четверг, 15 марта 2012 г.

The illegal immigration debate is spreading: ; Neighboring Virginia is weighing options on illegals

MUCH of the focus on the illegal immigration issue has been onArizona. We've heard less about Virginia, but our commonwealthneighbor is also on the front lines of the debate.

This week, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli issued alegal opinion attempting to clarify the authority of Virginia policeto investigate the immigration status of people stopped or arrested.

Cuccinelli found that police can ask about immigration status.

"So long as officers have the requisite level of suspicion tobelieve that a violation of the law has occurred, the officers maydetain and briefly question a person they suspect has committed afederal crime," Cuccinelli …

Democrats Push Open Government Agenda

WASHINGTON - Pushing back at what they say has been one of the most secretive administrations in decades, congressional Democrats are marking "Sunshine Week" with bills to increase public access to government activities and protect whistle-blowers who expose wrongdoing.

The House on Wednesday was to vote on four open government bills, including one aimed at government foot-dragging in answering the millions of Freedom of Information Act requests it receives every year.

Another, sparking a veto threat from the White House, would reverse a Bush administration decision making it easier for presidents to withhold their own records from public scrutiny.

Senate …

Pacers could move if financial losses continue

Indiana Pacers co-owner Herb Simon passionately says he doesn't want to see the city without his franchise.

His wishes and the bottom line appear to be at odds.

Among the key issues for the struggling franchise is its operation of Conseco Fieldhouse. The building where the team plays its home games belongs to the Indianapolis Capital Improvement Board, and the Pacers have been paying its $15 million operating cost. Pat Early, the board's vice president, said the Pacers have made it clear that they no longer can pay that amount, in part because they could lose $30 million this season.

Early said the Pacers haven't threatened to leave, but the team …

среда, 14 марта 2012 г.

Set-aside ordinance aids local businesses

Chicago's new minority set-aside ordinance advances and improveson the 1985 executive order of the late Mayor Harold Washington.Pushed to passage in the City Council by Mayor Daley this week, theordinance ensures that set-asides will continue to apply on up to 30percent of all city contracts.

What's new about it is that it moves minority and women-ownedcompanies in the Chicago area into the front ranks to compete forcity contracts.

For the first time they will be able to compete directly andagainst one another for $69.3 million a year in prime contracts,about 11 percent of the city's annual purchases. The rest of theset-asides would be for subcontractors. The …

SHOPPING FOR SPACE

Bargain buys, personable hosts and disciplined growth are part of the formula that led home-shopping giant QVC Inc. to nearly $4 billion in revenues last year, according to consumer analysts. That growth has led the West Chester-based company to try to expand its warehouse in Lancaster County for the second time in five years.

If local planning and township officials approve, the company will develop an additional 30 acres of protected farmland. It then would hire an additional 400 people at the warehouse that employs 1,200.

The cable channel's growth has made it the second-largest television network behind NBC, according to estimates compiled last November by Broadcasting …

Canada Denies Ecstasy Dumping Claim

Canadian police on Sunday disputed claims by the U.S. drug czar that organized crime rings in Canada are dumping dangerous, methamphetamine-laced ecstasy into the United States.

John Walters, who heads the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, recently released a statement warning public health and safety officials of the dangers posed by turbo-charged ecstasy from Canada.

The head of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police's national drug branch said Sunday he did not know why Walters would issue the statement without checking facts with Canadian officials.

"I shook my head when I read the release that they put out," said RCMP …

Wrigley sees smallest crowd since ’02

April always brings cold temperatures to Wrigley Field, but it hasn't kept fans from coming to games for a number of years.

At least not until Monday.

If the chilly and overcast conditions were part of the reason for the smallest crowd at Wrigley since 2002, the Cubs can be hopeful of better days ahead.

If modest expectations for the Cubs are to blame, the team knows it has work to do.

''It's a little strange seeing empty seats, but it's our job to change that,'' reliever Kerry Wood said of the announced crowd of 26,292.

The Cubs drew only 20,503 on Sept. 11, 2002, against the Montreal Expos. It was the last time attendance was below 27,000 till …

People Live Still in Cashtown Corners

People Live Still in Cashtown Corners Tony Burgess, 201 pgs, ChiZine Publications, chizinepub.com, $15.95

Cashtown Corners is the story of Bob Clark who, more or less, goes on a killing spree and then holes up at a farmhouse. Does he get inside the head of the killer? 1 believe so.

Bob's thoughts and actions seem natural, even logical - the more rambling bits remind you that Bob is insane, but at other times you even sort of root for him. It's a mark of the writing that Burgess gets you to empathize with the killer - part of me wants Bob to be happy; maybe even have some sort of romance with Patty. Or become the patriarch of the household (that he has invaded). Maybe even …

Analysis: In repeat of past elections, McCain seeks to steer political debate to terrorism

Republican John McCain paints Democratic rival Barack Obama as naive on foreign policy, weak on national security and, now, soft on terrorism.

It is the same line of argument that President George W. Bush successfully used in 2004 against Democrat John Kerry. Republicans sought to do the same in the 2006 congressional elections but failed; Democrats won control of the House and Senate.

Today, McCain _ a different presidential candidate in a political environment dominated by the U.S.'s economic woes _ seemingly has little choice but to criticize Obama the same way. Like those before him, McCain and his surrogates are raising the specter of Sept. 11, 2001, …

Photos freeze loving moments, but time goes by

Robert Doisneau's "Kiss by the Hotel de Ville" is probably thesecond most popular photograph of a couple kissing of the 20thcentury. Even if you don't know the shot by its official title,you know the picture. It's a black and white photo of a Parisiancouple in 1950. He has his right arm around her shoulder, she has herhead tilted back, as he plants one on her in the middle of broaddaylight.

In that moment, they are oblivious to the rest of the world.

They are in love.

Doisneau's photo, snapped for Life magazine in 1950, remained inthe archives of a photo agency for years. In 1980, the rights werepurchased by a poster company -- and "Kiss by the Hotel de …

NASA selects proposals to study Earth's environment

news and notes

What element do some researchers jokingly call the "triple whammy" or the "complete trifecta"? It is carbon-not only the very basis of life, but also the principal source of fossil fuel energy supporting the economy and a key factor in controlling global climate.

The National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA) will learn much more about the global carbon cycle through 80 research grants valued at approximately $50 million over the next three years that will look at everything from forest health in the United States to the role oceans play as the planet's "air filters."

Carbon-containing molecules are a key factor in global warming-carbon …

UN chief urges Myanmar to free political prisoners

BANGKOK (AP) — U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged Myanmar's military government Tuesday to release political prisoners before upcoming elections, saying "it is not too late" to make the polls more fair and inclusive.

Myanmar's Nov. 7 elections will be the country's first in 20 years. The polls have widely been denounced as rigged to ensure that pro-military candidates will dominate. The country's leading opposition figure, Aung San Suu Kyi, is unable to seek office and remains detained, along with about 2,100 other political prisoners.

"We'll be expecting that this election will be a fair one, a credible one and an inclusive one," Ban told reporters in Bangkok at the …

Former Ravens tackle Orlando Brown dead at 40

BALTIMORE (AP) — Police and fire officials say former Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle Orlando "Zeus" Brown has been found dead at his Baltimore home. He was 40.

The cause of death isn't known.

Fire spokesman Battalion Chief Kevin Cartwright says firefighters were called about 11 a.m. Friday because Brown was unresponsive at his home near the Inner Harbor. Cartwright says Brown was dead when firefighters arrived.

Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi (goog-lee-EL-mi) says firefighters called police, routine procedure in such cases. He said there were no signs of trauma or suspicious activity.

Brown began his career with the Cleveland Browns in 1993 and played twice for that team, as well as the Ravens, ending his NFL playing days in 2005. He started 119 of his 129 games.

вторник, 13 марта 2012 г.

Public Enemy Has Fighting Words for `Mess Age'

Public Enemy, "Muse Sick N Hour Mess Age" (Def Jam/PolyGram)(STAR) (STAR) (STAR) 1/2

True to form, the fifth release by Public Enemy has surfacedamid a storm of controversy. But this time, instead of critics andhip-hop fans fighting about Chuck D.'s ideas, the argument is aboutP.E.'s relevance in the age of gangstas like Snoop Doggy Dogg and andmore tuneful "edutainers" like Arrested Development.

Chuck does his bit to prime the pump with "Hitler Day," a rantagainst enemies both real and imagined. Reviewers feel obligated toquote the lines, "If you find a critic dead/Remember what I said/Whokilled a critic?/Guess the crew did it."

OK, so Chuck D. always has been a bit of a whiner. He hasfired off plenty of couplets full of self-serving complaints,contradictions and fuzzy thinking.

What's forgotten in the current debate is the fact that P.E.remains a musical powerhouse. When Chuck is backed by a solid grooveand the trademark wall of sound, it doesn't matter what's he saying.

His booming basketball announcer voice is still one of rap'sbest. And though the Bomb Squad production team is gone, tracks suchas the noisy, furious "Bedlam 13:13" and the soulful "What Kind ofPower We Got?" hold their own, even when compared to classics suchas "Fight the Power" and "Bring Tha Noize."

Even more effective is "Aintnuttin Buttersong." It questionswhy we teach children to sing "The Star Spangled Banner," which Chuckregards as a a violent imperialist anthem. He samples the nationalanthem and places it in a dramatic and different context, just asJimi Hendrix did 25 years ago at Woodstock.

It's true that some of Chuck's notions are wack. The messageof anti-drug raps such as "Live and Undrugged" and "Give It Up" seemsdiluted by the well-publicized drug busts of Flavor Flav, Chuck'scomic sidekick. Chuck's conspiracy theory of white Americans andEuropeans uniting to create a worldwide ghetto is paranoid andabsurd, and he's ill-informed about theories that AIDS originated inAfrica.

But Chuck D. isn't a political leader or a teacher. He's onevoice in a big debate, and his goal is to create music that forcespeople to communicate. On "Muse Sick N Hour Mess Age," he succeeds.

Jim DeRogatis

Julian Cope, "Autogeddon" (American) (STAR) (STAR) 1/2

Sooner or later, all eccentric rock visionaries seem to wind upon American Recordings, home of weirdos as diverse as Johnny Cash, Glenn Danzig and the Jesus & Mary Chain.It should come as no surprise, then, that Julian Cope, the formerleader of acid-popsters the Teardrop Explodes and lately a mercurialsolo artist, has joined Rick Rubin's roster.

"Autogeddon" is the last installment of a trilogy that startedwith Cope's brilliant and poppy "Peggy Suicide" (1991) and continuedwith the brilliant and droning "Jehovahkill" (1992). Island releasedboth albums, but never really promoted them. Unfortunately, Cope'suneven American debut lacks the anthemic quality of the former or thehypnotic power of the latter.

The concept this time is that the evil automobile is killing usand the planet. (The spark, literally, came when Cope's car explodedin his driveway one Christmas Eve.) But the singer's environmentalconspiracy theories make for better reading than listening.

Several tracks pack Cope's familiar bouncy hooks, including"Ain't No Gettin' Round Gettin' Round" and "Don't Call Me MarkChapman." Others are in the metronomic style of German art-rockersNeu! and Kraftwerk. (Ironically, Cope makes great driving music evenas he's telling us he'd rather walk.)

These standouts are separated by obvious filler and pointlessinterludes. Cope's fans will love them regardless, but it's too bad this legendary misfit didn't aim for abroader audience now that he's on a label where he truly belongs.

Jim DeRogatis

Superstar, "Superstar" (SBK) (STAR) (STAR) 1/2

Guitarist, vocalist and primary Superstar auteur Joe McAlindenhas played with fellow Scottish popsters Eugene Kelly and NormanBlake in the notorious cult band the BMX Bandits, and he usuallyprovides the string and horn parts on Eugenius and Teenage Fanclubalbums.

McAlinden shares Kelly and Blake's obsessions with the '60s popsounds of Beach Boys circa "Pet Sounds," the Raspberries and Big Star(Alex Chilton guests on guitar on one track). But the self-titleddebut by McAlinden's own band also hints of early BeeGees vocalharmonies and (yipes!) the lush orchestrations of the Moody Blues.

Thankfully, tunes such as "Barfly," "Noise Level" and "I Can'tHelp It" rock harder than the Brothers Gibb or the Moodies ever did.And despite the presence of strings, flugelhorns and tubular bells,the group never skimps on the hooks or takes itself too seriously inthe lyrics.

Jim DeRogatis

MC Eiht featuring Compton's Most Wanted, ``We Come Strapped"(Epic) (STAR) (STAR) 1/2

After languishing on hip-hop's fringes, MC Eiht finally breaksthrough on his solo debut.

Without much mainstream recognition, MC Eiht and his Compton'sMost Wanted crew have cultivated a respectable following since thelate '80s. MC Eiht broadened his fan base with the single "Growin'Up in the Hood" on 1991's "Boyz in the Hood" soundtrack, and with thesmash "Streiht Up Menace" on '93's "Menace II Society" soundtrack.

Here, the rapper extends his trademark "Jeeeaah" over 16 tauttracks. With a sparse production setting for his sinister stories,MC Eiht takes you on a tantalizing trip through the 'hood. "Take 2Wit Me" and "Goin' Out Like Geez" are gripping tales about ill-fateddrug deals and gang wars.

"All for the Money" symbolizes the way that many youths areseduced and stricken by mindless materialism, and "Compton Cyco" andthe title track are warnings to personal and professional rivals.Even "Niggaz Make the Hood Go Round" takes a street twist tosociopolitical mobilization among urban African Americans.

Intriguing and entertaining, Eiht's album affirms his newlyauspicious niche in rap.

Jaleel Abdul-Adil

The Coctails, "Peel" (Carrot Top) (STAR) (STAR) 1/2

If you follow the fickle fads of slacker culture, you'veprobably read about the Cocktail Nation, a group of bands fromdifferent corners of the country devoted to the sexy, swinging,martini-swilling lounge-music sounds of late '50s and early '60s.

These bands include the spectacular Combustible Edison, the lessspectacular but still entertaining Love Jones, and the funny butforgettable Black Velvet Flag. Chicago's Coctails have been aroundlonger than all of them. They're more creative and they're bettermusicians, and if they weren't such modest guys, they could even layclaim to giving the "nation" its name.

"Peel" is the Coctails' fourth do-it-yourself album of newmaterial. Thanks to production by Stuart Moxham, leader of theEnglish cult band the Young Marble Giants, it's the quartet'slushest, most dynamic and most self-assured effort.

At best, the Coctails are mediocre singers, and instrumentalssuch as "Daylight," "Cottonbelt" and the title track are thestandouts. Nevertheless, you'd be hard-pressed to find better partymusic. For a truly happening affair, this disc is as essential as ajar of olives.

Jim DeRogatis

Big Mike, "Something Serious" (Rap-a-Lot/Priority)(STAR)(STAR)

After being handpicked to replace Willie D in the Geto Boys, BigMike continues his career climb with a solo release.

Big Mike capitalized on his opportunity to step into thespotlight by ripping rugged rhymes that sent rumbles through rapcircles. On a solid if not spectacular solo effort, the Louisiananative continues his "swamp style" storytelling.

As a laundry list of producers provides the beats, Big Mikefluctuates from territorial touting of his backwoods background on"Comin' from the Swamp" and "Southern Things" to mellow musings aboutlove ("Player Player") and life ("World of Mind").

A particularly poignant cut is "Daddy's Gone," a tribute tosingle mothers who overcome the tribulations of absentee fathers.

Jaleel Abdul-Adil

Buckshot LeFonque, "Buckshot LeFonque" (Columbia)

Despite all the talk about how hip it is to mix jazz and rap,the sad fact is that most performers go no further than dropping abit of bebop into an otherwise standard hip-hop groove. But BuckshotLeFonque really does blur the boundaries between the two.

Driven by Branford Marsalis with able assistance from mixmasterDJ Premier (from Gang Starr), "Buckshot LeFonque" eschews thepre-programmed rigidity of hip-hop, playing with the time so thebeats flow as naturally as they would from a jazz rhythm section.The solos sparkle and shine, and there's an added liveliness to theoverall pulse that leaves the group seeming equally at home in anystyle, from the dance hall cadences of "Hotter Than Hot" to thebluesy stomp of "Some Cow Fonque (More Tea, Vicar?)."

But the best tracks by far are those that emphasize therelationship between words and music, such as the swinging"Blackwidow" and the group's powerful, poetic rendering of "I KnowWhy the Caged Bird Sings."

J.D. Considine/Baltimore Sun

Edie Brickell, "Picture Perfect Morning" (Geffen)

Anyone who wrote off Edie Brickell as just another slight-voicedhippie pop singer will be in for a rude awakening with "PicturePerfect Morning."

Although parts of the album - her first as a solo artist - touchon the same loose-limbed grooves she worked with the New Bohemians,most find Brickell expanding her stylistic range, offering everythingfrom the pastoral gentleness of "Green" to the slow, jazz-flavoredblues of "Stay Awhile."

There's some remarkably evocative stuff, too, particularly whenshe evokes a sense of time and place as vividly as she does on "Inthe Bath." But Brickell is at her best when showing off her R&Broots, riding the disco-style bass of "Another Woman's Dreams" orevoking the lithe sensuality of Smokey Robinson in "Good Times"(gotta love that Barry White cameo). It's a delight.

J.D. Considine/Baltimore Sun

US spending increases, but income growth slows

Personal spending in the United States jumped by a larger amount than expected in January but Americans' incomes barely budged. The weak income growth could depress spending in the months ahead, acting as a further drag on the fragile economic recovery.

The Commerce Department said that personal spending rose 0.5 percent in January, slightly better than expected. But incomes edged up only 0.1 percent, significantly lower than the 0.4 percent gain that economists had expected.

The income gain was the weakest showing in four months and raised more concerns about whether consumers will be able to keep spending at a sufficiently strong pace to support an economic rebound.

Sanders goes 0-for-4 in return to his roots

FORT MYERS, Fla. - Deion Sanders' return to his hometown was aforgettable one. Sanders, who grew up in North Fort Myers, went 0-for-4 with a pair of strikeouts Friday night in the Cincinnati Reds'7-2 split-squad victory over the Minnesota Twins.

Sanders, also a member of the NFL's Washington Redskins, istrying to revive his two-sport career. Sanders, who hasn't played atthe Major League level since '97, signed a minor league contractFeb. 19 and is in Reds camp as a nonroster invitee.

Twin starter Matt Kinney, who fanned Sanders to start the game,didn't know what to think about Sanders' comeback.

"It's only one at-bat," Kinney said. "But just from what I'veseen in the past, he's got some ability."

The Reds did all their hitting early against Kinney (0-1) andJ.C. Romero, two candidates to be the Twins' fifth starter thisseason. Pokey Reese, 2-for-3 with two runs scored, homered in thefirst. Alex Ochoa, who played for Minnesota in 1998, followed athird-inning single by Reese with a two-run shot against Romero tomake it 3-1.

Dennys Reyes (1-0) gave up two runs in two and two-thirdsinnings. In the third, he gave up a walk to Luis Rivas and a singleto Matt Lawton. David Ortiz grounded into a double play, scoringRivas but ending the threat.

Reyes struck out Lawton looking in the first. Lawton was hit onthe right side of his face by a Reyes pitch in 1999 and missed morethan a month that season with a fractured eye socket.

The Reds added three unearned runs in the ninth on a two-runtriple by D.T. Cromer and a single by Brandon Larson.

Notes: The Reds' other half lost 7-4 to Cleveland on Friday. ...Cincinnati has three sets of split-squad games in the springschedule's first 10 days. ... Another hometown hero, Mike Greenwell,appeared for the Reds, striking out in his only at-bat.

in his only at-bat.

Bush confident bailout bill will stabilize economy

Buffeted by unusually aggressive pressure from the White House, House members debated hotly-contested Wall Street bailout legislation Monday as a key architect conceded its unpopularity.

"Many of us feel that the national interest requires us to do something which is, in many ways, unpopular," said Rep. Barney Frank, the Financial Services Committee chairman. "It is hard to get political credit for avoiding something that has not yet happened."

The House was moving toward an early afternoon vote on the much-maligned legislation. The $700 billion rescue plan was the product of marathon bargaining over the weekend among various House and Senate representatives.

President Bush once again urged the bill's passage, saying in a White House appearance Monday morning that "every member of Congress and every American should keep in mind that a vote for this bill is a vote to prevent economic damage to you and your community."

"With this strong and decisive legislation," he said, "we will help restart the flow of credit so American families can meet their daily needs and American businesses can make purchases, ship goods and meet their payrolls."

As debate opened, Frank, D-Mass., called the measure "a tough vote," but a necessary one to stave off a financial meltdown. It lets the government buy sour assets _ mostly mortgage-backed securities _ from struggling financial institutions in a bid to clear out clogged avenues of credit for businesses and individuals alike.

At the White House, spokesman Tony Fratto confirmed vigorous efforts to get the bill through.

"We're going to keep working with them right up until the vote," he said.

Fratto also said that Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Treasury Secretary Paulson, White House chief of staff Josh Bolton and other top officials were contacting House members in an effort to rally support, and that the president himself had a call list of "a couple dozen members."

Fratto said Bush was telling aides some of those he'd talked to were committed to voting for the bill while "others remained skeptical."

With their dire warnings of impending economic doom and their sweeping request for unprecedented sums of money and authority to bail out cash-starved financial firms, Bush and his economic chiefs have focused the attention of the world and the markets on Congress, said Republican Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin. Without the bill, Ryan added, "the worst is yet to come."

"We're in this moment, and if we fail to do the right thing, Heaven help us." he said.

As Democratic and Republican leaders hunted for votes, leaning on lawmakers to take a political hit for the good of the country, Ryan said, "We're all worried about losing our jobs. ... Most of us say, 'I want this thing to pass, but I want you to vote for it _ not me.' "

Two leading players also spoke early Monday, lobbying on morning television news shows for approval of a package deeply unpopular with a public angry that taxpayer money will save Wall Street firms from heavy risk-taking. Thousands of angry phone calls, e-mails and letters have poured into Capitol Hill from constituents. Supporters essentially acknowledged that it was a hold-your-nose-and-vote matter.

Critics on the left and right said Congress was being stampeded into hasty action on a plan that wouldn't make a dent in the nation's economic woes, which have at their root a subprime mortgage meltdown and the bursting of the housing bubble, followed by a wave of foreclosures.

The legislation does not require any federal action to prevent foreclosures, although it mandates that the government try renegotiating the bad mortgages it acquires with the aim of lowering borrowers' monthly payments so they can keep their homes.

"Like the Iraq war and the Patriot Act, this bill is fueled on fear and hinges on haste," said Democratic Rep. Lloyd Doggett of Texas.

Republican Jeb Hensarling of Texas, a leading conservative, said the bill puts the country "on the slippery slope to socialism. If you lose your ability to fail, soon you will lose your ability to succeed."

The Senate planned a vote as early as Wednesday.

Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., said that failure to act would spread the contagion of frozen credit markets even further. "This is not just about Wall Street," said the Banking Committee chairman.

Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., told The Associated Press: "It's one of those situations where if it passes and works, people will never know how close we were to the brink."

Still, both men said the necessity of such massive government action is a sad day for the nation. They were speaking not just to rank-and-file lawmakers who are under a spotlight in the contentious, dramatic congressional debate, but to U.S. and global markets which have displayed nervousness about Washington's determination to act.

Investors worldwide and in early trading in the United States continued to show doubt about whether the bill would go through, much less go a long way toward curing the systemic problems that have unnerved financial markets across the globe for weeks.

There was a further sign of general economic deterioration Monday as the Commerce Department reported that consumer spending was unchanged in August _ even worse than the small 0.2 percent gain that economists had anticipated. It was the weakest showing since spending was also flat in February.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said the bill "should help to restore the flow of credit to households and businesses that is essential for economic growth and job creation."

Lawmakers wrote a number of restrictions into the pending legislation, including oversight over the operation of the program, curbs on "golden parachutes" for top executives of firms getting help, and assurances that taxpayers would ultimately be reimbursed by the companies for any losses. But the government would have broad discretion to decide how to implement the rescue.

The legislation also requires that the government take ownership stakes in companies that receive federal infusions, so it could share a piece of potential future profits.

Bush said the ultimate cost of the bailout will be much less than the $700 billion authorized.

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson sought the unprecedented amount of money with little supervision.

Instead, the bill lets Congress block half the money and force the president to jump through some hoops before using it all. The government could get at $250 billion immediately, $100 billion more if the president certified it was necessary, and the last $350 billion with a separate certification _ and subject to a congressional resolution of disapproval. Still, the resolution could be vetoed by the president, meaning it would take extra-large congressional majorities to stop it.

A's aren't racist, society is: Canseco

OAKLAND, Calif. Oakland outfielder Jose Canseco said Saturdayracism was not the reason the Athletics failed to offer him a bigmultiyear contract, and that his earlier remarks had beenmisunderstood.

"My comments were made about society in general," Canseco said."I never accused the A's of racism. I never said that."

Canseco spoke to reporters Friday about how racism may haveplayed a role in the recent contracts signed by Will Clark and KevinMitchell of the San Francisco Giants.

"To me, Will Clark can't do anything wrong. He representsbaseball, America and you know the rest," Canseco said Friday."Mitchell is black and I'm Latin. So we don't (represent America)."

Canseco signed a $2 million, one-year contract for 1990 inFebruary, two days before his scheduled arbitration hearing.Mitchell signed another one-year deal for just over $2 million. TheGiants gave Clark a four-year, $15 million deal.

Conjoined Twins to Be Separated

Parents of twins born attached at the chest want to have theinfants surgically separated, a family member said Wednesday.

After weighing alternatives presented by doctors from LoyolaUniversity Medical Center, Ken and Reitha Lakeberg decided thatsurgery would be the best way to save the babies.

Doctors, however, have lowered the chance of survival ofeither twin to 1 percent, significantly lower than the 10 percent to15 percent they initially gave the Wheatfield, Ind., family.

Bill Welsh, brother-in-law of Reitha Lakeberg, said the couplediscussed their options at home after returning from an informalmeeting with Loyola doctors. He said their decision had not beencommunicated to doctors. Doctors have not made a recommendationeither way in the case.

Panel: BP faulted cement work years before blowout

WASHINGTON (AP) — Oil company BP had identified problems with work by its cement company long before the massive Gulf oil well blowout, which investigations have blamed on cement failing at the bottom of the hole, a presidential panel investigating the oil spill said Thursday.

But BP apparently did not do much, if anything, about it.

A 2007 audit by BP of Halliburton Co.'s work said the cement contractor lacked the experience to evaluate data and issued incomplete testing reports that were difficult to understand, according to a report released Thursday from the commission's chief counsel.

BP also had concerns about Jesse Gagliano, a Halliburton engineer working on the Macondo well that blew out last April, who has since told federal investigators that he had warned BP that its well design could have compromised the cement job. On the day of the disaster, BP employees were discussing how to handle his performance, which internally they said wasn't "cutting it."

Halliburton has acknowledged it did not test the stability of the final cement mix used, but it blames BP's well design for the disaster. The company, according to the report released Thursday, has refused to cooperate with the presidential panel since the panel exposed in October that its own independent tests showed the cement mixture would fail. Cement serves as a critical barrier in oil wells, preventing oil and gas from entering the well unexpectedly.

The report issued Thursday likely represents the final word from the oil spill commission, which was appointed by President Barack Obama to investigate the disaster in May.

While it provides a new levels of detail, the document does nothing to change what the panel said in January was the cause of the accident: a series of time and money-saving decisions by BP, Halliburton and rig owner Transocean Ltd. that created an unacceptable amount of risk.

BP and Halliburton did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

___

Online:

Presidential Oil Spill Commission: www.oilspillcommission.gov

Large dead jellyfish stings beachgoers in NH

New Hampshire authorities say about 100 people have been stung by a large dead jellyfish that broke into pieces at a state park beach, and nine children were treated at a hospital.

Wallis Sands State Park Manager Ken Loughlin says lifeguards spotted the jellyfish, which he described as the size of a "turkey platter" and weighing nearly 50 pounds.

Rye Fire Department Lieutenant says the jellyfish fell apart when the state park staff tried to remove it on Wednesday, and its stingers were still active even though it was dead.

Doug Grout, chief of marine fisheries for the state, says it's a Lion's Mane jellyfish, a species rarely seen so far south and in shallow waters. In northern New England, they average 8 feet in diameter and can have tentacles as long as 150 feet.

понедельник, 12 марта 2012 г.

Interview with Boone Pickens

REBECCA QUICK, CNBC ANCHOR: Welcome back, everybody.

President Obama is calling for Congress to eliminate what he calls unwarranted tax breaks for the oil and gas industries, setting high oil and gas prices right now. Meantime, alternative energy may be gathering some steam.

Boone Pickens is among those backing a bipartisan bill offering tax breaks for natural gas vehicles. He actually introduced this legislation -- campaign running for a couple of years.

And Boone, thanks for coming in today.

BOONE PICKENS, BP CAPITAL MANAGEMENT CEO: Thank you.

QUICK: This is known as the Boone Pickens bill. And at this point you said you have 178 co-signors. We talked to you when this legislation first dropped in the house a few weeks ago.

Where does it stand right now? How has it been moving along?

PICKENS: I`ve had a lot to do. You know seems like plates full all the time. And so we`ve got to get into it. I think -- I`ve got a pretty good chance they`ll vote on it by mid-May.

QUICK: And you expect it`ll pass the House, but then what happens in the Senate?

PICKENS: It`ll pass the House. This week I think we`ll go over 200 co- sponsors. And the beauty of it is there are 50/50, Democrats and Republicans. So this is -- it`s not a partisan issue.

QUICK: But you expect that the Senate will act on it and then the president will sign it if it gets through?

PICKENS: I think we`ll make it this year.

QUICK: You do?

PICKENS: Yes.

QUICK: And this bill --

PICKENS: But I`m not going to quit if we don`t.

QUICK: You`re not?

PICKENS: No, I`m going to go -- I`m staying until the finish line.

QUICK: You know you have been talking about this for several years at this point. A couple of years.

PICKENS: Three.

QUICK: It`s your first -- couldn`t remember if it was two or three years.

PICKENS: July of `08.

QUICK: Yes. And I remember you talked about it right here on this program when you launched it. This is a program to get 18 wheelers converted to natural gas because your point in all of this is that we have to wean ourselves from foreign oil. How does that debate --

PICKENS: Well, you`ve got the to start somewhere. And you know if you sat down and looked at all the way -- the way we haven`t managed energy in America. That if you looked at it, you`d cry. So you`d say, OK, having cried, now what are we going to do about it?

You`ve got to get on something. You`ve got to make something happen. You can`t just sit there and yet take more and more oil from the enemy. And we`re taking five million barrels from OPEC every day. Take the eight million trucks, go to natural gas, you can cut OPEC in half.

But the thing I would like to comment about is that today if I announced that we have more oil equivalent than the Saudis do, I would be telling you the truth.

QUICK: In the United States. Continental United States.

PICKENS: In the United States.

JOE KERNEN, CNBC ANCHOR: Natural gas.

PICKENS: Natural gas. I mean this isn`t my number. This is other people`s.

KERNEN: That wasn`t the way it was five years ago, but that`s -- because of fracking and everything, we`re there.

PICKENS: That`s right. You`re there. You`re there. I say you`re going to recover 4,00 trillion which is 700 billion barrels. The street --

KERNEN: Four quadrillion.

PICKENS: Yes. They`ll give you -- I mean Tom, Dick, and Harry will give you 2,000 trillion or 2,000 trillion is 300 billion barrels and that is bigger than the Saudis. And this is the cleaner of the hydrocarbons. It`s 130 octane right out of the ground. Does not require refinery. It is the premiere hydrocarbon, and we`ve got it. And nobody stands up and says that.

QUICK: Well, Boone, we had Donald Trump on the show a few weeks ago. And he said that the problem here is we don`t know how to negotiate with the Saudis. We just need to tell them what we`re willing to pay. Tell --

PICKENS: Donald doesn`t know what he`s talking about on oil. They have the oil, we have 2 percent of the oil. So what are you going to do? They have the oil, you`re going to go tell them what they`re going to sell it to you for?

They`re now maxed out at about 88 million barrels a day, and your demand in the fourth quarter this year is 90. The only way you`re going to kill the 90 is with price. So you`re going to see the price go on up is what`s going to happen.

DAVID FABER, CNBC ANCHOR: You think price is going up from here?

PICKENS: It has to, David, because if I`m right on supply, people keep thinking that OPEC has an unlimited amount of oil. They do not have.

QUICK: Saudis just cut production, though.

PICKENS: Pardon me?

QUICK: Saudis just cut production. They said they --

PICKENS: Well, now they`ve brought it back up again. You saw where they cut it one week and then came back the next. I mean they`re showing you -- you know it`s a lot of action. Watch my feet, you know. It`s --

KERNEN: But, you know, usually we don`t run out of things. And price solves things, and if prices stay high, we`ll find more oil, too, and we`re finding more natural gas.

PICKENS: Well, I know --

KERNEN: That`s the way it`s always been.

PICKENS: Well, you`re an economist.

KERNEN: No, I`m not.

PICKENS: I always thought you were. You know what an economist is.

(CROSSTALK)

KERNEN: No, I`m a drunker. No, that`s not -- (INAUDIBLE). No, I`m not an economist.

PICKENS: But you know what an economist is.

KERNEN: Someone who has 100 different way to make love to a woman that doesn`t know any girls?

PICKENS: All that, and -- but an economist is a guy that doesn`t have enough personality to be a CPA.

(LAUGHTER)

KERNEN: And if you line them up, they can`t reach a conclusion. No, I know that. But I`m not an economist. But you know, in the past, prices --

(CROSSTALK)

PICKENS: That`s the way it`s supposed to be.

KERNEN: Yes.

PICKENS: That`s the way it`s supposed to be.

KERNEN: We didn`t run out of stones.

PICKENS: No. You didn`t -- that is true. What I want to do is get off the OPEC oil and get our troops out of Afghanistan.

KERNEN: I agree.

PICKENS: And get the hell home. We don`t even know what we`re doing over there.

(CROSSTALK)

FABER: Yes, you know, we have not had a significant piece of energy legislation come out of Congress in a long time.

PICKENS: How about 40 years?

FABER: We were close. We were pretty close.

PICKENS: In `78.

FABER: We`re also close a couple of years ago and --

(CROSSTALK)

FABER: The senator in the Senate and then it all fell apart. You were part of a lot of those conversations. And what gives you the confidence that even a modest bill, you`re now sort of behind is going to ultimately to see the light of --

PICKENS: OK. I decided in July of `08 when I launched the Pickens plan, I said I`ve got the money and nobody`s going to explain energy to America, I`ll go do it. I`ll spend $82 million out of my pocket on the deal. And I think I`ve done a pretty good job of explaining.

Actually, we have only one resource that will replace. That ain`t exactly right. But one resource for heavy duty trucks that will replace foreign diesel, natural gas. That`s the only one you have. So it`s not hard if you have just one resource to figure it out. But I want all American.

I`m ready for hybrid, I`m ready for anything, I`ll take ethanol. I`ll take anything but OPEC oil because the security of this issue is -- I mean, you can`t even figure out -- figure it up how bad it could be.

FABER: Just say it though. It figures into everything.

(CROSSTALK)

PICKENS: Well, Saudis go down, you`re looking at $300 to $400 oil.

FABER: By the way, I mean, obviously, that`s not necessarily something that many people expect, but given the turmoil in the Mideast has to be something on people`s minds. You believe $300 to $400 if in fact the Saudi regime were to fall?

PICKENS: I sure do. Yes, you`ll get it quick.

QUICK: What about with (INAUDIBLE). You said prices are going higher anyway.

PICKENS: Well, you`re sitting over there, the Chinese are still trying to fill their strategic supply. So they`re in the market all the time for oil. And their economy`s not slipping. So they`re -- you got a demand there. And ours is holding up. But our industry has done a good job in this country.

If you look at it, we`ve actually increased our production by 400,000 to 500,000 barrels a day. We were in decline from 1970, when we`ve peaked to 10 million barrels in the United States we`ve been in decline ever since. Our industry is turned around here.

FABER: Well, that goes to Joe`s point, though, that somehow there always seems to be a way --

(CROSSTALK)

PICKENS: OK. But, David, the deal is so huge. We`re using 20 million, 21 million barrels a day, producing seven, importing 13.

FABER: Right.

PICKENS: The hill you`ve got to climb is like this. It isn`t like this. I mean, you have got to find one hell a lot of oil to start to --

FABER: In terms of the infrastructure and everything that would need to be put in place to produce the amount of natural gas were we to ultimately move to a much more focused on that fuel, is it there now? I mean -- you know I know there`s a lot of shale ownership out there and a lot of companies going to work.

But are we already there in terms of the ability to produce?

PICKENS: Yes. We`re getting there pretty fast. But don`t worry about them. I mean, you`re talking about an industry that can function. And so just -- I don`t want to take any tax away from it. If you take that IDC away from it, you`ll CapEx 30 percent. That`s your result.

KERNEN: Boone, you know all the -- we hear the president talk about investments, investments in infrastructure, but renewable energy. That`s - - you hear that constantly. Do you think that he should shift gears and when he talks about it just throw all of his energy into natural gas and then that could be a bridge to when this other technology finally comes of age where it`s economically feasible?

Because most of it, you`re not going to drive to work on solar power, you`re not going to drive to work on a windmill.

(CROSSTALK)

QUICK: Stop. I never said that.

KERNEN: Sure. I know you didn`t. You can`t drive to work with a windmill. So I mean that would almost make sense to me if you said we`re going to build out the infrastructure to do the natural gas conversion.

PICKENS: Let me say, I don`t want you bailing out the infrastructure.

KERNEN: You want private sector to build it out.

PICKENS: Yes, sir.

KERNEN: But if the government is going to be in anything --

PICKENS: I want to -- I want him to give direction is what I want. I want him to stand up and say we`re going to go with natural gas for heavy duty trucks. With that there`s going to be $1 billion a year for the -- for those trucks, incremental difference, a cost of --

KERNEN: OK.

PICKENS: OK, but $1 billion a year for five years and then kill it.

KERNEN: Can you talk to him, please?

FABER: I`ll try.

PICKENS: Go out on it. I mean finished sunset. $5 billion gets you 143,000 trucks out of eight million. Will that solve it? No. What it`ll give us is America will see, the president of the United States as a leader. And he said this is the way we`re going. We`re going to our resource, to our energy, and we`re going to get off -- he said when he received the nomination in July, I was there --

KERNEN: Every president has said it, though.

PICKENS: But you know what he said? He was specific and said, in 10 years we will not import any oil from the Mideast.

QUICK: Over three years in, how is he doing so far?

PICKENS: Well --

KERNEN: He`s got to be nice.

PICKENS: Well, listen, I think the guy is with me. Because he said the last energy speech he made he mentioned my name and said natural gas. So I think, you know, he`s hearing the music.

(CROSSTALK)

KERNEN: Did he say natural gas or did he --

PICKENS: You know what he said.

(LAUGHTER)

FABER: The last speech also --

PICKENS: This is serious.

(CROSSTALK)

FABER: Was back to speculators. Like every president promised we`re be off the oil, they also all blame speculators every time the price of oil goes up. What role do you see in terms of speculation? In terms of adding to the ultimate price of oil?

PICKENS: Well, most of your viewers and you certainly understand when you have somebody that is speculating, they`re investing. I mean, if I go out and buy 100 shares of GE, I`m a speculator in GE stock.

I mean, I expect it to go up and not down. Nobody ever bought to break even. And so on speculation of energy contracts, I mean they buy 100 contracts, there`s a seller. Somebody thinks it`s going down. I mean it`s a balanced market all the time.

You know I was asked before committee in Washington, they said back in the crash of `08 said, you know, that you were investing. Yes, I was investing. Well, you ran it up and dumped. I said, really? I said now, who do I dump to? Well, you dumped on this poor guys walking down the street.

KERNEN: We got to go. I just don`t think natural gas has gotten the respect it should -- we`ve got to go. But --

(CROSSTALK)

KERNEN: A renewable energy. I just don`t think it has.

PICKENS: The renewable energy has not?

KERNEN: No, that natural gas hasn`t gotten the respect it has to answer our needs for renewable energy.

END

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Cafe Rouge up for sale

BRENTWOOD: A restaurant has been put up for sale in BrentwoodHigh Street.

The owners of Cafe Rouge have put the leasehold and contents upfor sale for Pounds 65,000.

A brochure released by restaurant operator Tragus reveals thatthe Brentwood eatery has a lease up until March 2014 and that therent is Pounds 44,000 per annum.

The document also describes the restaurant, part of a nationalchain, as occupying a "prime position" in the High Street with "highfootfall". For more information about the sale, visit the websiteat www.tragusgroup.com

Shearer's Newcastle beaten 2-0 by Chelsea

Alan Shearer's eight-match reign as Newcastle manager began with a 2-0 loss to Chelsea on Saturday, illustrating the size of task the Magpies' former captain faces in trying to keep the club in the Premier League.

Second-half goals from Frank Lampard and Florent Malouda allowed title-chasing Chelsea to spoil the return of Newcastle's all-time leading goalscorer.

Newcastle is third from bottom, two points adrift of Sunderland which lost 2-0 at West Ham.

West Bromwich Albion and Middlesbrough, who occupy the bottom two places, also lost.

Blackburn moved four points clear of the relegation zone, stunning 10-man Tottenham with two late goals to come from behind and produce a 2-1 win.

In the chase for Champions League places, Arsenal strengthened its grip on fourth with Emmanuel Adebayor's double providing a 2-0 victory over Manchester City. The forward was playing in his first game for the Gunners after a two-month injury layoff.

In Saturday's late match, Liverpool was at Fulham looking to regain top spot from Manchester United until at least Sunday when the defending champions host Aston Villa.

Baseball P.M.

AMERICAN LEAGUE

East Division

W L Pct GB L10 Str Home Away IntrBoston 31 19 .620 - z-8-2 W-4 16-8 15-11 0-0New York 29 20 .592 11/2 z-7-3 L-1 15-9 14-11 0-0Toronto 24 28 .462 8 z-4-6 L-3 13-13 11-15 0-0Tampa Bay 23 28 .451 81/2 z-2-8 L-1 10-14 13-14 0-0Baltimore 19 31 .380 12 z-5-5 L-2 12-12 7-19 0-0Central DivisionW L Pct GB L10 Str Home Away IntrCleveland 33 16 .673 - 4-6 W-1 15-10 18-6 0-0Kansas City 23 26 .469 10 2-8 L-3 10-14 13-12 0-0Chicago 22 25 .468 10 4-6 L-1 10-12 12-13 0-0Detroit 21 30 .412 13 z-3-7 L-1 12-15 9-15 0-0Minnesota 18 32 .360 151/2 z-5-5 W-1 9-17 9-15 0-0West DivisionW L Pct GB L10 Str Home Away IntrTexas 30 20 .600 - 8-2 W-7 14-11 16-9 0-0Oakland 27 24 .529 31/2 6-4 W-2 17-10 10-14 0-0Seattle 26 24 .520 4 z-7-3 W-1 15-13 11-11 0-0Anaheim 24 27 .471 61/2 5-5 L-1 11-13 13-14 0-0NATIONAL LEAGUEEast DivisionW L Pct GB L10 Str Home Away IntrAtlanta 31 20 .608 - z-6-4 W-1 17-10 14-10 0-0New York 27 24 .529 4 z-4-6 L-4 13-13 14-11 0-0Philadelphia 25 24 .510 5 4-6 W-1 11-13 14-11 0-0Montreal 18 30 .375 111/2 6-4 L-1 10-19 8-11 0-0Florida 16 35 .314 15 z-4-6 L-3 7-23 9-12 0-0Central DivisionW L Pct GB L10 Str Home Away IntrHouston 29 20 .592 - 4-6 L-4 16-10 13-10 0-0Chicago 27 20 .574 1 z-7-3 W-4 13-9 14-11 0-0Cincinnati 25 22 .532 3 6-4 W-3 12-14 13-8 0-0Pittsburgh 26 24 .520 31/2 7-3 W-4 16-11 10-13 0-0St. Louis 25 24 .510 4 z-4-6 W-1 9-13 16-11 0-0Milwaukee 23 27 .460 61/2 4-6 W-2 7-16 16-11 0-0West DivisionW L Pct GB L10 Str Home Away IntrArizona 31 21 .596 - 8-2 W-7 17-5 14-16 0-0San Francisco 27 24 .529 31/2 z-4-6 L-5 16-10 11-14 0-0Los Angeles 26 24 .520 4 5-5 L-1 12-12 14-12 0-0Colorado 21 27 .429 8 4-6 L-1 8-10 13-17 0-0San Diego 19 30 .388 101/2 z-3-7 L-2 12-12 7-18 0-0z-first game was a winMonday's gamesBoston 8, Detroit 7Cleveland 7, New York 1Minnesota 3, Anaheim 2Seattle 10, Baltimore 6Texas 4, Kansas City 3, 10 inningsOakland 10, Tampa Bay 7Only games scheduledToday's gamesDetroit (Weaver 6-3) at Boston (Saberhagen 2-1), 7:05 p.m.Chicago (Sirotka 2-6) at Toronto (Escobar 4-2), 7:05 p.m.Cleveland (Burba 5-1) at New York (Clemens 4-0), 7:35 p.m.Kansas City (Witasick 1-4) at Texas (Helling 5-5), 8:35 p.m.Minnesota (Lincoln 1-7) at Anaheim (Hill 1-4), 10:05 p.m.Tampa Bay (Eiland 0-0) at Oakland (Rogers 2-2), 10:05 p.m.Baltimore (Guzman 2-4) at Seattle (F.Garcia 6-1), 10:05 p.m.Wednesday's gamesKansas City (Appier 6-2) at Texas (Sele 4-4), 2:35 p.m.Tampa Bay (Alvarez 2-3) at Oakland (Candiotti 3-5), 4:05 p.m.Detroit (Thompson 4-6) at Boston (Wakefield 3-4), 7:05 p.m.Chicago (Navarro 3-4) at Toronto (Hentgen 4-3), 7:05 p.m.Cleveland (Wright 4-3) at New York (Pettitte 3-2), 7:35 p.m.Minnesota (Radke 4-4) at Anaheim (Finley 3-5), 10:35 p.m.Baltimore (Mussina 7-2) at Seattle (Halama 3-2), 10:35 p.m.Monday's gamesCincinnati 5, New York 3Pittsburgh 5, Los Angeles 4Milwaukee 8, San Diego 2St. Louis 5, Florida 2Atlanta 3, Colorado 1Arizona 8, Montreal 5, 10 inningsPhiladelphia 4, San Francisco 3Only games scheduledToday's gamesArizona (Anderson 0-1) at Montreal (Pavano 3-5), 7:05 p.m.St. Louis (Acevedo 3-1) at Florida (L.Hernandez 3-4), 7:05 p.m.Los Angeles (Valdes 5-2) at Pittsburgh (Schmidt 4-3), 7:05 p.m.San Francisco (Gardner 0-4) at Philadelphia (Person 0-0), 7:35p.m.Cincinnati (Harnisch 4-5) at New York (Hershiser 4-4), 7:40 p.m.Colorado (B.M.Jones 1-3) at Atlanta (Smoltz 5-1), 7:40 p.m.San Diego (Ashby 5-3) at Chicago (Trachsel 2-5), 8:05 p.m.Houston (Bergman 2-1) at Milwaukee (Karl 5-3), 8:05 p.m.Wednesday's gamesSan Diego (Murray 0-1) at Chicago (Farnsworth 2-0), 2:20 p.m.Arizona (Daal 5-4) at Montreal (Vazquez 2-3), 7:05 p.m.St. Louis (Painter 0-3) at Florida (Dempster 2-1), 7:05 p.m.Los Angeles (Dreifort 5-3) at Pittsburgh (Ritchie 4-3), 7:05 p.m.San Francisco (Ortiz 6-3) at Philadelphia (Byrd 6-3), 7:35 p.m.Cincinnati (Avery 3-4) at New York (Isringhausen 0-1), 7:40 p.m.Colorado (Brownson 0-0) at Atlanta (O.Perez 3-2), 7:40 p.m.Houston (Lima 8-2) at Milwaukee (Eldred 1-3), 8:05 p.m.

Watchdog fears over store deal

Competition watchdogs have spelt out their concerns about anotherUK supermarket taking control of rival Safeway in a 33-point letter.

The Competition Commission is examining whether any of theproposed deals to take over Safeway, owner of four stores in theBristol area, would create an excessively dominant supermarket groupwhich would damage shoppers and suppliers.

At the heart of the bids from Tesco, Sainsbury's, Wm Morrison andWalMart-owned Asda, are local and national competition issues, pricesand the impact of the potential mergers on suppliers.

But also included in the letter are issues as varied as whetherthe Commission should consider in its inquiry competition for nonfoodsales as well as groceries, Internet home shopping and the price ofpetrol.

The number of issues identified for further consideration by theCompetition Commission highlights the sheer complexity of thecompetition situation surrounding supermarkets.

The Commission inquiry is due to report its findings by August 12.

Hollywood producer honors Shanghai roots in film

SHANGHAI (AP) — Mike Medavoy walked the red carpet, mingled with Chinese studio executives and attended industry seminars. But unlike other Hollywood producers pressing the flesh at the Shanghai International Film Festival, he isn't just shopping for projects in what is fast becoming America's hottest foreign movie market.

For the producer who worked on films like "Rocky," ''Apocalypse Now" and "The Terminator," the festival is a homecoming of sorts. Medavoy was born in Shanghai in 1941 to Russian-Jewish parents and lived there for six years before moving with his family to Chile and then the U.S. His grandfather moved to Shanghai to avoid the pogroms of imperial Russia.

And now the veteran producer has found the perfect project to honor his Chinese roots — an adaptation of a Chinese love story set against World War II-era Shanghai, where many European Jews sought refuge from persecution.

Medavoy announced on Monday that he and partner Shanghai Film Group will turn Chinese author Bei La's "The Cursed Piano" into a feature film and shoot an accompanying six-hour TV miniseries exploring the Jewish experience in Shanghai, based on the Daniella Kuhn story "Tears of the Sparrow."

"I feel a great deal of responsibility to get this story told," Medavoy said.

"My fear of course is based on the fact that I have to measure up not only to the standards that these gentlemen have set for the project," he said, referring to his Chinese partners, "but I also have to measure up to my own standards and the standards my parents brought to me when they decided to have me born here."

Medavoy said he hoped to complete the project while his 90-year-old mother is still alive.

He received a vote of confidence from Bei.

"I think he will create something outstanding by pouring in his own emotions and his parents' emotions," Bei said.

Medavoy shared vignettes from his family history. He said his father became a car mechanic in Shanghai at age 12 before shifting to a telephone company. When the Medavoy family moved to Chile, his employment options were limited because he didn't speak Spanish — but he could fall back on the car repair skills he had picked up in Shanghai.

Medavoy's Shanghai heritage has cropped up quite a few times since the festival kicked off on Saturday.

He proudly told a red carpet interviewer at the opening ceremony that he was born in Shanghai.

Speaking at a panel discussion on film finance on Sunday, he described his parents' emotional return to Shanghai 18 years ago, when they traveled with him to the inaugural Shanghai International Film Festival.

"As soon as I got down (from the plane) and my father started walking out of the Shanghai airport, he started to cry," Medavoy said.

Asked why he was so upset, his father responded, "I'm crying because this is the place that saved our lives. I don't think any of us would have existed without the friendship of the Chinese people during the war."

"The Cursed Piano" is not Medavoy's first Shanghai-related project. He also developed the script for the 2010 film "Shanghai," a World War II-era thriller starring John Cusack, Chow Yun-fat, Gong Li and Ken Watanabe, but later sold it to fellow American producer Harvey Weinstein.

"Sommersby" and "The Human Stain" screenwriter Nicholas Meyer is to pen the "Cursed Piano" script.

среда, 7 марта 2012 г.

The venture philanthropist

It wasn't exactly a eureka moment, but it was pretty close, says Bill Young, founder and president of Toronto's Social Capital Partners Inc.

He is referring to his decision to dedicate his time and money to charity, not long after his mother gave $40 million she had made off a hot tech stock to a charitable foundation. "I'd volunteered my time on boards, been a Big Brother, but I always had an inkling that I'd like to do more," says the 48-year-old CA.

So in 2001, Young opened SCP, which provides grants to early stage nonprofit organizations that don't rely on government funding.

"The idea is to invest in visionary leaders and offer them our expertise. It's venture …

Track designer: No need for a second one

They lowered the start line, shaved the ice in some corners, and threw up safety barriers in the middle of the night.

It took a singular tragedy and nearly two weeks for the people in charge of the gleaming $105 million Whistler Sliding Center track to finally get it right. They insisted it was safe all along, even while their actions made a mockery of their words. It makes you wonder if they'll ever learn the lesson, let alone by the time the next Winter Games rolls around.

Asked whether the Whistler track was too fast, the veteran designer who drew it up told The Associated Press from Germany on Tuesday: "It is fast. As I have said before: If fast …

понедельник, 5 марта 2012 г.

Auto News digest.(Brief Article)

GM covers tire hazards

DETROIT - General Motors customers are now able to buy tire road hazard coverage as an option on new-vehicle service and maintenance contracts. The tire damage coverage provides zero-deductible protection for flat tire repair up to $35 per tire, as well as complete or pro-rated replacement of the vehicle's original four tires, up to $150 per tire.

Coverage extends for 60 months or 50,000 miles, regardless of the term of the underlying service or maintenance contract.

The GMAC Insurance Group also has expanded service plan limits to 84 months from 72 months for in-warranty vehicles and to 48 months from 36 months for …

Hospital raises $400,000.(Capital Region)

The 24th annual "Dancing in the Woods" black-tie gala raised about $400,000 for the Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children's Hospital at Albany Medical Center.

More than 1,200 people attended the …

SCHOOL 14 REMOVES BARRIERS TO LEARNING PARENTS, PUPILS AND TEACHERS PRAISE THREE-WALLED CLASSROOMS.(CAPITAL REGION)

Byline: TIM O'BRIEN Staff writer

TROY When the new School 14 opened its doors last fall, some parents wondered how its three-walled classrooms, with a shared common area at their centers, would affect their children's ability to concentrate.

To many parents, children and teachers, the loss of the fourth wall and the doors have not been an invitation to chaos. Rather, it has been an opportunity to take down the barriers that divide children and to expand their ways of learning.

In the elementary school, classrooms are grouped in clusters of four with a large open space shared among them.

``Most of our school buildings are set up and designed to produce factory workers,'' said Brenda Peters, a professor in the College of Saint Rose's teacher education department. ``Since that's kind of an outdated way of preparing students for the future, the new schools being built are more conducive to socializing. Employers are telling us people don't know how …

Dutch painter recognized 335 years after death

It's not unusual for artists to gain esteem after death. But more than three centuries later?

Dutch artist Jan Lievens painted, drew and etched _ many times on a large scale _ portraits, character studies, religious and allegorical images and landscapes in the 1600s.

But his career was overshadowed by fellow Dutch artist Rembrandt van Rijn, who was born in Leiden in the Netherlands just a year before Lievens, studied with the same master and lived nearby.

Now 335 years after Lievens' death, the National Gallery of Art along with the Milwaukee Art Museum and the Rembrandt House Museum in Amsterdam have organized "Jan Lievens: A Dutch Master …

Ballet company has plans for downtown building: Masonic Temple may become venue for small events

The space in the front of the Masonic Temple building on VirginiaStreet was used as a hair salon and lunch stop not too many yearsago.

So Kim Pauley and the board of the Charleston Ballet figure it canjust as easily be converted to something else.

For this reincarnation, they envision a space that can be used foreverything from Pilates classes to a wedding, meeting or theaterproduction.

"We see an intimate, little theater space," said Martha Collins,president of the ballet board.

The ballet has named the space MC's Workshop, named after Pauley'slate stepfather.

"He built sets and did everything for the ballet," Collins said.

Already, the …

воскресенье, 4 марта 2012 г.

Orly International Inc.(Brief Article)

Orly International Inc. will unveil its SPRUNG nail color collection that includes shades from tangerine orange to rose pink with a …

Canon U.S.A.(shop talk)

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Equipped with a 1.8-inch TFT color LCD display and easily navigated control panel, the Canon PIXMA MP480 Photo All-In-One combines elegant design with easy operation. Canon has included Auto Photo Fix and Auto Scan Mode, …

EVERYBODY LOVES THE ` 'BISCUIT' FILM.(CAPITAL REGION)

Byline: MARIA McBRIDE BUCCIFERRO Special to the Times Union -

Players in the sport of kings give the new film ``Seabiscuit,'' featuring the Spa track, a two-thumbs-up rating.

``No sex, no bad words. It's a wonderful family movie,'' said Eileen Cornacchia, wife of horse owner Joe Cornacchia, a two-time Kentucky Derby winner with Strike the Gold and Go for Gin, as she left Regal Cinemas at Wilton Mall Wednesday. ``It's like ``National Velvet.'' People will be watching it in 40 years -- on their pinky ring TV.''

A second generation printer in the East Village of New York, Joe Cornacchia, had printed Trivial Pursuit before he lost the contract. He then founded a new company that marketed Pictionary. That firm is now worth $125 million. He can relate to the …

FANS TAKE NOTE: STICH SAYS HE'LL BE HERE.(Sports)

Byline: Buzz Gray

Here's a helpful tip. If you bump into OTB Open tournament director Nitty Singh, DON'T ask her if Michael Stich is REALLY coming to Schenectady next month. She'll probably count to 10, hold her breath and then still give you the evil eye.

The poor woman has been asked the question so many times during the past two weeks, ever since Stich won Wimbledon, that she's hearing it in her sleep.

For the record, Stich has every intention of honoring his commitment to the $250,000 event on the ATP circuit. So what if it's the smallest stop on the men's tour and played on public courts with free admission? Stich is a man of his word.

Of course, it helps that Singh has been in constant contact with the young German.

"He's told us repeatedly he plans to …

From up close, volcano shows off might and beauty

The volcano threw magma chunks the size of cars into the air and rocked our helicopter with a vicious explosion that sent a visible shock-wave through the air, a reminder of its power.

The spectacular show came from a unique vantage point, hovering above the volcano that has dominated world headlines for more than a week. Having written for days from a distance about the volcano with the unpronounceable name, the time had finally come to meet the nemesis, and I had a place on a helicopter-for-hire.

And to my delight and fear, Eyjafjallajokull put on a tremendous show.

In a black crater in the middle of a glacier, red magma thrashed about, …

Diamondbacks to Part Ways With Gonzalez

PHOENIX - The Arizona Diamondbacks on Thursday told left fielder Luis Gonzalez they will not bring him back next season.

"Obviously, this is a very difficult day for the organization," general manager Josh Byrnes said during a news conference. "Gonzo's done about everything you can in this market as a player and as a person.

"Change isn't easy, but we feel very good about the cast that will continue to wear the uniform."

Byrnes, managing partner Jeff Moorad and assistant general manager Peter Woodfork informed Gonzalez and his representatives of the club's decision during a breakfast meeting. Moorad used to be Gonzalez's agent, and he negotiated the player's …

Game Show Network. (And Now The News).(carriage deals with parts of Charter, Comcast and AT&T Broadband cable systems)(Brief Article)

Game Show Network inked carriage deals with Charter, Comcast and AT&T Broadband that will drive the channel's distribution past 45 million …

Sign mystery is solved.

The mysterious disappearance of signs promoting a village fete has been solved after a council said it was responsible for taking them away because of road safety concerns.

The organisers of Hartest village fete on Mondaywere shocked when about 20 roadside signs advertising the event went missing last week.

It was feared that without the large signs not as many people would attend the fete, but now Suffolk County Council has put up …

суббота, 3 марта 2012 г.

VIDEO VOWS HIGH TECH IS THE WAY TO GO WHEN THE WEDDING PARTY IS SPREAD ALL OVER THE COUNTRY.(LIFE & LEISURE)

Byline: DICK LILLY Seattle Times

SEATTLE -- It's your wedding. For the big bash, friends and family members fly in from all over the country.

Well, not really . . . though maybe you wish they could.

So, instead, what you do is invite them all to spend Saturday afternoon in a conference room at the neighborhood 24-hour copy center where everyone -- in four different cities -- takes part in the wedding through the high-tech wonder of videoconferencing.

And that's what Terry Jones and Victoria Dunn did on a recent Saturday. The couple said their vows in New York after testimonials from best man Robert Fletcher and best woman Jane Mathewson in …

Cardinal Health. (Key Changes).(makes two executive changes)(Brief Article)

CARDINAL HEALTH has named Raymond E. Dagger v.p./synthesis. The …

Developing a multimedia resource on evaluating and appreciating in art for Scottish schools

Any development related to the curriculum must be set within the frames of reference that condition its design. For this reason, we took the guidelines for art and design, contained in the Scottish Guidelines for 5-14 Expressive Arts (SOEID, 1992), as the starting point for our study. A dominant theme of the last decade, in many countries, has been to create national curricula. Art education, in concert with other disciplines, has not escaped this drive. It has been required to define and distil practice within the broader framework mapped out in national models.

In Scotland there are National Guidelines, and in England the National Curriculum OXE, 1995). It is not the purpose of …

Investigators at University of Miami, Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center publish new data on cancer.(Clinical report)

Scientists discuss in 'Cancer-specific beliefs and survival in nonmetastatic colorectal cancer patients' new findings in cancer. According to a study from the United States, "Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third leading cause of cancer mortality in the United States. Associations between cancer-specific beliefs (beliefs) and survival have been observed among other cancer populations, but similar research in CRC patients is virtually nonexistent, especially in racially diverse populations."

"The relationship between beliefs and survival was investigated in a cohort of African Americans and non-Hispanic whites with newly diagnosed nonmetastatic CRC, followed for up to 15 years. …

LOVE STANDS GROUND.(SPORTS)

Byline: NANCY ARMOUR Associated Press

LEMONT, Ill. -- Without looking at the scoreboard, Davis Love III could feel the rest of the field closing in on him.

Scott Hoch. Phil Mickelson. Tiger Woods. Even with three birdies in a row to start the back nine, Love's lead in the Western Open was shrinking.

``I was just trying to birdie every hole,'' said Love, whose lead is down to one stroke despite shooting a 3-under-par 69 Saturday. He had a 14-under 202 total after three rounds.

``I was just trying to get as far ahead as I could. It's a tough course and one that you like to have a big lead on if you can get it. But Scott played real well …

World shares higher after Fed chief remarks

World stock markets were mostly higher Tuesday after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke indicated the U.S. economy was still on the mend and the European common currency stabilized after hitting a new four-year low against the dollar.

Oil was slightly up, to nearly $72 dollars a barrel. Wall Street was set to bounce back: Dow futures were up by 74 points, or 0.8 percent, to 9,868. The broader Standard & Poors 500 futures gained 9.8, or 0.9 percent, to 1,057.30.

Stocks were mixed in early trading in Europe, but analysts said investor sentiment had sufficiently recovered to kindle some bargain-hunting.

"Confidence has not yet returned, but …

CUBA REJECTS U.S. CONGRESS PLAN.

Cuba said it would not accept U.S. congressional plans to permit the sale of food and medicine to the country while the rest of the U.S. embargo on the island remains in place, reports BridgeNews (July 24, 2000). The Government said "half measures" would resolve nothing and demanded an end to the embargo:

Cuba praised the good intentions of some U.S. lawmakers and the U.S. people in general, but said, "the measure will resolve absolutely nothing, nor can it be accepted, nor do we have the resources to purchase food and medicine in these conditions." Cuba made it clear that it rejects the watershed U.S. House vote to sell food and medicine to the island and end the …

SCHENECTADY PIPE BAND NAMED GRADE II CHAMPS.(Living Today)

The Schenectady Pipe Band, one of the oldest bagpipe bands in the country, has been rated among the best in the eastern United States.

Based on the cumulative judging of more than 25 piping and drumming competitions in 1988, the 35-member Schenectady band has been declared champions of Grade II of the Eastern United States Pipe Band Association.

Of more than 100 member bands, only four compete in Grade I, the highest category.

Gordon Peters of Albany is pipe major, or chief musical officer, of the band. The drum section is led by Alison Maclean of Scotia.

In competitions, bands are judged strictly on overall musical performance, and piping …