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Washington Post Service


CRUMBLING: Construction, Palestine’s greatest need, has been the slowest effort to get started because Israel fears that cement, gravel and steel would be diverted to Hamas’ military. Above, Palestinian children look through the remains of their home in the Gaza Strip after an Israeli bulldozer destroyed it.

For Israel, a deja vu in Gaza


New York Times Service

delicacy of the topic. “It is an illusion to think that there can ever be peace here with Hamas in power.” Just as such talk is common in the Israeli security establishment, so here in Gaza official talk of resistance and rejection is standard. “I would rather die a martyr like my son than shake the hand of my enemy,” Yusef Mansi, the Hamas minister of public works and housing, said in an interview devoted mostly to rebuilding after the war. He was responding to a question about reconciliation with Israel. Since September, when Israel and the Palestinian Authority started peace talks, there have been 20 to 30 rockets and mortar shells shot monthly into Israel, double the rate for the first part of the year. Although most seem to be the work of groups other than Hamas, Israel argues that Hamas is in charge and will be held responsible. “In the last two months there has been a shift, which means that from now on unless we start doing something different, the deterrence will go down,” an Israeli military commander said in an interview under military rules of anonymity. “Hamas has

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — The shops are full of Israeli food and clothes, but most people in Gaza can barely afford them. Construction projects — sewage treatment plants, schools — are getting started but far fewer than needed. The border with Egypt, once sealed, is open but few people cross because security clearance is hard to get. And rockets and mortar shells are flying daily from here into Israel, as Israeli troops carry out brief raids. Two years after the Israeli military swooped down in a three-week war that destroyed thousands of buildings, killed about 1,300 people and largely deterred rocket fire, things are starting to shift again in Gaza. But they seem to be shifting backward, creating a sense of deja vu. The economic siege is easing, and the border is heating up. Israel hoped that the blockade would break Hamas. Instead, Hamas is fully in charge, Israel is frustrated and another confrontation seems possible. “Everyone in the Israeli government knows this situation cannot go on forever,” said a top Israeli official, insisting on anonymity because of the • TURN TO GAZA, 2A


MASS SUPPORT: Tens of thousands attend a mass rally to celebrate the 23rd anniversary of the founding of Hamas in Gaza City on Tuesday.

Web privacy bill of rights tabled BY JIM PUZZANGHERA

Los Angeles Times Service

WASHINGTON — An Obama administration report calling for an online privacy bill of rights shows a growing recognition that consumers need more protection as they surf the Web. But the proposal also highlights a lack of consensus among policymakers, businesses and consumer advocates about how best to safeguard personal data without harming an Internet economy built on its ability to serve up ads targeted at people’s online behavior. In an 88-page report, a Commerce Department task force Thursday called for Internet businesses to develop principles to protect consumer data and for a new government office to oversee that and other privacy efforts. The report, however, stopped short of calling for privacy legisla-

framework in which companies would voluntarily agree to comply with principles for the use of consumer information. Companies that failed to live up to those promises could be cited by the Federal Trade Commission with unfair and deceptive practices and fined. “Self-regulation without stronger enforcement is not enough,” Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said. Businesses such as Google and Microsoft like the idea of a voluntary code of conduct backed by FTC enforcement. But consumer and privacy advocates said self-regulation, even backed by government enforcement, is not enough. MCT They want tough privacy legislation, including a requirement tion, which many consumer for a do-not-track mechanism groups have advocated. Although similar to the popular do-not-call the task force is open to new laws, the report suggested a policy • TURN TO PRIVACY, 2A


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U.S. President Barack Obama signed into law the most significant tax bill in nearly a decade Friday, a day after overcoming liberal resistance in Congress to continue for two more years tax breaks enacted under president George W. Bush and to provide a fresh federal boost for the tepid economic recovery. In remarks before signing the bill, Obama called it "a substantial victory for middle-class families across the country." He added: "They're the ones hardest hit by the recession we've endured. They're the ones who need relief right now." Obama described the bill as "a package of tax relief that will protect the middle class, that will grow our economy and will create jobs for the American people." The package, brokered by Obama and Republican leaders in the wake of the November elections, angered many Democrats, who have long argued that the Bush tax cuts were skewed to benefit the wealthy. But their last-minute campaign to scale back the bill's benefits for taxpayers at the highest income levels failed, and the House passed the measure 277 to 148 Thursday night, with 112 Democrats and 36 Republicans voting "no." Friday's signing ceremony at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building next to the White House was attended by the Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell (Ky.), and the No. 2 Senate Democrat, Richard J. Durbin (Ill.). But notably absent were the top Democratic leaders of the House and Senate. The $858 billion package prevents taxes from rising on New Year's Day for virtually every American household. The measure also will guarantee unemployed workers in hard-hit states up to 99 weeks of jobless benefits through the end of next year. And it will • TURN TO TAX CUTS, 2A

FDA to revoke Avastin’s approval for breast cancer BY ROB STEIN

Washington Post Service

Avastin is the world’s best-selling cancer drug, with global sales of $5.8 billion, and it is the topselling product for Roche, whose Genentech unit makes it. Its use to treat breast cancer brings in about $855 million in annual revenue in the United States. The FDA said Genentech had 15 days to request a hearing to review the decision, and the company immediately said in a statement it would request that step. The company maintains the drug does extend the lives of breast cancer patients. Avastin, which is prescribed to about 17,500 breast cancer patients each year, remains approved to treat several other tumors, including those of the colon, lung, kidney and brain. So doctors can continue to prescribe it for breast cancer as an “off-label” use. But an FDA revocation would likely prompt insurers to stop paying for Avastin for metastatic breast cancer. Avastin is one of

WASHINGTON — U.S. regulators have taken the unusual step of moving to revoke approval of a drug to treat advanced breast cancer. The Food and Drug Administration announced plans Thursday to withdraw authorization to sell the blockbuster drug Avastin for metastatic breast cancer, saying four new studies indicate the benefits of the drug do not outweigh the risks. “After careful review of the clinical data, we are recommending that the breast cancer indication for Avastin be removed based on evidence from four independent studies,” said Janet Woodcock, director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “None of the studies demonstrated that patients receiving Avastin lived longer, and patients receiving Avastin experienced a significant increase in serious side effects. The limited effects of Avastin combined with the significant risks led us to this • TURN TO AVASTIN, 2A difficult decision.”



INDEX NEWS EXTRA...............3A THE AMERICAS............4A OPINION.......................7A COMICS & PUZZLES.. 6B

12/18/2010 5:50:07 AM






Obama signs compromise tax plan • TAX CUTS, FROM 1A

create major new incentives for business and consumer spending in 2011, including a two-percentage-point reduction in the Social Security payroll tax that would let workers keep as much as $2,136. At the signing ceremony, Obama said passage of the law was propelled “by the fact that tax rates for every American were poised to automatically increase on January 1st.” If that had happened, “the average middleclass family would have had to pay an extra $3,000 in taxes next year,” he said. “That wouldn’t have just been a blow to them; it would have been a blow to our economy, just as we’re climbing out of a devastating recession.” Obama declared: “I refused to let that happen. And because we acted, it’s not going to. In fact, not only will middle-class Americans avoid a tax increase, but tens of millions of Americans will start the new year off right by opening their first paycheck to see that it’s actually larger than the one they get right now.” He said he would not have signed the bill if it did not include “other extensions of

relief that were also set to expire.” Among other provisions, he cited the extensions of unemployment benefits and tuition tax credits, as well as tax incentives for businesses. Obama acknowledged that “there are some elements of this legislation that I don’t like,” and some that congressional Republicans and Democrats don’t like. “That’s the nature of compromise, yielding on something each of us cares about to move forward on what all of us care about,” he said. “And right now, what all of us care about is growing the American economy and creating jobs for the American people.” Asserting that the package would do just that, Obama said: “It’s a good deal for the American people. This is progress. And that’s what they sent us here to achieve.” Earlier, incoming speaker of the House, Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio), called the bill “a good first step” but emphasized the GOP view that major spending cuts are needed. “If we want to . . . begin creating jobs, we need to end the job-killing spending binges” by the federal government and “provide more certainty to business,” he said Friday.

Highlights of the tax package passed by Congress Associated Press

Highlights of the tax package passed by Congress late Thursday and sent to U.S. President Barack Obama. It would cost about $858 billion; most provisions, which were to expire Jan. 1, would be extended for two years, unless noted. THE PACKAGE EXTENDS: —Lower rates for taxpayers at every income level. The top rate, on taxable income above $379,150, would stay at 35 percent, instead of increasing to 39.6 percent. The bottom rate, on taxable income below $8,500 for individuals and $17,000 for married couples, would stay at 10 percent, instead of increasing to 15 percent. Cost: $186.8 billion. l More generous itemized deductions for highincome households. Cost: $20.7 billion. l A more generous $1,000 child tax credit. Cost: $71.7 billion. l Marriage penalty relief,

Avastin loses FDA approval

l A series of incentives

for selling, using and producing alternative fuels, including ethanol. Many of the provisions expired at the end of 2009. They would be extended through 2011. Cost: $11.3 billion. l A $250 deduction for out-of-pocket classroom expenses by teachers, for 2010 and 2011. Cost: $390 million. l A federal income tax deduction for state and local sales taxes, taken mostly by people who live in the nine states without state income taxes, for 2010 and 2011. Cost: $5.5 billion. l The ability of older Americans to withdraw up to $100,000 a year from Individual Retirement Accounts, tax-free, to donate to certain public charities, for 2010 and 2011. Cost: $979 million. l A business tax credit for research and experimentation expenses, for 2010 and 2011. Cost: $13.3 billion. l Tax breaks for capital improvements to restaurants and other retail buildings,

for 2010 and 2011. Cost: $3.6 billion. l A tax break for active investors in foreign-based banking, securities and insurance firms, for 2010 and 2011. Cost: $9.2 billion. l Increased depreciation and expensing for capital investments by businesses. Cost: $21.8 billion. THE PACKAGE ALSO: l Spares more than 20 mil-

lion middle-income households from tax increases averaging $3,900 from the Alternative Minimum Tax in 2010 and 2011. Cost: $136.7 billion. l Imposes a lower estate tax for the next two years, allowing couples to pass estates as large as $10 million to heirs tax-free. The balance would be taxed at 35 percent. Cost: $68.1 billion. l Provides a one-year Social Security tax cut for all wage earners, from 6.2 percent to 4.2 percent. Cost: $112 billion. Source: Joint Committee on Taxation.

For Israel, a deja vu in Gaza • GAZA, FROM 1A


the most expensive cancer drugs, costing about $8,000 a month. Breast cancer patients also would lose eligibility for a program in which Genentech caps the annual cost of the drug at about $57,000 for women making less than $100,000 a year. The FDA is not supposed to consider cost in making such decisions, and Woodcock told reporters Thursday that cost was not a factor in the decision. But the debate over Avastin has become entangled in the politically explosive struggle over medical spending and effectiveness that flared during the battle to overhaul the health-care system. “With this disappointing decision, the FDA has chosen to place itself between patients and their doctors by rationing access to a lifeextending drug,” said Sen. David Vitter, R-La. “We can’t allow this government take-

increasing the standard deduction for married couples. Cost: $18 billion. l A more generous Earned Income Tax Credit for low-income families. Cost: $15.7 billion. l A series of tax breaks for students and their families, including interest deduction for student loans and an exemption for employer-provided educational assistance. Cost: $3.3 billion. l A deduction for tuition and related expenses for higher education, for 2010 and 2011. Cost: $1.2 billion. l A tax credit of up to $2,500 for students’ higher education expenses. Cost: $17.6 billion. l The top capital gains tax rate of 15 percent. Cost: $25.9 billion. l The top tax rate on dividends of 15 percent. Cost: $27.3 billion. l Through 2011, enhanced jobless benefits for people who have been unemployed for long stretches. Cost: $56.5 billion.


CONTROVERSIAL: Avastin, an anti-cancer drug produced by Roche, is very expensive and adds only a few months to patients’ lives. over of health care to continue any further.” The decision comes as Medicare is in the midst of an unusual review to determine whether to pay for the first vaccine approved to treat cancer for men with prostate cancer. The vaccine, called Provenge, costs about $93,000 per patient. Avastin was the first drug designed to fight cancer by blocking blood flow to tumors, which has been hailed as one of the first significant innovations in decades in the war on cancer. But Avastin is also one of the most costly anti-cancer medications that only appear to eke out a few extra months of life and have

stirred debate about their cost. The prospect of the FDA revoking Avastin’s approval prompted several members of Congress to send protest letters to the FDA and the Department of Health and Human Services. The FDA endorsed Avastin for advanced breast cancer in 2008 despite divided opinion about its usefulness for that purpose. Only one study had found that the drug appeared to delay an advanced breast tumor from growing by about five months. It remained unclear whether patients lived longer or experienced an improved quality of life.

gained a lot of military capabilities in the last two years.” Whether or not the mutual hostility will produce another war, there is a mild shift in daily life for the 1.5 million people living in this coastal strip. It involves a slow rebuilding of a kind of Gaza normality — always a painful normality since two-thirds of the inhabitants are refugees and 80 percent depend on foreign aid. Twenty-two human rights and aid organizations recently published a report saying Israel had not yet carried out its obligations to change its policy and that life in Gaza remained unchanged. Construction, the greatest need after the war, is the slowest effort to get started because Israel fears that cement, gravel and steel, if permitted in unsupervised, would be diverted to Hamas’ military. This means that businesses like the one belonging to Mohammad Abu Marzouk, which used to employ 1,500 construction workers, has nothing to do. Abu Marzouk, who built the six-story Gaza parliament — completing it two months before Israel leveled it in the

war — said he now had five employees. “We watch the clouds,” he said of their days. Tony Blair, Britain’s former prime minister who serves as the international envoy to Palestinian institutions, said that an important way to counter Hamas’ supremacy was to support an alternative power base in the private sector, which tended toward a Western orientation. But the risks there are real. Ibrahim Abrach, who teaches political science at Al Azhar University here and opposes Hamas, said the easing of the Israeli siege was strengthening Hamas. “I fear that further lifting of the siege will lead to the loss of the West Bank,” he said in an interview, referring to the fact that the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority, a rival of Hamas, runs the West Bank. “It is very hard to lift the siege and not boost Hamas.” He favors doing so as part of reconciliation with Fatah. So far, that too has proved elusive, although the biggest project in Gaza is a $50 million sewage treatment system officially overseen by the Palestinian Authority. The

Israelis hope that such projects will give Gaza residents faith in the Palestinian Authority rather than in Hamas, which was elected in 2006 but violently expelled its rivals in 2007 after uneasy powersharing efforts. Abrach said that in recent months, as conditions had eased, Hamas had grown bolder in its suppression of dissent. His apartment has been broken into and his computer taken, he said, and he has been called into the internal security office twice. Passports of Fatah activists have been confiscated. Khalil al-Muzayen, a filmmaker, said a Swiss-financed drama he shot about the early days of the Israeli occupation here in the 1970s was banned because it depicted Israeli solders as not all monstrous. One or two were nice. “This was seen as pro-normalization,” he said. “But it was based on my experience.” As he spoke, the street outside grew agitated. Hamas activists were driving and honking, practicing for the ceremony marking their 23rd anniversary as a movement. A week later, when it was held, 200,000 people attended.

Online privacy bill of rights proposed • PRIVACY, FROM 1A

list designed to block phone calls from telemarketers. A recent FTC report endorsed creation of such a mechanism, but the Commerce report was lukewarm on the concept. “It’s good that the Department of Commerce recognized we have a privacy problem, but the solution isn’t more self-regulation,” said Susan Grant, director of consumer protection for the Consumer Federation of America. “We’ve tried that and it’s clearly inadequate. We need a privacy law that sets the rules of the road.” The Commerce report comes amid an increased focus in Washington on protecting consumers’ online information. There is bipartisan support in Congress for strengthening privacy protections, and Thursday’s report provides added impetus. The Commerce task force noted that the Internet has developed into an economic force largely through self-regulation, a quicker and more flexible process. The report asks for public comment over the next month about whether legislation is needed. “Legislation is a major option under discussion,” Commerce General Coun-

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sel Cameron Kerry said. “We want to look at all options to advance the consumer bill of rights.” The bill of rights would contain what the report labeled “a clear set of principles” about how companies collect and use personal information for commercial purposes. Called Fair Information Practice Principles, the voluntary rules would give consumers more detail about policies for handling consumer data and put clearer limits on its use. The report recognized limits to such an approach, stating that it was open to legislation that would enshrine certain basic privacy principles in law that all businesses would be required to follow. But such laws also should offer immunity from penalties — so-called safe harbor — for companies that adhere to them, the report said. “Many businesses really would like . . . to have a road map to understand what their obligations should be,” said Lisa Sotto, who advises companies as head of the privacy and information management practice at the Hunton & Williams law firm. “Safe harbor is a real positive for business to serve as a security blanket.”

12/18/2010 5:57:32 AM






GOP stretching out New START debate BY DESMOND BUTLER Associated Press


BEING SAFE: Miami VA Medical Center hospital registered nurse, Rafael Sepulveda, pulls on rubber gloves as a procedure to ward off Staphylococcus aureus bacteria contamination — the No. 1 hospital-acquired infection.

Scientists unlock a mystery behind staph infections BY GINA KOLATA

New York Times Service

Scientists have finally found an answer to one of the great mysteries about the most deadly bacteria, Staphylococcus aureus — why it attacks primarily humans and not animals. And they now have an idea of why some humans are particularly susceptible to these bacteria, which kill 100,000 U.S. citizens a year, far more than any other microbe. In a study released this week, researchers at Vanderbilt University report that staph evolved to zero in on particular regions of human hemoglobin so it could burst the cagelike molecule and feed on the iron inside. People who are resistant to staph, they suspect, might have slight genetic variations that tweak the hemoglobin regions the bacteria seek, making them impervious to the attack. The work is part of a more general look at genes and disease. With new tools to look in detail at slight genetic variations, researchers are asking why some people get some diseases and others do not and why some die from diseases that others almost shrug off. With staph, for instance, 30 percent of the population harbors the bacteria in their noses, with no signs of infection. NEW DIRECTIONS FOR RESEARCH Staph experts say the discovery, published in the Dec. 16 issue of Cell Host & Microbe, answers a lot of questions about the bacteria and shows them new directions for research. “It’s terrific work,” said Frank DeLeo, acting chief of human bacterial pathogenesis at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “It really is moving the field forward.” The work began in 2002 when Eric P. Skaar was a postdoctoral fellow and fascinated by staph. “Staph is the worst infectious threat to public health,” he said. “It is the No. 1 cause of heart infections and skin infections, the No. 1 cause of soft tissue infections. It is a big cause of pneumonia. It is the No. 1 hospital-acquired infection.” But it, like all organisms, needs iron, and Skaar wondered how it got it. The answer, he discovered, is that the bacteria “pop open red blood cells and grab the iron.” Now, as an associate professor at Vanderbilt, Skaar asked a question no one had thought to ask before: Do the bacteria like some hemoglobins more than others? He grew staph in the lab, giving them blood from different animals, from mice to baboons to humans. Staph definitely preferred human blood, he reported in the new paper, but there also was a definite trend: The higher up the evolutionary scale an animal was, the more the bacteria liked its blood. Then Skaar and his colleagues found the protein on staph that attaches to hemoglobin and discovered that it grabs onto segments of the blood protein that are specifically in humans. It can attach to similar segments in animal hemoglobins, but less avidly. Finally, the researchers infected two strains of mice. One were normal lab mice, with normal mouse hemoglobin. The other had half human hemoglobin and half mouse hemoglobin. The strain with human and mouse hemoglobin had 10 times as much bacteria growing in its organs. That explains why it has been so frustrating to study staph infections in mice, said Mark S. Smeltzer of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. Researchers use mice, which are cheap and readily available, to study treatments and vaccines for staph. But it has been so hard to infect them — scientists have to inject them with so many bacteria, Smeltzer said, that “to my mind it is unrealistic.” It was just so much more than were required for many, if not most, infections of humans, he explained. The new study explained why and suggested a way around the problem — using mice with human hemoglobin — he added. MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION But, for Skaar, the result also suggested an answer to one of the most pressing questions about staph infections in people: Why do one-third of the population have the bacteria in their noses and not get sick, while for others a staph infection can be lethal? “In my opinion, that is the most important question in Staph aureus biology right now,” Skaar said. His work, he said, suggests that there are genetic factors that determine susceptibility to infection between species. Are there also genetic factors that determine susceptibility within a species, the human species? He has a way of finding out. There are well-characterized minor genetic differences in hemoglobins among different people. And Vanderbilt Medical Center has a gene bank with the DNA of thousands of its patients. Skaar is using that gene bank now to look at the hemoglobin genes of all the patients who had staph infections and compare them with the gene sequences of patients who were not infected. He expects that if there are variations among human hemoglobins that determine susceptibility to staph, he is likely to find them.

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WASHINGTON — Republican opponents of a new U.S-Russia nuclear arms pact are ignoring demands by Democrats to move toward a vote as they stretched out debate amid a tight year-end schedule in Congress. Debate on the treaty lasted into the evening Thursday even as lawmakers wrangled on how to deal with essential budgetary issues that must be addressed before Congress breaks. Democrats urged Republicans to address their concerns in a separate document that would be approved along with the nuclear pact and serve as a congressional commentary on the treaty. Debate was expected to continue Friday. Time is an issue as the current Congress grapples with a number of pressing is-

sues that must be addressed before the end of the year. Proponents of the treaty are insisting it be voted on in this Congress before the Democrats’ majority shrinks in early January. Despite the contentious debate, the New START treaty appeared to be gaining support with more Republicans indicating they could support it in recent days. U.S. President Barack Obama has made the treaty among his top priorities before Congress breaks, a chance for a foreign policy victory to cap a politically difficult year. Conservative Republicans stand in the way, asserting that the United States made too many concessions in negotiations with Russia and the treaty would limit U.S. defense options. “They get everything out of it,” insisted Republican Sen. Jon Kyl in Thursday’s

debate. “I don’t know what we get out of it except for the president to say he made another arms control deal with Russia.” Republicans were also charging the treaty would limit U.S. missile defense options. Countering those arguments — though unlikely to appease some Republicans — U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates told reporters at the White House on Thursday that the treaty “in no way limits anything we want or have in mind on missile defense.” The treaty, signed by Obama and Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev in April, would limit each country’s strategic nuclear warheads to 1,550, down from the current ceiling of 2,200, and establish a system for monitoring and verification. U.S. weapons inspections ended a year ago with the expira-

tion of the 1991 arms control treaty. Supporters are pushing for ratification in the closing days of the year because prospects for passage will dim when Republicans increase their numbers by five senators in January. The Constitution requires approval by two-thirds of the Senate to ratify a treaty. Backers of the pact and the Obama administration were encouraged by a 66-32 vote on Wednesday to move ahead on debate, boosting Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid’s contention that he has the votes for ratification. Several Republicans said they were determined to amend the treaty, which would effectively kill it because any changes would require new negotiations with Russia. None of the amendments was offered, however, during the daylong debate Thursday.

Blackwater sold to USTC Holdings BY ANDREW ROSS SORKIN AND BEN PROTESS New York Times Service

Erik D. Prince, founder of the private security firm formerly known as Blackwater Worldwide, has reached a deal to sell his embattled firm to a small group of investors based in Los Angeles who have close ties to Prince, according to people briefed on the deal. Blackwater, now called Xe Services, was once the United States’ go-to contractor in Iraq and Afghanistan. It has been under intense pressure since 2007, when Blackwater guards were accused of killing 17 civilians in Nisour Square in Baghdad. The company, its executives and personnel have faced civil lawsuits, criminal charges and congressional investigations surrounding accusations of murder and bribery. In April, federal prosecutors announced weapons charges against five former senior Blackwater executives, including its former president. The sale, which is expected to be announced on Friday, came after the State Department threatened to stop awarding contracts to the company as long as Prince owned the firm, people involved in the discussions said. These people requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak about the confidential talks. The sale is intended to help shake the stigma associated with its ownership under Prince. Yet questions remain about Prince’s continuing relationship with the company. While he is expected to step down from any management or operational role, he will have a financial interest in the company’s future, according to people briefed on the negotiations. As part of the deal, he will be paid an “earn out,” or a payment that depends on the company’s


SELLING OUT: Erik Prince, founder and chief executive of then Blackwater Worldwide, now called Xe Services, sold his company to USTC Holdings. financial performance over the next several years, these people said. One of the lead investors in the deal is Jason DeYonker of Forte Capital Advisors, who has a long relationship with Prince and Blackwater. He helped advise Prince in his development of Blackwater’s business plan when the company was founded and helped negotiate the company’s first training contracts with U.S. government agencies and the company’s expansion of its training center in Moyock, N.C. In addition, he managed the Prince family’s money from 1998 to 2002. The other lead investor is Manhattan Growth Partners, a private equity firm in New York. Exact terms of the deal could not be learned, but people involved in the talks said the transaction was worth about $200 million. Bank of America led the financing of

the transaction, these people said. Prince, a former Navy SEAL who created Blackwater in 1997, put his company up for sale in June and moved his family to Abu Dhabi, court records show. Prince, who built Blackwater using an inheritance from his family’s Michigan auto parts fortune, stepped aside as Xe’s chief executive in 2009 but has remained chairman until now. Prince sold the company’s aviation division, Presidential Airways, to AAR in March. The auction for Xe Services has dragged on for months as speculation has swirled about the company’s future and the auction process. Some bidders speculated that Prince had always favored selling the company to the investor group led by DeYonker. The new buyers are hoping to recast the company as a military training organiza-

tion instead of a private security service. The company’s training center in Moyock has trained more than 50,000 U.S. government personnel and allied forces. The buyers hope to receive new contracts to train forces in Iraq, Afghanistan and Yemen, among other locations, especially as the United States withdraws troops and needs to train local forces. After the sale, the company will continue to be subject to an agreement it reached with the State Department in August. Under the settlement, the company paid $42 million in fines over hundreds of violations of United States export control regulations, permitting it to continue to compete for government contracts. Wendy Wysong, a partner at the law firm Clifford Chance, was appointed as a special compliance officer for Xe Services as a result of the settlement.

Blake Edwards, master of Hollywood comedy BY ALJEAN HARMETZ

New York Times Service

Blake Edwards, a writer and director who was hailed as a Hollywood master of screwball farces and rude comedies like Victor/Victoria and the Pink Panther movies, died Wednesday night in Santa Monica, Calif. He was 88. His publicist, Gene Schwam, said the cause was complications of pneumonia. Edwards’s wife, actress Julie Andrews, and other family members were at his side at St. John’s Health Center, Schwam said. What critic Pauline Kael once described as Edwards’ “love of free-for-all lunacy” was flaunted in good movies and bad ones: in box-office hits like Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961) and The Pink Panther (1963) — the first of a series of films with Peter Sellers as the bumbling French police-

man Inspector Clouseau — and in box-office flops like the musical spy extravaganza Darling Lili (1970), starring Andrews. Victor/Victoria (1982) was Edwards’ last major success, a farce about a starving singer (Andrews) who pretends to be a homosexual Polish count who performs as a female impersonator. Never an Oscar winner, he was given an honorary award by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2004 for his “extraordinary body of work.” That work spanned more than four decades and included a Broadway musical, the detective television series Peter Gunn and hit films like the comedy 10 and the drama Days of Wine and Roses, a portrait of alcoholic despair. Edwards had written several zany comic souffles —

among them Operation Mad Ball (1957) — when he began directing his own light and buoyant comedies, including This Happy Feeling (1958), The Perfect Furlough EDWARDS (1958) and Operation Petticoat (1959). He later darkened his comedy in films in which middle-aged male protagonists — unlucky womanizers, artists at the end of their creative tethers — are just one banana peel away from disaster. Critic Andrew Sarris wrote in 1968 that Edwards had gotten “some of his biggest laughs out of jokes that are too gruesome for most horror films.” In The Party (1968), for

example, there was a desperate Sellers unable to find a bathroom. In The Man Who Loved Women (1983), there was Burt Reynolds staring at the legs of a nurse while dying. After a series of critical and box-office failures in the late 1960s and early ’70s, Edwards spent several years in self-imposed exile in London and Switzerland. He returned to write and direct three more Pink Panther movies between 1975 and 1978, followed by the unexpected critical and commercial success of 10 (1979). One of his most personal films, 10, starred Dudley Moore as a composer whose 42nd birthday causes a whopping midlife crisis and an obsession with a beautiful young woman, played by Bo Derek, whom he considers a perfect 10.

12/18/2010 5:45:43 AM






Large-scale birth control effort starts in Colombia BY CHRIS KRAUL

Los Angeles Times Service


NATIONAL SHAME: Lawmaker Julio Cesar Godoy has became an embarrassment and liability to the political class of Mexico, especially after investigators released a recorded phone call of him allegedly speaking with a high-ranking member of the drug trafficking cartel La Familia.

Mexico asks Interpol to help catch Godoy BY WILLIAM BOOTH

Washington Post Service

MEXICO CITY — Mexico’s attorney general said that he has asked Interpol to help authorities capture a lawmaker suspected of having ties to a drug cartel. Mexico’s top prosecutor, Arturo Chavez Chavez, vowed to arrest Julio Cesar Godoy Toscano, a federal deputy whose immunity from prosecution was stripped by Congress this week. Traditionally, suspect Mexican politicians are pursued after they leave office, if at all. But Godoy became an embarrassment and liability to the political class, especially after investigators released a recorded phone call of him allegedly speaking with a high-ranking member of the drug trafficking cartel known as La Familia. The cartel has emerged as Mexico’s top methamphetamine producer from the mango and avocado farm towns of western Michoacan, where Godoy’s stepbrother is governor.

At a news conference in September, Godoy swore his innocence and denied ties to the drug gang. “Enough is enough. This is political harassment,” Godoy said, calling the pending charges ridiculous, stupid, aberrant and dumb. “I am not a criminal.” Godoy was sworn into Congress in September in spite of an arrest warrant against him. Before he arrived to take the oath of office — and slipped past security forces — Godoy had been on the lam for more than a year. Earlier this week, the lower house of Congress voted 384-2 to deny the politician the immunity that serving politicians here enjoy. Investigators say they want to know how Godoy managed to amass more than $2 million in his bank accounts. But federal prosecutors have generally had a hard time making formal charges stick. They rounded up a dozen mayors in Michoacan in 2009, but after the publicity of the mass arrests

died down, they released them all, unable to make a single corruption case. The attorney general said he had no idea where Godoy had fled. But La Familia has been shaken in recent months. In a wild firefight last week, Mexican police and troops laid siege to a cartel safe house in Michoacan. Authorities said Thursday they believe they killed cartel leader Nazario Moreno Gonzalez but conceded they have not found his body. Five policemen and three civilians were also killed in the attacks. In his meeting with reporters, the attorney general said 30,196 people have been killed in drug-related violence across the country since President Felipe Calderon first sent troops against the cartels in his home state of Michoacan. Earlier this week, the border town of Ciudad Juarez also broke a grim record: More than 3,000 people have been killed there this year.

Jamaica prime minister pins blame on lax anti-drug unit BY DAVID MCFADDEN Associated Press

KINGSTON, Jamaica — Prime Minister Bruce Golding of Jamaica said his government has reorganized an anti-drug police unit after Cuba complained that the force had been uncooperative in preventing Jamaican drug smugglers using speedboats and small planes to move narcotics. Golding’s announcement followed the publication of a leaked U.S. diplomatic memo that portrayed Jamaican anti-drug officers as being so unresponsive that more than a dozen Cuban officials privately vented their frustrations to a U.S. drug enforcer in 2009. The August 2009 communique released by WikiLeaks said Cuban officials described officials in the neighboring Caribbean country as ignoring efforts to stop traffickers who use Cuban waters and airspace to transport narcotics destined for the United States. It was apparently written by

U.S. chief diplomat to Cuba. Golding said Thursday that Cuban Interior Ministry officials GOLDING had voiced the same concerns directly to his government in 2009, and as a result, the head of a counter-drug police unit was replaced and the law enforcement agency was reshuffled. The identity of the unit commander was withheld. Since then, the prime minister said, there has been “full and active cooperation between Jamaica and Cuba on counter-narcotics surveillance and interdiction, and no concern has been expressed by officials of the Cuban government.” Officers from the new counter-drug unit and other personnel have made several visits to Cuba, the most recent about a month ago, to brainstorm strategies in

combating drug traffickers, Golding said. Still, the image of Cuba’s Interior Ministry officials so frustrated that they would complain to a U.S. envoy is stark, especially since crime has long slowed economic growth in Jamaica. Jamaica slipped into a cycle of violence in the 1970s, when rival political factions armed gangs to rustle up votes and intimidate opponents. The situation worsened in the 1980s as Jamaica emerged as a transshipment point for South American cocaine. The placid tourist resorts that dot Jamaica’s coastlines remain virtually crime-free, but the government is in the midst of the toughest antigang crackdown in the island’s history elsewhere. The main opposition party, the People’s National Party, said Jamaica has a sullied image in the international community “arising from the perception [if not the reality] that the current government is at best soft on drugs.”

Chilean leader’s grandson kills self SANTIAGO, Chile — (AP) — A grandson of former Chile’s President Salvador Allende has killed himself. The office of Sen. Isabel Allende says that her son Gonzalo Meza Allende committed suicide on Wednesday. The political analyst was 45 and suffered from

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depression, especially after his wife died of leukemia in 2009. Thursday’s statement did not reveal how he ended his life, and the senator’s aides tell The Associated Press they will make no further comment. It is the fourth suicide

in the Allende family. Salvador Allende shot himself moments before he was to be captured during the 1973 military coup. A daughter, Beatriz, shot herself in Havana in 1977, and his sister Laura, terminally ill with cancer by 1981, jumped from a Havana hotel.

CALI, Colombia — When 80 women from the poor Agua Blanca district of Cali got free contraceptive implants last week, they became the first local beneficiaries of one of Latin America’s most liberal reproductive rights laws. Colombia’s Congress this fall passed a law guaranteeing all citizens access to free contraceptive drugs and surgical procedures, including vasectomies and tubal ligations. The benefits are only now filtering down to shanty neighborhoods such as this one in northeast Cali, where birthrates are among the nation’s highest, particularly among teenagers, health officials here said. “The law is a real accomplishment and is already creating a lot of demand,” psychologist Maribel Murillo said in her office at the Diamante health clinic, not far from shacks made of boards and plastic sheeting. “It will advance the sexual rights of women of little means, many of whom already have several children.” The law, which had been proposed for years, got a decisive push from new President Juan Manuel Santos, who after taking office in August put it at the top of his legislative agenda. Activists hail the legislation as a progressive measure for reproductive rights, part of a general liberalizing trend in this largely Roman

Catholic nation that has included recent rulings by the constitutional court removing penalties for performing abortions. But Santos may have had pressing social and economic problems in mind in pushing for the new law. Colombia’s healthcare system is on the verge of collapse because of the constitutional guarantees of universal care, as funding from tax and other government revenue falls short. Because maternity and neonatal care are among the healthcare system’s fastest-growing costs, free contraceptive medicine and surgeries could end up saving the government money. Moreover, Colombia’s birthrate, which overall has dropped by nearly two-thirds since 1950, has risen recently among teenagers, said Diva Moreno, an adviser to the Social Protection Ministry in Bogota, the capital. Studies show that adolescent pregnancies feed a vicious cycle of social problems, including poverty, violence and low levels of education. “Once these girls get pregnant, that’s the end of their education,” said Murillo, the psychologist. Recent figures show that 21 percent of Colombian girls younger than 20 are having babies these days, up from 13 percent in 1990, Moreno said. In Latin America, Colombia’s adolescent birthrate is exceeded only by those of Nicaragua (25 percent), Venezuela and El Salvador

(21.6 percent) and Honduras (21.5 percent). In Colombia, teenage birthrates tend to be highest in poor neighborhoods such as Agua Blanca, where thousands of displaced families have come to escape drug violence on Colombia’s Pacific Coast. The women who came to the Diamante Health Center last week received subcutaneous implants that otherwise might have cost them $75, beyond the reach of women who, in Murillo’s words, “have nothing at all, nada.” The implants will keep most from becoming pregnant for up to five years, nurse Blanca Soto said. Free vasectomies and tubal ligations, which ordinarily would cost $100 to $150, will soon be available to all Colombians who go through the necessary counseling sessions and an eight-day application process, said Moreno of the Social Protection Ministry. “These wide-ranging rules have few equals in the world, not just Latin America. Now our job is to make sure that Colombians know their sexual and reproductive rights,” Moreno said. To reach adolescent boys and girls with family-planning advice and services, such as free condoms and “morning after” birth control pills, the Social Protection Ministry has opened 621 offices, called Friendly Health Services for Youths, in hospitals and clinics across Colombia.

U.S. relief worker in Haiti held on kidnapping charges BY DAMIEN CAVE

New York Times Service

MEXICO CITY — Haitian authorities say they have detained a U.S. relief worker in Port-au-Prince on kidnapping charges, in a bizarre case stemming from whether a 15-month-old baby had died or been kidnapped at a hospital after the devastating earthquake. The aid worker, Paul Waggoner, 32, is scheduled to be transferred to the National Penitentiary, where he could be held for three months while awaiting a determination by an investigative judge, according to Materials Management Relief Corps, which Waggoner co-founded after the earthquake. The group’s statements contend that Waggoner is innocent, and that the case grows from a misunderstanding: In late February, Waggoner was working at the main hospital in the suburb of Petionville, organizing supplies and logistics, when a baby boy was admitted and later died. Kenneth Adams, a U.S. doctor at the hospital, said in a signed affidavit that he showed the father the dead child on Feb. 23, while Waggoner looked on.

But the father accused Waggoner of stealing the boy, saying he could not have been dead because his eyes were not closed. He said this week that his child had been drugged. Waggoner was aware of the accusations and left Haiti. In March, Waggoner returned, believing the case was resolved, according to colleagues, but Sunday he was arrested at a restaurant after the father saw him and pointed him out to the police. “This is a nightmare,” said a U.S. volunteer in Haiti who knows Waggoner, describing him as “a good guy” with “a

bit of a cowboy attitude but a genuine love of people here.” U.S. Embassy officials have met with Waggoner and for his safety helped “get him to a cell where he was alone,” said Jon Piechowski, an embassy spokesman. In Haiti, Waggoner was known as energetic, with tattoos of Haitian taxis known as tap-taps. However, he appeared to have a troubled past in Massachusetts. The Nantucket Inquirer and Mirror reported that he has a lengthy criminal record with charges of assault with a deadly weapon and witness intimidation.


DUBIOUS: U.S. citizen Paul Waggoner, left, is accused of kidnapping a 15-month-old infant from a hospital in Port-au-Prince in February. Waggoner said the baby died of fever and gastrointestinal distress.

U.S. pilots’ smuggling trial delayed BY EZEQUIEL ABIU LOPEZ Associated Press

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic — A Dominican prosecutor told a court that authorities want to keep holding two U.S. cargo pilots whose supporters say were inadvertently caught up in an apparent drug smuggling operation. Prosecutor Carmen Diaz Amezquita asked during a hearing Thursday for more time to prepare an argument for holding the pilots pending further investigation of the case. The three-judge panel agreed to the delay, scheduling a new hearing for Monday. Diaz said she would provide additional evidence but did not give any details, saying only that it was something that was not previously submitted to the court. A lawyer for the pilots,

Miguel Valerio, said he did not oppose the delay but complained about their continued detention. “We are playing with the liberty of two citizens who have been here more than two weeks,” he told the court. The pilots, Kevin Kuranz and Christopher Schmidt, attended the hearing. They were detained Dec. 2 in Santo Domingo after agents from the Caribbean nation’s anti-narcotics agency found about 321 pounds of cocaine and 4 pounds of heroin hidden in floor and ceiling panels of their cargo plane. Kuranz, 31, of Sheboygan, Wisconsin, and Schmidt, 28, of Maryville, Tennessee, were temporarily based in San Juan, Puerto Rico, flying short cargo hops between that U.S. island territory and the Dominican Republic.

After landing in the Dominican Republic, they left their plane for several hours while ground crews loaded the cargo. Authorities found the drugs while the pilots were away from the aircraft, according to their employer, Air Cargo Carriers. “We as a company do not believe they are in any way implicated in what happened,” said Bill Broydrick, a spokesman for the Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based Air Cargo Carriers. “We are confident they are innocent.” The company appealed to the Dominican ambassador in Washington as well as authorities in the Dominican Republic to release the two men, at least on bail. The men, initially held in a cell with 14 other prisoners, have been moved to a lower-security jail with more space.

12/18/2010 5:40:28 AM




CNN’s Larry King exits after 25 years BY DAVID BAUDER

Associated Press

NEW YORK — Marking the occasion with bright red suspenders, Larry King pulled the curtain down on his CNN talk show after 25 years. King, 77, said Thursday this summer he would leave. Once the dominant voice on cable television news, King has faded in a sea of sharp talkers. British talk-show host and America’s Got Talent judge Piers Morgan takes over the 9 p.m. Eastern time slot in January. “Good evening, and welcome to the last Larry King Live,” he said as the show opened Thursday. “It’s hard to say that. I knew this day was coming. These words are not easy to say.” He was joined at his table by Ryan Seacrest and Bill Maher, who have both filled in for King during breaks in the past. The first guest, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, declared it “Larry King Day” in his state and thanked King for doing his show from Los Angeles. Maher tried not to let the show quickly become maudlin. “This is not Larry’s funeral,” he said. “He’s hopefully going to be in our living rooms for a lot of years to come. This is the end of a show, not the end of a man.” King has conducted some 50,000 interviews in a broadcasting career where he worked for decades in radio before joining CNN in 1985. He’s recorded more than 6,000 shows for CNN. Before Fox News Channel and MSNBC even existed, King was cable news’ top-rated program. Politicians, entertainers, leaders of industry and the faces of news stories hot in the moment all sat across the table from King. Some critics said he often seemed ill-prepared

New York Times Service


‘ONE OF A KIND: Larry King has conducted some 50,000 interviews in a career where he worked for decades in radio before joining CNN in 1985. and tossed softballs, while King described his style as “minimalist,” with the goal of getting his guests to talk. Rival MSNBC saluted King by buying an ad in USA Today on Thursday, calling King “one of a kind.” “Larry, thank you for everything you’ve done to advance cable news,” the ad read.

Associated Press

PORTLAND, Ore. — U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon announced he has prostate cancer and will miss latesession votes that could include approval of an arms treaty with Russia and repeal of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” law on gays in the military. The 61-year-old Democrat said the cancer is in its early stage, diagnosed after his annual physical examination in late November. He said he scheduled surgery for Monday at Johns Hopkins Hospital, expecting the Senate to be in recess by then. “However, it now appears that I will be missing votes tomorrow and possibly next week,” he said in a statement. Wyden has surgery preparation scheduled Friday but would be available for votes on the weekend, said a spokeswoman, Jennifer Hoelzer. On the congressional

agenda are a government appropriations bill, a new arms treaty with Russia and legislation to allow openly gay servicemembers to remain in the military, but aides said the schedule is so fluid it’s not certain what votes Wyden would miss. R e g a n Lachapelle, a spokeswomWYDEN an for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, said time is too short for the Senate to adjust its schedule to make sure Wyden is on the floor for critical votes, and it’s not clear that his votes would be make-or-break for measures such as the repeal of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy or the arms treaty. “We expect all those votes to be close,” she said. Wyden would vote for both measures, said spokesman Tom Caiazza.

Others were less nostalgic: The Los Angeles Times website posted videos of King’s most embarrassing moments, including when he asked an incredulous Jerry Seinfeld whether NBC had canceled his top-rated comedy. It’s been a muted exit for King, with CNN touting Morgan’s upcoming show in

ads more than King’s. Even as the end neared, King finished fourth in his time slot for Tuesday’s interview with the Judds, behind Fox News Channel’s Sean Hannity, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow and CNN sister network HLN’s Joy Behar. King interviewed Barbra Streisand on Wednesday night.


Fla. judge may rule against health law BY KEVIN SACK

Oregon Sen. Wyden has prostate cancer BY TIM FOUGHT


PENSACOLA, Fla. — A federal judge has asserted that it would be “a giant leap” for the Supreme Court to accept the Obama administration’s defense of a central provision of the new healthcare law, suggesting he may become the second judge to strike it down as unconstitutional. In a three-hour hearing, the judge, Roger Vinson of U.S. District Court, said the law’s requirement that most U.S. citizens obtain insurance, a provision that takes effect in 2014, would constitute “a giant expansion” of the court’s traditional application of the Commerce Clause of the Constitution. “People have always exercised the freedom to choose whether to buy or not buy a commercial product,” the judge said, noting that he had been uninsured and paid out of pocket when his first son was born. The hearing came on dueling requests for summary judgment in a lawsuit brought by governors and attorneys general from 20 states, all but one of whom are Republicans. Because of the plaintiffs’ prominence, the cases carry the most political weight of the roughly two dozen court challenges to the sweeping law. The Supreme Court has held previously that Congress can use its Commerce Clause authority, which is among the powers assigned to the national government, to justify the regulation of “activities that substantially affect interstate commerce.” Ian H. Gershengorn, a deputy assistant attorney general who is defending the law, told Vinson that the healthcare market was

unique because getting sick was both unpredictable and potentially bankrupting. The economic consequences of not having insurance — including cost-shifting to others — justify its regulation by Congress, he said. But lawyers representing the state officials argued that the insurance requirement was unconstitutional because it would, for the first time, require citizens to buy a commercial product. If the government is allowed such power, said David B. Rivkin Jr., who represented the state officials, the healthcare law “would leave more constitutional devastation in its wake than any statute in our history.” A similar argument was convincing to another federal district judge, Henry E. Hudson of Richmond, Va., who ruled Monday in a separate case that the health care law left federal authority without “logical limitation.” Although two other district court judges had already upheld the insurance mandate, Hudson rejected it, creating a conflict for appellate courts to resolve. He did not suspend any part of the act pending appeals, which are expected to end at the Supreme Court. Vinson, a senior judge appointed by former U.S. President Ronald Reagan, has seemed somewhat more receptive than Hudson to the states’ argument that the entire health care law should fall if the insurance mandate is unconstitutional. He said the act was analogous to a watch with interlocking and interdependent wheels. “It’s also been compared to a Rube Goldberg invention,” he remarked. Vinson said he would rule “as quickly as possible.”

Sand berms to block spill were a waste BY JOHN COLLINS RUDOLF New York Times Service

A chain of sand berms built by the state of Louisiana to block and capture oil from BP’s runaway well in the Gulf of Mexico stopped a “minuscule” amount of oil and was largely a waste of money, the staff of the presidential commission investigating the spill said in a report. The report, a draft, found that a decision by Thad Allen, the retired Coast Guard admiral who led the spill response, to approve construction of the berms was made under “intense political pressure” from federal, state and local politicians and against the advice of an expert panel advising on the spill response. The berms were first proposed by a Dutch engineering firm and became a top priority for Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, who exhorted U.S. President Barack Obama and federal agencies to authorize the project. The state drew up plans for 101 miles of berms and re-


IN VAIN: Berm construction in the Gulf of Mexico is seen above. The big set of sand barriers is being criticized by a commission as a $200 million waste. quested a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers. The panel of experts advising the response effort determined that the structures could not be built quickly enough,and federal responders initially leaned toward rejecting the plan, the report found. But after aggressive lobbying by state and local officials and intervention by the White

House, Allen approved the construction of six segments of berms in late May. By October, about 10 miles of berms had been built several miles from the gulf coastline at a cost of $220 million, with construction paid for entirely by BP. Louisiana officials estimate that the berms stopped roughly 1,000 barrels of oil from the spill. By contrast,

more than 800,000 barrels were captured at the wellhead, and roughly 270,000 barrels were burned off by Coast Guard vessels. “$220 million for a spill response measure that trapped not much more than 1,000 barrels of oil is not a compelling cost-benefit tradeoff,” the commission staff wrote. In a letter to the commission Thursday, Garret Graves, director of the Louisiana Office of Coastal Activities and leader of the sand berm project, insisted that they had achieved their purpose. “A number of photographs, surveys and interviews suggest that the berms were successful at stopping oil,” Graves wrote. Jindal criticized the report’s conclusions as “partisan revisionist history” and drew attention to the coastal restoration benefits of the sand berms. “We are thrilled that this has become the state’s largest barrier island restoration project in history,” Jindal said.

D.C. transit system to begin random bag inspections to avert attacks BY ANN SCOTT TYSON AND DEREK KRAVITZ

Washington Post Service

WASHINGTON — Antiterrorism teams will start random inspections of passengers’ bags and packages to try to protect the region’s Metro rail and bus system from attack, officials said. Police using explosivesscreening equipment and bomb-sniffing dogs will pull aside for inspection about every third person carrying a bag, Metro Transit Police chief Michael Taborn said. The searches might be conducted at one location at a time or at several places simultaneously. If people refuse, they will be barred from entering the rail station or boarding a bus with the item, Taborn said. The inspections will be conducted “indefinitely,” he said. Taborn told Metro’s board of directors about the plan

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during a meeting Thursday. Metro had planned to implement random searches in 2008 during times of elevated threat levels, but never conducted any. The announcement came six weeks after federal law enforcement authorities arrested Farooque Ahmed, 34, in an alleged plot to bomb Northern Virginia Metrorail stations. Last week, authorities arrested Awais Younis, 25, of Arlington County, Va., on accusations that he made threats on his Facebook page to place pipe bombs aboard Metro rail cars, according to court documents. However, Metro Interim general manager Richard Sarles said the inspections are not a response to any specific or heightened threat. “It’s good to vary your security posture,” he said, noting that transit agencies in New York, New Jersey and

Boston have successfully carried out random checks. The inspections over the far-flung transit network, which has 86 rail stations and 12,000 bus stops, will be conducted by several dozen officers at most. Metro’s trains and buses carry more than 1.2 million passengers every weekday, and officials acknowledge the limitations of the plan. “This is just another method to sort of throw the bad guy off” by using the threat of a search to discourage bringing a bomb into the transit network, Taborn said. “We’re not going to clog up the Metro system.” Metro riders had mixed reactions about the plans. Sienna Reynaga, a 32-year-old writer from Reston, Va., arrived at the West Falls Church Station with two bags of luggage in tow after returning from a trip to Spain.

Reynaga said the inspections will be effective at one thing: slowing everyone down. “I would have been mad today if somebody checked my bags,” she said, laughing, “because it’s cold.” Metro officials said the searches will be quick and unobtrusive. Metro’s 20-member antiterrorism police unit, its special operations unit, and several teams of dogs and handlers will conduct the checks with assistance from Transportation Security Administration personnel, officials said. The officers will call over people whose bags are selected for screening to a table and allow them to watch the inspection. The searches will take one or two minutes and will involve swabbing bags with special paper that is then analyzed by a hand-held device

that tests for explosives. A bag that tests positive will be double-checked by a bombsniffing dog. Only bags that test positive will be opened, Metro said. The screening will be conducted before passengers pay to enter the rail system or board a bus, and customers who refuse the inspections will be “free to leave,” Taborn said. But there is a possibility that those who decline screening will be questioned. Metro officials predicted customers would appreciate the added security. The system, which is largely open, depends on riders for vigilance, Taborn said. “What we’ve found in the past is . . . people welcomed it,” said Sarles, the former head of New Jersey Transit. In 2004, Boston’s Massachusetts Bay Transportation

Authority became the first transit agency in the nation to institute a permanent policy of random bag and package searches on subways and commuter trains. It was prompted by the deadly al Qaeda-linked train bombing in March of that year that killed 191 people in Madrid. New York City authorities began random bag searches in the subway system in 2005 after mass transit bombings in London that killed 56 people, said Paul Browne, deputy commissioner of the New York police. Bombings on trains in Mumbai, India, in 2006, which killed more than 200 people; a terrorist attack that began at Mumbai’s historic railway station in 2008; and two suicide bombings on Moscow’s Metro in March further exposed the vulnerabilities of rail systems.

12/18/2010 3:30:23 AM






U.S. to widen war on militants in Pakistan BY HELENE COOPER AND DAVID E. SANGER

New York Times Service

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration plans to further step up attacks on al Qaeda and Taliban insurgents in the tribal areas of Pakistan, to address one of the fundamental weaknesses uncovered in its year-end review of its Afghanistan war strategy. Administration officials said the increased attacks across the Afghan border

would help offset the Pakistani government’s continued refusal to move against the al Qaeda leadership and their extremist allies, especially the Haqqani network. From havens in Pakistan’s North Waziristan region, those groups have carried out deadly assaults against U.S. troops and have plotted attacks against the West, officials say. In announcing that the 97,000 U.S. troops now in Afghanistan have made some

fragile gains in the past year, U.S. President Barack Obama said Pakistan was “increasingly coming to realize that the al Qaeda and Taliban leaders who have been given safe havens pose a threat to Pakistan as well as the United States.” “Nevertheless,” Obama added, “progress has not come fast enough.” The United States, he said, “will continue to insist to Pakistani leaders that terrorist safe havens within their borders must be dealt with.”

Administration officials said they expected the Pakistani military to finally enter North Waziristan in 2011, based on private assurances from the Pakistani government. But the real strategy appears to be for the United States to do most of the work itself — at least until the Pakistanis step up. That means even more strikes using Predator and Reaper drones in Pakistan’s tribal areas, and possibly car-

rying out special operations along the border. “There are a lot of, as we say in our building, kinetic actions taking place along that border,” U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said during a news conference at the White House. Gates went to some lengths to praise Pakistan, saying that along parts of the border he was happy to see “the Pakistanis come in behind the insurgents from the Pakistani side and, coordinat-

ing with us and the Afghans, we’re on the other side.” He described the insurgents caught in between as “the meat in the sandwich.” The review was carefully worded and pulled its punches in describing the differences between Washington and its Pakistani and Afghan government allies. Announced in a series of briefings by the president and his top foreign policy aides, the report is the first fullscale review of U. S. strategy.

Little progress at Indo-China summit BY MARK MAGNIER

Los Angeles Times Service

NEW DELHI — China’s Premier Wen Jiabao and India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India met in New Delhi, the main event of a three-day summit aimed at building trust and reducing long-standing irritants. But they announced no substantive breakthrough and little progress on border disputes, access to shared water resources or security issues. Nor was there any apparent progress on India’s bid to open Chinese markets to its software, pharmaceuticals and farm products. New Delhi also remains wary of Beijing’s regional ambitions and its ties with Pakistan, India’s nuclear adversary. The two rising Asian superpowers made some modest progress on the economic front, pledging to expand trade to $100 billion by 2015

from $60 billion at present and to try to reduce the trade gap. China is India’s largest trading partner, but trade flows are heavily weighted in Beijing’s favor. The two leaders also agreed to set up a hot line, and both sides spoke about the need for improved ties. “I hope that my visit will help increase our cooperation in a wide range of fields and raise our friendship and cooperation to an even higher level,” Wen told reporters Thursday on leaving a welcoming ceremony at the presidential palace. “A strong partnership between India and China will contribute to longterm peace, stability, prosperity and development in Asia and the world,” added Singh. But any move to turn the regional cooperation rhetoric into reality will quickly run into roadblocks, analysts said, given their differ-

ences over Iran’s nuclear ambitions, North Korea’s long-standing conflict with the international community and continued warfare in Afghanistan. The two leaders reportedly discussed many of their nations’ core differences, including Pakistan, divided Kashmir and the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader based in northern India who is considered a “splittist” enemy of a unified China by Beijing. But neither side made any significant concessions. The two nations agreed to keep working on peacefully resolving their lingering border disputes, the subject of a brief war in 1962. Talks have languished for years. China claims much of the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh, while India wants China to back away from a slice of territory it controls in Kashmir, the disputed

South Asia region largely divided between India and Pakistan. “It will not be easy to completely resolve this question,” Wen said in a speech. “It requires patience and will take a fairly long period of time. Only with sincerity, mutual trust and the perseverance, can we eventually find a fair, reasonable and a mutually acceptable solution.” In other words, said analysts: Don’t hold your breath. Add it up, they said, and this meeting — the 11th between the two leaders in the past five years — accomplished relatively little. “Issues that fuel mutual mistrust, such as Kashmir for the Indians and Tibet for the Chinese, were addressed, but not substantially,” said Srikanth Kondapalli, a professor in Chinese Studies at New Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University. “The boundary dispute has not been resolved. There’s no roadmap.”

Putin speaks his mind, and then some, on TV BY ELLEN BARRY

New York Times Service

MOSCOW — Russia’s Prime Minister Vladimir V. Putin said that an outburst of nationalist violence in Moscow proved that Russia could not allow its law enforcement bodies to weaken, despite the arguments of “our liberal intelligentsia.” In a question-and-answer session on Thursday that went on for four hours and 29 minutes, Putin offered a bravura defense of the central control that is a hallmark of his leadership. His tone was set a few minutes into the televised program, which is an annual event. A caller said the police were not protecting members of ethnic minorities from attacks by ethnic Russian nationalists, so that many of his friends were afraid to leave their homes. Putin said extremism should be stopped — and went on to warn against maligning the police. “These bodies of power carry out the state’s most important function,” Putin said. “Otherwise, our liberal intelligentsia will have to shave off their goatees, put on helmets and go out to the

square to fight radicals themselves. I think this would be the worst-case scenario.” Emphasizing the need to maintain order, Putin also said, “The state exists in order to provide for the interests of the majority.” Asked whether the imprisonment of Mikhail B. Khodorkovsky, the former oil baron, was justified, Putin quoted a song by the beloved singer Vladimir Vysotsky. “A thief should sit in jail,” he said. He compared Khodorkovsky’s case to that of Bernard L. Madoff, who received a 150-year sentence for the largest Ponzi scheme in history. His comment comes days before a court ruling in the case of Khodorkovsky, once the richest man in Russia, who was seen as a political rival to Putin when he was arrested in 2003. Khodorkovsky is nearing the end of an eight-year prison sentence for tax evasion, and the ruling is being scrutinized by many as a test of Russia’s commitment to the rule of law. Khodorkovsky’s lawyer, Karinna A. Moskolenko, said the prime minister’s widely publicized comments con-


CANDID: Russia’s Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, left, listens to a question during a call-in session broadcast live on Russian state television and radio. stituted “the highest possible political pressure” and left virtually no chance that her client would be acquitted. Many questions were delivered in a spirit of open admiration — “What is the secret of your secret?” was one, and “How is your puppy, Buffy?” — and Putin was relaxed and fluent, enjoying himself before a doting crowd. Most questions focused on economic matters, like utility costs, and he promised that the Russian economy would return to pre-crisis levels early in 2012. The marathon event un-

derlined Putin’s outsize role in Russia, nearly three years after he stepped down from the presidency. His successor and protege, President Dmitry A. Medvedev, has articulated a tentative reform agenda well received in the West, warning that Russia risks slipping into economic backwardness, corruption and political stagnation. Putin barely mentioned Medvedev. He smiled, though, when someone asked who ran the country when he and Medvedev were both sleeping. “We take turns sleeping,” he said.


CALLING FOR CALM: Imam Ben Mahmoud Rahmeh, above, told worshippers in Sweden that ‘a true Muslim has nothing to do with a terror act.’

Suicide bombing stirs Sweden’s far-right BY KARL RITTER

Associated Press

STOCKHOLM, Sweden — The bombs had barely exploded in Stockholm’s bustling shopping district before members of the far-right, Islam-bashing Sweden Democrats rushed to their blogs and Twitter feeds. “Told you so,” said one. “Finally” tweeted another. The government and just about every editorial page has warned against blaming Sweden’s growing Muslim minority for the Dec. 11 suicide attack carried out by an Iraqi-born Swede, who appears to have been radicalized in Britain. But the far-right fringe is doing just that in another challenge to Sweden’s famed tolerance, already frayed in recent months by the Sweden Democrats’ entry into Parliament and a serial gunman’s sniper attacks against people with dark skin. Authorities say there’s a risk that even more extreme groups, long marginalized in Sweden, will use the opportunity to advance their positions. “The biggest worry isn’t that the Muslim community will become radicalized but what this means for the view of Muslims in Sweden,” said Erik Akerlund, police chief in Rinkeby, an immigrant suburb of Stockholm nicknamed “Little Mogadishu” because of its large Somali community. While investigating the attack, the Swedish security service is also keeping an eye on any potential reaction from right-wing extremists, said Anders Thornberg, the agency’s director of op-

erations. Those groups have kept a low profile since a series of attacks on immigrants and left-wing activists in the 1980s and ’90s. The suicide bomber, Taimour Abdulwahab, killed himself and injured two people when some of the explosives he was wearing exploded among panicked Christmas shoppers in downtown Stockholm. Police suspect the explosives went off by mistake too early, and that he had planned to detonate them in a more crowded place like a shopping center or train station. One theory is that Abdulwahab had a problem with the equipment and walked off a busy pedestrian street to a side street to fix it “and that’s when something happened,” Thornberg said. An audio file sent shortly before the blast from his cellphone referred to Sweden’s military presence in Afghanistan and an image by a Swedish artist that depicted the Prophet Muhammad as a dog, enraging many Muslims. Anti-Muslim bloggers said the bombing came as no surprise, heaping blame on Sweden’s generous immigration policy. Tens of thousands of people from the Middle East, Somalia and the Balkans have fled to Sweden in the past two decades. No Western country admitted more Iraqi refugees amid the bloodshed following the U.S.-led invasion in 2003. A survey of 9,000 people by the SOM institute at Goteborg University earlier this year showed more than one-third of Swedes believe the country has admitted too many immigrants.

Ivory Coast troops open fire on pro-Ouattara demonstrators in capital BY ADAM NOSSITER

New York Times Service

DAKAR, Senegal — Security forces loyal to President Laurent Gbagbo of Ivory Coast have fired on demonstrators in the economic capital, Abidjan, beating and killing marchers who had planned to disrupt state television, one of the principal underpinnings of the government’s hold on power, according to observers and news reports. A leading Ivorian human rights group said at least 15 people had been killed among the crowds of supporters of Alassane Ouattara, who was elected president last month in a long-delayed vote but has been unable to assume office because Gbagbo has refused to step down. Estimates of the scale of violence varied widely. Ouattara’s camp said 32 people were killed Thursday, while Amnesty International said

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that nine were killed and news agencies reported death tolls between six and 18. A police spokesman for Gbagbo’s government declined to provide specifics in a phone interview, saying, “I know nothing about it.” But Gbagbo’s education minister said on state television that 20 people had died, 10 of whom were police officers attacked by armed protesters, news agencies reported. Ouattara has been recognized as the winner of last month’s election by the United Nations, the African Union, the United States and the European Union, leaving Gbagbo in near-total diplomatic isolation. But he has resisted repeated calls to cede the office he has had for 10 years. The deadly standoff between the rival presidents appeared to be broadening on Thursday, as armed forces

just south of a de facto border separating the northern half of the country — which has been controlled and exploited by rebels, known as the New Forces, since a 2002 civil war — from the south, which is controlled by Gbagbo. Ouattara’s prime minister, Guillaume Soro, is the secretary general of the New Forces. The protests stemmed from calls by Soro earlier in the week for a march on the headquarters of state television, one of the main sources of information in the country after Gbagbo banned foreign broadcasts. It has become a tireless propaganda machine for his government. The call for a pro-Ouattara SIA KAMBOU/AFP-GETTY IMAGES march appeared to be well TENSE TIMES: U.N. armoured personnel carriers park near the Gulf Hotel in heeded, as some neighborAbidjan, Ivory Coast. Backers of Alassane Ouattara the president-elect, were hoods were crowded with demonstrators from early set to march Friday after bloody clashes erupted in Abidjan on Thursday. morning, observers said. But associated with the Ouattara troops on the streets of Abi- the center of the country. the march soon turned into a camp clashed with Gbagbo’s djan, as well as in a town in The town, Tiebissou, is rout.

12/18/2010 3:49:35 AM






Big Boehner cries a lot BY GAIL COLLINS

New York Times Service

e’ve had to adjust to so many strange developments lately. I’m sure we’ll get used to having a speaker of the House who weeps a lot. That would be John Boehner, the new guy. “He is known to cry,” the outgoing speaker, Nancy Pelosi, told Deborah Solomon in The Times Magazine. “He cries sometimes when we’re having a debate on bills.” Pelosi, of course, does not cry in public. We will stop here briefly to contemplate what would happen if she, or any female lawmaker, broke into loud, nose-running sobs while discussing Iraq troop funding or giving a TV interview. (Pause) OK, moving forward. Boehner is a gravel-voiced Ohioan who wears snazzy suits and hangs out a lot with lobbyists. One of the few cheery prospects the new year holds for Democrats is his upcoming demonization, since there is no such thing in 21st-century United States as a lovable leader of the House. Unless the United States is totally won over by the idea of a Sobbing Speaker. “I think people are going to like him,” said Lesley Stahl, who interviewed Boehner for a 60 Minutes segment shown last Sun- COLLINS day, during which he broke down several times. The most arresting moment came when Boehner told Stahl he can no longer make visits to schools, or even look at the little kids on the playground, because he immediately starts crying. That had me alarmed. I thought there was going to be some terrible story about an ailing child that would then force me to have warm and sympathetic thoughts about John Boehner. But no. The reason, Boehner finally choked out, was because “making sure these kids have a shot at the American Dream, like I did, is important.” We will stop again briefly to imagine what would have happened if Nancy Pelosi, upon being elected speaker, had confessed on national TV that she was unable to visit schools in her district because the sight of little children made her break into sobs. (Pause) OK. About Boehner. Many of us first noticed his tendency toward tears when he appeared on election night to celebrate his party’s taking control of the House. He had hardly gotten in front of the microphone before things got watery. “I spent my whole life chas-


ing (sob) the American dream,” he told the cameras. “Put myself through school, working every rotten job there was . . .” The American Dream has had such a bad year. During the campaign, it was tossed around by billionaire candidates who insisted on telling groups of underprivileged children that they, too, could someday own a mega-yacht or run a slimy but extremely profitable healthcare corporation. Now, John Boehner is blaming the Dream for making him howl like an abandoned puppy. It’s what my friend Rebecca Traister calls “Boehner doing Masterpiece Theater on the hard life of John Boehner.” Traister is the author of Big Girls Don’t Cry, a chronicle of the Clinton-Obama battle for the Democratic presidential nomination. One of the best-remembered moments in that campaign — Hillary Clinton cries in New Hampshire — is an excellent example of the difference between what men and women can get away with, tear-wise. “Hillary didn’t cry,” Traister pointed out. “Not a drop of liquid fell below her lower lash.” With her back to the wall and the presidency on the line, Clinton approached the edge of a sniffle and we are still talking about it. Boehner is driven to great, noisy sobs when he contemplates the fact that as a youth, he mopped the floor at his father’s tavern. Besides the crying gap between men and women, there’s also one between Republicans and Democrats. On the one hand, you have the folks who can’t afford tears because it makes them look weak, and on the other, the people who are presumed to be tough and hard-nosed, for whom crying is an attractive sign of complexity. Boehner is opposed to extending unemployment benefits for the jobless, and he wants to kill off the law that guarantees health coverage to all U.S. citizens. So you know when he starts weeping when his wife says she’s “real proud” of him, it’s not a sign of softness. In 2007, he cried while delivering a speech on the floor of the House, in support of funding for the war in Iraq. “After 3,000 of our fellow citizens died at the hands of these terrorists, when are we going to stand up and take them on?” he sobbed. Then this year, he voted against providing money to take care of our fellow citizens who became ill while doing rescue and reclamation work at ground zero after the terrorist attack. Twice.

Heroic, female and Muslim BY NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF

New York Times Service

hat’s the ugliest side of Islam? Maybe it’s the Somali Muslim militias that engage in atrocities like the execution of a 13-year-old girl named Aisha Ibrahim. Three men raped Aisha, and when she reported the crime she was charged with illicit sex, half-buried in the ground before a crowd of 1,000 and then stoned to death. That’s the extremist side of Islam that drives Islamophobia in the United States, including congressional hearings on U.S. Muslims that House Republicans are planning for 2011. But there’s another side of Islam KRISTOF as well, represented by an extraordinary Somali Muslim woman named Dr. Hawa Abdi who has confronted the armed militias. Amazingly, she forced them to back down — and even submit a written apology. Glamour magazine, which named Hawa a “woman of the year,” got it exactly right when it called her “equal parts Mother Teresa and Rambo.” Hawa, a 63-year-old ob-gyn who earned a law degree on the side, is visiting the United States to raise money for her health work back home. A member of Somalia’s elite, she founded a oneroom clinic in 1983, but then the Somalian government collapsed, famine struck, and aid groups fled. So today Hawa is running a 400-bed hospital. Over the years, the hospital became the core of something even grander. Thousands and thousands of people displaced by civil war came to shelter on Hawa’s 1,300 acres of farmland around the hospital. Today her home and hospital have been overtaken by a vast camp that she says numbers about 90,000 displaced people. Hawa supplies these 90,000 people with drinking water and struggles to find ways to feed them. She worries that handouts breed dependency (and in any case, United Nations agencies can’t safely reach her now to distribute food), so she is training formerly nomadic herding families to farm and even to fish in the sea. She’s also pushing education. A U.S. freelance journalist, Eliza Griswold, visited Hawa’s encampment in 2007 and 2008 and was stunned that an unarmed woman had managed to create a secure, functioning oasis surrounded by a chaotic land of hunger and warlords. Griswold helped Hawa start a school for 850 children, mostly girls. It’s only a tiny fraction of the children in the camp, but it’s a start. (Griswold also wrote movingly about Hawa in her book The Tenth Parallel: Dispatches from the Fault Line Between Christianity and Islam.)



ISLAM’S OTHER FACE: Dr. Hawa Abdi, Glamour magazine’s Woman of the Year, runs a 400-bed hospital in Somalia, as well as a camp for 90,000 internally displaced people. In addition, Hawa runs literacy and health classes for women, as well as programs to discourage female genital mutilation. And she operates a tiny jail — for men who beat their wives. “We are trying an experiment,” she told me. “We women in Somalia are trying to be leaders in our community.” So Hawa had her hands full already — and then in May a hardline militia, Hizb al-Islam, or Party of Islam, decided that a woman shouldn’t run anything substantial. The militia ordered her to hand over operations, and she refused — and pointedly added: “I may be a woman, but I’m a doctor. What have you done for society?” The Party of Islam then attacked with 750 soldiers and seized the hospital. The world’s Somalis reacted with outrage, and the militia backed down and ordered Hawa to run the hospital, but under its direction. She refused. For a week there were daily negotiations, but Hawa refused to budge. She demanded that the militia not only withdraw entirely but also submit a written apology. “I was begging her, ‘Just give in,’ ” recalled Deqo Mohamed, her daughter, a doctor in Atlanta who spoke regularly to her mother by

telephone. “She was saying, ‘No! I will die with dignity.’ ” It didn’t come to that. The Party of Islam tired of being denounced by Somalis at home and around the world, so it slinked off and handed over an apology — but also left behind a wrecked hospital. The operating theater still isn’t functional, and that’s why Hawa is here, appealing for money (especially from ethnic Somalis). She has worked out an arrangement with Vital Voices, a group that helps to empower female leaders, to channel taxdeductible contributions to her hospital. What a woman! And what a Muslim! It’s because of people like her that sweeping denunciations of Islam, or the “Muslim hearings” planned in Congress, rile me — and seem profoundly misguided. The greatest religious battles are often not between faiths, but within faiths. The widest gulfs are often not those that divide one religion from the next, but those between extremists and progressives within a single faith. And in this religious season, there’s something that we can all learn from the courage, compassion and tolerance of Dr. Hawa Abdi.

In defense of a different kind of exceptionalism BY JONATHAN ZIMMERMAN

Los Angeles Times Service

s the United States “exceptional”? All countries are different, but does the United States differ from all of them, in a fundamental way? Does it have a special purpose or destiny in the world? That’s becoming the battle cry of the Republican Party in its bid to unseat U.S. President Barack Obama in 2012. Sarah Palin, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Mike Huckabee and other GOP presidential hopefuls have all declared Obama insufficiently attuned to U.S. exceptionalism. The united States is exceptional, they say, except our own president doesn’t appreciate it. “His worldview is dramatically different from any president, Republican or Democrat, we’ve had,” charged Huckabee. “To deny U.S. exceptionalism is in essence to deny the heart and soul of this nation.” The charge puts Obama and the Democrats in a difficult spot. According to a recent poll, 58 percent of U.S. citizens agree with the statement, “God has granted the


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United States a special role in human history.” Whether we’re exceptional or not, most of us believe we are. And it would be political suicide for Obama — or anyone else — to suggest otherwise. Instead, the president should invoke the United States’ long tradition of left-wing exceptionalism. The great warriors for social justice in our history all insisted that the United States had a providential destiny. Unlike present-day conservatives, however, they also indicted the nation for abandoning this mission. They used U.S. exceptionalism to critique the United States’ vices, not just to sing its virtues. Consider the abolitionist movement of the 19th century, which routinely invoked the nation’s divine purpose and its founding documents to condemn slavery. In the first editorial of his magazine, the Liberator, William Lloyd Garrison quoted the Declaration of Independence: “Assenting to the ‘self-evident truth . . . that all men are created equal, and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights —

among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,’ I shall strenuously contend for the immediate enfranchisement of our slave population,” Garrison wrote. “I will not equivocate — I will not excuse — I will not retreat a single inch — AND I WILL BE HEARD.” He was. So was the great African-American abolitionist Frederick Douglass, whose famous Fourth of July address in 1852 cited the same document. “The Declaration of Independence is the ring-bolt to the chain of your nation’s destiny,” Douglass intoned. “The principles contained in that instrument are saving principles. Stand by those principles, be true to them on all occasions, in all places, against all foes, at whatever cost.” But by enslaving black Americans, the nation contradicted this core doctrine. It also violated the Constitution, Douglass insisted. “Interpreted as it ought to be interpreted, the Constitution is a glorious liberty document,” he argued. “Read its preamble; consider its purposes. Is slavery among them?” True, Douglass admitted, the Constitution did say that “those bound to service for a term of

years” would be counted as “threefifths of all other persons.” But it made no explicit reference to African-American bondage. “If the Constitution were intended to be . . . a slave-holding instrument,” Douglass argued, “why neither slavery, slaveholding nor slave can anywhere be found in it?” After the Civil War, as the nation industrialized, labor activists would likewise invoke the United states’ providential origins. Even Socialists got in on the act, quoting Thomas Jefferson rather than Karl Marx. “The Socialist Labor Party of the United States . . . reasserts the inalienable right of all men to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” the party’s 1896 platform declared. “With the founders of the American republic we hold that the purpose of government is to secure every citizen in the enjoyment of this right; but . . . no such right can be exercised under a system of inequality.” Finally, and most famously, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. would quote the Declaration in his “I Have a Dream” speech in 1963, calling on the United States

to “live out the true meaning of its creed.” And that creed, King made clear, was both unique to the United States and divinely inspired. But the United States doesn’t have a monopoly on it. The creed is universal, after all: All men are created equal, and endowed by their creator with unalienable rights. The United States is exceptional because it is the foremost embodiment of these principles. So it also has a special responsibility to uphold them. That’s precisely the kind of exceptionalism that Obama and his party need to reinvigorate right now. To Obama’s Republican critics, U.S. exceptionalism is synonymous with U.S. superiority: We’re not just different, we’re better. He should reply with a full-throated defense of a different kind of exceptionalism, one that underscores the United States’ historic struggle to realize its proclaimed values. That doesn’t make us better than anyone else. But it does give us a special duty to fight injustice, wherever we find it. Especially in ourselves.

12/18/2010 3:54:32 AM





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12/17/2010 9:08:16 PM



DOW 30



S&P 500



EU leaders agree to more cooperation











Stocks flat as tax bill is signed BY MATTHEW CRAFT AND DAVID K. RANDALL Associated Press

NEW YORK — Stocks ended flat on Friday as investors shrugged off encouraging economic signs and a tax-cut package expected to lift economic growth. Trading ended shortly before U.S. President Barack Obama signed a tax bill into law. The $850 billion package extends Bush-era tax cuts for another two years and expiring unemployment benefits through next year. House Democrats had pledged to block the tax proposal, a compromise worked out between Obama and Senate Republicans. But the House passed the bill late Thursday night. Critics said the cost didn’t justify the expected boost to economic growth. The Dow Jones fell 7.34 points, or 0.06 percent, to close at 11,491.91. The broader S&P 500 eked out another 2010 high. The index rose 1.04, or 0.08 percent, to close at 1,243.91. The Nasdaq composite rose 5.66, or 0.2 percent, to 2,642.97. In a hopeful sign for the economy, the Conference Board said its index of leading economic indicators rose 1.1 percent in November, the fastest pace since March. The index — which tracks data such as orders for new goods and materials — rose 0.4 percent in October. Stocks wavered in a tight range Friday, a day after major indexes hit two-year highs. The Dow Jones industrial average edged lower on Friday, but added 82 points over the week. The index of 30 large company shares has now gained 400 points, or 3.6 percent, over the last three weeks. Rising shares barely outpaced falling ones on the New York Stock Exchange. Consolidated volume was 5.4 billion shares. The Dow gained 0.7 percent for the week. The S&P 500 rose 0.3 percent and the Nasdaq rose 0.2 percent. Bond yields fell at the end of this year’s last full week of trading. The yield on the 10-year Treasury dropped to 3.33, after notching a seven-month high of 3.56 percent on Thursday. The 10-year yield is widely used by lenders to set borrowing rates for mortgages, corporate debt and other loans. Boeing rose 1 percent to $65.03 to lead the 30 stocks that make up the Dow. American Express was the index’s laggard. It fell 1.3 percent to $44.01. Canadian bank BMO Financial Group said it will buy Wisconsin-based Marshall & Ilsley Corp. for $4.1 billion in stock. BMO, which operates the Bank of Montreal, said it will repay the preferred shares that Marshall & Ilsley issued as part of the Troubled Asset Relief Program before the deal closes in July. Shares of Marshall & Ilsley bounced 18.3 percent to $6.85. Research in Motion Ltd., maker of the BlackBerry, also said late Thursday that its third quarter earnings beat analyst expectations. The company’s stock rose 1.6 percent to $60.20. The dollar rose 0.3 percent against an index of six countries’ currencies.

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Associated Press

Chancellor Angela Merkel will present new proposals in the first weeks of 2011 to reduce differences among the economies that use the euro. “We have to tackle the competitiveness gaps within the 16 eurozone nations,” he said. Merkel said they have no firm ideas yet, but may look at stable budgets or compare social security systems across the region. Differences among states from powerhouse Germany to debt-saddled Greece came to the fore this year, as the union had to bail out two members and held countless meetings to stabilize the euro. “Monetary union requires an economic union, nobody can avoid this destiny,” said Belgium’s Prime

BRUSSELS — Led by Germany and France, EU leaders agreed Friday to work for closer economic cooperation amid market turmoil over towering debts in countries across the continent. The leaders made progress at a summit in Brussels on a new rescue system for future debt crises but decided not to beef up the their existing bailout fund — further worrying ratings agencies and other market players who say the union needs to do more right now to keep the euro intact. The union is wrapping up a punishing year that has rocked the world’s confidence in its ambitious experiment to share a currency. France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy said he and Germany’s • TURN TO EUROPE, 2B

Moody’s slashes Irish debt to three grades above junk DUBLIN — (AP) — Moody’s slashed Ireland’s credit rating five notches Friday and warned of further downgrades if the country cannot regain command of its debts and tame its deficit. Dietmar Hornung, senior Ireland analyst for Moody’s, said it remained an open question whether Ireland could reduce its deficit from its eurozone-record levels while taking tens of billions from a new EU-IMF bailout fund. Moody’s dropped Ireland’s rating to Baa1 — just three steps


above junk-bond status — in a move similar to last week’s BBB+ downgrade by rival ratings agency Fitch. The other major agency, Standard & Poor’s, cut Ireland two notches to A on Nov. 23 and is expected to drop its grade further in coming days. While Fitch has put Ireland on a stable outlook, meaning no further downgrades are expected, Hornung said Moody’s was keeping Ireland on a negative outlook because it sees more negatives than positives in Ireland’s future.

More charges in federal insider trading probe BY AZAM AHMED AND PETER LATTMAN New York Times Service


FLAWED: Patients with Johnson & Johnson’s hip implants soon developed inexplicable pain and surgeons found masses of dead tissue near the thighs of some patients.


New York Times Service

A recently recalled artificial hip made by a unit of Johnson & Johnson, designed to last 15 years or more, is failing worldwide at unusually high rates after just a few years. One of the most troubled orthopedic implants of the past decade, this artificial hip — known as the ASR, or Articular Surface Replacement — was originally promoted as a breakthrough that would last longer and provide patients more natural movement.

But many patients soon developed inexplicable pain, and surgeons, when replacing the implant, discovered mysterious masses of dead tissue near the thighs of some patients. Until late summer, officials at the Johnson & Johnson unit, DePuy Orthopaedics, the largest maker of replacement hips worldwide, maintained that the

ASR was performing on a par with competing devices. But interviews with doctors indicate that DePuy received repeated warnings that the implant was failing and that surgeons were abandoning it. The brief and troubled life of DePuy’s ASR hip points to a medical implant system that is piecemeal and broken on many fronts, critics say. Unlike new drugs, many of which go through a series of clinical trials before receiving approval from the Food and Drug Administration, critical implants can be sold without such testing if a device, like an artificial

Federal authorities have arrested three employees of some of the world’s largest technology companies on charges that they leaked confidential corporate information. They are the latest charges brought by the government in its rapidly expanding investigation into insider trading on Wall Street. A fourth employee pleaded guilty and is cooperating with investigators. The four are accused of tipping off hedge funds and others with nonpublic information on sales figures for companies like Dell and Advanced Micro Devices, as well as providing details about new products like the Apple iPhone. The authorities also arrested an executive at an expert-network firm that served as the matchmaker between the technology industry employees and hedge fund traders. The firm, Primary Global Research of Mountain View, Calif., hired the employees as consultants and arranged calls between them and the traders, prosecutors say. The employees were paid more than $400,000 combined for their services. Investigators have been homing in on expert-network firms, which have emerged over the past decade as the research departments of large Wall Street banks have retrenched. A major reason for their growth is Regulation Fair Disclosure, a decade-old Securities and Exchange Commission rule that requires publicly traded companies to disclose material information to all investors at the same time. That rule, known on Wall Street as Reg FD, left information-hungry hedge funds looking for new ways to gain an investment edge. A band of expert-network firms cropped up, connecting traders to the employees of publicly traded companies who were paid to provide insights into their businesses. The attorney general of New York briefly investigated these firms and whether public company executives improperly provided nonpublic information to hedge fund traders. That investigation did not result in any charges. “The information trafficked by the four ‘consultants’ went way beyond permissible market research,” said Janice Fedarcyk, head of the


$7.2B settlement made with Madoff investor BY DIANA B. HENRIQUES

New York Times Service

Federal prosecutors and the trustee charged with recovering assets in the Bernard L. Madoff bankruptcy announced settlements Friday that would add $7.2 billion to the cash available to compensate victims of Madoff’s global Ponzi scheme. Details of the agreements with the estate of Jeffry Picower, a Palm Beach, Fla., philanthropist who died in October 2009, were released in court documents and at a news conference in Lower Manhattan, N.Y. The settlements “will return

every penny received from almost 35 years of investing with Bernard Madoff,” Picower’s wife, Barbara, said in a statement released through her lawyer, William D. Zabel of Schulte Roth & Zabel. The Picower estate will pay $5 billion to the trustee, Irving H. Picard, and $2.2 billion to a federal victims fund to resolve a lawsuit filed in 2009, according to statements from Picard and United States attorney for the Southern District, Preet Bharara. All of the $7.2 billion recovered will be distributed to Madoff cus-


tomers with valid claims, Picard said in a statement. He said during the news conference that he expected to make a distribution to victims by the end of the first quarter of 2011. Bharara praised Picower for agreeing to the settlement. “By returning every penny of the $7.2 billion her late husband received” he said, “Barbara Picower has done the right thing.” The amount greatly expands the • TURN TO MADOFF, 2B

12/18/2010 4:58:16 AM




In insider trading, U.S. targets expert networks BY MICHAEL J. DE LA MERCED New York Times Service

On May 22, 2009, an unnamed investment professional rang up James Fleishman, a salesman at the consulting firm Primary Global Research. The anonymous executive was seeking a very particular type of service: an expert who could provide specific, timely information about a particular company. In other words, someone with a “pretty good handle on what’s happening.” Three weeks later, Fleishman’s firm had set up a phone call with a manager at Dell, who divulged sensitive information like sales figures and monthly forecasts. Such conversations — recorded for federal investigators and described in a criminal complaint filed Thursday — underpin the newest batch of insider trading arrests. With the latest round of charges, authorities have indicated that they are taking aim at socalled expert networks, firms that offer paid access to professionals with deep knowledge of their industries. Three of the four men arrested Thursday — Walter Shimoon, Mark Anthony Longoria and Manosha Karunatilaka — were executives in the tech industry moonlighting as Primary Global consultants. The fourth, Fleishman, helped connect such professionals to paying clients. Now, prosecutors must prove that the men knowingly shared confidential information. Three, the complaint said, signed non-disclosure agreements with their companies. Primary Global on its website said that “at no point are expert consultants permitted to breach any agreement with their employers.” Such consulting contracts were lucrative: Prosecutors say Longoria, a supply chain

manager at Advanced Micro Devices, earned $200,000 for his consulting work. “It seems to me that when people accept money for ‘consultation services,’ they are probably walking a fine line within their corporation that prevents the disclosure of such information,” said David S. Ruder, a professor at Northwestern University Law School and a former Securities and Exchange Commission chairman. “The fact that these are professional organizations is worrisome.” Expert networks have come under increased scrutiny amid fears by regulators that they are unregulated conduits of insider information. In November, prosecutors arrested Don Chu, a Primary Global executive, and accused him of orchestrating leaks about companies, including Broadcom and Sierra Wireless. Legal observers say that one of the biggest debates raised by the recent insidertrading investigations is what kinds of investment research falls within the bounds of the law. For example, questions have arisen over time-tested techniques like “channel checks,” in which investors try to see how, for example, local stores are performing. The charges do not appear to address such gray areas, according to Joseph Grundfest, law professor at Stanford and former SEC commissioner. “What’s intriguing is that the allegations haven’t touched any of those controversial theories relating to market checks or market color.” Among hedge funds, few things are more valuable than information that can be traded on before others can, providing an edge that earns any extra profit. In the May phone call, Fleishman was recorded as

saying that the information Primary Global consultants could provide “definitely is weighted on near term.” In other words, according to prosecutors, such data would be relevant to near-term trades, as opposed to longerterm investments. In a 2009 call between Fleishman and a cooperating witness, the investor asked to speak to Longoria, of AMD, because the witness said he had “a big bet going” on the chip-maker. Time was of the essence because AMD was set to report earnings the next day. The next morning, according to the complaint, Fleishman arranged a call between the investor and Longoria. Among the data Longoria purportedly shared were the company’s shipment numbers and revenue figures. One important standard that prosecutors must establish in such a criminal case is “scienter,” or intent to commit fraud. In the May call, Fleishman is described as telling the unnamed investor that Primary Global tried to provide some anonymity for its consultants, usually declining to provide contact information or even last names. “That’s just to protect them from investor relations or whatever it is?” the investor asked, according to the complaint. Fleishman replied: “Yeah.” Ruder said meeting that standard may not be difficult, given the efforts to obscure the identity of the consultants, the regularity of their work and the payments involved. “No one would be willing to pay large sums of money and go to the lengths alleged in the complaint to buy confidential information that wasn’t important,” said John J. Carney, a partner at the law firm Baker Hostetler and a former prosecutor.

Four charged in federal insider trading probe • PROBE, FROM 1B

FBI’s New York office. “It was insider information.” The charges Thursday are an outgrowth of a sprawling insider trading case built around the prosecution of Raj Rajaratnam, a billionaire hedge fund manager and cofounder of the Galleon Group. The Justice Department has charged 23 people related to that case, 14 of whom have pleaded guilty. The latest charges, filed Thursday in New York, similarly relied on a wide-ranging patchwork of sources, including five cooperating witnesses, recorded conversations, e-mail records and tapped phones. In particular, two witnesses were cited as being extremely valuable in the government’s complaint: one, a person with extensive experience evaluating technology companies whose identity was not disclosed, and Richard Choo-Beng Lee, a former hedge fund manager implicated in the Galleon case who began cooperating with authorities in April 2009. Lee, who founded the California-based hedge fund Spherix Capital, had a relationship with Primary Global in 2008 and 2009, during which time he contacted a number of consultants retained by the company, according to the complaint filed on Thursday. To gain insider information, the complaint states, Spherix called consultants who worked at public companies before their employers released quarterly earnings. Lee had established a relationship with Don Chu, an executive at Primary Global who was arrested in New Jersey in November on insider trading charges. The four people arrested Thursday were Walter Shi-

Minister Yves Leterme, whose country holds the EU’s rotating presidency. Merkel said Europe “grows ever closer together, sometimes at different speeds.” Markets seemed little moved by the one firm financial decision the EU leaders have made at this summit: to change the treaty that underpins their bloc to allow for a permanent rescue plan for countries that get buried in debt beyond 2013. That’s when the current 750 billion ($992.85 billion) bailout fund expires. EU governments had decided to set up the longterm European Stability Mechanism at their previous summit in October and finance ministers outlined its broad features at the end of November. This week’s decision gives it the necessary legal basis. Finance ministers of the 16 states that use the euro will now begin working out details of the new mechanism, including how much money eurozone nations are willing to chip in and when exactly private creditors would be involved. “It is very difficult to say today what the capacity will

be,” Merkel said. “but it will have to be sufficient to convince all those who rely on it.” The mechanism is more than a bailout fund. It will provide rescue loans to countries that face a crisis of liquidity — that is, if they can’t access money quickly enough to pay off their debts. Crucially, however, the ESM will also be able to force private creditors to assume some losses when a country is deemed insolvent. Champions of the mechanism argue that it is necessary to protect taxpayers in economically strong countries like Germany from having to pay for the profligacy of ‘peripheral’ countries like Greece or Portugal. But analysts warned that the new mechanism didn’t address the region’s existing debt woes. “The new ESM should safeguard the eurozone’s financial stability in the future,” ING economist Carsten Brzeski said in a note. “However, it is to some extent window-dressing as it does not solve the current crisis. European leaders failed to address the issue of debt sustainability and possible insolvency problems prior to 2013.” Many economists warn

moon, a senior director of business development at Flextronics in San Diego; Mark Longoria, a supply chain manager at Advanced Micro Devices in Texas; Manosha Karunatilaka, an account manager at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.; and James Fleishman, a vice president and sales manager at Primary Global Research. Daniel DeVore, a global supply manager at Dell, entered a guilty plea and is cooperating with authorities. All four of the technology employees no longer work for their companies. Fleishman is on leave, a Primary Global spokesman said. According to DeVore’s plea agreement, he received more than $145,000 for the inside information he shared with New York hedge funds and other Primary Global clients between 2007 and 2010. DeVore will be sentenced in December 2013. Hedge fund traders and others who wished to reach the four technology consultants did so through one of two contacts at Primary Global: Fleishman or another manager who is now a cooperating witness, according to the complaint. Fleishman often connected investors with the consultants the day before their companies’ quarterly earnings were reported, the complaint says. And Fleishman knew his business: In one recorded phone call in May 2009, a cooperating witness pressed Fleishman about his experts’ value. “The service we provide is, you know, whatever you’re looking for, whether it is short-term or long-term, we’ll have people,” Fleishman said, according to a recorded conversation quoted in the complaint. He added later: “Most of our clients are more focused on the quarterly trends.”

Some Primary Global consultants were popular, according to the complaint: Longoria, the AMD supply chain manager, was at one point consulted 40 times during a 60-day period. From 2008 to 2010, Longoria made more than $200,000 for his consulting work. Lee, the former Galleon trader, met Longoria at a 2009 conference in Las Vegas, the complaint says, and while working with the FBI taped phone calls the men had starting that summer. In 2009, the day before AMD reported its quarterly earnings, another cooperating witness contacted Fleishman. The witness was looking to speak with Longoria because the witness “had a big bet going on AMD,” according to recorded conversations cited in the complaint. During the call, Longoria provided sales numbers, the complaint states. He also said that revenue was going to be flat or slightly up in the second quarter of 2009. The witness asked Longoria how he could be so confident about the numbers. Longoria, 44, said he had a friend who worked in finance who would give him all the “nitty gritty details.” The same cooperating witness also reached out to Shimoon, 39, of Flextronics, who worked as a consultant for Primary Global from August 2007 through November 2010. Flextronics supplied parts for Apple products, and Shimoon was privy to basic purchase and shipping details. During a 2009 recorded conversation with a cooperating witness, Shimoon offered third-quarter sales figures and fourth-quarter forecasts for the iPhone, the complaint says. He also told the witness about a new iPhone to be introduced in early 2010, according to the complaint.

Faulty hip implant points to flawed system

EU leaders plan to cooperate • EUROPE, FROM 1B




WORKING TOGETHER: Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel, left, and France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy will present new proposals in January to reduce differences among economies that use the euro. that anemic or nonexistent economic growth, paired with anxiety about the health of the banks and surging borrowing costs, will make it difficult for countries like Greece, Ireland, Portugal or possibly much larger Spain to pay off their debts. Those concerns were echoed in a warning over Ireland’s debt Friday. Rating agency Moody’s

Investors Service downgraded Ireland’s government bonds by five notches, citing the country’s ailing banking sector, which was the main cause for a massive bailout from the EU and the International Monetary Fund last month. The downgrade follows warnings over the ratings of highly indebted Spain, Greece and Belgium earlier this week.

hip, resembles an implant already approved and used on patients. That way, manufacturers can rapidly make small changes to a device to improve it. But those procedures have also created a loophole, experts say, that lets producers bundle a component from an unapproved implant into an existing design and sell a device with minimal testing. With the ASR, that process unfolded with devastating results. For patients, the problems with the ASR required additional painful operations in which the device was replaced with another artificial hip. For some, however, the damage to bone, muscles and nerves from the troubled device, which can shed tiny metallic particles, has left them permanently disabled. That damage can also complicate a replacement operation. Initially, DePuy developed the ASR as a resurfacing implant, a device comprising two components — the cup and a thigh component — that was used in a procedure in which less of a patient’s thigh bone was removed than in a standard hip replacement. In 2003, DePuy started selling that version of the ASR outside the United States.

Because resurfacing was a new procedure, the FDA required DePuy to test the implant in a clinical trial before it could sell it. It was not until late 2007 that the company submitted that study data to the FDA for review and possible approval, a process that was aborted in 2009 when DePuy withdrew its application. It also was in 2007 that an orthopedic surgeon in Britain, Dr. Antoni Nargol, started seeing ASR patients complaining of groin pain. Two years later, when Nargol and a colleague say they told DePuy officials they had found an explanation for why the ASR was failing, the company did not stop selling it or issue a warning. Instead, the men said they were met with a response similar to one other orthopedic surgeons who have tried to sound alarms encountered — the fault was not related to a particular device but to a doctor’s surgical technique. The case of the ASR is not the first time problems with orthopedic implants emerged elsewhere well before U.S. doctors stopped using that device. And the absence of such a system also means device companies likeDePuy determine when safety alerts are issued or products are withdrawn.

$7.2 billion settlement reached with Madoff investor’s estate • MADOFF, FROM 1B

$2.3 billion sum that Picard had already collected through asset sales and other settlements in the Madoff bankruptcy. The figure represents the difference between the cash that Picower put into his Madoff account and the amount that he withdrew over the life of the fraud, according to litigation filed in 2009 by Picard. Bharara said the settlement constituted the largest forfeiture in U.S. judicial history.

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Calling the Madoff scheme “deplorable,” Picower said in her statement that she was confident that her husband had not been involved but that returning the gains was the right thing to do. “I believe that this settlement honors what Jeffry would have wanted, which is to return this money so that it can go directly to the victims of Madoff,” she said, adding she planned to return to “the philanthropic work that was so important to Jeffry and me.”

Ron Stein, president of the Network for Investor Action and Protection said he hoped the recovery efforts would help spare innocent Madoff investors who have also been sued by Picard. “It is clear the trustee will exceed expectations in his settlements with the complicit,” Stein said, “and there is no reason why he should continue to claw back investors who played no role in the fraud.” The complicated negotiations, which conclude the

trustee’s case against Picower, involved lawyers for Picard, federal prosecutors working for Bharara and lawyers at the firm of Schulte Roth & Zabel. Settlement talks were already under way when Picower, who had suffered from Parkinson’s disease and had a history of heart ailments, was found dead in the swimming pool of his oceanfront Palm Beach mansion on Oct. 25, 2009. The enormous amount involved is certainly plausible: a confidential letter from Gold-

man Sachs, requested as part of the protracted settlement talks, confirmed that Picower had been “a valued client of our Investment Management Division for nearly three decades,” and that during that time, he had generated legitimate investment returns “in excess of $2 billion,” primarily through “self-directed investments in public securities.” A person with knowledge of the Goldman Sachs research said that there were $4.5 billion in “unrealized gains” in

Picower’s account at the firm at the time of his death. For such a formidable investor, Picower had long flown beneath Wall Street’s radar. Before he appeared as one of the largest clients of Madoff’s investment advisory business, he was known in financial circles for his medical technology investments. In 2004, a few years after he took control of Alaris Medical Systems, he sold the company to Cardinal Health for more than $1 billion.

12/18/2010 5:33:21 AM




Global banks far short of capital rules



New York Times Service


WAR OF INNOVATION: Nokia has sued Apple of using its basic touch screen maneuver without permission among other patent violations.

Nokia slaps more patent suits on Apple From Miami Herald Wire Services

In the latest salvo of a protracted legal battle, Nokia has sued Apple in Britain, Germany and the Netherlands, accusing it of using 13 patents, including a basic touch-screen maneuver, without permission. The lawsuits filed by Nokia are the most recent demands for royalty payments from its rival Apple, which entered the cellphone business in 2007 with the iPhone, a device that redefined the smartphone. Two of the patents included in Nokia’s suit are the familiar finger “wiping gesture” used to navigate content on a cellphone touch screen and the technology that enables access to the realtime services of an applications store. Paul Melin, a Nokia vice president in charge of intellectual property, said Nokia had filed patents protecting both technologies more than 10 years ago. The suits contend Apple is improperly using Nokia technologies in the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch devices. • EARNINGS RESEARCH IN MOTION PROFIT JUMPS 45% Research in Motion, the maker of the BlackBerry, said its third-quarter earnings jumped 45 percent as sales keep surging overseas despite tough competition in the smartphone market. RIM said it shipped 14.2 million BlackBerrys in the quarter, narrowly beating Apple’s iPhone sales in its latest quarter, which ended in October. Most of RIM’s growth is now coming from markets outside the United States, Canada and Britain, where the BlackBerry is already the business phone of choice. • CORRUPTION PROBE U.S. EXPANDS INVESTIGATION AGAINST HP An investigation into overseas corruption allegations involving Hewlett-Packard employees in Germany has expanded its focus to include HP workers in several other European countries, according to a new regulatory filing. HP says it is cooperating with the probe, which began when German authorities started reviewing allegations that employees of an HP subsidiary paid kickbacks to secure a contract to provide a computer system to a Russian government agency over a period of time between 2001 and 2006. Both the U.S. Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission have since launched their own review of whether the company violated a U.S. law that forbids such practices by U.S. companies doing business overseas. • BANKING BANK OF MONTREAL BUYS U.S. BANK FOR $4.1B The Bank of Montreal is acquiring Marshall & Ilsley for $4.1 billion in stock. The bank says in an announcement Friday that it has signed a definitive agreement with the Wis.-based bank under which it will exchange 0.1257 shares of Bank of Montreal for each share of M&I. The Bank of Montreal says the transaction has been approved by the boards of both banks and is expected to close before July 31. • UNITED STATES MONEY FUND ASSETS SHRINK TO $2.803 TRILLION Total money market mutual fund assets fell $33.23 billion to $2.803 trillion for the week, the Investment Company Institute said. Assets of retail U.S. money market mutual funds rose $530 million to $939.53 billion. Assets of taxable money market funds in the retail category rose $230 million to $736.19 billion for the week that ended Wednesday, the Washington-based mutual fund trade group said. Retail tax-exempt fund assets climbed $310 million to $203.34 billion. • TOBACCO TOBACCO FIRM FINED FOR ENTICING CHILDREN A jury has awarded $81 million in punitive damages to the estate and son of a Boston woman who started smoking at age 13 after a tobacco company began trying to hook black children. The son and estate of Marie Evans, who died of lung cancer, sued Lorillard Tobacco, claiming his mother began smoking after Lorillard gave away free cigarette samples at the Boston housing project where she lived. • ECONOMY BANK OF ENGLAND OUTLINES RISKS The Bank of England is warning that Britain is only “partially insulated” from the European financial crisis. The central bank says in its half-yearly Financial Stability Report that British banks’ holdings of sovereign debt issued by countries under heightened strain are relatively small. But total claims on these economies, including lending to households and businesses, are larger. The bank warns that “losses on such lending could increase were heightened sovereign concerns to be accompanied by weakening economic conditions.”

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FRANKFURT, Germany — The largest global banks, especially those in Europe, may be hundreds of billions of dollars short of the capital reserves needed to comply with new regulations and may face pressure to shed risky assets as a result, according to figures released by two influential regulatory panels. One of the panels, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, also provided a more detailed description of the rules it was developing for global banks, prompting some critics to complain that the definition of banks that are too big to fail seemed to be narrowing. Based on their 2009 financial results, the 94 largest banks would have been

¤577 billion, or $769 billion, short of the risk-free capital they will need to hold under new rules endorsed by the Group of 20 countries, the committee said. The banks have until Jan. 1, 2019, to fully comply with the new rules, and many have already started bolstering their reserves. Their collective profit in 2009 — a bad year for banking — was ¤209 billion, suggesting that most institutions would be able to meet the new requirements by retaining profits instead of paying them out to shareholders. “The transition period provides banks with ample time to move to the new standards in a manner consistent with a sound economic recovery while raising the safeguards in the system against economic or

financial shocks,” said Nout Wellink, chairman of the Basel Committee and president of the Dutch central bank. The largest banks, from 23 countries including the United States, Japan and China, are also short of liquid assets that the rules will require them to hold as protection against short-term shocks, like the one after the failure of Lehman Brothers in 2008. Taken together, at the end of 2009 the big banks had only 83 percent of the shortterm cash they would need to keep operating during an emergency, when raising cash in the money markets would be difficult. Separately, the Committee of European Banking Supervisors released a study Thursday saying that the capital shortfall for the

50 largest banks in Europe would be ¤263 billion. The study used the same methodology and time frame as the Basel Committee report, suggesting that more than half the shortfall lies with European institutions. Europe also has the highest concentration of international banks. While there is a long transition period for banks to increase capital, markets could pressure them to act sooner. “It’s a competitive issue,” said Ernest T. Patrikis, a partner at the law firm White & Case in New York and former chief operating officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Clients may say, “ ‘I want to do business with a bank that has the most capital, the safest, most prudent banks,’ ” Patrikis said.

Oracle’s quarter income tops forecasts BY VERNE G. KOPYTOFF

New York Times Service

SAN FRANCISCO — Continued technology spending by large corporations helped propel Oracle’s revenue to a 47 percent gain, and profit rose 28 percent in its second quarter Safra A. Catz, Oracle’s co-president, described the good quarterly results in a call with analysts as “broad based” across the company’s businesses and countries in which it operates. “We had another excellent quarter on top of a truly amazing Q1,” she said. Yun Kim, an analyst with Gleacher & Company, said that Oracle’s earnings signaled that technology spending by big companies had picked up despite the challenging economy. Accenture, a technology consulting company, also reported strong growth on Wednesday. “This is very healthy news for the overall IT spending environment,” Kim said. “The pace of new initiatives is accelerating.” Oracle reported that net income in the quarter ended Nov. 30 rose to $1.9 billion, or 37 cents a share, from the year-ago quarter of $1.45 billion, or 29 cents a share. The company said revenue climbed to $8.6 billion from $5.9 billion. The adjusted income of 51 cents was above the expectations of Wall Street analysts. They had expected 46 cents on an adjusted basis and revenue of $8.34 billion, according to a survey of analysts by Thomson Reuters. Oracle further impressed investors by issuing guidance for the third quarter that was also above analyst expectations. Profit excluding certain expenses is ex-


UPBEAT: Lawrence J. Ellison, Oracle’s chief executive, has predicted that revenue from Exadata, its database software, would exceed $1.5 billion in this fiscal year. He said on Thursday that he expects Exadata to be ‘a turbo charger to our overall database licensing business.’ pected to be 48 cents to 50 cents a share, above the 47 cents that analysts predicted. The better-than-expected results and guidance sent Oracle’s shares up more than 4 percent in after-hours trading to $31.53. Though near a 10-year high, they had closed down 22 cents in regular trading at $30.27. Oracle’s primary business of selling and maintaining corporate database software performed particularly well. New software license sales, a driver of future revenue derived from maintenance fees, were up 21 percent to $2 billion. Software license

updates and product support sales grew 12 percent to $3.6 billion. Oracle expanded into the hardware market with the $7.3 billion acquisition of Sun Microsystems in January. Hardware sales totaled $1.1 billion in the quarter, or 20 percent of Oracle’s overall revenue. Investors will continue to watch closely to see if Sun’s server business, which had been in decline, will revive under Oracle. Oracle is pushing a strategy to sell servers that come loaded with its database software. Exadata, as the product is called, puts Oracle in

direct competition with IBM and Hewlett-Packard. Lawrence J. Ellison, the chief executive, has predicted that Exadata’s revenue would exceed $1.5 billion in this fiscal year. On Thursday, he said that he expected Exadata to be “a turbo charger to our overall database licensing business.” Ellison, in typically pugnacious style, dismissed Oracle’s rivals, calling HP’s servers “slow and expensive” while adding that “our technology is getting faster and more reliable and more secure at a higher rate than our competitors’ technologies.”

Fed proposes rules to cut debit card fees BY ERIC DASH

New York Times Service

The U.S. Federal Reserve, fulfilling a congressional order to examine whether merchants were being charged reasonable fees to process debit card transactions, has proposed new rules that analysts said could cut those fees by as much as 90 percent. The Fed’s report went much further than the 50 percent reduction that Wall Street analysts had expected. Shares of Visa and MasterCard, which stand to lose billions of dollars in revenue if the Fed proposal is adopted, plunged Thursday more than 12 percent. “It’s bad for the issuers and the card networks,” said Rod Bourgeois, a payments analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein. As part of the Dodd-Frank Act’s overhaul of the financial code, Congress directed the central bank, which oversees the regulation of electronic payments, to ensure that the swipe fees charged by the banks and payment card networks like Visa and MasterCard were “reasonable and proportional” to the cost of processing the transaction.

On Thursday, the Fed proposed limiting those so-called interchange fees from 7 cents to 12 cents per transaction, or roughly three-tenths of a percent of the face value of a purchase. Merchants now pay a debit card processing fee averaging about 1.3 percent, according to the Nilson Report, a payment industry newsletter. Smaller retailers are charged more, because of lower transaction volume and limited bargaining power. The Fed proposed that it reevaluate the fee cap every two years and asked for more time to consider whether it should be adjusted higher to reflect the costs of fraud protection. The new rules will be open for public comment until February. Final rules are to be completed by April and put in place in July. “This type of price control is misguided and anticompetitive, and in the end is harmful to consumers,” Noah J. Hanft, MasterCard’s general counsel, said in a statement. In most U.S. stores today, customers pay the same price for goods, whether they use credit, debit or dollar bills, even though each

costs the merchant a different amount. That will almost certainly change soon, the result of the legislation and recent court settlements that have set out to reduce processing fees and abolish rules by the major card companies that have made it impractical for merchants to give discounts to customers using cheaper forms of payment, like cash. Merchants were given even more latitude in October, when the Justice Department settled an antitrust

case against Visa and MasterCard. The card companies agreed to let merchants steer their customers to the payment network preferred by the merchant. “All of the sudden, the merchants have bargaining power,” Bourgeois said. “They have an ability to drive prices down because there will be multiple payment brands on every card, and on top of that, the merchants will have the ability to use the lowest-cost route of whatever payment network they choose.”


DRAWING PARITY: In most U.S. stores today, customers pay the same price for goods, whether they use credit, debit or dollar bills, even though each costs the merchant a different amount.

12/18/2010 1:20:57 AM




DOW 11,491.91


S&P 500 1,243.91






6-MO T-BILLS .17%


30-YR T-BONDS 4.41%


Dow Jones industrials


Nasdaq composite


Close: 11,491.91 Change: -7.34 (-0.1%)


Close: 2,642.97 Change: 5.66 (0.2%)





2,700 2,600


2,500 11,000



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DOW DOW Trans. DOW Util. NYSE Comp. NASDAQ S&P 100 S&P 500 S&P 400 Wilshire 5000 Russell 2000

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IjeYaie\Iekj^ <beh_ZW?dj[h[ij D7C;:?LBWij9^]9^] AMR (AMR) AT&T Inc (T) Alico (ALCO) AmExp (AXP) Assurant (AIZ) AutoNatn (AN) Avatar (AVTR) BB&T Cp (BBT) BE Aero (BEAV) BkofAm (BAC) BankAtl A (BBX) BeasleyB (BBGI) Benihana (BNHN) BenihanaA (BNHNA) Bluegreen (BXG) Carnival (CCL) CatalystPh (CPRX) CerusCp (CERS) Chicos (CHS) CitrixSys (CTXS) Comcast (CMCSA) CnsTom (CTO) Continucre (CNU) CrssCtryHl (CCRN) Darden (DRI) Decoratr (DII) Disney (DIS) Dreams (DRJ) Dycom (DY) h (DIET) EqtyOne (EQY) FedExCp (FDX) Flanign (BDL) GeoGrp (GEO) HackettGp (HCKT) HarrisCorp (HRS) Heico s (HEI) Heico A s (HEI/A) IntlSpdw (ISCA) IntervalLs (IILG) IsleCapri (ISLE) IvaxDiag (IVD) LadThalFn (LTS) LennarA (LEN) Macys (M) MAKO Srg (MAKO) MarineMx (HZO) Mastec (MTZ) McClatchy (MNI) Mednax (MD) Motorola (MOT) NABI Bio (NABI) NatlBevrg (FIZZ) FPL Group (NEE) OcwenFn (OCN) OfficeDpt (ODP) OpkoHlth (OPK) Parlux (PARL) PerryEllis (PERY) PetMed (PETS) Protalix (PLX) RJamesFn (RJF) RepubSvc (RSG) RylCarb (RCL) Ryder (R) SBA Com (SBAC) SFN Grp (SFN) StJoe (JOE) SeacorHld (CKH) SpanBdc h (SBSA) SunTrst (STI) TIB Fn rs (TIBBD) TenetHlth (THC) Terremk (TMRK) TevaPhrm (TEVA) Tongjitng (TCM) TradeStatn (TRAD) 21CentHld (TCHC) UltimSoft (ULTI) UPS B (UPS) VectorGp (VGR) Vonage (VG) Watsco (WSO) Winn-Dixie (WINN) WorldFuel (INT)

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7.81 29.21 24.42 44.01 37.20 27.18 17.55 26.16 37.25 12.57 1.58 4.95 8.10 8.15 2.75 42.51 .92 2.32 12.05 69.21 21.42 28.97 4.83 8.73 49.89 .90 37.05 2.55 13.88 .58 17.15 93.07 8.25 25.37 3.55 46.40 52.50 38.00 25.44 17.21 10.17 .57 1.32 17.32 25.89 14.90 8.82 14.06 4.87 67.19 8.88 5.68 13.17 51.67 9.40 4.90 3.81 2.79 24.99 18.45 9.37 32.12 30.41 42.41 50.62 39.16 9.80 21.27 103.90 .76 27.04 34.50 6.74 13.00 51.93 4.28 6.54 3.20 47.46 73.06 17.42 2.37 63.63 6.78 32.82

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9>= +66.36 -41.95 -9.37 +46.07 -21.01 +164.48 -7.46 +674.48 +20.23




Prime Rate Fed Funds Target 3-month T-bill 6-month T-bill 52-wk T-bill 2-year T-note 5-year T-note 10-year T-note 30-year T-bond

The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 3.32 percent. Changing yields affect interest rates on consumer loans.


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24.04 23.37

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14.10 14.05

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37.91 20.13 33.48 23.31 31.95 23.31 58.43 9.44 16.53 22.82

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115.02 114.98 24.18 10.93 10.93 5.67 51.63 122.36 10.08 25.82 10.52 13.14 114.26 114.27 28.37 18.94 19.65 20.43 13.27 11.00 15.87 65.12 67.56 10.77 10.77 19.17 12.59 22.32 13.20 12.73 10.61 10.61 10.61 10.61 15.62 31.38 31.39 31.37 21.54 52.18 30.97 53.50 45.31 13.29 25.53

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D;J'OH O;IJFLI9>=7=E Unleaded Gas (gal) 2.32 2.31 +.01 1.85 Crude Oil (bbl) 88.02 87.70 +.32 72.65 Gold (oz) 1378.60 1370.40 +8.20 1106.80 Platinum (oz) 1698.50 1698.60 -.10 1425.90 Silver (oz) 29.11 28.75 +.36 17.18 Coffee (lb) 2.25 2.16 +.09 1.46 Orange Juice (lb) 1.57 1.57 ... 1.29 Sugar (lb) 0.33 0.32 +.01 .26

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BWij 9^] 68.82 88.22 31.81 29.19 19.55 4.70 135.67 61.14 76.10 62.54 58.23 11.62 25.25 81.23 26.30 65.70 72.40 81.00 20.06 41.34 39.42 31.26 36.69 40.60 87.53 48.40 22.49 84.71 65.06 42.91 49.34 22.15 28.75 57.16 58.47 37.26 24.59 91.52 47.11 18.99 91.40 12.81 71.84 51.67 26.64 46.48 121.05 38.87 67.57 41.69 33.51 41.08 59.95 107.96 17.93 25.78 11.39 45.37 46.80 70.01 46.04 85.82 81.55 18.74 72.69 13.64 12.46 18.74 36.64 34.44 52.46 13.24 73.09 73.22 64.00 37.78 48.32 39.26 18.02 42.47 37.07 17.97 39.10 67.75 30.66 57.36 42.57 76.16 59.09 17.53 57.36 33.95 37.97 41.86 77.22 49.86 17.74 81.56 15.42 29.82 22.96 43.02 91.67 44.05 80.25 100.04 31.23 10.01 50.07 40.95 38.68 84.75 13.20 33.70 6.00 18.08 15.91 23.86 30.55 29.77 58.33

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BWij 9^] 57.34 61.07 55.00 27.93 34.81 46.93 74.31 37.24 48.82 29.37 24.31 52.91 70.51 39.85 35.85 81.28 49.83 11.27 63.17 110.17 79.30 84.68 19.20 41.08 26.83 55.35 54.91 72.17 136.01 28.45 79.75 86.44 93.00 49.58 59.54 75.65 15.44 13.87 27.44 14.07 13.61 28.06 133.25 36.28 60.44 7.66 116.12 63.76 21.92 55.99 19.72 16.80 52.39 32.71 36.37 61.47 71.32 33.16 21.09 114.60 113.71 57.11 48.00 9.25 13.55 29.47 21.67 15.48 21.19 68.74 31.76 33.54 70.28 17.70 15.60 36.38 34.00 15.12 29.24 51.12 12.84 69.79 13.58 29.63 37.19 39.51 44.72 14.87 17.75 44.45 164.04 86.78 11.64 590.80 136.19 19.32 31.84 25.30 49.48 28.46 34.74 164.42 51.01 39.89 52.75 34.50 47.80 12.34 26.17 49.44 45.11 50.75 48.74 62.09 68.43 48.30 14.26 75.44 41.96 49.15 18.38

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BWij 9^] 35.10 38.48 52.99 51.55 57.44 17.25 21.29 60.94 12.51 23.85 55.36 39.60 6.23 15.57 44.25 17.55 49.11 71.84 79.62 9.74 61.67 51.70 34.09 39.96 51.97 63.76 38.14 34.93 28.90 39.10 44.75 73.76 47.00 18.63 49.24 21.46 119.23 19.41 145.00 55.10 16.90 25.94 10.00 74.39 10.83 49.39 265.76 22.78 25.32 22.89 24.64 14.38 39.67 17.47 43.52 33.25 31.68 26.66 62.54 38.65 84.11 85.55 36.49 51.21 29.96 39.83 21.00 48.02 51.23 37.85 8.42 62.74 16.91 69.25 63.46 41.31 14.09 18.83 53.80 12.79 31.93 21.70 47.64 101.98 70.44 31.06 17.44 22.89 33.27 6.00 88.92 51.85 38.33 45.38 39.09 99.12 26.26 36.34 23.23 28.56 35.48 33.66 15.97 59.11 66.66 30.64 55.47 35.01 31.24 28.43 34.92 36.10 70.07 38.65 19.16 82.39 25.17 109.75 73.29 29.16 31.87

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BWij 9^] 82.75 20.19 13.64 65.19 37.63 45.10 53.62 51.17 40.10 64.98 16.77 35.21 378.00 40.85 41.65 27.09 6.85 93.74 18.86 13.06 51.14 221.26 25.66 23.83 47.71 19.86 76.81 36.30 68.81 46.37 62.52 25.18 28.27 62.15 37.40 6.24 70.05 36.48 43.93 12.08 157.45 34.10 8.21 45.16 27.90 92.46 26.56 5.17 311.42 3.64 20.09 59.92 22.60 18.75 50.80 38.26 64.60 24.66 26.35 26.24 67.33 72.11 21.40 45.30 18.67 16.83 14.28 676.00 18.11 29.85 21.84 32.04 23.50 1.82 63.69 43.50 37.63 63.58 26.15 13.80 34.06 30.00 58.49 13.25 53.80 36.36 180.02 7.10 8.92 109.62 18.10 18.00 71.01 59.40 14.50 16.14 20.97 51.67 17.11 25.68 90.05 22.44 35.10 85.03 9.93 6.23 25.75 91.22 42.31 62.67 28.87 31.88 54.26 64.12 14.22 58.74 32.84 109.68 42.23 18.34 44.58

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BWij 9^] 65.80 14.37 45.70 62.77 95.20 74.12 63.90 13.44 24.43 46.44 9.14 54.16 76.24 31.46 46.98 34.42 30.28 29.97 48.10 58.50 102.85 82.01 26.03 56.50 50.00 38.76 13.73 105.75 84.82 20.27 77.73 30.89 21.36 31.02 60.53 15.85 12.80 23.24 33.70 36.39 13.61 18.31 65.97 26.04 67.03 123.64 18.76 30.94 34.08 40.15 17.03 26.58 59.69 56.34 29.57 67.59 41.51 85.06 24.54 62.07 30.16 35.59 114.16 39.97 2.86 12.92 139.95 93.52 140.63 62.99 400.64 30.95 31.93 64.81 43.66 19.62 13.97 58.09 20.86 31.64 98.20 36.71 19.43 49.46 19.47 54.22 17.35 7.41 31.74 64.57 87.25 42.71 50.31 45.17 33.89 47.83 24.17 32.75 40.73 25.40 6.24 53.82 49.81 62.21 27.53 60.20 35.57 32.46 69.50 35.86 30.42 72.06 58.33 40.08 34.12 19.75 78.10 57.24 34.39 50.90 11.91

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BWij 9^] 64.42 64.34 53.72 29.75 15.70 50.00 40.76 23.98 18.57 63.53 12.06 55.50 71.83 10.03 50.95 21.56 42.56 136.50 48.87 32.25 17.26 48.76 81.34 16.81 51.35 52.08 32.06 14.70 25.05 67.78 52.47 30.01 20.73 34.87 82.02 88.80 70.85 16.22 122.34 66.75 44.30 5.91 36.70 95.43 22.02 68.89 50.21 1.40 28.44 51.16 20.30 65.86 57.21 53.40 51.81 33.98 35.39 46.77 37.90 46.56 24.01 12.93 36.49 35.77 24.40 4.16 63.37 22.53 32.79 59.75 45.47 22.89 18.09 78.91 9.76 14.95 54.53 7.04 30.08 36.01 38.59 16.94 56.99 27.14 29.30 24.20 18.68 17.49 34.50 33.27 43.44 52.70 12.69 20.64 58.52 30.17 46.63 57.66 13.86 24.56 8.13 12.52 10.51 22.86 67.62 15.65 15.74 36.73 31.09 44.09 47.57 43.50 28.40 41.24 31.36 17.44 32.53 23.29 55.78 36.76 86.37

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BWij 9^] 21.31 65.16 40.56 65.30 31.51 48.08 18.08 18.61 60.40 71.22 52.74 15.28 77.48 48.47 37.55 21.17 51.54 71.62 69.34 55.18 40.08 47.74 16.48 35.34 41.75 17.18 16.04 22.51 31.75 9.98 43.10 47.28 61.45 31.20 30.70 91.18 24.14 3.17 26.20 47.99 58.90 78.80 63.55 35.05 43.31 23.83 36.36 89.21 33.93 29.60 29.97 21.08 29.04 34.47 70.37 49.64 28.61 40.11 34.28 33.93 34.64 35.45 38.61 14.84 26.11 66.90 30.67 88.70 26.69 79.90 46.06 61.00 52.64 34.41 54.41 37.58 118.62 22.56 423.00 27.41 36.28 80.17 51.61 21.99 50.50 55.93 29.96 32.97 18.28 114.31 18.16 90.08 113.84 50.46 23.90 47.00 35.64 34.13 32.25 13.99 14.97 59.13 37.72 30.58 104.95 21.70 23.73 11.75 28.21 43.59 16.38 12.18 27.92 30.48 50.05 54.50 22.27

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12/18/2010 5:50:50 AM






Buying a smartphone, with focus on features BY ROY FURCHGOTT

New York Times Service

When shopping for a smartphone, it is common to be drawn to the coolest design. But a phone is basically a collection of features wrapped in a case. Too often that case is a distraction from what is more important: whether the phone has the right features for its prospective user and how well those features work. If you shop for a phone by first picking the type of handset, that also often determines the carrier. But what good is the fanciest phone if you cannot get a signal? Start by checking reception where the phone will be used. You can consult the carrier coverage maps or refer to a great tool from Root Wireless, which collects data from volunteers whose phones track coverage. Your best bets are little-noticed policies that let you test a phone for 30 days at little or no cost at all major carriers. Travel is another consideration. Most of the world uses a signal format called GSM. In the United States, AT&T and T-Mobile use GSM, which means pretty much any of their handsets can work overseas, and with a European SIM card, calls there are local and cheap. While Verizon and Sprint offer phones with a GSM band, a user may not be able swap out the SIM card in some cases. How many Gs do you need? In tech parlance, G stands for generation, and usually the higher the number, the faster the net-

work sends data, which is a benefit when downloading movies, pictures and music. But the current state of G is complex. While most carriers have nearly ubiquitous coverage for 3G, some are offering 3.5G (often advertised as “4G speeds”). Only 68 markets offer WiMax 4G from Sprint, for $10 a month on top of a regular contract (Clearwire also offers the same service, but data only, no mobile voice). And you will need a 4G-capable phone; the HTC EVO is one. But service can be spotty, and $10 is a lot to spend on uncertain service. T-Mobile is working on its HSPA+ network, which, paired with a compatible phone like the Google G2, gets downloads about as fast as WiMax, with no additional charge for the speed increase. Meanwhile, AT&T has quietly sped up its network as well. To test network speed, use the Ookla app SpeedTest or have a friend with a smartphone do it for you. After selecting a network, the next step is to purchase a plan. For the best value, buy the minimum amount of voice, texts and data needed — that way you are not paying for minutes that expire. Free sites like BillShrink help determine the best deal based on a customer’s cellphone usage, or a pay site like Validas will make a recommendation after analyzing a user’s wireless bill. The operating system is often a make-or-break feature. Familiarity is a big selling point. For people who use Apple computers, the iPhone


MAKE A SMART DECISION: While shopping for a smartphone, most customers lay more emphasis on design and less on features such as signal, speed and apps — a distraction that could let them end up making a wrong choice. provides perfect integration, just as people who love Windows prefer how easily Windows Mobile phones mesh with their computers, or Google users appreciate how easily Android coordinates with their accounts. Other systems, like the Nokia Symbian and the Palm WebOS can be made to sync, but may require extra software. Each operating system also has its own universe of applications, which are little specialized computer

programs that do things like provide directions, find a recipe or let you listen to a radio broadcast customized to your taste. The iPhone has the largest library, with about 300,000 apps, followed by the Android operating system, with an estimated 100,000. BlackBerry, Palm, Windows and Nokia have many fewer apps, but the most popular ones tend to appear on all the systems eventually. The iPhone also has an Achilles’ heel; it isn’t compatible with a

very common program called Adobe Flash, which cripples Web browsing. A big dividing point is virtual keyboards versus physical keyboards. Some people do not like the virtual on-screen keyboards, but those now have some advantages, like Swype, a technology that lets you glide your finger across the keyboard to type instead of tapping out each letter. Phones with keyboards are always a little larger and heavier, but there

are compact keyboards, like that on many BlackBerrys, or larger layouts, like that of the Samsung Epic. Wi-Fi may not seem like a critical feature — after all, you connect to the world by 3G or 4G — but it is useful for several reasons. One is that uploads and downloads are much faster, so it is better for video conferencing. Also some apps, like those that let you make free international phone calls, require it. Downloads by Wi-Fi do not count against your data plan, so you can load video while on Wi-Fi to watch later and subscribe to a cheaper data plan. Bluetooth is in nearly every phone now, but if you want to listen to music wirelessly, check to see if it is an up-to-date stereo version. More phones include a hot spot or tethering feature, which lets you use your phone to connect your computer (or other device) to the Internet. Hot spot phones like the Palm Pixi can connect more than one device at a time with Wi-Fi, while tethered phones use a wire or Bluetooth to join to a single device like BlackBerry’s Torch 9800. This feature can tear through your allotted data, though. Finally, do not feel that you have to buy from a carrier store. Third-party sellers, like Best Buy, often offer better deals than the carriers on the same phones, service contracts included. Web sellers like Wirefly also have deals, but some people have complained online that customer service can be spottier with Web-only sellers.

Apps that can make magic on your iPad Virtual items cost real BY BOB TEDESCHI

New York Times Service

When Steve Jobs introduced the iPad and referred to it as a magical device, lots of people snickered. Silly people. Most iPad owners will tell you that it can indeed inspire the kind of astonishment you might have felt while watching your first magic show — that is, if the device is properly loaded. Here are my 10 favorite apps, plus a few extras to make the iPad magic happen: • IWork ($30, or $10 each for Pages, Keynote or Numbers): Since you can’t type easily on an iPad, it may never replace your laptop. But with this software, which is made by Apple, you won’t need to rush to your other computers to edit Microsoft Office files. The Pages app is great for revising and exporting text files; the Numbers app is good (and getting better) with spreadsheets; and Keynote is a serviceable complement to PowerPoint. • Air Display ($10): Turn your iPad screen into an ex-

tra PC monitor with Air Display, and never again miss a new Twitter post, Facebook post or stock market move. • Flipboard (free): Twitter and Facebook rely on “new stuff on top” layouts, with links that send you elsewhere to see what people are fussing about. Flipboard rationalizes this editorial insanity. The app plops your Facebook feed into a magazine format, showing all the stories your friends recommended, with photos and updates. You can create other personalized magazines from Twitter feeds, on topics of your choice. • Star Walk ($5): A jawdropping astronomy app. Hold the iPad toward the night sky and it labels everything. You can also preview the movement of tonight’s sky, or witness a particular night sky from centuries ago. Star Walk is billed as an educational app, but it’s as entertaining as anything on the market. • SketchBook Pro ($8): Experienced artists can create masterpieces with this program. Hobbyists and

children can happily lose themselves for hours. The app is powerful, yet fairly intuitive. • Netflix (free, but requires a paid Netflix subscription): The iPad renders video beautifully, and Netflix streams a nearly limitless catalog of movies and TV shows to the device. Fast, easy, addicting. • Fruit Ninja HD ($5): On the iPad’s big screen, this game will give you more of a jolt than Angry Birds. (But do yourself a favor and download that one too.) The task: Swipe your finger to slice flying fruit. Hit a bomb and your ninja days are numbered. A recent update added online multi-player functionality. • Instapaper ($5): Great articles typically appear when you have no time to read them. Instapaper quickly stores links, so you can read the full articles later, from within the app. Instapaper also remembers articles you’ve saved with the free online version. Some will find setting up the service on an iPad frustrating, but it is worth it.


EXPLORE IT AGAIN: Many iPad users fail to discover the most enchanting aspects of the magical device because they haven’t installed the apps that can cast a spell on users.

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• Pandora Radio (free): Fans of the personalized radio service will appreciate the big-screen format, which is great for reading liner notes and browsing artists and songs. The music selections and ads (if you don’t pay for upgraded service) are the same as on the iPhone or online version. • Evernote (free): Another bigger-is-better entry. Evernote stores notes, photos and voice memos, so you can retrieve them later on any Web-connected device. The service offers a fair amount of free storage, but you can skip the limit for $45 a year. HONORABLE MENTION Reuters News Pro (free): Among the best news apps, it will cache articles for offline reading; Photoshop Express (free): Import your photos and crop, filter, rotate and change them to suit your tastes. Great for youngsters, too; Wikipanion (free): An iPad-centric approach to surfing Wikipedia pages; AirCoaster ($1): Design and ride 3-D roller coasters, with amazing graphics; Magic Piano ($2): Make music with whimsically elegant keyboards; Scrabble ($10): The wordsmith’s standby, nicely rendered for the iPad. (Use your iPhone or iPod Touch as tile racks.) Orbital HD ($3): A game that will engage your brain, test your reflexes and kill many hours of your time; Weather HD ($1): No matter the forecast, it’s a treat to read; Twitter for iPad (free): Twitter’s official app delivers an efficient, simple experience; Skype (free): Make free (or cheap) calls with your iPad; Epicurious (free): Professionally tested recipes, in big-screen glory; Real Racing HD ($10): Take the wheel and steer the iPad to victory; NPR (free): Catch up on the news and your favorite NPR programs, or read top articles; TextPlus (free): Free texting; The Elements ($14): Could make you want to take high school chemistry again; Dragon Dictation (free): Speak your mind, and the app delivers a text message or e-mail, ready for sending.

price in iPhone games BY PETER SVENSSON Associated Press

NEW YORK — The Smurfs’ Village, a game for the iPhone and other Apple gadgets, was released in November and quickly became the highest-grossing application in the iTunes store. Yet it’s free to download. So where does the money come from? Kelly Rummelhart of Gridley, Calif., has part of the answer. Her 4-year-old son was using her iPad to play the game and racked up $66.88 in charges on her credit card without knowing what he was doing. Rummelhart had no idea that it was possible to buy things — buy them with real money — inside the game. In this case, her son bought one bushel and 11 buckets of “Smurfberries”, tokens that speed up gameplay. “Really, my biggest concern was them scratching the screen. Never in my wildest dreams did I think they would be charging things on it,” the 36-year-old mother said. She counts herself lucky that her son didn’t start tapping on another purchase button, like the “wheelbarrow” of Smurfberries for $59.99. Rummelhart joins a number of parents who have been horrified by purchases of Smurfberries and other virtual items in top App Store games. The 17 highest-rated comments on The Smurfs’ Village in the App Store all complain about the high cost of the Smurfberries, and two commenters call it a “scam.” Apple introduced “in-app purchases” in 2009, letting developers use the iTunes billing system to sell items and add-ons in their games and applications. This year, developers have started to use the system in earnest as the main revenue stream for many games. Of the 10 highest-grossing apps in the App Store, six are games that are free to download but allow in-app purchases. Capcom Entertainment, the publisher of The Smurfs’ Village, says inadvertent purchases by children are “lamentable.” When it realized what was happening, it added a warning about the

option of in-app purchases to the game’s description in the App Store, and it’s updating the game to include warnings inside it as well. It’s quite likely that most of the money pulled in by these games comes from addicted adults who want to quickly build their Smurf villages, bakeries, zoos and zombie farms. But there’s a loophole in the in-app purchase process that children stick their fingers through. Usually, the purchases require the owner of the device to enter his or her iTunes password. But there is no password challenge if the owner has entered the password in the last 15 minutes for any reason. That means that if a user enters the password for a purchase or a free app upgrade, then hands the phone or iPad over to a kid, the child will not be stopped by a password prompt. However, there’s reason to believe that the password timeout doesn’t always work. Andrew Butterworth of Brooklin, Ontario, was well aware of how in-app purchases work and of the passwordfree period. He was careful to let at least 15 minutes pass after a password entry before letting his 5-year-old son play with his iPod Touch. That didn’t help, once he’d loaded The Smurfs’ Village. “He came to me all proud and said he’d figured out a way to get all these Smurfberries,” Butterworth says. “And as soon as I saw the Smurfberries, I knew that he’d purchased them using my credit card. I was amazed that he’d figured out a way to do it, because I was sure that he would have needed my password.” He had last entered his password on the iPod four or five hours earlier, he said. His son’s shopping spree cost $140. Butterworth was pleased with the refund, but still thinks Smurfs is a “scam.” “They make it a ridiculously difficult game to play, and you can skip all the difficult parts by spending money,” he said. “I believe that they know exactly what’s going on.”

12/18/2010 4:34:16 AM







NORTH ♠A87 ♥K52 ◆QJ7652 ♣A WEST ♠ Q J 10 5 4 ♥ Q 10 6 ◆98 ♣932


For more comics & puzzles, go to


EAST ♠96 ♥A943 ◆ A 10 4 ♣ J 10 8 7

SOUTH ♠K32 ♥J87 ◆K3 ♣KQ654


Vulnerable: Both Dealer: North The bidding: South West 2♣ 3 NT

North East 1◆ Pass Pass 2◆ Pass All pass 12-18

Opening lead — ♠ queen

wise, a further spade removes dummy’s last sure entry. But the unblock leaves declarer Today’s deal is from the without access to the clubs 2002 European Mixed Teams Championship. Although most in his own hand. East returns a spade, and now declarer Souths were successful in has to run the diamonds, to three no-trump, best defense reduce everyone down to four would have posed South a cards. He keeps two clubs very knotty problem. and two hearts in hand while When West led the spade focusing on West’s discards. queen, declarer won in hand, South must assume that played a club to the ace to East has the heart ace, or unblock that suit, and folWest will have an entry to the lowed with a diamond to the spade suit, and must decide in king. When this held, just the ending how many hearts one top club from hand was West has kept. If West has cashed, then diamonds were continued. East could win the kept all his spades, declarer advances the heart king, ace but now, with the spade smothering West’s queen. But ace as an entry to the estabif West parts with a spade, he lished diamonds, declarer is thrown in with dummy’s could not be denied nine last spade. After cashing his tricks. second spade winner, West Compare the situation if will be endplayed in hearts to East rises with the ace when the first diamond is led. South concede the ninth trick. must unblock the king; other-






WHITE WINS THE QUEEN Hint: The knight fork is key. Solution: 1. Rxg7ch! Kxg7 (or ... Bxg7) 2. Ne7ch! winning it [Mamedyarov-Kramnik ’10].








Dear Abby: I’m a senior in high school and I have a problem. I’m in a parasitic relationship. A boy at my school, “Dan,” believes himself to be my best friend. It is sad because everyone acts as if he is invisible. I noticed that he was an outcast and went out of my way to be kind to him. He latched onto me and now follows me around at school. I have a boyfriend who is really concerned, but neither of us knows how to approach this. Dan calls me at home and always asks if we can hang out “as friends.” (I keep coming up with excuses to avoid it.) Dan is a nice guy, but this has been going on for two years and his attachment has only increased. I have no idea how to let him know our “friendship” has become too suffocating for me. Please help. Overwhelmed in Ohio Because he has been excluded by everyone else at school, it’s not surprising that Dan is emotionally dependent on you. However, you have a boyfriend, your studies and a social life, and you need to explain that to Dan when he asks to “hang out.” Those aren’t excuses; they are facts. Say it kindly but firmly, and do not be defensive. If he persists, talk to a counselor at school. In a few months high school will be over and Dan can move on and start building a life. Many successful adults weren’t popular in high school. Perhaps when he thinks back, Dan will remember you as the one bright spot in a miserable experience.

Yes, you would. You might get a better result if you simply told your parents that you miss celebrating the holidays with them the way you have in the past, and ask them why things have changed. I’m sure you will find their answer to be enlightening. Dear Abby: I know the holidays can be a stressful time of year — and even more so when there has been a death in someone’s family. When a friend or family member loses a loved one, such as a child or close friend, what is the proper etiquette regarding gifts you may have sent or have sitting under the tree? What should the bereaved family do with the gifts? I must admit, I am curious — especially being a member of the armed forces. Marie in Canada If you are asking whether the gift(s) should be returned to the sender, I am sure the grieving family (or close friend) will have other things to think about that take precedence. Once a gift is sent, it should be up to the surviving relatives to decide whether to keep it or dispose of it — whether by donating it, selling it or returning it to the sender.


Dear Abby: When I was a little girl, my family’s idea of celebrating Christmas was opening some presents and renting a movie. I’m 15 now, and my parents barely acknowledge the holiday. Last year on Christmas Day, my mother slept until after noon, then handed me $100. Dad did the same. I was grateful for the money, but a little hurt that they put no effort into buying gifts. I am tired of trying to think up thoughtful gifts while all I get is a check handed to me without so much as a “Merry Christmas.” Would I sound ungrateful if I asked my parents to put a little more thought into celebrating the holidays this year? Not So Jolly Christmas

HOROSCOPE IF TODAY IS YOUR BIRTHDAY: The spirit of the season might fill you with good feelings. Your ways might bring a smile to the faces of the loved ones in your life, but your overconfidence might trip you up at the workplace. • SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Wandering eyes should stay focused where they belong. Don’t make promises. • CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): A fascinating new acquaintance might act like your dearest friend for a few days.


• AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Tread carefully with relationships, as careless words could be misconstrued. • PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Expect the unexpected. Be prepared for anything and gracefully adapt to new and ever-changing conditions. • ARIES (March 21-April 19): Be discerning, as you should be careful not to set your sights on the first pretty face you find. • TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Accept those you deal with as trustworthy, as suspicions are likely to create problems. • GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Take things one step at a time. Avoid getting cornered into making a commitment or making promises that you cannot keep. • CANCER (June 21-July 22): A good captain keeps his cool as he sails his ship through rough seas. • LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Knock that chip off your shoulder. Aggressiveness with a loved one is likely to be met with equal aggression. • VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Keep your cool. Moods are likely to change quickly around you and may even get under your skin. Relax with a hobby or calming activities. • LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Don’t let a whim undo months or even years of work. Discussions may delve into areas where you don’t really want to go. • SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): An impulse to embark on a new adventure should be quelled at once.

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CROSSWORD ACROSS 1 Disappear gradually 5 See eye to eye 9 Fabric with a rippled appearance 14 “A Prayer for ___ Meany” 15 Vicinity 16 Eggs over easy, e.g. 17 Manifestation of fear 19 Fisher’s equipment 20 Of the hipbone 21 Game using the numbers 1-80 23 Tar’s assent 24 Priest in an Ogden Nash verse 27 Mythical birds 29 Joint type 34 Snowcapped peak 35 Sax variety 36 Some candy 38 Clad oneself in 40 Add a hint of color to 42 Pearl Mosque setting 43 Hang around idly 45 Ireland of literature 47 Radius setting 48 Two-dimension math 51 Thing to wish upon 52 Capital of Colombia? 53 “Terrible” age 56 “Too many more to mention” abbr.

58 Bulk of the body 62 “The Creation” composer 64 Seafood for kids, perhaps 67 Alaskan native 68 “Beverly Hills: 90210” actress Spelling 69 Cordelia’s father 70 Lead and tin alloy 71 Annoyed condition 72 Exile island for Napoleon DOWN 1 Points of convergence 2 Caught off base? 3 Where to land lox 4 Ultimate conclusion 5 Where a sock may go? 6 Wrath 7 Martin’s bill 8 Some kids are fussy ones 9 Casablanca’s country 10 Sample for an assayer 11 Mental germ 12 Have confidence in (with “on”) 13 Language of Scotland 18 La ___ (Milan landmark) 22 Lunch break start 25 Abuse 26 Prefix with “trust” and “rust” 28 Arctic bird

29 30 31 32 33 34 37 39

Texas leaguer Month of showers Endowment beneficiary Samantha of “Doctor Dolittle” Delay leaving Cobbler’s hole maker Scotsman’s cap Airport data, for short

41 Seasonal yield 44 International agreement 46 Where early birds bring their worms 49 Surgical implants 50 Fiddle around on a flute 53 The object yonder 54 Fabric ridge 55 ___ and terminer (trial)

57 Disney’s Simba or Mustafa 59 One hundred Cambodian sen 60 Scrape aftermath 61 Gumbo ingredient 63 Press for payment 65 Mr., in India 66 Success in the offing?

12/17/2010 9:04:17 PM






Union prevails in battle over seized drug tests BY MICHAEL S. SCHMIDT

New York Times Service

A six-year legal battle over positive steroid tests that tarnished some of baseball's most cherished story lines and embarrassed players union and federal officials quietly came to an end last week, with the union declaring victory. Federal authorities, who seized drug-testing information for roughly 100 players who tested positive for p e rf o r m a n c e - e n h a n c i n g drugs in 2003, will be forced to destroy that information, which has become known in baseball simply as The List. The names of the players who tested positive in 2003, the first year that baseball

tested for steroids, were never supposed to become public. But some of the game's biggest stars — including Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez, Sammy Sosa, David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez — were linked to positive tests in 2009 through reports by Sports Illustrated and The New York Times. Each side won judgments during the legal fight, but the decisive moment came in September when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit ruled in the union's favor. The government had 90 days to appeal to the Supreme Court, a period that expired Monday. The Justice Department had announced on the preceding

Friday that it would not appeal the decision. “We have always believed that the seizures were improper and violated the rights of the players” and the players union, said Michael Weiner, its executive director. “The courts have agreed. This is a significant victory for our members.” The fight began in 2004 when federal authorities based in San Francisco, who were investigating the Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative, asked Major League Baseball and the players union for drug-testing information for 10 players connected to the laboratory. The authorities were trying to determine whether the players

had testified truthfully before grand juries about their use of banned substances. The information the authorities wanted was from 2003, when the testing was supposed to be conducted on an anonymous survey basis. Under guidelines agreed upon by the union and Major League Baseball, if more than 5 percent of the tests turned out positive, testing backed by penalties would be imposed the next season. (Ultimately, more than 5 percent tested positive and suspensions were put in place for positive tests in 2004). Days before the information for the 10 players was to be turned over, Gene Orza, a senior union official

at the time, told the authorities that the union planned to file a motion to quash the subpoenas seeking the tests. The authorities responded by obtaining search warrants and raiding the laboratories that had conducted the testing. But the federal agents not only took the information for the 10 players, they also seized drug-testing information for all other players who tested positive in 2003, with the intention of using it to learn who distributed drugs to the players. The union, noting that the players would lose their anonymity if their testimony was used to prosecute the dealers, immediately contested

the seizures, saying that the players' civil rights had been violated. But the union was also criticized by baseball officials who blamed Orza for not destroying the tests at the end of the 2003 season, as he was expected to do. The union has said it was in the process of having the tests destroyed when it learned that the government had subpoenaed the results and, at that point, destroying them would have been a violation of the law. The courts have permitted the authorities to keep the positive test for Bonds for use at his trial, which is scheduled to begin in San Francisco coming March.

The stories that made it Johnson puts Australia ahead against England in Perth


fans were captivated by the mystery of where MVP LeBron James and other marquee free agents would land. Few would have guessed that three of them would sign with the same team: the Miami Heat, who became basketball’s Evil Empire by adding James from Cleveland and Chris Bosh from Toronto to Dwyane Wade. 4. World Cup: A World Cup of firsts ended gloriously for Spain and for Africa. South Africa hosted the continent’s first World Cup without the pitfalls many predicted. And the Spaniards brought home the first World Cup title to the soccer-mad country with a 1-0 victory over the Netherlands in extra time. 5. Giants win: The Giants hadn’t won the World Series since they moved to San Francisco in 1958 — and since 1954 overall. This didn’t seem to be the year to end the drought when they barely squeaked into the playoffs. But with dominant pitching and clutch hitting, they beat the Texas Rangers in five games. 6. NFL concussions: New posters distributed to teams before the season warned of concussions’ dangers in much harsher language than before. Another sign of how big the issue had become: increased reporting of concussions by players. Midseason, the NFL cracked down on helmet hits with huge fines and threatened suspensions. 7. Jimmie Johnson: The NASCAR driver extended his record with his fifth straight Sprint Cup



LAST BUT NOT THE LEAST: The death of John Wooden, the Wizard of Westwood, right, seen here with his team, made it to the stories of the year on number 10. title. Perhaps most impressively, he did it despite not being in top form all season. Johnson became the first driver in the Chase’s seven-year history to overcome a points deficit in the finale. 8. Brett Favre: This comeback was nothing like last year’s magical run to the NFC title game for the 41-year-old quarterback. His Minnesota Vikings struggled badly, and the NFL launched an investigation into whether he sent lewd photos of himself to a Jets employee. After voting began, his record streak of 297 starts ended.

Barca to meet Arsenal, Milan play Tottenham • CHAMPIONS LEAGUE, FROM 8B

club 6-3 on aggregate in last season’s quarterfinals. Lyon knocked Madrid out of the first knockout round last season. “We’ve faced Bayern Munich lots of times in the past,” Inter president Massimo Moratti said. “It’s almost a traditional fixture. But it’s too early to analyze it now. The games won’t be played for another couple of months.” Neither Inter nor Bayern, who also met in the 2006-07 group stage, has so far replicated last season’s good form. Diego Milito scored twice at the Bernabeu in May to give Inter a 2-0 win over Bayern that made it European champion for the first time since 1965, but Inter is seventh in the Italian league standings and only advanced as runner-up from its Champions League group. Bayern topped a relatively weak group but is languishing a distant sixth place in Germany. Bayern’s woeful form in the Bundesliga, where it is 24 points behind leader Borussia Dortmund after just 16 games, means its best chance of qualifying for next year’s Champions League may be to win this season’s final at Wembley. Arsenal is similarly looking for payback against a familiar opponent.

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Barcelona rallied to beat the 10-man Gunners 2-1 to hoist the 2006 title and last season destroyed England’s best passing side with a hugely dominant display. Barcelona had the best of a 2-2 draw at Emirates Stadium before Messi’s four goals propelled the three-time champions to a 4-1 home win. “My reaction is very simple: difficult but possible,” Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said. “You could have said that Schalke, a team with less history in the Champions League, would have been easier maybe. But the advantage is that we will be on our toes and we’ll be ready.” Seven-time European champion AC Milan will play Tottenham, which won its group ahead of Inter in its first season in the Champions League. “I would have taken AC Milan before the draw,” Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp said. “They are leading the league in Italy but it has the makings of a great game over two legs. I’m looking forward to it.” Manchester United was drawn against Marseille, and Chelsea will meet FC Copenhagen. Shakhtar Donetsk, which won the secondtier UEFA Cup in 2009, is up against Roma, while Valencia plays Schalke.

9. UConn wins: The Huskies’ women’s basketball team extended their record winning streak to 78 games with a second straight national championship in April, becoming the first team to post consecutive unbeaten seasons. And Connecticut is a powerhouse again this season. 10. Wooden dies: The Wizard of Westwood died June 4 at the age of 99. John Wooden coached UCLA’s men’s basketball team to 10 NCAA championships, including seven in a row from 1967-73 and an 88-game winning streak.

Johnson’s recall to the team appeared to signal desperation among the selectors after Australia endured an innings defeat in the second test. However he silenced the critics with a fiery 24-ball spell that broke the back of an England batting order that had looked impregnable over the past two innings. “As a bowling unit — all quick bowlers — we all bowled well,” Johnson said. “It all started with the bat, it gave me a lot of confidence.” Johnson said that the breeze, the famous “Fremantle Doctor,” helped the ball swing and claimed it was his best bowling effort in a home test despite taking a career-best 8-61 against South Africa two years ago. He added that being sledged by England players has fired up Australia. “When we have played

well it has been fiery games. I don’t mind getting in a bit of confrontational. We did that very well [today] without overstepping the line. It has definitely worked for us. “Some of their players like getting under my skin, and I do likewise to some of their players.” England’s openers Andrew Strauss (52) and Alastair Cook (32) shared a strong opening stand before left-armer Johnson started England’s slide by finding the edge of Cook’s bat, with the chance taken by Hussey at gully. He then followed up by trapping Jonathan Trott (4), Kevin Pietersen (0) and Paul Collingwood (5) lbw with nearly identical late inswingers, as England lost five wickets for 20 runs. Pietersen challenged his dismissal but the video review upheld umpire Marais Erasmus’ decision. Later,

Jackson shines in Chargers win • NFL, FROM 8B

Diego wins out and the Chiefs lose once, the Chargers will win their fifth straight division title. The Chargers came within 4:26 of having consecutive shutouts for the first time in their 51-year history. The 49ers (5-9) could wind up 7-9 and in a three-way tie and still win the NFC West, the NFL’s weakest division. Rivers and Jackson came out early in the fourth quarter and the Chargers leading 31-0. Rivers was 19 of 25 for 273

yards, giving him 4,141 for the season. He tied Hall of Famer Dan Fouts’ team record set from 1979-81. Jackson had five catches for 112 yards. “He and Phil have such a good rapport,” center Nick Hardwick said. “They both know what’s going on, and they’ve studied for hours together. We were expecting him to come in and explode, and that’s what he’s done. He’s a beast. He does things other players can’t do, and he did it tonight.” Unhappy that the Chargers didn’t give him a long-term deal, Jackson sat out the first

James has moved on to big stage • JAMES, FROM 8B

basketball king. “They may wait until I walk down the street and yell it after they just walk past me. But I’m not worried. I’m there Friday night to win. No one’s going to do anything. I’m a big guy, man.” But was he a big enough guy to man the burden of resurrecting the New York Knicks? Obviously not — or at least not as ready, willing and capable as was Amar’e Stoudemire. This is not meant as a criticism of James, who apparently knew himself well enough to recognize that he was more suited to the surroundings in South Beach than to the searing spotlight of New York. Here, James can keep his emotional distance, the way he prefers it and the way late-arriving fans reciprocate, slipping into their seats as if they were timing their arrival to miss the preshow commercials before a movie. Here, James — whose limited scoring options between the rim and the 3-point line tend to crystallize in the playoffs — can become the facilitator, Magic of Miami, by deferring to the dazzling shotmaking skills of Wade. That’s what he did, more or less, in the fourth quarter of the Heat’s 101-95 victory over the Cleveland

Johnson successfully challenged Erasmus’ decision to give Collingwood not out, with replays showing the ball straightening to be on track to hit off stump. England’s batsmen had amassed 1,137 runs for the loss of just six wickets over the past two innings, but Johnson and the all-pace Australia attack relished the bowler-friendly conditions. Johnson returned to the attack just before the tea break, removing Chris Tremlett’s off stump and then luring James Anderson into an edge to first slip to claim his seventh five-wicket haul in his 40th test appearance. Ryan Harris, the other swing bowler, took 3-59 including the scalps of Strauss, Bell and Graeme Swann. Batting again, Australia lost opener Phil Hughes for 12 and skipper Ricky Ponting was out for 1.

Cavaliers on Wednesday night. In hindsight, we can guess that James would never have left Cleveland had the Cavaliers acquired Stoudemire when he was on the trading block last season. But how could James have known that Stoudemire was capable of providing star cover for him in New York when so few had any idea of how ready Stoudemire was to break free of Steve Nash’s shadow, as opposed to relishing being in it? Did Mike D’Antoni, who coached Stoudemire in Phoenix before leaving for New York, have a clue? Did Donnie Walsh, the Knicks’ team president, realize that for a robust $100 million he was getting a transcendent talent who would rapidly demonstrate such extreme comfort in the role of leading man? Doubtful on both accounts, and the Knicks brain trust would be the first to admit that one does not necessarily beget the other. Before and after Miami won its 10th straight game Wednesday night, James was asked how much consideration he actually gave the Knicks last summer. Would his decision have been more complicated had he known that Stoudemire had the potential to become even greater than the sum of his parts? Inoculated after the brutal

overreactions to his relocation choice, James answered as if reading from a teleprompter. He said he had paid serious attention to all six of his suitors (fabrication alert: that would include the Los Angeles Clippers) and that process persuaded him to bring his talents to South Beach. On some level, he had to have been intrigued by Madison Square Garden, as most NBA stars tend to be, according to Wade. “It’s not loaded with any of the amenities of today’s arenas, but there’s something special about it,” Wade said. “It’s all history.” Stepping into the charged atmosphere of the selfproclaimed world’s most famous arena twice a season is one thing. Being asked to lift a franchise that has invested more money than even James and Wade can imagine in pursuit of its first championship since 1973 is another. “Winning appeals to me,” James said. “I’m not about saving franchises or saving this or that.” With one title registered in Miami, and his hometown Bulls trying to lure him to Chicago, Wade said “it was no secret” which teams were his top choices. That he welcomed James so willingly speaks to levels of maturity and security that have too often eluded contemporary NBA stars.

seven games. He then missed three more games while serving a team-imposed suspension. The move cost him some $3 million in salary. When he returned at Indianapolis on Nov. 28, he pulled a calf muscle two plays in and was done for the night and the next game. On the fourth play from scrimmage, Rivers wound up and threw deep. The 6-foot-5 Jackson slowed down and reached out over 6-foot Nate Clements’ head to make the catch at about the 15 before outracing the cornerback into the end zone.

NBA EASTERN CONFERENCE Atlantic Boston New York Philadelphia Toronto New Jersey

W L Pct GB 21 4 .840 — 16 10 .615 51/2 10 15 .400 111/2 9 17 .346 121/2 7 19 .269 141/2

Southeast Miami Orlando Atlanta16 Charlotte Washington

W L Pct GB 19 8 .704 — 16 9 .640 2 11 .593 3 — 9 16 .360 9 6 18 .250 111/2

Central Chicago Indiana Milwaukee Detroit Cleveland

W 16 11 10 8 7

L 8 13 14 18 18

Pct GB .667 — .458 5 .417 6 .308 9 .280 91/2

WESTERN CONFERENCE Southwest San Antonio Dallas New Orleans Memphis Houston

W L Pct GB 22 3 .880 — 20 5 .800 2 15 10 .600 7 12 14 .462 101/2 10 15 .400 12

Northwest Oklahoma City Utah Denver Portland Minnesota

W L Pct GB 18 8 .692 — 18 8 .692 — 15 10 .600 21/2 12 14 .462 6 6 20 .231 12

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

W 19 12 9 5 5

L 7 12 16 18 21

Pct GB .731 — .500 6 .360 91/2 .217 121/2 .192 14

THURSDAY’S GAMES New Jersey 97, Washington 89 Boston 102, Atlanta 90 San Antonio 113, Denver 112

12/18/2010 5:38:27 AM






Tiger Woods saga voted sports story of 2010 BY RACHEL COHEN Associated Press

NEW YORK — Tiger Woods’ humbling return to the public eye, from his televised confession to a winless season on the golf course, was voted the sports story of the year by members of The Associated Press. The fallout from Woods’ admission of infidelity edged a very different sort of story: The New Orleans Saints winning their first Super Bowl championship, giving an emotional boost to their hurricane-ravaged city. It was late 2009 when Woods’ pristine image unraveled after he crashed his SUV into a tree outside his home, unleashing salacious revelations of extramarital affairs. The story was a late addition to 2009’s voting and wound up fifth. But the twists and turns weren’t over for Woods. Many more developments were still to unfold in 2010. There were 176 ballots submit-

ted from U.S. news organizations that make up the AP’s membership. The voters were asked to rank the top 10 sports stories of the year, with the first-place story getting 10 points, the second-place story receiving nine points, and so on. The Woods saga received 1316 points, with the Saints’ title getting 1215 and the NBA free agency frenzy coming in third with 1085. Major League Baseball’s ongoing travails with performanceenhancing drugs was the top story last year. Here are 2010’s top 10 stories: 1. Tiger Woods: Woods returned to public view with a 13“minute statement in February, then came back to golf at the Masters in April with a fourth-place finish. That would be one of his few highlights on the course — Woods went winless on the PGA Tour for the first time in his career and lost his No. 1 ranking for the first time in years. In August,


Australia in control in Perth BY IHITHISHAM KAMARDEEN Associated Press

1 he and Elin Nordegren divorced. 2. Saints win: New Orleans residents loved their Saints for not abandoning the city after Hurricane Katrina, but it was hard to imagine the team bringing much joy on the field after 42 mostly losing seasons. Then Drew Brees

and Co. upset the mighty Indianapolis Colts in their first Super Bowl, to the delight of French Quarter revelers and fans nationwide who adopted the Saints. 3. Free agency frenzy: NBA • TURN TO STORY, 7B


PERTH, Australia — Swing bowler Mitchell Johnson claimed a six-wicket haul Friday to dismiss England for 187, and put Australia in control of the third test to rekindle its hopes in the Ashes series. Australia was 119 for three in the second innings at stumps, a lead of 200 runs on a greenish pitch offering constant assistance to the swing bowlers. Shane Watson, 61 not out, and Mike Hussey, 24 not out, will resume their 55-run stand Saturday aiming to lead the home side to a series-levelling win. Australia was dismissed for 268 runs on the first day after being asked to bat first. In reply, England looked in control at 78-0 before Johnson’s inspired spell gave him figures of 6-38 on his home WACA Ground, justifying the selectors’ decision to recall him after he was dropped for the second test. After helping Australia post a competitive first innings with a top score of 62 on the first day, Johnson was even more impressive with the ball, denting England’s hopes of a victory that would ensure the tourists retained the Ashes. England started the day on 29 without loss, and looked like building a third straight imposing total, but instead the visitors’ top order collapsed to 98-5. Ian Bell scored a defiant 53 to stand between England and a meek capitulation, his fourth successive test half-century.




MAKING NEWS: There were 176 ballots submitted from U.S. news organizations that make up the AP’s membership. The voters were asked to rank the top 10 sports stories of the year, with the first-place story getting 10 points, the second-place story receiving nine points, and so on.





PUMPED UP: Australian bowler Mitchell Johnson screams with joy after taking the wicket of England’s Kevin Pietersen on day two of the third Ashes test in Perth, Australia.

Inter to face Bayern MSG visit pushes James onto big stage in rerun of 2010 final BY HARVEY ARATON

New York Times Service

BY STUART CONDIE Associated Press

round should interest neutral supporters. As well as pitching together the sides that met in the final in Madrid just seven months ago, the draw handed Barcelona a meeting with Arsenal, and put Real Madrid up against Lyon. Barcelona beat Arsenal in the 2006 final and, with four goals by Lionel Messi, outclassed the London

LONDON — Defending champion Inter Milan will face Bayern Munich in a rerun of last season’s Champions League final after Friday’s first knockout round draw threw up several familiar pairings. European club football’s top tournament has often been criticized for its predictable entry list and repetitive fixtures, but the rematches scheduled for the next • TURN TO CHAMPIONS LEAGUE, 7B


SET FOR CLASH: UEFA official displays the name of Bayern Munich during the draw for the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League.

18PGB08.indd 8

hen he sat down for a dual postgame, late-night news conference with Dwyane Wade, LeBron James seemed to cede the position of celebrity host to his teammate and co-star naturally and gratefully.


While Wade leaned forward to address reporters in a relaxed, conversational manner, James sat upright and spoke in the clipped baritone of the classic sound bite. While Wade’s eyes connected with his audience, James’ seemed to say: Be mindful of the moat that surrounds me.

“No one’s actually going to approach me and try to hurt me,” he said when probed Wednesday night for trepidations regarding his first appearance in New York at Madison Square Garden since rejecting the chance to become its • TURN TO JAMES, 7B

Jackson catches 3 TD passes in victory BY BERNIE WILSON

AIR BORNE: San Diego Chargers’ Vincent Jackson, left, dives for the pylon past San Francisco 49ers defender Tarrell Brown during their game.

Associated Press

SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Chargers have regained their December swagger, thanks to Vincent Jackson’s return and a smashmouth defense. Jackson caught a career-high three touchdown passes, Philip Rivers surpassed 4,000 yards passing for the third straight season and the Chargers beat Alex Smith and the San Francisco 49ers 34-7 on Thursday night to stay alive in the AFC West race. Jackson reminded the Chargers just what they missed when he sat out 10 games during a nasty contract dispute. “Since I’ve been here, it’s like I had never left,” said Jackson, who had his first three TD grabs of the season, of 58, 11 and 21 yards. “He seems to be in midseason form,” Rivers said. “I feel like he’s


been here for 15 weeks. That’s a credit to the way he practices.” The Chargers (8-6) pulled within a half-game of AFC West leader Kansas City (8-5), which lost 31-0 at San Diego on Sunday.

San Francisco was probably the toughest test left for the Chargers, who finish with games at Cincinnati (2-11) and Denver (3-10). If San • TURN TO NFL, 7B

12/18/2010 5:23:19 AM


Edition, the 18 the diciembre the 2010

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