1) Gunman, 2 hostages killed as cops storm Sydney cafe to end 16-hour siege: Amid a barrage of gunfire, police stormed a cafe in the heart of Sydney early on 15 December 2014 to end a 16-hour hostage siege by an Iranian-born gunman. Police said three people were killed — the gunman and two of the hostages — and four others were wounded. Police raided the Lindt Chocolat Cafe after they heard a number of gunshots from inside, said New South Wales state police commissioner Andrew Scipione. The gunman was identified as Man Haron Monis, who once was prosecuted for sending offensive letters to families of Australian troops killed in Afghanistan.
2) IOC is India's biggest company: Fortune 500 list: State-run Indian Oil Corporation is the country's largest company in terms of revenue, followed by Reliance Industries and Bharat Petroleum in the second and third place respectively, according to the Fortune 500 list of Indian companies for 2014. Indian Oil Corp (IOC) tops the chart with an annual revenue of Rs 5,00,973 crore, while Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Ltd's (RIL) full-year revenue is Rs 4,44,021 crore.
3) Steven Smith appointed new Australian Cricket Captain: Twenty-five-year-old Steven Smith will captain Australia against India at the Gabba from Wednesday in Michael Clarke's absence, Cricket Australia announced on 15 December 2014. With regular skipper Clarke expected to miss the rest of the four-match Test series due to injury, Smith was handed the job after Australia's first Test victory in Adelaide on Saturday.
4) Viswanathan Anand beats Michael Adams to win London Classic: Five-time chess world champion Viswanathan Anand won his maiden London Classic title after defeating British Grandmaster Michael Adams in the fifth and final round on 15 December 2014.
5) Lewis Hamilton won BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2014: Lewis Hamilton has been voted the BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2014. The 29-year-old Mercedes driver won his second Formula 1 world title this season and joined an exclusive club by becoming the fourth Briton to win the drivers' championship at least twice. Northern Irish golfer Rory McIlroy was runner-up, with athlete Jo Pavey third.
6) Vistara received flying licence, to start operations soon: Air travellers will soon have more choice. The Tata Sons-Singapore Airlines (SIA) joint venture full service airline, Vistara, is all set to take the skies next month. The directorate general of civil aviation (DGCA) on 15 December 2014 gave Vistara the air operator permit (AOP, read licence) which now paves the way for what will be India's third full service airline after Air India and Jet, to take off.
7) Inflation hits a zero, lowest in over 5 years: Wholesale price inflation hit a zero level in November, the lowest in about five and half years, on account of decline in prices of food, fuel and manufactured items. The Wholesale Price Index (WPI) based inflation was at 1.77 per cent in October and 7.52 per cent in November 2013.
8) Reliance MediaWorks sold Big Cinemas to Carnival Films: Carnival Films Pvt. Ltd, backed by a Kochi-based commodity trader, has agreed to acquire a 100% stake in multiplex operator Big Cinemas, a division of tycoon Anil Ambani’s Reliance MediaWorks Ltd, for around Rs.700 crore in a deal that will further consolidate the movie exhibition industry.
9) Petrol, diesel rates cut by Rs 2 per litre: State-run oil marketing companies (OMCs) slashed fuel rates by Rs 2 per litre effective 16 December 2014, sending pump prices of petrol to a 45-month low and diesel to the least in the last 17 months. This is the eighth consecutive reduction in petrol prices in the last four months and the fourth in diesel since October 18, when the Cabinet deregulated the fuel, oil company executives said.
10) Nation paid homage to Sardar Patel on his 64th death anniversary: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 15 Dec 2014 paid tribute to independent India's first home minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on his 64th death anniversary. "On his Punya Tithi, I pay my respects to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. India will forever be indebted to Sardar Patel for his tireless efforts to unite the nation", the prime minister said in a statement.