Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during his annual end-of-year news conference in Moscow December 18, 2014. REUTERS/Maxim Zmeyev

Putin: What ruble crisis?

MOSCOW - President Vladimir Putin assured Russians that the economy would rebound after the ruble's dramatic slide this year but offered no remedy for a deepening financial crisis.  Full Article 

U.S. jobless claims point to firmer labor market 9:33am EST

WASHINGTON - The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week, suggesting the labor market continued to strengthen.

An explosion following an air strike is seen in central Kobani in Syria, November 17, 2014. REUTERS/Osman Orsal

U.S. allies increasingly absent from Syria strikes

WASHINGTON/DUBAI - As U.S. fighter jets pound Islamic State targets in Syria, Washington's coalition allies appear increasingly absent from the air war.  Full Article 

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (R) greets fracking protesters outside his office in New York December 17, 2014.  REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

New York bans fracking after health report

ALBANY, NY/NEW YORK - New York state will ban hydraulic fracturing after a long-awaited report concluded that the oil and gas extraction method poses health risks.  Video | Full Article 

Report
Inside the U.S.-Cuba backchannel

Reuters Diplomatic Editor Warren Strobel breaks down the secret evolution of U.S.-Cuba ties under the Obama administration culminating in Wednesday's prisoner swap and the potential for opening relations after more than fifty years.