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(MENAFN - AFP) Liberia announced Wednesday it was shutting all schools and placing "non-essential" government workers on 30 days' leave in a bid to halt the spread of the deadly Ebola epidemic raging in west Africa.

The impoverished country, along with neighbouring Guinea and Sierra Leone, is struggling to contain an epidemic that has infected 1,200 people and left 672 dead ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Shares in Nintendo fell more than six percent in early trade Thursday after the Japanese videogame giant announced it was still mired in the red.

Nintendo shares dropped 6.29 percent to 11,550.0 yen soon after the Tokyo stock market opened.

The company said late Wednesday that it incurred a $97 million quarterly net loss, with higher costs tied to sales ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Stricken Portuguese bank Banco Espirito Santo announced on Wednesday historic losses of 3.57 billion euros ($4.78 billion) in the first half of the year due to exposure to the debts of its holding company.

The result, the largest ever loss of any bank in Portugal, had been widely anticipated by investors worried about the impact of the financial woes of BES's ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) A US judge Wednesday ordered Bank of America to pay a $1.3 billion penalty for selling bad loans to mortgage finance firms Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac amid the housing crisis.

The penalty comes after a New York jury in October 2013 found that Bank of America and Countrywide defrauded the two US mortgage giants in a lending program in 2007. Bank of America bought ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Microsoft on Wednesday unveiled its Xbox game console in China, the first to enter the market after an official ban 14 years ago, even as it faces a Chinese government probe over business practices.

China's State Administration for Industry and Commerce said Tuesday it was investigating the US technology firm for "monopoly actions" related to its flagship Windows ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) The EU on Wednesday imposed an asset freeze and travel ban against two close associates of President Vladimir Putin who are leading shareholders in a bank catering to senior Russian officials.

The EU's Official Journal listed eight people and three firms immediately hit by the sanctions due to their alleged involvement directly or indirectly in the crisis in ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Moscow dismisses Western sanctions as mostly bark, but analysts warned the latest measures announced by the EU and US will also bite the Russian economy, which is teetering on the edge of recession.

Washington and Brussels announced on Tuesday the strongest sanctions on Russia since the Cold War over Moscow's annexation of Crimea and support for separatists ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Spain's economic growth picked up in the second quarter, official data showed Wednesday, but consumer prices fell in July in a sign that consumer demand remains weak.

The Spanish economy expanded by a better-than-expected 0.6 percent, up from growth of 0.4 percent in the first quarter, according to preliminary figures from the National Statistics Institute.

The ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) A senior Turkish minister who caused an outcry by suggesting women should not laugh loudly in public sparked a new controversy on Wednesday by attacking those who he said could not resist pole dancing.

Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc, a co-founder of the ruling Islamic-rooted Justice and Development Party (AKP), has strongly criticised in recent days what ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) With only 24 hours to go, Jean-Claude Juncker, president-designate of the next European Commission, is still very short of female candidates for his 28-member team.

In fact, instead of nine or even 10 female faces to provide minimal gender balance, so far only one of the European Union's 28 nations has put up a woman candidate for a post.

She is Czech ...

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