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Baku

Baku is the capital and largest city of Azerbaijan, as well as the largest city on the Caspian Sea and of the Caucasus region. Baku is located 28 metres below sea level, which makes it the lowest lying national capital in the world and the largest city in the world located below sea level. Baku lies alongside the Bay of Baku. At the beginning of 2009, Baku's urban population was estimated at just over two million people. About 25% of all inhabitants of the country live in Baku's metropolitan area. Baku is the sole metropolis in Azerbaijan. Baku is divided into 48 townships. Among these are the townships on the islands of the Baku Archipelago, the town of Oil Rocks built on stilts in the Caspian Sea, 60 kilometres away from Baku; the Inner City of Baku, along with the Shirvanshah's Palace and Maiden Tower, were inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000. According to the Lonely Planet's ranking, Baku is among the world's top ten destinations for urban nightlife; the city is the scientific and industrial center of Azerbaijan.

Many sizeable Azerbaijani institutions have their headquarters there. The Baku International Sea Trade Port is capable of handling two million tons of general and dry bulk cargoes per year. In recent years, Baku has become an important venue for international events, it hosted the 57th Eurovision Song Contest in 2012, the 2015 European Games, 4th Islamic Solidarity Games, the F1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix since 2016, hosted the final of the 2018–19 UEFA Europa League, will be one of the host cities for UEFA Euro 2020. The city is renowned for its harsh winds, reflected in its nickname, the "City of Winds". Baku is long attested under the Perso-Arabic name باکو. Early Arabic sources refer to the city as Bākuh and Bākuya, all of which seem to come from a Persian name; the further etymology is unclear. A popular etymology in the 19th century considered it to be derived from Persian بادکوبه; this popular name gained currency as a nickname for the city by the 19th century, is reflected in the city's modern nickname as the "City of Winds".

Another and less probable folk etymology explains the name as deriving from Baghkuy, meaning "God's town". Baga and kuy are the Old Persian words for "god" and "town" respectively. During Soviet rule, the city was spelled in Cyrillic as "Бакы" in Azerbaijani; the modern Azerbaijani spelling, using the Latin alphabet since 1991, is Bakı. Around 100,000 years ago, the territory of modern Baku and Absheron was savanna with rich flora and fauna. Traces of human settlement go back to the Stone age. From the Bronze age there have been rock carvings discovered near Bayil, a bronze figure of a small fish discovered in the territory of the Old City; these have led some to suggest the existence of a Bronze Age settlement within the city's territory. Near Nardaran, in a place called Umid Gaya, a prehistoric observatory was discovered, where on the rock the images of sun and various constellations are carved together with a primitive astronomic table. Further archeological excavations revealed various prehistoric settlements, native temples and other artifacts within the territory of the modern city and around it.

In the 1st century CE, the Romans reached Baku. Near the city, in Gobustan, Roman inscriptions dating from 84–96 CE were discovered; this is one of the earliest written evidences for Baku. Baku was the realm of the Shirvanshahs during the 8th century CE; the city came under assault of the Khazars and the Rus. Shirvanshah Akhsitan I built a navy in Baku and repelled another Rus assault in 1170. After a devastating earthquake struck Shamakhi, the capital of Shirvan, Shirvanshah's court moved to Baku in 1191; the Shirvan era influenced Baku and the remainder of what is present-day Azerbaijan. Between the 12th and 14th centuries, massive fortifications were undertaken in Baku and the surrounding towns; the Maiden Tower, the Ramana Tower, the Nardaran Fortress, the Shagan Castle, the Mardakan Castle, the Round Castle and the famous Sabayil Castle on the island of the Bay of Baku was built during this period. The city walls of Baku were rebuilt and strengthened. By the early 16th century Baku's wealth and strategic position attracted the focus of its larger neighbors.

The fall of the Ak Koyunlu brought the city into the sphere of the newly formed Iranian Safavid dynasty, led by king Ismail I. Ismail I captured it.

John Hanbury (1744–1784)

John Hanbury was a British heir and politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1766 to 1784. John Hanbury was born in 1744, his father, Capel Hanbury served as the Member of Parliament for Leominster. His mother was Jane Tracy, his paternal grandfather was John Hanbury, while his maternal grandfather was Thomas Tracy, 5th Viscount Tracy. His great grandfather Capel Hanbury began the building of Pontypool Park House in 1659, where he grew up at Pontypool Park in Wales, his family was responsible for the industrialisation and urbanisation of the eastern valley through which runs the Afon Llwyd in Monmouthshire around Pontypool. Hanbury was MP for Monmouthshire from 1765 until 1785. Hanbury lived in the manor-house of Hoarstone in Pontypool Park which now houses St. Alban's R. C. High School and Pontypool Museum, he built the Shell Grotto and Folly Tower above Pontypool Park. With his wife, he had issue: John Capel Hanbury Capel Hanbury - he took the name of Hanbury-Leigh Charles Hanbury-Tracy was created Baron Sudeley.

Hanbury died in 1784. Welsh Biography Online

Liu Dejun

Liu Dejun was born in 1976 in the province of Hubei. He is an dissident in the People's Republic of China, his work has focused on Chinese Human rights Movement. Liu is now a scholar of the program living in Nuremberg. In 2007, he founded the Labour Legal Aid Association in Guangdong Province to help the Chinese labours. He's involved in a large number of human rights cases and reported these cases on an internet website Boxun, his Twitter and blogs, but all of his blogs in China were deleted by the Chinese Authority. Now he has created a new blog; because of his activities, Liu was arrested many times. In 28.12.2008 he was arrested and tortured by Guangdong police, because he sent out flyers of democracy with Li Tie, Yang yong and other activists. In 2010, when he was investigating the case of Qian Yunhui, he was arrested twice by around 20 armed policemen from Huang Wei's home. In 2010, because of supporting Chinese activist Ni Yulan, Liu was arrest and tortured by Beijing security service in middle of the night and was thrown in the mountains in the countryside of Beijing.

The famous artist Ai Weiwei made a documentary about these events. On February 27, 2011, Liu was kidnapped by the security service of Chinese central government in Beijing and brought in to four secret trial bases, his clothes were forced to be taken off, he was punched many times, shocked with an electric baton, deprived of food, deprived of blankets at nights. In 2013, Liu came to Brussels and Ireland with the help of Frontlinedefenders, one Human Rights organisation. After three months, Liu got the scholarship of Writer in Exile he have been living in Nuremberg and works still for Democracy and Human Rights for China. Since October 2015, Liu is studying in Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg. Liu Dejun's Twitter feed