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Namibia

Namibia the Republic of Namibia, is a country in Southern Africa. Its western border is the Atlantic Ocean. Although it does not border Zimbabwe, less than 200 metres of the Zambezi River separates the two countries. Namibia gained independence from South Africa on 21 March 1990, following the Namibian War of Independence, its capital and largest city is Windhoek, it is a member state of the United Nations, the Southern African Development Community, the African Union, the Commonwealth of Nations. Namibia, the driest country in Sub-Saharan Africa, was inhabited since early times by the San and Nama people. Around the 14th century, immigrating Bantu peoples arrived as part of the Bantu expansion. Since the Bantu groups, the largest being the Ovambo, have dominated the population of the country. In 1878, the Cape of Good Hope a British colony, annexed the port of Walvis Bay and the offshore Penguin Islands. In 1884 the German Empire established rule over most of the territory, forming a colony known as German South West Africa.

It developed infrastructure. Between 1904 and 1908 it perpetrated a genocide against the Nama people. German rule ended in 1915 with a defeat by South African forces. In 1920, after the end of World War I, the League of Nations mandated the administration of the colony to South Africa, it imposed its laws, including racial rules. From 1948, with the National Party elected to power, South Africa applied apartheid to what was known as South West Africa. In the 20th century and demands for political representation by native African political activists seeking independence resulted in the UN assuming direct responsibility over the territory in 1966, but South Africa maintained de facto rule. In 1973 the UN recognised the South West Africa People's Organisation as the official representative of the Namibian people. Following continued guerrilla warfare, South Africa installed an interim administration in Namibia in 1985. Namibia obtained full independence from South Africa in 1990. However, Walvis Bay and the Penguin Islands remained under South African control until 1994.

Namibia has a population of a stable multi-party parliamentary democracy. Agriculture, herding and the mining industry – including mining for gem diamonds, gold and base metals – form the basis of its economy; the large, arid Namib Desert has resulted in Namibia being overall one of the least densely populated countries in the world. The name of the country is derived from the oldest desert in the world; the name Namib itself is of Nama origin and means "vast place". Before its independence in 1990, the area was known first as German South-West Africa as South-West Africa, reflecting the colonial occupation by the Germans and the South Africans; the dry lands of Namibia have been inhabited since early times by San and Nama. Around the 14th century, immigrating Bantu people began to arrive during the Bantu expansion from central Africa. From the late 18th century onward, Oorlam people from Cape Colony crossed the Orange River and moved into the area that today is southern Namibia, their encounters with the nomadic Nama tribes were peaceful.

They received the missionaries accompanying the Oorlam well, granting them the right to use waterholes and grazing against an annual payment. On their way further north, the Oorlam encountered clans of the OvaHerero at Windhoek and Okahandja, who resisted their encroachment; the Nama-Herero War broke out in 1880, with hostilities ebbing only after the German Empire deployed troops to the contested places and cemented the status quo among the Nama and Herero. The first Europeans to disembark and explore the region were the Portuguese navigators Diogo Cão in 1485 and Bartolomeu Dias in 1486, but the Portuguese did not try to claim the area. Like most of interior Sub-Saharan Africa, Namibia was not extensively explored by Europeans until the 19th century. At that time traders and settlers came principally from Sweden. In the late 19th century, Dorsland Trekkers crossed the area on their way from the Transvaal to Angola; some of them settled in Namibia instead of continuing their journey. Namibia became a German colony in 1884 under Otto von Bismarck to forestall perceived British encroachment and was known as German South West Africa.

The Palgrave Commission by the British governor in Cape Town determined that only the natural deep-water harbour of Walvis Bay was worth occupying and thus annexed it to the Cape province of British South Africa. From 1904 to 1907, the Herero and the Namaqua took up arms against brutal German colonialism. In calculated punitive action by the German occupiers, government officials ordered extinction of the natives in the OvaHerero and Namaqua genocide. In what has been called the "first genocide of the 20th century", the Germans systematically killed 10,000 Nama and 65,000 Herero; the survivors, when released from detention, were subjected to a policy of dispossession, forced labour, racial segregation, discrimination in a system that in many ways anticipated the apartheid established by South Africa in 1948. Most Africans were confined to so-called native territories, which un

Bill Graber

William Noe "Bill" Graber was an American pole vaulter. He broke the pole vault world record in 1932 and competed at the 1932 and 1936 Olympics, placing fourth and fifth, respectively. Graber studied at the University of Southern California; as a sophomore in 1931 Graber won the pole vault at the IC4A championships and tied for first at the NCAA championships, helping the USC Trojans to team titles in both meets. At the IC4A meet in Philadelphia men's pole vault was the last event and Graber's meeting record of 14 ft ​1⁄2 in secured the Trojans a narrow victory over Stanford University. Graber was only the fifth athlete in the world to jump 14 feet or more in a competition, the only one to do so that year. Graber's NCAA jump of 13 ft ​10 5⁄16 in was a meeting record. Graber repeated as IC4A champion 1932, although this time he only tied for first, he was unable to defend his NCAA title. The American team for the Olympics in Los Angeles was selected at the Olympic Trials in Palo Alto, with the top three qualifying.

Both Graber and Stanford's Bill Miller cleared 14 ft ​1 5⁄8 in, a fraction of an inch better than Lee Barnes's world record of 14 ft ​1 1⁄2 in. Graber cleared 14 ft ​4 3⁄8 in to obliterate the record; the record established Graber as the leading favorite for the Olympics, but he underperformed and only jumped 13 ft ​7 1⁄4 in, placing fourth behind Miller, Japan's Shuhei Nishida and the other American entrant, George Jefferson. Graber won his third IC4A title in 1933 in a five-way tie for first place, he tied for first place at the NCAA meet, jumping 13 ft ​11 1⁄16 in to break his own meeting record. In 1934 he was tied for the title outdoors, he broke his own world record in April 1935 at Santa Barbara, clearing a bar at 14 ft ​5 5⁄8 in, but it was subsequently found that the take-off point had been two inches higher than the point of measurement and the record could not be ratified. Entering the Olympic year of 1936, Graber was considered a leading candidate for his second Olympic Games. At the Olympic Trials at Randalls Island in New York City he cleared 14 ft 3 in, tying for first place with Bill Sefton and Earle Meadows.

Meadows and Sefton both being USC undergraduates, it was the first time in the history of the Trials that one university had claimed the top three. George Varoff, the favorite after breaking the world record the previous week, only cleared 14 ft and didn't qualify for the team. Graber was again a leading Olympic favorite. Profile

First Kamchatka expedition

The First Kamchatka expedition was commissioned in December 1724 by Peter I of Russia to explore the northern part of the Pacific Ocean and confirm the presence of the strait between Asia and America. It was the first Russian naval scientific expedition, was followed in 1732 by the Second Kamchatka Expedition; the expedition spent first two years, from January 1725 to January 1727, on traveling from Saint Petersburg to Okhotsk, using horses, dog sleds and river boats. After wintering in Okhotsk it moved to the mouth of the Kamchatka River on the east coast of the peninsula. In July–August 1728 it sailed north and north-east along the shore, exploring Karaginsky Gulf, Kresta Bay, Providence Bay, Gulf of Anadyr, Cape Chukotsky and St. Lawrence Island; the expedition, as it turned out, went through the Bering Strait to the Chukchi Sea, returned believing that it had completed its tasks. While it had not reached the North American coast, it provided evidence that Asia and North America are not connected.

During 1729, it explored the southern shores of Kamchatka, mapping the Gulf of Kamchatka and Avacha Bay, by 28 February 1730 returned via Okhotsk to St. Petersburg; the expedition was praised, with its leader Vitus Bering being promoted to captain-commander, his first noble rank, whereas his assistants Martin Spangberg and Aleksei Chirikov were made captains. It had been a long and expensive expedition, costing 15 men and souring relations between Russia and her native peoples, but it had provided useful insights into the geography of Eastern Siberia: in total the expedition surveyed more than 3500 km of the western coast of the sea, named after Bering, its maps of the area were used by all Western European cartographers. On 29 December 1724, Peter asked the Danish-Russian explorer Vitus Bering to command a voyage east. Peter instructed the expedition to do the following: prepare one-two ships in Kamchatka or nearby; when meeting European ships, it should inquire them the names of the local geographical features, explore the coasts on the way and map them.

Preparations for the trip had begun some years before, but with his health deteriorating, Peter had hurried the process, promoted the appointment of Bering as the expedition's leader ahead of the experienced cartographer K. P. von Verd. To his advantage Bering had knowledge of both the Indian Ocean and the eastern seaboard of North America, good personal skills and experience in transporting goods, his lieutenants for the journey were the hardened fellow Dane Martin Spangberg and the well-educated but inexperienced Russian Aleksei Chirikov, a respected naval instructor. Chirikov, together with warrant officer Peter Chaplin co-wrote the expedition journal; the assistants would receive annual salaries of some 180 roubles during the trip, whereas Bering would be paid 480. The natural route to Kamchatka was along tributaries of the Lena. Instead, Bering's party, it was decided, would travel over land and river from Saint Petersburg to Okhotsk, a small port town on Russia's eastern coast, by sea from Okhotsk to the Kamchatka peninsula, where they could start their voyage of exploration.

In 1725, the construction of a 20-meter-long ship named Fortuna began in Okhotsk in anticipation of the expedition. It was completed in June 1727 under the guidance of Chaplin, by August, a ship of similar size, was brought from Kamchatka and repaired. By the end of August 1727 both ships reached Kamchatka. During April–May 1728, one more ship, Archangel Gabriel, was built on Kamchatka from the local wood. Fortuna and Vostok were auxiliary ships used for transporting goods between Okhotsk and Bolsheretsk, whereas Archangel Gabriel was the main ship of Bering, was armed with four cannons. On 24 January 1725, Chirikov departed with 26 of the 34-strong expedition along the well-traveled roads to Vologda, 661 kilometres to the east. Having waited for the necessary paperwork to be completed and the remaining members of the expedition followed on 6 February. Bering was supplied with. Both parties made good time over the first legs of the journey. On 14 February they were reunited in Vologda and headed eastwards across the Ural mountains, arriving in Tobolsk on 16 March.

They had traveled over 2,820 km. At Tobolsk, Bering took on more men to help the party through the more difficult journey ahead, he asked for 24 more from the garrison, before upping the request to 54 after hearing that the ship the party required at Okhotsk would need significant manpower to repair. In the end, the governor could spare only 39. In addition, Bering wanted 7 blacksmiths. After some delays preparing equipment and funds, on 14 May the now much enlarged party left Tobolsk, heading along the Irtysh; the journey ahead to the next major stopping point Yakutsk was well worn, but by groups as large as Bering's, who had the additional difficulty of needing to take on more men as the journey progressed. As a result, the party ran behind schedule, reaching Surgut on 30 May and Makovsk in late June before entering Yeniseysk, where the additional men could be taken on. In any case, the party left Yenisey