Editor's note: CNN is at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Follow CNN's coverage here.
(CNN) Here in Davos Richard Quest frequently uses the term "DV." I am a DV, apparently, and so are a few of my CNN colleagues working here at the WEF. A DV is a "Davos Virgin" - someone experiencing their first taste of this often crazy place. Richard is definitely not a DV. Incredibly, John Defterios has been to Davos 22 times.
Reporting from here is a challenge. To begin with, there are the security checks. Entering or exiting the halls means going through airport-style security, and there are watchful eyes all over the building ensuring that no one transgresses the strict rules. Then there are the VIPs' own entourages. Out of nowhere a flock of suited people will glide past, usually with a president or prime minister safely cocooned at its center. Woe betides those who don't quickly jump out of the way.
The second challenge is eating. At Davos the color of your badge denotes whether or not you can partake in the spreads of food that suddenly appear in the main hall and elsewhere. I have a purple badge. Among other things, this means I may not taste these morsels. As there is nowhere to buy food in the conference, we must instead go off-site to buy the very expensive food on offer. As one of my colleagues put it: "They call it 'resilient dynamism,' I call it a 20 dollar pizza."
But actually a purple badge isn't so bad. An anchor from another network showed me her yellow badge. "It means we're basically cockroaches," she said. Like many journalists covering the event, she must travel back and forth from the media center to the conference hall in the snow.
At CNN we don't have to brave the cold quite so much, but there's a different kind of resilience needed to work in what we affectionately call "The Bunker." The Bunker is quite literally a bunker. It's a bomb shelter underneath the hall, with concrete walls and giant steel doors. There is no natural light, and it's very warm. Not only that, but there are up to 20 people working here at any time, touching elbows as they tap away on their laptops.
Meanwhile, up on the roof, camera crew and engineers toil away at our live position, as guests and their entourages are brought up and down the icy stairs by our producers.
But in spite of the conditions, there is fun to be had. You never know who you might bump into wandering along, and walking from an interview with Ehud Barak, bumping into Jacob Zuma and then the head of the WTO is perfectly possible in the space of a few minutes.
Richard calls these encounters "DMs" - Davos Moments. Davos may be grueling, but these DMs make working here a fascinating experience.
(CNN) – The 2013 forecast for European economic growth has turned into a prediction for decay. The European Central Bank on Thursday flipped next year's gross domestic product forecast from growth of 0.3% to a fall of 0.9% next year.
Martin Sorrell, CEO of WPP, told CNN's Richard Quest he fears Europe's growth problem will last more than just one year.
"This is a decade of slow growth. We are halfway through it. Hopefully we are halfway through it," says Sorrell. "And there's going to be another three, four, five years of tough stuff until we get out of it around 2017, 2018."
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.
Last year the government ruled that the stroke was because of overwork but his company is legally challenging the decision. FULL POST
(CNN) – Facebook’s purchase of Instagram hasn’t closed yet, but a cottage industry of online companies is seeking success on the back of Instagram’s popularity. Websites and apps are creating new business models, technology and choices for printing the pictures you take on your mobile phone.
LA-based Instacanvas says it just raised $1.7 million in seed financing. Their website allows you to upload your Instagram photos and print on canvases or acrylic photo glass. Printing costs between $39 and $79, depending on size. And you could even make some money: Instacanvas allows you to sell your photos to other users.
(CNN) – For nearly a decade, the U.S. box office has been ruled by the comic book hero. Think Batman, Iron Man and X-Men.
But when “The Amazing Spider-Man” makes its debut next week, it won’t be Americans holding the tickets.
The Columbia Pictures film, starring Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone, is set to open June 29th in Hong Kong, the Philippines and a slew of other Asian countries, nearly a week before it hits theaters in the United States on July 3.
This isn’t the first movie to give foreign audiences a sneak peak. This year alone blockbusters such as “The Avengers,” “Battleship” and “Prometheus” all looked to overseas audiences to kick start their box office figures.
The United States has withdrawn funding for the Pakistani version of the American children’s television series known for its educational content and colorful puppets. The U.S. Agency for International Aid received reports of corruption charges on the production company, Rafi Peer Theatre Workshop, through an anti-fraud hotline, according to U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner. Exact details of the graft weren’t provided.
The show, which began airing six months ago, features Elmo with a cast of local characters. The funding cut comes just six weeks after the U.S. Ambassador Cameron Munter visited the set of “Sim Sim Hamara,” the Pakistani name for the series, “to reaffirm the U.S. Government’s commitment to children’s education in Pakistan,” according to a USAID press release.
Editor’s note: Outlook is CNN's in-depth look at business climates around the world. To August 12, 2012, we’re focusing on Singapore.
Asia’s latest discount airliner takes to the skies Monday, with its inaugural flight from Singapore to Sydney.
Launched by Singapore Airlines, no-frills Scoot has already sold more than 100,000 tickets, according to The Straits Times. In its first year, it will offer flights on four Boeing 777 aircraft, linking Singapore with nearby countries, including Australia and China. Currently, tickets are available to the Australian cities of Sydney and Goldcoast, as well as Bangkok and Tianjin, China. FULL POST
(CNN) – Salarimen, throw on your Hawaiian shirts: it’s that time of year again in Japan. “Super Cool Biz,” the Ministry of Environment’s annual energy reduction campaign, officially launches Friday across the country.
To reduce electricity use in corporate workplaces, Super Cool Biz encourages office workers to eschew their usual black suits for lighter clothing, including Hawaiian shirts, polo shirts, T-shirts, jeans, and sandals.
The campaign has been an inadvertent boon to clothing retailers, who have not only increased their stock of these items, but also specially designed garments for the season. FULL POST
(CNN) – Despite the financial crisis and the implosion of businesses like Enron over shady business practices, senior executives are now more likely to pay bribes to win business, according to a survey by Ernst & Young.
Of the nearly 400 CFO’s polled from November to February, 15% would make cash payments to win or retain business – up from 9% two years ago.
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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