Jordan's military said on Friday that it was still awaiting proof that a warplane pilot threatened with execution by the Islamic State group is safe. IS had vowed to kill F-16 airman Maaz al-Kassasbeh by sunset on Thursday unless Amman handed over an Iraqi female jihadist in return for captured Japanese journalist Kenji Goto. Jordan has demanded evidence that the pilot who crashed in Syria on December 24 is still alive before freeing would-be suicide bomber Sajida al-Rishawi who is on death row. "Jordan has so far received no information that proves the pilot Maaz al-Kassasbeh is safe and sound," military spokesman Mamdoh al-Ameri told AFP.
A new round of peace talks between Ukraine and pro-Russia rebels was cancelled on Friday after government officials failed to show up, a rebel spokesman said. "The foreign ministry of Belarus confirmed today that Kiev (representatives) won't come, the talks have been cancelled," separatist envoy Denis Pushilin told reporters in the Belarussian capital Minsk.