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(MENAFN - AFP) Fifteen-year-old schoolgirl Payali knew she was doing wrong when she scribbled mnemonics on her hands before entering one of India's thousands of examination rooms.

But like many other students, the pressure to pass her annual exams was too intense and so she used the memory prompts to cheat.

Failure would jeopardise her chances of climbing out of poverty ...

(MENAFN - AFP) Christie's auction house is hoping to set new world records with a Picasso valued at $140 million and a Giacometti worth $130 million, as New York's spring auction season kicks off Tuesday.

Pablo Picasso's colorful "The Women of Algiers (Version 0)," depicting a scene from a harem, will be up for grabs when Christie's puts it on the auction block May 11.

The ...

(MENAFN - AFP) She is a chemical engineer and he a painter turned security guard -- the Koleshevs are the hidden face of the "working poor" in Bulgaria, the EU's most impoverished country.

"Our salaries amount to about 950 leva (485 euros, $495) per month," Katia Kolesheva, 49, tells AFP in the family's one-bedroom flat in the town of Buhovo outside Sofia that they share ...

(MENAFN - AFP) Streaming television is now mainstream, although it has not caused many people to "cut the cord" for traditional pay TV. Not yet, anyway.

More than half of Americans now stream movies or television programs using the Internet, according to various surveys.

The vast majority of American households subscribe to cable or satellite services which offer "bundles" ...

(MENAFN - AFP) Russian President Vladimir Putin ratified an accord Saturday to set up a $100-billion reserve fund for the so-called BRICS -- the five leading emerging economies that include Russia, China, Brazil, India and South Africa.

Moscow is expected to contribute $18 billion to the reserve, well behind the $41 billion China has promised to pour into the fund that was ...

(MENAFN - AFP) Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis insisted Saturday that Greece would not require a new bailout from its international creditors if they would simply restructure its debt.

Athens last week resumed talks with its creditors in a bid to unblock 7.2 billion euros ($8 billion) from its EU-IMF bailout before state coffers run dry.

But analysts believe ...

(MENAFN - AFP) Prince William and his wife Kate may be modern parents but their new child is a royal and certain traditions linked to the birth have to be respected.

- Once, the home secretary would have been expected to witness births of potential heirs. Fortunately for Kate this tradition ended with the birth of the queen's cousin, Princess Alexandra, in 1936.

- ...

(MENAFN - AFP) Prince William and his wife Kate's second child, due to arrive any moment after his mother went into labour on Saturday, will be born fourth in line to inherit the British throne, behind big brother Prince George.

Everyone below the new royal baby will move down a place, starting with William's brother Prince Harry who will drop to fifth position.

The ...

(MENAFN - AFP) Alcohol has resurfaced as a hot-button issue in Algerian politics, with ultra-conservative Muslims angered by plans to liberalise sales in a country torn between respect for Islam and freedom of choice.

With deeply-conservative Salafists threatening to take to the streets, Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal in mid-April blocked a circular issued by Commerce Minister ...

(MENAFN - AFP) Foreigners who break rules on buying Australian real estate will face up to three years in jail or fines of Aus$127,500 (US$100,050) for individuals and Aus$637,500 for companies under tougher rules unveiled Saturday.

In announcing the changes, conservative Prime Minister Tony Abbott said his government was in favour of foreign investment.

"But it does ...

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