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North Circular Road

The North Circular Road is a 25.7-mile-long ring road around Central London in England. It runs from Chiswick in the west to Woolwich in the east, connects the various suburbs in the area, including Ealing, Wembley, Bounds Green, Edmonton, Woodford and Barking. Together with its counterpart, the South Circular Road, it forms a ring road through the Outer London suburbs; this ring road does not make a complete circuit of the city, being C-shaped rather than a complete loop as the crossing of the River Thames in the east is made on the Woolwich Ferry. The road was designed to connect local industrial communities together in addition to bypassing London, was constructed in the 1920s and'30s, it received significant upgrades after the Second World War, was at one point planned to be upgraded to motorway as part of the controversial and cancelled London Ringways scheme in the late 1960s. In the early 1990s, the road was extended to meet the A13 north of Woolwich; the road's design varies from six lane dual carriageway to urban streets.

The uncertainty of development has caused urban decay and property blight along its route, led to criticism over its poor pollution record. Several London Borough Councils have set up regeneration projects to improve the environment for communities surrounding the North Circular; the North Circular Road forms the northern part of a ring-road around Central London. It has seen more investment than its counterpart, the South Circular Road, runs on more purpose-built road than urban streets coupled with demolition of existing houses and urban infrastructure. Although the route has alternative names at some points, it is referred to as the North Circular throughout for route planning purposes; the route is grade-separated dual carriageway from the A40 at Hanger Lane to the A13 in Beckton except for the Drury Way/Brentfield Road junction, the Golders Green Road/Brent Street junction, Henlys Corner and the section from Bounds Green to Green Lanes. In areas where improvements made slowest progress and upgrades are unlikely, the original names such as Gunnersbury Avenue and Bowes Road are used.

The road begins in Gunnersbury at the Chiswick flyover, from which the South Circular Road heads south over Kew Bridge. The first section runs along Gunnersbury Avenue through Gunnersbury Park to Ealing Common, with a mix of single and dual carriageways, where it becomes Hanger Lane; the road crosses the railway west of Paddington to the Hanger Lane gyratory system, a large roundabout on top of the Western Avenue with Hanger Lane Underground station. This is one of the busiest junctions in London, incorporating 10,000 vehicles an hour; the A406 runs on purpose-built road to the north of Hanger Lane Gyratory, is referred to as "North Circular Road" on street signs. The road is a six-lane dual carriageway that connects the industrial estates in the area, passes beneath the main railway line from Euston Station, near Stonebridge Park. Beyond this, there is a junction with IKEA and the Neasden temple to the southeast, the road runs across empty land past the Welsh Harp Reservoir. Beyond the reservoir, there is a large interchange with the Edgware Road and junction 1 of the M1 motorway at Staples Corner, a junction for the Brent Cross Shopping Centre at the Brent Cross Interchange.

This section of the North Circular was used for filming the car chasing sequences in Withnail And I. Northeast of Brent Cross, at Henlys Corner, the North Circular shares carriageways with the A1 which joins it from the left and leaves it to the right to head into Central London; the junction complex serves the Finchley Road and pedestrian traffic, is a major bottleneck on the route. Transport for London have invested in the junction, including a special hands free crossing for the local Jewish community, who can cross the road on the Sabbath; the road passes north of St Pancras and Islington Cemetery towards Muswell Hill. The road narrows to two lane single carriageway to pass under a railway bridge, continues as Telford Road towards Bounds Green. Traffic on the North Circular Road must turn right from Telford Road into Bowes Road, which causes problems with heavy goods vehicles; the road continues past densely packed housing and business areas before widening at Green Lanes and assuming the North Circular Road name again.

At Great Cambridge Interchange, its most northerly point, the A406 crosses Great Cambridge Road. The now disused Angel Road railway station is located beneath the flyover at Angel Road, in an area marked for redevelopment known as Meridian Water; this leads onto the Lea Valley Viaduct. The viaduct is part of the original construction and was one of the first of its kind to be built using reinforced concrete. After the viaduct the road becomes Southend Road, passing north of Walthamstow, before the Crooked Billet junction, the former site of Walthamstow greyhound racing track, it continues eastward, cutting through a southern section of Epping Forest and meeting the Woodford New Road at Waterworks Corner, before an elevated junction with the M11 motorway and Southend Road heading to Gants Hill. The South Woodford to Barking Relief Road opened in 1987; the A406 extended along Southend Road and Woodford Avenue as far east as Gan

Marián Kočner

Marián Kočner is a Slovak criminal operating in the spheres of risk investment, financial development and property business. His name appeared in so-called "mafia lists" - a set of documents leaked by police in 2005 containing a list of people suspected of involvement in organized crime and of vehicles used by them, intended as an aid for police patrols. Kočner's business practices had been a prominent topic of articles by Ján Kuciak, an investigative journalist from Aktuality.sk, murdered in February 2018. A couple of months prior to Kuciak's death, Kočner had threatened in a phone call to "dig up dirt" on Kuciak, saying "I will focus on you, your mother, your father, on your siblings.". Kuciak had filed a criminal complaint but a subsequent police investigation concluded that Kočner's alleged statements did not constitute a criminal offence. After Kuciak's murder, general prosecutor Jaromír Čižnár ordered the case to be reopened; however police again closed the case concluding that Kočner's statements did not constitute a criminal offence.

Aktuality.sk subsequently published transcript of the phone call between Kočner. Kočner is connected to Alena Z. via Alena Z.'s daughter as her godfather. Kočner first gained public notoriety for his attempt to take over TV Markíza in 1998. TV Markíza, one of the first private television channels in Slovakia, was founded by Pavol Rusko and Sylvia Volzová in partnership with CME Media Enterprises B. V. in 1996. The channel was not successful in acquiring a broadcasting license, licensing board objected that Rusko did not disclose Volzová as co-owner. Rusko had entered into an agreement with Espé štúdio, a company owned by Siloš Pohanka to pay 3 million DEM in exchange for help getting a broadcasting license for Markíza; the cast of licensing board changed, Markíza secured the broadcasting license and launched on 31 August 1996. However Rusko declared the agreement with Espé štúdio invalid, as he argued that Markíza had acquired the license without the help of Siloš Pohanka. After unsuccessful attempts at getting money from Rusko, Pohanka sold his claim to Gamatex, a company owned by Kočner.

Kočner persuaded Volzová to acknowledge the claim and Kočner started court procedures to have the claim paid out. In August 1998 Kočner appeared at the Markíza offices with a court order giving him control over the TV station; when negotiations with Rusko regarding the ownership dispute failed, Kočner occupied the TV station with hired private security and fired TV channel's top managers. This caused public outrage. At that time TV Markíza was deemed the main news outlet opposing the government of Vladimír Mečiar and the attempted takeover was considered an attack on press freedom. Several thousand of angry citizens gathered in front of Markíza's offices as a show of support and several politicians from opposition parties gave speeches at the rally. After two days, Kočner and his associates left the building and ownership dispute continued in courts. According to news reports, Kočner's involvement in TV Markíza ended in 2000 when Rusko bought Gamatex through intermediaries. In a 2006 interview with aktualne.sk Kočner said the security firm involved in the takeover of Markíza belonged to Peter Čongrády, a local mafia boss.

However in interviews he denied hiring Čongrády. In June 2016 Kočner's company "Správa a inkaso zmeniek" initiated court proceedings against Pavol Rusko and TV Markíza to collect money owed to him under four promissory notes amounting to approx. €69 million. Kočner claimed that Rusko had issued the promissory notes in June 2000 with Markíza providing endorsement for the notes. At the time Rusko was the executive director of TV Markíza as well as one of its shareholders. Two of those notes amounted to €8.3 million each with a maturity date in 2015 and another two were signed as "blank cheques" in the amount of €26 million with a maturity date in 2016 added later. Rusko acknowledged Kočner's claim in court and declared that the promissory notes were intended to resolve the ownership dispute with Gamatex. Markíza's management was unaware of the existence of the promissory notes, they were not recorded in either company's accounting and were not discovered during the preparation of the due diligence report when CME became the sole shareholder in TV Markíza.

In April 2018 a court declared Kočner's claim as valid. However, in retaliation TV Markíza filed a criminal complaint against Kočner and Rusko for forging the promissory notes. In addition, an investigation into possible tax evasion began as, by not disclosing possession of the promissory notes to tax authorities, Kočner's companies avoided paying tax on interest on the notes. In June 2018, Kočner was detained by the Slovak authorities in the case of the promissory notes forgery together with Pavol Rusko, as well as for various tax-related crimes. On 8 March 2019 Marian Kočner was formally charged for having ordered the murder of investigative journalist Jan Kuciak in February 2018. Kočner remains in custody as of December 2019. Since 10 December 2019 he has been included in the global Magnitsky sanctions list. On 27 February 2020, Kocner was sentenced to 19 years of jail for forging $75 million worth of promissory notes to siphon money from Markiza

St Clair, New Zealand

St Clair is a leafy residential suburb of Dunedin, New Zealand. It is located on the Pacific Ocean coast five kilometres from the city centre on the southwesternmost part of the coastal plain which makes up the southern part of the urban area, climbs the slopes of Forbury Hill to the west of this plain. St Clair's 2001 population was 4,179. St Clair's main geographical features are St Clair Beach, the western end of the long beach which stretches along the city's southern shore, the promontory of Forbury Hill which rises 159 metres above the plain; the summit of the hill lies in the west of the suburb. Forbury Hill's flanks include a large cliff face one kilometre inland from the beach and a rocky headland which juts into the Pacific Ocean; the small outcrop of White Island lies to the immediate south of St Clair beach. The inland cliff, which runs parallel with and to the west of Forbury Road, was the site of a quarry in the early days of the city; the city's largest retirement village and its only meetinghouse for the LDS Church both lie in the shadow of this cliff.

The beach and the dunes are the victims of erosion if weather patterns see series of storms hit the city from the south. Such erosion between 2002 and 2007 saw emergency measures taken to add sand to the dunes in 2007 and 2008. Further erosion in 2013–2015 encroached on the dunes to the extent that a public footpath inland from the top of the dunes was permanently closed; the erosion is a long-term ongoing concern, as evidenced by attempts at beach protecting begun in 1904 which saw the addition of sturdy wooden piles and sandbreaks to the beach. The last surviving sets of wooden posts from these efforts are a landmark of St Clair Beach seen as being the dividing line between St Clair and Middle Beaches. Heavy storms during the winter of 2015 left these posts in a poor condition, it is they will not survive many more years. Another beach, Second Beach, lies to the west of St Clair Beach, separated from it by a rocky outcrop on which lies St Clair Hot Salt Water Pool. Second Beach is rocky rather than sandy, is flanked by cliffs that form the head of Forbury Hill, some of which include hexagonal basalt columns, one of three such outcrops in Dunedin (the others being at Blackhead, further to the west, at the Organ Pipes formation on Mount Cargill.

This natural amphitheatre is now wild but reached by a footpath leading from behind the Salt Water Pool. A distinctive feature of Second Beach is a natural blowhole, located at its southwestern end, at the far end of the footpath. Second Beach was the site of quarrying operations in the early days of Dunedin, but only the overgrown remnants of concrete walls are today left of this. A small stream runs from the flank of Forbury Hill, passing into a culvert before reaching the sea at the western end of St Clair Beach. Bedford Street, a main thoroughfare from the flat part of the suburb to its hillier parts, follows the steep valley of this stream for much of its short length; the suburb is surrounded by the suburbs of Corstorphine, Forbury, St Kilda. Its main roads are Forbury Road, Bedford Street, Bay View Road, Ravenswood Road, Allandale Road, with a small shopping area close to the junction of Allandale and Forbury Roads. Victoria Road, which begins at the edge of the suburb links it with St. Kilda.

An esplanade runs along the coast from the southern end of Forbury Road, is the site of several restaurants and cafes. St Clair Beach is a popular summer destination for Dunedinites, it is one of the South Island's more popular surfing venues and is home to the St Clair Surf Life Saving Club. At the western end of the beach, under the shadow of Forbury Hill, lies the St Clair Hot Salt Water Pool, an open-air public swimming pool nestled within rocks a handful of metres from the sea; the beach is the site of the city's annual "midwinter plunge", which sees residents brave the chilly waters every year at the winter solstice. The beach's sea wall and oceanway were rebuilt and renovated in 2004. In recent years the esplanade area has become a hub of culture with many cafes and bars. One of the city's wealthier suburbs, many fine houses are situated in the upper part of St Clair on the slopes of Forbury Hill; this part of the suburb is referred to as St Clair Park a reference to the St Clair golf course - one of the city's main courses - which straddles the top of the hill.

Near to this are the ruins of Cargill's Castle, a former stately home built for early settler Edward Cargill in 1877. The twin single-sex secondary schools of King's and Queen's lie close to the point where St Clair, St Kilda and Forbury meet; as a residential suburb, industrial activity in 21st century St Clair is negligible. The smaller, less well-defined suburb of Forbury lies to the north of St Clair, between it and Caversham. Forbury lies in the shadow of the cliff face, located one kilometre inland from St Clair Beach, stretches to the east of this cliff across the plain towards South Dunedin. Apart from Caversham and St Clair, Forbury is bounded by St Kilda in the south, Kew in the west, South Dunedin in the east; the name Forbury is somewhat confusing, as it is used for several local features, not all of them within the suburb. Notable among these is Forbury Park Raceway, one of the city's main horse-racing venues, which lies in St Kilda. Forbury Corner, an important road junction, lies in Caversham, though not far from the northern boundary of Forbury.

Prominent features of Forbury include Tonga Park, a sports ground used by Caversham Football Club, the twin single-sex secondary schools, King's and Queen's. Fo