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(MENAFN - AFP) When the Spanish city of Malaga wanted to clean up its sleazy portside district, it called in the painters -- big international names in the street art movement.

In streets formerly roamed by sex workers and drug dealers, the faded 19th-century buildings now bear weird and wonderful murals by street artists from Britain, the United States and beyond.

Far ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates says the world must use the lessons from battling Ebola to prepare for any future "war" against a global killer disease, with the help of new technology.

Gates, in Berlin for a donor conference of the GAVI alliance bringing vaccines to poor countries, said the risk of a worldwide pandemic meant it was reckless not to act ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) China's yuan has become the world's fifth most widely used payments currency, with the value of cross-border deals settled in it more than doubling in 2014, data from transactions organisation SWIFT showed Wednesday.

The data comes as China looks to make the yuan used more internationally in line with its standing as the world's second-largest economy, while ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Under pressure to reduce its public deficit, Romania's government is betting on gambling to help fill its coffers, but critics warn it may lose that wager because of high tax rates.

Romania, one of the poorest of the 28 EU member states, reached an agreement last month with the International Monetary Fund to reduce its deficit by four-tenths of a point to 1.83 ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Oil prices fell in Asia Wednesday as dealers await the outcome of a US Federal Reserve meeting and the release of a US supply report expected to show a surge in crude stockpiles, analysts said.

US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for March delivery fell 70 cents to $45.53 while Brent for March eased 60 cents to $49.00 in afternoon trade.

The Fed is expected ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Asian equity markets sank on Wednesday following a heavy sell-off in New York, where a string of poor earnings reports stoked concerns about the US economy and put pressure on the dollar.

Traders are also keeping an eye on Europe as Greece's new anti-austerity government prepares to face off with its international creditors over its bailout.

Tokyo fell ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Apple's quarterly profit rocketed to a corporate record $18 billion at the end of last year on booming sales of big-screen iPhone models, especially in China.

The California tech titan also announced Tuesday that it had sold its one billionth device powered by its iOS mobile operating system, on a day of dizzying figures -- even by Apple's high standards.

And ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Girls who consume lots of sugary drinks start menstruating at a younger age, a study said Wednesday.

The findings are important because early onset of menstruation is linked to a higher risk of breast cancer in later life, the paper said, although other experts saw flaws in the probe.

Writing in the journal Human Reproduction, researchers said they had ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Have doctors, therapy and pills had their day in helping to wean people off addiction

Shopping vouchers and online social networks may be powerful, modern tools to help people quit smoking and lose weight, two unusual experiments suggested Wednesday.

Pregnant women promised vouchers were much likelier than non-rewarded peers to kick the smoking habit, ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) World Bank President Jim Yong Kim warned Tuesday that the world remains "dangerously unprepared" for deadly pandemics like the Ebola outbreak that has killed thousands in West Africa.

"The Ebola outbreak has been devastating in terms of lives lost and the loss of economic growth in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone," Kim said in a speech at Georgetown University ...

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