Lebanese Civil War

The Lebanese Civil War was a multifaceted civil war in Lebanon, lasting from 1975 to 1990 and resulting in an estimated 120,000 fatalities. As of 2012 76,000 people remain displaced within Lebanon. There was an exodus of one million people from Lebanon as a result of the war. Before the war, Lebanon was multisectarian, with Sunni Muslims and Christians being the majorities in the coastal cities, Shia Muslims being based in the south and the Beqaa Valley to the east, with the mountain populations being Druze and Christian; the government of Lebanon had been run under a significant influence of the elites among the Maronite Christians. The link between politics and religion had been reinforced under the mandate of the French colonial powers from 1920 to 1943, the parliamentary structure favored a leading position for its Christian population. However, the country had a large Muslim population and many pan-Arabist and left-wing groups opposed the pro-western government; the establishment of the state of Israel and the displacement of a hundred thousand Palestinian refugees to Lebanon during the 1948 and 1967 exoduses contributed to shifting the demographic balance in favor of the Muslim population.

The Cold War had a powerful disintegrative effect on Lebanon, linked to the polarization that preceded the 1958 political crisis, since Maronites sided with the West while leftist and pan-Arab groups sided with Soviet-aligned Arab countries. Fighting between Maronite and Palestinian forces began in 1975 Leftist, pan-Arabist and Muslim Lebanese groups formed an alliance with the Palestinians. During the course of the fighting, alliances shifted and unpredictably. Furthermore, foreign powers, such as Israel and Syria, became involved in the war and fought alongside different factions. Peace keeping forces, such as the Multinational Force in Lebanon and UNIFIL, were stationed in Lebanon; the 1989 Taif Agreement marked the beginning of the end of the fighting. In January 1989, a committee appointed by the Arab League began to formulate solutions to the conflict. In March 1991, parliament passed an amnesty law that pardoned all political crimes prior to its enactment. In May 1991, the militias were dissolved, with the exception of Hezbollah, while the Lebanese Armed Forces began to rebuild as Lebanon's only major non-sectarian institution.

Religious tensions between Sunnis and Shias remained after the war. In 1860 a civil war between Druze and Maronites erupted in the Ottoman Mutasarrifate of Mount Lebanon, divided between them in 1842; the war resulted in the massacre of at least 6,000 Druzes. The 1860 war was considered by the Druze as a political defeat. World War I was hard for the Lebanese. While the rest of the world was occupied with the World War, the people in Lebanon were suffering from a famine that would last nearly four years. With the defeat and dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, Turkish rule ended. France took control of the area under the French Mandate for Syria and the Lebanon under the League of Nations; the French created the state of Greater Lebanon as a safe haven for the Maronites, but included a large Muslim population within the borders. In 1926, Lebanon was declared a republic, a constitution was adopted. However, the constitution was suspended in 1932. Various factions sought independence from the French.

In 1934, the country's first census was conducted. In 1936, the Maronite Phalange party was founded by Pierre Gemayel. World War II and the 1940s brought great change to the Middle East. Lebanon was promised independence, achieved on 22 November 1943. Free French troops, who had invaded Lebanon in 1941 to rid Beirut of the Vichy French forces, left the country in 1946; the Maronites assumed power over the economy. A parliament was created in which Christians each had a set quota of seats. Accordingly, the President was to be a Maronite, the Prime Minister a Sunni Muslim and the Speaker of Parliament a Shia Muslim; the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine in late 1947 led to civil war in Palestine, the end of Mandatory Palestine, the Israeli Declaration of Independence on 14 May 1948. With nationhood, the ongoing civil war was transformed into a state conflict between Israel and the Arab states, the 1948 Arab–Israeli War. All this led to Palestinian refugees crossing the border into Lebanon.

Palestinians would go on to play a important role in future Lebanese civil conflicts, while the establishment of Israel radically changed the region around Lebanon. In July 1958, Lebanon was threatened by a civil war between Maronite Christians and Muslims. President Camille Chamoun had attempted to break the stranglehold on Lebanese politics exercised by traditional political families in Lebanon; these families maintained their electoral appeal by cultivating strong client-patron relations with their local communities. Although he succeeded in sponsoring alternative political candidates to enter the elections in 1957, causing the traditional families to lose their positions, these families embarked upon a war with Chamoun, referred to as the War of the Pashas. In previous years, tensions with Egypt had escalated in 1956 when the non-aligned President, Camille Chamoun, did not break off diplomatic relations with the Western powers that attacked Egypt during the Suez Crisis, angering Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser.

This was during the Cold War and Chamoun has been called pro-Western, though he had signed several trade deals with the Soviet Union. However, Na

William Brown (admiral)

William Brown was an Irish-born Argentine admiral. Brown's victories in the Independence War, the Cisplatine War and the Anglo-French blockade of the Río de la Plata earned the respect and appreciation of the Argentine people, he is still regarded as one of Argentina's national heroes. Creator and first admiral of the country's maritime forces, he is known as the "father of the Argentine Navy". Brown was born in Foxford, County Mayo, Ireland, on 22 June 1777, his family emigrated to Philadelphia, around 1786, when he was nine years old. A short time after the arrival, the friend who had invited them and offered them food and hospitality died of yellow fever. Several days William's father succumbed to the same disease. One morning, while he was wandering along the banks of the Delaware River, he met the captain of a ship moored in port; the captain inquired if he wanted Brown agreed. The captain and there engaged him as a cabin boy, thereby setting him on the naval promotion ladder, where he worked his way to the captaincy of a merchant vessel.

Comparatively little is known of Brown's early life, it has been suggested that he was illegitimate and took his mother's surname and that his father's surname was Gannon. After ten years on the Atlantic, where he developed his skills as a seaman and reached the level of captain, he was press-ganged into a British ship. British impressment of American sailors was one of the primary issues leading to the War of 1812. During the Napoleonic Wars, Brown scuttled the vessel. However, the French did not believe he had imprisoned him in Lorient. On being transferred to Metz, he escaped. However, he was imprisoned in the fortress of Verdun. In 1809 Brown escaped from there in the company of a British colonel named Clutchwell, reached German territory. Returning to England, he renounced his maritime career and on 29 July 1809, he married Elizabeth Chitty in Kent. Brown left the same year for the Río de la Plata on board Belmond and set himself up as a merchant in Montevideo, Uruguay. Brown became part-owner of a ship called Eliza, trading between Montevideo and Buenos Aires.

When Eliza met with disaster and ran aground, Brown carried his cargo inland and having disposed of it profitably, he next crossed the Andes to Chile. He had by now accumulated sufficient capital to enable him to purchase a schooner called Industria with which he opened a regular sailing-packet service between Uruguay and Argentina, the first such venture in South America; the Spanish colonial government stepped in sensing a threat to its mercantile interests. Spanish ships destroyed Brown's schooner and took drastic steps to nullify Argentina's attempts to defend its coasts against Spanish raiders; as a result of the incident, Argentina resolved to provide ships to protect her coasts and trade, with Brown being commissioned as a lieutenant-colonel at the service of the navy and appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Argentine fleet. That was following the challenge of Benjamin Franklin Seavers, registered as a Canadian merchant shipman, who relinquished his challenge when Brown's illegal press ganging earlier in his career came to light, believed to have tipped into his favour to lead the flotilla.

Seavers was American-born. However, following the Embargo Act of 1807, like most other merchant shipmen, he became Canadian to avoid the double taxation imposed on international trade; the River Plate presented new opportunities for captains of free enterprise. It was important to keep grain lines open to the north of the continent, the Spanish stood in the way. Seavers was Brown's second-in-command. Seavers was the first casualty of the battle; the news of the death of his friend and comrade impelled Brown to launch a full attack on the Spanish as Argentine morale was low at the loss of this experienced officer so early in the engagement. On 10 March 1814 the Hercules, joined by the Julieta, the Tortugas, the Fortunata and the felucca San Luis, faced the strong Spanish naval fleet commanded by Captain Jacinto de Romarate; the Spanish armada had six war ships, gunboats and a land battery with four cannons. There was a fierce combat. American-born officer Benjamin Franklin Seaver, commander of the Julieta, was killed in action.

The Hercules defended herself until 12 March at 10 am. As a result of this combat Commander Elias Smith, Lieutenant Robert Stacy and forty-five sailors were killed by grapeshot. There were about fifty wounded; the flagship was repaired in the war zone. Plumb plates were placed under the hull covered with leathers and tar. Henceforth it was nicknamed as'the Black Frigate'. Richard Baxter, an English-born officer, was appointed as the new commander. On 17 March 1814 Brown attacked the island Martín García together with the Zephir; the Hercules engaged in combat with the Spanish warships Carmen. A land attack was organized and at that moment William Brown ordered the fife and the drum to play "Saint Patrick's Day in the Morning", which boosted the morale of the troops. On 20 April 1814, Montevideo was blocked by Argentine forces. There were no other major engagements until 14 May, when combat started, but the sea conditions stopped a full attack. Brown resolved to attack the formidable Spani


Righthaven LLC was a copyright enforcement company founded in early 2010. Based in Las Vegas, Nevada; the lawsuits were much criticized by commentators, who describe the activity as copyright trolling and the company as a "lawsuit factory". Righthaven LLC's CEO, Steven Gibson, a partner at Las Vegas law firm Gibson & True LLP spoke to the media about Righthaven. Although its strategy was successful at first, it was undone in 2011 when several judges held that, since Righthaven didn't own the copyrights, it had no standing to sue for infringement; the company was forced into receivership in November 2011 due to outstanding legal fees to a successful defendant. In January 2012, its domain name,, was sold at auction to help satisfy its debts. In March 2013, Stephens Media bought back what copyrights they had transferred to Righthaven, allowing the Righthaven Receivership Estate to pay off legal fees. Righthaven entered agreements concerning old news articles from Stephens Media, publisher of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, based on a business model of suing bloggers, other Internet authors, Internet site operators for statutory damages for having reproduced the articles on their sites without permission.

An affiliate of Stephens Media owned half of Righthaven. By March 24, 2011, 255 cases had been filed. Righthaven has demanded $75,000 and surrender of the domain name from each alleged infringer, but accepted out of court settlements of several thousand dollars per defendant; as of December 2010 70 cases had settled. The Electronic Frontier Foundation soon took up the case on behalf of several defendants. Kurt Opsahl, an EFF attorney, said, "Despite what Righthaven claims, it's hard to interpret these lawsuits as anything else besides a way to bully Internet users into paying unnecessary settlements."In August 2010, the company entered an agreement with WEHCO Media in Arkansas to pursue similar actions. It made a similar arrangement with Media News Group, publisher of the San Jose Mercury News. In December 2010, Righthaven began to sue website operators over republished graphics and photographs, expanded its scope to material published by the Denver Post and other newspapers; that month it filed more than a dozen lawsuits over a graphic illustration of the "Vdara death ray" that had gone viral.

In April 2011, a federal judge unsealed the agreement between Righthaven and Stephens Media, revealing that Stephens media receives 50% of the proceeds of lawsuits. In addition, an attorney for one of the defendants claims that the agreement provides only limited rights to the copyrights of Stephens Media only the right to sue; some defense attorneys argue that one must have complete ownership in order to have standing to sue, which may undermine the lawsuits related to the Review-Journal material. On June 14, 2011, Federal District Court Judge Roger L. Hunt ruled that Righthaven had no standing to sue for copyright infringement, on the grounds that the original parties retain the actual copyrights. Hunt dressed down Righthaven for misrepresenting its financial connections to Stephens Media. Among other sanctions imposed by Hunt, Righthaven was fined US$5,000 for the misrepresentation. On August 15, 2011, after losing a case handled by Marc Randazza Righthaven was ordered to pay $34,045.50 in attorney's fees and court costs in its unsuccessful lawsuit against Wayne Hoehn.

Righthaven had sued Hoehn for copying a Review-Journal editorial to a blog. Federal judge Philip Pro found that Righthaven had no standing to sue, in any case Hoehn's posting was protected by fair use; the matter was brought to an appeal at the 9th Circuit court of appeals in California, which upheld the dismissal and the attorneys fees judgment. On September 7, 2011, Legal Wings Inc. a process server used by Righthaven between May and October 2010, filed a lawsuit against Righthaven in Las Vegas Township Justice Court for unpaid bills valued at $5,670. On September 8, 2011, the MediaNews Group announced it was terminating its deal with Righthaven at the end of the month; the new CEO of the company, John Paton, called the Righthaven deal "a dumb idea from the start" and further said that had he been CEO at the time of the decision, he would have never signed it. On October 26, 2011, Righthaven was ordered to pay $119,488 in attorney's fees and court costs in its lawsuit against former federal prosecutor Thomas DiBiase.

Righthaven had sued DiBiase for posting a Review-Journal story about a murder case without permission. Hunt, who had presided over the Democratic Underground case, threw out Righthaven's suit that summer after finding Righthaven lacked standing. On October 29, 2011, Wayne Hoehn asked Pro to seize Righthaven's assets, including its bank accounts and property, to provide for the payment of Hoehn's legal fees from the August 2011 ruling; the company had delayed the payment to avoid bankruptcy. On November 1, 2011, Pro authorized the US Marshals Service to use reasonable force to seize $63,000 in cash and assets from Righthaven in order to pay Hoehn's legal fees; the amount included additional fees from three months of delays. When it was discovered that the company bank account held less than $1,000, the court issued an order for Righthaven to turn over its intellectual property to a court-appointed receiver to be sold at auction. Righthaven did not comply by the December 19, 2011 deadline, filed an emergency appeal with the 9th U.

S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco to stop the auction from