By Elizabeth Pineau and Denis Pinchuk MOSCOW (Reuters) - French President Francois Hollande told Russia's Vladimir Putin on Thursday world powers must create a "grand coalition" to combat Islamic State militants who control swathes of territory in Syria and Iraq. Hollande is on a diplomatic offensive to build a common front against the militant Islamist group that has claimed responsibility for the attacks in Paris on Nov. 13 that killed 130 people. Islamic State has also said it downed a Russian plane on Oct. 31 over the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt, killing all 224 people on board.
By Kirstin Ridley LONDON (Reuters) - A High Court judge on Thursday delayed the trial in a drawn-out battle between Royal Bank of Scotland and shareholders, criticising the lender and its legal advisers for being "unfocused" and swamped by 25 million documents. Thousands of shareholders are claiming around 4 billion pounds in compensation and alleging that RBS's 12 billion pound ($18 bln) investor cash call in 2008 - launched just before the bank's near collapse - contained misstatements and omissions. Judge Robert Hildyard adjourned the date for the high-profile trial by three months to March 6, 2017, saying he wanted to ensure fair and orderly legal proceedings in the case.
By Philip Pullella and George Obulutsa NAIROBI (Reuters) - World leaders must reach a historic agreement to fight climate change and poverty at upcoming Paris talks, facing the stark choice to either "improve or destroy the environment", Pope Francis said in Africa on Thursday. Francis chose his first visit to the world's poorest continent to issue a clarion call for the success of the two-week summit, known as COP21, that starts on Monday in a French capital still reeling from Nov. 13 attacks by Islamic State militants that killed 130 people. In a long address in Spanish at the United Nations regional office, Francis said it would be "catastrophic" if particular interests prevailed over the common good of people and the planet or if the conference were manipulated by business interests.