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(MENAFN - AFP) What on earth could be funny about contemplating suicide Or suffering from bipolar disorder or OCD

Lots, says American comedian Maria Bamford, who's been there, is still fighting and draws on her ordeal to make people laugh.

Part of her mission is to break taboos and test limits as she pokes fun at her experience with problems normally discussed in whispers ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) New Zealand said Tuesday it will introduce plain packaging on tobacco products, joining a growing list of countries planning similar measures despite the threat of legal action from the industry.

The move, which coincides with World No Tobacco Day, means cigarettes must be sold in drab boxes plastered with health warnings and gruesome pictures of smoking-related ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) China's economics students are being "brainwashed by Western theories" and need to read more Marx, Chinese professors said in a letter to the education ministry, amid a widening crackdown on foreign ideas.

As the world's number two economy faces a slowdown and struggles to adopt much-needed reforms, economics students at Chinese universities should study a ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) The government of Brazil's acting president Michel Temer took a fresh hit on Monday as the anti-corruption minister resigned after a recording revealed him criticizing a probe into graft at state oil giant Petrobras, officials said.

Fabiano Silveira was the second minister to exit in the span of a week from Temer's government, which has only been in power for ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Asian stocks mostly gained on Tuesday and the dollar eased, as traders weighed the fallout from a likely US interest rate rise this summer.

Shares in Shanghai surged, while Hong Kong, Tokyo and Seoul rose in opening deals, but trade was muted after Wall Street and London equity markets were closed for public holidays.

Tokyo led Asian stocks higher on ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Canada is considering allowing the irradiation of raw ground beef in order to kill E. coli, salmonella and other dangerous bacteria, according to the health ministry.

The proposal will likely be announced in June, or at the latest by year's end, followed by a public consultation, spokeswoman Maryse Durette told AFP.

The idea was first hatched in the late ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Julio Ribas suffers from high blood pressure. If only Venezuela's currency were as high, he might be able to afford some medicine for it.

Venezuela is short of drugs, and to buy some from abroad, Ribas needs dollars -- but those are in desperately short supply too.

Ribas is just one of the countless casual victims of the economic crisis in Venezuela, ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) The battle for power at media group Viacom is heating up, with six independent investors vowing to fight any attempt to oust them.

At stake is the future of the $40 billion broadcast entertainment business that controls hit names like MTV, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central, as well as Hollywood giant Paramount Pictures.

Billionaire Sumner Redstone has fired ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Argentine President Mauricio Macri, who has been swept up in the Panama Papers controversy over offshore assets, said Monday he would repatriate the funds from his account in the Bahamas.

The conservative president came under fire when his name emerged in the leak of millions of documents last month from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, showing he was on ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Shipping traffic through the Panama Canal is "normal," despite the collapse of a wall segment of one of its locks over the weekend, Panama Canal Authority officials said.

Sunday's incident occurred just four weeks before Panama is to inaugurate a costly and lengthy expansion of the century-old canal with a mediatized ceremony.

But the ACP noted that the ...

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