Finland is the world's happiest country, according to an annual survey issued on Wednesday that put Burundi at the bottom of the happiness index and found Americans were getting less happy even as their country became richer.
To Americans and Britons, the Nordic countries have come to represent a near-mythical paradise of gender equality and family harmony, where legions of happy fathers push prams through the streets, relaxed mothers enjoy lengthy paid maternity leaves, and well-nourished children in chunky sweaters glow from their free healthcare.
“Yes, it looks like a mess,” said Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek last week of his country’s image in the eyes of investors and foreign politicians in an early contender for Understatement of The Year. The latest interest rate decision from the country’s central bank will do little to turn that around.
Bahraini authorities have prevented three human rights activists from traveling abroad as part of the Al Khalifa regime’s efforts to keep the world in the dark about the deteriorating situation of human rights in the country.
Pakistan has executed seven convicted militants, raising to 16 the number of people who have been executed since the country lifted a six-year moratorium on the death penalty last month, officials say.