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    Tuesday, December 30, 2008

    Reuters - Blagojevich to appoint Burris to Senate seat: report

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    Blagojevich to appoint Burris to Senate seat: report

    Tuesday, Dec 30, 2008 7:14PM UTC

    By Andrew Stern and Karen Pierog

    CHICAGO (Reuters) - Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich will appoint Democratic former state Attorney General Roland Burris to the U.S. Senate seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama, the Chicago Tribune reported on Tuesday.

    Blagojevich, who was arrested on December 9 on corruption charges including trying to peddle Obama's seat for favors, will hold a news conference at 2 p.m. CST (2000 GMT).

    The governor's office would not comment on the report, and Burris could not be reached.

    Blagojevich, 52, has denied the corruption charges and branded the impeachment effort under way in the state legislature a political lynch mob.

    He has defied calls from party leaders, including Obama, that he resign. U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid wrote Blagojevich shortly after the charges were filed, warning him against making an appointment. It was unclear if the Senate would attempt to block the appointment; aides said Democratic leaders would issue a statement later in the day.

    The Democrats will be in control of the U.S. Senate with at least 57 seats in the 100-seat chamber when Congress reconvenes on January 6. Still in limbo are Minnesota's undecided Senate race, as well as Obama's Senate seat in Illinois.

    The governor's lawyer said last week Blagojevich would refrain from making the Senate appointment.

    "It's a very shrewd political move on the governor's part," said political analyst Don Rose. "The Senate has said it won't accept anybody that he proposes, but here they've come up with an African-American with very deep roots in the black community."

    Burris, 71, was the first African-American elected to statewide office in Illinois in 1978 when he won the job as state comptroller, and was the state's attorney general from 1991 to 1995.

    In 1984, he lost the U.S. Senate Democratic primary to Paul Simon, and was defeated a decade later in a run for governor. He also made an unsuccessful bid to be mayor of Chicago.

    He is an attorney in private practice in Chicago.

    The U.S. Constitution states that the Senate decides the qualifications of its members. But if the Senate blocked the appointment, the case could likely end up in court.

    In 1969, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the House of Representatives could not bar a member from serving, but could expel the member with a two-thirds majority vote.

    (Editing by Peter Bohan and Doina Chiacu)

    Portfolio Mobile - Windows 7 Beta Leaked on BitTorrent

    Windows 7 Beta Leaked on BitTorrent

    The first beta of Windows 7, Microsoft's coming replacement for Windows Vista, is due to arrive at January's Consumer Electronics Show, but already leaked version are circulating on popular BitTorrent sites.

    Early reports suggest that there is little difference between the coming beta and early builds released to developers back in October. If the first beta of Windows 7 will have features not found in earlier releases, it appears you're going to have to wait for the official release to find them.

    That said, ZDNet's Adrian Kingsley-Hughes reports that the latest build is, if nothing else, much more stable than its predecessors, going to far as to say that "this is the kind of code that you could roll out and live with... [it] exceeds the quality of any other Microsoft OS beta that I've handled."

    One thing to note, if you're hoping that Windows 7 will save you from your Vista woes, from everything we've seen, Windows 7 is clearly evolutionary, not revolutionary. Windows 7 is about fixing and refining Vista, not starting over from the ground up (Vista itself might see some significant improvements in the coming SP2 update).

    Among the most noticeable changes are the new taskbar which acts not unlike OS X's dock application (though it looks more like KDE 4's taskbar), allowing to you see running applications alongside "pinned" icons for launching other apps. While some feel that the new taskbar tries to do too much and becomes confusing in the process, I've actually found it a very nice improvement -- switching and launching apps from a central location makes sense, but that could be due to my OS X work habits.

    One thing you won't find in the task bar is the ability to get an XP-style single column start menu. You can customize the start menu of course, but it takes up quite a bit of screen real estate no matter how minimalist you make it.

    When it comes to speed the jury is still out. Some early benchmarks suggest significant speed gains over Vista, especially on less powerful PCs, but other tests have been less conclusive. Given that beta software is generally not known for having massive speed boosts, the fact that early betas can at least match Vista's performance could be a good sign -- especially if Microsoft can continue to optimize Windows 7 as the beta testing period progresses.

    Windows 7 beta 1 may be available via BitTorrent, but we don't recommend spending the time to download it. Still, if you just can't help yourself and you've already grabbed a copy and installed it, be sure to let us know what you think of beta 1.

    by Scott Gilbertson for

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    (c) 2007 Portfolio. Powered by mLogic Media, Crisp Wireless, Inc.

    Reuters - Facebook ban of breast-feeding photos sparks protests

    This article was sent to you from, who uses Reuters Mobile Site to get news and information on the go. To access Reuters on your mobile phone, go to:

    Facebook ban of breast-feeding photos sparks protests

    Tuesday, Dec 30, 2008 5:57AM UTC

    By Belinda Goldsmith

    CANBERRA (Reuters) - Are photographs of a mother breast-feeding her child indecent? The social networking site Facebook has sparked a massive online debate -- and protests -- and after removing photos that expose too much of a mother's breast.

    Facebook spokesman Barry Schnitt said the website takes no action over most breast-feeding photos because they follow the site's terms of use but others are removed to ensure the site remains safe and secure for all users, including children.

    "Photos containing a fully exposed breast (as defined by showing the nipple or areola) do violate those terms (on obscene, pornographic or sexually explicit material) and may be removed," he said in a statement.

    "The photos we act upon are almost exclusively brought to our attention by other users who complain."

    But Facebook's decision to ban some breast-feeding photos has angered some users, including U.S. mother Kelli Roman whose photograph of her feeding her daughter was removed by Facebook.

    Roman is one of the administrators of an online petition called "Hey Facebook, breastfeeding is not obscene!" which has picked up speed in the past week after protesters organized a virtual "nurse-in" on Facebook and held a small demonstration outside Facebook's office in Palo Alto, California.

    The petition has now attracted more than 80,000 names and over 10,000 comments, reigniting the old debate about the rights or wrongs of breast-feeding in public.

    Organizers of the petition said some women had been warned not to repost photographs that had been removed from their pages or they would face being kicked off Facebook.

    One breast-feeding mother, called Rebekah, said Facebook removed a photograph of her feeding her child.

    "I find it offensive that (Facebook) can remove my photo but not the close up picture of a thonged backside I (have) seen on a friend's page or remove the "what kama sutra position are you?" quiz application," she wrote.

    Facebook, which has more than 120 million members, is standing by its decision.

    Schnitt said the company had called many U.S. media groups during the course of the protest to ask to place an advert related to breast-feeding that showed a woman breast-feeding her child with a fully exposed breast. None agreed.

    "Obviously, a newspaper and Facebook are different things but the underlying motivation for the content policies are the same," he told Reuters.

    (Editing by Miral Fahmy)

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