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European Exchange Rate Mechanism

The European Exchange Rate Mechanism was a system introduced by the European Economic Community on 13 March 1979, as part of the European Monetary System, to reduce exchange rate variability and achieve monetary stability in Europe, in preparation for Economic and Monetary Union and the introduction of a single currency, the euro, which took place on 1 January 1999. After the adoption of the euro, policy changed to linking currencies of EU countries outside the eurozone to the euro; the goal was to improve the stability of those currencies, as well as to gain an evaluation mechanism for potential eurozone members. This mechanism is known as ERM II and has superseded ERM; as of 2015, there is just one currency in the Danish krone. The ERM is based on the concept of fixed currency exchange rate margins, but with exchange rates variable within those margins; this is known as a semi-pegged system. Before the introduction of the euro, exchange rates were based on the European Currency Unit, the European unit of account, whose value was determined as a weighted average of the participating currencies.

A grid of bilateral rates was calculated on the basis of these central rates expressed in ECUs, currency fluctuations had to be contained within a margin of 2.25% on either side of the bilateral rates. Determined intervention and loan arrangements protected the participating currencies from greater exchange rate fluctuations. United Kingdom Chancellor of the Exchequer Denis Healey chose not to join the ERM in 1979 owing to concerns that it would benefit the German economy by preventing the Deutsche mark from appreciating, at the expense of the economies of other countries; the UK did join the ERM in October 1990. The chart below provides a full summary of all applying exchange-rate regimes for EU members, since the European Monetary System with its Exchange Rate Mechanism and the related new common currency ECU came into being on 13 March 1979; the euro replaced the ECU 1:1 at the exchange rate markets, on 1 January 1999. Between 1979 and 1999 the D-Mark functioned as a de facto anchor for the ECU, meaning there was only a minor difference between pegging a currency against the ECU and pegging it against the D-mark.

Sources: EC convergence reports 1996-2014, Italian lira, Spanish peseta, Portuguese escudo, Finish markka, Greek drachma, UK pound The eurozone was established with its first 11 member states on 1 January 1999. The first enlargement of the eurozone, to Greece, took place on 1 January 2001, one year before the euro had physically entered into circulation; the zone's next enlargements were with states that joined the EU in 2004, joined the eurozone on 1 January in the mentioned year: Slovenia, Malta, Estonia and Lithuania. All new EU members having joined the bloc after the signing of the Maastricht treaty in 1992 are obliged to adopt the euro under the terms of their accession treaties. However, the last of the five economic convergence criteria, which need to be complied with in order to qualify for euro adoption, is the exchange rate stability criterion; this requires having been a member of the ERM for a minimum of two years without the presence of "severe tensions" for the currency exchange rate.

To participate in the ERM, Ireland had to break the Irish pound's parity with the pound sterling in 1979, because the pound sterling, not an ERM currency, appreciated against all ERM currencies shortly after the launch of the ERM. The continued parity between the Irish pound and the pound sterling would have taken the Irish pound outside its agreed band. To fulfil the ERM conditions, the Irish government was required to break the parity of the Irish pound with the pound sterling; the United Kingdom entered the ERM in October 1990, but was forced to exit the programme within two years after the pound sterling came under major pressure from currency speculators. The ensuing crash of 16 September 1992 was subsequently dubbed "Black Wednesday". There has been some revision of attitude towards this event given the UK's strong economic performance after 1992, with some commentators dubbing it "White Wednesday"; some commentators, following Norman Tebbit, took to referring to ERM as an "Eternal Recession Mechanism", after the UK fell into recession in 1990.

The UK spent over £6 billion trying to keep the currency within the narrow limits with reports at the time noting that Soros's individual profit of £1 billion equated to over £12 for each man and child in Britain and dubbing Soros "the man who broke the Bank of England". Britain's membership of the ERM was blamed for prolonging the recession at the time, Britain's exit from the ERM was seen as an economic failure which contributed to the defeat of the Conservative government of John Major at the general election in May 1997, despite the strong economic recovery and significant fall in unemployment which that government had overseen after Black Wednesday. In August 1993, the margin was expanded to 15% to accommodate speculation against the French franc and other currencies. On 31 December 1998, the European Currency Unit exchange rates of the eurozone countries were frozen and the value of the euro, which superseded the ECU at par, was thus established. In 1999, ERM II replaced the original ERM.

The Greek and Danish currencies were part of the new mechanism, but when Greece joined the euro in 2001, the Danish krone was left at that time as the only participant member. A currency in ERM II is allowed to float within a range of ±15%

Laches, Bogotá

Laches is a neighbourhood of Bogotá, Colombia. It is on the edge of the forest reserve. In fact, some 4,500 inhabitants from the poorer strata of society, live in the forest reserve area in illegal dwellings. Laches lies on the edge of the eastern hills of Bogotá and is bounded on the north by La Peña neighbourhood, on the east by forest reserve, on the south by El Rocio neighbourhood, on the west by Lourdes neighbourhood and on the northwest by El Guavio neighbourhood. Members of the Lache people settled in this area. One of the earliest churches, "Nuestra Señora de la Peña" was built in Laches in 1722; the church contains a stone carving weighing 400 kilograms said to depict the "Holy Family", which carving was found in 1685 near Cerro Guadalupe. In 1961, the government recognized Laches. Colombia es Color. "Photo: Barrio Los Laches". Panoramio. Archived from the original on 21 April 2009. Roldán, Mariana Escobar. "Photo: Los Laches". Campus Universitario del Puente del Común, Universidad de la Sabana.

Archived from the original on 9 June 2013. "Map of the Laches area of Bogotá"

Duane (given name)

Duane is both a given name for a male, a family name. It seems to have a convergent etymology from several sources; the name derives from St. Dubhán, a Welsh Saint who established an abbey in Hook Head, during the 5th century; as a surname it is Dubhan. Dubhain was a popular given name in 16th century southern Ireland. Many people may claim that one of the name's origins is the Norman "D'Wain" or the Old English version meaning "field" or "meadow". However, Duane is an anglicized version of the Gaelic "Dubhan", meaning little and dark as "dubh" means dark and "an" is a diminutive suffix. In the United States, "Duane" became a popular name around the 1920s and remained one of the 200 most popular names for about 50 years; the spelling "Dwayne" was adapted as time went on, most because of the popular name "Wayne". "Dwayne" became the preferred spelling in the southern U. S. "Duane" still remains a more popular spelling in northern-Midwest states such as Minnesota and North Dakota. Duane Allen, lead singer of The Oak Ridge Boys country and gospel quartet Duane Allen, American football player Duane Allman, American guitarist Duane Bastress, American mixed martial artist Duane Beeson, American World War II fighter pilot Duane Bickett, American football player Duane Bobick, American boxer Duane Brown, American football player Duane Bryers, American painter and sculptor Duane R. Bushey, seventh Master Chief Petty Officer of the United States Navy Duane Butler, American football linebacker Duane G. Carey, American astronaut Duane Carter, American racecar driver Duane Pancho Carter, Jr.

American racecar driver, son of Duane Carter Duane Chapman, American bounty hunter and star of the reality TV series Dog the Bounty Hunter Duane Clarridge, American CIA supervisor known for his role in the Iran-Contra Affair Duane Clemons, American football player Duane Courtney, English footballer Duane Denison, American guitarist Duane E. Dewey, former United States Marine Duane Eddy, American guitarist Duane Elgin, American author and media activist Duane Ferrell, American basketball player Duane Gill, American professional wrestler Duane Gish, American biochemist Duane Glinton, Turks & Caicos Islands footballer Duane Graveline, American astronaut Duane D. Hackney, United States Air Force Pararescueman Duane Hanson, American artist and sculptor Duane Harden, American singer and songwriter Duane Henry, English actor Duane Holmes, American-English footballer Duane Hudson, British Special Operations Executive officer during WWII Duane Jones, American actor Duane Josephson, American baseball player Duane Kuiper, American baseball sportscaster and former player Duane Litfin, seventh president of Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois Duane Ludwig, American mixed martial artist Duane Martin, American film and television actor Duane Michals, American photographer Duane Minnick, American band director of Briar Woods High School Duane Bill Parcells, American former National Football League head coach Duane D. Pearsall, American entrepreneur known for smoke detectors Duane Pederson, Eastern Orthodox minister Duane Peters, American punk rock singer/songwriter and professional skateboarder Duane Pillette, American professional baseball player Duane Pomeroy, American politician and teacher Duane Sand, American politician Duane Simolke, American writer Duane Starks, American football cornerback Duane Sutter, Canadian former National Hockey League player and head coach Duane Thomas, American football player Duane Thomas, American boxer Duane Washington, American basketball player Duane Whitaker, American actor Duane Wilson, American baseball player Duane Dwayne, including variants such as Dwane and DeWayne

Perfume Pagoda

The Huong Pagoda is a vast complex of Buddhist temples and shrines built into the limestone Huong Tich mountains. It is the site of a religious festival; the centre of the Huong Temple lies in Mỹ Đức District, former Hà Tây Province. The centre of this complex is the Perfume Temple known as Chua Trong, located in Huong Tich Cave, it is thought that the first temple was a small structure on the current site of Thien Tru which existed during the reign of Lê Thánh Tông in the 15th century. Legend claims that the site was discovered over 2000 years ago by a monk meditating in the area, who named the site after a Tibetan mountain where Lord Buddha practiced asceticism. A stele at the current temple dates the building of a terrace, stone steps and Kim Dung shrine to 1686, during the reign of Le Hy Tong, at around the same time that Chua Trong was being constructed. Over the years some of the structures were replaced; the original statues of Lord Buddha and Quan Am were cast from bronze in 1767 and replaced with the current statues in 1793.

More damage was done during both the French and the American wars. Both the gate and the bell tower at Thien Tru Pagoda were destroyed, the bell tower rebuilt in 1986 and the gate completed in 1994; the many Pagodas that make up Chua Huong are spread out among the limestone hills and tropical forests in the area of Huong Mountain. Approaching from the Day River, one will first come across Den Trinh known as Den Quan Lon, built to worship one of the generals of a Hung King; this large shrine has a gate with two kneeling elephant statues on each side. Inside the structure is a large ceremonial room. Beyond Den Trinh is Thien Tru Pagoda known as Chua Ngoai. Here one will find Vien Cong Bao Stupa, a brick structure where Ch’an Master Vien Quang, who led the reconstruction of the pagoda, is buried. Thien Thuy stupa, a occurring structure, the result of the erosion of a rocky hill, is nearby. Thien Tru is home to a bell tower and Hall of the Triple Gem, last restored in the 1980s. Inside the Pagoda there is a large statue of Quan Am Nam Hai. hay On the route from Thien Tru to Huong Tich cave is Giai Oan Temple called ‘Clearing Unjust Charges’ Pagoda.

Here there is a pond called Thien Nhien Thanh Tri called Long Tuyen Well, Giai Oan stream, with its 9 sources. The center of the Chua Huong complex, Huong Tich Cave houses Chua Trong; the mouth of the cave has the appearance of an open dragon’s mouth with Chu Nho characters carved in a wall at the mouth of the cave. The characters are translated as “the foremost cave under the Southern Heavens” and the carving is dated to 1770; the words are attributed by some to the ruler of Thinh Do Vuong Trinh Sam. Inside the cave there are many statues. There is a large statue of Lord Buddha, as well as one of Quan Am. Quan Am's "left leg is stretched out and the foot lies on a lotus flower, her right leg is bent and is supported by a lotus flower with supple leaves. There are statues of Arhats and various other figures. Among the occurring features of the cave are numerous stalactites and stalagmites, some of which are worn smooth from years of rubbing by visitors to the cave. Other sites included in the Chua Huong complex are Thien Son Pagoda, Thuyet Kinh Grotto, Phat Tich Temple, Vong Temple.

There are many practices associated with its various temples. Some of these are Buddhist, while others are animist or part of popular religion in Vietnam. Many Vietnamese people visit Chua Huong on religious pilgrimage; the standard greetings from one pilgrim to another are "A Di Da Phat" or "Namo Amitabha Buddha". For the purpose of pilgrimage there are various routes that one might take, but the most popular is to take a boat from Yen wharf, stopping at Trinh shrine to ‘present’ themselves at the ‘registration shrine’; the pilgrims make their way to Hoi bridge and visit Thanh Son temple inside a cave. The next stop is Tro wharf. After Thien Tru comes Tien temple, followed by Giai Oan temple, it is believed that Buddha once stopped here to wash himself clean of the dust of humanity, many pilgrims will wash their face and hands in Long Tuyen Well in hopes of washing away past karmas. While here, pilgrims may visit Tuyet Kinh cave and Cua Vong shrine to worship the Goddess of the Mountains, or Phat Tich Shrine where there is a stone believed to be the preserved footprint of the Quan Am.

From here pilgrims head toward the final destination: Huong Tich Cave. At Huong Tich there are statues of deities, but many pilgrims come to get blessings from the stalactites and stalagmites, many of which are named and have special purposes. Many childless pilgrims seek fertility from Nui Co and Nui Cau, while others visit stalactites and stalagmites thought to give prosperity. Pilgrims gather under one particular stalactite, which resembles a breast, to catch drops of water in hopes of being blessed with health from the ‘milk’ of the'breast'. Other names of stalactites and stalagmites include the Heap of Coins, the Gold Tree, the Silver Tree, the Basket of Silkworms, the Cocoon and the Rice Stack; the main pilgrimage season at Chua Huong is during the Huong Pagoda festival, when hundreds of thousands of pilgrims make their way to Huong Tich cave and the other temples. The longest lasting festival in Vietnam, it offi


Amélékia is a town in eastern Ivory Coast. It is a sub-prefecture of Abengourou Department in Comoé District. Amélékia was a commune until March 2012, when it became one of 1126 communes nationwide that were abolished; the government of the Ivory Coast is trying to merge different municipalities and communes in their attempt to increase urbanization and reduce bureaucracy and costs of administration. In 2014, the population of the sub-prefecture of Amélékia was 25,238; the nine villages of the sub-prefecture of Amélékia and their population in 2014 are: Amélékia Ameakro Anougbakro Elinso Koitienkro Konan Konankro Kouadiokro Tahakro Zebenou

Maryland Route 725

Maryland Route 725 is a state highway in the U. S. state of Maryland. The state highway runs 1.86 miles from Brown Station Road east to U. S. Route 301 within Upper Marlboro. MD 725 is the old alignment of MD 4 through the county seat of Prince George's County. What is now MD 725 was constructed in the mid- to late 1910s and became MD 4 in 1927. After MD 4 bypassed Upper Marlboro in the early 1960s, the old highway through town became part of MD 408. After the Prince George's County segments of MD 408 were removed in the late 1970s, the remaining state-maintained highway through Upper Marlboro became MD 725. MD 725 begins at an intersection with Brown Station Road on the west side of Upper Marlboro. Old Marlboro Pike continues west as a county highway; the state highway heads east as a two-lane undivided road. After passing John Rogers Boulevard, MD 725 crosses Federal Spring Branch and enters the town limits of Upper Marlboro; the state highway curves south turns east at the intersection with Old Crain Highway, where the highway's name changes to Main Street.

MD 725 heads into the downtown area, where the highway meets the northern end of MD 717 and passes many county buildings, including the county courthouse. The state highway passes Governor Oden Bowie Drive, where the highway's name changes to Marlboro Pike, heads northeast out of the downtown area. MD 725 leaves the town limits by crossing the Western Branch of the Patuxent River and meets the eastern end of MD 202; the state highway passes several industrial buildings that cluster around the road's at-grade crossing of CSX's Popes Creek Subdivision. MD 725 reaches its eastern terminus at a cluster of restaurants surrounding the intersection with US 301. Marlboro Pike continues east as a county highway. MD 725 is a part of the National Highway System as a principal arterial from MD 202 to US 301. MD 725 is the old alignment of MD 4 through Upper Marlboro, part of the state road system drawn up by the Maryland State Roads Commission in 1909. West of Federal Spring Branch, the highway was part of the gravel Marlboro Turnpike.

This segment was resurfaced as a macadam road by 1915. East of the Western Branch, the route was constructed as a 14-foot-wide concrete road in 1915; the road through the town of Upper Marlboro was built as a concrete road between 1916 and 1919. The highway was widened with a pair of 3-foot-wide concrete shoulders and resurfaced in 1926, became part of MD 4 in 1927. Along its concurrency with US 301 through Upper Marlboro, MD 4 was widened with a pair of 3-foot-wide concrete shoulders in 1946; the course of MD 725 was bypassed with the completion of MD 4's freeway bypass of Upper Marlboro between 1959 and 1962. In 1965, the old alignment of MD 4 from near Andrews Air Force Base to the junction with the freeway at the Patuxent River was designated MD 408 in addition to the presently existing segment of MD 408 between Waysons Corner and Lothian; the Prince George's County portion of MD 408 was transferred to county maintenance in 1977 with the exception of what is now MD 725, which received that designation by 1987.

The entire route is in Prince George's County. Maryland Roads portal MDRoads: MD 725