Okay, I Give Up – Show Me The Money!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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money

I know it isn’t quiz day today, but this is just a short post to ask one very pertinent question – one that deserves an answer.

Quantitative Easing ended on Wednesday past.

QE was the media tag given to the process whereby the US Federal Reserve has printed $3.6 trillion over the past few years.

Quantitative Easing

The Bank of England did it in Britain too, and so did the European Central Bank for the European Union.

So where did all that money go?

I didn’t get any of it.

Did you?

But it must have gone somewhere.

Someone must have got it.

So where is it now?

If you know the answer please do tell. I, and I am sure many other people, would be interested in the answer.

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They’ve Got It Wrong AGAIN!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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The Sunday Sermon

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russia-sanctions

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I wrote a short post the other day on the subject of failure. I think it was a success 🙂

What hasn’t been a success, however, is America’s foreign policy. I’ve also written about this many times in the past. I find it very annoying that a country as great as America and with so many brilliant people within it can neither elect a smart politician, or even a not so smart politician but one who has enough brains to hire smart advisers.

The current President, Barack Obama, has continued the trend of failure. Particularly with regard to foreign policy, at which he has not only failed but added indecision and procrastination to the mix.

The examples are many, but the latest foreign policy debacle is the leading role America has taken in the imposition of sanctions against Russia. Sanctions that may have been aimed against Russia but which are already starting to backfire against the US.

I noted in another post that sanctions have been imposed in regard to Russian oil and natural gas, which Europe (particularly Germany and France) needs, but America doesn’t; but that the sanctions were not imposed on nuclear fuels, which America does need.

Believe me, the hypocrisy of that has not been lost on the European governments or its public.

And the hypocrisy does not end there.

rosneft getty

On the one hand there have been hyped up media statements telling everyone that Rosneft, Russia’s largest oil company, and its head Igor Sechin, have been targeted in the sanctions.

But what hasn’t been trumpeted so loudly is the fact that British oil company BP, owns almost 20% of Rosneft, and has confirmed that it would not be severing ties with the Russian firm.

Similarly, Norway’s Statoil is continuing its partnership with Rosneft to search for oil in the Norwegian section of the Barents Sea.

And France’s major oil and gas company, Total, has announced that it is seeking financing for its next gas project in –  where else? –  Russia. When they get that financing, amounting to something in the region of $27 billion, it will be in Roubles or maybe even Yuan, but certainly not in US dollars – again thanks to the ill thought out sanctions.

This will set a trend for similar deals that will also exclude the US dollar, inevitably lowering its standing as the world’s reserve currency. I expect more such deals to be done with the Russians by German companies in particular as the sanctions fail to bring the promised results and as a consequence start to fall apart.

But it gets worse.

Before any of the US Senators or Congressmen stand up and start to call names at the Brits or the Norwegians or the French for backtracking on sanctions, they would be better to take a look nearer home.

It now seems that American Companies are not paying attention to the sanctions either.

ExxonMobil_Challenges

For example, ExxonMobil, America’s largest oil company, has continued drilling offshore in the Russian Arctic, also with Rozneft.

If the sanctions were anything more than a bit of public posturing by Obama, ExxonMobil shouldn’t (and wouldn’t) be doing any more work with the Russians in Russia. But using the excuse that it is environmentally safer to complete the well than to allow the Russians to do it alone, ExxonMobil got permission to continue.

No doubt the company will express its gratitude when the next round of electioneering fund raising comes along! (Gosh, I’m such a cynic!)

Now, if Obama and his advisers had thought for a moment about the consequences of sanctions, they would have realized that, in cases like this, companies such as ExxonMobile had not really got a choice. If they hadn’t continued to work with Rozneft, the Russian company would simply have gone ahead without them with a consequent dilution of ExxonMobile’s return if/when the well is a success.

In addition to that, if the Russian company did need other help you can be sure there would have been a Chinese energy company there ready and willing and eager to take up the slack.

Whilst Obama and his predecessors have been blundering around the world pissing off friend and foe alike, the strategy of the Russian President has been to cultivate new friends and thereby new markets and customers for his country’s vast energy reserves.

It has been a clever move.

Sanctions or not, game to Putin this time I think.

sanctions against Russia

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Fasab’s Mammoth End Of The Year Quiz!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”  

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If you are anything like me, sometimes you’ll have trouble remembering what you were doing yesterday, let alone what happened several months ago.

If so, this quiz should be a bit of a challenge.

There aren’t any difficult or trick questions. The answers are all events that happened during the year 2013 and all were reported widely at the time they happened on the television, radio, internet and newspapers.

Let’s see if you were paying attention and how much of it you can recall now.

As usual the answers can be found waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay down below, but please, NO cheating!

Good luck, and enjoy.

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Fasab's Mammoth End Of Year Quiz 2013

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Q.  1:  What former resident of Robben Island died late this year?

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Q.  2:  What country landed a rover vehicle on the Moon in 2013? 

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Q.  3:  Who won the 2013 NBA Finals? (Bonus points for their opponents and for the score) 

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Q.  4:  In what country did terrorists attack a shopping mall killing 59 people and injuring 175? (Bonus point if you can also name the city.) 

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Q.  5:  What mobile phone company did Microsoft buy in 2013 for $7.2 billion? 

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Q.  6:  In 2013 what city had the winning bid to host the 2020 Olympic Games?

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Q.  7:  What major American city filed for bankruptcy during 2013? 

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Q.  8:  What former British Prime Minister died during 2013 at the age of 87? 

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Q.  9:  A huge tornado hit which American city in 2013 causing massive devastation? 

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Q. 10:  What internet social media company did Yahoo buy for $1.1 billion during 2013? 

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Q. 11:  A factory collapsed in which Asian country killing over 700 people? 

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Q. 12:  Terrorists attacked a marathon race in which city during 2013? 

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Q. 13:  2013 saw which country become the first to make plans to tax bank deposits?

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Q. 14:  In what country in 2013 did meteorites injured hundreds of people? 

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Q. 15:  What world leader announced a shock resignation during 2013? 

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Q. 16:  A fire in a nightclub killed about 230 people in what country?

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Q. 17:  Which soccer player won the 2013 FIFA Ballon d’Or for the third consecutive year? 

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Q. 18:  130 wildfires across the east coast of which country forced thousands to evacuate their homes? 

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Q. 19:  In 2013 which of the world’s major cities was declared to have air pollution levels that are hazardous to human health?

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Q. 20:  Calcium deposits were discovered on what planet by NASA’s Curiosity Rover?  

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Q. 21:  What country unveils plans to build the world’s largest wind farm near the site of a former nuclear reactor plant? 

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Q. 22:  Who succeeded Hillary Rodham Clinton as the United States Secretary of State during 2013? 

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Q. 23:  Who won Super Bowl XLVII? (Bonus points for their opponents and for the score.)  

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Q. 24:  Where did a massive blizzard result in 15 deaths, 5,300 cancelled flights, and loss of power for 900,000 people during 2013?  

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Q. 25:  Which country confirmed that it had successfully tested a nuclear device that could be weaponized and also declared war on its neighboring state?   

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Q. 26:  $50 million worth of diamonds were stolen in an armed robbery at an airport in which European city? 

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Q. 27:  Who was elected to a second term as the President of Cuba? 

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Q. 28:  Who won the 2013 Daytona 500? 

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Q. 29:  Who in 2013 became the first male Monarch of Netherlands in 123 years?  

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Q. 30:  In 2013 what company announced a $17 billion bond offering, the largest ever from a private company? 

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Q. 31:  Who won the 77th Golf Masters Championship?

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Q. 32:  What bunch of politicians passed a bill intending to enable the taxing of online sales? 

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Q. 33:  Who announced his retirement as Manchester United’s manager at the end of the 2012-2013 soccer season?

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Q. 34:  Who regained his position in 2013 as the world’s richest man with an estimated fortune of $72.7 Billion? 

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Q. 35:  What country won the 2013 World Ice Hockey Championship? (Bonus point if you know who they beat.)  

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Q. 36:  Which world leader announced his divorce with his wife on national TV in June 2013? 

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Q. 37:  Which golfer won the 113th US Open in 2013? 

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Q. 38:  Which Middle Eastern President is deposed in a military coup during 2013? 

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Q. 39:  €103 million of diamonds is stolen from the Carton Intercontinental Hotel in which well known festive French city?  

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Q. 40:  Who became Prime Minister of Australia in September 2013, after a Liberal-National Coalitions wins the election?  

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Q. 41:  Who won the 2013 US Tennis Open? 

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Q. 42:  What country switched off its last working nuclear reactor in 2013?

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Q. 43:  What was the largest company by revenue on the 2013 Fortune 500 list?    

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Q. 44:  12 people were killed after a gunman opens fire at a naval yard in what major American city? 

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Q. 45:  Who became the first British man to win a Wimbledon tennis title since 1936? 

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Q. 46:  What computer/console game became the fastest entertainment product to reach $1 billion in sales during 2013? 

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Q. 47:  Who set a new MLB record with 24 Grand Slam home runs for the New York Yankees? 

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Q. 48:  Who won a third term with their best result since 1990 in German Federal elections? (A point each for the name of the Party and it’s leader.)

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Q. 49:  Who is named PGA Tour’s player of the year for the 11th time? 

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Q. 50:  It was perhaps the biggest joke of the year and started in the United States on October 1st and ended on October 16th – what was it? 

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ANSWERS

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Q.  1:  What former resident of Robben Island died late this year?

A.  1:  Nelson Mandela

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Q.  2:  What country landed a rover vehicle on the Moon in 2013? 

A.  2:  China.

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Q.  3:  Who won the 2013 NBA Finals? (Bonus points for their opponents and for the score) 

A.  3:  Miami Heat, beating San Antonio Spurs 4-3.

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Q.  4:  In what country did terrorists attack a shopping mall killing 59 people and injuring 175? (Bonus point if you can also name the city.) 

A.  4:  Nairobi, Kenya.

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Q.  5:  What mobile phone company did Microsoft buy in 2013 for $7.2 billion? 

A.  5:  Nokia.

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Q.  6:  In 2013 what city had the winning bid to host the 2020 Olympic Games?

A.  6:  Tokyo, Japan.

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Q.  7:  What major American city filed for bankruptcy during 2013? 

A.  7:  Detroit.

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Q.  8:  What former British Prime Minister died during 2013 at the age of 87? 

A.  8:  Margaret Thatcher.

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Q.  9:  A huge tornado hits which American city causing massive devastation? 

A.  9:  Oklahoma.

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Q. 10:  What internet social media company did Yahoo buy for $1.1 billion during 2013? 

A. 10:  Tumblr.

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Q. 11:  A factory collapsed in which Asian country killing over 700 people? 

A. 11:  Bangladesh.

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Q. 12:  Terrorists attacked a marathon race in which city during 2013? 

A. 12:  Boston.

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Q. 13:  2013 saw which country become the first to make plans to tax bank deposits?

A. 13:  Cyprus.

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Q. 14:  In what country in 2013 did meteorites injured hundreds of people? 

A. 14:  Russia.

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Q. 15:  What world leader announced a shock resignation during 2013? 

A. 15:  Pope Benedict XVI.

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Q. 16:  A fire in a nightclub killed about 230 people in what country?

A. 16:  Brazil.

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Q. 17:  Which soccer player won the 2013 FIFA Ballon d’Or for the third consecutive year? 

A. 17:  Lionel Messi.

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Q. 18:  130 wildfires across the east coast of which country forced thousands to evacuate their homes? 

A. 18:  Australia.

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Q. 19:  In 2013 which of the world’s major cities was declared to have air pollution levels that are hazardous to human health?

A. 19:  Beijing, China.

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Q. 20:  Calcium deposits were discovered on what planet by NASA’s Curiosity Rover?  

A. 20:  Mars.

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Q. 21:  What country unveils plans to build the world’s largest wind farm near the site of a former nuclear reactor plant? 

A. 21:  Japan, near the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.

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Q. 22:  Who succeeded Hillary Rodham Clinton as the United States Secretary of State during 2013? 

A. 22:  John Kerry.

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Q. 23:  Who won Super Bowl XLVII? (Bonus points for their opponents and for the score.)  

A. 23:  The Baltimore Ravens beat the San Francisco 49ers by 34–31.

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Q. 24:  Where did a massive blizzard result in 15 deaths, 5,300 cancelled flights, and loss of power for 900,000 people during 2013?  

A. 24:  In the US and Canada.

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Q. 25:  Which country confirmed that it had successfully tested a nuclear device that could be weaponized and also declared war on its neighboring state?  

A. 25:  North Korea.

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Q. 26:  $50 million worth of diamonds were stolen in an armed robbery at an airport in which European city? 

A. 26:  Brussels, Belgium.

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Q. 27:  Who was elected to a second term as the President of Cuba? 

A. 27:  Raúl Castro.

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Q. 28:  Who won the 2013 Daytona 500? 

A. 28:  Jimmie Johnson.

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Q. 29:  Who in 2013 became the first male Monarch of Netherlands in 123 years?  

A. 29:  Willem-Alexander.

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Q. 30:  In 2013 what company announced a $17 billion bond offering, the largest ever from a private company? 

A. 30:  Apple.

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Q. 31:  Who won the 77th Golf Masters Championship?

A. 31:  Adam Scott.

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Q. 32:  What bunch of politicians passed a bill intending to enable the taxing of online sales? 

A. 32:  The US Senate.

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Q. 33:  Who announced his retirement as Manchester United’s manager at the end of the 2012-2013 soccer season?

A. 33:  Sir Alex Ferguson.

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Q. 34:  Who regained his position in 2013 as the world’s richest man with an estimated fortune of $72.7 Billion? 

A. 34:  Bill Gates.

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Q. 35:  What country won the 2013 World Ice Hockey Championship? (Bonus point if you know who they beat.)  

A. 35:  Sweden, beating Switzerland.

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Q. 36:  Which world leader announced his divorce with his wife on national TV in June 2013? 

A. 36:  Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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Q. 37:  Which golfer won the 113th US Open in 2013? 

A. 37:  Justin Rose.

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Q. 38:  Which Middle Eastern President is deposed in a military coup during 2013? 

A. 38:  Egypt’s president, Mohammed Morsi.

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Q. 39:  €103 million of diamonds is stolen from the Carton Intercontinental Hotel in which well known festive French city?  

A. 39:  Cannes, France.

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Q. 40:  Who became Prime Minister of Australia in September 2013, after a Liberal-National Coalitions wins the election?  

A. 40:  Tony Abbott.

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Q. 41:  Who won the 2013 US Tennis Open? 

A. 41:  Rafael Nadal, beating Novak Djokovic.

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Q. 42:  What country switched off its last working nuclear reactor in 2013?

A. 42:  Japan.

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Q. 43:  What was the largest company by revenue on the 2013 Fortune 500 list?    

A. 43:  Wal-Mart.

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Q. 44:  12 people were killed after a gunman opens fire at a naval yard in what major American city? 

A. 44:  Washington DC.

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Q. 45:  Who became the first British man to win a Wimbledon tennis title since 1936? 

A. 45:  Andy Murray,  beating Novak Djokovic.

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Q. 46:  What computer/console game became the fastest entertainment product to reach $1 Billion in sales during 2013? 

A. 46:  Grand Theft Auto.

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Q. 47:  Who set a new MLB record with 24 Grand Slam home runs for the New York Yankees? 

A. 47:  Alex Rodriquez.

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Q. 48:  Who won a third term with their best result since 1990 in German Federal elections? (A point each for the name of the Party and it’s leader.)

A. 48:  The Christian Democrats, led by Angela Merkel.

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Q. 49:  Who is named PGA Tour’s player of the year for the 11th time? 

A. 49:  Tiger Woods.

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Q. 50:  It was perhaps the biggest joke of the year and started in the United States on October 1st and ended on October 16th – what was it? 

A. 50:  The Federal Government shutdown as a result of politicians squabbling over spending.

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