While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, April 14 edition

Myanmar struck by 6.9 magnitude earthquake: USGS

Myanmar was struck by a magnitude 6.9 quake on Wednesday (April 13), the US Geological Survey reported, with tremors in India, Bangladesh and China sending residents rushing out into the streets.

The quake, which was 134km deep, hit some 396km north northwest of the capital Naypyidaw, the USGS added.

Much of Myanmar's outlying provinces have poor communications infrastructure, including the area where the earthquake hit. However there were no immediate reports of casualties.


UN reopens Syria peace talks, wants new pledge to uphold truce

United Nations Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura opened a new round of peace talks on Wednesday seeking renewed pledges to uphold a truce he said had been shaken by serious incidents but "not a bushfire".

"In spite of the several and serious incidents, the cessation of hostilities is still holding, particularly when we compare to what used to be," de Mistura told reporters in Geneva.

But he said repeated "incidents" would damage confidence in the partial ceasefire, which began on February 27 and does not include Islamic State or al-Qaeda linked groups.


Germanwings crash victim families sue US Lufthansa unit

Relatives whose loved ones died last year when a Germanwings pilot deliberately crashed a plane in the French Alps filed a wrongful death suit on Wednesday against a training unit of the airline's parent, Deutsche Lufthansa AG, in a United States district court in Arizona.

"Andreas Lubitz, the suicidal pilot, should never have been allowed to enter" the training programme at Airline Training Center Arizona, Inc (ATCA), said Brian Alexander, an attorney who filed the suit in federal court in Phoenix, Arizona.

It was filed on behalf of 80 people whose relatives perished in the March 15, 2015 crash of a Germanwings' flight A320. Alexander's firm, Kreindler and Kreindler, was joined in the suit by attorneys in Britain, Germany and the Netherlands.


US quadriplegic learns to use hand in medical first: study

Six years after being paralysed from the chest down, an American man can use his right hand to stir coffee and swipe a credit card, a groundbreaking study reported on Wednesday.

The unprecedented feat was made possible by computer software replacing the damaged spinal cord as the communication highway between Ian Burkhart's brain and his hand muscles.

"This is the first time a completely paralysed person has regained movement just by using their own thoughts," said researcher Chad Bouton of the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research in Manhasset, New York.


Homeless Pole triggered Dutch airport security scare

A homeless Pole triggered a major security scare and partial evacuation of Amsterdam airport after claiming to be a terrorist, Dutch military police said on Wednesday.

Dozens of heavily armed military police had swooped on Schiphol airport late on Tuesday, when the alarm was raised three weeks to the day after the deadly suicide bombings in Brussels.

One man who was arrested was "a 25-year-old Polish man without fixed address...who told officers he was a terrorist," police said in a statement on their official Facebook page.