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Secrecy shrouds super PAC funds in new filings BY NICHOLAS CONFESSORE AND MICHAEL LUO New York Times Service

Newly disclosed details of the millions of dollars flowing into political groups are highlighting not just the scale of donations from corporation and unions but also the secrecy surrounding super PACs seeking to influence the presidential race. Some of the money came from well-established concerns, like Alpha Natural Resources, one of the United States’ largest coal companies, which is backing Republicanaligned American Crossroads, or from the Service Employees International Union, a powerful union allied with Democrats, according to filings with the Federal Election Commission. Some came from companies closely identified with prominent industrialists or financiers, like Contran, a holding company controlled by Texas billionaire Harold Simmons, a patron of a number of conservative groups and candidates, and Blue Ridge Capital, a New York hedge fund founded by wealthy investor John A. Griffin, a supporter of Mitt Romney. But some checks came from sources obscured from public view, like a $250,000 contribution to a super PAC backing Romney from a company with a post office box for a headquarters and no known employees. U.S. President Barack Obama continues to outraise all of the candidates seeking the Republican nomination by large margins when it comes to money that goes directly into campaign coffers. But the money race is increasingly focused on outside groups that are legally not allowed to coordinate directly with campaigns but pay for advertising and other activities that support particular candidates. Much of the money disclosed this week went to independent groups supporting Republicans, giving them an enormous money advantage over similar Democratic groups in the first phase of the 2012 election cycle. Such donations were made possible by the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision in 2010 and subsequent court rulings, which opened the door to unlimited corporate and union contributions to political committees and made it possible to pool that money with unlimited contributions from wealthy individuals. But the full scope of such giving is impossible to ascertain from • TURN TO SUPER PACS, 2A

INTERNATIONAL EDITION

Egypt protesters blame police for soccer deaths BY MAGGIE MICHAEL AND SARAH EL DEEB Associated Press

CAIRO — Security forces clashed Thursday with stonethrowing protesters enraged by the failure of police to prevent a soccer riot that killed 74 people, as sports violence spiraled into a new political crisis for Egypt. The deaths Wednesday night in a post-match stadium riot in the Mediterranean city of Port Said fueled anger at Egypt’s ruling military and the already widely distrusted police forces. Many in the public and in the newly elected Parliament blamed the leadership for letting it happen — whether from a lack of control or, as some

off bleachers. A narrow exit corridor turned into a death trap as crowds of fans fled into it, only to be crushed against a locked gate as their rivals attacked them from behind. A network of zealous AlAhly soccer fans known as Ultras vowed vengeance, accusing the police of intentionally letting rivals attack them because they have been among the most aggressive KHALIL HAMRA/AP of Egypt’s revolutionaries. Ultras Protesters stand on cement block barriers near Tahrir were at the forefront of the antigovernment uprising — first against Square in Cairo on Thursday. toppled leader Hosni Mubarak a alleged, on purpose. Survivors of fans of the winning home team, year ago and now against the milithe riot described a nightmarish Al-Masry, attacked supporters of tary that took his place in power. scene in the stadium. Police stood the top Cairo club, Al-Ahly, stabby doing nothing, they said, as bing them and throwing them • TURN TO EGYPT, 2A

MAURICIO LIMA/NEW YORK TIMES SERVICE

A pichacao artist paints a wall perched on a friend’s shoulders in Sao Paulo.

PAINTING THE TOWN BLACK AT WAR WITH SAO PAULO’S ESTABLISHMENT, BLACK PAINT IN HAND BY SIMON ROMERO

New York Times Service

SAO PAULO — This megacity’s authorities have waged war for years against what they call “visual pollution,” banning billboard advertising, demolishing abandoned skyscrapers and planning to raze concrete eyesores like the elevated highway known as the Big Worm. But the battle to clean up the sprawling cityscape has become

intertwined with a deeper social conflict between Brazil’s haves and have-nots, where the angry and disenfranchised lash out in a form of expression unrivaled in other cities. Taking action against the establishment, young people arm themselves with black paint, rollers, spray cans and no shortage of personal daring. Their target: the landscape that society cares so much to recover.

How Mexico foiled plots to extract Gadhafi son BY MARK STEVENSON Associated Press

lots to fly from Mexico to Kosovo, from there to the Tunisian capital of Tunis and on to Libya in July, but that attempt failed to extract the dictator’s son. “They weren’t able to do it out because the pilots refused to carry out a secret landing,” Salinas said. The ring then allegedly made arrangements for a second attempt, hiring pilots and a plane. But Mexican authorities were tipped off to the scheme by a series of anonymous e-mails and arrested the four suspects in November, before the second flight could take off. The suspects were detained in November and held under a form of house arrest until last week, when they were formally charged. Because they have not been ordered held over for trial, they have not

MEXICO CITY — Prosecutors said they broke up not one, but two Indiana Jones-style plots to “extract” the son of late dictator Moammar Gadhafi from Libya and bring him to Mexico as his father’s regime crumbled. The plan to sneak out al Saadi Gadhafi involved piles of stolen passports, white-knuckle flights with pilots who refused to land in war-torn Libya and luxury homes bought under false names in Mexico, Assistant Attorney General Jose Cuitlahuac Salinas said. He said it was led by a Canadian woman, a Danish man and two Mexican suspects who were charged this week with attempted immigrant trafficking, falsifying documents and organized crime. Salinas said the group hired pi- • TURN TO MEXICO, 4A

NATO REPORT SAYS TALIBAN IS STILL DETERMINED AND CONFIDENT, 3A

03PGA01.indd 1

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 3, 2012

109TH YEAR I ©2012 THE MIAMI HERALD

“We practice class warfare, and there are casualties in war,” said Rafael Guedes Augustaitiz, 27. “They compare us to barbarians, and there may be a little truth in that.” Augustaitiz is part of a subculture that executes a form of graffiti described by one scholar as an “alphabet designed for urban invasion.” It nearly envelops some of Sao Paulo’s government buildings, residential high-rises,

New York Times Service

AP FILE

SYRIA MARKS ANNIVERSARY OF HAMA MASSACRE, 6A

• TURN TO GRAFFITI, 2A

Alzheimer’s spreads like a virus in the brain, new studies find BY GINA KOLATA

The plan to sneak out al Saadi Gadhafi out of Libya involved piles of stolen passports, white-knuckle flights and homes bought under false names in Mexico.

even public monuments, with lettering eerily reminiscent of Scandinavia’s ancient runic writing. The most daring practitioners risk their lives, scaling building facades at night to paint their script at the crests of smog-darkened skyscrapers. Some have fallen to their death from terrifying heights. Their graffiti, called pichacao,

areas of the brain that involve remembering and reasoning. But for more than a quarter century they have been unable to decide between two explanations. The spread may mean that the disease is transmitted from neuron to neuron, perhaps along the paths nerve cells use to communicate with one another. Or it could simply mean that some brain areas are more resilient than others and so resist the disease longer. The new studies provide an answer. And they indicate it may be possible to bring a patient’s Alzheimer’s disease to an abrupt halt very early in its course by preventing this cell-to-cell transmission, perhaps with an antibody that

Alzheimer’s disease seems to spread like an infection from brain cell to brain cell, two new studies find. But instead of viruses or bacteria, what is being spread is a distorted protein known as tau. The surprising finding answers a longstanding question and has immediate implications for developing treatments, researchers said. And, they said, they suspect that other degenerative brain diseases, like Parkinson’s, may spread in the brain in a similar way. Alzheimer’s researchers have long known that dying, tau-filled cells first emerge in a small area of the brain where memories are made and stored. The disease then slowly moves outward to larger • TURN TO ALZHEIMER’S, 2A

INDIAN COURT CANCELS 122 CELLPHONE LICENSES, BUSINESS FRONT

ANGELO DUNDEE, ALI’S TRAINER, DIES, SPORTS FRONT

INDEX THE AMERICAS............4A U.S. NEWS ....................5A OPINION........................7A COMICS & PUZZLES ...6B

2/3/2012 5:03:11 AM


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Hoy | The Miami Herald | 2012-FEB-03