It's been a big year in news.

A lot has happened in a year, but what were the stories that captured the most attention? According to our one-year digital subscribers, the articles below represent the 52 most viewed online stories.

It's going to be hot...

It's going to be hot...

After a stuttering start, summer is finally about to arrive across Victoria - with a vengeance. The weather bureau is warning of a stretch of sizzling days ahead, especially in the state's interior, with the temperature starting a climb into the 30s in the west and north today and heading for the mid-40s next week. Melbourne is forecast to hit 39 on Tuesday.

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James Packer and David Gyngell bust-up

James Packer and David Gyngell bust-up

A set of explosive photos showing billionaire gaming mogul James Packer embroiled in a vicious fist fight with his former best man and the head of Nine Entertainment Group David Gyngell have hit the market this morning. The images were taken outside Packer's multimillion-dollar Bondi Beach home on Sunday afternoon.

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Search for MH370 continues

Search for MH370 continues

The first plane left Perth at about 9.15am. Four other planes have reached the search area for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane or are on their way. A Norwegian merchant ship has been scouring the area, 2500 kilometres south-west of Perth, since Thursday night, with another due to arrive tonight.

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Man stabbed at Western Hospital in Footscray

Man stabbed at Western Hospital in Footscray

A 48-year-old man has fronted court charged with attempting to murder a respected neurosurgeon who was stabbed at Western Hospital in Footscray on Tuesday morning.

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Cringe time: nothing went right for ABC

Cringe time: nothing went right for ABC

New Year's Eve comes with the perennial question: should old acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind? Thanks to the ABC's coverage of last night's fireworks-laden festivities, we have an answer: come back Richard Wilkins, all is forgiven.

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David Koch criticises Seven Network over Schapelle Corby interview

David Koch criticises Seven Network over Schapelle Corby interview

Sunrise co-host David Koch has hit out at his own network for paying convicted drug smuggler Schapelle Corby $2 million for a tell-all interview following her release from prison in Bali.

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Possible acoustic trace of MH370

Possible acoustic trace of MH370

Researchers at Perth's Curtin University are examining a low-frequency underwater sound signal that could have resulted from Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 crashing into the Indian Ocean.

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Well-hung? Senator Jacqui Lambie on radio station Heart 107.3

Well-hung? Senator Jacqui Lambie on radio station Heart 107.3

Newly elected Palmer United Party senator Jacqui Lambie outlines what she's looking for in a man – someone "well-hung" and loaded with cash.

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The story behind this viral photo

The story behind this viral photo

A boy with cuts all over his body is using every ounce of his strength to cling on to a rubber-gloved medic trying to lay him on a hospital bed.

What the haunting photograph does not capture are the Palestinian boy’s screams at the paramedic: “I want my father, bring me my father!”

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TV appearance sparks backlash in Indonesia

TV appearance sparks backlash in Indonesia

An angry-looking Indonesian justice minister indicated late on Monday night that he may revoke Schapelle Corby’s parole after watching the Seven Network’s documentary about her release. The Indonesian government explicitly warned the Corby family that Schapelle should not do a post-release interview, but the story on Channel Seven’s Sunday Night program went ahead anyway.


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Melbourne outer-northern suburb under threat

Melbourne outer-northern suburb under threat

Bushfires on the rural edge of Wallan sent huge smoke clouds into the sky as the fire was pushed by a strong south-westerly wind.

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Temperature set to plummet

Temperature set to plummet

The long-awaited cool change has arrived in Melbourne ending a record-breaking heatwave in Victoria. This week's sizzler was the first time the city has had four days in a row above 41 degrees since records began, the Bureau of Meteorology said.

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Call that did the deed

Call that did the deed

Denis Napthine decided he'd had enough. He told his driver to pull up on a Ballarat roadside. Once his driver and advisers were out of the car, the Premier picked up his mobile phone and, for the second day in a row, dialled Geoff Shaw, the rogue MP for Frankston.

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Charlotte Dawson found dead

Charlotte Dawson found dead

A series of intersecting and stressful events formed the backdrop to the final hours of an already vulnerable and depressed Charlotte Dawson, who killed herself in her luxury waterside apartment at Woolloomooloo.

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Budget night grilling

Budget night grilling

Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey has begun the hard sell of his tough first budget, sweating his way through the first of many post-budget interviews.

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ASADA show-cause notices for Dons

ASADA show-cause notices for Dons

The 16-month drugs probe into Essendon Football Club has climaxed following the issuing of a slew of show-cause notices for players by the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority.
Late on Thursday, Essendon players and their agents were being advised of ASADA's notification, in writing, of alleged anti-doping rule breaches.

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Red faces as Myer fires 'star' hire

Red faces as Myer fires 'star' hire

Only days after trumpeting it had poached him from global fast fashion giant Zara, Myer told Fairfax Media this morning it has been forced to terminate the employment of Andrew Flanagan, after it was revealed that he had never worked for the Spanish fashion retailer and it had never heard of him.

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Debris found in search for MH370, says Prime Minister Tony Abbott

Debris found in search for MH370, says Prime Minister Tony Abbott

Satellite images taken four days ago were analysed and confirmed, on Thursday, to show two pieces of debris that could be wreckage of the missing Malaysia Airlines plane. One piece is approximately 24-metres long and the other five-metres long.

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Stokehouse restaurant burns down

Stokehouse restaurant burns down

The owners of St Kilda's Stokehouse restaurant have vowed to rebuild the iconic eatery after it was destroyed by fire.

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Momentum swings from Sophie Mirabella

Momentum swings from Sophie Mirabella

Liberal frontbencher Sophie Mirabella’s fight to retain her seat of Indi has suffered a setback in sensational circumstances after the Australian Electoral Commission found a large pile of pre-poll votes that significantly tip the scales in favour of Independent Cathy McGowan. The 1003 votes for Ms McGowan had been overlooked as a result of "clerical error".

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Murrumbeena murderer still at large

Murrumbeena murderer still at large

As many as 10 firearms have been removed from the house where a couple was found dead in Melbourne's south-east.

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Two Australians die in Bali

Two Australians die in Bali

A Sunshine Coast mother and her teenage daughter have died in Bali in the early hours of Saturday after the pair became violently ill less than a day after starting their holiday on the island.

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US satellite unspoken source that sparked search for MH370

US satellite unspoken source that sparked search for MH370

When the Australian Maritime Safety Authority's John Young took to the podium to explain to reporters the discovery of satellite images that might show pieces of MH370, he carefully omitted to tell them the source. When asked, he avoided the question.

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Three dead in Oakleigh car crash

Three dead in Oakleigh car crash

A man involved a horrific triple fatality in Oakleigh is expected to be charged on Monday evening.

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Tony Abbott fears Russian interference at MH17 crash site

Tony Abbott fears Russian interference at MH17 crash site

A frustrated Prime Minister Tony Abbott has told Russia's Trade Minister that Russia cannot “wash its hands” of the MH17 tragedy and that he distrusts President Vladimir Putin's assurances it will assist an impartial investigation into the tragedy.

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Peaches Geldof dead at 25

Peaches Geldof dead at 25

The daughter of Bob Geldof and Paula Yates posted a picture of herself, as a baby in her mother's arms, to her Instagram account in the early hours of Monday, Sydney time. Just a day later Peaches Honeyblossom Geldof was found dead by ambulance officers, following a call to police reporting concern for the welfare of a woman at an address near Wrotham, Kent, south-east of London.

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'I just don't care': texting P-plate driver hits cyclist

'I just don't care': texting P-plate driver hits cyclist

A P-plate driver who used her mobile phone behind the wheel 44 times before running down a cyclist near Koroit has been fined $4500 and lost her licence for nine months.

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PM's cancer hospital visit used to 'justify' fund-raising visit

PM's cancer hospital visit used to 'justify' fund-raising visit

Prime Minister Tony Abbott told government MPs he had to schedule an early morning visit to a cancer research centre in Melbourne on Tuesday so that he could justify billing taxpayers to be in the city for a "private function" the night before.
Mr Abbott made the admission at the regular meeting of Liberal and Nationals MPs after being taken to task by one his own senators for turning up an hour late.

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Actor Robin Williams dead, aged 63

Actor Robin Williams dead, aged 63

Veteran actor and comedian Robin Williams has been found dead in his California home. He was 63.
It appears the popular performer – loved for both his comedic and dramatic roles – took his own life.
His publicist, Mara Buxbaum, said Williams had been battling depression recently.

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Caterer fined $55,000 over allergy attack

Caterer fined $55,000 over allergy attack

A boy's near-fatal allergic reaction to ice-cream has led to one of the largest fines for a food offence involving allergies in Australia, and spurred his mother to campaign for major reforms to the restaurant and catering industry.

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Property-rich pollies 'have vested interest' in high prices

Property-rich pollies 'have vested interest' in high prices

Australia’s political elite are among the country’s most enthusiastic real estate investors, with records showing one freeholding Nationals member owns 50 properties and another holds 17.
Federal politicians on average own 2.5 properties each, or an estimated $300 million worth of land holdings, analysis of their interests shows.

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Etihad flight diverted to Jakarta after 'disruptions'

Etihad flight diverted to Jakarta after 'disruptions'

A dozen passengers have been detained by Abu Dhabi security authorities, after multiple fires were lit on board a flight that left Melbourne on Monday night.

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Temperature drops but heat will return

Temperature drops but heat will return

Cool relief has finally come for Melburnians, with the city’s temperature plunging 10 degrees in 15 minutes.

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Snow falls in Melbourne's outer suburbs

Snow falls in Melbourne's outer suburbs

A strong cold front has moved into Victoria's east in the late hours of Thursday night, bringing strong winds in its wake while snow dusts parts of outer Melbourne into the night.

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China heavily involved in search for lost airliner

China heavily involved in search for lost airliner

With 153 of its citizens on board the missing Malaysia Airlines flight, China has thrown its full weight behind the multinational search for MH370.

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Most likely reason Malaysia Airlines plane went missing

Most likely reason Malaysia Airlines plane went missing

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak’s announcement that the Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) and transponder on MH370 were deliberately disabled and the plane diverted towards the southern Indian Ocean or north towards Kazakhstan suggests that one (or both) of the pilots or one (or more) of the passengers was responsible for the loss of the aircraft. It has created hope among relatives of the crew and passengers that survivors could be found somewhere on land or in a life raft on the Indian Ocean.

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Sarah Hanson-Young sues over photoshopped bikini pictures

Sarah Hanson-Young sues over photoshopped bikini pictures

Australian Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young says ZOO magazine made her look incompetent and immature when they photoshopped her head onto the body of a lingerie clad model.

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Grammar boy who changed on drugs charged with murder

Grammar boy who changed on drugs charged with murder

Melbourne teenager Easton Woodhead appeared to have the brightest of futures. Now he has been charged with murder, accused of killing a homeless man.

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Josh Bootsma sacked by Carlton

Josh Bootsma sacked by Carlton

Carlton youngster Josh Bootsma has become the first AFL player to be sacked for social media misconduct, after the Blues terminated his contract on Tuesday.
The decision comes after a series of disciplinary issues with the defender and follows discussions with Bootsma’s management and the AFL Players Association.

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Heatwave dangers loom

Heatwave dangers loom

Much of Victoria will face heatwave conditions and elevated fire risk in coming days, with temperatures in some towns in the state's north-west likely to exceed 40 degrees for at least six days in a row.

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Labor's policies best reflect our values

Labor's policies best reflect our values

The Age has long held that policy, not personality, is the core of our democracy. It is on this basis that we advocate a vote for Labor in the federal election on Saturday. We do so fully acknowledging that the Coalition under Tony Abbott has run a disciplined and competent campaign, and that after six years of Labor government the electorate is wary and weary of Labor's infighting. Yet we cannot endorse a party that advocates policies with which we fundamentally disagree.

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How Australia achieved what other nations could not

How Australia achieved what other nations could not

Security Council members gathered to pass unanimously an Australian resolution condemning the downing of flight MH17 and demanding immediate access to the site of the atrocity, the dignified repatriation of the remains of the victims and an independent international investigation.

That the resolution survived Russia’s power of veto with its language and intent largely intact was the result of a smart and astonishingly fast diplomatic effort led by Australia.

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Prisoners blame Adrian Bayley for changes to parole system

Prisoners blame Adrian Bayley for changes to parole system

Adrian Ernest Bayley, the man who raped and murdered Jill Meagher in Brunswick, is being held in prison protection as fellow long-term inmates blame him for radical changes to the Victorian parole system.

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Contraceptive controversy

Contraceptive controversy

Pharmacy chain Soul Pattinson has cut ties with a chemist who came under fire for asking customers to shop elsewhere if they use the pill for birth control, with the Prime Minister describing the chemist’s behaviour as ‘‘highly unusual’’.

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Mother of Luke Batty speaks out

Mother of Luke Batty speaks out

In the moments before his death, Luke Batty had asked his mother, Rosie, for just a few more minutes to play with his dad after cricket practice. Nobody could have expected the horrific events that would unfold in those final minutes between an 11-year-old boy and the mentally ill father who loved him, a distraught Rosie Batty said.

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Jews and Arabs refuse to be enemies

Jews and Arabs refuse to be enemies

As Egypt attempts to broker an extended ceasefire in Gaza after 15 days of fighting that has resulted in more than 620 deaths, some Israelis and Palestinians are taking to social media to show their desire for an end to the bloodiest conflict between the two warring sides in 15 years.

Israelis and Palestinians of all ages are posting photos of themselves with messages that project beauty, hope and despair.

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Brutal beheading of American journalist

Brutal beheading of American journalist

The purpose of the horrific video of the beheading of US photojournalist James Foley seems straightforward – to terrify the US into halting its aerial bombardment of the militant group.
But what appears to be a barbaric and blood-soaked ransom note to force a US withdrawal has an entirely different objective, say former national security operatives and terrorism experts.
That is, to generate enough public outrage so the US and its allies expand their military campaign in Iraq and Syria to include ground forces.

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Ciao Bella

Ciao Bella

The unseating of a politician can be an occasion of sadness, even poignancy. Little such sweet sorrow awaits Sophie Mirabella's possible exit stage right.

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Melbourne and Victoria heat up

Melbourne and Victoria heat up

Heat-weary Melburnians have received another blow with Thursday's forecast revised upwards to a scorching 44 degrees.

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MH370: confusion over vital communications cut

MH370: confusion over vital communications cut

The investigation into the baffling disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been shrouded in more confusion, with authorities in Kuala Lumpur backtracking on when a crucial communications system on the passenger jet was switched off.

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Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 shot down over Ukraine near Russian border

Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 shot down over Ukraine near Russian border

Live coverage from The Age as news broke of a Malaysia Airlines passenger jet being shot down over eastern Ukraine.

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Severe storms fail to bring relief

Severe storms fail to bring relief

Severe thunderstorms have not delivered much relief to Melburnians baking on the third consecutive day of heatwave. The weather bureau issued an updated warning on Thursday evening that the storms have passed Melbourne. The real cool change is on its way, but only after another day of scorching temperatures, and the bureau has revised Friday's forecast top temperature to 44 degrees.

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Frances Abbott didn't deserve scholarship: teacher

Frances Abbott didn't deserve scholarship: teacher

A design academic who taught the Prime Minister’s daughter and has been caught in a leaking scandal has brought a legal claim against his former employer saying he was effectively dismissed – and he has added Tony Abbott as a respondent to the action.
Academic Melletios Kyriakidis is at the centre of a storm over how the Whitehouse Institute, a private design school with Liberal Party connections, awarded a scholarship worth some $60,000 to Mr Abbott’s daughter Frances in 2011.

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