jueves, 28 de febrero de 2013

7.2 Earth Quake strikes Japan

TOKYO: A strong earthquake Friday struck the same Japanese coast devastated by last year's massive quake and tsunami, generating small waves but no immediate reports of heavy damage. Several people along the northeastern coast were reportedly injured and buildings in Tokyo and elsewhere swayed for several minutes. The earthquake had a preliminary magnitude of 7.3 and struck in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Miyagi prefecture at 5:18pm (0818 GMT), the Japan meteorological agency said. The epicenter was 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) beneath the seabed and 240 kilometers (150 miles) offshore. The area was shaken by repeated, smaller aftershocks, the agency said. After the quake, authorities issued a warning that a tsunami potentially as high as 2 meters (2.2 yards) could hit. Sirens whooped along the coast as people ran for higher ground. Ishinomaki, a city in Miyagi, reported a tsunami 1 meter (1 yard) high and other towns reported smaller tsunamis. About two hours after the quake struck, the tsunami warning was cancelled. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center earlier said there was no risk of a widespread tsunami. Aiko Hibiya, a volunteer for the recovery in Minami-Sanriku, a coastal town devastated by last year's tsunami, said she was at a friend's temporary housing when the quake struck. "It shook for such a long time,'' she said. She said other volunteers who had been in coastal areas were evacuated to a square and a parking lot as they waited for the tsunami warning to be <b>...</b>
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Lebanese Fighters Reported Killed Inside Syria - ABC News

Syrian security forces killed as many as 20 Lebanese gunmen who were fighting alongside rebels in Syria on Friday, raising tensions amid mounting fears that the Syrian civil war is enflaming the region.

The Lebanese security officials said the gunmen were killed as they tried to enter the Syrian town of Tal Kalakh, near the Lebanese border. The officials asked that their names not be used because they were not authorized to speak publicly.

Syrian state-run media also reported that Lebanese gunmen were killed. But the SANA report said there 17 — not 20 — fighters. The discrepancy could not immediately be reconciled.

The Lebanese gunmen were Sunni Muslims, as are the vast majority of Syria's rebels. Syrian President Bashar Assad — along with his most elite troops — belong to the Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shiite Islam.

Lebanon is particularly vulnerable to getting sucked into the conflict in Syria. The countries share a complex web of political and sectarian ties and rivalries that are easily enflamed. Lebanon, a country plagued by decades of strife, has been on edge since the uprising in Syria against Assad began in March 2011, with deadly clashes between pro- and anti-Assad Lebanese groups erupting on several occasions.

The deaths came as rebels have tried to close in on the Syrian capital, Damascus, in recent days.

On Friday, Syrian soldiers fought rebels in and around the capital as Internet and most telephone lines were blacked out for a second day. But the intense battles around the country's international airport appeared to have calmed.

The airport road had reopened by Friday and the head of the Syrian Civil Aviation Agency, Ghaidaa Abdul-Latif, said the airport was operating "as usual." A day earlier, heavy fighting forced the closure of the road and airlines canceled international flights to Damascus.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and residents who were interviewed while leaving Syria on Friday said there was still sporadic fighting in pockets of the capital and on the outskirts.

A minibus driver said he heard explosions in the distance as he drove through Damascus.

"There are extreme security measures in Damascus today," said the driver, who asked to be identified only by his first name, Mohamad, out of fear for his personal safety.

"We were stopped at several checkpoints," he told The Associated Press. "Our IDs were checked and they even opened all the bags and suitcases."

He spoke as he crossed into Lebanon, driving a minibus packed with woman and children.

The communications blackout has raised fears of an explosion of fighting outside the public gaze. The Internet has been a key tool of activists over the course of the Syrian conflict, which started 20 months ago and has left more than 40,000 people dead, according to activists.

Syrian authorities previously have cut Internet and telephones in areas ahead of military operations. On Friday, some land lines were working sporadically.

In the southern part of the capital, the main road to Damascus' airport reopened early Friday afternoon, according to the Observatory. Intense clashes broke out after midnight in villages and towns near the facility but the area was calm by the late morning, the group said. It said rebels were able to destroy several army vehicles near the airport.

Deadly Drone Strikes - Amorphous, Free-Reigning Policy

" Facing the possibility that President Obama might not win a second term, his administration accelerated work in the weeks before the election to develop explicit rules for the targeted killing of terrorists by unmanned drones, so that a new president would inherit clear standards and procedures, according to two administration officials. The matter may have lost some urgency after Nov. 6. But with more than 300 drone strikes and some 2500 people killed by the Central Intelligence Agency and the military since Mr. Obama first took office, the administration is still pushing to make the rules formal and resolve internal uncertainty and disagreement about exactly when lethal action is justified. Mr. Obama and his advisers are still debating whether remote-control killing should be a measure of last resort against imminent threats to the United States, or a more flexible tool, available to help allied governments attack their enemies or to prevent militants from controlling territory."* As it stands now, the Obama administration is without a solid codified system on using drone strikes, which are responsible for killing a disproportionately high number of "unknowns" and innocents. Cenk Uygur discusses the issue at length, explaining why solid, structured policy on drones is extremely necessary, but is only being reached as a "leisurely" pace. *Read more from Scott Shane/ New York Times: www.nytimes.com Support The Young Turks by Subscribing bit.ly Support The Young Turks by <b>...</b>
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2012 SEMA Show Forgiato Lamborghini L700-4 Saturn Killed Remix w/ Electric Valentine - Automatic

2012 SEMA Show Forgiato (www.forgiato.com) Had an amazing booth with 3 Lamborghini Aventador LP-700 custom done by Al & Ed's Autosound West Hollywood. The origional is posted here on you tube but the audio was ruff so we had Saturn Remix it to Electric Valentine - Automatic overVoice the audio to make a one of a kind special report just like the Car & Rims. Enjoy FORGIATO // ORIGINAL The distinctive styling of the original Forgiato line could be responsible for altering the custom car climate forever. The three-piece wheels are crafted from aircraft grade forged aluminum and are available in a multitude of forging options including extreme concave, step lip and convex/big lip and everything in between. As always, the Forgiato line has limitless customization options with finishes including carbon fiber, brushed and paint-to-match. FORGIATO 2.0 // EXOTIC Initially unveiled as the first set of custom wheels on a Bugatti Veyron, the 2.0 line was created with the dignified, discernable enthusiast in mind who not only values high quality craftsmanship but yearns for exclusivity. The 2.0 embodies simplistic sophistication with its diamond cut lines and lack of visible mounting bolts for a seamless aesthetic. The 2.0 line is available in 19-22 inches and like all Forgiato wheels can be customized to your preference. MONOLEGGERA // SPORT Individuals seeking a one-piece application yet not willing to settle for the restrictions of a cast wheel, the Monoleggera offers a viable <b>...</b>
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TV9 News: Pregnant Indian Woman Dies After Irish Hospital Refuses Abortion

TV9 News: Pregnant Indian Woman Dies After Irish Hospital Refuses Abortion........., Hospital Refuses Abortion To Indian Woman, Dies In Ireland Health officials investigate after the woman's husband says doctors told his wife: "This is a Catholic Country." Investigations have been launched after a pregnant woman died in hospital in Ireland after allegedly being refused an abortion. Savita Halappanavar, 31, suffered a miscarriage and septicaemia. Her husband Praveen claims doctors refused to carry out a termination for religious reasons. Mrs Halappanavar, who was from India, was 17 weeks pregnant when admitted to Galway University Hospital. She was suffering from agonising pain and, according to her husband, made several requests for an abortion. Mr Halappanavar, 34, said doctors had refused to terminate the pregnancy because there was a foetal heartbeat and told his wife: "This is a Catholic country." The young woman, who had been practising as a dentist in the Republic of Ireland for some time, died on October 28 after developing septicaemia - an infection in the blood. Her death is expected to spark a backlash against the Irish government, criticised by left-wing members of parliament for failing to introduce new laws to permit abortion in life-threatening circumstances. Clare Daly, a Socialist Party member of parliament, said: "A woman has died because Galway University Hospital refused to perform an abortion needed to prevent serious risk to her life. "We were told <b>...</b>
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Man dies after swallowing cocaine hidden in brother's buttocks (Mirrored)

::Mirrored:: & ::ReUploaded:: FAIR USE NOTICE: This video may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes only. This constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 USC section 106A-117 of the US Copyright Law. + Videos are for educational purposes only with the purpose of promoting social, political and economic awareness. No profit is made. Videos which contain copyrighted material which use in accordance with US Copyright Law 17 USC Section 107 "Fair Use" is allowed for the purposes of criticism, commenting, news reporting, teaching, and or research and is not an infringement of copyright. + In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include — (1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes; (2) the nature of the copyrighted work; (3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and (4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work. FAIR USE NOTICE: These pages/video may contain copyrighted (© ) material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available to advance understanding of ecological, POLITICAL, HUMAN RIGHTS, economic, DEMOCRACY, scientific, MORAL, ETHICAL, and <b>...</b>
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X Games Snowmobile Crash 2013 Caleb Moore Accident Caleb Moore Dies RIP

FATAL MISTAKE to let Caleb get up and walk off course ... he was almost decapitated and they let him stand up and walk off course. Daniel Bodin Also Crashes ... and then Colten Moore crashes ... Triple CRASH 2013 X Games Aspen, Colorado. Horrible. Three athletes need better conditions in which to compete ... all 3 crash horribly. One Dies. All crashes on one single, ramp. Horrible that the over sight committee and ESPN allowed the construction of such a wreckless ramp, and even worse, that ASPEN Skiing Company Sksi Patrol and Medica let Caleb get up and walk away from the course, when Caleb should have been minimally strapped to a sled and med-evac'ed via chopper straight to Denver NOT Grand Junction. A 450+ lbs. machine landed on Caleb's head, side, and chest ... any qualified medical person would have immediately placed his head and neck into a brace ... and NOT let him move. So ... why did he crash? Why did Daniel Boitin and Colten Moore crash on the same ramp? The ramp was about 10 degrees too steep ... covered with too much fresh powder ... and, as many in Aspen are saying, poorly measured, carved and constructed; why such a FLAT LANDING ... WTF? Seriously ... who was in charge of (1) course construction, and (2) medical procedures ... um, the final "go ahead" would be from Aspen Ski Co - DBA, Aspen Mountain. A few people are about to be slapped with some serious lawsuits. Horrible.
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ANTI-Syrian TENSION rise over DEADLY car BOMB in Lebanon

ANTI-Syrian TENSION rise over DEADLY car BOMB in Lebanon Tensions run high in Lebanon as the government declared an emergency meeting following a bomb attack that killed a top security official. Clashes and protests have been reported throughout the country amid opposition calls for the PM to resign. Riots and protests continued into Saturday as thousands of people across Lebanon voiced their ire at the car bomb blast in Beirut on Friday that eight and wounded over 100. Enraged citizens blocked roads with burning tires as a sign of their protest, while clashes in the city of Tripoli close to the southern Syrian border fueled fears the Syrian conflict is spilling over across the border. Lebanon's Prime Minister Najib Mikati offered to step down amidst the fallout of Friday's deadly attack, but President Michel Suleiman refused his resignation. "He asked that I stay in place because it is not a personal issue but one of the national interest," Mikati said. Lebanon's political opposition bloc, the March 14 Alliance, continue to hold the pro-Syrian government and its prime minister responsible for the Friday's attack, which killed intelligence chief Wissam al-Hassan. The secretary-general of Lebanese opposition group Future Movement, Ahmad Hariri, said that the attack had been masterminded by embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Hariri also condemned Lebanon's current PM Najib Mikati to resign immediately, saying that "he is personally responsible for the blood of <b>...</b>
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Actor Dale Robertson Dies in California Hospital - ABC News

Dale Robertson, an Oklahoma native who became a star of television and movie Westerns during the genre's heyday, died Tuesday. He was 89.

Robertson's niece, Nancy Robertson, said her uncle died at Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, Calif., following a brief illness.

Dale Robertson had bit parts in films including "The Boy with the Green Hair" and the Joan Crawford vehicle "Flamingo Road" before landing more high-profile roles such as Jesse James in "Fighting Man of the Plains."

In the 1950s, he moved into television, starring in series such as "Tales of Wells Fargo" (1957-62), "Iron Horse" (1966) and "Death Valley Days" (1968-70).

Robertson continued to work in TV in the 1970s, and in the 1980s he landed roles in the popular night-time soap operas "Dallas" and "Dynasty."

In 1993, he took what would be his final role, as Zeke in the show "Harts of the West," before retiring from acting to spend more time at his ranch in Yukon, Okla., where he lived until moving to the San Diego area in recent months, Nancy Robertson said.

FILE - In this April 11, 1964 photo, television actor Dale Robertson, who is in town for a rodeo, stops by to watch the Southwestern Relays in Lafayette, La. Dale Robertson, an Oklahoma native who became a star of television and movie Westerns during the genre's heyday, died Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013. He was 89. (AP Photo, File) Close

Dale Robertson would want to be remembered as a father, a grandfather and an Oklahoman, she said.

"He came back a lot when he was in Hollywood, and he came back (to Oklahoma) after retiring," she said.

"I remember him as a larger-than-life fellow," she said. "When he was in town it was always very exciting. It always meant something magical was going to happen," such as another actor or performing artist accompanying him on his visits.

Born Dayle Lymoine Robertson to Melvin and Vervel Robertson in Harrah, on July 14, 1923, Robertson attended Oklahoma Military College at 17 and boxed in professional prize fights to earn money.

He joined the U.S. Army and fought in North Africa and Europe during World War II. Robertson was wounded twice and awarded the Bronze and Silver Stars and the Purple Heart.

While stationed at San Luis Obispo, Calif., he had a photograph taken for his mother. A copy of the photo displayed in the photo shop window attracted movie scouts, and the 6-foot-tall, 180-pound Robertson soon was on his way to Hollywood.

Will Rogers Jr., son of fellow Oklahoma-born actor and writer Will Rogers, once told Robertson to avoid formal training and keep his own persona.

Robertson received the Golden Boot Award in 1985, and was inducted into the Hall of Great Western Performers and the Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City.

He was married several times, most recently in 1980 to Susan Robbins, who survives him along with two children.

Nancy Robertson said her uncle will be cremated and that a memorial service will be held in a few weeks.


Former Associated Press writer Rochelle Hines contributed to this report.

Van Cliburn, pianist and Cold War hero, dies at 78 - U.S. News & World Report

By ANGELA K. BROWN, Associated Press

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — For a time in Cold War America, Van Cliburn had all the trappings of a rock star: sold-out concerts, adoring, out-of-control fans and a name recognized worldwide. He even got a ticker-tape parade in New York City.

And he did it all with only a piano and some Tchaikovsky concertos.

The celebrated pianist played for every American president since Harry Truman, plus royalty and heads of state around the world. But he is best remembered for winning a 1958 piano competition in Moscow that helped thaw the icy rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union.

Cliburn, who died Wednesday at 78 after fighting bone cancer, was "a great humanitarian and a brilliant musician whose light will continue to shine through his extraordinary legacy," said his publicist and longtime friend Mary Lou Falcone. "He will be missed by all who knew and admired him, and by countless people he never met."

The young man from the small east Texas town of Kilgore was a baby-faced 23-year-old when he won the first International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow just six months after the Soviets' launch of Sputnik embarrassed the U.S. and inaugurated the space race.

Cliburn returned to a hero's welcome and the ticker-tape parade — the first ever for a classical musician. A Time magazine cover proclaimed him "The Texan Who Conquered Russia."

The win also showed the power of the arts, creating unity despite the tension between the superpowers. Music-loving Soviets clamored to see him perform. Premier Nikita Khrushchev reportedly gave the go-ahead for the judges to honor a foreigner: "Is Cliburn the best? Then give him first prize."

In the years that followed, Cliburn's popularity soared. He sold out concerts and caused riots when he was spotted in public. His fame even prompted an Elvis Presley fan club to change its name to his. His recording of the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1 with Russian conductor Kirill Kondrashin became the first classical album to reach platinum status.

Time magazine's 1958 cover story quoted a friend as saying Cliburn could become "the first man in history to be a Horowitz, Liberace and Presley all rolled into one."

Russian pianist Denis Matsuev, who won the Tchaikovsky competition in 1998 at the age of 23, the same age as Cliburn, said Cliburn's "romantic style captured the hearts of Soviet audience."

"Everyone was in love with him," Matsuev said. "And he loved the Soviet Union, Russia and the Russian public."

Matsuev, who knew Cliburn personally, described him as an "incredibly delicate, kind and gentle man who dedicated his entire life to art."

He also used his skill and fame to help other young musicians through the Van Cliburn International Music Competition, held every four years. Created in 1962 by a group of Fort Worth teachers and citizens, it remains among the top showcases for the world's best pianists.

"Since we know that classical music is timeless and everlasting, it is precisely the eternal verities inherent in classical music that remain a spiritual beacon for people all over the world," Cliburn once said.

President George W. Bush presented Cliburn with the Presidential Medal of Freedom — the nation's highest civilian honor — in 2003. The following year, he received the Order of Friendship of the Russian Federation from Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"I still have lots of friends in Russia," Cliburn said at the time. "It's always a great pleasure to talk to older people in Russia, to hear their anecdotes."

After the death of his father in 1974, Cliburn announced he would soon retire to spend more time with his ailing mother. He stopped touring in 1978.

Among other things, touring robbed him of the chance to enjoy opera and other musical performances.

"I said to myself, 'Life is too short.' I was missing so much," he told The New York Times in 2008. After winning the competition, "it was thrilling to be wanted. But it was pressure, too."

Cliburn emerged from his sabbatical in 1987, when he played at a state dinner at the White House during the historic visit of Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. Gorbachev leapt from his seat to give the pianist a bear-hug and kisses on the cheeks. Nancy Reagan, then the first lady, has called that night one of the greatest moments of her husband's presidency.

Loved Ones Salute New Zealand Dad Killed by Shark - ABC News

About 150 friends and family of a man killed in a shark attack wrote messages to him in the sand Thursday and stepped into the water at a New Zealand beach to say goodbye.

Adam Strange, 46, was an award-winning television and short film director and the father of a 2-year-old girl. He was training for an endurance swim near popular Muriwai Beach on Wednesday when he was attacked by the shark that was possibly 14 feet (4 meters) long. Surf lifesavers say they are convinced it was a great white shark.

Police attempting to save Strange raced out in inflatable boats and fired gunshots at the enormous predator, which they say rolled away and disappeared. Police were able to recover Strange's body, and lifeguards believe the shark is dead.

Muriwai will remained closed for swimming until Saturday after the fatal attack, one of only about a dozen in New Zealand in the past 180 years.

Friend Adam Stevens said the Thursday beach service was run by indigenous Maori who removed the "tapu" or spiritual restriction at the beach. He said it was a "perfect tribute" to a man who spent much of his time swimming and surfing.

"He was a very robust, big, barrel-chested surfer," Stevens said. "He was basically completely obsessed with the ocean, with paddle boards and body surfing, everything. His garage was like a museum of surf craft."

According to Police Inspector Shawn Rutene, Strange was about 200 meters (650 feet) from the shore when he was attacked by a shark that police estimated was up to four meters (14 feet) long.

Stevens said his friend had planned to swim about 1 ½ kilometers (one mile) Wednesday as he tested new goggles and trained for an annual endurance swim from Auckland to Rangitoto Island. The 4.5-kilometer (2.8-mile) swim takes place on Sunday.

Pio Mose, who was fishing at the beach Wednesday, told the New Zealand Herald newspaper he saw Strange struggle against the huge shark. Mose yelled at Strange to swim to the rocks, but it was too late.

"All of a sudden there was blood everywhere," Mose said. "I was shaking, scared, panicked."

About 200 people had been enjoying the beach during the Southern Hemisphere summer at the time of the attack.

Stevens said he's been comforting Strange's wife, Meg, and their daughter since the accident. He said the girl is too young to understand what has happened but is aware of the emotions.

Stevens said his friend, whom he had known about 15 years, was very creative and always positive.

"He lived in the moment brilliantly. It was completely infectious," Stevens said. "He feasted on the details."

Stevens said he and Strange worked together for a number of years at a film production company, Silverscreen.

On his site, Strange said he studied as a graphic designer and art director before getting into directing. He said he'd worked on commercials all over the world and had been a finalist for a number of advertising awards.

Strange won a Crystal Bear award at the 2009 Berlin Film Festival for a short film called "Aphrodite's Farm," a magical tale set on a dairy farm in the 1930s.

Tim Jago, chairman of the Muriwai Lifeguard Service, said a number of beaches near Muriwai reopened Thursday and that Muriwai would open for beach visits Friday and then swimming on Saturday. He said the closure at this point is to give surf lifesavers a break and he doesn't fear a repeat attack.

"We are quite comfortable the beast is dead," he said. "Footage from a helicopter indicates that when the shark rolled over and rolled off, it also sank to bottom."

Jago said witnesses spotted one or two other large sharks circling at the time of the attack, but that no sharks have been seen in the area since then.

Clinton Duffy, a shark expert with the Department of Conservation, estimated that only 12 to 14 people have been killed by sharks in New Zealand since record keeping began in the 1830s.

Around the world, sharks attacked humans 80 times last year, and seven people were killed, according to the University of Florida's International Shark Attack File. The death toll was lower than it was in 2011 but higher than the average of 4.4 from 2001 to 2010.

Famed Pianist Van Cliburn Dies - Wall Street Journal

Associated Press

Texas pianist Van Cliburn performs to a packed audience in the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory in April 1958.

Van Cliburn became an international cultural hero when he won a Cold War-era piano competition in the Soviet Union and then rocketed to unheard-of stardom for a classical musician in the U.S.

Mr. Cliburn, who died Wednesday at age 78 near Fort Worth, Texas, stunned the world in 1958 when, soon after the Soviet Union had launched the first satellite in orbit, he won that country's first International Tchaikovsky Piano Competition—intended to showcase Soviet talent.

The same year, his recording of Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1 became the first classical album to sell more than a million copies. He appeared on the cover of Time magazine and remains the only musician celebrated with a New York ticker-tape parade. The Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, for which he served as artistic adviser, became one of the world's most prestigious.

Mr. Cliburn's affection for the Soviet people—and theirs for him—was notable during a period of superpower strain. At the 1958 competition, the Soviets were enraptured by the emotive interpretations of Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff that poured from the lanky Texan, then 23 years old.

Famed pianist Van Cliburn, who became an international cultural hero when he won a Cold War-era piano competition in 1958, died at age 78 in Texas. (Photo: AP)

After Mr. Cliburn earned roaring ovations, the Soviet ministry of culture relayed concerns to a Communist Party official. She went to the Soviet premier, Nikita Khrushchev, according to Mr. Khrushchev's son Sergei Khrushchev, a fellow at Brown University.

"The jury says the American is the best, but…," the official began, leaving the political quandary unsaid.

"Is the American really the best?" Mr. Khrushchev asked.

He was, she replied.

"So you have to give him the prize," the premier said, according to his son.

Harvey Lavan Cliburn Jr. was born in Shreveport, La. His father was an oil executive and his mother, Rildia Bee O'Bryan Cliburn, a piano teacher who had studied with a pupil of Franz Liszt. Van Cliburn began lessons at age 3, after his mother found him at the keyboard uncannily mimicking one of her students.

She taught him to coax a rich, round tone from the piano, and to sing each piece so his playing would evoke the phrasing and shadings of the human voice. "The human voice is the first instrument," he said in a 2008 interview on National Public Radio. "When we go to play on a stage before an audience, we are there as a voice. It may be the piano, but it's still a voice."

Mr. Cliburn's family moved to Kilgore, Texas, when he was 6. He debuted with the Houston Symphony at age 12. After earning his top prize in the Soviet Union, he traveled at a frenetic pace. In 1974, Mr. Cliburn's father, who was also his manager, died. In 1978 the pianist continued to perform for four more years to honor commitments, thenbegan a nine-year hiatus from the stage.


Van Cliburn

Mr. Cliburn's mother, who lived with him until her death, was perhaps his best friend, said Richard Rodzinski, former executive director of the Van Cliburn Foundation, which runs the Van Cliburn competition.

In 1996, a man with whom Mr. Cliburn had a 17-year relationship filed a "palimony" suit, seeking millions of dollars. The suit was dismissed.

Friends described Mr. Cliburn as gentle, generous, and modest. He didn't teach, but mentored young soloists. He loved to entertain visiting musicians in his Fort Worth-area home, tend his rose garden and attend the Metropolitan Opera in New York. In later years he played in public occasionally, often as benefits for organizations he supported.

In 1987, Mr. Cliburn performed at a White House summit for President Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, moving the Soviet leader, his wife and delegation to sing along to a spontaneous rendition of the Russian song "Moscow Nights."

Write to Jennifer Maloney at jennifer.maloney@wsj.com

A version of this article appeared February 28, 2013, on page A6 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: Pianist Became a Cold-War Hero, Media Star.

Van Cliburn, American classical pianist, dies - USA TODAY

The tall Texan was a household name around the world.

Van Cliburn was just a pianist much the way Neil Armstrong was merely an astronaut. Simply put, the tall Texan's musical talent and successes were out of this world.

Cliburn, who died Wednesday at age 78 at his Fort Worth home due to complications from bone cancer, was 23 when he strode into Moscow for the inaugural International Tchaikovsky Competition, created to showcase Soviet cultural superiority.

Playing with unerring precision and sublime emotion, he took the top prize and was given a ticker-tape parade in Manhattan, the first and last time a pianist won such an honor.

"Imagine galvanizing the attention of the entire world in the pre-Internet, pre-global TV year of 1958," says Howard Reich, who got to know the Texas-based pianist while researching his 1993 biography, Van Cliburn. "As a Texan, he was so emblematic of the United States. But the Russians fell in love with his romanticism."

In many ways, however, that seminal performance both made his name and sealed his fate.

The pieces that won him the competition — Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1 and Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3 — sold countless records (his Tchaikovsky No. 1 was the first classical record to sell more than a million copies) and became required concert staples.

"Playing on that treadmill for the next 20 years led him to burn out, and by 1978 he looked terrible and bowed out of public life," says Reich. "He was a gentle soul, and that harsh public spotlight had a negative effect on him."

It would be nine years before Cliburn performed again, at the White House for Ronald Reagan and Soviet premier Mikhail Gorbachev. Although he made occasional appearances in the following decades, he spent most of his time overseeing his foundation and a quadrennial competition that bears his name.

"I can't think of anyone who has done more to help promote the instrument and young performers than Van," says Cliburn's friend Yoheved Kaplinsky, chairman of the piano department at New York's Juilliard School of Music, which Cliburn attended. "He was an icon in Fort Worth, and a person of great humility."

Born Harvey Lavan Cliburn Jr. in Shreveport, La., Cliburn started piano lessons at age 3 and immediately showed prowess under the watchful eye of his mother, who had trained on the instrument under a teacher who had studied with Franz Liszt.

After moving to Texas, Cliburn played with Houston's symphony at age 12, and at 17 entered Juilliard. At 20, he performed with the New York Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall, setting the stage for his triumphant coup in Russia.

No one can imagine a ticker-tape parade for a pianist in this era, but in Cliburn's heyday he was as much an inevitable cultural icon as he was a reluctant political figure. In the late '50s, the Cold War was raging, the Beatles were still practicing and classical music still held sway.

But what truly made Cliburn unique was the humble ease with which he went about seducing the alleged enemy.

"Van marched in full of the musical values of the Old World, full of tremendous sincerity and with a remarkable ability to connect with audiences," says Kaplinsky. "He may have transcended the boundaries of the art world and breached into the political world, but foremost Van was a consummate artist."

That artistry is on display in various YouTube clips of Cliburn reprising his competition-winning form in Moscow in 1962. The pianist's eyes are often closed as massive hands fly across the length of the keyboard. Utterly lost in the music, Cliburn seems almost oblivious to his audience.

"He had more of everything," says Reich. "More height, more smiles, more sweep on the piano."

In his later years, Cliburn collected the usual array of awards accorded cultural heroes. A Kennedy Center Honors tribute in 2001, a Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2003, and in 2004 Russia's equivalent, the Russian Order of Friendship. In 2004, there was a predictable Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and in 1994 a less-expected guest appearance as himself in the TV cartoon Iron Man.

On the personal front, Cliburn was a devout Baptist but also quietly gay; in the late '90s, his longtime partner, Thomas Zaremba, unsuccessfully sued the pianist over compensation claims.

Ultimately, Cliburn will be remembered not just as a performer of startling skill, but also as a global cultural sensation in the age of shortwave radio.

"He did something that no one could have ever imagined back then," says Reich. "He was ubiquitous."

20 Afghan Police Officers Killed in 2 Attacks, Including a Mass Poisoning - New York Times

In Ghazni Province, a group of 17 Afghan policemen who had just been trained by Americans were drugged into comatose stupors by comrades, described after the episode as Taliban infiltrators, while on duty. They were then shot to death in what appeared to be the single worst episode in a string of similar attacks, Afghan officials and an insurgent spokesman said.

In Kandahar Province, three policemen were killed in what the Taliban said was an attack carried out by one of its supporters, although police officials attributed the killings to a relative of one of the victims.

The Ghazni attack, at an Afghan Local Police outpost in Habib Godala village in the Andar district, occurred about 1 a.m., according to Gen. Zrawar Zahid, the Ghazni police chief.

Other Afghan officials said the authorities had already arrested two policemen, described as Taliban infiltrators who had carried out the attack. The attackers poisoned the dinner food of the other officers, shot them at close range to ensure they were dead, stole their weapons and fled after setting a police vehicle on fire.

General Zahid said that 10 of the victims were Afghan Local Police officers who had finished their training, and that the other 7 were recruits who had been undergoing training.

The Afghan Local Police program has been contentious in many parts of Afghanistan because of insider attacks as well as accusations of human rights violations by the policemen.

The local police officers are vetted and trained under the supervision of American Special Operations troops as self-defense forces for their own communities and sometimes include groups of armed men who had formerly sided with the Taliban.

The unit wiped out by the attack had been trained by the Americans at a base in the Andar district center a month ago, local officials said. Only a week earlier, a similar effort was made to drug policemen in that district, but the drug had not been strong enough and the victims were able to escape, according to Khalil Hotaki, head of a peace group in Ghazni.

"We have repeatedly warned the A.L.P. recruiters and trainers to conduct proper and accurate vetting processes for people who want to join the A.L.P. ranks," said Fiazanullah Fiazan, a former provincial governor in Ghazni. "We have told them not to enroll unknown people or people who are not vouched by tribal elders, but they don't listen. They are trying to meet the recruiting deadline and get credit for it."

A spokesman for the Special Operations troops in Afghanistan could not be reached for comment. A spokesman for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force referred all questions to Afghan officials.

A spokesman for the Taliban, Zabiullah Mujahid, e-mailed a statement to journalists claiming Taliban responsibility for the attack.

"Locals in the area were tired of the atrocities and crimes of these arbakais, and their lives and property were not safe," Mr. Mujahid wrote, using the Afghan term for irregular militias. The deaths of the police officers, he said, meant that "oppression has been weakened and decreased in the area."

In the episode in Kandahar Province, the authorities said, three National Police officers were found shot to death outside their post on the outskirts of Kandahar. A spokesman for the police, Ghorzang, who like many Afghans goes by only one name, said the attacker was not an insurgent, but a heroin addict and a relative of the post commander, who was one of the victims.

Mr. Ghorzang said that the commander had taken the relative to get treatment and that after the police in the post fell asleep the relative took one of their guns and killed the commander and two other officers. The attacker, who was not identified by name, escaped.

But a spokesman for the Taliban in southern Afghanistan, Qari Yousuf Ahmadi, reached by telephone, said the insurgents had recruited the assailant and took responsibility for the attack.

The attacks were the latest in a series of insider attacks, often involving the use of poison or drugs to subdue other policemen, who are then shot while unconscious. Typically, rat poison is used, but the victims are shot as well because the poison is not always fatal when delivered in food.

"This type of attack is so deadly and disastrous, both in terms of loss of human life and in critically undermining trust and confidence among the Afghan national security forces and in particular the A.L.P.," said retired Gen. Atiqullah Amarkhel, an Afghan military analyst.

In January, an Afghan Local Police officer killed his commander and several colleagues in that manner, in the Panjwai district of Kandahar Province. Over 10 days in December, at least three such attacks by policemen or others resulted in 17 deaths.

Taimoor Shah contributed reporting from Kandahar, Afghanistan, and Sangar Rahimi and another Afghan employee of The New York Times from Kabul.

Stéphane Hessel, Author and Activist, Dies at 95 - New York Times

His death was confirmed by his son Antoine, a cardiologist.

Mr. Hessel's life had many notable chapters, including a childhood peopled by European intellectuals, an escape from a German concentration camp, and stints as a diplomat at the United Nations and elsewhere.

But he was not widely known until October 2010, when he published "Indignez-Vous!" — a 4,000-word pamphlet that urged young people to revive the flame of resistance to injustice that burned in himself and others during World War II, this time in peaceful rebellion against what he termed the dictatorial forces of international capitalism, and to reassert the ideal that the privileged class must help the less fortunate rise.

In particular, Mr. Hessel's diatribe took aim at France's treatment of illegal immigrants, the influence on the news media by the rich, the shrinking social safety net and, especially, Israel's treatment of the Palestinians.

The book, 29 pages (only 14 of text), held together by two staples and released by a two-person publishing house out of an attic office, had an original print run of 8,000. But it struck a chord with young people distressed by the policies of the French president, Nicolas Sarkozy.

It became a popular stocking-stuffer gift at Christmas from left-leaning parents to their children, and it was taken up as a rallying cry by protesters across Europe responding to the economic crisis. Young Spanish activists called themselves "indignados."

Translated into more than a dozen languages, it sold more than three million copies in Europe in less than a year; in July 2011, translated into English, it was published in the United States as "Time for Outrage!" and became a hand-around for participants in the Occupy Wall Street movement.

"When something outrages you, as Nazism did me, that is when you become a militant, strong and engaged," he wrote. "You join the movement of history, and the great current of history continues to flow only thanks to each and every one of us."

In addition to fame, "Indignez-Vous!" brought significant criticism to Mr. Hessel — from those who felt his screed was merely indignant and not in any way prescriptive and especially from those who disagreed with his views on Israel and the Palestinians. Mr. Hessel, whose father was Jewish but whose mother was not, said in interviews that he was a lover and defender of Israel, but he was still accused of anti-Semitism.

Stéphane Hessel was born in Berlin in 1917. His father, Franz, a German writer and translator, had lived for many years in Paris, where he met and befriended Henri-Pierre Roché, an artist and writer, and Helen Grund, a German art student, who would become his wife and Stéphane's mother. When the boy was still a toddler, the family returned to Paris, where Helen took up with Roché, and a three-way love affair ensued, becoming the basis for Roché's 1953 novel, "Jules et Jim," later adapted by François Truffaut into the well-known film.

The Parisian society the family joined included the poet André Breton, the sculptor Alexander Calder, and the photographer Man Ray. The artist Marcel Duchamp taught the young Stéphane to play chess. As a teenager, he met Jean-Paul Sartre.

"Sartre came into my life when I was 17, at the time his first novels were published," he said in a 2012 interview for the English-language Israeli Web site Haaretz. "His message was very clear: 'You must devote your responsibility, you become a human being only when you feel your responsibility.' "

In 1941, after France fell to the Nazis and the year his father died, Mr. Hessel escaped to London, where he met Charles de Gaulle, eventually joining the resistance movement. In March 1944, he returned to Paris on a mission to contact underground activists, but was captured and tortured by means now known as waterboarding, surviving, he said, by giving out false information.

He was subsequently sent to the Buchenwald concentration camp, where he escaped hanging by exchanging identities with a French soldier who had died of typhoid fever. Sent to a different camp, he managed to escape and return to Paris, which had by then been liberated.

After the war, Mr. Hessel became a diplomat, working as an official for the newly formed United Nations, where he participated in the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted in 1948. He later held diplomatic posts in Algeria and Vietnam.

Mr. Hessel is survived by his wife, Christiane Hessel-Chabry, and three children from an earlier marriage.

Mr. Hessel wrote or contributed to several other books, including a 1997 autobiography, "Danse Avec le Siècle" ("Dance With the Century"). He was a defender of the European Union, and he befriended French politicians of the left, including the current president, François Hollande. Mr. Hollande described Mr. Hessel on Tuesday as "a great figure whose exceptional life was dedicated to defending human dignity."

Police say woman killed by suicidal man in Reisterstown crash - Baltimore Sun (blog)

A 20-year-old Westminster man intent on committing "suicide by cop" crashed his parents' sport utility vehicle Tuesday night, killing an elderly Reisterstown woman, Baltimore County police said.

Police said Nicholas Mottley led officers on a chase through Carroll County before ending up in Baltimore County, where he rammed a police car, was involved in another small crash, then sped off and ultimately struck a car driven by Martha Tabares, 74.

Tabares was killed instantly when the Chevrolet Traverse Mottley was driving struck her Toyota Corolla nearly head-on at 8:22 p.m., said Cpl. John Wachter, a police spokesman. Mottley was in critical condition at Sinai Hospital on Wednesday, Wachter said.

The crash, near the intersection of Reisterstown Road and Franklin Boulevard, also involved a van, but there were no other injuries.

The initial call from the Carroll County sheriff's office — warning Baltimore County police that a "violent, suicidal suspect" who was armed with a knife and had expressed a desire to be killed by police was traveling into their area in a vehicle matching Mottley's Traverse — came at 8:13 p.m., Wachter said.

David Shapiro of Pikesville was called to the scene of the collision by his friend James Seybold, who was driving the van involved in the crash. Shapiro said he felt helpless as he watched emergency responders try for more than an hour to get Tabares out of the crushed Corolla. He ended up going to the woman's house, less than a mile from the scene, and was the first to inform her family and friends that she had died in the crash.

"It was just this really sad picture," Shapiro, 57, said about the aftermath of the crash. "It's one of those things you never know you're going to be confronted with, and then it happens."

Sheriff's deputies in Carroll went to the home of Mottley's parents in Westminster about 45 minutes before the crash, after one of his parents called 911 to report a domestic incident involving their son, said Maj. Phillip Kasten, a sheriff's spokesman.

As deputies neared Mottley's parents' house, they learned he had threatened suicide and fled the home with a pocket knife in the Traverse, Kasten said. When they arrived at the home about 8 p.m., the deputies were able to talk to Mottley over the Traverse's OnStar communications system.

"He told the deputy on the phone that he intended to crash the vehicle and end his life, but he wished the police would just shoot him," Kasten said.

Through the OnStar system, police were able to triangulate Mottley's location, by then southbound on Interstate 795 in Baltimore County, and warn police there — filling them in on the details of Mottley's statements about crashing the vehicle or having police shoot him.

Officers in Baltimore County made contact with Mottley almost immediately after being notified, in the parking lot of a Walmart in the 9700 block of Reisterstown Road, Wachter said.

Mottley then rammed his Traverse into a police cruiser — no officers were injured — and then drove off, with the officers immediately pursuing him.

"They took off after him, but it wasn't too long before the shift commander said, 'Break it off, he's going too fast,'" Wachter said.

Seybold, who was not injured in the crash but whose van was damaged, said he was grateful he was alive and disappointed that Mottley chose to attempt to end his life in the way police described.

"It's unfortunate that his state of mind was that extreme," said Seybold, 51, who lives about two miles from the scene of the crash. "Whatever he was going through, it wasn't worth it."

Crash investigators are looking into the incident and charges are pending against Mottley, police said.





'Cold War' in cyberspace tests US ties with China - Business Standard

When the Barack Obama administration circulated to the nation's internet providers last week a lengthy confidential list of computer addresses linked to a hacking group that has stolen terabytes of data from American corporations, it left out one crucial fact: that nearly every one of the digital addresses could be traced to the neighbourhood in Shanghai that is headquarters to the Chinese military's cybercommand.

That deliberate omission underscored the heightened sensitivities inside the Obama administration over just how directly to confront China's untested new leadership over the hacking issue, as the administration escalates demands that China halt the state-sponsored attacks that Beijing insists it is not mounting. The issue illustrates how different the worsening cyber-cold war between the world's two largest economies is from the more familiar superpower conflicts of past decades ?" in some ways less dangerous, in others more complex and pernicious.

Defining "enemies" in this case is not always an easy task. China is not an outright foe of the US, the way the Soviet Union once was; rather, China is both an economic competitor and a crucial supplier and customer. The two countries traded $425 billion in goods last year, and China remains, despite many diplomatic tensions, a critical financier of American debt. As Hillary Rodham Clinton put it to Australia's prime minister in 2009 on her way to visit China for the first time as secretary of state, "How do you deal toughly with your banker?"

In the case of the evidence that the People's Liberation Army is probably the force behind "Comment Crew," the biggest of roughly 20 hacking groups that American intelligence agencies follow, the answer is that the US is being highly circumspect. Administration officials were perfectly happy to have Mandiant, a private security firm, issue the report tracing the cyberattacks to the door of China's cybercommand; American officials said privately that they had no problems with Mandiant's conclusions, but they did not want to say so on the record.

That explains why China went unmentioned as the location of the suspect servers in the warning to internet providers. "We were told that directly embarrassing the Chinese would backfire," one intelligence official said.

"It would only make them more defensive, and more nationalistic."

That view is beginning to change, though. On the ABC News programme This Week on Sunday, Representative Mike Rogers, Republican of Michigan and chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, was asked whether he believed that the Chinese military and civilian government were behind the economic espionage. "Beyond a shadow of a doubt," he replied.

In the next few months, American officials say, there will be many private warnings delivered by Washington to Chinese leaders, including Xi Jinping, who will soon assume China's presidency. Both Tom Donilon, the national security adviser, and Clinton's successor, John Kerry, have trips to China in the offing. Those private conversations are expected to make a case that the sheer size and sophistication of the attacks over the past few years threaten to erode support for China among the country's biggest allies in Washington, the American business community.

"America's biggest global firms have been ballast in the relationship" with China, said Kurt M Campbell, who recently resigned as assistant secretary of state for East Asia to start a consulting firm, the Asia Group, to manage the prickly commercial relationships. "And now they are the ones telling the Chinese that these pernicious attacks are undermining what has been built up over decades."

It is too early to tell whether that appeal to China's self-interest is getting through. Similar arguments have been tried before, yet when one of China's most senior military leaders visited the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon in May 2011, he said he didn't know much about cyberweapons ?" and said the PLA does not use them. In that regard, he sounded a bit like the Obama administration, which has never discussed America's own cyberarsenal.

Yet the PLA's attacks are largely at commercial targets. It has an interest in trade secrets like aerospace designs and wind-energy product schematics: the army is deeply invested in Chinese industry and is always seeking a competitive advantage. And so far the attacks have been cost-free.

American officials say that must change. But the prescriptions for what to do vary greatly ?" from calm negotiation to economic sanctions and talk of counterattacks led by the American military's Cyber Command, the unit that was deeply involved in the American and Israeli cyberattacks on Iran's nuclear enrichment plants.

"The problem so far is that we have rhetoric and we have Cyber Command, and not much in between," said Chris Johnson, a 20-year veteran of the C.I.A. team that analysed the Chinese leadership. "That's what makes this so difficult. It's easy for the Chinese to deny it's happening, to say it's someone else, and no one wants the US government launching counterattacks."

That marks another major difference from the dynamic of the American-Soviet nuclear rivalry. In cold war days, deterrence was straightforward: any attack would result in a devastating counterattack, at a human cost so horrific that neither side pulled the trigger, even during close calls like the Cuban missile crisis.

But cyberattacks are another matter. The vast majority have taken the form of criminal theft, not destruction. It often takes weeks or months to pin down where an attack originated, because attacks are generally routed through computer servers elsewhere to obscure their source. A series of attacks on The New York Times that originated in China, for example, was mounted through the computer systems of unwitting American universities. That is why David Rothkopf, the author of books about the National Security Council, wrote last week that this was a "cool war," not only because of the remote nature of the attacks but because "it can be conducted indefinitely ?" permanently, even ?" without triggering a shooting war. At least, that is the theory."

Administration officials like Robert Hormats, the under secretary of state for business and economic affairs, say the key to success in combating cyberattacks is to emphasise to the Chinese authorities that the attacks will harm their hopes for economic growth. "We have to make it clear," Hormats said, "that the Chinese are not going to get what they desire," which he said was "investment from the cream of our technology companies, unless they quickly get this problem under control".

But Rogers of the Intelligence Committee argues for a more confrontational approach, including "indicting bad actors" and denying visas to anyone believed to be involved in cyberattacks, as well as their families.

The coming debate is over whether the government should get into the business of retaliation. Already, Washington is awash in conferences that talk about "escalation dominance" and "extended deterrence," all terminology drawn from the cold war.

Some of the talk is overheated, fuelled by a growing cybersecurity industry and the development of offensive cyberweapons, even though the American government has never acknowledged using them, even in the Stuxnet attacks on Iran. But there is a serious, behind-the-scenes discussion about what kind of attack on American infrastructure ?" something the Chinese hacking groups have not seriously attempted ?" could provoke a president to order a counterattack.

© 2013 The New York Times News Service

miércoles, 27 de febrero de 2013

CIA killed aaron russo (Mirrored)

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