November 9th, 2011
04:56 PM GMT
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By George Webster, CNN

(CNN) – An estimated 2.5 million pilgrims have descended on the city of Mecca for the Islamic Hajj, said to be the largest annual gathering of people in the world.

Every fit and able Muslim is obliged by their faith to make the journey at least once in their lifetime. But with the rising threat of climate change, there are now calls for both pilgrims and authorities in Mecca to reduce the environmental damage wrought by this yearly influx of travelers.

"Everyone arrives at the same time, at exactly the same place, and every year there are more and more people," said Dr Husna Ahmed, principal author of "The Green Guide for Hajj," a booklet promoting ecologically-sustainable practices among Hajj pilgrims, released earlier this week.

Read the full story on the environmental impact of the Hajj.

Filed under: Global Exchange

November 9th, 2011
12:38 PM GMT
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London (CNN) - Italy’s bond yields passed 7% Wednesday morning, breaching a psychological point at which markets consider countries at risk of being unable to fund themselves.

The dramatic rise in 10-year bond yields comes the day after Italy’s flamboyant Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said he would resign after the country’s budget is passed. The 75-year old Berlusconi has been a dominant force since forming the Forza Italia party in 1994, and his pending departure marks the end of an era for Italian politics.

But while the political spectacle that came with Berlusconi could now fade, the financial show might be just beginning. The pricing – set by traders who are selling Italy’s bonds – hit 7.3% by mid morning after breaking through 7% a short while earlier. “It’s like tectonic plates,” a desk analyst told CNN. “You have this pressure and then it breaks.”

November 9th, 2011
07:52 AM GMT
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(CNN) – Is Africa ripe for investing?

While China and India have the fastest rate of growth, Africa has the "best future prospects" says Mark Mobius, who has been a major player in the emerging markets economies since the 1987 launch of Templeton Asset Management.

Today Mobius manages a $50 billion emerging markets fund and was listed by Asia Money Magazine as one of the Top 100 Most Powerful and Influential People.

Despite problems with infrastructure, Africa presents tantalizing prospects for investors, especially as global investors are worry about risks in the developed economies in the wake of the EU debt crisis and tepid growth in the U.S. FULL POST

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