While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, May 1 edition

Russia will not ask Syrian regime to halt Aleppo raids: Moscow

Russia will not ask the Syrian regime to halt air raids on the war-ravaged city of Aleppo, as it believes they are helping to combat extremist groups, Moscow's foreign ministry said Saturday.

"No, we are not going to put pressure on (Damascus) because one must understand that the situation in Aleppo is part of this fight against the terrorist threat," Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov told the Interfax news agency.

Aleppo, capital of the northern province of the same name, is a key battleground and of vital strategic significance to both sides in the Syrian civil war.


US President Barack Obama to take final bow at star-studded Washington dinner

With seven performances under his belt, US President Barack Obama will try one last time to bring the house down at the annual White House correspondents' dinner on Saturday, a night of playful ribbing of both politicians and the news media.

The black-tie event, which Obama has previously joked is "a night when Washington celebrates itself", brings together journalists and media moguls, Hollywood stars and policy wonks and the powerbrokers from Capitol Hill.

For Obama, who is scheduled to speak around 10:20 am Sunday Singapore time, it will be his final correspondents' dinner as a sitting president. Comedian Larry Wilmore, who hosts a show on the cable outlet Comedy Central, will take to the podium after the president's remarks.


US woman sentenced to 100 years for cutting baby from stranger's womb

A judge in Colorado has sentenced a woman to 100 years in prison for cutting an eight-month-old baby from a stranger's womb with kitchen knives, local media reported.

The sentence included the maximum penalties for attempted murder and unlawful termination of a pregnancy, which Judge Maria Berkenkotter said on Friday reflected the brutality of last year's attack.

A jury in February found Dynel Lane guilty of attempting to kill Michelle Wilkins by beating, stabbing and choking her after luring her to her home by posting an advertisement for maternity clothes on Craigslist, the online classified listings service.


Snooker: China's Ding Junhui downs Alan McManus to become first Asian to reach world final

China's Ding Junhui was just one match away from becoming Asia's first world snooker champion after seeing off Alan McManus 17-11 in a semi-final win on Saturday.

The 29-year-old Ding reached his first World Championship final in record style, with a break of 123 completing a decisive victory over experienced Scottish cueman McManus at Sheffield's Crucible Theatre in northern England.

Ding's seventh century break of the semi-final saw him surpass the previous record of most centuries in a Crucible match (six) held jointly by Mark Selby and Ronnie O'Sullivan.


Football: Protests mark Arsenal 1-0 victory, West Ham , Watford and Everton also win

A quick-fire goal from substitute Danny Welbeck united squabbling supporters as Arsenal defeated Norwich City 1-0 on Saturday to advance their pursuit of a Premier League top-four finish.

Fans protesting against long-serving Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger were drowned out by supporters backing him before Welbeck's 59th-minute strike settled proceedings, keeping Norwich in the bottom three.

Arsenal established a provisional eight-point cushion over the teams below the Champions League places, ahead of next weekend's high-stakes trip to Manchester City, who trail them by three points ahead of their trip to Southampton on Sunday.