Istanbul, Turkey (CNN) – Traditionally played in Turkish tea houses, Okey is a game of tiles that is widely popular throughout Turkey. Now the game is thriving online as players compete for “digital dollars.”
Mumbai, India (CNN) - India has been a nation of tea drinkers for centuries, but in the past decade coffee consumption has been growing. From Starbucks to Costa Coffee, coffee giants are moving into India, converting consumers from chai to cappuccino.
Last month, Starbucks opened its first outlet in India, partnering with Indian firm Tata.
“There's a tremendous amount of coffee being sold and served in this market,” Howard Schultz, Starbucks chairman and CEO, told CNN’s Mallika Kapur.
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.
These are troubled times for Research in Motion (RIM), the makers of the BlackBerry handheld device.
Back in 2008 RIM was an $84 billion company, the darling of executives everywhere, students had BlackBerrys, and even President Obama admitted to being addicted to his BlackBerry, what some people were calling ‘crackberry’.
That was BA – before Apple, and the juggernaut that was the iPhone which launched in 2007. Now fast forward to 2012 and the stock price has been hammered to a 52 week low of $6.22, it’s a $3.25 billion company and some people are saying there may even be layoff in BlackBerry’s future.
There is a bright spot, however – and that bright spot is Africa, specifically Nigeria.
(CNN) - As civil war continues to rage across Syria, in the city of Aleppo, which has seen some of the fiercest fighting between government forces and the rebels, commercial life has ground to a halt.
Zak Brophy, a business journalist recently returned from the area, told CNN of his shock on entering the city.
“Whole neighbourhoods were wiped out, destruction was all over the streets, cars buried amongst the rubble, all of the businesses and markets closed,” he said.
Almost two years on from the Arab Spring and youth unemployment remains the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region’s biggest problem, according to Saud Masud, chief executive of consultancy group SM Advisory.
Labor force participation rates are much below the global average, he said, with Middle East and North Africa at around 46 percent versus the global average of around 66 percent.
One of the main challenges, according to Masud, is a lack of essential skills among the region’s labor markets.
“The real issue here is that you can’t generate jobs by throwing money at it and you can’t generate jobs buy just subsidising any type of on demand job generation programme. The real challenge is skills mismatch,” he told CNN’s John Defterios.
New Delhi (CNN) – Every morning at the crack of dawn, residents of a New Delhi slum gather by the railway tracks to do what most would only do in private - go to the toilet.
One by one, they arrive with water bottles in hand. Some try to hide, while others are less coy.
This has been shop owner Mukhesh's morning routine for the past 40 years.
"I guess I do get embarrassed but what can I do?" Mukhesh asked with a shy grin.
India's vast railways system, which carries some 11 million passengers a day, is often called the lifeline of India.
But one government official has dubbed it something else. "The Indian railway is really the world's biggest open toilet," said Jairam Ramesh, Minister of Rural Development, at a recent bio-lavatory launch.
Japan (CNN) - They are called Senkaku by Japan, and Diaoyu by China, and these East China Sea islands are the topic of an increasingly bitter dispute between the two countries.
Both Japan and China claim the uninhabited islands, which lie between Taiwan and Okinawa and are rich in natural resources.
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda told CNN’s Paula Hancocks a deal is almost done to buy them from the Japanese family who owns them, and to nationalize them. The deal is reportedly worth $26 million.
Havana, Cuba (CNN) - Cuba is experiencing a Russian invasion – but of a purely cultural kind.
According to the Cuban government, tourism from Russia has more than doubled in the last two years, an influx tour guides say has as much to do with Russian nostalgia for Cuba as it has to do with instability in favoured Russian vacation spots caught up in the Arab Spring.
Visitors can see mock ups of Soviet nuclear missiles at Cuban tourist sites - though 50 years ago the real thing led to a Cold War standoff.
The USSR once based thousands of military and intelligence personnel in Cuba, making the country a virtual Soviet colony. Now few traces of that era remain, except for the Russian embassy which still looms large over Havana, the country’s capital.
Cold War fears die hard, however. In July, Russia denied reports that the country was exploring new navel bases in Cuba.
But for now at least the greatest threat posed to the Russians who return to Cuba as tourists may be sunburn.
Afghanistan (CNN) - A team of international archaeologists are racing against the clock to salvage relics from an ancient Buddhist monastery at Mes Aynak in Afghanistan before it is destroyed to make way for a giant $100 billion open cast copper mine.
Brent Huffman, documentary film maker and professor at Medill Northwest University, in the United States, has spent months in the midst of a situation which illustrates the conflicting economic and cultural interests at play in Afghanistan today.
“There is $100 billion worth of copper right underneath the site,” says Huffman. “In order for a Chinese company to mine this copper they’ve got to destroy the whole mountain range and all the monasteries. It is a race against time.”
About Global Exchange
Global Exchange explores how emerging markets are impacting and influencing the global financial community, at a time when business is a vital driver of the international news agenda.
Global Exchange is presented live from Abu Dhabi by emerging markets editor, John Defterios, who will be joined by CNN correspondents from around the world.
Global Exchange also includes the “GX20,” a global hotlist of some of the world’s biggest economic thinkers. The GX20 will be drawn from the key emerging markets, from across China, Russia, India and South Africa, contributing to the show and this blog.
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