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(MENAFN - AFP) French police searched the Paris offices of US Internet giant Google on Tuesday as part of a tax fraud investigation, a police source said.

French authorities believe Google owes 1.6 billion euros ($1.7 billion) in back taxes, a source close to the matter said in February.

Google is one of several multi-national corporations that have come under fire ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Investor confidence in Germany fell unexpectedly in May as uncertainty over a possible exit by Britain from the European Union overshadowed strong growth data, a leading survey showed on Tuesday.

While official data earlier showed that Europe's biggest economy grew by 0.7 percent in the first three months -- double the growth rate of the preceding quarter -- ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Swiss financial regulators approved Tuesday the dissolution of Lugano-based BSI Bank over its links to a corruption scandal engulfing Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak.

Swiss supervisor FINMA accused BSI, a merchant bank, of "serious breaches" of money-laundering regulations in its dealings with the Malaysian sovereign wealth fund 1MDB, which is at the ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Toyota said it will recall nearly 1.6 million more vehicles in the United States to correct possible defects in front passenger air bag inflators made by the Japanese company Takata.

The decision, which was announced Monday, was made based on recent information from both Takata and the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Toyota said in ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) The lacklustre global economy should take centre stage as world leaders gather in Japan this week, but with no agreement likely on igniting growth, Barack Obama's visit to the atomic-bombed city of Hiroshima looks set to capture the limelight.

A gathering Chinese slowdown, weak oil prices and the looming threat of Britain's exit from the European Union will ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Facebook has been forced to backtrack after it banned an Australian ad featuring a bikini-clad plus-sized model promoting positive body image, initially saying the photo's depiction was "undesirable".

The social networking giant blocked the ad for Melbourne's "Cherchez La Femme: Feminism and Fat" gathering, saying the image violated its advertising guidelines.

When ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Inside Armando Yera's gym, toned Cubans in tight spandex are pumping iron in front of mirrored walls and pedaling furiously on stationary bikes, a scene that looks more Miami than Havana.

Yera is one of Cuba's first competitive bodybuilders and part of its budding class of entrepreneurs. Both activities were long frowned on by the communist regime but are slowly ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) The Middle East's poetry equivalent of "Pop Idol" is helping to keep alive an age-old tradition using bedouin dialect, which is barely understood outside the Arabian Gulf.

Apart from the glory, a Kuwaiti student took home five million dirhams ($1.36 million), the top prize in a television show followed by millions of poetry lovers across the region.

With ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Petrol shortages caused long tailbacks of motorists in parts of France on Monday as protesters angry over government labour reforms blockaded some of the country's oil refineries and fuel depots.

The action was the latest in three months of strikes and protests against the reform, which has set the Socialist government against some of its traditional supporters ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Singapore's central bank on Tuesday said it was kicking out Swiss bank BSI, which has been linked to a global money-laundering scandal at Malaysia's state fund 1MDB that has embroiled Prime Minister Najib Razak.

In a statement, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said it had also asked state prosecutors to investigate six senior executives of BSI Bank ...

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