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    Friday, June 13, 2008

    Reuters - TV newsman Tim Russert dies of heart attack

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    TV newsman Tim Russert dies of heart attack

    Friday, Jun 13, 2008 9:30PM UTC

    By David Morgan

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Tim Russert, a leading U.S. political correspondent and host of the NBC television network's long-running "Meet the Press" talk show, died on Friday of a heart attack, the network said. He was 58.

    NBC interrupted programming for a special report by former anchorman Tom Brokaw, who said Russert collapsed and died at work in NBC's Washington bureau after returning from a trip to Italy with his family.

    A network statement said he died of a sudden heart attack while pre-recording a segment for this Sundays "Meet the Press" program.

    Brokaw told viewers 2008 "was one of the most important years in Tim's life. ... He loved this political campaign. He worked to the point of exhaustion so many weeks."

    U.S. President George W. Bush and the two main candidates in November's election to succeed him all praised Russert.

    Russert, who took over "Meet the Press" in 1991 and oversaw a rise in the Sunday program's popularity, was known for both tough questioning of American political figures and a cheerful television persona.

    Now in its 60th year, "Meet the Press" is the longest-running program in the history of television, NBC said. Russert took over in December 1991. Time magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world this year.

    He was a political analyst for "NBC Nightly News" and the "Today" program, and anchored "The Tim Russert Show," a weekly interview program on the CNBC cable-TV channel.


    Brokaw lauded Russert for his best-selling books, "Big Russ and Me" about his childhood and his relationship with his father, and "The Wisdom of Our Fathers," a book inspired by the many letters he received from children talking about their relationship with their fathers.

    Democrats and Republicans lauded Russert's work.

    In a statement from Paris, the Republican Bush said: "As the longest-serving host of the longest-running program in the history of television, he was an institution in both news and politics for more than two decades.

    "Tim was a tough and hardworking newsman. He was always well-informed and thorough in his interviews. And he was as gregarious off the set as he was prepared on it," Bush said.

    Speaking to reporters in Columbus, Ohio, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said: "There wasn't a better interviewer in television, not a more thoughtful analyst of our politics."

    Republican presidential candidate John McCain said: "Tim Russert was at the top of his profession. He was a man of honesty and integrity. He was hard but he was always fair."

    Russert joined NBC News in 1984. In April 1985, he supervised the live broadcasts of NBC's Today show from Rome. In 1986 and 1987, Russert led NBC News' weeklong broadcasts from South America, Australia and China.

    Russert became a news subject himself in 2007, when he provided key testimony at the CIA leak trial of Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, Lewis "Scooter" Libby.

    Libby was charged with lying and obstructing a federal investigation into the leaking CIA operative Valerie Plame's identity after her husband criticized the Bush administration.

    Libby said he had learned of Plame's secret identity from Russert. But Russert testified he did not discuss Plame with Libby and offered the jury an account sharply at odds with Libby's recorded testimony. Libby was ultimately convicted.

    (Additional reporting by Steve Holland, Steve Gorman, Jeff Mason, Andy Sullivan and Tabassum Zakaria, Editing by Howard Goller)

    Reuters - MySpace plans redesign for next week

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    MySpace plans redesign for next week

    Friday, Jun 13, 2008 1:18PM UTC

    NEW YORK (Reuters) - News Corp's MySpace plans a global redesign next week in an attempt to widen its demographics and boost user engagement on the site, the social networking site said on Friday.

    In what it said would be the largest scale relaunch of a website of its size, MySpace will change its home page, navigation, profile editing, search, and MySpaceTV player facilities. Other changes will come during the summer.

    "This is more than a face-lift; we're changing the way people interact with the site and with brands," MySpace said, adding that a major advertiser was signed for the U.S. MySpace home page on the first day of the relaunch.

    The main phase of the relaunch is set for June 18.

    MySpace said it had drastically overhauled the look and feel of its searches, which it said currently ranked third in total number of searches by any site.

    It said it was working with Lucene Open-Source engine and community, marking the first time MySpace has contributed to the open-source community.

    MySpace, with about 110 million users worldwide, claims to be the most trafficked website in the United States, adding that about 300,000 people sign up each day.

    (Reporting by Christopher Kaufman, editing by Will Waterman/Jeffrey Benkoe)

    Reuters - Manners still matter when you're poking on Facebook

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    Manners still matter when you're poking on Facebook

    Friday, Jun 13, 2008 1:49PM UTC

    By Paul Majendie

    LONDON (Reuters Life!) - Should you reject a friend on MySpace? How do you ward off an old lover on Facebook?

    Have no fear. Britain's etiquette bible has come to the rescue for social networkers who are at a loss about how to behave with online decorum.

    Debrett's have helped to compile a new set of "golden rules" for devotees of sites like Facebook and Bebo.

    The rules were put together after research by the telecoms company Orange showed that almost two thirds of social networkers are frustrated and confused by online etiquette.

    It discovered that more than a quarter were uncertain about how to respond to unwelcome "pokes" or messages.

    Eighteen percent confessed to being confused on "how to respond to my ex when in a relationship with someone else."

    Debrett's etiquette adviser Jo Bryant tried to guide the confused through what can be a social minefield.

    Acknowledging that social networking has made new demands on traditional etiquette, she said "My advice is to play it safe and always employ your usual good manners when online, treating others with kindness and respect."

    And you should never throw caution to the wind.

    Mark Watt-Jones, head of development and innovation at Orange, said "Whether you are checking your Facebook profile or posting photos of friends on MySpace at work, these guidelines will ensure you never lose old friends or make unwanted new ones."

    The golden rules compiled by Debrett's with Orange are:

    1. You don't have to make friends with people you don't know. Think before you poke.

    2. Wait 24 hours before accepting or removing someone as a friend. The delay will help you gather your thoughts.

    3. Birthdays, engagements and weddings are not "virtual" events. Always send cards or phone friends when there is an important event.

    4. Think before posting a friend's photo what you would feel like if it was you.

    5. Think carefully about your profile picture. Would you want it to be appearing in your local newspaper?

    (Editing by Paul Casciato)

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