While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Feb 27 edition

Abu Sayyaf beheads German hostage

Islamist militants in the Philippines have beheaded a German who survived being held for nearly two months by Somali pirates eight years ago, after talks for his release in exchange for a 30 million-peso (S$854,000) ransom collapsed, according to preliminary reports that security officials said they have yet to fully verify.

"Despite efforts exerted by groups and the security forces, I have received reports about the alleged beheading of a German kidnap victim in Sulu (on) Sunday afternoon," Mr Jesus Dureza, President Rodrigo Duterte's peace adviser and chief hostage negotiator, said in a statement he issued late on Sunday evening (Feb 26).

A police report released earlier in the afternoon said Mr Jurgen Kantner, 70, a sailing enthusiast, was executed at around 3.30pm, on Sunday (Feb 26), in Buanza district, Indanan town, Sulu province, 1,500km south of the capital Manila.


Thousands march in Moscow two years after Putin foe Boris Nemtsov killed

Thousands marched through central Moscow on Sunday in memory of opposition leader Boris Nemtsov ahead of the second anniversary of his murder.

The 55-year-old former deputy prime minister was gunned down near the Kremlin on February 27, 2015. He was the highest-profile killing of a critic of President Vladimir Putin since the ex-KGB officer took charge in 2000.

Five Chechen men from Russia's volatile North Caucasus are on trial for carrying out a contract hit, but those who ordered the killing have not been brought to justice.


Football: Zlatan Ibrahimovic double downs Saints as Manchester United take League Cup

Zlatan Ibrahimovic sealed the first major silverware of Jose Mourinho's Manchester United reign and broke Southampton's hearts as the Swedish star's late goal clinched a dramatic 3-2 victory in Sunday's League Cup final.

Ibrahimovic was one of Mourinho's marquee signings in the close-season and he repaid his manager's faith with a typically dominant display on the big occasion at Wembley.

The 35-year-old opened the scoring with a blistering free-kick before Jesse Lingard doubled United's lead.


London film screening backs Oscar boycott director Ashgar Farhadi

Thousands of film fans gathered in London's Trafalgar Square Sunday for a screening of The Salesman by Iranian director Asghar Farhadi, who is boycotting the Oscars over US President Donald Trump's policies.

Just hours before the Oscars ceremony in Los Angeles, where the film is vying for the Best Foreign Language Film award, the London landmark was transformed into a giant open-air cinema.

"Despite our different religions, nationalities and cultures, we are all citizens of the world. I'm very proud to be a member of this global family. I'm sorry not I'm not able to be here with you but I will be there in spirit," Farhadi said in a video message played ahead of the film.


Actor Bill Paxton of Titanic, Apollo 13, Aliens fame dies at age 61

Bill Paxton, the affable actor who co-starred in a string of 1990s blockbusters including Twister, Titanic" and Apollo 13 and later starred in the critically acclaimed television drama Big Love, has died. He was 61.

His death, from complications of surgery, was announced on Sunday (Feb 26,2017) in a statement from a representative for his family. It did not elaborate on when and where Paxton died. But Rolling Stone reported that he died on Saturday.

Early in his career, Paxton had small parts in The Terminator in 1984 and Aliens in 1986. Both films were directed by James Cameron, who later featured the actor in more high-profile roles: as a used-car salesman who ripped off Jamie Lee Curtis' character in True Lies in 1994, and as the treasure-hunting scientist who discovered the wreck of the ocean liner in Titanic in 1997.