6. Final predictions: Weak economic growth will continue into 2010. By spring, the Obama White House will be forced to the political center and U.S. businesses will finally believe in a modest recovery.
2. General Motors is helping fuel the improved jobs outlook in the Grand Canyon State. In March, the automaker announced plans to build the company’s fourth Information Technology Innovation Center in Phoenix suburb Chandler. GM is expected to hire 1, 000 workers, mainly consisting of software developers, database administrators and systems analysts for the new center. “The greater Phoenix area is a fantastic hub of emerging technical talent – from university graduates to working professionals, ” said GM CIO Randy Mott in a release announcing the move.
3. AT&T (T, Fortune 500) approved a stock repurchase of up to 300 million shares worth about $10.5 billion in March. The buyback is the fourth initiative announced over the past three years. Since 2012, when the company started its stock buybacks, it has repurchased 775 million of its shares.
5. 'You can't put a price on the look on her face when she's on stage in her costumes.'
6. In addition to WeChat's core private and group messaging functions, users can also find new contacts by using the application's Drift Bottle function, where a user records a message and sends it out to see in a virtual bottle for a stranger to pick up and respond. Its Look Around function, similar to some mobile dating applications, allows users to browse the profiles of other users who are in close proximity. It also has a function called Moments that allows users to share photo albums publicly with groups of contacts, much like photo-sharing application Instagram.
6. Uruguay owes much of its success not just to its passion for football but also to the early inclusiveness of its culture. In that 1950 tournament, at a time when neighboring Brazil still regarded its black players with suspicion, Uruguay boasted a black captain, the brilliant Obdulio Varela. Moreover, Uruguay's victories in the World Cup's formative years established a pedigree that endures to this day, with many of its footballers -- such as Liverpool's Luis Suárez and Paris Saint-Germain's Edinson Cavani -- playing abroad for some of the world's biggest clubs.
1. The 500 brands come from 28 different countries, among which nearly half, 227, are from the US.
2. Whole Foods CEO John Mackey
3. Nine out of the top 10 have all worked with Victoria's Secret in some capacity, with curve model Ashley being the only exception.
The inclusion of three turbodiesel engines this year could be considered controversial, especially as diesels remain far less popular in the U.S. than in Europe, where they tend to dominate the discussion. This is the first year in which more than two diesel-powered mills made the top 10 list and ironically two of them come from domestic automakers, including the only current full-size domestic half-ton pickup to offer one, the Ram 1500.
Thirty-six Chinese brands have made it onto the list this year. Among them, eight are in the top 100, including the State Grid Corporation of China (36), the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) (40), Tencent (43), China Central Television (CCTV) (62), Haier (76), China Mobile (79), Huawei (81) and Lenovo (90).