Life on Mars: NASA has plans for human colonies

Humans will be living and working on Mars in colonies independent of Earth by the 2030s, NASA says.

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Son of detained Chinese lawyer missing

Bao Zhuoxuan, 16, the teenage son of a detained human rights lawyer blocked by Chinese authorities from attending high school in Australia?has gone missing in Myanmar while attempting to flee mainland China.
Supplied picture via Philip Wen

Bao Zhuoxuan.jpg

Philip Wen   After months of surveillance and harassment from Chinese authorities, boy had planned to apply for asylum in the United States.

Taiwan's president defiant in the face of slide

Ma Ying-jeou, president of Taiwan, at the presidential palace in Taipei, Taiwan, last year.

Philip Wen 10:20 PM   Outgoing Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou has defended  his eight years in office even as slumping popularity levels point to a convincing defeat for his party at a forthcoming election.

Conflicting accounts of Phuket bashing

A screen shot from the video posted on Facebook that appears to show Thai guards at a nightclub beating up tourists.

Lindsay Murdoch 2:05 AM   Five security guards shown in video kicking and elbowing two Australian tourists in Thailand will escape punishment because the victims have left without making police statements.

What a chemical attack did to one family

In a family photo, Shahad holds her baby sister, Sidra, who died after an August blister agent attack against their home in Marea, Syria. Since the spring, the Islamic State group has used two types of chemical weapons in Iraq and Syria multiple times, according to international arms analysts, victims, local activists and Western officials.

An incoming round was whistling toward Marea, a town on northern Syria's agricultural flatland. "One shell fired!" the voice on the radio said. "Be careful!"

Latest world news

Deadly explosion rocks Ankara, Turkey

Ankara blast.

12:09 AM   Dozens of people are dead and even more wounded in two explosions outside the main train station in the Turkish capital Ankara on Saturday, the Turkish Interior Ministry said.

Tea-totalled: how the Republicans have descended into chaos

People hold signs during a Tea Party protest in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Nick O'Malley 12:15 AM   To the outside world the the dazzling buffoonery and extravagant self-regard of the Trump presidential campaign is the clearest indicator that the Republican Party might be travelling a dark path, perhaps to a dead end.

Let a garden grow - China's new flourishing headgear

Sprouts, flowers, vegetables worn in the hair: China's new reaction to the bleak landscapes of many of the nation's cities.

Chris Buckley 10:12 PM   When Mao stirred China with a call to let a hundred flowers bloom, he surely never imagined anything as frivolous as this. Across China, grown-ups are sporting plastic decorations on their heads in the shape of vegetables, fruit and flowers.

Islamic State closes in on Syrian city of Aleppo

Syrian armoured vehicles get ready to move near the village of Morek in Syria on Wednesday.

Dominic Evans 7:13 PM   Islamic State fighters have seized villages close to the northern city of Aleppo from rival insurgents, a monitoring group said on Friday, despite an intensifying Russian air-and-sea campaign that Moscow says has targeted the militant group.

Life on Mars: NASA unveils plans for human colonies by 2030s

Colonising the planet Mars is on the agenda, according to NASA.

Sarah Knapton 5:04 PM   Humans will be living and working on Mars in colonies independent of Earth by the 2030s, claims Nasa.

20 million reasons: but plan still rejected

Paul Smith's College will have to forgo a US$20 million bequest.

Benjamin Mueller 1:29 PM   In the world of multimillion dollar gift-giving, Paul Smith's College, named for a 19th-century hotelier and tucked in the forests of northern New York state, carried little cachet. So when Joan Weill, the wife of Wall Street billionaire Sanford I. Weill, proposed a $US20 million ($27 million) gift that would lift the struggling college's fortunes, its officials saw national prestige on the horizon.

China eyes new coal curbs

China's coal industry faces challenges on multiple fronts.

Philip Wen and Peter Hannam 10:55 AM   China is considering aggressive new curbs on coal consumption as it accelerates efforts to transform its economy and tackle climate change.

US states having trouble executing their citizens

Death penalty opponent Sister Helen Prejean tries to put death row inmate Richard Glossip on speaker phone outside the Oklahoma State Penitentiary, following a stay in his scheduled execution.

Manny Fernandez 10:16 AM   Despite a Supreme Court ruling allowing a controversial drug to be used for lethal injections in Oklahoma, death-penalty states are finding it harder to carry out executions as they struggle to obtain and properly use limited supplies of ever-changing combinations of suitable drugs.

Guatemala landslide toll reaches 253 dead, 374 missing

A man prays during the burial of five mudslide victims at the Santa Catarina Pinula cemetery on the outskirts of Guatemala City on Tuesday.

7:50 AM   A hillside collapsed onto Santa Catarina Pinula on the south-eastern edge of Guatemala City on October 1, burying more than a 100 homes under tons of earth, rock and trees.

Obama administration ends Pentagon program to train Syrian rebels

US President Barack Obama has endorsed a shift in strategy in the war against Islamic State.

Helene Cooper and Eric Schmitt   The US program had produced as few as five trainees who were fighting Islamic State in Syria last month, and US-trained fighters had supplied affiliates of al-Qaeda with a significant amount of arms.

Discharged British Ebola nurse back in hospital

Pauline Cafferkey, a nurse who contracted Ebola while working in Sierra Leone, has been re-admitted to hospital.

Kate Kelland   Scottish nurse, Pauline Cafferkey, who had recovered from Ebola, is now suffering complications, adding to signs that the virus is a long-term health risk and can lead to a "post-Ebola syndrome".

One dead after shooting at Texas Southern University

One person has been confirmed dead at a shooting at Texas Southern University on Friday.

James Queally   One student was killed and another person was injured after someone opened fire outside a Texas Southern University dormitory on Friday morning, prompting a lockdown at the Houston school, officials said.

Nobel peace prize awarded to group for steering Tunisia towards democracy

Houcine Abassi, the head of Tunisian General Labour Union, right, is congratulated in his office.

Ruth Pollard   A little-known group of civil society organisations honoured for helping steer Tunisia towards democracy as their neighbours collapsed into chaos.

One person killed in shooting at Northern Arizona University

One person has been killed in a shooting at Northern Arizona University.

Katie Rogers   One person has been killed and three others injured in a shooting at Northern Arizona University.

Smoking set to kill one in three young men in China: study

Smoking outside an office building in Beijing this week. Research published in the medical journal The Lancet says one in three of all the young men in China are likely to die from tobacco, but that the number can fall if the men stop smoking.

Kate Kelland   One in three of all the young men in China will eventually be killed by tobacco unless a substantial proportion of them succeed in quitting smoking, according to a new study.

Argentina says fugitive spy chief fled to US

Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, President of Argentina, in 2011.

A fugitive former spy chief accused of involvement in the murky death of an Argentinian federal prosecutor in January flew from Brazil to the United States a month later, Argentina's security ministry said this week.

'Beyond disgusting': says journalist Matthew Keys of his hacking conspiracy conviction

Matthew Keys, right, may face 25 years in jail after being convicted of conspiring with hacking group Anonymous to break into the Los Angeles Times' website.

Justin Moyer   Journalist Matthew Keys, who prosecutors say illegally leaked the username and password needed to hack into the Los Angeles Times to the hacking group Anonymous may serve 25 years in prison.

France train attack hero stabbed in California

The Legion d'Honneur

Sharon Bernstein   American who fought a gunman apparently planning a terrorist attack on a train in France in August is fighting for his life.

UN proposes unity government for Libya's warring factions, Tripoli balks

United Nations envoy for Libya Bernardino Leon, left, chats with Guma El-Gamaty, leader of the Libian Taghyeer Party, in Skhirat, Morocco, on Thursday.

Aziz El Yaakoubi   A UN plan to unite Libya's warring factions has hit a roadblock.

Ben Carson suggests Jewish people could have stopped Nazis if they had guns

Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson: "I think the likelihood of Hitler being able to accomplish his goals would have been greatly diminished if the people had been armed."

Vanessa Williams   'I think the likelihood of Hitler being able to accomplish his goals would have been greatly diminished if the people had been armed,' the Republican presidential candidate said.

'This feels like the early days of the second intifada, in slow motion'

Israeli settlers scuffle with policemen during a demonstration in the occupied West Bank at the Palestinian village of Beit Sahur.

Ruth Pollard   As was the case 15 years ago, a political vacuum is being filled by violence between Israelis and Palestinians.