Hobson's Choice

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The Independent Culture
Number of women in the UK who went to refuges in 1997 to escape from domestic violence:

55,000

Number of women in the U.K. killed each week by their husbands or partners:

2

Number of days, on average, between someone being hanged in Singapore:

9

Number of people, on average, executed in China every year: 2,000

Worth, at wholesale prices, of the world's illegal drugs trade, second only to the worth of the world's trade in crude oil:

$500bn

Amount of public funds in Paraguay siphoned internally - by embezzlement, kickbacks and other forms of corruption - in 1997-1998:

$6bn

Percentage of forest in the Himalayas cut down in the last 40 years:

40

Number of years, at present, between catastrophic

floods in Bangladesh which, before deforestation in the Himalayas, occurred once a century:

4

Combined weight, in tons, of the 35 million pieces of space junk currently in orbit:

3,000

Number of full-time employees in the US, according to Government data, who are likely to skip work on May 19 to see the first screenings of The Phantom Menace, the Star Wars prequel: 2.2m

Number of people, in 144 countries, who regularly watch the television programme Baywatch:

1bn

Duration of a Japanese television programme, Electronic Kids, which, without his knowledge, filmed a 23-year-old man,

Nasubi, trying to live only on what he won from magazine competitions:

1 year

Number of viewers of Electronic Kids who saw Nasubi (now undergoing psychiatric care) spending most of his time naked and hungry, since he had little luck with the competitions:

17m

SOURCES: TLS, THE ECONOMIST,

SEEDS OF CHANGE/HENRY HOBHOUSE, ABC COLOR/THE EDITOR,

THE INDEPENDENT, BIG ISSUE,

THE GUARDIAN, HEAT, FINANCIAL TIMES, BBC.

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