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Assyria

Assyria called the Assyrian Empire, was a Mesopotamian kingdom and empire of the ancient Near East and the Levant that existed as a state from as early as the 25th century BC until its collapse between 612 BC and 609 BC – spanning the periods of the Early to Middle Bronze Age through to the late Iron Age. From the end of the seventh century BC to the mid-seventh century AD, it survived as a geopolitical entity, for the most part ruled by foreign powers such as the Parthian and early Sasanian Empires between the mid-second century BC and late third century AD, the final part of which period saw Mesopotamia become a major centre of Syriac Christianity and the birthplace of the Church of the East. A Semitic-speaking realm, Assyria was centred on the Tigris in Upper Mesopotamia; the Assyrians came to rule powerful empires in several periods. Making up a substantial part of the greater Mesopotamian "cradle of civilization", which included Sumer, the Akkadian Empire, Babylonia, Assyria reached the height of technological and cultural achievements for its time.

At its peak, the Neo-Assyrian Empire of 911 to 609 BC stretched from eastern Libya and Cyprus in the East Mediterranean to Iran, from present-day Armenia and Azerbaijan in the Transcaucasia to the Arabian Peninsula. The name "Assyria" originates with the Assyrian state's original capital, the ancient city of Aššur, which dates to c. 2600 BC – one of a number of Akkadian-speaking city-states in Mesopotamia. In the 25th and 24th centuries BC, Assyrian kings were pastoral leaders. From the late 24th century BC, the Assyrians became subject to Sargon of Akkad, who united all the Akkadian- and Sumerian-speaking peoples of Mesopotamia under the Akkadian Empire, which lasted from c. 2334 BC to 2154 BC. After the Assyrian Empire fell from power, the greater remaining part of Assyria formed a geopolitical region and province of other empires, although between the mid-2nd century BC and late 3rd century AD a patchwork of small independent Assyrian kingdoms arose in the form of Assur, Osroene, Beth Nuhadra, Beth Garmai and Hatra.

The region of Assyria fell under the successive control of the Median Empire of 678 to 549 BC, the Achaemenid Empire of 550 to 330 BC, the Macedonian Empire, the Seleucid Empire of 312 to 63 BC, the Parthian Empire of 247 BC to 224 AD, the Roman Empire and the Sasanian Empire of 224 to 651 AD. The Arab Islamic conquest of the area in the mid-seventh century dissolved Assyria as a single entity, after which the remnants of the Assyrian people became an ethnic, linguistic and religious minority in the Assyrian homeland, surviving there to this day as an indigenous people of the region. Assyria was sometimes known as Subartu and Azuhinum prior to the rise of the city-state of Ashur, after which it was Aššūrāyu, after its fall, from 605 BC through to the late seventh century AD variously as Achaemenid Assyria, referenced as Atouria, Ator and sometimes as Syria which etymologically derives from Assyria according to Strabo, Assyria and Asōristān. "Assyria" can refer to the geographic region or heartland where Assyria, its empires and the Assyrian people were centered.

The indigenous modern Eastern Aramaic-speaking Assyrian Christian ethnic minority in northern Iraq, north east Syria, southeast Turkey and northwest Iran are the descendants of the ancient Assyrians. As Babylonia is called after the city of Babylon, Assyria means "land of Asshur"Etymologically, Assyria is connected to the name of Syria, with both being derived from the Akkadian Aššur. Theodor Nöldeke in 1881 was the first to give philological support to the assumption that Syria and Assyria have the same etymology, a suggestion going back to John Selden. A 21st-century discovery of the Çineköy inscription confirmed that Syria, being a Greek corruption of the name Assyria, is derived from the Assyrian term Aššūrāyu. In prehistoric times, the region, to become known as Assyria was home to a Neanderthal culture such as has been found at the Shanidar Cave; the earliest Neolithic sites in what will be Assyria were the Jarmo culture c. 7100 BC, the Halaf culture c. 6100 BC, the Hassuna culture c. 6000 BC.

The Akkadian-speaking people who would found Assyria appear to have entered Mesopotamia at some point during the latter 4th millennium BC intermingling with the earlier Sumerian-speaking population, who came from northern Mesopotamia, with Akkadian names appearing in written record from as early as the 29th century BC. During the 3rd millennium BC, a intimate cultural symbiosis developed between the Sumerians and the Akkadians throughout Mesopotamia, which included widespread bilingualism; the influence of Sumerian on Akkadian, vice versa, is evident in all areas, from lexical borrowing on a massive scale, to syntactic and phonological convergence. This has prompted scholars to refer to Sumerian and Akkadian in the third millennium BC as a sprachbund. Akkadian replaced Sumerian as the spoken language of Mesopotamia somewhere after the turn of the 3rd and the 2nd millennium BC, although Sumerian continued to be used as a sacred, ceremonial and scientific language in Mesopotamia until the 1st century AD, as did use of the Akkadian cuneiform.

The cities of Assur, Nineveh and Arbela together with a number of other towns and cities, existed since at leas

Butter churning in Nepal

The churning of butter is an important part of Nepalese livelihood. Not only a part of day-to-day activity, it is a component of traditional culture and identity of Nepalese society, it involves the separation of butter from curd by the action of centrifugation using a series of traditional devices. Theki is the largest of all devices used in churning butter, is the primary device used. Cylindrical in shape at the body, it has a narrow neck while the mouth is a spreading fan-like structure, it is most made up of darigitho wood, so called as Daar ko theki in rural areas. Rhododendron is used, it is where the Madaani is inserted. Madaani known as Ghupa, it is the most important and major functional device used in the churning process, it is a tool made with the following parts: Saro It is a long, cylindrical structure made up of Falat or Katus wood. It is where Neti is wound around. Pora, made of same wood as Saro, it has four blunt blade like structures used for whirling of the curd. It can be considered as a centrifuging machine in technical words.

Neti is the rope wound over Saro, with two free ends made up of small cyindrical woods tied on the rope called Koila, for holding by a person to move it to and fro. It can be made up paddy straw, it is a flat structure consisting of hole at one end to let the Saro of Madaani in and thereby holding it in place while tied with a rope at the other end to hold it on a supporting structure. It can be made up of any wood but Falat and Katus are considered the best, it is a hollow, cylindrical structure made up of bamboo used for holding the churned milk at the end of the churning process. The curd accumulated over a period of few days is collected in the Theki. Madaani held onto the Torso is inserted inside the Theki. Neti is moved to and fro until butter separates from the curd. Addition of hot water at the middle of the process can fasten the process but care should be given to the period and amount of water to be added. Addition of more water at the latter stages of the process can decrease the butter content.

The completion of the process is detected by moving the Pora around the surface of the churned liquid where butter separates from rest of the liquid and accumulate into a mold. It takes about 20 minutes. Butter is taken out and collected, while churned milk is collected in Dhungro. Werner Egli described the butter churning process as follows:After three to four days butter churning can be started. For this purpose a wooden churning-stick is used, rotated by moving a cord back and forth. By the drill movement butter lumps are produced. Afterwards the butter is wrapped into a leather blanket and is pressed until it reaches the desired consistency. Butter-churn tower, named after its similarity to a type of butter churn Nepalese cuisine

Cassim Chilumpha

Cassim Chilumpha is a Malawian politician, Vice-President of Malawi from June 2004 to May 2009. Under President Joyce Banda, he was appointed as Minister of Energy and Mining in April 2012. Chilumpha was born in Chiutula Village about 8 Kilometers from Nkhotakota City in the area of Chief Malengachanzi in Central Malawi. Chipumpha was educated at primary schools within the Chisoti and Nkhotakota LEA schools and subsequently completed secondary education at Nkhata Bay Secondary School where he passed School Certificate Examinations, he went on to pursue a degree in Law at Chancellor College, University of Malawi. Upon graduation, Chilumpha worked for a year in the Ministry of Justice for the Malawi government before winning a scholarship to study for a Master's and PhD programme in law at the University of Hull in the United Kingdom, he returned to University of Malawi as a lecturer. Chilumpha is one of only five Senior Counsel in Malawi, a standard used to denote excellence in legal advocacy, comparable to Queens' Counsel in the United Kingdom.

At the Polytechnic of the University of Malawi, he rose to the ranks of Head of Business Administration, Dean of Faculty of Commerce, Associate Professor of Commercial Law. He entered the political arena in the 1980s, he was Minister of Defence and Justice and Attorney General in the last administration. He is Minister responsible for water. A member of the United Democratic Front, he served as a Minister in the administration of President Bakili Muluzi from March 1994 to 2000 from 2003 to 2004, again from 2004 to 2006 under President Bingu wa Mutharika, he has served as Minister for the following: Defence, Justice, Education, Statutory Corporations and Water. As part of the UDF ticket, he was Mutharika's running mate in the May 2004 presidential election and accordingly became Vice-President on 16 June 2004. On 9 February 2006, President Mutharika sacked Chilumpha from his post as Vice-President, accusing him of attempting to run a parallel government and claiming that he had attacked the government and undermined its integrity.

On 10 February, however, a high court granted an injunction to prevent Chilumpha's dismissal until the Constitutional Court could decide on whether parliamentary approval was necessary for the vice-president to be dismissed. Chilumpha was arrested at his home on 28 April 2006 for alleged treason and was transferred to custody in the capital, Lilongwe. Chilumpha was accused of conspiring with Yusuf Matumula and Rashid Nembo to have Mutharika assassinated. Chilumpha's lawyer said that he was seeking bail for his client, the UDF described the arrest as political persecution. Chilumpha's trial began on 30 January 2007, he said that he was facing political persecution because of his refusal to join Mutharika's party, the Democratic Progressive Party, in court he refused to enter a plea. Charges against Nembo were dropped. On 26 February and Matumula pleaded not guilty. Chilumpha sought the UDF's nomination as its presidential candidate for the 2009 election, but at the party's convention on 24 April 2008, he received only 38 votes against 1,950 votes for Bakili Muluzi.

After winning the nomination, Muluzi thanked Chilumpha for presenting a challenge. Chilumpha, was critical of the process, this marked the beginning of his movement away from the UDF. After five years away from Parliament, Chilumpha ran in the May 2009 parliamentary election as an independent candidate in Nkhotakota South Constituency, although he was still under house arrest, he defeated UDF candidate Fahad Assani in the election. When he was sworn in as an MP for the new parliamentary term, he chose to sit on the government benches, he stated that he would be interested in joining Mutharika's DPP because the people had endorsed the DPP by giving it a parliamentary majority. Following Mutharika's death in April 2012, Chilumpha announced on 26 April 2012 that he had joined the People's Party, the party headed by newly installed President Joyce Banda, he was appointed to the Cabinet as Minister of Energy and Mining on the same day