Antonin Scalia's death sets up fresh battle 

Nick O'Malley 1:38 PM   It is difficult to exaggerate the significance of the death of the longest serving and most conservative member of the United States Supreme Court, 79-year-old Justice Antonin Scalia.

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'The war in Iraq was a big fat mistake'

Republican presidential candidate and businessman Donald Trump.

Donald Trump and Jeb Bush launched into a bitter and at times deeply personal volley of insults at the Republican presidential debate.

US Supreme Court Justice dead

US Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia in 2005.

Joan Biskupic and Lawrence Hurley 1:47 PM   Conservative US Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has died, setting up a major political showdown between President Barack Obama and the Republican-controlled Senate over who will replace him just months before a presidential election.

Dangerous cold grips northeast US

A woman bundles up from the cold in New York.

New York's mayor has ordered people to stay indoors as the city experiences its coldest night in 20 years.

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Do women owe their votes to female candidates?

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton reacts as former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright says, "there's ...

Anne Taylor Fleming 5:35 AM   Do young women owe their votes to female candidates?

Obama asks Putin to stop bombing 'moderate' Syrian rebels

President Barack Obama has appealed to Russia to cease bombing moderate Syrian rebels.

Tom Perry and Jeff Mason 4:33 AM   US President Barack Obama urged Russia on Sunday to stop bombing "moderate" rebels in Syria in support of its ally Bashar al-Assad.

5.7 magnitude earthquake hits near Christchurch, New Zealand

The earthquake hit central New Zealand, rattling Christchurch.

4:19 AM   There were harrowing near misses but Christchurch has emerged from a magnitude 5.7 quake with no deaths and little damage and must wait to see what happens next.

A record 11,000 civilians killed or wounded in Afghanistan in 2015: UN

The ongoing war in Afghanistan means that many Afghans are among the hundreds of thousands of people seeking refuge in ...

Josh Smith 3:39 AM   Civilian casualties in Afghanistan rose to record levels for the seventh year in row in 2015, as violence spread across the country in the wake of the withdrawal of most international troops.

Turkey fires on Kurdish forces in Syria

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses a meeting of local administrators at his palace in Ankara, Turkey, on ...

Michelle Jamrisko and Zaid Sabah 3:12 AM   The US Defense Department is urging Turkey and Kurdish forces in Syria to quit firing at each other as reports of fresh violence between the two parties threaten their efforts to counter Islamic State.

Pope presses Mexican President on corruption and drugs

Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the Basilica of the Virgin of Guadalupe, her image is displayed behind him, in Mexico City.

Philip Pullella and Gabriel Stargardter 2:38 PM   Pope Francis called on Mexico's government on Saturday to fight endemic corruption and drug trafficking and then prayed with thousands before the icon that unites the country - the Virgin of Guadalupe.

After Japanese sanctions, North Korea halts abductions inquiry

South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-Se (right) shakes hands with Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida after a ...

CHOE SANG-HUN 2:29 PM   North Korea has announced a halt to an investigation into the fate of Japanese citizens said to have been abducted by its agents decades ago, retaliating for sanctions Japan imposed this week after the North's latest rocket launching.

Former PM joins move to oust Malaysian leader Najib Razak

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak.

Lindsay Murdoch 2:09 PM   Members of Malaysia's long ruling party are plotting to oust embattled prime minister Najib Razak as he attends a summit in the United States hosted by president Barack Obama.

Antonin Scalia's death sets up battle that could reshape US politics

US Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia.

Nick O'Malley 1:38 PM   It is difficult to exaggerate the significance of the death of the longest serving and most conservative member of the United States Supreme Court, 79-year-old Justice Antonin Scalia.

Zika threat may be overstated: new analysis

David Henrique Ferreira, aged 5 months, was born with microcephaly.

Rachel Browne 12:31 PM   The threat of the Zika virus may be overstated according to new reports.

He didn't report to work for six years, but nobody noticed

A public servant's six-year absence was only spotted when he was nominated for a long-service award.

James Babcock 11:45 AM    A Spanish civil servant who failed to turn up for work for six years was only discovered when he was considered for an award for loyal service.

Millennium after split, pope and Russian Orthodox patriarch meet in Cuba

The head of the Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Kirill kisses Pope Francis in Havana.

Daniel Trotta   Pope Francis arrived in Havana on Friday to meet the head of the Russian Orthodox Church nearly 1000 years after Eastern Orthodoxy split with Rome, marking the first encounter in history between a Roman Catholic pope and a Russian Orthodox patriarch.

Flower start-ups cut out red roses for Valentine's Day

With this kale I celebrate my love for you?

Hadley Malcolm   A budding group of American flower-delivery start-ups filling orders for Valentine's Day this week were shunning the most popular way to say "I love you": red roses.

Somalia's al Shabaab say behind airline blast

The plane operated by Daallo Airlines sits on the runway in Mogadishu. A gaping hole in the commercial airliner forced ...

Somalia's al Shabaab insurgents said on Saturday they were responsible for a blast that punched a hole in the fuselage of a plane last week that the government said was caused by a bomb meant to kill everyone on board.

More than 5,000 pregnant women in Colombia have Zika virus

David Henrique Ferreira, 5 months, who was born with microcephaly, is examined by a doctor in Brazil.

More than 5,000 pregnant Colombian women are infected with the mosquito-borne Zika virus, the country's national health institute said on Saturday, as the disease continues its rapid spread across the Americas.

Brazil reports explosion of dengue, a bad omen for spread of Zika virus

The Aedes aegypti mosquito, responsible for the spread of the dengue and Zika viruses, during testing at the Roosevelt ...

Dom Phillips   A nearly 50 per cent jump in dengue fever in Brazil in January a sign battle against mosquito that spreads it and Zika is being lost.

Syrian army edges towards Islamic State bastion

Children in a partially destroyed home in Aleppo, Syria, this week.

Tom Perry, Paul Carrel   Syrian government forces are poised to advance into the Islamic State stronghold of Raqqa province as allied Russian jets continue air strikes on rebel-held towns north of Aleppo, denying they have hit civilians.

'Build that wall' has taken on a life of its own at Trump rallies

Build that wall: Donald Trump.

Jenna Johnson   The wall is so popular with his supporters that Trump gleefully realised at a recent rally that he could drown out a protester by suddenly changing subjects and mentioning it.

Indonesia asks messaging apps to remove same-sex emojis

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop is a big fan of emojis.

Jewel Topsfield and Karuni Rompies   The Indonesian government has asked instant message apps to remove same-sex emojis "that could potentially cause public unrest".

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UN peacekeepers killed in Mali attack

The attack on the UN base happened in the north-east of Mali.

Tiemoko Diallo and Adama Diarra   Five UN peacekeepers were killed when their base in northern Mali was hit by mortars, gunfire and a truck bomb on Friday, an attack that a local separatist group blamed on Islamist militants.

Rolf Harris faces more sex charges

Veteran entertainer Rolf Harris, 84, faces seven further counts of indecent assault against girls and women.

Disgraced entertainer Rolf Harris is to be charged with seven further counts of indecent assault against girls and women, the UK's Crown Prosecution Service has announced.

Clooneys discuss refugee crisis with Angela Merkel

German Chancellor  Angela Merkel (second from left) meets with George and Amal Clooney.

Sarah Mills   George Clooney says the refugee crisis is bigger than the headline-grabbing exodus from Syria and Iraq, and he believes Americans "will do the right thing" by rejecting Donald Trump and calls to ban Muslims entering the United States.