The ozone layer absorbs ultraviolet radiation that can be very harmful to all forms of life. In 1974, however, scientists discovered that chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), a chemical used in aerosol sprays, refrigerants, and the creation of synthetic materials, break down when they enter the stratosphere, and produce a chlorine atom, which then contributes to breaking down the ozone layer. In 1985, British Antarctic Survey scientists discovered a massive hole in the ozone layer above Antarctica.
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During the 1950’s and 60’s, as many countries advanced and became more
industrialized, doctors in organized medicine tried to push back against
the post-World War II trend of increased state involvement in medical
care. The worry was that state involvement would, over time, reduce
doctors’ income and self-governance. Belgium was a unitary state in the
1960’s and only became a constitutional federation in 1993. Belgium’s
social insurance system was private but also corporatist. At the time,
the system consisted of five health insurance funds called mutualités.
The Belgian workers strike of 1960-61, often referred to as “Winter Strike” or “The Strike of the Century”, was considered to be one of the most important Belgian strikes of the 20th century. Strike history in Belgium had always been slightly unconventional compared to Northern European, North American, and French and Italian strikes. Differences existed in the frequency of strikes, the size of the strikes, as well as the duration. Belgium had frequent strikes pre World War II, and this history of striking contributed to the success of the Winter Strike.
On 2 December 2011, tens of thousands of Belgian citizens took to the streets in the capital, Brussels, to protest the austerity measures taken by the then-incoming government. The new socialist prime minister was going to be sworn in the week after this protest to try and fix the financial crisis that had left Belgium without a government for 19 months. The government needed to save 11.3 billion euros in the year of 2012 to decrease its budget deficit below the EU limit of 3% of gross domestic product (GDP).
Prior to the 1893 Belgian general strike, some miners and other workers had gone on strike sporadically, first in 1890 and most notably in 1891 in Liege, Charleroi and Borinage. Most of these labor skirmishes lacked the strength and the impact to really challenge the Belgian parliamentary system. In 1890, leaders of the Belgian Worker’s Party did issue a call to spread the strike and then quickly called it off when the parliament agreed to consider a proposal to constitutionally enact suffrage reform.
The general strike of 1913 was organized by the Socialist Party of Belgium as the last desperate measure to make the Government create a system of universal manhood suffrage rather than the system of plural voting which was practiced at the time.
The exasperation of the Liberal and Socialist Opposition had increased significantly after the elections of June 2
Throughout the 1800’s in Belgium, political repression and the prioritization of the interests of wealthy citizens led to a government that didn’t reflect the political views of its people. Despite their popularity among the citizenry, Socialists were almost fully excluded from the Parliament. Thus, during the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, workers leveraged their populist power by conducting approximately twenty general strikes across the country, with goals of accurate representation and fair working condition.