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Do wars always start in years ending ‘14’?

Plus: What to buy with your bitcoin before it’s too late

15 March 2014

9:00 AM

15 March 2014

9:00 AM

Years of war

Imaginative souls have tried to compared the situation in Ukraine with that which preceded the first world war 100 years ago. Are years ending in 14 especially violent?
1414 saw the Polish-Teutonic war, one of a dozen skirmishes between Poland and Teutonic knights between the 14th and 16th centuries. The war was noted for the efforts to starve opposing armies by razing crops.
1714 saw the outbreak of the seventh Ottoman-Venetian War, which like the first world war lasted four years. It ended with Venice losing control of the Peloponnese.
1814 saw the Swedish-Norwegian War, which resulted in Norway entering a union with Sweden.

But wars have also ended in ‘14’ years:
1514 saw the end of the two-year First French War, peace being sealed by the marriage of Henry VIII’s sister Mary to King Louis XII.
1614 saw the end of the five-year Anglo-Powhatan wars between English settlers and native Americans in Virginia.
1714 saw the French seize Barcelona, marking the conclusion, after 13 years, of the War of Spanish Succession.

The difference a year makes

How have economic indicators changed since last year’s budget?

2013
Economic growth (quarterly) -0.1%
Unemployment (16+) 7.8%
Inflation (CPI) 2.7%
Trade deficit (quarterly) £8.5bn
2014
Economic growth (quarterly) 0.7%
Unemployment (16+) 7.2%
Inflation (CPI) 1.9%
Trade deficit (quarterly) £8bn

And what about house prices? It depends whom you ask:

Annual change March 2013
ONS +3.3%
Land Registry* +1%
Nationwide -1.1%
Halifax +1.9%
Annual change March 2014
ONS +5.5%
Land Registry* +4.2%
Nationwide +7%
Halifax +7.9%

*Land Registry figures for England and Wales;others are for UK as a whole.

Socks in bits

The future of the bitcoin virtual currency seemed to be in doubt. How you can spend your bitcoins before it is too late:

50 pairs of Alpaca socks from Grass Hill, a farm near Williamsburg, Massachusetts: 1 bitcoin
Dinner at the Firehouse BBQ grill in Salt Lake City: 1 bitcoin
Around 30 haircuts from Josh Arias in Reno, Nevada: 1 bitcoin
One ticket on Sir Richard Branson’s yet-to-exist Virgin Galactic spaceship: approximately 400 bitcoins


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