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India's top court recognises third gender

8:37am Landmark judgment recognises long marginalised transgender community as a third gender.

Top world stories

Ukraine sends in troops and helicopters

An Ukrainian soldier aims his weapon at pro-Russia protesters.

3:49am Ukrainian government launches 'special operation' to try to reclaim control of the troubled east as Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev warned that Ukraine was descending into civil war.

Pistorius' sole aim was to kill, court told

State prosecturo Gerrie Nel looks on during the murder trial of Oscar Pistorius.

Lisa Davies Oscar Pistorius armed himself “with the sole purpose” of shooting Reeva Steenkamp dead and has since been so overcome by what he has done because he “intended to kill her”.

Coulson knew of hacking in 'vague terms'

Former editor of the News of the World, Andy Coulson.

Andy Coulson, the former editor of News Corp’s News of the World, said he was aware phone hacking existed in ‘‘vague terms’’ as he denied any knowledge of the interception of a murdered schoolgirl’s messages.

100 female Nigerian school students abducted

A family member waits for news of loved ones at Asokoro hospital in Abuja after Monday's bomb blast.

Haruna Umar 4:56am Suspected Islamic extremists abducted over 100 female students from a school in northeast Nigeria before dawn Tuesday but some of the teens managed to escape from the back of an open truck.

Former KKK leader charged with hate crimes

This photo, provided by the police, shows Frazier Glenn Cross, a 73-year-old Vietnam War veteran from southwest Missouri and founder of the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.

Carey Gillam 5:59am The 73-year-old man accused of going on a deadly shooting spree Sunday at two Jewish facilities in a Kansas City suburb identified as a former "grand dragon” of the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.

French school rape case: DNA test all males

Utah baby killer suspect: bail set at $6.3 m

'Provocative' Russian jet buzzes US ship

Dutch teenager arrested for 'joke' terror tweet

Deadly Chile fire rages for third day

Pistorius outbursts 'used to dodge questions'

Ukraine asks UN for help as deadline defied

Gunman kills three at Jewish centres

Kiev: 'full-scale anti-terrorist operation'

MH370: who will get custody of black boxes?

IPCC report censored by governments

Pistorius and the Pit Bull

Abdullah in front, but run-off vote likely

IVF patient pregnant with wrong embryos

Solomon Islands hit by second strong quake

Latest world news

Ukrainian tanks flying Russian flags amid claims of defections

A combat vehicle with pro-Russian gunman on top drives through Slaviansk.

Yuras Karmanau 12:06am A column of armoured vehicles flying Russian flags drove into a Ukrainian city controlled by pro-Russia demonstrators on Wednesday, dampening the central government's hopes to re-establish control over restive eastern Ukraine.

Mexican mayor arrested for forcing councillors to pay drug cartel crime lords

11:26pm The mayor of a western Mexican city once considered a drug cartel stronghold has been arrested on suspicion of forcing town councillors to pay off crime lords, authorities said.

Conservationist Emmanuel de Merode shot after trying to protect gorillas in DR Congo

Emmanuel de Merode.

11:14pm Environmentalists around the world have condemned the shooting of a Belgian conservationist who has struggled to protect Africa's mountain gorillas in the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo.

Fears for hundreds as Korea resort ferry sinks

Helicopters aiding the sinking ferry Sewol, which was carrying 477 people between the South Korean port of Incheon and the resort island of Jeju.

Choe Sang-hun 6:24pm Coast guard and navy divers were searching a ferry on Wednesday after it sank off the south-western tip of South Korea while carrying hundreds of high school students to a resort island, leaving at least two people dead.

Australian militants killed in drone strike


David Wroe, Defence Correspondent 5:25pm At least one of the two Australian suspected Islamic militants killed in a US drone strike in Yemen late last year had spent time in a terrorist training camp.

Rescue at sea: South Korean passenger ship in distress

A South Korean passenger ship, with more than 400 passengers on board, is seen listing heavily in the sea off Jindo. One passenger said those on board were in their cabins but  having trouble keeping their balance.

1:35pm South Korea's coast guard has received a distress signal from a passenger ship with more than 400 on board off the southwest coast, an official said on Wednesday, with Korean media reporting the vessel was sinking.

Boston police investigating two backpacks left near marathon finish line

Survivors, families of victims, officials, first responders and guests pause as the flag is raised at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

AMANDA HOH 1:38pm Boston police are investigating two unattended backpacks left near the finish line of the Boston Marathon following a ceremony marking the first anniversary since the bombings which killed three people and injured dozens.

Moscow threatens talks pullout as Kiev strikes back

Ukrainian troops set up positions after seizing the air base near Kramatorsk in the country's east.

Sergei Loiko 4:03pm Vladimir Putin has demanded UN condemnation as Ukraine's interim government moved against militants in the country's east.

Cannabis: study finds 'even casual use alters brain'


Rebecca Smith 8:42am Experimenting with cannabis on a casual basis damages the brain permanently, research has found.

A year after the Boston bombing, a day of reflection and hope

The family of Boston Marathon bombings victim Martin Richard with former Boston mayor Tom Menino, right.

Katharine Seelye 3:34pm "There are no strangers here," Gov. Deval Patrick said Tuesday about Boston, during a ceremony marking one year since the deadly bombing at the city's marathon. "We are in the end, one community" that "turns to each other in times of need."

Can you spot a psychopath?

Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lecter in Silence of The Lambs.

Tom Chivers We think of them as killers, outside society. But, says the scientist who has spent his life studying psychopaths, you could have one for a colleague, a friend - or a spouse.

Turkey plans to build separate prisons for gay criminals


1:28am Gay rights groups are alarmed at the government-led project, saying it will lead to more discrimination in a largely homophobic country.

Mladic has 'case to answer': UN court

Former Bosnian Serb general Ratko Mladic, in 2011.

A UN war crimes court upheld all charges against Bosnian Serb ex-army chief Ratko Mladic, saying he ‘‘has a case to answer’’.

Gambia bans flights from Ebola-hit nations

President Yahya Jammeh has ordered the cancellation of all flights from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Gambia has banned flights from Ebola-hit west African countries from landing in its territory, airport officials say.

Silvio Berlusconi ordered to do one year's community service

Giving back: Silvio Berlusconi will serve one year's community service for tax fraud.

Marco Bertacche and Andrew Frye Former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi has had his one-year prison sentence commuted to community service caring for the elderly.

Jordan envoy to Libya kidnapped

The Jordanian embassy in the Libyan capital, Tripoli.

Mohammad Tayseer and Donna Abu-Nasr Masked gunmen snatched Jordan’s ambassador to Libya from his car early on Tuesday and shot and severely wounded his driver, Jordan’s Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour said.

Oscar Pistorius trial: contradictions mount as athlete faces fifth day of cross-examination

Emotional mess ... Oscar Pistorius, leaves the high court in Pretoria.

LISA DAVIES It's day 23 in the trial of Oscar Pistorius for the murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

US politicians slam e-cigarette sales

E-cigarette companies are preying on young consumers by using candy flavours, social-media ads and free samples at rock concerts, according to a report released by Democratic legislators.

Australian faces jail for coverage of same story that won Reuters a Pulitzer prize

Australian journalist Alan Morison and his Thai colleague Chutima Sidasathian, both charged with defamation, will face court on Thursday in Thailand.

LINDSAY MURDOCH Reuters' international news agency has a won Pulitzer prize for exposing the violent persecution of Myanmar’s Muslim Rohingya minority while an Australian journalist and his Thai colleague face jail for their coverage of the same story.

Italian woman set to keep 'wrong' twins after IVF mix-up

Tom Kington An Italian woman who is carrying twins that are not her own following an apparent hospital IVF mix-up will most likely be allowed to keep the babies.

Peace talks warning as settlers return to Hebron

Israeli soldiers help settlers move into a house on the outskirts of Hebron in the Israeli-occupied West Bank on April 13.

Robert Tait Israel has been accused of trying to sabotage stuttering peace talks after giving settlers the go-ahead to set up home in one of the most volatile parts of the occupied West Bank.

Ukraine crisis: what does Putin want?

Russian President Vladimir Putin: subversion from within - not attack from without - has emerged as his favoured technique for controlling events in Ukraine.

David Blair When is an invasion not an invasion? No Russian tanks have rolled across Ukraine's eastern frontier and no spearhead infantry units are ravaging the post-industrial wastes of the Donbas, yet the Kremlin has still managed to seize de facto control over a string of towns inside its neighbour.


Twitter heads to Turkey for talks amid Erdogan ban threat

Turkey Twitter

Onur Ant, Ali Berat Meric, Selcan Hacaoglu Twitter is seeking to ease tensions in Turkey amid accusations the US company evades taxes and refuses to abide by Turkish law.





  • Paul McGeough reports on life as Australian troops prepare to pull out.