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Politics is the process and method of gaining or maintaining support for public or common action, the conduct of decision-making for groups. Although it is usually applied to governments, political behavior is also observed in corporate, academic, religious, and other institutions. Political science is the field devoted to studying political behavior and examining the acquisition and application of power, or the ability to impose one's will on another. Its practitioners are known as political scientists. Political scientists look at elections, public opinion, institutional activities (how legislatures act, the relative importance of various sources of political power), the ideologies behind various politicians and interest groups, how politicians achieve and wield their influence, and so on.

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John Edward Brownlee

The John Brownlee sex scandal occurred in 1934 in Alberta, Canada, and forced the resignation of Premier John Edward Brownlee. Brownlee was accused of seducing Vivian MacMillan, a family friend and a secretary for Brownlee's attorney-general, in 1930 when she was eighteen years old, and continuing the affair for three years. MacMillan claimed that the married premier had told her that she must have sex with him for his own sake and that of his invalid wife. She had, she testified, relented after physical and emotional pressure. Brownlee called her story a fabrication, and suggested that it was the result of a conspiracy by MacMillan, her would-be fiancé, and several of Brownlee's political opponents in the Alberta Liberal Party. MacMillan and her father sued Brownlee for seduction. After a sensational trial in June 1934, the six man jury found in favour of the plaintiffs, awarding them $10,000 and $5,000, respectively. In an unusual move, trial judge William Ives disregarded the jury's finding and dismissed the case. The Supreme Court of Canada eventually overturned the decision and awarded MacMillan $10,000 in damages. This award was affirmed by the Judicial Committee of the British Privy Council, Canada's highest court of appeal at the time. All of this, however, was largely academic to Brownlee, who resigned after the jury's finding. During the next election, his United Farmers of Alberta were wiped out of the legislature, failing to retain a single seat.

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Cuban missiles.jpg
Credit: United States Air Force

Photo taken by a Lockheed U-2 spy plane of the San Cristobal MRBM launch site in Cuba, November 1962, after the Cuban Missile Crisis. Although this image was taken days after the crisis had ended (October 28), this image has become iconic of the crisis to the point where it is often cited incorrectly as having been taken during the crisis.

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Selected biography

Nguyen Ngoc Tho was the first Prime Minister of South Vietnam, serving from November 1963 to late January 1964. Tho was appointed to head a civilian cabinet by General Duong Van Minh's military junta, which came to power after overthrowing and assassinating Ngo Dinh Diem, the nation's first president. Tho's rule was marked by a period of confusion and weak government, as the Military Revolutionary Council and the civilian cabinet vied for power. Tho oversaw South Vietnam's failed land reform policy, and was accused of lacking vigour in implementing the program because he was a large landowner. He was noted for his faithful support of Diem during the Buddhist crisis that ended the rule of the Ngo family. Despite being a Buddhist, Tho staunchly defended the regime's pro-Catholic policies and its violent actions against the Buddhist majority. Tho lost his job and retired from politics when Minh's junta was deposed in a January 1964 coup by General Nguyen Khanh.

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