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(MENAFN - AFP) For nearly a century Thanuan has watched history sweep through the bustling maze of alleyways that make up Bangkok's Chinatown, one of the city's few districts yet to be devoured by malls and high-rise condos.

But change is coming -- and fast.

A new metro service will soon plough straight into the heart of the historic quarter, and in the process transform ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Asia extended a global stock market sell-off Wednesday following sharp losses in New York and Europe as fresh fears over the global economy sparked a flight to safe investments.

After enjoying a healthy run of recent gains, traders have been spooked by a string of disappointing data from China to Europe and the United States that led them to question whether ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) China's central bank on Wednesday fixed the yuan currency nearly 0.60 percent weaker against the US dollar, according to the national foreign exchange market, the biggest downward move since devaluing the unit in August last year.

The People's Bank of China set the value of the yuan -- also known at the renminbi (RMB) -- at 6.4943 to $1.0, weakening 0.59 percent ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Brazil state oil giant Petrobras announced it has concluded the sale of $1.38 billion in assets in Argentina and Chile.

Petrobras sold a 67.2 percent stake in Petrobras Argentina (PESA) to Argentina's Pampa Energia SA for $892 million, and all of Petrobras Chile Distribution Ltda to private equity firm Southern Cross Group for $490 million.

The sale, ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Brazilian prosecutors filed a US$43.4 billion lawsuit against mining giants BHP Billiton and Vale over last year's Samarco mine dam burst that killed 19 and wreaked environmental havoc.

The authorities "estimate the preliminary value for repairs to be 155 billion reais," the public prosecutor's office in the state of Minas Gerais said in a statement. BHP's ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) A Brazilian court agreed to end its blockage of the smartphone messaging service WhatsApp after suspending it for failing to surrender user data, the company said.

WhatsApp, owned by Facebook, appealed against the shutdown imposed on the company on Monday for not handing over information requested in a drug trafficking investigation.

The court rejected ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) President Barack Obama is close to creating the first US national monument to the gay rights movement, in a New York City area seen as the birthplace of the struggle.

While many national monuments are distinctive places or landscapes, this would be the first national monument centered on a bar, the Stonewall Inn, plus surrounding area, in the Greenwich Village ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Medical error is the third largest cause of death in the United States, according to an analysis published Wednesday in the medical journal BMJ.

In 2013, at least 250,000 people died not from the illnesses or injuries that prompted them to seek hospital care but from preventable mistakes, according to the study.

That number exceeds deaths from strokes ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Germany is to legalise cannabis for medicinal purposes early next year, the health minister said on Tuesday.

"Our goal is that seriously ill patients are treated in the best possible way," said Hermann Groehe, who will present draft legislation to the German cabinet on Wednesday.

The draft bill comes as many parts of the world are relaxing laws on cannabis ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Canadian lawmakers were a legislative step closer Tuesday to banning genetic discrimination including in the workplace or by health insurers.

The move comes almost a decade after Britain, France, the Netherlands and the United States passed similar legislation.

The Act to Prohibit and Prevent Genetic Discrimination has already been unanimously endorsed ...

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