Saturday, 9 February 2013
The 1800's to the 1900's
For centuries man had dreamed of capturing the sounds and music of his environment. Many had attempted it but no one had succeeded until Thomas Alva Edison discovered a method of recording and playing back sound. What had started out as an apparatus intended as part of an improved telephone led to the development of an instrument which would change the world, making it a happier, even a better, place to live. Here are the facts, in reverse order:
1878 Edison considered the use of compressed amplifiers to overcome the problem of lack of replay volume. The Englishmen, Horace Short and C.A. Parsons (the steam turbine expert) succeeded in perfecting the compressed air amplifiers known as Auxetophones but they were eventually used for other purposes.
1884 Emile Berliner, an American of German origin, recorded The Lords Prayer on an Edison cylinder machine. The original recording is preserved by the BBC in London.
1886 Edison was granted US patent 341 214 for a wax coated recording cylinder. This signified the beginning of the end of the tin foil coated cylinder.
1887 Berliner developed a successful method of modulating the sound-carrying groove laterally in the surface of a disc. (The groove on cylinders was modulated vertically.) He also invented a method of mass producing copies of an original recorded disc.
1888 Jesse Lippincott, a financier, took over the commercial exploitation of the Phonograph and the Graphophone as dictating machines on a lease and service contract. The Graphophone had been developed by Edisons rivals, Chichester Bell (the brother of Alexander Graham Bell) and Charles Tainter at the Volta laboratory and in terms of ease of operation and fidelity of sound reproduction it was a vast improvement on the phonograph. The use of either machine as an entertainment medium was still seen as a novelty.
1889 Coin-in-the slot public access replay facilities, a primitive form of juke box, which could be used in amusement arcades, became immensely popular in the US creating a demand for entertainment recordings, mainly comic monologues.
1890 Edisons Phonograph and the Bell-Tainter Graphophone were in intense competition for the popular market. The Phonograph was beginning to prove the more popular, and the New York Phonograph Company opened the first purpose-built recording studios.
1894 Pathe Freres started the world famous French company making phonographs and cylinders.
1895 By now recorded music as a medium of entertainment had become firmly established with the public. The demand for recordings provided the incentive for research and investment in the infant record business.
1896 Eldridge R. Johnson designed and manufactured a clockwork spring motor which helped establish F. Seamans National Gramophone Company of New York as a serious rival to the Phonograph and the Graphophone Companies.
1900 E.R. Johnson first used the his masters voice trademark
As the 1900's began, the variety of music genre began to grow exponentially it seems. Ragtime, big band, jazz, folk, blues, crooning, scat, country/western, funk, be bop, rock, southern rock, disco, punk, break dance, hip-hop, techno, acid jazz, progressive, alternative, house music and many other types and variables were formed. Rock and country/western spawned southern rock. Progressive and jazz combined to form acid jazz. After disco came break dancing which then followed with hip-hop, techno and house music. So as the instruments and supporting technology changed, the way we expressed ourselves with music also seems to have changed.
Thursday, 31 January 2013
Qatar is an independent and sovereign State situated in the midway of the Western coast of the Arabian Gulf having a land and maritime boundary with Saudi Arabia, and also maritime boundaries with Bahrain, United Arab Emirates and Iran. The State of Qatar with its arid desert climate extends over a Peninsula of about 200 Kilometers long and 100 Kilometers wide covering a total area of 11850 square Kilometers including a number of Islands and Islets. Its the richest country in the world by capita 88,222 dollars a year for 1.8 million people.
Historically, the Peninsula of Qatar witnessed various cultures and civilizations in various phases in the history of mankind even during the Stone Age or Neolithic period. A recent discovery on the edge of an Island in the West of Qatar indicates the human presence during this period of pre-historic period. Discovery of a 6th millennium BC site at Shagra, in the South-east of Qatar revealed the key role the sea (Gulf) played in the lives of Shagra’s inhabitants. Excavation at Al-Khore in the North-east of Qatar, Bir Zekrit and Ras Abaruk and the discovery of pottery and Flint, Flint-scraper tool, Rim of painted ceramic and vessels there indicates Qatar’s connection with the Al-Ubaid civilization which flourished in the land between the Tigris and the Euphrates during the period of 5th –4th millennium BC. There had also been barter trade system between the settlements at Qatar and the Ubaid Mesopotamia and the exchange of commodities were mainly pottery and dried fish. Qatar has lived through the Bronze age, ruled by the Ottomans, Kassite empire, the Greeks, Romans, The Sasanid empire, an Islamic period, the Umayyad and the Abbasid period, A Portuguese era in the 16th century, the Bani Khalid era and The British empire in the 1800's.
The Modern history of Qatar began in the early 18th century; when the present Al-Thani ruling family of Qatar, which originated from the Al-Maadhid (a branch of Bani Tamim) tribe of Ushaiqir in the province of Al-Washm of Nejd, arrived in the southern part of Qatar. In the middle of the 18th century the family moved to the northern part of Qatar that is Zubara, Ruwais and Fuwairat.During the 1950s and 1960s gradually increasing oil revenues brought prosperity, rapid immigration, substantial social progress, and the beginnings of Qatar's modern history. When the U.K. announced a policy in 1968 (reaffirmed in March 1971) of ending the treaty relationships with the Persian Gulf sheikdoms, Qatar joined the other eight states then under British protection (the seven trucial sheikdoms—the present United Arab Emirates--and Bahrain) in a plan to form a union of Arab emirates. By mid-1971, as the termination date of the British treaty relationship (end of 1971) approached, the nine still had not agreed on terms of union. Accordingly, Qatar declared independence as a separate entity and became the fully independent State of Qatar on September 3, 1971. In February 1972, the Heir Apparent, Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani, deposed his cousin, Ahmed bin Ali Al Thani, and assumed power. Key members of the Al Thani family supported this move, which took place without violence or signs of political unrest. On June 27, 1995, the Deputy Emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa, deposed his father Khalifa bin Hamad in a bloodless coup. An unsuccessful counter-coup was staged in 1996. The Emir and his father are now reconciled, though some supporters of the counter-coup remain in prison. The Emir announced his intention for Qatar to move toward democracy and has permitted a freer and more open press and municipal elections as a precursor to expected parliamentary elections. Qatari citizens approved a new constitution via public referendum in April 2003, which came into force in June 20
The future is looking even better for qatar after a better than expected 2006 Asian games Qatar has been given the 2022 FIFA World cup and will bid for the 2024 Olympic games.
Thursday, 24 January 2013
Sirius is the brightest star in the night sky. With a visual apparent magnitude of −1.46, it is almost twice as bright as Canopus, the next brightest star. The name "Sirius" is derived from the Ancient Greek: Σείριος Seirios ("glowing" or "scorcher"). The star has the Bayer designation Alpha Canis Majoris (α CMa). What the naked eye perceives as a single star is actually a binary star system which in turn is connected and rotates with our own sun, consisting of a white main-sequence star of spectral type A1V, termed Sirius A, and a faint white dwarf companion of spectral type DA2, called Sirius B. The distance separating Sirius A from its companion varies between 8.1 and 31.5 AU
Sirius appears bright because of both its intrinsic luminosity and its proximity to Earth. At a distance of 2.6 parsecs (8.48 ly), as determined by the Hipparcos astrometry satellite, the Sirius system is one of Earth's near neighbors; for Northern-hemisphere observers between 30 degrees and 73 degrees of latitude (including almost all of Europe and North America), it is the closest star (after the Sun) that can be seen with a naked eye. Sirius is gradually moving closer to the Solar System, so it will slightly increase in brightness as it moves closer.
Sirius A is about twice as massive as the Sun and has an absolute visual magnitude of 1.42. It is 25 times more luminous than the Sun but has a significantly lower luminosity than other bright stars such as Canopus or Rigel. The system is between 200 and 300 million years old. It was originally composed of two bright bluish stars. The more massive of these, Sirius B, consumed its resources and became a red giant before shedding its outer layers and collapsing into its current state as a white dwarf around 120 million years ago. Sirius is also known colloquially as the "Dog Star", reflecting its prominence in its constellation, Canis Major (Greater Dog). The heliacal rising of Sirius marked the flooding of the Nile in Ancient Egypt and the "dog days" of summer for the ancient Greeks, while to the Polynesians it marked winter and was an important star for navigation around the Pacific Ocean.
Tuesday, 1 January 2013
RWE AG (until 1990: Rheinisch-Westfälisches Elektrizitätswerk AG), is a German electric utilities company based in Essen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Through its various subsidiaries, the energy company supplies electricity, water and gas to more than 20 million electricity customers and 10 million gas customers and 27 million water ccustomers principally in Europe. RWE is the second largest electricity producer in Germany. RWE previously owned American Water, the United States' largest investor-owned water utility, but this was divested in 2008. Subsidiary RWE Dea produces some of the oil and gas its parent sells (annual production is around 2 million m3 of crude oil (about 365,000 boe) and 3 billion m3 of natural gas (about 18 million boe, 49,300 boe a day). It's the largest German investor in Egypt (RWE Dea and RWE Power do business in Egypt). Also RWE has begun building more wind farms, a renewable energy business
Fuel mix disclosure
RWE produced in 2007 electricity from the following sources: 32.9% hard coal, 35.2% lignite, 1.1% pumped storage, 2.4% renewables, 13.6% gas and 14.9% Nuclear power. In total, the company produced 324.3 TWh of electricity in 2007, which makes it the 2nd largest electricity producer in Europe, after EdF. Electricity production at the German branch of RWE had in 2006 the following environmental implications: 700 µg/kWh radioactive waste and 752 g/kWh CO2 emissions. In 2010 the company was responsible for 164.0 MTon of CO2, In 2007 the company ranked between the 28th and the 29th place of emitters by country.
The company was founded in Essen in 1898 as Rheinisch-Westfälisches Elektrizitätswerk Aktiengesellschaft (RWE). It first power station started operating in Essen in 1900. In 1900 the local municipalities together owned the majority of the company. In 2003 Dr Dietmar Kuhnt was succeeded by Harry Roels as CEO of the company and then in 2007 Dr. Juergen Grossmann took over. In July 2012, Peter Terium took over as CEO. On August 14, 2012 RWE AG announced that the company will cut 2,400 more jobs to reduce costs. Previously the company has announced to eliminate 5,000 jobs and 3,000 jobs through divestments as anticipated of closing all nuclear reactors by 2022.
RWE subsidiaries include:
RWE Power AG
RWE Deutschland AG
RWE Dea AG
RWE Supply & Trading
RWE umwelt - environment, waste and water
RWE Innogy (new Renewables Company, from February 2008)
RWE Thames - Water
Tuesday, 25 December 2012
Christmas is supposed to be a commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ celebrated on December 25 by billions of people around the world, but somewhere along the line a fat guy in a red suit called father christmas was invented, then the christmas tree introduced to England by Queen victorias husband Albert, followed by the giving and recieving of presents. A feast central to the Christian liturgical year, it closes the Advent season and initiates the twelve days of Christmastide. Christmas is a civil holiday in many of the world's nations, is celebrated by an increasing number of non-Christians, and is an integral part of the Christmas and holiday season.
The precise year of Jesus' birth, which some historians place between 7 and 2 BC, is unknown. By the early-to-mid 4th century, the Western Christian Church had placed Christmas on December 25, a date later adopted in the East. The date of Christmas may have initially been chosen to correspond with the day exactly nine months after early Christians believed Jesus to have been conceived, as well as the date of the southern solstice (i.e., the Roman winter solstice), with a sun connection being possible because Christians consider Jesus to be the "Sun of righteousness" prophesied in Malachi 4:2, but many reports have said that Jesus was born in June and it took 6 months for all 3 kings to arrive. The original date of the celebration in Eastern Christianity was January 6, in connection with Epiphany, and that is still the date of the celebration for the Armenian Apostolic Church and in Armenia, where it is a public holiday. As of 2012, there is a difference of 13 days between the modern Gregorian calendar and the older Julian calendar. Those who continue to use the Julian calendar or its equivalents thus celebrate December 25 and January 6 on what for the majority of the world is January 7 and January 19. For this reason, Ethiopia, Russia, Ukraine, Serbia, the Republic of Macedonia, and the Republic of Moldova celebrate Christmas on what in the Gregorian calendar is January 7; all the Greek Orthodox Churches celebrate Christmas on December 25.
The popular celebratory customs associated in various countries with Christmas have a mix of pre-Christian, Christian and secular themes and origins. Popular modern customs of the holiday include gift giving, Christmas music and caroling, an exchange of Christmas cards, church celebrations, a special meal, and the display of various Christmas decorations, including Christmas trees, Christmas lights, nativity scenes, garlands, wreaths, mistletoe, and holly. In addition, several closely related and often interchangeable figures, known as Santa Claus, Father Christmas, Saint Nicholas and Christkind, are associated with bringing gifts to children during the Christmas season and have their own body of traditions and lore. Because gift-giving and many other aspects of the Christmas festival involve heightened economic activity among both Christians and non-Christians, the holiday has become a significant event and a key sales period for retailers and businesses, the earth is being stripped and mined then processed into all the gadgets that are mostly designed to break within a year of buying. The economic impact of Christmas is a factor that has grown steadily over the past few centuries in many regions of the world. In the Uk over 70,000 elderly will be spending it on there own and half of them wont be able to afford christmas dinner or gas to heat their homes and in the developing world none of the above will be seen or could be afforded.
Thursday, 13 December 2012
The Pacific Islands comprise 20,000 to 30,000 islands in the Pacific Ocean and are mainly owned or colonized by the British, US and the French. The islands are also sometimes collectively called Oceania, although Oceania is sometimes defined as also including Australasia and the Malay Archipelago.
Three of the major groups of islands in the Pacific Ocean. The Pacific Islands lying south of the tropic of Cancer are traditionally grouped into the three divisions of Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia: Melanesia means black islands. These include New Guinea (the largest Pacific island and second largest island in the world after Greenland, which is divided into the sovereign nation of Papua New Guinea and the Indonesian provinces of Maluku, Papua and West Papua), New Caledonia, Zenadh Kes (Torres Strait Islands), Vanuatu, Fiji, and the Solomon Islands.
Micronesia means small islands. These include the Marianas, Guam, Wake Island, Palau, the Marshall Islands, Kiribati, *Nauru, and the Federated States of Micronesia. Most of these lie north of the equator. Polynesia means many islands. These include New Zealand, the Hawaiian Islands, Rotuma, the Midway Islands, Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, the Cook Islands, Wallis and Futuna, Tokelau, Niue, French Polynesia, and Easter Island. It is the largest of the three zones.
The region's islands are classified into two groups, high islands and low islands. Volcanoes form high islands, which generally can support more people and have a more fertile soil. Low islands are reefs or atolls, and are relatively small and infertile. Melanesia, the most populous of the three regions, contains mainly high islands, while most of Micronesia and Polynesia are low islands. In addition, there are many other islands located within the boundaries of the Pacific Ocean that are not considered part of Oceania. These islands include the Galápagos Islands of Ecuador; the Aleutian Islands in Alaska, United States; the Russian islands of Sakhalin and Kuril Islands; Taiwan and other islands of the Republic of China; the Philippines; islands in the South China Sea, which includes the disputed South China Sea Islands; most of the islands of Indonesia; and the island nation of Japan, which comprises the Japanese Archipelago.
Nauru (along with Kiribati's Banaba island) could be counted as somewhat of an exception. The indigenous Nauruans are both a mosaic and mixture of groups from all three categories- with cultural influence stemming primarily from Micronesia. The island was also said to be an extreme point of the "Tongan Empire" and may as a result share subtle cultural and, obviously, historical aspects with Polynesia. Lastly, the people speak a language and have a number of genes not in common with any of the three regions. Of the three, Nauru is least like Polynesia and Melanesia and for practical applications, Nauru is either assigned to Micronesia or designated as a separate entity (with the former being the most common).
Friday, 30 November 2012
The years 1100's to the 1800's
This is a list of the commercially relevant genres in modern and old music. Music has been around since the human discovered he could make a sound by hitting something, as time went on we improved and came up with new ways of making man made sounds, from roughly the 1100's up until the 1800's it was manly Classical, orchestral and opera music.
European music is largely distinguished from many other non-European and popular musical forms by its system of staff notation, in use since about the 16th century. Western staff notation is used by composers to prescribe to the performer the pitch, speed, meter, individual rhythms and exact execution of a piece of music. The term "classical music" did not appear until the early 19th century, in an attempt to "canonize" the period from Johann Sebastian Bach to Beethoven as a golden age. The earliest reference to "classical music" recorded by the Oxford English Dictionary is from about 1836.
The classical years
he major time divisions of classical music are the early music period, which includes Medieval (500–1400) and Renaissance (1400–1600), the Common practice period, which includes the Baroque (1600–1750), Classical (1750–1830) and Romantic (1804–1949) periods, and the modern and contemporary period, which includes 20th century (1900–2000) and contemporary (1975–current). The dates are generalizations, since the periods overlapped and the categories are somewhat arbitrary. For example, the use of counterpoint and fugue, which is considered characteristic of the Baroque era, was continued by Haydn, who is classified as typical of the Classical period. Beethoven, who is often described as a founder of the Romantic period, and Brahms, who is classified as Romantic, also used counterpoint and fugue, but other characteristics of their music define their period. The prefix neo is used to describe a 20th century or contemporary composition written in the style of an earlier period, such as Classical or Romantic. Stravinsky's Pulcinella, for example, is a neoclassical composition because it is stylistically similar to works of the Classical period.
Historical timeline of important events in musical history
1360 - Guillaume de Machaut composes Messe de Nostre Dame, the first complete polyphonic ordinary of the mass
1483 - Johannes Ockeghem completes Requiem
1501 - publication of Harmonice Musices Odhecaton by Ottaviano Petrucci, the first printed collection of polyphonic music
1538 - printing of the first Protestant hymn-book, Ein Hubsch new Gesangbuch; publication of the first book of madrigals by Maddalena Casulana, the first printed book of music by a woman in European history.
1580 - Appearance of three Fantasias for viol consort by William Byrd. Founding of Concerto delle donne under the direction of Luzzasco Luzzaschi: Consisting of women voices, this group becomes a significant part of Alfonso II d'Este's court entertainment.
1597 - John Dowland's First Book of Lute Songs; Dafne, the first known opera
1664 - Heinrich Schutz completes Weihnachtstorie
1685 - Birth of: Johann Sebastian Bach and Georg Friedrich Häendel (German composers, organists and harpsichordists); Domenico Scarlatti, Italian composer and harpsichordist
1710 - Agrippina by Handel, premieres in Venice
1711 - Rinaldo by Handel, premieres in London, the first all-Italian opera performed in London
1720 - Rinaldo by Handel, premieres in London, the first all-Italian opera performed in London
1722 - Johann Sebastian Bach finishes the Book I from The Well-Tempered Clavier, Traité de l'harmonie by Jean-Philippe Rameau causes a revolution in music theory.
1723 - Vivaldi composes The Seasons
1724 - Giulio Cesare by George Frideric Handel premières in London, Johann Sebastian Bach presents his St John Passion
1725 - publication of Twelve concerti, Op. 8 by Antonio Vivaldi, including the Four Seasons - Death of Alessandro Scarlatti, Italian composer
1741 - Bach's Goldberg Variations are published
1742 - première of Messiah by George Frideric Handel, in Dublin
1749 - Bach's Mass in B Minor premiere
1750 - Johann Sebastian Bach dies, Antonio Salieri born
1756 - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart born
1759 - George Frideric Handel dies
1770 - Ludwig van Beethoven born
1785 - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart composes his Piano Concerto No. 21
1787 - Mozart's Don Giovanni
1789 - Mozart's Così fan tutte
1791 - Mozart's Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute); death of Mozart
1795 - First Beethoven Piano Sonatas written
1797 - Birth of Franz Schubert, Austrian composer and pianist and Domenico Gaetano Maria Donizetti, Italian opera composer
Thursday, 29 November 2012
January January 23 – Iran–European Union relations: The European Union adopts an embargo against Iran in protest of that nation's continued effort to enrich uranium.
February February 1 – At least 79 people were killed and more than 1,000 were injured after a football match in Port Said, Egypt. February 6 – The Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II marks the 60th anniversary of her accession to the thrones of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, and the 60th anniversary of her becoming Head of the Commonwealth. February 15 – A fire at a prison in Comayagua, Honduras kills 360. February 19 – Iran suspends oil exports to Britain and France following sanctions put in place by the European Union and the United States in January. February 21 – Greek government debt crisis: Eurozone finance ministers reach an agreement on a second, €130-billion Greek bailout. February 27 – Arab Spring: As a result of ongoing protests, Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh is succeeded by Vice President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Al-Hadi.
March March 4 – A series of explosions are reported at a munitions dump in Brazzaville, the capital of the Republic of the Congo, with at least 250 people dead. March 13 – After 244 years since its first publication, the Encyclopædia Britannica discontinues its print edition. March 22 – The President of Mali, Amadou Toumani Touré, is ousted in a coup d'état after mutinous soldiers attack government offices.
April April 6 – The National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad unilaterally declares the independence of Azawad from Mali. April 12 – Mutinous soldiers in Guinea-Bissau stage a coup d'état and take control of the capital city, Bissau. They arrest interim President Raimundo Pereira and leading presidential candidate Carlos Gomes Júnior in the midst of a presidential election campaign. April 13 – Kwangmyŏngsŏng-3, a North Korean Earth observation satellite, explodes shortly after launch. The United States and other countries had called the impending launch a violation of United Nations Security Council demands. The launch was planned to mark the centenary of the birth of Kim Il-sung, the founder of the republic. April 26 – Former Liberian President Charles Taylor is found guilty on 11 counts of aiding and abetting war crimes and crimes against humanity during the Sierra Leone Civil War.
May May 2 – A pastel version of The Scream, by Norwegian painter Edvard Munch, sells for US$120 million in a New York City auction, setting a new world record for an auctioned work of art. May 12 – August 12 – The 2012 World Expo takes place in Yeosu, South Korea. May 22 – Tokyo Skytree, the tallest self-supporting tower in the world at 634 metres high, is opened to public.
June June 5–6 – The century's second and last solar transit of Venus occurs. The next pair are predicted to occur in 2117 and 2125. June 24 Shenzhou 9, a Chinese spacecraft carrying three Chinese astronauts, including the first-ever female one, docked manually with an orbiting module Tiangong 1, first time as the country, making them as the third country, after the United States and Russia, to successfully perform the mission. Lonesome George, the last known individual of the Pinta Island Tortoise subspecies, dies at a Galapagos National Park, thus making the subspecies extinct.
July July 4 – CERN announces the discovery of a new particle with properties consistent with the Higgs boson after experiments at the Large Hadron Collider. July 27 – August 12 – The 2012 Summer Olympics are held in London, United Kingdom, costing over £25 billion. July 30–31 – In the worst power outage in world history, the 2012 India blackouts leave 620 million people without power.
August August 6 – Curiosity, the Mars Science Laboratory mission's rover, successfully lands on Mars. August 31 Researchers successfully perform the first implantation of an early prototype bionic eye with 24 electrodes. Armenia severs diplomatic relations with Hungary, following the extradition to Azerbaijan and subsequent pardoning of Ramil Safarov, who was convicted of killing an Armenian soldier in Hungary in 2004. The move is also met with fierce criticism from other countries.
September September 7 – Canada officially cuts diplomatic ties with Iran by closing its embassy in Tehran and ordered the expulsion of Iranian diplomats from Ottawa, over support for Syria, nuclear plans and human rights abuses. September 11 – 27 – A series of terrorist attacks are directed against United States diplomatic missions worldwide, as well as diplomatic missions of Germany, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. In the US, opinions are divided over whether the attacks are a reaction to a Youtube trailer for the film Innocence of Muslims. In Libya, among the dead is US ambassador J. Christopher Stevens.
October October 14 – Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner becomes the first person to break the sound barrier without any machine assistance during a record space dive out of the Red Bull Stratos helium-filled balloon from 24 miles (39 kilometers) over Roswell, New Mexico in the United States. October 24 – 30 – Hurricane Sandy kills at least 209 people in the Caribbean, Bahamas, United States and Canada. Considerable storm surge damage causes major disruption to the eastern seaboard of the United States, NY subways and roads are flooded and half are without power.
November November 14 – Israel launches Operation Pillar of Defense on Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, killing Hamas military chief Ahmed Jabari. In the following weeks 133 Palestinians are killed and 5 Israelis in rocket attacks by the Palestinians.
December December 21 – The Mesoamerican Long Count calendar, notably used by the pre-Columbian Mayan civilization among others, completes a "great cycle" of thirteen b'ak'tuns (periods of 144,000 days each) since the Mesoamerican creation date of the calendar's current era. December 31 – The first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol ends
Sunday, 21 October 2012
The first written account of this country and people is found in the fifth book of Cæsar's "Commentarii de Bello Gallico. On the Lower Moselle and its tributaries dwelt at that time (53 B.C.) the powerful race of the Treviri, who, in alliance with the people under their protection (for example the Eburones under Ambiorix), at first gave the Romans great trouble, but they were soon compelled to yield to superior numbers and gradually attained the highest civilization. Under Emperor Constantine (323-337) Trier (Augusta Trevirorum) became the capital of the province Belgica prima, and later the residence of the prefects of Gaul. The Christian Faith was introduced at a very early period. Since 316 the town was the see of a bishop. As more than half of the subsequent Duchy of Lorraine belonged for centuries to the Diocese of Trier, it is a logical conclusion that the Christianization of the Ardennes proceeded principally from there. During the Germanic migration the north-eastern provinces of the Roman Empire suffered greatly. Devastated and depopulated, they were occupied by the victorious Franks. In the division of Charlemagne's empire (843) the provinces in question fell to the share of the Emperor Lothair. In the middle of the tenth century (963?) the feudal lord, Siegfried, who held rich possessions in the Forest of Ardennes, acquired the Castellum Lucilini (supposed to have been built by the Romans) with the lands in its vicinity, and styled himself Graf von Lützelburg. From the marriage of this great and good man descended Empress Saint Cunigunde, wife of Henry II, the Saint."
"The last of Siegfried's male descendents, Conrad II, died about 1126. His dominions passed first to the counts of Namur and subsequently to Ermesinde, who reigned from 1196 to 1247. She was especially noted for the impulse she gave to religious life by the foundation of monasteries. Her son and successor, Henry V (1247-81), showed the influence of his noble mother. He took part in Saint Louis's crusade against Tunis. His successor, Henry VI, remained until nearly 1288 at war near Woringen. His wife, Beatrice, had borne him two sons, both of whom attained the highest honours and excellence: Baldwin, afterwards Archbishop of Trier, and Henry, who obtained the Roman imperial crown as Henry VII (1309). The advancement of the reigning family brought no advantage to the country, as the counts wandered farther and farther from home, and concerned themselves only with the affairs of the Empire or the Kingdom of Bohemia. They endeavoured to compensate for this in a measure by raising Luxemburg to a duchy, but could not prevent part of it from crumbling away and the whole (1444) falling to Burgundy by conquest. From the House of Valois, which became extinct on the death of Charles the Bold, in 1477, the country passed to Austria, and was subject to the Spanish Habsburgs (1556-1714); then to the German Habsburgs (1714-95), and finally to the French (until 1814)."
After the overthrow of Napoleon, better times began for Luxemburg. The Congress of Vienna decided that as an appendage of the newly created Kingdom of the Netherlands with the rank of grand duchy, it should become a part of the German Confederation. June 9, 1815, after 400 years of domination by various European nations, Luxembourg was made a grand duchy by the Congress of Vienna. It was granted political autonomy in 1838 under King William I of the Netherlands, who also was the Grand Duke of Luxembourg. The country considers 1835 to be its year of independence. In 1867, Luxembourg was recognized as independent and guaranteed perpetual neutrality. After being occupied by Germany in both World Wars, however, Luxembourg abandoned neutrality and became a charter member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in 1949.
The present sovereign, Grand Duke Henri, succeeded his father, Grand Duke Jean on October 7, 2000. Grand Duke Jean announced his decision to abdicate in December 1999, after a 35 year reign.
Since the end of World War II, the Christian Social Party (CSV) has usually been the dominant partner in governing coalitions. The Roman Catholic-oriented CSV resembles Christian Democratic parties in other west European countries and enjoys broad popular support. However, in June 1999, national elections ushered in a new government. For the first time since 1974, the Socialist Party (LSAP) ceded its junior coalition position with the long-reigning CSV majority to the Liberal Democrat Party (DP).
The DP is a center party, drawing support from the professions, merchants, and urban middle class. Like other west European liberal parties, it advocates both social legislation and minimum government involvement in the economy. It also is strongly pro-NATO. In the opposition since 1984, the DP had been a partner in the three previous consecutive coalition governments.
The Green Party has received growing support since it was officially formed in 1983. It opposes both nuclear weapons and nuclear power and supports environmental and ecological preservation measures. This party generally opposes Luxembourg's military policies, including its membership in NATO.
National elections are held at least every 5 years and municipal elections every 6 years. In the June 1999 parliamentary elections, the CSV won 19, the DP 15, the LSAP 13, the ADR (a single-issue party that emerged from the LSAP focused on pension rights) 6, the "Greens" 5, and the PCL 1. Hence, for the first time since 1974, the Socialists (LSAP) ceded their junior coalition position with the long-reigning Christian Socialist (CSV) majority to the Liberal Democrats. Jean-Claude Juncker (CSV) remained for a second 5-year term as Prime Minister, and Lydie Polfer (DP), the former Luxembourg City mayor, was named Vice Prime Minister and Foreign Minister.
The language of Luxembourg is Luxembourgish, a blend of Dutch, old German, and Frankish elements. The official language of the civil service, law, and parliament is French, although criminal and legal debates are conducted partly in Luxembourgish and police case files are recorded in German. German is the primary language of the press. French and German are taught in the schools, with German spoken mainly at the primary level and French at the secondary level. Luxembourg is the 2nd richest country per capita, at $81,500 per person and has been for many years due to many banks and financial institutes being drawn to Luxembourg.
Tuesday, 9 October 2012
Tax avoidance is the legal utilization of the tax regime to one's own advantage, to reduce the amount of tax that is payable by means that are within the law. The term tax mitigation is not however a synonym for tax avoidance. Its original use was by tax advisors as an alternative to the pejorative term tax avoidance. The term has also been used in the tax regulations of some jurisdictions to distinguish tax avoidance foreseen by the legislators from tax avoidance which exploits loopholes in the law. The United States Supreme Court has stated that "The legal right of an individual to decrease the amount of what would otherwise be his taxes or altogether avoid them, by means which the law permits, cannot be doubted." Tax evasion, on the other hand, is the general term for efforts by individuals, corporations, trusts and other entities to evade taxes by illegal means. Both tax avoidance and evasion can be viewed as forms of tax noncompliance, as they describe a range of activities that are unfavorable to a state's tax system.
The world’s best offshore banking and banking services can be found in the best tax havens. In the best tax havens, offshore banking can be achieved in a tax free environment. Offshore banking can be done by both individuals and corporations in some of the best tax havens available. This includes Cyprus, Luxembourg, Panama, Anguilla, Gibraltar, Dominica, Nevis, the Bahamas and Seychelles among others. Any interest earned by offshore bank accounts in the best tax havens has no taxed imposed. This guarantees the growth of capital invested in the offshore banks.
Offshore banking secrecy is synonymous with offshore tax havens. In fact it is banking secrecy which led to an increase in offshore banking clients in most offshore tax havens of the world. Banking secrecy laws simply provides protection for the information on offshore bank accounts. In the best tax havens where banking secrecy laws have been passed, the laws prohibit the disclosure of information in offshore bank accounts. Exceptions are made if a court order is handed down. Persons who divulge information of offshore bank accounts will have committed a criminal offense and are liable to serve a prison term and or pay monetary fines.
Without a doubt, an offshore tax haven provides clients with a safe place for asset protection. Many offshore clients choose to go offshore to protect their assets from prying hands and eyes. The best offshore tax havens, when utilized properly, can help investors and offshore clients reduce on their tax liabilities. When choosing an offshore tax haven it wise for offshore clients to choose a tax haven which will protect their privacy. In the best tax havens the governments work together with other authorities to ensure that the tax haven remains free from criminal activities such as money laundering.
Tax avoidance reduces government revenue and brings the tax system into disrepute, so governments need to prevent tax avoidance or keep it within limits. The obvious way to do this is to frame tax rules so that there is no scope for avoidance. In practice this has not proved achievable and has led to an ongoing battle between governments amending legislation and tax advisors' finding new scope for tax avoidance in the amended rules. To allow prompter response to tax avoidance schemes, the US Tax Disclosure Regulations (2003) require prompter and fuller disclosure than previously required, a tactic which was applied in the UK in 2004. Some countries such as Canada, Australia and New Zealand have introduced a statutory General Anti-Avoidance Rule (or General Anti-Abuse Rule, GAAR). Canada also uses Foreign Accrual Property Income rules to obviate certain types of tax avoidance. In the United Kingdom, there is no GAAR, but many provisions of the tax legislation (known as "anti-avoidance" provisions) apply to prevent tax avoidance where the main object (or purpose), or one of the main objects (or purposes), of a transaction is to enable tax advantages to be obtained. In the United States, the Internal Revenue Service distinguishes some schemes as "abusive" and therefore illegal.
In the UK, judicial doctrines to prevent tax avoidance began in IRC v Ramsay (1981) followed by Furniss v. Dawson (1984). This approach has been rejected in most commonwealth jurisdictions even in those where UK cases are generally regarded as persuasive. After two decades, there have been numerous decisions, with inconsistent approaches, and both the Revenue authorities and professional advisors remain quite unable to predict outcomes. For this reason this approach can be seen as a failure or at best only partly successful. In the judiciary, different judges have taken different attitudes. As a generalisation, for example, judges in the United Kingdom before the 1970s regarded tax avoidance with neutrality; but nowadays they may regard aggressive tax avoidance with increasing hostility.
In the UK in 2004, the Labour government announced that it would use retrospective legislation to counteract some tax avoidance schemes, and it has subsequently done so on a few occasions, notably BN66. Initiatives announced in 2010 suggest an increasing willingness on the part of HMRC to use retrospective action to counter avoidance schemes, even when no warning has been given.
The super rich get away with not paying any or little tax because some of them get payed only in Gold, some give a few million to charities and others buy people gifts, thus getting away with it