Isolated for centuries, until the big waves came

Jason Koutsoukis 12:15 AM   The waves of the 2004 tsunami smashed into India's Nicobar islands, killing thousands and thrusting a remote and isolated people into a new world of NGOs and western consumerism.

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Jordan warns IS against harming pilot

Islamic State militants lead with captured Jordanian pilot  Mu’ath al-Kasasbeh.

Jordan has threatened Islamic State militants with "grave consequences" if they harm a Jordanian pilot captured after his F-16 crashed in northern Syria.

Pope's address focuses on children's plight

Pope Francis delivers his Christmas address at the Vatican.

Pope Francis has condemned the "brutal persecution" of minorities by Islamic State insurgents and said the joy of Christmas was marred by the suffering of children in the Middle East and around the world.

Police shoot black teen at Missouri gas station

Distraught: Toni Martin at the scene where she says her son Antonio was fatally shot.

An 18-year-old black man has been shot and killed by police at a petrol station in a St Louis suburb near where unarmed teenager Michael Brown was killed by a white officer in August.

Latest world news

Yet another Bush eyeing the Oval Office

Former Florida governor Jeb Bush, readying himself for a run at the presidency.

Joseph Tanfani 11:46 AM   Readying himself for a tilt at the Oval Office, Jeb Bush - brother of George W and son of George H W - has lost weight and begun sorting out his financial affairs.

Queen Elizabeth urges reconciliation in post-referendum Scotland

The Queen delivers her annual Christmas message.

9:07 AM   Queen Elizabeth used her annual Christmas Day broadcast to advocate reconciliation, especially in Scotland where an unsuccessful independence referendum earlier this year polarised public opinion.

The Queen's Christmas message

The Queen delivers her annual Christmas message.

8:59 AM   Read the full text of the Queen's Christmas message.

Militants attack African Union base in Somalia

The African Union headquarters, located within the high-security compound of Mogadishu airport.

7:51 AM   Islamist militants have mounted an attack against the headquarters of the African Union force in Somalia, with explosions and gunfire rocking the area, officials said.

Arson attack on Swedish mosque injures five

Firemen at work outside the mosque in Eskilstuna, Sweden,

7:39 AM   An arsonist has set fire to a mosque in central Sweden, injuring five people, police say, as the country grapples with a political crisis caused by the rise of the extreme right.

Tranquil and isolated for centuries, until the big waves came

Rasheed Yousuf, Nicobar Islands

Jason Koutsoukis 6:28 AM   The massive waves of the 2004 tsunami smashed into India's Nicobar islands, killing thousands of people, smashing villages and thrusting a remote and isolated people into a frightening new world of samaritan NGOs and western consumerism.

Rescuer looks back and wonders

"It kept coming like a train": Roman Quaedvlieg remembers the Boxing Day tsunami.

Tammy Mills 7:05 PM   He reckons at least one of them would have made it, but the other two he pulled from that water he's not so sure.

A decade since Boxing Day tsunami, Aceh still suffers

Bill Nicol in Banda Aceh after the tsunami.

Clare Colley 11:45 PM   The massive aid program after the Boxing Day tsunami failed to rebuild the livelihoods of people in Aceh, aid and development expert Dr John McCarthy says, but fellow Canberran Bill Nicol, who worked alongside the "tsunami's tzar" as an advisor, disagrees.

China uni bans Christmas

NOT WELCOME: Santa and all his Christmas shenanigans have been banned from China's Modern College of Northwest University.

4:42 PM   A university in northwestern China has banned Christmas, calling it a "kitsch" foreign celebration.

Warplane down over Syria: IS kidnaps pilot

In an image released by Islamic State's Raqqa Media Centre, militants claim to have kidnapped Jordanian pilot (centre) identified as First Lieutenant Muath al-Kasasbeh, 27.

Suleiman al-Khalidi 4:15 PM   The US has dismissed a claim by the so-called Islamic State that it had shot down a Jordanian F-16 fighter flying with US-led coalition forces, which crashed in eastern Syria.

'Kitsch' Christmas banned by Chinese university

Santa Claus in Beijing

3:58 PM   Chinese students should resist the "kitsch" Western celebration of Christmas and "resist the expansion of Western culture", a Chinese university says.

Judge rejects Polanski quash bid

Acclaimed film director Roman Polanski, who is still wanted in the US for historic statutory rape charges.

Lauren Raab 3:35 PM   The famed film director has lost another legal bid to overcome US statutory rape charges dating from 1978.

George Bush snr has 'good day' but remains hospitalised

George Bush snr at a White House awards ceremony in July 2013.

Ryan Parker 2:49 PM   Former US president George Bush snr was to remain hospitalised in Texas overnight on Wednesday US time as a precaution.

Police officer kills armed black man near Ferguson, Missouri

Toni Martin, the mother of Antonio Martin, cries out as she is interviewed by police at the scene of her son's shooting in Berkeley, Missouri.

Ian Simpson 2:26 PM   * Suspect had a loaded 9mm handgun, police say

India troops head for north-east

Women in Assam, the north-eastern state of India where Bodo insurgents regularly kill Indians of different ethnicities.

Hari Kumar 2:21 PM   A massacre in remote tribal villages by separatist insurgents in India has pushed the authorities into deploying an extra 5000 troops to Assam.

The sound of roaring thunder

Survivor: Alexa Moses

Alexa Moses 12:15 AM   Alexa Moses survived the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami. This is her account of what happened in the moments after the first wave struck the Thai resort of Khao Lak.

Ukraine cuts power to Crimea as Moscow warns West

Ukrainian soldiers patrol the village of Debaltseve in the war-torn Donetsk region.

Andrew Roth 1:53 PM   Ukraine has briefly cut power to Russian-occupied Crimea, a clear reminder that the territory relies on Ukrainian energy.

Pope Francis's Christmas Eve call to Iraqi refugees

Pope Frances celebrates Christmas Eve mass at St Peter's in the Vatican.

Philip Pullella   Pope Francis led a solemn Christmas Eve mass hours after ringing Christian refugees sheltering in an Iraq camp, telling them they were "like Jesus".

US worker exposed to Ebola after lab mishap

Laboratory

Michael Muskal   A technician at a government laboratory is being monitored for exposure to Ebola after material that may have contained a live virus was mistakenly moved, officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday.

How the US and Canadian militaries ‘track’ Santa’s flights

NORAD Chief of Staff Major General Charles Luckey joins other volunteers taking phone calls from children around the world asking where Santa is. Central command is at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado

Josh Hicks   As you unwrap your presents, you may want to check where Santa is making his next delivery using NORAD's 'satellite systems, high-powered radars and jet fighters'.

Cash grab for $2.4 million on Hong Kong highway

Some $15.23 million Hong Kong dollars have spilled out of the back of an armoured van onto a major Hong Kong highway - police say members of the public have to return any notes found.

Boxes filled with more than $HK15.23 million ($2.4 million) in cash have spilled out of an armoured van onto a major Hong Kong highway, sparking a frenzy as drivers and passers-by tried to get their hands on the notes.

Tornadoes rip across southeast United States, leave 4 dead

Police inspect Kid's Kampus, a daycare facility after a tornado ripped the roof off of the building in Sumrall, Mississippi.

Doyle Rice   A series of severe storms in the United States - including tornadoes - touched down in three southern states on Tuesday, killing four people, damaging homes and businesses, flipping cars, knocking down trees, and downing power lines.