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(MENAFN - AFP) A Beijing court Friday ordered a psychological clinic to pay compensation to a homosexual man for administering electric shocks in an attempt to make him heterosexual, an unprecedented ruling on so-called conversion therapy.

The plaintiff, a gay man named Yang Teng, said he felt traumatised when he received the shocks after being told to have sexual thoughts ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Japan's second-largest oil distributor Idemitsu Kosan is planning to acquire its smaller rival Shell Sekiyu in a deal worth an estimated $4.18 billion, a report said Saturday.

The deal, which would create a firm controlling nearly one third of the domestic market, would see Showa Shell's largest shareholder, Anglo-Dutch oil major Royal Dutch Shell, selling ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) The devastating cyberattack on Sony Pictures could see the Hollywood studio lose hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue and incur massive recovery costs, experts say.

The cancellation of "The Interview," which President Barack Obama called a "mistake," has significantly escalated the potential losses of last month's hack, Hemanshu Nigam of the SSP Blue ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) A researcher embroiled in a fabrication scandal that has rocked Japan's scientific establishment said Friday she would resign after failing to reproduce results of what was once billed as a ground-breaking study on stem cells.

Haruko Obokata said she was dismayed that new laboratory tests have not been able to repeat her experiments, which she had claimed showed ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) A Nigerian UN peacekeeper infected with Ebola and brought to the Netherlands for treatment has been cured, the Dutch authorities said on Friday.

"The Nigerian patient who was admitted on December 6 has been cured of Ebola," the Dutch public health institute RIVM said in a statement.

The soldier was infected while working as a peacekeeper battling the ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Mozambique has passed a law permitting women to terminate unwanted pregnancies under specified conditions, a move hailed by activists in a country where clandestine abortions account for a large number of maternal deaths.

President Armando Guebuza on Thursday quietly signed into law a revised penal code bill that eases prohibitions in abortion regulations.

The ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) UN chief Ban Ki-moon on Friday pledged support for Ebola-ravaged countries seeking to end the world's worst outbreak of the virus and rebuild their health systems as he began a tour of the three hardest-hit nations.

With the UN having faced criticism for an allegedly slow response to the virus, Ban started the tour in Liberia, the worst-hit country, after flying ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) US stocks went from famine to feast this week, starting out fearful of crashing oil prices and finishing it smiling at a "Santa Claus rally."

The turnaround came Wednesday, the first of three buoyant sessions that by week's end left the S&P 500 in positive territory for December.

"This week was remarkable as far as the velocity of the market's move," ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Sony Pictures still hopes to release "The Interview" in some format, despite having canceled its theatrical release, the Hollywood studio said Friday.

It made the pledge shortly after US President Barack Obama accused Sony of making a "mistake" by canceling the movie's December 25 release date in the face of a massive cyber-attack blamed on North Korea.

After ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Fitch Ratings upgraded Egypt's credit rating one rank to "B" with a "stable" outlook Friday, saying the authorities seemed committed to major reforms.

"Fuel subsidy cuts and tax hikes have been implemented as part of a clear five-year fiscal consolidation strategy," Fitch said in upgrading Egypt from a "B-" rating.

"Power shortages are being tackled, ...

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