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(MENAFN - AFP) Dark comedy "Birdman" boosted its Oscars hopes Sunday after landing the top prize at the 21st Screen Actors Guild Awards, a barometer of likely success at the all-important Academy Awards.

The film about a washed up superhero movie star attempting to revive his career on Broadway took the SAG equivalent of the Oscars best picture with victory in the outstanding ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Yasmine Mahmoud cuts a defiant figure as she weaves her bicycle through the chaotic streets of Cairo, a place where few women dare to pedal.

Every day, like for the past four years, she takes her bicycle from her 10th floor apartment and rides through the Egyptian capital, to the astonishment of bystanders.

"Unfortunately, it's socially unacceptable in ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) A committee of British lawmakers demanded a national moratorium on fracking due to environmental concerns on Monday, ahead of a crucial vote intended to boost the shale gas industry.

An inquiry by the cross-party Environmental Audit Committee, which examines the effect of government policy on the environment, found the extraction and burning of more fossil ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Japan's trade deficit swelled to a record $109 billion in 2014, data showed Monday, mostly because of huge post-Fukushima energy bills, but analysts said a recent drop in oil prices would shrink the yawning gap.

The shortfall of 12.78 trillion yen, Japan's fourth-consecutive annual deficit, was 11.4 percent wider than 2013 and was the worst since records began ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Radical left party Syriza swept to power in Greece on Sunday promising to end years of painful austerity policies, in an election victory that puts the country on a collision course with the EU and international creditors.

In a result that exceeded analysts' expectations, Syriza and its 40-year-old leader Alexis Tsipras won 149 seats in the 300-seat Greek parliament, ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) The euro briefly sank to a new 11-year low against the dollar in early Asian trade Monday after anti-austerity party Syriza swept to victory in Greece's general elections.

The single currency was trading at $1.1169 at about 0040 GMT after dipping to $1.1088 in Tokyo early morning trade, the lowest level since September 2003.

The dip comes after the euro ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Greek anti-austerity party Syriza's resounding election win on Sunday leaves the European Union caught between finding a compromise with its leader Alexis Tsipras and making concessions that will be hard to swallow for countries like Germany, analysts said.

Having won over a frustrated Greek public with fighting talk of renegotiating the country's 240-billion-euro ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Japan's trade deficit swelled to a record $109 billion in 2014, official data showed Monday, weighed down by post-Fukushima disaster energy bills.

The shortfall of 12,781 billion yen ($109 billion) was up 11.4 percent from the 2013 deficit and the worst since records began in 1979, according to the finance ministry.

In December alone, however, the deficit ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) The World Health Organization's chief on Sunday admitted the UN agency had been caught napping on Ebola and pledged reforms to avoid similar mistakes in future.

Despite turning a corner in the fight against Ebola, there was no room for complacency, WHO head Margaret Chan told a rare emergency session of the agency.

Chan acknowledged blistering criticism ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Anti-austerity party Syriza won a historic victory in Greece's election Sunday, partial results showed, setting up a confrontation with the EU over its plans to renegotiate the country's massive bailout.

The left-wing party took over 36 percent of the vote compared to 28 percent for the conservative New Democracy party of incumbent Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, ...

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