By John Irish MUNICH (Reuters) - Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev raised the spectre of a permanent or a world war if powers failed to negotiate an end to the conflict in Syria and warned against any ground operations by U.S. and Arab forces. Medvedev, speaking to Germany's Handelsblatt newspaper on the eve of a security conference in Munich, said the United States and Russia must exert pressure on all sides in the conflict to secure a ceasefire. Asked about Saudi Arabia's offer last week to supply ground troops if a U.S.-led operation were mounted against Islamic State, he said: "This is bad as a ground offensive usually turns the war into a permanent one.
Global stock markets are on their shakiest footing in years. Investors are fleeing stocks and running to safe-havens like bonds and gold, driven by concerns about economic growth the effectiveness of central banks' policies. At the same time, tumbling energy prices are upending the economies of oil-producing countries, further slicing into global economic growth.