US restores diplomatic ties with Cuba after 54 years

Daniel Trotta 2:39 AM   A US flag could fly over a Havana embassy as soon as July 20, as Obama announces another major achievement.

Top world stories

Oregon crowds count down to pot legalisation

A man smokes marijuana as marijuana enthusiasts gather after midnight to celebrate the legalization of recreational use of marijuana in Portland, Oregon July 1, 2015. Smoking and growing small amounts of marijuana became legal in Oregon on Wednesday, as a growing legalization movement spread down the United States' west coast. A law allowing recreational use, backed by voters in November, came into effect at midnight, opening the way for marijuana to be sold in shops by next year - though some lawmakers say they will still try to block retail outlets. REUTERS/Steve Dipaola

Joints lit up at midnight on the streets of Portland as marijuana became legal in the fourth western US state.

Greek PM sticks with referendum 

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has signalled he's ready to accept the bailout terms.

After offering to accept an earlier bailout, and being turned down by Merkel, Tsipras stands by his previous plan.

IS claims Egypt's North Sinai attacks

Smoke rises in Egypt's North Sinai along the border with southern Israel, July 1, 2015. Islamic State militants launched a wide-scale coordinated assault on several military checkpoints in Egypt's North Sinai on Wednesday in which 50 people were killed, security sources said, the largest attack yet in the insurgency-hit province. Egyptian army F-16 jets and Apache helicopters strafed the region that lies within the Sinai Peninsula, a strategic area located between Israel, the Gaza Strip and the Suez Canal. REUTERS/Amir Cohen       TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

Militants launch a wave of attacks that kills more than 100 people, one of the biggest militant strikes in Egypt's modern history.

Latest world news

Child's nightmare about 'man with a light' turned out to be real

The boy's family used an old smartphone and an app called Salient Eye to capture the intruder.

Talia Shadwell 7:49 AM   For three days, a three-year-old boy had been saying there was "a man with a light" outside his window at night.

In Hong Kong, thousands protest anniversary of city's return to China

A protester raises a Hong Kong colonial flag during a pro-democracy protest on Wednesday on the 18th anniversary of the territory's handover from Britain to China.

Alan Wong 7:41 AM   Low turnout attributed to despair after failure of months of mass protests to achieve democratic goals.

Saudi prince pledges to give away $US32 billion fortune

'With this pledge, I am honouring my life-long commitment to what matters most' ... Saudi Arabia's Prince Alwaleed bin Talal.

Adam Taylor 6:55 AM   At a news conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on Wednesday, Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal announced his plan to give away his entire fortune in the coming years. "With this pledge, I am honouring my life-long commitment to what matters most - helping to build a more peaceful, equitable and sustainable world for generations to come," Alwaleed told reporters.

Sir Nicholas Winton - dubbed Britain's Oskar Schindler - dead at 106

Nicholas Winton, aged 101, holds flowers while sitting on a stage after the premiere of the movie 'Nicky's family' which is based on his life story in Prague.

Emily Langer 6:41 AM   He was credited with saving, through his personal initiative, the lives of at least 669 boys and girls of Czechoslovakia from the Nazis. For decades after the war, he kept his work secret.

Australian government experts received secret draft of official MH17 crash report

Malaysian Airlines planes parked on the tarmac at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

Nick Miller 6:25 AM   A top secret draft of the official report into the cause of the crash of flight MH17 in Ukraine was handed to the Australian government experts almost one month ago, it has emerged.

Mother jailed for contaminating son's IV fluid

Candida Fluty who has been sentenced to six years in prison for contaminating her son's IV fluid.

Lisa Cornwell 6:09 AM   Prosecutor says woman told investigators she acted in the hope doctors would change their treatment approach.

Death toll rises to 142 in Indonesian Air Force plane crash

A mother, whose son was a victim of the Indonesian Air Force C-130B Hercules crash, cries outside Adam Malik hospital in Medan, Indonesia.

Arlina Arshad 5:38 AM   The death toll from the crash of an Indonesian air force plane packed with military personnel and their families has risen to 142, as witnesses described people fleeing the disaster zone covered in blood and with their clothes alight.

US restores diplomatic ties with Cuba after 54 years

President Barack Obama announces the historic move at the White House with Vice President Joe Biden.

Daniel Trotta 2:39 AM   A US flag could fly over a Havana embassy as soon as July 20, as Obama announces another major achievement.

Teenager dies of Ebola in 'clear' Liberia

Health workers take a blood specimen from a child to test for the Ebola virus in a area were a 17-year old boy died from the virus in Liberia.

Aislinn Laing 2:09 AM   A 17-year-old boy has died from Ebola in Liberia: the first confirmed case in the country since it was declared free of the virus seven weeks ago.

Punishment is the only reason for EU to force Greece to exit the euro

A woman passes a banner supporting the No vote to the upcoming referendum in Athens.

Clive Crook 12:34 AM   In my more than 30 years writing about politics, I have never before witnessed such sustained, self-righteous, ruinous and dissembling incompetence - and I'm not talking about Alexis Tsipras and Syriza.

Dead teen's family claim driver who moved body's punishment isn't harsh enough

Norman John Harris killed Cheyenne Ihaka, 16, in a car crash, then moved his body to divert the blame.

Jono Galuzka 10:14 PM   The family of a Tararua teenager who was killed in a car crash, then moved into the driver's seat to take the blame, say the driver's punishment is too weak.

Great Barrier Reef UNESCO verdict confirmed but future status remains murky

The World Heritage status of the Great Barrier has been confirmed - for now.

Peter Hannam 9:52 PM   The status of the Great Barrier Reef has avoided being downgraded by UNESCO's World Heritage Committee but the future of the ecological treasure remains uncertain.

US woman says she gave birth, fought off bees, then started wildfire

Amber Panghorn (

Joseph Serna and Veronica Rocha 9:25 PM   A US woman says she fought off bees, started a fire and survived on apples - all after giving birth in a lonely stretch of Northern California forest.

Ku Klux Klan plans rally as black churches burn

A sign warning the building is unsafe hangs outside the charred remains of Briar Creek Road Baptist Church.

Matt Pearce 8:20 PM   The Ku Klux Klan plans to rally in South Carolina, even as black churches have been warned to take "necessary precautions" as authorities in southern states investigate several church fires over the last week.

I'll need a hair and makeup touch-up: Clinton

Hillary Clinton's emails with her staff and contacts are mostly humdrum, occasionally funny.

Anne Gearan and Colby Itkowitz 4:59 PM   State Department releases first batch of Clinton's 2009 work-related emails.

Obama, Rousseff turn page on spy spat, work on trade, travel

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff speaks as President Barack Obama listens during their joint news conference in Washington, on Tuesday.

Roberta Rampton and Idrees Ali 2:14 PM   US President Barack Obama and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff used a White House visit to turn the page on a spying scandal that had damaged bilateral relations

Greece defaults on debt: IMF

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras

12:59 PM   The IMF has confirmed the debt due by Greece has not been paid so Greece is officially in arrears. Greece made an eleventh hour appeal for a fresh two-year rescue deal with the European Union, just hours before its current bailout expired and it missed the critical IMF payment.

Two huge planes plough into one street: ten years apart

A member of the Indonesian Air Force looks over the wreckage of a military transport plane which crashed into a building on June 30, 2015 in Medan.

Nilufar Rizki 12:42 PM   More than 100 people are feared dead after an Indonesian military transport plane crashed into a hotel and residential area in the northern Sumatra city of Medan.

US boy found on swing died of hypothermia and dehydration, autopsy finds

Romechia Simms with her son, Ji'Aire Donnell Lee.

Julie Zauzmer and DeNeen L. Brown 12:24 PM   The story was chilling and heartbreaking: A 3-year-old boy was found dead in a Southern Maryland park, his mother pushing him on the swing.

China's climate plan: how ambitious and what does it mean for Australia?

China has announced to the UN its plans to tackle carbon dioxide emissions from 2020

Tom Arup 12:07 PM   After a few false dawns China has submitted its plans for tackling climate change from 2020 to the United Nations climate negotiations. What does it mean?

How Egypt's 'Generation Protest' became 'Generation Jail'

A woman holds up a portrait of Egyptian public prosecutor Hisham Barakat at his funeral on Tuesday.

Louisa Loveluck 11:06 AM   The Egyptian president, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, has declared he will intensify a police offensive against dissent after militants murdered the country's prosecutor general.

Woman who gave birth in California forest started wildfire

Amber Pangborn gave birth alone in a California forest and started a fire there before being rescued.

10:42 AM   Desperate and out of petrol and low on food, new mother lit fire in the hope of attracting attention.