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In the spring of 1940, an emboldened Germany asserted itself as a modern conqueror of nations, successfully invading and occupying six countries in fewer than 100 days. In April 1940, Germany invaded Denmark, which capitulated in a mere six hours. At the same time, Nazi warships and troops were entering Norwegian waters, attacking ships and landing troops, starting a conflict that would last for two months. On May 10, more than 2 million German troops on land and in the air invaded France, Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands using blitzkrieg tactics. The smaller countries fell within weeks, but France held on until June 22, when it signed an armistice with Germany. Also during this period, the Soviet Union initiated staged elections in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, forcefully annexing them. By the end of the summer, German forces were digging in, building up, and planning for the Battle of Britain. An aircraft spotter on the roof of a building in London, England, with St. Paul's Cathedral in the background. French soldiers load a piece of artillery in a wood somewhere in the Western Front on May 29, 1940. The shell will be fired into the Nazi-occupied sector of the soldiers' homeland. A crowd of women, children and soldiers of the German Wehrmacht give the Nazi salute on June 19, 1940, at an unknown location in Germany.

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view World War II: Axis Invasions and the Fall of France as presented by: The Atlantic


The center of aircrafts display “Kubinka” in the Moscow region has just turned 75. To celebrate such a date the best aerobatic teams of Russia came to participate in the show.

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view Iron Birds In the Sky as presented by: English Russia


Southwest of Sri Lanka in the Laccadive Sea lies a paradise like no other, the island country of the Maldives. The Republic of the Maldives consists of twenty-six atolls in an area spanning 90,000 square kilometers (34,749 square miles). The Maldives are popular for their picture-perfect lush islands ringed by gorgeous white sand beaches. The tiny country is the smallest in Asia both in land mass and population (309,000 people). It also has the lowest high point of any country in the world at 2.3 meters (7 feet 7 inches) and because of this the rising sea level threatens its very existence. All total, the Maldives consists of roughly 1,190 coral islands, only 185 of which are inhabited. The islands were discovered as a tourist destination in the 1970s and today tourism accounts for just under 30% of the country’s GDP. A range of accommodation for any budget can be found on the Maldives, and the country’s capital city of Male is home to an international airport.

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view Maldives as presented by: Beautiful Places To Visit



"It was one of those images that demanded more investigation," says photographer and film maker Andrew Zuckerman of a photo of a macaw that he had shot for his first book, CREATURE. So for his latest project, Zuckerman focused his lenses on birds. "Imagery of birds is found in all ancient art and has been repeatedly used throughout history—I was curious if I could add something to this tradition." The result is the new book BIRD from Chronicle Books, a collection of avian photographs stunning for their brilliant simplicity. Here, DISCOVER presents some high-flying highlights. From the plebeian pigeon to the rarest bird of all. The Spix's macaw, or the little blue macaw, may be the most endangered bird in the world. The last remaining member of its species known to be living in the wild, a lone male, was discovered in Brazil in 1990, but it has not been seen since 2000. Approximately 120 individuals now survive in captive breeding programs. Fifty of these are kept in the Al Wabra Wildlife Preservation in Qatar where Andrew captured them on film. This scarlet macaw is found in the subtropical rainforests of Central and South America. Individual birds can grow up to three feet in length, with nearly half that length consisting of long, tapered tail feathers. here's something special in a blue feather. Unlike feathers of other colors, which are pigmented, bright blue feathers, like these on the vulturine guineafowl, are the result of nanoscale structures in the feather barbs. Microscopic air cavities within the feather barbs are arranged just so to allow coherent light scattering, creating a blue hue. Green feathers are typically the result of a combination of blue structural color and yellow pigments.

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view Stunning High-Speed Photos of Birds as presented by: Discover Magazine


Cities in southern and eastern Germany are on high alert as heavy floodwaters swell rivers including the Elbe. In Halle, an appeal has gone out to residents to help reinforce flood defences while Dresden is preparing for water levels 5m higher than normal. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has promised 100m euros (£78m; $130m) in emergency aid for flood-hit areas. Water levels were hitting the highest level in more than 500 years. A street is flooded in the city of Stadtroda, Germany, 31 May 2013. Most of the eastern German state of Thuringia remains under a severe weather alert. The town hall of Grimma in eastern Germany's Saxony region is isolated 3 June 2013 from neighbouring old town centre buildings by floodwater after the River Mulde burst its banks following days of torrential rain in the area.

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view OMG WE'RE ALL GOING TO DROWN!! as presented by: GigaPica


The stunning Verdon Gorge is a river canyon in the southeastern section of France. The gorge is home to the Verdon River, known for its starling turquoise waters. The Verdon Gorge is a limestone canyon over 15 miles (25 kilometers) long and up to 2,297 feet (700 meters) deep. The canyon is a popular rock climbing, kayaking, hiking, and sight-seeing destination. Either side of Verdon Gorge is easily accessed, and a car ride around the rim is a lovely way to spend a day. The largest nearby towns with the most services and accommodations are Grasse and Aix-en-Provence, with several other smaller towns in the vicinity.

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view Verdon Gorge, France as presented by: Beautiful Places To Visit


Muammar Qaddafi has been killed in fighting in Sirte, according Libya's National Transitional Council. Anti-government fighters had been closing in on Qaddafi's final stronghold in Sirte, and reportedly attacked a convoy carrying the former leader today, capturing him. Qaddafi was apparently alive at the time, but died soon afterward. The uprising that began in February and built to an armed revolution has now claimed control of the country, the death of Qaddafi, and the capture of one of his sons today. Collected here are images from Sirte over the past ten days, and of the events surrounding the death of Qaddafi. See also How Qaddafi Fooled Libya and the World by Max Fisher. A tattered banner depicting Muammar Qaddafi hangs from a building during a street battle in the center of the city on October 12, 2011 in Sirte, Libya, eight days before the reports of the death of the former leader. National Transitional Council (NTC) fighters say this is the final assault on Muammar Qaddafi's home town as they captured the main hospital, university and the Ouagadougou Conference Center. Libyan refugees in Tunisia celebrate after hearing news that Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi was killed in Sirte, outside their embassy in Tunis October 20, 2011. People react during the funeral of a rebel killed in the Sirte by pro-Qaddafi forces in Benghazi, on October 13, 2011.

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view Libya: The End of Qaddafi and the Fall of Sirte as presented by: The Atlantic


Vladimir Putin, the 58-year-old former president and current prime minister of Russia, has cultivated a distinct public image over the past several years. The politician has piloted firefighting planes, darted whales, driven race cars, and even taken a submersible 1,400 meters (4,600 ft) below the surface of Lake Baikal. Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin swims the butterfly during his vacation outside the town of Kyzyl in Southern Siberia on August 3, 2009. Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin rides a horse in Karatash area near the town of Abakan while on a working trip to Khakassia, Russia 25 February 2010. Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin during test driving a Renault F 1 race car on a track outside St. Petersburg, Russia, 07 November 2010.

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