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Nicola Sturgeon taking Britain by storm

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - MAY 06:  First Minister Nicola Sturgeon marks the final day of campaigning in the general election with a speech to activists at the Mound on May 6, 2015 in Edinburgh, Scotland. The leader of the SNP told supporters that with less than 24 hours until the polls open, Scotland has the opportunity to have more power and influence at Westminster than ever before. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Nicola Sturgeon was late for her burgundy helicopter. It had taken her 45 minutes to traverse the 50 metres between the medieval church and the high street - and not just because of her perilous-looking designer heels.

Yemen asks UN for ground intervention 

Yemenis walk on a beach of Aden's Tawahi neighbourhood on May 6, 2015 as civilians are trying to escape by sea the ongoing fighting. At least 32 civilians were killed and 67 wounded in shelling that hit people trying to escape by sea, a health official said. The shelling hit a small fishing harbour and a barge carrying civilians, the official said, blaming Huthi rebels who have been trying to take control of Tawahi and clashing with forces loyal to exiled President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi.  AFP PHOTO / SALEH AL-OBEIDI

Yemen urged the international community "to quickly intervene by land forces to save" the country, specifically in the cities of Aden and Taiz.

Ferries from Cuba to the US will soon start

FILE - In this March 19, 2015, file photo, a woman jogs on the Malecon as the Thomson Dream cruise ship arrives in Havana bay. The Obama administration has approved on Tuesday, May 5, 2015, the first ferry service in decades between the United States and Cuba, potentially opening a new path for the hundreds of thousands of people and hundreds of millions of dollars in consumer goods that travel between Florida and Havana each year. (AP Photo/Desmond Boylan, File)

Reinstating the ferry would take Cubans and Americans a step closer to the kind of back-and-forth travel that once linked Florida and Havana, and long made Cuba a favoured getaway.

Latest world news

SpaceX conducts Dragon passenger spaceship test

A SpaceX Dragon mock-up capsule blasts into the air.

Irene Klotz 1:35 PM   A Space Exploration Technologies' passenger spaceship made a quick debut test flight on Wednesday, shooting itself off a Florida launch pad to demonstrate a key emergency escape system.

Minority wars in Britain's election

British prime minister David Cameron.

Nick Miller 1:31 PM   Desperate haggling in rooms across Whitehall - and possibly Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast - will likely determine the shape of Britain's new government.

So this is what thunder looks like

How to get lightning to strike where you want it was the first task.

Peter Hannam 1:27 PM   We know from the 4 million strikes a day what lightning looks like, but what of its audio partner, thunder?

Netanyahu cobbles together government with narrowest of margins

Israel's prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses parliament this week.

Joel Greenberg 1:15 PM   Scrambling to meet a midnight deadline, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has formed a narrow governing coalition with only a razor-thin majority in parliament.

Who is Pamela Geller, organiser of the Draw Mohammed competition in Texas?

Too much for Fox News? Controversial anti-Muslim figure Pamela Geller in Garland, Texas.

Nick O'Malley 11:51 AM   The links between the shooting at the Draw Mohammed competition in Texas on Sunday and the attack on Charlie Hebdo in Paris are undeniable – both were murderous in intent, both perpetrated by Islamic militants fuelled by rage and hate.

Customer offered 'free meal' by garage racks up $1300 bill

The receipt for Siobhan Yap's meal at L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon in Covent Garden.

10:34 AM   When an Audi garage offered to buy a free meal for a customer after accidentally damaging her car, they weren't expecting to receive a bill from one of London's hottest Michelin-starred restaurants.

Bali Nine lawyers to aid bribery probe

Muhammad Rifan detailed corruption allegations before the executions took place.

Gabrielle Dunlevy 10:29 AM   The Indonesian lawyer for Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan will assist a judicial commission probe into claims of bribery and political interference in their sentencing.

Rare birds found inside water bottles in Indonesia

A policeman holds a water bottle with a yellow-crested cockatoo put inside for illegal trade, at the customs office of Tanjung Perak port in Surabaya, East Java province, Indonesia.

8:18 AM   Indonesian police have arrested a suspected wildlife smuggler after discovering nearly two dozen rare live birds, mostly yellow-crested cockatoos, jammed inside plastic water bottles in his luggage.

Woman uses ordering app to escape hostage situation, say police

The Pizza Hut receipt shows the woman's messages to alert police to her situation.

Josephine Tovey 6:11 AM   A woman in Florida managed to raise the alarm about being held hostage by her boyfriend using a fast-food ordering app on her phone, according to local police.

Child porn case with Australian links nets 41 arrests in Canada, US

Child pornography.

6:00 AM   Canadian police have announced the arrests of 41 people in Canada and the United States for child pornography distributed through social media in 17 countries including Australia.

Global CO2 in atmosphere highest in a million years, NOAA says

Adding more greenhouse gases is warming the planet.

Ehren Goossens 5:35 AM   The amount of heat-trapping carbon dioxide in the atmosphere averaged more than 400 parts per million globally for the first time ever in March, according to US government measurements.

Texas shooter was 'heartthrob' in Pakistan: schoolmates

This April 2003 photo provided by the Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office shows Nadir Soofi, one of two men who led an attack on an anti-Islamic event in Texas.

Damon Wake and Issam Ahmed 5:14 AM   Nadir Soofi, one of the gunmen who attacked a Texas venue hosting a contest to draw the Prophet Mohammed, was a charismatic "ladies' man" as a teenager, contemporaries from an elite Pakistani school said on Wednesday.

Bollywood superstar gets five years' jail for killing homeless man in hit-and-run

It can't be a Salman Khan film without his shirt coming off: this is from <i>Will You Marry Me</i> in 2003.

Justin Wm. Moyer 3:36 AM   'You were driving the car,' the judge told the Indian actor, who has been compared to Tom Cruise. 'You were under the influence of alcohol.'

'Shawshank' prisoner arrested after escaping 56 years ago

He was held at the prison <i>Shawshank Redemption</i> was filmed in, but he's no Andy Dufresne: Frank Freshwaters in 1959 and on Monday.

Michael E. Miller 3:30 AM   Unlike the film, there was no happy ending for escaped felon Frank Freshwaters.

Lead poisoning lawsuit tests China's resolve over pollution

Xu Yilin, whose blood, according to her family, has been shown to have almost three times the national limit for lead exposure in children, in Dapu town, Hunan province, in this June 25, 2014 file picture. Xu Ning has not yet been tested. A lawsuit filed by residents of a Chinese town against a chemical plant that they say is responsible for high levels of lead in the blood of local children is shaping up as a test of the central government's resolve to tackle pollution. Picture taken June 25, 2014.

Alexandra Harney 1:41 AM   A lawsuit filed by residents of a Chinese town against a chemical plant they say is poisoning them is shaping up as a test of the central government's resolve to tackle pollution.

'He just had a normal American upbringing': gunman's mother

Texan gunman Nadir Soofi, pictured here in 2003.

Matt Pearce and Nigel Duara 1:39 AM   The two versions of Nadir Soofi are hard to reconcile. The all-American kid with a privileged upbringing, and the Islamist gunman who was shot dead by police almost instantly after driving to a conference centre armed with an assault rifle.

Republican Mike Huckabee launches 2016 US presidential bid with fiery speech

Fiery speech: Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee officially announces his candidacy for the 2016 presidential race in Hope, Arkansas. He is the sixth Republican to enter the race.

Steve Barnes 1:38 AM   Republican Mike Huckabee announced a run for his party's 2016 presidential nomination on Tuesday with a fiery, populist speech aimed at energising support from the Christian right and blue-collar Americans struggling to make ends meet.

Nazi-confiscated painting returned to heir of Jewish art historian

The 17th century painting <i>Portrait of a Man</i> belonged to German Holocaust victim Dr August Liebmann Mayer (seen in photo at centre).

Laila Kearney 1:37 AM   A 17th century painting taken by Nazis from a prominent German Jewish art historian has been returned to his daughter.

France moves to expand mass surveillance, read emails, bug cars

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls at the National Assembly in Paris before the vote for the surveillance bill on Tuesday.

Alissa Rubin 1:35 AM   The French lower house has taken a long stride towards mass surveillance, overwhelmingly approving a bill that could give authorities their most intrusive domestic spying abilities ever, with almost no judicial oversight.

Nepal, aid agencies trade blame as confusion mars quake relief

Earthquake survivors queue for relief food at an open ground shelter in Kathmandu on Tuesday.

Frank Jack Daniel and Krista Mahr 1:34 AM   A row has broken out between Nepal and some international agencies over the handling of aid that poured into the country after last month's devastating earthquake, with each side blaming the other for confusion and delays in getting help to victims.

Migrant Crisis: Italian navy chief would never turn away a boat in need of help

Coffins are carried during a funeral service for 24 migrants who drowned while trying to reach the southern coast of Italy in April.

Ljubomir Milasin 1:33 AM   Italy has renewed its appeal to the EU for help in managing a relentless wave of migrant arrivals, as its navy chief said he would never turn away a boat in need of help.

Afghan judge sentences four to death for mob killing of woman

The four men accused of killing Farkhunda.

Mirwais Harooni and Kay Johnson 1:32 AM   An Afghan judge sentenced four men to death on Wednesday for the mob killing of 27-year-old woman accused of burning a Koran in Kabul, a case that sparked outrage and rare street protests against religious extremism in the capital.