Deep recession, skyrocketing prices and a fragile banking system: although the ruble seems to have stabilised after its abysmal drop this past week, Russia still faces the heavy consequences of the turbulence. A double whammy of Western sanctions over Ukraine and plunging oil prices finally caught up with the country that depends on energy exports for half of government revenue, and the authorities came out of their apparent stupor only as the ruble's plunge in value had already gained momentum. After the ruble fell by nearly 10 percent on Monday, the central bank moved beyond its limited currency market interventions and in the middle of the night hiked the key interest rate by a tremendous 6.5 percentage points to 17 percent.
The mother of seven of eight children killed in Australia was charged with their murder Sunday, police said, describing it as the most tragic episode in their career as a makeshift memorial saw an outpouring of grief. The 37-year-old, named in local media as Mersane Warria, was charged with eight counts of murder after the bodies of the children -- four girls and four boys aged between two to 14 -- were found in the northern city of Cairns on Friday morning. The murders have stunned Australia, still reeling from a dramatic siege in a central Sydney cafe this week, which left two hostages and a gunman dead, and prompted widespread shock and anger. "I would suspect it might be the most tragic event we have had to deal with," Cairns detective inspector Bruno Asnicar told reporters.
By Sebastien Malo and Ellen Wulfhorst NEW YORK (Reuters) - A gunman ambushed and fatally shot two New York City police officers on Saturday and then killed himself, police said, and a social media post indicated it may have been in revenge for the police chokehold death of an unarmed black man. If the killings do turn out to have been motivated by the death of Eric Garner, they could inflame tension over race and law enforcement that have dogged New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, sparked protests around the country and drawn in President Barack Obama and his attorney general, Eric Holder. ...
Kai Forbath booted a field goal in the dying seconds as the Washington Redskins stunned Philadelphia 27-24, dealing the Eagles' playoff hopes a serious blow. Forbath kicked a 26-yard field goal with just five seconds left in regulation for the Redskins who snapped a six-game National Football League losing skid in front of a crowd of close to 80,000 at FedEx Field. Philadelphia has lost three straight games since a US Thanksgiving holiday win at Dallas gave it sole possession of first place in the NFC East. A win at home by the Cowboys against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday would eliminate the Eagles from playoff contention.