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Duvalier meets with advisors in Haiti BY RANDAL C. ARCHIBOLD New York Times Service


PAYBACK: Looters take furniture and dishes from a home belonging to a relative of Tunisia’s President Zine el Abidine Ben Ali last Thursday.



BY BORZOU DARAGAHI Los Angeles Times Service

LA MARSA, Tunisia — He was not a good neighbor. His ferocious dogs roamed the street in front of his upscale villa, scaring away children and passersby. He drove his Mercedes way too fast down the street of the serene suburb. He demanded that the mosque’s muezzin shut up during the morning call to prayers. He wanted to sleep in. But no one dared complain. After all, he was Houssam Trabelsi, a nephew to the wife of Zine el Abidine Ben Ali, Tunisia’s president who was deposed and driven out of the country Friday in a popular uprising fueled partly by the antics and corruption of the first family. On Sunday, curious Tunisians out for a stroll on a sun-drenched morning rummaged through the looted and ransacked homes of the former first family, expressing disgust at their perceived opulence while making off with a few sou-

money of my mother, my father. We just want justice.” Tunisia’s uprising was sparked by the self-immolation of a poor young man unable to make ends meet in the face of widespread corruption and unemployment. But the overthrow received the ringing endorsement of even the stuffiest of Tunisia’s bourgeoisie in part because of the Trabelsis. Former first lady Leila Ben Ali was a hairdresser and widely believed to have been the president’s mistress before she married Ben Ali in 1992. Ben Ali hailed from a respected and wealthy family, old money relatives who generalFETHI BELAID/AFP-GETTY IMAGES FILE, 2009 ly distanced themselves from the country’s leadership as its antics THE HATED COUPLE: The antics and corruption of relatives of became too much to bear. Tunisia’s deposed President Zine el Abidine Ben Ali and his “She is the chief of all this inwife Leila were part of the reason for the country’s uprising. fection in [the] Trabelsi family,” venirs. They found photographs of “It is the money of our na- said Salwa Charfi, a professor of the Trabelsis with their children, tion,” said 13-year-old Fathi, who journalism in Tunis. birth certificates for horses, bills declined to give his last name, as for parties costing thousands of he stripped bits of copper and sil- • TURN TO TUNISIA, 2A dollars and built-in Jacuzzis. ver from one of the cars. “It is the n Tunisia names unity government, 3A

Eurozone’s challenge: fostering growth amid cuts BY LIZ ALDERMAN New York Times Service

omists to raise growth predictions for the U.S. economy to as high as 4 percent. Europe has no similar stimulus to help stoke recovery. The longer-term picture is little better. By 2015, the IMF said, growth in the euro area will come in at just 1.7 percent. To many analysts, the numbers add up to a long and painful journey back to prosperity. “This is the most brutal slimming exercise you can imagine, without the help of an exchange rate devaluation,” said Thomas Mayer, chief economist of Deutsche Bank. “It will take time and it will create tremendous economic hardship in these countries.” There are some positive signs. None of Europe’s big economies are on the brink of recession: Germany expanded a healthy 3.6 percent in 2010, bolstering growth in the euro area. Portugal and Spain, where growth is weak, conducted better-than-expected debt auctions last week. But analysts were quick to point out that lenders demanded lofty interest rates for the bonds, reflecting worries that Portugal and Spain will eventually need a bailout and signaling skepticism among the markets that Europe can contain its crisis.

PARIS — Economic growth is an elixir for struggling economies, but in Europe it’s likely to come slowly to the countries that need it most. The recovery flickering to life in the United States and much of Northern Europe is missing in eurozone nations straining under huge debt and harsh austerity measures — places like Greece, Ireland and Portugal that have imposed large spending cuts and tax increases. Those measures may eventually lead to healthier economies, but the process will take years, economists and analysts say. In the meantime, the drag on growth is increasing pressure on the euro, and tethering competitive countries like Germany, a major growth engine, to the faltering fortunes of the European Union’s weakest members. Countries using the euro will grow an average of 1.5 percent this year, according to the International Monetary Fund, less than the 2.3 percent growth it predicted for the United States. While some of that reflects slower population growth in Europe, it points to the further relative decline of Europe’s weight in the global economy. That forecast was made before Congress passed a $858 billion package of tax cuts and incentives • TURN TO EUROPE, 2A in December, which led some econ- n Eurozone spars over bailout fund, 1B

U.S. stock markets remained closed Monday in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

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MEXICO CITY — Haiti’s former dictator, Jean-Claude Duvalier, huddled with his advisors at a Port-au-Prince hotel on Monday, a day after his stunning return to the country he ruled with brutality and corruption for almost 15 years. Duvalier, who is known as Baby Doc, had been expected to speak publicly on Monday, and reporters and Haitians clustered around his hotel, the luxurious Karibe. But the plans were abruptly canceled. A Duvalier aide, Henry Robert Sterlin, said the hotel could not accommodate the crowds and no suitable replacement location could be found. The sudden arrival of Duvalier, who ruled Haiti from the time he was 19 until he was forced to flee in 1986, threatened to further convulse a country that is struggling to recover from the earthquake, a lingering cholera epidemic, the political uncertainty stemming from 2010’s contested presidential election and an epidemic of violent crime. Sterlin said he did not know how long Duvalier, who has been living in exile near Paris, planned to stay in Haiti, or if he planned to meet with Haiti’s president, Rene Preval. The capital was calm on Monday. On his arrival in Port-au-Prince the day before, Duvalier was treated like a visiting dignitary, according to the website of the Haitian newspaper Le Nouvelliste. “I came to put myself at the service of my country,” he was quoted as saying as he left the plane. • TURN TO HAITI, 4A

Hu’s limits in focus as China rises BY DAVID E. SANGER AND MICHAEL WINES New York Times Service

on dissidents and crack down on the copying of U.S. technology, and they have felt at times that Hu agreed to address their concerns. But the problems have festered, and after first wondering if the Chinese leader was simply deflecting them or deceiving them, U.S. President Barack Obama’s top advisors have concluded Hu is often at the mercy of a diffuse ruling party in which generals, ministers and big corporate inter-

ests have more clout, and less deference, than they did in the days of Mao Zedong or Deng Xiaoping, who commanded almost unquestioned authority. China’s military has sometimes pursued an independent approach to foreign policy. So have many of its biggest state-owned companies, sometimes to the detriment of the United States.

BEIJING — With President Hu Jintao at the helm, China has become a $5 trillion industrial colossus, a growing military force, and, it sometimes appears, a model of authoritarian decisiveness, navigating out of the global financial crisis and sealing its position as the world’s fastest rising power. • TURN TO CHINA, 2A But as Hu prepares to visit Washington this week in an attempt to defuse tensions with the United States, Obama administration officials are grappling with what they describe as a more complex reality. China is far wealthier and more influential, but Hu also may be the weakest leader of the Communist era. He is less able to project authority than his predecessors were — and perhaps less able to keep relations between the world’s two largest economies from becoming more adversarial. Hu’s strange encounter with U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates last week — in which he seemed to be unaware that his air force had just test-flown China’s first stealth fighter — was only the latest case suggesting he has been boxed in or circumvented by rival power centers. FRANCOIS MORI/AP U.S. officials have spent years urging Hu to revalue Chi- WEAK LEADER: U.S. President Barack Obama’s advisors have na’s currency, rein in concluded that China’s President Hu Jintao, above, is often at North Korea, ease up the mercy of generals, ministers and big corporate interests.



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

1/18/2011 5:06:49 AM






Hezbollah vows to defend itself amid killing inquiry BY ANTHONY SHADID AND NADA BAKRI New York Times Service

BEIRUT — Hezbollah's leader has warned that the Shiite Muslim movement would defend itself against indictments expected soon from an international tribunal naming its members in the assassination of a former Lebanese prime minister, whose death plunged the country into the most prolonged crisis since the end of its 15-year civil war. But in a speech that seemed aimed at defusing

tension — or at least not escalating it — the leader, Hassan Nasrallah, defended the decision of Hezbollah and its allies to resign from a 14-month-old national unity government last week, leading to its collapse. And he insisted that the movement would adhere to the Constitution in forming a new government, a process that could take months and, as is often the case here, has already attracted the attention of opposing camps' foreign patrons, the United States and Syria among them.

For days, the speech was eagerly anticipated in a country facing a renewed confrontation between camps locked in a struggle that cuts across questions far outstripping its small size: the influence of the United States, Syria, Iran and others here; the power of Hezbollah; and the country's posture toward Israel. The contest has simmered and flared since February 2005, when a bombing along Beirut's seafront killed Rafik Hariri, a former prime minister, and 22 others. Last week marked an-


other surge in tension when Hezbollah and its Christian allies withdrew from a government led by Hariri's son, Saad, in a dispute over the international tribunal, which has divided the nation. Hezbollah supporters believe it is hopelessly compromised, amounting to little more than a U.S.-Israeli tool to bludgeon the movement. Saad Hariri's supporters believe the vehemence of Hezbollah's reaction only underlines its guilt in the assassination. On Monday, prosecutors


A man rides a horse through a bonfire in San Bartolome de Pinares, Spain, on Sunday during a festival in honor of St. Anthony, the patron saint of animals.

Hu’s power limited in China The result is that relations between the world’s largest superpower and its fastestrising one are at one of their lowest point in years, battered by confrontations that took Obama by surprise — and on occasion, Hu as well. Divided leadership has made it harder to resolve disputes with China, much less strike grand bargains like the reopening of relations between the two countries under Mao. In past meetings, Hu and his prime minister have indicated that they would let China’s currency gradually rise. But the Commerce Ministry promptly labeled the move a “catastrophe”. Despite Hu’s repeated assurances the Chinese market would continue to open up to foreigners, business people complain regulators have made it more

difficult for foreign energy, communications and banking concerns to compete with state-backed favorites. Adding to the uncertainty about Hu’s power is an expected leadership change in 2012. It is at once a choreographed transition to a new generation of leaders and a volatile minefield for all contenders, none of whom wish to be viewed as risk-takers, or as subservient to the United States. Certainly, hopes that China and the United States would find a coincidence of interests have turned out to be optimistic. Even when they agree, U.S. officials report that turning talk into action is frustratingly slow. By any measure, Hu is the most constrained Chinese leader in modern times. The notion that he could engineer a sweeping policy change the way that Deng threw open China’s

frantic at times over the weekend, as talks began over the next government and, in particular, who would lead it — Hariri, backed by the United States, or a candidate supported by Hezbollah. Nasrallah himself sent mixed messages, saying in the speech Sunday that “Hariri and his team have established the fact that they cannot be trusted and are not reliable to help Lebanon or lead the country out of any impasse.” Then, at the end, he pointedly did not rule out Hariri's return.

Can Europe grow amid cuts? • EUROPE, FROM 1A


are expected to turn the indictments over to a judge at The Hague, though the charges may not be made public for two months or more. The crisis has played out in seemingly contradictory ways. In the streets of Beirut, many residents seem to look at the latest confrontation as theater, managed by a political elite that reaches consensus only after months of deadlock, or the eruption of violence, or the decisive intervention of foreign powers. But the elite itself seemed

economy three decades ago is unthinkable; more often he is a negotiator, brokering deals in a collective leadership where he never seemed to consolidate power. So far, the battle has made it impossible for China to act decisively — and it is struggling with inflation as a result. Obama’s aides now want to try a different track: Rather than harp on currency, they are going to raise other economic issues and see if the pressure of inflation, and the fear that it could cause social unrest, will compel the Chinese to raise the value of their currency. Hu, of course, is hardly a helpless bystander to the decisions that rankle the United States. He is an architect of China’s repression of political dissidents and its efforts to expand its regional clout. But Hu lacks the commanding authority of his predecessor Jiang Zemin, or Deng.

European finance ministers will meet in Brussels Monday and Tuesday to discuss increasing Europe’s bailout fund and institutional reforms, but on a broader level the debate will be aimed at protecting the single currency. The growing economic divide in Europe means the euro’s survival in its current form can no longer be taken for granted if policy makers fail to come up with solutions to the Continent’s underlying problems. While mild growth is expected to return to the likes of Ireland and Portugal within a year, those forecasts have already been tempered. Exports are a big driver of the Irish economy, and are now the only bright spot after a contraction of its bloated construction sector. But sharp government spending cuts threaten to overshadow any export recovery this year. The IMF now expects the economy to grow just 0.9 percent, down from a 2.3 percent forecast just a few months ago. Portugal’s problems are different. Unlike Ireland, its banks are not troubled. But the government has high debts, and what feeble growth it has will continue to weaken as the government curbs investments designed to stoke export growth, while wage cuts and tax increases hit the economy. Worse, Germany’s economy will start to be buffeted by its neighbors’ problems: its growth is expected to slow considerably

as the government spends more to keep the euro together. With less cash, its troubled neighbors are also curbing their purchases of German and other imports. Most of Germany’s growth in 2010 came in spring and summer. Since then, it has tapered off, and it will likely cool to 2 percent this year before sliding to 1.3 percent in 2015, according to the IMF. As recently as 2005, Germany was considered “the sick man of Europe.” But it sharply lifted its competitiveness after spending nearly a decade finetuning its economy to turn it into a manufacturing powerhouse. It deregulated labor markets, adjusted its tax code, and kept a lid on wages — measures similar to those being adopted in places like Ireland. “It was a time that people don’t remember too fondly,” said Mayer of Deutsche Bank. “But competiveness came back. And that is the adjustment path that the others now have in front of them.” Still, not every country can reinvent itself as a manufacturing giant, and those on Europe’s southern rim face a challenge in breathing new life into their economies. Greece, for example, is trying to turn itself into a “green economy” focused on renewable energy development, a plan the government hopes will create more than 200,000 jobs by 2015. But politicians face an uphill battle finding the billions needed to turn its dreams into a reality. Europe’s economy could be sent reeling again if

a new crisis engulfs its banks. Ireland needed a bailout mainly because the government had agreed to backstop its zombie banks, whose financial precariousness overwhelmed the national Treasury. Many investors worry that Spain’s banks are also severely exposed to a collapse in the property sector that will ultimately require Madrid to ask for a bailout as well. “Ireland was a good country gone bad because of its banking sector,” said Carl Weinberg, chief economist at High Frequency Economics. “That’s the risk I’m worried about in the rest of Euroland.” What is certain is that Europe’s austerity programs will prove a slow grind on economies and will come with a significant human toll, which will worsen before it improves. Governments must get their costs down by reducing wages, compensation and income, while cutting spending and raising taxes. Already, the crisis has reinforced pressure on politicians to pull back on Europe’s hallowed social safety nets, which have become cumbersome and even more financially unsustainable as the economic downturn and deteriorating demographics drain funding. “There is already, and there is going to be a very negative impact on the most vulnerable part of the population,” said Thomas Klau, a senior political analyst at the European Council on Foreign Relations. “How this will play out over the next few years remains to be seen.”

Corrupt first family disgusts Tunisians • TUNISIA, FROM 1A

The Trabelsis were nouveau riches. They were a hungry, an ambitious and, many Tunisians say, a ruthless crowd unashamed to use their connection to the first family to gain favors — everything from concessions to sell cars or sweet deals on land. At the spacious twostory villa of the late Adel Trabelsi, described as either a nephew or uncle of the former first lady, visitors on Sunday rummaging through the house gawked at the finely crafted pool and built-in elevator. “Look at this,” said Sabiha Nsiri, 31, a well-to-do neighbor who took some plates from the kitchen. “They have an elevator for just one floor while our old people are forced to walk floor after floor in apartment buildings and ministries.” She alleged that the hilltop house, with a view of the Mediterranean, was built on land stolen from another Tunisian. “They took the people’s lands,” she said. “The Trabelsis are like cockroaches. They fed on everything.” The Trabelsis intimidated the country’s wealthy old guard, moving into palatial villas in the best sections of town. Sometimes if they

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wanted something — say a yacht from a French businessman — they took it, as reported by a classified U.S. diplomatic cable released last month by the website WikiLeaks. “They forced owners to sell their properties at basement prices,” said Hedi Gharbi, a 42-year-old boat dealer. “They forced landlords to sell their lands so they could build hotels. Sometimes they paid. Sometimes they didn’t pay. Their reputations varied.” On Sunday in the scenic seaside town of Sidi Bou Said, distinguished by the cheery blue doors on its blanched white homes, members of the national guard protected a boat harbor that was until a week ago the playground of Belhassen Trabelsi, the first lady’s brother. On a property that according to locals he forcibly purchased from one of the country’s elite, he created an exclusive gambling club for him and his friends. It smelled of grilled fish and expensive cigars. Men played poker and belote, a French version of bridge. “I hate them,” said a national guardsman assigned to protect the harbor and prevent Ben Ali loyalists from escaping. “I hope they die.”

1/18/2011 5:30:15 AM





Israel’s defense minister quits party BY JOSEF FEDERMAN Associated Press


IN TRAINING: An Israeli soldier handles explosives during an army drill near the Shivta Artillery Training School in southern Israel.

New technology helps Israel to speed up warfare BY BEN HUBBARD Associated Press

SHIVTA ARTILLERY TRAINING SCHOOL, Israel — Intense winds scraped sand from the desert floor, clouding the view and leaving the Israeli soldiers scarcely able to see each other as they practiced blasting artillery shells at distant targets. In a nearby armored vehicle, commanders armed with small screens could easily monitor every cannon, jeep and target involved, ordering strikes with the tap of a finger. Their weapon: a sophisticated communication system that compiles battlefield information in an easy-to-use, video game-like map interface, helping militaries make sense of the chaos of battle. The Associated Press was given rare access to the exercise by a military eager to reclaim some of the deterrence it lost over technologically inferior Arab forces. That deterrence has eroded in recent times, as guerrilla warfare left conventional armies — here as elsewhere — looking clumsy and vulnerable. In a monthlong war in 2006, Lebanese guerrillas with relatively simple rockets knocked out Israeli tanks, and Israel’s high-tech military was powerless to stop a barrage of primitive, unguided Katyusha rockets on northern Israel. The latest computerized gadgetry is designed to knock down the military’s response time. Troops on the ground can add new targets as soon as they spot them — like militants on foot, a rocket squad or a vehicle — to the network for commanders to see instantly and hit.

JERUSALEM — Israel’s Defense Minister Ehud Barak abruptly announced Monday that he was leaving the Labor Party and forming a new parliamentary faction — setting off a chain reaction that cast new doubts over already troubled peace efforts with the Palestinians. The split in the iconic party that led Israel to independence and governed it for decades did not appear to threaten the stability of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition because he still maintains a majority. Barak, a former prime minister and military chief, will stay in the ruling coalition with four followers who joined him. But Labor’s eight remaining members, who had been pushing him to leave the government because of the impasse in peace talks, were expected to withdraw. By midafternoon, two Labor Cabinet ministers had announced their resignations. Rid of these dissenting voices, the government could find it easier to dig in on hard-line positions. Barak, one of the most powerful members of the government, said he was tired of the infighting within Labor. He accused his

former partners of moving too far to the dovish end of the political spectrum. “We are embarking on a new path,” he said during a news conference at Israel’s parliament. “We want to wake up without having to compromise, apologize and explain.” He said the faction — to be called Independence — would be “centrist, Zionist and democratic.” Labor has been the sole moderate party in Netanyahu’s coalition, which is otherwise dominated by religious and nationalist parties that oppose major concessions to the Palestinians. Peace talks broke down in late September, just three weeks after they were launched, over Israel’s refusal to renew an expiring settlement freeze in the West Bank and east Jerusalem. Since then, Israel has announced plans to build hundreds of homes in the West Bank and east Jerusalem. The Palestinians refuse to negotiate until Israel freezes construction in those areas, captured by Israel in 1967 and claimed by the Palestinians for a future independent state. The chief Palestinian negotiator, Saeb Erekat, called Barak’s decision a domestic

affair, but appeared skeptical of the current government’s commitment to peace. “Unfortunately, the current Israeli government has chosen settlements over peace,” he said. “We call on the U.S. to hold Israel responsible for the failure of the peace process.” Erekat said the Palestinians this week would ask the U.N. Security Council to condemn settlements — a long-planned move aimed at raising international pressure on Israel. Opposition leader Tsipi Livni called on Netanyahu to dissolve his government and hold a new election. “The Netanyahu government is falling apart from the inside because of political rot and a lack of vision,” she said. Barak and Netanyahu have had a mutually beneficial relationship. The men have known each other for decades, back to the time that Barak was Netanyahu’s commander in an elite commando unit in the army. As a former prime minister who offered a peace plan to the Palestinians a decade ago that called for uprooting settlements and sharing Jerusalem, Barak has given Netanyahu a well-known and relatively moderate face to deal with the international com-

munity. At times, particularly with the United States, Barak has served as a de facto foreign minister, replacing Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, an ultranationalist who is often scorned in the West. Netanyahu, meanwhile, has given Barak extra influence in decision-making out of proportion to the relatively small size of Labor. But Labor members have grown increasingly unhappy with Barak, accusing him of enabling Netanyahu to stall in peace efforts. Although Barak is an outspoken advocate of peace with the Palestinians, he also takes a tough line on security matters and has moved slower than his critics would like on making concessions to the Palestinians. The Labor rebels also were uncomfortable about sitting in the same government with Lieberman, who has ridiculed the notion of reaching a peace deal within the near future and openly questions the loyalty of Israel’s Arab minority. Barak’s decision took other Labor lawmakers by surprise, and Israeli radio commentators said he orchestrated the move in tandem with Netanyahu. The prime minister’s office refused to comment.

IMPROVISATION Strikes that used to take 20 or more minutes to coordinate now take just seconds, said Maj. Hagai Ben-Shushan, head of the C4I section for Israel’s artillery. “It doesn’t take much, then shells are going to the target,” he said. Israel is among several nations harnessing digital and satellite technology to develop C4I systems — short for “command, control, communications, computers and intelligence” — that integrate battlefield information. The goal is to have “all the elements of a force . . . seeing the same tactical picture, and you can move information from one to the other completely seamlessly,” said Britain-based Giles Ebb, who studies such systems for Jane’s Information Group. C4I systems are operational in the United States, which started development in the 1990s, as well as France, Singapore, Germany, the United Kingdom and Italy, among other countries, Ebb said. Israel’s version — being developed over the past decade or so — is “a little bit further down the road than some people . . . because they have a focus on the problem, they are constantly operationally alert, and they need to be as operationally developed as they can,” Ebb said. The army says it started using the first, basic version in 2005, but it did not include all units and functions. The latest, completed in 2009 and in training since last March, allows all forces on the ground to communicate instantaneously. “Visually, now everything is on the map, so it’s much easier to coordinate,” said the battalion commander whose men were being trained. “You can easily understand the map and the position of forces.” He spoke on condition of anonymity under military rules. HARD AT WORK On a stretch of sand near the army base at Shivta, deep in Israel’s southern Negev desert, six artillery cannons stood with their barrels aimed at targets about 4 miles away. Commanders in a nearby armored vehicle stared at two screens, watching all movement on an interactive satellite map. Pink squares marked each cannon, dotted lines of shell trajectory extended from their barrels and circles showed the expected blast radius of any shells fired. Different symbols marked other army vehicles, their locations kept up to date with GPS-like devices. All the vehicles carried similar screens, giving soldiers a realtime map of the battlefield. One soldier demonstrates how to add a new target to the map: A tap on the screen places it, then he can describe its size and character. Seeing the target, a commander can then order a strike with a few more taps, deciding who will fire and how much. The order immediately appears on those units’ screens. The system’s newest version, built by Israeli defense contractor Elbit, has yet to be battletested, but Israel used an earlier one in its Gaza offensive two years ago, Ben-Shushan said. That war, launched to stop militant rocket fire on Israeli towns, killed about 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis. Col. Gil Maoz, head of Israel’s Digital Army program, said the technology helped to prevent other Israeli fatalities. Elbit spokeswoman Dalia Rosen said that what sets the Israeli system apart from others is the ease with which it allows land, naval and air forces to communicate with each other and its ability to link everyone from rank-and-file soldiers in the field to the highest commanders. She said Australia purchased Elbit communications technology for its own battle management system in a deal in 2010 valued at $298 million.

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UP IN ARMS: Protesters in Tunis, Tunisia, agitate against the formation of an interim government that includes ruling party members as the leaders of the Interior and Foreign Ministries.

Tunisia names unity government BY DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK New York Times Service

TUNIS, Tunisia — Prime Minister Mohamed Ghannouchi announced the makeup of Tunisia’s new unity government on Monday, including at least two top ministers from the cabinet of the ousted president, Zine el Abidine Ben Ali, as demonstrators in the center of the capital called for a wholesale reshuffling of the country’s leadership after the four weeks of protests that toppled Ben Ali. The interior and foreign ministers would keep their jobs under the agreement negotiated by Ghannouchi and the interim president, Fouad Mebazaa, both close allies of Ben Ali’s, in meetings with opposition parties on Sunday. On Monday, the Associated Press reported that the ministers of defense and of finance

would also remain. The opposition was expected to be given lesser positions within the cabinet. Najib Chebbi, the founder of the Progressive Democratic Party, was made minister of regional development, the Associated Press reported. The Communist and Islamist parties, which have been outlawed, were excluded from the talks and the unity government. On Monday, clouds of tear gas — this time the work of the interim government, not Ben Ali — once again filled the central Avenue Bourguiba, closing businesses and sending residents fleeing. It was unclear whether anyone was hurt. The new round of clashes underscored the tortuous path ahead for Tunisia as it struggles to form a unity government that can maintain

order until elections are held. Demonstrators gathered Monday morning around the headquarters of Ben Ali’s ruling party to protest the formation of an interim government that includes party members as the leaders of the Interior and Foreign Ministries. The protesters chanted for the ruling party to be driven out altogether. But after more than 50 years of one-party rule, there are few people outside the ruling party with the experience and expertise to steer the government. Military tanks and security forces are still a heavy presence in Tunis, although cafes and businesses began to reopen on Monday, and life returned to the streets. The security forces allowed the demonstrations to build for a few hours, but then fired shots into the air, followed by occasional blasts from a

water cannon to disperse the crowd. After the former government’s swift and ruthless attacks on any unauthorized public gathering, however, the protesters seemed to revel in the relatively gentle response. “A shower,” one man said in French, his suit and overcoat soaking wet. A man in red shoes danced in the puddles in front of the chanting crowd. About 12:30 p.m., the protesters surged toward the headquarters of the Interior Ministry, and the police evidently decided to bring the demonstrations to an end. It was unclear whether the police acted alone or in concert with the military’s troops, who appeared to be at the other end of the crowd. Protesters chanted about the power of the people and called for free and transparent elections.

Egyptian sets himself ablaze in central Cairo BY HAMZA HENDAWI Associated Press

CAIRO — An Egyptian man set himself on fire Monday outside the country’s Parliament building in central Cairo in an apparent protest, security officials said. The incident appeared to be an attempt to copy the selfimmolation in December of a 26-year-old Tunisian, whose death triggered the protests that have toppled Tunisia’s authoritarian regime. Egyptian security officials said policemen guarding the Parliament building used fire

extinguishers to put out the blaze engulfing the man, who was later taken to the hospital. The officials identified the man as Abdou AbdelHamid, a small restaurant owner from Qantara, an area close to the Suez Canal city of Ismailia east of Cairo. They had no information on his motive. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the media. Self-immolation as a method of protest is uncommon in Egypt, although

women in rural and poor urban areas have been known to set themselves on fire to protest violent husbands, abusive parents or an unwanted suitor. News of the Tunisian uprising has dominated the Egyptian media over the past few days, with opposition and independent newspapers lauding the fall of Tunisia’s President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and drawing parallels between his regime and that of Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak, who has ruled for nearly 30 years.

Egypt has been posting impressive economic growth rates over the past few years, thanks to a host of ambitious reforms. But the growth has failed to filter down to many of the estimated 80 million people in Egypt. Nearly half of all Egyptians live under or just below the poverty line set by the United Nations at $2 a day. Mubarak and his ruling National Democratic Party have been pledging to ensure that the fruits of economic reforms benefit more Egyptians.

1/18/2011 3:46:45 AM






Chavez foes skeptical of reconciliation call BY CHRISTOPHER TOOTHAKER Associated Press

CARACAS — Venezuela’s opposition reacted warily to a call for conciliation from President Hugo Chavez, saying the socialist leader has spent years in office disparaging them as “bandits” and repeatedly stating that reconciliation was impossible. Chavez made the call for mutual respect Saturday during a marathon address to the new National Assembly, which includes a strong opposition presence for the first time in years. He also said he was willing to sharply reduce the period of time he has to enact laws by decree, a power that critics say undermines Venezuela’s democracy. “We have a president who spends 365 days a year lashing out at the media, the church, NGOs, fighting with everyone and then he tells us one day that he wants dialogue,” said Julio Borges, an opposition lawmaker who sat through the president’s 7-hour state-of-the-nation speech. “Dialogue is necessary for the country, we been asking for it for twelve years,” Borges told a news conference. Chavez, whose favorite taunts and labels for opponents include “squealing pigs,” “oligarchs,” “fascists,” “mafia bosses,” “coup mongers” and the term “little

Yankees,” should take action to demonstrate that he’s willing to open talks with critics, he added. During Saturday’s National Assembly session, Chavez shook hands and chatted with opposition politicians before offering to relinquish legislation allowing him to bypass the congress for 18 months. He called for dialogue and mutual respect between political rivals. “I’m happy to see you here, to welcome you,” Chavez told opposition lawmakers during his speech. “I request respect for all of you.” Chavez called on his adversaries to be respectful and reasonable with their criticism of his policies, saying much of their allegations have been unfair. And he surprised his audience by saying the country’s political opponents have an opportunity for dialogue despite their ideological differences. “Let’s not lose this opportunity,” he said. Chavez, a former army officer who is normally uncompromising when it comes to relations with Venezuela’s opposition parties, has come under increased criticism since a lame-duck Congress dominated by his allies granted him the decree power in December. Critics, including university students, leaders of

non-governmental organizations and representatives of the Catholic Church, among others, have accused Chavez of using the “Enabling Law” to sidestep congressional controls by lawmakers who were sworn in earlier this month. Chavez’s ruling party has a strong majority in the assembly, but opponents gained ground in September congressional elections, winning 67 of the assembly’s 165 seats. Their gains prevented Chavez allies from obtaining the two-thirds majority needed to pass some types of legislation. Chavez claims that he needs special legislative powers to swiftly approve disaster-relief measures after severe floods and mudslides that left thousands homeless in 2010. Congresswoman Vestalia Araujo said Sunday the assembly should have passed legislation to deal with the effects of the natural disaster rather than granting Chavez sweeping powers to legislate in a wide range of areas, including banking system, rural and urban land-reform initiatives, and Venezuela’s economic system. “The former assembly had the opportunity to approve laws to make those left homeless a priority,” but instead it “gave the president these broad decree powers,” Araujo said.


IN RUINS: The region of Nova Friburgo, Brazil, above, has seen widespread devastation since last week’s mudslides, which claimed more than 600 lives.

Downpour affects search for Brazil mudslide victims BY ALEXEI BARRIONUEVO New York Times Service

SAO PAULO — Unrelenting rains for much of the weekend complicated the search for scores of people still missing after violent floods stirred mudslides that ripped through hillside communities around Rio de Janeiro, killing more than 600 people since last week. The hardest hit towns — Petropolis, Teresopolis and Nova Friburgo — have been scenes of widespread devastation since last week. Residents walked dazed through the mud, searching for missing family members and what remains of their belongings. Communications, electricity and potable water were still lacking in several areas, leaving disaster experts to lament Brazil’s lack of preparedness for deadly rains, which they say are becoming more common. The death toll climbed to 617 early Sunday, with nearly 14,000 reported homeless or having abandoned their

homes, according to Rio de Janeiro State officials. “We still haven’t found anyone,” said Adalberto Mota, 52, a store clerk who walked through a river of mud searching for five family members in the Vale do Cuiaba neighborhood of Petropolis. “I just want to leave,” he said. “This was a lovely area, a touristic spot, but it is impossible to live here now.” The tragedy around Rio was Brazil’s deadliest natural disaster. For much of its history, Brazil has been blessed like almost no other country to be almost free of such calamities. Earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, blizzards, erupting volcanoes — none have proved threats to Brazil. Until recently, the most costly and best-known disasters were severe droughts, said Margareta Wahlstrom, the assistant secretary general for the United Nations’ International Strategy for Disaster Reduction.

“But in the last few years the increasing frequency of floods, high winds and storms has become part of the new normal of Brazil,” she said. “The political choice we have today is to not treat disasters as events that come and go, but decide that you plan for them and realize that they are very costly.” Brazil has experienced 37 disastrous floods since 2000, said Debarati Guha Sapir, a professor at the Catholic University of Louvain in Brussels who heads a World Health Organization collaborating center on disasters. The rain-related disasters have affected nearly 5 million people over the last two decades, she said. More than 280 people died in Rio State in flooding and landslides last year, and at least 75 more in Sao Paulo State. That followed the more than 130 who died during heavy rains in Santa Catarina State in 2008.

Duvalier meets with advisors as Haiti holds its breath JUAN BARRETO/AFP-GETTY IMAGES

URGING: ‘Let’s not lose this opportunity,’ Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez said at the Venezuelan National Assembly, in Caracas on Saturday.

Cuba says travel changes made by U.S. not enough BY PAUL HAVEN Associated Press

HAVANA — Cuba said the Obama administration’s decision to lift some travel restrictions on students, academics and religious groups and make it easier for U.S. citizens to send money were positive steps, but not nearly enough while Washington maintains its 48-year trade embargo on the island. The changes announced last week mean that students seeking academic credit and churches and synagogues traveling for religious purposes will be able to go to Cuba. Any U.S. international airport with proper customs and immigration facilities will be able to offer charter services to the island. The plan will also let any U.S. citizen send as much as $2,000 a year to Cuban citizens who are not part of the Castro administration and are not members of the

Communist Party. Previously, only relatives could send money. “Though the measures are positive,” Cuba’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement Sunday, “they are well below what was hoped for, have a limited reach and do not change [U.S.] policy against Cuba.” The ministry said most of the changes simply bring U.S. policy back to where it was during the Clinton Administration, before fornmer U.S. President George W. Bush toughened restrictions. They do not alter Washington’s trade embargo, which Cuba refers to as a “blockade.” “These measures confirm that there is no will to change the policy of blockade and destabilization against Cuba,” the ministry said. “If there exists a real interest in widening and facilitating contacts between our peoples, the

United States should lift the blockade and eliminate the restrictions that make Cuba the only country in the world to which North Americans cannot travel.” Under the embargo, American tourists are still prohibited from visiting Cuba and most trade with the island is barred. Obama had previously made it easier for CubanAmericans to visit family and send money home, and cultural exchanges had greatly expanded under his watch. Still, relations between the Cold War enemies remain frosty, in particular over the detention of a U.S. subcontractor held in Cuba since December 2009 on suspicion of spying. The changes, announced by the White House on Friday, will be put in place within two weeks. They do not need congressional approval.

Jamaican leader to revitalize capital KINGSTON, Jamaica — (AP) — Jamaica’s prime minister is pledging to clean up the long-neglected heart of the seaside capital. Bruce Golding cites initiatives such as the bulldozing of thousands of makeshift vending stalls as evidence that his administration

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is determined to fix downtown Kingston. On Saturday, the government opened a new bus hub that aims to ease traffic. In a statement Sunday, Golding promised further efforts to upgrade the central market district, where thousands sell produce,

clothing and other goods. Once a bustling economic center, downtown Kingston has fallen into disrepair over the years. Business owners say the government has not done enough to improve infrastructure, control traffic and crack down on illegal vendors.


Crowds lined his route from the airport and, referring to the nation’s dismal conditions, chanted, “If JeanClaude had been here, we would never be like this,” the newspaper said. On Monday, Duvalier opponents began calling in to Haitian radio stations, to “remind” Haitians not old enough to remember his rule of the brutality that led him to be deposed. And Amnesty International urged the Haitian authorities to arrest Duvalier for human rights abuses committed during his rule in 1970s and ’80s. “The widespread and systematic human rights violations committed in Haiti during Duvalier’s rule amount to crimes against humanity,” said Javier Zuniga, a special advisor to the human rights group. “Haiti is under the obligation to prosecute him and anyone else responsible for such crimes.” An aide said President Preval was among those surprised by Duvalier’s sudden return. There were conflicting reports about how Duvalier was allowed to enter the country. Haitian officials said it appeared he made his way to Port-au-Prince on an expired diplomatic passport. But the Le Nouvelliste article said he had a Haitian diplomatic passport that was issued to him by the transitional government of 2004 to 2006. A senior aide to Preval said the French Embassy in Port-au-Prince told Haitian officials that Duvalier’s arrival only became clear after the Air France flight on which he was traveling took off for the Haitian capital from the Caribbean island of Guadaloupe. A senior French government official in Paris said,

however, that Duvalier had told the French authorities of his planned return to Haiti without specifying when he would arrive. The official declined to be identified, in keeping with protocol. French Foreign Ministry spokesman, Bernard Valero, said Duvalier’s Haitian passport was valid and he was “free to move around.” Preval had said in 2007 that Duvalier could return but would face justice for the money the government said he had looted from the Treasury, as well as for the deaths and torture of political opponents at the hands of the secret police. It was unclear if Duvalier would be arrested. The Haitian police chief, Mario Andresol, told The Miami Herald that he was not aware that any arrest warrant had been issued. Duvalier has long flirted with returning, telling reporters over the years that he would like to go home. His nickname derives from his being the son of Francois Duvalier, known as Papa Doc, a much feared dictator in the 1950s and ’60s. Jean-Claude


CONTROVERSIAL: Former dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier arrived at Port-au-Prince on Sunday.

Duvalier succeeded his father when he was just 19. His departure from Haiti 25 years ago, which was arranged with the assistance of the United States, ushered in a period of halting democracy that has continued with tumultuous elections. On Sunday, the U.S. ambassador to Haiti, Kenneth Merten, embraced an international report that rejected the results of the presidential election in November, adding pressure on Haitian officials to reconsider the outcome. He urged Haitian officials to accept its findings, including the conclusion that one candidate might have been denied a rightful spot in a runoff. The report, delivered on Thursday to Preval and prepared by a multinational team of experts convened by the Organization of American States, confirmed Mirlande Manigat, a former first lady, as the leader in the first round of voting in November. She did not win enough votes to avoid a runoff. But the report said, based on a statistical analysis of ballot sheets, that Preval’s choice as his successor, Jude Celestin, had placed third, not second, as announced when the initial results were released in early December. Instead, the panel said, Michel Martelly, a popular singer, had won second place and qualified to face Manigat in the second round of balloting. Preval has not commented on the report. With the leadership of the country and billions of dollars of disaster relief in the balance, Jose Miguel Insulza, the secretary general of the Organization of American States, plans to visit Haiti on Monday to consult with officials. His trip was announced before news of Duvalier’s arrival.

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Budget worries push governors to same answers BY MONICA DAVEY New York Times Service

CHICAGO — The dismal fiscal situation in many states is forcing governors, despite their party affiliation, toward a consensus on what medicine is needed going forward. The prescription? Slash spending. Avoid tax increases. Tear up regulations that might drive away business and jobs. Shrink government, even if that means tackling the thorny issues of public employees and their pensions. In years past, new gover-

nors have introduced themselves in inaugural remarks filled with cheery, soaring hopes; plans for expansions to education, healthcare and social services; and the outlines of new, ambitious local projects. But an examination of more than two dozen opening addresses of incoming governors in recent days shows that such upbeat visions were often eclipsed by worries about jobs, money and budget gaps. Those speeches are the best indication thus far of the intentions of this class of 37 governors

— 26 new and the others reelected. “The rhetoric has grown very similar,” said Scott D. Pattison, executive director of the nonpartisan National Association of State Budget Officers. “A lot of times, you can’t tell if it’s a Republican or a Democrat, a conservative or a liberal.” In Wisconsin, the new Republican governor, Scott Walker, says that any prospect of a tax increase is off the table, and that he wants to “right-size” state government, meaning, he says, that it would provide “only the essential

services our citizens need and taxpayers can afford.” In California, the new Democratic governor, Jerry Brown, lists as one of his guiding principles support for new taxes only if voters want them. And he says it is time to examine the state’s system of public pensions to ensure that they are “fair to the workers and fair to the taxpayers.” Though public remarks in the moments after being sworn into office may be the first signal of a governor’s true intentions, actual policies can be another matter

entirely. Those can depend, not least of all, on the decisions of legislatures. And governors of all political stripes have a tendency to talk tough in their early days. The difference now, experts say, is that the financial circumstances leave little room to do nothing, and governors will soon be tested on their words — as early as in the next few weeks, when many of them must propose budgets for 2012. While state revenues are finally starting to improve somewhat, federal stimulus money that had propped up

Giffords is a fighter, husband says BY MICHAEL LUO, SAM DOLNICK AND JENNIFER MEDINA New York Times Service

TUCSON — Mark Kelly, the husband of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, has spoken publicly for the first time, leaving his wife’s hospital bedside Sunday to take the stage at a memorial service for Gabriel Zimmerman, an aide who was killed in the shooting rampage that left Giffords grievously wounded. Kelly told the several hundred mourners gathered in the courtyard at the Tucson Museum of Art that he had just come from the hospital and that his wife was “improving a little bit each day. She’s a fighter.” “I know someday she’ll get to tell you how she felt about Gabe herself,” Kelly said. His wife loved Zimmerman “like a younger brother,” he said, and was inspired by “his idealism, his strength and his warmth.” At almost the exact same time, about a half-hour’s drive east, another shooting victim — Dorwan Stoddard, 76, known as “Dory” to friends — was eulogized at a church filled with hundreds of mourners. “There are no monuments to Dory, there are no streets named after him,” said the Rev. Mike Nowak, his pastor. “He was just an ordinary man. He did not become a hero that day — he was a hero every day of his life.” At University Medical Center, officials said Sunday that Giffords’ condition was upgraded to serious from critical because she was no longer on a ventilator. Doctors announced Saturday that they placed a tracheotomy tube in Giffords’ throat as a precautionary measure. “The congresswoman continues to do well,” a spokeswoman said in a statement. “She is breathing on her own. Yesterday’s procedures were successful and uneventful.” The accused gunman, Jared L. Loughner, is in the custody of federal marshals at the medium-security Federal Correctional Institution in Phoenix, which houses almost 1,100 prisoners about 25 miles north of downtown Phoenix. According to an official familiar with the prison, Loughner, who federal records say is registered as inmate No. 15213-196, is being held in “segregation” for

state budgets is vanishing and costs are rising, all of which has left state leaders bracing for what is next. This class of governors arrives in a wave of Republican victories in the 2010 elections for state legislatures and governorships, a trend that may be affecting everyone’s approach. Even in states where the fiscal struggles have been less pronounced, new governors are sounding warnings and talking, again and again, of waste, frugality, simplicity, shared sacrifice and painful choices.

Poll shows opposition to health law eases BY RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR AND JENNIFER AGIESTA Associated Press


UNITED FOR A CAUSE: About 300 people marched about two miles to Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ district office Sunday in what organizers called a ‘walk for peace’ to honor the victims of the shooting in Tucson. his own protection. Prisoners in segregation are closely monitored, the official said, and generally spend 23 hours of the day alone in their cell, and have an hour or so a day for exercise and showering. Loughner, 22, has no contact with other prisoners, said the official, who said the prison’s past inmates included Salvatore Gravano, the Mafia informer and hit man known as Sammy the Bull. On this cool, sunny day, it seemed as though this reeling community, despite the tears, had finally begun to slip back into a semblance of its former rhythms, as the horde of news media that descended upon the city finally began to pack up and leave. Grocery carts trundled through the aisles at the Safeway where the shooting occurred, though shoppers continued to pause and reflect in front of a makeshift memorial outside. The neighborhood where Loughner lived with his parents, Randy and Amy, was quiet on Sunday afternoon, with nary a satellite truck in sight. About 300 people gathered at a midtown park on Sunday morning and

marched about two miles to Giffords’s district office in what organizers called a “walk for peace” to honor the victims of the shooting. The event was the brainchild of Amanda Lopez, 23, and Amanda Hutchison, 20, who had been grappling with how respond to the rampage, ultimately coming up with the idea of the peace walk. Some marchers carried babies in slings or pushed strollers, others walked their dogs. To avoid politicizing the event, the organizers decided not to allow anyone to hold signs, but distributed yellow ribbons to commemorate the victims. “It’s time for people to reflect, for the city of Tucson and the rest of the country to come together and reflect,” said Yvette Patterson, 42, who was among the marchers. “It’s important that we really see the humanity in each other. If we don’t start to lower our barriers, maybe we could get torn apart.” When the crowd reached a collection of tributes outside Giffords’s office, a woman began singing Amazing Grace. Others in the crowd softly sang along.

Rival senators decide to sit together for Obama address WASHINGTON — (AP) — Two senators from different parties say they’ll skip tradition and sit together during U.S. President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address. The decision by Republican Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and Democrat Chuck Schumer of New York comes amid calls for greater civility in political discourse following the fatal shootings on Jan. 8 at a political event in Tucson. The effects of the shooting, like pebbles in a pond, continued to ripple on Sunday, as one of the 13 people wounded spent the day in a mental health center by police order. The wounded person, J. Eric Fuller, 63, a military veteran, was arrested on Saturday after disrupting a forum being taped for broadcast by ABC News. He was said to have blurted out “You’re dead” to Trent

Schumer says he and Coburn hope other lawmakers will follow their example and skip the partisan seating arrangements that usually come with joint sessions of Congress. Schumer says it’s a symbolic move but one he hopes will help set a more civil tone. The State of the Union address is set for Jan. 25. Coburn and Schumer spoke Sunday on NBC’s Meet the Press. Humphries, the founder of the Tucson Tea Party, who was speaking. Fuller had showed flashes of anger, railing against the “Tea Party crime syndicate” in an interview with The New York Times in the early days after the shooting. He was being held for a 72-hour mental health evaluation, said Jason Ogan, a spokesman for the Pima County sheriff’s office.

WASHINGTON — As U.S. lawmakers shaken by the shooting of a colleague return to the healthcare debate, an Associated PressGfK poll finds raw feelings over U.S. President Barack Obama’s overhaul have subsided. Ahead of a vote on repeal in the GOP-led House this week, strong opposition to the law stands at 30 percent, close to the lowest level registered in AP-GfK surveys dating to September 2009. The United States is divided over the law, but the strength and intensity of the opposition appear diminished. The law expands coverage to more than 30 million uninsured, and would require, for the first time, that most people in the United States carry health insurance. The poll finds that 40 percent of those surveyed said they support the law, while 41 percent oppose it. Just after the November congressional elections, opposition stood at 47 percent and support was 38 percent. As for repeal, only about one in four say they want to do away with the law completely. Among Republicans support for repeal has dropped sharply, from 61 percent after the elections to 49 percent now. Also, 43 percent say they want the law changed so it does more to reengineer the healthcare system. Fewer than one in five say it should be left as it is. Congress stepped back last week to honor victims of the rampage in Tucson, that left Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., facing a long and uncertain recovery from a bullet through her brain. There’s no evidence the gunman who targeted Giffords was motivated by politics, but the aftermath left many people concerned about the venom in public life. A conservative Democrat, Giffords had been harshly criticized for voting in favor of the health overhaul, and won reelection by a narrow margin.

Tea Party activists keeping an eye on those they backed BY CHARLES BABINGTON Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Candidates elected to congress on a wave of enthusiasm from Tea Party activists are running smack into the traditions, partisan divisions and powerful competing interests that make it so hard to redirect the government. Some Tea Party activists — part of a loose-knit, libertarian-tinged network advocating small government and less federal spending — already are dismayed to see their new lawmakers plunge into familiar patterns of raising political cash, hiring former lobbyists and stopping short of the oftenheard vow to “change the way Washington works.”

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Others are more lenient and patient. “There’s a little bit of expectation that they can do more than they really can do,” said Sal Russo, a California-based co-founder of the Tea Party Express. Democrats still control the Senate and White House, he noted in an interview from Wyoming, where he was visiting potential Senate candidates for 2012. Russo said the recently enacted tax cut compromise reached with U.S. President Barack Obama was imperfect but “as good a deal as we’re going to get.” The Tea Party must expand its influence with each new election, he added. Other activists, however, fear their newly elected law-

makers will fall too quickly into old Washington habits of turning to special interest groups and their lobbyists for information, advice and campaign money. Some winced at a Jan. 4 fundraiser at Washington’s W Hotel, where ticket prices ranged from $2,500 for individuals to $50,000 for “donors.” It was sponsored by a political committee founded by freshman Rep. Jeff Denham and other Republicans who won election with Tea Party support. Denham defended the event, telling reporters his freshman class needs campaign money to stay self-reliant and win future elections. Some Tea Party activists also fear their newly elected allies will weaken or break promises to dramatically cut


GROUSE: Tea Party activist Mark Meckler says it’s an ‘absolute joke’ for Republicans to back away from promises to cut $100 billion this fiscal year. federal spending. Tea Party Patriots co-founder Mark Meckler told CBS it’s an “ab-

solute joke” for House Republicans to back away from pledges to cut $100 billion this fiscal year. Newly elected Rep. Kristi Noem, a Republican with Tea Party ties, says critics should simmer down. “They should stay focused on the results we deliver,” Noem said in an interview shortly after taking office. “They pick little fights, but I think in the future they’re going to be satisfied with the results and solutions that this Republican Congress brings forth.” At the same time, deep spending cuts would anger many interest groups, and Republicans may pay a price, he said. Republicans picked up nearly three dozen House

seats when Ronald Reagan was elected president in 1980, LaTourette noted. “Half of them were shown the door two years later,” he said. “Not because they did anything wrong. They kept their promises. But when you’ve got to cut a lot of money out of the budget, everybody’s got a pet program, a pet disease, a pet something, and people are going to get fired up.” Indeed, the House’s new Republican speaker, John Boehner is moving cautiously. When NBC asked him to name a federal program he’s willing to cut, Boehner replied, “I don’t think I have one off the top of my head, but there is no part of this government that should be sacred.”

1/18/2011 3:59:59 AM






France cautious in stance on Tunisian crisis BY STEVEN ERLANGER New York Times Service


FACING CRISIS: ‘My total focus must remain with discharging my duties to the people,’ said Ireland’s Prime Minister Brian Cowen, center, who has been challenged as the leader of the ruling Fianna Fail party.

Leadership battle likely in Ireland BY JOHN F. BURNS New York Times Service

LONDON — Resisting pressure from one of his own senior ministers and from some of his parliamentary backbenchers, Ireland’s prime minister, Brian Cowen, said that he will not resign as leader of the governing Fianna Fail party. Instead, he called a secret ballot of the party’s parliamentary bloc on Tuesday to decide the issue. But dissatisfied with that decision, Foreign Minister Micheal Martin announced he would challenge Cowen for the position. Martin, who said he had resigned from the cabinet, said he had “reluctantly concluded”

that Cowen would have to be forced from office since he refused to go voluntarily. In the weeks since Ireland agreed to a harsh austerity program as a condition of a $113 billion international bailout of its debt-burdened economy in December, Fianna Fail’s support in opinion polls has collapsed, to around 15 percent in recent surveys. Support for Cowen in the polls has fallen even lower, to 10 percent or less. At a news conference in Dublin on Sunday, Cowen, 50, said that in the national interest he had decided to call a vote of Fianna Fail legislators after consulting with party colleagues. “My total focus must remain with

discharging my duties to the people,” he said. “For Fianna Fail, the party is important but the interests of the country are paramount.” Cowen has been prime minister since 2008, after serving previously as finance minister. Pressure for him to quit has mounted recently in the wake of revelations about a meeting he held with Sean Fitzpatrick, one of Ireland’s top bankers, at a golf course outside Dublin a few weeks after becoming prime minister. Fitzpatrick was then chairman of Anglo-Irish Bank, which had been rocked by a sharp downturn in the property market. Later that year, Anglo-

Irish was one of three Irish banks rescued by the Cowen government’s decision to guarantee the liabilities of Irish banks. The decision led to a $40 billion taxpayer bailout of AngloIrish and, indirectly, to the financial crisis that made the bailout in December necessary. But Cowen’s closest ally in the government, Deputy Prime Minister Mary Coughlan, who is also a potential contender for the Fianna Fail leadership, has said the golf course encounter was called to discuss donations to the party, not the banking crisis, and she has supported Cowen’s continuing leadership.

PARIS — France, slow to express support for the Tunisian demonstrators who overthrew its longtime ally, President Zine el Abidine Ben Ali, is moving to try to pick up the pieces in a country where Paris has deep economic, personal and historical ties. France has misread Tunisia for years, not just in recent weeks, said Jacques Lanxade, a retired admiral, former military chief of staff and former ambassador to Tunis in the late 1990s. “Since 2000, people saw the Tunisian regime closing itself into a semi-dictatorship, but we did not react,” he said in an interview. “We continued public support of this regime because of economic interests, because we thought Ben Ali had a role in fighting Islamists.” But France did not fully understand how deeply the economic crisis was changing things, and ignored restrictions on the press, Lanxade said, adding, “We didn’t take account of Tunisian public opinion and thought Ben Ali would reestablish his position.” As the former colonial power, France has had complicated relations with Tunisia and many other African nations. In general, successive French governments have supported political stability to protect French citizens, companies and economic interests, with little pub-

lic criticism of dictatorial governments. It is a delicate balance for a country that presents itself as the cradle of equality, liberty, human rights and revolution, but that also is trying to reinforce its economic strength and increase exports in a competitive world. During the month of demonstrations that led to Ben Ali’s fall on Friday, France simply called for “calm” and an end to violence, while not directly criticizing the deaths of demonstrators. Individual ministers had infuriated Tunisians and Tunisian exiles in France with their comments. As late as last Tuesday, Agriculture Minister Bruno Le Maire, said: “President Ben Ali is often judged unfairly. He’s done a lot of good things for the country.” Francois Hollande, a leading member of the opposition Socialist Party, said that “for weeks the French position has seemed to be one of embarrassment, of caution, of prudence, while in Tunisia and across North Africa people expected us to speak out.” Fares Mabrouk, a Tunisian businessman and founder of the Arab Policy Institute, is one of them. “We were very disappointed by the position of France,” he said in an interview. “France’s reaction to the Tunisian revolution has been catastrophic. It lost a great measure of its ability to weigh on events.”

Carter mission says Congo activists seek trial in leader’s death Sudan vote credible BY SLOBODAN LEKIC Associated Press

BY MAGGIE FICK Associated Press

JUBA, Sudan — A group of election observers led by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter said Monday that they found Southern Sudan’s recent referendum on independence from the north to have been credible. Carter’s observation mission also praised Sudanese for their patience and commitment during the weeklong vote, which ended Saturday. U.N. and EU missions have also said the vote was largely peaceful and legitimate. The referendum was part of a 2005 peace deal that ended more than two decades of civil war between the largely Christian and animist south and the mostly Muslim north. The south is expected to vote overwhelmingly for secession, splitting Africa’s largest nation. But the two regions will continue to depend on each other — the south has most of Sudan’s oil, but the north has the infrastructure to export it. “The referendum process to date is broadly consistent with international standards for democratic elections,” the Atlanta-based Carter Center said in a statement, noting that “with the exception of a few isolated incidents, polling was conducted in a peaceful and orderly environment.” The Carter Center first sent observers to Sudan in August to begin watching the referendum process. Carter and former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan led the

Carter Center’s observation mission and visited polling stations in the southern capital of Juba and the northern capital of Khartoum. More than 4,000 domestic and international observers watched the vote. Early results indicate a landslide choice for secession among the more than 3.25 million Southern Sudanese who cast their vote. Tallying began shortly after polls closed and continued through the night, as polling staff made piles of votes for “secession” and “unity” by lantern light at stations under trees and in schoolrooms. At a church service on Sunday in the southern capital of Juba, southern president Salva Kiir prayed for forgiveness and healing for the 2 million who died and countless Sudanese who suffered through the war. There were some isolated clashes in the disputed border region of Abyei during the polls, and the Carter Center noted that “the specter of conflict and insecurity will remain a daily challenge that many Sudanese will have to confront” regardless of the outcome of the referendum. Carter earlier said he expected the Khartoum-based government to honor the poll’s results and U.S. President Barack Obama on Sunday congratulated the Sudanese people for successfully carrying out the referendum and called the peaceful and orderly voting an “inspiration to the world.”

BRUSSELS — Activists plan to file a civil suit alleging war crimes by a dozen former Belgian officials they say participated in the assassination of Congo’s Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba 50 years ago, a Brussels attorney who heads the legal team said on Monday. Lumumba headed Congo’s largest political party and was elected prime minister when Belgium granted independence to the country on June 30, 1960, after almost a century of colonial rule. Many in the West viewed the charismatic prime minister as a dangerous radical because he wanted to nationalize the new nation’s lucrative, Belgian-owned gold, copper and uranium mining industry. The killing made Lumumba an anti-colonial martyr and a liberation symbol to many Africans and Asians. It inspired revolutionaries from South Africa and Cuba to Vietnam and Algeria. “We want the case against the officials implicated in the murder to be airtight,” said historian Ludo De Witte, who blamed the Belgian government for the killing in a 1999 book and is part of the group of activists. A Belgian parliamentary probe determined in 2002 that the government was “morally responsible” for Lumumba’s death. Brussels officially apologized for its role in his death but refused to pay compensation to his family or to prosecute those involved.


MARTYR: Activists march to mark the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Congo’s Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba in Brussels on Sunday. A U.S. Senate committee found in 1975 that the U.S. administration had also hatched a separate plan to kill the Congolese leader because Washington viewed the leftist leader as a potential threat. Congo’s production of weapons-grade uranium vastly raised the stakes for the United States, which had used Congolese uranium to build the two atomic bombs dropped on Japan in 1945. Christophe Marchand, who heads the legal team, said the suit, which was originally supposed to have been submitted to the court in June, was delayed due to volume of archives that had to be studied. “There was an enormous mass of documents we needed to consult, including reports of commissions of

inquiry both in Belgium and the United States, in order to establish the facts,” he said. Marchand said the complaint will be refiled “in coming weeks.” He refused to name any of the officials they planned to implicate. On Sunday, several hundred demonstrators rallied around the statue of King Leopold II, who colonized Congo in the mid-19th century. Belgium’s harsh rule caused the deaths of between 4 million and 8 million Congolese. “We want the truth about the assassination, we want justice done after 50 years, and we want Belgium to pay reparations for the consequences the assassination caused,” said Jean Marie Luhahi Mongo, one of the organizers of the rally.

Historians agree that top Belgian officials and officers conspired to overthrow Lumumba and organized and his execution on Jan. 17, 1961. The death ushered in the long, corrupt dictatorship of Congo’s Western-backed leader Mobutu Sese Seko, who was finally overthrown in 1997. The Belgian army captain who commanded the firing squad, was given a new name and secretly transferred to the Belgian brigade in West Germany to avoid public exposure. Lumumba was hastily buried after the execution. But Belgian police officers later dug up the corpse, dissolved it in acid and crushed the remaining bones to avoid turning the grave into a pilgrimage site.

Australia floods could be costliest disaster ever, government says MELBOURNE, Australia — (AP) — Floods that ravaged Australia’s northeast and swamped a major city could be the country’s most expensive natural disaster ever, the government said Monday. Flooding inundated new areas in the south Monday, where water seeped into the streets of rural communities in Victoria state. Three weeks of flooding have already torn a devastating path

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through the northeastern state of Queensland. The region’s key MurrayDarling river basin links Queensland with New South Wales and Victoria to the south, and drains into the sea via South Australia on the south-central coast. Queensland Premier Anna Bligh said Monday that the bodies of two more flood victims had been found, bringing the death toll from Queensland’s disaster to 30, most

of whom died in a flash flood that hit towns west of the state capital, Brisbane. The flooding in the state left a vast territory underwater, inundated 30,000 homes and businesses and left 12 people missing. The price tag from the relentless floods was already at $5 billion before muddy brown waters swamped Brisbane. “It looks like this is possibly going to be, in economic terms, the largest natural

disaster in our history,” federal Treasurer Wayne Swan told Australian Broadcasting Corporation Radio on Monday. “It will involve billions of dollars of commonwealth money and also state government money, and there’s going to be impacts on local governments as well.” And the flooding is not finished. Victoria State Emergency Services spokeswoman Natasha Duckett warned that the town of Horsham could

face a major flood during Tuesday’s expected peak of the Wimmera River, and electricity supplier Powercor was sandbagging its substation there to ensure it remained dry. “The township could be bisected with a waterway right through the middle of town and the [Western] Highway cut,” Duckett said. Up to 500 properties in the town of about 14,000 people could be affected. Horsham official David

Eltringham said the town was expecting “a one-in-a100-year flood.” More than 3,500 people have evacuated their homes in north-central Victoria state, with 43 towns and 1,500 properties already affected by rising waters. Flooding has also hit New South Wales, where nearly 7,000 people are reliant on airdrops of food and other supplies after being isolated by floodwaters.

1/18/2011 4:43:43 AM







Obama’s great speech BY JOHN McCAIN Special to The Washington Post

.S. President Barack Obama gave a terrific speech last Wednesday. He movingly mourned and honored the victims of the senseless atrocity outside Tucson, comforted and inspired the country, and encouraged those of us who have the privilege of serving the United States. He encouraged every U.S. citizen who participates in our political debates — whether we are on the left or right or in the media - to aspire to a more generous appreciation of one another and a more modest one of ourselves. The president appropriately disputed the injurious suggestion that some participants in our political debates were responsible for a depraved man’s inhumanity. He asked us all to conduct ourselves in those debates in a manner that would not disillusion an innocent child’s hopeful patriotism. I agree wholeheartedly with these sentiments. We should respect the sincerity of the convictions that enliven our debates but also the mutual purpose that we and all preceding generations of U.S. citizens serve: a better country; stronger, more prosperous and just than the one we inherited. We, citizens of the United States have different opinions on how best to serve that noble purpose. We need not pretend otherwise or be timid in our advocacy of the means we believe will achieve it. But we should be mindful as we argue about our differences that so much more unites than divides us. We should also note that our differences, when compared with those in many, if not most, other countries, are smaller than we sometimes imagine them to be. I disagree with many of the president’s policies, but I believe he is a patriot sincerely intent on using his time in office to advance our country’s cause. I reject accusations that his policies and beliefs make him unworthy to lead the United States or opposed to its founding ideals. And I reject accusations that U.S. citizens who vigorously oppose his policies are less intelligent, compassionate or just than those who support them. Our political discourse should be more civil than it currently is, and we all, myself included, bear some responsibility for it not being so. It probably asks too much of human nature to expect any of us to be restrained at all times by persistent modesty and empathy from committing rhetorical excesses that exaggerate our differences and ignore our similarities. But I do not think it is beyond our ability and virtue to refrain from substituting character assassination for spirited and respectful debate.


Public life has many more privileges than hardships. First among them is the satisfying purpose it gives our lives to make a contribution to the progress of a nation that was conceived to defend the rights and dignity of human beings. It can be bruising at times, but in the end its rewards are greater than the injuries sustained to earn them. That doesn’t mean, however, that those injuries are always easy to slough off and bear with perfect equanimity. Political leaders are not and cannot reasonably be expected to be indifferent to the cruelest calumnies aimed at their character. Imagine how it must feel to have watched one week ago the incomprehensible massacre of innocents committed by someone who had lost some essential part of his humanity, to have shared in the heartache for its victims and in the admiration for those who acted heroically to save the lives of others — and to have heard in the coverage of that tragedy voices accusing you of complicity in it. It does not ask too much of human nature to have the empathy to understand how wrong an injury that is or appreciate how strong a need someone would feel to defend him or herself against such a slur. Even to perceive it in the context of its supposed political effect and not as the claim of the human heart to the dignity we are enjoined by God and our founding ideals to respect in one another is unworthy of us, and our understanding of the United States’ meaning. There are too many occasions when we lack that empathy and mutual respect on all sides of our politics, and in the media. But it is not beyond us to do better; to behave more modestly and courteously and respectfully toward one another; to make progress toward the ideal that beckons all humanity: to treat one another as we would wish to be treated. We are citizens of the United States and fellow human beings, and that shared distinction is so much more important than the disputes that invigorate our noisy, rough-and-tumble political culture. That is what I heard the president say last Wednesday evening. I commend and thank him for it.

Perils of militarizing aid BY PIERRE KRAHENBUHL McClatchy News Service

he rise in the killing of aid workers last year points to profound questions that confront aid agencies. As attacks on humanitarians increase and aid becomes more politicized and militarized, I believe we are witnessing a set of paradigm shifts that will deeply affect how organizations provide life-saving aid in war. The stakes could not be higher for humanitarian agencies and the victims of armed conflict. Over the past decade, deliberate attacks against humanitarian personnel have become commonplace. They are clearly illegal and unacceptable and must be condemned in the strongest terms. The rejection of humanitarians is, however, also the byproduct of policies that integrate humanitarian aid into political and military strategies. For some time now, this has been known as the “blurring of lines” debate: Is it appropriate for armed forces to be involved in humanitarian activities? For the International Committee of the Red Cross, the question is not whether the military can contribute to humanitarian efforts; it, for example, has an obligation under international humanitarian law to evacuate wounded civilians. Aid becoming part of counterinsurgency strategies, however, is much more problematic. I have never forgotten a press statement issued by international forces in Afghanistan a couple of years ago emphasizing that humanitarian assistance was helping them and Afghan forces win the “fight against terrorism.” Such developments lead parties to conflicts and affected populations to associate all humanitarians with specific political and military goals in Afghanistan and beyond. When humanitarian action becomes part of strategies aimed at defeating an enemy, the


risks for aid agencies in the field grow exponentially. This is when a bright red line must be drawn. Heightened security concerns mean reduced access for humanitarian organizations in places where the population may be in dire need of strictly humanitarian as- KRAHENBUHL sistance. Looking at countries in which the ICRC runs some of its larger operations — Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia or Yemen — I am struck by how few aid agencies are actually able to gain regular access to populations and run independent operations. Some may question the value of independent, neutral and impartial humanitarianism in today’s wars. However, as an organization present and active in conflict for close to 150 years, including in those fought by insurgents, we know that these very principles enable us to reach, assist and seek to protect those caught in armed conflict. A little known facet of our activities in Afghanistan illustrates the value of independent humanitarian action. Since 2007, the ICRC has been able to organize safe passage for Afghan Ministry of Health and World Health Organization workers who carry out polio vaccinations for children in the south of the country. This safe space is negotiated with the Taliban and respected by U.S., NATO, and Afghan security forces. The ICRC regularly facilitates the transfer of wounded and handover operations for released hostages in Afghanistan. Operations of this kind are only possible because all parties to the conflict know that the ICRC does not take sides and intervenes on strictly humanitarian grounds. The time-tested modus operandi of the ICRC is not that of all humanitarian actors. The aid community is very diverse in its

approaches and an honest review of its various practices and their effects is needed. I note a growing pessimism in the aid community and nostalgia for what is often called a shrinking “humanitarian space.” In fact, our experience tells us that there is simply no such thing as a pre-established, protected “humanitarian space.” Today’s armed conflicts are protracted and fragmented. In eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, the ICRC interacts with 40 different armed groups or factions. In such situations, the space needed for action is created daily and over time: by building relations; by not taking acceptance for granted; by matching words with deeds; by adopting a principled approach and following it with great discipline. The ICRC, for one, believes in consistent neutrality and independence as a way to build trust. This is not the only way to engage in humanitarian action but aid agencies cannot have it both ways: asking for armed escorts to reach populations in need one day and criticizing those same military forces for blurring the lines the next cannot be a solution. In fact, this very inconsistency creates further problems in terms of perception and trust. Humanitarians cannot simply point fingers and exclude their own choices and actions from the debate. Given the stakes, I believe it is essential that political and military decision makers seriously confront the far reaching consequences of making humanitarian aid an integral part of counter-insurgency operations. Humanitarian organizations for their part must debate the consequences of their choices in a more self-critical and honest fashion and genuinely decide how they wish to operate. Failure to do so will continue to weaken the security of humanitarian workers and, more significantly, further isolate and endanger the victims of armed conflict.

New Congress to push Obama on Latin America BY ANDRES OPPENHEIMER

or the past two years, the Obama administration has managed to keep its Latin American policy largely out of the headlines, focusing its energies on Iraq, Afghanistan and other world hot spots. But that’s about to change. There is a consensus in Washington’s foreign policy circles that the Congress that took office earlier this month after the GOP victory in the midterm election will put pressure on the administration to take a harder line on the authoritarian regimes of Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua and Cuba. Key congressional committees have changed hands, and are now led by Republican foreign policy hawks who have long criticized U.S. President Barack Obama for allegedly being too soft on Venezuela’s President Hugo ChÍvez and his allies in the region. In an interview last week, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Miami, the


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new chairwoman of the House’s powerful Committee on Foreign Affairs, told me that there will be subcommittee hearings and investigations into issues such as Chavez’s suspected aid to Middle Eastern terrorist groups and his links to Iran’s secret nuclear weapons program. “It will be good for congressional subcommittees to start talking about Chavez, about [Bolivia’s President Evo] Morales, about issues that have not been talked about,” she said. “We are going to have a discussion about all of these issues.” Ros-Lehtinen, who has scheduled a trip to Brazil, Argentina, Colombia and Honduras in March, said that the House subcommittee on Western Hemisphere affairs is likely to hold hearings on whether to place Venezuela on the State Department’s list of terrorist countries. The subcommittee’s new chairman, Rep. Connie Mack of Fort Myers, Fla., supports the idea. Ros-

Lehtinen suggested to me that she doesn’t, for practical reasons. The House is also likely to hold hearings on whether to impose economic sanctions on Venezuela’s oil monopoly PDVSA and Venezuelan banks, she said. Won’t these discussions be counterproductive, and give Chavez great ammunition to support his claims that he is a victim of the “U.S. empire,” I asked her. OPPENHEIMER “The United States must have principles. It’s very nice to think that one can be friends of the entire world, but if we do that, we don’t have principles,” she said. She added that Chavez and his allies are going to blame the United States for everything anyway, regardless of what Washington does. Ros-Lehtinen will not be the only new powerful voice in Congress demanding a tougher line on Ven-

ezuela. The new Republican chairmen of the House’s Intelligence Committee and Judiciary Committee are also more likely to press for inquiries into Venezuela’s ties with Iran and terrorism, Republican foreign affairs analysts say. “They will start asking questions, and they will make a difference,” says Roger Noriega, who was head of the State Department’s Latin American affairs during the Bush administration. “They will demand accountability from the administration, and that will bring about consequences.” Obama supporters concede that the new Congress is likely to have an impact on the administration’s Latin America policy, but warn that it will be a negative one. “Ileana Ros-Lehtinen has already said that she wants to cut the State Department budget and foreign assistance,” said Jeffrey Davidow, who served as head of the State Department’s Latin American affairs office during the Clinton administration. Davidow added that

“we need diplomacy and foreign aid to maintain our position in this hemisphere.” In addition, the new Republican congressional leaders’ “negative rhetoric” will hurt the U.S. image in the region, which “could result in a weakening of the support we need to pursue our interests,” Davidow said. My opinion: I’m afraid that extreme rhetoric from Congress on Venezuela and its allies will play into Chavez’s hands. It will give the narcissist-Leninist leader ammunition to play the victim, and to blame Washington for his country’s economic disaster. The good news is that RosLehtinen is sounding more judicious . . . even more moderate . . . since her appointment to her new role, not only on Venezuela but also on foreign aid and other Latin American issues. In addition, the Democraticled Senate is likely to stop any radical Housepolicy initiatives. Whatever happens, there will be a lot more noise about Latin America in Washington than in the past.

1/18/2011 3:47:01 AM






NEW YORK — To review or not to review? Or rather, when to review? That is a question debated in reference to SpiderMan: Turn Off the Dark, the exhaustively discussed, exhaustingly delayed musical that began previews in late November and has repeatedly postponed its opening date. When the opening was pushed back to Feb. 7, from Jan. 11, a couple of critics decided to toss aside Broadway decorum and file reports after attending a preview performance. Jeremy Gerard of Bloomberg News and Linda Winer from Newsday both wrote stories containing varying degrees of critical assessment, citing the long preview period and the show’s undeniable newsworthiness as factors in their decisions to make an exception to the steadfast rule that the major New York critics have long obeyed, to review only designated preview performances immediately before a show’s opening. The New York Times will honor the current opening date, although the paper’s culture editor, Jonathan Landman, left the door open to other possibilities should the opening yet again be delayed. This inside-baseball story actually has some relevance for consumers, although it is clear that the brand value of Spider-Man is so far sufficient to fill the capacious Foxwoods Theater night after night even without the imprimatur of the reviewing tribe. The public is often unaware that Broadway shows featured in national news spots and advertised on television may not be officially “open.” Over the holidays, I fielded more than one question about what I thought of Spider-Man and had to painstakingly explain that while it was (obviously) being performed, occasionally to disastrously newsworthy effect, the show was not yet

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open to critics. A puzzled stare or two came my way. The show’s high profile and the public’s ignorance of the preview process prompted Bill de Blasio, New York City’s public advocate, to suggest in a letter to the Department of Consumer Affairs this week that the producers “may be in violation of consumerprotection laws.” The infamously extended preview period of the 1991 musical Nick & Nora also occasioned some saber-rattling from city officials on behalf of consumers. That quick-flop musical played 71 preview performances before opening to sour reviews and closing in a week. It remains true — and it is truly scandalous — that in recent years the practice of selling preview tickets at a discount has largely been phased out. Today most shows on Broadway differentiate little, if at all, between prices for performances before and after opening, and do not often


DELAYED: The musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark has repeatedly postponed its opening date. note in advertising that early performances are previews that may or may not reflect the show in finished form. This is definitely the case with Spider-Man, for which orchestra seats cost well north of $100, and which has been undergoing fairly significant changes during the preview period, according to reports. Producers have got away with the practice simply because the public doesn’t know the difference, and I think it is imperative that a return to more conscientious ticket-pricing be advocated both by interested consumers and by the public officials who represent them. This is, however, an issue apart from that of the role of the critic, which has been evolving in recent years. The blaze of news stories and Web chatter about the accidents that have plagued Spider-

Man was no doubt a factor in the decision of Gerard and Winer to break with convention and write about it. Technological developments that make it possible for any ticket buyer to broadcast an opinion about a Broadway show on the Web have changed the climate in which theater is written about. Critics could be excused for feeling like the last in line at the buffet. Being forbidden to write about the one Broadway show everyone is chattering about can obviously be frustrating. A critic is, in some sense, an advocate for the consumer — or at least those particular consumers who take stock in the opinions of critics. But if a critic’s job is to assess the total merits of a work of art — or at least a gaudy chunk of entertainment — reason also argues that the entertainment should be allowed to achieve

the completed form its creators had envisioned before judgment is rendered. Works of theater are, thanks to the preview process, vulnerable to early public assessment. But if anything, they are more in need of extended gestation. They don’t properly live until their metabolism has been tested, and almost always tweaked, by interaction with a live audience. Lines of dialogue, bits of business, even entire scenes that seem surefire in rehearsal can fall flat when they meet the eye of an impartial audience. For this reason the preview period can be viewed, at least from an aesthetic perspective, as the crucial fine-tuning process that can sometimes make or break a new play or musical. And with the price tag of producing a musical on Broadway now in the tens

of millions of dollars — Spider-Man has set a record at $65 million — the once-standard out-of-town tryout to work out the kinks in a show is rarely financially viable. Spider-Man is an exceptional case, although there have been previous instances of musicals delaying their opening dates more than once. In addition to Nick & Nora, the musicals Merlin, in 1983, and Legs Diamond, in 1988, had notoriously long and troubled preview periods. The accidents that have befallen some of the SpiderMan performers have made it fairly clear that this show is not delaying its opening merely to confound critics and take advantage of consumers; there are obviously seriously challenging issues of stagecraft involved. And ultimately I worry that if you break precedent because a show has previewed for what is deemed an unduly long period, or because a show has reached a level of media scrutiny that blurs the lines between reporting and criticism, the future starts to look even blurrier. How many previews are too many? How much attention might warrant another episode of rule-breaking? In the case of a show like Spider-Man, a brand-name pop enterprise with obvious commercial appeal, it could be argued that serious critical assessment is almost beside the point. But if the conventional rules by which theater critics allow the artists (or, like it or not, producers) to deem a show ready for aesthetic judgment crumble before the onslaught of Web chatter and the freewheeling new order created by the spread of social media, the damage to the future of the art form could be significant. The price will ultimately be paid not just by the artists creating theater but also by all who enjoy it and believe each show should be given a fighting chance, at least, to live up to its ideal.

1/18/2011 3:48:19 AM




Borders Group., the book superstore chain whose rise to national prominence helped kill many independent bookstores, is fighting for survival in the digital age. As the United States’ secondlargest traditional bookseller tries to restructure its finances to solve a cash crunch, it faces a painful irony: Consumers are reading more than ever, but turning away from the company that helped make reading a destination, with sales associates as tour guides.

“They’re kind of ambassadors for reading,” Michael Norris, an analyst with Simba Information, a publishing consulting firm in Stamford, Conn., said of Borders. “They keep the discussion about books alive.” Or did. That role has diminished for Ann Arbor, Mich.-based Borders with the emergence of online sales, electronic readers and downloadable books. “This is a sad story,” said Al Greco, a marketing professor at Fordham University’s Graduate School of Business in New York, recalling Borders’ dominance during the heady 1990s. “It had been an unbelievable company.” Publishing industry analysts are divided about Borders’ prospects

for survival. Still, the retailer’s problems don’t signal the death of the reading culture it helped create, said Jerry Herron, a Wayne State University professor of American studies. “If anything, people are consuming more text than ever before,” Herron said. The potential demise or downsizing of the chain means that the best business model for delivering content has changed, he said. Borders began as a small used book store built by brothers Louis and Tom Borders in Ann Arbor in 1971. The company reigned supreme as book superstores proliferated nationwide TURN TO BOOKS, 2B



CALLING IN SICK: Apple chief executive Steve Jobs announced he was stepping aside ‘so I can focus on my health.’

Apple’s Steve Jobs to take health leave BY MIGUEL HELFT New York Times Service


LOOKING FOR BUYERS: Customers leave a Borders bookstore in Harrisburg, Pa. Borders said it may put itself up for sale.

Eurozone ministers to spar over bailout fund BY GABRIELE STEINHAUSER Associated Press

BRUSSELS — Eurozone finance ministers locked horns on Monday over how to fight their crippling debt crisis, which some fear could yet push Portugal to need a bailout and spread to infect the region’s larger economies. At the center of talks Monday and Tuesday in Brussels is the region’s ¤750 billion ($1 trillion) bailout fund, set up last spring to convince financial markets anxious over some countries’ mounting debt levels that the euro currency was safe. The European Union’s executive Commission — supported by the head of the European Central Bank and some finance ministers — has said the fund needs to be given more money and powers to quell any concerns that it could be overwhelmed if a big economy like Spain runs into trouble. But Germany, the eurozone’s economic powerhouse, has so far ruled out any substantial increase of the fund’s size. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble insisted Monday that bolstering the fund so it can actually lend out the advertised ¤750 billion — which it currently cannot do due to technical reasons — is as far as his country will go. • TURN TO EUROZONE, 2B

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chief executive, Jobs is seen as vital to his company’s success. He is known for his hands-on management style and his obsessive attention to the most minute details of Apple’s products. He is also credited with anticipating the needs of consumers time and again, leading Apple to create a string of groundbreaking products like the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad. “He may be the most vital CEO of our era,” said Michael Useem, a professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and director of its Center for Leadership and Change Management. In January 2009, Jobs went on a medical leave. During the leave Jobs secretly flew to Tennessee for a liver transplant. In June 2009, Apple said Jobs was back at work, and he reappeared in public for the first time in September of that year. While he was energetic and exhibited his unique brand of salesmanship as he unveiled new products during 90-minute event, he continued to look gaunt. Since then, Jobs has headlined a string of product introductions, including the iPhone 4 and the iPad and a new line of MacBook Air laptops, where he was equally energetic and focused, but still looked frail. At one such event in July 2010, a reporter asked Jobs about his health, and he replied, “I’m feeling great.” In recent months, he has looked increasingly frail, according to people who have seen him.

Steven P. Jobs, the co-founder and chief executive of Apple, is taking a medical leave of absence, a year and a half after his return from a liver transplant, raising questions about the future of the world’s most valuable technology company. Jobs announced his leave on Monday in a letter to employees that said he was stepping aside “so I can focus on my health” but would continue to be involved in major strategic decisions at the company. “I love Apple so much and hope to be back as soon as I can,” Jobs wrote in the letter, which was made public by Apple. As during his prior medical leave in 2009, Timothy D. Cook, the company’s chief operating officer, will run day-to-day operations, Jobs said. “I have great confidence that Tim and the rest of the executive management team will do a terrific job executing the exciting plans we have in place for 2011,” Jobs said in the message. Unlike his prior leave, when Apple said Jobs would be gone for six months, this time Jobs did not say how long he expected to be out. Analysts said the leave raised questions as to whether Jobs — who recovered from pancreatic cancer after surgery in 2004, but has continued to beset by health issues — would come back to lead Apple. “It raises the bigger question about whether he’ll ever return,” said Toni Sacconaghi, an analyst with Sanford C. Bernstein. Perhaps more than any other • TURN TO JOBS, 2B and AOL bet on hyperlocal news BY VERNE G. KOPYTOFF New York Times Service

SAN FRANCISCO — City council meetings, high school football games and store openings may seem like small town news, but they are critical to AOL’s revival effort. Over the last year and a half, AOL, the former Internet colossus, has spent tens of millions of dollars to build local news sites across the country through The idea is that the service would fill the gap in coverage left by local newspapers, many of which are operating on a string after declines in advertising revenue. Patch has already set up shop in nearly 800 towns. By the end of this year, it expects that to be in

1,000 — each one with an editor and a team of freelance writers. Traffic on individual sites is low; former editors say that the average post attracts just 100 views and that they considered 500 page views a wild success. But the overall traffic is growing quickly. In December, Patch had just over 3 million unique visitors, 80 times that of a year earlier, according to comScore. Yet over the years, a number of so-called hyperlocal news sites have failed, and the idea is largely unproved financially. For example, Backfence, a hyperlocal forerunner that invited readers to contribute articles, closed after it was unable to attract enough users and advertising. AOL declined to discuss the fi-

nancial performance of Patch other than to say that it was in investment mode. At the same time, Patch faces competition from Yahoo, Google and local news companies, all vying for a piece of local online advertising — gift shops, plumbers, regional hospitals, car dealers — which is expected to reach $15.9 billion this year, according to Borrell Associates, a market research firm. “The local space is hard, there are a lot of dead soldiers,” said Tim Armstrong, AOL’s chief executive. “But I think we’re happy where we are.” Armstrong, a former top ad executive at Google, helped found Patch in 2007, during a small boom in hyperlocal news start-ups, in-

cluding EveryBlock and Outside — all trying to create a digital version of local newspapers. An initial investor in Patch, Armstrong, who is 40 and lives in Connecticut, has plowed $4.5 million into the site. A few months after becoming AOL’s chief executive in 2009, he led AOL’s $7 million acquisition of the nascent service. A failed effort to find online information about volunteer opportunities for his family in their hometown gave Armstrong the idea for Patch. He began researching local news and at one point called his local paper to encourage it to create a Patch-like site. “I just wanted something in my • TURN TO AOL, 2B

Airbus flies higher than Boeing with 2010 orders BY GREG KELLER Associated Press

Boeing this month reported that it took in 530 net orders in 2010 and delivered 462 aircraft. Airbus’ 2010 order book was boosted by a late-December order by Richard Branson’s Virgin America for 60 A320 single-aisle aircraft. Airbus said half of the order is for its new version of the aircraft, the A320neo, which is being designed to save carriers money by being more fuel efficient. Airbus chief executive Tom Enders said the European jet builder will deliver between 520 and 530 aircraft this year, and said AP orders will be higher than that. “We’ve made tremendous SOARING PAST: Airbus’ A320neo jet, above, helped it to bag 574

TOULOUSE, France — Airbus said Monday it took in 574 net new aircraft orders last year, beating rival Boeing for the third year running as the international aviation market rebounded more strongly than expected from the steepest drop in its history. The Toulouse-based planemaking consortium said 2010 orders were worth $74 billion at list prices, that it delivered a record 510 aircraft last year, and predicted even more deliveries this year. A year earlier, Airbus took in just 271 orders as the global slowdown led airlines to cancel or delay exist• TURN TO AIRBUS, 2B ing orders and halt new ones.

orders in 2010 and beat Boeing, which netted 530 orders, for the third year in a row.

1/18/2011 5:08:49 AM





So far for magazines, tablets are a bitter pill Jobs BY JEREMY W. PETERS New York Times Service

The frustration that U.S. magazine and newspaper publishers feel toward Apple can sound a lot like a variation on the old relationship gripe, “can’t live with ‘em, may get left behind without ‘em.” Since Apple introduced the iPad last year, publishers have poured millions of dollars into apps in the hopes that the device could revolutionize the industry by changing the way magazines are read and sold to consumers. But at the same time, the industry is discovering a lesson already learned by music labels and Hollywood studios: Apple may offer new opportunities with its devices, but it exacts a heavy toll. Magazine publishers argue in particular that limiting magazine sales on the iPad to single issues (except in a handful of cases) has hamstrung publishers from fully capitalizing on a new and lucrative business model. “If you look at the Apple store,” said David Carey, president of Hearst Magazines, which offers five publications on the iPad, “the most common reason that people give an app a low rating is that it lacks a subscription option. They want to subscribe, and they don’t like the idea of paying $4.99 a month.” Many applications cost almost as much as a printed copy of a magazine, a difficult concept for consumers to get their heads around considering that a paper product is more expensive to assemble and distribute than an electronic version of a magazine. The New Yorker, for exam-


BETTING ON THE FUTURE: Publishers have poured millions of dollars into apps in the hopes that the iPad could revolutionize the industry by changing the way magazines are read and sold to consumers. ple, costs $4.99 an issue in Apple’s App Store but $5.99 on the newsstand. Esquire is also $4.99 an issue, the same as the newsstand cover price. Subscriptions are another sticking point. A vast majority of magazines available on the iPad must be purchased per copy. Customers cannot subscribe and have it delivered as they can with other publications available on the iPad like The Economist, The Wall Street Journal or The Daily, the News Corp.’s new iPad-only venture that is to begin within the next few weeks. That means if consumers want to receive the magazine regularly, they would have to pay far above normal subscription rates. “Sheer highway robbery,” read one recent comment about The New Yorker in the App Store. “I’ll keep my paper subscription. I will never pay $250 per year for an app.” In addition to limiting magazine sales to single is-

sues, Apple has refused to share consumer data, meaning the Hearsts, Conde Nasts and Time of the publishing world know nothing about the people who are buying their digital magazines. While they are far from writing off the iPad, publishers are eagerly awaiting the development of new tablet technologies from Google, BlackBerry and others that could at least give them some leverage. “I think that the new devices and the new Androidbased devices will be as good or better than Apple long term,” said Bob Sauerberg, president of Conde Nast, which produces iPad versions of five of its magazines, including Vanity Fair, GQ and The New Yorker, but also sells applications for the Amazon Kindle and the Barnes and Noble Nook Color and for Android-based devices. “We feel strongly that it’s too early to pick a winner,”

Sauerberg added. “The iPad is a great device with an early lead. We see a lot of other great devices.” There is a similar thirst for more tablet competition at Conde Nast’s crosstown rivals Time and Hearst Magazines, which have developed applications across a variety of platforms that compete directly with Apple. Hearst publishes Esquire, O: The Oprah Magazine, Popular Mechanics, Marie Claire and Seventeen on the iPad. But it sells all of its magazines through the Nook and Zinio, an application that allows consumers to purchase and download versions of their magazines on a variety of devices, including iPads. Time sells iPad versions of People, Sports Illustrated and Time but also sells applications through the Android system, BlackBerry and Kindle. “I do believe that in the

next year,” Carey added, “with all the new developments and all the new Android devices, that the industry will have a subscription option.” One publisher that seems to have been granted favorednation status is the News Corp., which is developing The Daily, an original iPad newspaper. The Daily will be sold through Apple as a recurring subscription, meaning subscribers will be automatically billed a small fee — expected to be about $1 a week — to receive the publication on their iPads every day. The development of the subscription software was said to be the reason The Daily’s debut was pushed back. The project is a top priority for Rupert Murdoch, chairman of the News Corp. He has personally involved himself in its development and has been known to drop in on The Daily’s offices from time to time on the 26th floor of company’s Midtown Manhattan office tower. It is expected that magazines will eventually have an arrangement similar to the one the News Corp. has with Apple that allows for iPad subscriptions. But no such deals have been struck yet with Conde Nast, Hearst or Time, said people close to discussions with Apple that were intended to be private. This year is when many publishers see the tablet business really taking off, with some estimates putting the number of devices to be sold near 50 million. “We are still very much in the first inning of the game,” said John P. Loughlin, executive vice president of Hearst Magazines.

Betting on hyperlocal news Eurozone spars over bailout fund


town,” he said. “I actually gave the idea to the local newspaper and they didn’t want it.” Patch’s news coverage varies in its depth. The sites for some towns are full of articles, while others are largely filled with inconsequential briefs. Retaining the thousands of readers needed to make an individual site profitable may be difficult because of the mixed quality, said Ken Doctor, a news industry analyst with Outsell and author of the book Newsonomics. “They have a lot of work to do to fulfill their promise,” he said. And competitors are a threat. News executives are closely watching Patch, said Al Cupo, vice president for operations at the Suburban Newspapers of America, an industry group whose members publish 2,000 newspapers. The fear, still unrealized, is that Patch will lure away readers and advertisers. “Of

course there is concern,” said Cupo, whose organization plans to discuss the potential impact of Patch at a coming conference. “We need to understand this sooner rather than later.” Patch has hired hundreds of journalists, each equipped with a laptop computer, digital camera, cell phone and police scanner. The journalists, which AOL calls local editors, generally earn $38,000 to $45,000 annually, and work from home. They are expected to publish up to five items daily — short articles, slide shows or video — in addition to overseeing freelance writers. Current and former Patch journalists say the operation is like a start-up in that experimentation is encouraged. But the bare-bones staffing — one full-time journalist for each community — can also mean working seven days a week and publishing articles that lack depth simply to meet a quota, they said. Journalistic high points include a 2009 report about

hazing of high school freshmen in Millburn, N.J., that was picked up by national television and newspapers, and scoops last year that were later cited by The Baltimore Sun. One was about a hit-and-run accident that killed a 14-year-old boy and another concerned a Baltimore City Council candidate who had failed to pay his taxes for years. But several plagiarism cases have tarnished Patch during its brief history. One journalist posted a photo from a rival site, and then denied it, while two freelancers published articles that were at least partly copied from other sources. A person familiar with the matter, who could not speak on the record about personnel matters, said they were all fired. Warren Webster, Patch’s president, likes to extol Patch’s journalistic credentials by pointing out that his staff includes journalists from major dailies like The Los Angeles Times and seven Pulitzer Prize winners.

Borders in financial trouble • BOOKS, FROM 1B

in the 1980s and 1990s, in part because it was an early adopter of the computerized inventory system. The superstores, which offered more than 100,000 titles and could afford to discount, helped stamp out smaller book retailers and independent shops selling 10,000 or 20,000 titles. In 1992, Kmart bought Borders for an estimated $200 million and spun it off in a public offering in 1995. But the retailer made a fateful mistake in 2001 by handing its online business to, now the largest U.S. bookseller and threatening to put Borders out of business. “It would be like Ford asking General Motors to distribute Ford cars,” Fordham’s Greco said of Borders’ tie-up with Amazon. “This was not a smart move.” Meanwhile, bigger rival Barnes & Noble Inc. embraced the nascent e-commerce model and launched a website. The New York City-

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based bookseller developed its own electronic reader and digital strategy. This month, Barnes & Noble said samestore sales, a key measure of retail health, rose 9.7 percent during the holiday season and its Nook e-reader hit record sales. The brick-and-mortar book industry has declined because of competition from discounters and the Web, but Borders has been hit more sharply because it has been slow to adapt to the Internet. Only this year did Borders contract with Canadian firm Kobo for e-readers to compete with Amazon’s Kindle and Barnes & Noble’s Nook. Borders also lacked strong leadership, hiring executives across a range of industries —including groceries, apparel and finance — who didn’t stay with the company long enough to have an impact. “They went through all of these managers who didn’t know anything about the book business,” Greco said. Borders must get its debt and vendor payments re-

structured quickly, Simba’s Norris said, to give Mike Edwards time to rebrand the company and implement a long-term, customer-focused strategy. Edwards is chief executive of Borders Inc., the company’s main book selling subsidiary. Borders Group also owns Waldenbooks Inc. and other retailers. Borders’ stock price rose 30 percent Friday , to $1.06 a share, after the New York Times, citing unnamed sources, reported that the company is close to receiving refinancing from GE Capital and other lenders. Edwards, who has led the book selling operation since June after joining the company in September 2009, built a reputation as a turnaround specialist after stints at retailers Lucy Activewear and Jo-Ann Stores Inc. Borders has taken steps to stay afloat, including shuttering unprofitable stores, revamping its customer loyalty program and unveiling a digital bookstore through its website.


Eurozone governments make their 440 billion contribution to the region’s bailout fund by guaranteeing bonds issued by the so-called European Financial Stability Facility. The remaining 310 billion come from the European Commission and the International Monetary Fund. To get a triple-A credit rating for the EFSF’s bonds — and make them attractive to wealthy investors — governments had to guarantee 120 percent of their value, while bailed out countries have to deposit a certain portion of the loans they receive “as a cash buffer.” That take’s the EFSF’s lending capacity down to only about 250 billion. “We have to discuss in the medium term what we can do there, but currently there is no need for this agitated discussion — it only unsettles the markets,” Schaeuble said of the EFSF in an interview with Deutschlandfunk radio ahead of the meeting in Brussels. The EU should instead “work calmly on implementing” decisions taken by its leaders’ last summit — that members should reduce their deficit, strengthen competitiveness and improve economic coordination, Schaeuble added. Everyone making a contribution “cannot consist only of Germany and France having to give more guarantees, but the debtor countries must solve their problems better — then we will achieve overall solutions,” Schaeuble said. But the Commission’s demands go beyond merely giving the fund more money. It wants to widen the scope of the fund’s activities, including giving it the right to buy government bonds on the open market to support their prices and keep interest rates in check. That role has so far been fulfilled by the ECB, but the central bank’s purchases have reached only about 75 billion since May. That is a tiny amount compared with bond buying programs the U.S. Fed-

eral Reserve and the Bank of England have embarked on to boost their economies. Unlike the Fed and Bank of England, the ECB also sterilizes its purchases, a process which makes sure they don’t increase the amount of money in the economy. Most analysts say the eurozone’s current strategy to deal with the crisis has failed. That approach sees countries bail out their struggling banks to then provide them with expensive rescue loans, conditioned on steep budget cuts, when they run out of money. A 67.5 billion bailout of Ireland — necessary after massive capital injections for big banks pushed the country’s budget deficit to almost one-third of economic output — didn’t succeed in containing the crisis. Most economists expect Portugal to also ask for help soon, while markets are worried about the financial health of much larger Spain. Spain’s economy makes up about 10 percent of the eur ozone’s gross domestic product and bailing it out could easily overwhelm the existing facility. French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde said last week that she and her counterparts were examining widening the fund’s role to buy bonds. But Lagarde cautioned that discussions were at an early stage and happening in preparation for a meeting of European leaders in March. Giving the bailout fund broader powers, such as directly intervening in financial markets in times of turmoil, or even providing short-term cash injections to re-capitalize wavering banks could attack the crisis at its roots, said Daniel Gros, director of the Brussels-based Centre for European Policy Studies and a former IMF economist. One big part of this new approach would be to let banks’ debtors take losses if a firm is actually insolvent, and then quickly spend large sums of money buying up government and bank bonds to stop panic on financial markets, Gros said.

to take health leave • JOBS, FROM 1B

During his prior leave of absence, Apple kept details of Jobs’s health private, prompting criticism among some shareholders who contended that the company had an obligation to be more forthcoming with information. In his message to the staff on Monday, Jobs said, “My family and I would deeply appreciate respect for our privacy.” Jobs suffers from immune system issues common with people who have received liver transplants and, as a result, his health suffers from frequent “ups and downs,” according to a person with knowledge of the situation, who agreed to speak on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss it. In recent weeks, Jobs began a down cycle and slowed his activities at Apple, the person said. Jobs has been coming to the office about two days a week, and appeared increasingly emaciated, the person said. He frequently lunched in his office, rather than in the company cafeteria, the person said. An Apple spokeswoman, Katie Cotton, said Apple would have no further comment beyond Jobs’s statement. Apple’s stock immediately dipped on foreign exchanges Monday, falling 6 percent in Germany. Financial markets in the United States are closed on Monday in observance of Martin Luther King’s Birthday. “It is natural that investors will expect the worse,” said Charles Wolf, an analyst with Needham & Company, noting that Apple has a history of “minimal disclosure” and “obfuscating” details about Jobs’s health. Wolf said that regardless of whether Jobs returns to Apple, the company would probably continue doing well for the foreseeable future, though its long-term prospects are a matter of speculation. “Right now Apple has a management team that is one of the greatest in American business,” Wolf said. “Whatever trajectory the company is on will continue for two to five years, regardless of whether Steve comes back.”

Airbus flies past Boeing • AIRBUS, FROM 1B

progress, it makes me more optimistic on 2011 than I was for 2010,” Enders said. Airlines that cut back during the downturn are now scrambling to add jets to handle rising traffic as the international economy rebounds. Soaring jet fuel prices are also forcing carriers to look for newer, more efficient planes to replace gas-guzzling older models. Speaking to reporters ahead of the company’s press conference Monday, Airbus top salesman John Leahy said fuel prices were “a small negative on the horizon” for Airbus. He called Airbus’ planned A320neo “the solution,” saying the upgraded version of the workhorse single-aisle A320 is planned to launch in 2016, offering 15 percent better fuel efficiency. Airbus delivered 18 of its A380 superjumbo last year. It expects to deliver between 20 and 25 this year before ramping up production to three per month in 2012.

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PAYING A PRICE: GlaxoSmithKline took a $2.36 billion charge in 2010 to settle most of the liability cases against Avandia, a diabetes drug. But it has again received many new claims since then.

Glaxo allocates $3.4B for legal problems From Miami Herald Wire Services

The British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline announced Monday that it was setting aside $3.4 billion to pay for U.S. government investigations and for product liability cases over its marketing of the diabetes drug Avandia in the face of heart attack risks. The one-time charge is expected to wipe out its fourth-quarter profits, by consensus analyst estimates. GlaxoSmithKline’s European shares fell about 2 percent on the news. Avandia, once the world’s top-selling diabetes medicine, was severely restricted in September by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and banned by the European Medicines Agency after safety reviews.



Nonprofit seeks warnings on cellphones WASHINGTON — (Marketwire) — Environmental Health Trust, a U.S. nonprofit organization dedicated to identifying and controlling environmental health hazards, has called on the Federal Communications Commission to stop flip-flopping and acknowledge and publicize the risks of cellphone radiation to cellphone users. Specifically, the EHT is urging the FCC to mandate that cellphone manufacturers post safety warnings about microwave radiation on new cellphones sold within the United States and require new standards based on lowest feasible levels of microwave radiation. “In terms of awareness of microwave radiation risks from cellphones, the United States is far behind other countries, including Switzerland, Israel, France and Germany,” says EHT founder Devra Lee Davis, PhD, MPH. CALL FOR AWARENESS “These nations require cellphone makers to publicize radiation rates directly on phones sold to their citizens, provide special labeling for low radiation phones, and restrict their use by children, who are more vulnerable to radiation. We are asking that the FCC oversee the creation of a new standard for cellphones, based on the ALARA (As Low As Reason-

ably Achievable) principle for exposure to diagnostic radiation.” Dr. Davis also expressed disappointment that the FCC had completely reversed its positions on cellphone radiation since a Sep. 14, 2009 Senate hearing of the Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, during which Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin had promised to investigate the matter. At the EHT sponsored Expert Conference held in parallel with the Senate hearing, experts spoke of growing laboratory and human studies showing damage from cellphone radiation. After these events, in November 2009, FCC website included new advice about how to lower radiation: • Use an earpiece or headset. • Use the cellphone speaker. • Consider texting rather than talking. • Buy a wireless device with lower SAR. If possible, keep wireless devices away from your body when they are on, mainly by not attaching them to belts or carrying them in pockets. Ellie Marks, EHT’s director of Government & Public Affairs, said that the FCC, far from coming clean on the dangers posed by cellphone radiation, has engaged in an active cover-up in tandem

with the cellphone industry. Dr. Davis and Marks noted that a range of documents on the hazards of cellphone radiation are available on the EHT website. DISAPPEARING DATA Ellie Marks writes, in her blog, that in September 2009, the CTIA was scheduled to speak against proposed new legislation in the small California town of Burlingame affirming the public right to know the SAR values of phones, this advice to buy lower SAR phones that had been on the FCC website for more than a decade in some form or other — disappeared. In preparing for the Burlingame city council hearing, Marks had corresponded with city officials asking how the industry could oppose posting information on the SAR since the FCC website advised lower SAR phones would emit less radiation. Dane Snowden, vice president of the CTIA and former chief of the Federal Communication Commission’s Consumer Information Bureau overseeing the FCC website, informed the hearing that the warning that Marks referred to in her communication with the city council had been removed less than 24 hours after she had brought these facts to public attention.

Commenting on this bizarre and sudden change to the FCC website, FCC critic Cynthia Franklin, notes: “The ‘sanitizing’ of the consumer cautions occurred right about the time it became apparent that San Francisco’s new law [that manufacturers must make public the SAR level for each phone] was going to pass and possibly ignite a national outcry in other places. Environmental Working Group (EWG), a leading consumer watchdog over cellphone safety issues, has recently written, ‘The FCC has essentially cut and pasted the wireless industry’s position into its revised websites.’ ” ABOUT EHT EHT educates individuals, health professionals and communities about controllable environmental health risks and policy changes needed to reduce those risks. Current multimedia projects include: Local and national campaigns to ban smoking and asbestos; working with international physician and worker safety groups to warn about the risks of inappropriate use of diagnostic radiation and cellphones, exploring what factors lie behind puzzlingly high rates of cancer. With the public’s support, EHT can do more work like to help protect the world’s brains and bodies.


Ex-banker blows whistle on tax evaders

Britain will shift its diplomatic focus to countries in the developing world as their economies and influence grow, its foreign secretary said Monday. Britain is pursuing stronger ties with Asian economic powerhouses including China and India, renewing links with Latin America and broadening its relationship with Persian Gulf states, William Hague told a financial conference in the country’s former colony of Hong Kong. “As economic weight and political influence shifts to many of the countries of the East and the South, British diplomacy has to shift its weight accordingly,” Hague said.


• FRANCE G20 URGED TO TACKLE MONETARY SYSTEM France wants the Group of 20 to tackle the “inadequate” international monetary system, France’s Finance Minister Christine Lagarde said. The dollar’s current role as a reserve currency is “unsatisfactory,” Lagarde added in a video broadcast at a conference organized by credit insurer Coface in Paris. • AUTOMAKER TOYOTA HALTS JAPAN PRODUCTION Toyota is temporarily suspending production at nearly a dozen factories in central Japan as heavy snow hits the region, paralyzing traffic and delaying delivery of car parts. Toyota, maker of the popular Prius hybrid, halted Monday’s night time production at all but one of its 12 factories in Aichi prefecture amid heavy snowfall in large swathes of central and western Japan. Company spokeswoman Shiori Hashimoto said production is expected to resume Tuesday and the factories will make up the missed production on a backup day. • RETAIL SOUTH AFRICAN CHAIN ACCEPTS WALMART BID A South African chain’s shareholders have overwhelmingly accepted Walmart’s offer to buy 51 percent of their company, the chief executive said Monday, bringing the giant U.S.-based retailer to Africa for the first time. Massmart chief executive Grant Pattison said the proposal was approved by 95 percent of shareholders — 75 percent had been needed. Walmart offered 148 rand (about $20) per share in a 17 billion rand deal. The deal will have to be approved by South Africa’s anti-competition commission. • PETROLEUM BP WINS AUSTRALIAN EXPLORATION PERMITS BP has been given its first-ever oil exploration permits off the Australian coast, but the government warned Monday that the London-based energy giant will have to demonstrate higher safety standards than it had applied in the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster before it is allowed to drill. BP holds stakes in the Northwest Shelf and Gorgon natural gas fields in Western Australia state but has never before applied for its own offshore exploration permits in Australia. Australia’s Resources and Energy Minister Martin Ferguson said BP has been awarded four of seven offshore exploration permits approved by the government as part of an annual tender process. • SWITZERLAND BANK CHANGES MUCH-MOCKED DRESS CODE Swiss bank UBS is revising its dress code after getting roundly mocked for suggesting employees wear skincolored underwear and avoid garlic breath. The bank says it is whittling down its 44-page style guide to a more modest booklet that will concentrate on how to impress customers with a polished presence and sense of Swiss precision. UBS spokesman Andreas Kern said Monday the bank is “reviewing what is important to us.” The original code instructed women how to apply makeup and which perfume to wear. Men were told how to knot a tie and to avoid unruly beards, garlic breath and earrings.

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Associated Press

However, Assange said that with WikiLeaks focussed on other issues — such as the publication of its cache of about 250,000 diplomatic cables, it could be several weeks before Elmer’s latest files are reviewed and posted on the organization’s website. The organization has so far posted about 2,444 cables to the Internet since it began publishing the documents in November. Assange said that, as with other WikiLeaks releases, media organizations — he named the Financial Times and Bloomberg as possible candidates — could be giv-

en the information ahead of time. He said that the files, or parts of the files, may also be provided to British government fraud investigators to examine for any evidence of criminal wrongdoing. “We will treat this information like all other information we get,” Assange said. “There will be a full revelation.” The Julius Baer bank said it was aware of Elmer’s decision to pass a new set of files to WikiLeaks. “He didn’t attack us at this press conference, he

explicitly targeted not us but ‘the system,”’ the bank’s spokesman Jan Vonder Muehll said. Britain’s tax authority declined to comment when asked about Assange’s plan to supply details of alleged wrongdoing. Under the terms of his release on bail, Assange must live at the mansion home of Vaughan Smith, the owner of the Frontline Club. He has compared the regime to “high-tech house arrest,” but has recently promised that the flow of leaked documents published by his organization would increase.

LONDON — A former Swiss banker on Monday supplied documents to WikiLeaks that he alleges detail attempts by wealthy business leaders and lawmakers to evade tax payments. Rudolf Elmer, an exemployee of Swiss-based Bank Julius Baer, said there were 2,000 account holders named in the documents, but refused to give details of the companies or individuals involved. He has previously offered files to WikiLeaks on financial activities in the Cayman Islands and faces a court hearing in Zurich, Switzerland on Wednesday to answer charges of coercion and violating Switzerland’s strict banking secrecy laws. “I do think as a banker I have the right to stand up if something is wrong,” said Elmer, who addressed reporters at London’s Frontline Club alongside WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. “I am against the system. I know how the system works and I know the day-to-day business. From that point of view, I wanted to let society know what I know. It is damaging our society,” Elmer said. Assange praised the exbanker’s attempts to expose alleged shady practices in the financial industry. He was making a rare public appearance since he was released on bail on Dec. 16 following his arrest on a Swedish extradition warrant. BEN STANSALL/AFP-GETTY IMAGES Elmer claims his previREVELATIONS: Former Swiss banker Rudolf Elmer, on Monday, gives WikiLeaks ous disclosures showed founder Julian Assange, left, two CDs containing data of bank clients who have evidence of major tax avoidbeen evading tax payments. ance in the Caribbean.

Stores like Target, Walgreens add groceries BY STEPHANIE CLIFFORD New York Times Service

Reflecting a major shift in the way U.S. consumers shop for food, retailers better known for selling clothes or aspirin, including Walgreens, CVS/Pharmacy and Target, are expanding in a big way into the grocery business, with fresh produce, frozen meats and even sushi. Target invested $500 million in 2010 alone in a new push on groceries, retrofitting some of its generalmerchandise stores with full-blown food sections. Walgreens began making over some stores in Chicago and New York a year ago, and added up to 500

food items. CVS/Pharmacy in 2010 redesigned about 200 of its stores in urban areas like Boston, Detroit and New York, and expects to make over about 20 percent of its 7,100 stores. As a result, people who typically went to the grocery store once a week to stock up are instead stopping by places whose food items used to be limited to a bag of chips or a can of soup. And retailers are viewing it as an opportunity to increase sales by getting people in their stores more frequently. “It’s going to be a big food fight in the sense that you’re going to have so many people going after this sector,”

said Bill Dreher, a retail analyst with Deutsche Bank. The changes have hit the traditional grocery businesses, stores like Supervalu and Safeway, whose profits had already been declining because of rising food prices, fixed real estate and labor costs, and more competition. Like the grocers, the convenience stores and discount stores aren’t making a whole lot of money on their groceries. Instead, the goal is to draw more customers. People shop for food on average about 2.5 times a week, Dreher said, compared with once a month or so for a drugstore or Target. So if the

stores can entice shoppers to pick up some groceries on the way home from work, they are likely to add some paper towels, nail polish or a DVD to their carts, spending around the same amount each time they visit. Though drugstores may be convenient, they are not necessarily a terrific deal for grocery customers. Drugstores buy and store food less efficiently than grocers do, so their prices are higher. Still, Dreher said, the drugstores’ food offerings are an alternative in cities like New York to even more expensive food from neighborhood groceries or bodegas.

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If self-respecting shutterbugs haven’t received a digital single-lens reflex camera as a gift by now, they have probably broken down and bought one for themselves. You might think that leaves the camera buff ’s loved ones plaintively wailing, “Now what do we get him? He already has a camera.” Far from it. While some like to say a camera is the gift that keeps on giving, it is really the gift that paves the way for more gifts. As your snap shooter evolves into a photographer there are dozens of accessories to speed the journey. Whether it is a trick camera strap or a costly specialty lens, there is an array of gadgetry to keep your lens user engaged. We asked professional photographers what items were the most useful add-ons to a basic camera and lens. LENS FOR EXTRA EDGE An extra lens is always a welcome addition, but don’t automatically buy a big telephoto, said Scott Suchman, a Washington photographer who often shoots celebrity portraits at the Kennedy Center, Washington. “Make sure you talk to the recipient of the gift to see what they shoot most,” he said. If the goal is to take sports or animals in the wild, a telephoto lens is just right. For shooting landscapes, architecture and travel, a wide angle lens is better. If detailed close ups are wanted, a macro lens is required. The first thing to check in any lens is the “f ” number, which tells how much light it takes in. Lower numbers are better because they allow for pictures in lower light

and can make those pleasingly blurred backgrounds in portraits (lenses that take in more light are often called “faster” than those that take in less). Choose an f/1.8 lens over an f/3.5 lens, for instance. The next thing to check is construction. There are several lenses inside a lens, and some companies cut costs by making some out of plastic. Better lenses are all glass. “The heavier the lens, the more metal, the more heavy duty polycarbonates on the lens,” said Suchman. “Weight tips me off to better construction.” While it’s good to stick with lenses made by your camera brand, Suchman said some third party companies like Tamron, Tokina and Sigma make good inexpensive alternatives. “If it’s a choice of a faster Tamron lens or a slower Canon lens, my gut tells me to go with the Tamron,” he said. You can also save by buying a lens that has been refurbished by your camera’s manufacturer. Both Canon and Nikon offer refurbished lenses with warranties, like certified pre-owned cars. FLAUNT THE FLASH The lenses that come standard with most DSLRs do not have very low f numbers, so they are not great in low light. The simple fix? More light. That is what an off-camera flash — sometimes called a strobe or speedlight — is for. Off-camera flashes are better than the built-in ones because they are more powerful, have a wider range of control and allow for more creativity. “When your flash


is on your camera, you are lighting your world the way a copier does — it’s flat and uninteresting. When you use an off-camera flash, you add dimension,” said David Hobby, whose popular website The Strobist educates shooters on the art of artificial lighting. If you want a flash that will work automatically with your camera, buy one that matches your brand. But if you want to get creative with it, make sure the strobe also has a manual override so that you can customize the lighting. Most important, said Hobby, the strobe should work as a “slave,” meaning it can be synchronized to work with other strobes. The synchronization can work by cable, a radio trigger, or simplest, an optical trigger. That means, said Hobby, that “as long as my flashes can see each other, when one flash goes off, they will all go off.” If you want to learn how to use a completely manual flash, there is a bargain in the LumoPro LP160, which can sync with other strobes

in four different ways. Built to the specifications most requested by Hobby’s readers, the $160 flash holds its own against $500 lights from the major manufacturers. To get the full creative range from your off-camera flash, it needs to be well, offcamera — which means attaching it to something. Collapsible light stands start at about $30, and you will need a mounting head called an umbrella swivel, which start at $15. OTHER ACCESSORIES If your photographer really likes the look of low light, there is a way to get a fast, quality lens at a reasonable price. That is to skip the zoom lens for a single focal point lens called a “prime” lens. The advantage to an otherwise fast lens is more than the ability to shoot in low light, it is also the ability to artistically blur the background of a shot, which is particularly useful for portraits. A good portrait lens for a consumer DSLR would be a 50mm f/1.8, which can be had for about $100 to $150 for

the most popular brands — Canon, or Nikon. Less expensive but equally useful is a premium camera strap. Gaining favor with pros, said photographer Joe McNally, are straps from Black Rapid, which let the camera ride on your hip and slide along the strap on a ring so that the comfortable shoulder padding does not move when the camera is brought to your eye. Of course, the best possible item you can get for your household photographer is education. Few photographers have conquered all of the possibilities offered by even a stock camera. There are excellent free resources — pro photographers recommend joining the Flickr group for your specific camera or interest, like landscape photography, for a bottomless well of knowledge. But free stuff doesn’t make a good gift. At the least-expensive end of the spectrum are books. McNally, whose credits include National Geographic, Sports Illustrated and his recently published book LIFE Guide to Digital Pho-

tography, recommends Bryan Peterson’s Understanding Exposure or The Digital Photography Book by Scott Kelby. For visual learners — and aren’t most photographers? — Kelby has a website with more than 200 online video courses taught by experts (including McNally). There is unlimited access to the courses for $200 a year, and instructors also appear at live one-day seminars around the United States. The most lavish education can be had through National Geographic Expeditions led by pro photographers. The organization offers classes ranging from four days in Washington, priced at $1,875 including lodging, to a 12-day trip to Bhutan for $6,295. The best photo accessory, said Hobby, is one that almost everyone has, but forgets to use. An alarm clock. “The best pictures are made by other people when you are still being lazy in bed,” he said. “Things that look ordinary in the bright flat light of noon look magical at dusk and dawn.”

With new software, headsets are outsmarting phones BY ANNE EISENBERG New York Times Service

Headsets are staples for call-center workers, travel agents and many other people who have to talk frequently on the phone. With a headset to listen and speak through, both hands are free to work, and a shoulder needn’t stiffen to cradle the phone. Now, headsets could make many office landline phones unnecessary, as businesses decide to route calls through their office computers. Companies can save money by simply buying employees headsets instead of desktop phones, said Tavis McCourt, a managing director and analyst at Morgan Keegan, who follows the Internet telephony market. Software like Lync from Microsoft makes it possible to use the Internet and your computer to make phone calls. The computers common in most offices aren’t ideal for conducting a conversation, said Gregory Burns, a telecommunications analyst at Sidoti, an equity research firm in New York. Desktop computers can have built-in microphones and speakers, but the conversations can distract people in nearby cubicles, just like those on speaker phones. All of this has created a business opportunity for headset manufacturers, which are now ready to offer sleek new models that plug into desktops, laptops or notebooks for quiet conversations and conference calls. Some of the new headsets switch easily among desk phones, computers and even cellphone. “Put on your headset, and it gives you access to whatever device you choose to use,” said Bob Hafner, a managing vice president at Gartner, the marketing research

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firm in Stamford, Conn. The move toward PC telephony will gain ground quickly in coming years, he said, as people increasingly communicate by computer, clicking on the names of people they want to reach, for example, instead of dialing them. Still, computer calling won’t work for everyone in the office of the future, McCourt said. Dialing with a mouse, for example, isn’t as fast as using a standard phone. But many employees use their phones mainly to receive calls, or to reach others within their organizations. In such cases, he said, a headset that communicates with the computer will serve well. Plantronics, a headset company in Santa Cruz, Calif., will offer a wireless headset, the Savi 730, this year that can manage calls whether they are on a PC, a desk phone or a cellphone, said Karen Auby, a company spokeswoman. The headset is compatible with many office software systems, including ones from Cisco, IBM

TOTALLY CONNECTED: Plantronics’ Voyager Pro UC headset allows users to switch between calls received on a computer and those on a cellphone.

and Microsoft, she said. The price has not been set. A stylish new wireless headset, the OfficeRunner, made by the German audio company Sennheiser and offered in the United States by in San Francisco, lets people communicate as far as 400 feet from their phones, said Mike Faith, chief executive of Headsets. com. The headset ($299.95), which made its debut in July, is the fastest-selling product at the site, Faith said. It can work with most phones, he said, and with PCs or Macs by connecting the base to the USB port. (This will let you listen to music, for instance, on your computer between calls.) People who want to use a headset with an iPad can buy the Jawbone Icon ($99). The headset also works with Macs that have Bluetooth, said Jenny Noyola, a customer service representative at Jerry Plant, who is deaf in one ear and wears a hearing aid in the other, bought an OfficeRunner in part because of the sound quality. “It couldn’t be any better,” he said. Plant wears a headset so his hands are free to use the computer as he manages portfolios and offers investment advice at the company he founded, Mark 1 Asset Management, in Oklahoma City. For cellphones, Plantronics will offer an updated version of the Voyager Pro UC headset, available Jan. 26 ($199.95),

that lets users switch between calls received on the PC and those on a cellphone. When the headset is stowed in a briefcase at the airport, the system is smart enough to know, and to route the signal to the phone, said Auby at Plantronics.

If headset sales soar, it will be in part because of PC software, Hafner of Gartner said. For example, people can easily use their computer to set up conference calls simply by dragging and dropping the names of colleagues across a screen.

“The key component driving headset activity is software that makes a PC more effective and functional than a desk phone,” he said. “That’s why business communications are converging on PCs and mobile smartphones.”

Into My Father’s Wake by Eric Best

Into My Father’s Wake records a solo, 5,000-mile Pacific journey aboard the 47-foot ketch Feo, in which the author attempts to put his powerful father to rest once and for all... What readers are saying about “Into My Father’s Wake” “Gripping, funny, inspiring. Always interesting.” “A story about life, about fear, about redemption, and most of all, about people in all their fine points and their flaws…” “Of course it takes courage to sail solo across a great ocean, but it requires courage of an even rarer and finer vintage to write publicly about one’s hopes, aspirations, failings and the haunting specter of problematic family relationships. Thank you for this book…”

Should you wish to order a copy at the promotional rate, please contact: NEW YORK TIMES SERVICE

1/18/2011 5:54:08 AM








Opening lead — ♣ ace

spade) and run the club jack, covered with the queen and To celebrate the Bermuda ruffed. Now the key play: Ruff a Congress taking place this diamond back to hand with week, all this week’s deals a high trump — not hard to come from last year’s figure out, since you do know tournament. WEST EAST all 13 of West’s cards by now. In today’s deal, you ♠— ♠ A K Q 10 9 8 7 Then cash your remaining (West) are told partner has ♥ J 10 8 5 4 ♥— two club winners to pitch a strong hand with spades. ◆ Q 10 ◆ J 8 7 6 2 With nobody vulnerable, dummy’s two spades. Now ♣AQ7643 ♣ 10 when you lead your losing would you prefer to be in spade, you force West to ruff four spades or defending to SOUTH four hearts doubled, knowing high to prevent dummy’s ♠J43 heart nine from scoring. there are five hearts to your In the three-card ending, ♥AKQ76 right? If you opt to defend, what West has the J-8-5 of trumps ◆— left, but you have the Q-7-6 do you lead? You’d better ♣KJ982 and are guaranteed two more lead a high or low trump if you want to set the contract! tricks for your contract. Vulnerable: Neither Even though declarer At the table West led his club Dealer: South ace and shifted to a diamond. missed this line and went Declarer should now cash the down, he still gained a sizable swing, since his teammates The bidding: two top diamonds to pitch spades, play a trump to hand had wrapped up four spades South West North East with the East-West cards. to find the bad news, then 1♥ 3♣ 3♥ 3♠ lead the club king (pitching a 1-18 4♥ Dbl. All pass NORTH ♠652 ♥932 ◆AK9543 ♣5


For more comics & puzzles, go to







WHITE HAS A CRUSHER Hint: Stress the Black rook. Solution: 1. Rf3! (threatening Rh3 mate). If 1. ... Rxf3, 2. Qh8ch with mate to follow [Balogh-Erdoglu ’10].




Dear Abby: I am writing in response to “Blue at Christmas” (Dec. 13). I think the card-making tradition she has with her niece is beautiful. In a time when so many people are rushed, and so many of us are focused on finding the “best deal” for Christmas, it is wonderful that “Blue” is teaching her niece the importance of thinking of others and spending time with loved ones. I hope they will carry on their tradition because I’m sure many people look forward to those handmade cards and treasure them every year. Lindsey in Granite City, Ill. If the avalanche of mail that poured into my office is any indication of how popular homemade cards are, the major greeting card companies had better look out. Read on:




Dear Abby: “Blue’s” niece does not need to hear that she should quit a project just because some miserable, jealous “friend” makes ugly comments about it. Insulting other people’s efforts, while attempting nothing on her own, indicates that the person is unwilling to tap into her own creativity and is jealous of anyone who does. “Blue” should show those people how much their opinion really matters, which is not at all, and continue their tradition because they enjoy creating the cards together. If they continue, “Blue” and her niece can learn two Christmas lessons: Traditions are worth continuing, and what THEY think, not what others think, of their tradition is what matters. Chris in Atlanta

that’s too harsh. Those people have already been cursed — with the taint of commercialism. If a store-bought card is what it takes to impress them, maybe they’ll get all they can stand. Meanwhile, “Blue” and her niece should continue their creative and loving efforts and send their blessings to veterans, our troops, children or elders in hospitals and homes, or to others who will appreciate the value of time and love. I know I’d appreciate one of those masterpieces. Rosemary in Murrells Inlet, S.C. Dear Abby: In no way should they stop their tradition just because one “Scrooge” put a damper on things. This is a great teaching moment for the aunt to talk with her niece about human nature, how some people see the glass half-full while others see it half-empty. We should never allow the “half-empties” to steal the joy we derive from the little things in life. Melissa in Springdale, Ark. I would like to express my gratitude to all of you who sent me handmade holiday cards. They brought cheer to my staff and to me. Thank you! Love, Abby


BY RICK KIRKMAN AND JERRY SCOTT Dear Abby: I have sent homemade cards for some time, for all major life events. I consider it my “ministry” because when I make them and enclose a personal note in each one, I’m thinking of and saying prayers for the recipient. That poor buffoon who doesn’t grasp the significance of a handmade card doesn’t deserve to get one. Margaret in the South Dear Abby: I’m appalled that “Blue’s” dear friends didn’t appreciate the handmade Christmas cards she and her niece created. A pox on them all! But

HOROSCOPE IF TODAY IS YOUR BIRTHDAY: A steady diet of ice cream simply won’t do. You might enjoy a treat now and then, but like a snow cone, any new person in your life might not be able to sustain you through thick and thin. • CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Beautiful dreamers dare to be different. You are willing to reach higher than usual. • AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Hit warp speed without warning. Your sudden popularity might take you by surprise.


• PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): It might seem easier to just hunker down in your warm and secure nest. • ARIES (March 21-April 19): Just when you think there is no hope for a relationship or when the feedback is entirely negative, you see a way to solve your conundrum. • TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Pass on pertinent information. Don’t keep knowledge to yourself or it will be too late. • GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Communication is a cost-free career booster. It isn’t necessary to say anything unusual. • CANCER (June 21-July 22): You aren’t interested in blood, sweat and tears — and you aren’t swayed by fears. • LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): When you know the ropes, it is easy to tie a strong knot. You can turn a friendship into a permanent tie. • VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): You might be able to put some confidential information to creative use. • LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): You might feel so blessed by your own good luck that you can afford to be generous. • SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Whether you are talking to someone or sending an e-mail, you know how to get right to the essential points. • SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): There are things you have always thought about saying, but were either too shy or too inarticulate to say.

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CROSSWORD ACROSS 1 Gate-locking device 6 Certain sandwich 10 In the proverbial cellar 14 Word of welcome 15 Bagel feature 16 Dull hurt 17 Alligator’s home, in urban mythology 18 Dwellers in 17-Across 19 Dietary fiber source 20 Fashion plates 23 London socials 24 Scratch post? 25 Date 26 Contribute 29 Like most students at Gallaudet University 31 Lose firmness, in a way 33 Singles bar predator 35 Guinness of “The Bridge on the River Kwai” 37 Steep in wine 41 Charities supported by individuals 44 NASA lap 45 Unlike Norman Bates 46 Cut with a scythe 47 Ball-bearing device 49 Abundant store 51 Unbuttered, as toast 52 Planet, poetically 55 Abrade 57 Hot Japanese drink 59 They charge to use

their facilities 64 Continent that Marco Polo explored 65 Drain clogger, often 66 Brutish beasts 68 Mannerly man 69 Word with “slide,” “ground” or “golden” 70 Forearm bones 71 Providers of sheep’s milk 72 Some were louses as spouses 73 Inventor of a coil that bears his name DOWN 1 ___ Palmas, Canary Islands 2 Many microbrews 3 Small city 4 Don’t play by the rules 5 Talked nonstop on one subject 6 Cocoon resident 7 Dryer batch 8 Extremist’s prefix 9 Troubles constantly 10 Cultured areas? 11 Farm units 12 Allotted portion 13 Pluperfect, e.g. 21 Hymn of praise 22 Bomb’s opposite 26 With the bow, in violin music

27 Cuckoo clock feature 28 Inane 30 Like a baby’s position in the womb 32 Not a homebody 34 Give off 36 They provide guidance 38 Consumed 39 Film rater’s unit

40 42 43 48

Glimpse from afar Ova developers Sauna wood Game usually played with 32 cards 50 Make laboriously, as a living 52 Great Plains tribe 53 Fix with a needle

54 56 58 60 61 62 63 67

Pickle juice Sweethearts Two under, on the links Drums for liquids Digestive fluid Decorative mantel pieces “Burp” the Tupperware ___ legs (nautical steadiness)

1/17/2011 9:03:44 PM






Last word goes to Jets in win over Patriots • NFL, FROM 8B


TURNING THE TABLES: New York Jets coach Rex Ryan, center, reacts near the end of the Jets’ 28-21 win over the New England Patriots in their NFL divisional playoff game in Foxborough, Mass., on Sunday.

Jets’ Ryan outfoxes Pats’ Belichick The feelings were sore enough that the NFL felt least expects it? They could the need to issue a general have played it safe, punted, pronunciamento early in taken a 4-point deficit into the week, warning teams to the locker room, but that is refrain from taunting on the not how the Patriots won field during this weekend’s three Super Bowls. four playoff games. Every“We just knew,” said body knew which game the James Ihedigbo, a safety NFL meant. and member of the puntThe Patriots seemed to coverage team. “It was fool- lose their cool first, with Loish on their part because we gan Mankins taking a roughwere alerted.” ing penalty late in the first The focus was on quarter, putting them out of strategy because Ryan had scoring range. And the Jets been saying all week that it could not resist when Shonn was personal on a cerebral Greene scored the crushing level. The Jets’ players had touchdown with 1:46 left in smoldered in a much-more- the game, and then went into personal matter, giving elaborate pantomimes in the their version of the way the end zone. Patriots rubbed it in during Fact is, the Jets were still their rout here in December. smarting like underdogs They attested to the stares after the game. Linebacker and smirks from the PatriBart Scott praised Ryan and ots as Tom Brady continued his staff but said the playto throw the ball late in the ers were offended because game. they were depicted as


underdogs. This ridiculous public image just may have sprang from playing in New England against a team that had won 14 of 16 games during the regular season, including that 45-3 trouncing of the Jets on national television. Ryan tried to make the sting vanish by taking the blame for the thrashing. In his talk last Monday, he set the theme for the week, a huge mea culpa, that he was outcoached by Belichick. Nice try. Ryan had the right instinct: Coaches have to do something to keep the players from brooding about the recent past. The loss in December was not the worst in franchise history. Marty Lyons, the former defensive tackle, now a broadcaster with the Jets, remembered falling behind the Patriots, 35-3, at halftime on Sept. 9, 1979.

Everybody was curious what the coach, Walt Michaels, would say at halftime. Lyons characterized Michaels’ gist as: “Nobody’s going to back off, try to score, let’s get out of here,” presumably getting out with some semblance of pride intact. How did that work out? The Jets lost, 56-3. Three months later, at home, they beat the Patriots, 27-26. Home field matters, but not always. Curtis Martin, a former running back who played for both these teams, said earlier in the week, “You can’t turn the ball over because you put Tom Brady on the field one extra time.” The Patriots made the biggest mistake Sunday, when Chung fumbled on the trick play. By definition of the final score, Rex Ryan was not outcoached.

“You talk about our coach as a buffoon,” linebacker Calvin Pace said, “you say we’re undisciplined; that bonds us, that makes us closer.” Brady entered this rubber match — the Jets won the teams’ meeting in Week 2 — with 36 touchdown passes and only four interceptions. He was 11 games removed from his last interception, at least until the Patriots’ first possession, when linebacker David Harris snagged an errant throw and rumbled the opposite direction, with only green turf separating him and the end zone. But Harris built his punishing reputation off tackles that rattle bones, not speed, and Alge Crumpler, a 10-year veteran, a slow and thick tight end, caught Harris 58 yards downfield. That proved fortunate, because the Jets squandered the field position, because Shonn Greene tripped on one play and LaDainian Tomlinson ran into a teammate on the next and Nick Folk missed a 30-yard field-goal attempt. The Patriots scored on their next possession, on a 34-yard field goal from Shayne Graham. But Ryan’s defense stifled Brady. The Jets sacked him three times in the first half, with defensive end Shaun Ellis dropping him twice. The Jets appeared to follow a blueprint similar to the one they employed last week against Peyton Manning and Indianapolis. They dropped defenders into coverage, played more zone than usual,

blitzed less. In December, on this field, Brady threw for a country mile against this defense. On Sunday, the opposite took place. On Saturday night, Ryan ceded his usual speech at the team hotel to Dennis Byrd, the former Jets defensive lineman who suffered a broken neck in 1992, who walked again after being paralyzed, who stood in front of the Jets and told them he would give anything to play one more game. Receiver Braylon Edwards went straight to Twitter to describe his inspiration. In the second quarter, whether channeling those emotions or not, Edwards hauled in a 37-yard catch. Two plays later, Tomlinson took another pass from Sanchez in the left flat and scurried in for a 7-yard score. The Jets, the same team that lost by 42 points here last month, had — gasp — a lead. All week, Ryan said he wanted to be a better coach than Belichick, if only on Sunday, and it turned out that Belichick made the most curious decision of the night. With just over a minute to play in the second quarter, he elected for a fake punt, but the snap bounced off the hands of Patrick Chung, who recovered but was tackled by Eric Smith. Four plays later, there went Edwards, again. He hauled in another pass and carried two defenders into the end zone for a 15-yard score. Sanchez, not Brady, had two touchdown passes. The Jets, not the Patriots, led by 14-3 at half. The world had turned upside down.

Djokovic, Henin, Wozniacki reach 2nd round in Melbourne • TENNIS, FROM 8B

would stall the prospect of knowing what it’s like not to hold any of the major trophies. He’s won at least one of the four each year since 2003. At the moment, Nadal owns three — winning the French, Wimbledon and U.S. Open crowns in 2010 to get himself into position to be the first man to win four consecutive majors since Laver completed the calendar Grand Slam in 1969. He starts Tuesday against Marcos Daniel of Brazil.

Also on his half of the draw are last year’s finalist, Andy Murray, and No. 4-ranked Robin Soderling. Djokovic took no chances against Granollers on Monday night, soundly beating the 24-year-old Spaniard 6-1, 6-3, 6-1. He thinks it’s premature for anyone to be talking about winning the title. “I try to think about myself and my matches, the opponents that I have to face, not about the other guys,” he said. “Of course, all the credit to Rafa and Roger. They are deservedly the two biggest favorites to win this tourna-

ment. They’re the two best players of the world.” Caroline Wozniacki started her first major tournament as the No. 1-ranked woman with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Argentina’s Gisela Dulko, while fourth-seeded Venus Williams advanced 6-3, 6-2 over Sara Errani of Italy. Justine Henin had her struggles against Indian qualifier Sania Mirza before winning 5-7, 6-3, 6-1 in what she called her “first official match in six months.” Henin was only weeks into a comeback from retirement when she reached the

final here in 2010 in a brilliant return to the tour. Injuries curtailed the end of her season. “I think physically I’m probably better than a year ago. And I’m getting there,” she said. “I know I came through difficult moments in the last few months. But now I’m here . . . the passion is back.” Maria Sharapova defeated Tamarine Tanasugarn 6-1, 6-3. She advanced along with French Open champion Francesca Schiavone, 2010 semifinalist Li Na of China and No. 15 Marion Bartoli, who

shut out Italy’s Tathiana Garbin 6-0, 6-0. On the men’s side, eighthseeded U.S. star Andy Roddick started strongly with a 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 win over Jan Hajek of the Czech Republic. “I feel healthy and strong for the first time in a while,” he said. His U.S. Davis Cup teammates had a tougher time, with Mardy Fish coming back from two sets down to win in five for the first time in his career and Sam Querrey losing in a five-setter. No. 18 Querrey went down

It takes a team effort to undermine stability • SOCCER, FROM 8B

The team manager in those days, Ron Greenwood, treated the club like family. He spent little, he spent wisely. But Greenwood and his assistant, John Lyall, who later succeeded him, were entrusted with running the team for a generation. In its first 100 years, the team had only eight managers. Since the turn of the millennium, West Ham, flirting with bankruptcy, has already dispensed with five managers. Gold and Sullivan inherited the Italian Gianfranco Zola as coach. They fired him within five months and hired Grant to a four-year contract. This club, they said, needs to rediscover stability. Gold told the BBC little more than a month ago that

Grant would leave the club “over my dead body.” But as the tensions mount, as defeat piles upon defeat, Gold and Sullivan are dodging the news media. Grant, a decent man and a fighter, is left to dangle. He insists that he can save this team’s Premier League status. But he reads the papers. He hears the rumor that Martin O’Neill, who quit as Aston Villa coach in August, has been offered his job. His position is undermined with every passing hour. Being overrun by Arsenal is not a disgrace. Arsenal is solvent and stable, and its goal scorers on Saturday, Robin van Persie and Theo Walcott, are just two Arsenal men who play the game at a speed and with a craft beyond anything in West Ham’s

armory. Sadly, though, Arsenal’s fans did not just cheer their team at West Ham. In the cruel and crude way of modern audiences, they loudly baited Grant by chorusing, “You’re getting sacked in the morning!” That sweet sound had hounded Rafael Benitez toward the end of his short and sharp six-month tenure at Inter Milan. The owner there, Massimo Moratti, is an oil baron rich enough to pay for his own mistakes. So when Benitez failed to maintain the success of his predecessor Jose Mourinho and complained loudly that he was not given the funds to rebuild the team, Moratti acted decisively. He paid off Benitez’s contract and replaced him with Leonardo. This meant Leonardo’s

crossing the line that divides Inter from AC Milan, the Brazilian’s former team. The critics said there could be only two ways this would work out: Either Leonardo would jell with Mourinho’s team, or he would be dispensed of with even more impatience than Silvio Berlusconi, the AC Milan owner, had removed him in 2010. So far, so tranquil for Leonardo at Inter. The team’s players, many of whom had appeared too tired or too injured under Benitez, are suddenly playing with the zest of spring chickens. They have much ground to make up in the league led by AC Milan. But Samuel Eto’o, the Cameroon striker, insists that Inter will not give up on the chase, and he thinks it can close the gap on

its neighbor. “It’s a personal challenge to us,” Eto’o said recently. Eto’o scored twice against Bologna, his 22nd and 23rd goals of this season. Diego Milito and Dejan Stankovic also scored, and if all of those are familiar names from the allconquering Inter of a year ago, there is one even more renowned. Time and time again on Saturday, the Argentine Javier Zanetti led the performance with a zest that belies his years. He is 37, and on Saturday he equaled Giuseppe Bergomi’s record of 519 Serie A appearances in an Inter shirt. He plays, in his 16th year at the club, as if it were his first. He is an example of the fruit of stability.

Manchester United trudging toward record 19th title • UNITED, FROM 8B

only ahead of Manchester City on goal difference but with games in hand away to Blackpool and Chelsea. United’s title charge has been helped by Chelsea blowing at five-point lead since the start of November, with the champions occupying fourth behind Arsenal and City. Redknapp, though, can’t understand why United still

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leads the pack — especially after Ferguson resisted making big-money signings to replace key players in recent years. “You can’t be as good a team as you were a year or two ago when you had [Cristiano] Ronaldo and [Carlos] Tevez,” Redknapp said. “Other teams have improved and got closer to them, but at the moment they are still top of the pile after losing players like that.” But they have retained Rio

Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic, whose solid central defensive partnership thwarted Tottenham’s strike force on Sunday. “The kind of pressure we were under [at Tottenham] were just long balls into the box really,” Ferguson said. “With Ferdinand and Vidic as your center backs you know you can cope with that — they were fantastic.” Striker Wayne Rooney, though, has scored just one goal from open play since

March for United amid problems with injuries and his personal life. Ferguson knows there are some deficiencies on the squad, accepting that at Tottenham his players were “careless in possession at times.” “We didn’t bother them too much, we had one or two good opportunities at times when we got to the last third of the field but we just didn’t quite have the cutting edge,” Ferguson said. “In the second

half Anderson has attacked the back four, right onto the back four, four times and maybe his selection of pass or a shot on goal would have been better.” United has league matches against Birmingham, Blackpool, Aston Villa and Wolverhampton in the next three weeks before facing its next major test in the bid to reclaim the trophy from Chelsea: a home match against neighbor Manchester City.

5-7, 6-2, 3-6, 6-1, 8-6 to Lukasz Kubot of Poland, while No. 18 Fish overcame Victor Hanescu of Romania 2-6, 4-6, 6-3, 7-5, 6-3. Gael Monfils was down two sets and a break and facing a first-round defeat before Thiemo de Bakker imploded, letting the 12thseeded Frenchman rally for a 6-7 (5-7), 2-6, 7-5, 6-2, 6-1 win. Also advancing were No. 6 Tomas Berdych, who lost the last Wimbledon final to Nadal, No. 9 Fernando Verdasco, No. 28 Richard Gasquet and fellow Frenchman Gilles Simon.

NBA EASTERN CONFERENCE Atlantic Boston New York Philadelphia Toronto New Jersey

W 30 22 16 13 10

L 9 17 23 27 30

Pct GB .769 — .564 8 .410 14 .325 171/2 .250 201/2

Southeast Miami Orlando Atlanta Charlotte Washington

W 30 26 26 15 11

L 12 14 15 23 27

Pct GB .714 — .650 3 .634 31/2 .395 13 .289 17

Central Chicago Indiana Milwaukee Detroit Cleveland

W L Pct GB 27 13 .675 — 16 21 .432 91/2 14 23 .378 111/2 14 26 .350 13 8 32 .200 19

WESTERN CONFERENCE Southwest San Antonio Dallas New Orleans Memphis Houston

W 35 26 25 19 18

L 6 13 16 21 23

Northwest Oklahoma City Utah Denver Portland Minnesota

W L Pct GB 27 13 .675 — 27 13 .675 — 23 17 .575 4 21 20 .512 61/2 10 31 .244 171/2

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

W 30 17 16 14 9

L 12 21 23 25 29

Pct GB .854 — .667 8 .610 10 .475 151/2 .439 17

Pct GB .714 — .447 11 .410 121/2 .359 141/2 .237 19

SUNDAY’S GAMES L.A. Clippers 99, L.A. Lakers 92 San Antonio 110, Denver 97

1/18/2011 6:00:15 AM







In coaching fight, Ryan outfoxes Belichick

Jets have last word in win over Patriots BY GREG BISHOP New York Times Service

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The Jets trafficked in hyperbole all week, lobbing insults at New England, even threats. Sometimes it seemed as if they were convincing themselves they stood a chance. By Sunday evening, the script had changed. By Sunday evening, it seemed the Jets had known all week what everyone else missed. In a game few expected them to win, in the same stadium where they were humiliated last month, the Jets bullied the Patriots, battered Tom Brady and advanced to the AFC championship game with a 28-21 victory. With a second-year coach in Rex Ryan and a second-year quarterback in Mark Sanchez, the Jets advanced to their second straight conference championship game. They will travel to Pittsburgh to face the Steelers next Sunday, on the same field where they beat the Steelers in December. For the Jets, it will be their second consecutive appearance in the title game. In 2010, they lost at Indianapolis, 30-17, after leading at halftime. “Moving on,” Ryan said, “same

old Jets, going to the AFC championship game, two years in a row.” Ryan had called this contest the second-most important in Jets history, after their first — and only — championship, in Super Bowl III. Should the Jets repeat their earlier success at Pittsburgh, they will return to the Super Bowl for the first time since the 1968 season. The Patriots, meanwhile, are still searching for their first playoff win since the 2007 season. As the fourth quarter started, the Jets led, 14-11. They stood 15 minutes from the AFC title game, 15 minutes from ending the season of their bitter rival, 15 minutes from silencing the packed Gillette Stadium for good. Momentum, conventional wisdom and common sense all pointed toward the Patriots. They had the league’s best quarterback (Tom Brady), best coach (Bill Belichick) and, according to many pundits, the NFL’s best team. They had just scored. Yet it was Sanchez who took the ball in the fourth quarter, who found receiver Jerricho Cotchery for 58 yards, who lobbed a perfect 7-yard fade that receiver Santonio Holmes caught in the corner of the

it would come down to me and Belichick, but it never did.” et’s put it this way: Rex Instead, he said his assistants Ryan was not outcoached and players won the game. The on Sunday. Jets profited from the brilliant In the past week, the ebullient coaching stroke of being prepared Jets coach had put up a smokefor the Patriots’ fake punt, akin screen as big as his profile before to many great plays Belichick his Lap-Band stomach surgery in has called during his three Super March. He took the blame for a Bowl championships and other 45-3 trouncing in New England on triumphs. Dec. 6. On an obvious fourth-down All his fault, the big feller said. punt, the snap went to Patrick Got outcoached by the smartest Chung, the safety in a blocking coach in the galaxy. Will try not position, who had called for the to let it happen again this time. ball. Catch ’em napping. This It did not happen. This time, kind of surprise play has usually the Jets shocked and silenced worked for Belichick. Chung the home crowd, even induced was in a position to make that some of the fans to boo on call, and Ryan’s excellent their way out, in a 28-21 AFC coaching consisted of Chung’s divisional playoff win over the fumbling the snap, retrieving it Patriots. only long enough to fall short The man who portrayed himof a first down. self as outcoached now has his “We just made a bad mistake team in the conference chamon the play,” Belichick said. But pionship next Sunday at Pittsthe Jets said they were not surburgh. In his first two years in the prised by the play. league, he has won four playoff “Mike Westhoff alerted our games, all on the road. When guys for the fake punt,” Ryan said, he gets the hang of this, he will giving credit to the long-time surely be a terror. special-teams coach. Ryan sent out the warning last Was it hubris from the Pats Monday that Bill Belichick could that they could always pull out a not afford to slip, even slightly. big play when the opposition “I was dead wrong,” Ryan said • TURN TO RYAN, 7B after Sunday’s game. “I thought BY GEORGE VECSEY

New York Times Service



HEAD OVER HEELS: The Jets’ Santonio Holmes does a back flip after scoring a touchdown against the Patriots. end zone. Holmes landed his left knee in bounds, then his right foot, as an official’s arms extended toward the sky. The Jets led, improbably, 21-11. Sanchez had three touchdown passes in a stadium where he had played two of his worst games. All the Jets’ bluster, all their threats, all their name calling, all of it had been backed up, on the field. • TURN TO NFL, 7B


Man United trudging toward record 19th league title BY ROB HARRIS Associated Press



New York Times Service


LONDON — January is a dangerous month in soccer team management. It is midseason, and club owners either think they can see success on the horizon or look for someone to fire and hire to turn the season around. Players win matches; owners take the credit; and coaches or managers are caught in the middle. In East London on Saturday night, Avram Grant, the Israeli coach of West Ham United, had the haunted look of a man staring down the barrel. His team is at the bottom of the English Premier League. The newspapers all appear to know that his job has been offered to another manager. And the board that hired Grant six

months ago is tight-lipped about his future. Is it any wonder that the Hammers were hammered by Arsenal, 3-0, on West Ham’s own soil? Grant is a dignified man in a desperate situation. Contrast this with Milan, where Leonardo, the Brazilian hired just before Christmas to take over Inter. The team has won four straight games since the owner dismissed the previous coach and gave Leonardo the reins. A 4-1 thrashing of Bologna on Saturday night was emphatic evidence that Inter’s form is flowing again. How fickle we all are if we feel that one man, even a team boss, is solely responsible for performance of highly paid professional players. The stability in a soccer club has always been and will always be an amalgam of good faith among owners, trainers, play- • TURN TO SOCCER, 7B

Federer, Djokovic off to fast starts at the Australian Open BY JOHN PYE Associated Press

merized the line judges w ith his earlier precision. “I tried to play offensive from the start and see where it takes me,” Federer said after his easy victory over Lacko. “I was able to keep on pressing, put him on the back foot. I was really happy I chose that tactic early on to pressure him.” Federer is aiming to become only the second man to win the Australian Open five times; Roy Emerson won six. Retaining the title at Melbourne Park

MELBOURNE, Australia — Roger Federer was sublime at times in his opening win. Novak Djokovic was businesslike and to the point. Their messages to Rafael Nadal on Monday were no doubt the same: The Spaniard will have to be at his very best to complete his “Rafa Slam” at the Australian Open. Defending champion Federer dismantled Lukas Lacko 6-1, 6-1, 6-3, mixing some classic touch and angled shots with aggressive groundstrokes in the • TURN TO TENNIS, 7B third match at Rod Laver Arena. Lacko’s only break came in the second set, when he successfully challenged two baseline calls in one game that had been given to Federer as winners — the 16-time Grand Slam champion must have mes-

ers and fans. Break that trust at any level, and you have the recipe for costly failure. West Ham is deep into the mire of that. It is a year since David Sullivan and David Gold bought control of that famous old Docklands club from hapless Icelandic bankers. The Davids, experienced owners who sold Birmingham City after running it for 16 years, pledged to restore West Ham to its former glory. They acknowledged that it would take time and patience. The East London club was started by workers in the Thames Ironworks in 1895. Its credo once was what Barcelona’s is now. West Ham forged its own players, raised them through the academy and, with homegrown players like Bobby Moore, Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters, gave England the nucleus for the team that won the 1966 World Cup.

LONDON — Top of the Premier League and unbeaten without hitting top gear, Manchester United is creeping toward a record 19th English title. The slip-up anticipated by United’s rivals all season is yet to transpire as Alex Ferguson’s side grinds out result after result while looking far from ruthless. “Considering we are not playing so well — as everyone keeps telling us — and we are lagging behind in the performance stakes, we are doing OK, we are there,” United assistant manager Mike Phelan said. “So it’s up to everyone else to crack on and catch us up.” Tottenham couldn’t on Sunday, settling for a 0-0 draw against a resilient United side despite having a man-advantage for 15 minutes after Rafael da Silva was sent off. “I couldn’t say they are on another level and are going to walk away with the title,” said Harry Redknapp, manager of fifth-place Tottenham. “I can’t see them going the year unbeaten. There are lots of teams who could beat them on any given day.” But the point earned at White Hart Lane ensured United ended the weekend top of the standings, • TURN TO UNITED, 7B

‘I tried to play offensive from the start and see where it takes me. I was able to keep on pressing, put him on the back foot.’ — ROGER FEDERER, on his victory over Lukas Lacko


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Edition, the 18 january 2011


Edition, the 18 january 2011