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Remembering My Father

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My dad passed away peacefully at home yesterday, surrounded by his family.

We will miss him more than we can express right now. We are feeling grief but also gratitude. My dad’s passing was not unexpected—he was 94 years old and his health had been declining—so we have all had a long time to reflect on just how lucky we are to have had this amazing man in our lives for so many years. And we are not alone in these feelings. My dad’s wisdom, generosity, empathy, and humility had a huge influence on people around the world.

My sisters, Kristi and Libby, and I are very lucky to have been raised by our mom and dad. They gave us constant encouragement and were always patient with us. I knew their love and support were unconditional, even when we clashed in my teenage years. I am sure that’s one of the reasons why I felt comfortable taking some big risks when I was young, like leaving college to start Microsoft with Paul Allen. I knew they would be in my corner even if I failed.

As I got older, I came to appreciate my dad’s quiet influence on almost everything I have done in life. In Microsoft’s early years, I turned to him at key moments to seek his legal counsel. (Incidentally, my dad played a similar role for Howard Schultz of Starbucks, helping him out at a key juncture in his business life. I suspect there are many others who have similar stories.)

My dad also had a profound influence on my drive. When I was a kid, he wasn’t prescriptive or domineering, and yet he never let me coast along at things I was good at, and he always pushed me to try things I hated or didn’t think I could do (swimming and soccer, for example). And he modeled an amazing work ethic. He was one of the hardest-working and most respected lawyers in Seattle, as well as a major civic leader in our region.

My dad’s influence on our philanthropy was just as big. Throughout my childhood, he and my mom taught me by example what generosity looked like in how they used their time and resources. One night in the 1990s, before we started our foundation, Melinda, Dad, and I were standing in line at the movies. Melinda and I were talking about how we had been getting more requests for donations in the mail. Dad simply said, “Maybe I can help.”

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation would not be what it is today without my dad. More than anyone else, he shaped the values of the foundation. He was collaborative, judicious, and serious about learning. He was dignified but hated anything that seemed pretentious. (Dad’s given name was William H. Gates II, but he never used the “II”—he thought it sounded stuffy.) He was great at stepping back and seeing the big picture. He was quick to tear up when he saw people suffering in the world. And he would not let any of us forget the people behind the strategies we were discussing.

People who came through the doors of the Gates Foundation felt honored to work with my dad. He saw the best in everyone and made everyone feel special.

We worked together at the foundation not so much as father and son but as friends and colleagues. He and I had always wanted to do something concrete together. When we started doing so in a big way at the foundation, we had no idea how much fun we would have. We only grew closer during more than two decades of working together.

Finally, my dad had a profoundly positive influence on my most important roles—husband and father. When I am at my best, I know it is because of what I learned from my dad about respecting women, honoring individuality, and guiding children’s choices with love and respect.

Dad wrote me a letter on my 50th birthday. It is one of my most prized possessions. In it, he encouraged me to stay curious. He said some very touching things about how much he loved being a father to my sisters and me. “Over time,” he wrote, “I have cautioned you and others about the overuse of the adjective ‘incredible’ to apply to facts that were short of meeting its high standard. This is a word with huge meaning to be used only in extraordinary settings. What I want to say, here, is simply that the experience of being your father has been… incredible.”

I know he would not want me to overuse the word, but there is no danger of doing that now. The experience of being the son of Bill Gates was incredible. People used to ask my dad if he was the real Bill Gates. The truth is, he was everything I try to be. I will miss him every day

 

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Laurent Gbagbo Returns To Abidjan on June 17

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Former Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo is scheduled to fly back to a country that he once led for years, his political party announced on Monday.

Assoa Adou, secretary general of the Front populaire ivoirien (FPI), said the arrival date was a climax of several weeks of negotiations with the authorities.

Laurent Gbagbo’s party has chosen the date of the former president’s 76th birthday to make public the date of his return to his country.

“On June 17, Laurent Gbagbo will tread the soil of his ancestors, the Ivory Coast,” announced Assoa Adou, secretary general of the dissident branch of the Front populaire ivoirien (FPI).

Discussions between those close to Gbagbo and the Ivorian authorities had accelerated since the International Criminal Court (ICC) pronounced the final acquittal of the former president at the end of March.

Assoa Adou was received by Prime Minister Patrick Achi on April 30. Interior and Security Ministers Diomandé Vagondo and Reconciliation Ministers Kouadio Konan Bertin were also present.

The two delegations then met on May 3, without Patrick Achi but in the presence of several Ivorian security officials, such as the director general of the police, General Youssouf Kouyaté.

Discussions revolved around Gbagbo’s security, his status as a former president and the conditions under which he intended to return to Abidjan.

The Ivorian authorities are not showing themselves to be favorable to the popular and triumphant reception that the “GOR” (Gbagbo or nothing) dreamed of.

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Rwandans, Ugandans, Kenyans Battle For Actor Daniel Kaluuya

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Daniel Kaluuya may have won an Oscar award as the best supporting actor and incidentally becoming the first black British actor to win an Oscar, but the war for his ancestry is raging on among East Africans.

Rwandans have begun claiming Kaluuya although giving no evidence of his links to the cradle land of a thousand hills.

The Kenyans on social media, owing to their strength have swang in action in a big bang claiming the actor is indeed Kenyan from the  Luhya tribe.

“People giving us screenshots, shauri yenu. When we say he’s Kenyan, we know what we are saying. Congratulations the son of our soil. Khaluuya is my neighbour here in Bungoma. We schooled with his sister in Namachanja High school. His mother is our Church treasurer,” Gladwell Pamba says.

According to Ras Amani, “We have decided and it’s settled. Ugandans can go settle their beef with M7. Kaluuya is ours, he’s Luhya. End of story.”

For Ugandan Peter Masiga, “When did he become Kenyan? Is Jinja in Kenya?”.

Another Kenyan says, “Who thought you’d come from Mwihoko and represent us on a global stage? In the words of Amondi Nyong’o, “No matter where you are from your dreams are valid.”

“Kenyans with you arrogance kila kitu nice u think ni yako. Sasa they are gona come barking,” says Raymond Owner Suzan Apparel & Textiles Accessories.

For the Ugandans always weak on social media, have failed to defend their own brother.

“What belongs to Uganda will always find its way back . Take him to Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda…u can as well take him to Egypt, but he will find his way back to Uganda,” Kathy says.

For Leonard Mugisha, ” Ugandans can steal anything but not people…coz we are intelligent… so if we say Kaluuya is ours..he is ours.”

“If you listen to his acceptance speech, he shouted out “his family all the way from London to Kampala“ not Nairobi Rolling on the floor laughing That being said, it’s still a Win for East Africa!!!” Kindazi clare says.

However, according to his official profile, Daniel Kaluuya aged 32 is a British and Ugandan actor. Kaluuya began his acting career as a teenager in improvisational theatre.

Kaluuya subsequently portrayed Posh Kenneth in the first two seasons of the British television series Skins; he also co-wrote some of the episodes.

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Burundi Women Prisoners Protest Against Congestion, Hunger

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As the world continues to celebrate international Women’s Day, Women prisoners in Burundi have protested against poor food, congestion and delayed Justice.

On March 12 a team from the Ministry of Justice visited Mpimba central prison, however, the prison authorities had earlier cautioned the inmates to behave when the Ministry Justice team arrives at the facility.

Before the arrival of the personnel from the Ministry of Justice, the director of the prison asked the prisoners to behave like ‘human beings’.

“When our guests come, you should stand up, greet them warmly and welcome with dances and songs. You have to prove to them that you are still “human beings”, you have to show them that you are innocent “. And to tell them a secret: “The minister has brought you something, stay calm!,”said the director of the prison.

The prison warden prohibited the inmates telling them not to expose their problems but only to thank: “Put your jargon aside, and one of you is going to speak in thanks only. Our problems are between us,” he ordered.

Evelyne Izobiriza an inmate was chosen to represent her colleagues. She didn’t mince words and suddenly defied orders from prison warden.

In her speech, she didn’t just say “thank you”.

She presented her concerns also on the subject of the recent presidential pardon; “We are afraid that most of us will not benefit from the presidential pardon, because we are still in the category of ” defendants ” and that is a lot of years that our trials do not advance.

To qualify for this grace, you must be in the category of “condemned”. A lot of women here don’t have lawyers and others can’t afford a lawyer,” she pleaded.

“We sleep on the floor, the prison is full. You couldn’t get into our cells to find out. There are pregnant women, old people, mothers who have infants. Some of us have just spent 5 years without appearing in court, not to mention those who are here unfairly. The justice does nothing, we want to know where it is with our files,” Izobiriza querried the team from Justice Ministry.

Another inmate cited the lack of food, “We are given almost a kilogram and a half of flour and beans a day, for lunch and dinner, whether you have children or not. This is not enough “.

During this visit, the team from the Ministry of Justice brought some food for the detainees. This was for the purpose of celebrating International Women’s Day with these detainees.

“The prisoners are 235 in total while this part of the prison should only accommodate 80 inmates,” said Ildefonse Ruvahagumye, director of Mpimba central prison.

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