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ANKARA The sound of gunfire was heard near the Turkish prime minister’s office in Ankara on Monday as ministers convened for a cabinet meeting but there were no reports of casualties, Turkish media reported. Broadcaster NTV said three shots had been fired but that they had been blank cartridges. It said one man had been detained in relation to the incident. (Writing by Jonathon Burch; Editing by Pravin Char)

NEW YORK Office Depot Inc. shares surged 14% to $ 2.81 on Monday after activist investment firm Starboard disclosed a 13.3% stake in the office-supplies retailer and said the company is “undervalued.” Starboard also said “a substantial opportunity” exists to improve the company’s performance and valuation. Office Depot’s larger rival Staples Inc. inched up 0.7%. Last week, Staples reportedly was being eyed by private equity firms including Bain Capital. OfficeMax Inc. climbed 1.3%.

Page turner: Workplace novels sell in the millions in China with their mix of soap opera plots and career advice.Hundreds of titles crowd the “workplace” genre in China’s bookstoresAppeal lies in the books’ mix of soap opera plots and career adviceBooks provide information for aspiring careerists, says novelist Genre fails to pay attention to more positive cultural values, says literature professor In 2009, Lu Qi, an author of martial arts novels, published his first book on a slightly different type of combat sport: office politics in China.The book, titled “Hidden in the Office,” contains 23 rules for getting ahead in [...]

NEW YORK As the overall retail sector turned lower on Wednesday, several retail stocks bucked the trend. Dollar General Corp. rose 1.6%. The discounter raised its full-year profit and sales outlook after its fiscal second-quarter profit jumped 47%. It also plans to repurchase an additional $ 500 million of stock. G-III Apparel Group’s shares jumped 5.7% after the apparel maker also raised its full-year outlook. Aeropostale Inc. climbed 2.8% on Wednesday after the teen apparel retailer was raised to buy from neutral by Bank of America-Merrill Lynch. Office Depot Inc. rose 5%. The office-supplies chain left unchanged its full-year profit [...]

A little plastic shark in a pinstripe suit works wonders for 22 year old Philippines college student Clyde Antes’ motivational levels. “Whenever I feel bored or tired while working, I’ll just look at my toy and it makes me laugh,” he says. “You talkin’ to me, Sharkbait?”, Antes makes the toy say. And, “Pro bono? Never heard of him”. Rachel Cauvin, an interior designer and project manager in New York, has been collecting children’s toys from fast food chain meals for years. “I am a big kid at heart,” she says. “How could you not love those little faces looking [...]

Free running might not become an office staple, but greater flexibility and less lengthy meetings might become the norm. Those born between 1979 and 1997 will be dominant age group in workforce in ten years Difference in values between baby boomers and Generation Y set to transform offices’Millennials’ put more emphasis on flexibility, personal attachment to work, suggests reportAnalysts suggest that offices need to be able to cater for all generations to thrive It could be out with old meeting rooms and in with new social spaces, as Generation Y is set to transform the way we work in the [...]

Not all conversations at work happen around a conference table or at a formal meeting. The more juicy chats tend to occur around the water cooler, at happy hour or in the hallways. No matter the culture or employees’ happiness levels, every office has gossip. “It’s part of the fabric of our communication,” says Julie Jansen, career coach and author of I Don’t Know What I Want, But I Know It’s Not This. “It’s absolutely impossible not to gossip, just keep it to a minimum.” Non-work related talk at work can damage your career but, if you’re smart, it can also help. [...]

Whether it’s beating a team member to the punch on a big project or taking unfair jabs at office mates, workplace competitiveness has heated up over the last decade. In a new survey by staffing firm OfficeTeam, 49% of senior managers say their employees have grown more competitive with one another in the last 10 years, and 8% describe workers as “significantly” more competitive.  “If I had to narrow it down to one word, it would be ‘survival’,” says Steven Raz, co-founder and managing partner at Cornerstone Search Group in Parsippany, N.J. “There’s the general feeling out there that the [...]

Tiger, a long-haired Jack Russell terrier, accompanies its owner to work at an architecture practice in East London. Rabobi, a border collie who accompanies his owner to work at a web development agency in East London, takes himself for walks. Kibble, water and squeaky toys are among the office supplies at KoffeeCup.net, a web development company that allows dogs in the workplace.

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