizen, would be freed soon after his Australian colleague Peter Greste was deported on Feb 1.

Read more here

Football: Ancelotti slams Real players over 'worst game' since he took charge

Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti (above right) slammed his players attitude after they were thrashed 4-0 by city rivals Atletico Madrid on Saturday, claiming it was the worst performance since he took charge 18 months ago.

"It is easy to analyse this game because Atletico were better in every facet of the game: they fought more, had more quality on the ball, had better organisation, everything," said Ancelotti.

"It is the worst game we have played since I have been coach."

Read more here

Football: Chelsea go seven points clear as City held by Hull

Chelsea landed a potentially decisive blow in the Premier League title race with a 2-1 win at Aston Villa on Saturday that put them seven points clear of Manchester City, who self-destructed in a 1-1 draw at home to Hull.

It had briefly looked like both the top two may drop points when Villa ended a near 11-hour goal-drought to level the scores at Villa Park, but a thunderous finish from Branislav Ivanovic maximised the embarrassment for their main title rivals.

Read more here

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