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(MENAFN - AFP) China's proposed Winter Olympics co-host boasts pristine ski slopes carpeted with artificial snow, but the city once dubbed the country's "fur capital" is also home to tens of thousands of caged rabbits and mink bred for their skins.

The Chinese bid, the favourite to win the right to host the 2022 games on Friday, combines ice sports in Beijing with skiing ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) As she eyes the colourful ice creams on offer at a Baskin-Robbins in one of Manila's most luxurious shopping centres, Philippine teenager Jamie Gamboa admits to being an incurable mall rat -- but not only for the shopping.

"It is the only place where you can just walk around without having to spend, and there are a lot of things to entertain us," said the petite ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Munich Wednesday gave its approval for plaques for individual Holocaust victims to be installed throughout the German city but upheld a ban on Europe's biggest memorial project after months of anguished debate.

The decision by the city council in the birthplace of the Nazi movement will pave the way for some Holocaust victims to be honoured with personalised ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) The World Health Organization on Wednesday hailed the fewest weekly infections for over a year in the west African Ebola epidemic, but warned they were braced for a significant new outbreak in Sierra Leone.

There were just four confirmed cases in Guinea in the week to Sunday and three in Sierra Leone, the WHO said in the latest of its weekly updates on the ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Asian markets mostly rose Thursday, tracking a second straight rally in New York, while the dollar also pushed higher after the Federal Reserve upgraded its outlook on the US economy.

With the mood on global markets a little more upbeat than at the start of the week, oil prices edged up although concerns over a supply glut are keeping a lid on rises.

Tokyo ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) The lifeblood of Venezuela's economy is oil, and the dollars it brings in. So with crude prices low, the government is taking desperate measures to get badly needed hard currency.

And analysts say it is all a recipe for disaster in the country with the world's largest proven oil reserves.

Venezuela's budget deficit has ballooned to tens of billions of ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Brazil's central bank raised its benchmark interest rate by half a point to 14.25 percent, seeking to fight inflation during a major slump in the local currency.

The bank's monetary policy committee COPOM decided in a unanimous vote to raise the Selic rate by 0.50 percentage points, the seventh consecutive raise.

The half-point bump was the largest boost ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Three of Nigeria's four refineries have resumed production and are performing at between 60 and 80 percent of their installed capacities, state-run oil firm NNPC said Wednesday.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said in a statement that the refineries -- largely moribund for several years -- have commenced preliminary production of petroleum ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) South Korean giant Samsung Electronics posted an 8.0 percent fall in second quarter net profit Thursday and promised "flexible" pricing of its new flagship smartphone after less than stellar sales contributed to a slump in its mobile unit's earnings.

The world's largest smartphone maker said net profit for the April-June period stood at 5.75 trillion won ($4.9 ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Facebook reported a dip in its quarterly profit Wednesday but said revenues surged on mobile advertising gains, as its user base neared 1.5 billion.

The world's biggest social network saw higher expenses cut into its bottom line, as it invests in new technologies and seeks to build a "family" of applications.

Net profit for shareholders dropped nine percent ...

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