{FD} Money-laundering watchdog: Close North Korean banks

The watchdog that monitors global and illicit misuse of funds has cited North Korea as a top source of "ongoing and substantial" money laundering and terrorist financing and urged countries to close North Korean banks.

{FD} UN to vote on 30-day humanitarian cease-fire in Syria

The U.N. Security Council scheduled a vote Friday on a resolution demanding a 30-day cease-fire across Syria to deliver humanitarian aid to millions and evacuate the critically ill and wounded.

{FD} Russia: Embassy coke bust shows our mission’s strength

A spokeswoman for Russia's Foreign Ministry is brushing off suggestions that the discovery of hundreds of kilograms (pounds) of cocaine in a school attached to Moscow's Argentina embassy harms the mission's reputation.

{FD} New party aide close to Germany’s Merkel, but no clone

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has shown her conservative party that she's still very much in charge and keen to shape its future, installing a close ally who's popular in her own right in a top party post following weeks of muttering over a difficult coalition deal.

{FD} Italian campaign promises gloss over grim economic realities

While Italy's economic growth has picked up this year, it belies grim realities below the surface, few of which are being addressed directly as politicians stump for a national ballot on March 4. The economy is forecast to grow by a decent rate of 1.5 percent this year, but that still lags the wider eurozone's estimated 2 percent.

{FD} EU pledges 50 million euros to African counterterror force

The European Union is pledging 50 million euros ($61 million) to a joint counterterror force in West Africa's Sahel region, as leaders gather Friday in a show of support for the impoverished nations.