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(MENAFN - AFP) France sought to stamp out a new electronic cigarette containing cannabis, launched Tuesday with the claim it provides all of the relaxation but none of the mind-altering effects of marijuana.

Health Minister Marisol Touraine said the product would "incite the consumption of cannabis" and that she intended calling on the courts to ban it.

"I am opposed ...

(MENAFN - AFP) The Russian government is not considering strict capital control measures to limit purchases of foreign currency, economy minister Alexei Ulyukayev said after an emergency meeting over the rapidly sliding ruble.

The subject "was not discussed" as a possible solution to the ongoing currency crisis, which saw the Russian ruble lose 20 percent of its value in ...

(MENAFN - AFP) Investor sentiment in Germany rose sharply again in December driven by a weak euro and plunging oil prices, a survey found on Tuesday, underlining a sunnier outlook for Europe's top economy.

The widely watched investor confidence index calculated by the ZEW economic institute jumped by 23.4 points in December, after increasing for the first time this year in ...

(MENAFN - AFP) The Russian currency crashed to unprecedented lows Tuesday as it reached 80 rubles to the dollar and 100 to the euro, testing Vladimir Putin's ability to ride out a economic storm and prevail in his confrontation with the West.

Russia's emergency midnight move to raise interest rates to 17 percent failed to arrest the collapse of the ruble with the currency ...

(MENAFN - AFP) The relentless fall in oil prices and Russia's plunging currency pose big challenges as the US Federal Reserve opens a two-day meeting Tuesday.

The Fed's last meeting of 2014 was expected to confirm its path toward monetary policy normalization after holding its base interest rate at the zero level for six years to bring the country out of the Great Recession.

But ...

(MENAFN - AFP) Some 250 sacred Native American, Eskimo and pre-Colombian artefacts went under the hammer in France on Monday despite strong opposition from the Navajo and Hopi tribes who travelled to Paris to try to halt the sale.

It was the fourth time in two years that sacred masks from the Hopi tribe have been sold at auction in France.

The 18,000-strong Hopi tribe ...

(MENAFN - AFP) Wearing paper wings and tin-foil halos, hundreds of "angels" descended on a Polish mountain village over the weekend for an annual festival meant to rouse the sleepy locale out of its winter lull.

"I remember Lanckorona from a dozen years back. It was pretty closed off, the residents kept to themselves," said organiser Renata Bukowska, who launched the event ...

(MENAFN - AFP) In a dingy gym tucked away in a basement in Pakistan's eastern city of Lahore, pumped up teens get to grips with jujitsu moves before unleashing volleys of ferocious punches.

Some dream of following in the footsteps of Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali, but others idolise the gym's owner Bashir Ahmad, the first Pakistani mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter on the world ...

(MENAFN - AFP) The Netherlands on Monday launched its first-ever "intelligent bicycle", fitted with an array of electronic devices to help bring down the high accident rate among elderly cyclists in the bicycle-mad country.

Developed for the government by the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO), the intelligent bicycle prototype runs on electricity, ...

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