February 21st, 2012
09:20 AM GMT
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Hong Kong (CNN) – While Hong Kong cashes in on China’s staggering economic growth, many of the city’s residents are choking as a result of it.

If it isn’t air pollution that is causing health issues among locals: it’s light pollution.

While the bright tantalizing lights of Hong Kong’s skyline are iconic of Hong Kong’s image, they are also keeping people awake, rising stress levels and causing insomnia for residents like Wesley Wai, who put together a video called the “Lucifer Effect” to show how much light bleeds into his bedroom at night.  With rising property prices, residents like Wai often have few choices but to live in densely crowded, bright night areas.
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February 17th, 2012
03:35 PM GMT
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Hong Kong, China (CNN) – It’s likely that lots of people in Tinseltown are pretty happy - dare I say giddily animated. That probably includes China’s Vice-President Xi Jinping, who’s widely expected to succeed Hu Jintao as president of China in 2013.

That’s because Xi, wrapping up his week-long U.S. trip in Los Angeles, is expected to announce a major $2 billion silver screen deal between two Chinese firms and Dreamworks Animations - the latter famous for its witty, highly-produced and family-friendly cartoon flicks like Kung Fu Panda, Shrek and Madagascar.

In focus is a huge joint venture with the U.S. animation studio involving major Chinese state-owned media companies. One is Shanghai Media Group,China’s second largest broadcaster. The other is China Media Capital, a fund that backs China’s entertainment industry.
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February 17th, 2012
02:11 PM GMT
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Editor's note: Media magnate Rupert Murdoch, seeking to rein in a crisis over alleged illegal payments, told staff at his embattled The Sun newspaper in London that the company will launch a Sunday edition. Below is the memo sent to staff.

Dear Colleagues:

I've worked alongside you for 43 years to build The Sun into one of the world's finest papers. It is a part of me and is one of our proudest achievements. The Sun occupies a unique and important position within News Corporation.

I have immense respect for our heritage, your exceptional journalism and, above all, you, the talented women and men who work tirelessly every day to ensure our readers have access to such a trusted news source. I believe this newsroom is full of great journalists and I remain grateful for your superb work and for the stories you uncover to inform and protect the public. None more so than over the last three weeks.
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February 17th, 2012
07:46 AM GMT
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(CNN) – Ten years after the Spanish currency, the peseta, was phased out, a rural town in Spain has revolted. Against the backdrop of the ailing euro, about 30 shops in Villamayor de Santiago last month began accepting the old currency, which was phased out in 2002 when Spain joined the eurozone.

According to Luis Miguel Campayo, chairman of the local merchant’s association, the move has been especially popular with older clientele, many of whom kept hold of old bills and coins in case the euro failed. "We wanted to persuade them to spend them," he told the Guardian. Shopkeepers have earned more than 1 million pesetas (about $7,900). Shopkeepers exchange the pesetas for euros at the Bank of Spain in Madrid.

The villagers in Spain are not alone. Currencies new and old have sprung up in towns in Italy, the UK, the U.S. and Mexico in the wake of the financial crisis and eurozone debt woes.
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February 16th, 2012
11:51 AM GMT
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Istanbul , Turkey (CNN) - After being virtually ignored at home and abroad for decades, Turkish modern art has become a valuable commodity, sought after by international and Turkish collectors.

London’s Sotheby's auction house held its first ever auction of Turkish modern art in 2009. The auction grossed more than $2 million dollars: the next year, those numbers, nearly doubled.

Dozens of new art galleries have sprouted up in Istanbul in the last few years. Industry insiders say a big part of what's driving this growing art market is the rapid growth of the Turkish economy, which has more than doubled in size over the last 10 years.



February 15th, 2012
05:46 AM GMT
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Zurich has overtaken Tokyo to rank as the world’s most expensive city for the first time in 20 years, according to the  Economist Intelligence Unit's latest Worldwide Cost of Living Survey.  The Swiss city was joined in the top five by Geneva, which rose to third place to tie with Osaka.

Whilst Switzerland has long been home to some of the priciest places to live, its upswing in the rankings can be attributed to the heavy investment in the Swiss franc, which is seen as a relatively safe currency outside of the embattled Eurozone, according to the report. Local price inflation in Switzerland has been low, but the report explained that "local inflation in mature markets always has far less influence on the relative cost of living than the currency movements of the countries in question."

Cities in the Asia-Pacific make up half of the top ten—in addition to Tokyo and Osaka, Sydney and Melbourne placed seventh and eighth, respectively, followed by Singapore. Seoul climbed 13 places over the last year to 27th place, and Chinese cities are also increasingly expensive, with Shanghai surpassing New York by two places to rank 42nd.
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February 15th, 2012
02:32 AM GMT
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London (CNN) – It is official. The Greek economy has gone into meltdown.

The numbers released Tuesday show that during 2011 the economy contracted by 7%. Barclays estimates that much of that loss came in the last three months – when the economy dropped a whopping 5.1%.

A look at the IMF's World Economic Outlook puts it into context. In the darkest days of the recession no other developed country came close to suffering such a large loss (U.S. -2.4%; UK -4.9%; Eurozone -4.1).

It is now clear Greece's economy has fallen off a cliff. It has endured five years of grueling recession and every prospect of much more to come, as even the Greek prime minister warned that things would be tough for years to come.
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February 14th, 2012
02:48 PM GMT
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Hong Kong (CNN) - The increasing number of visitors from mainland China and overseas means that space is at an absolute premium in Hong Kong.

As Hong Kong continues to grapple with incredible urban density and a real lack of open space, the redevelopment of an iconic landing strip is being watched closely.

As Richard Quest reports, there are plans in the works for even more land reclamation projects from the surrounding seas. FULL POST



February 14th, 2012
07:46 AM GMT
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(Hong Kong) – Could it be a coincidence that diplomats chose to schedule an annual meeting of Chinese and EU leaders on Valentine’s Day?

On Tuesday, two of the EU’s biggest hitters, Herman Van Rompuy, president of the European Council, and José Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission, will meet with Premier Wen Jiabao in Beijing, before separate meetings with President Hu Jintao and Vice-Premier Li Keqiang. FULL POST



February 13th, 2012
11:03 PM GMT
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New York (CNN) - Harvard economists might not be able to fix the financial crisis but one might be about to fix the U.S.'s National Basketball Association.

Or at least, that’s what they’re saying about Jeremy Lin, New York Knicks point guard and freshly appointed savior of basketball.

Having struggled to find a professional team after finishing his economics degree at Harvard, Lin found himself sleeping on couches, bouncing around the Developmental Leagues hoping for a break.

The hapless Knicks finally gave him one a few weeks ago. Five games and five wins later and we have another sporting sensation on our hands.

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