Special Reports

Special Report - Mexico looks the other way as contractors fleece oil giant Pemex

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MEXICO CITY - The state-owned petroleum giant Pemex paid $9 million (6 million pounds) in 2011 to have an oil rig towed halfway round the world, from the United Arab Emirates to the Gulf of Mexico. When government auditors looked at the contract, they turned up some problems.

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Insight - Hezbollah under pressure to act after Israeli strike 22 Jan 2015

BEIRUT - With a confident smile, the leader of Lebanon's Hezbollah movement warned in a recent interview that allies of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad would strike back if Israeli attacks inside Syria continued.

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Insight - The smoke around e-cig science 22 Jan 2015

LONDON - From Apple Pie to Bubbly Bubble Gum, Irish Car Bomb or Martian bar – from Mars!, the flavours of electronic cigarette offer something for every taste.

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Insight - Disenchanted militants in South Asia eye Islamic State with envy 21 Jan 2015

PESHAWAR, Pakistan/LASHKAR GAH, Afghanistan - Splits within the Taliban, and doubts over whether its elusive leader is even alive, are driving a growing number of militant commanders in Afghanistan and Pakistan towards Islamic State (IS) for inspiration.

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Special Report - For Islamic State, wheat season sows seeds of discontent 20 Jan 2015

ARBIL, Iraq - As the season for wheat planting in Iraq wound down early last month, farmers in areas under the control of Sunni militant group Islamic State grew worried.

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Insight - Israel's high-tech boom is double-edged sword 19 Jan 2015

TEL AVIV - Israeli entrepreneur Avi Brenmiller says he was coaxed by investors into selling Solel, his solar-thermal power firm, to Germany's Siemens for $418 million in 2009. Today, little is left of it after Siemens pulled out of the business.

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Insight - Indian spy's role alleged in Sri Lankan president's election defeat 18 Jan 2015

COLOMBO/NEW DELHI - Sri Lanka expelled the Colombo station chief of India's spy agency in the run-up to this month's presidential election, political and intelligence sources said, accusing him of helping the opposition oust President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

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Insight - Unfazed by market swings, Fed sticks to mid-2015 hike scenario 16 Jan 2015

NEW YORK/SAN FRANCISCO - Tumbling oil prices have strengthened rather than weakened the Federal Reserve's resolve to start raising interest rates around midyear even as volatile markets and a softening U.S. inflation outlook made investors push back the timing of the "liftoff."

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Insight - Alibaba in major initiative to court China consumer for U.S. retailers 16 Jan 2015

SAN FRANCISCO/BEIJING/SHANGHAI - China's Alibaba Group Holding Ltd plans a major move to win U.S. business this year, by offering American retailers new ways to sell to China's vast and growing middle class.

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Insight - French attacks inquiry centres on prison 'sorcerer' Beghal 15 Jan 2015

PARIS - The French investigation into last week's Paris shootings is exploring the possible role of Djamel Beghal, an Islamist suspected of first bringing the gunmen together and putting them on the path from impressionable youths to cold-blooded killers.

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Greek leftist leader Tsipras claims victory over austerity

ATHENS - Greek leftist leader Alexis Tsipras promised on Sunday that five years of austerity, "humiliation and suffering" imposed by international creditors were over after his Syriza party swept to victory in a snap election on Sunday. | Video