Normally you can rely on the New Year for two things: hangovers (find relief here) and humiliation, as you realize the current-affairs knowledge you amassed over the course of the year has evaporated. This year’s crop of end-of-the-year quizzes seems rather thin, but you can still test your international news memory courtesy of Canada’s Globe and Mail, the Sydney Morning Herald (which also provides even more foreigner-challenging “who said that” and year in sport quizzes), and Britain’s Guardian (whose supplemental offerings include “the mother of all quizzes,” set by 30 of the paper’s writers, and the King William’s Quiz, a form of torture exacted on the pupils of King William’s School on the Isle of Man every Christmas break). If you survive those challenges with your pride still intact, test your U.K. trivia quotient with the Daily Telegraph’s gossip column “Quiz of the Year.” Questions include, “Which polo star was spotted stepping out last summer with Lady Tamara Grosvenor, England’s richest heiress?”
Readers who prefer to look forward may wish to check out the Financial Times’ predictions for 2003. Among the prognostications: no peace in Chechnya, women’s fashions will be “either full-on sporty or gauzily feminine,” and relations between the United States and Europe hinge on what happens in Iraq.
Grouse of the year: A trend that made compiling “International Papers” more difficult in 2002 was the increasing number of newspaper Web sites erecting subscription walls. In Spain, both El Mundo and El País became paid sites (though the eight-page English-language version of El País is still freely available; go to the bottom of this page for access). Elsewhere, the Irish Times and Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post embraced the subscription model. The Financial Times now charges for access to most of its “Comment & Analysis” section, while Britain’s Sunday Times sniffs out foreign visitors and charges them a subscription. (Yes, Slate tried it too, back in 1998, only to change our minds several months later.)