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Polotsk

Polotsk is a historical city in Belarus, situated on the Dvina River. It is the center of the Polotsk District in Vitsebsk Voblast, its population is more than 80,000 people. It during the Cold War was home to Borovitsy air base; the city is considered to be the geographical center of Europe. The Old East Slavic name, derives from the Polota River, which flows into the Western Dvina nearby; the Vikings rendered that name as Palteskja. Polotsk is one of the most ancient cities of the Eastern Slavs; the Primary Chronicle listed Polotsk in 862, together with Beloozero. However, an archaeological expedition from the Institute of History of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus suggests that Polotsk existed in the first half of the 9th century; the first known prince of Polotsk was Rogvolod. He had a daughter named Rogneda. Rogvolod promised Rogneda to the prince of Yaropolk, as a wife, but Yaropolk's brother, had attacked Polotsk before Yaropolk came. He killed Rogvolod, his wife and sons, married Rogneda.

Vladimir and Rogneda had five children and the eldest of them, became Prince of Polotsk. Between the 10th and 12th centuries, the Principality of Polotsk emerged as the dominant center of power in what is now Belarusian territory, with a lesser role played by the Principality of Turov to the south, it asserted its sovereignty in relation to other centers of Kievan Rus, becoming a political capital, the episcopal see and the controller of vassal territories among Balts in the west. Its most powerful ruler was Prince Vseslav Bryachislavich, who reigned from 1044 to 1101. A 12th-century inscription commissioned by Vseslav's son Boris may still be seen on a huge boulder installed near the St. Sophia Cathedral. For a full list of the Polotsk rulers, see the list of Belarusian rulers. In 1240, Polotsk became a vassal of the Lithuanian princes; the Grand Duke of Lithuania Vytenis annexed the city by military force in 1307, completing the process which the Lithuanian princes had begun in the 1250s. Polotsk received a charter of autonomy guaranteeing that the grand dukes "will not introduce new, nor destroy the old".

It was the earliest to be so incorporated into the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. By doing so, the Lithuanians managed to grasp the Dvina trade route in their hands, securing an important element for the surrounding economies. Magdeburg law was adopted in 1498. Polotsk functioned as a capital of the Połock Voivodship of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth until 1772. Captured by the Russian army of Ivan the Terrible in 1563, it was returned to the Grand Duchy of Lithuania just 15 years later, it was again captured by Russia on 17 June 1654, but recaptured by Poland-Lithuania on 30 October 1660 during the Russo-Polish War. In 1773, with the First Partition of Poland, Russia seized Polotsk as part of the Russian Partition of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. Since the Russian Empress Catherine II did not acknowledge the Papal suppression of the Society of Jesus, the Jesuit branches in these lands were not disbanded, Połock became the European centre of the Order, with a novitiate opening in 1780, with the arrival of distinguished Jesuits from other parts of Europe who brought with them valuable books and scientific collections.

Jesuits continued their pastoral work and upgraded the Jesuit College in Polotsk into the Połock Academy, with three faculties, four libraries, a printing house, a bookshop, a theatre with 3 stages, a science museum, an art gallery and a scientific and literary periodical, a medical-care centre. The school was the patron of the college in Petersburg, the mission to Saratów and an expedition to Canton; when in 1820 pressure from the Russian Orthodox Church influenced the Russian Emperor Alexander I to exile the Jesuits and to close the Academy, there were 700 students studying there. The Russian authorities broke up the Academy's library of 40,000-60,000 volumes, the richest collection of 16th- to 18th-century books - the books went to St. Petersburg and other cities, 4000 volumes going to the St. Petersburg State University Scientific Library; that period of warfare started the gradual decline of the city. After the first partition of Poland, Polotsk became reduced to the status of a small provincial town of the Russian Empire.

During the French invasion of Russia in 1812 the area saw two battles, the First Battle of Polotsk and the Second Battle of Polotsk. Polotsk came under occupation by the German Empire between 25 February 1918 and 21 November 1918 in World War I, by Poland between 22 September 1919 and 14 May 1920 in the Polish–Soviet War and by Nazi Germany between 16 July 1941 and 4 July 1944 in World War II. Polotsk functioned as the center of Polatsk Voblast between 20 September 1944 and 8 January 1954. A reorganisation of the area between Vitebsk and Molodechno voblasts left Polotsk part of the former; the city's Cathedral of Saint Sophia in Polotsk was a symbol of the independent-mindedness of Polotsk, rivaling churches of the same name in Novgorod and Kiev. The name referred to the original Hagia Sophia in Constantinople and thus to claims of imperial prestige and sovereignty; the cathedral had been ruined by the troops of Peter I of Russia. Hen

Opel Arena (stadium)

Opel Arena is a multi-purpose stadium in Mainz, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany, opened in July 2011. It is used for football matches, hosts the home matches of the German Bundesliga side Mainz 05; the stadium has a capacity of 34,034 people, of which 19,700 seated, replaces the Bruchweg stadium, Stadion am Bruchweg. The stadium was named Coface Arena after a sponsorship deal with COFACE. In July 2016, the stadium arrived per a naming rights agreement with Opel; as a way to celebrate the opening of the new stadium, FSV Mainz 05 hosted the Ligatotal! Cup 2011, a short pre-season tournament, they invited Hamburger SV and Bayern Munich. Borussia Dortmund won the tournament, FSV Mainz 05 finished last, after losing to Bayern Munich in the third place play off; the first league goal scored in the new arena was scored by Tunisian International Sami Allagui, for FSV Mainz 05 against Bayer Leverkusen, on 7 August 2011. Official Website Stadium picture Facts and data at worldfootball.net Atmosphere at Coface-Arena

Cynometra alexandri

The Uganda ironwood or Muhimbi is a species of legume that occurs in tropical lowland forests of central and east Africa. They grow gregariously as a constituent of swamp forests, they reach some 120 feet to 150 feet in height, larger trees develop hollow boles and buttress roots. In Uganda it is widespread in the lowland forests in the Western Rift Escarpment, where it shows a tendency toward monospecific dominance. After initial colonising, a mixed forest would contain Uganda ironwood, Alstonia congensis, Trichilia prieuriana, Khaya anthotheca and Celtis mildbraedii; when climax forest develops at altitudes between 1,000 and 1,200 m, Uganda ironwood becomes dominant. Though a common species, its range has been reduced by wood cutting, large scale farming and subsistence cultivation; the durable and dull, reddish brown heartwood is resistant to termite damage or abrasion, while the greyish sapwood is permeable to preservatives. It is employed in industrial or heavy-duty flooring, besides construction, marine work and for railway sleepers.

Due to its physical properties, such as bending strength, inter-node distance, leaf surface area, the Muhimbi is favoured by chimpanzees for their daily construction of sleeping platforms or "nests"