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Jordan demanded proof Thursday that a pilot threatened with execution by the Islamic State group was alive, as a deadline set by the jihadists to free a female militant expired. IS had vowed to kill airman Maaz al-Kassasbeh unless Iraqi jihadist Sajida al-Rishawi was handed over at the Turkish border in return for Japanese journalist Kenji Goto. Jordan said it was still waiting for evidence that the airman is alive and well. "Rishawi is still in Jordan and the exchange will happen once we receive the proof of life that we asked for," he told reporters.
German unemployment fell in January to the lowest level since the country reunited in 1990, official data showed Thursday. The number of people registered as unemployed in Germany fell by a seasonally-adjusted 9,000 to 2.8 million in January, the Federal Labour Office said. Analysts polled by Bloomberg News had forecast a still bigger monthly drop of around 12,000. The unemployment rate -- which measures the jobless total against the working population as a whole -- slipped to 6.5 percent from 6.6 percent for December, the office said.
SHEAR YASHUV, Israel (AP) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday blamed Iran for a deadly flare-up along the Lebanese border, the deadliest escalation on the disputed frontier since the 2006 war between Hezbollah and Israel.