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Negotiators from Ukraine, Russia and Europe are set to hold fresh peace talks Friday in a bid to end a surge in fighting between Kiev and Kremlin-backed rebels, with tensions running high after the EU hit Moscow with more sanctions. The talks in Belarus's capital Minsk will bring together the contact group of representatives of Ukraine, Russia and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the Belarus foreign ministry said.
By Henning Gloystein SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Oil prices dipped on Friday following slight gains in the previous session and analysts said the outlook remained weak, with production high and producers reducing operating costs to adjust to lower export revenues. Global oil prices had firmed slightly on Thursday but not before U.S. crude hit a near-six-year low and benchmark Brent pared gains on data showing fresh additions to record-high U.S. oil inventories. Brent crude oil futures opened Friday's trading little changed at $49.15 a barrel and had slipped to $48.83 by 0645 GMT.
By David Dolan JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - A popular South African private school firm on Friday denied charges of racially segregating classrooms, saying it sometimes separates children based on culture, a policy that has provoked public anger 20 years after the end of apartheid. A group of around 30 parents signed a petition this week against what they said was racial segregation at the Curro Foundation School in Roodeplaat, a town near Pretoria, according to local media reports. The school is one of more than 40 run by Cape Town-based Curro Holdings, which has seen explosive growth since listing on the Johannesburg exchange in 2011, reflecting surging demand for private education from a growing black middle class. Curro chief executive Chris van der Merwe told Talk Radio 702 the school did not separate students based on race.