business

“Barbie is an American cultural icon,” said Li Guangdou, a brand analyst in Shanghai. “It is more than a toy. It is also promoting a kind of American culture. Youthfulness, confidence, independence and sex are the selling points of Barbie. But Oriental culture emphasizes more of introversion and introspection.”

The trial of hedge-fund billionaire Raj Rajaratnam has riveted the financial world and shined a light on the phenomenal success and insularity of the Indians, Pakistanis, Bengalis, and Sri Lankans flooding the American financial sector, writes Gary Weiss.

An unpublished U.S. diplomatic cable obtained by WikiLeaks tells the previously undisclosed story of how an American corporate powerhouse -- the $35-billion Coca-Cola Co. -- got caught up in a fierce fraternal dispute between two of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's sons.

Standing atop the world stage at last month's UN Summit on the Millennium Development Goals, a resolute President Obama boldly revealed a core element of his administration's new global development policy--one that would "unleash transformational change." One place in desperate need of that change remains the Occupied Palestinian Territory, a key focus of administration efforts.

Wal-Mart has announced that it is prepared to pay approximately $4.2 billion for Massmart Holdings. Massmart Holdings is a Johannesburg-headquartered chain of discount superstores with a grand total of 290 stores in 13 African countries under brand names such as Makro, Game, and Builders Warehouse. Massmart stores can be found as far away as Ghana and Nigeria and there are stores even in President Mugabe's Zimbabwe.

African governments and business communities hope that South Africa's success in hosting the 2010 World Cup will spur a massive increase in investment and private sector development for all of Africa.

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