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A chronology of events leading to Microsoft Corp.’s decision to abandon its offer for Web search and advertising competitor Yahoo Inc.:

Feb. 1, 2008: After two years of talks and speculation, Microsoft makes unsolicited offer to buy Yahoo for $31 per share, or $44.6 billion.

Feb 3: Google Inc.’s top lawyer says the buyout could hurt Web innovation.

Feb. 4: Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang tells employees that selling to Microsoft is an option.

Feb. 11: Yahoo rejects Microsoft’s offer, saying it “substantially undervalues” the company’s brand and worldwide assets.

Feb. 19: Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates tells The Associated Press the software maker isn’t in talks with Yahoo about raising its offer. Yahoo releases details of severance plans that would take effect after a buyout, which could make the deal more expensive for Microsoft.

March 5: Yahoo extends a deadline for nominating candidates to its board, buying time to strike an alternative deal. Yahoo is said to be in talks with Google Inc., News Corp.’s and Time Warner Inc.’s AOL.

March 10: Senior executives meet near Yahoo’s Sunnyvale, Calif., headquarters.

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US employers cut far fewer jobs last month than in recent months and the unemployment rate dropped to five per cent, a better-than-expected showing that nonetheless reveals strains in the nation’s labor market.

For the fourth month in a row, the economy lost jobs, the Labor Department reported yesterday. But in April the losses totaled 20,000, an improvement from the 81,000 reductions in payrolls logged in March. Job losses for both February and March turned out to be a bit deeper than previously reported.

The latest snapshot of the nationwide employment conditions – while clearly still weak – was better than many economists were anticipating. They were bracing for job cuts of 75,000 and for the unemployment rate to climb to 5.2pc.

The unemployment rate, derived from a different statistical survey than the payroll figures, fell to 5pc from 5.1pc in March. That survey showed more people finding employment than those who didn’t.

Businesses are handing out pink slips as they cope with an economy that is teetering on the edge of a recession, or possibly in one already. A severe housing slump, harder-to-get credit and financial turmoil have forced people and businesses to be more cautious in their spending. And that has hurt the economy.

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The upshot: despite continuing uncertainty in financial markets, commodities are well placed to overcome most obstacles. Partly because the companies which are performing strongly in the sector are still very attractively priced and also because the demands from emerging markets and supply shortages are still such key factors for the medium term.

A fresh impetus since the new year Natural resources market has received a fresh injection of attention this year with an extra US$70bn ploughed in, raising the sector’s value to around US$400bn. However, in global terms this is not such a huge amount considering the amount of activity in this arena. While volatility has increased due to speculation and money market tightening there are still many longer-term opportunities due to persistent extraordinary growth stories and energy requirements.

Specifics – what to watch out for Gold and platinum
are obviously very topical after recently hitting all time highs – then suffering a sharp correction which we believes was to be expected. But the immediate rationale for remaining positive on gold is justified: with inflation threatening and dollar uncertainty set to continue. Likewise, there is a bullish stance on platinum, especially with extreme energy shortages in South Africa (the largest producer) meaning it cannot even be extracted from the ground.

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India is leaving the Third World so fast that it is almost possible to watch it happeneing.

Many write off India as backward and poor. The reality is that its billion people have a booming economy, excellent education and limitless ambition – and they are ready to take over the world. America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East face a reversal of fortune that will astonish us and overpower us if we do not revise our rapidly dating assumptions and prejudices.

Yes India still has poverty with the power to turn the stomach. Yes, there are still elephants striding nonchalantly through the boiling city traffic and cows on the loose in the heart of a megalopolis which crams the population half the size of Australia into fewer than 750 square kilometers. But heartbreaking as these images are, they are not a true indication of the new civilisation which is growing here in the world’s largest free country.

In India, the amazing thing is that all the intelligent people are optimistic. The economists, the writers and the thinking classes in general, are full of an infectious patriotic delight at the way their mighty country is preparing for world power. No douby some unpredictable disaster could unhorse this new hope. A recent article in Forbes mentioned that India would have the maximum number of Billionaire’s in 10 years time.

The world is paying too much attention to China and too little to India. America and Europe, in particular, simply havnt been able to cope with the threat India’s information technology industry poses to their own jobs. “They could not believe Indians could do this. To them, this was still a country of snake charmers.
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The Internet is one of the most frequently used tools for communication today. There are over millions of people who log on to the Internet every single day. Besides, with the benefits that the Internet gives, who would not want to be a part of this information superhighway.

With the Internet, you can communicate with your family and friends through emails and instant messengers, you can purchase goods and services without leaving your own home, and the Internet is one of the most promising income generating tools that everyone can use today.

In the past, you needed products or services in order to make money through the Internet. Today however, you can make money through the Internet by using affiliate programs. This program will allow you to make a substantial amount of money out of your website and is a very good home business that you would want to get in to.

First of all, you need to know what an affiliate program is and how it works in order to fully understand how you can make some money out of it. Affiliate programs is like a joint venture where you or your website becomes a partner with another website that have already developed a product or service that they are already selling in the Internet. As a partner, your job is to direct the visitors of your website to your partner website and hope that they will purchase the products or services being offered. Your website will be like the company’s marketing arm, among several.

The company you plan on being affiliated to will be providing all the necessary tools that you need in order to start the affiliate program. They will be providing the links, and some companies will provide free e-books on how you can effectively earn from affiliate programs.

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Private medical care can cost the world. Do you really want to pay it yourself, and can you afford to?

Most people see medical insurance as an additional expense. But they would never think of driving a car that is not insured. How important is a broken fender compared to the cure for an illness?

For every person that will eventually require specialist medical care, the need arises to consolidate and plan for the future. Although health insurance is usually bundled with overall life insurance policies, the truth is that you can often find services tailored to your personal needs.

Granted, that it is not everyone’s choice investment option – and it shouldnt be – but these policies provide you and your family with timely death or injury related compensation and in some opt-in cases, regular and uninterrupted income.

It is unfair to compare the yeild of an insurance policyto other mainstream investments, for the simple reason that an insurance policy is basically exactly what it says it is, an insurance policy, and the income generated is just an added feature. Instead approach it as a non-exuberant, parallel saving schemewithout seeing market performance and you will see that it is a useful tool.

When it comes to being taken in by Intenet fraudsters, men have a knack of losing cash, according to a new report from Internet Crime Complaint Center.

Data compiled from more than 206,000 complaints received by the U.S. ICCC shows that men lost U.S. $1.67 to every $1 lost by women on online fraud. The organisation says that buying patterns and human natureplay into the findings.

Historically men were more apt to purchase large ticket item like electronics… that could explain a lot of it. But with women now spending more online, the difference is also due to the fact that certain types of schemes tend to suck men in. Men tend to fall victim… to business investment schemes and some other schemes that have a higher monetary loss.

Investment fraud complaints, where the average loss is more than $3,500, were overwhelmingly submitted by men. Compare that to something like auction fraud, where men and women are frequently victimized. The average loss there is just over $480.

Men also tend to be victims of check fraud (average loss: $3000) and Nigerian letter fraud scams($2000). Overall Internet crime is netting the bad guys more money than ever. Total losses from 2007 complaints came to $239 million, up $40 million from 2006. The number of complaints was actually down for the second year in a row.

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There are many reasons to say “yes” to invest in gold. Demand for gold has exceeded production in recent times, therefore prices have been rising. Gold is also considered a good investment during stormy economic times.

Rising oil prices and a weak dollar normally spell strong demand for gold. A little gold can help diversify an investment portfolio.

Today, like all investments and commodities, the price of gold is ultimately driven by supply and demand, including hoarding and disposal. Unlike most other commodities, the hoarding and disposal plays a much bigger role in affecting the price, because most of the gold ever mined still exists and is potentially able to come on to the market for the right price.

That weaker dollar is reason gold, a traditional store of purchasing power, is gaining ground. The increase of its price has been less pronounced in other currencies.

Very few people are so rich or so secure that they never worry about their money, and for the rest of us, there’s gold! With today’s fluctuating market, more and more people have returned to this standard of wealth for a degree of security that has become harder and harder to find. While some people decide that they want to horde gold jewelry in their mattresses for the next Depression, other people take the time to decide on what pieces they want to invest in.
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For the uninitiated, the stock market looks either a rosy picture or the dooms day scenario. Actually it is a mixture of both. By investing wisely, you can get the money of life time or if you are not careful, you may lose money of life time.

Don’t follow the herd mentality. This is one of the top mistakes to avoid. The herd mentality is THE reason why many investors lose their money. Actually when your neighbor or friend is buying, since everyone is buying, stop and think for one moment “is this share worth its money today and does it have a growth potential?” If the answer is a YES after study of the share, go ahead and buy that share. If you have a slightest doubt, refrain from buying. Do not buy just because someone else is buying.

Not deciding your time line: When you start investing in stocks, you have to decide your time line or profit margins when you are going to quit. If you do not do that you may pass on the period of greatest value for your stock. Thinking that your stock will go up when it has reached its present peak, is a sure way of losing your money. Of course it is not possible to sell your stock at peak very time, but if you have decided the limits, you will not be sorry.

Not cutting down losses: For every stock, there is a range and depending on the general market conditions and fundamentals of the company you can decide the price of the stock you hold. If either of the above two conditions compel a stock to go down, have predetermined limits when you are going to sell irrespective of market conditions. This will cut down the losses you may have in future.

Taking too much risk: If you are a reckless investor, you will have blame yourself for taking too much risk. A calculated risk is what one is expected to take in stock markets. Taking too much risk based on hear say from the market, is a sure way for doom.

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