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Solidere

Solidere s.a.l. is a Lebanese joint-stock company in charge of planning and redeveloping Beirut Central District following the conclusion, in 1990, of the devastating Lebanese Civil War. By agreement with the government, Solidere enjoys special powers of eminent domain as well as a limited regulatory authority codified in law, making the company a unique form of public-private partnership. Solidere was founded on 5 May 1994 under the authority of the Council of Development and Reconstruction and following the vision of then-Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Solidere was incorporated as a owned company listed on the stock exchange; the name stands for Société Libanaise pour le Développement et la Reconstruction du Centre-ville de Beyrouth, French for "The Lebanese Company for the Development and Reconstruction of Beirut Central District". Solidere is credited as the most important force behind Beirut's reemergence, in recent years, as a bustling urban destination with a chance to earn back its prewar title of "Paris of the Middle East".

Solidere's main functions are the supervision of the government-authorized reconstruction plan and developing the infrastructure, new construction and rehabilitation of war-torn structures, urban landscaping and the management of property. Solidere has worked to attract global retailers such as Virgin Megastores to Beirut Central District, its most significant single project to date has been Beirut Souks, a 100,000 m2 retail center, scheduled to open by 2008. Other projects that are central to the company's cultural strategy for the center are the Beirut Exhibition Center, add Saifi Village - Quartier des Arts, a residential neighbourhood with a high density of design shops and art galleries. Solidere was founded after the government chose the framework of the public-private Real Estate Holding Company as the most viable option to reconstruct the central district, damaged and demolished, emptied of its pre-war economic and demographic activity; some research points out. The practical nonexistence of a functional government after the war, the near-impossibility to align all stakeholders, including property owners, into one unified and feasible vision, called for private resources to plan and execute a project of such scale and importance.

Hariri's credibility as a business person and the speed and efficiency of submitting plans and investments models all played in favor of the REHCO model. It can be argued that without this large-scale intervention, the centre would have at best re-developed in a chaotic and uncoordinated manner, the way that other areas of the capital are experiencing; the first axis of controversy relates to the masterplans of the reconstruction. Several opposition groups emerged to propose alternatives to it. Among those was a group of academics and urban planners who fueled a public debate about the goals and methods of reconstruction the large-scale demolition and redesign, as outlined by an initial plan submitted by Dar Al Handassah. Other critical views saw the plan as disconnecting the centre from the rest of the city's fabric and transforming it into an "island of modernity"; the contested plan was changed, with the participation of some of the architects from the opposition groups to take into account some of the key points raised.

A modified plan emerged and was evaluated by the Engineer's Union, but it never approved by the public before being sent to government. The second axis of controversy relates to the mechanism of property expropriation, deemed forced and enabled by Capital's pressure on the government and Hariri's influence as prime minister and the valuation of property, deemed inappropriately low. By law, the company had six months to secure the necessary cash subscriptions to balance out the land value. Were it not for that conservative valuation of land, the whole project would have collapsed when the government had no alternatives, its shares are listed on the Beirut Stock Exchange, its Global Depository Receipts trade on the London Stock Exchange. Its share price on the Beirut exchange has risen in recent years, from about US$5 in early 2004 to a high of $39 in September 2008. Between 1995 and 2015, Solidere has approved more than $1B in dividends to its shareholders. Solidere's 36,000 shareholders are Lebanese, in addition to Arab nationals and Arab or international funds.

There are two categories of shares: A held by previous property owners and B by new investors. Rafik Hariri's share in the company has been a controversial subject in the Lebanese political spectrum; some rumors say that he owned a majority stake in Solidere before his assassination in 2005, the Hariri family continues to be a principal shareholder today. However, the Hariri family rejected those rumors, saying that he owned only 6% of the company's shares. Furthermore, Solidere prohibits any shareholder from acquiring more than 10% of the company's capital, either directly or indirectly. Avenue des Français Beirut Central District Solidere shares cross $18 threshold - The Daily Star May 29, 2007 Lawsuit filed Against Solidere by shareholders and former property owners 16 October 1999 Beirut Campaign Launched to Stop Solidere, Bring Corrupt Judges to Account Stop Solidere Campaign by St George Hotel and Yacht Club Saree Makdisi, “Laying Claim to Beirut: Urban Narratives and Spatial Identity in the Age of Solidere,” Critical Inquiry 23/3, 661-705.

Official website lebanon.com – Information about the reconstruction of Beirut Central District beirutreport.com - Information about the troubles of Solidere

International CoCoa Farmers Organization

The International CoCoa Farmers Organization is an organization, formed in the Netherlands in 2014 in response to cocoa bean farmers needing an international platform for discussing issues in the industry. The ICCFO aims to make sure cocoa is sourced using sustainable methods and to improve the conditions of cocoa farmers and farm workers; the ICCFO consists of regional organisations in different countries representing around 600,000 cocoa workers in total. The head of the Jamaica Cocoa Farmers' Association, Hugh Johnson was announced as the new head of the ICCFO in December 2015 and will take his new position in September 2016; the governing board of the ICCFO consists of 13 members, each representing a cocoa producing country. The members and structure of the board were announced in a meeting held in The Hague in February 2015. Cocoa farmers ensure; the chocolate confectionery market generate annually about $80 Billion worldwide. Cocoa farmers play a crucial role as producers and maintenance of cocoa production.

Cocoa farmers are underrepresented in the international round table discussions on issues concerning their profession, because they were unable to represent themselves as a single voice. Over the past years there have been call for the need for cocoa farmers to unite so they are able to participate and make their contribution to the cocoa value chain. In June 2014 during the World Cocoa Conference, that took place in Amsterdam, cocoa farmers from eleven producing countries met at the side line of this conference and agreed to establish an international cocoa farmers organization. In December 2014 an independent and transparent cocoa farmers organization under the name International CoCoa Farmers Organization was established in the Netherlands by an interim Board led by M. Sako Warren; the mission of ICCFO is to: To organize cocoa farmers and workers under one umbrella organization, serving as the farmer’s voice and collaborate with other stakeholders in the cocoa value chain to promote the rights and interests of cocoa famers and workers whiles ensuring the production of best quality and sustainable cocoa that meet global standards.

Article: Sustainable cocoa Article: changes have to be made in the sector Article: farmers missing in the cocoa value chain As of November 2016, World Cocoa Farmers Organization based at Utrecht, the fourth largest city of the Netherlands, merged with the International CoCoa Farmers Organization with branch and regional head office for Africa, in Accra, Ghana. International CoCoa Farmers Organization World Cocoa Farmers Organization on facebook

AR Cassiopeiae

AR Cassiopeiae is a multiple star system in the constellation of Cassiopeia. It is thought to be a septuple star system, it is one of only two known star systems with a multiplicity of 7, the other being Nu Scorpii, with no physical multiple stars of greater multiplicity yet found as of January 2020. AR Cassiopeiae was referred to as IH Cas in some literature; the origin of the designation "IH Cassiopeiae" is from the 17th century catalogue and constellation map by Johannes Hevelius, kept in use due to the lack of a Flamsteed designation or Bayer designation for the star. It was the first star in Cassiopeia, thus "1 Hev. Cas" or "1 H. Cas", which becomes IH Cas through corruption; the primary subsystem, AR Cassiopeiae AB, is a triple. AR Cassiopeiae B is located 0.800″ away from AR Cassiopeiae A. AR Cassiopeiae A itself an Algol-type eclipsing binary with an orbital period of about 6.07 days. Its primary is a B-type main-sequence star, the secondary, an A-type main-sequence star; the secondary star may be an Am star as well.

Farther out are designated AR Cassiopeiae C and D, respectively. They are 76.1″ away from the central system. Their combined spectrum matches that of another B-type main-sequence star; this pair is designated HD 221237. 67.2″ away from AR Cassiopeiae AB is another pair of stars, F and G, both F-type stars. All four of these stars are known to be common proper motion companions

Matt Stephens

Matt Stephens is an author and software process expert based in London, UK. In January 2010 he founded independent book publisher Fingerpress UK Ltd, in November 2014 he founded the Virtual Reality book discovery site Inkflash, he is known for having spoken out against what he regards as popular software development fashions, most notably Extreme Programming, Enterprise JavaBeans and the Ruby programming language. He has co-authored four books on software development: Design Driven Testing: Test Smarter, Not Harder, Use Case Driven Object Modeling with UML: Theory and Practice, Agile Development with ICONIX Process, Extreme Programming Refactored: The Case Against XP, he is a columnist for The Register, a UK-based IT news website where he writes a monthly "Agile Iconoclast" column on software design and programming, has written for Dr Dobb's Journal, Software Development Magazine, Application Development Trends and other journals and websites. Stephens' first book, Extreme Programming Refactored, has proved to be controversial as it satirizes the popular Extreme Programming agile methodology.

The book triggered a lengthy debate in articles, internet newsgroups, web-site chat areas. The core argument of the book is that XP is fragile rather than agile, as its practices are interdependent but that few practical organizations are willing/able to adopt all the practices. On the book's first page he points out that he is not "anti-agile", rather that the XP process is a fragile implementation of the values described in the Agile Manifesto. In Use Case Driven Object Modeling with UML, Stephens outlines an extension to the ICONIX object modeling process which he and co-author Doug Rosenberg termed Design Driven Testing, a deliberate reversal of Test Driven Development, a core tenet of XP. DDT provides a method of creating unit tests and customer acceptance tests that are driven from the design and behavioral requirements. DDT and the ICONIX modeling process have been adopted in a variety of large-scale software projects e.g. the image processing software in the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope.

In Design Driven Testing, Stephens compares DDT with TDD, applies DDT on a real project run by ESRI Systems, to create a GIS mapping system for travel website VResorts.com. Matt Stephens' website at http://articles.softwarereality.com Fingerpress book publisher http://www.fingerpress.co.uk Inkflash Virtual Reality website http://inkflash.com

Cheer Boys!!

Cheer Boys!! is a Japanese novel written by Ryō Asai, first published on October 5, 2010 by Shueisha. It follows the members of a university's all-male cheerleading squad; the novel is loosely based on the real-life men's cheerleading team "Shockers" from Waseda University. The series was adapted as a manga by Kenichi Kondō for the Shonen Jump+ app starting on April 5, 2016. An anime adaptation started airing in July 5, 2016, it is written by Reiko Yoshida for the studio Brain's Base. A live action film directed by Hiroki Kazama is slated to open in early 2019. Disheartened with judo, college student Haruki "Haru" Bando was invited by his childhood friend Kazuma Hashimoto to create "BREAKERS", an unprecedented boys' cheerleading team; those that came to join all were characteristic in nature: argumentative Mizoguchi, voracious Ton, frivolous Kansai boys Gen and Ichiro, Sho, who has cheerleading experience. Haruki Bandō Voiced by: Yūki Yonai, he was a part of the judo club before he was convinced to join the cheerleading team, Breakers, by his childhood friend, Kazuma.

Kazuma Hashimoto Voiced by: Nobuhiko Okamoto. Shō Tokugawa Voiced by: Yūki Ono; the anime is written by Reiko Yoshida. The opening theme song is "Hajime no Ippo" by Luck Life and the ending song is "LIMIT BREAKERS" by BREAKERS. Anime official website Cheer Boys!! at Anime News Network's encyclopedia

John Weeks (painter)

John Weeks was a New Zealand artist, one of the most influential staff members at the Elam Art School of the University of Auckland, where he taught from 1930 to 1954. Born in Sydenham Damerel, England, on 8 June 1886, Weeks came to New Zealand as a child with his parents in 1892, he commenced part-time study at the Elam School of Fine Art in 1908, with further training at Sydney Technical College just prior to World War I. During the war he served in France with the New Zealand Medical Corps and some small watercolours from this time are held by the Auckland Museum, he broke one leg. He continued his studies after the war at the Canterbury College School of Art. From 1923 to 1930 he travelled extensively in Europe, studying intermittently in Edinburgh and at André Lhote's academy, where he was influenced by the cubist movement. In 1930 Weeks joined the staff at Elam where he was an influential and popular lecturer, representing a more'modernist' approach than his contemporaries, until his retirement in 1954.

In January 1949 much of Weeks' best work was destroyed in a fire at Elam, while he had over 300 of his paintings assembled for selection for a forthcoming exhibition. In 1955, Weeks was the subject of the first solo show at the Auckland City Art Gallery (now the Auckland Art Gallery dedicated to a New Zealand artist. In the 1958 Queen's Birthday Honours, Weeks was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire, for services as an artist. After his death on 10 September 1965, around 150 of his works were selected by friends and colleagues for purchase by the Queen Elizabeth II National Trust and sent to several major New Zealand galleries. Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki: Works by John Weeks Works in the collection of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa