World News

From BBC News

Putin seeks to ease economic fears
President Vladimir Putin seeks to ease fears over Russia's economy, insisting that the dramatic fall in the rouble will stabilise.
Sony hack is 'US security issue'
The cyber attack on Sony that forced a major film release to be pulled is being viewed as a national security matter, the White House says.
US Congress threat to Cuba thaw
Opponents of President Barack Obama's new Cuba policy threaten to block his efforts to restore diplomatic relations after 50 years of hostility.
'200 villagers' kidnapped in Nigeria
Militants storm a remote village in north-eastern Nigeria, killing at least 33 people and kidnapping about 200, a survivor tells the BBC.
Obesity 'could be a disability' - EU
Obesity can constitute a disability if the health effects have an impact on people's working lives, the European Court of Justice rules.
UN seeks North Korea ICC charges
The UN General Assembly calls for North Korea to be referred to the International Criminal Court to face charges of crimes against humanity.
Swiss interest rate to turn negative
Switzerland's National Bank says it will introduce in a negative interest rate on cash deposits of more than $10m.
Pakistan bails Mumbai attack suspect
A man accused of masterminding the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, which left 165 people dead. is granted bail by a court in Pakistan.
Kenyan MPs brawl over security bill
Kenyan MPs trade blows and the deputy speaker has water thrown on her during a chaotic parliamentary session which approves changes to a tough new security bill.
Wilders faces charges of incitement
Dutch far-right politician Geert Wilders is to be tried on charges of inciting racial hatred against Moroccans in a speech, the authorities say.
US boy's 1944 conviction overturned
A judge has overturned the conviction of a 14-year-old black boy sent to the electric chair for murder more than 70 years ago.
Italian film star Lisi dies aged 78
Italian screen actress Virna Lisi, famed in the 1960s for appearing opposite stars including Frank Sinatra, dies at the age of 78.
VIDEO: Pakistan principal 'chose to stay'
The son of the principal who died in the Pakistan school attack says Taliban militants had made a number of threats against the army-run school.
VIDEO: Sony scraps The Interview worldwide
Sony Pictures has cancelled the release of its upcoming film The Interview, a comedy about a plot to assassinate the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-Un.
VIDEO: Talking Movies' top 10 films of 2014
As the end of 2014 draws near, Talking Movies' Tom Brook picks his top 10 films that have been released in the past year.
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VIDEO: Contemporary art on show in DR Congo
The Democratic Republic of Congo is hosting its first ever contemporary arts biennial where local talent Freddy Tsimba will display his work.
VIDEO: Can Pakistan unite against Taliban?
BBC reporter Nick Childs gauges the mood in Pakistan following the Taliban attack on a school in Peshawar and looks at the government's response.
VIDEO: Millionaire sues ski slope chippy
A former chief executive of one of the world's biggest cosmetics firms is suing a fast food stall near his holiday home in the French Alps.
VIDEO: US navy develops 'fish' robot
The US military has been showing off its latest catch.
A comedy of terrors - in four acts
The story of how a Christmas Day movie was forced off movie screens is a comedy and a tragedy - with a larger question not yet answered.
US-Cuba deal has vocal critics
Not everyone is happy with the news that the US and Cuba are working toward normalised diplomatic relations. Critics worry that the US gave away too much and will weaken allies around the globe.
What did UK know about CIA practices?
Mark Urban explores the question of what the UK knew about rendition and interrogation techniques, in the wake of the US Senate report that criticised the CIA.
Cuba's economy set to get a boost
The Cuban embargo is the US's longest-running trade sanction. With the move by US President Barack Obama to ease some of the provisions, how will Cuba's economy change?
Watch list questions over Sydney gunman
Questions mount over why the Sydney siege gunman was not being monitored more closely, by security agencies or the courts, reports the BBC's Wendy Frew.
Sony Pictures hack - whodunnit?
As Sony counts the cost of a devastating breach, the question is now who is responsible?
What are negative interest rates?
Switzerland's National Bank is to impose a negative interest rate of minus 0.25% on large deposits - but what are negative rates, and why do banks bring them in?
What is behind the US-Cuba thaw?
After the announcement of a "historic shift" in US-Cuba relations, how will the lives of Cubans change and how will the changes be received in Cuba and the US?
Man finds Elizabeth Gallagher for trip
A Canadian man finds a woman with the same name as his ex-girlfriend to travel with after booking a three-week holiday before they split up.
George III drawing is uncovered
An eccentric architectural plan thought to have been drawn by King George III during his period of "madness" is discovered at the British Library.
Apple 'failing to protect workers'
Poor treatment of workers in the Chinese factories which make Apple products is discovered by an undercover BBC Panorama investigation.
Fall in oil prices 'temporary'
Recent falls in the price of oil are likely to be temporary, says the oil minister for Saudi Arabia, Opec's biggest producing nation.
Snapchat boss tearful at Sony hack
Snapchat founder Evan Spiegel left "devastated" as plans for his messaging app are leaked as part of the Sony Pictures hack.
Net overseers hit by phishing attack
Hackers have managed to penetrate the internal network used by the organisation that oversees the net's addressing system.
Morricone regrets Eastwood rejection
Renowned Italian film composer Ennio Morricone tells the BBC's Will Gompertz that he regrets turning down the chance to compose music for Clint Eastwood.
Marigold Hotel chosen for royal gala
The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is selected as the next Royal Film Performance.
Badger cull fails to meet target
Fewer than half the target number of badgers were killed in this year's cull in Gloucestershire, Defra announces.
Bats 'showing signs of recovery'
Populations of most of Britain's bat species are stable or increasing following previous years of decline, report says.
Autism link to air pollution raised
A link between autism and air pollution during pregnancy has been suggested by scientists.
Drug allergy: Culprit protein found
Scientists uncover a single protein that could be responsible for drug allergies, on the surface of cells.
Balotelli gets one-match ban & fine
Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli gets a one-match ban and £25,000 fine from the FA as punishment for his Super Mario post.
Hamilton to lose senior engineer
One of Lewis Hamilton's key technical figures at Mercedes, Jock Clear, is to leave the team and move to Ferrari.
The strange normality of life in the middle of Syria's war
Diana Darke returned from London to Syria recently to reclaim her house from profiteers who had moved in - she found her neighbours in Damascus coping surprisingly well despite the war.
What's behind growing gun support in US?
Two years on from the mass shooting at Sandy Hook, a survey finds growth in support of gun rights.
Kazakh villages in guard wolf craze
Villagers in Kazakhstan are increasingly buying wolves to guard their land.
Helsinki 'lacks luxury hotels'
Finnish capital loses out on chance to host music awards show, because there aren't enough swanky hotels for stars.
US probes $2m Uganda 'currency scam'
US authorities have arrested an American in Uganda for allegedly leading a large international counterfeiting ring.
Japan 'could preserve tsunami sites'
A panel in Japan puts forward a plan to protect four buildings damaged by the 2011 tsunami and earthquake, including a former elementary school.
EU leaders focus on investment boost
EU leaders begin a Brussels summit focusing on an ambitious investment plan for Europe and the bloc's strained ties with Russia.
Troops sent to Mexico vigilante town
Hundreds of federal security forces are on patrol in the western Mexican town of La Ruana after a deadly shootout between rival vigilante groups.
Palestinian peace plan put before UN
A draft resolution setting out a Palestinian timetable for a peace deal with Israel is submitted to the UN Security Council by Jordan.
Boston bombing suspect in court
Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev appears in a US court for the first time since July 2013, ahead of his trial in January.
Three 'murders' part of abuse inquiry
Detectives are investigating three alleged murders as part of an inquiry into historical child abuse involving politicians and establishment figures, as they appeal for information about an apartment block in London.
Fugitive in light aircraft arrest
One of the UK's most wanted fugitives is arrested while attempting to return to Britain in a light aircraft.
Boris flight passenger admits assault
An airline passenger who was calmed down by Boris Johnson on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Heathrow admits assault and being drunk on an aircraft.
English council funds 'cut by 1.8%'
English councils will face an average cut of 1.8% in their overall spending power, the government says.
Your pictures of the year 2014
A selection of the best readers' photos
In pictures: US-Cuban relations
Story of Cuba's relationship with the US
Picture power: Under the dress
Actress America Ferrera red-faced
In pictures: Pakistan school attack aftermath
Families have begun burying their dead
Picture power: A scar on the landscape
Brazil's worst drought in 80 years
Day in pictures: 16 December 2014
Images from around the world: 16 December
In pictures: Peshawar school attack
Taliban gunmen open fire on school in Peshawar
In pictures: Sydney siege
Armed police seal off an area around a cafe
The Russians fighting a 'holy war' in Ukraine
The ordinary Russians fighting a 'holy war' in Ukraine
VIDEO: The parents who never expected to see their child in a nativity play
The 49 children who made it to an unlikely nativity
Is this Pakistan's watershed Taliban moment?
Has the real war on terror finally started in Pakistan?
Day in pictures: 18 December 2014
Striking images from around the world taken over the past 24 hours
The boats of guns for hire against pirates
The risks and rewards of storing guns at sea
Last orders for LA British boozer
LA's British ex-pat haven the Cat and Fiddle pub goes dark
The buildings that would have been impossible
The buildings that would once have been impossible
'Ringing' rock arches recorded
America's huge humming arches
VIDEO: 'Buddhist bug' art explores difference
Artist's colourful search for identity
Greek political crisis: Huge amount at stake
Greece on knife-edge over presidential vote
VIDEO: The rise of 'selfie sticks'
A handy self-portrait device or a narcissistic vanity tool?