While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Feb 16 edition

Missile strikes on north Syria schools, hospitals kill 50: UN 

Air strikes have hit at least five medical facilities and two schools in northern Syria, killing 50 people, the United Nations said on Monday (Feb 15), calling the attacks “blatant violations of international law.”

The United States also condemned the attacks on civilian targets, which it said included two hospitals in the Aleppo area – a Medecins Sans Frontieres facility and the Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Aziz city. 

The upsurge in violence comes just days after international powers, meeting in Munich, proposed a “cessation of hostilities” within a week as a step towards a permanent ceasefire. 


EU chief Donald Tusk says 'real' risk of European Union break-up over Brexit vote

European Union chief Donald Tusk warned Monday there was a "real" danger of the 28-nation bloc breaking up over so-called Brexit and called for greater EU coordination to address the risk.

"This is a critical moment. It is high time we started listening to each other's arguments more than to our own," he said during a visit to Romania to discuss Britain's continued membership of the EU.

"It is natural in negotiations that positions harden, as we get closer to crunch time. But the risk of break-up is real because this process is indeed very fragile.


Brazil finds Zika in microcephaly babies' brains

Brazilian researchers said on Monday (Feb 15) that the discovery of Zika in the brains of babies with microcephaly adds to growing evidence of a link between the mosquito-transmitted virus and the birth defect.

"We have detected its presence in the brain tissue," Lucia Noronha, a pathologist from the Brazilian Society of Pathology, told AFP.

"The Zika virus caused brain damage and that reinforces evidence of a relationship between Zika and microcephaly," she said.


Protesters gather outside US-Asean Summit in Sunnylands

Protesters gathered outside the Sunnylands estate in California on Monday (Feb 15) as US President Barack Obama and Asean leaders arrived for the start of their two-day summit.

The protesters stood at the intersection just outside the security cordon for the summit, waving flags and chanting slogans.

A few hundred were there on a Monday afternoon and local reports say up to 1,000 are expected to turn up.


Grammy spotlight on Adele as Kendrick Lamar, Taylor Swift, The Weeknd battle for top award

 Frontrunners Kendrick Lamar, Taylor Swift and The Weeknd will battle for the top honours at Monday's Grammy awards, but British singer Adele may well steal the spotlight at the star-studded ceremony.

The Grammy Awards, in its 58th year, will see only a handful of its 80-plus trophies handed out during a three-hour live televised show, which is known more for pairing artists not typically seen together for performance spectacles.

The night's top award, album of the year, pits Lamar, with 11 nominations, against Swift and The Weeknd, each with seven nods.