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Winter is coming

The local ski industry breathed a sigh of relief after the heavy late-November snowfall in the Austrian Alps. White slopes before Christmas are a guarantee of winter tourism and skiing has remained, without a doubt, the number one sport in the Alpine Republic. Traditionally, Austrian ski resorts are nestled between wooden chalet villages and tree-lined […]

Losing Time & People

Losing Time & People

The Austrian publisher News Verlag informed staff in mid-November that it plans drastic spending cuts. Changes that will hit the flagship weekly News include reducing the frequency of publication to every 14 days. With 80 jobs to be cut across the company, 25 will be at News itself. When he started the magazine with his […]

Sneak off, You Arse Violin!

Sneak off,  You Arse Violin!

The Viennese pride themselves in being a culture of misanthropic complainers. A society of the dissatisfied, oblivious to the fact that many Austro-expletives – dialect or otherwise – are utterly endearing, cringingly funny or so shamelessly graphic you can’t resist a chuckle. A lazy person is an “Owezahrer”, literally someone who pulls you down.  The […]

Friends with Benefits

“Have you met us?” Jon Stewart, host of the satirical American TV-show, The Daily Show, asked the rest of the world. “Meddling in your affairs for our national self-interest is kind of our thing.” Recent revelations have further damaged U.S. credibility among its allies, as broad-sweep surveillance operations on foreign nationals and world leaders are […]

Scoot Over!

“The ‘90s called – they want their means of transportation back”, I wanted to shout after the school kids racing down the pavement on their scooters, which randomly re-appeared this summer. It felt weird to be noticing a recurring trend that was already around during my lifetime – but it is certainly comforting that even […]

The Kissing Canard

The Kissing Canard

Canoodling couples can heave a sigh of relief: The Wiener Linien will not fine kissing lovers on Vienna’s public transport system. In September, the Wiener Linien made headlines across Europe as the online news service, Vienna Times, and the British daily newspaper, the Daily Mail, both falsely reported that the company would introduce a €50 […]

Ask the People

At 8:00, on 1 October – in spite of a U.S. government shutdown triggered by congressional Republicans’ resistance to Obamacare – the New York State Healthcare Exchange opened for business. It had about two million visits in its first 90 minutes. Healthcare.gov is a federal portal through which most states can search for affordable health […]

Internal Revenue

A 21-year-old intern at the Bank of America’s London office died 15 August, after reportedly having worked until 6 a.m. for three days in a row. In the two weeks before his death, the German, described by a fellow intern as “a superstar”, had pulled eight all-nighters at the office. His death, while an individual […]

Racism Van: Go Home!

In late July, the British Home Office launched a controversial pilot scheme to tackle illegal immigration. For one week, six government-sponsored campaign vans circled North London with an uncompromising message: “Illegal in the U.K.? Go home or face arrest”, including a text number to report suspicious activities. However, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) effectively put […]

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