Australia anti-terrorism raid: 15 arrests
Australian police have arrested 15 people in a massive anti-terrorism raid across three cities.
Around 800 police officers swept through dozens of locations in Sydney, Brisbane and Logan early Thursday, thwarting what officials called a domestic plot to "commit violent acts" against the public.
The arrests come days after Australia elevated its terror warning amid threats by Islamic State supporters.
Federal Folice Chief Andrew Colvin told reporters the group targeted by the raids "had started to carry out planning to commit violent acts here in Australia."
Last week, Australian police arrested two men in Brisbane suspected of preparing to fight in Syria, recruiting militants and raising money for the al-Qaida-affiliated al-Nusra Front.
Russian Growth Forecast Slashed as Western Sanctions Squeeze Economy
Leading European analysts say Russia - hit by Western sanctions for its role in Ukraine - will see its economy contract next year and slip into a mild recession.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development forecast on Wednesday a 0.2 percent Russian downturn for 2015, after predicting in May a 0.6 percent expansion for the same period.
The bank, which monitors economies of Central and Eastern Europe, maintained its forecast of zero Russian growth this year.
In its latest outlook report, the bank also predicted that Ukraine's already battered economy will plunge a full 9 percent this year. That prognosis comes just four months after analysts projected a 7 percent drop.
On Tuesday, as the sanctions drove the ruble currency to an all-time low against the U.S. dollar, Deputy Russian Finance Minister Alexei Moiseyev urged the Russian public not to panic.
He attributed the currency plunge to European and U.S. moves to deny Russian banks access to long-term borrowing markets in the West, and said talks are under way with Russia's central bank to ease the crisis.