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Actually, Bob, they do know it’s Christmas (we checked)

Plus: The figures on live animal exports, flood spending and Romanian voters in Portsmouth

22 November 2014

9:00 AM

22 November 2014

9:00 AM

Yeah, Bob, they know

The answer to the rhetorical question posed by the Band Aid single, ‘Do they know it’s Christmas?’, is broadly yes. Christmas Day is a public holiday everywhere in Africa except Mauritania, Western Sahara, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and Somalia, although countries have widely differing customs associated with the event.
— In Liberia, one of the Ebola-affected countries, it more resembles Halloween, where children go from door to door dressed as demons and begging for presents.
— The two countries where Bob Geldof’s line might be appropriate are Ethiopia, the target of the first record in 1984, and Egypt. Both celebrate Christmas, according to the Julian calendar, on 7 January and might be confused if asked to hold it two weeks early.

Live issue

The Princess Royal called for an end to live horse exports to foreign slaughterhouses. How many live animals were exported in 2012 and where did they go?

Total exported
Sheep 388,000
Pigs 7,640
Cattle 38,900
Horses 6,970

Source: House of Commons Library

Main destination
Sheep Ireland (339,000)
Pigs Ireland (5,800)
Cattle Spain (20,400)
Horses Germany (1,370)

Source: House of Commons Library

Romania decides

An estimated 10,000 Romanians turned up at a polling station in Portsmouth to vote in their party’s presidential election. Are Romanians more likely to vote than people from Portsmouth?

TURNOUT
Romanian presidential election 2014, first round 53%
Romanian presidential election 2014, second round 64%
Portsmouth South constituency, general election 2010 59%
European Parliament elections 2014, Portsmouth area 33%
Portsmouth city council election 2014, Fratton ward 27%

Cash floods

The Prime Minister was set to announce that Britain will give £650 million to the Green Climate Change fund, to go towards renewable energy and flood defences in the developing world. How does this compare with flood defence spending in England by Defra?

2010/11 £670m
2011/12 £573m
2012/13 £576m
2013/14 £577m
2014/15 £615m

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