Vo Nguyen Giap Dies At 102; Vietnamese General Led North To Victory

Vo Nguyen Giap | 1911 - 2013

His parlor was lined with busts and portraits of Marx, Lenin and Ho Chi Minh. He chatted with visitors in perfect French, sometimes receiving them in his military uniform, and could recall various campaigns Napoleon’s and his own in brilliant detail. He saw the war against the United States as merely an extension of the war against France and always believed that Washington’s resolve eventually would wither, as had Paris’. “You can kill 10 of my men for every one I kill of yours,” he once said to the Americans, repeating what he had warned the French more than a decade earlier. “But even at those odds, you will lose and I will win.” Toward the end of his long life, Giap spoke out strongly, although unsuccessfully, on another issue. His was one of the most prominent voices to urge the Vietnamese government in 2009 to reconsider its plans for a vast Chinese-run bauxite mining operation in Vietnam’s central highlands, which Giap and others said posed environmental and security risks. But the project proceeded. Giap was born Aug. 25, 1911, in the village of An Xa, just north of what would become the Demilitarized Zone. His father was a scholarly rice farmer who taught Giap to read the first book he read was a child’s history of Vietnam and who scrimped to send his son to the best schools available. Young Giap attended the prestigious Quoc Hoc academy in Hue, whose alumni included Ho Chi Minh and Ngo Dinh Diem, an intense anti-Communist who would become prime minister of South Vietnam. Giap, then just 13, began reading Marx, organized student protests against France’s ban on nationalistic activities and was expelled. By 1938, he was a professional agitator.

France selling ships _ and maybe arms _ to Mozambique in unusual deal

There is only pervasive resentment. The most common sightings are of groups of young teenage girls, particularly on the Metro. Some of them dress in traditional long skirts; others are outfitted in jeans or leggingsclothes that allow them to blend in more easily. The usual giveaway: they carry their shoulder bags with the straps across the body, leaving both hands free. The U.S. Embassy website, without singling out any group, carries a full-page advisory about pickpockets that begins, bluntly, by warning: “The first rule of thumb is don’t have anything more in your wallet than you are willing to lose.” It advises, “Don’t chase down whoever you think stole your wallet. Remember if they work in groups, your wallet was most likely handed off before you realized it was gone. Young Roma children attend a preschool class in September in the abjectly poor Roma settlement of Ponorata in Romania. (Sean Gallup/Getty) The police take measures to try to fight the petty thefts. When security cameras in the Metro spot a suspect group, the loudspeakers warn that pickpockets are aboard. Its a refrain almost as familiar as mind the gap. Last April, Paris Police Prefect Bernard Boucault announced a tourist security plan that stationed more police officers near famous Parisian landmarks, and the cops claimed they were effective. The number of complaints filed by pickpocket victims in the Musee du Louvre, which used to average 120 a day, reportedly was down to 15 per day by May.

Roma Immigrants Have Set France on Edge

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The patrol ships will need naval guns and other military equipment, and so there are also negotiations under way about buying the needed weaponry from France, Mozambique Deputy Foreign Minister Henrique Banze said. Yes there will be weapons purchases, he told The Associated Press by telephone. Its important not only to have ships. There will also be a need to make sure that they are protected. He would not give details, but said the money for the ship deal came from a loan from another country, but I cant say which one. Hollandes office said the contract with CMN is just part of a larger global deal with the holding company Privinvest, owned by Lebanese magnate Iskandar Safa. Hollandes office wouldnt comment on the possible weapons negotiations because the deal is not public. Safa, who played a prominent role in Mondays events in Cherbourg, declined to give details on the agreements involved. Safa, who helped negotiate the release of French hostages in Lebanon in 1988, faced a French arrest warrant for several years in the 2000s because of suspicions around his financial transactions with senior French officials. The case against him was dropped in 2009 by the French prosecutors for lack of evidence. Meanwhile, Mozambicans are asking how all these purchases are being financed. Mozambique is ranked 185 out of 187 on the U.N.s human development index. But it has been enjoying strong economic growth, boosted by the discovery of large reserves of offshore natural gas. Fatima Mimbire, who works with anti-corruption group Transparency International in Mozambique, said the government has released contradictory information on the value of the ship deal ranging from 200 million euros to $500 million and about which company is behind it.

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