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Jordan offers to free militant if IS releases pilot

Jordanian pilot Maaz al-Kassasbeh (L), who was captured by Islamic State (IS) jihadist group on December 24 in Syria, and Sajida al-Rishawi (R), a would-be suicide bomber on death (AFP)
Amman - 

Jordan offered Wednesday to free a female militant in exchange for a Jordanian pilot held by the Islamic State (IS) group, which is threatening to execute the airman and a Japanese journalist.

US threatens tougher action against Russia over Ukraine

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko (L) posing with US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew prior to talks in Kiev (AFP)
Kiev - 

US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said on Wednesday that Washington was ready to increase sanctions on Russia over its actions in war-torn Ukraine.

ASEAN ministers express concern over Chinese actions at sea

Kota Kinabalu - 

Southeast Asian foreign ministers on Wednesday expressed concern at Chinese land reclamation in the disputed South China Sea, as the Philippines urged them to stand up to Beijing.

IS threatens to kill Japan, Jordan hostages in 24 hours

Japanese hostage Kenji Goto in an orange blouse holding a photograph allegedly showing Jordanian pilot Maaz al-Kassasbeh (AFP)
Beirut - 

The Islamic State (IS) group threatened Tuesday to kill a Japanese journalist and a Jordanian pilot within 24 hours unless Amman frees a jailed female militant.

EU threatens new Russia sanctions over Ukraine violence

Russian President Vladimir Putin (AFP)
Brussels - 

European Union leaders on Tuesday threatened new sanctions against Russia over a bloody offensive by pro-Kremlin Ukrainian rebels, the latest bid to pressure a defiant President Vladimir Putin.

A pedestrian looks at a TV screen in Tokyo showing news reports about Japanese journalist Kenji Goto being held by Islamic militants (AFP)

IS pressure on Japan to get woman bomber released from Jordan jail

Beirut - 

The Islamic State militant group is mounting pressure on Japan to get one of its members released from a Jordanian jail for the safe return of one its citizens held captive.

Syriza's leader Alexis Tsipras signs a book as he is sworn in as Greek Prime Minister at the Presidential Palace in Athens (AFP)

Greek anti-austerity coalition takes power after bombshell vote

Athens - 

Alexis Tsipras was sworn in Monday as Greek prime minister at the helm of an anti-austerity coalition after an election win that has sent shockwaves through Europe.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Barack Obama shake hands during the India-US Business Summit in New Delhi (AFP)

Modi honours Obama as VIP guest, opens arms to US business

New Delhi - 

Narendra Modi honoured Barack Obama as his chief guest Monday at India's Republic Day parade and then rolled out the welcome mat to US businesses in a further warming of ties between the world's largest democracies.