The 2008 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to President of Finland (1994–2000) Martti Ahtisaari "for his important efforts, on several continents and over more than three decades, to resolve international conflicts".
|2008 Nobel Peace Prize|
The committee's decision was heavily criticized in Serbia, because of Ahtisaari's role in the Kosovo status process (the Government of Serbia rejects Ahtisaari's plan because it would allegedly guarantee the de facto independence of Kosovo). On the other hand, committee's decision was praised by Albanians living in Norway who saluted him in on 10 December in Oslo, by waving the flags of Albania and Kosovo.
The 2009 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to United States President Barack Obama for his "extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between people". The Norwegian Nobel Committee announced the award on October 9, 2009, citing Obama's promotion of nuclear nonproliferation and a "new climate" in international relations fostered by Obama, especially in reaching out to the Muslim world.The Nobel Committee's decision drew mixed reactions from US commentators and editorial writers across the political spectrum, as well as from the rest of the world.
Obama accepted the prize in Oslo on December 10, 2009. In a 36-minute speech, he discussed the tensions between war and peace and the idea of a "just war" saying, "perhaps the most profound issue surrounding my receipt of this prize is the fact that I am the Commander-in-Chief of the military of a nation in the midst of two wars."Obama is the fourth President of the United States to have won the Nobel Peace Prize (after Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson and Jimmy Carter, with Carter's honor happening after leaving office).Alicia Keys
Alicia Augello Cook (born January 25, 1981), known professionally as Alicia Keys, is an American singer-songwriter, musician, record producer, actress and philanthropist. A classically-trained pianist, Keys was composing songs by age 12 and was signed at 15 years old by Columbia Records. After disputes with the label, she signed with Arista Records, and later released her debut album, Songs in A Minor, with J Records in 2001. The album was critically and commercially successful, producing her first Billboard Hot 100 number-one single "Fallin'" and selling over 12 million copies worldwide. The album earned Keys five Grammy Awards in 2002. Her second album, The Diary of Alicia Keys (2003), was also a critical and commercial success, spawning successful singles "You Don't Know My Name", "If I Ain't Got You", and "Diary", and selling eight million copies worldwide. The album garnered her an additional four Grammy Awards. Her duet "My Boo" with Usher became her second number-one single in 2004. Keys released her first live album, Unplugged (2005), and became the first woman to have an MTV Unplugged album debut at number one.
Her third album, As I Am (2007), produced the Hot 100 number-one single "No One", selling 5 million copies worldwide and earning an additional three Grammy Awards. In 2007, Keys made her film debut in the action-thriller film Smokin' Aces. She, along with Jack White, recorded "Another Way To Die" (the title song to the 22nd official James Bond film, Quantum of Solace). Her fourth album,The Element of Freedom (2009), became her first chart-topping album in the UK, and sold 4 million copies worldwide. In 2009, Keys also collaborated with Jay Z on "Empire State of Mind", which became her fourth number-one single and won the Grammy Award for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration. Girl on Fire (2012) was her fifth Billboard 200 topping album, spawning the successful title track, and won the Grammy Award for Best R&B Album. In 2013, VH1 Storytellers was released as her second live album. Her sixth studio album, Here (2016), became her seventh US R&B/Hip-Hop chart topping album.
Keys has received numerous accolades throughout her career, including 15 competitive Grammy Awards, 17 NAACP Image Awards, 12 ASCAP Awards, and an award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame and National Music Publishers Association. She has sold over 65 million records worldwide. Considered a musical icon, Keys was named by Billboard the top R&B artist of the 2000s decade and placed number 10 on their list of Top 50 R&B/Hip-Hop Artists of the Past 25 Years. VH1 also included her on their 100 Greatest Artists of All Time and 100 Greatest Women in Music lists, while Time has named her in their 100 list of most influential people in 2005 and 2017. Keys is also acclaimed for her humanitarian work, philanthropy and activism. She co-founded and is the Global Ambassador of the nonprofit HIV/AIDS-fighting organization Keep a Child Alive.American University in Bulgaria
American University in Bulgaria (or AUBG) is a private university located in Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria. Established in 1991, today AUBG has about 1,000 students from over 40 countries on 5 continents (as of Fall 2018). Close to 15% of the students are international.
AUBG is an education leader for the seventh consecutive year according to the national university ranking 2017 edition. The five programs evaluated – Business Administration (BUS), Journalism and Mass Communication (JMC), Economics (ECO), Political Science and International Relations (POS), and Computer Science (COS) – are all top-ranked, with Business Administration and Political Science and International Relations rated as the best in Bulgaria. Additionally, AUBG graduates in BUS, ECO, JMC and POS are among the highest paid professionals in the country. AUBG also boasts the lowest unemployment rate in four programs: ECO, COS, JMC and POS.Aubrey Meyer
Aubrey Meyer (born 1947) is an author, violinist, composer and climate campaigner.
A former member of the UK Green Party, he co-founded the Global Commons Institute in 1990.Diana Ross
Diana Ross (born March 26, 1944) is an American singer, actress, and record producer. Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, Ross rose to fame as the lead singer of the vocal group the Supremes, which, during the 1960s, became Motown's most successful act, and are the best charting girl group in US history, as well as one of the world's best-selling girl groups of all time. The group released a record-setting twelve number-one hit singles on the US Billboard Hot 100, including "Where Did Our Love Go", "Baby Love", "Come See About Me", "Stop! In the Name of Love", "You Can't Hurry Love", "You Keep Me Hangin' On", "Love Child", and "Someday We'll Be Together".
Following her departure from the Supremes in 1970, Ross released her eponymous debut solo album that same year, which contained the Top 20 Pop hit "Reach Out and Touch (Somebody's Hand)" and the number-one Pop hit "Ain't No Mountain High Enough". She later released the album Touch Me in the Morning in 1973; its title track reached number 1, as her second solo No. 1 hit. That same year, her album Lady Sings the Blues, which was the original soundtrack of her film based on the life of jazz singer Billie Holiday, went to no. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, selling more than 300,000 copies within its first 8 days of release.
By 1976, the Mahogany soundtrack included her third number-one hit, "Theme from Mahogany (Do You Know Where You're Going To)". Her eponymous 1976 album included her fourth number-one hit, "Love Hangover". In 1979, Ross released the album The Boss.
Her 1980 semi-eponymous album Diana reached number 2 on the US Billboard albums chart, and spawned the number-one hit "Upside Down", and the Top 5 international hit "I'm Coming Out". Ross' final single with Motown during her initial run with the company achieved her sixth and final US number-one Pop hit, the duet "Endless Love", composed for Brooke Shields' film of the same name, by and performed with Commodores front man, Lionel Richie. Ross and Richie performed the song on the telecast for the 54th Academy Awards, where the song was nominated in the category of "Best Song". The success of the single launched Richie's successful solo career.
Ross has also ventured into acting, with a Golden Globe Award and Academy Award-nominated performance for her performance in the film Lady Sings the Blues (1972). She also starred in two other feature films, Mahogany (1975) and The Wiz (1978), later acting in the television films Out of Darkness (1994), for which she also was nominated for a Golden Globe Award, and Double Platinum (1999).
Ross was named the "Female Entertainer of the Century" by Billboard magazine. In 1993, the Guinness Book of World Records declared Ross the most successful female music artist in history, due to her success in the United States and United Kingdom for having more hits than any female artist in the charts, with a career total of 70 hit singles with her work with the Supremes and as a solo artist.
In 1988, Ross was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as member of the Supremes, alongside Mary Wilson and Florence Ballard. She was the recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors in 2007, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2016.
She is a 12-time Grammy nominee, never earning a competitive honor, but later became the recipient of the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012. In December 2016, Billboard magazine named her the 50th most successful dance artist of all time. In Billboard magazine's Greatest of All Time Hot 100 Artists chart, she ranked 16th as the lead singer of the Supremes and 26th as a solo artist. In December 2018, Diana Ross consolidated her status as a dance diva by ranking #3 in the Billboard Dance Club Songs Artists year-end chart.Diana Ross discography
The discography of American singer Diana Ross, the former lead singer of The Supremes, consists of 25 studio albums and 114 singles. 27 of her singles reached the Billboard top 40 in the US, 12 of them the Billboard top 10, and six of those reaching number one, placing her in a tie for fifth among the top female solo performers who have reached the top spot there. In the UK, she amassed a total of 47 top 40 singles with 20 of them reaching the top 10 and two of those reaching number one. In the US, 17 albums reached the Billboard top 40, four of those the top 10, and one album topping the chart. In the UK, 26 albums reached the top 40, eight of those the top 10, and one album topping the chart. Ross had a top 10 UK hit in every one of the last five decades, and sang lead on a top 75 hit single at least once every year from 1964 to 1996 in the UK, a period of 33 consecutive years and a record for any performer. As of 2016 she continues to collect gold and silver awards for UK sales of her many greatest hits compilation albums. During 2018 four of her singles earned a silver certification in the UK, each passing 200,000 in sales since 2004/2005. The singles were "You Can't Hurry Love" (with The Supremes), "Baby Love" (with The Supremes), "I'm Coming Out" and "Endless Love" (with Lionel Richie).Efraim Zuroff
Efraim Zuroff (born August 5, 1948) is an American-born Israeli historian and Nazi hunter who has played a key role in bringing indicted Nazi and fascist war criminals to trial. Zuroff, the director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center office in Jerusalem, is the coordinator of Nazi war crimes research worldwide for the Wiesenthal Center and the author of its annual "Status Report" on the worldwide investigation and prosecution of Nazi war criminals which includes a list of "most wanted" Nazi war criminals.Elina Vähälä
Elina Vähälä (born 15 October 1975 in Iowa City, Iowa) is a Finnish classical violinist.
Vähälä began her violin studies at the age of three at the Lahti conservatory where her teachers were Seppo Reinikainen and Pertti Sutinen. She also studied at the Kuhmo Violin School with Zinaida Gilels, Ilya Grubert and Pavel Vernikov. At the Sibelius Academy Vähälä's teacher was Tuomas Haapanen.
Vähälä made her concerto debut aged 12 with the Lahti Symphony. The very orchestra, under leadership of Osmo Vänskä, nominated her as "The Young Master Soloist" for the season 1993/94. Since then Vähälä has collaborated with the Lahti Symphony on regular basis, performing as their soloist also on tours in Sweden, UK, South America and Central Europe.
Elina Vähälä is the winner of the 1999 Young Concert Artists International Auditions in New York. She gave her New York debut at the 92nd Street Y in 1999 to critical acclaim. Vähälä has performed with orchestras including Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Turku and Tampere Philharmonic as well as Minnesota Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra, Nashville Symphony Orchestra and Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra. She has worked with conductors Leonard Slatkin, Okko Kamu, Sakari Oramo, Sir Jeffrey Tate, Eiji Oue, Carlos Kalmar, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Leif Segerstam, Hannu Lintu, Jakub Hrusa, and toured throughout the UK, Germany, China, Korea and North and South America. In 2008 she was chosen to perform at the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony which was televised to a worldwide audience.
Elina Vähälä has given world premieres of Aulis Sallinen's Chamber Concerto and Curtis Curtis-Smith's Double Concerto, both written for her and pianist-conductor Ralf Gothóni. In addition, Vähälä gave the Nordic first performance of John Corigliano’s Violin Concerto The Red Violin and commissioned a new violin concerto from composer Jaakko Kuusisto. Both the Corgiliano and Kuusisto concertos were recorded for BIS in 2012 and released in 2013.
In September 2015 Vähälä performed the rarely heard early version of Sibelius's Violin Concerto with the Finnish Radio Orchestra, conducted by Hannu Lintu.
Vähälä is a founding member of Violin Academy (Viuluakatemia Ry). Funded by the Finnish Cultural Foundation, the academy is a master class based educational project for selected, highly talented young Finnish violinists.
Vähälä has worked as a professor of violin at the Hochschule für Musik Detmold 2009-2012 and since April 2012 she is a professor at the Hochschule für Musik in Karlsruhe.
Elina Vähälä's instrument is a Giovanni Battista Guadagnini violin from 1780.Gao Zhisheng
Gao Zhisheng (born 20 April 1964) is a Chinese human rights attorney and dissident known for defending activists and religious minorities and documenting human rights abuses in China. Because of his work, Zhisheng has been disbarred and detained by the Chinese government several times, and severely tortured. He last disappeared in February 2009 and was unofficially detained until December 2011, when it was announced that he has now been imprisoned for three years. His commitment to defending his clients is influenced by his Christian beliefs and their tenets on morality and compassion.
Gao's memoir, A China More Just (2007), documents his "fight as a rights lawyer in the world's largest communist state." In subsequent writing, he accuses the ruling Communist Party of China of state-sponsored torture and reports having been tortured by the Chinese secret police. He disappeared in February 2009. At the beginning of 2012, Gao's brother said he had received a court document saying his brother was in Shayar jail in Xinjiang. In 2014, it was reported that Zhisheng was released from jail and put under house arrest. He disappeared again in August 2017 in an apparent attempt to escape house arrest and was subsequently taken back into custody on his recapture in September.Global Peace Index
Global Peace Index (GPI) measures the relative position of nations' and regions' peacefulness. The GPI ranks 163 independent states and territories (99.7 per cent of the world’s population) according to their levels of peacefulness. In the past decade, the GPI has presented trends of increased global violence and less peacefulness.The GPI is a report produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) and developed in consultation with an international panel of peace experts from peace institutes and think tanks with data collected and collated by the Economist Intelligence Unit. The Index was first launched in May 2007, with subsequent reports being released annually. In 2017 it ranked 163 countries, up from 121 in 2007. The study was conceived by Australian technology entrepreneur Steve Killelea, and is endorsed by individuals such as former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, the Dalai Lama, archbishop Desmond Tutu, former President of Finland and 2008 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Martti Ahtisaari, Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus, economist Jeffrey Sachs, former president of Ireland Mary Robinson, former Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations Jan Eliasson and former United States president Jimmy Carter. The updated index is released each year at events in London, Washington, DC; and at the United Nations Secretariat in New York.
The GPI gauges global peace using three broad themes: the level of societal safety and security, the extent of ongoing domestic and international conflict and the degree of militarization. Factors are both internal such as levels of violence and crime within the country and external such as military expenditure and wars. It has been criticised by Riane Eisler for not including indicators specifically relating to violence against women and children, however reliable international data on these subjects is either unavailable or very sparsely reported in many countries.
The 2017 GPI indicates Iceland, New Zealand, Portugal, Austria, and Denmark to be the most peaceful countries and Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, South Sudan, and Yemen to be the least peaceful. Long-term findings of the 2017 GPI include a less peaceful world over the past decade, a 2.14 per cent deterioration in the global level of peace in the past decade, growing inequality in peace between the most and least peaceful countries, a long-term reduction in the GPI Militarization domain, and a widening impact of terrorism, with historically high numbers of people killed in terrorist incidents over the past 5 years.ImagineNations Group
ImagineNations Group is a global social enterprise focused on inspiring and developing practical strategies that change the odds for people where they work, live and learn. With its expansive network of entrepreneurial partners, leaders, investors, philanthropists and organizations, ImagineNations is helping to bridge deep divides and address complex, large-scale challenges through its role as a catalyst and facilitator of ideas, networks, people and resources.Lech Wałęsa
Lech Wałęsa (Polish: [ˈlɛɣ vaˈwɛ̃sa] (listen); born 29 September 1943) is a Polish retired politician and labour activist. He co-founded and headed Solidarity (Solidarność), the Soviet bloc's first independent trade union, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1983, and served as President of Poland from 1990 to 1995.While working at the Lenin Shipyard (now Gdańsk Shipyard), Wałęsa, an electrician, became a trade-union activist, for which he was persecuted by the Communist authorities, placed under surveillance, fired in 1976, and arrested several times. In August 1980 he was instrumental in political negotiations that led to the ground-breaking Gdańsk Agreement between striking workers and the government. He co-founded the Solidarity trade-union movement.
After martial law was imposed in Poland and Solidarity was outlawed, Wałęsa was again arrested. Released from custody, he continued his activism and was prominent in the establishment of the 1989 Round Table Agreement that led to semi-free parliamentary elections in June 1989 and to a Solidarity-led government.
In the Polish general election of 1990, Wałęsa successfully ran for the newly re-established office of President of Poland. He presided over Poland's transition from communism to a post-communist state, but his popularity waned and his role in Polish politics diminished after he narrowly lost the 1995 presidential election.
Since the fall of Communism in Poland, there have been allegations that Wałęsa had collaborated with the earlier communist secret police. In 2017 a lengthy investigation by the Institute of National Remembrance concluded that a handwriting study proved the authenticity of documents showing that Wałęsa had agreed to collaborate with the communist secret police.Since the death of Wojciech Jaruzelski in 2014, Wałęsa is the oldest living former Polish president at age 75.List of Old Bridgnorthians
The following is a list of notable Old Bridgnorthians, former pupils of Bridgnorth Grammar School (now Bridgnorth Endowed School) in Bridgnorth, Shropshire, England.Martti Ahtisaari
Martti Oiva Kalevi Ahtisaari ([mɑrtːi oiʋɑ kɑleʋi ɑhtisɑːri] (listen) born 23 June 1937 in Viipuri) is a Finnish politician, the tenth President of Finland (1994–2000), a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, and a United Nations diplomat and mediator noted for his international peace work.
Ahtisaari was a United Nations special envoy for Kosovo, charged with organizing the Kosovo status process negotiations, aimed at resolving a long-running dispute in Kosovo, which later declared its independence from Serbia in 2008. In October 2008, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize "for his important efforts, on several continents and over more than three decades, to resolve international conflicts". The Nobel statement said that Ahtisaari has played a prominent role in resolving serious and long-lasting conflicts, including ones in Namibia, Aceh (Indonesia), Kosovo, and Iraq.Nicholas Winton
Sir Nicholas George Winton (born Wertheim; 19 May 1909 – 1 July 2015) was a British humanitarian who organised the rescue of 669 children, most of them Jewish, from Czechoslovakia on the eve of World War II in an operation later known as the Czech Kindertransport (German for "children's transport"). Winton found homes for the children and arranged for their safe passage to Britain.
The world found out about his work over 50 years later, in 1988. The British press dubbed him the "British Schindler".In 2003, Winton was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for "services to humanity, in saving Jewish children from Nazi Germany occupied Czechoslovakia". On 28 October 2014, he was awarded the highest honour of the Czech Republic, the Order of the White Lion (1st class), by Czech President Miloš Zeman. He died in 2015 at the age of 106.PeaceJam
The PeaceJam Foundation is an international organization whose mission statement is "to create young leaders committed to positive change in themselves, their communities, and the world through the inspiration of Nobel Peace Laureates who pass on the spirit, skills, and wisdom they embody." The PeaceJam program was launched in February 1996 by co-founders Dawn Engle and Ivan Suvanjieff to provide the Nobel Peace Prize Laureates with a programmatic vehicle to use in working together to teach youth the art of peace. This foundation supports young people working for change through peaceful acts, giving them a platform by which they can be heard.
To date, 14 Nobel Peace Laureates serve as members of the PeaceJam Foundation: the 14th Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Rigoberta Menchú Tum, President Oscar Arias, Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, Mairead Corrigan Maguire, Betty Williams, José Ramos-Horta, Tawakkol Karman, Sir Joseph Rotblat (Emeritus), Jody Williams, Shirin Ebadi, Kailash Satyarthi, and Leymah Gbowee. On September 15, 2006, 10 of the Nobel Laureates launched the PeaceJam Foundation's Global Call to Action with the youth of the world as a part of PeaceJam's 10th Anniversary Celebration.
The PeaceJam Foundation has been nominated nine times for the Nobel Peace Prize.In May 2014, the PeaceJam Foundation launched the 'One Billion Acts of Peace Campaign', a global citizen's campaign designed to tackle the toughest issues facing humanity. In January 2015, the campaign and organizers Dawn Engle and Ivan Suvanjieff were honored with seven Nobel Peace Prize nominations.Robyn
Robin Miriam Carlsson (born 12 June 1979), known as Robyn (Swedish pronunciation: [ˈrɔbʏn]), is a Swedish singer, songwriter and record producer. She arrived on the music scene with her 1995 debut album, Robyn Is Here, which produced two Billboard Hot 100 top-10 singles: "Do You Know (What It Takes)" and "Show Me Love". Her second and third albums, My Truth (1999) and Don't Stop the Music (2002), were released in Sweden. Robyn returned to international success with her fourth album, Robyn (2005), which brought critical praise and a Grammy Award nomination. The album spawned the singles "Be Mine!" and the UK number one "With Every Heartbeat". Robyn released a trilogy of mini-albums in 2010, known as the Body Talk series. They received broad critical praise, three Grammy Award nominations, and produced three top-10 singles: "Dancing On My Own", "Hang with Me" and "Indestructible". Robyn followed this with two collaborative EPs: Do It Again (2014) with Röyksopp, and Love Is Free (2015) with La Bagatelle Magique. She released her eighth solo album Honey in 2018 to widespread critical acclaim.Scarlett Johansson
Scarlett Ingrid Johansson (; born November 22, 1984) is an American actress and singer. Johansson is the world's highest-paid actress, has made multiple appearances in the Forbes Celebrity 100, and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She aspired to be an actress from a young age, and first appeared on stage in an Off-Broadway play as a child. Johansson made her film debut in the fantasy comedy North (1994), and was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Manny & Lo (1996). She gained further recognition for her work in The Horse Whisperer (1998) and Ghost World (2001).
Johansson shifted to adult roles in 2003 with her performances in Lost in Translation, which won her a BAFTA Award for Best Actress, and Girl with a Pearl Earring. She was nominated for four Golden Globe Awards for these films, and for playing an estranged teenager in the drama A Love Song for Bobby Long (2004), and a seductress in the psychological thriller Match Point (2005). Other films during this period, include the mystery thriller The Prestige (2006) and the comedy-drama Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008). She also released two albums: Anywhere I Lay My Head (2008) and Break Up (2009), both of which charted on the Billboard 200.
In 2010, Johansson debuted on Broadway in a revival of A View from the Bridge, which won her a Tony Award for Best Featured Actress. Later that year, she began portraying Black Widow in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. She voiced an intelligent computer operating system in the 2013 comedy-drama Her, played an alien in the 2013 science fiction film Under the Skin and a woman with psychokinetic abilities in the 2014 science fiction action Lucy. She was the highest-grossing actress of 2016, and is also the highest-grossing actress of all time in North America in nominal dollar terms.
As a public figure, Johansson is a Hollywood sex symbol. She is a prominent celebrity brand endorser, and also supports various charities and causes. She has been married twice, to the Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds from 2008 to 2011 and the French businessman Romain Dauriac, with whom she has a daughter, from 2014 to 2017.Southwestern University
Southwestern University (also referred to as Southwestern or SU) is a private, not-for-profit, liberal arts college in Georgetown, Texas. Formed in 1873 from a revival of collegiate charters granted in 1840, Southwestern is the oldest university in Texas. The school used to be affiliated with the United Methodist Church with a nonsectarian curriculum. Southwestern offers 40 bachelor's degrees in the arts, sciences, fine arts, and music as well as interdisciplinary and pre-professional programs. The university is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the National Association of Schools of Music.
The university is a member of the Annapolis Group, the Associated Colleges of the South, the Council of Independent Colleges, and is a signatory of the Talloires Declaration.
2008 Nobel Prize laureates
|Physiology or Medicine|