Sunday 21 December 2014
 
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Hostage crisis in Sydney, Islamic terror link seen

An armed assailant was holding an unknown number of hostages inside a central Sydney cafe on Monday, police said, with local television showing some being forced to hold up a black flag with white Arabic writing in the window. Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who has warned of militan

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IS storms town in Iraq, 19 policemen killed

Islamic State fighters stormed a town in Iraq's western Anbar province on Saturday, killing at least 19 policemen and trapping others inside their headquarters, in the latest attack in the desert region where it controls large amounts of territory, officials said. Islamic Sta

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ECB approves 13 banks' capital plans

The European Central Bank (ECB) gave initial approval to the plans of 13 banks to plug capital holes discovered in health checks, it said yesterday, bringing a landmark examination of the sector almost to a close. 'The supervisory board endorsed the last set of capital plans

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US to train Iraqi, Syrian forces fighting Islamic State

The US Congress has approved an annual defence policy bill that authorises American training for Iraqi and Syrian forces fighting Islamic State rebels and sets overall defence spending at $577 billion, including $64 billion for wars abroad. The Senate passed the legislation 89-11

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Oil sinks below $63 to lowest in more than 5 years

Brent crude oil slipped on Friday to below $63 a barrel, its lowest since July 2009, dragged down by persistent concerns over a global supply glut and a sluggish demand outlook. Brent is down roughly nine per cent this week, some 45 per cent below its June peak above $115 per bar

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EU bans export of jet fuel used by Syrian air force

European Union governments agreed on Friday to ban the export of jet fuel to Syria from December 14, saying it was being used by the Syrian air force for indiscriminate attacks against civilians. The ban also covers finance and insurance related to jet fuel exports to Syria.

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Gold set for biggest weekly rise in 6 months

Gold edged lower on Friday as some buyers cashed in recent gains, but remained on track for its biggest weekly rise since June as the dollar retreated and sliding oil prices hurt risk appetite and stocks. Gold is up nearly three per cent so far this week, following a 2.1 per cent

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