Taliban leader Mullah Omar dead

Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar has not been seen for years.

11:50 PM  Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar is dead, according to reports citing Afghan officials.

Uncertainty fuel occult beliefs

A woman prays for good fortune while holding incense sticks on the first day of the Chinese Lunar New Year at Yonghegong Lama Temple, in Beijing.

Superstitious beliefs are making a comeback in China, with officials seeking guidance from mystics.

Leader of sectarian group killed

Leader of the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) Malik Ishaq speaks during an interview with Reuters at his home in Rahim Yar Khan in southern Punjab province.

Pakistani police have killed the leader of the sectarian militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi.

Airport closed after attack

Plane

Chinese authorities suspended operations at a regional airport after an arson attack left passengers injured.

NZ to chair MH17 debate

Murray McCully will chair the UN Security Council vote on whether an independent tribunal should probe the MH17 crash.

A diplomatic showdown over downed flight MH17 looms - and New Zealand is in the thick of it.

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australia

Group charged with 503 sex offences

Australian police

Eight men are charged with hundreds of assaults on one teenage girl.

Who pinched the Grinch? video

The statue of the Grinch is no longer at large, and the pair Australian police say stole it are on a theft charge.

Caravan explosion kills family video

Thirteen new spider species discovered

americas

Tree falls on kids near US children's museum

There were fears more children were trapped underneath the tree.

Eight children have been injured, three of them badly, in a park in the US.

Can Pluto save space funding?

New Horizons mission shows the public is still fascinated by space as Nasa pleads to expand space exploration.

The body of Madyson "Maddy" Middleton, 8, was found dumped close to her home.

Town's heartbreak as girl found dead

When Madyson Middleton went missing, it seemed like all of Santa Cruz came out to search for her.

europe

Serial pooper the curse of Norwegian golfers

At Stavanger this shot could go in, and the golfer would still be in the poo.

Norwegian Woods? No, a golf hole will do.

Calls to reform UK's 'bloated' House of Lords

Lord John Sewel's cocaine-and-prostitutes scandal has stirred up new calls for reform of the UK's House of Lords.

The incident lead to a bottle-neck for travellers between France and UK.

Migrants storm Channel Tunnel

Over 2000 migrants tried to enter the Channel Tunnel in an attempt to reach Britain from France.

middle east

Iran role for Waikato lecturer

Opening the economy will have to be a gradual process, says University of Waikato senior lecturer in law Dr Sadeq Bigdeli.

'Reinserting the Iranian economy back into the global economy' will be the focus for Dr Sadeq Bigdeli.

Iran deal is a good idea, Obama

President Obama criticised rhetoric about the Iran nuclear agreement from some leading members of the Republican party.

Turkish Kurds flash V-signs as they gather near the Mursitpinar border gate in solidarity with Syrian Kurds in Kobani, in Suruc, Sanliurfa province, Turkey.

Turkey vows to avenge civilians

Turkey vows to strike anyone killing civilians in the planned free zone.

asia

Escalator death 'could have been prevented'

Xiang Liujuan pushes her son to safety as she falls into the escalator mechanism.

Mall staff could have hit the emergency button before mum's death plunge, reports say.

Mum dies saving son on escalator

A woman saved her young son but lost her own life after the platform at the top of an escalator collapsed and she fell into the machine's mechanism.

A 6.8-magnitude earthquake has hit western China.

7.2 undersea quake near Indonesia

A magnitude 7.2 undersea earthquake has hit near Indonesia.

africa

'What a monster!' video

Walter Palmer (left) with one of his many animal trophies.

NZ's Rachel Hunter joins chorus of outrage over slaying of Africa's most famous lion, Cecil.

Gaddafi's son Saif sentenced to death in Libya

A Libyan court passed a death sentence in absentia on Muammar Gaddafi's most prominent son, Saif al-Islam.

A fire at a Cairo furniture factory saw 25 people die.

Fire rips through Egypt furniture factory, 25 dead

A fire at a furniture factory outside Cairo killed 25 people, the spokesman for Egypt's health ministry said.

south pacific

6.9 quake hits near Solomons

Quake generic

A magnitude 6.9 earthquake was reported in the Santa Cruz islands, and a short-lived tsnuami warning has been lifted.

Nauru pressed on civil rights

Nauru pressed over civil rights abuses of opposition politician stripped of passport.

Low-lying Maldives were badly affected by the tsunami which hit South East Asia on Boxing Day, 2004.

Going under

Low-lying atoll nations like the Maldives will be the first to face the threat of rising sea levels as the effects of climate change take their toll.

Video

NZ to chair MH17 debate

A diplomatic showdown over downed flight MH17 looms - and New Zealand is in the thick of it.

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