Four stories the EU would like the right to have forgotten

Plus: Do wine-drinking countries live longer?

17 May 2014

9:00 AM

17 May 2014

9:00 AM

Memory holes

The EU wants to introduce a law which would force Google to delete from its searches old information that individuals and organisations would prefer forgotten. Some things that come up when you write ‘EU’ and ‘scandal’ into Google:
— A 2009 EU document advising officials to write two minutes of every meeting: a full one and a ‘neutral’ one, with the juicy bits taken out, in case it has to be released in a Freedom of Information request.
— European Commission president José Manuel Barroso’s £24,600 hotel bill for a four-day stay in New York.
— A former European commissioner’s appointment of her dentist as a highly paid adviser on HIV/Aids.
— The decision to keep secret the Galvin Report into the expenses of 160 MEPs.

Comparing vintages

A study of 783 elderly Italians at John Hopkins University in Baltimore found no link between red wine consumption and incidence of heart disease. But is there a link between wine consumption of longevity on a national scale?

Litres of wine drunk per person per year
France 45.7
Italy 42.1
Germany 24.5
UK 21.6
Canada 10
US 9.4
Japan 1.8
Average life expectancy
France 82.3
Italy 83.1
Germany 81
UK 79.5
Canada 82.5
US 77.4
Japan 84.6

Source: Wine Institute(2010)/WHO (2013)

Kind of a big deal

Where would Pfizer’s proposed takeover of AstraZeneca rank among the biggest acquisitions in history?

Time Warner/AOL 2000 $186bn
Vodafone/Mannesmann 1999 $185bn
RBS/ABM Amro 2007 $100bn
Pfizer/Warner Lambert 1999 $87bn
AT&T /Bell South 2006 $83bn
Exxon/Mobil 1998 $80bn
Pfizer /AstraZeneca (offer) $63bn

Source: Bloomberg

The journey home

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence wants more women to give birth at home or in midwife-led units. How have rates of home birth changed?

% giving birth at home
1961 32.4%
1971 10.6%
1991 1.1%
2001 2.1%
2011 2.4%

Source: ONS

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Show comments
  • global city

    Only an idiot could still possibly believe in the EU?