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tv   World Business Today  CNN  December 7, 2011 1:00am-2:00am PST

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i don't think, you know i think he was a vessel, you know. so i owe god my life through him but i do not owe any man my life. >> a feisty and emotional mary j. blige tomorrow night. that's all for us tonight. hello, i'm monita rajpal at cnn london. former russian deputy prime minister says he was detained during a second day of demonstrations against parliamentary election results. police also arrested 250 other protesters in moscow on tuesday. the demonstrators say they are angry over reports of ballot rigging. prime minister vladimir putin's party lost more than 60 cities.
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greece passes next year's budget. it is packed with tax increases and spending cuts which are required to secure bailout funds. the budget cuts, the deficit pushes the deficit to 5.24 gdp, down from 9%. ahead of the u.s. 2012 election campaign, u.s. president barack obama says the middle class needs to step up to the plate. he called for more taxes on the wealthy. those are the top stories from cnn, i'm monita rajpal. "world business today" starts right now. hello and welcome to your wednesday edition of "world business today." i'm andrew stevens in hong kong. i'm nina dos santos in london. these are the top stories today.
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adding more fire power to the bailout fund. anticipation builds for lasting -- in europe ahead of the crucial summit. >> india shelves plans to open up its supermarket sector. and the immaculate rejection, ebay auction for a date with the virgin mary. this very wednesday word is out that they're ready to use all they can to add to their arsenal in the brand new form of perhaps a new fund. stock markets right around the world are armed with quite a bit more confidence this wednesday and much more confidence indeed, andrew, than there were at this time yesterday. >> yes, certainly that's true, isn't it? the ratings agencies, nina, haven't yet pulled out the big guns on the existing esff. on tuesday, standard "a" poors fired a warning shot as doubts
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over the individual euro zone government debt raised the collective bailout fund has already been put on credit watch. we've heard repeatedly that more firepower is needed and the u.s. reportedly is ready to bring out the bazooka. wednesday's financial times reports that leaders have a three-pronged plan of attack. now, the current efsf is valued at $440 billion and that will keep on running and may in fact be topped up. if you look at what happens then, in july -- eventually. in july 201, which is ahead of schedule, more funds will be made available in a separate facility called the european stability mechanism. it's intended to improve europe's reputation with the ratings agencies. finally, if you go over here --
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this thing is not liking my work today. i'm going to give up on that one. this is a picture of christine lagarde there. christine lagarde said on monday that the current euro zone progress was insufficient and it could, if all goes well, be given the ammunition she does need to kill the crisis. speaking of killing, i wouldn't mind getting rid of this machine. >> seems as those you're not the only one having the trouble with the bazooka. they've been having a trouble for a year or so now. plans to tackle the crisis and more plans emerge. we're talking about a leaked memo from the eu council president. he says that the european commission, effectively, the executive arm of the european union, could get exceptional powers to deal with nations who have been bailed out in the past. and that could mean even
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approving the austerity measures perhaps in advance of them and putting forward on voting budgets on a domestic level. there could be penalties for those who fail to meet deficit targets. they could be, for instance, losing their voting rights according to this particular memo. still, the concept of shared responsibility goes further. i'll just remind you, remember how angela merkel crushed the idea of pooling the euro zone debt in the short term? according to this same memo, so-called jointly issued eurobonds could still be a long-term possibility. ultimately this signals, perhaps, some say, a major rift of control in brussels and the proposals offer the strongest hint of a powerful fiscal union that could involve pooling all of that debt, andrew? >> certainly does. just looking at what he's saying there, is there rifts going on within the eu at this very, very
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late stage? >> well, what we're seeing is one summit moves into the next, andrew. we have people like france and germany, the two biggest economies in the euro zone coming out with their own plans. some of the plans don't see eye to eye. this gives you an idea of how many figures we have micking decisions and how their proposals vary significantly. we have timothy geithner arriving in paris and various comments from david cameron, the uk prime minister on the sidelines. all of that certainly won't help. we have nicolas sarkozy and angela merkel writing to van rumpoi today. it's likely they may have to settle with just 17 instead of 27. >> this is the interesting point, isn't it? who is going to sign off on this exactly? all this progress as you say, nina, in europe comes with that caveat. it's all 27 members of the
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european union that need to make the change. david cameron is prepared to block any reform that doesn't protect uk interests. >> the most important british interest right now is to sort out the problem in the euro zone that is having the chilling effect on our economy that i've spoken about. now, that obviously means euro zone countries doing more together and if they choose to use the european treaty to do that, then obviously there will be british safeguards and british interests that i will want to insist on. i won't sign a treaty that doesn't have those safeguards in it. >> david cameron, it is worth noting that euro zone leaders have vowed to press for change with or without new treaty reform. eu rift wouldn't look good in a region trying hard to heal old
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wounds. let's take a look at the markets and how they're faring, particularly in light of what the "financial times" have been reporting on that in particular, that bazooka. the cac current in paris. confidence seems to be returning albeit tentatively in today's session to these markets. on the back of news perhaps we could see more firepower going into solving the euro zone debt crisis. all eyes will be on the summit in brussels. the ftse, also not doing too bad on the back of david cameron's comments. >> across asia, take a look at some of the numbers here. japan up by 1.7%. hong kong up by 1.6%. so those two, the best
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performers. in japan, it was mainly the exporters, toyota up 2.3%, sony up by more than 5%. this, of course, is based on renewed optimism that the european crisis will actually be sorted out. we could return to growth sooner rather than later. at least that's the hope at the moment. it's obviously very volatile based on what's happened in the euro zone over the past 18 months or so. in hong kong, the s&p up by 0.75%. bhp billitin up by almost 1%. shanghai, a rare green arrow for shanghai, property stocks helping to move the market higher as hopes are pinned on the fact that authorities will take more moves to ease the restrictive measures which are now in place in shanghai, in fact right across the country on property. nina? let's take a check in on how the united states trading patent fared yesterday.
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wall street it seems, rolled out a choppy session on tuesday, largely shrugging off news that ratings agency standard & poors could be considering downgrading the euro zone's bailout funds. u.s. investors remain cautious ahead of that crucial european debt summit. we saw the dow jones industrial average adding nearly 0.5%. nasdaq following by 0.25% and the broader s&p 500 showing small gains but pretty muted on the whole, andrew. >> that was yesterday. what does it look like today? the opening bell is a few hours from now. stocks are set to open higher when trading does indeed begin. that's what it looks like at the moment. the broad s&p up by almost a full percent to get the wednesday session under way. nina? >> andrew, friday is the eu summit in brussels may be the meeting that matters the most for the euro zone. there has, it seems, been no
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shortage of meetings to the buildup in this finale. adding to this is the u.s. secretary timothy geithner. he will be holding talks on friday. there we have it. we have a picture of him, timothy geithner there who you'll recognize as the u.s. treasury secretary. let's go over to jim bitterman who joins us live from paris to talk about what could be on the agenda and the significance of this particular meeting. i had, jim. >> reporter: i had there, nina. mr. geithner will arrive to a blustery day here in paris. it may be blustery in a lot of ways. the fact is mr. geithner's visit is like a two-pronged wakeup kaup for european leaders. the warning about downgrading the euro zone credit ratings along with mr. geithner coming here to europe is just emphasizing the importance of this european summit that's coming up in a day. we're looking to see
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mr. geithner come through, perhaps, saying what he said yesterday in germany which was fairly positive in tone, at least in the public remarks saying he was behind the reform efforts that are being made in italy and greece and spain. and that he was hopeful about this, what's now being called the fiscal compact that germany and france are talking about. closer political relations between the two. by the way you were talking with andrew a little bit about the reform of the eu treaty. we got last night here, kind of an indication of the timing the political leaders are talking about. the prime minister of france said last night they're hoping in france anyway, to have a revision of the european treaty done by march of 2012. this would be apart from the kind of agreement they're talking about for the euro zone members which might help them out with the financial markets a little bit. nina? >> interesting developments, jim bitterman, on the story there in paris. many thanks for that. andrew?
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nina, what greece as we know is the first euro zone country to hold out the begging ball. on tuesday athens took a step forward getting its house in order by approving its 2012 budgets. as new prime minister lucas it's projected to be down to 5.4% next year and the economy is expected to shrink. at least it's better than this year's forecast, contraction this year of 5.5%. in australia, the australian economy growing faster than expected in the third quarter to september. you can see the breakdown here is starting back in the fourth quarter of last year. and now we have 1% growth in the third quarter. the australian bureau of
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statistics saying gdp is looking healthy at the moment, that 1%. it compares to estimates of around 0.8% increase. strong investments in the mining sector feeling that better-than-expected growth. second quarter was revised up. it was stronger than expected coming at 1.4. nina? >> andrew, we have another finance minister in the wall behind me. this is the australian treasure, wayne swann. he's been saying the latest set of growth figures are a major success for the company but there is a little bit of room for improvement. take a listen. >> not all sectors of our economy are doing as well as we would like. we can also see this in some of the figures reflected today. i think today's economic score card does send a powerful message of confidence to the world. >> australia had the fourth strongest set of third quarter growth figures among any of the world's industrialized countries
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and that's behind china, the united states and also japan. up next here on "world business today," an embarrassing government backtrack after a retail uproar in india. we'll be live in mumbai with the latest. and you now understand what nature's been hiding. ♪ at dow we understand the difference between innovation and invention. invention is important. it's the beginning. it's the spark. but innovation is where we actually create value for dow, for society, and for the world. ♪ at dow, we're constantly searching for how to use our fundamental knowledge of chemistry to solve these difficult problems. science is definitive. there is a right answer out there. [ male announcer ] the same 117 elements do the fundamental work of chemistry. ♪ the difference,
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you can keep your own doctor and hospital that accepts medicare, get help paying for what medicare doesn't... and save up to thousands of dollars. call this toll-free number now. this is how trading fared today on the bond-based sensitive index, otherwise known as the sensex. plenty of movement in the retail sector, next to new laws there. welcome back. you're watching "world business today." >> indeed it is all about the retail sector today. big developments there. the indian government has buckled under public pressure awn put on hold its decision to allow foreign supermarkets to operate in the country. the easing of the foreign investment rules had been welcomed by the big retailers like walmart, ikea and others but not by the man on street.
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the indian prime minister facing a broad backlash with retailers going on strike and protests across the country. ma malika, how widespread was the anger on the streets in india to this decision to allow the big foreign retailers to come in? >> reporter: there was a lot of anger on the street when you spoke to people who supported the small shops, when you spoke to the people who owned or worked for small shops. they were the people really upset about this government decision to open up the retail sector to foreign investment. they feared this would mean the small shops would stop down and hundreds of thousands of people would lose their jobs. there was a lot of anger on the streets. but the government purely underestimated how much anger there would be amongst the
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political parties. i don't think for a moment the ruling congress party realized just how much the opposition parties would fight this, saying that they were representing the common man and clearly the government did not ever imagine its own allies. it is a coalition government. they did not anticipate -- own allies saying wait a minute. when the government lost support from its own allies to are this move and the opposition was so against it, it buckled under pressure and it's done a -- [ broken audio ] saying we will go ahead with opening up in retail sector. now he's done a u-turn and the government is saying we're going to put this on hold until we can get everyone on board. it doesn't look very good for the government and the prime minister at all, andrew. >> malika, thank you for that. apologies about the quality there of that transmission. nina?
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and still to come on "world business today," standard & poors chastised and ultimately downgraded the united states over that debt ceiling gridlock back in summer. and now this very institution is threatening to do the same with europe. we'll talk to the man at the top and ask whether it's too little too late. neutrogena® t/gel shampoo defeats dandruff after just one use. t/gel shampoo. it works. neutrogena®.
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the financial future of europe hangs in the balance. standard & poors says there's a 50/50 chance that euro zone nations including those with the coveted aaa rating are heading for a downgrade within three month's time. all of this week, leaders are frantically trying to thrash out some kind of a deal. eu economic affairs commissioner, this man behind me, said last week there were now just ten days left to save the euro. that was seven days ago from now. >> we are now entering the critical period of ten days to complete and conclude the crisis with the european union. >> for a long time, the future of the euro zone appeared to lay in the hands of its leaders. then standard & poors first issued a 15-nation downgrade warning on monday and then the
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new alert on possible downgrade of the euro zone bailout fund. we spoke to s&p's managing director john chambers. >> we need to see as president of the ecb, draghi said a new fiscal compact, something that will indicate we're moving closer to a fiscal union, i think, something that will mutualize not only some of the obligations at the euro area level and also some of the revenues. that in turn would let the ecb take a more pro-active stance in its security markets purchases. >> are you confident that the euro leaders will be able to come together and effectively make some kind of a fiscal pact like this? we saw angela merkel, the german chancellor and president sarkozy from france did come together and come up with something. is that enough? >> we have to see what the details are and what the market reaction is to it.
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i am hopeful but i wouldn't say i'm confident. >> what about the possible downgrade of the esfs? some governments are concerned if that happens, that will make a situation even worse. >> the rating of the efsf rests on the ratings of its aaa garner it. if it loses it's ga-- >> what about some of the criticisms of the credit ratings agencies that all of this is too late, you're not ahead of the curve enough? >> we get criticisms that we're too late. we get criticisms that we're too early. ify if they're balanced, you can think we're probably pretty much all right. we have 20 ratings that go from aaa to d. we try to indicate incremental
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steps along the way. nobody thinks that the euro area is on the verge of default. all of these ratings are still investment grade. but we do think the systemic risks which apply to them all have risen. >> let's take a best case scenario, perhaps we get a coordinated statement out of the eu summit at the end of the week. what will you need to see implemented in weeks and months to come? >> after the summit we'll have to see what legislative steps have to be taken. we'll have to come to a judgment whether or not they will be taken. we'll have to see what measures are in store not only for the government bond markets but also for the banks which have a very high refunding requirement in the first quarter and which will be themselves creating systemic pressure on the balance of payments of most of the euro
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zone area countries. >> s&p mark chambers talking to felicia taylor. it's been a bumpy few weeks at olympus after revelations of a billion dollar cover-up, resignations and now possible criminal charges. stay tuned. ( phone ringing ) okay... uhh. the bad news, it's probably totaled.
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from cnn hong kong, i'm
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andrew stevens. >> i'm nina dos santos from cnn london. welcome back to "world business today." let's take a look at the european markets on this wednesday. broadly speaking green arrows across the board, particularly for those euro zone markets mainly we're talking the frankfurt dax and the cac in paris. both markets up about 1.4%. this is largely thanks to news that we could see another beefing up of the euro zone's so-called bazooka fund to solve the region's debt crisis. we're now on a countdown to the summit between eu leaders. andrew? the better news coming out of europe is helping asia as well. japan and hong kong led pretty strong gains here in asia-pacific and exporters leading the gainers on the nikkei, the nikkei up by 1.75%. toyota up 2.3%, sony up by more than 5% on hopes that the euro zone crisis will ease and the
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economic conditions will improve there. the europe is the biggest export market combined for many asian countries. hong kong, up 1.6%. resource stocks are giving hong kong a boost as i did in australia as well. the s&p up by 0.6%. the australian minor up 1%, alaminiacorp of china up 1%. the president of the scandal-tainted cameramaker olympus addressed a scathing new report published on tuesday. in it, an investigative panel calls olympus management rotten to the core of their handling of $2 billion worth of lost investments made in the 1990s. olympus will appoint a board to decide whether to take legal action against those executives involved.
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>> translator: we're still considering filing criminal complaints. the board of investigation is looking at the whole issue from many directions. we are, of course, going to take the result into consideration. but as a company if we decide to take legal action, we will. as of now, we are considering filing criminal complaints. >> the story isn't over yet. take a look at the share price here. the scandal has played out very much in the performance of olympus' stock. it was the end of october, that's when the news of the accounting scandal broke and the stock fell off a cliff. they had bounced gradually up over the past week, up more than 18% though. certainly still over the company's management is creep back in. olympus stock was down more than 5% today. nina? >> let's take a look at how wall street fared yesterday, andrew. it managed to ride out a choppy session on tuesday. that was largely shrugging off
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news that the ratings agency, standard & poors, is considering downgrading the euro zone's own bailout fund, the so-called esfs. nevertheless, u.s. investors remain cautious ahead of a european debt summit in brussels due to take place on thursday and friday. let's have a look at how things settled at the close. the dow gained nearly 0.5%, the thats back following 0.25% and the s&p 500 showing muted gains ending the day up 0.1%. andrew? it looks like the futures trading, nina, holding steady. we have a few hours before trading gets under way on the street. that's where the futures are around about the same as we looked at them at the top of the show, a half hour ago. the broadest index hovering about 1% gains. pretty strong stuff, nina. >> it is indeed. we should point out, andrew, in the united states, it seems as though there could be more cuts on the cards for u.s. bankers. citigroup in particular saying
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it plans to slash 4,500 jobs here over the next few jobs to come. this company currently employs 267,000 people overall. citigroup and layoffs are part of a nationwide call, it seems. just to stay with the financial sector for a moment, you may remember that bloomberg reported last week, which suggested the u.s. federal reserve guaranteed some 7.7 trillion u.s. dollars to banks at the height of the financial crisis. the fed chief, ben bernanke is denying it hid the size and scope of its emergency lending program. he actually didn't specifically refer to a report but in a letter to u.s. legislatures, he cited mistakes in various articles in the press. he said the estimates on lending were, quote, wildly inaccurate.
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up next on "world business today," we'll have more on the smog in china that's raising health concerns and affecting the economy there. we'll be right back in just a couple minutes time. imagine... one scooter or power chair that could improve your mobility and your life. one medicare benefit that, with private insurance, may entitle you to pay little to nothing to own it. one company that can make it all happen ... your power chair will be paid in full. the scooter store. hi i'm doug harrison. we're experts at getting you the power chair or scooter you need. i didn't pay a penny out of pocket for my power chair. with help from the scooter store, medicare and my insurance covered it all. call the scooter store for free information today.
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this is "world business today." welcome back to the show. been shrouding beijing for much of the week. yet again it's shining a murky spotlight on how pollution is affecting travel and human health. ramy inocencio has been following that story. he joins us with more. >> reporter: the smog has finally lifted to reveal clear, blue skies today. but looking back, take a look at this picture that the "china daily daily" published today. it's a four-daytime lapse looking east from the city. you can see a big brown haze, it clears up and re-envelopes the
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capital through december 5th. during this whole entire time, it did affect transport as well as human health. it's times like this that the u.s. embassy in beijing has a twitter feed called beijing air. between sunday and today it was actually reporting very unhealthy air quality. earlier our very own kristie lu stout spoke with barry luck on those station readings. >> acceptable range in the united states is 35. >> oh, my goodness. >> here we are almost at 400, more than ten times the acceptable level. >> this is a service you set up for u.s. embassy staff and families. but a wider community has been looking at this every single day. >> i look at it every single day. i'm concerned about the kids health, the schools use it, international schools use it to determine whether or not they should allow the kids to have recess outside or keep them inside. >> just a few hours ago i spoke
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with the u.s. embassy spokesman. he told me the maximum reading on that device is $500. it turn out the last time it hit that was this past sunday at 5:22 beijing time. >> a huge talking point, i'm sure, amongst everyone living in beijing. tell us about the impact the smog is having on the economy and obviously on the population. >> really good questions. the impact goes in many directions, on travel, health and sales of some specific products. first off to the travel portion, on tuesday alone, more than 360 flilts were canceled in and out of beijing capital airport. this is the second busiest airport in the world. some passengers were reported stranded for more than 24 hours because of this smog here. also there is that health impact to talk about. this video right here is from a province. that's as far away as 4 kilometers south of beijing. children were sent to hospital because of breathing problems, even that far away. beijing's health bureau says
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lung cancer rates have risen, get this, 60% over the past ten years. lung cancer is now the number one killer for the capital's residents. somewhere in all of this haze there is a horde of consumers buying masks like this and air filters. the "china daily" newspaper says air cleaning products are the most searched for products. and 360 buy says it saw a 50% jump in air cleaning products between october and last month. now, earlier today as i mentioned, the smog did lift to reveal this blue sky day in beijing. the capital does have a goal, it turns out, to have blue skies for 274 days this year. andrew, they are still ten days short and they have about 24 days left to get there. >> you can't argue with the numbers, ramy.
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it is an appalling situation there. nina. the fog is causing significant travel delays through some parts of china. we also have snow and rain likely to bankrupt travel throughout parts of europe as well. jennifer dell ggadodelgado. tell us how it's looking. >> things aren't looking so great through parts of northwest europe. i'll show you on the radar, look what's happening there. we have rain, snow and of course some of the wintry precipitation showing up anywhere you're seeing in pink spreading down through areas of germany and austr austria. we're looking athe that heavy rain and more of that snow on top of scotland. it's all because this area of low pressure is kicking out this precipitation. it's going to be sticking around through the morning. we're also looking at another round that will be coming through tomorrow and this is also going to be bringing more bad weather for thursday. but right now, we're looking at winds, anywhere from about 39 to 51 kph. this is going to be causing
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travel delays if you'll be flying into or out of northwest europe. if you're flying out of parts of england or say even to areas in parts of germany. as i show you, we're expecting delays. even as we go later into the afternoon/evening for munich. more snow on the way this evening. delays 60 to 90 minutes. those strong winds will probably disrupt travel and the same for both of london's airport and the same for amsterdam. while that system is bringing the rain and the snow, it's also going to be bringing much-needed precipitation for parts of central europe. we're talking about the alps, the western alps, central alps, haven't seen a lot of snow there. the skiers will be quite happy. we will be bringing another helping of snowfall as we head into friday and saturday. we're talking a lot of areas had to cancel ski competitions because there just wasn't any snow out there and things are going to change. meanwhile in shanghai, strong winds around in the afternoon for about 60 to 90-minute
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delays. i want to leave you with photos because they're great-looking photos. let's show you snow coming down through germany, just in case you haven't been seeing the snow across the region in a long while. you can see beautiful pictures indeed. nina, back owe over to you. tomorrow, i promise you, very windy conditions across parts of england. it will cause travel problems and potentially some damage. >> i'll bring my umbrella. >> it will blow away but you can bring it. >> i will certainly do so and a strong one at that. jennifer delgado, thanks for that. "world business today" continues after this. medicare supplement insurance plan... insured by unitedhealthcare insurance company. all medicare supplement insurance plans can help pay... some of what medicare doesn't, so you could save... thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket expenses. call now for this free information kit and medicare guide. if you're turning 65 or you're already on medicare...
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this week on "the boss," if you want to be a business leader, you can't dodge the limelight. this boss is not afraid to speak his mind. in london, the head of e-harmony international is no wall flower either. he shows us why he needs to be center stage to take big brand global. it's all on this week's edition of "the boss." previously on "the boss," from berlin with love. we follow sean cornwell as he pushes his brand to mainland europe. >> i think two, three years ago we were looking at the continental european market an we saw the big opportunity there. we definitely wanted to be part of that. >> reporter: in macaw, francis
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lloyd tells us why it pays to have an eye for detail. >> i've been working for 32 years already. if you want to be successful, pay attention to detail. >> reporter: a bustling mediterranean kitchen, parma ham, fine wine and the stirring of rich creams. but this isn't italy. this is asia. macaw to be exact. >> we'll talk about wine pairing. which i like to learn more from you. >> reporter: today, francis lloyd, the vice-chairman is tasting wines with the christmas menu. >> what are we eating, richard? >> we have sea scallops with chestnut. you can see the scallops are here.
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>> what is the link for us to be able to relate festive seasons to the menu, chestnut. we have a menu for chestnuts. >> reporter: to keep appealing to his mostly asian customers, they are keen to pair the menus with asian wines. so far he seems surprised by their quality. >> if you don't tell me, i would never imagine i was drinking a chinese wine. >> reporter: but the price on the other hand is not going down so well. >> $700 for chinese wine, that's -- >> but in a restaurant. in a restaurant. >> that's challenging. >> reporter: for today, though, the focus is the food. and francis doesn't hold back. within seconds of the starter being served he's already found a fault with it. >> this is for sharing or this is for a place setting in front of you? >> it will be a place setting. >> one person. >> this is what the guest would get. >> one person. the plate could be a bit -- >> challenging.
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>> challenging. this is the first time we taste our christmas menu. we will go through many before we find it perfect. there's a ways to go. i think we are going in the right direction. as a profession as myself, there are many things we can do to make it better. >> reporter: francis believes he knows his asian customers better than anyone else. after all, he's the boss and what he says goes. >> i thought the food was not spicy enough, at least for me. i thought asian customer probably prefers something more spicy. i think i do know what local customers would like to have. and this is why sometimes i'm not afraid to be outspoken to my chef to tell them what i want. >> reporter: in central london by the banks of the river temme,
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sean cornwell is stepping up and leading by example. >> how are you? >> long time, no see. >> reporter: today he's speaking at a leading internet conference, the theme of the day, going global. >> i now have the pleasure of introducing sean cornwell. >> i obviously prepare the materials and i try and run through it once before i actually get up on stage. but you never feel like you've quite really done enough. >> reporter: this time, however, it looks like sean has come prepared. knowledge and whit on hand. >> how many people in this room have used an online dating service of some kind? hands up. >> reporter: on stage, the head of eharmony international looks focused and relaxed, no nerves in sight. not an easy task for a man whose job rarely involves face-to-face contact. >> i have five people, a number of hands went up. it is clearly somewhat misleading. by my estimation, probably half
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the people in this room are single in some shape or form. and 50% of that half will have used online dating service. >> in order to represent the company, that's the story you're telling. that's why you're up there. it's great to get more people to know about eharmony's international story, our global explanation, how well we're doing internationally. equally you need to try and bring your own personality to the party, because otherwise it can be quite wooden and boring. >> reporter: sean has reason to feel comfortable up there. after all he knows his business inside-out. since 2008, sean has taken eharmony into the uk, australia and brazilian markets. with some 3.5 million users signing up in search of love. >> going local. >> reporter: sean believes his experience will interest many of the listeners here. in his eyes, he has a product that everyone can relate to.
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>> be very aware when you enter other markets beyond your own country. if you think it's going to be hard, multiply that by three or five times. >> reporter: next week on "the boss," letting go and moving on. sara and steve tell us why they're ready for a change. that's next week on "the boss." . buy it, sell it, love it. christmas is a time for giving and ebay gave one festive auction item the heave-ho after it broke the company's rules. the item in question was a date with virgin mary, a boxing ring girl dressed in the sort of attire that would have all of bethlehem blushing. ebay objected to this advertisement on the grounds of adult content. the company responsible for placing it, dating service
1:56 am instead decided to transfer the action to its own site. judging by this description it's a case of perhaps mary mary quite contrary instead. the woman being promoted as a virgin says her dating chronicles would fill a novel. it seems as though we count down to christmas, this is perhaps a case of immaculate deception. >> yes, that's a fair way of putting it, nina. nice fun. okay. you've been watching "world business today." we'll be back later in show. sheena a nina and i will be joined by maggie lake. you're watching "world business today" on cnn, the world's news leader.
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