Some interesting facts about the French foreign minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, for the benefit of shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry. Ayrault was elected mayor of Saint-Herblain, a suburb of Nantes, in 1977 aged just 27. He went on to become mayor of the entire city. In 2012 he was appointed prime minister by incoming president François Hollande. His appointment caused a crisis in Arabic newsrooms because when pronounced properly his name sounds like Lebanese slang for penis. Ayrault resigned as prime minister in 2014 after disappointing local election results for the Socialists, but made a comeback as foreign minister in February.
No visa necessary
The EU threatened to force British travellers to other EU countries to apply for visas. Which nation’s passport-holders can visit the most countries without a visa?
|Finland, Sweden, UK||173|
|Germany, Luxembourg, US,||171|
|Canada, France, Ireland, Japan,||170|
(There are generally accepted to be 195 sovereign nations in the world, or 196 if you include Taiwan.)
Source: Henley and Partners
International trade secretary Liam Fox attacked businessmen who would rather play golf than seek export deals. How much does golf add to the economy, according to a report commissioned by the England Golf Partnership?
— 2.8m Britons have played at least one round of 9 or 18 holes in the past year.
— There are 1,867 golf courses in Britain.
— The golf industry employs 48,500 people, including at golf courses and in equipment makers and specialist retailers.
— It adds £3.4bn annually to the economy, £1.8m of which is through operating golf courses and clubs.
Parliament debated the dog meat trade in South Korea, as a result of a petition. How much dog meat is eaten in the country?
— The petition stated 5m dogs are eaten annually. An estimate from a Korean animal rights group from 2005 put it at 2.31m.
— In 1998, 6,484 restaurants were registered to serve it. Animal rights groups estimate 20,000 now serve it. A poll says 42% of Koreans have eaten it.