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Monday, February 24, 2014

It Was a Remarkable Weekend for Some 'Big Names' Around the World


Putin
Vladimir Putin's dreams came true as he successfully pulled of the Sochi Olympics without any major incidents. Russia even won the medal count. Now the Czar has to turn his attention to a less pleasant matter - the Ukraine. His dream of drawing it more closely into the Russian Federation evaporated over the weekend.

Victor Yanukovich, the President of the Ukraine went from being a wealthy and powerful president into a mass-murderer criminal in 24 hours. The Ukraine parliament ended 3 months of violent turmoil in the country by dramatically voting President Yanukovich out of office. Yanukovich and his family disappeared from Kiev that night.
Yanukovich

Ukraine's acting government issued an arrest warrant Monday for President Viktor Yanukovych, accusing him of mass crimes against the protesters who stood up for months against his rule. It might have been avoided but for the snipers killing dozens of people in the last few days of the revolution.

This is a dangerous time for Ukraine. Yanokovich vowed he would remain in power. The only way that can happen is if Russia backs him up and literally invades the Ukraine. Does Putin have the nerve to raise the ire of the international community? Taking military control of Ukraine must be very tempting to the ambitious Czar who would like nothing better than to rebuild the old Soviet dominance of eastern Europe.
Yulia Tymoshenko

Yulia Tymoshenko, the beautiful icon of Ukrainian resistance has been set free from prison as one of the first acts by the interim government. She had been in prison since 2011, has been on many hunger strikes, and has suffered from a herniated disc in her back.

While attractive and a powerful speaker for Ukraine's association with the EU, Tymoshenko may not be any less corrupt than Yanukovich. She is one of the richest women in the country.

Joaquin (Shorty) Guzman, the most powerful drug-lord in North America, was finally arrested this weekend by Mexican marines. The head of the Sinaloa Cartel, Guzman escaped prison in 2001 and has been evading capture ever since.
'Shorty' Guzman

Guzman is revered in his home state and immortalized in songs written about his exploits. His capture, however, is not expected to make a dent in the flow of drugs through his cartel, but may, in fact, result in an increase in violence as neighboring cartels may try to move in on Sinaloa territory.

Alice Hertz-Sommer
Alice Hertz-Sommer died this weekend. She was the oldest living survivor of the holocaust at 110. "We all came to believe that she would just never die," said Frederic Bohbot, Montreal-based producer of the documentary The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life. The documentary is up for an Academy Award this year.

Hertz-Sommer survived the holocaust because she was an accomplished pianist.
The original Von Trapp family Singers
Maria is in the middle
Maria von Trapp, the last surviving member of the original Trapp Family Singers whose escape from Nazi-occupied Austria was the basis for The Sound of Music, has died. She was 99. Maria was born in the Austrian Alps where her family had fled from the First World War. She served as a missionary in Papua, New Guinea, and helped run the family ski lodge in Vermont.

CNN's prime-time talk show Piers Morgan Live is coming to an end, the news channel said Sunday.

Piers Morgan
Morgan, who succeeded Larry King in the 9 p.m. ET time slot three years ago, was drawing lacklustre ratings. In contrast, King had a 25-year run on CNN.

The airdate for Morgan's last show has yet to be determined, CNN said in a statement. Morgan said that Americans were tired of a Brit weighing in on their cultural affairs.

A senior Pakistani Taliban commander has been shot dead in a militant stronghold near the Afghan border, security sources and relatives say.

Asmatullah Shaheen was ambushed as he drove through a village near Miranshah in North Waziristan, reports said. Three aides in the vehicle also died.
Shaheen

It is unclear who killed them. There has been no word from the militants.

Shaheen was briefly the TTP (Pakistani Taliban) interim leader after its chief Hakimullah Mehsud was killed last year.

Since then, there have been a series of attacks in which unidentified gunmen have targeted militants in the tribal areas, puzzling observers about who could be behind them.

Jason Collins
Veteran basketball player Jason Collins has become the first openly gay athlete to play in a competitive game for a major US professional sports league.

Earlier on Sunday, he signed a 10-day contract with the Brooklyn Nets.

Collins entered the court at the start of the second quarter in a game against the Los Angeles Lakers. The 35-year-old centre, who has played for five other NBA teams, was given a warm reception by the crowd.

He only revealed he was gay in a Sports Illustrated magazine interview last April. At the time he was not signed to a team.