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The Left (Germany)

The Left commonly referred to as the Left Party, is a democratic socialist political party in Germany. It is considered to be left-wing populist by some researchers; the party was founded in 2007 as the result of the merger of the Party of Democratic Socialism and the Electoral Alternative for Labour and Social Justice. Through the PDS, the party is the direct descendant of the ruling party of the former East Germany, the Marxist-Leninist Socialist Unity Party of Germany. Since mid-2012, its co-chairs have been Bernd Riexinger. In the Bundestag the party won 64 out of 630 seats after polling 8.6% of the vote in the 2013 federal elections and, after the Social Democrats and the CDU/CSU formed a grand coalition, became leader of the opposition. In the 2017 elections, the party acquired 69 out of 709 seats after receiving 9.2% of the vote.. Its parliamentary group is the fifth largest among the six groups in the German Bundestag, ahead of the Greens; the Left is a founding member of the Party of the European Left, is the largest party in the European United Left–Nordic Green Left group in the European Parliament.

The party is the most left-wing party of the six represented in the Bundestag, has been called far-left by some news outlets, but according to the German Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, the party as such is not to be regarded as left or a threat to democracy. However, it does monitor some of its internal factions, such as Socialist Left, as do some states' similar authorities, on account of suspected extremist tendencies. According to official party figures, the Left Party had 63,784 registered members as of December 2013, making it the fifth-largest party in Germany; the party participates in governments in the states of Bremen, as junior partner to the Social Democratic Party of Germany and the The Greens. The Peaceful Revolution in East Germany which led to the replacement of Communist leader Erich Honecker in October 1989 led to a new generation of politicians in East Germany's ruling Socialist Unity Party who looked to Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev's glasnost and perestroika as their model for political change.

They had kept their own counsel during the Honecker era. However, the upheaval in the wake of the fall of the Berlin Wall gave them an opening. Longtime SED politician Hans Modrow, attorney Gregor Gysi and dissidents like Rudolf Bahro and Stefan Heym soon began to rebuild a party that had long been known as one of the most rigidly Stalinist parties in the Soviet bloc. After protests, the party was forced to give up its monopoly of power on 1 December 1989. Honecker's successor, Egon Krenz, resigned two days and Gysi was named party chairman. By the end of 1989, the last hardline members of the party's Central Committee had either resigned or been pushed out. In 1990, 95% of SED's 2.3 million members had left the party. By the time of a special congress in December 1989, the party was no longer a Marxist–Leninist party, though neo-Marxist and communist minority factions continued to be part of the party. At the congress, the party adopted a program of democratic reform. To try to distance itself from its repressive past and repair its reputation with the public, the party renamed itself "Socialist Unity Party-Party of Democratic Socialism", but dropped the SED part altogether in February 1990.

Gysi remained its leader, soon became one of the most well-known faces within German politics. By the end of February, the PDS had expelled most of the remaining prominent Communist-era leaders from its ranks—including Honecker and Krenz. However, this was not enough to save the party when it faced the voters at the 18 March general election, the first free election in East Germany; the party came in a distant third with 16.4% of the vote, behind the East German branches of the West German-based Christian Democratic Union and Social Democratic Party. The two major parties formed a grand coalition, led by the Alliance for Germany, built around the East German CDU, which meant the PDS was the main opposition party. In the first all-German Bundestag elections in 1990, the PDS won 2.4% of the nationwide vote. Under normal circumstances, a party must win at least five percent of the vote to qualify for mixed member proportional representation in the Bundestag. However, for the 1990 elections only, a one-time exception allowed eastern-based parties to qualify for list representation if they won at least five percent of the vote in the former East Germany.

Gysi was elected from a Berlin-area district. As a result, the PDS entered the 1990 Bundestag with 17 deputies led by Gysi, albeit without the privileges afforded to parliamentary groups. In the 1994 federal election the PDS managed to increase its share of the vote to 4.4 percent. This was in spite of an aggressive "Red Socks" campaign organised against the PDS by the then-ruling CDU aimed at scaring off voters by insinuating that underneath their suits, representatives of the PDS were "still wearing red socks"—i.e. harboring hardline Communist convictions. More Gysi was reelected from his Berlin-area seat, three other candidates were elected from eastern electoral districts; this allowed the PDS to qualify for MMP though it came up just short of the five percent threshold. Under a longstanding electoral law intended to benefit regional parties, any party with at least three directly elected seats

Capture of Le Sars

Le Sars is a commune in the Pas-de-Calais department in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region of France. The village lies along the Albert–Bapaume road; the village is situated 16 mi south at the junction of the D 11 and the D 929 roads. Courcelette lies to the south and Miraumont to the north-west, Eaucourt l'Abbaye to the south-east, the Butte de Warlencourt is to the north-east and Destremont Farm is south-west. Military operations began in the area in September 1914 during the Race to the Sea, when the divisions of the II Bavarian Corps advanced westwards on the north bank of the Somme, passing through Le Sars towards Albert and Amiens; the village became a backwater until 1916, when the British and French began the Battle of the Somme and was the site of several air operations by the Royal Flying Corps, which attacked German supply dumps in the vicinity. During the Battle of Flers–Courcelette, the British Fourth Army advanced close to the village and operations to capture it began on 1 October.

The village was overrun by the 23rd Division on 7 October, during the Battle of Le Transloy, several hundred prisoners being taken from the. After the village was captured, the crest of the rise to the east became the limit of the British advance. In the winter of 1916–1917, the worst for fifty years, the area was considered by the troops of the I Anzac Corps to be the foulest sector of the Somme front; the village was recaptured for the last time in August by the 21st Division. Troops of the 4th Bavarian Division reached Le Sars on 27 September, during the Battle of Albert and advanced on Bazentin le Petit and Longueval where the advance was stopped by French troops attacking eastwards from Albert; the 26th Württemburg Reserve Division advanced through Le Sars during the night of 27/28 September 28th Baden Reserve Division advanced on the south side of the Bapaume–Albert road, through the village towards Fricourt on 28 September. On 9 July, 21 Royal Flying Corps bombed supply dumps at Le Sars.

A flight of F. E.2b fighters of 22 Squadron escorting artillery observation and contact patrol aircraft on 15 July, attacked ground targets. One aircraft chased German soldiers down the Flers–Le Sars road and attacked some cavalry hiding under trees and scattered them. On 21 July, a 4 Squadron reconnaissance crew reported new entrenchments around the village. Squadrons of the 15th Wing managed to attack Le Sars several times at the end of July and in August the III Brigade made several attacks on the village. On 27 August, air observers watched as infantry patrols probed towards Le Sars and made many low-flying attacks on German troops opposite the Fourth Army front. During an attack by III Corps in the Battle of Le Transloy, two battalions of the 7th Brigade of the 23rd Division attacked Destremont Farm and captured Flers Trench and part of Flers Support. Touch was gained with the 151st Brigade of the 50th Division on the right flank. On the north side of the Bapaume road, a long bombing fight forced back the Germans in Flers Trench and touch was gained on the left flank with the 2nd Canadian Division.

Patrols probed towards Le Sars, watched by the aviators of 34 Squadron and 3 Squadron but the parties were driven back by small-arms fire from the houses. Rain continued for two days, turning the ground to mud; the 50th Division was relieved by the 68th Brigade of the 23rd Division and opposite Le Sars, the 69th Brigade took over from the 70th Brigade. The 69th Brigade tried to bomb up Flers Support on the north side of the Bapaume road; the German 7th Division west of the Bapaume road and the right of the 6th Bavarian Reserve Division in Le Sars, were relieved by the 4th Ersatz Division on 3 October. Two preliminary operations were conducted by the 69th Brigade, to capture the remaining length of Flers Support Trench and part of Flers Trench just south of the Bapaume road, recaptured by a German counter-attack. Late on 3 October, two companies attacked Flers Support north of the main road and a party began a bombing attack on the recaptured part of Flers Trench at the same time; the attack on Flers Support had to over a distance of 100 yd but the mud slowed progress and massed German machine-gun fire caused many casualties.

The companies could get no further. The bombing attack on Flers Trench succeeded but German artillery fire the next day, demolished the strong point and the party was withdrawn. Both attacks were costly failures, the attack on Flers Support leading to 139 casualties and the bombing attack another sixty losses. On 6 October, the Tangle, a maze of trenches east of Le Sars, was attacked by the 11th Northumberland Fusiliers from the 68th Brigade but the troops were withdrawn, due to the extent of German return fire; the weather began to improve on 4 October but high winds and low cloud made air observation difficult. The rain stopped on 5 October and next day the ground dried. German artillery-fire on the area was continuous and the opposing lines were close together, leading to six Germans being captured early on 6 October, who gave information which confirmed the results of gleanings from a German signal lamp, which were read by a German-speaker; the 23rd Division had been ordered to attack Le Sars, in combination with an attack by the 47th Division on the Butte de Warlencourt but constant rain on the churned up ground, led postponements of the 23rd Division attack until 7 October.

The 23rd Division took over the front of the 50th Division front on 3 October, which gave the division a frontage of

RNA polymerase III

In eukaryote cells, RNA polymerase III transcribes DNA to synthesize ribosomal 5S rRNA, tRNA and other small RNAs. The genes transcribed by RNA Pol III fall in the category of "housekeeping" genes whose expression is required in all cell types and most environmental conditions. Therefore, the regulation of Pol III transcription is tied to the regulation of cell growth and the cell cycle, thus requiring fewer regulatory proteins than RNA polymerase II. Under stress conditions however, the protein Maf1 represses Pol III activity. Rapamycin is another Pol III inhibitor via its direct target TOR; the process of transcription involves three main stages: Initiation, requiring construction of the RNA polymerase complex on the gene's promoter Elongation, the synthesis of the RNA transcript Termination, the finishing of RNA transcription and disassembly of the RNA polymerase complex Initiation: the construction of the polymerase complex on the promoter. Pol III is unusual by requiring no control sequences upstream of the gene, instead relying on internal control sequences - sequences within the transcribed section of the gene.

There are three classes of Pol III initiation, corresponding to 5S rRNA, tRNA, U6 snRNA initiation. In all cases, the process starts with transcription factors binding to control sequences, ends with TFIIIB being recruited to the complex and assembling Pol III. TFIIIB consists of three subunits: TATA binding protein, a TFIIB-related factor, a B-double-prime unit; the overall architecture bears similarities to that of Pol II. Typical stages in 5S rRNA gene initiation: TFIIIA binds to the intragenic 5S rRNA control sequence, the C Block. TFIIIA serves as a platform that replaces the A and B Blocks for positioning TFIIIC in an orientation with respect to the start site of transcription, equivalent to what is observed for tRNA genes. Once TFIIIC is bound to the TFIIIA-DNA complex, the assembly of TFIIIB proceeds as described for tRNA transcription. Typical stages in a tRNA gene initiation: TFIIIC binds to two intragenic control sequences, the A and B Blocks. TFIIIC acts as an assembly factor that positions TFIIIB to bind to DNA at a site centered 26 base pairs upstream of the start site of transcription.

TFIIIB is the transcription factor. Once TFIIIB is bound to DNA, TFIIIC is no longer required. TFIIIB plays an essential role in promoter opening. Typical stages in a U6 snRNA gene initiation: SNAPc binds to the PSE centered 55 base pairs upstream of the start site of transcription; this assembly is stimulated by the Pol II transcription factors Oct1 and STAF that bind to an enhancer-like DSE at least 200 base pairs upstream of the start site of transcription. These factors and promoter elements are shared between Pol II and Pol III transcription of snRNA genes. SNAPc acts to assemble TFIIIB at a TATA box centered 26 base pairs upstream of the start site of transcription, it is the presence of a TATA box that specifies that the snRNA gene is transcribed by Pol III rather than Pol II. The TFIIIB for U6 snRNA transcription contains a smaller Brf1 paralogue, Brf2. TFIIIB is the transcription factor. Sequence conservation predicts that TFIIIB containing Brf2 plays a role in promoter opening. TFIIIB remains bound to DNA following initiation of transcription by Pol III.

This leads to a high rate of transcriptional reinitiation of Pol III-transcribed genes. Polymerase III terminates transcription at small polyTs stretch. In eukaryotes, a hairpin loop is not required; the types of RNAs transcribed from RNA polymerase III include: Transfer RNAs 5S ribosomal RNA U6 spliceosomal RNA RNase P and RNase MRP RNA 7SL RNA Vault RNAs Y RNA SINEs 7SK RNA Several microRNAs Several small nucleolar RNAs Several gene regulatory antisense RNAs RNA polymerase

American Institutes for Research

American Institutes for Research is a nonprofit, nonpartisan behavioral and social science research, evaluation and technical assistance organization based in Washington, D. C. One of the world's largest social science research organizations, AIR has more than 1,800 staff in locations across the United States and abroad. In 2010 and 2011, The Washington Post selected AIR as one of the top ten nonprofit firms in the Washington metropolitan area. AIR's founder, John C. Flanagan, a pioneer in aviation psychology, is known for developing the Critical Incident Technique, an innovative method for screening and selecting personnel. While working for the U. S. Army Air Forces during World War II, Flanagan developed CIT as an aptitude test to identify potential combat pilots; the technique was adapted for other industries, CIT is still a model for numerous organizations and researchers. Flanagan established American Institutes for Research in 1946, he focused on workforce education research and launched Project Talent, a longitudinal study following 400,000 high school students across the U.

S. which has continued for the past 50 years and provided data for hundreds of researchers and publications. AIR ran a Defense Department-funded counter-insurgency program in Thailand during the Vietnam War years, which involved designing programs that supported "assassinating key spokesmen strengthening retaliatory mechanisms and similar preventative measures." Charles Murray, the controversial political scientist, worked on this AIR program and claimed the experience was formative in his advocacy. "AIR's mission is to conduct and apply the best behavioral and social science research and evaluation towards improving peoples' lives, with a special emphasis on the disadvantaged." AIR Assessment develops student tests, score reports, online reporting tools for students, teachers and administrators in states across the U. S. Psychometricians and statisticians provide data and analysis for curriculum decisions. Research and Evaluation, Technical Assistance and Policy, Practice & Systems Change - Domestic and International AIR practice areas include early childhood.

Some of the work Flanagan and AIR are known for includes: Project Talent, the largest and most comprehensive study of high school students conducted in the United States. S. Department of Education programs. S. Army. S.. Education researcher David Myers serves on its board of directors. Myers was senior vice president and chief strategy officer at Mathematica Policy Research; the twelve-member board of directors is led by chair Patricia B. Gurin, professor emerita of social psychology and women's studies at University of Michigan and vice chair Lawrence D. Bobo, a professor of social sciences at Harvard University

Serpent (cipher)

Serpent is a symmetric key block cipher, a finalist in the Advanced Encryption Standard contest, where it was ranked second to Rijndael. Serpent was designed by Ross Anderson, Eli Biham, Lars Knudsen. Like other AES submissions, Serpent has a block size of 128 bits and supports a key size of 128, 192 or 256 bits; the cipher is a 32-round substitution–permutation network operating on a block of four 32-bit words. Each round applies one of eight 4-bit to 4-bit S-boxes 32 times in parallel. Serpent was designed so that all operations can be executed in parallel; this maximizes parallelism, but allows use of the extensive cryptanalysis work performed on DES. Serpent took a conservative approach to security, opting for a large security margin: the designers deemed 16 rounds to be sufficient against known types of attack, but specified 32 rounds as insurance against future discoveries in cryptanalysis; the official NIST report on AES competition classified Serpent as having a high security margin along with MARS and Twofish, in contrast to the adequate security margin of RC6 and Rijndael.

In final voting, Serpent had the fewest negative votes among the finalists, but scored second place overall because Rijndael had more positive votes, the deciding factor being that Rijndael allowed for a far more efficient software implementation. The Serpent cipher algorithm has not been patented; the reference code is public domain software and the optimized code is under GPL. There are no encumbrances whatsoever regarding its use; as a result, anyone is free to incorporate Serpent in their software without paying license fees. Rijndael is a substitution-linear transformation network with ten, twelve, or fourteen rounds, depending on the key size, with block sizes of 128 bits, 192 bits, or 256 bits, independently specified. Serpent is a substitution–permutation network which has thirty-two rounds, plus an initial and a final permutation to simplify an optimized implementation; the round function in Rijndael consists of three parts: a nonlinear layer, a linear mixing layer, a key-mixing XOR layer.

The round function in Serpent consists of key-mixing XOR, thirty-two parallel applications of the same 4×4 S-box, a linear transformation, except in the last round, wherein another key-mixing XOR replaces the linear transformation. The nonlinear layer in Rijndael uses an 8 × 8 S-box; the 32 rounds means. Hence, Rijndael was selected as the winner in the AES competition; the original Serpent, Serpent-0, was presented at the 5th workshop on Fast Software Encryption, but a somewhat tweaked version, Serpent-1, was submitted to the AES competition. The AES submission paper discuss the changes; the XSL attack, if effective, would weaken Serpent. However, many cryptanalysts believe that once implementation considerations are taken into account the XSL attack would be more expensive than a brute force attack. In 2000, a paper by Kohno et al. presents a meet-in-the-middle attack against 6 of 32 rounds of Serpent and an amplified boomerang attack against 9 of 32 rounds in Serpent. A 2001 attack by Eli Biham, Orr Dunkelman and Nathan Keller presents a linear cryptanalysis attack that breaks 10 of 32 rounds of Serpent-128 with 2118 known plaintexts and 289 time, 11 rounds of Serpent-192/256 with 2118 known plaintexts and 2187 time.

A 2009 paper has noticed that the nonlinear order of Serpent S-boxes were not 3 as was claimed by the designers. A 2011 attack by Hongjun Wu, Huaxiong Wang and Phuong Ha Nguyen using linear cryptanalysis, breaks 11 rounds of Serpent-128 with 2116 known plaintexts, 2107.5 time and 2104 memory. The same paper describes two attacks which break 12 rounds of Serpent-256; the first requires 2228.8 time and 2228 memory. The other attack requires 2116 known plaintexts and 2121 memory but requires 2237.5 time. Tiger – hash function by the same authors Anderson, Ross. "Cryptography – 256 bit ciphers: Reference implementation". Biham, Eli. "Serpent – A New Block Cipher Proposal for AES". Halbfinger, David M. "In Pellicano Case, Lessons in Wiretapping Skills". The New York Times. Stajano, Frank. "Serpent reference implementation". University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory. Official website 256 bit ciphers – SERPENT Reference implementation and derived code

The Nightmare Lands

The Nightmare Lands is an accessory for the 2nd edition of the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game, published in 1995. The mist-shrouded netherworld of the Nightmare Lands lies on the borders of Ravenloft's Demiplane of Dread. Here, the Nightmare Court seeks out and traps dreamers in "dreamscapes", where their secret feelings are amplified to intolerable proportions so that the Court can feed on their fears; such dreamers are mentally assaulted nightly, become insane unless the Nightmare being conducting the torture can be defeated. The Nightmare Lands includes four books: "Book One: Journal of Doctor Illhousen", "Book Two: Rules of Dreams and Nightmares", "Book Three: Book of Nightmares" and the "Monstrous Supplement"; the "Journal of Doctor Illhousen" introduced players to the concept of Nightmare adventures, tells them how to reach the Nightmare Lands - both physically and as dream beings - in order to aid those held by the Nightmare Court. The journal outlines the reality shifting nature of this world.

The "Rules of Dreams and Nightmares" explains the complexities of Nightmare adventures, as well as the key principle of Mental Fortitude, a character's self-confidence in the character's "dreamself". The "Book of Nightmares" and "Monstrous Supplement" combine to provide an off-the-shelf scenario for parties adventuring in the Nightmare Lands; the Nightmare Lands was designed by Shane Lacy Hensley with additional design and editing by Bill Slavicsek, was published by TSR, Inc. in 1995. The box cover artist was Den Beauvais, the book cover and interior artist was John Snyder. Trenton Webb reviewed The Nightmare Lands for Arcane magazine, he refers to the "Journal of Doctor Illhousen" as "sketchy and theoretical", felt that the "Book of Nightmares" and the "Monstrous Supplement" together "flesh out the Nightmare Lands into a horrific place to explore". He comments on the set as a whole: "The ideas behind the Nightmare Lands are intriguing and exciting, they provide an arena in which a party of any level can be tested."

He felt that the appeal of the Nightmare Court was "limited by its inevitable association with the gothic Ravenloft", but that in this setting "it works well and all Ravenloft DMs should be encouraged to give their parties a bad night's sleep every once in a while". He cautions that the ready-to-run scenario Nightmares "may not sit with heroes from other places and planes in the multiverse". Webb outlines his concerns with the running of a Nightmare Lands campaign, where "the worst problems can arise. Mental Fortitude is a good system, but it requires better examples, better explanation and easy-access tables or checklists before it can function effectively. Further, the plumed nature of Nightmare reality causes continued questions for the DM and impairs the necessary suspension of disbelief for the players." He concludes the review by saying: The Nightmare Lands is a brave attempt to add another element to D&D adventures. It conjures a scary new world where anything and everything can happen.

It's a place I'd love to visit as a player - but I wouldn't want to live there." Dragon #227