News From All Corners

Raise the smoking age? Report predicts big health benefits if we do
By Joseph Netto, CNN
(CNN)The public health benefits of barring people under age 21 from buying cigarettes could be tremendous, including "4.2 million fewer years of life lost" among the next generation of American adults, according to a report released this week by the Institute of Medicine. Setting the minimum age at 21 nationwide, the report estimates, would result in nearly a quarter-million fewer premature deaths and 50,000 fewer deaths from lung cancer among people born between 2000 and 2019.
5 new laptops to look out for
By John Brandon, FOX News
Laptops have become the utility device for getting real work done. The basic formula hasn’t changed in decades: a screen attached to a hinge, a keyboard, and a few ports. Yet, this year, new models pack a few extras that make them more compelling. They are light and thin, last all day, and run the latest mobile processors. Here are five that add a few more perks.
Facebook Woos Chinese Advertisers
By Alyssa Abkowitz, The Wall Street Journal
BEIJING—In China, Facebook is banned—and ramping up efforts to make money. Facebook Inc. is hiring in Hong Kong, has tapped a second local partner to reach advertisers and is waging a charm campaign to draw more business from Chinese companies, even though Chinese users can’t access its service. The aim is to pitch Chinese companies to the benefits of reaching Facebook’s 1.39 billion active monthly users beyond China’s borders.

Blogosphere

To Buy or Not to Buy - The Stewardship of Consumption
By Ernest P. Liang
“The world’s largest economy grew faster in the third quarter than first estimated, capping its strongest six months in a decade, as consumers went shopping…” flashed the headline from The Bloomberg News (Nov. 26, 2014). For the U.S. economy, it is hard to under-emphasize the importance of consumer spending which accounts for fully 70 percent of the national output. For the uninitiated and the pundit alike, consumption expenditure is good recipe for arresting economic stagnation, if not a sure prescription for sustainable economic growth (and by implication, the standard of living).
The Goodness of Business
By Patrick Layhee
Most business professionals of all spiritual orientations understand the many blessings that come from a thriving business community. And a large business community it is—the Census Bureau recently published their Statistics of U.S. Businesses which reports a total count of 7.4 million U.S. business firms employing about 116 million people. [i] These businesses are contributing to an improved quality of life for their tens of millions of employees and their employees’ families. When ethical businesses thrive, everyone wins. Jobs are created, paychecks flow, and communities prosper. Wages are spent, taxes are paid, and society advances. It’s a beautiful thing.
DEVOTIONAL: From Good To Great to Unique
By Lane Kramer
Many of us have read the classic book by Jim Collins called Good to Great which analyzes how a group of companies made the transition from being good companies to becoming great companies over a period of time. One of the classic lines in the book is that “good can be the enemy of great”. That is, if you focus on doing things that are good in your business they might be done at the expense of doing great things in your business. Well, I would like to up the ante and challenge you to focus on doing the things that you are uniquely called to do in your business as a senior Christian business leader that nobody else can do but you. Have you ever stopped to consider what those things may be? Those are things that are mission critical that you are gifted to do in your business.

The Legal Corner

The Rule of Law and Original Sin
By Kyle Bryant
On March 4, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States heard oral arguments in King v. Burwell, the case that will determine whether subsidies provided for under the Affordable Care Act will be available to plans purchased on the federal health care exchange. The outcome of the case could have sweeping consequences for people who relied on federal-exchange funded subsidies to pay their healthcare premiums under the ACA. Aside from the pragmatic implications on everyday citizens, the underlying issue in this case illuminates a much deeper problem in the way our country (and culture) relates to the “the law.”
This is My Father’s World: An Overview of International Trade Law
By Sam Webb
King Solomon “excelled all the kings of the earth in riches and wisdom.” (2 Chron. 9:22) King Solomon’s wealth and wisdom was so impressive that “all the kings of the earth sought the presence of Solomon to hear his wisdom.” (2 Chron. 9:23) And while King Solomon developed his wealth through various means, certainly one of the chief means for his wealth came by his fleet of merchant ships, which carried gold, silver, and ivory from foreign lands. (1 Kings 10:22) King Solomon exercised wisdom and generated wealth through international trade.

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