While you were sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Nov 7 edition

Luxembourg, ex-premier Juncker under fire after global tax leaks

Luxembourg and its former premier Jean-Claude Juncker - now head of the European commission - came under fire after leaked documents showed the tiny nation gave hundreds of global firms huge tax breaks.

Household names such as Pepsi, IKEA and Deutsche Bank were among companies named by the US-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists following a six-month investigation of 28,000 leaked documents.

The revelations risked weakening Juncker's position just days after he took office as head of the EU's executive arm after 19 years as Luxembourg prime minister, the period during which many of the tax deals were sealed.

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Defensive Hollande admits 'mistakes' in last-ditch TV bid

Francois Hollande, the most unpopular French president in history, admitted Thursday he was "hanging on" and had made errors but vowed to go "to the end" to reform the crisis-hit country.

In a rare prime-time television interview exactly half-way through his five-year term, a defensive Hollande reiterated a pledge not to run for re-election in 2017 if he did not manage to bring down unemployment.

With unemployment stubbornly refusing to go down and Marine Le Pen's far-right Front National gradually making gains, the show was seen in France as a last-ditch opportunity to reignite his presidency.

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Israel reassures Jordan on flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque as Jewish extremists rally

Israel on Thursday promised Jordan that it would not allow Jews to pray at Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque compound as scores of Jewish extremists tried to march to the flashpoint shrine.

With clashes raging in several Palestinian neighbourhoods in annexed east Jerusalem, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke by phone with Jordan's King Abdullah II to personally reassure him there would be no changes to the decades-old status quo.

It came 24 hours after a tense confrontation at the mosque compound as Israeli police faced off with Palestinian stone-throwers bent on preventing a visit by Jewish extremists - prompting Jordan to recall its ambassador.

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Japan scientists make see-through mice

Invisibility may still be the stuff of fictional works like Harry Potter, but researchers in Japan have developed a way to make mice almost totally transparent.

Using a method that almost completely removes colour from tissue - and kills the mouse in the process - researchers say they can now examine individual organs or even whole bodies without slicing into them, offering a "bigger picture" view of the problems they are working on.

The techniques will give scientists a "new understanding of the 3D structure of organs and how certain genes are expressed in various tissues," said Kazuki Tainaka, the lead author of a research paper published in the US-based Cell magazine.

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Former Navy Seal comes forward as Osama Bin Laden shooter

A former US Navy Seal who served in Iraq and Afghanistan and once rescued a ship captain from Somali pirates revealed himself Thursday as the man who killed Osama Bin Laden.

Robert O'Neill, 38, told The Washington Post that he fired the fatal shot that hit the Al-Qaeda leader in the forehead at his hideout in the Pakistani garrison city of Abbottabad in May 2011.

The former commando told the Post he decided to come forward ahead of planned media appearances next week when his identity was disclosed by SOFREP, a website operated by former Seals.

SOFREP's revelation was in protest at O'Neill's decision to reveal his role in the mission.

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