131205 Nelson Mandela, Revered Statesman and Anti-Apartheid Leader, Dies at 95

picture credit: AP Photo (Doug Mills)

Former South African President Nelson Mandela has died at age 95 of complications from a recurring lung infection.

The anti-apartheid leader and Nobel laureate was a beloved figure around the world, a symbol of reconciliation from a country with a brutal history of racism.

Mandela was released from prison in 1990 after nearly 30 years for plotting to overthrow South Africa’s apartheid government. In 1994, in a historic election, he became the nation’s first black leader. Mandela stepped down in 1999 after a single term and retired from political and public life.


Born Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela in Transkei, South Africa, on July 18, 1918, he was one of the world’s most revered statesmen and revolutionaries who led the struggle against apartheid in South Africa.

A qualified lawyer from the University College of Fort Hare and the University of Witwatersrand, Mandela served as the president of South Africa from 1994 to 1999.

His political career started in 1944 when he joined the African National Congress (ANC), and he participated in the resistance against the then government¹s apartheid policy in 1948. In June 1961, the ANC executive approved his idea of using violent tactics and encouraged members who wished to involve themselves in Mandela’s campaign. Shortly after, he founded Umkhonto we Sizwe, the armed wing of the ANC, and was named its leader.

In 1962, he was arrested and convicted of sabotage and other charges, and was sentenced to five years of rigorous imprisonment. In 1963, Mandela was brought to stand trial along with many fellow members of Umkhonto we Sizwe for conspiring against the government and plotting to overthrow it by the use of violence.

Sentenced to life in prison

On June 12, 1964, eight of the accused, including Mandela, were sentenced to life imprisonment.

His statement from the dock at the opening of the defense trial became extremely popular. He closed his statement with: “During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to the struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”

Mandela served 27 years in prison, spending many of those years at Robben Island Prison, off Cape Town. While in jail, his reputation grew and he became widely known across the world as the most significant black leader in South Africa.

He became a prominent symbol of resistance as the anti-apartheid movement gained momentum in South Africa and across the world. On the island, he and other prisoners were subjected to hard labor in a lime quarry. Racial discrimination was rampant, and prisoners were segregated by race with the black prisoners receiving the fewest rations. Mandela has written about how he was allowed one visitor and one letter every six months.

Free and fair

In February 1985, President P.W. Botha offered Mandela his freedom on condition that he unconditionally reject violence as a political weapon, but Mandela rejected the proposal. He made his sentiment known through a letter he released via his daughter.

“What freedom am I being offered while the organization of the people remains banned? Only free men can negotiate. A prisoner cannot enter into contracts,” he wrote. In 1988, Mandela was moved to Victor Verster Prison and would remain there until his release.

Throughout his imprisonment, pressure mounted on the South African government to release him. The slogan “Free Nelson Mandela” became the new battle cry of the anti-apartheid campaigners. Finally, Mandela was released on Feb. 11, 1990, in an event streamed live across the world. After his release, Mandela returned to his life’s work, striving to attain the goals he and others had set out almost four decades earlier. In 1991, the first national conference of the ANC was held inside South Africa since the organization had been banned in 1960.

President Mandela

Mandela was elected president of the ANC, while his friend Oliver Tambo became the organization’s national chairperson. Mandela’s leadership and his work, as well as his relationship with then President F.W. de Klerk, were recognized when they were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993. South Africa’s first multiracial elections, held on April 27, 1994, saw the ANC storm in with a majority of 62 percent of the votes, and Mandela was inaugurated in May 1994 as the country’s first black president.

As president from May 1994 until June 1999, Mandela presided over the transition from minority rule and apartheid, winning international respect for his advocacy of national and international reconciliation.

Honors and personal life

In 1990, he received the Bharat Ratna Award from the government of India and also received the last ever Lenin Peace Prize from the Soviet Union.

Mandela received many national international honors, including the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993, the Order of Merit from Queen Elizabeth II and the Presidential Medal of Freedom from George W. Bush.

In July 2004, the city of Johannesburg bestowed its highest honor by granting Mandela the freedom of the city at a ceremony in Orlando, Soweto.

In 1992, he was awarded the Ataturk Peace Award by Turkey. He refused the award citing human rights violations committed by Turkey at the time, but later accepted the award in 1999. Also in 1992, he received the Nishan-e-Pakistan, the highest civil service award of Pakistan. Mandela’s autobiography, “Long Walk to Freedom,” was published in 1994. He had begun work on it secretly while in prison.

Mandela and his wives

Nelson Mandela’s love life has seemingly run parallel to his political one — and can be divided up into three key eras. The young activist married his first wife, Evelyn Mase, in 1944. The couple, who had four children, divorced in 1958 — shortly before Mandela became an outlaw with the banning of the ANC.

Mandela’s second marriage — and probably his most famous — largely coincided with the time he spent locked up at the hands of the apartheid regime. In 1958 he walked down the aisle with Winnie Madikizela, who stood by his side and actively campaigned to free him from prison. Winnie became a powerful figure in her own right while Mandela was imprisoned, but a series of scandals involving her led to the couple’s estrangement in 1992, her dismissal from his cabinet in 1995, and their official divorce in 1996. The couple had two children. Winnie Mandela was also later convicted of kidnapping.

His third marriage, to Graca Machel — the widow of former Mozambique President Samora Machel — came on his 80th birthday as he entered his role of world statesman.


Yahoo Australia contributed to this report.

JYJ Fantalk Source: yahoo news

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Margaret Thatcher, Britain’s First Female Prime Minister, Dead at 87

Margaret Thatcher, Britain’s First Female PM, Dead at 87

London (CNN) — Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, a towering figure in postwar British and world politics and the only woman to become British prime minister, has died at the age of 87.

She suffered a stroke Monday, her spokeswoman said. A British government source said she died at the Ritz Hotel in London.

Thatcher’s funeral will be at St. Paul’s Cathedral, with full military honors, followed by a private cremation, the British prime minister’s office announced.

Thatcher served from 1975 to 1990 as leader of the Conservative Party. She was called the “Iron Lady” for her personal and political toughness.

She retired from public life after a stroke in 2002 and suffered several strokes after that.

She made few public appearances in her final months, missing a reception marking her 85th birthday hosted by Prime Minister David Cameron in October 2010. She also skipped the July 2011 unveiling of a statue honoring her old friend Ronald Reagan in London.

In December 2012, she was hospitalized after a procedure to remove a growth in her bladder.

WORLD REACTION: Tributes paid to ‘great leader, great Briton’ Thatcher

Thatcher made history

Thatcher won the nation’s top job only six years after declaring in a television interview, “I don’t think there will be a woman prime minister in my lifetime.”

During her time at the helm of the British government, she emphasized moral absolutism, nationalism, and the rights of the individual versus those of the state — famously declaring “There is no such thing as society” in 1987.

Nicknamed the “Iron Lady” by the Soviet press after a 1976 speech declaring that “the Russians are bent on world dominance,” Thatcher later enjoyed a close working relationship with U.S. President Reagan, with whom she shared similar conservative views.

But the British cold warrior played a key role in ending the conflict by giving her stamp of approval to Soviet Communist reformer Mikhail Gorbachev shortly before he came to power.

“I like Mr. Gorbachev. We can do business together,” she declared in December 1984, three months before he became Soviet leader.

Having been right about Gorbachev, Thatcher came down on the wrong side of history after the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, arguing against the reunification of East and West Germany.

Allowing the countries created in the aftermath of World War II to merge would be destabilizing to the European status quo, and East Germany was not ready to become part of Western Europe, she insisted in January 1990.

2012: Thatcher’s economic legacy
Thatcher: I enjoyed company of elders
2009: Inside Margaret Thatcher’s papers
How Thatcher, Reagan clicked

“East Germany has been under Nazism or Communism since 1930. You are not going to go overnight to democratic structures and a freer market economy,” Thatcher insisted in a key interview, arguing that peace, security and stability “can only be achieved through our existing alliances negotiating with others internationally.”

West German leader Helmut Kohl was furious about the interview, seeing Thatcher as a “protector of Gobachev,” according to notes made that day by his close aide Horst Teltschik.

The two Germanies reunited by the end of that year.

A grocer’s daughter

Thatcher — born in October 1925 in the small eastern England market town of Grantham — came from a modest background, taking pride in being known as a grocer’s daughter. She studied chemistry at Oxford, but was involved in politics from a young age, giving her first political speech at 20, according to her official biography.

She was elected leader of the Conservative Party in 1975, when the party was in opposition.

She made history four years later, becoming prime minister when the Conservatives won the elections of 1979, the first of three election victories to which she led her party.

As British leader, Thatcher took a firm stance with the European Community — the forerunner of the European Union — demanding a rebate of money London contributed to Brussels.

Her positions on other issues, both domestic and foreign, were just as firm, and in one of her most famous phrases, she declared at a Conservative Party conference that she had no intention of changing her mind.

“To those waiting with bated breath for that favorite media catchphrase, the U-turn, I have only one thing to say: ‘You turn if you want to. The lady’s not for turning,'” she declared, to cheers from party members.

The United Kingdom fought a short, sharp war against Argentina over the Falklands Islands under Thatcher in 1982, responding with force when Buenos Aires laid claim to the islands.

WATCH: Remembering Margaret Thatcher

Announcing that Britain had recaptured South Georgia Island from Argentina, Thatcher appealed to nationalist sentiments, advising the press: “Just rejoice at the news and congratulate our forces.”

A journalist shouted a question at her as she turned to go back into 10 Downing Street: “Are we going to war with Argentina, Mrs. Thatcher?”

She paused for an instant, then offered a single word: “Rejoice.”

Controversy over Falklands war

The conflict was not without controversy, even in Britain.

A British submarine sank Argentina’s only cruiser, the General Belgrano, in an encounter that left 358 Argentines dead. The sinking took place outside of Britain’s declared exclusion zone.

In her first term, Thatcher reduced or eliminated many government subsidies to business, a move that led to a sharp rise in unemployment. By 1986, unemployment had reached 3 million.

But Thatcher won landslide re-election in 1983 on the heels of the Falklands victory, her Conservative Party taking a majority of seats in parliament with 42% of the vote. Second-place Labour took nearly 28%, while the alliance that became the Liberal Democrats took just over 25%.

A year later, she escaped an IRA terrorist bombing at her hotel at the Conservative Party conference in Brighton.

She was re-elected in 1987 with a slightly reduced majority.

She was ultimately brought down, not by British voters, but by her own Conservative party.

Brought down by the poll tax

She was forced to resign in 1990 during an internal leadership struggle after she introduced a poll tax levied on community residents rather than property.

The unpopular tax led to rioting in the streets.

She married her husband, Denis Thatcher, a local businessman who ran his family’s firm before becoming an executive in the oil industry, in 1951 — a year after an unsuccessful run for Parliament. The couple had twins, Mark and Carol, in 1953.

She was elected to Parliament in 1959 and served in various positions, including education secretary, until her terms as prime minister.

Thatcher was awarded the U.S. Medal of Freedom by President George H. W. Bush in 1991, a year after she stepped down as prime minister. She was named Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven after leaving office.

She retired from public life after a stroke in 2002 and suffered several smaller strokes after that. Her husband died in June 2003.

Though her doctors advised against public speaking, a frail Thatcher attended Reagan’s 2004 funeral, saying in a prerecorded video that Reagan was “a great president, a great American, and a great man.”

“And I have lost a dear friend,” she said.

In the years that followed she encountered additional turmoil. In 2004, her son Mark was arrested in an investigation of an alleged
plot by mercenaries to overthrow the president of Equatorial Guinea in west Africa. He pleaded guilty in a South African court in 2005 to unwittingly bankrolling the plot.

JYJFantalk: CNN+Source: yahoo news

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[TRANS] 130114 What Will Kim Jaejoong’s Take On Kim Kwang Seok’s Music Sound Like? [Song Link Included]

[TRANS] 130114 What Will Kim Jaejoong’s Take On Kim Kwang Seok’s Music Sound Like? [Song Link Included]

For anyone who’s curious, this is the original song.
credits. mydreammyhope @ YT

JYJ’s Kim Jaejoong has decided to sing ‘Though I Loved You’ by Kim Kwang Seok (deceased) as the song requested by fans for his solo concert.

On the 12th, Kim Jaejoong’s entertainment agency held a survey event ahead of the singer’s first solo concert and asked fans ‘Which song would you like Kim Jaejoong to sing?’ From this survey, Kim Kwang Seok’s ‘Though I Loved You’ was chosen. The event garnered around 10,000 comments and ‘likes’.

To commemorate the release of his first solo album, Kim Jaejoong will be holding a concert on the 26th and 27th at the Ilsan KINTEX. All 16,000 tickets for the concert were sold out right after reservations opened up for the concert.

Source: [mk star today]

Translated & Shared by: dongbangdata.net

Momma’s Source: dongbangdata.net

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120520 Robin Gibb: He ‘Started a Joke,’ and Left Us in Tears

The BeeGees wil never be duplicated. They stood out with unique vocals full of pathos that made us all cry. Bless You Robin…you fought a good fight. Momma Cha


……Robin Gibb: He ‘Started a Joke,’ and Left Us in Tears
..By Chris Willman
.Posts .By Chris Willman | Stop The Presses! ….
Did a singer’s name ever seem so prophetic and appropriate as in the case of Robin, one of the great male songbirds of rock’s golden age? Bee Gee Robin Gibb succumbed to a longtime struggle with liver cancer Sunday, a spokesperson confirmed. The Rock & Roll Hall of Famer was 62.

His death dashed the hopes of Bee Gees fans who’d hoped that a miracle was in store after the singer emerged from a coma late last month. Prior to his regaining consciousness, his family had revealed that Gibb had been given only a 10 percent chance of surviving and seemed to be preparing the public for his imminent death. Despite the shock fans are now experiencing, family members surely feel grateful for the month they had with Gibb after his unexpected awakening.

Disco fans are feeling their mortality this weekend, as the death of one of the principal voices of the 15-times-platinum Saturday Night Fever soundtrack follows the passing of Donna Summer by a mere three days.
A statement read: “The family of Robin Gibb, of the Bee Gees, announce with great sadness that Robin passed away today following his long battle with cancer and intestinal surgery. The family have asked that their privacy is respected at this very difficult time.”

Robin follows Maurice (a fellow Bee Gee) and Andy (a solo artist) in death, leaving eldest brother Barry as the sole survivor among the legendary Brothers Gibb. The Bee Gees had officially retired as a group in 2003, following Maurice’s passing, although Barry announced in 2009 that there were tentative plans to revive the act as a duo — a potential reunion that never came to be after Robin fell seriously ill in 2010.

Some of Robin’s health problems seemed to echo the maladies suffered earlier by Maurice — who was his twin. The cause of Maurice’s death nine years ago was attributed to a twisted intestine. Robin first underwent emergency gastro-intestinal surgery in August 2010. In January of this year, he revealed that he’d been diagnosed with colon cancer, which had spread to the liver — noting that “the strange thing is, I’ve never felt seriously ill.” But he had further intestinal surgery in late March. And the combination of chemotherapy and repeated operations had contributed to all-around depletion, his doctors acknowledged.

Back in early February, Robin was still giving interviews and describing reports of his dire health as exaggerated. “I was diagnosed with a growth in my colon,” he told the BBC then. “It was removed. And I’ve been treated for that by a brilliant doctor, and in their words ‘the results have been spectacular.'” The growth, he explained, “is almost gone and I feel fantastic. Really from now on, it’s just what they could describe as a ‘mopping-up’ operation. I am very active and my sense of well-being is good.”

[Sadly, that appears to have been the last time Gibb spoke with the press. Fans first realized the severity of the situation when he was unable to attend the premiere of his first classical work, Titanic Requiem, in London on April 10. A few days after that work’s bittersweet debut, family members revealed that he had contracted pneumonia and was “fighting for his life.”

Then, his rallying over the last few weeks was reported as nothing short of a miracle. “Robin has confounded his doctors by waking up from the coma he had slipped into after contracting pneumonia,” a statement on his website read. “He remains in intensive care but is now fully conscious, able to speak to his loved ones and breathing on his own with an oxygen mask.”

Gibbs’ wife, Dwina, told an Irish newspaper that the family had been playing music to help rouse her husband — and that the newly conscious singer had cried upon hearing Roy Orbison’s “Crying.” His doctor, Andrew Thillainayagam, told the press, “It is testament to Robin’s extraordinary courage, iron will and deep reserves of physical strength that he has overcome quite incredible odds to get where he is now” — while cautiously adding that “the road ahead remains uncertain.”

That road ended Sunday, leaving Titanic Requiem to serve as his own unwitting requiem. He’d written the classical piece in conjunction with his son, Robin-John, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, joining together original vocal and orchestral themes with excerpts from the Latin Mass for the Dead. Gibb had been intending to sing one vocal number at the premiere, but instead, “Don’t Cry Alone” was offered via a recording, according to a four-star review in the London Telegraph.

It was only fitting, if you believe in symmetry, that “Don’t Cry Alone” should be the last vocal number unveiled during his lifetime, since, for many, his notoriety began with the tearfulness of “I Started a Joke.”

Although falsetto-wielding Barry was the most prominent and most-parodied Bee Gee in later years (see Justin Timberlake’s comic impersonation on SNL), Robin was often considered the unofficial lead singer in the trio’s late-’60s early days, and it was his tender vibrato that early fans first associated with the Brothers Gibb, via not just “I Started a Joke” but other hits like “I’ve Gotta Get a Message to You” and “New York Mining Disaster 1941.”

It was Robin singing on the group’s first No. 1 British hit, “Massachusetts,” which also topped the charts in most of the territories of the world (except the U.S., where it made it to No. 11). He was a lad of 17 at the time, and, of course, had never even been to the title state.

Competition with Barry led Robin to quit the group and go solo in 1969, though he returned in 1971, in time to participate in “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart,” their first No. 1 single in America. Their real renaissance, however, kicked off in 1975 when, in the earliest days of disco, they had a second No. 1 with “Jive Talkin’,” followed by the similarly rhythmic “Nights on Broadway” and “You Should Be Dancing,” which became the template for a block of Saturday Night Fever songs in 1978.

Fever revived “Jive’ and “Dancing” along with introducing the instant dance-floor standards “Stayin’ Alive,” “Night Fever,” “If I Can’t Have You,” and “More Than a Woman,” plus a ballad in the more traditional Bee Gees vein, “How Deep is Your Love.” It was by far their greatest commercial triumph, and also, in a way, their unmaking, since only pockets of critics and fans were inclined to recall the pop chops and cred of their early albums after they couldn’t shake their association with the waning disco tide.

The ’80s and ’90s were less kind to the brothers as hitmakers, although they continued to sell well overseas and never stopped being a concert draw. Befitting such a quintessential part of 20th century pop, they gave their last real concert on the last night of the millennium.

Critics and fans who would want to defend the Bee Gees’ pre-Travolta reputation point to landmark albums like 1969’s double-album Odessa — which, of course, produced no major singles. But the more R&B-oriented smashes that came later provide their own defense, even if there was an inevitable longing among hardcore followers for the days when there was no beat to speak of except for the one inherent in the throb of Robin’s vibrato. As the principal songwriter, it may have been brother Barry’s job to start the jokes, and sobs, but in that early peak period, at least, it was Robin who finished them.

credit: By Chris Willman | Stop The Presses

Momma’s Source: yahoo news

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