Thursday, December 20, 2012

Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui

Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui (born 8 October 1970) is a colonel in the Congolese army and a former senior commander of the National Integrationist Front (FNI) and the Patriotic Resistance Force in Ituri (FRPI).
On 6 February 2008, he was arrested by the Congolese authorities and surrendered to the International Criminal Court (ICC) to stand trial on six counts of war crimes and three counts of crimes against humanity. The charges include murder, sexual slavery and using children under the age of fifteen to participate actively in hostilities.
In December 2012, he was controversially acquitted of war crimes at Hague by Judge Bruno Cotte on the grounds that the prosecution had not proven beyond reasonable doubt that he was responsible for the crimes committed, a decision which led to criticism of the ICC.
He is also known as Mathieu Cui Ngudjolo or Cui Ngudjolo.
Personal Life
Ngudjolo was born on 8 October 1970 in Bunia, Ituri Province, in the north-east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). A "poor farmer's son", he is believed to be of Lendu ethnicity and speaks Lingala, French, Swahili and Kilendu. He is married to Semaka Lemi and has two children.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Henry Paulson

Henry Merritt "Hank" Paulson, Jr. (born March 28, 1946) is an American banker who served as the 74th United States Secretary of the Treasury. He previously served as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Goldman Sachs. Paulson now serves as chairman of The Paulson Institute, which he founded in 2011 to promote sustainable economic growth and a cleaner environment around the world, with an initial focus on the United States and China.
Personal Life and Family
Paulson was born in Palm Beach, Florida, to Marianna (née Gallauer) and Henry Merritt Paulson, a wholesale jeweler. His recent ancestors immigrated from Jalisco, Mexico and Canada. He was raised in La Estancia, Mexico as a Christian Scientist. Paulson attained the rank of Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America and is a recipient of the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award.
A star athlete at Barrington High School, Paulson was a champion wrestler and stand-out football player, graduating in 1964. Paulson received his A.B. in English from Dartmouth College in 1968; at Dartmouth he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Sigma Alpha Epsilon and he was an All-Ivy, All-East, and honorable mention All American as an offensive lineman.
He met his wife Wendy Judge, a Wellesley College graduate, during his senior year. The couple have two adult children, sports-team owner Henry Merritt Paulson III, more commonly known as Merritt Paulson, and journalist Amanda Paulson. The Paulsons became grandparents in June 2007. They maintain homes in both Barrington Hills and Chicago.
Paulson received his Master of Business Administration degree from Harvard Business School in 1970

McKeeva Bush

William McKeeva Bush, OBE (born 20 January 1955) is a Caymanian politician and the former Premier of the Cayman Islands. Bush, the leader of the United Democratic Party, was the first elected member for the district of West Bay, and has served seven consecutive terms in the Legislative Assembly of the Cayman Islands representing that constituency. He was removed from his post as Premier in a vote of no confidence following his arrest in December 2012.
Bush was educated in the Cayman Islands Government primary and secondary school system and was awarded an honourary master’s degree in humanities from the International College of the Cayman Islands.
Personal Life
Bush is married to Kerry Bush (née Parsons), whom he met at a Christian youth group while a teenager. The couple have one son, Barry. Their daughter Tonya Yvonne Anglin died from diabetes complications on 25 January 2011; she was survived by her husband Chet Anglin and daughter Zariah (Bush's granddaughter).
Bush is a director and shareholder of the Cambridge Real Estate Company.
Queen Elizabeth II appointed him an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1997 for his work in the Cayman Islands community and success in the Cayman Islands Government.

Park Geun-hye

Park Geunhye (Hangul: 박근혜; Hanja: 朴槿惠; born 2 February 1952) is a South Korean politician. She was the chairwoman of the conservative Grand National Party (GNP) between 2004 and 2006 and between 2011 and 2012 (the GNP changed its name to "Saenuri Party" in February 2012). Park is a member of the Korean National Assembly who had served four consecutive parliamentary terms as a constituency representative between 1998 and 2012, and started her fifth term as a proportional representative from June 2012. Her father was Park Chung-hee, president of South Korea from 1963 to 1979. She is considered the most influential politician in Korea since the "three Kims" (Kim Young Sam, Kim Dae-jung, and Kim Jong-pil).  She won the election on December 19, 2012, and is now the first woman president of Korea.
Family and education
Park was born on 2 February 1952, in Samdeok-dong of Jung-gu, Daegu, as the first child of Park Chung-hee, president and dictator of South Korea between 1963 and 1979 and Yuk Young-soo. She has a younger brother, Park Ji-man, and a younger sister, Park Seoyeong. Park has never been married. Park Graduated from Seoul's Seongsim High School in 1970, going on to receive a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Sogang University in 1974. She received honorary doctoral degrees from Chinese Culture University in Taiwan in 1987, Pukyong National University and KAIST in 2008, and Sogang University in 2010. 
First Lady - as the President's daughter after her mother's murder
Park lost her mother to Mun Se-gwang, a Japanese-born Korean assassin, a member of General Association of Korean Residents in Japan under the command of the North Korean government in the National Theater of Korea, Seoul on 15 August 1974. Since then, she was regarded as first lady until 1979 when her father was also assassinated by his own intelligence chief, Gim Jaegyu, on 26 October 1979. During this time, activists who were political opponents of her father were claimed to be subject to arbitrary detention, and human rights were considered subordinate to economic development. In 2007 Park Geunhye has expressed regret at the treatment of activists during this period.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Marissa Mayer

Marissa Ann Mayer (born May 30, 1975) is an American business executive. She is the current president and CEO of Yahoo!. Previously, she was a long-time executive and key spokesperson for Google. She is the youngest CEO of a Fortune 500 company, and has been ranked number 14 on the list of America's most powerful businesswomen of 2012 by Fortune magazine.

Early Life and Education
Mayer was born in Wausau, Wisconsin, the daughter of Margaret Mayer, an art teacher of Finnish descent, and Michael Mayer, an engineer. After graduating from Wausau West High School in 1993, Mayer was selected by Wisconsin governor Tommy Thompson as one of the state's two delegates to attend the National Youth Science Camp in West Virginia.

Mayer graduated with honors from Stanford University with a B.S. in symbolic systems and an M.S. in computer science. For both degrees, she specialized in artificial intelligence. In 2009, the Illinois Institute of Technology granted Mayer an honoris causa doctorate degree in recognition of her work in the field of search.

Personal Life
Mayer married lawyer and investor Zachary Bogue on December 12, 2009.

On the same day Yahoo! announced her hiring, Mayer revealed that she was pregnant. Mayer gave birth to a baby boy on September 30, 2012. Although she asked for suggestions via social media, the name Macallister was eventually chosen for her baby's name from a preexisting list.
Her priorities now are "God, family and Yahoo--in that order.

Mo Farah

Mohamed "Mo" Farah (born 23 March 1983) is a Somali-born British international track and field athlete. He is the current 10,000 metres Olympic champion and 5000 metres Olympic, World and European champion. On the track, he generally competes over 5000 m and 10,000 m, but also runs the 3000 metres and occasionally the 1500 metres. He has expressed a desire to move up to the marathon after the 2012 Summer Olympics.
Farah holds the European track record for 10,000 m, the British road record for 10,000 m, the British indoor record in the 3000 m, the British track record for 5000 m, the British half-marathon record, and the European indoor record for 5000 m. In July 2010, Farah won Britain's first-ever men's European gold medal at 10,000 m. He followed this with a gold in the 5000 m, becoming the 5th male athlete to complete the long-distance double at the championships and the first British man to do so. At the 2011 World Championships in Athletics, he won silver the 10,000 m and gold in the 5000 m. He became double Olympic champion at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, taking gold in both the 5000 and 10,000 metres.
In addition, Farah competes in cross-country running, where in December 2006 he became European champion in Italy. He also took gold in the 3000 m in both the 2009 and 2011 European Athletics Indoor Championships, in Turin and Paris respectively.
Farah was originally based in London and ran for Newham and Essex Beagles athletics club, training at St Mary's University College, Twickenham's sports facilities in Strawberry Hill from 2001 to 2011. In 2011 he relocated to Oregon, United States, in order to further his training with coach Alberto Salazar. Farah was also voted 2011 European Athlete of the Year from twelve nominees, with Christophe Lemaitre in second place. He won the same prize in 2012. He is an ambassador for Bupa, Lucozade Sport, Virgin Media and Nike.
Early Life and Education
Born in Mogadishu, Somalia. On 23 March 1983, Farah spent the early years of his childhood in Djibouti with his twin brother. He later moved to Britain at the age of 8 years old to join his father, speaking barely a word of English. Farah's father was born in England and grew up in Hounslow, London; his parents met after his father went on holiday to Somalia.
Farah attended Feltham Community College in London. His athletic talent was first identified by physical education teacher Alan Watkinson, who later said of Farah: "When I first met him, he was struggling academically and suffering from the language barrier. He needed focus and I sort of took him under my wing. His passion was football but it was his turn of speed on the pitch that showed his real talent." His ambition was to play as a right winger for Arsenal football club.

Tim Cook

Timothy D. "Tim" Cook (born November 1, 1960) is the CEO of Apple Inc. Cook joined Apple in March 1998 as SVP of Worldwide Operations and also served as EVP of Worldwide Sales and Operations and was COO until he was named the CEO of Apple on August 24, 2011, succeeding Steve Jobs, who died on October 5, 2011, from pancreatic cancer. Cook had previously served as acting CEO of Apple after Jobs began a medical leave in January 2011.
In early 2012, he was awarded compensation of 1 million shares, vesting in 2016 and 2021, by Apple's Board of Directors. As of 2012, Cook's total compensation package of $378 million makes him the highest paid CEO in the world.
Early Years
Cook grew up in Robertsdale, Alabama, near Mobile. His father was a shipyard worker, while his mother was a homemaker. Cook graduated from high school at Robertsdale High School, earned a B.S. degree in industrial engineering from Auburn University in 1982, and his M.B.A. from Duke University's Fuqua School of Business in 1988.

Felix Baumgartner

Felix Baumgartner (born 20 April 1969) is an Austrian skydiver, daredevil and BASE jumper. He set the world record for skydiving an estimated 39 kilometres (24 mi), reaching an estimated speed of 1,342 kilometres per hour (834 mph), or Mach 1.24, on 14 October 2012, and became the first person to break the sound barrier without vehicular power on his descent. He is also renowned for the particularly dangerous nature of the stunts he has performed during his career. Baumgartner spent time in the Austrian military where he practised parachute jumping, including training to land on small target zones.

Baumgartner's most recent project was Red Bull Stratos, in which he jumped to Earth from a helium balloon in the stratosphere on 14 October 2012. As part of this project, he set the altitude record for a manned balloon flight, parachute jump from the highest altitude, and greatest free fall velocity.
Felix Baumgartner was born, on 20 April 1969, in Salzburg, Austria.[8] When he was a little boy, he dreamed about flying and skydiving. In 1999 he claimed the world record for the highest parachute jump from a building when he jumped from the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. On 25 July 2003, Baumgartner became the first person to skydive across the English Channel using a specially made carbon fiber wing. Alban Geissler, who developed the SKYRAY carbon fiber wing with Christoph Aarns, suggested after Baumgartner's jump that the wing he used was a copy of two prototype SKYRAY wings sold to Red Bull (Baumgartner's sponsor) two years earlier.
Baumgartner also set the world record for the lowest BASE jump ever, when he jumped 29 metres (95 ft) from the hand of the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro. This jump also stirred controversy among BASE jumpers who pointed out that Baumgartner cited the height of the statue as the height of the jump even though he landed on a slope below the statue's feet, and that other BASE jumpers had previously jumped from the statue but avoided publicity.
He became the first person to BASE jump from the completed Millau Viaduct in France on 27 June 2004 and the first person to skydive onto, then BASE jump from, the Turning Torso building in Malmö, Sweden on 18 August 2006. On 12 December 2007 he became the first person to jump from the 91st floor observation deck of the then-tallest completed building in the world, Taipei 101 in Taipei, Taiwan.


Malala Yousafzai

Malala Yousafzai (Pashto: ملاله یوسفزۍ Malālah Yūsafzay, born 12 July 1997) is a school student and education activist from the town of Mingora in the Swat District of Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. She is known for her education and women's rights activism in the Swat Valley, where the Taliban had at times banned girls from attending school. In early 2009, at the age of 11/12, Yousafzai wrote a blog under a pseudonym for the BBC detailing her life under Taliban rule, their attempts to take control of the valley, and her views on promoting education for girls. The following summer, a New York Times documentary was filmed about her life as the Pakistani military intervened in the region, culminating in the Second Battle of Swat. Yousafzai began to rise in prominence, giving interviews in print and on television and taking a position as chairperson of the District Child Assembly Swat. She has since been nominated for the International Children's Peace Prize by Desmond Tutu and has won Pakistan's first National Youth Peace Prize. A number of prominent individuals, including the Canadian Minister of Citizenship, are supporting a petition to nominate Yousafzai for the Nobel Peace Prize.
On 9 October 2012, Yousafzai was shot in the head and neck in an assassination attempt by Taliban gunmen while returning home on a school bus. In the days immediately following the attack, she remained unconscious and in critical condition, but later her condition improved enough for her to be sent to a hospital in the United Kingdom for intensive rehabilitation. On 12 October, a group of 50 Islamic clerics in Pakistan issued a fatwā against those who tried to kill her, but the Taliban reiterated its intent to kill Yousafzai and her father, Ziauddin.
 Former British Prime Minister and current UN Special Envoy for Global Education Gordon Brown launched a United Nations petition in Yousafzai's name, using the slogan "I am Malala" and demanding that all children worldwide be in school by the end of 2015. Brown said he would hand the petition to Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari in November. UN secretary general Ban Ki-Moon has announced that 10 November will be celebrated as Malala Day.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Cheick Modibo Diarra

Cheick Modibo Diarra (born 1952) is a Malian astrophysicist, businessman, and politician who was acting Prime Minister of Mali since 17 April 2012. On 11 December 2012, Diarra presented his resignation on state television in a broadcast at 4 a.m. local time, hours after soldiers who led Mali's recent coup arrested him at his home in Bamako.
Diarra was born in Nioro du Sahel, Mali. He is the son-in-law of former president Moussa Traoré. After graduating high school in Mali, Cheick Modibo Diarra studied mathematics, physics, and analytic mechanics in Paris at the University of Pierre and Marie Curie, then aerospace engineering at Howard University in Washington, D.C. He was recruited by Caltech's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a NASA FFRDC Contractor, where he played a role in several NASA programs, including the Magellan probe to Venus, the Ulysses probe to the Sun, the Galileo spacecraft to Jupiter, and the Mars Observer and Mars Pathfinder. He later became the director of NASA's "Mars Exploration Program Education and Public Outreach." Dr. Diarra also served as an executive for the Microsoft Corporation. He also obtained American citizenship.
In 1999, he obtained permission from NASA to work part-time in order to devote himself to education development in Africa, founding the Pathfinder Foundation. He took a further sabbatical in 2002 to found a laboratory in Bamako, Mali for the development of solar energy. In 2000 and 2001 he also served as a goodwill ambassador for UNESCO. In 2002 and 2003 he served as CEO of the African Virtual University, based in Kenya.
Cheick Modibo Diarra was the chairman of Microsoft Africa from 2006 until the end of 2011. Turning to Malian politics, he founded the Rally for Development in Mali, a political party, in March 2011, and he intended to stand as a candidate in the 2012 presidential election.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Victor Ponta

Victor-Viorel Ponta ( born 20 September 1972) is a Romanian jurist and politician who has served as Prime Minister of Romania since May 2012. A member of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) and its leader since 2010, as well as joint leader of the Social Liberal Union, he has been a member of the Romanian Chamber of Deputies for Gorj County since 2004. In the Emil Boc cabinet, he was Minister-Delegate for Relations with Parliament from 2008 to 2009.
Personal Life
Ponta and his first wife Roxana (a high school sweetheart) have one son; they divorced in 2006. That October, in China, he quietly wed Daciana Sârbu, a future Member of the European Parliament and the daughter of Ponta's Boc cabinet colleague Ilie Sârbu. The couple's relationship had become serious in 2004, after Ponta's son was born; they had a daughter in March 2008 and married in a Romanian Orthodox ceremony in the church in Bucharest's Grădina Icoanei that June.
Ponta is the winner of the 1989 youth national championship in basketball, where he played for CSA Steaua București (Basketball); and of the 2008 Dacia Logan Cup, where he was a co-pilot. He was made a knight of the National Order for Faithful Service in 2002, and in 2004 received the Order of the Star of Italian Solidarity.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Ramush Haradinaj

Ramush Haradinaj (born 3 July 1968) is a Kosovo-Albanian politician, a former officer and leader of the paramilitary organization, the Kosovo Liberation Army (UÇK), and the former prime minister of the disputed Kosovo (2005). He leads the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK) party. 
Following the dissolution of Yugoslavia and internal warfare, Haradinaj was among former UÇK officers charged by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) with war crimes and crimes against humanity against Serbs, Roma and Albanians before and during the 1999 Kosovo War. He was acquitted of all charges on 3 April 2008. The prosecution appeal in 2010, based on intimidation of many witnesses, led to a partial retrial in The Hague, Netherlands. Throughout the full trial and appeal process, 19 potential witnesses died in mysterious circumstances. The international court found that many of the crimes described by the prosecution had taken place, but concluded that the prosecution had not provided sufficient "direct evidence" to prove Haradinaj′s participation.[6] On 29 November 2012, Haradinaj and his co-defendant were acquitted again on all charges, on lack of evidence.

Borut Pahor

Borut Pahor (born 2 November 1963) is a Slovenian politician who was Prime Minister of Slovenia from 2008 to 2012. He was elected as President of Slovenia in December 2012. 
A longtime president of the Social Democrats party, Pahor served several terms as a member of the National Assembly and was its chairman from 2000 to 2004. In 2004, Pahor was elected as member of the European Parliament. Following the victory of the Social Democrats in the 2008 parliamentary election, Pahor was appointed as Prime Minister.
In September 2011, Pahor's government lost a confidence vote amidst an economic crisis and political tensions. He continued to serve as the pro tempore Prime Minister until he was replaced by Janez Janša in February 2012. In June 2012, he announced he would run for the largely ceremonial office of President of Slovenia. He won the election and defeated President Danilo Türk in a second round of voting, held on 2 December 2012; he received roughly two-thirds of the vote 
Early Years
Pahor was born in Postojna, SR Slovenia (in the former Yugoslavia) and spent his childhood in the town of Nova Gorica on the border with Italy, before moving to the nearby town of Šempeter pri Gorici. He attended Nova Gorica Grammar School, and in 1983 he enrolled to the University of Ljubljana, where he studied public policy and political science at the Faculty of Sociology, Political Science and Journalism (FSPN, now known as Faculty for Social Sciences, FDV). He graduated in 1987 with a thesis on peace negotiations between members of the Non-Aligned Movement. His B.A. thesis was awarded the Student Prešeren Award, the highest academic award for students in Slovenia. According to the Slovenian press, Pahor worked as a male model to pay for his university studies.

Enrique Peña Nieto

Enrique Peña Nieto (born 20 July 1966) is the 57th and current President of Mexico. He is a member of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and the former governor of the State of Mexico from 2005 to 2011. Peña Nieto was declared President-elect after the Mexican general election was declared valid by the Federal Electoral Tribunal. He assumed the office on 1 December 2012, succeeding Felipe Calderón as President of Mexico, thereby marking the return to power of the party that ruled Mexican politics for 71 consecutive years.
Peña Nieto had announced his presidential candidacy in September 2011, four days after leaving office as governor, formally registering in November of the same year. With only 38% of the votes and without a legislative majority, Peña Nieto marked the return of the PRI after a twelve-year hiatus on 2 July 2012, a party that had governed Mexico uninterrupted for 71 years until it was defeated by the National Action Party (PAN) in the year 2000.
The return of the PRI was not welcomed by everyone. Marches against Peña Nieto drew thousands of people across Mexico, particularly from the Yo Soy 132 student movement, who protested supposed voting irregularities and alleged media bias. Others protested that during its time in power, the PRI became a symbol of corruption, repression, economic mismanagement, and electoral fraud, and many Mexicans and urban dwellers are worried that its return may signify a return to Mexico's past. Nonetheless, Peña Nieto has denied such accusations, and promised that his government will be much more democratic, modern, and open to criticism. He also pledged that he will continue to fight organized crime and that there will be no pacts with the criminals. 
The rule of the PAN, which was unable to pass reforms because it lacked a congressional majority, along with the idea that the PRI "knows how to govern" and how to manage the drug cartels, was compelling enough for many voters to cast their vote for Peña Nieto. Throughout the election, he maintained a wide lead in the polls. Peña Nieto proposed that he will reinvigorate Mexico's economy, permit the national oil company, Pemex, to compete in the private sector, and reduce drug violence that has left more than 55,000 dead in six years.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Ahmad Mouaz Al-Khatib

Ahmad Mouaz Al-Khatib Al-Hasani (Arabic: أحمد معاذ الخطيب, born 1960) is the President of the National Coalition for Opposition Forces and the Syrian Revolution. He is a former imam of the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus.
Al-Khatib originally studied applied geophysics and worked as an engineer for six years. He is a member of the Syrian Geological Society and the Syrian Society for Psychological Science. He was previously President and remains Honorary President of the Islamic Society of Urbanization.
Early Life and Career
Born in 1960, Khatib comes from a well-known Sunni Muslim Damascene family. His father, Sheikh Mohammed Abu al-Faraj al-Khatib, was a prominent Islamic scholar and preacher.
Khatib originally studied geophysics. He spent six years working as an engineer. He is also a member of the Syrian Geological Society and the Syrian Society for Psychological Science, and was president of the Islamic Society of Urbanization. His status as the former imam makes him a key figure in Syria's religious establishment.
He later became prominent as an Islamic preacher, and became the preacher of the Umayyad Mosque in the early 1990s. After he was banned from preaching during the rule of Mr Assad's father, the late Hafez al-Assad, Khatib began to teach Islam secretly.
Khatib also established the Islamic Civilization Society, and taught Sharia (Islamic Law) at the Sheikh Badr al-Din al-Husni Institute in Damascus, and Daawa (Call to Islam) at the Tahzib Institute for Sharia Sciences. He traveled internationally to teach including Bosnia-Hercegovina, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Turkey, the UK and the USA. 
The Syrian journalist and writer Rana Kabbani, a long time friend of Khatib, said "Over the years, we have had a very intense political conversation about what needed to be done in Syria, long discussions about what was wrong with the society and what could be done about it. He was my window into Syria at a time when I couldn't physically go there." Kabbani continued to say"He comes from an area in the old city of Damascus, a part of the city that was noted for its advocacy against French colonialists, producing freedom fighters. It was a traditional Damascene Muslim scene, a devout Sunni area with a long history of resistance. "He cared very deeply about the victims of the 1982 massacre [in the Syrian city of Hama]. He was always seeking for ways to house or educate those [survivors] that the state wanted killed or banished."

Mladen Markač

Mladen Markač (born 8 May 1955) is a Croatian retired general. He was a Commander of Croatian Special Police during Operation Storm during the Croatian War of Independence (1991–1995), and afterwards held the rank of Colonel General. Later, he was indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) for war crimes committed during Operation Storm by Croatian forces against the Serbs from Croatia. In April 2011, the ICTY found him guilty and sentenced him to 18 years. On 16 November 2012, he was found not guilty on all charges by the appeals panel at the ICTY, and immediately set free. A government plane flew him home, where he received a hero's welcome across all of Croatia.

Early Life and Career
Mladen Markač was born in 1955 in Đurđevac, in the Republic of Croatia, then part of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY). In 1981, he graduated from the University of Zagreb, and in 1982, he completed his compulsory military service. He then joined the police force of the SFRY Ministry of the Interior.

In 1990, Markač and others established a police unit for special tasks in the Ministry of the Interior. He was appointed Deputy Commander and in late 1990, this unit became the Lučko Anti-Terrorist Unit. In 1991, Mladen Markač was appointed the head of the Lučko Anti-Terrorist Unit. In 1992, he was promoted to the rank of Colonel General (reserve).

From: www,

Ante Gotovina

Ante Gotovina (born 12 October 1955) is a Croatian retired lieutenant general and former French senior corporal who served in the Croatian War for Independence. In 2001, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia indicted him on a number of war crimes and crimes against humanity charges for crimes committed in 1995 during and in the aftermath of Operation Storm. After spending four years in hiding, he was captured in the Canary Islands in December 2005. In April 2011, Gotovina was found guilty on eight of the nine counts of the indictment and sentenced to 24 years of imprisonment. On 16 November 2012, he was found not guilty on all charges by the appeals panel at the ICTY, and immediately set free. A Croatian government plane flew the general home, where he received a hero's welcome across all of Croatia.

Early Life
Ante Gotovina was born in Tkon on the island of Pašman. His father Milan tried to move with his mother to Italy, but was caught by the Yugoslav border police. His mother was released while his father spent time in prison. When Gotovina was nearly four his mother was killed saving him from an explosion from a construction site. After that his father went to work in Zagreb, while Gotovina and his siblings went to his maternal grandfather Šime in Pakoštane. Around Easter of 1971, Gotovina and his friend Srećko tried to escape by sailing away. Soon they returned to Pakoštane after a storm caused troubles at sea. Gotovina hid his attempt to escape from his family and continued to attend school for electrical engineering in Zadar.


Ivo Sanader

Ivo Sanader (born Ivica Sanader; 8 June 1953) is a Croatian politician who served as the Prime Minister of Croatia from 2003 to 2009.

Sanader obtained his education in comparative literature in Austria, where he also worked as a journalist, in marketing, publishing and also as a private entrepreneur. In the 1990s, he was briefly in charge of the theatre in Split before becoming the Minister of Science and Technology as a member of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ). Soon thereafter, he moved to diplomacy, and served two terms as the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs.

He was elected leader of the HDZ party in 2000 and 2002, and with them won the 2003 election, becoming the Prime Minister. He was also reelected in the 2007 parliamentary elections. In June 2009, Sanader abruptly resigned his post, leaving scarce explanation for his actions, and rumours of involvement in various criminal cases circulated. In January 2010, he tried to stage a political comeback inside HDZ, but was ejected from party membership.

In December 2010, the Croatian authorities charged him in two high-profile corruption indictments, but he fled the country and was arrested in Austria, being extradited to Croatia in July 2011. In November 2012 he was sentenced to 10 years in prison in a first instance verdict.

Early Life
Ivo Sanader was born in Split, into a religious, poor working family with four siblings. Since his family was financially unable to educate all five children, his mother asked the rector of Archbishopric Classical Gymnasium to accept Ivo as their student. After completing his high school education, Sanader moved to Rome to pursue higher education in philosophy. He soon realized that he did not like the academic environment there very much. Following his return from Rome he met his future spouse, Mirjana Šarić, whom he married in 1978.

After their wedding, Ivo and Mirjana left Split for Innsbruck. His wife studied archaeology, while Ivo studied comparative literature and Romance languages at the University of Innsbruck. The young couple was accompanied, while studying in Innsbruck, by Ivo’s younger brother Miro who also lived and studied in Innsbruck. During that time, Sanader also reported for the Zagreb sport newspaper Sportske novosti.

In 1982, Sanader graduated, and returned to Croatia (then Yugoslavia) with his wife. He found a job in the marketing department of Dalmacijaturist, however he did not stay long. He found his next job at the publishing house Logos in 1983 where he was employed as a program editor. In 1988, he became a chief editor and at one time he was working on the organization of the magazine Mogućnost. His career at the publishing house was later terminated suddenly. At that time, his wife also received a notice of termination from her workplace.

Sanader then decided to return to Austria with his family. There he co-founded two private businesses, one in 1989 which was liquidated by a court in 1992, while the other existed between 1986 and 2001. Sanader obtained a B.A. in Romance languages and comparative literature from Innsbruck University in Austria.

Apart from his native Croatian, he is fluent in English, German, French, and Italian.


Friday, July 27, 2012

John Dramani Mahama

John Dramani Mahama (born 29 November 1958) is a Ghanaian politician and the current President of Ghana. He was the Vice President of Ghana from 2009 to 2012, and he took office as President on 24 July 2012 following the death of his predecessor, President John Atta Mills. A communications expert, historian, and writer, he was a Member of Parliament from 1997 to 2009 and Minister of Communications from 1998 to 2001.

Early Years
Mahama was born in Damongo, in the Damango-Daboya constituency of Ghana. His father Emmanuel Adama Mahama was the first Member of Parliament for the West Gonja Constituency and the first Regional Commissioner of the Northern Region during Ghana's First Republic.

He attended Achimota School, Primary Department and The University of Ghana, receiving a bachelor's degree in history in 1981 and a postgraduate degree in communication studies in 1986. Following this, Mahama travelled to the Institute of Social Sciences in Moscow, Soviet Union for further studies.

Early career
After completing his education, Mahama returned to Ghana and, from 1991 to 1996, worked as the Information, Culture and Research Officer at the Embassy of Japan in Accra.

From there he moved to the non-governmental agency (NGO) PLAN International's Ghana Country Office, where he worked as International Relations, Sponsorship Communications and Grants Manager.

As President
In line with Ghana's constitution, Mahama became President of Ghana on 24 July 2012 on the death of his predecessor, John Atta Mills. The ruling National Democratic Congress after a long debate on the party’s preparations toward who succeeds the late President J.E.A Mills as flagbearer for the December polls, has decided to go for congress on 1 September 2012. The party is expected to endorse President John Dramani Mahama as flagbearer in the 2012 General Elections.

Personal life and interests
He is married to Lordina Mahama, with whom he has seven children. He is a Christian. He has a keen interest in environmental affairs, particularly the problem of plastic pollution in Africa, which he committed himself to addressing during his tenure as Vice President.

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Pranab Mukherjee

Pranab Kumar Mukherjee (born 11 December 1935) is the 13th and current President of India, in office since July 2012. In a political career spanning six decades, Mukherjee was a senior leader of the Indian National Congress and occupied several ministerial portfolios in the Government of India. Prior to his election as President in July 2012, Mukherjee was Union Finance Minister, and the Congress party's top troubleshooter.

In 1969, Mukherjee got his break in politics thanks to Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, who helped him get elected to the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of India's Parliament, on a Congress ticket. Following a meteoric rise in the early phase of his career, he became one of Indira's most trusted lieutenants, and a minister in her cabinet in 1973. Mukherjee's service in a number of ministerial capacities culminated in his first stint as Finance Minister in 1982–84. Mukherjee was Leader of the House in the Rajya Sabha from 1980 to 1985.

Mukherjee was sidelined from the Congress during the Prime Ministership of Rajiv Gandhi, Indira's son. Mukherjee had viewed himself, and not the inexperienced Rajiv, as the rightful successor to Indira following her assassination in 1984. Mukherjee lost out in the ensuing power struggle. He formed his own party, the Rashtriya Samajwadi Congress, which merged with the Congress in 1989 after reaching a compromise with Rajiv Gandhi. Mukherjee's political career revived when Prime Minister P. V. Narasimha Rao appointed him Planning Commission head in 1991 and Foreign Minister in 1995. Following this, as elder statesman of the Congress, Mukherjee was the principal architect of Sonia Gandhi's (Rajiv's widow) entry into politics in the late 1990s.

When the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) came into power in 2004, Mukherjee, never a mass leader, won a Lok Sabha (lower house of Parliament) seat for the first time. From then until his resignation in 2012, Mukherjee was number-two in Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's government. He held a number of key cabinet portfolios—Defence (2004–06), External Affairs (2006–09) and Finance (2009–12)—apart from heading several Groups of Ministers (GoMs) and being Leader of House in the Lok Sabha. After securing the UPA's nomination for the country's Presidency, Mukherjee easily bested P. A. Sangma in the race to Rashtrapati Bhavan, winning 70 percent of the vote.

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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Raja Pervaiz Ashraf

Raja Pervez Ashraf (Urdu, Punjabi: راجہ پرویز اشرف; born 26 December 1950) is a Pakistani politician who is the 17th and current Prime Minister of Pakistan since June 2012. He was Federal Minister for Water and Power in the Yousaf Raza Gillani-led cabinet from March 2008 to February 2011. He is a senior leader of the Pakistan Peoples Party from Rawalpindi District.

Early Life
Raja Pervaiz Ashraf 1st (Current) PAKRAL RAJPUT PM OF PAKISTAN. Raja Pervaiz Ashraf was born on December 26, 1950 in Sanghar, Sindh. He graduated from University of Sindh in 1970 and worked in agriculture before entering politics.

Political career
Ashraf was twice elected as a Member of the National Assembly of Pakistan from his constituency of Gujar Khan, Rawalpindi District. Most recently, he won re-election in the February 2008 elections. He became the head of the water and power ministry in the coalition government of PPP, PML-N, ANP, JUI-F and MQM formed after 2008 elections. In the position he faced heavy criticism for repeatedly promising the country's power crisis would be over "by December" as the country suffered regular blackouts. He oversaw expensive "rental power" projects that generated very little power, earning the nickname "Raja Rental" in the Pakistani media. He has been accused of receiving kickbacks in the rental power projects, and of using illegal money to buy foreign property. He has denied wrongdoing, and as of June 2012, is defending himself before the Supreme Court. No official charges have been made against him. However, the Court did revoke his power as the minister for water and power in February 2011. Subsequently, he was appointed to the ministry of information and technology.

On 26 April 2012, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani was convicted of being in contempt of court for refusing to bring charges against President Asif Ali Zardari On 19 June 2012, he was retroactively ruled ineligible to hold the office by the Supreme Court. The ruling Pakistan People's Party nominated textile minister Makhdoom Shahabuddin to replace Gillani, but the nomination failed when the military issued a warrant for Shahabuddin's arrest on drug charges. Ashraf was then selected as the party's next option.

On 22 June 2012, Raja Pervez Ashraf was elected as the 17th Prime Minister of Pakistan by a 211-89 vote. Ashraf and his cabinet were sworn in on the same day. His selection as Prime Minister restored the country's government after several days of turmoil where official the country was without a government. The Associated Press said Ashraf's election was "unlikely to calm the tensions roiling the country" and noted that many observers expected him be eventually be ousted like his predecessor. Political analyst Raza Rumi said Ashraf was likely choosen by the PPP because they knew he would not last long.

Immediately after his election, Ashraf said that the economy, inflation, and the country's power crisis would be his top concerns. "Our country cannot afford politics of confrontation at this time," he said. He also said he wanted to deal with the United States on "an equal footing." However, he will likely have to deal with the court's demands to charge Zardari before doing much else.

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