Leopold II, Holy Roman Emperor

Leopold II was Holy Roman Emperor, King of Hungary, Bohemia from 1790 to 1792, Archduke of Austria and Grand Duke of Tuscany from 1765 to 1790. He was the earliest opponent of capital punishment in modern history, he was a son of Empress Maria Theresa and her husband, Emperor Francis I, the brother of Marie Antoinette, Queen of France, Maria Carolina of Austria and Joseph II, Holy Roman Emperor. Leopold was a moderate proponent of enlightened absolutism, he granted the Academy of Georgofili his protection. Despite his brief reign, he is regarded; the historian Paul W. Schroeder called him "one of the most shrewd and sensible monarchs to wear a crown". Leopold was born in Vienna, his parents' third son, was at first educated for the priesthood. In 1753, he was engaged to heiress to the Duchy of Modena; the marriage never materialised. On the death of his elder brother, Charles, in 1761, it was decided that Leopold should succeed to his father's Grand Duchy of Tuscany, erected into a "secundogeniture", or apanage, for a second son.

This settlement was the condition of his marriage on 5 August 1764 with Infanta Maria Luisa of Spain, daughter of Charles III of Spain and Maria Amalia of Saxony. On the death of his father, Francis I, he succeeded to the grand duchy. Leopold was famous in Florence for his numerous extra-marital affairs. For five years, Leopold exercised little more than nominal authority, under the supervision of counselors appointed by his mother. In 1770, he made a journey to Vienna to secure the removal of this vexatious guardianship and returned to Florence with a free hand. During the twenty years that elapsed between his return to Florence and the death of his eldest brother Joseph II in 1790, he was employed in reforming the administration of his small state; the reformation was carried out by the removal of the ruinous restrictions on industry and personal freedom imposed by his predecessors of the house of Medici and left untouched during his father's life, by the introduction of a rational system of taxation, by the execution of profitable public works, such as the drainage of the Val di Chiana.

As Leopold had no army to maintain, as he suppressed the small naval force kept up by the Medici, the whole of his revenue was left free for the improvement of his state. Leopold was never popular with his Italian subjects, his disposition was cold and retiring. His habits were simple to the verge of sordidness, though he could display splendour on occasion, he could not help offending those of his subjects who had profited by the abuses of the Medicean régime, but his steady and intelligent administration, which advanced step by step, brought the grand duchy to a high level of material prosperity. His ecclesiastical policy, which disturbed the rooted convictions of his people and brought him into collision with the Pope, was not successful, he was unable to secularize the property of the religious houses or to put the clergy under the control of the lay power. However, his abolition of capital punishment was the first permanent abolition in modern times. On 30 November 1786, after having de facto blocked capital executions, Leopold promulgated the reform of the penal code that abolished the death penalty and ordered the destruction of all the instruments for capital execution in his land.

Torture was banned. In line with the theories of the Age of Enlightenment, he enlarged La Specola with medical waxworks and other exhibits, aiming to educate Florentines in the empirical observation of natural laws. Leopold approved and collaborated on the development of a political constitution, said to have anticipated by many years the promulgation of the French constitution and which presented some similarities with the Virginia Bill of Rights of 1778. Leopold's concept of this was based on respect for the political rights of citizens and on a harmony of power between the executive and the legislative. However, it could not be put into effect because Leopold moved to Vienna to become emperor in 1790, because it was so radically new that it garnered opposition from those who might have benefited from it. Leopold supported many social and economic reforms. Smallpox inoculation was made systematically available, an early institution for the rehabilitation of juvenile delinquents was founded.

Leopold introduced radical reforms to the system of neglect and inhumane treatment of those deemed mentally ill. On 23 January 1774, the "legge sui pazzi" was established, the first of its kind to be introduced in all Europe, allowing steps to be taken to hospitalize individuals deemed insane. A few years Leopold undertook the project of building a new hospital, the Bonifacio Hospital, he used his skill at choosing collaborators to put a young physician, Vincenzo Chiarugi, at its head. Chiarugi and his collaborators introduced new humanitarian regulations in the running of the hospital and caring for the mentally ill patients, including banning the use of chains and physical punishment, in so doing have been recognized as early pioneers of what came to be known as the moral treatment movement. During the last few years of his rule in Tuscany, Leopold had begun to be frightened by the increasing disorders in the German and Hungarian dominions of his family, which were the direct result of his brother's strict methods.

He and Joseph II were tenderly attached to one another and met both before and after the death of their mother. The portrait by Pompeo Batoni in which they appear together shows that they b

Claire Curtis-Thomas

Claire Curtis-Thomas is a British Labour Party politician, the Member of Parliament for Crosby from 1997 to 2010. Curtis-Thomas' time as an MP was most notable for her involvement in matters related to the challenges faced by the construction sector, supporting the expansion of apprenticeship schemes, increasing the number of women in science and technology careers. In addition to challenging the legal processes involved in sex abuse cases. Curtis-Thomas was educated at Mynyddbach Comprehensive School on Heol Ddu, Treboeth and studied at University College, Cardiff where she was awarded a BSc degree in mechanical engineering, at Aston University, where she obtained a MBA, she was awarded an honorary Ph. D. in Technology in 1999. She became a researcher at University College of Wales in Cardiff in 1984, before joining Shell Chemicals as a site mechanical engineer, moving internally in 1988 as the Head of UK Supply and Distribution, after 1990 was head of environmental strategy until leaving Shell in 1992.

She became a research head and development laboratory at with the Birmingham City Council in 1992, before moving internally to be the strategy and business planning head in 1993, leaving the council in 1995. In 1996 she was appointed as a Business and Engineering Dean at the University of Wales and remained there until the following year when she was elected to Westminster, she was elected as a councillor to the Crewe and Nantwich Borough Council in 1995, stepping down in 1997. In 1995, she was elected the secretary of the Eddisbury Constituency Labour Party, she was elected to the House of Commons at her first attempt at the 1997 general election for the parliamentary constituency of Crosby. She defeated the sitting Conservative MP Malcolm Thornton by 7,182 votes, although her majority declined in the 2005 general election, standing at 5,840, holding 69% of the vote in her constituency, she made her maiden speech, during a debate on the adjournment which she secured on the subject of engineering, on 31 July 1997.

On being elected to parliament she changed her name to Claire Curtis-Thomas, a combination of her mother's maiden name of'Curtis' and her mother's second husband's surname,'Thomas'). After her election, she became a member of the Science and Technology Select Committee, on which she sat for the entirety of her first parliament. In 2003 she became a member of the Home Affairs Select Committee, after the 2005 General Election she has been a member of the Trade and Industry Committee, she was one of the few engineers in Parliament and started an all-party parliamentary group Women in Science and Design. She was involved with the Waterloo Partnership, a charity based in her constituency which raises money for Waterloo, Sierra Leone. In June 2006, she introduced the Regulation of Sale and Display of Sexually Explicit Material Bill to stop newsagents selling certain men's magazines; because of a lack of parliamentary time, it never became law. Her Crosby constituency disappeared under constituency boundary changes and was succeeded by Sefton Central, a Labour/Conservative marginal and was won by Labour in the general election.

In 7 October 2009 Curtis-Thomas announced her decision to stand down at the 2010 general election. Curtis-Thomas stated that her decision to stand down was due to the difficulty of continuing to represent her constituents and continue with family life given parliamentary hours Claire married Philip Tansley in December 1984 in South Glamorgan, she was divorced in 1995, she married Michael Lewis Jakub in December 1996 in Cheshire. She was baptized and confirmed in the Roman Catholic faith in November 2003. Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Claire Curtis-Thomas Guardian Unlimited Politics - Ask Aristotle: Claire Curtis-Thomas MP - Claire Curtis-Thomas MP 2005 General Election results for the Crosby Constituency. BBC Politics Profile Trying to limit the sale of men's magazines in June 2006 Bill contested in Parliament in June 2006 Telegraph article June 2006 Highlighting in the Independent on Sunday her views on men's magazines in June 2006 Husband given a fixed penalty for defacing Conservative posters in the 2005 election campaign The link between cancer and abortions in January 2004 National Newspaper article on 2004 Expenses MP resigns over'ludicrous hours'

1988 in rail transport

This article lists events related to rail transport that occurred in 1988. January 6 - Michigan Central Station in Detroit closes to passengers. January 31 - Aichi Loop Line, Okazaki Station via Toyota-shi Station to Kozoji Station route completed in Aichi Prefecture, Japan. February 1 - MBTA restores passenger train service to Rhode Island, but only during peak rush-hour times. February 29 - Illinois Central Gulf Railroad drops the word "Gulf" from its name, returning to the premerger Illinois Central Railroad company name. March 13 Opening of the Seikan Tunnel beneath the Tsugaru Strait connecting the islands of Honshu and Hokkaido as part of the Kaikyō Line of Hokkaido Railway Company, the world's longest and deepest. Shin-Onomichi Station on the high-speed Sanyo Shinkansen line in Onomichi, Japan, is opened. May 29 - World's first Pendolino train to enter regular high-speed service, ETR 450 in Italy. June 4 - The Arzamas train disaster occurs when three cars transporting hexogen to Kazakhstan explode on the railway crossing in Arzamas, Gorky Oblast, USSR, killing 91 people, injuring 1500 and destroying 151 buildings.

June 12 - The Trondheim Tramway in Trondheim, Norway is closed, after decision in the city council. June 27 - A runaway train hits a stationary rush-hour train at Gare de Lyon in France, killing 59 people and injuring more than 50 others. July 8 - Peruman railway accident: The Bangalore–Kanyakumari Island Express train derails on the Peruman bridge over Ashtamudi Lake, near Perinadu, Kerala and falls into the lake, killing 105 people. July 26 - Israel's Knesset approves an amendment to the Ports Authority Law, merging Israel Railways into the Israel Port Authority, henceforth to be known as the Israel Ports and Railways Authority. September 14 - The light rail system based in the Tuen Mun District of Hong Kong is opened for passenger service, with introductory free rides in the afternoon. September 23 - Boston and Maine Railroad's former Connecticut River Line is transferred to Amtrak for the restoration of Montrealer service, which becomes Amtrak's Vermonter. September 29 - Union Station in Washington, D.

C. is reopened after renovation. October 13 - Rio Grande Industries, the parent company of the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad, purchases the Southern Pacific Railroad. December 11 - The New York City Metropolitan Transportation Authority opens the Archer Avenue Lines, Jamaica – Van Wyck, Sutphin Boulevard, Parsons/Archer subway stations, in Jamaica, Queens twenty years after it was proposed and five years after it was completed; this is part of a never-built subway extension reaching further into Queens. December 12 - Clapham Junction rail crash - Three British Rail commuter trains collide at around 8:00 AM at Clapham Junction in South East London as a result of inadequately supervised work on signalling, killing 35. Burlington Northern Railroad corporate headquarters are moved from Seattle, Washington, to Fort Worth, Texas. Media related to 1988 in rail transport at Wikimedia Commons