Page 1

  HOTEL COPIES: A copy of The Miami Herald will be delivered to your room. A credit of US$0.25 will be posted to your account if delivery is declined.



In Tehran’s main cemetery, space for the dead is dwindling BY THOMAS ERDBRINK

Washington Post Service

TEHRAN — The men, tears running down their faces, lifted the shrouded body of Zahra YouseďŹ , a housewife who died of old age, onto their shoulders. Women in black chadors wailed as they joined the procession that carried their relative and friend to her ďŹ nal resting place, a hot, dusty plain on the southern outskirts of Iran’s capital. As the group stood on what resembled a parking lot — with room for at least six other mourning parties to perform rituals simultaneously, each separated by white lines painted on the asphalt — and a cleric led a prayer, a loud woman’s voice encouraged them to move on. “Dear citizens, please do not disrupt the ow of funeral processions by remaining in one place too long,â€? the automated voice urged over an intercom, as hundreds of other people waited to start the same elaborate set of traditions, beginning with a prayer and ending with a burial.

Ibrahim Karim, a baker, weeps at the grave of the late Ayatollah Mohammad Beheshti. The vast site, called Behesht e Zahra, or “Zahra’s paradise,� after a female Shiite saint, is the city’s main cemetery, and it is busy, with about 15,000 visitors, and 150 funerals, a day. Over an average weekend, half a million

etery, one of the largest in the world, is also getting crowded underground. In the four decades that Behesht e Zahra has been receiving the dead, it has become the ďŹ nal resting place for some 1.6 million people. But with the graves ďŹ lling up quickly and little space left for expansion, the graveyard is running out of room. The cemetery opened in 1969, when Tehran was growing quickly and city ofďŹ cials wanted to limit the practice of burials at shrines and mosques, and concentrate them instead in a single location. Two years ago, the city government, which manages the graveyard, built a 200-yard long underpass to connect it with a new piece of land on the other side of the highway. Yellow excavators imported from Japan were digging thousands of new graves on a recent afternoon, as laborers worked in more than 100-degree heat. A summer breeze blew in from

people come to picnic near the graves of family members, famous artists and martyrs from the 1979 Islamic revolution and the war with Iraq. The cem- +TURN TO CEMETERY, 6A


At Behesht e Zahra, Tehran’s main cemetery, relatives have placed temporary pictures on fresh graves, which are yet to be covered by tombstones.

Czechs consider banning Communist Party

pressure on the military council between them and liberal activthat took power after Mubarak’s ists. Some Islamist groups rallied their members to the square CAIRO — Tens of thousands fall, leading to smaller crowds. But the Islamists’ participation to oppose the adoption of a set of Egyptians ďŹ lled Cairo’s central Tahrir Square for a rally Friday also highlighted the growing rift of guidelines for drafting a new that turned into a show of force for ultraconservative SalaďŹ Muslims and other Islamists in their growing rift with liberal activists. In one of the largest crowds to ďŹ ll the square since the popular uprising that ousted President Hosni Mubarak in February, SalaďŹ s chanted for the implementation of strict Islamic law — spurring accusations that they violated an agreement to keep the rally free from divisive issues. The decision by the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s best organized political force, and other IsAMR NABIL/AP lamist groups to participate signifThousands of Egyptian protesters gathered in Cairo’s icantly boosted the turnout. These Tahrir Square on Friday. groups stayed away from recent demonstrations seeking to keep up


Associated Press

Associated Press

PRAGUE, Czech Republic — They’re the Czech Republic’s fourth-largest political party, but the hardline Communists could soon be outlawed if the centerright government has its way. It’s more than two decades since communism collapsed here, but the survivors and ideological heirs to the party that ruled from 1948 until the “Velvet Revolutionâ€? of 1989 are under increasing political pressure. Petr Necas’ government has taken the ďŹ rst step toward a possible ban by asking the Interior Ministry to work on a legal complaint to make it happen. A study commissioned by a Senate committee compiled numerous complaints from lawmakers about their conduct. The party, which is vehemently opposed to NATO, brands opponents “terroristsâ€? and maintains friendly ties with the ruling Communists in Cuba, China and North Korea.


House passes Boehner’s debt bill BY LORI MONTGOMERY, PAUL KANE AND WILLIAM BRANIGIN Washington Post Service

The House narrowly passed GOP debt-limit legislation Friday after Republican leaders revised it to gain the support of recalcitrant Tea Party conservatives, but Senate Democrats declared it dead on arrival in their chamber and moved to replace it with a bipartisan plan that would raise the federal debt ceiling ahead of an Aug. 2 deadline, averting a potentially catastrophic U.S. default. The vote was 219 to 210 in favor of a bill offered by House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. After revising the plan and intensively rallying Republicans to support it, Boehner was barely able to muster the 217 votes need for passage, but Democrats were united in opposing it. U.S. President Barack Obama warned earlier in the day that the House GOP plan had “no chance of becoming law,â€? and he instead urged Senate Democrats and Republicans to reach a “bipartisan compromise.â€? He said time is running out to lift the federal debt ceiling and reiterated his objections to a measure that includes only a shortterm increase of the debt limit. Senate Democrats said they remained solidly opposed to the Boehner plan. In debate leading up to the vote, minority House Democrats called the measure a waste of time. House GOP leaders offered a reworked plan Friday designed to appeal to arch-conservatives, and several previously skeptical lawmakers dropped their opposition to it on grounds it did not go far enough in tying large deďŹ cit reductions to Obama’s requested increase in the debt ceiling. Members who exited a House Republican Conference meeting said the new proposal would not change the ďŹ rst step of their original +TURN TO DEBT LIMIT, 2A

Tens of thousands rally for unity in Egypt





constitution after parliamentary elections later this year. Liberal parties endorse the measure in an effort to limit what they fear will be outsized Islamist inuence on the new document should religious groups win a large share of the Parliament. The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces has accepted the idea. Islamists oppose it, saying nothing should restrict the right of the new elected Parliament to oversee the process of drafting the document. While opposing the measure, Muslim Brotherhood members did not press the issue Friday due to an agreement between organizers to avoid divisive issues. Crowds of ultraconservative SalaďŹ s, however, gave common protests chants an Islamic twist +TURN TO EGYPT, 2A

Women in House of Representatives get restroom BY NANCY McKEON

Washington Post Service

WASHINGTON — Women ďŹ nally have a seat in the House of Representatives. Four seats, in fact. And two sinks. Last week, as debt-ceiling talks were reaching a crescendo, Room H211 in the U.S. Capitol quietly opened its door to the 76 women


members of the House, giving them their own restroom near the Speaker’s Lobby. Women in the Senate have had their own restroom off the Senate oor since 1993. If the restroom’s opening was subdued, some of the reaction wasn’t. A pleased Rep. Jan Scha-


kowsky, D-Ill., invited a reporter inside “to peek, not pee.â€? Rep. Donna Edwards, D-Md., was moved to tweet to her 2,692 followers, “Love the new Ladies room off the oor of the House. Three cheers to Speaker Boehner.â€? Del. Donna Christensen, DVirgin Islands, tweeted, “The


ďŹ rst woman came to Congress in 1917. We are ďŹ nally getting a ladies rest room near the oor of the House.â€? That’s the kind of comfort male members of the House have long enjoyed. Female members, however, had to trek out of chambers +TURN TO RESTROOM, 2A

INDEX NEWS EXTRA .............3A THE AMERICAS ...........4A OPINION ........................7A COMICS & PUZZLES ...6B 5





S&P 500











Markets on edge as debt limit debate drags on


New mileage standards aim to cut fuel consumption BY DINA CAPPIELLO AND TOM KRISHER Associated Press

WASHINGTON — U.S. President Barack Obama and automakers ushered in the largest cut in fuel consumption since the 1970s on Friday with a deal that will save drivers money at the pump and dramatically cut heat-trapping gases coming from tailpipes. The agreement pledges to double overall fuel economy to 54.5 mpg by 2025, bringing even greater under-the-hood changes to the nation’s automobiles starting in model year 2017. Cars and trucks on the road today average 27 mpg.

“This agreement on fuel standards represents the single most important step we have taken as a nation to reduce our dependence on foreign oil,” Obama said, sharing the stage with top executives of 11 major automakers and a top automobile workers union official, before a backdrop of some of the most cutting-edge cars and pickup trucks on the road. “Just as cars will go further on a gallon of gas, our economy will go further on a barrel of oil,” Obama said. When achieved, the 54.5 mpg target will reduce U.S. oil consump-

tion from vehicles by 40 percent and halve the amount of greenhouse gas pollution coming out of tailpipes. It builds on a 2009 deal between the Obama administration and automakers, which committed cars and trucks to averaging 35.5 mpg by model year 2016. For U.S. families, the president said the agreement — which will be subject to a midcourse review — means filling up the car every two weeks, instead of every week. That would save $8,000 in fuel costs over the life of a vehicle purchased in 2025, compared to a 2010 model, a White House analysis said. ETHAN MILLER/GETTY IMAGES

A chef prepares Blue Oasis Pure Shrimps at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.


The word of the day in financial markets: Anxious. The Dow Jones industrial average fell nearly 100 points, its sixth straight decline, as the U.S. edged closer to a Tuesday deadline to raise the country’s borrowing limit or risk the prospect of a debt default. A dismal report on U.S. economic growth this spring also pushed stocks lower and sent the yield on the 10-year Treasury note to its lowest level of the year. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 96.87 points, or 0.8 percent, to close at 12,143.24. The Standard and Poor’s 500 index lost 8.39 points, or 0.6 percent, to 1,292.28. The Nasdaq composite fell 9.87, or 0.4 percent, to 2,756.38 The combination of bad economic news and growing worries about a possible default was evident in nearly every measure of investor confidence: l The S&P 500 index had its worst week in a year. l The Dow lost 581 points over the past six days. l All 10 industry groups in the S&P 500 stock index fell. l Gold rose nearly 1 percent to $1,631 an ounce. l A measure of stock market volatility, the VIX, rose 6 percent. l The cost to protect against a U.S. default within the next year reached a record high. The cost to insure Treasurys for one year jumped 54 percent this week. Analysts said that a spike in short-term Treasury yields provided a clear sign that the market was increasingly worried about a default. The Dow started the day sharply lower, falling to 12,083 shortly after the market opened. Stocks regained their losses after U.S. President Barack Obama said in a 10:45 statement there were many paths to a compromise on raising the debt limit. By 11:15, the Dow had briefly turned positive for the day. The Dow dripped steadily lower until its 4 p.m. close. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.80 percent, its lowest level of the year. Bond yields rise when their prices fall. If Congress fails to act by Tuesday, the United States may not be able to pay all its financial obligations. That includes interest payments on bonds and the salaries of federal employees. A default on U.S. Treasury debt could wreak havoc on financial markets and the economy. Many analysts continue to believe a deal to raise the country’s borrowing limit will be made before the Aug. 2 deadline. “It seems unlikely that Congress would choose financial Armageddon over some type of compromise,” said Joseph S. Tanious, a market strategist with J.P. Morgan Asset Management. Some argue that the market’s recent downturn is overshadowing strong corporate earnings reports. They also say the market is ignoring other reasons to believe the economy will bounce back in the second half of the year.

The changes also are likely to push up the cost of a new vehicle, but just how much is unclear because the regulation still has to be written. That process will get started in September. The mileage target announced Friday isn’t exactly what consumers will see in their future cars. A formula that gives credits to manufacturers for electric cars, the use of low-emission air conditioning refrigerant and technology that shuts down engines at traffic lights means the actual fuel *TURN TO STANDARD, 2B

BSkyB plans share buyback and higher dividend BY JULIA WERDIGIER

New York Times Service

VEGAS’ NEW BET Nevada company gambles on desert shrimp farm

BY CRISTINA SILVA Associated Press

NORTH LAS VEGAS — In an arid field of Joshua trees and desert brush 30 miles from the Las Vegas Strip, an isolated farm is raising thousands of recently hatched shrimp in salt-water tanks filled from a nearby well. The artificial ponds splayed across a temperaturecontrolled room are expected to grow half a million pounds of shrimp a year, enough to fuel Las Vegas’ insatiable all-youcan-eat-shrimp habit for about

a week, according to some estimates. The notion of any type of farm in the Mojave Desert, especially one that grows white shrimp from the Pacific Ocean, comes across as improbable. That’s the point, said the masterminds behind this unusual experiment in modern seafood production. “One of the things that makes our technology so unique and so special is our ability to place these plants and facilities anyplace in the United States or the world for that matter,” said

Scott McManus, chief executive of Blue Oasis Pure Shrimp. “We can put it in the desert. We can literally put it in Siberia.” Blue Oasis’ began growing shrimp in its plant outside Las Vegas in April and hopes to have its first class of product out in the market by late August. The intended consumers are the high-end restaurants of the Las Vegas Strip, where buzz words like sustainability, organic and local have become a mantra.

LONDON — British Sky Broadcasting, the satellite television company partly owned by Rupert Murdoch, said on Friday it would buy back some of its own shares and increase the dividend to compensate investors. BSkyB, as the company is also known, said it planned a share buyback worth £750 million, or $1.2 billion, and would return another £253 million to shareholders through a final dividend of 14.54 pence a share. BSkyB’s shares dropped more than 15 percent since News Corp. cancelled its bid this month for the 61 percent of BSkyB it does not own because of political opposition following the growing phone hacking scandal at one of News Corp.’s British tabloid newspapers. News Corp., Rupert Murdoch’s global media empire, would participate in the share buyback, meaning its 39 percent stake in BskyB would not increase. BSkyB also said its board unanimously voted in favor of keeping James Murdoch, Rupert Murdoch’s son and a senior executive at News Corp., in his job as chairman of BskyB’s board. It was the board’s first meeting since News Corporation was forced to abandon its BSkyB bid. “It was obviously a very full discussion,” BSkyB’s chief executive, Jeremy Darroch, said in a conference call. “At the end of that, the board was unanimous in its support for James to continue as chairman.” Pressure on James Murdoch and BSkyB’s board to replace him had mounted ever since the appearance of new allegations of phone hacking at the British tabloid The News of the World, which fell under James Murdoch’s remit at News Corp. Darroch told the BBC in an interview on Friday that James Murdoch “got strong support” at BSkyB. He added that judging by his work at BSkyB, “he always acted with the highest degree of integrity.”


Spain’s embattled prime minister calls early elections BY ALAN CLENDENNING AND HAROLD HECKLE Associated Press

MADRID — Spain’s Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero on Friday announced early general elections in November, scheduling the race four months earlier than anticipated to give his Socialist Party a better chance to stay in power amid growing outrage over the nation’s economic woes. Zapatero set the election date for Nov. 20 even though he was not required to announce elections until March and had resisted repeated calls by the conservative opposition for early polling. The miserable state of the economy is the single largest concern in Spain — hours before Zapatero’s announcement, ratings agency Moody’s warned it could soon downgrade the country’s credit rating. Investors are asking

for higher rates to lend money to Spain’s Prime Spain, raising fears that it could be Minister Jose Luis next in Europe to require a rescue Rodriguez package. Analysts said early elections Zapatero said he could help the Socialist Party can- believed it was didate, Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba, best for Spain to Zapatero’s former Interior Minister. have a new While the Socialists have trailed administration Popular Party candidate Mariano presiding over the Rajoy, a poll released Wednesday troubled economy. suggested they are closing the gap. Zapatero made no mention of Rubalcaba, but said he believed it was best for Spain to have a new administration presiding over the troubled economy for all of next year instead of part of it. He announced earlier this year he would DANIEL OCHOA DE OLZA/AP not seek a third term. “I want a new government to take control of the economy from can take charge of the economy in managed to rule through alliances with a handful of small parties. January 1st next year,” said Zapate- 2012, fresh from the balloting.” The Socialists hold a minority ro. “It is convenient to hold elections this fall so a new government in Parliament, but have just barely *TURN TO SPAIN, 2B


Edition, 30 july 2011