BBC World Service
The latest stories from the World section of the BBC News web site.
Updated: 49 min 8 sec ago
World leaders welcome an agreement between the US and Cuba to end more than 50 years of hostility and move towards restoring diplomatic ties.
Opportunities to prosecute Jimmy Savile and a former mayor of Scarborough for child sex abuse were missed due to police "organisational failure".
The government made £180m less from the sale of Royal Mail than it could have, and the process of privatising state assets should be reformed, says a new report.
US Federal Reserve says it will be "patient" in deciding when to raise interest rates, with most analysts expecting a rise in mid-2015.
New Zealand's Dan Carter will end his international career to become rugby's highest-paid player by joining Racing Metro.
Ashley Cole dismisses Crystal Palace link, Eden Hazard close to new Chelsea deal, Southampton want Wesley Sneijder, plus more.
President Vladimir Putin is set to hold his annual end-of-year news conference, amid a growing economic crisis in Russia.
Sony cancels the release of The Interview, a film about a fictional plot to kill North Korea's leader, after major cinemas decide not to screen it.
Asia stocks are rising after the Federal Reserve pledges to be "patient" on raising interest rates from record lows.
A New Zealander and two Burmese men go on trial in Myanmar on charges of insulting Buddhism with a flyer for a bar event.
Greece has moved a step closer towards holding a general election, which could lead to it abandoning its policy of economic austerity.
India's troubled airline SpiceJet resumes flights after it agreed to pay oil companies cash for fuel purchases.
India successfully launches its largest rocket yet and an unmanned capsule capable of sending astronauts into space.
A draft resolution setting out a Palestinian timetable for a peace deal with Israel is submitted to the UN Security Council by Jordan.
Cuban President Raul Castro urges the US to end its trade embargo as he and President Barack Obama agree to improve relations.
Australian police say Sydney cafe attacker Man Haron Monis did not have a gun licence, though they initially told PM Tony Abbott he did.
An Australian professor and government education advisor, Barry Spurr, resigns from the University of Sydney for sending racist emails.
An outbreak of the highly-contagious disease mumps sweeps through teams in the US National Hockey League, with at least five affected.
Beauty company Avon has been fined by the US Securities and Exchange Commission for paying bribes and gifts to Chinese officials.
Councils in England are to learn later how much money they will have to spend on local services such as waste collection and road maintenance in 2015-16.