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The Observer

The Observer is a British newspaper published on Sundays. In the same place on the political spectrum as its sister papers The Guardian and The Guardian Weekly, whose parent company Guardian Media Group Limited acquired it in 1993, it takes a social liberal or social democratic line on most issues. First published in 1791, it is the world's oldest Sunday newspaper; the first issue, published on 4 December 1791 by W. S. Bourne, was the world's first Sunday newspaper. Believing that the paper would be a means of wealth, Bourne instead soon found himself facing debts of nearly £1,600. Though early editions purported editorial independence, Bourne attempted to cut his losses and sell the title to the government; when this failed, Bourne's brother made an offer to the government, which refused to buy the paper but agreed to subsidise it in return for influence over its editorial content. As a result, the paper soon took a strong line against radicals such as Thomas Paine, Francis Burdett and Joseph Priestley.

In 1807, the brothers decided naming Lewis Doxat as the new editor. Seven years the brothers sold The Observer to William Innell Clement, a newspaper proprietor who owned a number of publications; the paper continued to receive government subsidies during this period. Yet the paper began to demonstrate a more independent editorial stance, criticising the authorities' handling of the events surrounding the Peterloo Massacre and defying an 1820 court order against publishing details of the trial of the Cato Street Conspirators, who were alleged to have plotted to murder members of the Cabinet; the woodcut pictures published of the stable and hayloft where the conspirators were arrested reflected a new stage of illustrated journalism that the newspaper pioneered during this time. Clement maintained ownership of The Observer until his death in 1852. During that time, the paper supported parliamentary reform, but opposed a broader franchise and the Chartist leadership. After Doxat retired in 1857, Clement's heirs sold the paper to Joseph Snowe, who took over the editor's chair.

Under Snowe, the paper adopted a more liberal political stance, supporting the North during the American Civil War, endorsing universal manhood suffrage in 1866. These positions contributed to a decline in circulation during this time. In 1870, wealthy businessman Julius Beer bought the paper and appointed Edward Dicey as editor, whose efforts succeeded in reviving circulation. Though Beer's son Frederick became the owner upon Julius's death in 1880, he had little interest in the newspaper and was content to leave Dicey as editor until 1889. Henry Duff Traill took over the editorship after Dicey's departure, only to be replaced in 1891 by Frederick's wife, Rachel Beer, of the Sassoon family. Though circulation declined during her tenure, she remained as editor for thirteen years, combining it in 1893 with the editorship of The Sunday Times, a newspaper that she had bought. Upon Frederick's death in 1903, the paper was purchased by the newspaper magnate Lord Northcliffe. After maintaining the existing editorial leadership for a couple of years, in 1908 Northcliffe named James Louis Garvin as editor.

Garvin turned the paper into an organ of political influence, boosting circulation from 5,000 to 40,000 within a year of his arrival as a result. Yet the revival in the paper's fortunes masked growing political disagreements between Garvin and Northcliffe; these disagreements led Northcliffe to sell the paper to William Waldorf Astor in 1911, who transferred ownership to his son Waldorf Astor, 2nd Viscount Astor four years later. During this period, the Astors were content to leave the control of the paper in Garvin's hands. Under his editorship circulation reached 200,000 during the interwar years, a figure which Garvin fought to maintain during the depths of the Great Depression. Politically the paper pursued an independent Conservative stance, which brought Garvin into conflict with Waldorf's more liberal son David Astor, their conflict contributed to Garvin's departure as editor in 1942, after which the paper took the unusual step of declaring itself non-partisan. Ownership passed to Waldorf's sons with David taking over as editor.

He remained in the position for 27 years, during which time he turned it into a trust-owned newspaper employing, among others, George Orwell, Paul Jennings and C. A. Lejeune. Under Astor's editorship The Observer became the first national newspaper to oppose the government's 1956 invasion of Suez, a move which cost it many readers. In 1977, the Astors sold the ailing newspaper to US oil giant Atlantic Richfield who sold it to Lonrho plc in 1981, it became part of the Guardian Media Group in June 1993, after a rival bid to acquire it by The Independent was rejected. Farzad Bazoft, a journalist for The Observer, was executed in Iraq in 1990 on charges of spying. In 2003, The Observer interviewed the Iraqi colonel who had arrested and interrogated Bazoft and, convinced that Bazoft was not a spy. In 2003 the editorial supported the Iraq war stating "Military intervention in the Middle East holds many dangers, but if we want a lasting peace it may be the only option."On 27 February 2005, The Observer Blog was launched, making The Observer the first newspaper to purposely document its own internal decisions, as well as the first newspaper to release podcasts.

The paper's regular columnists include Nick Cohen. In addition to the weekly Observer Magazine colour supplement, still present ever

Washington Symphonic Brass

The Washington Symphonic Brass is an American professional modern brass ensemble, a not-for-profit 501- arts organization. The ensemble performs in the Washington, DC, Northern Virginia areas; the WSB presents live concerts, produces commercial recordings, educates young brass and percussion musicians. The WSB is the Ensemble-in-Residence at George Mason University and is a collaborative artist with the National Philharmonic Orchestra, the Fairfax Choral Society, the Amadeus Orchestra; the Washington Symphonic Brass was founded in 1993 by former National Symphony Orchestra trombonist Milton Stevens and trumpeter/arranger Phil Snedecor. It is incorporated in the state of Maryland; the ensemble performs custom arrangements written by Phil Snedecor for large brass ensemble and percussion, plays both classical and modern symphonic music. The WSB was presented with a Washington Area Music Award for recording excellence. In 2012, the WSB's CD, The Edge, featured four of Phil Snedecor's arrangements of the music of Stravinsky, Shostokovich and Berlioz.

In 2015, the WSB performed a composition by John Henderson at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle during a visit by Pope Francis. Ancient Airs for Brass & Organ was recorded at Saint Luke Catholic Church in McLean, VA with William Neil, organist of National Presbyterian Church and the National Symphony Orchestra. "Ancient Airs" includes music of Respighi, Hildegard von Bingen, J. S. Bach and others. Nielsen on Brass was recorded at Washington National Cathedral with organist. Included is the music of Carl Nielsen—his Symphony No. 3 "Sinfonia Espansiva", nine of the Short Preludes for Organ, Op. 51, The Aladdin Suite, Op. 34 Dances with Brass was recorded at The National Presbyterian Church in Washington, D. C. and includes symphonic dances arranged for the Washington Symphonic Brass by Phil Snedecor. Burana in Brass, features music from Carl Orff's Carmina Burana. as well as the Finale to the Saint-Saëns famous "Organ Symphony" and solo performances from members of the WSB. Released on the Warner Classics label.

The official Washington Symphonic Brass website Phil Snedecor's website

Ijeoma Egbunine

Ijeoma Egbunine is a Nigerian former professional boxer who competed from 2004 to 2011. She held the WIBF light-heavyweight title in 2006. Ijeoma Egbunine's first professional match was a win by unanimous decision against Janaya Davis in December 2004; that decision was contested by Davis, who claimed she was set up to lose by the promoter. Egubine did not take these comments and promised to be more aggressive during their next fight. In her second match against the Atlanta favorite on 25 February 2005, Egbunine KO'ed Davis in the second round. According to, "In the second round the intensity did not let up as the bad blood began to boil between the two. At the 30 second mark of the 2nd round Egbunine landed a crushing overhand right that sent Davis brutally to the canvas. Davis struggled to get to her feet; as she stumbled to her feet referee Jim Korb stopped the fight -- Jose Santiago" Her only loss came on 12 March 2005, to Nikki Eplion in a close decision. The bout, only the third for Egbunine, was the main event on the seven-fight "A Punch Of Class" in front of 600 fans in the ballroom at the Radisson Hotel, West Virginia.

Since Egbunine went on a string of victories against a number of talented boxers, including Carlette Ewell and Valerie Mahfood. On Saturday, 17 June 2006, she took on the well known Åsa Sandell of Sweden at the Joel Coliseum Annex, Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Sandell had lost in the 5th round. Egbunine won with a TKO in the second round, taking her one step closer to an inevitable first-time match-up with the popular Ali. Ijeoma Egbunine is scheduled to fight 28-year-old Laila Ali this summer in South Africa; some proceeds from the 5 August bout will benefit the Nelson Mandela Foundation, the light heavyweight matchup will be part of a monthlong celebration of women's empowerment in South Africa. Egbunine's personal website