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Japan admits absence of negotiation channels with IS hostage takers

TOKYO, Jan. 22 (PNA/Sputnik) — The Islamic State (IS) militants threatening to kill two Japanese hostages if they do not receive a US$ 200 million ransom by Friday have not…

Germany will release scandalous film on screens despite protest from North Korea

BERLIN, Jan. 22 (PNA/TASS) — A scandalous film — The Interview, about an attempt on the life of the North Korean leader, will be released on screens on the territory…

Oil prices plunge as IMF lowers growth forecast

NEW YORK, Jan. 21 (PNA/Xinhua) — Oil prices fell Tuesday as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) cut its global growth outlook. The IMF lowered on Tuesday its global economic growth…

Ebola virus death toll exceeds 8,600 – WHO

GENEVA, Jan. 21 (PNA/ITAR-TASS) — The number of people killed by the Ebola virus has reached 8,626, the World Health Organization (WHO) said in a report Tuesday. A total of…

World Economic Forum in Davos aims to pull economy out of stagnation

MOSCOW, Jan. 21 (PNA/Sputnik) — Dozens of world leaders and heads of businesses will travel to the Swiss ski resort of Davos for an annual meeting of the World Economic…

UN reports Ebola-hit countries show progress in fight against virus

MOSCOW, Jan. 20 (PNA/Sputnik) — Guinea, Liberia and Sierra-Leone have demonstrated encouraging statistics on the number of Ebola virus cases, Deputy Spokesman for the UN Secretary-General Farhan Haq has said….

Iraq tries to get Babylon on world heritage list

BAGHDAD, Jan. 20 (PNA/Xinhua) — Iraqi Minister of Tourism and Antiquities on Monday said that his country is seeking to restore the ancient ruin city of Babylon onto the UNESCO…

UN: Drone flights over Golan Heights violate Israel-Syria 1974 ceasefire deal

UNITED NATIONS, Jan. 20 (PNA/Xinhua) — The flight of drones in the airspace over the Golan Heights was a violation of the 1974 ceasefire agreement between Syria and Israel, a…

Iran-China trade hit US$ 52-B in 2014

TEHRAN, Jan. 18 (PNA/IRNA) — Iran-China transactions reached US$ 52 billion in 2014, indicating a growth of 35 percent year-on-year, said managing director of the Industries, Mines and Trade Ministry’s…

Rational oil price in draft budget will avert crisis

TEHRAN, Jan. 18 (PNA/IRNA) — An English-language paper on Sunday reflecting on the declining oil prices, wrote that if oil rates are set at US$ 40, no economic upheaval will…

China Focus: Pension reform paves way for social equalityby Xinhua writer Zhu Shaobin

BEIJING, Jan. 18 (PNA/Xinhua) — China’s plan to unify its two-tiered pension system is expected to improve social equality by eliminating a major disparity between public and private employee benefits….

International negotiators begin talks on Iranian nuclear program in Geneva

GENEVA, Jan. 18 (PNA/Sputnik) — A plenary session of the so-called P5+1 group of international mediators on the Iranian nuclear program is underway without Tehran’s participation, RIA Novosti reported Sunday….

Cellphone signals jammed during Pope Francis’ visit to PHL

MANILA, Jan. 16 (PNA) — For security reasons, cellular phone signals of telecommunication companies (telcos) are jammed during the state and pontifical visit of Pope Francis to the Philippines on…

Australian migratory shorebird species face extinction: report

CANBERRA, Jan. 14 (PNA/Xinhua) — A number of Australian migratory shorebird species could become extinct following the destruction of tidal flats in east Asia, according to a report released by…

5 of oldest reactors in Japan to be scrapped for cost reasons

TOKYO, Jan. 14 (PNA/Kyodo) — Five of the seven oldest nuclear reactors in Japan are expected to be scrapped as it would be too costly for operators to upgrade equipment…