1. 5. Geopolitical flashpoints.In the not too distant past, a small supply disruption would send oil prices skyward. In early 2014, for example, violence in Libya blocked oil exports, contributing to a rise in oil prices. In Iraq, ISIS overran parts of the country and oil prices shot up on fears of supply outages. But since then, geopolitical flashpoints have had much less of an effect on the price of crude. During the last few weeks of 2014, violence flared up again in Libya. But after a brief increase in prices, the markets shrugged off the event. Nevertheless, history has demonstrated time and again that geopolitical crises are some of the most powerful short-term movers of oil prices.
2. Video of the year: "Tornado," Little Big Town
3. "He was not on the intelligence services' radar," added the prime minister.
6. James Bond 23 may still be quite a ways away from actually happening, as star Daniel Craig is commited to three chapters in the Millennium Trilogy, starting with the currently in-production The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. There is currently no talk of hiring someone else to play James Bond, but if Craig is to reprise the role a third time, we still won't see James Bond 23 until 2014 at the earliest.
1. The former Miss Israel, Gal Gadot spot 6th in the list of 10 most beautiful women of 2015. She is the leading fashion model for the clothing company Castro. Gadot is known for her role as Gisele Yashar in The Fast and the Furious film series.
1. Upgrades to the country's industrial structure in which labor-intensive industries are being moved out of metropolitan areas contributed greatly to the demographic change, Peng Xizhe, dean of the School of Social Development and Public Policy at Shanghai-based Fudan University, told the Global Times on Tuesday.
3. One of the most discouraging aspects of 2014 for professional investors has been the start-and-stop nature of the recovery. We coasted into January on a trend of strengthening economic reports. Within a few weeks, a nationwide snowstorm seemingly drove the economic data off the side of the road.
"He (Premier Wen) underlined that China effectively countered the severe impact of the global financial crisis and has maintained steady and fast economic development. This allowed China to become the second-largest economy, almost doubling its GDP in five years."
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Inflation (and deflation) won't rear its ugly head Surging oil production — along with slower global growth — has caused the price of petroleum to collapse from more than $100 a barrel last summer to barely $50 a barrel at the end of 2014. The effect has been to reverse an uptick in U.S. inflation earlier in the year.
But whether another hit product can emerge to fend off questions about Apple’s life after Jobs, Mr Cook learnt long ago to be patient and trust his instincts, just as he did when he ignored the doubters to join the then-struggling company in 1998.