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Emperor Andronikos III

The Byzantine civil war of 1341–47 broke out after the death of Emperor Andronikos III Palaiologos (pictured). As his chief aide and closest friend, John VI Kantakouzenos became regent for the Emperor's young son and heir, John V Palaiologos. While Kantakouzenos was absent from Constantinople, a new regency was established with support from Empress-Dowager Anna of Savoy, which launched a persecution of Kantakouzenos' family and supporters. In response, Kantakouzenos was proclaimed co-emperor at Demotika on 26 October 1341. During the first years of the war, the forces of the new regency prevailed. Most of the cities in Thrace and Macedonia came under regency control, but Kantakouzenos reversed these gains with assistance from the neighbouring rulers of Serbia and the Turkish beyliks. Kantakouzenos was crowned in 1346, and entered Constantinople on 3 February 1347. By agreement, he was to rule for ten years as the senior emperor and regent for John V, until the boy came of age. Despite this apparent victory, a subsequent resumption of the civil war forced Kantakouzenos to retire to become a monk in 1354. The conflict proved disastrous for the Empire, as seven years of warfare, marauding armies, social turmoil, the loss of territory to neighbouring rulers, and the Black Death devastated Byzantium, reducing it to a rump state. (Full article...)

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The installation of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) pipe in a storm drain project in Mexico, photographed in 2012. HDPE is a polyethylene thermoplastic made from petroleum that is known for its high strength to density ratio. It is commonly used in the production of plastic bottles, corrosion-resistant piping, and plastic lumber.

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