December 11th, 2013
01:43 PM GMT
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Geographically, Ukraine straddles Eastern and Western Europe, but the President Viktor Yanukovych is finding it increasingly difficult to balance the country’s interests.

Yanukovych came into power touting his close relations with Moscow and he maintains when it comes to energy supplies they are essential for Ukraine and Europe as well. FULL POST

Filed under: BusinessDefteriosGlobal Exchange


November 25th, 2013
02:15 PM GMT
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(CNN) -  The historic six-month agreement over Tehran's nuclear program may begin a new era of relations with Iran, but it will be a long road back for the country's most vital sector, oil.

Iran produces about two and half million barrels a day - far off its 4-million-barrel-per-day peak a decade ago. Output is hovering at a level last seen at the end of Iran's war with Iraq. With North Sea Brent crude averaging over $100 a barrel for a record three years running, the sanctions on energy alone are costing Tehran about $50 billion in lost annual revenue.

"During the six month phase, the oil sanctions that will remain in place will continue to cause over $25 billion in lost revenues to Iran or over $4 billion a month," he said.

With every year that has passed, the screws have been tightened by Washington and the countries of the European Union.  It was not only sanctions against oil, but also blocking Iran's ability to secure shipping insurance and to trade in U.S. dollars and euros.  That economic isolation, many Middle East strategists I have spoken with suggest, is what brought Iran's new government to the negotiating table.

Despite the deal breakthrough, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said most of the sanctions will stick as the world gauges the intentions of this relatively new administration in Tehran.

The message is clear: the pressure remains, but if all goes well, in a half year's time Iran can expect more in return for transparency.

It is still early days, but this country of nearly 80 million people has been described as potentially being the Germany of the Middle East with plenty of natural resources - that is, if it can emerge from years of economic isolation.

 



September 3rd, 2013
02:58 PM GMT
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CNN's John Defterios looks at an innovative scientific research program seeking to unlock the energy potential of algae as potential replacement for fossil fuels.

Algae requires a lot of fresh water for cultivation. Dr. Hector Hernandez told CNN: "It's only been very recently that we've realized that the desert is teeming with life... as we've explored more that all these exciting things have started to show themselves."



March 21st, 2013
03:52 PM GMT
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(CNN) – Moira Forbes talks about women in the workplace after Forbes recently named Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg the world's most powerful woman in business.

Forbes says Sandberg has received much attention around the release of her book "Lean In" focusing on women in the workforce.

Forbes added that Sandberg has grown Facebook into a multi-billion dollar company and her success if "extraordinary" with a book that is "personal and candid."



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