July 27th, 2011
10:25 AM GMT
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(CNN)  Barely a month after South Sudan marked independence, a new type of conflict threatens to define relations with its neighbors in Khartoum: a currency war.

The so-called “economic war” stems from a violation in an agreement between Sudan and South Sudan over the Sudanese pound, the prior legal tender, after the south declared independence on July 9. FULL POST

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July 21st, 2011
05:52 AM GMT
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(CNN) – Japan’s businessmen now have a new way to navigate the country’s rigorous and sleep-deprived work environment: a necktie with an inflatable pillow.

Dubbed as the “Nemuri Tie,” or “sleep tie” in Japanese, the garment’s hidden secret is an inflatable bladder sewn into the back. Able to support up to 25 pounds, the silk and microfiber ties are inflated by blowing on a hidden nozzle.

In a country where “death from overwork” is common enough to have its own word, karoshi, the Nemuri Tie is among the latest unorthodox sleep-aids – such as the “lap pillow,” a pillow shaped like a women’s lap, and an umbrella with a built-in pillow – now being marketed to Japanese salariman.
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July 12th, 2011
06:48 AM GMT
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Hong Kong (CNN) – China loves the NBA – or at least it used to.

With the news that China’s basketball icon Yao Ming plans to announce his retirement from the NBA on July 20, a once burgeoning Chinese basketball market may soon be at risk.

According to Monday poll on Sina Weibo, China’s popular microblogging site, 57% of those surveyed said they would stop watching the NBA after Yao's retirement.

And for the NBA – a league facing a lockout spurred by seemingly irreconcilable differences between its players and owners – the exodus of China’s loyal NBA fan base could be devastating.
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July 11th, 2011
05:51 AM GMT
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(CNN) – The conditions of their surrender were clear: “no libels or any hidden mocking messages of the chief executive” Rebekah Brooks, in the final edition.

But these are News of the World employees we are talking about.

With the last rendition of the paper, “Thank You & Goodbye,” sitting on the copy desk, Brooks – the current chief executive of News International and former News of the World editor – recognized that the final issue of the 168-year-old British tabloid institution could be used as prime real estate for a proper lambasting.

“She brought in two very senior Sun journalists to go though every line on every page with a fine toothcomb,” a News of the World employee told the Daily Mail. “But they failed and we’ve had the last laugh.”

It took until the 47th page of the edition, but the roughly 200 journalists now out of a job as a result of the scandal did have the last laugh, splicing some “less than obvious” jibes in the paper’s crossword section.
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July 7th, 2011
04:11 AM GMT
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(CNN) – Pyeongchang’s triumph of the 2018 Winter Olympics is expected to cultivate more than just national pride, paving the way for the South Korean economy to rake in an estimated $27 billion, according to the Korean Institute for Industrial Economics and Trade, a state-run think tank.

The win may also reduce the nation’s unemployment rate – which sits at 3.3% as of 2010 – by creating roughly 230,000 jobs up until the 2018 games, KIET found in a study.

Pyeonchang beat out Munich, Germany, and Annecy, France, a small resort town located in the French Alps, for a chance to host the Games in 2018. Prior to Wednesday’s announcement, Pyeonchang had failed in bids for the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympics.
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June 22nd, 2011
07:58 AM GMT
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Hong Kong, China (CNN) - From a suffocating drought to massive flooding, torrential rains in China continue to bombard the country’s commodities markets, erasing thousands of hectares of crops and driving local food prices to historic levels.

More than 1.6 million people have been evacuated across China as of Wednesday, and the country’s Ministry of Civil Affairs estimated the total direct economic losses at 32.02 billion yuan ($4.9 billion), CNN’s Helena Hong reported. At least 170 people have been killed and another 83 have gone missing since flooding began earlier this month, state officials said.

Aside from the loss of human life, 1,000 businesses have been destroyed and more than 400,000 hectares (roughly 1 million acres) of crops have been expunged by the recent slew of flooding, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Corn prices in particular continue to swell amid concerns that rising flood waters will ruin most, if not all, of the recently planted crop across central China, Bloomberg reported.

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