Good morning! Welcome to 2015. Here’s what you need to know for Friday.
1. Iran’s deputy foreign minister, Hossein Amir Abdollahian, said in an exclusive interview with Reuters that Saudi Arabia is making a mistake by not taking action to prevent the continuing slide of oil prices, which is going to hurt countries across the Middle East.
2. Powerful winds thwarted efforts on Thursday to bring the crippled Norman Atlantic ferry back to its home port in Italy where officials will check for more bodies, after a fire on board led to the death of at least 13 people.
4. A breakthrough study reveals that 65% of cancer cases of different types are caused by random mutations and not heredity or unhealthy habits like smoking.
5. New figures from the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights show that 76,021 people died in Syria’s civil war last year, making 2014 the deadliest since the Syria conflict began in 2011.
6. A fire that has been raging for a week at Libya’s biggest oil port has been extinguished at all but one oil storage tank, officials said Friday.
7. Former New York Governor Mario Cuomo died Thursday at the age of 82, just hours after his son, Andrew, was sworn in for a second term as governor of New York.
8. French economist and author Thomas Piketty refused on Thursday to accept the country’s top award known as the Legion d’honneur because, he said, it’s not the “government’s role to decide who is honourable” and it would “do better to concentrate on reviving (economic) growth in France and Europe.”
9. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un reportedly said he would be open to talks with South Korea in a New Year’s speech broadcast on state television Thursday.
10. Sierra Leone’s president asked the country on Thursday to participate in a week of fasting and prayer to end the Ebola epidemic, which has claimed around 7,900 lives to date.
And finally …