theguardian.com. “Australians spending $1bn a day in final rush before Christmas, retailers say” -Sales tipped at $29.6bn, up more than 5% from 2012, with food and alcohol dominating spending on Monday and Tuesday.
successify.net. “22 Things Happy People Do Differently” - There are two types of people in the world: those who choose to be happy, and those who choose to be unhappy. Contrary to popular belief, happiness doesn’t come from fame, fortune, other people, or material possessions. Rather, it comes from within.
platts.com. “Pirates strike 6 tankers in Southeast Asia waters in less than 2 weeks: IMB” - Seven pirate attacks were reported from various Southeast Asian ports in less than two weeks, with six of them coming from Indonesia close to the key Strait of Malacca shipping lane, according to the International Maritime Bureau's (IMB) piracy reporting center website Monday.
eturbonews.com. “Capital of Asian Tourism: Astana in Kazakhstan?” - Astana in Kazakhstan wants to get international acknowledgement as the best tourist destinations in Asia. "Marat Igaliyev, Head of the Industry and Tourism Committee, has announced Kazakhstan's intentions to make Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, the acknowledged Asian Capital of Tourism in the nearest future," the message says, citing the press-service of the Industry and Tourism Committee of the Kazakhstan Ministry of Industry and New Technologies.
independent.co.uk. “David Cameron to skip Sochi Olympics – but insists it’s not a boycott” - David Cameron is not planning to attend the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Downing Street said on Friday, but insisted the move was not a statement about Russia’s stance on gay rights.
“Alan Turing gets his royal pardon for 'gross indecency' – 61 years after he poisoned himself” - He was the father of modern computing whose work on the Enigma code at Bletchley Park is said to have shortened the Second World War. But he was also gay and in those less enlightened times was chemically castrated by an ungrateful nation after being convicted of “gross indecency” with a man in 1952.
“North Korea's Kim Jong-un 'was very drunk' when ordering executions” - Source tells Japanese newspaper purge of Kim's powerful uncle Jang Song-thaek was inevitable after 'surprising' first deaths. The North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was "very drunk" when he ordered the recent execution of two aides close to his uncle Jang Song-thaek, reports say.
“Ukraine can be a new California if it shakes off its stagnant past” - On Holland Park Avenue in west London, under the beautiful trees, stands a life-sized monument of a man with a big moustache, wearing a strange dress and hat, leaning on a large ornate cross. “Saint Volodymyr, the ruler of the Ukraine 980-1015,” says the inscription on the plinth.