April 15th, 2011
08:15 PM GMT
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Irish houses sold at cut-price Friday in a massive auction that cleared out properties repossessed as the country’s financial crisis hit.

The auction in Dublin - seen as an example of the woes afflicting Ireland following the banking sector’s splurge on bad loans - proved prime pickings for bargain hunters.

Properties sold at a third of their peak price -– including a four-bedroom home in the prime area of Ballsbridge, Dublin 4. It went for €550,000 ($794,000), from a boom time estimate of between €1.5 million to €2 million. A three-bed penthouse flat in Dublin sold for €345,000 from a market peak of more than €900,000 – €1 million.

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April 15th, 2011
02:20 PM GMT
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French President Nicolas Sarkozy had a grand plan in mind to make the Union of the Mediterranean a hallmark of his rotating EU Presidency in July 2008.

The math was simple, the scale grand, up to 44 nations of Europe, Middle East & North Africa that, among other things, would foster trade with the Mediterranean Sea as its center of gravity.

The French President wanted to expand the original plan launched in the mid-nineties under what is known in Brussels as the Barcelona Process. The policy structure under the title of the Euro-Med was in place, but the actual building of this economic blueprint never got off the ground.
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April 15th, 2011
02:02 AM GMT
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New York (CNN) –
When Eric Schmidt announced he was stepping aside as CEO of Google he famously tweeted, “Day-to-day adult supervision no longer needed!” But investors aren’t so sure about that. In the weeks since Schmidt announced he was stepping aside as CEO, the stock has fallen 9 percent.

Larry Page, the founder and now CEO has a reputation as a brilliant innovator, a non-conformist and an introvert. Those attributes work for entrepreneurs, but often do not translate into good CEO’s.

I had a chance to sit down with Steven Levy, a veteran technology journalist who has just released a new book about Google, “In the Plex,” and asked whether Page has the ability to lead the company.

“He is a smart guy...we know he has a great vision of the future,” Levy said. “Larry has to step up not only in terms of great products, great vision, take on Facebook, but also make people feel okay about Google and not be scared of it.”

Page takes the reins at a critical time for Google. It is still making pots of money, but growth rates are not anywhere near the meteoric 40% pace of years past. Google has missed the rise of social networking. In his book, Levy details Google’s “Facebook panic,” describing how concerned they are about the vast information Facebook now controls.

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