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Apulia

Apulia is a region of Italy, located in the southern peninsular section of the country, bordering the Adriatic Sea to the east, the Ionian Sea to the southeast, the Strait of Otranto and Gulf of Taranto to the south. The region comprises 19,345 square kilometers, its population is about four million, it is bordered by the other Italian regions of Molise to the north, Campania to the west, Basilicata to the southwest. Its capital city is Bari. Apulia's coastline is longer than that of any other mainland Italian region. In the north, the Gargano promontory extends out into the Adriatic like a'sperone', while in the south, the Salento peninsula forms the'tacco' of Italy's boot; the highest peak in the region is Mount Cornacchia within the Daunian Mountains, in the north along the Apennines. It is home to the Alta Murgia National Park and Gargano National Park. Outside of national parks in the North and West, most of Apulia and Salento is geographically flat with only moderate hills; the climate is mediterranean with hot and sunny summers and mild, rainy winters.

Snowfall on the coast is rare but has occurred as as January 2019. Apulia is among the hottest and driest regions of Italy in summer with temperatures sometimes reaching up to and above 40 °C in Lecce and Foggia; the coastal areas on the Adriatic and in the southern Salento region are exposed to winds of varying strengths and directions affecting local temperatures and conditions, sometimes within the same day. The Northerly Bora wind from the Adriatic can lower temperatures and moderate summer heat while the Southerly Sirocco wind from North Africa can raise temperatures and drop red dust from the Sahara. On some days in spring and autumn, it can be warm enough to swim in Gallipoli and Porto Cesareo on the Ionian coast while at the same time, cool winds warrant jackets and sweaters in Monopoli and Otranto on the Adriatic coast. Apulia is one of the richest archaeological regions in Italy, it was first colonized by Mycenaean Greeks. Some parts of the regions were conquered by the Muslim Saracens, the Emirate of Bari was established for a brief period of time by Muhammad Abul Abbas of Sicily.

A number of castles were built in the area by Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II, including Castel del Monte, sometimes called the "Crown of Apulia". Apulia was an autonomous duchy until 1130. After 1282, when the kingdom lost the island of Sicily itself, Apulia remained part of the remnant Kingdom of Naples, remained so until the unification of Italy in 1861; this kingdom was independent under the House of Anjou from 1282 to 1442 was part of Aragon until 1458, after which it was again independent under a cadet branch of the House of Trastámara until 1501. As a result of the French–Spanish war of 1501–1504, Naples again came under the rule of Aragon and the Spanish Empire from 1504 to 1714; when Barbary pirates of North Africa sacked Vieste in 1554, they took an estimated 7,000 slaves. The coast of Apulia was occupied at times at other times by the Venetians. In 1861 the region became part of the Kingdom of Italy; the region's contribution to Italy's gross value added was around 4.6% in 2000, while its population was 7% of the total.

The per capita GDP is low compared to the national average and represents about 68.1% of the EU average. The share of gross value added by the agricultural and services sectors was above the national average in 2000; the region has industries specialising in particular areas, including food processing and vehicles in Foggia. Between 2007 and 2013 the economy of Apulia expanded more than that of the rest of southern Italy; such growth, over several decades, is a severe challenge to the hydrogeological system. Apulia's thriving economy is articulated into numerous sectors boasting several leading companies: Aerospace; the unemployment rate was higher than the national average. There are an estimated 50 to 60 million olive trees in Apulia, the region accounts for 40% of Italy's olive oil production. There are four specific Protected Designation of Origin covering the whole region. Olive varieties include: Baresane, Brandofino, Carolea, Cellina di Nardò, Cerignola, Cima di Bitonto, Cima di Mola, Coratina grown in Corning, CA.

A 2018 Gold Medal New York International Olive Oil Competition winner, Garganica, La Minuta, Moresca, Nocellara Etnea, Nocellara Messinese, Ogliarola Barese, Ogliara Messinese, Peranzana, produced as "Certified Ultra-Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil", Santagatese, Tonda Iblea, Verdello. The olive oil industry in Apulia is under threat from the pathogen Xylella fastidiosa, a disease which inhibits the uptake of water and nutrients by the trees; the south-eastern part of the region is at the centre of the epidemic. The region has

Fashoda syndrome

Fashoda syndrome, or a'Fashoda complex', is the name given to a tendency within French foreign policy in Africa, giving importance to asserting French influence in areas which might be becoming susceptible to British influence. It is considered the climax of the imperial territorial disputes between the United Kingdom and France in Eastern Africa, drawing these two nations to the brink of war in their bid to control the African Upper Nile region; the term was coined by Gerard Prunier in his work on the 1898 confrontation between the British and French troops in southern Sudan, which he cited as the cause for the latter's swift and deep intervention in the Rwanda crisis. It has been named after the Fashoda incident. In November 4, 1898, a contingent of French troops occupied the fort in Fashoda, they were forced to withdraw, after a larger Anglo-Egyptian army led by Lord Kitchener took over and the conflict resolved by the Anglo-French Declaration of March 21, 1899. The incident was seen as a diplomatic victory for the British and, as a result, French foreign policy began emphasizing an aggressive pursuit of French influence in areas in Africa that are susceptible to British influence.

This policy defined the so-called Fashoda syndrome and did not only denote the Anglo-French tussle in Africa but the balance of power between these two, considered redolent of realpolitik. In The State of Africa, the British historian Martin Meredith explained: "Ever since an incident in the Sudanese village of Fashoda... the French had been vigilant in guarding against Anglophone encroachment in what they considered to be their own backyard — le pré carré. In his memoirs, General de Gaulle listed the disasters that had afflicted France in his youth and that had led him to devote himself to upholding France's'grandeur': the first on the list was the Fashoda incident. The'Fashoda syndrome', formed a basic component of France's Africa policy. To ensure that African issues received due attention, the French presidential office included a special Africa Unit — Cellule Africaine — with a wide remit to cover everything from intelligence work to bribery."Meredith concluded that the 1990 French intervention in Rwanda was an expression of the "syndrome".

Rwanda lies on the border between "Francophone" and "Anglophone" Africa. In 1990, there was a short-lived invasion by the Rwandan Patriotic Front, a coalition of Tutsi exiles and those advocating democratic reform. Many of the RPF had grown up in Tutsi refugee camps in British-controlled Uganda and had learned to fight in the Ugandan army, Uganda was seen by Paris as being, at that time, within the British sphere of influence; the Fashoda complex has been used in connection with foreign policies of other countries Egypt and Sudan. It was the basis for the French interpretation of Laurent-Desire Kabila's rebellion. Fashoda incident Françafrique

Piano Portraits

Piano Portraits is a studio album by English keyboardist Rick Wakeman, released on 13 January 2017 on Universal Music Group. The album was made following the positive reception to Wakeman's live radio performance of his piano arrangement of "Life on Mars?" by David Bowie following the singer's death in January 2016, a subsequent single of the track released in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support released in 2016. After Wakeman received offers from several music labels to produce an album of piano arrangements, he chose Universal and chose songs that were his favourites, he played on as a session musician and as a member of Yes, classical music pieces, original material. Piano Portraits was first released as a digital download. A double vinyl followed on 3 February 2017; the album reached number 6 on the UK Albums Chart, becoming Wakeman's highest charting album in the UK since 1975. Wakeman supported the album with a tour of the UK from May to November 2017. In June 2017, Piano Portraits was certified silver by the British Phonographic Industry for 60,000 copies sold.

A follow-up album, Piano Odyssey, was released in October 2018. In January 2016, Wakeman performed a piano arrangement of "Life on Mars?" by David Bowie, broadcast live on BBC Radio 2 in the wake of the singer's death. Wakeman had played the piano on the original 1971 recording. Several days after, a video of the performance received 2 million views online, which sparked the idea for Wakeman to produce a single including the song, a piano arrangement of Bowie's "Space Oddity", "Always Together", an original piano composition by Wakeman; the single was released in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support. The positive response to video and single led to Wakeman receiving offers from several recording labels who suggested to record a solo piano album of rearranged songs in the same style; the idea appealed to Wakeman. Among the offers received was one from Universal Music Group, which Wakeman chose as "they envisioned it as I did — as a real mixture of music, not losing sight of what the original songs stood for but always working as piano pieces".

He selected songs that he had played on throughout his career, as well as renditions of classical music pieces and original music. Taking music from artists and "playing around" with the arrangements had always been something Wakeman had enjoyed doing since his college days; the first list of tracks to record contained 24 songs, reduced to a final selection of 15. Among the scrapped tracks was a proposed suite for "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen, but after three days working on it, Wakeman could not develop an arrangement that worked; the album was recorded in July and August 2016 at The Old Granary, a restored 18th century barn and recording studio in Norfolk, with Erik Jordan as audio engineer. Wakeman performed each track on a Steinway Model D concert grand piano; some of his rearrangements allowed for the addition of improvisation at some points, adding: "The way I do variations is instinctive, but I know what I'm going to do. If I played them all again for you now they would be 95% of what you hear".

He compared the idea of rearranging music to classical music composers whose variations on a theme or piece by another were instinctively how they felt the pieces should be. Wakeman's arrangement of "Help!" by The Beatles was inspired by the 1968 cover version by Deep Purple, he performed his own version on stage through his career. "Stairway to Heaven" by Led Zeppelin is a track that Wakeman had always liked and enjoyed its melody, but had reservations about recording his arrangement for the album as he could "do it in one, or it's gonna fall apart". Wakeman felt happy enough to include the second take; the idea to include "I'm Not in Love" by 10cc was not Wakeman's, rather "someone at Universal". He liked the band but not the song as much, encountered problems when it came to writing a theme to its chorus or bridge as neither his assistants or himself had an idea that worked. "I started playing around with it... doing as much with the tune as I think can be done. So I played it through, Erik said "You're there".

I said it's a bit short. It does stand up". "Wonderous Stories" is a track Yes recorded for Going for the One, which marked Wakeman's return to the band following his first departure. Wakeman decided to record a piano arrangement as it was one of the two tracks that were presented to him when he was asked to return to the group, which had "a great tune and some lovely lyrics" and represents happier times with the band. Piano Portraits was released on CD and digital download on 13 January 2017. A double vinyl set followed on 3 February. Upon release, the album entered the UK Albums Chart at number 7, marking Wakeman's highest position on the chart since The Myths and Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table peaked at number 2. In its second week, the album climbed one position to number 6. Since the album's release, Wakeman said he is "genuinely thrilled with it". Wakeman supported the album with a 10-date tour of the United Kingdom named Piano Portraits in Concert, from 25 May to 6 July 2017.

Credits are adapted from the CD liner notes. Rick Wakeman – Steinway Model D concert grand pianoProduction Erik Jordan – engineer Ian Brown – project co-ordinator Stylorouge – design Rob O'Connor – photographer Dick Beetham – mastering at 360 Mastering Universal Music Group – release co-ordination, marketing Official Rick Wakeman website at Rick Wakeman's Communication Centre