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(MENAFN - AFP) A Beijing court began hearing a landmark case on "gay conversion" treatment Thursday, as an activist in a nurse's uniform knelt over a patient, wielding a giant needle, outside.

"Homosexuality doesn't need to be cured!" chanted about a dozen supporters. "Haidian Court, oppose conversion therapy!"

Homosexuality was de-classified as a mental disorder in ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Australia's human rights commissioner said Thursday the government must come clean about conditions at offshore asylum-seeker camps after an inquiry heard of an alleged cover-up of mental health problems.

The facilities have been under the spotlight in recent weeks following reports that up to a dozen mothers had attempted suicide at a detention centre on Christmas ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Anglo-Dutch oil giant Royal Dutch Shell said Thursday that net profits more than tripled in the second quarter, boosted by asset sales and higher oil prices.

Earnings after taxation soared by 206 percent to $5.307 billion (3.961 billion euros) in the three months to June compared with $1.737 billion in the same part of 2013, Shell said in a results statement, ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) German airline Lufthansa said on Thursday its second-quarter net profit fell year-on-year due to pilots strikes, excess capacity on transatlantic and other routes and adverse currency effects.

From April to June, Lufthansa Group posted a net profit of 173 million euros ($231 million), down 32 percent from a year earlier - far below the 243 million euros expected ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal, the world's number two steelmaker, said Thursday its quarterly net profit dropped by nearly 25 percent owing to falling global prices for the commodity.

The Japanese company's April-June net profit came in at 48.34 billion yen (470 million yen), although its profit in the same period the previous year was partly boosted by ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) British aircraft engine maker Rolls-Royce said on Thursday that underlying profit fell by a fifth on the back of a weaker performance by its defence and marine businesses.

Underlying pre-tax earnings sank to £644 million ($1.09 billion, 811 million euros) in the six months to June 30.

That compared with £804 million a year earlier, Rolls-Royce said ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Shares in Nintendo fell more than six percent on Thursday after the Japanese videogame giant announced it was still mired in the red.

Nintendo closed down 6.49 percent at 11,525.0 yen on the Tokyo exchange.

The company said late Wednesday that it suffered a $97 million quarterly net loss, with higher costs tied to sales of its Wii U console digging into ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Snapchat has held talks with Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba toward a possible investment in the mobile-messaging startup, US media have reported.

It was not clear whether the discussions will lead to a deal, the reports Wednesday said.

According to the Bloomberg news agency, the first to report the talks, the terms of the financing could value Snapchat ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Samsung said Thursday net profit plunged almost 20 percent in the second quarter as competition from cheap Chinese phones and the strong won saw sales slump in its key mobile business.

The South Korean electronics giant said net profit came in at 6.25 trillion won ($6.1 billion), down 19.6 percent in the first on-year decline for nearly three years.

Operating ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Field Marshal Hindenburg, a decorated hero of World War I but also the president who paved the way for Hitler's rise, still divides Germany 80 years after his death.

The legacy of the stocky and moustachioed Prussian war horse and statesman is as complicated as his full name - Paul Ludwig Hans Anton von Beneckendorff und von Hindenburg.

Hindenburg became ...

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