September 27th, 2011
03:50 AM GMT
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(CNN) – You're starting your holiday and you get on a chartered plane that brings you to a private island. Then you check into your private villa with an endless view of the ocean. If you choose, your only visitor can be the gourmet chef who comes over to cook your meals every day. This is not the Seychelles. This is Cambodia.

That's the vision Rory and Melita Hunter have for anyone dreaming of the ultimate luxury experience. They plan to open Song Saa resort on December 31. It will be the first luxury resort on a private island in Cambodia.
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September 26th, 2011
08:48 PM GMT
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Chicago, normally known for its brutally cold winters, is preparing itself for wetter, hotter days - the results of climate change.

The Chicago Climate Action Plan is this city’s way to ease the impact of climate change. The plan includes basic ideas like introducing bike lanes to the more innovative like rooftop gardens.

Those behind the plan believe the city must take action now so Chicago will continue to be a comfortable place to live.

Filed under: BusinessFuture Cities


September 26th, 2011
04:40 PM GMT
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London (CNN) – So, the word is eurozone leaders may be ready to quadruple the region’s bailout fund and write down 50% of Greece’s debt. This, as a final fix for a crisis that continues to overshadow the single currency a decade after its introduction.

Investors reacted with cautious optimism thanks to the sheer size of the financial commitment and finally an acknowledgement that Greece doesn’t have a hope of paying off all of its existing obligations.

As ministers move to hammer out a concrete plan, investors point to a few questions that still remain unanswered:

1) Will it be enough?

2) How soon will the measures pass?

3) Is it too late?
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September 26th, 2011
02:44 PM GMT
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Athens (CNN) – They say a crisis can bring out the best or worst in people, a society or on a continent. Seeing the Greece situation unfold first hand and talking to politicians, business people and those on the streets, one can witness how divided this country of 11 million people on the tip of southern Europe is becoming.

The divisiveness is multi-layered; first within the ruling, socialist Pasok party itself. On the left, party members yearn for the days of the current prime minister's father in the 1980s, Andreas Papandreou, when state ownership was the call to arms, a large public sector provided employment and an equally large safety net. On the right of that party, those who are aware the country is living on borrowed time and money.

Within Parliament, there is no sense of a common good. Prime Minister George Papandreou and the leader of New Democracy Antonis Samaras –despite being college room-mates in the past - cannot rally their party rank and file members to finally deliver deep, overdue reforms.
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September 26th, 2011
07:20 AM GMT
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(CNN) – China’s wealthy now can get up to 2.5 kilograms of gold via ATMs in the city’s upscale clubs and private banks, state media reported.

The machines made their debut in a Beijing shopping district on Sunday, according to AFP. Limit for maximum withdrawal is set at 1 million yuan, or about $157,000 worth of gold. Cash or credit card accepted.
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September 26th, 2011
04:34 AM GMT
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Phnom Penh, Cambodia (CNN) – The most common image of Cambodia is the land of ancient temples and budget travelers. There's now something else putting Cambodia on the map: foreign investors.

Cambodia's devastating recent history set the country back a generation. From 1975-78, the Communist Khmer Rouge killed intellectuals, destroyed the education system and pushed for an agrarian society that required families to be uprooted and separated.

By the end of the terror, between 1.7 million to 3 million Cambodians are estimated to have died at the hands of the Khmer Rouge. The Vietnamese occupation that followed and civil war between a weakened Khmer Rouge and the Cambodian government also stripped the country of stability for another two decades.
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September 26th, 2011
02:13 AM GMT
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(CNN) – Japan's first Boeing 787 Dreamliner is finally about to be delivered - three years late.

ANA should have taken delivery of the high-tech aircraft in May 2008, before a series of technical problems led to repeated delays.

But this is not the first time the Dreamliner has touched down  in Japan.

Back in July, it landed amid much fanfare at Tokyo's Haneda airport during a week-long test run. It was greeted by reporters, fans and All Nippon Airways staff carrying a “Welcome to Japan” banner.  A ripple of applause even broke out as the pilots stepped off the plane, emblazoned with the ANA’s blue and white logo. FULL POST



September 23rd, 2011
04:32 AM GMT
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Hong Kong (CNN) – According to a report compiled by Savills, a global real estate consultant, Hong Kong has the world's most expensive luxury property market.

Of the 10 “world class” cities profiled—Hong Kong, London, Moscow, Mumbai, New York, Paris, Singapore, Shanghai, Sydney and Tokyo—the average £6,700 ($10,316) per square foot price of Hong Kong luxury homes was the highest in the world. Behind Hong Kong was Tokyo’s £5,190 ($7,991) price per square foot. Paris, with luxury flats averaging £3,270 ($5,035) per square foot, came in third.

The report noted that Hong Kong’s luxury homes were twice as expensive as London’s per square foot, and more than 10 times more expensive than Sydney’s.
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September 22nd, 2011
11:47 PM GMT
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Editor’s note: Edward Hugh is an independent macro economist and writer based in Barcelona.

 (CNN) - According to a recent study by Stephane Deo and his collegues at UBS, the euro – as it is currently structured – should not exist. It is hard to disagree. The problem is that it does, and just like the legendary Eagles' song "Hotel California" they refer to, it was intentionally set up in such a way that once you get inside there is no way you can leave. There is no checkout procedure.

Reading the UBS report put me in mind of Stanley Kubrick’s cult film, “Dr. Strangelove.” In a key scene the U.S. President, on being informed of the existence of a device (termed the “Doomsday Machine”) which shares notably similar characteristics with the current euro area, is stupefied. On asking those around him -“but how is it possible for something to be triggered automatically, and at the same time impossible to untrigger?” – Peter Sellers, as Dr. Strangelove, replies: “Mr. President, it is not only possible, it is essential. That is the whole idea of this machine, you know.”

Which takes us directly to last week’s European Finance Ministers meeting in Poland. In a setting horribly reminiscent of the Strangelove “War Room,” U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner informed the assembled dignitaries that, in a nutshell, Europe was facing catastrophe.
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September 22nd, 2011
07:31 PM GMT
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London (CNN) – The Chicago River started as a port for industry, helping the city's economy grow. But until recently, the river has been neglected, used as a dumping ground and filled with pollution and disease.

Now, Chicago is realizing the river’s potential, bringing it back to heath and developing it as a commercial asset by building a new river walk.

Filed under: Future Cities


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