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BASF in talks to combine oil unit with Fridman's DEA

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FRANKFURT BASF said it was in talks to combine its oil and gas unit Wintershall [WINT.UL] with DEA [RWEDE.UL], the energy group owned by Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman, as the German group expands its core plastics and chemicals operations.

Ukraine rebel region's security minister says he is new leader

MOSCOW The security minister of Ukraine's pro-Russian rebel region of Luhansk said on Friday he was taking over power from regional chief Igor Plotnitsky, who days earlier had said he was facing an attempted armed coup to force him out.

World, 12:52pm EST

Russia ready to support oil output deal as OPEC meeting looms

MOSCOW Russia said on Friday it is ready to support extending a deal among oil producers on cutting output, less than a week before OPEC meets in Vienna to discuss policy, although it has yet to say how long it should be for.

11:22am EST

Russia takes Tokyo to task over defense alliance with Washington

MOSCOW Russia is concerned that Japan is allowing Washington to use its territory as a base for a U.S. military build-up in north Asia under the pretext of countering North Korea, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday.

World, Japan, North Korea 8:12am EST

Friday Morning Briefing

Black Friday begins with the usual shopping frenzy, Oscar Pistorius’ murder sentence has more than doubled and Ireland’s government fights for its survival.

Uber, Yandex ride services can merge in Russia, regulator FAS rules

MOSCOW Uber [UBER.UL] and Yandex's ride-sharing businesses can merge in Russia, anti-monopoly regulator FAS ruled on Friday, but stipulated that the combined company not bar drivers from working for competitors.

Tech, 6:29am EST

Flynn's lawyers cut talks with Trump team, signaling Mueller cooperation: NY Times

WASHINGTON Lawyers for Michael Flynn, President Donald Trump's former national security adviser, have told Trump's legal team they can no longer discuss a probe into Russian meddling in the U.S. election, indicating Flynn may be cooperating with the investigation, the New York Times reported on Thursday.

Politics, Election 2016, 12:03am EST

Russia likely to reduce troops in Syria before year-end: military chief

SOCHI, Russia The size of Russia's military force in Syria is likely to be significantly reduced and a drawdown could start before the end of the year, the chief of the Russian military general staff said on Thursday.

World, Syria Nov 23 2017

Merkel ally calls Russia's new Syrian peace push "height of cynicism"

BERLIN A top member of Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives on Thursday dismissed Russian President Vladimir Putin's push to host a new Syrian peace process with the backing of Iran and Turkey, calling it "the height of cynicism."

Assad adviser says rebels must lay down arms: Syrian state media

BEIRUT Russia's planned peace talks among Syrian groups will only succeed if the opposition ends its fight against the government, a senior adviser to President Bashar al-Assad said on Thursday.

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Panic on London's Oxford Street after reports of shooting

LONDON Panic erupted among Christmas shopping crowds on London's Oxford Street on Friday evening as armed officers raced to respond to reports of shots being fired in the area but police said later they had found no evidence of gunfire or casualties. | Video