Tuesday, June 8, 2010

3 News Articles

Angela Merkel
BBC News, "Profile: Angela Merkel" http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/4572387.stm
(accessed 10/05/10)

Angela Merkel has been re-elected to a second term as German chancellor, exit polls suggest. Over the past four years she has had to steer Germany through some difficult times, but remains very popular. The dowdy image that supporters feared would stymie her progress to the top is long forgotten. Partly that is because she spruced up her appearance, wearing bright colours and sporting more stylish hairstyles - but largely it is because few people think it matters. "Some people said Angela Merkel was boring and provincial, but they underestimated her," says Detmar Doering, the head of the Liberal Institute in Potsdam.
He says Mrs Merkel - the first chancellor from the former communist east - does not need to rely on charisma to win over voters, because she is a pragmatic politician who inspires confidence. "German voters aren't stupid - they don't want a Britney Spears as the chancellor of Germany, they want a serious leader whom they can trust. Merkel knows what she's doing."
She has certainly impressed Germans, scoring approval ratings of 60% in the lead-up to the 27 September, 2009 election. ...Analysts say she cowed many in the party by her decisive role in seeing off a giant of the party, former Chancellor Helmut Kohl. When he was caught in a slush fund scandal, she was the first former Kohl ally to publicly break with the man who brought her into the cabinet, writing a front-page article calling for his resignation.
It helped put her in pole position when the party felt it needed a new beginning.
But if her role in the Kohl saga suggests a ruthless streak, she is known more for her pragmatism and ability to compromise.
After being elected in 2005 she entered into coalition with her rivals in the Social Democrats (SPD), including her 2009 election challenger, and foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
That has meant ditching some of her planned free market reforms, and agreeing to more left-leaning measures like a minimum wage in some sectors and a huge fiscal stimulus.
Many thought the coalition would break apart, but Mrs Merkel managed to hold it together, and in fact take the credit for Germany's emergence from recession, and the deal that kept Opel a going concern. She has been criticised by some in her own party for an apparent shift to the left. But some analysts believe this is simply pragmatism.

Helen Keller
New York Times "Triumph Out of Tragedy" By Alden Whitman. June 2nd 1968

...Her life thereafter, as a girl and as a woman, became a triumph over crushing adversity and shattering affliction. In time, Miss Keller learned to circumvent her blindness, deafness and muteness; she could "see" and "hear" with exceptional acuity; she even learned to talk passably and to dance in time to a fox trot or a waltz. Her remarkable mind unfolded, and she was in and of the world, a full and happy participant in life.
What set Miss Keller apart was that no similarly afflicted person before had done more than acquire the simplest skills.
But she was graduated from Radcliffe; she became an artful and subtle writer; she led a vigorous life; she developed into a crusading humanitarian who espoused Socialism; and she energized movements that revolutionized help for the blind and the deaf.
Her tremendous accomplishments and the force of assertive personality that underlay them were released through the devotion and skill of Anne Sullivan Macy, her teacher through whom in large degree she expressed herself. Mrs. Macy was succeeded, at her death in 1936, by Polly Thomson, who died in 1960. Since then Miss Keller's companion had been Mrs. Winifred Corbally.
Miss Keller's life was so long and so crowded with improbable feats--from riding horseback to learning Greek--and she was so serene yet so determined in her advocacy of beneficent causes that she became a great legend. She always seemed to be standing before the world as an example of unquenchable will.
Many who observed her--and to some she was a curiosity and a publicity-seeker--found it difficult to believe that a person so handicapped could acquire the profound knowledge and the sensitive perception and writing talent that she exhibited when she was mature. Yet no substantial proof was ever adduced that Miss Keller was anything less than she appeared--a person whose character impelled her to perform the seemingly impossible. With the years, the skepticism, once overt, dwindled as her stature as a heroic woman increased.
Miss Keller always insisted that there was nothing mysterious or miraculous about her achievements. All that she was and did, she said, could be explained directly and without reference to a "sixth sense." Her dark and silent world was held in her hand and shaped with her mind. Concededly, her sense of smell was exceedingly keen, and she could orient herself by the aroma from many objects. On the other hand, her sense of touch was less finely developed than in many other blind people.
Tall, handsome, gracious, poised, Miss Keller had a sparkling humor and a warm hand- clasp that won her friends easily. She exuded vitality and optimism. "My life has been happy because I have had wonderful friends and plenty of interesting work to do," she once remarked, adding:
"I seldom think about my limitations, and they never make me sad. Perhaps there is just a touch of yearning at times, but it is vague, like a breeze among flowers. The wind passes, and the flowers are content."...

Miranda Kerr
Herold Sun, "Miranda Kerr weighs into body debate, admitting to concerns over her own body" http://www.news.com.au/entertainment/fashion/miranda-kerr-weighs-into-body-debate-admitting-to-concerns-over-her-own-body/story-e6frfn7i-1225819066288 , Jan 14 2010

SHE makes men go weak at the knees, but bikini babe Miranda Kerr has confessed she is not happy with her seemingly flawless figure.
Kerr, the girlfriend of Hollywood heart-throb Orlando Bloom, has revealed there are parts of her body she doesn't like.
And she said she worked extra hard at the gym to try to fix the problem.
"Nobody is perfect," she told Britain's The Sun newspaper. "I have my good parts but I also have those parts I need to work on, but that's between me and my personal trainer."
Kerr weighed into the body image debate sparked by Jennifer Hawkins by saying all women, regardless of their shape and size, had to feel confident within themselves.
"I think the important thing is that all women are happy and confident with what they have got and don't feel pushed to being a certain way," the Victoria's Secret model said.

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