By Maggie Fick and Yusri Mohamed CAIRO/ISMAILIA (Reuters) - Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi cut short a visit to Ethiopia for an African Union summit on Friday after Islamic State's Egyptian wing claimed the killing of at least 30 soldiers and police officers in the Sinai Peninsula. The four separate attacks on security forces in North Sinai on Thursday night were among the bloodiest in years and the first significant assault in the region since the most active Sinai militant group swore allegiance to IS in November. Militant attacks in Sinai, while far from Cairo and tourist attractions, has crimped government efforts to project an image of stability to woo back foreign investors and tourists driven away by frequent political violence since a popular uprising four years ago that overthrew veteran autocrat Hosni Mubarak. Sisi left Addis Ababa after meeting with the Ethiopian premier following the AU summit's opening session, an Egyptian official there told Reuters.
Record harvests and falling oil prices have helped to push food prices to a four-year low, improving the affordability of food in nearly three quarters of countries surveyed, according to data from the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). The new Global Food Security Index shows that world food prices dropped 2.8 percent between September and November, 2014. Global food prices fell across all commodities except cereals, with the most dramatic declines in dairy and sugar prices, according to UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).
U.S. stocks drifted lower in early trading Friday as investors sized up the latest batch of corporate earnings. They also digested data showing the U.S. economy slowed in the final quarter of last year even as wage growth improved.