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Henry Kissinger, American diplomat and Nobel winner, dead at 100

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Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger speaks at the International Economic Forum of the Americas/Conference of Montreal in 2008. REUTERS/Shaun Best Acquire Licensing Rights

Henry Kissinger, a diplomatic powerhouse whose roles as a national security adviser and secretary of state under two presidents left an indelible mark on U.S. foreign policy and earned him a controversial Nobel Peace Prize, died on Wednesday at age 100.

Kissinger died at his home in Connecticut, according to a statement from his geopolitical consulting firm, Kissinger Associates Inc. No mention was made of the circumstances.

It said he would be interred at a private family service, to be followed at a later date by a public memorial service in New York City.

Kissinger had been active late in life, attending meetings in the White House, publishing a book on leadership styles, and testifying before a Senate committee about the nuclear threat posed by North Korea. In July 2023 he made a surprise visit to Beijing to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping

During the 1970s in the midst of the Cold War, he had a hand in many of the epoch-changing global events of the decade while serving as national security adviser and secretary of state under Republican President Richard Nixon.

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The German-born Jewish refugee’s efforts led to the U.S. diplomatic opening with China, landmark U.S.-Soviet arms control talks, expanded ties between Israel and its Arab neighbors, and the Paris Peace Accords with North Vietnam.

Kissinger’s reign as the prime architect of U.S. foreign policy waned with Nixon’s resignation in 1974 amid the Watergate scandal. Still, he continued to be a diplomatic force as secretary of state under Nixon’s successor, President Gerald Ford, and to offer strong opinions throughout the rest of his life.

While many hailed Kissinger for his brilliance and broad experience, others branded him a war criminal for his support for anti-communist dictatorships, especially in Latin America. In his latter years, his travels were circumscribed by efforts by other nations to arrest or question him about past U.S. foreign policy.

His 1973 Peace Prize was awarded for ending American involvement in the Vietnam War but it was one of the most controversial ever. Two members of the Nobel committee resigned over the selection as questions arose about the secret U.S. bombing of Cambodia. North Vietnamese diplomat Le Duc Tho was selected to jointly receive the award but declined it.

Ford called Kissinger a “super secretary of state” but also noted his prickliness and self-assurance, which critics were more likely to call paranoia and egotism. Even Ford said, “Henry in his mind never made a mistake.”

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“He had the thinnest skin of any public figure I ever knew,” Ford said in an interview shortly before his death in 2006.

With his dour expression and gravelly, German-accented voice, Kissinger possessed an image of both a stuffy academic and a ladies’ man, squiring starlets around Washington and New York in his bachelor days. Power, he said, was the ultimate aphrodisiac.

Voluble on policy, Kissinger was reticent on personal matters, although he once told a journalist he saw himself as a cowboy hero, riding off alone.

HARVARD FACULTY

Heinz Alfred Kissinger was born in Furth, Germany, on May 27, 1923, and moved to the United States with his family in 1938 before the Nazi campaign to exterminate European Jewry.

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Anglicizing his name to Henry, Kissinger became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1943, served in the Army in Europe in World War Two, and attended Harvard University on a scholarship, earning a master’s degree in 1952 and a doctorate in 1954. He was on Harvard’s faculty for the next 17 years.

During much of that time, Kissinger served as a consultant to government agencies, including in 1967 when he acted as an intermediary for the State Department in Vietnam. He used his connections with President Lyndon Johnson’s administration to pass on information about peace negotiations to the Nixon camp.

When Nixon’s pledge to end the Vietnam War helped him win the 1968 presidential election, he brought Kissinger to the White House as national security adviser.

But the process of “Vietnamization” – shifting the burden of the war from the 500,000-troop U.S. forces to the South Vietnamese – was long and bloody, punctuated by massive U.S. bombing of North Vietnam, the mining of the North’s harbors, and the bombing of Cambodia.

Kissinger declared in 1972 that “peace is at hand” in Vietnam but the Paris Peace Accords reached in January 1973 were little more than a prelude to the final Communist takeover of the South two years later.

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In 1973, in addition to his role as national security adviser, Kissinger was named secretary of state – giving him unchallenged authority in foreign affairs.

An intensifying Arab-Israeli conflict launched Kissinger on his first so-called “shuttle” mission, a brand of highly personal, high-pressure diplomacy for which he became famous.

Thirty-two days spent shuttling between Jerusalem and Damascus helped Kissinger forge a long-lasting disengagement agreement between Israel and Syria in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

In an effort to diminish Soviet influence, Kissinger reached out to its chief communist rival, China, and made two trips there, including a secret one to meet with Premier Zhou Enlai. The result was Nixon’s historic summit in Beijing with Chairman Mao Zedong and the eventual formalization of relations between the two countries.

Former U.S. ambassador to China Winston Lord, who served as Kissinger’s special assistant, saluted his former boss as a “tireless advocate for peace,” telling Reuters, “America has lost a towering champion for the national interest.”

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STRATEGIC ARMS ACCORD

The Watergate scandal that forced Nixon to resign barely grazed Kissinger, who was not connected to the cover-up and continued as secretary of state when Ford took office in the summer of 1974. But Ford did replace him as national security adviser in an effort to hear more voices on foreign policy.

Later that year Kissinger went with Ford to Vladivostok in the Soviet Union, where the president met Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev and agreed to a basic framework for a strategic arms pact. The agreement capped Kissinger’s pioneering efforts at detente that led to a relaxing of U.S.-Soviet tensions.

But Kissinger’s diplomatic skills had their limits. In 1975, he was faulted for failing to persuade Israel and Egypt to agree to a second-stage disengagement in the Sinai.

And in the India-Pakistan War of 1971, Nixon and Kissinger were heavily criticized for tilting toward Pakistan. Kissinger was heard calling the Indians “bastards” – a remark he later said he regretted.

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Like Nixon, he feared the spread of left-wing ideas in the Western hemisphere, and his actions in response were to cause deep suspicion of Washington from many Latin Americans for years to come.

In 1970 he plotted with the CIA on how best to destabilize and overthrow the Marxist but democratically elected Chilean President Salvador Allende, while he said in a memo in the wake of Argentina’s bloody coup in 1976 that the military dictators should be encouraged.

When Ford lost to Jimmy Carter, a Democrat, in 1976, Kissinger’s days in the suites of government power were largely over. The next Republican in the White House, Ronald Reagan, distanced himself from Kissinger, who he viewed as out of step with his conservative constituency.

After leaving government, Kissinger set up a high-priced, high-powered consulting firm in New York, which offered advice to the world’s corporate elite. He served on company boards and various foreign policy and security forums, wrote books, and became a regular media commentator on international affairs.

After the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, President George W. Bush picked Kissinger to head an investigative committee. But outcry from Democrats who saw a conflict of interest with many of his consulting firm’s clients forced Kissinger to step down from the post.

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Divorced from his first wife, Ann Fleischer, in 1964, he married Nancy Maginnes, an aide to New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller, in 1974. He had two children by his first wife.

-Reuters

 

 

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Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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OBITUARY

Nigeria’s Sports Minister Condoles With Sports Sector, Family of Ekene Adams

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Nigeria's Sports Minister, John Owan Enoh signs the condolence register

Tributes have started pouring in over the death of Ekene Adams, the chairman of the Sports Committee of the Federal House of Representatives.

Adams passed on in the early hours of this Tuesday. The sports minister, John Owan Enoh remarked that the  the late legislator had deep passion for sports, which is exemplary.

The minister extended his deepest condolences to his family. Enoh expressed his sadness, stating, “Honourable Ekene was deeply passionate about sports and played a significant role in the growth and development of sports in Nigeria.

“I offer my heartfelt condolences to Honourable Ekene’s family. He was a sportsman par excellence who not only played the game but also administered and invested in it. We will miss his wealth of experience and the passion he brought to sports.”

Reflecting on their recent interactions, Senator Enoh added, “We were discussing Nigeria’s preparations for the Olympic Games, and he consistently demonstrated his patriotism and leadership.”

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“Honourable Ekene was a kind and gentle humanitarian, loved by all who knew him. His dedication to the development of grassroots sports in Nigeria was solid, and his contributions to the house will be deeply missed.”

Honourable Ekene Adams passed away after a period of illness. Until his passing, he served as the chairman of the House Committee on Sports.

He also held positions as the CEO of Kada City Football Club and general manager of Remo Stars at different times before winning the House of Representatives seat in the 2023 general election.

The Minister of Sports , permanent secretary, Mrs Tinuke Watti , President of the Nigeria Olympic Committee, Engr Habu Gumel ,the Speaker and members of the House of Representatives amongst others were present to condole with the family.

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OBITUARY

CAF mourns South Africa’s first national team coach, Stanley “Screamer” Tshabalala

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Stanley “Screamer” Tshabalala.

The Confédération of African Football, (CAF) President Dr Patrice Motsepe is saddened by the news of the passing of former coach of the South African National Team, Mamelodi Sundowns and a Senior Official at Orlando Pirates FC, Stanley “Screamer” Tshabalala.

Tshabalala was the first coach of the South African Senior Team, Bafana Bafana after re-admission in 1992.

In his career, he played for Orlando Pirates FC and was a Technical Director at Kaizer Chiefs FC.

President Motsepe said: “Mr “Screamer” Tshabalala’s contribution to the development and growth of South African football is enormous and recognized by all who have been involved and associated with football in our country over many years.

“He is recognised as the Father of the “shoe shine and piano” style which he initiated whilst being Head Coach of Mamelodi Sundowns. Mr “Screamer” Tshabalala represented the very best of South African football and African football and will always have a special place in our hearts.”

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CAF President Dr Motsepe conveys heartfelt condolences to the family of Stanley Tshabalala, Orlando Pirates Chairman Dr Khoza and the South African Football Association (“SAFA”), as well as the entire South African Football Football Family.

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OBITUARY

Ekene Adams, former Remo Stars GM & House of Reps Sports Committee Chairman is dead

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Hon.Ekene Adams

A pall of darkness has fallen on the Nigeria’s sports sector as a sports administrator, Ekene Adams, has passed on in the early hours of this Tuesday. He was aged 39.

 He was the Chairman of the House of Representatives  Committee on Sports. Prior to that, he was the General Manager of the Nigerian Premier League side, Remo Stars before going into politics and winning a seat in the Federal  House of Representatives  representing Chikun/Kajuru Federal Constituency, Kaduna State,.

 He reportedly died in the early hours of Tuesday although the cause of his death has not been ascertained at the time of filing this report.

A former football player, Adams served as the general manager of  Remo Stars as well as Kada City before he won a seat in the House of Representatives during the 2023 general elections. His sport background earned him the role of the reps committee chairman on sports despite being a first timer in the green chamber.

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