News-Decoder quiz: Readers raise their game

quiz

Migrants wait to disembark from a Coast Guard ship that rescued them at sea off the island of Lampedusa, Italy, 23 June 2015. Once renowned mainly as a tourist destination, Lampedusa is now widely known as a European entry point for migrants and refugees (AP Photo/Mauro Seminara)

By Nelson Graves

Two News-Decoder readers posted perfect scores in our latest quiz, qualifying them as “foreign ministers,” and the average grade on the 20-question test spiked as our followers displayed impressive knowledge of events, both current and historical.

The quiz, based on recent News-Decoder articles, tested readers’ grasp of subjects as diverse as antiquity, geography and poetry.

A total of three readers scored above 90%, earning them the “foreign minister” moniker, one answered 85% of the questions correctly for the label of “ambassador,” while three qualified as “foreign desk officers” for their 75% result.

The average score of 75% was well above the 54% mark in our previous multiple-choice quiz. Our readers are buckling down!

The two hardest questions both related to Italy. Only half of the respondents knew that Lampedusa is the Italian island, once renowned mainly as a tourist attraction, now widely known as an entry point for immigrants.

And only half knew that Matteo Renzi became prime minister in 2014 and was recently re-elected head of his political party.

Meanwhile, more than nine out of 10 respondents knew that Robert Burns was born in Scotland and that Emmanuel Macron received the most votes in the first round of France’s presidential election in April.

Here are the answers to the questions, ranked with the most difficult first, with links to relevant articles:


Once renowned mainly as an idyllic tourist attraction with beautiful beaches, this Italian island is now widely known as a European entry point for desperate migrants and refugees.

Correct answer: Lampedusa (Italy’s Lampedusa Wants To Spread Peace Through Drum Beat)


He became Italy’s prime minister in 2014 and was recently reelected head of his political party.

Correct answer: Matteo Renzi (In Italy, It’s Déjà Vu All Over Again)


The United States maintains more than ____ military bases around the world.

Correct answer: 800 (Trump’s America: More Guns, Less Diplomacy?)


This ancient civilization took two rounds to decide important matters of state.

Correct answer: Persia (Ancient Wisdom In Today’s Electoral System In France)


Saudi-led intervention in a civil war in this country has provoked what is currently the world’s gravest humanitarian disaster.

Correct answer: Yemen (How U.S.-British Policy Helps Starve Yemenis)


This is the name of the U.S. law that aims to protect consumers from self-serving financial services.

Correct answer: Dodd-Frank (Trump Wants To Loosen U.S. Bank Regulations. But How?)


This country is in the hands of a six-month-old minority government after almost a year of political and diplomatic deadlock following two inconclusive elections.

Correct answer: Spain (Spain Is Under Pressure From Inside and Out)


This country has been readmitted to the African Union, raising hopes for a resolution of one of Africa’s most intractable territorial disputes.

Correct answer: Morocco (Hopes Rise For End To Long Dispute Over Western Sahara)


What is the name of the leader of Britain’s Labour Party?

Correct answer: Jeremy Corbyn (UK’s Labour Party Needs To Heal Its Brexit Split)


He is the U.S. Treasury Secretary.

Correct answer: Steve Mnuchin (Will U.S. Smother Global Trade and Undermine the Dollar?)


Elections in March here have raised the possibility, however remote, that the province could leave the union and join the republic in the south.

Correct answer: Northern Ireland (Northern Ireland Poll Revives Issue of Irish Reunification)


Some 400 people have died since last July in this country in fighting between lightly armed militia and the army.

Correct answer: Democratic Republic of Congo (While Africa Grows, Congo’s Torment Endures)


This is the name of Britain’s seat of parliament.

Correct answer: Westminster (London Attack: Solidarity, Disgust and Vigilance)


This divided territory straddles the northernmost part of the frontier between India and Pakistan.

Correct answer: Kashmir (Two Nuclear Powers, India and Pakistan, Face Off Over Kashmir)


U.S. President Donald Trump recently said he could not rule out a “major, major” conflict with this country.

Correct answer: North Korea (North Korea: Genuine Reasons for Global Anxiety)


Donald Trump has called this trade agreement “the worst trade deal in the history.”

Correct answer: NAFTA (Will Donald Trump Smother World Trade?)


Voters in this European country will elect members of its federal parliament on September 24, 2017.

Correct answer: Germany (Far-Right Parties Put European Unity Under Siege)


What was the name of the ancient civilization that collapsed amid deforestation, overpopulation, drought and conflict, and which offers us a sobering lesson as we contemplate the future of our planet?

Correct answer: Mayan (The Mayans Collapsed. We could too.)


This candidate received the most votes in the first round of voting in France’s presidential election in April.

Correct answer: Emmanuel Macron (Biggest Threat to France’s Macron Could Be Complacency)


The poet Robert Burns was born in this country.

Correct answer: Scotland (A Country Called Scotland? A Briton’s Identity Crisis)

What do you think?