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Showing posts from June, 2006

Blood Borders

How a better Middle East would look
By Ralph Peters

International borders are never completely just. But the degree of injustice they inflict upon those whom frontiers force together or separate makes an enormous difference — often the difference between freedom and oppression, tolerance and atrocity, the rule of law and terrorism, or even peace and war.

The most arbitrary and distorted borders in the world are in Africa and the Middle East. Drawn by self-interested Europeans (who have had sufficient trouble defining their own frontiers), Africa's borders continue to provoke the deaths of millions of local inhabitants. But the unjust borders in the Middle East — to borrow from Churchill — generate more trouble than can be consumed locally.

While the Middle East has far more problems than dysfunctional borders alone — from cultural stagnation through scandalous inequality to deadly religious extremism — the greatest taboo in striving to understand the region's comprehensive failure…

BP charged with US price-fixing

Mark Tran
Thursday June 29, 2006
BP's image in the US today took another knock as the British oil giant faced a lawsuit alleging that it made large profits by cornering the propane market. The US authorities have accused the British oil giant of buying up large amounts of propane in February 2004. The move pushed up prices by more than 40% to about 90 cents a gallon and netted BP £20m in profits.According to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), BP traders - with the consent of senior management - bought "enormous quantities of propane" to establish a "dominant and controlling" position in the market and then held back supplies from the market in order to boost prices.

BP logo.
Propane is used by around 7m households in the US to heat trailer and rural homes and fuel cookers. It is also heavily used by industry.BP denied any wrongdoing, but one former BP trader, 34-year-old Dennis Abbott, of Houston, yesterday pleaded guilty in a federal district c…

In Search of Natural Winners

Lee Iacocca needs no introduction; he is a universal management icon – the miracle man of modern-day business. Iacocca achieved superstar status in enterprise management during his days as the president of the Ford Company in the ‘70s. When he pulled Chrysler back from the brink and turned it around into one of the most profitable automobile companies in the ‘80s – the making of a living legend was complete.

No doubt, Lee Iacocca was an exceptional management talent. His strength was in his ability to keep the basics simple at work, and to inspire his co-workers to give their best. Iacocca famous words, “Management is nothing more than motivating other people,” is a testimony to his belief that you are only as good as your team is.

Iacocca spent 32 successful years with Ford, propelling them to an unprecedented position of strength in the automobile market, which included the triumph of the famed Ford Mustang. After being pushed out of Ford in 1978, Iacocca went about creating the Chrys…