Saturday, June 30, 2012

Reform, don't abolish, the California death penalty

In November, California voters will choose whether or not the state?s death penalty will be abolished. The measure is called SAFE California and it will completely do away with the death penalty and all death row inmates will inherit life without parole sentences. This means that serial killers like Charles Manson, Sirhan Sirhan and Richard Ramirez (?The Night Stalker?) will be able to live the rest of their lives behind bars instead of pay for their actions.

This ballot measure seems all too familiar as the death penalty in California has been in question before. In 1972, three years after Sirhan was sentenced to death by the gas chamber, the famous lawsuit People v. Anderson ruled that the death penalty was a form of cruel and unusual punishment. This resulted in both Sirhan's and Manson's death sentences to be commuted to a life sentence. Because of the lawsuit and Proposition 7 in 1978, no executions performed in California until 1992 when?Robert Alton Harris was given the option of a brand new punishment known as lethal injection, which became the default method over the gas chamber in 1994. February 2006 proved to be another roadblock for the death penalty as U.S. District Court Judge Jeremy D. Fogel blocked the execution of serial killer Michael Morales because of claims that lethal injection was not administered correctly causing the subject to feel pain, deeming it cruel and unusual. The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that lethal injection must now be carried out by a legally authorized medical technician.

Since that February, there have been no executions and only 13 since 1978. For 83 other death row inmates from 1978- present, their death came before execution by way of natural causes, suicide and "other" causes. This makes a great case for the death penalty to be eliminated. Instead of elimination, reformation would be the way to go so the possibility of people like Manson can be done away with permanently.

SAFE California claims that abolishing the death penalty will save the state billions of dollars. On the contrary, removing the death penalty will not save the state much money, but reforming the appeals process will. The appeals process in California has four steps:

  • Automatic appeal
  • State Habeas Corpus
  • Federal Habeas Corpus
  • U.S. Supreme Court

Removing two steps from this process would allow the appeals process to move quicker and save the state loads of money. Shortening the appeals process to the two state appeals would be the ideal way to go, keeping a California issue within the state. The Los Angeles Times wrote a piece in 2008 asking to reform the appeals process. Writer Ronald M. George suggests that the appeals in the California Supreme Court be spread out to the?six appellate court districts to help take a load off of the Supreme Court. George also claims that this would guarantee significantly more high court review of capital cases than currently under the federal death penalty system. Keeping the death penalty at the state level will save time and money, and the executions will be quicker and in larger quantity per year. With this shorter appeals process, monsters like "The Night Stalker" will not be allowed to breathe ?free air? for much longer.

Source: http://www.freedompolitics.com/articles/california-3798-death-voters.html

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Germany denies report on changed euro bond stance

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[ [ [['did not go as far his colleague', 8]], '29438204', '0' ], [ [[' the 28-year-old neighborhood watchman who shot and killed', 4]], '28924649', '0' ], [ [['because I know God protects me', 14], ['Brian Snow was at a nearby credit union', 5]], '28811216', '0' ], [ [['The state news agency RIA-Novosti quoted Rosaviatsiya', 6]], '28805461', '0' ], [ [['measure all but certain to fail in the face of bipartisan', 4]], '28771014', '0' ], [ [['matter what you do in this case', 5]], '28759848', '0' ], [ [['presume laws are constitutional', 7]], '28747556', '0' ], [ [['has destroyed 15 to 25 houses', 7]], '28744868', '0' ], [ [['short answer is yes', 7]], '28746030', '0' ], [ [['opportunity to tell the real story', 7]], '28731764', '0' ], [ [['entirely respectable way to put off the searing constitutional controversy', 7]], '28723797', '0' ], [ [['point of my campaign is that big ideas matter', 9]], '28712293', '0' ], [ [['As the standoff dragged into a second day', 7]], '28687424', '0' ], [ [['French police stepped up the search', 17]], '28667224', '0' ], [ [['Seeking to elevate his candidacy back to a general', 8]], '28660934', '0' ], [ [['The tragic story of Trayvon Martin', 4]], '28647343', '0' ], [ [['Karzai will get a chance soon to express', 8]], '28630306', '0' ], [ [['powerful storms stretching', 8]], '28493546', '0' ], [ [['basic norm that death is private', 6]], '28413590', '0' ], [ [['songwriter also saw a surge in sales for her debut album', 6]], '28413590', '1', 'Watch music videos from Whitney Houston ', 'on Yahoo! Music', 'http://music.yahoo.com' ], [ [['keyword', 99999999999999999999999]], 'videoID', '1', 'overwrite-pre-description', 'overwrite-link-string', 'overwrite-link-url' ] ]

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/germany-denies-report-changed-euro-bond-stance-121323138.html

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Friday, June 29, 2012

Auto Blog: Auctions: eBay Motors dropping prices hourly on certain ...


Filed under: Car Buying, Auctions, Chevrolet, Dodge, Ford, Jeep, Nissan, Toyota

eBay Motors and AutoNation are quickly establishing a reputation for finding new ways to sell cars online. They teamed up for the first time back in March when they tried selling vehicles for half price on the popular auction site. This weekend they're back with another unique promotion that will see the price for certain vehicles drop every hour until they're sold.

The reverse auctions began at 12:00 PM EST today and will run through 8:00 PM EST on Monday, July 2. Each day about 10 vehicles will be posted for sale with an initial Buy it Now price that matches their MSRP. Every hour their prices will drop according to a list of prices that accompanies each auction. A 2012 Nissan Rogue that kicks off the promotion, for instance, is dropping by $500 per hour. The good news is that there is no limit to how far prices can drop, nor a reserve they need to stay above. The only limiting factor is the other person out there who's willing to pay $500 more than you.

As for what sort of vehicles will be sold via this promotion, the list includes vehicles from Chevy, Dodge, Ford, Jeep, Nissan and Toyota, and includes popular models like the Camaro, Mustang, F-150, Fusion, Challenger, Charger, Wrangler, Prius C, Camry and more. And in case you're worried about getting the Mechanic's Special, all of the 50-some vehicles being sold this way are still under factory warranty.

Get your wallets ready and head on over to the special landing page to watch the prices drop.Continue reading eBay Motors dropping prices hourly on certain cars until they sell
eBay Motors dropping prices hourly on certain cars until they sell originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 28 Jun 2012 16:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
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Source: http://www.westcoastgearheads.com/showthread.php/5877-Auto-Blog-Auctions-eBay-Motors-dropping-prices-hourly-on-certain-cars-until-they-sell

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Man dies after being convicted in Ariz. arson case

(AP) ? An Arizona man collapsed in court and died after hearing a jury convict him of burning down his $3.5 million mansion.

A Maricopa County Superior Court jury on Thursday found Michael Marin, of Paradise Valley, guilty of arson of an occupied structure.

The Arizona Republic reports the 53-year-old collapsed shortly after the verdict was read. He was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

When Marin's trial began in May, prosecutors said he could face nearly 16 years in prison if he was convicted.

Marin's suburban Phoenix mansion burned down in July 2009 after it failed to sell at a charity auction.

Fire investigators determined the fire was deliberate. Prosecutors claimed Marin set fire to his house because he could no longer pay the mortgage.

Associated Press

Source: http://hosted2.ap.org/APDEFAULT/aa9398e6757a46fa93ed5dea7bd3729e/Article_2012-06-28-Defendant%20Dies/id-664fd7bf25d04b1b9dc7983d419d6266

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Go Commando Half Marathon to feature Free Health and Fitness Expo

?

Go Commando Half Marathon and 5kClarksville, TN ? The Go Commando Half Marathon & 5k powered by CDE Lightband will feature a free Health and Fitness Expo as part of the race weekend. The Go Commando Health Expo presented by The Runners Hub will be Friday, October 19th from 10:00am?8:00pm.

The event is open to the public as well as race participants.

The Health Expo will be held at the new Wilma Rudolph Event Center at Liberty Park. Race participants will have the chance to pick up their event packets and meet health and fitness professionals and vendors.

Over 45 vendors will be on hand to offer advice, training tips, provide samples and more. The Runners Hub, presenting sponsor of the Health Expo, will have a micro-store on-site offering all the running essentials.

?We feel privileged and are honored to host the 2012 Health & Fitness Expo,? states Travis Esterby, Owner of The Runners Hub. ?It is really exciting to see the amount of runners throughout the Clarksville area grow. We continue to be impressed by the amount of health conscious individuals there are throughout the community.?

The Runners Hub is Clarksville?s only locally owned specialty running store. The Runners Hub staff can provide gait analysis and recommendations on products specific to the individual athlete. Race participants are encouraged to visit The Runners Hub, 127 Franklin Street, prior to the race for all of their training needs. Special events, such as group runs and pre-race evaluations will also take place at the store. Details can be found on the Go Commando Facebook page.

If you would like to be a vendor at the Health & Fitness Expo presented by The Runners Hub contact Jessica Goldberg at 931.245.4346 or email

. There is limited space still available. To learn more about the Expo visit the event website at www.gocommandoclarksville.com .

About Go Commando

The 2012 Go Commando Half Marathon & 5k will be Saturday, October 20th and is limited to the first 1,500 participants. In 2011, the inaugural race sold out. The Go Commando Half Marathon presented by CDE Lightband began in 2011 as a tribute to the soldiers at Fort Campbell and their families.

The event is also aimed at promoting health & wellness to the Clarksville-Montgomery County community. The race is completely community driven, with local organizations and businesses partnering to create a fun and engaging event. The race is also featured in the Guinness Book of World Records after a local Fort Campbell solider, Marc DiBernardo, ran the entire 13.1 miles wearing a gas mask.

More information for the event can be found at www.gocommandoclarksville.com.

If you are interested in sponsoring or advertising with our event please contact Jessica Goldberg at 931.245.4346 or email

.

If you are interested in participating in the event, visit the website or contact Channel Lemon at 931.245.4347 or email

.

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Topics

CDE Lightband, Clarksville TN, Clarksville-Montgomery County, Facebook, Fort Campbell KY, Franklin Street, Go Commando Half Marathon and 5k, Guinness Book of World Records, Health and Fitness Expo, Jessica Goldberg, Liberty Park, Marc DiBernardo, Montgomery County, The Runners Hub, Travis Esterby, Wilma Rudolph Event Center

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The Online Store For A Muslim Household That Gives Busana ...


If you are in the market for Muslim Apparel as known as "busana muslim" or "baju muslim" in bahasa Indonesia, then you have come to the ideal location. Jilbab is a very popular apparel especially for Muslim ladies. This is apparel that is expanding in recognition and it is recognized as the recognized clothes for Muslim ladies. The Jilbab is a long, flowing over garment that is used by Muslim ladies. This is because of their opinion that it fulfils Islamic requirements for modesty or what is known as hijab.

The modern busana muslim, will certainly cover the whole body with the exception of the head, hands and feet. The lady donning it will certainly then cover her head with a wrap or a scarf. Some Muslim ladies will certainly likewise cover their face, hands and feet. In Indonesia, we refer to the headscarf used by ladies as ajilbab. This is apparel that shields a females discreetness, and you can easily find a wide assortment of exclusive Islamic apparel at our on the internet outlet. We focus on Islamic apparel, nikabs, Islamic swim suits, Hijabs, Jilbabs, Abaya and lots of more products of Islamic apparel.

If you match the stylish "baju muslim" with a matching kerudung you will certainly acheive a special appearance and it will certainly fulfil the needs of the Islamic atire. The Jilbab has long sleeves and it is indicated to be used as a complete outfit, and it has lots of styles, color schemes as well as textiles. It likewise has lots of styles and they include a one item, 2 item and a 3 item jilbab.

For those interested in baju Muslim, there is a wide variety of apparel that you can easily select from. We have apparel for everyday wear, apparel that you can easily use at work and others for unique occassions. We likewise share apparel for a mother to be and the classic black hijab. Hijab add-ons include cotton under scarves and arm sleeves. The under headscarf will certainly maintain the hijab from shifting, and keeps the tresses back. It can easily likewise bring color to your headscarf.

The arm sleeve will certainly supply added cover when somebody is donning a sleeveless or short sleevedjilbab, and there are lots of color schemes that will certainly match any outfit. The apparel accessory comes in breathable cotton or soft and seamless nylon. The Jilbab is an excellent item of apparel for performing professionals, pupils or anyone that wants to use modestly yet they would prefer a Western preference as contrasted to the standard Abaya used in the Middle East.

A well made jilbab is a deserving investment and it is comparable to a well modified suit. You can easily use this apparel for a formal affair or as your everyday wear. We provide moderate and stylish apparel for modern ladies and there is a wide range of designs for the hijabs, shawls, scarves and tunics. The most recent stylish apparel is available and the designs are trendy, comfy and practical in their styling. Our Islamic apparel outlet will certainly supply apparel and add-ons for men, ladies and kids. There are new arrivals for anyone that is interested in kerudung, and our fees are rather budget friendly.

Want to find out more about kerudung, then visit Onto Seno's site Learn Here and Learn Here on how to choose the best busana muslim for your needs.



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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Oil rises on better US manufacturing, housing data

The price of oil rose on some welcome news about U.S. manufacturing production and home sales.

Benchmark crude rose $1.29 to $80.64 per barrel in New York. Brent crude, which is used to price international varieties of oil, gained 61 cents to $93.63 per barrel in London.

The Commerce Department said factories received more orders in May for long-lasting manufactured goods such as heavy machinery, computers and communications equipment. Oil and other energy products benefit from stronger manufacturing because they are used to help make and ship goods.

The report helped ease recent concerns about slower factory production in the U.S.

Separately, the National Association of Realtors said that Americans signed more contracts to buy previously occupied homes in May, which matched the fastest pace in two years. It follows other recent data that shows steady improvement in the housing market this year.

"Once again, U.S. economic data is confounding the critics," Price Futures Group oil analyst Phil Flynn said. "Maybe the economy isn't so dreary."

Yet, job growth remains tepid, consumer confidence fell in June for the fourth straight month and demand for gasoline remains weak as Americans worry about jobs and the overall economy.

The Energy Department said that the nation's crude oil supplies fell by 100,000 barrels to 387.2 million barrels, which is 7.7 percent above year-ago levels. Gasoline supplies grew by 2.1 million barrels to 204.8 million barrels. Demand for gas over the four weeks ended June 22 was 4.8 percent lower than a year earlier.

Meanwhile, traders also kept a close eye on developments in Europe ahead of a meeting later this week where government leaders will discuss the crippling debt crisis. Traders are uncertain what will happen during the two-day European summit, which starts Thursday. The goal is to work on solutions to the crisis has hurt economies within the eurozone and has filtered out to the U.S., China and other countries. But German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned Wednesday that there would be no quick solution to the structural issues plaguing the continent.

At the pump, the national average for retail gasoline fell 1.4 cents overnight to $3.383 per gallon, according to auto club AAA, Wright Express and the Oil Price Information Service. That's nearly 26 cents less than a month ago.

In other trading, natural gas prices jumped on expectations that demand will strengthen because of blistering heat in parts of the nation, particularly the Midwest. Natural gas rose 13 cents, or 4.6 percent, to $2.89 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Heating oil increased 2 cents to $2.59 per gallon and wholesale gasoline fell 2 cents to $2.506 per gallon.

Associated Press

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Fifty Sides of the Beach Boys

A closer, deeper look at one of America's greatest pop bands of all time.

By Carlo Wolff / June 27, 2012

Fifty Sides of the Beach Boys: The Songs That Tell Their Story By Mark Dillon ECW Press 289 pp.

Enlarge

Canadian journalist Mark Dillon?s book about one of the most important American pop groups is fan-based journalism at its best ? and much more. It?s an entertaining, even-handed examination of the great southern California band through commentary on 50 of its tunes by members, collaborators, and musicians the Boys influenced. Timed to coincide with the reconciled group?s 50th-anniversary tour and a new album, Fifty Sides of the Beach Boys it?s far more keeper than souvenir.

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Over their often-conflicted career, the Beach Boys have been inspiring, experimental, courageous, innocent, wounded ? and creative. Brian Wilson, their troubled yet persistent leader, is a musical genius. The other Boys were lesser lights, but Brian couldn?t have wrought what he did without them.

Journalism about Brian, his entrepreneurial and aggressive cousin Mike Love, and Brian?s brothers Carl and Dennis ? the first dead of cancer, the second drowned ? is usually framed as a story of heroes and villains, and the Beach Boys were indeed dysfunctional. Wilson p?re Murry, a failed musician, was a tyrant, which Dillon doesn?t soft pedal. At the same time, Dillon gives Murry his due as a goad to the group?s creativity. He even tempers a commonly held negative view of Eugene Landy, the discredited Hollywood psychoanalyst Brian?s wife, Marilyn, hired in 1975, suggesting in an interview with ?15 Big Ones? engineer Earle Mankey that though Landy was a control freak who charged outrageous prices for his counsel, he did help the errant and troubled Brian return to the studio.

In 1967, when the Beach Boys foundered over ?Smile? (original title: ?Dumb Angel?), a storied album that went officially unreleased until last year, I bought Van Dyke Parks? brilliantly opaque ?Song Cycle,? one of the earliest free-form rock recordings. In Dillon?s interview with ?Smile?-obsessed Apples in Stereo leader Robert Schneider, Dillon says Parks abandoned his collaboration with Brian Wilson on ?Smile? because of resistance from other group members, instead settling into work on ?Song Cycle.? Such back stories give ?50 Sides? factual muscle. (Too bad Parks wouldn?t make himself available for an interview.)?

When I interviewed Mike Love in 1970 in Burlington, Vt., during Love?s visit to a Transcendental Meditation center to push Maharishi Mahesh Yogi?s methodology, I found him smug and guarded. The headline on my? Burlington Free Press story: ?Lie Around Your Lear Jet and Be a Star.?

In 1982, as a reporter for the Schenectady, N.Y. Gazette, I reviewed the Beach Boys at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center and found myself backstage standing next to Brian Wilson. He was bearded and heavy and seemed in a kind of trance. At the end of 1986, after I moved to Cleveland, my first freelance article for the Cleveland Plain Dealer packaged an interview with Stephen Gaines, a Beach Boys biographer, with commentary on ?Smile,? the aborted and at that time heavily bootlegged album many consider the group?s crowning achievement.

The Beach Boys matter to me.

After reading this book, which features interviews with everyone from group stalwart David Marks (on this summer?s reunion tour) to Dennis? good friend and touring band associate Billy Hintsche to ?Sail on Sailor? lead vocalist Blondie Chaplin, they might well matter to you, too. In effect, Dillon joins the reader to the Beach Boys? family, extended over 50 years and as many tunes, many of them unexpected choices that will send you back to your iDevice. They might even persuade you to fire up your turntable.

Turns out, despite Brian?s assertion that he wasn?t made for these times, the Beach Boys were made for all times.

The author of ?Cleveland Rock & Roll Memories,? Carlo Wolff is developing ?Invisible Soul,? a book about underground Cleveland soul music from doo-wop to disco.

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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

worldbeatCanada radio podcast for June 29, 2012 with Minor Empire

Feeling isolated? ?Tune in to the best music in the world, and connect with people from around the globe.

Cal Koat talks to Minor Empire this week.

Listen to this week?s worldbeatCanada radio podcast at the player here, or at the worldbeatcanada.com website,?here. Or, get the show at the?iTunes?store. And now on?Mixcloud.

Hear these artists, and visit their websites by clicking on their names in the list below.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Tags: Cal Koat, Calcopyrite Communications, Minor Empire, world music, world music podcast, worldbeat music, worldbeatcanada radio podcast

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Iraq PM threatens early elections to end deadlock

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iOS 6 Maps to support Yelp check-ins

Yelp was featured prominently in iOS 6 by way of the new Siri features announced at WWDC, but rumor has it that the review network's integration won't end there. ?Documents recently issued to developers show that there will be a Yelp check-in option through Apple's new iOS 6 Maps app.


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Facebook Just Changed Your Email Without Asking—Here's How to Fix It (Updated) [Facebook]

Hey, here's something really stupid and annoying: Facebook abruptly switched everyone's default email address to the @facebook.com account you've never used. Here's how to switch back Facebook's obnoxious overreach right now. So people can actually, you know, contact you. More »


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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Justice Scalia warns of 'evil effects of illegal immigration'

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Music Review: Dave Koz and BeBe Winans at Bergen Performing Arts

ENGLEWOOD, N.J. ? At the precise midpoint of his concert at the Bergen Performing Arts Center here on Saturday night the saxophonist Dave Koz paused for an important announcement. It pertained to Dave Koz & Friends at Sea, the luxury cruise he has headlined every year for the last seven, and he framed it as an enticing question: Who wanted to win a cabin for the 2013 edition, which would tool around the Mediterranean next fall?

Marcus Yam for The New York Times

Dave Koz The saxophonist was joined by Margaret Bell, above, and the singer BeBe Winans at the Bergen Performing Arts Center on Saturday.

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Hands shot up everywhere, and Mr. Koz beamed, directing all aspirants to a giveaway contest on his Web site, Then it was on to the next order of business, as he invited his featured guest, the gospel and R&B singer BeBe Winans, to the stage.

It?s always all business for Mr. Koz, just as it?s always all pleasure. Since the release of his self-titled debut album in 1990 he has become the leading light in smooth jazz, its sharpest custodian and most reliable brand. No longer does that stature belong to Kenny G, whose new release, ?Namaste? (Concord), due out on Tuesday, is a mentholated liaison with the Indian santoor player Rahul Sharma. Nor does it rest with Chris Botti, whose orchestral flirtations reflect a high-mindedness that the format can?t really sustain.

Mr. Koz is clearer and more solicitous about his transaction with an audience, which involves a lot of imploring melody and some carefully plotted crescendo. He?s a musician of unflappable rhythmic aplomb, which he happily squares against the airtight funk of his band. And he?s a frolicsome performer, given to hip swivels and bowlegged squats, along with a constant rotation of tenor, alto and soprano saxophones.

His restless effervescence might be a form of compensation, considering that the best sonic habitat for him is the recording studio. The sound he achieves on his albums, in just about any register, hits the smooth-jazz bull?s-eye with its play of tartness and susurration. When delivering a ballad, his breathiness can impart the sensation of a secret whispered close to the ear. When carving up brighter fare, he hardens his attack just slightly, without losing the feathery decay, so that each note seems to go ?puff.? There was less of that enchantment in concert, though Mr. Koz had no problem waxing sweet and gentle on ?You Make Me Smile,? one of his trademark hits. And on a drive-time staple like ?Life in the Fast Lane? he kept his output dry and crisp.

Saturday?s show was the second in Mr. Koz?s summer tour, which includes stops at wineries and pavilions and feels more like a greatest-hits revue than a referendum on his most recent album, ?Hello Tomorrow? (Concord), from 2010. The presence of Mr. Winans cemented that impression, pointing back toward a prior history of collaboration.

Mr. Winans was given leeway to push part of his own agenda: he sang ?America America,? a ragbag of patriotic clich?s from his own new album, and ?I Wanna Be the Only One,? one of his better tunes. But his raison d??tre in this show was ?The Dance,? a cover of the Garth Brooks hit. Mr. Koz introduced it as ?the title track of my most successful album,? as if reporting to a shareholder?s meeting. Which, from his vantage, might as well have been the case.

Dave Koz will be at the Count Basie Theater in Red Bank, N.J., on Aug. 2, countbasietheatre.org; and at the Paramount Theater in Huntington, N.Y., on Aug. 10,

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Tags: arts, BeBe, Bergen, center, Dave, music, performing, Review, Winans

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Workers search for victims of Canada roof collapse

ELLIOT LAKE, Ontario (AP) ? Workers labored into the night to enable a search for victims after at least one person was feared dead and another trapped inside the rubble when a roof collapsed at a mall in northern Ontario, authorities said.

Workers were unable to reach anyone Sunday because the structure was too unstable. They said it would take until early Monday morning before the area was deemed safe enough for rescue teams to go back in. Images taken with a camera show a hand and foot in the dusty debris, said Ontario Provincial Police Insp. Percy Jollymore.

Fire officials heard tapping Sunday morning in another part of the rubble, but nothing had been heard for hours. They said they also tried to reach that person by drilling through a wall, but found the structure too unsafe to risk entering far enough inside.

"Some of our search members this morning heard a couple of taps," said Bill Needles, a spokesman from the Heavy Urban Search and Rescue team which travelled from Toronto. "They called for a quick silence on the site and there was a couple more taps. That was an indication to us that we were dealing with a rescue."

He said the operation was still a rescue mission and they were still hoping to find people alive.

Police compiled a list of nine people missing since the collapse Saturday, but the names were being crossed off as members of the community accounted for their loved ones.

At least 22 people suffered minor injuries in the roof collapse Saturday afternoon at the Algo Centre Mall in Elliot Lake.

A special emergency crew was working to stabilize the scene, but authorities said the process could take another 12 hours.

A portion of the roof that serves as a parking area crumbled down two floors into an area near the food court, leaving behind a gaping hole which was 12 meters (39 feet) by 24 meters (79 feet). It also downed hydro lines and triggered a gas leak.

Emergency officials quickly cleared out the mall and closed surrounding roads. Mayor Rick Hamilton declared a state of emergency.

Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty said he was in touch with Elliot Lake's mayor and thanked emergency crews in the city for their efforts.

"As we anxiously wait to learn more about anyone thought to be missing in Elliot Lake, our thoughts and prayers are with their families, and also with those who have been injured and indeed with the entire community," McGuinty said in a statement.

Hope mingled with frustration in the close-knit community as residents waited for news.

"There's a fair amount missing," said Heather Richer, who owns a restaurant in the mall and was at work when the collapse took place. "I'm hoping everyone's found, but I'm giving up hope on whether they're going to find them alive."

Richer, who was particularly concerned about an acquaintance who was unaccounted for, described Saturday's thunderous collapse as a nightmare.

"It was almost like a little mini earthquake, like a big bang, and then gone," she said. "There was nothing there. Everything started to cave in, water was pouring out of the pipes."

Joe Drazil, a Zellers store employee, said several cars appeared to have fallen through the gaping hole near some escalators.

"You can see the roof with the cars hanging inside," he said. "Everybody was cleared from the whole mall. After that, there was numerous police and emergency vehicles coming from all over."

Shopper Jean-Marc Hayward was having coffee when the roof collapsed about 20 feet (6 meters) from him. He said a big hunk of concrete tumbled down through two floors and that it sounded like an explosion. "It was a big loud crash. It didn't just go down one floor it went down two floors," he said.

Hayward said a lottery terminal kiosk was located directly under the roof that caved in.

Hayward said he saw one man with a bloody face. A dwarf who has trouble with his legs, Hayward said he couldn't run out. "I was sucking in dust," he said.

Hayward and others have said the mall roof has leaked water for some time. There have long been buckets and tarps around the mall to collect leaking water, Hayward said.

"It's obvious there has been a lot of damage in the structure because of the water," Hayward said. "A couple of years ago they said they fixed all the leaks in the mall, but they didn't. You could tell every time it rained."

Stephan Powell of Toronto Fire Services could not confirm if rescue officials had been briefed about the water leaking issue.

Levon Nazarin, the mall's owner, choked back tears as he read a statement to community members on Sunday.

"To those who have been injured and to those families with missing individuals we offer our deepest sympathies," he said.

Community members expressed anger to town officials for not doing something about the constant leaks.

The two-level mall in this northern Ontario community is approximately 200,000 square feet (18,580 sq. meters). It houses a grocery store, restaurants, a number of retail outlets, a hotel, and the constituency office for a member of the provincial parliament.

Rhonda Bear, a spokeswoman for the mall, which is run by Eastwood Mall Incorporated, referred all questions on the collapse and the condition of the mall to its lawyer, who could not immediately be reached for comment.

"All our concern right now is our prayers are with the families," Bear said.

____

Associated Press Writer Rob Gillies in Toronto contributed to this report.

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NATO to meet over Syria's downing of Turkish jet

NATO said it would meet to discuss member state Turkey's accusation that Syria shot down one of its warplanes in international airspace and not inside its own territory, as Damascus claims.

NATO said it would hold an emergency meeting on Tuesday following a request from Turkey that invoked Article Four of the alliance's founding treaty, which covers threats to member states' security.

Turkey has already acknowledged that its fighter jet might at some point have entered Syrian airspace. But after an initially cautious response, Ankara toughened its rhetoric on Sunday.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told Turkey's TRT television that at the time it was shot down, their plane was in international airspace, 13 nautical miles from Syria.

Syria had given no warning before opening fire, he added.

The fighter had been on an unarmed training mission to carry out a radar system test, and both pilots are still missing.

"The Syrians knew full well that it was a Turkish military plane and the nature of its mission," said Davutoglu.

"Nobody should dare put Turkey's (military) capabilities to the test," he warned.

"We will bring this affair before public opinion and international law in the name of Turkey's honour."

Syria has acknowledged shooting down the F-4 phantom jet after it violated its airspace, but insists it only identified it as a Turkish fighter after the fact.

"What happened was an accident and not an assault as some like to say," Syrian foreign ministry spokesman Jihad Makdissi told the Al-Watan pro-government daily on Sunday.

But UN Security Council member Britain warned that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime "should not make the mistake of believing that it can act with impunity."

"It will be held to account for its behaviour," Foreign Secretary William Hague said.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton condemned a "brazen and unacceptable act" and promised US assistance in investigating the incident.

"It is yet another reflection of the Syrian authorities' callous disregard for international norms, human life, and peace and security," Clinton said in a statement.

Italy, another NATO member, also condemned Syria over the incident and Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi said they would "actively participate" in the NATO meeting.

In his comments to Al-Watan Sunday, foreign ministry spokesman Makdissi tried to pour oil on the troubled waters.

"Syria was merely exercising its right and sovereign duty and defence," he said.

"There is no enmity between Syria and Turkey, but political tension (exists) between the two countries."

Turkish-Syrian relations have been strained by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's outspoken condemnation of the Assad's regime's bloody crackdown, which activists say has killed more than 15,000 people since March 2011.

Already Saturday, UN chief Ban Ki-moon had expressed his "deep concern" about the incident, particularly about the "potential serious implications" for the region, spokesman Martin Nesirky said.

The fighting inside Syria claimed scores more lives on Sunday.

The official SANA news agency reported that regime troops had killed "dozens of terrorists" after engaging them as they attacked people in the Jabaliye neighbourhood of Deir Ezzor.

The Syrian government uses the term "terrorists" to describe the rebels.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 91 people had been killed on Sunday in Syria, including 59 civilians.

The Observatory also reported that following an attack on an artillery battalion in Aleppo, a number of soldiers had defected, taking with them a large quantity of weapons.

And it said that rebels had shot down a Syrian regime helicopter near the Jordanian border.

"This is one of the bloodiest weeks in the conflict," Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Observatory, said.

"It's like we are in a war. Sometimes when two countries are at war, not even 20 people are killed a day. But now in Syria it has become normal to have 100 killed each day."

Australia on Monday announced fresh sanctions against Syria, restricting or prohibiting trade across entire sectors.

"The Assad regime continues to show its unwillingness to negotiate a ceasefire and bring an end to Syria's bloodshed," Foreign Minister Bob Carr said in a statement.

In an opinion piece for The Australian newspaper, Carr called for Moscow to take a lead role in forcing Assad out.

But there were reports that Russia was to try again to send a Russian ship to make a controversial delivery of attack helicopters to Syria.

A first journey ended after exposure by the US authorities led the ship's British insurer to withdraw cover.

But an unnamed Russian diplomat said the ship, the Alaed, would soon try again to deliver the aircraft.

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Monday, June 25, 2012

Cries of cover-up in possible vote on attorney general (reuters)

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Biodegradable artery graft will enhance bypass surgeries

ScienceDaily (June 24, 2012) ? With the University of Pittsburgh's development of a cell-free, biodegradable artery graft comes a potentially transformative change in coronary artery bypass surgeries: Within 90 days after surgery, the patient will have a regenerated artery with no trace of synthetic graft materials left in the body.

Research published online June 24 in Nature Medicine highlights work led by principal investigator Yadong Wang, a professor in Pitt's Swanson School of Engineering and School of Medicine's Department of Surgery, who designed grafts that fully harness the body's regenerative capacity. This new approach is a philosophical shift from the predominant cell-centered approaches in tissue engineering of blood vessels.

"The host site, the artery in this case, is an excellent source of cells and provides a very efficient growth environment," said Wang. "This is what inspired us to skip the cell culture altogether and create these cell-free synthetic grafts."

Wang and fellow researchers, Wei Wu, a former Pitt postdoctoral associate (now a postdoctoral associate at Yale University), and Robert Allen, a PhD student in bioengineering, designed the graft with three properties in mind. First, they chose a graft material -- an elastic polymer called PGS -- that is resorbed quickly by the body. Then, they examined graft porosity and selected parameters that allow immediate cell infiltration. Wang's team borrowed a procedure developed by another team of Pitt researchers -- David Vorp, professor of bioengineering and surgery, and William R. Wagner, interim director of the University's McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine and a Pitt professor of surgery, bioengineering, and chemical engineering -- wrapping the vascular graft with a fibrous sheath to trap the cells. Finally, Wang and his fellow researchers wanted a coating for the grafts that would reduces blood clotting and bind many growth factors, so they used heparin, a molecule that does just that.

"The results were porous grafts that are suturable," said Wang. "And the rapid remodeling of the grafts led to strong and compliant new arteries. The extent of the changes in the grafts that occurred in just 90 days was remarkable."

Wang and his colleagues made grafts as small as 1 mm in diameter and monitored the graft's transformation in vivo for three months. Because the graft was highly porous, cells were easily able to penetrate the graft wall, and mononuclear cells occupied many of the pores within three days. Within 14 days, smooth muscle cells -- an important blood vessel builder -- appeared. At 28 days, cells were distributed more evenly throughout the graft. At 90 days, most inflammatory cells were gone, which correlated with the disappearance of the graft materials. The artery was regenerated in situ and pulsed in sync with the host. Furthermore, the composition and properties of the new arteries are nearly the same as native arteries.

"This report is the first that shows a nearly complete transformation of a synthetic plastic tube to a new host artery with excellent integration within three months," said Wang. "Most likely, the amount of time it takes to regenerate an artery can be further shortened as we refine the system."

Current approaches toward tissue-engineered arteries require a long production cycle because of the required cell culture steps. The newly developed graft is made in a few days, stores in a dry pouch at ambient temperature, and is readily available off the shelf. The ease of use and storage are similar to the conventional Dacron? grafts.

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Story Source:

The above story is reprinted from materials provided by University of Pittsburgh, via EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS.

Note: Materials may be edited for content and length. For further information, please contact the source cited above.


Journal Reference:

  1. Wei Wu, Robert A Allen & Yadong Wang. Fast-degrading elastomer enables rapid remodeling of a cell-free synthetic graft into a neoartery. Nature Medicine, 2012 DOI: 10.1038/nm.2821

Note: If no author is given, the source is cited instead.

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of ScienceDaily or its staff.

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Sunday, June 24, 2012

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Noisy stores spur creative shopping

By Linda Carroll , msnbc.com contributor

Forget about Muzak. If you want put customers in the mood to purchase your innovative new product, a new study suggest you try pumping some road noise or the sounds from a busy mall into your store or showroom.

Noise, if its not too loud, can spark creative thinking ? and that can lead to sales of inventive products, researchers reported in the study published in the Journal of Consumer Research.

Moderate noise?? around 70 decibels ? is enough to distract us from our normal thought patterns, said the study?s lead author Ravi Mehta, an associate professor in the Department of Business Administration at the University of Illinois at Urban-Champaign.

And once we?re distracted, we tend to think in broader and more creative ways, which apparently allows us to better appreciate the value of innovative products.

Mehta and his colleagues conducted a series of experiments to investigate how various levels of noise impacted thinking and consumer behavior.

In one experiment, the researchers asked 65 college students to take a creativity test while seated in front of a set of speakers playing a mix of sounds that had been recorded in a busy restaurant and near a highway. The sound the volunteers heard was very much like what you would experience if you were seated near the street at an outdoor restaurant, Mehta said.

The study volunteers were divided into four groups. One heard the noise recordings turned up high, another heard the recordings at medium volume, another heard low volume and the fourth got silence.

The researchers found that the volunteers who heard a moderate level of noise did best on the test. Low noise and silence produced results that were similar to each other. Loud noise produced the poorest performance. That?s because it?s too distracting, Mehta said.

In another experiment, the researchers had 68 college students fill out a survey to determine their likelihood of buying one item out of each of eight pairs of products. In each pairing, one traditional product was matched with an innovative one. One pairing, for example, included a traditional mountain bike and a mountain bike that could be folded up so the rider could hike with it for a while and then ride it when he or she chose, Mehta said.

Once again, volunteers were exposed to different levels of noise as they filled out the surveys. Sure enough, people from the group who heard moderate noise in the background while they were filling out the surveys were more likely than those in the other groups to choose innovative products.

So, is the noise effect limited to innovative items?

?Maybe not, Mehta said.

In another experiment, the researchers asked 95 college students to come up with creative uses for a brick. Again, the students were divided into groups, some exposed to moderate noise and others exposed to low noise in the background as they wrote down their ideas.

When the researchers looked at the lists of ideas, they found no difference between the two groups when it came to the number of ideas originated by each group. But the group that heard moderate noise came up with much more creative ideas, Mehta said.

?Perhaps if you have a convertible in an auto showroom, potential customers will be able to think of more ways they might enjoy the car if they?ve got a moderate level of noise in the background ? as compared to the pin-drop silence usually heard in such establishments, Mehta said.?

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