Syria the Syrian Arab Republic, is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon to the southwest, the Mediterranean Sea to the west, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, Israel to the southwest. A country of fertile plains, high mountains, deserts, Syria is home to diverse ethnic and religious groups, including Syrian Arabs, Turkemens, Armenians, Circassians and Greeks. Religious groups include Sunnis, Alawites, Isma'ilis, Shiites, Salafis and Jews. Arabs are the largest ethnic group, Sunnis the largest religious group. Syria is a unitary republic consisting of 14 governorates and is the only country that politically espouses Ba'athism, it is a member of one international organization other than the United Nations, the Non-Aligned Movement. The name "Syria" referred to a wider region, broadly synonymous with the Levant, known in Arabic as al-Sham; the modern state encompasses the sites of several ancient kingdoms and empires, including the Eblan civilization of the 3rd millennium BC.

Aleppo and the capital city Damascus are among the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. In the Islamic era, Damascus was the seat of the Umayyad Caliphate and a provincial capital of the Mamluk Sultanate in Egypt; the modern Syrian state was established in the mid-20th century after centuries of Ottoman and a brief period French mandate, represented the largest Arab state to emerge from the Ottoman-ruled Syrian provinces. It gained de jure independence as a parliamentary republic on 24 October 1945, when the Republic of Syria became a founding member of the United Nations, an act which ended the former French Mandate, although French troops did not leave the country until April 1946; the post-independence period was tumultuous, with many military coups and coup attempts shaking the country from 1949 to 1971. In 1958, Syria entered a brief union with Egypt called the United Arab Republic, terminated by the 1961 Syrian coup d'état; the republic was renamed as the Arab Republic of Syria in late 1961 after the December 1 constitutional referendum of that year, was unstable until the 1963 Ba'athist coup d'état, since which the Ba'ath Party has maintained its power.

Syria was under Emergency Law from 1963 to 2011 suspending most constitutional protections for citizens. Bashar al-Assad has been president since 2000 and was preceded by his father Hafez al-Assad, in office from 1971 to 2000. Throughout his rule and the ruling Ba'ath Party have been condemned and criticized for human rights abuses, frequent executions of citizens and political prisoners, massive censorship. Since March 2011, Syria has been embroiled in an armed conflict, with a number of countries in the region and beyond involved militarily or otherwise; as a result, a number of self-proclaimed political entities have emerged on Syrian territory, including the Syrian opposition, Tahrir al-Sham and Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Syria was ranked last on the Global Peace Index from 2016 to 2018, making it the most violent country in the world due to the war; the conflict has killed more than 570,000 people, caused 7.6 million internally displaced people and over 5 million refugees, making population assessment difficult in recent years.

Several sources indicate that the name Syria is derived from the 8th century BC Luwian term "Sura/i", the derivative ancient Greek name: Σύριοι, Sýrioi, or Σύροι, Sýroi, both of which derived from Aššūrāyu in northern Mesopotamia. However, from the Seleucid Empire, this term was applied to The Levant, from this point the Greeks applied the term without distinction between the Assyrians of Mesopotamia and Arameans of the Levant. Mainstream modern academic opinion favors the argument that the Greek word is related to the cognate Ἀσσυρία, Assyria derived from the Akkadian Aššur; the Greek name appears to correspond to Phoenician ʾšr "Assur", ʾšrym "Assyrians", recorded in the 8th century BC Çineköy inscription. The area designated by the word has changed over time. Classically, Syria lies at the eastern end of the Mediterranean, between Arabia to the south and Asia Minor to the north, stretching inland to include parts of Iraq, having an uncertain border to the northeast that Pliny the Elder describes as including, from west to east, Commagene and Adiabene.

By Pliny's time, this larger Syria had been divided into a number of provinces under the Roman Empire: Judaea renamed Palaestina in AD 135 in the extreme southwest. Since 10,000 BC, Syria was one of the centers of Neolithic culture where agriculture and cattle breeding appeared for the first time in the world; the following Neolithic period is represented by rectangular houses of Mureybet culture. At the time of the pre-pottery Neolithic, people used vessels made of stone and burnt lime. Finds of obsidian tools from Anatolia are evidences of early trade relations. Cities of Hamoukar and Emar played an important role during the late N

Cable cars in Chicago

In 1900, Chicago had the second largest cable car network in the country. In 1900, there were three private companies operating 41 miles of double track routes radiating out from the downtown area. State of the art technology when the first line opened in 1882, by 1900 electric traction had proven superior and in 1906 all cable routes were changed to electrical power. In 2015 most were part of Chicago Transit Authority bus routes. In the 1850s Chicago was growing and local transportation was a problem. Flat and low, drainage was poor and the roads were muddy and near impassible for foot and horse traffic. In 1859 the Illinois state legislature incorporated the Chicago City Railway and the North Chicago Street Railroad, to provide rail horsecar service in Chicago. In 1861 the Chicago West Division Railway was incorporated; the three companies served different parts of the city, defined by the Chicago River, were not in competition with each other. By 1880 all three had main routes with feeder lines.

In 1882 the CCR opened cable lines to the south on State St. and Wabash-Cottage Grove Ave. Successful, the State St. line would be extended to 63rd St. by 1887 and the Cottage Grove Ave. line to 71st St. by 1890. In 1886 the NCSR put a cable line on Clark St. and parallel 5th Ave. into service. In 1889 a branch on Lincoln Ave. opened, the last branch, on Clybourn Ave. opened in 1891. In 1890 the re-organized West Chicago Street Railroad opened their first lines, to the northwest on Milwaukee Ave. Shortly afterwards a line straight west on Madison Ave. opened. In 1893 two more routes would open, southwest on Blue Island Ave and south on Halsted St. In 1892 the Chicago City Council allowed the CCR to electrify three horse lines outside of downtown, two years many North and West lines were electrified. In 1896 the first downtown electrification was permitted, in 1906 all cable service was converted to electric traction; the cable cars did not suffer much from the elements, the harsher winters of the US Midwest and East Coast were no problem for them.

As with some other cities using cable cars the problem in flat Chicago was not one of grades, but of traffic volume due to the density of the city. As in other cities the cable cars did not replace the horsecars, but they rather created a transportation backbone. In fact as the horse lines were being converted to trolleys, the electrical cars had to be pulled by grip cars through the downtown, due to the lack of trolley wires there; the passenger numbers caused a different approach than many other cities. Some single cars were used. Most grip cars were open. Four different types of grips were used, one by each company and the WCSR's south and southwest lines using a fourth. CCR used a grip that could grip either side of the cable, allowing the grip car to operate in either direction. NCSR and WCSR grip cars could operate in one direction only. None of the grips could be used on other lines. 700 grip cars were in service. Both the NCSR and WCSR operated large combination grip cars, with an open front and closed back sections.

These cars could pull trailers. Trailers started as short two axle cars similar to horsecars, were built by the operator. Longer two truck cars would be built by vendors. Open summer and closed winter cars were used, with two car trains the norm, there were between two and four trailers for each grip. Switching directions on a cable train can be difficult; each track can go in one direction only, the grip car has to be at the head of the train. Turning around a loop was common, at the end of most lines there were loops. In the downtown area the loops went around several blocks, increasing the area the line would otherwise serve. Equipment and operating differences prevented common track use between most routes, in 1900 there were six separate loops in use; the Chicago River separates the downtown from the West sides. Heavy river traffic required moveable bridges, long delays. Cable cannot be used on moveable bridges, the delays would have stopped the whole system, so the NCCR leased and refurbished the city's LaSalle St. tunnel under the river, the WCCR would use the similar Washington St. tunnel for its first two lines.

For the WCCR's two Southwest lines the company dug a tunnel next to Van Buren St. at their own expense. All three companies used similar infrastructures, with large steam boilers and reciprocating engines driving long endless cables through conduits. At their peak there were 13 powerhouses driving 34 cables. Different cables could run at different speeds, the CCR's loop ran at 4 mph while outlying cables could operate at 14 mph. Throughout cable operations both politics and business were corrupt in many cities, including Chicago; some politicians expected not only political support but bribes. Dummy companies were created to extort the operators, property owners conspired to sell their consent to the routes; the CCR, well managed and first in operation, was affected least, while the North and West companies, controlled by robber baron Charles Tyson Yerkes, were involved in some unscrupulous business practices. In 1900 the lowering of the river exposed the tops of all three tunnels, making them hazards to navigation.

In 1906 all three tunnels under the river were closed for construction, cutting cable service to the North and West. This was; the last ca

Strawberry (album)

Strawberry, the fourth studio album by Wussy, was released in November 2011. The label, Shake It Records, released the album on CD format in limited cities in 2011 with a national release in February 2012 and a vinyl edition planned for Record Store Day 2012; the album received positive reviews. It was chosen as the 8th greatest album of 2011 by prominent critic Robert Christgau; the live edition of the band's first album, Funeral Dress, entitled Funeral Dress II, was named the second best album of 2011 on that same list. Dan Weiss of the Boston Phoenix gave the album four out of four stars, exclaiming, "They don't make bands like this anymore." Jon Dolan gave the album four out of five stars and said that it " out in a frayed, mordant way that makes every stick-in-your-head chorus they share seem like a small triumph." "Asteroids" "Pulverized" "Waiting Room" "Chicken" - 4:49 "Grand Champion Steer" "Magnolia" "Fly Fly Fly" "Mountain of Tires" "Pizza King" "Wrist Rocket" "Little Miami"