Family's lucky escape from doomed AirAsia flight

Michael Bachelard 5:16 AM   As Christianawati raced late into Surabaya airport to catch her flight on Sunday morning, she felt like the unluckiest woman in the world.

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Long, hard year in jail for Peter Greste

Peter Greste

Ruth Pollard 12:15 AM   Peter Greste is in fine company as he sits trapped in his jail cell in Egypt, marking the anniversary no one wants to celebrate.

Snow leaves thousands stranded in Alps

Bumper-to-bumper weekend traffic near Albertville in the French Alps.

3:45 PM   Heavy snowfall in the French Alps left 15,000 drivers stranded, prompting officials to open emergency shelters and urge travellers to stay at home.

Ferry catches fire off Greece with 466 onboard

The ferry Norman Atlantic burns in waters off Greece.

9:16 AM   Desperate passengers have used mobile phones to plead live on TV to be saved from a burning ferry off the Greek island of Corfu.

Latest world news

Satellite service Tomnod and internet crowd stand ready to find missing AirAsia flight QZ 8501

An official from Indonesia's national search and rescue agency in Medan, North Sumatra, points at his computer screen to the position where AirAsia flight QZ 8501 went missing off the waters of Indonesia.

Ben Grubb 10:44 AM   The satellite service used in an attempt to help find missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370 says it stands ready to aid in the search of AirAsia flight QZ 8501.

AirAsia flight from Indonesia to Singapore loses contact

Family members of passengers on board AirAsia flight QZ 8501 talk on their phones while waiting for information inside a crisis centre at Juanda Airport in Surabaya

Michael Bachelard 9:39 AM   A search and rescue operation is underway after AirAsia flight QZ 8501 from the Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore with 162 people onboard lost contact with air traffic control on Sunday.

The man behind AirAsia: chief executive Tony Fernandes

AirAsia chief executive Tony Fernandes at a news conference about the missing plane.

Elahe Izadi 9:37 AM   AirAsia was failing and falling ever deeper into debt in 2001 when Tony Fernandes bought the carrier for a single Malaysian ringgit — worth  about 50 cents at the time.

Rising oceans force Bangladeshi farmers inland for new jobs

Bangladesh, already one of the world's poorest nations, facing rising costs from climate change.

Arun Devnath 8:33 AM   About seven years ago, Gaur Mondol noticed he couldn't grow as much rice on his land as salty water seeped in from the Passur River, which stretches from his home in Bangladesh's interior all the way to the Indian Ocean.

Missing AirAsia plane: How airlines use tracking technology

An AirAsia plane has been missing since Sunday.

Bart Jansen 8:28 AM   As another plane has gone missing in Southeast Asia, attention is paid to the tracking systems that commercial airlines use.

Queen's guards retreat behind security fences

Guards outside St George's Chapel at Winsdor Castle, London.

Tom Whitehead 9:15 AM   Royal guards have been moved from their traditional posts outside the England's palaces amid fears that Islamist fanatics may target them.

Burning ferry being towed to Italy with hundreds still on board

The burning ferry "Norman Atlantic" adrift in the Adriatic Sea.

7:40 AM   A burning ferry adrift in the Adriatic Sea with hundreds of passengers on board was being towed towards Italy, a Greek official said.ift

Aviation's tragic year: Will it ground confidence?

An aircraft from the AirAsia fleet.

Rick Feneley 7:22 PM   Another passenger jet vanishes in mid-air in a terrible year for commercial aviation.

Thousands affected by Malaysia's worst flooding in decades

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak was criticised for playing golf in Hawaii with US President Barack Obama during the floods.

Satish Cheney 3:34 PM   Rescuers are struggling to get help to the tens of thousands of people affected by Malaysia's worst flooding in decades as angry victims accused the government of being slow in its response.

Confused residents mistake hippo for dinosaur

Ten people died in northern Limpopo after being hit by a van on a road as they carved up a hippopotamus killed by a truck.

Lane Sainty 3:25 PM   Confused Taiwanese residents thought they had returned to prehistoric times on Friday, when a hippopotamus injured after jumping from a moving vehicle was identified as a dinosaur. 

India takes a leaf out of Australian book on nationwide tax

A man rests on vegetables being transported by truck in India's southern city of Hyderabad.

Rama Lakshmi 2:45 PM   Bringing the GST to India could be a make-or-break move for the country's economy.

Palestinians held over firebombing attack

A Palestinian protester, dressed as Santa Claus, uses a slingshot to return a tear gas canister fired by Israeli troops during clashes in the occupied West Bank village of Bilin on Boxing Day.

2:18 PM   Two Palestinians suspected of throwing a firebomb that wounded an 11-year-old Israeli girl and her father have been arrested in the occupied West Bank, Israel says.

Somali Islamist with $3m US bounty on head surrenders

Somali soldiers near the wreckage left by a suicide bombing targeting African Union troops in September.

Abdi Sheikh 2:06 PM   A leader of Somali Islamist group al-Shabab, who has a $3 million US bounty on his head, has surrendered, a Somali government official said.

Indonesia arrests six heading to Syria

A member of the Islamic Defenders Front, an Indonesian radical group, flies the flag used by Islamic State and al-Qaeda at a rally in Jakarta in July 2014.

1:55 PM   Indonesian police have arrested six people attempting to fly to Syria to join the so-called Islamic State group.

Swedish centre-left in 8-year deal with opposition to avert snap election

Partners: Deputy Prime Minister Asa Romson, Prime Minister Stefan Lofven and members of the centre-right Alliance announce the power-sharing deal in Stockholm on Saturday.

Daniel Dickson 1:46 PM   Left and right in Sweden announce a power-sharing deal to sideline the country's rising anti-immigrant party.

Transit police deliver Christmas baby on Philadelphia subway train

Bundle of Christmas joy: A healthy baby boy was delivered on a Philadelphia subway train.

Elahe Izadi 12:03 PM   It was just a regular Christmas evening aboard Philadelphia's Market-Frankford subway train when passenger Loreta McNeil heard a woman cry, "My water broke, my water broke," Philadelphia ABC affiliate WPVI reported.

North Korea has another internet shutdown

Great game: US President Barack Obama and North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un are at the heart of a cyber conflict.

Martin Fackler 4:43 PM   North Korea has suffered an internet shutdown for at least two hours, Chinese state media and cyber experts say, after Pyongyang blamed Washington for an online blackout earlier this week.

Man who tried to kill Pope John Paul II puts roses on his tomb

In 1983, Pope John Paul II visited the man who tried to kill him, Mehmet Ali Agca, in a Rome prison.

The man who tried to kill Pope John Paul II 33 years ago showed up at the Vatican on Saturday to put white roses on his tomb and said he wanted to meet Pope Francis.

Funeral of Ramos Rafael gunned down in New York

Flowers are placed on top of a vehicle as a funeral procession gets under way for slain New York police officer Rafael Ramos.

BENJAMIN MUELLER   Thousands of police officers converged in New York on Saturday to honor Rafael Ramos, who was gunned down a week ago.

North Korea blasts Barack Obama as 'monkey' over The Interview

Name calling: North Korea has slammed Barack Obama for <i>The Interview</i> to be screened in cinemas.

North Korea has blasted US President Barack Obama as a "monkey" encouraging cinemas to screen a comedy featuring a fictional plot to kill its leader, and threatened "inescapable deadly blows" over the movie.

Australian entrepreneur released from Chinese jail

Hard times: Charlotte Chou requested a beanie for her release as her hair had turned almost completely grey during her years in prison.

Philip Wen   Australian entrepreneur Charlotte Chou has walked free from a Guangzhou jail after six-and-a-half years, in an emotional end to one of a series of murky cases involving Chinese-Australians detained in China.