U.S. News & World Report has released their annual “Best Countries” index.
They evaluated 80 countries and surveyed 21,000 people from four regions (the Americas, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East and Africa). Countries were graded 65 different ways, from how well they rank in “citizenship,” “cultural influence,” “education,” “heritage,” “power,” to “quality of life,” to name a few.
Interestingly, both the UK and the USA are down one position in this year’s rankings.
Sweden has always been ahead of the curve in terms of renewable energy. 57 percent of the country’s power was coming from sustainable sources as of 2015. Some of this is thanks to the land that’s available to create large wind projects and their top nuclear reactors continue to be phased out — although there’s a long process to get rid of them all.
The change over, also known as “Dagen H” in Swedish, was widely unpopular. One referendum after another, the proposal had been voted down over the previous forty years. But the politicians ignored the public will and forced the measure on the people.
The politicians argued:
1) Sweden’s immediate neighbours drove on the right, including Norway and Finland, with which Sweden has land borders.
2) Most Swedes drove left-hand drive vehicles. This led to many head-on collisions when passing on narrow two-lane highways.
Some 360,000 street signs had to be switched nationwide, which largely took place on a single day before the move to right-hand driving, with council workers joined by the military and working late into the night to ensure the task got done before H-Day formally revved into gear on Sunday morning. All but essential traffic was banned from the roads.
There’s a “best of” list for nearly everything—the best countries for expats, the best places to go in 2018, the best pizza in Italy (you’re welcome). Now, U.S. News & World Report has released a veritable best-of-the-best list, with its annual “Best Countries” index. This study is no joke: They evaluated 80 countries and surveyed 21,000 people from four regions (the Americas, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East and Africa); places were graded 65 different ways, for how well they rank in “citizenship,” “cultural influence,” “education,” “heritage,” “power,” “quality of life,” to name a few. Here, the ten best countries in the world, and what they’re, well, best for. Counting down… This gallery was originally published in 2016. It has been updated with new results.
Day 9 of the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea saw Canadian freestyle skier Alex Beaulieu-Marchand land on the podium with a score of 92.40 and a bronze in the men’s ski slopestyle final. Norway’s Braaten Oystein took gold with the top score of 95.00, followed by American Nick Goepper who earned silver with a score of 93.60.
Canada secured a spot in the quarter-finals after a 4-0 win over South Korea in men’s hockey but in curling Sweden stole a win over Canada 5-2. Women’s curling team turned things around with a 10-18 victory over Switzerland.
Europeans stole the show on the mountain and plains as Austrian skier Marcel Hirscher became the second athlete to earn two individual golds in Pyeongchang after winning the men’s giant slalom. Hirscher who also won the men’s alpine combined and biathlete Laura Dahlmeier are the only Olympians so far to have done so. Hirscher has a shot at more.
Oleksandr Abramenko won gold in freestyle skiing aerials while Olivier Rochon, the only Canadian to reach the men’s aerials finals, finished fifth and did not make it to the podium. The men’s team pursuit speed skaters failed to advance to the semis. On the women’s side, Marsha Hudey was 10th and Heather McLean finished 14th in the women’s 500-metre finals while Nao Kodaira of Japan took the top spot followed by Lee Sang-Hwa (KOR) in second and Karolina Erbanova (CZE) in third.
Norway won their 11th cross-country medal and 5th gold in the men’s 4×10-kilometre relay while Canada, competing without Alex Harvey after he dropped out of the event, finished ninth.
Canada’s short track skaters had a great day 8 at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Samuel Girard won Canada’s first short track gold at his first Olympics in the men’s 1000 m final and becomes the first North American skater to win gold at this distance. Veteran Canadian speed skater Charles Hamelin missed the final after being assessed a penalty in the semifinal. On the women’s side, Kim Boutin who was the target of online threats from Korean supporters after her first bronze, captured another one winning Canada’s first-ever medal in the 1500 m.
Canada’s Patrick Chan finished 9th in his final Olympic figure skating appearance with 173.42 points skating to Jeff Buckley’s Hallelujah, while Keegan Messing placed 12th as he skated to Medley, another Charlie Chaplin number, and scored 170.32, his new season’s best by about 9 points. Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan however won back-to-back at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games as he defended his Olympic title in the men’s free skate with another powerful performance to Seimei (soundtrack) by S. Umebayashi.
In the men’s hockey, 3-2 in a shootout and in the women’s, Finland beat Sweden to move on to the semifinals.
In women’s curling Rachel Homan ended her losing skid and rebounded in a big way against the United States leading Canada to a dominant 11-3 victory while Kevin Koe’s Canadian rink lost its first game.
More gold for Britain’s Lizzy Yarnold who she set a new record in women’s skeleton and won by a huge margin, Switzerland’s Sarah Hoefflin in freestyle skiing slopestyle, and Poland’s Kamil Stock in men’s in ski jumping large hill.
Japanese figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu, after returning from injury, sets an Olympic record in the men’s short program with 111.68 points. Currently Hanyu also holds the world record which is 1.04 points ahead of his new Olympic record. Hanna Huskova with a score of 96.14, just ahead of China’s Zhang Xin’s 95.52 score, won Belarus its second straight Olympic gold medal in women’s aerials.
In Skeleton time is measured in hundredths of a second and South Korea’s Yun Sung-Bin, the self-styled “Iron Man” now called “Emperor”, won on his home track beating second-place Russian Nikita Tregubov by a large margin of 1.63 seconds.