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March 12

March 12

Middle Eastern Mirage; Carlos Slim, the World's Richest Man; How Safe Is Your Cell Phone?

March 11, 2010 7:37 by

Middle Eastern Mirage

“Was Dubai, long a capitalist Eden to Western investors, a mirage,” asks Forbes. For years, the emirate seemed to have it all—tax-free, plentiful liquor and lots of scope for entrepreneurship. However, Dubai’s recent collapse after the financial crisis has destroyed vast fortunes and wiped out many businesses. “The real story of Dubai is that it was a trick,” Christopher Davidson, a political science professor at Durham University in the UK tells the magazine.

“Underlying Dubai’s liberal, investor-friendly climate are a feeble legal structure prone to government interference and a capricious approach to settling cases involving defaults, restructurings and foreigners’ rights,” the report says.

The city’s fall has also led to a marked shift of power and money back to the most conservative and resource-wealthy states in the region, it adds.


Carlos Slim, the World’s Richest Man

“Wealth is like an orchard – you have to share the fruit, not the trees,” the world’s richest man, Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim, said in a recent interview. Said to be worth $53.5 billion, Slim pushed off Bill Gates to occupy the top spot on The Forbes World’s Billionaires list.

An art lover, he doesn’t care for private jets or flashy offices, and loves a home-cooked Mexican meal. For most of the 1990s, the baseball-crazy engineering graduate used a plastic watch.

Slim currently controls more than 200 companies, which deal with various sectors including telecoms, infrastructure, banking and retail. The BBC profiles the wealthy man.


Women Still Missing From Top Jobs

Even as the world celebrated International Women’s Day on March 8, the World Economic Forum (WEF) released a report criticizing businesses around the world for failing to close the gender gap. According to its Corporate Gender Gap Report, which studied some of the world’s largest companies, many had failed to address equal pay and were losing female talent, says The Independent.

Women employees were mainly found only in entry- or middle-level positions “and remain scarce in senior management or board positions in most countries and industries” the WEF survey said.


Inside the World of Obama’s Secret-Service Bodyguards

In the 13 months that Barack Obama has been the US President, he has been the subject of an extraordinary outpouring of emotion from the American voters. But more recently, the adoration has been sinking under criticism from tea party activists, birthers, global-warming deniers and viewers of Fox News, says the Guardian. And along with the open antagonism, there is also a lot of hidden hostility against the leader, which lies beyond the boundaries of reasonable political debate, it says.

Hence, protecting Obama has presented the American secret service with its greatest challenge in history, writes Ed Pilkington. And the service is equipping itself to deal with the situation; a whole new array of gadgetry has been added to its armory, from face-recognition technology to a new generation of armored vehicles. “But gadgetry is only as effective as the people who use it,” he adds.


How Safe Is Your Cell Phone?

The debate about the dangers of using a cell phone has been taking place for a long time. While cell phones do emit low-level radio-frequency (RF) radiation when they make and take calls, it has not yet been proved whether these waves can cause cancer in human beings or not.

While both the National Cancer Institute in the US and the World Health Organization say that there isn’t evidence to prove that cell phones are a public-health threat, independent studies say otherwise. Many scientists are worried that there has been a dangerous rush to declare cell phones safe through studies that “are inadequate and too often weighted toward the wireless industry’s interests,” says Time magazine.

But even as the argument rages on, there are some ways to cut down exposure to RF radiation for those worried, such as using your cell phone’s speaker or connecting a wired headset, says the report.

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