Group 4 @ IMBD Lille : China approves the iPhone 6, after a stern look at security


Iphone 6

The Chinese government on Tuesday granted Apple the final license required to release the new iPhone 6 in mainland China, but the announcement came with a twist.

The approval was good news for China’s legions of Apple fans, who will be able to begin making preorders for the phone on Oct. 10, Apple said Tuesday. The phone first went on sale on Sept. 19 in the United States and a few other major markets, including Hong Kong, which operates under laws separate from those of mainland China.

Less encouraging for Apple, the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology announced the approval on its website and, unusually, added a detailed description of security concerns that it had with Apple’s iOS operating system.

The ministry said it was worried about diagnostic tools that run on the iPhone that could compromise users’ private data when the users connect their phones to computers or when they take the phones to repair shops to be fixed. The statement did not mention new encryption functions on the iPhone 6 that are intended to make gaining access to data time-consuming and difficult without the consent of the user.

“What the ministry tests to give this license has nothing to do with the warnings they included about these holes in security,” said Wang Yanhui, secretary of the China Mobile Alliance, a semiofficial organization that facilitates communication between the Chinese government and mobile phone companies in China.

The ministry said on its website that after it presented the concerns to Apple, the company provided it with “official materials” to address them. The ministry said that Apple had shown that the company cannot gain access to customer data without approval from the customer, that the new iOS 8 operating system is more resistant to attempts to steal customer data using diagnostic tools and that Apple had never provided a backdoor to give data to any government agency.

“If companies are found to violate personal information protection policies, the ministry will investigate and take care of the problem according to relevant laws and regulations,” the ministry said.

In a statement issued this month, Apple’s chief executive, Timothy D. Cook, said the company had never cooperated with the government of any country to provide access to customer data.

All smartphones have certain functions that can make them vulnerable when on the Internet, Mr. Wang said. He added, without elaborating, that he believed there was a level of “intentionality” in the inclusion of the remarks about safety.

The Chinese government has hinted strongly over the past year that it will take steps to decrease its reliance on foreign technology after disclosures by the former National Security Agency contractor Edward J. Snowden about surveillance by the United States government.

At a conference in September, Wei Jianguo, the director general of the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, said that the Shanghai municipal government had told its employees to use phones made by the Chinese company Huawei instead of ones from Apple or Samsung, according to a transcript posted on the online news portal Sohu, one of the sponsors of the event.

Three city and central government officials, who requested anonymity because they feared reprisals, said they had not heard of such a policy, but analysts have said the central government could eventually take steps to ensure that officials use phones made by domestic companies.

Link :

Group 4 @ IMBD Lille : Oil Prices Fall, and the Global Economy Wins

Oil prices fall and the global economy wins

Oil is in the midst of one of its steepest selloffs since the financial crisis, with prices falling 16 percent since mid-June. This has the Saudis contemplating even deeper cuts in oil production to keep prices from declining any further. The world’s biggest crude exporter told OPEC recently that in August it reduced output by more than 400,000 barrels a day.

It’s not yet clear how well that’s working. The Saudi cuts were offset in part by more oil from Iran, Iraq, and Nigeria—not to mention the continued record increase in U.S. oil production thanks to the shale boom. While prices are expected to rise slightly for international blends of crude over the next six months, domestic prices in the U.S. are forecast to be cheaper by next spring. That’s not necessarily great news for oil producers, but it could be good news for consumers and the global economy.

There are two schools of thought to explain the recent crash in oil prices: too little demand and too much supply. The question is which one is having the bigger influence. While the results are the same (lower oil prices), the reason for them is equally if not more important to the global economy. Demand certainly could be stronger. A stagnant economy in Europe, slower growth in China, and flat gasoline consumption in the U.S. are all tamping down prices. According to the International Energy Agency, the growth in the world’s demand for oil will be the slowest this year since 2011.

But the bigger factor appears to be on the supply side, as production growth outpaces demand. That was the case last year and is shaping up to happen again in 2014.

A new report by Andrew Kenningham, senior global economist at Capital Economics, attempts to gauge the hard-to-measure global economic boost from lower oil prices. “A $10 fall in the price of oil transfers the equivalent of 0.5 percent of world GDP from oil producers to oil consumers,” he writes. That in turn will have a knock-on effect on global consumption, since consumers tend to spend more of their income than businesses. Assuming consumers spend half their savings for cheaper oil, Kenningham continues, “a $10 fall in the oil price would boost global demand by 0.2 to 0.3 percent.”

This means different things for different parts of the world. In Europe, for example, where policymakers are already struggling with deflation, lower oil prices will only make the European Central Bank’s challenge harder in loosening its monetary policy to try and boost prices. It also might not be good news for some big oil-producing economies. Kenningham points out that while Russia and most of the Middle East will be able to weather lower prices, countries such as Brazil, Mexico, and Venezuela will be hit harder, “primarily because they have not been saving much of their oil windfalls.”

Link :


Group6@Raleigh: Made in America or nothing

Since, Sunday 21 September 2014, Made in America: why American Giant didn’t want to build factories in China

American Giant is a direct-to-consumer apparel company, which is today really famous. It’s a particular company because the manager of the firm decided to produce all of his items in America. American Giant has succeeded with the implementation of hoodie.


Today, one might wonder how succefull a big and famous clothing company can be producing only in America.


In the 1970s, with the reform of fashion industry into mass-market business leaded by the rise in power of mall store;  its marketing and distribution costs began to increased. When you go to a shop to buy a hoodie you “pay the brand”, non your item in reality. Indeed the product items no cost more about $6 or $7 to produce at an Asian manufacturing facility.

Indeed, on one hand, there is so much pressure on US laborers, on manufacturers, cost cutting; on the other hand, countries as China bangladesh or China offers different solution to reduce these issues.  That’s why lot of clothing company choose to delocate their production unit.

Winthrop, founder of American Giant, considers that the quality of a product is the key to an item for succeed. To ensuring this quality there is no better place than America to produce those. Morover he has choosen to face this challenge, find a way to liberate American manufacturing. He refuses to delocate his production as he knows o act this way he do not have the cheapest material, the cheapest labor. As he said «one of those learning moments, just out of the blue,” that creating sweatshirts in foreign factories would undermine the company’s “brand values and quality. ” ».

The most amazing about this story is that it was able to align its prices with those from brands such as J. Crew, Banana Republic and levi’s.).

Since its launch, that is to say, there are two years is a real achievement.


The main challenge of the company is to be competitive effectively in a more challenging market. Keep is main objective to produce its clothes well made and sold at a price that delivers value.

In our opinion, potentially all ingredients are in place to enhance success. American Giant have to continue to go ahead.



Group 15 @ Sophia – From Davos, a View on the State of Globalization

Davos, Switzerland, on Jan. 13

Photograph by Gianluca Colla/Bloomberg

If globalization has a spiritual home, it’s Davos, the Swiss ski resort that will play host to a who’s who of the planet’s decision-makers from Jan. 22 to 25. The annual meeting of the World Economic Forum is devoted to “improving the state of the world,” with the ever-present subtext that more integration is better. Davos Man’s abiding belief that those two goals are compatible has taken a beating in recent years. The financial crisis that struck in 2008 raised serious questions about whether globalization had become more of a threat than a boon. We learned the hard way that the world financial system had become like an electrical grid in which a single tree falling across a high-tension line could cause blackouts of homes and businesses hundreds of miles away.

Today, even as the Great Recession recedes from memory, its ravages are visible. Prior to the crisis, global commerce was growing twice as fast as global economic output, says Bhanu Baweja, who heads emerging-market cross-asset strategy at UBS(UBS). Trade plummeted after the crisis and is only now regaining momentum. Cross-border capital flows are 60 percent of what they were before the meltdown, according to the McKinsey Global Institute. Charles Collyns, who was assistant U.S.Treasury secretary for international finance until joining the Institute of International Finance as chief economist last year, puts it bluntly: “Globalization has stalled.”

That’s not the line that the WEF’s organizers will be broadcasting. “The people in Davos are looking forward, not backward,” says Robert Greenhill,a former executive and consultant from Canada who’s now chief business officer of the forum. Still, the stresses of the wider world are sure to find their way into the forum’s meeting halls. Talk of currency war is in the air, while China and Japan are skirmishing in the East China Sea. In the U.S., trade is taking some of the blame for the hot-button issue of the year: inequality. Emerging markets such as Brazil and Turkey have swooned over the Federal Reserve’s plans to cut back bond purchases. Global banks complain that regulators are balkanizing finance by requiring each local unit to have the capital to stand on its own. Snooping by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) has caused hard feelings among allies and rivals alike.

Without violating trade rules, countries have found ways to close borders. Australia now bans overseas storage of electronic health records. Argentina requires foreign luxury automakers to offset their imports of cars with exports of local products, such as malbec wine, all in the name of “trade balancing.” “What we’re moving toward is a system which on paper is open, but beneath the surface is increasingly distorted by all kinds of subsidies and buy-local provisions,” says Simon Evenett, professor of international trade at the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland. Investment controls and antitrust rules are sometimes “intimidating people from doing cross-border deals because of risks today that didn’t exist before,” says Thomas Vinje, chairman of the global antitrust practice in the Brussels office of Clifford Chance, a U.K. law firm.

Progress on the free movement of people and information is also being stymied. A lobbying coalition that included General Electric (GE) and Google (GOOG) failed to get Congress to ease immigration limits last year despite arguments that American companies can’t find enough tech workers. Financial hubs such as Singapore and the U.K. are making it harder for companies to hire foreigners following domestic protests. “Policies to promote more immigration into the advanced economies are going to be a hard sell until unemployment rates drop,” according to the “Depth Index of Globalization 2013,” a 276-page study by IESE, the graduate business school of the University of Navarra in Spain. Meanwhile, the NSA’s Prism spying scandal has hurt U.S. suppliers of cloud computing as countries opt to keep data in home-based clouds.

In a report to clients last year, Joachim Fels, Morgan Stanley’s (MS) chief international economist, warned that 2014 could be a repeat of 1914, which brought an abrupt end to the first golden era of globalization. Wrote Fels: “I do worry about a creeping trend towards a de-globalization of economic activity and capital flows.”

The view from Davos, though, is that all is not lost. Trade talks are the most important countertrend. With little notice from protesters, negotiators are making progress toward the Trans-Pacific Partnership on one side of the world and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership on the other, as well as a fledgling U.S.-China investment treaty. Agreement on trade-streamlining measures was reached at the World Trade Organization’s ministerial meeting in Bali on Dec. 7. A study by consulting firm Bain presented at Davos last year, which inspired the Bali pact, concluded that eliminating discriminatory regulations and other barriers to global supply chains could boost world gross domestic product six times as much as doing away with all tariffs.

Source :

12@Raleigh – World Tourism Day: An Opportunity to Reflect on Tourism and Community Development

Our sustainable tourism class this week celebrated World Tourism Day with listening to World Tourism day messages, and a good discussion on the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism.

USF Patel College of Global Sustainability, Sustainable Tourism Class

Following the reading of the message from U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, and the video message from Taleb Rifial, Secretary General of the U.N. World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)

WTD 2014 Official Message by UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai

WTD 2014 Official Message by UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai from UNWTOon Vimeo.

We then enjoyed some fair trade coffee and special tourism cake as we discussed the principles of the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism and its relationship to community development and the Global Sustainable Tourism Council.

Tourism Cake To Celebrate World Tourism Day

The discussion resulted in three important conclusions by the class.

1 – The Global Code of Ethics for Tourism is necessary for good and responsible community development to take place in the tourism industry.

2 – The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) certification process could be an opportunity for community development

3 – The recent declaration and outcome document of the UN DPI / NGO Conferenceregarding sustainable tourism provides an important goal for the new U.N. Sustainability Goals if sustainable tourism is going to reach its full potential.

The Global Code of Ethics for Tourism provides an important framework of ethical principles to guide tourism development and operations.

Some of the highlights in the ten articles include:

  • The important contribution tourism makes in increasing understanding, tolerance, and respect for diversity in the world.
  • The opportunity in tourism for individual or collective fulfillment through a number of travel purposes including but not limited to, religion, health, education, cultural or linguistic exchanges, and the opportunity to further the concept of human rights.
  • Tourism is called upon to both be an example and to provide the road map for sustainable development in the larger communities in which they do business.
  • Tourism is called upon to enhance cultural heritages of a community.
  • Tourism is called upon to provide a number of financial benefits and raise the standard of living for the community.
  • Ethical tourism has obligations to provide honest and accurate information to tourists, and to work with public authorities to insure safety and security as well as the freedom for tourists to practice their own religion or spiritual practice.
  • Tourism is called upon to help guarantee the fundamental rights of workers and to ensure that they have opportunities for ongoing training, access to the work force, and to participate in exchanges around the world. In addition tourism is called to provide protection as outlined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to provide opportunities for leisure opportunities in cooperation with public authorities, and provide tourism opportunities for diverse groups such as family, youth, students, seniors, and people with disabilities.
  • Tourism is called to promote the principle of liberty that allows for free travel both within states and between states and protection of confidentiality when traveling.
  • Tourism is called upon to provide for the rights of workers and entrepreneurs including fair and adequate compensation, opportunities for ongoing training, social protection, and minimization of job insecurity.
  • Tourism is called upon to from new public and private cooperation in the implementation of the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism and to recognize the role of international institutions such as the UN World Tourism Organization(UNTWO) and non-governmental organizations (NGO) with competence in the field of tourism.

The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) is one such NGO with the UNWTO having expertise in the field of tourism and with both the UNTWO & UNEP having permanent seats on the GSTC board.

The GSTC has defined minimum criteria for sustainable tourism and developed a process to recognize other certification programs that meet the minimum GSTC criteria.

The GSTC Criteria are the result of a worldwide effort to develop a common language about sustainability in tourism. Focusing on social and environmental responsibility, as well as the positive and negative economic and cultural impacts of tourism, the criteria are organized into four topics.

1 – Sustainable management

2 – Socioeconomic impacts

3 – Cultural impact

4 – Environmental impacts (including consumption of resources, reducing pollution, and conserving biodiversity and landscapes)

Third party certification is needed for sustainable tourism and the process is a valuable tool for community development. Without a third party certification process the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism risks remaining little more than great principles that are not implemented.

The GSTC criteria provides a framework for responsible community development including criteria contained in the Global Code of Ethics including but not limited to the following requirements:

  • Management addresses environmental, social, cultural, economic, quality, health and safety issues
  • Providing accurate and honest information
  • Respect the natural and cultural heritage surroundings in planning, siting, design and impact assessment.
  • Provide for people with special needs.
  • Actively supports initiatives for local infrastructure and social community development including, among others, education, training, health and sanitation.
  • Local residents are given equal opportunity for employment including in management positions. All employees are equally offered regular training, experience and opportunities for advancement.
  • The organization offers the means for local small entrepreneurs to develop and sell sustainable products that are based on the area’s nature, history and culture(including food and beverages, crafts, performance arts, agricultural products, etc.)
  • The organization offers equal employment opportunities to women, local minorities and others, including in management positions, while restraining child labor.
  • The international or national legal protection of employees is respected, and employees are paid at least a living wage.
  • The activities of the organization do not jeopardize the provision of basic services, such as food, water, energy, healthcare or sanitation, to neighboring communities.
  • Tourism activity does not adversely affect local access to livelihoods, including land and aquatic resource use, rights-of-way, transport and housing.
  • The organization contributes to the protection and preservation of local historical, archeological, culturally and spiritually important properties and sites, and does not impede access to them by local residents.
  • The organization incorporates elements of local art, architecture, or cultural heritage in its operations, design, decoration, food, or shops; while respecting the intellectual property rights of local communities.
  • Natural resources such as water, air, and land are protected.
  • Energy consumption is measured, sources are indicated, and measures are adopted to minimize overall consumption, and encourage the use of renewable energy.
  • Greenhouse gas emissions from all sources controlled by the organization are measured, procedures are implemented to minimize them, and offsetting remaining emissions is encouraged.
  • Waste is measured, mechanisms are in place to reduce waste, and where reduction is not feasible, to reuse or recycle it. Any residual waste disposal has no adverse effect on the local population and the environment.
  • The organization implements practices to minimize pollution from noise, light, runoff, erosion, ozone depleting compounds, and air, water and soil contaminants.
  • The organization supports and contributes to biodiversity conservation, including natural protected areas and areas of high biodiversity value.

The above is a partial list of the GSTC criteria shows how the certification process promotes responsible community development within the tourism industry. Unlike a code that some tourism industries might pick and choose which items to adopt in principle and implement in practice, the certification process requires that all items be implemented at the minimal levels with encouragement to do more.

Sustainable Tourism A New Goal For the UN DPI / NGO community.

In order for the GSTC certification to be fully utilized as a tool for sustainable tourism, increased demand for tourism businesses to meet the GSTC criteria needs to occur.

A major step was taken last month at the UN DPI / NGO conference 2015 & Beyond

At this UN conference a sustainable tourism workshop moderated by Richard Jordanwas held with presentations on the GSTC by Randy Durband, CEO of the GSTC, Dr. Kelly Bricker who presented on examples of tourism used to assist community development and alleviate poverty, Dr. David Randle who presented a case study of the Walt Disney Company as a model for sustainable tourism

Following the workshop new goals related to sustainable tourism were adopted. Some of the highlights include:

    • Tourism and the teaching of sustainable tourism in universities were acknowledged as an essential prerequisite for world peace. The specific language states: ” We recognize that world peace and human security is crucial for development. Peaceful societies require strong enabling mechanisms for preventing violence and violent conflict by promoting peace through tourism and the teaching of sustainable tourism in universities….”


    • Under Goal 15, “Protect, restore and promote sustainability use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat decertification, and halt and reverse land degradation, and halt biodiversity loss”, the language developed “Ensures that all aspects of tourism meets criteria of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) and includes options for the private sector to self-impose carbon taxes throughout the enterprise and implement zero waste to landfill programs.”


  • Increase substantially the share of sustainable tourism as per the 10-Year Framework on Sustainable Consumption and Production (10YFP).

Read the full story of: How Sustainable Tourism Is Becoming a New ‘Mega-Goal’ at the 65th Annual United Nations DPI/NGO Conference.

A community that implements these new goals and encourages and collaborates with its tourism businesses to receive certification that meets the criteria of the GSTC criteria will take a major step forward for toward positive community development. In the process they are also likely to significantly improve their economy as well.

Below as an example is a summary of sustainability goals set by the Walt Disney Company in 2008 based on 2006 baseline data. As you review these goals, imagine if every sustainable tourism destination adopted similar goals and targets the positive impact this would have on community development.

Environmental Long Term Goals

  • Zero net direct greenhouse gas emissions
  • Reduce indirect greenhouse gases from electricity consumption
  • Zero waste to landfill
  • Net positive impact on ecosystems
  • Minimize water use
  • Minimize product foot print
  • Inform, empower and activate employees, business patterns, and consumers to take positive action for the environment

Medium – Term Targets


  • In the next 5 years decrease tons of solid waste to landfill by 50% of the baseline level
  • In the next 5 years increase percentage of purchases that include post consumer recycled material

Climate & Energy

  • In the next 4 years, achieve 50% of goal of zero net direct greenhouse gas emissions through a combination of reductions, efficiencies, and offsets
  • In the next 5 years, reduce electricity consumption by 10% compared to the baseline in existing assets.
  • Develop a plan to aggressively pursue renewable sources of electricity to reduce emissions from electricity.


  • In the next 2 years, develop and implement an integrated approach to design, engineering and habitat protection for all new construction projects
  • Increase the level of support for the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund each year for the next 5 years.

This World Tourism Day, lets commit to making the Global Code of Ethics for tourism a guide for our tourism development and operations.

This World Tourism Day, lets commit to encourage tourism to adopt the new UN DPI / NGO goals related to sustainable tourism and become certified meeting the GSTC standards.

This World Tourism Day let’s encourage our tourism hotels and tour operators as well as our larger tourism destinations become involved in positive community development and become leaders in our community for achieving the new UN sustainability goals currently being developed.

The USF Patel College of Global Sustainability Sustainable Tourism class wishes you a Happy World Tourism Day!

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Group 14@Paris-Invitation to a Dialogue: Globalizing Wisely (The New York Times)

Invitation to a Dialogue: Globalizing Wisely-MAY 27, 2014

To the Editor:

We hear much talk about globalization, but what — really — is it?

For the first time in history, it’s possible for everyone to know everything happening everywhere.

We are forging an awareness of our existence as a single entity. Nations are incorporating technology into the fabric of their economics, politics, culture and international relations. Because of our global information system, people of different psychological and cultural orientations — whether Silicon Valley computer genius or member of an Amazon tribe — are forced into a shared globalized context.

Globalization is the gradual process of the world shrinking as people of different nations, cultures and religions know more about one another. Western ideas and modes of living are seeping into the fabric of the world. The American baseball cap is now worn from Tahiti to Timbuktu. McDonald’s is ubiquitous.

Everyone on earth is forced to adjust to information technology. No nation can modernize without becoming part of the global information system. Existing cultures, traditions and institutions thus become threatened, even disappearing.

While we Americans believe that what works for America will work for all nations, we sometimes forget that cultural differences represent profound psychological differences. The critical question for all nations is, “How can we engage globalization without losing our traditions?” For traditions are our links with the past. How do our traditions become integrated into some new worldview?

At its core, globalization is not about communications technology; it’s about personal identity. It goes to the psychological foundations of a people. It is the process of realizing that wherever we come from, from now on, we are “one people” with one destiny.

This is the greatest transition in world history. If pursued wisely and cooperatively, globalization represents the world’s best chance to enrich the lives of the greatest number of people.

Lake Ridge, Va., May 27, 2014

The writer is a former trends analyst and author of “Between Two Ages: The 21st Century and the Crisis of Meaning.”

Editors’ Note: We invite readers to respond briefly by Thursday for the Sunday Dialogue. We plan to publish responses and a rejoinder in the Sunday Review. Email:


Group81@Sophia-Suppliers Are Starting To Lose Patience With ASOS plc

ASOS (LSE: ASC) has fallen out of favour with the market over the past year as the company has issued numerous profit warnings. However, as the company tries to impress the market by discounting products to drive sales, the company is alienating its suppliers, which could be really bad news for the company.

Struggling for growth ASOS

It’s no secret that ASOS has been struggling. A strong pound, a fire at the company’s main distribution warehouse and increasing competition are the three main factors that have dented the company’s sales and profitability over the past 12 months.

Still, ASOS has been able to grow sales over this period by discounting its products heavily. Discounts of 20% to 25% are common according to suppliers.

To some extent, this discounting has worked. The company’s total revenues expanded by 30% in constant currency during the year to 31 August. But this growth came at the expense of ASOS’s gross margin, which fell by 640 basis points during the three months to 31 August.

Trouble brewing

Unfortunately, it seems as if things are only going to get harder for ASOS. Indeed, it has come to light recently that as a result of the company’s discounting, suppliers are now considering retracting their items from the company’s website.

ASOS has not always had a trouble-free relationship with its suppliers. In particular, some UK retailers have prevented the company from selling their products overseas. This latest spat, however, does appear to be more of an issue, as some suppliers have accused ASOS of “damaging their brand” due to discounts offered. One supplier was even quoted as saying that NEXT’s (LSE: NXT) new online and catalogue service, Label, was emerging as a viable alternative to ASOS’s current offering.

Still, no retailers have pulled away from ASOS yet. Nevertheless, last year the company’s aggressive discounting over the Christmas period was a major concern to suppliers. A repeat of heavy pre-Christmas discounting could be the last straw. So, things could change over the next few months.


Next’s new online fashion venture is a threat to ASOS’s dominance, although the venture is not trying to become the next ASOS.

Label was launched earlier this year, fronted by supermodel Jourdan Dunn and stocks brands such as Diesel, Superdry, Hobbs and Nike amongst others. Further, Label is no ordinary fashion website. It’s been designed to complement Next’s existing online offering, not boost it. Indeed, when discussing the potential for Label, Next’s management stated that:

“We are concerned that some might be tempted to exaggerate the potential of this new business, and we should stress that it will be naturally constrained by the fact that we intend to only sell premium brands and will not discount in order to recruit new customers…”

This is great news for suppliers who feel that they’ve been let down by ASOS. What’s more, Next already has a successful online and catalogue business, which it can use to boost Label’s exposure, operational efficiency and customer fulfilment.

Only time will tell

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Group 4@Raleigh : Obama creates world’s largest marine reserve

A good initiative from Barack Obama who creates the world’s largest marine reserve on the planet, by expanding the Marine National Monument in Hawai by six times its original size.
It will help to protect some of the most vulnerable species on the planet including coral reefs !!!

Check the article to have more informations :


Singapore begins to be suspicious about globalization effects on its territory

Modern-Day Singapore Pays a Price for Globalization

Singapore by night.webphotographeer—Getty Images/Vetta

The city-state has done all it can to succeed in the global marketplace, only to end up feeling some unease at having its distinctive sense of place eroded.

You land at Changi Airport after flying for what seems a lifetime, and you’re disoriented even before you hit the customs booths with bowls of mints, dire warnings about the death penalty for those bringing in drugs, and digital comment cards asking if the service was to your liking.

Duck into a public restroom and you’ll be exhorted to aim carefully and to “flush with oomph” for the sake of cleanliness. Outside, it’s tropical sticky but impeccably clean, in a city is inhabited by Chinese, Malays, Indians, and guest workers from around the world—all speaking English.

Singapore is an assault on one’s preconceptions.

Singapore calls itself the Lion City, but it would be more accurate to call it the Canary City—the canary in globalization’s gold mine. Arguably no other place on earth has so engineered itself to prosper from globalization—and succeeded at it. The small island nation of 5 million people (it’s really just a city, but that’s part of what’s disorienting) boasts the world’s second-busiest seaport, a far higher per-capita income than its former British overlord, and a raft of number-one rankings on lists ranging from least-corrupt to most-business-friendly countries. So long as globalization continues apace, the place thrives.

On the event of its 50th anniversary as an independent nation, Singapore’s defining achievement is summed up in the title of its longtime leader Lee Kwan Yew’s memoir,From Third World to First. When it split off from Malaysia a half-century ago, Singapore had little going for it, other than a determination to become whatever it needed to be—assembly plant, container port, trustworthy banking and logistics center, semiconductor hub, oil refinery, mall developer, you name it. But the brilliance of its founding fathers—OK, it was mostly one father, Mr. Lee—was in realizing that the precondition for all of this was good governance.

Over a recent week of briefings with Singaporean business and government leaders sponsored by the nonprofit Singapore International Foundation, I heard one business leader say that he has never had to pay a bribe in his lifetime. To an American audience, that may seem like a fairly modest boast, but as this speaker noted, it’d be a difficult claim to make in neighboring Southeast Asian countries (or developing nations anywhere). Like Americans, Singaporeans worship the concept of meritocracy. Unlike Americans, Singaporeans entrusted their society to an all-knowing one-party technocracy that has delivered the goods across two generations—including affordable, publicly built housing for a majority of the population and a system of private lifetime savings vehicles that are the envy of policy wonks the world over.

Still, even at the height of its success, Singapore doesn’t get much love from the legions of foreigners who avail themselves of its First World amenities. It’s almost obligatory for Westerners visiting or residing in Singapore to complain about the “sterility” of the place, and joke about the pristine shopping malls, contrasting Singapore unflatteringly to the grittier authenticity of nearby Cambodia and Vietnam.

It’s a form of colonial prejudice to begrudge Singaporeans their lack of Third World “charm.” But the interesting new wrinkle is that Singaporeans themselves are joining in the second-guessing about the price of development.

Opposition parties are gaining some ground, capitalizing on unhappiness with strained public services, soaring prices, and an influx of super-wealthy foreign investors. Having taken care of its population’s basic needs and then some, it must be galling for Singapore’s relentlessly pragmatic leadership to see a surge of yearning for rooted authenticity. The few older neighborhoods that haven’t been demolished—including the first generation of public housing complexes—are now heralded as historic landmarks.

This ill-defined sense of nostalgia reflects the tensions inherent in globalization. You can leverage all of your comparative advantages to succeed in the global marketplace, only to end up feeling some unease at having your distinctive sense of place eroded.

Until recently, Singapore was among the most welcoming places to outsiders, with one out of every three residents born elsewhere. But with fertility rates dropping, the country opened the floodgates to immigrants to ensure continued growth—turning immigration into a lightning rod. One triggering event for a national debate on the subject was a modest riot late last year in the city’s Little India Quarter. A government official, off-script, said with some relish: “Imagine that, we had a riot: we must be a real place.”

In the aftermath, the government slowed down its intake of immigrants and tapered its growth projections. The move was a testament to how responsive Singapore’s system can be to its citizenry’s needs and desires, without being terribly democratic.

It was a testament, too, to how perfect Singapore—and its paternalistic, technocratic cosmopolitanism—is for this age of interdependence.

Andrés Martinez is the Washington editor of Zocalo Public Square, for which he writes the Trade Winds column, and Vice President of the New America Foundation