Tuesday, November 25, 2014

OUTSTANDING CASES OF POLITICAL POISONING IN THE TWENTIETH AND TWENTY FIRST CENTURIES:

1.     Grigori Yefimovich Rasputin
When a group of Russian nobles decided to get rid of the mystic Grigori Rasputin, they thought they were ridding the Russian tsarina of the influence of the “Mad Monk” whose calming effect on the Czar’s sick heir Alexei had been extended into political affairs that were putting the Russian Empire in danger. When these conspirators lured Rasputin to Prince Felix Yusupov's Moika Palace and served him food and wine laced with large doses of cyanide, they thought he would kick the bucket in no time. However, it is alleged that Rasputin didn’t die from the poison strong enough to kill 10 men. So, Yusupov shot him in the back.  But Rasputin did not die and tried to strangle Yusupov when he came close to check on the body. Yusupov was saved by the other nobles who shot Rasputin three more times, until he fell to the ground. That that was not all about the Siberian monk. In his attempts to get up again, the conspirators finished him off with clubs before wrapping him in a blanket which thy bundled off into the half frozen Neva River. When the St Petersburg authorities recovered the body three days later and did an autopsy on it, drowning was pronounced as the cause of death.

2.     Félix-Roland Moumié
Dr. Felix-Roland Moumie was the head of the UPC (Union of the Populations of the Cameroons), a political party advocating the reunification of French Cameroun and British Cameroons, Trust Territories from the former German Kamerun whose independence the UPC demanded under the auspices of the United Nations. He was the successor of the party’s first leader, Ruben Um Nyobe, massacred by French forces in September 1958; two years after the French banned the UPC, a party that enjoyed the overwhelming support of Cameroonians. Dr. Felix-Roland Moumie, the exiled leader of the Cameroonian nationalist movement, was in Europe visiting in October 1960, when William Bechtel invited him to dinner in a hotel in Geneva, Switzerland, posing as a journalist.  In reality, he was a member of the "Main Rouge," an offshoot of a special unit in the French secret service charged with killing anti-French and pro-independent African nationalists and their supporters in Europe. Distracted by a summon to the phone by a restaurant staff, Moumie left his unfinished drink  that Bechtel contaminated by pouring a lethal dose of thallium into it.  But Moumie did not drink it upon his return. So Bechtel created another distraction, during which he poured another dose of thallium into Moumie's wine. Moumie ended up gulping both drinks and died in a Geneva hospital on Nov. 3, 1960, days before his return to Guinea, and much earlier than his killers had planned. Taking an overdose of the poison thwarted the plot of blaming his death on Guinean president Sekou Toure, who was hosting Moumie in the Guinean capital of Conakry.
Fifty years after, Cameroon is still in the control of the anti-UPC forces and has never experienced rule under a head of state that is the choice of the people.  The mafia continues. The country that embodies Africa's daring spirit is still in the grips of those who betrayed its noble intentions and spat on its dream.
…To be continued


                               

Friday, November 14, 2014

A Peek at Douala, the gateway to "The Heart of Africa" (Excerpt of "Flash of the Sun")





Now that you have disembarked in your journey into the heart of Africa, where do find yourself? You are certainly at the doorsteps of the city of Douala.
You are stepping into Douala because it is also the gateway to Cameroon. In the distant picturesque background is the Cameroon Mountain, an imposing volcanic outcrop from the Atlantic Ocean that features layers of forest, grassland and rocky desert in its entire altitude. You will also find beautiful creeks, rivers, and streams that crisscross and surround Douala. These unique features give the area its beauty and lustrousness—something admirers of nature always marvel at whenever they view the city from the air, the sea or from land.
Now, brace yourself for the challenge of walking into a unique unknown by opening the gates of Cameroon through the soul of Douala.
Douala is the city where the German colonial administration sought to build a cross of Berlin, Leipzig and Hanover in Africa, leaving behind an impressive array of architectural monuments as a stamp of their presence in the land, an exploit that lasted three decades and made Douala the melting pot of multi-ethnic German Kamerun.
The French also embarked on an ambitious project of making Douala a sub-Saharan Paris after they kicked the Germans out of the city in 1916. After all, the machinery of the Free French forces in Sub-Saharan Africa was molded here and Jacques-Philippe LeClerc made his debut in the city, eventually becoming the finest French general in the field during the Second World War.
Now that you have walked into Cameroon, what do you find going on inside the heart of Douala? If you perk your head a little higher, you will find a modest one-storey building standing in the northwestern portion of the neighborhood of Bali, close to Akwa.
They say the Akwa neighborhood has been popular for over a century now. It hosts Douala’s popular waterfront and main thoroughfare where you will find some of Cameroon’s famous restaurants, bistros, bars, hotels, coffee houses and French-style bakeries and nightclubs—all within commanding view of the sea, creeks and swamps. It is the part of the city frequented by the city's large expatriate population and tourists, and those Cameroonians with a taste for contemporary trends. They say the city’s inhabitants regard Akwa as their mirror to the rest of the world.









                                 

Monday, November 10, 2014

The 50 Most Powerful People of the World, According to Forbes







Name
Principal Functions
Country of citizenship

1
Vladimir Putin   
President of Russia
Russia

2
Barack Obama
President of the US
USA

3
Xi Jinping
General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party
China

4
Pope Francis
Head of the Roman Catholic Church 
Vatican

5
Angela Merkel
Chancellor of Germany
Germany

6
Janet Yellen
Head of the United States Federal Reserve System
USA

7
Bill Gates
Head of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
USA

8
Mario Draghi
Head of the European Central Bank
Italy

9
Sergey Brin
Cofounder of Google
Russia/USA

9
Larry Page
Cofounder of Google
USA

10
David Cameron
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
UK

11
Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud
King of Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
12
Warren Buffett
CEO of Berkshire Hathaway
USA

13
Li Keqiang
Premier of China
China

14
Carlos Slim Helu
Head of América Móvil and other Holdings
Mexico

15
Narendra Modi
Prime Minister of India
India

16
Jeff Bezos
CEO of Amazon
USA

17
Francois Hollande
President of France
France

18
Jamie Dimon
CEO of JPMorgan Chase 
USA

19
Ali Hoseini-Khamenei
Supreme Leader (Grand Ayatollah) of Iran
Iran

20
Rex Tillerson
CEO of Exxon Mobil
USA

21
Jeffrey Immelt
CEO of General Electric
USA

22
Mark Zuckerberg
CEO of Facebook
USA

23
Michael Bloomberg
CEO of Bloomberg
USA

24
Charles Koch
Heads of Koch Industries
USA

24
David Koch
Heads of Koch Industries
USA

25
Timothy Cook
CEO of Apple
USA

26
Benjamin Netanyahu
Prime Minister of Israel
Israel

27
Lloyd Blankfein
Head of Goldman Sachs
USA

28
Li Ka-shing
Head of Hutchison Whampoa
China

29
Doug McMillon
President and CEO of Walmart Stores, Inc
USA

30
Jack Ma
Founder and Head of Alibaba Group
China

31
Dilma Rousseff
President of Brazil
Brazil

32
Rupert Murdoch & Family
Head of News Corporation
Australia


33
Christine Lagarde
Head of the international Monetary Fund (IMF)
France

34
Akio Toyoda
Head of Toyota Motors
Japan

35
Jay Y. Lee
Business magnate and Vice Chairman of Samsung
South Korea

35
Lee Kun-Hee
Chairman of Samsung
South Korea

36
Mukesh Ambani
Head of Reliance Industries
India

37
Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan
President of the United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates

38
Masayoshi Son
Head of Softbank
Korea/Japan

39
Larry Fink
Chairman and CEO of BlackRock
USA

40
Ban Ki-moon
United Nations Organization
South Korea

41
Robin Li
Chairman and CEO of Baidu Inc
China

42
Igor Sechin
Rosneft
Russia

43
Ding Xuedong
Head of China International Capital Corp
China

44
Bill Clinton
Former US President and Head of Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation
USA


45
Jim Yong Kim
President of the World Bank
South Korea/USA

46
Park Geun-hye
President of South Korea
South Korea

47
Alexey Miller
Head of Gazprom
Russia

48
Haruhiko Kuroda
Head of the Bank of Japan
Japan

49
Kim Jong-un
President of North Korea
North Korea

50
Ali Al-Naimi
Saudi Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources
Saudi Arabia