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Posted May 31st, 2012 at 02:54am
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Posted May 31st, 2012 at 02:08am
Solomon Islands (/ s l m n a l ndz/ ( listen)) is a sovereign state in Oceania, east of Papua New Guinea, consisting of nearly one thousand islands. It covers a land mass of 28,400 square kilometres (11,000 sq mi). The capital, Honiara, is located on the island of Guadalcanal. The nation of the Solomon Islands is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. Dell MT196 Battery The Solomon Islands are believed to have been inhabited by Melanesian people for many thousands of years. Spanish navigator lvaro de Menda a was the first European to arrive in Solomon Islands in 1568 and named them Islas Salom n. The United Kingdom established a protectorate over the Solomon Islands in 1893. Dell MT186 Battery In the Second World War there was fierce fighting between the Americans and the Japanese in the Solomon Islands campaign of 1942-45, including the Battle of Guadalcanal. Self-government was achieved in 1976 and independence two years later. The Solomon Islands is a constitutional monarchy with the Queen of the Solomon Islands, Dell MT187 Batteryat present Elizabeth II, as the head of state. Gordon Lilo Darcy is the eleventh and current Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands.The country's official name, as established in the Constitution of Solomon Islands and as used by government as well as by the country's press, is "Solomon Islands", with no definite article. Dell MT193 BatteryIts name is thus reflected in international organisations such as Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands. In other English-speaking countries, however, the definite article is often added. It is believed that Papuan-speaking settlers began to arrive around 30,000 BC. Austronesian speakers arrived c. 4000 BC also bringing cultural elements such as the outrigger canoe. Dell U116D BatteryIt is between 1200 and 800 BC that the ancestors of the Polynesians, the Lapita people, arrived from the Bismarck Archipelago with their characteristic ceramics. The first European to visit the islands was the Spanish navigator lvaro de Menda a de Neira, coming from Peru in 1568. The people of Solomon Islands were notorious for headhunting and cannibalism before the arrival of the Europeans. Dell W017D Battery Missionaries began visiting the Solomons in the mid-19th century. They made little progress at first, because "blackbirding" (the often brutal recruitment or kidnapping of labourers for the sugar plantations in Queensland and Fiji) led to a series of reprisals and massacres. The evils of the labour trade prompted the United Kingdom to declare a protectorate over the southern Solomons in June 1893. Dell PW640 Battery In 1898 and 1899, more outlying islands were added to the protectorate; in 1900 the remainder of the archipelago, an area previously under German jurisdiction, was transferred to British administration apart from the islands of Buka and Bougainville, which remained under German administration as part of German New Guinea. Dell PW649 BatteryTraditional trade and social intercourse between the western Solomon Islands of Mono and Alu (the Shortlands) and the traditional societies in the south of Bougainville, however, continued without hindrance. Under the protectorate, missionaries settled in the Solomons, converting most of the population to Christianity. In the early 20th century, Dell PW651 Batteryseveral British and Australian firms began large-scale coconut planting. Economic growth was slow, however, and the islanders benefited little.In 1908, the islands were visited by Jack London, who was cruising the Pacific Ocean on his boat, the Snark.With the outbreak of the Second World War, most planters and traders were evacuated to Australia, Dell WU843 Batteryand most cultivation ceased. Some of the most intense fighting of the war occurred in the Solomons. The most significant of the Allied Forces' operations against the Japanese Imperial Forces was launched on August 7, 1942, with simultaneous naval bombardments and amphibious landings on the Florida Islands at Tulagi and Red Beach on Guadalcanal. Dell WU853 BatteryThe Battle of Guadalcanal became an important and bloody campaign fought in the Pacific War as the Allies began to repulse Japanese expansion. Of strategic importance during the war were the coastwatchers operating in remote locations, often on Japanese held islands, providing early warning and intelligence of Japanese naval, DELL C719R Batteryarmy and aircraft movements during the campaign. Sergeant-Major Jacob Vouza was a notable coastwatcher who after capture refused to divulge Allied information in spite of interrogation and torture by Japanese Imperial forces. He was awarded a Silver Star Medal by the Americans, which is the United States' third-highest decoration for valor in combat. DELL DFNCH BatteryIslanders Biuku Gasa and Eroni Kumana would be noted by National Geographic for being the first to find the shipwrecked John F. Kennedy and his crew of the PT-109. They suggested using a coconut to write a rescue message for delivery by dugout canoe, which was later kept on his desk when he became the president of the United States. DELL FU571 Battery The Solomon Islands was one of the major staging areas of the South Pacific and was home to the famous VMF-214 "Black Sheep" Squadron commanded by Major Greg "Pappy" Boyington. The Slot was a name for New Georgia Sound, when it was used by the Tokyo Express to supply the Japanese garrison on Guadalcanal. Of more than 36,000 Japanese on Guadalcanal, DELL KY265 Batteryabout 26,000 were killed or missing, 9,000 died of disease, and 1,000 were captured. Local councils were established in the 1950s as the islands stabilised from the aftermath of the Second World War. A new constitution was established in 1970 and elections were held, although the constitution was contested and a new one was created in 1974. In 1973 the first oil price shock occurred, DELL KY477 Batteryand the increased cost of running a colony became apparent to British administrators. Following the independence of neighbouring Papua New Guinea from Australia in 1975, the Solomon Islands gained self government in 1976. Independence was granted on 7 July 1978. The first Prime Minister was Sir Peter Kenilorea, DELL NM631 Batteryand the Solomon Islands retained the Monarchy. Commonly referred to as the tensions or the ethnic tension, the initial civil unrest was mainly characterised by fighting between the Isatabu Freedom Movement (also known as the Guadalcanal Revolutionary Army) and the Malaita Eagle Force (as well as the Marau Eagle Force). DELL PT434 Battery(Although much of the conflict was between Guales and Malaitans, Kabutaulaka (2001) and Dinnen (2002) argue that the 'ethnic conflict' label is an oversimplification. In late 1998, militants on the island of Guadalcanal commenced and had a campaign of intimidation and violence towards Malaitan settlers. During the next year, thousands of Malaitans fled back to Malaita or to the capital, DELL R822G BatteryHoniara (which, although situated on Guadalcanal, is predominantly populated by Malaitans and Solomon Islanders from other provinces). In 1999, the Malaita Eagle Force (MEF) was established in response. The reformist government of Bartholomew Ulufa'alu struggled to respond to the complexities of this evolving conflict. In late 1999, DELL U844G Batterythe government declared a four month state of emergency. There were also a number of attempts at reconciliation ceremonies but to no avail. He also requested assistance from Australia and New Zealand in 1999 but this was rejected. In June 2000, Ulufa'alu was kidnapped by militia members of the MEF who felt that although he was a Malaitan, DELL W0X4F Batteryhe was not doing enough to protect their interests. Ulufa'alu subsequently resigned in exchange for his release. Manasseh Sogavare, who had earlier been Finance Minister in Ulufa'alu's government but had subsequently joined the opposition, was elected as Prime Minister by 23-21 over Rev. Leslie Boseto. However Sogavare's election was immediately shrouded in controversy because six MPs (thought to be supporters of Boseto) DELL KM742 Batterywere unable to attend parliament for the crucial vote (Moore 2004, n.5 on p. 174). In October 2000, the Townsville Peace Agreement, was signed by the Malaita Eagle Force, elements of the IFM and the Solomon Islands Government. This was closely followed by the Marau Peace agreement in February 2001, signed by the Marau Eagle Force, the Isatabu Freedom Movement, DELL KM769 Batterythe Guadalcanal Provincial Government and the Solomon Islands Government. However, a key Guale militant leader, Harold Keke, refused to sign the Agreement, causing a split with the Guale groups. Subsequently, Guale signatories to the Agreement led by Andrew Te'e joined with the Malaitan-dominated police to form the 'Joint Operations Force'. During the next two years the conflict moved to the Weathercoast of Guadalcanal as the Joint Operations unsuccessfully attempted to capture Keke and his group. DELL KM771 Battery New elections in December 2001 brought Sir Allan Kemakeza into the Prime Minister's chair with the support of his People's Alliance Party and also the Association of Independent Members. Law and order deteriorated as the nature of the conflict shifted: there was continuing violence on the WeathercoastDELL WU841 Battery while militants in Honiara increasingly turned their attention to crime and extortion. The Department of Finance would often be surrounded by armed men when funding was due to arrive. In December 2002, Finance Minister Laurie Chan resigned after being forced at gunpoint to sign a cheque made out to some of the militants. Conflict also broke out in Western Province between locals and Malaitan settlers. Dell Latitude E5420 BatteryRenegade members of the Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA) were invited in as a protection force but ended up causing as much trouble as they prevented. The prevailing atmosphere of lawlessness, widespread extortion and ineffective police prompted a formal request by the Solomon Islands Government for outside help. Dell Latitude E5520 Battery With the country bankrupt and the capital in chaos, the request was unanimously supported in Parliament. In July 2003, Australian and Pacific Island police and troops arrived in the Solomon Islands under the auspices of the Australian-led Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI). A sizable international security contingent of 2,200 police and troops, led by Australia and New Zealand, Dell Latitude E6120 Batteryand with representatives from about 20 other Pacific nations began arriving the next month under Operation Helpem Fren. Since this time some commentators have considered the country a failed state. However, other academics argue that rather than being a 'failed state', it is an unformed state: a state that never consolidated after decades since independence. Dell Latitude E6220 BatteryIn April 2006, allegations that the newly elected Prime Minister Snyder Rini had used bribes from Chinese businessmen to buy the votes of members of Parliament led to mass rioting in the capital Honiara. A deep underlying resentment against the minority Chinese business community led to much of Chinatown in the city being destroyed. Dell Latitude E6320 BatteryTensions had also been increased by the belief that large sums of money were being exported to China. China sent chartered aircraft to evacuate hundreds of Chinese who fled to avoid the riots. Evacuation of Australian and British citizens was on a much smaller scale. Further Australian, New Zealand and Fijian police and troops were dispatched to try to quell the unrest. Rini eventually resigned before facing a motion of no-confidence in Parliament, Dell Latitude E6420 Batteryand Parliament elected Manasseh Sogavare as Prime Minister. On 2 April 2007, the Solomon Islands were struck by a major earthquake followed by a large tsunami. Initial reports indicated that the tsunami, which mainly affected the small island of Gizo, was several metres high (perhaps as high as 10 metres (33 ft) according to some reports, Dell Latitude E6420 ATG Battery5 metres (16 1/3 ft) according to the Foreign Office). The tsunami was triggered by an 8.1 magnitude earthquake, with a hypocenter 349 kilometres (217 miles) northwest of the island's capital, Honiara, at Lat 8.453 Long 156.957 and at a depth of 10 kilometres (6.2 miles). According to the United States Geological Survey the earthquake struck at 20:39:56 UTC on Sunday, Dell Latitude E6520 Battery1 April 2007. Since the initial event and up until 22:00:00 UTC on Wednesday, 4 April 2007, more than 44 aftershocks of a magnitude of 5.0 or greater were recorded in the region.The death toll from the resulting tsunami was at least 52 people, and the tsunami destroyed more than 900 homes and has left thousands of people homeless. Land thrust from the quake has extended out from the shoreline of one island, Dell Latitude E6500 BatteryRanongga, by up to 70 metres (230 ft) according to local residents. This has left many once pristine coral reefs exposed on the newly formed beaches. The Solomon Islands is a constitutional monarchy and has a parliamentary system of government. Queen Elizabeth II is the Monarch of the Solomon Islands and the head of state; she is represented by the Governor-General who is chosen by the Parliament for a five-year term. Dell Latitude E6400 BatteryThere is a unicameral parliament of 50 members, elected for four-year terms. However, Parliament may be dissolved by majority vote of its members before the completion of its term.Parliamentary representation is based on single-member constituencies. Suffrage is universal for citizens over age 21. The head of government is the Prime Minister, who is elected by Parliament and chooses the other members of the cabinet. Each ministry is headed by a cabinet member, DELL Latitude E6400 ATGwho is assisted by a permanent secretary, a career public servant, who directs the staff of the ministry. Solomon Islands governments are characterized by weak political parties (see List of political parties in Solomon Islands) and highly unstable parliamentary coalitions. They are subject to frequent votes of no confidence, and government leadership changes frequently as a result. Cabinet changes are common. DELL Latitude E6400 XFR Land ownership is reserved for Solomon Islanders. The law provides that resident expatriates, such as the Chinese and Kiribati, may obtain citizenship through naturalization. Land generally is still held on a family or village basis and may be handed down from mother or father according to local custom. DELL Latitude E6410 BatteryThe islanders are reluctant to provide land for nontraditional economic undertakings, and this has resulted in continual disputes over land ownership. No military forces are maintained by the Solomon Islands, although a police force of nearly 500 includes a border protection unit. The police also are responsible for fire service, disaster relief, and maritime surveillance. DELL Latitude E6410 ATGThe police force is headed by a commissioner, appointed by the governor-general and responsible to the prime minister. On 27 December 2006, the Solomon Islands Government said it had taken steps to prevent the country's Australian police chief from returning to the Pacific nation. On 12 January 2007, Australia replaced its top diplomat expelled from the Solomon Islands for political interference in a conciliatory move aimed at easing a four-month dispute between the two countries. DELL Latitude E6510 Battery On 13 December 2007, Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare was toppled by a vote of no confidence in Parliament, following the defection of five Ministers to the Opposition. It was the first time a Prime Minister lost office in this way in the Solomon Islands. On 20 December, Parliament elected the Opposition's candidate DELL Precision M2400 Battery(and former Minister for Education) Derek Sikua as Prime Minister, with 32 votes to 15. For local government, the country is divided into 10 administrative areas, of which nine are provinces administered by elected provincial assemblies, and the 10th is the town of Honiara, administered by the Honiara Town Council. DELL Precision M4400 BatterySolomon Islands is a member of the United Nations, Commonwealth, South Pacific Commission, South Pacific Forum, International Monetary Fund, and the European Union/African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) countries (EEC/ACP) (Lom Convention). The political stage of the Solomon Islands is further influenced by its diplomatic importance to the Republic of China and the People's Republic of China. DELL Precision M4500 Battery The Solomon Islands gives diplomatic recognition to the ROC, recognizing it as the sole-legitimate government of all of China, giving Taiwan vital votes in the United Nations. Lucrative investments, political funding and preferential loans from both the ROC and PRC are increasingly manipulating the political landscape of the Solomon Islands. DELL Precision M6400 BatteryRelations with Papua New Guinea, which had become strained because of an influx of refugees from the Bougainville rebellion and attacks on the northern islands of the Solomon Islands by elements pursuing Bougainvillean rebels, have been repaired. A peace accord on Bougainville confirmed in 1998 has removed the armed threat, DELL Precision M6500 Batteryand the two nations regularized border operations in a 2004 agreement. Although the locally recruited British Solomon Islands Protectorate Defence Force was part of Allied forces taking part in fighting in the Solomons during the Second World War, the country has not had any regular military forces since independence. Dell Latitude E5500 BatteryThe various paramilitary elements of the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) were disbanded in 2003 following the intervention of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI), and the RSIPF was disarmed. RAMSI has a small military detachment headed by an Australian commander with responsibilities for assisting the police element of RAMSI in internal and external security. Dell Latitude E5400 BatteryThe RSIPF still operates two Pacific class patrol boats (RSIPV Auki and RSIPV Lata), which constitute the de facto navy of the Solomon Islands. In the long-term it is anticipated that the RSIPF will resume the defense role. The police force is headed by a commissioner, appointed by the governor general and responsible to the Minister of Police, National Security & Correctional Services. DELL Latitude E5410 Battery The police budget of the Solomon Islands has been strained due to a four-year civil war. Following Cyclone Zoe's strike on the islands of Tikopia and Anuta in December 2002, Australia had to provide the Solomon Islands government with 200,000 Solomon dollars ($50,000 Australian) for fuel and supplies for the patrol boat Lata to sail with relief supplies. DELL Latitude E5510 Battery(Part of the work of RAMSI includes assisting the Solomon Islands Government to stabilise its budget.) The Solomon Islands is an island nation that lies east of Papua New Guinea and consists of many islands: Choiseul, the Shortland Islands; the New Georgia Islands; Santa Isabel; the Russell Islands; Nggela (the Florida Islands); Malaita; Guadalcanal; Sikaiana; Maramasike; Ulawa; Uki; Makira (San Cristobal); Santa Ana; Rennell and Bellona; Dell Studio 1735 Batterythe Santa Cruz Islands and three remote, tiny outliers, Tikopia, Anuta, and Fatutaka. The country's islands lie between latitudes 5 and 13 S, and longitudes 155 and 169 E. The distance between the westernmost and easternmost islands is about 1,500 kilometres (930 mi). The Santa Cruz Islands (of which Tikopia is part), Dell Studio 1737 Batteryare situated north of Vanuatu and are especially isolated at more than 200 kilometres (120 mi) from the other islands. Bougainville is geographically part of the Solomon Islands, but politically Papua New Guinea. The islands' ocean-equatorial climate is extremely humid throughout the year, with a mean temperature of 27 C (80 F) and few extremes of temperature or weather. Dell Inspiron 1737 BatteryJune through August is the cooler period. Though seasons are not pronounced, the northwesterly winds of November through April bring more frequent rainfall and occasional squalls or cyclones. The annual rainfall is about 3050 mm (120 in). The Solomon Islands archipelago is part of two distinct terrestrial ecoregions. Dell Studio 1535 BatteryMost of the islands are part of the Solomon Islands rain forests ecoregion, which also includes the islands of Bougainville and Buka, which are part of Papua New Guinea, these forests have come under pressure from forestry activities. The Santa Cruz Islands are part of the Vanuatu rain forests ecoregion, Dell Studio 1536 Batterytogether with the neighboring archipelago of Vanuatu. Soil quality ranges from extremely rich volcanic (there are volcanoes with varying degrees of activity on some of the larger islands) to relatively infertile limestone. More than 230 varieties of orchids and other tropical flowers brighten the landscape. The islands contain several active and dormant volcanoes. Dell Studio 1537 BatteryThe Tinakula and Kavachi volcanoes are the most active.Its per capita GDP of $600 ranks Solomon Islands as a lesser developed nation, and more than 75% of its labour force is engaged in subsistence and fishing. Most manufactured goods and petroleum products must be imported. Until 1998, when world prices for tropical timber fell steeply, Dell Studio 1555 Batterytimber was Solomon Islands' main export product, and, in recent years, Solomon Islands forests were dangerously overexploited. Other important cash crops and exports include copra and palm oil. In 1998 Ross Mining of Australia began producing gold at Gold Ridge on Guadalcanal. Minerals exploration in other areas continued. However, Dell Studio 1557 Batteryin the wake of the ethnic violence in June 2000, exports of palm oil and gold ceased while exports of timber fell. The islands are rich in undeveloped mineral resources such as lead, zinc, nickel, and gold. Solomon Islands' fisheries also offer prospects for export and domestic economic expansion. However, a Japanese joint venture, Solomon Taiyo Ltd., Dell Studio 1558 Batterywhich operated the only fish cannery in the country, closed in mid-2000 as a result of the ethnic disturbances. Though the plant has reopened under local management, the export of tuna has not resumed. Negotiations are underway that may lead to the eventual reopening of the Gold Ridge mine and the major oil-palm plantation. Dell Inspiron 14 BatteryTourism, particularly diving, is an important service industry for Solomon Islands. Growth in that industry is hampered, however, by lack of infrastructure and transportation limitations. The Solomon Islands Government was insolvent by 2002. Since the RAMSI intervention in 2003, the government has recast its budget. Dell Inspiron 1464 BatteryIt has consolidated and renegotiated its domestic debt and with Australian backing, is now seeking to renegotiate its foreign obligations. Principal aid donors are Australia, New Zealand, the European Union, Japan, and the Republic of China. Recently, the Solomons courts have re-approved the export of live dolphins for profit, most recently to Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Dell Inspiron 15 BatteryThis practice was originally stopped by the government in 2004 after international uproar over a shipment of 28 live dolphins to Mexico. The move resulted in criticism from both Australia and New Zealand as well as several conservation organisations. A team of renewable energy developers working for the Pacific Islands Applied Geoscience Commission (SOPAC) and funded by the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP), Dell Inspiron 1564 Batteryhave hatched a scheme that enables these communities to access renewable energy, such as solar, without raising substantial sums of ready cash. They also use water and wind power. If the islanders were not able to pay for solar lanterns with cash, reasoned the project developers, they can pay with crops. As of 2006, Dell Inspiron 17 Batterythe majority 552,438 people on the Solomon Islands are ethnically Melanesian (94.5%). Polynesian (3%) and Micronesian (1.2%) are the two other significant groups. There are a few thousand ethnic Chinese. The number of local languages listed for Solomon Islands is 74, of which 70 are living languages and 4 are extinct, according to Ethnologue, Dell Inspiron 1764 BatteryLanguages of the World . On the central islands, Melanesian languages (predominantly of the Southeast Solomonic group) are spoken. On the outliers, Rennell and Bellona to the south, Tikopia, Anuta and Fatutaka to the far east, Sikaiana to the north east, and Luaniua to the north (Ontong Java Atoll, also known as Lord Howe Atoll), dell Studio XPS 16 battery Polynesian languages are spoken. Immigrant populations of Gilbertese (i-Kiribati) and Tuvaluans speak Micronesian languages. While English is the official language, only 1-2% of the population speak English; the lingua franca is Solomons Pijin. Female life expectancy at birth was at 66.7 years and male life expectancy at birth at 64.9 in 2007. dell Studio XPS 1640 battery1990-1995 fertility rate was at 5.5 births per woman. Government expenditure on health per capita was at US$ 99 (PPP). Healthy life expectancy at birth is at 60 years. The religion of Solomon Islands is about 97% Christian with following denominations: the Anglican Church of Melanesia 32.8%, Roman Catholic 19%, South Seas Evangelical Church 17%, Seventh-day Adventist 11.2%,dell Studio XPS 1645 batteryUnited Church 10.3%, Christian Fellowship Church 2.4%, other Christian 4.4%. The remaining 2.9% practice indigenous religious beliefs. According to the most recent reports, Islam in the Solomon Islands is made up of approximately 350 Muslims, including members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. In the traditional culture of the Solomon Islands, dell Studio XPS 1647 batteryage-old customs are handed down from one generation to the next, allegedly from the ancestral spirits themselves, to form the cultural values of the Solomon Islands. Radio is the most influential type of media in the Solomon Islands due to language differences, illiteracy, and the difficulty of receiving television signals in some parts of the country. Dell Inspiron 14z BatteryThe Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation (SIBC) operates public radio services, including the national stations Radio Happy Isles and Wantok FM, and the provincial stations Radio Happy Lagoon and, formerly, Radio Temotu. There is one commercial station, PAOA FM, that broadcasts in the Solomons. There is one daily newspaper Solomon Star (www.solomonstarnews.com) and one daily online news website Solomon Times OnlineDell Inspiron 1470 Battery(www.solomontimes.com), 2 weekly papers Solomons Voice and Solomon Times, and 2 monthly papers Agrikalsa Nius and the Citizen's Press. There are no TV services based in the Solomon Islands, although satellite TV stations can be received. There is free-to-air access to ABC Asia Pacific (from Australia's ABC) and BBC World News. Dell Inspiron 1470n BatterySolomon Islands writers include the novelists Rexford Orotaloa and John Saunana and the poet Jully Makini.Solomon Islands national teams in football and related sports (futsal and beach soccer) have proved among the most successful in Oceania. The Solomon Islands national football team became the first team to beat New Zealand into qualifying for a play-off spot against Australia for qualification to the World Cup 2006. Dell Inspiron 15z Battery They were defeated 7-0 in Australia and 2-1 at home.On 14 June 2008, the Solomon Islands national futsal team, the Kurukuru, won the Oceania Futsal Championship in Fiji to qualify them for the 2008 FIFA Futsal World Cup, which was held in Brazil from 30 September to 19 October 2008. Solomon Islands is the futsal defending champions in the Oceania region. Dell Inspiron 1570 BatteryIn 2008 and 2009 the Kurukuru won the Oceania Futsal Championship in Fiji. In 2009 they defeated the host nation Fiji, 8-0, to claim the title. The Kurukuru currently hold the world record for the fastest ever goal scored in an official futsal match. It was set by Kurukuru captain Elliot Ragomo, who scored against New Caledonia three seconds into the game in July 2009. They also, however, Dell Inspiron 1570n Batteryhold the less enviable record for the worst defeat in the history of the Futsal World Cup, when in 2008 they were beaten by Russia with two goals to thirty-one.The Solomon Islands' beach soccer team, the Bilikiki Boys, are statistically the most successful team in Oceania. They have won all three regional championships to date, thereby qualifying on each occasion for the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup. dell Studio 17 batteryThe Bilikiki Boys are ranked fourteenth in the world as of 2010, higher than any other team from Oceania.In January 2011, the Bilikiki Boys played the Kurukuru in a friendly beach soccer match. The Bilikiki won 4-1. Previously, the two teams had met for a friendly futsal match, which the Kurukuru had won 5-3. dell Studio 1749 battery The Solomon Islands national rugby union team has been playing internationals since 1969. It took part in the Oceania qualifying tournament for the 2003 and 2007 Rugby World Cups, but failed to qualify on each occasion.Education in the Solomon Islands is not compulsory and only 60 per cent of school-age children have access to primary education. dell Studio 1745 battery From 1990 to 1994, the gross primary school enrolment rose from 84.5 percent to 96.6 percent. Primary school attendance rates were unavailable for the Solomon Islands as of 2001. While enrolment rates indicate a level of commitment to education, they do not always reflect children's participation in school. dell Studio 1747 battery Efforts and plans made by the Department of Education and Human Resource Development to expand educational facilities and increase enrollment have been hindered by a lack of government funding, misguided teacher training programs, poor coordination of programs, and a failure of the government to pay teachers. Dell Inspiron N4010R BatteryThe percentage of the government's budget allocated to education was 9.7 percent in 1998, down from 13.2 percent in 1990. Male educational attainment tends to be higher than female educational attainment. The University of the South Pacific has a Campus in Solomon Islands while the University of Papua New Guinea has also established a foothold in the country at Guadalcanal. Dell Inspiron N4110 BatterySolomon (Hebrew: , Modern Shlomo Tiberian l m ISO 259-3 lomo; Arabic: Sulaym n, also colloquially: Silim n; Greek: Solom n), according to the Book of Kings and the Book of Chronicles, a King of Israel and according to the Talmud one of the 48 prophets, is identified as the son of David, Dell Inspiron N5010D-258 Batteryalso called Jedidiah (Hebrew ) in 2 Samuel 12:25, and is described as the third king of the United Monarchy, and the final king before the northern Kingdom of Israel and the southern Kingdom of Judah split; following the split his patrilineal descendants ruled over Judah alone. In the Qur'an, he is considered as a major Prophet, known as Sulaiman, son of David. Dell Inspiron N5010D-278 BatteryThe Hebrew Bible credits Solomon as the builder of the First Temple in Jerusalem, and portrays him as great in wisdom, wealth, and power, but ultimately as a king whose sin, including idolatry and turning away from Yahweh, leads to the kingdom being torn in two during the reign of his son Rehoboam. Solomon is the subject of many other later references and legends. Dell Inspiron N5010R BatterySolomon became king during the reign of his father King David, and ruled together with him for 3 years. According to the biblical First Book of Kings, when David was old, "he could not get warm." "So they sought for a beautiful young woman throughout all the territory of Israel, and found Abishag the Shunammite, Dell Inspiron N5030 Batteryand brought her to the king. The young woman was very beautiful, and she was of service to the king and attended to him, but the king knew her not." While David was in this state, Adonijah, David's fourth son, acted to have himself declared king, he being heir-apparent to the throne after the death of his elder brothers Amnon and Absalom. But Bathsheba, Dell Inspiron N5030D Batterya wife of David and Solomon's mother, along with the prophet Nathan convinced David to proclaim Solomon king. Adonijah fled and took refuge at the altar, and received pardon for his conduct from Solomon on the condition that he show himself "a worthy man." (1 Kings 1:5-53) Adonijah asked to marry Abishag the Shunammite, but Solomon disallowed that, Dell Inspiron N5030R Batteryalthough Bathsheba now pleaded on Adonijah's behalf. He was then seized and put to death (1 Kings 2:13-25). As made clear in the earlier story of Absalom's rebellion, to possess the royal harem was in this society tantamount to claiming the throne; this applied even to a woman who had shared the bed of a king advanced in age, though she had no intimate relations with King David. Dell Inspiron N5110 BatteryDavid's general Joab was killed, in accord with David's deathbed request to Solomon, because he had killed generals Abner and Amasa during a peace (2 Samuel 20:8-13; 1 Kings 2:5). David's priest Abiathar was exiled by Solomon because he had sided with Adonijah. Abiathar is a descendent of Eli, which has important prophetic significance. Dell Inspiron N7010D Battery(1 Kings 2:27) Shimei was confined to Jerusalem and killed three years later, when he went to Gath to retrieve some runaway servants, in part because he had cursed David when David's son Absalom rebelled against David. (1 Kings 2:1-46) "And the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there; for that was the great high place: a thousand burnt offerings did Solomon offer upon that altar. In Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: HP Pavilion dv6-3111sa Batteryand God said, Ask what I shall give thee. And Solomon said, Thou hast shewed unto thy servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee; and thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. HP Pavilion dv6-3048sa BatteryAnd now, O Lord my God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in. And thy servant is in the midst of thy people which thou hast chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered nor counted for multitude. Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, HP Pavilion dv6-3032sa Batterythat I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?"(1 Kings 3:4-9) "So God said to him, 'Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, I will do what you have asked...'" (1 Kings 3:11-12) The Hebrew Bible also states that: HP Pavilion dv6-3046sa Battery"The whole world sought audience with Solomon to hear the wisdom God had put in his heart." (1 Kings 10:24) In one account, known as the Judgment of Solomon, two women came before Solomon to resolve a quarrel over which was the true mother of a baby. When Solomon suggested they should divide the living child in two with a sword, HP Pavilion dv6-3056sa Batteryone woman said she would rather give up the child rather than see it killed. Solomon then declares the woman who shows compassion to be the true mother, and gives the baby to her. Solomon is also noted as one of many authors of Wisdom literature. The apocryphal/deuterocanonical Wisdom of Solomon, HP Pavilion dv6-3068ea Batteryalong with the Book of Sirach, "are the familiar personalities and the events of Israel's history combined with the wisdom tradition. Much of this literature, however, is attributed to Solomon." Solomon became a favorite author and contributor of different kinds of wisdom literature, "including not only the collections of Proverbs, HP Pavilion dv6-3112sa Batterybut also of Ecclesiastes and the Song of Solomon and the later apocryphal book the Wisdom of Solomon." According to the Bible, Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines. The wives are described as foreign princesses, including Pharaoh's daughter and women of Moab, Ammon, Sidon and of the Hittites. HP Pavilion dv6-3116sa BatteryThese wives are depicted as leading Solomon away from the God of Israel toward idolatry. The only wife mentioned by name is Naamah, who is described as the Ammonite. She was the mother of Solomon's successor, Rehoboam. In a brief, unelaborated, and enigmatic passage, the Hebrew Bible describes how the fame of Solomon's wisdom and wealth spread far and wide, HP Pavilion dv6-3121sa Batteryso much so that the queen of Sheba decided that she should meet him. The queen is described as visiting with a number of gifts including gold, spices and precious stones. When Solomon gave her "all her desire, whatsoever she asked," she left satisfied (1 Kings 10:10). Whether the passage is simply to provide a brief token, HP Pavilion dv6-3122sa Batteryforeign witness of Solomon's wealth and wisdom, or whether there is meant to be something more significant to the queen's visit is unknown; nevertheless the visit of the Queen of Sheba has become the subject of numerous stories. Sheba is typically identified as Saba, HP Pavilion dv6-3123sa Batterya nation once spanning the Red Sea on the coasts of what are now Eritrea, Somalia, Ethiopia and Yemen, in Arabia Felix. In a Rabbinical account (e.g. Targum Sheni), Solomon was accustomed to ordering the living creatures of the world to dance before him (Rabbinical accounts say that Solomon had been given control over all living things by Yahweh), HP Pavilion dv6-3298ea Batterybut one day upon discovering that the mountain-cock or hoopoe (the Hebrew name for the creature is Shade) was absent, he summoned it to him, and the bird told him that it had been searching for somewhere new. The bird had discovered a land in the east, exceedingly rich in gold, silver, and plants, whose capital was called Kitor and whose ruler was the Queen of Sheba, HP Pavilion dv6-3118sa Batteryand the bird, on its own advice, was sent by Solomon to request the queen's immediate attendance at Solomon's court. An Ethiopian account (Kebra Nagast) maintains that the Queen of Sheba had sexual relations with King Solomon (of which the Biblical and Quranic accounts give no hint) and gave birth by the Mai Bella stream in the province of Hamasien, Eritrea. The Ethiopian tradition has a detailed account of the affair. (See Queen of Sheba) HP Pavilion dv6-3180ea Battery The child was a son who went on to become Menelik I, King of Axum, and founded a dynasty that would reign what became the Christian Empire of Ethiopia for 2900+ years (less one usurpation episode and interval of ca. 133 years until a legitimate male heir regained the crown) until Haile Selassie was overthrown in 1974. HP Pavilion dv6-3185sa BatteryMenelik was said to be a practising Jew who was given a replica Ark of the Covenant by King Solomon, but moreover, the original was switched and went to Axum with him and his mother, and is still there, guarded by a single priest charged with caring for the artifact as his life's task. The claim of such a lineage and of possession of the Ark has been an important source of legitimacy and prestige for the Ethiopian monarchy throughout the many centuries of its existence, HP Pavilion dv6-3180sa Batteryand had important and lasting effects on Ethiopian culture as a whole. The Ethiopian government and church deny all requests to view the alleged ark. Some classical-era Rabbis, attacking Solomon's moral character, have claimed instead that the child was an ancestor of Nebuchadnezzar II, who destroyed Solomon's temple some 300 years later. HP Pavilion dv6-1132sa BatteryAccording to 1 Kings 11:4 Solomon's "wives turned his heart after other gods", their own national deities, to whom Solomon built temples, thus incurring divine anger and retribution in the form of the division of the kingdom after Solomon's death. (1 Kings 11:9-13) 1 Kings 11 describes Solomon's descent into idolatry, particularly his turning after Ashtoreth, the goddess of the Sidonians, HP Pavilion dv6-3122sa Batteryand after Milcom, the abomination of the Ammonites. In Deuteronomy 17:16-17, a king is commanded not to multiply horses or wives, neither greatly multiply to himself gold or silver. Solomon sins in all three of these areas. Solomon collects 666 talents of gold each year, (1 Kings 10:14) a huge amount of money for a small nation like Israel. HP Pavilion dv6-3103sa BatterySolomon gathers a large number of horses and chariots and even brings in horses from Egypt. Just as Deuteronomy 17 warns, collecting horses and chariots takes Israel back to Egypt. Finally, Solomon marries foreign women, and these women turn Solomon to other gods.According to 1 Kings 11:9-13, it was because of these sins that "the Lord punishes Solomon by tearing the kingdom in two": HP Pavilion dv6-3118sa BatteryAnd the Lord was angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned away from the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods. But he did not keep what the Lord commanded. Therefore the Lord said to Solomon, HP Pavilion dv6-6b57sa Battery"Since this has been your practice and you have not kept my covenant and my statutes that I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you and will give it to your servant. Yet for the sake of David your father I will not do it in your days, but I will tear it out of the hand of your son. However, I will not tear away all the kingdom, HP Pavilion dv6-6156ea Batterybut I will give one tribe to your son, for the sake of David my servant and for the sake of Jerusalem that I have chosen. In Jewish tradition, King Solomon sinned by acquiring too many wives and horses because he thought he knew why the Bible prohibited this and thought it did not apply to him. When King Solomon married the daughter of the Egyptian Pharaoh, HP Pavilion G6-1004SA Batterya sandbank formed which eventually formed the "great nation of Rome" - the nation that destroyed the Second Temple (Herod's Temple). Solomon gradually lost prestige until he became like a commoner. Some say he regained his status, while others deny this. In Islamic tradition, Solomon was a prophet and a messenger from Allah (God). HP Pavilion G6-1007SA BatteryAs in Jewish tradition, he was the youngest son of King David (Dawud), who is also considered a prophet by Islam. Solomon had diverse talents, wisdom and spiritual insight, so his father had made him his heir. The Qur'an says: "And We verily gave knowledge to Dawud and Sulayman and they said: praise be to God (Allah) Who has preferred us above many of his believing servants". (27:15) HP Pavilion G6-1058SA Battery Unlike Jewish and Christian traditions, Islam denies that Solomon fell into idolatry or turned away from Allah in any way, and views him as famed throughout the lands for his wisdom and fair judgments."And when there came to them a Messenger from Allah confirming what was with them, HP Pavilion G6-1061SA Batterya party of those who were given the scripture threw away the book of Allah behind their backs as if they did not know. And they followed what the devils gave out falsely of magic of the reign of Solomon; for Solomon did not disbelieve but the devils disbelieved, teaching men magic and such things that came down at Babylon to the two angels Harut and Marut, HP Pavilion G6-1207SA Batterybut neither of these two (angels) taught anyone (such things) until they had said: we are only for trial, so don't disbelieve. And from them (magicians) people learn that through which they would cause separation between a person and his spouse, but they could not thus harm anyone except by Allah's leave; and they learn that which harms them rather than profits them. HP Pavilion G6-1224SA Battery And indeed they knew that its practitioner would have no share in the Hereafter. And how bad indeed was that for which they sold their own selves if they but knew" (2:101-2).Near the end of his life Solomon was forced to contend with several enemies including Hadad of Edom, Rezon of Zobah, and one of his officials named Jeroboam who was from the tribe of Ephraim. HP Pavilion G6-1236SA Battery The United Monarchy breaks up, with Jeroboam ruling over the northern Kingdom of Israel (blue on the map) and Rehoboam ruling the Kingdom of Judah to the south. According to the Hebrew Bible, Solomon died of natural causes at around 80 years of age. Upon Solomon's death, his son, Rehoboam, HP Pavilion G6-1255SA Batterysucceeded him as king. However, ten of the Tribes of Israel refused to accept him as king, causing the United Monarchy to split and form the northern Kingdom of Israel ruled by Jeroboam, while Rehoboam continued to reign in the southern Kingdom of Judah.Solomon and the plan for the First Temple, illustration from a Bible card published by the Providence Lithograph CompanyHP Pavilion G6-1257SA Battery During Solomon's long reign of 40 years, the Israelite monarchy, according to the Bible, gained its highest splendour and wealth. In a single year, according to 1 Kings 10:14, Solomon collected tribute amounting to 666 talents of gold (39,960 pounds). Solomon is described as surrounding himself with all the luxuries and the external grandeur of an Eastern monarch, HP Pavilion G7-1000SA Batteryand his government prospered. He entered into an alliance with Hiram I, king of Tyre, who in many ways greatly assisted him in his numerous undertakings. For some years before his death, David was engaged in collecting materials for building a temple in Jerusalem as a permanent abode for the Ark of the Covenant. Solomon is described as completing its construction, with the help of an architect, HP Pavilion G7-1004SA Batteryalso named Hiram, and other materials, sent from King Hiram of Tyre. After the completion of the temple, Solomon is described as erecting many other buildings of importance in Jerusalem; for the long period of 13 years he was engaged in the building of a royal palace on Ophel (a hilly promontory in central Jerusalem); HP Pavilion dv6-1013ea BatterySolomon also constructed great works for the purpose of securing a plentiful supply of water for the city, and the Millo (Septuagint, Acra) for the defense of the city. However, excavations of Jerusalem have shown a distinct lack of monumental architecture from the era, and remains of neither the Temple nor Solomon's palace have been found. However, HP Pavilion dv6-1010ea Batterya number of significant but politically sensitive areas have not been extensively excavated, including Temple mount, the site where the Temple is traditionally said to have been located. Solomon is also described as rebuilding cities elsewhere in Israel, creating the port of Ezion-Geber, and constructing Tadmor in the wilderness as a commercial depot and military outpost. HP Pavilion dv6-1005ea BatterySolomon is additionally described as having amassed 1,400 chariots and 12,000 horsemen. Though the location of Solomon's port of Ezion-Geber is known, no remains have ever been found. More archaeological success has been achieved with the major cities Solomon is said to have strengthened or rebuilt (for example, Hazor, Megiddo and Gezer 1 Kings 9:15); HP Pavilion dv6-1025ef Batterythese all have substantial ancient remains, including impressive six-chambered gates, and ashlar palaces, as well as trough-like structures outside buildings that early archaeologists have identified as the stables for Solomon's horses. According to the Bible, during Solomon's reign Israel enjoyed great commercial prosperity, with extensive traffic being carried on by land with Tyre, HP Pavilion dv6-1108ca BatteryEgypt, and Arabia, and by sea with Tarshish, Ophir, and South India. Rabbinical tradition attributes the Wisdom of Solomon to Solomon although this book was probably written in the 2nd century BC. In this work Solomon is portrayed as an astronomer. Other books of wisdom poetry such as the Odes of Solomon and the Psalms of Solomon also bear his name. The Jewish historian Eupolemus, who wrote about 157 BC, HP Pavilion dv6-2010sa Batteryincluded copies of apocryphal letters exchanged between Solomon and the kings of Egypt and Tyre.The Gnostic Apocalypse of Adam, which may date to the 1st or 2nd century, refers to a legend in which Solomon sends out an army of demons to seek a virgin who had fled from him, perhaps the earliest surviving mention of the later common tale that Solomon controlled demons and made them his slaves. HP Pavilion dv6t BatteryThis tradition of Solomon's control over demons appears fully elaborated in the early pseudographical work called the Testament of Solomon with its elaborate and grotesque demonology. Historical evidence of King Solomon other than the biblical accounts is minimal. Josephus, citing Tyrian court records and Menander in Against Apion, HP Pavilion dv6t-1000 Batterygives a specific year during which Hiram I of Tyre sent materials to Solomon for the construction of the temple. However, no material evidence indisputably of Solomon's reign has been found. Yigael Yadin's excavations at Hazor, Megiddo, Beit Shean and Gezer uncovered structures that he and others have argued date from his reign, HP Pavilion dv6t-1100 Batterybut others, such as Israel Finkelstein and Neil Silberman, argue that they should be dated to the Omride period, more than a century after Solomon.Solomon's Wealth and Wisdom, as in 1 Kings 3:12-13, illustration from a Bible card published 1896 by the Providence Lithograph Company. The conventional dates of Solomon's reign are from circa 970 to 931 BC. HP Pavilion dv6z Battery They derive from biblical chronology, mostly from the ancient genealogies in the books, Genesis to Second Kings, spanning the creation of the universe as the ancients understood it to the fall of Jerusalem with the destruction of its Temple in year 586 BC. Regarding the Davidic Dynasty to which King Solomon belongs, HP Pavilion dv6z-1000 Batteryits chronology can be checked against datable Babylonian and Assyrian records at a few points, and these correspondences have allowed archeologists to date its kings in a modern framework. According to the most widely-used chronology, based on that by Edwin R. Thiele, the death of Solomon and the division of his kingdom occurred in the spring of 931 BC. HP Pavilion dv6-1148ca BatteryThiele does not explicitly date the beginning of Solomon's reign, but according to the First Book of Kings he ruled for 40 years, thus corresponding to 970 BC according to the Thiele system. According to Israel Finkelstein and Neil Silberman, authors of The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology's New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Its Sacred Texts, HP Pavilion dv6-1140ea Battery at the time of the kingdoms of David and Solomon, Jerusalem was populated by only few hundred residents or less, which is insufficient for an empire stretching from the Euphrates to Eilath. According to The Bible Unearthed, archaeological evidence suggests that the kingdom of Israel at the time of Solomon was little more than a small city state, HP Pavilion dv6-1132sa Battery and so it is implausible that Solomon received tribute as large as 666 talents of gold per year. Although both Finkelstein and Silberman accept that David and Solomon were real kings of Judah about the 10th century BC, they claim that the earliest independent reference to the Kingdom of Israel is about 890 BC, HP Pavilion dv6-1130sa Batteryand for Judah about 750 BC. They suggest that due to religious prejudice, the authors of the Bible suppressed the achievements of the Omrides (whom the Hebrew Bible describes as being polytheist), and instead pushed them back to a supposed golden age of Judaism and monotheists, and devotees of YHWH. HP Pavilion dv6-1140ea BatterySome Biblical minimalists like Thomas L. Thompson go further, arguing that Jerusalem only became a city and capable of being a state capital in the mid-seventh century. Likewise, Finkelstein and others consider the claimed size of Solomon's temple implausible. These views are criticized by William G. Dever, HP Pavilion dv6-1138ca BatteryHelga Weippert, Andr Lemaire and Amnon Ben-Tor. Lemaire states in Ancient Israel: From Abraham to the Roman Destruction of the Temple that the principal points of the biblical tradition of Solomon are generally trustworthy. So does Kenneth Kitchen, HP Pavilion dv6-1108ca Batterywho argues that Solomon ruled over a comparatively wealthy "mini-empire", rather than a small city-state, and considers 666 gold talents a modest amount of money. Mr. Kitchen calculates that over 30 years, such a kingdom might have accumulated up to 500 tons of gold, which is small compared to other examples, such as the 1,180 tons of gold that Alexander the Great took from Susa. HP Pavilion dv6-1038ca Battery Similarly, Mr. Kitchen, and others consider the temple of Solomon a reasonable and typically sized structure for the region at the time. William G. Dever states "that we now have direct Bronze and Iron Age parallels for every feature of the 'Solomonic temple' as described in the Hebrew Bible". HP Pavilion dv6-1210SA Battery The archaeological remains that are considered to date from the time of Solomon are notable for the fact that Canaanite material culture appears to have continued unabated; there is a distinct lack of magnificent empire, or cultural development - indeed comparing pottery from areas traditionally assigned to Israel with that of the Philistines points to the Philistines having been significantly more sophisticated. HP Pavilion dv6-1215SA BatteryHowever there is a lack of physical evidence of its existence, despite some archaeological work in the area. This is not unexpected because the area was devastated by the Babylonians, then rebuilt and destroyed several times. Little archaeological excavation has been done around the area known as the Temple Mount, HP Pavilion dv6-1120EA Batteryin what is thought to be the foundation of Solomon's Temple, because attempts to do so are met with protest by Muslims. From a critical point of view, Solomon's building of a temple for YHWH should not be considered an act of particular devotion to YHWH, because Solomon is also described as building places of worship for a number of other deities (1 Kings 11:4). HP Pavilion dv6-1120SA BatterySome scholars historians argue that Solomon's apparent initial devotion to YHWH, described in passages such as his dedication prayer(1 Kings 8:14-66), were written much later, after Jerusalem had become the religious centre of the kingdom, replacing locations such as Shiloh and Bethel. Some scholars believe that passages such as these in the Books of Kings were not written by the same authors who wrote the rest of the text, instead probably by the Deuteronomist. HP Pavilion dv6-1140EA Battery Such views have been challenged by other historians who maintain that there is evidence that these passages in Kings are derived from official court records at the time of Solomon and from other writings of that time that were incorporated into the canonical books of Kings. King Solomon is one of the central Biblical figures in Jewish heritage that have lasting religious, national and political aspects. HP Pavilion dv6-1210EA BatteryAs the constructor of the First Temple in Jerusalem and last ruler of the united Kingdom of Israel before its division into the northern Kingdom of Israel and the southern Kingdom of Judah, Solomon is associated with the peak "golden age" of the independent Kingdom of Israel as well as a source of judicial and religious wisdom. According to Jewish tradition, HP Pavilion dv6-1216SA BatteryKing Solomon wrote three books of the Bible:Shir ha-Shirim (Song of Songs), a chronicle of erotic love (there are contrasting opinions whether its subject is a woman or Yahweh). The Hebrew word "To Solomon" (which can also be translated as "by Solomon") appears in the title of two hymns in the book of Psalms (Tehillim), HP Pavilion dv6-1330SA Batterysuggesting to some that Solomon wrote them. King Solomon sinned by acquiring too many wives and horses because he thought he knew the reason for the Biblical prohibition and thought it did not apply to him. When King Solomon married the daughter of the Egyptian Pharaoh, HP Pavilion dv6-2110EA Batterya sandbank formed which eventually formed the "great nation of Rome" - the nation that destroyed the Second Temple (Herod's Temple). Solomon gradually lost more and more prestige until he became like a commoner. Some say he regained his status while others say he did not. Russian icon of King Solomon. HP Pavilion dv6-2114SA BatteryHe is depicted holding a model of the Temple. (18th century, iconostasis of Kizhi monastery, Russia). Christianity has traditionally accepted the historical existence of Solomon, though some modern Christian scholars have also questioned at least his authorship of those biblical texts ascribed to him. Such disputes tend to divide Christians into traditionalist and modernist camps. HP Pavilion dv6-2112SA Battery Of the two genealogies of Jesus given in the Gospels, Matthew mentions Solomon, but Luke does not. Some commentators see this as an issue that can be reconciled while others disagree. For instance, it has been suggested that Luke is using Mary's genealogy and Matthew is using Joseph's, Sony VGN-SR39VN/S Batterybut Darrell Bock states that this would be unprecedented, "especially when no other single woman appears in the line". Other suggestions include the use by one of the royal and the other of the natural line, one using the legal line and the other the physical line, or that Joseph was adopted, mentions Solomon's construction of the Temple (Acts 7:47). Sony VGN-SR39XN/S Battery In the Eastern Orthodox Church, Solomon is commemorated as a saint, with the title of "Righteous Prophet and King". His feast day is celebrated on the Sunday of the Holy Forefathers (two Sundays before the Great Feast of the Nativity of the Lord). The staunchly Catholic King Philip II of Spain sought to model himself after King Solomon. Sony VGN-SR29VN/S BatteryStatues of King David and Solomon stand on either side of the entrance to the basilica of El Escorial, Philip's palace, and Solomon is also depicted in a great fresco at the center of El Escorial's library. Philip identified the warrior-king David with his own father Charles V, and himself sought to emulate the thoughtful and logical character which he perceived in Solomon. Moreover, Sony VGN-SR29XN/S BatteryEscorial's structure was inspired by that of Solomon's Temple.King Solomon and His Court India (Deccan, Hyderabad)-this painting, from the southern Indian city of Hyderabad, appears to draw on a Turkish prototype. Solomon also appears in the Qur'an, where he is called in Arabic, which is transliterated in English as Sulayman, Suleiman, Sulaimaan etc. Sony VGN-SR31M/S BatteryThe Qur'an refers to Sulayman as the son of David (Arabic: Dawud, Dawood, or Dawoud), a prophet and a great ruler with tremendous wisdom, favor, and special powers (like his father). Sulayman ruled not only people, but also hosts of Jinn, understood the language of the birds and ants, and was some of the hidden glory in the world that was not accessible to most other human beings. Sony VGN-SR19VN BatteryHe ruled a large kingdom that extended south into Yemen, via the queen of Sheba who accepted Solomon's prophethood and religion. He was famed throughout the lands for his wisdom. The Qur'an denies that Solomon ever turned away from Allah. And they followed what the Shayatin (devils) chanted of sorcery in the reign of Sulaiman, and Sulaiman was not an unbeliever, Sony VGN-SR19XN Batterybut the Shayatin (devils) disbelieved, they teach people sorcery and such things that came down to the two angels at Babel, Harut and Marut, yet they (the two Angels) taught no person until they had said to them, "Surely, we are only a trial, therefore do not be a disbeliever. " So they learn from them (the two Angels) that by which they might cause a separation between a man and his wife; Sony VGN-SR21M/S Battery Sony VGN-SR3CW/B Batteryand they cannot hurt with it any one except with Allah's permission, and they learned what harmed them and did not profit them, and certainly they know that he who bought it should have no share of good in the hereafter and evil was the price for which they sold their souls, had they but known this. [Quran 2:102] Solomon was also given control over various things, Sony VGN-SR3S1 Batterysuch as the wind, and transportation: And to Solomon (We subjected) the wind, its morning (stride from sunrise till midnoon) was a month's (journey), and its afternoon (stride from the midday decline of the sun to sunset) was a month's (journey i. e. in one day he could travel two months' journey). And We caused a fount of (molten) brass to flow for him, Sony VGN-SR41M/P Batteryand there were jinn that worked in front of him, by the Leave of his Lord, And whosoever of them turned aside from Our Command, We shall cause him to taste of the torment of the blazing Fire. [Quran 34:12] According to Muslim tradition, when Solomon died he was standing watching the work of his Jinn, while leaning on his cane. There he silently died, Sony VGN-SR41M/S Batterybut did not fall. He remained in this position, and the Jinn, thinking he was still alive watching them work, kept working. But termites were eating the cane, the body fell after 40 days. Thereafter, the Jinn and all humans wished they could know more than Allah had allotted them to know: Then, when We decreed (Solomon's) death, Sony VGN-SR41M/W Batterynothing showed them his death except a little worm of the earth, which kept (slowly) gnawing away at his staff: so when he fell down, the Jinns saw plainly that if they had known the unseen, they would not have tarried in the humiliating Penalty (of their Task). [Quran 34:14] A well-known story in the collection One Thousand and One Nights describes a genie who had displeased King Solomon and was punished by being locked in a bottle and thrown into the sea. Sony VGN-SR49VN/H BatterySince the bottle was sealed with Solomon's seal, the genie was helpless to free himself, until freed many centuries later by a fisherman who discovered the bottle. In other stories which are found in One Thousand and One Nights, protagonists who had to leave their homeland and travel to the unknown places of the world saw signs which proved that Solomon had already been there. Sony VGN-SR51B/P BatterySometimes, protagonists discovered Solomon's words which aimed to help those who were lost and unluckily reached those forbidden and deserted places. According to the Rabbinical literature, on account of his modest request for wisdom only, Solomon was rewarded with riches and an unprecedentedly glorious realm, Sony VGN-SR51B/S Batterywhich extended over the upper world inhabited by the angels and over the whole of the terrestrial globe with all its inhabitants, including all the beasts, fowl, and reptiles, as well as the demons and spirits. His control over the demons, spirits, and animals augmented his splendor, the demons bringing him precious stones, Sony VGN-SR51B Batterybesides water from distant countries to irrigate his exotic plants. The beasts and fowl of their own accord entered the kitchen of Solomon's palace, so that they might be used as food for him, and extravagant meals for him were prepared daily by each of his 700 wives and 300 concubines, with the thought that perhaps the king would feast that day in her house. Sony VGN-SR51MF/W BatteryA magic ring called the "Seal of Solomon" was supposedly given to Solomon and gave him power over demons. The magical symbol said to have been on the Seal of Solomon which made it work is now better known as the Star of David. Asmodeus, king of demons, was one day, according to the classical Rabbis, captured by Benaiah using the ring, Sony VGN-SR51MF Battery and was forced to remain in Solomon's service. In one tale, Asmodeus brought a man with two heads from under the earth to show Solomon; the man, unable to return, married a woman from Jerusalem and had seven sons, six of whom resembled the mother, while one resembled the father in having two heads. After their father's death, Sony VGN-SR45H/B Batterythe son with two heads claimed two shares of the inheritance, arguing that he was two men; Solomon decided that the son with two heads was only one man. The Seal of Solomon, in some legends known as the Ring of Aandaleeb, was a highly sought after symbol of power. In several legends, different groups or individuals attempted to steal it or attain it in some manner. Sony VGN-SR45H/N Battery One legend concerning Asmodeus goes on to state that Solomon one day asked Asmodeus what could make demons powerful over man, and Asmodeus asked to be freed and given the ring so that he could demonstrate; Solomon agreed but Asmodeus threw the ring into the sea and it was swallowed by a fish. Sony VGN-SR45H/P Battery Asmodeus then swallowed the king, stood up fully with one wing touching heaven and the other earth, and spat out Solomon to a distance of 400 miles. The Rabbis claim this was a divine punishment for Solomon having failed to follow three divine commands, and Solomon was forced to wander from city to city, HP Pavilion dv5-1015ea Batteryuntil he eventually arrived in an Ammonite city where he was forced to work in the king's kitchens. Solomon gained a chance to prepare a meal for the Ammonite king, which the king found so impressive that the previous cook was sacked and Solomon put in his place; the king's daughter, Naamah, subsequently fell in love with Solomon, HP Pavilion dv5-1012ea Batterybut the family (thinking Solomon a commoner) disapproved, so the king decided to kill them both by sending them into the desert. Solomon and the king's daughter wandered the desert until they reached a coastal city, where they bought a fish to eat, which just happened to be the one which had swallowed the magic ring. Solomon was then able to regain his throne and expel Asmodeus. HP Pavilion dv5-1010ea Battery(The element of a ring thrown into the sea and found back in a fish's belly later appeared in Herodotus' account of Polycrates, the tyrant of Samos from c. 538 BC to 522 BC). In another familiar version of the legend of the Seal of Solomon, Asmodeus disguises himself. In some myths, he's disguised as King Solomon himself, HP Pavilion dv5-1008ea Batterywhile in more frequently heard versions he's disguised as a falcon, calling himself Gavyn (Gavinn or Gavin), one of King Solomon's trusted friends. The concealed Asmodeus tells travelers who have ventured up to King Solomon's grand lofty palace that the Seal of Solomon was thrown into the sea. He then convinces them to plunge in and attempt to retrieve it, HP Pavilion dv5-1007ca Battery HP Pavilion dv5-1015ea Battery for if they do they would take the throne as king. Other magical items attributed to Solomon are his key and his Table. The latter was said to be held in Toledo, Spain during Visigoth rule and was part of the loot taken by Tarik ibn Ziyad during the Umayyad Conquest of Iberia, according to Ibn Abd-el-Hakem's History of the Conquest of Spain. HP Pavilion dv5-1034ca BatteryThe former appears in the title of the Lesser Key of Solomon, a grimoire whose framing tale is Solomon capturing demons using his ring, and forcing them to explain themselves to him. Other forms of legend describe Solomon as having had a flying carpet that was 60 miles square, and could travel so fast that it could get from Damascus to Medina within a day. HP Pavilion dv5-1044ca BatteryOne day, due to Solomon exhibiting pride, the wind shook the carpet and caused 40,000 men to fall from it; Solomon on being told by the wind why this had happened, felt ashamed. Another day Solomon was flying over an ant-infested valley and overheard an ant warning its fellow ants to hide lest Solomon destroy them; Solomon desired to ask the ant a question, Sony VAIO PCG-31211Tbut was told it was not becoming for the interrogator to be above and the interrogated below. Solomon then lifted the ant above the valley, but the ant said it was not fitting that Solomon should sit on a throne while the ant remained on the ground, so Solomon placed the ant upon his hand, and asked it whether there was any one in the world greater than he. Sony VAIO PCG-31311TThe ant replied that she was much greater as otherwise Yahweh would not have sent him there to place it upon his hand; this offended Solomon and he threw the ant down reminding it who he was, but the ant told him that it knew Solomon was created from a corrupted drop, causing Solomon to feel ashamed. Angels also help out Solomon in building the Temple; Sony VAIO PCG-51111Tthough not by choice. The edifice was, according to rabbinical legend, throughout miraculously constructed, the large, heavy stones rising to and settling in their respective places of themselves. The general opinion of the Rabbis is that Solomon hewed the stones by means of a shamir, a mythical worm whose mere touch cleft rocks. Sony VAIO PCG-81111TAccording to Midrash Tehillim, the shamir was brought from paradise by Solomon's eagle; but most of the rabbis state that Solomon was informed of the worm's haunts by Asmodeus. The shamir had been entrusted by the prince of the sea to the mountain cock alone, and the cock had sworn to guard it well, but Solomon's men found the bird's nest, and covered it with glass. Sony VAIO PCG-81311TWhen the bird returned, it used the shamir to break the glass, whereupon the men scared the bird, causing it to drop the worm, which the men could then bring to Solomon. Early adherents of the Kabbalah portray Solomon as having sailed through the air on a throne of light placed on an eagle, which brought him near the heavenly gates as well as to the dark mountains behind which the fallen angels Uzza and Azzazel were chained; Sony VAIO VPCF138FC the eagle would rest on the chains, and Solomon, using the magic ring, would compel the two angels to reveal every mystery he desired to know. Solomon is also portrayed as forcing demons to take Solomon's friends, including Hiram, on day return trips to hell. According to one legend, Sony VAIO VPCF219FCwhile traveling magically, Solomon noticed a magnificent palace to which there appeared to be no entrance. He ordered the demons to climb to the roof and see if they could discover any living being within the building but the demons only found an eagle, which said that it was 700 years old, but that it had never seen an entrance. An elder brother of the eagle, 900 years old, Sony VAIO VPCS135ECwas then found, but it also did not know the entrance. The eldest brother of these two birds, which was 1,300 years old, then declared it had been informed by its father that the door was on the west side, but that it had become hidden by sand drifted by the wind. Having discovered the entrance, Solomon found an idol inside that had in its mouth a silver tablet saying in Greek (a language not thought by modern scholars to have existed 1000 years before the time of Solomon) that the statue was of Shaddad, the son of 'Ad, Sony VAIO VPCS136EC and that it had reigned over a million cities, rode on a million horses, had under it a million vassals and slew a million warriors, yet it could not resist the angel of death. Solomon's throne is described at length in Targum Sheni, which is compiled from three different sources, and in two later Midrash. According to these, there were on the steps of the throne twelve golden lions, Sony VAIO VPCS138EC each facing a golden eagle. There were six steps to the throne, on which animals, all of gold, were arranged in the following order: on the first step a lion opposite an ox; on the second, a wolf opposite a sheep; on the third, a tiger opposite a camel; on the fourth, an eagle opposite a peacock, on the fifth, a cat opposite a cock; Sony VAIO VPCS139GC on the sixth, a sparrow-hawk opposite a dove. On the top of the throne was a dove holding a sparrow-hawk in its claws, symbolizing the dominion of Israel over the Gentiles. The first midrash claims that six steps were constructed because Solomon foresaw that six kings would sit on the throne, namely, Solomon, Rehoboam, Hezekiah, Manasseh, Amon, Sony VAIO VPCYA15ECand Josiah. There was also on the top of the throne a golden candelabrum, on the seven branches of the one side of which were engraved the names of the seven patriarchs Adam, Noah, Shem, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Job, and on the seven of the other the names of Levi, Kohath, Amram, Moses, Aaron, Eldad, Medad, and, in addition, Sony VAIO VPCYA16ECHur (another version has Haggai). Above the candelabrum was a golden jar filled with olive-oil and beneath it a golden basin which supplied the jar with oil and on which the names of Nadab, Abihu, and Eli and his two sons were engraved. Over the throne, twenty-four vines were fixed to cast a shadow on the king's head. Sony VAIO VPCYA25EC By a mechanical contrivance the throne followed Solomon wherever he wished to go. Supposedly, due to another mechanical trick, when the king reached the first step, the ox stretched forth its leg, on which Solomon leaned, a similar action taking place in the case of the animals on each of the six steps. Sony VAIO VPCYA26EC From the sixth step the eagles raised the king and placed him in his seat, near which a golden serpent lay coiled. When the king was seated the large eagle placed the crown on his head, the serpent uncoiled itself, and the lions and eagles moved upward to form a shade over him. The dove then descended, Sony VAIO VPCYB15JCtook the scroll of the Law from the Ark, and placed it on Solomon's knees. When the king sat, surrounded by the Sanhedrin, to judge the people, the wheels began to turn, and the beasts and fowls began to utter their respective cries, which frightened those who had intended to bear false testimony. Moreover, while Solomon was ascending the throne, Sony VGN-SR39VN/S Batterythe lions scattered all kinds of fragrant spices. After Solomon's death, Pharaoh Shishak, when taking away the treasures of the Temple (I Kings xiv. 26), carried off the throne, which remained in Egypt till Sennacherib conquered that country. After Sennacherib's fall Hezekiah gained possession of it, but when Josiah was slain by Pharaoh Necho, the latter took it away. Sony VPCF13M1E/B BatteryHowever, according to rabbinical accounts, Necho did not know how the mechanism worked and so accidentally struck himself with one of the lions causing him to become lame; Nebuchadnezzar, into whose possession the throne subsequently came, shared a similar fate. The throne then passed to the Persians, who their king Darius was the first to sit successfully on Solomon's throne since his death, Sony VPCF11C4E/B Batteryand after that the throne passed into the possession of the Greeks and Ahasuerus.
Posted May 31st, 2012 at 01:22am
In terms of local government, it was divided after 1974 into Avon, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Somerset, and Wiltshire. Avon has since been abolished, and several mainly urban areas have become unitary authorities. Sony VPC-F12M1E/H Battery Durdle Door in Dorset is part of the Jurassic Coast, England's only natural World Heritage Site. Although referendums had been planned on whether elected assemblies should be set up in some of the regions, Sony VPC-CW2S8E/W Battery none was planned in the South West. The South West Regional Assembly (SWRA) was the regional assembly for the South West region, established in 1999. It was based in Exeter and Taunton. The SWRA was a partnership of councillors from all local authorities in the region and representatives of various sectors with a role in the region's economic, social and environmental well-being Sony VPC-YA17GH/R Battery. There was much opposition to the formation of the SWRA with critics saying it was an unelected unrepresentative and unaccountable "quango". The Regional Assembly was wound up in May 2009, and its functions taken on by the Strategic Leaders' Board (SLB) of South West Councils. Sony VPC-Y21S1E Battery Politics In the 2010 general election the South West contained 55 seats in the House of Commons. The Conservatives hold 36 seats, the Liberal Democrats 15 and Labour 4. South West England is one of the constituencies used for elections to the European Parliament. From the 2004 election onwards, Sony VPC-F13E4E Battery Gibraltar has been included within the constituency for the purpose of elections to the European parliament only. As of the 2009 European Parliament election, it is represented by three Conservative, two UKIP and one Liberal Democrat Member of Somerset, Sony VPC-F23QIE Batterythe former area of Avon, Swindon and Cornwall have comprehensive schools. The other counties have some selective grammar schools. Gloucestershire has six, Wiltshire has two (both in Salisbury), Poole has two, Bournemouth has two, Devon has one, Plymouth has three and Torbay has three. Sony VPC-F24Q1E Battery There are around 205,000 at secondary schools in the region, the third lowest total after the North East and the East Midlands. The region has fairly low overall truancy. At secondary schools Bristol has the highest rate of persistent truants with 6.0%; Purbeck (Dorset) has the lowest rate with 2.3%, followed by East Dorset with 2.6%. Sony VPC-F21Z1E/BI Battery At GCSE in 2009, Bath and North East Somerset consistently performs the best, closely followed by Gloucestershire, Poole, and Wiltshire. Also above the UK average are Dorset, Torbay, North Somerset, Devon, Bournemouth, and Torbay, in descending order. The South West performs well at GCSE, with the only exception being the City of Bristol which is very low performing, and to a smaller extent, Swindon. Sony VPC-F13V5002B Battery At A-level in 2009, Bournemouth performs the best, and does so consistently every year, ahead of all the other areas including most of England. Gloucestershire again performs well, being next best, closely followed by Wiltshire. Sony VPC-F13M1E/H Battery These areas and Somerset are the only ones in the South-West above the England average, and the top three out of the four have some selective schools and are the only three to perform above average at A-level and GCSE. Sony VPC-F12Z1E/BI Battery Poole received much lower A-level results than normal in 2009. At A-level, the South West is not quite as well performing as other areas. Dorset does not perform much lower at A-level than GCSE on average, but Bristol performs much better at A-level than GCSE. Plymouth performs the worst, although Swindon has had that position in recent years. Sony VPC-F13E8E Battery There are 33 further education colleges in the region. The main five FE colleges are Cornwall College, City of Bristol College, Somerset College of Arts and Technology, Bournemouth and Poole College, and Truro College. Sony VPC-F12S1E/B Battery LSC areas (which fund FE colleges) follow the traditional county boundaries, except Devon and Cornwall (similar to their police force) share an LSC area. The regional LSC office is based at St Lawrence House in Bristol. Sony VPC-F13J0E/H Battery There is also University College Falmouth, The Arts University College at Bournemouth and University College Plymouth St Mark & St John (UCP Marjon) and four higher education colleges. The region has the lowest number of people registered on higher education courses at FE colleges. Sony VPC-F13Z8E/BI Battery The University of Bristol receives the most total funding, according to Higher Education Funding Council for England figures for the 2006/2007 academic year, and the largest research grant twice as big as any other in the region.[ Sony VPC-F13Z8E Battery132] Bath has the next largest research grant, closely followed by Exeter. UWE and Plymouth get small research grants, but no other universities in the region receive much of a research grant. The University of Plymouth has the largest teaching grant. Sony VPC-F1318E/H Battery Of the region's students (postgraduate and undergraduate), 50% are from the region, and around 40% from other regions. For full-time first degree students, 35% come from the region, around 22% are from South East England, and 8% are from London. Sony VPC-F11C4E/B Battery Including the East of England, around 70% are from Southern England. 10% are from the Midlands, and 5% from Northern England. The main access for students from the north is the Cross Country Route. Sony VPC-F13M1E/B Battery Around 33% of native South West students stay in the region, with 18% going to the South East (around 60% stay in the south of England). Around 14% go to Wales, but very few go to the East of England. Access by road or rail to the East of England region is not straightforward, Sony VPC-Y11S1E Battery Sony VPC-CW12EN/BU Battery with around the same amount of travel as to Scotland. Many more native South West students are prepared to go to the north of England, than northern students are prepared to study in the South West. Once graduated, Sony VPC-Y11S1E/S Battery around 50% stay in the region, with 15% each going to London or the South East (around 80% find work in the south of England). Very few go elsewhere (especially the north of England); around 4% go to the West Midlands or Wales. Sony VPC-W1 Battery
BristolBristol i/ br st l/ is a city, unitary authority area and ceremonial county in South West England, with an estimated population of 433,100 for the unitary authority in 2009, and a surrounding Larger Urban Zone (LUZ) with an estimated 1,070,000 residents in 2007. It is England's sixth and the United Kingdom's eighth most populous city,[5Sony VPC-W1E8R/BU Battery Sony VPC-CW1S1T/W Battery Sony VPC-CW1Z4E Battery] one of the group of English Core Cities and the most populous city in South West England. Historically within Gloucestershire, the city received a Royal Charter in 1155 and was granted County status in 1373. From the 13th century, for half a millennium, it ranked amongst the top three English cities after London, alongside York and Norwich, on the basis of tax receipts, until the rapid rise of Liverpool, Sony VPC-CW1S1T/R BatteryBirmingham and Manchester during the Industrial Revolution in the latter part of the 18th century. It borders the counties of Somerset and Gloucestershire, and is also located near the historic cities of Bath to the south east and Gloucester to the north. The city is built around the River Avon, and it also has a short coastline on the Severn Estuary, which flows into the Bristol Channel. Sony VPC-CW1S1T Battery Bristol is the largest centre of culture, employment and education in the region. Its prosperity has been linked with the sea since its earliest days. The commercial Port of Bristol was originally in the city centre before being moved to the Severn Estuary at Avonmouth; Royal Portbury Dock is on the western edge of the city boundary. Sony VPC-CW1S1R Battery In more recent years the economy has depended on the creative media, electronics and aerospace industries, and the city centre docks have been regenerated as a centre of heritage and culture. There are 34 other populated places on Earth named Bristol, most in the United States, but also in Peru, Canada, Jamaica, Barbados,[9Sony VPC-Y11AGJ Battery Sony VPC-Y21S1E/SI Battery] and Costa Rica, all presumably commemorating the original. People from Bristol are termed Bristolians. Archaeological finds believed to be 60,000 years old, discovered at Shirehampton and St Annes, provide "evidence of human activity" in the Bristol area from the Palaeolithic era. Iron Age hill forts near the city are at Leigh Woods and Clifton Down on the side of the Avon Gorge, and on Kingsweston Hill, near Henbury.[1 Sony VPC-Y21S1E/P Battery5] During the Roman era there was a settlement, Abona, at what is now Sea Mills, connected to Bath by a Roman road, and another at the present-day Inns Court. There were also isolated Roman villas and small Roman forts and settlements throughout the area. Sony VPC-Y21S1E/L Battery The town of Brycgstow (Old English, "the place at the bridge") appears to have been founded in c.1000 and by c.1020 was an important enough trading centre to possess its own mint, producing silver pennies bearing the town's name. Sony VPC-Y11AHJ Battery Sony VPC-Y21AVJ Battery By 1067 the town was clearly a well fortified burh that proved capable of resisting an invasion force sent from Ireland by Harold's sons. Under Norman rule the town acquired one of the strongest castles in southern England. Sony VPC-Y11AVJ Battery Bristol Bridge seen across the harbour The area around the original junction of the River Frome with the River Avon, adjacent to the original Bristol Bridge and just outside the town walls, was where the port began to develop in the 11th century. Sony VPC-Y21AHJ Battery By the 12th century Bristol was an important port, handling much of England's trade with Ireland, including slaves. In 1247 a new stone bridge was built, which was replaced by the current Bristol Bridge in the 1760s,[ Sony VPC-Y11M1E Battery 23] and the town was extended to incorporate neighbouring suburbs, becoming in 1373 a county in its own right.[2 Sony VPC-Y21AGJ Battery5] During this period Bristol also became a centre of shipbuilding and manufacturing. By the 14th century Bristol was one of England's three largest medieval towns after London, along with York and Norwich, and it has been suggested that between a third and half of the population were lost during the Black Death of 1348-49.[2Sony VPC-Y11S1E Battery 7] The plague resulted in a prolonged pause in the growth of Bristol's population, with numbers remaining at 10,000-12,000 through most of the 15th and 16th centuries. In the 15th century, Bristol was certainly the second most important port in the country, trading to Ireland, Iceland, and Gascony. Bristol was the starting point for many important voyages, including that led by Robert Sturmy (14Sony VPC-Y11V9E Battery 57/8) to try to break the Italian monopoly over trade to the Eastern Mediterranean. Having been rebuffed in the east, Bristol merchants turned west, being involved in expeditions into the Atlantic, in search of the Isle of Hy-Brazil, by at least 1480. Sony VPC-Y21AFJ Battery These Atlantic voyages were to culminate in John Cabot's 1497 voyage of exploration to North America and the subsequent expeditions undertaken by Bristol merchants to the new world up to 1508. These include one led by William Weston of Bristol in 1499, which was the first English-led expedition to North America.[34Sony VPC-Y11V9E/S Battery ] In the sixteenth century, however, Bristol merchants concentrated on developing their trade to Spain and its American colonies. This included the smuggling of 'prohibited' wares, such as foodstuffs and iron ordnance, to Iberia, even during the Anglo-Spanish war of 1585-1604. Sony VAIO VPC-S11J7E Battery The west front of Bristol Cathedral The Diocese of Bristol was founded in 1542, with the former Abbey of St. Augustine, founded by Robert Fitzharding in 1140,[3Sony VAIO VGN-FW139E Battery Sony VAIO VGN-FW139N Battery 9] becoming Bristol Cathedral. Traditionally this is equivalent to the town being granted city status. During the 1640s English Civil War the city was occupied by Royalist military, and they built the Royal Fort on the site of a earlier Parliamentarian stronghold. Sony VAIO VGN-FW140E Battery Renewed growth came with the 17th century rise of England's American colonies and the rapid 18th century expansion of England's part in the Atlantic trade in Africans taken for slavery in the Americas. Sony VAIO VPC-S11G7E Battery Bristol, along with Liverpool, became a centre for the Triangular trade. In the first stage of this trade manufactured goods were taken to West Africa and exchanged for Africans who were then, in the second stage or middle passage, transported across the Atlantic in brutal conditions. The third leg of the triangle brought plantation goods such as sugar, tobacco, rum, rice and cotton[41 Sony VAIO VPC-S11F7E Battery ] and also a small number of slaves who were sold to the aristocracy as house servants, some eventually buying their freedom. Sony VAIO VPC-S11E7E Battery  During the height of the slave trade, from 1700 to 1807, more than 2,000 slaving ships were fitted out at Bristol, carrying a (conservatively) estimated half a million people from Africa to the Americas and slavery. The Seven Stars public house, where abolitionist Thomas Clarkson collected information on the slave trade, still exists. Sony VAIO VPC-S11D7E Battery An 1873 engraving showing sights around Bristol Fishermen from Bristol had fished the Grand Banks of Newfoundland since the 15th century and began settling Newfoundland permanently in larger numbers in the 17th century establishing colonies at Bristol's Hope and Cuper's Cove. Sony VAIO VPC-S11C5E Battery Bristol's strong nautical ties meant that maritime safety was an important issue in the city. During the 19th century Samuel Plimsoll, "the sailor's friend", campaigned to make the seas safer; he was shocked by the overloaded cargoes, and successfully fought for a compulsory load line on ships. Sony VAIO VPC-S11B7E Battery Competition from Liverpool from c. 1760, the disruption of maritime commerce caused by wars with France (1793) and the abolition of the slave trade (1807) contributed to the city's failure to keep pace with the newer manufacturing centres of the North of England and the West Midlands. The passage up the heavily tidal Avon Gorge, Sony VAIO VGN-FW190E Battery which had made the port highly secure during the Middle Ages, had become a liability which the construction of a new "Floating Harbour" (designed by William Jessop) in 1804-9 failed to overcome, as the great cost of the scheme led to excessive harbour dues. Nevertheless, Sony VAIO VGN-FW180E Battery Bristol's population (66,000 in 1801) quintupled during the 19th century, supported by new industries and growing commerce. It was particularly associated with the noted Victorian engineer, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, Sony VAIO VGN-FW160E Battery who designed the Great Western Railway between Bristol and London Paddington, two pioneering Bristol-built ocean going steamships, the SS Great Britain and SS Great Western, and the Clifton Suspension Bridge. John Wesley founded the very first Methodist Chapel, called the New Room, in Bristol in 1739. Sony VAIO VGN-FW145E Battery Riots occurred in 1793 and 1831, the first beginning as a protest at renewal of an act levying tolls on Bristol Bridge, and the latter after the rejection of the second Reform Bill. A map of Bristol from 1946 By 1901, some 330,000 people were living in Bristol and the city would grow steadily as the 20th century progressed. The city's docklands were enhanced in the early 1900s with the opening of Royal Edward Dock.[5Sony VAIO VPC-S11M1E/W Battery 1] Another new dock - Royal Portbury Dock - was opened in the 1970s. Its education system received a major boost in 1909 with the formation of the University of Bristol, Sony VAIO VPC-Y216FX/G Battery though it really took off in 1925 when its main building was opened. A polytechnic was opened in 1969 to give the city a second higher education institute, which would become the University of the West of England in 1992. With the advent of air travel, aircraft manufacturers set up base at new factories in the city during the first half of the 20th century. Sony VAIO VPC-S111FM/S Battery Bristol suffered badly from Luftwaffe air raids in World War II, claiming some 1,300 lives of people living and working in the city, with nearly 100,000 buildings being damaged, at least 3,000 of them beyond repair.[5 Sony VAIO VPC-F13UFX/B Battery Sony VAIO VPC-F136M/B Battery Sony VAIO VPC-F232FX/B Battery Sony VAIO VPC-M12M1E Battery8] The original central shopping area, near the bridge and castle, is now a park containing two bombed out churches and some fragments of the castle. A third bombed church nearby, St Nicholas, has been restored and has been made into a museum which houses a triptych by William Hogarth, Sony VAIO VPC-F13M0E Battery painted for the high altar of St Mary Redcliffe in 1756. The museum also contains statues moved from Arno's Court Triumphal Arch, of King Edward I and King Edward III taken from Lawfords' Gate of the city walls when they were demolished around 1760, Sony VAIO VPC-S11M9R/B Battery and 13th century figures from Bristol's Newgate representing Robert, the builder of Bristol Castle, and Geoffrey de Montbray, Bishop of Coutances, builder of the fortified walls of the city. Sony VAIO VPC-F12AFM Battery The rebuilding of Bristol city centre was characterised by large, cheap 1960s tower blocks, brutalist architecture and expansion of roads. Since the 1980s another trend has emerged with the closure of some main roads, the restoration of the Georgian period Queen Square and Portland Square, the regeneration of the Broadmead shopping area, and the demolition of one of the city centre's tallest post-war blocks. Sony VAIO VPC-S11V9E/B Battery Bristol's road infrastructure was altered dramatically in the 1960s and 1970s with the development of the M4 and M5 motorways, which meet at an interchange just north of the city and give the city direct motorway links with London (M4 eastbound), Cardiff (M4 westbound across the Estuary of the River Severn), Exeter (M5 southbound) and Birmingham (M5 northbound). Sony VAIO VPC-F112FX/H Battery The removal of the docks to Avonmouth Docks and Royal Portbury Dock, 7 miles (11.3 km) downstream from the city centre during the 20th century has also allowed redevelopment of the old central dock area (the "Floating Harbour") in recent decades, Sony VAIO VPC-S12A7E Battery although at one time the continued existence of the docks was in jeopardy as it was viewed as a derelict industrial site rather than an asset. However the holding, in 1996, of the first International Festival of the Sea in and around the docks, affirmed the dockside area in its new leisure role as a key feature of the city. Sony VAIO VPC-S12A7R Battery On the sporting scene, Bristol Rugby union club has frequently competed at the highest level in the sport since its formation in 1888. Its home is the Memorial Ground, which it has shared with Bristol Rovers Football Club since 1996. Sony VAIO VPC-S12B7E Battery Although the rugby club was landlord when the football club arrived at the stadium as tenants, a decline in the rugby club's fortunes shortly afterwards led to the football club becoming landlord and the rugby club becoming the stadium's tenants. Sony VAIO VPC-S11X9E Battery Bristol Rovers had spent the previous 10 years playing their home games outside the city following the closure of their Eastville stadium in 1986, before returning to the city to play at the Memorial Ground. Sony VAIO VPC-S11V9E Battery However, Bristol Rovers have generally been overshadowed by their local rivals Bristol City in terms of footballing success. Unlike Rovers, City have enjoyed top flight football. Their first spell in the Football League First Division began in 1906, Sony VAIO VPC-S11H7E Battery and they ended their first season among the elite in fine form by finishing second and only narrowly missing out on league title glory. Two years later, they were on the losing side in the final of the FA Cup, and were relegated back to the Football League Second Division a year later. It would be another 65 years before First Division status was regained, in 1976. Sony VAIO VPC-S13V9E/B Battery This time they spent four years among the elite before being relegated in 1980 - the first of a then unique third successive relegations which led to them slipping into the Fourth Division in 1982. Although promotion was secured in 1984, City enjoyed their third spell in the league's third tier until 2007 when they were promoted to the second tier, Sony VAIO VPC-S13S9E Batterynarrowly missing out on top flight promotion in their first season (Playoff final defeat against Hull City) English football. Since 1900 their home games have been played at Ashton Gate, though in recent years a number of schemes have been mooted to relocate the club to a new, larger stadium. Sony VAIO VPC-S12C5E Battery Government The Council House, the seat of local government St Mary Redcliffe church and the Floating Harbour, Bristol. Main article: Politics of Bristol Bristol City Council consists of 70 councillors representing 35 wards. They are elected in thirds with two councillors per ward, each serving a four-year term. Wards never have both councillors up for election at the same time, Sony VAIO VPC-S13S9E/B Battery so effectively two-thirds of the wards are up each election. The Council has long been dominated by the Labour Party, but recently the Liberal Democrats have grown strong in the city and as the largest party took minority control of the Council at the 2005 election. In 2007, Sony VAIO VPC-S13S8R/S Battery Labour and the Conservatives joined forces to vote down the Liberal Democrat administration, and as a result, Labour ruled the council under a minority administration, with Helen Holland as the council leader. In February 2009, the Labour group resigned, and the Liberal Democrats took office with their own minority administration. At the council elections on 4 June 2009 the Liberal Democrats gained four seats and, for the first time, overall control of the City Council.[6 Sony VAIO VPC-S12E7E Battery9] The Lord Mayor is Councillor Geoffrey Gollop. Bristol constituencies in the House of Commons cross the borders with neighbouring authorities, and the city is divided into Bristol West, East, South and North-west. In the recent 2010 General Election in May, the boundaries were changed to coincide with the county boundary. Sony VAIO VPC-S12D7E Battery There are two Labour Members of Parliament (MPs), one Liberal Democrat and one Conservative. After the 2010 British election in Bristol, the new political representation the city was composed of two Labour MPs, and one MP each for the Lib Dems and the Conservatives. The Conservatives gained Bristol North-West from the Labour Party. Sony VAIO VPC-218FX Battery Bristol has a tradition of local political activism, and has been home to many important political figures. Edmund Burke, MP for the Bristol constituency for six years from 1774, famously insisted that he was a Member of Parliament first, Sony VAIO VGN-FW160E Batteryrather than a representative of his constituents' interests. The women's rights campaigner Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence (1867-1954) was born in Bristol. Tony Benn, a veteran left-wing politician, was MP for Bristol South East from 1950 until 1983. In 1963, there was a boycott of the city's buses after the Bristol Omnibus Company refused to employ black drivers and conductors. Sony VAIO VGN-FW140E Battery The boycott is known to have influenced the creation of the UK's Race Relations Act in 1965. The city was the scene of the first of the 1980s riots. In St. Paul's, a number of largely Afro-Caribbean people rose up against racism, police harassment and mounting dissatisfaction with their social and economic circumstances before similar disturbances followed across the UK. Sony VAIO VGN-FW139N BatteryLocal support of fair trade issues was recognised in 2005 when Bristol was granted Fairtrade City status. Bristol is unusual in having been a city with county status since medieval times. The county was expanded to include suburbs such as Clifton in 1835, and it was named a county borough in 1889, when the term was first introduced.[25 Sony VAIO VGN-FW139E Battery] However, on 1 April 1974, it became a local government district of the short-lived county of Avon. On 1 April 1996, it regained its independence and county status, when the county of Avon was abolished and Bristol became a Unitary Authority. Sony VAIO VGN-FW370J Battery There are a number of different ways in which Bristol's boundaries are defined, depending on whether the boundaries attempt to define the city, the built-up area, or the wider "Greater Bristol". The narrowest definition of the city is the city council boundary, which takes in a large section of the Severn Estuary west as far as, but not including, the islands of Steep Holm and Flat Holm. Sony VAIO VGN-FW350J Battery A slightly less narrow definition is used by the Office for National Statistics (ONS); this includes built-up areas which adjoin Bristol but are not within the city council boundary, such as Whitchurch village, Filton, Patchway, Bradley Stoke, and excludes non-built-up areas within the city council boundary.[7 Sony VAIO VGN-FW145E Battery7] The ONS has also defined an area called the "Bristol Urban Area," which includes Kingswood, Mangotsfield, Stoke Gifford, Winterbourne, Frampton Cotterell, Almondsbury and Easton-in-Gordano. The term "Greater Bristol", used for example by the Government Office of the South West,[79 Sony VAIO VGN-AW230J/H Battery] usually refers to the area occupied by the city and parts of the three neighbouring local authorities (Bath and North East Somerset, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire), an area sometimes also known as the "former Avon area" or the "West of England". Sony VAIO VPC-YB1S1E/S Battery The Avon Gorge, home to several unique plant species. Physical geography Bristol is in a limestone area, which runs from the Mendip Hills to the south and the Cotswolds to the north east. The rivers Avon and Frome cut through this limestone to the underlying clays, creating Bristol's characteristic hilly landscape. The Avon flows from Bath in the east, through flood plains and areas which were marshy before the growth of the city. To the west the Avon has cut through the limestone to form the Avon Gorge, partly aided by glacial meltwater after the last ice age.[82 Sony VAIO VGN-SR165E Battery] The gorge helped to protect Bristol Harbour, and has been quarried for stone to build the city. The land surrounding the gorge has been protected from development, as The Downs and Leigh Woods. The gorge and estuary of the Avon form the county's boundary with North Somerset, and the river flows into the Severn Estuary at Avonmouth. There is another gorge in the city, in the Blaise Castle estate to the north. Sony VAIO VPC-YB15KX/B Battery Sony VAIO VGN-FW378J Battery Sony VAIO VGN-SR140E Battery Climate Situated in the south of the country, Bristol is one of the warmest cities in the UK, with a mean annual temperature of 10.2-12 C (50-54 F). It is also amongst the sunniest, with 1,541-1,885 hours sunshine per year.[ Sony VAIO VGN-FW260J/H Battery84] The city is partially sheltered by the Mendip Hills, but exposed to the Severn Estuary and Bristol Channel. Rainfall increases towards the south of the area, with annual totals north of the Avon River in the 600-900 mm (35 in) range, up to the 900-1,200 mm (47 in) range South of it. Rain falls all year round, but autumn and winter are the wettest seasons. Sony VAIO VGN-FW245J/HC Battery The Atlantic strongly influences Bristol's weather, maintaining average temperatures above freezing throughout the year, although cold spells in winter often bring frosts. Snow can fall at any time from early November through to late April, but it is an infrequent occurrence. Summers are drier and quite warm with variable amounts of sunshine, rain and cloud. Sony VAIO VPC-YB33KX Battery Spring is unsettled and changeable, and has brought spells of winter snow as well as summer sunshine. The nearest weather stations to Bristol for which long term climate data are available are Long Ashton (about 5 miles South West of the city centre) and Bristol Weather Station (Within the city centre). However, data collection at these locations ceased in 2002 and 2001 respectively, Sony VAIO VPC-YB35KX Battery Sony VAIO VPC-F126FM Batteryand Filton Airfield is now the closest Weather Station. The temperature range at Long Ashton for the period 1959-2002 has spanned from 33.5 C (92.3 F) during July 1976, down to 14.4 C (6.1 F) in January 1982. Monthly Temperature extremes at Filton (since 2002) exceeding those recorded at Long Ashton include 25.7 C (78.3 F) during April 2003,[9 Sony VAIO VGN-SR51MR Battery 0] 34.5 C (94.1 F) during July 2006 and 26.8 C (80.2 F) in October 2011. The lowest temperature recorded in recent years at Filton was 10.1 C (13.8 F) during December 2010. As can be seen from the charts below, like many large cities, Bristol experiences an urban heat island effect, with night time averages at Bristol Weather Centre, in the city centre generally being just under 2 C milder than Long Ashton, just outside the urban area. Sony VAIO VGN-SR11M Battery Based on its environmental performance, quality of life, future-proofing and how well it is addressing climate change, recycling and biodiversity, Bristol was ranked as Britain's most sustainable city, topping environmental charity Forum for the Future's Sustainable Cities Index 2008.[9 Sony VAIO VGN-SR51MF/W Battery8] Notable local initiatives include Sustrans, who have created the National Cycle Network, founded as Cyclebag in 1977, and Resourcesaver established in 1988 as a non-profit business by Avon Friends of the Earth. Sony VAIO VGN-SR11MR Battery Sony VAIO VGN-SR51MF/P Battery Demographics In 2008 the Office for National Statistics estimated the Bristol unitary authority's population at 416,900, making it the 47th-largest ceremonial county in England. Using Census 2001 data the ONS estimated the population of the city to be 441,556, and that of the contiguous urban area to be 551,066.[1 Sony VAIO VGN-SR41M/S Battery05] and more recent 2006 ONS estimates put the urban area population at 587,400. This makes the city England's sixth most populous city, and ninth most populous urban area. At 3,599 inhabitants per square kilometre (9,321 /sq mi) it has the seventh-highest population density of any English district. Sony VAIO VGN-SR19VN Battery According to 2009 estimates, 86.5% of the population were described as White, 5.2% as Asian or Asian British, 3.4% as Black or Black British, 2.4% as Mixed Race, 1.5% as Chinese and 1.1% Other. National averages for England were 87.5%, 6.0%, 2.9%, 1.9%, 0.8% and 0.8% for the same groups. Sony VAIO VGN-SR41M/P Battery Historical population records Note: Only includes figures for Bristol Unitary Authority i.e. excludes areas that are part of the Bristol urban area (2006 estimated population 587,400) but are located in South Gloucestershire, BANES or North Somerset which border Bristol UA such as Kingswood, Mangotsfield, Filton, Warmley etc. The figures for 2008, 2009 & 2010 are an estimate from the Office for National Statistics. Sony VAIO VGN-SR31M Battery As a major seaport, Bristol has a long history of trading commodities, originally wool cloth exports and imports of fish, wine, grain and dairy produce, later tobacco, tropical fruits and plantation goods; major imports now are motor vehicles, grain, timber, fresh produce and petroleum products. Sony VAIO VGN-SR29VN Battery Deals were originally struck on a personal basis in the former trading area around The Exchange in Corn Street, and in particular, over bronze trading tables, known as "The Nails". This is often given as the origin of the expression "cash on the nail", meaning immediate payment, however it is likely that the expression was in use before the nails were erected. Sony VAIO VGN-SR21M/S Battery As well as Bristol's nautical connections, the city's economy is reliant on the aerospace industry, defence, the media, information technology and financial services sectors, and tourism. The former Ministry of Defence (MoD)'s Procurement Executive, later the Defence Procurement Agency, Sony VAIO VGN-SR21RM/H Batteryand now Defence Equipment & Support, moved to a purpose-built headquarters at Abbey Wood, Filton in 1995. The site employs some 7,000 to 8,000 staff and is responsible for procuring and supporting much of the MoD's defence equipment. Sony VAIO VGN-SR19XN Battery In 2004 Bristol's GDP was 9.439 billion, and the combined GDP of Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and North Somerset was 44.098 billion. The GDP per head was 23,962 (US$47,738, 35,124) making the city more affluent than the UK as a whole, Sony VAIO VGN-SR21M/S Battery at 40% above the national average. This makes it the third-highest per-capita GDP of any English city, after London and Nottingham, and the fifth highest GDP per capita of any city in the United Kingdom, behind London, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Sony VGP-BPS13/B Battery Belfast and Nottingham. In March 2007, Bristol's unemployment rate was 4.8%, compared with 4.0% for the south west and 5.5% for England. Although Bristol's economy is no longer reliant upon the Port of Bristol, which was relocated gradually to the mouth of the Avon to new docks at Avonmouth (1870s) and Royal Portbury Dock (1977) as the size of shipping increased, Sony VGP-BPS21/S Battery the city is the largest importer of cars to the UK. Since the port was leased in 1991, 330 million has been invested and the annual tonnage throughput has increased from 3.9 million long tons (4 million tonnes) to 11.8 million long tons (12 million tonnes). The tobacco trade and cigarette manufacturing have now ceased, but imports of wines and spirits by Averys continue. Sony VGP-BPS21A/B Battery The financial services sector employs 59,000 in the city, and the high-tech sector is important, with 50 micro-electronics and silicon design companies, which employ around 5,000 people, including the Hewlett-Packard national research laboratories, which opened in 1983. Sony VGP-BPS21B Battery  Bristol is the UK's seventh most popular destination for foreign tourists, and the city receives nine million visitors each year. In the 20th century, Bristol's manufacturing activities expanded to include aircraft production at Filton, by the Bristol Aeroplane Company, and aero-engine manufacture by Bristol Aero Engines (later Rolls-Royce) at Patchway. Sony VGP-BPS21A BatteryThe aeroplane company became famous for the World War I Bristol Fighter, and Second World War Blenheim and Beaufighter aircraft. In the 1950s it became one of the country's major manufacturers of civil aircraft, with the Bristol Freighter and Britannia and the huge Brabazon airliner. Sony VGP-BPS21 BatteryThe Bristol Aeroplane Company diversified into car manufacturing in the 1940s, producing hand-built luxury cars at their factory in Filton, under the name Bristol Cars, which became independent from the Bristol Aeroplane Company in 1960.[1Sony VGP-BPS13B/B Battery 26] The city also gave its name to the Bristol make of buses, manufactured in the city from 1908 to 1983, first by the local bus operating company, Bristol Tramways, and from 1955 by Bristol Commercial Vehicles. Sony VGP-BPS13B/Q Battery The last ever flight of any Concorde, 26 November 2003. The aircraft is seen a few minutes before landing on the Filton runway from which it first flew in 1969. In the 1960s Filton played a key role in the Anglo-French Concorde supersonic airliner project. The Bristol Aeroplane Company became part of the British partner, the British Aircraft Corporation (BAC). Concorde components were manufactured in British and French factories and shipped to the two final assembly plants, Sony VGP-BPS13A/Q Batteryin Toulouse and Filton. The French manufactured the centre fuselage and centre wing and the British the nose, rear fuselage, fin and wingtips, while the Olympus 593 engine's manufacture was split between Rolls-Royce (Filton) and SNECMA (Paris). The British Concorde prototype made its maiden flight from Filton to RAF Fairford on 9 April 1969, five weeks after the French test flight.[127Sony VGP-BPS13A/B Battery ] In 2003 British Airways and Air France decided to cease flying the aircraft and to retire them to locations (mostly museums) around the world. On 26 November 2003 Concorde 216 made the final Concorde flight, Sony VGP-BPS13/Q Batteryreturning to Filton airfield to be kept there permanently as the centrepiece of a projected air museum. This museum will include the existing Bristol Aero Collection, which includes a Bristol Britannia aircraft. Sony VGP-BPS13/S Battery The aerospace industry remains a major segment of the local economy. The major aerospace companies in Bristol now are BAE Systems, (formed by merger between Marconi Electronic Systems and BAe; the latter being formed by a merger of BAC, Hawker Siddeley and Scottish Aviation), Airbus[130Sony VGP-BPS13 Batterty ] and Rolls-Royce are all based at Filton, and aerospace engineering is a prominent research area at the nearby University of the West of England. Another important aviation company in the city is Cameron Balloons, who manufacture hot air balloon. Each August the city is host to the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta, one of Europe's largest hot air balloon events. Sony Vaio VGN-SR4VR/H Battery The city's principal theatre company, the Bristol Old Vic, was founded in 1946 as an offshoot of the Old Vic company in London. Its premises on King Street consist of the 1766 Theatre Royal (607 seats), a modern studio theatre called the New Vic (150 seats), and foyer and bar areas in the adjacent Coopers' Hall (built 1743). Sony Vaio VGN-SR49VT/H Battery The Theatre Royal is a grade I listed building and is the oldest continuously operating theatre in England. The Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, which had originated in King Street is now a separate company. The Bristol Hippodrome is a larger theatre (1,951 seats) which hosts national touring productions. Other theatres include the Tobacco Factory (250 seats), QEH (220 seats), Sony Vaio VGN-FW56SR Batterythe Redgrave Theatre (at Clifton College) (320 seats) and the Alma Tavern (50 seats). Bristol's theatre scene includes a large variety of producing theatre companies, apart from the Bristol Old Vic company, including Show of Strength Theatre Company, Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory and Travelling Light Theatre Company. Theatre Bristol is a partnership between Bristol City Council, Sony Vaio VGN-FW56ZR Battery Arts Council England and local theatre practitioners which aims to develop the theatre industry in Bristol. There are also a number of organisations within the city which act to support theatre makers, for example Equity, Sony Vaio VGN-SR49VN/H Battery Sony Vaio VGN-SR59XG/H Batterythe actors union, has a General Branch based in the city, and Residence which provides office, social and rehearsal space for several Bristol-based theatre and performance companies. Sony Vaio VGN-SR59VG/H Battery Since the late 1970s, the city has been home to bands combining punk, funk, dub and political consciousness, amongst the most notable have been Glaxo Babies, The Pop Group and trip hop or "Bristol Sound" artists such as Tricky, Portishead and Massive Attack; the list of bands from Bristol is extensive. Sony Vaio VGN-FW56Z Battery It is also a stronghold of drum & bass with notable artists such as the Mercury Prize winning Roni Size/Reprazent as well as the pioneering DJ Krust and More Rockers. This music is part of the wider Bristol urban culture scene which received international media attention in the 1990s. Bristol has many live music venues, Sony Vaio VGN-SR57S Battery the largest of which is the 2,000-seat Colston Hall, named after Edward Colston. Others include the Bristol Academy, Fiddlers, Victoria Rooms, Trinity Centre, St George's Bristol and a range of public houses from the jazz-orientated The Old Duke to rock at the Fleece and Firkin and indie bands at the Louisiana. Sony Vaio VGN-SR57V Battery In 2010, PRS for Music announced that Bristol is the most musical city in the UK, based on the number of its members born in Bristol in relation to the size of its population. The Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery houses a collection of natural history, archaeology, local glassware, Chinese ceramics and art. Sony Vaio VGN-SR59TH/H BatteryThe Bristol Industrial Museum, featuring preserved dock machinery, closed in October 2006 for rebuilding and plans to reopen in 2011 as the Museum of Bristol. Sony Vaio VGN-SR57X BatteryThe City Museum also runs three preserved historic houses: the Tudor Red Lodge, the Georgian House, and Blaise Castle House.[156Sony VAIO VGN-FW21E Battery ] The Watershed Media Centre and Arnolfini gallery, both in disused dockside warehouses, exhibit contemporary art, photography and cinema, while the city's oldest gallery is at the Royal West of England Academy in Clifton. Sony VAIO VGN-FW21I Battery Sony VAIO VGN-FW21L Battery Stop frame animation films and commercials produced by Aardman Animations and television series focusing on the natural world have also brought fame and artistic credit to the city. The city is home to the regional headquarters of BBC West, and the BBC Natural History Unit.[160 Sony VAIO VGN-FW54M Battery] Locations in and around Bristol have often featured in the BBC's natural history programmes, including the children's television programme Animal Magic, filmed at Bristol Zoo. In literature, Bristol is noted as the birth place of the 18th-century poet Thomas Chatterton, and also Robert Southey, who was born in Wine Street, Bristol in 1774. Southey and his friend Samuel Taylor Coleridge married the Bristol Fricker sisters;[164Sony VAIO VGN-FW21Z Battery ] and William Wordsworth spent time in the city, where Joseph Cottle first published Lyrical Ballads in 1798. The 18th- and 19th-century portrait painter Sir Thomas Lawrence and 19th-century architect Francis Greenway, designer of many of Sydney's first buildings, came from the city, and more recently the graffiti artist Banksy Sony VAIO VGN-FW51ZF/H Battery, many of whose works can be seen in the city. Some famous comedians are locals, including Justin Lee Collins, Lee Evans, Russell Howard, and writer/comedian Stephen Merchant. University of Bristol graduates include magician and psychological illusionist Derren Brown; the satirist Chris Morris; Simon Pegg and Nick Frost of Spaced, Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz; and Matt Lucas[17 Sony VAIO VGN-FW51MF/H Battery6] and David Walliams of Little Britain fame. Hollywood actor Cary Grant was born in the city; Patrick Stewart, Jane Lapotaire, Pete Postlethwaite, Jeremy Irons, Greta Scacchi, Miranda Richardson, Helen Baxendale, Daniel Day-Lewis and Gene Wilder are amongst the many actors who learnt their craft at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, opened by Laurence Olivier in 1946. The comedian John Cleese was a pupil at Clifton College.[179 Sony VAIO VGN-FW51 Battery] Hugo Weaving studied at Queen Elizabeth's Hospital School and David Prowse (Darth Vader, Star Wars) attended Bristol Grammar School. Architecture Main article: Buildings and architecture of Bristol The Llandoger Trow, an ancient public house in the heart of Bristol. Bristol has 51 Grade I listed buildings,[13Sony VAIO VGN-FW21M Battery Sony VAIO VGN-FW4ZTJ/H8] 500 Grade II* and over 3,800 Grade II buildings, in a wide variety of architectural styles, ranging from the medieval to the 21st century. In the mid-19th century, Bristol Byzantine, an architectural style unique to the city, was developed, of which several examples have survived. Buildings from most of the architectural periods of the United Kingdom can be seen throughout the city. Sony VAIO VGN-FW46M BatterySurviving elements of the fortified city and castle date back to the medieval era, also some churches dating from the 12th century onwards. Outside the historical city centre there are several large Tudor mansions built for wealthy merchants. Almshouses and public houses of the same period still exist, Sony VAIO VGN-FW31M Battery intermingled with modern development. Several Georgian-era squares were laid out for the enjoyment of the middle class as prosperity increased in the 18th century. During World War II, the city centre suffered from extensive bombing during the Bristol Blitz. The central shopping area around Wine Street and Castle Street was particularly badly hit, Sony VAIO VGN-FW3ZJ Batteryand architectural treasures such as the Dutch House and St Peter's Hospital were lost. Nonetheless in 1961 Betjeman still considered Bristol to be 'the most beautiful, interesting and distinguished city in England'. The redevelopment of shopping centres, office buildings, and the harbourside continues apace. Sport and leisure Sony VAIO VGN-FW21ZR Main article: Sport in Bristol Ashton Gate stadium with the Clifton Suspension Bridge in the background over the Avon Gorge The city has two Football League clubs: Bristol City and Bristol Rovers, as well as a number of non-league clubs. Bristol City was formed in 1897, became runners-up in Division One in 1907, and losing FA Cup finalists in 1909. Sony VAIO VGN-FW31J Battery They returned to the top flight in 1976, but in 1980 started a descent to Division Four. They were promoted to the second tier of English football in 2007. The team lost in the play-off final of the Championship to Hull City (2007/2008 season). Sony VAIO VGN-FW11ZRU Battery City announced plans for a new 30,000 all-seater stadium to replace their home, Ashton Gate. Bristol Rovers is the oldest professional football team in Bristol, formed in 1883. During their history, Rovers have been champions of the (old) division Three (1952/53, 1989/90), Watney Cup Winners (1972, 2006/07), Sony VAIO VGN-FW11ZU Battery and runners-up in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy. The Club have planning permission to re-develop the Memorial Stadium into an 18,500 all-seat Stadium, but has yet to start due to financial difficulties. Sony VAIO VGN-FW21ER Battery The County Ground, Ashley Down The city is also home to Bristol Rugby rugby union club, a first-class cricket side, Gloucestershire C.C.C. and a Rugby League Conference side, the Bristol Sonics. The city also stages an annual half marathon, and in 2001 played host to the World Half Marathon Championships. Sony VAIO VGN-FW21J Battery There are several athletics clubs in Bristol, including Bristol and West AC, Bitton Road Runners and Westbury Harriers. Speedway racing was staged, with breaks, at the Knowle Stadium from 1928 to 1960, when it was closed and the site redeveloped. Sony Vaio VGN-AW41ZF/B Battery Sony Vaio VGN-AW11M/H Battery The sport briefly returned to the city in the 1970s when the Bulldogs raced at Eastville Stadium. In 2009, senior ice hockey returned to the city for the first time in 17 years with the newly formed Bristol Pitbulls playing out of Bristol Ice Rink. Sony Vaio VGN-AW41XH/Q Battery The Bristol International Balloon Fiesta, a major event for hot-air ballooning in the UK, is held each summer in the grounds of Ashton Court, to the west of the city. The fiesta draws substantial crowds even for the early morning lift beginning at about 6.30 am. Events and a fairground entertain visitors during the day. Sony Vaio VGN-AW41MF/H Battery A second mass ascent is made in the early evening, again taking advantage of lower wind speeds. Until 2007 Ashton Court also played host to the Ashton Court festival each summer, an outdoor music festival known as the Bristol Community Festival. Sony Vaio VGN-AW41JF/H Battery Mountain biking in Bristol, the main area is around the Ashton Court estate with the Timberland trails being the main route. There are also routes across the road in the Plantation and 50 acre wood and Leigh Woods. Sony Vaio VGN-AW31ZJ/B Battery Media Bristol International Balloon Fiesta Bristol has two daily newspapers, the Western Daily Press and the Bristol Evening Post; a weekly free newspaper, the Bristol Observer; and a Bristol edition of the free Metro newspaper, all owned by the Daily Mail and General Trust.[19 Sony Vaio VGN-AW11S/B Battery7] The local monthly listings magazine, Venue, covers the city's music, theatre and arts scenes and is owned by Northcliffe Media, a subsidiary of the Daily Mail and General Trust. Bristol Media is the city's support network for the creative and media industries with over 1600 members.[ Sony Vaio VGN-AW11SR/B Battery 199] The city has several local radio stations, including BBC Radio Bristol, Heart Bristol (previously known as GWR FM), Classic Gold 1260, Kiss 101, Star 107.2, BCfm (a community radio station launched March 2007), Ujima 98 FM, 106 Jack FM (Bristol), as well as two student radio stations, The Hub and BURST and Radio Salaam Shalom an online radio station from the Jewish and Muslim communities of the city. Sony Vaio VGN-AW11XU/Q Battery Bristol also boasts television productions such as The West Country Tonight for ITV West (formerly HTV West) and ITV Westcountry, Points West for BBC West, hospital drama Casualty (which has since moved filming to Cardiff since 2012) and Endemol productions such as Deal Or No Deal. Bristol has been used as a location for the Channel 4 comedy drama Teachers, BBC drama Mistresses, Sony Vaio VGN-AW11Z/B Battery E4 teen drama Skins and BBC3 comedy-drama series Being Human (which has since moved to Barry from series 3 onwards). Independent publishers based in the city have included the 18th century, Bristolian Joseph Cottle who was largely responsible for the launch of the Romantic Movement by publishing the works of William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Sony Vaio VGN-AW11ZR/B Battery  In the 19th century, J.W. Arrowsmith published the Victorian comedy classics Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K Jerome and The Diary of a Nobody by George and Weedon Grossmith. Current publishers include the Redcliffe Press who have published over 200 books on all aspects of the city. Sony Vaio VGN-AW31S/B Battery Sony Vaio VGN-AW11RXU/Q Battery Dialect A dialect of English is spoken by some Bristol inhabitants, known colloquially as Bristolian, "Bristolese" or even, following the publication of Derek Robson's "Krek Waiters peak Bristle", as "Bristle" or "Brizzle". Bristol natives speak with a rhotic accent, in which the post-vocalic r in words like car and card is still pronounced, having been lost from many other dialects of English, notably BBC English, or RP, i.e., Sony Vaio VGN-AW31M/H Battery "received pronunciation". The unusual feature of this accent, unique to Bristol, is the so-called Bristol L (or terminal L), in which an L sound appears to be appended to words that end in an 'a' or 'o'. There is some dispute about whether this is broad "l" or "w". Thus "area" becomes "areal" or "areaw", etc. Sony Vaio VGN-AW21M Battery The "-ol" ending of the city's name is a significant example of the occurrence of the so-called "Bristol L". Bristolians using the dialect, tend to pronounce "a" and "o" at the end of a word almost as "aw", hence "cinemaw". To the stranger's ear this pronunciation sounds as if there is an "L" after the vowel. For example the statement "Africa is a malaria area", Sony Vaio VGN-AW21S Batteryspoken with a Bristolian accent will sound like "Africal is a malarial areal" or "Africaw is a malariaw areaw". Another example of the Bristol accent is broad a before "l", thus "Awbert" for "Albert", "fawt" for "fault". A similar form of this pronunciation quirk has been in existence for centuries, even as far back as the Norman Conquest in 1066 and the Domesday Book, compiled by the Norman-French. In those days before the printing press, Sony Vaio VGN-AW21XY/Q Battery the city's name - "Bruggestowe" at the time - was rarely written. Consequently the Domesday Book information gatherers had to rely on oral answers to their questions and the city name was recorded as being "Bristolle". Further Bristolian linguistic features are the addition of an additional "to" in questions relating to direction or orientation, or using "to" instead of "at"(features also common to the coastal towns of South Wales probably reflecting the use of "tu" in Welsh, e.g., Sony Vaio VGN-AW31XY/Q Battery "Y mae efe tu maes" - "That is he to outside" = "He/It is outside"); and using male pronouns "he", "him" instead of "it". For example, "Where is it?" would be phrased as "Where's he to?" and "Where's that" as "Where's that to", a structure exported to Newfoundland English. Sony Vaio VGN-AW21Z/B Battery Until recent times the dialect was characterised by retention of the second person singular as in the famous piece of doggerel, "Cassn't see what bist looking at? Cassn't see as well as couldst, casst? And if couldst, 'ouldn't, 'ouldst?" Notice the use of West Saxon "bist" for English "art". And children could be admonished with, "Thee and thou, HP Pavilion DV7-1000EA Battery the Welshman's cow". As in French and German, use of the second person singular to a superior or parent was not permitted in Bristolese (except by Quakers with their notions of equality for all). The accent might have been influenced by immigration from the English Midlands, Wales, Cornwall and Ireland, since there is no evidence of the voicing of 's' and 'f', e.g., 'zummer' for 'summer' and 'vader' for 'father', HP Pavilion DV7-1001EA Battery which was characteristic of the surrounding Western counties and as far afield as Oxfordshire and Hampshire. In fact the Bristol accent is less like those of neighbouring Somerset and Gloucestershire than is the traditional accent of Berkshire. Cabot Tower viewed from Brandon Hill park. Stanley Ellis, a dialect researcher, found that many of the dialect words in the Filton area were linked to work in the aerospace industry. He described this as "a cranky, crazy, crab-apple tree of language and with the sharpest, juiciest flavour that I've heard for a long time". HP Pavilion DV7-1014CA Battery Religion In the United Kingdom Census 2001, 60% of Bristol's population reported themselves as being Christian, and 25% stated they were not religious; the national UK averages are 72% and 15% respectively. Islam accounts for 2% of the population (3% nationally), with no other religion above one percent, although 9% did not respond to the question. HP Pavilion DV7-1002EA Battery The city has many Christian churches, the most notable being the Anglican Bristol Cathedral and St. Mary Redcliffe and the Roman Catholic Clifton Cathedral. Nonconformist chapels include Buckingham Baptist Chapel and John Wesley's New Room in Broadmead.[21HP Pavilion DV7-1020EA Battery 0] St James's Presbyterian Church of England church (at 51.4587 N 2.5920 W) was just south of the current coach station. The church was bombed on 24 November 1940 never to be used as a church again. The tower remains but the nave has been converted to offices. HP Pavilion DV7-1003EA Battery In Bristol, other religions are served by Eleven Mosques, several Buddhist meditation centres, a Hindu temple, Progressive and Orthodox synagogues, and four Sikh temples. HP Pavilion DV7-1214EA Battery Education, science and technology The Victoria Rooms, owned by the University Main article: Education in Bristol Bristol is home to two major institutions of higher education: the University of Bristol, a "redbrick" chartered in 1909, and the University of the West of England, formerly Bristol Polytechnic, which gained university status in 1992. The city also has two dedicated further education institutions, HP Pavilion DV7-1212EA BatteryCity of Bristol College and Filton College, and three theological colleges, Trinity College, Wesley College and Bristol Baptist College. The city has 129 infant, junior and primary schools, 17 secondary schools, and three city learning centres. It has the country's second highest concentration of independent school places, after an exclusive corner of north London.[220 HP Pavilion DV7-1211EA Battery] The independent schools in the city include Colston's School, Clifton College, Clifton High School, Badminton School, Bristol Grammar School, Redland High School, Queen Elizabeth's Hospital (the only all-boys school) and Red Maids' School, which claims to be the oldest girls' school in England, having been founded in 1634 by John Whitson. HP Pavilion DV7-1050EA Battery The Wills Memorial Building on Park Street belongs to the University of Bristol. The tower was cleaned in 2006-2007. In 2005, the then Chancellor of the Exchequer recognised Bristol's ties to science and technology by naming it one of six "science cities", and promising funding for further development of science in the city, HP Pavilion DV7-1213EA Battery with a 300 million science park planned at Emerson's Green. As well as research at the two universities, Bristol Royal Infirmary, and Southmead Hospital, science education is important in the city, with At-Bristol, Bristol Zoo, Bristol Festival of Nature and the Create Centre being prominent local institutions involved in science communication. HP Pavilion DV7-1038CA Battery The city has a history of scientific luminaries, including the 19th-century chemist Sir Humphry Davy, who worked in Hotwells. Bishopston gave the world Nobel Prize winning physicist Paul Dirac[22 HP Pavilion DV7-3178CA Battery6] for crucial contributions to quantum mechanics in 1933. Cecil Frank Powell was Melvill Wills Professor of Physics at Bristol University when he was awarded the Nobel prize for a photographic method of studying nuclear processes and associated discoveries in 1950. The city was birth place of Colin Pillinger,[22 HP Pavilion DV7-1125EA Battery7] planetary scientist behind the Beagle 2 Mars-lander project, and was home to the psychologist Richard Gregory, founder of the EXploratory, a hands-on science centre, precursor of at-Bristol. Initiatives such as the Flying Start Challenge help encourage secondary school pupils around the Bristol area to take an interest in Science and Engineering. Links with major aerospace companies promote technical disciplines and advance students' understanding of practical design.[229 HP Pavilion DV7-1130EA Battery ] The Bloodhound SSC project, aiming to break the land speed record, is based at the Bloodhound Technology Centre on Bristol's harbourside. Transport Main article: Transport in Bristol [show] [ v t e ]Bristol Area Railway Map Bristol has two principal railway stations. Bristol Temple Meads is near the centre and sees mainly First Great Western services including regular high speed trains to London Paddington as well as other local and regional services and Cross Country trains. Bristol Parkway is located to the north of the city and is mainly served by high speed First Great Western services between Cardiff and London, HP Pavilion DV7-1004EA Battery and CrossCountry services to Birmingham and the North East. There is also a limited service to London Waterloo from Bristol Temple Meads, operated by South West Trains. There are also scheduled coach links to most major UK cities. HP Pavilion DV7-1107EA Battery Temple Meads station The city is connected by road on an east-west axis from London to West Wales by the M4 motorway, and on a north-southwest axis from Birmingham to Exeter by the M5 motorway. Also within the county is the M49 motorway, a short cut between the M5 in the south and M4 Severn Crossing in the west. The M32 motorway is a spur from the M4 to the city centre. HP Pavilion DV7-1075LA Battery The city is served by Bristol Airport (BRS), at Lulsgate, which has seen substantial investments in its runway, terminal and other facilities since 2001. Bristol Airport, Lulsgate Public transport in the city consists largely of its bus network, provided mostly by First Group, formerly the Bristol Omnibus Company - other services are provided by Abus, Buglers, Ulink (Operated by Wessex Connect for the 2 Universities), and Wessex Connect. Buses in the city have been widely criticised for being unreliable and expensive, and in 2005 First was fined for delays and safety violations.[23 HP Pavilion DV7-1135EA Battery6] Private car usage in Bristol is high, and the city suffers from congestion, which costs an estimated 350 million per year. Bristol is motorcycle friendly; the city allows motorcycles to use most of the city's bus lanes, as well as providing secure free parking.[23 HP Pavilion DV7-1210EA Battery9] Since 2000 the city council has included a light rail system in its Local Transport Plan, but has so far been unwilling to fund the project. The city was offered European Union funding for the system, but the Department for Transport did not provide the required additional funding. As well as support for public transport, there are several road building schemes supported by the local council, including re-routing and improving the South Bristol Ring Road.[ HP Pavilion DV7-1105EA Battery241] There are also three park and ride sites serving the city, supported by the local council. The central part of the city has water-based transport, operated by the Bristol Ferry Boat, Bristol Packet and Number Seven Boat Trips providing leisure and commuter services on the harbour.[243HP Pavilion DV7-1007EF Battery ] Bristol's principal surviving suburban railway is the Severn Beach Line to Avonmouth and Severn Beach. The Portishead Railway was closed to passengers under the Beeching Axe, but was relaid for freight only in 2000-2002 as far as the Royal Portbury Dock with a Strategic Rail Authority rail-freight grant. HP Pavilion DV7-1008EG Battery Plans to relay a further three miles (5 km) of track to Portishead, a largely dormitory town with only one connecting road, have been discussed but there is insufficient funding to rebuild stations. Rail services in Bristol suffer from overcrowding and there is a proposal to increase rail capacity under the Greater Bristol Metro scheme.[245HP Pavilion DV7-1055EA Battery Bristol was named "England's first 'cycling city'" in 2008, and is home to the sustainable transport charity Sustrans. It has a number of urban cycle routes, as well as links to National Cycle Network routes to Bath and London, to Gloucester and Wales, and to the south-western peninsula of England. Cycling has grown rapidly in the city, with a 21% increase in journeys between 2001 and 2005. HP Pavilion DV7-1008EF Battery]
Posted May 31st, 2012 at 01:15am
South West England and BristolSouth West England is one of the regions of England defined by the Government of the United Kingdom for statistical and other purposes. It is the largest such region in area, covering 9,200 square miles (23,828 km2) and comprising Bristol, Sony VAIO VGN-NR21E/S Battery Gloucestershire, Somerset, Dorset, Wiltshire, Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. Five million people live there. The region includes the area often known as the West Country, and much of Wessex. Sony VAIO VGN-NR11M/S Battery The size of the region is shown by the fact that the northern part of Gloucestershire, near Chipping Campden, is as close to the Scottish border as it is to the tip of Cornwall. The largest city is Bristol. Other major urban centres include Plymouth, Swindon, Gloucester, Exeter, Bath, and the South East Dorset conurbation of Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch. Sony VAIO VGN-NR11S/S Battery The region includes two National Parks and four World Heritage Sites, including Stonehenge. Traditionally, the South West of England has been well known for producing Cheddar cheese, which originated in the Somerset village of Cheddar, for Devon cream teas, Cornish pasties, and for cider. Sony VAIO VGN-NR11Z/S Battery It is also well known as the home of the Eden Project, Aardman Animations, the Glastonbury Festival, the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta, trip hop music and also Cornwall's surfing beaches. Sony VAIO VGN-NR11Z/T Battery Most of the South West occupies a peninsula between the English Channel and Bristol Channel. It has the longest coastline of England's regions, totalling 702 miles (1,130 km). Much of the coast is now protected from further substantial development because of its environmental importance, which contributes to the region's attractiveness to tourists and residents. Sony VAIO VGN-NR21J/S Battery Geologically the region is divided into the largely igneous and metamorphic west and sedimentary east, the dividing line slightly to the west of the River Exe. Cornwall and West Devon's landscape is of rocky coastline and high moorland, notably at Bodmin Moor and Dartmoor National Park. Sony VAIO VGN-NR21S/T Battery These are due to the granite and slate that underlie the area. The highest point of the region is High Willhays, at 2,038 feet (621 m), on Dartmoor. In North Devon the slates of the west and limestones of the east meet at Exmoor National Park. The variety of rocks of similar ages seen here have led to the county's name being lent to that of the Devonian period. Sony VAIO VGN-NR21S/S Battery The east of the region is characterised by wide, flat clay vales and chalk and limestone downland. The vales, with good irrigation, are home to the region's dairy agriculture. The Blackmore Vale was Thomas Hardy's "Vale of the Little Dairies";[HP Pavilion DV5-1015EA Battery 5] another, the Somerset Levels was created by reclaiming wetlands. The Southern England Chalk Formation extends into the region, creating a series of high, sparsely populated and archaeologically rich downs, HP Pavilion dv6-2010sa Batterymost famously Salisbury Plain, but also Cranborne Chase, the Dorset Downs and the Purbeck Hills. These downs are the principal area of arable agriculture in the region. Limestone is also found in the region, at the Cotswolds, Quantock Hills and Mendip Hills, where they support sheep farming.[ HP Pavilion dv6-1108ca Battery7] All of the principal rock types can be seen on the Jurassic Coast of Dorset and East Devon, where they document the entire Mesozoic era from west to east. Climate Main article: Climate of south-west England The climate of South West England is classed as oceanic (Cfb) according to the K ppen climate classification. HP Pavilion dv6-1025ef BatteryThe oceanic climate typically experiences cool winters with warmer summers and precipitation all year round, with more experienced in winter. Annual rainfall is about 1,000 millimetres (39 in) and up to 2,000 millimetres (79 in) on higher ground. Summer maxima averages range from 18 C (64 F) to 22 C (72 F) and winter minimum averages range from 1 C (34 F) to 4 C (39 F) across the south-west. HP Pavilion DV5-1011EA Battery It is the second windiest area of the United Kingdom, the majority of winds coming from the south-west and north-east. Government organisations predict the region to rise in temperature and become the hottest region in the United Kingdom. HP Pavilion DV5-1030EE Battery Inland areas of low altitude experience the least amount of precipitation. They experience the highest summer maxima temperatures, but winter minima are colder than the coast. Snowfalls are more frequent in comparison to the coast, but less so in comparison to higher ground.[ HP Pavilion dv5-1008ca Battery HP Pavilion dv6-1010ea Battery HP Pavilion dv6-1005ea Battery9] It experiences the lowest wind speeds and sunshine total in between that of the coast and the moors. The climate of inland areas is more noticeable the further north-east into the region. HP Pavilion dv6-1013ea Battery In comparison to inland areas, the coast experiences high minimum temperatures, especially in winter, and it experiences slightly lower maximum temperatures during the summer. Rainfall is the lowest at the coast and snowfall is rarer than the rest of the region. Coastal areas are the windiest parts of the peninsula and they receive the most sunshine. The general coastal climate is more typical the further south-west into the region. HP Pavilion dv5-1044ca Battery Areas of moorland inland such as: Bodmin Moor, Dartmoor and Exmoor experience lower temperatures and more precipitation than the rest of the south west (approximately twice as much rainfall as lowland areas), HP Pavilion dv5-1034ca Batterybecause of their high altitude. Both of these factors also cause it to experience the highest levels of snowfall and the lowest levels of sunshine. Exposed areas of the moors are windier than lowlands and can be almost as windy as the coast. HP Pavilion dv5-1009ea Battery Regional identity The boundaries of the South West Region are based upon those devised by central government in the 1930s for civil defence administration, and subsequently used for various statistical analyses. The region is also similar (subject to minor boundary adjustments) to that used in the 17th century Rule of the Major-Generals under Cromwell. (For further information, see Historical and alternative regions of England). HP Pavilion dv5-1015ea Battery By the 1960s, the South West Region (including Dorset, which for some previous purposes had been included in a Southern region), was widely recognised for government administration and statistics. HP Pavilion dv5-1007ca Battery The boundaries were carried forward into the 1990s, when regional administrations were formally established as Government Office Regions. A regional assembly and regional development agency were added in 1999. HP Pavilion dv5-1011ea Battery It has been argued that the official South West region does not possess a cultural and historic unity or identity of itself, which has led to criticism of it as an "artificial" construct. The large area of the region, HP Pavilion dv5-1008ea Battery stretching as it does from the Isles of Scilly to Gloucestershire, encompasses diverse areas which have little more in common with each other than they do with other areas of England. The region has several TV stations and newspapers based in different areas, and no single acknowledged regional "capital". Many people of the region have some level of a 'South West', HP Pavilion dv5-1010ea Batteryor 'West Country' regional identity, although this may not necessarily correspond to an identification with the official government-defined region. It is however more common for people in the region to primarily identify at a national level (whether English, British, Cornish, or other nations beyond the region itself), and/or a county or city level. HP Pavilion dv5-1015ea Battery In particular, Cornwall's inclusion in the region is disputed by Cornish nationalists. The United Kingdom government has stated in the past that Cornwall is too small to become a region in its own right, HP Pavilion dv5-1012ea Battery having around one fifth of the population of the smallest existing English region. The cross-party Cornish Constitutional Convention and Cornish nationalist party Mebyon Kernow have campaigned for a Cornish Assembly ever since the idea of regional devolution was put forward. HP Pavilion dv6-1038ca Battery Settlements Pulteney Bridge in Georgian Bath, Somerset: the entire city is a World Heritage Site. The South West region is largely rural, with small towns and villages; a higher proportion of people live in such areas than in any other English region. HP Pavilion dv6-1108ca Battery The largest cities and towns are Bristol, Plymouth, Bournemouth and Poole (collectively the South East Dorset conurbation), Swindon, Gloucester, Cheltenham, Torbay, Exeter, Bath, Weston-super-Mare, Salisbury, Taunton and Weymouth. The population of the South West is about five million. HP Pavilion dv6-1138ca Battery Transport The region lies on several main line railways. The Great Western Main Line runs from London to Bristol, Exeter, Plymouth and Penzance in the far west of Cornwall. The South Western Main Line runs from London and Southampton to Bournemouth, HP Pavilion dv6-1140ea Battery Poole and Weymouth in Dorset. The West of England Main Line runs from London to Exeter via south Wiltshire, north Dorset and south Somerset. The Wessex Main Line runs from Bristol to Salisbury and on to Southampton. HP Pavilion dv6-1130sa Battery The Heart of Wessex Line runs from Bristol in the north of the region to Weymouth on the south Dorset coast via Westbury, Castle Cary and Yeovil, with most services starting at Gloucester. HP Pavilion dv6-1132sa Battery M5 looking north towards Avonmouth Three major roads enter the region from the east. The M4 motorway from London to South Wales via Bristol is the busiest. The A303 cuts through the centre of the region from Salisbury to Honiton, where it merges with the A30 to continue past Exeter to the west of Cornwall. The A31, an extension of the M27, HP Pavilion dv6-1133sa Battery serves Poole and Bournemouth and the Dorset coast. The M5 runs from the West Midlands through Gloucestershire, Bristol and Somerset to Exeter. The A38 serves as a western extension to Plymouth. There are three other smaller motorways in the region, all in the Bristol area. HP Pavilion dv6-1140ea Battery Passenger airports in the region include Bristol, Exeter, Newquay and Bournemouth. Within the region the local transport authorities carry out transport planning through the use of a Local Transport Plan (LTP) which outlines their strategies, policies and implementation programme. HP Pavilion dv6-1148ca Battery The most recent LTP is that for the period 2006-11. In the South West region the following transport authorities have published their LTP online: Bournemouth U.A., Cornwall U.A., Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, HP Pavilion DV7-1000EA Battery Plymouth U.A., Somerset, Swindon U. A., Torbay U. A. and Wiltshire unitary authority. The transport authorities of Bath and North East Somerset U. A., Bristol U. A., North Somerset U. A. and South Gloucestershire U. A. publish a single Joint Local Transport Plan as part of the West of England Partnership. HP Pavilion DV7-1130EA Battery History Pre-Roman Stonehenge There is evidence from flint artefacts in a quarry at Westbury that an ancestor of modern man, possibly Homo heidelbergensis, was present in the future Somerset from around 500,000 years ago. There is some evidence of human occupation of southern England before the last ice age, such as Kents Cavern in Devon, HP Pavilion DV7-1135EA Battery but largely in the south east. The British mainland was connected to the continent during the ice age and humans may have repeatedly migrated into and out of the region as the climate fluctuated. There is evidence of human habitation in the caves at Cheddar Gorge 10,000-11,000 years BC, during a partial thaw in the ice age. HP Pavilion DV7-1210EA Battery The earliest scientifically dated cemetery in Britain was found at Aveline's Hole in the Mendip Hills. The human bone fragments it contained, from about 21 different individuals, are thought to be between roughly 10,200 and 10,400 years old. HP Pavilion DV7-1105EA Battery During this time the tundra gave way to birch forests and grassland and evidence for human settlement appears at Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire and Hengistbury Head, Dorset. At the end of the last Ice Age, the Bristol Channel was dry land but subsequently the sea level rose, resulting in major coastal changes. The Somerset Levels became flooded, but the dry points such as Glastonbury and Brent Knoll are known to have been occupied by Mesolithic hunters. The landscape at this time was tundra. HP Pavilion DV7-1008EG Battery Britain's oldest complete skeleton, Cheddar Man, lived at Cheddar Gorge around 7150 BC (the Upper Palaeolithic or Old Stone Age), shortly after the end of the ice age; however it is unclear whether the region was continually inhabited during the previous 4,000 years, or if humans returned to the gorge after a final cold spell. HP Pavilion DV7-1008EF BatteryA Palaeolithic flint tool found in West Sedgemoor is the earliest indication of human presence on the Somerset Levels. During the 7th millennium BC the sea level rose and flooded the valleys so the Mesolithic people occupied seasonal camps on the higher ground, indicated by scatters of flints.[ HP Pavilion DV7-1055EA Battery31] The Neolithic people continued to exploit the reedswamps for their natural resources and started to construct wooden track ways. These included the Post Track and the Sweet Track. The Sweet Track, HP Pavilion DV7-1007EF Battery dating from the 39th century BC, is the world's oldest timber trackway and was once thought to be the world's oldest engineered roadway. The Levels were also the location of the Glastonbury Lake Village as well as two at Meare. Stonehenge and Avebury are perhaps the most famous Neolithic sites in the UK. HP Pavilion DV7-1075LA Battery The region was heavily populated during the Neolithic, Bronze Age and Iron Age periods. Many monuments, barrows and trackways exist. Coin evidence shows that the region was split between the Durotriges, Dobunni and Dumnonii. HP Pavilion DV7-1107EA Battery The Iron Age tribe in Dorset were the Durotriges, "water dwellers", whose main settlement is represented by Maiden Castle. Ptolemy stated that Bath was in the territory of the Belgae, but this may be a mistake. HP Pavilion DV7-1004EA Battery The Celtic gods were worshipped at the temple of Sulis at Bath and possibly the temple on Brean Down. Iron Age sites on the Quantock Hills, include major hill forts at Dowsborough and Ruborough, as well as smaller earthwork enclosures, such as Trendle Ring, Elworthy Barrows and Plainsfield Camp. HP Pavilion DV7-1050EA Battery At the time of the Roman invasion, the inhabitants of the entire area that would later be included in the region spoke a Brythonic Celtic language. Languages descendant from that language are still spoken in Cornwall, Wales, and Brittany. HP Pavilion DV7-1003EA Battery Roman period Silbury Hill - Europe's largest man-made earthwork During the Roman era, the east of the region, particularly in the Cotswolds and eastern Somerset, was heavily Romanised but was much less so in Devon and Cornwall, though Exeter was a regional capital. Villas, farms and temples relating to the period exist in the region, including the remains at Bath. HP Pavilion DV7-1020EA Battery The area now comprising the county of Somerset was part of the Roman Empire from 47 AD to about 409 AD. However, the end was not abrupt and elements of Romanitas lingered on for perhaps a century. Somerset was invaded from the south-east by the Second Legion Augusta, under the future emperor Vespasian. HP Pavilion DV7-1001EA Battery The hillforts of the Durotriges at Ham Hill and Cadbury Castle were captured. Ham Hill probably had a temporary Roman occupation. The massacre at Cadbury Castle seems to have been associated with the later Boudiccan Revolt of 60-61 AD. The area remained part of the Roman Empire until around 409 AD. HP Pavilion DV7-1014CA Battery The Roman Baths in Bath The Roman invasion, and possibly the preceding period of involvement in the internal affairs of the south of England, was inspired in part by the potential of the Mendip Hills. A great deal of the attraction of the lead mines may have been the potential for the extraction of silver. Forts were set up at Bath and Ilchester. HP Pavilion DV7-1002EA Battery The lead and silver mines at Charterhouse in the Mendip Hills were run by the military. The Romans established a defensive boundary along the new military road known the Fosse Way (from the Latin fossa meaning ditch). The Fosse Way ran through Bath, HP Pavilion DV7-1125EA Battery Shepton Mallet, Ilchester and south-west towards Axminster. The road from Dorchester ran through Yeovil to meet the Fosse Way at Ilchester. There was salt production on the Somerset Levels near Highbridge and quarrying took place near Bath, where the Roman Baths gave their name to Bath. HP Pavilion DV7-1214EA Battery Excavations carried out before the flooding of Chew Valley Lake also uncovered Roman remains, indicating agricultural and industrial activity from the second half of the 1st century until the 3rd century AD. HP Pavilion DV7-1212EA BatteryThe finds included a moderately large villa at Chew Park, where wooden writing tablets (the first in the UK) with ink writing were found. There is also evidence from the Pagans Hill Roman Temple at Chew Stoke.[4HP Pavilion DV7-3178CA Battery 2] In October 2001 the West Bagborough Hoard of 4th century Roman silver was discovered in West Bagborough. HP Pavilion DV7-1211EA Battery The 681 coins included two denarii from the early 2nd century and 8 Miliarense and 671 Siliqua all dating to the period AD 337 - 367. The majority were struck in the reigns of emperors Constantius II and Julian and derive from a range of mints including Arles and Lyons in France, Trier in Germany and Rome. HP Pavilion DV7-1213EA Battery43] In April 2010, the Frome Hoard, one of the largest-ever hoards of Roman coins discovered in Britain, was found by a metal detectorist. The hoard of 52,500 coins dated from the 3rd century AD and was found buried in a field near Frome, in a jar 14 inches (36 cm) below the surface. The coins were excavated by archaeologists from the Portable Antiquities Scheme. [ HP Pavilion DV7-1038CA Battery Pre-Norman Maes Knoll the western end of Wansdyke Main articles: Wessex and Constitutional status of Cornwall After the Romans left at the start of the 5th century AD, the region split into several British kingdoms, including Dumnonia, centred around the old tribal territory of the Dumnonii.[46Sony VPC-F138FC Battery ] The upper Thames area soon came under Anglo-Saxon control but the remainder of the region was British controlled until the 6th century. A large defensive ditch on Cranborne Chase, Bokerley Dyke, dated to 367, Sony VPC-F219FC Battery Sony VPC-F12M1E/H Batterydelayed the Saxon conquest of Dorset, with the Romano-British remaining in Dorset for 200 years after the withdrawal of the Roman legions. The Western Wandsdyke was probably built during the 5th or 6th century. This area became the border between the Romano-British Celts and the West Saxons following the Battle of Deorham in 577 AD.[4 Sony VPC-F12F4E/H Battery9] The Anglo-Saxons then gained control of the Cotswold area but most of Somerset, Dorset and Devon (as well as Cornwall) remained in British hands until the late 7th century. According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, the Saxon Cenwalh achieved a breakthrough against the British Celtic tribes, with victories at Bradford-on-Avon (in the Avon Gap in the Wansdyke) in 652 AD,[5Sony VPC-S135EC Battery 0] and further south at the Battle of Peonnum (at Penselwood) in 658 AD, followed by an advance west through the Polden Hills to the River Parrett. The Saxon advance from the east seems to have been halted by battles between the British and Saxons, for example; at the siege of Badon Mons Badonicus (which may mave been in the Bath region e.g. at Solsbury Hill), or Bathampton Down.[54Sony VPC-S136EC Battery ] The Battle of Bedwyn was fought in 675 between Escuin, a West Saxon nobleman who had seized the throne of Queen Saxburga, and King Wulfhere of Mercia. The earliest fortification of Taunton started for King Ine of Wessex and thelburg, in or about the year 710 AD. However, according to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle this was destroyed 12 years later. Alfred the Great refortified Exeter as a defensive burh, Sony VPC-S138EC Battery followed by new erections at Lydford, Halwell and Pilton, although these fortifications were relatively small compared to burhs further east, suggesting these were protection for only the elite. The English defeated a combined Cornish and Danish force at Callington in 832. Edward the Elder built similarly at Barnstaple and Totnes. Sony VPC-S139GC Battery Sony VPC-F12E1E/H Battery Sporadic Viking incursions continued, however, until the Norman Conquest, including the disastrous defeat of the Devonians at the Battle of Pinhoe. In 876 King Alfred the Great trapped a Danish fleet at Arne then drove it out, 120 ships being wrecked at Studland. Sony VPC-F11Z1E/BI Battery Although King Alfred had lands in Cornwall, it continued to have a British king. It is generally considered that Cornwall came fully under the dominion of the English Crown in the time of Athelstan's rule, i.e. 924-939. Sony VPC-YA15EC Battery In the absence of any specific documentation to record this event, supporters of Cornwall's "English status" presume that it was made a part of England as a result. However, within a mere five years of Athelstan's death, King Edmund issued a charter, in AD 944, Sony VPC-YA16EC Battery styling himself "King of the English and ruler of this province of the Britons". Thus we can see that then the "province" was a territorial possession, which has long claimed a special relationship to the English Crown. Sony VPC-F11C4E/B Battery Corfe Castle Corfe Castle in 978 saw the murder of King Edward the Martyr, whose body was taken first to Wareham and then to Shaftesbury. Somerset played an important part in defeating the spread of the Danes in the 9th century. Viking raids took place for instance in 987 and 997 at Watchet and the Battle of Cynwit. Sony VPC-F11S1E Battery King Alfred was driven to seek refuge from the Danes at Athelney before defeating them at the Battle of Ethandun in 878, usually considered to be near Edington, Wiltshire, but possibly the village of Edington in Somerset. Sony VPC-F24M1E Battery Alfred established a series of forts and lookout posts linked by a military road, or Herepath, so his army could cover Viking movements at sea. The Herepath has a characteristic form which is familiar on the Quantocks: a regulation 20 m wide track between avenues of trees growing from hedge laying embankments. Sony VPC-F23S1E Battery A peace treaty with the Danes was signed at Wedmore and the Danish king Guthrum the Old was baptised at Aller. Burhs (fortified places) had been set up by 919, such as Lyng. The Alfred Jewel, an object about 2.5-inch (64 mm) long, Sony VPC-YA25EC Battery made of filigree gold, cloisonn -enamelled and with a rock crystal covering, was found in 1693 at Petherton Park, North Petherton. Believed to have been owned by Alfred the Great Monasteries and minster churches were set up all over Somerset, with daughter churches from the minsters in manors. Sony VPC-F231S1E Battery There was a royal palace at Cheddar, which was used at times in the 10th century to host the Witenagemot. Sweyn Forkbeard During the latter part of the pre-Norman period, the eastern seaboard of modern day England became increasingly under the sway of the Norse. Eventually England became ruled by Norse monarchs, Sony VPC-F23Q1E Battery and the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms fell one by one, with Wessex being conquered in 1013 by King Sweyn Forkbeard. Notably, while Sweyn's realms, which included Denmark and Norway in the north, and modern day English areas such as Mercia (an Anglian kingdom of the current Midlands), much of which, Sony VPC-F23M1E Battery along with northern England, fell under the "Danelaw". But while Sweyn ruled Wessex, along with his other realms, from 1013 onwards, followed by his son Canute the Great, Cornwall was not part of his realm of Wessex. A map by the American historian called the "The Dominions of Canute" (pictured just above) show that Cornwall, Sony VPC-YA26EC Battery Sony VPC-F22S8E Battery like Wales and Scotland, was neither part of Sweyn Forkbeard's nor Canute's Danish empire. Neither Sweyn Forkbeard nor Canute properly conquered or controlled Scotland, Wales or Cornwall; these modern day Celtic nations were both "client nations" who had to pay a yearly tribute or danegeld to both Sweyn and Canute, but, provided they did so, Scotland, Wales and Cornwall could keep their autonomy from the Danes. Sony VPC-YB15JC Battery Ultimately, the Danes' control of Wessex was lost in 1042 with the death of both of Canute's sons (Edward the Confessor retook Wessex for the Saxons). In 1016 Edmund Ironside was crowned king at Glastonbury. Sony VPC-F22S1E Battery Middle Ages The statue of Sir Francis Drake (1540-1596) on Plymouth Hoe After the Norman Conquest the region was controlled by various Norman, as well as Breton lords and later by local gentry, a few of which appear to have descended from pre Conquest families. During the civil war of King Stephen's reign, Sony VPC-F22M1E Battery the castles of Plympton and Exeter were held against the king by Baldwin de Redvers in 1140 and this gave rise to the defensive castles at Corfe Castle, Powerstock, Wareham and Shaftesbury. The period saw the growth of towns such as Truro, Totnes, Sony VPC-F11C4E/B Battery Sony VPC-F22L1E Battery Okehampton and Plympton in the western part of the region but they remained small when compared with the established wealth of ancient cathedral cities of the eastern region such as Exeter, Bath and Wells. Wealth grew from sheep farming in the east of the region, church controlled estates such as Glastonbury Abbey and Wells becoming among the richest in England, Sony VPC-F22J1E Batterywhile tin and silver mining was important in Devon and Cornwall with the establishment of Stannary Parliaments with semi-autonomous powers. Farming prospered until it was severely hit by the Black Death which in 1348 arrived in Dorset and quickly spread through Somerset, causing widespread mortality, Sony VPC-F11C5E Battery Sony VPC--F21Z1E Batteryperhaps as much as 50% in places. It re-occurred, resulting in a change in feudal practices since the manpower was no longer so available. Crafts and industries also flourished, the Somerset woollen industry being one of the largest in England at this time. Sony VPC--F2 BatteryCoal mining on the Mendips was an important source of wealth while quarrying also took place. Many parish churches were re-built in this period. Between 1107 and 1129 William Giffard the Chancellor of King Henry I, converted the bishop's hall in Taunton into Taunton Castle. It was his successor, Sony VPC--F115FG/B Battery Henry of Blois, who transformed the manor-house here into a mighty castle in 1138. Bridgwater Castle was built in 1202 by William Brewer. It passed to the king in 1233 and in 1245 repairs were ordered to its motte and towers. During the 11th century Second Barons' War against Henry III, Sony VPC-F11S1E/B Battery Bridgwater was held by the barons against the King. During the Middle Ages sheep farming for the wool trade came to dominate the economy of Exmoor. The wool was spun into thread on isolated farms and collected by merchants to be woven, fulled, dyed and finished in thriving towns such as Dunster. Sony VPC--F11M1E/H Battery The land started to be enclosed and from the 17th century onwards larger estates developed, leading to establishment of areas of large regular shaped fields. During this period a Royal Forest and hunting ground was established, administered by the Warden. The Royal Forest was sold off in 1818. Sony VPC-F11D4E Battery Fowey harbour Where conditions were suitable, coastal villages and ports had an economy based on fishing. The larger ports such as Fowey contributed vessels to the naval enterprises of the King and were subject to attack from the French in return. Bridgwater was part of the Port of Bristol until the Port of Bridgwater was created in 1348,[ Sony VPC-F13E4E Battery 59] covering 80 miles (130 km) of the Somerset coast line, from the Devon border to the mouth of the River Axe. Historically, the main port on the river was at Bridgwater; the river being bridged at this point, with the first bridge being constructed in 1200 AD. Quays were built in 1424; with another quay, the Langport slip, Sony VPC-F13E8E Battery Sony VPC-Y11S1E/S Battery being built in 1488 upstream of the Town Bridge. In Bristol the port began to develop in the 11th century. By the 12th century Bristol was an important port, handling much of England's trade with Ireland. During this period Bristol also became a centre of shipbuilding and manufacturing. Bristol was the starting point for many important voyages, Sony VPC-F13J0E/H Battery notably John Cabot's 1497 voyage of exploration to North America. By the 14th century Bristol was one of England's three largest medieval towns after London, Sony VPC-F1318E/H Battery along with York and Norwich, with perhaps 15,000-20,000 inhabitants on the eve of the Black Death of 1348-49. The plague resulted in a prolonged pause in the growth of Bristol's population, with numbers remaining at 10,000-12,000 through most of the 15th and 16th centuries. Sony VPC-Y11S1E Battery Perkin Warbeck During the Wars of the Roses, frequent skirmishes took place between the Lancastrian Earl of Devon and Yorkist Lord Bonville. In 1470, Edward IV pursued Warwick and Clarence as far as Exeter after the Battle of Lose-coat Field. The organisation of the region remained based on the shires and Church estates, Sony VPC-CW2Z1E/B Battery which were largely unchanged throughout the period. Early in Henry VII's reign, the Royal pretender, Perkin Warbeck, besieged Exeter in 1497. The Cornish Rebellion of 1497 led by An Gof and Thomas Flamank also took place in 1497, Sony VPC-F13M1E/B Battery Sony VPC-F11C4E/B Battery involving a march to Blackheath in London where the Cornish forces were defeated and massacred. Great disturbances throughout both Cornwall and Devon followed the introduction of Edward VI's Book of Common Prayer. The day after Whit Sunday 1549, a priest at Sampford Courtenay was persuaded to read the old mass. This insubordination spread swiftly into serious revolt. Sony VPC-CW2S8E/W Battery The Cornish quickly joined the men of Devon in the Prayer Book Rebellion and Exeter suffered a distressing siege until relieved by Lord Russell. The Cornish had a particular motivation for opposing the new English language prayer book, since in western parts of Cornwall at this time, Sony VPC-YA17GH/R Batterythere continued to be many monoglot Cornish speakers. The Cornish language declined rapidly afterwards and the Dissolution of the Monasteries resulted in the eventual loss of the Cornish language as a primary language. The Cornish retreated westward until it was no longer a first language by the end of the 18th century. Sony VPC-F13Z8E Battery During the reign of Elizabeth I there was a Council of the West which was a short-lived administrative body established by Henry VIII of England for the government of the western counties of England. Sony VPC-Y21S1E BatteryIt was analogous in form to the Council of the North. The Council was established in March 1539, with Lord Russell as its Lord President. Members included Thomas Derby, Sir Piers Edgcumbe, Sir Richard Pollard and John Rowe. However, the fall of Thomas Cromwell, the chief political supporter of government by Councils, and the tranquillity of the western counties made it largely superfluous. It last sat in the summer of 1540, although it was never formally abolished. Sony VPC-F23QIE Battery The Bristol Channel floods of 1607 are believed to have affected large parts of the Somerset Levels with flooding up to 8 feet (2 m) above sea level. In 1625, a House of Correction was established in Shepton Mallet and, today, HMP Shepton Mallet is England's oldest prison still in use. Sony VPC-F24Q1E Battery During the English Civil War, Somerset was largely Parliamentarian, although Dunster was a Royalist stronghold. The county was the site of important battles between the Royalists and the Parliamentarians, notably the Battle of Lansdowne in 1643 and the Battle of Langport in 1645. Bristol was occupied by Royalist military, after they overran Royal Fort, the last Parliamentarian stronghold in the city. Sony VPC-F21Z1E/BI Battery Taunton Castle had fallen into ruin by 1600 but it was repaired during the Civil War. The castle changed hands several times during 1642-45 along with the town. During the Siege of Taunton it was defended by Robert Blake, Sony VPC-F13Z8E/BI Battery Sony VPC-F13V5002B Batteryfrom July 1644 to July 1645. After the war, in 1662, the keep was demolished and only the base remains. This war resulted in castles being destroyed to prevent their re-use. Sony VPC-F13M1E/H Battery James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth In 1685, the Duke of Monmouth led the Monmouth Rebellion in which Somerset people fought against James II. The rebels landed at Lyme Regis and travelled north hoping to capture Bristol and Bath, puritan soldiers damaged the west front of Wells Cathedral, tore lead from the roof to make bullets, broke the windows, smashed the organ and the furnishings, and for a time stabled their horses in the nave. Sony VPC-F12Z1E/BI Battery They were defeated in the Battle of Sedgemoor at Westonzoyland, the last battle fought on English soil. The Bloody Assizes which followed saw the losers being sentenced to death or transportation. Sony VPC-F12S1E/B Battery At the time of the Glorious Revolution, King James II gathered his main forces, altogether about 19,000 men, at Salisbury, James himself arriving there on 19 November 1688. The first blood was shed at Wincanton, in Somerset. In Salisbury, Sony VPC-W1E8R/BU Battery Sony VPC-CW12EN/BU Battery James heard that some of his officers, such as Edward Hyde, had deserted, and he broke out in a nose-bleed which he took as a bad omen. His commander in chief, the Earl of Feversham, advised retreat on 23 November, and the next day John Churchill deserted to William. On 26 November, James's daughter Princess Anne did the same, Sony VPC-Y11AGJ Battery and James returned to London the same day, never again to be at the head of a serious military force in England. Modern history Since 1650, the City of Plymouth has grown to become the largest city in Devon, mainly due to the naval base at Devonport. Her Majesty's Naval Base (HMNB) Devonport is one of three operating bases in the United Kingdom for the Royal Navy. HMNB Devonport is now the largest naval base in Western Europe.[ Sony VPC-CW1Z4E Battery95] The large Portland Harbour, built at the end of the 19th century and protected by Nothe Fort and the Verne Citadel, was for many years, including during the wars, another of the largest Royal Navy bases. Sony VPC-CW1S1T/W Battery The 19th century saw improvements to roads in the region with the introduction of turnpikes and the building of canals and railways. The usefulness of the canals was short-lived, though they have now been restored for recreation. Sony VPC-CW1S1T/R BatteryChard claims to be the birthplace of powered flight, in 1848 when the Victorian aeronautical pioneer John Stringfellow first demonstrated that engine-powered flight was possible through his work on the Aerial Steam Carriage. North Petherton was the first town in England (and one of the few ever) to be lit by acetylene gas lighting. Sony VPC-CW1S1T Battery Portishead power station Around the 1860s, at the height of the iron and steel era, a pier and a deep-water dock were built, at Portishead to accommodate the large ships that had difficulty in reaching Bristol Harbour. Sony VPC-CW1S1E Battery Sony VPC-CW1S1R BatteryThe Portishead power stations were coal-fed power stations built next to the dock. Industrial activities ceased in the dock with the closure of the power stations. The Port of Bristol Authority finally closed the dock in 1992, and it has now been developed into a marina and residential area. Sony VPC-CW1E8R/WU Battery During the First World War many soldiers from the South West were killed, and war memorials were put up in most of the towns and villages; only a few villages escaped casualties. There were also casualties - though much fewer - during the Second World War, who were added to the memorials. Sony VPC-Y21S1E/SI Battery Several areas were bases for troops preparing for the 1944 D-Day landings. Exercise Tiger, or Operation Tiger, was the code names for a full-scale rehearsal in 1944 for the D-Day invasion of Normandy. The British Government evacuated approximately 3,000 local residents in the area of Slapton, now South Hams District of Devon.[ Sony VPC-Y21S1E/P Battery102] Some of them had never left their villages before. Bristol's city centre suffered severe damage from Luftwaffe bombing during the Bristol Blitz of World War II. The Royal Ordnance Factory ROF Bridgwater was constructed early in World War II for the Ministry of Supply. Sony VPC-Y21S1E/L Battery The Taunton Stop Line was set up to resist a potential German invasion, and the remains of its pill boxes can still be seen, as well as others along the coast. Porlock, Exmoor Exmoor was one of the first British National Parks, designated in 1954, under the 1949 National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act.[1 Sony VPC-Y21AVJ Battery07] and is named after its main river. It was expanded in 1991 and in 1993 Exmoor was designated as an Environmentally Sensitive Area. The Quantock Hills were designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in 1956, the first such designation in England under the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949. The Mendip Hills followed with AONB designation in 1972. Sony VPC-Y21AHJ Battery Hinkley Point A nuclear power station was a Magnox power station constructed between 1957 and 1962 and operating until ceasing generation in 2000. Hinkley Point B is an Advanced Gas-cooled Reactor (AGR) which was designed to generate 1250 MW of electricity (MWe). Construction of Hinkley Point B started in 1967. Sony VPC-Y21AGJ Battery In September 2008 it was announced, by Electricit de France (EDF), that a third, twin-unit European Pressurized Reactor (EPR) reactor known as Hinkley Point C is planned, to replace Hinkley Point B which is due for closure in 2016. Sony VPC-Y21AFJ Battery According to the 2001 census the population of the South West region was 4,928,434. It had grown in the last 20 years by 12.5% from 4,381,400 in mid-1981, making it the fastest growing region in England. Teignbridge in Devon had the largest population gain with 26.3% and Devon as whole grew by 17.6%. Population falls occurred in the two major cities of Bristol and Plymouth. Sony VPC-Y219FJ/S Battery Teenage pregnancy For top-tier authorities, Torbay has the highest teenage pregnancy rate in the region, with Exeter the highest rate for council districts. For top-tier authorities, North Somerset (closely followed by Bath & NE Somerset) has the lowest rate, with Cotswold having the lowest rate for council districts. Sony VPC-Y11V9E/S Battery Deprivation As measured by the English Indices of Deprivation 2007, the region shows similarities with Southern England in having more Lower Layer Super Output Areas in the 20% least multiple derived districts than the 20% most deprived.[1 Sony VPC-Y11V9E Battery15] The relative amount of deprivation is similar to the East Midlands, except the South West has much fewer deprived areas. According to the LSOA data in 2007, the most deprived districts (before Cornwall became a unitary authority) were, in descending order - Bristol (64th in England), Torbay (71st), Plymouth (77th), Sony VPC-Y11AHJ Battery Kerrier (86th), Restormel (89th), North Cornwall (96th), and West Somerset (106th). At county level, the deprived areas are City of Bristol (49th in England), Torbay (55th), Plymouth (58th), and Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly (69th). Sony VPC-Y11AVJ Battery The least deprived council districts are, in descending order - East Dorset, North Wiltshire, South Gloucestershire, Cotswold, Kennet, Stroud, Tewkesbury, West Wiltshire, Salisbury, and Bath and North East Somerset. East Dorset has the highest life expectancy for males in the UK. At county level, the least deprived areas, Sony VPC-Y11S1E Battery in descending order, are South Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Bath and North East Somerset, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Poole, North Somerset, and Somerset. Sony VPC-Y11M1E Battery In March 2011 the region had the second lowest unemployment claimant count in England, second to South East England, with 2.7%. Inside the region, Torbay has the highest rate with 4.5%, followed by Bristol and Plymouth with 3.8%. East Dorset has the lowest rate with 1.4%.[117Sony VAIO VGN-FW139N Battery Elections In the 2010 general election, there was a 1% swing from Liberal Democrat to Conservative in the region.  For the region's electorate, 43% voted Conservative, 35% voted Liberal Democrat, and Labour came third with 15%. The distribution of seats is weighted in favour of the Conservatives with 36 Conservative, Sony VAIO VGN-FW140E Battery 15 Liberal Democrat and 4 Labour (Plymouth Moor View, Exeter, Bristol South and Bristol East). The Conservatives gained 11 seats, with the others (mostly Labour - 8) losing seats. Somerset and Cornwall are the strongest areas for the Liberal Democrats, with Gloucestershire, Devon, Dorset and Wiltshire being more Conservative. Sony VAIO VGN-FW145E Battery Since the decline of mining, Cornwall's economy has been reliant on agriculture and tourism The most economically productive areas within the region are Bristol, the M4 corridor and south east Dorset which are all areas with the best links to London. Sony VAIO VGN-FW160E Battery Bristol alone accounts for a quarter of the region's economy, with the surrounding areas of Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire accounting for a further quarter.[ Sony VAIO VGN-FW180E Battery 119] The South West of England Regional Development Agency is based in Exeter (although this is expected to cease operations by March 2012, its functions being generally replaced by Local Enterprise Partnerships), and the South West Strategic Leaders' Board (which makes funding decisions) is in Taunton. Sony VAIO VPC-S13S8R/S Battery Bristol's economy has been built on maritime trade (including the import of tobacco and the slave trade). Since the early 20th century, however, aeronautics have taken over as the basis of Bristol's economy, with companies including Airbus UK, Sony VAIO VGN-FW190E Battery Rolls-Royce (military division) and BAE Systems (former Bristol Aeroplane Company then BAC) manufacturing in Filton. Defence Equipment and Support is at MoD Abbey Wood. More recently defence, telecommunications, information technology and electronics have been important industries in Bristol, Swindon and elsewhere. Sony VAIO VPC-S12E7E BatteryVOSA, the Soil Association, Clerical Medical, the Arts and Humanities Research Council, Bristol Water, and the Bristol and West Bank are in Bristol; Orange United Kingdom and the Environment Agency are based at Aztec West (South Gloucestershire); Indesit makes tumble dryers in Yate; Sony VAIO VPC-S12D7E Battery and HP have a large site and Infineon Technologies UK are at Stoke Gifford. Knorr-Bremse UK make air brakes in Kingswood. The South West Observatory's Economy Module provides a detailed analysis of the region's economy. Sony VAIO VPC-S12C5E Battery The electricity for the area formerly looked after by SWEB, is now looked after by Western Power Distribution, owned by the American company, PPL. The region's Gross value added (GVA) breaks down as 69.9% service industry, 28.1% production industry and 2.0% agriculture. Sony VAIO VPC-S12B7E Battery This is a slightly higher proportion in production, and lower proportion in services, than the UK average. Agriculture, though in decline, is important in many parts of the region. Dairy farming is especially important in Dorset and Devon, Sony VAIO VPC-S12A7R Battery and the region has 1.76 million cattle, second to only one other UK region, and 3,520 square miles (9,117 km2) of grassland, more than any other region. Only 5.6% of the region's agriculture is arable. Sony VAIO VPC-S11B7E Battery Tourism is important in the region, and in 2003 the tourist sector contributed 4,928 million to the region's economy. In 2001 the GVA of the hotel industry was 2,200 million, and the region had 13,800 hotels with 250,000 bed spaces. Sony VAIO VPC-S11C5E Battery Sony VAIO VPC-S11D7E Battery There are very large differences in prosperity between the eastern parts of the region and the west. While Bristol is the second most affluent large city in England after London, some parts of Cornwall and Devon have among the lowest average incomes in the UK. Sony VAIO VPC-S12A7E Battery Vegetable crop south of Ludgvan Cornwall in particular relies on tourism. The county has the lowest GVA per head of any county or unitary authority in the country, contributes only 6.5% of the region's economy and receives EU Objective One funding.[ Sony VAIO VPC-S11V9E/B Battery24] Around five million people visit the county each year. Cornwall's poor economic performance is partly caused by its remoteness and poor transport links, and by the decline of its traditional industries, such as mining, agriculture and fishing. NHS South West, the strategic health authority is based in Taunton off junction 25 of the M5. 1 Sony VAIO VPC-S11M9R/B Battery The Devon Air Ambulance is based at the Devon and Cornwall Police HQ in Exeter; the Cornwall Air Ambulance is at Newquay Cornwall Airport; Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance is at Henstridge east of Yeovil on the A30; the Great Western Air Ambulance is at Bristol Filton Airport (one of the last in the UK when it began in June 2008); Sony VAIO VPC-S11E7E Battery and the Wiltshire Air Ambulance (shared with the police) is at Devizes (police HQ). The South Western Ambulance Service is on the Sowton Industrial Estate, next to the M5, half a mile east of the police HQ. Sony VAIO VPC-S11M1E/W Battery The region's Manufacturing Advisory Service is on the A38 north of Gloucester at Twigworth, its Business Link is in central Swindon, and the UKTI office is at the Leigh Court Business Centre in Abbots Leigh, North Somerset. Sony VAIO VPC-S11F7E Battery Major companies in Cornwall include Imerys who are major producers of kaolin, Dairy Crest who have their main cheese creamery in Davidstow making Cathedral City Cheddar on the former RAF Davidstow Moor, and Ginsters have a food production plant in Callington, off the A390 between Liskeard and Tavistock. Sony VAIO VPC-S11J7E BatteryRodda's make clotted cream near Scorrier, off the A30 east of Redruth. Fugro Seacore in Mongleath near Falmouth are leading offshore drilling contractors. Kensa Heat Pumps are west of Truro. Sony VAIO VPC-S11G7E Battery The Met Office is in Exeter as is Connaught plc, and Pennon Group, the water company. The airline Flybe is based at Exeter Airport. Hemerdon Mine, east of Plymouth, has one of the largest deposits of tungsten in the world. Britannia Royal Naval College is at Dartmouth. Appledore Shipbuilders are based at Appledore, Torridge, Sony VAIO VPC-S13S9E/B Battery Devon, three miles north of Bideford. Parker Hannifin have their instrumentation division next to the Taw Bridge (A361) at Pottington in Barnstaple. Next to Royal Marines Base Chivenor Perrigo makes Germolene and own-label OTC medicines at the Wrafton Laboratories in Heanton Punchardon on the A361. Sony VAIO VPC-S11X9E Battery All Ambrosia products are made in Lifton, off the A30 on the River Lyd. Parkham Farms make Westcountry Farmhouse Cheddar at Woolfardisworthy, Torridge. Supacat at Dunkeswell Aerodrome, north of Honiton, Sony VAIO VPC-S11V9E Batterymake protective vehicles for the Army, notably the Jackal. These vehicles are also made in Plymouth by Devonport Management Limited (DML). Centrax make industrial gas turbines in Newton Abbot. To the north-west, on the A38 at the A382 junction at Heathfield in Bovey Tracey, Sony VAIO VPC-S11H7E BatteryBritish Ceramic Tile have the largest ceramic tile plant in Europe. Beverage Brands, maker of WKD Original Vodka, is in Torquay. Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company UK (chewing gum) and HMNB Devonport (the largest naval base in western Europe) are in Plymouth. Toshiba had a large presence in Ernesettle, in the north Plymouth of, Sony VAIO VPC-S13V9E/B Batterywhich was the second largest employer after the Royal Navy, until they moved production of televisions to Kobierzyce in Poland in 2009; Britain made its last television at the site on 27 August 2009. Princess Yachts make motor yachts off the A374 in Stonehouse. Sony VAIO VPC-S13S9E Battery Dorset Main article: Dorset#Economy and industry The Lifeboat College in Poole New Look is in Weymouth. Hall & Woodhouse brewery is in Blandford Forum (home of the Royal Corps of Signals). Wytch Farm (BP) is the UK's largest onshore oil field. Meggitt is a leading aerospace and defence contractor, Sony VPC-F138FC Battery Sony VPC-YB15JC Battery based west of Bournemouth Airport, with Hobbycraft, at a former BAC works in Hurn, close to West Parley. The Royal Armoured Corps is based at Bovington Camp, and next door is the Bovington Tank Museum. Sony VPC-YA26EC Battery Unisys Insurance Services is headquartered in Bournemouth. Imagine Publishing, a magazine publisher, is at the A35/A347 junction. Merlin Entertainments (who own Sea Life Centres, and are the world's second largest theme park operator after Disney) is in Poole, at the end of the A350 near the Twin Sails bridge; Lush, Sony VPC-F219FC Battery the cosmetics company, and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) are headquartered nearby. Parvalux, on the A3049 on the West Howe Ind Estate in Wallisdown, makes geared DC electric motors and gearboxes. Ryvita is made in Parkstone on the B3061. Hamworthy Combustion is an international engineering consultancy based at the A349/A3049 junction in Fleetsbridge. Sony VPC-YA25EC BatteryFitness First, the largest privately owned health club group in the world, originated in Bournemouth and is now globally headquartered south of Fleet's Corner. Siemens Traffic Controls make most of the UK's traffic lights west near Fleet's Corner, and Sunseeker International is a main motor yacht manufacturer. Sony VPC-S135EC Battery Sony VPC-YA16EC Battery Gloucestershire Model of GCHQ building in Cheltenham Endsleigh Insurance is on the A46 south of Cheltenham at Shurdington. Kraft Foods UK, UCAS, Kohler Mira Ltd (showers), Spirax-Sarco Engineering Plc, Chelsea Building Society, GE Aviation Systems UK (former Smiths Group), Sony VPC-YA15EC Battery and GCHQ (also in Oakley) are in Cheltenham. Computer security firm Symantec have a site in Gloucester, the base of Ecclesiastical Insurance. Dowty Rotol (who make propellors), Messier-Dowty UK (historically Britain's main aircraft undercarriage manufacturer, now owned by Safran) and Bond Aviation Group (helicopter leasing) are next to Gloucestershire Airport at Staverton. Sony VPC-S139GC Battery The Cheltenham & Gloucester bank is Barnwood (north Gloucester) next to Unilever's manufacturing site for Wall's ice cream on the A417 and to the south EDF Energy (former British Energy) have their nuclear energy engineering centre. Sony VPC-S136EC Battery Moog Controls UK on the Ashchurch Ind Estate near junction 9 (A46) of the M5 makes servo valves for the aerospace industry (flight control systems). The Colt Car Company UK (who distribute Mitsubishi Motors) are in Cirencester, Sony VPC-S138EC Battery and Corin Group make artificial joints on the A429 near the Royal Agricultural College. The Stroud & Swindon Building Society and Ecotricity are in Stroud. Dairy Crest makes Frijj milkshake at its large dairy at Severnside at Stonehouse next to the M5; Sony VPC-F11C4E/B Battery nearby ReedHycalog (owned by National Oilwell Varco) make industrial drill bits off the A419. GSK makes Lucozade and Ribena at Coleford in the Forest of Dean. Mabey Group make steel girder bridges in Lydney. The Fire Service College is in Moreton-in-Marsh. Sony VPC-F11C5E Battery Sony VPC-F11D4E Battery The Army Air Corps has 67 Yeovil-built, Rolls-Royce RTM322-powered AgustaWestland Apache AH1 helicopters Somerset Main article: Economy of Somerset The Royal Marines have a large base for 40 Commando west of Taunton, with their training centre at Lympstone in Devon, on the A376 and River Exe. Screwfix is in Yeovil and Clarks shoes is in Street, Sony VPC-F11Z1E/BI Battery although most of its shoes are made in the Far East. Shepton Mallet is home of Blackthorn Cider and the Gaymer Cider Company. Uniq Desserts make premium chilled desserts, such as tiramisu for M & S, at their site (former St Ivel) off the B3081 at Evercreech. Dairy Crest packs Cathedral City cheese in Frome. The Glastonbury Festival at Pilton (nearer to Shepton Mallet than Glastonbury), Sony VPC-F11C4E/B Battery off the A361, is the UK's biggest music festival. Westland Helicopters (now AgustaWestland, owned by Italy's Finmeccanica) is in Yeovil and Weston-super-Mare. To the east of Yeovil, in Houndstone, Garador make garage doors (part of H rmann Group of Amshausen, Europe's largest mechanical door manufacturer). Sony VPC-F11S1E BatteryYeo Valley Organic is in Blagdon. Numatic International Limited makes vacuum cleaners in Chard, and Brecknell Willis, a railway engineering company on the A30, makes pantographs. Dairy Crest makes brandy butter south of the town in Tatworth and Forton, near the meeting point of Dorset, Sony VPC-F24M1E Battery Somerset and Devon. DS Smith's Wansbrough paper mill at Watchet on the coast is the UK's largest manufacturer of coreboard. Ministry of Cake, owned by Greencore since December 2007 on the A3065 in Staplegrove in the west of Taunton, is the leading provider of frozen desserts to the UK foodservice industry. Sony VPC-F23S1E BatteryThe United Kingdom Hydrographic Office is in Taunton. Pilgrims Choice cheddar is made at Wincanton. Brandy butter plant at Chard Junction next to the River Axe Next to the Royal Portbury Dock, off junction 19 of the M5 on the A369 is Lafarge Plasterboard. Thatchers Cider is in Sandford, Sony VPC-F231S1E BatteryNorth Somerset on the A368, two miles east of the M5. Towards Bristol Airport, Claverham make actuation equipment for the aerospace sector in Yatton in North Somerset, off the A370, and is part of Hamilton Sundstrand, derived from the electrical systems part of Fairey Aviation. Sony VPC-F23Q1E Battery Wessex Water, Future plc, Buro Happold and Rotork are in Bath. Cadbury used to make Curly Wurly, Double Decker and Crunchie at the Somerdale Factory, Keynsham until Kraft closed the plant in March 2011 and moved production to Skarbimierz, Opole Voivodeship in Poland. Sony VPC-F11M1E/H Battery Wiltshire Salisbury Cathedral at 123 m (404 ft) which is the tallest in the UK The Early Learning Centre is in South Marston. Nearby, Castrol, the Nationwide Building Society, Research Councils UK and five research councils, Intel Europe, the British Computer Society, a main office of English Heritage, Sony VPC-F23M1E Batteryand the National Trust (responsible for the area of the UK except Scotland) are in Swindon. In Stratton St Margaret, BMW press metal for the MINI at Swindon Pressings Ltd, there is a major Honda manufacturing plant (also in South Marston), and the headquarters of W H Smith. Near junction 16 of the M4, close to Freshbrook, are Synergy Health and RWE npower, near the A3102/B4534 roundabout. Sony VPC-F22S8E BatteryTriumph International UK is in Blunsdon St Andrew. On the A361 in Highworth north-east of Swindon, TS Tech make seating systems for Honda. Kembrey Wiring Systems make wiring systems for aircraft off the B4006/A4312 roundabout in Stratton St Margaret. Sauer-Danfoss UK provide hydraulics off the A419 in Dorcan, in east Swindon. Sony VPC-F22S1E Battery Dyson is in Malmesbury, north of the M4. Cotswold Outdoor (recommended supplier to the DofE Award and the Scout Association), is based at the former RAF Kemble (now Cotswold Airport) in Crudwell, off the A429 near the Gloucestershire boundary south of Cirencester. Sony VPC-F11S1E/B Battery Shredded Wheat factory at Staverton north of Trowbridge Apetito UK, with Wiltshire Farm Foods, is based in Trowbridge off the B3106 next to the railway. Virgin Mobile is in Trowbridge, as is Danone UK (owner of Actimel) and their Cow & Gate subsidiary (run by Numico). Sony VPC-F22M1E BatteryIn Devizes is the Wadworth Brewery. Cereal Partners make Shredded Wheat and Shreddies at Staverton on the B3106 next to the railway. Salisbury Cathedral in Salisbury attracts many tourists. Rockhopper Exploration is in the town and Naim Audio make hi-fi equipment off the A36 in the east of the town. Nearby, Sony VPC-F115FG/B Battery Sony VPC-F22L1E BatteryDstl is at Porton Down. Lyons Seafoods in Warminster are the UK's leading producer of frozen prawns. Knorr-Bremse Rail Systems UK (former Westinghouse) make railway air brakes in Bowerhill just south of Melksham and nearby is the headquarters of Avon Rubber. Cooper Tire & Rubber Company also make Avon Tyres in the same town. Chippenham has the HQ of Wincanton plc, the large logistics company, Sony VPC-F2 Battery and Invensys Rail Group (former Westinghouse Rail Systems) who make rail signalling equipment, and the software company SciSys. Herman Miller UK, a maker of office furniture, has its international headquarters at the A4/A350 roundabout south of Chippenham, Sony VPC-F21Z1E Battery towards Corsham. Avon Protection are on the A350 south of Melksham in Melksham Without, and are world-leading manufacturers of respirators, including for the MoD. Sony VPC-F22J1E Battery In the centre of the county are many military establishments, notably MoD Boscombe Down, the training base on Salisbury Plain, and the army bases around Tidworth, Larkhill (home of the Royal School of Artillery) and Warminster (home of the Infantry). Sony VPC-F12E1E/H Battery Subdivisions The region covers much of the historical area of Wessex (omitting only Hampshire and Berkshire), and all of the Celtic Kingdom of Dumnonia which comprised Cornwall, Devon, and parts of Somerset and Dorset. Sony VPC-F12F4E/H Battery Sony VPC-CW2Z1E/B Battery In terms of local government, it was divided after 1974 into Avon, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Somerset, and Wiltshire. Avon has since been abolished, and several mainly urban areas have become unitary authorities. Sony VPC-F12M1E/H Battery Durdle Door in Dorset is part of the Jurassic Coast, England's only natural World Heritage Site. Although referendums had been planned on whether elected assemblies should be set up in some of the regions, Sony VPC-CW2S8E/W Battery none was planned in the South West. The South West Regional Assembly (SWRA) was the regional assembly for the South West region, established in 1999. It was based in Exeter and Taunton. The SWRA was a partnership of councillors from all local authorities in the region and representatives of various sectors with a role in the region's economic, social and environmental well-being Sony VPC-YA17GH/R Battery.
Posted May 30th, 2012 at 02:27am
Paris (i/ p r s/; French: [pa i] ( listen)) is the capital and largest city of France. It is situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the le-de-France region (or Paris Region, French: R gion parisienne). The city of Paris, within its administrative limits (the 20 arrondissements) largely unchanged since 1860, Dell MT196 Batteryhas an estimated population of 2,211,297 (January 2008), but the Paris metropolitan area has a population of 12,089,098 (January 2008), and is one of the most populated metropolitan areas in Europe. Paris was the largest city in the Western world for about 1,000 years, prior to the 19th century, and the largest in the entire world between the 16th and 19th centuries. Dell MT186 Battery Paris is today one of the world's leading business and cultural centres, and its influences in politics, education, entertainment, media, fashion, science, and the arts all contribute to its status as one of the world's major global cities. It hosts the headquarters of many international organizations such as UNESCO, the OECD, Dell MT187 Batterythe International Chamber of Commerce or the European Space Agency. Paris is considered one of the greenest and most liveable cities in Europe. It is also one of the most expensive. Paris and the Paris Region, with 552.1 billion (US$768.9 billion) in 2009, produce more than a quarter of the gross domestic product of France. Dell MT193 Battery According to 2008 estimates, the Paris agglomeration is Europe's biggest or second biggest city economy and the sixth largest in the world. The Paris region is the first in Europe in terms of research and development capability and expenditure and through its 17 universities and 55 grandes coles has the highest concentration of higher education students in the European Union. Dell U116D Battery With about 42 million tourists annually in the city and its suburbs, Paris is the most visited city in the world. The city and its region contain 3,800 historical monuments and four UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The name Paris derives from that of its earliest inhabitants, the Gaulish tribe known as the Parisii. The city was called Lutetia (more fully, Dell W017D BatteryLutetia Parisiorum, "Lutetia of the Parisii"), during the Roman era of the 1st to the 6th century, but during the reign of Julian the Apostate (360-363), the city was renamed Paris.It is believed that the name of the Parisii tribe comes from the Celtic Gallic word parisio meaning "the working people" or "the craftsmen." Paris has many nicknames, but its most famous is "La Ville-Lumi re" ("The City of Light"),Dell PW640 Battery a name it owes first to its fame as a centre of education and ideas during the Age of Enlightenment, and later to its early adoption of street lighting. Since the mid-19th century, Paris has been known as Paname ([panam]) in the Parisian slang called argot ( Moi j'suis d'Paname, i.e. "I'm from Paname").Dell PW649 BatteryThe singer Renaud repopularized the term amongst the young generation with his 1976 album Amoureux de Paname ("In love with Paname").Paris' inhabitants are known in English as "Parisians" and in French as Parisiens ([pa izj ] ( listen)). Parisians are often pejoratively called Parigots ([pa i o] ( listen)), a term first used in 1900 by those living outside the Paris region. Dell PW651 Battery See Wiktionary for the name of Paris in various languages other than English and French.The Gallo-Roman baths Thermes de Cluny at the Mus e de Cluny, in Paris's Latin Quarter. The earliest archaeological signs of permanent settlements in the Paris area date from around 4200 BC. The Parisii, a sub-tribe of the Celtic Senones, Dell WU843 Batteryinhabited the area near the river Seine from around 250 BC. The Romans conquered the Paris basin in 52 BC, with a permanent settlement by the end of the same century on the Left Bank Sainte Genevi ve Hill and the le de la Cit . The Gallo-Roman town was originally called Lutetia, or Lutetia Parisorum but later Gallicised to Lut ce. Dell WU853 BatteryIt expanded greatly over the following centuries, becoming a prosperous city with a forum, palaces, baths, temples, theatres, and an amphitheatre. The collapse of the Roman empire and the 5th-century Germanic invasions sent the city into a period of decline. By AD 400, Lut ce, largely abandoned by its inhabitants, was little more than a garrison town entrenched into a hastily fortified central island. DELL C719R Battery The city reclaimed its original appellation of "Paris" towards the end of the Roman occupation. The Paris region was under full control of the Germanic Franks by the late 5th century. The Frankish king Clovis the Frank, the first king of the Merovingian dynasty, made the city his capital from 508. DELL DFNCH BatteryThe late 8th century Carolingian dynasty displaced the Frankish capital to Aachen; this period coincided with the beginning of Viking invasions that had spread as far as Paris by the early 9th century. Repeated invasions forced Parisians to build a fortress on the le de la Cit . One of the most remarkable Viking raids was on 28 March 845, when Paris was sacked and held ransom, probably by Ragnar Lodbrok, DELL FU571 Battery who left only after receiving a large bounty paid by the crown. The weakness of the late Carolingian kings of France led to the gradual rise in power of the Counts of Paris; Odo, Count of Paris, was elected king of France by feudal lords, and the end of the Carolingian empire came in 987 when Hugh Capet, count of Paris, was elected king of France. Paris, under the Capetian kings, DELL KY265 Batterybecame a capital once more.The Ch teau de Vincennes, with its 52 m high keep, was built between the 14th and 17th century. Paris's population was around 200,000 when the Black Death arrived in 1348, killing as many as 800 people a day; and 40,000 died from the plague in 1466. During the 16th and 17th centuries, DELL KY477 Batteryplague visited the city for almost one year out of three. Paris lost its position as seat of the French realm during the occupation by the English-allied Burgundians during the Hundred Years' War, but regained its title when Charles VII of France reclaimed the city from English rule in 1436. Paris from then on became France's capital once again in title, DELL NM631 Batterybut France's real centre of power would remain in the Loire Valley until King Francis I returned France's crown residences to Paris in 1528. During the French Wars of Religion, Paris was a stronghold of the Catholic party. In August 1572, under the reign of Charles IX, while many noble Protestants were in Paris on the occasion of the marriage of Henry of Navarre - the future Henry IV - to Margaret of Valois, DELL PT434 Batterysister of Charles IX, the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre occurred; begun on 24 August, it lasted several days and spread throughout the country. In 1590 Henry IV unsuccessfully laid siege to the city in the Siege of Paris. During the Fronde, Parisians rose in rebellion and the royal family fled the city (1648). King Louis XIV then moved the royal court permanently to Versailles, DELL R822G Batterya lavish estate on the outskirts of Paris, in 1682. A century later, Paris was the centre stage for the French Revolution, with the Storming of the Bastille on 14 July 1789 and the overthrow of the monarchy in September 1792. Paris was occupied by Russian and Allied armies upon Napoleon's defeat on the 31 March 1814; this was the first time in 400 years that the city had been conquered by a foreign power. DELL U844G BatteryThe ensuing Restoration period, or the return of the monarchy under Louis XVIII (1814-1824) and Charles X, ended with the July Revolution Parisian uprising of 1830. The new 'constitutional monarchy' under Louis-Philippe ended with the 1848 "February Revolution" that led to the creation of the Second Republic. Throughout these events, DELL W0X4F Batterycholera epidemics in 1832 and 1849 ravaged the population of Paris; the 1832 epidemic alone claimed 20,000 of the population of 650,000. The greatest development in Paris's history began with the Industrial Revolution creation of a network of railways that brought an unprecedented flow of migrants to the capital from the 1840s. DELL KM742 BatteryThe city's largest transformation came with the 1852 Second Empire under Napoleon III; his pr fet, Baron Haussmann, levelled entire districts of Paris' narrow, winding medieval streets to create the network of wide avenues and neo-classical fa ades that still make up much of modern Paris; the reason for this transformation was twofold, as not only did the creation of wide boulevards beautify and sanitize the capital, DELL KM769 Batteryit also facilitated the effectiveness of troops and artillery against any further uprisings and barricades for which Paris was so famous. The Second Empire ended in the Franco-Prussian War (1870-1871), and a besieged Paris under heavy bombardment surrendered on 28 January 1871. DELL KM771 BatteryThe discontent of Paris' populace with the new armistice-signing government seated in Versailles resulted in the creation of the Paris Commune government, supported by an army created in large part of members of the city's former National Guard who would both continue resistance against the Prussians and oppose the army of the "Versaillais" government. DELL WU841 Battery The Paris Commune ended with the Semaine Sanglante ("Bloody Week"), during which roughly 20,000 "Communards" were executed before the fighting ended on 28 May 1871. The ease with which the Versaillais army overtook Paris owed much to Baron Haussmann's renovations. France's late 19th-century Universal Expositions made Paris an increasingly important centre of technology, Dell Latitude E5420 Batterytrade, and tourism. Its most famous were the 1889 Exposition universelle to which Paris owes its "temporary" display of architectural engineering progess, the Eiffel Tower, a structure that remained the world's tallest building until 1930; the 1900 Universal Exposition saw the opening of the first Paris M tro line. During World War I, Paris was at the forefront of the war effort, Dell Latitude E5520 Batteryhaving been spared a German invasion by the French and British victory at the First Battle of the Marne in 1914. In 1918-1919, it was the scene of Allied victory parades and peace negotiations. In the inter-war period, Paris was famed for its cultural and artistic communities and its nightlife. The city became a gathering place of artists from around the world, Dell Latitude E6120 Batteryfrom exiled Russian composer Stravinsky and Spanish painters Picasso and Dal to American writer Hemingway. On 14 June 1940, five weeks after the start of the Battle of France, an undefended Paris fell to German occupation forces. The Germans marched past the Arc de Triomphe on the 140th anniversary of Napoleon's victory at the Battle of Marengo. Dell Latitude E6220 Battery German forces remained in Paris until the city was liberated in August 1944 after a resistance uprising, two and a half months after the Normandy invasion. Central Paris endured World War II practically unscathed, as there were no strategic targets for Allied bombers (train stations in central Paris are terminal stations; major factories were located in the suburbs). Dell Latitude E6320 BatteryAlso, German General von Choltitz did not destroy all Parisian monuments before any German retreat, as ordered by Adolf Hitler, who had visited the city in 1940. In the post-war era, Paris experienced its largest development since the end of the Belle poque in 1914. The suburbs began to expand considerably, Dell Latitude E6420 Batterywith the construction of large social estates known as cit s and the beginning of the business district La D fense. A comprehensive express subway network, the RER, was built to complement the M tro and serve the distant suburbs, while a network of freeways was developed in the suburbs, centred on the P riph rique expressway encircling the city. Dell Latitude E6420 ATG BatterySince the 1970s, many inner suburbs of Paris (especially the northern and eastern ones) have experienced deindustrialization, and the once-thriving cit s have gradually become ghettos for immigrants and oases of unemployment. At the same time, the city of Paris (within its P riph rique expressway) Dell Latitude E6520 Batteryand the western and southern suburbs have successfully shifted their economic base from traditional manufacturing to high-value-added services and high-tech manufacturing, generating great wealth for their residents whose per capita income is among the highest in Europe. The resulting widening social gap between these two areas has led to periodic unrest since the mid-1980s, Dell Latitude E6500 Batterysuch as the 2005 riots which were concentrated for the most part in the northeastern suburbs.Diana, Princess of Wales, died at the Piti -Salp tri re Hospital in Paris on 31 August 1997, after a car crash in the Pont de l'Alma tunnel. In order to alleviate social tensions in the inner suburbs and revitalise the metropolitan economy of Paris, Dell Latitude E6400 Batteryseveral plans are currently underway. The office of Secretary of State for the Development of the Capital Region was created in March 2008 within the French government. Its office holder, Christian Blanc, is in charge of overseeing President Nicolas Sarkozy's plans for the creation of an integrated Grand Paris ("Greater Paris") metropolitan authority (see Administration section below), DELL Latitude E6400 ATGas well as the extension of the subway network to cope with the renewed growth of population in Paris and its suburbs, and various economic development projects to boost the metropolitan economy, such as the creation of a world-class technology and scientific cluster and university campus on the Saclay plateau in the southern suburbs. DELL Latitude E6400 XFRIn parallel, President Sarkozy also launched in 2008 an international urban and architectural competition for the future development of metropolitan Paris. Ten teams, which bring together architects, urban planners, geographers, and landscape architects, will offer their vision for building a Paris metropolis of the 21st century in the Kyoto Protocol era and will make a prospective diagnosis for Paris and its suburbs that will define future developments in Greater Paris for the next 40 years. DELL Latitude E6410 BatteryThe goal is not only to build an environmentally sustainable metropolis but also to integrate the inner suburbs with the central City of Paris through large-scale urban planning operations and iconic architectural projects. Meanwhile, in an effort to boost the global economic image of metropolitan Paris, several skyscrapers (300 m (984 ft) and higher) DELL Latitude E6410 ATGhave been approved since 2006 in the business district of La D fense, to the west of the city proper, and are scheduled to be completed by the early 2010s. Paris authorities also stated publicly that they are planning to authorise the construction of skyscrapers within the city proper by relaxing the cap on building height for the first time since the construction of the Tour Montparnasse in the early 1970s. DELL Latitude E6510 BatteryThe election of Bertrand Delano made Paris the world's largest city with an openly LGBT mayor at the time.Paris is located in the north-bending arc of the river Seine and includes two islands, the le Saint-Louis and the larger le de la Cit , which form the oldest part of the city. Overall, the city is relatively flat, and the lowest point is 35 m (115 ft) above sea level. Paris has several prominent hills, DELL Precision M2400 Batteryof which the highest is Montmartre at 130 m (427 ft). Excluding the outlying parks of Bois de Boulogne and Bois de Vincennes, Paris covers an oval measuring 86.928 km2 (34 sq mi) in area. The city's last major annexation of outlying territories in 1860 not only gave it its modern form but also created the twenty clockwise-spiralling arrondissements (municipal boroughs). DELL Precision M4400 Batterythe 1860 area of 78 km2 (30 sq mi), the city limits were expanded marginally to 86.9 km2 (34 sq mi) in the 1920s. In 1929, the Bois de Boulogne and Bois de Vincennes forest parks were officially annexed to the city, bringing its area to the present 105.39 km2 (41 sq mi).Paris has the typical Western European oceanic climate which is affected by the North Atlantic Current. DELL Precision M4500 BatteryOver a year, Paris' climate can be described as mild and moderately wet. Summer days are usually warm and pleasant with average temperatures hovering between 15 and 25 C, and a fair amount of sunshine. Each year, however, there are a few days where the temperature rises above 32 C (90 F). Some years have even witnessed some long periods of harsh summer weather, DELL Precision M6400 Batterysuch as the heat wave of 2003 where temperatures exceeded 30 C (86 F) for weeks, surged up to 40 C (104 F) on some days and seldom cooled down at night. More recently, the average temperature for July 2011 was +17.6 C, with an average minimum temperature of 12.9 C and an average maximum temperature of 23.7 C. DELL Precision M6500 BatterySpring and autumn have, on average, mild days and fresh nights, but are changing and unstable. Surprisingly warm or cool weather occurs frequently in both seasons. In winter, sunshine is scarce; days are cold but generally above freezing with temperatures around 7 C (45 F). Light night frosts are however quite common, but the temperature will dip below 5 C (23 F) for only a few days a year. Dell Latitude E5500 BatterySnowfall is rare, but the city sometimes sees light snow or flurries with or without accumulation. Recently, notably in 2009, 2010 and 2011, intense cold waves brought repeated heavy snowfalls (15 cm (5.91 in) during one of December 2010's fourteen snowstorms) and temperatures plummeting to 10 C (14 F) and 20 C ( 4 F) in the Paris suburbs. Dell Latitude E5400 Battery Rain falls throughout the year, and although Paris is not a very rainy city, it is known for heavy sudden showers. Average annual precipitation is 652 mm (25.7 in) with light rainfall fairly distributed throughout the year. The highest recorded temperature is 40.4 C (105 F) on 28 July 1948, and the lowest is a 23.9 C ( 11 F) on 10 December 1879. Much of contemporary Paris is the result of the vast mid-19th century urban remodelling. DELL Latitude E5410 BatteryFor centuries, the city had been a labyrinth of narrow streets and half-timber houses, but, beginning with Haussman's advent, entire quarters were leveled to make way for wide avenues lined with neo-classical stone buildings of bourgeoisie standing. Most of this 'new' Paris is the Paris we see today. The building code has seen few changes since, DELL Latitude E5510 Batteryand the Second Empire plans are in many cases still followed. The "alignement" law is still in place, which regulates building fa ades of new constructions according to a pre-defined street width. A building's height is limited according to the width of the streets it borders, and under the regulation, it is difficult to get an approval to build a taller building. Dell Studio 1735 Battery Many of Paris' important institutions are located outside the city limits. The financial (La D fense) business district; the main food wholesale market (Rungis); schools ( cole Polytechnique; ESSEC; INSEAD; HEC); research laboratories (in Saclay or vry); the largest stadium (the Stade de France), and the government offices (Ministry of Transportation) are located in the city's suburbs. Dell Studio 1737 Battery Place de la Bastille (4th, 11th and 12th arrondissements, right bank) is a district of great historical significance, for not just Paris, but also all of France. Because of its symbolic value, the square has often been a site of political demonstrations. Place de la Concorde (8th arrondissement, Dell Inspiron 1737 Batteryright bank) is at the foot of the Champs- lys es, built as the "Place Louis XV", site of the infamous guillotine. The Egyptian obelisk is Paris' "oldest monument". On this place, on either side of the Rue Royale, there are two identical stone buildings: The eastern one houses the French Naval Ministry, the western the luxurious H tel de Crillon. Dell Studio 1535 BatteryNearby Place Vend me is famous for its fashionable and deluxe hotels (H tel Ritz and H tel de Vend me) and its jewellers. Many famous fashion designers have had their salons located here. Les Halles (1st arrondissement, right bank) were formerly Paris' central meat and produce market, and, since the late 1970s, Dell Studio 1536 Batteryare a major shopping centre around an important metro connection station (Ch telet - Les Halles, the biggest in the world). The old Halles were destroyed in 1971 and replaced by the Forum des Halles. The central market of Paris, the biggest wholesale food market in the world, was transferred to Rungis, in the southern suburbs. Dell Studio 1537 Battery Le Marais (3rd and 4th arrondissements) is a trendy Right Bank district. It is architecturally very well-preserved, and some of the oldest houses and buildings of Paris can be found there. It is a very culturally open place. It is also known for its Chinese, Jewish and gay communities. Avenue Montaigne (8th arrondissement), next to the Champs- lys es, Dell Studio 1555 Battery is home to luxury brand labels such as Chanel, Louis Vuitton (LVMH), Dior and Givenchy. Montmartre (18th arrondissement, right bank) is a historic area on the Butte, home to the Basilique du Sacr -C ur. Montmartre has always had a history with artists and has many studios and caf s of many great artists in that area. Dell Studio 1557 Battery Montparnasse (14th arrondissement) is a historic Left Bank area famous for artists' studios, music halls, and caf life. The large Montparnasse - Bienven e m tro station and the lone Tour Montparnasse skyscraper are located there.Avenue de l'Op ra (9th arrondissement, right bank) Dell Studio 1558 Batteryis the area around the Op ra Garnier and the location of the capital's densest concentration of both department stores and offices. A few examples are the Printemps and Galeries Lafayette grands magasins (department stores), and the Paris headquarters of financial giants such as BNP Paribas and American Express. Dell Inspiron 14 BatteryQuartier Latin (5th and 6th arrondissements, left bank) is a 12th-century scholastic centre formerly stretching between the Left Bank's Place Maubert and the Sorbonne campus. It is known for its lively atmosphere and many bistros. Various higher-education establishments, such as Sciences Po Paris, the cole Normale Sup rieure, Mines ParisTech, Dell Inspiron 1464 Batteryand the Jussieu university campus, make it a major educational centre in Paris.Faubourg Saint-Honor (8th arrondissement, right bank) is one of Paris' high-fashion districts, home to labels such as Herm s and Christian Lacroix.La D fense (straddling the communes of Courbevoie, Puteaux, and Nanterre, 2.5 km (2 mi) west of the city proper) Dell Inspiron 15 Batteryis a key suburb of Paris and one of the largest business centres in the world. Built at the western end of a westward extension of Paris' historical axis from the Champs- lys es, La D fense consists mainly of business high-rises. Initiated by the French government in 1958, the district hosts 3,500,000 m2 (37,673,686 sq ft) of offices, making it the largest district in Europe developed specifically for business. Dell Inspiron 1564 BatteryThe Grande Arche (Great Arch) of la D fense, housing a part of the French Transports Minister's headquarters, ends at the central Esplanade, around which the district is organised. Plaine Saint-Denis (straddling the communes of Saint-Denis, Aubervilliers, and Saint-Ouen, immediately north of the 18th arrondissement, across the P riph rique ring road) is a former derelict manufacturing area that has undergone large-scale urban renewal in the last 10 years. Dell Inspiron 17 BatteryIt now hosts the Stade de France, around which is being built the new business district of LandyFrance, with two RER stations (on RER lines B and D) and possibly some skyscrapers. In the Plaine Saint-Denis are also located most of France's television studios as well as some major movie studios. Val de Seine (straddling the 15th arrondissement and the communes of Issy-les-Moulineaux and Boulogne-Billancourt to the southwest of central Paris) Dell Inspiron 1764 Batteryis the new media hub of Paris and France, hosting the headquarters of most of France's TV networks (TF1 in Boulogne-Billancourt, France 2 in the 15th arrondissement, Canal+ and the international channels France 24 and Eurosport in Issy-les-Moulineaux), as well as several telecommunication and IT companies such as Neuf Cegetel in Boulogne-Billancourt or Microsoft's Europe, dell Studio XPS 16 batteryAfrica & Middle East regional headquarters in Issy-les-Moulineaux. Three of the most famous Parisian landmarks are the 12th-century cathedral Notre Dame de Paris on the le de la Cit , the Napoleonic Arc de Triomphe and the 19th-century Eiffel Tower. The Eiffel Tower was a "temporary" construction by Gustave Eiffel for the 1889 Universal Exposition, but the tower was never dismantled and is now an enduring symbol of Paris. dell Studio XPS 1640 batteryThe Historical axis is a line of monuments, buildings, and thoroughfares that run in a roughly straight line from the city-centre westwards. The line of monuments begins with the Louvre and continues through the Tuileries Gardens, the Champs- lys es, and the Arc de Triomphe, dell Studio XPS 1645 batterycentred in the Place de l' toile circus. From the 1960s, the line was prolonged even farther west to the La D fense business district dominated by a square-shaped triumphal Grande Arche of its own; this district hosts most of the tallest skyscrapers in the Paris urban area. The Invalides museum is the burial place for many great French soldiers, including Napoleon; dell Studio XPS 1647 batteryand the Panth on church is where many of France's illustrious men and women are buried. The former Conciergerie prison held some prominent Ancien R gime members before their deaths during the French Revolution. Another symbol of the Revolution are the two Statues of Liberty located on the le aux Cygnes on the Seine and in the Luxembourg Garden. Dell Inspiron 14z BatteryA larger version of the statues was sent as a gift from France to America in 1886 and now stands in New York City's harbour. The Palais Garnier, built in the later Second Empire period, houses the Paris Op ra and the Paris Opera Ballet, while the former palace of the Louvre now houses one of the most renowned museums in the world. Dell Inspiron 1470 BatteryThe Sorbonne is the most famous part of the University of Paris and is based in the centre of the Latin Quarter. Apart from Notre Dame de Paris, there are several other ecclesiastical masterpieces, including the Gothic 13th-century Sainte-Chapelle palace chapel and the glise de la Madeleine. Two of Paris' oldest and famous gardens are the Tuileries Garden, Dell Inspiron 1470n Batterycreated in the 16th century for a palace on the banks of the Seine near the Louvre, and the Left bank Luxembourg Garden, another former private garden belonging to a ch teau built for Marie de' Medici in 1612. The Jardin des Plantes, created by Louis XIII's doctor Guy de La Brosse for the cultivation of medicinal plants, was Paris' first public garden. Dell Inspiron 15z Battery A few of Paris' other large gardens are Second Empire creations: The former suburban parks of Montsouris, Parc des Buttes Chaumont, and Parc Monceau (formerly known as the "folie de Chartres") are creations of Napoleon III's engineer Jean-Charles Alphand. Another project executed under the orders of Baron Haussmann was the re-sculpting of Paris' western Bois de Boulogne forest-parklands; Dell Inspiron 1570 Batterythe Bois de Vincennes, on the city's opposite eastern end, received a similar treatment in years following. Newer additions to Paris' park landscape are the Parc de la Villette, built by the architect Bernard Tschumi on the location of Paris' former slaughterhouses; the Parc Andr Citro n, and gardens being laid to the periphery along the traces of its former circular "Petite Ceinture" railway line: Promenade Plant e. Dell Inspiron 1570n Battery Paris in its early history had only the Seine and Bi vre rivers for water. Later forms of irrigation were a 1st-century Roman aqueduct from southerly Wissous (later left to ruin); sources from the Right bank hills from the late 11th century; from the 15th century, an aqueduct built roughly along the path of the abandoned Wissous aqueduct; dell Studio 17 batteryalso, from 1809, the canal de l'Ourcq, providing Paris with water from less-polluted rivers to the northeast of the capital, and "God's Tears", a bi-annual rainstorm, which stopped in the early 20th century as a natural phenomenon. Paris would have its first constant and plentiful source of drinkable water only from the late 19th century. dell Studio 1749 battery From 1857, the civil engineer Eug ne Belgrand, under Napoleon III's Pr fet Haussmann, oversaw the construction of a series of new aqueducts that brought water from locations all around the city to several reservoirs built atop the Capital's highest points of elevation. From then on, the new reservoir system became Paris' principal source of drinking water, dell Studio 1745 batteryand the remains of the old system, pumped into lower levels of the same reservoirs, were from then on used for the cleaning of Paris' streets. This system is still a major part of Paris' modern water-supply network. Paris has over 2,400 km (1,491 mi) of underground passageways dedicated to the evacuation of Paris' liquid wastes. Most of these date from the late 19th century, dell Studio 1747 batterya result of the combined plans of the Pr fet Baron Haussmann and the civil engineer Eug ne Belgrand to improve the then-very unsanitary conditions in the Capital. Maintained by a round-the-clock service since their construction, only a small percentage of Paris' sewer r seau has needed complete renovation. Dell Inspiron N4010R Battery In 1982, then mayor Jacques Chirac introduced the motorcycle-mounted Motocrotte to remove dog faeces from Paris streets. The project was abandoned in 2002 for a new and better enforced local law which now fines dog owners up to 500 euros for not removing their dog faeces. It was estimated at the time of their removal, Dell Inspiron N4110 Batterythat the fleet of 70 Motocrottes were cleaning up only 20% of dog faeces on Parisian street - at an annual cost of 3million. Paris' main cemetery was located to its outskirts on its Left Bank from the beginning of its history, but this changed with the rise of Catholicism and the construction of churches towards the city-centre, Dell Inspiron N5010D-258 Batterymany of them having adjoining burial grounds for use by their parishes. Generations of a growing city population soon filled these cemeteries to overflowing, creating sometimes very unsanitary conditions. Condemned from 1786, the contents of all Paris' parish cemeteries were transferred to a renovated section of Paris' then suburban stone mines outside the Left Bank "Porte d'Enfer" city gate (today 14th arrondissement's place Denfert-Rochereau). Dell Inspiron N5010D-278 Battery Part of this network of tunnels and remains can be visited today on the official tour of the Catacombs. After a tentative creation of several smaller suburban cemeteries, Napoleon Bonaparte provided a more definitive solution in the creation of three massive Parisian cemeteries outside the city tax wall called the Wall of the Farmers-General. Dell Inspiron N5010R BatteryOpen from 1804, these were the cemeteries of P re Lachaise, Montmartre, Montparnasse, and later Passy. When Paris annexed all communes to the inside of its much larger ring of suburban fortifications in 1860, its cemeteries were once again within its city walls. New suburban cemeteries were created in the early 20th century: The largest of these are the Cimeti re Parisien de Saint-Ouen, the Cimeti re Parisien de Bobigny-Pantin, Dell Inspiron N5030 Batterythe Cimeti re Parisien d'Ivry, and the Cimeti re Parisien de Bagneux. The largest opera houses of Paris are the 19th century Op ra Garnier (historical Paris Op ra) and modern Op ra Bastille; the former tends towards the more classic ballets and operas, and the latter provides a mixed repertoire of classic and modern. Dell Inspiron N5030D BatteryIn middle of 19th century, there were two other active and competing opera houses: Op ra-Comique (which still exists to this day) and Th tre Lyrique (which in modern times changed its profile and name to Th tre de la Ville). Theatre traditionally has occupied a large place in Parisian culture. Dell Inspiron N5030R Battery This still holds true today, and many of its most popular actors today are also stars of French television. Some of Paris' major theatres include Bobino, Th tre Mogador, and the Th tre de la Ga t -Montparnasse. Some Parisian theatres have also doubled as concert halls. Many of France's greatest musical legends, Dell Inspiron N5110 Batterysuch as dith Piaf, Maurice Chevalier, Georges Brassens, and Charles Aznavour, found their fame in Parisian concert halls: Legendary yet still-showing examples of these are Le Lido, Bobino, l'Olympia and le Splendid. The lys es-Montmartre, much reduced from its original size, is a concert hall today. The New Morning is one of few Parisian clubs still holding jazz concerts, but the same also specialises in "indie" music. Dell Inspiron N7010D Battery In more recent times, the Le Z nith hall in Paris, La Villette quarter and a "parc-omnisports" stadium in Bercy serve as large-scale rock concert halls. Several yearly festivals take place in Paris, such as Rock en Seine. Parisians tend to share the same movie-going trends as many of the world's global cities, that is to say with a dominance of Hollywood-generated film entertainment. HP Pavilion dv6-3111sa Battery French cinema comes a close second, with major directors (r alisateurs) such as Claude Lelouch, Fran ois Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard, Claude Chabrol, and Luc Besson, and the more slapstick/popular genre with director Claude Zidi as an example. European and Asian films are also widely shown and appreciated. HP Pavilion dv6-3048sa BatteryA specialty of Paris is its very large network of small movie theatres. In a given week, the movie fan has the choice between around 300 old or new movies from all over the world. Many of Paris' concert/dance halls were transformed into movie theatres when the media became popular beginning in the 1930s. HP Pavilion dv6-3032sa BatteryLater, most of the largest cinemas were divided into multiple, smaller rooms: Paris' largest cinema today is by far le Grand Rex theatre with 2,800 seats, whereas other cinemas all have fewer than 1,000 seats. There is now a trend toward modern multiplexes that contain more than 10 or 20 screens. Paris' culinary reputation has its base in the diverse origins of its inhabitants. HP Pavilion dv6-3046sa BatteryIn its beginnings, it owed much to the 19th-century organisation of a railway system that had Paris as a centre, making the capital a focal point for immigration from France's many different regions and gastronomical cultures. This reputation continues through today in a cultural diversity that has since spread to a worldwide level thanks to Paris' continued reputation for culinary finesse and further immigration from increasingly distant climes. HP Pavilion dv6-3056sa BatteryHotels were another result of widespread travel and tourism, especially Paris' late-19th-century Expositions Universelles (World's Fairs). Of the most luxurious of these, the H tel Ritz appeared in the Place Vend me in 1898, and the H tel de Crillon opened its doors on the north side of the Place de la Concorde, starting in 1909. HP Pavilion dv6-3068ea Battery Since 1848, Paris has been a popular destination by rail network, with Paris at its centre. Among Paris' first mass attractions drawing international interest were the above-mentioned Expositions Universelles that were the origin of Paris' many monuments, namely the Eiffel Tower from 1889. These, HP Pavilion dv6-3112sa Batteryin addition to the capital's Second Empire embellishments, did much to make the city itself the attraction it is today. Paris receives around 28 million tourists per year (42 in the whole Paris Region), of which 17 million are foreign visitors. Its museums and monuments are among its highest-esteemed attractions; tourism has motivated both the city and national governments to create new ones. HP Pavilion dv6-3116sa BatteryThe city's most prized museum, the Louvre, welcomes over 8 million visitors a year, being by far the world's most-visited art museum. The city's cathedrals are another main attraction: Notre Dame de Paris and the Basilique du Sacr -Coeur receive 12 million and eight million visitors, respectively. The Eiffel Tower, by far Paris' most famous monument, HP Pavilion dv6-3121sa Batteryaverages over six million visitors per year and more than 200 million since its construction. Disneyland Paris is a major tourist attraction for visitors to not only Paris but also the rest of Europe, with 14.5 million visitors in 2007. The Louvre is one of the world's largest and most famous museums, housing many works of art, including the Mona Lisa (La Joconde) and the Venus de Milo statue. HP Pavilion dv6-3122sa Battery HP Pavilion dv6-3123sa BatteryWorks by Pablo Picasso and Auguste Rodin are found in Mus e Picasso and Mus e Rodin, respectively, while the artistic community of Montparnasse is chronicled at the Mus e du Montparnasse. Starkly apparent with its service-pipe exterior, the Centre Georges Pompidou, also known as Beaubourg, houses the Mus e National d'Art Moderne. HP Pavilion dv6-3118sa BatteryArt and artifacts from the Middle Ages and Impressionist eras are kept in Mus e Cluny and Mus e d'Orsay, respectively, the former with the prized tapestry cycle The Lady and the Unicorn. Paris' newest (and third-largest) museum, the Mus e du quai Branly, opened its doors in June 2006 and houses art from Africa, Asia, Oceania, and the Americas. HP Pavilion dv6-3180ea BatteryMany of Paris' once-popular local establishments have come to cater to the tastes and expectations of tourists, rather than local patrons. Le Lido, the Moulin Rouge cabaret-dancehall, for example, is a staged dinner theatre spectacle, a dance display that was once but one aspect of the cabaret's former atmosphere. HP Pavilion dv6-3185sa Battery All of the establishment's former social or cultural elements, such as its ballrooms and gardens, are gone today. Much of Paris' hotel, restaurant and night entertainment trades have become heavily dependent on tourism. Paris' most popular sport clubs are the association football club Paris Saint-Germain FC, the basketball team Paris-Levallois Basket, HP Pavilion dv6-3180sa Batteryand the rugby union club Stade Fran ais. The 80,000-seat Stade de France, built for the 1998 FIFA World Cup, is located in Saint-Denis. It is used for football, rugby union and track and field athletics. It hosts annually French national rugby team's home matches of the Six Nations Championship, HP Pavilion dv6-1132sa BatteryFrench national association football team for friendlies and major tournaments qualifiers, and several important matches of the Stade Fran ais rugby team. In addition to Paris Saint-Germain FC, the city has a number of other amateur football clubs: Paris FC, Red Star, RCF Paris and Stade Fran ais Paris. The last is the football section of the omnisport club of the same name, most notable for its rugby team. HP Pavilion dv6-3122sa BatteryThe Paris region currently boasts two teams in the top level of French rugby union, Top 14. Currently, the most prominent side is Stade Fran ais, which is also the only one of the two to be based in the city proper. The other Top 14 team in the region is Racing M tro 92, currently based in the western suburb of Colombes. Racing M tro is the successor to Racing Club de France, HP Pavilion dv6-3103sa Batterywhich contested the first-ever French championship final against Stade Fran ais in 1892.Paris also hosted the 1900 and 1924 Olympic Games and was venue for the 1938 and 1998 FIFA World Cups and for the 2007 Rugby World Cup. Although the starting point and the route of the famous Tour de France varies each year, the final stage always finishes in Paris, and, HP Pavilion dv6-3118sa Batterysince 1975, the race has finished on the Champs-Elys es. Tennis is another popular sport in Paris and throughout France. The French Open, held every year on the red clay of the Roland Garros National Tennis Centre near the Bois de Boulogne, is one of the four Grand Slam events of the world professional tennis tour. The 2006 UEFA Champions League Final between Arsenal and FC Barcelona was played in the Stade de France. HP Pavilion dv6-6b57sa BatteryParis hosted the 2007 Rugby World Cup final at Stade de France on 20 October 2007. With a 2009 GDP of 552.1 billion (US$768.9 billion), the Paris region has one of the highest GDPs in Europe, making it an engine of the global economy; were it a country, it would rank as the seventeenth-largest economy in the world, HP Pavilion dv6-6156ea Batteryalmost as large as the Dutch economy. The Paris Region is France's premier centre of economic activity: While its population accounted for 18.8% of the total population of metropolitan France in 2009, its GDP accounted for 29.5% of metropolitan France's GDP. Activity in the Paris urban area, though diverse, HP Pavilion G6-1004SA Batterydoes not have a leading specialised industry (such as Los Angeles with entertainment industries or London and New York with financial industries in addition to their other activities). Recently, the Paris economy has been shifting towards high-value-added service industries (finance, IT services, etc.) and high-tech manufacturing (electronics, optics, aerospace, etc.). HP Pavilion G6-1007SA Battery The Paris region's most intense economic activity through the central Hauts-de-Seine d partement and suburban La D fense business district places Paris' economic centre to the west of the city, in a triangle between the Op ra Garnier, La D fense (the largest dedicated business district in Europe.), HP Pavilion G6-1058SA Batteryand the Val de Seine. Paris' administrative borders have little consequences on the limits of its economic activity: Although most workers commute from the suburbs to work in the city, many commute from the city to work in the suburbs. While the Paris economy is largely dominated by services, it remains an important manufacturing powerhouse of Europe, especially in industrial sectors such as automobiles, aeronautics, HP Pavilion G6-1061SA Batteryand electronics. Over recent decades, the local economy has moved towards high-value-added activities, in particular business services. The city is considered one of the best cities in the world for innovation.. The Paris Region hosts the headquarters of 33 of the Fortune Global 500 companies. The 1999 census indicated that, of the 5,089,170 persons employed in the Paris urban area, HP Pavilion G6-1207SA Battery16.5% worked in business services; 13.0% in commerce (retail and wholesale trade); 12.3% in manufacturing; 10.0% in public administrations and defence; 8.7% in health services; 8.2% in transportation and communications; 6.6% in education, and the remaining 24.7% in many other economic sectors. In the manufacturing sector, the largest employers were the electronic and electrical industry HP Pavilion G6-1224SA Battery(17.9% of the total manufacturing workforce in 1999) and the publishing and printing industry (14.0% of the total manufacturing workforce), with the remaining 68.1% of the manufacturing workforce distributed among many other industries. Tourism and tourist related services employ 6.2% of Paris' workforce, and 3.6% of all workers within the Paris Region. HP Pavilion G6-1236SA BatteryUnemployment in the Paris "immigrant ghettos" ranges from 20 to 40%, according to varying sources.Health care and emergency medical service in the city of Paris and its suburbs are provided by the Assistance publique - H pitaux de Paris (AP-HP), a public hospital system that employs more than 90,000 people (practitioners and administratives) in 44 hospitals. HP Pavilion G6-1255SA BatteryIt is the largest hospital system in Europe.Paris Ouest (ie: Western Paris) is an expression referring to the wealthiest, most exclusive and prestigious residential area of France.Located in the central and western part of Paris, it roughly follows Paris' Voie Royale (Royal Way) or Axe historique (historical axis): a line of monuments, buildings and thoroughfares that extends from the former royal Palace of the Louvre through the Tuileries, HP Pavilion G6-1257SA Batterythe Place de la Concorde, the Champs lys es, the Place de l'Etoile and all the way to Neuilly-sur-Seine. Paris Ouest has long been known as French high society's favorite place of residence, comparable to New York's Upper East Side, LA's Beverly Hills or London's Mayfair and Belgravia, to such an extent that the phrase "Paris Ouest" has been associated with great wealth, HP Pavilion G7-1000SA Batteryelitism and social hegemony in French popular culture as well as in some masterpieces of French literature such as Balzac's La com die humaine or Proust's In Search of Lost Time. The cultural, social and economic influence of the area has played a prominent role throughout French history and is still highly vivid in nowadays' French elite. Paris Ouest's standards of life were also highly influential in educating foreign elites, especially in Europe, Russia and Northern America (see Frick Collection). HP Pavilion G7-1004SA Battery And so Paris Ouest should be seen as not only a geographic area but also a social attitude symbolized by French high society's habits and way of life.The "Rive Gauche" (Left Bank of the Seine) generally implies a sense of bohemianism and creativity as it was the Paris of artists, writers, philosophers and students. HP Pavilion dv6-1013ea Battery The counterpart of the Rive Gauche of Paris is the Rive Droite (Right Bank), a term used to refer to a level of elegance and sophistication not found in the more bohemian Left Bank. The population of the city of Paris was 2,125,246 at the 1999 census, lower than its historical peak of 2.9 million in 1921. HP Pavilion dv6-1010ea BatteryThe city's population loss mirrors the experience of most other core cities in the developed world that have not expanded their boundaries. The principal factors in the process are a significant decline in household size, and a dramatic migration of residents to the suburbs between 1962 and 1975. Factors in the migration include de-industrialisation, HP Pavilion dv6-1005ea Batteryhigh rent, the gentrification of many inner quarters, the transformation of living space into offices, and greater affluence among working families. The city's population loss was one of the most severe among international municipalities and the largest for any that had achieved more than 2,000,000 residents. These losses are generally seen as negative for the city; HP Pavilion dv6-1025ef Batterythe city administration is trying to reverse them with some success, as the population estimate of July 2004 showed a population increase for the first time since 1954, reaching a total of 2,144,700 inhabitants. Paris is one of the most densely populated cities in the world. Its density, excluding the outlying woodland parks of Boulogne and Vincennes, HP Pavilion dv6-1108ca Batterywas 24,448 inhabitants per square kilometre (63,320/sq mi) in the 1999 official census, which could be compared only with some Asian megapoli. Even including the two woodland areas, its population density was 20,164 inhabitants per square kilometre (52,224.5/sq mi), the fifth-most-densely populated commune in France following Le Pr -Saint-Gervais, HP Pavilion dv6-2010sa BatteryVincennes, Levallois-Perret, and Saint-Mand , all of which border the city proper. The most sparsely populated quarters are the western and central office and administration-focussed arrondissements. The city's population is densest in the northern and eastern arrondissements; HP Pavilion dv6t Batterythe 11th arrondissement had a density of 40,672 inhabitants per square kilometre (105,340/sq mi) in 1999, and some of the same arrondissement's eastern quarters had densities close to 100,000/km2 (260,000/sq mi) in the same year. The city of Paris covers an area much smaller than the urban area of which it is the core. At present, Paris' real urbanisation, HP Pavilion dv6t-1000 Batterydefined by the p le urbain (urban area) statistical area, covers 2,845 km2 (1,098 sq mi), or an area about 27 times larger than the city itself. The administration of Paris' urban growth is divided between itself and its surrounding d partements: Paris' closest ring of three adjoining departments, or petite couronne ("small ring") are fully saturated with urban growth, HP Pavilion dv6t-1100 Battery and the ring of four departments outside of these, the grande couronne d partements, are only covered in their inner regions by Paris' urbanisation. These eight d partements form the larger administrative le-de-France r gion; most of this region is filled, and overextended in places, by the Paris aire urbaine. HP Pavilion dv6z Battery The Paris agglomeration has shown a steady rate of growth since the end of the late 16th century French Wars of Religion, save brief setbacks during the French Revolution and World War II. Suburban development has accelerated in recent years: With an estimated total of 11.4 million inhabitants for 2005, HP Pavilion dv6z-1000 Battery the le-de-France r gion shows a rate of growth double that of the 1990s. By law, French censuses do not ask questions regarding ethnicity or religion, but do gather information concerning one's country of birth. From this it is still possible to determine that Paris and its aire urbaine (metropolitan area) is one of the most multi-cultural in Europe: At the 1999 census, 19.4% of its total population was born outside of metropolitan France. HP Pavilion dv6-1148ca Battery At the same census, 4.2% of the Paris aire urbaine's population were recent immigrants (people who had immigrated to France between 1990 and 1999), the majority from Asia and Africa. 37% of all immigrants in France live in the Paris region. The first wave of international migration to Paris started as early as 1820 with the arrivals of German peasants fleeing an agricultural crisis in their homeland. HP Pavilion dv6-1140ea Battery Several waves of immigration followed continuously until today: Italians and central European Jews during the 19th century; Russians after the revolution of 1917 and Armenians fleeing genocide in the Ottoman Empire; colonial citizens during World War I and later; Poles between the two world wars; Spaniards, Italians, HP Pavilion dv6-1132sa BatteryPortuguese, and North Africans from the 1950s to the 1970s; North African Jews after the independence of those countries; Africans and Asians since then. The Paris metropolitan region or "aire urbaine" is estimated to be home to some 1.7 million Muslims of all races, making up between 10%-15% of the area's population. However, HP Pavilion dv6-1130sa Batterywithout official data, the margin of error of these estimates is extremely high as it is based on one's country of birth (someone born in a Muslim country or born to a parent from a Muslim country is considered as a "potential Muslim"). According to the North American Jewish Data Bank, an estimated 310,000 Jews also live in Paris and the surrounding le-de-France region, HP Pavilion dv6-1140ea Batteryan area with a population of 11.7 million inhabitants. Paris has historically been a magnet for immigrants, hosting one of the largest concentrations of immigrants in Europe today. Immigrants and their children in d partements of le-de-France (Greater Paris) According to INSEE, French National Institute for Statistics and Economic Studies, responsible for the production and analysis of official statistics in France, HP Pavilion dv6-1138ca Battery 20% of people living in the city of Paris are immigrants and 41.3% of people under 20 have at least one immigrant parent. Among the young people under 18, 12.1% are of Maghrebi origin, 9.9% of Subsaharan African origin (not including persons from French West Indies) and 4.0% of South European origin. About four million people, HP Pavilion dv6-1108ca Batteryor 35% of the population of the le-de-France, are either immigrants (17%) or have at least one immigrant parent (18%). According to a study in 2008, nearly 56% of all newborns in le-de-France in 2007 had at least one parent of immigrant origin. Reading: 436 576 immigrants live in Paris, HP Pavilion dv6-1038ca Batteryrepresenting 20 % of Parisians and 22.4 % of immigrants in le-de-France. 162 635 children under 20 with at least one immigrant parent live in Paris, representing 41.3% of the total of children under 20 in Paris and 15.4 % of the total of children under 20 with at least one immigrant parent in le-de-France. Paris, its administrative limits unchanged since 1860 (save for the addition of two large parks), HP Pavilion dv6-1210SA Batteryis one of a few cities that have not evolved politically with their real demographic growth; this issue is at present being discussed in plans for a "Grand Paris" (Greater Paris) that will extend Paris' administrative limits to embrace much more of its urban tissue. Paris is the seat of France's national government. For the executive, the two chief officers each have their own official residences, HP Pavilion dv6-1215SA Batterywhich also serve as their offices. The President of France resides at the lys e Palace in the 8th arrondissement, while the Prime Minister's seat is at the H tel Matignon in the 7th arrondissement. Government ministries are located in various parts of the city; many are located in the 7th arrondissement, near the Matignon. HP Pavilion dv6-1120EA Battery The two houses of the French Parliament are also located on the Left Bank. The upper house, the Senate, meets in the Palais du Luxembourg in the 6th arrondissement, while the more important lower house, the Assembl e Nationale, meets in the Palais Bourbon in the 7th. The President of the Senate, HP Pavilion dv6-1120SA Batterythe second-highest public official in France after the President of the Republic, resides in the "Petit Luxembourg", a smaller palace annex to the Palais du Luxembourg. France's highest courts are located in Paris. The Court of Cassation, the highest court in the judicial order, which reviews criminal and civil cases, is located in the Palais de Justice on the le de la Cit , while the Conseil d' tat, HP Pavilion dv6-1140EA Batterywhich provides legal advice to the executive and acts as the highest court in the administrative order, judging litigation against public bodies, is located in the Palais Royal in the 1st arrondissement.The Constitutional Council, an advisory body with ultimate authority on the constitutionality of laws and government decrees, also meets in the Palais Royal. HP Pavilion dv6-1210EA BatteryParis has been a commune (municipality) since 1834 (and also briefly between 1790 and 1795). At the 1790 division (during the French Revolution) of France into communes, and again in 1834, Paris was a city only half its modern size, but, in 1860, it annexed bordering communes, some entirely, to create the new administrative map of twenty municipal arrondissements the city still has today. HP Pavilion dv6-1216SA Battery These municipal subdivisions describe a clockwise spiral outward from its most central, the 1st arrondissement.In 1790, Paris became the pr fecture (seat) of the Seine d partement, which covered much of the Paris region. In 1968, it was split into four smaller ones: The city of Paris became a distinct d partement of its own, HP Pavilion dv6-1330SA Battery retaining the Seine's departmental number of 75 (originating from the Seine d partement's position in France's alphabetical list), while three new d partements of Hauts-de-Seine, Seine-Saint-Denis and Val-de-Marne were created and given the numbers 92, 93, and 94, respectively. HP Pavilion dv6-2110EA BatteryThe result of this division is that today Paris' limits as a d partement are exactly those of its limits as a commune, a situation unique in France. Each of Paris' twenty arrondissements has a directly elected council (conseil d'arrondissement), which, in turn, elects an arrondissement mayor. A selection of members from each arrondissement council form the Council of Paris (conseil de Paris), which, HP Pavilion dv6-2114SA Batteryin turn, elects the mayor of Paris. In medieval times, Paris was governed by a merchant-elected municipality whose head was the provost of the merchants. In addition to regulating city commerce, the provost of the merchants was responsible for some civic duties such as the guarding of city walls and the cleaning of city streets. HP Pavilion dv6-2112SA Battery The creation of the provost of Paris from the 13th century diminished the merchant Provost's responsibilities and powers considerably. A direct representative of the king, in a role resembling somewhat the pr fet of later years, the Provost (pr v t) of Paris oversaw the application and execution of law and order in the city and its surrounding pr v t (county) from his office in the Grand Ch telet. HP Pavilion dv6-1140ea Battery Many functions from both provost offices were transferred to the office of the crown-appointed lieutenant general of police upon its creation in 1667. For centuries, the pr v t and magistrates of the Ch telet clashed with the administrators of the H tel de Ville over jurisdiction; the latter notably included the quartiniers, HP Pavilion dv6-1133sa Batteryeach of whom was responsible for one of the sixteen quartiers (which were in turn divided into four cinquantaines, each with its cinquantainier, and those in turn were divided into dizaines, administered by dizainiers): All of these men were in principle elected by the local bourgeois. At any one time, therefore, 336 men had shared administrative responsibility for street cleaning and maintenance, HP Pavilion dv6-1132sa Batteryfor public health, law, and order. The quartiniers maintained the official lists of bourgeois de Paris, ran local elections, could impose fines for breaches of the bylaws, and had a role in tax assessment. They met at the H tel de Ville to confer on matters of citywide importance and each year selected eight of "the most notable inhabitants of the quarter", who together with other local officials would elect the city council. HP Pavilion dv6-1130sa Battery Even though in the course of the 18th century these elections became purely ceremonial, choosing candidates already selected by the royal government, the memory of genuine municipal independence remained strong: "The H tel de Ville continued to bulk large in the awareness of bourgeois Parisians, its importance extending far beyond its real role in city government." HP Pavilion dv6-1140ea BatteryParis' last Pr v t des marchands was assassinated the afternoon of the 14 July 1789 uprising that was the French Revolution Storming of the Bastille. Paris became an official "commune" from the creation of the administrative division on 14 December the same year, and its provisional "Paris commune"HP Pavilion dv6-1138ca Batteryrevolutionary municipality was replaced with the city's first municipal constitution and government from 9 October 1790. Through the turmoil of the 1794 Thermidorian Reaction, it became apparent that revolutionary Paris' political independence was a threat to any governing power: The office of mayor was abolished the same year, and its municipal council one year later. HP Pavilion dv6-1108ca Battery Although the municipal council was recreated in 1834, for most of the 19th and 20th centuries, Paris along with the larger Seine d partement of which it was a centre was under the direct control of the state-appointed pr fet of the Seine, in charge of general affairs there; the state-appointed Prefect of Police was in charge of police in the same jurisdiction. HP Pavilion dv6-1038ca Battery for a few brief occasions, the city did not have a mayor until 1977, and the Paris Prefecture of Police is still under state control today. Despite its dual existence as commune and d partement, Paris has a single council to govern both; the Council of Paris, HP Pavilion dv6-3005sa Batterypresided over by the mayor of Paris, meets as either as a municipal council (conseil municipal) or a departmental council (conseil g n ral), depending on the issue to be debated. Paris' modern administrative organisation still retains some traces of the former Seine d partement jurisdiction. The Prefecture of Police (also directing Paris' fire brigades), for example, has still a jurisdiction extending to Paris' petite couronne of bordering three d partements for some operations such as fire protection or rescue operations, HP Pavilion dv6-3010sa Batteryand is still directed by France's national government. Paris has no municipal police force, although it does have its own brigade of traffic wardens. As part of a 1961 nation-wide administrative effort to consolidate regional economies, Paris as a d partement became the capital of the new r gion of the District of Paris, renamed the le-de-France r gion in 1976. HP Pavilion dv6-3015sa BatteryIt encompasses the Paris d partement and its seven closest d partements. Its regional council members, since 1986, have been chosen by direct elections. The prefect of the Paris d partement (who served as the prefect of the Seine d partement before 1968) is also prefect of the le-de-France r gion, although the office lost much of its power following the creation of the office of mayor of Paris in 1977. HP Pavilion dv6-3020sa Battery HP Pavilion dv6-3025sa Battery Few of the above changes have taken into account Paris' existence as an agglomeration. Unlike in most of France's major urban areas such as Lille and Lyon, there is no intercommunal entity in the Paris urban area, no intercommunal council treating the problems of the region's dense urban core as a whole; HP Pavilion dv6-3030sa BatteryParis' alienation of its suburbs is indeed a problem today, and considered by many[who?] to be the main causes of civil unrest such as the suburban riots in 2005. A direct result of these unfortunate events is propositions for a more efficient metropolitan structure to cover the city of Paris and some of the suburbs, HP Pavilion dv6-3035sa Batteryranging from a socialist idea of a loose "metropolitan conference" (conf rence m tropolitaine) to the right-wing idea of a more integrated Grand Paris ("Greater Paris"). One of the main reasons for such incoherence has been the fear felt by the French State in front of such a huge agglomeration and the desire to tap its wealth. Since the Middle Ages and particularly since the 1649 troubles (La Fronde), HP Pavilion dv6-3040sa BatteryParis has been considered as a source of danger. The authoritarian king Louis the XIVth built Versailles as a new political center, away from the dangerous city crowds. The conflict between the State and the City reached a climax with the Revolution of 1871 (La Commune) : the French Assembly in Bordeaux decided Paris would no longer be the capital city, HP Pavilion dv6-3045sa Batterywhile the Paris Commune discussed declaring Paris independent of France. Since then, one of the foundations of the centralized French State has been to widely distribute Paris wealth while depriving the agglomeration and keeping it divided into 8 departments and 1 200 communes. (For an analysis of the long hostility against Paris, HP Pavilion dv6-3050eo Batterysee [verification needed] ). Of the 22 metropolitan French regions, 19 are regularly subsidized mostly by Paris resources while Paris suburbs lack necessary equipment. In the early 9th century, the emperor Charlemagne mandated all churches to give lessons in reading, writing and basic arithmetic to their parishes, HP Pavilion dv6-3050sa Batteryand cathedrals to give a higher-education in the finer arts of language, physics, music, and theology; at that time, Paris was already one of France's major cathedral towns and beginning its rise to fame as a scholastic centre. By the early 13th century, the le de la Cit Notre-Dame cathedral school had many famous teachers, HP Pavilion dv6-3055sa Batteryand the controversial teachings of some of these led to the creation of a separate Left-Bank Sainte-Genevieve University that would become the centre of Paris' scholastic Latin Quarter best represented by the Sorbonne university. Twelve centuries later, education in Paris and the Paris region ( le-de-France r gion) employs approximately 330,000 persons, HP Pavilion dv6-3060sa Battery170,000 of whom are teachers and professors teaching approximately 2.9 million children and students in around 9,000 primary, secondary, and higher education schools and institutions. Paris is home to several of France's most prestigious high-schools such as Lyc e Louis-le-Grand, Lyc e Henri-IV and Lyc e Condorcet. HP Pavilion dv6-3065ea BatteryOther high-schools of international renown in the Paris area include the Lyc e International de Saint Germain-en-Laye and the cole Active Bilingue Jeannine Manuel. As of the academic year 2004-2005, the Paris Region's 17 public universities, with its 359,749 registered students, HP Pavilion dv6-3070ea Batterycomprise the largest concentration of university students in Europe. The Paris Region's prestigious grandes coles and scores of university-independent private and public schools have an additional 240,778 registered students, that, together with the university population, creates a grand total of 600,527 students in higher education that year. HP Pavilion dv6-3085ea Battery The cathedral of Notre-Dame was the first centre of higher-education before the creation of the University of Paris. The universitas was chartered by King Philip Augustus in 1200, as a corporation granting teachers (and their students) the right to rule themselves independently from crown law and taxes. At the time, many classes were held in open air. Non-Parisian students and teachers would stay in hostels, or "colleges",HP Pavilion dv6-3100sa Batterycreated for the boursiers coming from afar. Already famous by the 13th century, the University of Paris had students from all of Europe. Paris' Rive Gauche scholastic centre, dubbed "Latin Quarter" as classes were taught in Latin then, would eventually regroup around the college created by Robert de Sorbon from 1257, the Coll ge de Sorbonne. HP Pavilion dv6-3110ea Battery The University of Paris in the 19th century had six faculties: law, science, medicine, pharmaceutical studies, literature, and theology. Following the 1968 student riots, there was an extensive reform of the University of Paris, in an effort to disperse the centralised student body. The following year, the former unique University of Paris was split between thirteen autonomous universities HP Pavilion dv6-3110sa Battery("Paris I" to "Paris XIII") located throughout the City of Paris and its suburbs. Each of these universities inherited only some of the departments of the old University of Paris, and are not generalist universities. Paris I Pantheon-Sorbonne, Paris II Pantheon-Assas, Paris-Descartes, and Paris-Nanterre, inherited the Law School; HP Pavilion dv6-3115sa BatteryParis Descartes University inherited the School of Medicine as well; Pierre and Marie Curie University and Paris-Diderot the scientific departments, the Paris-Sorbonne University inherited the Arts and Humanities, etc. In 1991, four more universities were created in the suburbs of Paris, reaching a total of seventeen public universities for the Paris ( le-de-France) r gion. HP Pavilion dv6-3116sa BatteryThese new universities were given names (based on the name of the suburb in which they are located) and not numbers like the previous thirteen: University of Cergy-Pontoise, University of vry Val d'Essonne, University of Marne-la-Vall e, cole sup rieure Robert De Sorbon and University of Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines. HP Pavilion dv6-3120sa Battery The Paris region hosts France's highest concentration of the prestigious grandes coles - specialised centres of higher-education outside the public university structure. The prestigious public universities are usually considered grands tablissements. Most of the grandes coles were relocated to the suburbs of Paris in the 1960s and 1970s, HP Pavilion dv6-3125sa Batteryin new campuses much larger than the old campuses within the crowded city of Paris, though the cole Normale Sup rieure has remained on rue d'Ulm in the 5th arrondissement. The Paris area has a high number of engineering schools, led by the prestigious Paris Institute of Technology (ParisTech) which comprises several colleges such as cole Polytechnique, HP Pavilion dv6-3130sa Battery cole des Mines, AgroParisTech, T l com Paris, Arts et M tiers, and cole des Ponts et Chauss es. There are also many business schools, including INSEAD, ESSEC, HEC and ESCP Europe. The administrative school such as ENA has been relocated to Strasbourg, the political science school Sciences-Po is still located in Paris' Left bank 7th arrondissement. HP Pavilion dv6-3140sa BatteryThe Parisian school of journalism CELSA department of the Paris-Sorbonne University is located in Neuilly-sur-Seine . The grandes coles system is supported by a number of preparatory schools that offer courses of two to three years' duration called Classes Pr paratoires, also known as classes pr pas or simply pr pas. These courses provide entry to the grandes coles. Many of the best pr pas are located in Paris, including Lyc e Louis-le-Grand, HP Pavilion dv6-3180ea BatteryLyc e Henri-IV, Lyc e Saint-Louis, Lyc e Janson de Sailly, and Lyc e Stanislas. Two other top-ranking pr pas (Lyc e Hoche and Lyc e priv Sainte-Genevi ve) are located in Versailles, near Paris. Student selection is based on school grades and teacher remarks. Pr pas are known to be very demanding in terms of work load and psychological stress. HP Pavilion G6-1202SA Battery The Biblioth que nationale de France (BnF) operates libraries in Paris, among them Fran ois-Mitterrand Library, Richelieu Library, Louvois, Op ra Library, and Arsenal Library. The American Library in Paris opened in 1920. It is a part of a private, non-profit organization. HP Pavilion G6-1255SA BatteryThe modern library originated from cases of books sent by the American Library Association to U.S. soldiers in France. An incarnation existed in the 1850s. Paris is the head of barge and ship navigation on the Seine and is the fourth most important port in France (after Marseille, Le Havre, and Dunkerque). The Loire, Rhine, Rhone, Meuse and Scheldt rivers can be reached by canals connecting with the Seine. HP Pavilion G6-1259SA BatteryParis is also a major rail, highway, and air transportation hub. Three international airports, Orly, Roissy and le Bourget, serve the city. The city's subway system, the m tro, was opened in 1900. Paris has been building its transportation system throughout history and continuous improvements are on-going. The Syndicat des transports d' le-de-France (STIF), HP Pavilion G6-1351EA Batteryformerly Syndicat des transports parisiens (STP) oversees the transit network in the region. The members of this syndicate are the le-de-France region and the eight departments of this region. The syndicate coordinates public transport and contracts it out to the RATP (operating 654 bus lines, the M tro, three tramway lines, and sections of the RER), the SNCF (operating suburban rails, HP Pavilion G6-1359EA Batteryone tramway line and the other sections of the RER) and the Optile consortium of private operators managing 1,070 minor bus lines. The M tro is Paris' most important transportation system. The system, with 300 stations (384 stops) connected by 214 km (133.0 mi) of rails, comprises 16 lines, identified by numbers from 1 to 14, with two minor lines, 3bis and 7bis, HP Pavilion G6-1365EA Batteryso numbered because they used to be branches of their respective original lines, and only later became independent. In October 1998, the new line 14 was inaugurated after a 70 year hiatus in inaugurating fully new m tro lines. Because of the short distance between stations on the M tro network, lines were too slow to be extended further into the suburbs, HP Pavilion G6-1381EA Batteryas is the case in most other cities. As such, an additional express network, the RER, has been created since the 1960s to connect more-distant parts of the urban area. The RER consists in the integration of modern city-centre subway and pre-existing suburban rail. Nowadays, the RER network comprises five lines, 257 stops and 587 km (365 mi) of rails. HP Pavilion G6-1391EA Battery In addition, the Paris region is served by a light rail network of four lines, the tramway: Line T1 runs from Saint-Denis to Noisy-le-Sec, line T2 runs from La D fense to Porte de Versailles, line T3 runs from Pont du Garigliano to Porte d'Ivry, line T4 runs from Bondy to Aulnay-sous-Bois. Six new light rail lines are currently in various stages of development. HP Pavilion G6-1369EA Battery Paris is a central hub of the national rail network. The six major railway stations Gare du Nord, Gare Montparnasse, Gare de l'Est, Gare de Lyon, Gare d'Austerlitz, and Gare Saint-Lazare are connected to three networks: The TGV serving four High-speed rail lines, the normal speed Corail trains, HP Pavilion G6-1159SA Batteryand the suburban rails (Transilien). Paris is served by two major airports: Orly Airport, which is south of Paris; and the Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport, in Roissy-en-France, which is one of the busiest in the world and is the hub for the unofficial flag carrier Air France. A third and much smaller airport, Beauvais Till Airport, located in the town of Beauvais, 70 km (43 mi) to the north of the city, HP Pavilion G6-1251SA Batteryis used by charter and low-cost airlines. The fourth airport, Le Bourget, nowadays hosts only business jets, air trade shows and the aerospace museum. The city is also the most important hub of France's motorway network, and is surrounded by three orbital freeways: the P riph rique, which follows the approximate path of 19th-century fortifications around Paris, HP Pavilion G6-1253SA Batterythe A86 motorway in the inner suburbs, and finally the Francilienne motorway in the outer suburbs. Paris has an extensive road network with over 2,000 km (1,243 mi) of highways and motorways. By road, Brussels can be reached in three hours, Frankfurt in six hours and Barcelona in 12 hours. By train, London is now just two hours and 15 minutes away, HP Pavilion G6-1257SA BatteryBrussels can be reached in 1 hour and 22 minutes (up to 26 departures/day), Amsterdam in 3 hours and 18 minutes (up to 10 departures/day), Cologne in 3 hours and 14 minutes (6 departures/day), and Marseille, Bordeaux, and other cities in southern France in three hours. HP Pavilion G6-1301SA Battery
Posted May 29th, 2012 at 09:09am
Sony VAIO VGN-NS31M/W Battery Saudi Arabia and Qatar have been accused of sending armed militants to Syria to fight alongside the rebels. On 25 April, independent Syrian newspaper Al-Watan reported that Syrian border guards had repelled an attempted incursion by a unit of these mercenaries, who had been trying to enter Syria from Iraq. Sony VAIO VGN-NS11L/S Battery On 28 April, the Lebanese navy halted a ship sailing from Libya carrying a large consignment of Libyan weapons believed to be destined for Syrian rebels. Sony VAIO VGN-NS11S/S Battery During a 7 May visit to the Kilis refugee camp in south Turkey, the country's prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan told the Syrian refugees that victory for the rebels was not far off and that president Bashar al-Assad was "losing blood" by the day. Sony VAIO VGN-NS11SR/S Battery Sony VAIO VGN-NS11Z/S Battery On 8 May, Syria's U.N. envoy Bashar Ja'afari displayed video of what he said were confessions of 26 Arabs caught in Syria who had come from Libya, Tunisia and elsewhere via Turkey and Lebanon "to perpetrate terrorist acts". Ja'afari stated another 15 foreign fighters had been killed and he urged Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey to stop "their sponsorship of the armed rebellion". Little over a week later, Sony VAIO VGN-NS11ZR/S Battery Ja'afari said another 10 non-Syrians were killed fighting the Army, among them two Britons. He named one as Walid Hussein Blidi, a dual British-Algerian national, who was previously cited, by the Doha Centre for Press Freedom, Sony VAIO VGN-NS31M/S Battery in late March as an independent journalist who had been shot dead by the Syrian Army after he crossed the border from Turkey with the help of members from the Syrian opposition. Sony VAIO VGN-NS31M/P BatteryThe identity of the other Briton was unknown and the other eight foreigners were reported to be two French nationals of Arab origin, four Tunisians, an Egyptian and a Saudi. Sony VAIO VGN-NS21Z/S Battery On 17 May, an article appeared in the Washington Post describing how Syrian opposition fighters reportedly started to receive more, and better, weapons in an effort paid for by Gulf Arab states and co-ordinated partly by the US. The article was based on sources from within the Syrian opposition and from among U.S. and other foreign officials.[25 Sony VAIO VGN-NS21S/W Battery3] The United States denied the allegation and insisted they were only providing non-lethal support to the opposition. Support for the Syrian government In January 2012, Human Rights Watch criticised Russia for "repeating the mistakes of Western governments" in its "misguided" support of Assad. Before March 2012[6Sony VAIO VGN-NS12M/S Battery 3] Russia has shown constant and vocal support for the Assad government, which is now considered to be the nation's last remaining ally in the Middle East, including vetoing a UN security council motion, in tandem with China. Jerusalem Post correspondent Oren Kessler reported that China's veto was enacted in the interests of preserving the nation's ties with Russia. Sony VAIO VGN-NS21S/S Battery Russia has shipped arms during the uprising to Assads government for use against rebels. Israel has been unconvincingly accused of support for Assad. Iran's supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, spoke out in favor of the Syrian government in regard to the uprising - "In Syria, the hand of America and Israel is evident" and "Wherever a movement is Islamic, populist and anti-American, we support it".[ Sony VAIO VGN-NS12M/W Battery 260] The Guardian reported that the Iranian government is assisting the Syrian government with riot control equipment, intelligence monitoring techniques, oil supply, and snipers. One magazine article claimed that Iran has sent the Syrian government $9 billion to help it withstand the sanctions imposed upon it. Sony VAIO VGN-NS12S/S Battery According to US journalist Geneive Abdo, the Iranian government provided the Syrian government with technology to monitor e-mail, cell phones and social media. Iran developed these capabilities in the wake of the 2009 protests and spent millions of dollars establishing a "cyber army" to track down dissidents online. Sony VAIO VGN-NS21M/W BatteryIran's monitoring technology is believed to be among the most sophisticated in the world - second, perhaps, only to China. U.S. President Barack Obama and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice also accused Iran of secretly aiding Assad in his efforts to quell the protests.[2 Sony VAIO VGN-NS21M/P Battery 63] According to Israeli Army Radio, an Israeli Foreign Ministry official stated that local protesters claimed to have heard security forces members speaking Persian. Sony VAIO VGN-SR11M Battery The Syrian Muslim Brotherhood accused Hezbollah and Iran of providing equipment and training to the Assad government in order to suppress protesters. Comptroller Riad al-Shafqa stated that "Hezbollah and Iran providing the Assad regime with equipment and training to suppress the Syrian people, Sony VAIO VGN-SR51MR Battery and we have information that confirms that in the Operation Room in Syria there are experts from the Iranian Republican Guard leading operations against the Syrian people." Iran denied any involvement in suppressing the protests. Sony VAIO VGN-SR11MR Battery On 18 February, two Iranian ships were reported to pass the Suez canal aiming for Syria. The two navy ships later arrived at a Syrian port, which several sources described as a "display of power". The same month it was reported that, like Russia, Hugo Chavez' government in Venezuela had been shipping tens of millions of dollars of diesel to Syria, which can be used to fuel army tanks.[2 Sony VAIO VGN-SR51MF/W Battery68] The following month, as it readied a third shipment, Venezuela confirmed that it would continue sending diesel to the country. A Greece-based trading company, Naftomar, is reputedly the last firm arranging deliveries of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), but, unlike the fuel sent from Venezuela and Russia, Sony VAIO VGN-SR19VN Battery LPG is a peaceful material that plays a vital role in countries like Syria that have limited infrastructure for piping gas. International sanctions do not apply to LPG for humanitarian reasons for these reasons.[27 Sony VAIO VGN-SR51MF/P Battery0] "We advise anyone that is cooperating with the regime right now to stop supporting it. Traders or otherwise, we advise them to take a firm stance against Bashar al-Assad," Sony VAIO VGN-SR41M/S Battery said Melhem Al-Droubi from the opposition Syrian National Council. A Russian shipment still went through in April, though Russian and Iranian fuel shipments are not illegal, as they are not signed up to Western sanctions. Sony VAIO VGN-SR19XN Battery On 19 March, a Russian military unit was reported to have landed in Syria via the port in Tartous, according to Russian news reports. This decision was a development that a United Nations Security Council source told ABC News was "a bomb" certain to have serious repercussions. The Russian embassy to the U.S. and to the U.N. Sony VAIO VGN-SR41M/P Batteryhad no comment, and the defense minister of Russia claimed only Russian military and technical advisors were in the country. The presence of Russian troops in Syria could be a "pretty obvious" show of support to the government, according to Russian security expert Mark Galeotti. Sony VAIO VGN-SR31M Battery In March 2012, anonymous U.S. intelligence officials claimed a spike in Iran ian-supplied arms and other aid for the Syrian government: "They've supplied equipment, weapons and technical assistance even monitoring tools Sony VAIO VGN-SR29VN Battery to help suppress unrest," one official said. Iranian security officials also allegedly traveled to Damascus to help deliver this assistance. A second senior U.S. official said members of Iran's main intelligence service, the Ministry of Intelligence and Security, are assisting Syrian counterparts in charge of the crackdown. Sony VAIO VGN-SR21M/S Battery More anonymous sources were cited by the UN in May 2012, as it claimed arms were moving both ways between Lebanon and Syria, and alleged weapons brought in from Lebanon were being used to arm the opposition. Sony VAIO VGN-SR21M/S Battery According to a top official of the Iranian revolutionary guard corps, Hezbollah operatives took part in fighting on the ground against the opposition in Damascus and in the Battle of Zabadani. Weapons shipments both ways between Lebanon and Syria were documented in a May 2012 UN report. Sony VAIO VGN-SR21RM/H Battery According to a U.N. panel in May 2012, Iran supplied the Syrian government with arms during the previous year despite a ban on the Islamic Republic on weapons exports by the Islamic Republic. Turkish authorities captured crates and a truck in February 2012, Sony VGP-BPS13/B Battery including assault rifles, machine guns, explosives, detonators, 60mm and 120mm mortal shells as well as other items on it's border. Sony VGP-BPS13B/B Battery It was believed these were destined for the Syrian government. The confidential report leaked just hours after an article appeared in the Washington Post revealing how Syrian opposition fighters started to receive more, and better, weapons in an effort paid for by Gulf Arab states and co-ordinated partly by the US.[27Sony VGP-BPS13A/B Battery 7] The report investigated three large illegal shipments of Iranian weapons over the past year and stated "Iran has continued to defy the international community through illegal arms shipments. Two of these cases involved (Syria), Sony Vaio VGN-SR59XG/H Batteryas were the majority of cases inspected by the Panel during its previous mandate, underscoring that Syria continues to be the central party to illicit Iranian arms transfers." The U.N. was also investigating reports of possible weapons-related shipments by North Korea to the Syrian government and to Myanmar. China was named in the report as a transit hub for the weapons from North Korea. Sony VGP-BPS13/S Battery Events in Lebanon Main article: 2012 conflict in Lebanon In May 2012 Ban Ki-moon said he is concerned about the outbreak of related violence in Lebanon. Many of Lebanon's Sunni Muslims sympathize with the uprising in Syria against Assad. Sony VGP-BPS13 Batterty Syrian refugees Main article: Refugees of the 2011-2012 Syrian uprising The refugee problem began unfolding across Syrian borders on April 2011, intensifying with the siege of Talkalakh and the unrest in the Syrian province of Idlib. As a result, thousands of Syrian citizens fled across the border to Lebanon and Syria by summer 2011. Sony VGP-BPS13/Q Battery In early 2012, the numbers of Syrian refugees swelled to some 20,000 registered by UN in Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan. Sony VGP-BPS13A/Q Battery Following the increased fighting in Homs and the escalating assault of Syrian troops on towns and villages near Lebanese border, a large-scale refugee influx into Lebanon was reported on 4 March 2012. The exact number of moving Syrian refegees was not clear, but was described around 2,000. The numbers of Syrian refugees were estimated at 130,000 in early March 2012. Sony Vaio VGN-SR59VG/H Battery On 10 April, it was reported that the number of Syrian refugees in four neighboring countries jumped by 40% within several weeks and stands at about 55,000 registered, almost half of whom are under 18 years old, according to U.N. figures. There were also estimated to be at least 20,000 refugees who have not yet registered, as well as 200,000 or more Syrians who were displaced within their own country. Deaths The number of fatalities in the conflict, according to the Syrian opposition website Syrian Martyrs, was 15,350, updated to 26 May 2012. The number includes 1,272 military defectors, and does not include members of the government security forces. Sony Vaio VGN-SR59TH/H Battery Al Jazeera journalist Nir Rosen reported that many of the deaths reported daily by activists are in fact armed insurgents falsely presented as civilian deaths, but confirmed that real civilian deaths do occur on a regular basis. A number of Middle East political analysts, including those from the Lebanese Al Akhbar newspaper, have also urged caution. Sony VGP-BPS13B/Q Battery Sony VGP-BPS21 Battery This was later confirmed when in late May 2012, Rami Abdulrahman of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which is one of the opposition-affiliated groups counting the number of those killed in the uprising, stated that civilians who had taken up arms during the conflict were being counted under the category of "civilians". Sony VGP-BPS21A Battery Combatant deaths The Syrian Martyrs and the V.D.C. do not include in their totals the number of government troops killed. Also, all totals, except the government number, do not count killed rebel fighters that were former civilians, only former military. Sony VGP-BPS21B Battery Sony Vaio VGN-SR57X Battery Source Casualties Time period Days before protests planned for 5 February, Syrian authorities arrested several political activists, such as businessman Ghassan al-Najar, leader of the Islamic Democratic movement, the writer Ali al-Abdallah, Abbas Abbas, from the Syrian Communist Party and several other political personalities of Kurdish background, such as Adnan Mustafa. Sony VGP-BPS21A/B Battery Sony Vaio VGN-SR57V Battery On 14 February, blogger and student Tal al-Mallohi was convicted of spying for the United States and sentenced to five years in prison. Washington denied these allegations and asked for al-Mallohi's immediate release. On 15 February, under pressure from human rights organizations, the Syrian government released Ghassan al-Najar after he went on a hunger strike following his arrest for calling for mass protests. Sony VGP-BPS21/S Battery On 22 March, Syrian authorities arrested Loay Hussein, a human rights campaigner. On 25 March there were reports of mass arrests and detentions of protesters taking place. On 29 April, Dorothy Parvaz of Al Jazeera arrived in Damascus and was not heard of for several days The Syrian government later confirmed that she had been detained, she had attempted to enter the country illegally with an expired Iranian passport. She was released on 18 May after detention in Syria and Iran. Sony Vaio VGN-FW5ERF/H Battery Many news outlets reported that a prominent LGBT anti-government blogger called Amina Arraf was allegedly arrested by Syrian authorities, but questions arose of whether she was a real person in the first place.[ Sony Vaio VGN-SR57S Battery 03] She later tuned out to be an American man blogging under a false name, who had used a photo of a random British woman as that of "Amina". Later in that year, a prominent LGBT anti-government blogger called Razan Ghazzawi was arrested twice by Syrian authorities. Her arrest sparked an online outcry and an international campaign called for her release. 3 Sony Vaio VGN-FW56Z Battery Zainab al-Hosni, who was claimed to have been detained and beheaded by Syrian authorities, later turned out to be alive. A Syrian American man, Mohamad Anas Haitham Soueid, was charged by U.S. federal prosecutors on 5 October with tracking Syrian Americans supporting the uprising in the United States and passing information to Syrian authorities, Sony Vaio VGN-SR49VN/H Battery who then arrested family members of the dissidents living in Syria. The U.S. government alleges that Soueid met with Assad during a two-week trip to Syria in summer 2011. Sony Vaio VGN-SR4VR/H Battery In October, Amnesty International published a report showing that at least 30 Syrian dissidents living in Canada, Chile, France, Germany, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States, faced intimidation by Syrian embassy officials, and that in some cases, their relatives in Syria were harassed, detained and tortured. Sony Vaio VGN-SR4MR/W Battery Syrian embassy officials in London and Washington, D.C. were alleged to have taken photographs and videos of local Syrian dissidents and sent them to Syrian authorities, who then retaliated against their families. Sony Vaio VGN-FW5MJF/H Battery In January 2012, a 718-page document claiming to be a leaked wanted suspects list from the Syrian Interior Ministry was published on the Internet. The list includes the names of thousands of dissidents accused of taking part in protests as well as armed activity against the Assad government. The document also names informants for the government. Sony Vaio VGN-FW5MTF/H Battery In March 2012, Navi Pillay, the United Nations human rights chief, told the BBC, "they've gone for the children in large numbers. Hundreds detained and tortured [-] shot in the knees, held together with adults in really inhumane conditions", and stated that this must have been done with the approval of those "at the highest level." Sony Vaio VGN-FW5ZRF/H Battery Citizen journalist Mohammed Hairiri was arrested in April 2012, tortured in prison, and sentenced to death in May 2012 for giving an interview for Al Jazeera. Sony Vaio VGN-FW5ZTF/H Battery Sony Vaio VGN-SR4MR/P Battery Sony Vaio VGN-SR4MR/S Battery Censorship On 5 February 2011, there were reports that the government was limiting internet services, though Facebook and YouTube were reported to have been restored three days later. Suggestions were made that easing the ban could be a way to track activists. Sony VPCYB15JC Battery In August 2011, Syrian security forces attacked the country's best-known political cartoonist, Ali Farzat, a noted critic of Syria's government and its crackdown. Relatives of the severely beaten humorist told Western media that the attackers threatened to break Farzat's bones as a warning to stop drawing cartoons of government officials, Sony Vaio VGN-FW56ZR Battery particularly Assad. Ferzat, who recently celebrated his 60th birthday, was hospitalized with fractures in both hands and blunt force trauma to the head. Also, government loyalists have been blamed for cutting the vocal cords of poets and other censorship crimes of this nature. Sony VPCYA26EC Battery Allegations of rape Syrian activists claim government forces abducted and raped women in rebellious parts of the country, possibly using sexual violence as a means of quelling dissent. An opposition campaigner supplied The Globe and Mail with details about six previously unknown cases of violence against women, Sony VPCYA25EC Battery saying that more such incidents remain hidden as Damascus struggles to contain the uprising. Syrian refugees fleeing to Turkey reported mass rape by Syrian soldiers, but there were other reports that in the Turkish refugee camp, more than 400 women were raped and sexually abused. Sony VPCYA16EC Battery Allegations of sexual violence committed by forces loyal to the Assad government include claims of mass rape, such as 36 women being assaulted by security forces in northern villages, 25 girls in Homs, and 20 individual cases of rape throughout Syria.[3Sony Vaio VGN-FW56SR Battery Sony VPCYA15EC Battery16] Lauren Wolfe, the Director of the organization Women Under Siege, has said that assaults like these are underreported because the victims are often killed. Christina Walsh, who works with Amnesty International, has said that her organization has received reports of men being raped as well. Sony Vaio VGN-SR49VT/H Battery Concessions On 19 March 2011 by legislative decree 35, Assad shortened the length of mandatory army conscription from 21 months to 18 months. On 20 March, the Syrian government announced that it would release 15 children who had been arrested on 6 March for writing pro-democracy graffiti.[31 Sony VPCS139GC Battery9] On 23 March, by regional decree 120, Faisal Ahmad Kolthoum was removed as Governor of Daraa. On 24 March, Assad's media adviser, Buthaina Shaaban, said that the government will be "studying the possibility of lifting the emergency law and licensing political parties". Sony VPCS138EC Battery The Syrian government also announced a cut in personal taxation rates, an increase in public sector salaries of 1,500 Syrian pounds ($32.60 US) a month and pledges to increase press freedom, create more employment opportunities, and reduce corruption. Sony PCG-31211T Battery On 26 March, Syrian authorities freed 260 political prisoners - 70 according to other sources - mostly Islamists, held in Saidnaya prison. On 27 March, Bouthaina Shaaban confirmed that the emergency law would be lifted, but did not say when. On 29 March, the Syrian cabinet submitted its official resignation to Assad.[1 Sony VPCS136EC Battery15] On 31 March, Assad set up a committee of legal experts to study legislation that would pave the way to replacing decades-old emergency laws. The committee was to complete its study by 25 April. Assad also set up a judicial committee tasked with investigating the circumstances that led to the death of Syrian civilians and security forces in the cities of Daraa and Latakia. Sony VPCS135EC Battery The government, dominated by the Alawite sect, also made some concessions to the majority Sunni and some minority populations in April. On 6 April, it was reported that teachers would once again be allowed to wear the niqab, Sony VPCF219FC Battery and that the government had closed the country's only casino. Of the 200,000 descendants of Syrian Kurds denied citizenship in 1962, 120,000 who were labeled "foreigners" were granted citizenship. Sony VPCF138FC Battery On 7 April, Assad relieved the Governor of Homs province from his duties and issued a decree granting nationality to thousands of Kurds living in the eastern al Hasakah province while the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the 48 Kurds were released, more than a year after they were arrested in the eastern city of Raqqa.[ Sony PCG-81311T Battery 326] This came a day after Assad met with Kurdish tribal leaders to discuss citizenship issues concerning the Kurds of Syria's north-eastern provinces, as hundreds of thousands of Kurds were stripped of their citizenship rights as a result of the 1962 national census. Sony PCG-31311T Battery On 16 April, Assad spoke to the People's Assembly in a televised speech, stating that he expected his government to lift the emergency law the following week. He acknowledged there is a gap between citizens and the state, and that government has to "keep up with the aspirations of the people".[32 Sony PCG-81111T Battery8] Later in the day he welcomed the new ministers in the Cabinet of Syria with a speech containing more specifics, including the need for a dialogue, popular support and transparency. He also spoke of citizenship for Kurds, unemployment, corruption and economic reform. Sony PCG-51111T Battery On 19 April, a bill was approved by the Syrian government to lift the emergency law. Two days later, Assad signed legislative decree 50 into law, together with decrees abolishing the Supreme State Security Court and regulating the right to peaceful demonstration.[3Sony VPCF11C4E/B Battery 31] On 30 April, Prime Minister Adel Safar announced a comprehensive plan for reforms in the coming weeks in three areas: political reform, security and judicial reform; economic reform and social policies; and the development of administration and governmental work. Sony VPCY21S1E Battery On 24 July, a draft law was created, to be debated by parliament, to allow more political parties, under the conditions that they were not based on religious, tribal or ethnic beliefs and does not discriminate against gender or race. Sony VPCF11C5E Battery Protesters have dismissed the law as superficial, as Article 8 of the Syrian Constitution, which grants the Ba'ath Party the role of leader of the state and society, would need to be repealed. Sony VPCF11D4E Battery On 12 December, local elections took place for the first time under a new local administration law. The reformed electoral law gives the local administrations more powers and financial independence, ensures supervision of the electoral process by judicial committees, Sony VPCF11M1E/H Battery and abolishes the "closed lists" system which guaranteed 50 per cent of all municipal seats to the Ba'athist National Progressive Front. On 28 December, the state released 755 detainees "whose hands were not stained with Syrian blood". Sony VPCF11S1E/B Battery As part of the Arab League peace plan, Syria released 3,500 prisoners on 3 January and a further 552 detainees on 5 January. On 15 January 2012, president Al-Assad issued a general amnesty for those imprisoned for crimes committed in the context of the uprising.[33Sony VPCF115FG/B Battery Sony VPCF23QIE Battery 7] According to state news agency SANA, 5,255 detainees have been released as of 22 January, with the release of further prisoners still continuing. On 15 February, Syrian state television announced that the government would hold a referendum on a new constitution on 26 February 2012, Sony VPCF2 Battery in an attempt to end the eleven-month conflict. One of the amendments in the draft would replace the old article 8, which entrenches the power of the Ba'ath party, with a new article reading: The state's political system is based on political pluralism and power is practiced democratically through voting.[340Sony VPCF21Z1E Battery ] On 26 February, voting began at 07:00 local time at more than 13,000 polling stations, due to stay open for twelve hours. In the weeks leading up to the referendum, state television had been hosting discussions about the new constitution and informing citizens how to vote. Sony VPCF22J1E Battery With a voter turnout of 57.4% and 89.4% voting in favour, the new constitution was adopted. President Al-Assad signed the new constitution into force on 27 February 2012. Sony VPCF24Q1E Battery Parliamentary elections were held after the ratification of the new constitution. After the elections, Mohammad Jihad al-Laham was elected as the new Syrian speaker of parliament. Rallies in support of the Assad government Sony VPCF22L1E Battery Pro-government demonstration at Tishreen University Since the start of the uprising, large crowds have rallied in the support of the Assad government, especially in the cities of Damascus, Aleppo, Tartus, and Lattakia Such rallies have been held since March 2011, and particularly following the suspension of Syria from the Arab League. Sony VPCF22M1E Battery The Guardian reported on 22 March that one response of the Syrian authorities to the unrest was to organise pro-Assad rallies. Pro-Assad rallies were held in the capital city of Damascus on 25 March.[30 Sony VPCF21Z1E/BI Battery 0] In mid-June, rallies in support of Assad and his government increased; protests held in front of the French and Turkish embassies over their condemnations of the Syrian government's response to the unrest, and on 15 June, people at a pro-government demonstration in Damascus carried a 2.3 kilometre-long Syrian flag down Mezzeh boulevard.[35Sony VPCF22S1E Battery 2] State television reported that two million people attended to express Syrian national unity and Syria's rejection of foreign interference in its internal affairs. The day after Assad addressed the nation on 20 June, state television reported that over one million people gathered in Umayyad Square in Damascus, Sony VPCF22S8E Battery and there were demonstrations in Homs, Aleppo, Sweida, Lattakia, Deraa, Hasaka, Tartous, and elsewhere to express support for the reforms the president said he would carry out. Sony VPCF23M1E Battery Other On 15 January 2012, SANA, the official Syrian news agency, announced a "general amnesty for crimes committed" during the uprising. The amnesty covered the period between 15 March 2011 and 15 January 2012. Hours later, Syrian authorities released 80-year-old former judge Haitham al-Maleh, Sony VPCF23Q1E Battery one of Assad's most outspoken critics, under an amnesty marking the anniversary of the 1963 coup which brought the Ba'ath Party to power. Twelve Syrian human rights organisations called on the government to scrap the state of emergency which had been in effect for almost 50 years. Sony VPCF231S1E Battery On 16 February, government critic and director of the Organisation for Democracy and Freedom in Syria (ODFS) Ribal al-Assad, son of Rifaat al-Assad and cousin to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, held a press conference in London, in which he made it clear that he "does not want to see a Syrian revolution, Sony VPCF13V5002B Batterybut a peaceful change of power". In a 5 April interview, Ribal al-Assad warned of Syria's risk for a civil war. On 8 March, Syria's deputy oil minister Abdo Hussameldin announced his defection and resignation on a YouTube video, denouncing Russia and China for backing the government and advising his colleagues to abandon the "sinking ship". Sony VPCF23S1E Battery Sony VPCF24M1E Battery International Main article: International reactions to the 2011-2012 Syrian uprising Protest against Bashar al-Assad in Cairo Rally in 2011 in support of Syrian President al-Assad in Sydney The Arab League, European Union, Secretary-General of the United Nations, and many Western governments condemned the violence and the Syrian government's response to the protests, and many expressed support for the protesters' right to exercise free speech. Sony VPCF11S1E Battery Sony VPCF13M1E/H BatteryChina and Russia supported the government against international sanctions. Russia, whose Mediterranean fleet's primary naval base is in Syria, denounced the use of violence by the opposition and the presence of "terrorists" within its ranks. Sony VPCF11C4E/B Battery Media coverage See also: Syrian media coverage of the 2011-2012 Syrian uprising Under criticism from Internet activists for failing to acknowledge the Syrian uprising, some of the largest opposition parties in Syria that might have great political influence following any change of power were profiled. Peace proposals Main article: Syrian conflict peace proposals Several peace initiatives and plans to resolve the 2011-2012 Syrian uprising have been issued to date. Sony VPCF12Z1E/BI Battery Among the most significant attempts to resolve the Syrian conflict was the Arab League peace plan and the resulting Arab League observer mission, launched in December 2011. In addition, Russian proposal was also issued, but reached a deadlock. Sony VPCF11Z1E/BI Battery In early 2012, the "Friends of Syria Group" initiative was established, which resulted in a multi-national conference in Tunisia, in order to find a solution to the Syrian crisis in the Middle East. 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