Greater London Authority

The Greater London Authority, known colloquially as City Hall, is the devolved regional governance body of London, with jurisdiction over both counties of Greater London and the City of London. It consists of two political branches: the executive Mayoralty and the 25-member London Assembly, which serves as a means of checks and balances on the former. Since May 2016, both branches have been under the control of the London Labour Party; the authority was established in 2000, following a local referendum, derives most of its powers from the Greater London Authority Act 1999 and the Greater London Authority Act 2007. It is a strategic regional authority, with powers over transport, economic development, fire and emergency planning. Three functional bodies—Transport for London, the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime, the London Fire Commissioner—are responsible for delivery of services in these areas; the planning policies of the Mayor of London are detailed in a statutory London Plan, updated and published.

The Greater London Authority is funded by direct government grant and it is a precepting authority, with some money collected with local Council Tax. The GLA is unique in the British devolved and local government system, in terms of structure and selection of powers; the authority was established to replace a range of joint boards and quangos and provided an elected upper tier of local government in London for the first time since the abolition of the Greater London Council in 1986. The GLA is responsible for the strategic administration of the 1579 km² of Greater London, it shares local government powers with the councils of 32 London boroughs and the City of London Corporation. It was created to improve the co-ordination between the local authorities in Greater London, the Mayor of London's role is to give London a single person to represent it; the Mayor proposes policy and the GLA's budget, makes appointments to the capital's strategic executive such as Transport for London. The primary purpose of the London Assembly is to hold the Mayor of London to account by scrutiny of his or her actions and decisions.

The assembly must accept or amend the Mayor's budget on an annual basis. The GLA is based at City Hall, a new building on the south bank of the River Thames, next to Tower Bridge; the GLA is different from the Corporation of the City of London with its ceremonial Lord Mayors, which controls only the Square Mile of the City, London's chief financial centre. In 1986, the Greater London Council was abolished by the Conservative government of Margaret Thatcher. Many people have surmised that the decision to abolish the GLC was made because of the existence of a high-spending left-wing Labour administration under Ken Livingstone, although pressure for the abolition of the GLC had arisen before Mr Livingstone took over, was driven by the belief among the outer London Borough councils that they could perform the functions of the GLC just as well. On abolition, the strategic functions of the GLC were transferred to bodies controlled by central government or joint boards nominated by the London Borough councils.

Some of the service delivery functions were transferred down to the councils themselves. For the next 14 years there was no single elected body for the whole of London; the Labour Party never supported the abolition of the GLC and made it a policy to re-establish some form of citywide elected authority. The Labour party adopted a policy of a single, directly elected Mayor, together with an elected Assembly watching over the Mayor. After the Labour party won the 1997 general election, the policy was outlined in a White paper entitled A Mayor and Assembly for London. With the elections to the London Borough councils, a referendum was held on the establishment of the GLA in May 1998, approved with 72% of the vote; the Greater London Authority Act 1999 passed through Parliament, receiving the Royal Assent in October 1999. In a controversial election campaign, the Prime Minister, Tony Blair, attempted to block Livingstone's nomination and imposed his own candidate. In reaction, Livingstone stood as an independent candidate, resulting in his expulsion from the Labour Party and in March 2000, was elected as Mayor of London.

Following an interim period in which the Mayor and Assembly had been elected but had no powers, the GLA was formally established on 3 July 2000. Areas which the GLA has responsibility for include transport, policing and rescue, development and strategic planning; the GLA does not directly provide any services itself. Instead, its work is carried out by functional bodies which come under the GLA umbrella and work under the policy direction of the Mayor and Assembly; these functional bodies are: Transport for London – Responsible for managing most aspects of London's transport system, including public transport, main roads, traffic management, administering the London congestion charge. Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime – Responsible for overseeing the Metropolitan Police Service, which provides policing throughout Greater London. Replaced the Metropolitan Police Authority in January 2012 under the provisions of the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011; the London Fire Commissioner – Administers the London Fire Brigade and co-ordinates emergency planning.

Until April 2017 this was the responsibility of the London Fire a

Ringed teal

The ringed teal is a small duck of South American forests. It is the only species of the genus Callonetta. Placed with the dabbling ducks, this species may be closer to shelducks and belong in the subfamily Tadorninae; the male and female remain colourful throughout the year. The drake has pale grey flanks and a salmon-coloured breast speckled in black. A black band runs from the top of its head down to the nape. Females have an olive-brownish back with the head blotched and striated in white, with pencilled barring on a pale chest and belly. Both have a dark tail, a contrasting pale rump, a distinctive white patch on the wing. Bills are grey and legs and feet are pink in both sexes. Pairs bond, their contact calls are a cat-like mee-oowing in a lingering peewoo in drakes. Most ringed teals average 14–15 inches long, with a 28-inch wingspan. Individuals weigh 11–12 ounces. Ringed teals have webbed toes with long, pointed claws that specialize in allowing the birds to sit on tree branches; these specialized toes are unique, as most waterfowl cannot remain perched on tree branches.

The ringed teal breeds in north-west Argentina and Paraguay occurring in Bolivia and Uruguay. Upon reaching sexual maturity, ringed teals form strong pair bonds; these pair bonds last a single breeding season, but can last for the lifetime of a pair. A pair bond begins with the male courting the female. In general, courting consists of large amounts of preening, flashing the iridescent green patches on the wings, swimming in figure eights around the female of interest while vocalizing. Once a pair bond is solidified, mating occurs in the water. Nests are created out of hollow holes in tree cavities; the nests are lined with down and the female tends to be the defender of the nest. The male, will defend the female against other males and potential predators throughout their pair bond. Females lay 6-12 eggs that are white in colour; the eggs are incubated for an average of 29 days. Both male and female participate incubating the eggs, one captive study shows that the females were responsible for incubation.

Hatched chicks are precocial. Precocial chicks are developed upon hatching, have a layer of down feathers, can walk and feed themselves. Although, the chicks hatch with a layer of feather down, it is not waterproof. Since the chicks spend most of their time in the water, they rub on the parents, in doing so, they gain essential oils needed for waterproofing. Both the male and female play a large role in raising and defending the chicks until they fledge at 50–55 days old; the male, tends to be the most invested and will be seen following behind separated or slower chicks. Until fledging, the chicks stay in a close group and learn from their parents how to forage, swim efficiently, avoid predators; the bonded pair is able to produce two groups of offspring in one breeding season. The male will continue to care for the first group of chicks, while the female incubates the second group of eggs; the ringed teal's pair bonding behaviour makes reproduction efficient. By the end of a breeding season it is possible for a bonded pair to have laid and hatched up to 24 offspring.

Their habitats include tropical, swampy forests and marshy clearings in well-wooded lowlands, as well as secluded pools and small streams. As a predominately aquatic species, ringed teals eat a variety of aquatic plants and invertebrates, as well as any seeds that can be found. Ringed teals are classified as “dabblers” as opposed to “divers”. Dabblers tend to feed on plant and insect material near the surface of the water, where as divers feed on plants and fish deeper under the water's surface. Although dabblers may submerge their heads and upper torso while putting their tails up in the air known as “up-ending”, they completely submerge themselves and stay under for periods of time, such as the divers do. Ringed teals can live up to 15 years in captivity, however, an average life span is not known for wild individuals. Ringed Teal

Michigan Auditor General

The Michigan Auditor General is the chief fiscal officer of the State of Michigan. The Office of the Auditor General was established in 1836 and, with changes to the Michigan Constitution in 1963, has become the independent oversight arm of the Legislature; the first Michigan Auditor General was Robert Abbott. The first Republican in office was Emil Anneke, an active abolitionist, Forty-Eighter of German Origin and younger brother of U. S. colonel and German 1849 revolutionary leader Fritz Anneke. In 1959, lawyer and NAACP activist Otis M. Smith was elected Michigan Auditor General, as one of the first African Americans to serve in a senior state government office; the current Michigan Auditor General, Doug A. Ringler, C. P. A, C. I. A, was appointed by the Michigan Legislature effective June 9, 2014. Governor of Michigan Michigan Attorney General Michigan General Assembly Michigan State Capitol Office of the Michigan Auditor General