(Reuters) – BP Plc ( BP.L ) on Friday ended its bid to oust the administrator overseeing payouts to businesses and individuals claiming damages arising from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, citing steps the administrator has taken to reduce the threat of fraud. The British oil company withdrew its appeal of a federal judge’s decision not to remove the administrator, Patrick Juneau, who is reviewing claims under a 2012 settlement tied to the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig. BP had long complained that Juneau was awarding excessive payouts, including to claimants who suffered no harm, and was tainted by a conflict of interest.
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BENGHAZI, Libya (Reuters) – Militant gunmen attacked Libya’s al-Ghani oilfield on Friday, killing 11 guards, beheading some of them, before local forces fought back to retake control, an oil security official said. The al-Ghani attack illustrated Libya’s growing instability where two rival governments battle for control while extremist militants profit from chaos to secure a foothold four years after civil war ousted Muammar Gaddafi. Libya’s internationally-recognised government of Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni has operated out of the east since a rival armed faction called Libya Dawn took over Tripoli in fighting last summer and set up its own administration.
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LETPADAN, Myanmar (Reuters) – Police in Myanmar arrested five students on Friday from among a crowd of about 200 protesters locked in a standoff with security forces barring their entry into the commercial hub of Yangon, a Reuters witness said. The United States, which in recent years has backed political reforms in Myanmar, expressed concern about the arrests, which follow rising tensions between the government and students who have been protesting for months against an education bill. Protesters have said the bill curbs academic independence by stifling student unions and putting decisions in the hands of the government rather than universities.
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ISMAILIA, Egypt (Reuters) – Egyptian military air strikes have killed 25 Islamist militants in Northern Sinai over the last two days, security sources said, targeting an insurgency that seeks to topple the Cairo government. On Friday, air raids hit two houses south of the Sinai town of Sheikh Zuweid, killing 10 militants from Ansar Beit al-Maqdis – which renamed itself Sinai Province after pledging allegiance to Islamic State – the sources said. At least 14 other militants were injured in the strikes
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RIGA (Reuters) – Steps to bolster a fragile ceasefire in eastern Ukraine gathered momentum on Friday as support within the European Union for more economic sanctions¨on Russia appeared to wane. Russia and Ukraine have agreed to double the number of ceasefire monitors from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) to 1,000 from 500, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said.
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TORONTO (Reuters) – A Canadian pastor detained in North Korea has done only humanitarian work there, his church said on Friday as it denied a media report that he had ties to a purged and executed uncle of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. The Rev
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NEW YORK (Reuters) – A robust U.S. jobs report raised concern in markets on Friday that the Federal Reserve may raise interest rates sooner than previously thought, hammering U.S. stock and bond prices.
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NEW YORK (Reuters) – Crude oil prices closed down on Friday, with benchmark Brent losing its most in a week since January, as a resurgent dollar and fear of a U.S. rate hike diverted attention from the shrinking number of rigs drilling for oil in the United States.
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BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Greece asked euro zone countries on Friday for an immediate start of technical talks with international creditors on the first batch of reforms that would help conclude its current bailout programme and allow the disbursement of more loans.
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NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) – The U.S. Justice Department is considering altering how it settles criminal cases with corporations to avoid going to court altogether, amid the increasingly active role judges have taken in reviewing such deals, a top official said on Friday.
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