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India and China are often lumped together as part of the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) countries whose rapidly developing economies will have an increasingly profound impact on world affairs. Between them China and India have more than a third of the world's population.
Half of young people in Spain and Greece are out of work. Many of those in employment have taken jobs well below the level and pay grade they could normally expect to achieve with the qualifications they have gained - partly because they have stayed on at university or in training precisely because there are so few jobs available.
Have you heard the peacock's tail theory of capitalism? According to Christopher Meyer and Julia Kirby (A19, HBR) the peacock's tail grew ever larger and more flamboyant across the years in response to the fact that peahens preferred mates with a large tail. But after many generations the huge tail created a problem for the peacock. It was so heavy that it slowed the bird, making it easier prey and eventually causing the peacock population to decline.
A wide-screen TV set that costs $2,000 in Canada typically retails for around $400 less in the USA. A two-year computer-service agreement priced at $199 in Canada costs only $169 in the USA. And the GM Yukon sport utility vehicle can be anything from $11,000 to $13,000 more expensive in Canada than the United States. Why do prices rise so steeply north of the 49th parallel?
One of the most colourful clashes in UK politics took place in the early 1980s between right-wing Conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and left-wing Labour leader of the Greater London Council (GLC) Ken Livingstone.
Andrew Carnegie must be turning in his grave. The Scottish-American businessman and philanthropist - an avid reader and supporter of the view that help should be focused on the industrious, ambitious and those most anxious to help themselves - gave money to build more than 2,500 libraries across the world in the final years of the nineteenth century and early part of the twentieth.
It is not easy to shed a tear for credit-card companies, but their industry has been in the doldrums since 2005 - the year that marked the abrupt end of growth of between 5% and 10% in both the number of cards in circulation and the value and volume of card transactions carried out.
Ryanair and easyJet, Europe's largest budget airlines, have enjoyed almost continuous double-digit growth since the mid-1990s. But the party - which at its height involved air passengers travelling for as little as ?1 a ticket - has come to an end. Both companies have recently announced plans to rein in expansion and return money to shareholders in the form of dividends.
If Santander's Emilio Botín, had retired at the age of 65, he would have missed the perhaps the most successful years of his career. Now aged 75, he has steered the bank of which he is executive chairman through the worst international financial crisis for three generations, to emerge as a significant force in global banking.
British Airways is sometimes referred to in the business world as a pension scheme with an airline attached. The deficit in its two main pension schemes - which stands at around £3.7 billion ? is so great that the Spanish airline Iberia has insisted on the right to walk away from its proposed merger with BA if the issue cannot be satisfactorily resolved.
Global capitalism - a force for good or evil? Few questions can have exercised the human mind more in recent times. The debate has come into particularly sharp focus over the role of banks in the current recession.
For many people, France is a country that seems to have everything - a rich history and culture, a pleasant climate, a wide range of foodstuffs that are locally sourced and prepared to the highest quality, stunning landscapes and beautiful cities. It has a reasonably strong economy, based not only on tourism and agriculture but also on a wide range of world-beating technology products such as the high-speed train and giant A380 Airbus. Yet it has somehow managed to achieve this pre-eminence without tying its people to the US or British long-hours culture. France, famously, has the 35-hour week.
There is no love lost between French president Nicolas Sarkozy and European Union trade commissioner Peter Mandelson. The former went so far as to blame the latter for defeat, in the Irish referendum, of the Lisbon Treaty proposals to reform the way in which the EU conducts its business.
Herding sheep and goats, cultivating dates, fishing, pearling and trading with its neighbours were the main activities of Dubai as recently as quarter of a century ago. Today, of course, it has become one the world’s leading luxury-tourism destinations, where almost all the world-famous brand names are represented. The resort already has more than 40,000 rooms and apartments – a figure set to more than double by 2016.
What could be more British than a cup of Tetley's Tea at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in London-St James's? Well, practically anything, really. Both brands are owned by the giant Tata Group, one of India's largest companies, whose annual revenues of almost €30 billion represent more than 3 per cent of the country's gross domestic product.
It is rarely easy for a foreigner fully to understand another nation's politics. Jimmy Carter and Mikhail Gorbachev, for example, were unpopular in their own countries for much of their period in office, but often viewed quite positively abroad. For Ronald Reagan and Vladimir Putin, the opposite is the case...
According to UK satirical magazine Private Eye, when Basingstoke Council found that a closed-circuit television camera it had installed outside a shopping centre to catch bicycle thieves was obscured by a tree it solved the problem... by chopping down the tree!