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Diane de Poitiers

Diane de Poitiers was a French noblewoman and a prominent courtier at the courts of kings Francis I and Henry II. She wielded much power at the French court as King Henry's chief mistress, she continued in this role. During that tournament his lance wore. Diane is subject of paintings by François Clouet as well other anonymous painters, she was immortalised in a statue by Jean Goujon. Diane was the daughter of Seigneur de Saint Vallier and Jeanne de Batarnay; when still a girl, she was in the retinue of Anne de Beaujeu, eldest sister of King Charles VIII, a capable and intelligent woman who held the regency of France during his minority. Diane was educated according to the principles of Renaissance humanism, in music, manners, the art of conversation, dancing, she learned how to read Latin and Greek, became a keen hunter and sportswoman, remaining in good physical condition well into middle age. At the age of 15, Diane was married to Louis de Brézé, seigneur d'Anet, 39 years her senior, he was a grandson of King Charles VII who served as a courtier of King Francis I.

They had two daughters: Françoise de Brézé Louise de Brézé In 1524 her father Jean was accused of treason as an accomplice of the rebellious Connétable de Bourbon. His death sentence was commuted but he was confined to prison until the Treaty of Madrid in 1526; when Diane's husband died in 1531 in Anet, Diane adopted the habit of wearing black and white, her personal trademark for the rest of her life. They were among the permitted colours of mourning, which, as a widow, she was required to wear, but they were the symbolic colours of the bright and dark sides of the moon, they played on her name, which derived from Diana, the name of the Roman moon goddess. Diane's keen interest in financial matters and legal acumen became apparent for the first time during this period, she retained her late husband's emoluments as governor and grand-sénéchal of Normandy, assuming herself the title of "sénéchale de Normandie". She challenged in court the obligation to return her husband's appanages to the royal domain.

King Francis I allowed the widowed Diane to keep and manage her inherited estates independently, without the supervision of a male guardian. While Louis de Brézé was still alive, Diane became lady-in-waiting to Queen Claude of France. After the queen died, she served in the same capacity to Louise of Savoy and Eleanor of Austria. After the capture of Francis I by Charles V's troops during the battle of Pavia, the two eldest princes and Henry, were retained as hostages in Spain in exchange for their father; because the ransom was not paid in time, the two boys had to spend nearly four years isolated in a bleak castle, facing an uncertain future. Henry found solace by reading the knight-errantry tale Amadis de Gaula; the experience may account for the strong impression that Diane made on him, as the embodiment of the ideal gentlewomen he read about in Amadis. As his mother was dead, Diane gave him the farewell kiss when he was sent to Spain. At the tournament held for the coronation of Francis's new wife, Eleanor of Austria, in 1531, while the Dauphin of France saluted the new queen as expected, Henry addressed his salute to Diane.

In 1533, Henry married Catherine de' Medici. There had been opposition to the alliance, the Medicis being no more than upstarts in the eyes of many in the French court. Diane, approved of the choice of bride. Diane and Catherine were related, their grandmothers being sisters; as the future royal couple remained childless, concerned by rumours of a possible repudiation of a queen that she had in control, Diane made sure that Henry's visits to his wife's bedroom would be frequent. In another act of preservation of the royal family, Diane helped nurse Catherine back to health when she was ill; until 1551, Diane was in charge of the education of her and Henry's children, whose governor and governess Jean d'Humières and Françoise d'Humières, took their orders from her. While Henry and Catherine would produce 10 children together, despite the occasional affair with such as Philippa Duci, Janet Fleming, Nicole de Savigny, Diane de Poitiers would remain Henry's lifelong companion. For the next 25 years, she would be the most powerful influence in his life and the most powerful woman in France.

Based on allusions in their correspondence, it is believed that she became his mistress in 1534, when she was 35 years old and Henry was 15. A noted beauty, she maintained her good looks well into her fifties, her appearance was immortalized in sculpture and paintings. Only two signed paintings by François Clouet are known to exist, one being a painting of Diane as a teenager; the subject of that painting shows her as a teenager seated nude in her bath. She sat for other paintings of the time topless or nude, other times in traditional poses. In about 1549, an unknown artist designed a statue for her in which she represented the goddess Diana, it features her reclining nude body together with her two dogs and a stag and was entitled "Fountain of Diana". It is displayed in the Louvre; when Francis I was still alive, Diane had to compete at the court with Anne de Pisseleu, the king's favourite. After Francis' death, his son Henry II had Anne banned from government and confiscated the duchy of Estampes.

Diane had a sharp intellect and was so pol


Brandevoort is a neighbourhood of Helmond in the Netherlands, located in the south-west of the municipality, just north of Mierlo. It is a Vinex-location and was built according to the principles of New Urbanism and New Classical Architecture; as of 1 January 2014, the neighbourhood is home to 9,000 people living in a total of 3,000 houses and apartments. The farmland had been part of Mierlo, but was annexed by Helmond in 1995; the overall plan of the projected Vinex neighbourhood was designed and guarded by the architects Paul van Beek, Rob Krier and Christoph Kohl, Maarten Ouwens, in collaboration with Grontmij. Construction started around 1997 and is scheduled to finish in 2017; the neighbourhood will have a population of 18,000 and a total of 6.000 houses and apartments. Brandevoort is built around a central “fortress” called De Veste, built in the style of the old cities like Amsterdam and other cities that started as a fortress. Around this central core, there are the three small quarters of Schutsboom and Stepekolk, collectively called De Buitens.

These are built to have an atmosphere referred as "Brabantse gezelligheid". Although fitting together in the master plan, like in organically grown cities, these small villages have their own urban identity. In the centre of Brandevoort there is a small scale commercial area with several shops and a sizeable supermarket. There are a community center, children day care and two primary schools. Brandevoort has its own uniquely designed railway station, Helmond Brandevoort, built in the same style as the neighbourhood. Official website Nieuwbouw Brandevoort

Eddy Zheng

Xiaofei "Eddy" Zheng is a Chinese American youth counselor in Oakland, California. His decades-long series of attempts to secure release from prison for crimes he committed at the age of 16 and to fight deportation from the US made his case a cause célèbre in the Asian American community. Following his release, he joined the Community Youth Center of San Francisco, where he seeks to steer at-risk immigrant youth away from crime, works with the Asian Prisoner Support Committee to assist released prisoners to reintegrate into society. Zheng grew up in Guangzhou in southern China. There, his father was an officer in the People's Liberation Army for the Guangzhou Military Region, while his mother worked as an accountant for the government, he was the youngest of three siblings, with an older brother. Zheng immigrated to the United States with his family in 1982, they moved into a one-bedroom apartment in Oakland's Chinatown. His father worked at Burger King, he saw his parents, suffered difficulties in school due to his poor English skills.

He befriended other Chinese immigrant youths in his school, who began to push him towards crime such as petty shoplifting. On the evening of January 6, 1986, Zheng and two friends broke into the house of a family who owned several shops in San Francisco's Chinatown, by ambushing them with guns as they came home from work, they tied up the husband and wife. After several hours spent ransacking the house in unsuccessful attempts to find a safe they believed held cash, they forced the wife to drive them to one of the family's stores and unlock it for them so they could steal goods from there, including expensive Chinese herbal medicines. One accomplice remained at home to watch the two children. In total, they robbed $34,000 in cash and merchandise, they were caught and arrested immediately after the commission of their crime, pulled over by a police officer for driving without headlights on the way back to their victims' house to drop the wife off. Zheng's family had no money to hire a lawyer in his defense.

Just aged 16 at the time, Zheng was tried as an adult and convicted of 16 felony counts including kidnap-robbery, sentenced to seven years to life in prison. He had an interpreter and a public defender during his trial, but did not understand most of the legal language used, did not realise he had been sentenced to life in prison until some time after the trial when he arrived at the California Youth Authority where he would begin to serve his sentence, his lawyer had been supposed to ask the judge for a judicial recommendation against deportation but failed to do so, an omission which would bring legal difficulties for Zheng. Zheng was transferred to San Quentin State Prison, where he ended up serving as a model prisoner, he taught himself English through reading romance novels, passed the GED in one attempt. In the 1990s, he entered into San Quentin's associate degree program, where he developed friendships with a number of the volunteers—mostly area university students—who acted as teachers in the program.

He held crime prevention workshops, giving lectures to at-risk immigrant youth who visited the prison in an effort to steer them away from a life of crime. His parents attempted to keep his imprisonment a secret. For the first decade, he committed no major disciplinary infractions, he applied for parole for the first time in 1992. In 1998, at his fifth parole hearing, the parole board voted unanimously to recommend his release, making Zheng one of the fewer than one percent of those sentenced to life in California prisons to receive a positive recommendation for parole. However, then-governor of California Gray Davis returned the parole recommendation to the board for reconsideration, as he did with all but eight of the 340 parole recommendations he received during his tenure as governor. Zheng met Shelly Smith, a volunteer English tutor, in 1999, began to develop a friendship with her which would blossom into a romantic relationship. However, prison officials began to view Zheng as a troublemaker, in contrast with his excellent disciplinary record.

One major incident came in March 2002, when he and fellow inmates began efforts to set up courses in Asian American studies for prisoners. This provoked prison officials to accuse Zheng and other signatories of organizing an escape attempt. Zheng was placed in solitary confinement for eleven months as punishment; the publicity surrounding Zheng's case, bolstered as a result of his solitary confinement, began to result in increasing sympathy from the Asian American community. A number of prominent Californians wrote letters in suppo

Busy Bee

Busy Bee was an airline which operated in Norway between 1966 and 1992. Based around wet lease, it conducted a mix of regional services for larger airlines and the military, as well as corporate, ad hoc and inclusive tour charters. Established as Busy Bee Air Service A/S by Bjørn G. Braathen, the airline mostly operated corporate charters, using among other aircraft a Learjet 23 and three Hawker Siddeley HS.125. After a near-bankruptcy in 1973, the company fell under the ownership of Braganza and was renamed Airexecutive Norway A/S, it focused on operating Short Skyvans and Fokker F27 Friendships. From 1975 it operated regional services for its sister company Braathens SAFE and flew charter for the Norwegian Armed Forces; the airline took the name Busy Bee of Norway A/S in 1980, at which time it took delivery of a Boeing 737-200C. Regional services were introduced with Scandinavian Airlines Systems, followed by Fokker 50s entering service from 1988. Reduced military charters and a loss of a vital contract in 1991 caused the foundation to fall out of the airline and it filed for bankruptcy in December 1992.

Key people and assets reestablished the airline as Norwegian Air Shuttle. Busy Bee was founded by Bjørn G. Braathen, son of Braathens SAFE's founder and owner Ludvig G. Braathen, it rested on two niches—providing feeder services to Braathens SAFE's services and providing corporate charter flights. Ludvig G. Braathens Rederi alone was in such high demand for corporate charter that the airline could nearly fill one plane with that group alone; the company was incorporated as Busy Bee Air Service A/S in 1966, with operations commencing on 9 May. The name was inspired by a pub in London with the same name, it operated a fleet of a Piper Aztec turboprop and a Learjet 23, the latter the first corporate jet operating out of Norway. In December the Learjet was painted in zebra stripes and leased to a film company for the shooting of The Last Safari in Kenya; the Learjet was sold in September 1967. That year the airline took delivery of the first of what would be three Piper PA-31 Navajos. A Cessna 185 was bought, which remained in use until 1974.

The airline followed up with a second Piper Aztec in 1968, but sold them both by 1969. A Cessna 206 was used between 1972 and 1974. Both the Cessnas were seaplanes. Busy Bee launched its first Hawker Siddeley HS.125 in April 1968, added a second such aircraft in December 1968 and a third in February 1970. By 1968 Busy Bee was the largest private charter operator out of Norway. In addition to business executives, the airline derived a significant portion of its business from Norway's significant shipping industry. A typical task would involve flying spare parts and technicians to a far-away port to make crucial repairs to ships, allowing faster reentry into revenue service; the airline took into use an air-supported hangar at Oslo Airport, Fornebu in February 1969, which measured 67 by 34 meters. This was caused by zoning restrictions at Fornebu, which banned the construction of permanent structures; the three HS.125s were sold in 1972. The company came under financial distress in 1973. IT went into administration, was restructured and bought by Braathens SAFE's holding company, Braganza.

The company took the name Air Executive Norway A/S. The aircraft were repainted in white and blue to more match that of Braathens SAFE. Meanwhile, their ordered three Short Skyvans, which were operated until 1984. Braathens SAFE decided around 1975 that it would retire its Fokker F27s and focus on operating services using jetliners. However, a few of their routes were not sufficiently trafficked to warrant jetliners. An arrangement was reached whereby the three newest F-27s were transferred to Busy Bee, one each in 1975, 1976 and 1977, it operated flights along the West Coast, connecting airports from Kristiansand Airport, Kjevik in the south to Trondheim Airport, Værnes in the north. From 1977 Busy Bee took over Braathens SAFE's two daily services from Stavanger Airport, Sola via Farsund Airport, Lista to Oslo. Throughout the 1970s chartered contracts with the Norwegian Armed Forces became an increasing source of revenue for Busy Bee. To accommodate the increasing operations, Air Executive bought a Boeing 737-200 in 1979, named Storebia.

The following year the airline resumed it old brand, taking the name Busy Bee of Norway A/S. The aircraft received a new brown livery with a bee on the vertical stabilizer; the airline received its fourth F27-100 in 1981 and two more in 1983. Busy Bee won a contract to operate several inter-Scandinavian routes for Scandinavian Airlines System from 1982; this were out of Copenhagen Airport to Stavanger, Kristiansand, Göteborg Landvetter Airport and Jönköping Airport, as well as between Oslo and Gothenburg. For instance, the Oslo–Gothenburg route replaced a Douglas DC-9 service, running at a loss. With smaller capacity and higher frequency, Busy Bee was able to triple patronage within three years and brought profitability to the route. Due to disputes with the labor unions, SAS terminated parts of its contract with Busy Bee in March 1984. Instead they established. However, delays postponed the route transfer until December. Busy Bee started services out of Haugesund Airport, Karmøy to Bergen and Sandefjord Airport, Torp on 26 March 1984, as a subcarrier for Braathens SAFE.

Braathens SAFE never made a profit on the service. Busy Bee made two major purchase contracts with Fokker in 1985. In May it ordered four new F27s with delivery the following year. In June it ordered four Fokker 50s with delivery in late 1988; the new F27s were of the modernized -200 variant

2013–14 South Pacific cyclone season

The 2013–14 South Pacific cyclone season was a below average tropical cyclone season, with six tropical cyclones occurring within the basin between 160°E and 120°W. The season ran from November 1, 2013 to April 30, 2014, the first four tropical disturbances occurred during October 2013 and were included as a part of the season. During the season, tropical cyclones were monitored by the Fiji Meteorological Service, Australian Bureau of Meteorology and New Zealand's MetService; the United States Joint Typhoon Warning Center and other national meteorological services including Météo-France and NOAA monitored the basin during the season. During the season there were 21 significant tropical disturbances were assigned a number and an "F" suffix by the FMS's Regional Specialized Meteorological Center in Nadi, including the remnants of Tropical Cyclone Hadi from the Australian region; the BoM, MetService and RSMC Nadi all estimated sustained wind speeds over a period of 10-minutes and used the Australian tropical cyclone intensity scale, while the JTWC estimated sustained winds over a 1-minute period, which are subsequently compared to the Saffir–Simpson hurricane wind scale.

Ahead of the cyclone season, the BoM, the FMS, MetService, the New Zealand National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research and various other Pacific Meteorological services, all contributed towards the Island Climate Update tropical cyclone outlook, released during October 2013. The outlook took into account the ENSO neutral conditions, observed across the Pacific and analogue seasons that had ENSO neutral conditions occurring during the season; the outlook called for a near average number of tropical cyclones for the 2013–14 season, with eight to twelve named tropical cyclones, to occur between 135°E and 120°W compared to an average of 10. At least four of the tropical cyclones were expected to become category 3 severe tropical cyclones, while three could become category 4 severe tropical cyclones, they noted that a Category 5 severe tropical cyclone was unlikely to occur. In addition to contributing towards the Island Climate Update outlook, the FMS and the BoM both issued their own seasonal forecasts for the South Pacific region.

The BoM issued 3 seasonal forecasts for the South Pacific region between 142.5°E and 120°W, one for the Western Southern Pacific region between 142.5°E and 165°E and one for the Eastern Southern Pacific region between 165°E and 120°W. They noted that the tropical Pacific Ocean was experiencing neutral ENSO conditions which meant that there was no strong shift expected in the average location of tropical cyclone formation, they noted that there was nothing in the broad climate drivers to suggest anything, but a typical tropical cyclone season for the South Pacific region. As a result, they predicted that the South Pacific region as a whole, would experience near average tropical cyclone activity during the coming season with a 48% chance of it being above average; the Western region was predicted to have 56% chance of being above average while the Eastern region had a 47% chance of being above average. Within their outlook the FMS predicted that between four and eight tropical cyclones, would occur within the basin compared to an average of around 7.4 cyclones.

At least two of the tropical cyclones were expected to become category 3 severe tropical cyclones, while 1-2 might intensify into a category 4 or 5 severe tropical cyclones. They reported that the tropical cyclone genesis trough was expected to be located near to and to the west of the International Dateline; this was based on the expected and predicted ENSO conditions, the existence of the Pacific warm pool of sub-surface temperature anomalies in this region. The FMS and Island Climate Update tropical cyclone outlooks both assessed, the risk of a tropical cyclone affecting a certain island or territory; as the tropical cyclone genesis trough of low pressure was expected to be located near to and to the west of the International Dateline, normal or above normal activity was expected for areas near the dateline. It was predicted that activity between Vanuatu and New Caledonia, as well as east of the International Date Line to be normal or below normal during the season; the Island Climate Update Outlook predicted that Vanuatu and New Caledonia had a reduced chance of being affected by multiple tropical cyclones.

The Cook Islands, Papua New Guinea, Tokelau, Samoan Islands, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Futuna and French Polynesia's Austral and Society Islands were all predicted to have a normal chance of being affected by a tropical cyclone. Niue and New Zealand were predicted to face an elevated risk while French Polynesia's Tuamotu Archipelago and Marquesas Islands and the Pitcairn Islands, had an unlikely chance of being affected by a tropical cyclone; the FMS outlook predicted that the Cook and Samoan Islands and Niue had a below average risk of being affected by a tropical cyclone. The Solomon Islands and Futuna, Vanuatu and Tonga were predicted to face an average risk of being affected by a tropical cyclone. New Caledonia and Fiji were predicted to face an above average chance of being affected by a tropical cyclone; the FMS predicted that there was an increased risk of severe tropical cyclones, affecting the region this year when compared to the previous season. There was a high risk of Wallis and Futuna, Tonga and New Caledonia being affected by a severe tropical cyclone.

The Samoan Islands, Niue, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu had a high risk, while the Cook Islands had a low to moderate risk of being affected by a severe tropical cyclone. Ahead of the season formally starting on November 1, 2013, three tropi

Our Man in Tehran

Our Man in Tehran is a 2013 Canadian documentary film, profiling the role of Kenneth D. Taylor, Canada's ambassador to Iran in the 1970s, in helping six American hostages escape from Iran during the Iran hostage crisis of 1979-1980 by engineering the Canadian Caper; the film premiered at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival, but was distributed to general audiences as a television film on The Movie Network. It was released in the United States in May 15, 2015. Several other political and diplomatic personalities involved in the events appear in the film, including Joe Clark, Flora MacDonald, Robert Anders, William Daugherty, Carole Jerome, Tony Mendez, Joe Schlesinger, Zena Sheardown and Gary Sick; the film won five Canadian Screen Awards at the 3rd Canadian Screen Awards in 2015, winning Best Documentary Program, Best Direction in a Documentary or Factual Series, Best Photography in a Documentary Program or Factual Series, Best Picture Editing in a Documentary Program or Factual Series and Best Sound in a Documentary, Factual or Lifestyle Program or Series.

The film was adapted in part from cowriter Robert Wright's 2010 book Our Man in Tehran. Our Man in Tehran on IMDb