Chinese shoppers power global luxury sales

first_imgMILAN (AP) – Chinese shoppers at home and abroad are pushing global sales of luxury items to new heights, helping the sector post its third straight year of strong growth since the global recession.A new study by Bain & Company released Monday forecasts the global luxury goods market for clothing, accessories, jewelry, cosmetics and art will grow 10 percent this year to (EURO)212 billion ($274 billion) from (EURO)192 billion in 2011. That would be the third straight year of double-digit growth following two years of contraction in 2008 and 2009 when many countries around the world slid into a deep recession following a banking crisis. Claudia D’Arpizio, a Bain partner and lead author of the study for Italy’s luxury trade association Fondazione Altagamma, called concerns about market weakness `’overblown.”While the global economic crisis that began in 2008 has shown few signs of abating in pockets, particularly in Europe, the luxury sector overall has been in recovery since 2010, when high-end consumers resumed their easy spending habits.Bain expects spending for the fourth quarter to increase by 7 percent in 2012 over last year, a period boosted by the Christmas gift-giving season.The increase is being shored up by Chinese consumers, who this year became the top luxury buyers responsible for 25 percent of global purchases. By nationality, Europeans contributed 24 percent to global sales, Americans 20 percent and Japanese 14 percent.Tourists are expected to make 40 percent of all luxury purchases this year, with the Chinese leading the way thanks to easier visa policies, Bain said. Chinese tourists are making one-third of purchases in Europe, helping to shield the luxury sector from the ongoing financial crisis. Growth in Europe is projected at 5 percent, half of last year, for total estimated sales of (EURO)75 billion. Comments   Share   Top Stories Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk Chinese shoppers aren’t just spending their new-found wealth abroad though.Bain found that the market comprising China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, is forecast to surpass Japan to become the sector’s second-largest market worth (EURO)27.3 billion, behind the United States with sales of (EURO)65 billion forecast.Bain forecasts annual global growth in the personal luxury goods market of 4 percent to 6 percent through 2015 when it is expected to be worth a quarter of a trillion euros.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Sponsored Stories center_img Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement ErrorOK ErrorOK Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day 5 ways to recognize low testosterone Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenixlast_img

Kazakhstan media hit by raid court order

first_img Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona Comments   Share   Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Top Stories Sponsored Stories Four benefits of having a wireless security system Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Yergaliyeva was last year ordered to pay almost $34,300 in damages to the wife of high-ranking anti-corruption official that Guljan website alleged had transferred millions of dollars onto a bank account in Dubai.Respublika, a weekly newspaper that prints its editions outside Kazakhstan and has them flown to the Central Asian nation for distribution, said a court in Almaty has ordered the confiscation upon arrival of the next issue.Most media outlets in the ex-Soviet republic are either state-owned or pro-government.Prosecutors said Wednesday they want Respublika banned for extremism and incitement to overthrowing the government. The seizure of the publication appears to have come in response to that request.Efforts by the General Prosecutor’s office in Kazakhstan to ban Respublika and Vzglyad newspapers , and satellite telelvision station K+, have been criticized by French-based Reporters Without Borders.“The government is using the pretext of combatting extremism to launch an unprecedented offensive against its critics,” it said.The push against media follows the sentencing to 7 1/2 years in jailed in October of opposition Alga party leader Vladimir Kozlov for allegedly fomenting a riot last year in a western oil town. Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Associated PressALMATY, Kazakhstan (AP) – Kazakhstan’s police on Thursday have raided the offices of a news website and taken steps to halt the publication of a newspaper critical of the government, in what a media watchdog group says was an “unprecedented offensive” against government critics.Guljan Yergaliyeva, an outspoken opposition figure and owner of the Guljan website, said police officers came to her office Thursday to take her to court over nonpayment of libel damages. Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to helplast_img read more

US official 1 of several Americans held in Yemen released

first_img Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology Sponsored Stories Top Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvementcenter_img New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies On Saturday, the State Department said it was working to win the release of several Americans detained in Yemen. The Washington Post reported on Friday that the Houthis had cleared one of four American prisoners for release. It said three of the four held private sector jobs, and the fourth holds dual U.S.-Yemeni citizenship.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. WASHINGTON (AP) — A U.S. official says that at least one of several Americans being held by Shiite Houthi (HOO’-thee) rebels in Yemen has been released following mediation by Omani authorities.The official said the American man had been injured in uncertain circumstances and was on his way to Oman. The official was not authorized to publicly discuss the matter because of privacy rules and spoke on condition of anonymity. No details of the man’s identity were immediately available. Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk Comments   Share   last_img read more

Iraq still in disarray 1 year after Islamic State took Mosul

first_img Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Comments   Share   “We thought it wouldn’t take longer than one week or one month,” said Ayad Mohammed, 35, who fled Mosul last year. “But the military leaders with their big salaries and bank accounts abroad and their nice cars and who took their families outside, they never cared about us. And the politicians we voted for, I wish I chopped of my finger and not voted for them because they are responsible for me and my children being here, along with all these people.”___Associated Press writers Bram Janssen in Irbil, Iraq and Nedra Pickler and Robert Burns in Washington contributed to this report.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Men’s health affects baby’s health too 5 ways to recognize low testosterone “We have no choice,” Ahmad Chalabi, a former deputy prime minister and chairman of parliament’s finance committee, told the AP in February. “What will this say about the loyalty of the Iraqi government if we stop paying our citizens, regardless of where they live?”Pressure is mounting on the Iraqi government to stabilize the country and preventing further discontent, particularly among Sunnis living in militant-held areas and Kurds living in semi-autonomous northern Iraq. Some fear the country could be split into three parts otherwise, including a Shiite-dominated south.Meanwhile, nearly 3 million Iraqis like Hussein now live in refugee camps or squat in unofficial shelters. According to the United Nations, 8.2 million Iraqis — about a quarter of the country’s population — will need humanitarian assistance this year.And as the war grinds on, authorities acknowledge many refugees may never return — with towns destroyed in the fighting and infrastructure severely damaged.“We will be lucky if we get half of them back to their original homes,” said Mowaffak al-Rubaie, Iraq’s former national security adviser.All the while, anger simmers. “We have made significant progress in pushing back ISIL … but we’ve also seen areas like in Ramadi where they’re displaced in one place and then they come back in in another,” Obama said Monday, referring to the Islamic State group by an alternate acronym. “And they’re nimble, and they’re aggressive, and they’re opportunistic.”Former U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad told The Associated Press that any real solution in Iraq will require greater involvement from neighboring countries.“Without the involvement of Saudi Arabia, Iran and Turkey, working together, it will be difficult — if not impossible — to achieve any realistic solutions,” Khalilzad said.Economically, Iraq also finds itself unable to pay for the war it needs to fight. Plummeting oil prices — down 43 percent from a year ago — have dealt a major shock to Iraq, which relies on oil for 90 percent of its revenues. Unemployment stands at 25 percent.At least 40 percent of the country’s workforce — about 5 million people — is employed by the government, which is struggling to pay salaries. That includes civil servants in Islamic State-held areas, who still receive salaries which are then taxed by the militants, according to residents in Mosul and Fallujah who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of retribution. Top Stories While Shiite militias advised by Iran and Iraqi forces have recaptured Tikrit, Saddam’s hometown, the battle on the ground appears at the least locked in stalemate — or at the worst, not in Iraq’s favor. Former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, a Shiite who stepped down in August amid calls for his resignation, is widely blamed for the corruption and incompetence in Iraq’s armed forces after he replaced top Sunni commanders with his own loyalists. The Islamic State group’s advance merely exposed the rot, as entire units collapsed and soldiers stripped off their uniforms as they fled, leaving behind large caches of U.S.-supplied weapons.Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has vowed to empower Sunni tribesmen through the formation of a national guard, which would oversee security in the Sunni heartland — areas predominantly under Islamic State control today. But the force has failed to get off the ground and many remain suspicious of the Shiite-led government in Baghdad.Meanwhile, the U.S. remains hesitant to become too involved in the war after U.S. President Barack Obama withdrew all American ground forces at the end of 2011. There now are slightly fewer than 3,100 U.S. troops in Iraq training and advising local forces, but they are not fighting on the front line. The White House said Wednesday the U.S. will send up to 450 more troops to Iraq to boost the training of local forces. Sponsored Stories FILE – In this Monday, June 16, 2014 file photo, demonstrators chant pro-Islamic State group slogans as they wave the group’s flags in front of the provincial government headquarters in Mosul, Iraq. A year after the Islamic State group seized the city of Mosul and spread south, effectively dividing the country and plunging it into chaos, Iraq is struggling with a staggering political, economic and humanitarian crisis it may take generations to recover from. (AP Photo, File) BAGHDAD (AP) — The Islamic State group gave only three options for the soldiers and police officers guarding Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, when they neared it a year ago: Repent, run or die.Many ran. Those who resisted died, often gruesomely in mass killings filmed and uploaded to the Internet, only fueling fear of the extremists.The collapse of Iraqi security forces, which received billions of dollars in aid and training from the U.S. during its occupation, haunts this divided country today, a year after the Islamic State group seized Mosul and a third of the country. Its sectarian divides grow deeper as millions remain displaced, military gains have seen militant counterattacks and a U.S.-led campaign of airstrikes appears not to have changed the stalemate. Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies What can change the situation is unclear, as lower oil prices sap the Iraqi economy, the U.S. limits its involvement on the ground and the Iraqi people as a whole continue to suffer.“There’s no salary, no job, no life,” said a 31-year-old former soldier named after the country’s former dictator Saddam Hussein, who saw his young son killed as his family fled Mosul for Irbil in Iraq’s Kurdish region. “And if you have a child and he gets sick, you can’t treat him.”On June 10, 2014, the Islamic State group took full control of Mosul, part of its lightning sweep from its territory in war-ravaged Syria and Iraq’s Anbar province. Videos quickly emerged of the extremists waving their trademark black flags in parades down Mosul’s streets or driving Iraqi forces’ U.S.-made Humvees, as darker films of their massing killings followed.Weeks later, Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi purportedly spoke at Mosul’s main mosque and the group declared a “caliphate” over territory it controlled, demanding the loyalty of the world’s Muslims. A U.S.-led air campaign began in August targeting the group, the number of strikes now numbering around 1,900. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility 4 sleep positions for men and what they meanlast_img read more

Stephen Hawking fields questions on artificial intelligence

first_img Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Men’s health affects baby’s health too Check your body, save your life Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Sponsored Stories 5 ways to recognize low testosteronecenter_img Top Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies LONDON (AP) — Have a question about artificial intelligence and think theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking is the man to ask?Hawking is giving the Internet-going public a rare chance to pose direct questions to him on Reddit, the user-powered news and discussion forum.The celebrity scientist is speaking on the perils and promises of artificial intelligence, a topic of lively interest as self-driving cars take to the streets. Comments   Share   The 73-year-old Hawking frequently makes public appearances, but he has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or motor neuron disease, which makes giving spontaneous answers to questions difficult. Most Reddit question-and-answer sessions wrap up quickly, but this one is being extended over several weeks to give Hawking time to respond.There were already thousands of comments on Monday, a few hours after the forum was opened for discussion.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more