Economist 12/23/15

  1. With thousands of business schools, a good chunk of which offer a “global” or “international” slant on their MBAs, it can be difficult to differentiate one from another. Every school offering an international or globally-focused programme hopes to train top executives at multinational firms.But, as Mr Mangematin points out, there are more MBA graduates than seats in the c-suites of the best businesses. So he has a counterintuitive suggestion: at a time when everyone is globalising, business schools should narrow their focus in order to thrive.Though the packaging may be the same, courses’ content can change based on where business schools are located. The idea is not to go into ever-more specific niches—the “MBA in somethingThe Economist has previously explored—but to offer a general education with a hint of one’s surroundings. In that sense, what Mr Mangematin is suggesting is not as radical as it may seem.Students already choose to apply to Stanford, say, because they want to benefit from its proximity to the startup hubs in the San Francisco bay area.
  2. On December 18th more progress was made on the path to peace in Syria, as the United Nations Security Council unanimously passed a resolution calling for a ceasefire and talks between the Syrian government and opposition in early January.The measure comes after months of negotiations between world powers, most notably America and Russia, which have been divided over the future of Syria. It is the first time the security council has endorsed a peace plan. And yet it is still far from clear that the agreement reached in New York will result in an end to the fighting.Many questions remain unanswered, the biggest of which concerns the fate of Bashar al-Assad, Syria’s authoritarian president, who is opposed by a patchwork of moderate and radical rebel groups. Elections are to be held within 18 months of the start of talks, according to the resolution, and it has for the moment been left unclear whether Mr Assad would be allowed to run; his position in the interim is also unclear. But Russia, which has bombed his opponents, does not want him removed ahead of time.The ceasefire will not apply to the whole country. Attacks by outside powers on Islamic State (IS) and Jabhat al-Nusra, the local al-Qaeda affiliate, will continue.
  3. FACE it, pets and travel don’t mix. The logistics of taking a pet on a trip can get very complex very quickly. First of all there are the legal complications.So animal loving jet-setters will be pleased to read that things are getting better for those wanting to travel with four-legged friends. There are a growing number of services designed to make travelling with dogs easier. Onesuch is BringFido“, a website and app that lists suitable accommodation in locations that users plan to visit. The site also helps with pet friendly airlines and provides advice or booking services for restaurants and the like. Another is a start-up called “WoofAdvisor“, which is basically a TripAdvisor for dogs.New hotels opened by both chains and boutiques are emphasising their pet friendliness. Some offer dedicated treatssuch as doggy room-service and canine massages.
  4. IN GERMANY, as in the rest of Europe, copyright expires seven decades after the author’s year of death. That applies even when the author is Adolf Hitler and the work is “Mein Kampf”. Since 1945, the state of Bavaria has owned the book’s German-language rights and has refused to allow its republication. German libraries stock old copies, and they can be bought and sold. But from January 1st no permission will be needed to reprint it.Mein Kampf” is a mix of autobiography and manifesto that Hitler began writing during a rather comfortable prison stay after his failed putsch of 1923. It was first published in two volumes in 1925 and 1926.But after 1933, when Hitler seized power, it became a bestseller.After the war it fell to the Americans to decide what to do about the book, because Hitler’s last private address, in Munich, was in their sector. The Third Reich was gone and the Federal Republic of Germany would not be born until 1949. So the Americans transferred the rights to the government of Bavaria. It banned printing of the book.
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