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Assange asserts that UN panel’s opinion means he should walk free


UN panel says Julian Assange’s detention should end and he should be able to claim compensation from the UK and Sweden, where he faces questioning over a rape charge


US to work with Japan and South Korea to track North Korean rocket

US B-52 strategic bomber flying over South Korea in a show of force following North Korea's nuclear test, South Korea, 10 January 2016. Picture: EPA/SOUTH KOREAN AIR FORCE

In a move that has triggered international alarm, North Korea says it will launch a rocket some time during an 18-day period beginning on Monday

Middle East

Syrian troops retake rebel bastion in the south

WARFARE: Syrian rebels fire towards pro-government forces in the Seif El Dawla district in the centre of Aleppo on Wednesday. Picture: REUTERS

Backed by Russian warplanes, the government troops seized Ataman, which rebels had used to launch attacks in Daraa province


Pakistani airline strike grounds passengers


Airports remain crippled as strike by employees of Pakistan International Airlines against privatisation enters its fourth day

African News

Obama under pressure to send US troops to Libya

Barack Obama. Picture: AFP PHOTO / JIM WATSON

But US president is wary of entering another Muslim country, has told his aides to redouble their efforts to help to form a unity government in Libya


Clearing the air about Sino-smog

SMOGGY DAY: Men wearing protective masks talk on a street on a heavily polluted day in the Chinese capital, Beijing. Picture: REUTERS/KIM KYUNG-HOON

Correlation between wealth and pollution is complex as richer countries may not be reducing pollution, but exporting it


World health body alarmed over spread of Zika through sex

WHO to study claims of sexual transmission of Zika virus and says risk of it spreading to Africa will increase with the onset of spring and summer


China confirms it is holding Hong Kong booksellers

STREET PROTEST: A demonstrator in Hong Kong yesterday during a protest over the disappearance of five booksellers. Picture: EPA

Amnesty International accuses Beijing of having ‘total contempt for due process and the rule of law’ after country says it is holding the missing booksellers

Middle East

Nations pledge billions to help Syrians

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu addresses a press conference at the QEII centre in central London on Thursday, towards the end of a donors' conference entitled 'Supporting Syria & The Region'. Picture: AFP

United Nations agencies are appealing for $7.73bn to cope with the Syrian crisis this year, and countries in the region are asking for an additional $1.2bn


Bank of England puts rates on hold

The Bank of England stands in the City of London. Picture: BLOOMBERG

Echoing downbeat comments from central banks around the globe, BoE chief Mark Carney warns that global growth is modest at best


LETTER FROM LONDON: A Tory prime minister tackles UK’s race issue

David Cameron takes on underworld of discrimination in jails, universities and the workplace

International companies


Upbeat Toyota raises both profit and sales forecasts

The new facade of the LandCruiser 200 echoes that of former generations. Picture: QUICKPIC

The world’s best-selling vehicle maker said it expected to post a record net profit of ¥2.27-trillion ($19.43bn) in the year to March


Shell pins hopes on BG as profit slides

NEW ERA:  An employee sweeps at a Shell station in Brentwood, UK, this week. Shell is buying BG Group in the sector’s largest deal in a decade. Picture: BLOOMBERG/CHRIS RATCLIFFE

Oil major bets $50bn acquisition of BG Group will help it maintain dividends and increase crude and gas output as cash flow shrinks


Toshiba lifts loss forecast to $6bn after profit-padding scandal

Masashi Muromachi, chairman and interim president of Toshiba Corporation (left) sits with Hisao Tanaka, outgoing president and chief executive officer, during a news conference in Tokyo, Japan, on Tuesday. Picture: BLOOMBERG/AKIO KON

The Japanese conglomerate said in January it was inflating tenfold a damages claim against a group of former executives in the wake of its accounting scandal

Heavy commercial vehicles are showing reasonable growth in 2015. Picture: NEWSPRESS UK

Truck maker Volvo benefits from offloading costs including 5,000 jobs

Volvo’s profit margin rose to more than 8% from 3% the previous year owing to cost reductions and positive currency development, an analyst said


Rare loss at Credit Suisse batters stocks


Switzerland’s second-largest bank reports first full-year loss since 2008 after booking big impairment charge at investment banking unit


Eyes on Sweden as UN rules for Assange

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Picture: REUTERS

United Nations working group on arbitrary detention rules that Julian Assange’s confinement in Ecuadorian embassy in London amounts to illegal detention

Middle East

Syria peace talks falter as US blasts Russian assault

Residents inspect the damage after airstrikes by pro-Syrian government forces in the rebel held Al-Shaar suburb in Aleppo, Syria, on Thursday. Picture: REUTERS/ABDALRHMAN ISMAIL

Accusations fly at Geneva meeting while Assad's troops press Aleppo and donor nations pledge billions


Strike brings Greece to a standstill

Former Greek prime minister and leader of leftist Syriza party Alexis Tsipras cast his ballot as he votes for the general elections at a polling station in Athens on Sunday. Picture: REUTERS

Trade unions protest against the government plans for pension reforms that may appease foreign creditors, but risk pushing thousands of people further into poverty

Land & Agriculture

Food costs fall to lowest since 2009

Women work in a cauliflower field in Kolkata, India, on Thursday.  Picture: REUTERS

United Nations says factors behind the decline in food-commodity prices are ample agricultural supply, a slowing global economy and a stronger dollar


Tories face division over Europe deal

DEFENSIVE:  British Prime Minister David Cameron Picture: EPA/ANDY RAIN

Britons split over EU membership while British leader faces struggle against a largely hostile media


Ukraine economy minister quits over lack of reforms

Ukrainian Economy Minister Aivaras Abromavicius tendered his resignation on Wednesday out of frustration that major government reforms were being blocked, the latest sign of fracturing in the coalition government. Picture: REUTERS

Government bonds decline as Aivaras Abromavicius resigns over the government’s faltering anticorruption efforts and failure to implement reforms


ChemChina chief thinks big with Syngenta offer


Chinese offer for Swiss seeds group is country’s largest ever, write Matthew Miller and Chen Aizhu


Toyota parts factories in Japan to shut for a day next week

Vehicles drive past the Durban Toyota plant. Picture: REUTERS

The vehicle maker will also temporarily stop vehicle production in Japan due to a components shortage following an explosion at a supplier


Banking job cuts do little to stem costs


Half-a-million jobs lost across banking industry since global financial crisis of 2008 with no end in sight as revenues continue to fall


STRAIGHT TALK: Trump faces acid test in Iowa

Telling people what they want to hear will make you popular, but telling the truth is the stuff of leaders

Carlyle Group.  Picture: REUTERS/KEITH BEDFORD

Africa appeals to the discerning

Private equity firms that invest in Africa and leverage their global relationships can expect rewards, writes Aishetu Fatima Dozie


Ten Indian soldiers feared dead in avalanche in Kashmir region


The soldiers were hit while on duty at a post on a glacier near the Pakistan border at an altitude of 5,800m, an army spokesman said


Yahoo to cut about 15% of its workforce

Picture: REUTERS

Struggling company says it is willing to consider ‘strategic alternatives’ for its core internet business as pressure from impatient shareholders grows


Indian pharmaceutical firm been working on vaccine to Zika virus for a year


Bharat Biotech says it is working on two possible vaccines to fight the Zika virus, one of which will enter pre-clinical trials in animals in two weeks’ time


EU offers Britain draft of safeguards to stay in bloc

European Council President Donald Tusk. Picture: REUTERS

European Council president Donald Tusk sets out plan for keeping Britain in the European Union, to a mixed reception


Fed official warns on tight conditions

William Dudley. Picture: REUTERS/KEITH BEDFORD

New York Fed president says weakening outlook for global economy and further strengthening of dollar may have ‘significant consequences’


Clinton in for the long haul after Iowa

PRESIDENTIAL PARTNERS: Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton embraces her husband, former US president Bill Clinton, after being introduced onto the stage during a campaign rally at Washington High School in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, at the weekend. Picture: REUTERS

Sanders tie shows voters still have questions, write Margaret Talev, Jennifer Epstein and Mark Niquette


Eurozone growth expected to accelerate slightly this year

Picture: REUTERS

However, European Commission says pace growth will be slower in 2016 than previously forecast because of increased global risks


Chinese authorities relax restrictions on foreign funds

Chinese President Xi Jinping. Picture: CGIS

China has been pushing for an MSCI endorsement to elevate the status of mainland markets on the world stage and make the yuan a more international currency

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