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December 5, 2009

Vyacheslav Tikhonov, Russian actor most famous for Stirlitz, dies at 81

Vyacheslav Tikhonov, Russian actor most famous for Stirlitz, dies at 81

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Saturday, December 5, 2009

File:Vyacheslav Tikhonov 1963 photo.jpg

Vyacheslav Tikhonov (1963 postcard photo)
(Image missing from commons: image; log)

Famous Soviet and Russian actor Vyacheslav Tikhonov died Friday aged 81.

Born in 1928, he made his film debut in 1948. The first fame came in 1968, when he featured in Sergei Bondarchuk’s Oscar-winning War and Peace as Andrei Bolkonsky and in We’ll Live Till Monday in the leading role of a history school teacher.

Cquote1.svg This role [of Stirlitz] personified an ideal Soviet spy — smart, refined, intelligent Cquote2.svg

—Sergei Ivanov, Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister

He is best known for his role of the Soviet spy Standartenführer Stirlitz in the famous 1973 television series Seventeen Moments of Spring, Soviet classics about World War II. Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Cabinet Sergei Ivanov, and the former head of the Foreign Intelligence Service, remarked that, “this role personified an ideal Soviet spy — smart, refined, intelligent”.

His later roles included the portrayal of a KGB General in the 1984 television series TASS Is Authorized to Declare…, also written by Moments author Yulian Semyonov, and the role in the award-winning 1994 film Burnt by the Sun.

Russian state broadcasting company VGTRK recently presented a version of the 17 Moments with restored color. It took approximately US$3,000 to colorize each minute of the film, a $2,520,000 total cost. The television series Isayev was also released recently by Central Partnership, about the deeds of young Stirlitz, based on the novels by Semyonov. Isayev was played by Daniil Strahov.

He was operated on in the Central Clinical Hospital of Moscow last Saturday, but his health remained in a poor condition and he died after a second infarction.

Union Of Cinematographists of Russia specifically asked Yuriy Luzhkov, the Moscow mayor, to permit the burial of the People’s Artist at Novodevichiye cemetery. The date and place of the funeral will not be decided until Monday.

He is survived by second wife Tamara, daughter Anna Tikhonova (also in actoring) and four grandsons. His first wife, Nonna Mordyukova, died last year.



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State of the health care system in Sierra Leone critical

Filed under: Africa,Archived,Health,Médecins Sans Frontières — admin @ 5:00 am

State of the health care system in Sierra Leone critical

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Saturday, December 5, 2009

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According to Médecins Sans Frontières the health care system in Sierra Leone causes loss of life because the poor cannot afford medical treatment. The maternal death rate and the child mortality rate in Sierra Leone are the highest in the world. Experiences of Médecins Sans Frontières had shown that free care or low fees lead to a dramatic increase in the number of patients. Nonetheless the national health system of Sierra Leone demands payment for all treatment with simple consultations costing as much as 25 days of income. According to Action Against Hunger the number of children with acute malnutrition has reached almost twice the level of the WHO’s emergency threshold of 2% in the Moyamba district of Sierra Leone.

The Los Angeles Times writes that Sierra Leone, in spite of decades of foreign aid, has not yet increased the standard of living of its people considerably and 60% of the public spending of Sierra Leone come from other governments and nonprofit organizations. Since 2002 the country received $1 billion in aid but the infant mortality rate is almost the highest in the world, lower than Angola but higher than Afghanistan. The newspaper further reports that the United Nations state that 1 in 8 Sierra Leonean women die giving birth, as compared to 1 in 4,800 in the United States and that life expectancy in Sierra Leone is merely 41 years while in Bangladesh life expectancy reaches 60 years.

The government of Sierra Leone had expressed its intend to abolish user fees for women and children with a new plan for a fairer health care system that was to be revealed on the Sierra Leone Investment and Donor Conference, which was held in London on November 18 and 19.

“The Sierra Leone government has publicly stated its commitment to abolish user fees, and the UK government and other donors have promised to help,” said Seco Gerard, advisor at Médecins Sans Frontières’s analysis and advocacy unit. “What is crucial now is that Sierra Leone actually receives the necessary funding and technical assistance to realise this objective. It is time that words are being followed up by concrete action. If not, people who could otherwise be saved will continue to die needlessly every day.”

The Telegraph reports that president Bai Koroma was also hoping to secure a significant increase in aid donations with his new health plan. While Germany declined to support president Bai Koroma’s “Agenda for Change” and urged to give more consideration to women’s welfare the country received support from the European Union, DFID, UNIPSIL, World Bank, IFAD and the African Development Bank. From the pledges of $850 million the government of Sierra Leone was hoping for only about $300 millions could be secured, with attached conditionalities concerning the use of funding.

In a presentation at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development in Freetown the Unicef representative for Sierra Leone, Mr. Mahimbo Mdoe, expressed gratitude about a pledge of about $1.3 million conveyed by the Ambassador of Japan to Sierra Leone, His Excellency Mr. Keiichi Katakami, and about earlier donations to UNICEF-Sierra Leone in the past years, amounting to over $20 million. The intended application of the funding is the goal to half child and maternal mortality by 2010, to introduce a social health insurance scheme, to improve equipment and to train health professionals.



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Professional wrestler Eddie Fatu dies age 36

Professional wrestler Eddie Fatu dies age 36

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Saturday, December 5, 2009

Eddie “Umaga” Fatu earlier this year.

Professional wrestler Eddie Fatu, who wrestled in for World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) has died at the age of 36. Fatu died of a heart attack while on life support at a Texas hospital. He is reported to have fallen asleep while watching television at home, his wife found him unresponsive several hours later and rushed him to hospital.

Originally from Samoa, Fatu came from the Anoa’i wrestling family and was the cousin of former World Heavyweight wrestling champion Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. During his career he worked for several companies. His latest stint was with World Wrestling Federation in which he held their Intercontinental championship. During his time he headlined Wrestlemania, the biggest wrestling event of the year and tried for the heavyweight championship.

He was released in June of this year after failing a drug test and refusing to go to rehab. After his release he wrestled in Total Nonstop Action and All Japan.

His former employers, WWE released a statement saying “WWE would like to express its deepest condolences to Mr. Fatu’s family, friends and fans on his tragic passing. Mr. Fatu was under contract with WWE at various time periods and most recently performed under the name “Umaga.” Mr. Fatu’s contract was terminated on June 11, 2009”.



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Final draw sets groups for FIFA World Cup 2010

Final draw sets groups for FIFA World Cup 2010

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Saturday, December 5, 2009

2010 FIFA World Cup
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Other 2010 FIFA World Cup stories
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  • 27 June 2010: 2010 FIFA World Cup: arrivederci Italia!
More info from Wikipedia
  • 2010 FIFA World Cup
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The FIFA final draw, which determined team positioning in the 2010 FIFA World Cup, was held Friday in Cape Town, South Africa. The globally televised event, which featured traditional African music and dance, is estimated to have been watched by as many as 200 million people around the world. FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke and South African-born actress Charlize Theron announced the random selection of teams for their round-robin tournament style groupings. Also introduced during the ceremony was Adidas’ official 2010 Match Ball, Jabulani, a name meaning ‘to celebrate’ in Zulu.

The final group pairings are:

Group A: South Africa, Mexico, Uruguay, France

Group B: Argentina, Nigeria, Korea Republic, Greece

Group C: England, USA, Algeria, Slovenia

Group D: Germany, Australia, Serbia, Ghana

Group E: Netherlands, Denmark, Japan, Cameroon

Group F: Italy, Paraguay, New Zealand, Slovakia

Group G: Brazil, Korea DPR, Côte d’Ivoire, Portugal

Group H: Spain, Switzerland, Honduras, Chile



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2010 FIFA World Cup seeding
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