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(MENAFN - AFP) Italy suspended the use of a flu vaccine made by Swiss pharmaceuticals giant Novartis on Thursday amid fears it may have caused three deaths.

The Italian Pharmaceutical Agency (AIFA) banned the use of two batches of the Fluad vaccine after three people who had received it died and a fourth was taken seriously ill.

The victims were two women aged 87 and ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) HIV infections have doubled in ten years in Russia and former Soviet states, due mainly to unprotected sex and injecting drugs, a report said Thursday.

More than 105,000 new infections were recorded in Russia and former Soviet countries in eastern Europe and Central Asia in 2013, up from just under 50,000 in 2004, said the European Centre for Disease Prevention ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Malaysians have a passionate love affair with their lip-smacking cuisine -- rich curries, succulent fried chicken, buttery breads and creamy drinks -- but it is increasingly an unhealthy relationship.

Malaysia is Southeast Asia's fattest country, where a nationwide foodie culture is feeding mounting concern over what its health minister calls "an obesity epidemic."

"We ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Argentina's tax agency has charged British bank HSBC with helping more than 4,000 Argentines to commit tax evasion by stashing money in secret Swiss accounts, officials said.

The Argentine tax authority (AFIP) said on Thursday it had searched HSBC offices in Buenos Aires before moving ahead with the charges.

"We have filed a charge for tax evasion and ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said Thursday he would keep pushing OPEC to cut oil output to boost sliding crude prices after the cartel opted not to slash production -- a move backed by Caracas.

OPEC had faced pressure from several of its poor members, notably Venezuela, to reduce production quotas but the 12-nation cartel's powerful Gulf members rejected ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Japanese core consumer inflation continued to slow, increasing 2.9 percent in October year-on-year, according to data released Friday.

The figure matched the market's forecast and compared with September's reading of 3.0 percent amid worries about the nation's economic outlook.

Prices rose from year-earlier levels largely because the government raised ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Mexican telecoms magnate Carlos Slim, the world's second-richest man, will invest 650 million ($800 million) euros to become the main shareholder in Spain's big but debt-laden builder FCC, the company said Thursday.

Under the deal Slim will hold a 25.64 percent stake in the company, one of Spain's largest employers, while the just over 50 percent controlling ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) The planet's poorest nations like Ethiopia, Malawi and Angola have failed to cash in on strong economic growth due to a lack of structural reforms and left them wallowing in poverty, the UN warned.

In its annual report on the world's least developed countries, or LDCs, the UN Conference on Trade and Development said that booming economic growth in the 48 nations ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Ending months of deadlock, the World Trade Organization agreed Thursday to implement the first global trade reform agreement in its 19-year-history.

The deal means the 160-member global trade body can begin putting into action a landmark deal reached in Bali late last year to overhaul global customs procedures.

Economists have estimated the measures could ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Joaquim Levy, Brazil's new finance minister, is an economist and banking executive widely seen as pro-market, hawkish and orthodox, earning him the nickname "Scissorhands" for his steely budgetary management.

That is just the profile that leftist President Dilma Rousseff needs as she seeks to address her deep unpopularity in the business sector and return the ...

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