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'Mr Teflon': Sydney's showiest politician comes unstuck

  • outlandish: He's a millionaire deputy mayor from Sydney whose outlandish antics have become a media mainstay.
  • intrigue: It's a story that has it all- power, intrigue, ostentatious wealth, allegations of corruption, and a bizarre plan to run a country.
  • ostentatious: It's a story that has it all- power, intrigue, ostentatious wealth, allegations of corruption, and a bizarre plan to run a country.
  • thrall: For six months Sydney has been in thrall to the rise of politician Salim Mehajer, the son of a property magnate who entered the family business and became a developer in his own right.
  • magnate: For six months Sydney has been in thrall to the rise of politician Salim Mehajer, the son of a property magnate who entered the family business and became a developer in his own right.

Mourning an Urdu literary icon

  • pneumonia: Hussain, who was in his early 90s, died in hospital in Lahore after contracting pneumonia.
  • acrimony: Going back was not easy, given the acrimony and bloodbath that followed.
  • moralist: Hussain was part of a powerful literary movement that emerged in India in the 1930s, and that transformed the old moralist and romantic traditions of Indian and Persian-Arabic literature into Western realism.
  • linguist: Unlike most " progressive" writers of his age, he could not be bracketed with the L eft, but he was not a romantic either, says Rauf Parekh, a linguist and columnist.
  • emigrant: Critics say that through his surrealistic symbolism and his mythological spin on events, he created authentic narratives to revisit political tragedies such as the 1971 secession of Bangladesh, the radicalisation of society under military dictator Gen Zia-ul Haq, and the rise of the Mohajir (or emigrant) nationalism among Karachi's refugees from India.

South Korea, Japan Warn Against North Korea Missile Launch

  • hostile: Pyongyang maintains it has a sovereign right to pursue a space program by launching rockets, but Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and other U.S. allies have denounced the program as a hostile pretense intended to circumvent international restrictions.
  • impending: China Wednesday said it was extremely concerned by the reports of an impending North Korean missile launch.
  • benefactor: China, as the North’s chief benefactor and trading partner, wants a compromise approach that would impose some punishments on the Pyongyang leadership but would also lead all sides toward resuming international negotiations.

Rare view of Australia volcano eruption

  • coda: Professor Mike Coffin, a geophysicist from the University of Tasmania's Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS), called the experience " an amazing coda to this week's submarine research ".
  • sparse: Image copyright Pete Harmsen Image caption The Big Ben is known to have erupted at least three other times since 2000, scientists say Image copyright Pete Harmsen Image caption Eruptions are usually only recognised from sparse satellite images Image copyright Pete Harmsen Image caption Geophysicist Mike Coffin described the eruption as an " amazing coda" to the team's research journey.
  • coda: Image copyright Pete Harmsen Image caption The Big Ben is known to have erupted at least three other times since 2000, scientists say Image copyright Pete Harmsen Image caption Eruptions are usually only recognised from sparse satellite images Image copyright Pete Harmsen Image caption Geophysicist Mike Coffin described the eruption as an " amazing coda" to the team's research journey.

Men sentenced to death for monk murder

  • abbot: Akong was born in Tibet in 1939 and quickly identified as the reincarnation of the abbot of the monastery Dolma Lhakang, in the eastern part of the region.
  • enthrone: He was enthroned in the monastery at just four years old and then began his spiritual education.
  • abbot: At the time of Ak ong's death, the monastery said the abbot had died defending funds that he was distributing in China.

Why has Goa decided the coconut palm is no longer a tree?

  • botany: Botanically the coconut tree is not even a tree, because it does not have branche s," Goa Environment Minister Rajendra Arlekar said, setting off a debate on international botany sites as the news made waves internationally.
  • kernel: Coconut oil from its dried kernel has many medicinal and daily uses, including in soap manufacture.
  • artisan: Empty shells were used as spoons and artisans craft jewellery and other items from it.
  • berate: Political parties have found it an emotive issue to berate the government with and songs, cartoons and satire have been composed to express discontent with the decision.

Whisky maker uses fryer oil to fire ‘liquid gold’

  • renown: Bignell, an agricultural scientist cum sand-and-ice sculptor of world renown, is committed to locally sourcing his ingredients.
  • federate: When the Australian states federated in 1901," Bad Frankie's " law passed through to all of the country, although stills above 40,000 litres were permitted.
  • distiller: Now the 15 or so small-scale distillers in Tasmania can't make enough to keep up with demand and their small stockpiles have been exhausted.

Malaysia profile

  • log: The country is benefiting from a growth in manufacturing, and is a major tourist destination, but there are fears that development could harm the environment, particularly the rainforests of northern Borneo, which are under pressure from palm oil plantations and illegal log ging.
  • rotate: The post of paramount ruler is rotated every five years among the sultans of the nine Malay kingdoms.
  • vibrant: Malaysia boasts one of south-east Asia's most vibrant economies, the fruit of decades of industrial growth and political stability.

Viewpoint: The toll of terror in Afghanistan and Pakistan

  • insidious: Afghanistan has been facing up to three to four attacks a day in the form of Taliban infantry assaults on towns, villages and police stations or in the form of insidious car or motorcycle bombs detonated to wipe out targeted individuals.
  • mourn: Yet Pakistanis woke up earlier this month to mourn dozens killed in three suicide attacks on three successive days.
  • labour: Saad Mohseni and his family- who run Tolo- have been threatened by the Taliban for some time but they and their staff have laboured on regardless.
  • inclined: The fact is that the closer you are to such wanton killing the more it affects you, making you irr itable, sad and less inclined to go out too much.
  • procrastination: In fact there is a growing perception of international dithering and procrastination.

China profile

  • populous: China is the world's most populous country, with a continuous culture stretching back nearly 4,000 years.
  • stagnate: After stagnating for more than two decades under the rigid authoritarianism of early communist rule under its late leader, Chairman Mao, China now has the world's fastest-growing economy and is undergoing what has been described as a second industrial revolution.
  • inefficient: Economics: Economic reform has replaced state socialism with a more capitalist system and generated rapid growth, turning China into one of the world's largest economies, but problems such as growing inequality, pollution, rural poverty, an inefficient state sector and low domestic consumption remain.
  • reunite: Beijing says the island of Taiwan is a part of Chinese territory that must be reunited with the mainland.
  • redress: Tens of thousands of people travel to Beijing each year to lodge petitions with the authorities in the hope of finding redress for alleged corruption, land seizures and evictions.

'Extinct' frog rediscovered in India

  • tadpole: The height at which they live is not their only quirk, with females laying their fertilized eggs in tree holes filled with water, only to return after the tadpoles hatch, to feed them with unfertilized eggs.
  • tadpole: Tuneful song reveals new species of Himalayan thrush Image copyright AP Image caption Instead of teeth, the frog tadpoles have smooth mouths, to suck in the eggs they eat.
  • tadpole: Image copyright AP Image caption The tadpole's eyes are closer to the top of its head than most- possibly so it can see eggs being dropped into its tree pond at feeding time.