Pakistan to execute 500 terror convicts

10:50 PM   Pakistan plans to execute about 500 militants in coming weeks after the government lifted a moratorium on the death penalty in terror cases following a Taliban school massacre.

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Pope's blistering attack on Vatican Curia

Blistering critique of administrators ... Pope Francis delivers his message during a meeting with Cardinals and Bishops of the Vatican Curia. He suggested they needed a 'dose of humour'.

Philip Pullella 8:06 AM   The Vatican's top administrators would have been expecting an exchange of pleasantries at their annual Christmas meeting with Pope Francis on Monday.

NKorean internet collapses, attack suspected

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un at a textile mill in Pyongyang.

David Sanger 8:17 AM   North Korea's already tenuous links to the internet went completely dark after days of instability, in what internet monitors described as one of the worst North Korean network failures in years.

Chinese billionaire taking on Disneyland

Entrepreneur: Wang Jianlin is one of China's richest and most influential billionaires.

Philip Wen   One of China’s richest and most influential billionaires is opening up rival Chinese-themed attractions in direct competition against the Disneyland theme parks in Hong Kong and Shanghai.

Latest world news

Technocrat and secular: Veteran Essebsi wins Tunisia's first free presidential vote

Tunisia's victorious presidential candidate Beji Caid Essebsi.

Patrick Markey 12:18 PM   A technocrat from the ousted Ben Ali regime has won Tunisia's presidential election.

On holiday in Asia, Zimbabwe's president Robert Mugabe purges more ministers

Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe

Alan Cowell 11:31 AM   President Robert Mugabe launches yet another purge of his ministers in Zimbabwe, this time while holidaying in Asia.

French driver attack 'not terrorist act'

Police officer collect evidence at the scene in Dijon.

10:39 AM   A man who ploughed into pedestrians shouting "Allahu Akbar" had been to psychiatric hospital 157 times and had no known links to jihadist groups.

Argentina recognises orangutan's legal rights

Sandra the orangutan has been granted a measure of freedom by a court in Argentina.

10:33 AM   Sandra the orangutan has been granted "habeas corpus" by a court in Argentina, in a ruling that recognises her basic rights as a "non-human individual".

Russia entering 'full-fledged economic crisis', says ex-minister Kudrin

'The government has not been quick enough to address the situation' ... Russia's former finance minister Alexei Kudrin.

Darya Korsunskaya 9:33 AM   Russia's government has pushed the country into an economic crisis by not tackling its financial problems fast enough, former finance minister Alexei Kudrin said on Monday, warning the full effects would be felt next year.

Surgery selfies spark outrage

Outcry: Weibo users have criticised the selfies taken by hospital staff in operating theatres at a private Chinese hospital.

9:19 AM   A regulator in China has punished hospital staff after photos of them posing around a patient lying on a surgical table prompted outrage on the country's Weibo microblogging service.

South Korea nuclear plant hacked, says operator

On alert ... South Korean employees conduct a simulated drill to ensure the safety of nuclear power plants under cyber attacks, at a training center of the Wolseong Nuclear Power Plant in the southeastern city of Gyeongju on Monday.

Meeyoung Cho and Jack Kim 8:18 AM   Computer systems at South Korea's nuclear plant operator have been hacked, the company said on Monday, sharply raising concerns about safeguards around nuclear facilities in a country that remains technically at war with North Korea.

Mayor calls for suspension of protests in New York

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has called for a suspension of protests.

Marc Santora 9:12 AM   Mayor Bill de Blasio has called for protesters to suspend demonstrations in the aftermath of the killing of two New York City police officers.

Six dead as garbage truck ploughs into Christmas shoppers in Glasgow

Emergency services attend the scene of the crash in Glasgow.

8:05 AM   Six people were killed when garbage truck ran out of control and crashed into a crowd of Christmas shoppers in Glasgow.

Birth control 'treason' against Turkish lineage, says President

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has previously said families should have at least three children.

7:43 AM   Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has described birth control as a form of "treason," saying it threatened the country's bloodline.

China probes former senior aide to Hu Jintao over graft

Ling Jihua, one-time senior aide to former president Hu Jintao, is facing a corruption investigation.

Ben Blanchard 7:33 AM   * Sources say Ling may escape prosecution

South Korea preps for cyber attack after nuclear reactor data leaks

A worker at the Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Co in South Korea.

Heesu Lee 7:08 AM   South Korea is investigating the online leak of partial blueprints and operating manuals for some of its nuclear reactors, as the perpetrator threatens to continue publishing data unless three facilities are shut by Christmas.

Indonesian cleaners found guilty of rape

The Jakarta International School in Indonesia.

Michael Bachelard 5:49 AM   Indonesian cleaners accused of raping three children at the exclusive Jakarta Intercultural School have been found guilty and sentenced to seven- and eight-year prison sentences.

China promises medical care for HIV-positive boy shunned by village

Eight-year-old 'Kunkun'.

Benjamin Haas 12:48 AM   China's health ministry has promised to provide medical care and a living allowance for an eight-year-old HIV-positive boy targeted by villagers for expulsion, state media reported Monday, in a case that has drawn widespread condemnation.

At least 20 killed in Central African Republic clashes: police

Facing inter-ethnic clashes ... Police officers arrive to patrol in the streets of Bangu, Central African Republic in 2012.

12:32 AM   At least 20 people have been killed and dozens injured in the latest inter-ethnic clashes in the Central African Republic, police said on Monday.

Man to pay $1.6m for credit card fraud

High-tech bank robbery: a Toronto man stole the identities of 38,000 people in a massive credit card fraud scheme.

11:36 PM   A Toronto man stole the identities of 38,000 people in a massive credit card fraud scheme described by prosecutors as high-tech bank robbery.

The true story of 'Maya', the CIA analyst who hunted down Osama bin Laden

Since the release of report on the CIA’s use of torture, the agent has had her record picked over.

Richard Spencer 5:56 PM   In the film Zero Dark Thirty, she was the persistent, conscientious CIA officer who finally tracked Osama bin Laden to his lair.

A divided city mourns the deaths of two police officers

A 2009 photo of Ismaaiyl Brinsley.

Marc Santora 2:21 PM   The warning that an armed man was out for police blood was three minutes too late for two New York city police officers shot dead as racial tensions simmer across the United States.

'Remnant' of much hated Ben Ali regime claims victory in Tunisia election

Supporters of former Tunisian prime minister and presidential candidate Beji Caid Essebsi celebrate after claims of victory.

Patrick Markey 1:01 PM   A self-styled technocrat and official from the ousted Tunisia regime has claimed victory in the presidential run-off poll.

Jordan reinstates death penalty and hangs 11 men

Government criticised: Jordan's Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour.

Rana Sweis 12:47 PM   Jordan courted international condemnation by lifting an eight-year stay on executions: snubbing the European Union that was pushing the nation to make the stay permanent.

Sony's action will invite copycats: security expert

Caved in: Sony cancelled "The Interview" after cyber threats.

Matthew Hall   The decision by Sony Pictures Entertainment to concede to hacker demands and dump Seth Rogen's film "The Interview" from its Christmas release schedule will invite copycat acts, according to a leading cyber security expert.

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Man, shouting 'Allahu Akbar', drives into crowd in France

Police collect evidence outside the police station at Joue-les-Tours.

A driver shouted "Allahu Akbar" as he ploughed into a crowd in the eastern French city of Dijon, injuring 11 people, two seriously, a source close to the investigation said.