"My tax return was on my yacht ... which caught fire" - just one of the dozens of unusual excuses the British government's tax collector said it receives each year from customers who fail to complete their returns on time.

JAKARTA, Dec 26: Indonesian militants supporting Islamic State planned to attack a police post on New Year's eve with machetes and knives, a police spokesman said on Monday.

At least 400 victims of Asia's 2004 tsunami that killed 226,000 people remain unidentified in Thailand 12 years on, police said on Monday.

LONDON, Dec 26: George Michael, who rocketed to stardom with WHAM! and went on to enjoy a long and celebrated solo career lined with controversies, has died, his publicist said Sunday. He was 53.

NEW DELHI, Dec 25: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi Saturday laid the foundation stone for what is set to be the world's tallest statue, as its projected multi-million-dollar cost sparked criticism and an online petition against the project.

MOSCOW, Dec 25: A Russian plane headed to an air base in Syria with 93 people aboard, including members of a well-known military choir, crashed into the Black Sea on Sunday minutes after taking off from the resort city of Sochi, Russia's Defense Ministry said.

VALLETTA, Malta, Dec 24: The passengers from a hijacked Libyan flight that was diverted to Malta have left the Mediterranean island and are returning home.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon on Saturday (today) welcomed the adoption of a Security Council resolution which states that the establishment of Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory occupied since 1967 have “no legal validity,” constitute a “flagrant violation” of international law and are a “major obstacle” to a two-State solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace.

VALLETTA, Dec 23:  Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said a total of 109 passengers had been released from the hijacked Libyan plane which landed in Malta on Friday.

VALLETTA, Malta, Dec 23: Hijackers diverted a Libyan plane carrying 118 people to the Mediterranean island of Malta on Friday and threatened to blow it up with hand grenades, officials said. Tense negotiations ensued and within a few hours at least 65 passengers were allowed to leave the plane, the prime minister said.