A looter's guide to presidential palaces

Plus: Counting the homeless, and the war over Scottish oil

1 March 2014

9:00 AM

1 March 2014

9:00 AM

Palace coups

The people of Ukraine enjoyed a peek inside President Yanukovych’s palace, complete with petting zoo and collection of motorcycles. Who has the biggest and best presidential palace?
— Italy’s president Giorgio Napolitano can claim the biggest: the Quirinal Palace in Rome, at 1.19m sq ft. It is not much fun, though, being full of worthy art collections.
Vladimir Putin has the run of the 259,410 sq ft Kremlin Palace, with its own private cathedral.
— Indian president Pranab Mukherjee has 200,004 sq ft at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi, with a noted bonsai collection and a garden with 5,000 tulips.
Barack Obama only has 55,000 sq ft at the White House, but has his own personal bowling alley, jogging track and putting green.
— The exact size of Kim Jong-un’s palace at Ryongsong is unknown, but it has a 50-metre pool with giant waterslide, a shooting range and a motor-racing circuit.

What about the workers?

Grant Shapps said the Conservative party is now the workers’ party. In 2010 Labour won the popular vote among social classes D and E, by 40% to 31%. But here is how voting shifted in each social class from the 2005 to the 2010 election:

AB +2%
C1 +2%
C2 +4%
DE +6%
AB -2%
C1 -4%
C2 -11%
DE -8%

Source: Ipsos Mori

Roll out the barrels

David Cameron and Alex Salmond both talked about oil in Aberdeen. How much are Scotland’s oil reserves worth?
£1.5 trillion, according to the SNP, more than £300,000 for every man, woman and child in Scotland.
£120 billion, according to the Office of National Statistics, which has subtracted the cost of extracting the oil to arrive at what it says is the net value to the Treasury.

Homes of the homeless

New York abandoned a plan to clear the subway of rough sleepers. Which capital has the most homeless on the streets?
— New York: 53,300 living in homeless shelters; 1,800 on the subway system
(Coalition for the Homeless)
— London: 6,440 sleeping rough
(Homeless charity Broadway)
— Paris: 12,000 sleeping rough
(French national statistics office)

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