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By Mabvuto Banda LILONGWE (Reuters) - More than half of Malawi's population is in need of food aid after an El Nino-induced drought decimated crops, the minister of agriculture said on Wednesday. The drought has ravaged much of southern Africa, but Malawi has been the worst-hit country with more almost half of its population of about 15 million affected. "The results of this rapid assessment showed that close to 8.4 million people will need food because they have partially or completely lost their crops through El Nino induced dry spells," Godfrey Chaponda told Reuters.
By Ahmed Aboulenein CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt has asked European firms to help search for the black boxes of an EgyptAir plane that crashed on May 19 in deep water in the Mediterranean Sea, the airline's chairman and French diplomatic sources said on Wednesday. Nearly a week after EgyptAir flight 804 crashed with 66 people on board, including 30 Egyptians and 15 from France, investigators have no clear picture of its final moments. EgyptAir chairman Safwat Musallam did not name the French and Italian companies involved but told a news conference they were able to carry out searches at a depth of 3,000 metres.
By Keith Wallis SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Brent oil futures climbed above $50 a barrel on Thursday for the first time in nearly seven months, boosted after U.S. government figures showed a sharper-than-expected drawdown in crude stocks last week. Gasoline stocks rose 2 million barrels to 240.1 million barrels against forecasts of a 1.1 million-barrel drop, while gasoline demand over a four-week average rose 3.9 percent to 9.6 million barrels last week, the EIA said.