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(MENAFN - AFP) Gulf countries are bracing for tough times as vital oil revenues fall and after they missed a golden opportunity to diversify their economies in a decade of unprecedented windfalls, analysts say.

The six nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) -- Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates -- could soon start reeling from falling ...

(MENAFN - AFP) US stocks edged higher in early trade Friday as the market sought to keep alive a winning streak since Wednesday that has recovered most of December's losses.

About 30 minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average stood at 17,791.26, up 13.11 points (0.07 percent).

The broad-based S&P 500 added 5.32 (0.26 percent) at 2,065.55, while the tech-rich ...

(MENAFN - AFP) Major grain exporters in Russia, a top supplier to the world market, have stopped buying stocks from Russian farmers in the hope that it would squelch a surge in the domestic price of wheat due to a plunge in the ruble.

It is the latest in a series of developments that analysts have interpreted as government attempts to slow wheat exports without resorting ...

(MENAFN - AFP) The plight of an eight-year-old Chinese boy with HIV, reportedly ordered to leave his village by 200 petitioners, sparked intense online soul-searching Thursday in a country where discrimination against sufferers remains rife.

The boy's guardian, his grandfather, was among those in southwestern Sichuan province who signed an agreement to expel the child to ...

(MENAFN - AFP) When John Jairo, a meticulous night watchman, lost his job for leaving all of his employer's doors open, his family knew they were hit by the "Yarumal curse."

Yarumal, a Colombian village perched in the Andes Mountains, has a high incidence of a genetic mutation that predisposes its population to Alzheimer's -- a bleak heritage that scientists now hope could ...

(MENAFN - AFP) Shareholders approved Friday the 12.4-billion-euro ($15.2-billion) sale of Alstom's energy assets to US group General Electric by which the French company will refocus on high speed trains.

"It is the best solution for the future of Alstom," chief executive Patrick Kron said at the meeting marked by sharp exchanges, saying the company had lost sufficient scale ...

(MENAFN - AFP) Belarussians on Friday reacted with panic to the Russian ruble's plunge, rushing to buy foreign notes as they fear a devaluation of their own currency.

The run on the Belarussian ruble forced the central bank to announce a "temporary" tax of 30 percent on all purchases of foreign currency.

The bank also required all exporters to convert half of their ...

(MENAFN - AFP) European stocks steadied on Friday following sharp gains the previous day, while oil futures rose slightly after sharp falls amid huge volatility across global markets ahead of the festive shutdown.

Around midday in the British capital, London's FTSE 100 index of leading shares climbed 0.41 percent to stand at 6,492.63 points compared with Thursday's close.

Frankfurt's ...

(MENAFN - AFP) The European Union's highest court ruled Thursday that obesity can be considered a "disability" if it hinders an overweight person's performance at work.

The European Court of Justice had been asked by a Danish court to consider the case of a child minder in Denmark who said he was fired four years ago because he is obese.

The employee, Karsten Kaltoft, ...

(MENAFN - AFP) A long-running legal tussle between Austria and Bavaria took a new twist Friday as Vienna sued the southern German region's state bank for 3.5 billion euros ($4.3 billion).

"Today is no day for jokes," Austrian Foreign Minister Hans Joerg Schelling told reporters in Vienna. "We have studied all the alternatives for months. We owe it to the taxpayers."

The ...

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