Xiaomi – Cheap phones online may not be the key to success.

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Xiaomi, once hailed as an Apple iPhone slayer in China, now admits that they moved too fast to outpace their competitor. The company’s founder, Lei Jun, wrote his employees this week, indicating that the company needs to focus on the future and long-term sustainability. Questions: 1. Who are the domestic rivals to Xiaomi in the… Read more »

Japan Wants Its Overworked Citizens to Start Having Fun by Getting off of Work on the Weekends at an Earlier Time

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Japan is the country that coined the word “karoshi,” or death by overwork. Now it wants companies to let workers finish early on the last Friday of every month, go out and have some fun. Questions: 1. What will this government campaign be called and when does it start? 2. How is this move expected… Read more »

International students save the day at U.S. state universities

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Amid funding shortages, American colleges are turning to international students, who offer a lifeline to cash-strapped U.S. state schools. Questions: 1. How many international students were enrolled in U.S. Universities last year? 2. What percent increase have universities seen in the enrollment of international students since the 2005/2006 school year? 3. Discuss what is happening… Read more »

China Crash?

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In China, outstanding loans have risen sharply to 40% of GDP but analysts fear the end of the credit binge could trigger a crisis for the wider world. Questions: 1. How fast has the debt per household risen over the last 5 years? 2. What is the Chinese household debt ratio compared to other countries?… Read more »

A Mysterious Amount of Net worth!

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In 2012, Forbes dropped J.K. Rowling after eight years on its authoritative billionaires list, saying high British taxes and large charitable contributions had eroded her fortune. Questions: 1. Why should Forbes rethink that? 2. If Rowling gets equivalent of Universal Studios Park ticket sales equal to Spielberg, how much of that would a $100 ticket… Read more »

All I got was a Plaque!

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In April 1967, hamburger lovers in Uniontown, Pa., south of Pittsburgh, met a newer, bigger burger. Introduced by a local McDonald’s, it was called the Big Mac, and for 45 cents it delivered, as a 1970s jingle would have it, “two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame-seed bun.” Questions: 1…. Read more »

The Story behind Dirty Linen

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Major American retailers, including Target and Wal-Mart Stores Inc., have been selling premium-priced sheets purportedly made of Egyptian cotton — a byword for luxury in linens. However, these may in reality be woven with lower-quality cotton blends. Questions: 1. Briefly discuss the suits seeking to be certified as class-actions against these actions. 2. Who is… Read more »

How much are you worth?

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According to the Washington Post, white and male victims often receive larger awards than people of color and women in similar cases, based on the Post’s research of more than two dozen lawyers and forensic economists, who make the calculations. Questions: 1. What are the two tenets of the American justice system discussed in this… Read more »

You Deserve a Break Today!

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According to Reuters, McDonald’s Corp has agreed to pay $3.75 million to settle a lawsuit claiming it was liable for labor law violations by a California franchisee, marking what lawyers said was the first time the company has settled legal claims by a group of U.S. workers at one of its franchises. Questions: 1. Where… Read more »

Sweet Dreams and Watch Out for those False Medical Claims!

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If you have been up late watching TV, you might have seen the Infomercial for a Minnesota company that sells My Pillow, a patented open-cell, poly-foam design created by inventor Michael J. Lindell. This staple of late-night TV infomercials has sold about 18 million pillows since 2005. However, a recent lawsuit successfully argued My Pillow… Read more »