July 7th, 2011
10:36 PM GMT
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Hong Kong (CNN) – I was walking down the street the other day when one half of my $350 Bose headphones quit working. Frustrated, I sent a quick tweet to my friends.

Within an hour, I got a reply – but not from my followers. From Bose.

Bose Service responded:

@natrobe Hi. We saw your tweet. Please follow @BoseService and reply to this message. We'll do all we can to help. Thanks.”

Despite not addressing my tweet to Bose – I did not @mention or even hashtag the name - Bose Service proceeded to send me a direct message with the contact information necessary to repair my headphones. This occurred within one working day.
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July 7th, 2011
09:47 PM GMT
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London (CNN) - The European Central Bank president Jean-Claude Trichet continued his contortions around the eurozone crisis this week, while he juggled the demands of a two-speed economic bloc.

In this week’s closely watched press conference Trichet announced the bank will accept Portuguese sovereign bonds as collateral in return for loans, despite ratings agency Moody’s dumping them into junk category this week.

Trichet created this precedent when the ECB continued to accept Greek bonds in May last year, after they had been junked by ratings agency Standard & Poor’s.

Trichet’s move on Greek sovereign bonds was an economically expedient twist on the rules, which had previously dictated bonds had to have ratings of BBB -. That rating had, in turn, been dropped from the pre crisis requirements for an A- minus rating.
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July 7th, 2011
08:42 PM GMT
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London (CNN) – As the grave is dug for the world’s most widely read English newspaper, News of the World, focus is turning to how much of a role financial pragmatism played in its demise.

While the headline was its closure in response to the avalanche of hacking allegations, including accessing the phones of murder and terror attack victims, politicians and celebrities, the move could also prove a financial win for its parent, News Corporation.

Observers point to Rupert Murdoch, the brains behind the empire, and the bid to take full control of satellite television broadcaster British Sky Broadcasting or BSkyB. His son James's influence is also being felt: As chairman of News International, he closed the paper.

As investors absorbed news of the tabloid’s demise, focus quickly turning to its impact on News Corp.’s pitch for the 61% of BSkyB it doesn’t already own.

Collins Stewart estimates the News of the World’s closure will hurt News Corp.’s valuation by $0.25 a share. The Nasdaq listed stock is currently priced at just under $18. Collins Stewart analysts said in a note the move is: “an important sacrifice in an effort to reduce additional delay to the (BSkyB deal) approval process.”

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July 7th, 2011
04:24 AM GMT
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(CNN) – Actor Hugh Grant, who has himself been the subject of intense tabloid attention, is now leading the charge for a public inquiry into “the whole culture of tabloid press” in the UK.

In an interview with CNN’s Richard Quest, Grant urged the public and advertisers to boycott the Murdoch publication, News of the World, which is embroiled in an escalating controversy over allegations that reporters hacked into phones to listen to private messages.

News of the World, the world's top-selling English-language newspaper, is owned by News International, which also owns the Sun, the Times and the Sunday Times in Britain. Murdoch's News Corps media empire also encompasses Fox News, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Post and Harper Collins publishers.

“People can vote very much with their wallets - they just don’t have to buy these papers, especially the News of the World,” Grant said. “And advertisers have to look themselves very hard in the mirror and ask themselves, ‘Do we want to be advertising in papers like the News of the World?’”

Many advertisers are now asking that question. Carmakers Ford and Vauxhall, Virgin Holidays, Halifax and the Co-operative Group are among those to say they are withdrawing adverts that were scheduled to run in the newspaper.
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July 7th, 2011
04:11 AM GMT
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(CNN) – Pyeongchang’s triumph of the 2018 Winter Olympics is expected to cultivate more than just national pride, paving the way for the South Korean economy to rake in an estimated $27 billion, according to the Korean Institute for Industrial Economics and Trade, a state-run think tank.

The win may also reduce the nation’s unemployment rate – which sits at 3.3% as of 2010 – by creating roughly 230,000 jobs up until the 2018 games, KIET found in a study.

Pyeonchang beat out Munich, Germany, and Annecy, France, a small resort town located in the French Alps, for a chance to host the Games in 2018. Prior to Wednesday’s announcement, Pyeonchang had failed in bids for the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympics.
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