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Barometer

When nuclear bombs go wrong

Also in Barometer: what drew bigger crowds than Obama or Trump? And Mrs Thatcher’s Rover test drive

28 January 2017

9:00 AM

28 January 2017

9:00 AM

Nuclear near-misses

It was revealed that last June an unarmed Trident missile test-fired off Florida from a British submarine headed in the wrong direction, towards the US. Some other accidents involving nuclear weapons:

24 Jan 1961 A B52 bomber exploded in mid-air after taking off from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in North Carolina. Three of the four activation devices on one of the two hydrogen bombs it was carrying were turned on.

8 Dec 1964 A B-58 caught fire on the ground at Bunker Hill Air Force Base in Indiana. The nuclear bomb on board was burned but did not explode.


18 Sept 1980 A worker at Little Rock Air Force Base dropped a spanner on a Titan II missile, causing an explosion in which the warhead was blasted 100 feet — without being set off.

Crowd sourcing

Some events that drew bigger crowds than either Barack Obama or Donald Trump.

Kumbh Mela, Hindu pilgrimage at Allahabad, India, 2013 30 million
Arba’een pilgrimage, Karbala, Iraq, November 2016 22m
Ayatollah Khomeini’s funeral, Tehran,
June 1989
10m
Open air mass by Pope Francis, Manila, January 2015 5m
Democracy and Martyrs Rally, Istanbul, August 2016 5m
Parade to celebrate Chicago Cubs’ victory in World Series, November 2016 5m
Coronation of Elizabeth II, London,
June 1953
5m

The lady’s not for reversing

Downing Street was worried Mrs Thatcher would prang a new Rover while reversing it during a test drive before the cameras in 1986. How dangerous is it to reverse?

No. of vehicles damaged in accidents in 2012

Turning right 24,524
Waiting to go ahead but held up 15,492
Turning left 8,226
Reversing 3,763
Overtaking moving vehicle 3,457
U-turn 2,035
Overtaking stationary vehicle 2,014

Source: Department for Transport

What brings in more?

How do receipts from business rates in England compare with those of council tax?

Business rates Council tax
£20.7bn – 2011/12 £22.4bn
£21.6bn – 2012/13 £22.7bn
£20.6bn – 2013/14 £23.8bn
£22.4bn – 2014/15 £24.5bn
£23.2bn – 2015/16 £25.3bn

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