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BEIRUT (AP) — Once a vibrant, religiously mixed community, Syria's eastern city of Raqqa is now a shell of its former self, terrorized by hard-line militants who have turned it into the nucleus of their vision for the Islamic caliphate they hope one day to establish in Syria and Iraq.
Russian energy giant Gazprom on Friday warned Ukraine it could cut off gas exports if the new authorities in Kiev did not pay a bill for debt that now stands at $1.89 billion. "Ukraine has de-facto stopped paying for gas... We cannot deliver gas for free. Either Ukraine pays the debt and pays for current supplies or the risk appears of a return to the situation at the start of 2009," said Gazprom chief executive Alexei Miller, quoted by Russian news agencies. Gazprom in 2009 cut off gas to Ukraine in a move that also left much of the EU without supplies.
Facebook, the world's largest social network, said Friday it planned to expand its Swedish data centre, which it describes as "one of the greenest, most cutting-edge facilities" in the world. The Baltic port city of Luleaa in northern Sweden was chosen for the data centre because of the cold climate, reducing the need for cooling apparatuses, and the availability of hydropower facilities. "Construction work will commence shortly on our second data center building, sited alongside the first," the Luleaa centre, which has been in operation since last year, said on its Facebook page. Facebook will use a new method for building the facility, using pre-made modular sections that are assembled on-site, reducing the duration and local impact of building work.