Woman (67) set on fire
A 67-year-old homeless woman is in a critical condition in hospital after a man doused her with a flammable liquid and set her on fire.
The woman was sleeping on a bus bench in Los Angeles when she was attacked. Police arrested Dennis Petillo (24) on suspicion of attempted murder.
Kidnap pony returned
A tiny pony is back at its Austrian circus more than a week after being kidnapped by a woman who wanted to give her sick daughter a Christmas surprise.
Fridolin the pony, who is only about 2ft tall, went missing from the Vienna Christmas Circus last week. He was found near a Vienna bus stop after a call from the woman who decided she couldn't keep the animal after taking it for her daughter.
Just too hot to bear
The last polar bear at the Buenos Aires zoo has died of hyperthermia during a heat wave.
Zoo officials said the polar bear, named Winner, became upset amid the scorching heat and the noise from Christmas fireworks. This affected his ability to control his body temperature and he apparently died of hyperthermia.
Bush health setbacks
Former US President George HW Bush (88) remains in intensive care at a Texas hospital after suffering "a series of setbacks", including a stubborn fever.
Bush spokesman Jim McGrath said the former president was alert.
It's a girl for Followill
Kings Of Leon drummer Nathan Followill and his wife, singer-songwriter Jessie Baylin, have announced the birth of a baby daughter.
She is the couple's first child and the third for the Nashville-based family band.
Drunk drives to AA
A man faces a drink driving charge after driving on to the lawn of the historic home once owned by the co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous.
Police in Vermont said Donald Blood (55) thought he was driving into a parking lot, but it was actually the lawn of the Wilson House, birthplace of AA co-founder Bill Wilson.
Iran fires woman
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has dismissed his only female cabinet minister, Health Minister Marzieh Vahid Dastjerdi, after she criticised colleagues for failing to provide funds to import vital medicines.
Ms Dastjerdi was the first woman minister since the Islamic Republic was established in 1979.