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Swedes lead the way

Published on Friday, 26 Mar 2010
New Zealand has lost the allure it once held for many Chinese.
Striking British Airways cabin crews face the loss of travel perks.

Nordic countries have the most linked-up economies this year, with Sweden taking the lead in the Global Information Technology rankings, the World Economic Forum says.

Sweden displaced Denmark to top the chart, while Denmark slid to third place.

Two other Nordic countries are in the top 10, Finland in sixth place and Norway in 10th.

Hong Kong gained from 12th place to eighth, while Singapore rose from fourth to second.

The Networked Readiness Index looks at how prepared countries are in using information communications technologies by measuring the general environment for the technologies, the readiness of individuals to use them and their actual usage. AFP


New Zealand dream sours 

Chinese migrants feel that living in New Zealand is much harder than they had expected, a Xinhua report says.

Researchers from Massey and Auckland Universities found that recent migrants working in Auckland's food and retail sector, as employers or employees, found life harder than what they left behind on the mainland.

The study found a distinct gap between expectation and reality.

The research participants chose to live in New Zealand for reasons including the lifestyle, the cleaner, less-crowded environment "and the possibility of a better future for their children".

But many were finding life tougher than what they has left behind in China. "Pre-migration participants expected daily life to include regular working hours and a good social life," the report says. "Post-migration, [the interviewees complained of] hard work, long hours and a quiet social life."

Researchers surveyed 40 employees and employers who have lived in New Zealand for an average of six years since gaining permanent residency.


BA strikers lose travel perks  

Striking British Airways cabin crews may soon get the stay-at-home blues after the airline permanently cut off their access to free and discounted travel on its routes.

Airline officials say they have the right to eliminate the travel perks because it is not protected by any contractual agreement.

The decision was announced ahead of a second work stoppage, which was scheduled to begin yesterday.

BA chief executive officer Willie Walsh had warned potential strikers they would lose their travel perks if they went ahead with the job action, which caused major disruption. Cabin crews are striking over pay and work conditions.

Union officials say their members will not be intimidated by the airline's actions. AP

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