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    Saturday, January 9, 2010

    CNN - Senate Democratic leader sorry for 'Negro dialect' remark

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    Senate Democratic leader sorry for 'Negro dialect' remark

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid apologized Saturday for making disparaging remarks about Barack Obama during the presidential campaign.

    Journalists Mark Halperin and John Heilemann reported the remarks in their new book "Game Change," which is scheduled to be in bookstores Tuesday.

    The authors quote Reid as saying privately that Obama, as a black candidate, could be successful thanks, in part, to his "light-skinned" appearance and speaking patterns "with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one."

    "He [Reid] was wowed by Obama's oratorical gifts and believed that the country was ready to embrace a black presidential candidate, especially one such as Obama -- a 'light-skinned' African American 'with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one,' " Halperin and Heilemann say.

    "Reid was convinced, in fact, that Obama's race would help him more than hurt him in a bid for the Democratic nomination," they write.

    In a statement to CNN, Reid said, "I deeply regret using such a poor choice of words."

    "I sincerely apologize for offending any and all Americans, especially African Americans for my improper comments.

    "I was a proud and enthusiastic supporter of Barack Obama during the campaign and have worked as hard as I can to advance President Obama's legislative agenda," the senator from Nevada said.

    Reid pointed to his efforts to integrate the Las Vegas Strip and the gaming industry, among other legislation favored by African-American voters.

    "I have worked hard to advance issues important to the African American community."

    Reid, who waited to formally endorse Obama until after the tough presidential primary battle ended in 2008, is facing an uphill re-election fight this year in his home state.

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    Marvel sues to keep Spider-Man, X-Men copyrights

    Marvel Entertainment, home of superheroes such as Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four and the X-Men, sued the heirs of one of its most successful artists Friday to keep the rights to the lucrative characters.

    The federal lawsuit filed Friday in Manhattan by Marvel, now a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Co. (DIS), asks a judge to invalidate 45 notices sent by the heirs of artist Jack Kirby to try to terminate Marvel's copyrights, effective on dates ranging from 2014 through 2019.

    The heirs notified several companies last year that rights to the characters would revert from Marvel to Kirby's estate.

    The lawsuit says Kirby's work on the comics published between 1958 and 1963 were "for hire" and render the heirs' claims invalid. The famed artist died in 1994.

    Kirby's attorney Marc Toberoff says the heirs were merely trying to take advantage of change to copyright law that lets artists recapture rights to their work.

    Of Marvel's lawsuit, he said: "It is a standard claim predictably made by comic book companies to deprive artists, writers, and other talent of all rights in their work ... The Kirby children intend to vigorously defend against Marvel's claims in the hope of finally vindicating their father's work."

    The statement claims Kirby was never properly compensated for his contributions to Marvel's universe of superheroes.

    "Sadly, Jack died without proper compensation, credit or recognition for his lasting creative contributions," the statement said.

    Comic book characters such as Spider-Man and the X-Men have become some of Hollywood's most bankable properties.

    The lawsuit says the comic book titles in the notices to which Kirby claims to have contributed include "Amazing Adventures," "Amazing Fantasy," "Amazing Spider-Man," "The Avengers," the "Fantastic Four," "Fantastic Four Annual," "The Incredible Hulk," "Journey into Mystery," "Rawhide Kid," "Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos," "Strange Tales," "Tales to Astonish," "Tales of Suspense" and "The X-Men."

    John Turitzin, a Marvel lawyer, said in a statement that the heirs are trying "to rewrite the history of Kirby's relationship with Marvel."

    "Everything about Kirby's relationship with Marvel shows that his contributions were works made for hire and that all the copyright interests in them belong to Marvel," he said.

    Reuters - Next version of Nexus will be enterprise phone

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    Next version of Nexus will be enterprise phone

    Saturday, Jan 09, 2010 7:36AM UTC

    LAS VEGAS (Reuters) - Google Inc executive Andy Rubin said on Friday that the next version of the Nexus One phone, which was made by HTC Corp, will be for enterprise users and might have a physical keyboard.

    Such a device could potentially pose a competitive threat to BlackBerry maker Research In Motion, which has a strong position in the enterprise cellphone market.

    Rubin, the brains behind Google's Android operating system, made the comment during an interview with Wall Street Journal's Walt Mossberg at an event hosted by the newspaper.

    The comment followed Google's announcement earlier this week that it would sell phones direct to consumers via its website.

    (Reporting by Sinead Carew; Editing by Richard Chang)

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