October 31st, 2012
04:39 AM GMT
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(CNN) – News that Disney has purchased Lucasfilm from George Lucas – creator of the Star Wars saga – for $4 billion drew immediate reaction online, which was quickly populated with Darth Vader masks and Death Stars adorned with Mickey Mouse ears.

Or as someone who with the Twitter handle “Yoda” wrote: “Bought Lucasfilm, Disney did. Replace me with Mickey Mouse, they cannot.”

Disney is planning to throw the full weight of its empire behind relaunching the Star Wars franchise, which saw its last installment in 2005 with “Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith.”
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October 29th, 2012
02:14 AM GMT
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Editor's note: The Outlook series spotlights a country to give a deeper understanding of the business, industry and consumer trends that fuel its economy. While exploring the current challenges and opportunities facing a country's economic progress, Outlook also seeks to provide an insight into its future development.

(CNN) Monaco is a place that sharply divides opinion. It's a country that wears its wealth on its sleeve. But can a place that is famed for ostentatious fun ever be taken seriously as a place for business? Nina Dos Santos meets Prince Albert II.

CNN’s Outlook series often carries sponsorship originating from the countries we feature. However CNN retains full editorial control over all of its reporting. Read more about CNN's sponsorship policies

Filed under: Outlook Monaco


October 26th, 2012
03:45 AM GMT
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Editor's note: The Outlook series spotlights a country to give a deeper understanding of the business, industry and consumer trends that fuel its economy. While exploring the current challenges and opportunities facing a country's economic progress, Outlook also seeks to provide an insight into its future development.

(CNN) Monaco is only two square kilometers, so business people living there have to come up with ingenious methods to pack as much productivity in as small a space as possible. CNN's Nina dos Santos discovers the surprising companies that call it home.

CNN’s Outlook series often carries sponsorship originating from the countries we feature. However CNN retains full editorial control over all of its reporting. Read more about CNN's sponsorship policies

Filed under: Outlook Monaco


October 25th, 2012
04:22 PM GMT
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As the euro crisis drags on and no end seems to be in sight, two players have emerged that will be key to solving the deficit problems of many ailing states like Greece, Spain and Portugal: Germany and the European Central Bank (ECB).

Germany is the strongest economy in the eurozone and the one of the few that has not yet been sucked into recession by the economic downturn on the continent. The Germans, led by Angela Merkel, have the economic firepower to withstand market forces that could possibly drag weak eurozone countries into recession.

On the other hand the ECB also has major monetary firepower and a chequebook that could be used to purchase bonds from those countries at risk of defaulting. The problem is that EU treaties do not allow the ECB to finance member nations’ debts directly. FULL POST

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October 25th, 2012
01:17 PM GMT
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For decades there have been dreams of a railway network spanning from Asia to Europe, linking cities as diverse as Kuala Lumpur and Kabul in what is known as the "Iron Silk Road".

But the project is stalled and is facing major obstacles. One in particular is in South Korea. A map of the proposed railway network included the Korean peninsula, but restoring the North – South Korean rail network remains difficult.

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Filed under: Along the silk roadBusiness


October 25th, 2012
03:40 AM GMT
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Editor's note: The Outlook series spotlights a country to give a deeper understanding of the business, industry and consumer trends that fuel its economy. While exploring the current challenges and opportunities facing a country's economic progress, Outlook also seeks to provide an insight into its future development.

(CNN) Every day Monaco’s population more than doubles with around 50,000 workers arriving in the Principality every morning. With more than 3,000 staff the country’s biggest employer is the Societe des Bains de Mer (SBM) which runs the majority of Monaco’s tourist activities. The state remains it's biggest shareholder, but in the last few years it has been badly affected by the credit crunch.

CNN’s Outlook series often carries sponsorship originating from the countries we feature. However CNN retains full editorial control over all of its reporting. Read more about CNN's sponsorship policies

Filed under: Outlook Monaco


October 22nd, 2012
10:02 AM GMT
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Despite rising fuel costs, one sector that is not witnessing a downturn is defense. Rising tensions over Iran and growing security concerns are not only driving regional governments to boost their weaponry but are forcing them to boost protection as well.

The Middle East spent $111 billion on defense in 2011 and one company that wants to tap into that market is the Streit group, a Canadian company that is using the Middle East's strategic location to boost its growth.

Guerman Goutorov, chairman and founder of the Streit Group, began his quest from the garage of his home in Canada.

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Filed under: Along the silk roadBusiness


October 19th, 2012
05:47 PM GMT
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(CNN) - Fashion blogger Milli is the ultimate Millennial - young, confident and outspoken. She could be described as being an unguided missile. So is there an ultimate plan? CNN's Richard Quest finds out.



October 19th, 2012
01:08 PM GMT
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Director Nicholas Jarecki tells CNN's John Defterios that his new film Arbitrage shines a light on the often shadowy world of the hedge fund manager – a figure demonised in the wake of the 2008 global financial crisis.

"What I enjoy in my entertainment is the identification with the flawed character because I can see the flaws in myself. Every failing this character has I have."

The main character in the film has drawn comparisons with disgraced American financier Bernard Madoff, who is now serving 125 years in prison for running a multi-billion dollar fraudulent Ponzi scheme.

However Jarecki says the comparison is not entirely accurate – and that his character does not set out to do wrong.

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Filed under: Global Exchange


October 19th, 2012
07:29 AM GMT
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On board the California Zephyr (CNN) – Mary Jane Loder is 92 and taking the train from Denver to California; what's more, she is travelling alone.

“Why not?’ she says.  Of all the people I have met on the California Zephyr, none has inspired me quite as much as Mary Jane, whom I was privileged to meet in the dining car.

Mary Jane held court at her table.  Lively, witty, and with an infectious laugh that had everyone laughing with her; that is until we came to talking about this election.  It's the most important, she believes, because of the state of the economy and the level of unemployment among young people.  Giving them hope is crucial.
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