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(MENAFN - AFP) Around 13 million pupils in OECD countries have failed to attain a sufficient level of proficiency in either reading, maths or science by the time they reach 15, according to a new study released by the think-tank on Wednesday.

The figure equates to more than one in four of 15-year-olds in the 64 countries and economies that took part in the 2012 PISA study, ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Some visitors may be steering clear of the world's top tourist destination after terror attacks in the French capital, but for lovers, shoppers and gourmands who dare to go, Paris will always be Paris.

Quaint Parisian streets have been a little quieter and lines outside the Louvre museum or under the Eiffel Towel a little shorter since a November jihadist attack ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) The world's tourism map is being redrawn at lightning speed as holidaymakers switch preferences prompted by terror attacks, epidemics and migrant crises.

Jihadist attacks on tourists in Tunisia last year and the October 31 crash of a Russian plane which took off from its Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh have devastated the tourism sectors in both ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Los Angeles, sometimes called the homeless capital of America, adopted a $1.87 billion plan Tuesday to help its 44,000 down-and-out people without homes.

The 10-year plan adopted by the city council, with the ambitious goal of ending LA's growing homelessness, includes hiring social workers, offering quality housing and building permanent housing.

In ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Two weeks after baptizing her at a Catholic church, baby Adriana's parents put her in a white gown again for a second sacrament: This time, with Mexico's skeletal "Death Saint."

As they held the sleepy three-month-old child, a priestess sprinkled holy water infused with rose petals on her in front of 300 people under a 22-meter (72-foot) statue of the Grim ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) The sounds of Latin song echoed through the halls of Hampton Court Palace in London for the first Catholic service in more than 450 years to be held in anti-papal King Henry VIII's residence.

Cardinal Vincent Nichols, head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, celebrated the Vespers prayer together with Anglican Bishop of London Richard Chartres in a ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Billions of online money transfers have taken place in China as the ancient Lunar New Year tradition of handing out red envelopes of cash met the Internet age.

For centuries parents, relatives and employers have handed out "hong bao" -- small gifts of money -- to children or menial workers to celebrate the dawn of the new year.

But in increasingly tech-savvy ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) "It's like travelling in a time capsule," enthused Jimi Hendrix's former girlfriend, marvelling at their old London flat which has been painstakingly recreated to look exactly the way he left it in the swinging Sixties.

The apartment where Hendrix and Kathy Etchingham lived between 1968 and 1969, which opens to the public on Wednesday, reveals the ordered domestic ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Thousands of junior doctors began a second strike at English hospitals on Wednesday against proposed new working conditions and pay rates.

Talks between the Department of Health and the British Medical Association doctors' trade union have reached an impasse over weekend pay rates.

Junior doctors -- all medics below consultant level -- were providing ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) US Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said Wednesday that China's unclear policy over its yuan currency was stoking turbulence in global markets and exacerbating global economic growth concerns.

The yuan's recent declines "have intensified uncertainty about China's exchange rate policy and the prospects for its economy," she said in testimony to Congress.

"This ...

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