Monday, April 29, 2013

Frenetic rescue effort leads to 9 alive in rubble

SAVAR, Bangladesh (AP) ? Bangladesh rescuers on Sunday located nine people alive inside the rubble of a multi-story building that collapsed five days ago, as authorities announced they will now use heavy equipment to drill a central hole from the top to look for survivors and dead bodies.

At least 362 people are confirmed dead in the collapse of the 8-story building that housed five garment factories. The death toll is expected to rise further, but it is already the deadliest tragedy to hit Bangladesh's garment industry, which is worth $20 billion annually and a mainstay of the economy.

Wednesday's collapse and previous disasters in garment factories have focused attention on the poor working conditions of workers who toil for as little as $38 a month to produce clothing for top international brands.

Army Maj. Gen. Chowdhury Hasan Suhrawardy, the coordinator of the rescue operations, said they will try to save the nine people first by manually shifting concrete blocks with the help of light equipment such as pick axes and shovels.

"But if we fail we will start our next phase within hours," which would involve manual efforts as well as heavy equipment, including hydraulic cranes and cutters to bore a hole from the top of the collapsed building, he told reporters.

The purpose is to "continue the operation to recover both survivors and dead bodies. In this stage, we have no other choice but to use some heavy equipment. We will start it within a few hours. Manual operation and use of small equipment is not enough," he said.

The work will be carried out carefully so as not to mutilate bodies, he said. All the equipment is in place, "from a small blade to everything. We have engaged many private sector companies which supplied us equipment, even some heavy ones."

In rare good news, a female worker was pulled out alive on Sunday. Hasan Akbari, a rescuer, said when he tried to extricate a man next to the woman, "he said his body was being torn apart. So I had to let go. But God willing, we will be able to rescue him with more help very soon."

On Saturday, police took six people into custody, including three owners of two factories who were placed under arrest. Also under detention are the wife of the building owner who is on the run and two government engineers who were involved in giving approval for the building design. The owner had the approval to construct five floors but he added three more illegally.

A huge crack appeared in the building, Rana Plaza, on Tuesday, but the owner, Mohammed Sohel Rana, assured tenants it was safe to go inside. A bank and some shops on the first floor shut their premises on Wednesday after police ordered an evacuation, but managers of the garment factories on the upper floor told workers to continue their shifts.

Hours later the Rana Plaza was reduced to rubble, and most victims were crushed by massive blocks of concrete and mortar falling on them. A garment manufacturers' group said the factories in the building employed 3,122 workers, but it was not clear how many were inside it when it collapsed. About 2,500 survivors have been accounted for.

Working round-the-clock, rescuers have used bare hands and shovels, passing chunks of brick and concrete down a human chain away from the collapsed structure. On the ground, mixed in the debris were several pairs of pink cotton pants, a mud-covered navy blue sock and a pile of green uncut fabric.

The badly decomposed bodies pulled out of the rubble were kept at a makeshift morgue at the nearby Adharchandra High School before being handed over to families. Many people milled around at the school, waving photos of their missing loved ones.

Among those arrested are Bazlus Samad, managing director of New Wave Apparels Ltd., and Mahmudur Rahman Tapash, the company chairman, and Aminul Islam, chairman of Phantom Apparels Ltd.

Rana, the building owner, was a local leader of ruling Awami League's youth front. His arrest, and that of the factory owners, was ordered by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who is also the Awami League leader.

The disaster is the worst ever for the country's booming and powerful garment industry, surpassing a fire five months ago that killed 112 people and brought widespread pledges to improve worker-safety standards. But since then very little has changed in Bangladesh, where low wages have made it a magnet for numerous global brands.

Bangladesh's garment industry was the third largest in the world in 2011, after China and Italy, having grown rapidly in the past decade. The country's minimum wage is the equivalent of about $38 a month.

Among the garment makers in the building were Phantom Apparels, Phantom Tac, Ether Tex, New Wave Style and New Wave Bottoms. Altogether, they produced several million shirts, pants and other garments a year.

The New Wave companies, according to their website, make clothing for several major North American and European retailers.

Britain's Primark acknowledged it was using a factory in Rana Plaza, but many other retailers distanced themselves from the disaster, saying they were not involved with the factories at the time of the collapse or had not recently ordered garments from them.

Wal-Mart said none of its clothing had been authorized to be made in the facility, but it is investigating whether there was any unauthorized production.


AP writers Farid Hossain and Gillian Wong in Dhaka contributed to this report.


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Analysis: Israeli credibility on line over Iran nuclear challenge

By Crispian Balmer and Dan Williams

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel risks a loss of credibility over both its "red line" for Iran's nuclear program and its threat of military action, and its room for unilateral maneuver is shrinking.

After years of veiled warnings that Israel might strike the Islamic Republic, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu laid out an ultimatum at the United Nations last September.

Iran, he said, must not amass enough uranium at 20 percent fissile purity to fuel one bomb if enriched further. To ram the point home, he drew a red line across a cartoon bomb, guaranteeing him front page headlines around the world.

However, a respected Israeli ex-spymaster says Iran has skillfully circumvented the challenge. Other influential voices say the time has passed when Israel can hit out at Iran alone, leaving it dependent on U.S. decision-makers.

"If there was a good window of opportunity to attack, it was six months ago - not necessarily today," said Giora Eiland, a former Israeli national security adviser. Pressure from Washington, he said, had forced Israel to drop its strike plan.

Israel has long insisted on the need for a convincing military threat and setting clear lines beyond which Iran's nuclear activity should not advance, calling this the only way to persuade Iran that it must bow to international pressure.

Serving officials argue that Netanyahu's repeated warnings of the menace posed by Iran's nuclear project have pushed the issue to the top of the global agenda and helped generate some of the toughest economic sanctions ever imposed on a nation.

But some officials have also questioned the wisdom of his red line, arguing that such brinkmanship can generate unwelcome ambiguity - as the United States has discovered with its contested stance on the use of chemical weapons in Syria.

Amos Yadlin, a former military intelligence chief who runs a Tel Aviv think-tank, suggested last week that Israel had also got itself into a tangle, saying Iran had expanded its nuclear capacity beyond the Israeli limit, without triggering alarms.

"Today it can be said that the Iranians have crossed the red line set by Netanyahu at the U.N. assembly," Yadlin told a conference at the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), which he heads.


Netanyahu's office declined to respond to Yadlin's remarks, noting that the prime minister, in recent public statements, had said Iran was "continuing to get closer to the red line".

Tehran denies there is any military component to its nuclear activities, saying it is focused only on civilian energy needs. It charges that Israel, widely believed to have the Middle East's only nuclear arsenal, is the greater regional threat.

Keeping in step with Netanyahu, Israeli defense and military officials issued clear warnings this month that Israel was still prepared to go it alone against Iran, once more beating the drums of war after months of relative quiet.

"We will do what is necessary when it is necessary," armed forces chief of staff Benny Gantz told Israel Radio on April 16.

But there is increasing skepticism within diplomatic circles about the viability of such an option. Envoys doubt that the Israeli military could now make much of a dent on Iran's far-flung, well-fortified nuclear installations.

"If nothing happened last year, I struggle to see why it will happen this year," said a top Western diplomat in Tel Aviv, speaking on condition of anonymity given the sensitivities.

Israeli President Shimon Peres has done little to bolster belief in unilateral action, making clear this month that he thought U.S. President Barack Obama would be the one to go to war against Iran if nuclear diplomacy failed.

"He knows no one else will do it," Peres told Israeli TV.

The United States offered Netanyahu a new array of military hardware last week, including refueling tankers that could be used to get fighter jets to and from Iranian targets.

However, Israel cannot match the sort of firepower that the United States could bring to a battlefield. For example, Israel lacks the biggest bunker-busting bombs that experts say would be needed to penetrate Iran's underground Fordow enrichment plant.

Such limitations always cast doubt on a possible Israeli assault and the more time passes, the more the doubts grow.

Ehud Barak, the previous Israeli defense minister, said in November 2011 that within nine months it would probably be impossible to halt Iran because it was increasing the number of centrifuges and its network of sites, creating what he termed a "zone of immunity". Seventeen months have gone by since then.


Washington has promised Israel it will not let Iran develop a nuclear bomb. Israelis get jittery, however, because they have set a very different clock for when they believe it would be necessary to intervene - hence the importance of the red line.

The Israelis make no distinction between Iran developing the capacity to build an atomic bomb and having the actual weapon. Yadlin told the INSS conference that as soon as Tehran could put just one rudimentary device on a boat and sail it to an Israeli port, it was a de-facto nuclear-armed nation.

Some analysts question whether Iran would indeed attack Israel if it had an atom bomb, or even try to build one, rather than just establish an apparent nuclear capability to project deterrence and regional power. To fire a nuclear weapon at Israel, they say, could spell the ruin of the Islamic Republic in counter-strikes by a foe with a far bigger nuclear arsenal.

Gantz himself said last year he felt Iran's leadership was "very rational" and unlikely to build an atomic bomb.

The U.S. concern is to prevent Iran, which has called for Israel's destruction, from reaching the verge of acquiring a nuclear bomb - a nuance at variance with Israel's position that provides a longer window of opportunity to continue diplomacy.

Exasperated by Washington's refusal to set a clear ultimatum, Netanyahu came up with his 240-250 kg (530-550 pound) limit for 20 percent enriched uranium, hoping this would concentrate minds. The Iranians stayed below this threshold by converting 110 kg of the gaseous material to solid form that they say is destined to power a research reactor.

Yadlin said that rather than turn all of this into solid reactor fuel, Iran had kept 80 kg of it in the interim powdered state. That, he said, could be converted back to original gas form in around a week, inflating the stockpile beyond 250 kg.

With the red line in possible jeopardy, and unilateral military action in doubt, one security official suggested that Israel might turn to covert sabotage, with renewed focus on those specifically working on the 20 percent enrichment.

Five Iranian scientists and academics have been killed or attacked since 2010 in incidents believed to have targeted Iran's nuclear program. Israel has remained silent about the attacks and other known acts of sabotage at Iranian sites.

(Additional reporting by Fredrik Dahl in Vienna; Editing by Jeffrey Heller and Mark Heinrich)


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Mad Men Review: Martin Luther King Jr.'s Death Opens 'The Flood' of Personal Demons


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Saturday, April 27, 2013

91% The Angels' Share

All Critics (67) | Top Critics (18) | Fresh (61) | Rotten (6)

Charming enough to satisfy even the trenchant-commentary crowd.

The plot thickens, but the mood grows lighter.

Unexpectedly, and blithely, amusing.

The film itself vaporizes before your eyes, but it's likable. Given its unstable mishmash of thuggery and whimsy, that's something of an achievement.

Like the spirit it celebrates, "The Angel's Share" is a neat little jolt of pleasure - and guaranteed to leave you feeling just a mite warmer.

While a few farcical moments fizzle, it's mostly charming.

The usual Loachian elements are all in place, but there is a gentle spirit at work here as well, and not just the alcoholic spirits around which the plot revolves.

The Angels' Share is a stellar bit of activist cinema with a light touch.

Sweet-natured and high-spirited, it's a fanciful fable with a wee dash of magical realism.

This is one of the most likable movies so far this year.

Although the English director Ken Loach has been making socially conscious movies for close to 50 years, this shaggy comedy unfolds like the work of a young man on a lark.

With The Angels' Share, Ken Loach expertly combines a handful of genres which congeal into an often funny, always charming affair that serves as a salute to whisky to boot.

Loach films have been funny while making their point before (see "Riff Raff"), but this one is imbued with a little bit of magic...Those offended by four letter words should be warned that even the voice of God slings a heavy dose of them here.

Ken Loach comedy about young Glaswegian reprobates fighting for a second chance has charm aplenty, but suffers from occasional portions of cheese and a hard-to-swallow premise (whisky-tasting as gateway to a better life).

I'm not suggesting The Angels' Share is a chock full of bellylaughs, but it's the first Loach film in some time that lacks the sensation of having a plastic grocery bag pulled over one's face.

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Congress approves bill to end delays in flights

A United Airlines jet departs in view of the air traffic control tower at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport Tuesday, April 23, 2013, in Seattle. A day after flight delays plagued much of the U.S., air travel is smoother Tuesday. But the government is warning passengers that the situation can change by the hour as it runs the nation's air traffic control system with a smaller staff. Airlines and members of Congress urged the Federal Aviation Administration to find other ways to make mandatory budget cuts besides furloughing controllers. While delays haven't been terrible yet, the airlines are worried about the long-term impact late flights will have on their budgets and on fliers. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

A United Airlines jet departs in view of the air traffic control tower at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport Tuesday, April 23, 2013, in Seattle. A day after flight delays plagued much of the U.S., air travel is smoother Tuesday. But the government is warning passengers that the situation can change by the hour as it runs the nation's air traffic control system with a smaller staff. Airlines and members of Congress urged the Federal Aviation Administration to find other ways to make mandatory budget cuts besides furloughing controllers. While delays haven't been terrible yet, the airlines are worried about the long-term impact late flights will have on their budgets and on fliers. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

(AP) ? Congress hurried to approve legislation Friday that will end the furloughs of air traffic controllers that have delayed hundreds of flights daily, infuriating travelers and causing political headaches for lawmakers.

The House approved the measure on a 361-41 vote, a day after the Senate agreed to the bill. Friday's vote came as lawmakers prepared to leave town for a weeklong spring recess, a break that would have been less pleasant if they were confronted by constituents upset over travel delays.

Republicans accused the Obama administration of purposely furloughing controllers to pressure Congress to replace $85 billion in across-the-board spending cuts ? known as the sequester ? that took effect last month at government agencies.

"The administration has played shameful politics with the sequester at the cost of hard-working American families," said Rep. Tom Latham, R-Iowa.

The White House and Democrats have argued that by law, the administration has little room to decide where the cuts fall. They want Congress to work on legislation lifting all of the cuts, which lawmakers noted have also caused reductions in Head Start preschool programs, benefits for the long-term unemployed and medical research.

White House press secretary Jay Carney said the president would sign the new bill, but he added, "The problem is this is just a Band-Aid solution."

During House debate, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., had a similar complaint.

"How can we sit there and say, 'Four million Meals on Wheels for seniors, gone, but that's not important. Over 70,000 children off Head Start, but that's not important," Pelosi said.

The Federal Aviation Administration has furloughed the controllers as part of the government-wide reductions. The bill would let the FAA use up to $253 million from airport improvement and other accounts to end the furloughs through the Sept. 30 end of the federal fiscal year.

In addition to restoring full staffing by controllers, the available funds can be used for other FAA operations, including preventing the closure of small airport towers around the country. The FAA had said it would shut the facilities to meet its share of the spending cuts.

The FAA said there had been at least 863 flights delayed on Wednesday "attributable to staffing reductions resulting from the furlough."

Administration officials participated in the negotiations that led to the deal and evidently registered no objections.

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, a key participant in the talks, said the legislation would "prevent what otherwise would have been intolerable delays in the air travel system, inconveniencing travelers and hurting the economy."

Senate approval Thursday night followed several hours of pressure-filled, closed-door negotiations, and came after most senators had departed the Capitol on the assumption that the talks had fallen short.

For the White House and Senate Democrats, the discussions on legislation relating to one relatively small slice of the $85 billion in spending cuts marked a shift in position in a long-running struggle with Republicans over budget issues. Similarly, the turn of events marked at least modest vindication of a decision by the House GOP last winter to finesse some budget struggles in order to focus public attention on the across-the-board cuts in hopes they would gain leverage over President Barack Obama.

The Professional Aviation Safety Specialists, a union that represents FAA employees, reported a number of incidents it said were due to the furloughs.

In one case, it said several flights headed for Long Island MacArthur Airport in New York were diverted on Wednesday when a piece of equipment failed. "While the policy for this equipment is immediate restoral, due to sequestration and furloughs it was changed to next-day restoral," the union said.

The airlines, too, had pressed Congress to restore the FAA to full staffing.

In an interview Wednesday, Robert Isom, chief operations officer of US Airways, said, "In the airline business, you try to eliminate uncertainty. Some factors you can't control, like weather. It (the FAA issue) is worse than the weather."

In a shift, first the White House and then senior Democratic lawmakers signaled a willingness in the past two days to support legislation that alleviates the budget crunch at the FAA, while leaving the balance of the $85 billion to remain in effect.

Obama favors a comprehensive agreement that replaces the entire $85 billion in across-the-board cuts as part of a broader deficit-reduction deal that includes higher taxes and spending cuts.

Officials estimate it would cost slightly more than $200 million to restore air traffic controllers to full staffing, and an additional $50 million to keep open smaller air traffic towers around the country that the FAA has proposed closing.


Associated Press writers Joan Lowy, Henry C. Jackson and Alan Fram in Washington and David Koenig in Dallas contributed to this report.

Associated Press


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Friday, April 26, 2013

Examine social factors to explain rise in diagnoses of mental disorders

Apr. 25, 2013 ? Examining social factors is vital to better explaining and understanding the dramatic rise in the number of Americans diagnosed with mental disorders in recent years, according to an analysis by a team of medical and mental health experts.

Their conclusions, which appear in the latest issue of the journal Health Affairs, comes ahead of the May release of the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), a comprehensive guide that sets the classification, diagnosis, and treatment of mental disorders across the United States and the world.

The study included researchers from New York University, Columbia University, the University of California, Berkeley, and Rutgers University.

In their analysis and commentary, the authors argue that the forthcoming DSM-5, which is used by all psychiatrists, psychologists, and mental health workers in the U.S., has missed crucial population-level and social determinants of mental health disorders and their diagnosis. As a result, the DSM may be mischaracterizing the rates of certain afflictions.

"If we are to believe current reports, there are 12 times more children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in the U.S. than in Europe, and within the U.S., there are almost 50 percent more children with ADHD today than a decade ago, according to DSM," observes the article's lead author, Helena Hansen, MD, PhD, an assistant professor of anthropology at NYU and an assistant professor of psychiatry at NYU Langone Medical Center. "My colleagues and I wanted to know if there was something else behind this."

"To explore this, we assembled a group of population health experts to identify the best way to explain the rise in these diagnoses. And what we found was that the clinical authorities in psychiatry who revise the DSM are unable to take into account other forces that drive the diagnosis of mental disorders."

To address this matter, the researchers posed three possible causes of the rise in diagnoses that are not currently accounted for in revisions of the DSM:

* Is there a change in the environment causing an actual increase in the mental health problem? For example, have the pressures of standardized testing in the U.S. caused ADHD symptoms?

* Are the diagnostic criteria applied differently depending on the institutional and social environment? For instance, do the increasing numbers of children diagnosed with ADHD reflect pharmaceutical company promotion of ADHD awareness and ADHD medications among school teachers and parents? Among low income children, do diagnoses reflect their effort to qualify for disability benefits in the wake of welfare reform?

* Are the diagnostic criteria written in a way that includes people who do not have a disorder? For example, do the criteria for ADHD of excessive running, climbing, and talkativeness describe a high level of energy that should be expected among children?

The researchers also propose an independent review of these factors.

"To sort out which these three factors causes differences in the diagnosis of a mental disorder over time and place, we need a review body that acts independently of the authors of the DSM and that is composed of experts on population health and the social factors driving mental health," says Hansen. "Using the example of ADHD, the review body might look at the number of children diagnosed under different educational and welfare policies -- and before and after pharmaceutical promotions. It might also examine how changes to the criteria for ADHD in each revision of the DSM affect the number of children given the diagnosis."

"By charging experts with independent review of the best available research on population and social variation in the diagnosis of mental disorders, we can identify unconsidered but powerful causes of diagnosis and inform future revisions of the DSM."

The analysis, which was supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Health and Society Scholars Program, will appear in the May issue of Health Affairs.

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The above story is reprinted from materials provided by New York University, via Newswise.

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

Journal Reference:

  1. H. B. Hansen, Z. Donaldson, B. G. Link, P. S. Bearman, K. Hopper, L. M. Bates, K. Cheslack-Postava, K. Harper, S. M. Holmes, G. Lovasi, K. W. Springer, J. O. Teitler. Independent Review Of Social And Population Variation In Mental Health Could Improve Diagnosis In DSM Revisions. Health Affairs, 2013; DOI: 10.1377/hlthaff.2011.0596

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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How To Manage Social Media | Content for Reprint

Author: Martie McCabe | Total views: 31 Comments: 0
Word Count: 828 Date:

Website marketing can work wonders for your reputation. It has become essential that you have a successful online promotion strategy in place for your business. Now is the time to get into it. This article will give you help on how you should begin online marketing.

Evaluate your website on a regular basis by asking for constructive feedback. This is very important to your business, as your perception of your prices and your site's appearance might differ from the customer's opinion. Ask peers, family members and your potential clients for feedback. Seek advice and opinions and act on valid opinions and suggestions.

Design an all-inclusive website with an emphasis on fresh, relevant content. Your priority should be to pass as much knowledge as you can to consumers about your products. Don't pad or fluff; stick to stating the essential data that the customer needs to know.

Direct marketing through top social media agencies,can be an effective part of you Website marketing plan. Contact customers by fax, phone, or email and tell them about your specials and services. You may find their contact information in the phone book or online, but it's even better if they have trusted you with their numbers so they will not feel like you are spamming them.

If you want your customers to trust you, back up any claims with actual proof. You can talk a good game about your product, but sharing a video or photo that provides proof that you're selling a solution goes a long way. This illustrates why you need to sell any products you have used if possible.

One important suggestion for marketing on the Internet is to adjust the content, as well as content delivery, to have your customers be under the impression they have complete control. This is an effective marketing strategy. Make it clear from the beginning that participation is voluntary and you will be seen as much more credible.

Making and uploading a viral video and including tags in your video will aid in your internet marketing success. Make sure to link to your site in the video description. This can help boost the number of visitors on your site regularly.

You should include a chat section for customers on your social media website. This will make people feel like they are part of a group, not just a customer. People enjoy being part of groups and clubs so treating them as if they are part of a select group will keep them coming back to your site.

If you issue a news release, it might drum up some internet business. If you have the ability to write press releases which are crisp and have clarity, there are numerous online sources available which will publish and release the material to markets in your niche. You can boost your presence in this way.

Even if you plan to outsource your email marketing, you should know the basic methods behind Internet promotion. You should be able to master the necessary tools in no time. This type of experience will be extremely useful for you throughout the entire life cycle of your products and services.

It is essential that you find the right places to advertise your business online. You can't sell baseball cards to someone that wants to buy old Star Wars toys. People will look for what they need in areas that offer exactly what it is that they are looking for. So, in short, be thoughtful of the places that people interested in your business would be looking online before choosing where to advertise.

Try using words like "simple" and 'easy" in your marketing strategy. People are hesitant to order from sites if the process is too complicated. It is a beneficial way to boost business.

Lure new customers to visit your site by offering them an incentive, such as a free product or service. This makes for savvy Affiliate marketing, because your free product acts as a persuasive advertisement for the materials you're actually trying to sell. You can use your ad campaign to detail your customers about the contest.

Here is a tip for website marketing! Customers should never have to hunt to find what you're selling. This is where you sell the product. The customer should know right away what you're selling on your landing page. If they have to look around on your site for the information they want, they will likely leave more quickly.

Your eyes should be open as to how you can market your business through the internet. There are many different ways you can approach this. You can also learn a lot about how to make this work for your business. By using this advice, you will be successful at Online marketing in no time.

Martie McCabe is an internet marketer.. My articles focuses on developing strategies and tips on how to become a social media specialist. Learn more about promoting your blog with social media articles, by clicking here.

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1: Article Marketing Strategy: Putting Together a "Class Schedule" For Your Article Topics

Businesses go to so much trouble when there is one sure-fire, simple, very inexpensive way to attract new clients to a business: Teach a free class. That is what article marketing is like. Your articles are just like free classes. You teach your target readers something helpful in your article. Your resource box then says, "If you enjoyed this article you can visit my website and apply what you have learned."

2: Why You Need To Build Multiple Streams of Income For Yourself

Being an entrepreneur and earning multiple streams of income is a dream that many have, but in reality it does take some initial hard work to achieve this. Earning multiple streams of income is the wave of the future, and here are some tips and advice for you when you are looking for ways in which to do this for yourself.

3: Understanding Online Business Success

Starting a home based business to earn income online takes a significant amount of time and energy upfront to get things going. Not seeing results immediately can be discouraging and cause people to give up too early. In this article, we look at the process of starting a home based business and working through the frustrations to be there when the sales come flowing in.

4: What is Cyber Marketing And Why It Is So Important For The Success Of Your Website

Cyber marketing has now become an indispensable segment of e-commerce as well as the internet and World Wide Web related topics. Cyber marketing simply refers to a technique of attracting potential customers by advertising your products or services through such means as websites, emails, and banners.

5: The Best Way To Optimise Your Website SEO For Google Panda

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European markets outperform on ECB rate cut hopes

LONDON (AP) ? The positive tone in markets continued Wednesday, particularly in Europe, as investors grew more hopeful of an interest rate cut from the European Central Bank. Weak U.S. economic data weighed on U.S. shares, however, despite more upbeat earnings.

In Europe, investors were further buoyed by mounting expectations of a rate cut next week from the ECB after another weak business survey for Germany, Europe's biggest economy. The Ifo Institute said its main index of business optimism fell to 104.4 points from 106.7 in March. Market analysts had expected a more modest decline to 106.2.

"With talk of a rate cut in recent policy meetings and the latest soft data, the ECB may finally be ready to make one final conventional move," said Benjamin Reitzes, an analyst at BMO Capital Markets.

In Europe, Germany's DAX rose 1 percent to 7,737 while the CAC-40 in France was 1.2 percent higher at 3,828. Meanwhile, the FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was up 0.4 percent at 6,434 ? Britain doesn't use the euro so it isn't directly affected by developments with regard to the ECB, which controls monetary policy for the 17 European Union countries that use the euro.

European markets have also been buoyed in recent days by progress in Italy to produce a government after inconclusive elections in February.

Italy's president appointed Enrico Letta as premier-designate Wednesday, asking him to form a coalition government and end two months of political paralysis to put the country back on the path of reform and growth. Letta, a 46-year-old longtime center-left lawmaker and No. 2 Democratic Party leader, said he accepted the job knowing it's an enormous responsibility and that Italy's political class "has lost all credibility."

In the U.S., disappointing durable goods order figures dampened down the spirits in the markets despite upbeat earnings statements from the likes of Apple and Sprint Nextel. Procter & Gamble disappointed with a revenue miss.

The Commerce Department reported that durable goods declined 5.7 percent in March largely on the back of lower aircraft bookings. The fall, which was larger than anticipated, followed a 4.3 percent gain the previous month.

"The report will not remove growing concerns that the economy is facing a now typical slowdown," said Andrew Wilkinson, chief economic strategist at Miller Tabak & Co.

Earlier in Asia, stocks rallied in the wake of the big gains recorded in Europe and the U.S. the previous day. Japan's Nikkei 225 index jumped 2.3 percent to close at 13,843.46, its highest close since June 2008, while South Korea's Kospi rose 0.9 percent to 1,935.31.

Hong Kong and mainland Chinese stocks also climbed on expectations that the central government might take action to boost the Chinese economy after recent data showed growth lagging in the world's No. 2 economy.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng advanced 1.7 percent to 22,183.05. Mainland Chinese shares bounced back a day after sharp drops. The Shanghai Composite Index rose 1.6 percent to 2,218.32 and the Shenzhen Composite Index gained 2.2 percent to 943.78.

The currency markets were relatively subdued, with the euro 0.1 percent lower at $1.2990 and the dollar steady at 99.45 yen.

Oil prices advanced, with the benchmark New York rate up 62 cents at $89.80 a barrel.


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Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Daily Roundup for 04.25.2013

DNP The Daily RoundUp

You might say the day is never really done in consumer technology news. Your workday, however, hopefully draws to a close at some point. This is the Daily Roundup on Engadget, a quick peek back at the top headlines for the past 24 hours -- all handpicked by the editors here at the site. Click on through the break, and enjoy.



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Mariah Carey and Twins Host a Pajama Party

The joys of family life aren't lost on Mariah Carey, who shared photos of a PJ party with twins Monroe and Moroccan, turning 2 next week.


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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Stock index futures indicate higher open

LONDON (Reuters) - Stock index futures pointed to a higher open on Wall Street on Wednesday, with futures for the S&P 500, Dow Jones and Nasdaq 100 futures all up 0.2 percent at 0455 EDT ( 0855 GMT).

U.S. stocks climbed on Tuesday in a broad rally, recovering from sharp declines sparked by a "bogus" Associated Press tweet about explosions at the White House.

Wednesday's diary sees U.S. weekly mortgage market index and durable goods figures. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew also testifies in front of Congress.

Apple Inc on Tuesday bowed to investors' demands to share more of its $145 billion cash pile, while posting its first quarterly profit decline in more than a decade after market close yesterday. The tech giant initially rose in extended trade, then retreated after the company's chief executive suggested there would be no new product in the market for a few months.

KFC parent Yum Brands Inc on Tuesday reported that quarterly profit fell less than Wall Street expected, despite a sharp drop in sales in its top China market, sending the company's shares up nearly 6 percent in after hours trade.

Cable operator Virgin Media posted a 54 percent rise in first quarter free cash flow and announced a series of major business deals on Wednesday, showing the attraction of a company that is about to be sold to Liberty Global.

AT&T Inc reported a net loss of cellphone subscribers in the first quarter as it lost market share to bigger rival Verizon Wireless, sending its shares down about 2 percent in after hours trade.

OPKO Health Inc will buy Israel-based biopharmaceutical company Prolor Biotech Inc in an all-stock deal valued at $480 million to expand its portfolio of specialty drugs.

European shares gained on Wednesday, building on the best session of the year so far on Tuesday. Good earnings reports helped the market higher, while disappointing data from Germany over the last two days has lent strength to the case for the European Central Bank to cut interest rates next week.

(Reporting by Alistair Smout; editing by Patrick Graham)


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News in Brief: Birds may have had to crouch before they could fly

Fossils of avian ancestors show progressive redistribution of weight toward front

Fossils of avian ancestors show progressive redistribution of weight toward front

By Puneet Kollipara

Web edition: April 24, 2013



Forelimb growth over millions of years made members of the bird lineage more front-heavy, forcing modifications to the hind limbs that led to the crouched posture seen in modern birds, research suggests. Before that change, the dinosaur ancestors of birds stood upright, with the feet right under their center of mass.

Credit: Vivian Allen

Today?s birds may have inherited their distinctive crouching posture from ancestors whose hind limbs had to compensate for the weight of increasingly beefy forelimbs, aka wings. New findings, though preliminary, suggest that changes both fore and aft may have been important in the evolution of flight.



Over millions of years, the creatures became more front-heavy. With no other anatomical adjustments, that change would have put the body?s center of mass in front of the feet and left the animal off-balance.

Credit: Vivian Allen

Members of the dinosaur lineage that led to modern birds stood upright, with stubby, clawed forelimbs suited to tearing at flesh. But over millions of years, the bodies of creatures on the bird lineage became more front-heavy as their forelimbs grew larger and turned into heavily muscled wings, researchers found. To compensate for that extra weight, their femurs bent backward, becoming horizontal to the ground. Scientists previously thought that birds? ancestors became front-heavy, and thus crouched, to balance their increasingly smaller tails, but they hadn?t explored the role of changes in the front of the body.



To compensate for the forward weight shift, the upper bones in the hind limbs bent backward, becoming almost horizontal to the ground. That kept the feet under the center of mass, stabilizing the creatures? bodies and giving them a crouched posture.

Credit: Vivian Allen

A team led by John Hutchinson of the United Kingdom?s Royal Veterinary College digitally reconstructed the bodies of 17 bird ancestors ? mainly dinosaurs, including the famed Archaeopteryx ? for which they had mostly complete skeletons. Then the researchers digitally added flesh around the creatures? bones and analyzed the reconstructions to see how mass was distributed along the creatures? bodies.

The researchers confirmed that tails did get shorter in the more recent species. But that didn?t fully explain why the creatures became front-heavy. Growth of the forelimbs played a far bigger role, the researchers concluded. This shift appeared to speed up around the time that flight likely came about.

Although a crouched posture may be good for perching, takeoff and landing, the researchers caution that the link between the crouch and the evolution of flight is still unclear. ?I think this is a missing puzzle piece that future studies will be able to fill in using models like ours,? Hutchinson says. The findings are reported April 24 in Nature.

S. Perkins. Earliest birds didn?t make a flap. Science News. Vol. 177, June 5, 2010, p. 12. [Go to]_

S. Perkins. Bird in the hand. Science News. Vol. 176, July 18, 2009, p. 12. [Go to]

S. Perkins. Birds? ancestors had small genomes too. Vol. 171, March 31, 2007, p. 206. [Go to]


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Memphis? Gasol wins NBA defensive player honors

Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol, of Spain, yells to referee Mike Callahan during the second half of Game 2 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series, Monday, April 22, 2013, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol, of Spain, yells to referee Mike Callahan during the second half of Game 2 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series, Monday, April 22, 2013, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

(AP) ? Grizzlies center Marc Gasol has won his first NBA Defensive Player of the Year award after anchoring the league's stingiest defense.

The NBA announced Wednesday that Gasol received 212 points and 30 first-place votes to edge Miami's LeBron James, who had 149 points and 18 first-place votes.

The 7-foot-1 Spaniard averaged 1.7 blocks and 1.0 steals for a Memphis defense that allowed a league-best 88.7 points per game.

Oklahoma City's Serge Ibaka was third with 122 points and 14 first-place votes. The 28-year-old Gasol becomes the first Grizzlies player to earn defensive player honors.

Associated Press


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Google Fiber for iPad hits the App Store

Google Fiber for iPad hits the app store

Let it never be said that Google doesn't show its iOS-toting fans love. Even when it's not bringing apps to Apple's platform first, it usually makes sure to offer its wares on the competing ecosystem. It may have taken a while, but the Google Fiber remote app is now available outside of Android land. You'll need to have an iPad (sorry, no pocketable version here), but just like its Jelly Bean-bound cousin, you can change channels, schedule recordings and fire up on-demand programming. The free app is available now through iTunes, though, it obviously won't do you much good outside of Google Fiber's limited coverage area.

Filed under: , , , ,


Source: Google Fiber Blog, Google Fiber (iTunes)


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Australian charged with hacking government site

SYDNEY (AP) ? Australian police have arrested a man they say is affiliated with international hacking collective Lulz Security on a charge of attacking and defacing a government website, officials said Wednesday.

The 24-year-old senior IT worker, whose name was not released, was arrested on Tuesday night at his Sydney office, the Australian Federal Police said. The man, who police say has claimed to be a high-level member of the hacking group, was charged with two counts of unauthorized modification of data to cause impairment, and one count of unauthorized access to, or modification of, restricted data. If convicted, he could face up to 12 years in jail.

Lulz Security, or LulzSec, is an offshoot of the hacking group Anonymous. LulzSec was formed in 2011 and quickly grabbed headlines after claiming responsibility for a series of high-profile cyberattacks against the CIA, Sony Pictures, the U.S. Public Broadcasting Service and Britain's Serious Organized Crime Agency.

Several members of the group have been arrested in recent years, including its reputed leader, known as Sabu. Sabu turned out to be FBI informant Hector Xavier Monsegur, who federal officials said helped them build a case against several other hackers. Two weeks ago, British LulzSec hacker Ryan Ackroyd pleaded guilty to several cyberattacks.

Australian Federal Police Superintendent Brad Marden said the man arrested on Tuesday hacked into an Australian government website and defaced it earlier this month. Marden would not say which website was attacked, but said it did not belong to a federal agency. Police don't believe any sensitive data stored on the site was accessed in the attack, and don't believe anyone else was involved in the hack.

The man, from Gosford ? about 80 kilometers (50 miles) north of Sydney ? claimed to be the Australian leader of LulzSec, Australian Federal Police Commander Glen McEwen said. But Anonymous Australia appeared to laugh off those claims on Twitter. In response to a follower asking if anyone knew who the man was, the group tweeted: "Nope not part of the usual suspects on any of our chans of communication."

Police began investigating the man two weeks ago after they discovered the government website had been hacked.

"This individual was operating from a position of trust who had access to sensitive information from clients including government agencies," McEwen said. "The AFP believes this man's skill sets and access to this type of information presented a considerable risk for Australian society."

The man was released on bail and ordered to appear in court next month.


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STOP LOSS: Democrats Bent on Forcing Small Businesses into ...

As the Peak has pointed out time and time again, the Democrat-controlled Colorado state legislature have paid ample lip service to small business and economic issues, but their actions during the session tell a different story altogether.? Far left social issues such as civil unions, gun control, and sex ed have taken most the air out of the room, and when the democrats actually expended the effort to address business issues, they are have been throwing up more regulations, impediments, and interference in the marketplace.? Denver Rep. Beth McCann has offered the latest example.

Legislators on the left have targeted health plans popular with small businesses to force small businesses into the more expensive small-group market.? Eliminating the popular stop-loss insurance option is important to the left because the small business health exchange that the state plans to launch needs the small businesses with young, healthy employees in order to spread out costs and to prevent the state?s program from becoming almost impossibly expensive.

Stop-loss insurance is a simple type of policy that many small businesses use as an alternative to expensive group policies.? In a stop-loss insurance arrangement, the company self-insures to a certain extent, and then purchases stop-loss insurance to protect against catastrophic claims.? In Colorado, it?s common for the stop-loss coverage to kick in at $15,000 per person, and a higher aggregate amount for the entire company.? This is a great option for small companies with young, healthy employees.? In fact, testimony at the legislature this year included a vignette about a local company with five employees who took advantage of stop-loss insurance, and had a scant $300 in claims above what they spent on the annual premium last year.

Unfortunately for growing businesses that view this type of insurance as a way to provide benefits for employees and control costs, these types of plans pose a threat to the future small-group state insurance exchange by attracting companies with low-risk employees.? But Beth McCann had a plan:? if she could pass a law that would radically increase the minimum stop-loss coverage amount, a quick vote in the legislature and a stroke of Governor Hickenlooper?s pen could essentially wipe out this insurance option by rendering it economically useless.

At first she introduced a bill, HB13-1290, that stated that stop-loss insurance providers could not pay a penny in claims until an individual?s claims hit $30,000.? After an amendment lowering that amount to $20,000, she was able to convince enough of her fellow Democrats to get this one through the Health, Insurance and Environment Committee.? By the state changing the economics of these policies, it will invariably push companies into the more expensive small-group market, and grease the skids for the expensive, government-run exchange.


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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

GSK to partner with venture capital firm for drug discovery

(Reuters) - GlaxoSmithKline said on Monday it will partner with venture capitalists Avalon Ventures in a deal worth up to $495 million to fund as many as 10 drug-discovery startup companies over the next three years.

GSK will provide financing and technical support to startups established by Avalon Ventures and will have first rights on buying each new company, GSK spokeswoman Melinda Stubbee said.

Avalon will contribute up to $30 million to the collaboration, and Glaxo will provide as much as $465 million in initial funding and development milestone payments, Stubbee said.

Big drugmakers see early-stage venture investing as a proxy for expensive in-house drug development, and some have set up their own venture funds.

Stubbee said each startup would have just a few employees, focusing on a single compound to develop treatments for conditions ranging from cancer to infectious diseases.

(Reporting by Susan Kelly in Chicago; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)


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NYC rolls out six Nissan Leafs in EV taxi pilot, good luck catching one

NYC rolls out six Nissan Leafs in EV taxi pilot, good luck catching one

New York City's full-on EV taxi blitz may not come until late this year, but the metropolis is taking its first tentative steps into that electric world as of today: it's deploying the six Nissan Leaf cabs promised as part of a pilot program. The half-dozen sedans will spend a year on the road, with officials able to gague the effectiveness of EVs as taxis when they have access to both regular chargers at their home bases as well as fast chargers in Manhattan's Far West Side, Lower East Side and Union Square. Don't expect to hail an eco-friendly cab very often, though -- along with the daunting numerical odds, the Leaf drivers have more liberty than usual to turn down passengers and protect their remaining power supply. If you do happen to find yourself in the back seat, however, you'll likely get a glimpse at New York's cleaner and quieter future.

Filed under:


Via: Autoblog

Source: New York City (PDF)


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Monday, April 22, 2013

Kuwait opposition politician gets bail in insult case

KUWAIT (Reuters) - A prominent Kuwaiti opposition politician convicted of insulting the ruling emir was granted bail on Monday, his lawyer said, prompting celebrations by supporters who packed the court building and defusing tensions over his case.

Musallam al-Barrak, an outspoken former member of parliament, was sentenced to five years in jail last week for remarks made at a rally last year.

The sentencing had triggered a series of street protests that highlighted ongoing political tensions between opposition figures and the government, headed by a prime minister picked by the emir.

After the appeal court ruling on Monday, hundreds of Barrak's backers escorted him through the appeal court complex cheering, whistling and chanting: "The people want Musallam al-Barrak," and "God is great".

"It will ease tension", former opposition lawmaker Khaled al-Tahous said.

The five-year sentence was not overturned on Monday, defense lawyer Dokki al-Hasban told Reuters.

But the court ruled that Barrak should be granted bail, on a payment of 5,000 dinars ($17,600), and that his defense team would have a chance to argue his case next month.

Barrak was not taken into custody after his sentencing. Security forces had searched his guest house and a neighboring home last week but failed to find him, supporters said. It was not clear why police had not taken him into custody during subsequent speeches at the guest house.

Barrak was found guilty of insulting Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed al-Sabah in a speech in October last year in which he appealed to the emir to avoid "autocratic rule".

Kuwait has avoided mass Arab Spring-style unrest but citizens held large street protests last year after the emir changed the electoral law, a move the opposition said was aimed at preventing them from winning a parliamentary majority.

The government has said the move brought Kuwait in line with voting systems elsewhere.

While Kuwait allows more freedom of speech than some other Gulf Arab states, the emir has the last say in state affairs and is deemed "immune and inviolable" in the constitution.

There has been a series of trials in Kuwait in recent months involving opposition activists accused of insulting the emir, mainly on social media.

(Reporting by Sylvia Westall and Mahmoud Harby; Editing by Yara Bayoumy and Andrew Torchia)


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Velodyne vTrue

Velodyne is more known for its subwoofers than it is for making headphones, but the Velodyne vTrue takes the company's expertise in deep bass in a new direction. Velodyne refers to the $399.00 (direct) vTrue as a pair of "studio headphones," although we found them to be far too leaky to be considered for serious recording applications. In every other regard, they are solid, though, so we'll review them here as simply high-end, powerful headphones. In that regard, they perform quite well?if you love gobs and gobs of boosted bass and crisp, sculpted highs. Audio purists can probably stop reading now, but if you're looking for a powerful, bass-heavy headphone pair, the vTrue is a strong option.

The vTrue headphones are strikingly designed, with an aluminum contour on the earcups and a brown padded leather headband and earpads. Everything from the precision-friendly headband slide adjuster to the deep blue padding over the 50mm drivers inside the earcups feels thoughtfully designed. The vTrue strikes out only on a comfort level?these headphones are bulky, and after a while, you're likely to feel some pressure on your scalp.

The audio cables are detachable, and split to connect to each earcup. One included cable has an inline remote and microphone designed for use with Apple iOS devices and all iPods 3rd-generation and up. Both cables are clothbound in deep blue and measure four feet in length.Velodyne vTrue inline

Call clarity through the inline mic is strong enough that your call partner will understand you, and you'll understand them just fine, but it's not excellent?the mic sounds a bit muffled at times, and we're also dealing with cellular fidelity.

Also included with the vTrue: a ?-inch adapter for larger headphone jacks and a black drawstring carrying pouch.

On tracks with deep, sub-bass content, like the Knife's "Silent Shout," the vTrue is able to show off a bit. Audiophiles seeking flat, accurate response should look elsewhere, as the vTrue is a bass-boosted powerhouse. At maximum volume, the vTrue sounds as if it is just about to distort, but never really reaches the breaking point?and these headphones get quite loud. At safer, more reasonable listening levels, the bass response is intense and clean.

Luckily, Velodyne has the good sense to add some serious mid-high and high frequency tweaking so the sound signature isn't a muddy, undefined mess. On Bill Callahan's "Drover," the vTrue graces his vocals with a nice treble edge which helps it stand front and center in the mix. This is important, because the boosted bass response arms the constant drumbeat with some serious low-end thunder, making it also stand out quite a bit. Without the sculpted treble, his vocals would get lost and the mix would be too focused on the low-mids and lows.

Jay-Z and Kanye West's "No Church in the Wild" benefits from the high frequency sculpting, as well?the kick drum loop has a nice punchy attack, while the sub-bass synth hits that sit beneath the loop in the mix are delivered with some serious throttle. The vocals in this dense mix stand out in the same way Callahan's do on his track?the crisp edge they get from the vTrue helps separate them from the powerful lows and mids.

Classical tracks, like John Adams' "The Chairman Dances," can sound a tad too tweaked and sculpted. The highs are boosted, which occasionally makes the higher register strings and brass sound a bit too bright, but the lower register strings absorb the added bass response nicely. The large drum hits at the end of track sound a bit too bass-boosted, however?almost as if they are amplified instead occurring naturally in a concert hall.

In other words, these headphones don't offer a flat response in any sense?there's tons of bass, and lots of liberties are taken with the high-mids and highs, as well. The result is something bass lovers will enjoy and purists will probably want to avoid. If you're looking for headphones in the price range with a bit less boosting in the lows, the?Sennheiser Momentum?is a solid option and less bulky, while the TDK ST750 is a powerful pair that focuses more on the high-mids and highs.?If you like big bass, but the vTrue's price tag is too high, the?Denon Urban Raver AH-D320?offers a similar sound signature for a significantly lower price. And if it's a true studio headphone pair you seek, you can spend quite a bit less and still have top quality?Sennheiser's HD 280 Pro?is an excellent flat response option. The Velodyne True offers clean, bold performance with booming low-end, and it comes with two top-notch, detachable cables?if it were less expensive, it would get a higher rating.


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Sunday, April 21, 2013

Immigration senators: Boston no excuse to nix bill

(AP) ? Two senators who helped write bipartisan immigration legislation say the Boston Marathon bombings should expedite an overhaul of the current system.

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said Sunday that the bombings that left three dead "should urge us to act quicker, not slower when it comes to getting the 11 million identified," referring to the estimated number of immigrants living in the country illegally. Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York added "keeping the status quo is not a very good argument, given what happened" in Boston.

Schumer says critics are using the bombings to oppose a proposal they disliked from the start. He says that if they have suggestions to make the proposal better, they should speak up.

They spoke on CNN's "State of the Union."

Associated Press


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