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China executed 2,400 people last year: rights group

China is the world's top executioner, a US-based rights group says, putting 2,400 people to death last year.

Canadian soldier killed in suspected terrorist attack

A Canadian man killed by police after running over two soldiers in Quebec "had become radicalised", the government says, after the first such incident in Canada since the country joined the fight against Islamic State militants.

Eating more fruit and veg makes you happy: study

Eating large amounts of fruit and vegetables can make you happier, Queensland research finds.

Oil company CEO killed as plane hits snow plough

The CEO of French oil company Total, Christophe de Margerie, has died in a plane crash at a Moscow airport after his private jet struck a snow plough on take-off.

Man found dead in plastic with throat slashed in Bali

A man who was found dead tied up in a plastic bag in a Bali has been identified as English, not Australian as police had said earlier.

Australian teen threatens Abbott in Islamic State video

A 17-year-old Australian fighting with Islamic State has appeared in a propaganda video in which he tells Prime Minister Tony Abbott the terrorist group will never stop fighting.

Professor takes website to court over his racist emails

The Sydney University professor suspended over racist emails has taken legal action against the website that published them.

Oscar Pistorius sentenced to 5 years' jail

South African Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius has been sentenced to a maximum of five years in jail for the culpable homicide of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

Regional leaders hail 'pioneer' Gough Whitlam

The passing of former prime minister Gough Whitlam is not just a day of mourning for Australia, but also for a region shaped by his expansive policies of outreach to Asia and the Pacific, regional leaders say.

Mr Whitlam has been remembered as a visionary and a giant of Australian politics following his death on Tuesday at age 98.

Mr Whitlam's diplomacy heralded new beginnings for China and Papua New Guinea, both now major regional economies.

"As the pioneer in establishing diplomatic relationships with China, Mr Whitlam ushered in a new era of China-Australia ties," the Chinese embassy said.

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