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(MENAFN - AFP) Tolkien fantasy epic "The Hobbit" enjoyed a second week at the top of the North American box office, comfortably beating out newcomers "Unbroken" and "Into the Woods," according to industry estimates Sunday.

"The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies" is the last of six films adapted from J.R.R Tolkien's books, directed by Oscar-winning heavyweight Peter Jackson. ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Europe's economy is not doing as badly as some people think, Germany's central bank chief Jens Weidmann said Sunday as he gave an upbeat prediction for Germany, its biggest component.

On Germany's outlook for 2015, he said: "As things are right now, and if oil prices stay this low, inflation will be lower than expected, but growth will also be better."

The ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Ukraine on Sunday shut down one of the six reactors in its most powerful nuclear power plant for the second time in a month due to an apparent electrical malfunction.

The Zaporizhia Nuclear Power Plant said on its website that radiation levels in the area remained normal and that the station's other five reactors continued to operate without any problems.

It ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Sony's PlayStation reported that its network was back online and claimed that it had been attacked, three days after it and Microsoft's Xbox went down in an outage.

An allegedly coordinated Christmas day hack brought down the gaming consoles, both hot gifts for the holiday season, although Xbox has been working at near full capacity since Friday.

"PlayStation ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Ireland's high court ruled doctors can withdraw life support for a clinically dead pregnant woman on Friday, in the latest case to trigger heated debate on the country's stringent abortion laws.

Despite requests from the woman's family for her to be allowed to die, doctors continued life support as the Irish constitution says a woman and her unborn child have ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Europe will be "vulnerable" if it does not regard viruses as a "national security issue" like the United States, the microbiologist who discovered Ebola said in an interview published Friday.

"It's time the UK and Europe had a well-trained corps of people who are globally experienced and deployable," Peter Piot told the British daily The Independent.

"We ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Their international competitors may be cheering tumbling oil prices, but the collapse in the ruble has meant major financial turbulence for Russian airlines who have expenses in foreign currencies.

The ruble has slumped by 40 percent this year against the dollar and euro, mostly due to crude oil prices falling by half in the past six months as Russia's economy ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Toiling 12 hours a day in a Malaysian electronics factory amid broken promises on wages and working conditions, Manu dreams of returning to his poor Nepal village but is restrained by invisible shackles.

His passport has been illegally confiscated by his employers at the Japanese-owned plant on Kuala Lumpur's gritty outskirts, and he is struggling to pay off ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) The Greek public doesn't want a new adventure, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras warned Saturday as he sought to stave off a snap election by urging lawmakers to choose a new president in a third and final round of voting.

"The Greek people don't want early elections. The Greek people understand where this adventure could lead," Samaras said in an interview on ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) India's central bank chief lashed out at Uber, already under fire over the alleged rape of a passenger, saying the US taxi-hailing firm violated the country's financial regulations by using an overseas payment system.

A row over the highly valued start-up's financial transactions erupted in India earlier this year after domestic taxi firms complained Uber was ...

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