While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Jan 7 edition

Female suicide bomber attacks Istanbul tourist hub, kills policeman

A female suicide bomber on Tuesday blew herself up in the most-visited tourist district of Istanbul, killing herself and a Turkish policeman, officials said.

The woman went into the police station in the Sultanahmet district and told the police in English she had lost her wallet before setting off her explosives, governor Vasip Sahin said on Turkish television.

One policeman was badly wounded and died of his wounds in hospital, the official Anatolia news agency reported. A second policeman was lightly wounded.

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Paris Louvre is world's most-visited museum

The famous Louvre in France received 9.3 million visitors last year, retaining its title as the most-visited museum in the world, the Paris attraction announced on Tuesday.

Foreign visitors represented 70 per cent of ticket sales, with Americans, Chinese, Italians, British and Brazilians visiting in strong numbers over 2014, the Louvre said in a statement.

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Eight new planets found in possible life-bearing 'Goldilocks' zones

Eight new planets have been found orbiting their stars in the so-called "Goldilocks zone", neither too hot nor too cold for water and possibly life to exist, astronomers said Tuesday.

The discovery doubles the number of known planets that are close in size to the Earth and believed to be in the habitable zones of the stars they orbit.

Two of the eight are the most Earth-like of any known planets found so far outside our solar system, astronomers told the 225th meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Seattle, Washington.

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Tennis: Rafael Nadal suffers shock defeat in first match of season

Rafael Nadal's ability to make a quick recovery from multiple ailments was thrown into doubt Tuesday as he lost 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 in Qatar to Michael Berrer - a 34-year-old qualifier ranked outside the top 100 who is playing the last season of his career.

This first round match was Nadal's first match of the 2015 ATP World Tour and he appeared to have had insufficient time to recover from an appendectomy, and far too little match practice over the last two months.

Nevertheless, it was a humiliating outcome for one of the most successful players of all time, who won the first set at a canter, and then found himself quite unable to play anywhere near the standard he would have hoped for.

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Lebanese-born porn star stirs debate back home

A Lebanese-born porn star living in the US has stirred fierce debate back home after her rise to fame split social media users in liberal-yet-conservative Lebanon.

Mia Khalifa, 21, who was born in Lebanon but lives in Miami, last week became the most searched star on adult movie site Porn Hub, with more than 1.5 million views, prompting a mix of scorn and praise from Lebanese commenters.

"You are unworthy. You are only a sex object," posted one Facebook user, alongside an image of the half-naked Khalifa. Others leapt to her defence.

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