WORLD NEWS

U.S. backed talks with ISIS over American hostage – The Guardian

LONDON (Reuters) – U.S. counter-terrorism officials backed negotiations with two prominent jihadi clerics in a failed attempt to save the life of an American hostage who was later…

After tsunami, fishermen struggle against tide of tourism in Thailand – TRFN

THUNG WA, Thailand (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – After the tsunami pounded Thailand’s Andaman Sea coast a decade ago, the ethnic Moklen fishing communities that have lived here for…

Eight children killed in Australia in reported mass stabbing

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Eight children have been killed and a woman injured, police said on Friday, during what media outlets reported was a mass stabbing in Australia’s tropical…

As U.S. eases hostilities, Cuba faces new challenge

HAVANA (Reuters) – For decades, it was Cuba’s first response to criticism. Poor economic performance? An obvious effect of a U.S. trade embargo that amounted to a blockade…

Dutch PM agrees to change health bill to avoid government collapse

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said in a letter to parliament late Thursday that his party would revise a health bill that was blocked in…

Russia is a strategic problem for the EU – Tusk

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Russia’s approach to Ukraine and to the European Union is a challenge to the 28-nation bloc, which does not make European leaders too optimistic, but…

Tribal chief of Mali’s Tuaregs dies amid stalled peace talks

DAKAR (Reuters) – The chief of the most powerful Tuareg tribe in northern Mali died on Thursday, signalling a change of leadership as Tuareg separatists are locked in…

Suspected Boko Haram gunmen kidnap 172 women, children in Nigeria

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (Reuters) – Suspected Boko Haram gunmen kidnapped 172 women and children and killed 35 other people on Sunday during a raid on the northeast Nigerian village…

NEWS

Eight children found dead in Cairns

Eight children found dead in Cairns

19 December 2014 Last updated at 03:45 …

Kurds ‘break IS mountain siege’

Kurds ‘break IS mountain siege’

19 December 2014 Last updated at 00:05 …

Israel brands peace plan ‘gimmick’

Israel brands peace plan ‘gimmick’

18 December 2014 Last updated at 23:14 …

Carbon mission returns global maps

Carbon mission returns global maps

18 December 2014 Last updated at 22:36 …

Putin seeks to ease economic fears

Putin seeks to ease economic fears

18 December 2014 Last updated at 11:24 …

Dismay at Sony film cancellation

Dismay at Sony film cancellation

18 December 2014 Last updated at 11:44 …

‘100 villagers’ kidnapped in Nigeria

‘100 villagers’ kidnapped in Nigeria

18 December 2014 Last updated at 11:49 …

Farc rebels declare unilateral truce

Farc rebels declare unilateral truce

17 December 2014 Last updated at 21:50 …

Sharif vow to end Pakistan terrorism

Sharif vow to end Pakistan terrorism

17 December 2014 Last updated at 14:22 …

US News

White House releases snapshot of plan to rate U.S. colleges

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House on Friday released a draft of its plan to rate U.S. colleges and tie federal aid to performance as a way to…

Louisville lawmakers approve minimum wage hike

LOUISVILLE, Ky (Reuters) – Louisville, Kentucky officials on Thursday approved an increase to the city’s minimum wage, boosting it from the federal rate of $7.25 to $9 an…

US Secret Service is too ‘insular’

US Secret Service is too ‘insular’

19 December 2014 Last updated at 00:49 The White House is meant to be one of the most…

Arizona sheriff to disband unit that targeted immigrants workers in raids

PHOENIX (Reuters) – Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio is disbanding a squad that targeted undocumented immigrants in workplace raid, his office said on Thursday, following a lawsuit by groups…

Neighboring states challenge Colorado pot laws in top U.S. court

DENVER (Reuters) – Nebraska and Oklahoma challenged neighboring Colorado’s recreational marijuana laws in the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday amid complaints its pot was seeping across their borders,…

Fraternity closed at California university over anti-rape march harassment

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – (This story corrects headline, first paragraph to show that fraternity agreed to close but was not banned by university) A San Diego State University…

Obama to set up panel to boost trust between police and communities

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama on Thursday will set up a task force to draw up recommendations to strengthen trust between law enforcement and local communities, following…

Detroit-area businessman guilty in murder-for-hire of his wife

DETROIT (Reuters) – A Detroit jury on Thursday found a suburban businessman guilty of hiring his handyman to kill his wife. After a two-month trial, Robert Bashara, 57,…

Two US states sue over marijuana

Two US states sue over marijuana

18 December 2014 Last updated at 21:53 In 2012, Washington and Colorado became the first two US states…

‘Slenderman’ accused to stand trial

‘Slenderman’ accused to stand trial

18 December 2014 Last updated at 21:46 The two girls faced back-to-back competency hearings on Thursday …

Australian News

Smokers turned off by plain packs

Smokers turned off by plain packs

It’s working … Eight out of ten smokers say they don’t like the look of their ugly packs of cigarettes. Picture:…

The street behind the horrors

The street behind the horrors

Video Image Eight children have been stabbed to death in Cairns and a woman is helping police with their inquiries. Courtesy:…

Media Release: Woman faces court for methamphetamine importation

Media Release: Woman faces court for methamphetamine importation Release Date: Friday, December 19 2014, 06:18 PM This…

Eight kids dead in mass stabbing

Eight kids dead in mass stabbing

Police have surrounded a house in the Cairns suburb of Manoora where as many as eight children have been stabbed to…

Aussie buys world’s fastest car

Aussie buys world’s fastest car

A fast drive … the 2012 Bugatti Veyron Vitesse supercar. Source: Supplied THE world’s fastest car — the Bugatti Veyron, which…

Sinodinos quits as Assistant Treasurer

Sinodinos quits as Assistant Treasurer

Quitting … Senator Arthur Sinodinos announces he is resigning as Assistant Treasurer. Picture: Ray Strange/News Corp. Source: News Corp Australia ARTHUR…

Police on scene at major incident

Police on scene at major incident

A major incident is underway in the Cairns suburb of Manoora. Source: Supplied POLICE are on scene at a major incident…

‘My closest friend, role model and confidant’

‘My closest friend, role model and confidant’

Tori Johnson’s partner Thomas Zinn says he was touched by the outpouring of grief at Martin Place following the Sydney Siege,…

Inside the junk-filled home of a terrorist

Inside the junk-filled home of a terrorist

CCTV footage of the gunman in Martin Place before the siege began. Courtesy: Seven News AS madman Man Haron Monis held…

POLITICS

Tories drop aides from election list

Tories drop aides from election list

19 December 2014 Last updated at 05:43 The Tory candidate, Kelly Tolhurst, was defeated by UKIP in…

Cost of MPs’ advisers hits £8.4m

Cost of MPs’ advisers hits £8.4m

18 December 2014 Last updated at 18:49 Craig Oliver (left), David Cameron’s director of communications, is one…

Friday marks election campaign start

Friday marks election campaign start

18 December 2014 Last updated at 12:30 The 2015 election is now just over four months away …

English council funds ‘cut by 1.8%’

English council funds ‘cut by 1.8%’

18 December 2014 Last updated at 15:50 Councils get most of the their funding from central government …

Women bishops fast-tracked to Lords

Women bishops fast-tracked to Lords

18 December 2014 Last updated at 12:44 The Reverend Libby Lane is the first female bishop in…

Libraries ‘must emulate coffee shops’

Libraries ‘must emulate coffee shops’

18 December 2014 Last updated at 13:26 The future of libraries as community hubs is essential for…

Finance

UPDATE 1-Hong Kong’s former top civil servant found guilty in graft trial

(Adds details) By Yimou Lee and Lizzie Ko HONG KONG Dec 19 (Reuters) – A former top Hong Kong civil servant was found guilty on Friday of…

Hong Kong shares close up, buoyed by U.S. optimism

HONG KONG Dec 19 (Reuters) – Hong Kong shares finished up on Friday, climbing for a second day heartened by the prospect that U.S. interest rates will…

Russian banks unable to meet capital adequacy ratios due to rouble slide – minister

MOSCOW Fri Dec 19, 2014 7:30am GMT Source Article from http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/12/19/russia-crisis-siluanov-banks-idUKR4N0PQ02B20141219?feedType=RSS&feedName=rbssFinancialServicesAndRealEstateNews…

Russian rouble firms in early trade after Siluanov comments

MOSCOW Dec 19 (Reuters) – Russia’s rouble strengthened in volatile trade early on Friday, supported by a slight uptick in oil prices and supportive comments from Finance…

Australia shares extend rally for second day on Fed rate outlook

* Shares up 1.4 pct, post biggest 1-day gain in a year * Gains across all sectors despite falls in oil, metals prices * 169 shares up…

Thai Union Frozen to buy N.American tuna firm Bumble Bee for $1.5 bln

BANGKOK Dec 19 (Reuters) – Thai Union Frozen Products PCL , the world’s largest canned tuna producer, said on Friday it has signed an agreement to acquire…

TRAVEL ADVICE

Congo

Congo

18 December 2014 18 December 2014 Latest update: Summary – addition of new a map Download map (PDF) The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all…

India

18 December 2014 18 December 2014 Latest update: Summary section – SpiceJet flight cancellations The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel in the immediate…

Ghana

16 December 2014 16 December 2014 Latest update: Summary – information about UK screening for travellers returning to the UK from Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia An…

Solomon Islands

10 December 2014 10 December 2014 Latest update: Summary and Safety & security section – removal of advice about general elections on 19 November The Royal Solomon…

Ethiopia

Ethiopia

9 December 2014 9 December 2014 Latest update: Terrorism section – places in Ethiopia that could be affected by attacks Download map (PDF) The Foreign and Commonwealth…

Mauritius

8 December 2014 8 December 2014 Latest update: Summary – general elections will take place on Wednesday 10 December 2014 General elections in Mauritius will take place…

OPINIONS

The hypocrisy of the ideological middle classes.

The hypocrisy of the ideological middle classes. In the week prior to the Local and European elections the National press, Twitter and the blogosphere were, to a…

SPORT UK

Cook not the way forward – Hughes

Cook not the way forward – Hughes

By Simon Hughes BBC Test Match Special The England…

Llambias made Rangers chief executive

Rangers have announced the appointment of existing board member Derek Llambias as their new chief executive. The Scottish Championship club made the announcement…

Tony Bellew runs up iconic Rocky steps in Philadelphia as boxer prepares for Hollywood debut

Tony Bellew runs up iconic Rocky steps in Philadelphia as boxer prepares for Hollywood debut

Tony Bellew has landed acting role in the Rocky spin-off Creed Liverpool cruiserweight set to play an opponent named Pretty Ricky Porter Sylvester Stallone will reprise his…

‘I’ll kill you!’ Dereck Chisora in court after threats to two men who blocked his Mercedes in a car park

‘I’ll kill you!’ Dereck Chisora in court after threats to two men who blocked his Mercedes in a car park

Dereck Chisora admitted in court to having lost his temper The heavyweight boxer lost to British rival Tyson Fury last month Chisora is said to have threatened…

Carl Frampton vows to KO Chris Avalos following ‘weak’ taunt from brash American

Carl Frampton vows to KO Chris Avalos following ‘weak’ taunt from brash American

Carl Frampton will make his first title defence against Chris Avalos in Belfast on February 28 The American confidently predicted that he would knock out Frampton in ‘five or…

Willian enjoying life in the Big time as Chelsea midfielder hangs out with his mates in London

Willian enjoying life in the Big time as Chelsea midfielder hangs out with his mates in London

Willian posted a picture on Instagram of him and his friends near Big Ben  Chelsea forward made most of night off before busy festive schedule Premier League…

SPORT US

Titans’ Hill being investigated for sexual assault

(Reuters) – Tennessee Titans veteran defensive tackle Sammie Hill is being investigated for sexual assault, the Atlanta Police Department said on Tuesday. “The Atlanta Police Dept. has…

Carolina Panthers QB Newton injured in car accident: police

(Reuters) – Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton was involved in a car accident on Tuesday in Charlotte, North Carolina, and taken to the hospital where he was…

Oklahoma City high school drops the name ‘Redskins’ for its team

By Heide Brandes OKLAHOMA CITY (Reuters) – The Oklahoma City Public Schools Board has voted unanimously to remove “Redskins” as the nickname for a high school after…

British royal couple pays respects at New York’s September 11 Memorial

British royal couple pays respects at New York’s September 11 Memorial

By Ellen Wulfhorst NEW YORK (Reuters) – Britain’s Prince William and his wife, Kate, paid a solemn visit on Tuesday to the National September 11 Memorial and…

No fines for LeBron James or others over protest, NBA sources say

No fines for LeBron James or others over protest, NBA sources say

By Steve Ginsburg (Reuters) – No fines or reprimands will be handed down to LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and others who wore “I Can’t Breathe” shirts during…

McIlroy wins Golf Writers Trophy after stunning season

LONDON (Reuters) – World number one Rory McIlroy has won the Golf Writers Trophy for the second time in three years after an impressive season saw him…

ALL SPORTS

Stephen Myler insists Northampton Saints can challenge for Double

Stephen Myler insists Northampton Saints can challenge for Double

Northampton have a squad capable of challenging for a Premiership and Champions Cup double, according to fly-half Stephen Myler, who is looking to rekindle…

Room 101: Stuart Hooper – Bath captain

Room 101: Stuart Hooper – Bath captain

1. Liquorice I went Trick or Treating with my kids for the first time last month and they ended up with a good stash…

Sexton to miss Six Nations opener

Ireland could be without Jonny Sexton for the start of the Six Nations as the fly-half suffers from headaches and nausea. Reports in France…

Sale v Exeter teams

Sale: Mike Haley; Will Addison, Jonny Leota, Sammy Tuitupou, Mark Cueto; Danny Cipriani, Chris Cusiter; Eifion Lewis Roberts, Marc Jones, Vadim Cobilas; Jonathan Mills,…

Joe Launchbury will miss Six Nations

Wasps have today confirmed that second row Joe Launchbury will miss the Six Nations as he requires surgery to decompress a nerve in his…

Charlie Matthews eye-gouging citing dismissed

Charlie Matthews is free to play for Harlequins this weekend after the eye-gouging case against him was dismissed at a hearing in London last…

HEALTH

Obesity ‘could be a disability’ – EU

Obesity ‘could be a disability’ – EU

18 December 2014 Last updated at 10:02 Levels of obesity are rising across Europe …

Autism link to air pollution raised

Autism link to air pollution raised

18 December 2014 Last updated at 09:26 By James Gallagher Health editor, BBC News website …

Drug allergy: Culprit protein found

Drug allergy: Culprit protein found

18 December 2014 Last updated at 09:25 People experience redness and swelling when taking certain medicines …

Rules for babies ‘from three people’

Rules for babies ‘from three people’

17 December 2014 Last updated at 15:03 By James Gallagher Health editor, BBC News website …

S Leone houses searched for Ebola

S Leone houses searched for Ebola

17 December 2014 Last updated at 10:24 Sierra Leone has had more Ebola cases than any other…

Fat ‘breathed out’ of body via lungs

Fat ‘breathed out’ of body via lungs

17 December 2014 Last updated at 00:08 By Michelle Roberts Health editor, BBC News online …