Author Archives: Austin MacPherson

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Need To Know’s At The 2012 London Olympic Games Days 10-14

The anticipated grand conclusion of the 2012 London Olympic Games is wondered by many. What is also being watched is the medal standings and other news from an array of attending nations. First off, The United States athletes passed the Chinese athletes in overall medal count. The Americans having 94 and the Chinese 81. The British team (in 3rd) is far from those standings as they have 57 total medals. Day 14 was also a great day for the Dutch team, who won their astounding Gold medal against Argentina 2-0. With Gold medals on the stage of discussion, the  Bahamas Relay team won Gold in the 4 x 400m relay while the U.S. team finished silver, another great success. In one of the more interesting sports of the Games, the Italian “Dream Team” took home the gold in Fencing after an inciting match against the Japanese fencers. A interesting first at the Games in recent days is the triumph of the South Korean football athletes over the Japanese football team in the Bronze medal playoff. Celebrations erupted on the court with the South Korean Athletes. In the next day or so the final of the events are due to conclude before the Closing Ceremonies. A lot of Gold medal matches conclude the excitement before the extravagency of the final ceremonies, which add to the anticipation. Stay with us at Magnae Famae for coverage of the Closing Ceremonies on August 12th.

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Need To Know’s At The 2012 London Olympic Games Days 5-9

After 9 days of intense competition, China still has the overall medal lead by a hair’s length. Still competing strongly with the U.S., a lot is expected in the coming week. Great Britain is in third, but has a medal count of only 37, but is still something to be proud of. In recent days, celebrated swimmer Michael Phelps broke the world record for most medals won at the Olympics by an individual. He now has in his possession 22 medals in total from all of the competitions over his career. Meanwhile Italy continues it’s rise against other competitors in the area of fencing. Also notable is the gold medal won by Jamaica’s Usain Bolt “The World’s Fastest Man” after some speculation that he would lose his title and reputation after a false start and various troubles after last years Running World Championships. More statistics for the Games so far: 428 medals have been distributed between 58 nations. 85 Olympic records have been set so far, 32 of which are world records. Interesting also is the fact that a little more than 5 Million people have attended the Olympics personally and the London 2012 Olympic website has become the world’s most visited sports website with more than 25 Million views alone in the span of 21 hours. Out of all this, there are only 7 more days of athletic excitement left in London. With the anticipation of a divine closing ceremony in a week’s time, much is expected, hoped and thought of around the world for these coming days.

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Need To Know’s Of The 2012 London Olympics Days 3-4

 

With China in a 1 medal lead against the United States, curiosity looms through the crowds. With many events and action occurring over the past 2 days, here are some of the  “need to know’s”. London Police lost the keys for Wembley Stadium at the end of Day 3 Competitions, but found them afterwards, sparking rumors that police aren’t doing a good job taking care of the facilities. Michael Phelps, a famously recognized American swimmer, is on the go to closely breaking the world record for most medals won at the Olympics by a single athlete. As well as medals being given to athletes, here are the statistics of the medals that have already been handed out. At the end of day 4, 167 medals have been awarded to an array of athletes from 43 countries. With 53 Gold, 54 Silver and 60 Bronze been handed out. Noteworthy on the third day of competition was the American Athletes coming to par with the Chinese medal count. The American athletes have been confident with catching up to the Chinese, and hope to pass them before competitions conclude. However, among these two contending nations are those who may catch up soon. These being France, North and South Korea and Kazakhstan. Much more to come with the next few days of exciting Olympic competition, with fencing, archery and shooting amongst the flocks of sports showcased in London.

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Need To Know’s At The 2012 Olympic Games… So Far

London 2012 banner at The Monument.

2012 Olympic Games banner in London (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After a glorious opening ceremony and torch lighting for the 2012 London Olympic Games, much has emerged in the first two days. A rather new and interesting event that is under investigation by the Olympic Committee is the rows of empty seats that were supposedly given to various members of corporate sponsors who did not show. The Olympic Committee gave the seats to other various spectators during Day 2 of events.  Medal counts are also in the eyes and minds of many. China has the lead with medal count with 12 in total, 6 gold, 4 silver, and 2 bronze. Followed by the United States with 11 in total, 3 gold, 5 silver, and 3 bronze. Although its only the second day of competitions, there are 9 different nations tied for 22nd and 5 tied for 17th. These standings will obviously change over time. Also in the spotlight are the few Olympians who were already disqualified for testing positive for drug tests. Amongst many nationalities, most of these athletes were sent back to their respective countries. Much more is expected to occur in the coming days, triumphs, defeats, and much more.

The Official State Portrait of Eva "Evita" Peron

Eva Peron: Argentina’s Spiritual Leader 60 Years Later

 

The Official State Portrait of Eva “Evita” Peron

The death of Eva Peron 60 years ago today sparked one of the world’s largest outpouring of grief and mourning ever seen. Even though Mrs. Eva Peron died on July 26, 1952, more than 30,000 biographies of her life have been sold in the past 3 weeks alone in Buenos Aires. But some may ask, who is this Eva Peron person?

María Eva Duarte was born on May 7th 1919 in a town called Los Toldos, Argentina. During her childhood, her father abandoned her, putting her family in a state of poverty. At the age of 15, Eva left Los Toldos for Buenos Aries, the capital city of Argentina, with ambitions to become an actor By late 1935, she had a job with a theater company. Through 1936-1942, she toured with the theater company and became known throughout the South American theatrics world until she received a proposal from a radio company in 1942 to abandon her theatrical occupation and become a radio hostess. She accepted, and became one of the most famous radio hostesses in South America. She continued her career in radio until 1944-1945. In early 1944, an earthquake occurred in San Juan, Argentina, killing approximately 6000 people. The then Secretary of Labour Juan Domingo Peron decided to hold an “Artistic Festival” to raise money for disaster funds. It was at a Gala during the festivities that Eva and Juan met. They both fell into a relationship, despite her being 24 and he 48.

After they had a somewhat permanent relationship, Eva began to attend dozens of government meetings and conferences with Juan later in the year. They got married in 1945 and became a well known couple in 1946. In early 1946 Juan ran for President on Argentina. He won, and Eva became First Lady. The following year, Eva and Juan took a tour of Europe, for an unknown reason. Many criticized the Peron’s of using the tour as a mask to deposit millions of dollars into various bank accounts, especially during their time in Switzerland. Among the locations the Peron’s visited was Vatican City. They had a warm audience there, but the Pope (Pius XII) did not give them Papal decoration s they usually would have received. Post European Tour saw the founding of the worldwide celebrated Eva Peron Foundation.

As one of the many great accomplishment she is well known for, the Eva Peron Foundation was founded in July 1948 to help with on-going poverty in Argentina. Even though it started out as a small organization, it soon grew in 1950, to have more than $200M in assets, 14,000 workers, 6,000 construction workers and 26 priests. The organization produced  400,000 pairs of shoes, 500,000 sewing machines, 200,000 cooking pots annually for the poverty stricken in Argentina. The foundation also gave scholarships, built homes, hospitals, and other charitable institutions. Every aspect of the foundation was under Evita’s supervision. The foundation also built entire communities, such as Evita City, which still exists today. This job was extremely hard for Eva, as she overwatched all projects, programs, distributions etc. She (on average) spent 22 hour work hours a day, including weekends, in her Foundation Office. As a matter-of-fact, she was often told by other government officials and even Juan Peron himself to take time off; but every time she denied.  This Foundation continued after her death until 1955 by Juan Peron.

In 1951, Eva’s heath was in rapid decline. She started to loose weight drastically due to various ailments, amongst constant fainting problems. As a fact, she weighed 76 pounds by the end of 1951. No surgery could help her, only to so much to prolong her inevitable early death. But during the 1951 political year, she had aims to hold a nomination to the seat of Vice-President of Argentina.  On 22 August 1951, a mass union rally was held outside the famous  Avenida 9 de Julio where about 2 million people showed support for Eva’s decision to run for Vice-President. During the rally, Eva pleaded the crowd to give her more time, but despite that, they requested that she announce her decision now. Two days later, she declined her decision to run. Post that, her heath continued to decline, especially after doctors diagnosed her with a rare form of Cervical Cancer. Her heath worsened to such an extent, that she could not stand by herself without the assistance of her husband. This became more noticeable during 1951-1952.

In one of her last public appearances before her death, on June 4th, she wore a heavy fur coat. Under that coat she wore a plaster/wire gear to assist her ability to stand. Later that month, she was proclaimed Spiritual Leader of the Nation of
Argentina by National Congress. Sadly, despite all health efforts, Eva died at the age of 33, at 8:25 p.m., on 26 July 1952 in Buenos Aires. The news was immediately broadcast throughout the country, and Argentina went into mourning. All activity in Argentina ceased; movies stopped playing; restaurants were closed and patrons were shown to the door, to mourn the loss of their “Greatest Leader”. As a matter-of-fact, all the flower shops in Buenos Aires sold out in 16 hours. Mourning lasted 10 days, and 8 people died by being crushed to death by hundreds of thousands of mourners.

In recent days, the current Government of Argentina released a 100 Pesos Banknote with her official portrait. Some think that this is a great honor for such a great national leader to be recognized. Personally, I admire her work greatly, and strongly recommend looking at more of her work that was not mentioned in this post. Within the past 24 hours, more than 45,000 mourners layed flowers at her final resting place in Buenos Aires.

Possible Purges Present After Mysterious Government Actions In North Korea

Flag of the Korean People's Army Português: Ba...

Flag of the Korean People’s Army (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A dozen or so hours ago, Kim Jong-Un promoted a little known General in the North Korean Army to a Vice-Marshal. The General, named Hyon Yong Chol, will replace a certain Former Gen. Ri Yong Ho. Ho was removed from his post and fired from all government posts late yesterday. Earlier in the week, Ho stood beside Kim Jong-Un at an appearance in Pyongyang, but yesterday he supposedly contracted “an illness” according to North Korean media. Why he was fired from the military and government remains unknown, but many claim he was purged due to his growing influence within the government. Some claim also that this may be the first of many purges of Kim Jong-Un to eliminate any and all political opposition in North Korea.

Also mysterious is the sudden promotion of North Korean General  Hyon Yong Chol to Vice-Marshal. Although there are several Vice-Marshals in North Korea, it gives to those holding the title eligibility for key posts in the upper echelons of the North Korean Government. Not much is known about Gen. Chol as of the date, but there is speculation that he may be one of Jong-Un’s most prominent advisers. There was never any sign of interaction, rivalry or distaste between Chol or Ho, which promotes the theory of government intervention. Several questions remain though. How will Chol use his new position of power? Will these supposed purges continue? Where did Former Gen. Ho disappear to? Due to the secrecy of North Korea, there is the chance, that these questions may never be answered.

Death Toll In Russian Floods Exceeded Expectations

May 2004. Phytoplankton blooms and plumes of s...

An image of the Black Sea. The peninsula to the top is owned by the Russian Federation and is the area affected by the flooding.(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Intense flooding in the Black Sea region of the Russian Federation has killed a total of 103 so far. Torrential rains dropped nearly a foot of water over the Black Sea area of Russia. The rain also overflowed several resivoirs in a few towns that sent waves, some seven feet high, rushed at such a speed that at least a dozen or so people were killed by them. Many people were asleep when the flooding hit overnight in the Black Sea region, and the water rushed into the area around the hard-hit town of Krimsk with such speed and volume that rumours emerged that local officials had opened a nearby water reservoir. Muddy water coursed through streets and homes, in some cases high enough to flow over the hoods of cars and even as high as rooftops, according to witnesses.

About 5000 people are currently affected by the floods, many more could be as the weather in the region has been unpredictable in recent days. More than 1,500 Emergency Ministry officials were working to aid flood victims and clean up the damage, state TV stated today. Relief from the flooding is expected soon. Damage amounts are currently unknown but are expected to be in the $600,000-$1,500,000 range. Tourism may be affected also as the Black Sea is one of Russia’s most prominent tourist areas, so should flooding damage not be repaired, tourism will certainly be affected. The question remains though, will the death toll rise as more workers pour in from the Interior Ministry?

Timbuktu Newest Addition To UNESCO Danger List

Sankore Mosque in Timbuktu

A Mosque located in the Timbuktu Historical Site. The Timbuktu Site is now under pressure from nearby rebels.(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The United Nations has said it is gravely concerned about Mali’s historical city of Timbuktu as violence in the country’s north escalates rapidly. Rebel presence in the area nearing Timbuktu have forced UNESCO to put it on the Danger list. Mali’s government had asked the UN to recognise the threat to the condition of its historical sites and the high risk of trafficking of cultural objects during this time of rebel insurgencies. The Historical Site of Timbuktu is famous for being known to contain 700,000 manuscripts, tombs, artifacts etc. Architecture is also a prominent feature of Timbuktu, as the buildings of the Site are by-far unique. The Site was founded in about 1100, and is a strong Muslim area in Mali. The disadvantages of this event will surely lower tourism in the area until hostilities calm down. The only essential advantage this event has  is international recognition towards the preservation of major historical sites. Many conservationists are hoping that peace will ensure safety for the Timbuktu site as soon as possible. The question remains, will the site survive this tragic ordeal?