While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Aug 31 edition

North American couple appear in new Taleban hostage video

An American-Canadian couple held hostage by the Taleban for four years have urged their governments to pressure Kabul to change its policy on executions of captured insurgents, according to a new video.

Canadian Joshua Boyle and his American wife Caitlan Coleman, who has given birth to two sons while in captivity, were kidnapped in Afghanistan in 2012 during a backpacking trip.

In the two minute, 31 second video, shared by Site Intelligence group, the couple were shown saying their captors were "terrified" and "frightened" of the Afghan government executing their fellow fighters.


New York subway prankster who let loose crickets, worms to be charged with crime

New York City police plan to arrest an aspiring actress who let crickets and worms loose on a crowded subway train and then urinated on herself last week in what she has described as a prank, authorities said.

Zaida Pugh will be charged with reckless endangerment for what she did on the train, said Robert Boyce, the New York Police Department's chief of detectives.

Subway riders were locked in close quarters with the bugs for about 30 minutes during last Wednesday evening's rush hour after a passenger pulled an emergency brake while the train was on the Manhattan Bridge.


Zika causes deafness in about 6 per cent of cases - study

A study in Brazil of 70 babies whose mothers had confirmed Zika infections found that nearly 6 per cent had hearing loss, adding a new complication to the list of ills the virus can cause when women are infected during pregnancy.

The Brazilian study, published on Tuesday in the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention's weekly report on death and disease, confirmed less rigorous reports of deafness among infants born to mothers with Zika infections.

The finding is part of an effort to fully characterise the harm caused by the Zika virus during pregnancy.


Brazil's Gisele holds top spot in Forbes model list; Jenner jumps

Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen remained the highest-paid female model in the world with annual income of US$30.5 million (S$41 million), while Kardashian clan member Kendall Jenner more than doubled her earnings, according to Forbes' 2016 list.

Jenner, 20-year-old member of reality TV's Kardashian family, tied for third, up from 16th the prior year, and she was the biggest gainer on the 2016 list. Her salary increased from US$4 million in 2015 to US$10 million in 2016 in part due to partnerships with Estee Lauder and Calvin Klein, Forbes said.

Illinois native Karlie Kloss, 24, was also ranked third and doubled her income to US$10 million.


Chris Brown flouts police on Instagram in standoff

Troubled singer Chris Brown took to Instagram to upbraid police outside his door in an hours-long standoff after a woman alleged he pointed a gun at her.

Los Angeles police by early afternoon said that they had obtained a search warrant and had entered the singer’s palatial home. People who left the home were being searched by police but no one was immediately arrested, spokesman Chris Ramirez said.

It was not clear if officers had spoken with Brown, who before the issuance of the search warrant had dared the police to enter in a series of videos he posted on Instagram.