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(MENAFN - AFP) Hyenas howl and feast on flesh every night outside the ancient walls of Harar - one of Islam's holiest cities that is holding out against the pressures of the modern world.

But change is coming, and campaigners are working hard to preserve the gated Ethiopian city's unique history, cultural and religious traditions.

Inside the thick stone walls modern ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) As he pinned his opponent down and punched him repeatedly in the head, Yao "The Master" Honggang was –- like other emerging Chinese mixed martial arts fighters -– beating his way out of rural poverty.

Yao was once a national wrestling champion, but switched to the uncompromising discipline of mixed martial arts (MMA) a decade ago, when it was barely known ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Scientist Richard Dawkins apologised on Thursday for causing a "feeding frenzy" on Twitter after he said it would be immoral not to abort a foetus with Down's Syndrome.

Dawkins, who has been at the centre of a series of controversies on social media, responded to a user who said they would face a "real ethical dilemma" if they discovered they were expecting ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) A New York city councilman wants to ban toys in fast-food restaurant kid meals that do not meet strict dietary guidelines.

Democrat Ben Kallos introduced a bill Thursday that would ban the toys from a child's meal if the food serving contains more than 500 calories and more than 600 milligrams of sodium.

The measure would also encourage including one ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Women who eat instant noodles, like Ramen, at least two times a week face a greater risk of high blood pressure, elevated blood sugar and high cholesterol, US researchers said Thursday.

The study looked at data from 10,711 adults - just over half of whom were women - in the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

Researchers at Harvard ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) The United Nations' new pointman on Ebola said Friday he was preparing for a possible flareup of the epidemic in West Africa.

"We're either close to a plateau, but then we'll drop, or we're in a phase, an inflection point, where it is going to increase, and I absolutely cannot tell," David Nabarro told AFP during a stopover at Conakry airport en route to Monrovia. ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Irish authorities are testing a "suspected case of Ebola virus" after a person who travelled to an affected area in Africa was found dead, the health service said on Thursday.

"The public health department was made aware earlier today of the remains of an individual, discovered early this morning, who had recently travelled to the one of the areas in Africa ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Senegal has become the latest country to seal its border with a west African neighbour to ward off the deadly Ebola virus, as the new UN pointman on the epidemic said preparations must be made for a possible flare-up of the disease.

Senegal's decision to close its land border with Guinea, announced by the interior ministry Thursday, is part of intensifying ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Spark, New Zealand's largest telecommunications company, posted a 93.3 percent rise in annual net profit on Friday, with one-off items preventing the carrier slipping into negative territory.

The company, which changed its name from Telecom Corp. earlier this month, said net profit for the 12 months to the end of June was NZ$460 million ($386 million).

However, ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) North Sea oil has been at the centre of fierce debate over Scotland's future ahead of an independence vote next month, with both sides wrangling over the outlook for the region's treasure trove of black gold.

Around 42 billion barrels of oil and gas have been extracted from the North Sea since the early 1970s, providing a welcome boost to the British government's ...

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