четверг, 15 марта 2012 г.

Good sense triumphs in desegregation case

It wasn't easy, but sensible jurisprudence finally triumphed in aschool desegregation case. On March 31, the U.S. Supreme Courtrediscovered a cardinal principle that it had mislaid for 38 years:"Racial balance is not to be achieved for its own sake."

That profoundly obvious conclusion came in a major case fromDeKalb County in suburban Atlanta. Prior to 1969, the county schoolswere firmly segregated by race. Black children sued. A federaldistrict judge ordered the school system to get on withdesegregation.

Years passed. Massive demographic changes occurred. Between1975 and 1980, an estimated 64,000 blacks moved into the southernpart of the county. Thousands of …

Italian surgeons get prison for unneeded surgery

ROME (AP) — A Milan court has convicted three doctors of performing unnecessary surgeries in what the Italian media has dubbed a "clinic of horrors," with the hospital's chief surgeon sentenced to 15 1/2 years in prison.

The court delivered its verdict late Thursday, in what was one of Italy's most notorious cases of health care gone awry. Prosecutors produced evidence that unneeded operations, including amputations, were performed on 83 patients at the Santa Rita clinic in Milan with the aim of getting large reimbursements from the state health system.

The chief surgeon, Pier Paolo Brega Massone, was sentenced to 15 1/2 years in prison. He was accused of causing pain through …

Stocks fall on China lending concerns

The stock market slumped Wednesday on concerns that tighter lending standards in China will prolong an economic recovery. Disappointing earnings results from IBM Corp. and Morgan Stanley added to the market's angst.

At the same time, a spike in the dollar pushed commodity prices sharply lower, hurting stocks of energy companies and materials producers.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 200 points, its biggest of 2010 so far. Demand for safe havens like government debt jumped, pushing yields lower in the Treasury market.

Concerns grew that China's efforts to keep its economy under control could hurt a global recovery. A top banking regulator …

среда, 14 марта 2012 г.

Exploring `new folk' Williams adds more pop to sound

Dar Williams, John Gorka and Lucy Kaplansky 8 p.m. Tuesday RaviniaFestival Martin Theatre Tickets, $25; lawn, $8 (847) 266-5100

Although Dar Williams casually sprinkles her conversation withwords such as "zeitgeist," "ontological" and "drecky," we'lldispense with the footnotes.

She's smart, yes, but so charming that it's OK if you're a big ol'bumbling boob and she's an ecologically aware, natural-food fueled,quick-witted, state-of-the-art folk singer.

Actually, it's "new folk." And just what is "new folk," anyway?Did the old folks die?

"They've got to call it something," Williams said. "It's probablybetter than urban folk or contemporary folk. Well, …

Lawmakers discuss mortgage co. CRA

When lawmakers debated the Community Re-investment Act in the early `90s, residents of low-income communities were so effectively cut off from good lines of credit borrowers were forced to resort to disreputable lenders with usurious interest rates.

Bankers squawked mightily at the provisions of the CRA, which required that banks give detailed reports on their lending activities in low-income communities and communities of color. The CRA gave the Federal Reserve Bank the power to rate banks' compliance with the law

Banks with a smaller percentage of loans in low-income and minority communities receive low CRA ratings, which gives the Feds the leverage to block mergers and …

Finnan returns from international retirement

Liverpool defender Steve Finnan came out of international retirement Wednesday as part of Giovanni Trapattoni's squad for next week's friendly in Norway.

While the Liverpool player reversed his previous decision to be included in the 22-man squad, Bolton defender Andy O'Brien said he will not return.

"(Finnan) is an experienced player and he still has a lot to give to the team," Trapattoni said Wednesday. "I respect Andy O'Brien's decision and I thank him for letting us know.

"(Manchester City's) Stephen Ireland has told us he is not yet ready to make himself available but has indicated that he may do so in the future. As I …

Review: HMS pinafore theatre Royal, Bath

Everyone has their favourite Gilbert and Sullivan operetta butthey don't come any more tuneful than HMS Pinafore.

Better still, the story is ludicrously simple which allows one toconcentrate fully on the main business of the day which is showingpoliticians up for what they really are - mainly self seekers whowant the rest of us to do as they say, not as they do.

No change there then, even in more than 130 years.

You have to admire the musical pair for their contribution tosticking proverbial pins into puffed-up politicians though. Poorold Gilbert's knighthood …

Another tie for UFE gold

IT'S LIKE LIGHTNING STRIKING THE SAME place twice. For the second year in a row, and only the second time in history, two writers of the Uniform Final Examination have earned identical top scores. Blair Cook of Doane Raymond in Kentville, Nova Scotia, and Greg Meligrigoris of Caron Belanger, Ernst & Young in Montreal both scored 380 on the 1995 UFE, making them tied winners of the Governor General's Gold Medal.

While the coincidence of seeing another UFE tie so soon surprised many, 24-year-old Cook had a bigger surprise to contend with. "I was in disbelief that I was able to pull off what I did," he says. "It was not my objective to beat everyone in Canada--just to pass this …

Schering-Plough swings to 4Q profit

Drugmaker Schering-Plough Corp. posted a fourth-quarter profit that topped estimates as lingering buyout charges for Organon Biosciences NV decreased, but revenue suffered from a stronger U.S. dollar and lagging cholesterol drug sales.

The company continues to record quarterly charges for its November 2007 buyout of Organon, but they are substantially less compared to a year earlier. Meanwhile, the benefit from Organon product sales continues driving revenue.

Schering-Plough earned $480 million, or 27 cents per share, compared with a loss of $3.36 billion, or $2.08 per share, a year earlier because of hefty buyout charges. Schering says revenue rose 17 …

Missing girl's mom keeps vigil at lake

The mother of 10-year-old Denise Taylor sat in a car for hoursWednesday at Montrose Harbor, looking out over the gray water, hopingagainst hope her missing daughter was still alive.

Divers searched for the girl for less than two hours beforewaves and wind forced them to halt until the weather improved.

The mother, Elizabeth Selwyn, then reluctantly drove away fromthe lakefront, but returned again. She repeated this routine much ofthe day, even after divers had left.

"I just can't believe it," Selwyn said Wednesday night, afterreturning to her seven other children and a number of friends andrelatives gathered in the family's apartment at 839 W. Sheridan …

Jones Stars As Sun Down Silver Stars

UNCASVILLE, Conn. - Earlier this month, Connecticut became the first WNBA team to have all five starters named to the All-Star team. On Sunday, it was the Sun reserves that got most of the attention.

Connecticut's backups outscored their counterparts 42-13 with Asjha Jones leading the way. Jones, the first player off the bench, matched her career-high with 22 points and had eight rebounds to lead the Sun to a 72-65 win over the San Antonio Silver Stars.

"Our bench was really, really good," Sun coach Mike Thibault said. "I cant say enough about them being ready to play and doing the right things."

With his five starters struggling offensively, Thibault turned to …

That Was the Week That Was

Entertainment highlights during the week of July 13-19:

1933: Popeye the Sailor Man appeared in his first cartoon.

1953: Elvis Presley recorded "My Happiness" as a gift for his mother. It was his first recording.

1959: Jazz singer Billie Holiday died in a New York hospital while under arrest for narcotics possession. She was 44.

1965: "Papa's Got A Brand New Bag" by James Brown was released. It sold more than two million copies.

1966: Frank Sinatra and Mia Farrow got married. He was 51, she was 21.

1981: Singer Harry Chapin was killed when his car was struck by a tractor-trailer on New York's …

Doping hits Asian Games in Guangzhou

GUANGZHOU, China (AP) — And on the seventh day of competition, the Guangzhou Asian Games announced its first drug cheat.

Judo silver medalist Shokir Muminov was the first athlete caught for doping, with organizers announcing Friday that the 27-year-old from Uzbekistan had been disqualified from the games and stripped of his silver medal after failing a doping test.

Muminov lost the gold medal match in the 81-kilogram division to South Korea's Kim Jae-bum on Nov. 14.

Dr. Mani Jegathesan, chairman of the Olympic Council of Asia's medical committee, said Muminov's urine test taken after the competition showed traces of the banned stimulant Methylhexaneamine

The World Anti-Doping Agency recently loosened the classification of Methylhexaneamine for next year to the "specified stimulant" list, which covers drugs that are more susceptible to inadvertent use and can carry reduced penalties.

Sanctions for use of the drug can be reduced if athletes prove they did not intend to enhance performance. Penalties range from a warning to a two-year ban.

More than 10,000 athletes in 42 sports are competing in the games which end Nov. 27.

In the men's baseball final, South Korea beat Taiwan 9-3. South Korea moved ahead 2-1 in the second and then capitalized on some erratic pitching by Taiwan, scoring four runs in the third including two out-of-the-park shots by Lee Dae-ho and Kang Jung-ho.

Japan won the bronze by defeating China earlier in the day 6-2. Five of Japan's runs were scored in the first inning.

Nida Rashid scored an unbeaten 51 and took four wickets for 16 runs to lead Pakistan to the first-ever cricket gold medal awarded at the Asian Games with a 10-wicket victory over Bangladesh in the women's Twenty20 final

After being sent into bat, Bangladesh was bowled out for 92 in 20 overs. It was Pakistan's first gold at Guangzhou, after collecting silver in wushu and a bronze in snooker.

Earlier, Japan defeated China by seven wickets to clinch bronze. The men's competition starts on the weekend.

In men's football, North Korea is out of the tournament after losing 9-8 on penalties to United Arab Emirates after their quarterfinal ended in a scoreless draw. Japan advanced to the semifinals with a 1-0 win over Thailand. South Korea took on Uzbekistan and Iran played Oman in late matches.

In weightlifting, South Korea's Jang Mi-ran, dubbed the world's strongest woman, won gold in the super heavyweight class.

Jang lifted 130 kilograms in the snatch and 181 in the clean and jerk to finish with a total of 311. She was unsuccessful in her attempt to lift 188 in the clean and jerk, which would have broken her previous world record.

"I thought my form today was pretty good but ... now that the competition is over I'm sore all over," said Jang, an Olympic gold medalist and three-time world champion who's now looking ahead to the London Games in 2012. "This gives me more confidence and motivation for the read ahead."

Haeider Hamarasheid, who does his training in a river due to the lack of a rowing basin in Iraq, earlier gave his country its first medal of the games, taking a bronze in the men's single sculls. The race was won by Bajrang Lal Takhar, who gave India its second gold of the games.

Hamarasheid, one of five Iraqi rowers at the Asian Games, said when he told his friends two years ago that he would one day compete at the Olympics in rowing, they weren't sure whether to believe him.

"They were very surprised that there was such a sport in Iraq," Hamarasheid said. "The bronze medal has come at a good time, I will be in the newspaper and on the TV back home. People will start to know me and more importantly, start to know about rowing."

He said he trained twice a day in the river and had a good support team.

"I have to thank my teammates and coach. We are like a family. When I train late, they wait for me," he said. "When they train late, I wait for them."

Steven Wong won the BMX cycling gold for Hong Kong in a time of 30.37 seconds, about a second ahead of the minor medalists from Japan, Akifumi Sakamoto and Masahiro Sampei. Ma Liyun won the women's race.

вторник, 13 марта 2012 г.

Georgia Tech Fires Coach Chan Gailey

Georgia Tech fired coach Chan Gailey on Monday, two days after his sixth straight loss to rival Georgia ended a disappointing season.

Athletic director Dan Radakovich made the announcement after a morning meeting with Gailey. Defensive coordinator Jon Tenuta will take over as interim coach for an expected trip to the Emerald Bowl in San Francisco, and he could be a candidate for the job permanently.

The move was widely expected after Georgia Tech (7-5) came up far short of another run at the Atlantic Coast Conference championship one year after winning its division. Also, Gailey never beat the school's biggest rival, dropping to 0-6 with a 31-17 loss to the Bulldogs on Saturday.

Gailey's overall record was 44-32 in six seasons, and he never lost less than five games in a year. Radakovich said the latest loss to Georgia did not influence his decision; he already had decided to make a change.

Overall, Georgia Tech has lost seven in a row to Georgia, its longest drought in the series.

"We've been very consistent with wins and losses," said Radakovich, who's in his second year as AD and inherited Gailey from the previous regime. "I want to be able to ratchet that up, take the next step."

Radakovich said business considerations were as much as part of his decision as wins and losses. The 55-year-old Gailey had lost support among the fan base, which made fundraising more difficult, and he wasn't the sort of dynamic personality who could help the Yellow Jackets make a name in the crowded Atlanta sports scene.

"Obviously, he didn't agree with the decision, but he understood there's a business aspect to this," Radakovich said. "There's people who enjoy doing that part of the business of being a head coach, and some that don't. As far as Xs and Os, Chan is a very good coach. But there's more to it now. College football is more than just Xs and Os, especially in the competitive market where we are."

Navy coach Paul Johnson, who previously coached at Georgia Southern, could be a popular choice as the new coach. Tenuta also will be a candidate if he wants to pursue the job, Radakovich said.

"There's always people you have your eye on," Radakovich said. "There's no clear-cut number one, however."

Gailey and Tenuta were expected to address the media later in the day.

Throughout the season, Radakovich steadfastly declined to give Gailey a vote of confidence, merely saying he would evaluate the program after the season. It wasn't immediately clear who would coach Georgia Tech in its expected trip to the Emerald Bowl in San Francisco.

After Saturday's loss, Gailey, a former NFL head coach with the Dallas Cowboys, brushed off questions about his future.

"I'm not in charge of that," he said. "My job is to do the best job I can do."

Gailey's downfall actually began at the end of last season, when Georgia Tech dropped its final three games _ all by a field goal _ after winning the Coastal Division. That stretch included losses to Georgia in the regular-season finale, Wake Forest in the ACC championship game and West Virginia in the Gator Bowl.

Gailey has four years left on his contract at $1 million annually, and Georgia Tech intends to honor the contract. There was some speculation that the financially strapped athletic program would be reluctant to buy out the coach, but Radakovich clearly decided it would be more damaging to offend the big-money boosters by keeping Gailey.

The fans grew more and more impatient with Gailey, which was evident in the closing minutes of a 27-3 loss to Virginia Tech. When the coach was shown on the video board delivering a public service announcement, the crowd at Bobby Dodd Stadium booed loudly.

His players seemed to sense that the end was near. After Saturday's game, senior running back Tashard Choice passed up a chance to lobby for his coach when asked what he would do.

"I don't know," Choice said. "I have the utmost respect for coach Gailey because he gave me the chance to come to Georgia Tech. Having said that, it's up to everybody else."

Gailey was hired by the Yellow Jackets in January 2002 after George O'Leary left to take the coaching job at Notre Dame, then was hastily dismissed by the Fighting Irish because of inaccuracies in his resume.

Under O'Leary, the Yellow Jackets were a high-scoring team that beat Georgia three years in a row from 1998-2000, a streak that hastened the firing of Bulldogs coach Jim Donnan.

Mark Richt took over at Georgia in 2001 and quickly turned things around, handing O'Leary a loss in his final game at Georgia Tech. While the Bulldogs quickly rose to prominence, winning two Southeastern Conference titles and putting themselves in position for a major bowl this season, the Yellow Jackets languished in mediocrity.

Gailey had a pair of 7-6 seasons and went 7-5 three other times. The only break in that troubling trend was 2006, when the Yellow Jackets went 7-1 in the ACC and 9-5 overall.

After his success last season, Gailey was mentioned as a possible candidate for NFL coaching jobs in Pittsburgh and Miami, two teams for which he served as offensive coordinator. He stayed at Georgia Tech, but his flirtation with the pros further damaged his standing with Georgia Tech fans.

Sci-fi hopes this channel's a hit

LOS ANGELES "Crossing Over With John Edward" is a talk show with adifference: The studio audience is live, but the guests are goners.Outta here and into the hereafter.

In other words, dead.

Host Edward is on hand to act as go-between. He's a grownupversion of the boy in "The Sixth Sense," if the melancholy kideventually figured out how to make a career out of making eye contactwith the dearly departed.

The new Sci Fi cable channel series airs at 10 p.m. Sunday throughThursday (with repeats at 3 p.m. the following day).

There aren't any towering insights about the meaning of it all, atleast none that Edward is willing to share. Instead, he crisply leadsNew York audience members and celebrities including Linda Dano andCarmen Electra through heavenly exchanges with late relatives orfriends. (No fireside chats so far; as Edward puts it, he has yet tofield a complaint about the heat.)

The host tells one woman that a man, apparently her late husband,is reaching out to her. She is unnerved when Edward relates detailsof a trip she took to Niagara Falls with the couple's daughter.

"Did you find a feather there? And did you tell your daughter thatwas her daddy?" Edward asks the woman, who nods, weeping.

He can also be blunt.

"Is there a husband or brother for you that's passed?" he asksanother woman in the same episode. "Yes," she replies.

"This has got to be an ex-husband we're talking about, becausehe's removing himself from you," Edward says. "He wants to be knownas the ex; that's how he's coming across."

Edward compares his visions of the dead to daydreams in whichinformation is delivered by sight, sound and feeling. He hasn't beenbriefed, according to the show.

"If someone is into New Age or spiritual programming, they have ashow like ours," said supervising producer Paul Shavelson. "Imaginetrying to sell a show like this a decade ago."

"Anybody who comes to me wants to know that their loved ones areOK after their passing. They want to know they're with them, thatthey see what's going on in their life, that the bond of love isstill there," he said.

"News flash: That's all true," he continued. "However, that can'tbe just what your message is about, because there's no validation ofthat. Anybody can say that. I think that's what skeptics and cynicsattack. I tell people it's gotta be minute detail, not trivia. It'sgonna be specific and lock me into your family."

A Long Island, N.Y. native, Edward, an author (One Last Time) andfrequent radio guest, said he is unconcerned about those who mightdismiss him as a charlatan.

"I learned a long time ago that I can't convince, convert ordefend what I do. Because immediately, as soon as I have to do that,I'm putting myself in a position of saying I have to, and I don't. Ifthey don't have a belief system, it's not up to me to create one forthem."

That's OK. That's why we have television.

Associated Press

Stevens commits to Bath after reassurances

England and British Lions lock Matt Stevens has revealed heturned down competing offers and signed a four-year Bath Rugbycontract after he was given reassurances by senior club managementfigures that training facilities will be improved and that theproposed Rec development will go ahead.

Stevens, 26, committed himself to Bath Rugby until the summer of2012 on the eve of England's opening RBS 6 Nations defeat by Walesat Twickenham, signing his new contract at the England team hotellate last Friday afternoon.

That ended speculation about his short and long-term future andhe made it clear that talks with head coach Steve Meehan and clubdirector Simon Halliday had helped him decide to stay with Bath.

"The negotiations were fairly straightforward," he said.

"I made my concerns plain to Steve Meehan, Simon Halliday and therest of the Bath management.

"Bath is a team which can go on to some pretty meteoric heights,but it needs real ambition and some development issues need to besorted out.

"That's clear with regards to our training facilities and The Recdevelopment.

"I've been told it's going to happen, but the players, the media,the supporters ad everyone else will need to get behind the club andreally pressurise the whole community to make this happen.

"Bath Rugby means a great amount to the city and the South Westand it cannot move away from The Rec.

"I think Bath is not only one of the best places to play rugby,it also has the potential to be the best place to play rugby.

"It's clear I'm very fond of Bath. I want to take the club to newheights and signing a four-year contract is a statement of intent."

Angry Ireland finally confronts Vatican over abuse

DUBLIN (AP) — From the pews and pulpits, Ireland's Catholics are demanding that the Vatican finally come clean on its oversight role in child abuse cover-ups.

It's a revolution of sorts in Ireland, a nation founded on a pillar of devotion to Roman Catholicism, where many now question the church's role in a rapidly changing society. For decades Irish leaders let archbishops vet proposed laws, declared they were Catholics first and Irishmen second, and saw crossing the church as a surefire way to lose office.

No longer.

The Irish are broadly lauding this week's thunderbolt from Prime Minister Enda Kenny, who denounced the Vatican's role in the past 17 years of abuse scandals. He accused the Holy See of downplaying "the rape and torture of children" and hiding behind its status as a sovereign state with its own secrecy-obsessed canon laws.

Astonished cabbies pulled off the road to watch the unprecedented speech on their smartphones. Victims of clerical sexual abuse, who have spent two decades trying to be heard and believed, cheered a day they thought would never come.

"It's a landmark speech in emphasizing that Ireland's historic deference to the Vatican, and to the Catholic Church generally, is over," said Diarmaid Ferriter, professor of modern Irish history at University College Dublin.

Even Ireland's priests, dismayed by their church leadership, voiced support for Kenny's attack on the Vatican.

"The prime minister is a practicing Catholic and has a love for the Christian faith. He's given a powerful voice to what we've all been thinking," said the Rev. Tony Flannery, a leader of the Association of Catholic Priests in Ireland.

"The vast majority of ordinary priests feel incredibly frustrated and annoyed that the Vatican never admits any wrongdoing, is not open to dialogue, and permits this cloud to hang over all our heads. It's unfair," he said.

The rising church-state conflict in Ireland reflects a generation of dynamic economic and social change in this country of 4.5 million, more than 85 percent of whom identify themselves as Catholic on the census — but fewer than half of whom attend weekly Mass today.

The decline in Catholic observance has shadowed Ireland's first experience of prosperity during the Celtic Tiger boom of 1994-2007 and its related surge in immigration and cosmopolitan attitudes. Today's Ireland has legalized divorce and gay partnerships, with abortion looming as the next battleground.

Ireland's rapid descent since 2008 to the brink of bankruptcy has radically altered the political landscape to the Vatican's disadvantage. Kenny, leader of Ireland's law-and-order party Fine Gael, was swept to power earlier this year alongside the left-wing and anti-clerical Labour Party.

Suffering a historic defeat was Fianna Fail, a party that made Catholicism a core part of its identity. Its former leader, Bertie Ahern, famously addressed the parliament each Ash Wednesday with his forehead blackened — a sign he'd just come from Mass. Ahern's successor, Brian Cowen, defended the Vatican's refusal to cooperate with Irish child-abuse inquiries.

Yet even the most devoted have found their faith tested by those investigations into the church's concealment of child abuse by priests, nuns and other officials.

Judge-led investigations have produced four mammoth reports since 2005 documenting how bishops shuttled known pedophiles throughout Ireland and to unwitting parishes in the United States and Australia. They detailed how tens of thousands of children suffered wide-ranging abuses in workhouse-style residential schools, and how leaders of the largest diocese in Dublin didn't tell police of any crimes until forced by the weight of lawsuits in the mid-1990s.

The latest investigation, into the County Cork diocese of Cloyne, was published last week. It found that officials there were still shielding suspected pedophiles from the law until 2008.

That's 12 years after the Irish church unveiled a new policy requiring the mandatory reporting of all suspected crimes to police. And seven years after Pope Benedict XVI, then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and head of the Vatican's powerful Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, ordered bishops worldwide to report all abuse cases to him, too.

However, the Cloyne report highlighted a 1997 letter from the Vatican to Irish bishops warning them that their new crime-reporting policy undermined canon law and had not won the Holy See's approval. For the first time, an Irish fact-finding inquiry found the Vatican culpable in promoting the culture of cover-up.

On Thursday, the Vatican's spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said in response to Kenny's speech that the Holy See will respond "when opportune to the demands of the Irish government" following the Cloyne probe.

Lombardi expressed hope the debate on the scandals will play out "objectively" and restore a climate of trust in the church and Irish society.

But the wounds run deep.

Dublin Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, the church's leading voice calling for honesty, went on Ireland's state RTE television to declare, teary-eyed, that honest priests were being verbally assaulted by the public because of their leaders' continuing failure to admit the truth.

"I find myself asking today, can I be proud of the church that I'm a leader of? I have to be ashamed of this," said Martin, who has found himself at odds with other bishops and the Vatican over his open approach.

Martin noted that he had provided state investigators the Dublin Archdiocese's secret files on abuse complaints — despite a lawsuit from his predecessor, Cardinal Desmond Connell, seeking to keep them locked away — and urged other dioceses to do the same.

He described as "a cabal" those church leaders in the Vatican and Ireland who conspired to ignore both the pope's and the Irish government's calls for pedophiles to be identified.

When asked if he could count on fellow Irish bishops to protect children from abuse now, Martin said, "I hope so," but questioned whether investigators would get at the truth unless granted greater powers.

One of Ireland's foremost Catholic theologians, the Rev. Vincent Twomey, called on the Vatican to fire every single Irish bishop appointed before Martin's arrival in Dublin in 2003. That would leave only seven of Ireland's 28 bishops and archbishops in office.

The Vatican last year declined to accept the resignations of Martin's two auxiliary bishops in Dublin, even though Martin made it clear he wanted both gone.

"The church in Ireland needs to unite behind the call for honesty and openness so ably promoted by Archbishop Martin," said Twomey, who recently retired as professor of moral theology at Maynooth, the only one of Ireland's previous eight seminaries still open today.

"There won't be a church left in Ireland if the church doesn't take decisive action to reform itself. That means new leaders, new bishops," Twomey said.



Text of prime minister's speech, http://bit.ly/qhPzAw


Frances D'Emilio contributed from Rome.

Edgy NYC museum to show film of ants on crucifix

NEW YORK (AP) — A major exhibition that includes a film of ants crawling on a crucifix opens next week at the Brooklyn Museum, an institution known for presenting edgy and bold artworks that in the past included a painting of the Virgin Mary that incorporated elephant dung.

"A Fire in My Belly" is a film by the late David Wojnarowicz that was pulled from the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., when the exhibition was shown there last year. The ant scene angered some in Congress and the Catholic League called the work sacrilegious.

It is one of more than 100 pieces in "Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture," the first major museum exhibition to explore how gender and sexual identity have shaped American art.

Brooklyn Museum Director Arnold Lehman said Wednesday that the museum wanted to present the exhibition "clearly because it's such an important aspect of American art in the 20th century."

"We decided to reconstitute it as originally planned by the curators. We haven't changed the exhibition in any way other than having to replace a handful of works of art that were otherwise promised to other exhibitions or institutions," he added.

Wojnarowicz's work explores the subject of AIDS and was created before the artist was diagnosed with the disease, which claimed his life at age 37 in 1992.

The ant scene fills only 10 seconds of the short film, which was shot on Super8 film and later transferred to video.

"My hope is that this will be an extraordinarily important way in which to bring the entire city together to celebrate American art during this last century," Lehman said.

"This is New York City. This is a city that has thrived on the incredible contributions from the gay and lesbian community. This is a state that's just passed a very progressive legalization of gay marriage."

Catholic League President Bill Donohue said he wasn't surprised that the exhibition was coming to the Brooklyn Museum, which he called notoriously anti-Catholic, but he said his group would not hold protests like it had in Washington.

The League has criticized the museum in the past for a painting by Chris Ofili called "The Holy Virgin Mary," a work that also angered then-Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

Giuliani in 1999 tried to cut public funding from the Brooklyn Museum of Art after it featured the work, which depicts Mary with African features and includes a shellacked clump of elephant dung and magazine cutouts of female genitalia.

After the controversy at the Portrait Gallery, the Smithsonian Institution's governing board called for changes in how potentially objectionable exhibits are handled. The board said it must be prepared to handle museum disputes and guard freedom of curators in the face of political pressure from Congress or other groups.

Lehman said the only protests his museum received were when it first announced plans for the exhibition this year. A Catholic lay group in Pennsylvania, The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property, sent several thousand "pre-programmed" emails to the museum, he said.

"Hide/Seek" opens Nov. 18 at the Brooklyn Museum and runs through Feb. 12. Other contributing artists are Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, Thomas Eakins and Annie Leibovitz. It will then travel to the Tacoma Art Museum in Washington state.




US lawmaker: too much dispersant used in oil spill

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — As BP inched closer to permanently sealing the blown-out well in the Gulf of Mexico, congressional investigators railed the company and U.S. Coast Guard for part of the cleanup effort, saying too much toxic chemical dispersant was used.

The investigators said the Coast Guard routinely approved BP requests to use thousands of gallons of chemical a day to break up the oil in the Gulf, despite a federal directive to use the dispersant rarely. The Coast Guard approved 74 waivers over a 48-day period after the Environmental Protection Agency order, according to documents reviewed by the investigators. Only in a small number of cases did the government scale back BP's request.

Rep. Edward Markey, a Democrat from Massachusetts, released a letter Saturday that said instead of complying with the EPA restriction, "BP often carpet bombed the ocean with these chemicals and the Coast Guard allowed them to do it."

BP did not immediately return a phone call, and a spokesman for the Unified Command Center in New Orleans did not have an immediate comment.

While the chemical dispersant was effective at breaking up the oil into small droplets to more easily be consumed by bacteria, the long-term effects to aquatic life are unknown. That environmental uncertainty has led to several spats between BP and the government over the use of dispersants on the water's surface and deep underwater when oil was spewing out of the well.

A temporary cap has held the gusher in check for more than two weeks, and engineers were planning to start as early as Monday on an effort to help plug the well for good. The procedure, dubbed the static kill, involves pumping mud and possibly cement into the blown-out well through the temporary cap. If it works, it will take less time to complete a similar procedure using a relief well that is nearly complete. That effort, known as a bottom kill, should be the last step to sealing the well.

Before the static kill can take place, however, debris needs to be cleared from one of the relief wells. The debris fell in the bottom of the relief well when crews had to evacuate the site last week because of Tropical Storm Bonnie.

Companies working to plug the disaster for good are also engaged in a billion-dollar blame game. But the workers for BP, Halliburton and Transocean say the companies' adversarial relationship before Congress isn't a distraction at the site of the April 20 rig explosion, where Transocean equipment rented by BP is drilling relief wells that Halliburton will pump cement through to permanently choke the oil well.

"Simply, we are all too professional to allow disagreements between BP and any other organization to affect our behaviors," Ryan Urik, a BP well safety adviser working on the Development Driller II, which is drilling a backup relief well, said in an e-mail last week.

The roles of the three companies in the kill efforts are much the same as they were on the Deepwater Horizon, the exploratory rig that blew up, killing 11 workers. The U.S. Justice Department has opened civil and criminal investigations into the incident, hundreds of lawsuits have been filed and congressional investigators are probing the incident and aftermath.

Kenneth Green, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research think tank, said the investigations may have stifled communications between the government and companies — and between the companies themselves.

"The problem is you've chilled communications with the very people you need to solve the problem," he said. "Once the Justice Department got involved, the lawyers were basically immediately in charge of the show."

BP is trying to move forward from the disaster that sent anywhere from 94 million gallons (356 million liters) to 184 million gallons (697 million liters) of oil spewing into the Gulf, announcing once the cap was finally in place that its vilified chief executive, Tony Hayward, will be leaving in October.

The are other signs of change in the Gulf. State waters closed by the spill have slowly reopened to fishing, most recently in Florida, where regulators on Saturday reopened a 23-mile area off of Escambia County to harvest saltwater fish. The area was closed June 14 and remains closed to the shrimp and crab harvesting pending additional testing. Oysters, clams and mussels were never included in the closure.

In Alabama, the Department of Public Health lifted all swimming advisories for the Gulf of Mexico.

And Interior Secretary Ken Salazar toured three offshore oil rigs last week, his most extensive trip since the unprecedented shutdown of offshore drilling.

Salazar told The Associated Press, which accompanied him, that he's gathering information to decide whether to revise or even lift the ban, which is scheduled to last until Nov. 30.

Business groups and Gulf Coast political leaders say the shutdown is crippling the oil and gas industry and costing thousands of jobs, even aboard rigs not operated by BP PLC. The freeze "is like punishing the whole class" when a student does something wrong, oil executive John Breed told Salazar during a tour of the Noble Danny Adkins, one of the rigs Salazar visited Wednesday.

Salazar told the AP he believes the industry-wide moratorium imposed after BP's Gulf oil spill was the correct call.

"I think we're in the right direction," he said, adding that the ultimate goal is to allow deepwater operations to resume safely. "We're not there yet," he said.


Associated Press writers Matt Daly on the Gulf of Mexico; Harry R. Weber in Port Sulphur, Louisiana; Greg Bluestein in New Orleans and Ray Henry in Atlanta contributed to this report.

Iraqi-American voter turnout falls short of expectations: Only 12 percent cast ballots, far short of rate in homeland

LOS ANGELES -- Voter turnout among Iraqi expatriates in the UnitedStates during this week's historic parliamentary elections wasestimated Friday at 12 percent -- lower than some had expected, andwell short of the 70 percent participation in their homeland.

More than 28,000 ballots were cast in the United States over threedays, organizers said. That was 4,000 more votes than were castduring elections for a constitutional assembly last January. Votingin the United States had been streamlined this time around.

In Iraq, despite fears of violence, participation was unexpectedlyheavy in some areas, and some polling places ran out of ballots.

While exuberance ran high among the Iraqi Americans who voted,some organizers had hoped for bigger numbers.

'My expectations were too high'

"I thought we were going to double the number" from January, saidTalal Ibrahim, deputy coordinator for the U.S. Iraqi vote. "I'm happyeverything went smooth, but maybe my expectations were too high."

The preliminary count of the Tuesday-through-Thursday vote was28,486 ballots cast out of an estimated 240,000 eligible Iraqivoters, Ibrahim said.

A community center in Skokie was one of eight U.S. polling placesand the only one in the Chicago area. Expatriate Iraqis streamedthere from throughout the Midwest this week. Election officialscounted ballots throughout the night after the polls closed Thursday,but did not release specific numbers from the Skokie location Friday.

More than 6,000 people cast ballots at two Chicago area pollingplaces during January's first-round of elections.

Mazur has her eye on the ball

You never know who your replacement is going to be, but I may havealready found mine. Glenbrook North senior Mandy Mazur is atwo-sport athlete (soccer and volleyball) at the Northbrook schooland is managing editor of the school's paper, the Torch. She is alsoranked first in her class of 523, scored a 33 on the ACT, has nevergotten less than an A in a grading period and is headed to Princetonin the fall. All that has earned her a place on the Illinois HighSchool Association's academic all-state team.

It's a heady resume for someone who hasn't graduated high schoolyet. And for someone who isn't sure that journalism is a career forher, Mazur has already gotten that empowering feeling that most of usget when we write or report on an issue that gets us riled up.

Mazur, who is a three-year starter on the soccer team at midfield,wrote an opinion piece recently for the Torch about women'sathletics. But her point of view was that many people don't findwomen's sports that interesting or exciting, and that it really doeshave an effect on the athletes: the more fans show up, the morepositive an attitude the girls have.

She drew from personal experience and mentioned a volleyballsectional final she competed in this season against New Trier (theTrevians eventually went Downstate and lost in the quarterfinals).Unlike other volleyball matches Mazur played in over the season, thisone drew more fans because it was a sectional final, maybe 10 timesmore fans than at other matches. Mazur said it was an invaluableexperience to have those fans rally behind the Spartans so late inthe season, as they were only two wins away from heading Downstate.

I feel that girls are treated unfairly in sports and they don'tget as many fans," Mazur said. That [story] was very meaningful tome. I really enjoy writing and expressing my opinions."

So it's easy to see why Mazur was first nominated and thenselected for the academic team.

When I was told about being able to nominate someone, Mandy cameto mind right away," Glenbrook North soccer coach Al Knepler said.You're going up against a lot of good people, but I didn't take itfor granted. Anybody who got nominated had to be one of the topstudents in their school.

I think coaches don't nominate people sometimes because [theathlete] won't even get noticed," Knepler said. And I've always beenone to promote my players, especially if they're worthy of beingpromoted. Mandy is the top of her class."

Mazur said she was shocked to learn that she made the team lastmonth, even with her sterling academic record and involvement inNational Honor Society, Spanish National Honor Society and theschool's peer group.

I didn't really know much about it beforehand," Mazur said. To behonest, I didn't really know this existed until this year."

She obviously knows now. Mazur has a tough schedule of athletics,extracurricular activities and hobbies like reading and spending timewith her family. For someone who makes participating in athletics andgetting good grades seem easy, Mazur is quick to refute that --especially since she has played club soccer during the Spartans'volleyball season.

Ever since freshman year I've always tried my best in school, andit's almost like I didn't realize how much I was doing," Mazur said.Over the winter I wasn't as pressured and realized, How did I doeverything?'"

But she didn't pursue everything. Her junior year, Mazur wanted tobe the Torch's editor-in-chief. But after talking to the paper'sadviser, she realized she'd be sacrificing the quality of herathletics if she went for the job. She decided to take a pass and letsomeone else have the post.

Mazur has a good sense of news judgment, and if she makesjournalism a career she's already on the right track. The Torchcaters not only to students and faculty at Glenbrook North but alsoto parents, so Mazur and her staff have to be careful of what storiesare published. Any controversial topic is taboo -- and, yes, so isthe Powder Puff football incident from last year.

I don't like talking about it," Mazur said. I hate that everyonegets sucked into talking about the whole image of that."

In terms of athletics, this might be the end of the line forMazur. She isn't sure if or how she'll continue sports at Princeton,but she might do intramurals or clubs.

But she won't stop her competitive nature in the classroom.

So I'd better watch out.

понедельник, 12 марта 2012 г.

Sears gives Hoffman Estates a look at firm's new `home'

The new Sears headquarters in Hoffman Estates will look a bitlike a combination of Sears Tower, a suburban mall and "MayberryRFD."

That's the description Sears officials and developers offered toHoffman Estates plan commission and zoning board members andresidents Saturday when they unveiled long-awaited plans for the newheadquarters during the first public hearing on the mammoth project.

Using more than 20 charts and drawings, developers walked overthe site of the proposed Sears Merchandise Group headquarterssouthwest of Higgins and Beverly roads. Last year, Sears announcedit was moving its 5,000 employees out of the Loop skyscraper to thenorthwest suburb.

"We realize that Sears' responsibility extends beyond a workenvironment to the local environment," Sears Merchandise GroupChairman Michael Bozic said. "We look forward to calling this areahome."

Sears proposes first to develop about 200 of 788 acres it ownsor is buying, bounded by the Northwest Tollway, Beverly Road, HigginsRoad and Illinois 59. The other 500 acres would be developed later,possibly for light industry, hotels and shops.

Developers anticipate that some 45,000 people would work in theentire area, slightly more than the population of Hoffman Estates.

Construction of the headquarters would create 750 jobs. DanHanesworth of Homart Development Co., which will oversee developmentof the site, said the employee payroll will amount to $2 billionannually.

But Sears officials cautioned that won't happen for at least 20years. For now, proposals call for five office buildings, nonetaller than six stories. The entire complex would have 1.4 millionfeet of office space, 5,000 trees, 71,000 ground-cover plants and16,000 shrubs.

The buildings, of mortar and reflective glass, would beconnected by a mall-like main corridor, featuring shops, a healthclub and an atrium.

South of the headquarters would be a municipal center for policeand firefighting facilities.

The municipal center, developers hope, will be the hub forbarbershops, newsstands and other small shops, giving a bucolic"Mayberry feel," a designer told about 60 Hoffman Estates residentsand officials at the hearing.

Two parking garages would provide 4,000 spaces.

To ease traffic congestion, Sears officials said, workers willhave staggered work schedules. Also, several roads would be widened:Illinois 59 to six lanes, Higgins Road to four lanes and Beverly Roadto three and eventually five lanes. Moreover, full interchanges withthe Northwest Tollway would be added at Illinois 59 and Beverly Road.

The state will pay for half of the road work, a lure it used tokeep the nation's largest retailer from leaving Illinois. Inaddition, a wildlife corridor would be established to protectwetlands and animals.

A resident, Bob Firth, said he was impressed by the plans. "Mymain concern was for the environmental impact, and from what I'veseen and heard, it looks good. It appears they've done theirhomework," he said.

Yankees trapped in a pressure cooker It's only a matter of time before the dignified denizens of the Bronx refer to A-Rod as, well, you figure it out.

An opportunity, we'll call it. The White Sox have missed manychances to make meaningful statements through the years, but thisweek, they've been lobbed an eephus pitch in the wheelhouse. As theyenjoy their best start in 12 years, the Sox welcome a $183 millionpinstriped blob that ranks next-to-last in the American League inhitting, thanks largely to a $134,116-a-game megastar who is battinga buck-sixty and has as many home runs as Juan Uribe.

I've got to look in the mirror. It's me," Alex Rodriguez said.

The way he's going, it will crack.

If Jerry Reinsdorf ever wished to sneak in a sucker punch onGeorge Steinbrenner, who has won six World Series to the Chairman'sthree division titles, here is the time. Because the New York Yankeesare starting the season as the worst team money can buy, a MurmurersRow if we've ever seen one. Not only are they batting .217, they haveissues in the starting rotation and are having a hard time picking upand throwing the ball. They're human. What can I say?" manager JoeTorre said.

Ah, but the way the Yankees are compensated by Steinbrenner andhyped by the media, they're not supposed to be human. While I'vealways respected the way Boss George reinvests his ample profits intothe product, he's the first to know that something is grotesque abouta financially bloated team when it plays poorly. In fact, we'reawaiting the First Official Steinbrenner Blowup of the regularseason, which could be imminent if the Sox pounce tonight on kidpitcher Alex Graman and inflict further pain on a club that just lostthree of four games to its archrivals in Boston, even though the RedSox didn't use Pedro Martinez, were without the injured NomarGarciaparra and Trot Nixon and overcame a baserunner, Gabe Kapler,who twice lost track of the number of outs Monday.

It's only a matter of time before the dignified denizens of theBronx target A-Rod as the problem and start referring to him as,well, you figure it out. Having played in the comparatively sedatebaseball areas of Dallas-Fort Worth and Seattle, Rodriguez isadmittedly pressing in the intense glare of the marquee team in thebig city. It's a problem that won't garner him the least bit ofcompassion, not at his wage and not after he demanded to leave Texasbecause he ached to play for the Yankees. Only a fool would suggesthe won't eventually return to life as the sport's premier player, butit's perfectly fine to wonder if he's cracking a bit under thepressure. After all, with one homer and three RBI in 13 games, A-Rodis asking the same question.

I am pressing. And I have to find a way to stop pressing," he toldreporters over the weekend at Fenway Park, where he went hitless inhis first 16 at-bats of the series before singling in the ninthinning Monday. I am trying to do too much."

At one point, the normally composed Rodriguez whipped down hishelmet as Red Sox Nation taunted him mercilessly. I wanted to breakthat helmet as much as I've ever wanted to break anything in mylife," Rodriguez said. Sometimes you need to let the frustration out.When you're stinking up the place like I've been lately, it felt goodto let out emotion."

Now more than ever, Torre's calm hand is necessary in the Yankees'clubhouse. A new cast of sensitive characters (Rodriguez, GarySheffield, Kevin Brown and Kenny Lofton among them) has brought a newround of challenges, such as how to keep the inevitable rivalrybetween A-Rod and Derek Jeter from blowing up in the media. So far,as Rodriguez has struggled, Torre has simply played the human card intrying to downplay his start. Alex is called the best player in thegame, and he's on the covers of magazines and the papers," he toldthe New York Times. He's still a human being. When things don't gowell, he's going to show frustration.

It's like he's trying to squeeze the sawdust out of the bat. To behonest, even in spring training, he wasn't the hitter he's going tobe. This is still an adjustment period for him. Unfortunately, now itcounts."

A-Rod's troubles wouldn't be so magnified if the Yankees werewinning. But they have trouble in the rotation, where Mike Mussinaand Jose Contreras can't find the plate -- their wildness comes up ata collective $110 million price -- and the No. 5 spot is a roulettewheel. My, how they miss Roger Clemens (3-0, 0.85 ERA), who couldn'twait to retire from the Yankees but seems happier than an armadilloto be in Houston. Even with an insane payroll, the Yankees have holesand are hoping ex-Cub Jon Lieber is healthy enough to eventuallyhelp, which sounds like wishful thinking. This team will hit in time.But at the moment, Sheffield is hitting .255 with one homer, Jeter ishitting .241, Hideki Matsui is at .267 with one homer, Jason Giambiis at .229 and Bernie Williams is at .211.

The Sox have no such woes. Led by Magglio Ordonez, Carlos Lee andPaul Konerko, they are pounding the ball. What they need are moreconsistent outings from their pitchers. For every surprisingly goodouting by Scott Schoeneweis, they get a stinker from Jon Garland.Mark Buehrle and Esteban Loaiza are hot and cold, and Dan Wright is aflop at No. 5. They will need a closer in this series, and if BillyKoch is deemed too much a pyrotechnic, they shouldn't hesitate to tapDamaso Marte. The chemistry is fun and intoxicating under OzzieGuillen, the Blizzard of Oz, as long as Frank Thomas doesn't infectit with his latest contract gripes.

The biggest litmus test, of course, will be in the attendancefigures. If you wonder, like me, why a team would spend $28 millionto improve a hopelessly bad upper deck, a series such as this hadbetter provide a positive answer. If the Sox draw 30,000 or more foreach of the games -- and I'm not talking giveaways -- the Reinsdeckwill be put to good use. If the totals are closer to 20,000, theBallmall Formerly Known as Comiskey is nothing more than a lower-bowl experience.

Why put expensive makeup on Phyllis Diller when she's always goingto be homely? Because the South Side, dwarfed by Wrigleyville, stillhas nights like these next three. The Evil Empire is in town, and fora change, the Yankees aren't good enough to be described with a Damn.

Jay Mariotti hosts a sports talk show from 9 to 11 a.m. weekdayson WMVP-AM (1000) and appears on "Around the Horn" at 4 p.m. on ESPN.Send e-mail to inbox@suntimes.com with name, hometown and daytimephone number (letters run Sunday).

Rock, Hackman star in comic spy thriller

The nimble mouthed Chris Rock rachets up "Bad Company" (Touchstone Pictures) from an off-the-asembly-line spy pic to an often hilarious, sometimes anxiety-making wild escapade racing along at breakneck speed.

As well, the droll Rock plays identical twins: a sober sided James Bond and a wise cracking street hustler. The mirror imaged characters is a twist on an antiquated plot device that appears fresh here in the hands of a creative humorist. Rock's idol, comedian Eddie Murphy, put a slightly different spin on the prince and pauper exchange in "Trading Places" to great success as well.

The C.I.A., whose nickname is "the company," willingly puts up many millions of dollars to purchase a portable A Bomb from a Muscovite criminal who has managed to obtain the detonator in the chaos that occurred during the breakup of the Soviet empire. The lead bargainor for the U.S. posing as an antique dealer is the ultra sophisticated Kevin Pope, played by Rock. A renegade band of East Europeans who lost out on the bidding try to snag the detonator with machine guns blasting. Pope dies in the crossfire, although neither the East Europeans nor the Russians are aware of his demise. The C.I.A., who are fearful the bomb will be used as a terrorist strike on the U.S., need a replacement for Pope and fast.

In a grimy park in New York, Jake Hayes, also played by Rock, runs his chess game for all comers who have a few dollars to plunk down to try to beat him, as he simultaneously takes orders for tickets to sports events he fills as a scalper. Obviously brilliant, the laid back Hayes is content to waste his talents rather than attain the true potential his foster mother always contended that he has.

The clock of comeuppance strikes when the love of his life Julie, played by Kerry Washington, tells him that she is giving up on the hope that he'll ever be husband material and is moving to the West Coast to start anew. In the one of the movie's many funny scenes, the devastated Hayes, who is subbing as a deejay in a dance club, switches the rollicking music to a moony ballad that suits his blues to the disgust of the couples on the floor grooving to Ali and The Trackboyz's "Breathe In, Breathe Out" and to the rage of the club manager.

Despondent, Hayes fails to notice he's being observed carefully. The C.I.A. operatives hijack him into a limo driving Hayes to an isolated spot where the head of the unit Oakes, played by Anthony Hopkins, offers Hayes the opportunity to replace Pope in the effort to buy the detonator. Hayes is blinded enough by the salary he bargains for, enough money to beguile Julie into staying with him, that he enters into the deal not realizing the extent of the danger he has put himself in. The adventure proves to be a coming of age experience for Hayes who all along had the stuff but not the self motivation to stand as tall as he could.

There is an intimacy to the direction of the film that likely comes from Director Joel Schumacher's past of working with black actors. Schumacher has a bevy of engrossing action films to his credit, but also a host of more emotionally involving films and comedies, including his second film as a director, Topper Carew's "D.C. Cab." Schumacher also has a writing credit for "Sparkle." The cinematography from Dariusza Wolski glides evocatively across the terrains of the two great cities, New York and Prague.

Although Rock gets no writing credit, his fine hand developed through his stand-up comedy work is evident in the character of Hayes. The urban black man may have been adrift in life but is a decent, warm, and caring person yet one not to be patronized even as he maneuvers on the streets and then on foreign soil. Rock utilizes his comic's repertoire honed through the years but he also reaches into himself for a humanistic dimension to round out Hayes.

The often cast Anthony Hopkins of "Silence of the Lambs" fame is in almost as many movies as Samuel Jackson and for the excellent reason that he carries of his roles with aplomb. At times he gets a kind of devilish look in his eye in "Bad Company" that suggests he enjoys acting opposite Rock.

Kerry Washington, who was the engaging lead actress in Khari Streeter and DeMane Davis's independent film "Lift" shot in Roxbury and Newbury Street, steps gracefully into her debut as a leading actress in "Bad Company." Haitian born actress Garcelle Beauvais-Nilon (who has family in Massachusetts), is gorgeous and feisty as the girlfriend who mistakes Hayes for Pope and threatens to blow his cover.

Beloved seasoned actress Irma P. Hall is endearing as the foster mom to whom Hayes turns again in his moment of need as an adult.

She reassures the young man with the encouraging words that ring with the truthful message delivered by Nina Simone when she sang of the strength of being "young, gifted, and black."

Photograph (Gene Hackman and Chris Rock)

Swiss to launch national kidnapping alarm in 2010

Switzerland will begin nationwide kidnapping alerts next year by spreading messages over television, radio, highway signs and cell phones if a child is abducted.

The program comes in response to the 2007 kidnapping of Ylenia Lenhard, who was found buried in woods nearly six weeks after she was abducted and poisoned in eastern Switzerland.

The new alarm will begin with warnings spread through TV, radio and highway signs, and announcements at airports and train stations, if there is concrete suspicion or knowledge that a kidnapped child is in danger, authorities said Thursday.

The Swiss News Agency SDA and the Swiss domestic service of The Associated Press will participate, the statement said.

In a later phase, warnings will be disseminated through the Internet and text messages, with links providing photographs of the victim and the suspected abductor. The program may also be extended to help adults who are kidnapped.

Authorities said the plan is based on a French alert, and focuses on the first hours after an abduction. This period is critical for a rescue operation, and the new alarm can help police organize a quicker response, they said.

The statement said the alarm would only go out if there is enough information on the child's situation. It would not be used in most cases of one parent abducting a child as part of a marital or relationship dispute, which usually does not entail a vital threat to a child, it said.

The kidnapping of Ylenia two years ago sparked a Swiss national drama, mirroring the intense media speculation and public concern generated by the case of Madeleine McCann, the British girl who disappeared shortly before her fourth birthday from a vacation resort in Portugal.

Blue-sky thinking

Forty-five miles per gallon is nothing special by the standardsof modern eco-cars but if you could achieve it in a good-sizedfolding hard-top convertible that felt solidly built and reasonablynippy to drive, would you be interested? Volkswagen hopes you willbecause it's put together just such a combination in the guise ofits Eos BlueMotion Technology.

If the environmentally-friendly car is the hair shirt of theautomotive world, the convertible is a pair of high fashion designersunglasses.

Any style expert worthy of their daytime TV series would adviseagainst combining the two but Volkswagen paid no heed and juststeamed off down the catwalk with the Eos BlueMotion Technology.

The combination brings VW's mid-sized folding hard-topconvertible, a car that shares components with both the Golf and thePassat, together with the marque's popular BlueMotion eco-brand.

BlueMotion-badged vehicles are commonplace throughout theVolkswagen range and usually feature an economical engine along witha series of modifications designed to enhance its efficiency. TheEos version is no exception.

The Eos differs from other BlueMotion Volkswagens in two ways.Firstly, it's a convertible and secondly it's powered by a petrolengine. Diesel is usually the preferred choice for anyone wanting toachieve the lowest possible fuel consumption and emissions butdespite a 2.0-litre TDI diesel engine being available in the widerEos range, the BlueMotion Technology runs on petrol. Not just anypetrol engine though.

Power is supplied by a 1.4-litre TSI turbocharged unit with120bhp and, thanks partly to the turbo assistance, 200Nm of torque.The engine is widely used in VW Group products and manages toextract decent performance and economy from its comparatively smallcapacity. In the Eos BlueMotion Technology, it can cover the 0-60mph sprint in 10.9s and hit a 121mph top speed.

There's a distinction to make with Volkswagen's BlueMotion range.The manufacturer offers both heavily modified BlueMotion models andless extreme eco-cars that it dubs BlueMotion Technology.

This Eos falls into the latter category and can be ordered in achoice of S and SE trim levels at prices less than Pounds 400 morethan standard 1.4-litre models. With the S, there's ESP stabilitycontrol, air-conditioning, front fog lights, 16-inch alloy wheelsand a sunroof cleverly integrated into the folding hardtop roof.

The SE adds 17-inch alloys, sports seats, parking sensors,automatic headlights and automatic wipers for a premium of Pounds1,100.

In the Eos BlueMotion Technology, the 1.4 TSI petrol engine ismated to a six-speed gearbox and features both regenerative brakingtechnology which recaptures kinetic energy to charge the battery anda start/stop system that turns off the engine when the vehicle isstationary.

There's also a gear change recommendation that flashes up ion thedash telling you the most efficient gear to be in.

The result of all this is combined cycle economy of 45.6mpg andemissions of 144g/km. It's still not enough to better the non-BlueMotion diesel Eos (which gives you another 6mpg on the combinedcycle) but that engine can be a little raucous for a convertible andit's more expensive.

Alaska poised to release Palin emails

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The state of Alaska on Friday will release thousands of Sarah Palin's emails from her first two years as governor, a disclosure that has taken on national prominence as she flirts with a run for the presidency.

The emails were first requested during the 2008 White House race by citizens and news organizations, including The Associated Press, as they vetted a vice presidential nominee whose political experience included less than one term as governor of Alaska and a term as mayor of the small town of Wasilla. The nearly three-year delay has been attributed largely to the sheer volume of the release and the flood of requests.

Alaska is releasing the more than 24,000 pages of emails in paper form only and asking news organizations to pick up several boxes worth of documents in Alaska's capital city, accessible by only air or water. Reporters from several news organizations have already begun arriving in Juneau and are making various plans to disseminate the emails to the public.

Palin told Fox News Sunday that "every rock" that could have been kicked over to uncover things in her family has been. But she also said "a lot of those emails obviously weren't meant for public consumption" and that she expected people might seek to take some of the messages "out of context."

But there may not be any surprises to Palin in the emails. Once the state reviewed the records, it gave Palin's attorneys an opportunity to see if they had any privacy concerns with what was being released. No emails were withheld or redacted as a result of that, said Linda Perez, the administrative director for Gov. Sean Parnell who has been coordinating the release.

The voluminous nature of the release, the isolation of Juneau and the limited bandwidth in the city of 30,000 people has forced media outlets to come up with creative ways to transmit the information. The Washington Post is looking for "100 organized and diligent readers" to work with reporters to "analyze, contextualize, and research the e-mails." The New York Times is employing a similar system.

Mother Jones, ProPublica and msnbc.com are working with Crivella West Inc., to create a searchable database of the emails. The Associated Press also plans to scan the paper copies to make searchable files available to its members and clients. The state said it was not practical to provide electronic versions of the emails.

It's not clear yet whether the 24,199 pages being released will contain any major revelations, but they will provide a fresh look at the inner-workings of her office from the time she took office in December 2006 to her ascension to vice presidential nominee in September 2008. Requests have been made for emails from her final 10 months in office. The state hasn't begun the process of reviewing those yet. Palin resigned partway through her term, in July 2009.

Prior records requests have shed light on the Palin administration's efforts to advance a natural gas pipeline project and the role played by Palin's husband in state business.

The email release adds another dimension to the vetting of Palin that began in 2008 and comes as she has become a prominent national political figure, attracting large crowds during a recent bus tour across the Northeast. Palin's attorney referred questions about the emails to the treasurer of her political action committee, who did not immediately respond Thursday.

The emails were sent and received by Palin's personal and state email accounts, and the ones being released were deemed to be related to state business.

She and top aides were known to communicate using private email accounts. Perez said Palin gave the state a CD with emails from her Yahoo account, and other employees were asked to review their private accounts for emails related to state business and to send those to their state accounts.

Another 2,275 pages are being withheld for reasons including attorney-client, work product or executive privilege; an additional 140 pages were deemed to be "non-records," or unrelated to state business.

Some emails may have been previously reviewed in other, earlier public records requests, such as in the Troopergate investigation, in which Palin was accused of putting pressure on public safety officials to fire her brother-in-law, an Alaska State Trooper who was going through a bitter divorce from Palin's sister.

Clive Thomas, a long-time Palin observer who's writing a book on Alaska politics, said he's not sure what the emails will contain — or whether their contents will affect people's perceptions of Palin.

"I guess most people, I think, who don't like Sarah Palin are hoping there's something in there that will deliver the final sort of blow to her (politically)," he said. As for Palin's supporters, he said he doesn't think their opinion of her will be changed regardless of what comes out.

среда, 7 марта 2012 г.

Air Force Coatings Center civilian work

Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), San Antonio, TX, and the Air Force have signed a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) that makes the specialized facilities and expertise of the Air Force Coatings Technology Integration Office (CTIO) available to commercial users.

The CTIO, located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH, is part of the Air Force Research Laboratories Materials …

Iran claims to have S-300 surface-to-air missiles

A semiofficial Iranian news agency says Iran has obtained four S-300 surface-to-air missiles despite Russia's refusal to deliver them.

The Fars news agency said Wednesday that Iran has obtained two missiles from Belarus and two others from another unspecified source.

Russia …

понедельник, 5 марта 2012 г.

Pouring on the power.(Volkswagen's W engines)(Brief Article)(Statistical Data Included)

Horsepower range of VW's new W engines

* 4.0-liter W8: 270 hp …

Rensselaer County Editon.(Capital Region)

Author visit Local author Alice Swersey will discuss her new cookbook-memoir "Whatever There Is, You'll Eat!" during a program that will start at 4 p.m. Saturday at the Stephentown Memorial Library, 472 Route 43. For more information, call 733-5750.

Furry Fun Run Furry Fun Run, a 5K run/walk to benefit Peppertree Rescue, is at 9 a.m. Saturday at the University …


Byline: Associated Press

TOKYO Government leaders said Monday that Japan's relations with the United States could be seriously damaged if a report that the CIA spied on Japanese representatives at auto talks proves true.

The New York Times reported Sunday that the CIA eavesdropped on conversations between Japanese negotiators and automakers during the talks in Geneva this year, reporting the results daily to U.S. Trade Representative Mickey Kantor.

``If true, I'm afraid this is a matter of grave …

Crimean Tatars stage protest to demand land plots

About two dozen Crimean Tatars staged a noisy rally outside Ukraine's government headquarters on Wednesday to demand land in compensation for family property seized in World War II.

Protesters blew horns and chanted Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko's name, urging the government to allocate 15,000 plots of land to Tatars in the Ukraine's Black Sea peninsula.

Several protesters said they have been on a hunger strike for almost a week and demonstrators vowed to carry on until their demands are met.

Hunger striker Yulian Rybchynsky, who returned to the Crimean capital Simferopol three years ago, said he wants compensation for family land seized when …

Teens usually come up short when asked how money works

WASHINGTON - They like to spend it, but young people don't know much about how money works.

On average, high school seniors answered correctly only 52.4 percent of questions about personal finance and economics, according to a nationwide survey released Wednesday. Still, that was a smidgen better than the 52.3 percent in the previous survey in 2004 and was up from the lowest-ever score of 50.2 percent in 2002.

"This indicates that, despite the attention now paid to the lack of financial literacy, the problem is not about to resolve itself anytime soon," said Lewis Mandell, a professor of finance and managerial economics at the University of Buffalo School of Management who …

воскресенье, 4 марта 2012 г.

CCB Financial Corp.(Brief Article)

DURHAM -- CCB Financial Corp. got shareholder approval for its merger with Memphis-based National Commerce Bancorp. Six shareholders, controlling about 2.6% of the stock, groused that their side …

Reports on poultry science findings from University of Georgia provide new insights.

According to recent research published in the journal Poultry Science, "Skip-a-day feed restriction is a common industry management technique that is used in rearing broiler breeder pullets. Often pullets are maintained on a skip-a-day feeding program after they have been photostimulated for reproduction, and in some cases until 5% egg production is reached."

"The current research examined whether providing daily nutrient intake during the critical period of ovarian development that follows photostimulation for reproduction improves subsequent egg production. Pullets and cockerels were fed on a skip-a-day basis during rearing. Pullets were weighed at 20 wk of age and …


I can still see their faces.

They were standing in long overcoats next to a fence surrounding the football field, about six former high school football players who had followed us to a playoff game more than a hundred miles from home.

It was my last game as a high school player. And it was cold -- really cold -- and rainy. Yet they came. And cheered and clapped and high fived. As long as we were winning.

For most of the game we were, until a last-minute touchdown pass. They were crushed, their disappointment immediately turning to disgust.

It dripped from their faces.

They mumbled, waved us off and walked away. It hurt. Bad. …

Outlandish!(art ACROSS the CURRICULUM)(Lureca Outland's quilt)

"We had to vote to get the things we want. Now these kids can vote and they don't." *

--Lureca Outland as quoted in article "A Patchwork Life that Spans a Century" by Andriena Baldwin in The Demopolis Times, March 13, 2006.

Back when men's trousers were called "britches," Lureca Outland (b. 1904) made the quilt to your left. It is called "Britchy" as a reference to the material from which it was made--a selection of men's britches. The "Roman Stripes" part of the title refers to sewing together several narrow strips to make striped blocks that alternate directions.

Imagine, in this case, hand cutting the legs from different pants in inch-wide increments all the way from the ankle to the hip, thus making lots of skinny, leg-long strips. Gather as many different colors of these long strips as possible, and stitch them together lengthwise. Cut up more pants and repeat. When you have five or six very long lengths with four strips each, cut them into manageable squares. Turn the squares so the stripes alternate vertically and horizontally. Sew the squares together, keeping in mind the aesthetic placement of colors and patterns: blue next to gray, black next to maroon, solid next to plaid, and so on.

While all the colors in the world were available …

India may try ex-Union Carbide chief for Bhopal

Indian ministers called Monday for the government to extradite the former head of Union Carbide and pursue liability claims against Dow Chemical as part of a new push for justice in a 1984 toxic gas leak that killed 15,000 people, a minister said.

Anger over the world's worst industrial disaster _ at a plant owned by a Union Carbide subsidiary in central Indian city of Bhopal _ was revived this month after a court convicted seven former senior employees of the company's Indian subsidiary of "death by negligence" and sentenced them to two years in prison.

Many in India saw the verdict as far too light a punishment for the tragedy, and the government …

Kyrgyz election front-runner set for crushing win

BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan (AP) — The front-runner in Kyrgyzstan's presidential election looked set for an unexpectedly crushing victory early Monday, prompting bitter accusations of fraud in a vote that was supposed to put the country on a firmer footing after an uprising last year overthrew the government.

With 88 percent of precincts counted, businessman and former prime minister Almazbek Atambayev was easily leading the field with 63 percent of the vote in the former Soviet Central Asian nation. The winner has to get at least 50 percent of the ballots cast to claim victory in one round, and a run-off had been widely anticipated.

Kyrgyzstan, an impoverished and mainly Muslim …

10 biggest U.S. gainers & losers for the week.

 10 BIGGEST U.S. GAINERS FOR THE WEEK   (By Percent)  Genset            104.03 Immune Resp        51.43 Siga Technol       24.11 Vion Pharma        23.08 AEterna            20.00 Nexell             16.67 Avanir             15.38 OXiGENE             9.85 Visible Genetics    9.42 Pain Therapeu       6.70  (By Dollars)   Genset              1.55 BioReliance         1.20 AEterna             0.75 Pain Therapeu       0.56 Regeneration        0.34 Siga Technol        0.27 Avanir              0.20 Immune Resp         0.18 Visible Genetics    0.18 Inspire Pharma … 

UOP Forms JV for Bio-based Transportation Fuels.

Honeywell subsidiary UOP says it has agreed to form a joint venture with Ensyn (Wilmington, DE) to develop and market technology that converts second- generation biomass into oil for power generation, and heating and transportation fuels. Financial terms were not disclosed. The jv will sell Ensyn's rapid thermal processing (RTP) technology, which converts biomass into pyrolysis oil for use in power and heating applications, and will also accelerate R&D efforts to commercialize next-generation technology to refine that oil into transport fuels. "We are confident …

суббота, 3 марта 2012 г.


Byline: ANDREW BROWNSTEIN Staff writer

More than 900 area seventh-graders will receive advanced instruction from local universities under a nearly $4 million program designed to help them get through high school, enter college and graduate.

The program is one of 16 in the state and 185 in the nation to benefit from a new presidential initiative to aid disadvantaged students, starting in the middle grades. Six Troy-area school districts were eligible to join in the local program because at least 50 percent of their students received reduced or free subsidized lunches -- which demonstrates that a majority come from low-income families.

Rensselaer …

Field swelling, shrinking, and water content change in a heavy clay soil.

A note on terminology: what is 'normal'?

In this paper we shall be concerned with the swelling and shrinking of soil. Inevitably we shall come across the term 'normal', and this will cause difficulty. 'Normal' shrinkage refers to volume change that is equal to the change in water content. Mitchell (1992) suggested that the term should be abandoned because it is imprecise and confusing. We shall here be dealing with 1-dimensional measurements of height change and water content change. A soil might shrink 3-dimensionally in a clod, and reduce in volume by 1 cubic millimetre for every cubic millimetre of water lost. However, the soil may crack between the clods, and 1-dimensional measurements of subsidence at the surface and water content change might show that 1 millimetre is lost in surface elevation for every 3 millimetres depth of water lost. Thus, normal, 3-dimensional shrinkage may be interpreted as 1-dimensional, less-than-normal shrinkage. Theory suggests that normal, 3-dimensional shrinkage will lead to a ratio of height change to water lost of 1/3 (e,g. Bronswijk 1991; Mitchell 1991). One might conclude that the converse is also true: the 1-dimensional result indicates normal, 3-dimensional shrinkage. But, as McIntyre (1984) suggested, the 1-dimensional result might also be a composite of different soil layers, each with a different ratio of height change to water lost (see also Aitchison and Holmes 1953): we cannot tell which is the case. Since we are here dealing with 1-dimensional behaviour, explanations about 3-dimensional processes are in any case irrelevant.

We report 1-dimensional observations in terms of height change, water content change, and their ratio. We shall resist inferences of normality or otherwise, and dimensionality of the shrinkage. However, when discussing our results in relation to the literature, we shall report where other workers have discussed shrinkage in terms of normality and dimensionality, in order that we may properly connect with that literature (and to avoid inventing new terms and creating the attendant problems of translation).


Heavy clay soils can swell and shrink appreciably during wetting and drying. The swelling and shrinking complicates the estimation of the amount of water stored in the soil. This can in turn lead to incorrect estimates of terms in the water balance, in particular the drainage term, which is often found by difference from the other terms.

Swelling soils are considered to shrink and swell in structural, normal (or basic, the term preferred by Mitchell 1992), and residual phases (Fig. 1 (Stirk 1954). In the structural phase, change in water content occurs through filling or emptying of macropores or cracks and there is little volume change. In the normal phase, change in water content is accompanied by change in the volume of the soil between macropores and cracks, and results in height change in the soil profile. In the residual phase, the soil matrix is strong enough to resist further volume change, and any change in water content results in little volume change, and hence little height change. In the normal phase, if the volume change is 1-dimensional, the ratio between height change and water content change is 1, but if the volume change is 3-dimensional, and equal in all directions, the ratio between height change and water content change ([alpha]) is 0.33 (Bronswijk 1991).


Field studies of water content change and height change (or bulk density and water content change) have generally found that the ratio between them varies from 0 to 0.33, which has led to the conclusion that shrinking and swelling is often 3-dimensional, and either normal or less-than-normal. Furthermore, the ratio between height change and water content change can vary from one soil layer to another. Woodruff (1936), Aitchison and Holmes (1953), Bronswijk (1991), Cabidoche and Ozier-Lafontaine (1995), Baer and Anderson (1997), and Coquet (1998) all measured behaviour consistent with these broad conclusions using depth gauges anchored into the soil at different depths and measurements of soil water content. McIntyre et al (1982) also measured behaviour consistent with these broad conclusions, but using movement sensors based on a manometer principle (Barrow et al. 1975). Mitchell (1991) measured changes in elevation of plates on the surface of a moderately shrinking soil, and found in several treatments [alpha] to be <0.33. Berndt and Coughlan (1976) and Jayawardane and Greacen (1987) also found [alpha] <0.33 from measurements of bulk density and water content.

In contrast, Fox (1964) concluded that a heavy clay soil from Queensland exhibited 3-dimensional expansion when the gravimetric water content was <46%, and 1-dimensional expansion in wetter soil. Chan (1981) obtained a similar result for a subsoil with large structural units. Chan (1981), Berndt and Coughlan (1976), and Jayawardane and Greacen (1987) suggested that these results might have been an artefact of sampling, in particular sampling between the cracks. Mitchell (1991) found that in one treatment the ratio between surface elevation change and water content change was initially >0.33 and approached that of 1-dimensional …