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(MENAFN - AFP) State-rescued Royal Bank of Scotland on Thursday reported a massive net loss for 2014, caused by a writedown on its US operations, while confirming the appointment of a new chairman.

RBS, about 80-percent owned by the British government after a 2008 bailout, said losses after tax totalled £3.47 billion ($5.40 billion, 4.74 billion euros) last year following ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) One year after Crimea's annexation by Moscow from Ukraine, the Black Sea peninsula is struggling with runaway inflation and isolation from the world, but locals still root for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Though euphoric support has given way to simmering frustration over corruption and exorbitant prices, most locals believe that the Russian takeover of ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Through the mud and olive trees, Scotsman Andy Crawford trudges over the Spanish fields where eight decades ago his grandfather William fought and died.

A Communist pipe-fitter from Glasgow, William was among tens of thousands of foreigners who fought in Spain's 1936-1939 civil war as part of the International Brigades.

Fearing the spread of fascism in ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Global art sales set a fresh record in 2014 driven by acquisitions from new museums, while China maintained its place at the top of the market, data firm Artprice said on Thursday.

Works worth $15.2 billion (13.5 billion euros) sold at auction during the year, an increase of 26 percent on 2013, Artprice said in its annual report, produced with China's Artron.

A ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Asian markets were mixed Thursday after Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen signalled the US central bank was in no hurry to raise rates while energy stocks rose on higher oil prices.

Tokyo's Nikkei index was 0.55 percent higher by the break, Sydney slipped 0.59 percent, Seoul was down 0.13 percent, while Wellington rallied 0.27 percent.

Hong Kong gained ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) In an alleyway in the Old City of Lebanon's southern city of Sidon, a run-down synagogue that once served a vibrant Jewish community now houses destitute Syrian and Palestinian families.

There are only a handful of signs that the building -- abandoned as Lebanon's Jews fled the country in the last decades -- was once a house of worship.

The sun shining ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Australian carrier Qantas on Thursday roared back into the black after an aggressive shake-up to stem mounting losses, posting its best interim result in four years helped by a revival in its international arm.

The Aus$203 million (US$162 million) result in the six months to December 31 marked a stunning turnaround from a net loss of Aus$235 million in the ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Google said Wednesday it was launching a reorganization of its European operations in the face of a tougher regulatory environment.

The overhaul was first reported by the Financial Times, citing Matt Brittin, an executive who will head a new unit unifying two separate European divisions.

Google's press office confirmed the reorganization in an email to ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Morgan Stanley said Wednesday it had reached a preliminary agreement with the Justice Department to pay $2.6 billion to settle a probe into its marketing of mortgage-backed securities.

The settlement resolves claims the civil division of the Justice Department "indicated it intended to bring against the company," Morgan Stanley said in a securities filing.

The ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Australian carrier Qantas on Thursday swung back into the black after a major shake-up to stem losses, posting a strong first half net profit helped by lower fuel prices.

The Aus$203 million (US$162 million) result in the six months to December 31 marked a stunning turnaround from a net loss of Aus$235 million in the same period in 2013.

Underlying profit ...

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