"The only words that ever satisfied me as describing Nature are the terms used in fairy books, charm, spell, enchantment. They express the arbitrariness of the fact and its mystery."
—Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) British writer, critic
- 'New chapter' in US-Cuba ties Wed, 17 Dec 2014 21:03:58 GMT
- The US and Cuba announce moves to normalise relations in a major policy shift, following the release by Cuba of US contractor Alan Gross.
- Sharif vow to end Pakistan terrorism Wed, 17 Dec 2014 18:32:03 GMT
- Pakistani leader Nawaz Sharif vows to rid his country of terrorism after the Taliban killed 141 people, mostly children, at a Peshawar school.
- Mass grave 'found in eastern Syria' Wed, 17 Dec 2014 18:17:26 GMT
- The bodies of more than 230 people thought to have been killed by Islamic State (IS) have been found in a mass grave in eastern Syria, activists say.
- Fifa investigator Garcia resigns Wed, 17 Dec 2014 17:18:00 GMT
- Fifa's independent ethics investigator Michael Garcia resigns in protest over the handling of his World Cup bidding report.
- Russia plans new action over rouble Wed, 17 Dec 2014 16:32:12 GMT
- Russia says it is planning new measures to stabilise the rouble after its slump against the dollar.
- EU court takes Hamas off terror list Wed, 17 Dec 2014 12:45:19 GMT
- A European Union court annuls the bloc’s decision to keep Hamas on a list of terrorist groups, but temporarily maintains a funding freeze.
- UK army murder claims 'were lies' Wed, 17 Dec 2014 14:57:40 GMT
- Allegations of murder and torture made against British soldiers by Iraqi detainees after a 2004 battle were "deliberate lies", the Al-Sweady Inquiry rules.
- Taliban kill 10 in Afghan bank raid Wed, 17 Dec 2014 16:12:41 GMT
- Ten people are killed and many more wounded as Taliban militants attack a bank in the southern Afghan province of Helmand, officials say.
- Mexico vigilantes in deadly clash Wed, 17 Dec 2014 12:18:00 GMT
- At least 11 people are killed in a shoot-out between rival vigilante groups in the western Mexican state of Michoacan.
- S Leone houses searched for Ebola Wed, 17 Dec 2014 17:01:00 GMT
- Sierra Leone starts house-to-house searches in the capital Freetown to find hidden cases of Ebola, at the same time restricting shop opening hours.
- Church appoints first female bishop Wed, 17 Dec 2014 11:28:33 GMT
- The first female bishop for the Church of England has been announced as vicar Reverend Libby Lane, just a month after the historic change to canon law.
- VIDEO: Why was Alan Gross jailed in Cuba? Wed, 17 Dec 2014 16:36:36 GMT
- The US and Cuba have struck a prisoner swap deal that involves the release of American Alan Gross and three Cubans, US officials have announced.
- VIDEO: US navy develops 'fish' robot Wed, 17 Dec 2014 20:18:22 GMT
- The US military has been showing off its latest catch.
- VIDEO: Russians splash out to beat rouble fall Wed, 17 Dec 2014 21:37:48 GMT
- As the Russian rouble falls in value - and prices for imported goods looks set to rise - Russians have been flocking to the stores, to spend their cash on durable goods.
- VIDEO: One-minute World News Wed, 17 Dec 2014 14:39:59 GMT
- Watch the latest news summary from BBC World News. International news updated 24 hours a day.