It's the entrepreneurs' dream: tapping into China's market of 1.3 billion people. That dream fueled the efforts of two Chinese-American MBAs to take the soft-pretzel franchise — a staple of U.S. shopping malls — to China. Cultural and financial barriers, however, led to a far more challenging reality.
Since the Dalai Lama's exile from Tibet in 1958, reincarnated high lamas have been born in, or exposed to, the West at an increasing rate. Journalist Tim McGirk wrote about the effects of that exposure in this month's issue of The Believer.
Syria has generally followed the "middle way" in Islam, but ultra-conservative Islamists have been on the rise throughout the region. Syrians are debating what role Islam might play if President Bashar Assad's regime is toppled.
Decades ago, Bloomingdale's sold goods from China to intrigued American buyers. Today, to mark the beginning of the Lunar New Year, the store is doing the opposite: selling goods that cater to the interests of affluent visitors from Asia.
Pilgrims and tourists who visit the Vatican Saturday will have a special treat, as the Knights of Malta march in procession to the tomb of St. Peter. The last of the great chivalrous orders is celebrating the 900th anniversary of its official recognition by Pope Paschal II.
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