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On June 28, the 17th edition of the Global Peace Index from international think-tank, the Institute for Economics & Peace (IEP) was released, and things are not looking great.
The analysis showed that conflict deaths are at their highest level this century causing world peacefulness to decline.
Some key findings in the report »
On 15 November 2022, the world’s population surpassed 8 billion people.
Earth’s population continues to explode » from 1 billion in 1820 to 2 billion in 1930, to 3 billion in 1960, to 4 billion in 1974, to 5 billion in 1987, to 6 billion in 1999, to 7 billion in 2012, and 8 billion in 2022.
Following are the 50 most populated countries using the latest figures available »
Sixty years ago, in 1962, Kenichi Horie was the first person to sail the Pacific Ocean solo and nonstop.
The Japanese adventurer has achieved a number of other long distance solo voyages, including sailing around the world in 1974.
Well-known Japanese yachtsman Kenichi Horie, 83, arrived on June 4 off the Kii Peninsula in western Japan after crossing the Pacific, becoming the oldest person to sail solo and nonstop across the world’s largest body of water.
Horie set sail from San Francisco on March 26 on a voyage lasting 69 days. The trip, which covered about 8,700 km, went relatively smoothly. But he had to battle through bad weather at times, sailing into a storm and high seas immediately after leaving San Francisco. In his online diary, he wrote, “Can’t do anything but wait for it to pass.” In a later entry, he simply wrote: “I’m fed up.”
It was the latest achievement for the octogenarian adventurer, who in 1962 became the first person in the world to successfully complete a solo nonstop voyage across the Pacific from Japan to San Francisco.
Sixty years later, he traveled the opposite route.
The US News and World Report has again ranked countries according to how well they break from the norm and fulfill people’s wanderlust and desire for adventure.
The top 30 adventure rankings for 2021 are »
For Switzerland, the 2020 ranking is the the fourth consecutive yearhas been judged No. 1 by residents of 36 countries. Canada was chosen second, overtaking Japan in the U.S. News’ fifth annual survey.
The Best Countries report, produced from an annual global survey of more than 20,000 people in 36 countries including the United States, reflects increasingly negative views of the world and within countries. Nearly half of survey respondents say conditions around the world have worsened in the past year. Likewise, an increased percentage of people say the gap between the rich and poor has grown and that nationalism is increasing.
According to the ranking, here are the Top 25 Countries in the World
The Bottom 5 of the U.S. News 2020 Best Countries rankings are
Located in Tottori, Japan’s least-populated prefecture, Hot Air Ramen (formally named Tanreitori Ramen Hot Air) is the brainchild of Katsumi Yoshida, a mechanic and car salesman turned cook. In 2012, Yoshida, an amateur noodle enthusiast, added a tiny kitchen in an alcove of his small used-car dealership, placed some tables in the waiting room and began offering ramen to customers.
In 2015, he scaled down his auto shop and officially opened Hot Air Ramen to the public, so named for the famous hot springs in the area. And then last year, something rather unexpected happened: Hot Air Ramen was designated as a “Bib Gourmand” eatery (which designates a place that serves “exceptional good food at moderate prices”) in the Michelin Guide Kyoto – Osaka + Tottori 2019 edition.
Lia Ditton is a 39-year-old licensed sea captain, yachtswoman and solo ocean rower from London. She has racked up over 150,000 miles on the sea and has taken part in some of the most grueling races on earth, such as the OSTAR transatlantic race, the Le Route du Rhum, and the Woodvale challenge. And she’s about to embark on her greatest challenge yet, rowing solo and unsupported across the Pacific Ocean. This is her story.
Three months before the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, I will depart from Choshi, Japan, on a mission to row 5,500 miles alone and unsupported, across the Pacific Ocean to the west coast of the USA. Nineteen attempts have been made to row this distance. Two were successful. Both men, both towed to land the last 20 and 50 miles respectively. One person was lost at sea.
If I succeed, I will be the first woman ever to row the North Pacific unsupported and the first person to row land-to-land [ed note: Sarah Outen rowed the North Pacific solo from Japan to the Aleutian Islands in Alaska, but with a support team, back in 2013].
That’s the view of the Henley Passport Index, which periodically measures the access each country’s travel document affords.
Singapore and Japan’s passports have topped the rankings thanks to both documents offering access to 190 countries each.
Finland has benefited from recent changes to Pakistan‘s formerly highly restrictive visa policy. Pakistan now offers an ETA (Electronic Travel Authority) to citizens of 50 countries, including Finland, Japan, Spain, Malta, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates — but not, notably, the United States or the UK.
1. Japan, Singapore (190 destinations)
2. Finland, Germany, South Korea (188)
3. Denmark, Italy, Luxembourg (187)
4. France, Spain, Sweden (186)
5. Austria, Netherlands, Portugal (185)
6. Belgium, Canada, Greece, Ireland, Norway, United Kingdom, United States, Switzerland (184)
7. Malta, Czech Republic (183)
8. New Zealand (182)
9. Australia, Lithuania, Slovakia (181)
10. Hungary, Iceland, Latvia, Slovenia (180)
More at the Henley Passport Index
» Canada has been ranked 6th four years in a row. They were ranked 2nd in 2014, then dropped to 4th in 2015, and have been holding steady in 6th since 2016.
» The USA been on a steady decline since 2014 when they were ranked 1st. They dropped to 2nd in 2015, 4th in 2016, 5th in 2017 and 2018, and to 6th this year.
» The UK has been on a steady decline in the rankings, dropping from 1st in 2015, to 3rd in 2016, to 4th in 2017, to 5th in 2018, to 6th this year.
The Henley Passport Index has released its third quarter ranking of the world’s most powerful passports in 2019.
The index is compiled from data provided by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and measures global mobility based on visa-free access to destinations. It also uses data from the index’s 14-year history, “to show how travel mobility has changed over the past decade, looking at which passports have gained in strength and which have fallen behind.”
Japan and Singapore hold the world’s strongest passports, with Visa-free access to 189 destinations. South Korea dropped to second place, joining Germany and Finland with Visa-free access to 187 destinations.
The United Arab Emirates entered the top 20 index for the first time in the list’s 14-year-history, moving up an astonishing 41 spots. Other countries that climbed standings include Taiwan, which climbed 24 places over the past ten years and ranks 30th.
Pakistan now offers an ETA (Electronic Travel Authority) to citizens of 50 countries, including Finland, Japan, Malta, Spain, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates — but not, notably, the USA or the UK.
Most Powerful Passports of Q3 2019:
1. Japan, Singapore (189 Destinations)
2. South Korea, Germany, Finland (187)
3. Denmark, Italy, Luxembourg (186)
4. France, Sweden, Spain (185)
5. Austria, Netherlands, Portugal, Switzerland (184)
6. Canada, Norway, Belgium, Greece, Ireland, UK, US (183)
7. Malta (182)
8. Czechia (181)
9. Australia, Iceland, New Zealand, Lithuania (180)
10. Latvia, Slovakia, Slovenia (179)
The Least Powerful Passports of Q3 2019:
101. Bangladesh, Eritrea, Iran, Lebanon, North Korea (39 Destinations)
102. Nepal (38)
103. Libya, Palestinian, Sudan (37)
104. Yemen (33)
105. Somalia (31)
106. Pakistan (30)
107. Syria (29)
108. Iraq (27)
109. Afghanistan (25)
Source: Henley Passport Index