March 31st, 2012
02:04 AM GMT
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New York (CNN) – When I interviewed Research in Motion founder Mike Lazaridis two years ago at the launch of the Blackberry Torch, he was convinced the product would revive Blackberry’s fortunes because, “People don’t want to carry around two devices, they just want to carry one.”

He was right about that, but wrong about the device people wanted.

Thursday RIM announced a 23% drop in sales in the fourth quarter.  A recent Nielsen survey found only 5% of U.S. consumers buying a new smart phone chose a Blackberry.  It is a spectacular fall from grace for a company that pioneered push email and made their devices so indispensible they were nicknamed ‘Crackberrys.’

What happened? FULL POST

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March 30th, 2012
09:22 AM GMT
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Baghdad (CNN) - As Iraq's capital emerges from almost a decade of conflict and civil strife it is becoming an economic battleground for Turkey and Iran.

Turkish firm Tefirom is contracted to build Baghdad Mall. Featuring a five-star hotel more than 100 meters tall, it is set to be the tallest building in Baghdad. It will also house shops, gyms, a giant parking garage and a state-of-the art medical center.

Ashken Alkgoum is one of the engineers. He told CNN’s Fred Pleitgen: "Our costs are low, our labor quality is very good, and our engineers especially are really good.”

The Iraqi clients paying for the Baghdad Mall, with a budget of nearly $100 million, agree. They say construction is on schedule.

March 29th, 2012
06:17 PM GMT
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London (CNN) – I have a confession to make. I don’t like pasties - the rather dry, pastry-heavy snack causing tax troubles for the British government.

Finance minister George Osborne, in a clamp down on VAT avoidance, has decided the tax should now be charged on hot takeaway food. It was obvious from the moment the proposal was announced there would be problems. Buy a pasty, pie or cake and have it served hot - you pay VAT. Take it cold and you don’t.

While the bakers and pie eaters of Britain may be up in arms, anyone who has studied tax knows that these tricky intricacies are inevitable. They happen all the time, especially since snack taxes have been introduced in the U.S. to help prevent obesity. There are even learned journals and articles on the subject.


March 29th, 2012
10:07 AM GMT
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(Image credit: AFP/Getty Images)

(CNN) – India will overtake China as the world’s biggest economy by 2050, a new report says.

This follows China’s rise to the top spot in 2020 at the expense of the United States, according to the 2012 Wealth Report by Knight Frank and Citi Private Bank.

The survey was published as India hosts the BRICS summit of emerging economies, which also includes China, Russia, Brazil and South Africa. FULL POST

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March 29th, 2012
08:02 AM GMT
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(CNN) – It’s been a bad year to be a BRIC.

As the leaders of the BRICs – Brazil, Russia, India, China – gather in India for the summit Thursday, there is a nagging reality weighing on the world’s fastest growing emerging economies – they’re not growing as fast any more.

Brazil has seen its once blistering economy slow to an estimated 2.7% this year. Russia’s recovery from the global recession has been slow compared with other developing economies, the World Bank said in a report this week. Growth in India has steadily fallen as the nation lurches from scandal to scandal, most recently a report that alleges the government lost $211 billion in coal mining contracts.

Even the economic juggernaut of China has been slowing down, with Beijing dropping its projected growth this year to 7.5% which, if realized, would be the lowest growth rate since 1990, according to World Bank statistics.

What’s going on with the BRICs? FULL POST

March 29th, 2012
07:46 AM GMT
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(CNN) – Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos plans to dive 14,000 feet below the surface and raise the F-1 engines that fired Neil Armstrong to the moon in July 1969.

Just days earlier, producer and director James Cameron lived out his own real-life adventure, plunging solo to the deepest point known in the world’s ocean – 35,800 feet under the surface.

Not to be outdone, British businessman Richard Branson has announced plans for his own deep dive. “The Puerto Rico Trench is the deepest place in the Atlantic and is deeper than Mount Everest is high,” Branson says on the website.

“It should prove to be quite an adventure.”

A bevy of wealthy entrepreneurs are setting off for extremes, be it the depth of the ocean or the widths of space.

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March 28th, 2012
03:30 PM GMT
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Editor’s note: The Millennials are a generation that are constantly plugged in and moving fast to make their mark on the world. CNN’s Quest Means Business is tracking four of them.

(CNN) – In New York, Michael Burbach tells CNN belief is everything.

According to this Millennial: "If you want it and need it enough, you can do it, that's the craziest thing."

But Michael's shot at the bright lights cannot begin without a dramatic final test.

Michael is joining his classmates at Marymount Manhattan College for their first rehearsal of Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream."

Michael's performance here is crucial. It is the culmination of years of hard work.

March 28th, 2012
02:03 PM GMT
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London (CNN) – Magic Johnson is back in LA, with a new sport to conquer.

The former LA Lakers legend - together with a group of investors calling themselves Guggenheim Baseball Management - has moved into Major League Baseball, spending $2 billion to buy the bankrupt Los Angeles Dodgers.

Magic's men won out over a list of suitors that read like some kind of financial fantasy baseball lineup. There were sports investors like Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke. America's 35th richest man, hedge fund manager Steven Cohen, was a frontrunner. Former team manager Joe Torre was interested. Even Walt Disney's family sniffed around.

Deadline day for the Dodgers

The successful $2 billion offer – the most expensive purchase of an American sports franchise in history – was a far higher price than expected.

March 28th, 2012
09:26 AM GMT
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Berlin (CNN) – Roland was a border guard. For four years, he patrolled the Berlin Wall. He had a licence to kill his fellow East German citizens if they tried to escape. Roland is part of Berlin's past.

Lara is four. She has only ever known freedom and democracy. She is part of Berlin's future.

As the pair stroll, hand-in-hand, along one of the last stretches of the wall, memories are handed down.

This is a city that may have moved on, but has certainly not forgotten.

The need to remember echoes around Berlin, and the wall features prominently in blue prints for the future.

March 26th, 2012
01:23 PM GMT
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London (CNN) – I am frequently asked whether I get tired of traveling, all the hassles and difficulties that go with a life on the road. Obviously, sometimes it is physically exhausting, especially when flights are late and the descriptions of hotels are more enthusiastic than accurate. But I never really get tired of the magic and delight of a life on the road.

This has been very much in my mind as we start the new series of CNN Business Traveller.

Ten years after it first took to the air, it is legitimate perhaps to ask, what new there is to report? After all, the show has been to most parts of the world (not all - there are still some notable exceptions) and we have covered everything from the super commuter to traveling women and spent more hours than decent in planes, trains and automobiles.

The fact is there is a huge amount to bring to your screens since the last series ended a couple of years ago. The aftermath of the great recession has led to some significant changes in the past couple of years.


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