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    Friday, April 4, 2008

    USA TODAY - Naomi Campbell freed on bail after Heathrow arrest

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    By Raphael G. Satter, Associated Press

    Naomi Campbell was released on bail Friday after being arrested on suspicion of assaulting a police officer during a dispute over luggage at Heathrow Airport.

    Campbell, 37, left the airport police station just after midnight. London's Metropolitan Police said she was released pending further inquiries and told to report to a police station in late May.

    The London-born supermodel was arrested late Thursday on suspicion of assaulting an officer after police were called to a disturbance at Heathrow's new Terminal 5. Witnesses said Campbell was aboard a British Airways plane due to depart for Los Angeles when she became involved in a dispute over her luggage.

    Campbell's spokeswoman, Annabel Fox, said Campbell was traveling to the U.S. to attend a memorial service and had boarded the plane when she was told one of her two checked bags was missing.

    British Airways "decided to resolve this by insisting she leave the flight and then called the police to forcibly eject her," Fox said.

    More than 28,000 bags have been separated from their owners at Terminal 5 since it opened amid chaotic scenes last week.

    Campbell has a history of assaulting assistants and employees.

    In 2000, she pleaded guilty in Toronto to an assault charge for beating an assistant while making a film in Canada in 1998. Under an agreement with prosecutors, Campbell expressed remorse and was released without punishment or a criminal record.

    In January 2007, Campbell pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault for throwing her cellphone at her maid in a dispute over a missing pair of jeans. She was ordered to do community service and attend a two-day anger-management program.

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    Reuters - Microsoft evaluating Yahoo bid: source

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    Microsoft evaluating Yahoo bid: source

    Friday, Apr 04, 2008 9:13PM UTC

    By Anupreeta Das

    SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp is evaluating its bid for Yahoo Inc because the Internet company may have lost value since it made its offer, a person familiar with the matter said on Friday.

    The news, first reported by Reuters, sent Yahoo shares down more than 5 percent in extended trade.

    A Yahoo spokeswoman declined to comment. Microsoft was not immediately available for comment.

    Yahoo has rejected Microsoft's offer, made on January 31, saying it "substantially undervalues" the company.

    The bid initially valued Yahoo at $44.6 billion, but is currently worth about $42 billion.

    Microsoft has been repeatedly trying to engage Yahoo's board in discussions, the person said. But the market has deteriorated and changes in Yahoo's business may have dragged down its value below what it was when Microsoft made its bid, the person said.

    Shares of Yahoo fell to $26.81 in extended trade after closing Friday's session up 0.82 percent at $28.36 on the Nasdaq. Microsoft shares gained 24 cents after closing up 0.55 percent at $29.16.

    (Editing by Gary Hill)

    The Clintons

    We are so rich

    Reuters - Clintons made $109 million since 2000, returns show

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    Clintons made $109 million since 2000, returns show

    Friday, Apr 04, 2008 9:45PM UTC

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, have made $109 million since 2000, including $51 million in speech income for Bill Clinton, according to eight years of tax information released on Friday.

    The couple paid taxes of $33 million and gave more than $10 million to charity between 2000, their last year in the White House, and 2007, the records released by the campaign showed.

    Clinton had been challenged by rival Barack Obama to release her tax returns as the two Democratic presidential contenders duel for the right to face Republican John McCain in November's election.

    Obama made his tax returns from 2000 to 2006 public last week, renewing a battle between the two camps over transparency. Obama, an Illinois senator, has accused Clinton of being secretive and shielding documents from the public.

    Presidential candidates often release their tax returns, although they are not required to do so, but Clinton's failure to release her recent returns had become a target of increased criticism from Obama's camp.

    "The Clintons have now made public 30 years of tax returns, a record matched by few people in public service. None of Hillary Clinton's presidential opponents have revealed anything close to this amount of personal financial information," Clinton spokesman Jay Carson said.

    (Writing by John Whitesides, editing by Lori Santos)

    (To read more about the U.S. political campaign, visit Reuters "Tales from the Trail: 2008" online at

    Reuters - Clinton and Obama spar over long Democratic contest

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    Clinton and Obama spar over long Democratic contest

    Friday, Apr 04, 2008 1:37PM UTC

    By Ellen Wulfhorst

    PITTSBURGH (Reuters) - Depending on who is talking, Hillary Clinton should either drop out of the race for the U.S. Democratic presidential nomination for the good of the party or fight on because all voters have a right to be heard.

    The two arguments being made by supporters of Clinton and her Democratic rival Barack Obama speak to higher principles, inspire passion and make headlines, and both are pure politics with scant basis in fact, political experts say.

    "Each one is making the best political argument for themselves and stating it in terms of some universal principles that don't exist," said Sandy Maisel, director of the Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs at Maine's Colby College.

    "Her side says, 'Every vote counts,' and his side says, 'It's over, why doesn't she admit it?'" Maisel said. "In fact, it isn't over, and there have been lots of cases in the past when every vote didn't count."

    Plenty of elections are decided -- fairly -- before many voters had a chance to vote, and candidates can emerge victorious despite bruising primary battles, the experts say.

    Besides, given the nature of politics, tables can quickly turn. Polls once showed Clinton with a powerful lead, but today she trails Obama in the quest for Democratic delegates.

    "It's politics. Something crazy could happen tomorrow that changes the dynamic completely," said Kathleen Dolan, political scientist at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee.

    That rings particularly true for the Clinton-Obama matchup, said Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia's Center for Politics. She has been scrutinized for years, but he is lesser known and his candidacy could take some twists and turns.

    "Her point of view is that something else could come out about Obama," said Sabato.

    But the New York senator faces a chorus of calls to drop out from Obama supporters who say she cannot win the nomination and she will harm his ability to beat Republican candidate John McCain in the November election. Obama, however, has said she should stay in the race as long as she wants.


    Obama leads Clinton in pledged delegates who will help choose the nominee, but neither is likely to win enough delegates in state contests to clinch the nomination. That is likely to leave the decision up to superdelegates -- elected officials and party insiders free to back any candidate.

    Campaigning this week in Pennsylvania, Clinton pointed to a supporter's sign that read "Don't Quit."

    "I thought that Democrats and Americans believed in letting people vote and then counting the votes," she said. "I'm going to do everything I can to make sure that from Pennsylvania to Puerto Rico, people have a chance to vote and be part of this process."

    Pennsylvania holds the next primary on April 22, followed by contests in North Carolina, Indiana, West Virginia, Oregon, Kentucky, Montana, South Dakota and elsewhere, ending June 3.

    "Most party contests are over well before every state can vote," said Sabato. "They have a right to vote. They just don't necessarily have a right to a competitive contest."

    This contest does not necessarily hurt the party, experts say, calling thousands of newly registered Democrats in Pennsylvania proof of a healthy party.

    "There's no hard evidence that her staying in the race hurts and, in fact, there's evidence it may be helping the party," Maisel said.

    Each argument is politically expedient, said Thomas Patterson, professor of government at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

    "You make the argument that fits your case," he said. "There's no question in my mind they would be making the opposite argument today if they were in opposite positions."

    (Editing by David Alexander and David Wiessler)

    (To read more about the U.S. political campaign, visit Reuters "Tales from the Trail: 2008" online at


    I can see into the future.

    Reuters - Gates sees next Windows "sometime" in next year

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    Gates sees next Windows "sometime" in next year

    Friday, Apr 04, 2008 4:39PM UTC

    MIAMI (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp.<MSFT.O> co-founder Bill Gates said on Friday he expected the new version of Windows operating software, code-named Windows 7, to be released "sometime in the next year or so."

    The software giant has been aiming to issue more regular updates of the operating system software that powers the majority of the world's personal computers. Nevertheless, Gates' comments suggested that a successor to the Vista program might be released sooner than was generally expected.

    Microsoft has said it expected to release a new version of Windows approximately 3 years after the introduction of Vista in January 2007. A company spokeswoman said Gates' comments are in line with a development cycle that usually releases a test version of the software before its official introduction.

    "I'm superenthused about what it will do in lots of ways," Gates said in a seminar on corporate philanthropy held during an annual meeting in Miami of the Inter-American Development Bank.

    "That'll be sometime in the next year or so that we'll have a new version," Gates said in response to a question from the audience.

    Gates, who is due to leave his day-to-day functions at Microsoft and dedicate himself to the philanthropic efforts of the Gates Foundation in June, said the company aimed through its $6 billion annual research and development budget to take the products running on its software to "the next level."

    He said new versions of Windows would help revolutionize mobile phones and run the desk of the future, which would have a touch surface display allowing users to call up items using their hands.

    (Reporting by Michael Christie, Editing by Gunna Dickson)

    Reuters - Verizon to use new spectrum for advanced wireless

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    Verizon to use new spectrum for advanced wireless

    Friday, Apr 04, 2008 4:31PM UTC

    By Peter Kaplan

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Verizon Communications Inc <VZ.N> said on Friday it would use the airwaves it acquired in a government auction last month for its next generation of high-speed wireless services, expected to debut around 2010.

    In a telephone conference with analysts the company said the $9.36 billion worth of new 700 megahertz spectrum would give Verizon Wireless, the No. 2 U.S. mobile service, enough resources to build a faster wireless data network.

    "We now have sufficient spectrum to continue growing our business and data revenues well into -- and possibly through -- the next decade ...," said Verizon Wireless CEO Lowell McAdam.

    McAdam said the spectrum would be used for a network Verizon Wireless plans to build based on an emerging technology known as Long Term Evolution, which it expects to boost revenue by connecting "everything and anything together."

    Verizon Wireless, a venture of Verizon and Vodafone Group Plc <VOD.L>, will use the airwaves to connect a broad array of devices, such as digital media players, gaming consoles and even home appliances, McAdam said.

    Verizon Wireless and AT&T <T.N> won the lion's share of the spectrum up for grabs in the $19.12 billion auction, with AT&T spending another $6.64 billion.

    Verizon Wireless won the largest single block of nationwide airwaves offered in the Federal Communications Commission auction, paying $4.74 billion for the portion of spectrum known as the "C" block.

    Commenting on the 700 megahertz spectrum for the first time since the landmark auction ended on March 18, Verizon said it expected to launch its next generation wireless network "in the 2010 time frame."

    The 700-megahertz airwaves are considered valuable because they travel long distances and can penetrate thick walls. They are being returned by television broadcasters as they move to digital from analog signals in early 2009.

    As part of the rules for the 700-megahertz auction, the FCC required the winner of the C block spectrum to make it an "open platform" accessible to customers using any device or software application.

    As a result Verizon has promised to support devices and software applications that it does not offer directly itself.

    They echoed a statement issued on Thursday night by AT&T, which said its added 700-megahertz auction would be used to move into the next generation of wireless broadband services.

    AT&T executives estimated the roll-out of more advanced network at about 2012. However, unlike the airwaves acquired by Verizon, AT&T noted that its new spectrum was not burdened with many regulatory requirements imposed on a nationwide block of spectrum that Verizon won in the auction.

    The comments by Verizon came a day after the deadline expired for anti-collusion restrictions that were in effect during the auction and barred carriers from discussing the auction results.

    (Reporting by Peter Kaplan; editing by Derek Caney)

    Jobloss continues

    Where did allthe jobs go?

    Reuters - Economy sheds 80,000 jobs in March

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    Economy sheds 80,000 jobs in March

    Friday, Apr 04, 2008 4:15PM UTC

    By Joanne Morrison

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. employers cut payrolls for a third consecutive month in March and the jobless rate jumped to a 2-1/2 year high, adding more evidence that a housing downturn and credit crisis may have pushed the economy into recession.

    The Labor Department on Friday said non-farm employment fell by 80,000 jobs in March, the biggest decline in five years. Financial markets saw the drop as reinforcing the need for further Federal Reserve interest rate cuts.

    It was the first time the U.S. economy shed jobs for three straight months since a five-month string in 2003, when the economy was mired in a jobless recovery from the 2001 recession.

    Adding to the bleak picture, the department said a combined 152,000 jobs were lost in January and February, compared with a previous estimate of 85,000. The unemployment rate jumped to 5.1 percent from 4.8 percent, the highest since September 2005.

    "There doesn't appear to be any silver lining. It shows that we're right in the middle of a recession," said Carl Lantz, U.S. interest rate strategist at Credit Suisse in New York. "Our expectation is that it will be a longer recession than the last two, and we're just in the beginning."

    U.S. stock markets slipped in early trading, while the dollar fell and prices of government bonds rose as traders bet the weaker-than-expected report would lead to more rate cuts.

    "What we have been looking at over the first quarter is an economy that has entered into recession," Bruce Kasman, chief economist at JPMorgan, told clients on a conference call.

    The White House said it was "not happy" with the jobs report, saying it expected growth to be flat in the first quarter, but pick up later in the year.


    The U.S. central bank has already lowered rates by 3 percentage points since mid-September to prop up an economy hit hard by a liquidity crisis brought on by what many economists see as the worst housing slump since the Great Depression.

    Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke admitted to Congress this week that a recession was possible. "It's clearly a period of very slow growth extending back to the fourth quarter of last year, and we are trying to set our policies appropriately for that situation," he said.

    A New York Times/CBS News poll released on Friday showed the economy's deepening woes were weighing heavily on the minds of Americans. Of those polled, 81 percent said they believed things were "pretty seriously" on the wrong track, up from 69 percent a year ago and 35 percent in early 2002.

    During the first quarter, job losses averaged 77,000 a month, compared with average monthly gains of 76,000 in the last half of 2007.

    They were widespread in March, with the biggest losses in construction and manufacturing, two areas that have been bearing the brunt of the economy's slowdown.

    Factory employment fell by 48,000, the biggest decline since July 2003, and exacerbated by a 24,000 fall in auto manufacturing jobs that the department said likely reflected the impact of a strike at an auto parts maker.

    Construction employment fell 51,000, the ninth consecutive month of job losses.

    In another sign firms are bracing for a downturn, professional business employment dropped by 35,000, with most of the declines in temporary help services.

    (Additional reporting by Burton Frierson in New York; Editing by Dan Grebler)

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    If you know me then you know my name. I am The Black Rider and the world is my Flame. The rider writes, observes, creates, produces, and learns the world around him. Ride on. Ride on!

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