Macau or Macao the Macao Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China, is a special administrative region on the western side of the Pearl River estuary in southern China. With a population of 653,100 in an area of 32.9 km2, it is the most densely populated region in the world. Macau was a colony of the Portuguese Empire, after Ming China leased the territory as a trading post in 1557. Governing under Chinese authority and sovereignty, Portugal was given perpetual occupation rights for Macau in 1887; the colony remained under Portuguese control until 1999. As a special administrative region, Macau's system of government is separate from that of mainland China. A sparsely populated collection of coastal islands, the territory has become a major resort city and the top destination for gambling tourism, it is the ninth-highest recipient of tourism revenue and its gaming industry is seven times larger than that of Las Vegas. Although the city has one of the highest per capita incomes in the world, it has severe income inequality.
Macau has a high Human Development Index and the fourth-highest life expectancy in the world. The territory is urbanised and most development is built on reclaimed land; the first known written record of the name "Macau", rendered as "Ya/A Ma Gang", is in a letter dated 20 November 1555. The local inhabitants believed that the sea goddess Mazu had blessed and protected the harbour and called the waters around A-Ma Temple using her name; when Portuguese explorers first arrived in the area and asked for the place name, the locals thought they were asking about the temple and told them it was "Ma Kok". The earliest Portuguese spelling for this was Amaquão. Multiple variations were used until Amacão / Amacao and Macão / Macao became common during the 17th century standardising as Macao, Macau today. Macau Peninsula had many names in Chinese, including Jingao and Haojingao; the islands Taipa and Hengqin were collectively called Shizimen. These names would become Aomen, Oumún in Cantonese and translating as "bay gate" or "port gate", to refer to the whole territory.
The region is first known to have been settled during the Han dynasty. However, Macau did not develop as a major settlement until the Portuguese arrived in the 16th century; the first European visitor to reach China by sea was the explorer Jorge Álvares, who arrived in 1513. Merchants first established a trading post in Hong Kong waters at Tamão, beginning regular trade with nearby settlements in southern China. Military clashes between the Ming and Portuguese navies followed the expulsion of the Tamão traders in 1521. Despite the trade ban, Portuguese merchants continued to attempt settling on other parts of the Pearl River estuary settling on Macau. Luso-Chinese trade relations were formally reestablished in 1554 and Portugal soon after acquired a permanent lease for Macau in 1557; the small population of Portuguese merchants became a growing city. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Macau was created in 1576, by 1583, the Senate had been established to handle municipal affairs for the growing settlement.
Macau was at the peak of its prosperity as a major entrepôt during the late 16th century, providing a crucial connection in exporting Chinese silk to Japan during the Nanban trade period. Although the Portuguese were prohibited from fortifying Macau or stockpiling weapons, the Fortaleza do Monte was constructed in response to frequent Dutch naval incursions; the Dutch attempted to take the city in the 1622 Battle of Macau, but were repelled by the Portuguese. Macau entered a period of decline in the 1640s following a series of catastrophic events for the burgeoning colony: Portuguese access to trade routes was irreparably severed when Japan halted trade in 1639, Portugal revolted against Spain in 1640, Malacca fell to the Dutch in 1641. Maritime trade with China was banned in 1644 following the Qing conquest under the Haijin policies and limited only to Macau on a lesser scale while the new dynasty focused on eliminating surviving Ming loyalists. While the Kangxi Emperor lifted the prohibition in 1684, China again restricted trade under the Canton System in 1757.
Foreign ships were required to first stop at Macau before further proceeding to Canton. Qing authorities exercised a much greater role in governing the territory during this period; as the opium trade became more lucrative during the eighteenth century, Macau again became an important stopping point en route to China. Following the First Opium War and establishment of Hong Kong, Macau lost its role as a major port. Firecracker and incense production, as well as tea and tobacco processing, were vital industries in the colony during this time. Portugal was able to assert its sovereignty. Portugal occupied nearby Lapa and Montanha, but these would be returned to China by 1887, when perpetual occupation rights over Macau were formalised in the Sino-Portuguese Treaty of Peking; this agreement obligated Portugal from ceding Macau without Chinese approval. Despite occasional conflict between Cantonese authorities and the colonial government, Macau's status remained unchanged through the republican revolutions of b
Secret Intelligence Service
The Secret Intelligence Service known as MI6, is the foreign intelligence service of the government of the United Kingdom, tasked with the covert overseas collection and analysis of human intelligence in support of the UK's national security. SIS is a member of the country's intelligence community and its Chief is accountable to the country's Foreign Secretary. Formed in 1909 as a section of the Secret Service Bureau specialising in foreign intelligence, the section experienced dramatic growth during World War I and adopted its current name around 1920; the name MI6 originated as a flag of convenience during World War II, when SIS was known by many names. It is still used today; the existence of SIS was not acknowledged until 1994. That year the Intelligence Services Act 1994 was introduced to Parliament, to place the organisation on a statutory footing for the first time, it provides the legal basis for its operations. Today, SIS is subject to public oversight by the Investigatory Powers Tribunal and the Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee.
The stated priority roles of SIS are counter-terrorism, counter-proliferation, providing intelligence in support of cyber security, supporting stability overseas to disrupt terrorism and other criminal activities. Unlike its main sister agencies, the Security Service and Government Communications Headquarters, SIS works in foreign intelligence gathering; some of SIS's actions since the 2000s have attracted significant controversy, such as its alleged acts of torture and extraordinary rendition. Since 1995, SIS has been headquartered in the SIS Building in London, on the South Bank of the River Thames; the service derived from the Secret Service Bureau, founded on 1 October 1909. The Bureau was a joint initiative of the Admiralty and the War Office to control secret intelligence operations in the UK and overseas concentrating on the activities of the Imperial German government; the bureau was split into naval and army sections which, over time, specialised in foreign espionage and internal counter-espionage activities, respectively.
This specialisation was because the Admiralty wanted to know the maritime strength of the Imperial German Navy. This specialisation was formalised before 1914. During the First World War in 1916, the two sections underwent administrative changes so that the foreign section became the section MI1 of the Directorate of Military Intelligence, its first director was Captain Sir Mansfield George Smith-Cumming, who dropped the Smith in routine communication. He signed correspondence with his initial C in green ink; this usage evolved as a code name, has been adhered to by all subsequent directors of SIS when signing documents to retain anonymity. The service's performance during the First World War was mixed, because it was unable to establish a network in Germany itself. Most of its results came from military and commercial intelligence collected through networks in neutral countries, occupied territories, Russia. After the war, resources were reduced but during the 1920s, SIS established a close operational relationship with the diplomatic service.
In August 1919, Cumming created the new passport control department, providing diplomatic cover for agents abroad. The post of Passport Control Officer provided operatives with diplomatic immunity. Circulating Sections established intelligence requirements and passed the intelligence back to its consumer departments the War Office and Admiralty; the debate over the future structure of British Intelligence continued at length after the end of hostilities but Cumming managed to engineer the return of the Service to Foreign Office control. At this time, the organisation was known in Whitehall by a variety of titles including the Foreign Intelligence Service, the Secret Service, MI1, the Special Intelligence Service and C's organisation. Around 1920, it began to be referred to as the Secret Intelligence Service, a title that it has continued to use to the present day and, enshrined in statute in the Intelligence Services Act 1994. During the Second World War, the name MI6 was used as a flag of convenience, the name by which it is known in popular culture since.
In the immediate post-war years under Sir Mansfield George Smith-Cumming and throughout most of the 1920s, SIS was focused on Communism, in particular, Russian Bolshevism. Examples include a thwarted operation to overthrow the Bolshevik government in 1918 by SIS agents Sidney George Reilly and Sir Robert Bruce Lockhart, as well as more orthodox espionage efforts within early Soviet Russia headed by Captain George Hill. Smith-Cumming died at his home on 14 June 1923, shortly before he was due to retire, was replaced as C by Admiral Sir Hugh "Quex" Sinclair. Sinclair created the following sections: A central foreign counter-espionage Circulating Section, Section V, to liaise with the Security Service to collate counter-espionage reports from overseas stations. An economic intelligence section, Section VII, to deal with trade and contraband. A clandestine radio communications organisation, Section VIII, to communicate with operatives and agents overseas. Section N to exploit the contents of foreign diplomatic bags Section D to conduct political covert actions and paramilitary operations in time of war.
Section D would organise the Home Defence Scheme resistance organisation in the UK and come to be the foundation of the Special Operations Executive during the Second World War. With the emergence of Germany as a threat following the ascendence of the N
Raymond Benson is an American author best known for being the official author of the James Bond novels from 1997 to 2003. Benson was born in Midland and graduated from Permian High School in Odessa in 1973. In primary school, Benson took an interest in the piano which would in his life develop into an interest in composing music. Benson took part in drama at school and became the vice president of his high school's drama department, an interest that he would pursue by directing stage productions in New York City after attending and receiving a degree in Drama Production—Directing from the University of Texas at Austin. Other hobbies include film history and criticism and designing computer games. In 1984, Benson wrote The James Bond Bedside Companion, a book dedicated to Ian Fleming, the official novels, the films; the book has since been re-released digitally without further updating. It was nominated for an Edgar Award by Mystery Writers of America in the Best Biographical/Critical Work category.
In 1985, he worked as a writer on the computer game James Bond 007: A View to a Kill. He followed this in 1986 with work on a computer game version of Goldfinger and co-authoring the You Only Live Twice II module of the popular role-playing game James Bond 007. In 1996, John Gardner resigned from writing Bond books. Glidrose Publications promptly chose Benson to replace him; as a James Bond novelist, Raymond Benson was controversial for being American, for ignoring much of the continuity established by Gardner. The author did much to placate these concerns and promptly embarked on regular tours to promote his novels in the UK, as well as occasional trips to mainland Europe. Several signing sessions were held at the offices of his UK publisher Hodder & Stoughton, at London booksellers Murder One and James Bond specialists Adrian Harrington Ltd. In total, Benson wrote six James Bond novels, three novelizations, three short stories, he was the first Bond author. Glidrose changed its name to Ian Fleming Publications commencing with Benson's novel, High Time to Kill.
Benson resigned from writing Bond books in 2003. "Blast from the Past" Zero Minus Ten Tomorrow Never Dies The Facts of Death "Midsummer Night's Doom" "Live at Five" The World Is Not Enough High Time to Kill DoubleShot Never Dream of Dying The Man with the Red Tattoo Die Another Day Benson's novel The Man with the Red Tattoo inspired the government of Japan's Kagawa Prefecture in 2005 to erect a museum and honor Benson with the title of Goodwill Ambassador. In 2008 High Time to Kill, Never Dream of Dying and his 1997 short story "Blast from the Past" were grouped and released as an omnibus called The Union Trilogy: Three 007 Novels. A second anthology entitled Choice of Weapons was published in 2010 and contained Zero Minus Ten, The Facts of Death, The Man with the Red Tattoo, the short stories "Midsummer Night's Doom" and "Live at Five". In April 2014, Benson and former Bond author Jeffery Deaver collaborated—the first such collaboration between former Bond continuation authors—as co-editors of Ice Cold--Tales of Intrigue from the Cold War, an anthology sponsored by Mystery Writers of America containing short stories about the Cold War.
Since authoring Bond novels, Benson has had a number of books published, including original suspense novels Face Blind, Evil Hours, Sweetie's Diamonds as well as the non-fiction work The Pocket Essential Guide to Jethro Tull. In 2004, Benson began writing the first of two books based on the acclaimed video game series, Splinter Cell, although both are credited to the pseudonym, David Michaels. Further titles in the Splinter Cell series have been credited to David Michaels, but were not authored by Benson; the first book, Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell was published in 2004 followed by Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Operation Barracuda in 2005. In 2008, Benson wrote A Hard Day's Death about a private investigator who looks into the death of a rock star; the book spawned a second novel in 2009 called Dark Side of the Morgue, nominated for a Shamus Award for Best Paperback Original PI Novel by the Private Eye Writers of America. The two novels plus a short story, "On the Threshold of a Death", were collected in 2011 as an e-book anthology, The Rock'n' Roll Detective's Greatest Hits.
Benson wrote the novelization of the video game Metal Gear Solid in 2008 and followed it in 2009 with a novelization of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. His entry in the Gabriel Hunt pulp adventure series, Hunt Through Napoleon's Web, appeared as an e-book in 2010 and was published in print in 2011. Further video game novelizations continued in 2011, when Benson co-authored Homefront--the Voice of Freedom with John Milius, as a prequel to the THQ videogame Homefront. 2012 saw the announcement that Benson would write Hitman: Damnation, a prequel to the Square Enix videogame Hitman: Absolution. Benson's first novel in a series of "women's action/adventure thrillers," The Black Stiletto, was published in September 2011; the July 2011 issue of Library Journal described the book as a "mashup of the work of Gloria Steinem, Ian Fleming, Mario Puzo, all under the editorship of Stan Lee." In anticipation of the book's publication, Benson released a free downloadable e-book short story, "The Black Stiletto's
Die Another Day
Die Another Day is a 2002 spy film, the twentieth film in the James Bond series produced by Eon Productions, as well as the fourth and final film to star Pierce Brosnan as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. The film follows Bond as he leads a mission to North Korea, during which he is betrayed and, after killing a rogue North Korean colonel, is captured and imprisoned. Fourteen months Bond is released as part of a prisoner exchange. Surmising that the mole is within the British government, he attempts to earn redemption by tracking down his betrayer and all those involved; the film, produced by Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, directed by Lee Tamahori, marked the James Bond franchise's 40th anniversary; the series began in 1962 with Sean Connery starring as Bond in Dr. No. Die Another Day includes references to each of the preceding films; the film received mixed reviews. Some critics praised the work of Tamahori, while others criticised the film's heavy use of computer-generated imagery, which they found unconvincing and a distraction from the film's plot.
Die Another Day was the highest-grossing James Bond film up to that time if inflation is not taken into account. MI6 agent James Bond infiltrates a North Korean military base, where Colonel Tan-Sun Moon is illegally trading weapons for African conflict diamonds. After Moon's assistant Zao discovers that Bond is a British agent via an unknown source, Moon attempts to kill Bond and a hovercraft chase ensues, ending with Moon's death. Bond survives, but is captured by North Korean soldiers and imprisoned by the Colonel's father, General Moon. After fourteen months of captivity and torture, Bond is traded for Zao in a prisoner exchange, he is sedated and taken to meet M, who informs him that his status as a 00 Agent is suspended under suspicion of having leaked information under duress. Bond is convinced that he has been set up by a double agent in the British government and decides to avenge his betrayal. After escaping from the custody of MI6, he discovers that he is in Hong Kong, where he learns from a Chinese agent that Zao is in Cuba.
In Havana, Bond meets NSA agent Giacinta'Jinx' Johnson. Bond follows her to a gene therapy clinic, where patients can have their appearances altered through DNA restructuring. Bond locates Zao inside the clinic and attempts to kill him, but he escapes, leaving behind a pendant which leads Bond to a cache of diamonds, identified as conflict diamonds, but bearing the crest of the company owned by British billionaire businessman Gustav Graves. Bond learns that Graves only appeared a year prior discovering a vein of diamonds in Iceland leading to his current wealth and philanthropy from its assets. At Blades Club in London, Bond meets Graves along with his assistant Miranda Frost, an undercover MI6 agent. After a fencing exercise, Bond is invited by Graves to Iceland for a scientific demonstration. Shortly afterwards, M tells Bond of MI6's doubts about Graves, restores Bond's Double-0 status and offers assistance in the investigation. At his ice palace adjacent to the diamond mine site in Iceland, Graves unveils a new orbital mirror satellite, "Icarus", able to focus solar energy on a small area and provide year-round sunshine for crop development.
During the night, Jinx is captured by Graves and Zao. Bond rescues her and discovers that Colonel Moon is still alive. Moon has used the gene therapy technology to change his appearance, creating the identity of Gustav Graves and amassing his fortune from sale of the conflict diamonds. Bond confronts Graves, but Frost arrives to reveal herself as the traitor who betrayed Bond in North Korea, forcing Bond to escape from Graves' facility. Bond returns in his Aston Martin Vanquish to rescue Jinx, captured once again within the palace; as Graves uses Icarus to melt the ice palace, Zao pursues Bond into the palace using his Jaguar XKR. Bond kills Zao by causing a giant ice chandelier to fall onto him, revives Jinx after she has drowned. Bond and Jinx stow away on Graves' cargo plane. Graves reveals his true identity to his father, the true purpose of the Icarus satellite: to cut a path through the Korean Demilitarized Zone with concentrated sunlight, allowing North Korean troops to invade South Korea and reunite the peninsula by force.
Horrified at the fact that it would result in a nuclear war with the United States, General Moon tries to turn the plan down, but he is murdered by his own son. Bond attempts to shoot Graves. In their struggle, a gunshot pierces the fuselage. Bond and Graves engage in a fist fight, Jinx attempts to regain control of the plane. Frost attacks Jinx. After the plane passes through the Icarus beam and is further damaged, Jinx kills Frost. Graves attempts to escape by parachute, but Bond opens the parachute, causing Graves to be pulled out of the plane and into one of its engines, killing him and disabling the Icarus beam. Bond and Jinx escape from the disintegrating plane in a helicopter from the cargo hold, carrying away Graves' stash of diamonds in the process. In the end, they are seen to have sex amidst the diamonds on a bed in a South Korean Buddhist temple located in a valley. Pierce Brosnan as James Bond, an MI6 agent. Halle Berry as Jinx Johnson, an NSA agent. Toby Stephens as Gustav Graves, a British entrepreneur, alter ego of Colonel Moon.
Rosamund Pike as Miranda Frost, undercover MI6 agent and double agent. Rick Yune as Tang Ling Zao, a freelancer terrorist of Chinese origin working for Moon and li
Women's Royal Naval Service
The Women's Royal Naval Service was the women's branch of the United Kingdom's Royal Navy. First formed in 1917 for the First World War, it was disbanded in 1919 revived in 1939 at the beginning of the Second World War, remaining active until integrated into the Royal Navy in 1993. WRNs included cooks, wireless telegraphists, radar plotters, weapons analysts, range assessors and air mechanics; the Wrens were formed in 1917 during the First World War. On 10 October 1918, nineteen-year-old Josephine Carr from Cork, became the first Wren to die on active service, when her ship, the RMS Leinster was torpedoed. By the end of the war the WRNS had 500 of them officers. In addition, about 2,000 members of the WRAF had served with the WRNS supporting the Royal Naval Air Service and were transferred on the creation of the Royal Air Force, it was disbanded in 1919. The WRNS was revived in 1939 at the beginning of the Second World War, with an expanded list of allowable activities, including flying transport planes.
At its peak in 1944 it had 75,000 active servicewomen. During the war there were 100 deaths. One of the slogans used in recruiting posters was "Join the Wrens—free a man for the fleet." In the 1970s it became obvious that equal pay for women and the need to remove sexual discrimination meant that the WRNS and the Royal Navy would become one organisation. The key change was that women would become subject to the Naval Discipline Act 1957. Vonla McBride who had experience in Human resource management became the Director of the WRNS in 1976 and members of the WRNS were subject to the same discipline as men as of 1977; the WRNS remained in existence after the war and was integrated into the regular Royal Navy in 1993 when women were allowed to serve on board navy vessels as full members of the crew. In October 1990, during the Gulf War, HMS Brilliant carried the first women to serve on an operational warship; that same year, Chief Officer Pippa Duncan became the first WRNS officer to command a Royal Navy shore establishment.
Before 1993, all women in the Royal Navy were members of the WRNS except nurses, who joined Queen Alexandra's Royal Naval Nursing Service, medical and dental officers, who were commissioned directly into the Royal Navy, held RN ranks, wore WRNS uniform with gold RN insignia. Female sailors are still known by Jennies in naval slang; the WRNS had its own ranking system, which it retained until amalgamation into the Royal Navy in 1993. Ratings' titles were suffixed with their trade. Wrens in blue instead of gold; the "curls" atop officers' rank stripes were diamond-shaped instead of circular. From 1939, Wren uniform consisted of a double-breasted jacket and skirt, with shirt and tie, for all ranks. Junior Ratings wore hats similar to those of their male counterparts. Senior Ratings and officers wore tricorne hats with a white cover. All insignia, including cap badges and non-substantive badges, were blue. Fletcher, Marjorie H.. The WRNS: A History of the Women's Royal Naval Service. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press.
ISBN 9780870219979. Heath, Hacking the Nazis: The secret story of the women who broke Hitler's codes, TechRepublic, March 27, 2015Memoirs Thomas, Lesley. WRNS in Camera. Gloucestershire: Sutton Publishing. Unwin, Vicky. Love and War in the WRNS. Gloucestershire: The History Press. Search and download the WW1 records of those who served in the Women's Royal Naval Service from The National Archives. Wrens Recruitment Poster Wrens Recruitment Poster 2 Women in the Royal Navy today Archived Page Association of Wrens
Ian Lancaster Fleming was an English author and naval intelligence officer, best known for his James Bond series of spy novels. Fleming came from a wealthy family connected to the merchant bank Robert Fleming & Co. and his father was the Member of Parliament for Henley from 1910 until his death on the Western Front in 1917. Educated at Eton and the universities of Munich and Geneva, Fleming moved through several jobs before he started writing. While working for Britain's Naval Intelligence Division during the Second World War, Fleming was involved in planning Operation Goldeneye and in the planning and oversight of two intelligence units, 30 Assault Unit and T-Force, his wartime service and his career as a journalist provided much of the background and depth of the James Bond novels. Fleming wrote his first Bond novel, Casino Royale, in 1952, it was a success, with three print runs being commissioned to cope with the demand. Eleven Bond novels and two collections of short stories followed between 1953 and 1966.
The novels revolved around James Bond, an officer in the Secret Intelligence Service known as MI6. Bond was known by his code number, 007, was a commander in the Royal Naval Reserve; the Bond stories rank among the best-selling series of fictional books of all time, having sold over 100 million copies worldwide. Fleming wrote the children's story Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang and two works of non-fiction. In 2008, The Times ranked Fleming 14th on its list of "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945". Fleming was married to Ann Charteris, divorced from the second Viscount Rothermere because of her affair with the author. Fleming and Charteris had Caspar. Fleming was a heavy smoker and drinker for most of his life and succumbed to heart disease in 1964 at the age of 56. Two of his James Bond books were published posthumously. Fleming's creation has appeared in film twenty-six times, portrayed by seven actors. Ian Lancaster Fleming was born on 28 May 1908, at 27 Green Street in the wealthy London district of Mayfair.
His mother was Evelyn, his father was Valentine Fleming, the Member of Parliament for Henley from 1910 to 1917. As an infant he lived, with his family, at Braziers Park in Oxfordshire. Fleming was a grandson of the Scottish financier Robert Fleming, who founded the Scottish American Investment Trust and the merchant bank Robert Fleming & Co. In 1914, with the start of the First World War, Valentine Fleming joined "C" Squadron, Queen's Own Oxfordshire Hussars, rose to the rank of major, he was killed by German shelling on the Western Front on 20 May 1917. Because the family owned an estate at Arnisdale, Valentine's death was commemorated on the Glenelg War Memorial. Fleming's elder brother Peter became married actress Celia Johnson. Peter served with the Grenadier Guards during the Second World War, was commissioned under Colin Gubbins to help establish the Auxiliary Units, became involved in behind-the-lines operations in Norway and Greece during the war. Fleming had two younger brothers and Richard, a younger maternal half-sister born out of wedlock, the cellist Amaryllis Fleming, whose father was the artist Augustus John.
Amaryllis was conceived during a long-term affair between John and Evelyn that started in 1923, six years after the death of Valentine. In 1914 Fleming attended a preparatory school on the Isle of Purbeck in Dorset, he did not enjoy his time at Durnford. In 1921 Fleming enrolled at Eton College. Not a high achiever academically, he excelled at athletics and held the title of Victor Ludorum for two years between 1925 and 1927, he edited a school magazine, The Wyvern. His lifestyle at Eton brought him into conflict with his housemaster, E. V. Slater, who disapproved of Fleming's attitude, his hair oil, his ownership of a car and his relations with women. Slater persuaded Fleming's mother to remove him from Eton a term early for a crammer course to gain entry to the Royal Military College at Sandhurst, he spent less than a year there, leaving in 1927 without gaining a commission, after contracting gonorrhea. In 1927, to prepare Fleming for possible entry into the Foreign Office, his mother sent him to the Tennerhof in Kitzbühel, Austria, a small private school run by the Adlerian disciple and former British spy Ernan Forbes Dennis and his novelist wife, Phyllis Bottome.
After improving his language skills there, he studied at Munich University and the University of Geneva. While in Geneva, Fleming began a romance with Monique Panchaud de Bottens and the couple were engaged in 1931, his mother made him break off the relationship. He failed the examinations, his mother again intervened in his affairs, lobbying Sir Roderick Jones, head of Reuters News Agency, in October 1931 he was given a position as a sub-editor and journalist for the company. In 1933 Fleming spent time in Moscow, where he covered the Stalinist show trial of six engineers from the British company Metropolitan-Vickers. While there he applied for an interview with Soviet premier Joseph Stalin, was amazed to receive a signed note apologising for not being able to attend. Fleming bowed to family pressure in October 1933, went into banking with a position at the financiers Cull & Co. In 1935 he moved to Pitman on Bishopsgate as a stockbroker. Fleming was unsuccessful in both roles. Early in 1939 Fleming began an affair with Ann O'Neill (née Ch
Thunderball is the ninth book in Ian Fleming's James Bond series, the eighth full-length Bond novel. It was first published in the UK by Jonathan Cape on 27 March 1961, where the initial print run of 50,938 copies sold out; the first novelization of an unfilmed James Bond screenplay, it was born from a collaboration by five people: Ian Fleming, Kevin McClory, Jack Whittingham, Ivar Bryce and Ernest Cuneo, although the controversial shared credit of Fleming, McClory and Whittingham was the result of a courtroom decision. The story centres on the theft of two atomic bombs by the crime syndicate SPECTRE and the subsequent attempted blackmail of the Western powers for their return. James Bond, Secret Service operative 007, travels to the Bahamas to work with his friend Felix Leiter, seconded back into the CIA for the investigation. Thunderball introduces SPECTRE's leader Ernst Stavro Blofeld, in the first of three appearances in Bond novels, with On Her Majesty's Secret Service and You Only Live Twice being the others.
Thunderball has been adapted four times, once in a comic strip format for the Daily Express newspaper, twice for the cinema and once for the radio. The Daily Express strip was cut short on the order of its owner, Lord Beaverbrook, after Ian Fleming signed an agreement with The Sunday Times to publish a short story. On screen, Thunderball was released in 1965 as the fourth film in the Eon Productions series, with Sean Connery as James Bond; the second adaptation, Never Say Never Again, was released as an independent production in 1983 starring Connery as Bond and was produced by Kevin McClory. BBC Radio 4 aired an adaptation in December 2016, directed by Martin Jarvis, it starred Toby Stephens as Tom Conti as Largo. Thunderball begins with a meeting between Bond and his superior, M, during which the agent is told that his latest physical assessment is poor because of excessive drinking and smoking. M sends Bond on a two-week treatment at the Shrublands health clinic to improve his health. At the clinic Bond encounters Count Lippe, a member of the Red Lightning Tong criminal organisation from Macau.
When Bond learns of the Tong connection, Lippe tries to kill him by tampering with a spinal traction machine. Bond, however, is saved by nurse Patricia Fearing and retaliates against Lippe by trapping him in a steam bath, resulting in the Count's second-degree burns and a week's stay in hospital; the Prime Minister receives a communiqué from SPECTRE explaining that the organisation has hijacked a Villiers Vindicator and seized its two nuclear bombs, which it will use to destroy two major cities unless a £100,000,000 ransom is paid. This is SPECTRE's Plan Omega. SPECTRE is headed by criminal mastermind Ernst Stavro Blofeld. Count Lippe was dispatched to Shrublands to oversee Giuseppe Petacchi of the Italian Air Force, at the Boscombe Down Airfield, a bomber squadron base. Although Lippe was successful, Blofeld considered him unreliable, because of his childish clash with Bond and, as a consequence, Blofeld has Lippe killed. Acting as a NATO observer of Royal Air Force procedure, Petacchi is in SPECTRE's pay to hijack the bomber in mid-flight by killing its crew and flying it to the Bahamas.
Once there, Petacchi is killed and the plane, with bombs, are taken by Emilio Largo on board the cruiser yacht Disco Volante. The Americans and the British launch Operation Thunderball to foil SPECTRE and recover the two atomic bombs. On a hunch, M assigns Bond to the Bahamas to investigate. There, Bond meets Felix Leiter, seconded to the CIA from his usual role at Pinkertons because of the Thunderball crisis. While in Nassau, Bond meets Dominetta "Domino" Vitali, Largo's mistress and the sister of the dead pilot Giuseppe Petacchi, she is living on board the Disco Volante and believes Largo is on a treasure hunt, although Largo makes her stay ashore while he and his partners hunt hidden treasure. After seducing her, Bond informs her. Domino re-boards the Disco Volante with a Geiger counter to ascertain if the yacht is where the two nuclear bombs are hidden. However, she is discovered and Largo tortures her for information. Bond and Leiter alert the Thunderball war room of their suspicions of Largo and join the crew of the American nuclear submarine Manta as the ransom deadline nears.
The Manta chases the Disco Volante to recover the bombs en route to the first target. An undersea battle ensues between the crews. Bond, now weak from his efforts to disable the bombs, tries to get away, but Largo corners him in an underwater cave and overpowers him. Before Largo can finish Bond off Domino shoots him with a spear gun; the bombs are recovered and Bond is sent to hospital with Domino. According to continuation Bond author Raymond Benson, there was further development of the Bond character in Thunderball, with glimpses of both his sense of humour and his own sense of mortality being shown. Felix Leiter had his largest role to date in a Bond story and much of his humour came though, whilst his incapacity, suffered in Live and Let Die, had not led to bitterness or to his being unable to join in with the underwater fight scene towards the end of the novel. Academic Christoph Linder sees Thunderball as part of the second wave of Bond villains: the first wave consisted of SMERSH, the second of Blofeld and SPECTRE, undertaken because of the thawing of relations between East and West, although the cold war escalated again shortly afterwards, with the Bay of Pigs Invasion, the construction of the Berlin Wall and the Cuban Missile Crisis all occurring in an eighteen-month period from April 1961 to November 1962.