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Conciergerie

The Conciergerie is a building in Paris, located on the west of the Île de la Cité a prison but presently used for law courts. It was part of the former royal palace, the Palais de la Cité, which consisted of the Conciergerie, Palais de Justice and the Sainte-Chapelle. Hundreds of prisoners during the French Revolution were taken from the Conciergerie to be executed by guillotine at a number of locations around Paris; the west part of the island was the site of a Merovingian palace, was known as the Palais de la Cité. From the 10th to the 14th centuries, it was the main palace of the medieval Kings of France. During the reigns of Louis IX and Philippe IV the Merovingian palace was extended and fortified more extensively. Louis IX added the Sainte-Chapelle and associated galleries, while Philippe IV created the towered facade on the Seine river side and a large hall. Both are excellent examples of French secular architecture of the period; the Sainte-Chapelle was built in the French royal style to house the crown of thorns, brought back from the Crusades and to serve as a royal chapel.

The "Grande Salle" was one of the largest in Europe, its lower story, known as "La Salle des Gens d'Armes" survives at 64m long, 27.5m wide and 8.5m high. It was used as a dining room for the 2,000 staff members, it lit by many windows, now blocked. It was used for royal banquets and judicial proceedings; the neighboring Salle des Gardes was used as an antechamber to the Great Hall above, where the king held his lit de justice. The early Valois kings continued to modify the palace during the 14th century, but Charles V abandoned the palace during 1358, relocating across the river to the Louvre Palace; the palace continued to serve an administrative function and still included the chancellery and French Parliament. In the king's absence, he appointed a concierge to command of the palace, a fact which gave the palace its eventual name. During 1391, part of the building was converted for use as a prison and took its name from the ruling office, its prisoners were a mixture of political prisoners. In common with other prisons of the time, the treatment of prisoners was dependent on their wealth and associates.

Wealthy or influential prisoners got their own cells with a bed and materials for reading and writing. Less-well-off prisoners could afford to pay for furnished cells known as pistoles, which would be equipped with a rough bed and a table; the poorest would be confined to dark, vermin-infested cells known as oubliettes. In keeping with the name, they were left to live or die in conditions that were ideal for the plague and other infectious diseases, which were rife in the unsanitary conditions of the prison. Three towers survive from the medieval Conciergerie: the Caesar Tower, named in honor of the Roman Emperors; the building was extended during the reigns of kings with France's first public clock being installed about 1370. The current clock dates from 1535; the ten month Reign of Terror had a profound effect on France. More than 40,000 people died from execution and imprisonment, France would not be a republic again for nearly half a century; the National Convention enacted the Law of Suspects on September 17, 1793.

This act declared that anyone considered a counter-revolutionary or enemy of the republic was guilty of treason and, condemned to death. The Revolutionary Tribunal was set up in the Palace of Justice; the two fates for those sent before the tribunal were acquittal or death, with no possibility of appeal. Antoine Quentin Fouquier-Tinville, a radical, was named public prosecutor; the Tribunal sat in the Great Hall between 2 April 1793 and 31 May 1795 and sent nearly 2,600 prisoners to the guillotine. The Conciergerie prison became the main penitentiary of a network of prisons throughout Paris, was the last place of housing for more than 2,700 people, who were summarily executed by guillotine; the dank dungeons were a stark contrast to the beautiful architecture of the palace above. The quality of life of the prisoners was based on their personal wealth and the whims of the jailers; the revolutionary period continued the prison's tradition of interning prisoners based on wealth, such that wealthier prisoners could rent a bed for 27 livres 12 sous for the first month, 22 livres 10 sous for subsequent months.

When the price was decreased to 15 livres, the commanders of the prison made a fortune: as the Terror escalated, a prisoner could pay for a bed and be executed a few days freeing the bed for a new inmate who would pay as well. One memoirist termed the Conciergerie "the most lucrative furnished lodgings in Paris". Only celebrity prisoners were assigned cells to themselves. Most of the pistole inmates were stuffed into a single room that abutted a local hospital, making disease an inevitability; the cramped cells were infested with rats, the stench of urine permeated every room. All the prisoners, except those locked in the dungeons, were allowed to walk about the prisoners' gallery from 8 a.m. to an hour before sunset. Roll call was always a tortuous proceeding because many of the jailers were illiterate and it could take hours for them to confirm t

Catherine of the Palatinate (1499–1526)

Catherine of the Palatinate was a member of the Wittelsbach family and a titular Countess Palatine of Simmern. She was abbess of Neuburg Abbey. Catherine was the youngest child of Elector Palatine Philip from his marriage to Margaret, the daughter of Duke Louis IX of Bavaria-Landshut. In 1515, Catherine entered the Benedictine Neuburg Abbey, she became abbess of the abbey. Catherine died in 1526, at the age of 26, she was buried in the abbey church of Neuburg. Her grave stone can be found opposite the monastery portal, it is made of red sandstone and is shows, in bas-relief, Catherine wearing a nun's habit, with the abbess's staff and a book in her hands and a lion at her feet. August Benedict Michaelis: Einleitung zu einer volständigen geschichte der chur- und fürstlichen häuser in Teutschland vol. 2, 1760, p. 32

Centro de hoja

Centro de hoja or Center of the sheet is a kind of Cuban postage stamps where there are intersecting gutters between four panes of stamps. The horizontal and vertical blank gutters divide the sheet into quadrants of 25 stamps each; the center four or sixteen stamps on a sheet of 100 stamps are collected similar to how plate blocks of four stamps are collected in the United States. The first centro de hoja were the imperforate Cuban patriots issues of 1926; these had the unique distinctions of being from sheets of 400 rather than 100 and the "gutters" consisted of nothing more than two intersecting lines drawn through the center of the sheet. The last was produced with the three bicentennial of coffee issues of 1952; some people classify the Christmas issues of 1960 as centros de hoja, but since they have no gutters others call them special format stamps. A little over half of the regular issues, special delivery and airmail stamps issued between the years 1926 and 1952 were produced with intersecting gutters, giving rise to the collection of centros de hoja.

Some issues can be quite rare. There were only 200 imperforate sheets issued in 1936 for each of the fourteen stamps issued to celebrate the opening of the free port of Matanzas; some of the "writers and artists" series of 1937 sold fewer that 180 sheets. There were only 250 sheets printed of the one peso "death of Maceo" stamp in 1948 and the one peso Fernando Figueredo overprint of 1952. Other issues can be plentiful and available to collectors; the Centros de Hoja Collection of Robert Littrell

Adrienne Batra

Adrienne Batra is a Canadian journalist and publicist. She has been editor-in-chief of the Toronto Sun since May 2015. Batra was born in the youngest daughter of Harbir and Deepi Batra, her parents were teachers who had immigrated to Canada by way of Ethiopia. After graduating from high school in 1991, Batra joined the Canadian Reserves where she obtained the rank of Lieutenant. After obtaining university degrees in political science and public administration she joined the Regina office of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation as a researcher becoming its Manitoba director, she and her husband moved to Toronto in 2008 and, during the 2010 mayoral election Batra worked as communications director on Rob Ford's successful campaign for mayor. She subsequently joined the mayor's office, serving as Ford's press secretary for a year until she resigned in December 2011 to become the Toronto Sun's Comment Editor, she became CFRB Newstalk 1010's municipal affairs correspondent and wrote a column in the Sun on municipal affairs.

In November 2013, she joined the Sun News Network as host of Straight Talk, an afternoon news and comment program, took a leave of absence from her position as a Sun comment editor, though continuing as a columnist, in order to work for the network full-time until the channel went off the air in February 2015. She was the fill-in host on CFRB radio as its weekday afternoon "Live Drive" host. Batra rejoined the Toronto Sun staff in May 2015 to become the paper's editor-in-chief. Batra describes herself as a libertarian and is a fan of Ayn Rand and Margaret Thatcher

Targeted killings in Pakistan

Targeted killings in Pakistan have been a rising form of violence and have contributed to security instability in the country. They have become common and have gained attention in Karachi, Pakistan's largest city, economic capital and capital city of the Sindh province. Several targeted killings have occurred in Quetta, the capital of the southern province of Balochistan. Police and law enforcement agencies have sometimes come under criticism for their ineffectiveness in locating the perpetrators and investigating their motives. For most part, targeted killings in Karachi have been attributed to political and ethnic reasons. There are speculations about the killing but no real proof has been found against any party. Karachi consists of many ethnic communities. Ethnic politics have resulted in sporadic violence throughout Karachi's history leading to bloody conflicts. Following the independence of Pakistan in 1947, Muslim immigrants from areas constituting modern-day India migrated in large numbers to the Muslim nation of Pakistan and became settled in Karachi, the historical capital of the Sindh province.

The early migrants who came and settled are known as Muhajirs, something, resented by a portion of the province's native Sindhi people and radical Sindhi nationalists. After the breakaway of East Pakistan in 1971 and the formation of Bangladesh, Pakistan accepted a large number of Biharis loyal to the country, trapped in Bangladesh and offered them citizenship; the Bihari migrants assimilated into the diverse Urdu-speaking Muhajir population. Some Bengalis in Pakistan stayed behind; the Pashtuns from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, FATA and northern Balochistan, are now the city's second largest ethnic group in Karachi after Muhajirs. With as high as 7 million by some estimates, the city of Karachi in Pakistan has the largest concentration of urban Pakhtun population in the world, including 50,000 registered Afghan refugees in the city; as per current demographic ratio Pashtuns are about 25% of Karachi's population. Karachi's status as a regional industrial centre attracted migrants from other parts of Pakistan as well, including Punjab and Pashtun migrants from the frontier regions.

Added to this were Iranians, Central Asians as well as thousands of Afghan refugees who came to Karachi displaced by the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. This list is incomplete. Please help expand this list. Benazir Bhutto Murtaza Bhutto Athar Ali Ameer Faisal Alavi Wali Khan Babar Rustam Jamali Safdar Kiyani Khalid Shahanshah Hussain Ali Yousafi Sabeen Mahmud Perween Rahman Mohsin Naqvi Hakeem Muhammad Saeed Maulana Yusuf Ludhianvi Amjad Sabri Ali Raza Abidi Liaquat Ali Khan Syed Mustehsan Zaidi Gun politics in Pakistan Persecution of Hazara people Missing persons July 2011 Karachi target killings Targeted Killing in International Law Targeted Killings: Law and Morality in an Asymmetrical World Welcome to the jungle- Express Tribune Behind the violence in Karachi, 7 Sep 2011. Death of civility, The News International, 5 June 2012

Ascendos Rail Leasing

Ascendos Rail Leasing S.à r.l. CBRail, was a European rolling stock leasing company based in Luxembourg, formed in 2004 from the European operations of Porterbrook; the company focused on Continental Europe, had offices in Luxembourg and the United Kingdom. In June 2016, Ascendos Rail Leasing was acquired by Beacon Rail Leasing, another Pan-European rolling stock lessor; the combined Beacon and Ascendos portfolio includes 225 locomotives and over 1,000 freight wagons on lease in the UK, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany, 55 passenger train units on lease in the UK and Germany, 67 double decker coaches on lease in Denmark, 13 sets of Mark 5 coaches which will be operated by TransPennine Express in the UK. CBRail was created by the takeover of the European operations of the Porterbrooks rail leasing company by a joint venture between Babcock & Brown and Bank of Scotland Corporate Europe. At the time of the takeover from Porterbrook the company had leasing arrangements for 28 locomotives and 67 coaches.

Under the new financial backing, the company intended to grow to have a significant market share in the European railway leasing business. An order for 35 diesel and electric TRAXX locomotives was placed with Bombardier Transportation in 2006 with an option for 70 more. During the 2000s CBRail continued to expand its fleet, including freight wagons in its portfolio. Mitsui Rail Capital, Alpha Trains.