Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits)

Mark Knopfler, the singer-songwriter and guitarist with British rock band, Dire Straits, was born 12th August 1949. Formed in 1977 by Brothers Mark (lead vocals and lead guitar)and David Knopfler (rhythm guitar and backing vocals), and friends John Illsley (bass guitar and backing vocals, and Pick Withers (drums and percussion), they recorded a five-song demo tape which included their future hit single, “Sultans of Swing”, as well as “Water of Love”, “Down to the Waterline”, “Wild West End” and David Knopfler’s “Sacred Loving”.The group’s first album, was intitled Dire Straits the album had little promotion when initially released in the United Kingdom However, the album came to the attention of A&R representative Karin Berg, working at Warner Bros. Records in New York City. She felt that it was the kind of music audiences were hungry for, That same year, Dire Straits began a tour as opening band for the Talking Heads after the re-released “Sultans of Swing” which scaled the charts to number four in the United States and number eight in the United Kingdom. The song was one of Dire Straits’ biggest hits and became a fixture in the band’s live performances. “

Recording sessions for the group’s second album, Communiqué, took place in December 1978, Released in June 1979 Communiqué Featured the single “Lady Writer”, the second album continued in a similar vein as the first and displayed the expanding scope of Knopfler’s lyricism on the opening track, “Once Upon a Time in the West”. In 1980, Dire Straits werenominated for two Grammy Awards for Best New Artist and Best Rock Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group for “Sultans Of Swing.In July 1980 the band started recording tracks for their third album. Making Movies which featured longer songs with more complex arrangements, a style which would continue for the rest of the band’s career. The album featured many of Mark Knopfler’s most personal compositions. The most successful chart single was “Romeo and Juliet” and was released in October 1980.

Dire Straits’ fourth studio album Love Over Gold, an album of songs filled with lengthy, experimental passages, was well received when it was released in September 1982, going gold in America and spending four weeks at number one in the United Kingdom, its main chart hit, “Private Investigations”, gave Dire Straits their first top 5 hit single in the United Kingdom, where it reached the number 2 position despite its almost seven-minute length, and became another of the band’s most popular live songs. along with “Industrial Disease”, a song that looks at the decline of the British manufacturing industry in the early 1980s. In 1983, a four-song EP titled ExtendedancEPlay was released while Love Over Gold was still in the album charts. It featured the hit single “Twisting By the Pool”. Dire Straits also embarked on a world tour. wgich resulted in The double album Alchemy Live, a recording of two live concerts of the group at London’s Hammersmith Odeon in July 1983, was released in March 1984.

Dire Straits returned to the recording studios at the end of 1984 to record their biggest selling album to date, Brothers in Arms, which has so far sold over 30 million copies and contains the songs “Money for Nothing”, “Walk of Life”, “So Far Away”, “Your Latest Trick” and “Brothers in Arms”. Released in May 1985, Brothers In Arms entered the UK Albums Chart at number 1 and spent a total of 228 weeks in the charts, It went on to become the best-selling album of 1985 in the UK, “Money for Nothing” was also the first video ever to be played on MTV in Britain and featured guest vocals by Sting, who is credited with co-writing the song with Mark Knopfler, although in fact, it was just the inclusion of the melody line from “Don’t Stand So Close To Me”.Brothers in Arms was among the first albums recorded on digital equipment due to Knopfler pushing for improved sound quality The album’s title track is reported to be the world’s first CD single. The album is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the first compact disc to sell a million copies, and has been credited with helping to popularise the CD form

Their sound drew from a variety of musical influences, including jazz, folk, blues, and came closest to beat music within the context of rock and roll. Despite the prominence of punk rock during the band’s early years, the band’s stripped-down sound contrasted with punk, demonstrating a more “rootsy” influence that emerged out of pub rock. Many of Dire Straits’ compositions were melancholic and they have gone on to became one of the world’s most commercially successful bands, with worldwide album sales of over 120 million. making them One of the world’s best selling music artists, and their fifth album, Brothers in Arms, has won many accolades. In November 2009, Dire Straits were honoured by the new PRS for Music Heritage Award. A special blue plaque was erected at Farrer House, Church Street, Deptford in south London, where the original group, Mark Knopfler, David Knopfler, John Illsley and Pick Withers once shared a council flat and performed their first ever gig in 1977. PRS for Music has set up the Heritage Award to recognise the unusual “performance birthplaces” of famous bands and artists. Dire Straits have also won numerous music awards during their career, including four Grammy Awards, three Brit Awards—winning Best British Group twice, and two MTV Video Music Awards. The band’ most popular songs include “Sultans of Swing”, “Romeo and Juliet”, “Tunnel of Love”, “Private Investigations” .Dire Straits’ career spanned 18 years. There were several changes in personnel over that period, leaving Mark Knopfler and John Illsley as the only two original bandmates who had remained throughout the band’s career. Dire Straits disbanded in 1995 when Mark Knopfler launched his career full time as a solo artist. Since then he has recorded many great solo albums including Privateering and Tracker

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY TANITA TIKARAM

British pop/folk singer-songwriter,Tanita Tikaram was born 12 August 1969, She is best known for the hits “Twist in My Sobriety” and “Good Tradition” from her 1988 debut album, Ancient Heart. Tikaram started singing in nightclubs while she was still a teenager. Her debut album, Ancient Heart, was released in September 1988 when she was 19-years-old.The album peaked at Number 3 in the United Kingdom, where it was certified Double Platinum by the British Phonographic Industry. It also became an international hit and led to a world concert tour. The singles “Good Tradition” and “Twist In My Sobriety” were Top 10 hits in Europe. Tikaram’s second album, The Sweet Keeper, was released in 1990. While it also peaked at Number 3 in the UK, it was less successful than her debut, earning just a Gold disc. No singles from the album were Top 40 hits.

The album Everybody’s Angel followed in 1991, with Jennifer Warnes providing vocals on two tracks, including the lead single “Only The Ones We Love” The album was less successful than her previous releases, peaking at Number 19 in the UK. 1992 saw the release of Eleven Kinds Of Loneliness. And in 1995, she released Lovers in the City. In 1998 she released The Cappuccino Songs, which was produced by Marco Sabiu and one of the singles off the album, “I Don’t Wanna Lose At Love”, was remixed by the Asian Dub Foundation. She then retired from the music scene for several years. In 2005, Tikaram released the album, Sentimental, which features two collaborations with Nick Lowe. Tikaram began recording her eighth studio album in 2010 and also played some “acoustic sessions” live dates in Europe from September to November 2011, her first tour in 10 years. Tikaram’s eighth studio album, Can’t Go Back, was released 2012 and contained the single, “Dust On My Shoes”, was released digitally on 11 May 2012

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY PETE SAMPRAS

Greek American tennis player and former world number 1.Peter “Pete” Sampras was born August 12, 1971 During his 14-year tour career, he won 14 Grand Slam singles titles and became recognized as one of the greatest tennis players of all time.Sampras debuted on the professional tour in 1988 and played his last top-level tournament in 2002 when he won the US Open, defeating rival Andre Agassi in the final. He was the year-end world no. 1 for six consecutive years (1993–1998), a record for the Open Era. His seven Wimbledon singles championships is an Open Era record shared with Roger Federer, while Sampras’ five US Open singles titles is an Open Era record shared with both Federer and former World No. 1 player Jimmy Connors. Sampras is the last American male to win Wimbledon (2000) and the ATP World Tour Finals (1999)

Greek American tennis player and former world number 1.Peter “Pete” Sampras was born August 12, 1971 During his 14-year tour career, he won 14 Grand Slam singles titles and became recognized as one of the greatest tennis players of all time.Sampras debuted on the professional tour in 1988 and played his last top-level tournament in 2002 when he won the US Open, defeating rival Andre Agassi in the final. He was the year-end world no. 1 for six consecutive years (1993–1998), a record for the Open Era. His seven Wimbledon singles championships is an Open Era record shared with Roger Federer, while Sampras’ five US Open singles titles is an Open Era record shared with both Federer and former World No. 1 player Jimmy Connors. Sampras is the last American male to win Wimbledon (2000) and the ATP World Tour Finals (1999)

International Youth Day

International Youth Day is observed annually on 12 August. It was created by the United Nations in 1999 to draw attention to the cultural and legal issues surrounding youth. The first IYD was observed on 12 August, 2000. It is also an opportunity for governments and others to draw attention to youth issues worldwide. During IYD, concerts, workshops, cultural events, and meetings involving national and local government officials and youth organizations take place around the world. The International Youth Day’s Slogan for 2014 is Youth and Mental Health. For 2015 it is Youth and Civic Engagement. The engagement and participation of youth is essential to achieve sustainable human development. Yet often the opportunities for youth to engage politically, economically and socially are low or non-existent.

There has been recent increasing attention and policy and programming focus on youth civic engagement by governments, UN entities, regional and multilateral organizations, CSOs, youth and researchers. As part of its celebrations for International Youth Day, the Inter-Agency Network on Youth Development, led by the co-chairs, DESA and UNDP, is running an online campaign in the lead up to International Youth Day 12 August 2015. In 1985, the UN celebrated the first International Year of Youth. On its 10th anniversary, the General Assembly adopted the World Programme of Action for Youth, setting a policy framework and guidelines for national action and international support to improve the situation of young people.

The fifteen Priority Areas adopted by the General Assembly Include Education, Employment, Hunger and poverty, Health, Environment, Drug abuse, Juvenile delinquency, Leisure-time activities, Girls and young women, Participation, Globalization, Information and communication technologies, HIV/AIDS, Youth and conflict and Intergenerational relations.

The World Programme of Action for Youth plays a prominent role in youth development. It focuses on measures to strengthen national capacities in the field of youth and to increase the quality and quantity of opportunities available to young people for full, effective and constructive participation in society.

The United Nations Programme on Youth serves as the Focal Point on Youth at the UN. It undertakes a range of activities to promote youth development including supporting intergovernmental policy-making, conducting analytical research and increasing the effectiveness of the UN’s work in youth development by strengthening collaboration and exchange among UN entities through the Inter-Agency Network on Youth Development.

World Elephant Day

World Elephant Day is an international annual event on August 12, dedicated to the preservation and protection of the world’s elephants. Conceived in 2011 by Canadian filmmakers Patricia Sims and Michael Clark of Canazwest Pictures, and Sivaporn Dardarananda, Secretary-General of the Elephant Reintroduction Foundation in Thailand, it was officially founded, supported and launched by Patricia Sims and the Elephant Reintroduction Foundation on August 12, 2012. Since that time, Patricia Sims continues to direct World Elephant Day, which is now supported by over 65 wildlife organizations and many individuals in countries across the globe.

The goal of World Elephant Day is to create awareness around the urgent plight of African and Asian elephants, and to share knowledge and positive solutions for the better care and management of captive and wild elephants. Both African and Asian elephants face extinction, with African elephants being “Vulnerable” and Asian elephants being “Endangered” on the IUCN Red List of threatened species. The current population estimates are about 400,000 for African elephants and 40,000 for Asian elephants, although it has been argued that these numbers are much too high.

Elephants face a number of issues which affects their survival. Among these is The demand for ivory, which is highest in China, this has lead to the illegal poaching of both African and Asian elephants. One of the world’s largest elephants, Satao, was recently murdered for his iconic tusks. Another iconic Kenyan elephant, Mountain Bull, was also killed by poachers, and with the street value for ivory now exceeding that of gold, African elephants face a poaching epidemic. Elephants are also poached for meat, leather, and body parts, with the illegal wildlife trade putting elephants in grave danger, because it is perceived to be a low risk and high profit endeavor.

Elephants are also adversely affected by The loss of habitat due to deforestation, increases in mining, and agricultural activities which have become problematic, especially for Asian elephants.The fragmentation of habitat also creates isolation – this makes breeding more difficult, and allows poachers to find the elephants and set traps more easily. Human-elephant conflict is also a significant concern, as human populations increase and forest cover decreases, this forces elephants into close proximity with human settlements. Incidents include crop damage and economic losses, as well as both elephant and human casualties occur. Another major issue affecting Elephants is Mistreatment in captivity, where A lack of legislation regarding the care and treatment of elephants in zoos, circuses, and tourism often leads to their mistreatment. Captivity can be a serious threat to elephants, and Asian elephants are often illegally captured in the wild and trafficked into the lucrative tourism industry.

However Many notable celebrities have spoken out about the urgency of elephant protection, including Leonardo DiCaprio, Kristin Davis, William Shatner, Yao Ming, Prince William, Jorja Fox, Alec Baldwin, Stephen Fry, Ashley Judd, Jada Pinkett Smith, and politicians such as Barack Obama, and Hillary and Chelsea Clinton.