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(MENAFN - AFP) The EU will unveil Wednesday plans to give it power to examine energy contracts that European states sign with countries outside the bloc, amid concerns about Europe's dependence on Russian gas.

Brussels is aiming to beef up its legal arsenal one year after launching a landmark "energy union" strategy to secure supplies for the 28-nation EU against a backdrop ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi reported a healthy rise in profits on Tuesday thanks to the strong dollar, benefitting from a foreign exchange windfall.

Sanofis' net profit for 2015 came in at 7.4 billion euros ($8.3 billion), up 7.7 percent from the previous year.

Much of Sanofi's earnings are in dollars, resulting in higher profits when converted ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Stocks worldwide resumed their downward slide Tuesday a day after a massive sell-off as investors failed to shake off dogged fears over economic weakness, banking woes and a gloomy oil price outlook.

European indices were in the red in mid-afternoon trading having failed at earlier attempts to find some support in the wake of sharp losses on global exchanges ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Oil prices may have rebounded off 12-year lows struck last month, but any hope for a broader recovery in the market would be misplaced, the IEA said Tuesday, noting OPEC is responsible for the latest glut of supplies on the market.

The International Energy Agency said in its monthly report that "it is very hard to see how oil prices can rise significantly in ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) An unexpected drop in German industrial production in December, as well as a decline in exports, cast a shadow over the outlook for Europe's biggest economy, analysts said on Tuesday.

According to regular data compiled by the economy ministry, industrial output fell by 1.2 percent in December, disappointing analysts' expectations for a modest increase.

Factory ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Snow blankets a vineyard deep in France's Beaujolais region, where a select group of future top chefs from Japan are busy learning the secrets of French cuisine in the kitchens of an elegant chateau.

Shouts of "Oui, chef!" punctuate the morning as the Tsuji school's lead teacher Aime Nallet instructs his students in the fine points of smoking Charolais steaks ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) New Hampshire may conjure up images of pristine winter skiing, crystal-clear lakes and summer hiking, but scratch the surface and there is a deadly war at the heart of the US presidential campaign.

A heroin epidemic is ensnaring thousands of people -- young and old, rich and poor -- and overdoses are rising exponentially in the small state which votes Tuesday ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Germany clocked up its highest-ever trade surplus in 2015 as both exports and imports powered ahead to new records, official data showed on Tuesday.

German exports jumped by 6.4 percent to 1.196 trillion euros ($1.3 trillion) in the whole of 2015 and imports advanced by 4.2 percent to 948 billion euros, the federal statistics office calculated.

That ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Deutsche Bank, Germany's biggest lender, has felt compelled to reassure investors that it has sufficient cash to pay its riskiest debts, as banking shares around the world take a hammering on slowdown fears.

In a short statement late Monday, the bank -- whose shares have plummeted by nearly 40 percent since the beginning of the year -- said that it has more-than-sufficient ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Surrounded by jaw-dropping costumes, barely there gold bikinis, and thousands of hip-shaking dancers, the one thing you don't expect at Rio's Carnival is a man with a T-shirt emblazoned: "Discipline."

But out of the limelight, the dazzle, the sumptuous floats and eroticized dance routines, the likes of Paulo Roberto are the reason why Carnival has all the efficiency ...

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