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The Elfstedentocht (Dutch pronunciation: [ɛlf'steːdə(n)tɔxt]; West Frisian: Alvestêdetocht [ɔlvəˈstɛːdətɔχt], English: Eleven cities tour) is a long-distance tour skating event on natural ice, almost 200 kilometres (120 mi) long, which is held both as a speed skating competition (with 300 contestants) and a leisure tour (with 16,000 skaters). It is held in the province of Friesland in the north of the Netherlands, leading past all eleven historical cities of the province. The tour is held at most once a year, only when the natural ice along the entire course is at least 15 centimetres (6 in) thick; sometimes on consecutive years, other times with gaps that may exceed 20 years. When the ice is suitable, the tour is announced and starts within 48 hours.
- "Elfstedentocht" | 2021-02-08 | 295 Upvotes 124 Comments
Hague Invasion Act
The American Service-Members' Protection Act (ASPA, Title 2 of Pub.L. 107–206 (text) (pdf), H.R. 4775, 116 Stat. 820, enacted August 2, 2002) is a United States federal law that aims "to protect United States military personnel and other elected and appointed officials of the United States government against criminal prosecution by an international criminal court to which the United States is not party." Introduced by U.S. Senator Jesse Helms (R-NC) and U.S. Representative Tom DeLay (R-TX) it was an amendment to the 2002 Supplemental Appropriations Act for Further Recovery From and Response to Terrorist Attacks on the United States (H.R. 4775). The amendment passed 75-19 (S.Amdt 3597.) The bill was signed into law by U.S. President George W. Bush on August 2, 2002.
- "The Hague Invasion Act" | 2022-05-19 | 13 Upvotes 10 Comments
- "Hague Invasion Act" | 2021-06-12 | 40 Upvotes 12 Comments
Malaysia Airlines Flight 17
Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 (MH17/MAS17) was a scheduled passenger flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur that was shot down on 17 July 2014 while flying over eastern Ukraine. All 283 passengers and 15 crew were killed. Contact with the aircraft, a Boeing 777-200ER, was lost when it was about 50 km (31 mi) from the Ukraine–Russia border, and wreckage of the aircraft fell near Hrabove in Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine, 40 km (25 mi) from the border. The shoot-down occurred in the War in Donbas in an area controlled by pro-Russian rebels.
The responsibility for investigation was delegated to the Dutch Safety Board (DSB) and the Dutch-led joint investigation team (JIT), who concluded that the airliner was downed by a Buk surface-to-air missile launched from pro-Russian separatist-controlled territory in Ukraine. According to the JIT, the Buk that was used originated from the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade of the Russian Federation and had been transported from Russia on the day of the crash, fired from a field in a rebel-controlled area and the launch system returned to Russia afterwards. The findings by the DSB and JIT are consistent with the earlier claims by American and German intelligence sources and claims by the Ukrainian government. On the basis of the JIT's conclusions, the governments of the Netherlands and Australia held Russia responsible for the deployment of the Buk installation and were pursuing legal routes as of May 2018. The Russian government denied involvement in the shooting down of the airplane, and its account of how the aircraft was shot down has varied over time. Coverage in Russian media has also differed from that in other countries.
This was Malaysia Airlines' second aircraft loss during 2014, after the disappearance of Flight 370 on 8 March, and is the deadliest airliner shoot-down incident to date.
A Stolperstein (pronounced [ˈʃtɔlpɐˌʃtaɪn] (listen); plural Stolpersteine; literally "stumbling stone", metaphorically a "stumbling block") is a sett-size, ten-centimetre (3.9 in) concrete cube bearing a brass plate inscribed with the name and life dates of victims of Nazi extermination or persecution.
The Stolpersteine project, initiated by the German artist Gunter Demnig in 1992, aims to commemorate individuals at exactly the last place of residency—or, sometimes, work—which was freely chosen by the person before he or she fell victim to Nazi terror, euthanasia, eugenics, deportation to a concentration or extermination camp, or escaped persecution by emigration or suicide. As of December 2019, 75,000 Stolpersteine have been laid, making the Stolpersteine project the world's largest decentralized memorial.
The majority of Stolpersteine commemorate Jewish victims of the Holocaust. Others have been placed for Sinti and Romani people (then also called "gypsies"), homosexuals, the physically or mentally disabled, Jehovah's Witnesses, black people, members of the Communist Party, the Social Democratic Party, and the anti-Nazi Resistance, the Christian opposition (both Protestants and Catholics), and Freemasons, along with International Brigade soldiers in the Spanish Civil War, military deserters, conscientious objectors, escape helpers, capitulators, "habitual criminals", looters, and others charged with treason, military disobedience, or undermining the Nazi military, as well as Allied soldiers.
- "Stolperstein" | 2022-06-18 | 445 Upvotes 170 Comments