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Понедельник, 04 Апрель 2011 11:54

LeBron Gets The First Laugh

sampleThat the hotly anticipated return of LeBron James to Cleveland on Thursday night ended in a dull, sour blowout makes a bleak kind of sense. LeBron and the Heat won the game handily, dispatching the overmatched Cavaliers 118-90, but it was tough to call it a victory, if only because of how queasily joyless it all felt. And as brilliant as LeBron himself was, putting up 38 points and eight assists over three jeer-packed quarters, he certainly didn’t seem to enjoy himself much in doing so. The Heat were impressive, LeBron was dazzling and yet the whole experience felt, in some broader sense, anticlimactic and notably un-triumphant. Wasn’t this supposed to be fun?

That the hotly anticipated return of LeBron James to Cleveland on Thursday night ended in a dull, sour blowout makes a bleak kind of sense. LeBron and the Heat won the game handily, dispatching the overmatched Cavaliers 118-90, but it was tough to call it a victory, if only because of how queasily joyless it all felt. And as brilliant as LeBron himself was, putting up 38 points and eight assists over three jeer-packed quarters, he certainly didn’t seem to enjoy himself much in doing so. The Heat were impressive, LeBron was dazzling and yet the whole experience felt, in some broader sense, anticlimactic and notably un-triumphant. Wasn’t this supposed to be fun?

Понедельник, 04 Апрель 2011 10:18

Germans Query Terror Warning

samplePolice and intelligence officials said they are investigating the credibility of the informant and are concerned that al Qaeda operatives may be mounting a disinformation campaign to divert and weaken European counterterrorism efforts.

Before the informant's tip, German officials had played down similar tips supplied by two men arrested this year in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Those reports led the U.S. and others in October to issue warnings of possible attacks in some European cities—to the frustration of German officials, who declined to change their own security posture, arguing the intelligence was inadequate.

A spokesman for the German Interior Ministry declined to comment on details of the investigation, and said nothing has changed since Germany warned of a possible terrorist attack in mid-November. The warning was based on a recommendation made jointly by all of Germany's security services, the spokesman said.

Понедельник, 04 Апрель 2011 10:16

Shadow Lending Hampers Beijing

sampleChina's government has traditionally used its control of the largely state-owned banking sector to regulate the country's pace of economic growth, directing it to pump out cheap credit in good times and restricting the volume of new loans to prevent overheating. But controlling credit has become more difficult as the financial system gets more sophisticated, analysts say, complicating Beijing's efforts to bring the economy in for a smooth landing in coming months.

China has a long history of gray-market financing flowing from small, informal and unregulated groups, to sectors not well covered by banks. A number of formally incorporated entities, including trust, leasing and guarantee companies, have also emerged, with the scope to provide alternative financing. As banks labor under stricter limitations on how they can lend, they have been looking to trust companies in particular to trim their balance sheets and lessen their regulatory burden.

In a report Thursday, Fitch Ratings estimated that China's banks already have blown past the 7.5 trillion yuan ($1.126 trillion) limit that regulators set on new local currency lending for this year and extended more than three trillion yuan in credit that hasn't been recorded on their balance sheets.

Понедельник, 04 Апрель 2011 10:16

U.S. Sees Greater North Korea Threat

sampleThe IAEA already is investigating evidence that North Korea transferred a nearly operational nuclear reactor to Syria, which Israeli jets subsequently destroyed in 2007. U.S. and U.N. officials now worry Pyongyang could begin exporting its advanced centrifuge equipment to its military allies in Iran and Myanmar.

"A uranium enrichment capability in [North Korea] could bolster its pursuit of a weapons capability and increases our concerns about prospects for onward proliferation of fissile material and of sensitive technologies," Glyn Davies, the U.S. ambassador to the IAEA, told the agency's 35-member board Thursday.

Mr. Davies said the U.S. believes Pyongyang may have already developed uranium-enrichment facilities beyond the one site it showed a visiting American scientist, Siegried Hecker, last month.

These additional facilities would allow North Korea to significantly increase its numbers of atomic weapons, as well as their yield.

"It is likely that North Korea had been pursuing an enrichment capability long before the April 2009 date it now claims," Mr. Davies said. "If so, there is a clear likelihood that DPRK has built other uranium enrichment-related facilities in its territory."

Since North Korea made public its uranium-enrichment capability last month, the Obama administration has struggled to formulate a new policy toward leader Kim Jong Il's government. This has been compounded by the North Korean attack on a South Korean island on Nov. 23, which dramatically heightened tensions in Northeast Asia.

Понедельник, 04 Апрель 2011 10:14

Cancer rare after fertility treatment

sampleFertility treatment such as in-vitro fertilization (IVF) may not be tied to an increased risk of cancer despite the hormones used, said a study from Sweden.

Some previous studies had suggested that fertility drugs might be linked with breast, uterine and ovarian cancers.

In research reported in "Human Reproduction," Bengt Kallen of the University of Lund in Sweden and his colleagues analyzed registry data from 1982-2006 on 24,000 women who gave birth after IVF, comparing rates of cancer in these women and in 1.4 million women in the general Swedish population who also gave birth in those years.

Fewer than 2 percent of women in the IVF group developed one or more cancers during an average follow-up period of 8 years, compared to close to 5 percent of the other group.

After accounting for maternal age, the number of previous pregnancies and smoking status, the overall risk of cancer was about 25 percent lower for women who had IVF.

"A couple who needs IVF does not have to be afraid that the hormone treatment used -- at least those used in Sweden -- will carry a risk for the woman to develop cancer," Kallen told Reuters Health.

While the risk of ovarian cancer was more than twice as high in the women who had IVF as those who didn't, Kallen suggested that this may be due to abnormalities in ovarian function that could both increase the risk for cancer and the risk for infertility, thus the need for IVF.

Понедельник, 04 Апрель 2011 10:13

World Cup Headed to Russia and Qatar

sampleThough it promised record-breaking profits for FIFA, the U.S. bid failed to offer FIFA the sort of transformational message and chance to make history that both FIFA and the International Olympic Committee have yearned for in recent years.

FIFA chose Russia to host the 2018 World Cup.

In selecting Qatar, the tiny emirate in the heart of the Middle East, FIFA chose to bring the World Cup to a Muslim nation for the first time. A desire to make history, and the opportunity to partner with the natural gas fortune of the Qatari royal family, ultimately proved irresistible to FIFA. Qatar has promised to spend $4 billion to build nine stadiums, renovate three others and equip all of them with a high-tech, outdoor air conditioning system to combat summer temperatures that can reach 120 degrees during the day. The country has vowed to spend another $50 billion on infrastructure ahead of the tournament.

Понедельник, 04 Апрель 2011 10:10

LeBron Gets The First Laugh

sampleThat the hotly anticipated return of LeBron James to Cleveland on Thursday night ended in a dull, sour blowout makes a bleak kind of sense. LeBron and the Heat won the game handily, dispatching the overmatched Cavaliers 118-90, but it was tough to call it a victory, if only because of how queasily joyless it all felt. And as brilliant as LeBron himself was, putting up 38 points and eight assists over three jeer-packed quarters, he certainly didn’t seem to enjoy himself much in doing so. The Heat were impressive, LeBron was dazzling and yet the whole experience felt, in some broader sense, anticlimactic and notably un-triumphant. Wasn’t this supposed to be fun?

That the hotly anticipated return of LeBron James to Cleveland on Thursday night ended in a dull, sour blowout makes a bleak kind of sense. LeBron and the Heat won the game handily, dispatching the overmatched Cavaliers 118-90, but it was tough to call it a victory, if only because of how queasily joyless it all felt. And as brilliant as LeBron himself was, putting up 38 points and eight assists over three jeer-packed quarters, he certainly didn’t seem to enjoy himself much in doing so. The Heat were impressive, LeBron was dazzling and yet the whole experience felt, in some broader sense, anticlimactic and notably un-triumphant. Wasn’t this supposed to be fun?

Понедельник, 04 Апрель 2011 10:09

Razzak's four secures comfortable win

sampleMid-way through an overcast morning, Bangladesh were in a familiar predicament: the top-order had failed and Shakib Al Hasan, the reluctant captain, was saddled with the responsibility of achieving a target his spinners could defend on a pitch that assisted turn. Having had ample practice at this challenge, Shakib went about it manfully, but he also had an able ally. His risk-free batting was at odds with Mushfiqur Rahim's impish stroke play but their 116-run stand was the bedrock of the highest total of the series. It proved more than enough.

Shakib waited only three overs before entrusting the defence of 246 to a spinner. He had to wait only three balls to see that decision yield results. Abdur Razzak continued his torment of Zimbabwe in this series: his quick strikes decapitated the chase, his economy brought it to a standstill and Bangladesh were assured of a 2-1 lead by the time the mandatory Powerplay was over.

Понедельник, 04 Апрель 2011 10:07

China's Web Takes On a Luxury Look

sample"This is a strategic move that will open up luxury to the entire nation," said Federico Marchetti, founder and chief executive of Milan-based YOOX SpA, which created the site for the Giorgio Armani SpA label. Mr. Marchetti said at a news conference that YOOX plans in the next year to open Chinese sites for three or four clients he didn't name. Dolce & Gabbana Srl, Ermenegildo Zegna Holditalia Spa and Valentino SpA are among the e-commerce company's 23 clients.

Other companies—including PPR SA's Gucci, Burberry Group PLC and Italian shoemaker Tod's SpA—say they also have plans to cash in on China's exploding population of online shoppers.

The decision by high-end brands to sell their handbags and clothing directly to Chinese shoppers via the Internet marks an attempt to push deeper into a nation with consumers eager to mark their new wealth by buying flashy labels.

Luxury goods have been available for several years on the Chinese Web. But that generally has been through middlemen who offer an array of brands, many of them out-of-season, rather than directly from the labels. Western sites are available to Chinese shoppers only to a limited degree, in part because not all company sites offer shipping to China. Also, steep Chinese import duties discourage buying from vendors' overseas sites.

Понедельник, 04 Апрель 2011 10:06

How to Write For Videogames

sampleJeffrey Yolahem owes his career to the video game “The Prince of Persia.” Growing up in Santa Fe, he loved the game so much he would write additional scripts and stories for the historical adventure just for fun, and as an undergraduate at Yale University, he sought out Jordan Mechner, the game’s creator, for advice about what courses he should take to pursue a career in video game script writing. (The answer? Screenwriting and architecture classes, to better understand the level designs of video games.)

Yolahem, 26, is now the lead writer of the newly released video game “Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood.” ‘Brotherhood’ is the latest installment of French video game publisher Ubisoft’s “Assassin’s Creed” franchise, which has sold over 19 million units worldwide. The title continues the adventures of modern-day bartender Desmond Miles and Renaissance-era assassin Ezio Auditore da Firenze, whose memories Desmond is able to access through a machine called the Animus. As Ezio, single players must recruit and lead a ‘brotherhood’ of men to fight against the powerful Templar Order and take back the crumbling city of Rome.

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