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Armed Forces of Liberia

The Armed Forces of Liberia are the armed forces of the Republic of Liberia. Tracing its origins to a militia, formed by the first black colonists in what is now Liberia, it was founded as the Liberian Frontier Force in 1908, retitled in 1956. For all of its history, the AFL has received considerable materiel and training assistance from the United States. For most of the 1941–89 period, training was provided by U. S. advisers, though this assistance has not prevented the same low levels of effectiveness common to most of the armed forces in the developing world. For most of the Cold War, the AFL saw little action, apart from a reinforced company group, sent to ONUC in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the 1960s; this changed with the advent of the First Liberian Civil War in 1989. The AFL became entangled in the conflict, which lasted from 1989 to 1996–97, the Second Liberian Civil War, which lasted from 1999 to 2003; as of 2014, the AFL consists of two infantry battalions, a Service Support Company, a Military Police Company, a Logistics Command, the Liberian National Coast Guard.

For several years after the war, a Nigerian Army officer served as head of the armed forces. After President Weah was elected, Prince C. Johnson III became Chief of Staff, promoted to Major General, Geraldine George Deputy Chief of Staff, promoted to Brigadier General; the New National Defense Act of 2008 was approved on August 21, 2008. It repeals the National Defense Act of 1956, the Coast Guard Act of 1959, the Liberian Navy Act of 1986; the duties and functions of the AFL are stated as follows: Section 2.3: The primary mission of the AFL shall be to defend the national sovereignty and territorial integrity of Liberia, including land and maritime territory, against external aggressions, insurgency and encroachment. In addition thereto the AFL shall respond to natural disasters and engage in other civic works as may be required or directed. Section 2.3: The AFL shall participate in international peacekeeping peace enforcement and other by the UN, the AU, ECOWAS, MRU, and/or all international institutions of which Liberia may be a member.

All such activities shall be undertaken only upon authorization of the President of Liberia with the consent of the Legislature. Section 2.3: The AFL shall provide command, logistical, medical and humanitarian support to the civil authority in the event of a natural or man-made disaster, outbreak of disease, or epidemic. Such assistance shall be authorized by the President of Liberia. Section 2.3: The AFL shall assist civil authorities in search and saving of life on land, sea, or air. Section 2.3: The duties of the AFL in peacetime shall include support to the national law enforcement agencies when such support is requested and approved by the President. Such support shall include exchange of information, personnel training, mobilization and deployment of security contingents. At no time during peacetime however, shall the AFL engage in law enforcement within Liberia, such function being the prerogative of the Liberia National Police and other law enforcement agencies. Notwithstanding, the Military Police of the AFL may, on request of the Ministry of Justice made to the Ministry of National Defense, approved by the President of Liberia, provide assistance to these law enforcement agencies as determined by prevailing situations.

The AFL shall intervene only as a last resort, when the threat exceeds the capability of the law enforcement agencies to respond. Section 2.5: Standards of Conduct for the Armed Forces of Liberia: Members of the AFL shall perform their duties at all times in accordance with democratic values and human rights. They shall perform their duties in a non-partisan manner, obey all lawful orders and commands from their superior officers in ways that command citizen respect and confidence and contribute towards the maintenance and promotion of the respect for the rule of law; the modern Armed Forces of Liberia grew out of a militia, formed by the first black colonists from the United States. The militia was first formed when in August 1822 an attack was feared on Cape Mesurado and the agent of the settlements directed the mobilization of all "able-bodied males into a militia and declared martial law." By 1846, the size of the militia had grown to two regiments. Following independence in 1847, the militia continued to serve as the country's defense force.

In 1900, Liberian men between the ages of sixteen and fifty were considered liable for service in the militia. The militia had a navy consisting of two small gunboats. In the 1850s, the Liberian president requested naval support from the British government to transport Liberian troops to the Gallinas territory to punish Liberians there who persisted in slave trafficking. On February 6, 1908, the militia was established on a permanent basis as the 500-strong Liberian Frontier Force; the LFF's original mission was "to patrol the border in the Hinterland and to prevent disorders." The LFF was placed under the command of a British major, replaced after he complained the Force was not being properly paid. In 1912, the United States established military ties with Liberia by sending some five black American officers to help reorganize the force; the LFF in its early years was recruited by inducing men from the interior forcibly. When dispatched to the interior to quell tribal unrest, units lived off the areas that they were pacifying

An Artist of the Floating World

An Artist of the Floating World is a novel by Nobel Prize-winning British author Kazuo Ishiguro. It is set in post-World War II Japan and is narrated by Masuji Ono, an ageing painter, who looks back on his life and how he has lived it, he notices how his once great reputation has faltered since the war and how attitudes towards him and his paintings have changed. The chief conflict deals with Ono's need to accept responsibility for his past actions and in the expostulation to find a path to peace in his good will for the young white collar workers on the streets at lunchbreak; the novel deals with the role of people in a changing environment. The novel falls under global literature, it is known as historical fiction due to its basis on remembering the past and it draws from historical facts. It is known as global literature as it has a broad international market and allows for a study on how the world today is interconnected. Published in 1986, it has since won major awards. Published by Faber and Faber it is printed by publishing companies such as Allen and Unwin and Penguin Vintage International.

It has become an eBook version additionally and is available on most eBook websites such as kindle and iBook’s, since 2012. An Artist of the Floating World, has been translated into over 40 languages around the world. Kazuo Ishiguro was born in Nagasaki, Japan in 1954 moving to England at the age of five, only to return to Japan twenty-nine years later. Growing up Ishiguro had a traditionally Japanese mother, who resultantly influenced his writing when reflecting on Japan. Furthermore, his reading of Japanese novels and comics allowed him to stay connected to his Japanese heritage as well as see the differences between Western and Japanese society, influencing his writing through developing a sense of Japanese ideals; the inclusion of Ichiro’s cowboy obsession stemmed from Ishiguro’s own fascination with cowboys during his youth. Ishiguro was inspired to write An Artist of the Floating World, due to his original novel A Pale View of Hills, which included an old teacher character, that has to rediscover and invent his own morals.

This reflects his own consistent rediscovery and invention of himself throughout his youth and adult years. Furthermore, owing to his childhood of moving countries and subsequently not feeling like he ‘fit-in’ he wrote in a globalised and international way; the novel overall, is a reflection of Ishiguro's personal feelings of Japanese heritage, a fictional reflection of his sense of identity, as presented through a youthful reconstruction of Japan. The novel's title is based on the literal translation of Ukiyo-e, a word referring to the Japanese art of prints. Therefore, it can be read as "a printmaker" or "an artist living in a changing world," given both Ono's limited understanding and the dramatic changes his world, Japan in the first half of the twentieth century, has undergone in his lifetime; the title refers to an artistic genre. Ono's master was interested in depicting scenes from the pleasure district adjacent to the villa in which he and his students lived. Ono mentions the ephemeral nature of the floating world.

His master experimented with innovative softer Western-style painting techniques. Ono forged his own career, he could not help but feel gleeful when his master's paintings fell into disfavour during a return to the use of more traditional bold lines in the paintings used for nationalistic posters. An Artist of the Floating World, is structured through the interwoven memories of protagonist Masuji Ono; the novel is set in three distinctly different years however, Ono's memories span as far back to when he was a child. The four different years and title sections of the novel are: October 1948, April 1949, November 1949 and June 1950. In the buildup to World War II, Ono, a promising artist, had broken away from the teaching of his master, whose artistic aim was to reach an aesthetic ideal, had gotten involved in far-right politics, making propagandistic art; as a member of the Cultural Committee of the Interior Department and official adviser to the Committee of Unpatriotic Activities, Ono had become a police informer, taking an active part in an ideological witch hunt.

After the 1945 defeat and the collapse of jingoistic Imperial Japan, Ono has become a discredited figure, one of the "traitors" who "led the country astray". Over the course of the first three sections, spanning October 1948 – November 1949, Ono seems to show a growing acknowledgement of his past "errors", although this acknowledgement is never explicitly stated. However, in the short fourth and last section, Ono appears to have returned to his earlier inability to change his viewpoint; the book is written in the first person and hinges on the exclusive use of a single, unreliable narrator, expressing a viewpoint which the reader identifies as limited and fallible, without any other voice or point of view acting as a test. Ono makes it clear that he is not sure of the accuracy of his narrative, but this may either make the reader cautious or, on the contrary, suggest that Ono is honest and, trustworthy; the self-image Ono expresses in his narrative is vastly different from the image of him the reader builds from reading the same narrative.

Ono quotes others as expressing admiration and indebtedness to him. Ono's narrative is characterised by denial, so that his interests and his hierarchy of values are at odds with the reader's. Readers, therefore

Artus Wolffort

Artus Wolffort, Artus Wolffaert or Artus Wolffaerts was a Flemish painter known for his history paintings depicting religious and mythological scenes. Artus Wolffort was moved with his parents to Dordrecht in the year of his birth, he trained as a painter in Dordrecht where he joined the local Guild of Saint Luke in 1603. He returned to Antwerp around 1615 where he worked as an assistant in the studio of Otto van Veen, one of the teachers of Peter Paul Rubens. During this period he lived in the house of van Veen, he became a member of the Antwerp Guild of Saint Luke in 1617. He married Maria Wandelaer on 8 September 1619, their son Johannes Artusz was born in November 1625 and became a painter. Artus Wolffort operated a workshop in Antwerp, which produced various copies of his works, his pupils Pieter van Lint and Pieter van Mol worked for a while as copyists in his workshop. Artus Wolffort was one of the artists who worked on the decorations for the Joyous Entry into Antwerp of the new governor of the Habsburg Netherlands Cardinal-Infante Ferdinand in 1635.

Rubens was in overall charge of this project for which Wolffort made decorative paintings after designs by Rubens. His pupils included his son Jan Baptist Wolfaerts, Pieter van Lint, Pieter van Mol and Lucas Smout the Elder, he died in Antwerp. Wolffort and his work were not well known until the late 1970s and some of his paintings were classified as early works by Rubens, his oeuvre was reconstructed from a signed work and various paintings bearing a monogram. In the beginning of his career Wolffort completed a number of commissioned altarpieces for churches in Antwerp such as the Ascension of the Virgin and the Assumption of the Virgin, he worked, however for private patrons for whom he painted religious and, to a lesser extent, mythological subjects. Many of his works consist of life-size figures depicting scenes from the life of Christ, he made a series of representations of the Twelve Apostles, the Four Evangelists and the Church Fathers, in half life-size. If the attribution to Wolffort is correct, a genre painting called The scullery maid shows that Wolffort created genre scenes for the market.

His early works were in the classizing style of Otto van Veen. Wolffort used themes and motifs of van Veen in these early works, which were executed in a proto-Baroque style; this is obvious in the work Christ in the house of Simon the Pharisee, considered a work by van Veen. The composition itself is loosely based on Rubens' work of the same subject in the Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, but reversed. A more dynamic Baroque style influenced by Rubens arose after 1630. Vlieghe, Hans. Flemish Art and Architecture 1585-1700. Yale University Press. P. 44. ISBN 0-300-07038-1. Media related to Artus Wolffort at Wikimedia Commons