Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Li Keqiang

Li Keqiang (born 1 July 1955) is the Premier of the People's Republic of China and party secretary of the State Council. In his capacity as Premier, Li is China's head of government as well as the leading figure behind its economic policy. He is also the second ranked member of the CPC Politburo Standing Committee, the de facto highest decision-making body of the country. From 2008 to 2013 Li served as the Executive Vice-Premier under then-Premier Wen Jiabao. During this tenure, Li's official portfolio included economic development, price controls, finance, climate change, and macroeconomic management. 
Li rose through the party ranks through the Communist Youth League. From 1998 to 2004, Li served as the Governor of Henan and the province's Party secretary, and then the Liaoning party secretary, an office that made him first-in-charge in that province. Li is a leading figure of the "fifth generation" (Xi-Li Administration) of Communist Party leadership.
Early Life
Li Keqiang was born on 1 July 1955 in Dingyuan County, Anhui Province. His father was a local official in Anhui. Li graduated from high school in 1974, during the Cultural Revolution, and was sent for rural labour in Fengyang County, Anhui, where he eventually joined the Communist Party of China and made his way to becoming the party head of the local production team. He was awarded with the honour of Outstanding Individual in the Study of Mao Zedong Thought during this time.
He refused his father's offer of grooming him for the local county's party leadership and entered the School of Law at Peking University, where he received his LLB and became the Chairman of the University's Student Council. He would go on to acquire a PhD in Economics. In 1980 he became the Communist Youth League Secretary at Peking University. He entered the top leadership of the Communist Youth League (CYL) in 1982 as a member of its Secretariat, and has worked closely with current General Secretary Hu Jintao, who also rose through the ranks of the CYL, ever since. Li became the organization's General Secretary in 1993, and served until 1998. He is a representative member of the first generation to have risen from the CYL leadership.
Personal Life
Li is married to Cheng Hong, a professor at Capital University of Economics and Business in Beijing. His father-in-law was once the vice-secretary of the Communist Youth League Central Committee. 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Uhuru Kenyatta

Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta (born 26 October 1961) is a Kenyan politician who was elected as President of Kenya in March 2013. Uhuru Kenyatta is also an accused suspect for crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court at the Hague, Netherlands. He has served in the government of Kenya as Deputy Prime Minister since 2008 and was also the Member of Parliament for Gatundu South Constituency. Kenyatta also served as Chairman of Kenya African National Union (KANU), which was a part of the Party of National Unity (PNU).

Kenyatta is the son of Jomo Kenyatta, Kenya's first president (1964–1978). His origin in Kenya's Kikuyu tribe has played a key role in his political life. His name, Uhuru, is Swahili for "freedom". He attended St Mary's School in Nairobi. From there he went on to study political science at Amherst College in the United States.

Nominated to Parliament in 2001, he became Minister for Local Government under President Daniel arap Moi and, despite his political inexperience, was favored by President Moi as his successor; Kenyatta ran as KANU's candidate in the December 2002 presidential election, but lost to opposition candidate Mwai Kibaki by a large margin. He subsequently became Leader of the Opposition in Parliament. He backed Kibaki for re-election in the December 2007 presidential election and was named Minister of Local Government by Kibaki in January 2008, before becoming Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Trade in April 2008 as part of a coalition government.
Subsequently Kenyatta was Minister of Finance from 2009 to 2012, while remaining Deputy Prime Minister. Accused by the International Criminal Court (ICC) of committing crimes against humanity in relation to the violent aftermath of the 2007 election, he resigned as Minister of Finance on 26 January 2012.

Pope Francis I

Francis (born Jorge Mario Bergoglio on 17 December 1936) is the 266th and current pope of the Catholic Church, elected on 13 March 2013. As such, he is both head of the Church and Sovereign of the Vatican City State.
A native of Buenos Aires, Argentina, he was ordained as a priest in 1969. He served as head of the Society of Jesus in Argentina from 1973 to 1979. In 1998 he became the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, and in 2001 a cardinal. Following the resignation of his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, on 28 February 2013, the conclave elected Bergoglio, who chose the papal name Franciscus in honour of Saint Francis of Assisi. He is the first pope to be a Jesuit, to come from the Americas, and to come from the Southern Hemisphere. Francis is the first non-European pope since St. Gregory III, who died in 741.
Early Life
Jorge Mario Bergoglio was born in Buenos Aires, one of the five children of Mario José Bergoglio, a railway worker born in Portacomaro (Province of Asti) in Italy's Piedmont region, and his wife Regina María Sívori, a housewife born in Buenos Aires to a family of northern Italian (Piedmontese-Genoese) origin. Bergoglio has been a supporter of the San Lorenzo de Almagro football club since his childhood.
He graduated from the technical secondary school Escuelas Técnicas No. 27, Hipólito Yrigoyen with the qualification of chemical technician. According to some sources (not including the Vatican), he earned a master's degree in chemistry from the University of Buenos Aires. At the age of 21, he decided to become a priest and began his religious studies, being eventually ordained in 1969. In the only known health crisis of his youth, he suffered from life-threatening pneumonia and cysts and had part of a lung removed shortly afterwards. According to Ukrainian Catholic Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, Bergoglio was mentored by Salesian Ukrainian Greek Catholic priest Stefan Czmil and knows the Byzantine liturgy well.