Sunday, April 06, 2008

Microsoft, the Olympics and the Symbol of Peace

And in other noteworthy anniversary news this weekend: Microsoft marked its 23rd anniversary, the peace symbol marked its 50th anniversary, and the first modern Olympics in Athens, Greece marked its 112th anniversary.

The Washington Post reports:

The peace symbol -- three simple lines within a circle -- turns 50 today. It's had a colorful and often turbulent life, which is odd considering that it's supposed to symbolize, you know, peace.

Unveiled at a British ban-the-bomb rally on April 4, 1958, the peace symbol's peak of potency was in the 1960s, when it was the emblem of the anti-Vietnam War movement and all things groovily counterculture. (Said its late creator, British graphic designer Gerald Holtom: "I drew myself . . . a man in despair . . . put a circle around it to represent the world.") The symbol has marched in service of many causes over the years: civil rights, women's rights, environmentalism, gay rights, anti-apartheid, the nuclear-freeze movement and the latter-day antiwar crowd.

And in somewhat related stories…

In January of this year, Yahoo Inc announced it plans to lay off 7% of its workforce in an effort to enhance its profitability. After talks with News Corp, Time Warner Inc’s AOL division and Google, Microsoft made an unsolicited takeover bid for Yahoo Inc. in early February for S$44.6 billion dollars. Citing the recent decline of internet stocks, Microsoft is now applying significant pressure on Yahoo Inc to accept its bid.

The National Post reports:

Yahoo Inc has three weeks to accept Microsoft Corp's US$31 per share cash-and-stock offer or Microsoft will mount a proxy battle to win investor support for the takeover, Microsoft said on Saturday. Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer said in a letter dated April 5 and addressed to Yahoo's board of directors that "now is the time" to negotiate final terms of a deal, one that would mark the biggest-ever takeover in the high-technology industry.

"If we have not concluded an agreement within the next three weeks, we will be compelled to take our case directly to your shareholders, including the initiation of a proxy contest to elect an alternative slate of directors," Mr. Ballmer wrote.

The letter represents the tightening of the noose in a classic Wall Street takeover bear-hug strategy, wherein Microsoft aims to convince Yahoo's board to negotiate a friendly merger deal or else face a battle to defend their jobs at Yahoo's next annual meeting.


In keeping with Olympic tradition, the Olympic torch has begun its several-months-long journey from Athens, Greece to the Olympic host city. With four months left until the opening ceremonies in Beijing, China, protesters in London used the Olympic torch’s passage through their city as an opportunity to voice and display their concerns with either China’s policies.

Others used it as an opportunity to show their support for the Olympic games and the host city

CNN reports:

The Olympic torch was met with widespread protests and scuffles between demonstrators and police Sunday as thousands turned out to protest Olympic host China's human rights record and its recent clampdown on Tibet.

Some demonstrators threw themselves at the torch, and at least one tried to snatch it away. Another tried to put out the flame with a fire extinguisher. They were quickly pushed back and cuffed by Metropolitan Police, which said its officers made 36 arrests on a variety of charges.

… Many of Sunday's demonstrators chanted "Free Tibet" and held signs with messages such as "Stop the Killing in Tibet." The group Tibetan Youth Association Europe said three of its members were among those arrested.

Other protesters focused on the communist nation's lack of civil and religious freedoms and its policies on Darfur. And still more turned out in counter-protests, chanting "China, China" and saying they support China as host of this year's summer Olympics.

The article also reported that French police are preparing “…to protect the Olympic torch” as it makes its way through Paris, France tomorrow.
- Annie Noa Kenet, Toronto

Visit our Toronto Law Firm website:


Post a Comment