Thursday, March 15, 2012

First slayings since 1996 stun Alaska town: ; Police say teen stabbed four to death, injured fifth

SITKA, Alaska - Not much new happens in this sleepy littlesoutheast Alaska fishing community, and the locals seem to like itthat way.

But a call to 911 last week ruined their sense of peace.

A man on a cell phone directed officials to a home where therewas a "guy outside stabbing people." The dispatcher heard screamingin the background.

By the time police arrived, three people were dead inside thehouse, and two more lay outside bleeding; only one would survive.Police don't have a motive for the attacks, the city's firstslayings since 1996.

Jason Alex Abbott, a gaunt 18-year-old with a shaved head, hasbeen charged with four counts of murder, accused of …

Offer reward in murder mystery

Offer reward in murder mystery

May has arrived and that's when Beverly McCants experiences her worst pains. Her 14-year-old daughter, Melanie Lyons, was murdered in her South Side apartment in the 8700 block of South Marshfield on April 21, 1986.

She was found by her mother -- who returned home at about 10:30 p.m. that Monday night -- with multiple stab wounds. She had also been sexually assaulted.

May is such a troubling month for McCants, a kindergarten teacher herself at the time of Melanie's death, because her daughter had so many dreams for her future.

When McCants looks out the window and sees young ladies and gentlemen headed to their proms, she thinks …

NKorea slams Japanese newspapers' reports on Kim

North Korea slammed Japanese newspapers Thursday for recent reports that the communist nation was poised to make an "important announcement" that might be related to the health of leader Kim Jong Il.

Japan's Yomiuri and Sankei newspapers reported last weekend that Pyongyang had ordered its diplomats abroad to be on standby ahead of an "important announcement." Sankei said the country might be preparing to announce Kim's death.

The 66-year-old Kim, long believed to suffer from diabetes and heart disease, reportedly suffered a stroke and had brain surgery in August, and missed at least two key national ceremonies, including the Sept. 9 …

Man will stand trial on damage charge

A Charlton Mackrell man denied an offence of criminal damage whenhe appeared in court.

Kelvin Wayne Fuoco, 32, of Primrose Hill, was in the dock beforeSouth Somerset Magistrates last week.

He was charged with causing Pounds 250 worth of damage to a greenSeat Leon belonging to Pamela Hamaton during an incident at Yeovilon August 21.

The defendant pleaded not guilty to the allegation and …

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Sabbatini Wins 3-Man Playoff at Colonial

FORT WORTH, Texas - Rory Sabbatini has a new plaid jacket to help him forget about all his near-misses. Sabbatini won the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial on Sunday, beating Jim Furyk and Bernhard Langer with a 15-foot birdie putt on the first hole of a playoff.

It is the fourth career PGA Tour victory for Sabbatini, the 31-year-old South African who won the Nissan Open last year and earlier this season had consecutive top-three finishes at the Masters, the EDS Byron Nelson Championship and Wachovia.

After beginning the final round tied at 11 under, Sabbatini, Furyk and the 49-year-old Langer closed with matching 3-under 67s to finish at 14 under.

All three …

Coach K wins No. 901; No. 6 Duke tops Bruins 77-76

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Seth Curry scored 16 points and No. 6 Duke held off Belmont 77-76 on Friday night in the first round of the EA Sports Maui Invitational to move coach Mike Krzyzewski within one victory of tying Bob Knight atop the Division I men's career list.

Austin Rivers added 16 points in his college debut for the Blue Devils (1-0). They shot 43 percent, hit nine 3-pointers and overcame 19 turnovers to avoid their first nonconference home loss since 2000 and put their Hall of Fame coach one step closer to history.

Krzyzewski started his 37th season as a head coach by improving his record to 901-284. He can tie his college coach and mentor's record Saturday when Duke …

AP source: WH moves to break impasse on arms pact

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a bid to win approval of a nuclear arms control treaty with Russia before newly energized Republicans increase their clout in the Senate, the Obama administration is offering to add billions of dollars in funding for the U.S. nuclear arsenal.

A congressional aide briefed on the proposed deal said White House officials outlined it to Republican Sen. Jon Kyl, who is seen as the key to winning enough support to ratify the New START treaty. The aide spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to comment.

The offer was for a boost of $4.1 billion in funding between 2012-2016 for the nuclear weapons complex that will go to maintaining and …

JBT changes logo, more

Jonestown Bank and Trust Co. recendy rebranded itself as JBT.

Many customers were already referring to the Lebanon County bank that way, vice president Troy Peters said.

"We were even calling ourselves that," he said.

In that sense, the switch might not be a big change. But it comes as part of a broader transition at JBT

Peters is in charge of sales, marketing and branch administration and was hired about 18 months ago to review how the bank was pitching itself. Together with the change in its brand name, the bank unveiled a new logo and tagline-"We bank on a smile." JBT has some locations outside the immediate …

French finance minister says Societe Generale followed rules in handling trading losses

French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde said Monday that some internal controls at Societe Generale failed or were not heeded before the banking giant announced massive losses attributed to a rogue trader.

Lagarde, who submitted a report on the case to the French prime minister Monday, said the bank followed market rules in unwinding the trader's transactions. But she also urged greater controls on banks in France and worldwide.

In a bombshell announcement Jan. 24, Societe Generale said that it had lost euro4.82 billion (US$7.09 billion) in cleaning up unauthorized transactions by trader Jerome Kerviel.

The bank says Kerviel overstepped his …

TV CRISIS MEETING 'SNUB' ANGERS CIT Y

BRISTOL City chief executive Colin Sexstone today called on all 72Football League clubs to display a united front in the battle tosalvage money from their collapsed TV deal.

First Division chairmen met independently at a London hotelearlier this week to formulate their response to ITV Digital goinginto administration.

And that has upset Sexstone, who fears Second and Third Divisionclubs are being left out in the cold.

He was today writing to Football League chief David Burns to askwhy the lower division clubs were not involved.

"We were not invited to the meeting and feel strongly that weshould have been involved, " declared Sexstone.

"Although …

KeyCorp elects Wehrhahn senior vice president

Allen L. Wehrhahn has been elected senior vice president and chief administrative officer of Cleveland-based KeyCorp's consumer finance organization. In this newly created role, Wehrhahn will be responsible for the group's administrative functions, with particular …

Gunmen in Iraq kill 7 Shiites en route to shrine

Seven Shiite pilgrims traveling to a shrine in Baghdad were shot to death in an ambush in a Sunni town south of the capital Sunday as authorities tightened security ahead of a major religious festival that is expected to draw tens of thousands of worshippers.

The U.S. military, meanwhile, said two new operations will begin early next month in a bid to rout insurgents from rural hideouts in northern Iraq and solidify recent security gains in urban areas.

Shiite pilgrims have frequently been targeted by car bombs and gunmen during years of sectarian warfare. In 2005, at least 1,000 people also were killed in a bridge stampede caused by rumors of a suicide bomber …

Y2K: Then and now

While Peter de Jager goes back to the future, CAmagazine presents "Technovations" and a comprehensive review of ERP products

It was five years ago but I remember it well. A group of CAmagazine editors were meeting in the CICA's Manitoba Room with four IT specialists to plan the upcoming Information Technology issue. I was meeting two of them for the first time. One was Deryck Williams, now our technical editor for IT. But it was the other guy who really had everyone's attention that cold January day in 1994: Peter de Jager was explaining that virtually every computer in the world would shut down at midnight on December 31,1999 -unless....

The rest is almost history. De Jager went home to write "2000 or bust" (CAmagazine, August 1994), one of the first-ever articles about the millennium bug. He soon gained worldwide guru status on the subject as he crusaded for action, unafraid to use powerful metaphors that painted a picture more like the end of the world than the end of the century. So, since 2000 is almost here, we asked de Jager to re-read that article and write another telling us whether he's sticking to his guns or if he feels he had been off the mark. He agreed. In "Happy New Year?" (p. 22), he reflects on what has happened over five years, and assesses the situation today. We accompany this article with a condensation of "2000 or bust."

If you noticed your August issue was not the popular annual IT issue, you might have concluded that the Y2K bug got to us early. Fear not! The CICA started the process of year-2000 compliance well ahead of time. The reason CAmagazine shifted the IT special issue to September is that its growing popularity warranted a more prominent exposure. We also took this opportunity to launch "Technovations,' which you'll find in our Upfront section. Each issue, technology writer and columnist Issie Rabinovitch will review three or four of what might be called "personal" technology products. Rabinovitch's mandate is to seek out, test and review products that present features our readers might find useful. His rating reflects value, relevance, breadth of appeal, capacity and ease of use.

Elsewhere in this issue, Rabinovitch takes a close look at the latest and upcoming network operating systems. In "Office engines" (p. 28), you will learn all about Novell Netware 5.0, Windows NT and 2000, and the new kid on the block, Linux - their features, their similarities and differences, and costs involved.

We also welcome chartered accountant Michael Burns, who has taken up the challenge of reviewing mid to high-end Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) products. In addition to providing information on the multiple features of the systems listed, Burns adds a wealth of information on price, availability, support, contacts and much more. "ERPs: A buyer's market" (p. 37) is truly the most comprehensive review of ERP products available, and we at CAmagazine are convinced that CFOs and CIOs across the country who are interested in enterprise resource planning systems will keep this article within easy reach.

This year, Canada celebrates 10 years of "free trade" with the United States (Mexico was later added to the North American Free Trade Agreement). Was it a success? Is Canada really doing better? Columnist Gerard Berube analyzes some opinions that were given at a recent NAFTA conference in Montreal, and adds a few remarks of his own (p. 10).

Last but not least, Marcel Cote writes about our political leaders' reluctance to reduce the tax load - and concludes that there's no time like the present (p. 76).

RADIO HIGHLIGHTS

TODAY

5 a.m.--"Mancow's Morning Madhouse," WKQX-FM (101.1): Lt. Gen. TomMcinerney and Maj. Gen. Paul Vallely, authors of the book End Game;Henry Winkler from NBC's "Third Watch"; James Van Praagh; AndySerkis, Gollum from "The Lord of the Rings"; A Girl Named Craigperforms live in the Lava Lamp Love Lounge.

5 a.m.--Pete McMurray, WZZN-FM (94.7): Comedian Dom Irrera;promotional giveaway of backstage passes and tickets to the PerfectCircle concert tonight at the UIC Pavilion.

2:20 p.m.--Chicago Cubs vs. Cincinnati Reds, WGN-AM (720): Liveaction from Wrigley Field.

9:30 p.m.--"Music and Conversation With Marilyn Horne," WFMT-FM(98.7): Birthday celebration for the 70-year-old mezzo-soprano willinclude an interview and excerpts from her recordings.

SATURDAY

11 a.m.--"Chevron Texaco/Metropolitan Opera Live," WFMT-FM (98.7):Wagner's "Siegfried."

7 p.m.--"Making Music in Monaco," WFMT-FM (98.7): The concertscene in Monaco.

SUNDAY

1 p.m.--"Chicago Symphony Orchestra Retrospective," WFMT-FM(98.7): Strauss' "On the Shores of Sorrento."

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Dialect may mean GPs are poles apart

I Don't know what the NHS pays those Polish GPs who fly over toGrampian to cover for sick and pregnant doctors.

But whatever it is, it will be Lotto wages compared to thepounds1.70 an hour they receive back home.

The communication issue is, however, worrying. Let's face it, puta Polish medic into a practice anywhere from Cairnbulg to Clatt andI thinksome might just switch off after the opening "fit like,doctor?"

Man pleads guilty to shooting Ohio man with arrow

CINCINNATI (AP) — A man has pleaded guilty to trying to kill a Cincinnati-area man by shooting him with a bow and arrow as he slept.

Fifty-seven-year-old Harry Spivey pleaded guilty Monday in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court to attempted murder. The Cincinnati Enquirer reports Spivey admitted shooting three arrows into 50-year-old Doug Stacey on Sept. 7 at Stacey's home in the village of Elmwood Place.

Stacey had several surgeries after being shot twice in the back and once in the hand. Prosecutors say Stacey let Spivey stay with him after Spivey lost his home.

Stacey says he doesn't know what prompted the bow-and-arrow attack.

Spivey says Stacey attacked him first. A message left at Spivey's attorney's office hasn't been returned.

___

Information from: The Cincinnati Enquirer, http://www.enquirer.com

Oregon cowboy crosses U.S. on horseback to show real America and share its stories

When rancher Bill Inman decided to show there's more to America than the gloom-and-doom on the nightly news, he hopped on his horse and started riding.

And riding, and riding.

Some 1,700 miles (2,700 kilometers) later, he's burning through his family's life savings as he collects stories of hardworking, honest everyday people in rural America.

"The scenery in America is changing and I'm really proud we're taking a snapshot at slow motion of this time period, because 20 years from now it will be different," he said.

Inman soaks it all in atop Blackie, a 16-year-old thoroughbred-quarter horse mix who's averaging 20-25 miles (32-40 kilometers) a day along backroads from Oregon to North Carolina.

Inman, 48, started June 2 from his hometown of Lebanon, Oregon, and is halfway through his cross-country trek dubbed Uncovering America by Horseback.

His wife, Brenda, also 48, drives ahead in a pickup and horse trailer filled with water and provisions for Blackie, three dogs and the couple.

They estimate the journey will cost them US$45,000 (euro30,000). They want to make a documentary film and write a book, and a filmmaker and Web site operator are tagging along.

Said Inman: "It's probably the most stupid thing I've done financially, but I truly believe in it."

He and his crew often rely on strangers since they don't have national sponsors to underwrite them. They'll accept a meal, a place to sleep, cash, or donated feed for Blackie, who eats about 20 pounds (9 kilograms) of high-fat feed a day.

Bill began his trek after growing weary of the daily media drumbeat he thinks is too focused on war, crime, poverty and assorted social ills.

"Unfortunately, the image they are portraying is there's corruption in every politician and there's criminals running everywhere," he said.

Hundreds of interesting people have greeted Inman along the way.

They include a Dodge City man who collects bridle bits, spurs and barbed wire; a Wyoming deputy sheriff who drove 25 miles (40 kilometers) through a rain storm to bring dinner to the Inmans; and a Wyoming woman who gave Bill a pair of stirrups she bought as a Christmas present for her grandson before he was killed in car wreck.

Inman arrived in this rural town with a sweat-stained Stetson and a weathered face that left no doubt ranching has been part of his entire life. The couple rely on media coverage and word-of-mouth to let people know when they reach a new town.

Raised on a Texas ranch, Inman worked cattle, herded wild horses and managed a ranch on an Indian reservation in Nevada before he moved to Oregon last year and began selling horses there. He's also an auctioneer and has done horse-shoeing for nearly 30 years.

Among those meeting Inman on the outskirts of town was Kurly Hebb, former rodeo cowboy and Kansas Cowboy Hall of Fame member.

"He's got my respect. I can tell from talking to him he's going to make it. Just be a cowboy, that's all you got to do," said Hebb, now a rancher.

Joyce Cross met Inman when he came to her restaurant looking for a place to sleep. She found a place for the couple and allowed her 4-year-old son, Kadyn Covey, to ride with Inman the next day.

"The diversity he has unveiled is a lot of forgotten heritage in this country. It's a great eye-opener for anybody who runs into him," she said.

Inman has Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado and Kansas behind him. Ahead are Missouri, Tennessee and North Carolina, where he hopes to spend Christmas with his wife's family in Hendersonville.

Inman ticked off a list of what's been bad about the trip _ temperatures ranging from 108 degrees (42 Celsius) to freezing, insects, water shortages, crossing mountains and desert, and riding in a lightning storm. People aren't on the list.

"I haven't run into any bad people," he said.

___

On the Net:

Uncovering America by Horseback: http://www.uncoveringamerica.com

Friday's Sports Scoreboard

All Times Eastern
National Football League
No games today.
National Basketball Association
Cleveland vs Toronto, 7 p.m.
Washington vs Philadelphia, 7 p.m.
Milwaukee vs New York, 7:30 p.m.
New Orleans vs Atlanta, 7:30 p.m.
Boston vs Miami, 8 p.m.
San Antonio vs Minnesota, 8 p.m.
Portland vs Dallas, 8:30 p.m.
Orlando vs Phoenix, 9 p.m.
Indiana vs Seattle, 10:30 p.m.
L.A. Lakers vs Utah, 10:30 p.m.
L.A. Clippers vs Denver, 10:30 p.m.
National Hockey League
Montreal vs New Jersey, 7 p.m.
Washington vs Carolina, 7 p.m.
Dallas vs Pittsburgh, 7:30 p.m.
St. Louis vs Minnesota, 8 p.m.
Phoenix vs Chicago, 8:30 p.m.
Anaheim vs Edmonton, 9 p.m.
Colorado vs San Jose, 10:30 p.m.
Top 25 College Football
No games today.
Top 25 College Basketball
Washington St. (6) vs Baylor, 9 p.m.
Louisiana-Lafayette vs Tennessee (11), 7:30 p.m.
Wis.-Milwaukee vs Marquette (13), 8:30 p.m.
Top 25 Women's College Basketball
Ohio St. (19) vs Maryland (3), 7 p.m.
Saint Mary's, Calif. vs California (12), 10 p.m.
Gonzaga vs Arizona St. (14), 8 p.m.
George Washington (16) vs UNLV at Human Performance Center, 7 p.m.
Auburn (18) vs UC Riverside at Wells-Fargo Arena, 10 p.m.
Florida St. (21) vs Indiana, 7 p.m.

Rule foulup snarls trains // Door checking delays riders on Milw. Road

Thousands of Milwaukee Road commuters arrived at work more thanan hour late yesterday after a train crew "misconstrued" new safetyregulations, stalling trains at every stop.

The foulup on the 6:24 a.m. train from Fox Lake to Chicago had aripple effect, delaying six subsequent rush-hour trains on therailroad's north line.

Passengers, livid about the delay, jammed Metra phone lines tocomplain about the new regulations that require employees to holdtrains for late arrivals and check all doors before departure.

Embarrassed Metra officials responded by distributing flyers onevening rush-hour trains apologizing for the "inordinate andinexcusable" delays.

"I almost had a heart attack running up the stairs to my office,I was running so fast," said Roselle Maramont, 56, who arrived at herLoop receptionist's job an hour late.

"What kind of idiot would do this sort of thing during rushhour? "

Metra Executive Director James E. Cole said two conductorsaboard the morning train "mistakenly believed they had to walk up anddown the platform checking to see that each door is closed."

Regulations imposed last week merely require conductors to makea cursory check of all doors, then inform the engineer by two-wayradio that the train is ready for departure, he said.

"There's nothing wrong with the policy. It's just that thisparticular crew made a delay out of it," Cole said. "It won't happenagain. We'll have people riding with the conductors for a while tomake sure it doesn't."

Cole said the two conductors, apparently miffed at the newpolicy, told passengers to blame Metra for the delay and passed outhis phone number.

John Mogan, general chairman of the United TransportationWorkers Union representing train employees, said he initially opposedthe directive because "it put time constraints on our people thatdidn't exist before."

He added, "We support the rule the way it's being applied now.This was a misunderstanding, not a deliberate slowdown. We weren'ttrying to stick it to anybody."

SAfrica ANC leader Zuma maintains innocence

The man expected to become South Africa's next president said Tuesday he had committed no crime, a day after officials said they were dropping a corruption case against him _ but only because of prosecutorial misconduct.

Jacob Zuma, leader of the governing African National Congress party, called the charges baseless and thanked supporters for believing in him.

"My conscience is clear," he told a news conference in Durban, where a judge formally endorsed the prosecutors' decision to drop the case. "I have not committed any crime against the state or the people of South Africa."

Zuma is the ANC's presidential candidate in April 22 elections and is almost certain to win, given the party's dominance. He has maintained he was the victim of a political conspiracy aimed at derailing his presidential ambitions.

Zuma was greeted with cheers and chants from hundreds of supporters outside the Durban courthouse where the charges were dropped. Some people climbed into trees to get a better view of him. Zuma addressed the crowd in Zulu for nearly an hour and urged them to put the matter behind them.

"We can't waste time; we need to develop the country and our people," Zuma said to applause. "This is now history. Let's go forward."

Zuma was accused of seeking bribes to thwart an investigation into wrongdoing by a French arms company involved in a massive weapons deal in the late 1990s. Prosecutors also have withdrawn charges against the company.

Seven countries and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development are investigating allegations that tens of millions of dollars were paid in bribes to secure contracts in the multibillion-dollar arms deal. The amounts cited in Zuma's case were minuscule in comparison.

Prosecutors said Monday they remained convinced their case against Zuma was strong, and that they were withdrawing it only because the process was tainted. Prosecutors said they would not revive the charges in the future _ but noted individuals could file civil cases.

Some observers have said unanswered questions about the Zuma case could haunt the next government and hurt the country's image.

The main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, said Tuesday it had filed an application seeking a judicial review of the prosecutors' decision.

"Two weeks before the election, (the National Prosecuting Authority) has caved in to political pressure from the Jacob Zuma faction of the ANC, and discontinued a prosecution selectively," the party said in a statement.

Mokotedi Mpshe, acting director of public prosecutions, said Monday that key prosecutors had abused their powers in pursuing the case against the 66-year-old former guerrilla leader by trying to time an announcement of charges against him with a key ANC conference in late 2007, presumably to undermine his bid to become party president.

Zuma won the leadership race at that conference, and two days later Mpshe said he had enough evidence to try Zuma. On Monday, Mpshe said he had been unaware in 2007 of attempts to manipulate the case.

"An intolerable abuse of process has occurred which requires discontinuation of the prosecution," Mpshe said at a packed news conference that was broadcast nationwide.

Mpshe's decision followed a lengthy review of taped phone conversations between prosecutors discussing the announcement timing first brought to Mpshe's attention by Zuma's legal team. It was unclear how Zuma's team obtained the recordings, but Mpshe said prosecutors determined they were authentic.

___

Associated Press Writer Michelle Faul in Johannesburg contributed to this report.

Ball From Bonds' 762nd Homer to Be Sold

After snaring the baseball Barry Bonds hit for career homer No. 762, Jameson Sutton stored it in the safest place he could think of _ deep inside his closet.

"I didn't tell anyone," he said.

The 24-year-old from Boulder quickly moved the baseball into a safety deposit box after the season was finished, realizing its potential worth. And with Bonds still looking for a place to play this season, Sutton decided to come forward with the ball.

Sutton has hired SCP Auctions to run an online auction that starts March 31 and could fetch as much as $1 million.

"I thought it would be cool to give it to my grandkids, but it's too important of a ball for me to have it in my house laying around," Sutton said Thursday.

Sutton grabbed Bonds' final homer of last season on Sept. 5 at Coors Field when he extended his arm over the fence. He thought he had it cleanly and then was crunched by two other fans.

"I did what was a weird splits, and saw the ball rolling in front of me," he said.

Sutton already had a batting-practice baseball in his hand that he was given by a member of the Rockies' maintenance crew before the game. He let go of that one and snatched the home run ball.

Robert Harmon, who was taking pictures at the time and was close to Sutton, saw a ball rolling and quickly scooped it up. Turns out, he grabbed the batting practice ball.

"When I went back to my seat, I got a phone call from a friend who thought I had the ball," Harmon said. "This kid came up and said, 'My friend got the baseball.' I was like, 'No, I've got it.' I looked at it and was like, 'Oh (expletive).' I've seen enough baseballs to know what a game ball is and what a practice ball is. He's got the ball. I've got a nice souvenir."

Harmon isn't bitter about losing the pricey baseball to Sutton. Being a partial season ticket holder, Harmon has gotten to know Sutton's mom and dad, David and Debbie, who've been ticket holders since the team's inception.

Harmon knows how much the ball can help the family. David Sutton is back in the hospital as he battles cancer.

"For them, it's a fairy tale come true," Harmon said.

Jameson Sutton has already pledged at least half of the ball's proceeds to his parents.

"I just want to help my family," he said. "I'll pay his medical bills, for their house, whatever. I gladly will."

The auction house also handled the sale of Bonds' record-breaking home run ball No. 756, which went for $752,467.

David Kohler, the president of SCP Auctions, said he's already had people say they'll pay up to $1 million for Sutton's baseball.

Earlier in the week, local businessman Gregory Anderson made an offer of $15,000 for the ball. He said he'll take part in the upcoming auction, but doesn't know if he'd bid over $100,000.

"We would have to feel really comfortable with a bid that high," Anderson said. "There's too much uncertainty."

Bonds' return to baseball also is uncertain. The Giants didn't re-sign the 43-year-old, and the home run king faces perjury and obstruction charges stemming from a steroids investigation. He pleaded not guilty.

If Bonds doesn't return, No. 762 would remain the major league record for career homers for the foreseeable future. Among active players, Sammy Sosa is second with 609.

Bonds hit No. 762 over the left-field fence _ the opposite field for the lefty-batting slugger _ on a 99-mph fastball by Ubaldo Jimenez.

"This is my first home run ball I've ever caught," Sutton said.

SCP said it authenticated Sutton's ball by studying game films and interviewing fans, including Harmon who will sign an affidavit saying he doesn't have the ball.

But Harmon has no doubt that Sutton possesses the ball.

"It's the ball. There were two balls in play, and I got the practice ball," Harmon said.

Still, SCP had Sutton take a polygraph test, and he passed.

"That result was absolutely 100 percent _ Jameson has Barry Bonds' 762nd home run ball," Kohler said.

Asked if he would consider giving the ball back to the slugger, Sutton, who considers himself a big Bonds fan, just smiled.

"If he wants to come bid on it, that would be great," he said.

___

On the Net:

http://www.scpauctions.com/

Monday, March 12, 2012

Bank of China plans $17.5 bln subordinated bonds

Bank of China, one of the country's biggest lenders, said Friday its main shareholder has proposed selling up to 120 billion yuan ($17.5 billion) of subordinated bonds to boost the bank's capital.

The bonds will have a term of no less than five years, the bank said in a notice to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

Central Safe Investments Ltd., a government investment vehicle, has a 67.53 percent stake in Bank of China, one of China's four big state-owned commercial banks.

Shareholders will consider the plan for the bond issue at a meeting on March 23, the bank said.

Given the feeble state of share markets, a growing number of financial institutions have turned to debt issues to raise capital.

Danes capture pirate mothership, free 14

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — The Danish navy says it has captured a suspect pirate mothership off the Horn of Africa and rescued 14 people who were being held hostage on it.

The navy says its warship HDMS Absalon, which participates in NATO's Ocean Shield anti-piracy force, encountered the ship Saturday and the crew boarded it.

They arrested 25 suspected pirates and freed 14 people from Iran and Pakistan.

Navy spokesman Mikael Bill says the hostages are most likely fishermen who had been held for around two months and the pirates were using their fishing vessel.

The hostages were transferred onto the HDMS Absalon, where they were able to call their families.

The Danish Navy said Sunday further investigations are needed to determine what will happen to the suspected pirates.

As Nasdaq bids for NYSE, shares of CBOE plunge on downgrade

As the world's biggest financial exchanges plan merger parties, the markets in Chicago are either not invited or purposely skipping the affair.

Shares of the company that includes the Chicago Board Options Exchange fell 5 percent Friday on investor concerns that it could be "odd man out" as other markets link up.

CBOE Holdings Inc. lost $1.46 Friday to close at $27.51 after analysts downgraded the stock. They said CBOE may have no potential deal partners after Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. launched a bid for the owner of the New York Stock Exchange.

With the futures market IntercontinentalExchange Inc., Nasdaq bid $11.3 billion for NYSE Euronext Inc. The offer topped a $10 billion deal that the icon of the American capitalism accepted from Frankfurt-based Deutsche Boerse in February.

The competition for the NYSE could benefit the owner of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and the Chicago Board of Trade, CME Group Inc. The world's largest futures exchange operator could be overshadowed in Europe if the NYSE, which owns a London-based futures exchange, sold to Deutsche Boerse.

Conversely, analysts said an NYSE-Nasdaq link would keep futures trading in Europe divided and leave an opening for CME.

Shares of CME rose $2.72 Friday to close at $304.27.

The company has bided its time while the NYSE has been in play, downplaying talk it would make its own offer.

But some traders believe CME eventually will try to acquire CBOE, its neighbor on La Salle Street. Both companies are highly profitable, but a linkage would create savings from job cuts and sharing technology.

Any combination of exchanges, however, will face regulatory review based on antitrust concerns. Some in Congress have raised objections to the NYSE possibly coming under foreign ownership.

Traditional stock exchanges are under pressure to find partners because technology has driven down the cost of trading to almost nothing. Newer, smaller and more high-tech companies like the BATS Exchange and Direct Edge have emerged to let investors find the best price for a security in milliseconds. Meanwhile, profits have increased from trading in futures and options contracts, the Chicago specialty.

"We're in the midst of a pretty fundamental reshaping of the way people trade stocks, bonds and derivatives," said Kenneth B. Marlin, managing partner at Marlin & Associates, a boutique investment bank that's done merger-related work with exchanges.

NYSE said it will "carefully review" the offer from Nasdaq.

Contributing: AP

The stock at CBOE Holdings, which owns the Chicago Board Options Exchange, was downgraded.| Brian Jackson~Sun-TimesThe New York Stock Exchange (background), already having reached a deal with Deutsche Boerse, received a competing joint offer from Nasdaq OMX and Intercontinental Exchange on Friday. | Mark Lennihan~ap fileMark Lennihan

Wilson, Young lead Rangers past Angels

C.J. Wilson scattered four hits over eight innings, Michael Young homered, and the Texas Rangers beat the Los Angeles Angels 1-0 on Friday night as the AL West leaders stretched their season-high lead over the second-place Angels to seven games.

Wilson (9-5) struck out three without a walk, retiring 17 of his last 18 batters to win for the sixth time in eight decisions.

Neftali Feliz got three outs for his 27th save, helping the Rangers improve to 5-2 against the Angels this season. Feliz has converted 18 straight save opportunities.

The teams were playing the second of seven games over an 11-day span.

For the second straight game, Young's one-out solo homer in the first put Texas ahead, and from there pitching dominated.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) _ C.J. Wilson scattered four hits over eight innings, Michael Young homered, and the Texas Rangers beat the Los Angeles Angels 1-0 on Friday night as the AL West leaders stretched their season-high lead over the second-place Angels to seven games.

Wilson (9-5) struck out three without a walk, retiring 17 of his last 18 batters to win for the sixth time in eight decisions.

Neftali Feliz got three outs for his 27th save, helping the Rangers improve to 5-2 against the Angels this season. Feliz has converted 18 straight save opportunities.

The teams were playing the second of seven games over 11 days.

For the second straight game, Young's one-out solo homer in the first put Texas ahead, and from there pitching dominated.

Texas' Ian Kinsler went 1 for 4 to extend his hitting streak to 16 games and teammate Nelson Cruz was 2 for 3 to stretch his career-best streak to 12 games.

Joe Saunders (6-10) kept the Angels close in a rare effective start against the Rangers, allowing one run and seven hits over seven innings with six strikeouts and one walk.

Saunders entered the game 0-5 with an 11.68 ERA in five career starts at Rangers Ballpark and was 0-3 with a 16.88 ERA against Texas last season.

Alberto Callaspo, acquired by the Angels from Kansas City in a trade on Thursday, played third base and went 1 for 3.

Rangers catcher Matt Treanor left the game in the seventh inning with a sprained right knee. Treanor was running out a ground ball and tripped over the foot of Angels first baseman Kevin Frandsen. Treanor fell to the ground in pain, holding his right leg.

He was replaced by Bengie Molina in the top of the eighth. The Rangers said Treanor will have an MRI on Saturday.

NOTES: Rangers RHP Rich Harden threw in the bullpen four hours before the game, another step in his attempt to return to the rotation from the 15-day DL (left gluteal muscle strain). Harden has allowed 16 hits and three homers in 11 1-3 innings of three rehab starts for Triple-A Oklahoma City. Manager Ron Washington said Harden's location has been inconsistent in his minor league appearances. Harden will start Monday night for Oklahoma City against Memphis. ... Both teams took batting practice in the indoor cages due to pregame rain. ... The trade to Kansas City for Callaspo cost the Angels RHP Sean O'Sullivan, leaving Los Angeles with an 11-man pitching staff. But manager Mike Scioscia said there are no plans to call up another pitcher unless he has to overuse his bullpen. ... Scioscia rested OF/DH Hideki Matsui, batting .204 with no homers and one RBI in July.

Summer camp targets high achievers when it counts

ANDOVER, MASS. --As a child, Kristina Halona grew up withoutrunning water or electricity on a New Mexico Navajo reservation. Butshe had big dreams: Inspired by the Air Force jets that raced overthe desert landscape, she set her sights on the science of spaceexploration.

Today, Halona helps develop satellites as an aerospace engineer.It's a leap that was made possible, the young college graduate says,by spending her high school summers hard at work in classroomsthousands of miles from her Southwestern home.

Halona was in ninth grade when she first traveled to PhillipsAcademy in Andover, Mass. For a quarter-century now, the school'sMath and Science for Minority Students--(MS)2--program has broughtpublic high school students from inner cities and reservations tothis leafy campus just north of Boston. Over three consecutivesummers, they pack in whole years' worth of courses like physics,calculus, and English-- giving kids a taste of college life whilehelping them develop the confidence and skills to succeed there.

Virtually all the program's graduates go on to college. And whenalumni returned to campus this month to celebrate (MS)2's 25thanniversary, they came back as doctors, engineers, and otherprofessionals.

Ted Sizer, a former Phillips Academy headmaster who helped launch(MS)2, says he couldn't have anticipated its success. Indeed, manyalumni called it the best experience in their lives-- their firstchance to meet so many equally bright kids from similar backgrounds.

"Going to a place like that and learning opens yours eyes," saysHalona, who graduated from the program in 1995.

Few though, ever claim it was easy.

At this academic boot camp, students spend five hours in class orlabs and just as much time doing homework six days a week. They takemore classes than other Phillips Academy summer-session students, andmust get a higher minimum grade to pass.

Such rigor is no accident, says program director Temba Maqubela.He knows what it means to surmount a challenge: A youth apartheidleader in his native South Africa, he was forced to leave and arrivedin the United States homeless, eventually becoming a chemistryteacher at Phillips Academy. "We want them to walk onto a campus withconfidence and feel they belong, that they want and deserve it all,not that they're being done a favor," Maqubela says.

In class, Maqubela gently throws chalk at students who fall asleepand admits to having given"the test from hell." After spending a halfhour explaining their test answers on the board, several studentsmoan when he tells the class to retake the test again that night.

Maqubela says he tries to teach them life skills less easy tolearn than the periodical table, such as organizing their time, theloneliness of studying, and the discipline of learning by repetition.And at a weekly meeting, he reminds them that their presence is aprivilege, not a right. Some 200 students apply for the program,which is funded mostly by donations. Only 35 are accepted.

They bring a range of family and financial hardships. Oneapplicant saw a parent shot to death by the other parent. Many dependon public assistance.

For students used to excelling without studying much, (MS)2 can beboth a rude and pleasant awakening. "It's nice here to be able tothink," says Ashleigh Eldemire, a first-year student from a Bostonhigh school, where she says one teacher often fell asleep duringclass. Here you want to work hard and get good grades. It's fun."

Still, adjusting to campus life can be as jolting as the classwork. Many students arrive at this school of colonial brick buildingsspread among wide lawns having rarely left their urban neighborhoodsor rural reservations. Xavier Del Rosario of Harlem says it was soquiet his first night, he just couldn't sleep. Cassandra Toledo saysshe's used to silence on the Jemez Pueblo Reservation in New Mexico,but had never met an African-American. "This is a big culture shockto me," she says.

(MS)2 students learned about one another's backgrounds bypreparing skits during their second weekend together. A band composedof African-American students played a song by jazz musician JohnColtrane. Native American students donned traditional garb to dance.

"We try to get them to understand there's diversity within thediversity," Maqubela says.

And while their classes are held separately from other summer-session courses, they share dorms, eat cookies, and drink milk withall students on campus after morning classes, and play sportstogether each afternoon.

With a week left in the program, Xavier says he doesn't want to gohome but won't necessarily mind showing off what he learned here."You feel good when you know more than everyone in the class," hesays.

Douglas Tyson, a science teacher from a Washington public school,says (MS)2 students return energized. "They come back with aninfectious enthusiasm for academics," says Tyson, who has helped sometwo dozen students successfully apply. They also come back moreconfident, knowing they aren't alone. "It dispels any motion thatit's acting white to be smart or to want to achieve or take bookshome," Tyson says.

By the third summer, the students' focus shifts ahead. They take acollege-planning course and once a week visit top colleges includingYale, Brown, and Dartmouth.

Roy Adams, was unsure about where to go to college as a third-year (MS)2 student in 1995. The guidance counselor at his Bronx highschool suggested a New York state school. Adams says he couldn'tthink of any better alternatives. But one day, one of the (MS)2teachers stopped him and said, "Roy, you should think about Yale."

He wound up there, majoring in economics and playing football. Healso convinced several friends who had never thought of Ivy Leagueschools to apply, too.

"I started seeing the potential in me," says Adams who now worksas a vice president at a financial-services firm. "It reallybroadened my horizons and introduced met to a whole world I was notprivy to as a young kid growing up in the Bronx."

Christian Science Monitor

For GOP, triumph is fleeting

While savoring his extra-innings victory, George W. Bush, baseballman, should remember the movie "Bull Durham." The young pitcher NukeLaLoosh, after a good inning, is deflated by his veteran catcher,Crash Davis:

Nuke: "I was good, eh?"

Crash: "Your fastball was up and your curveball was hanging. Inthe Show, they woulda ripped you."

Nuke: "Can't you let me enjoy the moment?"

Crash: "The moment's over."

Moments are awfully momentary. Consider this:

The other time a president's son ran for president, he finishedsecond, in a field of four, to a Tennessean. But because the leader,Andrew Jackson, did not get an electoral vote majority, the 1824election was settled in the House, when John Quincy Adams struck adeal with the fourth-place candidate, Henry Clay, who threw hissupport to Adams. Adams in turn made Clay secretary of state, thenconsidered a stepping-stone to the presidency. Jackson successfullycharacterized this as a "corrupt bargain," which helped doom Adams in1828 and put an end to Clay's presidential aspirations.

The inevitably untidy and bitter judicial ending of this electionmay taint Bush's presidency. However, sober people understand thatany ending favoring Al Gore would have tainted his presidency. Andliberals stigmatizing the Supreme Court as partisan are shortsighted,given their reliance on judicial prestige rather than democraticpersuasion to advance much of their agenda.

The Gore-Nader 51 percent of the vote should erase whateverremains of conservatives' triumphalism. But Gore got one-fifth of hisvote by winning 90 percent of African-American votes, a source ofsupport that is nearly tapped out. Two issues, abortion and guns,were not as important for Gore as they were expected to be. In thesix elections since abortion first became a presidential campaignissue in 1980, four have been won by candidates running on right-to-life platforms. And to carry Michigan and Pennsylvania, Gore mutedhis enthusiasm for gun control.

However, six of the 10 most populous states-California, New York,Pennsylvania, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey-have voted Democratic inthree consecutive presidential elections, by an average margin of 13percentage points. If these states, with 165 electoral votes,constitute the Democrats' presidential base, a Democrat needs to findonly 105 votes from 44 states and the District of Columbia. Bush kepthis promise to spend in California the money he raised there, and hecampaigned there. After Gore's Los Angeles convention, he visitedCalifornia only once, and only to tape Jay Leno's show. Nevertheless,Gore beat Bush there as badly as Bill Clinton beat Bob Dole, whonever seriously contested California.

Perhaps the key datum of the election is that late-decidingvoters, who usually break against the candidate of the party holdingthe presidency, this time broke for Gore. This suggests that Goresucceeded in sowing doubts about Bush's competence. Which may explainBush's weakness in educated, metropolitan America.

The Weekly Standard's David Brooks notes that Gore beat Bush by 8points among people with advanced degrees-almost 10 percent of theelectorate-and by 22 points among women with advanced degrees.Affluent suburbs have been leaning Democratic for 20 years. Gore,Brooks writes, did better than Clinton in 1996 in 12 states(California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Kansas,Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, RhodeIsland), and Bush did better than Dole did in 12 (Arkansas, Idaho,Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, SouthDakota, Utah, West Virginia, Wyoming). Which dozen would you mostwant trending toward you?

Twenty Republican Senate seats and only 14 Democratic seats are upin 2002. And, historically, the party holding the White House losesHouse seats in off-year elections. But Roll Call, the newspaper ofCapitol Hill, says that pattern may presuppose something that did nothappen this year-many members elected on presidential coattails.Furthermore, a surge of House retirements-more than the post-WorldWar II high of 65 in 1992, a redistricting year-may result fromredistricting, Democratic disappointment about the failure to capturecontrol of the House, and term limits for Republican House committeechairmen.

In addition to the 65 retirees in 1992, 43 incumbents weredefeated, partly because of redistricting. Churning will continue inthe House, where, come January, 53 percent of Republicans will neverhave been in the minority and 44 percent of Democrats will never havebeen in the majority.

Democrats will benefit, on balance, from congressional gridlockbecause of the reactionary liberalism of key constituencies. Teachersunions want no school choice, trial lawyers want no tort reform,feminists want no limits on even partial-birth abortions, AfricanAmericans want no change in racial preferences, organized labor wantsno significant tax cuts and no partial privatization of SocialSecurity.

Memo from Crash Davis to the president-elect: The moment's almostover.

Cayman police probe killings of blue iguanas that are among globe's rarest creatures

Cayman Island authorities are investigating the violent deaths of a half-dozen giant blue iguanas that are among the most imperiled creatures on the planet.

Five captive Grand Cayman Blue Iguanas, critically endangered lizards that resemble miniature turquoise dragons, were found scattered across a breeding park in the British dependency after they apparently were stomped and gouged, scientists said.

The sixth dead iguana's entrails were found strewn outside its pen in the fenced-in facility in Grand Cayman, according to Fred Burton, director of a program that has brought the rare reptiles back from the brink of extinction.

Feral cats kill young blue iguanas, and adult iguanas are sometimes killed by dogs. But humans were almost certainly behind the weekend massacre, which wiped out more than half of the adult breeding iguanas at the facility, Burton said.

The Royal Cayman Islands Police have launched a criminal investigation, including forensics work on the dead iguanas.

"It's ugly and deeply shocking," Burton said Tuesday from the Blue Iguana Recovery Program. "These were six of our most high-profile, most-loved captive iguanas."

Two females had been preparing to lay eggs to help the species repopulate when they were killed late Saturday or early Sunday.

The blue iguana, which frequently lives more than 20 years and grows to more than 5 feet (1.5 meters), is only found in the wild on Grand Cayman. It is a subspecies of the Cuban rock iguana, and is closely related to the rock iguana that is found on the islands of Cayman Brac and Little Cayman.

Only 10 to 25 cold-blooded blue iguanas, which eat flowers and fruits, were known to exist in the wild before Hurricane Ivan ravaged the Caribbean island in 2004. Since then, the captive breeding program has restored about 200 of the reptiles to a wildlife sanctuary on the island's northwest, Burton said.

"We have a broad constituency of support here, but this appalling incident is an acid reminder that things can't always go our way," he said.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Fatalities Trending Downward

A concerted effort by many in B.C.'s forest industry is resulting in a positiue trend.

Five years ago safety in the B.C. forest industry, particularly the coastal industry, was receiving negative public attention. The Financial Post ran a two page article on the poor state of safety, using a subtitle "the West Coast's dirty secret". Industry, the union and government took on the challenge of changing that record. Up until 2004, the industry had been averaging 22 fatalities per year in the woods, a number that spiked in 2005 to 34 fatalities. Using tools such as SAFE Companies certification and Faller Certification, industry has reduced the fatalities to an average of five in the past two years. If industry had stayed on the old trend, even with a reduced harvest, there would have been an average of 15 fatali ties per year. The number of lost time accidents per 100 people working has also decreased by 30%. The B.C. Forest industry used to have a serious injury rate three times as high as the provincial average. It is now down to twice as high. The gap is closing, and at a faster rate than some other major industrial sectors. More importantly, the forest industry used to have a reputation of being one of the most dangerous places to work - that may still be the case in much of North America, but in British Columbia, the industry is changing that and making forestry a more attractive place for our young people to consider working.

The economic outlook for 2011 for the B.C. forest industry is expected to be more positive and while significant strides have been made in the reduction of serious injuries and fatalities, there is a concern that the efforts of industry to continue to improve its safety record may be at risk. The concern relates to the potential for the industry to suffer from the "we've arrived syndrome" - a complacent lethargy that can arise once a goal has been achieved. Jim Collins, the author of business best seller Good to Great coined the phrase, "the enemy of great is good". The challenge for the B.C. Forest industry in 201 1 will be to keep focused on making permanent and sustainable change and continuously improve on the efforts made towards reducing the number of serious injuries and fatalities. The industry can continue the improvement trends to reach the provincial averages, and then be a leader by achieving lower than the provincial averages. As the forest industry faces retirements and economic improvements, it will be looking to attract new people. Telling them they are going to work in an industry dedicated to getting them back to their family inj ury-free after work - and proving it with a great track record that shows it can be done is a positive selling point.

Economy, drug war affect Mexico election: ; Midterm elections could determine success of Calderon's policies

MEXICO CITY - Drug violence, an economic downturn and recentcases of political malfeasance weigh heavily on Mexico's midtermcongressional elections, a vote that could decide the future ofPresident Felipe Calderon's anti-crime and economic policies.

Calderon's National Action Party, PAN, hopes its nationwidecrackdown on drug cartels will win it a bigger share of the 500-seat lower house of Congress, where it currently holds 206 spots.But polls suggest the gains will go to the former longtime rulingInstitutional Revolutionary Party, PRI, which now has 106 seats.

The PAN ran a bruising campaign in which it practically accusedthe PRI of tolerating drug trafficking. That angered PRI members,and if the party and its allies win enough seats to form a majority,it could block Calderon's efforts to reform police forces and givemore police powers to 45,000 soldiers deployed to fight well-armeddrug gangs.

The vote for 565 mayors and six governorships - including thenorthern border states of Nuevo Leon and Sonora - is also seen as areferendum on an economy that shrank 8.2 percent in the firstquarter and is expected to contract 5.5 percent for the year as awhole.

The economic crisis has been compounded by a drop in money senthome by Mexicans working abroad and by a decrease in oil income fromthe slump in world petroleum prices. Those are Mexico's two biggestsources of foreign currency.

Many activists and intellectuals have urged voters to annul theirvote or deface their ballot in protest against the largelygovernment-funded political parties that have done little to breakMexico out of the doldrums. But many more Mexicans - perhaps as manyas 70 percent of the 77.5 million registered voters - are likely tosimply stay away from the polls.

The PRI appears likely to win most statehouse races. One of thePAN's biggest hopes lies in Sonora, where the PRI state government'simage suffered after a fire at an ill-equipped, government-approvedday-care center killed 48 children in June.

A wave of arrests of public servants and police for drug-relatedcorruption and a string of highly publicized kidnappings andextortions have added to the disenchantment with politicians.

The leftist Democratic Revolution Party, whose candidate AndresManuel Lopez Obrador barely lost the 2006 presidential race toCalderon, currently has 126 seats in Congress but has sufferedserious internal splits and is expected to drop precipitously aftersome of its more militant members turned to the smaller Labor Party.

The PRI ruled Mexico for more than seven decades until it lostthe presidency in the 2000. While it was long held together by theall-powerful figure of the president, the party has become morefractious and dominated by state leaders and regional interestssince losing national power.

Angry over the mudslinging campaign and already looking to regainthe presidency in 2012, the PRI could become a spoiler for anyfuture reform proposals. Its extensive party machine and broadnational presence would give it an edge in the event of a smallturnout or a large number of protest votes.

"To the extent people nullify their ballots, institutions will beweakened and the PRI's network of control will go into action, andthey will win a majority," warned the conservative, PAN-alignedcivic group Better Society, Better Government.

The null-vote movement wants reforms such as reducing thegenerous government funding for parties, making recalls of electedofficials easier and allowing write-in votes or independentcandidates.

Economy, drug war affect Mexico election: ; Midterm elections could determine success of Calderon's policies

MEXICO CITY - Drug violence, an economic downturn and recentcases of political malfeasance weigh heavily on Mexico's midtermcongressional elections, a vote that could decide the future ofPresident Felipe Calderon's anti-crime and economic policies.

Calderon's National Action Party, PAN, hopes its nationwidecrackdown on drug cartels will win it a bigger share of the 500-seat lower house of Congress, where it currently holds 206 spots.But polls suggest the gains will go to the former longtime rulingInstitutional Revolutionary Party, PRI, which now has 106 seats.

The PAN ran a bruising campaign in which it practically accusedthe PRI of tolerating drug trafficking. That angered PRI members,and if the party and its allies win enough seats to form a majority,it could block Calderon's efforts to reform police forces and givemore police powers to 45,000 soldiers deployed to fight well-armeddrug gangs.

The vote for 565 mayors and six governorships - including thenorthern border states of Nuevo Leon and Sonora - is also seen as areferendum on an economy that shrank 8.2 percent in the firstquarter and is expected to contract 5.5 percent for the year as awhole.

The economic crisis has been compounded by a drop in money senthome by Mexicans working abroad and by a decrease in oil income fromthe slump in world petroleum prices. Those are Mexico's two biggestsources of foreign currency.

Many activists and intellectuals have urged voters to annul theirvote or deface their ballot in protest against the largelygovernment-funded political parties that have done little to breakMexico out of the doldrums. But many more Mexicans - perhaps as manyas 70 percent of the 77.5 million registered voters - are likely tosimply stay away from the polls.

The PRI appears likely to win most statehouse races. One of thePAN's biggest hopes lies in Sonora, where the PRI state government'simage suffered after a fire at an ill-equipped, government-approvedday-care center killed 48 children in June.

A wave of arrests of public servants and police for drug-relatedcorruption and a string of highly publicized kidnappings andextortions have added to the disenchantment with politicians.

The leftist Democratic Revolution Party, whose candidate AndresManuel Lopez Obrador barely lost the 2006 presidential race toCalderon, currently has 126 seats in Congress but has sufferedserious internal splits and is expected to drop precipitously aftersome of its more militant members turned to the smaller Labor Party.

The PRI ruled Mexico for more than seven decades until it lostthe presidency in the 2000. While it was long held together by theall-powerful figure of the president, the party has become morefractious and dominated by state leaders and regional interestssince losing national power.

Angry over the mudslinging campaign and already looking to regainthe presidency in 2012, the PRI could become a spoiler for anyfuture reform proposals. Its extensive party machine and broadnational presence would give it an edge in the event of a smallturnout or a large number of protest votes.

"To the extent people nullify their ballots, institutions will beweakened and the PRI's network of control will go into action, andthey will win a majority," warned the conservative, PAN-alignedcivic group Better Society, Better Government.

The null-vote movement wants reforms such as reducing thegenerous government funding for parties, making recalls of electedofficials easier and allowing write-in votes or independentcandidates.

Economy, drug war affect Mexico election: ; Midterm elections could determine success of Calderon's policies

MEXICO CITY - Drug violence, an economic downturn and recentcases of political malfeasance weigh heavily on Mexico's midtermcongressional elections, a vote that could decide the future ofPresident Felipe Calderon's anti-crime and economic policies.

Calderon's National Action Party, PAN, hopes its nationwidecrackdown on drug cartels will win it a bigger share of the 500-seat lower house of Congress, where it currently holds 206 spots.But polls suggest the gains will go to the former longtime rulingInstitutional Revolutionary Party, PRI, which now has 106 seats.

The PAN ran a bruising campaign in which it practically accusedthe PRI of tolerating drug trafficking. That angered PRI members,and if the party and its allies win enough seats to form a majority,it could block Calderon's efforts to reform police forces and givemore police powers to 45,000 soldiers deployed to fight well-armeddrug gangs.

The vote for 565 mayors and six governorships - including thenorthern border states of Nuevo Leon and Sonora - is also seen as areferendum on an economy that shrank 8.2 percent in the firstquarter and is expected to contract 5.5 percent for the year as awhole.

The economic crisis has been compounded by a drop in money senthome by Mexicans working abroad and by a decrease in oil income fromthe slump in world petroleum prices. Those are Mexico's two biggestsources of foreign currency.

Many activists and intellectuals have urged voters to annul theirvote or deface their ballot in protest against the largelygovernment-funded political parties that have done little to breakMexico out of the doldrums. But many more Mexicans - perhaps as manyas 70 percent of the 77.5 million registered voters - are likely tosimply stay away from the polls.

The PRI appears likely to win most statehouse races. One of thePAN's biggest hopes lies in Sonora, where the PRI state government'simage suffered after a fire at an ill-equipped, government-approvedday-care center killed 48 children in June.

A wave of arrests of public servants and police for drug-relatedcorruption and a string of highly publicized kidnappings andextortions have added to the disenchantment with politicians.

The leftist Democratic Revolution Party, whose candidate AndresManuel Lopez Obrador barely lost the 2006 presidential race toCalderon, currently has 126 seats in Congress but has sufferedserious internal splits and is expected to drop precipitously aftersome of its more militant members turned to the smaller Labor Party.

The PRI ruled Mexico for more than seven decades until it lostthe presidency in the 2000. While it was long held together by theall-powerful figure of the president, the party has become morefractious and dominated by state leaders and regional interestssince losing national power.

Angry over the mudslinging campaign and already looking to regainthe presidency in 2012, the PRI could become a spoiler for anyfuture reform proposals. Its extensive party machine and broadnational presence would give it an edge in the event of a smallturnout or a large number of protest votes.

"To the extent people nullify their ballots, institutions will beweakened and the PRI's network of control will go into action, andthey will win a majority," warned the conservative, PAN-alignedcivic group Better Society, Better Government.

The null-vote movement wants reforms such as reducing thegenerous government funding for parties, making recalls of electedofficials easier and allowing write-in votes or independentcandidates.

Pentagon: Test body in tomb // Downed pilot's family wants remains ID'd

WASHINGTON Remains of the Vietnam veteran in the Tomb of theUnknowns should be exhumed to investigate with DNA testing if theybelong to a downed Air Force pilot as his family believes, a Pentagonpanel said Monday.

Defense Secretary William Cohen said he will decide in the nexttwo weeks whether to grant the request of Air Force 1st Lt. MichaelJ. Blassie's family to have the remains exhumed for possibleidentification.

"All we ever wanted was an answer: Is that Michael Blassie ornot?" said Pat Blassie, his sister. "And we truly believe it is."Cohen said he would not decide until his general counselinvestigates whether there's any legal obstacle to the exhumation -something Pentagon officials said they don't foresee.Charles Cragin, assistant secretary of defense for reserveaffairs, said a senior Pentagon working group he led determined aftera four-month investigation that the remains - the pelvis, right upperarm and four ribs - should be exhumed."There are concerns about the sanctity of the tomb, but I thinkon balance everyone came down to what is right," Cragin said of therecommendation.The Vietnam remains were placed in the tomb at ArlingtonNational Cemetery, Va., in 1984. In separate crypts, guarded 24hours a day, there also are unidentified remains from World War I,World War II and the Korean War.Circumstantial physical evidence found with the Vietnam remainsindicates they could be those of the St. Louis pilot, whose A-37attack plane was shot down over South Vietnam in May, 1972, Craginsaid. However, other evidence, including blood type and physicalcharacteristics - based on old forensic methods - don't match, hesaid.The uncertainty led Pentagon officials to decide the only way toknow if they were Blassie's was to examine them using the latestscientific methods, including DNA matching, Cragin said.The investigation into the Tomb of the Unknowns began in Januaryafter questions were raised about the Pentagon's decision to bury theVietnam remains despite physical evidence linking them to Blassie,including personal identification and other effects found with them.His family hadn't been aware of such evidence.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Holocaust memories kept fresh in rites here

It was 45 years ago, but for Harold Small and other survivors ofthe Holocaust, the memories are a yesterday away.

"It will always be just like yesterday in my mind," said Small,63, outside a Sunday memorial service in honor of the 6 million Jewswho did not survive World War II.

"I see it all happening in my mind all the time," said Small,who was a partisan worker in Poland at the age of 17 after escapingthe Nazi roundup of his family.

He remembered:

"For seven days, I hid under a tree in the forest with nothingto eat but snow. I did not move, and they killed 47 people in myfamily. . . . They were killing everyone."

But his is not an unusual story. Many of the 800 peopleattending the service at Congregation Shaare Tikvah, 5800 N. Kimball,lived a similar tale or have heard it from family members whosurvived.

The Chicago area has nearly 7,000 Holocaust survivors. Thosewho spoke during the solemn service Sunday warned the others to passon their stories to ensure that it will never happen again.

"It is a great tragedy in our lives, the massacre of 6 millionJews," said Abram Szwajger, president of the Holocaust Survivors ofMetropolitan Chicago, which sponsored the service. "But we mustremember and never forget . . . and we must hand over that legacy toour children and our grandchildren."

During the more than two-hour service, six candles were lit bysix survivors representing the millions lost in concentration camps.

By the time the last candle was lit by a small girl in honor ofthe more than 1.5 million children who were killed, the congregationwas filled with quiet sobbing heard behind the cantor's hymn.

"It is painful to remember," said Sol Silver, 68, of Skokie, whosurvived the death camp in Auschwitz, Poland. "But I remember everyday with the scars on my back that I went through these things . . .and I want people to know and to think always of that."

Monday, March 5, 2012

SUPREME COURT RULES FOR BUSH FLORIDA RECOUNT WAS WRONG, JUSTICES SAY

WASHINGTON A U.S. Supreme Court as divided as the nation's votersruled for George W. Bush in the Florida presidential election caseTuesday night, reversing a state court decision that had ordered newrecounts sought by Al Gore.

In an extraordinary late-night decision that unfolded on nationaltelevision, the justices said the recount ordered by the FloridaSupreme Court violated the constitution's equal protection and dueprocess clauses and there was not enough time to conduct a newrecount that would meet constitutional muster.

"Because it is evident that any recount seeking to meet the Dec.12 date will be unconstitutional . . . we reverse the judgment of theSupreme …

Barbara Merrill and Linden West. Using Biographical Methods in Social Research.(Book review)

Barbara Merrill and Linden West. Using Biographical Methods in Social Research. Thousands Oaks, CA: Sage, 2009. 211 pp. ISBN 978-1412929585, $39.95.

Selecting a qualitative methodology for a research project is not for the faint of heart. Graduate students and seasoned researchers alike often scour the library stacks and on-line journal indexes in an attempt to locate just the right methodology for their inquiry. Part of the decision-making often lies in how well the authors provide a clear, detailed, and engaging description of the process. Do they locate the methodology in an historical context that helps readers understand how it is similar and different to related approaches? Are the epistemological and theoretical underpinnings discussed as a way of providing a clear map of the research process? Can a new researcher follow the detailed instructions of how to conduct the research from beginning to end? In other words, how well do the authors tell a coherent story about the method that provides a strong theoretical and practical foundation from which to work?

The first half of this book provides a good discussion of the background of the method, the context in which it has developed, and the theoretical orientations the authors use. Based on their own fields of expertise in sociology and psychology, Merrill and West share their personal and professional experiences as a way of engaging the reader in meaningful learning about biographical research, which they describe as a way of "connecting disparate social phenomena and personal experience and weaving understanding between them in new and sometimes surprising ways" (2). The authors highlight the importance of developing connections between the personal stories of our (participants') lives and the research phenomenon under investigation. By better understanding individual biographies of people in relation to the larger sociocultural matrix of society, we see how particular stories help us pay attention to being human in this world, and how being human in this world makes us pay attention to individual stories.

Chapter 2 leads …

BUCKEYES OPEN REGIONAL TOURNAMENT TODAY.(SPORTS)

Byline: FELLICIA SMITH Staff writer

This is it. If the Brunswick Buckeyes lose two games in the next four days, their baseball season and summers spent playing in Brunswick's Mickey Mantle program are over.

For eight years, Brendan Ryan has managed the Buckeyes.

During his tenure, Ryan has watched the team win a district title and earn state runner-up honors and reach the regional tournament.

Entering their final year together as a team, the Buckeyes' goal for the season was to become the Upper New York State Mickey Mantle 16-and-under champions. The Buckeyes claimed the title earlier this week.

``We did what we wanted to do,'' …

Robert L. Carter, federal judge and former NAACP legal counsel, will join Charles Ogletree, Harvard Law School professor and civil rights scholar, for the first public forum of the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service.(Business Briefs)

Robert L. Carter, federal judge and former NAACP legal counsel, will join Charles Ogletree, Harvard Law School professor and civil rights scholar; for the first public forum …

45,000 Verizon workers go on strike over contract

NEW YORK (AP) — Unions representing tens of thousands of Verizon Communications Inc. workers have called a strike after failing to reach an agreement with the company on a new labor contract.

Verizon says negotiations in Philadelphia and New York with the Communications Workers of America fell apart early Sunday.

The previous contract that expired at midnight Saturday covered 45,000 workers, including …

Teen's first catch would have been one for the books

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - A girl on her first trout-fishing trip landeda 19-plus-pounder that could have set the Arkansas record, but itwas the one that got away. Sarah Morton, 15, hooked the big troutin a catch-and-release zone of the North Fork River and, aftermeasuring it, had to let it go. The state currently does not countsuch catches in the record books.

Sarah, a student from Knoxville, Tenn., was on a group outingAug. 12 and was taking fly fishing lessons from John Wilson ofRussellville, captain of the U.S. Youth Fly Fishing Team.

"She was just kind of matter-of-fact about the whole …

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Sweden's Orexo Embraces Specialty Pharma Model.

BioWorld International Correspondent

Orexo AB, like many other European firms, is adopting a specialty pharma model and plans to focus on proprietary product development, rather than on out-licensing programs to international partners, which has been its mainstay up to now.

It will build or buy its own sales force in order to maximize return from the products it develops.

The company is seeking a new CEO with "broad international commercial experience," to lead the new strategy. Torbjorn Bjerke, its current president and CEO, will stay on until his successor is in place. Thereafter, he will become a nonexecutive director of the company.

Uppsala, …

For whom the (winning) bell tolls.(personal narratives of Larry Austin )(Brief article)

Larry Austin has a few things in common with Ernest Hemingway.

He likes cats, Key West and, according to published reports, "having a good time.''

And now, the Palm Harbor, Fla.-based insurance agent has something else in common with Papa Hemingway-his appearance.

Mr. Austin recently won the "27th Annual Hemingway Look-Alike Contest.''

Mr. Austin, who sports an impressive white beard, beat 122 other contestants at the event, which is held at Sloppy Joe's bar in Key West to mark the birthday of the famed author. Mr. Austin …

DEBT-LADEN NEW YORK CITIES STRUGGLE.(BUSINESS)

Byline: JAMES DENN Business writer

ALBANY -- Hurt by weak local economies, declining tax bases, state aid cuts and costly public employee contracts, most cities in the state are in deep financial trouble, according to a study by a major bond rating company.

According its largest study to date on the economic condition of cities in New York, Moody's Investor Service said that the 25 cities -- including four in the Capital Region -- had outstanding debts of $32.1 billion.

Many cities never rebounded from the early-1990s recession, said Moody's.

Hurt by a soft real estate market and a striking loss of population, local tax bases have been …

Australia's AMP sells stake in India joint venture.(AMP Ltd)(Brief Article)

Australian financial services group AMP Ltd. said it sold its interest in a joint venture insurer in India as part of AMP's strategy of focusing on its wealth management businesses in Australia and New Zealand.

AMP said its AMP Life unit sold its 26% stake in AMP Sanmar Life Insurance Co. Ltd. to Reliance Life Insurance Co., a subsidiary of Indian company Reliance Capital Ltd. The …

A look at speakers for Thursday's GOP convention

Major speakers scheduled for Thursday's final session of the Republican National Convention. The GOP nominee, Sen. John McCain of Arizona, is set deliver his acceptance speech.

___

REP. TOM COLE OF OKLAHOMA: Cole represents the 4th Congressional District, where the state's largest military installations _ Tinker Air Force Base and Fort Sill Army Base _ are located. Cole is chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee. He was a state senator and headed a successful GOP political consulting firm before his election to Congress. He also held top party posts in Washington.

SEN. JOHN ENSIGN OF NEVADA: A two-term senator from a key …

Colon cancer; Tony Snow's relapse raises questions about disease

News of White House spokesman Tony Snow's colon cancer relapsehas drawn increased attention to the second-leading cancer killer.Here, experts answer some key questions:

Q How serious is a recurrence of cancer?

Though patients often can be cured of their original tumors,cancers that grow back are much harder to eradicate, said LeonardSaltz, a colorectal cancer expert at New York's Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

Most relapses occur within 2 1/2 to 3 years after the originaltumor. If a tumor doesn't return within five years, many doctorsconsider the patient cured.

Q Was Snow at a higher risk for colon cancer?

Yes. Snow's mother died …

NACDS becomes 'association that knows how to win'.(News)(National Association of Chain Drug Stores)(Conference news)

NAPLES, Fla. -- Medication adherence and pharmacy reimbursement are two issues that go hand in hand, Steve Anderson, president and chief executive officer of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, told attendees in an address at the NACDS Regional Chain Conference here earlier this month.

Pharmacies can cut health care costs and improve health outcomes by helping patients take medications correctly and building on such accomplishments as the defeat of Medicaid pharmacy payment cuts under the average manufacturer price (AMP) model, according to Anderson.

"Reimbursement is lifeblood," he said. "But the even more compelling case to legislators is pharmacy's …

ALBANY LIBRARY OFFICIALS PLAN CHANGES, ONE-DAY CLOSURE.(Local)

Byline: Aimee Bena Staff writer

The main branch of the Albany Public Library, at 161 Washington Ave., will be closed for one day next month while about 55 staff workers rearrange and reshelve more than 200,000 books in the the first floor's adult book collection.

"It's entirely for the convenience of the people," library Director William O'Connor said of the changes, to be completed July 6. "Librarians quickly learn the ins and outs, but we always have to be thinking of the people who are coming in, and how easy the library will be for them to use."

The oversized book collection will be reorganized to make those books easierto find, the fiction …