MOSCOW - Slumping oil prices have put Russia's economy on course for a sharp recession next year, its finance minister said on Friday, as authorities scaled up their bailout for the first bank to succumb to the recent rouble crisis.
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AMMAN - At least 45 civilians were killed and some 175 wounded when aircraft bombed a northern Syrian city controlled by Islamic State, as Bashar al-Assad's government stepped up air raids, residents and a monitoring group said on Friday.
TOKYO - Japan, the United States and South Korea are close to reaching a deal on sharing and safeguarding sensitive information on North Korea's missile and nuclear programs, Japan's Defence Ministry said on Friday.
MOSCOW - Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a new military doctrine, naming NATO expansion among key external risks, the Kremlin said on Friday, days after Ukraine made fresh steps to join the Atlantic military alliance.
KIEV - Kiev and pro-Russian separatists will exchange hundreds of prisoners soon, an aide to the head of Ukraine's SBU state security service said on Friday, as the military reported a slight increase in rebel attacks.
TOKYO - Japanese annual core consumer inflation slowed for a fourth straight month in November due largely to sliding oil prices, highlighting the challenges the central bank faces in achieving its 2 percent inflation target.
KANOEHE BAY, Hawaii - One week before the U.S. combat mission in Afghanistan draws to a close, President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, thanked American troops on Thursday during a Christmas Day visit to Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kanoehe Bay.
DUBAI - Iran is to expand what it calls "smart filtering" of the Internet, a policy of censoring undesirable content on websites without banning them completely, as it used to, the government said on Friday.