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School's Back: Chilean Cops Stock Up On Water Cannons


SANTIAGO -- The powerful student movement that erupted last year in Chile is showing signs it may be ready for an encore performance. That possibility hasn't escaped the attention of the Carabineros, the country's uniformed police force, which is arming itself – quite literally – for a new round of protests.

According to a website called Compras Públicas Chile Compra, the police have recently issued a purchasing order for approximately 5 million euros worth of mobile water cannons. The order is dated April 27, just two days after student leaders held their first major protest of the new school year. More than 50,000 people participated in the April 25 demonstration in the Chilean capital of Santiago.

An internal police report that appeared briefly on the site claimed that Carabineros were "limited" last year "in terms of the use and availability of water cannon vehicles." Once the order is complete, the police will add 10 such vehicles to their existing collection. Locals call the armored, water-spewing trucks "guanacos," after a type of llama that lives in Chile's far northern and southern regions that is known for spitting.

Dubbed the "Chilean Winter," by the international press, protests raged for eight months last year. Starting in January, student leaders took the southern Summer – which lasts until March – off. The movement has taken a major political toll on Chile's conservative president, Sebastián Piñera, whose approval rating is hovering around the 30% mark.

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Not Your Grandma's Nonna: How Older Women In Italy Are Reclaiming Their Age

Women in Italy are living longer than ever. But severe economic and social inequality and loneliness mean that they urgently need a new model for community living – one that replaces the "one person, one house, one caregiver" narrative we have grown accustomed to.

Not Your Grandma's Nonna: How Older Women In Italy Are Reclaiming Their Age

Italy is home to many elderly people and few young ones.

Barbara Leda Kenny

ROMENina Ercolani is the oldest person in Italy. She is 112 years old. According to newspaper interviews, she enjoys eating sweets and yogurt. Mrs. Nina is not alone: over the past three years, there has been an exponential growth in the number of centenarians in Italy. With over 20,000 people who've surpassed the age of 100, Italy is in fact the country with the highest number of centenarians in Europe.

Life expectancy at the national level is already high. Experts say it can be even higher for those who cultivate their own gardens, live away from major sources of pollution, and preferably in small towns near the sea. Years of sunsets and tomatoes with a view of the sea – it used to be a romantic fantasy but is now becoming increasingly plausible.

Centenarians occupy the forefront of a transformation taking place in a country where living a long life means being among the oldest of the old. Italy is the second oldest country in the world, and it ranks first in the number of people over eighty. In simple terms, this means that Italy is home to many elderly people and few young ones: those over 65 make up almost one in four, while children (under 14) account for just over one in 10. The elderly population will continue to grow in the coming years, as the baby boomer generation, born between 1961 and 1976, is the country's largest age group.

But there is one important data set to consider when discussing our demographics: in general, women make up a slight majority of the population, but from the age of sixty onwards, the gap progressively widens. Every single Italian over 110 years old is a woman.

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