While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, March 28 edition

Germanwings flight 4U9525 crash: Lufthansa offers up to $75,000 per passenger

Germanwings has offered the families of the victims of the French Alps air disaster "up to 50,000 euros (S$75,000) per passenger" towards their immediate costs, a spokesman said Friday.

The assistance, which the families would not be required to pay back, was separate from the compensation that the airline will likely have to pay over the disaster, a Germanwings spokesman told AFP, confirming a report by Tagesspiegel daily.

Tagesspiegel quoted a specialist in aviation law, Holger Hopperdietzelm, as saying Lufthansa, Germanwings' parent company, faced a compensation bill ranging from several tens of thousands of euros to several hundreds of thousands of euros per victim.

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European airlines told to have two in cockpit at all times

The European Aviation Safety Agency recommended Friday that at least two people be present in the cockpit of planes at all times, following the apparently deliberate crashing of the Germanwings flight this week.

German and Austrian airlines earlier announced they would adopt the so-called "rule of two" which is already standard in the United States.

The moves came after initial investigations into the Germanwings crash indicated co-pilot Andreas Lubitz may have deliberately crashed the Airbus A320 into a mountain in France on Tuesday, killing all 150 people aboard, after locking the captain out of the cockpit.

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Britain's Kate makes last royal visit before birth

Britain's Prince William and his wife Kate visited a charity in London on Friday on what media said would be her last public engagement before she gives birth.

The Duchess of Cambridge, who is around eight months pregnant, is already mother to one-year-old Prince George, the third in line to the throne.

"We asked her when it's due and she said April. End of April," said Paul Reardon, 50, who chatted to the royal couple when they went on a walkabout in the Gipsy Hill area of south London.

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NBA: Thunder's Durant needs surgery, out for season

Kevin Durant, the NBA's reigning most valuable player, will miss the rest of the season as he needs another foot surgery, the Oklahoma City Thunder said on Friday.

Durant will have bone graft surgery on his ailing right foot next week and is expected to return to basketball activities in four to six months, the Thunder said in a statement.

The news comes one week after the team said Durant, 26, had been shut down indefinitely due to ongoing problems with his surgically repaired right foot.

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That's purr-fect - Pakistani pet lion gives birth to five cubs

An animal enthusiast in Pakistan is celebrating a roaring success after his pet lioness Rani gave birth to five healthy cubs.

The new arrivals plus another two cubs born nine months ago mean Fazal Abbas Mahi has a total of nine lions at his home in the central city of Multan.

But if the thought of so many big cats roaming round a house gives paws for thought, worry not, the lions live in a specially built mini-zoo in the grounds of Mahi's residence.

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