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(MENAFN - AFP) The former leader of conservative Catholic group Opus Dei took a step closer to sainthood on Saturday in a huge open-air mass in Madrid led by a papal envoy.

Tens of thousands gathered in the northeastern neighbourhood of Valdebeba for the beatification of Spanish bishop Alvaro del Portillo, who headed Opus Dei from 1975 until his death in 1994.

The ceremony ...

(MENAFN - AFP) The death toll in the world's worst-ever Ebola epidemic has now soared past 3,000, with the virus killing almost half of the more than 6,500 people it has infected, according to World Health Organization figures released Saturday.

In its latest update, the UN health agency said a total of 6,574 people had been infected across five west African countries and ...

(MENAFN - AFP) Senegal, which closed its border to Guinea to stave off Ebola last month, said Saturday it has now opened up a humanitarian corridor at an airport to help speed aid to stricken countries.

A plane carrying workers with the UN's World Food Programme arriving from the Guinean capital Conakry landed at the designated humanitarian air corridor on a military air ...

(MENAFN - AFP) Swiss voters were deciding Sunday whether to ditch the country's all-private health insurance system and create a state-run scheme, with polls indicating that they will reject the plan.

Going public would be a seismic shift for a country whose health system is often hailed abroad as a model of efficiency, but is a growing source of frustration at home because ...

(MENAFN - AFP) Allen Lau considers himself living proof that love of good writing is alive and well in the age of streaming video and terse text messages.

He offers as further evidence the 32 million people who each month visit online literature social network Wattpad, which he and Ivan Yuen launched eight years ago as an online venue for writers and readers to connect.

"Wattpad ...

(MENAFN - AFP) The European Central Bank will this week unveil details of its plans to inject cash into the moribund eurozone economy, even as analysts express doubt about the effectiveness of the measures.

Following its surprise rate cut last month, the ECB is not expected to announce any new policy moves at its regular monthly meeting on Thursday, held this time in the ...

(MENAFN - AFP) In a matter of days, the new social network Ello, described as the "anti-Facebook" for its stand on privacy and advertising, has become perhaps the hottest ticket on the Internet.

Created last year as a "private" social network, Ello (www.ello.co) recently opened its doors on an invitation-only basis.

Because of the limited supply and strong demand, ...

(MENAFN - AFP) Just a few years ago barely anyone had heard of wines from Ningxia in China, but today the region is producing some of the country's best vintages and it doesn't plan on stopping there.

At a gathering in Beijing last week, 50 wines from Ningxia -- a largely arid region with harsh, cold winters -- were on show and the general consensus was that the quality of ...

(MENAFN - AFP) It has been called fashion's dirty little secret but according to Miuccia Prada, soon everybody will be doing it.

Made-in-China's just fine with Prada's supremo and a host of other influential industry figures.

But for Chinese companies and designers seeking to become global style players, producing high-end clothing on home soil is complicated.

Trade ...

(MENAFN - AFP) Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff, seeking re-election next week, says she will pursue media regulation if she returns for a second term, seeking to boost pluralism without influencing editorial content, media reports said Saturday.

A media bill has been in the offing since Rousseff took office in January 2011, and she told a meeting of mainly pro-government ...

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