U.N. chief, visiting Ebola countries, urges respect for health rules

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaks to the media in San JoseBy Matthew Mpoke Bigg MONROVIA (Reuters) - U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, starting a visit to Ebola-hit countries in West Africa, urged local communities to strictly follow health regulations in the face of signs that traditional funerals are still spreading the disease. Ban arrived in Liberia on Friday at the start of a two-day tour of four nations struck by the worst ever outbreak of the deadly haemorrhagic fever, including Sierra Leone, Guinea and Mali. ...



AP PHOTOS: 4 seasons in 1 war on WWI battlefields

In this photo taken on Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014, a World War I bunker is situated on Aubers Ridge near Illies, France. Aubers Ridge offered German troops as of Oct. 1914 a strategic advantage by being located on the high ground near the River Lys. A century on, the four seasons bring constant changes to the scarred landscapes and ruins of the World War I battlefields in Belgium and northern France, yet many of the relics still exist, both above and below the surface. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)BOEZINGE, Belgium (AP) — A century on, the four seasons bring constant changes to the scarred landscapes and ruins of the World War I battlefields in Belgium and northern France.



Special Report: Depleted oil field is window into China's corruption crackdown

A well head is seen at Limau field in PrabumulihBy Charlie Zhu, David Lague and Fergus Jensen LIMAU, Indonesia (Reuters) - In a muddy clearing in southern Sumatra, a portable diesel power plant hammers away alongside a wellhead, struggling to extract crude from a depleted reservoir that lies below farmland and rubber plantations. It was much easier to extract cash from a state-owned Chinese oil giant. When PetroChina Daqing announced the deal, it didn’t disclose the seller, the price or any other financial details. “We all know it is a ridiculous investment, but I have no idea where the money has actually ended up,” says a senior Chinese oil industry official who has seen budget figures for the Limau wells.



China oil giant probes 'worthless' deals in Indonesia

By Charlie Zhu and David Lague HONG KONG (Reuters) - It is particularly difficult to monitor smaller offshore investments in high risk oil and gas exploration, say current and former officials at China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC). Alongside the investigation into the Limau deal, CNPC officials are also probing two other suspect oil deals in Indonesia in which the group paid a combined $350 million. “Basically, they are worthless,” says an oil industry official who also investigated the Limau deal. After reviewing internal records, senior Chinese oil industry officials say the purchase price for exploration and development rights for this field was $120 million.
Russian opposition activist faces 10 years behind bars

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian prosecutors on Friday demanded that an opposition activist be imprisoned for a total of 10 years on allegations of fraud.


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