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South Ossetia

South Ossetia the Republic of South Ossetia – the State of Alania, or the Tskhinvali Region, is a de facto sovereign state and disputed territory in the South Caucasus, in the northern part of the internationally recognised Georgian territory. It has a population of 53,000 people who live in an area of 3,900 km2, south of the Russian Caucasus, with 30,000 living in Tskhinvali; the separatist polity, Republic of South Ossetia, is recognized as a state by Russia, Nicaragua and Syria. While Georgia lacks control over South Ossetia, the Georgian government and most members of the United Nations consider the territory part of Georgia, whose constitution designates the area as "the former autonomous district of South Ossetia", in reference to the former Soviet autonomous oblast disbanded in 1990. Georgia does not recognize the existence of South Ossetia as a political entity, therefore its territory does not correspond to any Georgian administrative area, with most of the territory included into Shida Kartli region.

The area is informally referred to as the undefined Tskhinvali Region in Georgia and in international organisations when neutrality is deemed necessary. South Ossetia declared independence from the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1991; the Georgian government responded by abolishing South Ossetia's autonomy and trying to re-establish its control over the region by force. The crisis escalation led to the 1991–92 South Ossetia War. Georgian fighting against those controlling South Ossetia occurred on two other occasions, in 2004 and 2008; the latter conflict led to the Russo–Georgian War, during which Ossetian and Russian forces gained full de facto control of the territory of the former South Ossetian Autonomous Oblast. In the wake of the 2008 war, Georgia and a significant part of the international community consider South Ossetia to be occupied by the Russian military. South Ossetia relies on military and financial aid from Russia. South Ossetia, Transnistria and Abkhazia are sometimes referred to as post-Soviet "frozen conflict" zones.

The territory of contemporary South Ossetia was part of the kingdom of Iberia, the latter was unified under the single Georgian monarchy in 11th-century, extending its possessions up to Dvaleti. The Ossetians are believed to originate from an Iranian tribe. In the 8th century a consolidated Alan kingdom, referred to in sources of the period as Alania, emerged in the northern Caucasus Mountains. Around 1239–1277 Alania fell to the Mongol and to the Timur's armies, that massacred much of the Alanian population; the survivors among the Alans retreated into the mountains of the central Caucasus and started migration to the south. In 1299, Gori was captured by the Alan tribesmen fleeing the Mongol conquest of their original homeland in the North Caucasus; the Georgian king George V recovered the town in 1320, pushing the Alans back over the Caucasus mountains. In the 17th century, by pressure of Kabardian princes, Ossetians started a second wave of migration from the North Caucasus to Georgia. Ossetian peasants, who were migrating to the mountainous areas of the South Caucasus settled in the lands of Georgian feudal lords.

The Georgian King of the Kingdom of Kartli permitted Ossetians to immigrate. According to Russian ambassador to Georgia Mikhail Tatishchev, at the beginning of the 17th century there was a small group of Ossetians living near the headwaters of the Greater Liakhvi River. In the 1770s there were more Ossetians living in Kartli than before; this period has been documented in the travel diaries of Johann Anton Güldenstädt who visited Georgia in 1772. The Baltic German explorer called modern North Ossetia Ossetia, while he wrote that Kartli was populated by Georgians and the mountainous areas were populated by both Georgians and Ossetians. Güldenstädt wrote that the northernmost border of Kartli is the Major Caucasus Ridge. By the end of 18th century, the ultimate sites of Ossetian settlement on the territory of modern South Ossetia were in Kudaro, Greater Liakhvi gorge, the gorge of Little Liakhvi, Ksani River gorge and Truso; the Georgian Kingdom of Kartli-Kakheti, part of, the major territory of modern South Ossetia, was annexed by the Russian Empire in 1801.

Ossetian migration to Georgian areas continued in the 19th and 20th centuries, when Georgia was part of the Russian Empire and Ossetian settlements in Trialeti, Borjomi and Kakheti emerged as well. Following the Russian revolution, the area of modern South Ossetia became part of the Democratic Republic of Georgia. In 1918, conflict began between the landless Ossetian peasants living in Shida Kartli, who were influenced by Bolshevism and demanded ownership of the lands they worked, the Menshevik government backed ethnic Georgian aristocrats, who were legal owners. Although the Ossetians were discontented with the economic policies of the central government, the tension soon transformed into ethnic conflict; the first Ossetian rebellion began in February 1918, when three Georgian princes were killed and their land was seized by the Ossetians. The central government of Tiflis retaliated by sending the National Guard to the area. However, the Georgian unit retreated. Ossetian rebels proceeded to occupy the town of Tskhinvali and began attacking the ethnic Georgian civilian population.

During uprisings in 1919 and 1920, the Ossetians wer

Mary Seymour Howell

Mary Catherine Seymour Howell was a leader and activist for women's suffrage in the United States. She authored the bill granting women the right to vote in New York State that passed in 1892, she was a magnetic orator, her addresses enlivened with anecdotes, through them all ran a vein of sentiment. Her speeches were received with enthusiasm, the press spoke of her in terms of highest praise. Mary Seymour Howell was born in Mount Morris, New York, August 29, 1844, she was the only daughter of Norman and Frances Metcalf Seymour, who were prominent members of the local community. She was a lineal descendant of the Seymour family, well known in English history through the Puritan representative, Richard Seymour, who settled in Hartford, Connecticut, in 1639, she received a classical education, attending local schools in Mt. Morris before graduating from the Genesee Wesleyan Seminary in Lima, New York, she devoted much time to the higher education of New York State and did much work for the cause of temperance.

In 1883, she became interested in securing suffrage for women. Howell is best known for her oratory abilities. Under the care of lecture bureaus, she delivered many historical and literary lectures, addressing audiences in many of the cities and villages of the North and West, as well as in New England and her own State, she plead the cause of women before committees of State legislatures and of Congress. Howell was the first woman who asked to speak before the Connecticut House of Representatives. In 1890, she delivered the address to the graduating class of South Dakota College. In the 1890s, she spoke in Kansas and the Dakotas with her colleague, the national suffrage advocate Susan B. Anthony, from Rochester, New York, she was appointed in 1891, by Elizabeth Cady Stanton, the president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, to represent that body in the National Council of Women of the United States in Washington, D. C.. Howell and Anthony made a tour of New York State in 1894, presenting the state constitutional convention with a "monster suffrage petition."

She was a national lecturer for the Women's Christian Temperance Union. In 1869, she was married to George Rogers Howell from Long Island, he was employed at the New York State Library, serving as the State Librarian for a time, died in 1889 at Albany, where they resided. Howell's only child, Seymour Howell, died a junior in Harvard University, March 9, 1891, she is buried at the Mt. Morris Cemetery; the American Society for Psychical Research published this "ACCOUNT OF AN APPARITION WHICH APPEARED TO MARY SEYMOUR HOWELL IN 1871":— In the year 1865 I had a lover by the name of John A. Broadhead. Owing to several circumstances I was obliged to give him up although I was attached to him; when he found that he could not marry me he left the town of Mount Morris, where I lived, but before he went he said to me. " Mary I think this separation will kill me but if I die and a spirit can come back to earth I will come to you." I replied "Oh, no, don't, for that would frighten me dreadfully." "No it would not," he answered, " for I should come so calmly that you would not be at all afraid ".

In 1868, I married George R. Howell, a presbyterian minister who knew all about my affection for John Broadhead. In April. 1871, I was visiting my old home with my baby boy. About one o'clock one Sunday afternoon I sat in the parlor of my father's house, my baby in my arms, on the long old fashioned sofa on which I had so sat with my old lover. My husband sat across the room with his back to me. Reading; the sofa was unusually long and I sat at the end of it near a door opening into the hall. I felt a pressure against my knee and limb as though some one had come close to me and I looked up expecting to see one of my brothers but to my great surprise I saw my old lover, John Broadhead, standing there beside me. I felt distressed for he lived in a distant city. I had not seen him since 1865, I thought it an unwarrantable intrusion that he should enter my father's house thus unannounced, it never occurred to me. I noticed every detail of his dress and can now distinctly remember the black and white necktie which he wore.

Before I had a chance to speak he raised his right hand and said, speaking slowly and " Be calm, Mary. I am. I died in the west three weeks ago to-day." Lifting his left hand he pointed to a newspaper which lay at the other end of the sofa about three feet away from me, said "You will find my death in that paper." Without moving a muscle he vanished while I gazed at him. I was not at all afraid, but felt overcome by the shock of learning that he was dead for much as I loved my husband, I had never gotten over my old feeling for John Broadhead; as it was, I could not speak or call my husband, but I managed to hitch along the sofa till I could reach the paper to which he had pointed. This turned out to be a copy of the New York Times that had never been taken out of the wrapper in which it had come through the mails.' I tore it open and there, among the death notices I found this paragraph:— "Died in Burlington, March 22nd, 1871, John A. Broadhead of this city in the 34th year of his age." I cannot be sure that the paper was a New York Times and I do not know its exact date but I am certain that it was a New York paper and I think it was the Times.

I do not know how the paper came to be there at all as we did not take the New York Times but there had been a convention of ministers in the village and seve

Koa wilt

Koa wilt is a new disease to Hawaii, discovered in 1980. Koa wilt is caused by a forma specialis of the fungus Fusarium oxysporum, now abundant in Hawaiian soils and infects the native Acacia koa tree, a once-dominant species in the canopy of Hawaiian forests. Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. koae is believed to have been brought into Hawaii on an ornamental acacia plant. Fusarium fungi clog the tree xylem, causing significant wilt and mortality among these beautiful and iconic Hawaiian trees; the host for Koa wilt is Acacia koa, a tree, native and endemic to the Hawaiian islands. It ranges in size from 15 to greater than 50 feet with a canopy spread of 20 to 40 feet, it blooms sporadically. Mature leaves are sickle shaped. Koa wilt is a fatal pathogen for its host. In only a few months, a tree may die. Trees less than fifteen years old are the most susceptible. Symptoms include stains in cambium and sapwood as well as chlorosis, canopy dieback and wilted leaves, oozing sap, bark cankers; the Koa wilt pathogen was first described by Gardner as Fusarium oxysporum.

F. sp. koae. The soil-borne F. oxysporum reproduces only asexually. F. oxysporum produces three types of asexual spores: microconidia and chlamydospores. Microconidia are the spore types most produced by this fungus under all conditions, as well as the spores produced in the xylem; the macroconidia are found on dead plant tissue surfaces as well as in groups that look like sporodochia. The chlamydospores are resting spores, produced on older mycelium or in macroconidia. Mycelium enters the roots and travels into the vascular xylem where it starts to produce microconidia clogging the xylem. Once the Koa tree dies, the fungus invades all tissues and, upon reaching the dead plant surface, sporulates profusely producing macroconidia and chlamydospores; the fungus can survive saprophytically in the soil, as either mycelium or as any of its three spore types mentioned. The chlamydospores, as the resting spores, survive the longest in the soils under cold conditions. Koa trees occupy dry to mesic areas on the islands of Kauaʻi, Oʻahu, Molokaʻi, Lānaʻi, Hawaiʻi in elevations of 80 to 8,000 feet with 0 to 100 inches of rain.

They are a dominant forest species. Koa wilt has been found on the islands of Kauaʻi, Oʻahu and Hawaiʻi. Most diseased trees are found at elevations below 3,000 feet. However, it has been observed at elevations as high as 7,000 feet. Fusarium, the primary cause of Koa wilt, May be found in a variety of environments but thrives with the high temperatures and moist soils of Hawaii, it survives in the soil. F. oxysporum is a soil-borne pathogen, sanitation, controlling the initial inoculum, is the best means to control it. One should avoid bringing infected plant tissues into disease free areas. Make certain that all tools and equipment have been cleaned and sterilized after contact with infected sites and plants. New plantings should be in areas known to be free of the pathogen, the soils should be screened to ensure that no F. oxysporum is present. Seeds are not infected, but there is a slight risk and therefore only seeds that are from local, superior trees should be used. Seedlings should be started in soil-less media, although there is still a risk of wind-borne pathogen contamination.

When planting in areas where there are no local hosts, it is suggested that one plant seeds from several different sources in the hope of finding a resistant tree. Research about Koa wilt is focused on determining resistant Koa varieties. Koa is a commodity, a dominant native forest species, an important element of Hawaiian culture. Koa is prized hardwood that can sell for prices as high as $150 a board foot, a special measurement indicating one-foot by one-foot by one-inch wood piece. Koa is being grown on plantations to support this high demand, yet some plantations have a 90% tree mortality rate over several years due to Koa wilt, it is a legume, giving it the ability to form symbiosis with nitrogen fixing bacteria, which has led to efforts to use koa in agroecological systems with crops such as coffee and cacao. Ecologically, koa is an important species because it is one of the few native trees that remains dominant in alien mixed forests on the Hawaiian Islands. Invasive species make up the majority of the State's current plant population.

Koa trees are important because provide a habitat for many native bird species. There were once two species of koa-finches, Rhodacanthis palmeri and R. flaviceps, which fed on green koa seed pods. These species are now extinct due to avian malaria, it is important to preserve the remaining koa populations to helpt to avoid further native bird extinctions. Koa has great cultural importance for native Hawaiians; the name “koa” means "brave, fearless" or "warrior" in Hawaiian. Koa wood was used extensively in ancient Hawaiian society for constructing houses, tools, canoe paddles, calabashes and surfboards. Canoes were, still are, carved from the trunks of koa trees. Outrigger canoe racing in koa canoes, is still a popular and competitive sport of cultural significance