Nicolas Sarkozy's UMP wins local French elections

Ingrid Melander 1:44 PM   Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy's conservative UMP party and its allies have won the second and final round of French local elections on Sunday.

Top world stories

Major earthquake strikes off PNG

An earthquake has rattled south east Queensland.

Megan Levy 3:40 PM   A major earthquake with a magnitude 7.5 struck off Papua New Guinea on Monday, official monitors said, and a tsunami warning was issued soon after.

BA pilot killed wife then planned to crash jet

A British Airways pilot was convicted of manslaughter of his wife in 2010.

The case of a pilot who planned to crash his jumbo jet "to make a statement" shows airlines are not doing enough to monitor the mental conditions of their crews.

Muslim Brotherhood leader labelled a terrorist

Muslim Brotherhood deputy leader Khairat el-Shater – officially a terrorist under Egypt's new anti-terror laws.

Egypt's top prosecutor has officially named 18 Muslim Brotherhood members, including the group's leader, as terrorists under the country's new anti-terror laws.

Latest world news

Germanwings plane crash: Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz persuaded captain to leave cockpit, according to transcript

Co-pilot of Germanwings flight 4U9525 Andreas Lubitz is suspected of having deliberately piloted Germanwings Flight 4U 9525 into a mountain in southern France.

John Bacon and Jane Onyanga-Omara 2:51 AM   The co-pilot of the doomed Germanwings flight repeatedly suggested that the captain leave the cockpit, then locked him out and stymied his desperate efforts to return, according to data recorder transcripts reported Sunday.

Germanwings plane crash: 'The pain is almost unbearable': grieving Australian family visit the crash site

Melbourne Germanwings plan crash victims Carol Friday and son Greig Friday.

Nick Miller 2:25 AM   "I now know the true meaning of the words grief stricken," says Mal Coram.

Germanwings plane crash: 78 strands of DNA found at crash site

A French rescue worker inspects the remains of the Germanwings Airbus A320 at the site of the crash.

1:21 AM   Forensic teams have isolated 78 distinct DNA strands from body parts recovered from the Germanwings crash site in the French Alps, one of the lead investigators says.

Chan, Sukumaran lawyers in plea to judges - and Metallica

Lawyers continue to fight rejection of mercy plea: Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran.

Jewel Topsfield 11:28 PM   Indonesia's attorney-general has said more prisoners could be added to the ten scheduled for execution.

Arab coalition pounds Yemen rebels with fifth night of air strikes

Smoke billows from military barracks in the Jabal al-Jumaima mountain following an air strike near Sanaa on Monday.

Jamal al-Jabiri 10:23 PM   Fighter jets roared in the skies above Sanaa overnight until the early hours of Monday.

Queen's staff threaten strike

The Queen rides a tram during her visit to Australia in 2011.

9:33 PM   Staff at Windsor Castle are threatening to take industrial action over pay, a trade union says.

Strong quakes strike off Tonga and Samoa


Reuters 9:31 PM   A series of strong earthquakes struck off the neighbouring South Pacific Ocean states of Samoa and Tonga on Monday, the US Geological Survey said, just hours after a major tremor rattled Papua New Guinea to the west.

Second blogger hacked to death in Bangladesh

A police officer shoots rubber bullets during a clash with Islamic activists in Dhaka in 2013: the government has tried to crack down on hardline Islamist groups.

Ruma Paul 8:47 PM   A blogger was hacked to death by machete-wielding assailants in the Bangladesh capital Dhaka on Monday, the second attack in five weeks on a critic of religious extremism in the Muslim-majority South Asian nation.

Negotiators race against deadline in Iran nuclear talks

The Bushehr nuclear power plant in Iran.

Carol Morello 5:34 PM   US Secretary of State John Kerry and other top diplomats have rearranged their schedules to remain at the Lausanne talks with Iran.

For Iran, boosting economy is the real incentive to cut a nuclear deal

Iranian pistachio exports increased 71 per cent in the last fiscal year.

Steven Mufson 4:23 PM   More cars are being produced, more pistachios exported, but the Iranian economy is still a shadow of what it could be if international sanctions were lifted.

How one Delhi man started a school under a train line

Pupils at the "School Under the Bridge" under Delhi's Yamuna Bank station.

Amrit Dhillon 4:11 PM   Shopkeeper Rajesh Kumar Sharma saw too many children out of school in Delhi. So he started his own classes - under a railway bridge.

Gunmen attack polling stations in Nigeria's north

A man washes the face of a female voter beaten by a Nigerian policewoman at a polling station in Lagos during an altercation on Saturday. The policewoman was later arrested for misconduct.

Audu Bwakan 1:54 PM   Gunmen suspected to be members of the Islamist group Boko Haram attacked polling stations in Nigeria's northern state of Bauchi as voting continued in national elections.

Air Canada Airbus A320 crash lands at Halifax International Airport

An Air Canada Airbus A320 sits where it came to rest after skidding off the runway at Halifax International Airport on Sunday.

Cecile Gutscher 1:47 PM   An Air Canada Airbus A320 skidded off the runway upon arrival at Halifax International Airport on Sunday morning.

Nicolas Sarkozy's UMP wins local French elections

Former French president and UMP leader Nicholas Sarkozy said the results ended "three years of the most archaic socialism in Europe".

Ingrid Melander 1:44 PM   Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy's conservative UMP party and its allies have won the second and final round of French local elections on Sunday.

India's beef ban reaches the big cat cages

Workers strike against a ban on the slaughter of bulls and bullocks at an abattoir in Mumbai .

Neha Thirani Bagri 1:34 PM   India's Maharashtra state government has banned the possession and sale of beef, imposing religious dietary restrictions on Hindus and non-Hindus alike. Along with a number of birds and mammals in Mumbai's national park.

Religious freedom law sparks outrage as #boycottindiana trends worldwide

Demonstrators gather at Monument Circle in Indianapolis to protest against a controversial religious freedom bill signed into law last week.

Sarah Parvini and Nigel Duara 1:33 PM   New religious rights laws have unleashed a wave of protest on Twitter, with the #boycottindiana hashtag trending internationally over the weekend.

Despite global outrage, Indiana governor defends religious freedom bill

Demonstrators protest against a controversial religious freedom bill recently signed by Indiana's Governor Mike Pence.

Josh Hicks 11:52 AM   Republican Indiana Governor Mike Pence has defended the religious freedom bill that he signed last week, saying the growing outrage over the legislation stems from "a tremendous amount of misinformation and misunderstanding".

Germanwings plane crash: Captain made two attempts to enter cockpit

A French Gendarmerie

Nick Miller 10:23 AM   The captain of Germanwings flight 4U 9525 made two desperate attempts to get back onto the flight deck before it crashed, according to excerpts from a transcript of the cockpit voice recorder reported by German newspaper Bild.

Reports girlfriend of Germanwings co-pilot pregnant with his child

The girlfriend of Andreas Lubitz is reportedly pregnant with his child.

Gregory Walton 10:05 AM   Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz was expecting a baby with his teacher girlfriend before the air crash which killed him and 149 others, it has been claimed.

Police officer cited for heroism after marathon bombing is shot

This undated photo released by the Boston Police Department shows Officer John Moynihan, 34, who was shot in the face during a traffic stop on Friday night.

Nigel Duara 9:32 AM   A Boston police officer who helped a transit police officer escape during a shootout after the Boston Marathon bombing last year has himself been shot and critically wounded.

Arab leaders agree on joint military force

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi reads at the Arab Summit in Sharm el-Sheikh on Sunday.

David Kirkpatrick 8:15 AM   Arab states have agreed to form a joint military force to counter both Iranian influence and Islamist extremism, and perhaps in a drive for more independence from Washington.

Arab strikes hit Yemen's main airport, foreigners flee

People gather near a tank burnt during clashes on a street in Yemen's southern port city of Aden March 29, 2015.

Jamal al-Jabiri with Fawaz al-Haidari in Aden 7:48 AM   Saudi-led warplanes bombed Yemen's main international airport and struck a renegade troop base in the capital, as Arab leaders vowed Sunday to pummel Iranian-backed rebels until they surrender.

Nigeria in tense vote count after technology failures

Nigerians vote for a second day in Lagos, Nigeria, on Sunday.

Ola Awoniyi 7:11 AM   Vote counting is underway in Nigeria's closely-fought general election after failures in controversial new technology pushed voting into a second day, with officials calling for calm in the tense wait for a winner.