Call to arms

Is hugging important to health? A study by Carnegie Mellon University and published in the journal Psychological Science in 2015 claimed so. Psychologists interviewed 404 adults about their social lives, including how often they got into personal conflicts and how often they shared hugs with people they knew and trusted. The volunteers were then exposed to the common cold virus and quarantined to see whether or not they fell ill. The scientists concluded that social contact had a protective effect against the virus — and that hugging accounted for a third of that effect.

Tax havens

The G7 agreed in principle to try to impose a minimum global corporation tax of 15 percent. Some countries which currently have a rate lower than that:

Ireland, Cyprus, Liechtenstein: 12.5 percent

Moldova: 12 percent

Bosnia, Bulgaria, Paraguay, Qatar: 10 percent

Hungary, Montenegro: 9 percent

Uzbekistan: 7.5 percent

Barbados: 5.5 percent

Bahamas, Bahrain, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Isle of Man, UAE: 0 percent

Cable-car disasters

Fourteen people were killed May 23 when a cable car plunged 70 feet down a mountain near Lake Maggiore in northern Italy. How safe are cable cars? Some other accidents:

43 people died in March 1976 when a cable car descending from Mount Cermis in the resort of Cavalese in the Italian Dolomites fell 660 feet, after two cables crossed.

20 people died in the same location in February 1998 when a US Marine Corps plane sliced through a cable, causing the cable car to plunge 260 feet.

20 members of staff died at an astronomical observatory at Saint-Étienne-en-Dévoluy, France, in July 1999, when a cable car fell 250 feet.

7 were killed in 1983 when an oil rig in Singapore harbor sliced through cables, causing two gondolas to fall into the water.

This article was originally published in The Spectator’s July 2021 World edition.