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Constitution of Venezuela

The Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela is the current and twenty-sixth constitution of Venezuela. It was drafted in mid-1999 by a constituent assembly, created by popular referendum. Adopted in December 1999, it replaced the 1961 Constitution, the longest-serving in Venezuelan history, it was promoted by President of Venezuela Hugo Chávez and thereafter received strong backing from diverse sectors, including figures involved in promulgating the 1961 constitution such as Luis Miquilena and Carlos Andrés Pérez. Chávez and his followers refer to the 1999 document as the "Constitución Bolivariana" because they assert that it is ideologically descended from the thinking and political philosophy of Simón Bolívar and Bolivarianism. Since the creation of the Constituent National Assembly in August 2017, the Bolivarian government has declared the 1999 constitution suspended until a new constitution is created; the Constitution of 1999 was the first constitution approved by popular referendum in Venezuelan history, summarily inaugurated the so-called "Fifth Republic of Venezuela" due to the socioeconomic changes foretold in its pages, as well as the official change in Venezuela's name from the República de Venezuela to the República Bolivariana de Venezuela.

Major changes are made to the structure of Venezuela's government and responsibilities, while a much greater number of human rights are enshrined in the document as guaranteed to all Venezuelans – including free education up to tertiary level, free health care, access to a clean environment, right of minorities to uphold their own traditional cultures and languages, among others. The 1999 Constitution, with 350 articles, is among the world's longest, most complicated, most comprehensive constitutions. One of the outstanding differences between Venezuelan and most of the other constitutions of the Americas is the lack of the possibility of impeachment of the president by the national parliament. Instead, it enables citizens to remove the president through a recall referendum. President Hugo Chávez was first elected under the provisions of the 1961 Constitution in the presidential election of 6 December 1998. Chávez had been contemplating a constitutional convention for Venezuela as an ideal means to bring about sweeping and radical social change to Venezuela beginning from the eve of his 1992 coup attempt.

After his imprisonment and release, he began to seek a political career with such a convention as its political goal. Thus, in the 1998 presidential elections, one of Chávez's electoral promises was to organise a referendum asking the people if they wanted to convene a National Constituent Assembly, his first decree as president was thus to order such a referendum, which took place on 19 April. The electorate were asked two questions – whether a constituent assembly should be convened, whether it should follow the mechanisms proposed by the president. Elections were held, on 25 July, to elect 131 deputies to the Constituent Assembly, which convened and debated proposals during the remainder of 1999. Chávez's widespread popularity allowed the constitutional referendum to pass with a 72%'yes' vote. Chávez's Polo Patriotico went on to win 92% of the seats in the new voter-approved Venezuelan Constituent assembly. Conflict soon arose between the Constituent assembly and the older institutions it was supposed to reform or replace.

During his 1998 presidential campaign, in advance of the 25 July elections to the Assembly, Chávez had maintained that the new body would have precedence over the existing Congress and the courts, including the power to dissolve them if it so chose. Against this, some of his opponents, including notably the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Cecilia Sosa Gomez, argued that the Constituent assembly must remain subordinate to the existing institutions until the constitution it produced had been ratified. In mid August 1999, the Constituent assembly moved to restructure the nation's judiciary, claiming the power to fire judges, seeking to expedite the investigations of corruption outstanding against what the New York Times estimated were nearly half of the nation's 4700 judges and bailiffs. On 23 August, the Supreme Court voted 8–6 that the Assembly was not acting unconstitutionally in assuming those powers. Over 190 judges were suspended on charges of corruption. On 25 August, the Constituent assembly declared a "legislative emergency," voting to limit the Congress's work to matters such as supervising the budget and communications.

In response, the Congress, which in July had decided to go into recess until October to avoid conflict with the Constituent assembly, declared its recess over, effective 27 August. At one point the Constituent assembly prohibited the Congress from holding meetings of any sort. However, on 10 September, the two bodies reached an agreement allowing for their "coexistence" until the new constitution took effect. Afterward, over the span of a mere 60 days in late 1999, the new and voter-approved Constituent assembly would frame and found a document that enshrined as constitutional law most of the structural changes Chávez desired. Chávez stated such changes were necessary in order to and comprehensively enact his planned social justice programs. Sweeping changes in Venezuelan governmental structure were to be made.

MS Dalmatia

M/S Dalmatia was a cruiseferry owned by the Croatia-based ferry operator Blue Line International operating the Ancona - Hvar route. She was built in 1978 as M/S Pomerania for Polferries. In 1994, she had a minor collision with M/S Silja Europa, she was inserted on the Swinoujscie - Kopenhagen - Felixstowe route. The route was changed in 1979 to Helsinki - Nynäshamn - Gdynia. In 1980 the ship was rented to Kalmar Line for its Kalmar - Rönne route. Kalmar Line was bankrupt in 7/1980 and the ship was inserted to Polferries Karlskrona - Gdynia route; the ship was rented again in 1982 to Cotunav between Genua/ Marseille - Tunis. The ship was returned to Polferries 2 months later; the ship was inserted on the Swinoujscie - Malmö route in 1995. The route was changed again in 1997 to Malmö - Swinoujscie. In 2011 the ship was sold to Blue Line for their Split - Ancona route; the ship was dismantled in Alang, India in 2014

Orange Volunteers

The Orange Volunteers or Orange Volunteer Force is a small Ulster loyalist paramilitary group in Northern Ireland. It was formed in 1998 by loyalists who opposed the loyalist ceasefires. Over the following year it carried out a wave of bomb and gun attacks on Catholics and Catholic-owned properties in rural areas, but since 2000 has been inactive; the group has been associated with elements of the Orange Order and has a Protestant fundamentalist ideology. Its original leader was Pastor Clifford Peeples; the OV are a Proscribed Organisation in the United Kingdom under the Terrorism Act 2000. The OV emerged during the 1998 Drumcree conflict when the Royal Ulster Constabulary and British Army prevented members of the Portadown Orange Order and their supporters from returning to the town centre down the Garvaghy road. However, there is evidence to suggest that they had been recruiting and training members since as early as 1985; the group is believed to be made up of dissident loyalists who disapprove of the Northern Ireland peace process and of the more militant members of the Orange Order, including former members of the Loyalist Volunteer Force and Ulster Defence Association.

David Ervine, at the time a leading member of the Progressive Unionist Party, described the group as little more than a gang of Protestant fundamentalists and drug-dealers. In 1998 and 1999, the Orange Volunteers were led by Clifford Peeples, a Protestant pastor from Belfast. One of the group's first actions was a synchronized attack on 11 Catholic churches. Peeples defended the attack on the grounds that the churches were "bastions of the Antichrist". On 27 November 1998, eight masked OV members brandishing guns and grenades staged a "show of strength" for a local journalist; the gunmen ended it with prayers. They produced a "covenant". Our members are practising Protestant worshippers", they went on to state: "We are prepared to defend our people and if it comes to the crunch we will assassinate the enemies of Ulster. Ordinary Catholics have nothing to fear from us, but the true enemies will be targeted, that's a lot wider than just Sinn Féin and the IRA". They vowed to target IRA prisoners released as part of the Belfast Agreement and claimed responsibility for a string of attacks on Irish nationalist-owned businesses a month beforehand.

31 October 1998: the OV claimed responsibility for a gun attack on a Catholic-owned pub on Colinglen Road, Belfast. 17 December 1998: the OV claimed responsibility for a blast bomb attack on a pub on Ballyganniff Road near Crumlin, County Antrim. It said. 17 December 1998: the OV claimed responsibility for throwing a grenade and firing shots at the home of a known republican in Castledawson, County Londonderry. December 1998: the OV claimed responsibility for a gun and bomb attack on the home of a Catholic civilian in Knockcloghrim, County Londonderry. 19 January 1999: The OV claimed responsibility for a pipe bomb attack on a house in Loughinisland, County Down. The man who lived there was wounded; the OV claimed that he was a "PIRA commander in South Down". 6 January 1999: The OV claimed responsibility for a booby-trap bomb attack on builders working on a Gaelic Athletic Association club in Magherafelt, County Londonderry. A Catholic builder was injured. 8 February 1999: The OV claimed responsibility for a grenade attack on a Catholic-owned pub near Toome, County Antrim.

9 February 1999: The OV claimed responsibility for an attack on a Catholic-owned pub in Castledawson, County Londonderry. It claimed responsibility for planting a pipe bomb outside a pub in Crumlin. 1 March 1999: A bomb was found on the windowsill of a Catholic-owned house in Coalisland, County Tyrone. It is believed. 3 March 1999: The United Kingdom designated the OV, along with the Red Hand Defenders, as terrorist organizations. 23 March 1999: The OV claimed responsibility for a booby-trap bomb attack at a scrapyard on Station Road, County Down. One man was injured. 24 March 1999: The OV claimed responsibility for a grenade attack on the Derryhirk Inn near Aghagallon, County Antrim. 26 March 1999: The OV were blamed for planting a pipe bomb outside the home of a Catholic family in Randalstown, County Antrim. 10 April 1999: The OV claimed responsibility for a pipe bomb attack on a pub near Templepatrick, County Antrim. One man was injured. 25 April 1999: The OV claimed responsibility for a grenade attack on a house in the Legoniel area of Belfast.

28 April 1999: The OV claimed responsibility for a pipe bomb attack on the Ramble Inn pub in County Antrim. Several cars were damaged. Autumn 1999: In a series of police raids aimed at dissident loyalists, eight arrests were made while weapons and ammunition were found during a search of Stoneyford Orange Hall in County Antrim. Police found military files containing the personal details of over 300 republicans from south Armagh and Belfast. June 2000: The OV threatened to kill GAA officials in the run-up to the Ulster Gaelic football championships. 29 August 2000: The OV claimed responsibility for burning-down Brennan's Bar in west Belfast. 28 September 2000: The OV declared that it had ceased all "military activity". July 2001: The OV claimed responsibility of killing Catholic 19-year-old Ciaran Cummings in a shooting in County Antrim. However, the Red Hand Defenders claimed responsibility. In 2007 an inquest heard that the Red Hand Defenders and the OV may have worked together in the killing 6 December 2001: The United States designated the OV and Red Hand Defenders as "terrorist organizations".

27 December 2001: The OV declared that it would be ceasing


H2X known as the AN/APS-15, was an American ground scanning radar system used for blind bombing during World War II. It was a development of the British H2S radar, it was known as the "Mickey set" and "BTO" for "bombing through the overcast" radar. H2X differed from the original H2S in its X band 10 GHz operating frequency rather than H2S' S band 3 GHz emissions; this gave H2X higher resolution than H2S, allowing it to provide usable images over large cities which appeared as a single blob on the H2S display. The RAF considered using H2X as well, but would instead develop their own X band system, the H2S Mk. III; the RAF system entered service in late 1943, before the first use of H2X in early 1944. The desire for higher resolution, enough to image individual docks and bridges, led to a number of variations on the H2X system, as well as the more advanced AN/APQ-7 "Eagle" system. All of these were replaced in the post-war era with systems customized for the jet powered strategic bombers that entered service.

H2X was used by the USAAF during World War II as a navigation system for daylight overcast and nighttime operations. It was introduced as an improvement of the earlier H2S set, supplied to the US to aid in the war effort. While the RAF Bomber Command utilized ground mapping radar as an aid to night area bombing, the primary use by the USAAF was as a fallback, to allow cities to be bombed when hidden by cloud cover, an issue that had dogged their policy of precision daylight bombing since the start of the war in cloud-prone Europe. With H2X, a city could be located and a general area targeted, night or day, cloud cover or no, with equal accuracy. H2X used a shorter 3 cm "centimetric" wavelength than the H2S, giving a higher angular resolution and thus a sharper picture, which allowed much finer details to be discerned, aiding in target identification. H2S subsequently adopted 3 cm in the Mark III version entering operational service on November 18, 1943, for “Battle of Berlin”). H2X is not known to have been spotted by the German FuG 350 Naxos radar detector, due to that receiving device's specific purpose being to spot the original British H2S equipment's lower frequency, 3 GHz emissions.

The first H2X-equipped B-17's arrived in England in early October 1943, were first used in combat on 3 November 1943 when the USAAF VIII Bomber Command attacked the port of Wilhelmshaven. Those missions where bombing was done by H2X were called "Pathfinder missions" and the crews were called "Pathfinder crews", after RAF practice of using trained Pathfinder crews to go in before the main bomber stream and identify and mark the target with flares. American practice used their Pathfinder crews as lead bombers, with radar equipped aircraft being followed by formations of radar-less bombers, which would all drop their loads when the lead bomber did; the ventral hemispherical radome for the H2X's rotating dish antenna replaced the ball turret on B-17 Flying Fortress Pathfinders, with the electronics cabinets for the "Mickey set" being installed in the radio room just aft of the bomb bay. The H2X on B-24 Liberators replaced the ball turret, being made retractable as the ball turret was for landing on the Liberator.

The operators panel was installed on the flight deck behind the co-pilot. In combat areas the Mickey operator directed the pilot on headings to be taken, on the bomb run directed the airplane in coordination with the bombardier; the first use of Mickey was against Ploiești on April 5, 1944. Due to the absence of radar maps, in late April 1944 six PR Mk. XVI de Havilland Mosquito aircraft in the 482nd Bomb Group were equipped with H2X equipment; the idea was to produce photographs of the radar screen during flights over Germany allowing easy interpretation of these radar images in bombing runs. Three aircraft were subsequently lost in training, the project was discontinued. A further twelve PR Mk. XVI Mosquitos of the 25th Bomb Group of the Eighth Air Force were fitted with H2X and beginning in May 1944 flew radar mapping night missions until February 1945; the sets tended to overload the Mosquito's electrical system and exploded. Mickey-equipped Mosquitos had the highest loss and mission failure rates of any version of the otherwise successful Mosquito reconnaissance aircraft, were curtailed after February 19, 1945.

Three were lost to enemy action and one was shot down by friendly fire from a Ninth Air Force P-47. In Europe several P-38 fighters were converted to carrying H2X radar in the nose, along with an operator/navigator in a cramped compartment in the nose behind the radar dish, provided with small side windows and an access/exit hatch in the floor; these missions were to obtain radar maps of German targets but plans to produce the variant in quantity never materialized. In the Pacific theater, B-29’s were equipped with the improved H2X radar called the AN/APQ-13, a ground scanning radar developed by Bell, Western Electric, MIT; the radome was carried on the aircraft belly between the bomb bays and was retractable. The radar used a superheterodyne receiver; the radar was used for high altitude area bombing and navigation. Computation for bombing could be performed by an impact predictor. A range unit permitted a high degree of accuracy in locating beacons. Post-war, the AN/APQ-13 became the first military radar converted to a domestic peacetime application as a storm warning radar.

About thirty systems were converted an


MyFerryLink was an English Channel passenger and freight ferry company which began operating between Dover and Calais in August 2012. The MyFerryLink fleet consisted of two modern ferries – sister ships the MS Rodin and the MS Berlioz – that carried passengers and freight, one dedicated freight ship, the MS Nord Pas-de-Calais, it was formed following the liquidation of SeaFrance. MyFerryLink offered passengers up to sixteen sailings between Dover and Calais every day, additional services for freight; the ships were leased to a workers' co-operative, Scop SeaFrance, that operated the company's sailings between Britain and France and employed all the on-board staff. It was a société coopérative et participative, or SCOP On 6 June 2013, the UK Competition Commission ruled that Eurotunnel, which leased the three MyFerryLink vessels to the SCOP, could no longer operate ferry services from Dover, due to the proportion of the cross-Channel market that they held as a result; the ruling was appealed by Eurotunnel, allowing sailings operated by the company to continue as normal.

On 1 April 2014 the UK Competition Commission was replaced by the UK Competition and Markets Authority. On 20 May 2014, the CMA ruled. Scop SeaFrance pointed out a potential conflict of interest: an ex accountant of DFDS was now a member of UK Competition Commission, appealed. On 15 May 2015 the Court of Appeal overturned the CMA ruling, on the grounds of "fair competition", but the CMA lodged an appeal to the UK Supreme Court. On 8 June 2015, Eurotunnel tired of the continuous fight, their lease of the ships to Scop SeaFrance was due to end on 1 July 2015, they announced they would not extend it, instead had entered a lease-buy deal for DFDS to acquire the ships Rodin and Berlioz. Eurotunnel will keep operating Nord Pas-de-Calais for dangerous goods. MyFerryLink workers went on strike on 1 July 2015 in protest against expected job losses. MyFerryLink services ceased at midnight on 1/2 July. On 15 July MyFerryLink workers occupied both MS Rodin and MS Berlioz in the Port of Calais and began sabotaging the ships in protest of their impending lease-buy to DFDS.

DFDS ships were refused entry by dockers to the Port of Calais and were only able to operate their Dover/Dunkerque route, causing major congestion on both sides of the channel, with Operation Stack still in place on the UK side. DFDS staff reported that the MyFerryLink workers had destroyed safety and alarm systems on the ships and activated flotation and life-saving equipment, so as to make the ships unusable. Passengers travelling on the Berlioz and the Rodin had access to a range of onboard facilities during the 90-minute crossing between Dover and Calais; these included: Le Relais: A self-service restaurant serving a range of meals, including dishes for children, prepared by onboard chefs. Le Pub: A bar where drinks and snacks could be purchased during the crossing. La Boutique: An onboard shop selling alcohol, tobacco and other gifts. Playzone: A play area with toys and games for children. Official website

Bill Griffiths

Bill Griffiths was a poet and Anglo-Saxon scholar associated with the British Poetry Revival. Griffiths was born in Kingsbury, England; as a teenager, he became a Hells Angel. From 1971, these poems were published in Poetry Review, under the editorship of Eric Mottram, by Bob Cobbing's Writers Forum, he collaborated on a number of performance poetry pieces with Cobbing and others. Griffiths soon started his own imprint, Pirate Press, which published work by himself and other like-minded poets. In addition to Cobbing and other Writers Forum poets, Griffiths listed his early influences as Michael McClure, Muriel Rukeyser, John Keats, George Crabbe, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Old English poetry. In 1987, he obtained a Ph. D. in Old English from King's College London. He published a number of editions and translations of Old English texts and authored Aspects of Anglo-Saxon Magic. Griffiths was a prolific poet who published in Britain and the United States. In years he lived in Seaham, County Durham, ran Amra Press, which published his poetry and books of local studies.

Griffiths' books of poetry from other publishers include Rousseau and the Wicked, Etruscan Reader 5, Nomad Sense, A Book of Spilt Cities and Durham and other sequences. A substantial collection of his work was published in Future Exiles. In 2010, Reality Street released Collected Earlier Poems. Beginning 1996 and up until his death, Griffiths worked with Bill Lancaster at the Centre for Northern Studies at Northumbria University, Newcastle, he became a active assistant editor to Lancaster's Northern Review, a Journal of Regional and Cultural Affairs, which lasted ten years. This was a remarkably productive period for Griffiths which saw the publishing of a series of books on north east dialect, beginning with North East Dialect and Word list and "North East Dialect, the Texts" in 1998. Published by the Centre for Northern Studies, these ran to several editions before culminating with A Dictionary of North East Dialect by Northumbria University Press in 2004; the Dictionary attracted national attention and was hailed as a landmark in the history of English dialects.

Griffiths was able to draw upon his vast scholarship of Saxon literature and Old English, providing sophisticated etymologies that drew upon sources as far back as the eighth century. The Centre was awarded a major grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund in 2005 to continue dialect research which facilitated the publication by Northumbria University Press of three more volumes of dialect studies: Stotties and Spicecake, the Story of North East Cooking, Pitmatic: the talk of the North East Coalfield, and'Fishing and Folk: Life and Dialect on the North Sea Coast', this last published posthumously in 2008. Griffiths was working with Bill Lancaster at the time of his death to secure funding for another dialect project on children's games and pastimes. In 2003, the Centre was commissioned by Sage/Music North to catalogue the archive of Northern Sinfonia and produce a history of the orchestra for the opening of the Sage music centre. A skilled archivist and talented classical musician, Griffiths was considered the ideal person to do this work, completed ahead of schedule.

Subsequently, Northern Sinfonia, a Magic of its Own, was published in 2004. His last work at the Centre was the cataloguing of the T. Dan Smith archive of taped recordings. Of tangential interest to these projects, it could be noted that Griffiths organised an exhibition in his adopted home of Seaham, seen by the Queen on her Golden Jubilee Tour and he published numerous small books and pamphlets dealing with his adopted community. Collected Earlier Poems, Reality Street, Sussex 2010 William Rowe, The Salt Companion to Bill Griffiths The Mud Fort, Salt Publishing, 2004 Durham and other sequences, West House Books, 2002 Ushabtis, Talus, 2001 A Book of Spilt Cities, Etruscan Books, Burkfastleigh 1999 Nomad Sense, Talus Editions, London, 1998 Etruscan Reader 5, Etruscan Books, Buckfastleigh, 1997 Rousseau and the Wicked, Invisible Books, London, 1996 TALISMAN No. 16 Fall 1996 Special Boston/U. K. Issue: a journal of contemporary poetry and poetics Future Exiles, Paladin, 1992 Nomadics: Bill Griffiths A tribute by poet Pierre Joris: this piece includes the opening section of Griffith's Cycles on Dover Borstal, which Joris published in a magazine he edited in the early 1970s called "SIXPACK".

Death of poet and a scholar: Bill Griffiths an article from a British paper "The Journal". Bill Griffiths this "Cyber-tombeau" at Silliman's Blog by poet Ron Silliman includes comments and links Tribute by poet Bill Sherman obituary at The Guardian: 22 September 2007 a piece by William Rowe Raworth's cyber-tombeau for Griffiths extensive links and tributes to Griffith at British poet Tom Raworth's web page Another tribute an obituary/memoir by friend John Muckle at PN Review A History of the Solar System: Fragments of A History of the Solar System a mimeo of a work by Griffiths published by Writers Forum and Pirate Press