While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, July 31 edition

Hot air balloon catches fire, crashes in Texas; 16 feared dead

Texas state police confirmed that 16 people died in the crash of a hot-air balloon, which eyewitnesses said struck power transmission lines and burst into flames before plunging into a pasture.

The Federal Aviation Administration said the crash, one of the deadliest balloon accidents on record, occurred near Lockhart, about 50km south of Austin and that at least 16 people were on board the craft.

The FAA did not comment on fatalities, but Caldwell County Sheriff Daniel Law said there did not appear to be any survivors and that his office was working to determine the identities of those aboard.


Pope tells kids to get off their backsides

Pope Francis urged "drowsy and dull kids" to swop their sofas and video games for walking boots, at an international Catholic youth festival in Poland.

He warned the popular piece of sitting-room furniture gave the illusion of safety from pain, fear or worries, allowing the sitter to kick back and lose themselves for hours in the latest TV show or their smartphones.

"For many people, it is easier and better to have drowsy and dull kids who confuse happiness with a sofa," he told an estimated one million people gathered at a vigil in a vast plain near Krakow. "Dear young people, we didn't come into the world to 'vegetate'... We came for another reason: to leave a mark," he said.


Olympics: First-ever refugee team ascends to Rio's Christ statue

Members of the first-ever Olympic refugee team visited Rio de Janeiro's iconic Christ statue, with smiles as wide as their arms were outstretched, imitating the landmark's open embrace as they posed for photos.

A mist of light clouds softened the afternoon light, giving the athletes who come from harrowing backgrounds a heavenly glimpse of one of the world's most beautiful cities, with its golden sand beaches, blue ocean and lush green Atlantic rain forest below.

Standing at the base of the statue, Yusra Mardini, a swimmer who fled Syria's war and trains in Germany, said that the entire refugee team was elated to be in Rio "because all of them have the same strong feeling about never giving up, and they did a lot to reach here."


Football: Zlatan takes just 190 seconds to make mark

New signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored an acrobatic scissor kick within four minutes of pulling on a Manchester United shirt for the first time in a 5-2 friendly rout of Galatasaray.

The superstar forward, who moved from Paris Saint Germain earlier in the summer, was finally unleashed by new manager Jose Mourinho in Gothenburg in his native Sweden.

He had hardly broken sweat when, after just 190 seconds, Antonio Valencia – who was to grab three assists in all – swung over a deep cross and Ibrahimovic launched a right boot at it.


Football: Messi quiet but Barcelona stroll past Celtic

A blond-haired Lionel Messi failed to get on the scoresheet but it hardly mattered as under-strength Barcelona taught Celtic a footballing lesson in a Dublin friendly.

Strikes by Arda Turan and Munir El Haddadi, and an own goal by Efe Ambrose - all before the break - were enough to earn a 3-1 victory for Luis Garcia's men in what was their first game back after the summer.

Leigh Griffiths had replied to Turan's opener, but boss Brendan Rodgers will be concerned with how vulnerable his defence looked once again, ahead of Celtic's crucial Champions League third qualifying round clash with Astana on Wednesday.