North Africa is a region encompassing the northern portion of the African continent. There is no singularly accepted scope for the region, it is sometimes defined as stretching from the Atlantic shores of Morocco in the west, to Egypt's Suez Canal and the Red Sea in the east. Others have limited it to top North-Western countries like Algeria and Tunisia, a region, known by the French during colonial times as "Afrique du Nord" and is known by all Arabs as the Maghreb; the most accepted definition includes Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt, the 6 countries that shape the top North of the African continent. Meanwhile, "North Africa" when used in the term North Africa and the Middle East refers only to the countries of the Maghreb and Libya. Egypt, being part of the Middle East, is considered separately, due to being both North African and Middle Eastern at the same time. North Africa includes a number of Spanish and Portuguese possessions, Plazas de soberanía, Ceuta and Melilla and the Canary Islands and Madeira.
The countries of North Africa share a common ethnic and linguistic identity, unique to this region. Northwest Africa has been inhabited by Berbers since the beginning of recorded history, while the eastern part of North Africa has been home to the Egyptians. Between the A. D. 600s and 1000s, Arabs from the Middle East swept across the region in a wave of Muslim conquest. These peoples, physically quite similar, formed a single population in many areas, as Berbers and Egyptians merged into Arabic and Muslim culture; this process of Arabization and Islamization has defined the cultural landscape of North Africa since. The distinction between North Africa, the Sahel and the rest of the continent is as follows: Nineteenth century European explorers, attracted by the accounts of Ancient geographers or Arab geographers of the classical period, followed the routes by the nomadic people of the vast "empty" space, they documented the names of the stopping places they discovered or rediscovered, described landscapes, took a few climate measurements and gathered rock samples.
A map began to fill in the white blotch. The Sahara and the Sahel entered the geographic corpus by way of naturalist explorers because aridity is the feature that circumscribes the boundaries of the ecumene; the map details included topographical relief and location of watering holes crucial to long crossings. The Arabic word "Sahel" and "Sahara" made its entry into the vocabulary of geography. Latitudinally, the "slopes" of the arid desert, devoid of continuous human habitation, descend in step-like fashion toward the northern and southern edges of the Mediterranean that opens to Europe and the Sahel that opens to "Trab al Sudan." Longitudinally, a uniform grid divides the central desert shrinks back toward the Atlantic Ocean and the Red Sea. The Sahara-Sahel is further divided into a total of twenty sub-areas: central, southern, eastern, etc. In this way, "standard" geography has determined aridity to be the boundary of the ecumene, it identifies settlements based on visible activity without regard for social or political organizations of space in vast, purportedly “empty” areas.
It gives only cursory acknowledgement to what makes Saharan geography, for that matter, world geography unique: mobility and the routes by which it flows. The Sahel or "African Transition Zone" has been affected by many formative epochs in North African history ranging from Ottoman occupation to the Arab-Berber control of the Andalus; as a result, many modern African nation-states that are included in the Sahel evidence cultural similarities and historical overlap with their North African neighbours. In the present day, North Africa is associated with West Asia in the realm of geopolitics to form a Middle East-North Africa region; the Islamic influence in the area is significant and North Africa is a major part of the Muslim world. Some researchers have postulated that North Africa rather than East Africa served as the exit point for the modern humans who first trekked out of the continent in the Out of Africa migration. North Africa has three main geographic features: the Sahara desert in the south, the Atlas Mountains in the west, the Nile River and delta in the east.
The Atlas Mountains extend across much of northern Algeria and Tunisia. These mountains are part of the fold mountain system that runs through much of Southern Europe, they recede to the south and east, becoming a steppe landscape before meeting the Sahara desert, which covers more than 75 percent of the region. The tallest peaks are in the High Atlas range in south-central Morocco, which has many snow-capped peaks. South of the Atlas Mountains is the dry and barren expanse of the Sahara desert, the largest sand desert in the world. In places the desert is cut by irregular watercourses called wadis—streams that flow only after rainfalls but are dry; the Sahara's major landforms include large seas of sand that sometimes form into huge dunes. The Sahara covers the southern part of Algeria and Tunisia, most of Libya. Only two regions of Libya are outside the desert: Tripolitania in the northwest and Cyrenaica in the northeast. Most of Egypt is desert, with the exception of the Nile River and the irrigated land along its banks.
The Nile Valley forms a narrow fertile thread. Sheltered valleys in the Atlas Mountains, the Nile Valley and Delta, the Mediterranean coast are the main sources of fertile farming land. A wide variety of valuable crops including ce
Virtual International Authority File
The Virtual International Authority File is an international authority file. It is a joint project of several national libraries and operated by the Online Computer Library Center. Discussion about having a common international authority started in the late 1990s. After a series of failed attempts to come up with a unique common authority file, the new idea was to link existing national authorities; this would present all the benefits of a common file without requiring a large investment of time and expense in the process. The project was initiated by the US Library of Congress, the German National Library and the OCLC on August 6, 2003; the Bibliothèque nationale de France joined the project on October 5, 2007. The project transitioned to being a service of the OCLC on April 4, 2012; the aim is to link the national authority files to a single virtual authority file. In this file, identical records from the different data sets are linked together. A VIAF record receives a standard data number, contains the primary "see" and "see also" records from the original records, refers to the original authority records.
The data are available for research and data exchange and sharing. Reciprocal updating uses the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting protocol; the file numbers are being added to Wikipedia biographical articles and are incorporated into Wikidata. VIAF's clustering algorithm is run every month; as more data are added from participating libraries, clusters of authority records may coalesce or split, leading to some fluctuation in the VIAF identifier of certain authority records. Authority control Faceted Application of Subject Terminology Integrated Authority File International Standard Authority Data Number International Standard Name Identifier Wikipedia's authority control template for articles Official website VIAF at OCLC
Prisoner of war
A prisoner of war is a person, whether a combatant or a non-combatant, held in custody by a belligerent power during or after an armed conflict. The earliest recorded usage of the phrase "prisoner of war" dates back to 1660. Belligerents hold prisoners of war in custody for a range of legitimate and illegitimate reasons, such as isolating them from enemy combatants still in the field, demonstrating military victory, punishing them, prosecuting them for war crimes, exploiting them for their labour, recruiting or conscripting them as their own combatants, collecting military and political intelligence from them, or indoctrinating them in new political or religious beliefs. For most of human history, depending on the culture of the victors, enemy combatants on the losing side in a battle who had surrendered and been taken as a prisoner of war could expect to be either slaughtered or enslaved; the first Roman gladiators were prisoners of war and were named according to their ethnic roots such as Samnite and the Gaul.
Homer's Iliad describes Greek and Trojan soldiers offering rewards of wealth to opposing forces who have defeated them on the battlefield in exchange for mercy, but their offers are not always accepted. Little distinction was made between enemy combatants and enemy civilians, although women and children were more to be spared. Sometimes, the purpose of a battle, if not a war, was to capture a practice known as raptio. Women had no rights, were held as chattel. In the fourth century AD, Bishop Acacius of Amida, touched by the plight of Persian prisoners captured in a recent war with the Roman Empire, who were held in his town under appalling conditions and destined for a life of slavery, took the initiative of ransoming them, by selling his church's precious gold and silver vessels, letting them return to their country. For this he was canonized. During Childeric's siege and blockade of Paris in 464, the nun Geneviève pleaded with the Frankish king for the welfare of prisoners of war and met with a favourable response.
Clovis I liberated captives after Genevieve urged him to do so. Many French prisoners of war were killed during the Battle of Agincourt in 1415; this was done in retaliation for the French killing of the boys and other non-combatants handling the baggage and equipment of the army, because the French were attacking again and Henry was afraid that they would break through and free the prisoners to fight again. In the Middle Ages, a number of religious wars aimed to not only defeat but eliminate their enemies. In Christian Europe, the extermination of heretics was considered desirable. Examples include the Northern Crusades; when asked by a Crusader how to distinguish between the Catholics and Cathars once they'd taken the city of Béziers, the Papal Legate Arnaud Amalric famously replied, "Kill them all, God will know His own". The inhabitants of conquered cities were massacred during the Crusades against the Muslims in the 11th and 12th centuries. Noblemen could hope to be ransomed. In feudal Japan, there was no custom of ransoming prisoners of war, who were for the most part summarily executed.
The expanding Mongol Empire was famous for distinguishing between cities or towns that surrendered, where the population were spared but required to support the conquering Mongol army, those that resisted, where their city was ransacked and destroyed, all the population killed. In Termez, on the Oxus: "all the people, both men and women, were driven out onto the plain, divided in accordance with their usual custom they were all slain"; the Aztecs were at war with neighbouring tribes and groups, with the goal of this constant warfare being to collect live prisoners for sacrifice. For the re-consecration of Great Pyramid of Tenochtitlan in 1487, "between 10,000 and 80,400 persons" were sacrificed. During the early Muslim conquests, Muslims captured large number of prisoners. Aside from those who converted, most were enslaved. Christians who were captured during the Crusades, were either killed or sold into slavery if they could not pay a ransom. During his lifetime, Muhammad made it the responsibility of the Islamic government to provide food and clothing, on a reasonable basis, to captives, regardless of their religion.
The freeing of prisoners was recommended as a charitable act. On certain occasions where Muhammad felt the enemy had broken a treaty with the Muslims, he ordered the mass execution of male prisoners, such as the Banu Qurayza. Females and children of this tribe were divided up as spoils of war by Muhammad; the 1648 Peace of Westphalia, which ended the Thirty Years' War, established the rule that prisoners of war should be released without ransom at the end of hostilities and that they should be allowed to return to their homelands. There evolved the right of parole, French for "discourse", in which a captured officer surrendered his sword and gave his word as a gentleman in exchange for privileges. If he swore not to escape, he could gain the freedom of the prison. If he swore to cease hostilities against the nation who held him captive, he could be repatriated or exchanged but could not serve against his former captors in a military capacity. Ea
South Africa the Republic of South Africa, is the southernmost country in Africa. It is bounded to the south by 2,798 kilometres of coastline of Southern Africa stretching along the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans. South Africa is the largest country in Southern Africa and the 25th-largest country in the world by land area and, with over 57 million people, is the world's 24th-most populous nation, it is the southernmost country on the mainland of the Eastern Hemisphere. About 80 percent of South Africans are of Sub-Saharan African ancestry, divided among a variety of ethnic groups speaking different African languages, nine of which have official status; the remaining population consists of Africa's largest communities of European and multiracial ancestry. South Africa is a multiethnic society encompassing a wide variety of cultures and religions, its pluralistic makeup is reflected in the constitution's recognition of 11 official languages, the fourth highest number in the world. Two of these languages are of European origin: Afrikaans developed from Dutch and serves as the first language of most coloured and white South Africans.
The country is one of the few in Africa never to have had a coup d'état, regular elections have been held for a century. However, the vast majority of black South Africans were not enfranchised until 1994. During the 20th century, the black majority sought to recover its rights from the dominant white minority, with this struggle playing a large role in the country's recent history and politics; the National Party imposed apartheid in 1948. After a long and sometimes violent struggle by the African National Congress and other anti-apartheid activists both inside and outside the country, the repeal of discriminatory laws began in 1990. Since 1994, all ethnic and linguistic groups have held political representation in the country's liberal democracy, which comprises a parliamentary republic and nine provinces. South Africa is referred to as the "rainbow nation" to describe the country's multicultural diversity in the wake of apartheid; the World Bank classifies South Africa as an upper-middle-income economy, a newly industrialised country.
Its economy is the second-largest in Africa, the 34th-largest in the world. In terms of purchasing power parity, South Africa has the seventh-highest per capita income in Africa; however and inequality remain widespread, with about a quarter of the population unemployed and living on less than US$1.25 a day. South Africa has been identified as a middle power in international affairs, maintains significant regional influence; the name "South Africa" is derived from the country's geographic location at the southern tip of Africa. Upon formation, the country was named the Union of South Africa in English, reflecting its origin from the unification of four separate British colonies. Since 1961, the long form name in English has been the "Republic of South Africa". In Dutch, the country was named Republiek van Zuid-Afrika, replaced in 1983 by the Afrikaans Republiek van Suid-Afrika. Since 1994, the Republic has had an official name in each of its 11 official languages. Mzansi, derived from the Xhosa noun umzantsi meaning "south", is a colloquial name for South Africa, while some Pan-Africanist political parties prefer the term "Azania".
South Africa contains human-fossil sites in the world. Archaeologists have recovered extensive fossil remains from a series of caves in Gauteng Province; the area, a UNESCO World Heritage site, has been branded "the Cradle of Humankind". The sites include one of the richest sites for hominin fossils in the world. Other sites include Gondolin Cave Kromdraai, Coopers Cave and Malapa. Raymond Dart identified the first hominin fossil discovered in Africa, the Taung Child in 1924. Further hominin remains have come from the sites of Makapansgat in Limpopo Province and Florisbad in the Free State Province, Border Cave in KwaZulu-Natal Province, Klasies River Mouth in Eastern Cape Province and Pinnacle Point and Die Kelders Cave in Western Cape Province; these finds suggest that various hominid species existed in South Africa from about three million years ago, starting with Australopithecus africanus. There followed species including Australopithecus sediba, Homo ergaster, Homo erectus, Homo rhodesiensis, Homo helmei, Homo naledi and modern humans.
Modern humans have inhabited Southern Africa for at least 170,000 years. Various researchers have located pebble tools within the Vaal River valley. Settlements of Bantu-speaking peoples, who were iron-using agriculturists and herdsmen, were present south of the Limpopo River by the 4th or 5th century CE, they displaced and absorbed the original Khoisan speakers, the Khoikhoi and San peoples. The Bantu moved south; the earliest ironworks in modern-day KwaZulu-Natal Province are believed to date from around 1050. The southernmost group was the Xhosa people, whose language incorporates certain linguistic traits from the earlier Khoisan people; the Xhosa reached the Great Fish River, in today's Eastern Cape Province. As they migrated, these larger Iron Age populations
Township (South Africa)
In South Africa, the terms township and location refer to the underdeveloped racially segregated urban areas that, from the late 19th century until the end of apartheid, were reserved for non-whites, namely Indians and Coloureds. Townships were built on the periphery of towns and cities; the term township has a distinct legal meaning in South Africa's system of land title, which carries no racial connotations. Townships for non-whites were called locations or lokasies in Afrikaans, are still referred to by that name in smaller towns; the slang term "kasie", a popular short version of "lokasie" is used. Townships sometimes have large informal settlements nearby. KwaGuqa had 130 000 population in census 2011 and should be on the first page of your list of township During the first half of the twentieth century, a clear majority of the black population in major urban areas lived in hostels or servants’ accommodations provided by employers and were single men. In the period during and following World War II urban areas of South Africa experienced a rapid period of urbanisation as the colour bar was relaxed due to the war.
Neither employers nor the government built new accommodation or homes for the influx of new residents. This led to overcrowding, poor living conditions, the absence of amenities thereby contributing to high levels of crime and violence. High rents and overcrowding led to land invasions and the growth of shack settlements which were ignored by government. By 1950 a substantial proportion of the urban black population lived in townships. In 1950, upwards of 100,000 people were living in townships on the Witwatersrand area, 50,000 people in Cato Manor in Durban, an estimated 150,000 black and coloured people lived in townships in Cape Town. Living conditions in the shack township settlements were low but had the advantage over other more established options in the hostels of being cheap and unregulated by the apartheid era South African Police. During the era of ideological apartheid, black people were evicted from properties that were in areas designated as "white only" and forced to move into segregated townships.
Separate townships were established for each of the three designated non-white race groups - black people and Indians - as per the Population Registration Act, 1950. Legislation that enabled the apartheid government to do this included the Group Areas Act. Most South African towns and cities have at least one township associated with them; some old townships have seen rapid development since 1994 with, for instance and middle-income areas sprouting in parts of Soweto and Chatsworth. Despite their origins in apartheid South Africa, today the terms township and informal settlement are not used pejoratively; however policy makers are, as in the 1950s, once again using the term'slums' in a pejorative way. Township communities are faced with several social problems. Most the residents of townships do not own the land on which their houses are built. In effect, these houses are built illegally. Construction is unregulated by the government; this results in a lack of access to basic services such as sewerage, electricity and clean water, which adversely affects residents' quality of life.
Sewerage and electrical Infrastructure within townships is in need of repair, resulting in a lack of sanitation due to problems with accessibility, availability. Electricity and sewerage are managed by different government departments, resulting in inefficiencies in the absence of substantial co-ordination at all stages of the project planning and implementation cycle; the sewerage system within the townships is constructed. The population of the townships grows faster than the infrastructure was planned for, causing overloads which result in blockages and overflows. There are a limited number of public toilets that are over-used and become health hazards for the community. Another that caused by the lack of space between houses is poor access for maintenance activities; some of the areas on the township peripheries or near riverbanks do not have access to facilities because they are not connected to the formal waterborne sewerage system. A consequence of inadequate pumping infrastructure and large populations is that water pressure in townships is low.
With each section of the townships is one pump per section. The water is used for everything from cleaning clothes, drinking and cleaning the house. Having little water accessible to each section makes it hard to get enough water for a day per household. Electrical wires strung along the trees leading to power boxes is an ubiquitous sight in the townships, due to illegal electricity connections; this is dangerous, however every house in the area has a wire coming out of it and every wire is known by their owner in order to fix problems as soon as they arise. Most of the sub-stations are unsecured to begin with so having so many additional wires coming off of it is dangerous for the people nearby and the kids playing in the area; the government does not like that the people using the sub-stations are not actual residents so they refuse to give them electricity but if they were to install more sub-stations the problem would be solved. Some townships, such as Alexandra and Diepsloot, are built near rivers, on flood plains.
These areas are dense with only tortuous, narrow access, few communal water points and banks of chemical toilets on the peripheries of the settlements. The settlements are beginning to be built in the old tributaries due to the continuing growth of the townships. With the houses in the dried up tributaries is
The Victoria Cross is the highest and most prestigious award of the British honours system. It is awarded for gallantry "in the presence of the enemy" to members of the British Armed Forces, it may be awarded posthumously. It was awarded to Commonwealth countries, most of which have established their own honours systems and no longer recommend British honours, it may be awarded to a person of any military rank in any service and to civilians under military command although no civilian has received the award since 1879. Since the first awards were presented by Queen Victoria in 1857, two-thirds of all awards have been presented by the British monarch; these investitures are held at Buckingham Palace. The VC was introduced on 29 January 1856 by Queen Victoria to honour acts of valour during the Crimean War. Since the medal has been awarded 1,358 times to 1,355 individual recipients. Only 15 medals, 11 to members of the British Army, four to the Australian Army, have been awarded since the Second World War.
The traditional explanation of the source of the metal from which the medals are struck is that it derives from Russian cannon captured at the Siege of Sevastopol. However, research has suggested another origin for the material. Historian John Glanfield has established that the metal for most of the medals made since December 1914 came from two Chinese cannon, that there is no evidence of Russian origin. Owing to its rarity, the VC is prized and the medal has fetched over £400,000 at auction. A number of public and private collections are devoted to the Victoria Cross; the private collection of Lord Ashcroft, amassed since 1986, contains over one-tenth of all VCs awarded. Following a 2008 donation to the Imperial War Museum, the Ashcroft collection went on public display alongside the museum's Victoria and George Cross collection in November 2010. Beginning with the Centennial of Confederation in 1967, followed in 1975 by Australia and New Zealand, developed their own national honours systems, separate from and independent of the British or Imperial honours system.
As each country's system evolved, operational gallantry awards were developed with the premier award of each system—the Victoria Cross for Australia, the Canadian Victoria Cross and the Victoria Cross for New Zealand—being created and named in honour of the Victoria Cross. These are unique awards of each honours system, assessed and presented by each country. In 1854, after 39 years of peace, Britain found itself fighting a major war against Russia; the Crimean War was one of the first wars with modern reporting, the dispatches of William Howard Russell described many acts of bravery and valour by British servicemen that went unrewarded. Before the Crimean War, there was no official standardised system for recognition of gallantry within the British armed forces. Officers were eligible for an award of one of the junior grades of the Order of the Bath and brevet promotions while a Mention in Despatches existed as an alternative award for acts of lesser gallantry; this structure was limited. Brevet promotions or Mentions in Despatches were confined to those who were under the immediate notice of the commanders in the field members of the commander's own staff.
Other European countries had awards that did not discriminate against rank. There was a growing feeling among the public and in the Royal Court that a new award was needed to recognise incidents of gallantry that were unconnected with the length or merit of a man's service. Queen Victoria issued a Warrant under the Royal sign-manual on 29 January 1856 that constituted the VC; the order was backdated to 1854 to recognise acts of valour during the Crimean War. Queen Victoria had instructed the War Office to strike a new medal that would not recognise birth or class; the medal was meant to be a simple decoration that would be prized and eagerly sought after by those in the military services. To maintain its simplicity, Queen Victoria, under the guidance of Prince Albert, vetoed the suggestion that the award be called The Military Order of Victoria and instead suggested the name Victoria Cross; the original warrant stated that the Victoria Cross would only be awarded to officers and men who had served in the presence of the enemy and had performed some signal act of valour or devotion.
The first ceremony was held on 26 June 1857 at which Queen Victoria invested 62 of the 111 Crimean recipients in a ceremony in Hyde Park, London. A single company of jewellers, Hancocks of London, has been responsible for the production of every VC awarded since its inception, it has long been believed that all the VCs were cast from the cascabels of two cannon that were captured from the Russians at the siege of Sevastopol. However, in 1990 Creagh and Ashton conducted a metallurgical examination of the VCs in the custody of the Australian War Memorial, the historian John Glanfield wrote that, through the use of X-ray studies of older Victoria Crosses, it was determined that the metal used for all VCs since December 1914 is taken from antique Chinese guns, replacing an earlier gun. Creagh noted the existence of Chinese inscriptions on the cannon, which are now legible due to corrosion. A explanation is that these cannon were taken as trophies during the First Opium War and held in the Woolwich repository.
It was thought that some medals made during the First World War were composed of metal captured from different Chinese guns during the Boxer Rebellion. This is not so