Preparing for the Worst: State of Emergency – Ferguson, Missouri (Dispatch 9)

Subscribe to VICE News here: In Dispatch 9, VICE News is in Clayton, Missouri, where the grand jury has reportedly reached a decision as to whether Officer Darren Wilson should be indicted. As businesses in the area board up their stores in anticipation of the decision being announced, wine store owner Al Prince fears his store will be a major target, and is preparing for the worst. Check out “Pentagon Orders Military to Avoid St. Louis Area Ahead of Ferguson Grand Jury Decision” – Check Out “Ferguson’s State of Emergency Proves America’s Social Contract Has Been Broken” – Watch “State of Emergency – Ferguson, Missouri (Dispatch 8)” – Check out the VICE News beta for more: Follow VICE News here: Facebook: Twitter: Tumblr: Instagram:

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Return to the MH17 Crash Site: Russian Roulette (Dispatch 87)

Subscribe to VICE News here: On July 17, 2014, Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine, killing 298 innocent people. While investigations continue into exactly what happened, representatives from the Dutch Safety Board are still recovering pieces of the plane that have been lying in fields for four months. In the absence of an official determination, pro-Russia separatists and the Ukrainian government are putting out their own theories. VICE News correspondent Simon Ostrovsky traveled to the site of the MH17 crash, where Dutch investigators continue their work, and spoke with a Cossack commander as well as a representative from the Ukrainian Security Services about the blame game between the two camps that will likely persist for months to come. Follow @simonostrovsky on Twitter here: Watch “Sentenced to Death by a Crowd: Russian Roulette (Dispatch 86)” – Check out “New Footage Allegedly Shows Fiery Aftermath of MH17 Crash in Ukraine” – Watch “Exclusive Footage of MH17 Aftermath: Russian Roulette (Dispatch 60)” – Check out the VICE News beta for more: Follow VICE News here: Facebook: Twitter: Tumblr: Instagram:

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The Search Continues: Mexico’s Disappeared Students (Part 2)

Subscribe to VICE News here: On September 26, teaching students from the Ayotzinapa Normal School in Mexico were intercepted by police forces en route to a protest in Iguala. In the ensuing clash, six people were killed, and 43 Ayotzinapa students were taken away by the police. Investigations over the following weeks led to the startling allegations that the police had acted at the behest of the local mayor, and had turned over the abducted students to members of the Guerreros Unidos cartel. All 43 students are now feared dead. The case has come to represent the negative feeling of the Mexican public toward the state of justice and the rule of law in Mexico. The events have now galvanized the survivors of the attack and the disappeared students’ parents. Nationwide demonstrations have increased in intensity, and recently led to government buildings in the state of Guerrero to be set on fire. In this episode, VICE News travels with a volunteer search party in Iguala continuing the search for the missing 43 students, while the parents of the disappeared students petition President Enrique Peña Nieto to give answers, or failing that, his resignation. Watch Part 1 – Check out “Mexico Moves Detained Protesters to Maximum Security Prisons” – Check out “Ayotzinapa: A Timeline of the Mass Disappearance That Has Shaken Mexico” – Check out the VICE News beta for more: Follow VICE News here: Facebook: Twitter: Tumblr: Instagram:

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Shale Gas in the UK: What the Frack (Trailer)

Subscribe to VICE News here: The UK government is going ahead with its plans to commence fracking across more than half of the country, hoping that it will boost the economy and provide an abundant supply of natural gas. Critics of the process argue that it contaminates groundwater and damages the environment and public health. A grassroots resistance movement has emerged to fight the introduction of fracking in the UK, and it appears to be gaining momentum throughout the country. In the upcoming documentary, VICE News travels to Blackpool, Lancashire, to see the fractivists in action. The seaside resort town is at the center of a David and Goliath battle between local residents and the energy company Cuadrilla over fracking in the region, which is believed to have one of the largest shale gas reserves in the Northern Hemisphere. Check out “These Towns and Counties Across America Just Banned Oil and Gas Fracking” – Watch “Showdown in Coal Country” – Check out the VICE News beta for more: Follow VICE News here: Facebook: Twitter: Tumblr: Instagram:

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4 Questions to Ask Yourself if You’re Ready to Export

ready to export

While the U.S. is a huge market in itself, two-thirds of the world’s purchasing power exists offshore in foreign countries. This represents a big opportunity for small businesses to expand and grow. But, as with all growth strategies, knowing when to make that leap into new markets isn’t quite so easy, especially when faced with the unknowns of cross-border selling and a potential maze of regulations.

That being said, there are certain signs and characteristics that indicate that a business is ready to export. Let’s take a look:

Can You Make the Commitment?

Any expansion strategy requires that all stakeholders are on-board and are clear about the level of scale required to support exporting. Staff must be dedicated to support the effort –- this includes everything from logistics to accounting to marketing.

Financial resources will also need to be allocated to support international travel to trade shows and to meet in-country buyers and distributors. Processes, systems and resources must also be put in place to respond to international inquiries — this includes your website, email, phone calls, etc.

Got a Plan?

A shotgun approach to exporting is unwise. Small businesses need an international marketing plan with clear goals, strategies and target markets.

Take, for example, Bassetts Ice Cream, winner of the 2013 SBA and Visa export video contest. The Philadelphia-based company has been making and selling ice cream for over 150 years and now exports its products to China. Without a plan and support from external resources, they would never have been able to pull off their incredible exporting success story.

Bassett’s’ president, Michael Strange, says:

“If someone had said to me five years ago that 20 percent of my business today would be exporting ice cream to China I would have said you’ve got to be crazy. While the opportunity was there, I had so many questions, I needed a guide or at the very least a road map.”

Watch the video to learn how Strange’s team built that road map.

Exporting plans should also take into account global marketing. For example, your website needs to emphasize your ability to fulfill international orders and provide a translation mechanism. In-country advertising and packaging that addresses cultural differences also comes into play.

Don’t forget protecting your intellectual property — does your company have adequate knowledge about how to protect your ideas and products against patent-infringement, and so on?

Is Your Product Ready?

This is often the starting point for most exporting. If a product has succeeded in the domestic market, could there be demand for it internationally?

What potential does your product have to sell in a particular international market? Who’s the competition? Are there any barriers to trade?’s market research guides and tools like Trade Stats, can help you take a step-by-step, structured approach to doing your research and identifying potential target markets.

From a resource standpoint, does your business have the ability to modify its product/service and translate marketing materials to meet market requirements?

What about capacity? Can you scale to meet the demand for export orders?

Do You Understand Export Mechanics?

This is where things can get confusing. Cross-border selling is laden with regulations, as well as logistic and tax considerations.

Exporters need to understand how their products will ship. What export documents are involved and how will you manage freight forwarders and carriers.

Export financing and payment options also require specialist know-how. And then there’s the business of dealing with U.S. Export Controls as well as foreign legal and regulatory requirements for your product.

Don’t be Put Off – Help is at Hand

Sounds like a lot to take on, but don’t be put off. Most small businesses can only check off one or two items on this list from the get go –- typically the commitment and the market opportunity. The good news is that there’s help with the rest of it. Experts can help with everything from exporting mechanics to helping you get your product ready to market overseas, not to mention the financing you need to fund your growth.

The U.S. government is a huge proponent of small business exporting and offers training, resources and financial resources. Start by checking out the exporting resources on,, and You can also get help from the experts at U.S. Export Assistance Centers. Located across the country and focused exclusively on small and medium businesses, these one-stop-shop centers bring together exporting experts from across various government agencies as well as the private sector.

Exporting Photo via Shutterstock

The post 4 Questions to Ask Yourself if You’re Ready to Export appeared first on Small Business Trends.

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VICE News Daily: Beyond The Headlines – November 19, 2014

Subscribe to VICE News here: The VICE News Capsule is a news roundup that looks beyond the headlines.​ Today: Bangladesh’s navy rescues hundreds of people from human traffickers near Myanmar’s border, Human Rights Watch accuses police in the Democratic Republic of the Congo of mass executions and abductions during gang crackdown, Italian police release rare footage showing initiation ceremony of the ‘Ndrangheta criminal organization, and report claims child homelessness has risen to a record high in the U.S. BANGLADESH Navy Rescues Hundreds of Trafficking Victims​ More than 600 people from Bangladesh and Myanmar were found aboard a commercial fishing boat. D.R. CONGO Police Allegedly Kill Dozens in Anti-Gang Operation A report released by Human Rights Watch details witness testimony of mass executions and abductions during a crackdown on Kinshasa’s criminal gangs. ITALY Mafia Initiation Secretly Filmed in Northern Town The video shows the swearing-in of mobsters belonging to the ‘Ndrangheta crime syndicate. Police arrested 40 people in several raids on Tuesday. U.S.A. NGO Report Warns Child Homelessness at All-Time High A comprehensive study conducted by the National Center on Family Homelessness claims one in 30 American children were living on the streets in 2013. Check out the VICE News beta for more: Follow VICE News here: Facebook: Twitter: Tumblr: Instagram:

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VICE News Daily: Beyond The Headlines – November 24, 2014

Subscribe to VICE News here: The VICE News Capsule is a news roundup that looks beyond the headlines.​ Today: Yemen’s Shia Houthi rebels drive al Qaeda out of central stronghold, security forces in Togo clash with protesters calling for presidential term limits, an outbreak of plague kills dozens in Madagascar since August and could spread in the capital, fishermen retrieve Japanese blowfish from Crimea’s Sevastopol Bay. YEMEN Houthi Rebels Force Al Qaeda Out of Central Stronghold With the help of government forces, Shia Houthi fighters drove the Sunni militants out of al Bayda province. TOGO Police Confront Protesters Demanding Presidential Term Limits Thousands are calling on the government to enforce limits, which would bar President Faure Gnassingbe from running for a third term next year. MADAGASCAR Plague Kill a Third of 119 Infected Since August Forty have died from the plague in three months, and the UN warns the disease could spread in the capital. CRIMEA Fishermen Come Across Unusual Threat Japanese puffer fish were retrieved from Sevastopol Bay, and scientists say the fish could harm the Black Sea fauna and local population. Check out the VICE News beta for more: Follow VICE News here: Facebook: Twitter: Tumblr: Instagram:

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