May 24th, 2012
10:59 AM GMT
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London (CNN) – Are European Union governments missing a trick by taking small and medium-sized firms for granted?

In Germany, such businesses - the Mittelstand - have been nurtured, and in return significantly boosted the country's economy.

As our regular viewers will know, over the last few months Marketplace Europe’s travels have taken us inside small and medium-sized companies around the region.

We’ve talked about the way they run their businesses, the bigger macro environment and prospects for Europe and the single currency.

The common theme of each conversation is concern that well-intentioned incoming governments - from France, Greece and the Netherlands - will tax smaller firms out of business rather than offering incentives and protection to keep growing in such challenging economic times.
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May 24th, 2012
10:13 AM GMT
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Japan has won back its top spot as the most important partner of the United States in Asia, moving China to the second spot, according to an opinion poll of the "general public" conducted in the United States.

The survey asked 1,200 people in the continental United States to select the most important U.S. partner from a list that included Japan, China, Russia, India, Korea and Australia.

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May 24th, 2012
07:30 AM GMT
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(CNN) – On Sunday, Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees passed away from cancer, adding to a series of untimely deaths of fading music icons over the last few months.

The Bee Gees enjoyed their heyday in the late 1960s and 1970s with disco hits such as “Saturday Night Fever,” “Staying Alive,” and “How Deep is Your Love.”  While the group’s popularity declined over the following decades, Robin Gibb’s death will breathe new life into the group’s record sales in the United States, if history is any indication.

Soundscan, which provides data on U.S. record sales, won’t have data on Bee Gees sales until next week.  But Gibb’s passing follows the death last week of another 1970s legend, ‘Queen of Disco’ Donna Summer.
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May 23rd, 2012
02:12 PM GMT
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(CNN) – Fifteen months ago Tahrir Square was the site of a tsunami that swept President Hosni Mubarak and his entire government from office.

In the most populous country in the Middle East and North Africa, only the military apparatus has been left intact from the Mubarak era. The world is getting very familiar with the name and face of Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, head of Egypt's ruling military council.

This week marks a historic opportunity to break from that past. There are a dozen candidates vying for the top job, a third of them labelled as front runners.

In geo-political circles, Egypt is described as a pivotal power, an emerging market economy and potential political power that can sway the outcome in the region.
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May 22nd, 2012
10:25 AM GMT
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(CNN) – Just days after Facebook took the plunge with a multi-billion dollar shares sale in the U.S., another high-profile brand, Formula One, appears to have accelerated its own plans for a public listing in Singapore.

The Asian city-state is also one of the more unique stops on the 20-race Grand Prix calendar, as the race is staged at night under floodlights. FULL POST

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May 21st, 2012
05:38 PM GMT
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Dhaka (CNN) – With 500,000 new migrants arriving in Bangladesh’s capital each year, finding space for them is a problem.

Where do 15 million people go to sleep every night? For several months of the year certain areas of Dhaka are under up to a meter of water, creating even greater pressure for secure housing.

Architect Mohammed Rezwan is building what he believes will be the solution to rising floods. North of Dhaka, on the Gumani River, is a floating village. More than 50 boats providing homes, hospitals and schools, and supporting 90,000 people.
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May 21st, 2012
05:01 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. Here, CNN contributor and Millennial David Lloyd – who in this week's episode is in the running for an innovation award - asks if foreign entrepreneurs are friend or foe.

(CNN) – There is a new talent war and it is global. But the battle to attract foreign entrepreneurs has put the differences between some countries under the microscope.

In the U.S., PayPal founder Peter Thiel is backing the construction of a ship which will host foreign entrepreneurs off California’s coast. This will keep them beyond the reach of America’s draconian immigration stance towards foreign wealth-creators.
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May 18th, 2012
10:48 AM GMT
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Dhaka (CNN) – Dhaka’s story is one of chaos, congestion and calamity. This city is choked with people, traffic and pollution. At the centre is what has been described as a traffic clot: The jaanjot. A sticky quagmire of rickshaws, cars and vans, it’s the source of much frustration for Dhaka’s 13 million residents.

This megacity has one of the highest traffic fatality rates in the world: In all its many streets and roads, only 67 junctions have traffic signals.

Like any city, Dhaka has its dreams, and its vision for the future. The Strategic Transport Plan is a mammoth document which promises a lot of things in the next 20 years, including a new metro system, and a rapid bus transit system. Yet with the dubious accolade of being the "rickshaw capital of the world," and 400,000 of these vehicles on the streets, it’s hard to see how the busy roads will give way to a calmer reality. A pilot project to create rickshaw-free zones for Dhaka’s pedestrians has been implemented, with some opposition.

The UN predicts that by 2025 Dhaka will be larger than Beijing, Shanghai, and Mexico City, with a population pushing 25 million. Finding space for these people to move around their already crammed city will be a major challenge.



May 18th, 2012
07:46 AM GMT
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(CNN) – Eduardo Saverin, one of the co-founders of Facebook, gave his first major interview published Thursday in the wake of a growing backlash against his renunciation of U.S. citizenship.

Pressure has grown from U.S. lawmakers to tighten tax code on expatriates after press reports surfaced that Saverin – a native of Brazil who became a U.S. citizen as a teenager after his family moved to the U.S. – renounced his U.S. citizenship, which was published April 30 on the U.S. Federal Register. Saverin, who has lived in Singapore since 2009, is now a permanent resident of the city.

The public release of his renunciation, coming on the eve of Facebook’s initial public offering (IPO), has raised hackles.

“I’m not a tax expert,” Saverin told the New York Times. He said he filed to renounce his citizenship in January 2011 and it became official in September. “We complied with all the known laws. There was an exit tax.” Bloomberg estimates the billionaire paid exit taxes of about $365 million.
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May 17th, 2012
07:24 PM GMT
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Editor's note: This blog was originally published after talks to form a new government following the May 6 election failed. Greece now faces its second election, on June 17.

 

London (CNN) –  Hello, Greece.

The world is again focusing on you. The economic pain and social unrest has rightly made voters and politicians the world over debate austerity, growth and structural reform.

What you are going through has made it clear that austerity is not an easy solution.

You, the Greek people now have a chance to do something I suspect millions in Europe would dearly love to do - vote on whether to leave the euro. That is what June 17 will now be about, because there will be massive pain for you, Greece, if you stay with the economic reforms, and even more pain if you reject the loans from Europe and the International Monetary Fund. Pain either way.
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