The Spectator

Barometer | 9 July 2015

Plus: the surprising truth about strikes in France; and the places where lightning is deadliest

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Naming terror

David Cameron and the BBC argued over what to call the terror group most papers refer to as Isis — with the PM preferring Isil and the BBC continuing to call it Islamic State. Two more terror groups whose names caused problems in Britain:

— The Red Army Faction was a German terror group which existed between 1970 and 1998, when it declared itself dissolved. Faced with the acronym RAF, British media preferred to call the group by its nickname the Baader-Meinhof Gang.

— In the 1970s Italy was terrorised by a group known as the Red Brigades, most notorious for kidnapping and murdering the former prime minister Aldo Moro in 1978. In Britain it was seldom known by its Italian acronym, BR (for Brigate Rosse), because of the conflict with Britain’s nationalised railway system.

Judgment days

Iceland voted to abolish its blasphemy law. Which western countries still have one?

Canada: imprisonment of up to 2 years (not invoked since 1935).

Denmark: remains on statute book but not invoked since 1938.

Germany: imprisonment of up to 3 years.

Malta: imprisonment of up to 3 months.

Poland: imprisonment of up to 2 years.

Spain: last invoked in 2012, though the accused, Javier Krahe, was acquitted.

Striking gold

French port workers were on strike in Calais. Are the French the worst strikers in the developed world?

Average working days lost per 1,000 employees per annum, 1997–2006

Canada

186

Spain

170

Denmark

164

Italy

88

US

34

UK

21

France

15

Source: ONS

Taken by storm

The heatwave was followed by thundery weather. Where in the world are you most likely to die from lightning-strike, according to reported figures in a paper presented to the 20th International Lightning Detection Conference?

Annual death rate per million people

Yemen

71.4

Hainan Province, China

10.6

Zimbabwe

14.2

South Africa (rural)

8.8

Malaysia

3.4

UK

Less than 0.1