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U N I T E D S TAT E S C A N DEFEND AGAINST NUCLEAR STRIKE WASHINGTON (AP) -- The White House says the U.S. is fully capable of defending itself after a North Korean ballistic missile attack. White House spokesman Jay Carney was responding to the North's vow to launch a pre-emptive nuclear strike against the U.S. That threat came in retaliation for tough new U.N. sanctions against Pyongyang for its recent nuclear test. Carney says the sanctions further isolate North Korea and show its leaders what will happen if they defy the international community. He says the breadth and severity of the sanctions show the world takes seriously the threat of North Korea's nuclear program. North Korea boasts of nuclear bombs but isn't thought to have the ability to produce a warhead that could be used on a missile capable of reaching the U.S.
IN A RISING ECONOMY, POLITICIANS LOOK F O R C R E D I T WASHINGTON (AP) -Increased hiring, lower unemployment, stock market on the rise. Who gets the credit? It's a hotly debated point in Washington, where political scorekeeping amounts to who gets blame and who gets praise. Following Friday's strong jobs report - 236,000 new jobs and unemployment dropping to a four-year low of 7.7 percent - partisans hurriedly staked out turf. "Woot woot!" tweeted former White House economic adviser Austan Goolsbee. "With 12 million still unemployed?" countered Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell's spokesman, Don Stewart. When it comes to the economy, presidents usually get the rap for downturns and reap benefits from upturns. But the main factors affecting the current recovery and the record activity in the stock market may have less to do with high-profile fiscal policy fights in Washington than they do in the decisions of the Federal Reserve Bank, which has pumped trillions of dollars into the economy, kept interests rates at near zero and pushed investors away from low-yield bonds to stocks. "From a policy standpoint, this is being driven primarily by the Fed," said Mark Vitner, an economist at Wells Fargo. Yet to some, Washington deserves little recognition. "Economies recover," said Douglas Holtz-Eakin, a former director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office and now head of the American Action Forum, a conservative public policy institute. He acknowledged the Fed's monetary policies halted the initial free fall by the financial industry, but he said the economy has had to catch up to the Fed's low interest rates. "It took a long time for the housing market for them to matter and for the auto market for them to matter," Holtz-Eakin said. "So I don't think that's a policy victory." If Democrats are eager to give President Barack Obama acclaim for spurring the recovery with an
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Volume 002 Issue 10
March 11, 2013
UN APPROVES NEW SANCTIONS AGAINST NORTH KOREA UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- The U.N. Security Council voted unanimously Thursday for tough new sanctions to punish North Korea for its latest nuclear test, and a furious Pyongyang threatened a nuclear strike against the United States.
Although North Korea boasts of nuclear bombs and pre-emptive strikes, it is not thought to have mastered the ability to produce a warhead small enough to put on a missile capable of reaching the U.S. It is believed to have enough nuclear fuel, however, for several crude nuclear devices.
The sanctions drafted by North Korea's closest ally, China, and the United Members of the United Nations Security Council vote for tough States send a powerful new sanctions to punish North Korea for its latest nuclear test, The United States has during a meeting at U.N. headquarters Thursday, March 7, 2013. message that the interna- The unanimous vote by the U.N.'s most powerful body sparked a long been concerned that tional community con- furious Pyongyang to threaten a nuclear strike against the United North Korea could eventudemns Pyongyang's ballis- States ally pose a missile threat to tic missile and nuclear tests - and repeated violations of U.S. territory. The Defense Department first began to Security Council resolutions. operate a ground-based missile defense system in late 2004 with such a potential threat in mind. "Adoption of the resolution itself is not enough," China's U.N. Ambassador Li Baodong said. "We want to "Taken together, these sanctions will bite, and bite see full implementation of the resolution." Li also urged hard," U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice said after the vote. calm and a resumption of the stalled six-party talks aimed at denuclearizing the Korean peninsula. "North Korea must wake up from its delusion of becoming a ... nuclear weapons state and make the right "The top priority now is to defuse the tensions, bring choice," said South Korea's U.N. Ambassador Kim Sook down heat ... bring the situation back on the track of diplo- said. "It can either take the right path toward a bright future macy, on negotiations," Li said. and prosperity, or it can take a bad road toward further and deeper isolation and eventual self-destruction." Immediately before the vote, an unidentified spokesman for Pyongyang's Foreign Ministry said the Tensions have escalated following a rocket launch by North will exercise its right for "a preemptive nuclear attack Pyongyang in December and its third nuclear test on Feb. to destroy the strongholds of the aggressors" because 12. Both acts defied three Security Council resolutions Washington is "set to light a fuse for a nuclear war." that bar North Korea from testing or using nuclear or ballistic missile technology and from importing or exporting The statement was carried by the North's official material for these programs. Korean Central News Agency, which issued no immediate comment after the Security Council vote. The new sanctions resolution is the fourth against North Korea since its first nuclear test in 2006. In Pyongyang, Army Gen. Kang Pyo Yong told a crowd of tens of thousands that North Korea is ready to It condemns the latest nuclear test "in the strongest fire long-range nuclear-armed missiles at Washington, terms" for violating and flagrantly disregarding council reswhich "will be engulfed in a sea of fire." olutions. It bans further ballistic missile launches, nuclear tests "or any other provocation" and demands that North The White House responded by saying the U.S. is Korea return to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. It confully capable of defending itself against a North Korea bal- demns all of North Korea's ongoing nuclear activities, listic missile attack.
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INTERIOR PICK PUTS OUTDOOR INDUSTRY IN SPOTLIGHT SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- She doesn't wear a cowboy hat favored by traditional picks for interior secretary. Sally Jewell prefers fleece and Gore-Tex jackets and wears a safety helmet when she needs it for scaling cliffs, skiing or kayaking. Jewell, the 57-year-old chief of Recreational Equipment Inc., represents a new face for a cabinet post more often associated with ranching or oil, gas and mining development. The fact that a mountainclimbing CEO of an outdoors company is President Barack Obama's nominee underscores a new reality in Washington and beyond: the growing influence of outdoor recreation as a political and economic force. "It's a total game-changer - a recognition of changes in how public lands are used," said Peter Metcalf, president and CEO of Salt Lake City-based Black Diamond Inc., a maker of ski and climbing gear and apparel. "Politics in Washington have finally caught up with reality." While past interior secretaries have ranged from conservationists, like former Arizona Gov. Bruce Babbitt, to allies of industry like Reagan's first Interior Secretary
James G. Watt, they always have been challenged by the competing forces that want to use the federal government's vast lands. That tension doesn't figure to ease under Jewell, who faced her first Senate hearing Thursday and is expected to be confirmed in coming weeks. Critics complain that the outdoor industry has worked to lock up valuable lands and stymie development in the West. Though oil and gas trade groups aren't opposing Jewell, the nomination of a woman who has a led a recreation-focused company with 128 stores in 31 states alarms some who argue that she might favor her own industry over others. Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah said the recreation industry is "a special interest group like any other .... They have clearly wanted their industry to have a primary position on certain pieces of land." At Thursday's hearing, Jewell cited federal statistics showing that the Interior Department generated more
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ARKANSAS ADOPTS US'S MOST R E S T R I C T I V E A B O R T I O N L AW LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) -- Arkansas now has the nation's most restrictive abortion law - a near-ban on the procedure from the 12th week of pregnancy - unless a lawsuit or court action intervenes before it takes effect this summer. Lawmakers in the Republican-dominated Legislature defied Gov. Mike Beebe, overriding the Democrat's veto. The House voted 56-33 on Wednesday to override Beebe's veto, a day after the Senate voted to do the same.
Six Democrats joined with Republicans in voting to override the veto of the 12-week ban. Last week, only two Democrats voted to override the veto of the 20-week ban.
Sen. Jason Rapert, R-Conway, appears for an interview near the senate chamber at the Arkansas state Capitol in Little Rock, Ark., Tuesday, March 5, 2013. The Arkansas Senate voted Tuesday to override Gov. Mike Beebe’s veto of Rapert's legislation that would ban most abortions from the 12th week of pregnancy onward and would give the state the most restrictive abortion laws in the country.
The votes come less than a week after the Legislature overrode a veto of a separate bill banning most abortions starting in the 20th week of pregnancy. That bill took effect immediately after the final override vote, whereas the 12week ban won't take effect until this summer. Abortion rights proponents have said they'll sue to block the 12-week ban from taking effect. Beebe warned lawmakers that both measures would end up wasting taxpayers' money with the state defending them in court, where, he said, they are likely to fail.
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The measures' supporters, who expected court challenges, were undaunted. "Not the governor, nor anyone else other than the courts, can determine if something is constitutional or unconstitutional," Rep. Bruce Westerman, a Republican from Hot Springs, said in urging his colleagues to override Beebe. Bill sponsor Sen. Jason Rapert, a Republican from Conway, watched the vote from the House gallery and said a number of law firms have offered to help the state defend the laws in court, if it comes to that. "I'm just grateful that this body has continued to stand up for the bills that have passed. The eyes of the entire nation were on the Arkansas House of Representatives today," he said. Beebe rejected both measures for the same reasons, saying they are unconstitutional and that they contradict the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion until a fetus could viably survive outside the womb. A fetus is generally considered viable at 22 to 24 weeks.
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"The Arkansas Legislature has once again disregarded women's health care and passed the most extreme antiwomen's health bill in the country," said Jill June, the CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Heartland. "With this bill, the Arkansas Legislature will force many women to seek unsafe care." The 12-week ban would prohibit abortions from the point when a fetus' heartbeat can typically be detected using an abdominal ultrasound. It includes exemptions for rape, incest, the life of the mother and highly lethal fetal disorders. The 20-week prohibition, which is based on the disputed claim that a fetus can feel pain by the 20th week and therefore deserves protection from abortion, includes all of the same exemptions except for fetal disorders.
"I think a lot of people felt some pressure after the last vote," said House Minority Leader Greg Leding, a Democrat from Fayetteville.
The measure is among several abortion restrictions lawmakers have backed since Republicans won control of the House and Senate in the November election. Republicans hold 21 of the 35 Senate seats, and 51 of the 100 seats in the House. It takes a simple majority in both chambers to override.
Beebe has signed into law one of those measures, a prohibition on most abortion coverage by insurers participating in the exchange created under the health care law. Rep. Ann Clemmer, a Republican of Benton serving her third term in the House, asked her colleagues to support the override attempt, saying her votes on anti-abortion bills this year were the first time she could fully express her view on the issue at the Capitol. When Democrats held control, such bills never made it this far. "If I say that I'm pro-life, at some point I have to do something about what I say I believe," said Clemmer, the bill's sponsor in the House. Unlike the 20-week ban, which took effect immediately, the 12-week restriction won't take effect until 90 days after the House and Senate adjourn. Lawmakers aren't expected to wrap up this year's session until later this month or April. In vetoing both measures, Beebe has cited the costs to the state if it has to defend either ban in court. The American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas has vowed to sue if the state enacts the 12-week ban and said it is considering legal action over the 20-week restriction as well. "I think today, for whatever reason, the Arkansas House turned its back on the women of Arkansas and said, we don't think you're capable of making your own decisions," said Rita Sklar, ACLU of Arkansas' executive director. Sklar said the group planned to file suit in federal court in the next couple weeks. Beebe noted that the state paid nearly $148,000 to attorneys for plaintiffs who successfully challenged a 1997 lateterm abortion ban. The original version of Rapert's bill would have banned abortions as early as six weeks into a pregnancy, but he changed the measure after facing resistance from some lawmakers worried that it would require the use of a vaginal probe. Women who have abortions would not face prosecution under Rapert's bill, but doctors who perform abortions in violation of the 12-week ban could have their medical licenses revoked.
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C R A Z Y D A Y S I N R O M E W I T H P A P A L A N D P O L I T I C A L V O I D OME (AP) -- These are crazy days in Rome, where limbo reigns in parliament and papacy. Italy is usually a pretty anarchic place, with people bucking rules on everything from crossing the street to paying taxes. But the anarchy's going a bit far: Who's running the country? Who's running the church?
Each morning and afternoon, as they set out for their meetings, they are mobbed by a frightening wave of journalists staked out for hours waiting for them to appear in the narrow streets surrounding the Vatican. Even as affable a type as German Cardinal Walter Kasper took refuge behind policemen as he walked the gantlet on Monday.
One relief from the chaos appears to be lunch.
We Romans are living truly surreal times when a bearded comedian is now one of the nation's most powerful leaders, and aging cardinals from around the world are mobbed by paparazzi as if they were Hollywood starlets.
The cardinals are lining up in the Borgo, a picturesque knot of alleyways near the Vatican. Corriere delle Sera reported that Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, a Vatican heavyweight, showed up for lunch at "Il Passetto di Borgo" where his favorites include spaghetti with raw tomatoes, filet of sole and fried calamari.
Then there are the eerie silences in a normally raucous city. With no ruling pope, St. Peter's Square was strangely quiet as the Vatican saw its first Sunday without a papal window blessing, a weekly appointment that will normally draw thousands of pilgrims and tourists. With no government after inconclusive elections, downtown streets are blessedly free of the crush of lawmakers in dark blue official cars that speed through congested Rome with legislative impunity - and are one of the notorious perks of being a parliamentarian. Since Italians recently voted in national elections, it's no surprise to see the walls of Rome still plastered with campaign posters. But - Mamma Mia - a poster urging votes for a cardinal in the upcoming papal conclave? That's precisely the sight that Romans are seeing near several Rome basilicas - with the campaign-style image of Africa's strongest papal contender looking up to the heavens against a slogan reading: "AT THE CONCLAVE VOTE PETER KODWO APPIAH TURKSON." Nobody knows who's behind it, but it's widely regarded as a spoof campaign ahead of the solemn meetings in the Sistine Chapel to elect the next pope Other papal posters point to Italians' cantankerous mood. The day Benedict XVI went into retirement, the city of Rome plastered walls with posters of the pontiff thanking him for his service. "YOU WILL ALWAYS BE WITH US. THANK YOU!," the posters read. Romans woke up the next morning to the sight of many of them torn, defaced or simply gone.
UNITED NATIONS Continued from page 1
including its uranium enrichment. But the resolution also stresses the council's commitment "to a peaceful, diplomatic and political solution" to North Korea's nuclear program and urges a resumption of six-party talks. The success of new sanctions could depend on enforcement by China, where most of the companies and banks that North Korea is believed to work with are based. The resolution strengthens inspections of suspicious cargo heading to and from the country and calls on states to step up "vigilance" of possible illegal activity by North Korean diplomats. In a measure targeted at the reclusive nation's ruling elite, the resolution bans all nations from exporting expensive jewelry, yachts, luxury automobiles and racing cars to the North. All countries would now be required to freeze finan-
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This March 1, 2013 file photo shows nuns walking behind a billboard with a torn poster of Pope Benedict XVI in Rome. These are crazy days in Rome - where limbo reigns in parliament and papacy. Italy is usually a pretty anarchic place, with people bucking rules on everything from crossing the street to paying taxes. But the anarchyâ€™s going a bit far: Who's running the country? Who's running the church? Nobody really knows.
And in a time when Rome is busy filling important vacancies, it's perhaps only natural that there are gatecrashers. Despite all the security at the Vatican as cardinals meet to organize the conclave, a prankster in bishop's garb, an impressive cross across his chest and decidedly unclerical black sneakers, managed to sneak into the congregation of cardinals this week and mingle. Photographers snapped him shaking hands with Cardinal Velasio De Paolis, the Italian prelate named to clean up the disgraced Legion of Christ order. Yet perhaps the biggest gatecrasher of all is Beppe Grillo, who has upset the established order by riding a self-styled `'tsunami" of disgust with the powers-that-be and grabbing a quarter of the parliamentary vote. Grillo has no qualms about seeming a little bit off-the-wall: He was recently photographed jogging on a beach wearing what looked like a space alien outfit. And while Grillo gleefully insults mainstream politicians, a German governor this week referred to the comedian and scandal-plagued former Premier Silvio Berlusconi as "two clowns" - forcing visiting Italian President Giorgio Napolitano to skip lunch with him to preserve Italian pride. For now, the cardinals are commanding the spotlight.
cial transactions or services that could contribute to North Korea's nuclear or missile programs. The resolution identifies three individuals, one corporation and one organization that will be added to the U.N. sanctions list. The targets include top officials at a company that is the country's primary arms dealer and main exporter of ballistic missile-related equipment, and a national organization responsible for research and development of missiles and probably nuclear weapons. To get around financial sanctions, North Koreans have been carrying around large suitcases filled with cash to move illicit funds. The resolution expresses concern that these bulk cash transfers may be used to evade sanctions. The resolution also bans all countries from providing public financial support for trade deals, such as granting export credits, guarantees or insurance, if the assistance could contribute to the North's nuclear or missile programs. It includes what a senior diplomat called unprecedented new travel sanctions that would require countries to expel agents working for sanctioned North Korean companies. The resolution also requires states to inspect suspect cargo on their territory and prevent any vessel that refuses an inspection from entering their ports. And a new aviation measure calls on states to deny aircraft permission to take off, land or fly over their territory if illicit cargo is suspected to be aboard
Even a cardinal tied to vows of poverty, it seems, has to eat. "In a few days, when the conclave begins, it will be goodbye to turbot and rigatoni alla Norcia," Corriere lamented - referring to a dish of short pasta with sausages and creamy tomato sauce. It noted that the poor cardinals will soon have to settle for institutional cooking while they are sequestered during the conclave at the Santa Marta residence, the Vatican's hotel.
V D R S
T . P A P E R EFENDS 'FRY I C E ' S I G N U P P O R T I N G T E A M
MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) -- A Vermont newspaper defended itself Saturday against accusations of racism over a poster it published in support of a local sports team that read "fry Rice" in type associated with Chinese calligraphy, saying it meant no offense and simply wanted to play on words. The back-page poster, printed in Thursday's editions, was intended to support St. Johnsbury Academy's basketball team in its game against Rice Memorial High School in South Burlington, the Caledonian Record wrote in an unsigned editorial ( HTTP://BIT.LY/YJ75AB ). "We sought a simple play on words in support of an extraordinary group of local student athletes. Indulging our critics for a moment, the outcry reminds us that racial and ethnic stereotypes can offend - regardless of intent," the editorial said. The editorial acknowledged that the poster's wordplay, punctuated by the chosen font, "evoked a particular ethnic cuisine" but did not constitute racism. "We don't concede, however, that the use of imagery with any racial, ethnic or religious inference is to inherently debase that race/ethnicity/religion," the paper said. "A fair accusation of racism would at least pre-require the reference to actually be demeaning or degrading," the editorial said. "Simply invoking ethnic customs (food, dress, design) doesn't do that, nor does it suggest any kind of characteristic about the culture, its people or a history of oppression by the majority. But the editorial missed the point, said the president of the Asian American Journalists Association, who had criticized the poster after it was published. "I'm not criticizing the Caledonian Record for rooting for their home team," said Paul Cheung, the association's president. While Cheung does not believe the newspaper's intention was to be racist, it showed "a lapse of judgment and poor taste." "It evoked a racial undertone and a negative stereotype," said Cheung, who is also interactive and graphics editor for The Associated Press. St. Johnsbury Academy ended up losing the game to Rice Memorial. A private school, St. Johnsbury Academy serves local students and also has boarding students from across the world, including Asia. Academy Headmaster Tom Lovett said Friday that none of the school's Asian students were offended by the poster. "Overall, our students often see such things as a way to celebrate their culture, not demean it. And in this case, we chose to follow our students' lead and look at the Caledonian's intent, not taking offense where none was intended," Lovett said.
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FACEBOOK TRIES TO STAY HIP W I T H J A Z Z I E R N E W S F E E D MENLO PARK, Calif. (AP) -- Facebook doesn't want to be dismissed as an Internet has-been before its social network even enters its adolescence. In an effort to remain hip, it is infusing the focal point of its website with a more dynamic look and additional controls designed to empower its 1 billion users to sort streams of photos and other material into more organized sections that appeal to their personal interests. The changes unveiled Thursday are an attempt to address complaints that Facebook's hub - the News Feed - is degenerating into a jumble of monotonous musings and disjointed pictures. This has come as users' social circles have widened from a few dozen people to an unwieldy assortment of friends, family, businesses, celebrities, co-workers and fleeting acquaintances. That evolution requires a more nuanced approach than the computer-generated algorithms that Facebook has been relying on to pick out the most relevant content to display in each user's News Feed. The growing popularity of smartphones and tablet computers equipped with high-quality cameras also is turning the News Feed into a more visual gallery, another shift that Facebook is tackling by carving out more space to display photos and video. Facebook Inc. CEO Mark Zuckerberg hopes the makeover turns the News Feed into something like a newspaper tailored to fit the particular interests of each user on every visit to the website. "This gives people more power to dig deeper into the topics they care about," Zuckerberg said while discussing the makeover at Facebook's Menlo Park, Calif., headquarters. By keeping Facebook relevant, Zuckerberg hopes to avoid the fate of his company's social networking forerunners,
INTERIOR PICK Continued from page 1 than $12 billion in revenue from energy production last year, and that visitors to national parks generated an estimated $30 billion in economic activity. "These are impressive numbers. They underscore the important balance that the Department of the Interior must maintain to ensure that our public lands and waters are managed wisely, using the best science available, to harness their economic potential while preserving their multiple uses for future generations," she said. Jewell, who also has experience in the oil industry and as a banker, already has been tested with demands as she prepares to take over the department, which manages 780,000 square miles of public lands, including the national parks. Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski threatened to hold up Jewell's nomination if the Obama administration refuses to approve a road to an all-weather airport across a wildlife refuge in the Aleutian Islands. Murkowski called Jewell into her Washington office Feb. 27 on the demand, but said she's expecting departing interior secretary Ken Salazar to give the approval before he leaves office. It wasn't long ago that that the notion of the outdoors industry holding major political clout would have been difficult to imagine. "We've always thought the outdoor sector was important. It's just getting others to recognize it that was the challenge," said Sue Rechner, chief of Confluence Watersports, a Greenville, S.C., maker of Mad River canoes and other watersports brands. Outdoor executives acknowledge they were somewhat naive when they started in politics. They first tried to lobby members of Congress by giving ice-ax awards that didn't cut it, said Metcalf, one of the industry's most active and passionate voices. "Some of the feedback we began to get back was, `By the way, this is Washington, D.C. Money talks. Nice to hear from you, but I got a campaign to run,'" he said. "So we began making contributions. It was clear if there wasn't any money behind it, we were compromising ourselves." Industry officials say Americans spend $646 billion a year on outdoor gear and apparel, off-road vehicles and travel and services, creating 6.1 million professional and seasonal jobs. Many American brands dominate the global marketplace for outdoor equipment.
Friendster and MySpace. Those once-trendy sites quickly flamed out, largely because they didn't say attuned to the changing interest of fickle audience. Making that mistake is even more costly in an age of increasingly short attention spans and technological tools that make it easy to find some other diversion with a quick click of the computer mouse or the swipe of a finger on a smartphone. "They needed to freshen things up," said Brian Blau, research director of consumer technologies for Gartner Inc. "This should bring a lot of cooler things" into the News Feed. Although Zuckerberg didn't say it, the overhaul also appears to be aimed at carving out more space to show larger and more compelling ads within the News Feed as Facebook seeks to boost its revenue and stock price. Previous tweaks to the News Feed have triggered howls of protest among Facebook's users. Hoping to minimize the grousing this time around, Facebook intends to roll out the changes in phases. It will probably be at least six months before everyone who accesses Facebook on a personal computer sees the revamped News Feed, the company said. New mobile applications featuring the changes should be released within that time frame too. The transition is likely to be completed before Facebook celebrates its 10th birthday next February. The facelift is likely to be more jarring for those who only visit Facebook on a PC because it incorporates some features already deployed in the social network's mobile applications for smartphones and tablet computers. The new features will enable users to choose to see streams of content that may feature nothing but photos or posts from their closest friends, family members or favorite
In Washington, the 4,000-member Outdoor Industry Association tripled its PAC contributions in 2012 to nearly $90,000, according to data compiled by opensecrets.org. The industry spends around $300,000 a year on lobbying, but says it didn't push for Jewell's nomination and that she earned it on her own. In Utah, the OIA pressured the state's Republican governor to treat outdoor recreation seriously by threatening to pull a lucrative trade show out of Salt Lake City. They have helped fund nonprofits that push for increased land preservation, sometimes butting heads with energy groups seeking to drill on federal lands. "This is an economic engine, not just a bunch of guys trying to protect the land," said Mike Reberg, district director for Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah. "They created an economic perspective on why this stuff is important." Lobbying disclosures show the OIA's leading issues are protecting wilderness lands and full funding for the Land and Water Conservation Act, which steers money from offshore oil leases to recreation programs. It has teamed up with other industry players to push for a repeal of the 1930s tariff on imported shoes. "Our industry is often overlooked because of how diverse and broad it is. It's not a normal economic sector," said Frank Hugelmeyer, OIA's president. "We're a horizontal industry that touches many traditional economic sectors." Beyond her executive experience, it was Jewell's work on the board of the National Parks Conservation Association and for President Barack Obama's "America's Great Outdoors Initiative" brought her leadership to the attention of the White House. "She knows the link between conservation and good jobs," Obama said at a White House ceremony Feb. 6. "She knows that there's no contradiction." Jewell is inspirational, "mission-driven" and a consensus builder who nearly doubled REI's revenues to $1.8 billion since joining REI in 2000 and will raise the profile of the industry, said company chairman John Hamlin, managing partner of the private-equity firm Bozeman Limited Partnership. Among the issues Jewell will need to navigate is the collision between a record-setting energy boom - which has led to sharply increased drilling over the past decade - and the desire of western communities to lure tourists and information-age workers who want to be able to play outdoors, using the gear the industry makes. Kathleen Sgamma, vice president of government and
businesses. Or they can just peruse content about music, or sports, as if they were grabbing a section of a newspaper. Other newspaper-like changes will include lists of events that users' social circles have flagged for the upcoming weekend and other summaries meant to resemble a table of contents. Facebook still intends to rely on algorithms to select some material to feature on the main part of the News Feed, much like newspaper editors determine what goes on the front page. The additional space being devoted to photos and video is an acknowledgement how dramatically the composition of Facebook's content has changed during the past 16 months. About 50 percent of the posts on News Feed now include a photo or video now, up from 25 percent in November 2011, according to Facebook's data. Bigger pictures also will give advertisers a larger canvass to make their marketing pitches. Facebook is hoping marketers will seize the opportunity to develop more creative ways to entice and intrigue customers so advertising can become a more acceptable fixture on the social network. More than anything else, the changes are meant to make Facebook a more fun place to hang out. "This is all about keeping people engaged," Blau said. Although Facebook's website remains one of the Internet's top destinations, there have been early signs that the social network is losing some of its pizazz, particularly among younger Web surfers who are starting to spend more time on other fraternizing hubs such as Tumblr, Pinterest and Instagram, a photo-sharing site that Facebook bought for $521 million last summer. A phenomenon, known as "Facebook Fatigue," was recently documented in a report from Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project. The study found that about 61 percent of Facebook users had taken a hiatus for reasons that range from boredom to too much irrelevant information to Lent. That's a worrisome trend for Facebook because the company needs to ensure that its audience keeps coming back so it can learn more about their interests and, ultimately, sell more of the advertising that brings in most of the company's revenue. "I don't think it had turned into a crisis, but Facebook was probably seeing some internal data that was telling them they needed to do something," said Greg Sterling, a senior analyst for Opus Research. Facebook has been struggling to find the right balance between keeping its fun-loving audience happy and selling enough ads to please investors who want the company to accelerate its revenue growth. Wall Street seems to think the redesigned News Feed might be a step in the right direction. Facebook's stock gained $1.13, or 4.1 percent, to close Thursday at $28.58. The shares still remain 25 percent below the $38 that they fetched in Facebook's initial public offering last May. The mobile-friendly redesign of News Feed underscores the company's intensifying focus on smartphones and tablet computers as more of its users rely on those devices to interact on the social network. About 23 percent, or $306 million, of Facebook's advertising revenue came from the mobile market during the final three months of last year. Zuckerberg thinks more than half of Facebook's revenue will be coming more mobile devices within the next few years - a goal that should be easier to reach if the redesigned News Feed turns out to be as compelling as he envisions.
public affairs for the Western Energy Alliance, said she's baffled at the hostility to energy exploration among the outdoor recreation industry. "They're not transporting their products via windmills," she said. "Their customers wouldn't be able to use all that gear in the mountains without driving in their cars." Bishop complained that REI has pushed for America's Redrock Wilderness Act, a bill that has languished in Congress for years without action because of the Utah delegation's opposition. It also helped fund nonprofits who sued to stop the Bush administration's award of 77 oil and gas leases on Utah land in 2008. He scoffed at those who argue that the West can prosper from the recreation economy. "Recreation is a great element but it's only one of the elements you need," Bishop said. "It is extremely volatile. You need a good industrial sector. You need a good manufacturing sector. You need a good mining sector."
_____________________________________________________The Weekly News Digest, March 4, 2013
M O B I N P A K I S T A N I C I T Y TO R C H E S C H R I S T I A N H O M E S into a brawl after drinking late one night, and in the morning the Muslim man made up the blasphemy story as payback.
LAHORE, Pakistan (AP) -- Hundreds of people in the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore ransacked a Christian neighborhood Saturday and torched dozens of homes after hearing reports that a Christian man had committed blasphemy against Islam's prophet, said a police officer. Blasphemy is a serious crime in Pakistan that can carry the death penalty but sometimes outraged residents exact their own retribution for perceived insults of Islam's Prophet Muhammad. Pakistan is overwhelmingly Sunni Muslim and people of other faiths, including the nation's small Christian community, are often viewed with suspicion. The incident started Friday when a young Muslim man accused a Christian man of committing blasphemy by making offensive comments about the prophet, according to Multan Khan, a senior police officer in Lahore. A large crowd from a nearby mosque went to the Christian man's home on Friday night, and Khan said police took him into custody to try to pacify the crowd. Fearing for their safety, hundreds of Christian families fled the area overnight. Khan said the mob returned on Saturday and began ransacking Christian homes and setting them ablaze.
Continued from page 1 infusion of spending in 2009, there are just as many Republicans who will claim his health care law and his regulatory regimes slowed it. If there is common ground among economists, it is that the next step in fiscal policy should be focused on reining in long-term spending on entitlements programs, particularly Medicare, instead of continuing debates over short-term spending. But such a grand bargain has been elusive, caught in a fight over Obama's desire for more tax revenue and Republican opposition to more tax increases. Obama and some Republicans are trying to move the process with phone calls and a dinner here and a luncheon there. Next week, the president plans to address Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate in separate meetings to see, as he put it Saturday in his weekly radio and Internet address, "if we can untangle some of the gridlock." Who gets credit does have political consequences. A strong economy would create more space for Obama to pursue other aspects of his second-term agenda. But it's an important question for the long term, too, because if the recovery is indeed accelerating it could validate the policies that the Obama administration and the Fed put in place. Hiring has been boosted by high corporate profits and by strength in the housing, auto, manufacturing and construction sectors. Corporate profits are up. Still, it might be too soon to declare victory. While the recovery may be getting traction, the U.S. economy is not yet strong. Economic growth is forecast to be a modest 2 percent this year. Unemployment, even as it drops, remains high nearly four years after the end of the Great Recession, with roughly 12 million people out of work. Last year's early months also showed strong job gains only to see them fade by June.
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He said the Christian community handed over to police the accused man, identified by police and Gill as Sawan Masih, when police came to the neighborhood to investigate. Then the Christians all locked up their houses and went to relatives in other areas. He said the mob Saturday morning was armed with hammers and steel rods and broke into houses, ransacked two churches and burned Bibles and crosses. A Pakistani man, part of an angry mob, throws items taken from Christian houses into a fire in Lahore, Pakistan, Saturday, March 9, 2013. A mob of hundreds of people in the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore attacked a Christian neighborhood Saturday and set fire to homes after hearing accusations that a Christian man had committed blasphemy against Islam's prophet, said a police officer.
He said no one in the Christian community was hurt, but several policemen were injured when they were hit with stones as they tried to keep the crowd from storming the area. But Akram Gill, a local bishop in the Lahore Christian community said the incident had more to do with personal enmity between two men - one Christian and one Muslim - than blasphemy. He said the men got
March could prove to be a more telling indicator as the economy responds to a third month of higher Social Security taxes and as across-the-board spending cuts that kicked in March 1 begin to work their way through government programs. Economists say anticipation of the cuts already caused a downturn in the fourth quarter of last year as the defense industry slowed spending. The Congressional Budget Office and some private forecasters say the coming cuts could reduce economic growth by about half a percentage point and cost about 700,000 jobs by the end of 2014. "My view is that aggressive monetary and fiscal policy response to the recovery has been a net positive," said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics. But referring to the automatic cuts, he said, "Fiscal policies have turned from a very powerful tailwind to a pretty significant head wind." And, he added, "the economy is going to be tested again in the next few months." Obama has been distancing himself from the potential consequences of the automatic cuts, even though he signed the legislation that put them in place. Initially, they were designed to be so onerous that it would force all sides to work out a long-term deficit-reduction and debt-stabilization package. But that agreement never materialized. If the recovery has been slow, White House officials argue, it is because Republicans have been unwilling to yield to Obama's demands for deficit reduction that combines tax increases and cuts in spending. Obama himself seemed to touch on that viewpoint in his weekly address. "At a time when our businesses are gaining a little more traction, the last thing we should do is allow Washington politics to get in the way," he said while heralding good economic news. "You deserve better than the same political gridlock and refusal to compromise that has too often passed for serious debate over the last few years." Vitner, the Wells Fargo economist, argues that if anyone deserves credit for the recovery, it is the American public and American businesses "for being able to tune out all the noise that's coming from Washington." "It's remarkable," he said, "that in the face of so much political uncertainty we've been able to see the growth that we have."
"Poor people were living here. They have lost all of their belongings," he said. "Where can they go now?" The scene was chaotic. An Associated Press photographer said roughly 50 homes and a small church were set on fire. One man was seen carrying a dog and some puppies from a burning house. Refrigerators, washing and sewing machines, cooking pots, beds and other household goods were ripped from homes, smashed and torched in the streets. One Christian couple from the neighborhood said they went to their Muslim neighbors' house on Friday night after people came looking for the Christian man accused of blasphemy. Ishaq Masih said the Muslim neighbors sheltered the couple for the night and then gave them money to leave the area in the morning. Such accusations of blasphemy in Pakistan can prompt huge crowds to take the law into their own hands. Once an accusation is made it's extremely difficult to get it reversed, partly because law enforcement officials do not want to be seen as being soft on blasphemers. Speaking out against the blasphemy laws can put people in danger. Two prominent politicians were assassinated in 2011 for urging reform of the law. The killer of one of the politicians was hailed as a hero, and lawyers at his legal appearances showered him with rose petals. According to Human Rights Watch, there are at least 16 people on death row for blasphemy and another 20 are serving life sentences. Last year there was a rare reversal of a blasphemy case. A teenage Christian girl with suspected mental disabilities was accused of burning pages of the Quran. But she was later released after a huge domestic and international outcry about her treatment. A local cleric where she lived was arrested and accused of planting the pages in her bag to incriminate her, a rare example of the accuser facing legal consequences. However, he was later freed on bail. While Muslims are frequently accused of blasphemy, members of Pakistan's small Christian community are especially vulnerable to the accusations, said the head of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, Zora Yusuf. Only in Christian cases will violent mobs punish the entire community for the perceived crime of one Christian. She said often these blasphemy cases are personal grudges or disputes masquerading as religious fervor. "Most of the time there are other motives involved," she said, such as scaring off Christian residents to grab their property. Also on Saturday, four people were killed and 25 were wounded when a bomb exploded inside a mosque of the Sunni Barelvi sect in the northwestern city of Peshawar. The bomb was planted in a bookshelf inside the mosque and was detonated by remote control when noon prayers started, said senior police officer Imtiaz Khan. Peshawar, the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, has been the site of several terrorist attacks in recent months. The city is surrounded by lawless tribal regions where al-Qaeda and Pakistani Taliban have hideouts. The Pakistani military has carried out several operations in the area, but intermittent terrorist attacks continue.
The Weekly News Digest, March 4, 2013 ___________________________________________________________
'GOD PARTICLE': CONFIRMATION I S ' A C H I N G L Y C L O S E ' WASHINGTON (AP) -- Physicists in Italy said Wednesday they are achingly close to concluding that what they found last year was the Higgs boson, the elusive "God particle." They need to eliminate one last remote possibility that it's something else.
She said there is only one last thing the particle they found could also be: a graviton. That's another subatomic particle associated with gravitational fields, not mass.
The long theorized subatomic particle would explain why matter has mass and has been called a missing cornerstone of physics. With new analyses, scientists are closer to being certain they found the crucial Higgs boson. But they want to be 99.9 percent positive, said Pauline Gagnon, a physicist with the European Center for Nuclear Research. Last July scientists with the world's largest atom smasher, the $10 billion Large Hadron Collider on the Swiss-French border, announced finding a particle they described as Higgs-like, but wouldn't say it was conclusively the particle. Now thousands of checks show them even closer. "It looks more and more like a Higgs boson," said Gagnon after an update presented Wednesday at a conference in the Italian Alps.
By checking the spin of the particle, scientists will be able to tell if it is a Higgs boson, which is far more likely, or a graviton. If it has no internal spin, it's the Higgs boson; if it has a lot of spin it's a graviton. This 2011 image provide by CERN, shows a real CMS protonproton collision in which four high energy electrons (green lines and red towers) are observed in a 2011 event. The event shows characteristics expected from the decay of a Higgs boson but is also consistent with background Standard Model physics processes. Physicists in Italy said Wednesday, March 6, 2013 they are closer to concluding that what they found last year was the elusive "God particle." But they still haven't reached that "Eureka moment" when they can announce the Higgs boson is found. The long theorized subatomic particle would explain why matter has mass and has been called a missing cornerstone of physics.
Physicist Sean Carroll of the California Institute of Technology, who isn't involved in the research, said scientists are just being careful, covering all bases.
Gagnon compared finding the Higgs to identifying a specific person. This looks, talks, and sings like a Higgs, but scientists want to make sure it dances like the Higgs before they shout "Eureka."
Without the Higgs boson to explain why electrons and matter have mass, Carroll said, "there would be no atoms, there would be no chemistry, there would be no life, so that's kind of important.
Wednesday's presentation was by one team of researchers and another team will present more findings next week.
US SCIENTISTS REPORT BIG J U M P I N H E A T- T R A P P I N G C O 2 WASHINGTON (AP) -- The amount of heat-trapping carbon dioxide in the air jumped dramatically in 2012, making it very unlikely that global warming can be limited to another 2 degrees as many global leaders have hoped, new federal figures show. Scientists say the rise in CO2 reflects the world's economy revving up and burning more fossil fuels, especially in China. Carbon dioxide levels jumped by 2.67 parts per million since 2011 to total just under 395 parts per million, says Pieter Tans, who leads the greenhouse gas measurement team for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. That's the second highest rise in carbon emissions since record-keeping began in 1959. The measurements are taken from air samples captured away from civilization near a volcano in Mauna Loa, Hawaii. More coal-burning power plants, especially in the developing world, are the main reason emissions keep going up - even as they have declined in the U.S. and other places, in part through conservation and cleaner energy.
within the next several decades, Reilly says. "The prospects of keeping climate change below that (2-degree goal) are fading away," Tans says. Scientists track carbon pollution both by monitoring what comes out of factories and what winds up in the atmosphere. Both are rising at rates faster than worst-case scenarios that climate scientists used in their most recent international projections, according to Pennsylvania State University climate scientist Michael Mann.
This image provided by NASA shows an image captured by NASAâ€™s Solar Dynamics Observatory of a blast of plasma streaming from the sun in August 2012. Scientists say a solar eruption was detected on March 5, 2013 and was headed toward Mars. NASAâ€™s Curiosity rover will postpone some activities but other Mars missions will operate normally
That means harmful effects of climate change will happen sooner, Mann says
ty grids, airline flights, satellite networks and GPS services. They're also known to produce shimmering auroras in places farther from the poles.
CURIOSITY SLEEPS AS SOLAR BLAST RACES T O WA R D M A R S LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Curiosity hunkered down after the sun unleashed a blast that raced toward Mars. While the hardy rover was designed to withstand punishing space weather, its handlers decided to power it down as a precaution since it suffered a recent computer problem.
Since Mars lacks a planet-wide magnetic field, it does not experience geomagnetic storms. Rather, the planet sees a spike in radiation, Rutledge said. Powerful solar blasts can cause trouble to Mars spacecraft. In 2003, an intense solar flare knocked out the radiation detector on the Odyssey orbiter. NASA does not expect similar drama from the latest solar activity. In the worst-case scenario, one or more of the working Mars spacecraft may enter "safe mode" in which science activities are halted but they remain in contact with Earth.
At the same time, plants and the world's oceans which normally absorb some carbon dioxide, last year took in less than they do on average, says John Reilly, co-director of Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change. Plant and ocean absorption of carbon varies naturally year to year.
"We're being more careful," project manager Richard Cook of the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory said Wednesday.
"We'll be watching and seeing what happens," said Roger Gibbs, JPL deputy manager for the Mars exploration program.
But, Tans tells The Associated Press the major factor is ever-rising fossil fuel burning: "It's just a testament to human influence being dominant."
While Curiosity slept, the Opportunity rover and two NASA spacecraft circling overhead carried on with normal activities.
Only 1998 had a bigger annual increase in carbon dioxide, the primary greenhouse gas from human activity. That year, 2.93 parts per million of CO2 was added. From 2000 to 2010, the world averaged a yearly rise of just under 2 parts per million. Levels rose by less than 1 part per million in the 1960s.
On Tuesday, scientists noticed a huge flare erupting from the sun that hurled a stream of radiation in Mars' direction. The solar burst also spawned a cloud of superheated gas that barreled toward the red planet at 2 million mph.
The unsettled space weather comes as Curiosity is recovering from a memory hiccup that put its science experiments on hold. It was the first major problem to hit the car-size rover since it landed last year in an ancient crater near the Martian equator to hunt for the chemical building blocks of life.
In 2009, the world's nations agreed on a voluntary goal of limiting global warming to 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit over pre-industrial temperature levels. Since the mid-1800s temperatures haven already risen about 1.5 degrees. Current pollution trends translate to another 2.5 to 4.5 degrees of warming
The eruption did not appear severe or extreme, but "middle of the road, all things considered" said space weather chief Bob Rutledge at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The solar tempest was not expected to have an impact on Earth. In the past, such outbursts have triggered solar storms with the ability to disrupt utili-
Engineers were in the middle of troubleshooting when they decided to wait for the weather to pass. The delay means it'll take longer for Curiosity to return to analyzing the pinch of rock powder it collected from a recent drilling. Since its instruments are turned off, it can't use its radiation sensor to track the solar particles. "It's just bad timing," Cook said.
Published on Mar 11, 2013