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(MENAFN - AFP) Apple's Tim Cook on Thursday became the most prominent chief executive to acknowledge his homosexuality, putting fresh focus on gay representation in the boardroom.

Cook's announcement, in an essay written for Bloomberg Businessweek, is a watershed since he is the first CEO of a major US corporation to make such a declaration.

"I think the result is ...

(MENAFN - AFP) Europe's main stock markets closed up on Thursday, lifted by the European Central Bank's announcement that it would begin buying asset-backed securities in a multi-pronged action to get lending flowing again.

London's benchmark FTSE 100 index ended the day 0.15 percent higher at 6,463.55 points, after a day of choppy trading as investors fretted initially over ...

(MENAFN - AFP) The new head of French energy major Total on Thursday promised "continuity and stability" after the death of the company's chief executive in a Moscow plane crash earlier this month.

"My objective is mainly continuity and stability. My main message -- we are a strong company," Patrick Pouyanne said at the Oil and Money conference in London in his first public ...

(MENAFN - AFP) The EU, Russia and Ukraine were trying to find the money on Thursday for Kiev to settle a bitter gas supply dispute with Moscow, edging towards an accord as the armed conflict claimed more lives.

As officials gathered for another round of talks in Brussels, Ukraine said seven of its soldiers had been killed by pro-Russian rebels in the biggest daily toll in ...

(MENAFN - AFP) The World Bank said Thursday it was immediately providing $100 million to support the deployment of more health workers to Ebola-stricken West Africa.

The money is in answer to appeals for reinforcement of health workers in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, where the deadly disease has killed nearly 5,000.

The United Nations estimates that the three countries ...

(MENAFN - AFP) China is "vulnerable" to the deadly Ebola outbreak due to the soaring number of Chinese working in Africa and poor infection control at home, a co-discoverer of the virus warned Thursday.

Belgian microbiologist Peter Piot also said experience with other viral outbreaks showed that airport screening was largely ineffective, and repeated his earlier criticism ...

(MENAFN - AFP) Global aid agency Doctors Without Borders urged caution Thursday over claims of a slowdown in infections in Ebola-hit Liberia, saying the apparent drop could be due to poor management of the sick.

The warning follows an announcement by the World Health Organization (WHO) that data from a range of sources including funeral directors and treatment centres indicated ...

(MENAFN - AFP) UN chief Ban Ki-moon launched Thursday a global campaign to end the often deadly practice of female genital mutilation within a generation, as survivors said it had "shattered" their lives.

"The mutilation of girls and women must stop in this generation, our generation," Ban said on a visit to the Kenyan capital Nairobi.

"Men and boys must also be encouraged ...

(MENAFN - AFP) British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg on Thursday accused coalition partners the Conservatives of ignoring the evidence as they rejected a Home Office study backing decriminalisation of drugs.

"The war on drugs is not working," Clegg said in his weekly phone-in programme on LBC radio.

"They need to explain to the British people why they think it is ...

(MENAFN - AFP) A US nurse who recently returned from treating Ebola patients in Africa took a bike ride early Thursday despite a state order to stay at home in quarantine.

Kaci Hickox and her boyfriend rode their bicycles away from their house in the northeastern state of Maine as a gaggle of media looked on and cameras rolled, CNN reported.

The pair were wearing bicycle ...

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