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(MENAFN - AFP) A top European rights body was expected to scold France on Wednesday for failing to completely ban the smacking of children, in a ruling likely to reignite debate over the controversial topic.

The Strasbourg-based Council of Europe is expected to rule that French law is not "sufficiently clear, binding and precise" on the matter, according to daily Le Monde.

France ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) India's central bank announced on Wednesday a second surprise cut in interest rates in two months as it forecast a further easing of inflation, triggering a surge in share prices.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) lowered the benchmark repo rate -- the level at which it lends to commercial banks -- by 25 basis points to 7.5 percent with immediate effect.

"Softer ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Malaysia is the most preferred global destination in the fast-growing Muslim travel market, despite two catastrophic air disasters that hit the country's flag-carrier in 2014, a survey showed Wednesday.

Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Indonesia followed Malaysia in the ranking of choice holiday destinations for Muslim travellers, said ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) India's central bank cut interest rates by 25 basis points on Wednesday in a surprise announcement, days after the new right-wing government's first full-year budget.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said the benchmark repo rate -- the level at which it lends to commercial banks -- would fall to 7.5 percent as it forecast a slowdown in inflation in the coming ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Asia markets mostly fell Wednesday following a retreat on Wall Street fuelled by profit-taking, with Tokyo hit by a stronger yen and Sydney dipping after data showed Australia's economy grew slower than expected last year.

With few trading cues investors are keeping a watch on the start of China's annual parliament meeting Thursday as well as European Central ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) British property is a safe haven for money stolen from around the world, with tens of thousands of London properties owned by secretive companies, according to a corruption report released Wednesday.

Campaign group Transparency International found 36,342 properties in London covering 3.6 square kilometres are held by companies registered in offshore secrecy ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) A Brazilian prosecutor asked the Supreme Court to investigate 54 people, including a clutch of politicians, over a deepening graft case that has rocked Petrobras, the nation's largest corporation.

The growing scandal, which investigators have dubbed Operation Car Wash, concerns kickbacks estimated at $3.8 billion at Petrobras, a state-owned oil giant.

The ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) The British government has reached an agreement to sell its entire stake in the Eurostar train service between London, Brussels and Paris, the treasury said in a statement on Wednesday.

The stake is to be sold for a total of £757.1 million ($1.2 billion, 1 billion euros), part of a push to raise £20 billion in privatisation sales to reduce Britain's debt.

Canadian ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) They have taken the dubious art of the selfie to a whole new level.

But now -- in what will be a relief to some and derided by others -- Washington's top museums say selfie sticks are banned, in a growing trend among visitor centers in the United States to outlaw the devices.

"For the safety of our visitors and collections, the Smithsonian prohibits the ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) A prosecutor in Brazil has asked the Supreme Court to investigate 54 politicians over a massive graft case that has rocked Petrobras, the South American nation's largest corporation.

"There have been 28 requests for new investigation files... which involve 54 politicians who have immunity," a spokesman for the top prosecutor told AFP Tuesday, referring to the ...

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