PM wins duel with Berlusconi over new president

Paola Totaro 2:02 PM   Italy has a new president, Sergio Mattarella, a 73-year-old Sicilian judge whose politician brother was gunned down by the Mafia and died in his arms on the way to hospital.

Top world stories

Bali Nine pair lodge handwritten appeals

Holding out hope: Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran.

Two Australian drug smugglers have written to Indonesian President Joko Widodo, asking for a review of their death sentences.

US on edge as measles outbreak spreads

AP

The White House urges parents to get their children vaccinated as a trend away from vaccination shows signs of reversing.

Greek defence chief prompts jet scramble

Greek Defence Minister Panos Kammenos drops a wreath in the sea off the islets of Imia, where three Greek servicemen died in 1996 during a confrontation with Turkey.

The new Greek defence minister, from the small right-wing party in coalition with the leftist Syriza, has revived tensions with Turkey.

Latest world news

Pro-democracy protesters return to streets of Hong Kong

Protesters march through the centre of Hong Kong on Sunday.

Dennis Chong 10:06 PM   Thousands of pro-democracy protesters have taken to the streets of Hong Kong for the first time since mass demonstrations shut down parts of the city for more than two months.

Fire breaks out on Orient Express tourist train in Thailand; no injuries

The Eastern and Oriental Express crossing Kanchanburi Bridge in Thailand.

8:25 PM   A fire broke out on a luxury tourist train in Thailand on Sunday as it headed towards a region known for inspiring the film The Bridge on the River Kwai, but no one was injured, police said.

CIA, Mossad killed senior Hezbollah figure in 2008 car bombing

Hezbollah militants carry the coffin of slain commander Imad Mughniyah through the streets of Beirut in 2008.

Adam Goldman 3:51 PM   Five former US intelligence officials confirm that CIA was involved in killing of Lebanese militant leader.

Palestinians in Syria cut off from aid once more

Residents of the Yarmouk camp on the outskirts of Damascus wait to receive food aid in February of last year.

2:56 PM   Tens of thousands of Palestinian refugees in a camp on the outskirts of Damascus have been cut off from emergency aid for nearly two months.

New York City to pay $5m in 'Mafia Cops' case

Stephen Caracappa enters court in March 2006.

Benjamin Mueller 2:48 PM   New York reaches a $5 million settlement with the family of a 26-year-old man gunned down by corrupt police on Christmas Day 1986.

Greece puts privatisations on ice as anti-austerity wave arrives in Madrid

Supporters of the Spanish anti-austerity party Podemos gather at Puerta del Sol square in Madrid on Saturday.

2:23 PM   Greece sacks privatisation agency chief as at least 100,000 people pour into the streets of Madrid to reject austerity.

Italian PM wins duel with Berlusconi over new president

Italy's new President Sergio Mattarella.

Paola Totaro 2:02 PM   Italy has a new president, Sergio Mattarella, a 73-year-old Sicilian judge whose politician brother was gunned down by the Mafia and died in his arms on the way to hospital.

Moscow library fire a 'cultural Chernobyl'

Firefighters at the library of the Academic Institute of Scientific Information on Social Sciences in Moscow.

1:32 PM   A fire that ripped through one of Russia's largest university libraries is believed to have damaged over a million historic documents.

For sale: gates from which Suu Kyi addressed Burmese, and the world

Aung San Suu Kyi  addresses her supporters from the gates of her house in July 1996.

Lindsay Murdoch 12:46 PM   The gates of Aung San Suu Kyi's home, which became an enduring symbol of her fight for democracy, are to be auctioned.

Islamic State says it has beheaded second Japanese hostage

Junko Ishido, right, mother of Kenji Goto, speaks to reporters while her husband Yukio Ishido stands beside her at their home in Tokyo on Sunday.

William Mallard 3:08 PM   Jihadists said they had beheaded journalist Kenji Goto after the failure of international efforts to secure his release through a prisoner swap.

Two cases of child pornography possession in Vatican in 2014

Former Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski was arrested last September in the Vatican on charges of having paid for sex with children.

11:06 AM   The Vatican, which is still struggling with the effects of a worldwide paedophilia scandal in the Catholic Church, discovered two cases of possession of child pornography within its own walls last year, its chief prosecutor said on Saturday.

Reports Australian journalist Peter Greste to be freed and deported

Set to be freed: Australian Al Jazeera journalist Peter Greste.

Louise Hall and Lucy Battersby 10:06 AM   Jailed Australian journalist Peter Greste could be released and deported from Egypt as early as today, unconfirmed reports suggest.

Islamic State says beheads Japanese hostage - monitoring group

Islamic State have released a video they say shows the execution of Kenji Goto.

7:46 AM   Islamic State militants released a video on Saturday saying they had executed Japanese hostage Kenji Goto, the SITE monitoring group said.

Ukrinian peace talks break up in Minsk

Former Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma, second from the right, arrives for Ukraine peace talks in Minsk on January 31, 2015.

5:32 AM   Peace talks on the Ukraine crisis, involving Ukrainian and Russian representatives and separatist envoys, broke up on Saturday after more than four hours with key players leaving the venue by different cars, a Reuters witness said.

Bangladesh fire kills 13 people in a city market

4:24 AM   At least 13 people were killed on Saturday when a fire swept through a plastics factory in a crowded market in a suburb of the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka, police said.

Fire devastates major Russian library

3:06 AM   A fire at one of Russia's largest public libraries has been raging for more than 17 hours, threatening to destroy thousands of rare documents.

Italy elects senior judge Sergio Mattarella as president

Elected after four rounds of voting: New Italian President Sergio Mattarella.

Steve Scherer 11:19 PM   Italian legislators have elected Sergio Mattarella, a constitutional court judge and veteran centre-left politician, as president, handing a welcome political victory to Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.

Hostage negotiations with Islamic State deadlocked, says Japan

This image from a YouTube video posted by jihadists purports to show Kenji Goto holding a photo of Jordanian pilot Muath al-Kasaesbeh.

Efforts by Japan and Jordan to secure the release of two of their nationals held captive by Islamic State militants remain "deadlocked" and the situation remains highly unpredictable, Japan says.

Pakistan's Shiites mourn 61 killed in mosque blast

A Pakistani Shiite Muslim mourns the killing of his community members.

Thousands of Shiite Muslims have rallied to protest the killing of 61 people in a suicide bombing at a mosque, as southern Pakistan shut down to mourn the nation's worst sectarian attack in nearly two years.

US strike kills IS weapons expert

The removal of Saddam Hussein lifted the lid on the regions religious hatreds, leading to the rise of Islamic State

A US-led coalition air strike on Islamic State has killed a chemical weapons specialist who gained expertise under Saddam Hussein's regime.

Mitt Romney won't run in 2016 Presidential Election

Mitt Romney's decision not to run in the 2016 Presidential Election will almost certainly bring an end to his decade-long quest to become president.

Jonathan Martin and Michael Barbaro   Mitt Romney said on Friday that he would not seek the Republican nomination for president in 2016.

Vaccine critics turn defensive over measles

The mumps-measles-rubella vaccine.

Jack Healy and Michael Paulson   The families of the many Californian parents who shun vaccinating their children are being vilified as measles spreads across the US.

South African death-squad leader 'Prime Evil' granted parole

Apartheid death-squad leader Eugene de Kock listens to questions put to him by lawyers at the special public hearing of South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Johannesburg in 1998.

Dan Bilefsky   South Africa has granted parole to Eugene de Kock, the convicted death-squad leader widely known as "Prime Evil" because of his abuses of black activists during the apartheid era, after he served two decades in prison, the Justice Ministry said Friday.

Jordan still awaiting proof pilot is alive

The mother of Jordanian air force pilot Maaz al-Kassasbeh carries a portrait of her son during a protest.

Fate of Jordanian pilot captured by Islamic State unknown despite Jordan's willingness to exchange woman jihadist prisoner for him.

US judge allows UK spies to testify in disguise

Spy.

Mark Hosenball   MI5 officers operate covertly both in Britain and overseas and it was argued that forcing them to testify under their real identities would compromise past and current undercover operations and jeopardise their safety. Mark Hosenball reports.