7 Headlines You Won’t Read Anywhere Else Today: Dec. 23

By Tina Tatarková, Epoch Times
December 23, 2013 Updated: December 23, 2013

Poland: Virtual assistant joins staff at Warsaw Chopin Airport  

A virtual assistant called Marta has joined the staff at Warsaw Chopin Airport in time for the Christmas holiday rush. 

The decision to go virtual marks the airport as the first of its kind in Poland, and one of only a tiny few in Europe, to have taken on the innovative new form of customer service.

“Now passengers don’t have to look for airport personnel to ask how to use self-service check-in kiosks, how to print a boarding pass or which documents they have to prepare,” the airport has enthused in a press release. …

The News


Scotland: Glasgow squirrel snacks on mince pies 

Squirrels in Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Park have been getting into the Christmas spirit – and tucking into a festive menu. 

This grey squirrel was spotted in the park tucking into a mince pie left behind by a member of the public.

Squirrels in the park have also been seen attempting to eat candy canes left by children. 

The Scotsman 


Brazil: Amazon Deforestation Rises 28% in 2013

After four years in decline, deforestation in the Amazon region rose again. Preliminary figures from Prodes (Project for Monitoring the Brazilian Amazon Forest by Satellite) and INPE (National Institute for Space Research) show a 28% rise in the cutting of trees between August 2012 and July 2013 in relation to the previous period. …

Folha de S. Paulo


France: Tradition vs. Hygiene? A French Case For Preserving Old Cheese 

For the last few years, cheese has been at the center of a debate that is as gastronomic as it is economic and sociocultural. Facing increasingly strict regulations, many producers are concerned about the future of cheese made with ancestral methods, and the anxiety is particularly high in France and Italy, which each boast 400 varieties. …

Le Monde via Worldcrunch


Sweden: Blue light more effective than caffeine 

Struggling with the dark this time of year? Put down the coffee and put on the blue light, Swedish scientists say. 

Swedes drink more coffee than almost any other nationality in the world – but they have now found a better way to stay alert. Exposure to blue light can increase your cognitive function and make you more alert – more so than coffee would, new research shows. …

The Local


Italy: Six tips for Italian business etiquette 

If you’re used to starting meetings on time and following protocol to the letter then chances are you’re not familiar with the Italian way of doing business, according to Italian business etiquette expert Alberto Presutti. 

Congratulations, you’ve just been offered the role of your dreams in an Italian company.

Now for the hard part: adjusting to a new form of business etiquette. … 

The Local


Jamaica: Trinidad & Tobago job magnet 

Trinidad and Tobago – the twin-island republic in the eastern Caribbean – is truly the great Caribbean lure for Jamaican job seekers, and the signs are there for all to see. 

And it appears that Jamaican workers, some without work permits, are being welcomed with open arms by many employers, despite pronouncements from some Trinidadians in high places. … 

The Gleaner