Archive for December, 2014

15 Important Small Business News Stories from 2014

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014

News SourceEDIT

These are some of the newsworthy events affecting small business during 2o14 and that readers found useful and of interest.

Among them were appointment of a new SBA chief, more Microsoft changes at the newly acquired Nokia, news of the planned PayPal spin off from eBay, a new Canadian anti-spam law and a long anticipated IPO for GoDaddy. Read on.

Postage Rates Go Up Jan. 26: Stamps, Bulk Mail, Packages

The year began with a price hike for businesses using the U.S. Postal Service for shipments.

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What a year

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014

FROM Russia’s attack on the Ukraine and the falling price of oil, to Europe’s renewed economic problems, 2014 has been a busy year in the world of business and finance. Here are our top ten most read articles on these topics over the past year:

1. Technology and jobs: Coming to an office near you

2. Prostitution: A personal choice

3. The new economics of oil: Sheikhs v shale

4. <a…Continue reading

Top Small Business Tips and Advice Stories from 2014

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014

AdviceEDIT

These are some of the top small business tips and advice stories that caught your attention this year. Enjoy the top titles from 2014 here on Small Business Trends.

Top 10 Social Media Plugins for WordPress

Facebook, Twitter, Digg, StumbleUpon, LinkedIn and more — social media channels are one of the most effective methods of spreading the content on your WordPress site. You can share your content on your own social channels, of course. But with the right plugins you can also encourage your visitors and fans to do the same.

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10 Killer Habits that will Improve Your Leadership

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014

010515 leadership

With the new year just around the corner, you may be ready to wipe the slate clean and take the first steps into future with the hopes of doing things a little better this year. Perhaps your resolution is to eat healthier, or to save money, or maybe it’s to better your business.

As Michael Woronko over at Lifehack.org says:

“It’s not exactly easy being head honcho — decisions have to be made, people have to be swayed, and the pressure’s on to achieve success at the end of the day.

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Moldovan Ship Blue Sky M Arrives in Italy

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014

The Moldovan-flagged cargo ship Blue Sky M docked in the port of Gallipoli early on Wednesday after the Italian Navy undertook an operation to save some 700 migrants aboard, reports Deutsche Welle.

The ship, headed for the Croatian port of Rijeka, sent a distress signal on Tuesday afternoon, claiming it was drifting out of control off the Greek island of Corfu and there were armed people on board.

As the ship came closer to Italy, port authorities dispatched two helicopters and six coast guard officials to the vessel. Italian coast guard spokesman Filippo Marini said that his team took control of the ship after no crew was found. The media has speculated that the crew were human traffickers who jumped ship when they saw the authorities arriving.

Despite the distress signal, there appeared to be nothing mechanically wrong with the ship. It was most likely activated by one of the migrants, who were in need of food and blankets.

Police and maritime authorities have said they would investigate how the migrants, reportedly mainly from Syria and including a heavily pregnant woman, came to be hidden on the cargo ship.

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Russia Tried Bribing Bulgarian Official to Support South Stream – NYT

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014

Russian MP Aleksandr Babakov, a special envoy of Vladimir Putin tried to bribe a Bulgarian deputy energy minister, Bojan Stoyanov, to speed up the South Stream gas pipeline project, claims The New York Times.

In the article “How Putin Forged a Pipeline Deal That Derailed”, Stoyanov, who was member of the caretaker government of Marin Raykov in the spring of 2013, claims he was invited by a friend to have a drink in a Sofia cigar bar, when Babakov surprisingly turned up.

“He (Babakov) wanted to take my temperature on the South Stream,” Stoyanov told the New York Times journalists.

According to Stoyanov, he told Babakov that the project would not reduce Bulgaria’s dependence on Russian gas and would bring marginal economic benefit.

“In not so many words, he said he would make me very comfortable if I would participate and help,” Mr. Stoyanov said, adding that he reported the encounter to Bulgarian intelligence. “I was not pleased by his presumption that I would just set aside and forget Bulgaria’s national interests.”

The article authors Jim Yardley and Jo Becker also claim the Russian state bank VTB showered the country with politically strategic investments, but after the suspension of the project on Bulgarian part in the summer of 2014, started the bank run and the following insolvency of the Corporate Commercial Bank (KTB) in which VTB had a considerable stake.

According to the article the coalition government of the Bulgarian Socialist Party and the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS), supported by the far-right Ataka were pushing hard to promote Russian interests.

The article claims that at a secret meeting in 2013, between the then Bulgarian Prime Minister and Gazprom’s head Aleksey Miller was agreed to split the constitution project for the pipeline between the companies of the Russian Oligarch Gennady Timchenko and companies, connected to the controversial DPS MP Delyan Peevski.

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Sofia Traffic Police Hands Out Presents, Instead of Fines

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014

On New Year’s Eve Sofia traffic police hands out presents to motorists with minor violations, instead of fining them, reports BGNES.

The presents – hats, scarves, small souvenirs or post cards were handed out by the Interior Ministry employees’ trade union, wishing the drivers to be more careful next year. The children in the cars were also getting presents – stuffed toys with the trade union’s logo and a card.

According to Ivaylo Desev of the trade union, the practice of giving presents to the motorists was not very popular. In Bulgaria the traffic police hands out presents in Sofia, Pleven, Blagoevgrad and Pernik.

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Greece’s Parliament Formally Dissolved

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014

Greece’s parliament was formally dissolved Wednesday by a decree, officially marking the start of a monthlong election campaign, reports The Wall Street Journal.

The decree, cosigned by President Karolos Papoulias and Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, sets January 25 as the date for new elections and announced that parliament would reconvene on February 5 following those elections.

On Tuesday Samaras had asked the president to dissolve the legislature after it failed to elect a new head of state for Greece.

On Monday the Greek Parliament failed to approve former European Commissioner Stavros Dimas, the presidential candidate nominated by Samaras, in the third and last round of voting on Monday.

The previous two rounds were also unsuccessful and by constitution, after three unsuccessful attempts, the Parliament has to be dissolved and early parliamentary elections have to be called.

Later Wednesday, Greece is due to swear in caretaker interior and justice ministers, who will preside over the election process.

The elections, coming some 18 months ahead of schedule, are expected to pit the governing New Democracy party of Samaras against rival left-wing Syriza, which firmly opposes the austerity measures in Greece.

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Samsung Re-imagines Famous Self-Portraits as Selfies

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014

Self-Portrait 3SIZED

A self-portrait painting from centuries ago is the predecessor of the selfie. Samsung cleverly capitalized on this fact in recent ads for its NX mini camera. In the ads, Vincent van Gogh, Albrecht D?rer and Frida Kahlo use the camera to take pictures of themselves, which turn out to be their famous self-portraits, as you can see in the camera display screen. To enhance the camera advertisements, Samsung adds a witty slogan about the camera, how it is “for self-portraits, not selfies.”

Republished by permission. Original here.

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Mountain Rescuers Warn of Avalanches, Frostbite

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014

There is real risk of freezing and avalanches in the mountains, Kamen Yakimov of the Mountain Rescue Service told the BNR public radio.

According to him, temperatures in the mountains would drop to -20°C on New Year’s eve.

He also warned the risk of avalanches is high. “The snow cover is unstable – it is too cold and it cannot set and there are high winds,” he said. “On another hand, there are drifts sitting on frozen patches, which cane slide and start an avalanche. The fresh snow covered holes and other obstacles, which bring risk of injuries.”

Yakimov urged the tourists to stick to the areas around the chalets and avoid venturing into the higher parts.

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