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|In this issue:
• MOVE UP THE CORPORATE LADDER
• Dmitry Medvede, Niira Radia & Julian Assange
• List of Top 30 countries according to Carbon Emission
Positive work behaviors are straightforward and simple to practice. You need not have an evil plan when thinking about moving up the corporate ladder. Cliché as it maybe, the cunning plans makes you fall off the corporate ladder faster than you can climb it. Follow the simple rules of positive work behaviours and no sooner you will become apple of everyone’s eye.
Dmitry Anatolyevich Medvedev (born 14 September 1965) is the third and current President of the Russian Federation, inaugurated on 7 May 2008. He won the presidential election held on 2 March 2008 with 71.25% of the popular vote. He recently visited India and gave a new beginning to already good relations between the two countries.
On 10 December 2007, he was informally endorsed as a candidate for the forthcoming presidential elections by the largest Russian political party, United Russia and several pro-presidential parties, and officially endorsed by United Russia on 17 December 2007. A technocrat and political appointee, Medvedev had never held elective office before 2008. As President, Medvedev has made economic modernisation one of his top agendas.
He graduated from the Law Department of Leningrad State University in 1987 (together with Ilya Yeliseyev, Anton Ivanov, Nikolay Vinnichenko and Konstantin Chuychenko) and in 1990, received his Candidate of Sciences degree in private law from the graduate school of the same university.
Anatoly Sobchak, an early democratic politician of the 1980s and 1990s, was one of his professors. In 1988, Medvedev joined Sobchak's team of democrats and served as the de facto head of Sobchak's successful campaign for a seat in the new Soviet parliament, the Congress of People's Deputies of the USSR. Between 1991 and 1999, Medvedev in addition to his business activities and participation in the Saint Petersburg City Administration, held a position of docent at his alma mater university, now renamed to Saint Petersburg State University.
From 1991 to 1996, Medvedev worked as a legal expert for the International Relations Committee (IRC) of the Saint Petersburg Mayor's Office headed by Vladimir Putin. According to the research of critics of Putin's administration, Yuri Felshtinsky and Vladimir Pribylovsky, the committee was involved in numerous business activities including gambling.
The connection with gambling business was established through a municipal enterprise called Neva Chance. The Committee was under investigation for illegal commercial operations by a St. Petersburg parliament committee. In November 1993, Medvedev became the legal affairs director of Ilim Pulp Enterprise, a St. Petersburg-based timber company. This enterprise was initially registered as a limited liability partnership, and then re-registered as a closed joint stock company Fincell, "50% of whose shares were owned by Dmitry Medvedev."
In 1998, he was also elected a member of the board of directors of the Bratskiy LPK paper mill. He worked for Ilim Pulp until 1999. In November 2005, he was appointed by Putin as First Deputy Prime Minister, First Deputy Chairman of the Council for Implementation of the Priority National Projects attached to the President of the Russian Federation, and Chairman of the Council's Presidium. In December 2005, Medvedev was named Person of the Year by Expert magazine, a Russian business weekly. He shared the title with Alexei Miller, CEO of Gazprom.
On 7 May 2008, Dmitry Medvedev took an oath as the third President of the Russian Federation in a ceremony held in Kremlin Palace. After taking the oath of office and receiving a gold chain of double-headed eagles symbolizing the presidency, he stated: "I believe my most important aims will be to protect civil and economic freedoms....We must fight for a true respect of the law and overcome legal nihilism, which seriously hampers modern development."
As his inauguration coincided with the celebration of the Victory Day on 9 May, he attended the military parade at Red Square and signed a decree to provide housing to war veterans.
Medvedev is married and has a son named Ilya (born 1995). His wife, Svetlana Vladimirovna Medvedeva, was both his childhood friend and school sweetheart. They married several years after their graduation from secondary school in 1982.
Medvedev wrote two short articles on the subject of his doctoral dissertation in Russian law journals. He is also one of the authors of a textbook on civil law for universities first published in 1991 (the 6th edition of Civil Law. In 3 Volumes. was published in 2007).
He is the author of a textbook for universities entitled, Questions of Russia's National Development, first published in 2007, concerning the role of the Russian state in social policy and economic development. He is also the lead co-author of a book of legal commentary entitled, A Commentary on the Federal Law "On the State Civil Service of the Russian Federation", scheduled for publication in 2008.
She began life as a very Punjabi Nira Sharma. Her father was an agent for aviation equipment, and shifted the Sharma family from Kenya to London in the 1970s (he passed away in 2002-03). In England, Niira picked up an education and a British passport (and later she got a Person of Indian Origin status too). It’s learnt that she went to the upmarket Haberdashers’ Aske’s school for girls in northern London, rounding off her education at the University of Warwick, from where she got a bachelor’s degree.
Soon after, Niira married London-based financier Janak Radia, a Gujarati. It was after a divorce that Niira decided to move to India, along with her three children, all sons. One of them, Karan, made it to the news in 2003 when the then 18-year-old was kidnapped by Niira’s “business partner” Dheeraj Singh, grandson of the late former Haryana CM, Rao Birender Singh. Dheeraj Singh, it was claimed in the fir, was a partner in Niira’s PR agency. This was one clear example of Niira’s rising clout: despite all his political connections, it is learnt that Dheeraj Singh did end up spending some time in jail.
Not much is known about Niira’s siblings—two sisters and a brother—though one of them, Karuna Menon, is involved with Niira’s work in India. Karuna was, in 2001, co-promoter of Crown Express, Niira’s first attempt to launch an airline which ended in failure. Karuna and two other people—Iqbal and Saira Menon—are also listed under the same UK address as directors of dissolved companies. More recently, Karuna has been identified as the president of Sudesh Foundation, whose trustee is “Nira Radia”. Funded by Vaishnavi Communications, Sudesh Foundation’s offices are located in Delhi’s South Extension as well as Barakhamba Road (1st Floor, Gopaldas Tower, which also houses the Tata Teleservices offices. On the fifth floor are Reliance’s offices). The trust is mainly charitable and has aligned with a ‘Sri Rama Vitthala Trust’ to start an Ayurvedic College in Karnataka. They accept donations. They are also involved with childcare, animal care, youth and disaster relief work.
By the mid-1990s, Niira—and her massive Chhattarpur farmhouse—had started making a mark in Delhi’s rarefied and big-money aviation circles. Her interest in the aviation business came in useful here; she gravitated towards consulting for domestic and international airlines (Sahara, Singapore Airlines), manufacturers (Airbus) and aircraft leasing companies (like ILFC, AAR) at a time when India had just launched its Open Skies policy. She quickly gained respect in a big boys’ club; “she was extremely polished,” says a senior aviation man who interacted with Niira closely those days. The buzz around her had already begun spreading: be it her dress sense, the “farmhouse parties that started off with pujas” or her ability to press the right buttons.
This is when Niira made an important friend—and also got herself an enemy. The friend was Ananth Kumar of the BJP, who was the NDA’s civil aviation minister in 1998-99. Niira grew extremely close to Ananth Kumar during this period, and used the access to the cabinet minister to enhance her clout. It was Ananth Kumar who introduced her to Pejawar Swami (read Swami Visvesh Teertha), a godman from Karnataka and also Uma Bharati’s guru. In fact, the Kannada weekly tabloid Lankesh Patrike, printed from Bangalore, had even published a picture of Radia with Pejawar Swami and A.B. Vajpayee. Though she later fell out with the swami, this connection got her an important ally, via Vajpayee, in his foster son-in-law Ranjan Bhattacharya (who figures prominently in the 2G scam tapes).
This brought her to the notice of Ratan Tata, who in the aftermath of the Singapore Airlines’ drubbing, was keen to centralise the public relations and advocacy functions for the Tata Group as a whole. In 2001, in one fell swoop, Tata gave Radia’s company Vaishnavi the entire account for the 90-odd group companies.
After successfully managing the mess around Tata Finance in 2001—when the group took its former managing director Dilip Pendse to the cleaners on corruption charges—Radia made her mark. At a time when the BJP regime seemed unstoppable, she established links with politicians, bureaucrats and top print and TV editors.
At this stage, the Tata Group had a furious battle with the Times of India Group, where it withdrew advertising (the Times group in return ignored the Tata group on its pages). While this battle was eventually resolved in 2004, Radia sent out a strong signal to the media that the Tata Group could not be taken for granted.
After the BJP went out of power in 2004, Radia needed to make new political friends. And as the 2G scam tapes reveal, she seems to have done a pretty good job of it. Her closeness to the DMK’s A. Raja—the man at the heart of the largest scam ever in India—is believed to have begun in 2006, when Raja was the environment minister. Since Tata Teleservices was a key client for Radia, this relationship paid off when Raja became the telecom minister in 2007.
Julian Paul Assange (born 3 July 1971) is an Australian publisher, journalist, software developer and Internet activist. He is the spokesperson and editor in chief for WikiLeaks, a whistleblower website and conduit for news leaks.
Assange has worked as a computer programmer and was a hacker during his youth. He has lived in several countries, and has made public appearances in many parts of the world to speak about freedom of the press, censorship, and investigative journalism.
Assange founded the WikiLeaks website in 2006 and serves on its advisory board. He has published material about extrajudicial killings in Kenya, toxic waste duming in Africa, Church of Scientology manuals, Guantanamo Bay procedures, and banks such as Kaupthing and Julius Baer. In 2010, he published classified details about American involvement in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. On 28 November 2010, WikiLeaks and its five media partners began publishing secret US diplomatic cables.
For his work with WikiLeaks, Assange has received public condemnation and calls for his execution as well as glowing praise and accolades. Assange is currently wanted for questioning in Sweden regarding alleged sexual offences, and was arrested in London, England on 7 December 2010. He is currently on bail and under house arrest in England pending an extradition hearing. Assange has denied the allegations and claimed that they are politically motivated.
Assange was born in Townsville, Queensland, and spent much of his youth living on Magnetic Island. When he was one year old, his mother Christine married theatre director Brett Assange, who gave him his surname. Brett and Christine Assange ran a touring theatre company.
In 1979, his mother remarried; her new husband was a musician who belonged to a New Age group led by Anne Hamilton-Byrne. The couple had a son, but broke up in 1982 and engaged in a custody struggle for Assange's half-brother. His mother then took both children into hiding for the next five years. Assange moved several dozen times during his childhood, attending many schools, sometimes being home-schooled.
Wikileaks and Assange
He sits on Wikileaks's nine-member advisory board, and is a prominent media spokesman on its behalf. While newspapers have described him as a "director" or "founder" of Wikileaks, Assange has said, "I don't call myself a founder"; he does describe himself as the editor in chief of WikiLeaks, and has stated that he has the final decision in the process of vetting documents submitted to the site.
He advocates a "transparent" and "scientific" approach to journalism, saying that "you can't publish a paper on physics without the full experimental data and results; that should be the standard in journalism."
In 2006, CounterPunch called him "Australia's most infamous former computer hacker." The Age has called him "one of the most intriguing people in the world" and "internet's freedom fighter." Assange has called himself "extremely cynical". The Personal Democracy Forum said that as a teenager he was "Australia's most famous ethical computer hacker." He has been described as being largely self-taught and widely read on science and mathematics, and as thriving on intellectual battle.
In 2010 Assange was awarded the Sam Adams Award, Readers' Choice in Time magazine's Person of the Year poll, and runner-up for Person of the Year. An informal poll of editors at Postmedia Network named him the top newsmaker for the year after six out of 10 felt Assange had "affected profoundly how information is seen and delivered".
Le Monde named him person of the year with fifty six percent of the votes in their online poll. Le Monde is one of the five publications to cooperate with Wikileaks' publication of the recent document leaking.
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