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Republic of Venice

The Republic of Venice or Venetian Republic, traditionally known as La Serenissima, was a sovereign state and maritime republic in what is now northeastern Italy. It lasted from 697 AD until 1797 AD. Centered on the lagoon communities of the prosperous city of Venice, the republic grew into a trading power during the Middle Ages and strengthened this position in the Renaissance. Citizens spoke the still-surviving Venetian language, although publishing in Italian became the norm during the Renaissance; the Venetian city state was founded as a safe haven for the people escaping persecution in mainland Europe after the decline of the Roman Empire. In its early years, it prospered on the salt trade. In subsequent centuries, the city state established a thalassocracy, it dominated trade on the Mediterranean Sea, including commerce between Europe and North Africa, as well as Asia. The Venetian navy was used in the Crusades, most notably in the Fourth Crusade. However, Venice perceived Rome as an enemy and maintained high levels of religious and ideological independence personified by the Patriarch of Venice and a highly-developed independent publishing industry that served as a haven from Roman Catholic censorship for many centuries.

Venice achieved territorial conquests along the Adriatic Sea. Venice became home to an wealthy merchant class, who patronized renowned art and architecture along the city's lagoons. Venetian merchants were influential financiers in Europe; the city was the birthplace of great European explorers, such as Marco Polo, as well as Baroque composers such as Vivaldi and Benedetto Marcello. The republic was ruled by the Doge, elected by members of the Great Council of Venice, the city-state's parliament; the ruling class was an oligarchy of aristocrats. Venice and other Italian maritime republics played a key role in fostering capitalism. Venetian citizens supported the system of governance; the city-state employed ruthless tactics in its prisons. The opening of new trade routes to the Americas and the East Indies via the Atlantic Ocean marked the beginning of Venice's decline as a powerful maritime republic; the city state suffered. In 1797, the republic was plundered by retreating Austrian and French forces, following an invasion by Napoleon Bonaparte, the Republic of Venice was split into the Austrian Venetian Province, the Cisalpine Republic, a French client state, the Ionian French departments of Greece.

Venice became part of a unified Italy in the 19th century. It was formally known as the Most Serene Republic of Venice and is referred to as La Serenissima, in reference to its title as one of the "Most Serene Republics". During the 5th century, northeast Italy was devastated by the Germanic barbarian invasions. A large number of the inhabitants moved to the coastal lagoons. Here they established a collection of lagoon communities, stretching over about 130 km from Chioggia in the south to Grado in the north, who banded together for mutual defence from the Lombards and other invading peoples as the power of the Western Roman Empire dwindled in northern Italy; these communities were subjected to the authority of the Byzantine Empire. At some point in the first decades of the eighth century, the people of the Byzantine province of Venice elected their first leader Ursus, confirmed by Constantinople and given the titles of hypatus and dux, he was the first historical Doge of Venice. Tradition, first attested in the early 11th century, states that the Venetians first proclaimed one Anafestus Paulicius duke in 697, though this story dates to no earlier than the chronicle of John the Deacon.

Whichever the case, the first doges had their power base in Heraclea. Ursus's successor, moved his seat from Heraclea to Malamocco in the 740s, he represented the attempt of his father to establish a dynasty. Such attempts were more than commonplace among the doges of the first few centuries of Venetian history, but all were unsuccessful. During the reign of Deusdedit, Venice became the only remaining Byzantine possession in the north and the changing politics of the Frankish Empire began to change the factional divisions within Venetia. One faction was decidedly pro-Byzantine, they desired to remain well-connected to the Empire. Another faction, republican in nature, believed in continuing along a course towards practical independence; the other main faction was pro-Frankish. Supported by clergy, they looked towards the new Carolingian king of the Franks, Pepin the Short, as the best provider of defence against the Lombards. A minor, pro-Lombard faction was opposed to close ties with any of these further-off powers and interested in maintaining peace with the neighbouring Lombard kingdom.

The successors of Obelerio inherited a united Venice. By the Pax Nicephori, the two emperors had recognised that Venice belonged to the Byzantine sphere of influence. Many centuries the Venetians claimed that the treaty had recognised Venetian de facto independence, but the truth of this claim is doubted by modern scholars. A Byzantine fleet sailed to Venice in 807 and deposed the Doge, replacing him with a Byzantine governor. During the reign of the Par

United Nations Security Council Resolution 1860

United Nations Security Council Resolution 1860, adopted on January 8, 2009, after recalling resolutions 242, 338, 1397, 1515 and 1850 on the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, the Council called for an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza War following 13 days of fighting between Israel and Hamas. The resolution was unsuccessful as Israel and Hamas ignored it and the fighting continued; the resolution called for "an immediate ceasefire in Gaza leading to a full Israeli withdrawal, unimpeded provision through Gaza of food and medical treatment, intensified international arrangements to prevent arms and ammunition smuggling." All members stressed the importance of an "immediate and durable ceasefire". The resolution was adopted by 14 votes to none against, one abstention from the United States. Explaining the abstention, U. S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the U. S. wanted to first see the outcome of the Egyptian peace efforts, but allowed the resolution to go forward because it was a step in the right direction.

It was revealed that the abstention was ordered by U. S. President George W. Bush. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has said. Israel's status as a member state of the United Nations means that it is bound under Article 25 of the United Nations Charter to "agree and carry out the decisions of the Security Council", it is accepted that Security Council resolutions adopted in the exercise of its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace in accordance with the UN Charter are binding upon the member states. In a statement released after the Israeli cabinet session on January 9, the government stated it would not accept the UN resolution, declaring that "the IDF will continue to act in order to attain the objectives of the operation — to bring about a change in the security situation in the south of the country — this in accordance with the plans that have been approved upon embarking on the operation." In addition, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert called the resolution "unworkable" due to continued rocket fire by Hamas.

The same day, Ayman Taha, a Hamas spokesman in Gaza said: "Even though we are the main actors on the ground in Gaza, we were not consulted about this resolution and they have not taken into account our vision and the interests of our people." Gaza War Israeli–Palestinian conflict List of United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1801 to 1900 United Nations Security Council Resolution 660 List of United Nations resolutions concerning Israel Text of the Resolution at undocs.org

Grassy Hill Light

Grassy Hill Light known as Cooktown Light, is an active lighthouse located on Grassy Hill above Cooktown, Australia, on the south side of the entrance to Endeavour River. Grassy Hill was the site of Lieutenant James Cook landing in 1770. Cooktown was established in October 1873 to accommodate for the Palmer River gold rush, became a thriving port in the 1880s; the first lights in and out of the port were leading lights set on sheds on the wharves. A signal staff was erected on Grassy Hill in 1874 to announce incoming ships, a cottage was constructed for the signal staff operator in 1878-79. By 1882 a temporary light was set on the hill. In 1883 and 1884, George Poynter Heath, Portmaster of Queensland and Chairman of the Queensland Marine Board at that time, made two reports to the parliament, recommending that the temporary light be replaced with a permanent building and a proper apparatus. Grassy Hill Light was constructed in 1886, it was the second in a group of eight lighthouses in Queensland made of hardwood frame clad with corrugated iron, which includes, by order of establishment Little Sea Hill Light, Goods Island Light, Bay Rock Light, Old Caloundra Light, North Point Hummock Light, Gatcombe Head Light and Bulwer Island Light.

The apparatus was a 4th Order fixed Chance Bros Dioptric apparatus, Heath himself supervised its installation in September 1886. The light source was a kerosene lamp; the light keeper resided in the existing cottage and maintained a signal staff. In 1900 a new cottage was constructed for the light keeper. In 1912 a report recommended that the lighthouse be automated, leaving the keeper only the signal duties. However, this recommendation was not to be taken for some time. In 1913 a wireless station was installed nearby and in 1915 the light, alone with all other coastal lights, was transferred to the control of the Commonwealth government, it was only in 1927 the lighthouse was automated, the light source was changed to an acetylene gas burner, the station was demanned. The keeper's house and signal staff were destroyed about that time. During World War II, from early 1942 to February 1945, a radar station was operated by the 56 Radar Unit, RAAF near the lighthouse. An imitation lighthouse keeper's cottage was constructed for camouflage purposes, the defensive installations surrounded the station.

All structures were removed after the war. In 1970 a sandstone cairn was placed at the summit of the hill to commemorate the bi-centenary of Cook's survey from the summit. Control of the lighthouse remained in the hands of the Commonwealth until November 1987, when it was transferred back to the Queensland government, with the Department of Transport operating the light, Cook Shire Council as trustees for the reserve, local volunteers maintaining the tower. In 1993 the lighthouse was converted to solar power; the lighthouse is conical in form, about 6 metres high, constructed of timber clad with corrugated iron sheets, on a concrete base. It is about 3 metres diameter at the base. Small rectangular windows are set about mid-height on the south and east sides. Entrance is through a small entry on the western side, with timber-framing, convex corrugated iron roof, timber double doors; the tower is topped by a balcony supported on timber brackets. The cylindrical lantern sits above, capped with a hemispherical dome.

Access to the light is via a timber stair. The tower is painted white, with the concrete base painted red; the light characteristic shown is two white flashes every six seconds. It is visible only on a limited sector, 192°-315°, obscured elsewhere; the site is managed by the Cook Shire Council. It is accessible by road and parking is provided; the tower is, closed to the public. List of lighthouses in Australia "List of Lighthouses of Queensland". Lighthouses of Australia. Lighthouses of Australia Inc. Searle, Garry. "List of Lighthouses - Queensland". Lighthouses of Australia. SeaSide Lights