Kosovo the Republic of Kosovo, is a recognized state and disputed territory in Southeastern Europe. Defined in an area of 10,908 square kilometres, Kosovo is landlocked in the center of the Balkans and bordered by the uncontested territory of Serbia to the north and east, North Macedonia to the southeast, Albania to the southwest and Montenegro to the west. Geographically, Kosovo possesses varied and opposing landscapes for its size determined by the ideal climate along with the geology and hydrology. Most of central Kosovo is dominated by the vast fields of Dukagjin and Kosovo; the Albanian Alps and Šar Mountains rise in the southwest and southeast respectively. The earliest known human settlements in what is now Kosovo were the Paleolithic Vinča and Starčevo cultures. During the Classical period, it was inhabited by the Celtic people. In 168 BC, the area was annexed by the Romans. In the Middle Ages, it was conquered by the Byzantine and Serbian Empires; the Battle of Kosovo of 1389 is considered to be one of the defining moments in Serbian medieval history.
The region was the core of the Serbian medieval state, the seat of the Serbian Orthodox Church from the 14th century, when its status was upgraded to a patriarchate. Kosovo was part of the Ottoman Empire from the 15th to the early 20th century. In the late 19th century, it became the centre of the Albanian National Awakening. Following their defeat in the Balkan Wars, the Ottomans ceded Kosovo to Montenegro. Both countries joined Yugoslavia after World War I, following a period of Yugoslav unitarianism in the Kingdom, the post-World War II Yugoslav constitution established the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija within the Yugoslav constituent republic of Serbia. Tensions between Kosovo's Albanian and Serb communities simmered through the 20th century and erupted into major violence, culminating in the Kosovo War of 1998 and 1999, which resulted in the withdrawal of the Yugoslav army and the establishment of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo. On 17 February 2008, Kosovo unilaterally declared its independence from Serbia.
It has since gained diplomatic recognition as a sovereign state by 113 UN member states. Serbia does not recognize Kosovo as a sovereign state, although with the Brussels Agreement of 2013, it has accepted its institutions. While Serbia recognizes administration of the territory by Kosovo's elected government, it continues to claim it as the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija. Kosovo has a lower-middle-income economy and has experienced solid economic growth over the last decade by international financial institutions, has experienced growth every year since the onset of the 2008 global financial crisis. Kosovo is a member of the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, Regional Cooperation Council, has applied for membership of Interpol and for observer status in the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation; the entire region that today corresponds to the territory is referred to in English as Kosovo and in Albanian as Kosova or Kosovë or Kosovë. In Serbia, a formal distinction is made between the western areas.
According to one theory, Kosovo is the Serbian neuter possessive adjective of kos "blackbird", an ellipsis for Kosovo Polje,'blackbird field', the name of a plain situated in the eastern half of today's Kosovo and the site of the 1389 Battle of Kosovo Field. The name of the plain was applied to the Kosovo Province created in 1864. Albanians refer to Kosovo as Dardania, the name of a Roman province formed in 165 BC, which covered the territory of modern Kosovo; the name is derived from ancient tribe of Dardani from proto-Albanian word dardha/dardā which means "pear". The former Kosovo President Ibrahim Rugova had been an enthusiastic backer of a "Dardanian" identity and the Kosovan flag and presidential seal refer to this national identity. However, the name "Kosova" remains more used among the Albanian population; the current borders of Kosovo were drawn while part of SFR Yugoslavia in 1945, when the Autonomous Region of Kosovo and Metohija was created as an administrative division of the new People's Republic of Serbia.
In 1963, it was raised from the level of an autonomous region to the level of an autonomous province as the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija. In 1968, the dual name "Kosovo and Metohija" was reduced to a simple "Kosovo" in the name of the Socialist Autonomous Province of Kosovo. In 1990, the province was renamed the Autonomous Province of Metohija; the official conventional long name of the state is Republic of Kosovo, as defined by the Constitution of Kosovo, is used to represent Kosovo internationally. Additionally, as a result of an arrangement agreed between Pristina and Belgrade in talks mediated by the European Union, Kosovo has participated in some international forums and organisations under the title "Kosovo*" with a footnote stating "This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, is in line with UNSC 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence"; this arrangement, dubbed the "asterisk agreement", was agreed
The Six-Day War known as the June War, 1967 Arab–Israeli War, or Third Arab–Israeli War, was fought between 5 and 10 June 1967 by Israel and the neighboring states of Egypt and Syria. Relations between Israel and its neighbours were not normalised after the 1948 Arab–Israeli War. In 1956 Israel invaded the Sinai peninsula in Egypt, with one of its objectives being the reopening of the Straits of Tiran that Egypt had blocked to Israeli shipping since 1950. Israel was forced to withdraw, but was guaranteed that the Straits of Tiran would remain open. A United Nations Emergency Force was deployed along the border, but there was no demilitarisation agreement. In the months prior to June 1967, tensions became dangerously heightened. Israel reiterated its post-1956 position that the closure of the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping would be a cause for war. In May Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser announced that the straits would be closed to Israeli vessels and mobilised its Egyptian forces along its border with Israel.
On 5 June, Israel launched what it claimed were a series of preemptive airstrikes against Egyptian airfields. Which side caused the war is one of a number of controversies relating to the conflict; the Egyptians were caught by surprise, nearly the entire Egyptian air force was destroyed with few Israeli losses, giving the Israelis air supremacy. The Israelis launched a ground offensive into the Gaza Strip and the Sinai, which again caught the Egyptians by surprise. After some initial resistance, Nasser ordered the evacuation of the Sinai. Israeli forces rushed westward in pursuit of the Egyptians, inflicted heavy losses, conquered the Sinai. Jordan had entered into a defense pact with Egypt a week. About an hour after the Israeli air attack, the Egyptian commander of the Jordanian army was ordered by Cairo to begin attacks on Israel. Israel subsequently captured and occupied the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, from the Jordanians and the Golan Heights from Syria. Egypt and Jordan agreed to a ceasefire on 8 June, Syria agreed on 9 June.
In the aftermath of the war, Israel had crippled the Egyptian and Jordanian militaries, having killed over 20,000 troops while only losing fewer than 1,000 of its own. The Israeli success was the result of a well-prepared and enacted strategy, the poor leadership of the Arab states, their poor military leadership and strategy. Israel seized the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt, the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, from Jordan and the Golan Heights from Syria. Israel's international standing improved in the following years, its victory humiliated Egypt and Syria, leading Nasser to resign in shame. The speed and ease of Israel's victory would lead to a dangerous overconfidence within the ranks of the Israel Defense Forces, contributing to initial Arab successes in the subsequent 1973 Yom Kippur War, although Israeli forces were successful and defeated the Arab militaries; the displacement of civilian populations resulting from the war would have long-term consequences, as 300,000 Palestinians fled the West Bank and about 100,000 Syrians left the Golan Heights.
Across the Arab world, Jewish minority communities fled or were expelled, with refugees going to Israel or Europe. After the 1956 Suez Crisis, Egypt agreed to the stationing of a United Nations Emergency Force in the Sinai to ensure all parties would comply with the 1949 Armistice Agreements. In the following years there were numerous minor border clashes between Israel and its Arab neighbors Syria. In early November 1966, Syria signed a mutual defense agreement with Egypt. Soon after this, in response to Palestine Liberation Organisation guerilla activity, including a mine attack that left three dead, the Israeli Defence Force attacked the village of as-Samu in the Jordanian-occupied West Bank. Jordanian units that engaged the Israelis were beaten back. King Hussein of Jordan criticized Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser for failing to come to Jordan's aid, "hiding behind UNEF skirts". In May 1967, Nasser received false reports from the Soviet Union that Israel was massing on the Syrian border.
Nasser began massing his troops in two defensive lines in the Sinai Peninsula on Israel's border, expelled the UNEF force from Gaza and Sinai and took over UNEF positions at Sharm el-Sheikh, overlooking the Straits of Tiran. Israel repeated declarations it had made in 1957 that any closure of the Straits would be considered an act of war, or justification for war, but Nasser closed the Straits to Israeli shipping on 22–23 May. After the war, U. S. President Lyndon Johnson commented: If a single act of folly was more responsible for this explosion than any other, it was the arbitrary and dangerous announced decision that the Straits of Tiran would be closed; the right of innocent, maritime passage must be preserved for all nations. On 30 May and Egypt signed a defense pact; the following day, at Jordan's invitation, the Iraqi army began deploying troops and armoured units in Jordan. They were reinforced by an Egyptian contingent. On 1 June, Israel formed a National
Rumney is a district and community in the east of the city of Cardiff, Wales. It lies east of the Rhymney River, is part of Monmouthshire. On 1 April 1938 the Cardiff Extension Act 1937 incorporated it into the county borough of Cardiff, thus it became associated with the geographical county of Glamorgan, although it continued to be shown on maps as part of Monmouthshire; this is a predominantly residential area with a variety of private housing. There are many shopping outlets on Newport Road as well as local shops at the top of Rumney Hill and on Wentloog Road, Countisbury Avenue in Llanrumney also. New industrial and business estates have been developed alongside existing ones on Lamby Way providing employment opportunities. Within the older sectors of the Rumney area are places of interest, such as the historic Rumney Pottery, still in use today and the remains of the old Rumney Castle, a major stronghold on the South Wales coast; the remains of the castle were excavated in the late early 80s.
An old quarry, now being used as a children's park is situated off Ty Mawr Road The Church in Wales parish church of St Augustine, dating from the 12th century, is located on the north side of Church Road. Schools in the area include St Illtyd's Catholic High School; the area is on Cardiff Bus' 44/45 routes between Cardiff Central bus station and St Mellons and the 49/50 routes to Llanrumney. It is served by the 30 service to Newport bus station; the electoral ward of Rumney lies within the parliamentary constituency of Cardiff South and Penarth. It is bounded by the electoral wards of Old St. Mellons to the north. Www.geograph.co.uk: photos of Rumney and surrounding area: The local Scout Group for Rumney and Llanrumney
Libyan Civil War (2011)
The First Libyan Civil War referred to as the Libyan Revolution or 17 February Revolution, was an armed conflict in 2011 in the North African country of Libya fought between forces loyal to Colonel Muammar Gaddafi and those seeking to oust his government. The war was preceded by protests in Zawiya on 8 August 2009 and ignited by protests in Benghazi beginning on Tuesday, 15 February 2011, which led to clashes with security forces that fired on the crowd; the protests escalated into a rebellion that spread across the country, with the forces opposing Gaddafi establishing an interim governing body, the National Transitional Council. The United Nations Security Council passed an initial resolution on 26 February, freezing the assets of Gaddafi and his inner circle and restricting their travel, referred the matter to the International Criminal Court for investigation. In early March, Gaddafi's forces rallied, pushed eastwards and re-took several coastal cities before reaching Benghazi. A further UN resolution authorised member states to establish and enforce a no-fly zone over Libya, to use "all necessary measures" to prevent attacks on civilians, which turned into a bombing campaign by the forces of NATO against military installements and civilian infrastructure of Libyia.
The Gaddafi government announced a ceasefire, but fighting and bombing continued. Throughout the conflict, rebels rejected government offers of a ceasefire and efforts by the African Union to end the fighting because the plans set forth did not include the removal of Gaddafi. In August, rebel forces launched an offensive on the government-held coast of Libya, backed by a wide-reaching NATO bombing campaign, taking back territory lost months before and capturing the capital city of Tripoli, while Gaddafi evaded capture and loyalists engaged in a rearguard campaign. On 16 September 2011, the National Transitional Council was recognised by the United Nations as the legal representative of Libya, replacing the Gaddafi government. Muammar Gaddafi evaded capture until 20 October 2011, when he was killed in Sirte; the National Transitional Council "declared the liberation of Libya" and the official end of the war on 23 October 2011. In the aftermath of the civil war, a low-level insurgency by former Gaddafi loyalists continued.
There have been various disagreements and strife between local militia and tribes, including fighting on 23 January 2012 in the former Gaddafi stronghold of Bani Walid, leading to an alternative town council being established and recognized by the National Transitional Council. A much greater issue has been the role of militias which fought in the civil war and their role in the new Libya; some have refused to disarm, cooperation with the NTC has been strained, leading to demonstrations against militias and government action to disband such groups or integrate them into the Libyan military. These unresolved issues led directly to a second civil war in Libya. Muammar Gaddafi was the head of the Free Officers, a group of Arab nationalists that deposed King Idris I in 1969 in a "bloodless coup." He abolished the Libyan Constitution of 1951. From 1969 until 1975 standards of living, life expectancy and literacy grew rapidly. In 1975 he published his manifesto The Green Book, he stepped down from power in 1977, subsequently claimed to be a "symbolic figurehead" until 2011, with the Libyan government up until also denying that he held any power.
Under Gaddafi, Libya was theoretically a decentralized, direct democracy state run according to the philosophy of Gaddafi's The Green Book, with Gaddafi retaining a ceremonial position. Libya was run by a system of people's committees which served as local governments for the country's subdivisions, an indirectly elected General People's Congress as the legislature, the General People's Committee, led by a Secretary-General, as the executive branch. According to Freedom House, these structures were manipulated to ensure the dominance of Gaddafi, who continued to dominate all aspects of government. WikiLeaks' disclosure of confidential US diplomatic cables revealed US diplomats there speaking of Gaddafi's "mastery of tactical maneuvering". While placing relatives and loyal members of his tribe in central military and government positions, he skillfully marginalized supporters and rivals, thus maintaining a delicate balance of powers and economic developments; this extended to his own sons, as he changed affections to avoid the rise of a clear successor and rival.
Both Gaddafi and the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, however denied that he held any power, but said that he was a symbolic figurehead. While he was popularly seen as a demagogue in the West, Gaddafi always portrayed himself as a statesman-philosopher. According to several Western media sources, Gaddafi feared a military coup against his government and deliberately kept Libya's military weak; the Libyan Army consisted of about 50,000 personnel. Its most powerful units were four crack brigades of equipped and trained soldiers, composed of members of Gaddafi's tribe or members of other tribes loyal to him. One, the Khamis Brigade, was led by his son Khamis. Local militias and Revolutionary Committees across the country were kept well-armed. By contrast, regular military units were poorly armed and trained, were armed with outdated military equipment. By the end of Gaddafi's 42-year rule, Libya's population had a per capita income of $14,000, though a third was estimated to still live below the poverty line.
A broadly secular society was imposed. Child marriage was banned, women enjoyed equality of equal pay for equal work, equal rights in divorce and access to higher educa
BBC News is an operational business division of the British Broadcasting Corporation responsible for the gathering and broadcasting of news and current affairs. The department is the world's largest broadcast news organisation and generates about 120 hours of radio and television output each day, as well as online news coverage; the service maintains 50 foreign news bureaus with more than 250 correspondents around the world. Fran Unsworth has been Director of News and Current Affairs since January 2018; the department's annual budget is in excess of £350 million. BBC News' domestic and online news divisions are housed within the largest live newsroom in Europe, in Broadcasting House in central London. Parliamentary coverage is broadcast from studios in Millbank in London. Through the BBC English Regions, the BBC has regional centres across England, as well as national news centres in Northern Ireland and Wales. All nations and English regions produce their own local news programmes and other current affairs and sport programmes.
The BBC is a quasi-autonomous corporation authorised by Royal Charter, making it operationally independent of the government, who have no power to appoint or dismiss its director-general, required to report impartially. As with all major media outlets it has been accused of political bias from across the political spectrum, both within the UK and abroad; the British Broadcasting Company broadcast its first radio bulletin from radio station.2LO In 14 November 1922. Wishing to avoid competition, newspaper publishers persuaded the government to ban the BBC from broadcasting news before 7:00 pm, to force it to use wire service copy instead of reporting on its own. On Easter weekend in 1930, this reliance on newspaper wire services left the radio news service with no information to report after saying There is no news today. Piano music was played instead; the BBC gained the right to edit the copy and, in 1934, created its own news operation. However, it could not broadcast news before 6 PM until World War II.
Gaumont British and Movietone cinema newsreels had been broadcast on the TV service since 1936, with the BBC producing its own equivalent Television Newsreel programme from January 1948. A weekly Children's Newsreel was inaugurated on 23 April 1950, to around 350,000 receivers; the network began simulcasting its radio news on television in 1946, with a still picture of Big Ben. Televised bulletins began on 5 July 1954, broadcast from leased studios within Alexandra Palace in London; the public's interest in television and live events was stimulated by Elizabeth II's coronation in 1953. It is estimated that up to 27 million people viewed the programme in the UK, overtaking radio's audience of 12 million for the first time; those live pictures were fed from 21 cameras in central London to Alexandra Palace for transmission, on to other UK transmitters opened in time for the event. That year, there were around two million TV Licences held in the UK, rising to over three million the following year, four and a half million by 1955.
Television news, although physically separate from its radio counterpart, was still under radio news' control – correspondents provided reports for both outlets–and that first bulletin, shown on 5 July 1954 on the BBC television service and presented by Richard Baker, involved his providing narration off-screen while stills were shown. This was followed by the customary Television Newsreel with a recorded commentary by John Snagge, it was revealed that this had been due to producers fearing a newsreader with visible facial movements would distract the viewer from the story. On-screen newsreaders were introduced a year in 1955 – Kenneth Kendall, Robert Dougall, Richard Baker–three weeks before ITN's launch on 21 September 1955. Mainstream television production had started to move out of Alexandra Palace in 1950 to larger premises – at Lime Grove Studios in Shepherd's Bush, west London – taking Current Affairs with it, it was from here that the first Panorama, a new documentary programme, was transmitted on 11 November 1953, with Richard Dimbleby becoming anchor in 1955.
On 18 February 1957, the topical early-evening programme Tonight, hosted by Cliff Michelmore and designed to fill the airtime provided by the abolition of the Toddlers' Truce, was broadcast from Marconi's Viking Studio in St Mary Abbott's Place, Kensington – with the programme moving into a Lime Grove studio in 1960, where it maintained its production office. On 28 October 1957, the Today programme, a morning radio programme, was launched in central London on the Home Service. In 1958, Hugh Carleton Greene became head of Current Affairs, he set up a BBC study group whose findings, published in 1959, were critical of what the television news operation had become under his predecessor, Tahu Hole. The report proposed that the head of television news should take control, that the television service should have a proper newsroom of its own, with an editor-of-the-day. On 1 January 1960, Greene became Director-General and brought about big changes at BBC Television and BBC Television News. BBC Television News had been created in 1955, in response to the founding of ITN.
The changes made by Greene were aimed at making BBC reporting more similar to ITN, rated by study groups held by Greene. A newsroom was created at Alexandra Palace, television reporters were recruited and given the opportunity to write and voice their own scripts–without the "impossible burden" of having to cover stories for radio too. In 1987 thirty years John B
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters are at Broadcasting House in Westminster, it is the world's oldest national broadcasting organisation and the largest broadcaster in the world by number of employees, it employs over 20,950 staff in total. The total number of staff is 35,402 when part-time and fixed-contract staff are included; the BBC is established under a Royal Charter and operates under its Agreement with the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture and Sport. Its work is funded principally by an annual television licence fee, charged to all British households and organisations using any type of equipment to receive or record live television broadcasts and iPlayer catch-up; the fee is set by the British Government, agreed by Parliament, used to fund the BBC's radio, TV, online services covering the nations and regions of the UK. Since 1 April 2014, it has funded the BBC World Service, which broadcasts in 28 languages and provides comprehensive TV, online services in Arabic and Persian.
Around a quarter of BBC revenues come from its commercial arm BBC Studios Ltd, which sells BBC programmes and services internationally and distributes the BBC's international 24-hour English-language news services BBC World News, from BBC.com, provided by BBC Global News Ltd. From its inception, through the Second World War, to the 21st century, the BBC has played a prominent role in British culture, it is known colloquially as "The Beeb", "Auntie", or a combination of both. Britain's first live public broadcast from the Marconi factory in Chelmsford took place in June 1920, it was sponsored by the Daily Mail's Lord Northcliffe and featured the famous Australian soprano Dame Nellie Melba. The Melba broadcast caught the people's imagination and marked a turning point in the British public's attitude to radio. However, this public enthusiasm was not shared in official circles where such broadcasts were held to interfere with important military and civil communications. By late 1920, pressure from these quarters and uneasiness among the staff of the licensing authority, the General Post Office, was sufficient to lead to a ban on further Chelmsford broadcasts.
But by 1922, the GPO had received nearly 100 broadcast licence requests and moved to rescind its ban in the wake of a petition by 63 wireless societies with over 3,000 members. Anxious to avoid the same chaotic expansion experienced in the United States, the GPO proposed that it would issue a single broadcasting licence to a company jointly owned by a consortium of leading wireless receiver manufactures, to be known as the British Broadcasting Company Ltd. John Reith, a Scottish Calvinist, was appointed its General Manager in December 1922 a few weeks after the company made its first official broadcast; the company was to be financed by a royalty on the sale of BBC wireless receiving sets from approved domestic manufacturers. To this day, the BBC aims to follow the Reithian directive to "inform and entertain"; the financial arrangements soon proved inadequate. Set sales were disappointing as amateurs made their own receivers and listeners bought rival unlicensed sets. By mid-1923, discussions between the GPO and the BBC had become deadlocked and the Postmaster-General commissioned a review of broadcasting by the Sykes Committee.
The Committee recommended a short term reorganisation of licence fees with improved enforcement in order to address the BBC's immediate financial distress, an increased share of the licence revenue split between it and the GPO. This was to be followed by a simple 10 shillings licence fee with no royalty once the wireless manufactures protection expired; the BBC's broadcasting monopoly was made explicit for the duration of its current broadcast licence, as was the prohibition on advertising. The BBC was banned from presenting news bulletins before 19.00 and was required to source all news from external wire services. Mid-1925 found the future of broadcasting under further consideration, this time by the Crawford committee. By now, the BBC, under Reith's leadership, had forged a consensus favouring a continuation of the unified broadcasting service, but more money was still required to finance rapid expansion. Wireless manufacturers were anxious to exit the loss making consortium with Reith keen that the BBC be seen as a public service rather than a commercial enterprise.
The recommendations of the Crawford Committee were published in March the following year and were still under consideration by the GPO when the 1926 general strike broke out in May. The strike temporarily interrupted newspaper production, with restrictions on news bulletins waived, the BBC became the primary source of news for the duration of the crisis; the crisis placed the BBC in a delicate position. On one hand Reith was acutely aware that the Government might exercise its right to commandeer the BBC at any time as a mouthpiece of the Government if the BBC were to step out of line, but on the other he was anxious to maintain public trust by appearing to be acting independently; the Government was divided on how to handle the BBC but ended up trusting Reith, whose opposition to the strike mirrored the PM's own. Thus the BBC was granted sufficient leeway to pursue the Government's objectives in a manner of its own choosing; the resulting coverage of both striker and government viewpoints impressed millions of listeners who were unaware that the PM had broadcast to the nation from Reith's home, using one of Reith's sound bites inserted at the last moment
The Aberfan disaster was the catastrophic collapse of a colliery spoil tip at around 9:15 am on 21 October 1966. The tip had been created on a mountain slope above the Welsh village of Aberfan, near Merthyr Tydfil and overlaid a natural spring. A period of heavy rain led to a build-up of water within the tip which caused it to slide downhill as a slurry, killing 116 children and 28 adults as it engulfed the local junior school and other buildings; the tip was the responsibility of the National Coal Board, the subsequent inquiry placed the blame for the disaster on the organisation and nine named employees. There were seven spoil tips on the slopes above Aberfan. In contravention of the NCB's official procedures, the tip was based on ground from which water springs emerged. After three weeks of heavy rain the tip was saturated and 140,000 cubic yards of spoil slipped down the side of the hill and onto the Pantglas area of the village; the main building hit was Pantglas Junior School. An official inquiry was chaired by Lord Justice Edmund Davies.
The report placed the blame squarely on the NCB. The organisation's chairman, Lord Robens, was criticised for making misleading statements and for not providing clarity as to the NCB's knowledge of the presence of water springs on the hillside. Neither the NCB nor any of its employees were prosecuted and the organisation was not fined; the Aberfan Disaster Memorial Fund was set up on the day of the disaster. It received nearly 88,000 contributions; the remaining tips were removed only after a lengthy fight by Aberfan residents, against resistance from the NCB and the government on the grounds of cost. Clearing was paid for by a government grant and a forced contribution of £150,000 taken from the memorial fund. In 1997 the British government paid back the £150,000 to the ADMF, in 2007 the Welsh Assembly donated £1.5 million to the fund and £500,000 to the Aberfan Education Charity as recompense for the money wrongly taken. Many of the village's residents suffered medical problems, half the survivors have experienced post-traumatic stress disorder at some time in their lives.
Aberfan is situated toward the bottom of the western valley slope of the Taff Valley, on the eastern slope of Mynydd Merthyr hill four miles south of Merthyr Tydfil. When the Merthyr Vale Colliery was sunk on 23 August 1869 by John Nixon and partners, Aberfan consisted of two cottages and an inn frequented by local farmers and bargemen. By 1966 its population had grown to 5,000, most of whom were employed in the coal industry. Since the nationalisation of the British coal industry in 1947, Aberfan's colliery had been under the control of the National Coal Board. Regulation in the coal industry was provided by HM Inspectorate of Mines; the inspectors had worked as engineers in the coal industry, were former employees of the NCB. The River Taff runs north-to-south through the village; the first spoil from the coal mine was deposited on the valley's lower slopes, east of the canal, but during the 1910s the first tip was started on the western slopes, above the canal line and the village. By 1966 there were seven spoil heaps, comprising 2.6 million cu yd of waste.
Tips 4 and 5 were conical mounds at the apex of the slope, although Tip 4 was misshapen from an earlier slip. Tip 7 was the only one being used in 1966. About 111 feet high, it contained 297,000 cubic yards of spoil, which included 30,000 cubic yards of tailings—waste from the chemical extraction of coal, fine particles of coal and ash which took on the similar properties to quicksand when wet. Tip stability is affected by water conditions. Tips 4, 5 and 7 had been sited on springs; the presence of the springs was common knowledge in the area, they had been marked on the Ordnance Survey and Geological Society maps since 1874. Tip 4 at Aberfan, used between 1933 and 1945, was large, had been started on boggy ground between two streams. At the time of its planning, the Merthyr Tydfil borough engineer thought that despite the position, it would be unlikely to avalanche. Following some ground movements in the tip in the early 1940s, a drainage channel was dug in early 1944. In November that year part of the tip slid 1,600 feet down the mountain to stop 500 feet above the village.
In May 1963 Tip 7 shifted slightly. The NCB stated that the movement had not been a "slide", but was instead a "tailings run"—a run-off of tailings from the surface of the tip—which left its stability unaffected. After the slide, the NCB stopped tipping tailings on number 7, but normal spoil continued to be deposited. Aberfan is in an area of high rainfall, an average of 60 inches a year. In 1960 it was the heaviest of recent years in the run-up to the disaster. Between 1952 and 1965, there was severe flooding in the Pantglas area of Aberfan on at least 11 occasions. Residents left a greasy residue when it receded. Complaints had been made by residents to Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council, who corresponded with the NCB between July 1963 and March 1964 on the topic of the "Danger from Coal Slurry being tipped at the rear of the Pantg