January 23rd, 2012
04:12 PM GMT
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Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (CNN) – For the past three years I have taken part in what is known within a group of 50 business and policy makers here in Riyadh as the “sand and snow expedition.” It starts from the capital of Saudi Arabia at the Global Competitiveness Forum and finishes at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

From an editorial standpoint you can, in one week, capture the views of the world’s largest oil producer and the latest on the Arab Spring before moving on to an arena with some 2,600 chief executives and political leaders trying to share the stage perched high among the Swiss Alps.

The visit in Riyadh included an exclusive interview with the wealthiest businessman in the Middle East, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal (pictured), chairman of Kingdom Holdings. From the 67th floor of the tower that bears the name of his group, Prince Alwaleed delved into some of the most sensitive issues in the region, from the Arab Spring to sanctions on Iran.

Watch Prince Alwaleed talk about economic crisis

In the halls of the GCF, executives expressed deep concerns about potential conflict with Iran and the impact such a move would have. As he does with some of his investments, Prince Alwaleed took a contrarian view.

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Filed under: EnergyOil


January 23rd, 2012
02:50 AM GMT
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Hong Kong (CNN) – No research report in Hong Kong draws as many eyes and as much water cooler chatter as CLSA's Feng Shui Index, a pun-filled financial prophecy based on Chinese astrology.

Prepared by Philip Chow, CLSA's full-time transport analyst and part-time Feng Shui master, the report says to keep watch for a watershed moment in this Year of the Dragon. FULL POST

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Filed under: AsiaChinaHong Kong


January 23rd, 2012
02:05 AM GMT
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What better to revolutionize education than a company with a name like Apple? It almost seems destined. In fact, Phil Schiller, its senior VP of worldwide marketing, kicked off the event saying that "education is deep in the company's DNA," and he didn't waste any time showing exactly what he meant.

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Filed under: AppleBusiness


January 23rd, 2012
01:27 AM GMT
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Davos, Switzerland (CNN) – I have arrived in Davos, a few days ahead of the World Economic Forum. Getting here early before the hot air starts rising from the WEF gives me a chance to witness this elite mountain resort without the fuss and to think about what might happen at this year's junket. Writing this I can see the last straggler skiers enjoying this year's superb snow - the best in a decade - which frankly is more than can be said for the prospects for this year's forum. I think this will be one of the most complicated and will produce relatively little by way of initiative and solutions.

It will be "Davos do little."

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