While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Aug 24 edition

Don't ever 'stand by', US heroes plead after train attack; will get France's highest honour

Three American friends who overpowered a heavily-armed gunman in a train poured cold water Sunday on his claim that he had no intention of waging a bloody attack and asked people never to stand by in these types of incidents.

The trio spoke at a press conference as French President Francois Hollande announced that he will present them and a British man with the country's top Legion d'Honneur medal at a ceremony today.

A French citizen who also tackled the extremist but who wishes to remain anonymous will receive his country's honour at a later date, as will a Franco-American passenger who was hit by a bullet and is recovering in hospital, a source said.


ISIS mutilated body of famed Syrian archeologist Khaled al-Assaad: family

Members of ISIS mutilated the body of a famed Syrian archaeologist after killing him execution-style in the ancient city of Palmyra last week, his family said Sunday.

Khaled al-Assaad, Palmyra's antiquities chief for 50 years, was on Tuesday beheaded by ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) militants who tied his body to a post before hanging it in the city's ruins, amid international outrage.

"Residents of Palmyra told me that ISIS had cut up my father's body into pieces," said Mohammad al-Assaad, one of Khaled's sons, said at a wake held Sunday at Damascus National Museum.


Newborn panda twins vocal, 'very, very active': US zoo

Twin cubs born to a rare giant panda called Mei Xiang were doing well Sunday, vocal and “very, very active” after the surprise back-to-back births at the Smithsonian National Zoo, her handlers said.

The cubs were successfully swapped out early Sunday after being closely monitored through the night by experts concerned about their mother's ability to care for both offspring at the same time.

"We've all been involved in events that don't go well. So we're ecstatic that things are going great," said the zoo's chief veterinarian Don Neiffer.


Football: Record-equalling Manchester City begin season with 2-0 win at Everton

Manchester City's impressive 2-0 victory at Everton on Sunday equalled a club record of nine successive Premier League wins but more importantly sent an ominous warning to their rivals.

City have yet to drop a point since a humbling 4-2 defeat away to bitter local rivals United in early April.

Given last season's underwhelming campaign, which ended with an eight-point deficit to champions Chelsea, few had talked about City as title favourites in the build-up this time.


Tennis: Roger Federer defeats Novak Djokovic for seventh Cincinnati title

Roger Federer won his seventh Cincinnati Masters title on Sunday, dominating Novak Djokovic 7-6 (7/1), 6-3 in a performance which sets him up nicely for the US Open.

The victory in 90 minutes means the Swiss will be seeded second behind Djokovic at Flushing Meadows.

Federer claimed his 87th career ATP title and his 24th trophy in a Masters 1000 event.