Planet Business

This week: Digital shipping bibles, the king of lost causes and bad hair days at ‘Newsweek’

 

Image of the week: Clensea Clintom schmooze
Former first daughter Chelsea Clinton – a good feminist like her mother – could sell this picture as evidence of her hitherto unpublicised laser-sharp wit, as, on the left, Muhtar Kent, the chairman and chief executive of Coca-Cola, and, on the right, John Chambers, chairman and chief executive of Cisco, break their hearts laughing.

Who knew that the Clinton Global Initiative, established by Bill Clinton in 2005 to get high-powered types to discuss solutions to the world’s “most pressing” problems, could be such gas? Not pictured here is the panel’s chair, CNN anchor Piers Morgan, who wanted to know if Chelsea was a president-in- waiting, like her mother.
Photograph: Lucas Jackson/Reuters

In numbers: ‘Lloyd’s List’
279
Number of years that shipping industry title Lloyd’s List, one of the oldest newspapers in the world, was in print. It announced this week that it was going digital-only at the end of the year.


25
Number of presumably very annoyed, if not surprised, print-only subscribers that the maritime bible had left.


16,624
Paying online subscribers to the daily title, according to publishers Informa – a digital tally that many publications would love to have.

The lexicon: Kafala
Speaking of the world’s most pressing problems, Kafala is the name of the sponsorship system used to monitor migrant workers in certain Gulf states, including Qatar, where the 2022 World Cup is due be held. Under the system, all unskilled labourers must have a sponsor and they are unable to enter the country, leave it or change jobs without the sponsoring company’s permission.

The International Trade Union Confederation, having repeatedly pointed out this clear abuse of human rights, this week said that 4,000 such migrant workers will be killed in Qatar’s World Cup construction binge based on current mortality rates. Synonyms for Kafala include slavery, modern-day; slavery, full stop.

Getting to know: Prem Watsa
The “Canadian Warren Buffett” has made a $4.7 billion bid for crumbling handset maker BlackBerry, though he has not yet raised the necessary financing. “We’re not in the business of offering a number and, at the last minute, changing the figure,” insists Watsa, the billionaire founder of Toronto-based Fairfax Financial.

His company was a post-crash investor in Bank of Ireland and Watsa, who has also been dubbed “the billionaire king of lost causes”, did a stint on the bank’s board. Born in India, he moved to Canada in the early 1970s when, according to his rather loosely edited Wikipedia profile, he arrived “with little more than pocket change with which to pursue his dreams”.

The list: The ‘Newsweek’ dress code
A dress code for journalists seems like a laughable idea unless it involves a trench coat and a trilby hat with a card that says “PRESS” in the brim. Nevertheless, IBT Media, the new owners of Newsweek, has come up with a classic. Here are just five of its many sartorial rules and regulations:
1 “Business-style hair”: IBT says that “shaggy, messy and neglected hair is not permissible regardless of length”. So bad hair days may now be a disciplinary issue – wonderful.
2 Anything that is “excessively distracting”: Cannily on-trend statement outfit or scarily radical fashion departure? All in the eye of the beholder, surely.
3 Sandals: The company is so anti-sandal, it mentions twice that they are not permitted.
4 T-shirts: These are banned, but there’s no word yet on whether this season’s “T-blouses” are acceptable.
5 The right size clothes: “Clothing must fit appropriately.” If this means cover up your builders’ crack, we’re with IBT Media on this.

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