Sony hack is 'US security issue'

Posted on Thursday December 18, 2014

The cyber attack on Sony that forced a major film release to be pulled is being viewed as a national security matter, the White House says.

Kurds 'break IS mountain siege'

Posted on Thursday December 18, 2014

Kurdish forces in northern Iraq say they have broken the IS siege of Mount Sinjar, claiming their biggest victory yet against the militants.

Carbon mission returns global maps

Posted on Thursday December 18, 2014

Nasa's Orbiting Carbon Observatory produces its first global maps of carbon dioxide in Earth's atmosphere.

Israel brands peace plan 'gimmick'

Posted on Thursday December 18, 2014

Israel says a Palestinian effort to set a three-year deadline for it to end its occupation of Palestinian territories is a "gimmick".

Putin seeks to ease economic fears

Posted on Thursday December 18, 2014

President Vladimir Putin seeks to ease fears over Russia's economy, insisting that the dramatic fall in the rouble will stabilise.

US Secret Service is too 'insular'

Posted on Thursday December 18, 2014

The agency guarding the US president is too insular and must recruit its next head externally, a review prompted by a White House security breach says.

US Congress threat to Cuba thaw

Posted on Thursday December 18, 2014

Opponents of President Barack Obama's new Cuba policy threaten to block his efforts to restore diplomatic relations after 50 years of hostility.

'200 villagers' kidnapped in Nigeria

Posted on Thursday December 18, 2014

Militants storm a remote village in north-eastern Nigeria, killing at least 33 people and kidnapping about 200, a survivor tells the BBC.

EU needs 'long-term' Russia strategy

Posted on Thursday December 18, 2014

The European Union needs a "plan for years" towards Russia, Donald Tusk says, chairing his first summit as European Council president.

Wilders faces charges of incitement

Posted on Thursday December 18, 2014

Dutch far-right politician Geert Wilders is to be tried on charges of inciting racial hatred against Moroccans in a speech, the authorities say.

Italian film star Lisi dies aged 78

Posted on Thursday December 18, 2014

Italian screen actress Virna Lisi, famed in the 1960s for appearing opposite stars including Frank Sinatra, dies at the age of 78.

New record depth for deepest fish

Posted on Thursday December 18, 2014

Fish are filmed more than 8,000m down in the Mariana Trench - the deepest place on Earth.

CIA interrogations: 'No place' for psychologists?

Posted on Wednesday December 17, 2014

Details emerge regarding the two psychologists who helped create the CIA detainee programme that some critics call torture, raising questions about the ethics of their involvement.

Defending Sony's 'cowardly act'

Posted on Thursday December 18, 2014

After Sony is harshly criticised on Twitter for pulling The Interview from theatres, some writers are coming to the studio's defence.

Indian official's rage over road works becomes an online hit

Posted on Thursday December 18, 2014

An official's anger at construction delays and shoddy standards resonates in India.

Sony Pictures hack - whodunnit?

Posted on Thursday December 18, 2014

As Sony counts the cost of a devastating breach, the question is now who is responsible?

What are negative interest rates?

Posted on Thursday December 18, 2014

Switzerland's National Bank is to impose a negative interest rate of minus 0.25% on large deposits - but what are negative rates, and why do banks bring them in?

What did UK know about CIA practices?

Posted on Wednesday December 17, 2014

Mark Urban explores the question of what the UK knew about rendition and interrogation techniques, in the wake of the US Senate report that criticised the CIA.

Cuba's economy set to get a boost

Posted on Wednesday December 17, 2014

The Cuban embargo is the US's longest-running trade sanction. With the move by US President Barack Obama to ease some of the provisions, how will Cuba's economy change?

VIDEO: CAR: Child soldier numbers 'doubles'

Posted on Thursday December 18, 2014

International relief organisations say thousands of children have been recruited as child soldiers in the Central African Republic.