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By John Helmer, Moscow

In the year since we last wished you well, Dear Reader, you have read on average three of our new stories every working week. Also, you’ve spent an average of more than thirty minutes reading each story.

That’s more than thirty times the average time you’ve spent on Twitter; double the time you’ve spent on Instagram; roughly equal to the time you’ve spent on Facebook or YouTube.  Click to be sure.    

It is infinitely more than the time you spend on the Financial Times, Guardian, Toronto Globe & Mail, Washington Post, or the New York Times, because you’ve stopped reading them.   

To fight off the hacker attacks which regularly start in the Moscow morning, our IT team has developed a technology which also enables us to know what you had for your last meal,  and how your bowels are  coping with plus-5 levels of spleen and minus-5 levels of phlegm which our average Bear undergoes.  The geriatric specialists are still analysing the data on whether your life expectancy is enhanced or curtailed thereby. They concur that your life expectancy is longer in reading than ours in writing.

As you see, the future for 2018 is still something we are keeping under our hat, but close to our arse.

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