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Aosta Valley

The Aosta Valley is a mountainous autonomous region in northwestern Italy. It is bordered by Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France, to the west, Switzerland, to the north and by Piedmont, Italy, to the south and east; the regional capital is Aosta. Covering an area of 3,263 km2 and with a population of about 128,000 it is the smallest, least populous, least densely populated region of Italy, it is the only Italian region, not sub-divided into provinces. Provincial administrative functions are provided by the regional government; the region is divided into 74 comuni. Italian and French are the official languages, though the native population speak Valdôtain, a dialect of Arpitan; the Aosta Valley is an Alpine valley which with its tributary valleys includes the Italian slopes of Mont Blanc, Monte Rosa, Gran Paradiso and the Matterhorn. This makes it the highest region in Italy by list of Italian regions by highest point; the valleys above 1,600 metres, annually have a Cold Continental Climate. In this climate the snow season is long, as long as 8 or 9 months at the highest points.

During the summer, mist occurs every day. These areas are the wettest in the western Alps. Temperatures are low, between −7 °C and −3 °C in January, in July between 20 °C and 35 °C. In this area is the town of Rhêmes-Notre-Dame, which may be the coldest town in the Western Alps and where the winter average temperature is around −7 °C. Areas between 2,000 and 3,500 metres have a Tundra Climate, where every month has an average temperature below 10 °C; this climate may be a kind of more severe Cold Oceanic Climate, with a low summer average but mild winters, sometimes above −3 °C near lakes, or a more severe Cold Continental Climate, with a low winter average. Temperature averages in Plateau Rosa, at 3,400 metres high, are −11.6 °C in January and 1.4 °C in July. It is the coldest place in Italy. In the past, above 3,500 metres, all months had an average temperature below freezing, with a Perpetual Frost Climate. In recent years though there was a rise in temperatures. See as an example the data for Plateau Rosa.

The first inhabitants of the Aosta Valley were Celts and Ligures, whose language heritage remains in some local placenames. Rome conquered the region from the local Salassi around 25 BC and founded Augusta Prætoria Salassorum to secure the strategic mountain passes, they went on to build bridges and roads through the mountains. Thus, the name Valle d'Aosta means "Valley of Augustus". In 1031–1032, Humbert I of Savoy, the founder of the House of Savoy, received the title Count of Aosta from Emperor Conrad II of the Franconian line and built himself a commanding fortification at Bard. Saint Anselm of Canterbury was born in Aosta in 1033 or 1034; the region was divided among fortified castles, in 1191, Thomas I of Savoy found it necessary to grant to the communes a Charte des franchises which preserved autonomy—rights that were fiercely defended until 1770, when they were revoked in order to tie Aosta more to Piedmont, but which were again demanded during post-Napoleonic times. In the mid-13th century, Emperor Frederick II made the County of Aosta a duchy, its arms charged with a lion rampant were carried in the Savoy arms until the reunification of Italy in 1870.

The region remained part of Savoy lands, with the exceptions of French occupations from 1539 to 1563 in 1691 between 1704 and 1706. It was ruled by the First French Empire between 1800 and 1814. During French rule, it was part of Aoste arrondissement in Doire department; as part of the Kingdom of Sardinia, it joined the new Kingdom of Italy in 1861. French forces controlled the area at the end of World War II, but withdrew under British and American pressure; the region gained special autonomous status after the end of World War II. For more than 20 years the valley has been dominated by autonomist regional parties; the last regional election was held in May 2018. On 27 June 2018 Nicoletta Spelgatti of the Lega Nord was elected president by the region's cabinet, she is the first Lega Nord member to hold the position. The population density of Aosta Valley is by far the lowest of the Italian regions. In 2008, 38.9 inhabitants per km2 were registered in the region, whereas the average national figure was 198.8, though the region has extensive uninhabitable areas of mountain and glacier, with a substantial part of the population living in the central valley.

Migration from tributary valleys has now been stemmed by generous regional support for agriculture and tourist development. The population is growing but steadily. Negative population growth since 1976 has been more than offset by immigration; the region has one of Italy's lowest birth rates, with a rising average age. This, too, is compensated by immigration, since most immigrants arriving in the region are younger people working in the tourist industry. Between 1991 and 2001, the population of Aosta Valley grew by 3.1%, the highest growth among the Italian regions. With a negative natural population growth

Vang stone

Vang stone listed as N 84 in Rundata is a runestone from the early eleventh century located at Vang in Oppland, Norway. The Vang stone was erected around 1000, during the transitional period from Paganism to Christianity in Norway, it was located in the traditional district of Valdres. It was situated outside a stave church at Vang. Vang Stave Church was dismantled and moved to Krummhübel, Germany in 1844. At that time, the runestone was moved outside the Vang Church; the stone is made of an irregular slab of slate. It is up to 1.25 m wide and 8 -- 13 cm thick. The artwork on the front of the stone is in Ringerike style, depicts ribbons, leaves and a stylized animal a lion. Although thought to be a part of a stone portal, this idea is not supported. In contrast to other Viking Era runestones; the runic text is not integrated with the artwork to make a unified composition, but is carved along the edge of the stone. A transliteration of the runic inscription into Latin characters is: kosa: sunir: ristu: sin: þinsi: afir: kunar: bruþur:sun Sawyer, Birgit The Viking-Age Rune-Stones: Custom and Commemoration in Early Medieval Scandinavia ISBN 978-0199262212 Stocklund, Marie.

Runes and Their Secrets: Studies in Runology ISBN 978-87-635-0627-4

ComicCon Asia

ComicCon Asia was a comic book fan convention held in Metro Manila, Philippines that will feature in anime, gaming, cosplay, TV shows, movies. The convention held its inauguration on March 24 -- 2018 at SMX Convention Center in Pasay City; the event was planned by Pauline Laping of PSL Entertainment Production, the CEO and director of Miss Global Philippines, together with Nam Entertainment Group. Like most comic-book conventions, ComicCon Asia featured a large floor-space for exhibitors; the convention was held on March 24 -- 2018 in SMX Convention Center in Pasay City. Eight Division world champion. Legendary comic book writer and artist Stan Lee was scheduled to attend but had to cancel citing health reasons. Hollywood actress Hayley Atwell was set to appear but canceled on the last minute due to conflict with her schedule. Walter Jones, who played the original Black Ranger, Zachary “Zack” Taylor and Dacre Montgomery were the international guests; the event featured local talents such as musician Yael Yuzon, comic book artists Harvey Tolibao, Carlo Pagulayan, Ian Sta.

Maria, Armand Serrano of Walt Disney Animation Studios. World renowned cosplayers Linda Le, Nana Kuronoma and Anna Redie were in attendance; the inaugural convention received negative reviews from fans as they complained about long lines, less comic book oriented booths, problems with refunds and controversial guests. It was thought that Manny Pacquiao was funding the event which caused mixed reception fans from the Philippines in which they viewed it as another attempt by the boxer to enter a different profession, it drew criticism from the LGBT community due to Pacquiao's stance on same-sex marriage with DC Comics' writer and inker Gerry Alanguilan to boycott the convention as it may be used as an outlet to promote his views. The organizer released a statement that Pacquiao is not funding the event and they tapped the boxer because of his designation as the Philippines’ tourism ambassador. Commicon Asia drew flak from fans after they stated that Actress Hayley Atwell cancelled her planned appearance due to political unrest in the country in which it drew criticism from the Philippine government.

Atwell however posted on her Instagram account dismissing the statement and said the cancellation was due to conflicting schedule. Many fans were not pleased that it took ComicCon Asia a week to address the refunds after Stan Lee and Hayley Atwell's cancellation. Criticism were drawn when the online processing fees we're not refundable. Another issue were the long lines for those seeking refunds