‘It was all life and no work’

Barry Diller speaks during the CNBC Next 25 Gala in New York on Nov. 6, 2014. David A. Grogan | CNBC Expedia Chairman Barry Diller told analysts he’s determined to reset the travel company’s “all life and no work” corporate culture, since he took over the company following an executive shakeup last December. On Expedia’s fourth-quarter earnings call Thursday, Diller compared Expedia’s work-life balance to fellow Seattle-based tech company Amazon, which he said was the opposite. By comparison, Expedia has become “sclerotic and bloated” as the company lacked focus and…

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What to do in Tampa if you’re not a beach person

Mural in Tampa, Fla. Courtesy of Visit Tampa. Miami and Orlando may be the tourist destinations that come to mind when travelers think of Florida, but Tampa is becoming a rival. It’s also a popular convention destination, so you may find yourself there on business. If that’s the case, and you don’t have the time or the inclination to make it to the beaches that the area is known for, you aren’t out of options: The city has its own appeal beyond water activities, with Cuban cuisine, craft beer, sports and…

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Billionaire Mike Bloomberg tries on economic populism

In a Democratic Party where progressive populism has taken hold and several leading candidates like Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are railing against the concentration of wealth in the hands of a few billionaires, Bloomberg’s evolution is something of a political necessity. It’s also a way for Bloomberg to differentiate himself from President Trump, whose tax cuts have only served to heighten insecurities about rising income inequality. A new Pew Research Center survey found 61 percent of adult Americans feel there is “too much” inequality in the country. The concern was…

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How an African state learned to play the West off China for billions

Over the course of the last decade, Ethiopia has become increasingly dependent on Chinese investment. The Export-Import Bank of China put up $2.9 billion of the $3.4 billion railway project connecting Ethiopia to Djibouti, providing the landlocked country access to ports. Chinese funds were also instrumental in the construction of Ethiopia’s first six-lane highway — an $800 million project — the metro system, and several skyscrapers dotting Addis Ababa’s skyline. Beijing also accounts for nearly half of Ethiopia’s external debt and has lent at least $13.7 billion to Ethiopia between…

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Canberra’s National Zoo & Aquarium gets rave reviews despite $1,000 cost

How much are you willing to pay for a ticket to the local zoo? Say $25, maybe $35? A one-day pass to the San Diego Zoo, the most expensive — and largely considered the best zoo in the U.S. — charges $58 (before discounts). So how does Canberra, Australia’s National Zoo & Aquarium get visitors through the door with a four-figure fee? For starters, the cost of admission comes with an invitation to stay the night. Sleeping alongside lions, cheetahs and sun bears Travelers willing to part with nearly U.S.…

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Airlines’ Seattle turf war heats up with American, Alaska partnership

An American Airlines plane at left, leaves a gate area near an Alaska Airlines plane, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020, at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in Seattle. Ted S. Warren | AP Airlines are stepping up their battle over Seattle, where the spoils are high-spending corporate travelers from technology giants like Amazon and Microsoft and millions of other passengers at one of the country’s fastest-growing airports. The latest shot fired in the turf war came last week when American Airlines and Alaska Airlines announced a plan to expand their partnership to include…

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With impeachment in rear view, Pelosi looks to next attack on Trump

For moderate Democrats in competitive districts— including those where Trump dominated in 2016 — the shift away from impeachment less than a week after the Senate acquitted the president is a welcome reprieve. “I’m glad that we’re shifting and pivoting to something else. Every time I poll in my area, it’s always the same thing: education, health care and the economy,” said Rep. Henry Cuellar of Texas, who is facing a fierce primary challenger from the left in his sprawling south Texas district. The centrist Democrat said he sees Pelosi’s…

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Oyo CEO Ritesh Agarwal touts hospitality start-up despite criticism

Indian budget hotel chain start-up Oyo, valued at $10 billion in its latest fundraising round, has faced a number of gripping headlines, including multiple reports of hotel owners in India and China not getting adequate compensation from the company. In an exclusive interview with CNBC’s Seema Mody on “Squawk Alley” on Tuesday, Oyo’s CEO and founder, Ritesh Agarwal, dismissed those complaints and instead touted Oyo’s business model. “One of the things that’s consistent, if you speak to hotel owners or customers across the world, is that the proposition of Oyo…

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CDC issues travel guidelines for Hong Kong due to coronavirus

A customer has his temperature taken during a screening outside a Cafe de Jargor restaurant during its first day of operations in Hong Kong, China, on Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020. Chan Long Hei | Bloomberg Getty Images The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new guidelines on Wednesday for American travelers to Hong Kong after the city reported its second death from the new coronavirus. Travelers to Hong Kong should avoid contact with sick people, the CDC said, and regularly wash their hands. It is the CDC’s lowest-level travel…

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