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Archive for the ‘Business News.’ Category

Government to Get Out of Internet Naming Business.


A division of the U.S. Commerce Department said on Friday it would give up control of the group that manages much of the architecture of the Internet, including the parceling out of domain names.

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration said in a statement it would shift those tasks to “the global multi-stakeholder community.”

NTIA’s role includes administering changes to the database that contains the list of names and addresses of all so-called “top level” Internet domains, including the commonly used “.com,” .edu,” “.info,” and others.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, a nonprofit organization, will help launch a process to transition away from the current, U.S.-government-run Internet domain name system.

“The timing is right to start the transition process,” said Lawrence Strickling, U.S. assistant secretary of commerce for communications and information. “We look forward to ICANN convening stakeholders across the global Internet community to craft an appropriate transition plan.”

Fadi Chehade, ICANN’s chief executive officer, said it would seek input from groups including representatives from governments, the private sector and “civil society” around the world to develop the plan.

“All stakeholders deserve a voice in the management and governance of this global resource as equal partners,” Chehade said.

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.
Source: Newsmax.com

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Chinese Set to Buy Forbes Magazine for $250 million.


Chinese conglomerate Fosun International is said to be close to buying the Forbes media empire.

New York Post media columnist Keith Kelly quoted one source saying the deal — reportedly in the $250 million range — could be announced this week or early next week.

The Post noted Fosun already publishes the Chinese edition of Forbes magazine, which calls itself the “capitalist tool.”

The Deal earlier reported the expected $250 million purchase price is far below the $400 million broker Deutsche Bank, which is handling the sale, expected to get.

The Post had already reported that editor-in-chief Steve Forbes may be staying on board with a minority stake up to 20 percent.

But what’s not clear is the Forbes family would hold onto a stake as a bloc, the Post reported.

Forbes is likely to buy out relatives who have a stake in the company since that’s the only way they’d get any return.

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Cathy Burke

Shell, Total and Chevron in the expired Nigeria sold stakes worth $6.5 billion in 2013.


 

shell

International oil companies (IOCs) are divesting their stake in Nigerian oil fields. Shell, Total and Chevron are among the companies which have sold their stake in shallow water assets in Nigeria.
The three major companies have sold stakes worth $6.5 billion in 2013. Oando Energy Resources will soon take over ConocoPhillips energy business in the country in 2014. The deal has been estimated at $1.7 billion.
International oil companies are keen on selling their stake in 13 oil blocks in Nigeria. Oil majors have spent nearly $100 billion globally to improve oil and gas output. However, the production has not improved as per expectations.
In January 2014, Shell issued profit warning for upcoming quarters. Shell registered massive decline in profit at $2.9 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013 compared to $5.6 billion in the fourth quarter of 2012.
In June 2013, Shell had announced its plan to sell four shallow water or onshore oil blocks in Nigeria.
Nigeria had awarded 24 oil fields to 31 companies in 2003. Till date, only eight companies have managed to start production from the allocated oil fields.
The companies have blamed corporate governance issues for lower investor interest in their projects. Nigerian oil ministry is urging the companies to start production as the economy depends on oil exports to a large extent.Nigeriaonpoint News

Source: Radio Biafra.

CVS Caremark Plans to Stop Tobacco Product Sales.


CVS Caremark is kicking the habit of selling tobacco products at its more than 7,600 drugstores nationwide as it focuses more on providing health care.

The nation’s second-largest drugstore chain said Wednesday that it will phase out cigarettes, cigars and chewing tobacco by Oct. 1, a move that will cost about $2 billion in annual revenue but won’t affect its 2014 earnings forecast. CVS Caremark leaders say removing tobacco will help them grow the company’s business of working with doctors, hospitals and other care providers to improve customers’ health.

CVS Caremark Corp. and other major drugstore chains have been adding clinics to their stores for several years now. Their pharmacists deliver flu shots and other immunizations, and those clinics also have been expanding the care they deliver. They now help people manage chronic illnesses like high blood pressure and diabetes.

CEO Larry Merlo noted that conditions like those are made worse by smoking.

“We’ve come to the conclusion that cigarettes have no place in a setting where health care is being delivered,” he said.

The company declined to say what will take tobacco’s prominent shelf place behind cash registers at the front of its stores. CVS Caremark will test some items and may expand smoking cessation products that are already sold near cigarettes.

CVS Caremark has been working to team up with hospital groups and doctor practices to help deliver and monitor patient care, and the presence of tobacco in its stores has made for some awkward conversations, CVS Chief Medical Officer Dr. Troyen A. Brennan said.

“One of the first questions they ask us is, ‘Well, if you’re going to be part of the health care system, how can you continue to sell tobacco products?'” he said. “There’s really no good answer to that at all.”

The company’s announcement drew praise from President Obama, who said in a statement that he applauded the news.

“As one of the largest retailers and pharmacies in America, CVS Caremark sets a powerful example, and today’s decision will help advance my Administration’s efforts to reduce tobacco-related deaths, cancer, and heart disease, as well as bring down health care costs – ultimately saving lives and protecting untold numbers of families from pain and heartbreak for years to come,” the president said.

CVS Caremark competitor Walgreen Co., the nation’s largest drugstore chain, sells tobacco, as does the world’s largest retailer, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which also operates pharmacies in its stores. But Target Corp., another major retailer with pharmacies in its stores, does not.

Most independent pharmacies also do not sell tobacco, according to the National Community Pharmacists Association.

Several cities, including San Francisco and Boston, have considered or passed bans on tobacco sales in stores with pharmacies. Other places like New York City have sought to curb retail displays and promotions and raise the legal age someone can buy tobacco products.

On the flip side, discounters such as Family Dollar have started selling tobacco over the last couple years. They note that smokers make more frequent stops at retailers, and their customers are more likely to be tobacco users.

U.S. retail sales of tobacco, which is comprised largely of cigarettes, were about $107.7 billion in 2012, according to market researcher Euromonitor International. Less than 4 percent of retail cigarette sales come from drugstores like CVS and Walgreens.

The share of Americans who smoke has fallen dramatically since 1970, from nearly 40 percent to about 18 percent. But the rate has stalled since about 2004, with about 44 million adults in the U.S. smoking cigarettes. It’s unclear why it hasn’t budged, but some market watchers have cited tobacco company discount coupons on cigarettes and a lack of funding for programs to discourage smoking or to help smokers quit.

Tobacco companies also have increasingly relied on their packaging and displays at retailers to build brand loyalty and grab consumers because it is one of the few advertising levers left to them after the government curbed their presence in magazines, billboards and TV.

 

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Source: Newsmax.com

Coke’s Multilingual ‘America the Beautiful’ Ad Draws Fire.


Coca-Cola bought more than a Super Bowl ad when it aired a commercial featuring “America the Beautiful” sung in various languages – it also got a lot of controversy for its $8 million.

“If we cannot be proud enough as a country to sing ‘America the Beautiful’ in English in a commercial during the Super Bowl, by a company as American as they come — doggone we are on the road to perdition,” wrote former Rep. Allen West, R-Fla., on his website.

West called the 60-second ad “truly disturbing” and included a lengthy quote by former President Teddy Roosevelt, which ended, “We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language for we intend to see that the crucible turns our people out as Americans, and American nationality, and not as dwellers in a polyglot boarding house; and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people.”

Editor’s Note: New ‘Obamacare Survival Guide’ Reveals Dangers Ahead for Your Healthcare

Story continues below video.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, liked the ad, tweeting:

Twitter lit up with people on both sides of the debate, some praising the ad for inclusiveness and others saying a patriotic American song should not be sung in other languages.

One Twitter photo showed someone pouring a can of Coke down the toilet.

“Apparently singing a song about America in any language other than English is totally unacceptable to a whole lot of TV viewers out there,” read a post on SuperBowlCommercials.org. “And for the record, people… this is not the National Anthem, so stop calling it that.

Coke also aired the first Super Bowl ad featuring a gay couple Sunday night, but it sparked no noticeable controversy.

Editor’s Note: New ‘Obamacare Survival Guide’ Reveals Dangers Ahead for Your Healthcare

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

 

By Greg Richter

Report: Meth Is Part of Everyday Life in North Korea.


North Korea’s government has reportedly gone out of the drug business, but savvy — or desperate — entrepreneurs are finding a ready market for methamphetamine both inside the country and around the globe.

Homemade meth from North Korea, known as “orum” or “ice,” has been found in 16 drug arrests in China since 2008 in quantities of up to 22 pounds, Harvard University researcher Sheena Chestnut Greitens told the Los Angeles Times.

“Meth is a product you can make in bathtubs or trailers. You have a wide range of people involved in production and trafficking,” Greitens said.

Because there’s so little stigma attached to its use in North Korea — people take it to treat colds, boost energy, keep them awake for work, or curb appetites in a country where food is scarce — methamphetamine is offered up as casually as a cup of tea, the newspaper reported.

“If you go to somebody’s house, it is a polite way to greet somebody by offering them a sniff,” Lee Saera, 43, of Hoeryong and interviewed in China, told the Times. “It is like drinking coffee when you’re sleepy, but ice is so much better.”

Government drug manufacturing operations ceased after 1999, and with analgesics hard to come by, North Korea has been relatively easy about homemade drugs and their use, the newspaper reported.

Park Kyung Ok, 44, also interviewed in China by the Times, said she became a meth dealer after a North Korean coal mine where she worked stopped paying salaries.

Buying grams of meth in Chongjin and selling it in her nearby hometown of Hoeryong, she told the Times she earned “just enough money that I could buy rice to eat and coal for heating.”

It’s also tailor-made for dealers who cook the drug in kitchen labs, “Breaking Bad”-style, then sell it to be exported by smugglers, the Times reported.

Late last year, five alleged drug smugglers were extradited from Thailand to the United States to face charges of smuggling 220 pounds of crystal meth. They told a federal court in New York last month that the drug originated in North Korea, the Times said.

When the North Korean government controlled the business, the drugs were strictly for export, the Times reported. But since individuals took over the business, meth began showing up on the streets in North Korea around 2005. The drug came from Hamhung, the onetime center of the nation’s pharmaceutical and chemical industry, the Times reported.

“North Korean people learn fast to reuse their skills,” Kim Yong Chol, 58, a truck driver who fled North Korea in August, told the newspaper.

It is unclear how serious the North Korean government is about cracking down on the drug trade, the Times reported.

“If you are caught once or twice, with only a small amount like me, you can get away with it if you have connections. But a third time, you will be in real trouble,” Park told the Times. “I was doing bad things because everybody else was doing bad things.”

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By Cathy Burke

Facebook Soon to Lose 80% of Users, Study Says.


Image: Facebook Soon to Lose 80% of Users, Study Says

By Elliot Jager

Two Princeton University doctoral students have written a study that predicts Facebook will follow MySpace into oblivion, Time reports.

Joshua Spechler and John Cannarella, who are studying in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, developed a theoretical model  that compares the social media site to an infectious disease.

Facebook is forecast to spread awhile longer and before it dies.

The Spechler-Cannarella model predicts that Facebook users will lose interest in the social media platform as time goes on and it will face a swift decline — losing 80 percent of its peak membership by 2017.

Editor’s Note: Get Free Guide ‘Maximize Your Social Security Benefits’ 

The two scholars used a modified epidemiological model called adoption and abandonment to try to understand the momentum of how users embrace and then drop online social networks.

For statistics they used data available by searching Google.

The study has not yet been peer reviewed.

Both scholars have Facebook pages of their own — at least for now.

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

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