November 23rd, 2011
05:04 AM GMT
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Hong Kong (CNN) - Global economic uncertainty is bringing some good news for U.S. exporters, as traders in Latin America have seen a reduction in buys from China in favor of closer-to-home suppliers.

"There are signals of an economic slowdown," Mario Nigrinis, Principal Economist at BBVA Bank Hong Kong told CNN, "we expect a slight deceleration."

Mexico, the largest Latin American importers of Chinese goods with US$46 billion in 2010, has seen purchase growth rates diminish, from 20.5% year-on-year in the first half of 2011, to 18.5% in the third quarter, to 13% in August, according to data compiled by BBVA.

Brazil followed a similar path, with growth rates contracting from 37% in the first half of this year to 26% in the third quarter.
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November 20th, 2011
11:42 PM GMT
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Hong Kong (CNN) - As mainland Chinese discover expensive wines and luxury cars from the west, so too grows the demand for illegal drugs such as cocaine.

And this booming trade uses Hong Kong as a conduit between Latin American producers and the burgeoning mainland China market. On September 18, local police arrested eight individuals, one of them a U.S. citizen, in connection with a 567-kilogram seizure worth around US$77 million in the local market.

“Historically, Hong Kong has been the center of drug trafficking in this region,” said Simon Young, Director of the Center for Comparative Law at the University of Hong Kong.

Amounts found by authorities have been increasingly large in the territory over the last years. A recent report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes said they expect consumption in Mainland China to continue its rise.
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November 18th, 2011
09:36 PM GMT
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Talks between David Cameron and Angela Merkel reached a stalemate after the UK prime minister said his country would not wish to adopt a so-called 'Tobin tax' on financial transactions unless such measures were introduced on a global scale.

So, what’s Cameron's beef with the potential levy? And what would his country lose if it were introduced across the European Union?

The measures being mulled include a 0.1 percent charge on stock and bond trades and a 0.01 percent fee for derivatives.

The money raised would have a dual benefit for leaders facing their biggest threat to peace and prosperity in the region since World War II.

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November 18th, 2011
08:34 PM GMT
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(CNN) – It doesn’t matter how good a boss you are, when you're running the show you're only as good as the people around you.

On this episode of The Boss, Francis Lui from Galaxy Entertainment Group and Sean Cornwell from eHarmony International are both taking time to reward their staff. And maybe they can have a little fun themselves.

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November 18th, 2011
06:22 AM GMT
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Hong Kong (CNN) - In Taiwan, legislation is moving towards legalizing the world’s oldest profession, but in practice the trade remains largely underground.

Under the revised Social Order Maintenance Act, which went into effect in early November, prostitution is legal in designated red-light districts, but so far no local governments have been willing to create these zones, rendering prostitution anywhere illegal.

“You [the government] tell us that both the sex worker and the client would not be penalized within the district, but where is it?” Chung Chun-chu, secretary general of the Collective of Sex Workers and Supporters told the Taipei Times. “So far, none of the local governments have any plans to create red-light districts.”

All 22 county and city mayors have expressed concern that creating prostitution districts would lead to increased crime and plummeting property values, according to an Apple Daily survey.
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November 17th, 2011
09:03 AM GMT
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China has reported a dramatic decrease in rural poverty over the last decade.

The number of rural citizens living below the national rural poverty line fell from 94.2 million people (10.2% of the rural population) in 2000, to 26.88 million (2.8%) last year, according to figures released Wednesday by China’s State Council. FULL POST

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November 17th, 2011
06:32 AM GMT
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(CNN) – Twenty years after the fall of the Soviet Union, Russian business is dominated by a handful of men known simply as the oligarchs.

In the 1990s many of them carved up Russia’s newly privatized state-owned assets. Huge fortunes were built as the Red Empire collapses around them, and Russian oligarchs joined the world’s super rich.

Among them is Oleg Deripaska. He was still a student at the start of the 1990s, but his rise was meteoric. By the end of the decade, the nuclear physics graduate from Moscow State University controlled most of Russia’s aluminum industry and his company, Rusal, is now the world’s biggest producer.

In an exclusive interview with CNN, he talks about the role of Russia in the EU crisis, and whether Russia is underperforming the rest of the developing world.
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November 17th, 2011
05:33 AM GMT
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Hong Kong, China (CNN) – A nearly 9-hour flight delay turned into a standoff at Hong Kong airport Wednesday, with passengers refusing to leave the plane for 5-hours until the airline agreed to higher compensation.

The incident underscores just how high tensions can rise in modern air travel with passengers and airlines jockeying it out in a low-frill, high-fee world. There is no global standard for passenger compensation in the case of airline delays and wide gulf can exist between passenger expectations and airline offers.

When Hong Kong Airlines flight 752 from Singapore arrived at 530 a.m. Wednesday morning, the airline says 80 passengers refused to get off. The travelers, mainly members of package tours from mainland China, demanded the airline increase the original compensation offer of $50 per passenger.
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November 17th, 2011
01:02 AM GMT
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Editor's note: "Along the Silk Road" is a weekly segment on Global Exchange, that will explore the burgeoning trade and investment links from the Middle East to Asia. Watch Global Exchange, on CNN International, Sunday to Thursday 1100 ET, 1600 GMT and 1700 CET.

Dubai (CNN) – It is a trade link dating back half a century - spreading from the far reaches of Asia to Africa.

From caravans carrying loads of goods across the deserts of the Middle East to ships sailing precious cargo to Europe, the ancient Silk Road is now being reborn and rebuilt.

One man who is following the progress of its growth is Ben Simpfendorfer - author of the Silk Road Economy.

CNN’s John Defterios met with him in the financial heart of the Middle East, Dubai, and asked him about the significance of these new trade links.
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November 15th, 2011
11:07 AM GMT
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