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In an optimistic annual newsletter, Microsoft founder Bill Gates has argued that the world is a better place than it has even been before.

People wearing masks is a common sight in China's cities, as here in Shanghai.

China's famously foul urban air is blowing across the Pacific, and much of it is coming from the factories making consumer goods sold in the U.S.

A rare bottle of Macallan whisky has set a world record for the most expensive single malt whisky sold at an auction over the weekend.

Amazon looks at shipping BEFORE you order Sun, 19 Jan '14 | 9:13 AM ET

Online retail giant Amazon says it knows its customers so well it can start shipping even before orders are placed. USAToday reports.

It's work to evaluate whether a stock can match the gold standards of Google, Amazon and Starbucks. But in his new book, the guru tells you how.

'Severely unaffordable' housing markets of 2014 Mon, 20 Jan '14 | 10:30 PM ET

Hong Kong is one of the most unaffordable city to buy a property, according to the Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey.

Full coverage of Davos 2014 Thu, 16 Jan '14 | 12:22 PM ET

Coverage of the 2014 World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland.

Muscling up at the Detroit Auto Show Wed, 15 Jan '14 | 4:04 PM ET
The Chevrolet 2014 Corvette Stingray, named the North American Car of the Year, at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show

The number of beefy vehicles on display indicates that buyers have grown tired of stodgy and want something sexy.

While dominated by small- to mid-sized merchants, forerunners to large, national marijuana brands are emerging. Is pot America's next big industry?

What same-sex couples need to know about taxes Thu, 16 Jan '14 | 8:00 AM ET

Something new is coming this tax season for some same-sex couples: For the first time, they will file as "married" on their federal return.

The biggest global risks in 2014 Fri, 17 Jan '14 | 8:08 AM ET

While the end of the global economic crisis is insight, geopolitical tensions continued to increase in 2013. So how do you prepare for 2014?

The world's biggest risks Thu, 16 Jan '14 | 6:46 AM ET

With the world becoming more interconnected, it’s getting harder to anticipate and manage global risks. We take a look at some of the biggest risks and ways to mitigate them.

Are we building too many houses? Fri, 17 Jan '14 | 1:13 PM ET

Housing construction is at its highest level since 2007, but vacancy rates are still higher than they were before the bubble.

The 25 CRAZIEST job-interview questions Fri, 17 Jan '14 | 8:00 AM ET

Are you a hunter or gatherer? Why are tennis balls fuzzy? Prepare to be stumped—here are the top 25 oddball interview questions for 2014.

The economics of being an independent porn star Fri, 17 Jan '14 | 12:40 PM ET

Performers including Stoya and Jesse Jane are turning away from contracts and agents to run their own show.

A new report shows that 64 percent of Chinese millionaires have either emigrated or plan to emigrate—taking their spending and fortunes with them.

Stockton Police officers talk with a parolee in Stockton, California.

A drive by some cities to cut costly police retirement benefits has led to an extraordinary face-off between local politicians and the law enforcement officers.

A bulldozer tears down a section of the Santa Monica Freeway, Jan. 19, 1994, that collapsed during the Northridge earthquake.

If another big quake hits California, like the 6.7 quake that struck 20 years ago today, the state may not be ready.

Wine's big threat (hint: it could be you) Thu, 16 Jan '14 | 7:00 AM ET

This year will bring good news to the wine industry despite aging boomers presenting a question mark for future demand, according to a new report.

California's worst drought in decades is forcing the state's cattle ranchers to downsize their herds because two years of poor rainfall have ravaged millions of acres of rangeland used to feed their cows and calves.

California seems to be in a perennial drought, and 2013 was the driest year in 160 years. That means something for consumers.

HSBC suspends 2 FX traders, Citi puts 2 on leave Fri, 17 Jan '14 | 11:03 AM ET

HSBC said it had suspended two foreign exchange traders in London and Citigroup said it had put a pair of traders on leave.

Teresa Scott

"I experienced a complete, just total mind-body-spiritual transformation through the sport," says Teresa Scott.

Prince Harry quits job as helicopter pilot Fri, 17 Jan '14 | 6:00 AM ET

Prince Harry, the grandson of the British Queen and fourth in line to the throne, has quit his job as an Army Air Corp helicopter pilot.

A group of elderly Korean-Americans gather at a McDonalds where they are engaged in a long-running dispute with management over how long they should be allowed to linger, in New York, Jan. 14, 2014.

For the past several months, a number of elderly Korean patrons and a McDonald's they frequent have been battling over the benches inside. NYT reports.

This Beverly Hills home for sale, with all its luxury amenities included, may just spur a trend with down-market houses.

This rusted out Ferrari could fetch $2 million Thu, 16 Jan '14 | 11:05 AM ET
Rusted but wanted? The '67 Ferrari up for auction

A rare 1967 Ferrari 330 GTS is rusted out, and the engine won't start, but it could fetch $2 million at auction this weekend.

Bud Light gets a Super Bowl makeover Wed, 15 Jan '14 | 5:41 PM ET
One of Anheuser-Busch's Super Bowl ads, "Puppy Love," follows up on a previous theme.

This year, Bud Light will be getting a new aluminum can and new tagline, while Budweiser will trot out the popular Clydesdales for the second year in a row.

Revealed: Buyer of $142.4 million Bacon painting Thu, 16 Jan '14 | 10:14 AM ET
Francis Bacon's "Three Studies of Lucien Freud"

The billionaire ex-wife of a U.S. casino magnate bought the world's most expensive painting sold at an auction, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Gerrit Zalm dressed as "Priscilla"

ABN Amro broke most banking stereotypes when its chairman dressed up in drag and masqueraded as a brothel owner at a corporate event.

Rahm Emanuel

The energy boom is upending a lot of old assumptions, and it's as key to U.S. success as the invention of the Internet, Rahm Emanuel tells CNBC.