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Europe first

Europe first known as Germany first, was the key element of the grand strategy agreed upon by the United States and the United Kingdom during World War II. According to this policy, the United States and the United Kingdom would use the preponderance of their resources to subdue Nazi Germany in Europe first, they would fight a holding action against Japan in the Pacific, using fewer resources. After the defeat of Germany—considered the greatest threat to the UK—all Allied forces could be concentrated against Japan. At the December 1941 Arcadia Conference between President Franklin Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill in Washington, shortly after the United States entered the War, the decision for the "Europe First" strategy was affirmed. However, U. S. statistics show that the United States devoted more resources in the early part of the war to stopping the advance of Japan, not until 1944 was a clear preponderance of U. S. resources allocated toward the defeat of Germany. Germany was the United Kingdom's primary threat after the Fall of France in 1940, which saw Germany overrun most of the countries of Western Europe, leaving the United Kingdom alone to combat Germany.

Germany's planned invasion of the UK, Operation Sea Lion, was averted by its failure to establish air superiority in the Battle of Britain, by its marked inferiority in naval power. At the same time, war with Japan in East Asia seemed likely. Although the U. S. was not yet at war, it met with the UK on several occasions to formulate joint strategies. In the March 29, 1941 report of the ABC-1 conference, the Americans and British agreed that their strategic objectives were: "The early defeat of Germany as the predominant member of the Axis with the principal military effort of the United States being exerted in the Atlantic and European area; the UK feared that, if the United States was diverted from its main focus in Europe to the Pacific, Hitler might crush the Soviet Union, would become an unconquerable fortress in Europe. The wound inflicted on the United States by Japan at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 did not result in a change in U. S. policy. Prime Minister Churchill hastened to Washington shortly after Pearl Harbor for the Arcadia Conference to ensure that the Americans didn't have second thoughts about Europe First.

In 1941, Roosevelt appointed John Gilbert Winant ambassador to Britain, Winant remained in that post until he resigned in March 1946. In a 2010 book, Citizens of London: The Americans Who Stood with Britain in Its Darkest, Finest Hour, author Lynne Olson described Winant as changing the U. S. stance as ambassador when succeeding Sr.. Of note, in the spring of 1941, W. Averell Harriman served President Franklin D. Roosevelt as a special envoy to Europe and helped coordinate the Lend-Lease program; the two countries reaffirmed that, "notwithstanding the entry of Japan into the War, our view remains that Germany is still the prime enemy and her defeat is the key to victory. Once Germany is defeated the collapse of Italy and the defeat of Japan must follow." The Europe first strategy, in conjunction with a "holding action" against Japan in the Pacific, had been proposed to Roosevelt by the U. S. military in 1940. When Germany declared war on the United States on December 11, 1941, the United States faced a decision about how to allocate resources between these two separate theaters of war.

On the one hand, Japan had attacked the United States directly at Pearl Harbor, the Japanese Navy threatened United States territory in a way that Germany, with a limited surface fleet, was not in a position to do. On the other hand, Germany was considered the more dangerous threat to Europe. Prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor, American planners foresaw the possibility of a two-front war. Chief of Naval Operations Harold Rainsford Stark authored the Plan Dog memo, which advocated concentrating on victory in Europe while staying on the defensive in the Pacific. However, the U. S. reassurance to the UK notwithstanding, the U. S.'s immediate concern was with Japan. As Army Chief of Staff General George Marshall said, "we had a fair understanding of what we had best do rather than the necessity of engaging in prolonged conversations... This understanding, which included a recognition that Germany was the main enemy and that the major effort would be made in Europe, was not applicable in the present situation.

Of first importance now was the necessity to check the Japanese." Nonetheless and other U. S. generals advocated the invasion of northern Europe in 1943. After Churchill pressed for a landing in French North Africa in 1942, Marshall suggested instead to Roosevelt that the U. S. take the offensive in the Pacific. Roosevelt "disapproved" the proposal saying it would do nothing to help Russia. With Roosevelt's support, Marshall unable to persuade the British to change their minds, in July 1942 Operation Torch was scheduled for that year; the Europe First strategy remained in effect throughout the war, however the terms "holding action" and "limited offensive" in the Pacific were subject to interpretation and modification by U. S. senior military commanders, at allied leaders conferences. The strategic situation in the Pacific and related logistical requirements dominated the United States' actions after its entry into

Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands

The Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands known as Operation Helpem Fren and Operation Anode, was created in 2003 in response to a request for international aid by the Governor-General of Solomon Islands. Helpem Fren means "help a friend" in Solomon Islands Pidgin; the mission ended on 30 June 2017. Deep seated problems of land alienation dating from colonialism, unresolved after independence, led to a number of compensation claims on land use. "The Honiara Peace Accord, signed by the warring parties, the government and the Commonwealth Special Envoy recognised several root causes of the conflict: Land demands – Guadalcanal leaders wanted all alienated land titles, leased to government and to individual developers, to be returned to landowners. Political demands – Guadalcanal wanted the establishment of a state government in order to have control over: the sale or use of local land. Compensation demands – Guadalcanal wanted payment for the lives of its indigenous people, who have been brutally murdered for their lands or for other reasons."The warring parties mentioned were the Solomon Islands Government, the Isatabu Freedom Movement and the Malaita Eagle Force led by, among others, Jimmy Rasta and Harold Keke.

A sizeable international security contingent of 2,200 police and troops, led by Australia and New Zealand, with representatives from about six other Pacific nations began arriving on 24 July 2003. Nick Warner assumed the role of Special Coordinator as leader of RAMSI, working with the Solomon Islands Government and assisted by a New Zealand Deputy Special Coordinator, Peter Noble, Fijian Assistant Special Coordinator, Sekove Naqiolevu. Major contributing nations to RAMSI include Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Tonga. Pacific countries contribute to RAMSI including Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Tonga and Vanuatu. Personnel from the Pacific countries are predominantly police officers served as part of RAMSI's Participating Police Force; the commander of "Combined Task Force 635" – the military element of the Mission – was Lieutenant Colonel John Frewen, commanding officer of the 2nd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, the deputy commander Major Vern Bennett, New Zealand Army, from Linton.

The Land Component included HQ 2 RAR from Townsville, 200 Australian infantry from 2 RAR, a Fijian rifle company from 3 Fiji Infantry Regiment, Queen Elizabeth Bks, a Pacific Islands Company, under an Australian Company commander, with Tongan, PNG, Australian rifle platoons. Supporting elements included eight Iroquois Helicopters, four each from 3 SQN, Royal New Zealand Air Force and 171 Operational Support Squadron, Australian Army, a PNG engineer troop, New Zealand engineer and medical elements, an Australian Combat Service Support Team, with some personnel from Army level troops from Sydney plus logistics personnel from New Zealand, four Australian Project Nervana Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for surveillance. In 2004, James Batley took over as Special Coordinator, followed by Tim George in late 2006. In 2005 New Zealander Paul Ash became Deputy Special Coordinator, followed by Dr Jonathan Austin in 2007. Mataiasi Lomaloma succeeded Naqiolevu as Assistant Special Coordinator in late 2005. Military personnel provide security and logistical assistance to police forces assisting the Solomon Islands Government in the restoration of law and order.

From November 2003, the military component was reduced, as stability returned to the country, a sizeable civilian contingent, composed of economists, development assistance specialists and budget advisors commenced the reconstruction of the government and finances of the Solomon Islands. The civilian contingent is now made up of around 130 personnel from many pacific countries, the most sizeable being Australia and New Zealand. Early successes included the stabilisation of government finances and normalisation of debt, as well as a number of economic reforms. Civilians in RAMSI are now focussing on capacity building of Solomon Islanders to take over the roles. Difficulties include the lack of available skilled Solomon Islanders. Former Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare was outspoken in his criticism of RAMSI, which he accused of being dominated by Australia and of undermining the Solomons' sovereignty. By contrast, his successor Prime Minister Derek Sikua has stated he supports RAMSI, has criticised his predecessor, saying in January 2008: "I think for some time in the last 18 months, the Solomon Islands government was preoccupied with finding fault in RAMSI."

Sikua has stated: " provide leadership that will work with RAMSI to achieve stated and agreed objectives for the long-term benefit of Solomon Islands. RAMSI is here on our invitation. Is important to Solomon Islands as it provides security, development of our police service, the strengthening of the capacity of government institutions."Sikua has asked RAMSI to assist the Solomons' rural areas "in the health sector and in the education sector as well as in infrastructure and other sectors to do with income generation and economic activities". A documentary film about the tension times and the RAMSI intervention was filmed in 2013, directed by Michael Bainbri

Cloud Computing Manifesto

The Cloud Computing Manifesto is a manifesto containing a "public declaration of principles and intentions" for cloud computing providers and vendors, annotated as "a call to action for the worldwide cloud community" and "dedicated belief that the cloud should be open". It follows the earlier development of the Cloud Computing Bill of Rights which addresses similar issues from the users' point of view; the document was developed "by way of an open community consensus process" in response to a request by Microsoft that "any'manifesto' should be created, from its inception, through an open mechanism like a Wiki, for public debate and comment, all available through a Creative Commons license". Accordingly, it is licensed under the CC-BY-SA 3.0 license. The original, controversial version of the document called the Open Cloud Manifesto was criticised by Microsoft who "spoke out vehemently against it" for being developed in secret by a "shadowy group of IT industry companies", raising questions about conflicts of interest and resulting in extensive media coverage over the following days.

A pre-announcement commits to the official publication of this document on 30 March 2009, at which time the identities of the signatories is said to be revealed. Amazon, Google and are among those known to have rejected the document by declining to be signatories. The document was leaked by Geva Perry in a blog post on 27 March 2009 and confirmed to be authentic shortly afterwards; the authors of both public and private documents have agreed to "work to bring together the best points of each effort". The Open Cloud Manifesto version, developed in private by a secret consortium of companies, was prematurely revealed by Microsoft's Senior Director of Developer Platform Product Management, Steve Martin on 26 March 2009, they claim that they were "privately shown a copy of the document, warned that it was a secret, told that it must be signed'as is,' without modifications or additional input", a point, disputed by Reuven Cohen. Some commentators found it ironic that Microsoft should speak out in support of open standards while others felt that their criticism was justified, comparing it to the "long, ugly war over WS-I".

The call for open cloud standards was echoed by Brandon Watson, Microsoft's Director of Cloud Services Ecosystem. The following principles are defined by the document: User centric systems enrich the lives of individuals, communication, business and society as a whole. Philanthropic initiatives don't work! Openness of standards and software empowers and protects users. Transparency fosters accountability. Interoperability ensures effectiveness of cloud computing as a public resource. Representation of all stakeholders is essential. Discrimination against any party for any reason is unacceptable. Evolution is an ongoing process in an immature market. Balance of commercial and consumer interests is paramount. Security is fundamental, not optional. Cloud computing List of Web service specifications Cloud Computing Manifesto in the Cloud Computing Community wiki Open Cloud Manifesto leaked document [ A Manifesto for Future Generation Cloud Computing: Research Directions for the Next Decade

Dean's Yard

Dean's Yard, comprises most of the remaining precincts of the greater scope of the monastery or abbey of Westminster, not occupied by its buildings. It is known to members of Westminster School as Green, it is a large gated quadrangle, closed to public traffic, chiefly a green upon which the pupils have the long-use acquired exclusive rights to sit, read and to play games such as football. For some centuries until a point in the early seventeenth century it was a third of its present size, since to the south stood the Queen's Scholars' dormitory, in monastic times the granary, its stones support Church House. Adjoining buildingsEast: school buildings South: Church House, a conference centre and offices of the Church of England West: school buildings and Westminster Abbey Choir School North: flanking archway to the Great Sanctuary: Abbey offices and part of the Deanery; the Abbey was one of the last ecclesiastical sanctuaries to surrender such ancient rights, ostensibly free refuges of asylum among residents were politically disfavoured and dangerous inhabitants.

They were held in check by the Abbot's own penal jurisdiction, by the knowledge that the Abbot could expel them to their fate at the hands of the Common Law: the Abbey Gatehouse was split into two prisons, one of the Abbot's and one for the constables outside. Westminster School displays a royal pardon from Charles II of England and Scotland to the King's Scholars whose action killed a bailiff harassing the mistress of one of them in Dean's Yard, accused by his fellow authorities of murder. Whether he was excused for reacting to the breach of some vestigial sanctuary, in stark contrast to the English Commonwealth where such rights were undeniably defunct, or for a moderate degree of violence that may have been used, such as might have resulted in a manslaughter charge were the victim not a bailiff is unrecorded; the Abbey's Sanctuary extended beyond, as far as the north side of Parliament Square, where a short approach, Thieving Lane through which thieves were taken to the prison without entering sanctuary and claiming its immunity, but in the tenements of which prostitution took hold.

HM Treasury is built upon its site, which amid exceptional times or announcements of high capital taxation or departmental cuts, lends itself to accusations thieving there continues, but lawfully

Ouvéa cave hostage taking

The Ouvéa cave hostage taking was an event that occurred from 22 April 1988 to 5 May 1988 on the island of Ouvéa, New Caledonia, a south Pacific island under control of France. During the hostage taking and seizure of a gendarmarie, members of an independence movement, the Kanak and Socialist National Liberation Front, assassinated four gendarmes and took 27 gendarmes hostages also taking hostage a public prosecutor and seven members of the French GIGN military unit, they demanded talks with the French government about independence for New Caledonia from France. The French government said it refused to agree to the group's demands, it sent a joint hostage recovery team that consisted of: 12 Groupe d'Intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale 15 Commando Hubert 30 11e régiment parachutiste de choc 3 Escadron Parachutiste d'Intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale Nineteen of the hostage-takers and two members of the hostage recovery team were killed in the assault. There were allegations that most of the dead hostage-takers had been summarily executed after being captured.

The assault "Operation Victor" was initiated on 4 May at around 22:00. Around seventy-four operators moved into the forest towards the hostage location; the Kanak independentists numbered around 30 and were armed, including weapons seized from the gendarmarie. The hostages had been located in a series of caves on Ouvéa Island; the assault team moved into their final assault positions 300 metres parallel from the cave entrance. The Commando Hubert operators were tasked to neutralise the AA52 7.5mm medium machine gun, located at the entrance to the cave and would pin down any approaching force and increase the risk of the hostages being harmed. The 11e choc were to neutralise the other Kanak positions located to the south. A joint GIGN and Commando Hubert team would approach the entrance to the cave where the hostages were located; the attack started at 06:15 and the assault teams realised they were in a different position than they should have been. A Puma helicopter, supposed to provide a noise distraction was three minutes late and 300 metres off target.

As a result, the separatists were had time to pull back inside the caves. Some Kanak sentries spotted the approaching assault team who had moved further north than they should have and opened fire, wounding a Commando Hubert operator. Another operator killed the sentry that had fired. Another assault force member was killed; the Commando Hubert team cleared a 50-metre area in front of the machine gun position with flamethrowers. The hostages managed to escape in the confusion, the Kanak group surrendered but, by the end of the assault, nineteen hostage-takers and two members of the military were killed. According to a report of Captain Philippe Legorjus GIGN leader: "Some acts of barbarity have been committed by the French military in contradiction with their military duty". In the post-mortems, it appeared that 12 of the Kanak activists had been executed and the leader of the hostage-takers, Alphonse Dianou, injured by a gunshot in the leg, had been left without medical care, died some hours later.

Prior to this report, Captain Philippe Legorjus was accused by many of the GIGN agents who took part in the operation of weaknesses in command and to have had "dangerous absences" in the final stages of the case. He was forced to resign from the GIGN after this operation, since nobody wanted him as chief or to fight under him; the military authorities have always denied the version of events given by Captain Philippe Legorjus. Following a command investigation, Jean-Pierre Chevènement, Minister of Defence of the Michel Rocard government, noted that "no part of the investigation revealed that there had been summary executions". In addition, according to some participants of the operation interviewed by Le Figaro, no shots were heard in the area after the fighting ended; the 2011 docudrama film Rebellion was based on the Ouvéa cave hostage crisis, as told from the point of view of the lead hostage negotiator. List of hostage crises Bernard Pons, French Minister for Overseas Territories at the time, who dealt with the matter.

Guiart, Jean. "A drama of ambiguity: Ouvea 1988–89". Journal of Pacific History. 32: 85–102. Doi:10.1080/00223349708572829. Legorjus, Philippe. La Morale et l'action. Paris. ISBN 2-87645-077-1. Michalski, Cédric. L'Assaut de la grotte d'Ouvéa: Analyse juridique. Paris. ISBN 2-7475-6467-3. Bernard, Michel. GIGN, le temps d'un secret. Paris: Bibliophane-Daniel Radford. ISBN 2-86970-073-3. Raluy, Antonio. La Nouvelle-Calédonie. Paris. ISBN 2-8653-7259-6. Rollat, Alain. Mourir à Ouvéa, Le tournant calédonien. Paris. ISBN 2-7071-1795-1. A drama of ambiguity: Ouvea 1988-89, Journal of Pacific History, June, 1997 by Jean Guiart, archived from the original on 4 May 2008 Pacific Magazine: New Caledonia Marks 20th Anniversary Of Ouvea Tragedy

Teatro Massimo

The Teatro Massimo Vittorio Emanuele is an opera house and opera company located on the Piazza Verdi in Palermo, Sicily. It was dedicated to King Victor Emanuel II, it is the biggest in Italy, one of the largest of Europe, renowned for its perfect acoustics. An international competition for the creation of the opera house was announced by the Palermo Council in 1864 at the instigation of the mayor, Antonio Starrabba di Rudinì. For many years there had been talk of building a large new theatre in Palermo, worthy of the second biggest city in southern Italy and designed to promote the image of the city following the unification of Italy in 1861; the opera house was designed and overseen by the Italian architect Giovan Battista Filippo Basile, well known in Sicily for his previous cathedral restoration design in the city of Acireale, as well as garden and villa designs in the city of Palermo and Caltagirone. Following G. B. F. Basile's death in 1891, construction was overseen by his son, Architect Ernesto Basile.

The Rutelli and Machì Company, represented by Giovanni Rutelli and Alberto Machì was contracted for the main construction of the theatre which, under Architect Giovanni Rutelli's technical and building direction, went from the foundations all the way up to the theatre's attic structures. He was responsible for all the external decorations of the building. Rutelli designed a steam tower crane machine, successfully able to lift large stone blocks and Greek/Roman styled columns during construction of the large theatre. Giovanni Rutelli belongs to a old and renowned Italian family of confirmed British Isles origin, a family which includes architects and sculptor artists from the old Sicilian classic and baroque school as well as building contractors, all entrepreneurs going back to the first half of the 18th century in Palermo. Along with Architect D. Mario Rutelli, they were considered to be among the most technically and artistically specialized experts in Sicily at that time because of Mario Rutelli and his descendants' profound knowledge and experience in Ancient Greek/Roman architecture, as well as the Norman architectural style.

This style required the use of natural thick stone, all of, part of the structural design. The two large bronze statues of lions sitting next to the theatre's monumental stairway entrance were created by Giovanni Rutelli's son, sculptor artist Sir Mario Rutelli and Benedetto Civiletti. Construction started on 12 January 1874, but was stopped for eight years from 1882 until 1890. On 16 May 1897, twenty-two years after the laying of the foundation stone, the fourth largest opera house in Europe at the time — after the Royal Opera House in London, the Palais Garnier in Paris, the K. K. Hof-Opernhaus in Vienna— was inaugurated with a performance of Verdi's Falstaff conducted by Leopoldo Mugnone; the interior is decorated and painted by Rocco Lentini, Ettore De Maria Bergler, Michele Cortegiani and Luigi Di Giovanni. Busts of famous composers were carved for the theatre by the Italian sculptor, Giusto Liva and several of his sons; the Teatro Massimo is the largest theatre in Italy. Basile was inspired by ancient and classical Sicilian architecture and, the exterior was designed in the high neoclassical style incorporating elements of the Greek temples at Selinunte and Agrigento.

Realized in the late-Renaissance style, the auditorium was planned for 3,000 people, but, in its current format, it seats 1,381, with 7 tiers of boxes rising up around an inclined stage, shaped in the typical horseshoe style. In 1974, the house was closed to complete renovations required by updated safety regulations, but cost over-runs and political in-fighting all added to the delay and it remained closed for twenty-three years re-opening on 12 May 1997, four days before its centenary; the opera season started again in 1999, although Verdi's Aida was performed in 1998 while work in progress continued. During the restoration regular opera seasons were performed in Teatro Politeama, a minor building not far from Teatro Massimo. In summer a few performances concerts and operetta, are held in Teatro della Verdura. In recent years, "charges of corruption and political meddling…along with budget deficits and heavy debts" have plagued the house, under its part-English music director, Jan Latham Koenig, it was reported that it is once again on track.2013-2014 was a two-year hiatus under the leadership of the comissario straordinario Fabio Carapezza Guttuso, who brought in Lorenzo Amato and Eytan Pessen as artistic advisors.

Under Carapezza Guttuso's leadership the theatre offered a varied programme including Richard Strauss's Feuersnot, Hans Werner Henze's Gisela!, Jaromir Weinberger's Schwanda the bagpiper and an increased ballet activity. The current intendant is the experienced Francesco Giambrone and the musical director is Gabriele Ferro; the final scenes of the Francis Ford Coppola's film The Godfather Part III were filmed at the theatre. Teatro Massimo official website Teatro Massimo: Its Art and History City of Palermo official website