While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Dec 26 edition

A hug and high tea: Indian PM makes surprise visit to Pakistan

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a surprise stopover in Pakistan on Friday to meet his counterpart, Nawaz Sharif, the first time an Indian premier has visited the rival nation in over a decade.

The visit, requested by Modi just hours earlier before he flew back home from Afghanistan, raised hopes that stop-and-start negotiations between the nuclear-armed neighbours might finally make progress after three wars and more than 65 years of hostility.

Sharif hugged Modi after he landed at the airport in the eastern city of Lahore and the two left by helicopter for Sharif’s nearby family estate.


Turkey's Erdogan talks man on bridge out of suicide

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan used his celebrated rhetorical skills to save a life on Friday, preventing a man from jumping off Istanbul's Bosphorus Bridge.

The man was apparently preparing to jump to his death when Erdogan's motorcade was passing over the bridge linking Europe with Asia after Friday prayers.

News footage showed Erdogan's bodyguards bringing the sobbing man, who appeared to be in his early 30s, to talk to him through the window of his car.


Father of drowned Syrian toddler seeks empathy for refugees in Christmas message

The father of toddler Aylan Kurdi, whose lifeless body on a Turkish beach became a symbol of the refugee crisis, has made a Christmas appeal to the world to open its doors to Syrians fleeing conflict.

Abdullah Kurdi said that when a door is opened, people "no longer feel humiliated" in a video message broadcast on Britain's Channel 4 on Christmas Day.

Images of Kurdi's three-year-old son lying washed up and face down on a Turkish beach shocked the world and personalised the horror of the refugee crisis.


Scientists find rich and poor are 'biologically different'

Hormones that are out-of-balance in poor and uneducated people may explain why they age faster and are more vulnerable to disease than their more affluent peers, a new study suggests.

It has long been known that less affluent folk die earlier and are "biologically older" than the rich, with those in the most affluent areas expected to live around eight years longer than those in the poorest regions, according to a report in Britain's Daily Telegraph.

Now, researchers at University College London (UCL) may have worked out why. After monitoring a cohort of 1,880 British men and women since 1946, they have discovered that hormones critical to healthy ageing are significantly out of balance in poorer people by the time they reach 60-64.


Charity single beats Justin Bieber to No. 1 after he urges fans to 'do the right thing' and buy it

A choir of doctors and nurses beat Justin Bieber to the Christmas No. 1 spot in Britain's pop music chart on Friday after the heartthrob urged his fans to buy their song.

The Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Choir's charity single, A Bridge Over You, outsold Bieber's Love Yourself to snatch the coveted festive top spot.

That came after Bieber wrote on Twitter on Wednesday: "So for 1 week it's ok not to be #1. Let's do the right thing & help them win. It's Christmas. @Choir-NHS good luck".