La Rochelle, France -- Feb 2011
Men paint a Kingdom of Libya flag in Benghazi. The flag, used when Libya gained independence from Italy in 1951, has been used as a symbol of resistance. (Goran Tomasevic, Reuters / February 26, 2011)
Reporting from Cairo —
Moammar Kadafi retained his stubborn grip on Tripoli on Saturday as irregular security forces largely cleared the streets of demonstrators a day after thousands protested against his government following prayer services.
Residents reported that many of those manning checkpoints and patrolling the streets in trucks Saturday were civilian supporters enlisted by the embattled Libyan leader in hopes that he might be able to continue his 42-year rule.
"If needed, the arsenals will be open to arm all the Libyan people, all the Libyan tribes. Libya will be red with fire; it will turn into ashes," Kadafi said in a televised address that was described as a live speech on state television Friday night.
The address was aired as his son, Saif Islam Kadafi, hosted a group of foreign journalists for a closely monitored trip meant to portray the family as in control.
"If you hear fireworks, don't mistake it for shooting," the 38-year-old Kadafi said, according to an account provided by Reuters. "Peace is coming back to our country."
But the journalists said they observed a desperate crush of people at the airport, fruitlessly pressing against the gate in an effort to leave the country. When the journalists attempted to interview people in the crowd, police and militia members intercepted them and detained at least one photographer.
Meanwhile, the international community stepped up its response to the 10-day Libyan crisis, applying diplomatic pressure and arranging to have foreign nationals evacuated from the country
The U.N. Security Council planned to meet Saturday. Britain, France, Germany and the United States have drawn up a resolution that says the attacks on civilians in Libya could amount to crimes against humanity. The resolution calls for an arms embargo, a travel ban and an assets freeze against the Libyan leader.
American officials moved forward on President Obama's executive order to freeze assets held by Kadafi and four of his children in the United States. The Treasury Department said the sanctions against Kadafi, three of his sons and a daughter also apply to the Libyan government.
The British Foreign Office said a chartered plane arrived Saturday afternoon in Tripoli to evacuate up to 148 of its citizens.
"It appears that, effectively, Kadafi no longer controls the situation in Libya," said Italian President Silvio Berlusconi, the European leader with the closest relationship to Libya.
Times staff writer Borzou Daragahi contributed to this report from Ras Ajdir, Tunisia.
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Six Nations 2011: France's Sstien Chabal seeks redemption at Twickenham for low point in his career
Sébastien Chabal is determined to make amends for one of the lowest points in his career as he looks to avoid the pitfalls that led to the humiliating 34-10 defeat to England at Twickenham two years ago.
Atonement: Sstian Chabal has a heavy defeat against England at Twickenham on his CV Photo: GETTY IMAGES
By Mick Cleary 8:35PM GMT 23 Feb 2011
"We were overwhelmed everywhere, in all sectors of the game," said Chabal, restored to his favoured position of No 8, with Biarritz's Imanol Harinordoquy moving to the flank.
"We felt that we were ready, that we were going to do something, and we just couldn't understand how the English were ready for us."
Chabal's international career was rekindled during his five seasons at Sale. The bearded icon of the French scene, who has recently enjoyed the equivalent of a Madame Tussard's model of him being erected at the Grevin Museum in Paris, has never had truck with those of his French team-mates who accuse the English of arrogance.
He returned to France two seasons ago and has helped lead Racing-Métro into the top tiers of the domestic championship.
"England have succeeded in putting together a squad with an old guard who are guarantors of their rugby values and a new generation full of talent who inject a bit of fizz into the game, which before was often a bit direct and stereotypical," said Chabal, who will win his 61st cap on Saturday.
Chabal is not the only veteran in French ranks looking for a spot of redemption. Toulouse centre Yannick Jauzion, recalled to the starting line-up for the first time in this championship, is determined to end his losing streak at Twickenham on what might be his last visit there.
"I now have to justify my selection, to prove something without making it a one-man show," said the 32 year-old, who has never won at Twickenham since making his international debut a decade ago.
"There is a huge rivalry between us, especially this year because the English are at their best. They are a little arrogant before and during matches, and that is why we respect them. Because not only are they provocative but also because sometimes they come out on top.
''We will be playing in a hostile atmosphere but we need that because we have to grow up."
Jauzion, who wins his 73rd cap on Saturday, has been overlooked for a starting slot since the autumn.
"The Six Nations got off to a bad start for me, personally, and it is up to me now to make the most of this opportunity," said Jauzion, who will partner Aurélien Rougerie.
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Caramel coloring is what typically gives cola drinks (Coke, Pepsi, Dr. Pepper, root beer, etc.) their dark brown color. But the additive is also found in several other foods and drinks.
More from The Stir: 5 frightening food crimes
Check out this list to see which foods contain the potentially harmful additive:
But first, a primer on caramel coloring -- namely, what is it? It's a chemically derived dark brown coloring used to add visual appeal to foods. (It should not in any way be confused with pure caramel, which is made from melted sugar and is quite delicious. Pure caramel isn't healthy either but it's not cancer-causing as far as has been proven.)
Current federal regulations allow four types of artificial caramel coloring. Two of these -- Caramel III and Caramel IV -- have been flagged by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) as being made with ammonia. Government-led studies have shown these colorings caused liver, lung, leukemia, and thyroid cancer in lab rats and mice.
And, now you understand the reason CSPI is petitioning for the ban.
But dark-colored sodas aren't the only products that contain these chemicals. Check out these other foods and drinks that contain these ingredients:
Beer: Caramel coloring (Caramel III) is often used in the beer-making process (even for light-colored beers) because it provides color, stability, and flavor.
Soy sauce: Caramel III is often used to produce synthetic soy sauce in order to obtain the appropriate color and flavor.
More from The Stir: Taco Bell 'fake meat has nothing on this scary food!
'Gravies (and other sauces): Caramel III is often used here to get that deep and luxurious brown color.
Licorice: Some conventional varieties of this sugary convection contain Caramel III.
Dark breads: Particularly for some dark breads like pumpernickel or rye, Caramel IV is sometimes used to enhance flavor and visual appeal.
It may be that the claims by the CSPI are baseless as far as caramel coloring being dangerous for humans. In fact, the American Beverage Association dismisses the petition for a ban as an "outrageous and egregious attempt to dupe and scare the public."
But if you're one of those consumers that is paranoid about possibly carcinogenic ingredients in your food and beverages, then you might want to start checking the labels on the above foods.
Are you scared of caramel coloring?
Image via AlexG/Flickr
Written by Kim Conte for CafeMom's blog, The Stir.
More from The Stir:
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Vancouver ended its time hosting the 2010 Olympic games on a light-hearted note, with a closing ceremony that featured floating moose, dancing Mounties and gigantic cut-out hockey players wearing the gold medals Team Canada had won hours before.
Photos: Closing Ceremony
Winter Olympics Closing Ceremony Diary: Journal reporters analyze the ceremony
The upbeat ending was in stark contrast to the grim beginning of these games, which were marred by protests, the death of a Georgian luger, and then by unseasonably warm weather that left organizers postponing events and trucking in snow on Cypress Mountain.
``You took on a stubborn mountain with all your might,'' said Vancouver Organizing Committee CEO John Furlong, lauding the games' blue-garbed staff in a speech during the ceremony. ``The final result: Blue Jackets 1; Cypress Mountain weather zero.''
During the closing ceremony, Vancouver passed the baton to Sochi, Russia, which will host the 2014 winter games.
Write to Phred Dvorak at email@example.com
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Recepo Presidncia da CCDRA IPBeja 7244
A presidncia do Instituto Politcnico de Beja recebeu, a 18 de Fevereiro de 2011, a visita, para uma reunio de trabalho, do Presidente da CCDRA-Comisso de Coordenao e Desenvolvimento Regional do Alentejo, Dr. Joo Cordovil.
Liverpool forward Dirk Kuyt has revealed that talks over extending his contract at Anfield are progressing well.
Stick or twist: Dirk Kuyts to secure a new contract at Liverpool Photo: REUTERS
By Telegraph staff and agencies 11:32AM GMT 21 Feb 2011
Having undergone a change of ownership and management during a turbulent campaign, Liverpool appear to be moving in the right direction again under new boss Kenny Dalglish, who was appointed Roy Hodgson's successor on a temporary basis in January.
Kuyt has already spoken of his desire to see Dalglish keep the job beyond the end of the season, and the Dutchman is also keen to stay on at Liverpool.
"My contract has one more season to go after this but there are things happening," Kuyt said.
"We have had some talks and I can only say it looks positive.
"I feel at home in Liverpool and I don't want to leave here.
"It has been a difficult time for everyone at the club with the changes that have happened since last summer but now I can sense something good is happening - I think Liverpool are on the way back."
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Football League clubs are carrying “unsustainable” levels of debt and are heading towards a financial “precipice”, League chairman Greg Clarke warned yesterday.
By Paul Kelso 9:12PM GMT 15 Feb 2011
Giving evidence before a parliamentary select committee inquiry into football governance, Clarke warned that the underlying finances of football needed urgent reform if clubs were to be viable in future. “Debt’s the biggest problem in the game. If I had to list the 10 things about football that keep me awake at night, it would be debt one to 10,” he said.
“Football League clubs carry about one third of a billion pounds in debt but overall make no profit and have to service that with no positive cash flow. If we were a commercial organisation we would be out of business.
“Debt is a good proxy for risk and the amount of debt in the Football League is absolutely unsustainable We are heading for the precipice and we will get there quicker than people think.”
Clarke said the League had established working parties to investigate the finances of all three of its divisions and was working on a five-year plan that would spell out to clubs the consequences of inaction, as well as alternatives to improve the financial landscape.
Conservative MP Dr Therese Coffey yesterday described his evidence as “having the tone of a jilted lover”, but together, his testimony and Clarke’s painted a grim picture.
Clarke also called for the FA to recruit independent directors to mediate between the vested interests on the board, and predicted new FA chairman David Bernstein would push for that change.
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JERUSALEM—Israel's foreign minister on Wednesday accused Iran of staging a "provocation" by sending a warship on a course to sail through the Suez Canal and past Israel's Mediterranean coast to Syria.
Israel's defense minister and U.S. officials, however, played down the significance of the plans, which Iran announced weeks ago.
The Egyptian authority that runs the canal said no Iranian ship had traversed it or sought permission to do so. Israeli defense officials said the warship, sailing with a supply ship and reportedly taking cadets to a training exercise, posed no military threat.
Israeli officials watched with deep unease last week as a popular uprising overthrew Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, depriving Israel of its only reliable ally in the Middle East. The prospect of an Iranian naval presence in the Mediterranean for the first time since Iran's Islamic Revolution of 1979 was viewed by some in Israel as a sign its adversaries, including Iran and Syria, had suddenly become emboldened.
A militarily assertive Iran would also pose a serious challenge to Saudi Arabia and other Arab regimes aligned with the U.S. Under Mr. Mubarak, Egypt had been the cornerstone of a U.S. effort to enlist moderate Arab leaders to counter the rise of Islamic militancy in the region.
Iran is sending two warships through the Suez Canal en route to Syria, Israel's foreign minister said Wednesday, calling the act a "provocation" that Israel cannot ignore. Simon Constable discusses with John Bussey, Josh Mitnick and Farnaz Fassihi.
Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman's heated remarks on Iran mark a rupture within the Israeli leadership over how to respond to the region's political flux. Until Wednesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had kept his cabinet officials on a more cautious message: Egypt's revolution holds security risks for Israel, but no one can predict how it will turn out.
Addressing a closed meeting of American Jewish leaders in Jerusalem, Mr. Lieberman declared that the ships were to cross the Suez within hours. He said the plan "proves that the self-confidence and chutzpah of the Iranians are growing from day to day," according to a text issued later by his office.
"To my regret, the international community is not showing readiness to deal with the recurring Iranian provocations," he added. "The international community must understand that Israel cannot forever ignore these provocations."
Hezbollah Leader Warns of Conflict
His remarks Wednesday took the prime minister's aides by surprise, and Mr. Netanyahu didn't mention the Iranian ships in a later speech to the same audience.
Defense Ministry officials said they had "preferred to ignore" the ships and that Mr. Lieberman had spoken out of turn, according to Yoav Limor, military affairs correspondent of the state-funded Channel One television.
Mr. Netanyahu has spoken of Iran as a dire threat; Mr. Lieberman, a rival of the conservative prime minister in a coalition government, often uses more extreme language. The government would collapse without the support of the foreign minister's far-right party, and political analysts say that has emboldened his hawkish pronouncements.
But officials said Mr. Lieberman's message reflected a wider concern among Israeli leaders that Iran may be positioning itself to exploit Egypt's turmoil and the uncertainty of Egypt's close alliance with Israel.
State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley acknowledged there were Iranian ships in the Red Sea, but said the U.S. didn't know the vessels' destination or intentions. Asked if the U.S. was tracking the ships' movements, Mr. Crowley said: "We always watch what Iran is doing."
Other U.S. officials said Iran was sending the ships through the Suez to provoke a reaction from the U.S. and Israel and distract attention from the Iranian regime's problems at home. These officials said Mr. Lieberman's vociferous response was a mistake. "As long as they are behaving themselves, they can travel anywhere they want in international waters," one American official said.
Official news agencies in Iran made no mention of the Israeli remarks about the ships.
On Jan. 26, Iran's semiofficial Fars news agency reported Iranian navy cadets were boarding a frigate and a supply ship for a yearlong training mission into the Red Sea and through the Suez to the Mediterranean. They would train to defend Iran's cargo ships and oil tankers against the threat of Somali pirates, it said.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Wednesday issued a brief statement that Israel was tracking the ships and had alerted "friendly nations in the region." An Israeli official said they landed in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on Feb. 6.
The Israeli newspaper Yediot Aharonot quoted an unnamed Israeli official as saying the vessels would dock at a Syrian port for a year, far from the activity of pirates off the African coast.
Mr. Lieberman gave no evidence to support the ships' timing for crossing the canal. Ahmed Mankhali, director of the Transit Department for the Suez Canal Authority, said Wednesday that no Iranian warship had passed through the waterway.
"Any warship needs permission from the Egyptian Ministry of Defense," he added. "Right now we have seen no such request."
Any country that isn't in a state of war with Egypt is allowed to send warships through the canal, a commercial and strategic waterway between Europe and the Middle East and Asia.
Israel frequently sends its navy through the canal to the Red Sea on missions to intercept weapons it says Iran sends by sea to the Islamic movement Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip and two years ago fought a brief war with Israel.
Hamas and another Islamist adversary, Lebanon's Hezbollah militia, view Egypt's turmoil as an opportunity to strengthen their hand against Israel.
Hezbollah's leader told his group Wednesday he might ask it to invade northern Israel if a new war breaks out. Mr. Netanyahu retorted in a speech: "I have news for you. He won't. The last thing anyone should have is any doubt about Israel's determination to defend itself."
—Farnaz Fassihi, Charles Levinson and
Julian E. Barnes contributed
to this article.
Write to Richard Boudreaux at firstname.lastname@example.org
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AC Milan v Tottenham Hotspur: Sound of silence at the San Siro is music to Harry Redknapp's ears
Five minutes from the end of this encounter, Harry Redknapp would have heard an aural contribution that to him would have sounded as delicious as the finest aria La Scala can offer.
By Jim White 6:45AM GMT 16 Feb 2011
As injury time began in a stadium growing increasingly silent, the principal noise emanated from the visiting supporters. Perched up in the gods, so far from the action it was a precursor for watching a game at the Olympic Stadium after West Ham take it on, the Londoners were singing in raucous delight as their team homed in on victory.
“Spurs are on their way to Wembley,” they chorused.
It may be a touch optimistic. There will surely be tougher obstacles ahead of the Champions League final at the home of football than a testy, unhappy and ultimately woefully ill-disciplined Milan side. But nonetheless 3,700 visitors knew what it was they were watching: this performance marked Tottenham’s arrival on the European stage.
The last time Spurs were in these parts it was to deliver no more than glorious failure. Gareth Bale’s hat-trick in this same stadium in the autumn against Inter, alerted every Continental club with ambition to his existence.
The Milan fans loved the way it so nearly undermined their rivals. But Bale wasn’t here. And the locals seemed convinced that with the man they wanted to see absent, Spurs’s chances had departed with him. Yet it turned out this was a better, harder, sharper Tottenham without him. Not because he somehow diminishes the team. But because they had learned from their last experience in northern Italy and now knew precisely what to do.
“We pressed them, we closed them, we didn’t give them the chance to play,” said Redknapp, who sounded delighted by such concepts.
Yet the day before the game, the manager had looked puzzled when asked whether injuries to his more creative players would oblige him to be cautious in this tie. He chuckled at the very notion of Spurs trying to defend. Every last twitching fibre at the club is dedicated to the cause of attack, the manager insisted.
Attack is clearly a broad term. Here Redknapp’s tactic was to attack space, attack possession, attack any assumptions his hosts had of being able to control things at their own leisurely pace.
Through sheeting rain, which created a surface that could happily host the next round of Dancing On Ice, for much of this game Redknapp’s team kept Milan pinned in their own half.
Wilson Palacios and Sandro were stationed largely five yards inside their opponents’ territory, easily snaffling up attempted clearances, to the hooted derision of the home crowd. And when they got the ball, the pair invariably passed it out wide. Time and again crosses flew in from Steven Pienaar, Vedrun Corluka and the excellent Aaron Lennon, each seeking out the towering target of Peter Crouch’s head. Such was the intensity of the first-half aerial bombardment, the Milan goalkeeper Christian Abbiati sought sanctuary in the dressing room in the 18th minute.
The Italian aristocrats became the very definition of ratty. Mathieu Flamini’s disgraceful two-footed assault on Corluka should have brought a red card. In the push-me-pull you touchline shoving that ensued, Gennaro Gattuso, who had been getting particularly irked, shoved Joe Jordan in the face. After the final whistle, in an action which can only be described as reckless, he sought out Spurs’s assistant manager and nutted him. Classy it wasn’t.
Yet through it all, Spurs remained resolute. More to the point, as Milan pressed forward with increasing desperation, Tottenham brilliantly managed to do what Redknapp claimed they were genetically incapable of doing: they defended. Led by an indomitable Michael Dawson, the back line blocked shots, dived into tackles, hurled any part of the body they could into the fray. And when those in front of him failed to arrest a Milan attack, Heurelho Gomes made three outstanding saves.
Thus it was when Lennon skipped and dazzled his way into the Milan half, before setting up Crouch for a delightful winner, it seemed an entirely warranted reward for a perfect European performance. As the ball hit the net, silence descended on the ground. Everywhere but in the gods. The goal crowned a grand night for Spurs on the biggest of European stages. And for the return they might even have Bale back. On this evidence it is unlikely Milan will be doing much singing then.
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The news came as little surprise to many people—least of all the U.S. Curling team.
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Chris Plys of the U.S. throws a stone during their men's curling round robin match against France.
"We never really got on one path," says Rick Patzke, the chief operating officer for USA Curling, who said there was never any cohesive plan in place to win and that the training ahead of these Games was essentially a write-off. "There wasn't total buy-in," he says. By the time the Olympics came around, Mr. Patzke adds, USA Curling was resigned to the fact that it was really preparing for 2014. "We started with Sochi and we worked backward," he says.
How did an entire U.S. team end up taking a mulligan on the Olympics?
Olympics: A Curling Letdown
The U.S. curling teams are struggling, causing some to question the team-selection process and whether they're looking ahead to the next Olympics. Curler Dean Gemmell joins Kelsey Hubbard to talk about the top curling contenders.
Instead of assembling an all-star team of the best curlers in the country—the way some nations do—curling clubs around the U.S. compete in Olympic trials to determine who will make it to the Olympics. In the past, that system has worked—it produced a bronze medal in the 2006 Olympics.
But in the past four years, curling's popularity has grown world-wide, and international competition has picked up. Before these Games, China sent a team to Canada to learn the sport, and Scandinavian countries had begun to improve. At the same time, participation in the U.S. has stayed somewhat stagnant.
Mr. Patzke said that about 18 months ago, USA Curling reached out to the United States Olympic Committee looking for support. "We said we know that we're falling behind here, we better get on the stick."
Faces of Curling
See some of the men's and women's curlers in action in Vancouver.
A look at some of the men's and women's curlers in action at the Vancouver Games.
When the U.S. team, led by captain John Shuster, won the Olympic trials, the USOC provided more support than ever to get them ready for the Olympics. They paid for training, sports psychologists and helped the players get by without working full-time jobs so they could practice for the Olympics.
But in giving them the money, they insisted that USA Curling embark on an ambitious plan to change the culture and structure of the national team. USA Curling enthusiastically embraced the idea, although there was one little problem—there's no way the plan could bear fruit in time to put a decent team on the ice in Vancouver.
After losing to Germany, Switzerland and Denmark in these Games, the U.S. team benched its captain, Mr. Shuster, in favor of a 22-year-old alternate named Chris Plys. It was a move by coaches who wanted to prepare for the future.
"That experience was invaluable in helping me prepare for 2014," said Mr. Plys.
The positives made by USA Curling have done nothing to slow the angry fan mail Mr. Patzke has been receiving. But he says he has found a way to spin that into a positive.
"It shows people actually care," he said.
Write to Reed Albergotti at email@example.com
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Never Let Me Go, review
One of this year's prestige-picture casualties, Never Let Me Go holds back from its full potential. Rating: * * *
By Tim Robey 6:04PM GMT 10 Feb 2011
12A cert, 104 min
Mark Romanek’s Never Let Me Go feels like one of this year’s prestige-picture casualties, a coolly sensitive literary offering which has been barged aside, a little unjustly, by more ingratiating attractions.
Adapting Kazuo Ishiguro’s Booker-shortlisted novel about the residents of a, shall we say, unusual boarding school, Romanek and screenwriter Alex Garland manage to avoid sticky overstatement — something Ishiguro doesn’t always do — and the ways they fast-forward to the emotional nub of the story are smart.
But the film holds back from its full potential, faintly apologetic with what it’s pruning, and too conscious of itself (perhaps with half an eye on Joe Wright’s Atonement) as a tastefully middlebrow package.
Ishiguro’s central love triangle is animated vitally enough by the lead performances, which are much better than some conspicuously dodgy wigs might lead you to expect. Carey Mulligan narrates as Kathy H, a diligent and demure student at Hailsham, the school whose pupils realise they’re something special. The script isn’t coy about this — they’re clones, being reared for their organs. Trying to keep this from us as some kind of twist would have been a disaster, since the dramatic core is entirely about what they’re able to do with the time they have left. The trouble is, though Kathy loves Tommy (Andrew Garfield) and he loves her back, her friend Ruth (Keira Knightley) is a faster mover and snaps him up.
It remains unlikely that Knightley’s fearfully thin frame would be many people’s first choice of organ-incubation unit, but she impresses with some bleak hospital scenes, and the Mulligan-Garfield relationship is tender, upsetting and delicately played. The plot suffers, as it did on the page, from how accepting these lambs are of their impending slaughter. A bit more attitude, some suggestion of rebelling against their lot, might have made its tragic inevitability all the sadder.
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Egyptian anti-government protesters gather at Cairo's Tahrir square Photo: AFP/GETTY IMAGES
3:26PM GMT 08 Feb 2011
Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian president, took a step earlier on Tuesday towards democratic reform, authorising a committee to pursue constitutional change, a gesture that failed to appease the crowds who noisily demanded his immediate ouster.
"We are going in to support the people inside the square. They are the first line of defence," said 26-year-old Mahmud el-Naggar, who came from Fayyoum, south of the capital, with a group of friends and made for the square.
"We've heard there will be a million-strong demonstration today."
Protesters who arrived in the square, past a cordon of troops and tanks that searched them for weapons but made no attempt to halt the demonstration, were greeted by huge new posters of the "martyrs" of their revolt.
Many also carried the symbols of the internet social networks Facebook and Twitter, which have become vital mobilising tools for the opposition thanks to online campaigners like Google executive Wael Ghonim.
Mr Ghonim has himself become a hero to many in the movement, having started one of its most popular Facebook sites and been detained by the regime following a former day of protest on January 27.
Freed late on Monday, he gave an emotional interview to Egypt's Dream 2, weeping as he remembered those killed in two weeks of protests.
"I was blindfolded for 12 days, I couldn't hear anything, I didn't know what was happening," he said, in an appearance that has motivated the protests and been spread far and wide by his internet fans.
"I'm not a hero, I slept for 12 days," Mr Ghonim said. "The heroes, they're the ones who were in the street, who took part in the demonstrations, sacrificed their lives, were beaten, arrested and exposed to danger."
Mr Ghonim announced that he was on his way to the square in a Tweet to his followers, saying: "Egyptians are making history."
For its part, the regime issued a decree forming a committee to oversee constitutional changes ahead of elections later this year.
"The president welcomed the national consensus, confirming we are on the right path to getting out of the current crisis," said Vice President Omar Suleiman, whom many now see as the effective power behind the throne.
"A clear road map has been put in place with a set timetable to realise a peaceful and organised transfer of power," he promised, in a televised address.
The vice president has begun meeting representatives of some opposition parties – including the powerful Muslim Brotherhood, but not some of the street protest groups – to draw up plans for a democratic transition.
Mr Mubarak has promised not to stand for re-election in September, but opposition groups say any vote to replace the 82-year-old strongman would not be fair under Egypt's current constitution.
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An army of meteorologists at these Games are responsible for bringing weather forecasts to nervous venue managers. In the first days of the Olympics, they had almost nothing but bad news: drenching rains and temperatures in the mid-50s in some places and sudden blizzards and fog in the mountains.
"I've never been on a chairlift with an umbrella before," said Canadian silver-medal winning moguls skier Jennifer Heil.
In recent days, a cold front made everyone forget these early troubles. But spring-like conditions are coming back. From Wednesday, the forecast calls for warm, rainy days with temperatures downtown back in the 50s, about nine degrees higher than average.
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Fans from the U.S. cheer during the third run of the men's singles luge competition.
And there's snow in the forecast, but not where's it wanted or needed. On Cypress Mountain, the white stuff started to fall Tuesday, but a spokesman for the Vancouver Organizing Committee said the dusting would hurt more than help the remaining events.
Even on the clearest day, ski cross is a sport that makes its best athletes look accident-prone. Canadian Julia Murray said that from her limited vantage point, there were "quite a few" spills Tuesday. She also said the jumps at the top were harder to get started on because of the snow.
At all hours of the night, calls from worried venue managers come in to the command center. At each of the five venues, three meteorologists, working in shifts, produce forecasts hourly. These meteorologists are wielding high-tech gear that can "see" the wind in 3-D and simulate weather conditions at one-kilometer intervals.
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Phred Dvorak/The Wall Street Journal
Trevor Smith, lead meteorologist at Environment Canada's Olympics command center.
An international team of researchers is here testing new methods of forecasting dubbed "nowcasting" that can give pinpoint weather predictions that take effect right away. "It's high pressure," says lead forecaster Trevor Smith.
On Feb. 12, the first day of the Games, the Olympic forecasters gave Whistler's downhill skiing organizers some bad news: Course groomers typically inject water into the snow so it will freeze, but forecasters said the temperatures at the bottom of the track wouldn't be cold enough to do that—at least not until later in the weekend. At 3 a.m. that Saturday they called the weather center, and ski officials later postponed the race until the following Monday.
When that day arrived, forecasters were fixated on "Harvey's cloud," a dense foggy patch that tends to appear mid-mountain on Whistler, right in the middle of the downhill course. At the command center, George Isaac, a Canadian scientist who's part of the Vancouver nowcasting team, pointed at the nascent patch, which appeared as a blotch on the computer screen in front of him. "We were worried that this would come down," he said.
On Sunday morning, Feb. 14, monitors stationed at Whistler Mountain north of Vancouver saw another worrisome blotch on their radar and called central command to get the time of impact. The nowcasters answered that the blizzard would hit Whistler right in the middle of the biathlon competition.
What they didn't realize was that the half-hour storm would blind all the top biathlon athletes, throwing them out of contention, says Roy Rasmussen, senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., who generated the prediction.
"To be truthful, we didn't know it was going to impact the competition," says Mr. Rasmussen.
—Adam Thompson contributed to this article
Write to Phred Dvorak at firstname.lastname@example.org and Geoffrey A. Fowler at email@example.com
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Jessica Long is just one of the most fantastic models that I've had the pleasure of working with. Even though she was nearly frozen solid (I'll never do that again) she kept on going till we got the shots. Thanks again!
Also, I'd like to give a special thanks to Rachel and Nate for their contributions to the project, and our MUA for the shoot, Sarah.
Fill: LP160 Shoot Through Umbrella boomed over scene @ Full (Full CTO)
Key: LP160 Camera Left @ 1/4 (1/2 CTO)
Hair: LP160 w/DIY snoot forward Camera Left @ 1/32
Camera settings in EXIF
Guerilla Photo Group
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Frederic William MacMonnies
Frederic William MacMonnies
Emperor Franz Josef of Austria on his way to Wallsee castle
Rare RPPC showing Emperor Franz Josef of Austria in one of the first automobiles on his way to Wallsee Castle, home of his youngest daughter Archduchess Marie Valerie of Austria. Franz Josef hated all kind of new technical inventions and even in his last years, he preferred the horse carriage instead of the automobile. Photo taken around 1913, Wallsee, Austria.
Emperor Franz Josef of Austria
Empress Elisabeth of Austria
Archduchess Marie Valerie of Austria
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Crime mapping: informative or just scaremongering?
John Corrigan was looking out of the window of a hair salon that has graced Glover’s Court, just off Preston’s main shopping street, for the past 50 years.
Glover's Court in Preston is allegedly the most crime-ridden street in England and Wales Photo: GOOGLE STREETVIEW
By Nigel Bunyan 8:00AM GMT 02 Feb 2011
“Does this look like a war zone?” he asked. “Of course it doesn’t. This is all just scaremongering – and all they’ve done is to tarnish the good name of this street for no good reason.”
In the wacky world of Government statistics, Glover’s Court emerges as the most crime-ridden street in England and Wales.
Anyone brave enough to log on to www.police.uk will be `informed` that last December this 200-yard stretch bore the brunt of 152 incidents of reported crime. Of these, 44 involved violence and a further 73 bore the catch-all tag of anti-social behaviour.
In the real world, as Mr Corrigan espoused, that is pure bunkum.
Local statistics confirm that there were no more than three crimes committed in the street in December, and that each of these was minor.
Chief Supt James Lee, of Lancashire Police, was shocked to learn that a commercial street boasting a bridal shop and a branch of Waterstone’s should be portrayed as something akin to the new Beirut.
“It’s a statistical anomaly,” he said. “The 150 crimes relate to the whole city – not just this single postcode. It is actually a safe place to be.”
Mr Lee, who would have been surprised to see Preston secure 100th place in the table, let alone first, added: “The only difference between here and the likes of Liverpool and Manchester is that Preston’s city centre is small and theirs both have a number of post codes.”
“I don’t need a website to tell me where’s safe and where’s not safe,” she said.
“It’s just common sense. I wouldn’t necessarily want to walk down here at night because of all the youngsters out for the evening, but in daylight it’s fine.”
Jav Patel, 27, a consultant with High Flyers Recruitment, was already fretting about the unjustified stigma being attached to the street.
“I gave my card to someone in Manchester this morning and he looked at the address and said `Oh, that’s not a nice place to be`.
“I didn’t know what he meant and when he explained I just laughed. I’ll have to ring him up now to explain. All this is just a massive blunder”.
Some in Glover’s Court fear that insurance companies will seize upon the Home Office website - developed at a cost of £300,000 - as a justification for increasing premiums.
One complained: “That would be completely unfair. As I see it, this is information that no one wants, no one has asked for – and which is wrong”.
Andrew Forster, the manager of Loft, one of four nightclubs in the street, was simply angry.
“This shouldn’t have happened have happened. We have excellent relationships here and only on Saturday we received an accolade from the police. All they’ve done is to pick on a postcode”.
Simon Nash, who lives in nearby St Austin's Place, said: "I have lived here for eight years and have never seen one crime.
"As a resident it's cheesed me off as it isn't a violent place to live".
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped in and out of positive territory. By late morning it was up three points at 12043, while the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index fell two points to 1306 and the Nasdaq Composite Index added four points to 2755.
Investors were closely watching developments in Egypt, where violent clashes erupted on the streets of Cairo between supporters and opponents of President Hosni Mubarak.
Todd Salamone, director of research at Schaeffer's Investment Research, said the prospect of increasing violence in Egypt could heighten investor worries, but he argued: "A lot of this is priced into the market.
"When you get a move like Tuesday's, there may be some traders sitting back, waiting for a pullback to accumulate positions," Mr. Salamone said.
Oil was higher amid the uncertainty, with crude rising above $91 a barrel, while the Market Vectors Egypt Index, an exchange-traded fund of Egypt-related stocks, fell 2.3%.
The market was digesting an increase of 187,000 private-sector jobs in January, the 12th consecutive month of private-sector employment growth, according to Automatic Data Processing. But ADP lowered its December figure, to 247,000 new jobs from a previous estimate of 297,000.
The encouraging private-sector jobs number comes ahead of initial jobless claims data on Thursday and the closely-watched official monthly jobs number on Friday.
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Traders at the New York Stock Exchange at the end of the trading day on Feb. 1.
Earlier: Stocks Hit Post-Crisis High
Heard: Euro Bond Euphoria Looks Overdone
Debt of Some Euro-Zone Nations Rallies
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Dow Breaks Through 12000
In earnings news, shares of Electronic Arts rose 15% after the video game publisher said late Tuesday that its third-quarter fiscal loss widened as sales fell, but announced a better-than-expected forecast for the current quarter and a plan to spend $600 million buying back its stock.
Mattel rose 2.3% after the toy maker reported improved sales across its major divisions and increased its dividend 11%, raising the quarterly payout to 23 cents a share.
Hershey was up 1.8% after fourth-quarter earnings rose 6.9% as the candy maker posted sharply lower restructuring charges, while sales and margins both improved.
Media concern Time Warner rose 5.1% after fourth-quarter profit rose 22% and adjusted results topped expectations amid strength at its networks businesses.
Whirlpool tumbled 4.9% after fourth-quarter earnings rose a smaller-than-expected 80%, though revenue topped estimates as cost-cutting and higher unit volume offset higher materials costs. The company projected earnings for the year well ahead of the Street forecast.
Marathon Oil fell 0.3% after fourth-quarter earnings surged 99%, making it the latest oil company to post strong earnings, citing higher oil prices and improved refining margins.
Investors were awaiting earnings from Visa and News Corp., which owns the publisher of The Wall Street Journal, after the market close.
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Dow Breaks Through 12000
Wednesday's moves came a day after the Dow Jones Industrial Average posted the strongest one-day jump in two months, rising 148.23 points, or 1.3%, to 12040.16. That marked the blue-chip index's first close above 12000 since June 19, 2008, while the S&P 500 finished above 1300.
In Europe, stocks were generally weaker, with the Stoxx Europe 600 slightly lower. Shares of Spain's second-largest bank, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, or BBVA, fell 1.7% in U.S. trading after disappointing fourth-quarter results, though the country's IBEX 35 index rose 1.5%.
Roche Holding fell 2.4% in U.S. trading after the drug maker said restructuring charges and slowing U.S. and European sales hit 2010 earnings.
In Asia, Tokyo's Nikkei Stock Average and Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index both rose 1.8%.
The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury fell to 3.3422%, as demand for the relative safety of the instruments increased.
Gold fell 0.2%, while copper fell slightly from Tuesday's record close. The dollar was flat against its major rivals.
Write to Jonathan Cheng at firstname.lastname@example.org
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