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These countries have the best work-life balance

Do you feel stressed by your working hours If you’re frustrated with your work-life balance, you might consider moving to the Netherlands. Dutch people don’t tend to work very long hours and spend more time on leisure activities, as well as sleeping and relaxing, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's latest Better Life Index. The index ranks countries by how well citizens are able to juggle their work and personal lives.
The Netherlands scored 9.5 out of 10, followed by Italy, with a score of 9.4 and Denmark, with nine points. Colombia and Mexico were at the bottom of the 40 countries ranked. Just 0.4% of employees in the Netherlands work “very long” hours - classified as more than 50 hours per week - among the lowest rates of all the nations considered. By contrast, the OECD average was 11% of people working very long hours. Stress less “Long work hours may impair personal health, jeopardize safety and increase stress,” the OECD says. “Furthermo…
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One of the biggest countries in the world is running out of drinking water

Parts of eastern Australia are about to run Slow drip Over a dozen towns and cities in eastern Australia are fast approaching Day Zero — the day that the last of the drinking water runs dry. As global climate change intensifies, Australia has been hit hard by an unprecedented wave of droughts and water shortages, according to Agence France-Presse. Some affected towns are already out of water, while authorities say the others only have a few months left and may run dry before year’s end — driving home the terrifying reality of a world burned by environmental collapse. Ghost town Farms are already running dry, and stores are shuttering as people are preoccupied with survival, AFP reports. Some authorities have reported “water thefts.” Image: VICTOR TANGERMANN “I do know of some growers who are literally bone dry and have decided to plant nothing this year and practically close their businesses down in the short-term,” citrus farmer Angus Ferrier told AFP. Ferrier personally had to dig u…

This farmer used an age-old technique to save his soil and now his farm is prospering

Gabe Brown, regenerative farmer: 'We need to realise that soil is a part of us.

Our soil is under threat. It's estimated that we've got just 60 years of topsoil left, with 24 billion tons of fertile soil lost every year. With most of the food on our plate dependant on soil, its declining health is a major issue. "The word humans comes from the word humic, which means soil," explains regenerative farmer Gabe Brown. "We need to realise that soil is a part of us." Regenerative agriculture The basis of regenerative agriculture is observation, explains Brown - who taught himself about how soils really function. "You have to look at the landscape and say, 'What's this soil really trying to tell me?'" On his own North Dakota ranch, Brown started encouraging cover crops and avoiding tilling were he could - and has seen a boost in soil health. Farming in this way comes big benefits too - regenerative agriculture could deliver up to $1.4 tri…

These are the best universities in the world

The University of Oxford topped the rankings for the fourth year in a row. Image: REUTERS/Hannah McKay
So vital is education to the future of society, billionaire Jack Ma has just stepped down from Alibaba to focus on it. But does it matter where you go to be educated? The former teacher, who studied for a BA in English at Hangzhou Normal University, told the World Economic Forum he was rejected from Harvard Business School 10 times, but it didn't deter him from building a world-beating company. Like Alibaba, universities in Ma's homeland China are starting to "expand their influence and presence on the world stage", according to the latest Times Higher Eduction World University Rankings 2020. Asia’s top two universities - Tsinghua (23rd) and Peking (24th) - are both in mainland China. With 81 institutions, China is also the fourth most-represented nation in the list for the fourth year in a row.


These are the world's five most-visited

cities The global travel and tourism industry is worth an estimated $8.8 trillion a year and much of that growing economic activity is concentrated among a narrow group of destinations. In its Global Destination Cities Index 2019, which tracks visitors and their spending habits, Mastercard found that numbers were up by an average 6.5% year-over-year since 2009, with tourism expenditure growing up an average of 7.4%. Some of the most-visited cities are experiencing much higher than average growth. With the 2020 Olympics being held in Japan next year, Tokyo (currently 9th) is forecast to see growth in excess of 10%. Here are the top five destination cities as featured in the 10th annual Mastercard Global Destination Cities Index: 5. Singapore In 2018, 14.76 million overnight visitors went to Singapore – that’s the measure Mastercard uses to differentiate between visitors and those on a short stopover. Half of the top cities on the list are in the Asia-Pacific region, which has registere…