What Is SPP For a Canadian Study Visa?

If you have always wanted to join a Canadian college, then you should be aware of the SPP program. When applying, however, you have the freedom to apply through the program or not, but there are of course advantages of applying under the SPP. The major difference between SPP programs and non-SPP applications is basically the number of documents that will be required for your study visa to be processed.

SPP, Student Partnership Program is arrangement between Canadian High Commissions and Canadian colleges to offer easy and quick study visas for prospective students. The processing of study visas is therefore faster and easier under the program and the documents required are not that many as it would be the case with the non-SSP applications.

Documents required under the SPP

· There are a number of documents you will be required to avail when applying for study visa under the SSP program. These are;

· Letters of Acceptance from the colleges under the program

· IELTS score sheet that test English proficiency. You need an overall band of 6.0 for any undergraduate course and 6.5 for postgraduate programs

· Bachelor's degree or three years Advance Diploma with 50% minimum and above for postgraduate courses

· 12th grade mark sheet with 55% score and above for any undergraduate programs

· Proof of work experience and payment of tuition fee

· Guaranteed investment certificate for living expenses; usually at $10,000

· Visa fee of $150

· Medical results from approved panel doctors

The advantages of applications under the SPP

As a candidate interested in a study visa to Canada, you have the freedom to choose to go the SPP path or not. But the many advantages under the program are what have probably attracted many to apply under it. When you apply under SPP, you will enjoy:

· Less visa documentation requirements

· Streamlined admission for participating institutions and visa guidelines for the same

· Faster visa processing that could take as few as 5 to 10 working days

· Assured quality of the institution you are about to join

· Advance medical reports

· Post study work options

Working after studies under the SPP

As an international student under the SPP program, you enjoy post study work options. This means that you can easily attain a work permit after graduating with a recognized qualification from the SPP accredited institutions in Canada. The work permit scheme comes with defined requirements and you must satisfy them to qualify to work in the country.

In general, students taking up courses lasting for two years and more are eligible for post study work permits that can be as long as three years in Canada. This is according to the prevailing work permit regulations in the country. For course durations that are a year of less, students are eligible for a work permit that equals the study duration.

If you are interested in a study visa to Canada, it is important that you start by weighing your options and choosing a good direction. The SPP is one of the best programs you can use for the process.

Top 10 Places To Visit For A Winter Vacation

Winter vacation comes in many forms in Europe. In the polar north there is serious snow and sunless week while you will find the sun lingering in the mild Mediterranean, and cozy cafe culture and the spirit of Christmas in the middle. It's an inspiring time to visit great metropolis and charming villages: with fewer queues you can fit more into your itinerary, and low-priced off-season accommodations make wallet-friendly travel. Through Europe's rail network, you can explore the countries in your free time, getting to know the locals who deal with their daily business away from the hectic summer tourist season.

1. Rovaniemi, Finland

The handfuls of Christmas clichés characterize Rovaniemi, the "official" residence of Santa Claus. Everyone's favorite bearded man hangs in an atmospheric grotto of the Arctic Circle, and it's free to visit (but the photos are another story). Snow and reindeer provide a festive spirit, while the Arktikum museum gives an idea of life in these latitudes. It is a nice place to be for winter vacation

Tip: Finnish thermometers have more numbers below 0 ° C than above, so wear serious winter clothing.

2. Christmas Markets, Germany And Austria

December sees these romantic historic markets emerging throughout Germany and other nations of Central Europe. Expect cute stalls selling everything from gingerbread to sleigh bells and lots of joy, toasting with a glass of glühwein warming up.

Tip: Famous markets in Cologne, Vienna and Munich attract tourist crowds, but finding smaller cities is rewarding.

3. Abisko, Sweden

Up in Northern Europe on a train, Abisko in Lapland is for winter fans. The sun does not rise for several weeks in December and January, but that darkness makes it one of the best places in the world to see the majestic northern lights. Other attractions include cross-country skiing along the national park trails and husky mushing.

Tip: Stop in Kiruna and see the famous Icehotel.

4. Athens, Greece

It's a real downer trying to Photoshop 500 people out of their Parthenon photo to be awarded, but in winter it's not a problem. All the tensions of summer - crowding, tourist prices, intense heat, queues, air pollution - disappear more or less. It is the best time to explore the ancient heritage of the country and get to experience the local culture.

Tip: By all means do some island hopping, but most accommodations close during winter vacation.

5. Copenhagen, Denmark

For the European fairy tale winter, it is hard to beat the home of Hans Christian Andersen. Forget about the exaggerated little mermaid and head to the cozy bars and cafes of the city to see the snow fluttering outside. In the heart of the city, the Tivoli amusement park of the nineteenth century is a romantic and kitschy delight around Christmas, with touching illuminations and glogging cups that warm the body.

Tip: Go out for a meal in Noma, considered by many to be the best restaurant in the world (reservations can be filled quickly, so try to book several months in advance)

6. Budapest, Hungary

The pair of hand skating, breath-clouded in the frozen air - there is no better place for it than the picturesque central park of the Hungarian capital Varosligeti Mujegpalya, with its huge outdoor track. Do you feel cold afterwards? Budapest is famous for its ornate thermal baths.

Tip: At night look for a 'bar ruin' - an artfully atmospheric beverage place created in a building once abandoned.

7. Jasna, Slovakia

Slovakia offers high quality skiing at affordable prices. The accommodations and food are reasonable, and there is a friendliness that is missing from some of the snootier alpine tracks. Jasna is the best resort in Slovakia, with long descents flanked by snow-covered spruce trees, located in the rugged Tatras mountains.

Tip: Direct flights to Slovakia can be expensive, so do not make this an entry point to Europe.

8. Andalusia, Spain

Parts of Andalusia are further down south than the African coast, so there is a mild temperature in the winter. Accommodation is cheap and crowds are smaller in such prominent places as the Alhambra in Granada or Seville Cathedral. In addition, the tapas and nightlife in the cities are as attractive as ever.

Tip: head to the Sierra Nevada near Granada if you want snow sports action.

9. Transylvania, Romania

You can not visit Dracula's lair on a sunny day with lambs bellowing in the fields, right? Try steel gray sky, bare trees and a handful of snow. Brasov and Sighisoara, two hours away by rail, are magnificent medieval towns with various connections to Vlad Tepes, historical Dracula, although it is doubtful that you have set foot in its so-called castle.

Tip: Bram Stoker never visited Romania, so do not expect many parallels with the book or the movies.

10. Venice, Italy

Hauntingly beautiful and somewhat strange, Carnevale from Venice in February is a European highlight. Elaborate costumes and creepy masks bring the city's colorful history of the canal to life. Disguised dances are expensive things, but you can have a ball enjoying the free events with a mask bought on the street, but be prepared for epic crowding.

Tip: Book accommodation in advance. The day you enter and leave on a train will greatly reduce costs of your winter vacation.

These are the top 10 best places to visit for winter vacation. Try them out.

Please visit http://www.biggietips.com for more LIFE HACK TIPS.

The $78 Trillion Problem

$78 trillion is a massive number, & according to Citigroup, that is the amount of unfunded pension liabilities incurred by the richest 20 countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development (OECD). These countries include the US, UK, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Japan, & central Europe, among others.

The report also noted that most US & UK corporate pension plans were also severely underfunded.

The problem here is that governments have borrowed more money than can ever be paid back, & they have made promises of entitlements that are hopelessly underfunded. We are already seeing the impact of unfunded pension funds.

Detroit went bankrupt, primarily because it could not afford to pay its pensioners. If the city's pensioners had not agreed to a series of cuts to the pension plan, according to the Kresge Foundation's Rip Rapson, "Detroit could have been in bankruptcy court for maybe a decade".

Now in the US, the Governmental Accounting Standards Board has required governments to adopt rigorous accounting methods that are similar to those long used by private-sector accountants, & in many cases, the GASB reforms have required governments to disclose pension obligations formerly not put in all audits.

As a result, when unfunded pension, medical, & other liabilities are formally included on its balance sheet, the Orange County Fire Authority's debts exceeded its assets by $169 million for the fiscal year that ended in June. According to the Register's OC Watchdog "that's a plunge of more than 680% in its 'net position, or more than $420 million, over a single year."

These new accounting rules have also exposed that California's 2014-15 balanced budget was actually $175.1 billion in the red, due to state retirement obligations that had to be included in its balance sheet for the first time.

The latest figures reveal that retirement plans have less than three-quarters of the assets they need to pay current and future retirees. "Before the recession, many of these plans were fully funded or nearly fully funded," said Russ Walker, vice-president of Wilshire Consulting.

In 2007, the state pensions' funding ratio, a measure of assets to liabilities, stood at 95%. An 80% funding level is generally considered the minimum healthy level for public pension plans.

To close these gaps, most funds are now relying on "exceptional asset returns." But in this world of zero, & now even negative interest rates, expecting "exceptional returns" is hardly realistic. Remember, typically funds need annual returns of 7%-8%, which they are not getting in this current financial environment.

In Japan, its public pension reserve fund, the largest of its kind in the world, lost $64.22 billion, its biggest quarterly loss since the financial crisis for the quarter through September, dragged down by a global stock selloff.

The Europe & Central Asia region are no better off. The financial crisis has quickly turned into an economic crisis with major implications for all public programs, including pension systems. Future pension system deficits are expected to be threefold what is currently being experienced in the worst hit countries, & are expected to remain at that level for more than 20 years before slightly improving.

These pension fund problems are already a huge issue, but as usual we will see no politician bring them up. No politician is going to let voters know that there is no money to meet all the promises that have been made, let alone the new promises they will make in the current campaign.

These global debts & deficits are not political topics, but they are financial realities. The clock is ticking, & while the politicians don't want to discuss these issues, the rubber is gong to hit the road soon.

It is simply math. We know how many people are retiring, & we know how much they have been promised, so we know the cost. We also know how much has been budgeted, & what returns these funds are getting in the markets. And now, according to Citigroup, we know that there is a massive shortfall of $78 trillion globally.

There are solutions, but time is running out.

1. You can encourage real economic growth, by encouraging companies to expand & grow. This does not mean raising corporate taxes, it means working with companies, & encouraging company growth. This would create more jobs, & that means more tax revenue.

2. Define government spending priorities & stick to balanced budgets. This means that the politicians would actually have to make hard decisions. They would need to trim or cancel ineffective programs, & focus on the critical ones that are best for the people & the country.

3. Given that we are all living longer, we need to raise the age of eligibility for benefits. Some countries have already begun to implement this policy.

4. Lower the payout to retirees. Again, this is what Detroit worked out with their retirees.

5. You can also raise taxes. This is the favorite option for every politician. The problem is that higher taxes takes money out of the pockets of the people. Remember, most citizens do not have a private or public pension plan, & will need to save for their own retirement. In Chicago they are looking at increasing property taxes by 30% just to meet their pension fund obligations, currently at $20 billion, & growing.

This is just another factor in the rising 'loss of confidence in government" that will bring about a massive trend change. Ultimately, it will result in a global Sovereign Debt Crisis, & massive global flow of capital out of the riskiest areas.

Investors who are in a strong cash position will be able to not just protect their wealth during this coming crisis, but to grow it significantly. We are getting closer & closer to showtime!

Martin Straith - http://www.thetrendletter.com

Interesting Facts About Toronto

Think you know Toronto? Let's see how much you know. We have gathered 45 interesting fun Toronto facts from a variety of topics.

Geographic Facts

1. Toronto covers 641 sq km and stretches 43 km from east to west and 21 km from north to south at its longest points. The perimeter is approximately 180 km.

2. One quarter of Canada's population lives within a 160 km radius of Toronto

3. Toronto is in Southern Ontario which has shorelines on four of the five, Great Lakes and located, further south than ten of the northern states of the USA.

4. Toronto's waterfront is 76.5 meters above sea level; shoreline stretches 43 km (as the crow flies) or 138 km if you factor in the bays and islands

5. Highest point is 209 m (at intersection of Steeles Ave West and Keele St)

6. Most northerly point is the intersection of Steeles Ave E. and Pickering Town Line

7. Most southerly point is Lake Ontario's shoreline at the border between Toronto and Mississauga

8. Most easterly point is the meeting of the Rouge River and shoreline of Lake Ontario

9. Most westerly point is the intersection of Steeles Ave W. and Albion Road

10. Toronto is in plant hardiness zone 6, and on the eastern edge of the Carolinian Forest zone

11. There are 1500 parks and 8,000 hectares of parklands - (ravines, valleys, woodlots, waterfront natural areas, parks and farmland), or 18.1 per cent of city's area, there are also 187 km of bike paths, 7.8 km of pedestrian paths, and 3 million publicly owned trees

Economic Facts

1. Toronto is the largest and most important financial centre in all of Canada and the fourth largest in North America. Only New York city, Chicago and Los Angeles are larger.

2. Financial centre of Canada, 3rd largest in North America, employing 205,000 in financial sector

3. Toronto is home to Canada's 5 largest banks, 50 foreign bank subsidiaries and branches, and 112 securities firms.

4. The film industry supports 28,000 jobs in Toronto and annually contributes $1.5 billion to the economy

5. Toronto's tourism industry generated $3.34 billion in direct expenditures in the year 2000

6. There are about 87,900 tourism related jobs in Toronto

City Facts

1. Toronto is Canada's largest city and home to over 5.7 million people

2. Toronto is the capital city of the province of Ontario

3. Toronto is the largest financial centre in Canada.

4. There are 100 + languages spoken throughout the city of Toronto

5. Just over 30 per cent of Toronto residents speak a language other than English or French at home.

6. Over half of Toronto's labour force has a university degree or college diploma

7. With it's world class tourist attractions Toronto is Canada's number one tourist destination

8. Toronto residents hold more university educations than in any other country, in the world, based on percentage of population. Source OECD - 2003

9. 180 million customers live and work within a day's drive of Toronto, including 125 million Americans or roughly 40 per cent of the U.S. population.

10. More people live in Toronto than in Canada's four Atlantic Provinces combined

11. Half of Toronto's population (1,237,720) was born outside of Canada, up from 48 per cent in 1996.

12. Niagara Falls is just over an hour's drive from Toronto

13. Toronto has over 8,000 restaurants

14. Toronto has over 35,000 hotel rooms

North American Facts

1. Toronto is North America's 5th-largest city after Mexico City, New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago.

2. North America's largest continuous underground pedestrian system PATH, connects about 1200 stores and restaurants, 50 office towers, five subway stations, Union Station, six major hotels and several entertainment centres under Toronto's financial core.

3. Toronto's TTC bus and subway public transit system is the second largest in North America and has the highest per capita ridership rate on the continent.

4. About 25% of films produced in Hollywood are actually filmed in Toronto, making it North America's 3rd largest TV and movies production venue.

5. The Caribana parade is the largest single-day parade and largest Caribbean festival in North America.

6. Toronto has the only, real castle in all of North America. You will never forget Casa Loma (home on hill) with vista views of both, the downtown, skyline of Toronto and of Great Lake Ontario.

7. The TSX Group - the third-largest stock exchange in North American and seventh largest in the world based on market capitalization - is the world leader in mining sector listings.

8. The Direct Energy Centre (formerly the National Trade Centre) is the 3rd largest exhibit facility in North America with over 1 million sq. ft. of exhibit space

World Facts

1. Yonge Street is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest street in the world, stretching 1,896 km from the lakeshore in Toronto, north to Rainy River, Ontario, near the Minnesota border.

2. Toronto is home to the world's second tallest free-standing structure, the CN Tower standing 1,815 feet (553 meters) tall.

3. The Toronto Zoo is the third largest in the world and is home to more than 5000 animals

4. Toronto is the third largest centre for English language theatre in the world, behind New York City and London.

5. Toronto is a world leader in digital microwave transmission, satellite communications services and data distribution networks.

6. Rogers Centre (formerly Skydome) - the world's first stadium to have a fully retractable roof.

When visiting, make sure you check out all the Toronto Tourist Attractions. The CN Tower is the most popular. These helpful resources, Toronto Classifieds and Business Directory will also help you find what you need.

Toronto Shopping

If you've ever been to Toronto you'll know that the city is a huge multicultural mix with great shopping opportunities throughout. Toronto is one of those cities where you can spend days just shopping, and with great reason, it is Canada's biggest city and the shopping center of Ontario. My experience with Toronto was that it is definitely a great place for shopping, you can go store-to-store with amazing boutiques and great deals on downtown streets, but you also need a plan of action or you'll be exhausted. I have outlined 3 of the places I had the best experiences of shopping in Toronto.

Toronto Eaton Centre
Toronto Eaton Centre
1. First, it wouldn't be shopping in Toronto if you didn't visit the Toronto Eaton Centre. The Eaton Centre is a huge shopping mall with absolutely amazing deals on designer clothes, great food, electronics and everything else you need. It is also, believe it or not, Toronto's top tourist attraction with over 1 million visitors every week! You can get here through the Dundas or Queen subway stations and it is a shopping trip you will absolutely love. It is a very busy mall right in downtown Toronto, but you will find so many great deals it's hard to resist coming here. It also forms part of the Toronto PATH underground network, which is great fun for tourists and locals alike. I bought some great clothes at amazing deals from stores here.

2. Next, when Toronto shopping, make sure to visit Chinatown on Spadina. Chinatown is a testament to Toronto's unique multiculturalism, where you feel like you've stepped into another country from one block to another. In Chinatown you can experience great stores with fantastic Chinese culture, taste delicious Chinese recipes, and of course buy lots of neat things at great bargain prices. In Toronto's Chinatown you can shop for clothes, paintings, lamps, antiques, jewelry and much more. I would go just to experience the food because the food I ate there is simply delicious! Definitely a unique place in Toronto and highly recommended.

3. Thirdly, Toronto shopping wouldn't feel right until you visit the popular Kensington Market. This is the place to buy cheap stuff at great bargains and sales. You can find clothes, suits, decorations, great food, furniture, souvenirs and more great savings in this extremely popular shopping region. It really feels like a Toronto market experience and I enjoyed simply walking through and browsing the great variety of things on display, the rich culture and the essence of a wonderful Toronto shopping district. This place is a wonderful experience.

Toronto - A True Global City

As the second largest country in the world, Canada is a colossal land mass stretching from the Atlantic Ocean on the east, up to the Artic Ocean in the north and all the way round to the Pacific Ocean in the west. But whilst it is indeed a massive country that spans across a myriad of terrains and climates, it actually has one of the lowest population densities in the world, with only around 3.5 inhabitants per square kilometre, compared with 246 per square kilometre in the UK.

However, it would be difficult to tell this in a place such as Toronto, the largest city in Canada, and the fifth most populous municipality in the whole of North America. As Canada's economic capital, Toronto is generally considered to be a 'global city', playing a major part in the world's economic system. And like any modern metropolis, Toronto's skyline is a sea of skyscrapers and tall buildings; in particular the CN Tower taking centre stage.

At over half a kilometre tall, the CN Tower is the world's second-tallest freestanding structure and the tallest tower in the western hemisphere. It also has the world's highest man-made observatory, affording spectacular views across the city below. And for those who would like to make a night of it, a fantastic revolving restaurant is located a little over half-way up the tower, offering market-fresh cuisine and a vast selection of fine wine.

It's impossible to speak of Toronto without mentioning its famous entertainment district and its claim of being the third largest theatre-centre in the English speaking world; with a plethora of plays, musicals and operas being staged throughout the year. Furthermore, only a short walk away from the city's main railway station is the district's ideal central location, with a number of activities available in the form of dining and drinking, to shopping and live sports. In addition, Toronto is home to six professional major-league sports teams in baseball, hockey, basketball, football, soccer and lacrosse, whilst the city's two main state-of-the-art sport stadiums, the SkyDome and the Air Canada Centre, are located only a few blocks from each other in Toronto's entertainment district.

But for those who wish to explore the history of Canada's national pastime, Toronto is also home to the Hockey Hall of Fame, hosting exhibits of legendary players and NHL teams. The MCI Great Hall, one of the fifteen exhibit areas, contains portraits and biographical information about every person who has been admitted to the hall of fame.

In terms of accessibility to this popular destination, direct flights to Toronto take a little under eight hours from London if flying from the UK, with Lester B. Pearson International Airport handling over an estimated thirty million passengers in 2006 alone, making it one of the busiest airports in the world. And this accessibility can only help to cement Toronto's place as a major modern metropolis, and true 'global city' of the world.

The information contained within this article is the opinion of the author and is intended purely for information and interest purposes only. It should not be used to make any decisions or take any actions. Any links are included for information purposes only.

Toronto Used Farm System, Not Free Agency, To Build Its Talented Lineup

During a recent broadcast of the critical Blue Jays series against the Yankees, one of the commentators mentioned that neutral fans should be rooting for New York. He then explained that people still disliked the Yankees because of their reputation for using big money to buy players rather than develop them through their farm system.

The broadcaster went on to explain how the roles were now switched, alleging that Toronto's roster was filled with more "bought" players than New York's. While it was true that during the George Steinbrenner days the Yankees acquired the most expensive free agents, that has not been the case in the last five years.

To illustrate his claim, the commentator pointed out that only two of the Blue Jays starters, center fielder Kevin Pillar and second baseman Ryan Goins, came through the Toronto system. The rest, he explained, were not products of the minor league affiliates of the Blue Jays.

The implication was that Toronto, like the Yankees of the 90s and 00s, simply bought their players instead of developing them. That assertion is erroneous, however, when one makes a closer inspection of the Blue Jays lineup.

The sluggers in Toronto's lineup, unlike those of the 90s Yankees, were not purchased as free agents. They were acquired through trades for primarily minor leaguers, meaning that the Blue Jays have indeed greatly benefited from their farm system.

Jose Bautista came over from the Pirates in exchange for prospect Robinson Diaz way back in 2008. That same year, Edwin Encarnacion was acquired from the Reds for oft-injured All-Star third baseman Scott Rolen. Third baseman Josh Donaldson, the likely American League Most Valuable Player, was acquired from Oakland last winter for Brett Lawrie and three prospects.

Even beyond the trio previously mentioned, most of the Toronto lineup was also set up through trades. Outfielder Ben Revere was acquired in August from the Phillies for two prospects. First baseman Justin Smoak was selected off waivers from the Seattle Mariners last winter. Shortstop Troy Tulowitski was acquired from the Rockies at this year's trade deadline for Jose Reyes.

Overall, catcher Russell Martin was the only Toronto player in the starting lineup who was acquired through free agency. Compare that amount to the number of not just the 90s Yankees, but also the current New York lineup. On the field wearing pinstripes were three players acquired through free agency, first baseman Mark Teixiera, right fielder Carlos Beltran, and second baseman Stephen Drew.

To accuse the Blue Jays of buying players rather than using their farm system would be completely unfounded. The talented roster they currently have may not be products of the Toronto system, but most of them were acquired in exchange for its prospects.
By Doug Poe

Who Really Owns The World?

The correct and accurate answer is that the governments of the respective countries are not in control. The politicians are not in control. The armed forces of the respective countries are not in control. Then who is? It is the elite that rules and controls the world. Someone was right when they said that it is the money which makes the world go round. And indeed, who has the most money has more power over us.

The super elite and the mega rich segments of the society are the ones who control what we see, what we hear and what we do. They are the ones who control the mainstream media, the mega corporations, the financial institutions and subsequently the governments and the politicians. And through these institutions, especially the financial ones, they yield considerable amount of control and power.

It is through them that our politicians are able to spend millions on their campaigns. It is through that we get to know what is happening around the world. It is through them that we start hating a particular segment of the society and start promoting and supporting another segment.

As a matter of fact, there are a total of 147 mega corporations which control forty percent of the global economy. This means that almost one percent of the total corporations are able to control almost half of the world's economy. Some of these mega corporations include Barclays, JP Morgan Chase, Deutsche Bank AG, Goldman Sachs Group Inc and Morgan Stanley etc.

The World Bank, IMF and all the central banks literally control the creation and movement of the money worldwide. We all know what central banks are. They control the financial and the banking systems of their respective countries. Each country has one. Ever heard of Bank for International Settlements (BIS)? It is no ordinary bank. It is the central bank of all the central banks combined. Its branches are located in Switzerland, Hong Kong and Mexico City. This bank is not accountable to any single entity, organisation or person on this universe. It is immune to all laws. It guides, controls and directs the 58 central banks that belong to it. After every two months, the central bankers of the world meet up to decide how the economy of the globe would fare in future. And who found BIS? Who owns it? Yes, you guessed it right!! The super elite owns it.

So, next time something happens in your country, do not fall into the trap thinking the politicians were behind it. Politicians are merely puppets, doing and obeying what their masters say.

Boy reporter still a global hero

As cartoon boy reporter Tintin turns 75, BBC News Online looks at the enduring appeal of the comic book correspondent.

In the days before John Simpson and Rageh Omar, Tintin was the quintessential foreign correspondent, boldly going wherever his paper deemed to send him, accompanied always by his faithful terrier Snowy but very rarely by a typewriter or a notebook.

But Tintin more often than not became part of the story rather than simply reporting it. During his many adventures he foiled international drug rings, stopped a fascist plot, and even journeyed to the moon.

In the 75 years since Herge's creation first graced the pages of Brussels' Le XXme Siecle newspaper on 10 January 1929, Tintin has become a global success. More than 200 million books have been sold, translated into more than 50 languages.

Complex stories

His anniversary is being marked by events such as a forthcoming exhibition at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, looking at the reporter's adventures at sea. It runs from 31 March to 5 September.

But why has a cub reporter from the days of the Great Depression and steam trains endured?

Author and journalist Michael Farr, who wrote the reference book Tintin: The Complete Companion, believes the answer lies in the complexity of the stories.

Tintin (© Hergé/MI-2003-4)
Not just a hack - he could pilot experimental submarines too

"That's why he has got to the ripe old age of 75," he told BBC News Online.

"He bridges all ages because he appeals to all ages. If you are a child you are attracted to all the action and adventure. If you're an adult, there are all the issues that crop up, such as drug trafficking, which often features," he says.

"He is known all over world. He is read by Japanese children and Indian children, quite apart from all the European countries where he started out."

Mr Farr also said that despite his Belgian roots, there was nothing to mark Tintin as Belgian - he roamed the world as a kind of international citizen, often in the company of the cantankerous seafarer Captain Haddock and the detectives Thomson and Thompson. source

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