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Islamic banking on the rise amid the credit crunch

BERLIN — If the recent global economic crisis taught a lesson about debt, it might be to think twice about investing in it. Wary of buying bonds that may never be repaid, some investors in these precarious times are looking for opportunities that don’t involve such high risk. Some are turning to Islamic banking, a rapidly growing industry that is rippling through global financial systems due to its conservative and low-risk approach.

Meet the people behind Turkey's 'miracle'

ISTANBUL — At a time when its European neighbors have been struggling with the sovereign debt crisis, Turkey’s economy has boomed spectacularly, making it the 15th largest economic power in the world. Both old and new conglomerates have been part — and profited from — what analysts have labeled "Turkey’s economic miracle."

Should the EU give up on green energy?

BRUSSELS — Too many European companies have been slow to adapt to a rapidly changing market and relied for too long on government subsidies, according to Reinhold Buttgereit, secretary general of the European Photovoltaic Industry Association. “This was never realistic and now it’s time to realize that those days are over,” he said.

Economic growth pulls Rwandans out of poverty

KIGALI — Increasing economic growth between 2006 and 2011 pulled Rwandans from poverty at a rate six times faster than the previous five years. The number of Rwanda's 11 million people living in poverty dropped from 57 to 45 percent in that time.

Promises, pitfalls await investors in Burma’s frontier economy

BANGKOK — Burma, sealed off from Western investors by a thick shell of sanctions, could be open for business as soon as this year. But even if the US Congress and White House stay on course, and finally reward the authoritarian state’s recent reforms by cracking that shell, what will investors find underneath?
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