FIFA Congress gives off florid stench of corruption

With buckets of champagne on ice and a floorshow featuring lederhosen, FIFA's scandal-riven Congress began.

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First Australian nabbed in China's crackdown

"I don't know who Xie Renliang is. I am Zhang Jianping," the man has said.

Philip Wen 3:53 AM   After facial recognition software located him in Shanghai, the first Australian national to be arrested under Operation Fox Hunt says he's 'forgotten everything before 2006'.

Why are Western women drawn to IS?

Hayat Boumeddiene, ex-wife of of Paris attack terrorist Amédy Coulibaly. She reportedly fled to Syria after the attack.

Karla Adam 5:32 AM   Western women in the Islamic State are playing a crucial role in disseminating propaganda and are not simply flocking to the region to become a "jihadi bride."

South China Sea: What you need to know

Fiery Cross Reef in the Spratly Islands

3:49 PM   China is building artificial islands and manoeuvring assets in the South China Sea despite many countries claiming parts of the territory. But why and how is it doing so? Here are the answers.

Latest world news

South China Sea dispute: Singapore will be next forum for US-China face-off

Chinese dredging vessels are purportedly seen in the waters around Mischief Reef in the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea.

David Tweed 7:35 AM   China has been trading increasingly forceful barbs with countries including the United States on the South China Sea. Singapore, a neutral party on the contested waters, may provide the venue this weekend for talks about ways to defuse tensions.

'Manhattanhenge' turns New York streets into corridors of light

The setting sun breaks through the clouds along 34th street in New York City during a previous "Manhattanhenge".

Josephine Tovey 7:27 AM   Thousands of New Yorkers and tourists are expected to gather in the city's vast streets on Friday night to witness the stunning interplay of the sun and the city's itself, a phenomenon dubbed "Manhattanhenge".

FIFA Congress opening gives off florid stench of corruption

President of UEFA Michel Platini: he is urging Sepp Blatter to quit.

Nick Miller 6:53 AM   With buckets of champagne on ice, much cheery flag-waving, a well-catered dinner and a floorshow featuring lederhosen, yodelling and the heavy stench of corruption, FIFA's scandal-riven Congress began.

Laura McComb calls family with final farewell as home is swept away by floodwaters

Laura McComb called her family to tell them she loved them as floodwaters rose around the home. She remains missing.

Molly Hennessy-Fiske 6:15 AM   It was supposed to be a relaxing holiday weekend for the group of nine. Instead, all but one remain missing after floodwaters swept away their holiday home.

Former NY Governor Pataki launches 2016 Republican presidential bid

George Pataki, former governor of New York, speaks during a Republican Party fund-raiser in Iowa earlier this month.

10:14 PM   Former New York Governor George Pataki entered the race for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination on Thursday, joining a crowded field of candidates vying to retake the White House for their party.

Hospitals overwhelmed as India heatwave toll nears 1500

Delhi shimmers in the heat.

Abhaya Srivastava 9:34 PM   Hospitals in India are struggling to cope with an influx of victims of a blistering heatwave that has claimed nearly 1500 lives in just over a week.

Ex-Bali nine lawyer to meet on bribe claim

Ex-Bali nine lawyer Mohammad Rifan in 2006.

Gabrielle Dunlevy 7:16 PM   A Bali lawyer who claims bribery and politics interfered in the death sentencing of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran will be quizzed next week.

SpaceX finally wins Pentagon certification

Elon Musk in Tokyo last year.

Christian Davenport 5:52 PM   It took a court case, tens of millions of dollars and some heated words, but Elon Musk's quest to be able to launch satellites for the Pentagon is finally over.

Conference on Rohingyas urges Suu Kyi to speak out

A protester shows her opposition to the return of Rohingyas in Yangon, Myanmar.

Lindsay Murdoch 3:33 PM   Mahathir Mohamad has joined international figures criticising Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi for failing to speak out against the persecution of Rohingyas.

US policeman indicted in shooting death of unarmed black man

Indicted South Carolina police officer Justin Craven.

Harriet McLeod 2:09 PM   A grand jury in South Carolina indicted a white police officer on a felony charge of firing his weapon into a vehicle while it was occupied, killing an unarmed black man.

US to consider new mental health rules for commercial pilots

Wreckage of the Germanwings Airbus A320 at the site of the crash in March.

Hugo Martin 1:50 PM   In the wake of airline catastrophes involving Germanwings and Malaysia Airlines carriers, the Federal Aviation Administration is calling for a study on the mental and emotional health of commercial airline pilots.

World's largest Hindu temple to begin construction after Nepal quake delay

A diagram of the proposed Viraat Ramayan Mandir temple in Bihar, India.

Amrit Dhillon 1:01 PM   Its creator is hoping it will be an "architectural wonder of the world" - and a marker of social change.

China warned that US will remain No 1 power in Asia-Pacific

A Dolphin Z-9 helicopter of China's Navy missile frigate CNS Yulin flies off the deck of Singapore's Navy missile frigate RSS Intrepid in the South China Sea on May 25.

David Lynch 12:05 PM   US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter delivered the strongest US warning yet against China's moves in the South China Sea.

Nebraska lawmakers ban death penalty in dramatic vote

Senator Ernie Chambers

Matt Pearce 11:40 AM   In a climactic political showdown, Nebraska's lawmakers overrode a veto and banned the death penalty.

Singapore Airlines plane lost power in both engines

A Singapore Airlines plane lost power in both engines.

Siva Govindasamy 11:37 AM   Singapore Airlines is investigating how one of its Airbus A330-300s temporarily lost power in both engines in mid-flight, the carrier said on Wednesday.

Offensive photo that cost police officer his job made public

Detective Timothy McDermott

Jeremy Gorner 11:33 AM   Timothy McDermott was sacked after posing for a photo with a fellow police officer "without exercising proper judgment." Now the photo has been made public, and he's fighting to get his job back.

After gumbo and beer, customer leaves a $2000 tip at a Washington restaurant

The receipt shows the generous tip left by a customer.

Dana Hedgpeth 10:08 AM   He is known as a regular who favours the gumbo and a beer at Washington restaurant Blue 44. And he's a good, generous tipper.

Norway's $1.15 trillion wealth fund curbs coal investments

Coal on the nose of the Norwegians.

Saleha Mohsin and Mikael Holter 9:59 AM   Norway's parliament reached an agreement to ban the country's $US890 billion ($1.15 trillion) sovereign wealth from investing in companies that base at least 30 per cent of their business on coal or revenue from the fuel.

Scientists warn Everest glaciers at risk from climate change

Spot the disappearing glaciers near Mt Everest.

9:53 AM   Glaciers in the Everest region could shrink at least 70 per cent or even disappear entirely by the end of the century as a result of climate change.

Empowered Chinese factory workers wake up to their rights

Activist Wu Guijun posing in his office in Shenzhen, south China's Guangdong province.

Tom Hancock 9:13 AM   There were 1379 protests by workers in China last year, more than tripling in just three years and raising Communist Party fears of a nascent labour movement.

Republican Santorum jumps into 2016 presidential race

Republican presidential candidate and former US Senator Rick Santorum salutes as he formally declares his candidacy for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination on Wednesday.

Mark Niquette 8:28 AM   Former senator and runner-up for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012, said he is making plans to make a second try for the White House.

US military mistakenly ships live anthrax to labs in 9 states and South Korea

A photomicrograph of Bacillus anthracis; anthrax.

Phil Stewart 8:00 AM   A US military facility in Utah mistakenly sent live anthrax bacteria to private laboratories in nine US states and to a US military base in South Korea, the Pentagon said on Wednesday.