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(MENAFN - AFP) Japan's high-profile and telegenic industry minister on Monday resigned over claims she misused political funds, including to buy both votes and make-up, dealing a blow to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's proclaimed gender reform drive.

Yuko Obuchi -- who, as a 40-year-old woman, is a rarity in a world of Japanese politics dominated by older men -- told a press ...

(MENAFN - AFP) French and German ministers are due to meet Monday to discuss ways of boosting growth in Europe's two biggest economies, as Paris called on Berlin to step up investment.

After a massive sell-off on European stock markets last week triggered by a flurry of disappointing economic data, French Finance Minister Michel Sapin and Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron ...

(MENAFN - AFP) Acai, kimchi, black garlic and yuzu juice: countries are vying to conquer global plates, and palates, with their homegrown specialities at the International Food Fair, which opened in Paris on Sunday.

From Brazil to South Korea, 105 countries boasting 400,000 products were present at the fair, which offers a window into the future of food, from traditional ...

(MENAFN - AFP) Shares in National Commercial Bank went on sale Sunday in Saudi Arabia's largest-ever initial public offering, which at $6 billion is also one of the biggest in the world this year.

The IPO comes despite opposition from the kingdom's top religious leader and follows a difficult week on Gulf stock markets.

NCB, the last of 12 Saudi banks to go public, ...

(MENAFN - AFP) Cash-strapped France on Sunday called on Europe's economic powerhouse Germany to invest 50 billion euros more by 2018 to match the amount that Paris is planning to slash from its public spending.

The call from France's Finance Minister Michel Sapin and Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron came on the eve of their visit to Berlin, where they are due to hold talks ...

(MENAFN - AFP) France on Saturday won the world blind wine-tasting competition for teams, unseating reigning champion Belgium.

The annual event, launched last year, was held in the eastern French town of Ay and drew four-member teams from 18 countries, including Spain, China, Russia and Argentina.

The teams, blind-tasting fine wines from around the world, had to identify ...

(MENAFN - AFP) Liberia's president has made an impassioned plea for all nations to commit to the fight against Ebola ahead of a meeting by EU foreign ministers Monday, under pressure to scale up their response to the escalating epidemic.

Nobel laureate Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said a generation of Africans were at risk of "being lost to economic catastrophe" because of the epidemic, ...

(MENAFN - AFP) Canada will start sending more than 1,000 doses of an experimental Ebola vaccine to Switzerland this week as part of the global fight against the deadly virus, a Geneva hospital said Sunday.

Trials of the vaccine on humans are expected to begin in Switzerland at the end of October or early next month, it said.

"The Canadian government has said it will ...

(MENAFN - AFP) A leading German pilots' union has called a new 35-hour walkout at Lufthansa starting Monday in an ongoing dispute over retirement benefits after a weekend of train strikes.

The stoppage will target some passenger flights across Germany from Monday at 1100 GMT until just before midnight on Tuesday, the Vereinigung Cockpit union said in a statement.

Travellers ...

(MENAFN - AFP) Brad Pitt's new war movie "Fury" slayed at the North American box office, knocking down "Gone Girl" to debut in first place, industry estimates showed Sunday.

The gory World War II film, which has already been turned into a video game, earned $23.5 million in its opening weekend, according to box office tracker Exhibitor Relations.

"Gone Girl," starring ...

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