NKorea 'centrally involved' in Sony hacking: US

US intelligence officials have concluded that the North Korean government was "centrally involved" in the recent attacks on Sony Pictures' computers,

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Cuban-American detente a long time coming

Freed: Alan Gross speaks at a news conference at his lawyer's office in Washington.

Nick O'Malley 1:01 PM   The end of the United States' embargo on Cuba was inevitable, says Marco, who in 1993 fled Fidel Castro's regime on a raft.

US-Cuba diplomatic breakthrough

President Barack Obama announces the US will end its sanctions on Cuba after 50 years and will move to normalise diplomatic relations.

Nick O'Malley 5:37 AM   Obama has opened the door to restoring full diplomatic relations with Cuba after 50 years of sanctions and embargo, announcing that the US would seek to open an embassy in the coming months.

EU backs resolution on Palestinian state

Palestine flag.

1:30 AM   The European Parliament has adopted a compromise motion that did not follow some European national legislatures in backing immediate recognition of a Palestinian state.

Latest world news

Pakistan PM vows to crush Taliban insurgents

A mother with her son, who was injured in the attack.

Jason Koutsoukis 5:05 PM   As funerals began for the 148 victims of the Pakistani Taliban attack on a school in Peshawar, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif vowed to crush the insurgents and lifted a moratorium on the death penalty.

Homeless man 'overwhelmed' after student raises thousands for him

Dominique Harrison-Bentzen, who has raised $56,000 to help a homeless good Samaritan.

Nicola Harley 5:02 PM   A homeless man who offered a woman his last pennies to get home when she lost her purse is "overwhelmed" after she raised more than £29,000 ($56,000) to help him.

Russia's billionaires panic-buy property as Putin pledges support for rouble

Russian President Vladimir Putin

Andrew Roth 4:22 PM   The plunging rouble has led to feverish attempts to dodge the wealth erosion, with expatriate Russian oligarchs looking to stabilise their fortunes with British property buys.

Barack Obama mistaken for waiter at black-tie gala: interview

"Irritations or indignities'': Barack Obama has revealed his experiences with racism.

1:54 PM   US President Barack Obama has revealed his experiences of racism as protesters condemn the killings of unarmed black men by police.

Activists say more than 230 Syrian corpses in mass grave are a message from Islamic State

Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

1:48 PM   Beheaded corpses found in a mass grave are a message from Islamic State militants according to a moderate Syrian group.

Pakistani Taliban threatens further violence following school killings

Pakistan president Nawaz Sharif

Tom Hussain 1:10 PM   Pakistan's Taliban says it was "forced" to target the army school in Peshawar in an assault that left at least 144 dead, and it has threatened more violence.

Top uni sends 'yes' to hundreds of rejected applicants

There's many a slip twixt the brain and the wrist.

Nick Anderson 12:57 PM   One of the United States' top universities mistakenly told applicants they had been accepted and later had to correct itself.

Pakistani massacre: Peshawar school attack is just the trailer, warn militants

This picture released by the Pakistani Taliban shows the militants who allegedly stormed an army-run school in Peshawar.

10:52 AM   As Pakistan begins to bury the dead after militants rampaged through an army-run school in Peshawar, killing more than 130 children images of the assailants have emerged, along with a warning of more slaughter to come from the Pakistani Taliban.

New York state to ban fracking, Governor Andrew Cuomo says

Despite widespread fracking in the US, the process remains controversial.

Thomas Kaplan and Jesse Mckinley 9:05 AM   Governor Andrew Cuomo's administration announced Wednesday that it would ban hydraulic fracturing in New York state because of concerns over health risks, ending years of uncertainty over the disputed method of natural gas extraction.

Los Angeles police to buy 7000 body cameras

Continuous record: Los Angeles Police Sergeant Dan Gomez demonstrates a video feed from his on-body camera into his mobile phone during a news conference in Los Angeles.

Max Ehrenfreund 7:20 AM   Los Angeles police, who addressed racism and corruption earlier than many other US police forces, are buying 7000 body cameras.

Anger and grief as Pakistan buries students massacred at school

A girl's shoe lies on the floor in the bloodied ceremony hall where many students were executed.

Mehreen Zahra-Malik 6:29 AM   A tour of the school revealed a place shattered by hours of fighting, its floor slick with blood and walls pockmarked with bullet holes. Classrooms were filled with abandoned school bags, mobile phones and broken chairs. Warning: images are disturbing.

Pakistan massacre: Taliban gunmen taunted school captives

A Pakistani camera man shoots video in front of a bullet-riddled wall at the arm- run school a day after an attack by Taliban militants in Peshawar.

6:27 AM   Taliban gunmen who stormed a school in northwest Pakistan toyed with captive students by suggesting some could be let go before lining them up and gunning them down in front of their classmates, according to a new account by survivors.

Church of England appoints its first woman bishop

Reverend Libby Lane is pictured during the announcement to name her first woman bishop by the Church of England, after a historic change in its rules.

9:54 PM   The Church of England appointed its first ever female bishop on Wednesday, overturning centuries of tradition in a Church that has been deeply divided over the issue.

North Korea ends three years' mourning for 'Dear Leader'

North Koreans gather in front of a portrait of their late leader Kim Il-sung, left, and Kim Jong-il, right.

Park Chan-Kyong 9:41 PM   North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has led tens of thousands of military and party officials in a ceremony to mark the end of three years of mourning for former supremo Kim Jong-il.

Sierra Leone to start house-to-house searches for Ebola patients

Travel restrictions and house-to-house searches for those in Sierra Leone.

9:20 PM   Sierra Leone said it would start house-to-house searches for Ebola patients on Wednesday and impose internal travel restrictions as part of a new push to combat the epidemic.

Napster co-founder donates millions for allergy research

Donating millions: Sean Parker.

Ariana Eunjung Cha 9:15 PM   Sean Parker of Napster fame is donating $24 million to create a new research institute at Stanford University with the mission of finding a cure - not just another treatment - for allergies.

Sydney siege: Iran 'requested extradition' of gunman in 2000

Killed by police: Man Haron Monis.

Megan Levy 9:03 PM   Iranian police had requested the extradition of Man Haron Monis, the gunman who was shot dead in the Martin Place siege, 14 years ago but Australian authorities refused to hand him over, according to Iran's police chief.

Fries shortage hits McDonald's in Japan

Do you want... um, something other than fries with that?

Anna Fifield 9:06 PM   Already reeling from a butter shortage, Japan is being buffeted by another food crisis: McDonald's is running out of french fries and will start rationing the crispy delicacy.

Layoffs begin at The New York Times as buyout volunteers fall short

<i>The New York Times</i>: More staff to go.

Ravi Somaiya 9:00 PM   The New York Times and its primary union said on Tuesday that the paper was laying off at least 21 employees because it had not received enough voluntary buyouts to cover newsroom budget cuts.

R&B star Ashanti cross-examined by convicted stalker

Ashanti leaving the court room on Tuesday.

James C McKinley Jr 8:53 PM   For a stalker, a courtroom is one of the few places one can come face to face with one's obsession.

Canberra children touch Pakistan's High Commissioner's heart

Pakistan High Commissioner to Australia, Naela Chohan.

Henry Belot 6:08 PM   Pakistan’s High Commissioner was moved to tears by a tribute from local children after the murder of more than 130 children in Peshawar.