শনিবার, ৩১ ডিসেম্বর, ২০১১

Chinese investment seems unlikely to swamp EU

The sign in a boutique selling glass hand-crafted on the Venetian island of Murano betrays an uncertain grasp of English. But the owner is very sure who is to blame for the tough times confronting the 700-year-old local glassmaking industry.

?Everything in this shop is not made in China,? it proclaims.

A few doors away, imported Murano lookalikes sell for much less. To the untrained eye, they appear identical.

With Europe drowning in debt and flirting with recession, China?s influence can only rise further.

Euro zone governments would love Beijing to plough more of its US$3.2 trillion in foreign-exchange reserves into their bonds.

China is also likely to chip in with a loan to the IMF to provide a financing backstop in case Italy and Spain are shut out of the bond markets.

Last week?s US$3.5 billion acquisition by China Three Gorges Corp of the Portuguese government?s stake in utility EDP is also a sign of things to come.

Financiers turn instinctively to fast-growing China as they try to flush out buyers for assets that are going on the block as European governments, banks and companies pay down debt.

But, despite Chinese leaders? expressing interest in diversifying the country?s overseas asset base away from government paper, analysts do not expect a sea change in China?s traditionally cautious approach to expanding in Western markets. Africa and Asia are likely to remain China?s top targets for now.

?There are going to be opportunities, but we?re not going to see China buying up Europe,? said Thilo Hanemann, research director at the Rhodium Group, an investment advisory and strategic planning firm in New York.


There are many reasons for the wariness.

Lengthy delays in obtaining the approval of regulators in Beijing put Chinese companies at a disadvantage in mergers and acquisitions when the seller wants a quick deal. Companies lack the management skills to integrate overseas acquisitions. And, perhaps most importantly, prospects are much brighter at home than they are in Europe.

?If you compare the rates of growth in China and in Europe, are you sensible buying into a brand that?s seen its best years of growth?? said Edward Radcliffe, a partner in Shanghai with Vermillion, an M&A advisory boutique that focuses on cross-border China deals.

Still, he said some larger Chinese groups, both state-owned and private, had started to explore opportunities in Europe and the US.

The 27-member EU is China?s biggest export market. But foreign direct investment (FDI) has badly lagged, totaling US$8 billion by the EU?s reckoning or US$12 billion on China?s count ? less than 0.2 percent of total FDI in the EU, according to Rhodium.

The firm has kept its own tally since 2003, but its total of US$15 billion through the middle of this year, though greater than the official data, is still small.

Hanemann said he was sure next year would see deals in Europe in technology and consumer products to enable Chinese firms to climb the value ladder and build their domestic market share.

?Ultimately, Chinese companies have to become true multinationals, like Japanese and [South] Korean firms before them,? he said. ?Over the longer term, there?s no reason to believe that China is going to take a different path.?

However, he was skeptical whether most Chinese companies would be able to seize the opportunities that were likely to crop up in the coming year. To do so, they would have to manage public perceptions in Europe and obtain quick regulatory approval at home.

Source: http://libertytimes.feedsportal.com/c/33098/f/535601/s/1b5e9687/l/0L0Staipeitimes0N0CNews0Ceditorials0Carchives0C20A110C120C30A0C20A0A3521948/story01.htm

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Romney brings in Christie in Iowa final push (Reuters)

DES MOINES, Iowa (Reuters) ? White House hopeful Mitt Romney brought in a hired gun from New Jersey on Friday to bolster his prospects for a win in Iowa next week that would put him in the lead in the Republican presidential race.

Romney and his rivals campaigned across Iowa on a windy, rainy day to begin a final frenzy of weekend appearances before the Midwestern state launches the 2012 contest to choose a Republican nominee to face Democratic President Barack Obama in November's election.

Romney, buoyed by an NBC/Marist poll that showed him leading the field ahead of Tuesday's Iowa caucuses, was upbeat about his chances in a state that jilted him for former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee in 2008.

"This feels wonderful," Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, told Reuters as he worked a ropeline of supporters outside a grocery store in West Des Moines. "I tell you, the crowds and the enthusiasm couldn't be more wonderful."

The outcome of the caucuses is by no means certain and polls have been volatile as Iowans deliberate over who to choose as the Republican standard-bearer and the candidates jockey for position in the final days.

The NBC/Marist poll of likely caucus participants put Romney on top at 23 percent, just ahead of the 21 percent for libertarian Texas Congressman Ron Paul.

Rick Santorum, a social conservative and former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania, has seen his prospects improve as influential evangelicals flock to his side. Santorum jumped to third place at 15 percent in the NBC/Marist poll, followed closely by Texas Governor Rick Perry at 14 percent.


Romney brought a powerful surrogate to Iowa, tough-talking New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who is popular with conservatives and might shore up Romney's right wing.

Christie, who has gained a following among Republicans for taking on New Jersey's political establishment, urged a crowd of about 1,000 people to "take nothing for granted" and get out to the caucuses on Tuesday to vote for Romney.

Christie praised Romney as the best hopes of defeating Obama, who he said has not made good on his 2008 pledge to bring "hope and change" to America.

"Let me tell you, after three years of Obama, we are hopeless and changeless and we need Mitt Romney to bring us back," he said.

Christie told reporters he would not rule out joining Romney as his vice presidential running mate if Romney becomes the Republican nominee.

Former Iowa front-runner Newt Gingrich sank to 13 percent in the poll. The former House of Representatives speaker, buffeted by negative ads and attacks for weeks, got choked up talking about his mother.

"I get teary-eyed every time we sing Christmas carols," Gingrich told an event hosted at Java Joe's Coffee in Des Moines.

The candidates took shots at each other and argued they have the conservative policy ideas to help the United States trigger job growth.

"I will send a signal to our country's job creators and to the world that the days of socialist policies are over, that our free market is once again open for business," Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann told supporters in Urbandale.

The top three or four finishers in Iowa on Tuesday will have momentum heading to New Hampshire on January 10, while the rest will have to make some tough decisions on whether to continue.

Romney has shied away from going all-out in Iowa but is hoping the anti-Romney vote is splintered sufficiently among his rivals to allow him to score an upset victory and give him an aura of inevitability heading to what is essentially home turf for him in New Hampshire.

Some in the crowd at his event with Christie came for the opportunity to hear the New Jersey governor, not Romney.

"I don't want Chris Christie necessarily to run for vice president with Romney, although that would be okay, but he needs to be president, I think, Chris Christie," said John Brown of West Des Moines.

Romney, a multi-millionaire who plays down his wealth by talking about the poor conditions his father experienced, accused Obama of elitism, criticizing the president's vacation in Hawaii and likening his stewardship of the U.S. economy to 18th century French queen Marie Antoinette, who famously declared of the peasants "Let them eat cake."

Romney seized on comments Obama has made that the U.S. economy would be even weaker if stimulus measures he pushed through Congress had not been enacted.

"The other day President Obama said it could be worse, can you imagine hearing that from a pessimistic president? 'It could be worse.' That goes down with Marie Antoinette 'let them eat cake'," Romney said.

"He just finished his 90th round of golf. We've got 25 million Americans that are out of work, or stopped looking for work, or underemployed."

The Democratic National Committee said Romney's own personal wealth undermined his message.

"It is actually laughable that the "Quarter-Billion-Dollar Man" would call President Obama out of touch - and use the example of a French monarch to make the point," said DNC spokeswoman Melanie Roussell.

Source: http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/gop/*http%3A//news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20111230/pl_nm/us_usa_campaign

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শুক্রবার, ৩০ ডিসেম্বর, ২০১১

Egyptian Military Raids Foreign-Funded NGO Offices


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Source: http://www.npr.org/2011/12/30/144471272/egyptian-military-raids-foreign-funded-ngo-offices?ft=1&f=1004

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Two charged over claims in Sugarland collapse

Two women are being charged after the Marion County prosecutor said they filed false claims related to the Indiana State Fair stage collapse.

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Prosecutor Terry Curry says Stephanie Murry and Sandra Hurn submitted claims to the Indiana State Fair Remembrance Fund (ISFRF) and the Indiana Tort Claim Fund, which is administered by the Indiana Attorney General's Office. Authorities say the women each submitted claims totaling $22,500.

According to the prosecutor, the women claimed they were injured in the Aug. 13 stage collapse. The prosecutor's office alleges that the women falsified hospital records in order to be eligible to make claims to both funds.

"The state police determined pretty that the medical records submitted were falsified," said Curry.

In fact, Curry said, neither Hurn nor Murry even attended the concert.

"It would certainly appear from the investigation that neither woman was actually at the State Fair," Curry told Eyewitness News. "Sandra Hurn stated who she went with and that she was there for a couple of the Sugarland songs which obviously Sugarland never performed that night."

The scaffolding on the stage collapsed when a strong thunderstorm moved through that night. That happened after Sara Bareilles left the stage but before Sugarland came on.

Curry says Hurn collected $7,500 from the ISFRF, but Murry's claim was denied because her alleged injuries did not meet qualifications to receive ISFRF funds.

Both women also submitted a notice of tort claim to the Indiana attorney general's office, and both were notified they would receive money from the fund. But Hurn was arrested when she went to pick up a claim check, and Murry was arrested a short time after that.

"It's beyond troubling in a situation which was clearly a tragedy, people were legitimately injured even killed, that there are people out there that in turn exploit it for their own gain," said Curry.

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    2. 7 new 2012 shows worth getting excited about
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The alleged false claims are especially disheartening for the people who were there that night and did suffer injuries.

"I can't believe that someone could stoop that low to do that. I'm appalled. I'm actually very angry," said Laura Magdziarz, who suffered a broken leg that night. Her young daughter Maggie had a critical arm injury. "That's just unbelievable. There are people out there that desperately needed the money and there's a lot of people that didn't get any money for the same reasons - they had people at different hospitals; they needed to find their family and that was more important than staying in the hospital."

That was the situation for Magdziarz, whose own claim was denied because she was not admitted to the hospital that night despite having broken her leg as the scaffolding came down that night. Magdziarz' first priority was to be by the bedside of her four-year-old daughter, who was undergoing surgery at a different hospital.

"Somebody either has to be really desperate or cold-hearted. That's like adding insult to injury," Magdziarz said. "I'm glad they caught them. I hope they throw the book at them."

Stephanie Murry has been charged with one count of forgery (class C felony), one count of perjury (class D felony), and one count of attempt theft (class D felony).

Sandra Hurn has been charged with three counts of forgery (class C felony), two counts of perjury (class D felony), one count of theft (class D felony), and one count of attempt theft (class D felony).

The maximum penalty both women could face for a class C felony is eight years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Source: http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/45804542/ns/today-entertainment/

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বৃহস্পতিবার, ২৯ ডিসেম্বর, ২০১১

Lady Gaga To Help Drop New Year's Ball In Times Square1676579

Mother Monster was named Mayor Bloomberg's special guest for the annual celebration.
By James Montgomery

Lady Gaga performs at the 102.7 KIIS FM's Jingle Ball at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on December 3, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.
Photo: Joe Scarnici/ WireImage

Back in May, ahead of the release of her Born This Way album, Lady Gaga described her hometown of New York City as her "husband," and now, she's been tapped to help her spouse ring in the New Year in the most traditional of ways: by dropping the ball in Times Square. Yes, according to The New York Post, Mayor Michael Bloomberg has named Gaga as his special guest at the City's annual New Year's Eve celebration, where she'll ceremoniously push a Waterford Crystal button at 11:59 p.m., officially beginning the famed crystal ball's descent over the raucous Times Square crowd. Shortly after the official announcement was made, Gaga took to her Twitter account to express her excitement, writing "I'm so looking forward to ... dropping the Ball with Mayor Bloomberg! What an honor as a New Yorker!" Each year, Bloomberg chooses a guest to drop the ball and help usher in the New Year ... though, to date, Gaga is his most, uh, unique pick: previous honorary button-mashers have included Bill and Hillary Clinton, Colin Powell, Muhammad Ali and Rudy Giuliani. Of course, dropping the Times Square Ball — which this year is bedazzled with 2,688 Waterford Crystal triangles and carries the theme of "Let There Be Friendship" — isn't Gaga's only New Year's Eve gig. She'll also perform at two NYE celebrations: the 40th annual "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve" and, of course, the Japanese program "Kohaku Uta Gassen." MTV will also be throwing a New Year's Eve party of its own: "NYE in NYC 2010," a performance-packed special featuring Demi Lovato, Mac Miller, Selena Gomez, J. Cole, Jason Derülo and more. It all goes down live on MTV at 11 p.m. ET on Saturday (December 31) from Times Square. Will you be watching the ball drop this New Year's Eve? Let us know in the comments below!

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Source: http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1676579/lady-gaga-new-years-times-square-ball-drop.jhtml

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TheAtlantic: RT @CBSAndrew: Another good Ford Vox piece: Lethal Closeout Sale Stains Oregon Governor's Death-Penalty Stand - @TheAtlantic http://t.co ...

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American Apparel Opens Store in London, Expands UK Presence

LOS ANGELES and LONDON, December 27, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --

American Apparel (Amex: APP), the vertically integrated clothing manufacturer based in downtown Los Angeles, has announced the opening of a new store in Westfield London. This new store opening is part of American Apparel's recent expansion in the UK, which in addition to two Selfridges store-in-stores opened earlier this month brings the company's total store base to 18.

The new 2100 sq ft Westfield London location connects American Apparel to the nearly 30 million people who shop at the mall each year. It will showcase both womenswear?and unisex styles, ranging from basics and staple garments to more fashionable pieces and seasonal outerwear.

"Westfield London is one of the largest shopping centers in all of in the United Kingdom and we're thrilled to be there. The people of London have always demonstrated a deep understanding of our brand. We've had great success together in Westfield Malls across the US and opening with them in London will be a significant addition to our foothold there. We're pleased to have the opportunity to serve a new set of customers and expand our offerings for those already shopping at our stores," said Marsha Brady, a creative director for American Apparel.

The new London store will be the fourth store opened by American Apparel in Europe in the past year, including two Selfridges shop-in-shops in the United Kingdom and a store at the Galeries Lafayette in Lille, France.

About American Apparel

American Apparel is a vertically integrated manufacturer, distributor, and retailer of branded fashion basic apparel based in downtown Los Angeles, California. As of November 30, 2011, American Apparel had approximately 11,000 employees and operated 249 retail stores in 20 countries, including the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, United Kingdom, Ireland, Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Israel, Australia, Japan, South Korea, and China. American Apparel also operates a leading wholesale business that supplies high quality T-shirts and other casual wear to distributors and screen printers. In addition to its retail stores and wholesale operations, American Apparel operates an online retail e- commerce website at http://www.americanapparel.net.?

Distributed by PR Newswire on behalf of American Apparel

Contact details for all releases are only available to the media via PR Newswire for Journalists.

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Source: http://www.prnewswire.co.uk/cgi/news/release?id=343895

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Berkshire completes deal to buy Omaha World-Herald

(AP) ? Berkshire Hathaway Inc. has completed the purchase of Berkshire chairman Warren Buffett's hometown newspaper, the Omaha World-Herald.

The $200 million deal announced Nov. 30 included $50 million in debt. Under the agreement, Berkshire acquires the World-Herald and daily newspapers in Kearney, Grand Island, York, North Platte and Scottsbluff in Nebraska; the Council Bluffs Nonpareil in Iowa; a number of weekly newspapers; and World Marketing, a direct-mail company with operations in Omaha, Chicago, Dallas, Atlanta and Los Angeles.

World-Herald spokesman Joel Long said Monday that the deal closed Friday. He says World-Herald shareholders ? about 275 employees and retirees and the Peter Kiewit Foundation ? approved the sale by an overwhelming vote.

Buffett has said the World-Herald "delivers solid profits and is one of the best-run newspapers in America."

Associated Press

Source: http://hosted2.ap.org/APDEFAULT/f70471f764144b2fab526d39972d37b3/Article_2011-12-26-US-Berkshire-Hathaway-Newspapers/id-12a63687d87e440b89a9cf4ec175696f

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মঙ্গলবার, ২৭ ডিসেম্বর, ২০১১

Rosevilles Joe Block is new radio voice of Brewers baseball - 6:52 pm

Roseville native and Michigan State alum Joe Block is the Brewers' new radio voice. He joins the legendary Bob Uecker, starting in 2012.

It's the first full-time major league job for Block, whose goal since his youth was to get to this point.

"I'm ecstatic to have the opportunity to work with one of the all-time greats in Bob Uecker and help bring everyone in Wisconsin their Brewers on the radio for years to come," Block said.

"Bob and I have talked about how much fun we'll have in the booth all summer and I can't wait to get started."

Block hosted the Dodgers' postgame radio show in 2011, and was the radio studio host for the NBA's New Orleans Hornets for four years before that. He's also worked major college basketball and football for Comcast Sports Southeast for the past 10 years.

But Block's passion always has been baseball. Block, who counts late Tigers broadcaster Ernie Harwell among his idols, worked his way up through the minor leagues ? doing games from Jacksvonille, Fla., to Great Falls and Billings, Mont. He's done more than 900 professional baseball games, including select games for the Expos during their final two seasons in Montreal (2003-04).

Now Block, 33, is a major leaguer. In Milwaukee, he replaces Cory Provus, who left for the Twins' broadcast booth.

"Joe and I spent some time together and I think he'll be a great addition," Uecker said. "Joe sounds good on the air, he's a Midwest guy and he wants to be in Milwaukee as a part of the Brewers. Bottom line, all of those are important qualities that will make him successful here."



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Roleplayers Wanted for "The Shadow Dimension"

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সোমবার, ২৬ ডিসেম্বর, ২০১১

Jeremy Haynes, Lorenzo Cain teach lessons in baseball, giving

One of Jeremy Haynes' goals Wednesday was to squeeze in as much baseball and fun as possible during his annual Jerald Haynes Game For Gifts Camp.

That was easy to accomplish, especially with former Madison County High School teammate and Kansas City Royals outfielder Lorenzo Cain helping provide instruction to the 24 campers (ages 7 to 13) who participated in the six-hour camp at Madison County's recreation fields.

Another important aspect of the camp also was accomplished ? more than $1,000 was raised to purchase toys for children in Tallahassee Memorial Hospital's Pediatric Unit who won't be home for Christmas on Sunday. Haynes and Cain will play Santa Claus and pass out the toys to the hospitalized children Christmas Eve.

"I don't even know how to put in words when you are passing out the toys and see the kids' smiles, it's such a great feeling," said Haynes, a pitcher in the Atlanta Braves organization who was selected in the 2005 major-league draft out of Tallahassee Community College.

"We go room to room and it's so much fun to watch them open their gifts. I always wanted to do something to be able to help kids and give back."

Haynes, with help from Cain and Jonathan Jones, an athletic trainer at TCC, came up with the camp's unique concept three years ago.

Haynes doesn't charge campers a registration fee ? it's donation only. The community and local businesses such as Madison County Community Bank and Madison Sporting Goods also have rallied behind Haynes' camp.

TMH provides Haynes the names of children who won't be home for Christmas. Haynes and company then schedule a shopping spree at Wal-Mart followed by a gift-wrap session.

One change this year is Haynes has named the camp in honor of his father, Jeremy, who died in September following a heart attack.

"We had a great relationship; we were probably more like brothers and best friends," said Haynes, who has a career record of 18-18 with 334 strikeouts (387.2 innings) in six minor-league seasons. "I want to pass on what he taught me to our campers, that we respect each other and treat everyone the same."

Cain, who is expected to contend for the Royals' starting center-field job in spring training, embraces the opportunity to help his good friend. Other instructors who helped Wednesday included Madison County baseball coach Terry Barrs and Aucilla Christian baseball coach Drew Sherrod.

"It's always a good feeling to give back to the community where I grew up," said Cain, who still resides in Madison during the offseason. "It's a lot of fun working with the kids during the camp and help make a difference. It's also a great experience to pass out the toys at the hospital and see the children's faces light up. I really enjoy it, and it's something I look forward to."

Source: http://www.tallahassee.com/article/20111223/SPORTS/112230334/1002/RSS01

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রবিবার, ২৫ ডিসেম্বর, ২০১১

Kiip Rethinks Mobile Gaming Ads | Adweek

In April, startup Kiip announced a new advertising platform for mobile games, offering what it called "real-world rewards for virtual goods." Today CEO Brian Wong is announcing a new twist on the idea, called the Swarm, with Walt Disney Studios as the first advertiser.

In Kiip's existing program, as players beat levels in participating mobile games, they get offers for free products from advertisers like Dr Pepper and Best Buy. The brand gets positive exposure, while the publisher makes money and rewards its players. That model is already seeing some success (the startup says its ads have reached "millions of players with double-digit engagement rates across the network"), but Wong says its appeal is limited to consumer packaged-goods companies and retailers. Other categories, like automotive, entertainment and travel, are left out because "you can't give away a million cars," he says.

That's where the Swarm comes in. Instead of offering a reward to every player who reaches a certain milestone, advertisers and publishers can organize "flash tournaments" where players compete for big prizes during a limited period of time. To promote its upcoming science fiction film John Carter, Disney will be running a Swarm from Dec. 23 to Dec. 26, with 36 winners receiving prizes ranging from a 3-D TV with surround sound system to $10 snack credits at movie theaters.

There are more advertisers lined up for January, Wong says. And the new model will also be priced differently than existing Kiip ads, with Swarm advertisers paying for impressions rather than sign-ups.

Wong emphasizes that Swarm isn't supposed to replace Kiip's existing model but rather to help the startup reach a new set of advertisers. At the same time, some of his ideas have evolved. At first, he resisted the idea of posting a list of games running Kiip ads to avoid a situation where players download those games for the rewards alone. Now, Wong said, "The market has become used to this concept," and perhaps even more importantly, players have started to create their own Kiip game lists. So the company has created its own Spotlight page listing games, rewards and advertisers.

Source: http://www.adweek.com/news/technology/kiip-rethinks-mobile-gaming-ads-137268

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Tottenham vs Chelsea: Blues can turn London derby record around

Based solely on their records in London derbies this season, it is hard to predict anything other than a home win as Tottenham host Chelsea, but the fine defensive record of Andre Villas? Boas men on their travels should ensure they leave with at least a point.

Chelsea have lost both games with fellow London foes so far this season, while Tottenham enjoy a perfect 100 per cent record from their three fixtures with capital rivals.

Meanwhile, Tottenham can count Chelsea among their more favoured rivals when assessing recent results, as they are unbeaten in their last five games against them.

With Chelsea?s recent form also below expectations, a Tottenham victory at 6/4 will look good value with punters.

However, they could have difficulty without influential wingers Aaron Lennon and a struggling Gareth Bale and this could work in Chelsea?s favour.

Villas-Boas will drum into his team the importance of avoiding defeat if the club wants to remain in pole position in the hunt for a top-four finish and the club certainly has the players within its ranks to produce a match-winning display.

Furthermore, only Manchester United have conceded fewer goals on the road than Chelsea this season and the strategy will almost certainly be to keep things tight and look to hit Tottenham on the break.

It is 13/8 in the Premier League odds that Chelsea triumph to go third in the table, with the draw available at 5/2.

Key to a Chelsea victory will be the performance of Daniel Sturridge, who has the speed and directness to cause problems.

He has been slightly wasteful in front of goal of late, but is worthy of consideration at 8/1 to open the scoring.

Didier Drogba is on an interesting run of scoring in every other appearance against Tottenham and bearing in mind he failed to find the target in his last clash with them, he may also be a decent option in the first scorer market at 6/1.

Source: http://news.ladbrokes.com/en-gb/football/premier-league/tottenham-vs-chelsea-blues-can-turn-london-derby-record-around_085876.html

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শনিবার, ২৪ ডিসেম্বর, ২০১১

iPhone 5 Release and Anobit Acquisition by Apple Connected?

Apple has bought Anobit, a maker of flash storage technology based in Israel, for a reported $500 million, according to the Calcalist financial daily.

The?acquisition?was welcomed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who tweeted: "Welcome to Israel, Apple Inc. on your 1st acquisition here. I'm certain that you'll benefit from the fruit of the Israeli knowledge."

Anobit has developed a chip that boosts flash drive performance through data signal processing.

It is believed?that?Apple's acquisition is related to the iPhone 5, which?might get a third quarter of 2012 release date. The technology from Anobit can help Apple increase and enhance the memory volume and performance of the future smartphone.

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In addition, mobile products such as the iPhone need as much storage in as little space as possible, which is making flash?a necessity in mobile electronics.?Anobit's technology?will help?Apple?further improve flash, which in turn will allow the design to be slimmed down.

One of the most expensive pieces in Apple's products is the flash storage. By acquiring Anobit, Apple will be in a position to cut down this cost. Again Anobit specializes in Memory Signal Processing, which makes flash memory more reliable and efficient.

Anobit's technology also is expected?to improve?the media browsing experience for?users.

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Source: http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/271996/20111223/iphone-5-release-anobit-acquisition-apple-connected.htm

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This Day in Baseball History: Josh Gibson was born on this day in 1911

On Dec. 21, 1911, Hall of Famer Josh Gibson was born.

?Gibson is considered one of the greatest hitters of the Negro Leagues,? Baseball-Reference.com states. ?There are many who argue he was the greatest catcher ever, greatest hitter or greatest Negro League player; there are also counter-arguments for each claim.?

He never did play in Major League Baseball because of segregation.

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Source: http://blogs.eagletribune.com/smittyonbaseball/2011/12/21/this-day-in-baseball-history-josh-gibson-was-born-on-this-day-in-1911/

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শুক্রবার, ২৩ ডিসেম্বর, ২০১১

Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group: Funds Supporting Shares in Third ...

Scottrade: $7 Online Trades. Real-Time Stock Quotes

Insiders are generally long-term investors due to restriction in making short-term profits. In contrast, wealth management institutions always have short-term investment. Wall St. Watchdog reveals information regarding the insiders and institutions which recently increased stock shares of Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group Inc. (NYSE:DTG).

SEC data indicate that these institutions significantly increased their stock shares of Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group Inc. in Q3 2011:

  • HIGHFIELDS CAPITAL MANAGEMENT LP: On 06/30/2011, held 0 shares. On 09/30/2011, held 345,759 shares, worth $19,466,232.
  • TYRUS CAPITAL LLP: On 06/30/2011, held 0 shares. On 09/30/2011, held 330,000 shares, worth $18,579,000.
  • JANA PARTNERS LLC: On 06/30/2011, held 0 shares. On 09/30/2011, held 328,185 shares, worth $18,476,816.
  • FIRST EAGLE INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT, LLC: On 06/30/2011, held 0 shares. On 09/30/2011, held 170,000 shares, worth $9,571,000.
  • PARA ADVISORS LLC: On 06/30/2011, held 0 shares. On 09/30/2011, held 100,000 shares, worth $5,630,000.

About the company: Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, Inc. operates Dollar and Thrifty vehicle rental systems. The Company provides its services to leisure customers, tourists, small businesses, and independent business travelers. Dollar Thrifty operates locations in the United States and Canada, as well as other countries.

Competitors to Watch: Avis Budget Group Inc. (NYSE:CAR), Hertz Global Hldgs., Inc. (NYSE:HTZ), EV Transportation Inc (EVTP), Avis Europe plc (AVE), Helphire Group plc (NYSE:HHR), Localiza Rent a Car SA (RENT3), Premier Enterprise PCL (PE), A.S.G. (Andy Spyrou) Group Public Ltd (NYSE:ASG), and Krungthai Car Rent & Lease PCL (KCAR).

(Note: Data regarding Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group Inc.?s stock holdings are sourced from whalewisdom.com. All data are assumed to be accurate.)

Advantage: Check out our interactive stock charts, fundamentals, Twitter stream, and more >>

Improve Your 2011 Financial Health: Join the winning team of stock pickers with Wall St. Cheat Sheet?s acclaimed premium newsletter>>

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Source: http://wallstcheatsheet.com/investing/dollar-thrifty-automotive-group-funds-supporting-shares-in-third-quarter.html/

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Trade judge finds Motorola violated Microsoft patent (Reuters)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) ? A U.S. trade panel judge found Motorola Mobility infringed a Microsoft patent in making its Android cellphones, the companies said on Tuesday.

The patented technology makes it possible for users to schedule meetings using mobile devices. However, the U.S. International Trade Commission judge found there was no violation of six other patents that remained in the dispute.

In a complaint filed in October 2010 with the ITC, Microsoft accused Motorola Mobility of infringing nine patents for Windows Mobile and Windows Phone, which do everything from monitoring remaining memory, updating contact lists and synchronizing on- and off-line use. Two patents were dropped from the case during litigation, leaving seven as of December.

The ruling now goes for review by the full commission, with a decision due in the spring. The commission will also consider Microsoft's request that the infringing phones be barred from importation into the United States.

"We are very pleased that the majority of the rulings were favorable to Motorola Mobility," Scott Offer, general counsel of Motorola Mobility, said in a statement.

"The initial determination may provide clarity on the definition of the Microsoft... patent for which a violation was found and will help us avoid infringement of this patent in the U.S. market," said Offer.

David Howard, Microsoft's deputy general counsel, also welcomed the decision, saying: "We are pleased with the ITC's initial determination finding Motorola violated four claims of a Microsoft patent."

Microsoft said in its complaint that the infringing devices included Android phones like the Motorola Droid 2, the Droid X, Cliq XT, Devour, Backflip and others, including the associated software.

The case at the ITC is No. 337-744.

(Reporting By Diane Bartz; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)

Source: http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/personaltech/*http%3A//news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20111221/tc_nm/us_microsoft_itc

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সোমবার, ১৯ ডিসেম্বর, ২০১১

Quotes on the death of Vaclav Havel (AP)

Reactions to the death of Vaclav Havel, who led Czechoslovakia's 1989 anti-communist "Velvet Revolution":

? "A great fighter for the freedom of nations and for democracy has died . . . His outstanding voice of wisdom will be missed in Europe, which is going through a serious crisis. I am praying for the peace of his soul" ? Solidarity founder and Poland's former president Lech Walesa.

? "His peaceful resistance shook the foundations of an empire, exposed the emptiness of a repressive ideology, and proved that moral leadership is more powerful than any weapon. ... He also embodied the aspirations of half a continent that had been cut off by the Iron Curtain, and helped unleash tides of history that led to a united and democratic Europe." ? President Barack Obama.

? "His dedication to freedom and democracy is as unforgotten as his great humanity . . . We Germans also have much to thank him for." ? German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who grew up in East Germany and went into politics as communism crumbled.

? "No one of my generation will ever forget those powerful scenes from Wenceslas Square two decades ago. Havel led the Czech people out of tyranny. And he helped bring freedom and democracy to our entire continent. Europe owes Vaclav Havel a profound debt. Today his voice has fallen silent. But his example and the cause to which he devoted his life will live on" ? British Prime Minister David Cameron.

? "The most subversive act of the playwright from Prague was telling the truth about tyranny. And when that truth finally triumphed, the people elected this dignified, charming, humble, determined man to lead their country. Unintimidated by threats, unchanged by political power, Vaclav Havel suffered much in the cause of freedom and became one of its greatest heroes." ? President George W. Bush.

_"Amid the turbulence of modern Europe, his voice was the most consistent and compelling ? endlessly searching for the best in himself and in each of us." ? Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright.

"Havel was a brave and powerful voice against totalitarianism and an inspiration for dissidents everywhere struggling for freedom." ? Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

? "He was a true European and has been a champion of democracy and liberty throughout his life . .. He was also a source of great inspiration to all those who fight for freedom and democracy around the world. The man has died but the legacy of his poems, plays and above all his ideas and personal example will remain alive for many generations to come." ? Jose Manuel Barroso, European Commission president.

? "With the death of Vaclav Havel, the Czech republic has lost one of its great patriots, France has lost a friend, and Europe has lost one of its wise men." ? French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

? "Vaclav Havel is the figure that represents the Velvet Revolution and the reunification of Europe. He will be sorely missed." ? Jerzy Buzek, president of European parliament and a former Polish prime minister and activist in Solidarity.

"Barbara and I join in mourning the death of Vaclav Havel, a gentle soul whose fierce devotion to the rights of man helped his countrymen cast aside the chains of tyranny and claim their rightful place among the free nations of world," said former U.S. President George H. W. Bush. "His personal courage throughout that twilight struggle inspired millions around the world, including those of us who worked with him during a historic period of transformation for Europe."

"Vaclav Havel believed in freedom, and had the courage to speak out about the evils of communism," said Nancy Reagan, widow of ex-U.S. President Ronald Reagan. "He will be remembered as a hero to the people of the Czech Republic and to lovers of freedom around the world."

Source: http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/europe/*http%3A//news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20111218/ap_on_re_eu/eu_czech_obit_havel_quotes

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রবিবার, ১৮ ডিসেম্বর, ২০১১

Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Execs Accused of Fraud (ABC News)

Share With Friends: Share on FacebookTweet ThisPost to Google-BuzzSend on GmailPost to Linked-InSubscribe to This Feed | Rss To Twitter | Politics - Top Stories News, RSS Feeds and Widgets via Feedzilla.

Source: http://news.feedzilla.com/en_us/stories/politics/top-stories/175693792?client_source=feed&format=rss

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Mystery of supernova birth points to white dwarfs

Scientists hit "rewind" to discover how white dwarfs play a role in the evolution of a supernova.

Astronomers have found the first direct evidence that some star explosions are triggered by compact stars called white dwarfs.

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Scientists studying the youngest type of Ia supernova ever found worked backward to pinpoint its explosion time with unparalleled accuracy. In doing so, they confirmed that a white dwarf was the source of the blast, and gleaned insights into the nature of the dwarf's companion star.

The discovery occurred in August, when astronomer Peter Nugent spotted a surprising object while poring over data from the Palomar Transit Survey's robotic telescope at Palomar Observatory in Southern California. The object was quickly confirmed to be a type Ia supernova. High-resolution follow-up observations were made within hours by the Keck telescope in Mauna Kea, Hawaii, identifying the elements that burst from the blast.

The speedy response allowed Nugent and his team to follow the evolution of the supernova, called SN 2011fe. [Amazing Photos of Supernova Explosions]

Tracing backward

As the light of the explosion reached the brightness of 2.5 billion suns, then slowly faded, the team worked backward to determine exactly when the supernova occurred. Located only 21 million light-years from Earth in the Pinwheel Galaxy, the supernova is the closest one to our planet in 25 years. (A light-year is the distance light travels in a year, about 6 trillion miles, or 10 trillion kilometers.)

"We were able to pinpoint the explosion time very accurately, to an uncertainty of just twenty minutes," Nugent, of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, told SPACE.com.

Knowing how much energy the supernova put out allowed the researchers to, in effect, rewind the stellar explosion to see how it began. Measurements of elements such as nickel enabled them to put a lower limit on the size of the source.

The astronomers also found large clumps of fast-moving carbon and oxygen that disappeared within hours.

"The early observations helped us to constrain the explosion really accurately," Nugent said.

With their results, the team was able to conclude that the cause of the supernova was an extremely compact star known as a white dwarf.

White dwarfs are small, dense stars whose Earth-like radius encompasses a sun-like mass. The core of a white dwarf is too cool to undergo fusion, so its energy slowly dissipates into space.

Source: http://rss.csmonitor.com/~r/feeds/science/~3/iLunBQEQ8rU/Mystery-of-supernova-birth-points-to-white-dwarfs

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শনিবার, ১৭ ডিসেম্বর, ২০১১

The Russian Winter: Putin Goes Prophylactic with the Protests (Time.com)

Earlier this month, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said he was casually watching television when a strange scene came on the news. There were lots of his fellow citizens in the streets, and many of them had something long and white pinned to their chests. "It's impolite to say it, but I'll be honest," Putin recalled on Thursday, during a live call-in show with the Russian public. "I decided it was propaganda against AIDS, that these were, pardon me, dangling contraceptives." In fact, what was hanging from people's clothing was a white ribbon, the symbol of what is being called the "snowy revolution" against Putin's rule. But in his version of events, he hadn't heard about it. "I didn't really get it," Putin said. In particular, he didn't get why people had unrolled the condom before pinning it to their chests. "But on the whole, my first thought was that this is good, that people are fighting for a healthy lifestyle." Then Putin looked around at the studio audience, expecting someone to laugh.

Nobody did. "Some people were outright offended, others thought it was in very bad taste," says Nikolai Zlobin, a political analyst who was sitting in the studio with Putin. In the Russian language, the word gandon (condom) is an especially crass and juvenile insult, most often heard among boys too young to know the intricacies of contraception. But as far as anyone could tell, this was Putin's message to the people watching at home -- in particular, to the thousands of citizens who have donned white ribbons in the past week as a sign of solidarity and protest. As many of them quickly pointed out on Twitter, Putin seemed to be telling the ranks of his opponents that they are all a bunch of dangling condoms. (PHOTOS: Vladimir Putin: Action Figure)

That became more and more clear as the nearly five-hour call-in show progressed. Putin was hit with one question after another about the parliamentary elections held on Dec. 4, which his political party is accused of rigging, and about the subsequent wave of demonstrations, which have been the largest ever against Putin's rule. At one point, about an hour into the show, the moderator actually apologized for the mass of questions on this one topic. "I'm not doing it on purpose," he said, "there are just a whole lot of them." To which Putin responded, "I'm sick of your elections already, but alright."

As also became clear through the course of his performance, Putin seems to have made two basic calculations in the wake of this month's unrest. He has figured that the best way for him to get re-elected for a third term as president next year is to pick a fight with Washington, which he did with no holds barred. (Senator John McCain got the worst of it. "Mr. McCain famously fought in Vietnam," Putin said. "I think he has enough civilian blood on his hands.") This is a predictable ploy in Russian politics, where Cold War prejudices still shape the views of many voters. According to the most recent survey by the Levada Center, 73% of respondents said last year that the U.S. is "an aggressor trying to take control of all the countries of the world." That is the constituency Putin targeted on Thursday when he said, "America does not need allies, it needs vassals." (PHOTOS: Protests and Counterprotests in Russia)

His other calculation had to do with the size of the demographic now turning against him -- the young, urban middle-class voters, who have packed demonstrations this month across the country. Judging by Putin's statements during the call-in show, they are not a large enough segment of society to deserve much more than his contempt, which he served up abundantly. At one point, he claimed that one of the slogans shouted from the stage during the Dec. 10 protest in Moscow -- the biggest so far, with up to 50,000 people in attendance -- was "Sheep, forward!" Not only was this patently false, but it amounted to another insult: The word sheep in Russian is roughly equivalent to jackass.

For Russia's scattered opposition groups, all of these slights felt like a blessing in disguise. "Now all we have to do to get people out on the streets is remind them of Putin's insults," said Ilya Ponomaryov, the parliamentary deputy who has been organizing the biggest demonstrations in Moscow. As Ponomaryov also pointed out, Putin did offer the opposition a few olive branches, although one had to search for them between the lines. For one thing, Putin said he would consider gradually allowing Russians to elect their own governors. The Kremlin has appointed them since 2004. He also said he would allow more political parties to participate in elections, and most surprisingly, he would consider freeing one of his enemies, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the oil mogul who was imprisoned in 2004 after challenging Putin in politics. "He can't admit these are concessions, because that would be like admitting defeat," said Ponomaryov. "But there is no other way to understand them." (See "Occupy the Kremlin: Russia's Election Lets Loose Public Rage.")

As for the main demand of the opposition -- the annulment of this month's allegedly rigged parliamentary elections -- Putin showed no sign of budging. "For me, it is clear that the attacks against these elections, which have already taken place, are secondary," Putin said. "The primary goal is the next election, the election of the President of the Russian Federation." Those will take place in less than three months, on March 4, when Putin will need to extend his mandate for another six years. His only goal between now and then will be to win those elections at any price, "to win them in the first round of voting with a clear sense of legitimacy and without any ballot-box stuffing," said Zlobin, the political analyst. To that end, he proposed during the call-in show to install web cameras in all of the polling stations. "Let the country watch!" he declared. But that alone won't save his approval ratings, which dropped to a historical low of 44% last weekend, according to the state-run pollster FOM. On Dec. 24, the opposition plans to hold another wave of rallies around the country, demanding a new parliamentary vote. While Putin addressed the nation on Thursday, another 3,000 people said on Facebook that they would attend the protest in Moscow. The total now, thanks partly to Putin's condom joke, is 23,000 people.

See "Crackdown or Negotiation? Russian Protests Pose a Dilemma for Putin."

Read about Russia's billionaire rescuer, Mikhail Prokhorov.

View this article on Time.com

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Source: http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/russia/*http%3A//news.yahoo.com/s/time/20111216/wl_time/08599210262200

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শুক্রবার, ১৬ ডিসেম্বর, ২০১১

Editorial: What's wrong with TV, and what it might take to change it

America's favorite pastime, and perhaps that of all first-world countries, has yet to be truly rocked by technology. Sure, there have been a few true advancements like on-demand, streaming and the DVR, but only about 30 minutes of the average seven hours of TV Americans watched in 2010 was time shifted. Forty percent of homes have a DVR today, but most are just using them as tapeless VCRs. The reasons are complex and can't be summed up easily, but most would agree that DVRs and streaming options are where smartphones and MP3 players once were: plenty of people are throwing things against the wall, but nothing's sticking. I don't have the answers, but I do understand what the problem is and what it might take to change it. I can only hope that such a proposed change could become a self-fulfilled prophecy.

Continue reading Editorial: What's wrong with TV, and what it might take to change it

Editorial: What's wrong with TV, and what it might take to change it originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 16 Dec 2011 13:30:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: http://www.engadget.com/2011/12/16/editorial-whats-wrong-with-tv-and-what-it-might-take-to-chang/

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DOJ: Arpaio mistreated Latinos (Politico)

The Justice Department on Thursday accused Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio of violating constitutional and civil rights in a ?pattern of misconduct? that involved targeting and mistreating Latinos.

The Obama administration?s report found there was ?reasonable cause? to believe Arpaio was involved in discriminatory policing practices, such as unlawful stops, detentions and arrests of Hispanics; discriminatory jail practices against Latino inmates with limited proficiency in English by punishing them and denying certain services; and unlawful retaliation against individuals criticizing the office?s practices.

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Arpaio, a sheriff known for his tough treatment of inmates, has been highly sought-after in the conservative community for his tough-on-crime and tough-on-immigration credentials. Last month, the sheriff endorsed Texas Gov. Rick Perry for president.

His tenure as sheriff has not been without controversy - in fact, he?s drawn the ire of many pro-immigration advocates because of his strong support for Arizona?s immigration law, SB 1070, regarded as one of the toughest in the nation.

The Justice Department?s investigation also found evidence that Arpaio?s Maricopa County Sherriff?s Office (MCSO) had used excessive force; did not adequately protect Latino residents, and failed to properly investigate sexual assault allegations.

?MCSO?s systematic disregard for basic constitutional protections has created a wall of distrust between the sheriff?s office and large segments of the community, which dramatically compromises the ability to protect and serve the people,? said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department?s Civil Rights Division. ?The problems are deeply rooted in MCSO?s culture, and are compounded by MCSO?s penchant for retaliation against individuals who speak out.?

The Justice Department said that it would work with Arpaio?s office to develop a ?comprehensive reform plan? to address the alleged violations of the constitution and federal civil rights law. Arpaio?s office has to decide by Jan. 4 whether it will take part in talks about reforms, or else the Justice Department will sue him to force complaince, according to a letter from the DoJ.

The Justice Department?s involved more than 400 interviews, including with MCSO supervisors and deputies, as well as former inmates. It also involved reviewing thousands of pages of the office?s documents and reaching out to the local community.

Source: http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/politics/*http%3A//us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/external/politico_rss/rss_politico_mostpop/http___www_politico_com_news_stories1211_70498_html/43917377/SIG=11mfks65s/*http%3A//www.politico.com/news/stories/1211/70498.html

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বৃহস্পতিবার, ১৫ ডিসেম্বর, ২০১১

Group urges gov't to strictly limit chimp research

WASHINGTON (AP) ? Chimpanzees should hardly ever be used for medical research, a prestigious scientific group told the government Thursday ? advice that means days in the laboratory may be numbered for humans' closest relatives.

The Institute of Medicine stopped short of recommending the outright ban that animal rights activists had pushed. Instead, it urged strict limits that would make invasive experiments with chimps essentially a last resort, saying today's more advanced research tools mean the primates' use only rarely will be necessary enough to outweigh the moral costs.

Chimp research already was dwindling fast as scientists turned to less costly and ethically charged alternatives. The government agency in charge of it ? the National Institutes of Health ? called the new recommendations "scientifically well-founded" and signaled that it would make some changes.

"While operational details will need to be worked out, NIH intends to adopt the panel's general conclusions," said Dr. Francis Collins, the NIH's director.

These apes' genetic similarity to people has long caused a quandary. It's what has made them so valuable to scientists for nearly a century. They were vital in creating a vaccine for hepatitis B, for example, and even were shot into space to make sure the trip wouldn't kill the astronauts next in line.

But that close relationship also has had animal rights groups arguing that using chimps for biomedical research is unethical, even cruel.

"We understand and feel compelled by the moral cost of using chimpanzees in research," said bioethicist Jeffrey Kahn of Johns Hopkins University, who chaired the Institute of Medicine panel. "We have established criteria that will set the bar quite high for justification of the use of chimpanzees."

For biomedical research ? testing new drugs or giving the animal a disease ? that means using chimps only if studies cannot be done on other animals or people themselves, and if foregoing the chimp studies would hinder progress against life-threatening or other debilitating diseases.

The panel advised the government to limit use of chimps in behavioral research as well, saying such studies must provide insights into the brain and behavior that otherwise are unattainable ? and use techniques that minimize any pain or distress.

The U.S. is one of only two countries known to still conduct medical research with chimpanzees; the other is Gabon, in Africa. The European Union essentially banned such research last year.

Here, too, the practice is dwindling fast. The Institute of Medicine's investigation found over the past 10 years, the NIH has paid for just 110 projects of any type that involved chimps. There are not quite 1,000 chimps available for medical research in the country. While it's impossible to say how many have been used in privately funded pharmaceutical research, the industry is shifting to higher-tech and less costly research methods. One drug company, GlaxoSmithKline, adopted an official policy ending its use of great apes, including chimpanzees, in research.

Thursday's report was triggered by an uproar over the fate of 186 semi-retired research chimps that the NIH, to save money, last year planned to move from a New Mexico facility to an active research lab in Texas.

Associated Press

Source: http://hosted2.ap.org/APDEFAULT/bbd825583c8542898e6fa7d440b9febc/Article_2011-12-15-Chimp%20Research/id-ab276d644eab4a52b84daa6c286e699e

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