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(MENAFN - AFP) Abbas Yusef points wistfully towards his olive trees, which are bearing their annual fruit. Yet again, the 70-year-old Palestinian farmer will be unable to make the autumn harvest.

Yusef's olive groves lie on land either side of an Israeli settlement in the northern occupied West Bank. For years, he has been denied access by the army, and the settlers have ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) As a Japanese schoolgirl in the 1970s, Kazumi Kaminaga had never seen something as cute as Hello Kitty when she first laid eyes on the moon-faced, mouthless character in a shop.

"There were hardly any 'kawaii' products when I was in elementary school," said the now 51-year-old mother, using the Japanese word for cute.

"It was such a shock...She was really ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) A study of 15 patients with chronic fatigue syndrome has found that patients' brains have at least three distinct abnormalities when compared to healthy people, researchers said Wednesday.

The findings, if confirmed, could lead to new ways to diagnose and treat the troublesome condition that affects more than a million Americans, said the study conducted by ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) The Red Cross and US President Barack Obama and have offered hope that the battle against the deadly West African Ebola outbreak is being won, amid a dramatic drop in bodies collected in Liberia's capital.

Obama on Tuesday hailed progress in the fight against the disease, which has already killed almost 5,000 people, but said Washington would remain "vigilant," ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Air France on Wednesday said its third quarter results had taken a bashing due to a record pilots' strike, with turnover falling by 416 million euros ($530 million).

The Air France-KLM group, Europe's second-biggest airline, was already in difficulty when the pilots went on strike between September 15 and 28 in protest at the group's plans to expand its low-cost ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) The finance ministers of around 50 countries meet in Berlin on Wednesday to sign a deal they hope will put an end to banking secrecy and aid the worldwide fight against tax fraud and evasion.

"Banking secrecy, in its old form, is obsolete," German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said in an interview in the mass-circulation daily Bild on Wednesday.

Banking ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Small and well-run Singapore, New Zealand and Hong Kong are the world's easiest places to run a business, while global giants China, Brazil and India remain far down the list, according the World Bank.

Three small but hot Pacific economies led the Bank's annual "Doing Business" report, released Wednesday, which focuses on where businesses are best helped and ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Kuwait's ruler warned Tuesday that declines in the oil price were damaging the economy of the energy-rich Gulf state, urging lawmakers to "stop squandering resources" and to diversify revenues.

"We are witnessing a new cycle of low oil prices as a result of economic and political factors that have hit the global economy and started to negatively impact our ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) YouTube viewers might get the option of paid subscriptions for ad-free access to the popular online video-sharing service.

Subscriptions and even a streaming music service are among new options that YouTube is considering offering its more than one billion users, YouTube chief Susan Wojcicki said at a technology conference in California late Monday.

"YouTube ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Air France-KLM on Tuesday denied Dutch media reports of massive job cuts planned at the Dutch national carrier, saying they spread "false information based on false figures".

Dutch daily tabloid Algemeen Dagblad ran a front-page article, saying that about 7,500 jobs, or one-in-four of the workforce, would be cut under a programme of restructuring and outsourcing ...

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