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Poll: Does Nike’s new Tiger Woods ad help his image?

One the eve of the Masters, Nike aired a television commercial featuring Tiger Woods.   The black-and-white spot shows Woods looking directly into the camera while the voice of his late father Earl Woods, in an older recording, speaks in the background, asking “I want to find out what your thinking was, I want to find out what your feelings are, and did you learn anything?”  Tiger does not speak in the ad. Watch the full ad here.

Does Nike's new Tiger Woods ad help his image?

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Poll: Do you support offshore drilling?

President Barack Obama is to announce on Wednesday a plan to permit exploration for oil and natural gas off the coast of Virginia as a way to create jobs and reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil.

Obama, who wants Congress to move a stalled climate change bill, has sought to reach out to Republicans by signaling he is open to allowing offshore drilling, providing coastlines are protected.

Poll: Do you agree with the healthcare reform vote?

The House of Representatives approved a sweeping healthcare overhaul to create the biggest health policy changes in four decades, handing President Barack Obama a landmark victory.

Do you agree with the House of Representatives' vote to pass the healthcare reforms bill?

from UK News:

Is Barclays paying its bankers too much?


A Barclays sign is seen outside a branch of Barclays bank, in central London in this file picture. REUTERS/Toby Melville  

Barclays top-two -- Chief Executive John Varley and President Bob Diamond -- declined their 2009 bonus for the second year in a row, although the bank is paying the 23,000 staff at its investment bank £191,000 per head on average. The bank had a record year, but said all bonuses to its Executive Committee would be deferred, as it reacts to widespread criticism on bankers' pay.

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What do you want to see in a passenger bill of rights?

    Extra legroom Time stuck on tarmac should not exceed 1.5 hours Carry on one bag for free Freedom to rebook if flight is delayed over 3 hours Restore smoking privileges

Would you buy a Toyota?



With Toyota preparing a global recall of its new Prius and rolling out a fix to eight other models with a brake problem, the world’s largest automaker has its work cut out to regain the confidence of consumers.

The company has already reported a 16 percent sales drop for January, allowing Ford and GM to surge past it in the U.S. market. And the news has only got worse for Toyota this month.

from Jeremy Gaunt:

Help me! What year are we in?

The late language maven William Safire would have been helpful at this point but, as stated, he is late, having passed away in 2009.

So here's my problem for you. The year that Safire passed away in -- excuse me -- in which Safire passed away, is nearly always expressed verbally as two-thousand-and-nine. Occasionally, a  person might say just two-thousand-nine, but that is just sloppy. It is rarely, if ever, expressed as twenty-oh-nine.

from Global Investing:

RIP 2008-2009


It was down, down, down in 2008 and up, up , up in 2009. So what will 2010 bring?


from Global Investing:

What’s on your reading list?


If anyone needed a reminder that Christmas and NewYear holidays are almost here, Societe Generale has provided it. Analyst Dylan Grice has picked up the mantle of the departed James Montier to offer a seasonal reading list for those with a fixation about investment and economics.

True, some people might prefer to immerse themselves in a rollicking sea tale from Patrick O'Brian or a good old  Sookie Stackhouse vampire mystery. But we know that Reuters blogs' readers are a discriminating lot with a keen understanding of and passion for finance. So here is Dylan's list of six must-reads:

from UK News:

Raging against the X Factor machine


Simon Cowell says the Internet campaign to keep X factor winner Joe McElderry from the coveted Christmas No. I  spot is aimed at him rather than the type of music the show produces.

He calls the campaign stupid.

But critics of the show loathe what they call the "karaoke" of X Factor and thousands have backed the push to get an anti-establishment track by American rockers Rage Against the Machine up into the top slot next week.

from Global Investing:

Time to kick Russia out of the BRICs?


It may end up sounding like a famous ball-point pen maker, but an argument is being made that Goldman Sach's famous marketing device, the BRICs, should really be the BICs. Does Russia really deserve to be a BRIC, asks Anders Åslund, senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, in an article for Foreign Policy.

Åslund, who is also co-author with Andrew Kuchins of "The Russian Balance Sheet", reckons the Russia of Putin and Medvedev is just not worthy of inclusion alongside Brazil, India and China  in the list of blue-chip economic powerhouses. He writes: