Latest National news

Dead children found by brother

Amy Remeikis 12:08 AM   Eight children murdered in their home were found by their brother.

It's not all bad news as positive stories from 2014 show

flowers

10:13 PM   At the end of a horrific week for Sydney, many could be forgiven for thinking this year has been unrelentingly grim, with plane crashes, Ebola, wars and death.

Spreading around the Christmas cheer

Fresh fruit: A vital part of the table spread.

Kate Gibbs 10:09 PM   The traditional Christmas is back. But this year we want fresh tweaks on the festive stalwarts, less fuss, and we're determined to see locally sourced, best quality produce on the table. 

Sydney siege: Man Haron Monis, 'humanitarian' and terrorist

Man Haron Monis

Rick Feneley 12:15 AM   Man Haron Monis described himself as a ‘humanitarian’. But he was an unhinged attention seeker who hitched his personal grievances to the Islamic State bandwagon –with lethal consequences. Rick Feneley reports on a new challenge for security agencies: the wannabe terrorist with no apparent links to violent jihadi groups.

Inaction means home is where the draught is

construction

Peter Hannam 12:15 AM   A survey of stakeholders in the construction sector found 65 per cent thought the building code energy-efficiency provisions were not implemented strictly, but no one is following this up.

Big overhaul for adviser standards

Adele Ferguson dinkus

Adele Ferguson 6:06 PM   The financial planning industry is set for a massive overhaul of its education standards, level of professionalism and ethics, after a powerful set of recommendations by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services.

Abbott commits to free vote on euthanasia

Tony Abbott made a promise to a dying man.

Kate Hagan 12:15 AM   Prime Minister Tony Abbott has promised a dying man that he will allow Liberal Party members to vote with their conscience on a euthanasia bill being developed by a Greens senator.

Terms of reference for review of workplace laws angers union official

Senator Eric Abetz  insists the Fair Work Act should be meeting its basic objectives.

Anna Patty 5:13 PM   Unemployment and job creation, pay rates and the interests of small business will be included in the framework for a sweeping review of national workplace laws.

Failure to deal with Kathy Jackson undermines credibility of Royal Commission

The credibility of the Royal Commission into trade union governance and corruption should suffer a serious blow from its glaring omissions on the allegedly corrupt behaviour of Kathy Jackson.

Ben Schneiders 4:53 PM   What do you do when your star witness in a politically motivated inquiry turns out to be an alleged thief who may have stolen more than $1 million? Just ignore it

Ten pound Poms have no regrets

Poms

Neil McMahon 4:17 PM   She was only six at the time but can remember the excitement of the moment, even if she didn't quite grasp why it was happening. 

Less beds at Westmead during holiday period

Westmead Hospital: Won't reopen until January 27.

Anna Patty 11:45 PM   Despite Westmead Hospital having the busiest emergency department in NSW, its annual closure over New Year has been extended until January 27.

Christian Brothers failed to prevent child sex abuse - saw it as 'moral lapse'

A new report has been released regarding sexual abuse carried out by Christian Brothers

Aleisha Orr 3:53 PM   Leadership of the Christian Brothers Order failed to prevent sexual abuse of children living in four of its Western Australian institutions, a report has found.

You're only as old as you feel: study

Fit as a fiddle: Helen Clift, 88, still gets up at 5am to walk to her local pool to swim every day.

Harriet Alexander 12:15 AM   Life is good, age is irrelevant and the most energetic people are those who do not feel old, Harriet Alexander explains.

The year in review of developments in 2014

The rooftop garden of the Obervatory Tower building.

Lorna Edwards 3:29 PM   Rooftop gardens, integrated technology and moving walls were just some of the trends that defined new apartment developments in Melbourne during 2014.

Eight children found dead in Cairns home

qld police

3:05 PM   Eight children have been found dead in the suburb of Manoora in Cairns, Queensland Police have confirmed

Summer Clique/23

Summer Photo Contest 2014/15 

Family is being in each other's hands

Photographer: Jgor Cavallina, NSW

1:51 PM   These are the words to go with Clique competition:

Rio's Warkworth gets offset nod despite internal concerns

Rio Tinto's Warkworth mine in the Hunter Valley of NSW.

Peter Hannam 12:57 PM   Environment officials raised concerns about planned expansion of Rio Tinto’s Warkworth coalmine.

Woolies' Christmas threat to suppliers

Aldi could double its sales and challenge the might of Coles and Woolworths according to a recent study by investment bank UBS.

Mark Hawthorne 12:14 PM   Woolworths has told some suppliers it could decide to pull their products from shelves just days before Christmas if they refuse to cut prices and fund the supermarket giant's new Cheap Cheap advertising campaign.

Strawberry Santas

Strawberry Santas are a cute edition to Christmas.

Jill Dupleix 11:45 PM   Let's see, strawberries are at their best right now, and Santa is definitely in season. It doesn't take much to put the two together - with cream cheese -  in one very cute Strawberry Santa.

What we found when we captured Senator David Leyonhjelm's metadata

Computer hackers who threaten British national security will be punished as harshly as murderers under new plans unveiled

Mark White 12:15 AM   Liberal Democrat senator David Leyonjhelm gave permission for metadata from his business address in Sydney's inner west, an agribusiness consulting company, to be captured and analysed. Here's what we found out.

How cruel Kris Kringle ruined my public service career

Ngoc Luan Ho Trieu with a Kris Kringle gift that was given to him by one of his colleagues as a mean-spirited prank.

Noel Towell 11:31 AM   Finance Department incident highlights hidden dangers of Secret Santa.

Apple schnapps gravlax provides tasty Christmas bite

Salmon.

Kate Gibbs 11:45 PM   Try sweet apple schnapps instead of vodka when creating your trusty Christmas starter, smoked salmon.

Millions of dollars for Aceh go missing

A decade after the tsunami, two girls play on the beach in Banda Aceh.

Michael Bachelard 12:15 AM   Millions of dollars donated to the Indonesian province of Aceh after the Boxing Day tsunami a decade ago have disappeared.

National Gallery announces independent review of Asian art

The Shiva statue Prime Minister Tony Abbott will return to India during his visit.

Primrose Riordan 9:57 AM   The National Gallery of Australia has announced it will conduct an independent review of its scandal hit Asian art collection.

DHS' 'crazy' command-and-control: Labor

Labor's Human Services spokesman Doug Cameron says the DHS is reluctant to supply basic information, even to the nation's Parliament.

Noel Towell 9:44 AM   A "crazy" culture of command-and-control within the government's largest department has created an obsession with secrecy and suppressing information, according the the federal opposition.

'I love you mum': Katrina Dawson's daughter leaves touching note

A letter from Sasha to her mother Katrina Dawson.

Melanie Kembrey 9:35 AM   Among the thousands of public tributes made to the victims of the Sydney siege, there was a very personal one.

Skateboard injuries climb dramatically

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Rachel Kleinman 12:30 AM   Children included in the skateboard injury study sustained more serious injuries and averaged a two-night hospital stay, Rachel Kleinman says.

Drone strikes counterproductive, says secret CIA report

Drone

Philip Dorling   Drone strikes and other "targeted killings" of terrorist and insurgent leaders favoured by the US and supported by Australia can strengthen extremist groups and be counterproductive, according to a secret CIA report published by WikiLeaks.

Patriots Defence League president allegedly spat on Canberra driver

Canberra man Aaron Raymond Dudeck, also known as Aaron Raymond Hudson, leaves ACT Magistrates Court after being granted bail.

Christopher Knaus   The local head of an Australian "patriots" league allegedly spat on a Canberra driver after watching the activities of a local Islamic centre this week, police say.

Baird tells of deadly siege fears

From above: flowers fill Martin Place on Thursday.

Nicole Hasham   Premier Mike Baird feared no one would get out of the Martin Place hostage drama alive, he confided in an emotional TV interview on Thursday night.