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(MENAFN - AFP) BP said on Tuesday that net profits surged 65 percent in the second quarter, boosted by high oil prices, but warned that more economic sanctions against Russia could hit performance.

Earnings after taxation rallied to $3.369 billion (2.508 billion euros) in the three months to June, compared with $2.042 billion a year earlier, BP said in a results statement.

The ...

(MENAFN - AFP) A Chinese probe into Microsoft is probably targeting its "monopoly" of the country's operating systems market, state media said Tuesday, after the US software giant became the latest foreign firm under Beijing's scrutiny.

Microsoft confirmed in a statement late Monday that it was under investigation in China, without disclosing details.

"We aim to build ...

(MENAFN - AFP) Slovenia's outgoing government resumed the privatisation of state-owned companies it had suspended earlier this month, Prime Minister Alenka Bratusek's cabinet said in a statement late on Monday.

Ahead of the July 13 elections, Bratusek froze the ongoing privatisation of 15 state-owned companies, including telecommunication operator Telekom and Ljubljana's ...

(MENAFN - AFP) Where does Peking Duck come from It is a trick question: the dish named for China's capital has its origins in Nanjing, hundreds of kilometres to the south.

The tidbit is one of the revelations in a museum opened earlier this month to mark the 150th anniversary of the Quanjude restaurant, now the seven-storey flagship of a chain with franchises as far away ...

(MENAFN - AFP) It's one of the poorest suburb towns in France, riddled with unemployment, drugs and violence. But more than a century ago, Sevran was a peaceful, leafy village where Alfred Nobel once tested explosives.

The Swedish inventor of dynamite who is best known for the prizes that bear his name worked in the town northeast of Paris at the end of the 19th century, ...

(MENAFN - AFP) Mining magnate Gina Rinehart said Tuesday that high costs were hurting resources investment in Australia, as a study found that only the country's agriculture sector was strongly competitive compared with the United States.

Rinehart, Australia's richest person, said the resources-rich nation needed to "lower its costs and compete for investment" if it wanted ...

(MENAFN - AFP) An international court ordered Russia on Monday to pay Yukos shareholders a record $50 billion compensation over its seizure of the defunct oil giant, a new blow for Moscow on top of sanctions over the Ukraine crisis.

Russia swiftly vowed to contest the ruling by the arbitration court in The Hague, saying it had no jurisdiction over the fate of the company ...

(MENAFN - AFP) A German chemistry professor started on Monday a gruelling four-week solo swim down the Rhine river for the benefit of science and the environment.

Self-confessed "mad professor" Andreas Fath, who set off on his 1,231-kilometre (764-mile) adventure with a splash into Switzerland's Lake Toma, plans to swim through Germany and France to reach the river's mouth ...

28 Jul 2014   Spanish royal yacht to be sold 
(MENAFN - AFP) A luxury yacht given to Spain's former king Juan Carlos, who abdicated last month, will be sold for 2.2 million euros ($3.0 million) to a shipping company, in a move to cut costs, officials said Monday.

The 41.5-metre (136-foot) yacht Fortuna was donated to the monarch in 2000 by a business group in the Balearic Islands which hoped the royals presence in the ...

(MENAFN - AFP) A federal appeals court has struck down Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage, in a landmark victory for the gay rights movement in the United States.

The Fourth US Circuit Court of Appeals in the state capital Richmond said the ban violated the US Constitution's guarantee of equal protection under the law by infringing on the right to wed.

"The choice ...

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