Prime Minister Tony Abbott has appealed to voters to ignore criticism of his government as the year comes to a “ragged conclusion”.
A former lawyer for the gunman behind the deadly Sydney siege has described his former client as an “evil” man obsessed with attention.
A fascinating new study mapped the flow of information online, and it turns out Spanish makes way more global sense.
Crews are responding to another out-of-control fire in central Victoria.
Australian relatives of students at the Army Public School in Peshawar have been left reeling after Tuesday’s attack by the Pakistani Taliban that left 132...
The US has announced a thaw in relations with Cuba, saying it would work to re-establish diplomatic ties with Havana and ease trade and travel sanctions.
A dog owner in the US has asked that her ashes be mixed with those of her beloved pet. The problem is, the dog isn't dead yet.

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Australia has been labelled a country of “disarmed victims” by crossbench senator David Leyonhjelm in the wake of the deadly siege in Sydney.
Sony has cancelled plans to release its comedy The Interview, after terrorism threats from anonymous hackers.

Global life expectancy rises to 71

The average person now lives to 71, compared to 65 a generation ago, even though death rates from some major chronic conditions are on the rise.
The rise of methamphetamine use across Australia has hit the headlines this year, with some labelling it an “ice epidemic”. But is it destroying remote Aboriginal...
Setting up Christmas lights? Use the force.
SBS coverage of the deadly siege at the Lindt cafe in Martin Place in Sydney.
Australians are calling for siege victim Tori Johnson to be awarded the Cross for Valour after reports emerged that he died trying to knock a gun from captor Man...


All the latest news and analysis from around Australia.

A NSW court has denied a bid to place bail restrictions on former NSW MP Eddie Obeid.
A Melbourne man has been jailed for life with a minimum of 31 years for murdering his two daughters.
Crews are responding to another out-of-control fire in central Victoria.
Two years after Inspector Bryson Anderson was fatally stabbed, his family, colleagues and friends have packed the Supreme Court for his killers' sentence.
Sydney siege gunman Man Haron Monis's ex-partner told a court in 2012 that he threatened to shoot her.
The father of siege hostage Viswakanth Ankireddy has said he was confident his son would get out safely.
The OECD has released its biennial survey of Australia which calls for reform of Australia's consumption tax.
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Sydneysiders continue to unite as tributes and flowers pile up near a Sydney cafe a day after the deadly siege came to an end.
At least 130 people, most of them children, have been killed in a Taliban attack on a army-run school in Pakistan.
A makeshift memorial has been set up near Martin Place to honour those who lost their lives at a Sydney cafe.
NSW Police have declared the siege over after heavily armed officers stormed the Lindt cafe in Sydney's Martin Place amid heavy gunfire.

In pictures: Martin Place siege

A group of people have been held hostage in in a cafe in Sydney's Martin Place. Police have surrounded the building and evacuated the area.
The US Pacific coast's most ferocious storm in years moved south Friday, bringing hurricane force winds and heavy downpours to southern California one day after claiming two lives in the Northwest. Heavy rain triggered a mudslide following a storm in the Camarillo Springs area of Ventura County, California, engulfing houses.
The views over the Grand Canyon are always spectacular - but some lucky visitors have been treated to something extra special. The bowl of the Canyon has filled up with thick clouds in a weather phenomenon known as cloud inversion. It only happens there once every few years.
Hardcore pornography campaigners have protested outside the British parliament against new laws banning a series of extreme sex acts from online videos.
From deserted beaches to its detention centre, Papua New Guinea can be described as a country of contrasts.
Thousands of people have marched in central Lima against the abuse of the earth's resources, urging ministers haggling over a world climate deal to ensure a global switch to 100 per cent clean energy by 2050.