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Smiles of all ages in Hamar, Norway

Happiness Ranking: From Oslo To Addis Ababa And Beijing

It's official: Norway has toppled Denmark to become the world's happiest country in 2017. Or, to put in local linguistic terms, the world's lykkeligste country. This year's rankings, which came this morning to coincide with the International Day of Happiness, surely has left more than one Danish unhappy, or ulykkelig (yes, Norwegian and Danish languages are close).

The World Happiness Report is an annual UN survey which ranks 155 countries by their state of global happiness, based on criteria including GDP per capita, life expectancy, freedom to make life choices, generosity and public trust. As expected, developed Western nations dominate the list, and nations of the African continent make up most of the bottom part. Worse, the report shows that "only two African countries have made significant gains in happiness over the past decade": Sierra Leone and Cameroon. A situation that booming demographics are unlikely to change.

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Fillon fighting on

Nasty French Politics And The Laws Of Physics


PARIS — Political junkies everywhere are getting used to the rush of watching election campaigns defy the laws of physics. Just a few weeks ago, the path looked all clear for François Fillon to become the next French President in the vote later this spring. By yesterday, the former center-right Prime Minister looked to be barely hanging on to his candidacy, even seeming to confirm that his chances had been killed by the "Penelopegate" scandal, calling the deepening judicial probe into the hiring of his wife, "a political assassination."

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