Summary of “Why Dutch teenagers are among the happiest in the world”

The last HBSC report, comparing children of 11, 13 and 15, showed a happy Dutch youth.
The results chime with a 2016 Dutch Statistics Office study of 4,000 people from 12 to 25, who ranked their happiness at 8.4 out of 10, and a PISA report in 2015 noting that the country – alongside Finland and Switzerland – seemed “Able to combine good learning outcomes with highly satisfied students”.
Like most Dutch teenagers, he cycles to school and feels he has a good level of self-determination.
Despite the country’s reputation for cannabis smoking, the Trimbos Institute reports a downward trend for using alcohol and drugs and smoking in Dutch children aged 12 to 16.
The HBSC data supports this: 86% of Dutch teenagers say their classmates are kind and helpful, putting the country top of the tables at 13 and 15.
Meanwhile a poster on her school’s wall encouraging people of all sexualities to “Come out” reaffirms that openness is OK. The rate of teenage pregnancies in the Netherlands is also the lowest in the EU. The Dutch school system – almost entirely public -incorporates major exams at about the age of 12 and three levels of secondary education from practical to the most academic.
There are social problems such as differences between minority ethnic and native Dutch achievement, while one in nine children grows up in poverty.
Who developed happiness classes at the school a decade ago, and also gives positive psychology lessons to educators, is worried that Dutch children are under threat from new pressures around educational achievement.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Younger people are less religious than older ones in many countries”

For some time now, surveys have shown that younger Americans are less likely than older adults to attend church, believe in God, or say religion is important to them.
In 46 countries around the world, adults under age 40 are less likely to say religion is “Very important” in their lives than are older adults; the opposite is true in only two countries.
While the size of the age gap varies from country to country, averaging the national results in each of the countries surveyed yields a clear global picture: 51% of younger adults in the average country consider religion to be very important, compared with 57% among people ages 40 and older – a difference of 6 percentage points.
In the U.S., the age gap is considerable: 43% of people under age 40 say religion is very important to them, compared with 60% of adults ages 40 and over.
Younger respondents are less likely to identify with any religion in 41 countries; again, the opposite is true in only two countries.
One theory is that people naturally become more religious as they age and approach their own mortality.
Many of the world’s least religious countries have populations that are either shrinking or growing only slowly, while regions with the highest population growth tend to be very religious.
In the average country in the region, 88% of younger adults and 89% of older adults say that religion is very important in their lives.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Little Things Matter: A Microeconomic Travel Guide”

I sometimes wish the market supplied “Travel guides as if microeconomics really mattered.” Most guides outline the major sights and the best hotels, but what about the little things that make up so much of the value of a trip? Here’s my handy introduction to the micro side of travel, based on my recent 10-day stay in Ethiopia.
Ethiopia is mostly unpolluted in this regard, though Addis Ababa accumulates some automobile exhaust.
Ethiopia does have a more serious problem with water pollution, but that won’t much affect you as a tourist.
The main tourist sites in Ethiopia seem to be remarkably safe, and also free of pushy hawkers for the most part.
I’ll give Ethiopia an A- on this one, noting that I am more worried about my following stay in Paris.
Because of native friendliness, the paucity of other tourists and enough fluency in English, I give Ethiopia an A- here.
Without pre-existing personal contacts, this access to both rich and poor can be tougher to pull off in much of Latin America, but Ethiopia really is welcoming.
What is the lowest grade I give Ethiopia on the little things? Well, the country seems to have hardly any good chocolate ice cream, so the chocolate grade is a D. Oh, and did I mention that Ethiopia has plenty of perfect weather and some of world’s most splendid old churches and monasteries?

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why some countries come together, while others fall apart”

Why do some countries fall apart, often along their ethnic fault lines, while others have held together over decades and centuries, despite governing a diverse population as well? Why is it, in other words, that nation-building succeeded in some places while it failed in others? The current tragedy in Syria illustrates the possibly murderous consequences of failed nation-building.
Some old countries haven’t come together as a nation, while other more recently founded states have done so.
Looking further back into history, one might wonder why some countries developed a uniform language or script while others didn’t, and why some governments were able to provide public goods across the territory while others didn’t.
Finally, we might take a more sober perspective and consider that nation-building succeeds where countries have fought many wars with other countries, binding their populations together through shared sacrifice.
The global mean for the 155 countries is 65 per cent literates among the adult population; if 80 per cent of the population in a country can read and write, then the share of the population excluded from national government will be roughly 30 per cent lower than in a country in which only half the population is literate.
According to further statistical analysis, countries are not more likely to fail at nation-building if they were subjected to colonial rule for a very long time or if that rule had assumed a specific form.
The second data, collected by economists, covers 141 countries and measures how far an indigenous state controlled the territory of a current country during the second half of the 19th century.
Around the world, countries have come a long way in schooling their populations and teaching them to speak a common language.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Tax rates and take home salaries for 40 countries”

It is well known that every country has a different corporate tax rate, but each one also has different tax rates for individuals.
CapRelo published a study on tax rates and take home salaries in 40 countries, including the United States, Germany, and China.
Often, salary comparisons in different countries don’t include tax rates.
The higher a country’s tax rate, the bigger the difference between annual pay and take-home pay once taxes are taken out.
A couple of countries in the report have practical tax rates over 50%, while two nations are essentially tax-free for the median earner.
Below, the individual tax rate in 40 countries, ranked from highest tax rates to the lowest.
The tax rate is what someone making the nation’s average wage would pay.
The average citizen’s pay before and after taxes is also included for each country.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Ethiopia and Eritrea’s Long History With Lasagna”

The lasagna served at habesha gatherings is a kind of culinary rebellion, a testament to the transformative connections within our communities.
To watch your mother or aunt prepare lasagna is to know there will soon be love surrounding you-and no shortage of people, either.
Where the original dish combines its eponymous noodles with acidic tomato sauces and soft ricotta, Ethiopian and Eritrean pair the noodles with pungent aromatics, piquant seasonings, and meats common to the region.
Some particularly adventurous eaters-myself included, as long as my mom’s not looking-also season the finished dish with mitmita, a saltier, spicier cousin of berbere.
Ricotta is uncommon, with most habesha home cooks opting for a mix of the more readily available mozzarella and cheddar instead. Lasagna is a curious dish to rally around.
Even within Ethiopian and Eritrean diasporic communities, there’s no consensus on how a standard lasagna is prepared.
Even with slight tweaks-berbere quantity, bechamel presence, and the like-there’s something distinctive about the dish as made by Ethiopian and Eritrean home cooks.
Just as my mother’s tastes have shifted subtly in the time since she first learned to make the dish with fellow Ethiopian friends learning to cook in their strange new home, surely my palate has also adapted to the country of my birth even if it’s not the land to which I am loyal.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Nicaragua on the Brink, Once Again”

In the street, people continued to chant “Ortega, Somoza, son la misma cosa”, and not only have the protesters refused to disperse but many of them are now calling for Ortega to step down.
It’s clear now that, for all their pragmatic backpedalling on the social-security bill, Ortega and Murillo’s long time in power, and their near-total control of Nicaragua’s public institutions, have left them out of touch with the feelings of many of their countrymen.
Ortega initially rose to power after the 1979 Sandinista revolution, when he was known as a Marxist firebrand, and he served as the country’s strongman President until 1990, when he ceded power after losing elections.
In the years since, Ortega and his wife have steadily consolidated their power, eliminating their opponents through a canny combination of economic co-option and, when necessary, outright repression.
In addition to the executive branch of government, Ortega and Murillo dominate Nicaragua’s Congress and judiciary.
There are many historical ironies to be found in Nicaragua’s crisis, not least the fact that, forty years ago, Ortega was a young revolutionary who convinced many Nicaraguans that he was part of a righteous campaign against Somoza, whose father and brother had previously ruled the country in a dynastic reign that stretched back to 1933.
While Ronald Reagan was President, Nicaragua became a front in the Cold War, which, eventually, thanks to the C.I.A.-backed Contra war against Ortega’s regime, led to the economic devastation of Nicaragua and the collapse of the Sandinistas’ hold on power.
Part of what makes the recent protests in Nicaragua so notable is that, amid a collapse of the political left across Latin America that is under way, Ortega was beginning to look like the Great Survivor.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The easiest places in the world to get citizenship or residency-if you’re rich”

To improve your ability to move and settle around the world with ease, the report points to another option: Simply buying residency or citizenship in another country by investing in a property or government fund, or paying some other kind of fee.
Country Visa-free destinations Minimum capital requirement Time frame Portugal 177 250,000 3 to 8 months Malta 173 671,972 4 to 6 months Thailand 75 15,902 Less than 1 month UK 177 2,789,108 Less than 2 month US 176 500,000 12 to 18 months Switzerland 176 Annual lump-sum tax payment of between 153,382 and 1,022,550 dependent on the canton of residence 2 to 6 months Canada 176 622,960 24 to 48 months Cyprus 163 366,433 2 months.
Buying citizenship isn’t necessarily more expensive than buying residency.
In the Caribbean islands Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, and St. Lucia, citizenship can be bought from between $100,000 to $150,000.
Once paid for, citizenship is issued within three to four months.
Citizenship in these islands offers visa-free travel to more than 130 destinations.
Malta offers citizenship to those who invest $1.2 million, usually after 12 months.
For double that amount, Cyprus issues citizenship within three to six months.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Sweden’s violent reality is undoing a peaceful self-image – POLITICO”

To understand crime in Sweden, it’s important to note that Sweden has benefited from the West’s broad decline in deadly violence, particularly when it comes to spontaneous violence and alcohol-related killings.
The overall drop in homicides has been far smaller in Sweden than in neighboring countries.
In response, the Swedish government has launched an international campaign for “The image of Sweden” playing down the rise in crime, both in its media strategy and through tax-funded PR campaigns.
During a visit to the White House in March, Sweden’s Prime Minister Stefan Löfven admitted that his country has problems with crime and specifically shootings, but denied the existence of no-go zones.
After repeated attacks against Jewish institutions in December – including the firebombing of a synagogue in Gothenburg – Bildt took to the same paper to claim that anti-Semitism is not a major problem in Sweden.
One “False claim” listed by the government is that “Not long ago, Sweden saw its first Islamic terrorist attack.”
The government’s excuse for denying the Islamic terrorist attack in Sweden is that no Islamic group has officially claimed responsibility.
The article caused a scandal in Sweden and was widely seen as part of the reason why the British and Canadian foreign ministries issued travel advice about the country, citing gang crime and explosions.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Climate Change Is Messing With Your Dinner”

The world’s dinner tables are seeing the impact of climate change.
An evolving climate means big changes for people who grow, catch and rear for a living, and everyone else who buys and eats what they produce.
CERES-wheat crop model based on past climate data and HadGEM2 projections for 2050.
In the U.S., North Dakota now has a longer growing season, while some California farmers are planting coffee.
English sparkling wine is winning international awards as the climate in some areas of the country begins to resemble France’s Champagne region, while Poland is growing chardonnay and finicky pinot noir varieties.
Brazil, the top coffee grower, has also been battling drought in the past few years that curbed crops.
Whether through crop failures or price impact, changes in climate have serious implications for nations concentrated in equatorial and tropical regions, whose economies and people rely on agriculture more than others.
Natural disasters have cost farmers in poorer countries billions of dollars a year in lost crops and livestock, and it’s getting worse thanks to climate change.

The orginal article.