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Material World

Material World: The End of ETA

Material World

Euskadi ta Askatasuna, meaning 'Basque Fatherland and Liberty' in the Basque language, was formed in 1959, when its founders focused on  Franco's suppression of the Basque language and culture. The separatist group has now formally announced its disbandment, almost exactly 50 years after claiming its first victim

The reality and the realisation that their urban guerrilla strategy failed has finally prevailed amongst the ETA leadership. The vast majority in the Basque people clearly rejected the tactic of terrorism nor did it force either the Spanish and French governments to make substantial policy concessions.

Material World: Welcome if You're Rich

Material World

Socialists have decried the erection of fences and the building of walls to keep out refugees and migrant workers who politicians accuse of undermining their identity and culture. Across the world, nations are tightening up their visa regulations to exclude those either seeking sanctuary or economic security.

Nevertheless, many nations have embarked upon a policy of what is called 'citizenship by investment programmes' (CIPs).  Such schemes offer rich individuals who invest in a country’s economy easier access to either citizenship or residency. Thousands of wealthy people acquire passports of other countries via CIPs every year. In 2014, the global rich spent an estimated $2 billion acquiring nationalities.

Material World: Cain and Abel in Africa

Material World

In March, the BBC's website reported that more than a 100 people have been killed in the last three months in the Democratic Republic of Congo province of Ituri because of unrest between the Hema cattle herders and Lendu farmers fighting for control of land. In 2006, the BBC reported that as many as 60,000 people had died since 1998. Hundreds of thousands of people were forced from their homes, becoming refugees. Much of the animosity revolves around the 1973 land use law, which allows people to buy land they do not inhabit and, if their ownership is not contested for two years, evict any residents from the land. Some wealthy Hema used this law to force Lendu off their land, leading to a growing sense of resentment.

Material World: Dying Younger

Material World

Life expectancy is usually calculated from birth, the average number of years a new-born baby can expect to live if the mortality rates pertaining at the time of their birth apply throughout their life. After decades of progress, there has been a turnaround.

In England and Wales, 1991 saw women living to 79 years and men to 73.  By 2011, women were living to 83 years and men to 79 years. Since then little improvement has occurred. Figures for the period 2014 to 2016 were published in September 2017. Women can now expect to live to 83.06 and men to 79.40.

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