Thursday, October 23, 2014

Birthday in a Box - animated Flash ecard by Jacquie Lawson

Birthday in a Box - animated Flash ecard by Jacquie Lawson:

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Oscar's career is 'finished' | Sport24

Oscar's career is 'finished' | Sport24:

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My Wife Gave Me $10,000,000 For My Birthday!

My friends and loved ones 66 years ago today I came into this world. I was premature by a month and a half.My survival prospects were not good.
One intrepid young doctor named Harold Ross worked on me all night long and saved my life.
When I would come home to see my mother, she would smile. Then she would bury her face in both of her hands and remain silent for a moment. When she looked up she would always utter the words: "Son it's a miracle that you're still alive."
At this special moment I stop and gives thanks to God for allowing me to stay on this earth for 66 years and to have the wonderful gifts that I have been given. I think about those close to me who did not make it this far including four friends who died in the Vietnam war.
If you were the house right now, I would take you to the dining room. Elena jokes that it looks like an African museum. On the dining table you would find a thick and transparent picture frame. Inside the frame is a $10,000,000 Zimbabwe dollar note. Elena gave it to me as my birthday gift. It's actual monetary value is $50.00 US, at best.
It is a treasure to me. It symbolizes the special 44-year relationship that I have had with this small and often troubled African country just north of South Africa.
I was first introduced to Zimbabwe when I was an undergraduate at Tulane University in 1970. One of our neighbors in the married student's dorm was a man named Mutizwa Chirunga. He was older than me and a graduate student. He was an articulate and intelligent man. He spoke English with a beautiful British accent. He would spend hours talking to me about his native country. He taught me much about his culture and values. I began to see how native people in African countries resented the colonialism imposed on them by European countries.
Mutizwa's wife Jackie gave birth to a son. He was also named Mutizwa. When the little baby had its christening ceremony, my first wife and I were the only Europeans invited to a ceremony attended by Africans living in New Orleans. We were touched and honored.
In 1971 I said goodbye to Mutizwa and Jackie as I left Tulane to go to the US Navy. I never saw him again. I later found out that he had died at age 62 of cancer in 2004.
I never forgot all of his tales of his native country. In September of 1981, I drove across the South African border and found myself in Zimbabwe. It was not as Mutizwa had described it. I saw no jungles. It was all high veld or high plains. I did not see any improvement of the life of the African population after Robert Mugabe had come to power. I drove through the country side and ended up in Harare. It was an educational experience for me. I boarded a flight for Frankfurt,Germany. I did not see Africa again for nine years.
When I returned to live in South Africa, I ran into many people who had fled Zimbabwe to avoid the rule of Robert Mugabwe. I even dated a beautiful woman originally from Zimbabwe.
I left South Africa in December of 1994. My next contact with Zimbabwe was during the time that I was international sales manager for Telewave, Inc. I sold some products to Zimbabwe. Our South African representative, Mike Daykin was also from Zimbabwe. During my time at Telewave l also developed a wonderful friendship with Zimbabwean Mandy Findlater. I also developed a wonderful friendship with Zimbabwean Andrew Field and former Zimbabwe soldier Tim Bax.
Ten years ago I opened a modest brokerage account with a company in Johannesburg, Imara SP Reid. It has been a wonderful business relationship that prospers to this day. It is an investment company started in 1938. It is basically a Zimbabwe company. I have built wonderful relationships at this company including Guy Algeo, Cameron Horsfall, Rajeev Sokur, and Warwick Lucas.
In one of Zimbabwe's presidential elections, it appeared that Robert Mugabe was going to be voted out of office and replace by Morgan Tsvangarai. Elena and I made a substantial investment in the Zimbabwe stock exchange. Sadly for us, Robert Mugabe won reelection because a third-party candidate had taken votes away from Morgan Tsvangarai.
Hyper inflation racked Zimbawe. At one point our account there was worth tens of billions of Zimbabwe dollars. I would joke with Elena that it was the only time in her life that she was a billionaire.Then the whole market crashed. It appeared for a while that we had lost our entire investment. Then some sanity returned and we recovered 60% of our investment. Our money was sent back to Johannesburg. The skilled investment management of the Imara team recovered our loss.
Zimbabwe eventually gave up on the Zimbabwe dollar as currency. Now all business is done in US dollars and South African Rands.
For the longest time I have wanted one of those big-denomination Zimbabwe dollars. Elena got lucky and found one for me in Sedona, Arizona of all places. A man from Zimbabwe named Gedion Nyanhongo supplied it to her. Elena thank you for a wonderful birthday present that touched my heart. Zimbabwe thank you for being a part of my life for 44 years and making my life richer!

Monday, October 20, 2014

My Prediction On The Final Sentence In The Oscar Pistorius Case

Hi everyone Elena and I are back from Sedona and doing the usual "mad catch up game"after being away. We had a wonderful time and saw a lot of beautiful views of an incredible area. We also enjoyed the wonderful hospitality and friendliness of the people of Sedona, Arizona.
Tomorrow Oscar Pistorius gets sentenced. I would not want to be in the shoes of the judge who must make the fateful decision with the entire world literally looking over her shoulder.
I have observed law around the world for over 40 years. After a while, one sees that throughout the world there is a market value for sentences for various crimes (With the exception of some states that still use the death penalty and others that have abolished it.
In the case of manslaughter, the sentence virtually anywhere int he world can range from probation to a mid range of two years up to four years on the top end. Look for a final outcome somewhere in that range.
This case has been a tragedy for all concerned. I'm glad that it's coming to an end.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Out Of Africa Too Long!!!!!!!

Facebook: "I have a wonderful book dealer in South Africa. Over the years he has provided us with incredible books. Yesterday he sent us a book on Mount Kilamanjaro in Africa. This peak is 19,000 feet tall. But it is a gentle climb and not as dangerous and deadly as mountains like Mount Everest. Elena has considered this climb for a long time. I asked her to read the book. I have been "out of Africa" for almost 20 years. It's time to return. I will take Elena to climb this mountain in 2015!"

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LIVE: I hope to God he's cheating on Reeva - Reeva's cousin | News24

LIVE: I hope to God he's cheating on Reeva - Reeva's cousin | News24:

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Oscar trial: Parole officer was paid by defence | News24

Oscar trial: Parole officer was paid by defence | News24:

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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Ebola Outbreak Poses 32.6 Billion Threat To West Africa Economy

October 8, 2014 12:01 pm

Ebola outbreak poses $32.6bn threat to west Africa economy

epa04434906 A Liberian man walks past an Ebola sensitization mural in Monrovia, Liberia 06 October 2014. Figures released from the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) indicate the death toll from Ebola in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone has exceeded 3,400. In neighbouring Sierra Leone, 121 deaths from Ebola were recorded in one day, according to government health statistics compiled by Sierra Leone's Emergency Operations Centre, bringing the total number of deaths to 678 on 05 October 2014, up from 557 the day before. EPA/AHMED JALLANZO©EPA
The Ebola outbreak in west Africa is likely to result in a $32.6bn hit to the region’s economy over the next 15 months if it is not contained in the three countries now affected most, the World Bank warned on Wednesday.
The estimate made by economists for the bank ahead of its annual meeting this week provides the starkest picture yet of the growing economic cost of an outbreak that has already left more than 3,400 people dead in west Africa and this week saw a nurse in Madrid catch the virus, the first case to originate outside Africa.
The bank’s economists said in the new report their forecast would justify the world spending billions to contain the outbreak which has spread largely unchecked in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone due to the poor health infrastructure in those countries.
Under a “Low Ebola” scenario which would see the outbreak contained to those three countries by the end of this year the impact on gross domestic product would amount to $3.8bn by the end of 2015, the economists said.
But under a “High Ebola” scenario under which the outbreak spreads to neighbouring countries in west Africa such as Ghana, Nigeria and Senegal, the hit to the region’s economy would be $7.4bn this year and a further $25.2bn in 2015, or the equivalent of 3.3 per cent of regional GDP.
“This is an enormous cost, not only for the most affected countries, but for the region as a whole. It has the potential to be deeply destabilising and requires an immediate response,” the 71-page report said.

FT Video

The death toll from the worst Ebola outbreak in west Africa is mounting, and for the first time the disease has spread to major urban centres
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned last month that, if uncontained, the outbreak could lead to as many as 1.4m cases of Ebola and about 700,000 deaths by the end of January next year in the three most-affected countries. That, the World Bank economists said, would be equivalent to the number of people who die in those countries in three or more years and amount to a “catastrophic mortality event that has not been seen on earth since the 1918 influenza epidemic”.
Under their “High Ebola” scenario the World Bank economists modelled the impact of a less catastrophic outbreak that would see about 200,000 cases spread across west Africa and 100,000 deaths before the outbreak was extinguished by the end of 2015.

Experts reject fears Ebola could become airborne

FILE - This undated file image made available by the CDC shows the Ebola Virus. And across the U.S., one of the nation's largest ambulance companies has put together step-by-step instructions on how to wrap the interior of a rig with plastic sheeting while transporting a patient infected with Ebola. (AP Photo/CDC, File)
Virologists rejected suggestions on Tuesday that Ebola might mutate to become an airborne virus after a Spanish nurse became the person to contract the virus outside of west Africa.
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The main impact on the economy would be through lower growth with the rate across the region expected to tumble from the 6.7 per cent growth forecast for this year to 4.1 per cent in 2015.
“With swift international action Ebola can be contained and not only thousands of precious lives could be saved but also economic cost for the region could be limited,” the World Bank economists wrote. “If the outbreak is not contained the economic costs could run into billions of [dollars] in foregone output.”
“Acting fast not only saves precious lives, but our estimates indicate that spending even billions of dollars to contain the spread would be cost effective,” they said.


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Princess Di's Cape Town stay for sale | Fin24

Princess Di's Cape Town stay for sale | Fin24:

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