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World

Analysis

Tan-suited Obama a victim of his own honesty

NICK O'MALLEY Perhaps it was sign of America’s war-weariness, or at least that of its pundit class, a group that has clearly tired of discussing the nation’s seemingly intractable crises in Ukraine, Iraq and Syria.

Top world stories

UN peacekeepers seized by Syrian militants

Members of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) cross with their armoured vehicles from the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights into the Syrian-controlled territory, on August 28, 2014. The United Nations confirmed that an armed group captured 43 UN peacekeepers on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights today, saying it was doing everything to secure their release.  AFP PHOTO / JACK GUEZJACK GUEZ

Militants fighting the Syrian army have seized 43 UN peacekeepers in a demilitarised section of the Golan Heights and trapped another 81 in the region.

Russia opens new front in 'hybrid warfare'

A map of the battle zones where Ukrainian troops are facing Russian and separatist forces.

PAUL MCGEOUGH Ukraine just got uglier. The problem is that for all its huffing and puffing, the West is not quite sure about how to respond.

Rotherham scandal: a nation in disgrace

Rotherham sits in England's industrial north.

NICK MILLER When the full extent of child abuse in the South Yorkshire town of Rotherham was revealed this week, a sigh of recognition was quickly followed by a sharp gasp of horror.

'Lady al-Qaeda': the woman IS wants to free

Aafia Siddiqui: A terrorist mastermind or a victim of an over-aggressive war on terror?

Once called 'the most wanted woman in the world', IS would have traded James Foley, Bowe Bergdahl and more for her. So who is Aafia Siddiqui?

East Timor yearns for real independence

Jose Ramos Horta

Shannon Gillies East Timor's former president Jose Ramos-Horta warns that there are no short cuts to peace, to nation-building and state-building in a country that is struggling to build independence on its own terms.

Mutating Ebola could infect 20,000: WHO

A sanitation worker collects garbage on the streets of Monrovia, Liberia.

As the tally of deaths from the worst known outbreak of the Ebola virus continued its seemingly inexorable rise, the WHO said the epidemic was still accelerating and could afflict more than 20,000 people.

Latest world news

Doubts over India'€™s ability to handle nuclear power expansion

uranium

JASON KOUTSOUKIS 10:00pm With an agreement to allow the sale of Australian uranium to India expected this week, Indian scientists are questioning India's ability to manage a rapid expansion of its nuclear power industry.

Protesters try to storm Pakistan PM's home

Pakistani riot police prepare for anti-government protests which have escalated since they began on August 15.

5:29am Police in Pakistan's capital Islamabad have fired tear gas on anti-government protesters attempting to storm Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's official residence in a bid to force his resignation.

Another boat sinks off Libya, 36 illegal immigrants dead

The remains of a boat carrying illegal immigrants that sank off the shores of south-east Tunisia.

5:07am The Tunisian coast guard on Saturday recovered the bodies of 21 migrants, most probably Syrians, who drowned when their boat sank in the Mediterranean near the maritime border with Libya, officials said.

Police warrant issued for parents of seriously ill British boy

Ashya King, who has a severe brain tumour, has been missing since his parents, both Jehovah's Witnesses, removed him from a hospital in the southern English city of Southampton on Thursday.

3:50am A European arrest warrant has been issued for the parents of a critically ill 5-year-old boy who was taken out of a British hospital against doctors' advice, police say.

Russian tanks flatten Ukrainian town as EU leaders threaten more sanctions

French president Francois Hollande arrives on August 30 2014 for a European Union summit at EU headquarters in Brussels.

4:13am Ukraine said Russian tanks had flattened a small border town and pro-Russian rebels had made fresh gains in its east, as EU leaders signalled on Saturday they would threaten more sanctions against Moscow over the crisis.

Seven dead in cargo plane crash in Algeria

1:57am Seven people were killed when a Ukrainian plane crashed in the Algerian Sahara.

PNG women subjected to horrifying domestic violence

Campaigner: Sophie Mangai is a strong advocate for women's rights in PNG.

Jo Chandler 12:15am Sophie Mangai, a tall, wiry 60-year-old grandmother and battle-scarred women's rights advocate, is leading protests on the north coast.

Islamic State video shows beheading of Kurdish Iraqi soldier

A member of the Kurdish Peshmerga forces looks at positions of Islamic State fighters in the eastern town of Jalawla in Iraq.

Shashank Bengali 8:46pm Iraq-Kurdish Iraqi officials on Friday condemned a video depicting the beheading of one of their soldiers by Islamic State extremists, who said it was retribution for the Kurds' alliance with the United States.

China tells journalists to learn 'Marxist news values'

Chinese flags stand for sale at a magazine stall in the Tianhe district of Guangzhou, Guangdong province, China, on Saturday, Nov. 30, 2013. China's government may set its 2014 growth target at 7 percent, the Economic Information Daily reported on Dec. 3, citing the State Information Center. This compares with a goal of 7.5 percent for this year. Photographer: Brent Lewin/Bloomberg

AFR 19-02-2014

5:53pm China ordered its journalists on Saturday to learn "Marxist news values" and uphold the principles of news as prescribed by the ruling Communist Party, the latest step in President Xi Jinping's crackdown on the media.

Video helps gay teen disowned by parents raise $90,000

Daniel Ashley Pierce

Anna Whitelaw 6:52am A gay teenager disowned by his parents has received more than $90,000 from an internet campaign after a horrifying video of his experience went viral.

New Zealand minister quits over misconduct allegation three weeks before election

Judith Collins

Jason Scott 3:57pm New Zealand Prime Minister John Key lost a senior cabinet minister today over "serious allegations" about her conduct, less than a month before his National Party-led government faces elections.

Christine Lagarde backed by board of International Monetary Fund

Christine Lagarde.

2:04pm The board of the International Monetary Fund has reiterated its support for managing director Christine Lagarde after a French court placed her under formal investigation in a graft scandal.

Judge rejects Texas mandate on abortions

The Hilltop Women's Reproductive Clinic in El Paso, Texas. A federal judge has thrown out restrictions that would have effectively closed more than a dozen clinics in the state.

Chuck Lindell 12:47pm A federal judge has banned Texas from enforcing an abortion regulation that would have shut down 19 licensed clinics, leaving large parts of the state without an abortion provider.

Peacekeepers detained by Syrian rebels 'safe': United Nations

Stormed: Sculptures of Israeli soldiers next to a sign for tourists showing the distances to Jerusalem, Baghdad, Damascus and other locations, at an army post in Mount Bental in the annexed Golan Heights.

1:35pm UN officials have received assurances that 44 peacekeepers detained by Syrian rebels in the Golan Heights are safe and in good health, a UN spokesman says.

Ukraine conflict: Vladimir Putin rattles nuclear sabre

Vladimir Putin

Tom Parfitt and Colin Freeman 12:13am Vladimir Putin raised the spectre of nuclear war with the West on Friday as he defied international condemnation over his decision to send thousands of Russian troops and heavy armour into eastern Ukraine.

Ukraine rebels advance on key port, in hint at Putin's strategy

Ukraine conflict

Andrew Kramer and Andrew Roth Backed by Russian troops and weaponry, hundreds of Ukrainian rebel militiamen have mobilised in the south-eastern town of Novoazovsk and begun to push toward the strategic seaport of Mariupol.

Britain's terror risk level raised to 'severe' as country faces 'greatest threat'

David Cameron

Tom Whitehead and Steven Swinford Britain faces the "greatest and deepest" terror threat in the country's history, David Cameron warned as he pledged emergency measures to tackle extremists.

Ashya King search: time running out for 'kidnapped' British boy

Five-year-old Ashya King, who has a brain tumour, is believed to be in France.

Chloe Coupeau Fears increase by the hour for a five-year-old boy with a brain tumour, taken from a British hospital by his parents, who have fled with their family to France.

Workers rescued in Nicaragua after goldmine collapses

Near the town of Bonanza: Relatives, friends and fellow miners wait as rescuers try to reach the trapped workers.

Jimmy Sanchez Rescuers in Nicaragua have started pulling out miners trapped deep underground for more than 24 hours after a cave-in at an unlicensed gold mine.

United States authorities investigate suspected threat against Barack Obama

There are reports of a threat made against Barack Obama

Authorities in Connecticut on Friday were investigating a possible threat against President Barack Obama, local media reported.

Ebola cure hope as drug passes trial

A health worker conducts an Ebola prevention drill at the port in Monrovia, Liberia.

Sarah Knapton A treatment for the Ebola virus may have been found, as scientists reported that a drug cured 100 per cent of monkeys with the disease.

Drugged and targeted for sex in Rotherham: they were the lucky ones

1400 children were abused and raped in the northern English town.

Joe Shute Vicky counts herself as one of the lucky ones. Stalked from the age of 15, plied with drink and slipped drugs until she became estranged from her despairing parents; ferried at night by strangers twice her age to unknown male-only parties; on one occasion locked in a house, her only escape through a window.

US colleges will screen some students for Ebola to calm nerves of parents

A girls suspected of being infected with the Ebola virus has her temperature checked at the government hospital in Kenema, Sierra Leone.

Abby Ohlheiser For many US college students arriving from West Africa, this year’s “back to school” routine will include a screening for Ebola.

Matt Damon dumps toilet water over head for ALS and water.org

Matt Damon dumps icy toilet water on himself for the ice bucket challenge to raise awareness of ALS and water.org.

Matt Damon has once again proved his nice-guy reputation, by taking the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and throwing toilet water over his head to support not one, but two issues.

Putin hails Ukraine separatists; Kiev raises prospect of joining NATO

Encouraging Ukrainian separatists ... Russia's President Vladimir Putin attends the youth forum 'Seliger-2014' at Seliger lake, northern Russia.

Karoun Demirjian and William Branigin Moscow: Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday hailed pro-Moscow separatists in eastern Ukraine as "insurgents" battling an army that he likened to Nazi invaders during World War II, and the Ukrainian government raised the prospect of joining NATO as it seeks help in repelling what it calls an outright Russian military invasion of its territory.

Time running out for 'kidnapped' brain tumour boy taken to France

Interpol has 'serious concerns' for five-year-old Ashya King's health.

Chloe Coupeau Cherbourg, France: Interpol issued a global alert Friday for a five-year-old boy with a brain tumour snatched from hospital by his family, as authorities said only hours remained to save his life.

Number of Syrian refugees passes 3 million, almost half the population

A child reacts after what activists claim was shelling by forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad in Aleppo.

Stephanie Nebehay Three million Syrian refugees will have registered in neighbouring countries as of Friday, but many remain trapped by the advance of Islamist militants or are having difficulty in reaching open border crossings, the United Nations said.

Britain raises its terrorism threat level to 'severe' over Syria and Iraq

British PM David Cameron says the UK will take passports of those planning to travel to Syria and Iraq to fight.

Michael Holden Britain raised its international terrorism threat level to the second highest level of 'severe' in response to possible attacks being planned in Syria and Iraq.

The ‘facekini’: From the beaches of China to pages of a fashion magazine

No risk of sunburn ... A Chinese woman and her daughter wear facekinis while swimming in the Yellow Sea in Qingdao, China.

Nick Kirkpatrick This bizarre face mask has been dubbed the "facekini." Though it's nothing new, it's now made its way from the beaches of China to the pages of a reputable fashion magazine.

Book extract: Confessions of a People-Smuggler, Dawood Amiri

Dawood Amiri.

Dawood Amiri In his new book, Dawood Amiri, a persecuted Afghan refugee stranded in Indonesia, tells how he became a people smuggler out of desperation. In June 2012, he helped organise a boat to Christmas Island – with fatal consequences.

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