Pakistani lawyers and civil society activists hold lighted candles during a vigil in Islamabad

Pakistan to execute 500 militants following attack

19.09 Pakistan has announced plans to execute around 500 militants in coming weeks, after the government lifted a moratorium on the death penalty in terror cases following a Taliban school massacre.

The bombing is the first since the end of war in Gaza

Israel bombs Gaza militants after rocket attack

20 Dec Israeli aircraft bombed a Hamas militant base in Gaza yesterday for the first time since the end of a war in the territory, in response to a rocket that militants launched earlier in the day, the army said.

Kim Jong-un observes he North Korean military's winter training at an unknown location

North Korea to snub UN Security Council meeting

19 Dec North Korea has said it will not send a representative to a UN Security Council meeting next week to discuss the country's human rights record and calls to refer Pyongyang to the International Criminal Court.

Monitoring group said mass grave of Islamic State victims found

230 bodies found in mass grave in Syria

17 Dec The bodies of 230 people killed by the Islamic State group have been found in a mass grave uncovered by their relatives in Syria's Deir Ezzor province, a monitoring group said.

Malala Yousafzai is the joint winner of this year's Nobel Peace Prize

Malala 'heartbroken' over Taliban attack

16 Dec Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai, joint winner of this year's Nobel peace prize for her education campaign work, said she was heartbroken by the Taliban attack in Peshawar.

An artwork entitled 'Waterboarding' by artist Steve Lazarides at the Lazarides Gallery in London

Most Americans believe torture justifiable - poll

16 Dec A majority of Americans believe that torture of suspected terrorists is justified, a new poll reported today, just days after a scathing report into the CIA's brutal treatment of detainees in the wake of the 11 September 2001 attacks.

Children are led to safety from the Army Public School

Children speak of horror during Taliban attack

16 Dec It began like any other morning in Pakistan's Army Public School in the northwestern city of Peshawar. Students pored over their books. Teachers ruffled through their notes and gave lectures.

Pakistan Taliban claimed responsibility for the Peshawar school attack

Q&A - Who is the Pakistani Taliban?

16 Dec The Pakistani Taliban has claimed responsibility for the Peshawar shootings which have killed more than 100 people and injured scores more

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said it was unclear if the siege was politically motivated

Hostages being held inside a central Sydney café

14 Dec One armed man is holding an undisclosed number of hostages in a siege in Sydney's Central Business District. The Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said it was unclear if the siege was politically motivated.

Ukrainian servicemen aim a mortar from their position near the eastern Ukrainian village of Pisky, Donetsk

Ukrainian President says ceasefire is 'real'

12 Dec Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has said a "real" ceasefire is in place in his country after the first 24 hours in seven months without a military casualty, although he admitted the stand-off was fragile.

In Kabul a bomb ripped through a bus carrying soldiers, killing at least seven of them

Dozens dead as violence in Afghanistan intensifies

13 Dec The Afghan Taliban have killed a Supreme Court official, a dozen mine clearers and several national and foreign soldiers as violence intensifies in the country ahead of an international troop withdrawal.

The incident comes at a time of heightened tension between Palestinians and Israelis

Palestinian pours acid on group of Israelis

12 Dec A Palestinian man threw a chemical substance believed to be acid at an Israeli family in the occupied West Bank today, injuring a man and four children, Israeli police and the military said.

Serge Lazarevic is greeted by Francois Hollande at Villacoublay airport

France's last hostage abroad returns home

10 Dec France's last hostage abroad has returned home after three years in captivity and was welcomed by President Francois Hollande, who warned citizens not to travel to high-risk zones.

Palestinian official Ziad Abu Ein (L) died en route to Ramallah after the incident

Palestinian minister dies after clash with troops

10 Dec A Palestinian minister died shortly after being hit by Israeli soldiers during a protest this morning in the occupied West Bank, a Reuters photographer who witnessed the incident and a Palestinian medic said.