AMMAN/TOKYO - Japan was working closely with Jordan to find out what was happening to the Japanese journalist held by Islamic State militants after a deadline passed for the release of an Iraqi would-be suicide bomber on death-row in Jordan. Full Article
LONDON - The dollar was on track on Friday for its best run since it was floated in 1971, notching up a seventh straight month of gains, while European shares headed for their best monthly performance in more than three years.
SAN FRANCISCO - Alibaba's underwhelming holiday quarter performance and an escalating war of words with a powerful Chinese industry regulator highlight two major risks to its seemingly fairy-tale ascent: politics and the shift to mobile commerce. Full Article
NEW YORK - Americans are more likely than ever to favor easing a ban on exporting crude oil, so long as it does not lead to higher gasoline prices that have recently sunk to near $2 a gallon, according to a new Reuters-Ipsos poll. Full Article | Video
PRETORIA - Apartheid death-squad leader Eugene de Kock, dubbed 'Prime Evil' for his role in the torture and murder of scores of black South African activists in the 1980s and early 1990s, was granted parole after more than 20 years in prison. Full Article