August Turak

Author Consultant Speaker

The BBC and Me on Pfizer and More

BBC_Episode_6Had a great time last night on the BBC show Business Matters. I was joined by Kate Lorenz, managing director of Ark Relocation, in Hong Kong. I am huge fan of the BBC and honored to be an ongoing contributor. You can listen here to the show if by some act of God you missed me last night!!

Overview of this episode:

A $160bn deal has been struck to create the world's biggest pharmaceutical company. US based drug giant Pfizer, maker of among other things Viagra and Lipitor, would merge with Allergan - the maker of Botox that is based in Ireland. It could save Pfizer hundreds of millions a year in taxes - as it would move its headquarters from New York to Dublin, where corporate taxes are much lower. But the companies deny that is the primary rationale. They say it will enable them to pour more money into new treatments including work on cures for alzheimers, parkinsons and cancer. We hear from Robert Weissman, from the consumer group Public Citizen, in Washington.

The Tubungha tribe of Alaska first came into contact with Europeans back in 1778 when Captain James Cook sailed up the inlet that now bears his name. It is recorded that Captain Cook traded cheap glass beads for the natives' valuable furs. Now some of the Tubungha or 'beach people' say they are being exploited again - this time for coal. Developers want to push ahead with a huge strip mine that would deliver coal for export. Our environment correspondent Matt McGrath has been to Tyonek, the home of the beach people to find out more.

Yoga is a system of philosophy that originated in India 5,000 years ago - but became popular as a form of exercise in the West from the 1980s. Now one university in Canada has banned a free class for disabled students - over fears the teachings could be seen as a form of "cultural appropriation".The University of Ottawa's student federation, worried that the cultures which originally pioneered yoga, "have experienced oppression and cultural genocide due to colonialism and western supremacy ... we need to be mindful of this and how we express ourselves while practising yoga." Our resident yogi Katie Hile headed to her local class to see what people thought.

We are joined by our guests on both sides of the Atlantic - August Turak, author of Business Secrets of the Trappist Monks, in North Carolina, and Kate Lorenz, managing director of Ark Relocation, in Hong Kong.

(Photo: A packet of Viagra, made by Pfizer. Credit: Getty Images)