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(MENAFN - AFP) Half of Sri Lanka's public procurement contracts are tainted by bribery and corruption, President Maithripala Sirisena said Friday, nearly two years after he came to power promising to tackle government graft.

The president, who has ordered investigations into alleged widespread corruption under his predecessor, said he could not name names because those exposed ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) European stock markets squeezed out further gains on Friday after a strong trading week for the region that saw the main Paris index hit one-year highs.

Around 1115 GMT, London's benchmark FTSE 100 index climbed 0.2 percent compared with Thursday's close.

In the eurozone, the Paris CAC 40 rose 0.4 percent, while Frankfurt's DAX 30 was flat.

"Yesterday's ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Europe's largest economy Germany is "on a sound upward path" for faster-than-expected growth in 2016 and 2017, its central bank said Friday, but remains at risk from Donald Trump and Brexit.

Germany's "main driver is buoyant domestic demand, which is being bolstered by the favourable situation in the labour market and by rising household income," Bundesbank ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) China is to halve the cash machine limit for certain cardholders visiting the gambling enclave of Macau, in its latest effort to curb massive capital outflows caused by the falling yuan, Hong Kong media reported Friday.

From Saturday, punters using the UnionPay system -- around half of those visiting the city from the mainland -- will only be able to get 5,000 ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) The estimated cost of dealing with the 2011 Fukushima nuclear crisis has doubled to nearly $190 billion, the government said Friday, underlining the challenge Japan faces in overcoming the world's worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.

Tokyo said it expects the total costs -- including compensation, decommissioning and decontamination -- to reach 21.5 trillion ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Japanese stocks rose again Friday as a weaker yen provided further support to exporters, while the euro struggled to recover after the European Central Bank extended its stimulus package.

Hong Kong-listed casino operators plunged after a report said officials had halved the amount of cash gamblers can withdraw from ATMs in the gaming city of Macau, as China ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) India's only surviving opera house has been restored to its colonial-era glory, reopening to the public more than two decades after it closed in disrepair.

Once the place to be seen for Mumbai's great and good it was forced to close in the 1990s after years of financial struggles.

But a painstaking seven-year project has transformed the century-old ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) France's central bank trimmed its growth forecasts for 2016 and 2017 on Friday, citing a deterioration in the global economy and Britain's decision to leave the European Union.

The Bank of France revised its 2016 and 2017 growth forecast down to 1.3 percent, having previously expected growth of 1.4 percent this year and 1.5 percent next year.

It also ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) On her wedding day Yusra Fitriani wept as she laid a ceremonial rose-printed cloth over her bridal bed, the happiest day of her life turned to tragedy in a flash.

Instead of saying her wedding vows the young bride was grieving, her groom-to-be and seven members of his family crushed to death as they slept after a violent earthquake struck Aceh in Indonesia's ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Separated from his mother shortly after birth, Manno the chimpanzee was smuggled to Iraq and spent his days smoking cigarettes handed to him by amused zoo visitors and posing for pictures.

The four-year-old would also be dressed as a child and fed soda and sweets -- giving him near permanent diarrhoea -- before being locked in a small cage every night in a ...

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