SUMMARY / RELATED TOPICS

Vecrīga

Vecrīga is the historical center of Riga, located on the east side of Daugava River. Vecrīga is famous for its old churches and cathedrals, such as Riga Cathedral and St. Peter's church. Vecrīga is the original area of Riga and consists of the historic city limits before the city was expanded in the late 19th century. In the old days, Vecrīga was protected by a surrounding wall except the side adjacent to the Daugava river bank; when the wall was torn down, the waters from Daugava filled the space creating. In the 1980s Vecrīga's streets were closed to traffic and only area residents and local delivery vehicles are allowed within Vecrīga's limits with special permits. Vecrīga is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site listed as "Historic Centre of Riga". Media related to Vecrīga at Wikimedia Commons Multimedia virtual tour of Old Riga

Ned McWherter

Ned Ray McWherter was an American businessman and politician who served as the 46th Governor of Tennessee, from 1987 to 1995. Prior to that, he served as Speaker of the Tennessee House of Representatives from 1973 to 1987, the longest tenure as Speaker up to that time. McWherter was born in Palmersville, Weakley County, the son of Harmon Ray McWherter, a sharecropper, Lucille McWherter, he grew up in the Little Zion community near Palmersville. In the early 1940s, his family moved to Ypsilanti, where his father worked in wartime factories. In May 1945, the family moved to Dresden, where McWherter's parents purchased the City Cafe, which they would operate for several years. McWherter attended Dresden High School, where he was co-captain of the football team and president of the school's Future Farmers of America chapter. After graduating, he attempted to play college football, first at the University of Tennessee at Martin, at the University of Memphis, at Murray State, but he suffered a knee injury prior to each season at all three schools.

His college athletic career cut short, McWherter joined the Martin Shoe Company as a salesman. When the company's line of sandals struggled against competition from cheaper Japanese imports, McWherter travelled throughout the Caribbean and Central America in an attempt to find retailers finding a market for the sandals in Puerto Rico. In 1964, McWherter founded Volunteer Distributing to distribute Anheuser-Busch beer in the Weakley area. Two years he opened Dresden's first nursing home. McWherter served for 21 years in the Tennessee National Guard before retiring with the rank of captain, he was a member of the United Methodist Church. McWherter became involved in politics in the late 1950s, when he worked for the successful campaign of 8th district congressional candidate, Robert "Fats" Everett. In 1968, Doug Murphy, the Mayor of Martin, convinced him to run for Weakley County's seat in the Tennessee House of Representatives. McWherter won the seat without opposition, he was reelected to the seat eight times running unopposed.

McWherter entered the House of Representatives at a turbulent time in state politics. During his first term, Republicans controlled the House for the first time in several decades. During his second, Democrats regained control of the House, but a Republican governor, Winfield Dunn, had been elected. To counter Dunn, Democrats chose fiery Nashville attorney James McKinney as Speaker of the House. McKinney vehemently refused to consider most of his legislation. At the beginning of McWherter's third term, Democratic legislators, who controlled the House by a slim 50-49 margin, were concerned that McKinney's stubbornness was preventing the state from conducting its affairs, several suggested replacing McKinney with McWherter. In the House Democratic Caucus, McWherter was chosen over McKinney as the party's choice for Speaker by a single vote. Sensing disunity among Democrats, Governor Dunn tried to convince disgruntled McKinney supporters to vote for a Republican in the full House vote, but was unsuccessful, McWherter was elected Speaker by a 50-49 margin.

One of McWherter's first major issues as Speaker was a 1974 bill that sought to establish a medical school at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City. The bill was popular in East Tennessee, parts of which were struggling with a low doctors-per-capita ratio. Governor Dunn, vetoed the bill, arguing the medical school in Memphis was adequate for the state's needs; this sparked cries of favoritism from East Tennesseans. After the state senate voted to override the veto, McWherter, brushing off a threat from former Memphis mayor Henry Loeb, led the House in overriding the veto, allowing the bill to become law; when Dunn ran for another term as governor in 1986, his lack of support for the medical school in Johnson City came back to haunt him. Despite an overwhelming Republican base in the eastern part of the state, McWherter was able to gain the support of Republican Congressman James H. Quillen to pick up a majority of votes in the state's First Congressional District. In 1976, McWherter supported Democratic presidential candidate Jimmy Carter.

At a Carter campaign event in Memphis, McWherter expressed irritation with an ABC cameraman, prompting reporter Sam Donaldson to tell the cameraman, "don't mind him, he's a nobody." Years when President Ronald Reagan was scheduled to appear before the Tennessee General Assembly, McWherter removed Donaldson's name from the media credentials list. When Donaldson showed up at the state capitol, he was denied admission by the House sergeant-at-arms. After issuing a string of profanities, Donaldson stormed out of the building and returned to Washington. In January 1979, outgoing Governor Ray Blanton issued pardons to over 50 state inmates, including several convicted murderers, his administration had been under investigation for selling pardons, the FBI and state lawmakers feared more illicit pardons would be issued in his final days in office. To prevent this, McWherter and Lieutenant Governor John S. Wilder engineered a constitutional maneuver that allowed the governor-elect, Lamar Alexander, to be sworn in three days early.

During the 1980s, McWherter worked with the Alexander administration on a number of issues, including foreign investment and education. McWherter's support was critical in helping Alexander obtain passage of the "Career Ladder" bill, which provided income supplements to the state's top teachers; as the 1986 governor's race approached, Democrats struggled to find a candidate. Neither Bob Clement nor Anna Bel

2007 Lesotho general election

General elections were held in Lesotho on 17 February 2007. They had been scheduled to be held in April or May 2007. In October 2006, Tom Thabane left the ruling Lesotho Congress for Democracy and formed a new party, the All Basotho Convention, 17 other members of parliament joined him; this left the LCD with a narrow majority of 61 out of 120 seats. On the advice of Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili, King Letsie III dissolved parliament on November 24, 2006, the election was scheduled for February 17, 2007; the bringing forward of the date caused dissatisfaction amongst the opposition, which expressed concern that it would not allow sufficient time for campaigning and electoral preparations. It was believed that the election was called early due to the possibility that there would be further defections from the LCD, depriving it of its majority.80 constituency seats were up for election together with 40 seats allocated by proportional representation. The poll was monitored by the American National Democratic Institute.

The electoral commission announced late on 20 February that the LCD had won 61 out of the 80 constituency seats, while the ABC won 17. The Alliance of Congress Parties won one constituency seat, the vote in Makhaleng was delayed because a candidate there had died; the National Independent Party, allied with the LCD, won 21 seats through proportional representation, the Lesotho Workers' Party, allied with the ABC, won 10 seats through proportional representation. ABC leader Tom Thabane called the vote not fair. An extended dispute has followed the election regarding the allocation of the seats based on proportional representation. Despite acknowledging that the LCD won the election, the ABC has argued that the proportional seats were not allocated correctly; the LCD's reluctance to engage in talks prompted Thabane on October 18, 2007 to threaten street protests to pressure the government into holding a new election "if they continue to fail to co-operate". A by-election was held in Makhaleng on 30 June 2007 to determine the MP of that constituency.

Full results for the by-election were