Japanese inflation fell back to zero in July while household spending dropped again, official data showed on Friday, as a slowdown in China threatens Japan's already precarious economic picture. Household spending also fell 0.2 percent in July after declining 2.0 percent in the previous month, the ministry said. The consumption levy rise -- Japan's first in 17 years -- was aimed at taming a huge national debt but it slammed the brakes on consumer spending and pushed the economy into a brief recession.
Iran's most expensive movie, "Muhammad", which chronicles the childhood of the Muslim prophet, opened nationwide, winning praise from early audiences. Directed by Majid Majidi, the 171-minute, visually stunning film cost around $40 million (36 million euros), partly funded by the state, and took more than seven years to complete. Majidi says the aim of his work, the first part of a trilogy, is to reclaim the rightful image of Islam, which he said extremists have distorted.