Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Obama plays up auto industry success story (AP)

WASHINGTON ? President Barack Obama hailed the rebound of the U.S. auto industry on Tuesday, trumpeting an economic story he hopes to use to his political advantage in key Rust Belt states such as Michigan and Ohio. In a not-so-veiled shot at Republican presidential front-runner Mitt Romney, Obama said it was worth remembering that there were some leaders "willing to let this industry die."

Obama sat inside shiny new plug-in electric hybrids and burly trucks during a quick tour of the Washington Auto Show, declaring, "The U.S. auto industry is back." Obama emphasized his administration's rescue of General Motors and Chrysler from the brink of collapse as Romney was surging in Florida's GOP primary, a contest that could bring him a step closer to winning the Republican nomination.

The president did not mention Romney by name, but told reporters it was "good to remember the fact that there were some folks who were willing to let this industry die. Because of folks coming together we are now back at a place where we can compete with any car company in the world."

Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul said the former Massachusetts governor was "thrilled" to see the companies' success but said it was "unfortunate that the government first attempted a bailout, which was precisely as unsuccessful as he predicted, cost taxpayers billions, and left the government improperly entangled in the private sector."

For Obama, the auto bailout has been a case study for his efforts to revive the economy and a potential point of contrast with Romney, who opposed Obama's decision to pour billions of dollars into the auto companies. The president's campaign views the auto storyline as a potent argument against Romney, the son of a Detroit auto executive who later served as Michigan governor.

Indeed, the auto show tour was just another example of the White House taking every opportunity to highlight its efforts to rebuild the auto industry, with aides frequently pointing to GM's reemergence as the world's largest automaker and job growth and profitability in the U.S. auto industry.

"The fact that GM is back, number one, I think shows the kind of turnaround that's possible when it comes to American manufacturing," Obama said.

As the industry was collapsing in the fall of 2008, Romney predicted in a New York Times op-ed that if the companies received a federal bailout, "you can kiss the American automotive industry goodbye." Romney said the companies should have undergone a "managed bankruptcy" that would have avoided a government bailout.

"Whether it was by President Bush or by President Obama, it was the wrong way to go," Romney said at a GOP presidential debate in Michigan in November. Romney said the nation has "capital markets and bankruptcy ? it works in the U.S. The idea of billions of dollars being wasted initially, then finally they adopted the managed bankruptcy. I was among others that said we ought to do that."

Both the Bush and Obama administrations found themselves in uncharted territory in the fall of 2008 and early 2009. GM and Chrysler were on the verge of collapse when Congress failed to approve emergency loans in late 2008. Bush stepped in and signed off on $17.4 billion in loans, requiring the companies to develop restructuring plans under Obama's watch.

The following spring, Obama pumped billions more into GM and Chrysler but forced concessions from industry stakeholders, enabling the companies to go through swift bankruptcies. Obama aides said billions in aid ? about $85 billion for the industry in total ? was necessary because capital markets were essentially frozen at the time, meaning there was no way for GM and Chrysler to fund their bankruptcies privately.

Without any private financing or government support, they argued, the companies would have been forced to liquidate.

Obama has tried to turn the tough decision into a political advantage in Ohio and Michigan, which Obama carried in 2008 and where unemployment has fallen of late. During last week's State of the Union address, Obama said the auto industry had hired tens of thousands of workers, and he predicted the Detroit turnaround could take root elsewhere.

Yet Obama's poll numbers in places like Ohio and Michigan remain in dangerous territory, under 50 percent, and the auto industry argument carries some inherent risks.

A Quinnipiac University poll in Ohio released Jan. 18 found Obama locked in a virtual tie with Romney in a hypothetical matchup, with about half the voters disapproving of Obama's performance as president. A poll in Michigan released last week by Lansing-based EPIC-MRA found 48 percent supporting Obama and 40 percent backing Romney in a potential matchup.

Republicans say the bailout still remains unpopular and the government intervention was hardly a cure-all. "The industry was bailed out but a lot of people lost their jobs," said David Doyle, a Michigan-based Republican strategist.

In a nation still soured on bailouts, the government owns more than a quarter of GM. The Treasury Department estimates the government will lose more than $23 billion on the auto bailout: GM is trading at $24 a share, well below the $53-per-share mark needed for the government to recoup its investment in the company.

Romney, facing attacks from Democrats on his work at private equity firm Bain Capital, has tried to use the GM and Chrysler cases to insulate himself against charges his firm gutted companies and fired workers. "How did you do when you were running General Motors as the president?" Romney said in a December debate. "Gee, you closed down factories. You closed down dealerships. And he'll say, well I did that to save the business. Same thing with us, Mr. President."

Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and others say the decision, while unpopular, saved an estimated 1 million jobs throughout the Midwest and say the industry is coming back.

As a result of the restructuring, the companies can make money at far lower U.S. sales volumes than in the past. Industry analysts predict U.S. sales will grow by at least 1 million this year over last year's 12.8 million units as people replace aging cars and trucks. And North American operations at GM, Chrysler and Ford are thriving, boosting their companies' earnings ? all signs that Democrats say will make the difference in the Midwest.

"I don't know how any reasonable person can fail to acknowledge that this rescue plan worked and the country has benefited," said former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, a Democrat.


AP Auto Writer Tom Krisher in Detroit contributed to this report.

Source: http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/economy/*http%3A//news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20120131/ap_on_go_pr_wh/us_obama_autos

earthquake today droid razr oklahoma news atomic clock earthquake map geoffrey mutai wes welker

H5N1: Fukushima pets in no-go zone face harsh winter

Via Reuters:?Fukushima pets in no-go zone face harsh winter. Excerpt:

Dogs and cats that were abandoned in the Fukushima exclusion zone after last year's nuclear crisis have had to survive high radiation and a lack of food, and they are now struggling with the region's freezing winter weather.?
"If left alone, tens of them will die everyday. Unlike well-fed animals that can keep themselves warm with their own body fat, starving ones will just shrivel up and die," said Yasunori Hoso, who runs a shelter for about 350 dogs and cats rescued from the 20-km evacuation zone around the crippled nuclear plant.?
The government let animal welfare groups enter the evacuation zone temporarily in December to rescue surviving pets before the severe winter weather set in, but Hoso said there were still many more dogs and cats left in the area.?
"If we cannot go in to take them out, I hope the government will at least let us go there and leave food for them," he said.?
A 9.0-magnitude earthquake and massive tsunami on March 11 triggered the world's worst nuclear accident in 25 years and forced residents around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant to flee, with many of them having to leave behind their pets.?
More than 150,000 people from Fukushima prefecture still cannot return to their homes, with nearly half of them from the exclusion zone.

Source: http://crofsblogs.typepad.com/h5n1/2012/01/fukushima-pets-in-no-go-zone-face-harsh-winter.html

kohls coupons joe kapp joe kapp kohls target target walmart

Monday, January 30, 2012

Government steps up Jeep Liberty air bag probe

(AP) ? Federal safety regulators have stepped up their investigation into the Jeep Liberty SUV after 50 people reported they were hurt when the air bags inflated even though the vehicle wasn't involved in a crash.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration started investigating Liberty SUVs made by Chrysler Group LLC from the 2002 and 2003 model years in September. The investigation was upgraded to a full engineering analysis last week.

Documents on the agency website say Chrysler and regulators have gotten 87 complaints of air bags going off by surprise. Nearly 387,000 vehicles are under investigation.

Drivers reported burns, cuts and bruises. No deaths have occurred.

Forty-two of the incidents involved the driver's front air bag, with the remaining 45 cases involving both the driver and front passenger air bags, the documents said. The incidents occurred as the vehicle was being started and while it was being driven. The agency said some of the Liberty owners reported that the air bag warning light illuminated just before the air bags were inflated. But others reported that they didn't see any warning light.

NHTSA said in the documents that Chrysler inspected the air bag control computer chip and found that it fails due to a possible electrical voltage spike.

The company says no incidents have happened in vehicles made after March 19, 2003. But regulators say Chrysler can't explain that, so they are starting an engineering analysis.

Chrysler spokesman Vince Muniga said Monday that the company is fully cooperating with NHTSA and is trying to determine the cause of the problem. He said he has asked company engineers about what owners of the SUVs should do if they fear the air bag might inflate unexpectedly, but he has not received a reply.

Associated Press

Source: http://hosted2.ap.org/APDEFAULT/f70471f764144b2fab526d39972d37b3/Article_2012-01-30-Chrysler-Jeep%20Airbags/id-b467d5d3460e40ebabd7942de981b3fa

new hampshire primary results ron paul golden state warriors amanda bynes molly sims hostess brands david crowder band

"The Artist" director Michel Hazanavicius wins DGA award (Reuters)

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) ? "The Artist" director Michel Hazanavicius was named the year's best feature film director by the Directors Guild of America on Saturday, further positioning the silent movie-era romance as a frontrunner for Oscars.

The movie about a fading star whose career is eclipsed by the woman he loves just as talkies are putting an end to silent pictures has been a critical darling throughout the Hollywood's current awards season.

"This is really touching and moving for me," said French director Hazanavicius upon accepting his award at the Grand Ballroom adjacent to the Kodak Theatre where the Oscars, the film industry's highest honors, will be given out on February 26.

"It's maybe the highest recognition I could hope for," he said.

The DGA Awards are a key indicator of who may win Academy Awards next month because only six times since the DGA began handing out annual honors in 1948 has the its winner failed to also be named best director by Oscar voters.

More important, there is a long history among members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which gives out the Oscars, to give their Academy Award for best film to the movie made by the winner of best director.

The next stop in the race for Oscars is Sunday's Screen Actors Guild awards in Los Angeles where "The Artist" will look to extend its streak of victories, including a Golden Globe for best film musical or comedy and honors from critics groups.

The DGA also gives out other awards, including one for best film documentary, which went to James Marsh for "Project Nim."

Among TV award winners, Patty Jenkins was given the DGA trophy for best drama series for the pilot episode of "The Killing" and Robert B. Weide took home the DGA award for best comedy series for an episode of "Curb Your Enthusiasm."

(Reporting By Bob Tourtellotte; Editing by Bill Trott)

Source: http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/movies/*http%3A//news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20120129/en_nm/us_dgaawards

sarah palin espn body issue ijustine visionary guy kawasaki jani lane the exorcism of emily rose

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Syria violence kills 37, U.N. Security Council to meet (Reuters)

AMMAN (Reuters) ? Security forces killed 37 people in Syria on Friday, activists and residents said, as people in Homs mourned 14 members of a family they said were slain by militiamen in one of the worst sectarian attacks in a revolt against President Bashar al-Assad.

The U.N. Security Council was to meet later in the day to discuss Syria before a possible vote next week on a new Western-Arab draft resolution aimed at halting 10 months of bloodshed.

Russia, which joined China in vetoing a previous Western draft resolution in October and which has since promoted its own draft, said the Western-Arab version was unacceptable and vowed to block any text calling for Assad's resignation.

There was no let-up in violence on Friday, when anti-Assad protests again erupted after weekly Muslim prayers.

Tank and mortar fire killed 15 people in Hama, a resident said, on the fourth day of an army assault on rebellious districts of the city, where Assad's father crushed an armed Islamist uprising in 1982, killing many thousands.

The opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported 22 people killed elsewhere in Syria, including 12 when security forces fired on a funeral march in the southern town of Nowa, five in the normally peaceful city of Aleppo, and four in Homs.

Machinegun fire wounded five people in the Qusour district of Homs, one activist there said, adding that the city was calmer than it was at the height of Thursday's violence, when 16 people were also killed by mortar fire from security forces.

The state news agency SANA said "terrorists" killed a security man in Homs on Friday and a bomb killed a child and wounded several civilians and security personnel in the Damascus district of Midan.

SANA also said a bomb wounded three civilians and three security men in the northeastern town of Albukamal and that a suicide bomber had wounded two security men at a checkpoint in the northwestern province of Idlib.

Arab League observers headed for the Damascus suburb of Douma, where government troops battled rebel fighters the previous day as the struggle to topple Assad rumbled close to the Syrian capital.


The Arab League has demanded that the Syrian leader step down as part of a transition to democracy, a call rejected by Damascus. The government says it is fighting foreign-backed armed "terrorists" who have killed 2,000 soldiers and police.

"Any decision about a future political settlement in Syria must be made during the political process without ... preliminary conditions," Interfax news agency quoted Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov as saying.

He stopped short of saying Moscow would veto a Western-Arab draft if the call for Assad to hand over power was not removed.

The text calls for a "political transition," but not for United Nations sanctions against Assad's government, which Moscow, an old ally and arms supplier of Syria, opposes.

Russia and Iran are among Syria's few remaining allies.

In another sign of Assad's isolation, Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal has effectively abandoned his headquarters in Damascus, diplomatic and intelligence sources said.

"He's not going back to Syria," a regional intelligence source said of Meshaal, who has long been based in the Syrian capital. He heads the Palestinian Islamist group which rules Gaza and is an armed offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Analysts say Meshaal was embarrassed by Assad's crackdown, in which more than 5,000 people have been killed, many of them Sunni Muslim sympathisers of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Homs, a mostly Sunni city with minority Alawite enclaves, has become a battleground since protests against Assad began in March, inspired by pro-democracy revolts elsewhere in the Arab world. Armed rebels have joined the fray in recent months.


Residents and activists said militiamen from Assad's Alawite sect had shot or hacked to death 14 members of the Sunni Bahader family in Homs's Karm al-Zaitoun district on Thursday, including eight children, aged eight months to nine years old.

YouTube video footage taken by activists, which could not be verified, showed the bodies of five children with wounds to the head and neck, three women and a man in a house.

There was no comment from Syrian authorities, which enforce tight restrictions on independent media.

At least 384 children have been killed since the uprising began in March and a similar number have been jailed, the U.N. Children's Fund (UNICEF) said on Friday.

The British-based Observatory said 43 civilians were killed on Thursday, including 33 in Homs, of whom nine were children.

Hamza, an activist in Homs, said the militiamen who attacked the Sunni family were avenging deaths inflicted on their ranks by army defectors loosely grouped in the rebel Free Syrian Army.

Tit-for-tat sectarian killings began in Homs four months ago. Assad's Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shi'ite Islam, has dominated the political and security apparatus in Syria, a mostly Sunni nation of 23 million, for five decades.

"The Assads are the dirtiest of families," shouted crowds in Deir Balba, on the edge of Homs, according to a YouTube clip that showed people waving pre-Baath party Syrian flags.

In the city's Bab Amro district, demonstrators carried the body of a youth who had been shot in the head. "Bashar, your mother will bury you," they chanted, YouTube footage showed.

It was not possible to verify the footage, which anti-Assad campaigners had posted on the Internet.

The opposition Local Coordination Committees said security forces had fired on an anti-Assad protest by refugees from the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights who live in Thiabieh near Damascus. It said several protesters were wounded.

Activists in the Damascus suburb of Irbin said 15,000 people had turned out to demonstrate against Assad.

Several thousand also gathered in the rain in the ancient, eastern desert town of Palmyra, clapping to anti-Assad anthems. "Bashar, God is greater (than you)!" they sang.

(Additional reporting by Erika Solomon and Dominic Evans in Beirut, Steve Gutterman in Moscow, Stephanie Nebehay in Geneva, Nidal al-Mughrabi in Gaza and Louis Charbonneau at the United Nations; Writing by Alistair Lyon; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

Source: http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/world/*http%3A//news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20120127/wl_nm/us_syria

montreal canadiens montreal canadiens jason aldean new york time amish sonic the hedgehog imagine

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Acupuncture May Boost Pregnancy Success Rates (HealthDay)

FRIDAY, Jan. 27 (HealthDay News) -- When a couple is trying to have a baby and can't, it can be emotionally and financially draining. But help may be available in an unexpected form: acupuncture.

Medical experts believe that this ancient therapy from China, which involves placing numerous thin needles at certain points in the body, can help improve fertility in both men and women.

"Acupuncture has been around for almost 3,000 years. It's safe and there are no bad side effects from it," explained Dr. Lisa Lilienfield, a family practice and pain management specialist at the Kaplan Center for Integrative Medicine in McLean, Va. "It may not be the only thing that is done in isolation to treat infertility, but it helps get the body primed and maximizes the potential effects of fertility treatments."

Dr. Jamie Grifo, director of the New York University Fertility Center and director of the division of reproductive endocrinology at the NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City, said that "it's not a panacea, but acupuncture does help some patients have better success."

"It's one non-traditional modality to help manage the stress of infertility, and it does improve pregnancy rates and quality of life in some people," he said.

In addition to relieving stress, Lilienfield said that acupuncture can help increase a woman's fertility by improving blood flow to the ovaries and uterus. This improved blood flow can help thicken the lining of the uterus, increasing the chances of conception.

It may also help correct problems with the body's neuroendocrine system. Acupuncture can help activate the brain to release hormones that will stimulate the ovaries, adrenal glands and other organs that are involved in reproduction, according to Lilienfield. Acupuncture's effect on the neuroendocrine system may also help infertile men by stimulating sperm production, she said.

Studies that have been done on acupuncture and fertility have had mixed results, with some showing benefits and others showing none. Grifo said the differing results may have something to do with the design of the studies. Two areas that appear to be more consistently helped by acupuncture treatments are in vitro fertilization and women who are infertile due to polycystic ovary syndrome.

Two studies -- one in Acupuncture in Medicine and the other in the Journal of Endocrinological Investigation -- found a benefit when acupuncture was used on the day an embryo was transferred into a woman's uterus.

The study from the Journal of Endocrinological Investigation also found that women with polycystic ovary syndrome and men who had infertility issues with no known cause also benefitted from acupuncture.

The actual treatment session involves placing very thin needles at specific points in the body. In Chinese medicine, these points are believed to be areas where a person's "qi" (pronounced chee), or life force, is blocked, according to the U.S. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. In Western medicine, it's believed that the needle placement may release the body's natural painkillers.

Acupuncture is commonly used to treat pain, such as back pain, headache and menstrual cramps, according to the center.

Lilienfield said that acupuncture treatment costs vary, depending on where someone lives and the training of the practitioner. In her center, a treatment costs about $135, and most people receive six to eight treatments for infertility, she said. Insurance reimbursement also varies, she noted, though many insurance companies will pay for acupuncture.

In general, someone younger than 35 is often advised to try to get pregnant for about a year before seeking treatment for infertility. "But, if you're anxious to get going, six months is a reasonable time to wait," Lilienfield said. And women older than 35 probably shouldn't wait more than six months, she added.

Grifo said he doesn't favor waiting that long to seek treatment. "If you are trying to get pregnant and struggling with it, you don't need to wait a year," he said. "And, if you're over 35, don't wait six months to get worked up if it's causing you distress."

More information

The U.S. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine has more on acupuncture.

Publication Date: Oct. 31, 2011

Source: http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/parenting/*http%3A//news.yahoo.com/s/hsn/20120128/hl_hsn/acupuncturemayboostpregnancysuccessrates

tax refund calculator rough riders joy division camille grammer camille grammer dodd frank norco

How seawater could corrode nuclear fuel

ScienceDaily (Jan. 26, 2012) ? Japan used seawater to cool nuclear fuel at the stricken Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear plant after the tsunami in March 2011 -- and that was probably the best action to take at the time, says Professor Alexandra Navrotsky of the University of California, Davis.

But Navrotsky and others have since discovered a new way in which seawater can corrode nuclear fuel, forming uranium compounds that could potentially travel long distances, either in solution or as very small particles. The research team published its work Jan. 23 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

"This is a phenomenon that has not been considered before," said Alexandra Navrotsky, distinguished professor of ceramic, earth and environmental materials chemistry. "We don't know how much this will increase the rate of corrosion, but it is something that will have to be considered in future."

Japan used seawater to avoid a much more serious accident at the Fukushima-Daiichi plant, and Navrotsky said, to her knowledge, there is no evidence of long-distance uranium contamination from the plant.

Uranium in nuclear fuel rods is in a chemical form that is "pretty insoluble" in water, Navrotsky said, unless the uranium is oxidized to uranium-VI -- a process that can be facilitated when radiation converts water into peroxide, a powerful oxidizing agent.

Peter Burns, professor of civil engineering and geological sciences at the University of Notre Dame and a co-author of the new paper, had previously made spherical uranium peroxide clusters, rather like carbon "buckyballs," that can dissolve or exist as solids.

In the new paper, the researchers show that in the presence of alkali metal ions such as sodium -- for example, in seawater -- these clusters are stable enough to persist in solution or as small particles even when the oxidizing agent is removed.

In other words, these clusters could form on the surface of a fuel rod exposed to seawater and then be transported away, surviving in the environment for months or years before reverting to more common forms of uranium, without peroxide, and settling to the bottom of the ocean. There is no data yet on how fast these uranium peroxide clusters will break down in the environment, Navrotsky said.

Navrotsky and Burns worked with the following co-authors: postdoctoral researcher Christopher Armstrong and project scientist Tatiana Shvareva, UC Davis; May Nyman, Sandia National Laboratory, Albuquerque, N.M.; and Ginger Sigmon, University of Notre Dame. The U.S. Department of Energy supported the project.

Recommend this story on Facebook, Twitter,
and Google +1:

Other bookmarking and sharing tools:

Story Source:

The above story is reprinted from materials provided by University of California - Davis.

Note: Materials may be edited for content and length. For further information, please contact the source cited above.

Journal Reference:

  1. C. R. Armstrong, M. Nyman, T. Shvareva, G. E. Sigmon, P. C. Burns, A. Navrotsky. Uranyl peroxide enhanced nuclear fuel corrosion in seawater. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2012; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1119758109

Note: If no author is given, the source is cited instead.

Disclaimer: Views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of ScienceDaily or its staff.

Source: http://feeds.sciencedaily.com/~r/sciencedaily/~3/zIqj2KYijv8/120126152132.htm

s.978 larry ellison go ask alice go ask alice john mccarthy john mccarthy lumpectomy

Friday, January 27, 2012

The Shortz Factor

i. He or she must have a name that's useful for crosswords. Puzzle writers prefer having rare letters in unusual combinations (for example, I once snuck JFK, JR into a New York Times crossword at 1-down), but short groupings of common letters are the lifeblood of crosswords, and you'll need a lot of them if you want to make things work. For that reason, crossword-famous names are likely to be three, four, or five letters long, with as many 1-point Scrabble letters as possible. Think of names with a lot of vowels, and any combination of N, R, T, L, or S.

Source: http://feeds.slate.com/click.phdo?i=979943bb9dbf5c415501e3b76484f306

grand theft auto 5 kris jenner kris jenner livestand power ball kelly slater kelly slater

ZTE Optik dual-core tablet eyed up by Sprint, $100 on contract

ZTE Optik dual-core tablet eyed up by Sprint, $100 on contract

Underwhelmed by the ZTE tablet spotted yesterday? Perhaps the promise of a Honeycomb-decked seven-incher from Sprint will win your tablet hungry dollars. Advertising materials leaked over at Android Police, revealing that the previously unseen slab will arrive next month both on contract ($100) and off ($349). The 1.2GHz dual-core Optik wields a 5 megapixel camera on the back, paired with a front-facing 2 megapixel shooter, while there's a respectable chunk of storage (16GB), expandable by micro-SD. Although there may be more eye-opening propositions when it comes Android tabs, those on the hunt for one that won't claim a heavy chunk of your paycheck and still pack some respectable technical specs may have found an interesting new contender.

[Thanks David]

ZTE Optik dual-core tablet eyed up by Sprint, $100 on contract originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 26 Jan 2012 13:21:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink   |  sourceAndroid Police  | Email this | Comments

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/01/26/zte-optik-dual-core-tablet-eyed-up-by-sprint-100-on-contract/

activision blizzard acrylamide advent calendar adobe air 2005yu55 advanced search alexander the great

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Studies: Avastin may fight early breast cancers (AP)

Surprising results from two new studies may reopen debate about the value of Avastin for breast cancer. The drug helped make tumors disappear in certain women with early-stage disease, researchers found.

Avastin recently lost approval for treating advanced breast cancer, but the new studies suggest it might help women whose disease has not spread so widely. These were the first big tests of the drug for early breast cancer, and doctors were cautiously excited that it showed potential to help.

In one study, just over one third of women given Avastin plus chemotherapy for a few months before surgery had no sign of cancer in their breasts when doctors went to operate, versus 28 percent of women given chemo alone. In the other study, more than 18 percent on Avastin plus chemo had no cancer in their breasts or lymph nodes at surgery versus 15 percent of those on chemo alone.

A big caveat, though: The true test is whether Avastin improves survival, and it's too soon to know that ? both studies are still tracking the women's health. The drug also has serious side effects.

"I don't think it's clear yet whether this is going to be a winner," Dr. Harry Bear of Virginia Commonwealth University said of Avastin. But he added, "I don't think we're done with it."

Bear led one study, in the United States. Dr. Gunter von Minckwitz of the University of Frankfurt led the other in Germany. Results are in Thursday's New England Journal of Medicine.

Avastin (uh-VAS'-tihn) is still on the market for some colon, lung, kidney and brain tumors. In 2008, it won conditional U.S. approval for advanced breast cancer because it seemed to slow the disease. Further research showed it didn't meaningfully extend life and could cause heart problems, bleeding and other problems. The government revoked its approval for breast cancer in November.

Now doctors can prescribe Avastin for breast cancer but insurers may not pay. Treatment can cost $10,000 a month. The drug is made by California-based Genentech, part of the Swiss company Roche. It is still approved for treating advanced breast cancer in Europe and Japan.

The new studies tested it in a relatively novel way ? before surgery. This is sometimes done to shrink tumors that seem inoperable, or to enable women to have just a lump removed instead of the whole breast.

The women in the studies had tumors that were large enough to warrant treatment besides surgery. Their cancers were not the type that can be treated by Herceptin, another widely used drug.

In the U.S. study, 1,200 women were given chemo or chemo plus infusions of Avastin. By the time of their surgery, no cancer could be found in the breasts of more than 34 percent of those given Avastin versus 28 percent of the others. (Surgeons still have to operate because they don't know the tumor is gone until they check tissue samples.)

The German study involved 1,900 women including some with larger tumors. It used a stricter definition of cancer-free at surgery: no sign of disease in the breast or lymph nodes rather than just the breast. No cancer was seen in 18 percent of women on Avastin versus 15 percent of those given only chemo. Different chemo drugs were used ? a factor that might change Avastin's effectiveness.

The U.S. study was paid for by the National Cancer Institute with some support from drug companies. The German study was sponsored by drug companies. Some researchers consult for Genentech or other makers of cancer drugs.

If even one of these studies shows a survival advantage for Avastin "that would be a game changer" although side effects remain a concern, said Dr. Gary Lyman. He is a Duke University researcher who was on the federal advisory panel that recommended revoking Avastin's approval.

However, von Minckwitz said side effects are more justifiable in early breast cancer patients because "the intention is cure" rather than in late-stage disease where cure isn't usually possible.

Of the more than 200,000 women in the U.S. diagnosed each year with breast cancer, about 30,000 are like those in the new studies, Lyman estimated.

But the studies' impact could be far greater: The participants' tissue samples are being analyzed for genes and biomarkers to predict which women are most likely to respond to Avastin. That could lead to a relook of using the drug for certain women with advanced disease, too.

Three other studies are under way testing Avastin in early breast cancer; one is expected to have results by the end of this year, said Dr. Sandra Horning, global development chief of cancer drugs for Roche and Genentech. The company does not plan to seek any change in Avastin's use until more results are available, she said.



Studies: http://www.nejm.org

Avastin: http://www.avastin.com


Marilynn Marchione can be followed at http://twitter.com/MMarchioneAP

Source: http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/health/*http%3A//news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20120125/ap_on_he_me/us_med_breast_cancer_avastin

aaron hernandez portland news portland news tibetan mastiff manny pacquiao pacquiao blanche

Battle over Golden Globes TV rights heads to court (Reuters)

LOS ANGELES (TheWrap.com) ? The Golden Globes are heading to the Hall of Justice.

Dick Clark Productions (DCP) and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) go head-to-head Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles over who controls the television broadcast of the Golden Globes.

Dick Clark Productions has produced the broadcast for nearly 30 years, while HFPA is the non-profit organization that originated the entertainment awards.

Their heated conflict kicked off nearly a year ago, when HFPA, slapped DCP and its parent company Red Zone Capital with a lawsuit claiming its longtime producer "surreptitiously" renegotiated its television contract with NBC without its consent.

"DCP acts as though it has unilateral right to license the broadcast rights for the Golden Globe Awards on whatever terms it pleases, without HFPA's knowledge or authorization," the HFPA suit said.

For its part, DCP contends that its agreement with HFPA allows it to negotiate the TV rights. Further, the company says that under an "extensions clause," its contract to produce the show renews every time NBC extends its licensing pact.

HFPA counters that the clause is being grossly misinterpreted and does not give the production company the rights to produce the show in perpetuity.

The trial is expected to last from two to four weeks, according to individuals with knowledge of the litigation.

Daniel Petrocelli, an attorney for HFPA, declined to comment. Ronald Olson, an attorney for DCP, did not respond to requests for comment.

DCP Chief Executive Officer Mark Shapiro and former President of NBC's West Coast Business Operations Marc Graboff are among the people who will testify this week, according to an individual with knowledge of the litigation.

HFPA Chairman Philip Berk and CBS chief Leslie Moonves are also expected to testify during the trial.

Though HFPA will argue it is invalid, the contract in question was signed in October 2010 and extends the Globes' broadcasting rights by seven years. In it, NBC agrees to pay an average of $21.5 million a year for the rights, up from the $11 million it had previously shelled out. That fee would be split evenly between DCP and HFPA.

Seen by roughly 17 million viewers, the Golden Globes represents 15 percent of DCP's business and brings in millions of dollars every year for the HFPA, which it uses to fund most of its activities -- so the stakes for both sides are high.

HFPA is expected to argue that it could have received a bigger licensing fee from another network had the bidding for rights been competitive.

The "extensions clause," which forms the spine of DCP's case, was included in a 1993 amendment to the production company's agreement with the awards organization. DCP claims the clause was agreed to after the production company hammered out a deal with NBC that would bring the show from the cable news network TBS to broadcast television, substantially increasing its exposure.

DCP maintains it gives them the right to renegotiate a contract with NBC without the HFPA's consent, but attorneys for the awards group maintain that the "extensions clause" was never intended to be indefinite. To bolster that claim, they plan to refer to the transcript of a September 22, 1993 presentation by Dick Clark and his top executives to HFPA's membership that outlined the show' original contract with NBC.

In the transcript, former DCP executive Fran La Maina tells members that a deal with NBC would last between three to 10 years.

DCP's lawyers plan to counter that La Maina was merely discussing how long the original pact with NBC might last. He was not, they argue, discussing what extensions on DCP's deal would be activated if the production company signed new deals with the network.

La Maina also will be called as a witness during the first week of the trial.

The latest pact with NBC was signed in October 2010. After it was finalized, Shapiro sent Berk a note informing him that NBC had renewed its broadcasting license, which he said automatically extended DCP's production deal.

Berk's response to the news was a breach of contract suit.

Over 30 years ago, HFPA turned to DCP to help reburnish its image in the wake of allegations that Pia Zadora's husband had bought his wife an award by giving the group's members gifts.

Next week, when the two sides meet, they do so in the shadow of a show that remains controversial within the movie industry for its off-beat awards choices, but has nonetheless grown to become one of the most watched television events of any year.

(Editing by Chris Michaud)

Source: http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/tv/*http%3A//news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20120124/tv_nm/us_goldenglobes

terrapin terrapin manny pacquiao vs marquez manny pacquiao vs marquez dish network cbs news manny pacquiao fight

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Flamboyant online tycoon kept low profile in rural NZ (Reuters)

COATESVILLE, New Zealand (Reuters) ? Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom's online profile was larger-than-life, with fast women, faster cars and chartered planes, yet he lived like a virtual recluse in a sprawling, manicured estate on the outskirts of New Zealand's biggest city, Auckland.

Dotcom, also known as Kim Schmitz, faces extradition to the United States over charges of masterminding a scheme that made more than $175 million by infringing copyrighted content without authorization on his online file-sharing website.

The German national, who denies the charges, is currently in custody in a jail cell, and a New Zealand judge is due to decide by Wednesday whether he will get bail.

Neighbors in this nouveau riche community of hobby farms, vineyards and equestrian clubs sometimes saw Dotcom on the winding roads in one of his luxury cars, but no one Reuters spoke to had actually met the multi-millionaire, former hacker.

"We see him driving around, but he keeps to himself and we're quite close neighbors. I've seen him driving around with his 'GUILTY' number plate," said Libbi Darroch, as she groomed her 7-year-old showjumper Muffy at the Coatesville Pony Club.

Living just over the hill from Dotcom's rented 30-acre property, the Darrochs drive past the estate's back entrance, guarded by a security outhouse and surveillance cameras, to reach the shops or take their daughter to school.

"I've never seen him walking or anything. I think he does all his business in his mansion. All I thought was he had a funny number plate. People knew he was incredibly wealthy because of the huge rent he was paying," said Darroch.

Dotcom, 38, rents what is reportedly New Zealand's most expensive house, built by the founders of Chrisco Christmas hamper fame and worth an estimated NZ$30 million, with a monthly rental put at NZ$30,000-NZ$40,000.

At the nearby Coatseville general store, garage, cafe and gift shop, everyone told the same story - no one has actually met Dotcom, who reportedly stands two meters (six ft six inches) tall and weighs more than 130 kg (285 lbs).

Nor has anyone met his wife, who is heavily pregnant with twins, or his three children or know where they go to school.


Since taking up residence here in 2010, Dotcom has ordered some NZ$4 million ($3.2 million) of renovations to the mansion, including a heated lap pool with underwater speakers, imported spring water and a NZ$15,000 custom ladder, according to media.

But any work on the estate, which looks like a world-class golf course with clipped lawns and staff moving about in golf carts, is organized by someone in his entourage, say locals.

Adding to the reclusive image, Dotcom claims to have become the world's top player of the video game "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3" after racking up 702 hours of gaming in just months.

On New Year's Eve, Dotcom uploaded a video of his achievements on YouTube, looking at the camera and punching the air. The time lapse video shows Dotcom sitting in a chair playing the game on his computer as the sun goes up and down. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-ltcCF_cAQ)

Dotcom spent NZ$500,000 for a 2010 New Year's Eve fireworks display over Auckland, but few city officials have publicly admitted meeting him. Former Auckland mayor John Banks said he met him after his fireworks donation, but added he hardly knew the multi-millionaire.

"He has been very generous to many charities and good causes as I understand it, and he was very generous to Auckland City when he volunteered to fund the fireworks display and did," Banks told local media Tuesday.

Banks said he had dined at Dotcom's estate once. "I'm a car enthusiast and he had a nice collection of cars. I got to speak to him for a few minutes," he said.


This all contrasts with Dotcom's online image, with one video showing him surrounded by topless women and men spraying champagne on board a superyacht during a "crazy weekend" in Monaco that cost a reported $10 million.

"Fast cars, hot girls, superyachts and amazing parties. Decadence rules," said the commentary accompanying the so-called fun documentary, which Dotcom dedicated to "all my fans."

Dotcom was arrested Friday in a high-octane raid by New Zealand police, backed by helicopters, on his home in Coatesville, during which the former hacker was found holed up in a safe room.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation estimates Dotcom personally made around $115,000 a day during 2010 from his empire. The list of assets seized when he was arrested, included nearly 20 luxury cars, one of them a pink Cadillac, works of art, and NZ$10 million invested in local finance companies.

Megaupload's lawyer has said the company simply offered online storage and has sought Dotcom's release on bail, but prosecutors say he is an extreme flight risk as he holds German and Finnish passports and probably has access to secret funds.

Despite having no contact with Dotcom, many people in this sleepy village were sympathetic, believing he has been treated harshly for someone not charged with a violent crime.

"He's innocent until proven guilty," said one woman at the Fernleigh Cafe. Another local protested that the police raid on Dotcom's house was heavy handed, with police rappelling down from a helicopter and busting down his bedroom door.

Jeff Ifrah, a U.S.-based white collar defense lawyer, wrote in a blog that the U.S. government had raised the stakes by treating the Megaupload case as though it was dealing with organized crime and ignoring that other online file-sharing sites had successfully defended themselves.

"These actions, more suitable to the type of steps that the government takes against an organized crime enterprise dedicated to murder, theft and racketeering, are astonishing," he wrote.

Tuesday, while Dotcom sat for a fifth day in a prison cell, there was little activity at his estate, bar the security guards moving about quietly in golf carts.

A Finnish flag flew above his mansion, while two statues of giraffes stood high on a hill overlooking the main entrance.

(Editing by Ed Davies and Ian Geoghegan)

Source: http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/internet/*http%3A//news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20120124/wr_nm/us_internet_piracy_megaupload

christmas photo cards ar 15 costco kmart urban meyer ohio state traffic report traffic report

Interpol faces legal threat over hunt for dissidents

Interpol has issued a "red notice", above, for Benny Wenda, a tribal leader who campaigns for independence for the West Papua region from Indonesia. Wenda has been granted asylum in the U.K. on political grounds, according to Fair Trials International.

By Ian Johnston, msnbc.com

LONDON -- A landmark lawsuit alleging?that dictatorships and other oppressive regimes are using Interpol's alert system to harass or detain political dissidents is being planned by rights?activists and lawyers.

Campaigners allege?that rogue states have fabricated criminal charges against?opposition activists who have been given refuge in other countries and then sought their arrest by obtaining "red notices" from the global police body.

There are currently about 26,000 outstanding red notices. While they are only designed to alert other nations' police forces that an Interpol member state has issued an arrest warrant, some countries will take suspects into custody based on the red notice alone.

In one case, Rasoul Mazrae, an Iranian political activist recognized by the United Nations as?a refugee, was arrested in Syria in 2006 as he tried to flee to Norway after a red notice was issued.

Mazrae was?deported back to Iran, where he was tortured, according to a report by Libby Lewis, of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. He was later jailed for 15 years, Amnesty International says.

'Torturers and murderers'
In one of the latest cases, a red notice has been issued for Benny Wenda, a tribal leader who campaigns for independence for the West Papua region from Indonesia. He was granted asylum in the U.K. after claiming he had been tortured and prosecuted for inciting people to attack a police station. Wenda says he was in a different country at the time of the incident.

Mark Stephens, a leading British human rights lawyer, told msnbc.com that the red notice system can allow Interpol to unwittingly become "an aider and abettor of torturers and murderers in oppressive regimes."

Amid mounting anger within the legal community, the U.K.-based rights campaign group Fair Trials International is now seeking people who allege their red notices are politically motivated to take part in a class action lawsuit against Interpol.

If successful, the case would potentially make France-based?Interpol subject to the rulings of a court for the first time.

That would have implications not just for political dissidents, but?could also create an extra legal hurdle for any?country seeking to extradite alleged terrorists, murderers, international fraudsters, and other criminals based in another country.

Jago Russell, the chief executive of Fair Trials International, highlighted that Interpol's 190 member states include "countries that routinely abuse their criminal justice systems to persecute individuals."

Despite this, there is no independent court?where someone can challenge a notice and "no remedy for the damage that notices can cause," he said.

Iran, Syria, Myanmar, Sudan, Belarus and Zimbabwe?? all widely condemned for human rights abuses by their governments?? are members of Interpol and each country currently has red notices listed on its website.

"Powerful international organizations with the ability to ruin lives have to be accountable for their actions," Russell wrote in an email.

"Interpol's own credibility relies on proper accountability mechanisms to weed out cases of abuse, but if Interpol refuses to put its own house in order it could ultimately be up to the courts to step in and demand action," he added.

There have been legal challenges to Interpol's decisions heard in some countries' courts in the past, but these have?failed "to hold the organization to account," Russell wrote.

Russell hopes that a court with jurisdiction over a number of countries, such as the European Court of Human Rights,?will take a different view.

"This would no doubt be a long, hard process but with thousands of people affected by red notices every year and, with the rule of law at stake, it would be worth the fight," he said.

Political persecution
Fair Trials International is currently highlighting Wenda's case in particular and trying to help get his red notice removed.

He escaped from prison before being sentenced and fled Indonesia in 2002. Wenda traveled to the U.K., where he was granted asylum?due to?Indonesia's persecution of him on political grounds, according to Fair Trials International.

Wenda then?renewed his campaign, meeting politicians and others as he traveled the world. He also has a website highlighting the West Papuan cause.

Leon Neal / AFP ? Getty Images

Benny Wenda, leader of the West Papuan Independence Movement, attends a protest in London on April 15, 2010.

In 2011, he became aware that Interpol had issued a red notice. According to?those details of the notice that have been made public by Interpol, Wenda is wanted for "crimes involving the use of weapons/explosives" by the Papua Regional Police.

According to Wenda, he was charged with inciting an attack on a police station and burning buildings that resulted in the deaths of a number of people even though he says he was not in Indonesia at the time.

Wenda says he was tortured, held in solitary confinement, and the judge and prosecutor requested bribes among other irregularities during the trial.

Wenda believes the red notice was sought partly to try to prevent him from traveling outside the U.K. to highlight the plight of West Papuans.

A?report by the Allard K. Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic at the Yale Law School in 2003 found that "the West Papuan people have suffered persistent and horrible abuses" at the hands of the Indonesian government since the area was annexed in 1969. It also accused?Indonesian military and security?forces?of engaging in?"widespread violence and extrajudicial killings."

The research team concluded that?historical and contemporary evidence "strongly suggests that the Indonesian government has committed proscribed acts with the intent to destroy the West Papuans?... in violation of the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide."

'My people are crying'
Wenda says that his people continue to be "killed, raped and tortured."

"I think Indonesia is just trying to stop me and my campaign. I think that's the reason. I think this is just political motivation," Wenda told msnbc.com. "I'm not terrorist, I'm not criminal. Who's real terrorist or criminal? It's Indonesia itself.?

"My people are crying ... That's why I am up and down the country, traveling the world, telling the truth."

Human Rights Watch's World Report 2012?also highlights that?the U.S. provides "extensive military assistance to Indonesia" and adds that "impunity for members of Indonesia?s security forces remains a serious concern, with no civilian jurisdiction over soldiers who commit serious human rights abuses."

Jennifer Robinson, a?London-based human rights lawyer?and member of International Lawyers for West Papua, told msnbc.com in an email that "the charges that form the basis of the Interpol warrant are the very same politically motivated charges brought against Benny in 2002 -- and the very same charges that were the basis of the UK's decision to grant him political asylum."

Joshua Roberts / Reuters

London-based human rights lawyer Jennifer Robinson arrives at a hearing for U.S. Army Private First Class Bradley Manning's at Fort Meade, Md., on December 20.

"I attended his trial in West Papua on these charges, heard the evidence and witnessed the flagrant breaches of due process at that trial. I am witness to the fact the charges are without evidential basis," she added. "This was recognised by the U.K. in granting Benny refugee status for the political persecution he suffered in Indonesia. Now Indonesia is seeking to abuse the Interpol system to extend its political persecution across borders, undermining the protection afforded to Benny under the U.N. Refugee Convention."

In addition to the threat of arrest in the country of refuge, Fair Trials International?says?that a red notice makes international?travel risky ? partly because countries tend to deal with each one on a case-by-case?basis.

And even if a court in one country decides not to extradite the wanted person, the red notice remains and another country could take a different decision.

The stigma of being wanted for an alleged crime can also make everyday life difficult -- by making it hard to get a bank account, for example, due to background checks.

Michelle Estlund, a Coral Gables, Fla.-based lawyer who writes a blog focusing red notices, told msnbc.com that there should be some kind of quasi-judicial proceedings to level the "playing field" between an Interpol member state and?an individual. Part of the issue, she said, is that?Interpol initially assumes that red notice applications are properly submitted.

"If you are I are playing basketball and I haven't followed the rules and I haven't told you where the hoop is, it's going to be very hard for you to win, especially if the referee is presuming everything I do to be right," Estlund said.

Little transparency?
It is possible to complain about red notices but critics say the procedure suffers from a lack of transparency.

Complaints to Interpol that red notices are issued because of politically motivated charges are considered internally at first and then by a specially created body called the Commission for Control of Interpol's Files (CCF).

However, the panel -- which consists of?five unpaid commissioners and three members of staff -- holds its discussions in private and does not have to give any reasons for its decisions.

There are few successful challenges. According to statistics published in the commission's latest?annual report, 16 percent (or 32) of 201 requests that it received in 2010 raised questions about "the application of Article 3 of Interpol's constitution." Article 3 prohibits Interpol from activities of a "political, military, religious or racial character."

The CCF dealt with 170 requests in 2010 and 26 percent (or 44) of those cases resulted in the deletion of an Interpol file. Assuming 16 percent of those were Article 3 complaints, then just seven people had red notices removed in 2010 after claiming they were being prosecuted for political or other such unjustified reasons.

Billy Hawkes, the CCF's chairman, said the body examined complaints "very thoroughly."

"We recognize the dangers of red notices being used inappropriately for political objectives," he told msnbc.com from Dublin, Ireland. "Obviously we must all be concerned about the rights of individuals and dangers of abuse of the red notice system."

Hawkes warned, however, that adding judicial oversight of Interpol's red notices could hamper its ability to help catch criminals.

"We must remember that the object of a red notice is to have fugitive criminals stopped as quickly as possible, so they can face trial in the country they have committed the crime," he added.

One potential obstacle to taking legal action against Interpol is a deal it made with the French government that gives it immunity from some French laws. It is unclear how a European court would regard that deal.

Anand Doobay, a U.K.-based lawyer, confirmed to msnbc.com that he was?"investigating the possibility of some kind of legal challenge on behalf of clients who are affected by politically motivated prosecutions which have resulted in Interpol red notices being issued."

"The unfairness which is caused by having an unwarranted Interpol red notice is very difficult to address," he said.
"What we are looking at is ways of trying to deal with the unfairness."

Estlund, the Florida-based lawyer, said oppressive regimes should not be expelled from Interpol because they might become "safe havens for people who have committed real crimes."

Instead she argued?that red notice requests from countries with a record of corruption should be subject to greater scrutiny. "I do think Interpol is capable of doing that," she added. "I don't think it's too much to hope that that will happen."

A?statement emailed to msnbc.com by an Interpol spokeswoman on Jan. 11 said there were 26,051 valid red notices at that time, including 7,678 issued in 2011.

It listed three ways?people "can?challenge a red notice and/or the national arrest warrant upon which the request was submitted":

  • argue their case before the national authorities of the requesting country;
  • contact the Commission for the Control of Interpol's Files;?
  • or request their country to take the case itself and protest against the red notice.

The statement?added that the "issuance of a red notice is not a judicial decision." "Each Interpol member country decides for itself what legal value to give red notice within their borders," it said.

"Interpol's role is not to question allegations against an individual, nor to gather evidence, so a red notice is issued based on a presumption that the information provided by the police is accurate and relevant," the statement added.

Follow msnbc.com's Ian Johnston on Twitter.

Source: http://worldnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/01/23/10167327-interpol-faces-legal-threat-for-helping-oppressive-regimes-hunt-dissidents

china aircraft carrier barbara walters most fascinating person 2011 golden globe nominations los angeles clippers los angeles clippers charlize theron telenav

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Obama to make pitch for second term in State of the Union (reuters)

Share With Friends: Share on FacebookTweet ThisPost to Google-BuzzSend on GmailPost to Linked-InSubscribe to This Feed | Rss To Twitter | Politics - Top Stories News, RSS Feeds and Widgets via Feedzilla.

Source: http://news.feedzilla.com/en_us/stories/politics/top-stories/190848478?client_source=feed&format=rss

nest williams syndrome jay leno machine gun kelly lindsey lohan reed hastings cujo

PFT: Steelers ready for big changes on defense

State College Reacts To News Of Joe Paterno's Grave ConditionGetty Images

Our brethren at CFT have been covering the Joe Paterno situation thoroughly and appropriately, but we can?t overlook the passing of one of the most significant figures in football history, even though Paterno never played or coached pro football.

Fewer than five months ago, Paterno reacted to the death of Raiders owner Al Davis by disclosing that Davis had tried to hire Paterno to be the team?s offensive coordinator when Davis was working as the head coach.? (Yes, Davis actually coached the Raiders from 1963 through 1965, giving up the reins at roughly the same time Paterno became head coach at Penn State.)

?When Al got the job [in Oakland], he called me to be his offensive coordinator,? Paterno said in October 2011.? ?I told Al, ?You and I would have trouble getting along, because I am smarter than you are.??

In 1969, the Steelers offered Paterno a job that eventually went to Chuck Noll.? At the time, Paterno was making $20,000 per year; the Steelers offered him $70,000.? And Paterno passed.

?It was an awful lot of money, a fantastic offer,? Paterno had said. ?I?d never dreamed of making that much money. Then I started thinking about what I wanted to do.? I had put some things out of whack.? I haven?t done the job I set out to do at Penn State.?

Paterno did the job, and in hindsight some will say he stayed too long.? But as Brent Musburger told Dan Patrick more than three years ago, Paterno feared that, if he retired, he?d soon die ? like Bear Bryant did less than a month after retiring from the University of Alabama.

In the end, that?s what happened.? Officially caused by a form of lung cancer that when disclosed was described as not life threatening, Paterno?s life ended fewer than three months after he coached his final game.

The circumstances surrounding the conclusion of his tenure should never be forgotten, primarily to ensure that the events won?t be repeated at Penn State, or elsewhere.? But few figures from any sport had the kind of impact, success, and longevity that came from the coaching career of Joe Paterno.

We extend our condolences to his family, friends, assistant coaches, players, and the entire Penn State community.

Source: http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/01/22/steelers-ready-for-big-changes-on-defense/related/

the little couple bubba smith bubba smith oakland strike new gmail new gmail oakland general strike

Monday, January 23, 2012

After protest, Congress puts off movie piracy bill (AP)

WASHINGTON ? Caving to a massive campaign by Internet services and their millions of users, Congress indefinitely postponed legislation Friday to stop online piracy of movies and music costing U.S. companies billions of dollars every year. Critics said the bills would result in censorship and stifle Internet innovation.

The demise, at least for the time being, of the anti-piracy bills was a clear victory for Silicon Valley over Hollywood, which has campaigned for a tougher response to online piracy. The legislation also would cover the counterfeiting of drugs and car parts.

Congress' qualms underscored how Internet users can use their collective might to block those who want to change the system.

The battle over the future of the Internet also played out on a different front Thursday when a loose affiliation of hackers known as "Anonymous" shut down Justice Department websites for several hours and hacked the site of the Motion Picture Association of America after federal officials issued an indictment against Megaupload.com, one of the world's biggest file-sharing sites.

The site of the Hong Kong-based company was shut down, and the founder and three employees were arrested in New Zealand on U.S. accusations that they facilitated millions of illegal downloads of films, music and other content, costing copyright holders at least $500 million in lost revenue. New Zealand police raided homes and businesses linked to the founder, Kim Dotcom, on Friday and seized guns, millions of dollars and nearly $5 million in luxury cars, officials there said.

In the U.S., momentum against the Senate's Protect Intellectual Property Act and the House's Stop Online Piracy Act, known popularly as PIPA and SOPA, grew quickly on Wednesday when the online encyclopedia Wikipedia and other Web giants staged a one-day blackout and Google organized a petition drive that attracted more than 7 million participants.

That day alone, at least six senators who had co-sponsored the Senate legislation reversed their positions. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, in statements at the time and again on Friday, stressed that more consensus-building was needed before the legislation would be ready for a vote.

On Friday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said he was postponing a test vote set for Tuesday "in light of recent events." House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith, R-Texas, followed suit, saying consideration of a similar House bill would be postponed "until there is wider agreement on a solution."

With opposition mounting, it was unlikely that Reid would have received the 60 votes needed to advance the legislation to the Senate floor.

The two bills would allow the Justice Department, and copyright holders, to seek court orders against foreign websites accused of copyright infringement. The legislation would bar online advertising networks and payment facilitators such as credit card companies from doing business with an alleged violator. They also would forbid search engines from linking to such sites.

The chief Senate sponsor, Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., cited estimates that copyright piracy costs the American economy more than $50 billion annually and that global sales of counterfeit goods via the Internet reached $135 billion in 2010. He and Smith insist that their bills target only foreign criminals and that there is nothing in them to require websites, Internet service providers, search engines or others to monitor their networks.

That didn't satisfy critics who said the legislation could force Internet companies to pre-screen user comments or videos, burden new and smaller websites with huge litigation costs and impede new investments.

The White House, while not taking a specific stand on the bills, last week said it would "not support any legislation that reduces freedom of expression ... or undermines the dynamic, innovative global Internet." On Friday, White House spokesman Jay Carney said online piracy is an issue that has to be addressed, "but everybody has to be in on it for it to work and get through Congress."

The scuttling, for now, of PIPA and SOPA frustrates what might have been one of the few opportunities to move significant legislation in an election year where the two parties have little motivation to cooperate.

Until recently "you would have thought this bill was teed up," with backing from key Senate leaders and support from powerful interest groups, said Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., who cosponsored the original bill but quickly dropped his backing on the grounds the bill could undermine innovation and Internet freedom.

Moran said the "uprising" of so many people with similar concerns was a "major turnaround, and in my experience it is something that has happened very rarely."

Moran said PIPA and SOPA now have "such a black eye" that it will be difficult to amend them. Reid, however, said that there had been progress in recent talks among the various stakeholders and "there is no reason that the legitimate issues raised by many about this bill cannot be resolved."

Jeff Chester, executive director for the Center for Digital Democracy, a consumer protection and privacy advocacy group, said Google and Facebook and their supporters "have delivered a powerful blow to the Hollywood lobby." He predicted a compromise that doesn't include what many see as overreaching provisions in the current legislation.

"It's been framed as an Internet freedom issue, but at the end of the day it will be decided on the narrow interests of the old and new media companies," he said. The big questions involve who should or shouldn't pay ? or be paid ? for Internet content.

Leahy said he respected Reid's decision to postpone the vote but lamented the Senate's unwillingness to debate his bill.

"The day will come when the senators who forced this move will look back and realize they made a knee-jerk reaction to a monumental problem," Leahy said. Criminals in China, Russia and other countries "who do nothing but peddle in counterfeit products and stolen American content are smugly watching how the United States Senate decided" it was not worth taking up the bill, he said.

In the House, Smith said he had "heard from the critics" and resolved that it was "clear that we need to revisit the approach on how best to address the problem of foreign thieves that steal and sell American inventions and products." Smith had planned on holding further committee votes on his bill next month.

The bill's opponents were relieved it was put on hold.

Markham Erickson, executive director of NetCoalition, commended Congress for "recognizing the serious collateral damage this bill could inflict on the Internet."

The group represents Internet and technology companies including Google, Yahoo and Amazon.com. Erickson said they would work with Congress "to address the problem of piracy without compromising innovation and free expression."

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., who has joined Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Moran in proposing an alternative anti-piracy bill, credited opponents with forcing lawmakers "to back away from an effort to ram through controversial legislation."

But the CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America, former Connecticut Democratic Sen. Chris Dodd, warned, "As a consequence of failing to act, there will continue to be a safe haven for foreign thieves." The MPAA, which represents such companies as Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., is a leading advocate for the anti-piracy legislation.

Source: http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/digitalmusic/*http%3A//news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20120120/ap_on_en_ot/us_internet_piracy

daylight savings time humpback whale humpback whale barrel roll anagram 180 degrees askew

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Arab League extends Syria mission 1 more month

Syrian army defectors gather at the mountain resort town of Zabadani, Syria, near the Lebanese border, on Friday Jan. 20, 2012. President Bashar Assad's forces attacked Zabadani, some 17 miles (27 kilometers) west of the capital, for six days, sparking fierce fighting that involved heavy bombardments and clashes with army defectors. On Wednesday, government tanks and armored vehicles pulled back, leaving the opposition in control of the town. Buoyed by the opposition's control of a town near the Syrian capital, thousands of people held anti-government protests Friday, chanting for the downfall of the regime. At least eight people were killed by security forces across the country, activists said. (AP Photo)

Syrian army defectors gather at the mountain resort town of Zabadani, Syria, near the Lebanese border, on Friday Jan. 20, 2012. President Bashar Assad's forces attacked Zabadani, some 17 miles (27 kilometers) west of the capital, for six days, sparking fierce fighting that involved heavy bombardments and clashes with army defectors. On Wednesday, government tanks and armored vehicles pulled back, leaving the opposition in control of the town. Buoyed by the opposition's control of a town near the Syrian capital, thousands of people held anti-government protests Friday, chanting for the downfall of the regime. At least eight people were killed by security forces across the country, activists said. (AP Photo)

Syrian army defectors gather at the mountain resort town of Zabadani, Syria, near the Lebanese border, on Friday Jan. 20, 2012. President Bashar Assad's forces attacked Zabadani, some 17 miles (27 kilometers) west of the capital, for six days, sparking fierce fighting that involved heavy bombardments and clashes with army defectors. On Wednesday, government tanks and armored vehicles pulled back, leaving the opposition in control of the town. Buoyed by the opposition's control of a town near the Syrian capital, thousands of people held anti-government protests Friday, chanting for the downfall of the regime. At least eight people were killed by security forces across the country, activists said. (AP Photo)

An anti-Syrian regime protester flashes victory sign as he marches during a demonstration at the mountain resort town of Zabadani, Syria, near the Lebanese border, on Friday Jan. 20, 2012. President Bashar Assad's forces attacked Zabadani, some 17 miles (27 kilometers) west of the capital, for six days, sparking fierce fighting that involved heavy bombardments and clashes with army defectors. On Wednesday, government tanks and armored vehicles pulled back, leaving the opposition in control of the town. Buoyed by the opposition's control of a town near the Syrian capital, thousands of people held anti-government protests Friday, chanting for the downfall of the regime. At least eight people were killed by security forces across the country, activists said. (AP Photo)

BEIRUT (AP) ? A clash between Syrian forces and army defectors erupted Sunday in a suburb of the tightly held capital of Damascus, adding urgency just as the Arab League was extending an observers' mission that so far has failed to end long months of bloody violence.

The two events outlined how an uprising against President Bashar Assad that started with mass popular protests is moving now toward an armed conflict that could draw international intervention ? an outcome the Arab League is trying to avoid.

Arab League foreign ministers, meeting in Cairo, extended the much-criticized observers mission for another month, according to a statement from the 22-member organization.

The League decided to add more observers and provide them with additional resources, the officials said.

The observer mission is supposed to be the first step toward implementing an Arab League plan to end the Syria crisis. Other points are pulling heavy Syrian weapons out of cities, stopping attacks on protesters, opening talks with the opposition and allowing foreign human rights workers and journalists in.

"There is partial progress in the implementation of the promises," Arab League chief Nabil Elaraby said in Cairo about Syria's implementation of the plan. Syria "did not carry out all its promises, although there are some implementation of pledges."

He added that the use of "extreme force" by Syrian forces have led to a reaction by the opposition "in what could lead to civil war."

Qatari Foreign Minister Sheik Hamad Bin Jassem Bin Jabr Al Thani told reporters after the meeting that the Arab League was launching a new initiative to solve the crisis in which the Syrian government and the opposition would form a unity government with in two weeks to lead to the country through a transitional period in which elections would be held and a new constitution written.

It was seen as highly unlikely that Syrian authorities or the leaders of Syria's scattered opposition would agree to such a plan.

Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal told reporters that his country will pull out its observers because "the Syrian government did not implement the Arab plan." He urged Muslim countries, China, Russia, Europe and the U.S. to put pressure on Assad's government to stop the violence.

Saudi Arabia has been one of the harshest Arab critics of the crackdown, It recalled its ambassador from Damascus last year in protest.

So far the observer mission has not gone well. Though some credit it with tamping down violence in some places, the Local Coordination Committees activist group said Sunday that 976 people, including 54 children and 28 women, have been killed since the observers began their mission last month.

The U.N. estimates some 5,400 have been killed since it began in March.

The Arab League faced three options Sunday: ending the mission and giving up its initiative, extending it, or turning the crisis over to the U.N. Security Council, as some opposition groups have urged. There, however, it would face a possible stalemate because of disagreements among permanent members over how far to go in forcing Assad's hand.

The mission's one-month mandate technically expired on Thursday.

The pullout of Assad's security forces from the Damascus suburb of Douma marked the second time in a week that troops have redeployed from an area near the tightly-controlled Syrian capital, an indication that Assad might be losing some control.

Diplomacy has taken on urgency as opponents of Assad's regime and soldiers who switched sides increasingly take up arms and fight back against government forces.

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights' head Rami Abdul-Rahman said government troops had pulled back early Sunday to a provincial headquarters and a security agency building in the Damascus suburb of Douma after hours of clashes, although they still controlled the entrances. The clashes broke out after Syrian troops opened fire at a funeral on Saturday.

On Sunday afternoon, the battles resumed between the defectors and troops loyal to Assad, according to the Observatory and the Local Coordination Committees, another activist group. The LCC said that heavy machine gun fire was used in the clashes, and five people were killed.

Abdul-Rahman had no information on casualties from the clashes but said security forces at an entrance checkpoint shot dead one man who was passing by on Sunday. He added that one person was shot dead in a nearby town of Rankous as well as another person in the northwestern province of Idlib.

The LCC said 12 people were killed in Syria Sunday. The LCC and the Observatory reported intense gunfire in the central city of Homs that left at least one person dead.

State-run news agency SANA said gunmen opened fire at the car of an army brigadier general, killing him and another army officers who was in the vehicle.

Syria-based activist Mustafa Osso confirmed that security forces had abandoned Douma.

Also Sunday, state-run SANA, said an estimated 5,255 Syrian prisoners have been released over the past week under an amnesty, raising the total freed since November to more than 9,000. Opposition groups say thousands are still being held.

The U.S. has imposed sanctions on Syria as the bloodshed escalates. The U.S. has long called for Assad to step down, and officials say his regime's demise is inevitable.

Two U.S. Senators plan to introduce a bill to stiffen the sanctions.

The bill, sponsored by Democratic Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York would require President Barack Obama to identify violators of human rights in Syria, call for reform and offer protection to pro-democracy demonstrators. It would also block financial aid and property transactions in the United States involving Syrian leaders involved in the crackdown.


Al-Shalchi reported from Cairo.

Bassem Mroue can be reached on http://twitter.com/bmroue

Associated Press

Source: http://hosted2.ap.org/APDEFAULT/cae69a7523db45408eeb2b3a98c0c9c5/Article_2012-01-22-ML-Syria/id-944425ffaa6e42d5bc4d80324389c492

kiwi our daily bread white pages osiris 9 11 memorial 9 11 memorial chuck