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44 BC

Year 44 BC was either a common year starting on Sunday, Common year starting on Monday, leap year starting on Friday, or leap year starting on Saturday. And a common year starting on Sunday of the Proleptic Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Julius Caesar Marc Antony; the denomination 44 BC for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years. Consuls: Gaius Julius Caesar and Mark Antony. February – Rome celebrates the festival of the Lupercal. Mark Antony presents Caesar with a royal diadem, urging him to declare himself king, he refuses orders the crown to be placed in the Temple of Jupiter. March 15 – Julius Caesar, dictator of Rome, is assassinated by a group of senators, amongst them Gaius Cassius Longinus, Marcus Junius Brutus, Caesar's Massilian naval commander, Decimus Brutus. March 20 – Caesar's funeral is held. Marcus Antony gives a eulogy and in his Friends, countrymen, lend me your ears speech he makes accusations of murder and ensures a permanent breach with the conspirators against Caesar.

He snatches Caesar's purple toga to show the crowd the stab wounds, the citizens tear apart the forum and cremate their Caesar on a makeshift pyre. Antony becomes the first man in Rome. April – Octavian returns from Apollonia in Dalmatia to Rome to take up Caesar's inheritance, against advice from Atia and consul Antony. April 18–April 21 – Octavian engages in a charm offensive with consular Cicero, fulminating against Mark Antony. June – Antony is granted a five-year governorship of northern and central Transalpine Gaul and Cisalpine Gaul. September 2 Pharaoh Cleopatra VII of Egypt declares her son co-ruler as Ptolemy XV Caesarion; the first of Cicero's Philippicae on Antony is published. He will make 14 of them over the next several months. December – Antony besieges Brutus Albinus in Mutina, with Octavian, an ally of Decimus, one of his uncle's assassins, close by. A Denarius with a portrait of Julius Caesar is made, it is now kept at the American Numismatic Society in New York. Comosicus succeeds Burebista as king of Dacia.

Gnaeus Calpurnius Piso, Roman statesman and governor March 15 – Julius Caesar, Roman politician and general July 26 – Ptolemy XIV, king of Egypt Burebista, Thracian king of the Getae and Dacian tribes Lucius Caninius Gallus, Roman politician and praetor Publius Servilius Vatia Isauricus, Roman consul

Sean Baker (soldier)

Sean Baker is a United States Air Force veteran, injured in a training drill at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in 2003, subsequently discharged. Baker was a member of the Kentucky Army National Guard, he served during the first Gulf War. In 2003 he was a member of the 438th Military Police at Guantanamo Bay. In January 2003, Baker was ordered by an officer at Camp Delta to play the role of a prisoner in a training drill; as per instruction, Baker wore the standard Guantanamo captive's uniforms, an orange prison jumpsuit, over his uniform and crawled under a bunk, so an "internal reaction force" consisting of four soldiers could practice extracting an uncooperative inmate from his cell. The soldiers in the riot squad thought. During an interview with WLEX, a Kentucky television station, Baker stated that he was beaten and that a soldier pressed his head down against the steel floor to the point where he became unable to breathe. Although Baker shouted out the safeword he had been given to stop the exercise and stated that he was a U.

S. soldier, the soldier continued choking him. Only after he ripped his prison jumpsuit in the struggle, revealing that he was wearing a battle dress uniform and government-issue boots underneath, did the beating stop. Baker was transported to a military hospital for treatment of head injuries and transferred to a Navy hospital in Portsmouth, where he was treated for six days and given a two-week injury discharge. During that discharge Baker began suffering major seizures indicative of traumatic brain injury, was sent to Walter Reed Army Medical Center, where he stayed for forty-eight days. Afterwards, he was transferred to light duty with a burial detail at Fort Dix, New Jersey, received a medical discharge in April 2004. After Baker revealed his story to a Kentucky reporter, a spokeswoman for United States Southern Command questioned the validity of his injuries, denied that his medical discharge was related to the training drill. However, the Physical Evaluation Board stated in a document on September 29, 2003, that "the TBI was due to soldier playing role of detainee, non-cooperative and was being extracted from detention cell in Guantanamo Bay, during a training exercise."The Army has since recanted its denial of the relationship between Baker's injury and the training drill, although the spokeswoman continues to claim that the injury was only caused by the incident.

A military investigation concluded. A videotape that should have been made of the incident for training purposes has yet to be found. A June 2005 BBC story reports Kentucky Congressman Ben Chandler "urged the military to turn over Mr Baker's medical records." The same month, the LA Times quoted an unnamed official: "While it is unfortunate that Spc. Baker was injured, the standards of professionalism we expect of our soldiers mandate that our training be as realistic as possible"; as of June 2005 Baker receives $2,350 a month in military disability benefits, plus $1,000 a month in social security, which he was willing to give up if the Army finds a way to reinstate a position for him. Baker filed a lawsuit in May 2005, against Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of the Army Francis J. Harvey, Secretary of the Navy Gordon R. England, among others. Baker alleges the events in the incident violated his constitutional rights. In his suit Baker is asking for $15 million in compensation and damages, for re-instatement in the Army.

However, due to the 1950 Supreme Court decision in Feres v. United States, Baker is unable to sue. Baker still "wants to serve his country, in the Army", has stated that the Army "can find him a job that accommodates his disability". ^ GI sues after brutal beating by fellow guards at Guantanamo, reprint from the LA Times, June 18, 2005 Army Now Says G. I. Was Beaten in Role, New York Times, June 9, 2004 Former Soldier Disputes Army Denials That He Was Beaten During Training Exercises In Cuba, Lex18, October 17, 2004 G. I. Attacked During Training, CBS News, November 4, 2004 US asks judge to dismiss lawsuit filed by soldier injured in Cuba, Lexington Herald Leader, August 17, 2005

London Bridge: Guignol's Band II

London Bridge: Guignol's Band II is a novel by the French writer Louis-Ferdinand Céline, published posthumously in 1964. The story follows Ferdinand, an invalid French World War I veteran who lives in exile in London, where he is involved with questionable people and falls in love with a 14-year-old girl, it is the sequel to Céline's 1944 novel Guignol's Band. The book was reviewed in Publishers Weekly in 1995: "Whatever one thinks of Celine's politics, it's hard to deny his position as an innovative and still readable writer." The critic described some of the novel's plot elements, wrote: "All this may sound distasteful, but this is the hard-edged world so suited to Celine's slangy, propulsive language, filled with ellipses and exclamation marks Celine at his most grizzly is Celine at his most maniacally funny" The review ended: "Ferdinand is a semi-autobiographical character—like him, Celine was injured in the war and subsequently went to London—and because of this personal connection, there is always a hint of vulnerability under the carapace of Celine's perpetual cynicism."

1964 in literature 20th-century French literature

Richard Rodney Bennett

Sir Richard Rodney Bennett was an English composer of film, TV and concert music, a jazz pianist. He was based in New York City from 1979 until his death there in 2012. Bennett was born at Broadstairs, but was raised in Devon during World War II, his mother, Joan Esther, née Spink was a pianist who had trained with Gustav Holst and sang in the first professional performance of The Planets. His father, Rodney Bennett, was a children's book author and lyricist, who worked with Roger Quilter on his theatre works and provided new words for some of the numbers in the Arnold Book of Old Songs. Bennett was a pupil at Leighton Park School, he studied at the Royal Academy of Music with Howard Ferguson, Lennox Berkeley and Cornelius Cardew. Ferguson regarded him as extraordinarily brilliant, having the greatest talent of any British composer in his generation, though lacking in a personal style. During this time, Bennett attended some of the Darmstadt summer courses in 1955, where he was exposed to serialism.

He spent two years in Paris as a student of the prominent serialist Pierre Boulez between 1957 and 1959. He always used both his first names after finding another Richard Bennett active in music. Bennett taught at the Royal Academy of Music between 1963 and 1965, at the Peabody Institute in Baltimore, United States from 1970 to 1971, was International Chair of Composition at the Royal Academy of Music between 1994 and the year 2000, he was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1977, was knighted in 1998. Bennett produced over 200 works for the concert hall, 50 scores for film and television, he was a writer and performer of jazz songs for 50 years. Immersed in the techniques of the European avant-garde via his contact with Boulez, Bennett subsequently developed his own dramato-abstract style. In his years, he adopted an tonal idiom. Bennett performed as a jazz pianist, with such singers as Cleo Laine, Marion Montgomery, Mary Cleere Haran, more with Claire Martin, performing the Great American Songbook.

Bennett and Martin performed at such venues as The Oak Room at the Algonquin Hotel in New York, The Pheasantry and Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club in London. In years, in addition to his musical activities, Bennett became known as an artist working in the medium of collage, he exhibited these collages several times in England, including at the Holt Festival, Norfolk in 2011, at the Swaledale Festival, Yorkshire, in 2012. The first exhibition of his collages was in London in 2010, at the South Kensington and Chelsea Mental Health Centre, curated by the Nightingale Project, a charity that takes music and art into hospitals. Bennett was a patron of this charity. Bennett is honoured with four photographic portraits in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery, London. Anthony Meredith's biography of Bennett was published in November 2010. Bennett is survived by his sister Meg, the poet M. R. Peacocke, with whom he collaborated on a number of vocal works. Bennett's cremated remains are buried at Brooklyn.

Despite his early studies in modernist techniques, Bennett's tastes were catholic. He wrote including jazz, for which he had a particular fondness. Early on, he began to write music for feature films, he said that it was as if the different styles of music that he was writing went on'in different rooms, albeit in the same house'. In his career the different aspects all became celebrated – for example in his 75th birthday year, there were numerous concerts featuring all the different strands of his work. At the BBC Proms for example his Murder on the Orient Express Suite was performed in a concert of film music, in the same season his Dream Dancing and Jazz Calendar were featured. At the Wigmore Hall, London, on 23 March 2011, a double concert took place in which his Debussy-inspired piece Sonata After Syrinx was performed in the first concert, in the Late Night Jazz Event which followed and Claire Martin performed his arrangements of the Great American Songbook. See Tom Service's appreciation of Bennett's music published in The Guardian in July 2012.

He wrote music for films and television. His scores for Far from the Madding Crowd and Alexandra, Murder on the Orient Express, each earned him Academy Award nominations, with Murder on the Orient Express gaining a BAFTA award. Works include Enchanted April, Four Weddings and a Funeral, The Tale of Sweeney Todd, he was a prolific composer of orchestral works, piano solos, choral works and operas. Despite this eclecticism, Bennett's music involved stylistic crossover. Sonata for piano Impromptus Concerto for alto saxophone Scena II (for solo cello. Premiere conducted by Leonard Slatkin. St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. Richard Rodney Bennett, harpsichord. Fanfare for brass quintet (201

Kassiopi Castle

Kassiopi Castle is a castle on the northeastern coast of Corfu overseeing the fishing village of Kassiopi. It was one of three Byzantine-period castles; the castles formed a defensive triangle, with Gardiki guarding the island's south, Kassiopi the northeast and Angelokastro the northwest. Its position at the northeastern coast of Corfu overseeing the Corfu Channel that separates the island from the mainland gave the castle an important vantage point and an elevated strategic significance. Kassiopi Castle is considered one of the most imposing architectural remains in the Ionian Islands, along with Angelokastro, Gardiki Castle and the two Venetian Fortresses of Corfu City, the Citadel and the New Fort; the exact origins of the castle are not clear, with various theories being advanced, but they appear to be Byzantine. During excavations in the two towers adjacent to the main gate as well as in a third tower to the north side of the main gate, bronze coins from the reigns of Byzantine emperors Maurice and Basil II were discovered.

In addition ceramic ostraca dating from the early Byzantine period, the 4th–7th centuries AD, were unearthed. This leads to the conclusion that a Byzantine castle may have been built in the area by the 6th century AD, a date, several centuries earlier than the estimated date of the present castle's construction. In 1081 Count Bohemund of Taranto conquered the castle at the start of the first Norman invasion of Greece. In 1084 the fortress fell into the hands of Alexios I Komnenos after he defeated the Norman fleet following three naval battles in the Corfu Channel. In 1267 the Angevins took over the castle and in 1386 the castle fell to the Venetians after some initial resistance; the Venetians ordered the destruction of the castle because its defenders resisted their takeover of Corfu in 1386 and did not willingly surrender. The Venetians subsequently dismantled it, fearing it could be captured by their enemies, or by the locals, used against them. In times they did not repair or maintain it, in contrast to their efforts at strengthening Angelokastro and the Old Fortress of Corfu.

The consequence of the Venetian action was that during the Turkish sieges of Corfu in 1537 and 1716 the local people who could not escape were slaughtered or enslaved. There is evidence provided by famous Venetian architects Michele Sanmicheli and his son Giangerolamo Sanmicheli that, while under contract to the Venetians to reinforce the Old Fortress of Corfu during the Ottoman inter-siege period of 1537–1558, they carried materials from Kassiopi Castle to the citadel for their repairs. After the 1669 Venetian surrender of Candia in Crete to the Ottomans, Corfu became the last Venetian possession and bastion in the Levante; the Venetians redoubled their efforts at strengthening the defences of the island. In 1671 a Venetian official by the name of Dona was sent to evaluate the defences of Corfu and submit a plan to the Venetian Senate. Donna went in situ to Kassiopi to evaluate the castle and its prospects of defending Corfu from the Ottomans who were planning an invasion of the island from Epirus.

Dona went along with Venetian special commander of the Adriatic, future Doge of Venice, Mocenigo. Based on further advice by general St. Andrea and military engineer Verneda, Dona's report to the Venetian Senate supported the strengthening of the Kassiopi Fortress. Despite Dona's advice the Venetians abandoned all plans of defending Kassiopi. A century after the castle's destruction, folk tales developed of fire-breathing dragons who had destroyed the castle and poisoned the people of the village; the genesis of these myths is attributed to the impression the use of black powder and explosions made to the area residents who were unfamiliar with these advances in military warfare. Following the second great siege of Corfu in 1716, the Venetians decided to rebuild the castle, although the local population had moved to other places including villages on the highlands of Mount Pantokrator; the main gate of the castle is protected by strong fore-walls. This arrangement is similar to other castles and structures found in Epirus, such as the Castle of Riza and the Monastery of Kato Vassiliki.

The perimeter of the castle has a length of 1.073 km and is of a quadrilateral shape with 19 strong towers of alternating circular and rectangular cross sections guarding the walls and runs in the southwest to northeast direction. The interior of the castle has an area of 35,177 m2 and is empty of any structures although filled with olive trees; the central tower of the castle has disappeared but the main gate exists and is supported by two strong towers on either side. Each of the gate towers has two floors and the gate features protective wall extensions which restrict access from the sides, a feature, designed to prevent surprise ambush from an enemy hiding at the side of the gate; the ambush avoidance feature is further augmented by the terrain. The thickness of the wall at the gate is 1.9 m. There are ruins of a forewall in front of the gate which could have functioned as an installation of a large iron structure which would have secured the gate. There are indications that both strong towers at each side of the gate had installations that facilitated the movement of the iron gate closure.

The defence of the castle was achieved through warfare from the battlements, although no battlement structures survive. The shape of the battlements is uncertain and although in artistic representations they look like the letter "M", it is still not known if that representation is the artist's imagination. Since the walls of the castle are vertical, not inclined s

1939 Speedway National League Division Two

The 1939 National League Division Two was the second season of British speedway's National League Division Two. The season was never completed, due to the outbreak of World War II; as with the previous season, there were several team changes. Southampton Saints had moved up to the National League and Bristol Bulldogs had moved down to take their place. Other new entrants were Crystal Palace Glaziers and Middlesbrough. Absentees from the end of the previous season were Lea Bridge, West Ham Hawks and Leeds Lions. Newcastle were leading the league at the point of abandonment. Middlesbrough resigned after 8 matches, Crystal Palace Glaziers after 10 matches and Stoke after 14 matches. Belle Vue Aces provided a team to complete Stoke's fixtures; the season was incomplete due to the outbreak of World War II. Uncompleted table on September 1. Belle Vue Reserves replaced Stoke Potters mid-season. Stoke scored 4 points from 8 matches, Belle Vue reserves scored. Middlesbrough and Crystal Palace Glaziers withdrew their records were expunged.

List of United Kingdom Speedway League Champions