Finnish Civil War

The Finnish Civil War was a civil war in Finland in 1918 fought for the leadership and control of Finland during the country's transition from a Grand Duchy of the Russian Empire to an independent state. The clashes took place in the context of the national and social turmoil caused by World War I in Europe; the war was fought between the Reds, led by a section of the Social Democratic Party, the Whites, conducted by the conservative-based Senate and the German Imperial Army. The paramilitary Red Guards, composed of industrial and agrarian workers, controlled the cities and industrial centres of southern Finland; the paramilitary White Guards, composed of farmers, along with middle-class and upper-class social strata, controlled rural central and northern Finland. In the years before the conflict, Finnish society had experienced rapid population growth, industrialisation, pre-urbanisation and the rise of a comprehensive labour movement; the country's political and governmental systems were in an unstable phase of democratisation and modernisation.

The socio-economic condition and education of the population had improved, as well as national thinking and cultural life had awakened. World War I led to the collapse of the Russian Empire, causing a power vacuum in Finland, a subsequent struggle for dominance led to militarisation and an escalating crisis between the left-leaning labour movement and the conservatives; the Reds carried out an unsuccessful general offensive in February 1918, supplied with weapons by Soviet Russia. A counteroffensive by the Whites began in March, reinforced by the German Empire's military detachments in April; the decisive engagements were the Battles of Tampere and Vyborg, won by the Whites, the Battles of Helsinki and Lahti, won by German troops, leading to overall victory for the Whites and the German forces. Political violence became a part of this warfare. Around 12,500 Red prisoners of war died of disease in camps. About 39,000 people, of whom 36,000 were Finns, perished in the conflict. In the aftermath, the Finns passed from Russian governance to the German sphere of influence with a plan to establish a German-led Finnish monarchy.

The scheme was cancelled with the defeat of Germany in World War I and Finland instead emerged as an independent, democratic republic. The Civil War divided the nation for decades. Finnish society was reunited through social compromises based on a long-term culture of moderate politics and religion and the post-war economic recovery; the main factor behind the Finnish Civil War was a political crisis arising out of World War I. Under the pressures of the Great War, the Russian Empire collapsed, leading to the February and October Revolutions in 1917; this breakdown caused a subsequent struggle for power in Eastern Europe. Russia's Grand Duchy of Finland, became embroiled in the turmoil. Geopolitically less important than the continental Moscow–Warsaw gateway, isolated by the Baltic Sea was a peaceful side front until early 1918; the war between the German Empire and Russia had only indirect effects on the Finns. Since the end of the 19th century, the Grand Duchy had become a vital source of raw materials, industrial products and labour for the growing Imperial Russian capital Petrograd, World War I emphasised that role.

Strategically, the Finnish territory was the less important northern section of the Estonian–Finnish gateway and a buffer zone to and from Petrograd through the Narva area, the Gulf of Finland and the Karelian Isthmus. The German Empire saw Eastern Europe—primarily Russia—as a major source of vital products and raw materials, both during World War I and for the future, her resources overstretched by the two-front war, Germany attempted to divide Russia by providing financial support to revolutionary groups, such as the Bolsheviks and the Socialist Revolutionary Party, to radical, separatist factions, such as the Finnish national activist movement leaning toward Germanism. Between 30 and 40 million marks were spent on this endeavour. Controlling the Finnish area would allow the Imperial German Army to penetrate Petrograd and the Kola Peninsula, an area rich in raw materials for the mining industry. Finland possessed a well-developed forest industry. From 1809 to 1898, a period called Pax Russica, the peripheral authority of the Finns increased, Russo-Finnish relations were exceptionally peaceful in comparison with other parts of the Russian Empire.

Russia's defeat in the Crimean War in the 1850s led to attempts to speed up the modernisation of the country. This caused more than 50 years of economic, industrial and educational progress in the Grand Duchy of Finland, including an improvement in the status of the Finnish language. All this encouraged Finnish nationalism and cultural unity through the birth of the Fennoman movement, which bound the Finns to the domestic administration and led to the idea that the Grand Duchy was an autonomous state of the Russian Empire. In 1899, the Russian Empire initiated a policy of integration through the Russification of Finland; the strengthened, pan-slavist central power tried to unite the "Russian Multinational Dynastic Union" as the military and strategic situation of Russia became more perilous due to the rise of Germany and Japan. Finns called the increased military and administrative control, "the First Period of Oppression", for the first time Finnish politicians drew up plans for disengagement from Russia or sovereignty for Finland.

In the struggle against integration, activists drawn from sections of the working class and the Swedish-speaking intelligentsia carried out terrorist acts. During World War I and the rise of Germanis


The Sejm of the Republic of Poland is the lower house of the Polish parliament. It consists of 460 deputies elected by universal ballot and is presided over by a speaker called the "Marshal of the Sejm of the Republic of Poland". In the Kingdom of Poland, "Sejm" referred to the entire two-chamber parliament of Poland, comprising the Chamber of Envoys, the Senate and the King, it was thus a three-estate parliament. Since the Second Polish Republic, "Sejm" has referred only to the larger house of the parliament. "Sejm" stems from an Old Slavic word meaning "gathering". Its origin was the King's Councils; the 1180 Sejm in Łęczyca was the most notable of these councils, in that for the first time in Poland's history it established laws constraining the power of the ruler. It forbade arbitrary sequestration of supplies in the countryside and takeover of bishopric lands after the death of a bishop; these early Sejms were not a regular event, they convened at the King's behest. After the 1493 Sejm in Piotrków, it became a convening body, to which indirect elections were held every two years.

The bicameral system was established there. The Sejm comprised two chambers: the Senat of 81 bishops and other dignitaries. At the time, Poland's nobility, which accounted for around 10% of the state's population, was becoming influential, with the eventual development of the Golden Liberty, the Sejm's powers increased dramatically. Over time, the envoys in the lower chamber grew in number and power as they pressed the king for more privileges; the Sejm became more active in supporting the goals of the privileged classes when the King ordered that the landed nobility and their estates be drafted into military service. After the Union of Lublin in 1569, the Kingdom of Poland became, through personal union with the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, thus the Sejm was supplemented with new envoys from among the Lithuanian nobility; this "Commonwealth of Both Nations" ensured that the state of affairs surrounding the three-estates system continued, with the Sejm and King forming the estates and supreme deliberating body of the state.

In the first few decades of the 16th century, the Senate had established its precedence over the Sejm. Its chambers reserved the final decisions in legislation, taxation and treasury matters, foreign policy, the confirment of nobility; the 1573 Warsaw Confederation saw the nobles of the Sejm sanction and guarantee religious tolerance in Commonwealth territory, ensuring a refuge for those fleeing the ongoing Reformation and Counter-Reformation wars in Europe. Until the end of the 16th century, unanimity was not required, the majority-voting process was the most used system for voting. With the rise of the Polish magnates and their increasing power, the unanimity principle was re-introduced with the institution of the nobility's right of liberum veto. Additionally, if the envoys were unable to reach a unanimous decision within six weeks, deliberations were declared void and all previous acts passed by that Sejm were annulled. From the mid-17th century onward, any objection to a Sejm resolution, by either an envoy or a senator, automatically caused the rejection of other approved resolutions.

This was because all resolutions passed by a given session of the Sejm formed a whole resolution, and, as such, was published as the annual "constituent act" of the Sejm, e.g. the "Anno Domini 1667" act. In the 16th century, no single person or small group dared to hold up proceedings, from the second half of the 17th century, the liberum veto was used to paralyze the Sejm, brought the Commonwealth to the brink of collapse; the liberum veto was abolished with the adoption of Poland's 3rd May Constitution in 1791, a piece of legislation, passed as the "Government Act", for which the Sejm required four years to propagate and adopt. The constitution's acceptance, the possible long-term consequences it may have had, is arguably the reason for which the powers of Austria-Hungary and Prussia decided to partition the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, thus putting an end to over 300 years of Polish parliamentary continuity, it is estimated that between 1493 and 1793, a Sejm was held 240 times, the total debate-time sum of, 44 years.

After the fall of the Duchy of Warsaw, which existed as a Napoleonic client state between 1807 and 1815, its short-lived Sejm of the Duchy of Warsaw, the Sejm of Congress Poland was established in the Kongresówka of Russia. Overall, during the period from 1795 until the re-establishment of Poland's sovereignty in 1918, little power was held by any Polish legislative body and the occupying powers of Russia and Austria-Hungary propagated legislation for their own re

Disparus de l'Isère

Les disparus de l'Isère is the collective name given to between nine and twelve disappearances of children in the French département of Isère between 1983 and 1996. Some children were murdered, one was attacked but survived and others have never been found. Only three of the cases have been solved. Philippe Pignot, age 13, disappeared 25 May 1980 in La Morte-sur-Isère, never found. Ludovic Janvier, age 6, disappeared 17 March 1983 in Saint-Martin-d'Hères, never found. Grégory Dubrulle, age 7, disappeared 9 July 1983 in Grenoble, found alive the next day with head injuries in a landfill site in Pommiers-la-Placette. Bones of an unidentified child, dead for at least several months and several years – found 23 May 1985 in the Vercors Cave System. Anissa Ouadi, age 5, disappeared 25 June 1985 in Grenoble, found strangled and drowned in Beauvoir dam 13 days later. Charazed Bendouiou, age 10, disappeared 8 July 1987 in Bourgoin-Jallieu, never found. Nathalie Boyer, age 15, disappeared 2 August 1988 in Villefontaine, found murdered in Saint-Quentin-Fallavier.

Fabrice Ladoux, age 12, disappeared 13 January 1989 in Grenoble, found murdered three days sexually attacked and with a head wound, in Quaix-en-Chartreuse in the Chartreuse Mountains. Rachid Bouzian,* age 8, disappeared 3 August 1990 in Échirolles, found murdered the next day. A suspect was apprehended that month. Sarah Siad,* age 6, disappeared 16 April 1991 in Voreppe, found murdered. Léo Balley, age 6, disappeared 19 July 1996 on the massif du Taillefer, never found. Saïda Berch,* age 10, disappeared 24 November 1996 in Voreppe, found murdered. In the spring of 2008, the authorities created a unit called "Mineurs 38", comprising several investigators charged with reexamining all the cases; the murder of Rachid Bouzian was solved shortly after the event. On 23 August 1990, a man who had taken part in the abduction was arrested, accused his brother of instigating the crime; the former was sentenced to life imprisonment. He died in prison; the murders of Sarah Siad and Saïda Berch were solved thanks to DNA profiling.

On 25 July 2013, a man was investigated after traces of his DNA turned up at both of the different places where the two bodies were found. The man's profile was on the FNAEG, the French national DNA database, due to having been arrested for driving under the influence and driving without insurance