The 115 members of the International Olympics Committee, the self-appointed “supreme authority” of the Olympic movement, seem to leave nothing to chance when it comes to their own personal comfort.

Should Norway have been chosen to host the 2022 Winter Games, IOC executives were expecting a formal reception on the runway at Oslo airport, then to be whisked along dedicated lanes through a city in which locals had been “encouraged to take a vacation” to limit the traffic, say local media. Read more

Abubakar Shekau has been killed and resurrected so many times now he is using up his proverbial nine lives .

The leader of Nigeria’s Boko Haram extremists appeared on Thursday in a fresh video released to the French news agency AFP, declaring the border areas with Cameroon as “Muslim territory” and boasting that only Allah could take his breath away. Read more

Hong Kong’s political crisis
The scale and persistence of the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong have taken many by surprise. Gideon Rachman is joined by David Pilling, Asia bureau chief, and Tom Mitchell, Beijing correspondent, to discuss the crisis and China’s response.

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Naples is the setting for October's ECB meeting

European Central Bank president Mario Draghi is set to reveal details of an ambitious plan to buy hundreds of billions of euros of repackaged debt in order to kick-start bank lending. The ECB’s monthly press conference, held in Naples, Italy, takes place against a backdrop of growing concern about economic stagnation as growth in the eurozone stutters to a halt.

By Ralph Atkins and Claer Barrett

 

Claire Jones

The European Central Bank will today flesh out details of its plan to buy bundles of loans sliced and diced and repackaged into products known as asset-backed securities, alongside covered bonds.

With growth stuttering and inflation falling to a five-year low, some fuel for the eurozone’s recovery is much needed.

The ABS plan could provide it, freeing up space on banks’ balance sheets to spur lending to the region’s businesses and households.

Why is the ECB doing this now? Read more

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Gideon Rachman

The news that a patient with the Ebola virus is receiving treatment in an American hospital is making headlines in the US. But, even before the Dallas case was revealed, there was growing alarm in western capitals, about the implications of the virus for Africa.

When President Obama gave his speech to the UN last week, it was his remarks about war in the Middle East that made the news. But what the president had to say about Ebola was also striking. He warned that it was a disease that “could kill hundreds of thousands, inflict horrific suffering, destablise economies.” Read more

Protesters remain on the streets of Hong Kong’s central commercial district on Tuesday, following three days of demonstrations. They are calling for changes to the way Hong Kong chooses its chief executive, its top politician. Here’s an explainer of what’s going on.

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