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(MENAFN - AFP) Syria's once-promising economy has been set back more than 30 years by its brutal civil war, economists say, and it may never recover.

Squeezed by sanctions and the fallout of the more than three-year-old conflict, the government faces dwindling revenues and is increasingly dependent on aid from key allies Iran and Russia.

Inflation is in the double digits, ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Wednesday backed an "effective" climate pact being struck at global talks in France next year, but warned it could not come at the expense of the economy or jobs.

French President Francois Hollande, on a state visit to Australia, also laid out his aim of seeking the worldwide, binding agreement in Paris after world leaders ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) The Bank of Japan on Wednesday kept its view that Japan's economy was recovering, despite GDP data that showed the country had slipped into recession.

Wrapping up a two-day policy meeting, the central bank kept policy unchanged -- after expanding its already huge stimulus package last month -- as investors eye BoJ governor Haruhiko Kuroda's press briefing later ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) South Korea's Samsung scrapped Wednesday a merger between two major units, citing the spiralling cost of buying back stock from shareholders opposed to the deal.

Samsung Heavy Industries -- the world's third largest shipmaker -- and Samsung Engineering had announced the planned merger in September as part of a major restructuring to smooth a generational ownership ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) New York's Times Square was illuminated by the world's highest resolution video display screen of its size as the monitor -- nearly as big as a football field -- was switched on.

The first images broadcast from the enormous screen Tuesday night included a digital film featuring images of mountains, a bird, skyscrapers and bursts of color accompanying a musical ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) The World Health Organization cautioned Tuesday that a new kind of bird flu hitting European poultry farms would spread among birds, after Britain confirmed its outbreak was of the same strain as in the Netherlands and Germany.

Sweden meanwhile ordered farmers to keep hens and other poultry indoors "as a precaution", amid concerns that the highly infectious ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) US safety regulators pushed for a nationwide recall of cars with defective Takata air bags, increasing the pressure on both the Japanese firm and automakers ahead of a Senate hearing into the deadly problem.

An earlier recall limited to several mostly southern US states needed to be expanded to the full country, said David Friedman, deputy administrator of ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) US online entertainment powerhouse Netflix ended months of speculation Wednesday in announcing it is moving into the Australian and New Zealand market from March.

Netflix has pioneered online streaming of original content, including TV shows and films, challenging traditional network and cable broadcasters.

"Internet-connected users in Australia and New ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) The US Senate on Tuesday narrowly rejected a bill that would have approved construction of the Keystone XL pipeline to bring crude oil to Gulf coast refineries from Canada's controversial tar sands.

Supporters of the long-delayed project, a top Republican energy priority, came up one vote short of the 60 needed for approval in the 100-member chamber.

Rejection ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) The US Senate on Tuesday narrowly rejected a bill that would have approved construction of the Keystone XL pipeline to bring crude oil to Gulf coast refineries from Canada's controversial tar sands.

Supporters of the long-delayed project, a top Republican energy priority, came up one vote short of the 60 needed for approval in the 100-member chamber.

Rejection ...

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