While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Feb 15 edition

Obama urges Putin to end air strikes against Syrian opposition: White House

US President Barack Obama has urged his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to end air strikes against Syrian opposition forces, the White House said on Sunday (Feb 14).

In a phone call with Putin Saturday, Obama stressed the need to quickly get humanitarian aid to besieged areas and initiating the cessation of hostilities across the war-wracked country, it said.

"In particular, President Obama emphasised the importance now of Russia playing a constructive role by ceasing its air campaign against moderate opposition forces in Syria."


Pope wants Mexico free of 'merchants of death'

Pope Francis urged Mexicans on Sunday (Feb 14) to turn their country into a land of opportunity where there is no need to emigrate or mourn victims "of the merchants of death."

The Argentine pontiff made his plea during an open-air mass with 300,000 Catholic faithful in Ecatepec, a Mexico City suburb plagued by murders and the disappearance of women.

Pope Francis urged them to make "this blessed land of Mexico a land of opportunity, where there will be no need to emigrate in order to dream, no need to be exploited in order to work, no need to make the despair and poverty of many the opportunism of a few, a land that will not have to mourn men and women, young people and children who are destroyed at the hands of the dealers of death."


Huge fire in Mumbai guts 'Make in India' stage

A huge fire gutted a stage at a cultural event in Mumbai on Sunday (Feb 14), which was part of the Indian government's much-trailed 'Make in India' week.

The massive blaze broke out shortly after Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan had read a poem at the event, which was being held on the popular Chowpatty beach in the south of India's commercial capital.

Thousands of people, including Maharashtra's chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, had to be evacuated after the fire started around 8.00 pm (10.30pm Singapore).


Football: Spurs beat Manchester City to keep title hopes bubbling

Christian Eriksen celebrated his 24th birthday with the winning goal for Tottenham Hotspur when they beat Manchester City 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday (Feb 14) to stay second in the Premier League table.

Spurs broke the deadlock in the 53rd minute after referee Mark Clattenburg ruled that City's Raheem Sterling had handled in the area even though he turned his back as Danny Rose crossed and the ball hardly seemed to hit his arm.

But that did not worry Kane who fired his spot kick down the centre of the goal and past his England team mate Joe Hart into the net.


Football: Torres's first-minute goal enough for Atletico to win 1-0

Fernando Torres scored his 101st goal for Atletico Madrid in the first minute at Getafe and they then held on for a 1-0 win on Sunday (Feb 14) that puts them level on points with Barcelona at the top of La Liga.

Atletico have 54 points and trail Barcelona on goal difference, although Luis Enrique's men can reclaim their three-point advantage with a home victory over Celta Vigo later on Sunday.

Real Madrid are a point behind after a 4-2 home win over Athletic Bilbao on Saturday. Getafe are 13th on 26.