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Guinea

Guinea the Republic of Guinea, is a west-coastal country in West Africa. Known as French Guinea, the modern country is sometimes referred to as Guinea-Conakry to distinguish it from other countries with "Guinea" in the name and the eponymous region, such as Guinea-Bissau and Equatorial Guinea. Guinea has an area of 245,857 square kilometres; the sovereign state of Guinea is a republic with a president, directly elected by the people. The unicameral Guinean National Assembly is the legislative body of the country, its members are directly elected by the people; the judicial branch is led by the Guinea Supreme Court, the highest and final court of appeal in the country. The country is named after the Guinea region. Guinea is a traditional name for the region of Africa, it ends at the Sahel. The English term Guinea comes directly from the Portuguese word Guiné, which emerged in the mid-15th century to refer to the lands inhabited by the Guineus, a generic term for the black African peoples south of the Senegal River, in contrast to the "tawny" Zenaga Berbers above it, whom they called Azenegues or Moors.

Guinea is a predominantly Islamic country, with Muslims representing 85 percent of the population. Guinea's people belong to twenty-four ethnic groups. French, the official language of Guinea, is the main language of communication in schools, in government administration, the media, but more than twenty-four indigenous languages are spoken. Guinea's economy is dependent on agriculture and mineral production, it is the world's second largest producer of bauxite, has rich deposits of diamonds and gold. The country was at the core of the 2014 Ebola outbreak. Human rights in Guinea remain a controversial issue. In 2011 the United States government claimed that torture by security forces, abuse of women and children were ongoing abuses of human rights; the land, now Guinea belonged to a series of African empires until France colonized it in the 1890s, made it part of French West Africa. Guinea declared its independence from France on 2 October 1958. From independence until the presidential election of 2010, Guinea was governed by a number of autocratic rulers.

For the origin of the name "Guinea" see Guinea § Etymology. What is now Guinea was on the fringes of the major West African empires; the earliest, the Ghana Empire, grew on trade but fell after repeated incursions of the Almoravids. It was in this period; the Sosso kingdom flourished in the resulting void but the Mali Empire came to prominence when Soundiata Kéïta defeated the Sosso ruler Soumangourou Kanté at the Battle of Kirina in c. 1235. The Mali Empire was ruled by Mansa, the most famous being Kankou Moussa, who made a famous hajj to Mecca in 1324. Shortly after his reign the Mali Empire began to decline and was supplanted by its vassal states in the 15th century; the most successful of these was the Songhai Empire, which expanded its power from about 1460 and surpassed the Mali Empire in both territory and wealth. It continued to prosper until a civil war over succession followed the death of Askia Daoud in 1582; the weakened empire fell to invaders from Morocco at the Battle of Tondibi just three years later.

The Moroccans proved unable to rule the kingdom however, it split into many small kingdoms. After the fall of the major West African empires, various kingdoms existed in. Fulani Muslims migrated to Futa Jallon in Central Guinea and established an Islamic state from 1727 to 1896 with a written constitution and alternate rulers; the Wassoulou or Wassulu empire was a short-lived empire, led by Samori Toure in the predominantly Malinké area of what is now upper Guinea and southwestern Mali. It moved to Ivory Coast before being conquered by the French; the slave trade came to the coastal region of Guinea with European traders in the 16th century. Slaves were exported to work elsewhere in the triangular trade. Guinea's colonial period began with French military penetration into the area in the mid-19th century. French domination was assured by the defeat in 1898 of the armies of Samori Touré, Mansa of the Ouassoulou state and leader of Malinké descent, which gave France control of what today is Guinea and adjacent areas.

France negotiated Guinea's present boundaries in the late 19th and early 20th centuries with the British for Sierra Leone, the Portuguese for their Guinea colony, Liberia. Under the French, the country formed the Territory of Guinea within French West Africa, administered by a governor general resident in Dakar. Lieutenant governors administered the individual colonies, including Guinea. In 1958, the French Fourth Republic collapsed due to political instability and its failures in dealing with its colonies Indochina and Algeria; the founding of a Fifth Republic was supported by the French people, while French President Charles de Gaulle made it clear on 8 August 1958 that France's colonies were to be given a stark choice between more autonomy in a new French Community or immediate independence in the referendum to be held on 28 September 1958. The other colonies chose the former but Guinea—under the leadership of Ahmed Sékou Touré whose Democratic Party of Guinea-African Democratic Rally had won 56 of 60 seats in 1957 territorial elections – voted overwhelmingly for independence

I Who Have Never Known Men

I Who Have Never Known Men published in French as Moi qui n'ai pas connu les hommes, is a 1995 science fiction novel by Belgian author Jacqueline Harpman. It is the first of Harpman's novels to be translated into English, it was published by Seven Stories Press republished by Avon Eos. Thirty-nine women and a girl are being held prisoner in a cage underground; the guards are all male, never speak to them. The girl is the only one of the prisoners. One day, an alarm sounds, the guards flee, they find themselves on an immense barren plain, with no other people anywhere, no clue as to what has happened to the world. The New York Times described it Never as "bleak but fascinating", "about as heavyhearted as fiction can get". Kirkus Reviews compared it to the Handmaid's Tale, said that it is "thin", but "moving" and "powerful". I Who Have Never Known Men title listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database

Cheer pheasant

The cheer pheasant known as Wallich's pheasant, is a vulnerable species of the pheasant family, Phasianidae. It is the only member in the genus Catreus; the scientific name commemorates Danish botanist Nathaniel Wallich. These birds lack the color and brilliance of most pheasants, with buffy gray plumage and long, gray crests, its long tail has 18 feathers and the central tail feathers are much longer and the colour is gray and brown. The female is smaller in overall size. Males are monogamous, they breed on steep cliffs during summer with a clutch of 10 to 11 eggs. In studies conducted in upper Beas Valley, cheer pheasant was found to be sensitive to human disturbance; the cheer pheasant is distributed in the highlands and scrublands of the Himalayas region of India, Nepal and Pakistan. They are found in the west of Nepal, Garhwal, Tehri Garhwal, Simla States, Kullu, Chamba till about the Hazara District. Surveys in 1981 and 2003 in the Dhorpatan area of western Nepal established 70 calling sites, suggesting substantial numbers exist in this area.

In another survey in 2010, cheer pheasants were detected in 21 calling sites in Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh. They are found above 6000 feet altitude and up to 10000 feet in summer. Due to ongoing habitat loss, small population size, hunting in some areas, the cheer pheasant is evaluated as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, it is listed on Appendix I of CITES. Attempts to reintroduce captive-bred cheer pheasants in Pakistan have been unsuccessful. ARKive - images and movies of the Cheer Pheasant BirdLife Species Factsheet