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United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification

The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa is a Convention to combat desertification and mitigate the effects of drought through national action programs that incorporate long-term strategies supported by international cooperation and partnership arrangements. The Convention, the only convention stemming from a direct recommendation of the Rio Conference's Agenda 21, was adopted in Paris, France on 17 June 1994 and entered into force in December 1996, it is the only internationally binding framework set up to address the problem of desertification. The Convention is based on the principles of participation and decentralization—the backbone of Good Governance and Sustainable Development, it has 197 parties, making it near universal in reach. To help publicise the Convention, 2006 was declared "International Year of Deserts and Desertification" but debates have ensued regarding how effective the International Year was in practice.

The UNCCD has been ratified by 197 states: all 193 UN Member States, the Cook Islands, the State of Palestine and the European Union. On 28 March 2013, Canada became the first country to withdraw from the convention. However, three years Canada reversed its withdrawal by re-acceding to the convention on 21 December 2016, which resulted in Canada becoming party to the convention again on 21 March 2017; the Holy See is the only state, not a party to the convention, eligible to accede to it. The permanent Secretariat of the UNCCD was established during the first Conference of the parties held in Rome in 1997, it has been located in Bonn, Germany since January 1999, moved from its first Bonn address in Haus Carstanjen to the new UN Campus in July 2006. The functions of the secretariat are to make arrangements for sessions of the Conference of the Parties and its subsidiary bodies established under the Convention, to provide them with services as required. One key task of the secretariat is to transmit reports submitted to it.

The secretariat provides assistance to affected developing country Parties those in Africa. This is important. UNCCD activities are coordinated with the secretariats of other relevant international bodies and conventions, like those of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Convention on Biological Diversity; the Conference of the Parties oversees the implementation of the Convention. It is established by the Convention as the supreme decision-making body, it comprises all ratifying governments; the first five sessions of the COP were held annually from 1997 to 2001. Starting 2001 sessions are held on a biennial basis interchanging with the sessions of the Committee for the Review of the Implementation of the Convention, whose first session was held in 2002; the UN Convention to Combat Desertification has established a Committee on Technology. The CST was established under Article 24 of the Convention as a subsidiary body of the COP, its mandate and terms of reference were defined and adopted during the first session of the Conference of the Parties in 1997.

It is composed of government representatives competent in the fields of expertise relevant to combating desertification and mitigating the effects of drought. The committee identifies priorities for research, recommends ways of strengthening cooperation among researchers, it is open to the participation of all Parties. It meets in conjunction with the ordinary sessions of the COP; the CST collects and reviews relevant data. It promotes cooperation in the field of combating desertification and mitigating the effects of drought through appropriate sub-regional and national institutions, in particular by its activities in research and development, which contribute to increased knowledge of the processes leading to desertification and drought as well as their impact; the Bureau of the CST is composed of the four Vice Chairpersons. The chairman is elected by the Conference of the Parties at each of its sessions with due regard to ensure geographical distribution and adequate representation of affected Country Parties those in Africa, who shall not serve for more than two consecutive terms.

The Bureau of the CST is responsible for the follow-up of the work of the Committee between sessions of the COP and may benefit from assistance of ad hoc panels established by the COP. The CST contributes to distinguishing causal factors, both natural and human, with a view to combating desertification and achieving improved productivity as well as the sustainable use and management of resources. Under the authority of the CST, a Group of Experts was established by the COP with a specific work programme, to assist in improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the CST; this Group of Experts working under the authority of the CST, provides advice on the areas of drought and desertification. The Group of Experts plays an important institutional role, providing the CST with information on the current knowledge, the extent and the impact, the possible scenarios and the policy implications on various themes assigned in its work programme; the results of the work performed by the GoE are recognized and include dissemination of its results on ongoing activities.

The Group of Experts develops and makes available to all interested people information on appropriate mechanisms for scientific and technological cooperation and articulates research projects, which promote awareness about desertification

2019 TBL season

The 2019 TBL season is the second season of The Basketball League after one season as North American Premier Basketball. After the first NAPB season, league president Dave Magley acquired the league as sole owner, moved the headquarters to Indiana, named Evelyn Magley as the new CEO. On July 14, the league was rebranded as The Basketball League. On August 16, 2018, Paul Mokeski was named the commissioner of the league after having served the previous season as head coach and general manager of the Nevada Desert Dogs. During the previous season, four expansion teams were announced for 2019 in the Raleigh Firebirds, San Diego Waves, Tampa Bay Titans, a Bellevue, Washington-based team. After the league rebrand, the Bellevue team, the Ohio Bootleggers, the Vancouver Knights were no longer mentioned as members for the 2019 season; the Basketball League added the Jamestown Jackals from the North American Basketball League and the New York Court Kings from the American Basketball Association. The Nevada Desert Dogs were renamed the Mesquite Desert Dogs and the Kentucky Thoroughbreds were renamed the Owensboro Thoroughbreds.

Upon the 2019 season schedule release, the Rochester Razorsharks were removed from the league. During the season, there were many rescheduled games; the league cut its season short with the New York Court Kings and Kansas City Tornadoes either folding or ceasing operations for the season. Final standings: There were ten teams in the league with the top four teams qualifying for the playoffs; the second place Kansas City Tornadoes elected not to participate in the playoffs. The semifinals were split in a generalized East and West series despite not having divisions during the regular season; each round of the playoffs were played as a best-of-three series. The 2019 player draft for the league was held on December 3, 2018, the league's ten teams took turns selecting players who had all competed at the college level in the United States at some point. Julian Harris of UT Arlington was the first overall TBL selection taken by Raleigh Firebirds. Although some of the players chosen in the draft had played semi-professional or professional basketball after college graduation, only the United States colleges they attended are listed


Knorkator is a German band from Berlin that combines heavy metal with comical elements. They proclaim themselves to be "Germany's most band in the world", as the title "The best band in the world" was taken by Die Ärzte; the name "Knorkator" is a personification of "knorke", a dated adjective used in Berlin and the Ruhr basin meaning "great" or "fabulous". The band was founded in 1994, but only played in the Berlin/Brandenburg area until 1998. Knorkator gained further fame in 2000 with their performance of Ick wer zun Schwein in the German national qualification for the Eurovision Song Contest. After the qualification show, German tabloid BILD notoriously headlined "Wer ließ diese Irren ins Fernsehen?". Knorkator announced the end of the band in a MySpace bulletin on June 14, 2008, the last concert was played on December 5 that year in Berlin; the official reason given for the band's breakup was that Alf Ator wanted to leave Germany to start a new life in Thailand. In autumn 2010 a bulletin by Stumpen announced the bands' reunion.

A first "small" tour followed in April 2011 as well as some concerts at well-known festivals like Wacken Open Air. The tour was called the "77 minutes tour", as the setlist was planned to be 77 minutes long. A digital clock that counted down the minutes was placed on stage to make sure the time limit was not exceeded, their new album "Es werde Nicht" has been released in September 2011, followed by a big tour with concerts of regular length. Knorkator's music can be classified as industrial metal, somewhat akin to White Zombie and Ministry. Knorkator, however features a comedic element. Most songs escalate into falsetto vocals and bombastic, over-the-top anthemic choruses, with crushing guitars and subtle samplers. Due to the amusing message, the band's considerable technical and artistic merit is sometimes overlooked. Knorkator's lyrics are somewhat explicit, but always humorous: "Ich lass mich klonen" deals with the advantages of cloning oneself, hence sparing the effort of masturbation "VIVA Buzz Dee" is a worship-anthem towards guitarist Buzz Dee "Wie weit ist es bis zum Horizont" wonders about the metaphor of the distance to the horizon, but continues to calculate it with equations "Komm wieder her" begins as a lament to a lost love, but it is hinted that the singer only abused this partner to do the chores.

"Weg nach unten" describes a depressed person digging himself into the earth. The main question he deals with is "Where would I come out?" The aptly named "A" only contains the lyrics "A / A / A / A", which are in fact four choruses of a lengthy distorted scream. "Aeger sum" sounds like an ecclesiastic or gregorian choral in Latin, but if one translates the lyrics it is an enumeration of technical terms of illnesses, taken from a medical dictionary. In which a "doctor of philology" presents the results of his 13 years of research: a letter for the bilabial trill to add to the German alphabet. "Absolution" is a song that sounds like a Latin anthem for church but is in fact a collection pseudolatin words that describe sexual acts and genitals. "Schwanzlich willkommen" is about a people in Peru which uses the penis as their symbol for feelings and emotions, rather than the heart. The UN agrees to adopt this metaphor. Most of Knorkator's lyrics are in German, their famous song "Wir werden alle sterben" has been translated into the Arabic language.

The songs in English are extreme covers of well-known hit songs. The song "Buchstabe" is featured as a music video in the 3rd episode of Adult Swim's Off the Air. Knorkator's wild stage shows and appearance are analogously chaotic: half of Stumpen's body is tattooed black, he performs in his goofy underpants. Knorkator are famous for their wild stage shows. Alf Ator has been known to hit the audience with a large foam club, throw toast slices and wet autumn foliage at the crowd. Sometimes a modified shredder was used to distribute shredded vegetables and fruit over the crowd, announced as "vegetarian airway-catering", their live performances are well known for extensive acts of instrument destruction where keyboarder Alf Ator used to deconstruct one or more electronic organs that he had been playing on with a toilet brush or similar before. Singer Stumpen is known for the frequent smashing of TV sets on stage, from which he suffered a glass splinter getting stuck in his thigh that had to be removed by surgery some years and was auctioned on the internet.

In earlier shows, a lot of furniture pieces were placed on the stage which were destroyed during the show by Alf or Stumpen, most

Malfew Seklew

Malfew Seklew was a British Nietzschean known for his promotion of Egoism in the United States. Born in Sheffield in England, as Fred M. Wilkes, his father was a wealthy brewer, he became a clerk at the Nottingham Journal. He became a supporter of first Fabianism, anarchism, claimed to have worked for the newspaper of Kropotkin for a time, he developed an interest in the work of Friedrich Nietzsche and fused this with his other beliefs, creating what he termed an "Egoist-Materialist-Libertarian-Socialist School". He claimed that this combined socialist economics with anarchist politics, ideas from the Social Democratic Federation, science in general, the work of Nietzsche. Though in life he would become a capitalist in economics and would be critical of socialism and communism. Wilkes moved to New York City in 1885, where he began propounded his ideas in street corner speeches. Although he attracted few supporters, his fluent speeches and apparent familiarity with many prominent figures, ensured he attracted large groups to hear him speak.

During this time, he adopted the name "Malfew Seklew", claimed to have stood for Congress. Seklew returned to the UK in about 1900. There, he worked with J. W. Gott on The Truthseeker, propounded his ideas in The Eagle and The Serpent, a journal of which he was associate editor, all while running the Chicago Lunch Bar, he moved to Chicago in 1916. As many of the speakers there described themselves as "professors", he decided to invent a higher title, calling himself Sirfessor Wilkes Barre, he sold copies of a pamphlet consisting of sayings of Mediaeval philosophers, entitled "The Gospel According to Malfew Seklew", supplemented his income by selling other goods, such as cigarette holders. Seklew shared many of his ideas with Ragnar Redbeard, the two shared a property for a time in the 1920s. Seklew took part in a non-stop talking contest in New York in 1928. Although he dropped out on the second day, he attracted attention by describing himself as the "coiner of more new words than any man in the world", as "transcending the wit of Shakespeare".

Around this time, he relocated to the city, continuing to speak publicly on Broadway. In 1934 began squatting in a condemned property on First Avenue.

Red River floods

Various flooding events known as the Red River Flood have occurred in recent history. They refer to floods of the Red River of the North which forms the border between North Dakota and Minnesota and flows north, into Manitoba. Notable floods include: The 1826 Red River flood The 1861 Red River flood The 1882 Red River flood The 1897 Red River flood The 1950 Red River flood The 1966 Red River flood The 1969 Red River flood The 1978 Red River flood The 1979 Red River flood The 1989 Red River flood The 1996 Red River flood The 1997 Red River flood The 1998 Red River flood The 1999 Red River flood The 2001 Red River flood The 2006 Red River flood The 2009 Red River flood The 2010 Red River flood The 2011 Red River flood The 2013 Red River flood The 2015 Red River flood

Helen Day

Helen Alvord Day was an American social worker and child welfare advocate. Day headed children's social service organizations in Chicago and New York City between the 1920s and 1940s. Day grew up in a region of Northern New Jersey, she was a daughter of Stephen D. Day and Elizabeth Martine Day, her great-grandfather was a builder of the Oranges. He served as a New Jersey State Senator, he served as president of the Morris and Essex Railroad. Day graduated from the Beard School in Orange, New Jersey in 1904, she worked as a recreational and playground worker in Orange. During World War I, Day served with the American Red Cross on the Italian Front, she organized stations to feed hungry children on the island of Sicily and in other parts of the country. After the war, Day worked at the nursery of Grace Protestant Episcopal Church in Manhattan, she served as head resident at the Eli Bates House, a settlement house in the Little Sicily neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois. In 1929, Day contributed materials about Little Sicily for sociologist Harvey Warren Zorbaugh's historical work on Chicago.

The book had the title of The Gold Coast and the Slum: A Sociological Study of Chicago’s Near North Side. In 1925, Day began serving as the superintendent of Sheltering Arms in New York City. Founded in 1864, Sheltering Arms housed children whom others had abandoned or rejected because of chronic illnesses or conditions. After Sheltering Arms merged with the New York Foster Home Service, Day assumed the role of associate director of the new organization. During her career, she presented at the National Conference of Social Work. In 1937, she presented a paper on evaluating a child's developmental progress in social welfare institutions, she emphasized preparing the child for transition to community life as a main goal. After retiring in 1945, Day supervised program activities at Sheltering Arms Children's Service, she organized a summer camp at Bantam Lake for children served by the agency. Day helped run other homes for children, she served as assistant director of the Brooklyn Home for Children in New York.

She served as resident director of the Preston House of the Girls Service League