Friday, August 12, 2005
Football clubs told to respect all religious holidaysThe Football Association has acted to try to counter racial and religious tensions in amateur football, instructing clubs and leagues that non-Christian religious and cultural festivals should be respected.
The guidelines, which have been sent out ahead of the new football season, follow an increasing number of disputes caused by the scheduling of matches during sensitive times.
Clubs with predominantly Muslim sides have complained that festivals such as Ramadan have been ignored by local leagues when scheduling fixtures and competitions, leaving them at a disadvantage.
Read more: Football
cross cultural differences may hinder adidas-reebok mergerAfter an initial rush of enthusiasm for Adidas's ambitious plan to take over U.S. rival Reebok, investors have begun to reflect on the difficulties of making the $3.8-billion merger a success.
While Adidas Chief Executive Herbert Hainer went on the campaign trail with investors and Reebok executives, Adidas stock lost most of the 8-percent gains it made in the initial euphoria that greeted last week's announcement.
Investors, analysts and retail executives are starting to wonder whether Adidas, the global number two after Nike, has bitten off more than it can chew, especially as it gears up for next year's soccer World Cup in Germany.
In addition, transatlantic cross cultural difficulties could complicate integration, as evidenced by the investor headaches and litigation spawned by the 1998 German-U.S. merger that created autos giant DaimlerChrysler.
Read more: Adidas
When it comes to French business, the accent is on EnglishYou still aren't likely to get a Parisian waiter's respect if your accent isn't complètement parfait. But even a gauche monolingual American will feel right at home these days in a French boardroom.
In a recent survey of 26 of France's largest companies, 16 gave English as their official working language - including Renault, Danone, and Aventis. Of these, nine have dropped French altogether. Seven put English and French on equal footing.
Read more: English
china wants u.s. goodsIn China, high-quality personal care toiletries and consumer electronics lead the list of most desired American products, according to a survey released Tuesday.
A public opinion poll sponsored by UPS among urban consumers in the world's most populous nation found those responding would like to see a broader selection of U.S. products, such as shampoo, shower gel and toothpaste.
"These findings show the urban consumer market in China has a great potential for foreign, and especially American, exporters," Fei-Ling Wang, International Affairs professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology, said in a statement
Read more: Chinese Market
Discrimination cases cost UK employers £6.2 millionBritish employers paid out £6.2 million to their workers in compensation for sex, race or disability discrimination last year, the largest sum ever. Total compensation awarded to employees increased by 44 per cent last year, but there was a 3.5 per cent decrease in the number of cases brought to trial, according to the Equal Opportunities Review.
Read more: Discrimination
Accenture brings cultural diversity to pensionAccenture is consulting staff on providing faith-compliant pension benefits to its employees in the UK.
The consultation was prompted by two Muslim employees whose beliefs prevented them joining the management consultancy's money-purchase scheme to which the company contributes.
Strict observance of Islamic law forbids investments in banks that make profits from charging interest on loans and in companies involved with alcohol, arms, pork, tobacco or gambling; this could prevent some Muslims from investing in their company pension scheme.
Read more: Diversity
poor language skils a turn offBad spelling and grammar could be costing UK businesses up to £41 billion in lost sales, a new report has claimed. More than 70 per cent of customers would not trust businesses with poor communication skills, according to a survey commissioned by Royal Mail.
Julia Strong, deputy director of the National Literacy Trust, noted the impact that staff with inadequate literacy skills could have on an organisation's competitiveness. "It also emphasises the importance of businesses providing training where literacy problems are identified," she said.
Read more: Literacy
Romansch for GoogleNot many people have heard of Romansch. But in the future, those looking for Web sites in Switzerland may find themselves trying to decipher this Latin-linked language.
That's because Google Inc., the Internet's leading search engine provider, is now offering its service in Romansch, a language spoken by just 35,000 people in the mountains of southeastern Switzerland, the company says.
Read more: Google
china's infant internet marketYahoo will pay $1 billion for a stake in Chinese e-commerce firm Alibaba.com as it battles other U.S. Internet companies for a foothold in China's fast-growing Internet market.
Other major U.S. Web players such as eBay, Amazon.com, Barry Diller's Interactive Corp. and Monster.com are shelling out big bucks for Chinese companies, although Yahoo hit a new record.
Why the spending spree?
The same reason U.S. companies from Coca-Cola to General Motors have long beat a path to China's door: The nation has a lot of people. And now it has a burgeoning middle class, primed to revel in prosperity by buying consumer goods.
Read more: China
word of the day: ubiquitous
ubiquitous \yoo-BIK-wih-tuhs\, adjective:
Existing or being everywhere, or in all places, at the same time.
In spite of the ubiquitous beggars, gypsies and 'naked urchins', Skopje was an attractive town in the early part of the century. --Anne Sebba, Mother Teresa: Beyond the Image
Airborne gambling, shopping and videoconferencing may all be ubiquitous in the future. --Peter H. Lewis, "The Cybercompanion," New York Times, February 7, 1999