• Nine face midnight firing squad in Indonesia, hopes for reprieve gone

    Nine drug traffickers held emotional farewell meetings with their families at an Indonesian prison on Tuesday, after Jakarta rejected last-ditch pleas from around the world for clemency and ordered their mass execution to proceed within hours. "I won't see him again," said Raji Sukumaran, the mother of an Australian who will go before a firing squad along with a fellow countryman and convicts from Nigeria, Brazil, the Philippines and Indonesia. Hundreds of people began gathering in cities across Australia for vigils for Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan, holding placards and calling for Australia to respond strongly to its neighbour if the executions proceed.

    Reuters
  • Sam Smith cancels tour

    Sam Smith has cancelled the remaining dates on his sold out Australian tour. The 22-year-old singer has been diagnosed with a small haemorrhage on his vocal cords after becoming vocally exhausted due to months of concerts around the world and has been advised to rest his voice. In a statement posted on Facebook page, Sam said: "I am deeply, deeply saddened to tell my Australian fans, I have to cancel my Australian tour.

    Bang Showbiz
  • 'She was my everything': Tragic end to Nepal quake rescue

    As he watched Nepalese police rescuers finally pull the lifeless body of his 14-year-old daughter from the rubble of their home, Dayaram Mohat collapsed on the floor in grief. Minutes later though they realised Prasamsah was missing along with her aunt Chandrawati Mohat, who had been with her niece in the main living room. Mohat pleaded with the hard-pressed rescue teams to try and find Prasamsah, refusing to give up hope that she had survived.

    AFP
  • John Stamos 'Calls Bulls**t' on Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen's 'Full House' Shock

    John Stamos doesn't believe that Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen didn't know about the Full House spin-off. It looks like Uncle Jesse is disappointed by Michelle Tanner's recent comments about a Full House reboot. John Stamos, who played Uncle Jesse on the '90s TV show, announced last week on Jimmy Kimmel Live! that the show was coming back with a spin-off, titled Fuller House.

    FAMOUS
  • Forgotten victims of Mexico drug war's stray bullets

    The mechanic was working under a car when he turned his head and saw a dozen pick-up trucks creeping down the street in Mexico's western state of Jalisco. "The devil is on the loose," Jorge Gerardo Herrera said ominously to his colleagues as he turned back to the car he was fixing in the town of Ocotlan. Suddenly, a gunfight erupted and a stray bullet landed in the mechanic's heart, turning him into the latest innocent and forgotten victim of Mexico's cruel drug violence.

    AFP
  • Why hotels are saying goodbye to check-in and check-out times

    By tradition (and business model), hotels have strict check-in and check-out times to make sure the turnover runs smoothly for incoming guests. While this makes sense, a new trend is emerging, and some properties are adopting a 24-hour check-in/check-out policy. The Peninsula hotel in Beverly Hills has been providing this amenity since 2012, but other properties, and even entire hotel chains, are jumping on the flexible check-in/check-out bandwagon.

    Total Travel
  • Mysterious clouds form 'god-like' figure over volcano

    Ash from Chile's Calbuco volcano has heaped more misery on air passengers across South America, as towns and cities struggled to clean up from last week's two powerful eruptions. A sleeping giant for more than 50 years, Calbuco sprang to life in spectacular bursts of ash and lava Wednesday and Thursday, forcing 6,500 people living nearby to evacuate and blanketed southern Chile in suffocating volcanic debris.

    AFP
  • Cuban snatched property claims reviewed

    About a decade ago, the notion of a Cuba without Fidel Castro began to seem increasingly possible. "Fidel's looking infirm, and the Bush administration decides, well, if something happens in Cuba we need to have a plan in place," says Michael Kelly, a professor of law at Creighton. Two professors flew to Cuba, searching for homes and businesses listed in claims paperwork, only to find the names of streets had changed.

    AAP
  • Court told of gang chaos before killing

    Two eye witnesses have described the chaos that unfolded following a gang invasion of a suburban Huntly street that resulted in the death of Kevin Lawrence Rimaha last year. April Strickland was visiting Mr Rimaha's house when four cars arrived at James Henry Crescent carrying members of the Bloods gang. The youths spit up and starting running around the neighbourhood breaking windows after a threat was made to rape her niece earlier that day, Ms Strickland told the High Court at Hamilton on Tuesday.

    NZ Newswire
  • NZ dollar advances against weaker US dollar ahead of Fed, RBNZ

    The New Zealand dollar advanced against a weaker US dollar as traders push out expectations for a US interest rate hike, with both the US Federal Reserve and New Zealand's Reserve Bank scheduled to decide on interest rates on Thursday. Markets in New Zealand were closed yesterday for the Anzac public holiday. The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of currencies, has declined 2.8 percent the past 10 days as softer US economic data pushed out expectations for the first Fed rate hike from June to September.

    BusinessDesk
  • Spice Girls Boycott Geri Halliwell's Wedding

    Geri Halliwell and Christian Horner are set to tie the knot in the next few weeks in West London. Geri Halliwell may be marrying the man of her dreams in the next few weeks, but it looks like all her former Spice Girls bandmates won't be there to join the celebrations. Sources have confirmed that Mel C. will be busy working on Asia's Got Talent, while Victoria Beckham will be overseas with work commitments.

    FAMOUS
  • Kris Jenner blackmailed over nude tape

    Kris Jenner is being blackmailed over a nude video. In scenes filmed for 'Keeping Up With the Kardashians', Kris was told by her personal assistant: "So I just got word from our PI and I don't want you to freak out but whoever it is might have a video of you from your closet camera, they said were you naked. The shocked Kardashian matriarch's assistant then informed her the hacker wanted a financial incentive to stop them from releasing the embarrassing video to the world.

    Bang Showbiz
  • Retirees 'much worse' off: RBA

    Soon-to-be retirees are being warned by the Reserve Bank governor that they face tough times ahead and will need to take risks with their lifesavings to fund their retirement. Central banks around the world have lowered their interest rates to record lows to stimulate their economies, causing yields on safe investments such as term deposits to fall. The RBA's Glenn Stevens says that as a result, retirees are have to take more risks with their investments than those in the past in order to generate an adequate future income.

    AAP
  • Ed Sheeran loses over 40 pounds

    Ed Sheeran has lost over 40lbs. During a visit to a Subway fast food restaurant in Australia with '60 Minutes' reporter Peter Stefanovic, he joked about his eating habits. Ed replied: "No, just 'Ed Sheeran: Fat F**k'! No, I lost a lot of weight.

    Bang Showbiz
  • NZ family among those trying to flee Nepal

    New Zealander Michael Mackey and his family are among the thousands of tourists trying to leave quake-hit Nepal. Mr Mackey, his wife and three sons were in a cafe in the capital Kathmandu when the 7.8-magnitude quake struck on Saturday, forcing them to flee outside as surrounding buildings shook and toppled, Agence France-Presse reports. After that, we didn't stop and came all the way to outside the airport," Mr Mackey told AFP.

    NZ Newswire
  • Elvis Presley's planes to remain at Graceland

    It looks like Elvis Presley's airplanes are staying at Graceland after all. Graceland released a statement Sunday saying the Lisa Marie and the Hound Dog II, two custom-designed airplanes once owned by Presley, will remain permanently at the Memphis tourist attraction centered on the life and career of the late singer. The larger plane, a Convair 880 named after Presley's daughter Lisa Marie, is like a customized flying limousine, complete with a large bed, a stereo system, conference room and gold-plated bathroom fixtures.

    Associated Press
  • Hundreds of German cinemas refuse to show 'Avengers' film

    Several hundred movie theaters in Germany have refused to screen the new "Avengers" film in a dispute over rental fees with Disney. It said the dispute was over a decision to raise the rental fee for the movie to 53 percent of ticket sales rather than the 47.7 percent usually charged to small-town theaters. Karl-Heinz Meier of I.G. Nord, a group representing cinema operators in northern Germany, said it would have been prepared to go as far as a 50 percent fee.

    Associated Press
  • Scientists convinced of quake, drill link

    Scientists are now more certain than ever that oil and gas drilling is causing hundreds of earthquakes across the US, with the evidence coming in from one study after another. Until now, the oil and gas industry has generally argued that any such link requires further study. A series of government and academic studies over the past few years - including at least two reports released last week alone - has added to the body of evidence implicating the US drilling boom over the past decade or so.

    AP
  • Death penalty in the US by the numbers

    The US Supreme Court is due to rule on a drug cocktail used in some lethal injections to kill death row convicts, amid growing pressure to abolish capital punishment. Here are facts on the current state of the death penalty and lethal injection in the United States. A total of 18 US states and the US capital Washington have abolished the death penalty, including six since 2007: Alaska (1957), Connecticut (2012), Hawaii (1957), Illinois (2011), Iowa (1965), Maine (1887), Maryland (2013), Massachusetts (1984), Michigan (1846), Minnesota (1911), New Jersey (2007), New Mexico (2009), New York (2007), North Dakota (1973), Rhode Island (1984), Vermont (1964), West Virginia (1965), Wisconsin (1853) and the District of Columbia, home to the capital Washington (1981).

    AFP
  • Trump to face Ding as Robertson wins through to quarters

    Judd Trump will play China's Ding Junhui in the quarter-finals of the World Championship after defeating Hong Kong's Marco Fu, the other remaining hope of a first Asian world champion at this year's tournament, on Monday. Trump, sealed his place in the last eight in style, rattling in a break of 133 to complete a 13-8 victory over Fu at Sheffield's Crucible Theatre. In Monday's late matches, Australia's Neil Robertson, the 2010 world champion, and five-times Crucible king Ronnie O'Sullivan secured quarter-final places with 13-5 wins over Ali Carter and Matthews Stevens respectively.

    AFP