Death penalty banned in dramatic and historic vote

In a climactic political showdown, Nebraska's state politicians overrode a veto and banned the death penalty.

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SpaceX finally wins Pentagon certification

Elon Musk

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.

US to reconsider pilot mental health rules 

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

Following the Germanwings and Malaysia Airlines catastrophes, the Federal Aviation Administration wants a study on the mental and emotional health of airline pilots.

World's largest Hindu temple to begin build

The Age 28/5/2015 Temple diagrams.  Supplied for Foreign 
Temple model

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

Suu Kyi urged to speak up on Rohingya crisis

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 her silence on the Rohingyas.

Latest world news

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.

South China Sea dispute: 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.

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.

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.

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 8:56 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.

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.

Indians urged to stay indoors as death toll from 'unbearable' heat tops 1300

An Indian woman and child sleep under an umbrella at the roadside in Kolkata.

NIDA NAJAR 7:59 AM   Large swaths of India were baking again Wednesday under intense heat that has killed more than 1,300 people and left the government scrambling to warn an often unheeding population about the dangers of stepping outside in the blazing midday sun.

Russia amasses heavy firepower on border with Ukraine

Military vehicles drive along a road at the Russian southern town of Matveev Kurgan, near the Russian-Ukrainian border in Rostov region, Russia on May 24.

Maria Tsvetkova 7:19 AM   Rocket launchers, tanks, howitzers sent to border area in unmarked vehicles by troops in unmarked uniforms.

China puts weapons on its new artificial islands

Chinese dredging vessels are purportedly seen in the waters around Mischief Reef in the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, in this file still image from video taken by a P-8A Poseidon surveillance aircraft and provided by the United States Navy on May 21, 2015. Japan will join a major U.S.-Australian military exercise for the first time in a sign of growing security links between the three countries as tensions fester over China's island building in the South China Sea. REUTERS/U.S. Navy/Handout via Reuters/Files


John Garnaut, David Wroe 7:08 AM   Australia's top defence official has directly challenged China over its construction of artificial islands across hotly-contested areas of the South China Sea.

Queen Elizabeth sets in train Britain's in-out EU referendum

Queen Elizabeth II speaks during the State Opening of Parliament in the House of Lords on Wednesday.

Andrew Osborn 7:06 AM   Prime Minister David Cameron says he would prefer to stay inside a reformed EU but isn't "ruling anything out" if his proposed changes don't materialise.

Saudi-led air campaign in Yemen drags on with little progress

People look at a burning fuel truck after it was set ablaze during clashes between Houthis and fighters of the Popular Resistance Committees in Taiz, Yemen on Monday.

Zaid al-Alayaa and Laura King 6:59 AM   Three months, a humanitarian disaster and at least 1800 people killed, but the war on Yemen rages on.