AP, EL UNIVERSAL (Mexico), NEWS.COM.AU (Australia), INDEPENDENT.IE (Ireland)
The big news arrived in America's mailbox on Wednesday: the U.S. Postal Service will end Saturday delivery service starting this summer, responding to budget cuts and the growing use of the Internet for long-distance communication. AP has the news from Washington.
Not surprisingly, changes to postal service are happening elsewhere in the world for similar reasons. But the situation is hardly uniform. Here's how your local postman rings 'round the world.
1. NEW ZEALAND
The small island nation of 4.4 million people announced last month plans to cut down mail delivery to as few as three days a week in the face of Internet competition for correspondences. Lucky for them, they've also got Kim Dotcom to figure out a way to upload it all for free.
Unlike its northern neighbor, Mexico has no plans to cut down from its six-days-a-week service, though locals will tell you not to necessarily count on everything arriving promptly on Saturday, or arriving promptly any day, or ... arriving. To spruce up its image for said inefficiency, then Mexican President Felipe Calderón changed both the name and symbol of the postal service in 2008. What used to be called “Servicio Postal Mexicano” (Mexican Postal Service) is now known as “Correos de México” (Mexico Courier). The old logo looks vaguely Yankee...the new one is kind of cute.
Irish postman Michael Gallagher from County Donegal has been delivering the mail for 40 years -- he also happens to be the country's most trusted weatherman. Gallagher studies the behaviour of animals and plants to determine what the weather will be. He first came to national attention in 2007 when he predicted that the seemingly endless rain that summer would cease. There is massive interest from Irish media predictions. After he correctly predicted a “white Christmas” in 2009, Mr Gallagher forced betting agency Paddy Power to pay out more than €70,000 in winnings, says the Irish Independent.
While America cuts service to five days a week, the national postal service in the People's Republic of China holds steady with delivery... SEVEN days a week. With business booming and no shortage of available labor, some have suggested upping that to eight.
If you miss a home delivery in Japan, you can call up the post office and ask the mailman to swing back around. Right away. Almost as good as sushi express.
In ancient times, letters traveled across the deserts of the Middle East by camel. Now, Jordan's innovative postal service allows you to keep track of packages every step of the way with regular SMS messages. Of course, sooner or later, the package itself is likely to arrive through your telephone..