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The EU's top anti-trust regulator on Wednesday slapped fines on banks HSBC, JP Morgan and Credit Agricole for rigging the Euribor interest rate benchmark used for a wide range of financial instruments. The European Commission, the EU's executive arm, fined the banks "a total of 485 million euros ($520 million) for participating in a cartel in euro interest rate derivatives," according to a statement. The decision is the latest example of authorities trying to punish malpractice by the world's biggest banks in the years running up to the financial crisis in 2008.
Syrian government forces control all of Aleppo's historic Old City after rebel fighters withdrew in the face of army advances overnight, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Wednesday. The army and allied forces hold more than 75 percent of east Aleppo, a rebel bastion since 2012, three weeks into their operation to capture all of the second city. The Observatory said rebels had withdrawn from the last parts of the Old City under their control overnight after the army seized the neighbouring districts of Bab al-Hadid and Aqyul.