The Spectator

Could Nikki Haley become the first female US president? 

[Getty Images]

Madame president

If Donald Trump stumbles before election day, could Nikki Haley end up becoming the first female US president? Hillary Clinton failed as the first female presidential candidate in 2016, but she wasn’t the first to stand on a presidential ticket: that honour belongs to the now-forgotten Geraldine A. Ferraro, who was picked by Walter Mondale to be his Democratic running mate in the 1984 election. Mondale had hoped to win over women voters, but his tactic appeared to backfire when a poll soon after her selection showed only 22 per cent of women voters approved of Mondale’s choice and three in five of all voters believed he had only chosen Ferraro to please feminist groups, not for her innate abilities. In the event, Mondale was soundly beaten by Ronald Reagan standing for his second term.

Steel trap

Port Talbot’s blast furnaces are to be replaced by an electric arc furnace to recycle scrap steel. How big is the UK steel industry?

– In 2022, the UK produced 6m tonnes of steel, 4.8m tonnes of which was made in an oxygen steel furnace and 1.1m tonnes of which was made in an electric arc furnace.

– The 4.8m tonnes from oxygen furnaces was made using 4.5m tonnes of iron made in blast furnaces and from 0.9m tonnes of scrap steel. All the steel made in electric
arc furnaces was made from scrap steel.

– UK production has fallen from 28m tonnes in 1970s. As recently as 2014 the
UK made 12m tonnes.

– UK output in 2022 represented 0.3 per cent of the global total of 1,885m tonnes.

– More than half the world’s steel in 2022 (1,018m tonnes) was made in China. Germany, the largest European producer, made 37m tonnes.

Source: UK Steel and the World Steel Association

Perfect storms

Storm Isha battered the UK with winds of more than 100mph. Have named storms become a debased currency? The number of named storms per season since the Met Office and its Irish equivalent began naming them in 2015 (does not include storms named by other countries):

2015/16 – 11

2016/17 – 5

2017/18 – 8

2018/19 – 8

2019/20 – 6

2020/21 – 4

2021/22 – 6

2022/23 – 2

2023/24 – 10

Source: Met Office