While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Aug 13 edition

Seven dead, 300 hurt as huge blast hits China’s Tianjin: Reports

A massive explosion at a warehouse in the northern Chinese port city of Tianjin killed seven people and sent a fireball ripping through the sky, state media reported Thursday.

The blast, which could be felt kilometres away, was triggered when a shipment of explosives detonated in the container where it was being stored, according to the official Xinhua news agency.

Communist Party newspaper the People’s Daily said on its website seven people were killed in the explosion, and said in a separate Twitter post that more remained trapped by a huge fire.


Croatian victim of ISIS beheading 'football-mad family man'

Tomislav Salopek, whom the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group claimed Wednesday to have beheaded in Egypt, was among thousands of Croats who left the crisis-hit Balkans state to pursue opportunities abroad.

"He went (to Egypt) exclusively to earn bread for his children, nothing else," his father told AFP on Aug 6, days before purported pictures of Salopek's body were posted on ISIS-affiliated Twitter accounts.

Zlatko Salopek said his son's abduction last month about 22km west of Cairo, where he was working for French geoscience company CGG, came on the eve of his planned return from Egypt.


France to conduct MH370 searches off Reunion until Monday

France will conduct air and sea searches off its Indian Ocean territory of Reunion until the start of next week for debris from missing flight MH370, the island's top official said on Wednesday.

A wing part was found on July 29 on the French territory and confirmed by the Malaysian prime minister to be part of the Boeing 777 which went missing on March 8, 2014 with 239 people onboard.

"Coordinated searches will continue until the beginning of next week," the island's top authority said in a statement adding that searches so far had yielded "no significant elements."


Former US president Carter reveals he has cancer

Former US president Jimmy Carter on Wednesday said that recent liver surgery had shown he has cancer.

The 39th president, now aged 90, underwent an operation deemed successful earlier this month, to remove a "small mass".

"That procedure revealed that I have cancer that now is in other parts of my body," he said in a brief written statement Wednesday.


It's showtime for Perseid meteors

Dark skies due to a nearly invisible moon will make this year's Perseid meteor shower - peaking Wednesday and Thursday - an especially star-studded event, astronomers say.

So grab a folding chair, prepare a list of wishes, and get as far from bright city lights and clouds as you can to watch the natural firework display.

You do not even need a telescope or special, geeky glasses. At its peak, up to 100 shooting stars per hour will streak across the sky - more than one a minute.