While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Dec 11 edition

US university on lockdown over man with gun on campus

Arkansas State University was put on lockdown as police surrounded a man with a gun.

The man was later said to have been taken into custody.

The school made the announcement via its Twitter feed, adding there were no reports of injuries. It was reported that no shots were fired during the incident.


Michelle Obama raps up a storm in college video

She has won plaudits for her smarts and style, even her funk dancing skills, but Michelle Obama was less known as a rapper – until now.

The American first lady and Harvard Law School graduate throws down some rhymes in a tongue-in-cheek music video released Thursday to encourage kids to go to university.

Co-starring actor Jay Pharoah – known for his uncanny impersonation of Barack Obama – the video shows the pair dancing at the White House and rapping into a studio mic.


'Stay in Syria' says migrant after wife and seven children drown

A Syrian migrant has warned other refugees not to attempt the journey to Europe after his wife and seven children drowned.

Ali Al Sahau's vessel sank in the Aegean sea, as he and his family tried to escape the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria militant group for a new life in the West.

Smugglers told him they would not need life jackets because the boat was safe and the crossing to Greece would take just 15 minutes, he told the BBC.


Russian supermarket under fire for selling 'monkey Obama' chopping board

An upscale Russian store chain apologised on Thursday for selling chopping boards with an image of US President Barack Obama as a monkey, after the US embassy reacted furiously.

The product features a family of monkeys, with an image of Obama's face superimposed onto that of the smallest primate.

The store chain on Thursday announced it had pulled the item from its shelves, saying it had not been aware of Obama's image.


Football: Benzema banned by France over blackmail case

Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema has been suspended indefinitely from the France team because of the blackmail case he is embroiled in, the president of the national soccer federation said on Thursday.

Benzema was put under formal investigation by a French judge last month in connection with an alleged attempt to blackmail international team mate Mathieu Valbuena over a sex video.

“I have decided, it’s a decision from the president of the French federation and not from the executive committee or the ethics committee, that Karim Benzema cannot play for France until the situation evolves,” Noel Le Graet told a news conference.