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(MENAFN - AFP) Ten years after the Asian tsunami devastated Sarath Kumara's cinnamon plantation in Sri Lanka, forcing him to start over with nothing, the farmer faces a new threat from further afield.

Sri Lanka is the world's leading cinnamon supplier thanks to its centuries-old industry, whose lush, green plantations are strung along the island's southern coast where European ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) From navigating gridlocked city roads to playing a favourite national sport, new homegrown apps are blossoming in Myanmar as cheap mobile technology ignites an Internet revolution in the once-isolated nation.

Myanmar web surfers were once paradigms of patience and ingenuity as they dodged and weaved through the former military regime's communications blocks ...

 
(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 ...

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