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WEEKLY NEWS DIGEST Circulated Weekly To Cities In Florida

In The News This Week OBAMA OFFERING IMMIGRATION PLAN AS BACKUP The White House is downplaying its draft immigration proposal as merely a backup plan if lawmakers don't come up with an overhaul of Page 1 their own.

HOW MANY VOTES IS A PHOTO OP WITH THE POPE WORTH? How much weight does an endorsement from a lame-duck pope carry in the upcoming election?

Page 2

CLIMATE CONTRADICTION: LESS SNOW, MORE BLIZZARDS Scant snowfall and barren ski slopes in parts of the Midwest and Northeast the past couple of years, Page 3

FLORIDA ACCIDENT STATISTICS Accident Statistics from Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. Page 4

FLORIDA ACCIDENT REPORTS This Weeks Accident Reports from Various countys in Florida. Page 5

CHINA REJECTS STATUS AS WORLD'S BIGGEST TRADER Official Chinese and American trade data indicate China passed the United States last year in total imports and exports by a margin of $3.866 trillion Page 6

US SECURITY FIRM ALLEGES MASSIVE CHINESE HACKING Cyberattacks that stole massive amounts of information from military contractors, energy companies and other key industries in the U.S. and elsewhere have been traced to the doorstep of a Chinese military unit, .Page 7

RUSSIAN SCIENTISTS RECOVER METEOR FRAGMENTS Scientists have found more than 50 tiny fragments of a meteor that exploded over Russia. Page 8

2 SPACE ROCKS HOURS APART POINT UP THE DANGER A space rock even bigger than the meteor that exploded like an atom bomb over Russia. Page 8

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February 18, 2013

OBAMA OFFERING IMMIGRATION P L A N A S B A C K U P WASHINGTON (AP) -- The White House is downplaying its draft immigration proposal as merely a backup plan if lawmakers don't come up with an overhaul of their own. It won't be necessary, Republican and Democratic lawmakers alike are telling the Obama administ r a t i o n .

The tactic could complicate the administration's work with Congress. David Axelrod, who was a senior adviser to Obama's re-election campaign, acknowledged Monday that it likely was a mistake for news of the Obama immigration plan to be made public.

White House chief of staff Denis Appearing on McDonough said President Barack Obama speaks about immigration at Del Sol High School in MSNBC, Axelrod Las Vegas. The White House is circulating a draft immigration bill that would Sunday that create a new visa for illegal immigrants living in the United States and allow said in an interview President Barack them to become legal permanent residents within eight years, according to a from Chicago that Obama wants to "be report published online Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013 by USA Today. President "the mistake here Barack Obama's bill would create a "Lawful Prospective Immigrant" visa for the prepared" in case the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants living in the United States was to disseminate it small bipartisan so widely within the group of senators fails to devise a plan for the estimated administration" and said he believes that White House 11 million illegal immigrants in the United States. In officials would "take it back" if they could. response, lawmakers assured the White House they are working on their own plan - and warned that Obama Republican Rep. Paul Ryan, the Wisconsin lawmakwould be heading toward failure if the White House gets er who was his party's vice presidential nominee last year, ahead of them. said the timing of the leak suggests the White House was looking for "a partisan advantage and not a bipartisan "We will be prepared with our own plan if these ongo- solution." ing talks between Republicans and Democrats up on Capitol Hill break down," McDonough said, adding he's "Leaking this out does set things in the wrong direcoptimistic they would not crumble. tion," said Ryan. "There are groups in the House and the Senate working together to get this done and when he But he was equally realistic about the fierce partisan- does things like this, it makes that much more difficult to ship on Capitol Hill. do that." "Well, let's make sure that it doesn't have to be proposed," McDonough said of the president's pitch, first reported on USA Today's website late Saturday. Even so, the administration is moving forward on its own immigration agenda should one of Obama's top priorities get derailed. The administration's proposal would create a visa for those in the country illegally and allow them to become legal permanent residents within eight years. The proposal also requires businesses to know the immigration status of their workers and adds more funding for border security. It drew immediate criticism from Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., one of the eight lawmakers searching for a comprehensive plan. "If actually proposed, the president's bill would be dead on arrival in Congress, leaving us with unsecured borders and a broken legal immigration system for years to come," said Rubio, who has been a leading GOP spokesman on immigration. Many of the details in the administration's draft proposal follow the broad principles that Obama previously outlined. But the fact the administration is writing its own alternative signaled Obama wants to address immigration sooner rather than later and perhaps was looking to nudge lawmakers to move more quickly.

Freshman Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, called the leaked plan "incomplete" and said both parties in Congress and the White House need to work together on a solution. "It hasn't happened yet. It will happen before something is acted upon and certainly before something is passed," he said. Republican Sen. John McCain predicted the administration's efforts would come up short if the White House went forward with a proposal, and he encouraged the White House to give senators a chance to finish their work. McCain, the Arizona senator whose previous efforts at an immigration overhaul ended in failure in 2007, predicted the White House proposal's demise if it were sent to Congress. He strongly urged the president to pocket the drafted measures. "I believe we are making progress in a bipartisan basis," said McCain, who is in the Senate group working on legislation. And Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer, who met with Obama on Wednesday at the White House to discuss progress, urged his allies in the administration to give a bipartisan group of eight lawmakers the time to hammer out a deal on their own.

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Legal Street News Monday February 18, 2013

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H O W M A N Y V O T E S I S A P H O T O O P W I T H T H E P O P E W O R T H ?

No, not that election - the one to pick the next leader of the Catholic church. Another key ballot is looming even closer, when Italians go to the polls this Sunday to choose a new premier. And with Italy in a solemn mood over the historic resignation of Benedict XVI, the "moral vision" of incumbent Mario Monti may get a boost to the detriment of the flamboyant, scandal-plagued Silvio Berlusconi. Even though a large majority of Italian Catholics don't regularly attend Sunday Mass, the Vatican traditionally wields influence on politics in Italy, a country where Christian Democrats held sway for decades. Just about anything the pope does or says is big news. And Pope Benedict XVI has made no secret of his preference for Monti, a practicing Catholic, whom he greeted warmly on Saturday in one of his last private audiences with an Italian political leader.

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On the other hand, the Vatican has expressed its horror over the string of sex and corruption scandals swirling around the billionaire media mogul Berlusconi. And with the dignity of the papal transition very much on Italian minds, Benedict's clear preference for Monti could be a factor in making voters think twice about backing a figure who has become synonymous with an amoral, me-first way of life. Experts do warn: Don't expect the papal factor to sway the election. But it's clear that the candidates may be adjusting their rhetoric to the spirit of the times. Frontrunner Pier Luigi Bersani, who as a veteran of Italy's left espouses a more secular kind of ethical vision, hammered away at the issue of "morality" at a campaign rally Sunday in the critical region of Lombardy. While he comes from a different political tradition from the centerright Monti, the two share an emphasis on economic reform that could very well make them a good match in a future coalition government. Italian law bans publication of opinion polls in the last two weeks before elections, so it's hard to tell if the sudden focus on religious affairs has caused undecided Catholics to shift toward Monti, the only practicing Catholic among the main candidates.

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That Benedict carved out time in the waning days of his papacy to chat privately with Monti reflected both the importance accorded to the relationship between Italy and the Holy See, as well as the Vatican's own preference for Monti.

ROME (AP) -How much weight does an endorsement from a lame-duck pope carry in the upcoming election?

But a photo op with the pope is Italian candidate heaven, and Monti, because he is premier, got the providential tete-a-tete with Benedict as part of the pontiff's farewells.

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On Saturday evening, as cameras clicked and rolled, the outgoing pope and caretaker premier grasped hands and smiled warmly at each other in the ornate Apostolic Palace. If Monti's rivals fumed, they did so in private. Milan daily Corriere della Sera wrote of the BenedictMonti farewell that no politician dared to publicly grouse that their rival was getting an unfair boost for fear of `'a boomerang" effect from devout Catholics. Still, `'the parties' silence doesn't erase the annoyance felt in some quarters for an appointment on the cusp of the vote," Corriere wrote. Bersani's Sunday rally, his last of the campaign, included a surprise speaker, ex-premier Romano Prodi, a practicing Catholic who has defeated Berlusconi in the past and was viewed favorably by the Vatican when he twice governed Italy. Coincidence? Or calculated catch-up? Monti, an internationally respected economist, clearly has the Vatican's blessing. When, on Christmas Day, Benedict urged Italians in greetings to the crowd in St. Peter's Square to reflect on a "hierarchy of values" when making important choices, the country's media interpreted the papal message, pronounced from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica, as a virtual endorsement of a second Monti term. Three days later, Monti announced he was heading an election coalition made up of centrists, business leaders and other pro-Vatican forces that back his "ethical" vision of politics. In late January, a poll commissioned by Italian Catholic weekly Famiglia Cristiana found more than onethird of practicing Catholics surveyed were undecided, largely in line with the percentage of undecided Italians across the board. But the same poll found that a good deal of Monti's support comes from practicing Catholics. Overall, polls have indicated Monti would need a miracle to finish first. But he is well-positioned to win enough

Continued on page 6

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CLIMATE CONTRADICTION: LESS S N O W , M O R E B L I Z Z A R D S WASHINGTON (AP) -- With scant snowfall and barren ski slopes in parts of the Midwest and Northeast the past couple of years, some scientists have pointed to global warming as the culprit.

Kapnick says it is snowing about as much as ever in the heart of winter, such as February. But the snow season is getting much shorter, especially in spring and in the northernmost areas, said Rutgers' David Robinson, a co-author of the study on extreme weather that will be published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society.

Then when a whopper of a blizzard smacked the Northeast with more than 2 feet of snow in some places earlier this month, some of the same people again blamed global warming. How can that be? It's been a joke among skeptics, pointing to what seems to be a brazen contradiction. But the answer lies in atmospheric physics. A warmer atmosphere can hold, and dump, more moisture, snow experts say. And two soon-to-bepublished studies demonstrate how there can be more giant blizzards yet less snow overall each year. Projections are that that's likely to continue with man-made global warming. Consider: - The United States has been walloped by twice as many of the most extreme snowstorms in the past 50 years than in the previous 60 years, according to an upcoming study on extreme weather by leading federal and university climate scientists. This also fits with a dramatic upward trend in extreme winter precipitation - both rain and snow - in the Northeastern U.S. charted by the National Climatic Data Center. - Yet the Global Snow Lab at Rutgers University says that spring snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere has shrunk on average by 1 million square miles in the last 45 years. - And an upcoming study in the Journal of Climate says computer models predict annual global snowfall to shrink by more than a foot in the next 50 years. The study's author said most people live in parts of the United States that are likely to see annual snowfall drop between 30 and 70 percent by the end of the century.

man-made snow coats a ski run next to barren ground under a chairlift at Shawnee Peak ski area in Bridgton, Maine. Scientists point to both scant recent snowfall in parts of the country and this month's whopper of a Northeast blizzard as potential global warming signs. It may seem like a contradiction, but the explanation lies in atmospheric physics

"Shorter snow season, less snow overall, but the occasional knockout punch," Princeton University climate scientist Michael Oppenheimer said. "That's the new world we live in." Ten climate scientists say the idea of less snow and more blizzards makes sense: A warmer world is likely to decrease the overall amount of snow falling each year and shrink snow season. But when it is cold enough for a snowstorm to hit, the slightly warmer air is often carrying more moisture, producing potentially historic blizzards. "Strong snowstorms thrive on the ragged edge of temperature - warm enough for the air to hold lots of moisture, meaning lots of precipitation, but just cold enough for it to fall as snow," said Mark Serreze, director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center. "Increasingly, it seems that we're on that ragged edge." Just look at the last few years in the Northeast. Or take Chicago, which until late January had 335 days without more than an inch of snow. Both have been hit with historic storms in recent years.

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Scientists won't blame a specific event or even a specific seasonal change on global warming without doing intricate and time-consuming studies. And they say they are just now getting a better picture of the complex intersection of man-made climate change and extreme snowfall.

Schumer, a New York Democrat and a close ally of the White House, said he has not seen the draft proposals but, along with the Democrats working on a compromise, met with Obama this week to talk about progress being made on Capitol Hill.

But when Serreze, Oppenheimer and others look at the last few years of less snow overall, punctuated by big storms, they say this is what they are expecting in the future.

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Schumer acknowledged that a single-party proposal would have a much more difficult time becoming law and urged the bipartisan group of senators to keep meeting to find common ground. "I am very hopeful that in March we will have a bipartisan bill," Schumer said. "And, you know, it's obvious if a Democrat - the president or anyone else - puts out what they want on their own, (it) is going to be different than when you have a bipartisan agreement. But the only way we're going to get something done is with a bipartisan agreement." McDonough appeared on ABC's "This Week," NBC's "Meet the Press" and CBS' "Face the Nation." Ryan and Castro spoke to "This Week." McCain spoke to "Meet the Press." Schumer appeared on CNN's "State of the Union."

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"It fits the pattern that we expect to unfold," Oppenheimer said. The world is warming so precipitation that would normally fall as snow in the future will likely fall as rain once it gets above the freezing point, said Princeton researcher Sarah Kapnick. Her study used new computer models to simulate the climate in 60 to 100 years as carbon dioxide levels soar. She found large reductions in snowfall throughout much of the world, especially parts of Canada and the Andes Mountains. In the United States, her models predict about a 50 percent or more drop in annual snowfall amounts along a giant swath of the nation from Maine to Texas and the Pacific Northwest and California's Sierra Nevada mountains. This is especially important out West where large snowcaps are natural reservoirs for a region's water supply, Kapnick said. And already in the Cascades of the Pacific Northwest and in much of California, the amount of snow still around on April 1 has been declining so that it's down about 20 percent compared to 80 years ago, said Philip Mote, who heads a climate change institute at Oregon State University.

The Rutgers snow lab says this January saw the sixth-widest snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere; the United States had an above average snow cover for the last few months. But that's a misleading statistic, Robinson said, because even though more ground is covered by snow, it's covered by less snow. And when those big storms finally hit, there is more than just added moisture in the air, there's extra moisture coming from the warm ocean, Robinson and Oppenheimer said. And the air is full of energy and unstable, allowing storms to lift yet more moisture up to colder levels. That generates more intense rates of snowfall, Robinson said. "If you can tap that moisture and you have that fortuitous collision of moist air and below freezing temperatures, you can pop some big storms," Robinson said. Pennsylvania State University climate scientist Michael Mann points to the recent Northeast storm that dumped more than 30 inches in some places. He said it was the result of a perfect set of conditions for such an event: Arctic air colliding with unusually warm oceans that produced extra large amounts of moisture and big temperature contrasts, which drive storms. Those all meant more energy, more moisture and thus more snow, he said.

R U S S I A N L AW MAKER'S BODY FOUND CEMENTED I N B A R R E L MOSCOW (AP) -- Authorities say the body of a Russian local lawmaker has been found cemented in a barrel. Another politician has been accused of ordering the killing over an $80 million debt. Mikhail Pakhomov, 37, went missing last week. He was a member of the local legislature in Lipetsk, a city some 350 kilometers (some 215 miles) south of Moscow, and was last seen when three unidentified men pushed him into a car and drove away. Russia's Investigative Committee says several suspects were detained in the case, and that authorities found Pakhomov's badly beaten body in a barrel of cement in a garage. The committee says Yevgeny Kharitonov, a former provincial official, is being held on suspicion of ordering the killing of Pakhomov, allegedly over the $80 million debt.

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4 Legal Street News Monday February 18, 2013

F L O R I D A

A C C I D E N T

S T A T I S T I C S

Data From the Official Website of the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. www.flhsmv.gov

The information contained in this Traffic Crash Statistics booklet is extracted from law enforcement agency long-form reports of traffic crashes in which a motor vehicle is involved. A law enforcement officer must submit a long form crash report when investigating: • Motor vehicle crashes resulting in death or personal injury, or • Motor vehicle crashes in which one or more of the following conditions occur: • Leaving the scene involving damage to an attended vehicle or property (Section 316.061 (1), F.S.), or • Driving while under the influence of alcoholic beverages, chemical substances, or controlled substances or with an unlawful blood alcohol level (Section 316.193, F.S.). An investigating officer may report other traffic crashes on the long-form

crash report. In particular, applicable statutes specify an officer's discretion to submit a long-form report in crashes where a vehicle is rendered inoperable to the degree that a wrecker is required to remove it from traffic. However, only those crashes that meet the critera above are included in this report. January 1, 2011, the Department began using a new and improved long form crash form. The data in this report comes from the previous long form crash report and the new long form crash report. In October of 2010, a few agencies began using the new crash report form. Both forms are attached to the end of this report.


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______________________________________Legal Street News Monday, February 18, 2013

AUTO ACCIDENTS Traffic alert: Crashes, debris in Miami-Dade, Broward may slow drivers February13, 2013 Traffic caused by construction and debris in the road may delay Monday morning commuters in Miami-Dade and Broward counties. In Miami-Dade: • A crash on the southbound Interstate 95 express lane flyover is now clear. • A crash on Northwest 57th Avenue and Northwest 202nd Street is causing a roadblock at the intersection. • A crash on Southwest 40th Street and Southwest 57th Avenue is causing no roadblock. • Roadway debris on westbound State Road 836 and southbound State Road 826 is blocking the center lane. • A crash with injuries on eastbound State Road 836 and Northwest 57th Avenue is blocking the left lane. A crash on southbound Interstate 95 and the Rickenbacker Causeway is causing no roadblock. • A crash on westbound Bird Road and Southwest 97th Avenue is blocking the right lane. In Broward: • A large tarp on northbound Interstate 95 and Oakland Park Boulevard is blocking the left lane.

Florida motorcycle crash February13,2013

IN SOUTH FLORIDA

I-95 in Delray Beach, Wednesday, 8 a.m. February15, 2013 Delray Beach Fire-Rescue sent along this image of a rollover crash during which a black pickup truck landed on its roof. Two occupants were removed from the truck and taken to Delray Medical Center with injuries that were not life-threatening, agency spokesman Capt. Curtis Jepsen said. Boca Raton Fire-Rescue also responded to the crash that happened on a rainy morning on the southbound lanes of I-95 north of the Congress Avenue exit.

Pedestrian dies while crossing I-95 in Fort Lauderdale February 15, 2013 FORT LAUDERDALE— The Florida Highway Patrol is attempting to notify relatives of a pedestrian who died in an early morning crash Wednesday on I-95 in Fort Lauderdale. The male victim was struck when he tried to cross the northbound lanes of the Interstate near Davie Boulevard at around 3 a.m. and died at the scene, Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. Mark Wysocky said Thursday.

Wet roads make for a slippery South Florida commute

BROOKSVILLE, Fla. --- A former Waterloo resident died following a motorcycle crash in Florida where she had been living. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, Lu Haddeman, 72 and recently of Largo, Fla., was a passenger on a BMW motorcycle that was involved in an accident with a car Sunday evening. Paramedics took Haddeman to Bayonet Point Hospital, where she died. The man who was driving the motorcycle, 75-year-old George Tacott of Clearwater, was also treated at the hospital for serious injuries.

Rain showers passing over South Florida have left area roadways wet and slippery. A series of predawn crashes have already been cleared. Among them, according to the Florida Highway Patrol, was a pedestrian fatality reported shortly after 3:15 a.m. along I-95 through Fort Lauderdale.

Earlier crashes slow I-95 near Broward Boulevard

Other crashes and incidents being reported by FHP and Florida's Department of Transportation, include:

February14, 2013 Delays were easing on both sides of Interstate 95 near Broward Boulevard following crashes earlier Tuesday morning that delayed traffic in both the north and southbound directions. By 8:40 a.m., vehicles involved in the earlier crashes were cleared from the travel lanes but residual and volume-related delays were persisting. Other crashes and incidents being reported on area roadways on Tuesday by the Florida Highway Patrol and Florida Department of Transportation include:

February16, 2013

Crash clears; Interstate 95 re-opened in Jupiter February16, 2013 A crash that closed all northbound lanes of Interstate 95 in Jupiter for more than an hour has been cleared, Florida Highway Patrol reports. The driver in the wreck had to be cut out of his vehicle, but did not suffer life-threatening injuries, Palm Beach County Fire Rescue spokesman Capt. Albert Borroto said. He was flown by Trauma Hawk to St. Mary’s Medical Center. The wreck just north of Indiantown Road happened in the wake of an earlier traffic backup, according to FHP spokesman Lt. Tim Frith. That back up began around 10 a.m. when drivers called in reports of a disabled vehicle on the roadside with a person, possibly a homeless person, underneath. Troopers stopped there to tell the person to move, Frith said. About 10:15 a.m., as traffic was slowed north of that incident, a small vehicle ran into the back of a parked truck in the northbound lanes just north of Indiantown, Borroto said. The patient had to be cut out of the vehicle due to heavy damage.

Jacksonville man critically injured when hit by Jeep in Orlando February17, 2013 A Jacksonville man was critically injured Sunday when he was hit while standing at a traffic accident scene in Orlando. Ken Samsudean Jr., 25, was standing at the accident scene after his car struck another vehicle about 2 a.m. when a third car hit him and two others, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. Investigators said Samsudean struck a car from behind on Colonial Drive at Constantine Avenue. He and the other driver, Christopherr Lacasse, 25, of Winter Springs and a third driver who stopped, Ronald Dorsey, 32, of Orlando, were standing at the scene when they were hit by a Jeep driven by Eric Anderson, 28, of Orlando. The others received only minor injuries. Samsudean was taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center, the Highway Patrol said.

Crash westbound I-595 west of University Drive in Davie, partially blocking a right lane. Crash on eastbound I-595 near University Drive in Davie, no travel lanes blocked; 8:06 a.m., crash southbound I-95 after Yamato Road in Boca Raton, no travel lanes blocked; 8:04 a.m., injury crash southbound I-95 after Congress Avenue in Boca Raton, blocking a left lane with southbound traffic backed up until Atlantic Avenue.

8:38 a.m., hit-and-run crash on southbound I-95 near Broward Boulevard; 8:34 a.m., crash on northbound I-95 approaching Sample Road causing delays back to Sample Road;

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7:57 a.m., crash on southbound I-95 near Broward Boulevard, blocking a right lane.

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Serious crash blocks I-4 east in Lake Mary June 21,2012 On Interstate 4, a medical chopper blocked the eastbound lanes after a serious crash near the State Road 417 exit ramp in Lake Mary. Further details on the crash were not immediately available.

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CHINA REJECTS STATUS AS WORLD'S BIGGEST TRADER BEIJING (AP) -- China has a new status its government doesn't want - world's biggest trader.

because many companies are believed to misreport imports and exports to avoid taxes or get trade-related payments.

Official Chinese and American trade data indicate China passed the United States last year in total imports and exports by a margin of $3.866 trillion to $3.822 trillion. That is about $44 billion, or just over 1 percent of China's total. The Commerce Ministry has taken the unusual step of publicly denying China is the new No. 1. It says China still trailed the U.S. by $15.6 billion last year - or a razor-thin 0.3 percent - under World Trade Organization standards for valuing goods. --EDITOR'S NOTE - This story is part of "China's Reach," a project tracking China's influence on its trading partners over three decades and exploring how that is changing business, politics and daily life. Keep up with AP's reporting on China's Reach, and join the conversation about it, using the hashtag (hash)APChinaReach on Twitter. --Beijing wants to be a global leader but insists it

Continued froem page 2 votes to be the kingmaker for a new coalition, in which he could then be expected to wield sizable influence. Benedict made no public comments about his final audience with Monti. But the Vatican said that the two shared a "particularly cordial and intense encounter." The pope will also see Italy's president, but not until after balloting ends. "Any coverage is good for Monti," said James Walston, a political science professor at American University of Rome, about the possible effect of the papal audience. Even political analysts who doubt the Catholic church carries much weight with Italian voters agree that major candidates keep Catholic sensibilities in mind. "A political party in Italy, given we are in Italy, with its religious traditions, with the historic presence of the church, tries not to appear anti-Catholic," said Pietro Grilli di Cortona, a political science professor at Rome's Roma Tre, a state university. When beset by an earlier sex scandal, even Berlusconi tried to sound pious in a pitch to Benedict in hopes of a political boost. In 2009, during his third stint as premier, amid reports of a dalliance with a high-end prostitute, Berlusconi wrote a Christmas letter to Benedict asserting that Christian values guide his government's work. And while Bersani cut his political teeth in Italy's now defunct Communist Party, his coalition includes several former Christian Democrats. In Bersani's coalition, said Walston, "there's a strong

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"Of course, it is only a matter of time before China becomes No. 1," said Ren. Behind the headline numbers, China and the United States are drastically different traders.

Workers paste a giant advertisement poster for foreign product on the window of a department store in Shenyang in northeast China's Liaoning province. China's government has taken the unusual step of publicly denying it passed the United States last year as the world's biggest trader - a politically sensitive status

still is a poor country. It is wary of any change that might erode that status and fuel demands for action to stimulate the global economy or concessions on trade and climate change. "I think there is some concern from the Ministry of Commerce that this might be used as evidence by Western countries that China is not doing its part to rebalance the global economy," said Xianfang Ren, China analyst for IHS Global Insight. China's explosive trade growth has abruptly altered global business. It created new opportunities for some but prompted complaints by the United States and others over its multibillion-dollar trade surpluses, market barriers and currency controls. In just five years, China has surpassed the United States as a trading partner for much of the world, including American allies such as South Korea and Australia, according to an Associated Press analysis of trade data. As recently as 2006, the U.S. was the larger trading partner for 127 countries, versus just 70 for China. By 2011 the two had clearly traded places: 124 countries for China, 76 for the U.S. Trade is especially sensitive amid anxiety over a possible global slowdown. Beijing's trading partners accused it of hampering a recovery from the 2008 crisis by obstructing access to its market. For 2012, Beijing reported a $231 billion global trade surplus on exports of $2.049 trillion and imports of $1.818 trillion. The United States reported $1.547 trillion in exports and $2.335 trillion in imports, for a deficit of $788 billion. The Commerce Ministry's statement last week said a WTO global trade report due out this month or in early March would recalculate those figures and should show China still No. 2. Also, some commentators have questioned whether China's trade data can be trusted

If You Hve It Give Some Back

China is the world's low-cost factory, assembling most of its mobile phones, home appliances and other goods. But its factories need imported technology and components. Much of the value of its exports flows to U.S. and European technology suppliers and to producers of components in Japan, Taiwan, South Korea and Southeast Asia. That has meant surpluses Asian countries used to run with the United States were shifted to China's column in U.S. national accounts. By contrast, the United States uses its own technology and adds more value to goods such as jetliners and factory machinery. So it keeps a bigger share of the value of its exports. American workers also are far more productive. A trade group, the National Association of Manufacturers, says U.S. factories produce goods worth more than China's manufacturing output with about one-tenth as many workers. Over the past decade, China passed the United States as the biggest market for autos and mobile phones and became the biggest producer of steel and ships. It overtook Japan in 2009 as the second-largest economy. China also racked up firsts in more contentious areas as the biggest energy consumer and producer of climate-changing greenhouse gases. Beijing initially denied both changes, possibly out of concern they would add pressure for environment controls it feared might hamper economic growth. As a developing country, China was exempt from emissions limits under the Kyoto Protocol aimed at curbing climate change. Some Western companies complained that gave its manufacturers an unfair price advantage. The huge volume of China's imports makes it a driver of growth for suppliers of goods from iron ore to computer chips, which is starting to translate into political influence. Even with growth slower than its double-digit rates of the past decade, China's share of world output and trade is expected to keep rising. Annual growth is forecast at up to 8 percent over the next decade, far above U.S. and European levels. Chinese leaders are trying to nurture more selfsustaining economic growth based on domestic consumption instead of exports. That might slow demand growth for some raw materials, but China's appetite for other imports could pick up as consumer spending rises.

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US SECURITY FIRM ALLEGES M A S S I V E C H I N E S E H A C K I N G effectively," it said.

BEIJING (AP) -- Cyberattacks that stole massive amounts of information from military contractors, energy companies and other key industries in the U.S. and elsewhere have been traced to the doorstep of a Chinese military unit, a U.S. security firm alleged Tuesday.

In a statement faxed to The Associated Press, the Defense Ministry firmly rejected any involvement in hacking, saying Chinese law forbids all activities harming Internet security. "The Chinese government has always firmly combated such activities and the Chinese military has never supported any form of hacking activity," the ministry said. "Statements to the effect that the Chinese military takes part in Internet attacks are unprofessional and are not in accordance with the facts."

China's Foreign Ministry dismissed the report as "groundless," and the Defense Ministry denied any involvement in hacking attacks. China has frequently been accused of hacking, but the report by Virginia-based Mandiant Corp. contains some of the most extensive and detailed accusations to date linking its military to a wave of cyberspying against U.S. and other foreign companies and government agencies. Mandiant said it traced the hacking back to a neighborhood in the outskirts of Shanghai that includes a drab, white 12-story office building run by "Unit 61398" of the People's Liberation Army. The unit "has systematically stolen hundreds of terabytes of data from at least 141 organizations," Mandiant wrote. By comparison, the U.S. Library of Congress 2006-2010 Twitter archive of about 170 billion tweets totals 133.2 terabytes. "From our observations, it is one of the most prolific cyberespionage groups in terms of the sheer quantity of information stolen," the company said. It added that the unit has been in operation since at least 2006.

The building housing “Unit 61398” of the People’s Liberation Army is seen in the outskirts of Shanghai, Tuesday Feb. 19, 2013. Cyberattacks that stole information from 141 targets in the U.S. and other countries have been traced to the Chinese military unit in the building, a U.S. security firm alleged Tuesday. According to the report by the Virginia-based Mandiant Corp., it has traced the massive amount of hacking back to the 12-story office building run by “Unit 61398”, and that the attacks targeted key industries including military contractors and companies that control energy grids. China dismissed the report as "groundless.

Mandiant said it decided that revealing the results of its investigation was worth the risk of the hackers changing their tactics and becoming even more difficult to trace. "It is time to acknowledge the threat is originating in China, and we wanted to do our part to arm and prepare security professionals to combat that threat

DIAMONDS, ANYONE? SOME SPECTACULAR JEWEL HEISTS Elysees, armed thieves - some dressed as women and wearing wigs - enter the store and steal gems and jeweled watches worth up to $85 million, according to French police. 2009: Two elegantly dressed men rob the Graff Diamond Store in London's posh Mayfair district and carry away necklaces, watches, rings and bracelets worth more than 40 million pounds ($62 million at today's exchange rate), according to Scotland Yard. BRUSSELS (AP) -- Thieves have outwitted armed guards, alarm systems and even airport security over the years, making off with diamonds and other jewelry worth millions. In Brussels, thieves cut through an airport fence, drove to a Swiss-bound plane and snatched an estimated $50 million in diamonds late Monday. Here are some other spectacular heists in recent memory: 2005: Thieves threaten the guards and hijack an armored car from Dutch carrier KLM's cargo ramp at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport, making off with millions in diamonds and jewelry. Subsequent media reports put the value of the loot at up to $100 million. "It was a secured area of the airport, so it's a big question how those people could get there," an airline spokesman said at the time. 2003: Robbers tape over security cameras, disable the alarm system and break into the high-security underground vaults of the Diamond Center in Antwerp, the world capital of diamond-cutting, getting away with an estimated $100 million in goods. After prying open 123 of the 160 vaults, the thieves stood ankle-deep in a pile of diamonds, gold, jewelry, stocks, bonds, cash and lockboxes, police said. The bounty was so abundant they had to leave a lot behind.

1994: Machine-gun-toting thieves steal $45 million in gems from the Carlton Hotel in Cannes on the French Riviera. 2004: Twelve pieces of jewelry worth about $31.5 million, including the 125-carat "Comtesse de Vendome" diamond necklace, are stolen from a store in Tokyo's Ginza district. 2007: 120,000 karats in diamonds, worth $28 million, are stolen from safe-deposit boxes in an ABN Amro bank in Antwerp, Belgium, according to police. 2008: Masked thieves drill a tunnel into jeweler Damiani's showroom in Milan, Italy, making off with gold, diamonds and rubies worth an estimated $20 million. The company did not confirm the value of the items. 2002: Thieves break into a Dutch science museum, where an exhibition promised to show visitors how to tell real diamonds from fakes, and made off with real necklaces, tiaras and precious gems on loan from other museums and collections estimated to be worth $12 million. 1993: Robbers manage to open only five of the underground vaults at the Antwerp Diamond Center, yielding loot estimated at $4.55 million.

2008: While Christmas shoppers stroll outside the posh Harry Winston jewelry shop near Paris' famed Champs-

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Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei did not directly address the claims, but when questioned on the report Tuesday, he said he doubted the evidence would withstand scrutiny. "To make groundless accusations based on some rough material is neither responsible nor professional," Hong told reporters at a regularly scheduled news conference. Reiterating a standard China government response on hacking claims, Hong said China itself is a major victim of such crimes, including attacks originating in the United States. "As of now, the cyberattacks and cybercrimes China has suffered are rising rapidly every year," Hong said. Mandiant's methodology used in the investigation was sound, said Massimo Cotrozzi, managing director of KCS Group, a London-based international cyber investigation consulting firm that was not involved in Mandiant's research. "No one as yet has provided the world conclusive evidence of a link between the Chinese military and the attacks. This report is the nearest thing to conclusive evidence that I have seen," Cotrozzi said. Mandiant said its findings led it to alter the conclusion of a 2010 report it wrote on Chinese hacking, in which it said it was not possible to determine the extent of government knowledge of such activities. "The details we have analyzed during hundreds of investigations convince us that the groups conducting these activities are based primarily in China and that the Chinese government is aware of them," the company said in a summary of its latest report. It said the hacking was traced to the 2nd Bureau of the People's Liberation Army General Staff's 3rd Department, most commonly known as unit 61398, in the Shanghai suburbs. News of the report spread Tuesday on the Chinese Internet, with many commentators calling it an excuse for the U.S. to impose greater restrictions to contain China's growing technological prowess. Graham Cluley, a British cybersecurity expert who was not involved in Mandiant's research, said people in the computer industry believe China's government is behind such attacks but have been unable to confirm the source. "None of us would be very surprised or be uncomfortable saying we strongly suspect the Chinese authorities are involved in spying this way," said Cluley, a senior technology consultant for security firm Sophos in Britain. "I think we are seeing a steady escalation" of sophistication in hacking, Cluley said. "This is really the new era of cybercrime. We've moved from kids in their bedroom and financially motivated crime to statesponsored cybercrime, which is interested in stealing secrets and getting military or commercial advantage."

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R U S S I A N S C I E N T I S T S M E T E O R F R A G

30 Hiroshima bombs.

MOSCOW (AP) -- Scientists have found more than 50 tiny fragments of a meteor that exploded over Russia's Ural Mountains, and preliminary tests are turning up information about its contents.

The local governor estimated the damage at 1 billion rubles ($33 million) and said he hopes the federal government will provide at least half that amount.

However, local residents seem more interested in the black market value of the fragments. As they search for their own pieces of the meteor, sales offers already are filling the Internet, and police are warning all purchasers to prepare for possible fraud. The meteor - which injured nearly 1,500 people and caused widespread property damage in Chelyabinsk city on Friday - was the largest recorded space rock to hit Earth in more than a century. Health officials said 46 of the injured remain hospitalized. Viktor Grokhovsky, who led the expedition from Urals Federal University, said Monday that 53 fragments of the meteor have been plucked from the ice-covered Chebarkul Lake. He said they are less than a centimeter (half an inch) in size, about 10 percent iron, and belong to the chondrite type, the most common variation of meteorites found on Earth. Friday's meteor left a six-meter-wide (20-foot-wide) hole in the ice covering the lake. Divers inspecting it have

a researcher examines pieces of a meteorite in a laboratory in Yekaterinburg on Monday, Feb.18, 2013. Researchers from the Urals Federal University, based in Yekaterinburg, have determined that the small stone-like pieces found near Lake Cherbarkul in the Chelyabinsk region are pieces of the meteorite that exploded over the region Feb. 15. A total of 53 pieces have been brought for analysis to the university in Yekaterinburg. The largest one is one centimeter in diameter, the smallest is about one millimeter.

found nothing at the bottom, but Grokhovsky said a fragment as large as 50-60 centimeters (20-24 inches) could eventually be found there. Meanwhile, workers in the city remained busy replacing acres of windows shattered by a powerful shockwave caused by the meteor's strike, which NASA said released 500 kilotons of energy, the power equivalent to more than

2 SPACE ROCKS HOURS A PA R T P O I N T U P T H E D A N G E R CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) -- A space rock even bigger than the meteor that exploded like an atom bomb over Russia could drop out of the sky unannounced at any time and wreak havoc on a city. And Hollywood to the contrary, there isn't much the world's scientists and generals can do about it.

lessly within 17,150 miles of Earth, zooming by at 17,400 mph, or 5 miles per second. Scientists believe there are anywhere from 500,000 to 1 million "near-Earth" asteroids comparable in size to DA14 or bigger out there. But less than 1 percent have actually been spotted. Astronomers have catalogued only 9,600 of them, of which nearly 1,300 are bigger than 0.6 miles.

"After today, a lot of people will be paying attention," said Rusty Schweickart, who flew on Apollo 9 in 1969, helped establish the planet-protecting B612 Foundation and has been warning NASA for years to put more muscle and money into a heightened asteroid alert.

Earth's atmosphere gets hit with 100 tons of junk every day, most of it the size of sand, and most of it burning up before it reaches the ground, according to NASA.

Earth is menaced all the time by meteors, which are chunks of asteroids or comets that enter Earth's atmosphere. But many if not most of them are simply too small to detect from afar with the tools now available to astronomers.

"These fireballs happen about once a day or so, but we just don't see them because many of them fall over the ocean or in remote areas. This one was an exception," NASA's Jim Green, director of planetary science, said of the meteor in Russia.

The meteor that shattered over the Ural Mountains was estimated to be 20 times more powerful than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima during World War II. It blew out thousands of windows and left more than 1,000 people injured in Chelyabinsk, a city of 1 million. And yet no one saw it coming; it was about the size of a bus.

A 100- to 130-foot asteroid exploded over Siberia in 1908 and flattened 825 square miles of forest, while the rock that is believed to have wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago was a monster 6 miles across.

"This is a tiny asteroid," said astronomer Paul Chodas, who works in NASA's Near-Earth Object program in Pasadena, Calif. "It would be very faint and difficult to detect - not impossible, but difficult." As for the three-times-longer asteroid that hurtled by Earth later in the day Friday, passing closer to the planet than some communications satellites, astronomers in Spain did not even discover it until a year ago. That would have been too late for preemptive action - such as the launch of a deflecting spacecraft - if it had been on a collision course with Earth. Asteroid 2012 DA14, as it is known, passed harm-

Lidiya Rykhlova, head of the astronomy department at the Moscow-based Institute for Space Research, said experts have drafted a program that envisages building new powerful telescopes, including space-based ones, to warn against potentially dangerous asteroids, comets and other threats. The 10-year program would cost 58 billion rubles ($1.9 billion). That huge price tag has raised many eyebrows, drawing a sarcastic post from Alexei Navalny, an anti-corruption crusader and opposition leader. "You'd better fix roads in Chelyabinsk. Holes on them cause more damage than 100 meteorites," he said. Rykhklova, speaking to online Gazeta.ru, dismissed Navalny's sarcasm, saying the Chelyabinsk fireball highlighted the need for quick creation of such an early warning system.

Chodas said the meteor strike in Russia is "like Mother Nature is showing us what a small one - a tiny one, really - can do." All this points up the need for more money for tracking of near-Earth objects, according to Schweickart and the former space shuttle and station astronaut who now heads up the B612 Foundation, Ed Lu. A few years ago, Schweickart and others recommended NASA launch a $250 million-a-year program to survey asteroids and work up a deflection plan. After 10 years of cataloging, the annual price tag could drop to $75 million, they said.

But some former astronauts want to give the world a fighting chance. They're hopeful Friday's cosmic coincidence Earth's close brush with a 150-foot asteroid, hours after the 49-foot meteor struck in Russia - will draw attention to the dangers lurking in outer space and lead to action, such as better detection and tracking of asteroids.

R E C O V E R M E N T S

The chances of Earth getting hit without warning by one of the big ones are "extremely low, so low that it's ridiculous. But the smaller ones are quite different," Schweickart said. He warned: "If we get hit by one of them, it's most likely we wouldn't have known anything about it before it hit."

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"Unfortunately, NASA never acted on any of our recommendations," he lamented. "So the result of it is that instead of having $250 million a year and working on this actively, NASA now has $20 million. ... It's peanuts." Congress immediately weighed in on Friday. "Today's events are a stark reminder of the need to invest in space science," said Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, chairman of the House science, space and technology committee. He called for a hearing in the coming weeks. Bill Cooke, head of the Meteoroid Environments Office at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., said the space agency takes asteroid threats seriously and has poured money into looking for ways to better spot them. Annual spending on asteroid-detection at NASA has gone from $4 million a few years ago to $20 million now. "NASA has recognized that asteroids and meteoroids and orbital debris pose a bigger problem than anybody anticipated decades ago," Cooke said. Schweickart's B612 Foundation - named after the asteroid in Antoine de Saint-Exupery's "Le Petit Prince" - has been unwilling to wait on the sidelines and is putting together a privately funded mission to launch an infrared telescope that would orbit the sun to hunt and track asteroids. Its need cannot be underestimated, Schweickart warned. Real life is unlike movies such as "Armageddon" and "Deep Impact." Scientists will need to know 15, 20 or 30 years in advance of a killer rock's approach to undertake an effective asteroid-deflection campaign, he said, because it would take a long time for the spacecraft to reach the asteroid for a good nudge. "That's why we want to find them now," he said. As Chodas observed Friday, "It's like a shooting gallery here."


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