Northeast Italy

Northeast Italy is one of the five official statistical regions of Italy used by the National Institute of Statistics, a first level NUTS region and a European Parliament constituency. Northeast encompasses four of the country's 20 regions: Emilia-Romagna Friuli-Venezia Giulia Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol VenetoCulturally and Emilia-Romagna is part of Northwest Italy, but is included in Northeast Italy for statistical reasons. Italian is the main language. Other languages include Venetian spoken in Veneto and along the coast to Trieste and Istria, as well as in the towns of Pordenone and Gorizia in Friuli, in most of Trentino, but only recognised by the Veneto region. Other languages are German, the primary language of South Tyrol, where Italian is spoken by about two thirds of the inhabitants, Slovene, recognized by Italy and spoken on the border of Italy and Istria, where the main language today is Croatian but Italian is recognized as a minority language; the terms Tre Venezie or Triveneto, refer to the three regions of Veneto Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol and Friuli-Venezia Giulia.

Venetia, a region which indicated the old land provinces of the Venetian Republic from river Adda to river Isonzo, is sometimes still used today to indicate this territory together with Trentino and Trieste. Venetia et Histria, an old region of Italy at the time of Roman Empire, refers to Veneto, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, East Lombardy and Istria. National Institute of Statistics Italian NUTS level 1 regions: Northwest Italy Central Italy South Italy Insular Italy Northern Italy Southern Italy Regione Veneto — Official homepage Regione Friuli Venezia Giulia — Official homepage Regione Trentino-Alto Adige — Official homepage After Venice - Northeast Italy tourism portal - Tourism in Triveneto

2007 Portland Timbers season

The 2007 Portland Timbers season was the 7th season for the Portland Timbers—the 3rd incarnation of a club to bear the Timbers name—of the now-defunct USL First Division, the second-tier league of the United States and Canada at the time. Commissioner's Cup, quarterfinal round of playoffs Quarterfinal round of playoffs Source: Pld = Matches played; the away goals rule was not used as a tie-breaker. Tournament was re-seeded after the quarterfinals. USL-1 Coach of the Year Note: Flags indicate national team. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality. USL-1 Goalkeeper of the Year USL-1 GAA Champion USL-1 All-League First Team USL-1 All-League Second Team USL-1 Player of the Week USL-1 Goal of the Week USL-1 Team of the Week All players contracted to the club during the season included. Players with 1 goal or more included only. Players with 1 card or more included only. All goalkeepers included

Sectarianism and minorities in the Syrian Civil War

The Syrian Civil War is an intensely sectarian conflict. The focus of the conflict has been identified by some as a ruling minority Alawite government and allied Shi'a governments such as Iran, pitted against the country's Sunni Muslim majority who are aligned with the Syrian opposition and their Sunni Turkish and Persian Gulf state backers; however Sunni Muslims make up the majority of the Syrian Arab Army and many hold high governmental positions. Others identify it as the secular Syrian government, made up of all religious groups pitted against the Islamist opposition; the conflict had drawn in other ethno-religious minorities, including Armenians, Druze, Kurds, Mhallami, Arab Christians, Mandaeans and Greeks. After hopes that an era of political liberalization might follow Bashar al-Assad's succession of his father these hopes flickered as Assad tightened his grip, he sought to broaden his power base beyond minority sects. He promoted Sunnis to power and restored ties to Aleppo - a Sunni stronghold with which relations had been tense since the repression of the Muslim Brotherhood in the early 1980s.

He adopted a more religious aspect. While continuing to look to Iran for military supplies he improved ties with Turkey, yet Assad's policy of adopting a jihadi discourse on Iraq and Palestine carried risks and "enabled latent ethnic and sectarian tensions to surface, Sunni groups to organize, unsettled other sects and power clusters who had prospered under his father" Hafez al-Assad. Both the opposition and government have accused each other of employing sectarian agitation; the opposition accused the government of agitating sectarianism. Time Magazine reported that in Homs government workers were offered extra stipends of up to $500 per month to fan sectarian fears while posing as opposition supporters; this included placing graffiti with messages such as "The Christians to Beirut, the Alawites to the grave," and shouting such sectarian slogans at anti-government protests. Some protesters chanted "Christians to Beirut. United Nations human rights investigators, concluded that Syrian civil war is devolving into an "overtly sectarian" and ethnic conflict, raising the specter of reprisal killings and prolonged violence that could last for years after the government falls.

"In recent months, there has been a clear shift" in the nature of the conflict, with more fighters and civilians on both sides describing the civil war in ethnic or religious terms, "Feeling threatened and under attack and religious minority groups have aligned themselves with parties to the conflict, deepening sectarian divides", said the report. The sharpest split is between the ruling minority Alawite sect, a Muslim sect from which President Assad's most senior political and military associates are drawn, the country's Sunni Muslim majority aligned with the opposition, the panel noted, but it said the conflict had drawn in other minorities, including Armenian Christians, Assyrian Christians, Palestinians, Kurds and Turkmens. There were some trends at this point that were not in line with a developing sectarian war. On 12 February 2013, a CNN report from inside Talkalakh revealed that the town itself was under rebel control, though government forces were only a matter of yards away, surrounding the town.

There was no fighting in or around the town thanks to a tenuous ceasefire between the warring sides brokered by a local sheikh and an Alawite member of parliament. Though isolated clashes have occurred, killing three rebels, though government forces have been accused of harassing civilians since its implementation, the ceasefire has held; the town has returned to a degree of normal function, some shops have started to re-open. The governor of Homs Province has been able to meet with rebels in the town, has called the ceasefire an "experiment". Both sides reject sectarianism, stressing the need to keep foreign jihadist fighters out of the country; the Sunni rebels in the town stated that they remained committed to overthrowing Assad. In 2011, United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated that the Sunni protesters "have a lot of work to do internally" in order to gain the broad public support needed to form a genuinely national movement, she added, "It is not yet accepted by many groups within Syria that their life will be better without Assad than with Assad.

There are a lot of minority groups that are concerned." The opposition does include some prominent Alawites and Christians. Turkey Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been trying to "cultivate a favorable relationship with whatever government would take the place of Assad" regardless of the group. Saudi preacher Sa'ad Ateeq al-Ateeq has called for the destruction of Shias, Christians and Jews in Qatar's Imam Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab Mosque. In 2012 the first Christian Free Syrian Army unit formed, yet it was reported that the Syrian government still had the support of the majority of the country's Christians of various ethnicities and denominations. By 2013 an increasing number of Christians favored the opposition. In 2014, the predominantly Christian Syriac Military Council formed an alliance with the FSA, other Syrian Christian militias such as the Sutoro had joined the Syrian opposition against the government; the Alawite sect of Islam has the second highest religious following in the Syrian Arab Republic and remains at the heart of the Syrian Government grassroot support, however in April 2016 Alawite leaders released a document seeking to distance themselves from both Assad and Shia I