Today Highlight: 04.09.2007

Netherlands: So, what are the popular attractions in Netherlands?

Tourist numbers top 10 million last year
Monday 03 September 2007

The number of foreign tourists visiting the Netherlands reached a record 10.7 million last year, according to the latest tourist board report published today.
The Germans were the biggest group of visitors (2.8 million), followed by the British (1.9 million) and Americans (over 1 million).
The most popular attraction in the Netherlands was a boat trip through the Amsterdam canals. Attraction park the Efteling in the south of the country came in second, followed by Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum.

Norway: fix your teeth? Go abroad…

Dental trips go overseas
03 Sep 2007, 13:50

Increasing numbers of Norwegians are travelling abroad for dental care, since dentists at home are expensive and insurance coverage minimal. One clinic in Budapest is treating around 100 Norwegian patients a month.
A “trip to the dentist” is taking on a whole new meaning, as Norwegians seek to cut dental costs in a country where dental insurance is rare. For some retirees on a fixed income, getting a new crown or two can swallow half-a-month’s income.
Dental care in countries like Sweden, Estonia, Poland, Hungary and Turkey can cost a fraction of what Norwegian dentists charge, and the quality is considered first-rate. Even after paying for airfare and hotels, most Norwegian dental patients come out way ahead.

*Well, I thought the other day it was reported that Swedish go abroad for the dental work too…


Muhammad cartoons: Jordan condemns publication
Published: 3rd September 2007 14:50 CET

The Örebro-based newspaper Nerikes Allehanda published a cartoon on August 18th showing Mohammed’s head on the body of a dog to illustrate an editorial on self-censorship and freedom of expression and religion.
Mahmoud el Abed, Managing Editor of the Jordan Times, told The Local that the government in Jordan was keen to keep its rhetoric on the issue as moderate as possible.
Unlike Pakistan and Iran, which made formal protests to Sweden, Jordan is not making any diplomatic representation on the issue.

Finland: surprise!

Finns Among Worst Shoplifters In Europe
Published 03.09.2007, 18.30

Shoplifting is more common in Finland than almost anywhere in Western Europe, according to a study by the UK-based Centre for Retail Research.According to retailers and Finland’s Ministry of the Interior, the value of goods lost through shoplifting is around 500 million euros annually.
The ministry blames a growth in shoplifting to a number of factors: the light penalties imposed on those caught, the increasingly professional nature of shoplifting, and that the short-term nature of many jobs in shops does not encourage loyalty in employees.
What is most problematic is that it is just not customers who are to blame. Shop staff is responsible for over a quarter of all shoplifting.

*I guess that rings the truth about this Malay saying: Harapkan pagar, pagar makan padi. Literal translation: the fence that eats the rice.

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