While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Jan 22 edition

Yemen leader, Shi'ite militia reach deal to end crisis: Agency

Yemeni President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi and the country’s powerful Shi'ite militia agreed Wednesday to end a deadly confrontation that had raised fears the impoverished but strategic country might descend into chaos.

The militia, known as Huthis, seized almost full control of the capital Sanaa in September and have fought pitched battles with government forces this week as they continued to press for more political power.

The unrest has raised deep international concern, with the UN Security Council condemning the attacks and backing Hadi as Yemen’s “legitimate authority”.

Read more here

Germany’s Pegida leader steps down after ‘Hitler selfie’

The leader of Germany’s “anti-Islamisation” movement Pegida stepped down Wednesday after a picture emerged of him sporting a Hitler-style haircut and moustache, along with racist slurs he posted on Facebook.

“Yes, I am stepping down from the board,” Lutz Bachmann, 41, was quoted as telling Bild daily in an online report.

Addressing his followers on Facebook, he said: “I sincerely apologise to all citizens who felt attacked by my posts.”

Read more here

Japanese reporter's bid to save friend led to abduction by ISIS militants

It is an unlikely friendship that ties the fates of war correspondent Kenji Goto and troubled loner Haruna Yukawa, the two Japanese hostages for whom Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants demanded a US$200 million (S$267 million) ransom this week.

Yukawa was captured in August outside Aleppo. Goto, who had returned to Syria in late October to try to help his friend, had been missing since then.

For Yukawa, who dreamed of becoming a military contractor, travelling to Syria had been part of an effort to turn his life around after going bankrupt, losing his wife to cancer and attempting suicide, according to associates and his own accounts.

Read more here

'Stop Terrorising Our World' is message on Paris catwalk

The message sent down the catwalk on the first day of Paris Fashion Week on Wednesday highlighted the lingering trauma in the French capital two weeks on from the Islamist attacks it suffered - "Stop Terrorising Our World".

The slogan, worn on the torso of a male model, opened a show by Walter Van Beirendonck.

The Belgian designer told reporters he had "to react" to the Jan 7-9 bloodshed by three Islamic militant gunmen who slaughtered staff at the Charlie Hebdo newspaper and killed four Jews in a supermarket hostage drama.

Read more here

WhatsApp adds messaging from Web

The popular mobile messaging application WhatsApp, acquired by Facebook last year for nearly US$22 billion (S$29 billion), unveiled a new service Wednesday for sending messages from a Web browser.

WhatsApp, which claims some 500 million users, said its Web service will be a "mirror" and would require an Internet-connected phone to work.

Read more here