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Friday, April 22, 2011

Kate Middleton and Prince William:Things you may not know about

The couple only informed the Queen and the Prince of Wales of their engagement two hours before it was made public.
He asked the permission of Kate's father, Michael Middleton, only after he had proposed.
Prince William informed Prince Harry of the news by saying: "You've got a sister."
Prince William carried his late mother's engagement ring around in a rucksack in Africa for three weeks before proposing to Kate at a conservation park in Kenya.
William proposed next to a remote lake on the slopes of Mount Kenya 12,000 ft above sea level which they reached by helicopter.
6. They stayed at the Lewa Downs nature reserve which is owned by the family of Prince William's close friend Jecca Craig. He went there shortly after his mother's death in 1997 and also spent his gap year there.
The engagement was tempered by the death of Kate's grandfather Peter Middleton, a former airline pilot, last week aged 90.
The first years of their married life will be spent at a farmhouse on the island of Anglesey.
Prince William's star sign is Cancer while Kate's is Capricorn - considered the opposite sign by astrologists.
The couple's nicknames for each other are "Babykins" for Kate and "Big Willie" for William.
Kate prefers to be called Catherine. Her middle name, fittingly, is Elizabeth.
The Prince's middle names are Arthur Philip Louis.
If Kate becomes Queen she will be the first British monarch with a degree. (2:1 History of Art from St Andrews)
She will also be the oldest spinster bride to marry a future king.
She will be the sixth Queen Catherine, after Catherine of Valois, Catherine of Aragon, Kathryn Howard, Katherine Parr and Catherine of Braganza.
The couple's favourite song is "I Like The Way You Move" by the Bodyrockers.
Kate is famed for her sausage and mashed potato suppers.
A horse named Tocatchaprince stormed to victory in the 1pm race at Fakenham two hours after the engagement was announced. His mother is called Queen For A Day.
Prince William claims he tried to impress Kate with his cooking skills at university – although she often had to rescue his attempts.
The couple dressed as Scarlett O'Hara and Rhett Butler for their final May ball at St Andrews University
Prior to dating Prince William, Kate had a relationship with another St Andrews student, Rupert Finch, who is now a lawyer.
Kate was named the prettiest girl at her halls of residence, St Salvador's.
Prince William said he "knew there was something special about her" from the moment they met.
Their first public kiss was on a skiing holiday in Klosters in January 2006.
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Armenia (i /ɑrˈmiːniə/; Armenian: Հայաստան, transliterated Hayastan, IPA: [hɑjɑsˈtɑn]), officially the Republic of Armenia (Հայաստանի Հանրապետություն, Hayastani Hanrapetut’yun, [hɑjɑstɑˈni hɑnɾɑpɛtuˈtʰjun]), is a landlocked mountainous country in the South Caucasus region. Armenia is bordered by Turkey to the west, Georgia to the north, the de facto independent Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and Azerbaijan to the east, and Iran and the Azerbaijani exclave of Nakhchivan to the south.
A former republic of the Soviet Union, Armenia is a unitary, multiparty, democratic nation-state with an ancient and historic cultural heritage. The Kingdom of Armenia was the first state to adopt Christianity as its religion in the early years of the 4th century (the traditional date is 301). The modern Republic of Armenia recognizes the Armenian Apostolic Church as the national church of Armenia, although the republic has separation of church and state.
Armenia is a member of more than 40 international organisations, including the United Nations, the Council of Europe, the Asian Development Bank, the Commonwealth of Independent States, the World Trade Organization, World Customs Organization, the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation, and La Francophonie. It is a member of the CSTO military alliance, and also participates in NATO's Partnership for Peace (PfP) programme. In 2004 its forces joined KFOR, a NATO-led international force in Kosovo. It is also an observer member of the Eurasian Economic Community and the Non-Aligned Movement. The country is an emerging democracy, and is currently in a negotiation process with the European Union, of which it may become an Associate Member in the near future. The Government of Armenia holds European integration as a key priority in its foreign policy as it is considered a European country by the European Union.


Yerevan (Armenian: Երևան or Երեւան, Armenian pronunciation: [jɛɾɛˈvɑn]) is the capital and largest city of Armenia and one of the world's oldest continuously-inhabited cities. Situated along the Hrazdan River, Yerevan is the administrative, cultural, and industrial center of the country. It has been the capital since 1918, the thirteenth in the history of Armenia.
The history of Yerevan dates back to the 8th century BC, with the founding of the fortress of Erebuni in 782 BC by king Argishti I at the western extreme of the Ararat plain. After World War I, Yerevan became the capital of the Democratic Republic of Armenia as thousands of survivors of the Armenian Genocide settled in the area. The city expanded rapidly during the 20th century as Armenia became one of the fifteen republics in the Soviet Union. In fifty years, Yerevan was transformed from a town of a few thousand residents within the Russian Empire, to Armenia's principal cultural, artistic, and industrial center, as well as becoming the seat of national government.
With the growth of the economy of the country, Yerevan has been undergoing major transformation as many parts of the city have been the recipient of new construction since the early 2000s, and retail outlets such as restaurants, shops and street cafes, which were rare during Soviet times, have multiplied.
In 2009, the population of Yerevan was estimated to be 1,111,300 people with the agglomeration around the city regrouping 1,245,700 people (2007 official estimate), more than a third of all the population of Armenia.
Yerevan is named as the 2012 World Book Capital by the UNESCO.


Nafaanra (sometimes written Nafaara, pronounced [nafãːra]) is a Senufo language spoken in northwest Ghana, along the border with Côte d'Ivoire, east of Bondouko. It is spoken by approximately 61,000 people.Its speakers call themselves Nafana; others call them Banda or Mfantera. Like other Senufo languages, Nafaanra is a tonal language. It is somewhat of an outlier in the Senufo language group, with the geographically closest relatives, the Southern Senufo Tagwana-Djimini languages, approximately 200 kilometres (120 mi) to the west, on the other side of Comoé National Park.
The basic word order is Subject Object Verb, similar to Latin and Japanese. Like other Niger-Congo languages it has a noun class system where nouns are classified according to five different genders, which also affects pronouns, adjectives and copulas. The phonology features a distinction between the length of vowels and whether they are oral or nasal (as in French or Portuguese). There are also three distinct tones, a feature shared with the other Senufo languages. Nafaanra grammar features both tense and aspect which are marked with particles. Numbers are mainly formed by adding cardinal numbers to the number 5 and by multiplying the numbers 10, 20 and 100.

Senufo languages

Senufo or Senufic languages (Senoufo in Francophone usage) comprise ca. 15 languages spoken by the Senufo in the north of Côte d'Ivoire, the south of Mali and the southwest of Burkina Faso. An isolated language, Nafaanra, is also spoken in the west of Ghana. The Senufo languages are generally considered a branch of the Gur sub-family of Niger-Congo languages. Garber (1987) estimates the total number of Senufos at some 1.5 million; the Ethnologue, based on various population estimates, counts 2.7 million. The Senufo languages are bounded to the west by Mande languages, to the south by Kwa languages, and to the north and east by Central Gur languages.
The Senufo languages are like Gur languages in that they have a suffixal noun class system and that verbs are marked for aspect. Most Gur languages to the north of Senufo have a two tone downstep system, but the tonal system of the Senufo languages is mostly analysed as a three level tone system (High, Mid, Low).
The Senufo languages have been influenced by the neighbouring Mande languages in numerous ways. Many words have been borrowed from the Mande languages Bambara and Jula. Carlson (1994:2) notes that ‘it is probable that several grammatical constructions are calques on the corresponding Bambara constructions’. Like Mande languages, the Senufo languages have a Subject Object Verb (SOV) constituent order, rather than the Subject Verb Object (SVO) order which is more common in Gur and in Niger-Congo as a whole.

Pulitzer Prize

Pulitzer Prize ( /ˈpʊlɪtsər/) is a U.S. award for achievements in newspaper and online journalism, literature and musical composition. It was established by Hungarian-American publisher Joseph Pulitzer and is administered by Columbia University in New York City.
Prizes are awarded yearly in twenty-one categories. In twenty of these, each winner receives a certificate and a US$10,000 cash award. The winner in the public service category of the journalism competition is awarded a gold medal, which always goes to a newspaper, although an individual may be named in the citation.
Pulitzer Prize does not automatically evaluate all applicable works in the media, but only those that have been entered with a $50 entry fee (one per desired entry category). Entries must fit in at least one of the specific prize categories, and cannot simply gain entrance on the grounds of having general literary or compositional properties.Works can also only be entered into a maximum of two prize categories, regardless of their properties.

National Book Critics Circle Award

National Book Critics Circle Award is an annual award given by the National Book Critics Circle (NBCC) to promote the finest books and reviews published in English.
The main awards fall into six categories: Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Memoir/Autobiography, Biography, and Criticism. Awards are not given to titles that have been previously published in English, such as re-issues and paperback editions. They also do not "consider cookbooks, self help books (including inspirational literature), reference books, picture books or children's books."Titles are, however, eligible to be awarded if they are "translations, short story and essay collections, self published books, and any titles that fall under the general categories above." The NBCC membership elects a 24 person all volunteer Board of Directors to nominate and judge books for the awards and guide all day-to-day activities.
The 2010 winners were announced March 10, 2011.(winners in bold)
Jennifer Egan, A Visit From the Goon Squad (Knopf)
Jonathan Franzen, Freedom (Farrar, Straus And Giroux)
David Grossman, To The End Of The Land (Knopf)
Hans Keilson, Comedy In A Minor Key (Farrar, Straus And Giroux)
Paul Murray, Skippy Dies (Faber & Faber)
Barbara Demick, Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea (Spiegel & Grau)

S.C. Gwynne, Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American (Scribner)
Jennifer Homans, Apollo’s Angels: A History of Ballet (Random
Siddhartha Mukherjee, The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer (Scribner
Isabel Wilkerson, The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration (Random)
Elif Batuman, The Possessed: Adventures with Russian Books and the People Who Read Them (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Terry Castle, The Professor and Other Writings (Harper
Clare Cavanagh, Lyric Poetry and Modern Politics: Russia, Poland, and the West (Yale University Press)

Susie Linfield, The Cruel Radiance (University of Chicago Press)
Ander Monson, Vanishing Point: Not a Memoir (Graywolf)
Sarah Bakewell, How To Live, Or A Life Of Montaigne (Other Press)
Selina Hastings, The Secret Lives Of Somerset Maugham: A Biography (Random House)
Yunte Huang, Charlie Chan: The Untold Story Of The Honorable Detective And His Rendezvous With American History (Norton)
Thomas Powers, The Killing Of Crazy Horse (Knopf)
Tom Segev, Simon Wiesenthal: The Lives And Legends (Doubleday)
Kai Bird, Crossing Mandelbaum Gate Coming of Age Between the Arabs and Israelis, 1956-1978 (Scribner)
David Dow, The Autobiography of an Execution (Twelve)
Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22: A Memoir (Twelve)
Rahna Reiko Rizzuto, Hiroshima in the Morning (Feminst Press)
Patti Smith, Just Kids (Ecco)
Darin Strauss, Half a Life (McSweeney’s)
Anne Carson, Nox (New Directions)
Kathleen Graber, The Eternal City (Princeton University Press) 

Terrance Hayes, Lighthead (Penguin Poets)
Kay Ryan, The Best of It (Grove)
C.D. Wright, One With Others (Copper Canyon)

The Wall Street Journal

Wall Street Journal is an American English-language international daily newspaper. It is published in New York City by Dow Jones & Company, a division of News Corporation, along with the Asian and European editions of the Journal.
The Journal is the largest newspaper in the United States, by circulation. According to the Audit Bureau of Circulations, it has a circulation of 2.1 million copies (including 400,000 online paid subscriptions), as of March 2010, compared to USA Today's 1.8 million. Its main rival, in the business newspaper sector, is the London-based Financial Times, which also publishes several international editions. However, in terms of circulation, India's The Economic Times is the 2nd most circulated business daily, after the Journal.
The Journal primarily covers American economic and international business topics, and financial news and issues. Its name derives from Wall Street, located in New York City, which is the heart of the financial district; it has been printed continuously since its inception on July 8, 1889, by Charles Dow, Edward Jones, and Charles Bergstresser. The newspaper version has won the Pulitzer Prize thirty-three times,including 2007 prizes for its reporting on backdated stock options and the adverse effects of China's booming economy

The New York Times

The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded, and continuously published in New York City, since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization.Its website is the most popular American online newspaper website, receiving more than 30 million unique visitors per month.
Although the print version of the paper remains both the largest local metropolitan newspaper in the United States, as well the third largest newspaper overall, behind The Wall Street Journal and USA Today, its weekday circulation has fallen since 1990 (not unlike other newspapers) to fewer than one million copies daily, for the first time since the 1980s. Nicknamed "The Gray Lady", and long regarded within the industry as a national "newspaper of record", the New York Times is owned by The New York Times Company, which also publishes 18 other regional newspapers including the International Herald Tribune and The Boston Globe. The company's chairman is Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr., whose family has controlled the paper since 1896.
The paper's motto, printed in the upper left-hand corner of the front page, is "All the News That's Fit to Print." It is organized into sections: News, Opinions, Business, Arts, Science, Sports, Style, and Features. The New York Times stayed with the eight-column format for several years after most papers switched to six columns, and it was one of the last newspapers to adopt color photography.
Access to the newspaper’s online content is through a metered paywall. Heavy users (over 20 articles per month) have to purchase digital subscriptions, but access remains free for light users. There are apps to access content for various mobile devices, such as the iPhone and Android devices.

Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times is a daily newspaper published in Los Angeles, California since 1881. It was the second-largest metropolitan newspaper in circulation in the United States in 2008 and the fourth most widely distributed newspaper in the country.
In 1996, the Times started the annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, in association with the University of California, Los Angeles. It has panel discussions, exhibits, and stages during two days at the end of April each year.
Writers and editors
J. A. Adande, sports columnist
Martin Bernheimer, Pulitzer Prize for Criticism in 1982
Bettina Boxall, 2009 Pulitzer Prize
Harry Carr, reporter, columnist, editor
Julie Cart, 2009 Pulitzer Prize
Borzou Daragahi, Beirut bureau chief
Barbara Demick, Beijing bureau chief, author
Bob Drogin, national political reporter
Bill Dwyre, sports editor
Richard Eder, Pulitzer Prize for Criticism in 1987
Helene Elliott, sports journalist
Carl Greenberg, political writer
L. D. Hotchkiss, editor
Philip P. Kerby, Pulitzer Prize for Criticism in 1976
Rick Loomis, reporter, Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting in 2007
Steve Lopez, columnist
Al Martinez, columnist
Usha Lee McFarling, reporter, Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting in 2007
Doyle McManus, Washington bureau chief
Alan Miller, Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting in 2003
J. R. Moehringer, national correspondent, 2000 Pulitzer Prize
Patt Morrison, columnist
Kim Murphy, reporter, 2005 Pulitzer Prize
Jim Murray (1919–1998), sports columnist, 1989 Pulitzer Prize
Sonia Nazario, feature writing, 2003 Pulitzer Prize
Dan Neil, columnist, Pulitzer Prize for Criticism in 2004
Ross Newhan, sports
Jack Nelson, (1929–2009), political reporter, Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting in 1960
Bill Plaschke, sports columnist
Michael Parks, reporter, 1987 Pulitzer Prize
Mike Penner (1957–2009) (Christine Daniels), sportswriter
Alex Raksin, editorial writing, 2002 Pulitzer Prize
Howard Rosenberg, Pulitzer Prize for Criticism in 1985
Kevin Sack, Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting in 2003
Lee Shippey (1884–1969), columnist
David Shaw (1943–2005), Pulitzer Prize for Criticism in 1991
Gaylord D. Shaw, reporter, 1978 Pulitzer Prize
Barry Siegel, feature writing, 2002 Pulitzer Prize
Jack Smith (1916–1996), columnist
Bob Sipchen, editorial writing, 2002 Pulitzer Prize
Bill Stall, editorial writing, 2004 Pulitzer Prize
William Tuohy, Pulitzer Prize
Peter Wallsten, national political reporter
Kenneth R. Weiss, Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting in 2007
David Willman, Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting in 2001
Paul Francis Conrad, Pulitzer Prize in 1964, 1971, 1984
Frank Interlandi (1924–2010)
Michael Patrick Ramirez, Pulitzer Prize in 1994, 2008
Bruce Russell, Pulitzer Prize in 1946

2011 Pulitzer Prize

2011 Pulitzer Prizes were announced on Monday, April 18, 2011. The Los Angeles Times won two prizes, including the highest honor for Public Service. The New York Times also won two awards. No prize was handed out in the Breaking News category. The Wall Street Journal won an award for the first time since 2007. Jennifer Egan's A Visit From the Goon Squad picked up the Fiction prize after already winning the 2010 National Book Critics Circle Award. Photographer Carol Guzy of The Washington Post became the first journalist to win four Pulitzer Prizes. The prizes will be handed out to the recipients at a luncheon in May.
In a December 2010 announcement, three rules changes were revealed for the 2011 Awards. The first allows print and online outlets that publish at least weekly to use a number of media to report the news "including text reporting, videos, databases, multimedia or interactive presentations or any combination of those formats". The second rule change allows up to five people to be named in an award citation; the previous limit was three. The final rule change allows for digital submission of images to the judges in the two photography categories.
Below, the winner(s) in each category are listed first, followed by the finalists.

Interstate Aviation Committee

Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC) (Russian: Межгосударственный авиационный комитет (МАК)) is an executive body overseeing the use and management of civil aviation in the Commonwealth of Independent States. MAK was established in 1991, when 12 states of the former Soviet Union signed the Intergovernmental Agreement on Civil Aviation and Use of Airspace. The committee is headquartered in Moscow, Russia.
The Air Accident Investigation Commission of the Interstate Aviation Committee (MAK) regularly investigates plane crashes in the former Soviet republics.
States served by the IAC include Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan.

Aircraft industry of Russia

Aircraft manufacturing is an important industry sector in Russia, employing around 355,300 people. The dissolution of the Soviet Union led to a deep crisis for the industry, especially for the civilian aircraft segment. The situation started improving during the middle of the first decade of the 2000s due to growth in air transportation and increasing demand. A consolidation programme launched in 2005 led to the creation of the United Aircraft Corporation holding, which includes most of the industry's key companies.
The Russian aircraft industry offers a portfolio of internationally competitive military aircraft such as MiG-29 and Su-30, while new projects such as the Sukhoi Superjet 100 are hoped to revive the fortunes of the civilian aircraft segment. In 2009, companies belonging to the United Aircraft Corporation delivered 95 new fixed-wing aircraft to its customers, including 15 civilian models. In addition, the industry produced over 141 helicopters.
Sukhoi Superjet 100 regional airliner is the first major Russian civilian aircraft whose development was started after 1991. The plane, which first flew in 2008, has been described as the most important and successful civil aircraft program of the Russian aerospace industry. Designed by the United Aircraft Corporation subsidiary Sukhoi in cooperation with foreign partners, all versions of the plane are assembled by Komsomolsk-on-Amur Aircraft Production Association (KnAAPO) in the Russian Far East, while Novosibirsk Aircraft Production Association (NAPO) focuses on component production. The two companies have been heavily investing in upgrading of their facilities, and are expected to produce 70 airframes by 2012.

European Aviation Safety Agency

European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is an agency of the European Union (EU) with offices in Cologne, Germany, which has been given regulatory and executive tasks in the field of civilian aviation safety. It was created on 15 July 2002, and it reached full functionality in 2008, taking over functions of the JAA (Joint Aviation Authorities). EFTA countries have been granted participation in the agency.
The agency’s responsibilities include:
giving advice to the European Union for drafting new legislation;
implementing and monitoring safety rules, including inspections in the Member States;
type-certification of aircraft and components, as well as the approval of organisations involved in the design, manufacture and maintenance of aeronautical products;
authorization of third-country (non EU) operators;
safety analysis and research.
As part of Single European Sky-II the agency have been given more tasks. These will be implemented before 2013. Amongst other things, EASA will now be able to certify Functional Airspace Blocks if more than three parties are involved.

Sukhoi Superjet 100

Sukhoi Superjet 100 is a modern, fly-by-wire regional jet in the 75- to 95-seat category. With development starting in 2000, the plane was designed by the civil aircraft division of the Russian aerospace company Sukhoi in cooperation with Western partners. Its maiden flight was conducted on 19 May 2008, and the plane received its Interstate Aviation Committee certification in January 2011 with European Aviation Safety Agency certification expected in mid-2011. On 21 April 2011, the Superjet 100 performed its first commercial passenger flight on the Armavia route from Yerevan to Moscow.
Designed to compete internationally with its Embraer and Bombardier counterparts, the Superjet 100 aims for substantially lower operating costs at the price of $23–$25 million. With over 200 orders secured by early 2011, the Superjet 100 is widely regarded as the most important project of the Russian civilian aircraft industry and the project enjoys substantial support from the Russian government.
The final assembly of the plane is done by Komsomolsk-on-Amur Aircraft Production Association, its SaM-146 engines are designed and produced by the French-Russian PowerJet joint-venture, and the plane is marketed internationally by SuperJet International.
On 21 April 2011, the first commercial flight of Sukhoi Superjet 100 (SN 95007) by Armavia airline landed at Sheremetyevo International Airport, Moscow at 4.45 AM MSK (00.45 GMT), carrying 90 passengers from Zvartnots International Airport, Yerevan. The flight took about 2 hours and 55 minutes.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

List of airports in California

List of airports in California (a U.S. state), grouped by type and sorted by location. It contains all public-use and military airports in the state. Some private-use and former airports may be included where notable, such as airports that were previously public-use, those with commercial enplanements recorded by the FAA or airports assigned an IATA airport code.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Vietnam Railways

The railway system in Vietnam is operated by the state-owned Vietnam Railways (Đường sắt Việt Nam). The principal route is the thousand-mile single track North-South Railway line, running between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. This was built at the metre gauge in the 1880s during the French colonial rule. There are also standard gauge lines running from Hanoi to the People’s Republic of China, eventually leading to Beijing, and some mixed gauge in and around Hanoi.

Notwithstanding the poor state of the country’s road network, the railway system does not make a great contribution to the national transport infrastructure, carrying only about 7% of all freight. The 30 to 40-hour passenger trip between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City is undertaken by few, although visitor resorts such as Huế, Hội An, and Nha Trang lie along the route and generate some tourist traffic. Following the Sino-Vietnamese War of 1978 some travel restraints are still in place in the border region and the usage of the lines north and east of Hanoi is curtailed as a result. The Ho Chi Minh City–Hanoi line is poorly maintained and the engineering infrastructure, much damaged by war, has even now received only temporary repair in many places. In addition, the center of the country is subject to violent annual flooding and bridges are often swept away, causing lengthy closures.
Vietnam Railways also planned a 1,630-kilometre (1,013 mi) high-speed standard gauge[5]link from its capital Hanoi in the north to Ho Chi Minh City in the south, capable of running at 250 to 300 km/h (155 to 186 mph). The funding of the $33 billion line was to come mostly from the Vietnamese government, with the help of Japanese aid. The current single track line has journey times from just under thirty hours, and initially this would be cut to less than nine hours. From there, a speedup to 5 hours (300 km/h/186 mph max) by 2025 is planned. The Vietnamese prime minister has set a target to complete the line by 2013, three years sooner than the previously announced nine year construction time. In May 2010, this plan was rejected by the government.

Railway accidents in Vietnam

Railway accidents in Vietnam are common. According to statistics released by national railway company Vietnam Railways, 451 railway accidents were reported across the country's railway network in 2010, having caused 211 deaths and 284 injuries. A joint Japanese-Vietnamese evaluation team reported in 2007 that the poor state of railway infrastructure was the fundamental cause for most railway accidents, of which the most common types were train crashes against vehicles and persons, especially at illegal level crossings; derailments caused by failure to decrease speed were also noted as a common cause of accidents. As of 2010, around 90% of all railway accidents occurred at level crossings without safety fences, and most were said to have been caused by motorists failing to follow traffic safety laws. One researcher from Villanova University reported that, on average, one accident occurred on Vietnam's railways every day.
Along with recent efforts aimed at infrastructure rehabilitation, the recent adoption of safety measures by Vietnam Railways has led to a decline in railway accidents. These measures include: public awareness campaigns on railway safety in the media; construction of fences and safety barriers at critical level crossings in major cities; mobilization of volunteers for traffic control at train stations and level crossings, especially during holiday seasons; the installation of additional auto-signal systems; and the construction of flyovers and underpasses to redirect traffic.

Monarchy of the United Kingdom

Monarchy of the United Kingdom (commonly referred to as the British monarchy) is the constitutional monarchy of the United Kingdom and its overseas territories. The present monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, has reigned since 6 February 1952. She and her immediate family undertake various official, ceremonial and representational duties. As a constitutional monarch, the Queen is limited to non-partisan functions such as bestowing honours, dissolving Parliament and appointing the Prime Minister. Though the ultimate executive authority over the government of the United Kingdom is still by and through the monarch's royal prerogative, in practice these powers are only used according to laws enacted in Parliament or within the constraints of convention and precedent.
The British monarchy traces its origins from the Kings of the Angles and the early Scottish Kings. By the year 1000, the kingdoms of England and Scotland had developed from the petty kingdoms of early medieval Britain. The last Anglo-Saxon monarch (Harold II) was defeated and killed in the Norman invasion of 1066 and the English monarchy passed to the Norman conquerors. In the thirteenth century, the principality of Wales was absorbed by England, and Magna Carta began the process of reducing the political powers of the monarch.
From 1603, when the Scottish King James VI inherited the English throne as James I, both kingdoms were ruled by a single monarch. From 1649 to 1660, the tradition of monarchy was broken by the republican Commonwealth of England that followed the War of the Three Kingdoms. The Act of Settlement 1701, which is still in force, excluded Roman Catholics, or those married to Catholics, from succession to the English throne. In 1707, the kingdoms of England and Scotland were merged to create the Kingdom of Great Britain and, in 1801, the Kingdom of Ireland joined to create the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. The British monarch became nominal head of the vast British Empire, which covered a quarter of the world's surface at its greatest extent in 1921.
In the 1920s, five sixths of Ireland seceded from the Union as the Irish Free State, and the Balfour Declaration recognised the evolution of the dominions of the empire into separate, self-governing countries within a Commonwealth of Nations. After the Second World War, the vast majority of British colonies and territories became independent, effectively bringing the empire to an end. George VI and his successor, Elizabeth II, adopted the title Head of the Commonwealth as a symbol of the free association of its independent member states.
The Commonwealth includes both republics and monarchies. At present, fifteen other Commonwealth countries share with the United Kingdom the same person as their monarch. The terms British monarchy and British monarch are frequently still employed in reference to the person and institution shared amongst all sixteen of the Commonwealth realms, and to the distinct monarchies within each of these independent countries, often at variance with the different, specific, and official national titles and styles for each jurisdiction.