A game change in public service

Job seekers line up at a job fair at Tianjin University

Demand for once coveted civil servant jobs in China is declining

Illustration by Charles Williams of a digitised Shakespeare
©Charles Williams

No winners in UK’s battle of the bards

Both England’s Shakespeare and Scotland’s Burns wrote in relation to British unity

Longevity is here to stay – embrace it

The total number of centenarians is projected to rise from 14,000 in 2013 to 111,000 in 2037

Sleaze v spin in Mexico’s race for reform

Enrique Peña Nieto’s government combines reform with rigid control, writes Jude Webber

When a touchy-feely approach can work

An American has helped orphans in China by getting officials to say No

Tea, sex and one last cavalry charge

The centenary of the first world war has not gone unnoticed in India

A dirty pretty city takes on Beijing

Paris can ill-afford a further pollution stain on its image, writes Hugh Carnegy

No more free rides for app-slingers

The battle for the mobile payments market gave rise to a strange version of the China dream, says Patti Waldmeir

The sun never sets on Eton’s empire

Controversy over the school reflects the increasing polarisation between rich and poor

Look to Renzi for la dolce vita

Disillusion with the old elite adds to Italian hopes for the new young leader, says Guy Dinmore

If only Plato were running Barclays

Pay inequalities have widened recently but shareholders are more worried by performance

The Asian work ethic comes at a price

Modern Chinese are increasingly worried about being pushed too hard, writes Patti Waldmeir

Vikings and the modern age

The UK is gripped by Scandimania, and it is not just TV thrillers that are the focus of attention

Turkey’s bazaar of bootleg tapes

Bugged recordings of prominent Turks are appearing almost every day

Tax credit that costs NY its cool

New York has lured The Tonight Show back after 42 years with a financial incentive

Sticky or sweet – China’s tricky choice

The country witnessed a clash of eastern and western cultures, writes Patti Waldmeir

Can online trolls be confined to caves?

One in 20 internet users engages in trolling, the posting of abusive comments, writes Brian Groom

A journey back to running with tigers

The Anglo Irish Bank trial is reminding the Irish of the famed boom years

The new year rides in on a whimper

Abstemiousness and pollution have put a damper on celebrations

An Olympic sprint for the finish line

Preparations for Sochi are a lesson in Russia’s love for superlatives, says Courtney Weaver