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Regia Marina

The Regia Marina was the navy of the Kingdom of Italy from 1861 to 1946. In 1946, with the birth of the Italian Republic, the Regia Marina changed its name to Marina Militare; the Regia Marina was established on 17 March 1861 following the proclamation of the formation of the Kingdom of Italy. Just as the Kingdom was a unification of various states in the Italian peninsula, so the Regia Marina was formed from the navies of those states, though the main constituents were the navies of the former kingdoms of Sardinia and Naples; the new Navy inherited a substantial number of ships, both sail- and steam-powered, the long naval traditions of its constituents those of Sardinia and Naples, but suffered from some major handicaps. Firstly, it suffered from a lack of cohesion; these problems were compounded by the continuation of separate officer schools at Genoa and Naples, were not addressed until the opening of a unified Naval Academy at Livorno in 1881. Secondly, unification occurred during a period of rapid advances in naval technology and tactics, as typified by the launch of Gloire by France in 1858, by the appearance of, battle between, USS Monitor and CSS Virginia in 1862.

These innovations made older warships obsolete. Italy did not possess the shipyards or infrastructure to build the modern ships required, but the Minister for the Navy, Admiral Carlo di Persano, launched a substantial programme to purchase warships from foreign yards; the new navy's baptism of fire came on 20 July 1866 at the Battle of Lissa during the Third Italian War of Independence. The battle was fought against the Austrian Empire and occurred near the island of Vis in the Adriatic sea; this was one of the few fleet actions of the nineteenth century, as a major sea battle that involved ramming, it had a profound, though with hindsight a detrimental, effect on warship design and tactics. The Italian fleet, commanded by Admiral Persano, mustered 12 ironclad and 17 wooden-hulled ships, though only one, was of the most modern turret ship design. Despite a marked disadvantage in numbers and equipment, superior handling by the Austrians under Admiral Wilhelm von Tegetthoff resulted in a severe defeat for Italy, which lost two armoured ships and 640 men.

After the war, the Regia Marina passed through some difficult years as the naval budget was reduced, thus impairing the fleet's efficiency and the pace of new construction. In 1881, the battleship Caio Duilio was commissioned, followed in 1882 by the battleship Enrico Dandolo. In 1896 the corvette Magenta completed a circumnavigation of the world; the following year the Regia Marina conducted experiments with Guglielmo Marconi in the use of radio communications. 1909 saw the first use of aircraft with the fleet. An Italian naval officer, Vittorio Cuniberti, was the first in 1903 to envision in a published article the all-big gun battleship design, which would be come to be known as dreadnought. In 1911 and 1912, the Regia Marina was involved in the Italo-Turkish War against forces of the Ottoman Empire; as the majority of the Ottoman fleet stayed behind the relative safety of the Dardanelles, the Italians dominated the Mediterranean during the conflict winning victories against Ottoman light units at the battles of Preveza and Beirut.

In the Red Sea the Italian forces were vastly superior to those of the Ottomans who only possessed a squadron of gunboats there. These were destroyed while attempting to withdraw into the Mediterranean at the Battle of Kunfuda Bay. Before 1914, the Kingdom of Italy built six dreadnought battleships:, but they did not participate in major naval actions in World War I, as they were positioned to intercept a major sortie of the Austro-Hungarian Navy which never came. During the war, the Regia Marina spent its major efforts in the Adriatic Sea, fighting the Austro-Hungarian Navy; the resulting Adriatic Campaign of World War I consisted of Austro-Hungarian coastal bombardments of Italy's Adriatic coast, wider-ranging German/Austro-Hungarian submarine warfare into the Mediterranean. Allied forces limited themselves to blockading the German/Austro-Hungarian navies in the Adriatic, successful in regards to surface units, but failed for the submarines, which found safe harbours and easy passage into and out of the area for the whole of the war.

Considered a minor part of the naval warfare of World War I, it nonetheless tied down significant forces. For most of the war the Italian and Austro-Hungarian navies each kept a passive watch over their adversaries; the Italian fleet lost the pre-dreadnought battleship Benedetto Brin at Brindisi and the dreadnought Leonardo da Vinci at Taranto due to a magazine explosion. In the last part of the war, the Regia Marina developed new weapons: the MAS boats, that sank the Austro-Hungarian battleship SMS Szent István in the Adriatic Sea on 10 June 1918.

List of New Zealand middleweight boxing champions

This list of New Zealand middleweight boxing champions is a table showing the boxers who have won the New Zealand professional middleweight championship. The title has been administered by the New Zealand Boxing Association, New Zealand National Boxing Federation, New Zealand Professional Boxing Association and New Zealand Boxing Council since 1884; the New Zealand middleweight title is the oldest New Zealand boxing title out of all the boxing weight divisions. A champion will voluntarily relinquish the title in order to fight for a higher-ranked championship, such as the world. Where the date on which a champion relinquished the title is unclear. List of New Zealand female boxing champions List of New Zealand heavyweight boxing champions List of New Zealand cruiserweight boxing champions List of New Zealand light heavyweight boxing champions List of New Zealand super middleweight boxing champions List of New Zealand super welterweight boxing champions List of New Zealand welterweight boxing champions List of New Zealand super lightweight boxing champions List of New Zealand lightweight boxing champions List of New Zealand super featherweight boxing champions List of New Zealand featherweight boxing champions List of New Zealand bantamweight boxing champions Professional boxing in New Zealand Boxrec BOxing NZ History

The Shortening Winter's Day is near a Close

The Shortening Winter's Day is Near a Close and its replicas -- The Shortening Winter's Day is Near a Close and Beneath the Snow Encumbered Branches -- are oil on canvas paintings by Scottish painter Joseph Farquharson. The iconic artworks depict a shepherd tending sheep with the evening sun shining through snowy trees; the primary, largest, version of the composition The Shortening Winter's Day is Near a Close, is at the Lady Lever Art Gallery, in Port Sunlight, England. The 82 x 120 cm version of The Shortening Winter's Day is Near a Close was last sold to a private collector in 2013; the 51 x 76 cm version was last sold to a private collector in 2016 under the name Beneath the Snow Encumbered Branches. The image has become well known through the use of its likeness on popular Hallmark Christmas cards for over 30 years. Painter and Laird Farquharson owned a 20,000-acre estate at Finzean, Royal Deeside, where he enjoyed painting wintery scenes of sheep; this in turn had led to his nickname of "Frozen Mutton Farquharson".

He had a painting hut built on wheels, which contained a stove to keep him from getting too cold whilst he was out painting. Farquharson's considerable commercial success was based on the snow scenes he exhibited annually at the Royal Academy of Arts from 1894 until 1925, celebrated printsellers Frost & Reed assured him a steady income by selling deluxe editions of his works; this subject is one of his most celebrated, the primary version was shown at the RA in 1903. Farquharson was known to create several versions of his best works, either to sell as replicas or to retain as aides memoires. Artists painted replicas for engravers to work from when the original painting was not available and it is possible that one of these replicas served such a purpose; the primary version of The Shortening Winter's Day is near a Close was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1903. It is not known when the 82 x 120 cm replica was painted but it is probable that it was soon after the exhibition of 1903 and to have been painted to satisfy a patron, disappointed not to be able to purchase the exhibited painting that Lever had secured when it was on the walls of the Academy.

The 82 x 120 cm version under the name The Shortening Winter's Day is near a Close was auctioned in 2008 by Sotheby's and again by Bonhams in 2013. In 2013 it fetched £ 157,250 The 51 x 76 cm version was with the Richard Green Gallery in 1972 and reproduced in Country Life on 1 June that year; the Card company WN Sharpe purchased the rights to use the painting in greetings cards in the 1970s. The company was acquired by the Hallmark Cards company, which continues to own these rights. In 2008, Hallmark's Jo Marchbank said, "This painting is one of our most popular Christmas cards, it is something to do with the unique atmosphere Farquharson creates, the dramatic yet subtle depiction of a winter landscape." Over the course of its use as a design on Christmas cards, it is thought to have been reproduced hundreds of thousands of times. The 51 x 76 cm version had been sold in the 1960s to a private Scottish collector for £1,450; when this version went to auction in 2008 it was listed with the title Beneath the Snow Encumbered Branches by Lyon & Turnbull auctioneers with the note “A painting of this title was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1901.”

There was some public interest in the piece at this time with the "Christmas card painting" resurfacing. Sold at Lyon & Turnbull auctioneers in Edinburgh, it was estimated that it would sell for between £50,000 to £70,000, but sold for more than twice that estimate to another private collector in Scotland; the painting was auctioned again by Lyon & Turnbull on June 9, 2016 for £146,500. In December 2009, Gyles Brandreth presented a piece on the history of the painting for BBC One’s The One Show; the painting, like Farquharson's other landscapes, was painted on his estate at Finzean, Royal Deeside. One of his descendants, Sir Angus Farquharson of Finzean said that he thought he had found the exact spot at Finzean where the painting was created; the shepherd in the painting was an employee of Farquharson whom he had asked to pose for the image. Whilst he was painting he noticed that the model was beginning to turn blue and so offered the man the chance to come inside his painting hut to warm up.

Battle of San Juan de UlĂșa (1568)

The Battle of San Juan de Ulúa was a battle between English privateers and Spanish forces at San Juan de Ulúa. It marked the end of the campaign carried out by an English flotilla of six ships that had systematically conducted what the Spanish considered to be illegal trade in the Caribbean Sea, including the slave trade, at times imposing it by force. Subsequent to the beginning of the Age of Discovery and the European exploration of the New World it was determined that in order to minimize potential conflict between the two major naval powers of the world at the time and Portugal, that a demarcation line between the two spheres of influence would be necessary. In the 1494 Treaty of Tordesillas, dividing the New World into Spanish and Portuguese zones was signed by the nations’ respective monarchs and Pope Alexander VI; as a result, the Spanish crown considered everything west of the Zaragoza antimeridian to be its personal property, including the entire North American continent. However, subsequent to the Protestant Reformation in the early 16th century and due to the fact that the Protestant nations of Europe did not recognize Papal spiritual or temporal authority, other powers ignored the treaty.

English merchants and adventurers subsequently engaged in trade missions with the various Spanish posts in the New World, as well as founding their own colonies. Spain was suspicious of any attempt by foreign powers to trade or establish colonies in their zone of control, going so far as to massacre several hundred French Huguenot inhabitants of Fort Caroline in French Florida in 1565 after they had surrendered. John Hawkins, an early English adventurer to the New World, had engaged in two other trading voyages to the Spanish colonies in contravention of the treaty, in 1562–63 and in 1564–65, with tacit approval from the English crown. On each occasion Hawkins had traded slaves for gold, pearls and sugar with various Spanish settlements with varying degrees of success. Despite this being illegal according to Spanish law, local governors and magistrates were willing to trade with Hawkins provided he either proffered them with bribes or sold his merchandize at a discount. On each occasion Hawkins received written testimonials from local Spanish officials confirming his good behavior and his voyages were profitable.

During his second voyage, while stopping Rio de la Hacha to sell slaves, flour and linens, he took orders from Spanish clients for his next journey and obtained a letter from the local Spanish treasurer attesting to his fair dealings. The Spanish authorities were alarmed by this challenge to their monopoly and as such the court of justice in Santo Domingo ordered authorities to seize any English ships and their cargos in order to prevent further foreign incursions; the English fleet consisted of 5 ships: the Royal carracks Jesus of Lübeck under John Hawkins, the Minion under John Hampton, the barques Judith under Hawkins' cousin Francis Drake and Swallow. A captured Portuguese caravel joined the privateers near the coast of Ghana, where the English competed with Portuguese slave traders; the ship was renamed Grace of God. A seventh ship, the barque William and John, sailed back home before the battle, but after reaching Ireland on February 1569, she was lost with all hands on her way back to England.

The fleet took on water and 400-500 slaves in Guinea in early February 1568 and, reaching Dominica on March 27, 1568, Hawkins began selling his cargoes to Spanish colonists for gold and jewels, as per his previous voyages, departing from Cartagena on the 23rd of July. After attempting to penetrate the coast of Florida in August, the fleet met with a powerful storm which warped the Jesus of Lübeck’s hull planking and damaged her rudder. Due to the shallow draughts along the Florida coast and unwilling to make a transatlantic voyage in such a state as well as being low on supplies, the fleet sailed for the nearest available port, San Juan de Ulua on September 16. While traveling to San Juan and concerned about being intercepted by Spanish authorities, Hawkins overtook three Spanish vessels carrying 100 passengers, hoping that with these he might be able to negotiate for a better terms to refit and resupply. Spanish officials mistook his fleet for an expected Spanish one and went aboard, only to discover to their dismay that they were in fact aboard an English ship.

Hawkins informed them that he did not seek plunder or pillage but instead wished only to secure food and water and repair his ship, at which the Spanish were relieved. But while they were carrying out this reprovisioning, a Spanish escort fleet under command of Don Francisco Luján arrived in the port the next day, accompanying the new viceroy of New Spain, Don Martin Enriquez de Almanza, to his post in Mexico City. San Juan’s port facilities were small and rudimentary, consisting of a mooring wall built by the Spanish on "a little yland of stones, not past three feet aboue water in the highest place, not past a bow-shotte ouer any way at the most, it standeth from the maine land, two bowshootes or more" and, given the difficulties of fitting both fleets at the anchorage, Hawkins sent out a small boat to inform the Spanish that they were in the port and that there should be conditions governing how the two fleets were to pass each other in order to avoid confrontation; the English had ignored the Treaty of Tordesillas by attacking merchant shipping but at this point they believed the Spanish would respect a truce on this occasion.

After spending two days negotiating, terms were agreed upon and a dozen hostages were exchanged, whereupon the Spanish fleet was allowed to enter the moorage. Two days we

Hong Kong National Party

The Hong Kong National Party is a localist political party in Hong Kong. It was the first political party in Hong Kong to advocate for Hong Kong independence; the Hong Kong National Party is the first political party to be outlawed since Hong Kong's 1997 handover to China. In the 2016 Hong Kong legislative election, the HKNP's convenor Chan Ho-tin was barred from standing due to his pro-independence stance for Hong Kong. Chan was among the first individual barred from participating in the election along with five other pro-independence activists; the Hong Kong SAR government states that Hong Kong independence contravenes the principle of "one country, two systems" and Article 1 and 12 of the Basic Law, which stipulates that Hong Kong is a SAR of the People's Republic of China. On 24 September 2018, the Hong Kong SAR government declared HKNP to be an illegal society and banned the operation of HKNP on national security grounds under the Societies Ordinance; the Hong Kong National Party states.

An independent Hong Kong" as the party's goal. The party lays out six policies on their platform: build an independent and free Republic of Hong Kong; the ultimate goals of the party as it claims are to end the Chinese rule in Hong Kong and build an independent and autonomous Republic of Hong Kong. The party said it would use "whatever effective means" to push for independence, including fielding candidates in the 2016 Legislative Council election; the Hong Kong National Party was established on 28 March 2016 by members consisting of active university students some fresh graduates who have been working for a few years and professionals who were in their 20s. The party was convened by Chan Ho-tin, a Hong Kong Polytechnic University student who participated in the protests of 2014 and led a campaign in an attempt to split the HKPU student union from the Hong Kong Federation of Students; the Companies Registry refused to register the Hong Kong National Party without giving explanation. District Councillor and solicitor Maggie Chan Man-ki said it was legal for the Companies Registry to deny the application as advocating Hong Kong independence is an illegal activity according to the Crimes Ordinances Sections 9 and 10.

An editorial piece in the state-run Global Times slammed the Hong Kong National Party by stating that it is "impossible to achieve" independence for Hong Kong and calling it "a practical joke". The editorial opined, "there is a proliferation of extremism in Hong Kong; the ‘Hong Kong National Party’ can be considered to be at the forefront of extremism – the possibility of using violence is mentioned." The State Council's Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office issued a statement through the official Xinhua News Agency on 30 March 2016, following the declaration of the formation of Hong Kong National Party, condemning the party: "The action to establish a pro-independence organisation by an small group of people in Hong Kong has harmed the country’s sovereignty, endangered the prosperity and stability of Hong Kong, the core interests of Hong Kong... It is opposed by all Chinese people, including some seven million Hong Kong people, it is a serious violation of the country’s constitution, Hong Kong’s Basic Law and the relevant existing laws."The Hong Kong government issued a statement after the formation of the party, stating that "any suggestion that Hong Kong should be independent or any movement to advocate such'independence' is against the Basic Law, will undermine the stability and prosperity of Hong Kong and impair the interest of the general public… The SAR Government will take action according to the law."

In the 2016 Legislative Council election, convenor Chan Ho-tin intended to run in the New Territories West. The Electoral Affairs Commission carried out a new election measure, requiring all candidates to sign an additional "confirmation form" in the nomination to declare their understanding of Hong Kong being an inalienable part of China as stipulated in the Basic Law of Hong Kong. Chan refused to sign the form and his candidacy was "invalidated" along with five other pro-independence activists after the end of the nomination period; the Hong Kong National Party launched a rally on 5 August, dubbed the "first pro-independence rally in Hong Kong" against the EAC's disqualifications. On 17 July 2018, the Hong Kong Police Force served the party convenor a notice under the Societies Ordinance and sought to ban the Party; the police claimed that the party has engaged in sedition and that the party may be banned on grounds of national security with respect to Chinese territorial integrity. The notice contained highly-detailed surveillance material on the party leadership's public engagements.

The ban prohibited anyone who claims to be a HKNP member, or is found to provide aid to the party in any way, would be under the threat of being fined and jailed for up to two years. The definition of "providing aid" to the party and the two leaders were not made clear. Chan's lawyers wrote to the Department of Justice seeking an assurance that providing legal assistance to him would not be regarded as providing assistance to the HKNP, but that assurance was not f

Thomas Allison (explorer)

Thomas Allison, was an Arctic voyager. Of Allison's personal history we have no record beyond what is to be gleaned from a journal of one of his voyages afterwards published. While in command of the ship Ann, of Yarmouth, of 260 tons, in the service of the Russia Company, he left Archangel in the White Sea on his homeward voyage, on 8 October 1697. After beating about for seventeen days off the coasts of Russia and Lapland, he found himself, on the 23rd of the same month, twenty-one miles N. E. from the Nord Kyn, the northernmost point of Europe and Norway, in lat. 71° 6′ N. Two days during a gale in thick weather, he sighted the North Cape, ran for shelter into the ‘Fuel,’ or wide opening between the Nord Kyn and the North Cape. A perusal of his journal in the light of the best modern charts and sailing directions for these parts serves to show that he anchored in a small but secure harbour on the west side of what is now known as Porsanger Fjord Saernoes Pollen, where he, by stress of weather, was forced to winter.

It was during this period, under most difficult and trying circumstances, that his once famous journal was written, a faithful record of the daily experiences and trials of himself and his hardy crew. Such was the intense cold on 1 February 1698, that, in order to write his journal, ‘a boy had to thaw the ink as oft as he had occasion to dip his pen.’ The writer appears to have been not only a thorough seaman, well experienced in northern navigation, but one well able to command the respect of his men by his unswerving adherence to daily work and discipline during a period of nearly five months' enforced idleness. After enduring all the hardships of a severe Arctic winter with the loss of only one man, the Ann left the Fuel on 26 March 1698, on 24 April following reached Gravesend; this narrative was published in the following year under the title of An Account of a Voyage from Archangel in Russia, in the year 1697, of the Ship and Company wintering near the North Cape, in the Latitude of 71.

Their manner of Living and what they suffered by the Extreame Cold. Observations of the Climate and Inhabitants. Together with a Chart. By Tho. Allison, Commander of the Ship. Published at the request of the Russia Company, chiefly for the benefit of those who sail that way, as well for the satisfaction of the curious, or any who are concerned in that trade. London, 1699, 8vo; this account overlooked, was afterwards reprinted in Pinkerton's Voyages. "Allison, Thomas". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900