Australian fire crews have been battling hundreds of wildfires and powerful, hot outback winds forcing hundreds to be evacuated out of their homes.
"I've wanted to just reach out to them and just give them a big hug and say sorry," said 2DayFM's Mel Greig about the call to Nurse Jacintha Saldanha.
Three US Marines have been shot dead by an Afghan worker on a military base in southern Afghanistan, in a deadly 24 hours for Nato-led forces.
Australia Prime Minister Julia Gillard has boosted her chances of surviving a full term after an opposition lawmaker defected to become speaker.
Australia unveiled plans on Sunday to slap a carbon tax of A$23 a tonne on its 500 worst polluters from 2012.
New Zealand will fall silent on Tuesday to mark the moment an earthquake killed at least 154 people and shattered the city of Christchurch a week ago.
One of the most powerful cyclones on record slammed into Australia's coast, uprooting trees and tearing roofs off buildings.
One of the most powerful cyclones on record began pounding Australia's north-east coast on Wednesday.
Police turned desperate people away from shelters in Australia on Wednesday as one of the most powerful cyclones in the country's history bore down.
Thousands of people fled their homes and crammed into shelters on Wednesday as a powerful cyclone barrelled toward a string of popular tourist cities.