In brief: Police horror at massacre

A MAN has been held after a bloodbath in a house left a gruesome crime scene that had police struggling to identify the victims and determine the causes of death.

Binh Thai Luc (35) was charged with five murders in San Francisco.

The bodies of the three women and two men were found by a woman with access to the home.

The crime scene was so tangled that police couldn't initially determine whether they were dealing with a murder-suicide, or whether a suspect was at large. They also initially thought that at least two of the victims were shot.

Obama vows to slash nukes

US President Barack Obama has committed to further reduce America's nuclear stockpile, saying his country had more nuclear weapons than it needed.

Obama said the US would seek talks with Russia on steps to reduce their arsenals of strategic and tactical nuclear weapons.

"I firmly believe that we can ensure the security of the United States and our allies, maintain a strong deterrent against any threat and still pursue further reductions in our nuclear arsenal," Obama said.

Settlers ready to fight eviction

THE Israeli Supreme Court has rejected the state's request to postpone dismantling a large, unsanctioned West Bank settler enclave until late 2015, dealing a serious blow to settler hopes to keep dozens of rogue outposts standing.

The ruling could ignite a violent showdown with settlers, who have vowed in the past not to abandon their hilltop stronghold, Migron.

Settler leader Shimon Riklin, one of the enclave's founders, said that the evacuation of Migron "would not pass quietly".

Priest-abuse trial set to start

A PRIEST-ABUSE trial is likely to unveil some of the operations of the Catholic archdiocese in Philadelphia and detail how child sexual abuse complaints were buried for decades.

The centre of the trial that begins is Monsignor William Lynn, the first US church official ever charged with endangering children for allegedly failing to oust accused predators.