While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Jan 30 edition

Four miners rescued in China after 36 days underground

Four miners who had been trapped underground for 36 days in a collapsed Chinese gypsum mine have been rescued, state media reported.

The operation to save the men trapped more than 200m underground took two hours as they were hauled up to the surface one by one in a narrow capsule.

Dramatic footage released by CCTV showed rescue crews applauding as the men were brought above ground in Shandong province, eastern China.


Maoist cult leader jailed for 23 years for raping followers

A Maoist cult leader, convicted of raping and beating his brainwashed British female followers and keeping his own daughter a fearful prisoner for more than three decades, was jailed for 23 years.

Aravindan Balakrishnan, 75, known as Comrade Bala, used sexual degradation and physical and mental violence to keep the women under his control.

Prosecutors said he turned his south London Communist commune into his own personal cult with members who believed him to be a god.


Mother who took toddler to Raqqa convicted by British court


A mother who took her toddler to Syria and joined the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria group is thought to have become the first British woman to be convicted after returning home.

Tareena Shakil, 26, was found guilty of ISIS membership and encouraging terrorism in posts on Twitter before leaving Britain.

The court heard she was radicalised on the Internet and in October 2014 told her family she was going to Turkey for a beach holiday. Instead, she crossed the border into Syria and then went to ISIS stronghold of Raqqa.


Apple quietly working on virtual reality: Report

Apple has a team secretly working on virtual and augmented reality gear in a budding challenge to Facebook-owned Oculus Rift and Microsoft HoloLens, the Financial Times reported.

The teams ranks number in the hundreds, bolstered by talent hired away from companies working on altered-reality technology and buying startups in the fields, according to the Times.

Apple also has a trove of patents related to technology that could be put to work in reality-altering gear.


Basketball: Swimmer Phelps strips as free throw distraction

US swim star Michael Phelps, hopeful of adding to his record of 22 Olympic medals in August at Rio, showed off his fitness at a college basketball game by stripping down to his swimsuit.

The 30-year-old American, whose record haul of 18 gold medals includes a one-Games record of eight at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, appeared on Thursday night at a home game of Arizona State University, where he is training for his next Olympic bid.

With 6:13 elapsed in the second half and Oregon State's Stephen Thompson going to the free throw line, students behind the baseline near the basket wheeled out a black curtain known as the Curtain of Distraction, hoping to break the concentration of opposing free throw shooters.