Wednesday, May 13, 2009

"We Shall Overcome" - Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Speech

Watch the new Angels and Demons trailer! In Theaters 5/15/09

Watch the new full length trailer for Angels & Demons.

3 plead not guilty in Anna Nicole Smith drug case

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Anna Nicole Smith's lawyer-turned-boyfriend and two doctors pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges they conspired to provide thousands of prescription pills to the former model before her overdose death two years ago.

The appearance of Howard K. Stern and Drs. Khristine Eroshevich and Sandeep Kapoor in Superior Court set the stage for a preliminary hearing that all parties said could last at least two weeks.

Deputy District Attorney Renee Rose said there are 1,400 pages of discovery in the case, which was investigated for two years before charges were filed. Court Commissioner Kristi Lousteau ordered documents in the case sealed although attorneys said that about a quarter of the material has already been made public.

The hearing was brief and Smith's name was never mentioned.

Stern, Eroshevich and Kapoor stood before Lousteau with their lawyers. The defendants said "yes" when she asked if they were pleading not guilty and when they agreed to delay the matter until June 8 for setting of the preliminary hearing date. They declined to comment outside court.

Stern's lawyer, Steve Sadow, said he wanted the preliminary hearing to begin as soon as possible.

The commissioner granted a motion requiring each defendant to provide a handwriting sample and she transferred the case to a judge for the next hearing.

Outside court, Stern's lawyer was outspoken, exclaiming: "He did not commit a crime, period!"

Sadow said he had filed a demurrer, a legal document contending that the law under which Stern is charged does not apply to him.

"The statute deals with medical practitioners," he said. "He is not a doctor."

Kapoor's lawyer, Ellyn Garafalo, said he continues to practice medicine and his patients have been supportive.

"We have no doubt Dr. Kapoor will be exonerated," she said.

Smith, 39, was declared dead at a hospital after being found unconscious in her Florida hotel room in 2007. A medical examiner determined she died of an accidental overdose of a sleeping medication and at least eight other prescription drugs.

Prosecutors allege Stern was the principal enabler in a conspiracy to provide Smith thousands of prescription pills.

The defendants each face six counts including conspiracy, and up to five years, eight months in prison if convicted.

Former agent testifies against harsh interrogations

Washington - A former federal agent who was involved in the interrogation of terrorism suspects said in congressional testimony Wednesday that the harsh techniques used by the Bush administration were ineffective and unreliable.

Ali Soufan told a Senate judicial committee that al-Qaeda operatives were trained to resist the harsh methods, including waterboarding, and argued that conventional interrogations were much more reliable in extracting information.

'I strongly believe that it is a mistake to use what has become known as enhanced interrogation techniques,' said Soufan, who was a special agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation. 'A major problem with it is it is ineffective. Al-Qaeda are trained to resist torture.'

Soufan was involved in the questioning of Abu Zubaydah, an alleged top al-Qaeda operative captured in 2002 and still held at the US military prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The CIA has acknowledged waterboarding Zubaydah, and memos released last month by the White House said the technique was used on him dozens of times.

Soufan said that he and other agents were able to gain useful information of Zubaydah through conventional interrogations, but when the CIA began waterboarding, Zubaydah stopped talking.

The Senate has begun hearings on the interrogations practices approved under former president George W Bush that critics say amounted to torture. The process followed President Barack Obama's decision last month to release the Bush-era memos.

Former vice president Dick Cheney has been appearing on news shows in recent weeks to defend the interrogations, saying they provided valuable information that saved American lives. He warned that Obama's softer approach places national security at risk.

Philip Zelikow, who was a legal advisor to former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, said he circulated a memo in the administration objecting to the harsh methods shortly before a trip to the Middle East.

'When I came back, I heard the memo was not considered appropriate for further discussion and that copies of my memo should be collected and destroyed,' he said.

Obama seeks to block release of abuse photos

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is seeking to block the release of hundreds of photos showing prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan being abused, reversing his position after military commanders warned that the images could stoke anti-American sentiment and endanger U.S. troops.

The pictures show mistreatment of detainees at locations beyond the infamous U.S.-run Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

Word of Obama's decision on Wednesday came after top military commanders in Iraq and Afghanistan expressed fears that publicizing the pictures could put their troops in danger. When the Abu Ghraib photos emerged in 2004 of grinning U.S. soldiers posing with detainees, some naked, some being held on leashes, they caused a huge anti-American backlash around the globe, particularly in the Muslim world.

Obama decided he did not feel comfortable with the photos release, and was concerned it would inflame tensions in Iraq and Afghanistan, put U.S. soldiers at higher risk and make the U.S. mission in those two wars more difficult, according to White House officials.

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters that the president was concerned that the photos' release would pose a national security threat, an argument the administration has not made yet in the courts.

"The president does not believe that the strongest case regarding the release of these photos was presented to the court and that was a case based on his concern about what the release would do to our national security," Gibbs said.

Gibbs said that the main argument previously was a privacy one.

The move represented a sharp reversal from Obama's repeated pledges for open government, and in particular from his promise to be forthcoming with information that courts have ruled should be publicly available.

As such, it was sure to invite criticism from the more liberal segments of the Democratic Party that want a full accounting — and even redress — for what they see as the misdeeds of previous years under former President George W. Bush.

Federal appeals judges have ruled, in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, that the photos should be released. After those losses in federal court, the Justice Department concluded that any further appeal would probably be fruitless.

Last month, Gibbs said the president had concurred, though without commenting on whether Obama would support the release if not pressed by a court case.

Through an arrangement with the court, the Pentagon was preparing to put out, by May 28, two batches of photos, one of 21 images and another 23. The government had also told the judge it was "processing for release a substantial number of other images." The total number of photos to be released was expected to be in the hundreds.

The official emphasized that the president continues to believe that the actions depicted in the photos should not be excused and fully supports the investigations, prison sentences, discharges and other punitive measures that have resulted from them. But that is not likely to quiet Obama's critics.

Indeed, the ACLU quickly lambasted Obama's move.

"The decision to not release the photographs makes a mockery of President Obama's promise of transparency and accountability," said ACLU attorney Amrit Singh, who argued and won the case in front of the 2nd U.S. Court of Appeals in New York. "It is essential that these photographs be released so that the public can examine for itself the full scale and scope of prisoner abuse that was conducted in its name."

On Capitol Hill, the top Republican welcomed the move.

"I agree with the president that the release of these photos would serve no purpose other than to put our troops in greater danger," said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. "The president made the right decision and I applaud him for it."

The president last week instructed administration lawyers to challenge the release in court and to make the case that the national security implications of such a release have not been fully presented, the official said.

The president informed Gen. Ray Odierno, commander of U.S. troops in Iraq, of his decision during a White House meeting on Tuesday.

Gen. David Petraeus, the senior commander for both wars, had also weighed in against the release, as had Gen. David McKiernan, the top general in Afghanistan. Defense Secretary Robert Gates fired McKiernan on Monday for unrelated reasons.

Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said military "commanders are concerned about the impact the release of these photos would have for the troops in Afghanistan and Iraq," and that Gates shares their concerns. Gates wanted the photos blocked from release or at the very least delayed, Morrell said.

Military commanders' concerns are most intense with respect to Afghanistan.

There the release would coincide with the spring thaw that usually heralds the year's toughest fighting. Morrell also noted the release as scheduled would come as thousands of new U.S. troops head into Afghanistan's volatile south.

Since the circuit appeals court both ruled against the government and denied its request for a follow-up hearing, the case could now land at the Supreme Court.

The new case is a contrast to Obama's decision last month to release documents that documents that detailed brutal interrogation techniques used by the CIA against terror suspects. Those also came out in response to an ACLU lawsuit.

A military group said it was relieved Obama would fight the photos' release, adding that soldiers' lives could otherwise be put at risk. Brian Wise, executive Director of Military Families United, said the pictures "will only serve as propaganda to our enemies who will use the images as a recruitment tool to enlist terrorists."

"The president has said that he wants to improve the image of America throughout the world," Wise said in a statement. "This is not the way to accomplish that. These photos represent isolated incidents where the offending servicemen and women have already been prosecuted. There is no good that can come from releasing these photos."

Barack Obama Comedian and Health Care Reformer

Super Hero Barack Obamas possesses a facility for language and an easy-going manner that simply puts everyone at ease. He had the packed room of media masters, the rich and famous and celebs eating out of the palm of his hand.Here are some of the highlights from the comic-in-chief.

The question today is at what will President Barack Obama be more successful: telling jokes at the correspondents’ dinner or reforming America’s health care system? Right now, Barack Obama is ahead on points as a comedian as the president got high marks for his comedy act at the annual dinner.

It doesn’t hurt that Obama’s got a natural boyish charm and an ability to be self-deprecating. He possesses a facility for language and an easy-going manner that simply puts everyone at ease. He had the packed room of media masters, the rich and famous and celebs eating out of the palm of his hand.

Looking towards the future, Obama said, “In the next hundred days, I will meet with a leader who rules over millions with an iron fist, who owns the airwaves and uses his power to crush all who would challenge his authority in the ballot box.” He paused and then delivered the punchline, “It’s good to see you, Mayor Bloomberg.”

In another moment, President Barack Obama quoted former opponent Hilary Clinton by saying she had helped get former Republican senator Arlen Specter to change parties by saying, “Arlen, you know what I always say, ‘If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.’”

He then poked fun at Hilary Clinton’s aggressive nature by saying that when she returned from Mexico just before the swine flu epidemic broke out that she embraced him warmly. He said, “The second she got back from Mexico, she pulled me into a hug and gave me a big kiss and told me I better get down there myself.”

Barack Obama also alluded to his “new friend,”saying, “He’s warm, he’s cuddly, loyal, enthusiastic; you just have to keep him in on a tight leash - every once in a while he goes charging off and gets himself into trouble.” The set up was that he was talking about the new White House dog. After a pause, he quipped, “Enough about Joe Biden.”

Of course, the healthcare issue is no laughing matter. Some feel that Barack Obama is making strides, while others see it differently. On Tuesday the Salt Lake Tribune said, “the health-care industry just flopped on the floor and exposed its belly to President Barack Obama in a craven gesture of submission. Groups like America’s Health Insurance Plans and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America — key players in defeating Hillary Care in 1994 — sent Obama a letter voluntarily offering to control costs. They can’t spell out with specificity how they’ll conjure up $2 trillion in savings during the next decade, but that’s beside the point.”

In other words, the question is what can the president really do? Isn’t Barack Obama simply using smoke and mirrors to create an appearance that reform will work?

This will be one of the biggest fights of the Obama presidency as those who oppose a nationalization of healthcare and those who want aggressive healthcare reform will fight Barack Obama and those who want to control costs and see Obama’s plan as a real solution will support him. Obama said that the groups that have pledged to help control costs have created the opportunity for a breakthrough while advocates of healthcare reform feel that the president and the companies are just trying to find a shortcut around the real solution:public health insurance.

Funny, but the correspondent’s dinner, which was filled with some ultra critical types, may have been the easiest crowd Barack Obama will play to over the next four years.


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Charm School host LaLa Vazquez was thrown out of a Mavericks vs. Nuggets game in Dallas. Lala's publicist released an official statement saying that fans yelling racist slurs at her and her son set her off. It's too bad that threw crowd was that nasty. We're just wondering why Lala and her son were sitting with the ordinary spectators during the game. Family members and spouses should be seated away from the crowd because games get rowdy. Watch the video of Lala going ghetto and ready to give everyone a beatdown if you missed it.

A statement issued today by LaLa Vazquez says the fiancee of Carmelo Anthony was subject to racial slurs by some Dallas Mavericks fans during Game 4 Monday night in Dallas.

The statement released by her publicist says Vazquez left the game after being "verbally attacked by some opposing fans, who were using racial slurs, calling her child crude names and throwing ice cubes."

It went on to say that her and Anthony's 2-year-old son were taken from the arena earlier by family and friends and then she left on her own will when she was pushed and was escorted out by security.

"Obviously the playoffs bring out the best and the worst in fans but what happened on Monday night with the racial slurs/threats, verbal attacks on my son and physical attacks to myself by irate fans was unacceptable," Vazquez said in the statement. "The fans were totally out of control. What the cameras captured was me defending myself and didn't show the abuse that was taking place." [DENVER POST]

2009 NBA Playoffs: Game 5: Boston Celtics 92 Orlando Magic 88 (Highlights)

Game 5: Boston Celtics 92 Orlando Magic 88

Analysis: This was an epic choke by the Orlando Magic, who should have won this game going away. Yes, the Celtics had to make the plays and they deserve credit for making them, but all Orlando had to do was hit 2 or 3 buckets in the last 6 minutes of the game and they would have won. The problem with Orlando is that they have no go-to-guy. Dwight Howard can demand that he gets the ball more all he wants, but what is he going to do with it? Almost all of his points come off putbacks from missed shots and easy buckets that his teammates set him up with when his defender leaves to help out defensively on the guy with the ball. If you throw Dwight the ball in the post he isn't going to do shit with it...point blank, period, end of story. So I don't blame the Magic for not getting Dwight the ball, but they still could have played smarter, especially Rashard Lewis, who should be going to the basket against Big Baby down the stretch. Of course I guess the coach should be calling that play for him too. Early on I thought Rafer Alston actually hitting shots was the difference in this game, but of course that ended and then Magic were toast. This is a game were someone like Jameer Nelson would have really helped the Magic out. I feel like he is a guy who can hit some big shots when you need him to. At least the Magic better hope so or they won't be sniffing a championship anytime soon.

Key Players of The Game

Glen "Big Baby" Davis: Big Baby was great down the stretch for the second game in a row. He hit a ton of huge jumpers and finished with a team-high 22 points. He also added 7 rebounds, 2 assists, and a steal.

Stephon Marbury: Marbury was huge for the Celtics in the 4th quarter, where he scored 12 points to keep the Celtics within distance of the Magic. With Rondo struggling, Marbury was given an opportunity to make something and he did. This is the reason why the Celtics got him, because he is capable at any given point of giving you a performance like this. They don't always need him to do it, but if they do he certainly can. He finished with 12 points and 2 assists on 5 of 10 shooting.

Paul Pierce: Pierce had a nice all-around game in this one finishing with 19 points, 9 rebounds, 8 assists, and 2 steals; while shooting an efficient 6 of 11 from the floor and a perfect 7 of 7 from the line. In fact, the Celtics were a perfect 21 of 21 from the line as a team.

Ray Allen: Even though he sucked for most of the game shooting only 3 of 11 and scoring just 13 points, you just KNEW he was going to hit the big shot for the Celtics if they ever took the lead.

Dwight Howard: He finished with 12 points and 17 rebounds, but he doesn't scare me at all if I'm the opposing team. Like I said, he has no post moves and relies on missed shots and his teammates drawing defenders away from him to get his points. If you stay with and box him out, he's pretty much just another basketball player and that is not going to get things done at this point in the playoffs.

FDA Warns General Mills over Cheerios Cholesterol Claims

The Food and Drug Administration has sent a letter to General Mills warning that cholesterol claims on the Cheerios box make the food a drug under federal law.

The letter, posted on the FDA website, says Cheerios should file a new-drug application if it wants to continue claiming a cholesterol-lowering benefit, the Wall Street Journal reports. The box says the cereal can “lower your cholesterol 4 percent in six weeks."

General Mills spokesman Tom Forsythe told the Wall Street Journal that the company will work with the FDA to reach a resolution of the complaint. He said the claim of a 4 percent cholesterol reduction has been used for more than two years.

The FDA isn't the only federal agency examining health claims by cereal makers, the story says. Last month the Kellogg Co. settled a claim by the Federal Trade Commission that eating Frosted Mini-Wheats was clinically shown to improve children's attentiveness by nearly 20 percent. An FTC press release says the proposed settlement bars deceptive or misleading cognitive health claims for Kellogg’s breakfast and snack foods.

Ill. AG: Craigslist dropping 'erotic services' ads

Online classified ads service Craigslist will get rid of its "erotic services" category that critics called a front for prostitution, replacing it with an adult category that will be reviewed by Web site employees, state attorneys general announced Wednesday.

Pressure to remove the category increased this spring after a Boston medical student was charged with killing a masseuse who authorities say he met through Craigslist.

Two months ago, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart filed a lawsuit alleging that Craigslist allowed the solicitation of prostitution and had created the "largest source of prostitution in America."

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and the attorneys general of Connecticut and Missouri met with Craigslist officials last week seeking an end to ads they contended were advertisements for illegal sexual activities.

Madigan's office said Wednesday such existing ads on the Craiglist Web site will expire in seven days.

"We're very encouraged that Craigslist is doing the right thing in eliminating its online red light district with prostitution and pornography in plain sight. We'll be watching and investigating critically to make sure this measure is more than just a name change," said Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal.

"This is a good next step but by no means is it the ultimate or complete solution," he said.

Blumenthal had brokered an agreement with Craiglist in November to crack down on prostitution ads.

Craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster and a Craigslist lawyer did not immediately respond to e-mails and calls seeking comment Wednesday morning.

Technology and the Changing Face of Political Campaigns

By Richard A. Lee

Ever since the Clinton-Gore campaign used a primitive version of the internet to keep in contact with staff members in 1992, it seems that every successive election gets labeled as a “net election” that will change the nature of politicking. Last year’s presidential campaign did more than merely continue this pattern. The Obama campaign used technology so creatively and effectively that it may have permanently altered the dynamics of politics in America, and possibly internationally.

It is unlikely that New Jersey’s 2009 gubernatorial election will have as dramatic an impact on the future of campaigning, but there have been significant developments in technology over the past four years that may influence strategy and change some of the dynamics from what they were the last time we elected a governor. When Jon Corzine and Doug Forrester squared off against each other in 2005, YouTube was in its infancy, the only people on Facebook were students, and Twitter didn’t even exist. This year, all three are essential tools being utilized by candidates all over the nation.

But not only do YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other forms of new media provide another means of conveying news and information about a candidate, they also offer campaigns the ability to bypass the media and communicate directly to voters. Citizens no longer need to rely on newspapers, radio and television to gather and deliver information about the candidates and their platforms. On one hand, this makes political information more readily accessible than ever. But on the other hand, the information often bypasses the gatekeepers of traditional journalism, whose role it is to scrutinize, challenge and verify information before it is provided to the public. Instead, campaigns can now post their press releases, photos and videos online and email them directly to voters. Whether reporters show up to cover a press conference may have far less consequence today since campaigns can record the conferences and send video clips to their contact lists – and probably target the clips for different audiences to achieve maximum impact.

The implications of this trend are significant. If voters rely more heavily on unfiltered information from campaigns (as they may, due to the popularity of the internet as an information source and the downturn in the media industry which has limited the content and quality of many news organizations), they are unlikely to obtain the objective, factual information required to make informed choices in the voting booth.

So what does all of this mean for New Jersey and this year’s campaign for governor?
It means more responsibility for all of us. We have more sources for news and information than ever, but no one is going to sort out the good, the bad and the ugly for us. To make intelligent, informed decisions, we need to become intelligent, informed media consumers. That means obtaining as much information as possible – from as many different and divergent sources as possible – before making up our mind on an issue or a candidate. Think about it. We all go through a process like this when we buy a house, a car or a computer. Surely, we should do the same when it comes time to select our next governor.

# # #

Richard A. Lee is Communications Director of the Hall Institute of Public Policy – New Jersey. A former journalist and Deputy Communications Director for the Governor, he also teaches courses in media and government at Rutgers University, where he is completing work on a Ph.D. in media studies.

Lonegan Is The Winner Of The First Debate And Photo's From The Debate

“We are one of the top three outbound migration states in the country,” Lonegan said, adding that state tax rates are driving people to live in Pennsylvania, New York and elsewhere. Lonegan argued that his tax plan would attract investment and jobs. Rachel Kapochunas -- Congressional Quarterly

Mayor Steve Lonegan is a principled and independent leader

By now, Mayor Lonegan is running for the Republican nomination.

But we were rooting for him all along.

As one of the few Republican candidates to recognize the problem of a failing state economy, immigration and understand the promises to bring jobs to our state and take a principled stand against wasteful state spending, Lonegan has often openly defied his Party's moderate base.

That independence and willingness to cross party lines is attractive to a generation tired of corrupt politics and bickering in the state house.

More importantly, Mayor Lonegan's unparalleled fiscal policy experience puts him head-and-shoulders above the other Republican candidates in the field.

Lonegan not only criticized the failed Gov. Corzine toll increase plan but was arrested at a rally.

In short, Mayor Lonegan has the experience and credibility necessary to lead our State in the right direction without tarnishing New Jersey’s image around America.

It's not just that Mayor Lonegan policies [and] ideas often appeal to people on both sides of the political aisle.

Mayor Lonegan has also brought a much-needed sense of honesty and candor to the 2009 election season.

During his visit around the state, Mayor Lonegan campaign wasn't afraid to give straight answers or admit that he disagreed with students on certain issues. After all, there's a reason they call him the principled leader.

His personality is reflected in his steadfast and moral courage in taking on the teacher's union and standing up for children in urban school districts through advocating school choice.

Still, it's refreshing to see a leader who is willing to stand up for his principles, even when those principles become unpopular.

Today’s News NJ Editor and Owner, Daryl Mikell Brooks

Brooks with Lonegan mother, wife and sister.


WASHINGTON–Social Security and Medicare trust funds are expected to run out of money sooner than expected, a report released Tuesday shows.

The report, from the programs’ trustees, shows that expenses will exceed tax revenues for Medicare’s hospital insurance fund in 2017, two years earlier than was estimated in a 2008 report.

Social Security’s trust fund is expected to be exhausted in 2037, four years earlier than last year’s estimate. Social Security’s expenses are expected to outpace the program’s tax income by 2016. On a 75-year horizon, Social Security would need additional revenue equivalent to $5.3 trillion in today’s dollars to pay all scheduled benefits.

The report “once again reminds us that the longer we wait to address the long-term solvency of Medicare and Social Security the sooner those challenges will be upon us and the harder the options will be,” U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said in response to the data. The Obama Administration is using the report to further its push for health care-reform that would slow what have been skyrocketing cost increases.

“If we don’t take action to slow the growth in health-care spending both publicly and privately, we are going to find ourselves in a simply unsustainable position,” White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said in his Tuesday briefing. “Unless or until we address those rising costs through health-care reform, we’re risking the solvency of these programs in the future.”

President Barack Obama has in recent days been lobbying the health-care industry to find ways to cut costs, measures that could make funds held in trust for Medicare go further.

The trustees’ data shows Medicare’s financial problems are larger and more imminent than Social Security’s. Medicare has been hit hard as demand for public health programs increases alongside rising health-care costs.

Calling the report sobering, U.S. House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee Chairman Pete Stark, D-Calif., promised Congressional action to strengthen Medicare’s trust fund. “We have seen worse reports in years past and the Congress has always stepped in to strengthen the program’s financial footing,” he said in a statement.

Social Security’s challenges have been exacerbated by the ongoing recession, however that fund is expected to continue paying full benefits for almost 30 years while funding about 75% of benefits thereafter.

The cost of Social Security benefits represented 4.4% of gross domestic product in 2008 but is expected to rise to 6.2% of GDP by 2034.

Hurricanes, who held 3-1 series lead, lose 4-2 to top-seeded Bruins to force Game 7 in Boston

Bruins, once down 3-1, force Game 7 against ‘Canes

RALEIGH, N.C. — The Carolina Hurricanes are down to their last chance to pull off the biggest upset in the Eastern Conference.

It wasn’t long ago that their semifinal against the top-seeded Boston Bruins seemed all but over. That was before Boston reeled off two straight wins — including a 4-2 victory Tuesday night — to square things.

And now the Hurricanes, who once led the series 3-1, are headed back to Beantown for a Game 7 they hoped they’d never have to play.

“It seems like whenever you counted us out was when we played our best,” Carolina captain Rod Brind’Amour said. “So I’m sure everyone’s counting us out right now.”

There was no shortage of contributors for a Boston team trying to rally from a 3-1 series deficit for the first time in the Original Six franchise’s history.

Mark Recchi had a goal and an assist. Marc Savard scored before leaving in the third period with a minor leg injury. Steve Montador and Chuck Kobasew added goals, Bergeron had two assists and Tim Thomas stopped 31 shots in his second straight victory.

“Basically, I’m trying not to let them get anything to feed off of,” Thomas said.

The Bruins led 2-0 barely 5 minutes in and made it stand. The reward: A trip back to Boston for Thursday night’s decisive game, their first at home since losing in the first round to Montreal in 2004.

“From the time we fell behind 3-1 in the series, our goal was to create a Game 7,” coach Claude Julien said. “We’re there now. … Getting to Game 7 is one thing. Now we’ve got to decide what we’re going to do with it.”

And there wasn’t even any need to retaliate for what they considered a sucker punch thrown by Carolina’s Scott Walker near the end of Game 5.

Matt Cullen and Sergei Samsonov scored for the Hurricanes, who picked a bad time for their first losing streak of the playoffs. The good news for them: Their previous three playoff series also went the full seven games, and they won all three.

“I believe in this hockey team. I really do, and sometimes that means you say unkind things to them because you expect more and better out of them,” said coach Paul Maurice after his postgame speech was described, perhaps sarcastically, by defenseman Tim Gleason as “uplifting.”

At Anaheim, Calif., Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry each had a goal and an assist and Jonas Hiller made 38 saves as the Ducks forced a Game 7 in the Western Conference semifinal series.

Scott Niedermayer and Bobby Ryan added assists for the Ducks, who built a two-goal lead in the second period and managed to shut down the Red Wings until Johan Franzen brought Detroit within a goal with 2:25 to play.

Game 7 will be in Detroit on Thursday, with the winner moving on to face the Chicago Blackhawks in the conference finals.

Led by their top line of Getzlaf, Perry and Ryan, the Ducks matched the Red Wings’ up-tempo attack stride for stride. The Red Wings had clinched their last eight playoff series wins with victories on the road, and seemed poised to do the same after outskating and outshooting Anaheim 78-45 in consecutive wins in Games 4 and 5.

But the Ducks returned to the form that carried the team to a league-best 10-2-1 mark in the final weeks of the season, then through a first-round upset of the Presidents’ Trophy-winning San Jose Sharks.

Intel Fined Over €1 Billion For Violation Of European Antitrust Laws (Updated With Intel Statement)

The European Commission today announced that it has fined Intel a record €1.06 billion ($1.45 billion) for abusing its dominance in the market for computer chips to exclude its biggest (and frankly, the only serious) rival AMD by paying computer manufacturers Acer, Dell, HP, Lenovo, and NEC as well as retailers to postpone, cancel or downright avoid using or selling the latter’s products.

That’s one hell of a fine, considering the previous record for similar abuses in the EU was ‘only’ €497 million (Microsoft, back in 2004).

The European Commission has ordered Intel to stop the exclusion practices immediately, and said it would closely and actively monitor Intel’s compliance with its decision. E.U. regulators first began investigating Intel in 2001, after AMD filed a complaint in Brussels the year before.

The commission estimates the world market in the specific chip set in question (x86 CPUs) to be worth about €22 billion a year, with Europe accounting for approximately 30% of that (€6.6 billion). Intel currently maintains a share of about 80 percent of the European market.

Intel has not commented yet, but the general expectation is that the company will appeal both the fine and orders to change its business practices to the European Court of First Instance.

Update: Paul Otellini, Intel Corporation president and CEO just issued the following statement:

“Intel takes strong exception to this decision. We believe the decision is wrong and ignores the reality of a highly competitive microprocessor marketplace – characterized by constant innovation, improved product performance and lower prices. There has been absolutely zero harm to consumers. Intel will appeal.”

“We do not believe our practices violated European law. The natural result of a competitive market with only two major suppliers is that when one company wins sales, the other does not. The Directorate General for Competition of the Commission ignored or refused to obtain significant evidence that contradicts the assertions in this decision. We believe this evidence shows that when companies perform well the market rewards them, when they don’t perform the market acts accordingly.”

“Intel never sells products below cost. We have however, consistently invested in innovation, in manufacturing and in developing leadership technology. The result is that we can discount our products to compete in a highly competitive marketplace, passing along to consumers everywhere the efficiencies of being the world’s leading volume manufacturer of microprocessors.”

“Despite our strongly held views, as we go through the appeals process we plan to work with the Commission to ensure we’re in compliance with their decision. Finally, there should be no doubt whatsoever that Intel will continue to invest in the products and technologies that provide Europe and the rest of the world the industry’s best performing processors at lower prices.”

5 convicted in scheme to blow up Sears Tower

After back-to-back mistrials, five men from one of Miami's poorest neighborhoods were convicted Tuesday of trying to join with al-Qaida in plots to topple Chicago's Sears Tower and bomb government buildings in South Florida.

After back-to-back mistrials, five men from one of Miami's poorest neighborhoods were convicted Tuesday of trying to join with al-Qaida in plots to topple Chicago's Sears Tower and bomb government buildings in South Florida.

Though a sixth man was acquitted in the terrorism sting operation, the verdict allows federal prosecutors to claim overall victory in a Bush-era case that dragged on for years and cost millions of taxpayer dollars.

Defense lawyers have said their clients were harmless dupes entrapped by government informants, and they vowed to appeal.

The defendants convicted in Miami federal court were Narseal Batiste, 35; Patrick Abraham, 29; Rotschild Augustine, 25; Burson Augustin, 24; and Stanley Grant Phanor, 33. Naudimar Herrera, 25, the sixth defendant, was found not guilty of all charges.

Herrera said the co-defendants, all friends of his, never plotted any terrorist acts and should have been acquitted as well.

"It's not right," he said. "They don't deserve none of this. I know them."

The group, arrested amid much fanfare in 2006, became known in the media as the Liberty City Six after the 2007 acquittal of a seventh defendant, Lyglenson Lemorin, 34, at the first trial. Lemorin, a Haitian national and legal permanent U.S. resident, is in immigration custody and fighting a deportation order based on the terror allegations.

According to prosecutors, the men, led by Batiste, wanted to bring down the U.S. government and sought an alliance with the Islamic extremist group al-Qaida to carry out attacks.

The group's aims included blowing up the 110-story Sears Tower, poisoning salt shakers in restaurants and launching terrorist attacks "just as good or greater than 9/11," prosecutors said.

After the verdict, Jonathan Solomon, special agent in charge of the FBI's South Florida field office, said the nation was a "much safer place" because of the prosecution.

Defense lawyers said their clients had been set up by overzealous government informants.

"This is not a terrorism case," Batiste's lawyer, Ana Jhones, said in her closing argument. "This is a manufactured crime."


The defendants worked for a construction company owned by Batiste and met for religious study in a warehouse in Miami's Liberty City neighborhood. They initially came under investigation when an area convenience-store clerk from Yemen reported to the FBI that Batiste was seeking support from Middle Eastern terrorists.

The FBI had the clerk introduce Batiste to an undercover informant posing as an al-Qaida financier.

A key piece of government evidence was a grainy videotape showing the men swearing an oath of loyalty to al-Qaida. Some of the defendants conducted photo surveillance for a fictional plot to bomb the FBI headquarters in Miami, according to evidence in the case.

Soldier rampage hints at stress of repeated deployments

Washington - Military police on Tuesday charged Sgt. John Russell, a soldier on a 15-month tour to Iraq – his third deployment to the country – with murder in the shooting deaths of five soldiers at an American base.

Details about Sergeant Russell are beginning to emerge. In an interview with a local television station in Sherman, Texas, Russell's father said his son was facing financial difficulty and feared he was about to be discharged from the Army. The case has focused further attention on the effect that multiple, extended deployments are having on soldiers.

Fifteen-month tours and repeated deployments are increasing the rate of suicide, divorce, and psychological problems, according to Pentagon data. The shootings at Camp Liberty in Iraq speak to the need "to redouble our efforts ... in terms of dealing with the stress," said Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in a Pentagon press conference Monday.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates is requesting to "institutionalize and properly fund" programs to help wounded troops, including those with psychological disorders. Roughly 300,000 veterans have been diagnosed with some form of post-traumatic stress disorder.

But a main source of the problem – the repeated, extended deployments – will probably continue. President Obama is drawing troops down in Iraq, but he is also sending more to Afghanistan, minimizing the impact that the drawdown from Iraq will have on the health of the force.

The US military command launched an investigation Tuesday into whether it offers adequate mental-health care to its soldiers. Russell's father said his son, who joined the Army in 1994, felt alienated at the stress center.

"They didn't tell him they were there for his benefit – [that] they were there as a friend to him to find out if he had any psychological problems as a result of his third tour of duty," the father, Wilburn Russell, told the local news station.

In Baghdad, Maj. Gen. David Perkins told reporters that Russell, a communications specialist assigned to the 54th Engineer Battalion from Bamberg, Germany, was sent to the mental-health clinic by his superiors, presumably because of concern over his emotional state.

He said the commander had prohibited Russell from carrying a weapon, but somehow he got a weapon, entered the clinic, and opened fire.

Experts and commanders say 15-month tours are too long because they compound mental-health problems and other issues at home. Secretary Gates agrees. He extended Army tours from 12 to 15 months only reluctantly, saying it was needed to help support the "surge" of troops to Iraq in 2007. He has since lifted the policy, but there remain two units in Iraq still finishing 15-month tours that won't return until this summer and fall.

Yet perhaps the more important factor in stress among soldiers is "dwell time" – the amount of time the military allows servicemembers to stay at home. The Army's current dwell time is about 12 months, meaning 12 months at home followed by a 12-month deployment. By 2012, the service hopes to double the amount of time spent at home for every 12-month tour to a war zone.

Compounding the problem is the fact that a soldier can spend weeks or even months away from home, even during dwell time.

"There are schools they have to attend, there are boxes they have to check off, in addition to checking off the boxes with their families, too," says Kathleen Moakler, director of government relations for the National Military Family Association, an advocacy group in Washington.

Army leaders recognize the problem, but when it comes to slowing the rate of deployments, their hands are largely tied until the wartime demand for forces begins to fall.

"It is a resilient force, it is an amazing force, but I've got to tell you, it's a tired and stressed force," said Gen. Peter Chiarelli, vice chief of staff for the Army, during a Senate hearing last month.

Meanwhile, the rate of those with post-traumatic stress disorder continues to climb. One in 5 veterans from Iraq or Afghanistan – about 300,000 individuals – have some form of the condition, according to a study by the RAND Corp., a security consultancy in Arlington, Va. A significant part of the problem is pushing vets to overcome the stigma of seeking treatment. Only slightly more than half of those 300,000 veterans have received any kind of treatment, says RAND.

Gates's proposal to expand mental-health services is a start, says Tom Tarantino, a former Army officer who now works as a legislative associate for Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. The IAVA advocates expanding the corps of mental-health professionals, creating mandatory "face to face" counseling for each returning veteran, and increasing the amount of training within the military to help soldiers recognize mental-health issues among their colleagues.

With more and more veterans coming home, "this is a problem that is going to persist," says Mr. Tarantino.

-Wire material was used in this report.

Militants attack NATO terminal in Pakistan: police

Dozens of Taliban fighters attacked a terminal for NATO supply trucks outside Pakistan's northwest city of Peshawar Wednesday, destroying eight vehicles, police said.

"Around 40-50 armed militants attacked the depot before dawn. They lobbed several petrol bombs and fled," police officer Mohammad Ehsanullah said.

Two trucks loaded with food for landlocked Afghanistan were gutted in the attack, said senior police officer Abdul Ghafoor.

The supplies were being shipped under a transit trade pact between the two countries. Six containers were also destroyed but they were empty, he said.

"No NATO supply truck was hit," Ghafoor said.

The militants fled when police reached the area. Firefighters struggled for two hours to bring the blaze under control, he said.

Taliban militants routinely attack trucks carrying supplies for US and NATO-led troops fighting a Taliban-led insurgency in Afghanistan.

The bulk of supplies and equipment required by those foreign troops across the border is shipped through northwest Pakistan's tribal region of Khyber.