7 Headlines You Won’t Read Anywhere Else Today: Dec. 31

By Tina Tatarková, Epoch Times
December 31, 2013 Updated: December 31, 2013

South Korea: For Koreans, English used as mark of status

Despite long history of education, people’s zeal, evaluation of Koreans’ proficiency far from satisfactory.

For Koreans, English is much more than a lingua franca. It is a crucial measure of personal marketability, intelligence and even academic assiduity that would facilitate their entry into top-tier schools and high-paying professions, and their rise up the corporate ladder.

Since the 1990s when the government’s mantra of globalization resonated throughout the whole country, English skills have become a vital means of survival in Korea’s hypercompetitive society. …

The Korea Herald


Scotland: Scots fashion guru slams plus-sized mannequin plan

A SCOTTISH fashion expert has blasted calls to introduce plus- sized clothes models in shops.

Founder of the Scottish Fashion Awards, Tess Hartmann, has rubbished claims the psychological state of consumers now lies in the hands of retailers.

Britain’s equality minister, Jo Swinson, has been asking stores to use plus-size and petite clothes models to promote a positive body image for women. …

The Scotsman


Canada: ‘Felfies’: Farmer selfie trend delights the web

Barack Obama has done it. Pope Francis has done it. Hugh Jackman did it to reveal his skin cancer diagnosis earlier this year, and your 16-year-old niece is probably doing it right now. 

Yes, we’re talking about the selfie — Oxford dictionary’s official word of the year and one of 2013’s most prominent social media trends.

It would appear as though no place was too formal, too sad, too serious or even too risky for a quick self-portrait this year — and no smartphone-owner too unlikely to get in on the fun.

This was proven in spades by the Irish Farmers Journal’s “Selfie on the farm” competition earlier this month. …

CBC News


Germany: German emigrants try to make it in the US

The American Dream: German Emigrés in Pursuit of Happiness. A Report by Miodrag Soric. (Video)

Deutsche Welle


India: Tesco’s $110m India expansion given go-ahead

Tesco’s plans for expansion into India have been approved by the country’s government.

The British retail giant intends to invest $110m (£68m) in India’s closely-protected retail sector.

It will set up a chain of supermarkets in partnership with the Indian Tata Group.

Tesco is the first global food retailer to get approval to invest in India since the government decided to open up the supermarket sector last year. …



Ireland: A good walk unspoiled: march into the new year

The health benefits of walking are well established, and a good stroll can also improve mental wellbeing and – as Dickens and Woolf knew – aid creativity.

‘Walking,” said’’ Hippocrates, “is man’s best medicine.” Of course, he also believed that diseases were caused by an imbalance of the four humours, but he was right about some things, and his love of walking was one of them. …

The Irish Times

RELATED: Forest Bathing: The Benefits of Being Outdoors Are Many


Mexico: Ten Intriguing Mexican Traditions for the New Year

Fireworks, ringing bells, 12 grapes, a family dinner, sparkling wine, hugs and music set the stage for a typical New Year’s celebration in Mexico’s largest cities. As in the rest of the world, Mexicans gather together with loved ones, relatives, or friends to celebrate what they’ve shared during the past year and to wish a better one for everyone. …

Banderas News