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

United Nations condemns 'destruction' of ancient Iraq city of Hatra

The United Nations cultural body on Saturday condemned what it said was the destruction of the ancient city of Hatra in Iraq by ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria).

"The destruction of Hatra marks a turning point in the appalling strategy of cultural cleansing under way in Iraq," Unesco director-general Irina Bokova said.

"Official sources today reported the destruction of the World Heritage property of Hatra," the organisation said in a statement.

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Five killed, including two Europeans, in suspected terrorist attack in Mali nightclub

Five people including two Europeans and a Malian police officer were killed in an assault on a Bamako nightclub Saturday, in the first suspected attack targeting Westerners in a city braced for extremist violence since 2012.

At least one masked gunman entered the club in an area of the Malian capital popular with expatriates around 1am and sprayed the venue with automatic gunfire and threw grenades, witnesses said.

Mauritanian news website Al-Akhbar said it had received a video from the armed Islamist group al-Mourabitoun that claimed responsibility for the attack in reprisal for the December killing by French troops of Ahmed al Tilemsi, one of the group's senior commanders.

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Tens of thousands of Israelis rally against PM Benjamin Netanyahu ahead of vote

Tens of thousands of people rallied in Tel Aviv on Saturday against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and called for "change", 10 days ahead of a general election.

The protest was organised by the Million Hands grassroots organisation that campaigns for a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians and the creation of a Palestinian state.

Police said more than 25,000 people protested in the city's Yitzhak Rabin Square - named after the ex-premier assassinated there during a 1995 peace rally.

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Google gearing Android for virtual reality: report

Internet giant Google is making a version of its Android operating system to power virtual reality apps, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The California-based company has set up a team of "tens of engineers" to build the version of the operating system that can be integrated in future devices, the Journal said Friday, citing two sources familiar with the project.

It added that Google plans to distribute it for free, much as it did with Android in a move that made it the most popular operating system for smartphones.

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Badminton: India's Saina Nehwal breaks her All-England barrier

Saina Nehwal, the world No. 3 from India, overcame another significant barrier when she reached the final of the All-England championships for the first time in seven appearances.

Already the first woman from her country to win a Super Series title, as well as the first Indian to win an Olympic medal at badminton, Nehwal now earned herself a famous day at the legendary century-old tournament by overcoming the surprise survivor from China, Sun Yu, 21-13, 21-13.

She did so because her movement, even though she was feeling a little sluggish, was significantly better than in previous years, because her game has developed wider options, and because she has learnt to handle better the relentless pressure of Indian national expectations.

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