Stephanie Tubbs Jones

United States congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones, representing Cleveland, Ohio died today following a brain aneurysm.

Jones was observed by police driving erratically on the evening of August 19, 2008. When police approached her car, they found her unresponsive. She was rushed to Huron Hospital in East Cleveland, where she remained overnight. She never regained consciousness. Jones died the following day, at 6:12pm EDT (UTC-4).

Stephanie Tubbs Jones leaves behind a son, Mervyn Leroy Jones II. Her husband of 27 years died in 2003.

Senator Barack Obama issued a statement: “Michelle and I are saddened to hear today’s news about Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones. She is a passionate and tireless advocate for the people of Cleveland and a devoted public servant for all Americans. We send our heartfelt prayers to Stephanie and her family at this very difficult time.”

The mayor of Cleveland released the following statement prior to Jones’ passing: “My thoughts and prayers are with Stephanie and her family. I have known the Congresswoman for my entire political career and for several years prior to taking public office. She has supported me professionally and has been a loyal friend. As a public servant, she has stood firm with, and for, so many of us and I am asking everyone to take a moment to pray that she makes a full recovery.”

From 1991 to 1999, she was the prosecutor in Cuyahoga County, Ohio. She was both the first female and the first African American to hold this office.

Jones had served in the United States House of Representatives since 1999 and was currently the co-chair of the Democratic National Committee. She was the first African American woman to be elected to Congress from Ohio.

Source : wikinews

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Levy Mwanawasa

Levy Mwanawasa, the President of Zambia died yesterday at age 59. He died in a Paris hospital in France. His death was intially announced by an anonymous family member. It was later confirmed on television by vice president Rupiah Banda.

Mwanawase suffered a stroke while in Egypt in June of this year for an African Union summit, whereafter he was flown to France. His condition suddenly deteriorated on Monday.

“I also wish to inform the nation that national mourning starts today and will be for seven days,” said Banda.

United States President George W. Bush expressed condolences and referred to Mwanawasa as “a champion of democracy in his own country and throughout Africa.”

Mwanawase whose political career started in 1985 when he was appointed Solicitor General in the Zambian government. He was appointed Vice President of Zambia in 1991. He left office in 1994 announcing gross abuse of office and corruption as his reason. He retired in 1996 but later ran for president in 2001.

He won the 2001 presidential election beating ten other candidates. He sucessfully ran for a second term in 2006. He was one of the first African leaders to critisise Robert Mugabe.

He also criticised the West for its position on doing business with China. “You people in the West redeem yourself before you begin attacking China,” Mwanawasa said.

Mwanawasa suffered a mild stroke in 2006. On July 3, 2008 it was reported that Mwanawasa had died, these reports later turnt out to be false. He had been in the French hospital since early July. Rupiah Banda is now the current acting president of Zambia. A presidential by-election will have to be called within 90 days.

Source : wikinews

Marxists.org.

Hua Guofeng, the successor of Chinese communist leader Mao Zedong, died this afternoon in Beijing at age 87 from an undisclosed disease.

Born Su Zhu in China’s Shanxi province in 1921, Guofeng became a Communist Party member at age 15. Soon after, he became known to Mao Zedong in 1954, and as a result rose quickly through the party ranks.

After he succeeded Zhou Enlai as China’s Premier, Guofeng was chosen by the dying Mao to be his successor. After becoming Premier and Chinese Communist Party Chairman, he ended the Cultural Revolution and had the Gang of Four (including Mao’s last wife, Jiang Qing) arrested.

A vain leader, Hua had the National People’s Congress, the CPC Party Congress, and all schools hang portraits of Mao side-by-side with himself in prominent positions. Hua also attempted to change the Chinese national anthem’s lyrics to incorporate Mao Zedong, however these revisions were rejected.

He was effectively ousted in 1978 as a result of Deng Xiaoping‘s increasingly strong grip on the Communist Party. Guofeng was replaced as Premier in 1980 ending four years of service.

Caymmi chega a Salvador para receber o Prêmio Jorge Amado em 2006

Dorival Caymmi, a popular Brazilian singer and songwriter, has died today at the age of 94 at his Rio de Janeiro home. His death was caused by kidney cancer and multiple organ failures.

Caymmi wrote over one hundred songs in his lifetime. His song “Das Rosas” was translated into English as “And Roses and Roses” by the American lyricist Ray Gilbert. Associated Press has reported that his “deep, velvety voice” made Caymmi one of Brazil’s most popular musicians. One of his most popular songs, “O que e que a Baiana tem” gained popularity after being performed by Carmen Miranda, who was a popular Brazillian samba singa and film star.

Also an actor, Caymmi performed in several film roles, his first being Joujoux e Balangandãs in 1939. He also starred in Pureza, Abacaxi azul, Estrela da Manhã, Pluft, o Fantasminha, Garota de Ipanema, The Sandpit Generals (an English language film) and, most recently, Tenda dos Milagres. According to Maria Ferreira, a relative of Caymmi, the family is “very shaken” by his death. He is survived by his three children.

Source : wikinews

A man about to be indicted by the United States Department of Justice died Tuesday. His lawyer has called the death a suicide.

Bruce E. Ivins, 62, was taken to Frederick Memorial Hospital in Frederick, Maryland, where he died of an overdose of Tylenol and codeine, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday.

Ivins, who worked at the biodefense laboratories in Fort Detrick, Maryland for 18 years, was about to be charged by the Justice Department in connection with the 2001 anthrax attacks, which killed five people and infected 17 others.

Ivin’s lawyer, Paul Kemp, insisted that his client had no role in the attacks, which targeted politicians in Washington DC, and members of the media in New York City and Florida.

“For six years, Dr. Ivins fully cooperated with that investigation, assisting the government in every way that was asked of him,” Mr. Kemp told the New York Times. “The relentless pressure of accusation and innuendo takes its toll in different ways on different people, as has already been seen in this investigation. In Dr. Ivins’ case, it led to his untimely death.”

Both the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times report that Ivins assisted the FBI and other agencies in the investigation after the 2001 attacks.

The Los Angeles Times reports that Ivins was reinvestigated beginning in 2006 after FBI Director Robert Mueller changed the case’s leadership. Before then, the only labeled “person of interest” was Steven J. Hatfill. He has since been cleared and paid between $4.6 and $5.82 million by the U.S. Government as part of a settlement stemming for 2003 law suits filed against the Justice Department and government officials, including former Attorney General John Ashcroft.

The New York Times also reported that a spokesman for Hatfill said that rushing to judgment in the case is a mistake.

“Everybody is jumping to the conclusion that because this guy committed suicide, he must be the anthrax killer,” Mr. Clawson told the New York Times. “That is a lousy premise. The pressure of these F.B.I. investigations on individuals is phenomenal, and it is quite likely that this guy cracked under that pressure but had nothing to do with the killings.”

The New York Times reports that Ivins had been undergoing psychiatric treatment within the last month and had a restraining order placed on him by a woman he was allegedly stalking and threatening.

According to National Public Radio (NPR), mental health professional Jean C. Duley requested that Frederick County court issue a “peace order”, a type of restraining order, against Ivins in July. Duley submitted documents to the court which show a history of “homicidal actions, threats and plans.”

The New York Times also reports that Ivins was a religious man. Members of his congregation gathered early Friday to pray for him at St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church in Frederick.

The Associated Press cites one of Ivins’ colleagues who said he had been removed from his work area as he was thought to be a potential threat to others. According to NPR, one colleague said he was “emotionally fractured by the federal scrutiny.”

Source : wikinews