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Pope Sixtus IV

Pope Sixtus IV, born Francesco della Rovere, was pope from 9 August 1471 to his death in 1484. His accomplishments as pope included the construction of the Sistine Chapel and the creation of the Vatican Archives. A patron of the arts, he brought together the group of artists who ushered the Early Renaissance into Rome with the first masterpieces of the city's new artistic age. Sixtus aided the Spanish Inquisition though he fought to prevent abuses therein, he annulled the decrees of the Council of Constance, he was noted for his nepotism and was involved in the infamous Pazzi conspiracy. Francesco was born to a family of modest means from Liguria, the son of Leonardo della Rovere and Luchina Monleoni, he was born in a town near Savona. As a young man, Della Rovere joined the Franciscan Order, an unlikely choice for a political career, his intellectual qualities were revealed while he was studying philosophy and theology at the University of Pavia, he went on to lecture at many other Italian universities.

In 1464, Della Rovere was elected Minister General of the Franciscan order at the age of 50. In 1467, he was appointed Cardinal by Pope Paul II with the titular church being the Basilica of San Pietro in Vincoli. Before his papal election, Cardinal della Rovere was renowned for his unworldliness and had written learned treatises, including On the Blood of Christ and On the Power of God, his reputation for piety was one of the deciding factors that prompted the College of Cardinals to elect him Pope upon the unexpected death of Paul II at the age of fifty-four. Upon being elected Pope Della Rovere adopted the name Sixtus, which had not been used since the 5th century. One of his first acts was to declare a renewed crusade against the Ottoman Turks in Smyrna. However, after the conquest of Smyrna, the fleet disbanded; some fruitless attempts were made towards unification with the Greek Church. For the remainder of his pontificate, Sixtus turned to dynastic considerations. Sixtus IV sought to strengthen his position by surrounding himself with friends.

In the fresco by Melozzo da Forlì, he is accompanied by his Della Rovere and Riario nephews, not all of whom were made cardinals. His nephew Pietro Riario benefited from his nepotism. Pietro was entrusted with Pope Sixtus' foreign policy. However, Pietro died prematurely in 1474, his role passed to Giuliano Della Rovere; the secular fortunes of the Della Rovere family began when Sixtus invested his nephew Giovanni with the lordship of Senigallia and arranged his marriage to the daughter of Federico III da Montefeltro, duke of Urbino. Six of the thirty-four cardinals that he created were his nephews. In his territorial aggrandizement of the Papal States, his niece's son Cardinal Raffaele Riario, for whom the Palazzo della Cancelleria was constructed, was suspected of colluding in the failed Pazzi conspiracy of 1478 to assassinate both Lorenzo de' Medici and his brother Giuliano and replace them in Florence with Sixtus IV's other nephew, Girolamo Riario. Francesco Salviati, Archbishop of Pisa and a main organizer of the plot, was hanged on the walls of the Florentine Palazzo della Signoria.

Sixtus IV replied with two years of war with Florence. According to the published chronicle of the Italian historian Stefano Infessura, Diary of the City of Rome, Sixtus was a "lover of boys and sodomites", awarding benefices and bishoprics in return for sexual favours and nominating a number of young men as cardinals, some of whom were celebrated for their good looks. However, Infessura had partisan allegiances to the Colonna and so is not considered to be always reliable or impartial; the English churchman and Protestant polemicist John Bale, writing a century attributed to Sixtus "the authorisation to practice sodomy during periods of warm weather" to the "Cardinal of Santa Lucia". Although such accusations are dismissed as anti-Catholic propaganda, they still prompted the noted historian of the Catholic Church, Ludwig von Pastor, to issue a firm rebuttal. Sixtus continued a dispute with King Louis XI of France, who upheld the Pragmatic Sanction of Bourges, which held that papal decrees needed royal assent before they could be promulgated in France.

That was a cornerstone of the privileges claimed for the Gallican Church and could never be shifted as long as Louis XI manoeuvred to replace King Ferdinand I of Naples with a French prince. Louis was thus in conflict with the papacy, Sixtus could not permit it. On 1 November 1478, Sixtus published the papal bull Exigit Sincerae Devotionis Affectus through which the Spanish Inquisition was established in the Kingdom of Castile. Sixtus consented under political pressure from Ferdinand of Aragon, who threatened to withhold military support from his kingdom of Sicily. Sixtus IV quarrelled over protocol and prerogatives of jurisdiction; as a temporal prince who constructed stout fortresses in the Papal States, he encouraged the Venetians to attack Ferrara, which he wished to obtain for another nephew. Ercole I d'Este, Duke of Ferrara, was allied with the Sforzas of Milan, the Medicis of Florence along with the King of Naples a hereditary ally and champion of the papacy; the angered Italian princes allied to force Sixtus IV to make peace to his great anno

Neve Dekalim

Neve Dekalim was an Israeli settlement and a community in the Gush Katif settlement bloc in the Gaza Strip. It was founded in 1983 after the Israeli withdrawal from the Sinai Peninsula. Neve Dekalim served as a regional center for the Gush Katif region and was the seat of the Hof Aza Regional Council, it was located between the Mediterranean Sea. Neve Dekalim was evacuated in August 2005 as part of Israel's unilateral disengagement plan, it was turned into a training camp by Hamas, which described it as a "military training camp for martyrs." The population consisted of about 520 families Orthodox Jews. It was a major commercial center for the region; the Gush Katif industrial zone was located in Neve Dekalim. The 10-acre Katifari Zoo housed hundreds of snakes and other animals. From the Second Intifada until its evacuation in 2005, Gaza militants fired some 6,000 mortars and Qassam rockets at Neve Dekalim. In July 2005, shortly before the disengagement plan was implemented, two people were injured by mortar fire.

The evacuation of Neve Dekalim began on August 15, as part of the Israel unilateral disengagement plan, was completed on 18 August. The residents were given 48 hours to leave; those who refused to evacuate barricaded themselves in the synagogue, but were forcibly removed by the Israel Defense Forces and the Israel Police. The homes were bulldozed after the withdrawal on August 14, leaving only the greenhouses, which were part of a transaction in which private American citizens bought them for the Palestinians; the donors spent $14 million on the purchase. Former World Bank President James Wolfensohn put up $500,000 of his own cash. Despite the presence of Palestinian security guards, dozens of greenhouses were looted by Palestinians, who emptied them of irrigation hoses, water pumps and plastic sheeting. Marching through the abandoned town in a "victory parade," thousands of masked Hamas gunmen fired in the air and trampled an Israeli flag. Hamas turned the site into a barbed-wire enclosed training camp from which Qassam rockets were launched into Israel.

It was the largest Jewish settlement in the Gaza Strip. Signs posted in Arabic state that it is a "closed military zone." Mahmoud al-Zahar, chief of Hamas said that Hamas planned to launch attacks that would drive Jews out of the West Bank and the entire state. In 2010, the site of Neve Dekalim was sand and rubble, with Palestinian trucks removing the last remnants of Jewish homes for use as construction material. In Israel, former residents of the settlement established Bnei Dekalim. Neve Dekalim is featured in the movie Disengagement by Amos Gitai. Grains Of Sand: The Fall Of Neve Dekalim by Shifra Shomron, a former resident of Neve Dekalim, is a semi-autobiographical novel about an Israeli family evacuated from Gush Katif

Ealing Cricket Club Ground

Ealing Cricket Club Ground known as Corfton Road, is a cricket ground in Ealing, West London. The first recorded match on the ground was in 1874, when Ealing Cricket Club played MCC; the ground, in Middlesex, was the venue for over 50 Middlesex Second XI fixtures between 1935 and 2011 and was used by Middlesex Cricket Board for one match in 2002. In 1973, the ground held its first Women's One Day International when Jamaica played Trinidad and Tobago in the 1973 Women's Cricket World Cup. Two further Women's ODIs were held on the ground during the 1993 Women's Cricket World Cup, with India playing New Zealand and England played the Netherlands. In local domestic cricket, the ground is the main home venue of Ealing Cricket Club who play in the Middlesex County Cricket League, it is located 500 metres north-east of Ealing Broadway railway station at the heart of an area of late-Victorian villa-style houses built around the ground in the Arts and Crafts style during the 1880s and 1890s. Ealing Cricket Club Ground on Cricinfo