Today's Factoid: Cobra meetings are often called in times of great need as the UK Prime Minister gathers his top advisers to discuss the latest national crisis. So what exactly is Cobra? Or, slightly more accurately, COBRA? Well, COBR (without the 'A') stands for "Cabinet Office Briefing" and so COBRA stands for "Cabinet Office Briefing Room A." So COBRA is a room. Often the terms Cobra, COBR, and COBRA are used interchangeably although there are other briefing rooms on site apart from room A. The Cabinet Office at 70 Whitehall in London has a number of secure Cabinet Office Briefing Rooms and room A is the biggest. The first COBR meeting took place in the early 1970s to oversee the government's response to the 1972 miners' strike. Other events that have led to meetings being convened include the 1980 Iranian Embassy siege, the 2001 foot and mouth outbreak, the 11 September 2001 attacks, the 7 July 2005 London bombings, the refugee crisis in Calais, the 2015 Paris attacks, the Manchester Arena bombing, and the current 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic.