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World

Fighting ISIL: the dentist, the cleric and the terrorist

PAUL MCGEOUGH The Shiite militias fighting to protect Baghdad from Islamic State take their orders from a convicted terrorist who targeted US embassies.

Top world stories

Blackwater guards guilty over Iraqi deaths

Guilty: Former Blackwater guards Nick Slatten (left) and Paul Slough.

Spencer Hsu 5:13am Seven years after US security contractors fired machine guns and grenades into a panicked, fleeing crowd in Baghdad, a jury has convicted four guards of murder and manslaughter.

Diplomatic approach after pilots forced to land

The Australian plane involved in an airspace dispute sits on the tarmac at Sam Ratulangi International Airport in Manado.

MICHAEL BACHELARD 3:39pm The Department of Foreign Affairs has confirmed the Australian embassy in Jakarta is in contact with Indonesian authorities over an alleged airspace violation in the region.

Sergeant-at-arms 'hero' in Canada terror day

Hailed as a hero: Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers.

2:28pm The Sergeant-at-Arms of Canada's Parliament is being hailed as a hero after shooting dead a gunman who burst into the parliament building during a spree that claimed the life of a Canadian soldier.

Latest world news

'He said the devil is after him': What we know about Michael Zehaf-Bibeau

A photo released by Canadian media which purports to be the suspected gunman, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau.

4:33pm Dressed in black and with a scarf covering his face, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau is the man believed to have killed a soldier point blank and then opened fire in a parliamentary building in Canada's capital city.

Ebola survivors return to treatment centres as caregivers

An ambulance team prepares to collect a body suspected of being infected with Ebola.

Makiko Kitamura 2:48pm Amie Subah spends her days feeding Ebola patients, giving them medicine and changing children's diapers at a treatment centre in Liberia.

Ukraine's pro-Russian rebels launch contest for national anthem

A Pro-Russian separatist at  Donetsk's airport.

Roland Oliphant 2:22pm Russian-backed rebels in eastern Ukraine have launched a song contest to find a national anthem for their breakaway state.

Evidence supports policeman's account of Ferguson shooting

Protesters carry a

Kimberly Kindy 2:04pm More than a half-dozen unnamed black witnesses have provided grand jury testimony that supports officer Darren Wilson's account of events on August 9.

South Korea tears down Christmas tower on border

The 18-metre steel tower used to be illuminated with cascades of lights.

Choe Sang-Hun 1:45pm A 43-year-old Christmas tower tipped with a cross on South Korea's border with North Korea has been dismantled.

Texas nurse Amber Vinson free of Ebola virus, family says

Amber Vinson, in this October 21 photo at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta.

Lauren Raab 1:23pm Ebola is now undetectable in Texas nurse Amber Vinson's body, and she has been approved to leave isolation at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, her family announced on Wednesday.

Cuba flexes medical muscle in fight against Ebola in West Africa

Raul Castro, centre, farewells 35 doctors and 48 nurses as they leave Cuba for Liberia and Guinea to fight the Ebola epidemic.

Rod Mac Johnson 1:37pm Researchers around the world are scrambling to beat the tropical fever as Havana sends more nurses and doctors to Liberia and Guinea to join the fight to stop the deadly virus.

Man arrested after jumping White House fence, causing lockdown

US Secret Service respond on the North Lawn of the White House.

Jeff Mason 11:43am A man has jumped the White House fence and was attacked by Secret Service dogs, a Secret Service spokesman said.

Ottawa terror shooting shakes Canadians' sense of security

A country shaken: Police continue to patrol a street near the National War Memorial in Ottawa, Ontario.

Nia Williams and Alastair Sharp 11:22am Canadian cities and towns have increased security around government buildings, schools and mass transit systems after an attack in Ottawa.

Why Canada became a target for terrorism

Why Canada?

Steve Lillebuen 1:23pm A fatal shooting in the heart of Canada's normally quiet capital has raised serious questions about why the country could be a target for extremists, shaking a long-held national image of security and safety.

Defence chief flags longer training job in Iraq

Chief of the Defence Force Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin

DAVID WROE 10:08am Australia's Defence Chief Mark Binskin says international forces may have to undertake a longer-term role training Iraqi forces beyond the immediate job of stopping the Islamic State.

Canadian Michael Zehaf-Bibeau thought to be the gunman in Ottawa shooting

A Royal Canadian Mounted Police intervention team responds to the shooting at the Parliament building in Ottawa.

1:52pm Canadian police are investigating a man identified as Michael Zehaf-Bibeau as a possible suspect in the shootings on Wednesday around parliament in Ottawa, a source familiar with the matter said.

China's Communist Party weighs boosting rule of law

Law review: China is considering increasing the power of the rule of law.

Calum MacLeod 11:17am Announcements expected on Thursday at the end of the closed-door session that began Monday should reveal how much legal reform is acceptable to the party leadership under President Xi Jinping.

'Just another day at work': Canadian soldier Nathan Cirillo posted photo days before death

Corporal Nathan Frank Cirillo.

MEGAN LEVY 12:10pm Just three days ago, Corporal Nathan Cirillo posted a photograph on social media of himself dressed in military regalia smiling beside a fellow soldier.

Canada security under criticism after gunman's attack

Armed officers on guard on Parliament Hill after the attack.

Randall Palmer 8:58am Security in Canada's capital has come under criticism after a gunman was able to run through the unlocked front door of the main parliament building.

Chemicals blamed for the vanishing monarch butterfly

Once abundant in huge numbers, fewer monarch butterflies are taking flight.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. 8:12am The annual migration of the monarchs, one of the most inspiring natural phenomena on the planet, may be coming to an end.

Climate envoys seek stronger warning on warming dangers in key UN report

Risks of climate change extremes should be spelt out, some negotiators say.

Alex Morales 7:59am The US and European Union are pushing for a stronger explanation about the dangers of climate change and the consequences of failing to stem fossil-fuel emissions in the UN's most extensive report on global warming.

NATO, Swedish fighters scrambled to intercept Russian intelligence-gathering plane

Jets scrambled: an F-16 fighter jet takes off from the military airbase in Europe.

6:30am Sweden and Denmark have reacted swiftly to another Russian incursion, this time into NATO airspace.

‘Spice’: The new drug craze that is killing people in Russia

Cracking down on 'Spice' dealers ... Russian police stand near a map of the Moscow metro transport system.

Rick Noack 8:13am It is cheap and looks like marijuana, but it can have a lethal impact.

Nepal calls off search for blizzard survivors, with eight believed to still be buried in snow

Saved: The Nepalese army helps survivors of the snowstorm.

4:30am Thirty-five bodies have been pulled from the snow since last Tuesday, but eight remaining bodies still not found.

Somalia's al Shabab say they stoned a rapist to death and will give the woman a cow

Armed al-Shabab fighters outside Mogadishu in 2008.

Feisal Omar and Abdi Sheikh 4:12am Group loyal to al-Qaeda say they killed the 18-year-old man and will give the woman a two-year-old heifer - the price of a dowry payment.

Scientists sequence genome of 45,000-year-old man

Geneticists extracted DNA from the thigh bone of Ust'-Ishim man, who lived 45,000 years ago.

NICKY PHILLIPS 4:00am He lived about 45,000 years ago and died on the banks of a river in Siberia and now scientists have decoded his DNA to narrow the time when humans and Neanderthals first got a little bit frisky.

North Korea frees American tourist

Washington Jeffrey Fowle, one of three Americans imprisoned by North Korea, has been released and is on his way home after six months of captivity, the White House said on Tuesday.

Canada Parliament locked down after gunman opens fire in Ottawa

MPs

11:56am Canada's Parliament was locked down after a soldier was shot at the nation's war memorial in Ottawa. Eye-witnesses said they heard four shots. It couldn't be immediately confirmed if the soldier survived the shooting.

'We don't want revenge against Pistorius,' say parents of Reeva Steenkamp

 South African Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius, right, and Reeva Steenkamp arrive for an awards ceremony in Johannesburg.

1:51am The mother of Oscar Pistorius's slain girlfriend insists she does not want "revenge", the day after the disgraced South African athlete was handed a five-year jail term for shooting her daughter dead.

Sons of Robert Ellis, killed in Bali, release statement of tribute

Security guards at the gates of Emerald Villas, near where body of Robert Ellis was found.

Gabrielle Dunlevy 8:21pm The sons of an Australian man whose slashed body was found in a Bali rice field in a killing allegedly ordered by their mother say they are "completely devastated".

New restrictions on US arrivals as Ebola nurse's condition improves

US Coast Guard and Customs officials conduct pre-screening measures on a passenger arriving from Sierra Leone at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport.

Molly Hennessy-Fiske Texas nurse's condition upgraded to "good" from "fair" as airline passengers from three countries told they will have to fly into one of five designated US airports for screening.

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