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Holiday Cruise Line Sees Cruise Industry Growing

If you want to enjoy lovely weather and see wonderful things on your vacation, the staff of Holiday Cruise Line has the perfect suggestion: take a cruise! Cruises have become an incredibly popular way to travel in recent years. In fact, since 1970, the industry has grown by more than 2,000 percent, according to Cruise Lines International Association, Inc.

The Seattle Times reports that more than 21.3 million people took a cruise in 2013, and that number is expected to go up to 21.7 million this year.

It’s easy to see why. Most cruises take you to astoundingly beautiful locations, such as the Bahamas. There’s ample opportunity to take a cruise, too. For example, Holiday Cruise Line sends clients on cruises every other day, on board the Bahamas Celebration. Some people enjoy cruising so much that they plan on two or more trips per year. In the case of one couple, all of those cruises really add up.

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Smart Payment Plan Looks at How Building Vehicle Equity Can Get You Ahead

As the experts at Smart Payment Plan advise, building equity in a vehicle should be a top priority for all car owners. Negative equity can put you in an unfortunate financial situation when the time comes to sell your vehicle. But if you take proper steps to build equity, you will improve your financial prospects.
Some car owners don’t understand the importance of avoiding negative equity, even though many consumers find themselves in this position. Negative equity means that you owe more on your car than it is worth. More and more Americans are facing this problem because of high interest rates, diminishing vehicle value, and poorly-designed payment plans.
In fact, 30 percent of consumers had negative equity on their vehicles in 2007, according to Debt.org. On average, people owed $3,600 on their old cars when they proceeded to trade them in for newer ones. It’s an unfortunate reality that many people owe thousands of dollars on vehicles that they no longer own. In many cases, negative equity situations can be attributed to lengthy finance contracts that make monthly costs lower but force up the price of the car due to interest. Read more

TEDx Event and Benjamin Navarro Bring Great Ideas To Charleston

Held in April, the second annual TedxCharleston featured a total of 14 speakers, among them Benjamin Navarro, the CEO of Sherman Financial Group. Navarro’s company founded the Meeting Street Academy, a college preparation program for low income students.

The theme of this year’s TedxCharleston event was “Ripple Effect.” Speakers at the conference focused on topics that seem small in scope but that can have a tremendous impact. Along with Benjamin Navarro, speakers at the conference included Laura Ball, a musician who founded UNED!TED Interdisciplinary Arts Concert Series, and Heather Collins, a cognitive neuroscientist who is dedicated to bringing scientific thought to the public. Topics at this year’s Tedx ran the gamut from healthcare to education. Read more

Prashant Modi Examines Government and Politics in the Economy

Executives and international commerce professionals such as Prashant Modi often hear all sorts of information thrown about relating to government and the economy. Some people think that the economy should be left on its own with no government involvement; others believe that the economy is a direct component of government and politics.

While the story still is out regarding whether the government should get more or less involved in economic affairs, most scholars and economists agree on one component: the inextricable tie these two aspects of a country’s operations have to each other. Read more

Perry Bacon Jr. Named NBC News Senior Political Reporter

Perry Bacon JrPerry Bacon Jr. has been named senior political reporter at NBC News. Bacon comes from NBC’s theGrio.com, where was the political editor and an MSNBC contributor. In his new role, he will continue to report on-air for MSNBC, as well as contributing to NBCNews.com.

In a note to the NBC News DC bureau this morning, bureau chief Ken Strickland and chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd said Bacon will be “one of our leading voices covering the upcoming 2014 and 2016 campaigns and beyond.”

Before joining NBC, Bacon covered politics for TIME and The Washington Post. Read the full note from Strickland and Todd after the jump. Read more

What You Need to Know About the Comcast/Time Warner Cable Merger: Insights From Steven Korn

The announcement by Comcast that the cable, Internet, and media giant plans to purchase competitor Time Warner Cable (TWC) has media industry veterans such as Steven W. Korn, former Vice Chairman of CNN, sitting up and take notice. The merger will increase Comcast’s subscriber base by 50% (from 22 million to 33 million).
Consumers, regulators, and competitors are concerned about the $45.2 billion merger, too. Will the merged company have monopoly power? Will streaming content still be available? Will consumer’s cable and Internet bills be affected? A merger of this size and complexity will have many effects, almost all of which derive from the size of the merged company. Read more

GCI Solar: U.S.-China Solar Trade War Will Only Hurt Renewable Energy Access

The U.S. and China have been locked in a trade war over solar panels since 2012, and residential solar power company GCI Solar says a continued trade spat will only hurt advancements in solar energy – an important renewable resource.

The U.S. first placed tariffs on solar panels imported from China in 2012, ranging from 24 to 36 percent. The goal was to level the playing field for solar panel manufacturers in other countries, as China began dominating the market.

“The trade case stemmed from a legal filing [in 2011] by a coalition of manufacturers, led by SolarWorld, a German company with considerable manufacturing in the United States,” The New York Times reports. “The coalition contended that Chinese companies, which dominate global sales with a two-thirds market share, were competing unfairly in the American market.”

Additionally, Chinese solar companies received subsidies from the Chinese government, allowing them to sell products well below market value in the United States, which The New York Times refers to as “dumping.” Read more

21st Century Television: Rising Rate of ADHD Needs New Treatments

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) was the subject of a recent episode of the 21st Century Television health program. Looking at possible treatment options, 21st Century Television interviewed Dr. Jay Wiley, MD, Chairman and Founder of Focus-MD, a company that is on the forefront of treating ADHD.

“We are very evidence based. We want the scientific evidence base to be present in everything we do from diagnosis into treatment and follow up,” said Dr. Wiley in describing his company’s approach in helping those with the symptoms of ADHD and related disorders.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, “Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common childhood brain disorders and can continue through adolescence and adulthood.” The symptoms can include difficulty paying attention, difficulty controlling behavior, and hyperactivity. Although the symptoms can range in severity, adults and children afflicted with the condition have problems succeeding in school, getting along with other adults and children, and finishing common tasks around the home. Read more

Blackmore Partners: Preparing Your Company For A Buyout

Financial professionals such as the private equity intermediary firm Blackmore Partners recognize the power – and relatively common business practice – of a company buyout. In many cases, a buyout may seem like bad news for an organization. However, as a strategic business move, buyouts frequently yield significant improvements in overall company operations. The end-result of a strategic buyout often serves both businesses – the acquiring firm and the acquired one.

As the staff at Blackmore Partners note, companies large and small are often left confused once a buyout deal has been finalized. Business professionals who have never experienced a buyout may not recognize the important steps necessary to help facilitate the transition. This holds true from the owners and the executive management team, all the way to the staff.

For companies preparing for a buyout transition, business news source Inc. has released a recent report clearing things up. Contributors Karl Stark and Bill Stewart describe several important steps that business owners and management teams can take to better prepare for a buyout. These steps can make the difference between a smooth and simple transitional process and a complicated mess of an exit strategy. Read more

Business Leaders Like Anton Casey See Singapore As An Emerging Market

Business leaders and fund managers, like Anton Casey, see Singapore as an emerging market in the mobile space, thanks to the nation’s continued tech usage.

Anton Casey has witnessed the mobile revolution in Singapore first hand, having lived and worked in the country for many years. His view is supported by research data from The Economist, which shows that Singapore’s smartphone penetration rate has increased from 74 percent in 2012 to 86 percent in 2013, while the nation’s tablet penetration rate has increased from 31 percent in 2012, to 53 percent in 2013. This ranks amongst the highest in the world. To put it into perspective, the same poll ranked Germany as having a 55 percent smartphone penetration rate and a 21 percent tablet penetration rate.

The data also revealed a noticeable upsurge in apps usage in Singapore; from 70 percent in 2012 to 75 percent in 2013, which ranks Singapore fifth amongst the countries polled. In 2012, Singapore was ranked as ninth. Read more

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