Two Towers, Bologna

The Two Towers, both of them leaning, are the symbol of Bologna and the most prominent of the Towers of Bologna. They are located at the intersection of the roads; the taller one is called the Asinelli while the smaller but more leaning tower is called the Garisenda. Their names derive from the families which are traditionally credited with having been constructed between 1109 and 1119, their construction was a competition between the two families to show, the more powerful family. However, the scarcity of documents from this early period makes this in reality rather uncertain; the name of the Asinelli family, for example, is documented for the first time only in 1185 70 years after the presumed construction of the tower, attributed to them. It is believed that the Asinelli Tower had a height of ca. 70 m and was raised only to the current 97.2 m. In the 14th century the city used it as a prison and small stronghold. During this period a wooden construction was added around the tower at a height of 30 m above ground, connected with an aerial footbridge to the Garisenda Tower.

Its addition is attributed to Giovanni Visconti, Duke of Milan, who wanted to use it to control the turbulent Mercato di Mezzo and suppress possible revolts. The Visconti had become the rulers of Bologna after the decline of the Signoria of the Pepoli family, but were rather unpopular in the city. Severe damage was caused by lightning that resulted in small fires and collapses, only in 1824 was a lightning rod installed; the tower survived, however, at least two documented large fires: the first in 1185 was due to arson and the second one in 1398 has been mentioned above. The Asinelli Tower was used by the scientists Giovanni Battista Riccioli and Giovanni Battista Guglielmini for experiments to study the motion of heavy bodies and the earth rotation. In World War II, between 1943 and 1945, it was used as a sight post: During bombing attacks, four volunteers took post at the top to direct rescue operations to places hit by Allied bombs. A RAI television relay was installed on top. During the 1960s, architect Minoru Yamasaki is thought to have been inspired by the Towers when designing the World Trade Center.

The Garisenda Tower today has a height of 48 m with an overhang of 3.2 m. It was 60 m high, but had to be lowered in the 14th century due to a yielding of the ground which left it slanting and dangerous. In the early 15th century, the tower was bought by the Arte dei Drappieri, which remained the sole owner until the Garisenda became municipal property at the end of the 19th century, it was cited several times by Dante in the Divine Comedy and The Rime, by Goethe in his Italian Journey. The Two Towers have been the subject of an eponymous poem by Giosuè Carducci as part of the Barbarian Odes. Charles Dickens wrote about the towers in his Pictures from Italy. Official website


W241AP is a news/talk formatted broadcast translator licensed to Midlothian, serving Central Virginia. W241AP is operated by Entercom; the station signed on as a translator for Liberty University's WRVL in 2004, on 96.1 MHz, using the callsign W241AP. In 2007, the station moved to Richmond and was reallocated to 106.1 MHz with 10 watts power, taking the callsign W295BF. In April 2013, Liberty sold the station to Clear Channel Communications, which relocated the station to Midlothian and moved it back to 96.1 MHz with 145 watts power. On April 15, 2013, Clear Channel debuted a satellite-fed classic rock format on the station; the branding, 96.1 The Planet, was designed to echo Cox Radio's long-time classic rock station, WKLR, which broadcasts a full-power signal at 96.5 MHz. WKLR had moved to a more current rock format as Rock 96.5 by the time Clear Channel brought 96.1 The Planet online. As a translator is not permitted to originate its own programming, by U. S. Federal Communications Commission regulation, W241AP relays WRVQ-HD2.

The station resumed its original W241AP callsign on April 26, 2013. On November 1, 2017, iHeartMedia announced that W241AP, along with all of their sister stations in Richmond and Chattanooga, will be sold to Entercom due to that company's merger with CBS Radio; the sale was completed on December 19, 2017. On January 1, 2018 W241AP changed their format from classic rock to a simulcast of news/talk-formatted WRVA. Query the FCC's FM station database for W241AP Radio-Locator information on W241AP

Aboke abductions

The Aboke abductions were the kidnapping of 139 secondary school female students from St. Mary's College boarding school by rebels of the Lord's Resistance Army on 10 October 1996, in Aboke, Kole District, Uganda; the deputy head mistress of the college, Sister Rachele Fassera of Italy, pursued the rebels and negotiated the release of 109 of the girls. The Aboke abductions and Fassera's dramatic actions drew international attention, unprecedented at that time, to the insurgency in northern Uganda. Following the rise to power in January 1986 of President Yoweri Museveni after the victory of his rebel National Resistance Army, the north of Uganda was wracked by conflict as first the rebel Uganda People's Democratic Army and the chiliastic Holy Spirit Movement struggled against the new rulers. In January 1987, another rebel group, the LRA, was started by the spirit-medium Joseph Kony becoming the sole surviving rebel force. Despite attempts by the government to destroy or co-opt the LRA, it remained a weak but threatening force in the northern bush.

In early 1994, the character of the LRA changed after it began to be supplied by the government of Sudan. The rebels began to target civilians, mutilating those they thought to be government sympathisers and abducting children as child soldiers and sex slaves. Most LRA activities at this time were concentrated within the three districts comprising Acholiland: Gulu and Kitgum; the violence, sometimes reached into Apac District, which bordered Gulu and Pader to the south. On 21 March 1989, the LRA carried out a raid on St. Mary's College, a Combonian school for girls between the ages of 13 and 16; the rebels had abducted 10 schoolgirls and 33 seminarians and villagers, as well as killing others whom they had run across. In that incident, Fassera had tried to follow the rebels but had been forced to turn back after a battle erupted between the LRA force and a patrol of the government Uganda People's Defence Force. Nine of the ten girls escaped, while one was killed in a battle several years later.

As a result, a UPDF unit was assigned to protect the college. By 1996, the security situation had again worsened; the soldiers of the UPDF had been replaced by Local Defense Unit militia. Rumors began to circulate through the countryside that the LRA was beginning to look at St. Mary's College as a target again. In September 1996, the LDU militia stated that they must move from the college 16 kilometres away to the town of Ikeme. Sister Alba, the mother superior, sent Sister Rachele to negotiate with the LDU commanding officer, who agreed to set up a night patrol if a pickup ferried the soldiers to the college at night and back to Ikeme at dawn; the LRA always attacked at night, so this was a key breakthrough. Nineteen soldiers were assigned to the protection of the college, but Alba, feeling that the military presence was insufficient to stop an attack, sent Fassera by bike to ask for 50 soldiers, stating that she would otherwise close the school. Fassera did not have a way to transport the soldiers she was requesting, the LDU officer calmed her by saying that he would send word if there was any danger.

By 8:15 pm on 9 October 1996, Ugandan Independence Day, the expected soldiers had not yet arrived at the school. The three sisters held a meeting to decide on a plan of action; the option of moving the girls out of the school and dispersing them was discussed, but it was dark and the possibility that LRA rebels would be waiting outside to attack deterred the sisters from this course. An hour the girls went to bed, although the mother superior stayed up until 11:30pm to pray in the chapel. At 2:30 am, the night watchman at the college knocked on Sister Fassera's door stating: "Sister, the rebels are here."Sister Fassera woke Sister Alba and moved out of the convent towards the front gate, a net, of the compound and spotted the rebels outside the gate. Thinking that the rebels had been slowed by the gate and that they may be able to evacuate the girls through the back gate, the nuns moved back towards the four dormitories, each of which had about 50 students; as they drew closer, they saw flashlights around the dormitories and realized that the LRA had come through the back gate.

In the knowledge that, if caught, the rebels would force them to open the doors, Sisters Alba and Fassera woke the one older nun, Sister Matilde, together hid in the compound's stock house. Through the night, they heard the sounds of rebels moving through the compound but never the voice of any of the girls, giving them hope that the rebels had been kept out of the dorms by the iron reinforced doors and windows. Estimates put the number of armed rebels at about 200, they burned the school vehicle, ransacked the clinic, unsuccessfully attempted to burn several buildings. As dawn approached, the nuns heard the sounds of the rebels leaving. At first light, Sister Alba sighted a small group of girls wandering in the open; when asked if they were okay, Claudia, a girl in the second class, stated that the other girls had been taken away. The sisters rushed to the dormitories for classes four and six. However, the girls inside, believing that the rebels had captured the nuns, refused to open the doors.

The students were persuaded out. They reported to the sisters that the rebels had abducted classes one and three. One dormitory window had been broken and another's wall demolished. One hundred fifty-two secondary school girls between 13 and 16 years of age had been taken. At the time, none of the sisters were ab