World briefing

A newborn gorilla sleeps in the arms of her mother Kibara at a zoo in Leipzig, Germany. Photo / AP
A newborn gorilla sleeps in the arms of her mother Kibara at a zoo in Leipzig, Germany. Photo / AP

North America

Former US President George Bush snr and his wife, Barbara, remained in hospital at Houston's Methodist Hospital. Bush spokesman Jim McGrath says physicians initially believed the 92-year-old former President would be released this week following several days of treatment for respiratory issues related to pneumonia, but his stay has been extended after doctors performed a procedure to help clear his airway. He then was moved to intensive care. Barbara Bush decided to go to the hospital after not feeling well in recent weeks.

An 11-year-old girl fired a borrowed gun at a Pennsylvania shooting range and the bullet ricocheted off the ground, striking her 12-year-old brother in the head and blinding him, state police said. And police say a 5-year-old Chicago girl is in serious condition after she shot herself in the abdomen with a handgun that she found in her mother's purse.

Noor Salman, 30, the widow of the Orlando nightclub gunman pleaded not guilty to charges of aiding and abetting her husband's support of Isis (Islamic State) and hindering the investigation of the attack that killed 49 people and injured 53 others. Salman will return to court on February 2.

Latin America

Brazil's Government says it's enlisting the help of the armed forces in resolving a serious crisis in the nation's prisons. More than 130 inmates have been killed in gang clashes this year. A total of 1000 soldiers will be available as required by the nation's 27 governors to serve at state penitentiaries.

Asia/Oceania

A South Korean court declined to allow the arrest of Samsung's de facto chairman for his alleged role in an explosive corruption scandal that has riveted South Korea. The decision is a shocking one for prosecutors, who have accused Lee Jae Yong of bribery, embezzlement and perjury, although the court decided only that Lee did not need to be detained, not that the case had no merit.

Europe

A French official says a robber with a hand grenade and an automatic handgun has stolen diamond necklaces and other jewellery from a Harry Winston store in the French Riviera city of Cannes. The stolen merchandise is estimated to be worth 15 million.

Two women have told a London court they felt they wouldn't be taken seriously if they took groping complaints to police against such a famous celebrity as Rolf Harris. One told Southwark Crown Court yesterday that in 1983, when she was 13, Harris groped her breast and said to her, 'Do you often get molested on a Saturday morning?"

The woman, now in her late 40s, said her family and friends just couldn't believe Harris would do such a thing, so she didn't think police would believe her either. A second woman testifying against the 86-year-old said that when she was a 19-year-old backing singer in 2002 he had stroked her lower back. She said she thought she might be laughed at if she made a complaint against the celebrity.

Both women were finally prompted to come forward after Harris was sentenced to jail on indecent assault charges in 2014. Harris is facing a second trial after pleading not guilty of indecently assaulting seven women between 1971 and 2004 when they were aged between 12 and 42.

Middle East

Russia and Turkey conducted their first joint air operations in Syria, bombing Isis positions in and around the northwestern town of al-Bab, where US jets also struck militant targets this week.

Africa

A suicide bomber in an explosives-laden vehicle has penetrated a camp in northern Mali, killing at least 60 people and wounding 115 soldiers and former fighters who are trying to stabilise the region. The attack marks a significant setback for peace efforts. Suspicion quickly fell on the Islamic extremist groups operating in the area which oppose the 2015 peace agreement that brought the parties together. A group linked to al-Qaeda's North Africa branch, claimed responsibility.

Imagine that

Gorillas, monkeys, lemurs and other primates are in danger of becoming extinct, and scientists say it's our fault that our closest living relatives are in trouble, a new international study warns. About 60 per cent of the more than 500 primate species are "now threatened with extinction" and three out of four primate species have shrinking populations, according to a study in Science Advances. The decline has been blamed on human activities including hunting, mining and oil drilling. Logging, ranching and farming have also destroyed precious habitat in Africa, Asia and South America.

It's a bit odd

New Hampshire State Police say a driver clocked at 146km/h during a snowstorm said she was late for an appointment to have a new car stereo installed. Police say they stopped Anastacia Hocking, 21, on Interstate 93 in Concord. The highway was covered with snow and slush and the speed limit was 70km/h.

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