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In The News This Week AFTER UN ACTS, NKOREA VOWS 'NUCLEAR DETERRENCE' North Korea swiftly lashed out against the U.N. Security Council's condemnation of its December launch of a long-range rocket. Page 1
MILITARY HAS TO DECIDE WHICH COMBAT JOBS FOR WOMEN The Pentagon's decision to lift the ban on women serving in combat presents a daunting Page 2 challenge to top military leaders
SECURITY AT CALIF. DIST. HAS HIGH-POWERED RIFLES The semiautomatic rifles look like they belong in a war zone instead of a suburban public school, Page 3
GEORGIA ACCIDENT STATISTICS Accident Statistics from Georgia Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. Page 4
GEORGIA ACCIDENT REPORTS This Weeks Accident Reports from Various countys in Georgia. Page 5
NKOREA WARNS OF NUKE TEST, MORE ROCKET LAUNCHES North Korea's top governing body warned Thursday that the regime will conduct its third nuclear test in defiance of U.N. punishment. Page 6
53 SENATORS URGE APPROVAL OF KEYSTONE XL PIPELINE TMore than half the Senate on Wednesday urged quick approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline. Page 7
STUDY: DIGITAL INFORMA TION CAN BE STORED IN DNA It can store the information from a million CDs in a space no bigger than your little finger.. Page 8
WHAT HOLDS ENERGY TECH BACK? THE INFERNAL BATTERY As 21st century technology strains to become ever faster, cleaner and cheaper, an invention from more than 200 years ago keeps holding it back. Page 8
Volume 731 Issue 455
January 21, 2013
AFTER UN ACTS, NKOR E A VOWS 'NUCLEAR DETERRENCE' SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- North Korea swiftly lashed out against the U.N. Security Council's condemnation of its December launch of a long-range rocket, saying Wednesday that it will strengthen its military defenses including its nuclear weaponry in r e s p o n s e .
be prudent, measured, proportionate and conducive to stability," Chinese Ambassador Li Baodong said after the vote.
month's Last rocket launch has been celebrated as a success in North Korea, and the scientists involved treated like heroes. North The defiant Korean leader Kim British Ambassador to the United Nations Mark Lyall Grant, left, and American statement from North Ambassador Jong Un cited the Susan Rice vote on a Security Council resolution condemning Korea's Foreign North Korea's rocket launch in December that sent a satellite into orbit, success of the launch Ministry was issued in his New Year's Day hours after the Security Council unanimously adopted a speech laying out North Korea's main policies and goals resolution condemning Pyongyang's Dec. 12 rocket for the upcoming year. launch as a violation of a ban against nuclear and missile activity. The resolution, which required approval from Washington and its allies consider the long-range Pyongyang's ally China, also added to sanctions against rocket launch a covert test of ballistic missile technology, the North. and suspect Pyongyang is working toward mounting a nuclear warhead on a missile capable of striking the U.S. The Foreign Ministry called the launch a peaceful bid to send a satellite into space rather than a test of longNorth Korea claims the right to build nuclear weapons range missile technology. It said North Korea "should as a defense against the United States, which stations counter the U.S. hostile policy with strength, not with more than 28,000 troops in South Korea. The foes fought words." on opposite sides of the three-year Korean War, which ended in a truce in 1953 and left the Korean Peninsula The statement ominously warned that North Korea divided at the 38th parallel. will "bolster the military capabilities for self-defense including the nuclear deterrence." Six-nation disarmament negotiations hosted by China aimed at offering North Korea much-needed food The wording "considerably and strongly hints at the and fuel in return for dismantling its nuclear program have possibility of a nuclear test," analyst Hong Hyun-ik at the been stalled since North Korea walked away from the private Sejong Institute think tank near Seoul said talks following U.N. punishment for its 2009 rocket launch. Wednesday. Since then, Pyongyang had indicated its readiness to North Korea conducted nuclear weapons tests resume discussing disarmament, and in February 2012 weeks after rocket launches in 2006 and 2009, and the negotiated a deal with Washington to place a moratorium region is bracing for the possibility that it may now test a on nuclear and missile tests in exchange for food aid. third atomic device. But that deal fell apart when North Korea unsucSatellite photos taken at North Korea's nuclear test cessfully launched a long-range rocket in April. site in Punggye-ri last month indicated continued activity, even in winter, according to analysis by 38 North, a North The Foreign Ministry said Wednesday that it would Korea website affiliated with the Johns Hopkins School for rebuff any attempts to engage Pyongyang in disarmaAdvanced International Studies. ment negotiations. The Security Council on Tuesday reiterated a demand that North Korea abandon its nuclear weapons program in a "complete, verifiable and irreversible manner," and ordered the regime to cease rocket launches. "Today's resolution also makes clear that if North Korea chooses again to defy the international community, such as by conducting another launch or a nuclear test, then the (Security) Council will take significant action," U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice said. The binding resolution is the first in four years to expand sanctions against Pyongyang. It ordered the freeze of more North Korean assets, including the space agency, and imposed a travel ban on four more officials limited sanctions that target individuals and specific companies. "We believe that action taken by the Council should
"There can be talks for peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula and the region in the future, but no talks for the denuclearization of the peninsula," it said in a statement carried by the state-run Korean Central News Agency. The decision by China, North Korea's biggest ally and economic supporter, to approve the U.N. resolution after drawn-out discussions at the U.N. may reflect some frustration on Beijing's part toward its neighbor. "China has limited influence with North Korea," Zhang Liangui, a researcher with the ruling Communist Party's main research and training institute, said in Beijing. "Beijing disapproves of any nuclear test or new missile launch, but there's not a lot it can do."
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M I L I T A R Y H A S T O DECIDE WHICH COMBAT J O B S F O R W O M E N ing fast moving and deadly situations," said Boykin, a retired Army lieutenant general. He noted that small units often are in sustained combat for extended periods of time under primal living conditions with no privacy.
WA S H I N G T O N (AP) -- The Pentagon's decision to lift the ban on women serving in combat presents a daunting challenge to top military leaders who now will have to decide which, if any, jobs they believe should be open only to men.
Panetta's move comes in his final Defense Secretary weeks as Pentagon Leon Panetta is expectchief and just days after ed to announce President Barack Thursday that more inaugural than 230,000 battlefront Capt. Sara Rodriguez, 26, of the 101st Airborne Division, carries a litter of Obama's posts - many in Army sandbags during the Expert Field Medical Badge training at Fort Campbell, speech in which he passionately and Marine infantry Ky. The Pentagon is lifting its ban on women serving in combat, opening hun- spoke units and in potentially dreds of thousands of front-line positions and potentially elite commando jobs about equal rights for elite commando jobs - after generations of limits on their service, defense officials said all. The new order are now open to women. It will be up to the military service expands the department's action of nearly a year ago to open chiefs to recommend and defend whether women should be about 14,500 combat positions to women, nearly all of them excluded from any of those more demanding and deadly in the Army. positions, such as Navy SEALs or the Army's Delta Force. In addition to questions of strength and performance, there also have been suggestions that the American public The historic change, which was recommended by the would not tolerate large numbers of women being killed in Joint Chiefs of Staff, overturns a 1994 rule prohibiting women from being assigned to smaller ground combat units. war. The change won't take place overnight: Service chiefs will have to develop plans for allowing women to seek the combat positions, a senior military official said. Some jobs may open as soon as this year, while assessments for others, such as special operations forces, may take longer. The services will have until January 2016 to make a case to that some positions should remain closed to women. Officials briefed The Associated Press on the changes Wednesday on condition of anonymity so they could speak ahead of the official announcement. There long has been opposition to putting women in combat, based on questions of whether they have the necessary strength and stamina for certain jobs, or whether their presence might hurt unit cohesion. But as news of Panetta's expected order got out, many members of Congress, including the Senate Armed Services Committee chairman, Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., announced their support. "It reflects the reality of 21st century military operations," Levin said. Objections were few. Jerry Boykin, executive vice president of the Family Research Council, called the move "another social experiment" that will place unnecessary burdens on military commanders.
"While their focus must remain on winning the battles and protecting their troops, they will now have the distraction of having to provide some separation of the genders dur-
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Under the 1994 Pentagon policy, women were prohibited from being assigned to ground combat units below the brigade level. A brigade is roughly 3,500 troops split into several battalions of about 800 soldiers each. Historically, brigades were based farther from the front lines, and they often included top command and support staff. The necessities of combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, however, propelled women into jobs as medics, military police and intelligence officers that were sometimes attached - but not formally assigned - to battalions. So while a woman couldn't be assigned as an infantryman in a battalion going out on patrol, she could fly the helicopter supporting the unit, or move in to provide medical aid if troops were injured. And these conflicts, where battlefield lines are blurred and insurgents can lurk around every corner, have made it almost impossible to keep women clear of combat. Still, as recent surveys and experiences have shown, it will not be an easy transition. When the Marine Corps sought women to go through its tough infantry course last year, two volunteered and both failed to complete the course. And there may not be a wide clamoring from women for the more intense, dangerous and difficult jobs, including some infantry and commando positions. Two lawsuits were filed last year challenging the Pentagon's ban on women serving in combat, adding pressure on officials to overturn the policy. And the military services have been studying the issue and surveying their forces to determine how it may affect performance and morale.
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Street News Monday, January 21, 2013
S E C U R I T Y A T C A L I F . D I S T . H A S H I G H - P O W E R E D R I F L E S The 40,000-student district came up with the school rifle program after consulting with top school safety experts and looking at what other large districts had done, said Olsen-Binks.
FONTANA, Calif. (AP) -- The semiautomatic rifles look like they belong in a war zone instead of a suburban public school, but officials in this Los Angeles-area city say the high-powered weapons now in the hands of school police could prevent a massacre. Fontana Unified School District police purchased 14 of the Colt LE6940 rifles last fall, and they were delivered the first week of December - a week before the Connecticut school shooting. Over the holiday break, the district's 14 school police officers received 40 hours of training on the rifles. Officers check them out for each shift from a fireproof safe in the police force's main office. Fontana isn't the first district to try this. Other Southern California districts also have rifle programs - some that have been in operation for several years. Fontana school police Chief Billy Green said he used money from fingerprinting fees to purchase the guns for $14,000 after identifying a "critical vulnerability" in his force's ability to protect students. The officers, who already wear sidearms, wouldn't be able to stop a shooter like the one in Connecticut, he said Wednesday. "They're not walking around telling kids, `Hurry up and get to class' with a gun around their neck," the chief said. "Parents need to know that if there was a shooter on their child's campus that was equipped with body armor or a rifle, we would be limited in our ability to stop that threat to their children."
Santa Ana Unified School District, in nearby Orange County, has had a rifle program for about two years that operates similarly to the one Fontana has started, said police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna. This image provided by the Fontana Unified School District Police shows a Colt LE6940 semiautomatic rifle, one of 14 purchased by the Fontana Unified School District to help provide security for the school, in California. The weapons, which cost $1,000 each, are high-powered weapons that are accurate at longer range and can pierce body armor.
because a lot of us really need them." The district saved millions by restructuring guidance services, said Superintendent Cali Olsen-Binks.
"We trust the people to take that choice," he said. "But what I want to achieve is change in Europe, to make it more open, competitive and flexible," he said. "That is what I'm going to be fighting for over the coming years. It's the right agenda for Britain, it's the right agenda for Europe, and I think it is eminently achievable."
Only sergeants trained for years to use the rifles are authorized to check out the rifles from the police armory, where they are kept. Still, James Henriquez, 16, a sophomore who just enrolled at Fontana High School this week after moving from Texas, was wary. "If the wrong person gets ahold of the gun, then we have another shooter going around with a gun. What happens then?" he asked.
"They should get guns, but not as many and not spend so much money on them," said student Elizabeth Tovar. "They should use the money to get back our counselors
W O M E N Continued from page 2 The Joint Chiefs have been meeting regularly on the matter and they unanimously agreed to send the recommendation to Panetta earlier this month. A senior military official familiar with the discussions said the chiefs laid out three main principles to guide them as they move through the process. Those were to maintain America's effective fighting force, preserve military readiness and develop a process that would give all service members the best chance to succeed. Women comprise about 14 percent of the 1.4 million active military personnel. More than 280,000 women have been sent to Iraq, Afghanistan or to jobs in neighboring nations in support of the wars. Of the more than 6,600 U.S. service members who have been killed, 152 have been women. The senior military official said the military chiefs must report back to Panetta with their initial implementation plans by May 15
British Prime Minister, David Cameron, gestures as he speaks to the assembly of the 43rd Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum, WEF, in Davos, Switzerland, Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) -- British Prime Minister David Cameron shrugged off the possibility that his country may vote to leave the European Union, and argued Thursday that his vision of a changed Europe on Britain's terms is eminently achievable. In an interview with The Associated Press at the World Economic Forum in the Swiss resort of Davos, Cameron said he wanted to achieve change in Europe "so that we can secure Britain's place within it." His comments come a day after he rattled nerves and raised ire across Europe by offering British citizens the prospect of a vote on whether to stay in the 27-country EU. If You Are A Charity Organization And Would Like To Place An Ad In
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"I came from a teaching background, and it's appalling to think that we'd have to have security officers - let alone armed police officers - on our campuses," Olsen-Binks said. "But the bottom line is ... everybody has anxiety over school safety right now."
AP INTERVIEW: CAMERON WA N T S U K T O R E M A I N I N E U
Some parents and students, however, reacted with alarm to the news that school resource officers were being issued the rifles during their shifts. The officers split their time among 44 schools in the district and keep the rifles in a safe at their assigned school or secured in their patrol car each day before checking the weapon back in to the school police headquarters each night.
Other students said they felt disillusioned that officials would spend money on semiautomatic rifles while the district eliminated its comprehensive guidance counseling program two years ago.
The Los Angeles School Police Department also deploys rifles to its officers as needed, the department said in a statement. It would not say how many rifles district police have but said the weapons are kept in the department's armory and are handed out and returned daily.
His promise of a vote if his Conservative Party wins the next general election, expected in 2015, formed the backdrop to discussions he had with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The two met Thursday at the forum, an annual gathering of political and business leaders where his referendum offer was one of the hottest topics for debate. In the interview with The AP, Cameron also ruled out the prospect of sending British combat troops to Mali. However, he said Britain will offer more help to a French-led force that is battling Islamist extremists who are threatening a swath of northwest Africa. "We're not going to get involved in sending combat troops to Mali. That isn't the role we're going to play," he said. Britain is supporting the operation with C17 transport planes and logistics support, and British trainers will help Nigerian and other West African troops provide security in the region, he said. "We'll be giving the (French) other assistance as well," he added, without elaborating.WASHINGTON (AP) -- A measure of
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N K O R E A WA R N S O F N U K E T E S T, MORE ROCKET LAUNCHES SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- North Korea's top governing body warned Thursday that the regime will conduct its third nuclear test in defiance of U.N. punishment, and made clear that its long-range rockets are designed to carry not only satellites but also warheads aimed at striking the United States. The National Defense Commission, headed by the country's young leader, Kim Jong Un, denounced Tuesday's U.N. Security Council resolution condemning North Korea's longrange rocket launch in December as a banned missile activity and expanding sanctions against the regime. The commission reaffirmed in its declaration that the launch was a peaceful bid to send a satellite into space, but also clearly indicated the country's rocket launches have a military purpose: to strike and attack the United States. While experts say North Korea doesn't have the capability to hit the U.S. with its missiles, recent tests and rhetoric indicate the country is feverishly working toward that goal. The commission pledged to keep launching satellites and rockets and to conduct a nuclear test as part of a "new phase" of combat with the United States, which it blames for leading the U.N. bid to punish Pyongyang. It said a nuclear test was part of "upcoming" action but did not say exactly when or where it would take place. "We do not hide that a variety of satellites and long-range rockets which will be launched by the DPRK one after another and a nuclear test of higher level which will be carried out by it in the upcoming all-out action, a new phase of the anti-U.S. struggle that has lasted century after century, will target against the U.S., the sworn enemy of the Korean people," the commission said, referring to North Korea by its official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. "Settling accounts with the U.S. needs to be done with force, not with words, as it regards jungle law as the rule of its survival," the commission said. It was a rare declaration by the powerful commission once led by late leader Kim Jong Il and now commanded by his son. The statement made clear Kim Jong Un's commitment to continue developing the country's nuclear and missile programs in defiance of the Security Council, even at risk of further international isolation.
North Korea claims the right to build nuclear weapons as a defense against the United States, its Korean War foe. The bitter three-year war ended in a truce, not a peace treaty, in 1953, and left the Korean Peninsula divided by the world's most heavily fortified demilitarized zone. The U.S. leads the U.N. Command that governs the truce and stations more than 28,000 troops in ally South Korea, a presence that North Korea cites as a key reason for its drive to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un speaks at a banquet for rocket scientists in build nuclear weapons. Pyongyang, North Korea. North Korea's top governing body warned Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013 that the regime will conduct its third nuclear test in defiance of U.N. punishment, and made clear that its long-range rockets are designed to carry not only satellites but also warheads aimed at striking the United States. The National Defense Commission, headed by the country's young leader, rejected Tuesday's U.N. Security Council resolution condemning North Korea's long-range rocket launch in December as a banned missile activity and expanding sanctions against the regime
made from highly enriched uranium, which is easier to miniaturize than the plutonium bombs it tested in 2006 and 2009, said Cheong Seong-chang, an analyst at the private Sejong Institute in South Korea. Experts say the North Koreans must conduct further tests of its atomic devices and master the technique for making them smaller before they can be mounted as nuclear warheads onto long-range missiles. The U.S. State Department had no immediate response to Thursday's statement. Shortly before the commission issued its declaration, U.S. envoy on North Korea Glyn Davies urged Pyongyang not to explode an atomic device. "Whether North Korea tests or not, it's up to North Korea. We hope they don't do it. We call on them not to do it," he told reporters in Seoul after meeting with South Korean officials. "It will be a mistake and a missed opportunity if they were to do it." Davies was in Seoul on a trip that includes his stops in China and Japan for talks on how to move forward on North Korea relations. South Korea's top official on relations with the North said Pyongyang's nuclear and missile development is a "cataclysm for the Korean people," and poses a fundamental threat to regional and world peace. "The North Korean behavior is very disappointing," Unification Minister Yu Woo-ik said in a lecture in Seoul, according to his office.
North Korea's allusion to a "higher level" nuclear test most likely refers to a device
For years, North Korea's neighbors had been negotiating with Pyongyang on providing aid in return for disarmament. North Korea walked away from those talks in 2009 and on Wednesday reiterated that disarmament talks were out of the question. North Korea is estimated to have stored up enough weaponized plutonium for four to eight bombs, according to scientist Siegfried Hecker, who visited the North's Nyongbyon nuclear complex in 2010. In 2009, Pyongyang declared that it would begin enriching uranium, which would give North Korea a second way to make atomic weapons. North Korea carried out underground nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009, both times just weeks after being punished with U.N. sanctions for launching long-range rockets. In October, an unidentified spokesman at the National Defense Commission claimed that the U.S. mainland was within missile range. And at a military parade last April, North Korea showed off what appeared to be an intercontinental ballistic missile. Satellite photos taken last month at a nuclear test site in Punggye-ri, in far northeast North Korea, showed continued activity that suggested a state of readiness even in winter, according to analysis by 38 North, a North Korea website affiliated with the Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies. Another nuclear test would bring North Korea a step closer to being able to launch a longrange missile tipped with a nuclear warhead, said Daniel Pinkston, an analyst with the International Crisis Group. "Their behavior indicates they want to acquire those capabilities," he said. "The ultimate goal is to have a robust nuclear deterrent."
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5 3 S E N AT O R S U R G E A P P R O VA L O F K E Y S T O N E X L P I P E L I N E WASHINGTON (AP) -- More than half the Senate on Wednesday urged quick approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, ramping up pressure on President Barack Obama to move ahead with the project just days after he promised in his inaugural address to respond vigorously to the threat of climate change. A letter signed by 53 senators said Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman's approval of a revised route through his state puts the long-delayed project squarely in the president's hands. "We urge you to choose jobs, economic development and American energy security," the letter said, adding that the pipeline "has gone through the most exhaustive environmental scrutiny of any pipeline" in U.S. history. The $7 billion project would carry oil from Canada to refineries along the Texas Gulf Coast. "There is no reason to deny or further delay this long-studied project," said the letter, which was initiated by Sens. John Hoeven, R-N.D., and Max Baucus, D-Mont., and signed by 44 Republicans and nine Democrats. Another Democrat, Jon Tester of Montana, supports the pipeline but did not sign the letter. At a news conference Wednesday, senators said the pipeline should be a key part of Obama's "all of the above" energy policy, in which he has expressed support for a range of energy sources from oil and natural gas to wind, solar and coal. The Obama administration has twice thwarted the 1,700-mile pipeline, which Calgary-based TransCanada first proposed in late 2008. The State Department delayed the project in late 2011 after environmental groups and others raised concerns about a proposed route through environmentally sensitive land in Nebraska. Under pressure from congressional Republicans to make a decision on the pipeline, President Barack
Obama blocked it in January 2012, saying his concerns about the Nebraska route had not been resolved. TransCanada submitted a new application last spring.
"No more excuses. It's time to put people to work," Baucus said. "Back home, we call this a no-brainer," added Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.
The State Department said Tuesday it does not expect to complete a review of the project before the end of March. The State Department has jurisdiction over the pipeline because it crosses a U.S. border.
Hoeven, of North Dakota, said the tar sands oil will be produced whether or not the U.S. approves the project. "Our choice is, the oil comes to us or it's going to China," he said.
The renewed focus on the pipeline comes as Obama pledged during his inaugural address to respond to the threat of global warming. Environmental groups and some Democratic lawmakers argue that approving the pipeline would directly contradict that promise.
Nebraska's approval of the pipeline means all six states along the proposed route now support the project, said House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. Majorities in the House and Senate also have endorsed the pipeline. National polls repeatedly show a majority of Americans back the project.
"If we are going to get serious about climate change, opening the spigot to a pipeline that will export up to 830,000 barrels of the dirtiest oil on the planet to foreign markets stands as a bad idea," said Anthony Swift of the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Boehner said he recognizes the political pressure Obama faces from environmental groups and other opponents, but said "with our energy security at stake and many jobs in limbo, he should find a way to say yes." White House spokesman Jay Carney said Tuesday that the State Department was reviewing the project and he did not want to "get ahead of that process."
The pipeline would carry heavy oil derived from tar sands in western Canada. The heat-intensive process uses more energy than traditional oil, producing more heat-trapping gases that contribute to global warming.
Once that review is completed, "we'll obviously address that issue," Carney said.
Environmental groups have been pressuring Obama to reject the pipeline, citing the oil's high "carbon footprint." They also worry about a possible spill.
Meanwhile, Secretary of State nominee John Kerry said he plans to divest holdings in dozens of companies in his family's vast financial portfolio to avoid conflicts of interest if he is confirmed by the Senate.
At a news conference Wednesday, senators from both parties said the Nebraska decision leaves Obama with no other choice but to approve the pipeline, which would carry up to 800,000 barrels of oil a day from tar sands in western Canada to refineries in Houston and other Texas ports. The pipeline also would travel though Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma.
Kerry, a Massachusetts Democrat, said he would not take part in any decisions that could affect the companies he has holdings in until those investments are sold off. Among the investments are holdings in two Canadian companies, Suncor and Cenovus Energy Inc., both of which have publicly supported the Keystone XL pipeline. Kerry's investments are in family trusts.
MEASURE OF FUTURE GROWTH U P 0 . 5 P C T . I N D E C E M B E R WASHINGTON (AP) -- A measure of the U.S. economy designed to signal future activity increased in December from November, suggesting growth may strengthen in 2013. The Conference Board said Thursday that its index of leading indicators rose 0.5 percent in December, the best showing since September. In November, the index was unchanged. The gauge is designed to anticipate economic conditions three to six months out. A decline in applications for unemployment benefits, gains on Wall Street and increases in applications for building permits drove the index higher in December. Conference Board economist Kenneth Goldstein said the rebound in the leading If You Are A Charity Organization And Would Like To Place An Ad In
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index suggested an improving outlook in contrast to a few months ago when the expectations were not so optimistic. "Housing, which has long been a drag, has turned into a positive for growth, and will help improve consumer balance sheets and strengthen consumption," Goldstein said. "However, for growth to gain more traction we also need to see better performance on new orders and an acceleration in capital spending."
most new homes in four years, the Commerce Department said last week. And stock prices are rising even faster in January than last month. The Standard & Poor's 500 index on Thursday traded above 1,500 for the first time since December 2007. The Dow Jones industrial average increased 70 points to 13,849 in morning trading. The Dow closed Wednesday at a five-year high.
Five of the 10 indicators that make up the index were positive factors in December. Consumers' dim outlook for business conditions and weaker expectations for manufacturing orders held back the index. The index is derived from data that for the most part have already been reported individually. On Thursday, the Labor Department said weekly applications for unemployment claims continued to trend lower. The fell last week to a seasonally adjusted 330,000, a five-year low.
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Legal Street News Monday, January 21, 2013
S T U D Y: D I G I T A L I N F O R M A T I O N C A N B E S T O R E D I N D N A a cold, dry and dark place and leave it alone.
NEW YORK (AP) -- It can store the information from a million CDs in a space no bigger than your little finger, and could keep it safe for centuries.
The technology might work in the near term for large archives that have to be kept safe for centuries, like national historical records or huge library holdings, said study co-author Nick Goldman of the institute. Maybe in a decade it could become feasible for consumers to store information they want to have around in 50 years, like wedding photos or videos for future grandchildren, Goldman said in an email.
Is this some new electronic gadget? Nope. It's DNA. The genetic material has long held all the information needed to make plants and animals, and now some scientists are saying it could help handle the growing storage needs of today's information society. Researchers reported Wednesday that they had stored all 154 Shakespeare sonnets, a photo, a scientific paper, and a 26-second sound clip from Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech. That all fit in a barely visible bit of DNA in a test tube. The process involved converting the ones and zeroes of digital information into the four-letter alphabet of DNA code. That code was used to create strands of synthetic DNA. Then machines "read" the DNA molecules and recovered the encoded information. That reading process took two weeks, but technological advances are driving that time down, said Ewan Birney of the European Bioinformatics Institute in Hinxton, England. He's an author of a report published online by the journal Nature. DNA could be useful for keeping huge amounts of information that must be kept for a long time but not
The researchers said they have no intention of putting storage DNA into a living thing, and that it couldn't accidentally become part of the genetic machinery of a living thing because of its coding scheme. In an undated photo provided by European Molecular Biology Laboratory via Nature magazine, Dr. Nick Goldman of EMBL-EBI examines synthesized DNA in an Eppendorf vial. The genetic material has long stored all the information needed to make plants and animals, and now some scientists are saying it could help handle the growing storage needs of today’s information society. Researchers said Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013 that as a demonstration project, they had stored in DNA all 154 Shakespeare sonnets, a photo, a scientific paper, and a 26-second sound clip from Martin Luther King Jr.’s ``I Have A Dream’’ speech. That all fit in a barely visible bit of DNA in a test tube
Kosuri's co-author, Harvard DNA expert George Church, said the technology could let a person store all of Wikipedia on a fingertip, and all the world's information now stored on disk drives could fit in the palm of the hand.
retrieved very often, the researchers said. Storing the DNA would be relatively simple, they said: Just put it in
often in video equipment and power tools.
W H AT H O L D S E N E R G Y T E C H BACK? THE INFERNAL BATTERY WASHINGTON (AP) -- As 21st century technology strains to become ever faster, cleaner and cheaper, an invention from more than 200 years ago keeps holding it back. It's why electric cars aren't clogging the roads and why Boeing's new ultra-efficient 787 Dreamliners aren't flying high. And chances are you have this little invention next to you right now and probably have cursed it recently: the infernal battery. Boeing is the first company to make extensive use in an airliner of technology's most advanced battery - lithium ion. But a Jan. 7 battery fire aboard a Dreamliner in Boston, followed by a similar meltdown in Japan, led authorities around the world to ground the fleet this month, highlighting a longstanding safety problem that engineers have struggled with. In 2006 and 2007, more than 46 million cellphone batteries and 10 million laptop batteries - all lithium ion - were recalled because of the risk of overheating, short-circuiting and exploding. Additional safety features have been installed since then on lithium ion batteries used in consumer electronics. As for the electric car industry, lithium ion batteries have proved to have two major drawbacks: They are costly, and they do not allow automobiles to go far enough between rechargings. A123, a maker of lithium ion batteries for electric cars, went bankrupt last year because of poor demand and high costs after receiving a $249 million federal grant. Lithium ion batteries, which store more energy at a higher voltage and a lighter weight than earlier types, represent the most recent big jump in battery technology. And that took place nearly a quarter of a century ago. "We need to leapfrog the engineering of making of batteries," said Lawrence Berkeley National Lab battery scientist Vince Battaglia. "We've got to find the next big thing." But none of the 10 experts who talked to The Associated Press said they know what that big thing will be yet, or when it will come. "If you crack it ... it'll change the world," said Carnegie Mellon University materials science professor Jay Whitacre. Batteries are so crucial to a greener energy future
Sriram Kosuri, a Harvard researcher who coauthored a similar report last September, said both papers show advantages of DNA for long-term storage. But because of its technical limitations, "it's not going to replace your hard drive," he said.
Still, MIT materials science and engineering professor Gerbrand Ceder and others said the safety problems can be fixed. Change doesn't come often in the battery field.
that the Obama administration has spent more than $2 billion to jump-start the advanced battery industry, including setting up what some experts say is a miniManhattan Project for batteries.
"The big advances in battery technology happen rarely. It's been more than 200 years and we have maybe five different successful rechargeable batteries," said George Blomgren, a former senior technology researcher at Eveready and now a private battery consultant. "It's frustrating."
To make the next breakthrough, researchers will have to master complex chemistry, expensive manufacturing, detailed engineering, a variety of different materials, lengthy testing, stringent safety standards and giant cost problems. It involves dealing with liquids and solids, metals and organic chemicals, and things that are in between, said Glenn Amatucci, director of the Energy Storage Research Group at Rutgers University.
Alessandro Volta - for whom the volt is named invented the first useful battery in 1800. That was long before other breakthrough inventions like the internal combustion engine, telephone, car, airplane, transistor, computer and Internet. But all of those developments have seemed to evolve faster than the simple battery.
"We're dealing with a system that you can imagine is almost alive. It's almost breathing," Amatucci said. "Trying to understand what's happening within these batteries is incredibly complex." One reason the battery is the slowpoke of the hightech highway is that it has conflicting functions. Its primary job is to store energy. But it's also supposed to discharge power, lots of it, quickly. Those two jobs are at odds with each other. "If you want high storage, you can't get high power," said M. Stanley Whittingham, director of the Northeast Center for Chemical Energy Storage. "People are expecting more than what's possible." On the commercial market, lithium ion batteries are generally ones small enough to fit into cellphones. But to power bigger items - from a Prius to a 787 - they get grouped together, increasing the juice they store and provide. That also increases the safety risk, experts say. The lithium ion battery that caught fire in a Boeing 787 weighed 63 pounds and was 19 inches long. "You can't get around the fundamental thing is that lithium ion batteries are stuffed full of flammable liquid," Whitacre said. Even one-in-a-million problems with lithium ion batteries can result in many fires because there are billions of them in use now, with dozens sometimes stacked together in a single device. Experts say lithium ion batteries are more dangerous because their electrolyte, the liquid that allows ions to move between electrodes in the battery, is more flammable than the substance in older type batteries. Those older types include the lead-acid batteries in most cars and the nickel cadmium batteries that are
The lead-acid car battery "has been around for 150 years more or less," Whitacre said. "This is a remarkable testament to first how robust that chemistry is and how difficult change is." Battery experts are split over what's next. Some think the lithium ion battery can be tinkered with to get major efficiency and storage improvements. Amatucci said he thinks we can get two to three times more energy out of future lithium ion batteries, while others said minor chemical changes can do even more. But just as many engineers say the lithium ion battery has run its course. "With the materials in the current lithium ion battery, we are definitely plateaued," Blomgren said. "We're waiting for something to come along that really does the job." There are all sorts of new type batteries being worked on: lithium-air, lithium-sulfur, magnesium, sodium-ion. "Right now it's a horse race," Blomgren said. "There's deficiencies in every technology that's out there. Each one of them requires a major solution." One of the nation's best hopes for a breakthrough, said Battaglia, is John Goodenough, the man responsible for the 1979 breakthrough that led the first commercial lithium ion battery in 1991. He will receive the National Medal of Science at the White House next month. Goodenough is 90. "I'm working on it," Goodenough, an engineering professor at the University of Texas at Austin, said Tuesday. "I'm optimistic in a sense that I'm willing to keep working on it. I think we can do some interesting things."