The Spectator

Barometer | 9 May 2019

Barometer | 9 May 2019
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Endangered species

The UN claimed a million species of plants and animals could become extinct. If they all died out, how many would we be left with?

— The number of new species being discovered is growing at a faster rate than species are dying out. In 2011, the UN Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre estimated there were 8.7 million species — 7.77 million of which were animals, 610,000 fungi and 300,000 plants. At the time, around 1.2 million species had been discovered and described.

— In 2017, Arizona University came up with a new estimate: 2 billion. Between 70 and 90 per cent, it said, were bacteria.

Unequal rights

The Sultan of Brunei reversed a decision to extend the death penalty to men convicted of homosexual acts. Where is gay sex illegal?

— There are 71 countries where consenting acts between adults remain a criminal act.

— In 27 of these the law applies only to same-sex acts between males. In the other 44 the prohibition extends to either sex. There is no country where only same-sex acts between females are illegal.

11 countries still apply the death penalty: Afghanistan, Iran, Mauritania, Nigeria, Pakistan, Qatar, Somalia, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen.

5 countries specify life imprisonment as a punishment for same-sex acts: Barbados, Guyana, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia.

Source: International, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association

Gravy trains

The Caledonian Sleeper train was relaunched with £150 million worth of new carriages. Which are the most heavily subsidised rail services in Britain, measured in pence per passenger-km?







Caledonian Sleeper


Arriva Trains Wales


London Overground


Source: Office of Rail and Road

Slippery slope

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s son has been born 7th in line to the throne. But for how long will he hold that position? How royals have slipped down the lineage:

Prince Harry was 3rd in line to the throne when born in 1984. He is now 6th.

Peter Phillips was 5th when born in 1977. He has now slipped down to 15th.

— David Armstrong-Jones, now Earl Snowdon, was 5th when born in 1961.

He is now 21st.