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Tony Abbott taking questions in the Canberra parliament

Australia's beleaguered Abbott endures one final nightmare before Christmas

World View: If 2014 has been mostly dire for his conservative government, the past two weeks have been nothing short of appalling

James tied to his bed

Young Australian man with autism chained to a hospital bed for 14 days

Nearly 40,000 people have signed parents Bronwyn and Allan Pascoe’s Change petition to Victorian health services

A family have been praised for fully supporting their transgender son

Mother who posted birth 'retraction' in newspaper for trans teen Kai Bogert 'wanted to show I support him 100%'

Kai was afraid to publicly identify as a male, but said his family's support "blew him away" when he made the leap

GTA 5 pulled from shelves after petition

Australian retailers pull Grand Theft Auto V from sale, but will continue to sell other violent and offensive products

Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index 2014 map

Global corruption index: Australia drops out of top 10 countries and Britain is 'not good enough'

Britain's score improved to rank 14 but analysts said more should be done

Izzy the turtle being treated at the 'hospital'

'Invincible' turtle that fought off crocodile and got hit by boat returned to wild after recovery

Izzy the green sea turtle has swum back to the Great Barrier Reef

Teen gets sex change, parents retract newspaper birth announcement in heart-warming fashion

Photo of the announcement was shared widely this morning

The display costs the equivalent of £100 for every display

Video: Watch over 35,000 bulbs used in incredible Christmas light show

The show took a total of 14 people to set up the 35,000 bulbs required to light the show

Miraculously, no one was injured as a result of the incident

Video: Watch horror on driver's face after incredible near miss on Australian highway

The car was sent spinning uncontrollably across the highway after a lorry nudged the back of the vehicle

A shopper browses a Toys R Us store

Tony Abbott says campaigners against gendered toys should 'let boys be boys and girls be girls'

Australian Prime Minister said parents should decide what they buy children

Surfers ride a wave

Shark photobombs Australian surfers – twice

Australian amateur photographer captured the Spinner shark behind the surfers

David Pocock, former Australian rugby captain, issued warning after arrest at coal mine protest

The sportsman joined around 30 demonstrators forming a blockade at the Maules Creek mine. He was arrested after chaining himself to machinery

South Maroubra Beach in New South Wales where the body was discovered.

Baby's body found by young children playing on Australian beach

Police forensics teams close off area to search for clues

Man suffering from dementia steals hearse with body still inside it in Australia

The man stole the vehicle while missing from his nursing home

Hughes in Durban in 2009, celebrating the first of his two centuries in the second Test against South Africa

Phillip Hughes: Australia suspends Test match in wake of tragic death

Game was set to take place day after batsman's funeral

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Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Sport
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
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Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas