16 December 2009

Yulia Tymoshenko

Tymoshenko was born in Dnipopetrovsk, as the daughter of Ludmila Nikolaevna Telegina and Vladimir Abramovich Hryhyan (her father left the family when Yulia was three years old). She took the surname of her mother, under which she graduated. In 1979 Tymoshenko married Oleksandr Tymoshenko, son of a mid-level Soviet communist party bureaucrat. Tymoshenko graduated from the Dinpropetrovsk State University with a degree in economics in 1984 and went on to gain a candidate degree (equivalent to Ph.D) in economics. Since then, she has written about 50 papers. Tymoshenko is also a former student of the National Mining University of Ukraine, bit did not graduate there. Yulia Tymoshenko moved into politics in 1996 and was elected to the Verkhovna Rada (Ukraine parliament) from the Kirovohrad Oblast, winning a record 92.3% of the vote in her constituency. In Parliament she then joins the faction Constitutional Centre. She was re-elected in 1998 on the party list of Hromada and became the Chair of the Budget Committee of the Verkhovna Rada. After Hromada's party leader Pavlo Lazarenko fled to the United States in the spring 1999 to avoid investigations for embezzlement various faction members left Hromada to join other paliamentary faction, among them Tymoshenko who set up the All-Ukrainian Union Fatherland faction. From 1999 to 2001 Tymoshenko was the Deputy Prime Minister for fuel and energy sector in the cabinet of Viktor Yuschenko. She was fired by President Leonid Kuchma in January 2001 after developing a conflict with oligarchs in the industry. Soon after her dismissal Tymoshenko led the loose organization National Salvation Committee and became active in the Ukraine without Kuchma-protests. In mid-February 2001 Tymoshenko was arrested on charges of forging customs documents and smuggling of gas between 1995 and 1997 (while president of United Energy Systems of Ukraine) but released several weeks later. Her political supporters organized several protest rallies near the Lukyanivska Prison where she was held in custody. According to Tymoshenko, the charges were fabricated by Kuchma's regime, under the influence of oligarchs threatened by her efforts to root out corruption and institute market-based reforms. In spite of being cleared of the charges, Moskow maintained an arrest warrant for Tymoshenko should she enter Russia until her dismissal as Prime Minister over for years later.
Yulia Volodymyrivna Tymoshenko is managing Ukraine's economic meltdown; Ukraine's first female prime minister negotiated over $16 billion in a two-year Stand-By Arrangement with the IMF to counter adverse economic affects of the drop in steel prices and mounting foreign debt. Spiking inflation, contracting GDP and concerns about Kiev's ability to pay for Russian gas imports are also weighing heavily on Tymoshenko's 2010 presidential campaign. Has been making nice with former adversary, billionaire Rinat Akhmetov, member of the opposition Party of Regions. She regained her prime minister post in December 2007 after being sacked two years earlier in part due to criticism for moves against assets allegedly sold cheaply to billionaires.

The Bahamas

The Islands of the Bahamas is a 100,000-sq-mile archipelago that extends over 500 miles of the clearest water in the world. This territory consists of 700 islands, including inhabited cays and large rocks, with total estimated land area of 5,382 sq miles. The Bahamas has a population of around 300,000. Recent archaeological digs indicate people lived in the Islands of Bahamas as early as 300 to 400 AD. These people probable came from Cuba and relied on the ocean for their food. In the 10th century, Lucayan Indians -- subgroup of the Arawaks -- settled in the Islands of the Bahamas. The Lucayans had left the Lesser Antilles to avoid their enemies, the Carib Indians. They were politically, socially and religiously advanced. When Christopher Columbus arrived in 1492 on San Salvador (some historians think he landed on Cat Island), there were about 40,000 Lucayans living in the Island of the Bahamas. However, slavery, disease, and other hardships ensured that the entire tribe was extinct within 25 years of Columbus' arrival. In 1648, a group of dissident English Puritans (known as the Eleutheran Adventures) arrived on the Islands in their quest for religious freedom. In the late 1600s to the early 1700s the Islands of the Bahamas made an ideal home base for pirates and privateers. The Islands of the Bahamas went into an economic slump that lasted until the 1940s and World War II, when it served as an air and sea way-station in the Atlantic. Construction of the base brought jobs to many people. In the 1961, the Islands of the Bahamas' good fortune rebound by capitalizing on its close proximity to the United States. In 1964, Great Britain granted Bahamas limited self-government. In 1969, the colony of the Bahamas became a Commonwealth. It then legally became a nation on July 10th, 1973, which is celebrated today as Bahamaian Independence Day. The Constitution of the Bahamas is based on the Westminster Model; Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the Executive Branch, the Legislative Branch, and judicial Branch. The key Act on local government in the Bahamas is the Local Government Act 1996. To date, there have been no amendments to the Act but it is curerntly under review. The Local Government Act, 1996 created 23 districts in the Family Islands, and in 1999, the Minister for Family Island Affairs, under authority of the Local Government Act, 1996, created eight new districts (total of 32). According to the Local Government Act, there are two types of local councils in the Bahamas, namely Second Schedule District councils, which are subdivided into Town Areas, and Third Schedule District councils, which are not subdivided. There are 13 second-schedule district councils and 18 third-schedule district councils. The two differ in the way in which the councillors are elected, the functions for which they are responsible, and in that second-schedule districts have sub-structures (town areas) governed by town committees. Local government policy is formulated an administered through the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Local Government within the Local Government Act of 1996. The minister may create new local government areas form time to time based on demography. There have been no cases of ministerial intervention in council business, although the minister has these powers. Tale of the tape Total population (2003): 314,000 Female population (2003): 159,000 Male population (2003): 155,000 Sex ratio (males per 100 females) (2003): 97 Unemployment rate (15+) (1998): 7.7% GDP total (2002): USD 4,818 millions GDP per capita (2002): USD 15,344 Value added in agriculture (of GDP) (1984): 2.3% Value added in services (of GDP) (1984): 83.9% Public expenditure in education (of GNP) (1985-1987): 4% Public expenditure in health (of GNP) (1998): 2.5%

The Prehistoric Nusantara

Prehistoric Nusantara consists of a very long period, beginning somewhat 1.7 millions years ago. Our knowledge about this information is based on findings of human (hominid) and animal remains and fossils and other ancient evidences. Nusantara has been a very interesting region to discuss because of its strategic figure. From east to south of this archipelago, lies a meeting point between two massive continental flanks: Eurasia and Indo-Australia. At this point, the Eurasian flank moves southward and stabs into the bottom of the Indo-Australian flank, which moves northward. This movement has created a volcanic line along the Sumatra and Java islands, continued to Nusa Tenggara. It is therefore Nusantara has a high risk of volcanic earthquake. At the east point where two other massive continental flanks melt, Eurasia and Pacific, there is another line of volcanoes in Maluku islands in the north moving northward to Sulawesi island and the Philippines. Meanwhile, in the modern Nusantara western territory, which is estimated to emerge during Pleistosen era, the archipelago was once adjacent to the continental Asia. It is predicted that part of the archipelago belonged to the sea bed, namely Sundaland. This sea bed was parallel to what being so called Wallace Line. On the other hand, the east region of Nusantara was geographically part of Australian continent. Before having its modern name, Australia used to be Sahul land and part of Indo-Australia flank. Through its geological change, this continent was once part of Gondwana continent. In the end of Ice Age (20,000 to 10,000 years ago), earth temperature rose causing an extreme elevation of sea water surface. Most of the Sundaland was covered by ocean and created a group of new waters such as Malaka Strait, South China Sea, Karimata Strait, and Java Sea. During this period, Malaya Peninsula, Sumatera Island, Java Island, Kalimantan Island emerged together with other smaller islands and isles. From the east direction, Australian continent broke down giving birth to new islands and isles: Irian (Papua) and Aru. The sea water surface elevation had forced native people to separate and, in turn, inspired the birth of modern Nusantara. Geological history of Nusantara affects the flora and fauna living in this region, in particular human-like creatures that once inhabited the archipelago. Nusantara used to be a sea bed, like the southern coast of Java and Nusa Tenggara. It has been evidenced by the discovery of vary marine fossils in these two areas. Their fundamental materials consist of karts, which were made from ancient coral reef lime sediments. Coal sediments in Sumatera and Kalimantan indicates that these regions had forests during Paleozoikum era. The shallow seas between Sumatera and Java (including Bali), and between Java and Kalimantan, as well as Arafura Sea and Torres strait are young water territories which only emerged by the end of the last Ince Age (10,000 years before the modern era). There is similarity in animal and floral species between them. Human-like creatures (hominin) that lived in Nusantara are believed the anchestors of the modern Javaneses. The fossil of skull remains of Pithecanthropus erectus, discovered in 1891 by Eugene Dubois in Trinil Ngawi, proved this. In 1934, other geologist, GHR von Koenigswald led a team of excavation of hominin fossils in Sangiran and Ngandong, a valley along the river bank of Bengawan Solo, and in Brantas riverbank nearby Mojokerto. Most paleonthologists argue that the whole fossils discovered are actually Homo erectus in its primitive form. The fossils were once estimated to be 1,000,000 to 500,000 years old (carbon measurement is impossible to perform).
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