Ex-US Speaker indicted on hush-money charges

Eric Beech 12:28 PM   Former US House of Representatives Speaker Dennis Hastert has been indicted on federal charges, including for lying to the FBI about $US3.5 million in hush-money payments.

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FIFA Congress gives off stench of corruption

President of UEFA Michel Platini: he is urging Sepp Blatter to quit.

Nick Miller 6:53 AM   With buckets of champagne on ice, much cheery flag-waving, a well-catered dinner and a floorshow featuring lederhosen, yodelling and the heavy stench of corruption, FIFA's scandal-riven Congress began.

Myanmar rejects blame for migrant crisis

Rohingya and Bangladeshi

Lindsay Murdoch 1:05 PM   Myanmar has refused to accept responsibility for South-East Asia's migrant crisis as the country faces a barrage of criticism for its decades-long persecution of Rohingya Muslims.

First Australian nabbed in China's crackdown

"I don't know who Xie Renliang is. I am Zhang Jianping," the man has said.

Philip Wen 3:53 AM   After facial recognition software located him in Shanghai, the first Australian national to be arrested under Operation Fox Hunt says he's 'forgotten everything before 2006'.

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The body in the Bali rice field: Why Peter and John Ellis can't forgive their mother Noor, accused of the murder of their father Robert

Murdered Australian businessman Robert Ellis with his wife, Noor.

Jewel Topsfield 12:50 PM   On Wednesday, an Indonesian court will decide if Noor Ellis is guilty of masterminding the gruesome death of her husband of 25 years. For her sons, the decision is made.

Mount Shindake volcano erupts, Japan calls for evacuation


12:40 PM   Japan has ordered evacuations after an island volcano erupted, shooting a huge column of ash high into the air.

Former US House Speaker Hastert indicted on hush-money charges

Former US House of Representatives Speaker Dennis Hastert in 2006.

Eric Beech 12:28 PM   Former US House of Representatives Speaker Dennis Hastert has been indicted on federal charges, including for lying to the FBI about $US3.5 million in hush-money payments.

Tortured, raped then shamed in Tunisia

Hamida Ajengui, at home in Tunis, was 21 when she was arrested and beaten by Tunisia's state police.

Carlotta Gall 12:12 PM   Tunisia has embarked on a bold and painful experiment, gathering testimony from victims of six decades of abuses under two dictatorships before its revolution four years ago led to a still-fledgling democracy.

'Manhattanhenge' turns New York streets into corridors of light

The setting sun breaks through the clouds along 34th street in New York City during a previous "Manhattanhenge".

Josephine Tovey 11:07 AM   Thousands of New Yorkers and tourists are expected to gather in the city's vast streets on Friday night to witness the stunning interplay of the sun and the city's itself, a phenomenon dubbed "Manhattanhenge".

Chinese living in US charged in uni entrance exam fraud ring

The scam involved fake Chinese passports.

Julia Edwards 10:18 AM   Fifteen Chinese nationals living in the United States have been charged with developing a fraud scheme in which imposters took university ege entrance exams including the SAT, the Justice Department said on Thursday.

Russian troop deaths now state secret

Vladimir Putin, Russia's president, in February.

Carol Williams 10:09 AM   Russian President Vladimir Putin has banned the release of information about troop deaths in "special operations" during peacetime, as the Kremlin continues to rebuff accusations its soldiers are fighting in Ukraine.

Laura McComb calls family with final farewell as home is swept away by floodwaters

Laura McComb called her family to tell them she loved them as floodwaters rose around the home. She remains missing.

Molly Hennessy-Fiske 8:09 AM   It was supposed to be a relaxing holiday weekend for the group of nine. Instead, all but one remain missing after floodwaters swept away their holiday home.

South China Sea dispute: Singapore will be next forum for US-China face-off

Chinese dredging vessels are purportedly seen in the waters around Mischief Reef in the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea.

David Tweed 7:35 AM   China has been trading increasingly forceful barbs with countries including the United States on the South China Sea. Singapore, a neutral party on the contested waters, may provide the venue this weekend for talks about ways to defuse tensions.

Women drawn to IS because of isolationism, need for sisterhood: report

Hayat Boumeddiene, ex-wife of of Paris attack terrorist Amédy Coulibaly. She reportedly fled to Syria after the attack.

Karla Adam 5:32 AM   Western women in the Islamic State are playing a crucial role in disseminating propaganda and are not simply flocking to the region to become a "jihadi bride."

Former NY Governor Pataki launches 2016 Republican presidential bid

George Pataki, former governor of New York, speaks during a Republican Party fund-raiser in Iowa earlier this month.

10:14 PM   Former New York Governor George Pataki entered the race for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination on Thursday, joining a crowded field of candidates vying to retake the White House for their party.

Hospitals overwhelmed as India heatwave toll nears 1500

Delhi shimmers in the heat.

Abhaya Srivastava 9:34 PM   Hospitals in India are struggling to cope with an influx of victims of a blistering heatwave that has claimed nearly 1500 lives in just over a week.

Ex-Bali nine lawyer to meet on bribe claim

Ex-Bali nine lawyer Mohammad Rifan in 2006.

Gabrielle Dunlevy 7:16 PM   A Bali lawyer who claims bribery and politics interfered in the death sentencing of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran will be quizzed next week.

SpaceX finally wins Pentagon certification

Elon Musk in Tokyo last year.

Christian Davenport 5:52 PM   It took a court case, tens of millions of dollars and some heated words, but Elon Musk's quest to be able to launch satellites for the Pentagon is finally over.

South China Sea dispute: What you need to know

Fiery Cross Reef in the Spratly Islands

3:49 PM   China is building artificial islands and manoeuvring assets in the South China Sea despite many countries claiming parts of the territory. But why and how is it doing so? Here are the answers.

Conference on Rohingyas urges Suu Kyi to speak out

A protester shows her opposition to the return of Rohingyas in Yangon, Myanmar.

Lindsay Murdoch 3:33 PM   Mahathir Mohamad has joined international figures criticising Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi for failing to speak out against the persecution of Rohingyas.

US policeman indicted in shooting death of unarmed black man

Indicted South Carolina police officer Justin Craven.

Harriet McLeod 2:09 PM   A grand jury in South Carolina indicted a white police officer on a felony charge of firing his weapon into a vehicle while it was occupied, killing an unarmed black man.

US to consider new mental health rules for commercial pilots

Wreckage of the Germanwings Airbus A320 at the site of the crash in March.

Hugo Martin 1:50 PM   In the wake of airline catastrophes involving Germanwings and Malaysia Airlines carriers, the Federal Aviation Administration is calling for a study on the mental and emotional health of commercial airline pilots.

World's largest Hindu temple to begin construction after Nepal quake delay

A diagram of the proposed Viraat Ramayan Mandir temple in Bihar, India.

Amrit Dhillon   Its creator is hoping it will be an "architectural wonder of the world" - and a marker of social change.

China warned that US will remain No 1 power in Asia-Pacific

A Dolphin Z-9 helicopter of China's Navy missile frigate CNS Yulin flies off the deck of Singapore's Navy missile frigate RSS Intrepid in the South China Sea on May 25.

David Lynch   US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter delivered the strongest US warning yet against China's moves in the South China Sea.

Nebraska lawmakers ban death penalty in dramatic vote

Senator Ernie Chambers

Matt Pearce   In a climactic political showdown, Nebraska's lawmakers overrode a veto and banned the death penalty.

Singapore Airlines plane lost power in both engines

A Singapore Airlines plane lost power in both engines.

Siva Govindasamy   Singapore Airlines is investigating how one of its Airbus A330-300s temporarily lost power in both engines in mid-flight, the carrier said on Wednesday.