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    Wednesday, April 2, 2008

    USA TODAY - Clinton aims new '3 a.m.' ad at McCain

    This story has been sent from the mobile device of Bombastic4000@gmail.com. For real-time mobile news, go to m.usatoday.com.




    Now it's Republican John McCain who is in the cross hairs of a Hillary Rodham Clinton campaign ad that asks voters who they want to be answering the White House phone at 3 a.m.:



    The text:

    Announcer: It's 3 a.m., and your children are safe and asleep. But there's a phone ringing in the White House and this time the crisis is economic. Home foreclosures mounting, markets teetering.

    John McCain just said the government shouldn't take any real action on the housing crisis, he'd let the phone keep ringing.

    Hillary Clinton has a plan to protect our homes, create jobs.

    It's 3 a.m., time for a president who's ready.

    This is, of course, a re-working of an ad that Clinton aimed at Democratic rival Barack Obama before the crucial Texas primary on March 4.

    Update at 5:30 p.m. ET: McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds responds with this e-mailed statement: "John McCain is ready to lead with a pro-growth economic plan to lower taxes, cut government spending, empower America's entrepreneurs and get our economy back on track. Americans can't afford the Democrats' liberal agenda to raise taxes, nationalize health care, cut off trade and crush the economy under big government."

    Update at 4 p.m. ET: Asked what experience Clinton has at handling economic crises, Clinton campaign spokesman Howard Wolfson just said on a conference call with reporters that "unless you're president, you don't have a single moment like that." The point the senator is trying to make, he said, is that she "understands markets" and has "a lifetime of experience both inside and outside the White House."

    Pressed again to say whether Clinton has handled any crisis similar to what the ad discusses, Wolfson pointed to efforts the senator made to "make sure New York had the resources" it needed after the 9/11 attacks. "That was obviously a moment of significant need" when economic and other assistance was needed to help New York City recovery, he said.

    Update at 3:45 p.m. ET: The Clinton campaign conference call continues, and chief strategist Mark Penn just said the new ad opens "perhaps what could be one of the most significant arguments of the campaign" -- what to do about the weak economy and especially the housing and foreclosure crises.

    Update at 3:40 p.m. ET: On a conference call that's underway right now, Clinton campaign strategist Mark Penn said the ad is going on the air in Pennsylvania, where there's a presidential primary on April 22. "This ad is consistent with the important debate on who would be best to manage the economy," Penn said.

    Click here for other posts we've done about campaign and political ads.

    Website address: http://blogs.usatoday.com/onpolitics/2008/04/clinton-aims-ne.html

    USA TODAY - Carbonite gets personal about backing up PC files

    This story has been sent from the mobile device of Bombastic4000@gmail.com. For real-time mobile news, go to m.usatoday.com.



    By Jefferson Graham, USA TODAY

    David Friend knew he was onto something when a computer crash wiped out his daughter's term paper and a friend lost precious baby pictures after her laptop was stolen.

    "We clearly had to change the way people back up their data," says Friend, CEO of online backup service Carbonite. The start-up launched in 2006 and now has about 250,000 subscribers.

    In an age when more parts of our lives are digitized, Carbonite pitches itself to consumers as a safer alternative to external hard drives and CD and DVD data discs, which can be lost or destroyed in a fire, flood or other natural disaster. If your data are backed up offsite, you can recover it.

    Carbonite offers unlimited storage for $49.95 a year. Most competitors charge by the gigabyte. With Carbonite, you download software that automatically searches your hard drive and backs up your data in the background.

    Carbonite and competitors including Mozy, Xdrive and ADrive differ from online image sharing and backup sites such as Phanfare and SmugMug in that you can store any kind of file from large uncompressed photo files known as RAW to financial records, music and text documents.

    To promote the company, Friend has spent $10 million dollars on a talk-radio ad campaign in the last year. Hosts including Howard Stern, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly and techie fave Leo Laporte talk up the virtues of online backup just like Arthur Godfrey used to talk about Lipton tea back in the glory days of radio.

    An unusual venue

    Analyst Adam Couture at market tracker Gartner says the strategy helps differentiate Carbonite in a cluttered marketplace. "It's unusual to hear tech companies discussed on talk radio," says Couture.

    Friend says he chose radio for its personal nature. He knew trust would be a big issue for a start-up data-storage service aimed at consumers. "Who is Carbonite and why should I trust them with my data? The answer to that was getting endorsements."

    Friend says the radio campaign is working exactly as he hoped. His hosts offer a special discount and code to enter for Carbonite, so he knows exactly where new sales are coming from.

    Since launching in May 2006, Carbonite has backed up more than 3 billion files and restored more than 200 million. Its data centers are at its home base in Boston, where about 3.2 million terabytes of data are backed up on multiple drives.

    Mamush Heayie, who runs BackupReview.info, rates Carbonite as the best online backup service for its "speed, reliability and security."

    Still, neophytes may be surprised at how long it takes to upload data for storage online. In USA TODAY tests, we began backing up a 100-gigabyte hard drive in October; it was finished by late December.

    The typical Carbonite customer does not back up anything close to that amount of data. Even though Carbonite offers unlimited backup, most customers back up only about 18 GB, Friend says.

    Carbonite can back up 2 to 3 GB a day. The data move faster when downloaded. Friend says a typical hard drive can be totally recovered within 24 hours.

    For security, Friend says, Carbonite's software encrypts data as you upload, so that hackers wouldn't get much use of it.

    'Power' version coming

    The service isn't for everyone. The software is only for Windows (a Mac version is coming in May), and you can back up only the contents of your primary hard drive, not external data. Friend says that will change later this year with a more expensive "power" version that will connect to external drives.

    Before he and co-founder Jeff Flowers started Carbonite, they founded five tech companies in the Boston area. The company has raised $27 million from venture-capital firms Menlo Ventures and 3i Group. Friend hopes to take Carbonite public once it reaches 1 million subscribers.

    Couture believes the money in online backup isn't with consumers but the more lucrative business enterprise market, advocated by companies such as Mozy and IBackup. Mozy charges $3.95 per office worker plus 50 cents per gigabyte monthly. IBackup starts at $99.50 for 10 GB of backup a year.

    Friend isn't fazed: "There are millions of consumers out there with computers in the home."

    Website address: http://www.usatoday.com/tech/products/services/2008-04-01-carbonite_N.htm

    USA TODAY - Femtocells boost cell coverage in the home

    This story has been sent from the mobile device of Bombastic4000@gmail.com. For real-time mobile news, go to m.usatoday.com.

    LAS VEGAS
    By Peter Svensson, Associated Press

    As more and more people drop their landlines, the wireless industry faces a challenge: poor cellular coverage within the home.

    To tackle it, they're looking at selling customers boxes that in essence give them cell towers within the home. To put it another way, the devices make their cellphones work like cordless phones, connecting to a home base station.

    These so-called femtocells "femto" is a scientific term for something very small look much like Wi-Fi routers, which have become a common household appliance.

    But are customers ready to bring another electronic box into the house?

    Femtocell vendors at the CTIA Wireless industry show in Las Vegas this week say "yes" because the devices solve a lot of problems for carriers.

    "It's so much to their benefit to get these into people's homes that they're going to subsidize these things," said Paul Callahan, vice president of business development for Airvana. The Chelmsford, Mass., company makes femtocells that are being tested by several carriers around the world.

    Not only do femtocells improve coverage indoors, where the carrier has a hard time reaching, they reduce traffic on regular, outdoor cellular towers. Perhaps best of all, the carrier doesn't have to pay to carry the traffic from the femtocell to its network, because the device plugs into a home broadband connection. The so-called "backhaul" traffic, which carries calls from a cellular tower to the wired network, is a major part of the cost of operating a wireless network.

    Airvana reports tremendous interest from carriers, yet few of them are talking publicly about femtocells.

    Sprint Nextel Corp. is the only carrier that is conducting more than a small trial with the technology, but even it is only selling them in Denver, Indianapolis, and Nashville They cost $49.99 to buy; another $15 a month gives a customer unlimited calls from the home.

    Sprint spokeswoman Emmy Anderson said customer feedback has been positive and there haven't been any issues with interference between the femtocells and towers. When it launched the program last year, Sprint said it was planning to take the offer nationwide this year, but it hasn't announced any specific plans to do so.

    One holdup has been that early femtocells, like those Sprint is using from Samsung Electronics, don't support the data speeds of third-generation cellular networks. But Airvana, Samsung, Motorola and Alcatel-Lucent all showed 3G femtocells at CTIA Wireless.

    Cost also is an obstacle. Current models go for around $200 (meaning Sprint must be subsidizing the units substantially). But Airvana's Callahan believes that by next year, the cost will have come down substantially as more suppliers get into the market.

    Another potential hurdle for femtocells is that there's a competing technology that doesn't require another box in the house. T-Mobile USA is selling phones that can use either cellular networks or Wi-Fi, which many broadband households have already, and if they don't, they're cheap to buy because it's a high-volume product. The technology, called Unlicensed Mobile Access, has traction among overseas carriers as well. The drawback of UMA is that it requires phones with Wi-Fi.

    The two major U.S. carriers that are trying out ways to boost in-home reception are Sprint and T-Mobile, neither of which has a landline business. Forrester Research analyst Charles Golvin doesn't think it's a coincidence that the largest cell carriers, AT&T Inc. and Verizon Wireless, are lagging in this field.

    "They're afraid that by deploying these femtocells, at least where they have a landline footprint, they might be putting their landline business at risk," Golvin said.

    But that business is at risk anyway a lack of femtocells may make cellular subscribers keep their landlines for another year or so, but not for long, Golvin added. He thinks the real opportunity is for landline phone companies to bundle femtocells with DSL. Indeed, French electronics maker Thomson has said it is building an Airvana femtocell into a DSL modem.

    Managing femtocells can be complex for carriers, because they need to interact gracefully with the rest of the network and hand over calls that are in progress to other cells when the subscriber leaves the home while talking on the phone. Access control is another part of the puzzle some people don't want their neighbors to freeload on their femtocell, which can only handle four to six simultaneous calls.

    But Airvana said that carriers are showing strong interest by soliciting proposals from femtocell vendors, and that 2009 should be a big year for the technology.

    "It's not an issue of (carriers) questioning the business model it's 'How fast can you do it?'" said David Nowicki, vice president of marketing at Airvana.

    Website address: http://www.usatoday.com/tech/wireless/phones/2008-04-02-wireless-femtocells-boost_N.htm

    At&t and microsoft team up

    Me make nice touch

    USA TODAY - Microsoft Surface arrives at AT&T first

    This story has been sent from the mobile device of Bombastic4000@gmail.com. For real-time mobile news, go to m.usatoday.com.



    SEATTLE
    By Jessica Mintz, Associated Press

    Microsoft Surface, the software maker's coffee-table shaped touch-screen computer, will make its debut as a marketing tool in a handful of AT&T's wireless stores April 17.

    The Surfaces 22 in all are programmed to recognize eight of AT&T's wireless phones. When a customer places one or more phones on the table, information about features pops up. Shoppers can also zoom around AT&T's coverage map and learn about calling plans by moving their hands across the screen.

    The machines are intended to help salespeople, not replace them, AT&T said.

    Microsoft unveiled Surface last May, and said the Windows Vista-based machines would first appear in T-Mobile USA stores and properties owned by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide and Harrah's Entertainment. Those partners planned to have Surface running by November, but later delayed the launch by several months.

    Mark Bolger, senior director of marketing for Surface, said those companies are still working on software appropriate for their own brands and locations. He said all three plan on deploying Surface this spring.

    But AT&T got there first, with creative help from Avenue A/Razorfish, a design studio Microsoft acquired when it bought aQuantive last year.

    "We saw that announcement and immediately began discussions with Microsoft," said Andy Austin, a director of retail customer experience at AT&T. "Obviously I cannot speak to other launch partners, but we are very happy to be their first launch partner."

    One of the perks of putting Surface into stores fastest, Austin said, was some influence over design. AT&T's units have a brushed-metal base rather than the black shiny finish early models had.

    Apple's iPhone, which also uses touch technology, will not be one of the phones that work with Surface. Austin would not comment on whether AT&T approached Apple about the prospect.

    Website address: http://www.usatoday.com/tech/products/2008-04-02-microsoft-surface-att_N.htm

    Walsh to lead the knicks

    Knicks

    Ooh wee

    Walsh

    Look out. Isiah

    The knicks

    Here comes walsh

    Walsh

    Here i come

    Reuters - Knicks pick Walsh to turn struggling team around

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    Knicks pick Walsh to turn struggling team around

    Wednesday, Apr 02, 2008 8:38PM UTC

    NEW YORK (Reuters) - Donnie Walsh was named president of the New York Knicks on Wednesday and immediately pledged to take the struggling franchise back into the NBA's elite.

    The announcement added to speculation over the future of coach Isiah Thomas, who has faced intense criticism for his running of a club which has posted seven consecutive losing seasons.

    The Knicks are bottom of the Atlantic division and second from bottom in the Eastern Conference standings with a record of 20-54.

    Asked about Thomas, Walsh told a packed news conference at Madison Square Garden: "I have to sit down and talk to him. I'm not putting any time table on this.

    "I'm going to sit down with Isiah and we will have a very meaningful conversation about the franchise and how we are where we are and what's the best answer out of this."

    A native New Yorker, Walsh brings a winning track record to the Knicks having built the Indian Pacers into a championship contender.

    Walsh began with the Pacers as an assistant and moved into the general manager position in 1986 before later taking over as team president in 1988.

    During his tenure, the Pacers reached the playoffs 17 times, the Eastern Conference finals six times and the NBA finals in 2000 losing to the Los Angeles Lakers.

    GREAT FRANCHISE

    Looking to his new job, the 67-year-old said: "It was attractive to me because I want to see this franchise become a great franchise.

    "It's important to the league, it's important for New York and because I'm from New York, once I got the chance to go back and do something about it I really wanted to take the challenge on.

    "We haven't had good teams in a long time.

    "I think there are some good players here so I have to look at it and see how do we make this a competitive team. A team that can get to the playoffs to begin with.

    "It's going to take a lot of work. I don't want anyone to be fooled. There's no magic wand here."

    Walsh's hiring was hailed as a move forward by the NBA, keen to see a flagship franchise restored to past glory.

    "I am pleased for both the Knicks and Donnie Walsh," said NBA commissioner David Stern in a statement.

    "In Donnie, the Knicks have secured the services of a seasoned basketball professional who is held in high regard throughout the league and to whom I have often turned for input on basketball matters over the years.

    "Donnie, in turn, is joining one of our storied franchises, whose team and arena are rich in NBA tradition, and he gets to return to his hometown and a metropolitan area that many of his family members call home."

    (Writing by Steve Keating, editing by Trevor Huggins)

    iPhone

    Watch me transform

    Reuters - iPhone shortage: supply woes or new model?

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    iPhone shortage: supply woes or new model?

    Wednesday, Apr 02, 2008 5:45PM UTC

    SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Apple's iPhone is in short supply at many of its U.S. stores, which could indicate a component shortage or a clearing of shelves for a new model, analysts said on Wednesday.

    Bernstein Research said its iPhone supply checks showed that the multifunction device appeared to be out of stock at Apple's U.S. stores and its online store, which could lead to lost sales of up to 40,000 units a week in the event of a prolonged shortage.

    Sacconaghi said the impact so far was limited, estimating the average Apple store was out of stock for only a few days during the March quarter, and that supplies appeared to be fine at stores of wireless carrier partner AT&T Inc.

    "In our view, the most likely explanation for this unusual situation is a production shortfall, possibly due to a component shortage," analyst Toni Sacconaghi wrote in a note.

    Apple declined to confirm if there was an iPhone shortage, but spokesman Steve Dowling said: "We are working to replenish iPhone supplies as quickly as we can and our stores continue to receive shipments almost every day."

    Recent reports of iPhone shortages have fueled speculation that Apple is readying a new version of the device that will run on faster 3G wireless networks.

    Apple could introduce a new iPhone in June or July, about three months earlier than previously expected, said American Technology Research analyst Shaw Wu, citing checks with unidentified supply chain sources.

    "What gives us higher conviction in the accelerated timetable is that iPhone inventory levels appear fairly lean, which is consistent with Apple's tendency to wind down inventory ahead of an update," Wu wrote in a note.

    Wu forecast Apple would sell 11 million phones by the end of 2008, 10 percent more than the company's stated goal, thanks to a new model, wider adoption among businesses, and price cuts.

    Apple shares fell 1.4 percent to $147.38 in early afternoon trading on Nasdaq. The stock is up 19 percent over the past month but is still nearly 25 percent below its level three months ago amid concerns that a slowing economy will dampen consumer spending.

    (Reporting by Scott Hillis, editing by Richard Chang)

    Obama

    Me make clinton look bad

    Reuters - Obama ties Clinton to corporate interests

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    Obama ties Clinton to corporate interests

    Wednesday, Apr 02, 2008 6:9PM UTC

    By Caren Bohan

    PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - Democrat Barack Obama on Wednesday rejected Hillary Clinton's claims to be a champion of working families and portrayed his presidential rival as a defender of corporate interests and the status quo.

    Obama, speaking to a Pennsylvania AFL-CIO convention one day after Clinton appeared before the labor group, said the New York senator was too closely tied to corporate lobbyists to bring real change to Washington.

    "I'm the only candidate in this race who's actually worked to take power away from lobbyists by passing historic ethics reforms in Illinois and in the U.S. Senate. And I'm the only candidate who isn't taking a dime from Washington lobbyists," said Obama, an Illinois senator.

    He mocked Clinton's recent efforts to compare herself to Rocky Balboa, the underdog boxer featured in the "Rocky" movies.

    "We all love Rocky, but Rocky was fiction. And so is the idea that someone can fight for working people and at the same time embrace the broken system in Washington, where corporate lobbyists use their clout to shape laws to their liking," Obama said.

    Obama and Clinton are in a hard fight for the Democratic nomination to face Republican John McCain in November's presidential election. They had spent the last few days training their fire on McCain rather than each other.

    They both campaigned in Pennsylvania on Wednesday ahead of the next showdown there on April 22.

    Clinton, in Pittsburgh, announced a proposal to eliminate tax incentives for companies that send jobs to foreign countries and provide $7 billion a year in new tax benefits and investments for companies that create U.S. jobs.

    "I believe our government should get out of the business of rewarding companies for shipping jobs overseas, and get back into the business of rewarding companies that create good, high-wage jobs -- with good benefits -- right here in America," she said.

    Polls give Clinton a solid lead in the state three weeks before the vote. A Quinnipiac University poll showed her with a 9-point lead on Obama in Pennsylvania.

    Obama picked up the endorsement on Wednesday of Lee Hamilton, a former Indiana congressman and an influential authority on foreign relations. Hamilton co-chaired two blue-ribbon commissions that investigated the September 11 attacks and advised President George W. Bush on the war in Iraq.

    His support offers a boost for Obama, who has faced charges from Clinton that he is too inexperienced to be commander in chief.

    McCain assailed Obama's foreign policy credentials as well on Wednesday. "I know he's inexperienced and I know he's got a lack of knowledge" about national security, the Arizona senator said.

    In the Democratic race, Obama leads Clinton in pledged delegates who will help choose the nominee at the August party convention, but neither is likely to win enough delegates in state contests to clinch the nomination.

    That is likely to leave the decision up to nearly 800 superdelegates -- elected officials and party insiders who are free to back any candidate.

    Obama has worked in recent days to connect with the state's sizable bloc of blue-collar workers, stopping by bars, restaurants and factories to mingle. He told the union group he understood their concerns and would fight for their interests.

    "Imagine a president whose life's story is like so many of your own, who knows what it's like to go to college on student loans, and see his mother get sick and worry that maybe she can't pay the medical bills," he said.

    McCain, a former Navy fighter pilot who is on a week-long tour to highlight his life story and military background, visited the Naval Academy, where he graduated fifth from the bottom of his class.

    He said he has begun compiling a list of names of potential vice presidential running mates.

    "I'd like to get it done as early as possible," McCain said.

    (Additional reporting by Ellen Wulfhorst and Steve Holland, writing by John Whitesides; editing by David Wiessler)

    (To read more about the U.S. political campaign, visit Reuters "Tales from the Trail: 2008" online at http:blogs.reuters.com/trail08/)

    Mugabe

    Me make not make good election

    Reuters - Mugabe loses control of Zimbabwe parliament

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    Mugabe loses control of Zimbabwe parliament

    Wednesday, Apr 02, 2008 6:22PM UTC

    By Nelson Banya

    HARARE (Reuters) - President Robert Mugabe fought to survive the biggest crisis of his rule on Wednesday after losing control of Zimbabwe's parliament for the first time since taking power after independence.

    The opposition Movement for Democratic Change said Mugabe had also been defeated in a presidential election last Saturday and should concede defeat to avoid embarrassment.

    Mugabe's aides angrily dismissed the MDC claim, hinting the opposition could be punished for publishing its own tallies despite warnings this would be regarded as an attempted coup.

    But the state-owned newspaper and projections by Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party conceded that he had failed to win a majority for the first time in 28 years.

    Official results of the parliamentary election, which have trickled out slowly since last Saturday's election, showed that Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF could not outvote the combined opposition seats.

    Official figures said the mainstream Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) had taken 105 seats, a breakaway faction 9 and an independent 1 in the 210-seat parliament.

    Mugabe's ZANU-PF has so far taken 94.

    Mugabe, 84, faced an unprecedented challenge in the elections after being widely blamed for the economic collapse of his once prosperous nation.

    The mainstream MDC faction said its leader Morgan Tsvangirai had won 50.3 percent of the presidential vote and Mugabe 43.8 percent according to its own tallies of results posted outside polling stations.

    No official results have emerged in the presidential vote.

    But all the signs are that Mugabe, a liberation war hero still respected throughout Africa, is in the worst trouble of his rule.

    MDC Secretary General Tendai Biti said Tsvangirai had an absolute majority, enough for outright victory, but he would accept a second round runoff against Mugabe "under protest".

    Analysts said the president was likely to be humiliated in a runoff and the defeat in the parliamentary vote would remove some of his power of patronage -- a plank of his long and iron rule.

    His government called the MDC claim "mischievous".

    Deputy Information Minister Bright Matonga told Sky television: "President Mugabe is going nowhere. We are not going to be pressurized into anything."

    ARMY

    Matonga said in a telephone interview with Sky: "No-one is panicking around President Mugabe. The army is very solidly behind our president, the police force as well."

    Mugabe's spokesman, George Charamba, said the MDC was in contempt of the law by announcing results. "You are drifting in very dangerous territory and I hope the MDC is prepared for the consequences," he said.

    Mugabe, known for his fierce and defiant rhetoric, has not been seen in public since voting, despite speculation he would make a television address on Tuesday night.

    The government appears to have been preparing the population for a runoff by revealing its own projections showing a second round would be required in the statutory three weeks after last Saturday's vote.

    Both Tsvangirai and the government have dismissed widespread speculation that the MDC was negotiating with ZANU-PF for a managed exit for Mugabe, who has ruled uninterrupted since independence from Britain in 1980.

    Analysts said Mugabe was unlikely to make a negotiated exit but go down fighting in the second round.

    "He is not the type that quietly walks away into the sunset," a senior Western diplomat said in Harare.

    The prospect of a runoff has raised fears both inside and outside Zimbabwe that the hiatus before a new vote would spark serious violence between security forces and militia loyal to Mugabe on one side and MDC supporters on the other.

    The state-owned Herald newspaper also said the government had decided to immediately implement tax relief to cushion the effect of runaway inflation, officially over 100,000 percent but estimated to be much higher -- the world's highest rate.

    The widening of workers' tax-free threshold tenfold to 300 million Zimbabwean dollars per month -- $10,000 at the government's official rate but about $7.50 on the black market -- is widely seen as an attempt to curry favor with voters and suggests ZANU-PF is preparing for a runoff.

    The opposition and international observers said Mugabe rigged the last presidential election in 2002. But some analysts say the groundswell of discontent over the economy is too great for him to fix the result this time without risking major unrest.

    Apart from surreal inflation and a virtually worthless currency, Zimbabweans are suffering food and fuel shortages and an HIV/AIDS epidemic that has contributed to a steep drop in life expectancy.

    The opposition, including former Finance Minister Simba Makoni, who stood as a third candidate, is expected to unite behind Tsvangirai if there is a runoff.

    (Additional reporting by Nelson Banya, Cris Chinaka, MacDonald Dzirutwe, Stella Mapenzauswa and Muchena Zigomo, Kate Kelland in London)

    (Writing by Barry Moody; editing by Matthew Tostevin)

    Helicopter

    I fly

    Williamson

    I know everything too

    Reuters - Obama wins endorsement of former Rep. Hamilton

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    Obama wins endorsement of former Rep. Hamilton

    Wednesday, Apr 02, 2008 12:50PM UTC

    PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama on Wednesday won the endorsement of Lee Hamilton, a former Indiana congressman who is a leading U.S. authority on foreign relations and national security.

    The support of Hamilton, who co-chaired two blue-ribbon commissions that investigated the September 11 attacks and advised President George W. Bush on the war in Iraq, could boost the Illinois senator in his May 6 Indiana primary contest against New York Sen. Hillary Clinton.

    Hamilton said Obama offers American voters the best chance to create a new sense of national unity and transcend division.

    "He champions the politics of consensus, not of partisan division," the longtime Democratic Party figure said in a statement. "He is driven by the search for the common good."

    Hamilton, also backed Obama on foreign relations, an area where the White House hopeful has been criticized for inexperience.

    "His foreign policy is pragmatic, visionary and tough," said Hamilton, former Democratic chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives committees on foreign affairs and intelligence.

    "He will work with our friends and allies. He will strengthen our ability to use all tools of American power and relentlessly promote the American values of freedom and justice for all people."

    It was the latest key Democratic endorsement for Obama in his race against Clinton for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination. The two face hard-fought primary election battles in both Indiana and Pennsylvania in the next several weeks.

    Obama also has picked up other endorsements recently from New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey.

    Hamilton represented Indiana in the House from 1965 through 1999. He now is president and director of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

    (Reporting by Caren Bohan and David Morgan; Writing by David Morgan; Editing by Bill Trott)

    Air bomber


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