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SINJAR, Iraq (AP) — Kurdish forces in recent weeks have retaken parts of the strategic Iraqi town of Sinjar, whose Yazidi population was driven out in a humanitarian disaster last year that triggered U.S. intervention. But sniping among Kurdish factions makes the hold on the town seem shaky and is threatening the wider fight against Islamic state militants.
By Barani Krishnan NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil prices rocketed more than 8 percent higher on Friday, their biggest one-day gain in two and a half years, after data showed U.S. drillers were slamming the brakes on the shale drilling boom. In a rally that may spur speculation that a seven-month price collapse has ended, global benchmark Brent crude shot up to more than $53 per barrel, its highest in more than three weeks, after Baker Hughes data showed the number of rigs drilling for oil in the United States fell by 94 - or 7 percent - this week. Two weeks of relatively stable oil prices have helped shift sentiment after months of decline, setting the stage for the violent rebound on Friday afternoon. With drillers having idled about 24 percent of their oil drilling rigs since the summer, some traders may be betting that an anticipated slowdown in U.S. oil production is nearer than expected.
TOKYO (AP) — The fates of a Japanese journalist and Jordanian military pilot were unknown Friday, a day after the latest purported deadline for a possible prisoner swap passed with no further word from the Islamic State group holding them captive.