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The ban was introduced after rumours started of a lobby group intending to send someone in full burqa to the parliament building in Canberra

Tony Abbott lifts ‘accidental’ ban on burkas in Australian parliament

Ban was introduced on the basis of a rumour that someone was intending to enter parliament dressed in a full burka

Evie, Mo and Otis Maslin were all killed when flight MH17 was shot down

Malaysian Airlines flight MH17: Parents of three Australian children killed in crash call for an end to 'this pointless war'

Mo, Evie and Otis Maslin all died when the passenger jet was downed in July

Australian teenager gets bitten by shark; remains utterly unfazed

Video: 13-year-old Kirra-Belle Olsson thought it was just one of her mates messing around

University professor suspended over sending 'vile' and racist emails

Professor Spurr is a leading poetry expert at University of Sydney

Dylan Thomas after spider had been removed from his torso

Spider burrowed through tourist's stomach and up into his chest

Dylan Thomas found the spider had burrowed its way through a scar

Australia could send 100 babies to detention centres

Landmark ruling over 11-month-old baby born to asylum seekers sets new precedent for Australia’s migration laws

TV Host Grant Denyer asks a question on the show - viewers were offended when he asked 'what is a woman's job and what is a man's job? ' on Wednesday's show

Family Feud sexism row: Australian gameshow under fire asks contestants 'What is a woman's job?' Answers: 'cooking and cleaning'

An Australian gameshow, Family Feud, implied that a woman’s job was cooking and cleaning

Julia Gillard recalls the 'loneliness' of often being the sole woman at boardroom meetings in her book 'My Story'

Julia Gillard: Australia's first female Prime Minister reveals the 'sexism and misogyny' she faced on her rise to the top

In her new book, the Welsh-born politician addresses the gender debate and tells Kathy Marks about her hopes for a change in attitude

Former Australian PM Julia Gillard featured in WWE meme

The reaction of one Australian newspaper shows a continued lack of respect for their former leader

Australian family adds cat to the sale of their house and increases value by £76,000

A pet is not just for Christmas. It's also a valuable asset to your property

Tony Abbott vows to 'shirtfront' Vladimir Putin over downing of flight MH17

Australia's prime minister promised 'tough conversations' with Putin at G20 summit

Emirates Airlines boss Sir Tim Clark

MH370: Malaysia Airlines boss claims missing plane did not crash into the Indian Ocean

Emirates Airlines boss Sir Tim Clarke believes the missing aircraft was under control to the end - a theory counter to prevalent thinking

The video shows a young man in a prolonged racist rant against a train guard

Racist rant against guard on train in Australia condemned by PM Tony Abbott as police charge two teenagers

Warning: Footage contains extensive use of foul and abusive language

Health workers in protective gear carry the body of a woman suspected to have died from Ebola virus, from a house in New Kru Town at the outskirt of Monrovia, Liberia

Ebola outbreak: Tony Abbott says Australia will not 'send health workers into harm's way' to combat the deadly disease in West Africa

The prime minister said Australia was not 'absolutely confident that all the risks are being properly managed' on the ground in the affected region

Disney commemorative coin for the Island of Nieu

Mickey Mouse joins Queen on legal tender coins on Pacific island of Niue

The celebrated cartoon character is to feature on new editions of a dollar coin on the Pacific island of Niue

Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll as Agnes Brown in the 2014 Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas special
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Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
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footballLive! Chelsea vs West Ham kicked off 10 Boxing Day matches, with Arsenal vs QPR closing the action
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Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
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Jack O'Connell stars as Louis Zamperini in Angelina Jolie's Unbroken
film review... even if Jack O'Connell is excellent
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Madonna is not in Twitter's good books after describing her album leak as 'artistic rape and terrorism'
music14 more 'Rebel Heart' tracks leaked including Pharrell Williams collaboration
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Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
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Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald in the Doctor Who Christmas special
tvForget the rumours that Clara Oswald would be quitting the Tardis
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The Queen delivers her Christmas message
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Camo the cat went missing after Roy Dufek sold a bed he is thought to have been hiding in
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

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
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all