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1135

Year 1135 was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Julian calendar. The troops of Roger II of Sicily take Djerba; the Hammadid Emirate launches an assault against Mahdia in Ifriqiya. Song Dynasty Chinese general Yue Fei defeats the rebel forces of Yang Yao, by entangling his swift paddle-wheel ships with rotten logs and other debris, precariously placed in the river. Yue Fei's forces board their ships and win a victory; the domination of Baghdad by the Seljuk Turks ends. May 26 – Pentecost Alfonso VII of León and Castile is crowned in the Cathedral of Leon as Imperator totius Hispaniae, "Emperor of All the Spains"; the Great Fire of 1135 destroys the wooden London Bridge and damages St Paul's Cathedral, London. August 10 – The Battle of Konungahella is fought. December 1 – Stephen succeeds his uncle Henry I, as king of England. Matilda, daughter of Henry I and widow of Holy Roman Emperor Henry V, opposes Stephen and claims the throne as her own. Pisans in the service of the Holy See sack the city of Amalfi.

A Moorish fleet raids the Catalan port-town of Elna. The Republic of Florence keeps expanding its control over its surrounding countryside and conquers the neighboring city of Montebuoni; the first records of the Manor of Cramlington in England come into existence. January – Byland Abbey is founded in England by the Congregation of Savigny; the Cistercian Buildwas Abbey is founded in England by bishop of Coventry. Petronila of Aragon, queen regnant of Aragon William of Newburgh, English historian and monk Peter of Blois, French poet and diplomat Joachim of Fiore, Italian mystic and theologian Maimonides, Spanish philosopher and physician Sharafeddin Tusi, Persian mathematician Hafsa Bint al-Hajj al-Rukuniyya, Andalusian poet February 8 – Elvira of Castile, Queen of Sicily June 4 – Emperor Huizong of China August 29 – Al-Mustarshid, Caliph of Baghdad December 1 – King Henry I of England Milarepa, Tibetan yogi and poet Yuanwu Keqin, Chinese Zen Buddhist monk

Jerome Starkey

Jerome Starkey is an English journalist and motivational speaker best known for covering wars and the environment. He challenged US forces over civilian casualties in Afghanistsan and was deported from Kenya in 2017 after reporting on state-sponsored corruption and extra-judicial killings. Starkey won an academic scholarship to attend Stowe School in Buckinghamshire. After graduating from Newcastle University with a degree in English literature he joined The Sun in 2003 as a gradaute trainee. In 2006 he moved to Kabul, Afghanistan to write propaganda for Nato's International Security Assistance Force, he served with the Combined Joint Psy-Ops Taskforce which produced a fortnightly newspaper called Sada-e Azadi, or Voice of Freedom in Dari. He resigned after six months, complaining that the newspaper was "terrible", he wrote in The Times how Sada-e Azadi was sold by the kilogram as scrap before it could reach readers. Starkey returned to Kabul as a freelance journalist. From 2008 until 2010 he worked for a range of broadcasters and newspapers including Sky News, France 24, The Scotsman and The Independent.

At The Independent he led a successful campaign to free a student journalist Sayed Pervez Kambaksh, sentenced to death for blasphemy. Starkey claimed that he was black-listed by the military in Afghanistan as a result of his work on civilian casualties. In 2010 his investigation into a Night Raid on Narang, in Kunar Province, eastern Afghanistan, led NATO’s International Security Assistance Force to admit it had killed eight schoolboys by mistake; the previous year he linked the newly formed Marine Special Operations Command to three of the worst civilian casualty incidents in Afghanistan's recent history including the Granai Airstrike in Bala Balouk, the Azizabad Airstrike in Herat province and the Shinwar Massacre in Nangahar province. In 2010, together with his colleagues Shoib Najafizada and Jeremy Kelly, Starkey exposed a cover-up by US Special Forces after an operation known as the Raid on Khataba which inspired the Oscar-nominated documentary Dirty Wars. During the raid, on 12 February 2010, unidentified special forces soldiers killed five innocent people including two pregnant women, a teenage girl engaged to be married and two brothers who worked for the local government in Paktia province in eastern Afghanistan.

All of the victims were from the same family. The soldiers said the women were victims of a triple honour killing, they said they discovered the women's bodies "tied up, gagged and killed" and that the dead men were insurgents. When Starkey challenged Nato's account they accused him of lying. However, four weeks William H. McRaven, the commander of America's Joint Special Operations Command, admitted his soldiers were resopnsible. McRaven travelled to the family's compound, outside Gardez and offered to sacrifice a sheep outside their door in a ritual act of Nanawatai, to seek their forgiveness. In 2010, Jerome was nearly killed during an embed with British troops in Helmand Province when an Improvised explosive device exploded fewer than 10 metres in front of him; the explosion, inside a designated safe area, cleared by the Royal Engineers, killed Corporal David Barnsdale and injured two others. The British army tried to censor his account on the grounds. Senior officers, who were not at the scene, claimed.

In 2012 The Times posted Starkey to Nairobi and appointed him Africa Correspondent. He was deported from Nairobi in 2017 as a result of his work; the government of Uhuru Kenyatta gave no official explanation. Starkey won the Frontline Club award for excellence in 2010, the Kurt Schork memorial prize in 2011

Hotel Sevilla

For the hotel in Algeciras see Hotel Sevilla The Hotel Sevilla is a historic hotel in Havana, Cuba. The Hotel Sevilla opened on March 22, 1908, it was a four-story Moorish Revival structure, designed by architects Arellano y Mendozaon, located on Calle Trocadero, next to the Paseo del Prado, between the Malecón and Parque Central. The Sevilla was bought by John McEntee Bowman and Charles Francis Flynn in 1919 and renamed the Hotel Sevilla-Biltmore. In 1924, Bowman-Biltmore Hotels constructed a huge ten-story tower wing, with a rooftop ballroom, designed by noted New York architects Schultze & Weaver. In 1939, the Sevila-Biltmore was purchased by Italian-Uruguayan mobster Amleto Battisti y Lora, its casino was associated with Havana's mafia network, being part-owned by Santo Trafficante, Jr. Mobs destroyed the Sevilla-Biltmore's casino on January 1, 1959, after Fulgencio Batista fled the country overnight as Fidel Castro's rebel army approached Havana. Amleto Battisti took refuge in the Uruguayan embassy.

The Sevilla-Biltmore was featured in Graham Greene's novel Our Man in Havana as the location where the protagonist joins the British secret service. Today, the hotel is owned by the Cuban state-run Gran Caribe hotel group; the French Accor chain assumed management of it in 1996, first under their Sofitel division as the Hotel Sofitel Sevilla Havana, more under their Mercure Hotels division as the Hotel Mercure Sevilla Havane. Accor announced plans in 2017 to renovate the Sevilla and transfer it to their boutique MGallery by Sofitel division; however they ceased management of the hotel in January 2019. Hotel Sevilla fan website Hotel Sevilla cubaism.com