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FUELS COLOMBIAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S


New York Times Service


CAUCASIA, Colombia â&#x20AC;&#x201D; OfďŹ cers pored over intelligence reports describing the movements of two warlords with private armies. Then the helicopters lifted off at dawn, carrying an elite squad armed with assault riďŹ&#x201A;es to the newest front in this countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s long war: gold mines. Seizing on the decade-long surge in gold prices, combatants from multiple sides of the conďŹ&#x201A;ict are shifting into gold mining, among them leftist guerrillas from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, and ďŹ ghters from the shadowy armed groups that

rose from the ashes of rightwing paramilitary squads. Their move into gold underscores the many difďŹ culties of ending Colombiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s complex four-decade war. Even as Colombian authorities claim victories in bombing top rebel commanders and eradicating vast tracts of coca â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the plant used to make cocaine, long the ďŹ nancial lifeblood of the insurgents â&#x20AC;&#x201D; resilient factions are exploring new realms like mining. The role of guerrillas and the new criminal syndicates in the pell-mell opening of new mines has made Antioquia â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the department, or province, whose capital is Medellin â&#x20AC;&#x201D; one of Colombiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s deadliest

and most environmentally devastated regions. Miners in lawless backlands use liquid mercury to separate gold from river sediments, giving Antioquia one of the highest levels of mercury pollution anywhere, according to U.N. researchers. In Caucasia, a bustling city of about 100,000 with a downtown district of gold-buying shops, more than 60 grenade attacks were carried out last year. They largely involved two armed groups, the Urabenos and the Rastrojos, vying for control over gold mines and, to some extent, the cocaine trade. Both groups are thought to have more than 1,200 ďŹ ghters in their ranks. Each emerged from the paramilitary groups that were supposed to have demobilized years ago. At times, these heirs to the paramilitaries work with the FARC, illustrating the post-ideological nature of todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s conďŹ&#x201A;ict. In January, President Juan Manuel Santos said communications intercepted from FARC

Furious, said in an interview with the Center for Public Integrity, a nonproďŹ t research group based in Washington, that he was still haunted by his participation in the investigation. â&#x20AC;&#x153;With the number of guns we let walk, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll never know how many people were killed, raped, robbed,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There is nothing we can do to round up those guns. They are gone.â&#x20AC;? The ATF said agents took every possible precaution to assure that guns were recovered before crossing into Mexico. Scot L. Thomasson, the ATFâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s public affairs chief in Washington, said the Fast and Furious strategy is still under evaluation. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s always a good business practice to review any new strategy six or eight months after youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve initiated it, to make sure itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s working, that itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s having the desired effect, and then make adjustments as you see ďŹ t to ensure itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s successful,â&#x20AC;? he said. But enough concern has been raised that some Washington ofďŹ cials have begun to dig deeper into the details of the operation. On Thursday, as U.S. President Barack Obama and Mexicoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s President Felipe Calderon met in Washington to discuss the increasing problems with drug and gun smuggling, Attorney General Eric Holder asked top ofďŹ cials at the Justice Department to consult the inspector general to determine if further investigation of the operation was needed.

A federal operation that allowed weapons from the U.S. to pass into the hands of suspected gun smugglers so they could be traced to the higher echelons of Mexican drug cartels has lost track of hundreds of ďŹ rearms, many of which have been linked to crimes, including the fatal shooting of a Border Patrol agent in December. The investigation, known as Operation Fast and Furious, was conducted even though U.S. authorities suspected that some of the weapons might be used in crimes, according to a variety of federal agents who voiced anguished objections to the operation. Many of the weapons have spread across the most violencetorn states in Mexico, with at least 195 linked to some form of crime or law enforcement action, according to documents obtained by the Center for Public Integrity and the Los Angeles Times. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which ran the operation, said that 1,765 guns were sold to suspected smugglers during a 15-month period of the investigation. Of those, 797 were recovered on both sides of the border, including 195 in Mexico after they were used in crimes, collected during arrests or intercepted through other law enforcement operations. John Dodson, an agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives who worked on Operation Fast and +TURN TO GUNS, 4A



New York Times Service

TRIPOLI, Libya â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Moammar GadhaďŹ â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s government struck hard at its opponents Friday, waging ďŹ erce battles to wrest control of the town of Zawiya from rebels and ďŹ ring on peaceful protesters after Friday prayers in Tripoli, witnesses said. At least 13 people were reported dead, more than 100 wounded and 65 missing in Zawiya, 25 miles west of Tripoli. A government spokesman said GadhaďŹ â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s forces had retaken the city. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It is liberated this afternoon, and we are going to take you there tomorrow to see for yourself,â&#x20AC;? he said. But several rebels reached by telephone in the evening said that, after considerable bloodshed near the east and west gates to the city, they still held the town. One witness, who spoke anonymously, reported seeing ďŹ ve people dead. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Their bodies are on the ground, but nobody is able to approach them,â&#x20AC;? the witness said. Another witness called the shooting in Zawiya a massacre. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I cannot describe the enormity of the violence they are committing against us,â&#x20AC;? he said by telephone, with bursts of gunďŹ re audible in the background. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We want our country to be free.â&#x20AC;? Government troops met with strong resistance from heavily armed rebels on the outskirts of the eastern oil town of Ras Lanuf, witnesses said, with explosions heard on the road north of town. +TURN TO LIBYA, 2A

New premier speaks in Tahrir Square BY ANTHONY SHADID

New York Times Service

CAIRO â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Carried on the shoulders of protesters who claimed him as their own, Egyptâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new prime minister waded into a crowd of tens of thousands in Tahrir Square on Friday, delivering a speech bereft of regal bombast that illustrated the reach of Egyptâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s nascent revolution and the breadth of demonstratorsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; demands that remain unanswered. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I am here to draw my legitimacy from you,â&#x20AC;? Prime Minister Essam Sharaf told the raucous,

ďŹ&#x201A;ag-waving assembly. â&#x20AC;&#x153;You are the ones to whom legitimacy belongs.â&#x20AC;? Even some protesters dismissed the speech as the savvy move of an ambitious politician in a time fraught with anxiety. Yet it was perhaps the symbolism itself that said the most about Fridayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s moment when, just a day after his appointment, an Egyptian leader chose to make his ďŹ rst stop the square that helped topple his predecessor. The burst of euphoria that greeted uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt has faded somewhat, amid

the bloodshed in Libya and the retrenchment of governments in Yemen and Bahrain. But protesters said Sharafâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s appearance illustrated the new, if hesitant calculus in the Arab world: the power of protests â&#x20AC;&#x201D; or, simply, the expression of popular demands â&#x20AC;&#x201D; to bring about change long left to a clique of ofďŹ cials around Arab strongmen. The sentiment coursed through the protest Friday, which rivaled some of the more modest days of the 18-day Egyptian uprising. +TURN TO EGYPT, 2A

Judge stands alone on freedom of speech BY ROBERT BARNES

Washington Post Service


Los Angeles Times Service

At least 13 dead in battle for key Libyan town

showed that gold mining had become a source of ďŹ nancing for rebel group. In a new strategy, Santos has ordered raids on more than 50 illegal mines in recent weeks. In one day of coordinated raids in February, security forces fanned out in helicopters from Caucasia into Antioquia and the neighboring region of Cordoba. More than 5,000 peasants marched to the town of Anori in January to protest military operations against gold mining and coca cultivation. Protesters said that while FARC had forced them to go, their complaints were real. Miners and security consultants describe how the area has emerged as a FARC bastion, with the guerrillas charging extortion fees. In a reminder of its grip on the region, FARCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 36th Front detonated a truck bomb near Anori, destroying a bridge near the town. One miner in Anori, Octaviano Hernandez, put it simply: â&#x20AC;&#x153;All I can say is that he who has the gun gives the orders.â&#x20AC;?

HARD WORK: A miner works at a gold mine on the outskirts of Segovia, Colombia.

U.S. agents assail gun-tracing effort BY KIM MURPHY





antee of free speech did not allow members of the fringe church to protest the funeral of Albert Snyderâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fallen Marine son Matthew and â&#x20AC;&#x153;brutalizeâ&#x20AC;? the family with their lewd and cruel messages. Last April, the other justices forcefully struck down a federal law aimed at banning depictions of dog ďŹ ghting and other violence against animals, saying it violated constitutional guarantees of free speech and created a â&#x20AC;&#x153;criminal prohibition of alarming breadth.â&#x20AC;? That ruling, which like Wednesdayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s was written by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., was another ringing endorsement of the First Amendmentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s protection of even distasteful expression. Roberts called â&#x20AC;&#x153;startling and dangerousâ&#x20AC;? the governmentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s argument that the value of certain categories of speech

WASHINGTON â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr.â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s muscular dissent that members of the Westboro Baptist Church â&#x20AC;&#x153;brutally attackedâ&#x20AC;? a fallen Marine and his family by protesting at his funeral marked the second time in a year Alito has stood alone in a First Amendment case. Eight justices of the Supreme Court on Wednesday said that no matter how hurtful the speech employed by members of the Westboro Baptist Church, the First Amendment protected them from having to pay damages to the grieving father they targeted. Alito said they were all wrong. Alitoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s condemnatory dissent said the Constitutionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s guar- +TURN TO ALITO, 2A



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






Battle for key oil town leaves 13 dead in Libya • LIBYA, FROM 1A

There were unconfirmed reports of a fire at an oil refinery in Zewietina, a town north of Ajdabiya in the same eastern coastal region. Libyan warplanes bombed an arms depot outside Benghazi, the country’s second largest city, a rebel spokesman told Reuters. In Tripoli, Gadhafi’s forces opened fire on Friday with tear gas and what a witness described as live ammunition to scatter protesters who gathered after noon prayers outside a mosque in a restive neighborhood of the city, chanting slogans and defying the authorities’ attempt to lock down the capital. Demonstrators hurled rocks at militia forces cruising the Tajura neighborhood in blue trucks, but the crackle of fire from what sounded like automatic weapons panicked the protesters and they fled in several directions. “Everyone was supposed to retreat to the mosque, but they are scared of the killing because they are using bullets,” a doctor in the main Tajura mosque said as protesters scrambled for cover there. Two people were injured, he said. Witnesses said the militia fired AK-47 assault rifles. Amnesty International reported that pro-Gadhafi forces had fired on a medical team near the town of Misuratah, wounding two medics who were trying to retrieve a body. “This disturbing assault indicates that pro-Gadhafi forces are prepared to use lethal force indiscriminately even against those whose role it is to care for the wounded and pick up the dead,” the organization said in a statement. Initially, worshipers in Tajura said they planned to display opposition to Gadhafi from inside the mosque, staging a sit-in after the noon prayers that have become a flash point for demonstrations in the uprisings spreading across the Arab world. But, as prayers ended, thousands of protesters lofted the pre-Gadhafi flag that has become the emblem of the rebellion and began milling in a courtyard outside, shouting slogans such as “Free, free Libya,” “Tajura will bury you” and “The people want to bring down the regime” — a rallying cry in many parts of the Arab world. The mosque had been packed and many more people prayed in a courtyard outside.

The protest soon thinned out, reflecting a pervasive fear of reprisals, and only several hundred demonstrators remained, keeping close to the mosque itself. But as they chanted slogans, the pro-Gadhafi militia arrived to disperse them and they broke up into several groups. Before the Friday noon prayers, witnesses in some neighborhoods of Tripoli said roadblocks backed by armored vehicles and tanks had been set up while official minders ordered foreign journalists not to leave the hotel where they have been told to stay by the authorities. The government’s measures came against the backdrop of a state of terror that has seized two working-class neighborhoods here that just a week ago exploded in revolt. Residents on Thursday reported constant surveillance, searches of cars and even cellphones by militiamen with Kalashnikovs at block-byblock checkpoints and a rash of disappearances of those involved in last week’s protest. Some said secret policemen had been offering money for information about the identities and whereabouts of antiGadhafi protesters. As rebel fighters in the country’s east celebrated their defeat of a raid on Wednesday by hundreds of Gadhafi’s loyalists in the strategic oil town of Brega, many people in Tripoli said they had lost hope that peaceful protests might push the Libyan leader from power the way street demonstrations had toppled the strongmen in neighboring Egypt and Tunisia. The measures against foreign reporters reflected a deep animosity despite the government’s decision to invite 130 journalists to Tripoli. In a three-hour speech to loyalists Wednesday, Gadhafi said: “Libya doesn’t like foreign correspondents. They shouldn’t even know about the weather forecasts in Libya, because we are suspicious.” Even in what pass for normal times, Libya severely restricts visas for foreign reporters, issuing them only when the authorities wish to hold some important event offering tribute to Gadhafi. But some protesters on Friday said they had been emboldened by the presence of foreign camera crews and journalists who eluded the authorities’ attempt to pen them in. But the pro-Gadhafi militia opened fire even though

British television crews were filming the episode. “We are brave, huh?” a protester had said without offering his name. “If Gadhafi brings weapons we will die. But we are confident in ourselves and our cause.” Worshipers said rebel leaders in Benghazi, the stronghold of the uprising, had sent word urging protesters to remain inside mosques for sit-ins after noon prayers, but that instruction seemed to have been ignored in Tajura. Referring to an interview in which Gadhafi said all Libyans loved him, a worshipper said the aim of the sit-ins was “to show the number of people who hate Gadhafi”. A resident of Tajura reached by telephone said one slogan on Friday declared: “You say we love you, but we don’t.” The demonstrations on Friday demonstrated just how effectively the government’s ruthless application of force in Tripoli has locked down the city and suppressed simmering rage, even as the rebels have held control of the eastern half of the country and a string of smaller western cities surrounding the capital. “I think the people know that if they make any protest now they will be killed, so all the people in Tripoli are waiting for someone to help them,” one resident said. “It is easy to kill anybody here. I have seen it with my own eyes.” Several people in the two neighborhoods, Feshloom and Tajura, speaking on the condition of anonymity for fear of Gadhafi’s secret police, said militias loyal to the were using photos taken at last week’s protest to track down the men involved. “They know that there are people who have energy and who are willing to die, so they pick them up,” another resident said. Residents of Feshloom showed reporters cellphone photographs taken at Tripoli Central Hospital of a large wound in the chest of a neighbor, Nagi Ali el Nafishi, 56, and they pointed out a bloodstain on the concrete where he had been shot after leaving a mosque last Friday. Several residents said at least four people from their neighborhood had been killed that day, including Hisham el Trabelsi, 19, who they said was shot in the head, and Abdel Basit Ismail, 25, who they said was hit by random gunfire while she was calling to a relative involved in the protest.


ENTHUSIASTIC: Egypt’s Prime Minister Essam Sharaf addresses thousands in Cairo’s Tahrir Square on Friday.

New premier addresses Egypt • EGYPT, FROM 1A

In a celebratory atmosphere that was tinged with anger and resolve, the demonstrators seized the opportunity to demand Sharaf undertake far deeper change than the largely cosmetic reforms Egypt’s military rulers have parceled out since taking power from President Hosni Mubarak on Feb. 11. “This shows you that the power of our ideas — the idea of democracy, of people claiming their own legitimacy, of our right to choose — have come to reality,” said Mohammed Ali, a 42-yearold film director. “Freedom can do the impossible.” Protesters had described Friday’s gathering as a “Day of Determination,” pressing their call for the resignation of Sharaf’s predecessor, Ahmed Shafiq, whom Mubarak had appointed to head the Cabinet before resigning. But the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, with timing that appeared aimed at heading off bigger crowds, announced Shafiq’s resignation Thursday with three terse lines on its Facebook page. A former transportation minister, Sharaf served in government only briefly, until December 2005, then became one of the higher-profile politicians to occasionally join the demonstrations in Tahrir Square, endearing him to many there. On Friday, protesters suggested he had been their candidate to replace Shafiq, a former air force general like Mubarak, who came across as haughty at best, inept at worst. His challenges, though, remain vast, not least in choosing new figures as foreign, in-

terior and justice ministers. Other demands — from dismantling more odious police forces to freeing thousands of political prisoners — may be beyond his purview in a landscape where the military, in almost uncontested fashion, makes the decisions. “In a transition period, you could have a change of Cabinet every few weeks,” said Samer Soliman, a political science professor at the American University of Cairo. “It’s a time of political instability. They,” he added of the military’s Supreme Council, “are probably just trying the guy out to see if he works with the population.” Even Sharaf seemed to plead with the protesters to stay patient with him. “I beg you, you did something great and together we will do more,” he said, as the crowd chanted, “We are with you.” He added, “I have a heavy task and it will need patience.” Sharaf entered the square a little before the Friday prayers, drawing cries from the crowd and a few surprises, as he headed toward the Mugamma, a sprawling bureaucratic fortress redolent of Soviet-era design. “The prime minister has come!” one man shouted excitedly. To which another responded, “What’s his name again?” If Sharaf meant to strike a different note Friday, he did. He traveled with a few military police in red berets and a few more men in dark sunglasses, their numbers paling before the phalanxes of security that usually accompany Egyptian officials. In his remarks, there was none of the stentorian paternalism of Mubarak, who

addressed Egyptians as his sons and daughters in his last speech. “If you would permit me,” Sharaf repeatedly asked the crowd. Dispensing with customary formal Arabic, he spoke in Egyptian slang, standing before them in a gray jacket and white shirt, with no tie. In a way, the address marked a striking legacy of the uprising: the reimagining of power that once sought prestige though its very distance from those without it. “Sharaf is the first official that everyone wants,” says Mohamed Mostafa, a young member of the Muslim Brotherhood from the Nile Delta. “He promises to implement all our demands, and we trust him because he was protesting in Tahrir with us.” The utopian sense of Tahrir Square has long faded. Only a few people picked up trash Friday and gone were the pharmacies, health clinics and the uprising’s equivalent of soup kitchens that cared for the tens of thousands who camped out here for days. Yet while some thought Mubarak’s resignation might dissipate the protests, Friday’s turnout was a clear signal that the demonstrations have the vitality to continue. In fact, Shafiq’s resignation was unlikely without the continuing protests. “From here until the elections for a new parliament, the only way to voice our demands is protests,” said Ashraf Ismail, a 29-year-old engineer. “They have to go on.” A banner put it differently: “We want the overthrow of the rest of the regime.”

Judge stands alone on freedom of speech • ALITO, FROM 1A

should be weighed against their societal costs when protecting free speech. Alito did not. “The First Amendment protects freedom of speech, but it most certainly does not protect violent criminal conduct, even if engaged in for expressive purposes,” Alito wrote in that case, U.S. vs. Stevens. Videos that depict acts of animal mutilation and death “present a highly unusual free speech issue because they are so closely linked with violent criminal conduct”. In Wednesday’s dissent in Snyder vs. Phelps, Alito said Albert Snyder had an “elementary right” to bury his son in peace. Members of the church had no right to launch “a malevolent verbal attack on Matthew and his family at a time of acute emotional vulnerability.” He added: “Our profound national commitment to free and open debate is not a license for the vicious verbal assault that occurred in this case.” The dissents in Snyder and Stevens show Alito “pretty sharply departing from the rest of the court in a way that’s different from any other area”, said Doug Kendall of the Constitutional Accountability Center.

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OFFENSIVE: A Westboro Church member protests. And it highlights a significant difference in approach between former U.S. President George W. Bush’s two nominees to the court, Alito and Roberts. The two often end the term agreeing in cases more than any other pair of justices. “Between this case and [Stevens], free speech is the area in which the split in their views is most stark,” said Thomas C. Goldstein, a Supreme Court practitioner who runs scotusblog. com. “But I would expect to see more examples like this in the future.” Goldstein said he believes Alito is on a “trajectory similar” to Justice Clarence Thomas. “As he is on the court longer, he is developing independent views on a lot of issues,” Goldstein said. “And he does not hesitate to stand alone on principle.”

3/5/2011 5:31:41 AM






Lost FBI agent may be captive in Asia BY LESLEY CLARK


PRESERVING TRADITIONS: House of Waterford Crystal in Waterford City, Ireland.

An Irish city that sparkles like crystal BY MAIREAD FLYNN Associated Press

WATERFORD, Ireland — Waterford Crystal is renowned for its sparkle, and lately the city it is named for lives up to that description. Still, Waterford, in Ireland’s sunny southeast (sunny being a relative concept in Ireland), has not always had it easy. The city often is passed over by tourists in favor of Dublin’s night life or the emerald-green seaside hills of Kerry. And two years ago, the crystal factory shut down, leaving Waterford without its most famous attraction. Then last year, a Waterford Crystal-themed tourist center reopened. Now visitors can explore again Waterford Crystal’s history and the art of crystal-making, an unexpectedly fascinating and intricate process. MASTER CRAFTSMEN AT WORK House of Waterford allows visitors to tour a new production facility where they can see master craftsmen at work. The new location, which produces high-end pieces and has crystal for sale in an expansive showroom, is far more central than the previous factory in Kilbarry. From molds to glassblowing and sculpting, visitors see all the stages of crystal-making as the furnaces burn before their eyes and pieces take shape, emerging from hot glass to meticulously engraved collectibles. Guests can even don goggles and smash some crystal as guides discuss the fate of flawed pieces, an opportunity eagerly grabbed by the children on my tour. Also on view are replicas of some of Waterford Crystal’s work, from a Super Bowl trophy to a Sept. 11, 2001, World Trade Center attack memorial. The experience is similar to the old factory tour but spiced up with more multimedia. It marks the continuation of a brand that has made its home in Waterford since 1783. “Waterford Crystal is the marquee icon attraction, and within that, the city wants to harness the heritage it has adjacent to us within this quarter,” commercial director David McCoy said of the new location. “We’re fortunate in the sense that the way we designed the facility, we want people to see every aspect of what we do. We’re very proud of the work and effort that goes into producing the crystal.” CHARISMATIC CASTLE After seeing the crystal center, visitors may continue the pursuit of all things luxurious at Waterford Castle, located on its own island, with access by ferry. The secluded castle dates back centuries but has been converted into a four-star resort with 19 elegant rooms, including fixtures like freestanding bathtubs with carved, ornate legs. If you prefer more modern accommodations on the island, the 320-acre property also offers three- and four-bedroom lodges. A restaurant offers afternoon tea and gourmet meals, and there is an 18-hole golf course designed by former Ryder Cup player Des Smyth. Another way to experience Waterford is to get a taste of hurling, a 2,000-year-old, lightning-fast Irish field sport similar to field hockey, using a ball and flat, curved wooden sticks called hurleys. It is especially popular in counties Tipperary, Waterford and Kilkenny. Though it is an all-amateur sport, many loyal fans travel to away games and matches in Dublin, and there is no greater buzz than in Waterford City when the county team plays. National league games are played from winter until April, and All-Ireland qualifying matches follow until the end of September. The city comes alive in a sea of Waterford blue-andwhite jerseys, with pubs like Alfie Hale’s drawing particularly big hurling crowds shouting “Up the Deise”, as Waterford is known as An Deise in Irish. Waterford is also home to several shops where hurleys still are made. Frank Murphy learned the craft from teachers and relatives. He meticulously fashions the hurleys from wood such as ash and often personalizing them for new owners. Others include Peter Flanagan, who is newer to the trade but comes from a carpentry background. It’s worth a visit to their home workshops for a chat and a look at the process. And while a hurley from Waterford will not sparkle like a crystal bowl, it is a worthy souvenir of your visit. If You Go— GETTING THERE: Waterford is about 115 miles from Dublin. The city has its own airport. HOUSE OF WATERFORD: The Mall, Waterford City, Ireland; www.waterfordvisitorcentre. com. Open daily March-October (closed St. Patrick’s Day, March 17). WATERFORD CASTLE: www.waterfordcastle. com. Overnight lodging rates range from $95 to $485 (¤69 to ¤350), depending on accommodation and season. HURLING: waterfordhurling/. For links to Waterford hurley makers, go to Hurleys sell for up to about $42.

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Gulf, where he was investigating cigarette smuggling for a client of his security firm. S i n c e Levinson’s LEVINSON disappearance, the United States has pressured the government in Tehran to divulge what it knows. Clinton on Thursday pleaded for Iran’s help. “As the government of Iran has previously offered its assistance in this matter, we respectfully request the Iranian government to undertake humanitarian efforts to safely return and reunite Bob with his family,” she said. “We would appreciate the Iranian government’s efforts in this matter.” Levinson’s wife, Christine,

said in a statement that the family is “tremendously encouraged by the news Bob is alive but remains concerned for his safety and well being”. In posting her statement on the website helpboblevi, she noted her husband has diabetes requiring regular medication. “Our seven children, our two grandchildren, and I await the day we will be reunited,” she said, adding that the family asks for “continued prayers and support” and any information on Levinson. Christine Levinson has traveled to Washington and Iran in search of answers about her vanished husband. She marked the 1,000th day of Levinson’s disappearance in 2009 in Washington with meetings at the State Department and FBI. She also met with U.S. Sen. Bill Nel-

son, D-Fla., who has pressed authorities about Levinson’s whereabouts, and with National Security Advisor James L. Jones, who told the family that “Bob’s case remains a priority”. Nelson on Thursday called it “encouraging that we may have good news,” adding, “I’m praying that he can be reunited with his family.” Last year, Levinson’s daughter Sarah wrote an open letter to the Iranian and U.S. governments on the third anniversary of his disappearance, asking for help. “Today, I beg of you to help bring him home as I personally need him more than ever,” she wrote in March 2010, adding that her boyfriend had proposed marriage “and as should be every daughter’s right, I need my father to give me away at my wedding.”

WASHINGTON — Four years after disappearing on a business trip near Iran, a retired FBI agent may be alive and held captive in Southwest Asia, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Thursday. Marking the fourth anniversary of Robert Levinson’s disappearance, Clinton said in a brief statement that the United States “has received recent indications that Bob is being held somewhere in Southwest Asia.” No other details were disclosed, nor was the evidence that led Obama administration officials to believe Levinson remained alive. Clinton’s statement follows a report last month in London’s Daily Telegraph about a WikiLeaks diplomatic cable that suggested Levinson was taken into custody. The cable described a political prisoner who managed to flee Iran and noted that Levinson “may have spent time in one of the Revolutionary Guard’s notorious secret jails.” “The informant, who was detained in August 2009 amid the civil unrest sparked by the Iran’s disputed presidential elections, claims that he saw the words ‘B. LEVINSON’ written on the frame of his cell, beneath three lines of English which he assumed to be a ‘plea for help.’ ” But other news reports said Iran’s Revolutionary Guard has rejected allegations of having detained Levinson. A retired FBI agent who lived in Coral Springs, Fla., VAHID SALEMI/AP FILE, 2007 Levinson went missing on March 9, 2007, from Kish, a BEREAVED: In this 2007 file photo, Christine Levinson, the wife of missing FBI resort island in the Persian agent Robert Levinson, and her son Daniel attend a news conference in Tehran.

U.S. contractor’s trial begins in Cuba BY PAUL HAVEN

Associated Press

HAVANA — A U.S. government contractor was going on trial in Cuba on Friday in a case sure to have a profound impact on relations between the Cold War enemies. Alan Gross faces a possible 20-year sentence for “acts against the integrity and independence” of Cuba. The 61-year-old Maryland native was working for the Bethesda-based Development Associates International on a USAID-program that promotes democracy when he was arrested in December 2009. His family, and U.S. and company officials, say he was bringing communications equipment to Cuba’s 1,500-strong Jewish community. Cuban Jewish groups deny having anything to do with him. Gross’ U.S.-based family lawyer, Peter J. Kahn, flew to Havana on Thursday in order to attend the proceedings, and he had a Cuban

lawyer representing him as well. His wife, Judy, has been told she can attend the trial as well, though ofGROSS ficials would not say whether she would. The trial at a courthouse in Havana is expected to be over in a day or two, with a verdict announced immediately thereafter. Sentencing, should Gross be convicted, would likely come about two weeks later. “We hope it will be resolved so that Mr. Gross can return home to the United States,” State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said from Washington. “He has been in prison for too long.” Gloria Berbena, a spokeswoman for the U.S. diplomatic mission in Havana, said consular representatives last met with Gross on Tuesday. She said consular officials have been told they can attend the trial as well.

The proceedings offer Cuba a chance to highlight Washington-backed democracy-building efforts like the one Gross was working on, which Havana says are designed to topple the government. Washington spends more than $40 million a year on the programs, with USAID controlling most of that and doling out the work to subcontractors. Development Associates International, or DAI, was awarded a $4.5 million contract for the program in which Gross was involved, and Gross reportedly was paid more than a half-million dollars himself, despite the fact he spoke little Spanish and had no history working in Cuba. Gross traveled to the island several times over a short period on a tourist visa, apparently raising Cuban suspicions. The programs have also been criticized repeatedly in congressional reports as being wasteful and ineffective. In March 2010, Sen. John Kerry, a Democrat from

Massachusetts, and Democratic Rep. Howard Berman, of California — both longtime critics of Washington’s 48-year trade embargo on Cuba — temporarily held up new funding in the wake of Gross’ arrest. The money has begun flowing again, though U.S. officials say DAI is no longer part of the program. A senior congressional aide with knowledge of the USAID programs told The Associated Press the Cuba effort — which was ramped up under the Bush Administration with the goal of promoting “regime change” on the island — was on autopilot by the time U.S. President Barack Obama took office. “Neither the State Department nor USAID knew who all of these people were or what they were doing in the name of the US government and with US taxpayer money,” he said, adding that oversight was insufficient to tell whether the programs were effective.

U.S. expects spring offensive from Taliban BY JOSHUA PARTLOW

Washington Post Service

KABUL — U.S. military officials in Afghanistan expect the Taliban will mount a fresh spring campaign to regain ground lost to U.S. troops last year and use suicide bombing teams to strike at those associated with the Afghan government or coalition forces. But U.S. commanders in Kabul, as well as officers working in insurgent strongholds in the south and east, said their troops are better positioned than last year to fend off the insurgency, now that they have 70,000 new Afghan forcesand have seized control of some former Taliban sanctuaries. “I believe their strategy’s going to have to change,” said Lt. Gen. David Rodriguez, the number two commander in Afghanistan, during a tour of two southern provinces last week. He said he expected more Taliban

attacks on “soft targets” such as the newly created village defense forces, known as the Afghan local police, as well as former insurgents who have switched sides, and anyone else who “supports our efforts.” “We’re seeing the beginnings of that through these multiple suicide bombers trying to create a sensational attack that has far reaching impact,” Rodriguez said, referring to the spate of recent bombings targeting hotels, banks and supermarkets. “It will take courage on the part of the Afghan people and Afghan leaders to lead their way through that and we’re going to support them.” Many in Afghanistan are skeptical about the progress cited by U.S. military commanders. The level of violence, which usually dips in the winter, remains higher than in previous years at this time. The Afghan government has failed to curb its rampant corruption, which

undermines public support. The Taliban leadership remains protected in Pakistan, and Afghans have grown increasingly frustrated with the presence of foreign troops. The departing deputy head of the United Nations mission in Afghanistan, Robert Watkins, said last month that the insurgency has moved to new parts of the country and security is “at its lowest point” since the overthrow of the Taliban in 2001. U.S. military commanders stress that they won’t know for sure how they are doing until the Taliban comes back this spring. For the past several years, the insurgency has come back stronger after the winter rest, expanding into new areas. The beginning of the fighting season coincides with a looming decision over how many U.S. troops should be pulled out of Afghanistan beginning in July, President Obama’s deadline to begin the drawdown.

During the past year, U.S. Marines stationed in southern Afghanistan’s Helmand province have taken control of all the major towns along the Helmand river valley, where 90 percent of residents live, said Marine commander Maj. Gen. Richard Mills. The Marines have taken back violent areas such as Marjah, Sangin and Gereshk, forcing insurgents to shift to night-time intimidation and hit-and-run attacks, he said. “There’s less and less ground, very little ground, that’s under contention and there’s more and more of it that we control and really dominate,” Mills said in an interview. “We control all of the key population centers, every one of them along the river.” But Mills, like other commanders, said he expects a Taliban resurgence aimed at taking back former strongholds, particularly the areas where they raise money through opium trafficking.

3/5/2011 5:31:31 AM






Union leader released from jail in Venezuela


SHAKING A LEG: Revelers perform during the ‘Mameludicos Euforicos’ street carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro on Thursday.

Rio’s Carnival bacchanal kicks off, city celebrates BY JULIANA BARBASSA Associated Press

RIO DE JANEIRO — Revelers packed streets and danced to samba beats in this seaside city’s Carnival celebration — a bacchanal of music, booze and flesh that officially opened Friday when King Momo, the mythical figure ruling over the chaos, was handed the keys to the city. The rotund King Momo embodies Carnival, a raucous free-for-all where excesses are encouraged and the natural order of things is turned upside down — men dress as women, the poor parade as kings, rules are bent and everyone escapes their drab daily existence for a few days of catharsis. This year the celebration is expected to draw about 756,000 visitors, both foreign and Brazilian, who will pack hotels to nearly 100 percent capacity and spend about $559 million, according to Rio state’s tourism department. While pre-Carnival parties have stoked the wild atmosphere in Rio for a few weeks, several tragedies have already struck revelers. A fire burned through warehouses containing more than 8,000 samba group costumes on Feb. 7, forcing the organizations to scramble for weeks to make up what they lost before the parades on Sunday and Monday. A police investigation concluded Thursday the fire was accidental, and not arson. A woman in Rio de Janeiro died Feb. 20 after falling from a Carnival sound truck, and eight days later in rural Minas Gerais state a downed power

line electrocuted a crowd dancing in a packed street parade, killing 16 people and injuring dozens of others. The losses were mourned, but didn’t put a dent in the partying. In addition to the elaborate two-day samba group parade and the high-dollar costumed balls where the rich spend a lot to wear very little in the most exclusive company, Rio’s free, opento-all street Carnival is bigger than ever. This year, 424 street bands and “blocos,” as mobile street parties are called, have registered with the city. Starting several weeks before Carnival, they parade all over town, playing their own songs or traditional Carnival tunes with a following of hundreds or tens of thousands of revelers dancing, drinking, and singing heartily in their wake. Lording over the sweaty, frenzied masses is Momo. “He’s the sovereign reigning over Carnival, commanding the party,” said Haroldo Costa, an author of several books about Brazil’s Carnival traditions. “Handing the city’s key over to him is a great symbol — from this moment on, he is the physical and spiritual leader of the city and his cheer is omnipresent.” Rio has had a King Momo since the 1930s, when the first one — a rotund, harddrinking sports journalist — was chosen by colleagues to parade around town in a crown and colorful costume, spreading the party spirit. As with that first King, Momo traditionally was re-

quired to carry extra weight. He is, after all, the standardbearer for all things excessive. Until 2004 Rio had a requirement that anyone competing for the post had to weigh at least 330 pounds. With diabetes and obesity on the rise in Brazil, Rio removed the weight requirement. Many other cities have followed. It was the dismissal of the weight category that first gave the current King Momo the hope of ascending to the throne. Back then, Milton Rodrigues, a bank manager in the offseason, was in pretty good shape — a mere 255 pounds on a 6-foot frame. “There was this taboo, you couldn’t be the king if you weren’t a big guy,” he said. “But I’ve always loved Carnival, lived for it, ever since I was a teenager. I would run off to samba group rehearsals so I could dance.” When he saw a relatively trim man take the crown in 2004, he decided to run. Four years and four attempts later, Rodrigues was elected, and has won ever since. Momo candidates are judged on how well they can samba, their knowledge of Rio’s Carnival traditions, and their friendly cheer. They take home a $12,000 purse and the chance to be the face of a party that showcases Rio de Janeiro to the rest of the world. During the five-day festivities, the king shuttles around town in a van with a chauffeur provided by the city together with the Queen of Carnival and two princesses, chosen by jurors for their dancing, good looks and Carnival spirit.

Bahamas shantytown inferno leaves 700 homeless, no deaths BY JUAN McCARTNEY Associated Press

NASSAU — A fire has destroyed a shantytown in the Bahamas, leaving nearly 700 people homeless, most of them Haitian migrants, authorities said. Dozens of aid workers struggled to register the victims and the government assured that it would not arrest illegal immigrants affected by Wednesday’s blaze. No deaths or serious injuries were reported. It is unclear what caused the fire, although superintendent Jeffrey Deleveaux, who oversees the island’s fire department, said he is not ruling out arson. Lines for food vouchers and emergency assistance kept growing at the Department of Social Services as crews erected large tents and portable toilets at a nearby church. But nearly 200 people

preferred to remain on the outskirts of the charred heap of homes on Fire Trail road, looking for any possessions they could find. The victims lived on a roughly one-acre parcel of land in southwest New Providence, near the island’s capital, said emergency management director Stephen Russell. The majority of them are illegal immigrants, according to Immigration Director Jack Thompson. Only two months ago, about 200 people also became homeless after a smaller shantytown less than a quarter mile away burned to the ground the day after Christmas. Most of the victims moved into the shantytown that was destroyed on Wednesday. “These people will now likely move into another shantytown and increase the population there,” Rus-

sell said. “That situation will become unsafe, and we’ll have another fire, and this will repeat itself over and over again.” The government has considered shutting down at least 35 other shantytowns filled with Haitian migrants on the main island of New Providence. Several government agencies are consulting about the problem, Thompson said. Meanwhile, Haitian migrants continue to arrive. On Tuesday, authorities apprehended 257 migrants aboard two overloaded sloops near the southern Exuma chain of islands. The government expects to deport them by the weekend. The Bahamas had temporarily halted deportations of Haitian immigrants following the earthquake that killed more than 300,000 people last year, but resumed them in recent months.

Brazilian made 200,000 crank calls SAO PAULO — (AP) — Brazilian police say they have arrested a man suspected of making more than 200,000 crank calls to an emergency-response number over the past two years. Sergipe state Public Safety spokesman Lucas Rosario

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says Jose Uilson Santos was arrested Wednesday night in the city of Aracaju. Rosario says that police were unable to locate Santos sooner because he made most of the calls from stolen cellphones registered to other people.

Police say Santos was caught when he used a public telephone to report a nonexistent fire. He was kept talking long enough for police to trace him. Santos faces charges of jeopardizing emergency services, punishable by up to six years in jail.

CARACAS — (AP) — A Venezuelan union organizer was freed from jail just three days after he was sentenced to more than seven years in prison in a case that sparked protests by human-rights and labor groups. Ruben Gonzalez told state television he had been granted parole Thursday and would be required to appear before authorities every 15 days. He said he was pleased with his conditional release but was not totally satisfied because he is certain he committed no crime. “The only thing I did was represent workers in their just cause,” Gonzalez told a

news conference in eastern Venezuela. The activist was sentenced Monday for leading a strike that temporarily paralyzed the state-run iron mining company. The sentence drew protests from human rights groups, and some Venezuelan union leaders had pledged to wage street protests to press for his release. State radio reported that Gonzalez was released in response to a ruling by a Supreme Court magistrate. Details of the decision were not immediately released, and government officials did not comment.

Gonzalez thanked student protesters who had rallied for his freedom in a hunger strike last month, as well as human-rights activists and members of both opposition and pro-government circles. He said he is pleased to be returning home to his family and to his work as a union organizer. Gonzalez was sentenced Monday on charges including unlawful assembly, incitement to commit crimes and violation of a government security zone during a 2009 strike at CVG Ferrominera Orinoco, better known as Ferrominera.

U.S. federal agents assail dangerous gun-tracing effort the violence, we were going “I will be damned if this to have little to no success in case is going to suffer due U.S. Sen. Charles Grass- stemming the violence down to petty arguing, rumors or ley, R-Iowa, ranking member there,” he said. other adolescent behavior,” of the Senate Judiciary Comhe added. “This is the pinmittee, initiated an inquiry FOLLOWING SUIT nacle of domestic U.S. law to determine whether guns It was an attempt to ap- enforcement techniques . . . traveled to Mexico through ply the tactics of a narcot- Maybe the Maricopa County inadvertence or deliberate ics investigation, in which Jail is hiring detention ofpolicy on the part of U.S. law small-scale drug buyers are ficers and you can get paid enforcement. allowed to operate under $30,000 [instead of $100,000] “We still don’t have the surveillance in the hope of to serve lunch to inmates documents we’ve asked for. catching their more power- all day.” Maybe we will get the docu- ful cartel counterparts. But even Voth became ments. But right now it’s But several veteran agents worried about the number stonewalling,” Grassley said were outraged at the shift, of guns moving to Mexico Thursday. saying that there is a big — 359 last March alone, ac“Too many government difference between track- cording to an e-mail he sent agencies always want the big ing drugs and tracking guns. to the U.S. attorney’s office case,” he said. “They keep They saw the change as a in Phoenix. these gun-running sales violation of a sacred ATF The risks of Operation moving along, even when policy: Make the big case or Fast and Furious became they have people within the don’t make the big case, but apparent on Dec. 14, when agency that say something don’t let the guns go. Terry was killed in a shoobad’s going to happen. They “We’re not talking about tout with bandits near Rio had plenty of warnings — bags of dope. We’re not let- Rico, Ariz. and the prophets turned out ting the guy walk away with a To the horror of federal to be right.” stolen flat-screen TV. We’re authorities, two guns whose Much of what is now talking about guns. Our job serial numbers matched known about the case has is to keep guns off the street guns purchased by Avila only surfaced in the last and out of criminals’ hands the previous January were few months following the and prevent them from be- found at the scene. Avila December shooting death ing used in violent situa- was promptly arrested. in Arizona of Customs and tions,” said Jay Dobyns, an Two months after the Border Protection Agent ATF agent in Phoenix who shooting, Sen. Grassley sent Brian Terry. was not part of the Fast and a query to the Justice DeBut the investigation was Furious team but who has partment, asking for more under way more than a year watched it unfold. detail on Terry’s death. earlier, when Mexican cusIn response, the departDodson, the ATF agent toms agents in the small bor- who did work on the opera- ment denied that any guns der town of Naco stopped a tion, was transferred last fall had been allowed to enpassenger car traveling from to the FBI’s Joint Terrorism ter Mexico as part of an the U.S. that was carrying a Task Force. He said a super- investigation. surprising cargo: 41 AK-47s, visor justified the strategy a .50-caliber rifle, 40 semi- by saying, “If you’re going to ATF’S DEFENSE automatic gun magazines, make an omelet, you’ve got “The allegation — that a telescopic rifle sight and to scramble some eggs.” ATF ‘sanctioned’ or otherthree knives. “I took it to mean that wise knowingly allowed the whatever crimes these guns sale of assault weapons to a STRATEGY were going to be involved in, straw purchaser who then At least three guns found those were the eggs, those transported them into Mexithat day were traced through were acceptable,” Dodson co — is false,” assistant attortheir serial numbers to a said. ney general Ronald Welch gun shop in Glendale, Ariz., One agent, who spoke on wrote. “ATF makes every which then led to a Phoenix condition of anonymity, add- effort to interdict weapons man, Jaime Avila, who had ed: “We voiced our concerns that have been purchased purchased four weapons quite vocally to the point of illegally and prevent their there. yelling, screaming. We were transportation to Mexico.” Over the course of the overridden.” The department said that next year, federal agents The dissent prompted Project Gunrunner, the umwatched Avila and several a harsh e-mail last March brella operation across the associates buy more heavy- from the ATF’s group super- Southwest border of which duty weapons, which in- visor in charge of the day-to- Operation Fast and Furivestigators were convinced day operations, David Voth, ous was a part, has resulted were intended for Mexican warning agents to stay on in the seizure of more than drug cartels. 10,000 firearms and 1.1 milboard. Despite their suspicions, “Whether you care or not, lion rounds of ammunition the ATF allowed Avila to people of rank and authority destined for Mexico since continue. at HQ are paying close at- 2006. It was part of a new strat- tention to this case, and they But Grassley produced egy embarked upon after the also believe we — are doing documents provided by agency had found it increas- what they envisioned the ATF agents in Phoenix and ingly difficult to build cases Southwest Border Groups elsewhere that showed that against “straw buyers,” who doing,” he wrote. weapons bought by straw purchased weapons for the purchasers who were uncartels. der surveillance were findThe buyers were working their way to Mexico, ing for increasingly complex in addition to the two guns trafficking organizations found at the scene of Terry’s in which guns were passed shooting. among several legal owners Avila and 33 others were in many locations in the U.S. indicted in January on chargbefore being transferred to es of acting as straw purMexico. chasers of weapons, along As a result, the ATF dewith related drug and money cided to go after not just the laundering charges. As a rebuyers, but the organizasult of detailed spadework, tions, Thomasson said. ATF and Justice Department “That was the shift in officials say, those cases strategy. We recognized now include strong evidence we were facing a far more against suspected recipients sophisticated trafficking orof the contraband weapons. MCT ganization. We recognized No one, however, has the organization was a lot VICTIM: U.S. Border been charged with shootdeeper in bodies, and we Patrol Agent Brian Terry ing Terry. ATF officials said recognized that unless we was shot and killed in there was no evidence showwent after the head of the Arizona just north of the ing the two Fast and Furious organization, the person or- Mexican border guns found at the scene were dering the guns, ordering in December. used to kill the agent. • ARMS, FROM 1A

3/5/2011 4:10:28 AM






Competing, misleading claims on budget cuts BY ERICA WERNER Associated Press

WASHINGTON — It sounds like a pretty good starting point for negotiations: The White House and Capitol Hill Democrats say they’re ready to meet the GOP halfway in the latest round of budget talks, offering $50 billion in cuts compared with Republicans’ proposed $100 billion worth of reductions. “The White House has been willing to move halfway to where they are,” said Gene Sperling, director of the White House National Economic Council. “Talking about negotiation and compromise, that’s very important.” A news release from House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer late Thursday posed this challenge: “Democrats meet Republicans halfway: When will Republicans agree to cut and compromise?” Trouble is, neither the $50 billion nor the $100 billion figure holds up. And when they’re translated into real numbers, the White House is arguably meeting the GOP just one-sixth of the way — not halfway at all. The problem is that both sides are starting with U.S. President Barack Obama’s proposed budget for 2011, which never came close to being enacted into law. Presidential budget blueprints never do. Nonetheless, the GOP suggested $100 billion in spending cuts from that proposal. Compared with actual current spending levels, the GOP’s proposed cuts come to around $60 billion. The White House math is similarly fuzzy. The White House gets to its $50 billion figure by first counting $40 billion of proposed cuts from Obama’s never-passed 2011 budget that were included in a proposed spending bill that itself was never enacted. On top of that phantom $40 billion, the White House adds $4 billion in cuts to current spending levels that the president signed into law this week as part of a two-week stopgap spending measure. And on Thursday, when U.S. Vice President Joe Biden headed to Capitol Hill to kick off negotiations on legislation to fund the government until the Sept. 30 end of the spending year, the White House announced it was putting forward an additional $6.5 billion

Budget extension requires NASA to waste $20 million BY MARK K. MATTHEWS The Orlando Sentinel

WASHINGTON — A stopgap spending measure approved by Congress this week is good news for most of the government — it prevents a shutdown. But the two-week budget extension forces NASA to waste $20 million more on a moon rocket it does not want. The reason: The latest spending bill didn’t delete language put in the 2010 budget by U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., that bars NASA from shutting down its Constellation moon program — a program that was subsequently cancelled. At the time, Shelby’s motivation was protecting Constellation jobs in Alabama, but his 70-word provision has forced NASA to waste an estimated $215 million since the Oct. 1 start of the fiscal year. The agency will continue to spend about $1.4 million on Constellation programs daily — or roughly $20 million over the next two weeks. Not surprisingly, this has caused some teethgnashing among fiscal conservatives. “This amount may be real money outside the Beltway, but inside Washington it’s barely an afterthought. Everything under $500 million is an asterisk,” said Thomas Schatz, president of Citizens Against Government Waste, a nonin cuts. That brings to around $10 billion the amount the White House is trying to cut from current spending levels, compared with $60 billion the Republicans want. “Given the roughly $60 billion difference between us, common sense says ‘halfway’ would be an additional $30 billion in cuts,” said Brendan Buck, spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. “So far, Democrats have offered little more than the status quo.” The figures do serve a political purpose though. Republicans get to say they’re

partisan watchdog group. Shelby’s requirement to keep funding Constellation was designed to disappear once Congress passed its 2011 budget, which was supposed to be in place by Oct. 1. But lawmakers still have not agreed on a 2011 spending plan. Instead, they’ve kept extending the 2010 budget — without deleting the Shelby language. When asked, no one on Capitol Hill had a good answer as to why the Shelby language remained in the latest budget extension. Congressional staff said the likely explanation was because it didn’t rise to the attention of leaders in both parties who are negotiating the overall 2011 budget. Aides to Shelby have said that the senator is not “actively trying” to preserve the language. Democrats and Republicans have feuded for months over the 2011 budget. The two-week extension until March 18 is seen as only a stepping stone toward a final agreement, although many expect at least one more short-term extension. “I certainly would have preferred it if the shortterm continuing resolution addressed this issue,” said U.S. Rep. Bill Posey, R-Fla., who blamed the Senate for not agreeing to a long-term House budget approved two weeks ago that deleted the Shelby language. delivering on a promise to their conservative base, made before last November’s elections, to cut $100 billion in federal spending. And Democrats get to look like they’re serious about compromising with newly empowered Republicans — and about fiscal austerity, too — at a time of unusual public concern about the deficit. This kabuki dance looks likely to continue as lawmakers face a March 18 deadline to finalize spending for the current fiscal year or face a government shutdown.


STANDOFF: Protesters at the state Capitol in Madison, Wis.

Wisconsin governor poised to issue layoffs BY SCOTT BAUER

Associated Press

MADISON, Wis. — Thousands of Wisconsin state workers were bracing for layoff notices Friday as the Republican governor and absent Democratic lawmakers remained in a standoff over a budget balancing bill that would also strip public workers of their collective bargaining rights. Gov. Scott Walker said he would issue 1,500 layoff notices Friday if at least one of the 14 Senate Democrats doesn’t return from Illinois to give the Republican majority the quorum it needs to vote. Senate Republicans voted Thursday to hold the missing Democrats in contempt and force police to bring them back to the Capitol. Walker wants to decrease funding to school districts and local governments to ease a budget deficit. He says taking away public employees’ collective bargaining rights is necessary because schools and local governments would have a

tough time making cuts if they have to negotiate with unions. The statewide teachers union and state workers unions have said they would agree to Walker’s proposed benefit concessions — which would amount to an 8 percent pay cut — as long as they retain collective bargaining rights. Labor leaders say the measure is really meant to weaken the power of unions, which count many government employees among their ranks and provide a key voter base for Democrats. Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald canceled Friday’s floor session, saying in a statement that Republican senators want time to allow law enforcement to adjust their staffing levels and “help the Capitol to return to something of a sense of normalcy.” The budget balancing legislation has led to nearly three weeks of protests — some attended by tens of thousands of union supporters — in

and around the state Capitol, which was completely cleared of demonstrators late Thursday for the first time in 17 nights after a judge ordered the building closed during non-business hours. The protesters’ dramatic departure capped a day full of developments, including Walker’s threat of massive layoffs he said would be needed to make up for savings not being realized in the stalled bill. With the labor bill stalled, Walker said he has to issue layoff notices starting Friday so the state can start to realize the $30 million savings he had assumed would come from the concessions. The layoffs wouldn’t be effective for 31 days, and Walker said he could rescind them if the bill passed in the meantime. Democratic Senate Minority Leader Mark Miller confirmed there were talks with Walker, but he did not think they were close to reaching a deal.

12-year-old charged in killings was a ‘good kid’, friends say BY P. SOLOMON BANDA Associated Press

BURLINGTON, Colo. — The 12-year-old boy was described by friends as a wholesome kid who often volunteered at church, handing out bulletins, working audio and video equipment and helping other kids learn Bible verses. They said he showed no outward signs of family

problems. Then, police say, the boy did the unthinkable, allegedly killing his parents and wounding two of his younger siblings in a case that has rattled this rural farming and ranching community of 3,700 near the Kansas border. Police say they discovered the attacks Tuesday after the boy called 911 to report a shooting.

When officers arrived, they found the bodies of Charles and Marilyn Long, who had been fatally shot. Two of the couple’s children — a 5-year-old girl and a 9-year-old boy — were wounded. The 12-year-old boy was then taken into custody, stunning friends and neighbors. District attorney Robert Watson said Thursday he

plans to file two counts of first-degree murder and other charges against him by the end of Friday. He hasn’t decided whether to try to prosecute the boy as an adult. Tom Ward, a public defender representing the boy, declined to comment. Charles and Marilyn Long, who were in their early 50s, had seven children; four of them are grown and no lon-

ger live at home. Marilyn Long homeschooled her kids and ran the children’s ministry at the local Evangelical Free Church. Her husband served as an elder there. Wally Long, the oldest brother of Charles Long, expressed disbelief about the accusations against his nephew, as well as a concern for the boy. The 12-year-old is being held at the nearest

juvenile detention facility in Greeley, about 150 miles from his hometown. “Whatever caused it, he is still who he is. He’s still my nephew. And the first question I would ask him is, ‘How are you?’ ” Wally Long said Thursday in an interview broadcast on Denver television stations. Doctors expect the injured children to fully recover, he said.

A tasty underground fungus stirring dreams, and lawsuits BY KIM SEVERSON

New York Times Service

HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. — The two contenders in the great North Carolina truffle wars could not be more different. Susan Rice Alexander, the showy newcomer, lives by the fifth hole of a golf course and is married to an orthopedic surgeon. Franklin Garland, the eccentric veteran, lives with his wife at the end of a rutted dirt road. Alexander has a personal photographer and runs garden club tours through her 10,000-square-foot home, feeding them truffle-laced grilled cheese sandwiches. Garland has 20 canaries and a mermaid statue in the house he built himself, and likes to mix chopped truffles into ice cream from Costco. But they are both after the same thing: cultivating the black Perigord truffle, an elusive crop that could bring $800 a pound — if anyone can figure out how to really make a go of it.

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Over the past few years, the two have sued and countersued in Orange County Civil Superior Court over business plans, trade secrets and the sale of specially inoculated trees that grow truffles on their roots. Their case has been in and out of mediation. Now, they are at a standoff, waiting for the court to decide who was wrong. “I really have to be careful, because I don’t want to make slanderous statements,” said Garland, 59. “He thinks I’m trying to steal his business,” said Alexander, who does not disclose her age. The fact is, neither is digging up that many truffles. Although about 80 orchards make up the tiny North Carolina truffle industry, the harvest this year was probably not even 50 pounds, said Jane Morgan Smith, the former president of the North American Truffle Growers Association and one of the first people to grow them


EXCLUSIVE: Black Perigord truffle could fetch its growers $800 a pound. successfully in the state. Still, if the fungus comes, the payoff could be huge. Truffle orchards could help replace tobacco as a crop and preserve farmland. Cooks who embrace local food could stop looking to Europe for their truffle fix. And the two warring truffle growers could make hundreds of thousands of dollars

just by digging around the roots of their trees. An acre of trees cultivated to grow high-quality black Perigord truffles (Tuber melanosporum, nicknamed black diamond) can produce at least 75 pounds. Even at a wholesale price of about $600 a pound, a truffle farmer could earn $45,000 an acre.

That is, if the truffles can be coaxed to grow. A $20 sapling whose roots have been inoculated with truffle spores can take five to 10 years to actually produce a truffle. There is weather and disease to contend with. “I used to call this an extremely stupid high-risk investment,” said Garland, who owns Garland Gourmet Mushrooms and Truffles with his wife, Betty. He has developed a secret method to attach spores carrying the same DNA as the wild French version onto the roots of live oaks and filberts, the kinds of trees truffles prefer. He sells the saplings for about $20 each to hopeful landowners, who plant them and then have to wait for five years or more before the roots bear fruit. He also acts like a broker, buying truffles from people who bought his trees and selling them to chefs. “I value my education, but in reality I wish I had gotten into truffles before

I had gone to college,” said Garland, who has a psychology degree from Carnegie Mellon University. “I’d be a multimillionaire.” Alexander drove to his greenhouse in 2005 to learn about truffles. She bought 6,000 of his trees for $100,000, wrote a business plan, and decided to grow the nation’s largest cultivated truffle orchard on part of 300 acres of former tobacco land she owns about an hour away, near Pinehurst. In his suit, Garland claims that in 2007 Alexander promised to buy 20,000 more of his inoculated saplings. She even paid $45,000 toward the purchase. There was talk of investors and stock, he said in an interview. But she ended up not wanting them, and Garland says he was stuck with more saplings than he could sell. The suit also claims that she did not pay the Garlands for the help they gave her setting up her business, Black Diamond French Truffles.

3/5/2011 1:32:01 AM






Soldiers open fire on women protesters in Ivory Coast BY MARCO CHOWN OVED Associated Press

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast — The government of Ivory Coast’s internationally recognized leader said the country’s deepening political crisis has “crossed over to a new level of horror and barbarism” after soldiers backing his rival fatally shot six female demonstrators. Thousands of women were protesting sitting president Laurent Gbagbo’s refusal to cede power when tanks showed up and soldiers opened fire on Thursday. “Indeed, we anticipated everything short of imagining that one could shoot live rounds at unarmed women, all the more with tanks,” said Patrick Achi, the spokesman for the government of Alassane Ouattara, who the U.N. said defeated Gbagbo in the Nov. 28 election. Nearly 400 people have been killed in the threemonth-long dispute, but Thursday’s deaths shocked a nation where many assumed soldiers would never open fire on a women’s march. Sirah Drane, 41, who helped organize the march, said she was holding the megaphone and preparing to address the large crowd that had gathered at a traffic cir-


ENRAGED: Residents protest the shooting of six female demonstrators in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. cle in Abobo. “That’s when we saw the tanks,” she said. “There were thousands of women. And we said to ourselves, ‘They won’t shoot at

women . . .’ I heard a boom. They started spraying us . . . I tried to run and fell down. The others trampled me. Opening fire on unarmed

women? It’s inconceivable.” The attack prompted an immediate rebuke from the U.S., which like most governments has urged Gbagbo

to step down and has recognized his rival as the country’s legitimate president. “The moral bankruptcy of Laurent Gbagbo is evident

as his security forces killed women protesters,” said U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley in a Twitter message. In New York, the U.N. Security Council said it is “deeply concerned” about the escalation of violence in Ivory Coast and that it could lead to a resurgence of civil war there. Last week, Gbagbo’s security forces entered the Abobo neighborhood and began shelling it with mortars, a shocking escalation indicating the army is willing to use war-grade weapons on its citizens. Ouattara’s camp has in the last two weeks gone from a largely peaceful resistance to an armed one as well, led by rebels from the north and soldiers defecting from Gbagbo’s army. Multiple delegations of African leaders have come through Abidjan, Ivory Coast’s commercial hub, to try to persuade Gbagbo to leave office. Gbagbo has rejected all their proposals and offers of amnesty. even though U.N.-certified results showed he had lost the race by half-a-million votes to Ouattara. Instead, he demanded the U.N. leave the country and accused them of meddling in state affairs.

Russian jet designer Simonov dies at 81 Germany airport shooting suspect’s pistol jammed BY VLADIMIR ISACHENKOV Associated Press

MOSCOW — Mikhail Simonov, one of Russia’s top aircraft designers and creator of the famous Sukhoi fighter jets, has died. He was 81. Simonov died in Moscow on Friday, said Sukhoi company’s spokesman Sergei Meshcheryakov. He wouldn’t specify the cause of Simonov’s death, but said he died after a long illness. A former Russian air force chief lamented Simonov’s death as an “irreparable loss.” Simonov started working as an aviation engineer in the 1950s, and joined the Sukhoi design bureau as a deputy chief designer in 1970. During the following nine years he led the development of the Su-24, the Su-25 and the Su-27 combat jets. After serving as deputy minister of aircraft industries in 1979-1983, he was named the top Sukhoi designer and continued work on the Su-27 that became the Soviet Union’s best fighter plane. When state defense orders drained after the 1991 Soviet collapse, Simonov played a key role in winning lucrative contracts to sell Su-27s to China, India and other foreign customers. Former Russian air force chief, retired Gen. Vladimir

Mikhailov, praised Simonov for keeping the Sukhoi company afloat at a time when most other Russian aircraft makers have struggled to survive. “During that difficult period, he managed to organize export sales that saved the Sukhoi design bureau and its production facilities,” Mikhailov said on Rossiya 24 television. “His death is irreparable loss for the Russian aviation.” The Su-27, developed to counter the U.S. F-15 fighter, has remained a mainstay of the Russian air force after the Soviet collapse. The Sukhoi design bureau has developed a broad range of its modifications, and hundreds have been sold to China and India under contracts worth billions of dollars. Magomed Tolboyev, a highly decorated former Sukhoi test pilot, praised Simonov as a “brilliant designer.” “He trusted the pilots and had a very good attitude to our work,” he said. Simonov received a Lenin prize and two state prizes along with the Order of the Red Banner during the Soviet times, and was awarded with the Hero of Russia medal in 1999. The company spokesman said Simonov is to be burVLAD LUKIN/AP FILE, 2009 ied on Sunday at Moscow’s most prestigious Novodevi- LEGEND: Mikhail Simonov led the development of the Su-24, the Su-25 and the Su-27 combat jets. chy cemetery.

Turkish journalists protest crackdown BY SELCAN HACAOGLU Associated Press

ANKARA, Turkey — Several thousand demonstrators, some covering their mouths with black ribbons, protested Friday against the detention of 10 people, including eight journalists, in what authorities allege is a conspiracy to topple the Islamic-rooted government. The arrests have caused concern over media freedom in Turkey, which seeks to join the European Union. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has denied any attempt to silence journalists, but opponents counter that many of the more than 400 people accused in the alleged plot have been targeted in a bid to muzzle dissent and undermine Turkey’s secular legacy. Members of labor unions, political parties and nongovernmental organizations joined hundreds of journalists in Istanbul and Ankara, shouting slogans demanding press freedom. The larger group was in Istanbul, where protesters carried a giant Turkish flag on a main pedestrian

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thoroughfare. Some journalists in Ankara marched with their mouths covered by ribbons that signified the alleged clampdown by the government on expression. U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley on Thursday said the United States had concerns about trends in Turkey and would monitor ongoing arrests of journalists in Turkey and “urge that any investigations or prosecutions proceed in a transparent manner.” “We will continue to engage Turkey and encourage an independent, pluralistic media,” Crowley told reporters. “It is critical to a healthy democracy.” Thursday’s detentions were a follow up to a raid last month on the anti-government news website Oda TV, and those detained included two investigative journalists, Ahmet Sik and Nedim Sener. The suspects are accused of having links with the socalled Ergenekon network that is accused of conspiring to topple the government in 2003.

BY DAVID MCHUGH Associated Press

KARLSRUHE, Germany — The pistol used by the suspect in the slaying of two U.S. airman at the Frankfurt airport malfunctioned during the attack, preventing even greater loss of life, a German investigator said Friday. Suspect Arid Uka, a 21-year-old ethnic Albanian from Kosovo, refused to talk when formally charged Thursday before a judge with two counts of murder and three counts of attempted murder, but made lengthy statements to police shortly after the Wednesday attack, prosecutor Rainer Griesbaum said. Uka told authorities that he had gone to the airport specifically to kill U.S. citizens “as revenge for the American mission in Afghanistan,” Griesbaum said. He said a YouTube video he saw the day before the incident allegedly showing a raid on a home by U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan had inspired him to prevent “further cruelties.” When he saw the busload of 15 airmen parked outside Terminal 2, he approached an airman outside and, un-

der the pretext of asking for a cigarette, asked if the servicemen were on their way to Afghanistan. “When he said yes, he shot the 25-year-old serviceman from behind in the head,” Griesbaum said. Uka then stormed onto the bus, yelling “Allah Akbar!” — Arabic for “God is great!” — and shot the driver in the head, killing him as well, Griesbaum said. He then shot a 25-year-old airman who was sitting on the bus twice, and then turned his gun on another airman, 21 and fired once, injuring both of them, Griesbaum said. “Then he tried to shoot a 22-year-old,” Griesbaum said. “He pointed his pistol at his head and pulled the trigger twice, but the pistol jammed and no shots came out.” Even though there were still six shots in the magazine, the jam prevented any further firing and Uka fled the bus. The would-be final victim gave chase and caught up with Uka in the terminal at the same time as two German federal police officers and apprehended him.

Protesters say al Maliki using force to silence critics BY STEPHANIE McCRUMMEN Washington Post Service

BAGHDAD — Among the revolts sweeping the Middle East and North Africa, Iraq’s has been an exception: Here, protesters are seeking to reform a democratically elected government, not to topple an autocrat. But protesters, human rights workers and security officials say the government of Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki has responded to Iraq’s demonstrations in much the same way as many of its more authoritarian neighbors: with force. Witnesses in Baghdad and as far north as Kirkuk described watching last week as security forces in black uniforms, track suits and Tshirts roared up in trucks and Humvees, attacked protesters, rounded up others from cafes and homes and hauled them off, blindfolded, to army detention centers. Entire neighborhoods — primarily Sunni areas where residents are generally opposed to al Maliki — were blockaded to prevent residents from joining the demonstrations. Journalists were beaten. In most cases, regular

soldiers and police officers simply stood aside, with one saying the matter was “beyond us.” In all, 29 people were killed. “Maliki is starting to act like Saddam Hussein, to use the same fear, to plant it inside Iraqis who criticize him,” said Salam Mohammed al Segar, a human rights activist who was among those beaten during a sit-in. “The U.S. must feel embarrassed now — it is they who promised a modern state, a democratic state. But in reality?” He shook his head. Last Friday, the U.S. Embassy here issued a statement saying that security forces appeared to have followed al Maliki’s directive to allow peaceful protests. As reports emerged Saturday of the beaten journalists, the White House issued a statement saying that U.S. officials were “deeply troubled.” The U.S. Embassy has declined to comment further. More demonstrations are planned Friday, and al Maliki’s response will amount to a character test of the sort of government the United States will leave behind as U.S. troops prepare to withdraw at the end of the year.

Although he has been praised for restoring a measure of security to Iraq, al Maliki has been criticized for showing an authoritarian streak, in particular for maintaining a shadow security force outside the regular chains of command. He strongly denies this. On Thursday, al Maliki’s chief rival, secular leader Ayad Allawi — whose supporters were among those targeted in the crackdown — said he would not accept a position in al Maliki’s cabinet, although he remains a member of the prime minister’s fragile governing coalition. In a news conference this week, al Maliki denied detaining any protesters, apart from four journalists who were beaten and released. He said the violence would be investigated, blaming some of it on other journalists, former members of Saddam Hussein’s Baath party and al Qaeda operatives. He questioned the motives of some demonstrators, saying that security forces were deployed to prevent suicide bombings. But those who were targeted say al Maliki is increasingly using special security forces to punish critics and political opponents.

Segar and his colleagues said they were attacked on the night of Feb. 20. A group of journalists and human rights activists who were inspired by events in Egypt, they had set up a tent in Baghdad’s Tahrir Square and planned to stay until the government acknowledged demands that included an end to corruption and better services. They sang songs and recited poetry. About midnight, Segar said, several trucks and sportutility vehicles arrived with 60 to 70 men, some wearing T-shirts, others in track suits, and many in military boots. “I told one of them, ‘We received permission, orally, from the military force,’ ” Segar said, referring to the soldiers who had been protecting them. “And he said, ‘There is no army here. Where is the army?’ Only Allah could protect us.” The security forces began attacking the protesters, many of whom were asleep. They stabbed them in the buttocks, legs and faces with knives, beat them with sticks, plastic chairs and boots, and chased them into the darkened alleys and streets, Segar said.

3/5/2011 2:02:41 AM






What we can do to tackle Libya BY NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF

New York Times Service


n 1986, Moammar Gadhafi gave an interview to a group of female foreign journalists. Then he invited them, one by one, into a room furnished with just a bed and television and propositioned them. They rebuffed him, and after three successive rejections he got the message and gave up. But the incident reflects something important about Gadhafi that is worth remembering today: He’s nuts. The Libyan “king of kings” blends delusion, menace, pomposity, a penchant for risk-taking — and possession of tons of mustard gas. That’s why it’s crucial that world powers, working with neighboring countries like Egypt and Tunisia, steadily increase the pressure while Gadhafi is wobbling so that he leaves the scene as swiftly as possible. Unfortunately, Gadhafi has gained a bit of ground in the last few days, at least in the capital of Tripoli. He has used mercenaries

to terrorize people and even drag injured protesters out of hospitals, so a sullen calm has returned to Tripoli for now. Is there anything that the United States and other countries can do? Yes, absolutely. But, first, a word about what we can’t do. It would be KRISTOF counterproductive for U.S. and European troops to land on Libyan soil or to start bombing runs because that would play into Gadhafi’s narrative about imperialists trying to seize his country. The truth is that after Iraq, we just don’t have a realistic option of invading another Arab country with oil. But what we can do is continue to squeeze Gadhafi, show resolve and make it clear that his departure is only a matter of time. That resolve won’t change Gadhafi’s mind, but it can peel off more of the Libyan military. And some of those military officers already are wavering.

On Saturday, when I was in Egypt and it looked as if the Gadhafi government might collapse at any time, I had a call from Tripoli: A senior Libyan military officer who had been ordered to attack rebel-held towns was defecting to the rebels instead. The officer wanted me to report his defection — along with his call for other military officers to do the same — and he had already recorded a video of his defection that I could post immediately on the New York Times website. I was delighted but asked what preparations he had made to protect his family from retribution. None, it turned out. I urged the officer to hide his family, to ensure that his wife and children weren’t kidnapped or killed in retaliation. A bit later, I heard back that the officer would accept the risk to his family. I suggested that the officer think this through carefully one more time — and this time the officer actually consulted his wife, who was displeased. The officer sheepishly postponed the

announcement of his defection temporarily. In the days since then, with Gadhafi having gained ground in Tripoli, the defection no longer seems to be on the table. My sense is that many Libyan military officers are a bit like that one. They’re uncomfortable attacking fellow Libyans, but they’re also fearful that they or their families will be killed if they refuse. If the outside world signals resolutely that Gadhafi’s ouster is only a matter of time, there’s much more chance that officers will find ways to avoid going down with their leader. The dispatch of U.S. naval vessels to the sea off Libya is a useful step to show resolve. So are sanctions. A no-fly zone would have only a small impact on the fighting, but it would be a powerful signal to the Libyan military to stand down. Amr Moussa, the secretary general of the Arab League, said Wednesday that the Arab League and African Union might work together to impose a no-fly zone, and

Western countries should cooperate closely with them on the idea. We could also try to disrupt Libya’s military communications. One possible solution to the crisis being discussed within Libya is for Gadhafi, who isn’t actually president or prime minister, to retire with his sons to his hometown of Sirte and relinquish power to his longtime friend, Mohamed al Zwai, who is technically head of state. Zwai, the former ambassador to Britain, has a reputation as a pragmatist and might then be able to bring in rival groups and tribes and stitch the country back together again in a more democratic way. It’s a long shot but worth exploring — and it’s feasible only if Gadhafi and his friends believe that otherwise they are going down. The more pressure we apply, the more chance of avoiding an apocalypse. A well-connected friend in Tripoli grimly said of Gadhafi: “He believes that since he has nowhere to go, he’ll take as many people with him as he can.”

How to kill the recovery headline inflation by raising interest rates. The clear and present danhe economic news has been ger to recovery, however, comes better lately. New claims for from politics — specifically, the unemployment insurance are demand from House Republicans down; business and consumer sur- that the government immediately veys suggest solid growth. We’re slash spending on infant nutrition, still near the bottom of a disease control, clean wavery deep hole, but at least ter and more. we’re climbing. Quite aside from their It’s too bad that so many negative long-run consepeople, mainly on the poquences, these cuts would litical right, want to send lead, directly and indius sliding right back down rectly, to the elimination again. of hundreds of thousands Before we get to that, of jobs — and this could let’s talk about why eco- KRUGMAN short-circuit the virtuous nomic recovery has been circle of rising incomes so long in coming. and improving finances. Some economists expected a Of course, Republicans believe, rapid bounce-back once we were or at least pretend to believe, that past the acute phase of the finan- the direct job-destroying effects cial crisis — what I think of as the of their proposals would be more oh-God-we’re-all-gonna-die pe- than offset by a rise in business riod — which lasted roughly from confidence. As I like to put it, they September 2008 to March 2009. believe that the Confidence Fairy But that was never in the cards. will make everything all right. The bubble economy of the But there’s no reason for the Bush years left many U.S. citizens rest of us to share that belief. For with too much debt; once the bub- one thing, it’s hard to see how ble burst, consumers were forced such an obviously irresponsible to cut back, and it was inevitably plan — since when does starving going to take them time to re- the Internal Revenue Service for pair their finances. And business funds help reduce the deficit? — investment was bound to be de- can improve confidence. pressed, too. Why add to capacity Beyond that, we have a lot of evwhen consumer demand is weak idence from other countries about and you aren’t using the factories the prospects for “expansionary and office buildings you have? austerity” — and that evidence is The only way we could have all negative. In October, a comavoided a prolonged slump would prehensive study by the Internahave been for government spend- tional Monetary Fund concluded ing to take up the slack. that “the idea that fiscal austerity But that didn’t happen: Growth stimulates economic activity in in total government spending ac- the short term finds little support tually slowed after the recession in the data”. hit, as an underpowered federal And do you remember the lavstimulus was swamped by cuts at ish praise heaped on Britain’s the state and local level. conservative government, which So we’ve gone through years announced harsh austerity meaof high unemployment and inad- sures after it took office last May? equate growth. Despite the pain, How’s that going? Well, business however, U.S. families have grad- confidence did not, in fact, rise ually improved their financial po- when the plan was announced; it sition. And in the past few months plunged, and has yet to recover. there have been signs of an emerg- And recent surveys suggest that ing virtuous circle. As families confidence has fallen even further have repaired their finances, they among both businesses and conhave increased their spending; as sumers, indicating, as one report consumer demand has started to put it, that the private sector is revive, businesses have become “unprepared to fill the hole left by more willing to invest; and all this public sector cuts.” has led to an expanding economy, Which brings us back to the which further improves families’ U.S. budget debate. financial situation. Over the next few weeks, House But it’s still a fragile process, es- Republicans will try to blackmail pecially given the effects of rising the Obama administration into acoil and food prices. These price cepting their proposed spending rises have little to do with U.S. cuts, using the threat of a governpolicy; they’re mainly because of ment shutdown. They’ll claim that growing demand from China and those cuts would be good for the other emerging markets, on one United States in both the short side, and disruption of supply term and the long term. from political turmoil and terrible But the truth is exactly the reweather on the other. But they’re a verse: Republicans have managed hit to purchasing power at an es- to come up with spending cuts that pecially awkward time. And things would do double duty, both underwill be much worse if the Federal mining our future and threatenReserve and other central banks ing to abort a nascent economic mistakenly respond to higher recovery. BY PAUL KRUGMAN

New York Times Service


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Girls and boys together BY GAIL COLLINS

New York Times Service


n honor of Women’s History Month, U.S. President Barack Obama ordered up the first report on the status of U.S. women since the one Eleanor Roosevelt prepared for President John F. Kennedy. It’s chock full of interesting bits of information. For instance, did you know that the median marriage age for college-educated women is 30? I should have figured that out because I can barely think of a single collegeeducated woman COLLINS under the age of 30 who is married. But somehow it still came as a surprise. I got married when I was 25, and I felt as if that was extremely late in the game. Of course, that was in the Mesozoic era, and we had no end of trouble keeping the stegosaurus away from the wedding cake. Additional reports from “Women in America: Indicators of Social and Economic WellBeing” include information on everything from volunteering (women do more) to housework (go ahead and guess). It has some findings I don’t quite know what to do with, like: “While male students are more likely to be victimized with weapons, female students are more likely to experience electronic bullying.” Electronic bullying is definitely a bad thing, but I can’t help feeling as though we’re getting the better end of that deal. We’re a long way from the Eleanor Roosevelt Commission on the Status of Women, which was formed when there were no women on the White House staff doing anything more impressive than typing or

cake decoration. “Men have to be reminded that women exist,” Roosevelt tartly told reporters when the all-male list of top Kennedy administration appointees was released. At the time, there were 454 federal civil service job categories for college graduates, and more than 200 were restricted to male applicants. It was perfectly legal to refuse to hire a woman for a job because of her failure to be a man, or to refuse her credit unless she had a husband to cosign her loan. The median age for marriage for a woman was 20, and the only job open to most women that involved a chance to travel was flight attendant. We’re in a different world, but this latest report highlights the one glaring gap: Working women still make, on average, much less than men. Among people who work full time, women make an average 80 cents for every $1 that men take home. There has always been a big difference: In 1979, women made only 62 percent of what men did. And the report suggests that part of the problem is because of the fact that women tend to pursue the lowest-paying professional careers, notably teaching. Perhaps part of the answer is just to increase compensation for people who devote their careers to education. Perhaps the governors could take that up the next time they get together to discuss public employee unions. I’ve always believed the other big factor is the strain of balancing work and family. Women do better in school — now all the way to graduate school where they get the majority of doctoral degrees. And young single women tend to make higher wages than young single men. The change comes at the point when many women have to consider their children. Per-

haps the House of Representatives could take that up next time they get together to discuss whether they really want to eliminate federally financed child care programs. “The thing that we’re hoping men will focus on: This is not a woman’s issue; it’s a family issue,” said Valerie Jarrett, who leads the White House Council on Women and Girls. That’s really the big story for today. U.S. citizens are so used to the fact that women are capable of doing anything that we hardly ever discuss it. It’s been a long time since the leader of NASA said “talk of an American spacewoman makes me sick to my stomach.” A change that happened later, and the one that’s going to be driving the future, is that women’s ability to succeed in their work life is now a matter of concern for both sexes. The turning point really came on the unknown day when the average U.S. couple started planning their futures with the presumption that there would be two paychecks. In a country where no one has real power without a serious economic role, we entered a time when, whether we liked it or not, all hands were needed to keep the economic ship afloat. Even women who get the opportunity to stay home when their children are young have to be ready to jump back into the workforce if their partner is suddenly laid off. A while back, I was visiting a college in Connecticut where most of the students were the first in their families ever to go beyond high school. I was talking with a group of young men and women, and I asked the men how many of them felt it was very important that their future wife be a good earner. All of them raised their hands.

3/5/2011 12:20:54 AM







New York Times Service

At the threshold of Rudolf Scheer & Soehne in Vienna, a company that has made shoes since 1816 and was the Austro-Hungarian imperial court’s cobbler starting in 1878, I hesitated. Not a soul was inside the chapel-like storefront. I entered, stepped across a creaky wood floor, past a vitrine displaying antique wooden lasts, then ascended a narrow staircase along the back wall. Upstairs, in a kind of anteroom, there they were: exquisite shoes and boots, made by a family that has custom-shod royalty, celebrities and the very tasteful for nearly two centuries. A man emerged from the back workshop. “Do you make ladies’ shoes, too?” I asked timidly. “Of course,” said Markus Scheer, 38, the seventh generation of Scheers running a family business that has had a long time to perfect its handicraft. “Whatever happened, world wars, whatever — the one thing we always thought of was shoes,” said Scheer, wearing a pair of golden wingtips. Rudolf Scheer & Soehne (Soehne means sons) is just one of the sartorial specialists in the Austrian capital. Far from Paris’ couturiers, Neapolitan tailors and London’s Savile Row, Vienna is an unsung paradise for modern-day dandies — and ladies — seeking to be perfectly dressed, literally from top to toe, in utterly bespoke pieces made by labels steeped in decades of tradition.

Scheer is just the beginning. There’s also Knize, which has custom tailored mostly men’s suits for more than 150 years. There’s Muehlbauer, a milliner dating back to 1903. And Wilhelm Jungmann & Neffe, which has sold fabrics in an opulent oak-lined space next to the legendary Hotel Sacher since 1881. My trip took me to all of these stores, which are concentrated in Vienna’s city center; a smattering of other bespoke shops can be found in districts beyond. They are a holdover from the late 19th century, when every European city had its local milliners, master tailors and star shoemakers. But over the 20th century, many of them began selling readyto-wear clothing, and others simply disappeared. Some Viennese companies — even those with the old high-quality designation “k.u.k. Hoflieferant,” meaning imperial and royal court purveyor — weren’t spared. But even as Gucci and H&M have crept onto Vienna’s well-known shopping thoroughfares of Am Graben, Kohlmarkt and Kaerntner Strasse, some of the best craftspeople are, somehow, still around. The city’s location at Western Europe’s outer limits, just a few miles from the Iron Curtain, helped retain the tradition, insulating bespoke shops from the competition of cheaper brands, especially until the 1990s. “Vienna was at the end of the world for a long, long time,” said Rudolf Niedersuesz, a master tailor and


TAILORED: Markus Scheer, right, and a co-worker at Rudolf Scheer & Sohne in Vienna. owner of Knize, from his cozy office overlooking Am Graben’s Baroque fountains and outdoor cafes. That offered the opportunity, in Knize’s case, to buck the passing trends and focus on a soft-shouldered, three-button fit that sartorial connoisseurs value. “Our line is very comfortable,” Niedersuesz said. “We have a natural shoulder, a small armhole. A fine form that offers a bit of a waist.” Knize’s fabrics come from small suppliers in Italy and England, and the company says that its bespoke suits take 10 days and 7,000 handmade stitches to complete. The company was started in 1858 by Josef Knize, a Czech tailor. In the 1920s, the designer Ernst Deutsch Dryden transformed Knize into one of the world’s earliest menswear marketing successes, with advertising featuring polo players, a signature men’s fragrance (Knize Ten, still available) and, until the 1970s, stores around the world.


These days, activities are focused back at Vienna’s flagship, whose marble facade and lush interiors were designed by the Austrian architect Adolf Loos from 1910 to 1913. About 100 bespoke suits are handmade in the atelier each year, and they run about ¤5,000 each (about $6,750). The company tailors another 1,000 made-to-measure suits annually. Notable families, including European royalty, have worn Knize as a legacy: “We’ve worked with five generations of the German Wuerttemberg family line,” said Niedersuesz, who started with Knize as a tailor in 1956. Scheer, around the corner, also has a stellar list of historic customers, including the German emperor William I and the Austrian emperor Franz Joseph. The shoes’ appeal lies in their impeccable workmanship and almost medical focus on fit (Scheer studied orthopedics). Made primarily in calf leather collected over de-

cades, the shoes, ranging from classic narrow, low models made from a single piece of glistening black leather to fancy slip-ons in oxblood or zebra, have become fetish objects for bespoke fans the world over. New clients must go to Vienna to meet Scheer, who does fitting and consulting. In the hushed workshop, craftspeople hand-stitch uppers at workbenches in rooms lined with antique wallpaper. Three fittings, 60 hours of labor, and a few months later the shoes are ready. Prices start at around ¤3,000 and include maintenance for the life of the shoe. “We make 250 to 300 pairs a year,” Scheer said. “After 300, you start to lose quality.” A few blocks from Scheer, I found Klaus Muehlbauer’s millinery studio, where the hiss of hats being steampressed punctuates the atmosphere. He and his sister Marlies Muehlbauer took over the family company, Muehlbauer, in 2001. “The challenge was to bring it into

t 21st century. We had to rethe t think the idea of headwear,” M Muehlbauer said, holding an i intentionally crushed fedora, o of the innovative designs one t that has put the company on t fashion map as well as on the h heads like Brad Pitt’s. Hat styles for both gend ders range from porkpie to t turban; materials are both c classic and quirky. Linen, s shirting or even Thonet c chair mesh crop up in summ hats, while furs, merino mer l loden and velvets are perenn winter hits. nial Klaus Muehlbauer’s flags ship Vienna store is sleek, w white and lined with horiz zontal backlit shelving. It has b been open in its present inc carnation since 2007 (his pare ents ran a clothing store here b before that) and sells colorful h hats starting at around ¤200. M Most of the company’s 13,000 h hats per year, all handmade in the atelier or hand-sewn by workers in Vienna or nearby Bratislava, are ready to wear. But customers can also choose their own material, shape and color and have a custom hat made to size in 10 to 14 days (this service is available in the stores only). “We’d never go for mass production,” Muehlbauer said. “We’d lose too much. Our traditional production is what makes us special.” And fashionable once more. According to Thomas Geisler, a founder of Vienna Design Week and the design curator at Vienna’s Museum for Applied Arts, “nobody should leave this city without a Muehlbauer hat. If you have one, you want them all.” Wilhelm Jungmann & Neffe’s store retains its traditional atmosphere as it looks to the future. The company carries 1,200 fabrics, including fine suiting wools, Harris tweeds, cashmeres and even vicuqa, and offers in-house tailoring in an oak-wood room filled with bolts of materials on shelves reaching up to soaring ceilings.

Thriving Within the

New Economic Cycle APRIL 4, 2011 Palm Beach County Convention Center


The financial crisis has altered the economic landscape in the U.S. and the rest of the world:

Jonathan Spector Chief Executive Officer, The Conference Board Inc.

• Which economic indicators should we be looking at? • Where should businesses and investors turn for stable profits and ROIs? • How can international trade contribute to restore the global imbalances?

Martín Torrijos

Former President, Republic of Panama

Mickey D. Levy Chief Economist, Bank of America

Dennis P. Lockhart

President and Chief Executive Officer, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

Karen Alderman Harbert

President and Chief Executive Officer, Institute for 21st Century Energy, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Mthuli Ncube

Chief Economist and Vice President, the African Development Bank Group

Jim Adams, Vice President for the East Asia and Pacific Region, The World Bank José Barrios Ng, Deputy Administrator, Panama Canal Authority Carole Cameron Inge, President and CEO National Institute for the Commercialization of Clean Energy (NICCE) Hisham Elsherif, Chairman, Nile Capital Warren Jestin, Senior Vice-President and Chief Economist, Scotiabank Lissa Morgenthaler-Jones, CEO & Co-Founder, LiveFuels Inc. Susan Lund, Director of Research, McKinsey Global Institute George LeMieux, Former U.S. Senator, Florida Kevin G. Lynch, ViceChair, BMO Financial Group Nicholas P. Sargen, Senior Vice President and Chief Investment Officer, Western & Southern Financial Group Kevin Smith, CEO, SolarReserve








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3/5/2011 1:11:49 AM





S&P 500











Surge in oil prices dampens stocks


EU leaders struggle for unity in debt crisis BY GABRIELE STEINHAUSER AND KARL RITTER Associated Press

HELSINKI — Europe’s centerright leaders struggled Friday to show a united front amid stark divisions on how to tackle the debt crisis that has rocked the continent over the past year. The summit of the conservative European People’s Party in Helsinki kicks off three weeks that will decide whether the eurozone can finally get a grip on the crisis that has already pushed Greece and Ireland into multibillion international bailout. The debate will culminate on

March 25, when heads of state and government hope to seal the “comprehensive solution” to the crisis they have promised to the markets. “Apart from supporting our Finnish friends, we want to make the euro a stronger currency and strengthen European competitiveness,” Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel said as she arrived in Helsinki. Finland’s National Coalition Party heads into elections on April 17, in which Finance Minister Jyrki Katainen is a leading candidate for prime minister. “I hope he wins,” said Enda Kenny, Ireland’s prime minister in waiting after his own Fine Gael party

just toppled its opponents amid popular frustration over the country’s economic woes. Beyond that, however, Europe’s conservative leaders — among them the continent’s most powerful decision makers — were unlikely to agree on much Friday. Germany’s Merkel is reluctant to put up more money to help less disciplined countries. Kenny, meanwhile, is not only demanding lower interest rates on Ireland’s bailout but has also raised the idea of making senior bank bondholders take losses. European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso has called for

Associated Press

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Battle on for Libya’s hidden wealth


NEW YORK — Stocks dropped Friday after another spike in oil prices overshadowed a report that the unemployment rate fell to its lowest level in nearly two years. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 88.32 points, or 0.7 percent, to 12,169.88. The Dow had been down as many as 178 points earlier. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 9.82, or 0.7 percent, to 1,321.15. The Nasdaq composite index fell 14.07, or 0.5 percent, to 2,784.67. Crude oil rose 2.5 percent to more than $104 a barrel, its highest level since September 2008, after fighting in Libya escalated. Markets have been rattled over the past two weeks as higher oil prices threaten to undermine the economic recovery by increasing transportation and production costs. Higher energy prices sent stocks lower despite news that the U.S. job market is improving. The Labor Department reported that unemployment rate dipped to 8.9 percent in February from 9 percent the previous month. The rate has dropped for three months in a row and is now at its lowest level since April 2009. Employers added 192,000 jobs in February, the fastest pace in almost a year. “They’re tugging at each other, employment and oil,” said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer of Harris Private Bank. “Oil is high enough that it has to be a concern. The longer it remains at this level the greater the chance that it upends our recovery.” All 10 company groups that make up the S&P index fell. Financial companies fell 1.3 percent, the largest drop. Citigroup fell 3 percent and Goldman Sachs Group fell 2.1 percent after Bank of America analysts trimmed their earnings forecasts for the two banks. Analysts noted that they expect the turmoil in the Middle East will make institutional investors more cautious with their cash, leading to a drop in trading revenues. Each index eked out small gains for the week after falling the week before. The Dow had the largest move, inching up 0.3 percent. Walmart Stores the world’s largest retailer, raised its annual dividend 21 percent Friday. Its stock gained 0.1 percent to $52.07. Bond prices rose, sending their yields lower. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 3.50 percent from 3.56 percent late Thursday. Two stocks fell for every one that rose on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume came to 1 billion shares.

broader powers and more money for the region’s bailout fund, while Silvio Berlusconi’s Italy is facing ever louder calls to overhaul its sluggish economy. Amid such division, analysts increasingly expect a watered-down deal by the end of the month that falls well short off the overhaul of the eurozone’s crisis strategy that had seemed tangible just weeks ago. Friday’s talks centered on the socalled “pact for competitiveness” — an attempt at closer economic and fiscal coordination between the


New York Times Service


UNDER SCRUTINY: The Securities and Exchange Commission says former Goldman Sachs board member Rajat Gupta, above, passed insider information to Raj Rajaratnam, below, former head of the Galleon Group hedge funds.

Community concerns Indian business world fears cloud from charges BY PALLAVI GOGOI Associated Press

NEW YORK — The latest issue of Desi Talk was about to be printed when news broke that Rajat Gupta, a former board member at Goldman Sachs, had been charged with insider trading. Sunil Adam, editor of the newsweekly for Indians living in the United States, stopped the presses. It was sure to be the most talked-about story of the week. “Rajat Gupta was the first to redefine the image of Indian-Americans from cab drivers to wizards of business and finance,” Adam says. Indian executives make up a tight-knit, rarefied group in U.S. business, populating investment banks, management consulting firms and Silicon Valley startups. They worry that the accusations against Gupta by federal regulators of illegally passing information to a hedge fund manager before it became public, will cast a cloud over their community. Gupta, 62, of Westport, Conn.,


headed the management consulting firm McKinsey from 1994 to 2003, the first non-Western executive to hold the job. He also served on the boards of several influential companies, including Goldman and Procter & Gamble. “Rajat is an icon,” says Vivek Wadhwa, a director of research at

the Pratt School of Engineering at Duke University and a senior research associate at Harvard Law School. “Every community has its bad apples, but when someone as respected is implicated, it makes the entire barrel look bad.” • TURN TO GUPTA, 2B

LONDON — As the battle for Libya rages on, the struggle over control of the country’s sovereign wealth fund and its $70 billion in assets has just begun. With a sizable pot of ready cash and stakes in a few elite European companies — including the British publisher Pearson and Italian soccer club Juventus — the fund served as an emphatic calling card for its founder, Seif al Islam Gadhafi, son of the Libyan ruler who was once regarded as the reformer in the family. Established in 2006, the fund was used by Gadhafi in an effort to make the case that Libya was ready to open itself to the West. It helped draw into Gadhafi’s orbit a range of powerful figures, including the Rothschild family; Prince Andrew of Britain; the former European trade commissioner Peter Mandelson; the cream of corporate society in Italy; and U.S. investors Stephen Schwarzman of Blackstone and David Rubenstein of the Carlyle Group. The U.S. said it intended to freeze any Libyan Investment Authority’s assets controlled by U.S. institutions, though no specific bank or asset has been publicly identified. In Britain, officials say the fund will be prevented from selling and repatriating its assets, which include, in addition to its Pearson stake, a small portfolio of commercial real estate holdings in London. But what remains unclear is to what extent the $50 billion or so of cash and liquid securities in the fund, which operated under the indirect control of Gadhafi, is accessible to the regime of his father, Col. Moammar Gadhafi. Virtually all of Libya’s riches come from oil, and while the country may well be sitting on a cash mountain, deploying those sums in international markets to buy arms or pay outside fighters is likely to be difficult. People who worked closely with the fund say its inner workings were largely a mystery. It made its first outside investments in 2008. Most of the money is probably in Libya or in other banks in the Middle East outside the reach of sanctions.

World food prices highest in at least 20 years, U.N. says BY CHRISTOPHER LEONARD Associated Press

prices jumped. In the developing world, the effects have been dire. Higher food prices have pushed an estimated 44 million people into extreme poverty. Economists think the problem could worsen as governments curtail grain exports to increase their own stockpiles. At the heart of the problem is rising demand for crops. New middle-class consumers in China and India are eating more grain and meat than ever. At the same time, a burgeoning ethanol industry in the United States is consuming about 40 percent of the entire corn crop. “Stock levels have run down, and that’s partly for policy reasons,” said David Hallam, director AFP-GETTY IMAGES of FAO’s trade and market division, referring to mandates in the United IN DEMAND: Customers buy pork at a market in Shenyang, China.

ST. LOUIS — Prices for major crops climbed as a U.N. agency said food costs are now at their highest point since the agency began tracking them 20 years ago. Global prices have surged 2.2 percent just in the past month, the Rome-based U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization reported Thursday. The FAO’s index, which measures the price of staple food items and big commercial crops like corn and soybeans, reached its highest level since 1990. The price increases have been driven by cereals, meat and dairy products. After rising for eight months, global prices of corn, wheat and soybeans are near record levels set in 2008, when riots erupted in countries like Haiti and U.S. food • TURN TO FOOD, 2B

New middle-class consumers in China and India are eating more grain and meat than ever.

3/5/2011 4:52:37 AM





U.S. carriers raising domestic airfares again BY DAVID KOENIG

Associated Press

DALLAS — Airfares at major U.S. airlines are climbing again, continuing a dizzying pace of nearly weekly increases on both penny-pinching vacationers and expense-account corporate fliers. The airlines are raising fares to cover higher jet fuel prices, and the strategy seems to be working. US Airways said Thursday that if the trend toward higher revenue continues, it will be able to cover foreseeable increases in fuel costs. Jet fuel prices are over $3 a gallon, the second-highest reading in March behind only 2008, when oil prices surged to record levels and U.S. airlines lost billions of dollars. Delta Air Lines touched off the latest fare hike by adding up to $20 to the price of domestic round-trip flights for tickets bought on short notice. American Airlines choose a more modest increase of $10 per round trip but applied it to virtually all tickets for travel within the 48 contiguous states. By midday Thursday, Delta, United, Continental and US Airways had all settled on matching American’s $10 increase. None of the low-cost airlines — including Southwest, JetBlue and AirTran — had raised prices, according to Rick Seaney, chief executive of If


TAKING OFF: Rising fares, combined with fewer flights and more fees for passengers, helped the U.S. airline industry in 2010 to post its first moneymaking year since 2007. they continue to hold out, he said, Delta and the other big airlines could be forced to scale back their increases on some routes. Low-cost airlines have blocked some previous fare hikes by refusing to match them. Some analysts think if prices go any higher, lei-

sure travelers — and maybe some corporate fliers — will just stay home. Hudson Securities analyst Daniel McKenzie said higher fares will force companies to burn through their travel budgets and freeze or reduce travel later this year. Seaney doesn’t share that

view yet. “It is pretty clear that demand hasn’t softened enough to prevent airlines from testing new highs for base domestic ticket prices,” he said. US Airways president Scott Kirby said Thursday that travel demand in February remained “exceptionally

strong,” allowing the company to generate enough revenue to offset higher fuel prices. Traffic on Kirby’s airline rose more than 4 percent and a key measure of revenue per mile rose 10 percent in February, compared with a year ago.

Rising fares, combined with fewer flights and more fees for passengers, helped the airline industry in 2010 post its first moneymaking year since 2007. The government estimates that the country’s eight largest airlines are likely to earn more than $5 billion this year and $5.6 billion in 2012. But while the airlines are making money off the baggage fees, it turns out the resulting increase in the number carry-on luggage is costing taxpayers about a quarter-billion dollars a year. But Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told Congress this week that the luggage fees have prompted more passengers to hold onto their bags, which means more items for Transportation Security Administration officers to inspect at security checkpoints at a cost of about $260 million annually. Napolitano was asked whether airlines should help make up for some of the extra costs. Without commenting on the question of airlines paying more, she said an increase in airport security fees — passengers pay up to $5 for each one-way ticket — would bring her department about $600 million a year. A security fee increase has been proposed nearly every year since it was first introduced in 2002 but Congress has never approved it.

Indian business world fears cloud from charges European • GUPTA, FROM 1B

The Securities and Exchange Commission says he passed information to Raj Rajaratnam, former head of the Galleon Group hedge funds, who himself is set to go on trial next week for insider trading. Regulators say Gupta was an investor in Galleon funds and a friend of the Sri Lanka-born Rajaratnam. At least two others in the same scandal are also Indian: Rajiv Goel, a former director of strategic investments at Intel Capital and Anil Kumar, a former director at McKinsey, who have both pleaded guilty. Wadhwa says the scandal hits the community especially hard because Indian professionals are used to more positive portrayals. A study conducted by the University of California at Berkeley found that 15 percent of Silicon Valley startups between 1995 and 2005 were launched by Indians, the largest number for any immigrant group. Indians make up less than 1 percent

of the U.S. population. In addition, 40 percent of Indians in the United States have a master’s degree, a doctorate or another professional degree, the highest of any ethnic group and five times the national average. Gupta, the former chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce, had a powerful sphere of influence. It included former President Bill Clinton and Microsoft founder Bill Gates. In November, he was photographed shaking hands with Korean President Lee Myung-bak at the Group of 20 economic summit. Now, though, many of Gupta’s friends and close associates may be distancing themselves. The Associated Press contacted 10 board members and trustees at the America India Foundation, which Gupta helped found and does philanthropy work in India. Only one trustee got back. Navneet Chugh, founder of California corporate law firm The Chugh Firm, said Gupta had gone out of his way to help social and

charitable organizations and that he was disappointed about the charges. Others didn’t return messages from the AP. The SEC says the inside information from Gupta helped make $18 million for Rajaratnam’s fund at the depths of the financial crisis in 2008. Gupta’s attorney, Gary Naftalis, has called the allegations “totally baseless.” Regulators say the information included tipping Rajaratnam in September 2008 that Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway was going to invest $5 billion in Goldman. Rajaratnam bought Goldman stock and sold it the next day at a $1 million profit. Gupta could be fined and barred from serving as an officer in a public company. He remains on the board at the parent company of American Airlines and at Harman International Industries, a consumer electronics company. Since Gupta, many other Indian-born executives have reached the top, including Citigroup chief Vikram

Pandit, Pepsico chief Indra Nooyi and Motorola’s Sanjay Jha. However, Gupta’s list of accomplishments was long and his reach much wider. Orphaned at 18, Gupta joined the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology and was admitted to Harvard Business School in 1971. He has served on advisory boards of the top business schools, including Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. Today he is chairman of New Silk Route Partners, a $1.4 billion private equity fund. A new generation of Indians was particularly inspired by his role as a mentor and his philanthropic ventures. Gupta helped raise money for Pratham, a nonprofit that provides primary education for children in India, and is an advisor to Avahan, the India AIDS initiative of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He was also chair of The Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Tushar Aggarwal, a final-

year master’s student at Wharton, worked at Goldman in 2003 and remembers Gupta’s as willing to advise and talk philanthropy with an informal group of IndianAmericans at the investment bank. “He focused on giving back to the community, and I look at him as someone who raised the bar for many of us pursuing an MBA,” says Aggarwal, who plans on going back to his native India after he graduates from business school this year. Aggarwal is also chair this year of the Wharton India Economic Forum, an annual conference that brings top Indian business leaders to talk about opportunities and challenges in India. Gupta has been a keynote speaker at the event. Aggarwal says he and the network of students and professionals who knew Gupta are devastated at the charges. “The broader community is shocked and sad,” says Aggarwal. “He didn’t need money or access, or prestige or any favors. He was already at the pinnacle.”

World food prices highest in at least 20 years, U.N. says • FOOD, FROM 1B

States for how much cornbased ethanol must be used in gasoline. “There isn’t much of a cushion there.” Higher oil prices have complicated the problem. Oil prices can drive up food prices by raising the cost of transportation and production for farmers and food processors. Higher gasoline prices also encourage ethanol producers to buy more corn and blend it into fuel. That can further raise corn prices. “This is what happened in 2007-2008,” said Abdolreza Abbassian, a senior economist with the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization. “The longer these prices remain high, the more we have to think that it could have a spillover effect into the grain sector, especially in coming weeks and months.” On Thursday, corn contracts for May delivery jumped 15.5 cents to $7.3675 a bushel. The record high is $7.65, set in 2008. Soybeans rose 17.75 cents to $14.12 a bushel. And wheat rose 12.25 cents to $8.2350 a bushel. The FAO index records monthly changes in international prices of a basket of

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food commodities. That basket includes cereal, oils and fats and sugar. Oxfam, an international aid group, urged governments to try to rein in food prices. It suggested doing so by curbing the ability of speculators to trade in commodity markets while limiting the amount of grain used for ethanol production. “Millions more people are sliding into poverty as they struggle to afford basic food supplies,” said Thierry Kesteloot, food policy advisor for Oxfam. “A sit-and-wait attitude among governments in the hope that there will be good harvests over the next few months means gambling with people’s lives.” In the United States, the cost of grain accounts for only about 10 percent of the total food price. In part, that’s because so much of the food U.S. citizens eat is processed. Still, meat companies like Tyson Foods and Smithfield Foods try to pass on higher grain prices as their profit margins disappear. Grain is the biggest cost of raising chickens, hogs and cattle. It takes about three months for higher grain prices to pass through to chicken products. For processed


PRICEY: U.S. grocery chains are starting to pass along to their customers rising costs for foods and household items. foods like bread and soda, it takes about six months. And it takes about a year for higher grain prices to show up in pork products and two years in beef.

Food stores have been reluctant to pass on higher costs to consumers who are struggling with a jobs crisis and higher energy prices. Many people

might not be able to pay more. But grocery chains are starting to pass along to their customers rising costs for dairy, meat and other foods and household items. Goldman Sachs analyst Andrew Tilton has said he expects consumer food inflation to jump 5 percent by the middle of this year. While “clearly undesirable from the standpoint of households” the price hikes alone should not derail the economy recover, Tilton wrote in a report to clients. In other commodity trading Thursday: l Gold for April delivery fell $21.30 to $1,416.40 an ounce. l Silver for May delivery fell 5.08 cents to $34.327 an ounce. l Copper fell 0.5 cents to settle at $4.4750 a pound. l Palladium fell $7.85 to $814.80 an ounce. l Platinum fell $26.30 to $1,833 an ounce. In other Nymex trading, heating oil fell 0.84 cents to settle at $3.0493 per gallon. Gasoline fell 0.33 cents to settle at $3.0262 per gallon. And natural gas lost 4 cents to settle at $3.778 per 1,000 cubic feet.

leaders struggle for unity in crisis • EUROZONE, FROM 1B

17 states that share the euro but have widely differing economies. The pact was championed by Germany’s Merkel, who amid troubles at home is desperate to have something to show in return for being the region’s paymaster. “It will always have to be a give and take,” Merkel said, adding that support for the pact was growing. Originally, Berlin had demanded eurozone countries improve their economic performance through unpopular measures such as getting rid of automatic inflation-linked wage increases and agreeing on a common base for corporate taxation. Such steps, the Germans argued, would make countries like those of Ireland, Greece and Portugal more solvent and their companies more competitive in international markets. However, over the past month those measures have been softened by separate proposals from the European Commission and EU Council President Herman Van Rompuy, which would leave governments with vague commitments to create limits to national deficits and make pension systems more sustainable. In her statements Friday, Merkel was reluctant to pinpoint precise benchmarks for the pact, mentioning only pensions and unit labor costs. Even less progress was likely in Helsinki on the question that markets are keenest to get answered — whether the eurozone’s bailout fund, the European Financial Stability Facility, would get its longawaited overhaul. The EFSF determines the interest rates a country has to pay for its rescue loans. More importantly, the ECB, the European Commission as well as struggling Portugal have been calling for the fund to get more powers, such as buying government bonds on the open market or extending short-term liquidity lines to struggling countries.

3/5/2011 4:17:28 AM





Briton to design Hong Kong cultural hub



Associated Press


IMPRESSED: Managing director of the International Monetary Fund Dominique Strauss-Kahn in Brasilia

IMF director lauds Brazil’s advances From Miami Herald Wire Services

The managing director of the International Monetary Fund says Brazil embodies the challenges facing emerging-market economies. Dominique Strauss-Kahn met with top Brazilian officials in Brasilia Thursday, the same day the government announced its economy grew 7.5 percent in 2010. Strauss-Kahn says that demonstrates the sound economic management of Brazil’s leaders over the last decade. He did call on Brazil to tackle tough reforms it has yet to get passed, including tax and social security reforms, along with cutting red tape. • LEBANON BANK ACCUSED OF LAUNDERING TO MERGE A Lebanese bank accused by the U.S. of money laundering for smugglers tied to the militant Hezbollah group is merging with an affiliate of France’s Societe Generale as a way to restore confidence, Lebanon’s Central Bank governor said. Riad Salameh told the local LBC TV Thursday night that the Lebanese Canadian Bank will merge with the local Societe Generale in Lebanon. The Lebanese Canadian Bank had been put up for sale after the U.S. Treasury Department designated it last month as a “primary money laundering concern,” claiming it helped launder up to $200 million a month for a Lebanese-based drug smuggling organization with ties to Hezbollah. • INDIA COURT DROPS BRIBERY CASE AGAINST ITALIAN An Indian court on Friday dropped kickback charges against an Italian businessman close to the Congress Party president who was accused of receiving millions of dollars in a 1986 arms deal. Swedish arms maker AB Bofors was accused of paying $9 million in illegal commissions to Ottavio Quattrocchi and an Indian arms dealer as part of a deal to sell artillery to the Indian army. Quattrocchi was a friend of then-Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and his wife, Sonia Gandhi, who is now Congress’ president. The court closed the case against Quattrocchi because of the 25-year delay in prosecuting him. • MYANMAR BAN ON ILLEGAL IVORY TRADE TO BE ENFORCED Tourists who buy ivory souvenirs in Myanmar risk having them confiscated as part of a crackdown on the often brazen illegal trade, media reported Friday. While the wildlife trade monitoring group, TRAFFIC, has cited Myanmar as a hotspot for elephant and ivory smuggling, foreigners are rarely arrested for possession of antiques or banned wildlife. Forestry officials quoted in the 7-Day News Journal said that authorities are aware that handicraft shops in the two biggest cities, Yangon and Mandalay, openly sell ivory goods, despite laws aimed at protecting elephants and banning the sale of elephant parts. • SPAIN BEAUTY PRODUCTS GIANTS OPERATED CARTEL Spanish anti-trust authorities have meted out ¤50 million ($70 million) in fines for price-fixing involving beauty parlor products sold by local units of companies like L’Oreal and Procter & Gamble. The National Competition Commission says eight companies formed a cartel as far as 1989, called itself the G8 and has been meeting twice a year to coordinate pricing and other strategies.The panel says in a statement issued Thursday that Henkel Iberica, a company that was part of the cartel, informed on the others and under a law passed in 2008 is exempt from punishment. The Spanish unit of French cosmetics giant L’Oreal was slapped with a ¤23.2 million fine, the highest in the group.

HONG KONG — Acclaimed British architect Norman Foster has won the right to design Hong Kong’s new $2.8 billion West Kowloon cultural hub with a pitch to transform a reclaimed coastal strip into a lush waterfront park with both western and Chinese opera houses, concert halls, a museum and arts schools, officials said Friday. Others who submitted proposals were Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas and local designer Rocco Yim. But it was Foster + Partners’ “City Park” proposal that won the endorsement of the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority board with a plan to develop the 100-acre site on the Kowloon peninsula. His other designs include the Hong Kong international airport, the international terminal at Beijing’s airport and the HSBC building in Hong Kong. Hong Kong’s Chief Secretary for Administration Henry Tang said Foster’s plan prevailed because it was flexible and did a good job of mixing arts, space and commercial use like shops and restaurants. He also praised the plan for its emphasis on arts education for professionals and the lay audience alike. The overarching theme of a park

also has won broad public support, he said. Foster + Partners’ press department didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment. Foster’s pitch, which includes a ringing endorsement from U2 frontman Bono, said his plan will include a 47-acre park with more than 5,000 trees and a shaded 1.4-mile promenade along the coast. The park component “brings the sights, sounds and senses of Hong Kong’s hinterland into the heart of the city,” it said. The British designer appealed to Hong Kongers’ craving for space in this densely populated southern Chinese financial hub. “Some of the things you will be able to do are relax in a tranquil sculpture garden, have tea in a pavilion, or enjoy a picnic on the waterfront,” his proposal said. Friday’s announcement marks Foster’s second winning bid for the West Kowloon project. Foster + Partners won an earlier design contest in February 2002 with a proposal whose centerpiece was a massive canopy, but it was never built because the project was shelved in 2006 amid concerns that it would be assigned to a single developer that would inject a large residential real-estate component.


New York Times Service

When Congress considered whether to regulate more closely the handling of wastes from oil and gas drilling in the 1980s, it turned to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to research the matter. EPA researchers concluded that some of the drillers’ waste was hazardous and should be tightly controlled. But that is not what Congress heard. Some of the recommendations concerning oil and gas waste were eliminated in the final report handed to lawmakers in 1987. “It was like the science didn’t matter,” Carla Greathouse, the author of the study, said in a recent interview. “The industry was going to get what it wanted, and we were not supposed to stand in the way.” EPA officials told her, she said, that her findings were altered because of pressure from the Office of Legal Counsel of the White House

under Ronald Reagan. A spokesman for the EPA declined to comment. Greathouse’s experience was not an isolated case. More than a quarter-century of efforts by some lawmakers and regulators to force the federal government to police the industry better have been thwarted, as EPA studies have been repeatedly narrowed in scope and important findings have been removed. For example, the agency had planned to call last year for a moratorium on the gasdrilling technique known as hydrofracking in the New York City watershed, according to internal documents, but the advice was removed from the publicly released letter sent to New York. Now some scientists and lawyers at the EPA are wondering whether history is about to repeat itself as the agency undertakes a broad new study of natural gas drilling and its potential risks, with preliminary re-

drafting for Foster’s plan will be submitted to town planning officials for approval at the end of the year after another round of public consultation.


ACCLAIMED: Architect Norman Foster will design Hong Kong’s $2.8 billion West Kowloon cultural hub.

sults scheduled to be delivered next year. The documents show that the agency dropped some plans to model radioactivity in drilling wastewater being discharged by treatment plants into rivers upstream from drinking water intake plants. And in Congress, members from drilling states like Oklahoma have pressured the agency to keep the focus of the new study narrow. They have been helped in their lobbying efforts by a compelling storyline: Cutting red tape helps these energy companies reduce the nation’s dependence on other countries for fuel. Natural gas is also a cleaner-burning alternative to coal and plentiful within U.S. borders, so it can create jobs. But interviews with EPA scientists, and confidential documents obtained by The New York Times, show long and deep divisions within the agency over whether and how to increase regulation of oil and gas drillers, and over

the enforcement of laws that some agency officials say are clearly being violated. Agency lawyers are in a heated debate over whether to intervene in Pennsylvania, where drilling for gas has increased sharply, to stop what some of those lawyers say is a clear violation of federal pollution laws: drilling waste discharged into rivers and streams with minimal treatment. The outcome of that dispute has the potential to halt the breakneck growth of drilling in Pennsylvania. The EPA has taken strong stands in some places, like Texas, where in December it overrode state regulators and intervened after a local driller was suspected of water contamination. Elsewhere, the agency has pulled its punches, as in New York. Asked why the letter about hydrofracking in the New York City watershed had been revised, an agency scientist who was involved in writing it offered a oneword explanation: “politics.”

Endorsements firm on call as Sheen tweets BY NATHAN OLIVAREZ-GILES

Los Angeles Times Service

LOS ANGELES — Charlie Sheen is currently out of work on television, but he may have found a new gig as a celebrity product endorser on Twitter. Two days after starting up an account, Sheen has amassed more than 1.3 mil-

lion followers on Twitter, a social website where users post messages of 140 characters or less, putting his among the fastest-growing user accounts the website has seen. With such a huge following, Sheen could make money from Twitter, said Arnie Gullov-Singh, the chief ex-

ABN Amro, the Dutch state bank, has reported a net profit of ¤213 million ($297 million) in the fourth quarter and says it plans to return to private ownership in 2014. ABN gave no 2009 fourth quarter comparison but reported net profit of ¤341 million in the third quarter of 2010. It booked a ¤130 million gain that quarter from buying back its own debt at below face value. In the fourth quarter ABN also took more provisions for bad loans, and had higher legal costs from integrating former ABN and Fortis operations. • GERMANY 2010 AIR TRAFFIC UP DESPITE DISRUPTION Official data show international passenger departures from German airports were up by 5.7 percent in 2010 despite the disruption caused by the ash cloud from an Icelandic volcano. The Federal Statistics Office said Friday the number of international passengers rose by 3.8 million to a new record of 71 million. It said departures to other European countries, which accounted for 54 million passengers, were up by 5.2 percent. Departures to the U.S. rose by 4.1 percent to 4.7 million, and 10.1 percent more passengers, or 6.9 million, traveled from Germany to Asia.

Foster’s canopy design also raised concerns about its cost and maintenance. Tang did not announce a construction schedule on Friday but said detailed

Politics looms over policing on oil drilling


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HUGE FOLLOWING: Two days after starting up an account, Charlie Sheen has amassed more than 1.3 million followers on Twitter.

ecutive of — a Beverly Hills, Calif., firm that writes messages on Twitter or Facebook for celebrities who, for a fee, endorse products or brands. “Brands lined up to advertise on Two and a Half Men because of the show’s reach, and they’ll do the same with celebrities like Charlie because of who he reaches,” Gullov-Singh said. “I’ve never seen growth like this before. But, then again, he’s the guy who’s had the No. 1 show on television for the last seven years, and he’s been getting a lot of coverage lately from traditional media.” The reason Sheen has been getting so much media coverage is because Two and a Half Men was put on hiatus, a decision CBS and Warner Bros. Television said was “based on the totality of Charlie Sheen’s statements, conduct and condition”. This week, Sheen has spoken with nearly every major media outlet in the U.S. in what he has said is an attempt to tell his side of the story and, in part, to prove his sobriety. But, after many critics called the interviews a public meltdown, Sheen looked to Twitter on Tuesday to reach his fans directly. And to get started on the website, a friend of Sheen’s called, Gullov-Singh said.

“Our guys sat down with Charlie for a couple hours and gave him the 101 on how to do it,” he said. called Twitter and got Sheen the CharlieSheen username, which had been used by an imposter. Sheen’s first message on Twitter said, “Winning..! Choose your Vice—” and linked to a photo of Sheen, holding a bottle of chocolate milk, and porn star Bree Olson — one of his two girlfriends — holding a Naked Juice fruit smoothie. On Wednesday afternoon, Sheen sent out a message that said, “Still Winning..! Pong!” and showed the actor pointing his fingers at a wall-mounted TV with the DirecTV logo on it. Neither Olson nor Sheen were paid for the photos by, Naked Juice or DirecTV, and Sheen didn’t pay anyone for the help getting started on Twitter, GullovSingh said. Everything from Sheen, so far, has been his own doing, he said. “There’s no need for us to charge for the sort of thing we did for Charlie,” GullovSingh said. “We do the same thing for a number of other celebrities. We just want to be top of mind when they think about monetizing, and if they don’t monetize, that’s OK too.”

3/5/2011 3:28:26 AM




S&P 500 1,321.15


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CRUDE OIL $104.42




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EURO 1.3987







Ced[oCWha[ji 1,360 1,320

S&P 500


Close: 1,321.15 Change: -9.82 (-0.7%)













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Nasdaq composite






Vol. (in mil.) 4,413 Pvs. Volume 4,535 Advanced 1059 Declined 1955 New Highs 156 New Lows 13

1,866 1,944 914 1692 111 21





HIGH DOW 12271.37 DOW Trans. 5109.99 DOW Util. 415.26 NYSE Comp. 8467.69 NASDAQ 2798.07 S&P 500 1331.08 S&P 400 975.59 Wilshire 5000 14120.07 Russell 2000 828.92

LOW 12079.51 5024.66 409.38 8361.88 2768.12 1312.59 962.65 13931.85 817.83


CLOSE 12169.88 5060.54 412.56 8413.05 2784.67 1321.15 968.55 14020.99 824.99


CHG. -88.32 -50.68 -2.39 -52.40 -14.07 -9.82 -6.79 -97.62 -3.90

%CHG. -0.72% -0.99% -0.58% -0.62% -0.50% -0.74% -0.70% -0.69% -0.47%



WK 0 / 0 0 0 0 0 0 0



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Chg +.30 +.89 +.48 -.01 +.10 -.36 -.05 -.03 -.19




SemafoInc o 9.30 ... ResrchInMotn 64.53 -2.07 RoyalBank 59.59 -.33 SilverWheaton 43.64 +1.14 BioExxSpeco 2.06 +.04 LundinMng 7.90 -.02 TeckResBSV 54.12 +.19 HuskyEngy 30.40 +.17 VentanaGoldo 13.03 ...



GalleonEngyA 4.20 NewGoldBWt .07 GrtPanthrJ 4.39 Bk NS 59.66 SanGoldo 2.79 ISharesS P60 20.60 GoldcorpInc 48.70 HrznNtGsBul 4.73 TVIPacifico .10

Chg +.20 ... +.37 +.12 -.05 +.02 +.89 +.05 -.01




CatalystPaper .34 -.04 CdaLithiumo .99 -.01 CdnNatRes 49.70 +1.73 PerseusMngOr 3.03 -.01 GrandeCacheo 9.90 +.23 YamanaGld 12.45 -.05 AthabascaOil 18.61 +.69 ClineMiningo 3.56 -.08 AmerBonanzao .40 -.02

Interestrates TREASURIES 3-month T-bill 6-month T-bill

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 3.48 Friday. Changing yields affect interest rates on consumer loans. PRIME RATE YEST 3.25 PREV 3.25 WK AGO 3.25




.11 .14

.12 .15

-0.01 -0.01

1 1

1 1

1 1

.13 .18

52-wk T-bill








2-year T-note








5-year T-note








10-year T-note 30-year T-bond

3.48 4.60

3.57 4.64

-0.09 -0.04

0 0

1 1

0 0

3.60 4.55




Barclays LongT-BdIdx 4.30 Bond Buyer Muni Idx 5.66 Barclays USAggregate 3.17 Barclays US High Yield6.80 Moodys AAA Corp Idx 5.21 Barclays CompT-BdIdx 2.30 Barclays US Corp 4.11

FED FUNDS .00-.25 .00-.25 .00-.25


Foreign Exchange


4.35 5.65 3.08 6.79 5.16 2.37 4.02

-0.05 +0.01 +0.09 +0.01 +0.05 -0.07 +0.09

0 0 0 1 0 0 0

COMMODITY CLOSE PVS. Unleaded Gas (gal) 3.05 3.03 Crude Oil (bbl) 104.42 101.91 Gold (oz) 1428.20 1416.00 Platinum (oz) 1837.90 1833.00 Silver (oz) 35.32 34.32 Coffee (lb) 2.73 2.75 Orange Juice (lb) 1.75 1.78 Sugar (lb) 0.30 0.31




Argent (Peso) .2483 Brazil (Real) .6079 Britain (Pound) 1.6262 Canada (Dollar) 1.0284 Chile (Peso) .002110 Colombia (Peso) .000529 Dominican Rep (Peso) .0266 Euro (Euro) 1.3987 Japan (Yen) .012147 Mexico (Peso) .083367 Uruguay (New Peso) .0515

-.0000 +.0021 -.0011 -.0005 +.000005 +.000006 -.0000 +.0028 +.000006 -.000023 -.0000

1 1 0 1 / 1 /

0 0 0 1 0 0 0

%CH. +0.67 +2.46 +0.86 +0.27 +2.93 -0.58 -1.71 -2.32

%CHG. -.00 +.35 -.07 -.05 +.24 +1.13 -.00 +.20 +.05 -.03 -.00


4.30 5.29 3.37 8.97 5.25 2.26 4.47

%YTD +24.2 +14.3 +0.5 +3.6 +14.3 +13.5 +1.7 -7.0


.2534 -.0110 .5779 +.0496 1.5449 +.1233 .9621 +.0587 .002020 +.000170 .000553 +.000010 .0270 -.0010 1.2882 +.0411 .011843 +.000923 .077250 +.004744 .0481 +.0008

=beXWbCWha[ji INDEX


S&P 500 Frankfurt DAX London FTSE 100 Hong Kong Hang Seng Paris CAC-40 Tokyo Nikkei 225




1321.15 -9.82 7178.90 -47.06 5990.39 -14.70 23408.86 +286.44 4020.21 -40.55 10693.66 +107.64

-0.74% -0.65% -0.24% +1.24% -1.00% +1.02%

0 1 1 0 1 0

MO QTR 0 1 1 1 1 0

0 0 0 0 0 0

+5.05% +3.83% +1.53% +1.62% +5.66% +4.54%


IEKJ>7C;H?97%97D7:7 Buenos Aires Merval 3467.72 Mexico City Bolsa 36900.84 Sao Paolo Bovespa 68012.10 Toronto S&P/TSX 14252.77

-7.25 -232.14 -133.40 +38.05

-0.21% -0.63% -0.20% +0.27%

0 0 0 0

1 1 0 0

0 1 1 0

-1.59% -4.28% -1.87% +6.02%

ASIA Seoul Composite 2004.68 Singapore Straits Times 3061.31 Sydney All Ordinaries 4958.60 Taipei Taiex 8784.40 Shanghai Shanghai B 317.00

+34.02 +23.96 +55.80 +46.03 +3.65

+1.73% +0.79% +1.14% +0.53% +1.16%

0 0 0 0 0

1 1 / 1 0

0 1 0 0 0

-2.26% -4.04% +2.30% -2.10% +4.16%

BWh][ijCkjkWb<kdZi NAME


American Funds AMCAPA m 19.76 -.12 +18.0 BalA x 18.55 -.17 +15.6 BondA m 12.17 +.04 +5.3 CapIncBuA m 50.99 -.10 +12.6 CapWldBdA m20.62 +.04 +6.0 CpWldGrIA m 36.83 -.21 +15.2 EurPacGrA m 42.83 -.17 +17.7 FnInvA x 38.77 -.32 +20.3 GrthAmA m 31.99 -.16 +17.5 HiIncA m 11.55 -.01 +16.2 IncAmerA m 17.21 -.05 +16.4 InvCoAmA x 29.19 -.34 +15.7 MutualA m 26.29 -.16 +16.7 NewPerspA m29.81 -.13 +19.1 NwWrldA m 54.10 -.11 +17.7 SmCpWldA m 39.27 -.05 +23.7 TaxEBdAmA m11.78 ... +.7 WAMutInvA m28.54 -.18 +18.7 Artio Global IntlEqIII 12.68 -.03 +13.9 Artisan Intl d 22.47 -.10 +16.2 MdCpVal 21.68 -.14 +23.2 BlackRock BasicValA m 27.17 -.22 +18.1 BasicValI 27.34 -.22 +18.5 GlbDynEqA m 13.05 -.05 +18.4 GlbDynEqI d 13.05 -.05 +18.6 GlobAlcA m 20.08 -.03 +14.0 GlobAlcC m 18.73 -.04 +13.1 GlobAlcI d 20.17 -.04 +14.3 Columbia AcornZ 31.40 -.13 +27.5 DFA EmMktValI 35.17 -.01 +20.7 IntSmCapI 18.14 -.02 +24.7 USLgValI 21.76 -.20 +25.1 USSmValI 27.28 -.18 +30.4 Davis NYVentA m 35.61 -.16 +15.4 NYVentY 35.99 -.16 +15.7 Delaware Invest GrowOppA m 23.84 -.10 +47.6 Dimensional Investme IntlSCoI 18.02 ... +29.2 Dodge & Cox Bal 73.70 -.50 +15.9 Income 13.37 +.03 +6.7 IntlStk 37.07 -.19 +20.1 Stock 114.35 -1.11 +18.5 Eaton Vance LrgCpValA m 18.76 -.15 +12.2 Fairholme Funds Fairhome d 35.24 -.24 +16.6 Fidelity AstMgr50 15.89 -.02 +15.6 Bal 18.95 -.04 +16.8 BlChGrow 47.78 -.28 +24.9 CapInc d 9.82 -.02 +20.5 Contra 71.23 -.24 +22.8 DiscEq 23.75 -.20 +13.9 DivGrow 30.11 -.17 +25.5 DivrIntl d 31.60 -.03 +18.8 EqInc 46.59 -.40 +19.7 FF2015 11.70 -.01 +14.5 FF2035 11.99 -.04 +19.3 FF2040 8.38 -.03 +19.6 Free2010 14.01 -.01 +14.3 Free2020 14.29 -.01 +16.4 Free2025 11.98 -.02 +17.8 Free2030 14.35 -.03 +18.4 GNMA 11.46 +.05 +5.2 GrowCo 88.19 -.28 +26.2 HiInc d 9.19 -.01 +15.9 IntlDisc d 34.22 -.14 +19.1 LowPriStk d 40.39 -.14 +22.0 Magellan 76.15 -.43 +19.4 MidCap d 30.19 -.15 +22.7 Puritan 18.68 -.06 +17.3 ShTmBond 8.47 +.02 +2.9 StratInc 11.20 +.02 +10.7 TotalBd 10.76 +.04 +7.2 USBdIdx 11.30 +.05 +4.5 Value 72.86 -.42 +25.1 Fidelity Advisor BalB m 15.47 -.03 +15.4 NewInsI 21.14 -.07 +22.1 Fidelity Spartan


IntlIdxIn d 37.17 -.14 +17.3 USEqIndxAg 46.89 -.35 +20.0 USEqIndxI 46.89 -.35 +19.9 First Eagle GlbA m 47.90 +.04 +20.3 FrankTemp-Franklin CA TF A m 6.62 ... -.6 Fed TF A m 11.32 ... +.2 Income A m 2.25 ... +17.4 Income C m 2.27 ... +16.7 FrankTemp-Mutual Discov A m 30.30 -.16 +13.1 Discov Z 30.67 -.17 +13.5 Shares Z 21.81 -.13 +14.5 FrankTemp-Templeton GlBond A m 13.62 -.01 +9.8 GlBond C m 13.64 -.01 +9.3 GlBondAdv ... +10.0 Growth A m 18.89 -.01 +17.5 GMO QuVI 20.85 -.10 +10.6 Harbor Bond 12.20 +.04 +6.6 CapApInst 38.47 -.14 +17.9 IntlInstl d 63.08 -.29 +20.4 Hartford CapAprA m 35.70 -.23 +15.8 CpApHLSIA 44.36 -.30 +20.8 INVESCO CharterB m 16.39 -.06 +11.4 EqIncomeA m 9.01 -.05 +15.4 Ivy AssetStrA m 25.22 -.07 +15.7 AssetStrC m 24.48 -.07 +14.9 JPMorgan CoreBondSelect11.44 +.04 +5.7 HighYldSel d 8.36 ... +16.5 ShDurBndSel 10.97 +.02 +2.3 Janus OverseasJ d 51.72 -.34 +18.4 PerkinsMCVJ 23.62 -.13 +17.0 RMCrJ d 13.90 -.08 +22.4 John Hancock LifBa1 b 13.36 -.04 +16.1 LifGr1 b 13.37 -.05 +18.8 Lazard EmgMkEqtI d 20.97 +.11 +19.0 Longleaf Partners LongPart 30.72 -.19 +25.5 Loomis Sayles BondI 14.54 +.01 +13.1 BondR b 14.48 +.01 +12.8 Lord Abbett AffiliatA m 12.18 -.12 +18.0 Manning & Napier WrldOppA 9.14 -.01 +17.3 Masters’ Select SmallerCos d 13.84 -.07 +25.9 Oakmark EqIncI 28.81 -.11 +10.9 Intl I d 20.51 -.01 +23.4 Oppenheimer DevMktA m 35.21 -.05 +24.8 DevMktY 34.84 -.05 +25.2 GlobA m 63.87 -.42 +21.7 IntlBondA m 6.50 ... +7.1 PIMCO AllAssetI 12.34 +.04 +14.1 ComRlRStI 9.87 +.10 +34.3 HiYldIs 9.51 +.01 +14.7 LowDrIs 10.43 +.02 +4.3 RealRet 11.46 +.06 +7.9 TotRetA m 10.89 +.04 +6.8 TotRetAdm b 10.89 +.04 +7.0 TotRetC m 10.89 +.04 +6.0 TotRetIs 10.89 +.04 +7.2 TotRetrnD b 10.89 +.04 +6.9 TotlRetnP 10.89 +.04 +7.1 Permanent Portfolio 47.14 +.11 +20.7 Pioneer GlobHiYA m 10.84 ... +18.8 Schwab S&P500Sel d 20.62 -.16 +19.8 Scout Interntl d 33.80 -.05 +19.6 T Rowe Price BlChpGr 40.47 -.29 +23.7


CapApprec 21.22 -.07 +16.2 EqIndex d 35.68 -.27 +19.6 EqtyInc 24.90 -.22 +19.4 GNMA 9.90 +.05 +5.0 GrowStk 33.85 -.21 +23.6 HiYield d 6.95 ... +16.4 MidCapVa 24.88 -.16 +19.9 MidCpGr 63.02 -.20 +32.7 NewHoriz 35.82 -.06 +37.4 NewIncome 9.46 +.03 +5.3 Rtmt2020 17.13 -.06 +18.4 Rtmt2030 18.12 -.09 +20.7 SmCpStk 36.52 -.17 +34.9 Value 24.90 -.20 +21.5 Templeton InFEqSeS 21.23 +.05 +17.9 Thornburg IntlValA m 29.36 +.01 +21.3 IntlValI d 30.02 +.01 +21.8 Vanguard 500Adml 122.09 -.90 +20.0 500Inv 122.06 -.91 +19.8 AssetA 25.45 -.12 +18.3 EmMktIAdm d39.31 +.03 +20.2 EnergyAdm d137.87 -.20 +30.0 EnergyInv d 73.42 -.11 +30.0 Explr 78.24 -.26 +31.4 GNMA 10.72 +.04 +5.3 GNMAAdml 10.72 +.04 +5.5 HYCorAdml d 5.82 ... +14.4 HltCrAdml d 54.67 -.09 +10.7 HlthCare d 129.54 -.23 +10.7 ITGradeAd 9.92 +.04 +8.3 InfPrtAdm 25.87 +.15 +7.0 InfPrtI 10.54 +.06 +7.0 InflaPro 13.17 +.08 +6.9 InstIdxI 121.23 -.90 +20.0 InstPlus 121.24 -.90 +20.0 InstTStPl 30.12 -.22 +21.7 IntlGr d 19.90 -.04 +21.2 IntlStkIdxAdm d27.36-.08 NA IntlVal d 33.65 -.13 +15.7 LifeCon 16.74 -.01 +11.9 LifeGro 22.97 -.10 +18.5 LifeMod 20.19 -.05 +15.3 MidCpAdml 97.99 -.63 +28.3 MidCpIst 21.65 -.14 +28.4 MuInt 13.30 ... +1.3 MuIntAdml 13.30 ... +1.3 MuLtdAdml 10.99 ... +1.2 MuShtAdml 15.86 ... +.8 Prmcp d 69.24 -.38 +18.1 PrmcpAdml d 71.85 -.40 +18.2 STBondSgl 10.54 +.03 +2.9 STCor 10.79 +.02 +4.1 STGradeAd 10.79 +.02 +4.2 Star 19.73 -.04 +14.3 TgtRe2015 12.79 -.02 +14.2 TgtRe2020 22.84 -.06 +15.5 TgtRe2030 22.57 -.09 +17.9 TgtRe2035 13.68 -.06 +19.1 Tgtet2025 13.09 -.04 +16.7 TotBdAdml 10.55 +.04 +4.5 TotBdInst 10.55 +.04 +4.6 TotBdMkInv 10.55 +.04 +4.4 TotBdMkSig 10.55 +.04 +4.5 TotIntl d 16.36 -.04 +18.2 TotStIAdm 33.32 -.23 +21.7 TotStIIns 33.32 -.23 +21.6 TotStIdx 33.30 -.24 +21.5 WellsI 22.21 +.01 +11.6 WellsIAdm 53.82 +.03 +11.7 Welltn 32.33 -.11 +14.3 WelltnAdm 55.84 -.20 +14.4 WndsIIAdm 48.26 -.33 +15.4 Wndsr 14.34 -.11 +19.6 WndsrII 27.19 -.19 +15.3

3/5/2011 5:41:35 AM








Los Angeles Times Service

SAGOKRI, South Korea — Lee Young-guk is a struggling duck breeder in muddy work clothes, shepherding 10,000 feathered wards at his rural family-owned spread near the North Korean border. For the taciturn 50-yearold, his omnipresent baseball cap worn low over watchful eyes, common farm life is a distant second act to the years when he enjoyed an intimate view of a bizarre lifestyle that, as he puts it, “few mortals ever witness.” For 10 years, until 1988, Lee was a personal bodyguard for Kim Jong Il, working among the phalanx of trained killers who protect the North Korean dictator, infamous for, among other things, his fetishes for handguns, imported caviar and foreign-made limousines. Lee oversaw the enigmatic strongman’s younger years as a leader in training, observing a privileged life played out inside grim fortresses and hideaway villas. Eventually, Lee came to detest what he now recalls as a farcical leader who enjoyed unparalleled luxury while his impoverished nation starved. He watched high-ranking officials hide behind trees rather than face the mercurial “Dear Leader,” who was so fearful of duplicity that he constantly switched limousines, so fussy that he demanded his favorite perfume sprayed throughout his villas. Displeasing Kim could mean imprisonment, as it did for the guard sent to a gulag for using one of Kim’s favorite ashtrays. “As time went on, I saw the real evil,” recalls Lee, who defected to South Korea in 2000 and wrote a tell-all

book two years later about his experiences. “He’s a man who is not qualified to be a world leader.” For Lee, guarding Kim meant a sort of imprisonment inside a gilded jail. Forbidden from visiting home, he harbored a constant fear of Kim’s spies, placed within the ranks of those serving him. When Lee finally emerged from the bubble, he realized the lie the regime plays upon its people. Years later, Lee still has trouble sleeping. He says he drinks to excess to snuff out memories, like one of his Marlboro cigarettes. He has found a certain solace working with his ducks, protected against intruders by two trained German shepherds. Yet he still can’t escape Kim, whom he sees almost daily on the TV news. The former bodyguard senses that the years have only made the ailing 70-year-old leader even more dangerous. “He has the tail of a tiger,” Lee says. “But if he lets it go, all his evil and wrongdoing will be discovered. The tiger will bite him.” Lee first met Kim Jong Il on a snowy morning in 1979 when an U.S.-made Lincoln Town Car rolled up outside a lavish residence in Pyongyang, the capital. Barely 18, a poor boy from the countryside, Lee had spent two years training for an elite assignment, surviving national tryouts to join 120 bodyguards who oversaw Kim’s every move. On that morning, the brash leader-to-be — who would assume power when his father, Kim Il Sung, died 15 years later — emerged with a friendly, if innocuous, greeting. “What’s going on?” he said, patting Lee on the shoulder, directing


HORRID PAST: Lee Young-guk had served Kim Jong Il as a bodyguard for 10 years. him to spread salt on the icy driveway. “I was scared to be in the presence of this heavenly creature,” he recalled. “And here he was talking so casually to me, this young, very neat, very pretty man.” Lee rose at 5:30 every morning, and his every thought was of his boss, who liked to shoot his guns in the countryside, leaving his bodyguards to collect the kill for dinner. “He was a good shot, always playing with his gun,” Lee says. “He said you only got better by practicing.”

Along with other guards, Lee feasted on such imported scarcities as mandarin oranges, bananas and pineapples, not to mention bear and tortoise meat. With his sumptuous lifestyle, the younger Kim quickly gained weight and began wearing his famous loose-fitting safari suit to cover his bulging belly. Among underlings, his mere presence inspired anxiety. Pressing a button in his limo, Kim would set off a series of red lights at his residence that announced his approach. That’s when some

officials would run for cover rather than face the junior leader. Once home, Kim surrounded himself with sycophants such as a small group of elite women who entertained him with talk of politics and economics. Guards were sometimes punished, such as the one who used the ashtray in Kim’s private elevator. Kim proclaimed the man “haughty” and sent him and his family to prison, Lee recalled. Over the years, walled off inside Kim’s inner sanctum, never leaving Pyongyang,

Lee was led to believe that the quality of life among average North Koreans had vastly improved from the hardships he knew as a child. But those assumptions were dashed in 1988 when his cousin landed a job as a driver, and because of Kim’s rules against having more than one family member in his employ, Lee chose to leave his insider’s job. On the train ride back to his remote hometown near the Chinese border, he witnessed a North Korea in tatters. “The whole country was miserable. On the train there was vinyl instead of glass on the window, even though it was in the middle of winter,” he wrote in his 2002 memoir, I Was a Bodyguard for Kim Jong Il. “I saw all the people enduring, suffering starvation and bitter cold. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I realized that I have lived a life that was so far from reality.” The extent of Kim’s subterfuge hit home when he saw his parents, who “didn’t recognize me at first because I looked so healthy,” he wrote. “I couldn’t recognize their faces because they looked so malnourished and old. They were only 50, but they looked older than 70 with their bent backs.” In return for his loyalty, Lee realized, he had been deceived. He felt like a fool, strangely complicit in the regime’s cruelty. Resolving to flee North Korea, he secured a low-level government position and used his status as a former Kim bodyguard to receive a visa to visit China. Once there, Lee was caught trying to defect and sent to the infamous Yodok gulag for more than four years, where he faced torture and starvation, losing 90 pounds, half his body weight. After his release, Lee successfully defected to China. There, he snuck aboard a merchant ship that eventually took him to South Korea.

Oracle chief’s son David Ellison sees his future in films BY CLAUDIA ELLER AND BEN FRITZ

Los Angeles Times Service

LOS ANGELES — David Ellison is Hollywood’s latest highflier. The 28-year-old aerobatic pilot, who can roll a plane 420 degrees a second, is charting a new risky course: movie producer. The first film that Ellison gambled on under his new co-financing arrangement with Paramount Pictures was True Grit, a surprise boxoffice smash that racked up 10 Oscar nominations, including best picture. Now the son of billionaire Larry Ellison, co-founder and chief executive of software giant Oracle, has to show a skeptical movie industry that he’s not just a trust fund kid dabbling in Tinseltown and that he can play an effective role in determining what movies come to the big screen over the next few years. “It’s something I grew up with my whole life,” David Ellison said of the associations of privilege that his last name conjures. “I only ask that people keep an open mind and give me a shot. One thing this company will never be is just a checkbook.” Backed by $350 million in funding, Ellison’s Skydance Productions is the primary financing partner for Paramount’s movies. Despite little experience in Hollywood, Ellison has latched on as executive producer for such high-profile pictures as a fourth Mission: Impossible and is spearheading a sequel to the 1986 Tom Cruise action movie Top Gun. Although some people in Hollywood may be expecting him simply to write checks and attend premieres, Ellison says he is building what he calls a “media company 2.0.” Skydance aims to finance and produce four to six movies a year with Paramount as well to develop its own projects, and eventually to move into television and new media.

05PGB05.indd 5

“The hurdle for this company is the stereotype” of Ellison, Skydance production president Dana Goldberg said. “The good news is he comes from a world where if people say they’re going to do something, they do it.” Skydance’s small but growing slate features the kind of films that appeal to a kid who grew up infatuated with silver-screen spectacles like Jurassic Park and Star Wars. Ellison described his taste as “elevated event entertainment,” code in Hollywood for commercial action-adventure, sci-fi and fantasy movies that play to wide audiences. Ellison readily acknowledges that his name has helped swing doors open for him in Hollywood while other aspiring producers his age are working as gofers and looking for their big break. His father’s relationships gave him access to such media titans as Steve Jobs and David Geffen, who made key ELLISON introductions to power players like entertainment attorney Skip Brittenham. The lawyer subsequently helped Ellison structure his business plan. Larry Ellison invested an undisclosed amount in the $150 million of equity that Skydance has raised, which was supplemented with a $200-million credit line arranged by JPMorgan Chase. The money comes at an opportune time for Paramount, which has lost several movie partners in the last few years, including DreamWorks Studios, Marvel Entertainment and Spyglass Entertainment. “Having a producer who wants to bring us big commercial ideas and also invest with us in franchise pictures is the sweetest kind of deal

that exists,” Paramount film group president Adam Goodman said. David Ellison grew up in Woodside, an exclusive enclave south of San Francisco, watching movies and playing video games. He and his father, always close, took their first flying lesson together when David was 13. But two summer internships at Oracle during high school convinced Ellison that he didn’t want to follow his father’s footsteps into the high-tech world. By then, Ellison had developed a passion for aerobatic flying. He’s logged more than 2,000 hours in the air and houses his two planes at Skydance’s offices in a hangar at Santa Monica Municipal Airport. “It’s one of the few arenas left in the world where you can do things that have never been done before,” Ellison said of his hobby. His preoccupation with flying and movies was behind Ellison’s decision to drop out of USC film school in 2005 to make his first film, the World War I drama Flyboys, in which he also played the role of a young U.S. fighter pilot. Skydance contributed 30 percent of the film’s $60-million budget, and Ellison helped seal an “insanely complicated” financing deal among several banks and funds, said the movie’s producer, Dean Devlin, who noted, “We were schooled by a 23-year-old.” The movie was a boxoffice flop and lost tens of millions of dollars for its investors. “I openly admit to making a lot of mistakes,” Ellison said. “I got my PhD doing the movie.” Ellison finally abandoned acting last summer, when a movie he wrote, Northern Lights, inspired by the death of his best friend in a flying accident, fell apart in an embarrassingly public way. One of Ellison’s priorities now is developing a sequel

to Top Gun. He pitched the film’s original team — Cruise, director Tony Scott and producer Jerry Bruckheimer — on ways to update the story to the 21st century, such as integrating the increasing use of unmanned drones by the military. “He called us up and said he wanted to get all the

guys together,” Bruckheimer said. On another project, a movie based on Tom Clancy’s spy novel Without Remorse, Ellison made a key suggestion to make the plot more current by shifting the setting to China from Russia, producer Roberto Orci said. In the last few months, El-

lison has traveled to Prague, Czech Republic; Vancouver, Canada; and Dubai to visit sets for Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. “I was on my guard about David at first, but he has an infectious personality, and most importantly, he loves movies,” said Bryan Burk, a producer on the movie.

3/5/2011 5:18:52 AM







For more comics & puzzles, go to


Opening lead — ♥ queen

NORTH ♠ A K 10 3 ♥542 ◆ J 10 5 4 3 ♣8 WEST ♠865 ♥ Q J 10 8 6 ◆72 ♣J65


EAST ♠QJ92 ♥K7 ◆AK6 ♣ 10 9 7 3

SOUTH ♠74 ♥A93 ◆Q98 ♣AKQ42


Vulnerable: East-West Dealer: North The bidding: South West 1 NT 2◆ 3 NT

North Pass Pass 2♣ Pass 2 NT All pass

East Pass Pass Pass 3-5

went to East, who took his top diamond and spade nine. The same sort of defense From the last European was found by Thomas and Open Championships, Ismail Michel Bessis. A top-heart lead Kandemir and Suleyman was overtaken by East and Kolata found an elegant way ducked by declarer, for a highto beat three no-trump. spade shift by East. Declarer When Kadenmir led a top heart, instead of overtaking to won and continued with a diamond to the nine. When this unblock the suit, East delibheld, he continued with the erately ducked, persuading diamond queen. East won this declarer to duck once, and and led the spade jack, taken then again on his partner’s in dummy with the king. low heart continuation to the Declarer did not succeed, king. Kolata now found the but in fact South did have a killing shift to a top spade, resource, as demonstrated, by won in dummy. He ducked French international Pierre the diamond play and won Zimmermann at yet a third the second diamond to play a table. He cashed his three second top spade, surrenderclubs and his heart ace, then ing a trick to cut declarer’s exited with a diamond. East communications. The best declarer could do now had a club to cash but only two spades left, and now was cash the spade 10, pitching a diamond from hand, dummy had a spade and diatake the heart ace, and cash his mond winner. three top clubs. Another club —BOBBY WOLFF





BLACK TO PLAY Hint: Force checkmate. Solution: 1. ... Rb1ch! 2. Kd2 (or Ke2) Rf2ch 3. Kd3 Rd1 mate [adapted from Ovod-Kazhgaleyev ’11].






Dear Abby: I recently attended a play with my mother and daughter. We were looking forward to an evening together. After we were seated, a young girl and her mother came and sat directly behind us. The girl was sick and she coughed — hacked, really — throughout the entire performance. Not only was it disturbing, but the coughing was so loud we missed a lot of the dialogue. Those tickets were not cheap and we did not enjoy the play. What would have been the proper way to handle that situation? Annoyed Theatergoer in Chicago Unless the house was sold out, you should have spoken to an usher or the theater manager and asked to be seated elsewhere. And if you were concerned about catching something, you should have asked to exchange the tickets for another performance and left. Dear Abby: I have an ex-boyfriend with whom I have remained friends since we broke up two years ago. We see each other a few times a year, but I haven’t seen him in six months. Last Christmas, as a gift, I bought him a bottle of wine I know he enjoys. I have mentioned several times that we should get together so I can give it to him, but he is making no effort to hang out. At what point do I put the bottle to better use and drink it myself? Mike in St. Paul



husband, but if Bobby is the father, I strongly feel he has a right to know. Unsure in Illinois Because you are willing to risk straining the relationship you have with your current husband, explain to him that you need to be sure of the identity of your daughter’s father because the man’s medical history could one day be important for her to have. It’s the truth. Then contact BOTH men you were seeing at the time of her conception, explain the situation, and request a DNA test. If you let them know that you don’t expect anything from them but their medical history, they may be willing to comply — and you’ll have your answer. Dear Abby: May I share another “pennies from heaven” story you might find interesting? My oldest sister was very sick in the hospital, and I was heading there during the mid-morning. When I got to my car, I glanced down at the curb. I spotted a penny lying there, picked it up and glanced at my wristwatch. It was 10:30. When I arrived at the hospital, I saw her son and daughter-in-law holding each other and crying. When I ran to them, they told me Mary was gone. She had died at 10:30. Lillian C., Boca Raton, Fla. How poignant. It appears she couldn’t leave you without saying goodbye. ANSWER TO FRIDAY’S PUZZLE:

How about tonight? And be sure to share it with someone who will appreciate your company as well as the wine. Dear Abby: I am the mother of a beautiful daughter who has never met her real father. I wasn’t sure about who he was, a fact I’m not proud of. I tried to convince myself that her dad was the one guy I really liked at the time, but as she has grown older, many of her mannerisms and little habits reflect characteristics of the other guy (“Bobby”) who was also in my life then. I parted ways with both men while I was pregnant. I am currently married, although we are struggling. I am now questioning whether I should try to locate Bobby to see if he is the father. I don’t expect anything from him, but I would like a resolution. This could strain my relationship with my

HOROSCOPE IF TODAY IS YOUR BIRTHDAY: If you hit a crossroads later this month and don’t have a map, you might be wise to just wait to move forward. You may be subjected to conflicting influences. • PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): There isn’t enough of something to go around and your sympathetic heart is touched. • ARIES (March 21-April 19): Lock and load. In matters of love, you are ready to defend your territory or hunt for fresh game.


• TAURUS (April 20-May 20): . There could be some romantic crosscurrents in the air today that tempt you to slam a door. • GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Although it is important to honor your obligations, it isn’t necessary to dwell on gloomy subjects. • CANCER (June 21-July 22): Life lessons leave you laughing. Because you are willing to accept your place, you are able to take pleasure in the little things in life. • LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): You may have an obligation to pick up the tab or ignore a phone call from an old flame. • VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): X marks the spot. You are intrigued by treasure maps or other mysteries and want to believe that Never-Never Land really exists. • LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): There is a method to your madness. You want the freedom to flirt outrageously without the consequences. • SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Give as good as you get. There might be romantic overtures on the table tonight. • SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Stick to the tried and true. Your spirit of adventure and love of fun might clash with responsibilities. • CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Exert self-discipline without selfishness. What benefits you might not suit someone else. • AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Don’t be so caught up in your own view of circumstances that you forget to ask for feedback from others.

04PGB06.indd 6

CROSSWORD ACROSS 60 Ritual cross 1 Scandinavian native 62 Extreme point in an orbit 5 Neurotic worry 63 Lively spirit 10 Cathedral projection 64 Where dull CEOs hold 14 Nightstand jug meetings? 15 Tropical vine 66 Product of some worms 16 Place to fish from 67 In reserve 17 What the glazier 68 Country hick took for relief? 69 Thousand ___, Calif. 19 Cajun vegetable 70 Scout’s mission 20 Muse of love poetry 71 Harness race pace 21 Right-angle joints 22 Yegg’s thousands DOWN 23 Finds new tenants for 1 Biblical shunned one 25 Water park fixtures 2 Not in the dark 27 It comes in bars 3 Kind of colony or code 29 Turn away 4 Course requisite, at times 32 Like one defusing 5 1996 Olympic torch a bomb lighter 35 Subject to legal damages 6 Cairo’s river 39 Suffix with “ranch” 7 Vexes 40 The whole nine yards 8 Fishhook attaching line 41 Unauthorized DVD 9 Tibias’ neighbors 42 It’s two steps away from 10 Orbital far point being a dollar sign 11 Glimpse from a certain 43 Melville setting freshwater fish? 44 Trio tripled 12 Desertlike 45 Some instruments made 13 Times to remember from koa wood 18 Japanese stringed 46 Parts of British pounds instrument 48 Dan Blocker TV role 24 Where dos are done 50 What a gofer is sent on 26 Bottom-of-the-barrel bit 28 Subatomic particle 54 Distant cloud? 30 Scots Gaelic 58 Pocket full of food?

31 Half a financial statement? 32 Hoof-smoothing tool 33 Away from the wind 34 Chatter between the pilot and co-pilot? 36 Dined or lunched 37 Dull as dishwater 38 Gave false hopes to

41 45 47 49 51 52 53 55

Stadium vendor’s supply Standard computer plug Car starters of old Mark with a branding iron Ann ___, Mich. Everybody’s opposite Type of column “Forgive ___

trespasses ...” 56 People bend over backwards for it 57 Money in the bank, e.g. 58 Mexican moola 59 Pelvic bones 61 Art ___ 65 Daniel shared one with lions

3/4/2011 8:59:48 PM






MTSU to play in tournament after player’s death BY TERESA M. WALKER Associated Press

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — The Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders women’s basketball team had been grieving the stabbing death of teammate Tina Stewart and agonizing over the decision to play in the Sun Belt Conference tournament. They reached a unanimous decision just before facing reporters Thursday. Standing together, holding hands for support and with their eyes red from crying, senior guard Anne Marie Lanning announced they would try to win another title and trip to the NCAA tournament. “We know Tina would want us to go out and play,” Lanning said. “We just talked about it, and we all just kind of looked at each other, ‘Yeah, that’s what we want to do. We want to make sure to collectively decide. Not five saying yes, five saying no.’ We all just talked about it. We’re going to go out there and play for Tina and give it our all.” Stewart, 21, of Memphis, was stabbed to death Wednesday night and her 18-year-old roommate, Shanterrica Madden, has been charged with first-degree murder. The MTSU fresh-

man is being held without bond. Madden’s attorney, Joe Brandon, told The Associated Press that his client used Stewart’s own knife in self-defense during a fight. He did not say what the altercation was about. Lanning said the players went from the hospital where Stewart was declared dead to coach Rick Insell’s home Wednesday night, spending hours together. Freshman KeKe Stewart couldn’t stop the tears from rolling down her cheeks at the press conference. In a show of unity, the men’s team stood behind the women with all the players wearing purple ribbons and stickers reading “20GETHER” in honor of Stewart’s jersey No. 20. The teams then went into the Murphy Center for a vigil. Stewart’s boyfriend, junior KC Anuna, doesn’t know yet if he’ll go with the men’s team to the Sun Belt tournament, but said Stewart was just trying to do the right thing Wednesday night. He wouldn’t go into details and athletic director Chris Massaro said the ongoing police investigation limits what they can say about the case. Murfreesboro Police spokesman Kyle Evans wrote


TRAGIC END: Middle Tennessee State University basketball player Tina Stewart was stabbed to death Wednesday night. in an email to the AP that possible drug use inside the apartment is part of the overall investigation and police believe first-degree murder is the appropriate charge.

“I cannot discuss the question on the drug use except to say that we do not believe the victim was using drugs,” Evans wrote. Anuna said Madden had

done “something” before and Stewart had warned Madden not to do it again, promising to report her to the courtesy officer at their apartment complex close to campus. He said Madden agreed. “It happened again. She called the courtesy officer. I guess, I guess that’s when the roommate got mad,” Anuna said. Middle Tennessee (23-6) is the East’s top seed scheduled to play Sunday in Hot Springs, Ark. The Blue Raiders, 14-2 in league play, are trying to earn the automatic berth with the tournament title for a 14th trip to the NCAA tournament. They won last year, but this team is much younger with 11 freshmen and sophomores. The 5-foot-7 Stewart was a key veteran on this team despite being relegated to the bench after starting in a career-high 14 games this season and had a career-best 15 points on Nov. 28. She averaged 5.5 points and 2.5 rebounds in 28 games this season for the Blue Raiders. Massaro said he has been getting calls from athletic officials at other schools where students have died. He said they haven’t decided how to handle the tournament or how to honor

Stewart because the decision to play had just been made. But he said the time on the court will be the players’ best chance at escaping their loss. “The pregame meal is going to be hard,” Massaro said. “The bus trip where she normally sits on the bus is going to be hard.” Police found Stewart in her apartment stabbed multiple times when they were called about a disturbance. Madden’s attorney won a request that she be photographed by police to document her injuries as proof of the fight. “Miss Stewart, who was an athlete, had Miss Madden down on the ground beating on her,” Brandon said. “Miss Madden has an abrasion above her left eye, looks like perhaps a fingernail. She has swelling to both of her eyes. And during the course of the fight, a knife belonging to Miss Stewart that was in Miss Stewart’s possession ended up getting used on Miss Stewart.” Brandon said he will file a motion asking that bond be set for Madden. She is scheduled back in Rutherford County General Sessions Court on March 11.

Trees bring truce to football civil war




Washington’s Venoy Overton reacts to being called for a foul against UCLA in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Seattle on Thursday. Washington beat UCLA 70-63.

own family tree. A daughter is named Crimson, a son Bear. The prosecution should not assume that a jury impaneled with Crimson Tide types would necessarily go soft on the defendant, based on the work of the Facebook group Tide for Toomer’s. Five 20-something Alabama graduates started the page to raise donations for and awareness of the trees. “We thought what had been done was absolutely reprehensible,” Gina Smith of Montgomery said. Smith and her co-creators expected a thousand or so “friends” who might pledge a few hundred dollars. “We had no idea,” she said. The supporter count surpassed 60,000 this week, and contributions are approaching $50,000. Smith, who also holds a master’s degree from Auburn, is not naive enough to predict continued detente. “I don’t think fans will lock arms and sing ‘Kumbaya’ at the Iron Bowl this year,” she said.

It’s about time Miami found its motivation • HEAT, FROM 8B

three. Not after the Heat had a pair of open three-pointers that could’ve sent the game to overtime, including a wide-open attempt from James, but failed to come close with either one. As it was happening, and immediately after it happened, it felt like this disaster can only signal bad things for a Heat team that was built for impossibly great things. Take Bosh’s comments after it happened. He normally says all the right things, doesn’t cause a stir. If you were to seek the pulse of the Heat team at any time, Bosh probably wouldn’t be the first person you went to. Outspoken Bosh Until Thursday. Thursday, his words said plenty about how this team is feeling after continuing a disturbing pattern. One that you didn’t think could get any worse than Sunday’s tank job against the Knicks. “We’ve blown a lot of 20-point leads,” he said. That statement alone is disturbing, because it’s funny just to hear but might be the most severely humor-

05PGB07.indd 7


FOUL PLAY: Miami Heat’s Joel Anthony, left, fouls the Orlando Magic’s Dwight Howard. less statement he’s made all year. “We just have to do it,” Bosh said. “Sometimes you get caught up in talking too much.” Now, that last sentence probably had absolutely nothing to do with James tweeting Wednesday about how he’s “re-FOCUSED” for the stretch run. But when you lose a game like this, and emotions are so raw,

it’s a thought that could cross the minds of anyone listening. What’s worse is when the explanation for the collapse doesn’t exist. Yes, the Magic nailed a ridiculous amount of threes, but how does that explain the Heat’s failure to score? Yes, the Magic paid much more attention to James and Wade, but what does it

say about the Heat that no one else produced — again. Bosh was 5 of 15 shooting. Mario Chalmers, who might as well have just asked to be benched in favor of Mike Bibby, missed nine of 11. The entire bench scored 11 points, and that’s including three from Bibby, who actually played well considering the impossible circumstances he was thrown into. “I don’t know what our breakdown was,” Bosh said. “But they just kept getting open shot after open shot.” He didn’t know the problem, but he knows the solution. And it again sounds like it could be directed at his pair of superstar teammates. Again, it probably wasn’t directed at anyone in particular. But losses like this creates lines that might not even be there, and people tend to read between those imaginary lines. “We have to keep being the aggressors instead of trying to change our mentality,” Bosh said. James and Wade scored 47 impressive points in taking an 18-point first half lead. They scored 10 in the second half.

Does their mentality change with a big lead? Maybe. Maybe not. But losses like this will make even those two question that. “We’re playing hard,” Wade said. “We don’t come out and take a 24-point lead if we’re not.” Spoelstra stuck to the script, despite the obvious frustration in his face and the beads of sweat still on his face. “This will eventually help us,” he said. But it doesn’t feel anything like that. Not now. Not after this season-long process results in something like that. “We’re going through these growing pains, and it sucks,” Wade said. “Of our 18 losses, I think 13, 14 of them we’ve had leads. “It’s mind-boggling.” This game meant something. Something awful? Yes. Something positive? Possibly, eventually, yes. But it doesn’t get much more painful than this. So it might be a while before that wears off entirely and we get the actual answer to that last question.

Still, Smith expects a renewed sense of sportsmanship that she hopes will extend to the more rabid followers in each camp. “There is a silent majority of very rational fans who keep the rivalry in perspective,” she said. Those fans are largely white-collar professionals, said Wayne Flynt, distinguished professor emeritus of history at Auburn. “Decent, good people who never took the rivalry as serious because they’ve got a life after football,” he said. Flynt, editor in chief of the online Encyclopedia of Alabama, characterized the more obsessed as primarily working-class “pickup-truck alumni” who matriculated to neither university and whose lives are a struggle. “Football is all they have to live for,” Flynt said, citing the occasional shooting or stabbing after past Iron Bowl games.

NBA EASTERN CONFERENCE Atlantic Boston New York Philadelphia New Jersey Toronto

W 44 31 30 17 17

L 15 28 30 43 44

Pct GB .746 — .525 13 .500 141/2 .283 271/2 .279 28

Southeast Miami Orlando Atlanta Charlotte Washington

W 43 40 37 26 15

L 18 22 24 34 45

Pct .705 .645 .607 .433 .250

Central Chicago Indiana Milwaukee Detroit Cleveland

W 41 27 23 22 11

L 18 33 36 41 49

Pct GB .695 — .450 141/2 .390 18 .349 21 .183 301/2

GB — 31/2 6 161/2 271/2

WESTERN CONFERENCE Southwest San Antonio Dallas New Orleans Memphis Houston

W 50 44 35 34 31

L 11 16 28 28 32

Pct GB .820 — .733 51/2 .556 16 .548 161/2 .492 20

Northwest Oklahoma City Denver Portland Utah Minnesota

W 37 37 34 32 15

L 22 26 27 30 47

Pct GB .627 — .587 2 .557 4 .516 61/2 .242 231/2

Pacific L.A. Lakers Phoenix Golden State L.A. Clippers Sacramento

W 43 31 27 22 15

L 19 28 33 40 44

Pct GB .694 — .525 101/2 .450 15 .355 21 .254 261/2

THURSDAY’S GAMES Orlando 99, Miami 96 Denver 103, Utah 101

3/5/2011 5:39:39 AM









TRYING HARD: Miami Heat’s LeBron James drives to the basket against Orlando Magic’s Hedo Turkoglu during their game in Miami.

Regular season games don’t mean anything. Until they do. This epic Heat collapse means something. You could see it on the face of Erik Spoelstra, who did his best to maintain the calm facade of a coach but couldn’t help but let some of that frustration and aggravation and confusion peek through as he spoke following Thursday’s loss. You could see it and hear it in Chris Bosh, who looked defeated and sounded defiant. What it actually means is yet to be determined. But there are very few games, wins or losses, that resonate like this. Losing a 24-point, second-half lead to the Orlando Magic one game after losing a 15-point lead to the Knicks and three games after losing an 11-point lead to the Bulls — that more than stings. It burns. Bad. It’s the type of loss that’s as much inexplicable as it is potentially damaging. It’s the type of loss that could also jolt a team in the right direction, if only because pride kicks in like it never has before. But for one night — Thursday night — this loss doesn’t look or feel or sound like anything positive can come out of it. Not after the Heat looked dominant for about 30 minutes of basketball only to look completely incapable for the next 18. Not after watching LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, two players who had been tabbed as among the best “closers” the NBA has to offer, score only two points in the fourth quarter — both on Wade free throws in the final minute — while the game was slipping away for the entire period. Not after the Magic dropped 16 threes on the Heat, while the Heat could respond with just • TURN TO HEAT, 7B

Ahmadinejad called ‘Steinbrenner of Iran’ BY HOWIE RUMBERG Associated Press

TAMPA, Fla. — George Steinbrenner often compared himself to powerful, iron-fisted leaders. Assuredly, the late New York Yankees owner never had the Iranian president in mind. A U.S. diplomat did, calling Mahmoud Ahmadinejad the “The George Steinbrenner of Iran” in a leaked U.S. cable detailing the president’s meddling with his country’s national soccer team. Steinbrenner’s name showed up among the thousands of State Department documents released by Wikileaks. His son was startled when told by The Associated Press. “I think that’s a ridiculous comparison,” Yankees co-chairman Hank Steinbrenner said this week. “Obviously, it was very inappropriate.” The confidential cable described how Ahmadinejad tried to use the popularity of Team Melli to improve his standing with the Iranian people ahead of the 2009 elections. The diplomat predicted the team’s struggles could affect the president’s results at the ballot box. According to the document, Ahmadinejad, a former player, used his position to influence the firing of two coaches in a matter of weeks, an act George Steinbrenner was well versed in. Known as The Boss, Steinbrenner changed managers 21 times during his 371/2 years as owner. The cable, out of the Dubai-based Iran Regional Presence Office, said Team Melli was suspended in 2006 from international tournaments because of Ahmadinejad’s “repeat-


05PGB08.indd 8

ed violations” of soccer’s governing body’s rules against political interference. The State Department declined to address the cable’s contents. “We don’t comment on supposedly leaked documents,” State Department spokeswoman Leslie Phillips said. The cable also said Iranian intelligence services had files on many of the team’s players. Steinbrenner was suspended from baseball for 21/2 years for paying a self-described gambler to obtain negative information on Yankees outfielder Dave Winfield, with whom Steinbrenner was feuding. Steinbrenner had a reputation for instilling fear in his players and staff, and outspending other teams to land the biggest-named players. During his tenure, the Yankees were called the “Evil Empire” by the rival Boston Red Sox. He also knew how to win. The Yankees won seven World Series titles under Steinbrenner’s leadership. As president of Iran — the country was a member of President George W. Bush’s “axis of evil” — Ahmadinejad regularly unleashed verbal attacks on the West and has called for the destruction of Israel. Iran failed to qualify for the 2010 World Cup and, according to the cable, the Iranian people accused Ahmadinejad of jinxing the team after a loss to Saudi Arabia. Ahmadinejad won reelection in 2009 amid claims of widespread electoral fraud, setting off protests and brutal government crackdowns that have continued for over a year.


Deadline extended for NFL labor talks BY JUDY BATTISTA

New Y N York k Ti Times S Service

WASHINGTON — The NFL and the players union have agreed to extend negotiations on a new collective bargaining agreement for seven more days. The current agreement was scheduled to expire Thursday. The extension could be a sign that both sides believe a deal is reachable, said a person with knowledge of the league’s thinking. Talks are scheduled to resume Monday, and the extension expires next Friday. According to one person who was in the negotiating room, Thursday’s talks made it clear that neither side had a thirst to use the weapons it amassed for an all-out labor fight — the union dissolving itself and the owners locking out the players — and that both sides now view March as a serious deadline. If there is no deal and the union goes through the process known as decertification, the action would move to the Minneapolis courtroom of federal Judge David S. Doty. He has consistently ruled in favor of players over the years — including the ruling this week that owners may not get $4 billion in television revenue during a lockout, which swung some leverage to the players — a result the owners would prefer to avoid. On Friday members of the owners’ negotiating group, including commissioner Roger Goodell and lead negotiator Jeff Pash, met with the federal mediator George Cohen, who has shepherded the negotiations for two weeks. While significant differences remain on core issues — how to divide $9 billion in revenue, and how much more owners should receive off the top of the pool beyond the current $1 billion — the sniping between the sides has stopped since Cohen became involved.



West Indies’ wicketkeeper Devon Thomas, second from right, takes a catch to dismiss Bangladesh’s Naeem Islam, in Dhaka, Bangladesh. West Indies routed Bangladesh by nine wickets on Friday after dismissing the home side for 58. In another low-scoring encounter, New Zealand cruised to a crushing 10-wicket victory over Zimbabwe who were bowled all out for 162 in Ahmedabad, India.

Poisoned trees bring truce to football civil war in south BY MIKE TIERNEY

New York Times Service

The attempted killing of two trees that are occasionally draped with toilet paper might have been considered a police blotter blip. But when those two 130-yearold live oaks shade an intersection known as Toomer’s Corner in Auburn, Ala. — considered sacred ground among the Auburn University faithful — and are poisoned, apparently in the name of the University of Alabama football icon Bear Bryant, the normal order of business is upended. The accused, a former Texas state trooper, had trouble acquiring a lawyer. Two court-appointed lawyers and a privately retained lawyer asked to be taken off the case before a fourth came forward and seems to have stuck. And now a truce of sorts, once unfathomable, has emerged between the universities’ supporters,

normally divided like Hatfields and McCoys. The newfound peace was embodied by Alabama loyalists who collected money to assist Auburn’s long-shot restoration efforts for the critically ill oaks. The trigger for these oddities is Harvey A. Updyke, 62 — aka “Al from Dadeville,” as he identified himself when calling a popular sports talk radio show with what apparently was a confession Jan. 27. Taking grudge-holding to new depths, Updyke/Al claimed on the call to have infected the landmark trees with a deadly dose of the herbicide Spike 80DF in retribution for Auburn devotees’ supposed toilet-papering of the oak trees in celebration of Bryant’s death 28 years ago. (The toilet paper ritual is customarily confined to Tigers football victories.) Spike 80DF has been confirmed as the chemical used.


SOFT SPOT: Crews remove toilet paper from one of the two poisoned oak trees at Toomer’s Corner in Auburn, Ala.

Updyke’s allegiance to the Crimson Tide is evident on his • TURN TO TREES, 7B

3/5/2011 5:40:30 AM




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Edition 05 March 2011

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