SONY vs. EMI: New Character Enters Nasty Legal Drama

Posted in MEDIA MOMENT, NEWS on May 29, 2009 by transracial

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Earlier this month Sony Music took smaller rival EMI — and its exec Ron Werre — to court after Werre broke a last-minute/$3 million deal to join Sony as President of the Commercial Music Group.

It appears as if Werre was doing some shady double-dealing and only used the threat of moving to Sony to secure a big-time promotion and pay raise back at EMI.

It worked — and Werre went from mere President of Music Services to COO at EMI.

According to Sony — Werre never had any intention of moving companies and was playing both music giants all along. Indeed, EMI was so keen to retain Werre that its big-wigs directly contacted Sony Music Chief Executive Officer Rolf Schmidt-Holtz to scrap Werre’s new contract.

As for the sad sucker Werre was intended to replace, he had already been canned by Sony.

Harsh!

Now, EMI and Werre will face Sony in court — at a time when EMI is in serious financial dire straits.

But meanwhile, we can report, Sony itself is shifting into proactive mode and will now award the coveted President of the Commercial Music Group title to Richard Story, who is currently chief operating officer of Sony Music Continental Europe.

The move places Story — currently based in London but soon shifting to NYC — in a far more global position while suggest to Werre that he better be secure in new EMI glory.

We’ll see both sides in court.

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DEVELOPMENT DEBATE: Dambisa Moyo vs. Jeffrey Sachs

Posted in NEWS on May 29, 2009 by transracial

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Back in February, we wrote about economist and author Dambisa Moyo, whose new book Dead Aid offers a scathing critique of the conventional international aid model.

Three months on, it appears as if Moyo’s global vision — one in which poor African nations are lifted out of poverty via investment, trade and micro-finance — is making her the literal bete noir of more established development icons.

Chief among the is Columbia’s Jeffrey Sachs, who calls Moyo’s world-view not just dangerous, but potentially calamitous. Her ideas, Sachs has said, are “absolutely pernicious, and could lead to the deaths of millions of people”.

Problem is that Moyo — who recently ascended to Time magazine’s lofty 100 most influential people list — is African, female and sexy to boot. She’s a problematic target for Western White dudes like Sachs and threatens to steal the thunder from his powerful cohorts.

This battle, we suspect, has only just begun.

Let’s hope that millions, as Sach fears, are not caught in the crossfire.

TREND ALERT: Money-Management Cruises

Posted in ESCAPE, NEWS on May 28, 2009 by transracial

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Even though it may be one of the costliest cruise lines around, Crystal Cruises is helping its passengers tackle their money woes.

This fall, the company is launching a series of voyages with on-board experts who will help cruisers learn to better handle their money and investments.

Their October 8th sailing between NYC and Montreal, for instance, features notable investment-world experts including former Deutsche Bank chairman Bob Froehlich who will provide his insights on investing in the current global economy.

Considering the cruise’s cost, crowd and conversation — this should make for an interesting high-seas get-together.

DAILY TRANSRACIAL: Transracial-in-Chief Barack Obama

Posted in DAILY TRANSRACIAL on May 28, 2009 by transracial

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Long before he became President, Barack Obama was a nice boy from Hawaii who moved to LA to study at Occidental College in the late 1970s

There he did what most young adults do in SoCal — experimented with fashion, friends and even drugs before heading full-steam onto the
path that would lead him to the White House.

Anyone who’s keen to see what Pres. O looked like back then should make for Los Angeles where the exhibition Barack Obama: The Freshman opens TODAY at the M+B Gallery.

On display through July 18, the 1980 photos are by photographer Lisa Jack — a fellow Occidental alum — who kept them out of the spotlight until after last November’s election.

The 21 pics show a super-cool Pres. O complete with afro and funky, period-appropriate outfits.

WE SALUTE: Saudi Lingerie Maverick Reem Assad

Posted in NEWS, ON OUR RADAR on May 28, 2009 by transracial

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Saudi Arabia’s Reem Assad is a one-woman force for change.

A lecturer in banking and finance at Jeddah’s Dar al-Hekma Women’s College, she is a leading campaign to make life easier for women in this notoriously male-dominated society.

Here target: Women’s lingerie stores.

It appears as if nearly every female underwear store in Saudi Arabia is staffed by men, making it impossible for female customers to look over or — gasp! — try on undergarments before purchase.

Although a three year-old law mandates such stores have female staffers, this has not been the case.

Via Facebook and email, Assad is leading a campaign to finally staff lingerie stores with female tellers to make life just a drop less cumbersome for Saudi Arabia’s long-suffering women.

Mabrook!

WORD OF THE DAY: Fruitarianism

Posted in NEWS on May 28, 2009 by transracial

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We’ve heard of vegetarianism and pescetarianism , but until this past weekend, we knew nothing about Fruitarianism.

Now we do!

Espoused by followers across the globe, Frutarians embrace a diet based almost solely on, what else, fruits — or at least 75 per cent fruits.

Unsurprisingly, hard-core Frutarians (such as the man above) can be a bit…er…fruity, often adopting unusual fruitarian alter-egos such as Mango the Fruitarian and Fruitbat Anne.

Whatever.

While we certainly love fruit, adopting a fruit-only diet is not in our future.

But considering its positive effect on the globe, we give fruitarianism a big thumbs-up!

DAILY TRAVEL GOODNESS: Isla Mujeres’ Hotel Secreto

Posted in NEWS on May 26, 2009 by transracial

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Hola from Mexico, where Transracail JS and I are holed up at the Hotel Secreto (above) on Isla Mujeres.

In between tacos and scooter rides, we’ve made the most of our hotel stay via the Secreto’s private slice of beach, infinity-edge pool and charming service.

Best of all, Isla Mujeres’ most-stylish hotel is now offering 50 percent off all rooms through December 20th. Rates begin at just over $100/night.

They call it the “The Stimulus Package — Economic Recovery Plan” — we call it pure fun.

Back soon.