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Conservationists have fresh hope for the future of the critically endangered Irrawaddy dolphin

Threatened Cambodia river dolphins making ‘historic’ rebound

Phnom Penh (AFP) – The population of Cambodia’s critically endangered river dolphin is growing for the first time in decades, conservations said Monday, hailing a major turnaround for the freshwater species.  The Irrawaddy dolphins, known for their bulging foreheads and

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said it was important to resolve trade disputes before they impact growth

Door to US-China trade talks seems to open after IMF meeting

Washington (AFP) – The gathering of world finance ministers began with heightened anxiety about the potential damage a US-China trade war could do to the economic recovery but ended Saturday with a door open to negotiations. International Monetary Fund chief Christine

CEO Sergio P. Ermotti said UBS had "an excellent start" to 2018

Swiss bank UBS books strong first quarter

Zurich (AFP) – Swiss banking giant UBS said Monday it delivered strong first-quarter results driven largely by its investment banking and wealth management activities. UBS, which is the world’s largest Swiss banking institution, said in a statement that net profits

The sum in the mistaken transfer exeeds Deutsche's market cap

Oops…Deutsche Bank makes 28bn euro transfer in error

Frankfurt am Main (AFP) – Germany’s biggest lender Deutsche Bank on Friday admitted to a massive erroneous transfer of 28 billion euros ($34 billion) in a routine operation, more than the entire bank is worth. The unprecedented mistake happened on

Malaysia's police chief Mohamad Fuzi Harun (C) with other police officials holding computer-generated images of the suspects

Images released of suspects in Palestinian assassination

Kuala Lumpur (AFP) – Malaysian police Monday released computer-generated images of two men suspected of assassinating a Palestinian scientist in a drive-by shooting in Kuala Lumpur, as they stepped up a hunt for the pair. Fadi Mohammad al-Batsh, 35, was

The South's leader Moon Jae-in will meet Kim on Friday in the Panmunjom truce village on their shared, heavily-armed frontier

S. Korea halts border broadcasts ahead of Kim summit

Seoul (AFP) – South Korea on Monday silenced its battery of giant loudspeakers that blast messages at the North’s border soldiers, in a conciliatory gesture before Friday’s historic inter-Korean summit. Despite tentative hopes of a breakthrough over Pyongyang’s nuclear arsenal,

Sunwolves' Koo Ji-woo is tackled by Crusaders' Ethan Blackadder as a massive hailstorm rages in Christchurch

Hail, thunder and a war of words: Five Super Rugby talking points

Wellington (AFP) – A ferocious storm caused problems on and off the field in Christchurch while Australian sides suffered a blowout this weekend. Here are five talking points from week 10 of Super Rugby. – Crusaders withstand the Sun-storm –

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said increased lending capacity will help the institution address new challenges to poor countries, like climate change and refugees

World Bank shareholders approve $13 bln capital increase

Washington (AFP) – World Bank shareholders approved a “historic” increase in the bank’s lending capacity Saturday after the United States backed a reform package that curbs loans and charges more for higher income countries like China. World Bank President Jim

Gold plated souvenir Bitcoin tokens are displayed in London on November 20, 2017

Iran bans banks from using cryptocurrencies

Tehran (AFP) – Iran banned the use of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies by banks and financial institutions on Monday amid ongoing debate over how best to regulate the technology. “The use of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in all the country’s

Japan's women are showing the men the way forward

Japan’s iron ladies show struggling male footballers the way

Tokyo (AFP) – As Japan’s women return home with the Asian Cup and bold plans for world domination, their crisis-hit male counterparts have serious work to do to avoid an early World Cup exit. The Japanese “Nadeshiko” came to embody

The shared building which houses the offices of Cambridge Analytica are pictured in central London

Professor defends role in Cambridge Analytica data scandal

Washington (AFP) – The psychologist behind an app that  harvested data from 50 million Facebook users defended his role in the scandal Sunday, saying he “never heard a word” of opposition from the social media giant. Facebook says Aleksandr Kogan’s

Leading Chinese firms including e-commerce giant Alibaba are heavily criticised for gender discrimination in job adverts in a new report by Human Rights Watch

China’s ‘men only’ job culture slammed in new report

Hong Kong (AFP) – Leading Chinese firms including e-commerce giant Alibaba were heavily criticised Monday for gender discrimination in job adverts in a new report which said the landscape for the female workforce in China was deteriorating. The report by

When these universities were closed, many students gravitated to the renowned Sorbonne in Paris's ancient Latin quarter

The Sorbonne takeover that symbolised France’s May 68 unrest

Paris (AFP) – The student occupation of the venerable Sorbonne university in Paris proved a beacon in the events of May 1968 when France was gripped by unprecedented social unrest. From March students at universities around the capital had held

Palestinians demonstrate along Gaza's border with Israel as smoke rises from a field set on fire by a molotov cocktail delivered by kite from the coastal territory

Gaza Palestinian dies of Israeli gunfire wounds: ministry

Gaza City (Palestinian Territories) (AFP) – A Palestinian wounded by Israeli gunfire in the Gaza Strip has died, the Hamas-controlled territory’s health ministry said on Monday. Abdullah Shamali, 20, died overnight of “bullet wounds to his belly” sustained on Friday

Tens of thousands of Chinese tourists are believed to visit North Korea every year, with many crossing through the Chinese border city of Dandong

North Korea road accident causes ‘heavy casualties’: China

Beijing (AFP) – A road accident in North Korea has caused “heavy casualties” among Chinese tourists, the foreign ministry in Beijing said on Monday. The ministry provided few details but China’s state broadcaster CGTN earlier tweeted that more than 30

In recent years, foreign ownership of Japan's Akitas has skyrocketed, outstripping domestic demand for the fluffy, perky-eared pooches

Japan’s Akita dogs melt foreign hearts

Takasaki (Japan) (AFP) – Hollywood actor Richard Gere, French film star Alain Delon and Russia’s figure skating sensation Alina Zagitova have one thing in common: They adore Japan’s Akita dogs. And they’re not alone. In recent years, foreign ownership of

The eastern Croatian town of Vukovar was razed to the ground during a siege by Yugoslav forces in autumn 1991

The 1990s Balkans wars in key dates

Belgrade (AFP) – From the death of Tito in 1980 to the independence of Kosovo in 2008, here is a timeline of the 1990s Balkans conflicts which tore the former Yugoslavia apart. – Bickering after Tito dies – Communist Yugoslavia,

Pro-migrant groups scuffled with French law enforcement officials in the alpine standoff

France to send reinforcements to Italy border after protests

Lyon (AFP) – France’s interior minister said he would send “significant” security reinforcements to the country’s Alpine border with Italy after a weekend of protest actions by pro and anti migrant groups. Far-right groups and pro-migrant activists have turned the

People watch a public television screen showing Mexico's presidential candidate for the MORENA party, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (C) during the first presidental debate

Mexico candidates pile on leftist front-runner in debate

Mexico City (AFP) – Mexico’s presidential candidates sparred feistily on the crime and corruption racking the country in their first debate Sunday, but achieved near-unanimity on one issue: attacking the leftist front-runner, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. Most recent opinion polls give

The legendary Ritz hotel, home for a while to Ernest Hemingway, Marcel Proust and Coco Chanel, sold off some 10,000 pieces

France’s Ritz hotel smashes record with furniture sell-off

Paris (AFP) – Luxury furniture auctioned off by the legendary Ritz hotel in Paris sold for 7.3 million euros ($9 million), a world record in the industry, auction house Artcurial said Saturday.  The Paris hotel, home for a while to

US businessman and former New York major Michael Bloomberg has led nearly 1,000 business and government officials in declaring they would honor the accord despite Trump's move to pull out of the agreement

Michael Bloomberg pledges $4.5m to Paris climate deal

Washington (AFP) – Former New York City mayor and billionaire philanthropist Michael Bloomberg on Sunday promised $4.5 million to fulfill the United States’s commitment to the Paris climate agreement. “America made a commitment and as an American if the government’s

In his first American baseball season Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim is 2-1 with a 3.60 ERA with 19 strikeouts in 15 innings over three starts

Angels experiment with Ohtani as cleanup hitter

Los Angeles (AFP) – Shohei Ohtani batted one-for-four with a single in his first game as a cleanup hitter as the Los Angeles Angels lost 4-2 to the San Francisco Giants at Angel Stadium on Sunday. The two-way Japanese phenom

Khomdram Gambhir Singh was welcomed home to remote Manipur 40 years after he left, reunited with family when someone saw a YouTube video of him singing

Indian YouTube singer has tearful reunion after 40 years

Imphal (India) (AFP) – An Indian man missing for 40 years has had an emotional reunion with his family after a YouTube video of him singing a popular Bollywood song went viral. Khomdram Gambhir Singh embraced and hugged his family

Boxing used to be the most popular sport in Nigeria until the 1960s but fell out of favour for decades, in part due to lack of sponsorship. But since the start of the 2000s it has made a come-back

Boxing fights back in Nigeria after years down and out

Lagos (AFP) – When Selah Fawaz decided to organise his first boxing match in Lagos, he didn’t expect more than 500 spectators. In the end, over 800 tickets were sold and he had to turn away dozens of fans at

US President Donald Trump, right, and France's Emmanuel Macron talk regularly, have shared memorable handshakes and claim an "unbreakable" friendship

State visit set to test Macron-Trump ‘friendship’

Washington (AFP) – French President Emmanuel Macron flies into Washington Monday on a three-day state visit expected to test his much-vaunted “friendship” with US counterpart Donald Trump, as the leaders tackle deep differences over Iran and other key dossiers. In

Jake Guentzel scored four unanswered goals, including two just 10 seconds apart, as the Penguins defeated the Flyers 8-5 to reach the second round of the playoffs

Guentzel scored four goals as Penguins eliminate Flyers

Los Angeles (AFP) – Jake Guentzel scored four goals and Sidney Crosby had a goal and two assists as the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 8-5 to reach the second round of the NHL playoffs.  The two-time defending Stanley

Economists are pointing to a pickup in inflation this year after a years of weak price pressures, and the Federal Reserve poised to raise interest rates as many as three more times in 2018, a prospect which has investors on edge

Record US wage gains gnawing at corporate profits: survey

Washington (AFP) – Record increases in wages and materials costs are eating into corporate profits despite robust sales, according to a survey of business economists released Monday. The survey by the National Association for Business Economics also found companies had

A stronger-than-expected recovery in remittances  was driven by growth in Europe, Russia and the United States, the World Bank said in a report

Remittance payments hit record in 2017: World Bank

Washington (AFP) – Payments from immigrants back to their home countries rebounded to reach a new record in 2017 but the costs of transferring funds also increased, the World Bank said Monday. The stronger-than-expected recovery in remittances — payments that

Moscow's Narkomfin apartment block, a Soviet masterpiece admired around the world, is being restored after a 30-year effort by the family of its architect Moisei Ginzburg

The long haul to restore Soviet model for collective living

Moscow (AFP) – Neglected and abused, Moscow’s Narkomfin apartment block, a Soviet masterpiece admired around the world, is finally being restored to its original, pioneering state. Architect Alexey Ginzburg is leading the project and for the first time since the

Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs talks to his players from the sidelines during the first half against the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on January 11, 2018 in Los Angeles, California

Grieving Popovich will not return for Spurs’ playoff game four

Washington (AFP) – San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich will not return for Sunday’s NBA playoff game against Golden State as he continues to mourn his wife’s death, the team announced Saturday. Assistant coach Ettore Messina will guide the Spurs

Moriya Jutanugarn's win by two strokes at the LA Open meant she finally joined her sister Ariya in the winner's circle

Family affair as Thai sisters celebrate Moriya’s maiden win

Los Angeles (AFP) – Thai golfer Moriya Jutanugarn finally joined her sister Ariya in the winner’s circle, closing with a three-under 68 on Sunday to capture the LA Open. The 23-year-old Moriya’s win by two strokes means that the Bangkok

Exposing fake news before it spreads is a herculean task in India, where an estimated quarter of a billion people use social media

Online myth busters fight tide of fake news in India

New Delhi (AFP) – As grief and outrage over the rape and murder of an eight-year-old crescendoed in India last week, a wrenching video of the supposed victim singing “her last song” lit up phones across the country. But it

Elton John pictured performing in New York on January 30, 2018

Paramount announces Elton John biopic

New York (AFP) – Paramount has agreed to fund and distribute “Rocketman,” a biopic about British entertainer Elton John, a spokesman for the US studio said on Thursday. The film will star Taron Egerton (“Kingsman,” “Eddie the Eagle”), who will

DJ Petit Biscuit says he sometimes makes two or three demo recordings in a single day as music comes into his head, and is frustrated when he can't compose while on tour

Petit Biscuit finds voice, and crowds, in electronica

Indio (United States) (AFP) – He took up the cello at age five and then taught himself piano and guitar. But the DJ who calls himself Petit Biscuit found his voice when he discovered mixing software. Playing Coachella, one of

It ends here: North Korean soldiers stand just metres from their South Korean counterparts in the DMZ, one of the most tense borders on Earth

Axes, sunglasses and now a summit at Korea’s DMZ

Panmunjom (South Korea) (AFP) – In the Demilitarized Zone that has divided the two Koreas for decades, the two sides come face to face — along with the contradictory narratives that will underlie a summit at the site this week.

Markets were subdued despite North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Saturday calling a halt to nuclear tests and intercontinental missile launches

Most Asia markets fall, with tech firms hit again

Hong Kong (AFP) – Asian markets mostly fell Monday with technology firms extending last week’s sharp losses, following another plunge in Apple as investors fret over the once-lucrative smartphone sector. News Saturday that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had

Paraguay's Mario Abdo Benitez of the ruling conservative Colorado party won the vote by a narrow margin

Conservative wins Paraguay presidency with narrow victory

Asuncion (AFP) – Paraguay’s Mario Abdo Benitez, who represents the country’s long-dominant Colorado conservatives, was elected as president on Sunday, landing the top job in one of Latin America’s poorest countries. The US-educated son of a senior aide to the

On the first day of his trial, Paris Islamist attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam proclaimed that he would only put his "trust in Allah" and accused the court in Belgium of being biased against Muslims

Verdict for Paris suspect Abdeslam in Belgian trial

Brussels (AFP) – A Belgian court will give its verdict Monday on Salah Abdeslam, the last surviving suspect in the Paris Islamist attacks, over a bloody 2016 shootout with police in Brussels that led to his capture. Prosecutors asked at

Bosnian Serb wartime leader Radovan Karadzic, a former psychiatrist, has denounced his conviction as unjust and appealed on 50 grounds, accusing judges of conducting a "political trial"

Karadzic war crimes appeal opens Monday

The Hague (AFP) – UN judges Monday begin hearing the two-day appeal of once-feared Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic, fighting his conviction and 40-year jail term for war crimes and genocide in Bosnia’s bloody 1990s conflict. Karadzic, 72, was sentenced