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Privatisation of British Rail

The Privatisation of British Rail was the process by which ownership and operation of the railways of Great Britain passed from government control into private hands. Begun in 1994, it had been completed by 1997; the deregulation of the industry was enabled by EU Directive 91/440 in 1991, which aimed to create a more efficient rail network by creating greater competition. British Railways had been in state ownership since 1948, under the control of the British Railways Board. Under the Conservative government of Margaret Thatcher elected in 1979, various state-owned businesses were sold off, including various functions related to the railways – Sealink ferries and British Transport Hotels by 1984, Travellers Fare catering by 1988 and British Rail Engineering Limited by 1989, it was under Thatcher's successor John Major that the railways themselves were privatised, using the Railways Act 1993. The operations of the BRB were broken up and sold off, with various regulatory functions transferred to the newly created office of the Rail Regulator.

Ownership of the infrastructure including the larger stations passed to Railtrack, while track maintenance and renewal assets were sold to 13 companies across the network. Ownership of passenger trains passed to three rolling stock companies – the stock being leased out to passenger train operating companies awarded contracts through a new system of rail franchising overseen by the Office of Passenger Rail Franchising. Ownership and operation of rail freight in Great Britain passed to two companies – English Welsh & Scottish and Freightliner, less than the intended six, although there are more now; the process was controversial at the time, still is, its success is hotly debated – with the claimed benefits including a reduced cost to the taxpayer, lower fares, improved customer service, more investment. Despite opposition from the Labour Party, who gained power in 1997 under Tony Blair, the process has never been reversed wholesale by any government, the system remains unaltered. A significant change came in 2001 with the collapse of Railtrack, which saw its assets passed to the state-owned Network Rail, with track maintenance brought in-house under NR in 2004.

The regulatory structures have subsequently changed. The pre-nationalisation railway companies were entirely self-sufficient, for example, the production of the steel used in the manufacturing of rolling stock and rails; as a consequence of the nationalisation of the railways in 1948 some of these activities had been hived off to other nationalised industries and institutions, e.g. "Railway Air Services Limited" was one of the forerunners of British Airways. The preferred organisational structure in the 1970s was for the BRB to form wholly owned subsidiaries which were run at an arm's-length relationship, e.g. the railway engineering works became British Rail Engineering Limited in 1970. However, the BRB was still directly responsible for a multitude of other functions, such as the British Transport Police, the British Rail Property Board, a staff savings bank, convalescent homes for rail staff, the internal railway telephone and data comms networks, etc. In 1979 the organisational structure of the BRB's railway operations still reflected that of the Big Four British railway companies, merged to create British Railways over 30 years previously.

There were five Regions, each region being formed of several Divisions, each division of several Areas. There was some duplication of resources in this structure, in the early 1980s, the divisional layer of management was abolished with its work being redistributed either upwards to the regions or downwards to the areas; the chain of British Transport Hotels was sold off one hotel at a time, in 1982. Sealink was sold in 1984 to Sea Containers, who sold the routes to their current owner, Stena Line. Catering business Travellers Fare was sold in 1988 to a management buyout team. In 1988 British Rail Engineering Limited was split between the major engineering works, which became BREL Ltd and the works that were used for day-to-day maintenance of rolling stock, which became British Rail Maintenance Limited. BREL Ltd was sold to a consortium of ASEA Brown-Boveri and Trafalgar House in 1989. In 1992 ABB Transportation took full ownership before merging with Daimler-Benz to form Adtranz in January 1996.

Daimler-Benz subsequently took 100% ownership of Adtranz in 1998 before selling it to Bombardier in May 2001. For reasons of efficiency and to reduce the amount of subsidy required from government British Rail undertook a comprehensive organisational restructuring in the late 1980s; the new management structure was based on business sectors rather than geographical regions, first manifested itself in 1982 with the creation of Railfreight, the BRB's freight operation, InterCity, though the

Superargo and the Faceless Giants

Superargo and the Faceless Giants is a 1968 Italian-Spanish science fiction-Superhero film written and directed by Paolo Bianchini. It is the sequel of Nick Nostro's Superargo Versus Diabolicus. In the movie, Superargo battles Faceless Giants. One of his friends wants to kill Superargo. Ken Wood as Superargo Guy Madison as Prof. Wendland Wond Luisa Baratto as Claire Brand Diana Lorys as Gloria Devon Aldo Sambrell as Kamir / Pao-Ki Tomás Blanco as Davies Sergio Testori as Jo Brand Valerio Tordi as Professor Presenski Aldo Bufi Landi as J. G. Stafford Valentino Macchi as Bank Guard Superargo and the Faceless Giants was submitted to the Italian censorship board in September 1967, but was not released until January 1968 in Italy; the film was released on home video in the United States from several labels including Code Red as a double feature with Wacky Taxi and as part of the Cinema Insomnia collection where it is interspersed with comic commentary by Mr. Lobo in a manner similar to horror host antecedents like Elvira, Mistress of the Dark.

Rifftrax released a version with their own humorous commentary in December 2016. In a contemporary review, the Monthly Film Bulletin stated that "in the hierarchy of superheroes, Superargo....must rate lower than Jungle Jim." The review found Guy Madison "completely miscast" as "one of the most harmless-looking of villains". The review concluded that the film would "please easily-pleased children, but comic strip aficionados will find less to arouse them here than in Doc Savage." List of Italian films of 1968 List of Spanish films of 1968 Superargo and the Faceless Giants on IMDb

Farsund Hospital

Farsund Hospital was a local hospital situated close to the town centre of Farsund in Norway. It closed in 2007 and the municipality bought the property in December 2008, it has been disused since. Built in 1937 on 1.1 hectares on a hill overlooking the town, the hospital opened in September 1938 and has over 4,000 square metres of floor space on four levels. It was operated by the municipality until the health care reform of 2003, when it came under the regional Sørlandet sykehus HF system; the hospital had a fine reputation for osteopathic medicine, according to Svein Mathisen, who had an ankle operation there in December 1983. The maternity ward closed in 1993 and the surgical department in 1996. In 1998 there were 70 employees. On 30 June 2005 the polyclinic and laboratory departments closed, the hospital stopped operating 24 hours a day. Many employees were transferred to other hospitals. In 2005 there were 55 employees; the hospital closed in October 2007 when the youth psychiatry department moved out.

The municipality of Farsund had the right of first refusal on the hospital under a 1955 agreement. The old X-ray equipment was donated to a hospital in Zimbabwei. In late 2012 the municipality decided to sell the building, but it must first be rezoned so that it can be used for purposes other than health care. In May 2013 the municipality published planning documents under which the site is to be used for high-density housing

Georg Schramm

Georg Schramm is a German psychologist and Kabarett artist. He was a host of Neues aus der Anstalt. Schramm was born in Bad Homburg vor der Höhe, his father was a member of the Social Democratic Party of Germany which influenced his performances as a Kabarett artist. At his gymnasium he claims to have been the only working class child in his class, he enlisted for the Bundeswehr as a short-term career soldier which he retired from as a reserve officer. Afterwards he studied psychology in Bochum and worked as a psychologist in a rehab clinic from 1976 to 1988. Since 1992 he has been working full-time as a Kabarett artist. Schramm never stars on the stage as himself but uses a range of different characters to speak their minds. If he stars on the stage as "Schramm", he only does so acting as a character of the same name. Most of the time he uses three characters for his performances: Lothar Dombrowski Dombrowski is a Prussian pensioner, disabled by a war and living in a retirement home, he is against funny comedy.

Schramm uses this character to dish out coarse criticism of current events. Oberst Sanftleben An officer of the Bundeswehr, Schramm created this character based on his personal experience with the army. Sanftleben comments on military and war related matters, for example the Iraq War and offers his personal insight on the reasons for those conflicts, he shines a light on warlike aspects of the financial crisis. August August is a SPD member from Hesse, talking in the typical dialect of that region. Coming from a social democratic background himself, Schramm uses August to both criticize the party from a member's perspective and to shield it from criticism; the character is modeled after Schramm's father. Schramm is considered the most aggressive and serious Kabarett artist of his time. In 2007, he published his first book, Lassen Sie es mich so sagen – Dombrowski deutet die Zeichen der Zeit, a compilation of texts from his shows from 1983-2007. From 2000 to 2006 he was a regular guest in the Scheibenwischer which he co-hosted since 2003.

He left the show on 24 April 2006 for reasons of conceptional and personal differences with fellow co-hosts Bruno Jonas and Mathias Richling. From 2007 to 2010 he co-hosted Neues aus der Anstalt with Urban Priol. Solche Männer hat das Land Dein Platz an der Sonne Schlachtenbummler Ans Eingemachte – Best Of Mephistos Faust Thomas Bernhard hätte geschossen Meister Yodas Ende Salzburger Stier Deutscher Kleinkunstpreis Leipziger Löwenzahn Deutscher Kabarettpreis Stern des Jahres from the Munich Abendzeitung in the category "Kabarett" Gaul von Niedersachsen Schweizer Kabarett-Preis Cornichon of the Oltner Kabarett-Tage Ehrenpreis Tegtmeiers Erben Deutscher Fernsehpreis for Beste Comedy Bayerischer Kabarettpreis 2012 Erich Fromm Prize Lassen Sie es mich so sagen – Dombrowski deutet die Zeichen der Zeit, München, Karl Blessing-Verlag, 2007, ISBN 3-89667-348-3, ISBN 978-3-89667-348-0 Official website baret performer and psychologist

Strawberry Fields (2011 film)

Strawberry Fields is a 2011 light psycho-drama film directed by Frances Lea and starring Anna Madeley, Emun Elliott, Christine Bottomley. It is set in the Kent countryside of England during the summer fruit picking season, it was filmed on location in Kent county, the background reflects the extensive fruit growing economy of Kent. The plot follows the exploits of two sisters and Emily bereaved by the death of their mother, with a long history of a strained and troubled relationship. Both sisters have psychological problems, the results of which provide the key story lines for the film; the cast are all itinerant fruit pickers on the fictional Rymans Farm. Kev, an older Scottish picker who has grandiose but unfulfilled plans for his future, Fabio, a headstrong and sexually demanding young Italian picker, provide the material for the underlying sexual tension of the film. At heart the principal storyline follows Gillian's attempts to escape from Emily, frustrated by her own conflicting desire to care for her mentally ill sister.

The film was produced by Spring Pictures, working in association with Film London, BBC Films, Screen South, Screen East, MetFilm, the Kent County Council Film Office. Additional funding was provided by the National Lottery through the UK Film Council, the office of the Mayor of London; the production filmed at Foxbury Farm in Leysdown in Kent. Strawberry Fields on IMDb

Greater Republic of Central America

The Greater Republic of Central America was a short-lived political union between Honduras, El Salvador, lasting from 1896 to 1898. It was an attempt to revive the failed Federal Republic of Central America that existed earlier in the century; the three countries agreed to establish a union with the signing of the Treaty of Amapala on 20 June 1895. On 15 September 1896, after the countries had all ratified the treaty individually, the union was formally confirmed; the republic was rechristened the "United States of Central America" when its constitution came into effect on 1 November 1898. The capital was to be the Honduran town of Amapala on the Gulf of Fonseca; the union was dissolved. Before its dissolution, the Greater Republic established diplomatic relationships with the United States. Guatemala and Costa Rica both considered joining the union, but neither of them did so. History of Central America Federal Republic of Central America Bulletin. 1897