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  • *Italy calls for emergency EU meeting this week. PALERMO, Italy April 19- As many as 700 migrants were feared dead on Sunday after their boat capsized in the Mediterranean, raising pressure on Europe to face down anti-immigrant bias and find money for support as turmoil in Libya and the Middle East worsens the crisis. If the death toll is confirmed, it will bring to...

  • JOHANNESBURG, April 19- When he heard angry screams and the hammering of hatchets on the door of his shack last week, Malawian Folias Sakai thought he was about to become the eighth person to be killed in anti-immigrant attacks that have swept South Africa this month. Instead Sakai managed to escape the mob by scrambling over the metal rooftop of his shack in a...

  • *Italy calls for emergency EU meeting this week. PALERMO, Italy April 19- As many as 700 people were feared dead after a fishing boat packed with migrants capsized off the Libyan coast overnight in what officials said may be the Mediterranean's worst disaster as thousands flee poverty and war to Europe. Only last week, around 400 migrants were reported to have died...

  • *One of several options proposed for EU to help Libya. BRUSSELS, April 19- The EU is considering sending warships to the Libyan coast to combat oil and arms smugglers but fears that could encourage more migrants to take to sea in hopes of being rescued and taken to Europe, according to an EU document seen by Reuters. Another option suggested in the paper is that EU...

  • Sudan's youth activists battle restraints and apathy Sunday, 19 Apr 2015 | 8:05 AM ET

    KHARTOUM, April 19- When the Arab Spring uprisings burst out four years ago, Bedreldin Mohamed believed that, finally, many of his Sudanese countrymen would join him in calling for an alternative to President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, now in his 25th year in power. Most of Sudan's main opposition parties boycotted the presidential and parliamentary elections held...

  • RIYADH, April 19- Saudi Basic Industries Corp faces heavy pressure on its profits due to cheap oil but will keep investing globally to boost capacity in key areas, its acting chief executive said on Sunday after the company reported a 39 plunge in first-quarter profit. SABIC, one of the world's largest petrochemicals groups and Saudi Arabia's biggest listed...

  • CAPE TOWN, April 18- Production at the 172,000 barrels per day Sapref refinery, South Africa's largest and co-owned by BP and Shell, is normal following a pipeline fire that was extinguished on Saturday morning, a spokeswoman said. "The refinery is still online and production has not been impacted," Cindy Govender said in response to questions.

  • *Exxon Mobil front-runner for Mozambique LNG stake-sources. MILAN/ LONDON/ SINGAPORE, April 16- Anadarko Petroleum is considering selling its multi-billion dollar stake in Mozambique's giant gas reserves, with Exxon Mobil and Qatar Petroleum both showing interest, banking and industry sources said. The world's largest oil firm has been expected to follow...

  • *South Africa faces 6th straight day of power cuts. *S.Africa seeks future World Bank funding for Eskom. JOHANNESBURG, April 17- South Africa appointed veteran public service expert Brian Molefe as acting CEO of its struggling power utility firm Eskom on Friday in an attempt to help keep the lights on in Africa's most advanced economy.

  • JOHANNESBURG, April 17- Buying the catering unit of cash-strapped state airline South African Airways could work for Bidvest Group, its chief executive said on Friday. "We have not looked at the asset but it could make sense for us," Brian Joffe, Bidvest's chief executive officer, told Reuters, referring to Air Chefs. The labor and communist alliance partners in the...

  • *West Africa produces 70 percent of world's cocoa. Other African companies such as Ghana's Golden Tree use local cocoa but import milk powder and sugar. Multinationals such as Nestle mass produce chocolate in South Africa for the continent's consumers and source ingredients globally.

  • The revived momentum for Chinese automakers adds to pressure on General Motors Co., Volkswagen AG and other global brands that see China's crowded market as their future at a time when sales growth is slow in the United States and stalled in Europe. Producers including Nissan Motor Co., VW and Mercedes Benz see the market as so important they increasingly are...

  • China auto brands enjoying rebound driven by new models Thursday, 16 Apr 2015 | 9:36 PM ET

    The revived momentum for Chinese automakers adds to pressure on General Motors Co., Volkswagen AG and other global brands that see China's crowded market as their future at a time when sales growth is slow in the United States and stalled in Europe. Producers including Nissan Motor Co., VW and Mercedes Benz see the market as so important they increasingly are...

  • April 16- Philip Morris International Inc's shares are on track for their best day in over six years after the maker of Marlboro cigarettes raised its full-year profit forecast as it sold more cigarettes at higher prices, especially in Europe. Philip Morris's shares rose as much as 8.3 percent on Thursday, their biggest intraday percentage gain since November...

  • JOHANNESBURG, April 16- South African investment house Brait SE is to pay $1 billion for a controlling stake in gym group Virgin Active, Brait said on Thursday, seeking to tap the growing health-conscious middle classes particularly in Africa and Asia. The fitness chain, jointly owned by the Virgin Group of entrepreneur Richard Branson and buyout firm CVC...

  • NEW YORK— Philip Morris International Inc.' s first-quarter profit fell, pressured by a strong dollar. Philip Morris earned $1.8 billion, or $1.16 per share, for the period ended March 31. The average estimate of eight analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of $1.02 per share.

  • The fitness chain, jointly owned by the Virgin Group of entrepreneur Richard Branson and buyout firm CVC Capital Partners, has 267 gyms across nine countries including South Africa, home to the largest number of Virgin Active clubs, Thailand and Britain. Brait has proposed to take an 80 percent stake in Virgin Active for 682 million pounds, valuing the gym chain...

  • Bible stories and thrillers make Morocco filming choice Thursday, 16 Apr 2015 | 6:16 AM ET

    But while the arched doorways, balconies and furnishings all say Roman-era Israel, the real-life setting is southern Morocco. Viewers in America and elsewhere in the world may not know it but they have seen a lot of Morocco in the past year. "Morocco has also been Somalia numerous times, including in the 2001 film" Blackhawk Down, "and more recently in the 2013" Captain...

  • LONDON, April 16- Diageo, the world's largest spirits maker, reported slower quarterly trading on Thursday, hurt by tough comparisons in Britain and retailers reducing inventory in Southeast Asia. Diageo shares were down 2.9 percent at 1911 pence by 0837 GMT. Analysts were hoping for signs of improvement in the United States, Diageo's largest profit driver,...

  • Zimbabwe takes tobacco road to agriculture recovery Thursday, 16 Apr 2015 | 3:52 AM ET

    HARARE, April 15- Fifteen years after Zimbabwe's agriculture sector collapsed in the face of President Robert Mugabe's seizure of white-owned farms, its tobacco industry is again booming, with black farmers funded by private firms producing a near record crop. Production of tobacco, increasingly sold at a premium to China, was up 235 percent last year compared...