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(MENAFN - AFP) Canada posted its first budget surplus since the global economic downturn on Tuesday, lifting the re-election hopes of Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Tories in six months.

Despite the recent oil price plunge's drag on the government revenues of this major energy exporting nation, Ottawa projected a Can$1.4 billion (US$1.1 billion) surplus in fiscal 2015-2016.

That ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) In a dense thicket in the middle of the impoverished Indian Ocean archipelago of the Comoros, Ibrahim Bacar is plucking tiny ylang ylang flowers.

The barely visible yellow blossoms with an intoxicating aroma contain the oil that provides the distinctive scent in Chanel N°5, one of the world's best-selling fragrances.

Ylang ylang is also a key ingredient ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) The Japanese government's push to return to nuclear power won a boost on Wednesday after a court rejected a bid to block the restart of two reactors deemed safe by regulators.

The district court in southern Kagoshima prefecture turned down the challenge by local residents who wanted to halt the refiring of the No. 1 and No. 2 reactors at the Sendai nuclear ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) US regulators assessing homeopathic treatments' safety and efficacy could overhaul rules of the multi-billion-dollar industry, they said.

Two days of public hearings wrapped up Tuesday to help determine if current regulations are still relevant for the industry that has seen "explosive growth" in the last 25 years, the Food and Drug Administration said in a ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Japanese shares hit a 15-year high on Wednesday after the country recorded its first trade surplus in three years, while the euro weakened on growing concerns that Greece will not reach a bailout reform deal with its creditors.

With few catalysts to spur business in Asia, other markets were mostly higher despite a broadly negative lead from Wall Street.

Tokyo ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Miami Beach's condo boom is bubbling hot, with glass towers being built as fast as they can be -- even as scientists say rising seas could swamp much of the storied city by the century's end.

City officials are betting that a property boom-fueled surge in real estate tax dollars will bankroll big investments in fighting effects of climate change.

Many ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Japan on Wednesday posted its first trade surplus in almost three years as exports to North America soared and energy bills fell, giving an important psychological boost to Tokyo's bid to revive the flagging economy.

Finance ministry data showed exports rose 8.5 percent while imports fell 14.5 percent, leaving a surplus of 229.3 billion yen ($1.9 billion), ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Self-driving vehicles hold the key to reducing traffic fatalities and will transform the automobile industry, a top Google executive predicted Tuesday.

Ray Kurzweil, an leading expert in artificial intelligence who joined Google in 2012, told the annual conference of the Society of Automotive Engineers that the rapidly declining cost of computing power and ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) US stocks were mixed in early trade Tuesday, but pharmaceutical companies were boosted as Israel's Teva announced a $40.1 billion cash-and-stock bid for generic drug maker Mylan.

An hour into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 43.95 points (0.24 percent) at 17,990.98.

The broad-based S&P 500 slipped 0.34 point (0.02 percent) to 2,100.06.

But ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Hotel reservation website Booking.com has agreed to allow hoteliers in France, Italy and Sweden to charge cheaper prices elsewhere after a spate of legal challenges, the French competition authority said Tuesday.

Up to now, Booking.com has prevented hotels who use its service from charging cheaper rates on alternative sites, or to customers who book in person ...

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