click links in text for more info

Lithuanian Armed Forces

The Lithuanian Armed Forces consist of 20,565 active personnel. Conscription was ended in September 2008 but was reintroduced in 2015 because of concerns about the geopolitical environment in light of Russia's military intervention in Ukraine. Lithuania's defence system is based on the concept of "total and unconditional defence" mandated by Lithuania's National Security Strategy; the goal of Lithuania's defence policy is to prepare their society for general defence and to integrate Lithuania into Western security and defence structures. The defence ministry is responsible for combat forces and rescue, intelligence operations; the 4,800 border guards fall under the Interior Ministry's supervision and are responsible for border protection and customs duties, share responsibility with the navy for smuggling / drug trafficking interdiction. A special security department handles VIP protection and communications security. Lithuania abolished its conscription in 2008. In May 2015 the Lithuanian parliament voted to return the conscription and the conscripts started their training in August 2015.

The Lithuanian Armed Forces consist of the Lithuanian Land Force, Lithuanian Air Force, Lithuanian Naval Force, Lithuanian Special Operations Force and other units: Logistics Command and Doctrine Command, Headquarters Battalion, Military Police. Directly subordinated to the Chief of Defence are the Special Operations Forces and Military Police; the Reserve Forces are under command of the Lithuanian National Defence Volunteer Forces. The core of the Lithuanian Land Force structure is the Iron Wolf Mechanised Infantry Brigade consisting of three mechanized infantry battalions and artillery battalion. Other units include King Mindaugas Hussar Battalion, Grand Duchess Birute Uhlan Battalion, Grand Duke Butigeidis Dragoon Battalion, Juozas Vitkus Engineer Battalion and Juozas Luksa Land Force Training Center; the Lithuanian Land forces are undertaking a major modernization. New weapons and heavier armour are going to be acquired. In 2007 the Land forces bought the German Heckler & Koch G36 rifle to replace the older Swedish Ak-4 as main weapon.

There are plans to buy new Infantry fighting vehicles. Lithuania is determined to restructure the armed forces so that from the end of 2014, one tenth of the Land Forces could at any given time be deployed for international operations, while half of the Land Forces would be prepared to be deployed outside Lithuania's borders; the volunteers have successfully participated in international operations in the Balkans and Iraq. The NDVF consists of six territorial units; the Lithuanian Air Force is an integral part of the Lithuanian Armed Forces. The LAF is formed from professional military non-military personnel. Units are located at various bases across Lithuania: Kaunas; the initial formation of the LAF was the 2nd transport squadron with the transfer of 20 An-2 aircraft from civilian to military use, with initial basing at the Barushai air base on 27 April 1992. These were joined by four L-39C Albatros aircraft purchased from Kazakhstan as part of the intended 16 to be used by the 1st fighter squadron.

Mil Mi-8 helicopters were modernised by LAF. In 2008 2 medium-range radars were acquired for the Air Forces Airspace Surveillance and Control Command. Air space is patrolled by jet fighters from other NATO members, which are based out of the city Šiauliai; the European Union's External border is patrolled by Aviation Unit of the Lithuanian State Border Guard Service which received new helicopters EC-120, EC-135 and EC-145. The Navy has over 600 personnel; the Navy consists of the Warship Flotilla, the Sea Coastal Surveillance System, the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Divers Team, the Naval Logistic Service, Training Center and Maritime Rescue Coordination Center. The flotilla is the core component of the Navy, consists of the Mine Countermeasures Squadron, the Patrol Ships Squadron, the Harbour Boats Group; the current Commander in Chief of the Lithuanian Navy is Rear Admiral Kęstutis Macijauskas. The Naval base and Headquarters are located in the city of Klaipėda; the Navy uses patrol ships for coastal surveillance.

The four newly acquired Flyvefisken class patrol vessels replaced the older Storm class patrol boats and Grisha class corvettes. The Lithuanian Special Operations Force of Lithuanian Armed Forces has been in operation de facto since 2002 and it was established de jure on 3 April 2008, when amendments of National Defence System organisation and military service law came into force; the Special Operations Force is formed from the Special Operations Unit. The Special Operations Force is responsible for special reconnaissance, direct actions, military support, it is in charge of other tasks, e.g. protection of VIPs in peacetime. Its core is based on the Special Purpose Service, Vytautas the Great Jaeger Battalion and Combat Divers Service. Lithuanian Air Force Special Operations Element is subordinate to the Unit at the level of operations management, its structure is flexible which makes it easy to form squadrons intended for concrete operations and missions from its elements. The Special Operations Force can be called upon inside the territory of Lithuania when law enforcement agencies lack or do not have n

Elephantine papyri

The Elephantine Papyri consist of 175 documents from the Egyptian border fortresses of Elephantine and Aswan, which yielded hundreds of papyri in Hieratic and Demotic Egyptian, Koine Greek and Coptic, spanning a period of 100 years. The documents include letters and legal contracts from family and other archives, are thus an invaluable source of knowledge for scholars of varied disciplines such as epistolography, society, religion and onomastics, they are a collection of ancient Jewish manuscripts dating from the 5th century BCE. They come from a Jewish community at Elephantine called ꜣbw; the dry soil of Upper Egypt preserved documents from the Egyptian border fortresses of Elephantine and Aswan. Hundreds of these Elephantine papyri span a period of 100 years. Legal documents and a cache of letters survived, turned up on the local "grey market" of antiquities starting in the late 19th century, were scattered into several Western collections. Though some fragments on papyrus are much older, the largest number of papyri are written in Aramaic, the lingua franca of the Achaemenid Empire, document the Jewish community among soldiers stationed at Elephantine under Achaemenid rule, 495–399 BCE.

The Elephantine documents include letters and legal contracts from family and other archives: divorce documents, the manumission of slaves, other business, are a valuable source of knowledge about law, religion and onomastics, the sometimes revealing study of names. The "Passover letter" of 419 BCE, which gives detailed instructions for properly keeping the passover is in the Egyptian Museum of Berlin. Further Elephantine papyri are at the Brooklyn Museum; the discovery of the Brooklyn papyri is a remarkable story itself. The documents were first acquired in 1893 by New York journalist Charles Edwin Wilbour. After lying in a warehouse for more than 50 years, the papyri were shipped to the Egyptian Department of the Brooklyn Museum, it was at this time that scholars realized that "Wilbour had acquired the first Elephantine papyri". The Elephantine papyri pre-date all extant manuscripts of the Hebrew Bible, thus give scholars a important glimpse at how Judaism was practiced in the fifth century BCE.

They show clear evidence of the existence in c. 400 BCE of a polytheistic sect of Jews, who seem to have had no knowledge of a written Torah or the narratives described therein: So far as we learn from these texts Moses might never have existed, there might have been no bondage in Egypt, no exodus, no monarchy, no prophets. There is no claim to any heritage in the land of Judah. Among the numerous names of colonists, Jacob, Moses, David, so common in times, never occur, nor any other name derived from their past history as recorded in the Pentateuch and early literature, it is incredible, but it is true. Important is the fact that the papyri document the existence of a small Jewish temple at Elephantine, which possessed altars for incense offerings and animal sacrifices, as late as 411 BCE; such a temple would be in clear violation of Deuteronomic law, which stipulates that no Jewish temple may be constructed outside of Jerusalem. Furthermore, the papyri show that the Jews at Elephantine sent letters to the high priest in Jerusalem asking for his support in re-building their temple, which seems to suggest that the priests of the Jerusalem Temple were not enforcing Deuteronomic law at that time: There is no hint of any suspicion that the temple could be considered heretical, they would not have appealed to the High Priest at Jerusalem if they had felt any doubt about it.

On the contrary they give the impression of being proud of having a temple of their own, as pious devotees of Ya'u Yahweh distressed at the loss of religious opportunities caused by its destruction. Upon first examination, this appears to contradict accepted models of the development of Jewish religion and the dating of the Hebrew scriptures, which posit that monotheism and the Torah should have been well-established by the time these papyri were written. Most scholars explain this apparent discrepancy by theorizing that the Elephantine Jews represented an isolated remnant of Jewish religious practices from earlier centuries, or that the Torah had only been promulgated at that time. However, scholars such as Niels Peter Lemche, Philippe Wajdenbaum, Russell Gmirkin, Thomas L. Thompson have argued that the Elephantine papyri demonstrate that monotheism and the Torah could not have been established in Jewish culture before 400 BCE, that the Torah was therefore written in the Hellenistic period, in the third or fourth centuries BCE.

The Jews had their own temple to Yahweh evincing polytheistic beliefs, which functioned alongside that of the Egyptian god Khnum. Excavation work done in 1967 revealed the remains of the Jewish colony centered on a small temple; the "Petition to Bagoas" is a letter written in 407 BCE to Bagoas, the Persian governor of Judea, appealing for assistance in rebuilding the Jewish temple in Elephantine, badly damaged by an anti-Jewish rampage on the part of a segment of the Elephantine community. In the course of this appeal, the Jewish inhabitants of Elephantine speak of the antiquity of the damaged temple:'Now our forefathers built this temple in the fortress of Elephantine back in the days of the kingdom of Egypt, when Cambyses came to Egypt he found it built, they knocked down all the temples of the gods of Egypt, but no one did any damage to this temple."The community appealed for aid to Sanballat I, a Sa

Buff-tailed sicklebill

Epimachus albertisi, a bird-of-paradise from New Guinea, is sometimes called "buff-tailed sicklebill". The buff-tailed sicklebill is a species of hermit hummingbird from the lower Andes and adjacent west Amazonian lowlands from southern Colombia and northern Ecuador to Peru and Bolivia. With a total length of 5–6 in and weighing 0.28-0.44 oz, it is a large hummingbird. Males and females are identical, differing only in size, with the females being some 20% smaller, its upperparts are iridescent dull greenish, while the underparts are whitish, densely streaked with dusky. The neck-side has a faint blue patch; the tips of the rectrices are white, there is a naked stripe on top of the head. The most conspicuous features, are those the common name refers to: the bill is decurved, the outer three rectrices on each side are deep buff, best visible from below. Immature birds have light-tipped remiges, hardly any blue on the neck, lack the naked crown stripe. Hatchlings have grey down. There are two subspecies which are not distinct and form a continuous cline, with an extensive intergradation zone in northern Peru: Eutoxeres condamini condamini – northern buff-tailed sicklebillColombia and Ecuador.

Bill longer, lower belly much streakedEutoxeres condamini gracilis Berlepsch & Stolzmann, 1902 – southern buff-tailed sicklebillCentral Peru to Bolivia. Bill shorter, lower belly less streakedThe buff outer remiges are the most reliable trait for separating the buff-tailed sicklebill from the only other member of the genus Eutoxeres, the white-tipped sicklebill, which has a more northerly distribution; the Eutoxeres species are somewhat sympatric however, for example in the foothills of Putumayo around Mocoa, Colombia. It is restricted to the undergrowth of humid forested and wooded habitats, recorded from 590–10,800 ft ASL, it will tolerate more habitat disturbance than its congener occurring in plantations, bamboo stands and open habitat where populations are healthy, though it still prefers natural vegetation. Nothing precise is known about its movements, though it is presumed that the birds are non-migratory; the peculiar bill is an adaption to the shape of certain flowers, namely of the genera Centropogon and Heliconia.

It feeds by trap-lining. In addition to nectar, it will catch small arthropods; the two white eggs are laid in a nest, attached to the underside of a leaf, a few yards/meters above ground. In the southern Cordillera Oriental of Colombia, nest construction was observed in July or August, in the lowlands of Ecuador's Napo Province in January. Birds with enlarged gonads were found in Peru from September to November. Only the female incubates, they start to breed. Common though inconspicuous and overlooked, it is considered a species of Least Concern by the IUCN; this species is most seen in the mixed habitat of old and young forest and small-scale logging at the Napo River in eastern Ecuador. Greeney, Harold F.. "Breeding records from the north-east Andean foothills of Ecuador". Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club. 127: 236–241. Hinkelmannn, Christoph: 3. Buff-tailed Sicklebill. In: del Hoyo, Josep. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. ISBN 84-87334-25-3 Salaman, Paul G. W.. Mauricio. Caldasia 24: 157–189. PDF fulltext Buff-tailed Sicklebill photo gallery VIREO Photo-High Res-

Flux (magazine)

Flux was a short-lived magazine in the mid-1990s which focused on music, comic books and video games. The magazine was bi-monthly and lasted for seven issues; the headquarters was in New York City and the publisher was Harris Publications. It was presented as an edgier alternative to magazines such as GamePro. Notable recurring departments included "Don't Ever Do This," which offered explicit instructions for pranks and antisocial behavior, "Babewatch,", photos of attractive females from TV shows and comic books. Amongst its editors was Dan Amrich, who would go on to write for GamePro for several years under the moniker of Dan Elektro. Comics reviews were written by Christopher Golden, who would write comics himself, as well as horror and fantasy novels; the magazine folded in 1995

Neville Wran

Neville Kenneth Wran, was an Australian politician, the Premier of New South Wales from 1976 to 1986. He was the national president of the Australian Labor Party from 1980 to 1986 and chairman of both the Lionel Murphy Foundation and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation from 1986 to 1991. Wran was born in the Sydney suburb of Paddington, the eighth and last child of Joseph Wran and his wife Lillian, he was educated at Nicholson Street Public School, Fort Street Boys High and the University of Sydney, where he was a member of the Liberal Club, from which he gained a Bachelor of Laws in 1948. He was admitted as a solicitor in 1951, called to the Bar in 1957, became a Queen's Counsel in 1968. Wran began his political career in 1970 when he became a member of the upper house of the Parliament of New South Wales, the Legislative Council. Three years afterwards, he moved to the lower house, the Legislative Assembly, in the seat of Bass Hill. Support for this move had been organised by the General Secretary of Ray Gietzelt.

He challenged Pat Hills for the state leadership of the Labor Party. In this challenge he had cross-faction support from right-wing powerbroker John Ducker and left-winger Jack Ferguson. There were two rounds to the leadership vote which resulted in a tie between Hills and Wran in the second ballot. However, under Labor Party rules of the time, in the event of a tie in the second ballot, the candidate who won the most votes in the first ballot would be the winner. Since Wran had won one vote more than Hills in the first ballot, Wran was therefore declared the new leader. In May 1976, six months after Gough Whitlam's federal Labor government's dismissal, Wran led Labor to victory, narrowly defeating the Liberal Party premier, Sir Eric Willis. Wran's win was not assured until it became clear that Gosford and Hurstville had fallen to Labor by only 74 and 44 votes giving Wran a one-seat majority. In 1978, campaigning with the slogan "Wran's our Man", his government won a 13-seat swing, popularly known as the "Wranslide."

This came on the back of 57.7 percent of the primary vote, the largest primary vote for any party in a century. The Opposition Leader on that occasion, Peter Coleman, lost his seat. In 1981, Wran won a second "Wranslide", picking up a six-seat swing for what is still NSW Labor's largest proportion of seats in Parliament; the Opposition Leader, Bruce McDonald, failed to be elected to the seat that he contested, marking the second time in a row that an Opposition Leader had failed to be elected to Parliament. Labor reduced the Liberals to 14 seats, the same as its nominal junior partner, the National Country Party, he won a fourth term in 1984. In 1977, Wran supported Al Grassby, former Federal Immigration Minister, in allowing Domenico Barbaro, a Mafia figure in the Griffith region of New South Wales, back into Australia after having been earlier deported because of his criminal record. However, as journalist David Hickie explains, Wran attempted to undermine the influence of organised crime in the area of illegal casinos.

Wran was very popular, at one stage rating over 80 per cent approval in opinion polls. He was talked about as a national political leader and rated in national polls as an alternative Labor Leader to Bill Hayden, he featured in Hayden's 1980 federal election campaign, along with Bob Hawke. Wran's first half of his tenure as a Labor premier came at a time when most Australian governments were held by conservative coalitions, a trend subsequently reversed in the early 1980s following the elections of Labor governments to both federal and state parliaments. During his 10 years as Premier of New South Wales, the government embarked on a program of reform and change. Priorities were the environment, consumer protection and job creation, he achieved significant electoral institutional reform such as a democratic Legislative Council, four-year terms, public funding and disclosure laws and a pecuniary interests register for members of parliament. He called on Edwin Lusher, firstly while a QC and as a Judge of the Supreme Court of New South Wales, to chair commissions of inquiry into police administration and gambling.

He undertook the state's largest capital works program and refurbished many iconic places in Sydney. His government built the modern-day Darling Harbour precinct. In 1983, Wran faced the Street Royal Commission over claims by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation current affairs show Four Corners that he had tried to influence the magistracy over the 1977 committal of Kevin Humphreys, charged with misappropriation of funds, his Corrective Services Minister, Rex Jackson, was jailed in 1987 for accepting bribes for the early release of prisoners. In 1984, Neville Wran introduced a private members bill to decriminalise adult gay male sex, the bill passed the NSW Parliament; this was the first time in recorded history a conscience vote was both introduced and passed by the NSW Parliament. Wran resigned both the premiership and his seat in Parliament on 4 July 1986, after continuously holding office longer than any other premier in the history of New South Wales until that time. Bob Carr has since broken that record

Allen Crowe 100

The Allen Crowe 100 is an ARCA Racing Series stock car race held annually on the Illinois State Fairgrounds Racetrack during the Illinois State Fair. Born November 12, 1928, in Springfield, Allen Crowe died in New Bremen, Ohio, on June 2, 1963, from injuries sustained in a Sprint Car race at New Bremen Speedway. Allen cut his teeth at the now-defunct Springfield Speedway, he moved up fast. He soon became a first class racer, he began racing in the USAC Championship Car Series, racing in the 1961 through 1963 seasons with 15 starts, including the 1962 and 1963 Indianapolis 500 races. He finished with his best finish of 5th in 1962 at Syracuse; the first race was held August 25, 1963. That race was won by NASCAR driver Curtis Turner. USAC's Stock Car division sanctioned the race from the race's inception in 1963, until the series' demise in 1984. 1972's race was an odd occurrence, in that Al Unser won the USAC Stock car race on Saturday, won the USAC Championship Dirt Car race the following day. The feat has never been repeated in the years since.

As USAC was downsizing its Stock car division, the 1983 and 1984 running of the Allen Crowe Memorial was co-sanctioned with ARCA. ARCA took over as sole sanctioning body in 1985, with the race name having different variations during years when there was no sponsor title, such as "Allen Crowe Memorial", "Allen Crowe Memorial 100", "Allen Crowe Memorial ARCA 100", or "Allen Crowe 100". Beginning in 1989, the race was renamed the Coors Allen Crowe Memorial 100. In 1995, it took the name "Pabst Genuine Draft 100" was known as the "Super Chevy Dealers 100" for 1996, before returning to the original name for 1997. From 1999 to 2001, the race was known as the "Par-A-Dice 100", due to a new sponsor agreement; the race reverted to the "Allen Crowe Memorial 100" moniker in 2002 and kept it until being renamed the " 100" for 2014. 1963 – 1982: USAC-sanctioned event 1983 – 1984: ARCA and USAC co-sanctioned event 1985 – present: ARCA-sanctioned event† – Record for a 100-mile race. References: There have been no deaths in the race attributed to crashes.

Roper's car slowed on the frontstretch hit the inside retaining wall. He was unconscious when medical help arrived and pronounced dead at Springfield Memorial Hospital