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UK unemployment total falls to 2.16m

UK unemployment total falls to 2.16m | The Economy Observer | Scoop.it
The number of people out of work in the UK fell by 161,000 to 2.16 million in three months to April, official figures show.
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The total number of people out of work is now at its lowest level for more than five years.

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Sex, drugs and GDP

Sex, drugs and GDP | The Economy Observer | Scoop.it
THE announcement on May 22nd by Istat, Italy’s statistical body, that from October it would include drug trafficking, prostitution, and alcohol-and-tobacco...
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Reporting illegal economically productive activity in which all parties take part voluntarily is required under EU rules known as the European System of Accounts (ESA).

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Forced Labor Generates $150 Billion Each Year

Forced Labor Generates $150 Billion Each Year | The Economy Observer | Scoop.it
Nearly 21 million people around the world are victims of forced labor. This chart breaks down forced labor's illegal profits by region.
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The new estimates also show that more than half of the 21 million people in forced labor are women and girls, primarily in sexual exploitation and domestic work.

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Japan inflation rate at 23-year high

Japan inflation rate at 23-year high | The Economy Observer | Scoop.it
Consumer prices in Japan rise at their fastest pace in 23 years in April, surging 3.2% from a year earlier, as the sales tax rise comes into effect.
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Falling consumer prices hurt domestic demand as consumers and businesses tend to put off purchases in the hope of getting a cheaper deal later on.

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'Thumbs up' as Sutton funeral held

'Thumbs up' as Sutton funeral held | The Economy Observer | Scoop.it
The funeral is held of teenage cancer fundraiser Stephen Sutton as thousands remember him via social media.
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Morocco Ranks 3rd Best Arab Country for Investment, 42nd worldwide: Study

Morocco Ranks 3rd Best Arab Country for Investment, 42nd worldwide: Study | The Economy Observer | Scoop.it
Foreign investors with international aspirations are constantly on the lookout for the best international investment destinations. Today, Morocco is among the
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Recently published by the American Foreign Policy magazine, the 2014 BPI ranked Morocco third best Arab destination for profitable investment, ahead of Saudi Arabia (58th) and Egypt (73rd).

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AstraZeneca highlights Europe’s innovation malaise - FT.com

AstraZeneca highlights Europe’s innovation malaise - FT.com | The Economy Observer | Scoop.it
Aside from some shareholders, there have been more sighs of relief than regret at AstraZeneca’s rejection of Pfizer’s ‘final’ bid this week. The US drug company may yet force talks but, for the moment at least, many feel the future of life sciences
Daniel Djouder's insight:

The fact that Europe is, relatively, so bad at innovation, and, even when it innovates successfully, so bad at turning discoveries into marketable products, has already caused much agonising at regional policy level.

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Crimea? Pshaw. CEOs Want to Party With Putin

Crimea? Pshaw. CEOs Want to Party With Putin | The Economy Observer | Scoop.it
A big conference in St. Petersburg lures executives despite calls to isolate Russia
Daniel Djouder's insight:

Top executives at Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, Visa, PepsiCo, Alcoa, and other corporations may not go along with the president’s shaming technique. Their chief executive officers are slated to attend the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in May

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China and Russia sign huge gas deal

China and Russia sign huge gas deal | The Economy Observer | Scoop.it
Russia's President Vladimir Putin agrees a multi-billion dollar, 30-year gas deal with China at a summit between the two in Shanghai.
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No official price has been given but it is estimated to be worth over $400bn.

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Fed Pulls Back Quantitative Easing

Fed Pulls Back Quantitative Easing | The Economy Observer | Scoop.it
Michael Hudson: The Fed's practice of buying mortgage and government bonds has helped big banks profit while leaving homeowners holding more debt
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Qatari Sovereign Wealth Fund Acquires Joint Control of Five InterContinental Hotels in Europe

Qatari Sovereign Wealth Fund Acquires Joint Control of Five InterContinental Hotels in Europe | The Economy Observer | Scoop.it
Qatar Investment Authority is acquiring joint control of a group of luxury hotels in five European cities including the Carlton InterContinental in Cannes
Daniel Djouder's insight:

The Qatari sovereign wealth fund’s Katara Hospitality unit is also taking joint control of threeInterContinental hotels in Frankfurt, Madrid and Rome, according to a notice on the website of the European Commission’s competition authority. 

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Europe goes to the polls

Europe goes to the polls | The Economy Observer | Scoop.it
AFTER five gruelling years, many of Europe’s citizens must wish they could dispatch the entire political class to hellfire and torment. As it happens, the ballot...
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The last crisis may be over, but it has exacerbated a deep contradiction at the heart of Europe—between euro-zone economies’ need for integration and the voters’ rejection of it. 

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RIAC :: Blogs :: Point of No Return

RIAC :: Blogs :: Point of No Return | The Economy Observer | Scoop.it
Daniel Djouder's insight:

In conclusion, the geopolitical balance does not support the stance that Russia might willingly retaliate against European sanctions by exploiting its position as a crucial gas provider. On the same token EU leaders should feel relieved of their worries, genuine or exaggerated. It would be convenient though, they quickly realized that critical partnerships, such was that with Russia, need but a moment to be put in jeopardy and decades to be rebuilt.

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Emirates cancels order for 70 A350s

Emirates cancels order for 70 A350s | The Economy Observer | Scoop.it
Dubai's Emirates Airline has cancelled an order for 70 of Airbus's A350 wide-bodied aircraft, the planemaker says.
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UK engine maker Rolls-Royce said the cancellation would lead to a £2.6bn hit to its order book.

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Obama says the U.S. will lead the world for the next 100 years. China disagrees.

Obama says the U.S. will lead the world for the next 100 years. China disagrees. | The Economy Observer | Scoop.it
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Qin's comments weren't the only sign of an official reaction. The Global Times, later published an editorial and challenged that view, asking, “America wants to lead the world for another 100 years, but with what?”

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Intel Wants In on Self-Driving Cars, Too

Intel Wants In on Self-Driving Cars, Too | The Economy Observer | Scoop.it
Just a few days after Google unveiled its self-driving car prototype, computer chip maker Intel a part of the automated vehicle industry too.
Daniel Djouder's insight:

Self-driving cars have the potential to make the roads much safer, thanks to built-in sensors that can inform a computer to make driving decisions much faster than humans.

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Google bows to EU privacy ruling - FT.com

Google bows to EU privacy ruling - FT.com | The Economy Observer | Scoop.it
A landmark “right to be forgotten” ruling against Google in Europe risks damaging the next generation of internet start-ups and strengthening the hand of repressive governments looking to restrict online communications, Larry Page, the search
Daniel Djouder's insight:

This month’s ECJ ruling amounted to the biggest privacy setback for an American internet company in Europe and exposed a widening transatlantic rift over personal data.

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Gazprom criticises EU over South Stream gas pipeline - FT.com

Gazprom criticises EU over South Stream gas pipeline - FT.com | The Economy Observer | Scoop.it
Gazprom has accused the EU of applying double standards to block its landmark gas pipeline into Europe in a case that looks increasingly likely to spiral into an acrimonious legal showdown. The confrontation over the South Stream pipeline comes as
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Modern slavery

Modern slavery | The Economy Observer | Scoop.it
Counting the cost of forced labour THE idea of treating other humans like chattel seems as antiquated as it is barbaric. But it is big business. Forced labour...
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German fears of China cyber spying reinforced by US charges - FT.com

German fears of China cyber spying reinforced by US charges - FT.com | The Economy Observer | Scoop.it
A US indictment of Chinese military officers for commercial cyber espionage has struck a chord in German industry, where there is disquiet over the theft of intellectual property. Germany is China’s biggest trading partner in the EU, with German
Daniel Djouder's insight:

Germany is China’s biggest trading partnerin the EU, with German exports to China – chiefly cars, car parts and machinery – worth €67bn last year.

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Venezuela: Tipping Point - International Crisis Group

Venezuela: Tipping Point - International Crisis Group | The Economy Observer | Scoop.it
Failure to resolve the Venezuelan crisis could plunge the country into yet more violence, leaving it unable to address soaring criminality and economic decline and exposing the inability of regional inter-governmental bodies to manage the continent’s conflicts.






“The international community must provide support to de-escalate violence and maintain a consistent line on restoration of the rule of law and respect for human rights”.
Javier Ciurlizza, Crisis Group’s Latin America Program Director




In its latest briefing, Venezuela: Tipping Point, the International Crisis Group examines Venezuela’s increasingly dangerous political polarisation and efforts to overcome it. The government and its supporters believe the opposition wishes to subvert democratic processes, reverse social gains and restore foreign domination of the country’s energy reserves; the opposition believes the government’s incompetence and its authoritarian socialist project are leading a potentially wealthy country into ruin. Neither side can win this fight nor govern alone. Outside facilitation, however difficult, provides the best hope for a resolution.
The briefing’s major findings and recommendations are:

Venezuela reached a tipping point in February: the violence, which has cost at least 42 lives and produced scores of human rights violations and hundreds of arbitrary detentions, has made finding a solution both more urgent and more complex.
Political confrontation between the government and its opponents, exacerbated by violence – particularly by members of the security services and the pro-government armed groups known as “colectivos” – has left Venezuelans deeply divided and unable to address grave problems of criminality and precipitous economic decline. Neither the government, struggling to replicate Chávez’s charisma and ruling by confrontation, nor the opposition, united in goals but divided in strategy, can provide sufficient answers by themselves to these challenges.
Venezuela’s polarisation reverberates beyond its borders. It has revealed the shortcomings of regional institutions in dealing with political crises in the neighbourhood. A failure to contain and resolve this crisis will have lasting effects in the region and will seriously harm the prestige of established inter-American and Latin American systems.
To be successful, negotiations between the government and the opposition, currently facilitated by the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) and the Vatican, must address the key factors that led to the crisis. All sides concerned should also consider bringing a UN technical mission to provide support.
To revive the dialogue if it stalls and to monitor agreements, all sides should consider the appointment of an international facilitator, possibly from the UN system, in conjunction with UNASUR members and the Vatican.

“The international community must provide support to de-escalate violence and maintain a consistent line on restoration of the rule of law and respect for human rights” says Javier Ciurlizza, Latin America Program Director. “The crisis in Venezuela cannot be managed without external help”.
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eBay makes users change passwords

eBay makes users change passwords | The Economy Observer | Scoop.it
Members of eBay are being made to change their passwords after a cyber-attack compromised a database containing user information.
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The California-based company has 128 million active users and accounted for $212bn (£126bn) worth of commerce on its various marketplaces and other services in 2013.

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Mind le gap! France spends $15 billion on trains that are too fat for 1,300 station platforms

Mind le gap! France spends $15 billion on trains that are too fat for 1,300 station platforms | The Economy Observer | Scoop.it
The country that brought the TGV high-speed train to Europe has accidentally created another first – the TFT, or the Too Fat Train.
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To the indignation of national and local politicians, 1,300 platforms have to be rebuilt at a cost of at least €50m.

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Why Canadians are more satisfied than you

Why Canadians are more satisfied than you | The Economy Observer | Scoop.it
Customer service in America is mediocre — and getting worse.
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In Canada and Norway, for example, customers were happy with their outcomes 90% of the time or more; meanwhile, in India, the lowest ranked of the 19 countries examined, consumers were pleased with their interactions just 54% of the time, in United Arab Emirates 66% of the time and in Brazil only 69% of the time.

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