Thursday, July 26, 2012

Regent Seas Seas Cruises' global wellness treatments, spa menus ...

More planners are looking for ways to integrate wellness practices into their event agendas ? after all, healthy attendees are happier, more energetic, and more productive. In other words, healthy meetings = ?healthy ROI.

Regent Seven Seas ship in GreeceWhen you plan a meeting or incentive on a Regent Seven Seas all-suite ship, your attendees will have access to a global cornucopia of onboard spa services, fitness opportunities and healthy menu offerings, all designed to keep them ?ship shape?.

The cruise line has teamed up with the wellness lifestyle experts at Canyon Ranch to develop healthy menus and unique treatments gleaned from ports around the world ? from heart-healthy, antioxidant-rich Mediterranean cuisine to ancient holistic rituals of India.

Canyon Ranch operates a state-of-the-art SpaClub facility onboard all three of Regent Seven Seas Cruises? vessels ? Seven Seas Navigator, Seven Seas Mariner, and Seven Seas Voyager.

Abundant Healthful Dining Options

Seven Seas Mariner Prime 7 RestaurantWhether cruising in Europe aboard the 700-guest, all-suite, all-balcony Seven Seas Voyager or Seven Seas Mariner; or marveling at Alaskan glaciers and wildlife during a seven-night voyage on the 490-guest, all-suite Seven Seas Navigator, ship menus will reflect fresh, local and, wherever possible, sustainable ingredients.

The Canyon Ranch menu selections are designed to delight the palette and nourish the body, with a focus on healthy carb-rich vegetables, fruits, and moderate portions of whole grains. Delicious selections include steamed Shanghai dumplings, Latin spice crusted Alaskan halibut fillet and buttermilk panna cotta delight.

Greece, Home to Time-Honored Wellness Techniques

Cruising the Greek Isles while maximizing good health? It?s possible on Regent Seven Seas Cruises? Mediterranean itineraries ? including the seven-night Athens to Venice voyage. With more than 20 complimentary shore excursions available, your group will have the opportunity tp keep fit as they explore the ancient Greek city of Olympia, bicycle through the Dubrovnik countryside; or swim in the warm waters of a thermal spring in Santorini, Greece.

Irish Seaweed Helps to Detox and Tone

Regent Spa treatmentIn Northern Europe, guests can combine the healing power of the ocean with locally harvested ingredients. During the seven-night Scandinavian Sojourn from Stockholm to Copenhagen, why not allow your attendees to indulge in an Organic Liquid Seaweed Wrap? Canyon Ranch uses hand-harvested seaweed from the remote northwest coast of Ireland to promotes detoxification and increase skin toning.

Set Sail for India?s Ancient Wellness Rituals

Voyages that include India feature opportunities to delve into one of the world?s most ancient cultures, exploring its unique wellness philosophies. At the Canyon Ranch SpaClub guests can experience an Ayurvedic service based on the ancient Indian holistic approach to health. A featured treatment ? such as the Abhyanga Massage ? balances the body, mind and spirit through the application of herbs and oils.

Overall Tips for Healthy Travels

Regent Seven Seas Cruises offers daily fitness and wellness classes ? from indoor cycling to yoga or Pilates. Canyon Ranch also recommends these additional tips for travelers:

  • Always use sunblock with an SPF from 15-50, anything less offers too little protection, anything higher invites skin irritation with no added protection
  • Stay well hydrated
  • Chew and sip slowly to enjoy the environment, company and experiences; by eating slowly a body signals fullness faster to avoid over-eating
  • Begin each day with a protein- and fiber-rich breakfast to keep feeling full longer

About Regent Seven Seas Cruises

Seven Seas Navigator SuiteRegent Seven Seas Cruises is widely recognized as the world?s most inclusive ultra-premium cruise line with all-suite accommodations, acclaimed cuisine, premium spirits and fine wines, shore excursions, gratuities and taxes and shore excursions in all ports included in your cruise fares.

Regent?s three award-winning, all-suite vessels are among the most spacious at sea, and visit more than 300 destinations around the globe.

Learn more about?Regent Seven Seas Cruises, access?free ship planner guides, and?request a quote?for your next event (your request will be forwarded directly to Regent Seven Seas Cruises).

Source: http://www.seasiteblog.com/2012/07/regent-offers-wellness-tips-and-treatments-from-ports-around-the-globe/

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Utility Company to Reaffirms 825KSF Lease at Newark's 80 Park Plaza

Jul. 26th, 2012

By Barbra Murray, Contributing Editor

Both the City of Newark and the State of New Jersey have breathed a sigh of relief now that Public Service Enterprise Group Inc. has decided to keep 80 Park Plaza as its address, courtesy of a long-term lease renewal.

PSEG?s lease agreement with Wells Real Estate Investment Trust II, owner of the 1 million-square-foot office high-rise, marks one of the Garden State?s largest real estate transactions?ever. The utility company relied on commercial real estate services firm Colliers International to negotiate the transaction, which allows the company to remain at the building it has called home since 1979. However, PSEG did some looking around before making the decision to continue to maintain its home base in Newark, where it has kept its headquarters for over a century.

?We looked at a number of different alternatives, which included the suburbs in different locations, as well as New Brunswick,? Bryn Cinque, an senior managing director with Colliers, told Commercial Property Executive. ?What they were looking for was the best value for their ratepayers, shareholders, as well as for the employees, and [80 Park Plaza] proved to be the most cost effective option for them.?

Overall, the New Jersey office market is holding steady in its struggle to recover, although there are a few bright spots. Northern New Jersey is experiencing signs of health with positive net absorption and a reduction in vacancies in the second quarter, as per a Colliers report. And Newark, specifically, is faring better than most markets, but it would have faced a big challenged had PSEG decided to set up shop elsewhere.

?The lease is very important to the Newark office market,? Cinque noted. ?Although the Penn Station Market in Newark has about a six or seven percent vacancy rate, had PSEG vacated its building, the vacancy rate would have increased significantly, which would have put significant downward pressure on rental rates. So it certainly keeps the market more stabilized.?

PSEG is not alone in its appreciation of the advantages of Newark as a prime business location. Panasonic Corp. has announced its plans to build a 338,000-square-foot headquarters at a cost as $200 million. Additionally, Prudential is reportedly considering a local relocation to a build-to-suit. ?The primary attraction is the transportation convenience, both the rail to the airport, as well as the highway infrastructure,? said Cinque. ?And it does have numerous amenities locally within the central business district.?


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Source: http://www.cpexecutive.com/regions/utility-company-to-reaffirms-825ksf-lease-at-newarks-80-park-plaza/1004043540.html

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Iran offers "unchangeable" support for Syria

DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran said on Thursday it would stand by its ally Syria despite mounting international pressure on President Bashar al-Assad to step down to defuse a 16-month uprising against his rule.

Iran's Press TV quoted first Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi as saying Tehran's support for Syria was "unchangeable", countering suggestions that Tehran could soften its backing for Assad, the Shi'ite Muslim republic's closest Arab ally.

"The Iranian people have an unchangeable stance on Syrians and will always stand by them," Rahimi was quoted as saying, accusing major powers of uniting to damage the Syrian nation.

The secretary of Iran's National Security Council, Saeed Jalili, said on Thursday Tehran was ready to support Damascus "more than before in the face of foreign pressure", the official IRNA news agency reported.

Despite lauding popular uprisings in other Arab countries as an "Islamic awakening", Iran has dismissed opposition to Assad's rule as a foreign conspiracy.

A statement earlier this month by Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi that Tehran was ready to host talks between the Syrian government and opposition groups had suggested a possible policy shift.

In a concrete sign of support for the Syrian authorities, a delegation of Syrian ministers was received in Tehran on Thursday and the two sides agreed a deal on importing Iranian electricity via Iraq.

"We agreed with Iran that in one month agreements be made with Iraq so that, putting problems to one side, electricity imports from Iran begin," the Iranian Students' News Agency (ISNA) quoted Imad Khamis, Syria's electricity minister, as saying.

"Iran will not leave Syria alone in difficult times," Iranian Energy Minister Majid Namjou was quoted as saying by ILNA news agency, adding Tehran was ready to reconstruct facilities damaged in Syria during the uprising.

Iraq's Shi'ite Muslim-led government, which is close Iran, has called for reform in Syria - whose leadership belongs to the Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shi'ite Islam - rather than an end to Assad's 12-year-old rule.

(Reporting by Isabel Coles and Zahra Hosseinian; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/iran-offers-unchangeable-support-syria-153101458.html

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Video: Bair is 'Flabbergasted' by Weill's Big Banks Comments

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Source: http://video.msnbc.msn.com/cnbc/48321421/

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Chicago deal extends school days for children

By Mary Ann Ahern, NBCChicago.com

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Teachers Union and Chicago Public Schools have come to a rare agreement, and both sides are claiming victory.

Under the tentative agreement, hundreds of teachers -- 754 of them -- will be added to the payroll, primarily in elementary schools. Two hundred seventy seven teachers were already in the pipeline, but Tuesday's agreement adds 477 more.

Additionally, the school day for all students will be lengthened.


See the original report at NBCChicago.com

Elementary school students will now attend classes for seven hours each day, up from five hours and 45 minutes. High school students will get an additional 34 minutes of instruction, with the full day now totaling seven and a half hours, announced Chicago Board of Education President David Vitale.

The agreement ensures that classes will begin as scheduled for the upcoming school year; Track E schools on Aug. 13 and regular track schools on Sept. 4.

Related: Chicago pushes longer school days as key to achievement

"A longer school day has been a goal for the last decade and a topic of other negotiations. Each time before, the interests of our students took a backseat. This agreement is a break with the past; a change that we've been waiting for, a change that we've been hoping for for a very long time and a change that is now coming," Mayor Rahm Emanuel said at a press event at Sexton Elementary School on the city's south side.

Sexton was one of the schools that last year voluntarily lengthened its school day.

The Chicago Teachers?Union has long argued during contract negotiations for a "better school day"?instead of a longer one.

"There was never anything in place to do the art, music, (physical education and) world languages," said President Karen Lewis.

Under the agreement, those subjects are specifically added to the curriculum.

Stay informed with the latest headlines; sign up for our newsletter

While all championed the longer school day announcement, they stressed that it is just one element in a long string of issues.

"We often say that a full school day is a necessary condition for success. We know it's not everything we need to do; we have curriculum, we have principal leadership we have to work on, etcetera, to make sure our schools are what they're supposed to be, but this is a great day for the kids of the city of Chicago. This is about them and what they need to do to be successful," said CPS?CEO?Jean-Claude Brizard.

Lewis said issues pertaining to health care, salary, evaluations and discipline remain unresolved.

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Source: http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/07/25/12948740-chicagos-big-school-deal-longer-days-for-kids-hundreds-more-teachers?lite

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London 2012: The Official Video Game of the Olympic Games


The London 2012 Summer Olympics will captivate the world in a matter of days, but the official video game tie-in is already here, courtesy of Sega. The lengthily named London 2012: The Official Video Game of the Olympic Games puts players in the position to experience the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat in over 30 world-class competitions. London 2012 manages to capture the games' spirit with its collection of mini-games, but the lack of real-world athletes and a few ho-hum events keep it from bringing home the gold.

Olympic Tech

On Your Mark?
London 2012 features 36 nations competing for Olympic gold in such varied competitions as the 100 meter dash, archery, skeet shooting, table tennis, and weightlifting. When you select a nation to represent, London 2012 displays relevant background information such as the country's first year of Olympic participation, total number of medals won since, and the sports in which it excels. I selected team USA which excels at athletic, swimming, diving, and wrestling.

Unfortunately, London 2012 lacks real-world athlete names (like Usain Bolt), so players spoiled by FIFA Soccer 12 ($59.99, 4 stars) and Madden NFL 12's ?($39.99, 4 stars) painstaking player recreations won't feel like they are playing a true Olympic game. That said, you can edit characters' names and appearances, so if you're diligent and have the time, you can recreate your favorite athletes.

Get Set?
Each in-game day you can choose to participate in a handful of events. You can opt to play a tutorial before each event to get the flow of the mechanics, or dive straight in?the latter isn't recommended. London 2012 focuses on rhythm and precision, not button-mashing, so if you leap into the game with a button on rapid-fire, you won't medal. This is exemplified in the racing events where you tap a button to fill a momentum meter. Keep it in the green and your sprinter runs at a fast, steady pace; have the meter go red by pressing the button too rapidly and she or he will burnout. Swimming works in a similar time-based fashion but you use analog sticks instead of buttons. It's truly a refreshing change of pace.

That said, some of the simplified controls lack a certain pizzazz. The gymnastic events are quick-time events, which essentially sees you tapping buttons in time with their on-screen appearances. Some will appreciate the simplified controls, but I found them a bit too simple. London 2012 also supports the Kinect and PlayStation Move motion peripherals. I played the game using Kinect (it supports a dozen events), and found the controls hit or miss, depending on the event.

Sega includes multiple modes to keep gameplay fresh. Besides the single player, local multiplayer (up to 4 players), and online multiplayer modes (8 players) there's Event Play where you pick and play a group of sports in four-player competition, and Party Play that lets you play one-off events. You can also save these event "playlists" so you can load them up and continue playing at a later time.

The game has TV-style presentation, complete with instant replays and component announcers who pull you into the action. You'll enjoy watching London 2012's attractive character models that swim, run, and cycle in realistic fashion. That said, the characters have dead eyes and expressions that dip into the uncanny valley.

Go!
London 2012 is a solid title that manages to capture some of the competitive glory that is the Summer Olympics. It is, essentially, a collection of mini-games, so there isn't much connection between events even in career mode. The game excels in multiplayer modes?either online or local?as the computer competition ranges from pushover to tough-as-nails. If you're looking to live the Olympic thrill, London 2012 is a silver-medal game for the less athletically inclined.?

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Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/ziffdavis/pcmag/~3/h0eZfMHyU0U/0,2817,2407569,00.asp

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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

6.6-magnitude quake hits Indonesia's Sumatra: USGS

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain and France signed two agreements on Tuesday for further cooperation on the use of military drones, the British Ministry of Defence said. British Defence Minister Philip Hammond and his French counterpart, Jean-Yves Le Drian, pledged closer military ties and called the countries cooperation as??

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/6-6-magnitude-quake-hits-indonesias-sumatra-usgs-011347471.html

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Obama: Romney "twisting my words" over small business remark

PORTLAND (Reuters) - President Barack Obama accused Republican Mitt Romney on Tuesday of misrepresenting a comment he made about small business owners that the former Massachusetts governor's campaign has pounced upon as a sign the Democratic incumbent is anti-business.

Romney's campaign seized on Obama's comment that "if you own a business, you didn't build that," to portray the president as unsympathetic to small businesses that help boost the U.S. economy.

Obama's point was that successful business owners have had the public's help at some point in their lives through public education, roads or other government-funded projects that created an environment for businesses to bloom.

"It wasn't a gaffe," Romney said at a trucking company just outside of Boston last week. "It was instead his ideology."

On Tuesday Obama's campaign released an ad rejecting Romney's interpretation of the remarks, and at a campaign event in Oregon, the president addressed the issue directly.

"He's been twisting my words around to suggest that I don't value small business," Obama said of his Republican opponent.

"Now, keep in mind, in politics you have to endure a certain amount of spin. That's - everybody does it; I understand that ... Although I have to say when people omit entire sentences from a speech and they start splicing and dicing, they may have tipped a little bit over their skis. They may have gone over the edge," he said.

Obama said he had cut taxes on small businesses 18 times as president, and he defended his original comments with a list of ways that public investment had helped companies prosper.

"If you talk to any business owner, small or large, they'll tell you what also helps them succeed alongside their hard work, their initiative, their great ideas is the ability to hire workers with the right skills and the right education," he said.

"What helps them succeed is the ability to ship and sell their products on new roads and bridges and ports and wireless networks. What helps them succeed is having access to cutting- edge technology which, like the Internet, often starts with publicly funded research and development."

In a rebuttal to the Obama campaign's ad about the subject, a Romney spokesman said the president's original comment spoke for itself.

"It's clear what President Obama believes because he told us: 'if you've got a business - you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen,'" Romney spokesman Ryan Williams said.

"He said it, and he meant it."

(Writing by Jeff Mason; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/obama-romney-twisting-words-over-small-business-remark-005440318--sector.html

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Learn the Internet Marketing Services Online Business Networking ...

[unable to retrieve full-text content]LEARN HOW PROTECT INTERNET SITE MARKETING BUSINESS ONLINE LEGAL PROTECTION EBOOK ... Tags: services, secrets, online, learn, internet, business, marketing, networking. This entry was posted on Monday, ...

Source: http://powermediamarketing.com/learn-the-internet-marketing-services-online-business-networking-secrets/

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Thursday, July 5, 2012

Sanofi to cut 1,000-2,000 jobs in France: Le Figaro

The jobs targeted will be in the areas of research, the manufacturing operations of the company's Pasteur vaccines unit and certain support operations at Sanofi's headquarters, the newspaper said in a pre-released story from its Thursday edition, citing unnamed sources.

A Sanofi spokesman declined to comment on the report but confirmed that a meeting with the company's works council was due to take place on Thursday, when employment perspectives in France would be discussed.

In September, Sanofi disclosed plans to shrink its R&D headcount to 10,000 from 13,000 -- excluding Genzyme, the maker of drugs for rare genetic disorders, which it bought earlier this year.

Sanofi had already cut 4,000 French jobs between 2009 and 2011, Le Figaro reported.

Like other major drugmakers, Sanofi is under pressure from patent expiries as well as government cuts in health care spending.

A series of French companies have started discussing potential job cuts with their unions in recent weeks, including automaker PSA Peugeot Citroen and Bouygues Telecom . Few layoffs had been announced in the run-up to the country's May presidential vote, a reticence some attributed to companies' efforts to avoid becoming a campaign issue.

Earlier on Wednesday, Sanofi announced that it was selling a 19 percent in women's oriented consumer products company Yves Rocher for an undisclosed sum.

(Reporting By Christian Plumb and Elena Berton; Editing by Marguerita Choy)

Source: http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/20120704/sanofi-to-cut000000-jobs-in-france-le-figaro.htm

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Trail of carnage in trash bins of Damascus suburb

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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Fish learn to cope in a high carbon dioxide world, new study suggests

ScienceDaily (July 3, 2012) ? Some coral reef fish may be better prepared to cope with rising CO2 in the world's oceans -- thanks to their parents.

Researchers at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies (CoECRS) recently reported in the journal Nature Climate Change, encouraging new findings that some fish may be less vulnerable to high CO2 and an acidifying ocean than previously feared.

"There has been a lot of concern around the world about recent findings that baby fish are highly vulnerable to small increases in acidity, as more CO2 released by human activities dissolves into the oceans," says Dr Gabi Miller of CoECRS and James Cook University.

"Our work with anemone fish shows that their babies, at least, can adjust to the changes we expect to occur in the oceans by 2100, provided their parents are also raised in more acidic water."

"Human activity is expected to increase the acidity of the world's oceans by 0.3 to 0.4 pH by the end of this century, on our present trends in CO2 emissions," co-researcher Prof Philip Munday says.

"Previous studies, and our own research, have shown that growth and survival of juvenile fish can be seriously affected when the baby fish are exposed to these sorts of CO2 and pH levels," he says.

"However when we exposed both parents and their offspring in more acidic water we found that the anemone fish, at least, were able to compensate for the change" says Dr Miller. Whether this effect lasts all their lives, remains to be seen." she adds.

How parent fish actually pass on this ability to deal with acidity to their offspring is still a mystery, says Prof Munday. "The time interval is too short for it to be genetic adaptation in the normal sense. However, it's an important parental effect that we need to factor in as we assess the vulnerability of the world's fish stocks to the planet-wide changes in ocean chemistry that humans are now causing."

Based on evidence from past major extinction events, scientists have long feared that the acidity caused by the release of high levels of CO2 could cause havoc among sea-life, especially those which depend on calcium to form their bones and shells. New research has also shown that higher CO2 levels can cause the nervous systems of some marine species to malfunction.

The recent increase in ocean acidity due to human activity in releasing carbon -- about 0.1 of a pH unit over the last half century -- is thought to be steeper even than in any of the past major extinctions, which eliminated between 70-90 per cent of marine species.

"What this research shows is that some species, at least, may have more capacity to cope than we thought -- which could help buy time for humanity to bring its CO2 emission under control," Prof Munday says.

However Dr Miller cautions that anemone fish are particularly hardy by nature, and may not be typical of all fish in the ocean. "They are definitely not the 'canary in the coal mine', as they have quite a large ability to cope with changed conditions anyway," she says. "We need to extend these studies to other types of fish, especially those which humans rely on for food."

Both scientists warn that the major impact on ocean acidification is likely to be on the corals themselves, and the reefs which they form, which in turn provide the habitat for small fish such as the anemone fish. The fate of the world's reefs under a high human CO2 regime remains highly uncertain, they caution.

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Story Source:

The above story is reprinted from materials provided by ARC Centre of Excellence in Coral Reef Studies.

Note: Materials may be edited for content and length. For further information, please contact the source cited above.


Journal Reference:

  1. Gabrielle M. Miller, Sue-Ann Watson, Jennifer M. Donelson, Mark I. McCormick, Philip L. Munday. Parental environment mediates impacts of increased carbon dioxide on a coral reef fish. Nature Climate Change, 2012; DOI: 10.1038/nclimate1599

Note: If no author is given, the source is cited instead.

Disclaimer: Views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of ScienceDaily or its staff.

Source: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120703134151.htm

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Torres moving on after Olympic bid fails

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) ? Dara Torres is headed back to Florida to watch the Olympics on TV, like a lot of middle-aged folks.

The 45-year-old mom missed making a record sixth U.S. swim team by nine-hundredths of a second, finishing fourth in the 50-meter freestyle on the last night of the trials Monday.

"This is really over," she said, smiling. "That's it, I'm going to enjoy some time with my daughter, have a nice summer and cheer on the U.S. team from afar."

Torres carried 6-year-old Tessa, her blond head buried in her mother's shoulder, as she came off the pool deck and made her way past reporters for the last time.

"She's bummed she's not going to London now," Torres said. "I told her I'd still take her though."

Torres will have extra time now to help her daughter get ready for first grade in the fall. Always a fitness fanatic, she'll still work out, just not at the highest level required of an elite athlete. And Torres admits it'll be nice to stop worrying about whether she can recover enough to swim three races in quick succession.

"Mentally it's been so tough the past couple years with having more bad workouts than good workouts and going to meets and not being able to go faster at night than I did in the morning," she said.

"I'm used to winning, but that wasn't the goal here. The goal was to try to make it. I didn't quite do it, but I'm really happy with how I did."

Asked if she was immediately going to sign her retirement papers that would end drug testing, Torres joked, "Oh, I'm calling USADA tonight."

After winning three silver medals at the Beijing Olympics, Torres underwent radical knee surgery and put all her hopes into a chaotic dash from one end of the pool to the other. But 25-year-old Jessica Hardy won in 24.50 seconds, while 26-year-old Kara Lynn Joyce took the other Olympic spot in 24.73.

"I don't think there's anything I could have changed," Torres said. "You got to look at it realistically. As much as I want to win and I wanted to make the team, that's pretty good for a 45-year-old."

Hardy said it was an honor to compete against Torres, who retired twice but came back to win five medals at the 2000 Sydney Games, then three more silvers in Beijing.

"I love racing Dara," Hardy said. "I wish she could have made it this year, but swimming with her the past couple years has been really an awesome treat for sure."

Torres finally ends a career that began at her hometown Los Angeles Games in 1984. She won 12 Olympic medals, tied with Jenny Thompson as the most decorated U.S. female swimmer. Torres became the first American to swim in five Olympics and the oldest female swimmer ever at the games.

"This time around is going to be the most special to me," she said. "The crowd was so wonderful and I've had so much great support."

Before she stepped on the blocks, Torres remembered her late coach, Michael Lohberg, who died in 2011 from a rare blood disorder that was diagnosed just before she swam in Beijing.

"I was very emotional before my swim," she said. "When I was putting my suit on with my trainer, Anne Tierney, we started crying because I started thinking about Michael. In July of 2010, he had said to me, 'Let's go for this.' I really wanted to finish the story that I started with him. I didn't make it but I know he would have been proud."

Torres was among the big names missing the team.

Katie Hoff, who won three medals in Beijing, failed to qualify. So did four-time Olympian Amanda Beard, Ed Moses, Garrett Weber-Gale and 40-year-old Janet Evans, who came back from a 15-year retirement. Natalie Coughlin, an 11-time medalist, didn't make any of her individual events and will have to settle for a relay spot.

The eight-day trials came to a close with the grueling 1,500 freestyle. Andrew Gemmell won in 14 minutes, 52.19 seconds, powering to the wall just ahead of Connor Jaeger, who took the second spot for London in 14:52.51.

Gemmell tried to make the team in open water, but finished third in those trials. He switched to the pool and made his first Olympics.

"I just wanted to treat it like open water, and I knew I had to swim my own race," he said. "I knew people would be going out faster than me, and I would have to race coming home."

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/torres-moving-olympic-bid-fails-071929904--oly.html

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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Journalists: Ethiopia refining Internet censorship

The Committee to Protect Journalists says it appears Ethiopia is extending and refining its censorship of Internet news with a sophistication that could encourage other authoritarian regimes in Africa.

Prime Minister Meles Zenawi's government has been blocking major news sites and blog hosts since disputed general election results in 2005 led to violent protests. Voice Over Internet Protocol such as Skype also is blocked, forcing people to use the state telephone system.

A CPJ statement Monday says "the rollout of a far more pervasive and sophisticated blocking system" started in April to include smaller blogs by exiles and news services, and even individual Facebook pages.

"The gap through which undetected, uncensored news gets in and out of Ethiopia is definitely narrowing," encouraging similar action from authoritarian regimes such as Sudan.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Source: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/48044235/ns/technology_and_science-security/

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Afghan police officer kills three British troops

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Source: http://news.yahoo.com/britain-slams-death-three-soldiers-afghanistan-132520239.html

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Dara Torres misses out on 6th Olympic team

Dara Torres, left, looks at the results after swimming in the women's 50-meter freestyle final at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials as Kara Lynn Joyce and Jessica Hardy, right, celebrate, Monday, July 2, 2012, in Omaha, Neb. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

Dara Torres, left, looks at the results after swimming in the women's 50-meter freestyle final at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials as Kara Lynn Joyce and Jessica Hardy, right, celebrate, Monday, July 2, 2012, in Omaha, Neb. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

Dara Torres, left, and Jessica Hardy waits for the results after swimming in the women's 50-meter freestyle final at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials, Monday, July 2, 2012, in Omaha, Neb. Hardy won the final. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Dara Torres, right, congratulates Kara Lynn Joyce after swimming in the women's 50-meter freestyle final at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials, Monday, July 2, 2012, in Omaha, Neb. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Dara Torres swims in the women's 50-meter freestyle final at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials on Monday, July 2, 2012, in Omaha, Neb. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

(AP) ? Dara Torres lingered in the water after the other swimmers had climbed out of the pool.

Her long career was finally over.

She wanted to soak up the moment as long as possible.

The 45-year-old Torres came up short in her bid to make it to the Olympics for a sixth time. She finished fourth in the final of the 50-meter freestyle Monday night, her only event at the U.S. swimming trials.

"This is really over," Torres said. "That's it, I'm going to enjoy some time with my daughter, have a nice summer and cheer on the U.S. team."

After winning three silver medals at the Beijing Olympics, Torres underwent radical knee surgery and put all her hopes into a chaotic dash from one end of the pool to the other. But Jessica Hardy won in 24.50 seconds, while Kara Lynn Joyce took the other Olympic spot in 24.73.

"Obviously I was hoping to make the team," Torres said. "That was my goal and missing it by less than a tenth of a second is tough, but I don't think there's anything I could have changed."

Torres was denied a trip to London by nine-hundredths of a second, also touching behind third-place Christine Magnuson (24.78). Torres smiled when she saw her time (24.82) and hugged both Hardy and Joyce. When Torres finally got out, she began motioning for her daughter, 6-year-old Tessa, to join her.

Torres walked into the stands, still dripping wet, and scooped up Tessa, who was wearing a green shirt that said "Go Mom."

"She's bummed she's not going to London now," Torres said. "I told her I'd still take her."

In the last event of the eight-day trials, Andrew Gemmell won the grueling 1,500 freestyle in 14 minutes, 52.19 seconds. Connor Jaeger was right with him all the way, taking the second spot for London in 14:52.51.

Torres said she had the same nervous anticipation before her last race as she did at her first U.S. trials in 1984, when she earned a spot in the Los Angeles Games. She had no illusions about being a serious medal contender in London, but she wanted to end her career with one more trip to the Olympics.

"Being 45, getting fourth in Olympic trials against girls almost half my age, it's OK," Torres said. "I'm used to winning, but that wasn't the goal here. The goal was to try to make it. I didn't quite do it, but I'm really happy with how I did. I was able to hang in there.

Hardy said it was an honor to compete against Torres, who retired twice but came back to win five medals at the 2000 Sydney Games, then three more silvers in Beijing. This time, she's retiring for good.

"I love racing Dara," the 25-year-old Hardy said. "I wish she could have made it this year, but swimming with her the past couple years has been really an awesome treat for sure."

Hardy failed to qualify for the Olympics in her best event, the 100 breaststroke, but she bounced back to win the 100 and 50 freestyle, capping her comeback from a failed doping test that kept her off the team four years ago. An arbitration panel ruled that Hardy was the victim of a tainted supplement.

"Doing so well, winning two races here, I couldn't have predicted this in a million years," Hardy said. "I'm so happy and so grateful that this meet went as it did."

Joyce didn't even get out of the preliminaries of the 100 free, but she came back in the 50 free to make her third Olympic team.

"I didn't start out the meet very well," Joyce said. "I did my best to visualize and prepare my body. It was my one chance to lay it all the line for this 50. I can't believe I did it."

Torres remembered her late coach, Michael Lohberg, who died in 2011 from a rare blood disorder that was diagnosed just before she swam in Beijing.

"I was very emotional before my swim," Torres said. "When I was putting my suit on with my trainer, Anne Tierney, we started crying because I started thinking about Michael. In July of 2010, he had said to me, 'Let's go for this.' I really wanted to finish the story that I started with him. I didn't make it but I know he would have been proud."

___

Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pnewberry1963

Associated Press

Source: http://hosted2.ap.org/APDEFAULT/347875155d53465d95cec892aeb06419/Article_2012-07-02-SWM-US%20Swim%20Trials/id-72b6e5276f5042d2a1a9b56855e98a5e

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Monday, July 2, 2012

Philippine crocodile declared largest in captivity

FILE - In this Sunday, Sept. 4, 2011 file photo, Bunawan Mayor Edwin Cox Elorde pretends to measure a huge crocodile which was captured by residents and crocodile farm staff along a creek in Bunawan in Bunawan town in Agusan del Sur province, southern Philippines. Guinness World Records has declared Sunday, July 1, 2012 that the huge crocodile blamed for deadly attacks is the largest in captivity in the world. Guinness spokeswoman Anne-Lise Rouse says the saltwater crocodile nicknamed "Lolong" measured 6.17 meters (20.24 feet) and weighed more than a ton. (AP Photo)

FILE - In this Sunday, Sept. 4, 2011 file photo, Bunawan Mayor Edwin Cox Elorde pretends to measure a huge crocodile which was captured by residents and crocodile farm staff along a creek in Bunawan in Bunawan town in Agusan del Sur province, southern Philippines. Guinness World Records has declared Sunday, July 1, 2012 that the huge crocodile blamed for deadly attacks is the largest in captivity in the world. Guinness spokeswoman Anne-Lise Rouse says the saltwater crocodile nicknamed "Lolong" measured 6.17 meters (20.24 feet) and weighed more than a ton. (AP Photo)

FILE - In this Sunday, Sept. 4, 2011 file photo, a Philippine National Police officer stands next to a giant saltwater crocodile which was captured by residents and crocodile farm staff along a creek in Bunawan town, Agusan Del Sur province, southern Philippines. Guinness World Records has declared Sunday, July 1, 2012 that the huge crocodile blamed for deadly attacks is the largest in captivity in the world. Guinness spokeswoman Anne-Lise Rouse says the saltwater crocodile nicknamed "Lolong" measured 6.17 meters (20.24 feet) and weighed more than a ton. (AP Photo/File)

MANILA, Philippines (AP) ? A huge crocodile known as Lolong has brought pride, fear, tourism revenue and attention to the remote southern Philippines town where it was captured. And now it has claimed a world record, too.

Guinness World Records declared the giant, blamed for deadly attacks before it was captured last September, is the largest saltwater crocodile in captivity in the world.

The news sparked celebrations in Bunawan, a farming town of 37,000 in Agusan del Sur province, but Mayor Edwin Cox Elorde said it also fostered concerns that more giant crocodiles might lurk in a marshland and creek where villagers fish.

"There were mixed feelings," Elorde said by telephone. "We're really proud because it proves the rich biodiversity of our place but at the same time, there are fears that Lolong may not be alone."

Lolong has become the star attraction of a new ecotourism park and research center in the outskirts of Bunawan and has drawn thousands of tourists since news of its capture spread. Elorde said his town has earned 3 million pesos ($72,000) from the modest entrance fees at the park, with most of the money being used to feed and care for the crocodile and maintain the park.

Lolong measures 20.24 feet (6.17 meters) and weighs more than a ton, Guinness spokeswoman Anne-Lise Rouse said in a statement seen Sunday. The reptile took the top spot from an Australian crocodile that measured more than 17 feet (5 meters) and weighed nearly a ton.

Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ramon Paje welcomed the Guinness announcement and the growing attention for the crocodile, saying it would help people realize the biodiversity of their surroundings and the need to protect it. He said he would recommend that the government help Bunawan become an ecotourism destination.

The crocodile was captured with steel cable traps during a three-week hunt after a child was killed in 2009 and a fisherman went missing. Water buffalos have also been attacked by crocodiles in the area.

About 100 people led by Elorde pulled the crocodile from a creek using a rope and then hoisted it by crane onto a truck. It was named after a government environmental officer who died from a heart attack after traveling to Bunawan to help capture the beast, Elorde said.

Elorde said he saw a bigger crocodile escape when Lolong was captured and villagers remain wary of fishing there at night. He said he has formed a team of hunters and is seeking government permission to hunt that crocodile.

Associated Press

Source: http://hosted2.ap.org/APDEFAULT/aa9398e6757a46fa93ed5dea7bd3729e/Article_2012-07-01-Philippines-Giant%20Crocodile/id-7580ef678dd647f6a44c003ac222b8bd

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Air Force plane crashes battling SD forest fire

Essential News from The Associated Press

AAA??Jul. 2, 2012?1:37 PM ET
Air Force plane crashes battling SD forest fire
By MEAD GRUVER and DAN ELLIOTTBy MEAD GRUVER and DAN ELLIOTT, Associated Press?THE ASSOCIATED PRESS STATEMENT OF NEWS VALUES AND PRINCIPLES?

Immanuel Mgana holds his daughter Grace Mgana, 2, as he surveys what is left of their home Sunday, July 1, 2012, into the Mountain Shadows subdivision of Colorado Springs, Colo., after the Waldo Canyon fire ravaged the neighborhood. Immanuel had been deployed in the army in East Africa but was allowed to return home when he got word of the damage. So far, the blaze, now 45 percent contained, has damaged or destroyed nearly 350 homes. (AP Photo/The Denver Post, Helen H. Richardson) MAGS OUT; TV OUT; INTERNET OUT

Immanuel Mgana holds his daughter Grace Mgana, 2, as he surveys what is left of their home Sunday, July 1, 2012, into the Mountain Shadows subdivision of Colorado Springs, Colo., after the Waldo Canyon fire ravaged the neighborhood. Immanuel had been deployed in the army in East Africa but was allowed to return home when he got word of the damage. So far, the blaze, now 45 percent contained, has damaged or destroyed nearly 350 homes. (AP Photo/The Denver Post, Helen H. Richardson) MAGS OUT; TV OUT; INTERNET OUT

Melissa Mgana kisses her young daughter Sofia, 5, as she surveys what is left of their home Sunday, July 1, 2012, into the Mountain Shadows subdivision of Colorado Springs, Colo., after the Waldo Canyon fire ravaged the neighborhood. Her husband Immanuel had been deployed in the army in East Africa but was allowed to return home when he got word of the damage. So far, the blaze, now 45 percent contained, has damaged or destroyed nearly 350 homes. (AP Photo/The Denver Post, Helen H. Richardson) MAGS OUT; TV OUT; INTERNET OUT

Residents of the Mountain Shadows area view their properties on Sunday, July 1, 2012, in Colorado Springs, Colo. Even people who know their homes are still standing have some anxiety over temporary visits being allowed today to wildfire-devastated neighborhoods around Colorado Springs. About 10,000 people are still out of their homes, having been among 30,000 who initially fled the most destructive fire in Colorado's history.(AP Photo/The Colorado Springs Gazette, Susannah Kay)

Cars wait in a traffic line on Vindicator Drive to check in at Eagleview Middle School in order to view their homes Sunday, July 1, 2012, in Colorado Springs, Colo. Even people who know their homes are still standing have some anxiety over temporary visits being allowed today to wildfire-devastated neighborhoods around Colorado Springs. About 10,000 people are still out of their homes, having been among 30,000 who initially fled the most destructive fire in Colorado's history.(AP Photo/The Colorado Springs Gazette, Susannah Kay)

This Sunday, July 1, 2012 video image taken from AP video shows a group of firefighters raising an American flag above a section of the burned out neighborhood, Mountain Shadows, Colo. Almost 350 homes burned to the ground last week in the Waldo Canyon fire, one of many still raging across the West. (AP Photo/AP Video, C.J. Moore)

(AP) ? A military cargo plane from North Carolina has crashed while fighting a wildfire in South Dakota, but there's no official word on death or injuries.

The North Carolina Air National Guard says six crew members were aboard. The C-130 is part of the 145th Airlift Wing in Charlotte, N.C.

Military officials say the plane crashed after dropping fire retardant Sunday in the Black Hills.

A U.S. Forest Service official in Colorado offered sympathy to the crew members' families.

South Dakota officials tell the Rapid City Journal (http://tinyurl.com/86dpvvc) three crew members were taken to a hospital. Military officials won't comment.

Eight C-130s can be equipped to drop water or fire retardant. In addition to the Charlotte unit, they're flown by National Guard and Reserve units in California, Colorado and Wyoming.

Associated Press

Source: http://hosted2.ap.org/APDEFAULT/3d281c11a96b4ad082fe88aa0db04305/Article_2012-07-02-Western-Wildfires/id-8feb6369f1e745ee95a329599ae4752e

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Sunday, July 1, 2012

Firefighters make gains in Colorado, evacuees return home

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Source: http://news.yahoo.com/firefighters-made-headway-colorado-evacuees-return-home-004747708.html

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Remains of 2nd person found in Colo. fire wreckage

President Barack Obama talks with firefighters as he tours the Mountain Shadow neighborhood devastated by wildfires, Friday, June 29, 2012, in Colorado Springs, Colo. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

President Barack Obama talks with firefighters as he tours the Mountain Shadow neighborhood devastated by wildfires, Friday, June 29, 2012, in Colorado Springs, Colo. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

The Mountain Shadows neighborhood is left damaged by the Waldo Canyon Fire in Colorado Springs, Colo., Friday, June 29, 2012. After declaring a "major disaster" in the state early Friday and promising federal aid, President Barack Obama got a firsthand view of the wildfires and their toll on residential communities. More than 30,000 people have been evacuated in what is now the most destructive wildfire in state history. (AP Photo/The Denver Post, Joe Amon) MAGS OUT; TV OUT; INTERNET OUT

Map shows latest spread of the wildfire in Colorado Springs

Several firefighters from Colorado Springs Fire Dept. get massages after coming off the fire line on the the Waldo Canyon wildfire west of Colorado Springs, Colo., Friday, June 29, 2012. One person has been found dead, another is missing and nearly 350 homes have been destroyed by a raging U.S. wildfire that has forced tens of thousands to flee this week. President Barack Obama on Friday will tour the scene of the most destructive fire in Colorado history. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

President Barack Obama visits with firefighters at the Mountain Shadows neighborhood damaged by the Waldo Canyon Fire in Colorado Springs, Colo., Friday, June 29, 2012. After declaring a "major disaster" in the state early Friday and promising federal aid, Obama got a firsthand view of the wildfires and their toll on residential communities. More than 30,000 people have been evacuated in what is now the most destructive wildfire in state history. (AP Photo/The Denver Post, Joe Amon) MAGS OUT; TV OUT; INTERNET OUT

(AP) ? Making slow but steady progress against a wildfire that has killed at least two people, authorities hoped for continued favorable weather and asked for patience from thousands of evacuees who fled encroaching flames that destroyed nearly 350 homes.

A second body was found Friday in the rubble of a home where another person was found dead earlier. Officials, who were searching each charred lot for more possible victims, have not yet released identifications. Police Chief Pete Carey said fewer than 10 people altogether were unaccounted for.

The 26-square-mile blaze ? one of several wildfires burning across the West ? was reported to be 25 percent contained - up from 15 percent Thursday.

Evacuation orders were lifted for some of the more than 30,000 people forced from their homes earlier this week, but restrictions remained on neighborhoods with the most damage.

"We're just pleading with people to have some patience while we work through this, this is a very stubborn situation we're dealing with," said Colorado Springs Fire Chief Richard Brown.

Colorado Springs police said they were swamped with calls from people asking when they could return to their homes.

There were plans to let people whose residences burned take weekend bus trips to the affected neighborhoods to take a look, but they would not be allowed to leave the vehicles.

After growing explosively earlier in the week, the Colorado Springs fire gained no ground overnight, authorities reported Friday. And the weather was clear and mostly calm, a welcome break from the lightning and high wind that drove the flames.

Exhausted firefighters fresh off the front lines described the devastation in some neighborhoods and the challenges of battling such a huge blaze, now the most destructive in Colorado history.

"It looks like hell. I would imagine it felt like a nuclear bomb went off. There was fire everywhere. Everything had a square shape to it because it was foundations," said Rich Rexach, who had been working 12-hour days since Tuesday, when flames swept through neighborhoods in this city of more than 400,000 people 60 miles south of Denver.

President Barack Obama toured the stricken areas Friday after issuing a disaster declaration for Colorado that frees up federal funds. He thanked firefighters and other emergency workers, saying: "The country is grateful for your work. The country's got your back."

As residents waited anxiously to see what was left of their homes, police reported several burglaries in evacuated areas, along with break-ins of cars packed with evacuees' possessions outside hotels. Carey said Friday a person wearing protective fire gear in an evacuated area was arrested on charges of impersonating a firefighter and influencing a public official.

Community leaders began notifying residents Thursday that their homes were destroyed. Many lost almost everything.

"The blanket that was on my bed when I grew up, a bunch of things my mother had made," said Rick Spraycar, listing what he lost when his house in the hard-hit Mountain Shadows subdivision burned down. "It's hard to put it into words. Everything I owned. Memories."

For Ernie Storti the pain of knowing that his was one of a handful of homes spared in his neighborhood was hard.

"Our home was standing, and everything south of us was gone," he said as tears streamed down his face outside a Red Cross Shelter where he had met with insurance agents.

Authorities were still trying to figure out what caused the fire. They said conditions were improving and they hoped experts would soon be able to work to determine a cause.

More than 1,000 personnel and six helicopters were fighting the fire.

All eight Air Force firefighting planes from four states will be at Colorado Springs' Peterson Air Force Base Saturday and available to fight the fire, marking the first time the entire fleet has been activated since 2008, Col. Jerry Champlin said.

Among the fires elsewhere in the West:

? Idaho: At least 60 homes near Pocatello, Idaho, burned in a fast-moving wildfire that started Thursday evening. The blaze covered more than 1? square miles. Officials said it was human-caused but gave no details.

? Utah: Residents of nearly a thousand homes in Herriman, just southwest of Salt Lake City, were under an evacuation order Saturday after a wildfire burned through the area, destroying at least four houses and several other structures, authorities said. Fire crews appeared to have the 350-acre Rose Crest fire at bay Friday evening.

A 70-square-mile wildfire in Utah's Sanpete County destroyed at least 160 structures, more than 50 of them primary homes. A similar sized blaze in Utah was threatening about 75 structures.

? Wyoming: A day of hot, dry, windy weather kept firefighters from making much headway Friday on two large, out-of-control wildfires. The third large wildfire in Medicine Bow National Forest in the southeast part of the state quickly overwhelmed initial firefighting efforts and forced the evacuation of about 100 homes, officials said Friday.

? Montana: Residents of eastern and central Montana who evacuated due to wildfires are returning to find neighborhoods scorched and many houses reduced to piles of ash. Fire officials said Friday that 70 homes burned in the 20,000-acre Dahl fire south of Roundup. At least two dozen structures were reported burned in a 270-square-mile fire in the Ashland.

Authorities battling six wildfires in Utah said Colorado was taking most of the available fire crews, leaving them short-handed.

Utah fire commander Cheto Olais said leaders at one Utah blaze had requested about 200 additional firefighters but will probably get no more than 20. "A lot of assets are going to Colorado," Olais said.

"We're strapped nationally," he told The Associated Press. "There's only so many firefighters, and they're already out in the field."

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Associated Press writers Thomas Peipert in Colorado Springs, Dan Elliott and Rema Rahman in Denver, Brian Skoloff in Salt Lake City, Paul Foy in Price, Utah, Matthew Brown in Roundup, Mont., Rebecca Boone in Boise, Idaho and Matt Volz in Helena, Mont., contributed to this report.

Associated Press

Source: http://hosted2.ap.org/APDEFAULT/386c25518f464186bf7a2ac026580ce7/Article_2012-06-30-Western%20Wildfires/id-411397726b454109918a0a405d04bbed

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