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April 16-20th archives

April 20, 2006

The Beatles(TM) LOVE(TM) by Cirque du Soleil(R)

To understand the internet you have to be open to change.




Written by Joyce L Chow & William Hoehne April 20, 2006


www.montebubbles.com for more MBN news






SUNDAYS ARE NOW PICTURE DAY starting next sunday: Pictures that we have taken and not published during before will be placed here on Sunday of each week for your viewing pleasure


International news from Asia and Latin news in English and Spanish here now


More exciting changes coming each day.

Watch for the MBN Politically incorrect SUV


MONTEBUBBLISM: Money always wins, look no further then dog shows.



7 preformances only May 27 to June 17.

 Academy-Award wining composer Elliot Goldenthal and Tony-Award winning director Julie Taymor collaborate on Grendel, a ground-breaking operatic premiere inspired by the Beowulf legend. grendel



 Eric Owens



Over 1,000 years ago, two anonymous scribes wrote down an epic poem about a Scandinavian hero who ended the bloody reign of the monster Grendel. John Gardner’s 1971 novel approaches the classic story from the monster’s viewpoint. Estranged from nature and outcast from the world of men, Grendel is a passionate thinker trapped in the body of a beast, who struggles with his own existential conflicts and observations about humanity, and about himself.

Using projections, puppetry, masks and Goldenthal’s richly layered and highly emotional score, Taymor creates an enthralling visual landscape. grend2


In this world of kings, queens, storytellers and warriors, Taymor and her co-librettist, J.D. McClatchy, present a Grendel that is a quintessentially modern anti-hero. With language ranging from medieval to modern, Grendel serves as a gripping theatrical allegory of the human struggle.




 Elliot Goldenthal, Placido Domingo, Julie Taymor, Eric Owens.

(C) photos MBN by William Hoehne 2006 


Azteca America Executives Unveil Programming Strategy at 2006 Upfront Presentation in NYC

'Extreme Makeover: Home Edition' Comes to Westchester and Calls on Alure Home Improvements for a Record Fifth Time

Creatures, Monsters and Things to Inhabit the Academy

KORN Relaunches 'THE FAMILY VALUES TOUR;' Offers Summer's Only $9.99 Festival Tickets

Recording Artists The Pussycat Dolls to Make Appearance at Verizon Wireless Store in Bensalem, PA

Bob Dylan's XM Satellite Radio Show to Debut May 3

The Beatles(TM) LOVE(TM) by Cirque du Soleil(R)

Vivendi Universal Games Announces License for Freestyle Street Basketball

VU Games to Publish Asia's Wildly Popular Online Game in North America

'ATTACK OF THE SHOW' Introduces New Co-Host Olivia Munn as the G4 Series Relaunches May 15

Production Begins in Los Angeles on Revolution Studios' Science Fiction Action Thriller 'Next'

Mariah Carey Hits Perfect Note With Pepsi

Strong Majority of Americans Believes Radio Continues to be Important in American Life

CTV Upgrades Network in 16 Cities with Aastra's VideoRunner®

In Front of the Upfront, Media Agency Evaluates Broadcasters Performance

News Corp. broadcaster relies on youth appeal

Foreign Finalists Selected for Student Academy Award

Rorke Data Signs National Distribution Agreement with Myricom

No 'Free Lunch' Line!

Mags Use New Video Platforms To Become TV Channels

Mag Sag Continues, Consumer Page Drop Mirrors B-to-B

eBay Makes Bid For Reality TV, Prime-Time Show Will Air On ABC

VH1 Sets Commercial-Free Stunt For 'So

Digital Splinters Will Have to Be Cobbled Together to Reach Mass Audience

Immersive Media Company has engineered the Telemmersion® System

AT&T Homezone TV Service to Feature On-Demand Video Content from Akimbo

Mobile Phone to Play 'Big Role' in New Entertainment Venture

``The Film Noir Classic Collection Volume 3''

Gameloft Gets Down with Paris Hilton

Shomex, Variety And The Walt Disney Company Announce More Than 4,000 People Attended Premiere Of The Entertainment & Media Career Expo

ThoughtWorthy Media Premieres Internet Search Engine

Warner Bros. Pictures Tough Guys Collection''

Soak Up The Fun With Disney Character-Themed Swimwear, Beach Towels, Body Boards, Lunchware, And More

Country Music Artist Michael Lee Austin Hits #1 on Amazon Charts

Fox Sports Joins Newly Launched My TV


Fox Home Entertainment Has Something for Every Mom This Mother's Day;

Time Warner, Michael Eisner and Spark Capital Join Shelter Capital to Complete $12.5 Million Strategic Series B Investment in Veoh Networks

SightSpeed to Present in the Top Innovator Demo Program at OnHollywood 2006;

Dave Navarro's New Band!

Keynote presentation at the Sports Media and Technology Conference,

Infinium Labs Signs Itron Technology Inc. to Manufacture the Phantom(R) Lapboard SEATTLE

Software Developer Alleges ABC Was Part of Circulation-Inflation Scheme

Digital Splinters Will Have to Be Cobbled Together to Reach Mass Audience

HD DVD Launches

Chicago and Huey Lewis and the News Announce U.S. Summer Tour

Greatest Thing Since Sliced Pizza; 7-Eleven(R) Introduces P'EatZZa Sandwich(TM) Featured on NBC's 'Apprentice'

Premium Content Driving Internet Video Growth


Oakland & Dodger baseball

PinnacleSports.com Serves up Betting on ATP Champions Tour Featuring McEnroe, Becker, Noah and Wilander

Automotive Students Shift to Hydrogen at Lansing Community College

New Web Site - MuscleCarTools.com - Offers Automotive Tools at Bargain Prices for Putterers and Professionals

Big Stakes Match Play Becomes The Ultimate Game at Wynn Las Vegas in 2007; Televised Event Will Have the Richest Winner's Purse in Golf History

Airport Express Offers Motorists Tips on How to Reduce Fuel Costs

Ford Breaks $5 Billion Barrier in Sourcing With Minority Suppliers in 2005


DoD Identifies Army Casualty

A Multinational Division Baghdad soldier died yesterday

Eight of the surviving 16 "Doolittle Tokyo Raiders

National Guard (In Federal Status) and Reserve Mobilized as of April 19, 2006

NEWS And News in Spanish

'Las Vegas Homeowners Fight Back'

DiversityInc Anuncia las 50 Compañías de Su Lista de Firmas que Más Promueven la Diversidad Entre Sus Empleados y Proveedores

Discover(R) Card Offers Consumers Relief from Escalating Gas Prices with Two Distinctive Options

Are Americans Doing Too Little to Support the Environment?

MenuVantage Releases New California Car Buyer's Bill of Rights Disclosure Tool to Protect Car Dealers, Customers from New Legislation

Raven Moon's GINA D(R) to Perform 4 Shows LIVE on the Main Stage at the 'Kids Faire' Expo in Los Angeles

Bandai America Calls on Kids to Create & Direct Their Own Movies Using Their Power Rangers Toys

Southwest Airlines Begins Hot New Service in the Summertime

98 Percent of Comments to GSA Want Loopholes for Large Businesses Closed

American Women and Children Face Terror Abroad

La detección de lesiones malignas de piel se puede mejorar en un 25 por ciento en los CAPs con tres simples criterios dermatoscópicos

Compuestos de alto valor añadido a partir de residuos procedentes de la elaboración de sidra

More Baby Boomers Worried About Gas Prices and Uninsured Medical Costs Than Retirement and Other Long-Term Expenses, AICPA/Harris Poll Suggests

SBA and California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce Sign Strategic Alliance Memorandum

Remarks by President Bush on His Meeting With Governors Who Traveled to Kuwait, Iraq, and Afghanistan




Azteca America Executives Unveil Programming Strategy at 2006 Upfront Presentation in NYC

Luis J. Echarte, Chairman of the Board; Adrian Steckel, President and CEO; and Carlos de la Garza, President of Sales and Marketing of Azteca America, will present the Company's new programming strategy for 2006 and 2007 on Monday, May 15 at 7:00 p.m. EDT, at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.

After the presentation, Azteca America executives will host a reception for clients, agencies, associates and friends.

About Azteca America

Azteca America is the fastest-growing Hispanic network in the United States. The network is a wholly owned subsidiary of TV Azteca S.A. de C.V., one of the two largest producers of Spanish-language television content in the world. Azteca America currently has presence in 43 Hispanic markets, including: Los Angeles, New York, Miami, Houston, Chicago, Dallas, San Antonio, San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, Phoenix, Brownsville-McAllen, Albuquerque, San Diego, Fresno-Visalia, Sacramento-Stockton-Modesto, Denver, Orlando, Austin, Tampa, Corpus Christi, Tucson, Las Vegas, Colorado Springs, Monterey-Salinas, Hartford, Salt Lake City, Bakersfield, West Palm Beach-Ft. Pierce, Santa Barbara, Palm Springs, Omaha, Yakima, Naples-Ft. Myers, Wichita, Reno, Boise, Victoria, Oklahoma City, Charleston, Chattanooga, Amarillo, Raleigh-Durham, Charlotte, Greensboro-Winston Salem, Wilmington and Philadelphia.

Source: Azteca America

Web site: http://www.tvazteca.com.mx/

'Extreme Makeover: Home Edition' Comes to Westchester and Calls on Alure Home Improvements for a Record Fifth Time

ABC's Emmy-winning hit show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition is back in the New York area, and once again, they called upon New York's Alure Home Improvements to handle the task of helping to rebuild the home of the Arena family, a deserving family in desperate need of some help.

Alure, led by President Sal Ferro, has already performed four major renovations for the Emmy winning show, the most recent completed only a few weeks ago in Jamaica Queens (air date: May 7th). Barely rested from the Queens Makeover, Alure was hesitant at first thought of taking on another major project so quickly, but once Ferro's friend Kathi Cline offered to help out and provide several volunteers, Ferro was much more comfortable and has once again responded to the shows request for helping out a desperate family in need.

"After hearing the Arena's heartbreaking story, I can only imagine how difficult it was for the family. Our team at Alure is committed to rebuilding this home for a very deserving family," said Ferro.

"Sal and I have spoken many times about his past Extreme Makeovers. I can see what these experiences have meant to him and wanted to be a part of the next makeover. I offered to volunteer even if I was required to use a broom. Knowing Sal's generosity and hearing about this family, I agreed to do whatever was needed. I know together we will change this family's life forever," said Cline.

Jimmy "Jimboy" Arena changed an entire community forever. Diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor at five years-old Jimboy stayed strong. He inspired hundreds of neighbors, community members, several fire departments, officials and his own family with his infectious smile and spirit. Everyone in town knew Jimboy and prayed for him. They held fundraisers, birthday parties and even a parade to welcome him home from the hospital. But on September 28th 2005, shortly after his sixth birthday, Jimboy died and the Arena Family lost their only son.

The Arena's had saved enough money to repair and add onto their small home for their growing family but, when Jimboy was diagnosed, the funds went to experimental treatments across the country, medical care and travel expenses. Now the same community who supported Jimboy wants to pay tribute to him and help his family fix their broken home. After all, it was Jimboy who touched them all so deeply and he would've wanted this for his mom, dad and all of his sisters who took care of him.

A large Italian clan the Arena's can't enjoy a dinner together even though Mom Gina, loves to cook. Their small, 1400 square-foot rundown house has seen its share of wear and tear from the kids and is literally falling apart and bursting at the seams! With SIX daughters and one bathroom, the Arena's are in desperate need of bigger and better facilities!

In this episode of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" we learn how one little boy changed the lives of hundreds as we help his family get back on their feet and into a better and more accommodating home.

"Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" is produced by Endemol USA, a division of Endemol Holding. David Goldberg is the president of Endemol USA. The series is executive-produced by Tom Forman and co-executive produced by Denise Cramsey. The show airs Sundays (8:00-9:00 p.m. ET), on the ABC Television Network.

The media is welcome to attend this amazing transformation. Anyone interested in pictures and interviews should contact Seth Selesnow from Alure at 516-396-9148. The episode is scheduled to air during the 2006 season. The Peter family episode from Jamaica Queens is scheduled to air on Sunday, May 7th. Details, Directions, background info, maps, parking info, and volunteer info can be found at the Alure website at www.alure.com.

Source: Alure Home Improvements

Web site: http://www.alure.com/

Creatures, Monsters and Things to Inhabit the Academy

Aslan, Yoda, Mr. Tinkles, Audrey II, Mighty Joe, along with a T-Rex dinosaur and several aliens, will be among the fantastical creatures, unearthly characters, hideous monsters and memorable icons that will come to life at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in “It’s Alive!: Bringing Animatronic Characters to Life on Film,” an original exhibition opening to the public on Friday, May 12, in Beverly Hills.

Presenting the work of many of the film industry’s leading animatronics professionals, the Academy’s Fourth Floor Gallery will showcase numerous models, both small and large, maquettes, and animatronic creatures and their mechanisms, accompanied by video clips of the final product.

“Animatronics have played a key role in creating some of film’s most memorable and beloved characters. We are excited to be a part of this exhibit giving the public a rare opportunity to see their favorite creatures up close,” said Brian Henson, co-CEO of The Jim Henson Company, which will provide exhibits of well-known characters from ground-breaking films including “The Dark Crystal” and “Labyrinth.”

The Grand Lobby’s installation will focus on the extensive design process such characters undergo. That section of the exhibition will present concept drawings, storyboards and photographs from the workshops and sets where the characters are built and operated.

“Animatronics is a real combination of art and technology, making it possible to manufacture creatures that can perform in front of the camera and interact with actors, in real time,” said Ellen Harrington, the Academy’s exhibitions curator and special events programmer.

The films represented in “It’s Alive” will include “102 Dalmatians,” “Alien3,” “AVP: Alien vs. Predator,” “An American Werewolf in London,” “Beetlejuice,” “Cats & Dogs,” “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” “The Dark Crystal,” “Doctor Dolittle,” “George of the Jungle,” “Ghostbusters,” “Gremlins,” “Harry and the Hendersons,” “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” “Labyrinth,” “Little Shop of Horrors,” “Jurassic Park,” “Men in Black II,” “Mighty Joe Young,” “Predator,” “Robocop 2,” “The Santa Clause 2,” “Short Circuit,” “Snow Dogs,” “Spider-Man 2” and “Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back.”

Lending to the exhibition are leading animatronics artists and companies including The Jim Henson Company, the Walt Disney Company, Amalgamated Dynamics, Inc., Eric Allard, Rick Baker, Dave Barclay, Lyle Conway, Richard Edlund, Ray Harryhausen, Robert Short and Phil Tippett.

With its roots in the early years of fantasy films, animatronics became widely used in the 1970s through the 1990s, making possible characters like Yoda of “The Empire Strikes Back,” Harry, the giant ape of “Harry and the Hendersons” and, most recently, Aslan, the lion of “The Chronicles of Narnia.” Even though the advent of CGI has given filmmakers a different range of options, such recent films as “Herbie Fully Loaded” and “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” have elected to use animatronics to allow for real-time performances.

"It’s Alive!: Bringing Animatronic Characters to Life on Film" will be on display through Sunday, August 20, 2006, at the Academy. Gallery viewing is open Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and weekends, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is located at 8949 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills. For more information call (310) 247-3600.


KORN Relaunches 'THE FAMILY VALUES TOUR;' Offers Summer's Only $9.99 Festival Tickets

30-Date Trek With KORN and DEFTONES, Stone Sour, Flyleaf and Dir en gray Kicks Off July 27

Multi-platinum trend-setting hard rock outfit KORN and concert producer Live Nation will reintroduce THE FAMILY VALUES TOUR this summer with a 30-city trek through North America. The traveling festival will feature KORN and DEFTONES along with Stone Sour, Flyleaf and Dir en gray on the main stage.

Set to launch July 27 in Virginia Beach, VA, THE FAMILY VALUES TOUR marks the return of the highly successful rock festival, which KORN created and headlined in 1998. For the first time, THE FAMILY VALUES TOUR will also feature a second stage. Acts appearing on the second stage will be announced shortly.

"When Family Values first started it felt like music was fresh and exciting," says KORN frontman JONATHAN DAVIS. "We want to recreate that same feeling for our fans, and offer them a full day of fun and some great music."

KORN are touring in support of their first release on Virgin Records, SEE YOU ON THE OTHER SIDE, which has sold over 1.7 million copies worldwide in just four months, and has spawned the major radio and video hits "Twisted Transistor" and "Coming Undone."

Through KORN's unique partnership with Live Nation, lawn tickets for THE FAMILY VALUES TOUR are being offered for just $9.99 with value-priced seating available at every outdoor amphitheatre stop on the summer trek.

"Let's face it, ticket prices suck," says DAVIS. "Kids shouldn't be shut out of concerts. We wanted to see if we could do something about it, and our new deal gives us the chance to give something back."

KORN's desire to offer value-priced tickets is consistent with their reputation as artists known for unconventional moves that challenge industry standards and expectations. The effect of their unique partnerships is not limited to concert tickets. This innovative deal expands on the unprecedented partnership KORN created with EMI Music in September 2005. Through that deal, KORN has also been able to offer their latest album for $9.99 at major retailers across the country including Circuit City, Best Buy, KMart, Walmart and Target.

THE FAMILY VALUES TOUR will hit the following cities (dates and venues TBA): Albuquerque, NM; Alpine Valley, WI; Atlanta, GA; Boston, MA; Camden, NJ; Cleveland, OH; Columbus, OH; Dallas, TX; Darien, CT; Denver, CO; Detroit, MI; Hartford, CT; Holmdel, NJ; Houston, TX; Indianapolis, IN; Kansas City, MO; Nashville, TN; Phoenix, AZ; Pittsburgh, PA; Raleigh, NC; Sacramento, CA; San Antonio, TX; San Bernardino, CA; Saratoga, NY; St. Louis, MO; Toronto, ONT; Virginia Beach, VA; Wantagh, NY; Washington, DC; West Palm Beach, FL. For up-to-the-minute updates on this summer's THE FAMILY VALUES TOUR, check out www.familyvalueslive.com.


The first trek launched September 22, 1998 with a bill headlined by KORN and with performances from Rammstein, Ice Cube, Limp Bizkit and Orgy. 1999's line-up featured headliners Limp Bizkit, along with Filter, The Crystal Method, Primus, Staind, Mobb Deep, Ja Rule, and Method Man & Redman. KORN also made surprise appearances at a few dates. Beyond the live touring aspect, the debut outing of THE FAMILY VALUES TOUR spawned a gold-certified live album and platinum-certified companion home video. This was followed in spring 2000 with the second live disc and long-form home video. The 2001 trek featured Stone Temple Pilots, Linkin Park, Staind, Static-X and Deadsy. In 1998, the Los Angeles Times noted that the tour "certainly proved to be one of the rock spectacles of the year," while the New York Daily News said it "created a bold new profile for hard guitar bands."

About KORN:

Grammy-winning rock icons KORN have sold more than 25 million albums and have received widespread critical acclaim for their music. JONATHAN DAVIS (vocals), JAMES "MUNKY" SHAFFER (guitar), FIELDY (bass) and DAVID SILVERIA (drums) have redefined the parameters of heavy music, revolutionizing the genre by matching unsettling guitar textures and volcanic rhythms with jagged, introspective lyrics and intense vocal stylings. KORN are known for their extensive live touring schedule and have received widespread praise for their live performances.


For over the past decade, DEFTONES have remained one of modern rock's most consistently innovative and influential rock bands. Their confluence of styles and experimentation has created an ever-evolving musical hybrid that has been embraced Globally. "They're perfecting a new hard-rock variation," -- Jon Pareles, The New York Times. "This is metal that crushes, then soothes; collapses, then soars. DEFTONES blows open the possibilities," -- Rolling Stone. DEFTONES' new studio album will be released this September.


Deemed by many as a "band to watch," Flyleaf was recently chosen for regular rotation on MTV's exciting new "Discover and Download" campaign. Their forceful guitars and intensely melodic female vocals have garnered many new fans -- as well as much critical acclaim from Metal Hammer, Kerrang!, Revolver and others. The Village Voice writes, "Singer Lacey Mosely will sometimes roar and growl among the wolves... a total livewire." Flyleaf brings their intense and new brand of rock to the stellar tour lineup.


Live Nation is a leading live content and venue management company focused on creating superior experiences for artists, performers, corporations and fans. Live Nation owns, operates or has booking rights for 150 venues worldwide and promoted or produced over 28,500 events in 2005. Live Nation is headquartered in Los Angeles, California. Live Nation is listed on The New York Stock Exchange, trading under the symbol "LYV". For more information regarding Live Nation and its businesses, please visit the company's web site at www.livenation.com.

Source: Live Nation

Web site: htpp://www.familyvalueslive.com

Recording Artists The Pussycat Dolls to Make Appearance at Verizon Wireless Store in Bensalem, PA

Tour Stop to include autograph session, demos of Verizon Wireless Music on Demand service

WHO: Verizon Wireless, operator of the nation's most reliable wireless network, will host an appearance by multi-platinum- selling artists The Pussycat Dolls. The Pussycat Dolls' current album "PCD" contains #1 hits such as "Don't Cha" and "Stickwitu." The group is currently on a 36-city tour opening for The Black Eyed Peas.

WHAT: An in-store appearance featuring The Pussycat Dolls. The Pussycat Dolls, currently touring with The Black Eyed Peas, will be available to sign autographs for their fans at the Verizon Wireless Bensalem store. Verizon Wireless will also showcase their V CAST Music on Demand service, which lets consumers download full-length songs directly to their cell phones without the need to plug into a computer. V CAST Music on Demand includes tracks from The Pussycat Dolls.

WHEN: Sunday, April 23, 2006

1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.

WHERE: Verizon Wireless store

1301 Bristol Pike, Bensalem, PA

Source: Verizon Wireless

Web site: http://www.verizon.com/

Bob Dylan's XM Satellite Radio Show to Debut May 3

'Theme Time Radio Hour With Your Host Bob Dylan' to Feature Diverse Range of Music Each Week

Bob Dylan's much anticipated XM Satellite Radio music show, "Theme Time Radio Hour with Your Host Bob Dylan" will make its world premiere on May 3, it was announced today. Each weekly show will feature an eclectic mix of music based around a theme, and host Bob Dylan will offer stories about the music and topics of interest. Dylan also will read and answer select emails sent in by fans. In addition, "Theme Time Radio Hour" will feature contributions from special guests, including Elvis Costello, Charlie Sheen, Penn Jillette, Sarah Silverman and Jimmy Kimmel.

The first episode of "Theme Time Radio Hour with Your Host Bob Dylan" will be devoted to the theme of "weather," with a song list that spans "A Place in the Sun" sung in Italian by Stevie Wonder, "The Wind Cries Mary" by Jimi Hendrix and "Keep on the Sunny Side" by The Carter Family, among many others. Song lists for future episodes will be built around themes such as "cars," "dance," "police," and "whiskey." Complete track lists from each "Theme Time Radio Hour" show will be posted on a dedicated Bob Dylan page on XM Satellite Radio's website (http://www.xmradio.com/bobdylan) that will also include a link for users to purchase select songs heard on Bob Dylan's show through Napster, XM's digital music partner, as well as photos and information on encore broadcasts. Fans also can e-mail their questions and music requests directly to Bob Dylan at bobdylan@xmradio.com.

"With 'Theme Time Radio Hour' Bob redefines 'cool radio' by combining a sense of intellect with edginess in a way that hasn't been on radio before," said Lee Abrams, chief creative programming officer, XM Satellite Radio. "Bob has put a lot of work into his XM show and it's clear that he's having a good time behind the mic."

"Theme Time Radio Hour with Your Host Bob Dylan" will debut Wednesday, May 3 on XM's deep album rock channel, Deep Tracks (XM channel 40), at its regular weekly timeslot, 10 a.m. ET. Encore broadcasts of "Theme Time Radio Hour" will air throughout the week on Deep Tracks and XM's folk music channel, The Village (XM channel 15). Complete scheduling information is available online at http://www.xmradio.com/bobdylan.

About XM Satellite Radio

XM is America's number one satellite radio service with more than 6.5 million subscribers. Broadcasting live daily from studios in Washington, DC, New York City, the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, Toronto and Montreal, XM's 2006 lineup includes more than 170 digital channels of choice from coast to coast: the most commercial-free music channels, sports, talk, comedy, children's and entertainment programming; and the most advanced traffic and weather information.

XM, the leader in satellite-delivered entertainment and data services for the automobile market through partnerships with General Motors, Honda, Toyota, Hyundai, Nissan and Volkswagen/Audi, is available in more than 130 different vehicle models for 2006. XM's industry-leading products are available at consumer electronics retailers nationwide. For more information about XM hardware, programming and partnerships, please visit http://www.xmradio.com/.

Source: XM Satellite Radio

Web site: http://www.xmradio.com

The Beatles(TM) LOVE(TM) by Cirque du Soleil(R)

Director - Dominic Champagne, Music Directors - Sir George Martin & Giles Martin

Preview Performances Begin June 2 at The Mirage(R) in Las Vegas


Preview performances begin June 2 for The Beatles LOVE, the latest Cirque du Soleil production which celebrates the musical legacy of The Beatles. The Gala Premiere will be held Friday, June 30, 2006. LOVE will be presented exclusively at The Mirage in Las Vegas. This joint artistic venture marks the first time that The Beatles company, Apple Corps Ltd., has agreed to a major theatrical partnership. The project was born out of a personal friendship and mutual admiration between the late George Harrison and Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberte.

LOVE will bring the magic of Cirque du Soleil together with the spirit and passion behind the most beloved rock group of all time to create a vivid, intimate and powerful entertainment experience.

Sir George Martin, The Beatles original producer, and his son Giles Martin have been working with the entire archive of Beatles recordings to create the musical component for LOVE. The result is an unprecedented approach to the music for a stage production. "After spending more than 40 years of my life working with The Beatles and their wonderful music, I am thrilled to be working with it once again, on this exciting project with Cirque du Soleil," said Sir George Martin. "The show will be a unique and magical experience."

Using the master tapes at Abbey Road Studios, Sir George and Giles have created a unique soundscape for LOVE. "I think we will achieve a real sense of drama with the music, the audience will feel as though they are actually in the theatre with the band. People are going to be knocked out by what they are hearing!" said Giles Martin.

Dominic Champagne directed and wrote the original concept for the show which captures the essence of love that John, Paul, George and Ringo inspired during their astonishing adventure together. LOVE evokes the exuberant and irreverent spirit of The Beatles. "When we embarked on this extraordinary adventure in 2002," said Gilles Ste-Croix, Show Concept Creator and Director of Creation, "we set out to create a timeless, three-dimensional evocation of The Beatles music. Drawn from the poetry of the lyrics, we developed a preliminary concept that explored the content of the songs in a series of scenes inhabited by real and imaginary people." The international cast of 60 channels a raw, youthful energy underscored by aerial performance, extreme sports and urban, freestyle dance.

LOVE will be presented in a custom-built theatre at The Mirage featuring 360-degree seating and advanced high definition video projections with 100-foot digital, moving images. The panoramic surround sound system will envelop the audience who will experience The Beatles music like never before ...

Apple Corps Ltd. is planning to release the album through EMI Music later this year.

Cirque du Soleil Creative Team:

Guy Laliberte -- Guide, Show Concept Creator

Dominic Champagne -- Director, Show Concept Writer

Gilles Ste-Croix -- Director of Creation, Show Concept Creator

Chantal Tremblay -- Associate Director of Creation

Jean Rabasse -- Theatre and Set Designer

Philippe Guillotel -- Costume Designer

Jonathan Deans -- Sound Designer

Yves Aucoin -- Lighting Designer

Francis Laporte -- Video Projection Designer

Hansel Cereza and Dave St-Pierre - Choreographers

Guy St-Amour -- Acrobatic & Rigging Designer

Daniel Cola -- Acrobatic Performance Designer

Nathalie Gagne -- Make-up Designer

Patricia Ruel -- Props Designer

Michael Curry -- Puppet Designer

Guest Creators:

Andre Simard -- Aerial Acrobatic Designer

Alexis Martin -- Dramaturge Consultant

Francois Perusse -- Comic Audio-clips Designer

For Apple Corps Ltd.:

Sir George Martin -- Music Director

Giles Martin -- Music Director

Neil Aspinall -- Executive Producer

Tickets to LOVE will be on sale at 9:00am April 19.


*$150, $125, $99, $69

All preview performances* will be discounted 25 percent.

*Preview performances for LOVE begin June 2 and run through June 29. During these performances, the creative team is in the very final stages of production. The audience's reaction and participation is an important step in this process. The artistic direction of LOVE reserves the right to interrupt the performance to make adjustments as necessary.


Preview performances will be presented nightly at 7:00pm. In addition, there will 10:30pm performances on limited dates. Please consult the most current show schedule at www.cirquedusoleil.com . Schedule is subject to change without notice.

Following the preview period, LOVE will be performed Thursday through Monday with no shows on Tuesdays or Wednesdays. Beginning July 1, there will be two shows nightly at 7:30pm & 10:30pm.


By phone: 702 792 7777 or 800 963 9634

Online: www.cirquedusoleil.com , www.thebeatles.com or www.mirage.com.

In person: At the LOVE box office at The Mirage or any of the MGM MIRAGE

box offices in Las Vegas.

Ownership of the trademarks: Apple Corps Limited for The Beatles (word and

design), Cirque du Soleil for Cirque du Soleil (word and design) and The Cirque Apple Creation Partnership for LOVE (word and design). Trademarks usedunder license.

Source: Cirque du Soleil; Apple Corps Ltd.

Vivendi Universal Games Announces License for Freestyle Street Basketball  VU Games to Publish Asia's Wildly Popular Online Game in North America

Vivendi Universal Games ("VU Games") today announced FreeStyle(TM) Street Basketball, a fast-paced online basketball game where players meet on virtual courts to challenge each other in a dynamic pick-up game environment, featuring cutting-edge music, fashions and gravity defying basketball moves.

Developed by JC Entertainment Corp., FreeStyle Street Basketball emphasizes community play, customization and fun for all styles of gamers. The game was first launched in Korea in 2004 and since then has become one of its most popular games.

"We are thrilled to be working with VU Games to bring FreeStyle Street Basketball to North America," said Yang Shin Kim, CEO and founder of JCE.

FreeStyle Street Basketball allows players to test their skills in the ultimate street basketball game where every player you meet is an actual person with a look and style all their own. In FreeStyle Street Basketball players create a one-of-a-kind streetballer and level up through experience on the court. Players can customize their character by purchasing gear, clothing, and skills through experience points and micro-transactions.

"We are excited to be the first Western publisher to bring a successful casual online game from Asia to North America," said Bruce Hack, CEO of Vivendi Universal Games, "FreeStyle Street Basketball uniquely blends basketball and character building gameplay in a stylish multiplayer online environment."

Sierra's new online division is headed by Ed Zobrist, formerly SVP, Global Marketing. Based at the VU Games headquarters in Los Angeles, Sierra Online is dedicated to publishing games for online play and distribution on every viable platform.

About JCE

JC Entertainment is a Korean online game developer & publisher, which has been developing and servicing online game content since 1994. JCE has wide range of game development experiences including sports casual online, casual, MMO, and board games. JCE has excellent in-house development capability and success with FreeStyle, the PC online street basketball game. JCE's goal is to work with its partners to develop and provide leading worldwide online entertainment content.

About Vivendi Universal Games

Vivendi Universal Games (www.vugames.com) is a global developer, publisher and distributor of multi-platform interactive entertainment. The company is the leader in the subscription-based massively multi-player online (MMO) games category, holds leading positions in the PC, console, handheld and mobile games markets, and is an emerging player in casual online games. VU Games' two principal studios are Blizzard Entertainment(R), headquartered in Irvine, CA, the creator of World of Warcraft(R), Diablo(R), StarCraft(R), and Warcraft(R); and Sierra(R) Entertainment, headquartered in Los Angeles, which includes Radical Entertainment(R), Swordfish Studios, High Moon Studios(TM), and Massive Entertainment(R). Sierra is the owner of Crash Bandicoot(R), Spyro The Dragon(R), Empire Earth(R), Leisure Suit Larry(R), and Ground Control(R). VU Games maintains strategic relationships with industry leading content partners, including Universal Music Group, NBC Universal, Twentieth Century Fox, and Ludlum Entertainment.

FreeStyle and the FreeStyle logo are trademarks of JC Entertainment.

Source: Vivendi Universal Games

Web site: http://www.vugames.com/ 'ATTACK OF THE SHOW' Introduces New Co-Host Olivia Munn as the G4 Series Relaunches May 15

With Fresh Content, Set, Graphics, and New Interactive Elements That Let Viewers Join the Conversation Featuring the Latest and Liveliest Info on Technology, Games, Sports, Cars, Movies, Parties, and, of Course, Women, 'AOTS' Is The Go-to Show for Men 18-34

With Fresh Content, Set, Graphics, and New Interactive Elements That Let Viewers Join the Conversation Featuring the Latest and Liveliest Info on Technology, Games, Sports, Cars, Movies, Parties, and, of Course, Women, 'AOTS' Is The Go-to Show for Men 18-34

LOS ANGELES, April 19 /PRNewswire/ -- ATTACK OF THE SHOW, G4's daily trip to the digital water cooler, introduces a new co-host, Olivia Munn, who joins co-host Kevin Pereira as the series relaunches on May 15 with fresh content categories, a new set and new graphics. The new AOTS will also feature exclusive interactive components that engage the viewer across a variety of platforms. The new ATTACK OF THE SHOW will premiere on Monday, May 15, at 7:00 PM ET/PT.

New AOTS co-host Olivia Munn brings a fresh perspective to the live topical show. Munn, an actress and Oklahoma native, has done courtside and sideline reporting for Fox Sports, as well as reporting for Sports Illustrated's special college football issue. She has appeared in commercials for Nike, Pepsi, Hewlett-Packard and Frito-Lay, and will be featured in the upcoming The N series, "Beyond the Break."

As co-host of AOTS, Munn will also be reporting live from the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles May 9-12 during G4's weeklong coverage of the world's largest video game convention. In addition, Munn will co-host G4's second season of FORMULA D, the network's high-octane series about the competitive, tire-screeching sport of drifting, premiering this June.

Munn co-hosts AOTS alongside Kevin Pereira, a computer and gaming expert who has created a gaming online bulletin board, an Internet radio show ("Pointless Audio," which streamed more than 30 gigabytes of RealAudio each week), and an Internet video show, "Pointless TV." Pereira has also hosted or appeared on G4's PULSE, ARENA, and g4tv.com. Along with Munn, Pereira will be reporting from the convention floor during G4's extensive live coverage of E3.

The relaunch of AOTS adds a new, cutting-edge interactive component to the show. More than just another content category, interactivity will be the connective tissue that informs all the new segments. The show's new set will feature a video chat installation that allows AOTS viewers to join in and interact directly with the show from their computer webcams at home. Rendering viewer call-ins a relic of the past, ATTACK OF THE SHOW will check in face-to-face with audience members every day -- actually putting them on the show. Viewers' feedback will also be reflected in real time via online and cell phone SMS voting on topics and segments that come up during the show.

"ATTACK OF THE SHOW will evolve to be G4's flagship program, exemplifying the new direction that G4 as a network is heading in," said Neal Tiles, President of G4. "It's the only program on TV that embraces the new and the interesting among the male 18-34 demographic. ATTACK OF THE SHOW has found a loyal following by feeding guys a daily dose of what matters most to them."

Among the topics that the newly relaunched AOTS will cover in its daily broadcasts are:

Internet: Cool new podcasts, must-see web videos, and the websites and apps guys cannot live without -- AOTS combs the Internet and serves up the best of the web everyday.

Games: With the next generation of game consoles in hand, video games are more important than ever, and AOTS stays on the edge with up-to-the-second information and opinions.

Tech & Gadgets: If it can make a phone call, play an mp3 or locate your position on the planet, it's probably a piece of tech guys are going to want. AOTS sinks its teeth into the latest gadgets and gear with meaningful, information-filled reviews and features.

Movies & TV: Whether it's what's worth watching this week or what was on last night, these are the subjects everyone's talking about. AOTS is there with guests and inside information about the TV and movies that matter.

Sex, Parties & Women: Perhaps the most important topics of all to AOTS viewers. The series unveils new franchise segments such as "MySpace Girl of the Week" (weekly profiles of selected girls from MySpace.com) and "The Lush," in which bars and clubs send in video requests to AOTS inviting the hosts to come hang out at their bar, and AOTS viewers decide which one is worthy. Pereira and Munn then head out to party with the locals.

Comics: Filling a void not covered anywhere on TV, AOTS nails down the world of comics with the weekly franchise segment "Fresh Ink." AOTS will also offer live blow-out coverage from Comic-Con in San Diego this July.

Sports: Active participants and passive watchers alike will score with AOTS' new sports coverage.

Music: In addition to showcasing live bands every week, AOTS gets deeper into music with new record releases and reviews.

Automobiles: From reviews of the latest cars to up-close looks at auto tech, AOTS focuses on the cars guys dream of -- and the ones guys actually own.

About G4

G4 launched in April 2002 and is now available in 56 million cable and satellite homes nationwide. The #1 podcasted cable network in America and a leader in VOD, G4's programming includes breaking video game industry news, trends, reviews, the hottest games and gear, celebrity interviews and insider opinions. Targeting the male 18-34 audience and its gamer lifestyle, G4 is the last word on games, technology, animation, interactivity, the Internet and broadband. The company is headquartered in Los Angeles and is owned by Comcast Corporation. To learn more, log onto www.g4tv.com.

Source: G4

Web site: http://www.g4tv.com/

Production Begins in Los Angeles on Revolution Studios' Science Fiction Action Thriller 'Next'

Based on a Philip K. Dick Story, the Film Stars Nicolas Cage, Julianne Moore and Jessica Biel

FirstCall/ -- Filming has begun in Los Angeles on Revolution Studios' "Next," a science fiction action thriller starring Academy Award(R) winner Nicolas Cage, Academy Award(R) nominee Julianne Moore and Jessica Biel, it was announced today. The film, which is being directed by Lee Tamahori, will be released domestically by Columbia Pictures in 2007. IEG Virtual Studios, an affiliate of Initial Entertainment Group, holds the international distribution rights.

"Next" is being produced for Revolution Studios by Cage and his Saturn Films producing partner Norm Golightly, Broken Road Productions' Todd Garner, Initial Entertainment Group's Graham King and Arne Schmidt. The screenplay is by Gary Goldman and is based on the Philip K. Dick story "The Golden Man." Goldman, Jason Koernick and Ben Waisbren are serving as executive producers. Dick's stories have been the basis for such films as "Blade Runner," "Total Recall," "Minority Report" and the upcoming "A Scanner Darkly."

In "Next," Nicolas Cage plays a man with the unique ability to see future events and affect their outcome. Relentlessly pursued by the FBI, which is seeking to use his abilities to prevent a global terrorist threat, he is ultimately faced with the daunting choice of saving the world or the woman he loves.

Nicolas Cage was most recently seen in "The Lord of War" and will next appear in "The Wicker Man," "Ghost Rider" and "World Trade Center." His previous credits include "Adaptation," for which he received an Academy Award(R) nomination, "The Family Man," "Gone in Sixty Seconds," "Con Air," "The Rock" and "Leaving Las Vegas," for which he won an Academy Award(R).

Four-time Academy Award(R) nominee Julianne Moore was most recently seen in the drama "Freedomland" and the psychological suspense thriller "The Forgotten." She received Academy Award(R) nominations for "The Hours," "Far from Heaven," "The End of the Affair" and "Boogie Nights." Her other credits include "Laws of Attraction" and "Magnolia."

Jessica Biel will next be seen in "The Illusionist" opposite Edward Norton. Her previous credits include "Stealth," "Blade: Trinity," "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre," "The Rules of Attraction" and "Summer Catch."

Lee Tamahori most recently directed "XXX: State of the Union," starring Ice Cube. His other credits include the James Bond film "Die Another Day" with Pierce Brosnan, "Along Came a Spider" with Morgan Freeman, "The Edge" with Anthony Hopkins and Alec Baldwin, and "Mulholland Falls" with Nick Nolte and Melanie Griffith.

Revolution Studios was formed by Joe Roth in May 2000 to independently produce and finance films in partnership with Sony Pictures, Starz Entertainment Group and Fox Entertainment Group.

Source: Revolution Studios

Mariah Carey Hits Perfect Note With Pepsi

World's Top-Selling Female Artist to Produce Original Ringtones and Star in National TV Commercial for Pepsi's Summer Promotion - Pepsi Cool Tones & Motorola Phones

Mariah Carey will take center stage with Pepsi in a unique partnership this summer. The Grammy Award- winning artist will write and record original ringtones that will be available exclusively through the Pepsi Cool Tones & Motorola Phones promotion.

The Pepsi Cool Tones & Motorola Phones promotion is giving music fans the opportunity to download more than 100 original ringtones created specifically for the program by some of the summer's hottest artists, including 20 original voice and music tones written and produced by Mariah Carey. This marks the first time top musicians and producers have written music and lyrics in the ringtone format for a large scale promotion.

The consumers who participate in the Pepsi Cool Tones & Motorola Phones promotion will also have the opportunity to win their choice of Motorola phones including the Motorola RAZR(TM) and Motorola SLVR(TM). Additional information about the promotion can be found on http://www.pepsismash.com/, powered by Yahoo! Music.

"I had a lot of fun with this project. It was a great creative outlet because musically I could do things here that I would never think to do for one of my albums," said Mariah Carey. "This was a great idea by Pepsi, and I'm happy to be a part of it."

Carey will kick off the Pepsi Cool Tones and Motorola Phones promotion with a national TV commercial in May, which will be directed by Paul Hunter and created by BBDO, New York, Pepsi's long-time agency. Hunter, an award- winning director of music videos and commercials, has directed the videos for a number of Carey's chart-topping hits.

Carey's partnership with Pepsi also includes an exclusive Pepsi Smash concert this summer at the intimate Kodak Theater in Los Angeles, which will be the first stop of her highly anticipated tour. Music fans will be able to win tickets to the show, Carey's first full concert performance in over three years, via radio and retail promotions across the country.

Mariah Carey has had more number one singles than any other artist in history. She has been recognized with the most prestigious accolades in the music industry, including five Grammy Awards, eight American Music Awards, Billboard's "Artist of the Decade" Award and the World Music Award for "World's Best Selling Female Artist of the Millennium," to name a few. Her current album, "The Emancipation of Mimi," was the biggest-selling album of 2005 and has been certified five times platinum.

Pepsi has a long history in music, having featured the biggest recording artists and a diverse range of chart-topping songs in marketing campaigns, concerts and commercials. Recent associations have included superstars Kanye West, Beyonce, Gwen Stefani and Green Day. West and Stefani headlined the 2005 Pepsi Smash concerts.

Las Vegas-based MEGA, INC., Pepsi's music marketing agency, facilitated the partnership with Mariah Carey.

About Pepsi

Purchase, N.Y.-based Pepsi-Cola North America (http://www.pepsi.com/) is the refreshment beverage unit of PepsiCo Inc. in the United States and Canada. Its U.S. brands include Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Pepsi ONE, Wild Cherry Pepsi, Diet Pepsi Vanilla, Mountain Dew, Diet Mountain Dew, Mountain Dew Code Red, Mountain Dew LiveWire, Sierra Mist, Sierra Mist Free, Mug, Tropicana Soda, Aquafina, Aquafina FlavorSplash, Aquafina Sparkling, Quaker Milk Chillers, Dole single-serve juices, Tropicana Juice Drinks and SoBe. The company also makes and markets North America's best-selling ready-to-drink iced teas and coffees, respectively, via joint ventures with Lipton and Starbucks.

About Motorola

Motorola is known around the world for innovation and leadership in wireless and broadband communications. Inspired by our vision of Seamless Mobility, the people of Motorola are committed to helping you get and stay connected simply and seamlessly to the people, information, and entertainment that you want and need. We do this by designing and delivering "must have" products, "must do" experiences and powerful networks -- along with a full complement of support services. A Fortune 100 company with global presence and impact, Motorola had sales of US $36.8 billion in 2005. For more information about our company, our people and our innovations, please visit http://www.motorola.com/.

MOTOROLA and the Stylized M Logo are registered in the US Patent & Trademark Office. All other product or service names are the property of their respective owners.

Source: Pepsi

Web site: http://www.pepsismash.com/

Strong Majority of Americans Believes Radio Continues to be Important in American Life

New Survey by American Media Services Shows Radio Has Strong Appeal Across the Country; 74 percent Listen Daily

Americans rate the importance and relevance of local commercial radio very highly, despite the entry of high-technology competition, a national survey commissioned by American Media Services shows.

The survey found that 78 percent said radio is important in their everyday lives, and 91 percent said radio is important in American life in general. Nearly three-quarters (74 percent) said they listen to radio at least once a day.

The telephone survey of 1,004 American adults was conducted April 13-15, 2006, by Omnitel, the weekly omnibus survey by the national polling firm of GfK NOP of Princeton, N.J. The survey is considered accurate within plus or minus 3 percentage points.

The new findings complement those in AMS' initial survey in January: 64 percent said they were listening to radio as much as, or more than, they were five years ago.

"The evidence from our polls and others is conclusive that people are continuing to listen to their local, free radio stations," said Ed Seeger, President and Chief Executive Officer of American Media Services. "Arbitron and Edison Media Research just conducted a national survey of 1,925 respondents that revealed 77 percent of Americans expect to continue to listen to their radio in the future as much as they are today."

In the AMS survey, 57 percent of men and 49 percent of women said they listen to radio at least daily.

The availability of music, news and reports on weather and traffic continues to be the most often cited reasons for listening to the radio, with 98 percent of respondents saying they listen to radio for one of those features. "Radio doesn't need to reinvent itself. It just needs to get its story out in the marketplace," said Seeger. "It continues to thrive with the same basic programming we have embraced for the past half-century."

Other findings of the survey include:

* 78 percent usually tune to a local radio station when they get in their car.

* More people had a favorite local radio personality in their localmarkets (37 percent) than a favorite television personality percent (32 percent), newspaper personality (7 percent) or personality on a local internet site (1 percent).

* When asked what about the different qualities that make a good radio personality, they ranked four as most important: 89 percent said they liked to listen to someone who makes them think, 82 percent said one who makes them laugh, 79 percent wanted a personality they could trust, and 76 percent said a good radio personality has strong ties to the local community.

* Overall, 41 percent of respondents said they liked to listen to stations that have a good balance of music, news, weather and traffic information. That rated above playing their kind of music (26 percent) or making them laugh (3 percent).

* Of those respondents who had a "favorite media personality," 37 percent said their favorite personality worked on the radio, while 32 percent said their favorite worked on television.

* 61 percent of those likely to change stations during commercial breaks do so in a minute or less.

Results of the survey, including a complete breakdown of demographic information such as income level, region of the country, and age brackets are available on the AMS website, http://www.americanmediaservices.com/.

AMS is a full-service radio brokerage, engineering and developmental engineering firm, and its developmental division leads the country in successfully implementing station upgrades by moving them into larger markets, dramatically increasing their value. Since its founding in 1997, AMS has increased the value of 21 stations across the country by $205.1 million, and more than $200 million in proposed rulemakings are currently pending before the FCC.

Source: American Media Services

CTV Upgrades Network in 16 Cities with Aastra's VideoRunner®

New terrestrial infrastructure provides one of the longest video/data domestic networks in the world
Aastra Technologies Limited (TSX-AAH) today announced CTV Television Inc., one of Canada's leading broadcasters, has chosen its VideoRunner® MPEG networking platform for a major new national network deployment. VideoRunner addresses CTV's complex demands for a converged, fully managed, real-time video and data networking solution that seamlessly integrates into their existing legacy network.

Traditionally, data transport between separate locations, along with video file sharing and live joint production across geographic regions has become manageable in a broadcasters distribution network. However, offering real-time video feeds, such as live news or sporting events often extends a broadcasters transmission network in various directions, escalating the service providers cost of video, voice, and data. VideoRunner resolves this common problem by converging real-time video collection and video file delivery simultaneously within common transport facilities, reducing cost of services dramatically.

This is one of the longest video/data domestic networks in the world stretching from Victoria, British Columbia to Halifax, Nova Scotia. The 16 unit VideoRunner shelf deployment, interconnected with OC3/DS3 network facilities allows CTV to precisely manage and partition bandwidth to meet their changing needs.

With its ability to schedule and transport MPEG real-time permanent and occasional use video in point-to-point or point-to-multipoint configurations, VideoRunner has increased CTV's aggregate data bit rate from 25 megabits to 45 megabits, and has enabled the company to compensate for latency in its IP services, improving the efficiency of the network by 40%. Video services are now approximately 350 milliseconds from London, England to Vancouver, British Columbia.

"We chose Aastra's VideoRunner because of its flexible, modular design and the assortment of application cards which can be installed to meet our intercity MPEG SD and HD video and data networking needs," said Albert Faust, Director, Media Technology Systems, of CTV. "We also utilize Aastra's Service Managerä automation engine to provide scheduling and immediate automatic turn-up of live video services from any point in our Video Express Network while transporting video clips through our Video Gateway network simultaneously. Aastra's strong understanding of our business, coupled with their on-site support in designing and building out our network played a significant role in our decision to implement VideoRunner."

CTV will also deploy VideoRunner for confidence monitoring within each market, allowing technicians to view real-time picture quality and network connectivity between local market and uplink facilities. Aastra's Vidiemä Element Manager provides CTV with real time visibility to their entire network with SNMP traps.

"Aastra offers the most versatile platform to meet the current and future needs of our customers," said Tony Shen, Co-CEO of Aastra Technologies. "VideoRunner has proven itself worldwide as a reliable, scalable and feature-rich video networking platform to broadcasters like CTV, TBS, NFL and DIRECTV. We pride ourselves on continuing to meet customer needs and market demand."

About Aastra Technologies Limited
Aastra Technologies Limited (TSX - AAH), headquartered in Concord, Ontario, Canada, develops and markets products and systems for accessing communication networks over the PSTN and the Internet. Aastra serves clients across North America and Western Europe. For more information on Aastra or its products, please visit the website at www.aastra.com/digitalvideo.

About CTV

CTV, Canada's largest private broadcaster offers a wide range of quality news, sports, information, and entertainment programming. It has the number-one national newscast, CTV News With Lloyd Robertson, and is the number-one choice for prime-time viewing. CTV owns 21 conventional television stations across Canada and has interests in 17 specialty channels, including the number-one Canadian specialty channel, TSN. CTV is owned by Bell Globemedia, Canada's premier multi-media company. More information about CTV may be found on the company website at www.ctv.ca.

In Front of the Upfront, Media Agency Evaluates Broadcasters Performance

It's report card time! In anticipation of May's upfront, media agency MediaVest last week released a mid-season TV review, tallying the ratings numbers through the first quarter of 2006 and showing which major networks made the grade.

ABC: Fair

ABC's 'According to Jim' has fallen 37% in ratings this season.
ABC has four of the top 10 most popular broadcast network programs with "Desperate Housewives" (ranked 4th with 15.3 homes rating), "Grey's Anatomy" (6th most watched, 12.7 rating), "Dancing with the Stars" (8th, 12.1) and "Lost" (9th, 11.7). However, overall the ABC schedule lacks depth. ABC could be in trouble if the bloom is truly off the "Desperate Housewives" rose. The suburban soap has declined in popularity since its ratings peak in fall, although current ratings are slightly better (plus 2%) than at the same time last year. In addition, this year ABC has struggled with its comedies. Ratings of "According to Jim" fell 37% this season.

CBS: Kept up the good work

CBS kept its momentum, hanging on to their gains from a year ago. While reality programs "Amazing Race" and "Survivor" declined in the ratings (23% and 28%, respectively), CBS' overall average household rating was virtually unchanged from a year ago with a value of 8.4. Declines were countered by the success of new series. "Criminal Minds," "Ghost Whisperer" and "Close to Home" are all doing well for CBS. Midseason series "The Unit" and "The New Adventures of Old Christine" are the fourth and fifth highest rated new broadcast programs among adults 18 to 49.

Fox: Improved

Led by "American Idol," Fox earned an average weekly household rating of 5.3, an improvement of 7% over a year ago. It seems nothing can stop the "American Idol" juggernaut. Ratings are up for both Tuesday and Wednesday night episodes (12% and 10%, respectively). New viewers of "Idol" are mostly adults age 35 and older. However, Fox's programming strategy -- in which "Idol" dominates its short-run season (January to May) -- can skew ratings analysis. MediaVest reports that much of the year-on-year gain is the result of early-season premiers that helped the network in the fourth quarter of 2005. Consequently, fourth quarter 2006 might be a relative disappointment unless there is a break-out new show or two on the development slate.

NBC: Needs work

My Name Is Earl is one of NBC's bright spots.
NBC was saved from a failing grade by the mid-season hit game show "Deal or No Deal" and white-trash sitcom "My Name is Earl." Those shows are the season's top two new broadcast network programs. Returning reality show "Fear Factor" declined 44% in the ratings, blown out of the water by "American Idol." "Friends" spinoff "Joey" has also underperformed, demonstrating a ratings decline of 42% from last year. NBC desperately needs a solid development slate for fall. The buzz suggests NBC has at least one solid new show: "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip," an ensemble drama starring Matthew Perry.

UPN/WB: Incomplete

UPN and WB will fold into the CW in the fall. UPN's most popular series, "America's Next Top Model," is slightly up in the ratings for its two editions this season, earning a 4.5 rating among women 18-34. "ANTM," "Everybody Hates Chris," "WWE Smackdown" and "Veronica Mars" will probably make the cut and earn a spot on the CW roster. WB's "Gilmore Girls" is still delivering strong ratings, especially among young women. "Gilmore Girls," "Smallville" and "Beauty and the Geek" will likely migrate to the new network. WB's "Charmed" has been canceled while "Everwood," "Supernatural" and "Reba" are on the bubble. If "Everwood" and "Supernatural" don't make the fall schedule, they could be solid mid-season replacements. "Reba," on the other hand, has no likely companion in the CW schedule so the network may have trouble finding it a timeslot.

News Corp. broadcaster relies on youth appeal

With the annual TV market selling event just weeks away, Fox finds itself just a tenth of a rating point behind ABC in the all important 18-49 year old demographic. Here's Advertising Age's weekly look at one of the major broadcast networks and how they are positioned for the 2006-2007 TV season.

Fox Broadcasting

Jon Nesvig, president-ad sales

Through April 9, Fox is just a tenth of a rating point behind ABC in the 18-49 year old demographic. Fox pulled in 5.17 million viewers in the demo with a 4.0 rating against ABC 's 5.3 million viewers and a 4.1 rating, according to Nielsen Media Research. Fox, however, has "American Idol," which ranks as the nation's top show with a 13.4 rating in the demo on Tuesday night and 12.5 rating on Wednesday. This year Fox has demonstrated much greater depth: "House" is gaining in popularity and "Prison Break" is a hit.

According to MediaVest's research on broadcast network performance, Fox is projected to end the season on May 24 with a 4 rating in the key advertiser demo. That would make Fox the leader in 18-49 bracket for the second straight year.

Fox is gunning for ad budgets against the 12-24 year old demographic and will be hammering home its ratings success in that demo. The network will also work hard to bring advertisers digital media offerings across the board as part of its "Generation Fox" initiative, which offers advertisers properties beyond the small screen. Product integration is also a big theme. Expect more shows with advertisers playing a role akin to Burger King's partnership with reality show "Unanimous."

Fox pulled in around $1.65 billion (about even with the previous year), though the network refused to talk about what percentage of inventory it released in the upfront. Fox performed well in the scatter market given the popularity of "American Idol" against NBC's Olympic coverage.

Mark Gibson, assistant VP-advertising at State Farm, said: "Fox seems to be the most customer-centric when it comes to purchasing in the upfront and looking at the programming that makes sense for you, to help you achieve your goals as an advertiser."

Foreign Finalists Selected for Student Academy Award

Five finalists from 29 entries representing 22 foreign countries have been selected to compete for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ 2006 Honorary Foreign Film Award in the Student Academy Awards competition. The winning student filmmaker will be brought to Los Angeles in June to participate, along with U.S.-based winners of the 33rd Student Academy Awards, in a week of industry-related activities and social events, culminating in the awards presentation ceremony on June 10 in Beverly Hills.

The finalists are:

“Being Holger,” Kasper Gårdsøe, The National Film School of Denmark.

“Elalini,” Tristan Holmes, The South African School of Motion Picture Medium and Live Performance (AFDA).

“The Measure of Things,” Sven Bohse, Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany.

“Melodrama,” Filip Marczewski, The Polish National Film School.

“La Ruta Natural,” Alex Pastor, The Superior Graduate School of Cinema and Audiovisuals of Catalonia, Spain.

Several past winners in the Foreign Student Film competition have gone on to achieve further recognition by the Academy. Most recently, student winner Ulrike Grote's "Ausreisser" ("The Runaway") was nominated in the live action short film category at the 78th Academy Awards®. Two previous winners, Jan Sverak, who was a student in the former Czechoslovakia, and Mike Van Diem of the Netherlands, have gone on to win Oscar® statuettes in the Foreign Language Film category for subsequent works. In 2000, the winning foreign student film, "Quiero Ser" by Florian Gallenberger of Germany, won the Oscar in the Live Action Short Film category and in 2002, the maker of the winning foreign student film, Martin Strange-Hansen of Denmark, won an Oscar for “This Charming Man.” (His Student Academy Award winning film that same year was “Feeding Desire”).

Tickets for the 33rd Student Academy Awards presentation ceremony, at which the winning foreign student film will be screened in its entirety along with the other Gold Medal-winning films from the U.S., are free and available beginning May 1. To request a maximum of four tickets, call the Academy at 310-247-3000, ext. 130, or print an order form from the Academy’s website at www.oscars.org. The ceremony will be held on Saturday, June 10, in the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater, at 6 p.m.

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Rorke Data Signs National Distribution Agreement with Myricom

for 10Gbit Ethernet Network Interface Cards Storage specialist Rorke Data, a subsidiary of San Jose-based Bell Microproducts, Inc. -- NASDAQ:BELM, and Myricom, a leading provider of high-performance computing (HPC) interconnect technology, today announced a strategic partnership. Myricom has selected Rorke Data as its exclusive general-purpose US distributor for Myricom’s Myri-10G 10-Gigabit Ethernet Network Interface Cards (NICs).

for 10Gbit Ethernet Network Interface Cards Storage specialist Rorke Data, a subsidiary of San Jose-based Bell Microproducts, Inc. -- NASDAQ:BELM, and Myricom, a leading provider of high-performance computing (HPC) interconnect technology, today announced a strategic partnership. Myricom has selected Rorke Data as its exclusive general-purpose US distributor for Myricom’s Myri-10G 10-Gigabit Ethernet Network Interface Cards (NICs).

“Rorke Data’s existing infrastructure of warehouses and integration facilities located throughout the continental United States gives Rorke the ability to respond quickly to reseller and system-integrator requirements,” said Dr. Chuck Seitz, Myricom founder and CEO. “Also, Rorke’s extensive experience in a broad range of storage-centric markets makes them a valuable resource for Myricom’s entry into those sectors.”

As businesses run more intensive applications and connect more clients and devices to the network, the demand for higher I/O bandwidth is increasing exponentially. Myricom’s family of 10Gb NICs deliver near-wire-speed user-level throughput greater than 9.6 Gigabits/s versus comparable NICs offering 7.5 Gb/s.

“We are excited to sell the Myricom line of 10Gb network-interface cards,” said Joe Rorke, VP of Marketing and Business Development for Rorke Data. “Myricom offers the highest performing low-priced 10Gb NICs in the industry. The advent of low-cost, high-speed processors and disk storage means that low-cost 10Gbit connectivity is needed as well. We see a wide range of opportunities in the vertical as well as the more generic markets that we serve.”

Rorke Data will stock and distribute Myricom 10Gb Ethernet NICs through out North America with the authorization to provide a range service and support options as well.

About Myricom

Founded in 1994, Myricom, Inc., created Myrinet, the high-performance computing (HPC) interconnect technology used in thousands of computing clusters in more than 50 countries. With its next-generation Myri-10G solutions, Myricom achieves a convergence at 10-Gigabit data rates between its low-latency Myrinet technology and mainstream Ethernet. Myri-10G bridges the gap between the rigorous demands of traditional HPC and the growing need for affordable computing speed in enterprise data centers. Privately held and based in Arcadia, California, Myricom achieved and has sustained profitability since 1995 with eleven consecutive profitable years through 2005. (www.myri.com)

About Rorke Data

Rorke Data is an ISO 9001:2000 certified data storage-centric, end-to-end solutions provider with expertise in primary and tiered storage architecture, integrating RAID, NAS, SAN, DVD, tape and optical libraries. Rorke leverages certified expertise in Linux, Win and Mac platforms delivering high bandwidth storage and network solutions for fixed and content and rich media application environments. We back our products with comprehensive, global professional services. Founded in 1985, Rorke Data, is a subsidiary of Bell Microproducts, San Jose, CA, and is composed of four divisions: Healthcare & Diagnostic Imaging, Digital Video & Broadcast, Digital Prepress & Publishing, as well as a Technical & Professional Services division. More information about Rorke Data can be found at www.rorke.com. Rorke Data is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bell Microproducts, Inc. (Nasdaq: BELM).

For more information, contact: Rorke Data, Inc., 9700 West 76th Street, Eden Prairie, MN 55344: www.rorke.com.

No 'Free Lunch' Line!

AS PREDICTABLY AS THE SUN setting in the west, the big communications companies are going after Google -- from the pulpit and soon enough, the halls of Congress. "Network builders are spending a fortune constructing and maintaining the networks that Google intends to ride on with nothing but cheap servers," is how John Thorne, a Verizon Inc. executive, put it at a conference, as reported by The Washington Post in February. Sites like Google, he continued, are "enjoying a free lunch that should, by any rational account, be the lunch of the facilities providers." Why be surprised? Phone and cable companies were once the organizing systems of our lives. They don't want to stop dictating how we organize our lives and our communications. So they're arguing that Google and its ilk have been freeloaders, using an established cable and telephony infrastructure to build their franchises. There are valid points here. Phone companies and cable operators will spend billions of dollars to construct faster and fatter broadband around the country to deliver all these great services. Why shouldn't Google pay the freight? The pipe people think of themselves as utilities, and Google certainly pays its water and electricity bills.

Google isn't so much eating the phone and cable companies' lunch as making it. Without content and quick access to it, no one would sign up for broadband. As one smart investor said to me, "If you think about the sites as programming, it is clearer. Comcast pays to carry ESPN, etc. Perhaps the wireline guys should pay the sites that create the traffic that creates the demand for broadband!"

By making all this content available, the Googles of the world allow the pipe companies to charge you and me, the consumer, more than ever. Why should we pay twice?

The interconnectedness of data has raised all boats. I pay a pipe company like Verizon for access, while an Internet service like Amazon buys connectivity and bandwidth from a provider like Level 3, and all flows beautifully. Put a toll between Amazon and me, and it will seek other pipes -- say, Comcast. Of course, if the pipes collude with each other, I guess Amazon is screwed. When the bigger fee is passed on to consumers, so are you and I.

The real issue here is control. The pipe companies could have provided the organizational systems for our new online worlds -- but it hasn't happened. Now they want to do what all would-be monopolies try to do: play catch-up. This kind of thinking slights innovation in favor of what has always worked, including doing everything, by any regulatory means available, to slow down or kill competitive innovators.

It need not be this way. To date, Comcast has not only been mum about these gating charges, it has also slowly and quietly shown itself to be one of the world's most innovative pipe companies. The company is on a path, in fact, to be thought of as more than just a pipe company within a decade.

One doesn't have to be a genius at scenario analysis to see that the Verizons of the world might be alienating the very customers and technologies that have given them a chance to grow. Notes one experienced hand in the Internet world, "The monopolists have a long history of shooting themselves in the head in the long run in order to maintain control in the short term."


Mags Use New Video Platforms To Become TV Channels

IN A SURPRISING DEVELOPMENT, NICHE publisher publishers are utilizing new video platforms -- both broadcast and broadband -- to become television producers. Primedia today unveiled plans to create a new broadcast TV channel based on its popular Motor Trend magazine. However, the new channel, Motor Trend TV, will take advantage of the new multicast broadcast spectrum that some stations will create by compressing their digital broadcast signals into multiple, lower definition channels. Primedia said it is partnering with Multicast Networks Group (MNG), a company specializing in network distribution via the new digital broadcast spectrum, and that the new channel would launch as a 24-hour network in 2007.

Fledgling magazine Make, meanwhile, is making a similar transition via popular video sharing site YouTube. Beginning this weekend, Make will use YouTube to hype its "Maker's Faire," a national exposition where homemade tech and gadget fiends gather to admire each other's handiwork.

Make has partnered with YouTube to air video clips that are longer than YouTube users are normally allowed by becoming a member of YouTube's "Director's Program" service, giving the print publisher the same kind of online video distribution capabilities as big TV networks like E! Entertainment and MTV2. YouTube also provides members of the "Director's Program" with features such as links leading back to their own websites and integration of brand graphics.

has partnered with YouTube to air video clips that are longer than YouTube users are normally allowed by becoming a member of YouTube's "Director's Program" service, giving the print publisher the same kind of online video distribution capabilities as big TV networks like E! Entertainment and MTV2. YouTube also provides members of the "Director's Program" with features such as links leading back to their own websites and integration of brand graphics.

"I'm really interested in seeing what kind of metrics we can get for what we publish off of YouTube," said Make Associate Editor Phil Torrone. "I've been tracking response through the URLs we're positioning with the video clips, trying to get an idea of what kind of response we can get. For me it's a big experiment." Torrone said YouTube is also tracking "how many people are joining the Make group, and how many people are downloading the videos.

Make's video offerings include short-form, how-to documentaries about various projects featured in the magazine, including some of Torrone's own creations: an ambulatory humanoid robot and shoes that spell out messages in the air with LEDs as you walk. When Make begins distributing footage from the Faire, including all manner of bizarre robotics, curious inventions, and amateur water rocketry, "I suspect there will be an uptick in magazine subscriptions, and an uptick in visits to the website," Torrone said.

's video offerings include short-form, how-to documentaries about various projects featured in the magazine, including some of Torrone's own creations: an ambulatory humanoid robot and shoes that spell out messages in the air with LEDs as you walk. When begins distributing footage from the Faire, including all manner of bizarre robotics, curious inventions, and amateur water rocketry, "I suspect there will be an uptick in magazine subscriptions, and an uptick in visits to the website," Torrone said.

Because YouTube and similar services like Google Video are so much less expensive and easier than establishing proprietary video-streaming websites, Torrone predicted these platforms will be the wave of the future for smaller content providers, including printed magazine publishers. "Make will never invest the money and engineering in video that YouTube has - and why create your own proprietary video system when what they have works perfectly well?"

That said, Torrone warned of vast quality differences in the market. "The interesting thing is that with Google Video, we've uploaded videos and they just take weeks and weeks and weeks to go up. I uploaded a couple videos on Google Video a few weeks ago and they're still not up there," he noted.

Mag Sag Continues, Consumer Page Drop Mirrors B-to-B

A DAY AFTER BUSINESS PUBLISHERS reported a weak start to magazine ad demand in 2006, their consumer counterparts have disclosed the same. After reporting healthy gains in consumer magazine ad pages during 2005, the Publishers Information Bureau Tuesday said ad page volume has been relatively flat through the first quarter of 2006. In March, the most recent month reported by the magazine industry trade group, ad pages rose just 0.2 percent over March 2005. Through the first three months, consumer magazine ad pages are up just 0.4 percent vs. the same period in 2005.

The lackluster consumer magazine stats follow an update Monday by American Business Media, which estimated that ad pages in business magazines declined 2.3 percent in February, after falling 1.8 percent in January, vs. the same periods in 2005. ABM chief Gordon Hughes noted that 2005 got off to a similar slow start, and stuck by the association's predictions that the B-to-B ad pages revenues would climb 5 percent in 2006.

While consumer magazine ad pages are flat, the PIB estimated that "rate card" revenues rose 5.0 percent in March, and 4.2 percent for the first quarter of 2006. It also reported strong demand for consumer magazine ad inventory from some key categories. The drugs & remedies and retail categories generated double-digit increases in PIB revenue and pages, while toiletries & cosmetics; financial, insurance & real estate; and technology posted gains in ad pages year-to-date.

In fact, Ellen Oppenheim, executive vice president and chief marketing officer of the Magazine Publishers of America, said the association was "heartened" to see automotive, a major consumer magazine category, up 8 percent in ad page volume in March, following several months of "some softness."

In terms of individual titles, there were some low spots and bright starts for consumer magazines. Martha Stewart Living continues to build share, raising its magazine ad volume 85.4 percent over March 2004, while Conde Nast's Cargo magazine, which is being shuttered with its May issue, recorded a 2.0 percent ad page slide in March. Interestingly, Conde Nast's Lucky, another shopping oriented magazine, saw ad pages plunge 9.6 percent in March, amid a downturn in the shopping magazine category.

eBay Makes Bid For Reality TV, Prime-Time Show Will Air On ABC

INTERNET AUCTION GIANT EBAY IS entering television production as a partner in a new ABC reality show where its brand will play a central role. The show, with the working title "Make It Happen," will focus on families who have inspiring dreams but lack the financial means to make them happen. The families will be given the chance to place their "hidden treasures"--collectibles, memorabilia, artifacts, and other items--up for bid on eBay, where the proceeds will turn their dreams into reality.

The show is expected to air this summer with two episodes per week: a Monday night show to introduce the families and their dreams, followed by a Friday show with a live culmination of the bidding on eBay for the families' items. In between will be five days of public bidding on eBay.

The show is expected to serve as a marketing vehicle for eBay through brand integration in the content, the show's role in driving traffic to its site, and favorable PR as eBay plays a role in helping endearing families fulfill their wishes.

The show is a joint venture between eBay, ABC, and Madison Road Entertainment, the branded entertainment agency that brought the other two parties together. The trio has joined under the Plays Well Productions banner to produce the program.

The deal is the latest example of an emerging trend in which advertisers play a role in entertainment production as a way to integrate brands into the content with a favorable spin.

"Make It Happen" also dovetails with ABC's preference for reality programs that focus on wish fulfillment. Still, it's clear the network wants the show to be distinct from its hit "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" and predecessor "Extreme Makeover." Casting information seeks families with "fun and attainable" dreams--including reunions with long-lost loved ones, scholarships, and saving factories from closing--but requests "no home or personal makeovers and no surgeries."

In order to boost a family's chance of making its dreams come true, producers are expected to seek product tie-ins, for which companies would donate items to be placed up for bid to help the family raise money. For example, a family seeking to revamp a Little League baseball field might benefit from items donated by Major League Baseball that could be placed up for bid.

VH1 Sets Commercial-Free Stunt For 'So

ONLY A COUPLE OF EPISODES into its new series, "So NoTORIous," VH1 is looking to get more marketing punch out of the reality show by offering three back-to-back, commercial-free episodes on Sunday night. "So NoTORIous," in which Tori Spelling plays a fictionalized version of herself, won't be completely sponsor-free, however. VH1 has sold presenting sponsorships to two advertisers: Kraft Foods' Easy Mac and Johnson & Johnson's Stay Free. Each will get an opening billboard at the beginning of the program block, as well an ending billboard and announcement at the conclusion of the three episodes.

It's somewhat unusual for a cable network to offer advertising-free episodes of a new show after the show's initial debut. Typically networks, such FX, start off with big marketing bang for the first episode of a new series or the season premiere of a returning show, creating an advertising-free event.

VH1, by contrast, is looking to create a different kind of marketing spin. The programming stunt will last just over an hour. A typical half-hour episode is 22 minutes, and three episodes will bring the block to about 66 minutes in length.

The first episode in the stunt will be a rerun of the series' second episode. Two new episodes will also premiere, featuring Charo and Whoopi Goldberg, as guest stars. Charo makes a cameo appearance in a flashback from the distant 1990s, while Whoopi Goldberg appears as a Santeria-like priestess, Mama Belle.

Digital Splinters Will Have to Be Cobbled Together to Reach Mass Audience

BWith video content popping up on so many screens, marketers in the next five to 10 years will find themselves recreating mass media from a million little pieces, all measured and bought in different ways. But for now, digital media remains only an experimental part of the upfront -- an add on that's neither scaleable nor easily priced. In other words, most of the $9 billion spent by advertisers in the coming month will be used to secure prime-time TV inventory.

With video content popping up on so many screens, marketers in the next five to 10 years will find themselves recreating mass media from a million little pieces, all measured and bought in different ways. But for now, digital media remains only an experimental part of the upfront -- an add on that's neither scaleable nor easily priced. In other words, most of the $9 billion spent by advertisers in the coming month will be used to secure prime-time TV inventory.

Those were the key message delivered by panelists at Advertising Age's "Upfront Conversation," held this morning in Midtown Manhattan.

The wide-ranging discussioncovered everything from the woefully inadequate measurement tools for video to minute-by-minute ratings to emerging digital platforms. Panelists included Mel Berning, exec VP-ad sales, A&E Television Networks; Dennis Donlin, president-CEO, GM Planworks; Andy Jung, senior director-advertising and marketing, Kellogg's; Tim Hanlon, senior VP-Denuo Group; Bill Morningstar, exec VP-media sales, CW; Tony Pace, senior VP-chief marketing officer, Subway; Mike Shaw, president-sales and marketing, ABC; and Joe Uva, president-CEO, OMD Worldwide.

Denuo Group's Mr. Hanlon noted that marketers would need to spend more and more time filling in the digital nooks and crannies to reach their audiences, and that in order to do that, data was needed from a number of sources, not just Nielsen. "We need to be crunchers of data, from the set-top-box to VOD streams to interactive TV clicks and some level of Nielsen data and the DVR stream of data. We are going to have to do the aggregation." Marketers aren't going to have their needs fulfilled by one or two players anymore, he contended.

A theme that ran through much of the discussion was the lack of adequate measurement tools to allow marketers to commit dollars to digital platforms. Nielsen Media Research, panelists were quick to note, has not kept up with the needs of marketers. Commenting on the proliferation of high-definition TV sets, Mr. Hanlon said marketers won't buy what they can't measure. Even though HDTV is extremely "engaging," Nielsen does not yet measure such channels. "It's hard to justify spending the money, that's a real problem to get over," Mr. Hanlon said.

Nielsen was also called out for inadequately measuring viewers using digital video recorders. Kellogg's Mr. Jung said that he would not be paying for time-shifted viewers as part of his upfront buy. The Nielsen sample size for DVR use is too small to be statistically accurate, he said. "You have a better chance of being hit by lightning. ... I'm not basing a business decision on research that is that shaky."

OMD's Mr. Uva suggested Nielsen's services could eventually be superseded by other firms. "I share the opinion that Nielsen has woefully underserved its customers. They've made some strides this year but it's not enough. ... I don't see why we couldn't bring in a third party to audit some of these other channels. If the numbers are verified, audited, pass Sarbanes Oxley, what's to stop us from reaching out to other researchers to do it?"

While both marketers and sales executives agreed that few of the new media offerings were big enough to warrant major ad outlays at this point, marketers were firm in their views that they had to play in the space or get left behind. Mr. Jung said: "There are 700,000 people out there actively blogging. It's not scalable, but it will be."

Subway's Mr. Pace agreed that marketers have to experiment early. "We're interested in extensions but to wait for a cataclysmic event is wrong. The good news about it not being scalable is that the investment is small. The learning is affordable."

Downplaying the impact of digital media on traditional media, ABC's Mr. Shaw reminded the audience that $9 billion plus is still spent in prime time and that the entire streaming video universe barely amounts to a blip on the radar. "If there are 400,000 simultaneous streams on average and 28 million people watching 'Desperate Housewives,' how does it square? It doesn't. You could sell all those ratings in a day. It's not big enough yet to go out and monetize it." Still, Mr. Shaw said the network has worked hard to make advertisers part of the new media offering at the Walt Disney Co., adding that he was surprised that there wasn't more of an outcry among marketers who were cut out of the picture when Disney announced its programming venture with Apple's iTunes.

He also suggested that broadcast networks might not be able to match supply with demand. "Everybody wanted product integration three years ago. But with two, three, four hundred customers, there was not enough supply. We are at the forefront on every new platform but it's not big enough. The opportunities are not there yet."

On the subject of minute-by-minute ratings, marketers noted just how helpful they are in defining where to place ads. Mr. Pace noted that the sandwich chain has learned to "not be after the car commercials." Mr. Jung said that making quality commercials could help keep viewers for a network and may end up being something a marketer could sell back to a network.

However, the question everyone's asking went unanswered by panelists including A&E's Mr. Berning, and CW's Mr. Morningstar. Will the upfront be up, down or flat? Several panelists made the point that it doesn't matter, and that too much emphasis is put on what happens one week in May. Only ABC's Mr. Shaw ventured a direct stab at the question. Not surprisingly, he said ABC would be up.
Immersive Media Company has engineered the Telemmersion® System

that enables the acquisition, analysis and distribution of spherical, immersive videos so that productions can now achieve the ultimate in creativity. Immersive video places the viewer in the middle of the environment and within context so they don't miss a thing. The omnidirectional nature of the video allows the user to look at the same feature, location or object from all angles - front, back, side and top - either live or in recorded format.

With immersive video, operators don't have to worry about where to point the camera; one of the eleven lenses will capture the scene. No more blindspots to worry about and the notion of the frame has been eliminated. Editing time has also been reduced due to less intensive! pre-production. Provide the audience with a more dynamic, interactive experience,that enables the acquisition, analysis and distribution of spherical, immersive videos so that productions can now achieve the ultimate in creativity. Immersive video places the viewer in the middle of the environment and within context so they don't miss a thing. The omnidirectional nature of the video allows the user to look at the same feature, location or object from all angles - front, back, side and top - either live or in recorded format.With immersive video, operators don't have to worry about where to point the camera; one of the eleven lenses will capture the scene. No more blindspots to worry about and the notion of the frame has been eliminated. Editing time has also been reduced due to less intensive! pre-production. Provide the audience with a more dynamic, interactive experience.

Showcase a recreational area online by previewing the terrain; increase visits by heightening awareness. Event planners will be drawn to facilities that they experience entirely. Profile products in a more innovative fashion. Capture more revenue by utilizing immersive video in new environments. Integrate the audience in the message.

Creative projects will be invigorated by allowing the audience to finally see it all.

Immersive Media's CTO, David McCutchen, and COO, Karen Tanaka, will be available for the following interview opportunities:

- Take To The Streets - Experience an immersive environment with a drive through the streets of Chicago or Boston, or walk around Times Square in NYC. IMC is collecting georeferenced spherical Telemmersion video of in the largest cities in the U.S. and Canada. This! includes all major arteries in and out of the city, the downtown core and key attractions. The geo-referenced video will enable users to experience a terrestrial view and give audiences the complete picture - it's like being there.

- Endless Possibilities - The applications for GeoImmersive video are only as limited as one's imagination. See how and where it has been used to date. Discuss all the various ways you can think of that this disruptive technology can give an edge to organizations, products, events and environments.

- Simplifying the Immersive Experience - Test-drive GeoImmersive video by requesting a demo and discover how the simplicity of this medium is enriching the immersive experience for users across multiple disciplines.

About NAB2006

From entertainment to news to business communications, NAB2006 is the only global event that covers the entire spectrum of media. Experience comprehensive business and ! technology insights and innovations covering every aspect of audio and video content production, management and distribution across all forms of media.

• Broadcasting
• Cable
• Satellite
• Motion Pictures
• Internet/Streaming
• Wireless/Telecommunications
• Education/Training
• Corporate/Enterprise
• Government/Military
• Worship

About Immersive Media Corp.

IMC is an advanced digital video imaging company. IMC's Telemmersion System captures a global image using multiple video streams arranged according to geodesic geometry. The dodecahedron design captures omnidirectional video that is seamlessly stitched together and can be viewed live or from a recording. IMC's immersive video provides a view of the entire environment for an interactive experience.

The compact size, lightweight and rugged design of the Telemmersion System makes it completely portable and it can be easily mounted on backpacks, auto! mobiles, scoreboards and the like to capture your vision.

To learn more about Immersive Media and GeoImmersive video, please visit our website at www.immersivemedia.com.

AT&T Homezone TV Service to Feature On-Demand Video Content from Akimbo;

Agreement Will Deliver Thousands of Movies and Videos to the TV.

AT&T Incand Akimbo(TM) Systems today announced an agreement to offer the award-winning Internet-based Akimbo video-on-demand service to subscribers of AT&T's Homezone(TM) TV service, scheduled to launch later this summer. AT&T Homezone subscribers will use their converged set-top boxes to access thousands of video programs and movies.

AT&T Homezone, currently in trial in several states, will integrate AT&T Yahoo!(R) High Speed Internet and AT&T | DISH Network programming to provide video on demand, digital video recording, and Internet content, including photos and music, via a new award-winning set-top box. AT&T Homezone will be available to customers who purchase both AT&T | DISH Network satellite television and AT&T Yahoo! High Speed Internet services.

AT&T plans to offer the content available from Akimbo's library of more than 10,000 television programs and movies-on-demand. Akimbo is the fastest-growing video-on-demand service in the United States, offering videos and movies from more than 165 content partners throughout the world. Each week, Akimbo adds more than 150 new mainstream and niche titles in 85 different categories, such as music, sports, independent film, anime, major motion pictures, education, children's programming and foreign language.

The service will have an online guide that enables AT&T Homezone subscribers to view a comprehensive listing of all Akimbo videos and movies. To help subscribers find videos that match their interests, the on-screen guide features a video search function, full program descriptions and video previews. Customers can also access the guide remotely from an Internet-connected computer to browse and download programs so that new shows are available for viewing when they get home.

"Our agreement with Akimbo is yet another milestone as we prepare to launch our AT&T Homezone service - an entertainment service that we believe will be more powerful and compelling than anything offered on the market today," said Scott Helbing, chief marketing officer-AT&T Consumer. "Consumers want better solutions and more choices for entertainment, and we're committed to delivering that."

"AT&T's innovations are legendary, and the Homezone service follows this tradition," said Joshua Goldman, CEO of Akimbo Systems. "As the first Internet video-on-demand service for TV, Akimbo is delighted to work with AT&T on its groundbreaking Homezone initiative to bring people the best in communications and entertainment, wherever they may be."

AT&T is the nation's largest telecommunications provider. With more than 7 million high speed Internet lines in service, AT&T is also the nation's largest DSL provider. The agreement with Akimbo focuses on maximizing AT&T's industry-leading high speed DSL customer base and offering differentiated services that consumers increasingly demand.

About the New AT&T

AT&T Inc. is one of the world's largest telecommunications holding companies and is the largest in the United States. Operating globally under the AT&T brand, AT&T companies are recognized as the leading worldwide providers of IP-based communications services to business and as leading U.S. providers of high-speed DSL Internet, local and long distance voice, and directory publishing and advertising services. AT&T Inc. holds a 60 percent ownership interest in Cingular Wireless, which is the No. 1 U.S. wireless services provider with more than 54 million wireless customers. Additional information about AT&T Inc. and AT&T products and services is available at http://www.TheNewATT.com.

About Akimbo

With the Akimbo Service, your wish is on demand(TM). Named to the OnHollywood 100 by AlwaysOn and "Best of What's New" by Popular Science, Akimbo has also accepted 2005 Digital World Innovations and CES Best of Innovations 2005 awards. With 12 patent applications featuring more than 150 patent claims, Akimbo is the first company to deliver digital-quality video-on-demand to any television via a broadband-Internet connection. Akimbo has offices in San Mateo, Calif. and is a privately held company funded by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Sprout Group and Zone Ventures. For more information, visit http://www.akimbo.com.

Mobile Phone to Play 'Big Role' in New Entertainment Venture

Counts Media Closes $3.25M Funding Round from the Blue Man Group, Broadway and Experimental Theater Pioneers

Counts Media to Blend Wireless Technology, Theater, Dramatic Story Lines, and Real Life in Entertainment Projects in Europe and the United States Counts Media announced today that it has closed $3.25 million in angel funding from an all-star lineup of investors and entertainment visionaries. The firm will use the proceeds to develop two major products that will launch in the summer of 2006, and to expand its management team with seasoned executives from the entertainment, design, and marketing fields.

The funding, which closed last year, was not announced until today because the company was operating in stealth mode. Now that the firm is launching its branded entertainment division and other consumer entertainment projects, Counts Media management will be laying out its portfolio of next-generation entertainment experiences.

Counts Media investors include Matt Goldman and his partners in the Blue Man Group; Broadway producers Robyn Goodman (Avenue Q -- Tony Award Best Musical 2004, Altar Boyz) and Vivek Tiwary of Tiwary Entertainment Group (A Raisin in the Sun); and independent movie producer Barry Tatelman.

Counts Media is responsible for such projects as Yellow Arrow, a creative integrated entertainment experience that has spread to 280 cities in 22 countries. Yellow Arrow (http://www.yellowarrow.net) uses a unique online and mobile mapmaking product featuring actual yellow arrow stickers placed around the world.

Since first appearing on the streets of Manhattan's Lower East Side in May 2004, Yellow Arrow has caught the attention of publications such as The New York Times, Wired Magazine, Newsweek, The Washington Post, and The Boston Globe, and has been featured on NPR and NBC. It's generated enormous interest in Europe, with features in such media as The London Times, Politiken, Liberation, Diari de Barcelona, and de Volkskrant.

"The world is our theater"

Investor Matt Goldman, one of the founders of the Blue Man Group, believes the firm has enormous potential to reinvent entertainment. "Instead of the cell phone being an additional distribution channel or for promotional tie-ins, Counts Media uses it as a kind of remote control required to participate in real-world entertainment adventures. Thus, future entertainment experiences will play out in multiple media, not just be available in different formats."

"Mobile devices will play a big role in our entertainment projects because they're affordable and almost everyone has one," explains CEO Michael Counts.

The company will introduce several products and properties in coming months.

About Counts Media:

Counts Media creates consumer and branded entertainment that merges mobile and Web technologies, location-specific content, live productions, and broadcast. Our mission is to deepen and enrich the way people experience the world by making the ordinary extraordinary


``The Film Noir Classic Collection Volume 3'': ``Border Incident,'' ``His Kind of Woman,'' ``Lady in the Lake,'' ``On Dangerous Ground,'' ``The Racket''

-- All Films Debut July 18 From Warner Home Video Includes Bonus Documentary Exclusive to Collection plus New Expert Commentaries on Each Film

All Films Debut July 18 From Warner Home Video Includes Bonus Documentary Exclusive to Collection plus New Expert Commentaries on Each Film

The third time's the charm when Hollywood's legendary tough guys and femme fatales collide once again in "The Film Noir Classic Collection Volume Three," debuting July 18 from Warner Home Video (WHV). The Collection includes five smoldering suspense thriller classics, all new to DVD: "Border Incident," "His Kind of Woman," "Lady in the Lake," "On Dangerous Ground" and "The Racket." In addition, available exclusively with the set, will be a bonus documentary -- "Film Noir: Bringing Darkness to Light" -- a vital companion piece that contains an elucidating overview, complete with clips and expert commentary. The six disc collection will be sold as a set only, for $49.92 SRP.

The movies star film noir icons Robert Mitchum, Jane Russell, Robert Ryan, Ricardo Montalban and Ida Lupino, among others, and feature brand new commentaries from film historians.

About Film Noir

"Film Noir" (in French, "black film") is at its core pessimistic with stories of people trapped in a world of alienation, disillusionment, corruption and moral ambiguity. Developed during and after World War II, classic film noir took advantage of the post-war ambience of anxiety, pessimism and suspicion and counter-balanced it with the optimism of Hollywood musicals and comedies of the same time where flattering soft lighting, deluxe interiors and elaborately built exterior sets were the rule.

Film noir re-influenced mainstream cinema by creating bleak but intelligent dramas in real-life urban settings and using unsettling techniques such as skewed camera angles, expressionistic lighting, deep-focus camera work and confessional voice-overs.

Gameloft Gets Down with Paris Hilton

Exclusive Multiyear Licensing Agreement to Produce Mobile Games Based on Heiress Extraordinaire; Roll, Schmooze and Party with Paris Hilton Anytime, Anyplace Via Your Cell Phone

Gameloft, a leading developer and publisher of mobile games, is delighted to announce a long term licensing agreement with Paris Hilton Entertainment Inc. to develop, publish and distribute mobile games based on heiress and pop culture icon, Paris Hilton.

As part of this agreement, Gameloft will develop and produce a series of mobile games featuring Paris Hilton and her likeness. The first title in the series will be geared to tweens/teens and fans of Paris Hilton. Additional games scheduled for production will be aimed at both male and female fans of Ms. Hilton whose diverse fan base complements Gameloft's catalogue of wide ranging games.

"Gameloft is dedicated to increasing mobile game offerings to female and casual gamers and we are thrilled to have Paris Hilton on board," said Michel Guillemot, president, Gameloft. "She is a model, a fashionista, an actress, an entrepreneur and a pop culture force of nature whose appeal is recognized the world over. Mobile games based on such a significant personality as Paris Hilton will be an excellent addition to our diverse slate of games," added Guillemot. "She is a universal brand that surpasses all boundaries."

"I'm excited to collaborate with Gameloft to bring the Paris Hilton brand and the glamour of young Hollywood to the cell phones of all my fans around the world," said Paris Hilton. "My phone has become an all in one entertainment device and mobile games are an integral part of that. Mobile gaming is really hot right now and I'm excited to be part of this project."

Gameloft's experience in bringing branded entertainment personalities to the mobile space includes baseball star Derek Jeter, golf pro Vijay Singh and European soccer star Djibril Cisse.

The first mobile game based on Paris Hilton is scheduled for release worldwide in summer of 2006.

About Gameloft

Gameloft is a leading international publisher and developer of video games for mobile phones. Established in 1999, it has emerged as one of the top innovators in its field. The company creates games for mobile handsets equipped with Java, Brew or Symbian technology. The total number of games-enabled handsets is anticipated to exceed two billion units in 2008.

Partnership agreements with leading licensors and sports personalities such as Ubisoft Entertainment, Universal Pictures, Viacom, Warner Bros., FifPro, Lamborghini, Vans, Derek Jeter, Vijay Singh and Geoff Rowley allow Gameloft to form strong relationships with international brands. In addition to the partnerships, Gameloft owns and operates titles such as Block Breaker Deluxe, Asphalt: Urban GT and New York Nights.

Through agreements with major telephone wireless carriers, handset manufacturers, specialized distributors and its online shop, Gameloft has a distribution network in over 65 countries.

Gameloft has worldwide offices in New York, San Francisco, Montreal, Buenos Aires, Paris, London, Duesseldorf, Milan, Barcelona, New Delhi, Seoul, Beijing, Hong Kong and Tokyo. Gameloft is listed on Euronext Paris (ISIN: FR0000079600, Bloomberg: GFT FP, Reuters: GLFT.PA)

For more information visit http://www.gameloft.com.

About Paris Hilton

Paris Hilton can next be seen starring in "The Simple Life 4," which will air on E! Entertainment. The show also stars Nicole Ritchie, and follows the girls as they leave behind the comforts of life in Beverly Hills and hit the road working odd jobs along the way. Paris' other television credits include: "The O.C.," "Las Vegas," "Veronica Mars," and "The George Lopez Show."

Segueing between the big and small screen, Paris was last seen on the big screen in the Warner Bros. film "The House of Wax," starring alongside Chad Michael Murray for producer Joel Silver. Additional film credits include: "Raising Helen," "Zoolander," "The Cat in the Hat," and "Wonderland."

Paris' career continues to evolve with exciting and challenging projects. This fall Paris will release her first untitled album produced by Scott Storche for Warner Bros. Records. Her first single is set to be released In early June. She just released her second book, "Confess it all to Me," following her New York Best Seller, "Confessions of an Heiress," for Simon and Shuster in September 2004. She is currently at work on her third fragrance under the Paris Hilton Brand.

Paris enjoys spending time with her family, friends and pets and is actively involved in numerous and various animal advocacy organizations.

Paris resides in Los Angeles.


Shomex, Variety And The Walt Disney Company Announce More Than 4,000 People Attended Premiere Of The Entertainment & Media Career Expo

More than 4,000 people attended the launch of the Entertainment & Media Career Expo, http://www.shomex.com/variety, presented by VarietyCareers.com and The Walt Disney Company, on April 11, 2006 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Damon Lindelof, executive producer and co-creator of ABC's "Lost," kicked off the event in front of a standing room only audience with a 30-minute multimedia presentation that featured clips from "Crash" and "Lost." Lindelof shared his passion for diversity with a keynote presentation and Q&A session that clearly engaged the audience and set the tone for the day of "Celebrating Diversity."

"We are thrilled at the huge attendance which far exceeded our expectations for this first-time event. Based on the strong turnout and positive feedback from exhibitors, we will be exploring the opportunity of making this an annual event in Los Angeles as well as launching a similar event in New York," said Lewis R. Shomer, president and CEO of Shomex, the event's producer.

"As a sponsor of the expo, we wanted to introduce and brand VarietyCareers.com to both employers and job seekers. We want to thank all of the speakers, exhibitors and attendees who made this event such a success," said Jennifer Glen, Director, VarietyCareers.com.

Sponsored by Fox Entertainment Group and Paramount Pictures, the event featured leading employers from across the entertainment and media spectrum. The final list of exhibitors includes ABC, Inc., Act 1 Personnel, American Indians in Film & Television, Clear Channel Radio, Comcast, DirecTV, Disney Consumer Products, Eleventh Hour Entertainment, Fox Entertainment Group, KJLH Radio, NBC - Universal, Nickelodeon, 93.1 Jack-FM, Paramount Pictures, Randstad USA, Reed Business Information, Scripps Networks, Street Lights, UCLA, VarietyCareers.com, The Walt Disney Company, Walt Disney Internet Group, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, The Walt Disney Studios, Warner Bros. and Warner Music Group.

About Shomex

Founded in 1984, Shomex is a developer, manager and producer of exhibitions, generally co-branded with leading community and professional organizations, industry tradeshows and media properties. With the #1 live diversity talent marketplace in the U.S. and other specialized vertical products for the security & defense, pharmaceutical & healthcare and entertainment & media sectors, Shomex is the nation's leading supplier of live recruitment solutions. Shomex' national portfolio of events, related media and marketing services delivers value-rich solutions to hundreds of the nation's largest companies. More info on Shomex is available at http://www.shomex.com.

About VarietyCareers.com

VarietyCareers (http://www.varietycareers.com) is the premier media and entertainment job site that is powered by the Variety Group, which includes some of the top industry publications (Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News, Variety and Video Business). Employers in the media and entertainment industry can use VarietyCareers.com to find qualified candidates for openings in a diverse range of fields (TV, cable, publishing, home entertainment) and categories (advertising, finance, legal, production, writing, sales). The site is a free service for job seekers. For more information, please contact 800-357-4745 or varietycareers@reedbusiness.com.

About The Walt Disney Company

The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS), together with its subsidiaries and affiliates, is a leading diversified international family entertainment and media enterprise with four business segments: media networks, parks and resorts, studio entertainment and consumer products. Disney is a Dow 30 company, had annual revenues of nearly $32 billion in its most recent fiscal year, and a market capitalization of approximately $52 billion as of March 27, 2006.

About "Lost"

For the second season in a row, ABC's "Lost" ranks a strong No. 1 in its Wednesday 9 o'clock time period among Total Viewers and across each of the key adult demos (AD18-34/AD18-49/AD25-54), leading its hour this season by 2.3 million viewers (15.3 million vs. 13.0 million - CBS) and by 19% in Adults 18-49 (6.3/15 vs. 5.3/13 - Fox) over its closest competitors. Comparing original airings this season to the same point a year ago, "Lost" has seen its audience surge by 1.7 million viewers (20.2 million vs. 18.5 million) and by 23% in Adults 18-49 (8.5/20 vs. 6.9/18). "Lost" stands as the No. 1 scripted TV program of any network on Wednesday night this season in Total Viewers and Adults 18-49, and "Lost" qualifies as ABC's most-watched series in the time period in 9 years -- since the 1996-97 season. The fastest-selling TV series in the Company's history, "Lost" has been licensed to 193 territories worldwide. Across countries such as Australia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Indonesia, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Singapore, Sweden, the UK and Russia, "Lost" has consistently performed No. 1 in its timeslot.

ThoughtWorthy Media Premieres Internet Search Engine

for Products, Music, and Commercials That Appear on TV; Startup Believes There's Not Enough Product Placement On-Screen Today

ThoughtWorthy Media Inc. today announced the launch of a new online vertical search engine for televised product placement, music, spot advertising, and all other TV merchandising relationships.

Watch. Click. Buy.(TM) Simply stated, if a viewer can see it or hear it on TV, ThoughtWorthy Media's new search engine enables that viewer to seamlessly identify, learn more, buy, and even criticize it online at http://www.thoughtworthy.com.

Visitors to the thoughtworthy.com website can identify the music, clothes, cosmetics, cars, electronics, and jewelry that either appeared in or were inspired by the latest episodes of their favorite TV shows, music videos, movies, and commercials. They can then write reviews praising those product placements that worked and criticizing those that didn't. Of course, fans can always pay a show the ultimate compliment by making a purchase based on an on-screen product appearance from one of ThoughtWorthy Media's dozens of retail partners.

While some say they are concerned by the growing popularity of "product placement," ThoughtWorthy Media thinks differently.

"What viewers often and justifiably complain about today isn't the amount of product placement on TV, but rather the amount of brand placement," said Daniel P. Swartz, founder, chairman, and CEO of ThoughtWorthy Media. "Product placement is a good thing. A beautiful car is a beautiful car and a stylish sweater is a stylish sweater. Consumers want both. What viewers have a problem with, however, is a close-up shot of a soda can or some terribly forced line of dialogue containing the mention of an advertiser's brand name."

By allowing viewers, on their own schedules, to connect with the products, music, and advertising that they experience on TV via the Internet - a medium ideally suited for such interaction - ThoughtWorthy Media enables television producers to organically integrate products and advertising within their shows without alienating audiences.

"We want users to ask: 'how would that chair look in my office?' and 'would that dress look good on my wife?' and use the expertise of the decorators and designers on TV to help answer these questions at ThoughtWorthy.com," said Kevin A. McGrail, president and CTO of ThoughtWorthy Media. "Our goal is to make product placement less obvious and more organic to the passive viewing experience while still benefiting the advertiser and the viewer - all without negatively impacting the artistic vision of the cast and crew."

Highlights of ThoughtWorthy Media's proprietary iDTV(TM) technology platform include:

-- A Powerful Search Engine. Users can search by TV show, episode, music video, movie, character, celebrity, artist, brand, product, date, and even commercial.

-- Contextual Product Reviews. Users can link their product reviews to a given character, TV show, episode, music video, and more; the goal being to help other like-minded fans understand how the reviewer was first introduced to a given product.

-- Relational Product Footprints. Users can track product placements across multiple episodes on multiple TV shows, music videos, and movies. Audiences might be surprised by the patterns that emerge!

-- Strong Web 2.0 Support. Users can embed lists of their favorite products, music, celebrities, and more within their own websites, blogs, and MySpace profiles. Additionally, ThoughtWorthy Media offers native support for del.icio.us bookmarks and leverages content from the popular Wikipedia and MusicBrainz databases throughout its websites.

ThoughtWorthy Media's management team has extensive e-commerce experience. In 1997, Swartz and McGrail partnered with CurtCo Freedom Group and Alliance Entertainment to launch Romlight.com Inc., a pioneering DVD e-commerce website. Romlight.com eventually became the foundation for Movie Gallery Inc.'s online retail portal. Movie Gallery is now the second-largest video rental company in North America with estimated annual revenue of $2 billion and nearly 4,800 stores.

About ThoughtWorthy Media

ThoughtWorthy Media Inc. is a leading interactive television company targeted specifically at the product placement and spot advertising industries. The company's proprietary iDTV(TM) technology platform allows viewers to easily connect online with the products, music, and advertising that they experience on TV. For more information, please visit http://www.thoughtworthy.com.


Warner Bros. Pictures Tough Guys Collection''

All New to DVD July 18 From Warner Home Video: ``Bullets or Ballots,'' ``Each Dawn I Die,'' ``'G' Men,'' ``San Quentin,'' ``City for Conquest,'' ``A Slight Case of Murder''

Warner Home Video: -- Edward G. Robinson, Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney, George Raft and Others in Crime Classics Punched Up with Extras Including "Warner Night At The Movies" Vintage Featurettes, Expert Commentaries, Classic Cartoons and Trailer Galleries Warner Home Video follows up its recent "Gangster Collection" success with the "Warner Bros. Pictures Tough Guys Collection" -- six new crime genre classics that make their DVD debuts on July 18. All new to DVD, the six-disc set will include "Bullets or Ballots," "Each Dawn I Die," "'G' Men," "San Quentin," "A Slight Case of Murder" and "City for Conquest" with the original prologue intact for the first time since the film was released. The collection will be available for $59.92 SRP. Each title is also available separately for $19.97 SRP.

All six titles have been fully restored and digitally remastered with special features including historian commentaries and new making-of featurettes. Each disc also contains an exclusive "Warner Night at the Movies" segment which recreates moviegoer attractions such as newsreels, comedy shorts, cartoons and trailers from the years each film was released.

Major Hollywood studios in the '30s and '40s were each known for their distinctive styles (MGM for its musicals; Universal for its horror films, etc.). Warner Bros. was best known for firmly establishing the genre of gangster films, which were also noted for their socially conscious themes as well as their simple visual look (low key lighting and sparse sets).

Soak Up The Fun With Disney Character-Themed Swimwear, Beach Towels, Body Boards, Lunchware, And More

Just in time for the long, hot days of summer, Disney Store (NASDAQ: PLCE), is launching a colorful collection of summer swimwear, apparel and accessories for infants, kids and families.

"Disney Store's Summer 2006 Collection is pure fun under the sun," says Doug Braunstein, Vice President of Creative, Trend & Design for Disney Store North America. "We infused bright, citrus colors with a fruit-inspired trend that should make a big splash with kids and adults."

Inspired by popular Disney characters, the apparel rumbas with vibrantly colored "Copabanana" swimwear and apparel for girls, coordinated Muscle Beach styles for boys, and a fun assortment of accessories to make days at the beach or pool extra special.

For a fun and festive look, Disney Store offers the Copabanana line: juicy mix-and-match ensembles of vibrant tops, skorts, tees and pants with ruffled trim (SRP $12.50 each or 2 for $20). Fashion-conscious girls will love the feminine touches in swimwear inspired by Tinker Bell, Disney Princesses, Lilo and Ariel (SRP $16.50 - $19.50 each).

Dash (from The Incredibles), Buzz Lightyear, Bruce (from Finding Nemo) and Power Rangers are the heroic characters featured in the Muscle Beach line for boys. Swim trunks feature inner lining and a drawstring waist for a better fit (SRP $16.50 each). In addition, boldly-colored, rugged tanks and shorts (SRP $10.50 - $16.50 each) in mix-and-match styles put the magic back into dressing.

For baby beachcombers, Disney Store introduces Tiny Tanks (SRP $12.50 each or 2 for $20) and Baby Mocs (SRP $14.50 each). Jersey knit tank-top-and-shorts onesies made of 100% cotton are coordinated with matching leather moccasins complete the look.

"Disney Store's summer collection is colorful and fun, with swimwear, apparel and a variety of accessories designed to really capture the magic of summer," said Amy Hauk, Senior Vice President, General Merchandise Manager, Disney Store North America. "Parents will appreciate the high quality, durability and distinctive styles, and kids will love pretending to be their favorite Disney characters."

Whether riding the surf or just paddling around in the pool, kids will soak up the fun with their favorite Disney characters featured on body boards, hula hoops, beach balls, and inflatable rafts (SRP $6.50 - $16.50 each). Out of the water, enjoy a warm hug from a Disney friend on thick, absorbent beach towels (SRP $14.50 each or 2 for $25). At mealtime, gather around the picnic table with festive lunchware featuring Mickey, Nemo, Buzz, Tinker Bell, Ariel and Stitch (SRP $2.50 - $12.50 each). Made of durable, high-quality plastic, these dishes are safe for the poolside as well as convenient for the beach or camping.

These great summer items are only available at Disney Stores, located in malls and shopping centers in the U.S. and Canada and not available online. Call 800-757-5933 for store locations.

About Disney Store North America

Disney Store originated the themed retail environment when it opened its first store in Glendale, California in 1987. Disney Store currently operates over 300 locations in the United States and Canada that offer immediate access to magical Disney products. Disney Store North America is owned, and under license operated, by a subsidiary of The Children's Place Retail Stores, Inc. a leading specialty retailer of apparel and accessories for children.

Country Music Artist Michael Lee Austin Hits #1 on Amazon Charts,

Beating Out Rascal Flats, Toby Keith, Tim McGraw, Keith Urban and ALL Other Artists New Country Music Artist Michael Lee Austin sent a shockwave throughout the music world by hitting #1 on Amazon.com's Music Chart for four straight days. On Wednesday, April 12, 2006, Michael Lee Austin was ranked 175,000 on Amazon.com's ranking charts. Here's the amazing part of what happened ... On Friday, April 14th 2006 ... Michael Lee Austin was ranked #1 on Amazon's Country Music Chart; Michael Lee Austin was ranked #1 on Amazon's Indie Music Chart; Michael Lee Austin was ranked #1 on Amazon's Overall Chart. Michael Lee Austin was the best-selling CD on Amazon for four straight solid days. His CD was outselling top acts like Bruce Springsteen, Rascal Flats, Toby Keith, Tim McGraw and all others.

Austin's website http://www.MichaelLeeAustin.com hit #501 on Alexa.com's tracking service, making ot the 501st most-visited website in the world. The question on many minds is how did this all happen? How can a virtually unknown country music artist on an independent label, Alive Records, beat out every major artist in the world? Two words ... the Internet. Alive Records has one thing which made this all possible - Armand Morin, one of the world's top Internet Marketers as one of its owners and VP of Marketing. Armand Morin has been marketing online since 1996 and has taught thousands of small businesses how to succeed with the Internet. Mr. Morin collaborated on a massive Internet Marketing campaign through Joint Ventures with his inner circle of Internet Marketing associates. In a four-day period, Labor Pains Michael Lee Austin's topped every music chart Amazon had. The music industry has always wondered how the Internet could affect sales.

This proves once and for all that the Internet can create sales like no other form of media. Once understood, the Internet can enhance any artist's marketing campaign. Alive Records, with Armand Morin in its corner, will not only continue to bring great music, but also will continue to challenge traditional forms of marketing with the Internet. Alive Records still does radio promotion, press releases such as this and radio interviews, but for immediate results the Internet is hard to beat. Michael Lee Austin has a great career ahead of him on and off the Internet. Official Michael Lee Austin Website: http://www.MichaelLeeAustin.com

Fox Sports Joins Newly Launched My TV

 24-hour Sports Channel Launches on the Basic Tier of My TV Satellite Service in Africa

Sports announced today a three-year agreement with My TV (http://www.mytvafrica.tv) for carriage of the Fox Sports Africa network in Nigeria and Ghana, with an eye towards expansion into other North and Central African territories in the coming months.

Fox Sports joins a select group of networks on My TV's satellite system, which prides itself on catering to every member of the African family. The service comprises a mix of movie, sports, music, kids, news and general interest programming.

Fox Sports, as it is currently aired in Nigeria and Ghana, features many international and U.S. domestic sports, including four regular season Major League Baseball games per week, 22 regular season NFL American football games, and two Scottish Premier League soccer games per week. Completing the impressive programming line-up are the NFL playoffs and Super Bowl championship game, college basketball (from the SEC, ACC and PAC-10 conferences), the National Hockey League, the American and European PGA tours, ATP Tennis, boxing, auto racing, extreme sports, track and field, and a wide variety of niche sports, plus a nightly sports news show, the Fox Sports World Report.

"We are very pleased to be partnered with My TV in the expanding television markets of Nigeria and Ghana," said David Sternberg, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Fox Sports International. "Since our entry into the African market two years ago, it has been exciting to see the demand for first-rate international sports programming continue to grow."

About Fox Sports

Fox Sports Africa is affiliated with Fox Sports International, an international sports programming and production entity housed within the Fox Cable Networks Group, one of the major operating units within the Fox Entertainment Group (NYSE:FOX) and News Corporation (NYSE:NWS). Additional information about Fox Sports Africa can be obtained by visiting its Web site at http://www.foxsportsafrica.com.

Fox Sports

All-Star Cast Secured for SUPERMAN RETURNS: THE VIDEOGAME from EA and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

Electronic Arts and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment announced today they have secured an all-star cast for the voices in SUPERMAN RETURNS(TM): THE VIDEOGAME. The game will feature the voice and likeness of Brandon Routh (Superman/Clark Kent) as well as the voices of Kevin Spacey (Lex Luthor), Kate Bosworth (Lois Lane), Parker Posey (Kitty Kowalski) and Sam Huntington (Jimmy Olsen), all reprising their roles from the upcoming Warner Bros. Pictures film directed by Bryan Singer.

Launching with the film this summer on June 28, SUPERMAN RETURNS: THE VIDEOGAME allows players to experience a real sense of flying, and master Superman's unrivaled powers in order to save Metropolis. Based on the classic DC Comics books as well as the upcoming motion picture, SUPERMAN RETURNS: THE VIDEOGAME draws from more than 60 years of comic lore to create the ultimate open-world super hero experience.

SUPERMAN RETURNS: THE VIDEOGAME is currently in development by EA Tiburon in Orlando, Fla. and will be released on the Xbox 360(TM) videogame and entertainment system from Microsoft, as well as current generation platforms and handheld game systems. More information can be found at http://www.besuperman.com.


Electronic Arts Inc. (EA), headquartered in Redwood City, California, is the world's leading interactive entertainment software company. Founded in 1982, the company develops, publishes, and distributes interactive software worldwide for videogame systems, personal computers and the Internet. Electronic Arts markets its products under four brand names: EA SPORTS(TM), EA(TM), EA SPORTS BIG(TM) and POGO(TM). In fiscal 2005, EA posted revenues of $3.1 billion and had 31 titles that sold more than one million copies. EA's homepage and online game site is http://www.ea.com.


Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment Inc., a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, is a premier licensor and a developer of entertainment content for the interactive space across all current and future platforms, including consoles, PC-based gaming and wireless applications.


DC Comics, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, is the largest English-language publisher of comics in the world and home to such iconic characters as Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and the Sandman. These DC super heroes and others have starred in comic books, movies, television series (both animated and live-action) and cyberspace, thrilling audiences of all ages for generations. DC Comics' Web site is located at http://www.dccomics.com.


Following a mysterious absence of several years, the Man of Steel comes back to Earth in the epic action-adventure Superman Returns, a soaring new chapter in the saga of one of the world's most beloved superheroes. While an old enemy plots to render him powerless once and for all, Superman faces the heartbreaking realization that the woman he loves, Lois Lane, has moved on with her life. Or has she? Superman's bittersweet return challenges him to bridge the distance between them while finding a place in a society that has learned to survive without him. In an attempt to protect the world he loves from cataclysmic destruction, Superman embarks on an epic journey of redemption that takes him from the depths of the ocean to the far reaches of outer space.

EA, EA SPORTS, EA SPORTS BIG and POGO are trademarks or registered trademarks of Electronic Arts Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. Microsoft and Xbox 360 are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the U.S. and/or other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

SUPERMAN and all related characters and elements are trademarks of and (C) DC Comics.

Fox Home Entertainment Has Something for Every Mom This Mother's Day;

Charming, Romantic And Heartwarming Film Classics On DVD Make The Perfect Gift For Mom

Perfectly timed for Mother's Day, Fox Home Entertainment offers a host of contemporary and classic films on DVD that are just right for mom. Priced as low as $9.98, this selection of films is sure to please with star power including Jennifer Aniston, George Clooney, Goldie Hawn, Nicole Kidman, Ewan McGregor, James Caan, Liam Neeson, Keanu Reeves and Susan Sarandon. Among the delightful titles are rip-roaring musicals including "Hello Dolly!", "Call Me Madam" and the Academy Award(R)-winning "Moulin Rouge"; sweeping romances such as "Anna And The King" and "A Walk In The Clouds"; and hilarious comedies including "Sideways," "The War Of The Roses" and "The Banger Sisters." All titles will be available widely for Mother's Day at the suggested retail prices listed below

DVDs Priced At $19.98 U.S. and Canada:



DVDs Priced At $16.98 U.S. and Canada:

"Moulin Rouge"

DVDs Priced At $14.98 U.S./$16.98 Canada:

"A Walk In The Clouds"

"Anna And The King"

"Call Me Madam"

"Hello Dolly!"

"Kissing Jessica Stein"


"Raising Arizona"


"The Banger Sisters"

"The Good Girl"

"Working Girl"

DVDs Priced At $9.98 U.S./$11.98 Canada:

"Kiss Me Goodbye"

"Man Trouble"

"Nine Months"

"Oscar and Lucinda"

"Paradise Road"

"Secrets & Lies"

"The War of the Roses"

"What A Way To Go"

"Woman On Top"

"Worth Winning"

A recognized global industry leader, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment LLC is the worldwide marketing, sales and distribution company for all Fox film and television programming on VHS and DVD as well as video acquisitions and original productions. Each year the Company introduces hundreds of new and newly enhanced products, which it services to retail outlets -- from mass merchants and warehouse clubs to specialty stores and e-commerce -- throughout the world. Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment LLC is a subsidiary of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, a News

Corporation company.

For more information, screener and/or artwork requests, please contact Cecilia Sandoval: #

Time Warner, Michael Eisner and Spark Capital Join Shelter Capital to Complete $12.5 Million Strategic Series B Investment in Veoh Networks

Veoh's Global Independent Broadcasting System Poised to Lead Television Broadcasting Revolution; Michael Eisner Joins Board of Directors

Veoh Networks, Inc., innovative, new, independent Internet television broadcasting system, announced today the completion of a major strategic financing round, raising $12.5 million in a Series B venture capital financing. Additionally, Michael Eisner, former chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company, and Todd Dagres, managing partner of Spark Capital, will join the Veoh Networks board of directors.

New investors Spark Capital, Time Warner Inc. and Mr. Eisner's The Tornante Company joined existing investor Shelter Capital Partners in the financing. In addition to Messrs. Eisner and Dagres, Art Bilger, managing partner of Shelter Capital Partners and former vice-chairman of Akamai, and Dmitry Shapiro, founder and CEO of Veoh Networks, serve on the board of directors.

Veoh Networks delivers broadcast-quality entertainment and informational content via the Internet, using unique distribution technologies to allow for unlimited capacity for both long- and short-form programming. Veoh presents consumers with unprecedented choice in video and television content by enabling anyone -- from the largest studio to up-and-coming independents to aspiring enthusiasts -- to broadcast without constraints of cost, geography or capacity issues.

"Cable and satellite fundamentally changed the way television was distributed by creating the capacity for greater choice in programming. Veoh revolutionizes television again by leveraging the Internet to expand broadcast capacity to the point that every single user, whether an individual or a media company, can create their own `channel' and every `channel' can be supported by its own business model," said Mr. Eisner. "In the past, distributing television programming required an enormous broadcast infrastructure. Veoh enables anyone with an Internet connection to distribute and receive programming in the highest quality."

Rachel Lam, group managing director of Time Warner Investments, said: "Video delivery over the Internet is not a new concept, but the ability to deliver long-form, high definition programming and provide interactivity and community is an important differentiator. Veoh's unique combination of technologies creates a strategic content distribution platform as well as the opportunity to greatly enhance the consumer's experience with Internet-delivered video. We're excited to be a part of that."

Veoh allows entertainment professionals and enthusiasts to distribute broadcast-quality video content, while also providing a web-based catalogue, previews and community. Using Veoh, consumers harness the distribution power of the Internet, while still watching content in full-screen quality on their PC, television or portable device, including iPods and PSPs.

"Spark sees Veoh becoming the `industry standard' for the conflux of media, entertainment and technology," said Mr. Dagres. "We believe Veoh will reinvent the way rich media is distributed, consumed and monetized."

"The World Wide Web allowed anyone to distribute print information, fundamentally changing the media industry through unprecedented choice and new business models. Veoh's mission is to do the same for video and television content," said Mr. Shapiro. "We are extremely excited that we have been able to attract such a strategic, media-savvy and experienced group of investors to support Veoh's vision."

To start broadcasting or watching media with Veoh, visit veoh.com.

About Veoh Networks, Inc.

Veoh Networks is a new, innovative Internet television broadcasting system that is able to reach hundreds of millions of broadband-connected viewers throughout the world. Veoh allows content producers from major entertainment studios and television networks to independent video producers and enthusiasts to deliver high-quality, full-screen video directly to consumers without financial, geographical or capacity restrictions found in traditional broadcasting systems. This democratization of video distribution fundamentally changes the dynamics of television, creating unprecedented choice for consumers and a compelling marketplace for content providers and advertisers. Veoh is privately held and backed by leading technology and media investors, including Spark Capital, Michael Eisner's Tornante Company, Time Warner Inc. and Shelter Capital Partners. Veoh Networks is based in San Diego.

SightSpeed to Present in the Top Innovator Demo Program at OnHollywood 2006;

Will Showcase Award Winning Internet Video & Voice Communications & Content Services

SightSpeed, the award-winning provider of free and premium Internet video and voice communications services (VVoIP and VoIP), today announced that it will be participating in the Top Innovator Demo program at OnHollywood 2006, the digital media and entertainment market for executives, held May 2 - 4 at the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood, CA.

The two-and-a-half-day industry insider event borrows on the 'film market' tradition by providing a space for pioneering digital media companies to present a six-minute Top Innovator Demo of their products and services. SightSpeed will have the opportunity to demo its product and present its business model at the event, in front of an expert panel and a live and global webcast audience of industry influencers.

SightSpeed will be presenting its demo at 9:50 AM on May 4th. SightSpeed executives will also be available for private demos and briefings in the Granada Room at 10:30 AM on Thursday May 4th. To arrange a briefing with SightSpeed at OnHollywood, please contact Brooke Davidson of Comunicano, Inc at 1-858-314-2958 or by email, bdavidson@comunicano.com.

"To be selected for the OnHollywood Top Innovator Demo is a testament to SightSpeed's mission of being best in class and the most innovative company in the Internet based video and voice communications and content services space," said SightSpeed CEO Peter Csathy.

"The Top Innovator Demo program is a compelling environment for digital media companies to communicate how they plan to exploit the new opportunities in online entertainment and media," said Tony Perkins, organizer of OnHollywood 2006 and founder of AlwaysOn. "Our view is that the consumer is now leading the direction of technology innovation, and that the 'Instant Messaging Generation' is now firmly in charge, having taken the baton from the PC generation. These companies will be showcasing how their firms can contribute to this digital revolution. This is a chance to gain valuable feedback from leading industry insiders and meet peers and partners, as well as to attract the attention of the venture and press communities."

OnHollywood 2006 is where cutting-edge technology CEOs from all over the planet converge on Hollywood and mix it up with the entertainment and media establishment.


About SightSpeed Inc.

SightSpeed offers consumers and small businesses the most complete and compelling suite of IP-based voice and video services available anywhere. SightSpeed enables its users to connect, communicate, market and transact business with friends, family, colleagues and customers worldwide. SightSpeed's innovative services also give users compelling and easy-to-use content creation and publishing tools.

An award-winning provider of free and premium Internet video and voice communications, SightSpeed delivers unequalled video and voice over IP, VoIP and IM messaging, advanced community features including a new public directory as well as offering users an easy-to-use video messaging platform to record and post original user-generated content to blogs and websites.

Founded in 2001, SightSpeed is a privately held company funded by The Roda Group, best known for launching the company Ask Jeeves.

About OnHollywood 2006: May 2-4 @ The Roosevelt Hotel, Hollywood

OnHollywood is where cutting edge technology from the backstreets of Silicon Valley converges with Hollywood's media and entertainment elite. The three-day event borrows on the "film market" tradition by providing an open environment for digital media and entertainment entrepreneurs to meet the big-time studio, telco and consumer electronics executives, venture capitalists, and media. OnHollywood delves into the challenges, opportunities and business models of the digital era, and showcases the most innovative private companies that are revolutionizing the way media and entertainment is created, distributed, and consumed.

About AlwaysOn

AlwaysOn is transforming the communication business with its online blogging network for technology, media and entertainment insiders, establishing it as a leader in the Open Media revolution. Borrowing from the underground traditions of blogging and social networking, AlwaysOn (http://www.alwayson-network.com/) was launched in 2003. Today, AO's annual Summit @ Stanford and OnHollywood events, print "blogozine" and online services encourage direct collaboration between global thought leaders and technology insiders. No other media brand has dared allow such openness amongst its readers and participants. AlwaysOn, LLC, is a privately held and virtually headquartered company born out of the heart of Silicon Valley.

for SightSpeed, Inc.

Dave Navarro's New Band!

The Panic Channel Kicks Off Its First Tour May 16th

2-Song Digital Release Available May 16th; (ONe), Full-Length Debut, Scheduled for September 12th Release

"If there was a channel that showed nothing but hysteria and panic, it would be the highest-rated channel on TV," says guitarist Dave Navarro. "We like to think of creating music as a way to channel the panic into something tangible."

The "we" refers to Navarro, drummer Stephen Perkins, bassist Chris Chaney and lead singer Steve Isaacs. The four comprise The Panic Channel. (ONe), the band's debut album, isn't due out until September 12th, but they'll be previewing songs from it on their upcoming spring tour. And on May 16th, the day the tour launches, a two-song digital-only release will become available featuring "Why Cry," the lead single from the forthcoming CD, and "Tea House Of The Spirits," another album track.

Fans may be surprised by the sound of (ONe), given the former Jane's members' previous endeavors -- Navarro's solo material and work with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Perkins' with Porno for Pyros and Banyan, and Chaney's with Alanis Morissette, Tommy Lee and Taylor Hawkins. Collaborating with Isaacs has catapulted them into fresh terrain. "When a new person comes in, you can't help but evolve," says Navarro, who will soon begin shooting another season of CBS' "Rock Star." "Steve comes from a singer/songwriter background, whereas Perkins and I come from more of a jamming and experimental background, and I think what we came up with is a great combination of songs and musicianship."

An inevitable question arises when considering the album's title: what precisely is (ONe)? Is it a typo? Leetspeek? All of the above, none of the above? (ONe) signifies many things. (ONe) = one, as in the first record, 1. (ONe) = on as in the channel is on. There is nothing more than ONE, spiritually speaking. And the parentheses? They hold everything together. And in this age of panic, that's critical.


5/16 San Diego, CA Canes

5/17 Phoenix, AZ Martini Ranch

5/19 Dallas, TX Gypsy Tea Room

5/20 Houston, TX Red Room @ Meridan

5/22 Atlanta, GA Roxy

5/24 Washington, DC 9:30 Club

5/25 New York, NY Avalon

5/26 Boston, MA Paradise

5/27 Philadelphia, PA Theatre of Living Arts

5/28 Atlantic City, NJ Borgata Music Box

5/30 Detroit, MI Magic Stick

5/31 Chicago, IL Double Door

6/1 Minneapolis, MN Fine Line Café

6/3 Denver, CO Bluebird

6/4 Salt Lake City, UT Urban Lounge

6/6 San Francisco, CA Independent

6/7 Los Angeles, CA Roxy

visit -- http://www.myspace.com/thepanicchannel

Source: Capitol Records

Keynote presentation at the Sports Media and Technology Conference,

CBS Sports' Creative Director Doug Towey and Flying Machine Co-founder and Creative Director Micha Riss will partner to deliver a keynote presentation at the Sports Media and Technology Conference, presented by C4-Sports and produced by Future Media Concepts (FMC), on July 19 at the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC).

Their keynote address, "Technology and Design: A Vital Harmony," will address the integral elements of the broadcast screen: technology and design. Towey and Riss will discuss how content creators can deal with the restrictions that accompany today's established display technologies, and reach their content goals in the process. Riss will also be presenting an additional session on the 19th for the conference's Creative Content Creation track.

"TV sports is the foremost arena for the fusion of high technology and high design. Programming requires information that is pleasing to the eye, but that conforms to the requirements of the equipment being used," Towey said. "That doesn't mean that designers' visions can't become realities; we'll suggest it means seeing the vision through the technology."

Currently, many of the significant graphics programs and image-generating devices used by production and graphic design teams are "template-driven," meaning templates are constructed into which all material is forced to fit. In fact, it is obvious in much of today's creative productions that there is little or no distinction between design and technology.

"It is important to remember that design must live in harmony with technology, and this often proves challenging for many creative directors and graphic designers," Riss said. "Yet, as I've discovered in my own creative design work, it is possible to deal with the confines that come with established technology and still achieve desired visual effects and content goals."

"We are confident that Doug and Micha's keynote will inspire the sports media experts attending C4-Sports, specifically producers, content creators, editors, and graphic designers, with the latest techniques and expert tips to help them embrace today's media technology in their creative sports broadcast work," said Gene Sanders, general manager of C4-Events, host of C4-Sports.

As creative director for CBS Sports since 1981, Towey has been responsible for a myriad of areas including the on-air promotion and overall look of the network's sports division. Covering virtually every major sporting event, he has played an integral role in the way broadcast sports are presented to America and was one of the first to work in the field of computer-generated images. Towey is an eight-time Emmy(R) Award winner, and CBS Television's record-breaking broadcasts of the Olympic Winter Games from Albertville, Lillehammer, and Nagano were spearheaded under his creative supervision.

Riss is co-founder and creative director of Flying Machine, a New York- based creative design and art hub. Working within a variety of media, his studio creates visual solutions for entertainment, advertising, and branding, and he has produced award-winning results for a broad range of international clients. Since the 1990s, his primary focus has been developing brand identity for television and media entities. Riss has also done television design and graphic work for numerous sports, news, and entertainment events including the NBA, Super Bowl, the Olympics, the World Series, the French Open, and The Masters.

The C4-Sports Electronic Media and Technology Show will focus on the critical components of sports technology, and the extensive FMC conference will feature cutting-edge technical sessions and panel discussions designed to allow sports media production professionals to share and learn techniques specific to the sports television production environment.

More information and online registration are available at http://www.c4-sports.com/.

About C4-Sports

C4-Sports is the only exclusive exposition and conference dedicated to the sports content industry. Attracting athletic directors, facility managers, sports broadcasters, coaches and athletes from across the nation, it will provide exhibitors with the unique opportunity to network with these professionals. More than 5,000 sports professionals are expected to converge in Las Vegas on July 17-19 for this dynamic marketplace of sports technologies, products, services, and ideas. More information about C4-Sports is available online at http://www.c4-sports.com/.

Source: C4-Sports


Infinium Labs Signs Itron Technology Inc. to Manufacture the Phantom(R) Lapboard SEATTLE

Infinium Labs, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: IFLB) has entered into an agreement with Itron Technology Inc., a worldwide leading manufacturer and marketer of input devices such as keyboards and mice, to manufacture the Phantom(R) Lapboard, a combination keyboard/mouse peripheral designed to enhance video game play on PCs. "We have selected Itron Technology to manufacture the Phantom Lapboard for distribution in North America and Europe under terms to ship no later than October in time for the holiday shopping season," stated Greg Koler, Infinium Labs' CEO and President. "Itron's strengths as an OEM/ODM manufacturer of keyboards, mice, joysticks and other input devices made it a clear choice for Infinium Labs to meet its 2006 marketing goals." Itron supplies high-quality products around the world from its factory located in Dongguan, China. The Phantom Lapboard is an extremely innovative peripheral that enables players to control games designed for keyboard and mouse usage with as much agility as they are used to in the office, from the comfort of the couch or easy chair.

The Lapboard rotates for left- and right-handed users and also inclines on a 30-degree angle with a hard surface below for the Phantom Mouse. The device comes either wired or wireless and provides USB ports and headphone/microphone ports. About Itron Technology Founded in 1984, as a professional designer and manufacturer of computer input devices, Itron Technology Inc. manufactures and distributes products such as keyboards, mice and trackball devices under its own brand (ione) and provides OEM/ODM services to world-leading designers, manufacturers and retailers. Itron's products with creative design, demanding QC and competitive price have been earning countless praises. Itron efficiently supplies high-quality products around the world from factories located in Dongguan in Mainland China. Itron distributes products in Europe, North America, Japan and Mainland China. The company employs more than 2000 people worldwide. For more information, please visit http://www.ione.com.tw and Itron's Global Marketing Program at http://www.itron-europe.com/english/gmarketing.php.

About Infinium Labs Infinium Labs (OTC Bulletin Board: IFLB) is in development of The Phantom Game Service, anticipated to be the first end-to-end, on-demand game service for delivery to the living room. Delivered over broadband, the Phantom Game Service is designed to offer casual and avid gamers a broad library of titles, available anytime, day or night. For more information, please visit http://www.phantom.net. PR contact: pr@phantom.net


Software Developer Alleges ABC Was Part of Circulation-Inflation Scheme

-- When advertisers cry circulation fraud, they typically target the magazines or newspapers in which they bought ads. But now an unhappy advertiser has filed a lawsuit alleging that the Audit Bureau of Circulations was itself part of a circulation-inflation scheme.

A lawsuit alleges that ABC helped publishers cover their tracks as they inflated paid circulation figures at 'Laptop' magazine.

The advertiser, a software developer called Teletype Co., alleges in the suit that ABC helped publishers cover their tracks as they inflated paid circulation figures at Laptop magazine. Mark Gardy, an attorney for the plaintiff, told Advertising Age that an investigation by the plaintiff's team supported that allegation, but he declined to elaborate.

In addition to the bureau, the suit seeks damages from Bedford Communications, which publishes Laptop, two Bedford executives and the now-defunct circulation sponsor InFlight Newspapers and Magazines. Newsday reported the suit in its April 18 issue.

In a statement released today, ABC President Michael J. Lavery said his group's inclusion as a defendant had no merit. "ABC concluded its last audit of Laptop magazine in 2002 and has since terminated the publication's membership in ABC," he said. "Moreover, ABC has no relationship with InFlight Newspapers and Magazines, Bedford Communications, or any of their principals."

Edward D. Brown, the Bedford president and publisher who is named in the suit, did not respond to a message left seeking comment. An attorney for John Jay Annis, Bedford's former director of circulation and the other Bedford executive named in the suit, declined to comment.

In a separate case last October, federal prosecutors charged Mr. Brown and Mr. Annis with scheming to overstate circulation at Laptop; that case is in plea negotiations, according to court filings. The audit bureau said last July that it would no longer count as "paid" any circulation derived from InFlight -- because InFlight had stopped paying for the magazines and newspapers it accepted from publishers. InFlight executives could not be reached.

Digital Splinters Will Have to Be Cobbled Together to Reach Mass Audience

With video content popping up on so many screens, marketers in the next five to 10 years will find themselves recreating mass media from a million little pieces, all measured and bought in different ways. But for now, digital media remains only an experimental part of the upfront -- an add on that's neither scaleable nor easily priced. In other words, most of the $9 billion spent by advertisers in the coming month will be used to secure prime-time TV inventory.

Mike Shaw, president-sales and marketing for ABC Television (left), listens as OMD Worldwide president-CEO Joe Uva speaks at Advertising Age's The Upfront Conversation.

Those were the key message delivered by panelists at Advertising Age's "Upfront Conversation," held this morning in Midtown Manhattan.

The wide-ranging discussion, moderated by Advertising Age Editor Jonah Bloom, covered everything from the woefully inadequate measurement tools for video to minute-by-minute ratings to emerging digital platforms. Panelists included Mel Berning, exec VP-ad sales, A&E Television Networks; Dennis Donlin, president-CEO, GM Planworks; Andy Jung, senior director-advertising and marketing, Kellogg's; Tim Hanlon, senior VP-Denuo Group; Bill Morningstar, exec VP-media sales, CW; Tony Pace, senior VP-chief marketing officer, Subway; Mike Shaw, president-sales and marketing, ABC; and Joe Uva, president-CEO, OMD Worldwide.

Denuo Group's Mr. Hanlon noted that marketers would need to spend more and more time filling in the digital nooks and crannies to reach their audiences, and that in order to do that, data was needed from a number of sources, not just Nielsen. "We need to be crunchers of data, from the set-top-box to VOD streams to interactive TV clicks and some level of Nielsen data and the DVR stream of data. We are going to have to do the aggregation." Marketers aren't going to have their needs fulfilled by one or two players anymore, he contended.

A theme that ran through much of the discussion was the lack of adequate measurement tools to allow marketers to commit dollars to digital platforms. Nielsen Media Research, panelists were quick to note, has not kept up with the needs of marketers. Commenting on the proliferation of high-definition TV sets, Mr. Hanlon said marketers won't buy what they can't measure. Even though HDTV is extremely "engaging," Nielsen does not yet measure such channels. "It's hard to justify spending the money, that's a real problem to get over," Mr. Hanlon said.

Nielsen was also called out for inadequately measuring viewers using digital video recorders. Kellogg's Mr. Jung said that he would not be paying for time-shifted viewers as part of his upfront buy. The Nielsen sample size for DVR use is too small to be statistically accurate, he said. "You have a better chance of being hit by lightning. ... I'm not basing a business decision on research that is that shaky."

OMD's Mr. Uva suggested Nielsen's services could eventually be superseded by other firms. "I share the opinion that Nielsen has woefully underserved its customers. They've made some strides this year but it's not enough. ... I don't see why we couldn't bring in a third party to audit some of these other channels. If the numbers are verified, audited, pass Sarbanes Oxley, what's to stop us from reaching out to other researchers to do it?"

While both marketers and sales executives agreed that few of the new media offerings were big enough to warrant major ad outlays at this point, marketers were firm in their views that they had to play in the space or get left behind. Mr. Jung said: "There are 700,000 people out there actively blogging. It's not scalable, but it will be."

Subway's Mr. Pace agreed that marketers have to experiment early. "We're interested in extensions but to wait for a cataclysmic event is wrong. The good news about it not being scalable is that the investment is small. The learning is affordable."

Downplaying the impact of digital media on traditional media, ABC's Mr. Shaw reminded the audience that $9 billion plus is still spent in prime time and that the entire streaming video universe barely amounts to a blip on the radar. "If there are 400,000 simultaneous streams on average and 28 million people watching 'Desperate Housewives,' how does it square? It doesn't. You could sell all those ratings in a day. It's not big enough yet to go out and monetize it." Still, Mr. Shaw said the network has worked hard to make advertisers part of the new media offering at the Walt Disney Co., adding that he was surprised that there wasn't more of an outcry among marketers who were cut out of the picture when Disney announced its programming venture with Apple's iTunes.

He also suggested that broadcast networks might not be able to match supply with demand. "Everybody wanted product integration three years ago. But with two, three, four hundred customers, there was not enough supply. We are at the forefront on every new platform but it's not big enough. The opportunities are not there yet."

On the subject of minute-by-minute ratings, marketers noted just how helpful they are in defining where to place ads. Mr. Pace noted that the sandwich chain has learned to "not be after the car commercials." Mr. Jung said that making quality commercials could help keep viewers for a network and may end up being something a marketer could sell back to a network.

However, the question everyone's asking went unanswered by panelists including A&E's Mr. Berning, and CW's Mr. Morningstar. Will the upfront be up, down or flat? Several panelists made the point that it doesn't matter, and that too much emphasis is put on what happens one week in May. Only ABC's Mr. Shaw ventured a direct stab at the question. Not surprisingly, he said ABC would be up.

HD DVD Launches

HD DVD players and software went on sale Tuesday, April 18, at Best Buy and select other retailers, and a trickle of early adopters came to buy, even though only three movies currently are available.

“The only people who bought are the hardcores,” said one industry observer.

More HD DVD titles will begin hitting stores next week, but with only three — Warner Home Video’s The Last Samurai and The Phantom of the Opera and Universal Studios Home Entertainment’s Serenity — in stores when players hit the show floor Tuesday, there was hardly a stampede of consumers.

When a Best Buy in Costa Mesa, Calif., opened at 10 a.m., four copies of Samurai and a single copy of Phantom were stocked in a display at the front of the store, equipped with a lounge chair and a high-definition TV. A customer looked at the two titles but bought neither, saying he was disappointed by the selection.

Toshiba, which is in the process of shipping about 10,000 players to retailers, had no firm first-day sales tally. Marketing VP Jodi Sally would only say, “Retailers who have received players to date have reported very positive sales. I am very pleased to see the demand for high-definition content being fulfilled to the early adopters with our HD DVD players.”

Meanwhile, elaborate kiosks with huge widescreen TVs, explanatory boards and a handful of players and movies are going into about 100 Wal-Mart stores over the next two weeks, an unusually aggressive move by a retailer focused on the masses. The discount chain didn’t begin selling DVD players until the spring of 1999, two years after the DVD format was launched.

Wal-Mart also has begun selling the cheaper of the two Toshiba players, the HD-D1, on its Web site, listing an anticipated delivery date of April 21. The player is on sale for $498, a dollar off list.

Only three studios are supporting HD DVD, and of those three, only Universal is exclusively in the HD DVD camp. The two other studios, Warner Home Video and Paramount Pictures Home Entertainment, also have said they will also release titles in the rival Blu-ray Disc format, which has not yet launched.

Warner and Universal have HD DVD product in the market, while Paramount won’t release its first high-def titles until next month.

Universal Studios Home Entertainment president Craig Kornblau, who has taken the lead in promoting the HD DVD format, held a special press screening at his Universal City offices in which he demonstrated the format’s superior picture and sound. He stressed, however, that the format’s real trump card is its heightened interactivity.

On a sample disc, menus appeared on the side, and special features could be accessed while the movie is playing. Multi-angle options, too, may be previewed, all at one time, and with filmmaker cooperation most movies ultimately should be available for viewing in multiple angles.

“We’re in the HD DVD camp because you can touch it and you can feel it,” Kornblau said. “It’s here, and it’s real.”

Marketing EVP Ken Graffeo said in the fourth quarter several Universal titles will push the envelope when it comes to creativity. In a movie that prominently features a car, he said, viewers might be able to customize that car, and then plant their creation into the movie.

“Through Internet connectivity, you might even be able to click on the tire and find out the specs and even be able to buy that tire,” he said.


Chicago and Huey Lewis and the News Announce U.S. Summer Tour

Prolific hit-makers and perennial live favorites Chicago and Huey Lewis and the News will team up this summer for a national tour hitting more than 30 cities across the United States. The tour kicks off with a June 9th show at Concord, California's Chronicle Pavilion and culminates on July 29th at Holmdel, New Jersey's PNC Bank Arts Center. Tickets go on sale starting Saturday, April 22. A complete list of dates is below.

Chicago is celebrating its 30th album, "Chicago XXX," which was just released by Rhino/Warner Bros. Produced by Jay DeMarcus of the superstar country group Rascal Flatts, "Chicago XXX" begins a new chapter in Chicago's history. The forthcoming single is "Love Will Come Back," which includes the members of Rascal Flatts and will certainly add to the band's long list of extraordinary accomplishments: 40 gold and platinum awards, 20 Top 10 singles and 5 Number One albums. In fact, Chicago is the first American rock band to chart a Top 40 album in 5 consecutive decades. This year, the Grammy-winning Chicago is touring for the 40th straight year.

Huey Lewis and the News are gearing up for Capitol/EMI Music Catalog Marketing's May 23 release of "Huey Lewis and the News: Greatest Hits" and a limited edition deluxe CD/DVD package, "Greatest Hits & Videos." The 21-track CD includes 20 Top 20 hits, among them 17 Top 10s and six #1 singles, and the deluxe edition's 10 videos make their DVD debut with this release. In a career spanning more than 25 years, Grammy award winners Huey Lewis and The News have amassed 17 Gold and Platinum certifications and sales of more than 12 million albums, placing the band among the world's top 200 best-selling music artists of all time (RIAA).


Fri Jun-09 Concord Chronicle Pavilion

Sat Jun-10 Santa Barbara Santa Barbara Bowl

Sun Jun-11 San Diego Bayside at the Embarcadero

Tue Jun-13 Los Angeles The Greek Theatre

Fri Jun-16 Irvine Verizon Wireless Amphitheater

Sat Jun-17 Phoenix Cricket Pavilion

Sun Jun-18 Albuquerque Journal Pavilion

Tue Jun-20 Denver Red Rocks Amphitheatre

Thu Jun-22 Oklahoma City Zoo Amphitheatre

Fri Jun-23 Dallas Smirnoff Music Centre

Sat Jun-24 San Antonio Verizon Wireless Amphitheater

Sun Jun-25 Houston Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion

Wed Jun-28 Cincinnati Riverbend Music Center

Thu Jun-29 Cleveland Tower City Amphitheater

Fri Jun-30 Columbus Germain Amphitheatre

Sat Jul-01 Chicago Charter One Pavilion

Sun Jul-02 Detroit DTE Energy Music Theatre

Wed Jul-12 West Palm Beach Sound Advice Amphitheatre

Thu Jul-13 Tampa Ford Amphitheatre

Fri Jul-14 Charlotte Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre

Sat Jul-15 Raleigh ALLTEL Pavilion

Sun Jul-16 Virginia Beach Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre

Tue Jul-18 Atlanta Chastain Park Amphitheatre

Thu Jul-20 Hartford Dodge Music Center

Fri Jul-21 Pittsburgh Post Gazette Pavilion

Sat Jul-22 Camden Tweeter Center at the Waterfront

Sun Jul-23 Saratoga Springs Saratoga Performing Arts Center

Tue Jul-25 Boston Bank of America Pavilion

Wed Jul-26 Boston Bank of America Pavilion

Fri Jul-28 Wantagh Nikon at Jones Beach Theater

Sat Jul-29 Holmdel PNC Bank Arts Center

Source: Live Nation

Greatest Thing Since Sliced Pizza; 7-Eleven(R) Introduces P'EatZZa Sandwich(TM) Featured on NBC's 'Apprentice'

Last week, someone lost their job over the new 7-Eleven(R) P'EatZZa Sandwich(TM). The new triangular sandwich was featured on "The Apprentice," NBC's popular business reality show hosted by Donald Trump, in an episode titled "A Slice of Heaven." Today, 7-Eleven introduces that heavenly sandwich at participating 7-Eleven(R) stores across the United States. Unlike the contestants on "The Apprentice," who priced the new item at between $4 and $8, the P'EatZZa Sandwich is available at most participating 7-Eleven stores' locations for a suggested retail price of $3.69 SRP.

Two slices of pizza flatbread with cheese and pepperoni substitute for bread slices, and are filled with deli meats, cheeses and spreads. Served cold, the triangular wedge-shaped sandwiches are available in two varieties:

Turkey and Pepperoni - smoked turkey, spicy deli pepperoni, romaine

lettuce with parmesan ranch spread served between two slices of

pepperoni pizza flatbread

Ham and Salami - ham, deli salami, banana pepper rings, fire-roasted red

peppers, romaine lettuce and mustard vinaigrette dressing on cheddar

mozzarella flatbread

"Portable, easy-to-eat foods are changing the way Americans eat," said Kathy Hasty, 7-Eleven category manager for fresh sandwiches. "Pizza has long been a mealtime favorite, and its popularity continues to grow across all categories, when sold by the slice, for take-out or delivery, even frozen pizza sales are up."

The packaging was custom-made for the new P'EatZZa Sandwich. A perforated cellophane over-wrap tears away easily, allowing the consumer to eat a P'EatZZa Sandwich while holding the cardboard package base, which can stand upright on a desk or table.

"While most people order their pizza hot, cold pizza has its own following, particularly among teens and young adults," Hasty said. "Some people will order pizza a size up just so they'll have some left over to eat later. We started talking about how pizza could make the jump from slice to sandwich. We wanted to marry the best from both."

Pizza has been called the most popular food in the world. According to research by NPD Foodworld, Americans eat pizza 25 times a year at home, and is the second most popular main dish meal for in-home dinners. But they're not just eating pizza at home -- Americans also consume the equivalent of 1.5 billion servings a year while dining out. All told, each man, woman and child eats an average of 46 slices of pizza per year, according to Packaged Facts.

Sandwiches are even more popular -- at least in the U.S. In its 2003 sandwich study, the International Dairy-Deli-Bakery Association reported that the average American eats 4.1 sandwiches a week or more than 200 sandwiches each year; 150 of those are purchased. Sandwiches account for nearly 10 percent of fast-food sales, and their popularity is growing.

"There's no doubt about the popularity of both sandwiches and pizza," Hasty said. "Both have universal appeal, and we think the P'EatZZa Sandwich will attract pizza-lovers, sandwich-lovers and especially those who love both."

As a result of the assigned task on "The Apprentice" episode, the Goldrush team lost for increasing sales by only 608 percent while the triumphant Synergy team boosted sales of the first-of-its-kind P'EatZZa sandwich by almost 1,000 percent. Leslie, the Goldrush team captain, was fired by Trump at the end of the show.

About 7-Eleven, Inc.

7-Eleven, Inc. is the premier name and largest chain in the convenience retailing industry. Based in Dallas, Texas, 7-Eleven operates or franchises more than 5,800 7-Eleven(R) stores in the United States and Canada and licenses close to 30,000 7-Eleven stores in 18 countries and U.S. territories. During 2005, 7-Eleven stores worldwide generated total sales of approximately $43 billion. Find out more online at http://www.7-eleven.com/ .

Web site: http://www.7-eleven.com/

Premium Content Driving Internet Video Growth

According to a new forecast from IDC, Internet video services will generate over $1.7 billion in revenues by 2010, an increase of more than $1.5 billion from 2005 totals. Internet video services are on the brink of becoming a mainstream phenomenon in the United States.. Much of this growth will be fueled by a surge in the amount of premium content made available online.

The market for Internet video services began its dramatic acceleration in 2005 as content owners started to experiment with digital distribution as a way to complement and enhance their existing business models and to stem illegal P2P file sharing and piracy. In particular, the television networks' decision to offer episodes from new shows as well as old sparked significant interest in Internet video.

Josh Martin, associate research analyst in IDC's Consumer Markets: Video, said "The Internet video market has huge upside. With that upside, however, comes the risk to content owners of cannibalizing existing revenue streams."

Key drivers for the adoption of Internet video include the expansion of premium content offerings online and the emergence of home networking solutions that allow consumers to more easily view Internet content on their televisions.

IDC expects content owners will migrate toward three basic service types:

Advertising-based services will remain the dominant type of Internet video service

A la carte services, buoyed by consumer familiarity with iTunes, will grow dramatically over the next 2-3 years.

Subscription-based services will experience steady growth throughout the forecast period, enhanced somewhat by the emergence of home networking solutions.

In order to sustain the momentum gathered in 2005 and maximize opportunities for success, content owners and service providers will need to overcome several

important problems

licensing issues

inadequate video search

competitive challenges

and how to move content beyond the PC


Oakland & Dodger baseball

 April 20, 2006

Detroit 4, Oakland 3 at McAfee Coliseum
Detroit Record: (9-7)
Oakland Record: (7-9)

Winning pitcher - Fernando Rodney (1-0)
Losing pitcher - Justin Duchscherer (1-1)

April 19, 2006

Detroit 11, Oakland 4 at McAfee Coliseum
Detroit Record: (8-7)
Oakland Record: (7-8)

Winning pitcher - Kenny Rogers (3-1)
Losing pitcher - Joe Blanton (1-2)

at McAfee Coliseum (8-7) (7-8) - Kenny Rogers (3-1) - Joe Blanton (1-2)

DET HR - None
OAK HR - M. Ellis (1) F. Thomas (4

None M. Ellis (1) F. Thomas (4

Chi. Cubs 5, Los Angeles 4 at Dodger Stadium
Chi. Cubs Record: (9-5)
Los Angeles Record: (7-9)

Winning pitcher - Scott Williamson (2-0)
Losing pitcher - Danys Baez (0-1)
SV - Ryan Dempster (4)

at Dodger Stadium (9-5) (7-9) - Scott Williamson (2-0) - Danys Baez (0-1) - Ryan Dempster (4)

CHC HR - None
LAD HR - J. Repko (2)

None J. Repko (2)



PinnacleSports.com Serves up Betting on ATP Champions Tour Featuring McEnroe, Becker, Noah and Wilander

The Internet's largest sports betting site, PinnacleSports.com today served another ace by becoming the first bookmaker in the world to offer wagering on the ATP Merrill Lynch Tour of Champions. Similar to the PGA's Senior Tour in golf, the Champions Tour features retired ATP players that have achieved a world number one ranking, made a Grand Slam final, or played singles for a victorious Davis Cup team during their careers. As a result of the stringent guidelines, the Champions Tour features some of tennis' biggest names from yesteryear, including: John McEnroe, Yannick Noah, Boris Becker, Jim Courier, Marcelo Rios, Cedric Pioline, Richard Krajicek and Mats Wilander, among the famous names.

PinnacleSports.com will now offer betting on all Merrill Lynch Tour of Champions events, beginning with this weekend's SEAT Champions Cup in Barcelona. On the clay courts this weekend, PinnacleSports.com has listed 1990 French Open Champion Andres Gomez as the favorite to win the Champions Cup at 3/1 odds. Playing in front of his home crowd, 1993 and 1994 back-to-back French Open champ Sergi Bruguera has been installed with the second best odds at 7/2. Competing in his first tour event of 2006, the fiery John McEnroe has been listed at 4/1 to capture his 21st Champions Tour title, along with Carlos Costa and Richard Krajicek. PinnacleSports.com has listed Argentinean Martin Jaite and Spainard Emilio Sanchez as long shots to win this weekend's tournament at 10/1 and 12/1, respectively. Meanwhile, seven-time Grand Slam champion Mats Wilander is the biggest underdog to win the SEAT Champions Cup at 15/1.

"With fan favorites like McEnroe, Becker, Noah, Courier and Wilander participating in the tournaments, there's no doubt the ATP Champions Tour will attract serious interest from tennis enthusiasts and bettors alike," said Simon Noble of PinnacleSports.com. "Much like the Senior PGA Tour, the ATP Tour of Champions features charismatic players that are household names which fans will recognize and we expect will generate tremendous betting interest."

In addition to offering odds to win each event on the 2006 ATP Merrill Lynch Tour of Champions, PinnacleSports.com will also offer betting options on each tournament match for every stop on the tour. For a complete list of betting odds, please visit the tennis section at http://www.pinnaclesports.com/ .

Current Odds: *All Odds Subject to Change*

Odds to Win Seat Champions Cup 2006 -- Barcelona

Andres Gomez 3/1

Sergi Bruguera 7/2

John McEnroe 4/1

Richard Krajicek 4/1

Carlos Costa 4/1

Martin Jaite 10/1

Emilio Sanchez 12/1

Mats Wilander 15/1


About PinnacleSports.com

PinnacleSports.com ( http://www.pinnaclesports.com/ ) is the Internet's largest sports betting site, serving customers in more than 80 countries worldwide. Founded in 1998, PinnacleSports.com was the first sports book to introduce reduced margin wagering, using a -105 pricing model that gives bettors up to 50% better value on wagers than traditional bookmakers. With low minimum bet requirements and the highest maximum limits on the Web, PinnacleSports.com has earned an industry-leading reputation for providing consistent value to the player, professional customer service and the quickest payouts online. Fully licensed and regulated in Curacao, the company offers a secure environment for sports betting, racing and casino gaming.

Source: PinnacleSports.com

Web site: http://www.pinnaclesports.com/


Automotive Students Shift to Hydrogen at Lansing Community College

In a state where the gasoline- powered internal combustion engine has ruled the roads and defined the economy for more than a century, students in an automotive technology class at Lansing Community College are shifting gears.

They're building three internal combustion engines that will run on hydrogen, positioning themselves for the future and re-positioning what can be accomplished at a community college that's willing to get out ahead of the curve on new technologies.

"Most people think the research is being done exclusively by the automakers. But it's also being done right here in this classroom," says Winston Lane, an automotive machinist consultant who is overseeing the project. "That's what makes this project so exciting. Research and development must be done before hydrogen powered vehicles will be a cost- effective alternative to gasoline powered vehicles and we're a part of it."

The automotive technology students have been working nearly three semesters now, building the automobile engines and calibrating them to work specifically with hydrogen, rather than gasoline. They will be tested in mid- May.

Regardless of what happens when the engines are tested, the hands-on experience of building the engines from the ground up prepares students to build or service them when hydrogen-powered engines are brought to market. It also provides those who might move on to four-year engineering programs with a practical understanding of the technologies that underlie the use of hydrogen as an automotive fuel.

"This is a real development project," says Howard Dillman, chair of the technical careers division in the school's transportation technologies department. "We are building what is essentially a race engine that can reach maximum RPMs with no problem while running on hydrogen. There aren't many universities working on this; we're trying to take it the next step."

Lansing Community College's hydrogen project is part of its Alternative Energy Initiative. The college, located in the heart of Michigan's auto manufacturing belt, was tapped by the U.S. Department of Energy to develop alternative energy curriculum, train the workforce in alternative energy and educate the general public on alternative energy.

"We know the hydrogen economy is coming and we want to be ready," says Lane, who says his students will be well prepared to take jobs as automotive technicians specializing in alternative fueled vehicles or transfer on to an engineering program with an alternative energy specialty.

Building a hydrogen engine can cost $5,000 more than traditional gasoline- powered engines because of the expensive parts and materials needed. Researchers hope that they can come up with solutions to make the engine cost less. LCC is using funds it received from the Department of Energy and parts donated from General Motors to fund its hydrogen engine experiment.

Fueling and distribution are hurdles to be jumped before hydrogen vehicles are ready for the mass market. Right now it takes all night to fuel a hydrogen vehicle, according to Lane. In addition, a tank of hydrogen can be used up in a short time, so researchers are finding ways to compress the gas. Before hydrogen could become an alternative to gasoline, a network of hydrogen fueling stations will have to be built.

With all the technological hurdles, Lane admits mass marketing of hydrogen vehicles is a decade or more away. He hopes the work of his students helps as Michigan -- and the nation -- take the next important steps.

"Hydrogen is the wave of the future," he says. "The only by-product is water and converting to hydrogen vehicles will reduce our dependence on foreign oil."

Source: Lansing Community College

Web site: http://www.lcc.edu/

New Web Site - MuscleCarTools.com - Offers Automotive Tools at Bargain Prices for Putterers and Professionals

Millions of auto hobbyists face the same dilemma: where to find quality tools at reasonable prices. Now there's http://www.MuscleCarTools.com. During 20 years of restoring hot rods and classics in his spare time, Houston, Texas-based computer engineer Bryan Powell was frustrated, too. "To get the wholesale price on a tool, I'd need to buy a dozen," he said, "and buying just one means paying the top retail price." Armed with first-hand knowledge of the muscle/classic car genre, Powell has launched a Web site - http://www.MuscleCarTools.com - designed "to provide auto enthusiasts and hobbyists with a wide variety of mechanic-grade tools and supplies at bargain prices." He said, "I know what tools I need to do the job, and I know what a fair price is. That's how I decide what to carry on the site." Powell said customers can save up to 50 percent below normal retail on many tools. He commented that the typical customer is a male aged 18-50, "but women fix cars, too," he affirmed. At http://www.MuscleCarTools.com, weekend "tuner types," serious hot-rodders, classic collectors and professional mechanics alike will find a wide variety of high-quality hand and electrical tools from well-known makers like Goodyear, Neiko Tools, American Tool Exchange, and about 10 others.

In addition, the online auto shop offers manual and hydraulic jacks, welding equipment, hoists and compressors. Other products include a variety of lighting fixtures for engine and underbody work, fog lights, floor mats, booster cables, safety glasses, dust masks and first aid kits. Asked to describe the types of cars his customers are repairing or restoring, Powell stated, "A classic is over 25 years old, is highly desirable, and transcends all boundaries." He said muscle cars are high-performance cars from the '50s, '60s and '70s. They exude nostalgia and appeal to all ages and demographics. His own current project is putting the spark back into a '76 Corvette Stingray. Powell says, "Whatever type you putter with and whatever tool you need, we invite you to browse through our virtual store and shop with confidence." The site is secure, and MuscleCarTools.com adheres to a strict privacy policy. Payments can be made with most major credit cards or through PayPal. MuscleCarTools.com is also interested in signing up distributors across the U.S., either traditional brick-and-mortar stores or online outlets. Contact: Bryan Powell Phone: 832-439-7033 info@MuscleCarTools.com



Big Stakes Match Play Becomes The Ultimate Game at Wynn Las Vegas in 2007; Televised Event Will Have the Richest Winner's Purse in Golf History


The Big Stakes Match Play just became even bigger ... it's become The Ultimate Game at Wynn Las Vegas.

Big Stakes Match Play LLC Co-owners Steve Bartkowski and Jim Thomas and Wynn Las Vegas Chairman & CEO Steve Wynn announced today that the final two rounds of The Ultimate Game will be played at the ultimate course -- Wynn Las Vegas Golf Course and Country Club in 2007 from June 6-8.

The Ultimate Game at Wynn Las Vegas will be televised on a major broadcast television network to be revealed and announced in the near future when final details are finalized and will feature the largest winner's purse in golf history, with the winner receiving $2 million. The next largest winner's purses in golf history are:

The Players Championship $1.44MM

The British Open $1.215MM

The Tour Championship $1.170MM

The PGA Championship $1.170MM

The U.S. Open $1.125MM

The Masters $1.080MM

Another distinction is that, unlike the foregoing tournaments, in The Ultimate Game at Wynn Las Vegas, the players will compete for their own entry fees, adding an unprecedented level of risk, pressure and drama.

"Pebble Beach was the ideal site for the Bing Crosby event and Augusta National is, of course, the perfect site for The Masters," said co-owners Steve Bartkowski and Jim Thomas. "Wynn Las Vegas is the perfect location for The Ultimate Game. We are honored Steve Wynn would select our event to be played on his course."

"Of all the many events we have evaluated over the years, The Ultimate Game has characteristics which we believe reflect the personality and image of Wynn Las Vegas," said Andrew Pascal, president of Wynn Las Vegas. "To host a new, original event, wherein golfers with big dreams can put up their money and play for the richest winner's purse in the history of golf, seems appropriate for our course, hotel and casino."

One of the finest television producers and directors of sports, Terry Jastrow, has joined the Big Stakes Match Play team. Jastrow, who was instrumental in bringing the event to Wynn Las Vegas, will executive produce the 2007 event on network television. A winner of seven Emmy Awards, Jastrow has been the executive producer, producer and/or director of some of television's most prestigious and important programs during the last 25 years, including 68 of golf's major championships.

The Ultimate Game at Wynn Las Vegas will begin with 160 players engaging in individual match play competition, with half of the field being eliminated in each round. The 10 survivors of the fourth round of match play will then compete in a two-day, 36-hole, winner-take-all stroke play competition at Wynn Las Vegas with the winner receiving $2 million.

The second collaboration of Tom Fazio, Steve Wynn and Mother Nature has resulted in 18 unforgettable holes at the Wynn Las Vegas. The par 70 course is 7,042 yards and located on property on the Las Vegas Strip. More than 800,000 cubic yards of earth were moved to create the dramatic elevation changes considered impossible on the Las Vegas Strip. The course has been featured on VH1's Fabulous Life, Fine Living Network and the Today Show and this will be the first network televised tournament.

For more information on the Ultimate Game at Wynn Las Vegas, visit the web site at www.bigstakesgolf.com.

About Wynn Las Vegas

Wynn Resorts is traded on the NASDAQ stock exchange under the ticker symbol WYNN and, since December 2004, it has been part of the NASDAQ-100 Index. Wynn Las Vegas, the luxury hotel and destination casino resort located on the Las Vegas Strip, opened to the public on April 28, 2005. Wynn Las Vegas features 2,716 luxurious guest rooms and suites; an 111,000 square foot casino; 22 food and beverage outlets; an on-site 18-hole golf course; approximately 223,000 square feet of meeting space; an on-site Ferrari and Maserati dealership; and approximately 76,000 square feet of retail space. For more information, visit www.wynnlasvegas.com.

Source: Big Stakes Match Play LLC

Web site: http://www.wynnlasvegas.com/

Airport Express Offers Motorists Tips on How to Reduce Fuel Costs

Higher gas prices might not force families to postpone or cancel vacation plans this summer, but that doesn't mean people haven't noticed -- and complained about -- the higher prices, which are expected to be 25 cents higher than last summer's record highs

John McCarthy, president of Continental Airport Express, a ground transportation company, says that conserving fuel is a major consideration for his company, which uses a monthly average of 42,000 gallons of gasoline to fuel its fleet of 95 vans. Out of necessity, the company has become very savvy about reducing fuel costs.

McCarthy offers the following tips to the general driving public.

-- Under 40 miles an hour, you can save gas by turning off the air

conditioner and keeping the windows open. Over 40 miles an hour, the

reverse is true. Open windows will create a drag, and the engine will

have to work harder to compensate.

-- Stay within speed limits and use cruise control if you have it.

Slowing down and speeding up wastes fuel.

-- After stopping at an intersection, accelerate slowly, which allows the

carburetor to operate at peak efficiency.

-- Park car in such a way that when you start up again you can begin to

travel in forward gear without maneuvering back and forth.

-- Keep tires inflated to the maximum.

-- Make sure vehicle is well maintained. In particular, have air filters

cleaned regularly as poor air flow increases gas waste. Regular tune-

ups will also allow engine to work at peak efficiency.

-- While idling for long periods of time wastes fuel, so does turning the

engine on and off needlessly. For stops of more than two to three

minutes, you are probably best served by shutting down.

Founded in 1853 as the Parmelee Transportation Company, Continental Airport Express currently transports more than one million passengers annually to and from Chicago's O'Hare and Midway Airports. Its services are offered to and from downtown Chicago, as well as most Chicago neighborhoods and its surrounding suburbs. For more information visit http://www.airportexpress.com/ .

Source: Continental Airport Express


Ford Breaks $5 Billion Barrier in Sourcing With Minority Suppliers in 2005

* Ford purchased $5.5 billion in goods and services with minority suppliers in 2005. * In its first full year of operation, Ford's Women's Business Enterprise (WBE) Program p

April 19, 2006

Kiefer Sutherland, Eva Longoria and Michael Douglas “THE SENTINEL” Production Notes

To understand the internet you have to be open to change. logo




Written by Joyce L Chow & William Hoehne April 19, 2006


www.montebubbles.com for more MBN news





SUNDAYS ARE NOW PICTURE DAY starting next sunday: Pictures that we have taken and not published during before will be placed here on Sunday of each week for your viewing pleasure


International news from Asia and Latin news in English and Spanish here now


More exciting changes coming each day.


Watch for the MBN Politically incorrect SUV

NEWS ALERT LOS ANGELES:Michelle Roy New Kids on the Block Party tomorrow night from 6 to 9
p.m. with free mini mani/pedis, margaritas, makeovers, food, fun and, of course, shopping for a cause (Project Angel Food). Bring your favorite jeans and get a Michelle Roy Applique at her new Applique Bar! The party is at 205 to 239 North Robertson between Dayton and Clifton (north of Wilshire, south of Burton Way) and is open to the public


MONTEBUBBLISM: Looking like your supposed to look like is often not the way you should look.


Kiefer Sutherland, Eva Longoria and Michael Douglas THE SENTINEL Production Notes

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: The IMAX Experience

The Real Opus Dei Premieres One Month Prior to Sony’s DaVinci Code Release

Time Warner Inc. Presents 'Elements of an Icon' - Exclusive Exhibit Honoring SIR ELTON JOHN's UPS AND IMG FASHION TO DELIVER FASHION’S FUTURE

The Search is on for ABC's Next Bachelor Will he be from Philly?

The Public Broadcasting System is considering making its television shows available on the Internet or portable devices like MP3 players


'Broadcasters See Red Over White Space,' Move To Block New Media Devices

FAST-GROWING ONLINE COMMUNITY MYSPACE.COM IS looking to place its user-generated content into TV shows.

CMA Announces Another CMA Music Festival First: A Triple Header

Many affiliates say any notion that they can leverage networks into preserving vestiges of exclusivity is unrealistic.

NBC Enters Repurposing

Whetting Appetites

Asaca Chosen to Demonstrate Two New Storage Solutions at NAB HD Pavilion’s Live HD Broadcast Station

Dominant Information Site Owned by Newspaper in Top Markets

Imperia Entertainment Finishes Pickup Shots in Moscow on Its Feature Film, ``Say It In Russian'';

GRAND PRIX 40th Anniversary Two-Disc Special Edition'' Debuts on DVD July 11 from Warner Home Video

Crown Media Holdings to Continue to Operate Channels; Solid Fundamentals Provide Positive Long-Term Outlook

Grande Vitesse Systems Unveils the GVS9000 4NXU With 10 Hr. of Uncompressed HD Virtual Tape Recording

DISH Network Customers Eligible to Receive a $25 Visa(R) Prepaid Card With New Starz Movie Pack Subscription

The first HD DVD titles are slated to go on sale today.

NewTek, Inc.,

DreamVision President/CEO Brings Critical Hope to Russian Orphans in Dire Need;

Airecable of Nuevo Laredo, Mexico Moves Ahead of Local Satellite and Cable Providers

Grande Vitesse Systems Unveils the GVS9000 4NXU With 10 Hr. of Uncompressed HD Virtual Tape Recording

The USA TODAY Hollywood Hero Award Honors


Oakland & Dodger Baseball

First Look: All-new Audi TT, Jeep 4-door Wrangler, Jeep Patriot, Scion Fuse, Maserati GT Coupe

XM Satellite Radio's Hot Import Nights Takes the Runway In Boston

Golf Research in Play Launches a Revolution in Golf Equipment

AVP Announces Three-Year Extension With Bud Light

Steps cross America is Joined by Kristi Yamaguchi to Rally, Motivate and Reward All Americans to Walk for Fitness

Audi Presents Streets of Tomorrow Offers Consumers Upscale, Urban Driving and Lifestyle Experience

Chrysler Group Certified Pre-owned Vehicles (CPOV) Appeal to Budget Conscious Consumers


NBA and Toyota Announce 2006 Finals Trophy Tour to U.S. Military Bases

'Faces of the Fallen' Extended at Women's Memorial Until May 31

A Letter to Military Children from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

Cheney Thanks Fairchild Airmen for Terror War Support


NEWS and NEWS now in Spanish

ACR: Tom Cruise's Unsupervised Use of Fetal Keepsake Ultrasound Ill Advised, Irresponsible, and Potentially Dangerous

Schwarzenegger Signs Historic HIV Reporting Bill


Are You Ready for Plastic Surgery

Three recent announcements from the Broadcast Communications Division of Harris Corporate.

Wal-Mart Announces Significant Changes in Health Benefits for Part-Time Workers

President Hu Jintao and Bill Gates to Discuss Microsoft's Commitment to the Chinese Software Industry

White Paper: Employee Obesity is Number One Factor in Productivity Loss

Las Superestrellas del Reggaetón Wisin y Yandel Lideran la Primera Cumbre de Hip Hop en la Ciudad de Nueva York sobre el Empoderamiento Financiero

Atención al Cliente y Facturación de SPL Situado en el Cuadrante de los Líderes por el Cuadrante Mágico para Sistemas de Información de Clientes de Empresas de Servicio Público*

Cendant elije a Jeff Clarke como nuevo consejero delegado y director general

La Empresa Completa Mejoras de Red en Destinos Vacacionales Populares

Teamsters Advocate Improvements in Homeland Security

DHS Guidance a Good Beginning for First Responders but More is Needed

Transcript of remarks by President Bush after roundtable on taxes and the economy:

With Airline Tickets From $49 One-Way, Southwest Airlines Makes Air Travel Easy and Affordable

Wendy's Chairman-CEO Announces Retirement

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As Net Passes Print Ad Revenue, Publishers Get Web Wise

Coca-Cola North America and Godiva




Kiefer Sutherland, Eva Longoria and Michael Douglas “THE SENTINEL” Production Notes

Pete Garrison is a U.S. Secret Service agent who saved a president’s life by

jumping in front of a hail of bullets, over twenty years ago. Well-liked and respected by his colleagues in the Secret Service, Garrison is a career agent who now heads the First Lady’s detail. He lives in a high-level, orderly world of hierarchical structure, plans, maps, motorcades, code names, lingo and procedures. It's a universe that makes sense, until secrets begin to tear it apart. Pete's fellow agent and friend, Charlie Merriweather, hints at wanting to share critical and confidential information. Before that can happen, however, Merriweather is shot dead at his house in a crime that is made to look like a botched robbery.

The investigation falls to the Secret Service’s top investigative agent, David Breckinridge, a volatile combination of by-the-book and hothead, Garrison's protégé, and, until recently one of Garrison’s best friends. Breckinridge follows the evidence and only the evidence and scrupulously tries to avoid working from his gut. That’s what being a great investigator requires. Garrison, as perhaps the greatest protective agent in the service, often has to work from gut, from pure instinct. In protective work that is often all you have.

Garrison’s and Breckinridge’s recent falling out was triggered by Breckinridge’s mistaken belief that Garrison was having an affair with Breckinridge's now ex-wife.

Jill Marin, a tough, sassy and ambitious young agent who just graduated second in her class at the Secret Service Academy, arrives for her first field posting. She has requested a work detail with Breckinridge because Garrison, while leading a field instruction exercise at the Academy told Jill that Breckinridge was the best investigator in the entire Service.

Together the trio begins to uncover what appears to be an inside job to assassinate the president – a traitor in the ranks of the Secret Service. It's never happened in the institution's 141-year history.

Suspicion ultimately falls on Garrison, who's going to find it extremely difficult to clear his name because someone is framing him.

Whoever is framing Garrison knows he’s vulnerable because he’s devoting considerable effort to hiding a monumental secret. Suspected of being treasonous, Garrison goes on the run, pursued by Breckinridge and Marin – his own colleagues – as he tries to nail the real mole and save the president's life.

“THE SENTINEL is a political thriller about the agents assigned to protect the president and First Lady," says Michael Douglas. "For the first time in its history, there is a mole in the Service plotting to kill the president. I play an agent assigned to protect the First Lady. It's about my redemption. My character is a career officer who's committed an act of indiscretion, and I find that intriguing. I don't know many people who are all good or all evil. So there is moral ambiguity. I'm attracted to characters like Pete Garrison, who is flawed but tries to overcome his flaws in some way. Even Secret Service agents make mistakes.

“THE SENTINEL is unpredictable, topical and has a few twists and turns in it,” Douglas continues. “It's fascinating to learn about the Secret Service’s inner workings and some of the technologies used by the Secret Service. I hope audiences will gain a little more understanding of what goes on behind the scenes: the number of death threats, the amount of research the USSS agents do. These are brave souls."

As a producer, Douglas is always looking for interesting and provocative stories.

"Finding good material sounds simple but it's not,” says Douglas. “I've had my share of message movies but only because they worked as entertainment. I love acting, but the fact is that I don't see that many pictures I'd like to do, so sometimes you have to develop them. I liked the idea behind THE SENTINEL because in an era of fear and paranoia, the notion of an unseen enemy is credible – that’s the film’s big 'what if?'"

Furthur Films secured the rights to the novel The Sentinel by Gerald Petievich, before its publication. "We thought the book’s premise would make a thoughtful, compelling and classic-style political thriller," says producer Marcy Drogin. "Every iconic institution has had its share of scandal, but the U.S. Secret Service is held to a higher standard. That was intriguing to us, to peel away the layers.

“Also,” Drogin continues, “it provided the quintessential Michael Douglas role as a flawed but sympathetic character.”

In order to present certain aspects of the Secret Service as realistically as possible, the film’s screenwriter and co-producer, George Nolfi, undertook extensive research.

"From the beginning I wanted the story to be realistic," Nolfi says. "I wondered: How is the president really protected? Where do the threats come from? What would truly put his life in danger, and how would the Secret Service react?"

As Nolfi honed the screenplay, Douglas and Drogin brought in Clark Johnson to direct. Johnson had previously directed a pilot about the Secret Service called "The Service,” which pointed to his interest in the topic. Johnson, also a respected actor, has worked in almost every area of the film business, including stunts, special effects, and

camera. In addition, he is experienced with law enforcement action thrillers, ensemble pieces, multiple cameras, large set-ups and special effects. For THE SENTINEL, Johnson used this extensive background to depict the reality and grittiness of the Secret Service world.

Johnson worked closely with Douglas and Drogin to cast the picture. Once Douglas was on board, Kiefer Sutherland, Eva Longoria and Kim Basinger followed in the other three key roles. It was not Douglas' first time working with Sutherland; Douglas had produced "Flatliners," one of the movies that catapulted Sutherland into the ranks of exciting new film stars. "That was when I first met Kiefer and saw how talented he was. In THE SENTINEL, he brings tremendous credibility to his role," says Douglas.

Sutherland responds with equal enthusiasm about Douglas. "If you look at Michael’s films, they're Class A. I had the pleasure of working with him when I was very young, and he was so gracious and kind to me. I watched his films over the years and learned what makes him a phenomenal producer. There's a sense of responsibility and dignity in all his films. I've watched his table-read, his notes, how he handles himself on set. It's been an education and a pleasure, and I'm grateful for that."

As the lead investigator in the film, Sutherland's David Breckinridge sometimes lets his personal feelings interfere. "He has a past," acknowledges Sutherland, "and our past often trips us up. Those elements start to break down what could be a perfect investigator.

“We as a society have an appreciation of any specialist in any field, where education and training have been taken to a certain level,” Sutherland continues. “I'll never forget the Secret Service agent who moved to the left of President Reagan, closed his eyes and waited. He stayed in that position to take those hits. Would I have the courage or presence of mind to remember my training in that circumstance? That's the first question I asked myself. We have to have an incredible amount of respect for Secret Service agents."

Sutherland also was pleased to collaborate with on-screen partner Eva Longoria.

“She has an incredible sense of focus,” he says. “The character she plays betrays her personality and that's the mark of a great actor."

Longoria’s Jill Marin was trained at the Academy by Michael Douglas' character, Pete Garrison, and she joins the Sutherland character's office upon graduation. Jill doesn't initially know about the personal conflict between the two men. “[Screenwriter] George Nolfi beautifully weaves together their stories,” says Sutherland. “Jill’s history with Garrison reminds David Breckinridge of his connection to Garrison. This makes her question the direction of the investigation. It’s all about loyalties.”

Sutherland, like the others, enjoyed having an actor as a director in Clark Johnson.

"There is a commonality there," said Sutherland. "That's undeniable. Clark has an innate sensitivity and that's a two-way street. To know what it's like to work in your shoes is a gift."

Eva Longoria chose THE SENTINEL for her first big movie role because it is so different from her hit TV series "Desperate Housewives." "It's a triangle between Michael, Kiefer and me, but it's not a love triangle,” says Longoria. “That's why I chose this movie. It's the opposite of Gabrielle [Solis, her TV character]."

Longoria plays the only woman on the team. "She's an eager beaver," says Longoria about agent Jill Marin. "She wants to learn, totally downplays her sexuality, has to prove herself twice as much as a man, and is determined to be the best she can be.

She’s new but not complacent; she thinks outside the box. It's not about the clothes, the hair and the make-up, the way it is for [“Desperate Housewives’] Gabrielle. Jill Marin is all about the work."

Although Longoria is slightly built, that was not a liability. "The Secret Service is made up of aggressive, intelligent, fit, ambitious individuals with an air of confidence," she says. "It's not about size. Jill is definitely one of the boys.

“I felt comfortable amid all the testosterone because I'm a tomboy,” Longoria adds. “I grew up on a ranch and used to go target-shooting with my dad. I shot my first gun when I was six! I was the best shot." Longoria found it an exciting journey. "I asked the Secret Service advisors a lot of questions. I have newfound respect to these people and what they do for our country."

Martin Donovan, who plays Special Agent in Charge William Montrose, says, "It wasn't until I read the script that I realized how much we take the Secret Service for granted. One of my goals was finding the humanity behind the image they present. They appear implacable, stoic, hyper-vigilant and intimidating, but they have a grace in their physicality. The detail leader of the Presidential Protective Division has to be able to hold his own at cocktail parties with world leaders. And our Secret Service advisors tell me they are inundated with questions at such events."

The filmmakers cast well-known actors, both American and Canadian, in the smaller but pivotal roles. Bringing them to life are David Rasche (“Sledge Hammer”) who portrays President John Ballentine, Blair Brown ("The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd") as the National Security Advisor, Gloria Reuben ("E.R.") as Nancy Merriweather, Ritchie Coster (“Traffic” miniseries) as the villainous The Handler, Chuck Shamata (Father Rorick in "Cinderella Man" and founding member of the Actors Repertory Company) as Secret Service Director Overbrook, Taborah Johnson (host of "Polka Dot Door") as the First Lady's Chief of Staff, Raoul Bhaneja (Pete Subramani in "Train 48"), as agent Aziz Hassad, and Kristin Lehman (Dr. Lily Reddicker in "Judging Amy") as the ex-wife of agent David Breckinridge.

Johnson cast himself as Agent Merriweather, who has inside information that he is silenced from sharing and whose murder uncovers the plot to kill the president.



In order to bring the interior world of the Secret Service to cinematic fruition, the producers brought in a retired Secret Service agent as an advisor. Gerald A. Cavis, a recently retired USSS agent and nationally recognized law enforcement expert, spent years protecting presidents and developing law enforcement and security techniques. In his career, Cavis, who lent his expertise to every aspect of the Secret Service activities and details portrayed in the movie, had direct responsibility for overall security at such events as the 2001 and 2004 presidential campaigns and inaugurals, the NATO 50th Anniversary Summit in Washington, D.C., and the visit of Pope John Paul II to St. Louis.

He has been a primary consultant to other large events such as the G-8 Summit at Sea Island, Georgia, the presidential debates and the Athens Olympics.

Cavis has been a field agent, specializing in interrogation, the polygraph program, and undercover work. In D.C., he served on the elite Presidential Protective Division (PPD) from 1994 to 1997, during President Clinton’s term, rose to supervise one of four teams directly responsible for the president’s safety, and was also in charge of Clinton's second inaugural.

Now a national security specialist and educator, Cavis brought a network of law enforcement's most sought-after professionals, such as his colleague Kevin Billings, another former agent, who protected presidents and dignitaries for more than 20 years.

Cavis was impressed with the filmmakers’ – and the source material’s – intent to accurately portray the world of the Secret Service. "Gerald Petievich, the author of the book, was a former Secret Service agent himself," says Cavis. "And [screenwriter]

George Nolfi did an outstanding job. His level of knowledge and research to create the realism was almost scary."

The screenplay is liberally sprinkled with bits of lingo. "George and Clark and I talked a lot about the dialogue," said Cavis, "so the actors would talk like real agents."

The look of the government offices – how the radio console, desks and computers were set up – had to be as accurate as possible, although a few liberties were taken to accommodate camera movements and visual style. Garrison's White House office, for instance, would be very modular and functional, with a lot of paperwork and supervisory documents for signing, while the desk of the agent in charge of the detail would be clean because he would have a staff to handle his paperwork.

In order to accomplish the forensics reports and threat letters, Cavis sat with the production design staff and guided them in the designs. He helped the costumers select shoes and boots: Secret Service agents wear tie shoes rather than slip-ons, "so they don't come off when you take off running," he explained. The fabrics were high-end, "not like an FBI agent in double-knit nylon," says Cavis. He also helped to choose the right sunglasses, earpieces and sleeve microphones. In addition to props, costumes and the art department, Cavis and Billings advised on the motorcade cars and armored protection vehicles.


Cavis and weapons specialist Charles Taylor taught Michael Douglas, Kiefer Sutherland and Eva Longoria to shoot real guns the way Secret Service agents actually do it. This tactical training, similar to some of what agents actually receive in the Academy, taught the actors gun safety, including handling, drawing and holding, plus range safety, range rules, aiming, firing, holstering, loading and reloading. The experts outfitted the actors with the same weapons – 9mm Sig-sauers, holsters, belts and rounds – as those used by agents, plus proper protective clothing, including ballistic vests, and eye and ear protection. "Kiefer does a lot of gun handling on the set of '24,' said Cavis, "but not with real guns. He found it very useful to learn how to find the right site picture that enables you to hit the target, and he shot very well. Michael had had some training as well and he also shot very well."

After the live ammunition shooting, the actors learned how to approach, ride in, and exit a motorcade, which way they would turn, how to move and act as they surround the person they're protecting, protocols on how to use their bodies as shields, how to protect themselves, and how to ID a suspicious person, all with a high degree of authenticity. They received instruction in the shift formations agents use while walking with the President or First Lady, such as the "Diamond" or the "Box" shape. The motorcade has a particular alignment and organization of vehicles. They practiced entering and exiting cars and buildings in the correct way, plus covering and evacuation procedures. All training and procedures were correlated to the particular script requirements and scene set-ups.

Eva Longoria was the best shot among the cast members. Cavis explains why. "She had no bad habits. She listens very well and was able to translate that into the correct posture, trigger-pull, site-picture alignment, and physical requirements for hitting the target." Douglas, Sutherland and Longoria were required to do live fire shooting on an indoor range, with target practice at three yards, five yards, seven yards, 15 yards and 30 yards, both standing and kneeling, with time limits. They then shot from 30 yards, ran 15 yards, shot at another target, and then shot through an open doorway. All were scored and then debriefed. Longoria hit every one at 30 yards. Then they put the targets next to each other. "She was exceptional," said Cavis. "In fact she would be recognized as a good shot even in the Secret Service. It was impressive."

Michael Douglas adds his praise, "Eva's a crack shot. I wasn't ready for how good she was. They told us that she's better than 90% of the police officers out there. She's quite the athlete.”

All three stars gained new respect for what these agents do. It's difficult to run, move and shoot at the same time. "Our stars have that cool and confident look," says weapons specialist Charles Taylor. "They all exude it. But women are generally better shooters. They're more still. They don't have all that testosterone coursing through them.

They just look through the site and not at the target and they hit it."



"The look of this movie is one of kinetic energy," says director Clark Johnson. "That's why we used many cameras and lots of moving shots." Johnson and his director of photography, Gabriel Beristáin, previously collaborated on "S.W.A.T.," in which they created spectacular depictions of Los Angeles. On THE SENTINEL, they merged the look of a big action thriller with the glamour of the White House and a very elite law enforcement organization. "So much happens within that world," says Beristáin. "We wanted to give that world a visual style, a high beat, visual staccato.

"We worked out a progression to allow us to create and have our lighting and cameras react to the action. It's a well-protected world at the beginning, with warm tones, elegant and classical camera movement. As the story becomes more ominous and nightmarish, our cameras and lighting respond to it, becoming cooler and more hectic in their movements. There are some overlaps of course. It's not a mechanical, but a philosophical process. We are thinking in terms of audience emotion. We don't want the audience to guess; we want to keep them wondering. Camera movement should not give away the story."

The high shine and polish of the White House co-exists with a darker raw world as Garrison goes on the run. Johnson and Beristáin used a number of techniques, including traditional camera set-ups, video, Steadicam, hand-held, and sophisticated monitors showing the primary image as well as other glimpses into that world.

Examining a world rife with surveillance, the filmmakers provide a feeling of watching and of being watched, and of feeling that one is fully inside the world of the U.S. Secret Service. "We thought it would be interesting to see our film from the point of view of the audience,” says Beristáin. “The world we depict is not simple. The characters become paranoid and suspicious, even more aware of the people around them. The world around our characters is collapsing. It’s chaotic.

Beristáin was responsible for lighting two of the most beautiful women in the world: Kim Basinger and Eva Longoria. "Both have interesting character arcs," says the cinematographer. "And I was lucky enough to have two women who look beautiful under any lighting circumstances.

“The First Lady’s world is crumbling in a way that could be disastrous. She had to go through a transition. We used much more than just glamorous lighting and her face responded to any lighting situation with dignity, grace and elegance. Eva's beginnings in the movie are modest and humble, in a dark little Secret Service office where she meets Kiefer Sutherland's character. As she grew as a character, we made the camera and the lighting on her different, making her a little more heroic. She took anything—direct lighting on her, low angles, not soft, no filtration—she looked absolutely marvelous. It was my privilege and my pleasure to work with both of them." Beristáin comes from a

European tradition of filming, where he says, “they celebrate the lighting you give them.

Kim and Eva took it the same way the great European actors I used to work with did – and did it magnificently."

Production designer Andrew McAlpine’s creations included an in-studio “Presidential Protective Division” (PPD) room, where the agents do their office work. It entailed an elaborate set-up of dozens of computer screens with streamed images, desks, work stations, protective intelligence and forensics reports, plus such details as mousepads, paperweights, chairs, binders, plaques, photos and flags.

Costume designer Ellen Mirojnick, who has worked on eight Michael Douglas pictures, decided to treat the Secret Service uniforms and suits in an elegant and sophisticated way, with garments sharply cut and sculpted to the body. Using dark, rich navies, no-pattern shirts, and an assortment of specific tonalities from blues to grays, she and her team created a look that added up to a uniform for the army they created. Like the other filmmakers, Mirojnick strove for realism – but made a slight exception for Eva Longoria. "She looks a little more beautiful than regulation allows," laughs Mirojnick.

"Our version is a little more stylish. The women wear pantsuits so they can run, but the fit is the key."


MICHAEL DOUGLAS (Pete Garrison, Producer), an actor with over thirty years of experience in theatre, film, and television, branched out into independent feature production in 1975 with the Academy Award-winning "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.” Since then, as a producer and as an actor-producer, he has shown an uncanny knack for choosing projects that reflect changing trends and public concerns.

The son of Kirk and Diana Douglas, Michael was born in New Jersey. In 1968, He moved to New York City to study at the American Place Theatre with Wynn Handman, and at the Neighborhood Playhouse, where he appeared in workshop productions.

A few months after he arrived in New York, Douglas got his first big break when he was cast in a pivotal role in the CBS Playhouse production of Ellen M. Violett's drama, "The Experiment,” which was televised nationwide on February 25, 1969.

Douglas' convincing portrayal won him the leading role in the adaptation of John

Weston's controversial novel, "Hail, Hero!” His second feature was "Adam at 6 A.M." (1970). Douglas next appeared in the film version of Ron Cowen's play "Summertree" (1971), produced by Kirk Douglas' Bryna Company, and then "Napoleon and Samantha" (1972).

Impressed by Douglas' performance in a segment of television series "The FBI,” producer Quinn Martin signed the actor for the part of Karl Malden's sidekick in the police series "The Streets of San Francisco,” which premiered in 1972 and became one of ABC's highest-rated prime-time programs in the mid-1970s. Douglas earned three successive Emmy Award nominations for his performance.

Long interested in producing a film version of Ken Kesey's novel "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest,” Douglas purchased the movie rights from his father. A critical and commercial success, "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Actor and Best Actress, and went on to gross more than $180 million at the box office.

Douglas suddenly found himself in demand as an independent producer. His next producing project, "The China Syndrome" (1979) received Academy Award nominations for Jack Lemmon and Jane Fonda, as well as for Best Screenplay.

Despite his success as a producer, Douglas resumed his acting career in the late 1970s, starring in "Coma" (1978), "It's My Turn" (1981), and "The Star Chamber" (1983). Douglas also starred in "Running" (1979), and in "A Chorus Line" (1985). Douglas' career as an actor/producer came together again in 1984 with the release of "Romancing the Stone.” A sequel, "The Jewel of the Nile,” followed in 1985.

It took Douglas nearly two years to convince Columbia Pictures executives to approve the production of "Starman,” the sleeper hit of the 1984 Christmas season, which earned an Oscar nomination for Best Actor for Jeff Bridges. In 1986 Douglas created a television series based on the film.

Douglas returned to the screen in 1987 appearing in two of the year's biggest hits: "Fatal ttraction” and “Wall Street,” the latter earning him an Academy Award for Best Actor.

Douglas next starred in "Black Rain" and then in "The War of the Roses” (1989).

In 1988 Douglas formed Stonebridge Entertainment, Inc. which produced "Flatliners” and "Radio Flyer.” Douglas followed with "Shining Through.” In 1992 he starred with Sharon Stone in the erotic thriller "Basic Instinct,” one of the year's top grossing films.

Douglas gave one of his most powerful performances opposite Robert Duvall in Joel Schumacher's controversial drama "Falling Down.” That year he also produced the hit comedy "Made in America.” In 1994-95 he starred in "Disclosure.” In 1995 Douglas portrayed the title role in The American President” and in 1997, starred in “The Game.”

Douglas formed Douglas/Reuther Productions with partner Steven Reuther in May 1994. The company, under the banner of Constellation Films, produced “The Ghost and the Darkness” and “John Grisham’s The Rainmaker.” Douglas and Reuther also produced “Face/Off.”

In 1998, Douglas starred in “A Perfect Murder,” and formed a new production company, Furthur Films. Furthur’s first film was “One Night at McCool’s” (2000). That year was a milestone one for Douglas. “Wonder Boys” opened in February 2000 to much critical acclaim. Douglas was nominated for a Golden Globe and a BAFTA Film award for his performance.

Douglas starred in "Traffic" (2000), which was named Best Picture by New York Film Critics, won Best Ensemble Cast at the SAG Awards, won four Academy Awards, and was named on over 175 top ten lists.

In 2001, Douglas starred in “Don’t Say a Word” for Fox / Regency. In 2002, he received an Emmy nomination for a guest role on the series “Will & Grace.”

Douglas starred in two films in 2003: “It Runs in the Family,” which Douglas produced and starred with his father Kirk Douglas, his mother Diana Douglas and his son Cameron Douglas. He also starred in the comedy “The-In Laws,” with Albert Brooks.

Later this year, Douglas will be seen in the Universal comedy “You, Me and Dupree” with Owen Wilson, Matt Dillon and Kate Hudson.

Douglas filmed a segment for Showtime’s children’s series “What’s Going On?” He also completed a feature-documentary directed by Lee Grant entitled “A Father, A Son, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” centered on the complex relationship between himself and his father, Kirk.

In July of 1998 Douglas was named a Messenger of Peace for the United Nations by Secretary General Kofi Annan. His two areas of concentration are nuclear abolition and small arms proliferation.

KIEFER SUTHERLAND stars as David Breckinridge, a Secret Service agent assigned to investigate a plot to kill the president.

Sutherland first collaborated with Michael Douglas when the latter produced the 1990 film "Flatliners," which Sutherland headlined with Julia Roberts, Kevin Bacon and William Baldwin.

Sutherland currently stars as Jack Bauer in the fifth critically acclaimed season of the Fox hit "24," for which he has won a Golden Globe® Award, a SAG Award™, two Emmy® nominations and a Golden Globe nomination. The show, which also won a Golden Globe Award for Best Drama, received its highest ratings to date for its fourth season.

In 2004 Sutherland starred in the independent period piece "River Queen" in New Zealand, starring Samantha Morton and directed by Vincent Ward. That year Sutherland also starred in the Warner Bros. film "Taking Lives," opposite Angelina Jolie and Ethan Hawke, and provided the narration for the Warner Bros. film, "NASCAR: The Imax Experience." In 2003 he played painter Paul Gauguin in "Paradise Found," and in 2002 starred with Colin Farrell in Fox's "Phone Booth," directed by Joel Schumacher.

Sutherland starred with Robert Carlyle in the 2001 World War II drama "To End All Wars," which screened successfully at both the Toronto and Telluride Film Festivals in 2002. Based on the best-selling book Through the Valley of the Kwai, the film is an account of life as a POW in a Southeast Asian prison camp.

In 1998, Sutherland starred in Showtime’s critically acclaimed original picture "A Soldier's Sweetheart," which premiered as a gala screening at the 1998 Toronto International Film Festival. In 1997, he co-starred with William Hurt and Rufus Sewell in New Line Cinema's "Dark City," directed by Alex Proyas. The Cannes Film Festival showcased it as a special presentation.

In 1992, Sutherland starred in Castle Rock Entertainment's military drama "A Few Good Men" with Jack Nicholson and Tom Cruise. In 1994, he starred with Jeff Bridges and Nancy Travis in the American version of "The Vanishing" for 20th Century Fox.

A veteran of more than fifty films, Sutherland has been starring in movies since 1984's "The Bay Boy," which won him and director/writer Daniel Petrie Genie Award nominations. Sutherland eventually moved from Canada to Los Angeles, landing television appearances in "The Mission," "Amazing Stories" and the TV movie "Trapped in Silence" with Marsha Mason. Some of his memorable earlier film performances include those in "Stand by Me" and "At Close Range" (1986), "The Lost Boys" and "Promised Land" (1987), "1969," "Bright Lights, Big City” and "Young Guns" (1988), "Renegades" (1989), "Chicago Joe and the Showgirl," "Flashback" and "Young Guns 2" (1990), "Article 99" (1992), and "The Three Musketeers" (1993).

In the 1996 Paramount thriller, "Eye for an Eye," directed by John Schlesinger, Sutherland portrayed an unremorseful, brutal murderer opposite Sally Field and Ed Harris. Later that summer, he co-starred with Samuel L. Jackson, Sandra Bullock and Matthew McConaughey in the screen adaptation of John Grisham's novel, "A Time to Kill."

Sutherland has also turned his hand to directing, with "Woman Wanted" (2000), "Truth or Consequences" (1997), the glowingly reviewed Showtime film "Last Light" (1993), and an episode of the TV series "Fallen Angels" (1993). In addition, he does voice work, mostly recently on "The Land Before Time X: The Great Longneck Migration" (2003). Sutherland also produces, having been co-executive producer of "24" since 2003 and producer in 2002-3. He was also executive producer of the TV movie "Natural Selection" in 1994.

EVA LONGORIA plays Jill Marin, a freshly minted Secret Service agent as smart and ambitious as she is beautiful. Assigned to the more experienced agent played by Kiefer Sutherland, Jill was trained by Michael Douglas’ character. The three team up to uncover a plot to assassinate the President.

One of the hottest stars in television, Longoria plays Latin sexpot Gabrielle Solis on the ABC mega-hit "Desperate Housewives," which draws more than 27 million viewers weekly. Recently named one of People’s "50 Most Beautiful" and the "#1 Hottest Woman in the World" on Maxim’s 2005 annual "Hot 100" list, Longoria was also voted by Variety as one of the "Ten New Faces to Watch," Rolling Stone’s "People of the Year," USA Today’s "TV’s Hot 11" and TV Guide’s "New Faces of Fall." She has signed an exclusive worldwide contract as the newest face of L’Oréal beauty products.

In 2005 Longoria wrapped a role as a lawyer in the tough-minded indie film "Harsh Times," alongside Christian Bale and Freddie Rodriguez and directed by David Ayer ("Training Day"). She co-starred as a quirky psychic in the 2004 CBS MOW "The Dead Will Tell," opposite Anne Heche, Jonathan LaPaglia and Kathleen Quinlan. She starred as a detective on "L.A. Dragnet," the modern-day take on the classic police drama by Emmy Award-winning producer Dick Wolf.

Longoria celebrated her theatre debut in the popular comedy farce, "What the Rabbi Saw." Acknowledging her "comedic flair," Back Stage West proclaimed, "Eva Longoria is sensational." Flexing her comic muscles further, Longoria now stars in and co-produces "Hot Tamales Live," a critically acclaimed comedy/ variety show performing regularly at The Comedy Store and consistently selling out across the country. The show is available on DVD/ videocassette and pay-per-view.

The youngest of four sisters who grew up on a ranch in Corpus Christi, Texas, Longoria attended Texas A&M-Kingsville, where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology. After graduating from college, she entered a talent contest that brought her to Los Angeles, where she was spotted and subsequently signed by a theatrical agent. Longoria’s timing couldn’t have been better and she was determined to see where her acting dreams would take her.

After landing roles on "The Bold and the Beautiful," "General Hospital" and co-starring on "Beverly Hills 90210," she auditioned and won the role of Isabella on the popular series "The Young and the Restless." Her career was successfully launched and she considers herself blessed to have had the opportunity to work on the #1 daytime drama.

Longoria is actively involved with Special Olympics and worked with the John Kerry-John Edwards presidential campaign, educating Latino voters about the candidates.

KIM BASINGER stars as First Lady Sarah Ballentine, who finds herself caught in a plot to assassinate her husband.

Since making her motion picture debut opposite Robert Redford in Barry Levinson's "The Natural," the Academy Award-winner has appeared in more than 30 feature films and has established herself as an international screen icon.

Basinger wrapped production in 2004 on "Jump Shot," a crime drama about gambling, starring with Danny DeVito, Kelsey Grammer, Nick Cannon, Ray Liotta and Forest Whitaker. The film was directed by Mark Rydell.

Also in 2004, Basinger received critical praise for her moving performance opposite Jeff Bridges in Focus Features’ "The Door in the Floor," based on the John Irving novel, "Widow for a Year." She also starred in New Line Cinema’s thriller "Cellular," about a kidnapped woman with only a cell phone standing between her and death.

Basinger received her Academy Award® in 1998 for her role in Warner Bros. and Regency’s critically acclaimed film "L.A. Confidential," based on the James Ellroy classic crime novel of the same title and directed by Curtis Hanson. Basinger's performance also earned her a Golden Globe Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award and a BAFTA nomination. The film earned nine Academy Award nominations in all.

In 2003, Basinger starred opposite Eminem in "8 Mile," and in 2002 opposite Al Pacino and Téa Leoni in "People I Know," In 2000, she starred in Paramount’s "Bless the Child," directed by Chuck Russell and also starring Jimmy Smits and Rufus Sewell.

That year, Basinger starred in Hugh Hudson's "I Dreamed of Africa" for Columbia Tri-Star. The film, shot on location in Venice, Italy and South Africa, is based on the best-selling true story by Kenya activist Kuki Gallmann.

Basinger's film credits include the box-office blockbuster "Batman"; Adrian Lyne's sensual thriller "9 1/2 Weeks"; "No Mercy"; Robert Altman's "Ready to Wear" ("Prêt-à-Porter") and "Fool For Love"; "Final Analysis" opposite Richard Gere; "The Marrying Man,” "The Getaway"; Blake Edwards' "Blind Date" opposite Bruce Willis; "Cool World"; "The Real McCoy" and "Nadine" opposite Jeff Bridges.

MARTIN DONOVAN plays experienced Secret Service agent William Montrose, who for many years has worked with fellow agent Pete Garrison, played by Michael Douglas, and who has a dark secret.

Donovan headlines the upcoming dramatic thriller, "The Visitation," also starring Edward Furlong and Kelly Lynch, in which miracles start to happen when a stranger hits town. In 2005 he also wrapped "The Quiet," a drama about a deaf orphan girl starring Camilla Belle, Elisha Cuthbert and Edie Falco, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. In 2004 he starred in the three-part mini-series, "Traffic," about global trafficking in drugs, weapons and people. He played Mary-Louise Parker's love interest, in the Showtime series, "Weeds."

In television movies, Donovan played John F. Kennedy in "RFK" (2002); Prince Nikitin, opposite Liv Tyler and Ralph Fiennes, in "Onegin" (1999); a math teacher who seduces a child in Oprah Winfrey's "Amy & Isabelle" (2001); and Tom Buchanan in the 2000 adaptation of "The Great Gatsby." In "Custody of the Heart" (2000) he starred with Lorraine Bracco as a stay-at-home husband suing his professional wife for custody of their children. He worked with Bracco again in "Scam" (1993), about con-artists.

Donovan’s many other credits include "Saved!," “Agent Cody Banks," "Insomnia," "Pipe Dream," "The Book of Life," "Flirt," “Amateur," “Simple Men," "Surviving Desire," "Trust," “The Portrait of the Lady,” and “Malcolm X.”


CLARK JOHNSON (Director) is helming his second feature film with THE SENTINEL. The veteran actor of more than 50 movies, MOWs and series became famous as Detective Meldrick Lewis in the hit TV series "Homicide: Life on the Street" (1993-99). He also directed five episodes of the series. In THE SENTINEL, Johnson plays the pivotal part of Secret Service agent Charlie Merriweather, whose murder sets in motion the presidential assassination plot investigation. In 2003, he directed the feature film “S.W.A.T.,” an action thriller starring Samuel L. Jackson and Colin Farrell.

Since 1991, Johnson has amassed 19 directorial credits, including the 2001 HBO movie "Boycott," about African Americans' bus boycott during the 1950s civil rights movement. In addition to "Homicide: Life on the Street," Johnson has directed episodes of "The Shield," "Third Watch," "The West Wing," "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," "NYPD Blue" and "The Wire." He first directed in 1991, with an episode of "African Skies," a TV series about two teenagers, one black and one white, living in post-apartheid South Africa.

As an actor, Johnson most recently starred as Detective Stephen Tree in the 2005 TV movie "Tripping the Wire: A Stephen Tree Mystery," as well as in the dystopian "The Limb Salesman" (2004), "On Their Knees" in 2001, and "Disappearing Acts," "Task Force: Caviar," "Deliberate Intent," "Fear of Fiction," "Virtual Mom," and "Homicide: The Movie," all in 2000. Also that year he played a feature role in Clément Virgo's "Love Come Down," about two brothers, one black, one white, from a blended family. Johnson had starred in Virgo's earlier films "Rude" (1995) and "The Planet of Junior Brown" (1997).

Johnson played football while attending Concordia University in Montreal, before getting into the film business as a driver on "The Last Chase" in 1981. His first big break came with the CBS series "Night Heat" in which he played Detective Dave Jefferson from 1986 to 1988. Roles in "Adventures in Babysitting" (1987), "Iron Eagle II" (1988), and “The Women of Brewster Place" (1989) followed. He played the part of J.J. as well as did some of the stunt work on the film "Renegades" (1989), which starred Kiefer Sutherland.

Johnson's next directorial project will be "Killing Floor" for Mutual Film Company in 2006.

GEORGE NOLFI (Screenwriter/Co-Producer) wrote "Ocean's Twelve" (2004), the sequel set three years after "Ocean's Eleven" and directed by Steven Soderbergh. The film stars George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Julia Roberts, and Catherine Zeta Jones.

Nolfi grew up in Boston, Chicago and Washington, D.C. Living in Washington sparked a lifelong interest in government and national security issues. He studied public and international affairs at Princeton University and political philosophy at Oxford. He was a political science Ph.D. student at UCLA when he sold his first script, which was about an undercover CIA officer during the Yugoslavian Civil War in the 1990s.

MARCY DROGIN (Producer) is president of production of Furthur Films. She began working with Michael Douglas eight year ago, as co-producer on the thriller “Swimfan,” released by Twentieth Century Fox, then as a co-producer on "It Runs in the Family," a feature film about a dysfunctional family starring the Douglas clan, including Michael Douglas' father Kirk, mother Diana and son Cameron.

Drogin has continued to supervise Furthur’s development slate and bring in original material set-up at various studios. In addition, she has served as the senior production executive on Michael Douglas’/ Furthur’s other recent films, including “The In-Laws,” “Don’t Say A Word” and “One Night at McCools.”

From 1994-1998, she worked as an executive producer, creative executive and literary, theatrical and film scout for various studios, production companies and producers in the motion picture and television industries, including: Baltimore/Spring Creek Productions, Columbia Pictures, Industry Entertainment, More-Medavoy Management, IFC/Next Wave Films, Def Pictures and Parallel Pictures. During this period, Drogin covered the New York book, theatre and independent film worlds, scouting for material and talent for production companies to develop and produce for film and/or television.

She also produced the following film, television and theatre projects: “Servy-n-Bernice 4ever,” “The Professional” and “The Flatted Fifth” (plays and films), the feature documentaries “The Last Dance” and “Denver Clan Unmasked” for European Public Television, and the recent Broadway revival of “The Sound of Music.”

Drogin is an honors graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and serves on the board of Working Playground, a non-profit company dedicated to bringing arts programs to urban young people in New York City’s public schools.


ARNON MILCHAN (Producer) is widely renowned as one of the most prolific and successful independent film producers of the past 25 years, with over 100 feature films to his credit. Born in Israel, Milchan was educated at the University of Geneva. His first business venture was transforming his father’s modest business into one of his country’s largest agro-chemical companies. This early achievement was a harbinger of Milchan’s now-legendary reputation in the international marketplace as a keen businessman.

Soon, Milchan began to underwrite projects in areas that had always held a special interest for him – film, television and theater. Early projects include Roman Polanski’s theater production of “Amadeus,” “Dizengoff 99,” “La Menace,” “The Medusa Touch” and the mini-series “Masada.” By the end of the 1980s, Milchan had produced such films as Martin Scorsese’s “The King of Comedy,” Sergio Leone’s “Once Upon at Time in America” and Terry Gilliam’s “Brazil.”

After the huge successes of “Pretty Woman” and “The War of the Roses,” Milchan founded New Regency Productions and went on to produce a string of successful films including “J.F.K,” “Sommersby,” “A Time to Kill,” “Free Willy,” “The Client,” “Tin Cup,” “Under Siege,” “L.A. Confidential,” “The Devil’s Advocate,” “The Negotiator,” “City of Angels,” “Entrapment,” “Fight Club,” “Big Momma’s House,” “Don’t Say a Word,” “Daredevil,” “Man on Fire,” “Guess Who,” “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” and “Big Momma’s House 2,” currently in theaters.

Upcoming projects include: “Just My Luck,” a comedy starring Lindsay Lohan and Chris Pine, directed by Donald Petrie; “My Super Ex-Girlfriend,” a comedy starring Uma Thurman, Luke Wilson, Anna Farris, Eddie Izzard and directed by Ivan Reitman; “The Fountain,” a sci-fi fantasy starring Hugh Jackman and Rachel Wiesz, directed by Darren Aronofsky; “Firehouse Dog,” a family comedy starring Josh Hutcherson, Bruce Greenwood, Dash Mihok, Steven Culp and Bree Turner, directed by Todd Holland; “Jumper,” a sci-fi action-adventure directed by Doug Liman; and “Dallas,” based on the television phenomenon directed by Robert Luketic.

Along the way, Milchan brought on board two powerful investors and partners who share his vision: Nine Network and Twentieth Century Fox. Fox distributes Regency movies in all media worldwide (excluding an output arrangement Regency has in Germany), including on U.S. pay television, and international pay and free television.

Milchan also successfully diversified his company’s activities within the sphere of entertainment, most specifically in the realm of television through Regency Television (“Malcolm in the Middle,” “The Bernie Mac Show,” “Living with Fran,” “Thief” and “Windfalls”) and sports, where the company was at one time the largest shareholder of PUMA, the worldwide athletic apparel and shoe conglomerate based in Germany, which was later sold after a successful re-branding of the brand in 2003. In addition, Regency has worldwide television rights to the Sony Ericcson Women’s Tennis Association events from 1999 through 2007. Regency owns a large stake in the Israeli Network, a television station brought to the United States via a satellite distribution agreement with Echostar. Recently, Regency also acquired a large stake in Channel 10, one of only two commercial broadcast stations in Israel.

BILL CARRARO (Executive Producer/UPM) recently executive produced "Stay," a psychological thriller from Regency Enterprises, starring Ewan McGregor, Naomi Watts and Ryan Gosling. He was executive producer of "Willard," the award-winning 2003 remake of the 1971 Daniel Mann original hit as well as for "Undercover Brother" in 2002, about an African-American undercover agent.

In 2000, Carraro produced "Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2," for which he was also the second unit director. The same year he produced "Frequency," a time-travel thriller starring Dennis Quaid and Jim Caviezel. "The Best Man," starring Taye Diggs, which Carraro produced in 1999, was the winner of several Black Reel as well as Image Awards. Carraro executive produced Chow Yun-Fat's second American movie, the explosive thriller "The Corruptor," also starring Mark Wahlberg, and "American History X," the crime drama with Edward Norton and Edward Furlong as two neo-Nazi skinhead brothers.

Carraro moved from production manager to associate producer in 1989 with "Rude Awakening," about two hippies who disappear in the '60s and return to yuppie-ridden New York in the '80s. He followed that with various co-producing, associate producing and executive producing positions throughout the '90s, including the Emmy-winning and Golden Globe-nominated HBO television movie "The Tuskegee Airmen" in 1995, based on the true story of the first African-American fighter pilots and starring Laurence Fishburne.

GABRIEL BERISTÁIN, ASC / BSC (Director of Photography) was born in Mexico, educated in Britain and trained in Europe. He first worked with director Clark Johnson on Johnson's feature film directorial debut, "S.W.A.T," in 2003.

Beristáin's diverse body of work runs from Mike Newell's "The Good Father" in 1985 starring Anthony Hopkins through the exquisite art film "Caravaggio" (1986) by Derek Jarman, winner of the Silver Bear at Berlin, to the Stephen King thriller directed by Taylor Hackford, "Dolores Claiborne" (1995), with Kathy Bates and Jennifer Jason Leigh. He was camera operator on Stephen King's "The Green Mile" in 1999, directed by Frank Darabont.

Beristáin’s feature credits also include “The Distinguished Gentleman" (1992), "Trial and Error" (1997), "Fatal Instinct" (1993) and "Bound by Honor" (1993). Also in 1993, he was the cinematographer of the Northern England shoot of the lush and elegant Australian feature "Wide Sargasso Sea," following that the next year with "Tale of the Mummy," about a cursed Egyptian tomb.

In 1997 Beristáin was the director of photography on the drama-thriller "The Spanish Prisoner" (1997), written and directed by David Mamet. In 2004 he did "Blade: Trinity" with Wesley Snipes, having also done "Blade II" in 2002. Having already worked with Kirk Douglas on the comedy "Greedy" (1994) also starring Michael J. Fox, about a family fighting for an aging uncle's inheritance, Beristáin then worked with Michael Douglas in 1996 as director of photography on the second unit of "The Ghost and the Darkness." In 2005 Beristáin completed "The Ring Two" with Naomi Watts, for Dream Works SKG, as well as the adventure comedy "The Shaggy Dog," starring Tim Allen.

In 2000 Beristáin turned his hand to directing with "El Grito," a Mexico/U.S. co-production about a tabloid reporter who uncovers a series of murders that hit close to home. He has also produced and/or directed several Mexican and Colombian features and shorts, as well as the Irish feature "Joyriders" and many international co-productions.


ANDREW McALPINE (Production Designer), who graduated from Nottingham University in England, gained fame for his work on Jane Campion's "The Piano," for which he received both the BAFTA Award and the Australian Film Institute Award for best production design in 1993. His first award for production design was in 1974, when he won the Calouste Gulbenkian Designer's Award for the use of holography in theater.

After his first film, "Bones," in 1984, and his first television production, "Zastrozzi: A Romance," a 1986 mini-series, McAlpine worked on "Sid and Nancy,” the award-winning dramatic biography of the doomed relationship between Sid Vicious of The Sex Pistols and Nancy Spungen. In 1988 he did the design for Denzel Washington's debut in a U.K. film, "For Queen and Country." He had worked on U.K./U.S. co-productions before, including "Stormy Monday" with Melanie Griffith, Tommy Lee Jones and Sting, in addition to U.K. movies such as "The Rachel Papers." In 1990 he did the Japanese movie "Shadow of China," followed by the period drama "American Friends" and Deceived" with Goldie Hawn.

McAlpine's first American movie was the crime drama "Bad Company" in 1995, starring Ellen Barkin and Laurence Fishburne. From there he moved to Spike Lee's "Clockers," Jodie Foster's "Home for the Holidays" with Holly Hunter, Disney's "Flubber," "Holy Man" with Eddie Murphy, "The Beach" with Leonardo DiCaprio, "Alien Love Triangle" with Kenneth Branaugh, and "The Recruit" (2003), about betrayal in the CIA, with Al Pacino and Colin Farrell. In 2003, he first worked with Michael Douglas on "The In-Laws," the comedy about an undercover CIA agent and his daughter's wedding. His latest movie is "Aeon Flux," a science-fiction action thriller about a secret agent, starring Charlize Theron.

CINDY MOLLO, A.C.E. (Editor) edited the films “Ready to Rumble” and “Panic.” She has worked extensively for television, notably as supervising editor on the acclaimed series “Homicide: Life on the Streets” (for which she was nominated for an American Cinema Editors’ Eddie award) and “Oz.” Her other credits include the television films “Spartacus,” “Touching Evil,” “Lucky,” “Skinwalkers” and “Dash and Lillie.” She received an Emmy nomination for her work on the series “Dash and Lilly.”

ELLEN MIROJNICK (Costume Designer) worked on her first feature film in 1977, "French Quarter." In 1980, she did the costume designs (with Kristi Zea) on the 1980 breakout hit "Fame.” "The Flamingo Kid" (1984) and "Nobody's Fool" (1986) followed.

In 1987 Mirojnick's long association with Michael Douglas began, first with "Fatal Attraction" and "Wall Street" both in 1987, and then on "Black Rain" (1989). That year she also did Steven Spielberg's "Always," as well as Blake Edwards' "Switch" in 1991, "Speed" in 1994, "Showgirls" in 1995 and "Twister" in 1996.

Her work on Douglas' films continued with the blockbuster "Basic Instinct" in 1992. In the same year she did "Chaplin," for which she was nominated for a BAFTA Award for Best Costume Design, along with John Mollo. Other Douglas films she has worked on are "The Ghost and the Darkness," "A Perfect Murder," "One Night at McCool's," "Don't Say a Word" and "It Runs in the Family." Some of her other movie credits include "Mickey Blue Eyes," "What Women Want," "Unfaithful," and "The Chronicles of Riddick."

Mirojnick herself was the subject of a documentary on costume design in movies: "Hollywood Fashion Machine Special: The Costume Designer" (2000). She even played a physics teacher in the romance drama "Reckless" in 1984.

CHRISTOPHE BECK (Composer) has scored numerous films in virtually every genre, from “The Pink Panther” (2006) to “Under the Tuscan Sun,” the film adaptation of the best-selling novel.

Beck began his scoring career on the Canadian television series “White Fang,” and from there went on to score the television series “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” in seasons two through four. Beck received an Emmy, for Outstanding Music Composition,

for his work on “Buffy,” in season three (1998) and after completing one more season on the show, decided to move into film scoring.

Beck’s recent film credits also include “Elektra,” “Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous,” “Two for the Money,” and “Yours, Mine and Ours” (2005). Previously, he scored “A Cinderella Story,” “Garfield,” “Cheaper by the Dozen,” “Just Married,” “Confidence,” “Without a Paddle” and “American Wedding.”


©2006 Twentieth Century Fox and Regency Enterprises. All rights reserved. Property of Fox.

Permission is hereby granted to newspapers and periodicals to reproduce this

text in articles publicizing the distribution of the Motion Picture.

All other use is strictly prohibited, including sale, duplication, or other transfers of this material.


Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: The IMAX Experience grosses $20 million

Magical Film Reaches New Milestone for a Digitally Re-Mastered 2D IMAX Release

IMAX Corporation and Warner Bros. Pictures today announced that Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: The IMAX Experience has grossed more than $20 million, becoming the first digitally re-mastered 2D IMAX release to reach the milestone. The IMAX release has now grossed a total of $20,033,758 million worldwide for a cumulative per screen average of $188,998. The film has shown strong legs since debuting in IMAX(R) theatres, setting numerous records for a Hollywood simultaneous release, including biggest three-day opening weekend and highest per screen average. The box office success demonstrates the growing consumer enthusiasm for Hollywood films that have been digitally re-mastered into the unparalleled image and sound quality of The IMAX Experience(R).

"We are thrilled with the unprecedented box office performance of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire in IMAX theatres," said Dan Fellman, President of Domestic Distribution at Warner Bros. Pictures. "The IMAX release helped contribute to the overall excitement surrounding the Harry Potter campaign as well as the theatrical success of the film."

"This milestone is another testament to the winning combination of fantastic filmmakers, the efforts of the talented marketing and distribution teams at Warner Bros. Pictures and IMAX Corporation, and the power of The IMAX Experience," said Greg Foster, Chairman and President of IMAX Filmed Entertainment. "With more event titles scheduled to be released to our expanding theatre network in 2006, we are confident the popularity of experiencing Hollywood films in IMAX's format will continue to grow."

Of the seven films that grossed more than $200 million for 2005, three were simultaneously released by Warner Bros. Pictures in IMAX's format: Batman Begins, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

About IMAX Corporation


Founded in 1967, IMAX Corporation is one of the world's leading entertainment technology companies and the newest distribution window for Hollywood films. IMAX delivers the world's best cinematic presentations using proprietary IMAX, IMAX(R) 3D, and IMAX DMR(R) technology. IMAX DMR (Digital Re-mastering) makes it possible for virtually any 35mm film to be transformed into the unparalleled image and sound quality of The IMAX Experience. The IMAX brand is recognized throughout the world for extraordinary and immersive entertainment experiences. As of December 31, 2005, there were 266 IMAX theatres operating in 38 countries.

IMAX(R), IMAX(R) 3D, IMAX DMR(R), IMAX MPX(R), and The IMAX Experience(R) are trademarks of IMAX Corporation. More information on the Company can be found at www.imax.com.

Source: IMAX Corporation

CONTACT: Media: IMAX Corporation, New York,


The Real Opus Dei Premieres One Month Prior to Sony’s DaVinci Code Release


Dan Brown’s bestseller DaVinci Code makes it to the big screen with Tom Hanks premiering May 19th by Sony Pictures. 
Releasing one month prior on April 19th, is  a film being released in New York showing the real Opus Dei entitled “Passionately Loving the World:  Ordinary Americans Living the Spirituality of St. Josemaria.”   The premiere screening of the video will occur at the official New York inauguration of the St. Josemaría Institute on April 19 at Lighthouse International Auditorium of Manhattan.   The video is available free of charge, however donations are accepted.  Contact them either by phone, 877-stjosemaria, www.stjosemaria.org or www.opusdei.org.

Religious organizations have been up in arms about the portrayal of Jesus Christ and other Christian doctrines, and the portrayal of Opus Dei within the DaVinci Code.   Although well known as fiction, many people may believe there to be some truth.  As contributing factors, Opus Dei has written an open letter to the Sony Corporation (the company producing the movie) and its shareholders, directors, and employees with an excerpt following:
“In recent months it is possible that you may have heard about Opus Dei, in the context of the aforementioned film. It is likely that for many this was the first time that you have had occasion to hear the name of this institution of the Church, and some of you might have wished to know more about it. Therefore this office feels obliged to state its availability to inform whoever wants to know about the real Opus Dei, which has nothing to do with the description sketched in the novel. Whoever wants information can ask this office, and we will respond as soon as possible with great pleasure: our doors are wide open…As you already probably know, there are some aspects of The Da Vinci Code novel that distort the figure of Jesus Christ, and which affect the religious beliefs of Christians.”
This fiction bestseller which enjoyed nearly 58 weeks at or near the top of the New York Times bestseller list, sold 40 million in hardback and 6 million paperbacks and spun off more than a dozen books exploring and deciphering the DaVinci Code.  It has been controversial to say the least.  So controversial, that more than a handful of books came out to decipher the DaVinci Code as well as organizations defending their portrayals.   
Being a “late adopter” to this craze of an adult fiction book, I wondered why there was such a buzz.  Dan Brown admits it’s fiction, but the fascination from so many people came from the possibility that just perhaps there was truth interwoven into this slice of fiction thriller.  Similar to Robert Langdon and Sophie Neveu within the book, many have embarked on a quest for clues to truths for all to see in Leonardo DaVinci’s art.  Travel guides have even been developed guiding you on this adventure. 
I haven’t heard any changes of faith based on reading the DaVinci Code, however I have noticed a renewed fascination in art and interest in reading Dan Brown’s other books.   Like many, I’m looking forward to seeing the movie, and wonder how close it will come to the book.

Time Warner Inc. Presents 'Elements of an Icon' - Exclusive Exhibit Honoring SIR ELTON JOHN's Amazing Contribution to Music and Pop Culture Opening Today at Time Warner Center

Never-Before-Seen Items, Rare Stage Costumes from Elton's Private Collection On Public Exhibit for Limited 12-Day NYC Engagement In Conjunction with the opening of Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures' LESTAT-The MUSICAL

Today Time Warner Inc. is proud to present "Sir Elton John - Elements of an Icon," a public exhibition of the extravagance, the unforgettable showman, the visual exuberance, and the one- of-a-kind contribution to pop music and culture that is Sir Elton John. Elton John fans and music enthusiasts are invited to visit Time Warner Center as it is transformed into a hip retro lounge -- the perfect environment for this truly original and must-see exhibition. The public space overlooking Central Park and Columbus Circle will be filled with an exceptional array of Elton John's fabulously unique feathered, sequined, and bejeweled stage wardrobe that has been the signature style statement of this pop music icon's illustrious career.

The never-before-seen collection will be open to the public from April 18 through April 30, exclusively at Time Warner Center in New York. This very special event coincides with the opening of the much-anticipated Broadway musical LESTAT - Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures' inaugural production of a show inspired by Anne Rice's "The Vampire Chronicles" and featuring the first theatrical score from the legendary songwriting team of Elton John and Bernie Taupin.

The "Elements of an Icon" exhibit will be displayed throughout Time Warner Center. The second floor of the complex will present Elton John's dazzling costumes, imagery and accessories -- most notably, the signature oversized glasses and floor-to-ceiling posters that illustrate Elton John's legendary career. The focal point of the exhibit will feature the artist's red lacquer grand piano, which is synonymous with the musician himself.

Costumes from the original San Francisco performance of LESTAT will be showcased on the first floor of Time Warner Center, while on the fourth floor, artwork by Golden Globe Award-winning lyricist Bernie Taupin will be available for visitors to view.

The exhibit will run Tuesday, April 18 through Sunday, April 30. Viewing hours are 10 a.m. - 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. on Sunday.

A variety of complementary exhibits and events surrounding LESTAT and Elton John will also be hosted at Time Warner Center throughout April. Other exclusive events include:

-- Dave McKean Book Signing at Borders in Time Warner Center

On Monday, April 24, at 7:00 p.m., LESTAT visual concept designer Dave McKean will sign books that contain his work including "The Vampire Chronicles" and "The Alchemy of MirrorMask" at Borders Columbus Circle in Time Warner Center.

-- Samsung Experience

Samsung Experience will show exciting clips all day from LESTAT.

-- New Orleans-Style Cuisine at Williams Sonoma Grande Cuisine

From 3 to 4 p.m. daily, April 18-30, Williams Sonoma (located on the first floor in The Shops at Columbus Circle) will offer tastings of New Orleans- style cuisine in honor of the city where the LESTAT story is staged.

-- Morgenthal Frederics Opticians

View private label eyewear inspired by Elton John's eye glass collection and see a selection of Sir Elton's treasured glasses.

Inspired by Anne Rice's "The Vampire Chronicles" and featuring the first theatrical score from the legendary songwriting team of Elton John and Bernie Taupin, LESTAT will open at Broadway's Palace Theatre on April 25, 2006. For more information on LESTAT please visit www.lestat.com.

About Time Warner

Time Warner Inc. is a leading media and entertainment company, whose businesses include interactive services, cable systems, filmed entertainment, television networks and publishing.

Source: Time Warner Inc.


10 Emerging Designers from Around the World

To Be Featured at Olympus Fashion Week

Calling all new fashion designers! UPS and IMG Fashion today announced they are accepting applications worldwide for 10 emerging designers to show their Spring 2007 collections at Olympus Fashion Week in New York City from Sept. 8-15.

The selected designers will show onsite in the UPS Hub, a venue constructed exclusively for the global shipping company in the famed Bryant Park tents. UPS launched the “UPS Delivers Fashion’s Future” initiative in September 2005 by featuring collections by Doo Ri, Project Alabama, Willow and Tomer, among others.

Designers are required to have been in business for at least two years and to have sold a minimum of two collections to a variety of boutiques and department stores. The 10 designers will be selected by a panel composed of key domestic and international fashion editors, retailers and industry professionals. These emerging designers will have their venue rental subsidized by UPS, which includes state-of-the-art lighting, sound and staging and inclusion in all Olympus Fashion Week collateral materials, marketing, public relations and advertising. They also will benefit from special collateral and marketing materials developed specifically by UPS for this initiative.

Designers interested in participating and who meet these requirements should send materials, including look books, videos and sketches,by June 1st to:

IMG Fashion

Attention: UPS Delivers Fashion’s Future

420 West 45th Street

New York, NY 10036

Phone, email and in person inquires will not be accepted and no materials will be returned.


The Search is on for ABC's Next Bachelor Will he be from Philly?

ABC's popular series, "The Bachelor," is searching for America's most eligible man. Producers are canvassing the country for men who are ambitious, charming and successful and who are looking to find love.

Filming of this popular romance series will take place in an exotic, tropical location promising to make this the most romantic season ever, according to production sources.

"Philadelphia is a dynamic city from which many talented, famous Americans have hailed," said Danielle Barba, casting producer. "It could be that our eligible Bachelor is next."

If you are an attractive, single 28-35 year-old accomplished CEO, architect, lawyer, entrepreneur or businessman and think you can handle twenty-five beautiful women, send photos, a brief biography and your contact information to:


Deadline is April 25, 2006

Source: Kassting inc.

The Public Broadcasting System is considering making its television shows available on the Internet or portable devices like MP3 players

its new president and chief executive officer said on Monday.

She also pointed to PBS's archive of educational shows like "Nature," "Frontline" and other documentaries as a possible resource that could be accessed "anytime, anywhere."

She said some PBS stations already make some shows available free on the Internet but that depends on broadcast rights, which can vary. She noted that PBS does not have the financial resources available to commercial broadcasters.

"So I think we probably will look at partnerships," she told reporters after the speech. She said initial discussions were under way with possible corporate partners, but PBS was trying to figure out the right direction.

Kerger pointed to podcasting already done by the "Newshour with Jim Lehrer," but noted that news largely has a limited shelf life.

"I think we will not do a full flung leap into any one area. I think we'll start to experiment and I think we'll experiment along the product that seems to make the most sense," she said.



Faced with a weak mergers and acquisitions market for cable networks, Crown Media Holdings, which operates the Hallmark Channel, has pulled itself off the auction block. Instead, the company said it would rededicate itself to improving its operations and building its video-on-demand and high-definition TV businesses after some eight months on the block.

David Evans, president-CEO, said the company "determined that the greatest value for our shareholders will be derived by our continued operation of our business."

Separately, Chris Moseley, executive vice president-CMO of Hallmark Channels, will leave the company at the end of the month. Moseley, a former marketing executive at ABC, joined the company in 2000.

Crown Media, which also runs the fledgling Hallmark Movie Channel, is an anomaly in today's consolidated cable programming business, where media giants such as Time Warner and Viacom use leverage from groups of channels to strengthen their hand in ad sales and cable and satellite TV distribution negotiations.

Crown Media reportedly sought $2 billion - nearly double the value Bank of America has placed on Court TV, which is in more homes and has similar ratings to Hallmark Channel. Crown, however, does have a significant programming library. In a sign of how soft the takeover market may be for cable networks, the asking price was well below the $5.3 billion Disney paid for the Fox Family channel and other assets in 2001, though Disney was widely criticized for overpaying for the channel, now known as ABC Family.

Investors showed their disappointment with Crown's perceived diminished value, driving the company's stock price down nearly 18 percent on news that the sale was a no-go.

The company posted revenue growth in 2005 with a 43 percent increase to $197 million, largely due to a 37 percent jump in advertising revenue to $146 million. But the company posted net losses of $233 million in 2005 and $317 million in 2004.

Ratings are on the rise for the family-oriented Hallmark Channel, as distribution has climbed to 72 million-plus homes. Household prime-time ratings this season are up 17 percent, while adult 25-to-54 ratings have climbed 50 percent.

But its prime-time median age is a hoary 61.1, something the company said it will work to lower over time. Evans said the company will "emphasize programming and marketing promotions to continue our efforts to target a younger audience."

Programming tent-poles include older off-network series such as "MASH" and "Walker, Texas Ranger," movies and offerings from the Hallmark library.

The Hallmark Channel has carriage agreements with distributors scheduled to expire soon and the company said it has begun efforts to renew those deals on favorable terms.

Crown Media is 67-percent-owned by greeting-card maker Hallmark Cards.



'Broadcasters See Red Over White Space,' Move To Block New Media Devices

NEW GENERATION OF PERSONAL media and communication devices operating in so-called "white space," - a portion of the broadcast spectrum set aside for television station is as yet "unassigned" and thus unused - may interfere with both analog and digital television broadcasts, according to a David Rehr, CEO of the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), asserted in a letter sent to Sen. Ted Stevens, chairman of Senate Commerce Committee. The NAB is urging Congress to delay opening up "white space" to unlicensed devices, including those being developed by companies such as Qualcomm, Intel, and Microsoft, until at least early 2009.

By then, the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) is expected to finish hammering out standard 802.22, which should allow the devices to work alongside regular TV broadcasts with little or no interference.

Additionally, Feb. 18, 2009 is the "hard date" agreed by broadcasters for the final switchover to digital TV, at which point broadcasters will relinquish a substantial portion of the TV spectrum for use by broadband devices.

While more bandwidth is scheduled to become available with the transition to digital TV, NAB spokesman Dennis Wharton pointed out that interference with TV broadcasting before the transition is complete could imperil the whole process, setting back both TV broadcasters and manufacturers of the new unlicensed broadband devices.

"We've been in a very delicate transition from analog TV service to digital TV service, and we need to make sure we get this digital TV transition done before we start rearranging the bandwidth," he said. "Our concern is that if there is a problem, people who can't get access to their local television signals are going to be burning somebody, either their local broadcasters, or the unlicensed devices, or the legislature that allowed this to happen, or the FCC."

The manufacturers of the new generation of unlicensed devices have pointed to FCC models, which project no interference with local TV broadcasts. But the NAB's Wharton, says similar FCC forecasts have been wrong in the past. "A lot of the digital re-packing numbers and interference projections are based on computer models, but sometimes affairs don't turn out how the FCC projected it," he noted.


FAST-GROWING ONLINE COMMUNITY MYSPACE.COM IS looking to place its user-generated content into TV shows.

There is stuff in development," Shawn Gold, senior vice president-marketing for MySpace.com, tells MediaDailyNews. Gold declined to disclose which networks or programs MySpace was working with, but said in an email, "We are not limited by the News Corp. family."

The enormously popular social networking site is working on deals that, Gold says, would extend the life of a TV sponsorship for a marketer, "integrating social networking into the TV show and their traditional TV buy." All this would expand the life of a TV deal from "30-seconds to 3-months," he adds.

MySpace now has 77 million members, mostly younger users, and is adding 230,000 or more a month. It has been touted as an emerging powerful tool for youth oriented marketers.

Already some 100 advertisers regularly buy into the site including Honda Motors, Toyota Motor Sales, Wendy's International, and Cingular Wireless, to name a few. Additionally, MySpace already has many deals with TV networks, which sponsor the site.

All this would be in line with News Corp's so-called "Generation Fox" pitch, an effort to sell the collective reach among 12- to 34-year-olds of Fox Networks to national advertisers.

"News Corp. has been an asset in helping to scale up the business, putting muscle behind our safety [initiatives] and building out our content," says Gold.

CMA Announces Another CMA Music Festival First: A Triple Header, Headline Event With Hank Williams Jr., Brooks & Dunn, and Lynyrd Skynyrd in Concert June 8 at the Coliseum

Other Performers Include Gary Allan, Sara Evans and Blake Shelton Plus Additional Special Guests and Surprise Artists Tickets Go On Sale April 22 For Only $30

The legendary Hank Williams Jr., CMA's most awarded duo Brooks & Dunn, and 2006 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees Lynyrd Skynyrd will perform live in concert at The Coliseum in Nashville at 8 PM on June 8.

The triple headlining bill of superstars will be joined by special guests Gary Allan, Sara Evans, Pat Green, Little Big Town and Blake Shelton. A limited number of single night tickets, which are only $30 plus applicable handling fees, will go on sale April 22 at 10 AM by visiting www.ticketmaster.com to buy online, or charging-by-phone at (615) 255-9600 or 1-800-CMA-FEST (262-3378).

"This is Nashville's concert event of the year and a first for CMA Music Festival to have these three amazing entertainers bringing their unique and wildly popular stage shows to our fans," said CMA Chief Operating Officer Tammy Genovese. "Add to that the incredible talents of our special guests and surprise artists and you will definitely have a night to remember. This Festival is building a reputation of presenting unique musical collaborations and this one features all our rowdy friends."

Winner of seven CMA Awards (including two consecutive wins as Entertainer of the Year in 1987 and 1988), Williams has sold more than 50 million albums worldwide, achieving 20 Gold, five Platinum, one double-Platinum and one quadruple-Platinum album thus far in his career. Among his many hits are "Family Tradition," "All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight," "Whiskey Bent and Hell Bound," "A Country Boy Can Survive," "Born to Boogie," "All My Rowdy Friends (Have Settled Down)," "There's A Tear In My Beer" and more. His four-time, Emmy award-winning rallying anthem "Are You Ready For Some Football?" was the musical signature of ABC Television Network's "Monday Night Football" national broadcasts for more than a decade. The Curb recording artist will release his new album, That's How They Do It In Dixie, on June 6. Williams last performed at CMA Music Festival in 2004.

On Mar. 18, Brooks & Dunn broke the all-time Houston Livestock and Rodeo attendance record with an audience of 72,867. The superstars, who were previously announced as performing at CMA Music Festival, have won 15 CMA Awards thus far in their career, including Entertainer of the Year in 1996 and an unprecedented 13 wins as CMA Vocal Duo of the Year. The pair, who has sold more than 28 million albums, hosted the CMA Awards in 2004 and 2005. Their most recent album is Hillbilly Deluxe, featuring the hit singles "Play Something Country" and "Believe."

Southern rock royalty Lynyrd Skynyrd will make their CMA Music Festival debut in 2006. The group has performed their unique mixture of blues, rock and Country Music to sold-out audiences nationwide for more than 30 years. Some of their most-loved hits include "Sweet Home Alabama," "Gimme Three Steps," "What's Your Name," and "Free Bird." Lynyrd Skynyrd has sold more than 27 million albums worldwide, achieving 16 Gold, 13 Platinum and 7 multi-Platinum albums thus far. Their most recent album is Lyve: The Vicious Cycle Tour. The band remains an inspiration to their fans, having continually triumphed over tragedy by surviving the deaths of several key members, including lead singer Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines and background vocalist Cassie Gaines in a tragic 1977 plane crash (a subsequent 10 year hiatus for the band ended in 1987 with Ronnie's younger brother Johnny assuming the duties of lead vocalist); as well as guitarist Allen Collins in 1990; and bassist Leon Wilkeson in 2001.

Outside of Lynyrd Skynyrd, lead vocalist Johnny Van Zant also performs with brother Donnie (the lead singer of rock band 38 Special) as the Country Music duo Van Zant. They were nominated for CMA Vocal Duo of the Year in 2005. Van Zant's debut album, Get Right With The Man, was released on Sony Nashville in 2005.

This one-of-a-kind concert event is also included in the full four-day ticket package to 2006 CMA Music Festival, which takes place Thursday-Sunday, June 8-11.

All of the artists participating in CMA Music Festival donate their time. They are not compensated for performing. In appreciation of their continued support, CMA recently launched "Keep the Music Playing," a program which donates half the net proceeds from the event to the Nashville Alliance for Public Education, to support music education in metro Nashville's public schools on behalf of the artists. To date, CMA has donated more than $800,000 on behalf of the artists who participate in the Festival.

CMA Music Festival is organized and produced by the Country Music Association. CMA Board member Tony Conway is the Executive Producer of CMA Music Festival. Premiere Radio Networks is the official radio broadcaster. Promotional partners include Crisco(R), Greased Lightning(R) and Wrangler(R). Fan Fair(R) is a registered trademark of CMA.

Source: Country Music Association

Many affiliates say any notion that they can leverage networks into preserving vestiges of exclusivity is unrealistic.

Ask stations affiliated with Disney's ABC, which last year became the first network to make prime-time programming assets available on-demand to a new partner, Apple's iTunes. ABC didn't tell its local stations at the time it was reviewing its vows of exclusivity.

ABC's announcement last week that it is making ad-supported current episodes of "Lost," "Desperate Housewives," "Commander in Chief" and the entire season of "Alias" available for streaming on ABC.com in May and June didn't catch affiliates by surprise. It did, however, catch them in mid-conversation about how the network might compensate the affiliates for the further loss of exclusivity.

Fox Broadcasting has just agreed to cut its affiliates in on any revenues that result from on-demand extensions of its programming. And CBS appears poised to make a similar arrangement with affiliates.

But stations' participation in the profits from prime-time shows being available on-demand does not change the undeniable fact that by making shows available via any distribution means other than affiliates, the local stations lose the clout that comes with being able to offer viewers and advertisers something no one else can.

NBC Enters Repurposing

Limits on the networks' rights to repurpose prime-time programming or distribute shows outside their traditional primary prime-time runs have largely been negotiated as part of sports cost-sharing agreements. The local stations agreed to help defray the cost of the networks' major sports contracts in return for the networks agreeing that the majority of its programming would remain exclusive to affiliates in the programs' first runs.

NBC, the only one of the Big 4 broadcast networks that has never had a written repurposing agreement with its affiliates, announced in April 2000 that it would repurpose "NBC Nightly News" after its network broadcast on Pax stations. But NBC abandoned the plan after the affiliates howled that such a move would siphon viewers away from "Nightly" on their stations.

Now "Nightly News" and "Meet the Press With Tim Russert" are available on-demand on MSNBC.com immediately after their West Coast network broadcasts.

NBC recently opened new territory when it prepurposed midseason drama "Conviction's" first episode for free on iTunes before the Dick Wolf show premiered on NBC.

CBS put a spin on prepurposing with its deal with Yahoo to create a "60 Minutes" microsite starting next fall that will offer content related to stories on the newsmagazine.

Most news coverage of the "60 Minutes" deal said the content would go up on the Web after the newsmagazine's network broadcasts, but that was based on presumption. What the network didn't announce was that the content goes up on the Yahoo site before the conclusion of the East Coast broadcast of "60 Minutes" and before the magazine is broadcast in later time zones.

Whetting Appetites

CBS argues that the content does not duplicate the "60 Minutes" stories. In a preview two weeks ago "60 Minutes" broadcast an extended interview with Tiger Woods. Yahoo offered myriad short clips: Mr. Woods bouncing the golf ball off his club and hitting balls at a cameraman (both featured in the interview), along with career highlights. The clips started with a plug for Buick featuring Tiger Woods.

CBS regards the Yahoo deal as a way to whet viewers' (especially young viewers') appetite for the "60 Minutes" broadcast, not as a substitute for it.

But many affiliates see it as a disturbing twist that sets a precedent they hope the CBS affiliates advisory board will protest.

As for ABC, the network maintains that after testing the popularity of its ABC.com broadband offerings, which include ads that viewers cannot skip, it believes it will have a better sense of the format's potential when it talks to affiliates.

ABC affiliates suggested that in addition to revenue sharing, other promising options might include offering links to the broadband offerings on the Web sites of the local stations, which then might be able to attach locally sold ads.

"The key here is whether or not the networks are really going to demonstrate they value what these stations do in exposure of network programming," a station group executive said.

Ask stations affiliated with Disney's ABC, which last year became the first network to make prime-time programming assets available on-demand to a new partner, Apple's iTunes. ABC didn't tell its local stations at the time it was reviewing its vows of exclusivity. ABC's announcement last week that it is making ad-supported current episodes of "Lost," "Desperate Housewives," "Commander in Chief" and the entire season of "Alias" available for streaming on ABC.com in May and June didn't catch affiliates by surprise. It did, however, catch them in mid-conversation about how the network might compensate the affiliates for the further loss of exclusivity. Fox Broadcasting has just agreed to cut its affiliates in on any revenues that result from on-demand extensions of its programming. And CBS appears poised to make a similar arrangement with affiliates.

But stations' participation in the profits from prime-time shows being available on-demand does not change the undeniable fact that by making shows available via any distribution means other than affiliates, the local stations lose the clout that comes with being able to offer viewers and advertisers something no one else can. Limits on the networks' rights to repurpose prime-time programming or distribute shows outside their traditional primary prime-time runs have largely been negotiated as part of sports cost-sharing agreements. The local stations agreed to help defray the cost of the networks' major sports contracts in return for the networks agreeing that the majority of its programming would remain exclusive to affiliates in the programs' first runs.NBC, the only one of the Big 4 broadcast networks that has never had a written repurposing agreement with its affiliates, announced in April 2000 that it would repurpose "NBC Nightly News" after its network broadcast on Pax stations. But NBC abandoned the plan after the affiliates howled that such a move would siphon viewers away from "Nightly" on their stations.Now "Nightly News" and "Meet the Press With Tim Russert" are available on-demand on MSNBC.com immediately after their West Coast network broadcasts.NBC recently opened new territory when it prepurposed midseason drama "Conviction's" first episode for free on iTunes before the Dick Wolf show premiered on NBC. CBS put a spin on prepurposing with its deal with Yahoo to create a "60 Minutes" microsite starting next fall that will offer content related to stories on the newsmagazine.

Most news coverage of the "60 Minutes" deal said the content would go up on the Web after the newsmagazine's network broadcasts, but that was based on presumption. What the network didn't announce was that the content goes up on the Yahoo site before the conclusion of the East Coast broadcast of "60 Minutes" and before the magazine is broadcast in later time zones.CBS argues that the content does not duplicate the "60 Minutes" stories. In a preview two weeks ago "60 Minutes" broadcast an extended interview with Tiger Woods. Yahoo offered myriad short clips: Mr. Woods bouncing the golf ball off his club and hitting balls at a cameraman (both featured in the interview), along with career highlights. The clips started with a plug for Buick featuring Tiger Woods.CBS regards the Yahoo deal as a way to whet viewers' (especially young viewers') appetite for the "60 Minutes" broadcast, not as a substitute for it.But many affiliates see it as a disturbing twist that sets a precedent they hope the CBS affiliates advisory board will protest. As for ABC, the network maintains that after testing the popularity of its ABC.com broadband offerings, which include ads that viewers cannot skip, it believes it will have a better sense of the format's potential when it talks to affiliates.ABC affiliates suggested that in addition to revenue sharing, other promising options might include offering links to the broadband offerings on the Web sites of the local stations, which then might be able to attach locally sold ads."The key here is whether or not the networks are really going to demonstrate they value what these stations do in exposure of network programming," a station group executive said.


Asaca Chosen to Demonstrate Two New Storage Solutions at NAB HD Pavilion’s Live HD Broadcast Station

Asaca’s new OSVault Network Archive Server and TeraCart BD Library will be integrated into a fully functional local DTV station

Asaca Corporation, a leading developer of high-capacity, high-performance data storage solutions, announced today that the company has been chosen to provide not one, but two key storage components for this year’s NAB-HD Pavilion, booth #C11537 at NAB 2006. Asaca’s new OSVault Network Archive Server and TeraCart BD Library will be integrated into a fully functional local DTV station that will include all the technical, operational and management elements required to broadcast DTV signals in both SD and HD.

“For the second consecutive year, the best solutions the HD broadcast industry has to offer will be pooled together at the NAB HD Pavilion in a full-functioning television station, broadcasting live from the show floor,” said Chuck Larabie, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Asaca/ShibaSoku Corporation. “We were thrilled to have both the OSVault and TeraCart BD chosen as integral storage components for NAB-HD Pavilion’s live DTV station.”

Asaca’s Network Attached OSVault can be configured with a choice of Multiport Gb or 10Gb Ethernet interfaces to deliver over-sized HD files and can offer scaleable capacities up to 48 drives per tray or 24TB per server. Following a simple plug and use installation, the OSVault can be easily accessed just like any other file server on the network.

Attached to the OSVault will be Asaca’s new Blu-ray technology, the TeraCart BD. Together, the OSVault/TeraCart BD can provide up to 100 Terabytes of network attached archival storage. Futhermore the TeraCartBD library can be easily configured internally to simultaneously manage 50GB recordable, Dual-Layer BD-IT media as well as DVD-RAM, DVD-ROM, DVD±R, DVD±RW, CD-ROM, CD-R and CD-R/W media within the same library. In addition, using the built in software, the ASACA library can also be customized to manage multiple virtual libraries within the same cabinet enabling broadcasters to work on several projects simultaneously.

As part of the total broadcast environment at the NAB HD Pavilion, the Asaca solutions will store raw and edited content of recorded interviews and mini-documentaries that will be produced for the show on a variety of how-to topics and broadcast throughout the NAB show floor.

About Asaca

Founded in 1971, the Asaca/ShibaSoku Corporation has its US headquarters in Golden, Colorado. A leading developer of high-capacity, high-performance data storage solutions, the company is focused on serving broadcast and data storage markets worldwide. For complete information on the TeraCart Series, visit the Asaca website at: www.asaca.com.


Dominant Information Site Owned by Newspaper in Top Markets

According to the Spring 2006 Newspaper Audience Database (NADbase) report, released by the Newspaper Association of America, 116 million adults are reading the newspaper over the course of a week, and 55 million Internet users visit a newspaper Web site over the course of a month, Unique visitors to newspaper Web sites jumped 21 percent in 2005, and page views increased by 43 percent over that same period. Newspaper web sites attracted 14 percent more 25- to 34-year-olds and 9 percent more 18- to 24-year-olds.

NAA President and CEO, John F. Sturm, said "Readership is the most comparable measure of the value of newspapers... This latest wave of... data shows once again the strong gains that our industry is making in leveraging the power of their Web sites to broaden their appeal to today's audiences."

According to the report, 78 percent of the 149 million adults who live in the top 50 markets read a newspaper over the course of five weekdays and one Sunday. In addition, 69 percent of 18- to 24-year olds in the these markets are reading a newspaper during the course of a week.

65.7 percent of consumers with household incomes of $150,000 or more read the newspaper on an average weekday, and more than 71.7 percent on an average Sunday.

Data from Nielsen//NetRatings shows that unique visitors to newspaper Web sites in 2005:

Represented on average more than one-third of all Internet users over the course of a month

Jumped 21 percent during the period

Increased page views by 43 percent

Newspapers own 11 of the top 25 national news and information Web sites,

and locally, newspapers provide the dominant information site in most of the top 75 markets. In November, newspaper Web sites reached more than one-third of all Internet users.

Imperia Entertainment Finishes Pickup Shots in Moscow on Its Feature Film, ``Say It In Russian'';

Editor of Movie Legends ``China Syndrome,'' ``Urban Cowboy'' and ``Saturday Night Fever'' Takes Over Imperia Entertainment, Inc. announced today that its shooting team returned from Moscow over the weekend, where they have successfully completed all of the pickup shots to finish the feature film, "Say It In Russian." The company has already been approached by several international film distributors for the film, which is in the lineup for the Cannes Film Market May 17th through 28th. "Now it's up to our editor, David Rawlins, to complete the job," said Kenneth Eade, Executive Producer and Company Chairman. "I think he's up to the task, having edited some of the most momentous films of the past five decades," he added.

About "Say It In Russian"

"Say It In Russian" is a full length feature film, shot on 35mm. It is a romantic adventure, shot in Paris, Moscow and Los Angeles, starring Faye Dunaway, Rade Sherbedgia ("Snatch"), Steven Brand ("The Scorpion King"), Alex Nesic ("Sleeper Cell") and introducing Agata Gotova, with supporting roles played by Steven Berkoff ("Beverly Hills Cop"), Musetta Vander ("O Brother, Where Art Thou?"), Elya Baskin ("Moscow on the Hudson") and Oleg Vidov ("Red Heat"), among others.

About Editor David Rawlins

"Say It In Russian"'s editor, David Rawlins, has a legendary career which spans five decades. His films have sparked world cultural and political movements, such as "Kung Fu," "The China Syndrome," "Saturday Night Fever," and "Urban Cowboy." His films also include the works of legendary film makers Sam Peckinpah ("The Osterman Weekend"), John Hughes ("Baby's Day Out") and Mel Brooks ("Life Stinks"), as well as studio movies "Mr. Magoo," "Firestarter" and "Back to School."

About Imperia Entertainment, Inc.

Imperia Entertainment, Inc. (http://www.imperiaentertainment.com) is a company which has emerged as a player in the area of independent film production and distribution, once monopolized by the major film studios. In conjunction with its distribution subsidiary, Imperia International Distribution, the company engages in investing in and producing and distributing full-length feature films. Along with its equity interest in the widely anticipated "All That I Need" (http://www.allthatineed.net), released in theaters last December and coming to DVD in February, Imperia's film properties include its feature film "Say It In Russian," directed by Jeff Celentano ("Primary Suspect," "Gunshy") and edited by David Rawlins ("Saturday Night Fever"), "Brothers," by Tarquin Gotch ("Home Alone"), "Whiskers," by Jordan Klein ("Flipper," "Splash," "Cocoon"), the award-winning "Autograph" television series (http://www.autograph.tv), which airs on the Colours Television Network and the "Faces and Names" television series.

GRAND PRIX 40th Anniversary Two-Disc Special Edition'' Debuts on DVD July 11 from Warner Home Video

One of the greatest racing spectacles ever to reach the motion picture screen starring James Garner will debut on DVD July 11 -- "Grand Prix: 40th Anniversary Two-Disc Special Edition" from Warner Home Video. John Frankenheimer ("The Manchurian Candidate," "Birdman of Alcatraz," "Ronin") directs a superb international cast in this epic saga of four Formula 1 race car drivers gunning for glory on tracks around the world. Filled with high-octane excitement and authenticity, the film won three Academy Awards(R) -- for Editing, Sound and Sound Effects. The Special Edition boasts four never-before-seen featurettes, the archival documentary "Grand Prix: Challenge of the Champions" (taking viewers behind-the-scenes of '60s racing), a new digital transfer from restored 65mm elements and a remastered Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. "Grand Prix: 40th Anniversary Two-Disc Special Edition" will sell for $20.97 SRP.

Heading the all-star cast are James Garner ("Move Over," "Darling," "The Notebook"), Eva Marie Saint ("North by Northwest," "On the Waterfront"), Yves Montand ("Let's Make Love," "On a Clear Day You Can See Forever"), Toshiro Mifune ("Seven Samurai," "Throne of Blood"), Brian Bedford ("Nixon"), Jessica Walter ("Play Misty for Me," TV's "Arrested Development"), Antonio Sabato ("Desert Warrior"), Francoise Hardy ("Masculine-Feminine"), Claude Dauphin ("Barbarella") and Genevieve Page ("Belle de Jour").

"Grand Prix" was shot in stunning locations throughout France, Italy, Monaco, England and Belgium at a series of races, winding up at the British Grand Prix, where glory awaits one champion and tragedy another. The film also offers a rare glimpse inside the Ferrari factory in Maranello, Italy.

The split-screen images in "Grand Prix" capture the overlapping drama involved in racing and you-are-there POV camerawork intensifies the hard-driving thrills. Nearly 30 top drivers of the day took part in the excitement.

Crown Media Holdings to Continue to Operate Channels; Solid Fundamentals Provide Positive Long-Term Outlook

Crown Media Holdings, Inc. owner and operator of Hallmark Channel, today announced that after extensive review of strategic alternatives including a possible sale of the Company, the Board of Directors has decided to terminate this process and fully commit the Company's resources to continuing to operate its channels and its VOD and HD programming services.

"We worked diligently with the Special Committee and our financial advisors to evaluate various strategic initiatives" stated David Evans, President and CEO. "Ultimately the Board determined that the greatest value for our shareholders will be derived by our continued operation of our business. Given the record ratings results, subscriber growth, and solid advertising and subscriber fee revenue increases we have been able to achieve, we believe that the underlying business fundamentals are in place to enhance the value of Crown Media by building a more successful business. Our results in the first quarter continue to reflect the success of our programming strategy and subscriber expansion as we solidify our appeal to viewers and advertisers on a broad national level."

"Our management team is prepared to meet the challenges ahead with the talent and experience that have made us a top ten cable channel with over 72 million subscribers. We intend to implement cost saving strategies and emphasize programming and marketing promotions to continue our efforts to target a younger audience. We have initiated discussions with our distributor partners in order to renew our licenses and intend to aggressively pursue those renewals on favorable terms. We will continue to pursue opportunities to improve our capital structure. We are extremely pleased to have the support of our partners as we work together to operate the business on a long-term basis."

Hallmark Cards, Inc., which owns 67% of Crown Media, has indicated its continuing support of the channel by agreeing to extend its trademark license agreement with Crown Media. "We are proud to be associated with a channel with such strong ratings and advertiser support." said Don Hall, Jr., President and CEO of Hallmark Cards, Inc. "Our relationship with Crown Media has been mutually beneficial. Crown Media has been able to leverage the consumer recognition and strength of the Hallmark brand and together we have collaborated on successful co-marketing programs between Hallmark Channel and the more than 4,000 Hallmark Gold Crown stores."

The Company announced in August 2005 that its Board of Directors had authorized management to explore strategic alternatives for the Company. After pursuing a number of alternatives and meeting with interested parties, the Company and the Special Committee of the Board has determined that the best course of action at this time is to continue to operate the business. The Company will continue to explore ways in which it can improve its capital structure.

About Crown Media Holdings

Crown Media Holdings, Inc. owns and operates cable television channels dedicated to high quality, broad appeal, entertainment programming. The Company currently operates and distributes the Hallmark Channel in the U.S. to over 72 million subscribers. The program service is distributed in over 5,300 cable systems and communities as well as direct-to-home satellite services across the country. In 2005, Crown launched its second 24-hour linear channel, Hallmark Movie Channel. Through its subsidiary, Crown Media Distribution, LLC, Crown also distributes titles in the U.S. from its award-winning collection of movies, mini-series and films for exhibition in a variety of television media including broadcast, cable, video-on-demand and high definition television. Significant investors in Crown Media Holdings include: Hallmark Entertainment Holdings, Inc., a subsidiary of Hallmark Cards, Incorporated, Liberty Media Corp., and J.P. Morgan Partners (BHCA), LP, each through their investments in Hallmark Entertainment Investments Co.; VISN Management Corp., a for-profit subsidiary of the National Interfaith Cable Coalition; and The DIRECTV Group, Inc.

Grande Vitesse Systems Unveils the GVS9000 4NXU With 10 Hr. of Uncompressed HD Virtual Tape Recording

With the ability to simultaneously write, edit, and share 16 uncompressed SD or HD data with fiber for SAN or gigabit over NAS networks in a live environment the GVS9000 4NXU will revolutionize the live/broadcast/entertainment/feature film production workflow.

With GVS 9000 4NXU you can capture and edit uncompressed data in real time and then view the HD uncompressed content as it is getting recorded to the hard drive. During the recording process, the data can also be edited, or additional storage added without any interruptions. The quality of the end result is not sacrificed either. The resolution of the recorded material is much better and crisper at 1080i/p 4:4:4 HD-SDI or Analog. And the data is QuickTime native, so there is no need for conversion.

The 4NXU’s rugged, rack-mounted casing allows for ease of transport and mobility without damage. All of the 4NXU VTRs operate independently, offering redundancy without affecting the original data; making it the ideal unit for working storage, transport and archival.

GVS9000 4NXU’s has 16xremovable drive modules per unit, allowing the user to easily expand recording time and with it’s unique tape-less feature there is no need to convert tapes to digital; multiple camera events can be edited on the spot making the production process much faster.

The 4NXU is compatible with a large number of 3rd party tools. After the content is read and edited, it can be easily removed to other systems over the local network or by removable drives to any location or it can be synced to play. Multiple 4NXU VTRs can be synced to play the same or different content to projectors or live play to air. Whether your environment is FinalCut, Avid, or Pinnacle, the 4NXU gives you a single, flexible platform for content production and post production.


DISH Network Customers Eligible to Receive a $25 Visa(R) Prepaid Card With New Starz Movie Pack Subscription

Starz InBlack's Doug Williams to Host Free Preview Weekend

Starz Entertainment Group LLC (SEG) and EchoStar Communications Corporation's satellite TV service and its DISH Network(TM) are offering an exclusive free preview weekend to DISH Network customers from 6:00 a.m. ET on Friday, April 28 to midnight ET Monday, May 1. DISH Network customers who subscribe to the Starz Movie Pack during the weekend are eligible to receive a $25 prepaid Visa(R) card.

Doug Williams, host of Starz InBlack's original comedy series "The 1st Amendment Stand-up," will host the free preview weekend. The free preview weekend on DISH Network will highlight eight channels in the Starz Movie Pack including Starz East, Starz Cinema East, Starz Cinema West, Starz InBlack, Starz Edge, Starz Kids & Family and Encore East.

Hollywood blockbuster hits exclusive to the Starz Movie Pack airing during the free preview weekend include "Stealth," "A Lot Like Love," "Christmas with the Kranks," "Herbie: Fully Loaded," "Hitch," "Sin City," "XXX: State of the Union," "Are We There Yet?," "National Treasure," "Finding Neverland," "Blade: Trinity and Ladder 49."

"We are delighted to offer our customers a Starz free preview weekend," said Jody Martin, senior vice president of marketing at DISH Network. "Starz consistently delivers great movies, and we are happy to give DISH Network customers this opportunity to enjoy their favorite hit films with the added bonus of a $25 prepaid Visa(R) card to new Starz Movie Pack subscribers."

DISH Network customers who sign up for the Starz Movie Pack from Saturday, April 15 through Friday, June 30 are eligible to receive a $25 prepaid Visa(R) card (requires minimum three month Starz Movie Pack paid subscription with DISH Network). For instructions on how to receive the $25 prepaid Visa(R) card and terms and conditions of the reward card offer visit www.dishnetwork.com/smp25.

"The free preview weekend is consistent with our goal of adding value to DISH Network households," added Eric Neal, director of affiliate marketing at SEG. "We provide an unparalleled library of movies, and each channel delivers something new and unique for all movie lovers."

About EchoStar Communications Corporation

EchoStar Communications Corporation serves more than 12 million satellite TV customers through its DISH Network(TM), the fastest growing U.S. provider of advanced digital television services in the last five years. DISH Network offers hundreds of video and audio channels, Interactive TV, HDTV, sports and international programming, together with professional installation and 24-hour customer service.

About Starz Entertainment Group

Starz Entertainment Group LLC (SEG) is a premium movie service provider operating in the United States. SEG offers 16 movie channels including the flagship Starz(R) and Encore(R) brands with approximately 14 million and 26 million subscribers respectively. Starz Entertainment Group airs more than 1,000 movies per month across its pay TV channels and offers advanced services including Starz HDTV, Starz On Demand and Vongo(SM). Starz Entertainment Group is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Liberty Media

Source: Starz Entertainment Group LLC

Web site: http://www.starz.com/


The first HD DVD titles are slated to go on sale today.

Contrary to speculation, Toshiba players have, in fact, arrived at Best Buy and should be on sale today in at least some of the chain’s locations.

Sources said players were shipped out beginning Sunday and are scheduled to go on sale at all Best Buy stores and select Sears, Wal-Mart, Costco and Tweeters locations by the end of this week. Software also will be available at those retailers.

Meanwhile, Universal Studios Home Entertainment is rushing Serenity to stores so it will join the two Warner Home Video titles slated to be available for sale today, The Last Samurai and Phantom of the Opera.

Warner’s Million Dollar Baby was supposed to be available today as well, but has been postponed.

Other Universal titles in the HD DVD pipeline include Apollo 13 and Doom on April 25, followed by Jarhead, Cinderella Man and Assault on Precinct 13 on May 9, and The Chronicles of Riddick, The Bourne Supremacy, Van Helsing and U-571 on May 23.

Studios are shipping fewer than 10,000 copies of each title, in accordance with Toshiba’s initial shipment of 10,000 players.

NewTek, Inc.,

manufacturer of industry-leading video and 3D animation products, announced today that it will give away a free TriCaster(TM) to one lucky NAB 2006 attendee. Anyone who visits NAB Booth SL526 and watches a TriCaster demo will be entered in the drawing, worth $4,995 US. The drawing will be held Thursday April 27, 2006 at 12p.m. PST, at the NewTek Booth, winners need not be present to win.

NewTek’s award-winning TriCaster is enhancing production and distribution capabilities for corporate presenters, educators, local access, and media ministries. This turnkey, portable, live production system combines live cameras, PowerPoint®, produced video and titles with an easy-to-use interface. Seamless presentations are now in your reach with simultaneous output to live web stream, video and projector.

TriCaster has won more industry awards in its first year than any product in NewTek history,” said Philip Nelson, NewTek Vice-President of Sales and Video Marketing. “TriCaster’s ability to simultaneously live switch, web stream and display to a projector has taken the industry by storm Delivering it all in such a small form factor at such an affordable price is icing on the cake.”

Pricing and Availability

TriCaster is available now starting at $4,995 US. For more information or to purchase, call NewTek Sales at 800-368-5441or visit http://www.newtek.com

About NewTek

With headquarters in San Antonio, Texas, NewTek is a leading provider of full-featured video editing, live production, presentation and visual effects tools including TriCaster(TM), VT[5](TM), SpeedEDIT(TM), 3D Arsenal and LightWave 3D®.
Website: http://www.newtek.com/


LightWave and LightWave 3D are registered trademarks of NewTek..

TriCaster, SpeedEDIT, iVGA, TriCaster VM and 3D Arsenal are trademarks of NewTek, Inc.

All other products or brand names mentioned are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.

DreamVision President/CEO Brings Critical Hope to Russian Orphans in Dire Need;

Film Producer/Composer Dedicates His Life to Save the Lives of Countless Children

During the past weeks, news has continued to spread throughout Russia of the story of American producer/composer Rick Silanskas and the vision that led him to find a specific little girl he saw in a dream who became his daughter. The miraculous journey and discovery of "Nadia" has literally become a beacon of hope for every orphaned child throughout the entire Russian Federation. Rick dedicated the remainder of his life and resources to reach each of the nearly one million orphaned babies and children in dire need without any conditions or agendas. His efforts in critical regions of Russia have now affected countless children in orphanages, baby homes, institutions and hospitals suffering without running water, heat and sanitation with unprecedented results as he personally travels from village to village seeking permanent help for each of the children, their caregivers and families. Rick's determination has now become one of the most serious and critical efforts ever focused upon the lives of these children without exception through his "Project Anna Foundation", a non-profit strategic arm specifically created to reach the children of Russia.

The story of the miracle that began in 2002 has recently been documented in the acclaimed book "Unshakable" written by renowned author Paula Felps. In addition, the award winning television documentary "Nadia's Story," directed by Jimmy Huckaby which documents the events that led to the discovery of this child, is now being seen around the world.

The most urgent and critical strategic efforts begun by Rick Silanskas are now being prepared as a direct message of hope for every orphaned and homeless child in Russia. "The Symphony of Hope," a major world wide musical television special will premiere as one of the most important international cultural celebrations in recent history. The premiere will emanate from the United States and will feature an original musical suite composed by Rick Silanskas along with numerous musical performances by world renowned artists and special guests. This "international embrace" will also trace the journey that began in December 2002 and now has become one of the most important humanitarian efforts ever created for the children of Russia.

Production will soon commence on two major motion pictures that will chronicle the dramatic journey Rick embarked upon beginning in December 2002. The live action drama, "Unshakable" will be based upon the novel of the same name and when complete will feature a multi-nation "World Premiere." The story will also be told as a full length animated musical motion picture entitled "Anna" featuring some of the newest creative 3D technology available in the industry. Profits from these productions will directly affect the lives of the children Rick has dedicated his life to reach without exception.

In a recent interview, Rick Silanskas said, "These children have been entrusted to me through the miracle that changed my life forever. And with everything I have and the talents I have been given, I will not stop until every single orphaned child in the entire Russian Federation is touched by hope and everything they need unconditionally. We are one family in this world and their lives are all that matter. Time is not an option for these precious children and I cannot allow any delays to affect the completion of this work that will touch their lives for years to come."

The premiere of the world event "Symphony of Hope" will be announced soon. The production will be released domestically and internationally through DreamVision Motion Pictures and Television (352) 241-6031. The book "Unshakable" is available world wide and can be previewed at http://www.projectanna.org.


Airecable of Nuevo Laredo, Mexico Moves Ahead of Local Satellite and Cable Providers

Offers MMDS for Digital TV Market Equipped with Conax CAS7 Conditional Access Technology Airecable of Neuvo Laredo, Mexico launched its digital MMDS (Multipoint Microwave Distribution System) operation with the content protection solution from Conax AS, one of the world’s leading suppliers of conditional access technology for digital television operators. MMDS technology, sometimes referred to as ‘wireless cable”, is a type of television distribution system, like a cable head-end, that offers its subscribers a mix of digital channels from a variety of sources. The channels are then distributed to the MMDS operator’s customers by transmitting the programming over MMDS frequencies (2.5 to 2.7 GHz range) along with MDS, OFS, and ITFS frequencies, if they are available. Wireless cable uses Super High Frequency ("SHF") channels to transmit satellite cable programming over-the-air instead of through overhead or underground wires. The Airecable installation in Mexico represents a new benchmark for MMDS systems in North America and around the world.

“Conax’s proven technology enables us to deliver new digital content over our MMDS broadcasting system. We currently offer 90 channels of local, children’s, music, cultural, films, variety, sports, and digital radio programming with more to come,” commented Ruben Bazan Jr., President Airecable. “We expect to grow our digital customer base to well above 100,000. Conax CAS7 gives us a strong competitive advantage over competing systems in our market with room to expand our very popular local programming, which is unique to Airecable. We plan to build in new Conax modules to offer our subscribers more services and flexible ordering options, as we move forward.”

“Digital customers of Airecable will receive new set top boxes with Conax Smart Cards. This will put Airecable ahead of their competition for the next five-to-ten years. Conax CAS7 with EPG (Electronic Program Guide) will be delivered as a part of a turn-key solution for Airecable,” said Jorgen K H Bertheau, President of Conax USA, Inc.. “The Conax CAS7 conditional access solution we have provided is easy to scale as Airecable’s subscriber base rapidly grows. Conax looks forward to serving them and all their subscribers in the coming years.”

Conax will be exhibiting for the fourth time at the National Association of Broadcasters Show in Las Vegas this April

About Airecable, S. A. de C. V.

Airecable is an MMDS (Multipoint Microwave Distribution System) ‘wireless cable’ provider based in Neuvo Laredo, Mexico. Founded in 1998, Airecable serves more than 40.000 viewers and offers 63 top-rated channels of high-quality digital television programming and 18 audio channels for children, adolescents and adults, including sports, films, cartoons, the news, series, musical comedies, etc. It offers a secure and efficient method for ordering pay-per-view and premium events with parental controls. Premium channels include 2 HBO, HBO EXTRA, Movie City, Cinecanal and Play Boy Channel/Venus. It is the first of its kind in all the Mexican Republic. Airecable of Neuvo Laredo, Mexico is an MMDS broadcaster.



About Conax AS

Conax is a leading supplier of state-of-the-art conditional access and payment solutions for digital TV, offering complete CA solutions for two-way broadband, multicast in broadband networks, and broadcast via satellite, terrestrial, wireless or mobile TV. As a pioneer in the field of conditional access, Conax is a globally-oriented player, with a solid base of clients in 60 countries. Its headquarters is in Oslo, Norway. Conax has subsidiaries in USA and India and sales & support offices in Canada, Singapore, China, South Korea, Brazil and Germany. Conax is ISO 9001 and BS7799 certified.



Grande Vitesse Systems Unveils the GVS9000 4NXU With 10 Hr. of Uncompressed HD Virtual Tape Recording

With the ability to simultaneously write, edit, and share 16 uncompressed SD or HD data with fiber for SAN or gigabit over NAS networks in a live environment the GVS9000 4NXU will revolutionize the live/broadcast/entertainment/feature film production workflow.

With GVS 9000 4NXU you can capture and edit uncompressed data in real time and then view the HD uncompressed content as it is getting recorded to the hard drive. During the recording process, the data can also be edited, or additional storage added without any interruptions. The quality of the end result is not sacrificed either. The resolution of the recorded material is much better and crisper at 1080i/p 4:4:4 HD-SDI or Analog. And the data is QuickTime native, so there is no need for conversion.

The 4NXU’s rugged, rack-mounted casing allows for ease of transport and mobility without damage. All of the 4NXU VTRs operate independently, offering redundancy without affecting the original data; making it the ideal unit for working storage, transport and archival.

GVS9000 4NXU’s has 16xremovable drive modules per unit, allowing the user to easily expand recording time and with it’s unique tape-less feature there is no need to convert tapes to digital; multiple camera events can be edited on the spot making the production process much faster.

The 4NXU is compatible with a large number of 3rd party tools. After the content is read and edited, it can be easily removed to other systems over the local network or by removable drives to any location or it can be synced to play. Multiple 4NXU VTRs can be synced to play the same or different content to projectors or live play to air. Whether your environment is FinalCut, Avid, or Pinnacle, the 4NXU gives you a single, flexible platform for content production and post production.


The USA TODAY Hollywood Hero Award Honors

a Los Angeles Area Entertainment Personality Who Has Made Remarkable Contributions of Time and Energy to Help Those Less Fortunate

Actress, Dancer and Choreographer Zina Bethune Will Be Honored As the Award's First Recipient Actress, dancer, choreographer Zina Bethune will be honored May 17 as the first recipient of The USA TODAY Hollywood Hero Award. The award recognizes her outstanding contributions to the community through Infinite Dreams, a program of the multimedia Bethune Theatredanse company.

Bethune and Infinite Dreams will be feted at an award gala on the evening of May 17 at The Beverly Hilton hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif. Grammy(R)- nominated and Jazzweek Vocalist of the Year, The Tierney Sutton Band, will perform at the Gala. Guests include: Martin Landau, Edward James Olmos, Tippi Hedren, Esai Morales, Ray Bradbury, Tara Lipinski, Roscoe Lee Browne, Julie Newmar, Reni Santoni, Stefanie Powers, Veronique Peck, Alison Angrim, Tracy Newman, and James 'Gypsy' Haake.

In an effort to raise funds for the Infinite Dreams program, net proceeds from the event will be donated to Infinite Dreams. Funds will be obtained through ticket sales and silent auction of valuable merchandise.

Infinite Dreams, a dance and drama outreach program, is an acclaimed education and performance program that provides children and teens with disabilities an opportunity to affirm their capabilities by participating in the world of movement and dance. It is the only program of its kind under the auspices of a professional dance company.

"By participating in the arts these student challenge themselves and achieve amazing success," said USA TODAY President and Publisher Craig Moon. "The Infinite Dreams program helps its students develop confidence, which in turn instills in them an affirmation of their own unique capabilities and enriches their quality of life. Zina Bethune and Infinite Dreams embody the spirit of The USA TODAY Hollywood Hero Award."

Infinite Dreams, which launched in 1983, serves more than 1,000 children from the ages of 4 to 16 at nine sites in Southern California. The program has graduated more than 6,200 students.

"The art of dance can really transcend all the physical and stereotypical limitations," said Bethune, artistic director of Bethune Theatredanse and Infinite Dreams. "After all, the spirit isn't disabled. Dance is not how far a child can reach their legs or arms. It is the creation, the sharing, and the partaking that is the beauty. We don't ask, 'How much can you move?' We say, 'Come dance with us.' "

Infinite Dreams has been cited as an exemplary organization by the National Endowment for the Arts and is a recipient of commendations from Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton; L.A. Mayors Tom Bradley, Richard Riordan and James Hahn; and a recipient of the U.N.'s "Medaille d'Excellence."

In what will become a USA TODAY signature event, the USA TODAY Hollywood Hero Award will be presented annually to an entertainment personality who has made remarkable contributions of time and energies with a non-profit organization, and has truly enriched the quality of life of others. The USA TODAY Hollywood Hero Award recipient will be unique in that his or her efforts extend far beyond a charitable contribution or simply lending one's celebrity to enhance a cause or concern.

About Zina Bethune

Best known for her starring roles on the ABC prime time series "The Nurses" and the CBS daytime drama "Love of Life," Ms. Bethune has also guest- starred on a variety of series, from classics such as "Gunsmoke" and "Route 66" to "Police Story" and "Party of Five," and in feature films including "The Boost" and Martin Scorcese's "Who's That Knocking At My Door?" In addition to her acting career, she has also been heralded as a prima ballerina with such companies as the New York City Ballet and San Francisco Ballet. She also starred in Tommy Tune's musical of "Grand Hotel" on Broadway.

Bethune's extensive list of credits has been accomplished while faced with serious physical disabilities including dysplastic hips, scoliosis and lymphoedema. Overcoming these physical challenges required nine surgeries, some of which were experimental in nature. Ms. Bethune used her earlier dance training with George Balanchine to not only teach herself how to walk again but also to dance, going on to perform as prima ballerina with the Royal Danish Ballet.

In recent years, Bethune has dedicated her energies and resources to the establishment of Infinite Dreams, her education and performance outreach program that brings the performing arts to children and teens who suffer with disabilities. Her development of a complete methodology for Infinite Dreams empowers its young students to believe their spirit is not disabled and that art can transcend limitations.

About Infinite Dreams

Infinite Dreams, Bethune Theatredanse's dance and drama outreach program, is an acclaimed education and performance program providing disabled children an opportunity to affirm their capabilities by participating in the world of movement and dance.

Bethune Theatredanse-Infinite Dreams has been named an Exemplary Site in the United States by the National Endowment for the Arts. Bethune Theatredanse-Infinite Dreams has received commendations from Presidents Clinton, Bush and Reagan and Senator Dianne Feinstein. The company has also been the recipient of numerous Community Service Awards and Citations from L.A. Mayors Richard Riordan and Tom Bradley, the Governor's committee for Employment of the Disabled, The Media Access Awards, the Pasadena Mayor's Committee, the CeCe Robinson Award, and radio's Citizen of the Week. The children of Infinite Dreams have participated in programs at numerous Special Arts Festivals, Permanent Charities, Telethons and Council for Exceptional

Children galas.

Artistic Director Zina Bethune and Infinite Dreams have performed at the White House and the Kennedy Center, which was subsequently televised on the NBC special, "From the Heart." They have performed at the Disneyland Space Theatre, the Young Audiences Concert Series and with Bethune Theatredanse on regional and national television programs including Romper Room, ABC's POV, CBS's Outreach spots, NBC's Kudos, KJH's New Faces, New Beginnings KTLA's Hour Magazine, ABC's Mike & Maty, the Cerebral Palsy, Muscular Dystrophy, Children's Variety Club Telethons and were the feature story for KCET's "California Stories."

Infinite Dreams and Zina Bethune were also the subjects of ABC's "Heroes - - Made in the U.S.A." as well as the subject of the PBS documentary, "Heart Dancing."

Funded through private, tax deductible contributions to meet matching grants, and proceeds from the Bethune Theatredanse performances, Infinite Dreams has continuously been the recipient of the California Arts Council's highest award each year in the Artists in Social Institutions category. It has also received funding from the National Endowment for the Arts. All publicity and promotion efforts, advertising and administration responsibilities and costs are generously donated by corporations and individuals throughout the Los Angeles area who have long supported in this unique program.


USA TODAY is the nation's top-selling newspaper. It is published via satellite at 36 locations in the USA and four sites abroad. With a total average daily circulation of 2.3 million, USA TODAY is available worldwide. USA TODAY is published by Gannett Co., Inc. . Included in the USA TODAY brand are USATODAY.com, an award-winning news and information site on the Internet; USA TODAY Sports Weekly, a weekly magazine for baseball, professional football and NASCAR enthusiasts; and USA TODAY LIVE, the television arm of the USA TODAY brand that brings the spirit and quality of the newspaper to television.


Web site: http://www.usatoday.com/


Oakland & Dodger Baseball

Detroit 3, Oakland 4 at McAfee Coliseum
Detroit Record: (7-7)
Oakland Record: (7-7)

Winning pitcher - Justin Duchscherer (1-0)
Losing pitcher - Justin Verlander (1-2)
SV - Huston Street

at McAfee Coliseum (7-7) (7-7) - Justin Duchscherer (1-0) - Justin Verlander (1-2) - Huston Street

DET HR - None
OAK HR - N. Swisher 2 (6)

None N. Swisher 2 (6)

Chi. Cubs 1, Los Angeles 2 at Dodger Stadium
Chi. Cubs Record: (8-5)
Los Angeles Record: (7-8)

Winning pitcher - Takashi Saito (1-0)
Losing pitcher - Will Ohman (1-1)

at Dodger Stadium (8-5) (7-8) - Takashi Saito (1-0) - Will Ohman (1-1)


First Look: All-new Audi TT, Jeep 4-door Wrangler, Jeep Patriot, Scion Fuse, Maserati GT Coupe; Wrap-up of NY Auto Show; First Drive in the All-new Audi Q7 - and Then Find Out Why GM Buys More Viagra Than Anyone Else - This Week, on TheCarConnection.com

TheCarConnection.com lifts the covers on an assortment of hot new products in this week's issue. Get a close-up look at the next-generation Audi TT, climb into the backside of Jeep's new 4-door Wrangler, preview Jeep's mini-ute, the new Patriot, and see whether Scion set sparks flying with its new Fuse Coupe concept.

Then check out the changes on Maserati as TheCarConnection's spy photographers capture the all-new GT Coupe.

If that's not enough, TheCarConnection.com (http://www.thecarconnection.com/ ) has the Internet's most complete coverage of the New York Auto Show. Check out the details on nearly two dozen new cars, trucks and crossovers, including Lexus' "ultimate flagship," the LS600h hybrid, the all-new Infiniti G35 and Nissan Altima, Scion's slick Fuse concept, and Ford's rent-a-muscle-car, the Mustang Shelby Hertz GT-H.

In this week's reviews, TheCarConnection goes for a spin in Audi's first crossover/ute, the new Q7; then test drive Ford's latest incarnation of its pickup/SUV, the Explorer Sport Trac.

Join TheCarConnection.com for a Great Drive down Germany's Autobahn into the scenic Harz Mountains.

And see why award-winning columnist -- and mechanic -- Doug Flint says America is getting overflushed.

In business news, see why former DaimlerChrysler CEO Juergen Schrempp was driven from the stage by a chorus of boos. And learn why the automaker is taking its Jeep brand global.

In TheCarConnection's blog, find out why General Motors is buying more Viagra than anyone else.

Then ride down Memory Lane in a classic Dodge Challenger, complete with shaker scoops and an original Hemi.

Let TheCarConnection's OnSite Mechanic help you solve all your automotive service problems.

Web site: http://www.thecarconnection.com/

XM Satellite Radio's Hot Import Nights Takes the Runway In Boston

Nation's Hottest Custom Cars, Celebrity Rides from the Boston Celtics and Top New York Fashion Come Together for a Night of Runway Style, Entertainment and Competition

Boston welcomes back XM Satellite Radio's Hot Import Nights (HIN) at the Bayside Expo Center on April 29, 5 p.m. to midnight. HIN, the nation's largest lifestyle custom car show, will feature not only some of the nation's hottest cars from Valvoline's Super Street Cars on Tour, but will also host the largest and most prestigious fashion show HIN has experienced yet, featuring top names from the model, photography and makeup world.

In the spirit of high end fashion, the show will also feature a special VIP Auto Fashion element of the ultimate dream cars, concept vehicles, celebrity rides and industry exhibits. Show attendees will get to experience one-of-a-kind cars like Ferraris, Porsches, Lamborghinis, Mercedes, BMWs, Cadillacs and more.

HIN presents "The Spring" fashion show produced by NYC runway model, Polina. Show attendees get to experience an exclusive fashion show, as runway fashion models strut their stuff wearing the hottest spring trends. Models will be flying in from all over the U.S. to partake in this high end fashion event.

The unprecedented fashion show will feature Boston's famed photographer and makeup artist, Andrew Swaine and Danielle Federico of Face Designs. Andrew's work has been included in Rolling Stone, Time and Black Enterprise, while Danielle has worked on TLC's "A Makeover Story", NBC's "New Morning Show" and in a variety of music videos and independent films. Models from FHM, Maxim and the Versace and Vera Wang runways will hit the HIN runway wearing designs from some of Boston's hottest designers, including Maria Santana, Lauren Ratta and Olga Kinnard. Santana will present her latest collection straight from the runways of New York, while Ratta will showcase her designs from high-end Boston favorite, Stil Inc. and Kinnard will be supplying Haute Couture.

Returning sponsor Valvoline will present Super Street Cars on Tour with the one-of-a-kind Charge Speed STI straight from Japan, the newly designed, wide-body Tein Civic SI, the full carbon fiber chassis CWest S2000 and the chameleon color-changing HKS-powered IS300. Show visitors can get up-close and personal with the hottest, trendiest cars in the customized world, straight from the pages of the top tuner magazines. In addition, motocross champion Travis Pastrana will feature his Subaru rally car, and Boston Celtics players Paul Pierce, Al Jefferson, Tony Allen, Kendric Perkins and Ryan Green will all display their celebrity rides.

On the XM Satellite Radio Stage, local club DJs and b-boy groups will compete for top accolades. On the Mazda stage, HIN's Glo-Go dancers will show off their go-go skills against Boston's best dancers in the new Rockstar Energy Drink National Glo-Go Dancer Competition, a city-to-city dance rivalry.

Additionally, the search for Miss HIN Boston will take place on the mainstage. Ursula Mayes, Miss HIN 2005, will host this competition to find the next contender in the search for Miss HIN 2007. Ursula can be seen elsewhere this year as one of Maxim's "Sexiest 100" and on the new NBC program, "Deal or No Deal." Miss HIN 2006, Amber Lancaster, a former Seattle Seahawk's Sea Gal, Miss Hawaiian Tropics and last year's Miss Makita, will sign autographs with other top-name models in the M Lounge. The Bombshell Models will also attend the Boston show to challenge anyone willing to take them on at the poker tables for BombSearch, the poker-playing competition that will test the card skills of local ladies across the nation in the search for the next Bombshell Model.

XM Satellite Radio's Hot Import Nights is presented by returning sponsor Valvoline, in addition to returning sponsors Dunlop Tires; Meguiar's; Mazda; Circuit City; Chevrolet; Subaru; NGK Sparkplugs; BombshellPoker.com; and media sponsors Modified Magazine; Modified Luxury & Exotics, Super Street; Import Tuner; Sport Compact Car; Rides; MPH; Performance Auto & Sound Magazine; Road and Track; C-16; XXL; KING; and Car and Driver magazine. New 2006 sponsors include Rockstar Energy Drink; Shell V-Power; Atomic Loud Speakers; and the National Guard. More information on HIN can be found at http://www.hotimportnights.com.

About Action Media and Vision Entertainment

Action Media, parent company of Vision Entertainment, is the leading media and event company targeting the Gen X-Y audience, integrating lifestyle events including cars, music, video games and fashion. Producing more than 20 annual events in the top North American markets, Action Media and Vision Entertainment are now one of the leading communities for every positive aspect of youth culture. The current portfolio of Vision Entertainment events includes Hot Import Nights, VIP Auto Fashion Show, Nightshift, the RC Expo (RCX), Fresh Tracks Snow and Skate Expo and Holiday Havoc. Action Media's online assets now include Online Showoff and Model Showoff as well as a partnership with IGN.com. -0-


2006 Hot Import Nights/Night Shift and VIP Schedule


HIN Washington DC Dulles Expo Center April 22

HIN Boston Bayside Expo Center April 29

HIN Charlotte Merchandise Mart May 13

HIN Atlantic City AC Convention Center May 20

HIN Indianapolis Indy Convention Center June 17

HIN Orlando OC Convention Center July 8

NS New York Shea Stadium July 15

NS Chicago Soldier Field July 29

HIN Los Angeles Los Angeles Convention Center August 19

NS Las Vegas Sam Boyd Stadium Sept 9

NS San Francisco SBC Park Sept 23

HIN Seattle Qwest Field Sept 30

HIN Dallas Dallas Convention Center October 7

NS Phoenix Firebird Intl. Raceway October 14

VIP Los Angeles LA Convention Center Nov 18

HIN Honolulu Blaisdell Convention Center Dec 2

HIN Miami Miami Beach Convention Center Dec 16



Golf Research in Play Launches a Revolution in Golf Equipment

New Golf Equipment Manufacturer and Online Retailer Introduces Its Premium- Quality, Highly Affordable G.R.I.P. Hyper Steel Hybrids, G.R.I.P. CNC Milled Wedges and G.R.I.P. Sweetness Putter

A revolution in golf equipment has begun with the launch of Golf Research In Play (G.R.I.P.), a golf equipment manufacturer and an online retailer dedicated to developing and offering the finest quality golf clubs -- golf clubs that make the game easier to play, more fun, and more affordable for the recreational golfer. Available through http://www.gogrip.com/, G.R.I.P.'s new, innovative golf club offerings include its G.R.I.P. Hyper Steel Hybrids, G.R.I.P. CNC Milled Wedges and the G.R.I.P. Sweetness(TM) Putter.

As a result of extensive research, G.R.I.P. was established to meet the needs of the "middle market" recreational golfers. These golfers desire technologically advanced, well-constructed golf clubs that add to the enjoyment of the game, while not being too expensive. They want to play better golf and increase their enjoyment on the golf course as a result of their club purchases.

"Through G.R.I.P.'s extensive research, we discovered an entire market of recreational golfers who share a passion for golf and are highly interested in new, affordable golf clubs that feature the latest designs and technology, but do not want to break the bank with their club purchases. Until now, this 'middle market' of golfers had been forgotten," said Michael Blair, director of golf club development, G.R.I.P. "In response to their needs, we have developed 100 percent original golf clubs made from superior materials that are a fraction of the price of the current major golf brands."

G.R.I.P.'s new offerings include:

G.R.I.P. Hyper Steel Hybrids

The G.R.I.P. Hyper Steel Hybrids offer recreational golfers the distance of a fairway wood and the accuracy of an iron. Made from a heat-treated, cast steel, these hybrids are stronger than most golf clubs on the market. Hyper Steel produces a unique solid "ting" sound on contact as the ball explodes off the club face. In addition, these hybrids come pre-assembled with a heavy, six-gram brass screw in the heel and a lighter, three-gram aluminum screw in the toe for fade control and slice reduction.

Featuring the perfect amount of offset to give golfers additional forgiveness and accuracy, the G.R.I.P. Hyper Steel Hybrids are technologically advanced, easy to hit, fun to use and save strokes. Coming in four different lofts, including 2H, 3H, 4H and 5H models, and featuring Uni-flex High Modulus Graphite shafts, the MSRP for the G.R.I.P. Hyper Steel Hybrids is $69.95.

G.R.I.P. CNC Milled Wedges

To be launched in May 2006, G.R.I.P.'s CNC Milled Wedges are cast from 8620 mild carbon steel for a proper spin and an exceptionally soft feel on contact, unlike the craftsmanship behind traditional standard stainless steel wedges. These wedges feature unique milling gradient specifications to provide ideal spin rates and feel around the greens for precision shot-making. As a result of their design, each G.R.I.P. wedge makes it easier to address the ball, line up shots and control ball trajectory. Available in 52 degree Gap Wedge, 56 degree Sand/Fairway Wedge and 60 degree Lob Wedge models, and featuring a classic teardrop wedge shape and True Temper Steel shafts, the MSRP for G.R.I.P. CNC Milled Wedges is $49.95.

G.R.I.P. Sweetness Putter

The G.R.I.P. Sweetness Putter allows golfers to easily line up and aim putts with its eye-catching, oversized, two-bar design. With a center aiming line between its "Dual Tension Rods," golfers can visually align their putts and produce a straight putting stroke.

The front and back of the Sweetness putter utilize reinforced weighting ports for even weight distribution through the putting stroke and perfect balance from set up to follow-through. In addition, Sweetness features a double insert on the face of the club. The face's soft, CNC-milled aluminum center is surrounded by a soft polymer for producing a smooth, true roll. The MSRP for the G.R.I.P. Sweetness Putter is $69.95.

About G.R.I.P.

A revolution in golf equipment has been started by Golf Research In Play. Launched in April 2006, G.R.I.P. is a golf equipment manufacturer and an online retailer dedicated to developing and offering the finest quality golf clubs -- golf clubs that make the game easier to play, more fun, and highly affordable for the recreational golfer. Delivering the best in high-performance golf technology, G.R.I.P. offers a 30-day satisfaction guarantee and a one-year warranty against manufacturers defects for all of its golf clubs. For more information and to order products, visit http://www.gogrip.com/ or call 1-800-881-5774.

Source: Golf Research In Play (G.R.I.P.)

AVP Announces Three-Year Extension With Bud Light

~ AVP Announces a Three-Year Extension With Bud Light, Retaining The World's Best-Selling Light Beer as the Official Beer of the AVP Tour ~

AVP Pro Beach Volleyball Tour, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of AVP, Inc. , a lifestyle sports entertainment company focused on professional beach volleyball announced today a three-year extension of its agreement with Bud Light, making it the 'alcohol and non-alcohol' official malt beverage of the AVP Tour.

Bud Light will continue to be a vital marketing partner of AVP and will serve as the title sponsor for the AVP Bud Light Santa Barbara Open, as well as, the presenting sponsor for the Tempe, Hermosa Beach, Seaside Heights, and Manhattan Beach Open.

Parent company Anheuser-Busch has been a long-time supporter of the AVP Tour, beginning in 2001 with sponsorship by Michelob Light and ultimately Bud Light.

"We are thrilled to extend our successful relationship with Bud Light," said Leonard Armato, CEO and Tour Commissioner. "Bud Light and Anheuser-Busch have been very supportive of the AVP Tour over the last several years, with Bud Light's active and robust marketing campaigns, helping us to reach a larger audience creating even more excitement around our events. We not only appreciate Bud Light's involvement to date, but enthusiastically look forward to continuing our mutually beneficial relationship over the next three years."

"AVP is one of the fastest-growing, contemporary sports in the U.S. that showcases some of the world's best professional volleyball players," said Kathy Casso, Anheuser-Busch's senior director of sports marketing and Bud productions. "Its energetic, fun and outgoing fan base of both male and female beer drinkers is a great fit for Bud Light and we're excited to continue our support in helping the Tour to grow."

About the AVP Pro Beach Volleyball Tour, Inc.

AVP Pro Beach Volleyball Tour, Inc. is a leading lifestyle sports entertainment company focused on the production, marketing and distribution of professional beach volleyball events worldwide. AVP operates the industry's most prominent national touring series, the AVP Pro Beach Volleyball Tour, which was organized in 1983. Featuring more than 150 of the top American men and women competitors in the sport, AVP will stage 16 events throughout the United States in 2006. In 2004, AVP athletes successfully represented the United States during the Olympics in Athens, Greece, winning gold and bronze medals, the first medals won by U.S. women in professional beach volleyball. For more information, please visit www.avp.com.

About Bud Light/Anheuser-Busch

Brewed by Anheuser-Busch, Bud Light is the world's best-selling light beer, and the best selling beer in the United States.

Based in St. Louis, Anheuser-Busch is the leading American brewer, holding nearly 50 percent share of U.S. beer sales. The company brews the world's largest-selling beers, Budweiser and Bud Light. Anheuser-Busch also owns a 50 percent share in Grupo Modelo, Mexico's leading brewer, and a 27 percent share in Tsingtao, the No. 1 brewer in China. Anheuser-Busch ranked No. 1 among beverage companies in FORTUNE Magazine's Most Admired U.S. and Global Companies lists in 2006. Anheuser-Busch is one of the largest theme park operators in the United States, is a major manufacturer of aluminum cans and is America's top recycler of aluminum cans. For more information, visit www.Anheuser-Busch.com.


Source: AVP Pro Beach Volleyball Tour, Inc.

Web site: http://www.anheuser-busch.com/

Web site: http://www.avp.com/


Steps cross America is Joined by Kristi Yamaguchi to Rally, Motivate and Reward All Americans to Walk for Fitness

Relay team of twelve Americans will walk a specially made Sportline(R) pedometer millions of steps across the United States, as a part of Sportline Steps Across America

Sportline, America's #1 brand of pedometers and walking accessories, will kick off the launch of Sportline Steps Across America, an initiative dedicated to spreading the word about the benefits of walking with a pedometer as part of a fit, active lifestyle. For the first time a specially made Sportline Pedometer will be walked across America by a relay team of 12 pre-selected Americans, covering 3,100 miles in 14 weeks.

Kristi Yamaguchi, World Champion Figure Skater and the official spokesperson for Sportline Steps Across America, will be in New York today to send off the Walkers on their trek across the country, which is scheduled to finish in Los Angeles on July 17th, 2006. Yamaguchi, who recently gave birth to her second child, has devoted much of her post-skating career to educating others about the benefits of living a fit, active lifestyle.

"As a wife and mom I continue to live an active lifestyle and I recognize the benefits of keeping a healthy regime including eating right and exercising, even if it's just taking a 30 minute walk with my kids," says Yamaguchi. "I encourage Americans to show their support as the Sportline Steps Across America Walkers come to a town near you. Their inspirational message is important for all Americans: It's easy to step into a more active lifestyle by walking for health, fitness, and fun!" Profiles on all the Walkers can be found at http://www.stepsacross.com/ .

Yamaguchi will host an "Every Day Well-Being" Expo at Chelsea Piers in New York City on April 18, 2006, from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM. From there, the team of National Walkers will head out of Manhattan on their 3,100 mile journey. The coast-to-coast walk will traverse through dozens of cities in 11 states and the District of Columbia over the course of 14 weeks.

The twelve National Walkers were specially chosen from over 300 people to participate in the program. They hail from Atlanta, Ga., Myrtle Beach, S.C., Coronado, Calif., Los Angeles, Calif., Dallas, Texas, Miami, Fla., Sacramento, Calif., Herndon, Va., Batesville, Ark., Ventura, Calif., and Sedona, Ariz. "It is my desire to spread my love of walking and running with children and adults alike as I take 'Steps Across America,'" said National Walker Illene Stewart of Batesville, Ark. Each of the National Walkers will be carrying their own TracFone prepaid wireless phone to keep in touch with family and friends every step of way.

"The benefits of walking are clear. Research shows that people who wear a pedometer walk nearly 2000 more steps per day than fitness walkers who do not. Sportline Steps Across America is an important initiative; devoted to helping everyday American's become motivated to achieve an overall healthier lifestyle," said Brian Anderson, President of Sportline. "With help from Kristi Yamaguchi and our team of Walkers, who embody the spirit of physical fitness, this program can inspire thousands of people to get out and walk as part of their everyday fitness regime."

The Sportline Steps Across America Walkers will be making stops at Wal-Mart stores across the country and hosting "Every Day Well-Being" Expos where the public can come and learn more about incorporating walking and wellness ideas in their lives. Additionally, in coordination with the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, the Steps Across America President's Challenge will be issued at every Sportline Steps Across America event to motivate and reward all Americans to walk for exercise.

Additionally, the National Walkers will be joined by another work out partner along the route -- a dog, sponsored by Iams(R). Exercising with a pet can provide further inspiration to make a walking regime part of a healthy everyday lifestyle for all Americans.

Sportline(R) is the Title Sponsor of Steps Across America and TracFone Prepaid Wireless is Presenting Sponsor in cooperation with Wal-Mart and in association with: 7-Up(R), Centrum(R), Coppertone(R), IAMS(R), Image Fitness, Jif(R) / Smucker's(R), Kodak, Os-Cal(R), PayDay PRO, Weight Watcher's(R) Smart Ones(R), & Wisk(R). Other sponsors include: Advil(R), Alavert(R), Jennie-O Turkey Store(R), Carnation(R) Instant Breakfast(R) from NESTLE, and Otis Spunkmeyer(R). Sportline Steps Across America is an official sponsor of the President's Council for Physical Fitness and Sports 50th Anniversary.

To keep up with the walking team's historic step-by-step journey, and to register for the Steps Across America President's Challenge, please visit http://www.stepsacross.com/ .

Steps Across America is a registered trademark of CoActive Marketing Group

About Sportline

Sportline has been designing, developing and manufacturing Personal Fitness Monitors for 20 years, distributing them primarily in the sports and active recreational markets as well as through private brand channels. The strength of the Sportline product collection is a result of the company's commitment to design and development focused on quality and innovation. Sportline leads the Fitness Electronics industry across a wide range of product categories from performance pedometers, accelerometers and sport timers to heart rate and hydration monitors. Additionally, the company markets a broad line of fitness walking accessories offering unique storage, safety and reflective solutions. For more information on Sportline, visit us Web site at http://www.sportline.com/ .

About TracFone Wireless, Inc.

TracFone Wireless, based in Miami, Florida, is America's largest prepaid wireless service provider and was the first prepaid wireless MVNO in the U.S. In 1996, the company was the first to introduce a pay-as-you-go wireless service with no contracts, no hidden taxes or fees and no monthly bills. Its prepaid wireless service incorporates a customer-friendly, cost-control feature that displays the exact remaining airtime balance on the phone. TracFone Wireless is a subsidiary of America Movil , Latin America's largest mobile phone provider, with more than 93 million cellular subscribers across the continent. For more information on TracFone Wireless, visit the Web site at

http://www.tracfone.com/ .


About Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

Wal-Mart is committed to helping our customers take care of their health. Every Day Well-Being initiatives highlight health and wellness topics and make them relevant to our customers. Every Day Well-Being is a service mark of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., which operates Wal-Mart Stores, Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets and SAM'S CLUB locations in the United States. The company also operates in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Germany, Guatemala, Japan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, South Korea and the United Kingdom. The company's securities are listed on the New York and Pacific stock exchanges under the symbol WMT. More information about Wal-Mart can be found by visiting http://www.walmartfacts.com/ . Online merchandise sales are available at http://www.walmart.com/ .

About Kristi Yamaguchi

Kristi Yamaguchi is an Olympic Gold Medalist; two-time World Champion, U.S. National Champion and a four-time World Professional Champion. A wife and mom, she continues to live an active lifestyle and recognizes the benefits of keeping a healthy regime including eating right and exercising. During Kristi's skating career she was the first U.S. women to compete in both pairs' events and ladies' singles, win pairs titles in 1989 and 1990, plus the first American to win the Olympic Gold Medal since Dorothy Hamill in 1976. Kristi has also won four titles and was honored as 1996 Skater of the Year by American Skating World. She has been named to the U.S. Hall of Fame by the United States Figure Skating Association and to the World Skating Hall of Fame, was and has also been inducted into the USOC Olympic Hall of Fame.

About President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports

Established by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1956 as the President's Council on Youth Fitness, the Council was later expanded to include Americans of all ages and abilities. Today, the Council is a federal advisory committee of up to twenty members, who recommend programs and initiatives on physical activity, fitness and sports to the President through the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS). President George W. Bush established the HealthierUS initiative in 2002 to stress prevention through healthy lifestyle choices, including daily physical activity, sound nutrition, preventive screenings, and safe behaviors. For information about the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, go to http://www.fitness.gov/ . To start a physical activity and fitness program, log on to http://www.stepsacross.com/ and sign up to take the President's

Source: Sportline

Web site: http://www.sportline.com/


Audi Presents Streets of Tomorrow Offers Consumers Upscale, Urban Driving and Lifestyle Experience

High-End Test-Drive Showcases All-New Audi Q7 SUV

Audi of America, Inc. announced today that it will present Streets of Tomorrow -- a unique, upscale lifestyle and driving experience featuring the all-new 2007 Audi Q7 in 10 major U.S. cities this Spring. Each local event, open to all, will be staged at an intriguing urban venue for guests to participate in an array of experiences tailored to their personal interests, such as gourmet cooking demonstrations from top local chefs and lectures on exotic travel destinations. The ride and drive experience will offer guests the opportunity to understand Audi's innovation, technology and design, and put them behind the wheel of the all-new Audi Q7, all-new 2007 RS 4, and the full line of Audi vehicles.

Audi's Streets of Tomorrow will kick-off simultaneously in New York City, at Belmont Park, and in San Diego, at the Four Seasons Aviara resort, April 29-30. The rest of the tour will unfold as follows: Chicago, at The Chicago Illuminating Company, and Los Angeles, at the Pacific Design Center, on May 6- 7; Philadelphia, at Turbine Hall, and San Francisco, at the Computer History Museum, on May 13-14; Atlanta, at Mason Murer Fine Art, and Seattle, at Seattle Center Exhibition Hall, on May 20-21; Miami, at The InterContinental West Miami Hotel, on May 27-28; and Dallas, at Southfork Ranch Event & Conference Center, on June 3-4.

Breaking new ground for its inaugural consumer test-drive event and first sport utility vehicle, Audi has created an engaging experience for each city, with local flavor and personal touches throughout. Many of the events will include demonstrations and interactive sessions conducted by a variety of prestigious partners to educate consumers about lifestyle trends. Guests will work with a concierge to design a personalized program, selecting the interactive sessions they wish to attend before and after their test-drives. Partners include exotic travel company Abercrombie & Kent, Bang & Olufsen premium sound systems, and Ducati superbikes. All venues will also feature a gourmet cafe, live entertainment, representatives for Audi motorsports and product development, digital music download and management demonstrations, and other special interest opportunities.

The driving experience at Audi's Streets of Tomorrow begins with a street drive of the all-new 2007 Audi Q7, the SUV from the creator of quattro(R), under real-life conditions. Coming off the road, guests will enter the Audi Circuit featuring two different courses: the quattro(R) course and the performance course. Audi's full model line and competitor vehicles will be available for testing on the quattro(R) course, which feature elements for acceleration, slalom, and evasive maneuvering. The timed performance course will allow guests to appreciate the all-around handling and performance of the new 2007 Audi RS 4.

"True to Audi's heritage, Streets of Tomorrow is a festival of innovation, technology, design, and performance," said Stephen Berkov, director of marketing for Audi. "It will give consumers an all-encompassing lifestyle and driving experience indicative of Audi, as well as one of the first opportunities to drive the highly anticipated Audi Q7, the all-new high- performance RS 4, along with the full line of Audi vehicles."

Audi's Streets of Tomorrow is open to everyone, but interested participants must register in advance online at http://www.audistreetsoftomorrow.com/ . Drivers must be over the age of 25, with a valid license. Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. For additional details about Streets of Tomorrow, please visit http://www.audistreetsoftomorrow.com/ .

The all-new 2007 Audi Q7 is the company's first sport utility vehicle, from the creator of quattro(R). A synthesis of safety, performance, design, and versatility, the Audi Q7 demonstrates just what Audi's advertising campaign highlights: that Big can be Beautiful, Safe can be Exhilarating, Powerful can be Efficient, and Functional can be Elegant. The Audi Q7 is expected to be on sale in mid June 2006. To learn more about the Audi Q7, please visit http://www.audiusa.com/audiq7 .

About Audi

Audi of America is headquartered in Auburn Hills, Michigan, and markets performance-oriented European luxury vehicles: the A3, A4, RS 4, A6, A8, TT and the all-new Audi Q7. For more information about additional Audi-related events and corporate news, visit http://www.audiusa.com/ .

Source: Audi of America, Inc.

Chrysler Group Certified Pre-owned Vehicles (CPOV) Appeal to Budget Conscious Consumers

The purchase of a vehicle is a significant investment on any budget. So, it is important for consumers to find a dependable car at the right price. Certified pre-owned dealerships offer value-added vehicles with features such as enhanced warranties and CARFAX Vehicle History Reports. These factors have increased customer traffic and used-vehicle sales at dealerships in recent months.

Chrysler Group Certified Pre-owned Vehicle (CPOV) sales set an all-time monthly sales record with a 14 percent increase in March, and sales rose 7 percent for the quarter, which was also a record. Industry-wide, pre-owned vehicle sales surpassed 150,000 units in March 2006.

The program appeals to buyers on many levels since these certified used-vehicles withstand a rigorous 125 point inspection to ensure the Chrysler, Jeep (R) or Dodge product is brought up to "new-vehicle" standards. In addition, 43 percent of consumers who buy a CPOV plan to return to the dealership of purchase for routine maintenance, which is nearly twice the non-CPOV buyer average.

What sets a CPOV apart from the rest?

"The right combination of value, price and the high vehicle inspection standards our CPOV dealers adhere to, allows consumers to feel confident in purchasing a Chrysler, Jeep or Dodge CPOV product," said Ray Fisher, Vice President - Sales, Service and Parts Operations, Chrysler Group. "Also, the hard work and effort provided by our Five Star dealers is the main reason for the rise in repeat business and the continued success of the CPOV program."

Chrysler Group offers one of the most comprehensive Certified Pre-owned Vehicle programs in the industry. For a vehicle to be certified under the Chrysler Group's used vehicle program, it must be a 2001 through 2006 model pre-owned vehicle with less than 65,000 miles and pass a stringent 125 point inspection. Chrysler Group's CPO vehicles are backed by an 8-year/80,000-mile powertrain limited warranty, a 3-month or 3,000-mile Maximum Care(TM) warranty, 24-hour, 365-day full roadside assistance and a $35 per day rental car allowance, in addition to a CARFAX Vehicle History Report(TM) and Buyback Guarantee.

Marketed as "Brand Spankin' Used(TM)," Chrysler Group's CPO vehicles are sold only through Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge dealerships which have earned the automaker's Five Star Certification. Five Star Certification is a comprehensive validation of the dealership's facilities, operational processes, salesperson and technician training accreditation as well as customer satisfaction survey ratings. Approximately 2,400 Chrysler Group dealerships in the U.S. are certified Five Star dealers.



NBA and Toyota Announce 2006 Finals Trophy Tour to U.S. Military Bases

- Tour to Bring NBA Legends, Interactive NBA Experience, Larry O'Brien Trophy, and Toyota Tundra 'Trophy Mobile' to Five U.S. Military Bases in Conjunction With the USO

- The NBA and Toyota today announced the launch of a 2006 Finals Trophy Tour to five military bases in the heartland of the U.S. The 2006 Finals Trophy Tour was developed by Toyota and the NBA, in conjunction with the USO, to thank the U.S. Armed Forces for their dedication and service.

The NBA and Toyota created a customized tour that will provide an exciting Finals-themed experience to military personnel and their families. During each stop of the 2006 Trophy Tour, the NBA and Toyota will bring a fleet of Finals-themed vehicles including the specially designed Toyota Tundra "Trophy Mobile," the Larry O'Brien Trophy, an interactive NBA-themed activity center, and NBA players or legends.

"The NBA is proud to partner with Toyota and the USO on executing the 2006 Finals Trophy Tour as a way to thank and honor our military personnel and their families for the service they provide to our country," said Heidi Ueberroth, Executive Vice President Global Media Properties and Marketing Partnerships for the NBA. "Toyota and the NBA focus on creating memorable experiences for NBA fans through unique vehicles and basketball interaction, so we are pleased to deliver the NBA experience and the Larry O'Brien Trophy to five military bases."

"Our military men and women face some of life's most difficult situations in service to our country," said Don Esmond, Toyota's Senior Vice President and also a Marine Corps helicopter pilot in Vietnam, where he earned a Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross and Purple Heart. "We appreciate their dedication and commitment, and we're glad we can help bring some fun and excitement to everyone at these five bases through the NBA experience."

"The USO is pleased to support the NBA and Toyota in bringing the 2006 Finals Trophy Tour to military bases in the United States," said John Hanson, USO Senior Vice President for Marketing and Communications. "The NBA has a long history of support for service members, and NBA players and Legends participated on the USO's first tour to Baghdad in 2003. We look forward to a continuing partnership with the NBA."

The 2006 Trophy Tour is among the many ways that Toyota and the NBA have built upon their marketing partnership to find innovative ways to showcase Toyota vehicles and bring the NBA experience to a diverse group of fans and communities. Toyota participates in several marquee NBA events including NBA All-Star, the NBA Playoffs, the NBA Draft, Rhythm 'n Rims, and the acclaimed series "Toyota's Moving Forward Moments" on NBA TV, which has featured NBA stars Amare Stoudemire, Elton Brand, and others.

Military Trophy Tour Dates:

Offutt Air Force Base

Location: Offutt, Nebraska

Date: May 13

Fort Leavenworth

Location: Leavenworth, Kansas (located on KS/MO border)

Date: May 19

Fort Bliss

Location: El Paso, Texas

Date: June 1

Fort Riley

Location: Fort Riley North, Kansas

Date: June 24

Fort Carson

Location: Fort Carson, Colorado

Date: July 3

About Toyota

Toyota established operations in the United States in 1957 and currently operates ten manufacturing plants including one under construction. There are more than 1,400 Toyota, Lexus and Scion dealerships in the U.S. which sell more than 2 million vehicles a year. Toyota directly employs more than 32,000 people in the U.S. and its investment here is currently valued at more than $13 billion, including sales and manufacturing operations, research and development, financial services and design.

About the USO

For more than 65 years, the USO has been providing morale, welfare and recreational services to U.S. military personnel and their families. The USO is a nonprofit, charitable organization, relying on the generosity of the American people to support its programs and services. For more information on the USO, visit www.uso.org.

About the NBA

The NBA, founded in 1946, is a global sports and entertainment brand that features 30 teams in the United States and Canada. During the 2005-06 season, the NBA will distribute 44,000 hours of programming to 215 countries and territories in 43 languages. The league's worldwide reach can also be seen with 82 international players on NBA rosters. Domestically, the NBA will broadcast 142 games on national television this season on ABC, TNT, ESPN and ESPN2, and is on pace to eclipse attendance records for the third consecutive season.

More than 200 licensees manufacture and promote NBA products, which are sold in more than 100,000 retail stores in 100 countries on six continents. Major categories include video games, apparel, sporting goods and trading cards. The NBA also owns and operates the world's only NBA Store in New York City and NBAStore.com. The NBA Store receives over 1,000,000 visitors annually, and features an array of multimedia attractions, including a fully operational broadcast booth and an official half-court used for special events, and regularly-scheduled appearances by NBA and WNBA players, legends and celebrities. NBAStore.com receives over 20,000,000 visitors each year and offers three international stores online in Chinese, Japanese, and Spanish.

As fans witness tremendous performances on the court, some of the NBA's most significant efforts occur off the court. This past year, the league launched its most ambitious community outreach endeavor, NBA Cares. Over a five-year span, players and teams will raise and contribute $100 million for charity, donate more than one million hours of volunteer service to communities worldwide, and build more than 100 educational and athletic facilities where children can learn and play. For more information on the NBA, visit NBA.com.

Source: Toyota



'Faces of the Fallen' Extended at Women's Memorial Until May 31


"Faces of the Fallen," a compelling exhibit featuring more than 1,300 portraits honoring America's servicemen and women who died fighting the war on terrorism in Afghanistan and Iraq, will stay on display at the Women's Memorial here until May 31, officials said. More than 230,000 visitors were drawn to the memorial since the exhibit opened in March 2005, retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Wilma Vaught, the president of Women in Military Service for America, said. That set a one-year record for the number of people visiting the memorial, she noted, calling the exhibit's impact on the memorial "incredible." "That was a very welcomed thing for all of us, because when people come, they not only see that exhibit, they also see the other exhibits about women in the military," said Vaught, who spearheaded the campaign that raised more than $20 million to build the memorial that opened in 1997. "A few people told me that when they went home they told their friends and relatives that the Women's Memorial was the single most impressive place they visited." The memorial is across the street from Arlington National Cemetery's main gate. She said the Faces of the Fallen exhibit has generated heartwarming and touching letters and notes from visitors.

The most heartwarming letter, she said, came from a lieutenant colonel who met the father of a fallen servicemember in the exhibit. "He told her that it was the first time he had felt that an adequate tribute had been paid to his son for his sacrifice," Vaught said. "It's a tragedy, and you can feel the spirit looking at the portraits," said Annette Polan, founder of Faces of the Fallen. "For each portrait, there's a whole community of lives that will never be the same - spouses, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers and friends." She said some people leave notes and letters by the portraits that are like conversations: "I saw your mother last week, and we had a cup of tea together." Noting that more than 200 volunteer artists from across the country created the portraits, Polan said the artists worked from sometimes poor quality digitized photographs from the Internet. The artists produced the portraits in an assortment of media: pen-and-ink drawings, watercolors, oils, textiles, relief and collage, and sculpture. Probably the most famous portrait in the heartfelt exhibit is that of Army Cpl. Pat Tillman, 27, who gave up the glamorous life of a professional football star to become an Army Rangers

He was killed in Afghanistan on April 22, 2004. Natasha Mokina painted his portrait. Other heroes include the only Medal of Honor recipient from Operation Iraqi Freedom, Sgt. 1st Class Paul R. Smith, 33, who was killed on April 4, 2003. Artist Kathy Berg Emery painted his portrait. Polan said among the nine portraits she painted is the first serviceman killed in Iraq, Marine Corps Maj. Jay T. Aubin, 36, who died on March 20, 2003. The exhibit opened without having portraits of some fallen servicemen and women. Some portraits are still not available, Polan noted. "We haven't added to the total number since the exhibit opened," she said. Silhouettes are used for missing servicemembers, and the silhouettes are replaced with portraits as they're received. Silhouettes have also been used for eight portraits that families didn't like. "We're going to ask artists in each state where the exhibit travels to paint portraits of all the servicemen and women from their state who have been killed," Polan said. "The portraits would stay on permanent display at the museum in that state." Face of the Fallen was named as one of the top five gallery exhibitions for 2005 by the Washington Post, said Polan, who teaches at Washington's Corcoran Gallery.

She also teaches seminars on the contemporary art scene in New York and Washington. Polan said creating the exhibit was a gut reaction for her. "My mother had died at the age of 81 a few months before I got this idea, and it was a difficult time for me," she explained. "In trying to deal with my own grief, I decided to reach out to others. One way I have of getting through difficult times is working. If you feel like you doing something for somebody else, you will not think about yourself so much. "I wanted to create something permanent that would honor all the men and women who lost their lives and offer some kind of support to their families," she said. "It was a task too big for one person to do, nor should one person do it." The idea to create Faces of the Fallen came to her one morning when she saw four pages of thumbnail photographs of servicemen and women who were killed in Iraq and Afghanistan in the Washington Post. "I intuitively thought this is something I can do to help others and also deal with my own sense of loss through working," she said. "I didn't really know where we'd show the portraits, I just knew I would show them.”

‘I've been incredibly lucky in contacting the right people at the right time to help me do this." Polan said she made it clear to artists she contacted that the exhibit was not a statement for or against the war. "This is a honor, a memorial so these lost lives wouldn't be forgotten,' Polan said she told the artists. John Phelps is a professional artist who painted the portrait of his own fallen son, Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Chance Phelps, who was killed in Iraq at the age of 19. Otherwise, Polan assigned portraits arbitrarily to the various participating artists, in chronological order by date of death. "A lot of the artists have developed relationships with family members of men and women they portrayed," Polan noted. "Artists are an intelligent group of people who often don't have a public voice. This has given them an opportunity to speak up through their artwork."


A Letter to Military Children from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff


I want to take this opportunity to recognize the extraordinary contributions of our Nation's military families, who have faced many challenges - from family separations to frequent moves - with great courage. I would especially like to acknowledge a special source of inspiration: children of military families. You are patient and understanding when duty calls and your Mom or Dad cannot attend a soccer game, music recital, birthday party, or other important family or school activity.

You are heroes in a quiet, thoughtful way, and I am grateful for the unconditional love you give your Mom and Dad. Many of you have experienced the sad and sometimes frightening experience of having your Mom or Dad far from home, serving around the globe in places like Iraq and Afghanistan. Through your personal courage and support, you serve this Nation too - and I am proud of you! Frequent moves are a way of life for the military child. It is never easy to say goodbye to friends and familiar routines, to begin again in a new school, a new neighborhood - and sometimes a new country! But your resilience and self-confidence are strengths that others admire, including your parents. Growing up in a military family offers some challenges, but it also provides some special rewards.


Cheney Thanks Fairchild Airmen for Terror War Support


Vice President Dick Cheney told servicemembers gathered at Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash., yesterday they're playing a key role in the global war on terror and that their countrymen believe in them and their mission. The vice president visited the home of the 92nd Air Refueling Wing and told a gathering of about 600 airmen and other servicemembers they're helping prevent the spread of terrorism around the world and protecting the United States. Fairchild's 50 active-duty and eight Air National Guard KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft and their crews support operations Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom and Noble Eagle and other missions around the world.

These refuelers operate largely behind the scenes, keeping other Air Force aircraft in the air and living up to their motto: "Nobody kicks ass without tanker gas," Air Force Maj. Carol Gering, base public affairs officer, told American Forces Press Service Other major units at Fairchild are the Air National Guard's 141st Air Refueling Wing; the Air Force Survival School; the 36th Rescue Flight; and the Joint Personnel Recovery Agency's Personnel Recovery Academy. Cheney told these airmen, as well as invited Army, Navy and Marine Corps guests, that they're vital to the global war under way. "The war on terror goes on," he said. "Thanks to you, it's a war we're going to win." More than 450 Fairchild airmen are deployed to Southwest Asia in support of the terror war, including refuelers, civil engineers, security forces, and survival experts from the SERE School, Gering said. Cheney told the servicemembers conditions on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan -- not artificial timetables set by politicians in Washington, D.C. -- will determine when the mission is completed. "The only way to lose this fight is to quit, and that is not an option," he told the group.

Terrorist attacks aren't caused by using strength, but rather, by the appearance of weakness, he said. He vowed that the United States will remain strong and see the war through to victory, drawing applause and hoots from the crowd. "The president and I want you to know how much we appreciate everything you do for the United States," he said. "America believes in you." Gering called the vice president's speech a welcome message for "Team Fairchild." "It's nice to be recognized for the role we play in supporting the mission," she said. "Because they perform a support role, our airmen are largely unsung heroes. So it's really great to see them acknowledged and publicly thanked. Because without tankers, the whole rest of the operation (in support of the terror war) couldn't exist."

During the rally, Cheney officiated at the re-enlistment of 18 airmen, soldiers and Marines. Re-enlisting from the 92nd Air Refueling Wing were: Air Force Tech. Sgts. Tami Anderson, Julianna Dumlao and Scott Viers; Staff Sgts. Jeffrey Brod, Jun Codiamat and Vidal Hill; and Senior Airmen John Jones and Jason Murphy. Also re-enlisting, from the Air Guard's 141st Air Refueling Wing, were Master Sgts. Johnnie Gandolfo and Michael Lyon, and Tech. Sgts. Robert Gibson and Eugene Lewan. Three Army Reserve soldiers and a Marine Reservist also re-enlisted at the Fairchild rally. They were: Army Master Sgt. Leanne Holsteine, Sgt. 1st Class Susan Beaulaurier and Staff Sgt. Brian Taylor, and Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Joseph Bowman.

NEWS and NEWS now in Spanish

ACR: Tom Cruise's Unsupervised Use of Fetal Keepsake Ultrasound Ill Advised, Irresponsible, and Potentially Dangerous

Actor Tom Cruise's claim to be qualified to perform unsupervised ultrasound exams on his fiance, Katie Holmes, because he "read the manual" that came with the machine is irresponsible, potentially dangerous, and due to his celebrity status, may incorrectly influence others to place their unborn children at risk by performing such exams with no medical supervision.

"Radiologist physicians, certain other doctors, and ultrasound technologists receive years of specialized education and training in order to safely and effectively perform these exams. Others should not think that unsupervised use of medical equipment is completely safe and should, under no circumstances, view fetal keepsake videos as a substitute for appropriate medical attention or emulate Mr. Cruise's reported unsupervised use of ultrasound equipment," said James P. Borgstede, MD, FACR, chair of the American College of Radiology Board of Chancellors.

Untrained individuals, even if they have the financial means, should not buy, or be allowed to buy and operate, ultrasound machines which are, in fact, medical devices that are not to be used without a medical indication.

Accordingly, the ACR and the California Radiological Society support efforts such as (CA) Assembly Bill 2360 (AB 2360), in its current form, recently introduced into the California legislature, which would ban companies from providing ultrasound equipment to unlicensed, untrained individuals.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has previously stated, "Persons who promote, sell or lease ultrasound equipment for making 'keepsake' fetal videos should know that FDA views this as an unapproved use of a medical device. In addition, those who subject individuals to ultrasound exposure using a diagnostic ultrasound device (a prescription device) without a physician's order may be in violation of state or local laws or regulations regarding use of a prescription medical device."

Ultrasound imaging, also known as ultrasound scanning or sonography, is a method of obtaining images from inside the human body through the use of high frequency sound waves. The sound waves' echoes are recorded and displayed as a real-time, visual image.

Ultrasound is generally considered safe when used by properly trained providers for medical purposes. Physicians routinely use ultrasound imaging to check the size, location, number, or age of fetuses in the womb; the presence of some types of birth defects; fetal movement; breathing; and heartbeat.

"However, ultrasound should not be considered completely innocuous. Laboratory studies have shown that diagnostic levels of ultrasound can produce physical effects in tissue, such as mechanical vibrations and rise in temperature, particularly when used for a prolonged period of time," said ACR Chair Borgstede.

The FDA stated on August 30, 2005, that "public health experts, clinicians and industry agree that casual exposure to ultrasound, especially during pregnancy, should be avoided. Viewed in this light, exposing the fetus to ultrasound with no anticipation of medical benefit is not justified."

The American College of Radiology fully supports the FDA views that fetal ultrasound be performed only for medical purposes, by certified technologists, with a prescription from an appropriately licensed provider.

"Fetal images are an opportunity to diagnose problems prior to birth that may require treatment. These images should be obtained by certified technologists under the supervision of physicians properly trained in ultrasound. The images should be interpreted by properly trained physicians and the results discussed with the parents and treating physicians in order to plan for the best care of the baby and mother," said ACR Chair Borgstede. "Mr. Cruise has not indicated that his ultrasound equipment has been used in this manner."

Source: American College of Radiology


Schwarzenegger Signs Historic HIV Reporting Bill, Notes AHF

Notes AHF

SB 699 (Soto, D, Ontario), Co-Sponsored by AIDS Healthcare Foundation, LA County and the California Health Officers Association Will Prevent Loss of Millions in Federal AIDS Funds

What: Media Availability on Gov's Signing of SB 699 (HIV Reporting Bill)

When: Monday April 17th From 3:30 - 5 p.m.

Where: Senator Nell Soto's Office-Room 4074 State Capitol Building Sacramento CA 95814

Who: Senator Nell Soto, (D, Ontario) Craig Vincent-Jones, Executive Director, Los Angeles County Commission on HIV Jessie Gruttadauria, Acting Director of Public Affairs, AIDS Healthcare Foundation Carla Bailey, a Californian living with HIV and co-chair of the Los Angeles County Commission on HIV Whitney Engeran III, Executive Director, Being Alive, Long Beach Mario Guerrero, Public Affairs Manager, Bienestar Dana Van Gorder, Director of State and Local Affairs, San Francisco AIDS Foundation

Following a private bill signing ceremony with Governor Schwarzenegger this morning, a group of AIDS advocates will host a press conference in Senator Nell Soto's office (State Capitol Room 4074) to mark the Governor's signing of SB 699 (Soto, D, Ontario), a landmark bill that allows for the confidential reporting of HIV infection by health care providers and labs by the name of the patient to local health officials and the state Department of Health Services. The urgency bill was sponsored by AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the nation's largest AIDS group and operator of the largest alternative, community-based HIV testing program in California which conducts more than 15,000 HIV tests annually, Los Angeles County and the California Health Officers Association. The bill, introduced in January and which cleared both the Assembly and Senate by unanimous votes, will allow for more prudent public health practices and will also prevent the loss of millions in federal AIDS funds when the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) changes its reporting requirements beginning October 1st 2006.

Last week, the California Senate voted 32 to 0 in support of the urgency measure. The Assembly had previously approved the bill in a unanimous 67 to 0 vote. Governor Schwarzenegger, who has expressed support for the legislation, is widely expected to sign the bill when it reaches his desk. In addition to the co-sponsors (AHF, LA County and California Health Officers Association) SB699, has enjoyed widespread statewide support among AIDS groups (including Altamed, Bienestar, San Francisco AIDS Foundation and many others), county public health departments (including seven of nine local HIV planning commissions) as well as the Legislature's influential Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Caucus.

"I wish to thank Governor Schwarzenegger for signing SB 699. More people than ever are living with HIV and AIDS, and with the Governor's support, we have taken a major step toward ensuring that Californians will have access to the treatment and services they require," said Senator Nell Soto (D, Ontario), author of the bill. "Too many people with HIV or AIDS lack private health coverage but are still not eligible for Medi-Cal. Failure to pass and sign this legislation into law would have been unconscionable, but I thank my colleagues as well as the Governor for working together to make SB 699 a reality."

"AIDS Healthcare Foundation thanks Governor Schwarzenegger for swiftly signing SB 699 into law and we applaud both the Governor and the Legislature for recognizing the urgency of this issue," said Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation, one of the principal co-sponsors of the bill in a statement. "We thank Senator Nell Soto for her perseverance and years-long leadership in shepherding this historic legislation to the Governor's desk. We are heartened that so many divergent groups from around the state worked together to ensure passage of this bill, and we look forward to continuing to work together to help California during this crucial transition phase to this new HIV reporting system."

"SB 699 will save lives and money," said Carla Bailey, a Californian living with HIV and co-chair of the Los Angeles County Commission on HIV. "We have to know who is infected so that we have a better understanding of the epidemic in the state and can better allocate resources where the money is most needed. Names-based reporting will give California a better chance at getting -- and keeping -- people in care and treatment."

"I'm really proud of California today, especially the HIV/AIDS service community and clients, who worked together with our elected officials to get this important measure passed. A lot of people and organizations have put a lot of time and effort and resources into it, and made sure that concerns were addressed in the bill and consequences understood," said Craig Vincent-Jones, Executive Director, Los Angeles County Commission on HIV. "The group deserves a lot of credit -- especially Senator Soto and her staff, our partners and co-sponsors, AIDS Healthcare Foundation and the Health Officers Association -- who have been there since the beginning, advocating for it when its wasn't necessarily popular. We've done the right thing for the state, for public health, and, especially, for people with HIV/AIDS."

"While cases of AIDS have been reported by name since the beginning of the epidemic, California has been reporting its HIV cases via a cumbersome, costly and oftentimes inaccurate code-based system," said Bruce Pomer, Executive Director of the California Health Officers Association, in a statement. "This new reporting system, supported by every county health department in the state, will allow for better tracking of the disease so more prudent public health measures may be enacted."

"We thank the Governor for helping us to protect vital funding to assure the highest response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic in California," said Mark Cloutier, executive director of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. "Not only will this legislation protect the state from losing millions in CARE Act funding, it will provide us with valid, uniform data to strengthen our planning of HIV/AIDS services. SB 699 also encourages individuals to learn their HIV status by ensuring the continued availability of anonymous HIV testing and it contains strong provisions to protect the confidentiality of Californians who are HIV-positive."

"Thanks to the leadership of Senator Soto, the LA County Board of Supervisors and a coalition of AIDS organizations led by AHF, we have preserved and protected our share of federal dollars that were threatened by our failed HIV reporting system," said Whitney Engeran, III, Executive Director, Being Alive, Long Beach. "The passage of this bill represents the work of an unprecedented coalition of public and private partners dedicated to preserving the resources we have all worked so hard to build for Californians living with HIV and AIDS."

Under the Ryan White CARE Act Reauthorization of 2000, the federal government will begin allocating federal HIV/AIDS funds to states and local governments by number of HIV cases starting on October 1, 2006. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has determined that the most accurate method of HIV test data collection is by name of the test subject. CDC will therefore accept only names-based test data (CDC will receive aggregated data only based on states' names-based tracking, but the names themselves will not be shared with federal officials). Previous California law prohibited the identification of a test subject except with the written consent of the test subject. Therefore, California HIV test results, which have been collected based on a non-name, unique identifier basis, will no longer be accepted by Federal officials -- a move that would have jeopardized more than $50 million in annual federal HIV/AIDS funding to California.

"I want to thank Senator Soto, the Los Angeles County Commission on HIV; the California Health Officers Association; Being Alive, Long Beach; San Francisco AIDS Foundation, Bienestar; Carla Bailey and Robert Butler and all those who have been there from the very beginning on this issue and have worked closely together to help move this legislation forward," said Jessie Gruttadauria, AHF's Acting Director of Public Affairs. "This effort demonstrates what can be accomplished to further prudent public health policy when diverse stakeholders mobilize toward a common goal -- ensuring that all those living with HIV/AIDS in California have access to the care and services they need."

SB 699 brings California's current HIV reporting system into line with national reporting norms by utilizing a name-based system like those currently in place in all but six states and the District of Columbia. Several of the states already reporting HIV incidence by name include four with the largest populations of people living with HIV/AIDS: New York, Florida, Texas and New Jersey.

And while cases of AIDS have been reported by name since the beginning of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the State of California has only required local health officials to report HIV cases since July 2002, which it has so far done via a code-based system.

Source: AIDS Healthcare Foundation


Company publishes EGM presentation slides on www.vnu.com; Presentation includes a review of business performance and prospects

a leading global information and media company, said it will make a compelling and thorough case for why the private-equity offer for VNU is the best course for the company’s stakeholders in a presentation today during an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) of VNU shareholders in Amsterdam.

The presentation is being made available on the company’s Web site at 4:00 p.m. (CET), the starting time of today’s EGM at Hotel Okura Amsterdam, Ferdinand Bolstraat 333.

The presentation focuses on the process that led to the offer, VNU’s business performance and prospects, a review of alternatives, and the valuation of the offer. The company noted that the presentation shows that previously disclosed pricing and consolidation issues affecting its Marketing Information group had a negative impact on the group’s EBITDA of EUR 15 million in 2004 and EUR 31 million in 2005.

VNU said that the EGM will allow shareholders to review the facts of the Offer, and give them an opportunity to discuss the Offer with the Supervisory and Executive Boards so that they will be able to make a well-informed decision by May 5, 2006, the end of the tender period.

The company reiterated that the EUR 28.75 all-cash offer represents the best alternative for VNU shareholders:

20% premium over the two- year average share price

23% premium to the unaffected share price of EUR 23.25

13.3x 2005 EBITDA and 18.9x 2005 EBITDA (minus Capex)

Delivery of cash to shareholders as early as mid-May

Fully values three-year growth and cost savings projections, and eliminates execution and timing risks of both

This is a release in accordance with section 9b of the Dutch Securities Trading Supervision Decree (Besluit toezicht effectenverkeer 1995).

About VNU

VNU is a global information and media company with leading market positions and recognized brands in marketing information (ACNielsen), media measurement and information (Nielsen Media Research) and business information (Billboard, The Hollywood Reporter, Computing, Intermediair).

VNU is active in more than 100 countries, with headquarters in Haarlem, the Netherlands, and New York, USA. The company employs nearly 41,000 people. Total revenues were EUR 3.5 billion in 2005. VNU is listed on the Euronext Amsterdam (ASE: VNU) stock exchange. For more information, please visit the VNU web site at www.vnu.com.


Are You Ready for Plastic Surgery

A new website has the answer EVANSTON, Ill., April 18, 2006 -- A "nip" or "tuck" used to be something reserved for the very vain or the very rich, but advanced technology, improved price tags, and regular media coverage have brought plastic surgery into the mainstream. Terms like "Liposculpture" and "Mini-Facelift" have even entered household vernacular. With this increased exposure to cosmetic options, more and more people are left wondering, "Am I ready for plastic surgery?"

At http://www.PlasticSurgeryPortal.com, men and women interested in honing their appearance now have help answering that question. The latest website from SignatureSpecialists, Inc., Plastic Surgery Portal helps visitors determine if now is the right time for cosmetic intervention, and evaluates the best way to access it. The recommended first step on this free website is to take the "Am I Ready" quiz. This seemingly whimsical questionnaire places the quiz-taker at levels of "plastic surgery readiness," and will even guide them to the next logical step in the research process.

A person's customized path might lead them to information about suitable procedures, or to a profile of nearby surgeons, so they are given the exact resources they need, when they need them. PlasticSurgeryPortal.com also features a community message board where plastic surgery enthusiasts, novices, and professionals can mingle. Also provided is a handy list of questions to ask a plastic surgeon during a consultation, and a list of FAQs that covers common plastic surgery curiosities. For the latest breakthroughs in the world of cosmetic enhancement, users can also visit the plastic surgery news section, updated on a daily basis. Brought to Market by SignatureSpecialists, Inc.

The http://www.PlasticSurgeryPortal.com service and website is a creation of SignatureSpecialists, Inc. SignatureSpecialists is an Evanston, IL-based company that is devoted to consumer advocacy and quality in the luxury markets. SignatureSpecialists has created a large network of certified service providers in the U.S. Network locations can also be found in Australia, Canada, and Puerto Rico. To learn and gather information about services and service providers, consumers can visit http://www.SignatureForum.com. There they will find information about luxury services, a "locate a specialist" section that helps them in choosing a network service provider, quality/satisfaction scores for all network providers, and forums that promote community dialogue. SignatureSpecialists also provides consumers the opportunity to participate in service provider advocacy, which gives them the chance to tell others about their experience with a specific provider.


Three recent announcements from the Broadcast Communications Division of Harris Corporate.

"Harris Corporation Demonstrates Unique IP-based Content Management and Delivery Capabilities with Integrated Demonstrations at NAB2006" (released 4/18/2006) -Digital newsgathering, IPTV, localized ad insertion, new services provisioning and mobile TV among the featured applications 2.) "Harris Corporation to Acquire Optimal Solutions, Inc." (released 4/17/2006) -Expands Broadcast Communications Division software offering and complements Harris Next-Generation H-Class(tm) Total Content Delivery Platform 3.) "Tim Thorsteinson Named President of Harris Corporation's Broadcast Communications Division"

Harris Corporation Demonstrates Unique IP-based Content Management and Delivery Capabilities with Integrated Demonstrations at NAB2006 Digital newsgathering, IPTV, localized ad insertion, new services provisioning and mobile TV among the featured applications CINCINNATI, April 18, 2006 - Harris Corporation (NYSE: HRS) will illustrate its innovations in digital content management and delivery at NAB2006. Demonstrations at Harris booths #SU2929 and #C807 will convey the company's unique ability to support next-generation, IP-based business models, and to integrate business systems for content management and distribution with video infrastructure from the Leitch business portfolio. Visitors to the Harris displays will be shown how Harris customers can improve workflow efficiencies over IP networks, enabling them to offer new services and reduce operational costs. "As the media and entertainment industry moves to an IT-centric model, our customers face a learning curve to integrate new revenue-generating business models with their evolving back office," said Tim Thorsteinson, president, Harris Broadcast Communications Division. "At NAB2006, Harris will demonstrate multiple real-world applications that convey the value we bring in creating new ways of managing and delivering content in the emerging IP arena." Demonstrations that encompass the intelligent management of news, interstitial material, and long- and short-form programming include the following. *

Digital Newsgathering - This demonstration shows how broadcasters and content originators can support end-to-end newsgathering in an application called NewsNet(tm). The NewsNet application supports the full digital news workflow by providing shared access to content hosted on NEXIO(tm) servers by leveraging industry standards such as the media object server (MOS) communication protocol. NewsNet(tm) spans the full range of news applications: ingest, editing, management, monitoring, rundown and play-out. The Digital Newsgathering demo can be viewed in the South Hall at the "News" wall located at Harris booth #SU2929. * IPTV - This demonstration shows Harris' unique ability to supply the three core capabilities a provider needs to run an IPTV network: software to manage content delivery, video infrastructure for reliable program transport, and network monitoring to maintain quality of service. The Harris IPTV offering can be viewed in the South Hall at the "Content Processing and Channel Release" wall located at Harris booth #SU2929. * Localized Ad Insertion - MSOs and newly emerging service providers rely on their IP networks to reach more tightly segmented audiences with localized versions of branded programming and ads.

The Localized Ad Insertion demonstration is unique in that it shows how Harris Automation can be used to manage not only the insertion of the localized content, but also the associated branding, from a central location. Customers can view this demonstration in the South Hall at the "Content Processing and Channel Release" wall located at Harris booth #SU2929. * New Service Provisioning - In this application Harris shows how content originators can apply the H-Class(tm) Content Delivery Platform to intelligently automate the business rules associated with finding, managing, repurposing, and distributing digital content - along with all permutations of the same content - to different subscribers. Harris enables new services to new subscribers by linking H-Class(tm) Digital Asset Management with H-Class(tm) Intelligent Transport. Demonstrations of content flow in support of new service provisioning can be found in the South Hall at Harris booth #SU2929 in the H-Class(tm) Platform demonstration area. * Mobile TV - In support of the evolving mobile TV market, Harris has extended its proven transmission capabilities to enable its customers to broadcast content to subscribers using mobile devices. Harris will be delivering content to mobile devices via its Atlas(tm) digital UHF transmitters for DVB-H and FLO(tm) modulation, as well as its new Cool Play(tm) 1670 MHz transmitter for DVB-H modulation. Customers can view these demonstrations in the Central Hall at Harris booth #C807.

About Harris Broadcast Communications Division Harris is an international communications and information technology company serving government and commercial markets in more than 150 countries. With headquarters in Melbourne, Florida, the company has annual sales of over $3 billion and more than 13,000 employees - including 5,500 engineers and scientists - dedicated to the development of best-in-class assured communications(tm) products, systems, and services. The company's operating divisions serve markets for government communications, RF communications, broadcast communications, and microwave communications

Harris Corporation to Acquire Optimal Solutions, Inc. Expands Broadcast Communications Division software offering and complements Harris Next-Generation H-Class(tm) Total Content Delivery Platform MELBOURNE, Florida, April 17, 2006 - Harris Corporation (NYSE: HRS) has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Optimal Solutions, Inc. (OSi), a privately held provider of air-time sales, traffic and billing software systems to over 350 call-letter broadcast stations in North America.

The scalability of OSi's Windows(r)-based platform is unmatched in the industry and can support a single call-letter station or scale to support the largest station groups and network/affiliate relationships with one software installation. "The acquisition of OSi will further strengthen our portfolio and commitment to provide Total Content Delivery solutions to the industry," said Howard Lance, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Harris Corporation. "OSi expands our capabilities in enterprise-wide software for managing and scheduling advertising and programming for broadcasters, and complements the Harris next-generation H-Class(tm) platform." The H-Class(tm) platform will serve the diverse business models of broadcast networks, cable networks and media content providers as well as the emergence of new services such as IPTV, mobile TV, and on-demand video delivery. "The combination of OSi and Harris will offer the industry unprecedented value - across the widest range of customers and business models," said Ed Adams, president of OSi. "We are proud to add our software offering and talent to the Harris team. Both customers and employees will benefit from the size and resources of Harris, and the long-term commitment Harris has made to the media industry."

OSi was founded in 1996 and is based in Kansas City, Missouri. Revenue for the 12 months ended March 31, 2006, was approximately $5 million and the company currently has approximately $27 million in revenue under contract. Harris will acquire OSi for approximately $32 million in cash, subject to customary closing conditions, and OSi's shareholders may receive additional payments over the next three years if certain operating goals are achieved. The transaction is expected to close in early May. The acquisition is expected to be neutral to Harris fiscal year 2006 earnings per share, excluding acquisition-related charges, and accretive in fiscal year 2007. Harris is an international communications and information technology company serving government and commercial markets in more than 150 countries.

With headquarters in Melbourne, Florida, the company has annual sales of over $3 billion and more than 13,000 employees - including 5,500 engineers and scientists - dedicated to the development of best-in-class assured communications(tm) products, systems, and services. The company's operating divisions serve markets for government communications, RF communications, broadcast communications, and microwave communications. Additional information about Harris Corporation is available at www.harris.com.

Tim Thorsteinson Named President of Harris Corporation's Broadcast Communications

Tim Thorsteinson Named President of Harris Corporation's Broadcast Communications

Harris Corporation has named Timothy E. "Tim" Thorsteinson, 52, president of the company's Broadcast Communications Division. Mr. Thorsteinson, a 15-year veteran of the broadcast industry, had been serving as president of the Leitch Technology business unit of the Harris Broadcast Communications Division. Harris acquired Leitch in October 2005. He succeeds Jeremy C. Wensinger who is being promoted to a senior leadership position within the Harris Government Communications Systems Division. "Tim is well known and highly respected within the broadcast industry," said Howard L. Lance, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Harris. "His appointment comes at an exciting time for Harris and the industry as the transition to digital technologies continues to accelerate. He has a proven track record of operational success within the industry and a vision that will keep Harris at the cutting edge of product innovation and customer responsiveness.

He inherits a broadcast organization that has achieved excellent forward momentum over the past two years under the leadership of Jeremy Wensinger." Mr. Thorsteinson joined Leitch Technology Corporation as president and CEO in November 2003. He led the company's financial turnaround and expansion through organic growth and acquisitions. Prior to joining Leitch, Mr. Thorsteinson was vice president of Grass Valley products for Thomson Broadcast & Media Solutions, where he was responsible for a variety of product lines including switchers, server/storage units, digital news production, signal management, film imaging product lines, and TV/film production products. Previously, he served as president and CEO of the Grass Valley Group. Prior to joining Thomson/Grass Valley, Mr. Thorsteinson was with Tektronix, Inc., from 1991 to 2001. As president of the Video and Networking Division of Tektronix, he implemented a major R&D program focused on the transition of the worldwide broadcast industry from analog to digital and into the multimedia age.

Previously, he served as president of Tektronix Pacific Operations, one of three units established to accelerate growth in key international markets. Before joining Tektronix, Mr. Thorsteinson served 12 years with National Semiconductor Corporation where he designed several highly successful programs focused on process re-engineering and total quality management. He received his bachelor's degree from the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California. Harris is an international communications and information technology company serving government and commercial markets in more than 150 countries. With headquarters in Melbourne, Florida, the company has annual sales of over $3 billion and more than 13,000 employees - including 5,500 engineers and scientists - dedicated to the development of best-in-class assured communications(tm) products, systems, and services. The company's operating divisions serve markets for government communications, RF communications, broadcast communications, and microwave communications. Additional information about Harris Corporation is available at www.harris.com.


Wal-Mart Announces Significant Changes in Health Benefits for Part-Time Workers

Susan Chambers, Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s Executive Vice President of Human Resources, speaking at the 3rd Annual World Health Care Congress, announced several changes in the health benefits made available to Wal-Mart's part-time employees.

These changes include shortening the waiting period for company health insurance from two years of employment to one year; providing part-time employees with the ability to cover their children; offering a policy option for as little as $11 per month; and expanding the pharmaceuticals available under a $3 co-pay arrangement. The company will also offer employees a discount on healthy foods sold at company stores.

Chambers explained Wal-Mart's announcement by saying, "Every American deserves health care and we want to lead by taking this step."

The health coverage available for part-time employees is the same coverage that is offered to full-time employees, including the company's executives. Also, the amount of a part-time employee's health insurance policy that is paid for by the company is the same amount that is paid by the company for full-time employees and executives. There is no minimum number of hours a part-time employee must work to be eligible for health coverage, and there is no lifetime cap on an employee's claims.

These announcements take effect as of May 13, 2006, and Wal-Mart will be having a special mid-year enrollment period to give part-time employees the opportunity to enroll. Approximately 150,000 part-time Wal-Mart employees could be affected.

About World Congress

World Congress is the producer of The World Health Care Congress, The World Health Care Congress -- Europe, The Care Continuum Congress, The World Healthcare Innovation and Technology Congress, The Health & Human Capital Management Congress, and The World Congress Leadership Summit Series. World Congress events convene CEOs and senior executives from all segments of the healthcare industry, with the latest thought leaders and case studies, representing innovative, solution-oriented approaches to make significant advances in healthcare cost and quality.


Source: World Congress

Web site: http://www.worldcongress.com/




President Hu Jintao and Bill Gates to Discuss Microsoft's Commitment to the Chinese Software Industry


Microsoft welcomes Chinese delegation to Redmond campus.

Microsoft Corp. is pleased to welcome Chinese President Hu Jintao to its Redmond campus today as part of the Chinese delegation's initial stop in the president's first official visit to Seattle. The president and a delegation of government and industry leaders will arrive in Seattle today to meet with Washington state and local government officials, as well as local business and community leaders.

"It's a pleasure to welcome President Hu to the state of Washington and to Microsoft," said Bill Gates, chairman and chief software architect of Microsoft. "During the last 10 years, China's information technology industry has emerged as a global center for growth and innovation. We're encouraged by China's efforts to strengthen intellectual property protection, which will provide the foundation for continued expansion of the IT industry in China. We look forward to working with the Chinese government and partner companies in China to create new opportunities for growth."

During his visit to the campus, President Hu and senior government officials will meet with Gates and other Microsoft executives. Among the expected topics of discussion will be Microsoft's commitment to helping further the development of a strong software industry in China, continued cooperation with Chinese universities and schools, support for China-based research and development, and training and alliances with Chinese companies. The president will also tour the Microsoft(R) Home of the Future.

"Microsoft is committed to growing together with China's IT industry, helping local Chinese customers develop strong, sustainable IT infrastructures and a clear road map for future development," said Tim Chen, corporate vice president and chief executive officer of Microsoft Greater China Region. "With the recently announced cooperative engagement agreements with computer manufacturers to pre-load genuine Windows(R) operating systems, we see even greater opportunities in China and the chance to build long-lasting relationships with customers and partners in China."

Microsoft has a full range of operations in China, including research and development, basic research, technical support, and sales and marketing organizations. Microsoft has established an extensive network of partners in China with over 3,000 partners, including authorized distributors, dealers, retailers, and solution and service providers.

Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire will host President Hu and his delegation at an official dinner Tuesday evening, at Bill and Melinda Gates' private residence. They will be joined by other elected officials and civic and business leaders from Washington state.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

NOTE: Microsoft and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries. The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

Source: Microsoft Corp.

White Paper: Employee Obesity is Number One Factor in Productivity Loss

New Leade Health Paper Shows Lifestyle Intervention Programs Reduce Obesity-Related Costs, Raise Productivity

Leade Health, health coaching pioneers in the areas of weight management, stress management, tobacco cessation, and cardiovascular health, announced today the release of a new white paper, "The Business Case for Weight/Obesity Management Using Health Coaching Interventions." The paper not only addresses the impact of obesity on workplace productivity and medical costs, but focuses on health coaching as a way for employers to combat employees' weight issues through lifestyle intervention programs.

The free research paper can be downloaded via the following link:


Key elements of the report cover research on obesity-related diseases, including:

-- Medical costs for obese employees are 77 percent higher than for

healthy weight employees; obesity-related disabilities cost employers

up to $8,720 per claimant.

-- Obesity is estimated to account for 43% of all health care spending by

U.S. businesses on coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes,

hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, stroke, gallbladder disease,

osteoarthritis of the knee, and endometrial cancer combined.

-- Obese workers have the highest prevalence of work limitations, with 6.9

percent experiencing such limitations compared to three percent among

normal weight workers.

Employers are concerned not only with the ever-increasing costs and millions of lost work-days associated with obesity, but the rapid and dramatic increase in obesity over the last few years (a 74% increase in 10 years). With the shift from a manufacturing economy to a service economy, work environments are becoming more sedentary.

"Obesity is a growing epidemic in American society, but employers can turn the tide of rising health care costs with lifestyle intervention programs such as health coaching," explains Michael Mulvihill, President and CEO of Leade Health. "Studies have found that even modest weight loss or weight stabilization with an increase in physical activity can translate into significant health and economic benefits."

The paper suggests that overweight patients in well-designed programs can achieve a weight loss of as much as 10% of baseline weight. Lifestyle management programs that include physical activity, healthy eating, and good nutrition can also significantly help prevent costly conditions such as diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Conservative ROI estimates show that for every dollar spent on intervention programs, between $4.56 and $4.73 can be saved through restored productivity and medical savings.

At Leade Health, nearly 10,000 people have participated in iCanChange(TM), the firm's health coaching program for weight management. Of those, 89 percent have achieved weight loss or weight stabilization after one year. To learn more about Leade Health's health coaching services, please visit www.leadehealth.com.

Web site: http://www.leadehealth.com/

Las Superestrellas del Reggaetón Wisin y Yandel Lideran la Primera Cumbre de Hip Hop en la Ciudad de Nueva York sobre el Empoderamiento Financiero

La Hip-Hop Summit Action Network (Red de Acción de la Cumbre de Hip Hop) comunica su mensaje especialmente a la comunidad latina para alentar su participación en el evento "Get Your Money Right" (Cómo Manejar tu Dinero Acertadamente) en la Cumbre de Hip Hop en la Ciudad de Nueva York sobre el empoderamiento Financiero, el 22 de abril de 2006 en el Salón de Baile Hammerstein en el Manhattan Center en 311 West 34th Street (entre las avenidas 8 y 9). Las puertas se abrirán al medio día. El patrocinador principal de la Cumbre es Chrysler Financial y el patrocinador presentador es Anheuser-Busch, Inc.

Las superestrellas del Reggaetón, Wisin y Yandel lideran esta Cumbre que se centrará en ofrecer los conceptos básicos sobre la instrucción financiera.

"En un momento en que nuestra sociedad se encuentra polarizada, cabe mencionar que el hip hop trasciende las divisiones étnicas y del idioma, enfatizó Russell Simmons, presidente del directorio de la Hip-Hop Summit Action Network. "Por lo tanto, estamos orgullosos además de dar la bienvenida a Wisin y Yandel a la Cumbre, del papel de liderazgo que desempeñarán en ayudarnos a comunicar nuestro mensaje a la comunidad latina".

"Estamos muy contentos de unirnos a Russell Simmons y a la Hip-Hop Summit Action Network en su misión de promover la importancia de la instrucción financiera en la Cumbre de Hip Hop en la Ciudad de Nueva York", indicaron las estrellas del Reggaetón, Wisin y Yandel. "Compartir este mensaje con la comunidad latina es un factor de especial importancia para nosotros puesto que consideramos que toda la gente joven debe saber que tomar las decisiones correctas sobre el dinero sólo les ayudará a disfrutar un futuro financiero mejor y más saludable".

"La Hip-Hop Summit Action Network acepta con orgullo las contribuciones de los latinos para la evolución del Hip Hop", comentó Jasmin Frangul, directora de asuntos hispanos para Rush Communications. "La gira 'Get Your Money Right' utiliza el poder de la educación que trasciende las barreras raciales para cultivar las mentes de nuestra gente joven y ayudarlos a tomar decisiones más acertadas para su futuro financiero". El cuaderno de ejercicios de "Get Your Money Right", que se entregará a los participantes, está disponible en ingles y español y se puede descargar en el sitio, http://www.hsan.org/.

"Celebramos el surgimiento del Reggaetón como la representación de los genios creativos de la juventud latina a través del mundo", afirmó el Dr. Benjamin Chavis, presidente y CEO de HSAN. "La ciudad de Nueva York es el principal centro de hip hop y Reggaetón y nuestra Cumbre sobre el empoderamiento financiero tendrá un impacto duradero en nuestras comunidades".

Source: Chrysler Financial

Atención al Cliente y Facturación de SPL Situado en el Cuadrante de los Líderes por el Cuadrante Mágico para Sistemas de Información de Clientes de Empresas de Servicio Público*

El recién lanzado Gartner Magic Quadrant for Utilities Customer Information Systems (Cuadrante Mágico de Gartner para Sistemas de Información de Clientes de Empresas de Servicio Público), 1H06 (por Zarko Sumic, 31 de marzo de 2006) ha situado al producto de Atención al Cliente y Facturación de SPL WorldGroup en el cuadrante de los Líderes.

La evaluación se basa en "la plenitud de la visión" y "la capacidad de ejecutar".

"Vemos esto como una confirmación de la sobresaliente calidad de nuestra tecnología y la profundidad de nuestro compromiso con los clientes", dijo el CEO de SPL, Larry Hagewood.

Tendencias del Mercado

El nuevo informe de Gartner observa que "la tendencia entre las compañías norteamericanas de reagrupar las operaciones de gestión de red de distribución y ventas al detalle, enfatiza los sistemas de información de clientes (CIS) que pueden actuar como habilitadores de optimización de proceso de negocios de funcionalidad cruzada (como la gestión de clientes y la gestión de activo/trabajo). Esta tendencia ha dado lugar a una mayor concentración en la tecnología de gestión de procesos de negocios y en la arquitectura de integración".

"Hemos estado discutiendo la tendencia hacia la optimización de negocios de funcionalidad cruzada con nuestros clientes desde hace algún tiempo", dijo Hagewood. "Tenemos el compromiso de garantizar que nuestros clientes puedan lograrla.

"La Atención al Cliente y Facturación de SPL está en el centro de nuestro conjunto enSUMIT de aplicaciones integradas para Gestión Estratégica de Empresa de Servicio Público", explicó Hagewood. "Es un ancla firme para la orquestación de proceso de negocios de organización cruzada que enSUMIT posibilita: la vinculación de clientes, activos, interrupción y distribución, y fuerzas de trabajo móviles a través de una serie insuperada de soluciones de software preintegradas e interoperables de misión crítica.

"enSUMIT no se limita a atender las necesidades norteamericanas", continuó Hagewood. "En mercados australianos desregulados, por ejemplo, los distribuidores buscan crear procesos comerciales entre los activos, el sistema de distribución y los equipos en el terreno. En consecuencia, necesitan la funcionalidad no sólo de Atención al Cliente y Facturación para Distribución, sino también de Gestión de Trabajo y Activos Empresariales de SPL, Gestión de Distribución e Interrupción de Servicio de SPL, y Gestión de Fuerza de Trabajo Móvil de SPL.

"Lo mismo ocurre en Europa", prosiguió Hagewood, "donde ya tenemos un cliente con dos aplicaciones de enSUMIT. Estamos hallando un gran interés en nuestro enfoque de aplicaciones múltiples preintegradas en el Oriente Medio y en África. Y, por supuesto, el enfoque de enSUMIT hacia los procesos de negocios a nivel de empresa tiene una resonancia en la industria del agua en todo el mundo".

El Cuadrante Mágico de Gartner para Sistemas de Información de Clientes de Empresas de Servicio Público, 1H06 constituye la primera vez que Gartner usa la estructura del Cuadrante Mágico para un informe de CIS en una empresa de servicio público. Según el informe, "los productos de software evaluados son todos comercializados como soluciones 'autónomas' de atención al cliente y facturación. Para que los consideren en este mercado, los distribuidores deben tener un alcance global y ser capaces de resolver las necesidades del mercado al detalle regulado y disputable".

* Advertencia sobre el Cuadrante Mágico

Gartner Inc. patentó el Magic Quadrant for Utilities Customer Information Systems (Cuadrante Mágico para Sistemas de Información de Clientes de Empresas de Servicios Públicos), 1H06, el 31 de marzo de 2006 y se puede volver a usar con su permiso. El Cuadrante Mágico es una representación gráfica de un mercado en y durante un período específico. Describe los análisis de Gartner sobre cómo ciertos distribuidores responden a los criterios de ese mercado, según lo define Gartner. Gartner no respalda a ningún distribuidor, producto o servicio descrito en el Cuadrante Mágico y no aconseja a los usuarios de la tecnología que seleccionen únicamente a los distribuidores situados en el cuadrante de los "Líderes". El Cuadrante Mágico es exclusivamente una herramienta de investigación, y no una guía específica de acción. Gartner rechaza cualquier garantía, explícita o implícita, con respecto a esta investigación, incluida cualquier garantía de capacidad de comercialización o idoneidad para un uso concreto.

Acerca de SPL

SPL ( http://www.splwg.com/ ) suministra las probadas aplicaciones de software que ayudan a las empresas de servicio público en todo el mundo a lograr una ventaja competitiva y la excelencia en el desempeño comercial, a la vez que garantiza el menor costo total de propiedad de tecnología. Las soluciones de SPL en atención al cliente y facturación, gestión de trabajo y activos empresariales, gestión de fuerza de trabajo móvil, y gestión de distribución e interrupción de servicio, están creadas específicamente para compañías de electricidad, agua y servicios. Trabajando con socios de tecnología e integración de sistemas en distintos países, SPL tiene un historial sin paralelo de implementaciones exitosas. SPL se concentra en el rendimiento de la inversión de los clientes y fomenta relaciones a largo plazo basadas en la confianza. Visite SPL en http://www.splwg.com/

(C) 2006 SPL WorldGroup, Inc. Todos los derechos reservados. SPL es una marca comercial usada por SPL WorldGroup B.V. o sus subsidiarias. SPL está registrada como marca comercial en los Estados Unidos y en otras jurisdicciones. Todas las demás marcas comerciales y nombres de marcas, productos y compañías en el presente se usan solamente con fines de identificación y son la propiedad de sus dueños respectivos.

Source: SPL WorldGroup

Cendant elije a Jeff Clarke como nuevo consejero delegado y director general

- Cendant selecciona al destacado ejecutivo industrial tecnológico Jeff Clarke para ocupar el cargo de consejero delegado y director general de su División de Servicios de Distribución de Viajes

- El nuevo nombre de la División de Servicios de Distribución para Viajes de la compañía será Travelport

Cendant Corporation ha anunciado hoy que el destacado ejecutivo tecnológico Jeff Clarke ha sido nombrado consejero delegado y director general de su División de Servicios de Distribución de Viajes (TDS), cargo que ocupará a partir del 1 de mayo de 2006.

Clarke pasa a TDS procedente de CA, anteriormente Computer Associates Inc., donde trabajó como responsable de operaciones de software de la compañía desde 2004. La elección de Clarke como consejero delegado y director general sirve también para fortalecer al equipo de liderazgo de TDS, y completa así la directiva de la división. Gordon Bethune pasó a ser el nuevo presidente de la división desde el mes pasado.

"Jeff Clarke ha sido una estrella emergente en el sector tecnológico durante muchos años, y estoy muy contento de que haya acordado aceptar su posición como consejero delegado y director general", afirmó el presidente y consejero delegado de Cendant, Henry R. Silverman. "Las destacadas capacidades de gestión y de operaciones de Jeff han desempeñado un papel integral en la revitalización del éxito de CA. Como responsable de operaciones globales de Hewlett-Packard tras su fusión con Compaq Computer Corporation, ayudó a facilitar una de las integraciones más grandes y de mayor éxito dentro del sector tecnológico. La experiencia única de Jeff le han convertido en un reputado ejecutivo, destacando su preparación para continuar con el fortalecimiento de TDS como uno de los principales negocios de servicios de distribución de viajes en todo el mundo".

"Tal y como indicamos en diciembre de 2005, hemos pasado de la fase de adquisición a la fase de ejecución dentro del desarrollo de TDS, por lo que Jeff se ha convertido en la elección ideal que ha liderado este avance. Sus experiencias en CA y HP serán extremadamente valiosas para conseguir una mejora de los ingresos y de los beneficios brutos de nuestra cartera de negocios y marcas global. Junto al amplio respaldo de Gordon Bethune en el sector de los viajes, ya hemos logrado completar a nuestro equipo administrativo de nivel mundial".

Clarke comenzó su carrera trabajando para Digital Equipment Corporation en 1985, donde llegó a desempeñar varias posiciones financieras, operacionales e internacionales antes de entrar a formar parte de Compaq en 1998. Se convirtió en el responsable financiero de Compaq y en el vicepresidente financiero y administrativo antes de que pasara a liderar la integración con HP. Clarke pasó a trabajar para CA en 2004, y su cargo fue el de responsable de operaciones, donde se encargó de las ventas, servicios, estrategia empresarial, desarrollo empresarial, finanzas y tecnología de la información para la compañía, con un valor de 3.500 millones de dólares.

"Estoy muy ilusionado de disponer de una oportunidad como esta para dirigir la compañía gracias a un equipo administrativo tan importante y a una destacada cartera de activos", comentó Clarke. "TDS, gracias a marcas tan importantes como Orbitz, Galileo y GTA (Gullivers Travel Associates), se encuentra en una posición de privilegio para experimentar un crecimiento destacado en los próximos meses y años, y estoy muy contento de poder formar parte de este éxito".

Bethune pasó a formar parte de TDS en marzo, tras una carrera dentro de la industria de las líneas aéreas, incluyendo su cargo como consejero delegado de Continental Airlines, donde consiguió dar la vuelta a través de una destacada carrera. Entre 1979 y 1988, Bethune desempeñó cargos ejecutivos en otras destacadas líneas aéreas, incluyendo Braniff, Western y Piedmont, además de trabajar como vicepresidente y responsable general de Boeing Corporation.

TDS pasará a llamarse Travelport, Inc.

La compañía también ha anunciado que TDS, compuesta por importantes marcas industriales de la industria de los viajes, como Orbitz, Galileo y GTA (Gullivers Travel Associates), ha sido renombrada como Travelport, Inc.

"Poder disponer del nombre de Travelport nos ofrece la oportunidad de crear una importante y unificadora marca para los diferentes negocios de viajes empresariales que componen nuestra compañía. También nos permite disponer de la oportunidad de mejorar el valor ya existente de la marca dentro del nombre Travelport, identificando a nuestra compañía como destino de las reservas de viajes", comentó Bethune. "Travelport seguirá centrándose en la transformación de la experiencia de los viajes, mejorando los sistemas operativos y empleando una aproximación más centrada en los clientes".

La división seguirá llamándose TDS hasta que se anuncien el logo y la identidad completa de la marca, que se espera se anuncien a principios de verano.

Travelport tendrá su sede en Nueva Jersey, y es una de las principales compañías de distribución de viajes más diversa geográficamente y con una mayor integración vertical en todo el mundo, y cuenta con más de 8.000 empleados que trabajan en más de 130 países.

Acerca de Cendant Corporation

Cendant Corporation es el principal proveedor de servicios para viajes y servicios residenciales inmobiliarios. Con cerca de 85.000 empleados, Cendant, con sede en Nueva York, proporciona estos servicios a los negocios y consumidores de más de 100 países. Si desea más información acerca de Cendant, sus compañías, marcas y documentos actuales de la SEC, visite la página web de la compañía en http://www.cendant.com.

Acerca de TDS

La División de Servicios de Distribución de Viajes de Cendant Corporation es una de las colecciones más diversas geográficamente y de mayor tamaño de marcas de viajes y negocios de distribución de todo el mundo. La división, que dispone de cerca de 8.000 personas y que realiza sus operaciones en casi 130 países, incluye: GDS (sistema de distribución global) Galileo, que presta servicio a más de 50.000 agencias de viajes y cerca de 60.000 hoteles; GTA (Gullivers Travel Associates), un destacado proveedor online mundial al por mayor de hoteles, servicios de destino, paquetes de viajes y tours para grupos; y las principales agencias de viajes online, como Orbitz(R).

Declaraciones sujetas a riesgos e incertidumbres

Algunas de las declaraciones de este comunicado son "declaraciones sujetas a riesgos e incertidumbres", incluidas en el Private Securities Litigation Reform Act de 1995. Estas declaraciones sujetas a riesgos e incertidumbres implican riesgos conocidos y desconocidos, incertidumbres y otros factores que podrían hacer variar los resultados reales, prestaciones o logros de la compañía, que serían materialmente diferentes de los resultados futuros, prestaciones o logros expresados o implicados en las declaraciones sujetas a riesgos e incertidumbres. Las declaraciones precedidas por, seguidas de o indicadas de otra forma incluyen las palabras "cree", "espera", "anticipa", "ha previsto", "está proyectado", "se estima", "planea", "podría aumentar", "podría fluctuar" y expresiones similares o verbos futuros o condicionales como "podrá", "deberá", "podría", "es posible" y "pudiera" son normalmente declaraciones sujetas a riesgos e incertidumbres y no hechos históricos. Cualquiera de las declaraciones que haga referencia a las expectativas u otras caracterizaciones de eventos futuros, circunstancias o resultados son declaraciones sujetas a riesgos e incertidumbres. La compañía no puede proporcionar ninguna garantía de la separación o de cualquiera de las transacciones propuestas relacionadas en este comunicado (incluyendo una venta posible de Travelport) cuando finalice, ni tampoco puede asegurar los términos en los que las transacciones se consumarán. Estas transacciones están sujetas a algunas condiciones pendientes, incluyendo la aprobación final del Consejo Directivo de Cendant.

Son varios los riesgos que podrían causar que los resultados futuros fueran diferentes de los expresados en las declaraciones sujetas a riesgos e incertidumbres, que no sólo se limitan a: riesgos inherentes a la separación contemplada y transacciones relacionadas (incluyendo la venta posible de Travelport), incluyendo los riesgos relacionados con los préstamos y costes relacionados con las transacciones propuestas; aumento de la demanda de algunos de los equipos administrativos de Cendant como resultado de las transacciones propuestas; cambios en los negocios, condiciones económicas y políticas de los EE. UU. y de otros países en los que Cendant y sus compañías tienen negocios; de las acciones de los organismos reguladores; cambios en los resultados operativos; y acceso a los mercados de capital y cambios en los tipos de crédito, incluyendo los que se podrían producir como consecuencia de las transacciones propuestas. Otros factores desconocidos o no predecibles que también podrían afectar de forma adversa a los resultados y logros de Cendant y de sus compañías. Teniendo en cuenta estos riesgos, incertidumbres, presunciones y factores, los eventos de las declaraciones sujetas a riesgos e incertidumbres mencionados en este comunicado podrían no ocurrir. Deberá tener cuidado al considerar estas declaraciones sujetas a riesgos e incertidumbres, que sólo hablan hasta la fecha mencionada, y en el caso de no mencionar ninguna fecha, hasta la fecha de emisión de este comunicado. Las presunciones más importantes y los factores más destacados que podrían hacer que los resultados reales fueran diferentes de los expresados en las declaraciones sujetas a riesgos e incertidumbres se especifican en el documento 10-K de Cendant para el año finalizado el 31 de diciembre de 2005, incluyendo los textos denominados "Declaraciones sujetas a riesgos e incertidumbres", "Factores de riesgo" y "Discusión Administrativa y Análisis de la Condición Financiera y Resultados de las Operaciones". Excepto por las obligaciones contractuales de la compañía para desvelar el material informativo de la legislatura de los valores federales, la compañía no tiene ninguna obligación de publicar ninguna revisión de las declaraciones sujetas a riesgos e incertidumbres, eventos presentados o que se presentarán tras conseguir que los eventos no previstos a no ser que se soliciten a través de la ley.

Página web: http://www.cendant.com

Source: Cendant Corporation


La Empresa Completa Mejoras de Red en Destinos Vacacionales Populares

Justo a tiempo para la temporada vacacional de la primavera, Verizon Wireless, propietaria de la red móvil más fiable del país, ha ampliado y mejorado su red a fin de prepararla para los visitantes y residentes de varios destinos importantes del Sunshine State, incluso los parques de atracciones de Orlando, la Space Coast, el histórico Saint Augustine y los Cayos de la Florida. Las ampliaciones de la red de la Florida fueron concebidas para permitir que los negocios locales tanto como los residentes y visitantes usen simultáneamente sus móviles para hacer llamadas, enviar y recibir TXT Messages y Picture Messages, y descargar juegos y tonos de llamada mientras disfrutan de una recepción más clara y de menos caídas de llamada.

En los últimos meses, Verizon Wireless ha ampliado la cobertura y ha añadido nuevos puntos fijos de interconexión celular en destinos vacacionales populares, entre ellos:

* Orlando, FL -- La empresa construyó un centro de conmutación

valorado en $40 millones en Orlando para mejorar los servicios

telefónicos móviles y ampliar la capacidad de red en beneficio

de los abonados de Florida Central

* Saint Augustine, FL -- La empresa construyó un nuevo y avanzado

punto fijo de interconexión celular digital en el corazón del

distrito histórico de la ciudad

* Boca Raton, FL -- La empresa construyó un nuevo y avanzado punto

fijo de interconexión celular digital cerca de Lynn University

para mejorar la cobertura móvil dentro de los edificios del campus

universitario, así como en el Towne Center y alrededores de

Boca Ratón y a lo largo de Interstate 95

* Cocoa Beach, FL -- La empresa construyó un nuevo y avanzado punto

fijo de interconexión celular digital en la popular "Space Coast"

para ampliar la cobertura móvil de Patrick Air Force Base y proveer

una cobertura continua a lo largo de Pineda Causeway entre

Cocoa Beach y Satellite Beach

* Tarpon Springs, FL -- La empresa construyó un nuevo y avanzado punto

fijo de interconexión celular digital cerca de Alternate U.S. 19,

incluso en los históricos "sponge docks" de la ciudad

* Marathon, FL -- La empresa construyó un nuevo y avanzado punto fijo

de interconexión celular digital para proveer una cobertura fiable

a los visitantes de los Cayos de la Florida

* Clearwater, FL -- La empresa construyó un nuevo y avanzado punto

fijo de interconexión celular digital al oeste de U.S. 19 y de

las carreteras Belleair y Belcher

Estas nuevas instalaciones forman parte de la continua y audaz inversión realizada por Verizon Wireless en su red. La inversión realizada en los últimos seis años totaliza ahora más de $30 mil millones en todo el país para mantener a la empresa en la delantera de la creciente demanda de servicios móviles en todo el país.

Las mejoras realizadas en la cobertura de red son el resultado directo de varios estudios hechos sobre la red, los cuales fueron específicamente concebidos para mejorar el rendimiento de la red de Verizon Wireless. La afirmación de "red más fiable" está basada en estudios de red llevados a cabo por auténticos técnicos de prueba en todo el país. Estos ingenieros realizan más de 300,000 intentos de llamada mensuales en la red de Verizon Wireless y en las redes de otras portadoras nacionales mientras viajan más de 100,000 millas al mes en vehículos de la empresa especialmente equipados para realizar pruebas de calidad.

Las mejoras de red de Verizon Wireless fueron críticas para asegurar la rápida respuesta de la empresa a los desastres naturales durante la temporada de huracanes del 2005. Cerca del 80 por ciento de los centros de Verizon Wireless tienen su propio generador auxiliar, además de alimentación por batería, para mantener la red en operación incluso cuando la fuente de alimentación sufre alguna interrupción. Por ello, la red de Verizon Wireless pudo permanecer en el aire en la Florida mientras las líneas alámbricas terrestres y otras proveedoras móviles fallaron.

Para más información sobre Verizon Wireless, visite http://www.verizonwireless.com/ .

Acerca de Verizon Wireless

Verizon Wireless es propietario y opera la red inalámbrica más confiable del país, atendiendo a 51.3 millones de clientes de voz y datos. Verizon Wireless tiene su sede en Bedminster, NJ, y es una empresa conjunta de Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) y Vodafone Para encontrar más información, visite el sitio Web http://www.verizonwireless.com/ .

Teamsters Advocate Improvements in Homeland Security

DHS Guidance a Good Beginning for First Responders but More is Needed

On April 13 the Teamsters Union filed a series of recommendations with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on ways in which emergency responders can be better prepared to effectively manage radiological and nuclear terror incidents.

The union's recommendations to the DHS include ensuring equitable safety and health protections for all public employees, broadening advanced training, providing sufficient funds for States and municipalities to implement the guidelines, and establishing firm requirements on the proper maintenance and accessibility of medical records for workers who respond to such incidents.

"The Teamsters represent thousands of emergency responders and law enforcement officers employed by state, county and municipal governments, as well as who would be required to respond to the serious public safety and occupational threats envisioned by the guidance document. In addition, we represent health care workers including nurses, medical technicians, medical transport drivers, allied health professionals and support services staff that would be on the frontline to care for victims of a radiological or nuclear incident," said Jim Hoffa, General President of the Teamsters Union. "We have submitted comments that will help protect not only our members, but the general public as a whole."

Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents more than 1.4 million hardworking women and men, including 200,000 public service employees at all levels of government.

Source: International Brotherhood of Teamsters

Web site: http://www.teamster.org/

The following is a transcript of remarks by President Bush after roundtable on taxes and the economy:

Europa Stone Distributors, Inc.

Sterling, Virginia

11:12 A.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: I want to thank Carlos and Owen and Adam for inviting us to their business. I also want to thank the other folks that we had a discussion with for coming over. We've got folks that have benefited from the tax relief, both as a small business owner and/or an employee -- except for Mike; he's a firefighter. And it's been a good discussion.

Here's what I come away with. One, the tax relief helped small businesses a lot. And since small businesses create two-thirds of the new jobs of America, it is no wonder that our job base is expanding. When you help the small business owner with tax relief, you're helping to create employment. And that's what we're seeing across the country. We've added 5.1 million new jobs in the last two-and-a-half years. A lot of it has to do with the fact that our small business owners are confident, and they're investing and they're expanding the job base.

I talked to Shannon Bennett. She's a single mom with one young son who saved about $1,200 or $1,300 on her taxes this past year. And it's important for her family that she has got some additional money. Owen -- I mean, Mike has got three children. He's a firefighter. The tax relief helped. In other words, tax relief helped the small business owner; it's helped our families.

And what's interesting is the tax relief is set to expire. Actually, there's some Democrats in Congress who would like to raise taxes now. And if that happens, it will be a tax increase no one expects, no one wants. It will be like getting hit by one of these granite rocks.

And so I strongly urge the United States Congress to understand the positive effects of the tax relief and to keep the taxes low -- keep the taxes low on the working people, keep the taxes low on these small business owners, so that we continue -- so that we can continue to be an economy that leads the world.

And I want to thank you for your time, letting us come by. It's Tax Day. And it's a day to recommit ourselves to low taxes. It's a day that understands that when these people filing out their forms and writing checks to the government that it's the people's money that's coming to Washington, D.C. And we intend to let the people keep more of their own money, for the sake of the economy and for the sake of our families.

So thanks for letting us come by. Appreciate your hard work. I love the fact that you're living the American Dream.

END 11:15 A.M. EDT

Source: White House Press Office

Web site: http://www.whitehouse.gov/

With Airline Tickets From $49 One-Way, Southwest Airlines Makes Air Travel Easy and Affordable

Southwest Airlines (is offering Customers low airfare on flights from coast to coast. With airline tickets as low as $49 one-way with a 21-day advance purchase available only at southwest.com, Southwest Airlines is making air travel easy and affordable. Airfare starts at $49 one-way and varies by destination and day of travel. To book airline tickets, go to: http://www.southwest.com/jp/luvhome.shtml?src=PR_SysSale_041806 "Southwest Airlines counts its pennies so our Customers don't have to -- low costs mean low airfare and savings for our Customers," said Kevin Krone, Southwest Airline's Vice President of Marketing, Sales, and Distribution. "In addition to low airfare, it is the power of our People who deliver excellent Customer Service everyday that make us one of the most admired airlines in the world." The following are examples of the low airfare offers (see Airfare Rules): * $49 one-way flights are available between Baltimore/Washington and Columbus; between Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood and Orlando; and between Los Angeles and Tucson. * $99 one-way flights are available between Indianapolis and Omaha; between Boise and Las Vegas; and between Austin and Jackson. * $119 one-way flights are available between San Diego and Salt Lake City; between Oakland and Phoenix; and between Chicago Midway and Little Rock. Midwest Airfare Sale Arrive at your Midwest destination with money in your pocket with Southwest Airlines' low airfare of $49 (see Airfare Rules) one-way.

These southwest.com-only airline fares are available seven days a week with a 21-day advance purchase. Examples of the super low $49 one-way airline tickets are between Nashville and Chicago Midway; between St. Louis and Omaha; between Kansas City and Oklahoma City; between Little Rock and St. Louis; and between Detroit and Chicago Midway. California Airfare Sale It's time to go, see, and do as Southwest Airlines offers low $59 fares (see Airfare Rules) one-way between select California cities. These southwest.com-only airline fares are available seven days a week with a 21-day advance purchase. Examples of the super low $59 one-way airline tickets are between Burbank and Sacramento; between Burbank and Oakland; between Los Angeles and San Jose; between Ontario and Sacramento; and between San Diego and Oakland. Northwest Airfare Sale Travel the Northwest with Southwest Airlines' airfare ranging from $49 to $99 (see Airfare Rules) one-way. Airline tickets are available seven days a week. These southwest.com-only airline fares are available with a 21-day advance purchase and airline tickets vary by destination.

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Fares are available seven days a week and are available only on southwest.com.

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Airfare Rules All fares (except fares for interstate Florida air travel noted above) are available for purchase today through May 11, 2006, and are valid for air travel from May 9, 2006, through the end of Southwest Airlines' published schedule (currently Aug. 3, 2006). For interstate Florida air travel, the fares are available for purchase today through May 11, 2006, and are valid for air travel from May 9, 2006, through June 15, 2006. All airline tickets must be purchased 21 days before departure. Fares are available one-way and are combinable with all other fares. When combining fares, all ticketing restrictions apply. Seats are limited. Fares may vary by destination and day of travel and will not be available on some flights that operate during very busy travel times and holiday periods. Fares do not include a federal segment tax of $3.30 per takeoff and landing. Fares do not include airport-assessed passenger facility charges (PFC) of up to $9 one-way and U.S. government- imposed September 11th Security Fees of up to $5 one-way. Fares are subject to change until ticketed. Airline tickets are nonrefundable but may be applied toward the purchase of future air travel on Southwest Airlines. Fares are valid on Southwest-operated published, scheduled service only and are not available through the Group Desk. Any change in itinerary may result in an increase in fare. Fares are not necessarily common rated in the Bay Area or the Los Angeles Basin. Orange County's John Wayne Airport is not included in this sale. To take advantage of Southwest Airlines' super low fares, Customers who book their air travel via the Internet can subscribe to Southwest Airlines' Click 'n Save e-mail updates as well as Southwest Airlines' newest technological innovation -- DING! DING! delivers Southwest Airlines' hottest deals directly to Customers' desktops allowing Customers to get a jump on the latest southwest.com sales! For more information, visit http://www.southwest.com/ding .

Wendy's Chairman-CEO Announces Retirement

CFO Named Interim CEO; Moves Follow 18-Month Sales Decline

Following an unscheduled board teleconference 10 days ahead of its annual shareholder meeting, the chairman-CEO of Wendy's International late yesterday announced his retirement after 30 years with the burger chain.

Wendy's corporate suite changes follow 18 months of sales declines and franchisee unrest.

"I am proud to have been part of Wendy's for three decades... I believe it is the appropriate time to pass the leadership of the brand to the next generation of leaders," said John "Jack" Schuessler, 55, in a statement.

The marketer's board elected Executive VP-Chief Financial Officer Kerrii B. Anderson to serve as interim president-CEO, and 24-year board member James V. Pickett as chairman, starting immediately. Mr. Pickett, chairman of the Pickett Realty Advisors in Dublin, Ohio, is lead director for the board and chair of the nominating and corporate governance committee. Mr. Schuessler will consult with the company for two years.

The moves are the latest tremors in a seismic 18 months of sales declines, a management and organizational shakeup, shareholder activism that led to a board expansion, and two weeks ago, a franchisee secession. Franchisees later this month will hold a meeting of the Old Fashioned Franchisee Association, an independent association representing 13% of the chain's stores.

A company spokesman denied that Mr. Schuessler's retirement was driven by activist shareholder and now board member Nelson Peltz or from the franchisee unrest. "It was his decision," said a Wendy's spokesman, while confirming that the board meeting wasn't a regularly scheduled one. "With the company focusing on new strategies and opportunities Jack and the board decided that it was time for new leadership."

The company also announced further changes to breathe life back into the once high-flying company. Wendy's board set two small working committees to drive further changes "to make Wendy's even more vibrant and attractive for customers and franchisees, as well as optimizing shareholder value," said Mr. Pickett, in the statement. The Dublin, Ohio-based company said it also will work to enhance its emphasis on operational excellence and the needs of Wendy's outstanding franchisees.

For the coming months, the marketer set three priorities: to strengthen the core Wendy's business with improved operations, new products and more effective marketing; execute "strategic" initiatives to spin off the remainder of the Tim Horton's doughnut chain and pursue options for the Baja Fresh chain; and cut costs based on recommendations from consultant Booz Allen Hamilton. Wendy's already offered 17.25% of Tim Hortons in a public offering and has hired Goldman Sachs to consider options for Baja Fresh.

Many of the marketer's recent efforts coincided with the early March announcement that three executives linked to activist investor Nelson Peltz's Trian Fund Management want to "unlock" value from the company's assets. The fund owns 7.7% of company shares. Wendy's added to the board Trian executives Peter H. Rothschild and Stuart I. Oran; and Jerry W. Levin, a former Pillsbury executive and former chairman-CEO of Sunbeam and Revlon.

Wendy's will announce more specific information at its annual shareholder meeting April 27. Meanwhile, the company plans to hire an executive-search firm to vet internal and external candidates for the permanent CEO post, of which Ms. Andersen, 48, is an internal candidate, a spokesman said. "Kerrii has demonstrated excellent strategic management in many key areas of the corporation over the past six years," said Mr. Pickett, in a statement. "She has a passion for the Wendy's business, is committed to strong relationships with our franchisees and has the respect and support of Wendy's management team. Our entire board supports Kerrii in her new role and we look forward to working with her in the coming months." The marketer also named Brendan P. Foley, 46, as senior VP-controller and assistant secretary, succeeding Dan Boone, 62, VP-technical compliance and consolidations, as he transitions into retirement.

Dyson Wins One Over Hoover in Vacuum Wars

NAD Tells Maytag Brand to Tone Down Ad Claims

In the battle between Dyson and Maytag Corp's Hoover over whose vacuum sucks better, Dyson has won a round. But it was far from a clean sweep.

Dyson was the victor in this round of its battle with Maytag. The NAD told Maytag to stop claiming that its Fusion cleaner suffers 'no loss of suction' ever and that its WindTunnel completely traps all allergens.

The National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus today announced that it has told Maytag to tone down claims that its WindTunnel and Fusion Upright vacuums outsuck Dyson's competing household vacuum. Maytag said it has agreed with the ruling.

But the NAD ruling was more of a middle-ground approach. In effect, Hoover can still contend its vacuums have superior sucking power -- but only if the company is clearly talking about performance on carpets. Hoover was also told to quit claiming that its Fusion cleaner suffers "no loss of suction" ever and that its WindTunnel completely traps allergens.

Dyson, meanwhile, can argue its vacuum is the best overall choice.

But the battles are far from over. Dyson's entry and rise to prominence in the $2.2 billion vacuum sector seems to have brought out the fighting spirit among all competitors. And they haven't been willing to simply fight it out in the market place. Dyson has filed a patent infringement suit against Maytag in a federal court in Delaware. And down in Louisiana, Oreck has filed suit to challenge Dyson's "no loss of suction" ad claims.

At the heart of the case considered by NAD were a number of complaints Dyson made about Maytag's Hoover. The U.K. company asked NAD to stop Maytag from claiming its WindTunnel and Fusion Upright vacuums outsuck Dyson's competing household vacuums. Dyson also requested that Hoover stop using a cyclone logo and that Hoover stop disparaging Dyson products. As part of its case, Dyson cited proprietary research contending that 46% of consumers who viewed Hoover's ads took away the message that Dyson products are ineffective and that Dyson patrols selected them for style rather than performance. Finally it asked that Hoover quit implying that Dyson vacuums lose suction. There were several other claims.

Among the challenged ads was work from Element 79, Chicago, picturing supposed Dyson owners, with a Hoover owner and a narrator saying their vacuums pick up 56% more dirt than Dyson vacuums.

One ad pictures the Dyson owners as status seekers.

"My vacuum is purple. They say it doesn't lose suction," says one supposed Dyson owner. "My vacuum makes me look good," says another. "My vacuum was in a fashion magazine."

Another ad features this statement: "Dyson thinks things should work properly. We couldn't agree more. That's why our self propelled WindTunnel picks up 56% more dirt than Dyson."

Another said simply: "Picks up more dirt than any other brand."

In an unusually technical and long 37-page NAD case report, Dyson disputed that its vacuum loses suction and contended that Maytag's superiority claims hinged on judging one task of a vacuum -- carpet cleaning -- but not a vacuum's overall use on floors, carpets and other surfaces. Dyson also argued its vacuums are more adaptable and perform much better over time.

Maytag argued it was using the right tests and Dyson the wrong ones and urged NAD to stay out while a patent case is pending. It defended its ads, saying the company's research and a study from Consumers Union support the conclusion. It also challenged Dyson's contention that Hoover vacuums are more likely to wear out.

In a statement given to NAD, Maytag said it was pleased that NAD found in its favor on most elements of the challenge.

"Its a simple victory for technology and truth," said Dyson founder James Dyson in a statement. "I have spent millions developing better machines. Research is our lifeblood and it is imperative that we defend our inventions. Of course we would rather be developing new technology than being in the courtroom, but it's vital people know the truth."

As Net Passes Print Ad Revenue, Publishers Get Web Wise

It's a moment that has been anticipated for a decade, but that makes it no less seminal. This is the year, according to Merrill Lynch, the Internet collects more ad dollars than magazines.

Magazine publishers aren't worried about the Web collecting more ad revenue than their medium.

Assuming the forecast is correct, magazines will become the first big medium to watch the Web pass by -- unless you count phone books, which are also projected to fall behind in 2006. Yet magazine publishers insist that's not bad news, but rather an opportunity for those among their ranks that have already started the shift to being digital savvy, media-neutral purveyors of content.

"The people who report on media like to think it's really significant," said Nina Link, president-CEO, Magazine Publishers of America, of the tipping point. "I don't. It just says there are more opportunities to reach consumers and make powerful partnerships. The powerful brands and media are going to thrive."

Christopher O'Connor, senior VP-group account director, MPG, said the digital dawn is frightening, in a way, for everybody because it is so complex, and keeping up with technology is so difficult. It's worrisome for ad-page sales in particular, he said: "Irrespective of what category you're looking at, all clients are looking to digital." As money shifts online, publishers have to be there to collect it.

And they are. The Merrill Lynch prediction coincides with an interactive push by magazine companies unrivaled by anything before it, setting up 2006 to be a watershed year in more ways than one.

"The tectonic plates are moving beneath us," said Rob Gregory, group publisher at Dennis Publishing's Maxim. Results may include further declines in newsstand sales, as impulse readers increasingly make the Web their first stop, but smart publishers will see gains in other areas, he said. "There's a term in the Marines called a force multiplier," Mr. Gregory said. "If you're putting print together with digital the right way, that's the result."

For Maxim, which already operates a sprawling digital platform, multiplying print's force meant making its May issue the inaugural "Maxim Mobile" edition. An editor's letter in the issue, which goes on sale April 25, urges readers to consume the issue with cellphones in hand and to enter contests and submit content whenever they see a "Maxim Mobile" icon.

Another magazine that relies on young men, IDG Entertainment's GamePro, now includes roundups of other outlets' game reviews, something akin to a Web site linking to others' online offerings. "Five years ago we would never have dreamt of including content from other publishers in the magazine," said Dan Orum, publisher-CEO, IDG. "Now we embrace that."

Merrill Lynch analyst Karl Choi said publishers also have to try to bring the strengths that they promote about print-engagement and connections with readers-into digital arenas. "To the extent that user-generated content and social networks are very popular these days, the opportunity for magazine publishers is seeing how they can migrate these relationships online."

In truth, almost everyone is active on almost every digital front. Bauer Publishing's In Touch Weekly has one of the most modest companion sites among magazines, putting it at a disadvantage to Web-friendly rivals Star from American Media Inc. and Us Weekly from Wenner Media. But that reflects Bauer's European business model, under which it collects nearly all its revenue from newsstand sales. Even Bauer has built substantial sites for other magazines, such as teen titles Twist and J-14.

Big publishers are rolling out new Web sites or digital supplements for many titles. Meredith Corp., for example, will introduce a handheld media platform for American Baby in the next few weeks, while Wenner plans a new resource-driven site for Men's Journal this fall. Time Inc. plans to expand its mobile programs, podcasts and blogs to many new titles in coming months.

Rodale, publisher of magazines including Men's Health and Runner's World, already draws online revenue from ads and premium content. CondeNet, the interactive division of Conde Nast Publications, is developing new destination sites like its Style.com. And Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S., which has embraced the Web in a big way, plans a new audio-visual suite on its office's 45th floor.

John P. Loughlin, exec VP-general manager, Hearst Magazines, said he shared Ms. Link's skepticism about the Merrill Lynch forecast and its implications. "The actual tip-over point, and again I would debate whether it's really real or not, is sort of immaterial," he said. "It's not as if publishers have been turnips, unaware that the world has embraced the Web."

That point isn't lost on others. "Maybe by the year 2030 we'll deliver content by holograms that follow you as you walk down the street," said Maxim's Mr. Gregory. "If that's the case, we'll have the best damn holograms in young-guy culture."

Coca-Cola North America and Godiva

Chocolatier announce the launch of a new line of premium blended indulgent

beverages called Godiva Belgian Blends.

The new Godiva Belgian Blends beverages provide a revitalizing

experience "more decadent than just plain coffee."

Godiva Belgian Blends will roll out with three flavors - Dark Chocolate

Mocha, Milk Chocolate Mocha and French Vanilla Latte -- in a sequenced

national launch beginning July 31. Godiva Belgian Blends will be sold in

stylish 9.5 fl. oz. glass bottles - in singles and four packs -- at

convenience stores, supermarkets and other retailers. Advertising agency

will be Leo Burnett, Chicago.

"This is a great opportunity for us to extend our strong portfolio of

licensed products by combining the world's leading premium chocolate brand

with the beverage marketing expertise and distribution capabilities of

Coca- Cola North America, "said Jim Goldman, President, Godiva Chocolatier


"Collaborating with Godiva on a beverage line like this is a great

opportunity for Coca-Cola North America, and builds upon the reputation of

both companies for high quality, consumer-preferred products," said Don

Knauss, president and chief operating officer, Coca-Cola North America.

Godiva Chocolatier is a unit of the Campbell Soup Company. With

production facilities in Belgium and the U.S., Godiva Chocolatier is

recognized around the world as the leader in fine chocolates. From its

famous truffles and shell-molded chocolate pieces to its European-style

biscuits, gourmet coffees, and hot cocoa, Godiva Chocolatier has been

dedicated to excellence and innovation in the Belgian tradition for 80

years. Current licensed categories under the Godiva brand include ice

cream, liqueur and cheesecake. For more information about Godiva

Chocolatier, please visit http://www.godiva.com .

Coca-Cola North America is a unit of The Coca-Cola Company, the world's

largest beverage company. Along with Coca-Cola(R), recognized as the

world's most valuable brand, the Company markets four of the world's top

five soft drink brands, including Diet Coke(R), Fanta(R) and Sprite(R), and

a wide range of other beverages, including diet and light soft drinks,

waters, juices and juice drinks, teas, coffees and sports and energy

drinks. Through the world's largest distribution system, consumers in more

than 200 countries enjoy the Company's beverages at a rate exceeding 1.3

billion servings each day. .

SOURCE Coca-Cola North America
Web Site: http://www.newproducts.coca-cola.com
http://www.coca-cola.com http://www.godiva.com

at McAfee Coliseum (7-7) (7-7) - Justin Duchscherer (1-0) - Justin Verlander (1-2) - Huston Street None N. Swisher 2 (6) at Dodger Stadium (8-5) (7-8) - Takashi Saito (1-0) - Will Ohman (1-1) . Notes AHF Tim Thorsteinson Named President of Harris Corporation's Broadcast Communications
at McAfee Coliseum (7-7) (7-7) - Justin Duchscherer (1-0) - Justin Verlander (1-2) - Huston Street None N. Swisher 2 (6) at Dodger Stadium (8-5) (7-8) - Takashi Saito (1-0) - Will Ohman (1-1) . Notes AHF Tim Thorsteinson Named President of Harris Corporation's Broadcast Communications
at McAfee Coliseum (7-7) (7-7) - Justin Duchscherer (1-0) - Justin Verlander (1-2) - Huston Street None N. Swisher 2 (6) at Dodger Stadium (8-5) (7-8) - Takashi Saito (1-0) - Will Ohman (1-1) . Notes AHF Tim Thorsteinson Named President of Harris Corporation's Broadcast Communications
at McAfee Coliseum (7-7) (7-7) - Justin Duchscherer (1-0) - Justin Verlander (1-2) - Huston Street None N. Swisher 2 (6) at Dodger Stadium (8-5) (7-8) - Takashi Saito (1-0) - Will Ohman (1-1) . Notes AHF Tim Thorsteinson Named President of Harris Corporation's Broadcast Communications
at McAfee Coliseum (7-7) (7-7) - Justin Duchscherer (1-0) - Justin Verlander (1-2) - Huston Street None N. Swisher 2 (6) at Dodger Stadium (8-5) (7-8) - Takashi Saito (1-0) - Will Ohman (1-1) . Notes AHF Tim Thorsteinson Named President of Harris Corporation's Broadcast Communications

April 18, 2006

Pirates of the Caribbean Dead Man's Chest Photo Teaser

To understand the internet you have to be open to change. logo




Written by Joyce L Chow & William Hoehne April 18, 2006


www.montebubbles.com for more MBN news






SUNDAYS ARE NOW PICTURE DAY starting next sunday: Pictures that we have taken and not published during before will be placed here on Sunday of each week for your viewing pleasure


International news from Asia and Latin news in English and Spanish here now


More exciting changes coming each day.

Watch for the MBN Politically incorrect SUV


MONTEBUBBLISM: Today the more you work the less you seem to have to show for it.



Let's end the "Idol" speculation: It'll take $1.3 million to buy a spot on the hottest TV-show finale this season.

The Future of Mobile? Sign Up to View Ads, Receive Free Services

'Scary Movie 4' Sets Box Office Record

Expedia and Hyatt Extend Long-Term Partnership

USA Network To Carry Pro Video Game Tournament

"Commander in Chief" is sinking.

HS3 Technologies Successfully Debuts Latest Technology in Mobile DVR with Cellular Connectivity at ISC West Show


Disney 'Castmember' Buys Woman's 15 Minutes of Fame on eBay ORLANDO

Silicon Imaging Announces World's First Digital Cinema Camera with Direct-to-Disk 10-bit CineForm

Radio Ethiopia Purchases Jampro Towers and Antennas to Introduce FM Service to National Radio System

Fox into VOD

Online Local Advertising Enhances Conversions with Positive ROI

The Stars of Disney/Pixar's 'CARS' Hit the Road for 'CARS Road Trip '06' Presented by State Farm(R)

Paramount Pictures' 'Barnyard' to Be Released in Theaters July 28

Disc Makers Launches Referral Reward Program for Video, Film and Post-Production Professionals


Danny Glover Joins the Jazz Foundation of America (JFA) to Kick Off 5th Annual 'Great Night in Harlem' Benefit

New York Sensation Robert Battle Makes Philadelphia Debut

Entertainment Tonight's Famed Host Mary Hart to be Mistress of Ceremonies for 'The Largest Mother's Day Celebration in the World' at Jewish Home for the Aging

Talking ... Google Poised to Shake Up Copyright Law

TNR Entertainment Corp. Installs Automated DVD Rental Kiosks in Kroger Locations Throughout the Dallas/Metro Area

Frederick's of Hollywood Makes First-Ever Licensing Deal

VH1 Classic and World Productions Present All-Star Line-Up for Live Television Concert Series

'The Da Vinci Code' Quest on Google Challenges Fans Through Online Puzzle Adventure

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum to Open Roy Orbison Exhibit

Action-Packed IPTV:
KyLinTV Spotlights Chinese Action Blockbuster

90th Annual Pulitzer Prizes in Journalism, Letters, Drama and Music

Nick Mobile Launches on Sprint Phones

“Sons and Lovers” took home the Oscar® for Cinematography


Dodger Baseball

Scion Joins Major League Gaming as a Presenting Sponsor

Aaron Baddeley

Detroit Diesel G2 Technician Program

With Surging Gasoline Prices, DOE/Alliance to Save Energy Powerful $avings Campaign


Nike and Maven Networks Introduce JogaTV

8th Annual Michael Douglas & Friends Presented by Lexus

Major League Effort to Fight Oral

Verizon Wireless and Univision Bring Exclusive Wireless Spanish-Language Coverage of 2006 FIFA World Cup

The Toughest Sport on Dirt is Coming to FOX This Fall!



DOD Identifies Casualties

USO/AFE Tour Veteran Gary Sinise Heads to the Persian Gulf

Afghan Aviators Make Historic Return to Bagram

Qatar Pass Program Geared to Refresh Servicemembers

Recent news reports citing an imminent U.S. military attack against Iran are flat wrong

Defense Agency Prepared for 2006 Hurricane Season Support

NEWS and NEWS now in Spanish

Recession's Long Gone, but Average Income Isn't Budging

XM Satellite Radio Announces Proposed Offering of Senior Notes

Wal-mart is stripping $6.5 billion in inventory from its shelves and warehouses

SBA Loses Second Legal Battle with California Small Business Advocate

New Website 'Where Professionals Click' Helps Singles Vent, Talk Business, and Search For Love DALLAS

P&G Announces Management Changes

Verizon Wireless y Univision Traen el Exclusivo Contenido en Español de la Copa Mundial FIFA Alemania 2006 a los Teléfonos Móviles

KKR Adquirirá Negocio de Desarrollo de Software y Soluciones de Flextronics

La Adquisición es la Primera Inversión de KKR en India





 Let's end the "Idol" speculation: It'll take $1.3 million to buy a spot on the hottest TV-show finale this season.

The 'American Idol' finale is perfectly poised to cap off the May sweeps, according to Fox.

"American Idol" will be the most expensive and sought-after season-ender, and could even top the 29.4 million viewers glued to the tube to see last season's big finish. But that sound you hear drowning out the carping about the death of the 30-second spot isn't just the cash register ringing at Fox, but also at some other major TV networks primed to rake in some big bucks from big-time season sendoffs.

Among them: ABC's "Desperate Housewives," "Grey's Anatomy" and "Lost," in addition to the final curtain call for NBC's much-loved "Will & Grace" and long-running "The West Wing."

"They're all set up for big finales," said John Rash, director-broadcast negotiations, Campbell Mithun, Minneapolis. Yet the "Idol" chatter is the loudest. "The 'American Idol' finale is perfectly poised to cap off the May sweeps for Fox," said Mr. Rash. "There's nothing [else] that will absolutely stop the nation in its tracks."

While everybody loved "Raymond" last year to the tune of $1.22 million per 30-second spot for the finale, "Idol," which last season eked in just under "Raymond" at $1.19 million per spot, is the highest-priced this year.

The singing shootout will cost more than double the average unit price in "Idol," which is $496,866 for the Tuesday edition and $518,466 for the Wednesday results show, according to Advertising Age research conducted at the start of the season. Fox declined to comment on pricing.

Of course, as always, different marketers are paying a variety of prices for the hotly anticipated finale, which is scheduled for Wednesday, May 24. Some agencies claimed to have deals that would bring the price of a spot closer to $600,000 to $700,000. And even at the top price, "Idol" still falls well below the biggest curtain drop in recent TV history, the "Friends" finale in 2004, at $2 million.

Other season-enders are expected to reap high ratings and prices. "ABC also has the ability to deliver a one, two punch with the 'Desperate Housewives' and 'Grey's Anatomy's' cliffhangers alone, let alone 'Lost,"' said Mr. Rash.

NBC's "Will & Grace," he said, "is still a seminal sitcom beloved by millions who will most likely revisit its last episode." Indeed, NBC is counting down the days to the May 18 finale of the 8-year-old sitcom on its Web site. Fans will also say goodbye to Sunday night White House drama "The West Wing," which is playing out the aftermath of the election of Matt Santos (played by Jimmy Smits) as president. That series finale is May 14.

ABC's "Alias" departs on Monday, May 22 and the WB's decade-old "Seventh Heaven," the longest-running family drama, is also headed for the graveyard.

'Idol' vs. 'Raymond'
29.4 million: "Idol" finale viewers in 2005.

$1.3 million: Estimated "Idol" finale 30-second spot cost 2006.

32.9 million: "Raymond" finale viewers in 2005.

$1.22 million: "Raymond" 30-second spot cost 2005.


The Future of Mobile? Sign Up to View Ads, Receive Free Services

In what could become a test case for mobile-phone marketers, startup Xero Mobile is offering some free services to subscribers who opt in for targeted advertising on their phones.

College students will be required to provide information about themselves to Xero Mobile that marketers can use to target ads.

"We are switching [the source of] revenue from the consumer to the advertiser," said Peter Lilley, CEO of the virtual mobile network operator.

The new mobile carrier, targeted to the 17.3 million U.S. college students aged 18 to 22, is set to launch in the fall. It will "pre-register" students with valid school identification for a free mobile phone through a Web site. In exchange, students will be required to provide information about themselves that marketers can use to target ads.

Students will agree to accept up to 12 ads a day that will be sent as text messages, although the company's business plan is based on sending three to four ads, according to an executive summary Xero Mobile is sending to prospective investors. At the end of each ad, a 10-second countdown clock will run. If the student clicks before the clock runs out, indicating the ad was seen, he or she will be rewarded with free air time or text messages.

Mr. Lilley said Xero Mobile initially will give away 1 million high-end mobile phones. Students receiving the free phones will be rewarded with free talk minutes or text messages if they can get friends to sign up for Xero Mobile service and a discounted Xero Mobile phone.

Xero Mobile is aiming for 5 million subscribers in short order and a profit of $1.5 billion in three years.

That's ambitious, to say the least, of a relative unknown in the mobile-phone space. Only last week Xero completed what it called a reverse merger, making it a publicly traded firm without an initial public offering.

Mr. Lilley, who was previously an executive of the now-bankrupt Gizmondo, a video-game company that was to have been ad-supported, said the plan is to have representatives at 300 colleges. Additionally, he expects to spend in the range of $40 million to $50 million in marketing, which includes distribution. The goal is to line up MTV-style sponsors: music, soft-drink, movie and sporting-goods manufacturers, though none have been announced so far.

Not all analysts are as enthusiastic about the venture as Mr. Lilley. "There's probably a [limited] niche for free" mobile service, said Julie Ask, research director, Jupiter Research. Referencing the failed ad-supported Internet service providers of the dot-com era, she noted that providers like AOL, which charge customers, are still around.

'Scary Movie 4' Sets Box Office Record

Film Opens at the #1 Spot Grossing Over US$41 Million and Shatters the Record for Easter Weekend

The Weinstein Company today announced that Dimension Films' "Scary Movie 4" opened number one in North America grossing over US$41 million, becoming the highest grossing Easter weekend opening ever and giving the film the largest opening for a film released by The Weinstein Company.

The announcement was made today by Bob Weinstein, co-chairman of The Weinstein Company. The film was co-produced by The Weinstein Company and Miramax Films. The previous record holder for Easter Weekend was "Panic Room," which brought in US$31 million when it opened in 2002.

"We couldn't have asked for a more impressive opening for 'Scary Movie 4' and are so proud to have accomplished this only six months after our company launched," said Bob Weinstein. "This exceptional opening proves that this franchise has tremendous staying power."

"I'm thrilled that people had as much fun seeing the movie as we did making it," said director David Zucker. "I couldn't be happier about this very strong opening."

Steve Bunnell, chairman of domestic distribution for The Weinstein Company said, "The positive exit surveys for 'Scary Movie 4' are in line with 'Scary Movie 3' and demonstrate that audiences are really enjoying the movie."

In "Scary Movie 4" the gang returns with the most hilarious and irreverent installment yet with outrageous send-ups of "War of the Worlds," "The Grudge," "The Village," "Saw" and "Saw II," "Million Dollar Baby" and many more. Legendary comedy director David Zucker and producer Bob Weiss reunite to take aim at some of the best fright films, the latest box office hits, music, current events, pop culture, and your favorite celebrities. Anna Faris and Regina Hall are back as the loveable, dim-witted Cindy Campbell and her self-serving, sex-crazed pal, Brenda, respectively -- joined this time around by Craig Bierko ("Cinderella Man"), as the cute-but-utterly clueless Tom Ryan. Together, they battle to save the world from a ruthless alien invasion. And, in true Scary Movie tradition, the outrageous celebrity cameos are non-stop. Those featured include: Carmen Electra, Shaquille ONeal, Dr. Phil, Bill Pullman, Charlie Sheen, Anthony Anderson, Kevin Hart, rappers Fabolous and YoungBloodz, Chris Elliott, Molly Shannon, Michael Madsen, rappers Chingy and Lil' John, Leslie Nielsen returning as our fearless Commander in Chief, plus many, many more surprises. In "Scary Movie 4," nothing -- and we mean NOTHING -- is off limits!

David Zucker, the creative genius behind "Airplane!" the "Naked Gun" franchise, "Scary Movie 3," and "Ruthless People" will re-team with Dimension Films to create "Superhero Movie," a spoof on the latest trend of comic-book inspired films including "Spider-Man 3," "Superman Returns," "Batman Begins," "Fantastic Four," and "X-Men 3." "Superhero Movie" is being fast-tracked for a February 9, 2007 theatrical release.

Source: The Weinstein Company

Expedia and Hyatt Extend Long-Term Partnership

Agreement Builds on 10-Year History of Partnership Between the Two Companies

Expedia, Inc. the world's leading online travel company, today announced that it has extended its partnership with Hyatt Hotels & Resorts. The new agreement builds on 10 years of association between the two companies. Under it, Expedia(R) and Hyatt continue not only as distribution partners, but also as marketing partners.

"From being the first hotel company to join Expedia in a marketing partnership to being the first to participate in our direct connect program for hotels, Hyatt exemplifies the long-term, mutually beneficial relationships Expedia strives for with our partners," said Paul Brown, president, Partner Services Group, Expedia. "Expedia is increasingly strengthening its hotel supplier relationships through long-term contract commitments, helping our partners to expand their businesses, and ultimately bringing value and convenience to travelers."

This agreement expands Hyatt's current partnership with Expedia, allowing Expedia to better market and distribute Hyatt inventory. Hyatt will benefit from new business terms plus Expedia's online travel expertise and broad reach, while Expedia customers gain broad access to Hyatt inventory and rates.

Said Tom O'Toole, senior vice president, Strategy and Systems for Global Hyatt Corporation: "We have enjoyed a long and fruitful relationship with Expedia, and this agreement further solidifies our relationship. We are pleased to be working closely with Expedia to build business for Hyatt properties."

About Expedia Partner Services Group

Expedia's Partner Services Group offers its supplier partners choice, seamless coordination and complete access to our vast traveler base. The formation of the Partner Services Group is a testament of Expedia's commitment to continually refine the way we conduct business by seeking our suppliers' input and customizing our services to meet their needs.

About Expedia, Inc.

Expedia, Inc. is the world's leading online travel company, empowering business and leisure travelers with the tools and information they need to easily research, plan, book, and experience travel. Expedia, Inc. also provides wholesale travel to offline retail travel agents. Expedia, Inc.'s portfolio of brands include: Expedia.com(R), hotels.com(R), Hotwire(R), Expedia(R) Corporate Travel, TripAdvisor(TM) and Classic Vacations(R). Expedia, Inc.'s companies also operate internationally with sites in Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Australia, and China, through its investment in eLong(TM). For more information, visit http://www.expediainc.com/.

NOTE: Expedia, Expedia.com, Enjoy Your Trip and the Airplane logo are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Expedia, Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. Other product and company names mentioned herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

About Global Hyatt Corporation

There are 216 Hyatt branded hotels and resorts (over 90,000 rooms) in 44 countries around the world, operating under the Hyatt(R), Hyatt Regency(R), Grand Hyatt(R) and Park Hyatt(R) brands. Currently, there are an additional 30 Hyatt hotels and resorts under development, including 11 new hotels in China. Hyatt Corporation (domestic U.S., Canada and Caribbean hotels) and Hyatt International Corporation (international properties) are subsidiaries of Chicago-based Global Hyatt Corporation. Global Hyatt Corporation is also the owner of Hyatt Vacation Ownership, Inc. operators of the Hyatt Vacation Club (timeshare and fractional residential product), Hyatt Equities, L.L.C. (hotel ownership), Select Hotel Group L.L.C. (which owns, operates and franchises AmeriSuites hotels, Hyatt Place and Summerfield Suites hotels) and U.S. Franchise Systems, Inc. (which franchises Hawthorn Suites, and Microtel Inns and Suites).

From the U.S. and Canada, reservations for any Hyatt hotel worldwide may be obtained by calling 1-800-233-1234 or logging onto www.hyatt.com.

Source: Expedia, Inc.


USA Network To Carry Pro Video Game Tournament


MAJOR LEAGUE GAMING, WHERE PROFESSIONAL video game players compete in tournament settings for cash prizes, this year will for the first time televise its pro circuit event on the USA Network. Though the MLG has been featured on television before, in documentaries and news stories, CEO Mike Sepso said that the league hopes the USA Network exposure will help the league gain cachet as a legitimate sport. "This is in the sports department for NBC-U," he said, referring to the production team handling the telecast. "The guys who produced the Olympics are producing this with us."

The tourney, entitled the "Boost Mobile Major League Gaming Pro Circuit presented by Scion," is being held April 21 and April 22 at the Meadowlands stadium in Secaucus, NJ, and will be televised late Saturday mornings from November 11 through November 23, following WWE's "Raw" professional wrestling, USA's highest-rated show.

According to Sepso, there will be heavy cross-promotion between "Raw" and the MLG telecasts, as the league hopes to capture some of "Raw"'s young, male viewership. After the Meadowlands event, MLG will hold circuits in Dallas, Atlanta, Los Angeles and Philadelphia.

The event consists of hundreds of players, both individuals and teams, competing in two popular game titles: "Halo 2" for the Xbox and "Super Smash Brothers Melee" for the GameCube. Players compete for bragging rights, along with $800,000 in cash and prizes. Televised matches include feeds from each player's screen - providing a point-of-view of what the player is actually seeing - as well as shots of the players, and feeds from their headsets, to capture team strategizing and trash-talk.

MLG has lined up two major sponsors for the event: Boost Mobile and the Toyota Scion. Both will run ads during the telecast, and Boost has provided cell phones to each professional player registered with the MLG player's association, and Toyota is sponsoring a "Breakout Player of the Year" award where players, viewers and the MLG commissioner's office vote on the underdog player most likely to make a showing at the pro circuit. This year, the winner of the award will receive a customized Toyota Scion. In addition to its sponsorship, Boost will get original content from the pro circuit to syndicate to its mobile subscribers.

Boost and the Scion have scheduled ads during the November broadcasts, as well as on MLG's website, which streams unedited, complete footage of both the pro circuit and smaller qualifying matches for subscribers. The site also hosts interviews of prominent players and other extra footage.


LIKE ITS NAMESAKE, APPROVAL RATINGS for CBS' prime-time "Commander in Chief" are sinking.

Well, its Nielsen ratings, anyway. After returning to a new 10 p.m. Thursday time slot after weeks of being on hiatus, "Commander" commanded only a 2.4 rating and a 7 share of the adult 18 to 49 audience, reaching 8.2 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research. "Chief" couldn't hang with CBS' powerful "Without a Trace," which delivered a 5.7 rating and a 16 share in the 18-49 demo, grabbing 18.6 million viewers. It couldn't even keep pace with a repeat of NBC's "ER." "ER" grabbed a 2.6 rating and a 7 share. "Commander" did pull in more viewers than "ER," which averaged 6 million viewers.

CBS, again, owned the night, averaging a 6.1 rating and an 18 share of adults 18 to 49 and 19.2 million viewers overall.

"CSI" took its usual top honors of the evening with a 7.5 rating and a 21 share among 18- to 49-year-olds, while "Survivor" also did its usual trick, winning the 8-9 p.m. hour, as usual, with a 5.1 rating and a 17 share in the demo.

NBC was a distant second place, with all-repeat programming, while ABC ranked third with the return of "Commander" and a two-hour episode of Fox's "American Inventor."

HS3 Technologies Successfully Debuts Latest Technology in Mobile DVR with Cellular Connectivity at ISC West Show

Overwhelming Response and Interest in New Technology by the Security Community

HS3 Technologies Inc. (HS3) (OTCBB:HSTT) is pleased to report the company had an extremely successful debut of the first mobile DVR with Cellular Connectivity at the recent ISC West show in Las Vegas, Nevada. The company's innovative booth and new technology drew hundreds of security professionals to inquire about the latest technology and how they could deploy in their respective fields.

HS3 Technologies unveiled the next-generation, cost-effective mobile Digital Video Recorder (DVR) with cellular connectivity - the IVG400 Mobile DVR. This new device is the first DVR on the market that allows the capture and transmittal of real-time images with unprecedented clarity over the cellular platform and internet. The IVG400 system is approximately half the cost of current DVRs available, with an additional camera. The IVG400 Mobile DVR adds an additional layer of security and safety for Security professionals as command centers can now monitor field patrols with real time images and GPS. This is an invaluable tool for the estimated half a million Law Enforcement and Homeland Security vehicles across the country.

HS3 Technologies demonstrated the effectiveness of the complete turn-key system in the company's "Vision Where it Matters" van. As attendees entered the booth, company personnel demonstrated the easy of use and clarity of images, either via the Internet or cellular platform, from cameras based in Mexico City, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Denver, Colorado.

CEO of HS3 Technologies, Mark Lana said, "We are very pleased with the show. The response and interest in our products was overwhelming. We had numerous police agencies, Department of Defense branches, Government representatives and multi-national companies interested in deploying the system as soon as possible. Dealers and Distributors in the security industry were eager to review our technology for utilization by their customers. We also had many other inquires from other market segments that we had not taken into consideration. This show invigorated our staff as we have designed a system that is much demanded by the Security Industry."

About HS3 Technologies

HS3 provides 'best of breed' proprietary homeland security surveillance products that broadcast real-time video and data on the new cost-effective, higher-speed satellite Ka-band. HS3 products coupled with the Ka-band platform provides customers with a complete, one-stop solution to current and future high-speed Internet and surveillance needs. HS3 can supply high-speed satellite Internet access and integrated security technologies to any location in the country, at higher speeds and lower costs. The combination of technologies, in an integrated system, is capable of securely transmitting information, high speed internet, random numerical biometric authorization and remote security systems for multiple users at distant locations is unique and gives HS3 a competitive advantage. For more information visit http://www.hs3tech.com



Company to Display 4K DCI Compatible JPEG2000 Digital Cinema System

and QuVIS Ovation 4K


Topeka-April 17, 2006- Once again, QuVIS has proven to be the leading

technology provider in the digital cinema and imaging industries. At

the 2006 NAB, the company will be highlighting its’ 4K DCI compatible

JPEG2000 QuVIS Digital Cinema System as well as the QuVIS Ovation

4K™. Both units will be on display at QuVIS booth and the QuVIS

Digital Cinema System 4K™ will also be at the Sony booth. QuVIS

will be at NAB booth SU847 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, April


“We’re excited to be showing the QuVIS Digital Cinema System at NAB.

This is the first commercially available DCI-compatible JPEG2000 4K

cinema system and offers exhibitors true flexibility with the ability

to deploy a mixture of 2K and 4K. The QuVIS Ovation 4K, for the

fixed display market and non theatrical applications, offers a

practical alternative to synchronizing multiple servers to create

very large images,” said Jim Graham, QuVIS’ VP of Sales and Marketing.

The QuVIS Digital Cinema System™ delivers unsurpassed image quality

to the silver screen using DCI JPEG2000, or its own patented wavelet

compression technology, Quality Priority Encoding (QPE™). The system

architecture supports resolutions through 4K and provides transparent

real-time playback of a 2K image from a 4K master and optional 3D.

In addition to film-resolution playback, the QuVIS Digital Cinema

System™ supports current video broadcast standards including High

Definition and Standard Definition at guaranteed quality levels. The

systems approach includes integrated support for automation control

and audio, as well as optional show and theatre management system


Designed for applications requiring outstanding motion image quality,

but with a wider variety of interfaces and applications, the QuVIS

Ovation™ is the ultimate video server for large screen fixed display

use. With options that include 3D and multi-screen frame accurate

synchronous playback it fits seamlessly into applications for trade

shows, museums, theme parks and entertainment venues. The third

generation QuVIS Ovation supports more than 50 video and graphics

formats, is both reliable and easy to use.

"QuVIS has developed and patented technology specifically targeted

for digital cinema for over a decade. QuVIS pioneered wavelet-based

quality priority cinema systems, flexible cinematic playback of

wavelet based 2K and 4K image resolutions, 3D, subtitling, low-rate

temporal wavelet encoding and advanced audio capabilities for cinema

applications," Kenbe Goertzen, CEO, QuVIS, said.

The QuVIS Digital Cinema System™ is part of the QuVIS Digital Cinema

Solution, which includes the QuVIS Acuity™ and QuVIS QuStudio™ for

post production, mastering, and content management, including

encryption, secure distribution and key management. QuVIS QuShow™

provides screen management of content for in-theater scheduling and

show playlist management; either standalone, or in conjunction with

an existing system.

A significant introduction at the show is the delivery of QuVIS’ in-

theatre content show management system, QuVIS QuShow™. QuVIS QuShow

will be available as either a stand-alone application or a module to

integrate with existing theatre management systems. QuVIS QuShow

provides seamless and secure content management, including

redundancy, key management and reporting. Designed for compliance

with the DCI specification, QuVIS QuShow combines flexibility with

ease of use.

About QuVIS, Inc.

QuVIS Inc., is the leading provider of hi fidelity high-resolution

motion imaging technology. The QuVIS line of servers, recorders and

players provide guaranteed image quality using Quality Priority

Encoding, (QPE™). QuVIS also offers optional JPEG2000, MXF, secure

encryption and key management for a complete end-to-end digital

cinema solution. QuVIS offers servers for real-time mastering and

recording of content for SD through 4K for production, post

production, digital dailies, digital cinema exhibition, simulation

and large screen displays. The ASIC version of QPE, embodied in the

QuVIS Digital Mastering Codec (QDMC™), offers new capabilities for

the image storage, analysis and communication industries and is

available for OEM and licensing applications


Disney 'Castmember' Buys Woman's 15 Minutes of Fame on eBay ORLANDO

Fla., April 17, 2006 -- The late pop artist Andy Warhol predicted that in the future, everyone would be famous for 15 minutes. David J.P. Ortiz now has 30 minutes coming. It was Ortiz who placed the winning online bid in an eBay auction for another person's 15 minutes of fame. Three weeks ago, an unidentified woman placed her fame up for bid, saying, "I'm not going to be using my fame so I might as well sell it to someone who could use it." It turns out Ortiz is that person.

He paid $510 for the fame. David Ortiz is a quiet, shy bachelor who spends most of his free time working as a castmember for Disney. "I work at the Disney Vacation Club during the week, and then on days off I moonlight at Walt Disney World," said Ortiz. "Everything from audience control to food service." When he's not working, he likes to collect celebrity autographs, attand fan conventions and travel. "My biggest thrill was a few years ago in Burbank at the Nick at Nite fan convention - I finally met Dawn Wells (Mary Ann on Gilligan's Island)," gushed Ortiz. "It was terrific!" Now that he has all this fame coming his way, Ortiz would like to rub elbows with other famous types, wishing to meet Carole King, Jake Gyllenhall and Elizabeth Taylor - and of course, get their autographs, as well as go out to fancy dinners. "I'm pretty shy and I don't have the right clothes to wear and don't get much time off," sighed Ortiz. "But hey, it's time for me to have a little fun." David Ortiz Born: Trinidad, Colorado Home: Orlando, Florida Occupation: Food & Beverage Employer: Disney Vacation Club Marital Status: Single Height: 5'7" Weight: 148 lbs. Credit Cards: High balances on Visa, MC and Amex Hobbies: Watching TV/Movies, work, collection autographs, attending fan conventions, traveling Bad Habits: none; no drugs, alcohol or cigs


Silicon Imaging Announces World's First Digital Cinema Camera with Direct-to-Disk 10-bit CineForm

RAW(TM) Recording and Adobe(R) Production Studio Integration Silicon Imaging, Inc. has unveiled the revolutionary SI-1920HDVR portable IT-integrated 10-bit digital cinema camera with direct-to-disk recording and Adobe Production Studio integration. The Silicon Imaging SI-1920HDVR is a 2/3-inch 1920x1080P camera recording to a new version of CineForm's Visually Perfect(TM) wavelet codec called CineForm RAW(TM), in a dual-core embedded PC architecture under Microsoft Windows(R) XP. It delivers unprecedented image quality, 10 f-stop dynamic range, a 7-inch LCD touchscreen interface, gigabit connectivity, battery-powered operation, and up to 4-hours of continuous shooting on its USB2.0 hot-swap 160GB notebook hard drive. "We designed the SI-1920HDVR digital cinema camera with the needs of the independent filmmaker in mind," said Ari Presler, CEO of Silicon Imaging, Inc. "It encompasses a new paradigm in camera acquisition and recording technology. Now, expose and shoot impressive cinema-quality footage at 1080P in CineForm RAW(TM) format.

Then, immediately produce dailies, create special effects, and edit full-resolution HD content using Adobe Production Studio; all without the need for a time-consuming ingest process." "We're excited to have worked with Silicon Imaging on this impressive new camera," said David Taylor, CEO of CineForm, Inc. "By extending our CineForm Intermediate codec to work in RAW mode, we assisted the SI-1920HDVR to achieve visual quality and features at an affordable price point that is a breakthrough for digital cinematography.

Prior to our collaboration on this project, comparable features and image quality always required proprietary recording decks tethered to the camera, resulting in prohibitive costs for independent projects, even on a rental basis." The SI-1920HDVR's 16:9 format 2/3-inch CMOS sensor enables use of wide aperture optics to achieve a 35mm-like Depth-of-Field, without the need for ground-glass converters. Its interchangeable optical assembly supports the use of 16mm PL, F and C-mount lenses. Integrated support for 15mm lightweight rods and 19mm bridge-plates make it ideal for cinema-style gear and accessories. The camera head is detachable and can be remotely accessed using gigabit Ethernet.

Two camera heads can be mounted side-by-side for shooting 3-D sequences. The 7-inch widescreen LCD doubles as a viewfinder and touchscreen graphical user interface. On-screen menus and hot-spot zones provide intuitive camera, recorder and playback controls. These include a false-color exposure meter, 2x digital zoom for fine focus, safe-zone markers, compression quality, and SMPTE timecode. In addition to traditional 1080/24/25/30p frame-rates, special effects and off-speed shooting capabilities include overcranking up to 72fps at 720P, undercranking, long exposure and time-lapse modes. The SI-1920HDVR abandons fixed bitrate codecs, such as DVCPRO HD and HDCAM. Instead, camera sensor data is recorded directly into CineForm RAW format, preserving the original pixel data. This gives cinematographers the flexibility to develop the "digital negative" in post rather than make non-reversible decisions on-set.

File-sharing tools in Windows XP create new possibilities for collaboration and production. While shooting, begin editing and compositing with Adobe's Production Studio and CineForm's Prospect-HD over LAN. Or, remove the hard drive magazine and edit content directly from disc. Play 10-bit CineForm AVI footage in Windows Media(TM) Player, add metadata with Adobe Bridge(TM), edit in Adobe(R) Premiere(R) Pro(TM) or composite in Adobe After Effects(R). "We have extended our Prospect HD(TM) editing software to support real-time editing of Silicon Imaging's high-dynamic range CineForm RAW files alongside YUV files on the same timeline," states David Newman, CineForm CTO. "Using CineForm RAW ensures multi-generation quality using an online workflow offering unmatched HD video quality and performance, while eliminating the need for proxy files, conforming, and rendering." "Adobe is excited by the capabilities the Silicon Imaging SI-1920HDVR digital cinema camera brings to independent filmmakers," said Simon Hayhurst, director of product management, Video products for Adobe. "Combined with CineForm RAW(TM) files and Adobe Production Studio this efficient workflow with real-time HD editing in Premiere Pro will give our users the creative control and productivity they demand." Edit up to four 1080/24p streams in real time without expensive RAID arrays.

Then select from a variety of advanced demosaic algorithms to process the RAW data for output to film, tape, HD-DVD, or Windows Media(R) High Definition video format for digital cinema distribution and Internet streaming. "After shooting three scenes for our visual effects intensive movie 'Spoon' with Rutger Hauer on 35mm and comparing the results to the SI-1920HDVR, we were completely amazed," states Simon Hansen, Director Atomic VFX. "The SI-1920HDVR displayed the widest latitude of any digital camera in its class. The small, high quality files and Adobe integration make file management and editing a breeze; incomparable to any other workflow we've found." Silicon Imaging will be demonstrating the SI-1920HDVR during NAB2006 in the Adobe booth, #SL3732. Price & Availability The SI-1920HDVR is priced below $20k and will be available for delivery in Q3 2006. About Silicon Imaging Silicon Imaging, Inc. specializes in the design, manufacturing and marketing of high-definition digital cameras and recording systems.

Silicon Imaging's products incorporate disruptive technologies including CMOS imagers, video processing algorithms, wavelet compression and gigabit connectivity to deliver a new generation of high definition products outperforming traditional HD cameras while increasing flexibility and lowering cost. For more information visit: http://www.siliconimaging.com


Radio Ethiopia Purchases Jampro Towers and Antennas

to Introduce FM Service to National Radio System


Addis Ababa (April 17, 2006) --Radio Ethiopia, the national radio network of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, today announced the award of contracts for seven turn-key FM tower and antenna installations to Jampro Antennas / RF Systems of Sacramento, California. Radio Ethiopia currently operates 13 stations broadcasting AM and Shortwave in 16 local languages as well as English.

Radio Ethiopia's contract for the Jampro FM antennas and VHF panel antennas and towers was awarded after a review of several international suppliers by the network's engineering staff. "I believe the deciding factors for our winning the contract are numerous,” said Alex Perchevitch, Jampro’s president. “Jampro’s reputation among broadcast engineers, the durability of our equipment to stand up in harsh environments such as those found Ethiopia, and our cost competitive pricing in a global market, all tipped the scales in our favor."

Jampro’s outstanding reputation in East Africa is the accumulation of nearly 40 years of proven product quality and exceptional service to entire regional radio and TV network operations.

About Jampro

Jampro Antennas / RF Systems Inc., established to answer the need for quality broadcast systems at a reasonable price, is a leading supplier of antennas, combiners & filters and RF components for every application in the broadcast industry. Reputed for innovation and customization, Jampro builds each system to the specifications of the individual broadcaster. From the first system delivered in 1954 to those installed today, the Company is committed to consistent performance and quality founded on solid engineering. Today, over 15,000 broadcasters worldwide benefit from the quality and performance provided by Jampro systems.

Additional information on JAMPRO can be obtained at www.jampro.com.


Fox into VOD

It looks like Fox Broadcasting is looking to bank some of its own TV-show downloading success, following in the footsteps of ABC and other networks that are offering some of their most popular shows for pay download on iTunes the day after airing.

But Fox is going about it a bit differently.

Fox April 13 announced it will relapse hit shows “24” and “Prison Break” for Internet and video-on-demand download and will share any revenue those downloads generate with affiliate stations.

"We wanted to be partners with our station groups rather than being at odds with them," Tony Vinciquerra, president of Fox Networks Group, told the Los Angeles Times.

The company reportedly spent about six months meeting with affiliate stations, to cement cooperation for the offerings.

Other broadcasters, like ABC, are stuck in affiliate arrangements that keep them from releasing more than a quarter of their prime-time programs in other avenues, like VOD, according to the Times report.

Fox executives could not be reached Friday for further comment or information on exactly how and through what services the broadcaster will place the download offerings.

According to reports, Fox will be able to position six hours of its shows at first for digital downloads the day after airings. By the third year of the deal, Fox can shift its entire prime-time schedule to VOD.

And Fox will have the flexibility to offer downloads on local affiliate Web sites, Peter Levinsohn, president of digital media for Fox Entertainment Group told the Times.


Online Local Advertising Enhances Conversions with Positive ROI

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and comScore Networks, Inc. recently announced a new study showing a positive return on investment (ROI: the ratio of generated revenue to advertising expense) and significant conversions both online and offline for companies that participate in online local, directory and classified advertising.

Erin Hunter, Senior Vice President of comScore's Media and Entertainment Division, said "Millions of consumers turn to the Internet each month for help in finding a new job, a new car, or to research any number of local services. This study provides empirical evidence proving the effectiveness of online local and classified advertising."

Ford Rental Car research tracked a consumer panel that searched online directories for car rentals, clicked on Ford Rental Car and completed their rental online. In addition, a survey was sent to those consumers who were exposed to the listing, but did not complete the rental online to determine their offline conversion.

Colleen Kelley, Fleet Internet Strategy, Ford Motor Company. said "The ROI validation provided by this study will help Ford increase their marketing budget allocations to these online vehicles."

For Verizon Superpages.com, the study measured those consumers in the opt-in panel who converted online after clicking on the listing page, and then those who did not convert online, to determine their offline conversion.

For CareerBuilder.com the study tracked consumers who searched for bank or accounting jobs and applied either online or offline. Job applicants were surveyed to find out whether they were selected for an interview and if they ultimately received a job offer.

For Cars.com, the study analyzed consumers looked at the listings on the site over a one year period of time and purchased a car. The cost per sale for the average auto dealership using Cars.com was substantially lower than the industry average across all media as measured by NADA, 2005.

The Stars of Disney/Pixar's 'CARS' Hit the Road for 'CARS Road Trip '06' Presented by State Farm(R)

Two of the stars of Disney/Pixar's exciting new computer-animated feature "CARS" will race straight off the movie screen and into the real world as actual life-sized models of hotshot rookie racecar Lightning McQueen (voiced by Owen Wilson) and Sally Carrera, a snazzy 2002 Porsche 911 (voiced by Bonnie Hunt) will hit the road today for Disney/Pixar's "CARS Road Trip '06" presented by State Farm, it was announced today by Brett Dicker, Executive Vice President of Buena Vista Pictures Marketing.


The film's sheet metal counterparts were created by famed movie car creator and customizer Eddie Paul of Customs By Eddie Paul, with help from Porsche and Pixar Animation Studios' artists and technicians. Paul is responsible for famous Hollywood car creations such as the hot rod that John Travolta drove in "Grease" as well as custom built vehicles for "The Fast and the Furious" and "xXx."

Disney/Pixar's "CARS Road Trip 06" presented by State Farm will bring the "CARS" stars to life through interactive experiences. The tour, which was designed and will be managed by the Becker Group, will cross the country with stops in over 40 cities and be highlighted by an appearance at the World Premiere for Disney/Pixar's "CARS" on May 26 in Charlotte, NC at the Lowe's Motor Speedway. The cars will ride in style via a special truck inspired by the character Mack, which will be provided by Mack Trucks, Inc. As the number one auto insurer in the U.S., and with their headquarters located along Route 66, State Farm sought to sponsor "CARS Road Trip '06" in addition to their category sponsorship of "CARS."

"CARS" tells the story of Lightning McQueen, a hotshot rookie racecar driven to succeed, who discovers that life is about the journey, not the finish line, when he finds himself unexpectedly detoured in the sleepy Route 66 town of Radiator Springs. On route across the country to the big Piston Cup Championship in California to compete against two seasoned pros, McQueen gets to know the town's offbeat characters who help him realize that there are more important things than trophies, fame and sponsorship. The all-star vocal cast includes free-wheeling performances by Paul Newman, Owen Wilson, Bonnie Hunt, "Larry the Cable Guy", Tony Shalhoub, Michael Keaton, George Carlin, Katherine Helmond, Cheech Marin, John Ratzenberger, Paul Dooley, Michael Wallis, Darrell Waltrip, Richard Petty, Jenifer Lewis and Jeremy Piven. Fueled with plenty of humor, action, heartfelt drama, and amazing new technical feats, "CARS" races into theaters on June 9.

About Pixar Animation Studios

Pixar Animation Studios combines creative and technical artistry to create original stories in the medium of computer animation. Pixar has created six of the most successful and beloved animated films of all time: "Toy Story," "A Bug's Life," "Toy Story 2," "Monsters, Inc.," "Finding Nemo" and "The Incredibles." Pixar has won 20 Academy Awards(R) and its six films have grossed more than $3.2 billion at the worldwide box office to date. The Northern California studio's next two film releases are "CARS" (June 9, 2006) and "Ratatouille" (summer 2007).

About State Farm

State Farm(R) insures more cars than any other insurer in North America and is the leading U.S. home insurer. State Farm's 17,000 agents and 69,000 employees serve nearly 73 million auto, fire, life and health policies in the United States and Canada. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of companies. State Farm is ranked No. 22 on the Fortune 500 list of largest companies. For more information, please visit statefarm.com(R) or in Canada statefarm.ca(TM).

About Becker Group

The Becker Group is an experiential marketing company that has over fifty years of experience creating immersive, entertaining attractions and brand based experiences for a wide variety of clients and venues including top consumer brands, movie studios, shopping malls, television networks, theme parks, museums and casinos around the globe. The award-winning company is headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland and has offices in Los Angeles, St. Louis, Salt Lake City, Miami, Barcelona, Spain and San Paulo, Brazil. For more information visit http://www.beckergroup.com/ .

About Customs By Eddie Paul

Customs By Eddie Paul, a division of E.P. Industries, Inc. in El Segundo, Calif., has been building famous film and TV cars for more than 30 years beginning with the hit movie "Grease" and the ever-popular General Lee Dodge Charger from the original "Dukes of Hazzard" TV series. Eddie Paul's list of credits includes hundreds of films, television shows, commercials, and music videos. More recently, Eddie is known for building the cars for "Triple X," "The Fast and the Furious," "2Fast, 2Furious," as well as a few non-automotive creations such as the fully functional 14-foot robotic Great White Shark used by the Cousteaus for an upcoming CBS special on sharks.

Customs By Eddie Paul is headed by, of course, designer/artist/inventor Eddie Paul, his wife and financial expert Renee Paul, and long-time employee and General Manager Brian Hatano. In addition to building customs, rods, motorcycles, and vehicles for movies and TV, Eddie's multi-faceted business (www.epindustries.com) also includes a CNC machine shop, prototype development, tool manufacturing, video production, and book publishing.

About Mack Trucks

Dedicated to quality, reliability, and total customer satisfaction, Mack Trucks, Inc. has provided its customers with innovative transportation solutions for more than a century. Today, Mack is one of North America's largest producers of heavy-duty trucks, and MACK(R) vehicles are sold and serviced in more than 45 countries worldwide. All Mack manufacturing locations are certified to the internationally recognized ISO 14001 standard for environmental management systems. Mack is also a proud sponsor of Share the Road, an American Trucking Associations' public information campaign aimed at enhancing the safety of our nation's roadways. Mack is a member of the Volvo Group, a publicly held company headquartered in Gothenburg, Sweden. For more information about Mack, visit www.macktrucks.com.

About Porsche

Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, the manufacturer of Porsche(R) sports cars and Cayenne(R) sport utility vehicles, is among the most globally recognized symbols of automotive performance and engineering excellence. Founded in 1948, Porsche AG is headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany. Along with the award-wining Cayenne SUV lineup, Porsche AG builds three complete model lines, including the venerable Porsche 911(R) Carrera(R) and the celebrated, mid-engined Boxster(R)/Cayman(TM) S.

"CARS Road Trip '06" travel cities will include:

April 17 Akron, OH

April 18 Washington DC

April 19 Baltimore, MD

April 20 Philadelphia, PA

April 21 Allentown, PA

April 22 Hartford, CT

April 23 Boston, MA

April 24 Toronto, CN

April 26 Detroit, MI

April 27 Chicago, IL

April 28-29 Minneapolis, MN

May 1 Denver, CO

May 2 Salt Lake City, UT

May 4 DuPont, WA

May 5 Seattle, WA

May 6 Portland, OR

May 7 San Francisco, CA

May 8 Bakersfield, CA

May 10-12 Los Angeles, CA

May 15 Houston, TX

May 17-18 Atlanta, GA

May 20-21 Orlando, FL

May 22-23 Jacksonville, FL

May 24-28 Charlotte, NC -- World Premiere/NASCAR Coca Cola 600

May 30 Charlottesville, VA

May 31 Parsippany, NJ

June 1-6 New York, NY

June 11-18 Los Angeles, CA

June 19 Phoenix, AZ

June 21 San Antonio, TX

June 22 Dallas, TX

June 23-24 Tulsa, OK

June 26 St. Louis, MO

June 27 Erlanger, KY

June 28 Cincinnati, OH

June 29 Lexington, KY

June 30 Columbus, OH

July 5 Battle Creek, MI

July 6 Oakbrook, IL

July 7 Bloomington, IL

July 8-11 Chicago, IL


Web site: http://www.statefarm.com/

Web site: http://www.macktrucks.com/

Web site: http://www.beckergroup.com/

Web site: http://www.pixar.com/


Paramount Pictures' 'Barnyard' to Be Released in Theaters July 28

Paramount Pictures has moved the release date for the upcoming animated comedy "Barnyard," directed by Steve Oedekerk ("Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius"), to July 28, 2006.

From Steve Oedekerk and Nickelodeon Movies, two of the co-creators of "Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius," and filmed entirely in CGI, comes this hilarious look at what really happens in a barnyard when the farmer's back is turned. "Barnyard" is a lighthearted tale centering around Otis (voiced by Kevin James), a carefree party cow, who enjoys singing, dancing and playing tricks on humans. Unlike his father Ben (voiced by Sam Elliott), the respected patriarch of the farm, and Miles, the wise old mule (voiced by Danny Glover), Otis is unconcerned about keeping the animals' humanlike talents a secret. But when suddenly put in the position of responsibility, the "udderly" irresponsible cow finds the courage to be a leader.

Paramount Pictures presents in association with Nickelodeon Movies an O Entertainment production, a Steve Oedekerk film, "Barnyard." Written and directed by Steve Oedekerk, the film is produced by Steve Oedekerk and Paul Marshal. The executive producers are Julia Pistor and Aaron Parry. Animation production is by Omation Animation Studios. The film is rated PG for some mild peril and rude humor.

Paramount Pictures is part of the entertainment operations of Viacom Inc., one of the leading global entertainment content companies, with prominent and respected brands in focused demographics across virtually all media.

Disc Makers Launches Referral Reward Program for Video, Film and Post-Production Professionals

New Video Partner Program includes referral commissions, 24/7 access to project status, discounts on duplication hardware, and opportunities to win professional quality gear

Disc Makers, the nation's leading independent media manufacturer, will officially launch its new Video Partner Program on May 1st. The Video Partner Program (VPP) is directly modeled after Disc Makers' incredibly successful Studio Partner Program, and rewards its members for referring DVD or CD-ROM replication projects to Disc Makers.

The VPP is completely FREE to join, and is open to any company or organization actively involved in the production of video-related projects, including post-production houses, video authoring companies, multi-media production firms, advertising agencies, and any other business in the video and filmmaking world..

"The Video Partner Program is a great way for our members to help their clients get a top quality DVD or CD-ROM project with industry leading support and customer service, explains Tony van Veen, Disc Makers' Executive Vice President of Sales & Marketing. "At the same time, VPP members will also get exposure to thousands of indie filmmakers and corporate clients on Disc Makers' new resource website, valuable support materials, 24/7, real-time access to the status of their clients' projects, and opportunities to win professional quality gear."

VPP members are eligible for exclusive bonus offers, including reduced rates on full color postcards. In addition, VPP members and their client(s) will each receive a FREE commemorative plaque(s) celebrating the completion of their project.

The centerpiece of the new Video Partner Program is the chance to earn commissions on client referrals. In the tiered commission structure, firms that refer more DVD or CD-ROM replication projects to Disc Makers are rewarded with higher commission rates. The highest performing members - Platinum Partners - make $125 per referral when they refer projects, and the chance to earn even greater commissions on larger projects ($2,500 projects or more). Commissions start at $50 for Standard Partners with their first referral, and $100 for Gold Partners. Companies move to Gold status when they are credited with two referrals. Each new referral will also make the member eligible for monthly prize giveaways from the biggest manufacturers in the business.

Platinum status members - companies that successfully refer five projects -- qualify for additional rewards, including special pricing on selected Disc Makers disc duplicators and blank media, supplementary marketing materials and other benefits to be announced in August, 2006.

For more information or to sign-up, visit www.discmakers.com/vpp.

About Disc Makers

In business since 1946, Disc Makers is the nation's leading independent media manufacturer, offering a wide variety of products and services, including state-of-the-art automated printers and duplicating systems as well as complete CD and DVD replication and custom packaging for independent musicians, filmmakers, and businesses. The company's state-of-the-art facilities are outfitted with the latest graphic, printing, and CD/DVD replication equipment and products, as well as in-house studios for mastering and post-production, DVD and CD-ROM multimedia authoring, and award-winning graphics design. The company also offers a variety of additional services including custom design, packaging, distribution and financing, and produces the Independent Music World Series, the nation's largest showcase series for independent musicians. Disc Makers main office and plant is located near Philadelphia in Pennsauken, NJ, and the company has regional offices in Los Angeles, New York City, the San Francisco Bay Area, Chicago, Seattle, and Puerto Rico.


Currently tracking 35.2 million sites and 2.3 billion links.

Technorati is the authority on what's going on in the world of weblogs.

What is a weblog? A weblog, or blog, is a personal journal on the web. Weblogs express as many different subjects and opinions as there are people writing them. Some blogs are highly influential and have enormous readership while others are primarily intended for a close circle of family and friends.

The power of weblogs is that they allow millions of people to easily publish their ideas, and millions more to comment on them. Blogs are a fluid, dynamic medium, more akin to a 'conversation' than to a library — which is how the Web has often been described in the past. With an increasing number of people reading, writing, and commenting on blogs, the way we use the Web is shifting in a fundamental way. Instead of being passive consumers of information, more and more Internet users are becoming active participants. Weblogs let everyone have a voice.

Technorati is a real-time search engine that keeps track of what is going on in the blogosphere — the world of weblogs.

A few years ago, Web search was revolutionized by a simple but profound idea — that the relevance of a site can be determined by the number of other sites that link to it, and thus consider it 'important.' In the world of blogs, hyperlinks are even more significant, since bloggers frequently link to and comment on other blogs, which creates the sense of timeliness and connectedness one would have in a conversation. So Technorati tracks the number of links, and the perceived relevance of blogs, as well as the real-time nature of blogging. Because Technorati automatically receives notification from weblogs as soon as they are updated, it can track the thousands of updates per hour that occur in the blogosphere, and monitor the communities (who's linking to whom) underlying these conversations.

The Pew Internet study estimates that about 11%, or about 50 million, of Internet users are regular blog readers. According to Technorati data, there are about 70,000 new blogs a day. Bloggers — people who write weblogs — update their weblogs regularly; there are about 700,000 posts daily, or about 29,100 blog updates an hour.

Technorati displays what's important in the blogosphere — which bloggers are commanding attention, what ideas are rising in prominence, and the speed at which these conversations are taking place. Technorati makes it possible for you to find out what people on the Internet are saying about you, your company, your products, your competitors, your politics, or other areas of interest — all in real-time. All this activity is monitored and indexed within minutes of posting. Technorati provides a live view of the global conversation of the web.

Danny Glover Joins the Jazz Foundation of America (JFA) to Kick Off 5th Annual 'Great Night in Harlem' Benefit


* Danny Glover - actor and newest JFA Board Member

* Richard Parsons - Event Co-Chair; Chairman and CEO, Time Warner,


* Agnes Varis - Event Co-Chair; President & Co-Founder Agvar

Chemicals, Inc.

* Wendy Oxenhorn - Executive Director, JFA

* New Orleans Jazz Musicians and some surprise guests

WHAT: Kick-off Celebration for 5th Annual "A Great Night in Harlem"

WHERE: Hosted by Richard Parsons

One Time Warner Center

10th Floor Park Cafe (Enter building on West 58th Street between

8th and 9th)

New York, NY

WHEN: Monday, April 24th

4:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. (Danny Glover available for interviews

4:30 p.m. - 5:15 p.m.)


From the replacement of "Fats" Domino's piano to paying rent and mortgages for Katrina-effected musicians and their families, The Jazz Foundation of America (JFA) has assisted nearly 900 New Orleans musician emergency cases in the few short months since the hurricane and continues to assist 30 elderly jazz and blues artists a week.

Now, JFA sets an unprecedented goal of raising $1.5 million dollars from the 5th annual "A Great Night in Harlem" concert presented by DIRECTV and BET Jazz. Hosted by Bill Cosby, the concert will be held on THURSDAY, MAY 4 (8-10 p.m.) at the world-famous Apollo Theater.

"Great Night" veteran Bill Cosby and JFA's newest board member Danny Glover, will join accomplished musicians for a night to remember including: Johnnie Mae Dunson, Abbey Lincoln, James Blood Ulmer, Dr. Michael White and the Original Liberty Jazz Band of New Orleans, Ron Carter, the legendary Odetta, Jimmy McGriff, Clark Terry, Will Calhoun, Harold Mabern, Ben Riley, George Cables, Gary Bartz and many more, including over 30 musicians from New Orleans.

Tickets can be purchased ($100-$1500) by calling the Jazz Foundation at 212-245-3999 Ext. 29. For more information on JFA, visit http://www.jazzfoundation.org/ .

Source: Jazz Foundation of America



New York Sensation Robert Battle Makes Philadelphia Debut, Unveils World Premiere as Jeanne Ruddy Dance Opens 6th Concert Season at the Performance Garage

Also Featuring Jeanne Ruddy World Premiere, Broadway Choreographer Mark

Dendy's Really Desperate Housewives, Restaged Favorites by Peter Sparling,

Zvi Gotheiner

WHAT: On Tuesday night, for the first time in its history, Jeanne Ruddy

Dance, Philadelphia's Contemporary Dance Company, will raise the

curtain on its 6th Concert Season in its own theatre, The

Performance Garage. The groundbreaking program, spotlighting

America's hottest choreographers, will feature the world premiere

of STILL, by New York legend Robert Battle, of Battleworks, one

of the leading African-American choreographers on dance stages

today, marking his first commissioned collaboration with a

Philadelphia dance company. A former student of Jeanne Ruddy's

at Juilliard, Battle will be unveiling a quartet set on two men

and two women that explores the fragmented aspects of love

through abstract gestures.

The program will also feature the world premiere of Artistic

Director Jeanne Ruddy's WOA CHOLENA (Native American for Great

White Bird), her first plotless work exploring movement and

rhythm set to Stravinsky's Concertino; Obie award-winner Marc

Dendy's NO FEAR OF FLYING, set on a trio of women to pop tunes

including Nancy Sinatra's These Boots Are Made For Walking and

Peggy Lee's Fever -- restaged this season with a "Really

Desperate Housewives" twist; the restaging of Peter Sparling's

THE SYSTEM, and Israeli native Zvi Gotheiner's ENFOLD, a modern

romantic duet featuring the music of legendary '40s German

cabaret singer, Zarah Leander.



WHERE: THE PERFORMANCE GARAGE, 1515 Brandywine Street (one block north

of Spring Garden Street between 15th and 16th Streets)




How often, if ever, have the hottest choreographers on the American dance scene converged on a Philadelphia stage? In this groundbreaking, must-see program, the story is both on stage, AND off - with the debut of Philadelphia's newest studio theatre! JRD's 6th season runs April 18 to April 22.

Source: Jeanne Ruddy Dance

Web site: http://www.ruddydance.org/


Entertainment Tonight's Famed Host Mary Hart to be Mistress of Ceremonies for 'The Largest Mother's Day Celebration in the World' at Jewish Home for the Aging

Mary Hart, longtime famed host of television's entertainment magazine, "Entertainment Tonight" will serve as mistress of ceremonies for this year's "The Largest Mother's Day Celebration in the World" scheduled for May 14 at the Los Angeles Jewish Home for the Aging.

The event, sponsored by Countrywide Financial Corporation, will take place at 10:30 a.m. on the Alec Borden Plaza, Eisenberg Village campus, 18855 Victory Boulevard, in Reseda and is open to the public. The Home's renowned celebration will include nearly 2,000 participants and will celebrate mothers, grandmothers, great grandmothers, great-great grandmothers and great-great-great grand mothers everywhere.

The event will feature an awards ceremony honoring the "Community Mother of the Year" and includes brunch, music, jugglers, clowns, face painting, tile painting and other activities. The cost is $18 for adults and $7 for children between the ages of five and 11. There is no charge for children under five and Jewish Home residents. For information and reservations phone (818) 774-3324 or email marilyn.bloom@jha.org. Registration is also available on the Home's Website at www.jha.org.

Hart, who has served as "Entertainment Tonight's" host since 1982, has appeared in numerous motion pictures and is a frequent television talk show guest. "We're thrilled to have Mary help anchor our Mother's Day celebration," said the Home's CEO, Molly Forrest. "She's not only a great entertainer but a great Mom and role model."

Founded in 1912, the world-renowned Los Angeles Jewish Home for the Aging is one of the foremost continuing residential-care facilities for the elderly in the United States and is the largest single source provider of senior housing in Los Angeles. Each year, nearly 1,000 women and men are sheltered on two village campuses (spanning 16 acres), which feature independent-living "Neighborhood Home" accommodations, residential care, skilled nursing care, Alzheimer's disease and dementia care, and hospice. Healthcare professionals from around the world consult with the Jewish Home in an effort to improve eldercare in their home countries. The Home is a nonprofit organization that relies solely upon donations from individuals, corporations and foundations to continue its remarkable work. Further information regarding the Home can be found online at www.jha.org.

Source: Los Angeles Jewish Home for the Aging

Web site: http://www.jha.org/


Talking ... Google Poised to Shake Up Copyright Law

A Q&A with White & Case's Glenn Trost

When Google Inc. went public, it shook up the way Wall Street launched IPOs. Now, the search engine company appears poised to shake up U.S. copyright law.

More than a year ago, Google launched its Print Library Project, a controversial plan to scan and index digital copies of millions of books, creating what Google describes as a vast virtual "card catalog." The online research tool would allow users to search within books for relevant information and would generate revenue for Google through advertising sales. The plan has sparked significant controversy and led to two lawsuits.

Late last year, The Author's Guild, the largest professional society of published authors in the US, and a group of five major publishers filed two separate lawsuits against Google in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York. The lawsuits claim copyright infringement and seek injunctions.

Google's application of Internet search engine techniques to one of the world's oldest technologies -- books -- is challenging companies, courts and legal professionals to redefine copyright principles.

Glenn Trost, a partner in the intellectual property litigation practice in White & Case's Los Angeles office, explains this much-publicized conflict and its broader implications.

Q: What exactly is Google proposing to do with this project?

Trost: Google's book digitization program actually contains several components. First, the New York Public Library and the libraries at Harvard University, Stanford University, the University of Michigan and Oxford University have agreed to let Google scan their collections in exchange for providing these libraries digital copies of the books in their collections. From these scans, Google will make available online the complete text of books that aren't subject to copyright protection. In the Google Print Publisher Program, publishers can sign agreements with Google. Then, online researchers will see the full page of copyrighted text containing a search term, along with several nearby pages in each book.

What Google does when a user's search returns a book that isn't in the public domain and isn't included in the Print Publisher Program is the controversial portion of its digitization program. That's the main subject of the current litigation. For these works, unless a copyright owner opts out of the Google Print Library Project altogether, the search results will display only a few sentences showing the search term in context.

Q: Why has this led to lawsuits? How does Google's project differ from other current digitization initiatives?

Trost: Several other groups have begun digitizing the written content of books. However, they're generally proceeding on an "opt-in" basis. That is, copyright holders grant permission before books are scanned and stored. For example, Amazon.com's "Search Inside the Book" feature allows users to search within books whose publishers have signed agreements with Amazon.com. The Open Content Alliance -- a collaborative effort to build a global archive of digitized text and multimedia content through contributions from Yahoo, Microsoft and others -- similarly receives permission from copyright holders.

By contrast, Google's Print Library Project is the only initiative using an "opt-out" model. This places the burden on copyright holders to contact Google if they want to remove their books from the digitized materials that are otherwise searchable. Many authors and publishers point to this feature of the Print Library Project to claim that using their works without explicit permission constitutes copyright infringement.

Q: Why has this topic generated such intense public interest?

Trost: The basic issue of ownership of printed materials concerns the publishing industry, the Internet, academia and many other groups and businesses. And the current cases will determine whether companies with significant investments in original content -- such as films, sound recordings, other entertainment media and software -- will be able to protect their copyrighted material from certain types of future high-technology uses by other parties.

If Google prevails in the pending cases, businesses in these industries will have to adapt to a new environment in which copyrighted works will be available online beyond the complete control of copyright holders.

On the other hand, if Google loses one or both of the pending cases, it could affect other companies operating in technologically-driven industries. These companies will need to know how to avoid violating US copyrights when obtaining millions of permissions to use a large volume of protected information would be difficult. So the outcome of these lawsuits is very important.

Q: What are the core legal issues involved?

Trost: Essentially, Google is asking the courts to apply the "fair use" defense to copyright infringement to resolve this conflict between intellectual property holders and intellectual property users -- a conflict arising due to cutting-edge Internet technology.

Several factors play into a fair use legal determination, including the purpose and character of the use, the nature of the copyrighted work, the size of the portion used in comparison with the copyrighted work as a whole, and the effect of use on the market for the copyrighted work.

Copyright law, as traditionally applied to the publishing industry, requires affirmative permission from copyright holders before another party can use copyrighted content -- the opt-in approach. But in the Internet world, search engines generally have an implied, non-exclusive license to copy and store web pages, unless the pages' owners choose to withhold permission. That is, these rights holders must explicitly decide to opt out. Google is relying on an "opt-out" content usage model -- the accepted standard for indexing web material. In this way, computer software advances are now testing the limits of traditional copyright law.

Q: What are the bases for the arguments on both sides?

Trost: The authors and publishers claim that scanning their books without permission and storing unauthorized copies of them on Google servers to make money through advertising sales would violate their intellectual property rights. They also argue that Google's actions deny them potential revenue they might have generated by selling their content to other index makers.

Google claims that it's complying with current relevant case law and that scanning books into a search index falls within the fair use defense to copyright infringement. Google is relying in part on a decision a few years ago by the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit [Kelly v. Arriba Soft Corp.]. In Kelly, the Ninth Circuit stated that a search engine using an opt-out model that copied images from a photographer but displayed them to users only in thumbnail form was a fair use of the copyrighted images. But just two months ago, a federal district court in Los Angeles in another matter concluded that Google's similar creation and public display of reduced-size extracts of copyrighted images in connection with its own search engine was not a fair use of copyrighted material [Perfect 10 v. Google].

Q: What value as legal precedents will the two current cases have?

Trost: Both Kelly and Perfect 10 -- the two most relevant cases so far -- were decided by the Ninth Circuit and a California federal district court within the Ninth Circuit. But the current authors' and publishers' lawsuits seeking to halt Google's Print Library Project were filed in the Southern District of New York, which isn't bound by California courts' interpretations. Any appeals in the authors' and publishers' lawsuits would go before the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. If the Second Circuit views these issues differently from the Ninth Circuit, the split rulings could even make this a powerful topic for US Supreme Court review.

Q: What message should other companies take from the current lawsuits regarding copyright problems?

Trost: Copyright law exists both to promote creativity in authors and also to confer the general benefits of their work upon the public. But there's been some difficulty in balancing these competing interests in circumstances involving new technological developments. If these lawsuits teach us anything, they demonstrate that owners of traditional rights in creative works and those wishing to exploit new technologies must be sure to fully explore the complex legal ramifications of putting these works to new uses -- or even to old uses in the context of new technology.

Glenn Trost focuses on patent and other intellectual property litigation as well as complex civil litigation. A former engineer, he has represented clients embroiled in intellectual property disputes across a broad spectrum of industries for more than 20 years.

"Talking" features White & Case lawyers answering questions about emerging legal and business issues. For more information, please visit http://www.whitecase.com/ .

Any information contained in this interview is for educational purposes only. It should not be construed as legal advice.

Source: White & Case LLP


Web site: http://www.whitecase.com/


TNR Entertainment Corp. (The New Release), the nation's largest owner and operator of DVD rental kiosks in supermarkets and grocery stores, announced today that it will be installing its self-service units in 84 Kroger locations throughout the Dallas/metropolitan area.

The New Release is rolling out the additional units under its existing contract with Kroger. The expansion follows growing momentum and customer demand from TNR's existing kiosks currently installed in Houston and Southeast Texas. By the end of April 2006, The New Release will be installed in the majority of Kroger's Southwest locations.

"We are excited to partner with TNR to provide this convenient service to our customers," said Gary Huddleston, Director of Consumer Affairs, The Kroger Co.

"TNR kiosks are bringing a true value-add to supermarket customers' shopping experience, thereby helping to drive repeat visits and loyalty," said Tracy Walker, Executive Director of Sales and Marketing, TNR Entertainment Corp. "When TNR was founded in 2002, Kroger was one of the first to pioneer this new territory alongside us, and we look forward to working with them to reach new customers in new markets as we continue to expand our presence."

TNR serves nearly 1 million customers each month across its national network of kiosks throughout Texas, North Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Wisconsin and Colorado. TNR's kiosks store up to 1,000 units each, representing more than 200 titles, including the top new releases and popular favorites. The fully-automated kiosks operate on a wireless communications network and next-generation DVD kiosk operating system.

About Kroger

Headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, Kroger is one of the nation's largest retail grocery chains. At the end of the third quarter of fiscal 2004, the Company operated (either directly or through its subsidiaries) 2,531 supermarkets and multi-department stores in 32 states under two dozen banners including Kroger, Ralphs, Fred Meyer, Food 4 Less, King Soopers, Smith's, Fry's, Fry's Marketplace, Dillons, QFC and City Market. Kroger also operated (either directly or through subsidiaries, franchise agreements, or operating agreements) 792 convenience stores, 439 fine jewelry stores, 520 supermarket fuel centers and 42 food processing plants. For more information about Kroger, please visit our web site at www.kroger.com.

About TNR Entertainment

TNR is based in Houston, Texas. The company, which rented more than 10,000,000 DVDs since 2002, is planning an aggressive expansion of its retail locations in 2006 with the goal of quadrupling its kiosk network as it penetrates new markets.

Source: TNR Entertainment Corp.


Web site: http://www.kroger.com/

Frederick's of Hollywood Makes First-Ever Licensing Deal with Preeminent Hollywood Stylists Cristina Ehrlich and Estee Stanley Lingerie innovator to partner with celebrity favorites on new-to-market product line

Frederick's of Hollywood, the legendary lingerie company, has signed an exclusive licensing agreement with top celebrity stylists and designers, Cristina Ehrlich and Estee Stanley. The stylists will partner with Frederick's to create and introduce a line of specialty lingerie debuting in 4th Quarter of 2006. This licensing agreement marks a major milestone as the company's first collaborative venture in its 60-year history.

The initial collection will launch in late 2006 with subsequent collections to follow through 2008. The red-carpet inspired designs will feature a range of innovative, first-to-market styles that will change the way women dress for every occasion.

As premier celebrity stylists, Cristina Ehrlich and Estee Stanley dress many of Hollywood's brightest stars including Penelope Cruz, Demi Moore, Mandy Moore, Mary Kate and Ashley Olson, Jessica Biel and Eva Mendes. They are also the designers behind the clothing label, Miss Davenporte, which after debuting in Fall 2005, has fast become an editorial and celebrity favorite.

Frederick's of Hollywood CEO and President, Linda LoRe, commented, "Frederick's heritage is grounded in Hollywood and based on innovation. After reshaping the American lingerie market with our introduction of black lingerie, the padded bra, and the thong panty, we felt it was time to introduce a line that will once again change every woman's lingerie drawer." Continues LoRe, "Cristina and Estee, with their hands-on experience dressing Hollywood's leading ladies and collective eye for design, are the ideal partners for this venture."

This licensing agreement is a major milestone for the company. In its 60- year history, Frederick's has declined to participate in outside licensing agreements, keeping the design and production within the company for all of its channels of business -- retail stores, internet and catalog. Yolanda Dunbar, SVP Marketing for Frederick's, comments, "All of the elements for this agreement were a perfect fit -- the right partners, an exceptional idea for a line extension, and favorable timing. Put together, it is an opportunity we are very excited to pursue."

Further details about this collaborative line will be disclosed closer to the collection launch date.

About Frederick's of Hollywood

For nearly 60 years, Frederick's of Hollywood has been the leader in pioneering innovative, alluring lingerie. Every time a woman in America puts on a piece of black lingerie, a push-up bra or a thong, she has Frederick's to thank. With more than 150 boutique stores nationwide, world-famous catalog and online shop, Frederick's has been recognized as one of the world's most well-known brands. Visit http://www.fredericks.com/.

About Cristina Ehrlich and Estee Stanley

Partners for five years, Ehrlich and Stanley have created a highly- successful business styling Hollywood's brightest and best-dressed stars, including Demi Moore, Mandy Moore, Jessica Biel, Penelope Cruz and Ashley and Mary Kate Olsen. Their collaborative efforts have yielded some of the most memorable red-carpet and editorial looks. Maintaining a philosophy that eschews of-the-moment trends and embraces the chic and classic, the pair have created a cult following among Hollywood and editors, alike. Their successful styling work has evolved into the development of their own fashion line, Miss Davenporte, which debuted Fall 2005.

About Margaret Maldonado Agency

Founded in 1999, the Margaret Maldonado Agency (MMA) has become the preeminent artists agency, representing fashion stylists, photographers, makeup and hair and set stylists. With the best talent in the business, MMA work ranges from creating unforgettable red-carpet looks, making up the world's most famous faces, designing runway collections in collaboration with celebrity clients. MMA is the licensing agent on behalf of Estee Stanley and Cristina Ehrlich for the Frederick's of Hollywood agreement.

Source: Frederick's of Hollywood


Web site: http://www.fredericks.com/

VH1 Classic and World Productions Present All-Star Line-Up for Live Television Concert Series 'Decades Rock Live: Heart' Premiering on VH1 Classic on Friday, May 5 at 8:00 PM ET/PT

Third Installment to Feature Alice in Chains Reunion and Special Guests Dave Navarro, Carrie Underwood, Rufus Wainwright and Gretchen Wilson VH1 Classic and World Productions present the third installment of "Decades Rock Live," an innovative live concert series that features performances by celebrated artists from rock to soul who have influenced popular music over the last 50 years, as well as performances from some of today's hottest recording acts who have been inspired by these legends. The concert honoring Heart is set to premiere on VH1 Classic on Friday, May 5 at 8:00 PM ET/PT and will feature special guests including Alice in Chains Dave Navarro, Carrie Underwood, Rufus Wainwright and Gretchen Wilson.

Highlights for the Heart tribute include:

* Alice in Chains reuniting for the first time in ten years with William Duvall and Phil Anselmo from Pantera on vocals.

* Carrie Underwood celebrating her 23rd Birthday, performing with Heart on their classic hit "Alone."

The music performances are augmented with special features, such as "Decades Confidential," exclusive behind-the-scenes interviews with the spotlighted artists focusing on their career milestones and highlighting their newest releases, concert performances and other endeavors. "Decades Rock Live" segments will also include "Fan Factoids" from viewers sharing their knowledge of music facts and figures, incorporated as pop-up quotes and trivia in each episode.

"Decades Rock Live" is taped at Trump Taj Mahal's high definition television studio, The Decades Rock Arena (temporarily renamed from Mark Etess Arena for the duration of the series run), in Atlantic City, NJ. Each episode focuses on a specific artist. The series will be broadcast in High Definition in 5.1 surround sound, and rebroadcast on a premium HD network at a later date.

Fans will also have the chance to get their hands on exclusive memorabilia and special items from the artists scheduled to participate in the series. Both the Guitar Center Music Foundation and the GRAMMY Foundation will work with the show to host silent auctions. The proceeds raised will support the philanthropic missions of each of those organizations.

The series is produced by Eric Sherman, Senior Vice President and General Manager, VH1 Classic and Barry Summers, Executive Producer for World Productions. Co-producer is Tisha Fein (GRAMMY Awards).

For more information on "Decades Rock Live" and the artists visit



Launched in May 2000, VH1 Classic is a 24-hour network that present videos, concerts and music specials all day long, featuring the best of rock, soul and pop artists from the 60s, 70s and 80s, including The Beatles, The Stones, Tina Turner, Led Zeppelin, Marvin Gaye, The Who, Stevie Wonder, The Police and many more.


Source: VH1

Web site: http://www.vh1.com/

'The Da Vinci Code' Quest on Google Challenges Fans Through Online Puzzle Adventure

Columbia Pictures and Google Create Puzzle Paradise for Game and Movie Fans Around the World

* Columbia Pictures and Google announced today 'The Da Vinci Code' Quest on Google - a 24-day online puzzle adventure themed to 'The Da Vinci Code.'

* Players will discover new puzzles for 'The Da Vinci Code' Quest on Google daily at www.google.com/davincicode.

* 'The Da Vinci Code' Quest on Google begins on Monday, April 17 and runs through May 19, 2006 - the worldwide release date of the film.

* 'The Da Vinci Code' Quest on Google consists of 24 days packed with intriguing puzzles to challenge movie fans of all ages. Puzzles include symbol logic, chess-related codes, city map jigsaw puzzles and video riddles.

* 'The Da Vinci Code' Quest on Google is a skill-based contest open to puzzle fans in the U.S., the UK and Australia.

* Prizes for the US version of 'The Da Vinci Code' Quest on Google include first-class vacations for the grand-prize winner and up to three guests to New York, Paris, London and Rome as well as the Sony Electronics package from SonyStyle, the official online and retail source of product information and shopping, including a Bravia(TM) LCD Television, VAIO(R) notebook computer, Cyber-shot(R) digital still camera, NAV-U(TM) portable satellite navigation system, home theater system and more.

Columbia Pictures and Google announced today the launch of "The Da Vinci Code" Quest on Google, a challenge for the most devoted Da Vinci Code fans, available at www.google.com/davincicode.

"The Da Vinci Code" Quest on Google features 24 puzzles, one for each day of the online adventure. Individual puzzles will be released daily in the U.S. at 1pm Eastern Standard Time starting today in celebration of Leonardo da Vinci's 553rd birthday.

To create innovative puzzles with just the right amount of difficulty and originality for fans of Dan Brown's "The Da Vinci Code," Columbia Pictures worked with Wei-Hwa Huang, a four-time World Puzzle Champion and Google software engineer.

"As a puzzle enthusiast myself, I wanted to bring a unique 'Da Vinci-esque theme' to some new twists on classic puzzles," said Wei-Hwa Huang. "Players of all ages will have fun tackling these brain teasers as they compete for the grand prize."

The puzzles borrow thematically from "The Da Vinci Code" movie and its lead character, Robert Langdon, professor of symbology at Harvard University, challenging players to use their skill and cunning to unlock various codes. Each daily puzzle in "The Da Vinci Code" Quest on Google will be one of six types:

* The Symbol Challenge: Players must use their logic skills and drag the

symbols onto the grid such that the symbols in each column and row are

all distinct.

* The Restoration Challenge: A question is hidden in plain sight on a

classic work of art -- parts of the question are unclear, obscured by

debris. Players have to restore the painting and reveal the question

by clearing the particles of debris.

* The Curator Challenge: Players must use their "curator's eye" to hang

the works of art such that the hooks match those on the gallery wall.

* The Chess Challenge: Players must determine the only sequence of three

moves that will lead to checkmate in a given chess scenario.

* The Observation Challenge: Players watch movie clips and use their

observational skills to seek the truth and answer trivia questions.

* The Geography Challenge: Players assemble jigsaw puzzle pieces to

reveal and identify a geographical location.

Once solved, these daily puzzles will introduce a riddle to the player that will engage one of an assortment of Google products including Google Search, Google Maps, Google SMS and Google Video.

"'The Da Vinci Code' Quest on Google is a challenging and interactive way to dive even deeper into the theme of 'things hidden in plain sight,'" said Dwight Caines, executive vice president, worldwide digital marketing, Columbia TriStar Marketing Group. "Not only are we giving people a chance to interact with characters and scenes from 'The Da Vinci Code,' but we are also inviting them to become cryptographers for 24 days, to take our challenge and demonstrate their code-cracking skills."

The first 10,000 eligible challengers who complete all 24 puzzles correctly by Thursday, May 11th, 2006 will be contacted to participate in the final challenge -- a gauntlet of puzzles in which players must rely on the skills they honed during the 24 day contest. The brave participants who are chosen for this final challenge will receive a cryptex replica just like the one featured in the film. Each participant will then have 48 hours to complete this final series of mystifying puzzles.

The U.S. player who completes the final challenge in the least amount of time by 1pm Eastern Standard Time on Sunday, May 21, 2006 will win the Grand Prize first-class vacations to New York, Paris, London and Rome, in addition to the Sony Electronics package from SonyStyle, the official online and retail source of product information and shopping. Prizes include a Bravia(TM) LCD Television, VAIO(R) notebook computer, Cyber-shot(R) digital still camera, NAV-U(TM) portable satellite navigation system, home theater system and more.

For more information, please visit www.google.com/davincicode.

About "The Da Vinci Code"

From director Ron Howard, producer Brian Grazer and screenwriter Akiva Goldsman, the Oscar-winning team of "A Beautiful Mind," and producer John Calley (the Oscar-nominated "The Remains of the Day") comes the film version of Dan Brown's "The Da Vinci Code," one of the most popular and talked about novels of our time, with a cast headed by two-time Academy Award(R) winner Tom Hanks, Audrey Tautou, Sir Ian McKellen, Alfred Molina, Jurgen Prochnow, Paul Bettany and Jean Reno.

Produced by Grazer and Calley, "The Da Vinci Code" involves a thrilling murder investigation that unearths a secret that could change the course of history.

About Columbia Pictures

Columbia Pictures, part of the Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group, is a Sony Pictures Entertainment company. Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America (SCA), a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE's global operations encompass motion picture production and distribution; television production and distribution; digital content creation and distribution; worldwide channel investments; home entertainment acquisition and distribution; operation of studio facilities; development of new entertainment products, services and technologies; and distribution of filmed entertainment in 67 countries. Sony Pictures Entertainment can be found on the World Wide Web at http://www.sonypictures.com/.

About Google

Google's innovative search technologies connect millions of people around the world with information every day. Founded in 1998 by Stanford Ph.D. students Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google today is a top web property in all major global markets. Google's targeted advertising program provides businesses of all sizes with measurable results, while enhancing the overall web experience for users. Google is headquartered in Silicon Valley with offices throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia. For more information, visit www.google.com.

Source: Columbia Pictures

Web site: http://www.sonypictures.com/

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum to Open Roy Orbison Exhibit

was one of the true pioneers of rock and roll and one of the all-time greatest singers to ever record rock, pop or country music. In celebration of his legacy, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum will be opening an exhibit that highlights different aspects of his career and personal life on April 18. Orbison was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.


The exhibit coincides with the release of Legacy Records Roy Orbison Reissue Project. The first Legacy release will be Black & White Night, the 1987 star-studded concert originally aired as an HBO-Cinemax special, and the long-awaited The Essential Roy Orbison, the first-ever "best of" collection spanning Orbison's entire career. Black & White Night is currently in stores.

"Roy Orbison secured his place in modern music history with a unique blend of rock, country and pop music that defies easy description," said Howard Kramer, director of curatorial affairs at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. "His one-of-a-kind voice and ethereal songs set him apart from all of his contemporaries and made for a diverse set of followers." Orbison influenced a broad range of contemporaries, like Elvis Presley and the Everly Brothers; rock superstars like Bruce Springsteen and John Lennon; as well more current performers such as k.d. lang and Chris Isaak.

The exhibit includes handwritten lyrics and setlists, production notes, handbills, clothing, rare records and more. Highlights are:

* Handwritten lyrics to "Careless Heart," "Windsurfer," "She's a

Mystery to Me"

* Production notes from Mystery Girl

* Rare Rockabilly Spectator tour program, 1958. The tour also

featuring Carl Perkins, Eddie Cochran, Gene Vincent and many others.

* Jumpsuits and pantsuits from the 1970s.

* Rare records including the original acetate from "Ooby Dooby"

and the highly coveted Sun Records promo EP.

About Roy Orbison

Roy Orbison possessed one of the great rock and roll voices: a forceful, operatic bel canto tenor capable of dynamic crescendos. He sang heartbroken ballads and bluesy rockers alike, running up a formidable hit streak in the early Sixties. From the release of "Only the Lonely" in 1960 to "Oh! Pretty Woman," a span of four years, Orbison cracked the Top Ten nine times. Orbison's most memorable performances were lovelorn melodramas, such as "Crying" and 'It's Over,'" in which he emoted in a brooding, tremulous voice. The melancholy in his songs resonated with listeners of all ages, but especially heartsick teenagers who knew how it felt to lose in love.

About the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum:

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, a nonprofit museum dedicated to collecting, preserving and interpreting the historical significance of modern music, will honor the legacy of Roy Orbison with an exhibit opening in April. The gallery will feature an intimate display of artifacts directly from the Roy Orbison archives. Handwritten lyrics, rare records, stage clothing, business documents and photographs will illustrate the life and work of one of the most enigmatic performers in rock and roll history.

The Museum is open seven days a week from 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. On Wednesdays the Museum is open until 9:00 p.m. Museum admission is $20.00 for adults, $14.00 for seniors (60+), $11 for children (9-12) and children under 8 and Museum members are free.


Source: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum

Web site: http://www.legacyrecordings.com



Action-Packed IPTV: KyLinTV Spotlights Chinese Action Blockbuster

Seeking a thrill? Look no further than your television set as KyLinTV's launches its exhilarating Action Drama Spotlight.

This week, get together with the guys and watch the most popular action films from Asia featuring heroic tales about war and battle, to gripping dramas about criminals and gangsters, to fast-track movies about speed and danger. KyLinTV offers an unbeatable selection of action hits to its subscribers.

KyLinTV, the first and only Chinese IPTV Service in North America, works constantly to bring an assortment of new content -- 300 hours each week -- that will offer something for every viewer.

This week is no exception! Action-packed titles new to KyLinTV this week highlight a wide range of thrills.

Tune into KyLinTV and find the latest Japanese military blockbuster, "Aegis," about a hijacked Japanese war vessel starring the four hottest male actors in Japan, or watch "Brotherhood of War," the box-office triumph that depicts the heartbreak of war and the upheaval of the lives of two brothers.

Experience the history of Hong-Kong gangster movies through "Blood Brothers," directed by the multi-faceted Ching-Po Wong, which pays homage to the last twenty years of crime classics. Also enjoy "Mr. Socrates," a successful box-office blockbuster that helped put South Korean gangster movies on the map because of its widespread popularity.

With over 20,000 hours of content and DVD-quality picture, KyLinTV's Video On Demand (VOD) library lets subscribers' access whatever they want to watch, whenever they want to watch it with a simple click of a remote.

"I love all types of action-packed martial arts films from Asia," said Xiuying Rozanski, a KyLinTV subscriber. "It is a dream come true for me to have KyLinTV put all these movies into one place for me that I can access on demand."

KyLinTV is also showing "The Aggressive," a film about carefree youth consumed by the world of inline skating and "Once Upon a Time in China," a series that breaks the barriers of physical limitation with kung-fu skills. Based on a wildly popular online game, TV drama "Legend of Sword and Fairy," is also featured on KyLinTV.

About KyLinTV

Based in Plainview, New York, KyLinTV comes to the marketplace through the stewardship of two key investors, Charles B. Wang, founder of Computer Associates, and Charles Dolan founder of Cablevision. Production and content is made possible through technology partnerships with TransVideo of Beijing, China and NeuLion of Plainview, NY. The IPTV service is the first of its kind, offering more than 20,000 hours of Chinese programming to subscribers across North America.

Through the use of Internet Protocol Television (IPTV), KyLinTV's patent pending Video technology brings high quality broadcast channels and VOD to the TV set using existing Home DSL or Cable broadband. KyLinTV is currently available anywhere in North America for a monthly subscription fee beginning at $15.00.

For more information on the magic of KyLinTV, visit us on the web www.kylintv.com

Source: KyLinTV

Web site: http://www.kylintv.com/

90th Annual Pulitzer Prizes in Journalism, Letters, Drama and Music

The 90th annual Pulitzer Prizes in Journalism, Letters, Drama and Music, awarded on the recommendation of the Pulitzer Prize Board, were announced today by Columbia University.

The winners in each category, along with the names of the finalists in the competition, follow:



For a distinguished example of meritorious public service by a newspaper through the use of its journalistic resources which, as well as reporting, may include editorials, cartoons, photographs, graphics and online material, a gold medal.

Two Prizes of a gold medal each:

Awarded to the Sun Herald, Biloxi, Miss., for its valorous and comprehensive coverage of Hurricane Katrina, providing a lifeline for devastated readers, in print and online, during their time of greatest need.


Awarded to The Times-Picayune, New Orleans, for its heroic, multi-faceted coverage of Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath, making exceptional use of the newspaper's resources to serve an inundated city even after evacuation of the newspaper plant. (Selected by the Board from the Public Service category, where it was entered.)

Also nominated as finalists in this category were: The Blade, Toledo, Ohio, for its relentless probe of the state's investment in a rare-coin fund that exposed illegal actions by the governor and other state officials, spurring successful criminal prosecution and other corrective action, and The Washington Post for its exhaustive and illuminating exploration of the government's war on terrorism and the ensuing tension between national security and individual liberty.


For a distinguished example of local reporting of breaking news, presented in print or online or both, Ten thousand dollars ($10,000).

Awarded to the Staff of The Times-Picayune, New Orleans, for its courageous and aggressive coverage of Hurricane Katrina, overcoming desperate conditions facing the city and the newspaper.

Also nominated as finalists in this category were: The Atlanta Journal- Constitution Staff for its swift and rigorous accounts of a shooting rampage by a prisoner who seized a deputy sheriff's gun and killed a judge and three others, and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel Staff for its clear, cohesive and enterprising coverage of Hurricane Wilma after it battered a region still recovering from major storms the previous year.


For a distinguished example of investigative reporting by an individual or team, presented as a single article or series, in print or in print and online, Ten thousand dollars ($10,000).

Awarded to Susan Schmidt, James V. Grimaldi and R. Jeffrey Smith of The Washington Post for their indefatigable probe of Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff that exposed congressional corruption and produced reform efforts.

Also nominated as finalists in this category were: Jason Felch and Ralph Frammolino of the Los Angeles Times for their exposure of problems in the management of the J. Paul Getty Trust, the world's richest art institution, and in acquisition practices at other museums, and Sally Kestin, Megan O'Matz and John Maines of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel for their in-depth reports on the federal government's widespread mismanagement of hurricane aid, triggering indictments and other remedial action.


For a distinguished example of explanatory reporting that illuminates a significant and complex subject, demonstrating mastery of the subject, lucid writing and clear presentation, in print or in print and online, Ten thousand dollars ($10,000).

Awarded to David Finkel of The Washington Post for his ambitious, clear- eyed case study of the United States government's attempt to bring democracy to Yemen.

Also nominated as finalists in this category were: Debbie Cenziper of The Miami Herald for her deeply researched examination of breakdowns in hurricane forecasting that often endanger lives, and Mark Johnson and Kawanza Newson of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel for their riveting chronicle of a teenage girl's miraculous recovery from a rabies infection that medicine had previously considered fatal.


For a distinguished example of beat reporting characterized by sustained and knowledgeable coverage of a particular subject or activity, in print or in print and online, Ten thousand dollars ($10,000).

Awarded to Dana Priest of The Washington Post for her persistent, painstaking reports on secret "black site" prisons and other controversial features of the government's counterterrorism campaign.

Also nominated as finalists in this category were: Barry Meier of The New York Times for his original, strongly documented stories on a flawed heart- defibrillator that imperiled the safety of unwitting patients, and Jerry Mitchell of The Clarion-Ledger, Jackson, Miss., for his relentless and masterly stories on the successful prosecution of a man accused of orchestrating the killing of three civil rights workers in 1964.


For a distinguished example of reporting on national affairs, in print or in print and online, Ten thousand dollars ($10,000).

Two Prizes of $10,000 each:

Awarded to James Risen and Eric Lichtblau of The New York Times for their carefully sourced stories on secret domestic eavesdropping that stirred a national debate on the boundary line between fighting terrorism and protecting civil liberty.


Awarded to the Staffs of The San Diego Union-Tribune and Copley News Service, with notable work by Marcus Stern and Jerry Kammer, for their disclosure of bribe-taking that sent former Rep. Randy Cunningham to prison in disgrace.

Also nominated as a finalist in this category was: Michael Moss of The New York Times for his tenacious, thoroughly researched stories on the bureaucratic inertia that led to the fatal injury of American soldiers in Iraq who lacked protective armor.


For a distinguished example of reporting on international affairs, in print or in print and online, Ten thousand dollars ($10,000).

Awarded to Joseph Kahn and Jim Yardley of The New York Times for their ambitious stories on ragged justice in China as the booming nation's legal system evolves.

Also nominated as finalists in this category were: Steve Fainaru of The Washington Post for his powerful accounts of the deadly violence faced by ordinary American soldiers in Iraq as an insurgency intensified, and Sebastian Rotella of the Los Angeles Times for his well crafted reports on restive Muslims in Europe that foretold riots in France.


For a distinguished example of feature writing giving prime consideration to quality of writing, originality and concision, in print or in print and online, Ten thousand dollars ($10,000).

Awarded to Jim Sheeler of the Rocky Mountain News, Denver, Colo., for his poignant story on a Marine major who helps the families of comrades killed in Iraq cope with their loss and honor their sacrifice.

Also nominated as finalists in this category were: Dan Barry of The New York Times for his rich portfolio of pieces capturing slices of life in hurricane-battered New Orleans as well as his own New York City, and Mary Schmich of the Chicago Tribune for her intimate and compelling story about a federal judge whose husband and mother were murdered by an angry former plaintiff.


For distinguished commentary, in print or in print and online, Ten thousand dollars ($10,000).

Awarded to Nicholas D. Kristof of The New York Times for his graphic, deeply reported columns that, at personal risk, focused attention on genocide in Darfur and that gave voice to the voiceless in other parts of the world.

Also nominated as finalists in this category were: Chris Rose of The Times-Picayune, New Orleans, for his vibrant and compassionate columns that gave voice to the afflictions of his city after it was struck by Hurricane Katrina, and Cynthia Tucker of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution for her pungent, clear-eyed columns that tackled controversial issues with frankness and fortitude.


For distinguished criticism, in print or in print and online, Ten thousand dollars ($10,000).

Awarded to Robin Givhan of The Washington Post for her witty, closely observed essays that transform fashion criticism into cultural criticism.

Also nominated as finalists in this category were: Nicolai Ouroussoff of The New York Times for his graceful, contemplative and wide ranging critiques of architecture and urban design from New Orleans to Berlin, and Jerry Saltz of The Village Voice, a New York City weekly, for his fresh, down-to-earth pieces on the visual arts and other cultural topics.


For distinguished editorial writing, the test of excellence being clearness of style, moral purpose, sound reasoning, and power to influence public opinion in what the writer conceives to be the right direction, in print or in print and online, Ten thousand dollars ($10,000).

Awarded to Rick Attig and Doug Bates of The Oregonian, Portland, for their persuasive, richly reported editorials on abuses inside a forgotten Oregon mental hospital.

Also nominated as finalists in this category were: the Editorial Board of The Birmingham (Ala.) News for their series of incisive editorials reversing the paper's long-held support of the death penalty, and B. Marie Harris, Tony Biffle and Stan Tiner of The Sun Herald, Biloxi, Miss., for their passionate editorials in the wake of Hurricane Katrina that empathized with victims while pleading for relief from the outside world.


For a distinguished cartoon or portfolio of cartoons published during the year, characterized by originality, editorial effectiveness, quality of drawing and pictorial effect, in print or in print and online, Ten thousand dollars ($10,000).

Awarded to Mike Luckovich of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, for his powerful cartoons on an array of issues, drawn with a simple but piercing style.

Also nominated as finalists in this category were: Marshall Ramsey of The Clarion-Ledger, Jackson, Miss., for his vivid, wide ranging cartoons that express crisp opinions with uncomplicated artistry, and Mike Thompson of the Detroit Free Press for diverse cartoons that use wit, irony and artistic flair to sharpen their impact.


For a distinguished example of breaking news photography in black and white or color, which may consist of a photograph or photographs, a sequence or an album, in print or online or both, Ten thousand dollars ($10,000).

Awarded to the Staff of The Dallas Morning News for its vivid photographs depicting the chaos and pain after Hurricane Katrina engulfed New Orleans.

Also nominated as finalists in this category were: Carolyn Cole and Brian Vander Brug of the Los Angeles Times for their spellbinding coverage of Israel's emotion-packed withdrawal from Gaza, and Eric Gay of The Associated Press for his multifaceted coverage of the human suffering in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina flooded the city.


For a distinguished example of feature photography in black and white or color, which may consist of a photograph or photographs, a sequence or an album, in print or in print and online, Ten thousand dollars ($10,000).

Awarded to Todd Heisler of the Rocky Mountain News, Denver, Colo., for his haunting, behind-the-scenes look at funerals for Colorado Marines who return from Iraq in caskets.

Also nominated as finalists in this category were: Mike Stocker of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel for his imaginative exploration of Holocaust survivors as Judaism faces a new century, and Damon Winter of the Los Angeles Times for his sensitive portrayal of two remote Eskimo villages coping with memories of sexual abuse by a missionary 30 years ago.



For distinguished fiction by an American author, preferably dealing with American life, Ten thousand dollars ($10,000).

Awarded to "March" by Geraldine Brooks (Viking).

Also nominated as finalists in this category were: "The March" by E.L. Doctorow (Random House), and "The Bright Forever" by Lee Martin (Shaye Areheart Books/Crown Publishing).


For a distinguished play by an American author, preferably original in its source and dealing with American life, Ten thousand dollars ($10,000).

No Award

Nominated as finalists in this category were: "Miss Witherspoon" by Christopher Durang, "The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow" by Rolin Jones, and "Red Light Winter" by Adam Rapp.


For a distinguished book upon the history of the United States, Ten thousand dollars ($10,000).

Awarded to "Polio: An American Story" by David M. Oshinsky (Oxford University Press).

Also nominated as finalists in this category were: "New York Burning" by Jill Lepore (Alfred A. Knopf), and "The Rise of American Democracy: Jefferson to Lincoln" by Sean Wilentz (W.W. Norton).


For a distinguished biography or autobiography by an American author, Ten thousand dollars ($10,000).

Awarded to "American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer" by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin (Alfred A. Knopf).

Also nominated as finalists in this category were: "The Year of Magical Thinking" by Joan Didion (Alfred A. Knopf), and "The Peabody Sisters: Three Women Who Ignited American Romanticism" by Megan Marshall (Houghton Mifflin).


For a distinguished volume of original verse by an American author, Ten thousand dollars ($10,000).

Awarded to "Late Wife" by Claudia Emerson (Louisiana State University Press).

Also nominated as finalists in this category were: "American Sublime" by Elizabeth Alexander (Graywolf Press), and "Elegy on Toy Piano" by Dean Young (University of Pittsburgh Press).


For a distinguished book of non-fiction by an American author that is not eligible for consideration in any other category, Ten thousand dollars ($10,000).

Awarded to "Imperial Reckoning: The Untold Story of Britain's Gulag in Kenya" by Caroline Elkins (Henry Holt).

Also nominated as finalists in this category were: "Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945" by Tony Judt (The Penguin Press), and "The Assassins' Gate: America in Iraq" by George Packer (Farrar, Straus & Giroux).


For distinguished musical composition by an American that has had its first performance or recording in the United States during the year, Ten thousand dollars ($10,000).

Awarded to "Piano Concerto: 'Chiavi in Mano'" by Yehudi Wyner, premiered February 17, 2005 by the Boston Symphony Orchestra. (Associated Music Publishers, Inc.)

Also nominated as finalists in this category were: "Neruda Songs" by Peter Lieberson, premiered May 20, 2005 by the Los Angeles Philharmonic (Associated Music Publishers, Inc.), and "Si Ji (Four Seasons)" by Chen Yi, premiered October 13, 2005 by the Cleveland Orchestra (Theodore Presser Company).


A Special Citation to Edmund S. Morgan for a creative and deeply influential body of work as an American historian that spans the last half century.


A posthumous Special Citation to American composer Thelonious Monk for a body of distinguished and innovative musical composition that has had a significant and enduring impact on the evolution of jazz.

About the Pulitzer Prizes:

The Pulitzer Prize Board, chaired by Prof. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., made its recommendations when it met at Columbia on April 13 and 14 and passed them to President Lee C. Bollinger. It announced that the awards would be presented at a luncheon on May 22 at Columbia University.

Jim Amoss, Kathleen Carroll, Jay Harris, Ann Marie Lipinski and Richard Oppel were re-elected to membership on the board.

The members of the Pulitzer Prize Board are: President Bollinger; Jim Amoss, editor, The New Orleans Times-Picayune; Amanda Bennett, editor, The Philadelphia Inquirer; Joann Byrd, former editor of the editorial page, Seattle Post-Intelligencer; Kathleen Carroll, senior vice president and executive editor, Associated Press; Thomas Friedman, columnist, The New York Times; Henry Louis Gates, Jr., W.E.B. DuBois Professor of Humanities, Harvard University (chair); Donald E. Graham, chairman, The Washington Post; Anders Gyllenhaal, editor and senior vice president, Star Tribune, Minneapolis-St. Paul; Jay T. Harris, director, The Center for the Study of Journalism and Democracy, University of Southern California; David M. Kennedy, Donald J. McLachlan professor of history, Stanford University; Nicholas Lemann, dean, Graduate School of Journalism, Columbia University; Ann Marie Lipinski, senior vice president and editor, Chicago Tribune; Gregory L. Moore, editor, The Denver Post; Richard Oppel, editor, Austin American-Statesman; Michael Pride, editor, Concord (N.H.) Monitor; Paul Steiger, managing editor, The Wall Street Journal; Paul Tash, editor, CEO and chairman, St. Petersburg Times; and Sig Gissler, administrator of the Prizes.

In any category in which board members have an interest due to the action of the various nominating juries, those members do not participate in the discussion and voting and leave the room until a decision is reached in the affected category. Similarly, members of nominating juries do not participate in the discussion of or voting on entries in which they have an interest.

Source: Columbia University

Nick Mobile Launches on Sprint Phones

Sprint PCS Subscription Channel Customers will have Access to Nickelodeon Content Including Kid Favorites SpongeBob SquarePants, TEENick's Zoey 101, Unfabulous and the Nick Jr. Series The Wonder Pets! and Dora the Explorer

Nickelodeon, the number-one entertainment brand for kids, today announced the launch of Nick Mobile on select Sprint multimedia phones. Nick Mobile offers a full range of video clips from Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. programming.

"Launching Nick Mobile on Sprint is a natural evolution of our overall multiple platform strategy as we continue to produce, program and distribute content on different platforms in order to super serve our audience, who are increasingly on the go," said Steve Youngwood, Executive Vice President, Nickelodeon Digital Media. "The launch of Nick Mobile on Sprint provides our audience with a new way to watch their favorite characters, and further extends the Nick and Nick Jr. brand and experience for kids and parents beyond the home."

Nick Mobile on Sprint offers a combination of short video clips, vignettes and music videos. From the Nick Jr. library, music videos are approximately two minutes in length and include clips from favorite programs such as Dora the Explorer, Blue's Clues, The Backyardigans, LazyTown and the recently launched Nick Jr. series, The Wonder Pets!, TV's first operetta for kids.

From the Nickelodeon library, content will be available from top-rated series such as SpongeBob SquarePants, Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, The X's, Avatar and Catscratch. Additionally, TEENick material will include behind- the-scenes clips from Zoey 101, Unfabulous and Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide. Nick Mobile on Sprint will also feature on-air vignette series such as Nick Jr.'s A Pup Grows Up mini series and clips from network specials. All Nick Mobile content on Sprint multimedia phones will be refreshed on a weekly basis.

About Nickelodeon:

Nickelodeon, in its 27th year, is the number-one entertainment brand for kids. It has built a diverse, global business by putting kids first in everything it does. The company includes television programming and production in the United States and around the world, plus consumer products, online, recreation, books, magazines and feature films. Nickelodeon's U.S. television network is seen in more than 89 million households and has been the number- one-rated basic cable network for more than ten consecutive years. Nickelodeon and all related titles, characters and logos are trademarks of Viacom Inc.

Source: Nickelodeon

Web site: http://www.nick.com/

Beverly Hills, CA – The 1960 Best Picture nominee “Sons and Lovers” will be screened as the next installment in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ “Great To Be Nominated, Part Three.” The film, based on the D.H. Lawrence novel of the same name, will be shown on Monday, April 24, at 7:30 p.m. in the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater.

This is a rare opportunity for motion picture fans to see “Sons and Lovers,” which has never been released on home video. A new 35 mm print has been provided by Twentieth Century Fox for the screening.

“Sons and Lovers” took home the Oscar® for Cinematography

– Black-and-White (Freddie Francis) and earned a total of seven Academy Award® nominations. The film’s director, Jack Cardiff, earned his third nomination, though it was his first in the Directing category. The film also received nominations for Best Picture (Jerry Wald), Actor (Trevor Howard), Actress in a Supporting Role (Mary Ure), Art Direction – Black-and-White (Art Direction: Tom Morahan; Set Decoration: Lionel Couch) and Writing – Screenplay based on material from another medium (Gavin Lambert, T. E. B. Clarke).

Music from “The Alamo,” which also earned seven nominations in 1960, will be played during the pre-show. Other pre-show elements will include Short Subject – Cartoon nominee “Mouse and Garden” (1960), and a new exclusive video interview with director Jack Cardiff.

The evening’s commemorative program will feature black-and-white photos from “Sons and Lovers” on the cover.

Passes for “Great To Be Nominated, Part Three” are still available at a cost of $30 for film buffs wishing to see the rest of the series. A $5 discount is available for those who wish to renew their passes from Parts One and/or Two of the series. Inclusive of “Sons and Lovers” there are 18 screening dates remaining in Part Three.

Tickets for each individual screening may be purchased at a cost of $5 for the general public and $3 for Academy members and students with a valid I.D. Tickets may be purchased by mail, in person at the Academy during regular business hours or, pending availability, on the night of the screening when the doors open at 6:30 p.m. Curtain time for all features is 7:30 p.m. and pre-show elements will begin at 7 p.m. The Academy is located at 8949 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills.




Dodger baseball

Chi. Cubs 4, Los Angeles 1 at Dodger Stadium
Los Angeles Record: (6-8)

Winning pitcher - Greg Maddux (3-0)
Losing pitcher - Brett Tomko (1-1)
SV - Ryan Dempster (3)

at Dodger Stadium (6-8) - Greg Maddux (3-0) - Brett Tomko (1-1) - Ryan Dempster (3)

CHC HR - T. Walker (2)
LAD HR - None


Scion Joins Major League Gaming as a Presenting Sponsor

Innovative Brand Becomes Exclusive Automobile Sponsor for MLG's 2006 Pro Circuit and Pro Invasion Bus Tour

MLG's 'Scion Player of the Year' Will Win Limited-Edition Scion Prize Car

As the Major League Gaming (MLG) 2006 season kicks off, MLG today announced Scion as the presenting sponsor and exclusive automobile partner for the MLG Pro Circuit and the MLG Pro Invasion Bus Tour.

In addition to being a presenting sponsor, Scion is offering a limited-production xB Release Series 3.0 to the "Scion Player of the Year", a competition to choose the most improved pro gamer of the 2006 Pro Circuit.

"Scion has always been a strong supporter of the gaming community, and Major League Gaming offers a great opportunity for Scion to get involved and show our support for this emerging new sport," said Adrian Si, Interactive Marketing Manager, Scion.

MLG is the only professional video gaming league in America. By raising video game competition to the level of professional sport, and packaging that competition for the mass market, MLG provides players, game publishers, and media partners a unique connection with the 168 million Americans playing video games today.

"Scion and MLG both have a unique and growing place in youth culture," said Erik Semmelhack, EVP of Global Sales & Partnerships, MLG. "Together, we're looking forward to building what we believe will ultimately become the next major league sport in America."

The Major League Gaming Pro Circuit Presented by Scion will hold pro competitions in seven cities in 2006: Secaucus (The Meadowlands), Dallas, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Chicago (Playoffs) and Las Vegas (National Championship). The MLG Pro Invasion Bus Tour Presented by Scion will kick off in the summer, with four of MLG's pro gamers traveling the country to find the next generation of pro gamers.

In November, at the conclusion of the 2006 Pro Circuit, Scion will announce the "Scion Player of the Year," who will win the limited-production Scion xB Release Series 3.0. Exterior features include Envy Green paint, color-keyed Aero Speedgrille, seven-spoke wheel covers and a color-keyed rear spoiler. The interior features include a premium Alpine DVD audio/video receiver with Apple iPod connectivity, a mini-jack for most portable music players, XM satellite receiver with three months free XM radio, and a full-function remote control. It also features a Vizualogic(TM) Dual Headrest Rear Seat Entertainment System with a seven-inch LCD monitor mounted on the back of each front seat headrest and two infrared wireless headphones. Only 2,200 units of this model will be built. Gamers will be able to access www.scion.com and www.mlgpro.com throughout the year to get a look at the 2006 Scion xB Release Series 3.0 and to cast their votes for competing pros.

The first event of the "Major League Gaming Pro Circuit presented by Scion" is this Friday through Sunday, April 21-23, at the Meadowlands in Secaucus, NJ. The tournament kicks off at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, with the championships being held on Sunday (doors open at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday). Attendance is free and on a first come, first serve basis. Door prizes will be given out daily, including a fully loaded Xbox 360. Early registration at mlgpro.com will help ensure a reserved seat.

MLG worked with Janet Catinna, vice-president of Turn-Key Marketing Services, Inc. in developing and securing the Scion sponsorship.

About Scion

Scion is the newest line of vehicles from Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc. Developed with a new generation of youthful buyers in mind, Scion's mission is to provide distinctive products, the opportunity to personalize, and an innovative, consumer-driven process at the retail level. The Scion brand features three ground-breaking models. The xA is a taut subcompact five-door, featuring an athletic stance with sculpted wheel arches. The xB, an urban utility vehicle with an iconic shape, combines remarkable interior space with aggressive style. And the tC sports coupe surprises the buyer with the convenience of a hatchback and the luxury of a standard all-glass panorama moonroof, complementing the usual wide array of features on all Scions. For more information, visit www.scion.com.

About MLG (Major League Gaming)

MLG is the first professional console video gaming league. By raising console video gaming competition to the level of a professional sport, the company is creating a sports media business that provides players, developers, publishers, media partners, and advertisers a unique connection to the video gaming lifestyle. With the support of major sponsors, MLG operates a pro tour, exclusively featuring the best gamers in the world. MLG produces a variety of online and broadcast-quality programming that showcases MLG's Pros and this exciting new sports entertainment phenomenon. More information can be found at www.mlgpro.com.

About Turn-Key Marketing Services, Inc.


Source: Major League Gaming and Scion

Web site: http://www.scion.com/

Web site: http://www.mlgpro.com/

Aaron Baddeley

The $954,000 check pushed him over the $1-million mark ($1,024,661) for the second time in his four years on TOUR. * The 13th player to hold/share the lead heading into the final round and win this season in 15 stroke-play events. * Seventh international winner in 2006 and fourth from Australia (Stuart Appleby-Mercedes Championships, Geoff Ogilvy-WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, Rod Pampling-BayHill Invitational). Baddeley in his career * The win is his 10th career top-10 on the PGA TOUR. * Gives him four worldwide victories -- 1999 Holden Australian Open (Am), 2000 Holden Australian Open and 2001 Greg Norman Holden International.

Earns two-year exemption on the PGA TOUR that will take him through the 2008 season. Earns exemptions into several invitational tournaments in 2006, most notable Memorial Tournament, The INTERNATIONAL, PGA Championship, WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, and the 2007 Mercedes Championships in Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii.

* Ninth first-time winner in tournament history -- 1971 Hale Irwin, 1977 Graham Marsh, 1980 Doug Tewell, 1984 Nick Faldo, 1987 Davis Love III, 1999 Glen Day, 2001 Jose Coceres and 2005 Peter Lonard.

* Win comes in second tournament appearance (MC-2001) and he is the seventh player in tournament history to win in their second start. Last was Peter Lonard in 2005.

* Winning score of 15-under-par 269 is the lowest winning score since Davis Love III fired a 266 score to win in 1998.

* Tenth player in 38-year history of tournament to win and not have a major championship under his belt.

* Youngest winner of the tournament since Davis Love III captured his first of five tournament titles in 1987.


Detroit Diesel G2 Technician Program Offers Faster Service, Improved Quality

Guild 2.0 certification and training program increases uptime with faster, more reliable service at more than 540 locations in North America

Detroit Diesel Corporation's (DDC) new G2 technician training and certification program is providing Detroit Diesel engine owners with faster service and improved quality. A mere three months after its official launch, the program has been a success across the company's extensive service network.

"With our G2 program, the best place for you to have your Detroit Diesel engine serviced is a G2 shop," said Tom Diefenbaker, Director of Technical Support. "Our customers already have the best engines on the road. Now they have the best technicians to service those engines."

The G2 or Guild 2.0 program builds on DDC's successful Guild program by training, testing, certifying and rewarding technicians who participate. Customers who visit a shop that participates in the G2 Expert Service Network will know their on-highway engines are in the hands of knowledgeable, highly- trained and certified technicians and parts associates with the most up-to- date information on their model year engine -- whether it's a 10-year-old Series 60 or a 2007 MBE 900 featuring the latest emissions technology.

For technicians, the program focuses on training, certification, continuous improvement and recognition. They receive cutting-edge education through access to training modules that focus on how to diagnose and repair the most common engine issues; recognition of professional knowledge through certifications, as well as previous Guild service; opportunity for specialization or overall engine and parts knowledge; and career development.

"Through G2, we've strengthened our technician training, certification and continuous improvement in an effort to help improve customer satisfaction," Diefenbaker said. "We will constantly evaluate the program to ensure continuous improvement is part of how we manage the program so that our customers receive the best from our G2 technicians and parts associates."

The program, which was launched in late 2005, now has more than 540 service locations and more than 6,300 members. The numbers continue to grow as more of the service network participates in G2.

"We understand that time is money for our customers," explained Diefenbaker. "When you see the G2 logo at service locations, know that these locations have made an investment and are committed to assist in getting you back on the road as quickly as possible and are working to provide faster and more reliable service to you. Our goal is to exceed our customers' needs and expectations with real-time solutions."

Detroit Diesel Corporation is a leading manufacturer of on-highway heavy- duty diesel engines for the commercial truck market. The company offers a complete line of engines from 170 to 515 horsepower for the on-highway and vocational markets. Through its corporate headquarters in Detroit, Michigan, Detroit Diesel is engaged in the design, manufacture, sale and service of these products, in addition to supporting alternative and hybrid engine strategies for the commercial truck marketplace. Detroit Diesel is a subsidiary of DaimlerChrysler and part of the Freightliner group of companies.

Source: Detroit Diesel Corporation

With Surging Gasoline Prices, DOE/Alliance to Save Energy Powerful $avings Campaign Offers Tips for Getting Best Mileage http://www.ase.org/powerfulsavings

The traditional heavy summer driving season has not yet arrived, yet gasoline prices nationwide have already averaged nearly $2.60 a gallon, up some 40 cents from a year ago and could see more price volatility as the driving season progresses. To help motorists cope, the Department of Energy (DOE)/Alliance to Save Energy Powerful $avings campaign offers consumer tips in both English and Spanish to get better mileage and reduce gasoline expenses.

"Keeping vehicles properly maintained and driving smart can significantly boost mileage and lower gasoline costs," said new DOE Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Alexander Karsner.

Alliance President Kateri Callahan added, "Households paid more than $4,000 last year to power their homes and vehicles. Consumers can cut those costs with tips from the DOE/Alliance Powerful $avings campaign."

Basic Maintenance Pays Off

* Keep your car properly tuned up to improve gas mileage by about 4

percent; replacing a faulty oxygen sensor can improve mileage by as

much as 40 percent.

* Keep air filters clean to improve mileage by up to 10 percent.

Replacing clogged or dirty air filters also keeps impurities from

damaging the inside of your engine.

* Keep tires properly inflated to improve gas mileage by about 3.3

percent and improve tire safety and longevity. Every 1 psi drop in

pressure of all four tires can lower gas mileage by 0.4 percent.

* Use the manufacturer's recommended grade of motor oil to improve your

gas mileage by another 1-2 percent. Look for "Energy Conserving" on

the API performance symbol to ensure friction-reducing additives.

On the Road ...

* Curtail aggressive driving. Speeding and rapid acceleration and

braking cut mileage up to 33 percent at highway speeds and by 5

percent in town. Nix jack-rabbit starts in favor of slow acceleration

from a dead stop.

* Obey the speed limit. Speeding cuts fuel economy 7 to 23 percent, as

gas mileage decreases rapidly above 60 mph. Driving faster than 60

mph is like paying more than the posted amount for each gallon of gas.

* If available, use your vehicle's overdrive gear when appropriate to

reduce engine speed, which will enable you to save gas and reduce

engine wear.

* Use cruise control to help cut fuel consumption by maintaining a

steady speed during highway driving.

* Pack lightly when traveling, and avoid carrying items on your

vehicle's roof. An extra 100 pounds in the trunk cuts a typical car's

fuel economy 1-2 percent.

* Avoid idling, which gets 0 mpg. Cars with larger engines typically

waste even more gas at idling than cars with smaller engines.

* Combine your errands into one trip and plan your routes carefully to

drive fewer miles and use less fuel -- and reduce wear and tear on

your vehicle. Several short trips taken from a cold start can use

twice as much fuel as a longer, multipurpose trip covering the same

distance when the engine is warm.

Other Gasoline-, Money-Saving Options

* If you own more than one vehicle, drive the one that gets better gas

mileage whenever possible. If you drive 15,000 miles a year, you can

save $645 a year by driving a car that gets 30 mpg rather than 20 mpg.

That's almost $2,600 extra in fuel costs in just four years!

* Carpool or ride-share. Some urban areas allow vehicles with multiple

passengers to use High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes.

* Use public transportation. Check the American Public Transportation

Association's website for local public transit information


* If your employer permits, consider telecommuting or staggering your

work hours to avoid sitting in traffic and wasting gas during peak

rush hours.

* Protect your health and your pocketbook by walking -- or biking -- to

your destination whenever possible.

Buying, Renting, or Leasing a Car

* Federal income tax credits of $250 to $3,400 are available in 2006 and

2007 to purchasers of hybrid-electric or diesel vehicles, based on the

vehicle's efficiency and fuel savings. Tax credits are dollars

deducted from taxes owed. After each auto manufacturer has sold

60,000 hybrids, the credit begins to phase out -- so it pays to put

your order in sooner rather than later. See

http://www.ase.org/taxcredits for details, and check out local excise

tax reductions and other benefits for hybrid purchasers, too.

* When buying or leasing a new vehicle, think high gas mileage. Check

out the DOE website, http://www.fueleconomy.gov/, for information on

fuel-efficient vehicles.

* When renting a car, ask for a model that gets better fuel economy.

Source: Alliance to Save Energy; U.S. Department of Energy

Web site: http://www.ase.org/powerfulsavings



AUTOMOTIVE WHO'S WHO, Inc. Announces Automotive Supplier Directory Format Adjustments


AUTOMOTIVE WHO'S WHO, Inc. announces today that it is adjusting the format of its popular AUTOMOTIVE WHO'S WHO(R) - North American Original Equipment Supplier Directory.

Changes to the publisher's two AUTOMOTIVE WHO'S WHO(R) supplier directory editions are as follows: The EXECUTIVE Edition has now been expanded to 4 volumes from 3 and the STANDARD Edition has been expanded to 3 volumes from 2.

The EXECUTIVE Edition is a comprehensive directory of North American original equipment suppliers with detailed up-to-date information on 3,800+ companies and 15,200+ supplier individual key points of contact (POCs). The STANDARD Edition is the same as above, but does not include individual key contacts.

"These format changes reflect the continued expansion of our database coverage," says David M. Bennett, the company's director of automotive business development. "The EXECUTIVE Edition for example now contains more than 3 times the original key employee contact data as it originally did when first launched in 2001."

AUTOMOTIVE WHO'S WHO(R), Inc. provides automotive original equipment supply chain information to vehicle manufacturers and their Tier I, II and III suppliers of parts, components, assemblies and related services. AUTOMOTIVE WHO'S WHO(R), Inc. publishes the AUTOMOTIVE WHO'S WHO(R) POWERbase(TM) (online database), the AUTOMOTIVE WHO'S WHO(R) e-SHEET(TM) (electronic spreadsheet), the AUTOMOTIVE WHO'S WHO(R) EXECUTIVE Edition (print) and the AUTOMOTIVE WHO'S WHO(R) STANDARD Edition (print). For further information please visit AUTOMOTIVE WHO'S WHO(R), Inc.'s website at http://www.powerbase-automotive.com/ .



Web site: http://www.powerbase-automotive.com/



Nike and Maven Networks Introduce JogaTV

New Internet TV Channel Brings Exclusive Joga Bonito Videos to Soccer Youth Every Week

Nike, Inc., and Maven Networks today introduced JogaTV, a new Internet TV channel that gives soccer fans around the globe a front row seat to exclusive video featuring some of the game's greatest players, as well as some of the world's best untapped local heroes as they demonstrate Joga Bonito -- or Play Beautiful -- for everyone to enjoy.

JogaTV offers an insider view into the world of soccer via multiple video programs, all of which can be shared among friends. Video programming on JogaTV features international stars of the game including Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Thierry Henry, and Wayne Rooney demonstrating the values of beautiful soccer - - Joy, Honor, Skill, Heart and Team. Soccer legend Eric Cantona stars in most of the videos as the disruptive advocate leading the rebellion against slow, controlling, boring soccer and the return of a beautiful, creative style of play.

Nike's global Joga Bonito campaign is multi-faceted, encompassing: Joga.com, the world's largest soccer-specific social network; Joga3, a short- field 3-on-3 game that will allow more than 3 million kids around the world to bring Joga Bonito to life; a Joga Bonito series of commercials; and of course, JogaTV.

Maven Media System(TM) is the technology link between video programming from Nike and its growing social network of soccer fans. Based on patent- pending technology, Maven's integrated video publishing and distribution platform provides unrivaled customer experiences across multiple devices for JogaTV.

Once the JogaTV internet TV channel is launched, the JogaTV icon lives on the soccer fan's desktop for easy access. Each week, new content is delivered behind the scenes via the Maven Media System and automatically added to JogaTV. At this time a new program series is unlocked for users to explore. Nike will unlock a total of seventeen different programs, one each week between April and July.

In addition to each of Nike's new Joga Bonito commercials, content on JogaTV includes:

-- original experiential videos featuring global soccer stars,

-- exclusive videos featuring soccer kids around the world demonstrating

their skills,

-- U.S. National Team star Clint Dempsey and his "Don't Tread" rap video,

-- viral videos featuring Brazilian greats Ronaldinho and Ronaldo,

-- a weekly blog titled This is American Soccer,

-- and a running clock counting down the days, hours, minutes and seconds

to the U.S. National team's first game in Germany this summer vs. the

Czech Republic.

"Like all kids who love sport, soccer players and fans have a passion for their game that's almost insatiable," said Adam Roth, U.S. Advertising Director for Nike. "By launching this viral, online program, we tap into that spirit by delivering highly-coveted content while extending and demonstrating the message of Joga Bonito."

Hilmi Ozguc, CEO of Maven Networks said "Maven's technology allows Nike to directly reach its audiences with an interactive experience that genuinely demonstrates the future of Internet TV, and enables them to accurately target and measure their campaigns. True Internet TV channels are redefining how online content is distributed, and experienced."

Maven Networks' technology is the only broadband video platform that delivers a true Internet TV experience using full-screen, HD-quality video for PCs, Internet-connected TVs, video iPods, PSPs and other portable devices.

JogaTV is available through select soccer and youth-oriented websites including joga.com and nikesoccer.com.

About NIKE, Inc.

NIKE, Inc. based near Beaverton, Oregon is the world's leading designer, marketer and distributor of authentic athletic footwear, apparel, equipment and accessories for a wide variety of sports and fitness activities. Wholly owned Nike subsidiaries include Converse Inc., which designs, markets and distributes athletic footwear, apparel and accessories; NIKE Bauer Hockey, Inc., a leading designer and distributor of hockey equipment; Cole Haan, a leading designer and marketer of luxury shoes, handbags, accessories and coats; Hurley International LLC, which designs, markets and distributes action sports and youth lifestyle footwear, apparel and accessories and Exeter Brands Group LLC, which designs and markets athletic footwear and apparel for the value retail channel.

About Maven Networks

Maven Networks pioneered the commercial use of HD video delivered via the Internet to PCs, TVs and portable devices. Its product, Maven Media System(TM), is the critical technology link between video programming and building a loyal, revenue generating Internet TV viewership. Based on patent- pending technology, Maven's integrated video publishing and distribution platform provides unrivaled customer experiences across multiple devices for both download and streaming environments.

Maven has operations in the United States, United Kingdom and Australia. Maven Media System is used by industry-leading organizations across the globe including 20th Century Fox, A&E Television Networks International, Atom Films, CJ Media, Disney Buena Vista Pictures, Hallmark Channel, National Geographic Channel, Pepsi, and Sony Pictures, to deliver compelling, interactive broadband video channel experiences using DVD and HD-quality video.

Source: Nike, Inc.

Web site: http://www.nikebiz.com/


8th Annual Michael Douglas & Friends Presented by Lexus

At Trump National Golf Club -

Media Alert

What: Lexus is presenting sponsor of the celebrity golf event for the

fifth consecutive year and will host the Lexus Celebrity

Putting Challenge to benefit The Motion Picture & Television

Fund (MPTF). Celebrity teams will putt to win cash and a

one-year lease of a Lexus GS 450h hybrid performance sedan on

behalf of MPTF.

Who: Celebrities confirmed to date to join Michael Douglas as 2006

tournament players are:

* Michael Chiklis * Heather Locklear

* Kenny G * Haley Joel Osment

* Samuel L. Jackson * William Petersen

* Cheryl Ladd * Martin Sheen

When: Sunday, May 7, 2006

10 a.m. Press Call

10:30 a.m. Celebrity Interviews

11 a.m. Putting Challenge

Where: Trump National Golf Club, Rancho Palos Verdes, California

Directions and parking instructions will be forwarded to

confirmed press

NBC: NBC-TV will nationally televise the tournament on Saturday,

June 10, 4-6 p.m. EDT

Sponsors: Lexus, Dr. Pepper, AOL, Trump National Golf Club

Why: Proceeds from the event will benefit The Motion Picture &

Television Fund and its efforts to provide charitable health

and community services to entertainment industry people in



Source: The Motion Picture & Television Fund



Major League Effort to Fight Oral, Head and Neck Cancer

MLB.COM, Brett Butler and The Yul Brynner Foundation Hope to Save Lives With Free Cancer Screenings in Major U.S. Cities

April 17th-23rd Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week

This week is Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week and there is a new major league effort to help Americans get screened. This year more than 30,000 people will be diagnosed with cancers of the head and neck region. These cancers kill 7,000 each year, but, if caught early, they can be highly treatable.

Retired Major Leaguer and cancer survivor Brett Butler is teaming up with MLB.com and the Yul Brynner Head and Neck Cancer Foundation to encourage the public to see a doctor or dentist to get screened for oral, head and neck cancer. The Yul Brynner Foundation is sponsoring a web page on MLB.com, featuring a videotaped message from Butler and information. It also has a directory of sites throughout the U.S. that will be offering free examinations by physicians and dentists on Friday, April 21st. The most effective prevention strategy is stopping risky behaviors like smoking, using chewing tobacco and drinking excessively. More than 85 percent of head and neck cancers are related to tobacco use.

The nationwide free exams are for anyone and are recommended especially for those at higher risk. Log on to http://www.headandneck.org/ or http://ybf.mlb.com/ to find the free screening site nearest to you.

VIDEO PROVIDED BY: The Yul Brynner Head and Neck Cancer Foundation

Web site: http://ybf.mlb.com/

Verizon Wireless and Univision Bring Exclusive Wireless Spanish-Language Coverage of 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany to Mobile Phones

Verizon Wireless Offers 2002 FIFA World Cup Video Clips, Commentary and More Available Today

Viva Futbol. Viva V CAST. Verizon Wireless, the nation's premier provider of wireless products and services, announced today exclusive rights to mobile video clips, recaps and highlights, in the United States of Spanish-language coverage of the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany(TM) -- the most important competition in international soccer as covered on the Univision, Galavision and Telefutura networks. Through an agreement with Univision, the leading Spanish-language media company in the U.S., highlights from "Copa Mundial de la FIFA Alemania 2006" will be available to all Verizon Wireless V CAST customers throughout the tournament (June 9 - July 9, 2006) and marks the first time such highlights will be available on wireless phones.

Re-live the moments from 2002

Fans who need a quick fix or a memory refresher of the 2002 FIFA World Cup can experience it today with video content, including Spanish-language tournament commentary and analysis, on their V CAST-enabled wireless phones. FIFA World Cup(TM) content is available to Verizon Wireless customers through the company's relationship with Univision, the exclusive Spanish-language broadcaster of 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany.

Let the Games Begin

Once 2006 FIFA World Cup matches begin on June 9, 2006, V CAST customers will have access to video clips, recaps and highlights of all 64 matches right in the palms of their hands. Clips covering goals and key actions of the match with Spanish-language commentary will be on V CAST within 30 minutes after halftime and again at the conclusion of the match. In addition, customers will be able to watch a recap of the match, including all goals and key actions, within one hour of the end of each match. Additional details regarding 2006 FIFA World Cup content will be released in the coming months.


To get V CAST from Verizon Wireless, customers simply equip their V CAST- enabled phones with a V CAST VPak subscription for $15.00 monthly access added to their Verizon Wireless calling plan. Unlimited basic video clips are included, but application download fees apply for 3D games, music and premium video. For more information, visit http://www.getvcast.com/.

For more information about Verizon Wireless products and services, visit a Verizon Wireless Communications Store, call 1-800-2 JOIN IN or go to http://www.verizonwireless.com/.

About Verizon Wireless

Verizon Wireless owns and operates the nation's most reliable wireless network, serving 51.3 million voice and data customers. Headquartered in Bedminster, NJ, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). Find more information on the Web at http://www.verizonwireless.com/

About Univision Communications

Univision Communications Inc. is the premier Spanish-language media company in the United States. Its operations include Univision Network, the most-watched Spanish-language broadcast television network in the U.S. reaching 98% of U.S. Hispanic Households; TeleFutura Network, a general-interest Spanish-language broadcast television network, which was launched in 2002 and now reaches 86% of U.S. Hispanic Households; Galavision, the country's leading Spanish-language cable network; Univision Television Group, which owns and operates 62 television stations in major U.S. Hispanic markets and Puerto Rico; Univision Radio, the leading Spanish-language radio group which owns and/or operates 69 radio stations in 16 of the top 25 U.S.

Hispanic markets and 4 stations in Puerto Rico; Univision Music Group, which includes Univision Records, Fonovisa Records, La Calle Records and a 50% interest in Mexico-based Disa Records labels as well as Fonomusic and America Musical Publishing companies; and Univision Online, the premier Spanish-language Internet destination in the U.S. located at http://www.univision.com/. Univision Communications also has a 50% interest in TuTv, a joint venture formed to broadcast Televisa's pay television channels in the U.S., and a non-voting 14.9% interest in Entravision Communications Corporation, a public Spanish-language media company. Univision Communications is headquartered in Los Angeles with television network operations in Miami and television and radio stations and sales offices in major cities throughout the United States.

Source: Verizon Wireless

Web site: http://www.verizonwireless.com/


The Toughest Sport on Dirt is Coming to FOX This Fall!

FOX Sports and the Professional Bull Riders (PBR) are excited to announce that bull riding is coming to FOX this fall! The 90 minute tape-delayed PBR television broadcasts are slated to air on three single-header NFL Sundays. Fans can tune in on September 17, October 1, and October 29 to catch these adrenaline-charged Built Ford Tough Series events featuring the world's elite bull riding tour, the Built Ford Tough Series presented by Wrangler.

The three PBR events will air at 4:30 - 6:00 p.m. ET immediately following the early NFL games or at 2:30 - 4:00 p.m. ET leading into the late NFL games, which will be determined two-weeks prior to game day in each market. The Greensboro, N.C. BFTS event airs on Sunday, Sept. 17, while the PBR World Finals from Las Vegas will air on October 29; the October 1st event is still to be determined. On October 29, the PBR event not only follows the NFL on FOX, but airs the same day of a possible Game Seven of the 2006 World Series.

PBR management is excited to enhance its programming with FOX coverage and not only deliver professional bull riding to its passionate fan base, but win new enthusiasts in the process.

Said CEO of the PBR, Randy Bernard, "I believe that the FOX Sports agreement is a landmark move for the PBR and will impact our sport in a huge way. Airing on NFL Sundays will bring the PBR into a tremendous number of homes, as well as expose our sport to an ideal demographic. FOX will deliver a broadcast that is very informational for the casual viewer and at the same time showcase the high impact action that our passionate fans expect."

"We are very excited to showcase some of the Professional Bull Riders' premier events," said FOX Sports President Ed Goren. "With its ever-growing fan base and popularity, the addition of PBR's elite bull riding tour to FOX Sports' schedule is a wonderful complement to our championship programming lineup."

More than 104 million viewers tune in each year to the PBR on NBC, OLN and on a host of foreign networks across the globe. With over 500 hours of prime time programming annually PBR ranks among the most prolific sports on air, in addition to attracting over one million live event attendees each year with its multi-tiered event structure which includes the marquee Built Ford Tough Series presented by Wrangler, the U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company Challenger Tour, the Enterprise Rent-A-Car Tour, and the Discovery Tour, designed specifically for entry level contestants. The PBR's governing board of directors is comprised of renowned bull riders who have developed the event into a stand alone sport which is experiencing unprecedented growth in global popularity. The PBR is headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colo., and has over 600 athletes competing in more than 100 PBR sanctioned competitions.

In just 12 years of existence, FOX Sports has earned 63 Emmy Awards for excellence in the presentation of the biggest sporting events on television. FOX Sports is the exclusive network broadcast rights holder for Major League Baseball, the exclusive network broadcaster of NFC regular-season National Football League games and a rights holder of NASCAR NEXTEL Cup racing. In January, FOX Sports begins exclusive coverage of Fiesta Bowl, Orange Bowl and Sugar Bowl from 2007 through 2010, and the new, stand-alone, BCS National Championship Game from 2007 through 2009. David Hill and Ed Goren are the Executive Producers of FOX Sports. For additional information on the Professional Bull Riders, please visit www.pbrnow.com or call 719.471.3008.


Web site: http://www.pbrnow.com/


DoD Identifies Casualties

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. Spc. Mark W. Melcher, 34, of Pittsburgh, Pa., died in Al Taqaddum, Iraq on April 15, when his M1A1 Abrams tank came under enemy small-arms fire during combat operations. Melcher was assigned to the National Guard's 1st Battalion, 103rd Armor, Friedens, Pa.

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. Master Sgt. Clinton W. Cubert, 38, of Lawrenceburg, Ky., died on April 16, in the Lexington Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Lexington, Ky., of injuries sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near his HMMWV during combat operations in Samarra, Iraq, on Sept. 11, 2005. Cubert was assigned to the Army National Guard's 2113th Transportation Company, Paducah, Ky.

DoD Identifies Marine Casualties

The Department of Defense announced today the death of four Marines who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. Lance Cpl. Derrick J. Cothran, 21, of Avondale, La. Cpl. Pablo V. Mayorga, 33, of Margate, Fla. Lance Cpl. Justin D. Sims, 22, of Covington, Ky. Pfc. Ryan G. Winslow, 19, of Jefferson, Ala. All four Marines died April 15 when their HMMWV struck an improvised explosive device during combat operations in Al Anbar province, Iraq. Cothran, Mayorga, and Winslow were all assigned to the 2nd Tank Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C. Sims was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. Lance Cpl. Darin T. Settle, 23, of Henley, Mo., died April 14 from a non-hostile motor vehicle accident in Al Anbar province, Iraq. He was assigned to Combat Logistics Regiment 2, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.

USO/AFE Tour Veteran Gary Sinise Heads to the Persian Gulf

Actor, director and producer Gary Sinise will soon depart for the Persian Gulf on his 18th USO/Armed Forces Entertainment tour to visit service members in the region. Currently starring in the hit CBS series "CSI: New York," Sinise also is known to troops as Lt. Dan in "Forrest Gump."

A long-time supporter of service members and veterans, Sinise was among a host of celebrities on the USO's first tour to Baghdad in June 2003. His other tours include visits to troops in Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Korea, Germany, the Netherlands, England, Italy and Diego Garcia. Sinise also often tours with the Lt. Dan Band, performing concerts overseas and at military bases in the United States, most recently at Twentynine Palms, Calif., and Luke Air Force Base, Ariz.

Following his second USO tour to Iraq, where he visited with school children, Sinise co-founded Operation Iraqi Children, which provides educational materials to students in Iraq through the generosity of the American people.

This tour continues the USO/AFE tradition of bringing entertainment to troops stationed far from home. A number of entertainers have made trips for the USO this year, including country music duo Montgomery Gentry, Grammy Award-winning band La Mafia and Jeff Foxworthy. NFL players Bryce Fisher, Patrick Kerney and Max Starks also recently returned from a USO tour, marking the NFL's 40th year of partnership with the USO.

About the USO

For 65 years, the USO (United Service Organizations) has been providing morale, welfare and recreational services to U.S. military personnel and their families. The USO is a nonprofit, charitable organization, relying on the generosity of the American people to support its programs and services. The USO is supported by Worldwide Strategic Partners AT&T, BAE Systems North America, Clear Channel Communications, The Coca-Cola Company, Military Channel, S&K Sales Co. and TriWest Healthcare Alliance. Other corporate donors, including the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC-0600), have joined thousands of individual donors to support the USO. For more information on the USO, please visit http://www.uso.org/.


Source: USO


Afghan Aviators Make Historic Return to Bagram

Afghan National Army Air Corps aviators began training with Task Force Falcon aviators and U.S. Army soldiers here April 11. The arrival of the 18-person team marks the first assignment of Afghan aviators here in 15 years. The aviators will use two Russian-made Mi-17 Hip helicopters for training and to move supplies and equipment with coalition forces. "The goal of this mission is to integrate the Afghan National Army Air Corps into coalition operations," said Army Chief Warrant Officer Tim Basso, an embedded trainer accompanying the Afghan aviators. "The end result is to get the Afghan pilots familiar with the way the coalition does operations, and for the coalition to learn from the Afghan pilots what the tactics for the area are." Army Col. Michael Rose, the Task Force Falcon commander, said the aviators' arrival came at an opportune time. "With this training, we can incorporate them into ongoing operations in support of Operation Mountain Lion over the next few weeks, and also as we work together during the remainder of the time that Task Force Falcon is here in Afghanistan," Rose said. "This gives us the opportunity to continue to develop a relationship that will go on past our departure from here." Many Afghan crewmembers served here previously but departed in the 1990s during Afghanistan's civil war. "The airfield was the front line of fighting (between the Northern Alliance and Taliban), so most of the pilots stayed away," said ANA Air Corps Capt. Abdullah, a pilot.

His last assignment to Bagram was in 1991. ANA Air Corps pilots Maj. Njamatullah and Capt. Mohammad Naim flew for the Northern Alliance against the Taliban. The aviators all volunteered to come back to service when the Air Corps was being created last year, and said they are happy to be flying again. Maj. Bashir, the ANA's liaison officer to Task Force Falcon, said he has seen control of the base pass through many hands, from Afghan government to the Russians, the Northern Alliance, the Taliban and now the United States. The ANA current mission is a step toward the Afghan government reclaiming control of the airfield, but coalition support is needed, he said. "Without the help of the coalition, and especially the U.S. and our partnership with Task Force Falcon, we cannot do it," he said.

Qatar Pass Program Geared to Refresh Servicemembers

People use the term "decompress" a lot at U.S. Central Command's Rest and Recuperation Center here. The center allows servicemembers and Defense Department civilians to leave the stress of service in Iraq, Afghanistan or the Horn of Africa behind, said Army Capt. Pernita Duggal, in charge of the R&R Pass Program facility. The four-day pass program gives servicemembers relief from the stressors of their duty stations while also giving them a taste of the culture of this Persian Gulf state. More than 100,000 servicemembers have participated in the program since it started in 2003. About 350 personnel per day take part in the program. "We've been as low as 150 and as high as 500," Duggal said.

The availability of transportation to and from the frontline zones is the limiting factor. "Some soldiers arrive expecting MTV's Beach House Party - that's not the intent," Duggal said. "But it is a chance for them to wear civilian clothes and relax while they are on pass." Army Staff Sgts. Michael Dion and Ross Desmit, both of the 126th Infantry of the Massachusetts National Guard, are based in Kuwait and said it was a good break. "It's enough sometimes just to sleep and not be bothered," Dion said. Desmit said he enjoys just wearing civilian clothes. "It's a break from the uncertainty of Iraq," said another soldier. "You can go out on a patrol every day there and nine times out of 10 nothing happens. But that 10th time can be tough. It's the not knowing part that is so stressful." "For some of us, it was enough to come here and just not have to carry a weapon around," said Spc. Brian Lascomb, an infantryman based in Baghdad. And it is a chance to get out and see some of Qatar.

The program offers trips to five venues each day. Force protection measures mean that not the same venues are offered every day, and each trip is limited to 25 personnel. The program offers a dhow cruise. "This is the typical Persian Gulf dhow that anchors off shore along the coast and allows servicemembers to swim and eat Arabic food," Duggal said. Another popular trip focuses on water sports, with jet skis, banana boats and waterskiing. There's an inland sea picnic where personnel drive to beaches and go swimming, have a picnic in an Arabic tent, play beach volleyball or just walk the coast. Other special outings, such as golf at the Doha country club or trips to the different shopping malls in the country, are available as well. The program also offers cultural tours of Doha. "This is the most popular tour," Duggal said. "For many it is an eye-opener, because they see an Islamic state that welcomes them." While the off-base activities are a draw, servicemembers also use on-base facilities.

These include a Chili's restaurant with a swimming pool, a fully stocked 24-hour gym, miniature golf, and two clubs - the Top Off and the Oasis Club. The Oasis Club is open 24 hours a day and serves food all through that time. The clubs serve beer at night, with a three-drink maximum. The Top Off is growing, and by the end of the month will open an Irish Pub, an Arabic Tent, the Monte Carlo Wine Bar and a Cyber Cafe. "We've gotten great cooperation from local vendors," said Army Maj. Ben Dennis, the Morale, Welfare and Recreation chief here. The club will also soon have an eight-lane bowling center and an improved dance floor. The USO also funds a room in the center, with video games and a movie room, where servicemembers can just relax. Volunteer organizations play a role too, with many donating clothing, the latest video games, books and DVDs to the center. These include Soldiers' Angels, the Special Forces Association and the USO. "It's a great program, but a lot of units do not participate," Dennis said. "Some may have it confused with the R&R leave program.

This is in addition to the two-week R&R leave." Servicemembers on a one-year tour in the region qualify for two four-day passes, Duggal said.

Recent news reports citing an imminent U.S. military attack against Iran are flat wrong

A senior Defense Department official said here today. Such reports constitute "wild speculation," DoD spokesman Bryan Whitman told Pentagon reporters, reiterating previous policy remarks President Bush has made on the Iran issue. The president has chosen diplomacy in concert with the international community as the preferred approach in persuading the Iranian government to jettison its nuclear programs, Whitman said. Yet, it would be unrealistic, Whitman suggested, for people to believe that DoD doesn't have plans for all types of potential military contingencies, including Iran. "We plan for all sorts of things," Whitman said. News reports have said the United States government is planning to attack Iran over its nuclear policies. Iran has so far refused to comply with U. N. entreaties to relinquish its activities to develop atomic fuel. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadienejad announced on April 11 that Iran had produced enriched uranium using 164 centrifuges.

Such material can be used in nuclear reactors to produce electricity or to make nuclear weapons. Bush voiced his displeasure at Iranian efforts to develop nuclear technology during an April 10 speech given at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at John Hopkins University here. "We do not want the Iranians to have a nuclear weapon, (or) the capacity to make a nuclear weapon, or the knowledge as to how to make a nuclear weapon. That's our stated goal," the president said. Iran is on a U.S. list of countries that sponsor terrorism. The Iranian president has also voiced his belief that Israel, a major U.S. ally, should be destroyed. Senior U.S. officials believe that any nuclear technology the Iranians develop will eventually be used to produce nukes. The U.N. Security Council put out a March 29 statement declaring that body's "serious concern" about Iran's decision to resume its uranium-enrichment activities. The Iranian government had ceased to cooperate with International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N.'s nuclear regulatory organization. Iranian officials have said their country has a right to possess nuclear technology. The Iranian government's persistence in further developing its nuclear program "only further isolates the regime from the rest of the world," White House spokesman Scott McClellan told reporters during an April 11 news briefing.

Defense Agency Prepared for 2006 Hurricane Season Support

Following an unprecedented domestic disaster relief effort in 2005, Defense Logistics Agency officials here say DLA is ready to provide support during the 2006 hurricane season, which begins June 1. A recently completed agencywide review of DLA's response to domestic disasters in 2005 was an opportunity for the headquarters and field activities staff to assess agency support, evaluate actions necessary to improve that support -- which cost the agency $476.6 million -- and to be prepared for similar missions in 2006, officials said.

To ensure effective relief support during the upcoming hurricane season, DLA co-hosted a domestic disaster response logistics working group meeting last week in Springfield, Va., along with several top-level Pentagon organizations: the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics; the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense; and the Joint Staff Logistics Directorate. The working group participants included U.S. Northern Command, U.S. Transportation Command, the National Guard Bureau, Army Materiel Command and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The meeting focused on the synchronization of ongoing logistics preparation for domestic disasters. "This was the second of several partnering efforts to ensure we are poised to provide support in the event of a domestic disaster," said Col. Eric Smith, chief of the DLA Logistics Operations Center. DLA's preparations for 2006 disaster relief efforts included the following: - Signing an interagency agreement with FEMA, resulting in sales of $67 million and allowing for advance coordination between the agencies. -

Agreements worked out by the Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, a DLA field activity, with suppliers to provide commercial meals quickly in the event of a disaster. Commercial meals are better matched to the general population's nutritional and caloric requirements than military rations are, officials said. - DLA storage and management of 3 million military ration meals purchased by FEMA to provide an interim feeding solution until alternative meals are delivered by commercial sources. - The Defense Distribution Center, a DLA field activity, reviewed "first to go" stocks and is redistributing them to facilitate more rapid response to disaster sites. This effort is ongoing throughout April and is expected to be completed by May 1.

This is being undertaken to complement FEMA's Scaled Disaster Response Plan Requirement. - Deployable Distribution Depot will be capable of deploying an initial operating capability that can receive, store, issue and maintain in-transit visibility and positive asset control of relief commodities. The concept is to provide distribution services for 200,000 persons per day. DDC is assembling and training the work force to support this initiative. - DDC will ensure all shipments remain visible during transit by aggressively pursuing their Web-based monitoring.

This effort has been coordinated with NORTHCOM, FEMA and TRANSCOM. In addition, a color-coded placard system will be used on each shipment to enable quick visual identification of the types of commodity being shipped. "These efforts are a result of the challenges faced during the 2005 hurricane season," added Smith. DLA provides supply support, and technical and logistics services to the military services and to several civilian agencies. The agency is the one source for nearly every consumable item, whether for combat readiness, emergency preparedness or day-to-day operations.


Recession's Long Gone, but Average Income Isn't Budging


It's the day of reckoning for taxpayers and not a bad time to assess the state of finances for the average American family. How are consumers doing? It's a mixed picture.

Consumer income is stagnant and savings have dwindled while housing prices and debt have soared.

Consumer income has barely budged in this economic recovery, and savings have dwindled. Home ownership has soared along with housing prices, but so has debt.

The average family isn't getting rich: Median net worth (assets minus debt) from the recession year of 2001 through 2004 rose just 1.5% to $93,100, according to the Federal Reserve Board's comprehensive new Survey of Consumer Finances.

But a review of personal-finance findings from the Fed and other sources also shows that consumers are investing in their future. Half of U.S. households own stock; seven in 10 families own their home. A look at the state of consumer finance:

Saving and spending: Americans officially have been living beyond their income for one year. The nation's personal-saving rate --income minus consumption and interest payments -- turned negative in April 2005 for the first time since 1933, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.


What American families own, and what they owe.

The Fed survey found 56% of families are setting aside savings. It also asked consumers how long they typically plan for key saving and buying decisions. The richer households are, the longer the planning period. Families in the bottom 50 percentiles of wealth live in the short term: 45% of those families plan key money decisions a few months to a year out. Among the top 10 percentiles, more than 60% plan saving and consumption decisions at least five years out.

House money: Consumers can live beyond their income by drawing on savings and capital gains and by borrowing. Many are extracting cash from the house, taking out gains after a sale or borrowing on equity.

A cooling housing market means less easy money. One indicator of a peak: Census Bureau data show the percentage of households that owned homes reached an all-time record of 69.2% in late 2004. The decline since then has been small; 69% of families owned a home in late '05. But lack of growth (after 10 consecutive years of growth) suggests a limit to the percentage of households that want or can buy a home at current prices.

Think rich
All houses aren't created equal. Homes owned by the top 1% were worth almost as much as homes owned by the bottom 50%. If you're selling goods for the home, it may pay to think rich.

Debt: Just under half of households (48%) had a home loan in 2004; 46% owed on credit cards or on installment loans such as car loans. About one-fourth of U.S. households (24%) were debt-free.

Stocks: In 1962, just 18% of families owned stock, according to the Fed. In 1983, 19% had stock or stock mutual funds. Advance to 2004, and half of households (49%) had money in the market. What happened?

A bull market, for one. The Dow added 300 points from 1962 to 1983 -- and 9,000 from 1983 to 2004.

The other key driver was the advent of employer-sponsored retirement plans such as 401(k)s. Nearly half of today's investors began by buying stock funds through such plans.

Stock-market values halved from '00 to '02 but came roaring back. What's remarkable is how inactive investors were during this roller-coaster ride.

In 1998, on the way up, 42% of stock or fund investors bought or sold shares, according to the Investment Company Institute and Securities Industry Association. In 2001, on the way down, and in 2004, on the way back up, 40% did some buying or selling. Maybe it's just as well that newspapers are ditching their stock pages, for consumers aren't that consumed with what they own.

XM Satellite Radio Announces Proposed Offering of Senior Notes

XM Satellite Radio Inc. today announced its intention to sell, subject to market and other conditions, an aggregate of $600 million principal amount of Senior Notes Due 2014 and Senior Floating Rate Notes Due 2013 to qualified institutional buyers pursuant to Rule 144A under the Securities Act of 1933 (the "Securities Act"). We expect to use the net proceeds to retire outstanding senior secured debt, including all or a portion of our outstanding 14% Senior Secured Discount Notes due 2009, 12% Senior Secured Notes due 2010 and Senior Secured Floating Rate Notes due 2009, which currently bear interest at 10.18%, and may prepay other existing obligations or indebtedness. The notes will be guaranteed by XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. , parent of XM Satellite Radio Inc., and subsidiaries of XM Satellite Radio Inc. that guarantee other indebtedness. The interest rate and offering price are to be determined by negotiations between XM and the initial purchasers of the notes. These transactions will simplify XM's capital structure and are expected to lower XM's ongoing interest costs and extend the maturity dates of the company's debt portfolio.

This announcement is neither an offer to sell nor a solicitation of an offer to buy any of these notes. The notes being offered have not been registered under the Securities Act or any state securities laws, and may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration under, or an applicable exemption from, the registration requirements of the Securities Act and applicable state securities laws.

The notes will not be registered under the Securities Act and may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration or an applicable exemption from registration under the Securities Act and applicable state securities laws. This announcement is neither an offer to sell nor a solicitation of an offer to buy any of these notes. The information in this news release is forward-looking, and is subject to the risk that some or all of the proposed notes offering will not occur as planned.


Source: XM Satellite Radio Inc.

Web site: http://www.xmradio.com/


Wal-mart is stripping $6.5 billion in inventory from its shelves and warehouses

causing pain at package-goods players from Procter & Gamble Co. to the marketer of Remington and Rayovac.

The vendor squeeze is part of a broader push toward a theoretical 'zero inventory' state in which Wal-Mart won't pay for products until they're purchased by consumers.

Though not fingering Wal-Mart by name, P&G and Spectrum Brands cited "retailer inventory reduction" for earnings misses or narrowing of sales growth forecasts. It's all part of a program to focus on "gross margin return on investment" from Eduardo Castro-Wright, the newly elevated exec VP-chief operating officer of Wal-Mart Stores USA.

According to an internal presentation for Wal-Mart's January Supplier Summit meeting in Kansas City, Mo., Mr. Castro-Wright's goal is to reduce excess inventory by $6.5 billion.

He told suppliers that Wal-Mart's old 2-to-1 sales to inventory ratio "is history" and that the company will reap ROI by two means: reducing inventory and taking measures to eke more spending out of upscale consumers already visiting Wal-Mart stores with higher-ticket, higher-margin items.

The vendor squeeze is part of a broader push toward a theoretical "zero inventory" state in which Wal-Mart won't pay for products until they're purchased by consumers. But marketers have always counted products as sold as soon as they are received by Wal-Mart and other retailers.

Wal-Mart declined to comment.

Even for a $330 billion behemoth like Wal-Mart, eliminating $6.5 billion of inventory through its so-called "Remix" program could mean huge financial gains. But in the short-term, the brunt of the push will be borne by non-food package-goods marketers forced to alter their production cycles and foot the cost of more frequent deliveries of fewer products to Wal-Mart.

People familiar with the matter said that Wal-Mart is consolidating distribution centers for supercenters with those for its traditional discount stores. By putting non-food marketers on the same terms as food marketers, it effectively reduces the inventory of their products within Wal-Mart's supply chain from an average of five weeks down to three. The efficiency push, though, could ultimately go much further. Some food vendors have less than a week's worth of inventory in Wal-Mart's system at any time.

For non-food package-goods marketers, which generally get about 30% of their U.S. sales from Wal-Mart, eliminating just two weeks of inventory amounts to a 1% hit to sales on an annual basis or a 4% hit if concentrated in one quarter.

Though marketers have been reluctant to single out Wal-Mart by name, P&G last month blamed "retailer inventory de-stocking" for a minor disappointment as it narrowed its forecast for sales growth in its fiscal third quarter to the mid-range of prior forecasts. Spectrum, marketer of Rayovac, Remington and Spectracide, similarly blamed retail inventory issues.

A spokesman for P&G declined to comment on specifics, but did say the "retailer de-stocking" the company referred to was primarily at Wal-Mart and that now "we would expect shipments at normal consumption levels ongoing." Wal-Mart accounts for about 16% of P&G's business globally.

In an April 6 conference call explaining Spectrum Brands' second consecutive quarterly earnings miss, Chairman-CEO David A. Jones blamed "significant retailer inventory reduction" by several large retailers for part of the company's problems, without singling out Wal-Mart.

Some package-goods executives pointed out that ongoing inventory squeezes are a fact of life in the business. "This is not a new phenomenon," said Ian Cook, president-chief operating officer of Colgate-Palmolive Co. in an investor presentation last month. "It is something that we work closely with, with all retailers and bring into the everyday flow of our business."

SBA Loses Second Legal Battle with California Small Business Advocate

American Small Business League Victorious in Lawsuit Under Freedom of Information Act The Small Business Administration has capitulated after an eighteen month legal battle with the American Small Business League to obtain documents under the Freedom of Information Act. The SBA had fought the release of small business size standard protests that had been dismissed. These protests had been filed against firms accused of misrepresenting their size status in order to illegally receive Federal small business contracts. This is the second time in the past twelve months that the ASBL has prevailed in Federal court against the SBA.

The SBA was forced to release 102 dismissed protests that had been filed over an eighteen-month timeframe against firms whose small business status was challenged. The ASBL requested the documents because it believed a clear pattern would emerge of the SBA dismissing legitimate protests in order to protect large government contractors that receive small business awards. A preliminary review of the documents released as a result of the suit confirms that a large number were dismissed on minor technicalities. Furthermore, the SBA failed to follow up on the information provided with the protests that showed these large companies were receiving millions of dollars in contracts. "Our findings confirm we were right on target with our concerns. The SBA has a history of withholding damaging information like this," stated Lloyd Chapman, President of the American Small Business League. "And this is just a sampling over an eighteen-month period.

We believe this pattern of behavior goes back well over a decade." Chapman added, "Hector Barreto claims that there would be severe penalties for firms misrepresenting their size to obtain small business contracts. Yet the documents we received indicate that the SBA is actually helping these firms to break the law. It's time for the Justice Department to investigate the SBA's handling of protests against large firms. We're talking about $119 billion in small business prime and subcontracts. Where is the oversight to protect small business?" Chapman stated that he intends to file another lawsuit against the SBA later this week.

About the ASBL The American Small Business League was formed to promote and advocate policies that provide the greatest opportunity for small businesses - the 98% of U.S. companies with less than 100 employees. The ASBL is founded on the principle that small businesses, the backbone of a vital American economy, should receive the fair treatment promised by the Small Business Act of 1953. Representing small businesses in all fields and industries throughout the United States, the ASBL monitors existing policies and proposed policy changes by the Small Business Administration and other federal agencies that affect its members.


New Website 'Where Professionals Click' Helps Singles Vent, Talk Business, and Search For Love DALLAS

rofessionalSingles.com, a new niche-dating site launched this week, already has over 8,000 members worldwide. It's the first online dating site to target "professionals." You can search and get matched up by profession, read 24-hour live news feeds, and celebrity guest interviews. This month Nick Warnock from "The Apprentice" is their celebrity guest. "We did our research and asked professionals what features they would like to see in a dating site," said Stephen Scott, President of ProfessionalSingles.com. "We used the feedback to provide the desirable features and functionalities that are second to none. "We offer three chat rooms which include:

The Professional Cafe, where members share business ideas, talk about current trends and expand their contacts; The Board Room is a place to vent, release work frustrations, and discuss job issues and relationships; and The Sky Lounge, a place to relax and socialize with other professionals." "Because we believe individuals who share the same professional lifestyle do match well together," added Stephen, "we offer them the ability to narrow their search by over 30 professions. Many singles joining our site are bankers, entrepreneurs, IT professionals, and executives. Most members are doing well in their professional lives and are serious about improving their love life."

ProfessionalSingles.com is currently offering members a chance to win a cruise for two to the Greek Isles. You can visit their website at http://www.ProfessionalSingles.com.

P&G Announces Management Changes


The Procter & Gamble Company announced today the following management changes effective immediately:

- R. Kerry Clark (53), vice chair of the Board-P&G Family Heath, will

retire after 32 years of service. Cardinal Health has announced that

Mr. Clark has been named chief executive officer effective immediately.

- Bruce L. Byrnes (58), vice chair of the Board-P&G Household Care, in

addition to his current responsibilities, will assume responsibility

for the baby care, family care and pet health & nutrition businesses

that previously reported to Mr. Clark.

- Susan E. Arnold (52), vice chair-P&G Beauty, in addition to her current

responsibilities, will assume responsibility for the oral care,

personal health and pharmaceutical businesses that previously reported

to Mr. Clark. She has been named vice chair-P&G Beauty & Health.

"Kerry has made tremendous contributions to P&G during his 32 years of service," said A. G. Lafley, P&G chief executive. "Over his P&G career, Kerry helped lead virtually every P&G business category and was the architect of P&G's developing markets growth strategy. Kerry leaves an outstanding legacy."

"We will take this opportunity to realign our beauty and health businesses under Susan Arnold's leadership and combine all of our household and family businesses under Bruce Byrnes," continued Lafley. "I have enormous confidence in the leadership of our vice chairs and other business leaders."

In related moves, P&G's board announced the following appointments:

- Robert A. Steele (50), group president-North America market development

organization, has been named group president household care, reporting

to Mr. Byrnes, and will have overall responsibility for P&G's coffee,

snacks, family care and pet health & nutrition businesses.

- Edward D. Shirley (49), president - commercial operations,

international-Gillette, has been named group president-North America

market development organization, succeeding Mr. Steele


Verizon Wireless y Univision Traen el Exclusivo Contenido en Español de la Copa Mundial FIFA Alemania 2006 a los Teléfonos Móviles

Verizon Wireless ofrece comentarios, videos clips y otros materiales de la Copa Mundial FIFA 2002 Viva Fútbol. Viva V CAST. Verizon Wireless , principal proveedor de productos y servicios inalámbricos del país, anunció que posee los derechos exclusivos de video móvil en Estados Unidos para la transmisión en idioma español del campeonato mas importante de fútbol, la Copa Mundial FIFA Alemania 2006(TM), que transmiten las Cadenas Univision, Galavisión y Telefutura. A través de un acuerdo con Univision, las mejores jugadas de los partidos de la Copa Mundial de la FIFA Alemania 2006(TM) estarán disponibles para todos los clientes de Verizon Wireless V CAST durante todo su desarrollo (9 de junio -- 9 de julio) y será la primera vez que estas mejores jugadas de los partidos estarán disponibles en teléfonos inalámbricos.

Reviva los momentos de 2002

Los aficionados que deseen ver o recordar la Copa Mundial FIFA 2002(TM) pueden hacerlo actualmente con contenido de video con análisis y comentarios del torneo en idioma español en los teléfonos inalámbricos compatibles con V CAST. El contenido de la Copa Mundial FIFA(TM) está disponible para los clientes de Verizon Wireless gracias a la asociación de la compañía con Univision, la red de transmisión exclusiva de la Copa Mundial FIFA Alemania 2006(TM).

Que comiencen los juegos

Una vez que comience la Copa Mundial FIFA 2006(TM), el próximo 9 de junio, los clientes de V CAST tendrán acceso a video clips, resúmenes y los mejores momentos de los 64 encuentros en la palma de su mano. Dentro de los 30 minutos posteriores al entretiempo y al final de cada encuentro, en V CAST habrá video clips con los goles y las acciones importantes con comentarios en español. Además, los clientes podrán ver un resumen con los goles y los momentos importantes, dentro de la hora posterior a la finalización de cada encuentro. En los próximos meses, habrá más detalles sobre el contenido que se transmitirá sobre la Copa Mundial FIFA 2006(TM).


Para obtener V CAST de Verizon Wireless en los teléfonos compatibles con V CAST, los clientes sólo tienen que obtener una suscripción de acceso mensual al V CAST VPak de $15.00, que se agregará al plan de llamadas de Verizon Wireless. Esto incluye video clips básicos en forma ilimitada, pero se aplicará un importe de descarga para obtener videos premium, de juegos 3D y de música. Para obtener más información, visite

http://www.getvcast.com/ .


http://www.verizonwireless.com/ .


Acerca de Verizon Wireless

Verizon Wireless es propietario y opera la red inalámbrica más confiable del país, atendiendo a 51.3 millones de clientes de voz y datos. Verizon Wireless tiene su sede en Bedminster, NJ, y es una empresa conjunta de Verizon Communications y Vodafone ( .

Acerca de Univision

Univision Communications Inc. ("Univision") es la empresa líder de medios de comunicación de habla hispana en Estados Unidos. Sus operaciones incluyen Univision, la cadena de televisión en español más vista en EE.UU., con cobertura del 98% de los hogares hispanos del país; TeleFutura, la cadena de televisión en español lanzada en 2002, con cobertura del 86% de los hogares hispanos de EE.UU.; Galavisión, la cadena de televisión por cable en español líder en el país; el Grupo de Televisión Univision, propietario y operador de 62 estaciones de televisión en los principales mercados hispanos de EE.UU. y Puerto Rico; Univision Radio, el principal grupo radial en español, propietario y/u operador de 69 emisoras de radio en 16 de los 25 principales mercados hispanos y de 4 emisoras de radio en Puerto Rico; Univision Music Group, que incluye los sellos discográficos Univision Records, Fonovisa Records, La Calle Records y 50% del capital accionario de la empresa mexicana Disa Records, y las empresas editoriales Fonomusic y American Musical Publishing; y Univision Online, el destino de Internet en español más importante de EE.UU. con portal http://www.univision.com/ .

Univision Communications tiene un 50% de participación en TuTv, empresa formada para distribuir en EE.UU. los canales de televisión por cable de Televisa, y una participación sin derecho a voto del 14.9% en Entravision Communications Corporation, compañía pública de medios de comunicación en español. Univision Communications tiene su sede principal en Los Ángeles, su centro de operaciones de sus cadenas de televisión en Miami y estaciones y oficinas de ventas de televisión y radio en las principales ciudades de Estados Unidos.

Para mayor información, por favor visite http://www.univision.net/ .

Source: Verizon Wireless


KKR Adquirirá Negocio de Desarrollo de Software y Soluciones de Flextronics

La Adquisición es la Primera Inversión de KKR en India

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. ("KKR") anunció hoy que una afiliada de KKR ha firmado un acuerdo final para adquirir el negocio de desarrollo de software y soluciones ("el negocio de software") de Flextronics International Ltd. en una operación valuada en, aproximadamente, US$900 millones. Flextronics retendrá una participación accionaria del 15% en el negocio de software y continuará siendo un importante socio comercial y cliente.

El negocio de software tiene sus oficinas centrales en Palo Alto, California, y sus operaciones se ubican principalmente en India bajo el nombre de Flextronics Software Systems ("FSS"). El negocio es único en su capacidad de brindar soluciones para las comunicaciones, que van desde infraestructura de redes hasta dispositivos para el usuario final. Como socio clave en investigación y desarrollo para compañías de comunicación del segmento superior en todo el mundo, el negocio ha desarrollado un sofisticado modelo de entrega global. Compuesto por un grupo de soluciones de software y un grupo de asesoramiento en diseño estratégico, el negocio experimenta un rápido crecimiento y tiene aproximadamente 6.100 empleados en todo el mundo. Además de las operaciones en los Estados Unidos e India, tiene una importante presencia en Europa Oriental.

Luego de finalizar la transacción, el CEO Ash Bhardwaj, el Presidente de FSS, Arun Kumar, y el actual equipo de gerencia continuarán dirigiendo el negocio de software. Operará bajo un nuevo nombre que no ha sido elegido todavía.

La adquisición es la primera inversión de KKR en India y la segunda inversión en Asia, luego de la inversión hecha en 2005 en Avago Technologies, el antes Grupo de Productos Semiconductores de Agilent Technologies. También se considera que es la mayor LBO (compra total de acciones) e inversión en tecnología en India, a la fecha.

Adam H. Clammer, uno de los Miembros de KKR, dijo: "Nuestra inversión en el negocio de desarrollo de software y soluciones de Flextronics es una destacada oportunidad para crear valor en un sector de alto crecimiento. Dirigido por un equipo de gerencia de nivel mundial, el negocio de software tiene un récord único de éxitos en la entrega de tecnología para las comunicaciones. Creemos que el negocio está bien posicionado para construirse sobre los sólidos cimientos que ha desarrollado en sus mercados".

James H. Greene, Jr., uno de los Miembros de KKR, agregó: "Esta transacción demuestra la fortaleza del enfoque global en inversiones que KKR ha desarrollado en los años recientes. Al realizar esta transacción, aprovechamos los recursos de nuestra franquicia en todo en mundo. KKR está emocionada por el negocio de desarrollo de software y soluciones, y el creciente mercado al que apunta".

Ash Bhardwaj, CEO del negocio de software, dijo: "Esta operación es un desarrollo positivo para nuestros clientes, empleados y accionistas. KKR es la principal firma del mundo de inversión en capital privado, y su participación en nuestro negocio valida lo que hemos logrado y nuestro importante potencial. Como una unidad de negocio autónoma, estaremos mejor posicionados para desarrollar más nuestras ofertas en cuanto a servicios y productos, y extender nuestras relaciones con los clientes. Esperamos colaborar con KKR y deseamos nuestra relación continua con nuestros colegas en Flextronics".

KKR financiará la adquisición con facilidades para deuda totalmente respaldadas. Citigroup Global Markets (Asia) y Merrill Lynch actúan como Receptores Conjuntos de Ofertas y Coordinadores Conjuntos para la financiación de la adquisición.

La finalización de la transacción, que se espera para el verano de 2006, está sujeta a aprobaciones regulatorias y condiciones de cierre habituales.

Citigroup Global Markets y Morgan Stanley actuaron como asesores financieros exclusivos de KKR en la transacción, y Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP fue el asesor legal.

Acerca de KKR:

KKR es una de las compañías privadas de acciones más antiguas y más experimentadas del mundo en gestión de compras, con oficinas en Nueva York, Menlo Park, California, Londres, París, Hong Kong y Tokio. El año pasado, KKR comprometió más de US$1.000 millones al negocio de tecnología, incluso SunGard Data Systems y Avago Technologies, que se consideran las dos más grandes inversiones en acciones de tecnología privada en la historia, con precios de operación de US$11.800 millones y US$2.800 millones, respectivamente. Entre las inversiones pasadas de KKR en tecnología, encontramos: Amphenol, RELTEC, Wincor Nixdorf, Tenovis y Zhone Technologies. En los últimos treinta años, KKR ha invertido en más de 140 operaciones con un valor total de US$193.000 millones. Para más información, por favor visite http://www.kkr.com/.

Acerca del Negocio de Desarrollo de Software y Soluciones de Flextronics:

El negocio de desarrollo de software y soluciones de Flextronics es el principal proveedor de soluciones de software de alto impacto, innovadoras para el sector de las comunicaciones globales. Los clientes de su espectro completo de ofertas para servicios de software, productos para software, y consultoría para diseño estratégico, son las principales compañías de comunicaciones del mundo. El negocio de software tiene la exclusiva capacidad de brindar soluciones completas de software que van desde infraestructura de redes hasta dispositivos para el usuario final. Además de sus operaciones en India y Estados Unidos, el negocio tiene oficinas en China, Alemania, Italia, Sudáfrica y Ucrania.

Source: KKR



Benedict XVI dedicated his catechesis at today's general audience to the Easter Triduum. "Through the sacred rites," he told the 40,000 pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square, "we relive the passion, death and resurrection of our Lord, reawakening the desire to follow Jesus more closely."

He went on to explain how: "Holy Thursday commemorates Christ's total giving of Himself to humanity in the sacrament of the Eucharist. Through the washing of feet, it also recalls in a dramatic way the new commandment to love one another. The day concludes with Eucharistic adoration in memory of Our Lord's agony in the Garden of Gethsemane.

"On Good Friday, we listen to the account of the Passion and contemplate Christ on the Cross. This is love in its most radical form: God gives His very self, in order to raise us up and save us. During Holy Saturday the Church is spiritually united with Mary, praying by the tomb of the Son of God who lies at rest after completing His work of redemption. Then, at the solemn Easter Vigil, the joyful Gloria and Easter Alleluia rise forth from the hearts of the whole Christian community, because Christ is risen and has defeated death!"

The Pope also called on those present to prepare themselves for Easter through the Sacrament of Confession. "We know we are sinners," he said, "but we trust in divine mercy. Let us be reconciled with Christ in order to enjoy more intensely the joy He communicates to us with His resurrection. His forgiveness, which is given to us in the Sacrament of Penance, is the source of interior and exterior peace and makes us apostles of peace in a world still marked, alas, by divisions and suffering, and by the drama of injustice, hatred, violence and the incapacity to achieve reconciliation and begin again in sincere forgiveness."

The celebration of the death and resurrection of Christ, said Benedict XVI, "gives us the certainty that evil does not have the last word; supported by this certain knowledge we can commit ourselves with greater courage and enthusiasm to creating a fairer world."
AG/EASTER:EVIL/... VIS 060412 (370)

April 17, 2006


To understand the internet you have to be open to change.




Written by Joyce L Chow & William Hoehne April 17, 2006


www.montebubbles.com for more MBN news





SUNDAYS ARE NOW PICTURE DAY starting next sunday: Pictures that we have taken and not published during before will be placed here on Sunday of each week for your viewing pleasure


International news from Asia and Latin news in English and Spanish here now


More exciting changes coming each day.


MONTEBUBBLISM: My mother is a real good cook, she can set bread on fire.




Spa Week Makes American Health a Top Priority

UPDATE: Universal Studios Home Entertainment Announces: The Magical New Family Classic Brimming With Fun, Laughter and Enchantment for Everyone

MGM MIRAGE Voice Foundation Celebrates Five Years of Fundraising Success

The U.S. Postal Service honors romance as imagined by Walt Disney

Aztar Corporation Prepared to Enter Into Discussions With Columbia Entertainment; Receives Definitive Offer From Ameristar Casinos

Digital Platforms Extend Radio Beyond the AM/FM Dial According to the Latest Arbitron/Edison Media Research Study



Oakland Dodger BaseballAll-New 2007 Hyundai Elantra Makes World Debut at New York

At least 10 local media representatives at the second and final test between Bangladesh and Australia were injured

Eurosport Wins Commercial Rights to 2006 Karting Championships


America Supports You: Girls Organize Treasure Hunt

Possible Afghanistan Friendly Fire Incident Prompts Probe

Coalition Responds to Civilian Casualties in Afghanistan

Iowa National Guard Responds to Tornado Disaster


NEWS and NEWS now in Spanish

Western Union has launched its national “Million Dollar Giveaway” sweepstakesWestern Union lanzó su concurso nacional “Regalo de un millón de dólares”, el regalo más grande en la historia de Western Union,

El Hyundai Elantra 2007 China shifts to rational economic growth

United Business Media plc today announced that its CMP Asia division has expanded its events business in China United Business Media plc announced a number of initiatives to expand its presence in India.



The 2006 ALMA Awards, featuring the hot test stars from the worlds of

film, television and music, will air as an all- new 90- minute special MONDAY,

JUNE 5 (8:00- 9:30 p.m., ET), on the ABC Television Network. Eva Longoria

( Desperate Housewives ) will host the event as well as be a producer.

I am honored that NCLR has asked me to host this important television

special, said Longoria. As a past ALMA recipient, it s even more meaningful

for me to play such a major role in highlighting our Latino talent in Hollywood.

The show is organized by the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), the

largest Latino civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States. The

annual ALMA (American Latino Media Arts) Awards recognizes and celebrates

Latino artistic achievement in American film, television and music.

Janet Murguia, President and CEO, NCLR, said: The National Council of La

Raza is very excited to relaunch the NCLR ALMA Awards. The show provides an

opportunity for the Latino community to celebrate excellence in the

entertainment industry, while educating others about the contributions of

Hispanic Americans to this country.

The Awards will feature celebrity appearances (to be announced at a later

date), as well as an eclectic mix of performances, spanning the worlds of pop,

rock and Latin music in both English and Spanish.

Among the highlights of the 2006 Awards ceremony will be presentations

of The Entertainer of the Year Award and the NCLR Vanguard Award.

Jeff Margolis, Janet Murguia and David Chavez are executive producers of

The 2006 ALMA Awards.

The show, from Jeff Margolis Productions, will tape

on May 7 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. Producers are Eva Longoria,

Tisha Fein, Gloria Fujita O Brien and Mick McCullough. The director is Ron De



Spa Week Makes American Health a Top Priority

March 2006… It’s that Spa Week time of year again! During the week of April 17th-23rd, approximately 200 spas in 10 cities across the country will be participating in a new healthy living campaign geared toward educating communities on the importance of wellness.

This spring, Spa Week and participating spas in New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Boston, Washington D.C., Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas, Los Angeles and San Francisco are concentrating on one goal: to introduce a new generation of Americans to the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. To kick start this campaign, all 200 spas will be offering two or three spa treatments for only $50 each to give people a chance to experience the spa lifestyle at a fraction of the normal cost. Consumers can view participating spas and their treatments by visiting www.spaweek.org.

According to the International SPA Association (ISPA), consumer trends are fueling growth in the spa industry:

· Consumers' perspective on health is increasingly focused on prevention and fitness. This is particularly true among baby boomers and the aging generation that makes up 51.2 percent of the U.S. population.

· The Echo boomers and Generation X-ers are a growing market for the spa industry, particularly for the day spa segment, as the younger generation seeks escape from work-related stress.

· Consumers are increasingly seeking the spa experience as an alternative or complement to other leisure activities.

· According to the results, 95 million visits are made to spas in the United States annually generating $5 billion in revenues. Spas generate more in revenue than ski resorts ($3.1 billion) and only slightly less than box office receipts ($7.5 billion). "As the association representing the entire health and wellness industry, ISPA is very pleased to provide such a comprehensive report of its growth and trends," said ISPA Executive Director Lynne J. Walker.

*Statistics were reported from an in-depth survey By PricewaterhouseCoopers

With consumers utilizing spa treatments to relieve stress, quit smoking, improve circulation, assist in weight loss and so much more, it is certain that regular visits to the spa will soon become as prominent as a balanced diet and regular exercise.  

With consumers utilizing spa treatments to relieve stress, quit smoking, improve circulation, assist in weight loss and so much more, it is certain that regular visits to the spa will soon become as prominent as a balanced diet and regular exercise.  


UPDATE: Universal Studios Home Entertainment Announces: The Magical New Family Classic Brimming With Fun, Laughter and Enchantment for Everyone


Filled with fun, humor and adventure, magic is surely afoot in "Nanny McPhee," hailed as "The new Mary Poppins! A magical adventure for all ages!" by Melanie Moon, WB-TV. Available on DVD on May 9, 2006 from Universal Home Studios Entertainment, "Nanny McPhee" is set in an enchanted world where anything is possible as a mysterious nanny employs her fantastical skills to tame a widower's seven outrageously unruly children. The DVD provides non-stop entertainment for the entire family, with hilarious pranks, mischief and magic, plus a wealth of wild and wonderful bonus features. "Nanny McPhee" stars two-time Oscar(R) winner Emma Thompson ("Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban"), Colin Firth ("Bridget Jones's Diary") and Angela Lansbury ("Murder She Wrote"), and is directed by Kirk Jones ("Waking Ned Devine"). The DVD is priced at $29.98 SRP.

Cedric Brown (Colin Firth) has recently lost his wife and is left with seven incorrigible children. The half-pint troublemakers drive away 17 nannies with their outrageous antics, until "Nanny McPhee" (Emma Thompson), arrives at their door. Armed with a magical walking stick and a bushel of common sense, "Nanny McPhee" takes on the riotous Brown brood with startling results.


"Nanny McPhee" abounds with extras that will delight the entire family again and again, including:

* Casting the Children -- A look at the process of casting the children,

exploring their backgrounds and past experiences in acting. Includes

the trials and tribulations of working with children and animals.

* Village Life -- A behind the scenes look at how the Brown house and the

village were created.

* "Nanny McPhee" Makeover -- A look at how Emma Thompson was transformed

into Nanny McPhee and subsequent transition from ugly Nanny to

beautiful Nanny.

* How "Nanny McPhee" Came to Be -- A featurette looking at the life and

work of author Christianna Brand and illustrator Edward Adrizzone.

* Feature Commentary with Director Kirk Jones and Children

* Feature Commentary with Actor/Screenwriter Emma Thompson and Producer

Lindsay Doran

* Plus a Hilarious Gag Reel, Never-Before-Seen Deleted Scenes and an

Alternate Opening!



In this wickedly charming tale, Emma Thompson portrays a mysterious woman with special powers who enters the household of the recently widowed Mr. Brown (Colin Firth) and attempts to tame his seven very naughty children. The children have managed to drive away 17 previous nannies, but as Nanny McPhee takes control, they begin to notice that their misbehaving has magical and startling consequences. "A magical, fantastic and wonderful fable that will capture the heart of the whole family!" (Maria Salas, NBC-TV)

For more information please visit: www.nannymcphee.com.


Director: Kirk Jones

Screenplay By: Emma Thompson

Based upon the "Nurse Matilda" books by: Christianna Brand

Produced By: Lindsay Doran, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner

Executive Producers: Debra Hayward, Liza Chasin

Director of Photography: Henry Braham, BSC

Production Designer: Michael Howells

Edited By: Justin Krish, Nick Moore

Costume Designer: Nic Ede

Music By: Patrick Doyle

Cast: Emma Thompson, Colin Firth, Kelly Macdonald, Angela Lansbury



Street Date: May 9, 2006

Copyright: 2006 Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.

Price: $29.98 SRP

Selection Number: 26310 (Full Frame); 26309 (Widescreen)

Running Time: 1 Hour 39 Minutes

Layers: Dual

Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 (Full Frame); 2.35:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)

Rating: PG (Mild Thematic Elements, Some Rude Humor and Brief Language)

Technical Info: English, Spanish and French Dolby Digital 5.1; English

SDH; Spanish and French Subtitles


Source: Universal Studios Home Entertainment


The U.S. Postal Service honors romance as imagined by Walt


and his studio animators. The 39-cent Art of Disney:

Romance stamps are the third in the Disney series and will be

issued on April 21 and available nationwide April 22.

Who: Jo Ann Feindt, Vice President, Great Lakes Area Operations,

United States Postal Service

Al Weiss, President, Worldwide Operations, Walt Disney Parks

& Resorts

Brad Rex, Vice President, Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort

Cinderella and Prince Charming

Belle and the Beast

Lady and the Tramp

Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse

When: 9:30 a.m. (EDT)

April 21, 2006

Where: Walt Disney World Resort


Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830-0040

Background: It's easy to add a dash of romance to your cards and letters with stamps that feature beloved Disney characters. These stamps will be issued during the kick-off of the 13th annual Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival (April 21- June 11, 2006). All of the stamps will be recreated in larger- than-life, 7 ft. topiaries using fresh flowers and plants and will be unveiled live on stage, in an elaborate ceremony directly behind Epcot's Spaceship Earth icon.

Each stamp tells its own romantic tale:

Everyone dreams of living a rags-to-riches fairy tale and dancing with that special someone. As Cinderella and Prince Charming learn, one waltz can lead to a moment of realization: "So this is love."

This is the evening the Beast has awaited, but can he tell Belle of his love? He knows his heart, but does she yet know her own? These two are as uncertain as they are hopeful -- emotions and a tale "as old as time."

First dates can be full of risks -- and ordering spaghetti only complicates matters. Fortunately for Lady and Tramp, a plate of pasta leads to a memorable kiss, turning a simple dinner out into a wonderful "Bella Notte."

Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse have been sweethearts for many years, yet they still have that first blush of romance.

Seeing this celebrated couple, we can all take heart; they prove that sometimes the course of love can indeed run smooth.

Source: U.S. Postal Service


MGM MIRAGE Voice Foundation Celebrates Five Years of Fundraising Success

Property Presidents Make Unique Promises to Reach This Year's Goal

Property Presidents Make Unique Promises to Reach This Year's Goal

The MGM MIRAGE Voice Foundation is currently celebrating its fifth year of service to the community. The Voice Foundation is MGM MIRAGE's nonprofit, philanthropic entity that collects and disperses employee donations to deserving charities and causes where its employees live and work.

Annually, the Voice Foundation conducts fundraising campaigns at each of the company's properties. The first campaign in 2002 raised $2 million. To date, employees have contributed more than $12 million to the foundation allowing MGM MIRAGE to provide more than 1.8 million hours of after-school tutoring and educational programs to children; serve more than 2.5 million meals to families, homebound clients and seniors; and support more than 1,000 nonprofit organizations in Nevada, Michigan and Mississippi, just to name a few.

Currently, the Voice Foundation is in the midst of its annual campaign of which the properties of the former Mandalay Resort Group (MRG) are participating for the first time. Last year, MRG merged with MGM MIRAGE, increasing the company's workforce from 40,000 to 70,000 employees.

To encourage employee participation, several property presidents have made promises relative to their campaign goals. Tom Mikulich, Treasure Island President and COO, has promised to jump off the mast of the pirate ship in the property's Sirens' Cove; Bill Hornbuckle, Mandalay Bay President and COO, has pledged to swim with sharks at Mandalay Bay's Shark Reef attraction; and Randy Morton, Monte Carlo President and COO, will participate in an illusion with magician Lance Burton.

"The enthusiasm property presidents have shown is a direct reflection of the excitement employees feel during the annual Voice campaigns," said Merlinda Gallegos, MGM MIRAGE Director of Corporate Philanthropy. "This passion, demonstrated by all members of our company, has helped make the MGM MIRAGE Voice Foundation a tremendous success."

The MGM MIRAGE Voice Foundation was established to support employees who strive to improve the quality of life in the communities in which they live. Through the Voice Foundation, employees are able to direct their donations to a preferred charity; donate to the Employee Emergency Relief Fund that helps fellow employees during emergency situations; contribute to the local United Way; or give to the Voice Community Fund, which supports grants to non profit agencies that are selected by a group of MGM MIRAGE employees who make up the Community Voice Council (CVC).

The CVC is composed of MGM MIRAGE employees who are selected to serve based on their community commitment and workplace experience. Members attend monthly meetings, review grant applications, recommend amounts and agencies for funding and conduct follow-up visits with local agencies to ensure that donations are used wisely.

MGM MIRAGE underwrites all administrative costs associated with operating and managing the Voice Foundation, ensuring that 100 percent of employee donations go to the intended recipients. The Voice Foundation's annual campaign concludes this summer.


MGM MIRAGE one of the world's leading and most respected hotel and gaming companies, owns and operates 23 properties located in Nevada, Mississippi and Michigan, and has investments in three other properties in Nevada, New Jersey and Illinois. MGM MIRAGE has also announced plans to develop Project CityCenter, a multi-billion dollar mixed-use urban development project in the heart of Las Vegas, and has a 50 percent interest in MGM Grand Macau, a hotel-casino resort currently under construction in Macau S.A.R. MGM MIRAGE supports responsible gaming and has implemented the American Gaming Association's Code of Conduct for Responsible Gaming at its properties. MGM MIRAGE also has been the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions for its industry-leading Diversity Initiative and its community philanthropy programs. For more information about MGM MIRAGE, please visit the company's website at www.mgmmirage.com .


Aztar Corporation Prepared to Enter Into Discussions With Columbia Entertainment; Receives Definitive Offer From Ameristar Casinos Aztar Corporation today announced that its Board of Directors, after consultation with its legal and financial advisors, has determined that an unsolicited proposal received from Wimar Tahoe Corporation, d/b/a Columbia Entertainment, the gaming affiliate of Columbia Sussex Corporation, is, or is reasonably likely to result in, a superior proposal, as defined in Aztar's merger agreement, dated March 13, 2006, with Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc. Based on this determination that the proposal by Columbia Entertainment is, or is reasonably likely to result in, a superior proposal compared to the agreement with Pinnacle, Aztar's Board has determined to authorize Aztar to enter into discussions with Columbia Entertainment.

On April 13, 2006, Columbia Entertainment made an unsolicited proposal to acquire Aztar in a merger transaction in which the holders of Aztar common stock would receive $47.00 per share in cash and the holders of Aztar's Series B preferred stock would receive a commensurate payment dictated by the terms of the securities. Columbia Entertainment's proposal is non-binding and is conditioned upon, among other things, confirmatory due diligence.

Aztar also announced today that on April 14, 2006, it received a definitive offer from Ameristar Casinos, Inc. to acquire Aztar in a merger transaction in which the holders of Aztar common stock would receive $43 per share in cash and the holders of Aztar's Series B preferred stock would receive $454.79 per share in cash. The definitive offer included a signed merger agreement and a signed financing commitment letter.

As previously announced, Aztar is party to a merger agreement with Pinnacle, under which each share of Aztar common stock would be exchanged for $38.00 in cash and each share of Aztar Series B preferred stock would be exchanged for $401.90 in cash. The transaction with Pinnacle is subject to approval by Aztar's shareholders and the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including the receipt of necessary regulatory and governmental approvals.

Aztar's Board will evaluate all aspects of the proposal from Columbia Entertainment (including any financing commitment letter yet to be provided to Aztar), the definitive offer from Ameristar and the previously announced proposal from Colony Capital Acquisitions, LLC. Aztar's Board is not making any recommendation at this time with respect to any such proposal or offer, and there is no assurance that the Aztar Board will approve any such transaction or that a transaction will result.

About Aztar Corporation

Aztar is a publicly traded company that operates Tropicana Casino and Resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Tropicana Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, Ramada Express Hotel and Casino in Laughlin, Nevada, Casino Aztar in Caruthersville, Missouri, and Casino Aztar in Evansville, Indiana


Digital Platforms Extend Radio Beyond the AM/FM Dial According to the Latest Arbitron/Edison Media Research Study

Weekly Internet Radio Audience Increases by Fifty Percent from 2005;
Satellite Radio Awareness Tops Sixty Percent of the U.S. Population;
AM/FM Radio Audience Remains Strong

The proliferation of digital broadcast platforms such as Internet radio, satellite radio, HD and podcasting is a testament to the popularity of radio programming. The Infinite Dial: Radio’s Digital Platforms, a new study by Arbitron Inc. (NYSE: ARB) and Edison Media Research, explores this expansion of the radio market and its implications for advertisers and media planners.

Internet radio is growing rapidly. The monthly audience age 12+ now tops an estimated 52 million; an increase from an estimated 37 million people in 2005. The weekly Internet radio audience also increased 50 percent over the past year, with 12 percent of the U.S. population age 12+ (an estimated 30 million) having listened to Internet radio in the past week, up from 8 percent in 2005.

Advertiser highlights: Online radio reaches nearly one in five (19 percent) persons per week age 18-34 and 15 percent of persons 25-54. Weekly Online radio listeners are 36 percent more likely than the average consumer to live in a household with an annual income of more than $100,000.

Online radio reaches nearly one in five (19 percent) persons per week age 18-34 and 15 percent of persons 25-54. Weekly Online radio listeners are 36 percent more likely than the average consumer to live in a household with an annual income of more than $100,000.

In 2006, awareness of XM and Sirius satellite radio has reached equal levels of 61 percent awareness each among those age 12 and older. Nearly one in five non-subscribers to satellite radio say they are “very” or “somewhat” likely to subscribe to satellite radio in the next 12 months.

Advertiser highlights: Twenty-seven percent of satellite radio subscribers live in households with an annual income of more than $100,000, nearly double the percentage of all households (14 percent).

Twenty-seven percent of satellite radio subscribers live in households with an annual income of more than $100,000, nearly double the percentage of all households (14 percent).

When asked to define podcasting in their own words, there was some confusion among respondents regarding the differences among podcasting, Internet broadcasting and downloadable music. When read a definition, eleven percent of Americans say they have ever listened to an audio podcast.

Advertising highlights: Podcasting attracts a youthful audience: one out of five who have ever listened to an audio podcast are 12-17 years old, and more than half (53 percent) are under the age of 35.

Podcasting attracts a youthful audience: one out of five who have ever listened to an audio podcast are 12-17 years old, and more than half (53 percent) are under the age of 35.

More than one-third of Americans say they are “very” or “somewhat” interested in HD Radio; more than 40 percent of satellite subscribers say they are interested in HD Radio as well.

More than one-third of those who said they were interested in HD Radio say they would be likely to purchase an HD Radio receiver at a $100 price point, and 58 percent of those interested say they would be likely to purchase at $50.

While there has been tremendous growth in usage of radio’s new digital platforms, AM/FM radio does not appear to be losing Time Spent Listening (TSL). Daily radio TSL is 2 hours 45 minutes for the average consumer, compared with 2 hours 48 minutes among those who listen to digital radio (have listened to Internet radio in the past month or subscribe to satellite radio or have ever listened to an audio podcast).

Seventy-seven percent of Americans say they expect to listen to AM/FM radio as much as they do now despite increasing advancements in technology. The same holds true for Internet radio listeners (77%) and those who have tried audio podcasting (73%). Satellite radio subscribers showed slightly less dedication to traditional broadcasting, with 64 percent saying they plan to continue listening to the same amount of AM/FM radio.

“Consumers are quickly embracing radio’s digital platforms and this new research reveals that these advertising vehicles are becoming increasingly viable,” said Bill Rose, senior vice president, marketing, Arbitron.

“Our research shows that regardless of the platform consumers see all these options as merely being new forms of ‘radio’” said Larry Rosin, President, Edison Media Research. “This report provides crucial measurement on the development of radio as it is consumed in new and different ways.”

The findings reported here are based on a January 13 – February 12, 2006 telephone survey of 1,925 people who were interviewed to investigate Americans’ use of various forms of traditional, online and satellite media. Respondents age 12 and older were chosen at random from a national sample of Arbitron’s Fall 2005 survey diary keepers. In certain geographic areas (representing five percent of the national population), a sample of Arbitron diarykeepers was not available for the survey, and a supplemental sample was interviewed through random digit dialing.

This study, as well as previous studies, may be downloaded free of charge via the Arbitron and Edison Media Research Web sites at www.arbitron.com and www.edisonresearch.com.

Edison Media Research conducts survey research and provides strategic information to radio television stations, newspapers, cable networks, record labels, Internet companies and other media organizations. Edison Media Research works with many of the largest American radio ownership groups, including Entercom, ABC Radio, CBS Radio, Bonneville and Westwood One; and also conducts strategic and perceptual research for a broad array of companies including AOL/Time Warner, Yahoo!, Sony Music, Princeton University, Northwestern University, Universal Music Group, Life Music and the Voice of America. Edison Media Research also conducts research for successful radio stations in South America, Africa, Asia, Canada and Europe. Edison Media Research designed and operated the CNN RealVote election projection system in 2002; and currently conducts all polls and election projections for the six major news organizations: ABC, CBS, CNN, FOX, and the Associated Press. All of Edison Media Research’s industry studies can be found on the company’s Web site at www.edisonresearch.com and can be downloaded free of charge.

Arbitron Inc. (NYSE: ARB) is an international media and marketing research firm serving radio broadcasters, cable companies, advertisers, advertising agencies and outdoor advertising companies in the United States, Mexico and Europe. Arbitron’s core businesses are measuring network and local market radio audiences across the United States; surveying the retail, media and product patterns of local market consumers; and providing application software used for analyzing media audience and marketing information data. The Company has also developed the Portable People Meter (PPM SM), a new technology for media and marketing research.

Arbitron’s marketing and business units are supported by its research and technology organization, located in Columbia, Maryland. Arbitron has approximately 1,700 employees; its executive offices are located in New York City. Through its Scarborough Research joint venture with VNU, Inc., Arbitron also provides media and marketing research services to the broadcast television, magazine, newspaper and online industries.



Texas 5, Oakland 3

TEX HR - D. Jimenez (1) M. Teixeira (2)
OAK HR - None

D. Jimenez (1) M. Teixeira (2) None


San Francisco 2, Los Angeles 0


All-New 2007 Hyundai Elantra Makes World Debut at New York International Auto Show; Safety and Interior Space Put the Fourth-Generation Elantra a Class Above the Competition

The all-new 2007 Elantra makes its world debut today at the 2006 New York International Auto Show. Hyundai's 2007 Elantra is the seventh all-new model from Hyundai in just 24 months, giving Hyundai the freshest lineup in the industry. All new from headlight to taillight, Elantra brings more refinement, safety and interior space to compact car shoppers.

"The all-new Elantra delivers more interior space than Civic or Corolla -- even more space than Acura TL -- and a level of ride and handling refinement that's both agile and comfortable," said John Krafcik, vice president, Product Development and Strategic Planning, Hyundai Motor America. "Add in great standard safety features like six airbags, anti-lock brakes and active front head restraints, and our assertive new design, and it's clear that Elantra offers unbeatable value."

24/7 Program

The Elantra marks Hyundai's seventh all-new product in 24 months when it goes on sale in fall 2006. This "24/7" product plan included the arrival of the all-new Tucson, Sonata, Accent, Azera, Santa Fe, Entourage and Elantra. From the flagship, full-size Azera, to the entry-level Accent, each of these models offers unsurpassed standard safety technologies in their segments, and each reflects the Hyundai brand's refined and confident nature.

Unsurpassed Standard Safety in the Compact Segment

All Elantra models have six standard airbags, including two advanced front airbags, two front seat-mounted side-impact airbags, and two side curtain airbags protecting front- and rear-seat outboard passengers. The combination of side and curtain airbags, which help protect the head and body during side impacts, can reduce fatalities by more than 45 percent according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Side-impact airbags are expensive options on competitors such as Toyota Corolla and Ford Focus, and are not available on the Chevrolet Cobalt. Side curtain air protection is Optional on Corolla and Cobalt and still not available on Focus.

Accident avoidance technologies start with Elantra's all-new chassis featuring fully independent suspension, front and rear stabilizer bars and motor-driven rack-and-pinion steering. The Elantra's standard power braking system has front and rear discs with a four-sensor, four-channel Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) that includes Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD). ABS helps the driver maintain vehicle steering control in slippery conditions and in emergency maneuvers. EBD is integrated into the ABS, automatically adjusting the braking force to front and rear axles based on the vehicle loading conditions. Four-wheel disc brakes are a key leadership feature for the segment, as traditional rear drum brakes are still found on the 2006 Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, Ford Focus and Chevrolet Cobalt.

Elantra's standard front-seat active head restraints help prevent whiplash by automatically reducing the space between a front occupant's head and the head restraint during a rear collision and are highly recommended by safety-focused organizations such as the IIHS.

All seating positions feature three-point seatbelts and adjustable head restraints. The shingle-style rear-seat head restraints improve visibility when there are no rear seat passengers, while protecting these passengers when they are in the vehicle. There's also an energy absorbing steering column and front seatbelt pretensioners, force limiters and adjustable-height shoulder anchors. A LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) system in the rear-seat area provides secure attachment for child seats.

In low-speed impacts, the Elantra's five-mph front and rear bumpers help minimize damage. In higher-energy collisions, its steel unibody structure is engineered to dissipate crash energy as its crumple zones deform, while bodyside reinforcements help maintain the integrity of the passenger compartment. Hood buckling creases and safety stops help to control the deformation of the hood in a frontal collision.

Expressive and Confident Design

Elantra continues the dramatic new styling resurgence introduced on the all-new 2007 Santa Fe -- refined and confident. This new theme resonates in Elantra's assertive front appearance, rising beltline, sculpted body side and an overall lively appearance. For a more upscale appearance, chrome headlight bezels and grille bars highlight Elantra's assertive face. The profile of Elantra features confidently sculpted surfaces, an expressive bodyside character line that has a family resemblance to Azera and a clean look with bodycolor door handles and mirrors. The rear styling compliments the front design with taillamps echoing the theme of the headlamps, and the cohesive look continues with a bodycolored rear license plate garnish and integrated bumper fascia.

A "Class Above" Interior - More Room Than Acura TL

Elantra is wider and taller than its predecessor. Increasing the height 2.2 inches and moving the driver's seating position up 1.8 inches opened up the cabin for more room and flexibility. Two inches of added width deliver more front and rear shoulder room as well. This repackaging delivers a remarkably spacious interior -- one that is truly a "class above" Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla for interior room. Elantra is so roomy the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classifies it as a mid-size car, not a compact car like Civic and Corolla. With 97.9 cubic feet of passenger room and 14.2 cubic feet of trunk space, the Elantra has the most interior volume (passenger volume plus trunk space) for a sedan in its class. Elantra's total interior volume of 112.1 cubic feet easily betters the 2006 Civic sedan (102.9 cu. ft.), 2007 Nissan Sentra (110.8 cu.ft.) and 2006 Corolla (103.8 cu. ft.), and, surprisingly, even surpasses the interior volume of the near-luxury Acura TL (110.4 cubic feet) sedan. Elantra trunk capacity also beats Civic and Corolla. Its 14.2 cu. ft. of trunk volume is 18 percent larger than Civic and five percent bigger than Corolla.

Thoughtful design touches bring harmony and substance to Elantra's interior. The dashboard slopes downward to give a feeling of more space and greater visibility while offering an aesthetic shape. The contrasting two-tone color schemes (available in beige and gray tones) combined with metallic finishes match the more sophisticated and upscale exterior styling. New levels of detail and craftsmanship are found throughout the interior. Luxurious supple leather is available on Elantra, but cannot be found on Civic. For the first time, heated seats are available. Another first, Elantra also offers steering-wheel-mounted cruise and audio controls and telescoping adjustment. Blue back lighting adds a youthful, but refined ambience at night.

The center console features a two-level storage compartment and a comfortable armrest. An overhead sunglasses holder has built-in map lights, and map pockets are integrated into the front door panels. Seatback storage pockets provide additional room for small items. Storage can also be found in the dash, center stack and console. A convenient handbag strap holder is sure to surprise and delight owners. Dual front cupholders and an available rear armrest with cupholders complete the interior.

The Elantra's comfortable and versatile seating includes a multi-adjustable driver's seat with height adjustment, adjustable head restraints and a 60/40 split fold-down rear seatback that makes it easy to accommodate cargo.

Conveniences like standard cabin air filter, rear window defroster, tilt steering wheel, tinted glass, two-speed variable intermittent windshield wiper with mist function, dual vanity mirrors, and power windows with driver's auto-down and illuminated switches make the Elantra seem like it's a class above its modest price point. The high-volume Elantra GLS Premium Package offers a 172-watt AM/FM/CD audio system with six speakers and Hyundai's first auxiliary jack, which allows iPods(R) and other portable MP3 players to be connected to the vehicle audio system. Also included are air conditioning, cruise control, fog lights, windshield shade band, rear center armrest with cupholders, power heated mirrors, power locks, and remote keyless entry with trunk open, panic alert, and alarm. XM satellite radio will be available beginning in the fall.

Super-Clean Engine

Many Elantras sold in California, Maine, New York, Vermont and Massachusetts will score high on the EPA's Green Vehicle Guide to Green Cars and be certified as Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicles (SULEV). The SULEV Elantra is as clean as many hybrid electric vehicles and helps Hyundai meet its environmental commitments. In fact, the 2007 Elantra is projected to earn Partial Zero Emission Vehicle (PZEV) certification in California, which few models in the entire automotive industry earn. Outside of the green states, the Elantra is available in Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV) configurations.

Hyundai's advanced 2.0-liter in-line four-cylinder engine powers Elantra. This sophisticated 16-valve powerplant employs an aluminum cylinder head that features dual overhead camshafts (DOHC) and Continuously Variable Valve Timing (CVVT). The combination helps give the engine a very broad power spread, coupled with high fuel efficiency and low emissions.

The CVVT unit is positioned on the exhaust camshaft and controls

the intake valve timing by advancing and retarding the intake cam in relation to the exhaust cam. The CVVT system increases volumetric and thermodynamic efficiency, which helps the engine deliver improved performance at high rpm and increased torque at low rpm. With better cylinder charging, fuel economy is also increased. By optimizing valve overlap, NOx emissions are reduced due to the resulting Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) effect.

The ULEV variation is rated at an estimated 138 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 136 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,600 rpm. SULEV engines are available only with a four-speed automatic transmission, and are rated at an estimated 132 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 133 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,600 rpm.

Two Transmission Choices

The Elantra comes standard with a precise five-speed manual gearbox. A smooth four-speed automatic with a new gated console-mounted floor shifter is available as an option and includes an overdrive lock-up torque converter for higher fuel economy at freeway speeds.

Suspension and Steering

Elantra's design team worked to solve the classic design tradeoffs between interior roominess, agility and driving comfort. On one hand, interior space and cargo room are critically important to a sedan in its class; on the other hand, secure, responsive handling and good road isolation are also priorities. The Elantra's ride quality improves upon that offered by Civic, Corolla, Focus and Cobalt. An advanced, motor-driven, engine-speed-sensing rack-and-pinion power steering ensures the new Elantra has a more agile driving feeling than the outgoing model, and key competitors.

Elantra delivers a comfortable ride and responsive handling thanks to a front MacPherson strut suspension with coil springs and gas shock absorbers, and multi-link suspension and twin-tube gas shock absorbers. A 23.0-mm diameter front stabilizer bar and 17.0 mm rear stabilizer bar, which is larger than its predecessor's by 5.0 mm, helps reduce body roll when cornering, and tunes the Elantra's at-the-limit handling for maximum predictability. To enhance stopping power, the front and rear brakes are larger than its predecessor's at 10.8 inches (275 mm) for the front and 10.3 inches (262 mm) for the rear.

The 2007 Elantra body stiffness is up 49 percent from the outgoing model and nine percent over Corolla. Significant increases in body stiffness levels allowed Hyundai engineers to deliver a dynamic package that left little to compromise during the shock and bushing tuning phases. The result is precise steering and handling and a well-controlled, yet comfortable ride. By improving body rigidity and applying an optimized door sealing strategy, Hyundai engineers successfully reduced road noise two decibels below a comparably equipped 2006 Honda Civic based on internal testing.

Three Trim Levels

The Elantra is available in three distinctive trim levels -- GLS, SE and Limited.

Elantra GLS - The Perfect Compact Car

In keeping with Hyundai's high-value approach to standard equipment, the Elantra GLS has a remarkable array of desirable features. The Elantra delivers standard safety technologies unsurpassed in its segment, with six airbags, ABS with EBD, 4-wheel disc brakes, active front head restraints, and adjustable head restraints for all seating positions. A partial list of other standard features includes: power windows, intermittent windshield wipers, multiple storage areas, 60/40 split fold-down rear seatback, tachometer, dual vanity mirrors, tinted windows, two 12-V outlets and tilt steering wheel. The Preferred Package adds air conditioning and a 172-watt AM/FM/CD audio system with tweeters. The available Premium Package includes the equipment in the Preferred Package plus power heated mirrors and locks, remote keyless entry with trunk release, panic alert and alarm, windshield shade band, fog lights, rear center armrest with cupholders, cruise control and an auxiliary jack. The available Premium-Sport Package includes everything in the Premium Package plus 16-inch alloy wheels with P205/55-R16 tires and power sunroof.

Elantra SE - Adding a Sporty Flavor

The sport-oriented SE adds all the equipment in the GLS Premium Package plus a telescoping leather steering wheel with audio controls that features seek, volume, and mute functions, leather shift knob, 16-inch alloy wheels with P205/55HR16 tires, dual illuminated vanity mirrors and trip computer. The only option is a power sunroof. In addition to the available gray and beige two-tone, the SE is also available in a sporty monotone black interior.

Elantra Limited - Luxury Meets Value

The Limited trim takes the Elantra upscale by building on the SE equipment with leather seating surfaces, leather door panel inserts, leather armrest and heated front seats. A Sun and Sound package is available that combines a power sunroof and a 220-watt premium audio system featuring AM/FM/6-CD changer/cassette/MP3 and an external amplifier.


The all-new Hyundai Elantra lineup is protected by the Hyundai Advantage, America's Best Warranty(TM). Coverage includes five-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper protection, 10-year/100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty, and seven-year/unlimited mileage anti-perforation coverage. In addition, Elantra buyers receive 24-hour roadside assistance coverage at no extra charge for five years (no mileage limit), which includes emergency towing, lockout service and limited coverage for trip-interruption expenses. There is no deductible on any of these coverages.

Hyundai Motor America, headquartered in Fountain Valley, Calif. is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Co. of Korea. Hyundai vehicles are distributed throughout the United States by Hyundai Motor America and are sold and serviced by more than 700 dealerships nationwide.


At least 10 local media representatives at the second and final test between Bangladesh and Australia were injured

in clashes with police, witnesses said on Sunday.

One was being operated on locally for a suspected haemorrhage and another was rushed to Dhaka with head injuries.

The journalists may now boycott the rest of the test and the three one-dayers which follow later in the month.

About 20 officers with batons damaged cameras and clashed with around 50 reporters and photographers who were protesting by the side of pitch outside the press box during the lunch break on day one.

They were upset over an incident before play began when a policeman assaulted a photographer in a row over using transport in the restricted stadium vicinity.

"At least 10 reporters and photographers were injured and five were taken to clinic for treatment," a reporter from the scene said over telephone, describing the lunchtime protest.

A reporter from a Chittagong-based daily, who was hit on the head by a baton, was being operated on at Chittagong Medical College Hospital where three others received first aid.

"We suspect a haemorrhage in his head, so we need an urgent operation," a doctor said.

A cameraman from a Dhaka-based private television channel was rushed to Dhaka with head injuries, a reporter said.

The Bangladesh Sports Journalists Association said in a statement it would boycott the test and ODI series if the policemen involved in the clashes were not punished.

The association apologised to newspaper readers for being obliged to take such a decision.

Majedul Haque, a senior officer with Chittagong Metropolitan police, said police had gone into action after a number of unruly people identifying themselves as reporters threatened police, who had then promptly acted in self defence.

"However, the incident would be investigated and if policemen were responsible they will be punished," he said.

The policeman involved in the earlier assault had expressed regret and been suspended.

At close of play, Australia were 76-1 after bowling out Bangladesh for 197. Post-match media conferences were called off. Australia won the first test.


Eurosport Wins Commercial Rights to 2006 Karting Championships

Pan-European broadcaster Eurosport has won the tender for the media and marketing rights to the 2006 CIK-FIA World and European Karting Championships.

As part of the agreement Eurosport will broadcast live coverage of at least five karting events, including the single round of the Karting World Championship in Angerville, France on 1 October 2006.

The contract was finalised in a deal between Eurosport subsidiary SRW Events and the FIA, which regulates karting through the CIK, its International Karting Commission. It brings to a successful conclusion the tendering process for the commercial rights to the championships, which was launched in 2005 in close cooperation with the organisers of the various events.

FIA President Max Mosley said: "The conclusion of this contract demonstrates the growing appeal and interest in international karting. It has been a very successful tendering process.”

SRW Events President Jacques Béhar said: "Karting is an indispensable step on the ladder of international motor sport and we are proud to collaborate with and support the FIA and the CIK in promoting these championships."

Luigi Macaluso, President of the CIK-FIA International Karting Commission, added: "I am delighted that international karting, with its high level of excitement and competition, is getting the quality media coverage it deserves."

Editors Note:

The final stages of the following events in the 2006 CIK-FIA Championships are included in the contract with the Eurosport group:



America Supports You: Girls Organize Treasure Hunt


A good book read in August led two McLean, Va., sisters to start a program designed to thank the nation's servicemembers. "We were inspired by Michael Stadther's book 'A Treasure Trove' last summer, along with the movie 'National Treasure,'" Rachel and Kelsi Okun told American Forces Press Service via e-mail. The book contained clues to real tokens hidden around the United States. Once found, those tokens could be turned in for a real jewel. Rachel 10, and Kelsi, 8, decided they could do something similar, albeit with a different focus.

From that decision has sprung Treasure Hunt Aiding Needs of Kids (and spouses) of those Serving the USA, or ThanksUSA. Treasure hunt questions, available Memorial Day on the ThanksUSA Web site, will cover everything from pop culture to history. "This hunt focuses on America's history and its values, which is what the troops are fighting for," they said. While they knew it was a good idea, the girls quickly discovered creating a treasure hunt was "really hard." They had no idea how many people it would take to breathe life into their vision.

Their parents, friends and a teacher gathered around the Okuns' dining room table for several months, brainstorming about the treasure hunt and what types of questions to ask, the girls said. "What we really wanted was a treasure hunt that got a whole family involved, so some of the questions are much harder than others, and elementary students like us would need to ask their parents or other members of their family for help," they said. The treasure hunt is only part of the ThanksUSA program, however. The nonprofit organization received seed money from Congress to establish scholarships to support undergraduate education opportunities for military children and spouses, they said. Though this seed money is a good base, other donations are needed to grow the fund. That's where the treasure hunt comes in, the girls said.

They are hoping that those who participate in the treasure hunt will donate to the ThanksUSA scholarship program. "Although kids will be able to participate in the hunt online for free, we still hope families will make contributions to the scholarships once they play the game and become excited about American history," they said. The girls also are creating an official clue book they hope companies will buy to donate to schools and libraries. In an effort to foster community support for the scholarships, the Okuns have provided some ideas for fund-raisers. "In the clue book and on the Web site, we've added some really cool, family-friendly activities to raise money and awareness for ThanksUSA," they said. "These are things you can do in your neighborhood such as walking (or) playing with neighbors' dogs and donating any tips to the scholarship fund." ThanksUSA is working with Scholarship America, a nonprofit scholarship distribution organization, to help select and award the scholarships.

With Scholarship America, the girls decided ThanksUSA scholarships should be based on need, leadership ability and participation in school and community activities. "We also asked Scholarship America to give extra credit if a son, daughter or spouse has studied a foreign language, because that seems like something more American kids should do," the girls said. Applications for the $1,000 to $5,000 scholarships are being accepted now. The postmark deadline is May 30, or until 3,000 applications are received, whichever comes first. "This will give the families of the troops a better chance to experience the freedom and opportunities that they protect for us," they said


Possible Afghanistan Friendly Fire Incident Prompts Probe


The commander of the coalition's Combined Joint Task Force 76 has ordered an investigation of a possible "friendly fire" incident April 14 during heavy fighting in the Zhari district of Afghanistan's Kandahar province, military officials reported. Afghan soldiers and police initiated an attack against Taliban extremists attempting to organize attacks on Afghan and coalition forces in the town of Sanigsar, officials said. During fierce and close fighting that involved Afghan army and police, coalition troops and enemy fighters, Afghan police forces reported casualties, some possibly caused by friendly forces, officials said. "We are investigating the incident, and we will work jointly with the government of Afghanistan to determine the events that took place during this fight," Army Brig. Gen David Fraser, commander of Multinational Brigade South, said. "We will review all our procedures to ensure that we continue to coordinate with our Afghan partners against our common enemy."

Coalition Responds to Civilian Casualties in Afghanistan

Coalition forces rushed three wounded civilians to emergency medical treatment and are working with Afghan officials to return the remains of the other civilians to their families after combat with insurgents in the Korangal Valley in Afghanistan's Kunar province last night resulted in civilian casualties. Initial reports from military officials indicate that seven civilians were killed and three were wounded near the fighting.

During a close-combat firefight between about eight to 10 enemy fighters and a coalition patrol, officials said, coalition forces used close-air support, artillery and direct fire to suppress fire from insurgents in a house and a cave. Several of the insurgents are believed to have been killed; the rest retreated. After the battle, coalition forces determined that civilians had been caught in the fight. "Our hearts go out to the families of the innocent victims of this battle," said Army Maj. Gen. Benjamin C. Freakley, commander of the coalition's Combined Joint Task Force 76. "I've directed an investigation to determine the facts in this matter." A written statement issued by Combined Forces Command Afghanistan officials emphasized that coalition forces go to great lengths to limit the chances of civilian casualties "through disciplined training, positive observation of enemy forces and precision fires" "The unfortunate loss of civilian lives is a circumstance that coalition forces regret.

As long as the enemy chooses to fight in or near civilians, however, the possibility of civilians being endangered will exist," the statement said. "We sincerely and profoundly regret the loss of innocent life," said Army Col. John Nicholson, commander of the Coalition's Task Force Spartan, which is conducting offensive operations in Kunar province. "Among the most reprehensible aspects of these terrorist activities is the risk to which they expose innocent civilians," Nicholson said. "The terrorists, often deliberately, operate in close proximity to civilians, exposing them to grave risk during combat. Terrorism inflicts two injuries on innocent people: it specifically targets them in some cases, and exposes them to extreme peril when others confront them." Afghan and coalition forces are continuing offensive operations in eastern Afghanistan to defeat terrorism and establish stability in the region, officials said.

Iowa National Guard Responds to Tornado Disaster


About 30 Iowa Army National Guard troops were called to duty to help local police maintain security after a wave of storms blew through the eastern part of the state and a tornado hit in the heart of Iowa City. Members of the 109th Area Support Medical Battalion and 67th Troop Command, both based in Iowa City, responded after Gov. Tom Vilsack declared a state emergency, state public affairs officer Army Lt. Col. Greg Hapgood the reported. The troops worked through the night, providing security, helping control traffic and keeping people away from dangerous areas and helping assess damage. More than 100 buildings "have either fallen or are falling down" and the city is confronted with downed power lines, broken gas mains and scattered debris, Hapgood said. "Our job is to keep people away from these areas and to keep them from trying to go back into buildings," he said. "There's a huge opportunity for people to get hurt here, and we're working to help prevent that." The guardsmen provided 145 cots and 275 blankets for displaced residents.

It was unclear how long the troops will remain on duty, particularly with another line of storms headed to the state. A second 30-member rotation took over security duties this morning. "We're ready to do this indefinitely, as needed, to keep the people of Iowa safe," Hapgood said. The tornado response exemplifies the Iowa Guard's readiness and commitment, he said. "It doesn't matter where they're needed - here at home in the state of Iowa or in the combat theater - they're ready at a moment's notice to get the job done," he said. "They're well-trained and very well-led, and they take tremendous pride in carrying out their mission," he said.


Western Union has launched its national “Million Dollar Giveaway” sweepstakes

the largest ever Western Union giveaway, which will enable one lucky customer to become a millionaire. Customers will be automatically entered when they send a qualifying Western Union Money Transfer(R) or Quick Collect(R) transaction from the U.S. to anywhere around the globe where Western Union is available during the period of April 1 through June 30.

“At Western Union, we look for opportunities to benefit our customers, and we’re excited to offer this first-ever $1 million promotion to all of our customers in the United States,” said Tom McDermott, senior vice president, marketing for Western Union Americas region. “Whether they are recent immigrants or established American citizens, The Million Dollar Giveaway is a great way for us to say thanks to our valued customers.”

Eligibility will cover all three transaction channels, including Western Union Money Transfer transactions, “Money in Minutes,” “Next Day” or “Direct-to-Bank" and Western Union Quick Collect transactions, as well as online qualifying transfers at westernunion.com and telephone money transfers at 1-800-CALL-CASH. Also, to increase the number of entries for loyal customers, Western Union Gold Card holders will receive two entries for each transaction in which they use their cards. Consumers will have the option to enter the sweepstakes through a ‘No Purchase Necessary’ method by printing their complete name, address and daytime phone number on a 3” by 5” piece of paper and mailing to: Western Union $1 Million Giveaway, P.O. Box 1369, Manhasset, NY 11030-1369. Entrants who provide their Western Union Gold Card number with their name, address and daytime phone number on the 3” by 5” piece of paper will receive one (1) additional entry. To learn how to enter the promotion without a transaction, see Official Rules available at Western Union Agent locations and at http://www.westernunion.com. To obtain a free Gold Card number, call 1-877-984-0469.

Currently, there are more than 48,000 Western Union Agent locations across the United States. For more information on Western Union, please visit http://www.westernunion.com or dial 1-800-325-4045 to speak with a Western Union representative.

Western Union Financial Services, Inc., a subsidiary of First Data Corp, is an international leader in money transfer services. Consumers can quickly and reliably pay bills and transfer money around the globe.

About First Data

First Data Corp. (NYSE:FDC) is a leading provider of electronic commerce and payment solutions for businesses and consumers worldwide. Serving 4.6 million merchant locations, 1,500 financial institutions and millions of consumers, First Data powers the global economy by making it easy, fast and secure for people and businesses around the world to buy goods and services using virtually any form of payment. The company’s portfolio of services and solutions includes credit, debit, private-label, gift and other prepaid card issuing and merchant transaction processing services; money transfer services; money orders; fraud protection and authentication solutions; check guarantee and verification services through TeleCheck; as well as Internet commerce and mobile solutions. Western Union, together with Orlandi Valuta and Vigo, make up one of the world’s largest money transfer networks with approximately 271,000 Agent locations in more than 200 countries and territories. The company’s STAR Network offers PIN-secured debit acceptance at 1.9 million ATM and retail locations

Western Union lanzó su concurso nacional “Regalo de un millón de dólares”, el regalo más grande en la historia de Western Union,

que le permitirá a un afortunado cliente convertirse en millonario. Los clientes participarán automáticamente en el concurso cuando envíen una transacción Western Union Money Transfer(R) o Quick Collect(R) que califique, desde los EE. UU. a cualquier parte del mundo en la que Western Union esté disponible desde el 1 de abril hasta el 30 de junio.

“En Western Union, buscamos oportunidades para beneficiar a nuestros clientes y nos entusiasma ofrecer por primera vez esta promoción de US$ 1 millón a todos nuestros clientes en los Estados Unidos”, afirma Tom McDermott, vicepresidente senior de marketing para la región de las Américas de Western Union. “Ya sea que se trate de inmigrantes recientes o de ciudadanos estadounidenses ya establecidos, el Regalo de un millón de dólares es nuestra mejor manera de agradecer a nuestros valiosos clientes”.

Los requisitos de elegibilidad están comprendidos en los tres canales de transacciones, incluidas las transacciones Western Union Money Transfer, “Dinero en Minutos” (Money in Minutes), “Al Día Siguiente” (Next Day) o “Directo al Banco” (Direct-to-Bank) y las transacciones Western Union Quick Collect, además de las transferencias que califiquen realizadas por internet en westernunion.com y las transferencias de dinero realizadas por teléfono llamando al 1-800-CALL-CASH. Además, a fin de que haya una mayor participación por parte de clientes leales, los titulares de la Tarjeta Dorada de Western Union recibirán dos inscripciones para el concurso por cada transacción en la que usen sus tarjetas. Los clientes tendrán la opción de participar en el concurso a través del método “Sin Obligación de Compra”, escribiendo su nombre completo, dirección y número de teléfono diurno en una hoja de papel de 3" por 5" y enviándola por correo a: Western Union $1 Million Giveaway, P.O. Box 1369, Manhasset, NY 11030-1369. Los participantes que proporcionen su número de Tarjeta Dorada de Western Union con su nombre, dirección y número de teléfono diurno en una hoja de papel de 3" por 5" recibirán (1) inscripción adicional para el concurso. Para conocer cómo participar en la promoción sin realizar una transacción, consulte las Reglas Oficiales disponibles en los centros de Agentes de Western Union y en http://www.westernunion.com. Para obtener un número de Tarjeta Dorada gratuito, llame al 1-877-984-0469.

En la actualidad, hay más de 48.000 centros de Agentes de Western Union en todos los Estados Unidos. Para obtener más información sobre Western Union, visite http://www.westernunion.com o llame al 1-800-325-4045 para hablar con un representante de Western Union.

Western Union Financial Services, Inc., subsidiaria de First Data Corp, es líder internacional en servicios de transferencia de dinero. Los clientes pueden pagar sus facturas y transferir dinero a cualquier parte del mundo de manera rápida y confiable.

Acerca de First Data
First Data Corp. (NYSE:FDC) es proveedor líder de soluciones de pago y comercio electrónico para empresas y clientes en todo el mundo. Presta servicios a 4,6 millones de centros comerciales, 1.500 instituciones financieras y millones de clientes. First Data impulsa la economía mundial ya que hace más fácil, rápido y seguro que las personas y empresas de todo el mundo compren bienes y servicios utilizando prácticamente cualquier forma de pago. La cartera de servicios y soluciones de la compañía incluye la emisión de tarjetas de crédito, débito, marca privada, regalo y otras tarjetas prepagadas y servicios de procesamiento de transacciones comerciales; servicios de transferencia de dinero; órdenes de pago; protección contra el fraude y soluciones de autenticación; garantía de cheques y servicios de verificación a través de TeleCheck; además de comercio por internet y soluciones móviles. Western Union, junto con Orlandi Valuta y Vigo, conforman una de las redes de transferencia de dinero más grandes del mundo con aproximadamente 271.000 centros de Agentes en más de 200 países y territorios. La red STAR de la compañía ofrece aceptación de débito seguro con PIN en 1,9 millones de cajeros automáticos y centros minoristas. Para obtener más información, visite http://www.firstdata.com.

El Hyundai Elantra 2007

El debut mundial del nuevo Elantra 2007 se produce hoy en el Salón Internacional del Automóvil de Nueva York 2006. El Hyundai Elantra 2007 es el séptimo modelo nuevo de Hyundai en solo 24 meses y con él, Hyundai logra la alineación más novedosa de la industria. Totalmente nuevo desde los faros delanteros hasta las luces de freno, el Elantra ofrece más elegancia, seguridad y espacio interior a los compradores de autos compactos.

"El nuevo Elantra ofrece mayor espacio interior que el Civic o el Corolla, incluso más espacio que el Acura TL, y un nivel ágil y confortable de elegancia de conducción y manejo", dijo John Krafcik, vicepresidente del Departamento de desarrollo de productos y planificación estratégica de Hyundai Motor America. "Si a esto sumamos impresionantes características de seguridad estándar tales como seis bolsas de aire, frenos antibloqueo y apoyacabezas activos delanteros, además de nuestro enérgico y novedoso diseño, queda claro que el Elantra ofrece un valor inigualable".

Programa 24/7

El Elantra será el séptimo nuevo producto de Hyundai en 24 meses cuando se ponga a la venta en otoño de 2006. Este plan de producto “24/7” incluye la llegada de los nuevos Tucson, Sonata, Accent, Azera, Santa Fe, Entourage y Elantra. Desde nuestro producto estrella, el Azera modelo full, hasta el modelo básico de Accent, cada uno de estos modelos ofrece tecnologías de seguridad estándar de una calidad insuperable en sus segmentos y refleja la naturaleza refinada y confiable de la marca Hyundai.

Seguridad estándar de calidad insuperable en el segmento compacto

Todos los modelos Elantra poseen seis bolsas de aire estándar, incluidas dos bolsas de aire frontales de avanzada, dos bolsas de aire frontales montadas en el asiento para impacto lateral y dos bolsas de aire laterales tipo cortina para proteger a los pasajeros en la parte delantera y trasera. La combinación de bolsas de aire laterales y tipo cortina, que ayudan a proteger la cabeza y el cuerpo en impactos laterales, puede reducir en más de 45% la mortalidad de acuerdo con el IIHS (Instituto de Seguros para la Seguridad en la Carretera, por sus siglas en inglés). Las bolsas de aire laterales son opciones costosas en autos de la competencia, tales como el Toyota Corolla y el Ford Focus, y no se incluyen en el Chevrolet Cobalt. La protección tipo cortina es opcional en el Corolla y el Cobalt, y todavía no está disponible en el Focus.

Las tecnologías para evitar accidentes comienzan con el nuevo chasis del Elantra, que incluye una suspensión completamente independiente, barras estabilizadoras delanteras y traseras, y una dirección asistida de cremallera y piñón.

El sistema de frenos estándar del Elantra tiene discos delanteros y traseros con un sistema de frenos antibloqueo (ABS) con cuatro sensores y cuatro canales que incluye distribución electrónica de la fuerza de frenado (EBD).

El sistema ABS ayuda al conductor a mantener el control de la dirección en condiciones resbalosas y en maniobras de emergencia. La EBD está integrada al sistema ABS, ajustando de manera automática la fuerza de frenado de los ejes delanteros y traseros en base a las condiciones de carga del vehículo. Los discos de freno en las cuatro ruedas lo destacan dentro de este segmento de automóviles ya que los modelos 2006 del Honda Civic, el Toyota Corolla, el Ford Focus y el Chevrolet Cobalt aún cuentan con los tradicionales frenos traseros de tambor.

Los apoyacabezas estándar activos de los asientos delanteros del Elantra ayudan a prevenir tirones en el cuello ya que reducen automáticamente el espacio entre la cabeza del ocupante del asiento delantero y el apoyacabezas en un choque de atrás, y han sido altamente recomendados por las organizaciones orientadas a la seguridad tales como el IIHS.

Todos los asientos disponen de cinturones de seguridad de tres puntos y apoyacabezas ajustables. Los apoyacabezas del asiento trasero, con diseño en forma de tejas, mejoran la visibilidad cuando no van pasajeros atrás, al tiempo que los protegen cuando se encuentran dentro el vehículo. El modelo también cuenta con una columna de dirección con sistema de absorción de energía y cinturones de seguridad delanteros con pretensores, limitadores de fuerza y sujetadores de hombros de altura ajustable. El sistema de sujetadores y correas más bajas para niños (LATCH, por sus siglas en inglés) en el asiento trasero brinda un ajuste seguro para los asientos de los más pequeños.

En impactos de baja velocidad, los parachoques delanteros y traseros de 8km/h del Elantra ayudan a minimizar el daño. En colisiones con más energía, la estructura de acero de pieza única está diseñada para disipar la energía del choque al deformarse las zonas rugosas, mientras que los refuerzos de la carrocería ayudan a mantener la integridad del compartimiento de pasajeros. La cubierta del motor se deforma y las trancas de seguridad ayudan a controlar la deformación de la cubierta en el caso de una colisión frontal.

Diseño expresivo y confiable

El Elantra continúa con el resurgimiento del impresionante estilo novedoso presentado en el nuevo Santa Fe 2007: es elegante y confiable. Esto se aprecia en la apariencia delantera firme del Elantra, en la curvatura elevada, en su carrocería esculpida y en una apariencia general activa.

Para lograr una apariencia de mayor nivel, los faros con biselado de cromo y las barras de rejilla resaltan la fachada firme del Elantra. El perfil del Elantra incluye superficies esculpidas con firmeza, una línea de carrocería expresiva que tiene un parecido con el Azera y un aspecto limpio con manijas y espejos del color de la carrocería. El estilo trasero hace honor al diseño delantero con luces de freno que combinan con los faros delanteros. El aspecto homogéneo continúa con una decoración trasera de la placa de la matrícula del color de la carrocería y un frente trasero integrado.

Interior de "categoría superior" – más espacio que el Acura TL

El Elantra es más ancho y más alto que su predecesor. Con un incremento de 5,58 centímetros en la altura y el asiento del conductor ubicado 4,57 centímetros más arriba, la cabina se abrió para obtener mayor espacio y flexibilidad. Con este ensanchamiento de 5,08 centímetros se logra también mayor espacio para los hombros en los asientos delanteros y traseros. Este rediseño presenta un interior notoriamente espacioso que realmente pertenece a una "clase superior" en comparación con el Honda Civic y el Toyota Corolla, en lo que a espacio se refiere. El Elantra es tan grande que la EPA (Agencia de Protección al Medio Ambiente, por sus siglas en inglés) lo clasifica como un auto mediano y no como uno compacto como el Civic o el Corolla. Con 29,37 metros cúbicos de espacio para los pasajeros y 4,26 metros cúbicos de espacio de baúl, el Elantra ofrece el mayor volumen interior (volumen de pasajeros más volumen de baúl) para un sedan de su clase. El volumen interior total de 33,63 metros cúbicos fácilmente supera al Civic sedan 2006 (30,87 metros cúbicos), al Nissan Sentra 2006 (33,24 metros cúbicos) y al Corolla 2006 (31,14 metros cúbicos) y, para mayor sorpresa, también supera el volumen interior del casi lujoso Acura TL (33,12 metros cúbicos). La capacidad del baúl también es mejor que la del Civic y el Corolla. El volumen del baúl de 4,26 metros cúbicos es 18% mayor que el del Civic y 5% más grande que el del Corolla.

Los ingeniosos toques de diseño aportan armonía y sustancia al interior del Elantra. El tablero se inclina hacia abajo para dar una sensación de mayor amplitud y visibilidad, mostrando una forma estética. Los esquemas de colores de dos tonos contrastantes (disponibles en tonos beige y gris) combinados con las terminaciones metálicas, combinan con el estilo del exterior más sofisticado y de mayor nivel. En todo el interior se observan los nuevos niveles de detalles y artesanía. La trama de cuero flexible y lujoso se encuentra disponible en el Elantra pero no en el Civic. Por primera vez, se ofrecen asientos con calefacción, controles de crucero y audio montados en el volante, y ajuste telescópico. La iluminación azul trasera agrega un ambiente joven pero refinado en la noche.

La consola central viene con un compartimiento de almacenamiento de dos niveles y un confortable apoyabrazos. El soporte para lentes de sol situado sobre la cabeza incluye luces para ver mapas y los paneles de las puertas delanteras contienen bolsillos para guardar estos mapas. Los bolsillos detrás de los asientos brindan espacio adicional para objetos pequeños. También pueden guardarse objetos en el tablero, en el estante central y en la consola. Un conveniente gancho para la correa de la cartera seguramente sorprenderá y agradará a los propietarios. Dos posavasos en la parte delantera y un apoyabrazos en el asiento trasero con posavasos completan la parte interior.

Los asientos confortables y versátiles del Elantra incluyen un asiento regulable para el conductor con ajuste de altura y de apoyacabeza, y un asiento trasero abatible 60/40 que permite acomodar carga fácilmente.

Algunas comodidades tales como el filtro de aire de cabina, el desempañador del vidrio trasero, la dirección inclinada, los vidrios polarizados, los limpiaparabrisas de dos velocidades de intermitencia variable con función niebla, los dos espejos y las ventanas eléctricas con interruptores iluminados de subida/bajada automática para el conductor, hacen parecer al Elantra un modelo de clase superior considerando su precio modesto.

El paquete Elantra GLS Premium de alto volumen ofrece un sistema de audio AM/FM/CD de 172 vatios con seis parlantes y el primer conector de entrada auxiliar de Hyundai para conectar iPods(R) u otros reproductores portátiles de MP3 al sistema de audio del vehículo. También se incluye aire acondicionado, control de crucero, luces de niebla, parabrisas con franja de sombra, un apoyabrazos central con posavasos, espejos térmicos, seguros eléctricos y entrada sin llave con control remoto con apertura de abierto, alerta de pánico y alarma. Una radio satelital XM estará disponible a comienzos del otoño.

Motor super limpio

Muchos Elantras que se vendieron en California, Maine, Nueva York, Vermont y Massachussets alcanzarán un buen resultado en la Guía de vehículos ecológicos de EPA y serán certificados como SULEV (vehículos de emisión super-ultra baja, por sus siglas en inglés). El Elantra SULEV es tan limpio como muchos vehículos eléctricos híbridos y colabora en el compromiso ambiental de Hyundai. De hecho, se espera que el Elantra 2007 obtenga la Certificación PZEV (vehículos con emisión casi cero, por sus siglas en inglés) en California, que muy pocos modelos de la industria automotriz han obtenido. Fuera de los estados ecológicos, el Elantra se encuentra disponible en configuraciones ULEV (vehículos con emisión ultra baja, por sus siglas en inglés).

El Elantra viene con el avanzado motor de cuatro cilindros y 2 litros en línea de Hyundai. Esta sofisticada central de energía de 16 válvulas emplea una cabeza de cilindro de aluminio que posee un doble árbol de levas a la cabeza (DOHC) y una sincronización variable de las válvulas (CVVT) Esta combinación ayuda a brindar al motor una amplia expansión de energía asociada con una alta eficiencia de combustible y bajas emisiones.

La unidad CVVT está posicionada en el escape del árbol de levas y controla el tiempo de la válvula de entrada adelantando y retrasando el árbol de levas de entrada en relación al árbol levas de escape. El sistema CVVT aumenta la eficiencia volumétrica y termodinámica ayudando a que el motor brinde un desempeño mejorado a alta velocidad y una torsión mayor a baja velocidad. Con una mejor carga del cilindro, también se economiza combustible. Al optimizar la superposición de válvulas, se reducen las emisiones de NOx debido al efecto de recirculación de gases de escape.

La variación de ULEV está estimada en 138 caballos de fuerza a 6.000rpm y 18,80 kilográmetros de torsión a 4.600rpm. Los motores SULEV están disponibles solo con una transmisión automática de cuatro velocidades y se estima que alcancen los 132 caballos de fuerza a 6.000rpm y 18,39 kilográmetros de torsión a 4.600rpm.

Dos posibilidades de transmisión

El Elantra viene con una precisa caja de cambios manual de cinco velocidades estándar. De forma opcional, se ofrece una suave caja automática de cuatro velocidades con una palanca montada en la consola que incluye un convertidor de torsión de sobremando con cierre para economizar combustible a alta velocidad.

Suspensión y dirección

El equipo de diseño del Elantra trabajó para lograr los clásicos equilibrios de diseño entre el espacio interior, la agilidad y el confort para conducir. Por un lado, el espacio interior y el espacio para carga son sumamente importantes para un sedan de su clase; por el otro, el manejo seguro y responsable, y un buen aislamiento de la calle también son prioritarios. La calidad de conducción del Elantra mejora lo ofrecida por el Civic, el Corolla, el Focus y el Cobalt. Una avanzada dirección asistida hidráulica de cremallera y piñón sensible a la velocidad del motor asegura que el nuevo Elantra ofrezca una sensación de conducción más ágil que el modelo anterior y sus principales competidores.

El Elantra brinda una conducción confortable y un manejo responsable gracias a una suspensión delantera con amortiguador MacPherson con muelles helicoidales y amortiguadores de gas, y una suspensión multipunto y amortiguadores de gas de doble tubo. El diámetro de 23 milímetros de la barra estabilizadora delantera y de 17 milímetros de la barra trasera, que es 5 milímetros más grande que la de su predecesor, ayuda a reducir el balanceo al tomar una curva, y hace al Elantra más preciso en la conducción al límite para lograr una previsibilidad máxima. Para mejorar la capacidad de frenado, los frenos delanteros y traseros son más grandes que los de sus predecesor: 275 milímetros en el caso del freno delantero y 262 milímetros en el caso del freno trasero.

La rigidez de la carrocería del Elantra 2007 es 49% mayor que la del modelo anterior y 9% mayor que la del Corolla. Los aumentos significativos en los niveles de rigidez de la carrocería permitieron a los ingenieros de Hyundai lograr un paquete dinámico que redujo el riesgo durante las etapas de ajuste de amortiguadores y cojinetes. El resultado es una dirección y un manejo precisos, y una conducción muy controlada y a la vez confortable. Al mejorar la rigidez de la carrocería y aplicar una estrategia optimizada de sellado de puerta, los ingenieros de Hyundai lograron reducir exitosamente el ruido de la calle, ubicándolo dos decibeles por debajo del que se percibe en el Honda Civic 2006, equipado de manera similar, de acuerdo a pruebas internas.

Tres versiones

El Elantra se encuentra disponible en tres versiones de línea muy diferente: GLS, SE y Limited.

Elantra GLS – El auto compacto perfecto

Manteniendo el enfoque de alto valor de Hyundai respecto del equipamiento estándar, el Elantra GLS posee una enorme variedad de características deseables. El Elantra ofrece tecnologías de seguridad estándar insuperables en su segmento, con seis bolsas de aire, ABS y EBD, frenos de disco en las 4 ruedas, apoyacabezas activos delanteros y apoyacabezas ajustables a todas las posiciones del asiento. Algunas de las otras características estándar: ventanas eléctricas, limpiaparabrisas intermitentes, varias áreas de almacenamiento, un asiento trasero abatible 60/40, tacómetro, dos espejos, vidrios polarizados, dos tomacorrientes de 12 voltios y dirección inclinada. El Preferred Package agrega aire acondicionado y un sistema de audio AM/FM/CD de 172 vatios con altavoces. El Premium Package disponible incluye el equipo del Preferred Package más espejos térmicos y trancas eléctricas, entrada sin llave con control remoto con apertura de baúl, alerta de pánico y alarma, parabrisas con franja de sombra, luces de niebla, apoyabrazos central en el asiento trasero con posavasos, control de crucero y una entrada auxiliar. El Premium-Sport Package incluye todo lo del Premium Package más llantas de aleación de 40 centímetros con neumáticos P205/55-R16 y techo convertible eléctrico.

Elantra SE— Agregándole un sabor deportivo

El SE orientado al deporte agrega a todo el equipamiento del GLS Premium Package una dirección de cuero telescópica con controles de audio que incluyen las funciones buscar, volumen y silencio, el puntero de la caja de cambios de cuero, llantas de aleación de 40 centímetros con neumáticos P205/55HR16, dos espejos con luz y una computadora de viaje. La única opción es un techo convertible eléctrico. Además de los colores disponibles en dos tonos de gris o beige, el SE también se encuentra disponible con un único y deportivo color negro en su interior.

Elantra Limited – Suma de lujo y valor

La versión Limited lleva al Elantra a un nivel superior al basarse en el equipamiento SE con superficies de cuero, paneles de cuero en las puertas, apoyabrazos de cuero y asientos delanteros térmicos. Se encuentra disponible un paquete Sun and Sound (de sol y sonido) que combina un techo convertible eléctrico con un sistema de audio premium de 220 vatios con radio AM/FM/6-CD/casete/MP3 y amplificador externo.


La nueva alineación de Hyundai Elantra está protegida por Hyundai Advantage, America's Best Warranty(TM). El alcance incluye cinco años/96.000 kilómetros de garantía de uso en tráfico pesado, 10 años/160.000 kilómetros de garantía limitada del mecanismo de transmisión y siete años/kilometraje ilimitado de garantía anti-perforación. Además, los compradores del Elantra reciben asistencia en carretera las 24 horas sin cargo extra durante cinco años (sin límite de kilometraje), que incluye remolque de emergencia, servicio de cerrajería para automóviles y cobertura limitada para gastos de interrupción del viaje. No hay deducible en ninguna de estas coberturas.

Hyundai Motor America, con sede en Fountain Valley, California, es una subsidiaria de Hyundai Motor Co. de Corea. Hyundai Motor America distribuye los vehículos de Hyundai en Estados Unidos, y su venta y mantenimiento están a cargo de más de 700 concesionarias en todo el país.

Nota: declaraciones basadas en Autosource Inc., segmento de autos pequeños de nivel superior.


China shifts to rational economic growth


The State Development and Reform Commission (SDRC) of China has instructed regional governments to be moderate in formulating economic growth programs for the next five years.

As most provincial economic growth goals are at least one or two percentage points higher than national targets, the central government fears regional economic growth targets may be unrealistic.

The notice requires provincial authorities as well as lower local governments to form rational economic growth indices.

An average per capita gross domestic product (GDP) of 3,000 U.S. dollars by 2020 is the national goal, but should not be taken as a hard target for all cities or counties, says the notice.

The notice emphasizes that the GDP or economic growth rates should not be taken as the only standards in assessing regional development.

Regional development should also be determined by the level of public services and the quality of the environment, says the notice.

China's 11th Five-Year Plan (2006-2010) changed direction from its predecessors by aiming to build a "harmonious society", emphasizing improved living standards and public satisfaction rather than just hard industrial data as before.


United Business Media plc today announced that its CMP Asia division has expanded its events business in China

with the joint acquisition of a majority stake in the Guangzhou Beauty Fair. The acquisition is being made with BolognaFiere Group, CMP Asia’s joint venture partner for its Asian beauty industry events. CMP Asia and BolognaFiere Group will also launch a new event, Cosmoprof Shanghai, with the first show scheduled for January 2007.

The Guangzhou Beauty Fair, formally known as the Guangzhou International Beauty & Cosmetic Import-Export Expo, attracts more than 3,000 exhibitors and 200,000 visitors to each show. The Fair has been held since 1989, twice a year since 1996, and is the biggest such event in mainland China.

CMP Asia and BolognaFiere Group will work with the organisers of the Guangzhou Beauty Fair to promote this all-China event to build the presence of international manufacturers and buyers as both exhibitors and visitors.

Both the Guangzhou Beauty Fair and the new Cosmoprof Shanghai event will serve as strong regional extensions of CMP Asia’s existing exhibition Cosmoprof Asia which it co-owns with Bolognafiere Group. Held annually in Hong Kong, Cosmoprof Asia is the leading Asia-Pacific international beauty industry event.

CMP Asia and Bolognafiere Group are acquiring the majority stake in the Guangzhou Beauty Fair from its owner for $7m.


1. Selected UBM events in China

September Hong Kong Jewellery & Watch Fair - www.jewellerynetasia.com/exhibitions - Asia's largest jewellery fair and one of the top three events of its kind in the world

Asia Pacific Leather Fair - www.aplf.com - the world's most international trade fair for the leather industry

Furniture China - www.cmpsinoexpo.com/furniture - the largest international furniture exhibition in China

Marintec China - www.marintecchina.com - the largest and most important international maritime event in China

Cosmoprof Asia - www.cosmoprof-asia.com - the largest international beauty trade event in the Asia-Pacific region

Food Ingredients Asia - China - http://asiachina2006.fi-events.com/ - Food professionals from around the world gather in Shanghai for a three day business gathering in food ingredients marketing

CPhI China - www.cphi-china.com - the international pharmaceutical industry event held in Shanghai

Hotelex Shanghai - www.cmpsinoexpo.com/hotelex - China's largest trade fair for the travel and hotel industries

ExpoBuild China - www.cmpsinoexpo.com/expobuild - the biggest group of events serving China's construction, building materials and interior fittings industries

International IC-China Conference & Exhibition - www.english.china.iicexpo.com/ - the largest showcase of embedded solutions, IC technologies and EDA & test tools in China

2. About United Business Media plc

United Business Media is one of the world's leading global business information companies. UBM brings together the world's buyers and sellers, helping their markets work effectively and efficiently through PR Newswire's news distribution network and CMP's portfolio of events, print and on-line publications.

United Business Media plc announced a number of initiatives to expand its presence in India.

UBM’s healthcare division, CMPMedica, has acquired a set of assets from Mediworld Publications, an Indian medical publisher. The acquisition of these assets further strengthens CMPMedica’s position in India as a leading healthcare media business and establishes it as the foremost provider of Drug Information Systems. The Mediworld assets enhance CMPMedica’s offering for the Indian market with six new specialty medical journals and a Pharmaceutical Marketing Solutions business. Mediworld’s IDR Drug Directory is particularly complementary to CMPMedica’s existing CIMS Directory, published by its Bangalore operation.

UBM’s CMP Media division has launched a portfolio of media products in conjunction with its Indian partner Cybermedia, focusing on the global technology and business services sourcing industry. The portfolio comprises the Global Services website (www.globalservices.com), the monthly Global Services magazine launched in February this year, and the Global Services conference. These products provide an integrated media solution that connects global buyers and sellers of outsourced business and technology services.

UBM’s CMP Asia division is expanding its presence in India with the launch of a number of new events including CPhI India (chemical ingredients exhibition and conference) and Food Ingredients India conference, both in cooperation with CMPi, and Entech India (environmental and renewable energy exhibition and conference).

To provide support for its growing activities and widening interests in India, UBM has opened new premises in Mumbai. The new site is designed to provide an operational base for all UBM’s businesses as they develop their activities across the sub-continent.

- Ends -

1. About United Business Media plc
United Business Media is one of the world's leading global business information companies. UBM brings together the world's buyers and sellers, helping their markets work effectively and efficiently through PR Newswire's news distribution network and CMP's portfolio of events, print and on-line publications. For more information, go to www.unitedbusinessmedia.com

United Business Media is one of the world's leading global business information companies. UBM brings together the world's buyers and sellers, helping their markets work effectively and efficiently through PR Newswire's news distribution network and CMP's portfolio of events, print and on-line publications. For more information, go to

About PR Newswire - PR Newswire is the world's leading corporate news distribution service. Headquartered in New York, PR Newswire distributes news globally on behalf of over 40,000 customers, including many of the world's top companies and agencies, helping them take the latest news to the media, the investment community, and the general public. For more information, go to www.prnewswire.com

- PR Newswire is the world's leading corporate news distribution service. Headquartered in New York, PR Newswire distributes news globally on behalf of over 40,000 customers, including many of the world's top companies and agencies, helping them take the latest news to the media, the investment community, and the general public. For more information, go to

About CMP - CMP's portfolio of more than 200 newspapers, magazines and directories, 200 websites and 300 events brings together buyers and sellers from a range of global sectors including technology, healthcare, the built environment, lifestyle, fashion and ingredients. Our customers come to us for direct access to their key audiences: business decision-makers.

- CMP's portfolio of more than 200 newspapers, magazines and directories, 200 websites and 300 events brings together buyers and sellers from a range of global sectors including technology, healthcare, the built environment, lifestyle, fashion and ingredients. Our customers come to us for direct access to their key audiences: business decision-makers.

CMP operates globally through four divisions:

CMP Media: the USA's leading high tech B2B media company and provider of healthcare education and information. For more information, go to www.cmpmedia.com

: the USA's leading high tech B2B media company and provider of healthcare education and information. For more information, go to

CMP Information: the European magazine and events business, based in the UK. For more information, go to www.cmpinformation.com

: the European magazine and events business, based in the UK. For more information, go to

CMP Asia: a leader in exhibitions and publications in key markets in Asia. For more information, go to www.cmpasia.com

: a leader in exhibitions and publications in key markets in Asia. For more information, go to

CMPMedica: leading drug information provider, pharmaceutical marketing solutions including medical information and trade press in Europe and Asia. For more information, go to www.cmpmedica.com

: leading drug information provider, pharmaceutical marketing solutions including medical information and trade press in Europe and Asia. For more information, go to

April 16, 2006

Toyota Camry Wins the Edmunds'

To understand the internet you have to be open to change. 




Written by Joyce L Chow & William Hoehne April 16 2006


www.montebubbles.com for more MBN news






SUNDAYS ARE NOW PICTURE DAY Staring new weekin: Pictures that we have taken and not published during before will be placed here on Sunday of each week for your viewing pleasure


International news from Asia and Latin news in English and Spanish here now


More exciting changes coming each day.


MONTEBUBBLISM: You never truly see what in front of your own nose.



MSN Clarifies Position on Branded Entertainment

LCA and Actor Corey Feldman Vow Ballot Fight Over Elephant Exhibit

RTNDA Urges Stations To Strengthen VNR Policies

The following is a transcript of President Bush's radio address:

Mission: STS-121 - 18th ISS Flight (ULF1.1) - Multi-Purpose Logistics  Module

Global Sources opened two China Sourcing Fairs at AsiaWorld-Expo

Auto Club: Prices Rise above $2.90

Internet's Top 10 Viral Videos of the Week from StupidVideos.com

IN THIS AGE OF TIVO and ad-zapping, TNT is fighting back by premiering three series this summer with no commercials.

FOX HAS BECOME THE FIRST network to strike a major agreement


Sterling Bank's 5th Annual San Jacinto Event to Offer Preview of Dallas Historical Society's 'Texas Heroes' Exhibit


Mobile Media Now



Oakland Dodger Baseball

Toyota Camry Wins the Edmunds' Inside Line Six-Cylinder Family Sedan Comparison Test

Auto Club: The Key to Saving Money is to Save Gas

Parity adds to the racing excitement, Sharp enjoys the 'vacation'



Two Marines died and 22 were wounded

A Marine assigned to 1st Marine Logistics Group died in a motor vehicle accident

Four U.S. Marines were killed in action

Family, Heroes, Knights Bid Medal of Honor Recipient Farewell


NEWS and NEWS now in Spanish

Knights of Columbus agree upon immigration legislation

La Junta Directiva de Los Caballeros de Colón, ha hecho un llamado al Congreso y al Presidente de los EE. UU.

Hundreds of libraries will showcase their multicultural programs and services this April

En momentos en que la población de la nación se hace más diversa

The Holy Father presided at Holy Mass in St Peter's Square for Palm Sunday

Nous saluons Celui qui est venu au nom du Seigneur pour annoncer un Royaume de paix»

Pope Benedict ushered in Easter services late Saturday with a dramatic candlelit vigil





MSN Clarifies Position on Branded Entertainment

Continued MSN Commitment to Advertisers Is Demonstrated by First-Class Branded Entertainment Solutions

On April 11, 2006, the online publication ClickZ incorrectly published an article stating that MSN was "backing away" and "de-emphasizing" its investment in branded entertainment. The article contains a number of inaccuracies, and MSN would like to clarify its position for its marketing and advertising partners.

"Our commitment to branded entertainment is stronger than ever and continues to grow," said Rob Bennett, general manager of Entertainment and Video Services for MSN. "MSN has been a leader in building branded entertainment experiences for our advertising partners, and this year we will be increasing the size of our team and the number of solutions we can deliver. We have never indicated a shift in how MSN is approaching its branded entertainment strategy as was reported earlier this week. It is unfortunate that this publication chose to mischaracterize our conversation to publish a sensational story, and we want our valued customers to understand our commitment to them and to this important and growing space."

Recent examples of branded entertainment experiences delivered by MSN include the following:

-- Warner Bros.

- The companies are in a partnership to offer MSN(R) Messenger

solutions, including Movie Scout and Decisionator. Through Movie

Scout, consumers can view new WB movie trailers and consumers can

look up show times and theatres in their local area. Decisionator is

an MSN Messenger game that enables two consumers to pick movies

through a ranking system.

- With movie theme packs available through the WB campaign, consumers

can download backdrops, pictures and other features from new movie

releases to MSN Messenger.

-- Visa

- MSN powered the online component of Visa's first re-branding efforts

in 19 years: the "Life Takes Visa" campaign.

- The http://lifetakesvisa.msn.com/ Web site exhibited short clips of

everyday Visa consumer experiences and was prevalent during Visa's

2006 Winter Games TV spots.

-- Sprite

- MSN and Sprite created The Wall, a virtual city for consumers branded

through a graffiti design. The user-generated content allows consumer

to express and share their creativity with others in the online


- The Wall artwork can be saved and used as screensavers, desktop

images or an MSN Messenger background, and can be sent to friends

virally. Sprite branding was evident throughout the site, but in

nonintrusive ways.

About MSN and Windows Live

MSN attracts more than 465 million unique users worldwide per month. With localized versions available globally in 42 markets and 21 languages, MSN is a world leader in delivering compelling programmed content experiences to consumers and online advertising opportunities to businesses worldwide. Windows Live(TM), a new set of personal Internet services and software, is designed to bring together in one place all the relationships, information and interests people care about most, with enhanced safety and security features across their PC, devices and the Web. MSN and Windows Live will be offered alongside each other as complementary services. Some Windows Live services entered an early beta phase on Nov. 1, 2005; these and future beta updates can be found at http://ideas.live.com/ . MSN is located on the Web at http://www.msn.com/ . MSN worldwide sites are located at http://www.msn.com/worldwide.ashx .

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

NOTE: Microsoft, MSN and Windows Live are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

Source: Microsoft Corp.

Web site: http://www.microsoft.com/


LCA and Actor Corey Feldman Vow Ballot Fight Over Elephant Exhibit

Inhumane and Fiscally Irresponsible Council Decision Will Lead to Citizen's Initiative

In response to the passage of the Los Angeles Zoo's elephant exhibit expansion proposal by two city council committees last week, Last Chance for Animals (LCA), longtime animal advocate and actor Corey Feldman, as well as other members of the Hollywood humane community, will descend upon City Hall on Monday, April 17th at 2:00 PM. As both a show of support for the Mayor in relocating the elephants to a sanctuary and to announce the formation of a citizen's initiative should the full council approve the zoo's proposal on Wednesday, April 19th, LCA, a Los Angeles based animal rights group, will discuss the Mayor's important role in the current elephant debacle, as well as announcing its plans to introduce a citizen's initiative to combat the reckless spending and inhumane care of elephants that the city council has so complacently approved. LCA will also commit to funding the immediate relocation of the elephants to a sanctuary that will provide upwards of 2,000 acres of open space for the animals, as opposed to the LA Zoo's proposed 3 acre, $40 million dollar "improved elephant habitat."

"Despite numerous public statements by Mayor Villaraigosa blasting the health and safety of the elephants at the zoo, two council committees have approved the zoo's absurd plans for the already outdated elephant exhibit," said Chris DeRose, president and founder of LCA. "Mayor Villaraigosa's action or inaction in the days leading up to Wednesday's full council vote will without a doubt determine whether or not $40 Million is wasted on an inadequate elephant exhibit. Now is the time for the Mayor to do something great for the people and city of Los Angeles."

Bill Rosendahl, the only councilmember to stand up to the zoo's proposal in last week's committee meeting, has set a great example for the Mayor and the rest of the council to follow. If the elephant exhibit expansion is approved, LCA is prepared to introduce a citizen's initiative to allow the taxpayers of LA the chance to voice their opposition to the inhumane treatment of the elephants and the waste of taxpayer money in this great city.

WHEN: Monday, April 17, 2006 @ 2:00 PM Sharp

WHERE: Los Angeles City Hall, 1st Street Steps

200 North Spring Street

Los Angeles, CA 90012

WHO: Last Chance for Animals, a pioneering international animal

rights organization based in Los Angeles, has been active for

more than two decades. Led by Hollywood actor Chris DeRose,

LCA's roots began in exposing the inherent cruelty of

vivisection. As its reputation and influence has grown, LCA

has staged direct actions to fight for animals' rights as well

as gather substantive evidence in order to send animal abusers

to jail. For more information about LCA, please visit their

website at www.LCAnimal.org

Source: Last Chance for Animals (LCA)

Web site: http://www.lcanimal.org/

RTNDA Urges Stations To Strengthen VNR Policies

In the wake of a report about the use of video news releases without attribution on local television stations, the Radio-Television News Directors Association strongly urges station management to review and strengthen their policies requiring complete disclosure of any outside material used in news programming.

In the wake of a report about the use of video news releases without attribution on local television stations, the Radio-Television News Directors Association strongly urges station management to review and strengthen their policies requiring complete disclosure of any outside material used in news programming.

RTNDA’s longstanding policy on the identification of outside material is stated in its Code of Ethics: “Professional electronic journalists must clearly disclose the origin of information and label all material provided by outsiders.”

RTNDA’s Ethics Committee developed guidelines on video news releases to elaborate on questions journalists should address when considering whether to use outside material. The guidelines also state that if such material is deemed to serve a useful journalistic purpose, it should be used only if the origin is clearly identified.

To assist station management, RTNDA is distributing these guidelines to its membership again today.

The RTNDA Code of Ethics is on the RTNDA website at http://www.rtnda.org/ethics/coe.shtml. The VNR guidelines are at http://www.rtnda.org/foi/finalvnr.shtml.

Some have called for government regulation of use of material from video news releases. RTNDA cautions against government intrusion in determining news content because such action would undermine First Amendment values. Determining the content of a newscast, including when and how to identify sources, is at the very heart of the responsibility of electronic journalists, and these decisions must remain far removed from government involvement or supervision.

The public has a right to expect truthfulness, accuracy and fairness in newscasts. Electronic journalists have every incentive to maintain the bonds of trust with their audiences by clearly disclosing the sources of the material they use.

RTNDA is the world’s largest professional organization devoted exclusively to electronic journalism. RTNDA represents local and network news executives in broadcasting, cable and other electronic media in more than 30 countries.


The following is a transcript of President Bush's radio address:

THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. Monday is Tax Day, and that means many of you are busy finishing up your tax returns. The good news is that this year Americans will once again keep more of their hard-earned dollars because of the tax cuts we passed in 2001 and 2003.

An important debate is taking place in Washington over whether to keep these tax cuts in place or to raise your taxes. For the sake of American workers and their families, and for our entrepreneurs, I believe Congress needs to make the tax relief permanent.

Our economy prospers when Americans like you make the decisions on how to spend, save, and invest your money. So the tax relief we passed cut taxes for everyone who pays income taxes. We cut taxes on families by lowering rates and by doubling the child credit. We also reduced the marriage penalty, because our tax code should encourage marriage, not penalize it. We cut taxes on small businesses, allowing them to expand and hire more workers. And we worked with Congress to phase out the death tax, because government should not tax farmers or small business owners twice -- once when you make your money and a second time when you try to pass the fruits of your life's work on to your loved ones.

So far, the tax relief I signed has left $880 billion with America's workers and small business owners and families, and you have used that money to fuel an economic resurgence. Our economy has added jobs for 31 months in a row, creating more than 5.1 million new jobs for American workers. And the unemployment rate is now down to 4.7 percent, below the average rate for each of the past four decades. Real after-tax income per person has grown by more than 8 percent since I took office. And that means, on average, Americans have an income that is $2,100 higher this year than it was at the beginning of 2001, after adjusting for inflation.

Not everyone agrees that we should let you keep more of your money. Some in Washington said that by cutting taxes, we were "ruining" our economy. On the day that the House and Senate were finalizing the 2003 tax cuts, one Democratic leader said these cuts would "do nothing to create jobs." Since then, the facts have proven that critic wrong -- 5.1 million times over.

Tax relief has done exactly what it was designed to do: It has created jobs and growth for the American people. Yet some here in Washington are now proposing that we raise taxes, either by repealing the tax cuts or letting them expire. These are the same politicians who told us that letting you keep more of your own money would be irresponsible, and reckless, and shameful. They were wrong then, and they are wrong now. To keep our economy creating jobs and opportunity, Congress needs to make the tax relief permanent.

There's more to do to maintain America's economic strength. We're working to address rising energy prices and health care costs, which puts pressure on family budgets and the bottom lines of our small businesses. I have proposed practical reforms that would make health care more available and affordable, and I put forward an energy initiative that would make our dependence on Middle Eastern oil a thing of the past. I urge Congress to act on these important priorities, so we can keep America the economic leader of the world and allow more families and small businesses to realize the American Dream.

America's economy is strong and benefiting all Americans. By keeping taxes low and adopting sound policies that help our workers to compete and our businesses to grow and expand, we will keep the economy moving forward and extend prosperity and hope in our country.

Thank you for listening.


Source: White House Press Office

Web site: http://www.whitehouse.gov/


Mission: STS-121 - 18th ISS Flight (ULF1.1) - Multi-Purpose Logistics


Vehicle: Discovery (OV-103)

Location: Orbiter Processing Facility Bay 3

Launch Date: Launch Planning Window July 1-19, 2006

Launch Pad: 39B

Crew: Lindsey, Kelly, Sellers, Fossum, Nowak, Wilson and Reiter

Inclination/Orbit Altitude: 51.6 degrees/122 nautical miles

Technicians continue closing out areas of Discovery prior to its move to the Vehicle Assembly Building, scheduled for May 12. The right and left payload bay doors were opened earlier in the week in preparation for reinstallation of the remote manipulator system, or "shuttle arm." The arm was transported from the lab in the Vehicle Assembly Building to the processing facility on Wednesday and installed in the vehicle today.

Friday program managers determined the space shuttle main engine in position No. 2 will need to be replaced due to the possibility of a crack in a solder joint in the controller. During the certification of similar controllers, engineers observed cracking after thermal testing of the units. The engine replacement has no impact on the overall processing schedule.

Mission: STS-115 - 19th ISS Flight (12A) - P3/P4 Solar Arrays

Vehicle: Atlantis (OV-104)

Location: Orbiter Processing Facility Bay 1

Launch Date: No earlier than Aug. 28, 2006

Launch Pad: 39B

Crew: Jett, Ferguson, Tanner, Burbank, MacLean and Stefanyshyn-Piper

Inclination/Orbit Altitude: 51.6 degrees/122 nautical miles

Technicians continue performing powered-up system testing on Atlantis for its mission to the International Space Station. The external tank door functional test is scheduled for early next week.

Crane operations removed and reinstalled the orbiter boom sensor system in the payload bay of Atlantis on Wednesday for additional work on the manipulator positioning mechanisms. The positioning mechanisms are the pedestals that hold the boom in place in the payload bay while the boom is not in use. The 50-foot-long boom attaches to the shuttle arm and is one of the new safety measures added prior to the Return to Flight mission that launched in July 2005.

Endeavour (OV-105)

Powered-up system testing continues on Endeavour in Orbiter Processing Facility Bay 2 following an extensive modification period. On Thursday, leak checks and functional tests were completed on the liquid oxygen portion of the main propulsion system.

Technicians continue working on the positioning mechanisms for Endeavour's remote manipulator system in preparation for the arm's installation in the payload bay.

External Tank

Final closeouts continue in the Vehicle Assembly Building on the external tank that will fly with Discovery on mission STS-121. On Tuesday, crane operators lifted the tank from the checkout cell and placed it in a horizontal position on the transporter in the transfer aisle. Lockheed Martin employees are completing final work required to close out the aft area of the tank in preparation for thermal protection system foam application, scheduled for late next week.

Once the foam application is complete, the tank will be lifted from the transporter and attached to the two solid rocket boosters already stacked in high bay 3 of the Vehicle Assembly Building. That move is scheduled for April 24.

For previous space shuttle processing status reports, visit:


Source: NASA

Web site: http://www.nasa.gov/

Global Sources opened two China Sourcing Fairs at AsiaWorld-Expo

-- the largest trade shows ever to be held at the new, state-of-the-art venue. The April 15-18 China Sourcing Fairs are:

-- Electronics & Components -- Hong Kong's most comprehensive electronics

and components show featuring over 1,700 booths with over 1,300 new

exhibitors from Greater China.

-- Fashion Accessories -- Hong Kong's new specialized fashion accessories

trade show with over 500 booths and a wide selection of new suppliers

and creative designs.


Global Sources Chairman and CEO, Merle A. Hinrichs, said: ''This is a historic day for Hong Kong and Global Sources. Through the China Sourcing Fairs at AsiaWorld-Expo, we will bring tens of thousands of international buyers to meet the largest group of mainland China suppliers to ever exhibit in Hong Kong.

''The Fairs also mark a new era for Hong Kong's exhibition industry, and represent a new benchmark for buyer and supplier convenience and opportunity.''

Chief Executive Officer of AsiaWorld-Expo Management Limited, Nicolas Borit, said: ''With the first series of China Sourcing Fairs, which are utilizing all our facilities at AsiaWorld-Expo in April, we are delighted to welcome all trade buyers and visitors to this largest exhibition and events center in Hong Kong.''

World's largest buyers pre-registered to attend

Tens of thousands of buyers have pre-registered to attend the Fairs, including:

-- Electronics & Components: Representatives from Circuit City, one of

U.S. leading consumer electronics providers; Samsung, the world's

third-largest cell phone maker; Staples, the world's largest office

product retailer; plus 3M, Dell Computer, Hewlett-Packard,

Flextronics, General Electric, Best Buy and OfficeMax.

-- Fashion Accessories: Representatives from the GAP, the world's largest

specialty apparel retailer; Coles Myer, the largest retailer in

Australia; plus Walt Disney, Li & Fung, Liz Claiborne, Nike and Tommy


One buyer, General Manager of Mueller Electric China, Richard Bao, said: ''I'm looking forward to the shows. They're amazingly convenient and the product scope and supplier selection looks excellent!''

Agentrics members with US$1 trillion in retail sales to participate

Agentrics, an organization representing 50 global retailers with US$1 trillion in annual sales, will also participate in the Fairs. Member companies include Carrefour, the second-largest retailer in the world; Sears, the third-largest retailer in the United States; and Metro, Germany's largest retailer.

Agentrics' Executive Chairman, Christopher Sellers, said: ''This venue is spectacular, and the show is very well organized. The number and quality of the exhibitors offers buyers from Agentrics member companies many new sourcing opportunities -- with great convenience in Hong Kong.''

Global Sources is Agentrics' exclusive sourcing alliance partner in Asia. It provides Agentrics buyer members private sourcing conferences at the Fairs, as well as special access to VIP lounges and priority registration.

Electronics & Components show features 1,700 booths

Suppliers from mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia and India are exhibiting at the China Sourcing Fair: Electronics & Components.

Product categories on exhibit are:

-- Consumer electronics

-- In-car electronics products

-- Digital imaging products

-- Portable electronic products

-- Computer & networking products

-- Telecom products & accessories

-- Security & safety products

Plus, there are over 500 booths of electronic components and power supplies on display -- the largest in Asia this spring.

One exhibitor, Manager of Qiaohua (Guangzhou) Electronic, Yang RuiXiong, said: ''The China Sourcing Fairs always deliver excellent traffic and quality buyers. We're looking forward to more new sales opportunities with new buyers now that the shows are here in Hong Kong.''

Asia's newest designs on display at Hong Kong's new fashion accessories show

Exporters from mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Indonesia and India are exhibiting at the China Sourcing Fair: Fashion Accessories.

Product categories are:

-- Casual & fashion handbags

-- Hats & caps

-- Special purpose bags

-- Casual & fashion footwear

-- Slippers & sandals

-- Umbrellas

-- Fashion belts

-- Sunglasses & non-prescription glasses

-- Gloves & mittens

-- Ties, scarves & shawls

-- Socks & stockings

-- Fashion watches

-- Children's accessories

-- Luggage

-- Bridal & evening accessories

Fashion Parades, Trend Forum to highlight new designs and color trends

Daily Fashion Parades will be held throughout the Fashion Accessories show featuring stylish models showing innovative new designs from across Asia.

The Trend Forum is sponsored by Pantone -- the world's authority on color and provider of color systems and technology. The Forum will give buyers insights into the hot colors and shades for Fall/Winter 2006 and Spring/Summer 2007.

New Product Galleries will display best new designs

Each Fair includes a New Product Gallery showcasing the best designs from China and Asia.

Unique sourcing events and conference programs featured

The China Sourcing Fairs offer unique value-added buyer and supplier services, including Private Buyer Meetings and Vendor Summits.

These exclusive meetings create opportunities for pre-selected exhibitors to meet face-to-face with some of the world's top buyers, including:

-- QVC, the world's largest direct-sales retailer, and

-- RadioShack, the largest electronics chain in the US

-- Staples, the world's largest office product retailer

The Fairs also features a comprehensive conference program designed to help buyers source more effectively from China. Topics include product trends, logistics, marketing and other trade topics.

China Sourcing Fairs show dates and times

Opening hours for the China Sourcing Fairs: Electronics & Components and Fashion Accessories are:

-- April 15-17: 9:30 a.m.-6:00 p.m.

-- April 18: 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Easy access to AsiaWorld-Expo by Airport Express Train, Free Shuttle Buses

AsiaWorld-Expo is one minute from Hong Kong Airport and 25 minutes from downtown via the Airport Express Train. Visitors who use an ''Octopus Card'' will enjoy discounted fares for same-day return trips.

Global Sources will provide free shuttle bus service to and from the venue from locations throughout Hong Kong. The venue is also easily accessible by public bus, taxi and private car.

Buyers wishing to visit the Fairs can find more information, including transportation options, at http://www.chinasourcingfair.com/ .

The China Sourcing Fairs ( http://www.chinasourcingfair.com/ ) are an important part of Global Sources' sourcing and product information services, which include Global Sources trade magazines, Global Sources Online ( http://www.globalsources.com/ ) and Global Sources Direct ( http://www.globalsourcesdirect.com/ ). Further information about Global Sources is available at http://www.corporate.globalsources.com/ .

About Global Sources

Global Sources is a leading business-to-business (B2B) media company and a primary facilitator of two-way trade with Greater China. It provides sourcing information to volume buyers and integrated marketing services to suppliers.

The company helps its community of more than 479,000 active buyers to source more profitably from complex, overseas supply markets. With the goal of providing as many effective ways as possible to advertise, market and sell, Global Sources enables suppliers to sell to hard-to-reach buyers in 230 countries.

The company offers the most extensive range of media and export marketing services in the industries it serves. Suppliers using its four primary channels -- online marketplaces, magazines, trade shows and direct online sales -- are supported by its advertising creative, education programs and online content management applications.

Global Sources delivers information on 1.4 million products and more than 130,000 suppliers annually through 10 leading online marketplaces and monthly magazines, more than 100 sourcing research reports, and 14 China Sourcing Fairs and other trade shows. Buyers send more than 5.8 million inquiries annually to suppliers through Global Sources Online ( www.globalsources.com ) alone. Global Sources Direct is the company's new initiative that helps suppliers sell online.

In mainland China, Global Sources has a 25-year track record and 1,400 team members in 44 locations. Its services are backed by 35 years experience as a trade magazine publisher, 14 years as an organizer of trade shows, and 10 years as an online marketplace operator.

Web sites: http://www.globalsources.com

Source: Global Sources Limited


Auto Club: Prices Rise above $2.90

Central Coast Average Tops $3 Per Gallon

Prices across the state continued their upward march this week with all factors indicating a $3 per gallon average in the Southland could be reached within a couple of weeks, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California's Weekend Gas Watch. Gasoline prices in a handful of areas, including Santa Barbara, have already topped $3 per gallon.

The average price of self-serve regular gasoline in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area is $2.914, which is 7.2 cents higher than last week, 31 cents higher than last month and 29 cents higher than last year. In San Diego, the price is $2.918 -- 8.7 cents above last week's price, 31 cents above last month and 30 cents above last year. On the Central Coast, the average price is $3.006, up 8.2 cents from last week, 30 cents above than last month and 28 cents higher than last year. In the Inland Empire, the average price is $2.938, up 5.3 cents from last week, 32 cents above last month and 29 cents higher than last year.

"Wholesale prices have been rising and retail prices won't catch up for two to three weeks," said Auto Club spokesperson Carol Thorp. "Nationally, production is down and demand is up compared to last year. In addition, many regions of the country are having trouble getting sufficient supplies of ethanol, which is used in new formulas for gas. Uncertainty about supply has lifted gasoline to near-record prices on the spot market and that filters down to the neighborhood gas pump."

The Weekend Gas Watch monitors the average price of gasoline as of 12:01 a.m., April 14: -0-

Area Regular Change from Record Price

last week

Los Angeles-Long Beach $2.914 +7.2 cents $2.999 (9/6/2005)

Orange County $2.885 +8.2 cents $2.970 (9/6/2005)

San Diego $2.918 +8.7 cents $3.060 (9/5/2005)

Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-

Lompoc $3.006 +8.2 cents $3.111 (9/7/2005)

Riverside-San Bernardino $2.938 +5.3 cents $3.030 (9/9/2005)

Bakersfield $2.930 +12.5 cents $3.167 (9/9/2005)

Las Vegas $2.687 +7.8 cents $2.968 (9/8/2005)

Automobile Club of Southern California

Internet's Top 10 Viral Videos of the Week from StupidVideos.com

The Internet's most popular viral video of the week ending April 12, 2006 was "Anti Gravity Laptop," according to StupidVideos.com, the leading user-generated video site for humor and everyday laughter. These rankings are based on tracked on and off network streams from a collective sampling of over one million users.

StupidVideos.com is the first company to commit itself to applying metrics to chart the performance of specific viral videos on the Internet. Viral video viewing has exploded along with general video consumption on the Web. Accustream iMedia Research reported that by 2007, people are expected to watch 29 billion streams of video, up from 18 billion in 2005, and the Online Publishers Association recently reported that 46% of Internet users watch online video at least once a month.

Without further ado, following is the Top 10 Viral Videos for the week of April 5-12, 2006, brought to you by StupidVideos.com: -0-

Internet's Top 10 Viral Videos - Week of April 5 - 12, 2006


Rank Video Viewing URL

---- ------------------- ---------------------------------------------

1 Anti Gravity Laptop http://www.stupidvideos.com/video/stunts/



2 Webcam Chick http://www.stupidvideos.com/video/just_plain_



3 The Speaking Cats http://www.stupidvideos.com/video/animals/



4 Military Helicopter http://www.stupidvideos.com/video/stunts/

Crash military_helicopter_crash/


5 Dog Tasered http://www.stupidvideos.com/video/animals/



6 Water+People=Funny http://www.stupidvideos.com/video/just_plain_



7 Live Streaker http://www.stupidvideos.com/video/just_plain_



8 Rubber Band Ball http://www.stupidvideos.com/video/just_plain_



9 Not A Belly Button http://www.stupidvideos.com/video/animals/Is_



10 Slapfest http://www.stupidvideos.com/video/just_plain_


(Due to its length, these URLs may need to be copied/pasted into your Internet browser's address field. Remove the extra space if one exists.)

About StupidVideos.com

StupidVideos.com is a user-generated viral video network dedicated to humorous, off-the-wall videos, including wild stunts, wacky animals, sports bloopers, funny commercials, song and dance parodies, and any video that is just plain stupid. The site has a very loyal, tech-savvy fan base that is passionate about humor. Through Personal Video Logs or Vlogs, StupidVideos.com offers members a highly interactive community to discover, share and communicate with others who have the same interests. From viral video producers to comedy filmmakers to aspiring comedians to anyone with a sense of humor, StupidVideos.com allows members to connect and share the content that makes them and others laugh.


IN THIS AGE OF TIVO and ad-zapping, TNT is fighting back by premiering three series this summer with no commercials.

TNT's hit "The Closer" will make its second-season debut in June with a commercial-free episode sponsored by Audi. New drama "Saved" and limited series "Nightmares & Dreamscapes: From the Stories of Stephen King" will also debut with ad-free episodes, although Turner declined to name their sponsors.

While David Levy, president of Turner Entertainment Group Ad Sales and Marketing, acknowledged that commercial-free episodes help blunt the impact of DVRs, he denied that was the principal reason behind the moves. "We're looking at innovative ways to get the clients' messages across," he said.

Audi's deal also includes product placement in the show; a presence on wireless and broadband extensions; and mentions in promos.

"The Closer"--a hit last summer--stars Kyra Sedgwick as a CIA-trained detective who works on high-profile murder cases for the Los Angeles Police Department.

TNT, which carries the tagline "We Know Drama," will use "The Closer's" appeal to help launch "Saved," which will follow it on Tuesday nights when both launch in June. "Saved" focuses on the personal struggles of a paramedic.

The eight-episode "Nightmares" debuts in July and features horror stories from King. Stars William H. Macy, Kim Delaney, and William Hurt will star in various episodes.

TNT made the announcements yesterday at an upfront event in New York held along with its sister comedy-oriented network TBS.

The networks are tied for second this season among all cable networks in prime time, with both averaging a .8 in the target 18-to-49 demo. (USA leads with a .9). Both are flat compared to last year.

In this day and age, if you can maintain flat or grow a little, you've done a good job," Levy said.

TBS has a prime-time median age this season of 37.9,up slightly over a year ago. TNT's 47.9, also up this season, is higher than competitor USA, and well above FX.

Last year, TNT generated $1.3 billion in ad revenue--up 20 percent over 2004, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus. TBS also saw a revenue bump, rising 16 percent to $952 million.

TBS, which offers such off-net fare as "Friends" and "Sex and the City" and carries the tagline "Very Funny," is producing two original half-hour comedies set to launch this fall. "My Boys" (from executive producers Gavin Polone and Jamie Tarses) focuses on a twenty-something female whose sports-loving, no-nonsense approach to dating often rubs men the wrong way. In "10 Items or Less," a son moves back home to take over the family supermarket, but his management style leads to a chaotic workplace.

"We've realized probably the best things for TBS--although they cost more--are scripted comedy series," Levy said.

TNT also announced that the mini-series "The Company" from Ridley Scott is set for summer 2007. The six-hour event focuses on CIA activities during the Cold War.

Other TNT series in development (with no launch date) include a Robert Redford-produced drama about three generations of the same family who have lived in the same house and a series set in the high-stakes world of heart-transplant surgery.

TBS has two additional half-hour original comedies in development.

FOX HAS BECOME THE FIRST network to strike a major agreement

with its affiliates giving them a portion of revenue made from Fox's programming that lands on the Internet, VOD services, mobile phones, or iPods. Other networks are currently working up similar new media deals with stations.

In the six-year deal, Fox affiliates will receive 12.5 percent of the revenue--advertising or from paid downloads--from any program that runs on a 'non-linear' platform after its prime-time broadcast run--that means Internet, VOD, or iTunes program distribution, for example. A cut of this business for stations grows to 25 percent of revenue when it runs before airing on the network.

In 2006, Fox can re-purpose 60 percent of its prime-time programming on 'non-linear' platforms; 80 percent in 2007 year; and 100 percent in year three of the deal. A Fox spokesman did not return phone calls by press time.

"It's a good deal in that they are sharing revenue," said Bill Carroll, vice president and director of programming for Katz Television Group. "This continues their 'partnership.' But what it's all going to mean, nobody knows. If it's going to turn out to be significant revenue loss for stations, I see stations wanting to revisit this in six years. If it has a substantial impact for its over-the-air ratings, it's going to be an issue."

Up until this point, Fox hasn't participated in making many wide-ranging new media program deals--because of the lack of an agreement with its stations, only making new media deals in markets where it owned stations.

Walt Disney and NBC Universal, on the other hand, have had the freedom to make deals. For example, each made separate deals with iTunes. CBS Corp. made deals with Google Video and Comcast Corp.

With new media programming deals an obvious threat to TV stations' traditional business of selling advertising revenue from linear network scheduling of programs, networks had to make provisions to keep their traditional, and still major, revenue-producing partnerships. Program analysts assume that as partners, stations will also help in the marketing of non-linear, new media deals.

Other networks are also in the process of making similar deals, according to executives.

CBS, according to executives, has an existing affiliate provision for a new media deal that currently gives CBS affiliates 50 percent of after-market new media revenues. But this deal point was made some years ago--and didn't reflect the current rash of new media program deals currently on the market. Station executives say, however, that those deals will soon expire. CBS is looking to make a new one at a much lower percentage--akin to the Fox deal. CBS spokespersons didn't return phone calls by press time.

ABC doesn't have any provisions for new media sharing revenues with its affiliates, according to executives--thus the freedom it has had to make a wide variety of deals that cut into stations' territories, such as with iTunes Music Store and arrangements that put shows on its own Web site, www.abc.com. An ABC spokeswoman would only say, concerning possible stations' revenue split for new media deals: "We are still trying to figure it out."


ON THE broadcast networks is now causing some massive end-of-the-season advertising inventory problems for the $1.2 billion business. But for alternative daytime TV sellers such as syndication and cable, there is opportunity.

Daytime shows are down by as much as 19 percent for the year in key demographics. With networks giving make-goods to make whole on their advertiser guarantees, this is causing a squeeze on second-quarter inventory, leaving many networks with little to sell. Others--perhaps looking to drive away business--are pricing what little inventory they have at a whopping 30 percent increase.

NBC, CBS, and ABC spokespersons were not reached by press time.

Through April 2, for the season so far, NBC is off 16 percent among key women viewers ages 25-54, and 16 percent among women viewers 18-49. ABC is down 12 percent in women 25-54 and 11 percent in women 18-49. CBS has lost the least--only off 5 percent in women 25-54 and 6 percent for women 18-49. NBC and CBS are also down in teen viewers, and ABC less so.

Limited inventory has daytime advertisers looking to buy in the scatter market, in syndication and cable.

"In daytime we are writing very healthy increases over the upfront," said Bo Argentino, senior vice president of advertising and media sales at NBC Universal Television Distribution--for shows such as "Maury," "Starting Over," and "Jerry Springer." Argentino did say the ratings and advertising problems in daytime are creating opportunities for daytime syndicated shows.

Media buying executives agree: "Syndication is in a better position than most."

This is because during the last upfront--a soft affair that took most of the summer to complete--syndicators held back more than the usual amount of inventory for the scatter period in an effort to sell daytime shows at a better rate. That has turned out to be true--as many shows are now getting high single- or double-digit percent increase in cost per thousand (CPM) viewers versus the upfront sales period.

"We have more scatter inventory as of late," said Argentino. "Last upfront wasn't as big as in the past."

Some broadcast networks are reportedly adding some extra ad inventory into shows to take care of the shortfall. As a result, networks don't have much to sell to traditional daytime advertisers such as pharmaceuticals--and there are some 30 percent price hikes.

"If you have to be on, you are going to have to bite the bullet," said a media buying executive who refused to be identified."

Media buying executives say there may be a problem in making good all the advertising promised to advertisers for this year--which could spill over into advertisers getting their guarantees fulfilled next season. That said, broadcast networks typically sell most of daytime avails during the upfront period. It typically doesn't sell as much scatter inventory as it does with prime-time shows.

Privately, some TV network executives are complaining that daytime's ratings problems are a possible Nielsen Media Research measurement issue. That's because for more than a few shows, the median average age has grown by nearly two years or more since last season. For instance, NBC's "Days of Our Lives" grew 1.8 years to a median age of 47.0; CBS' "Bold and the Beautiful" rose 2.6 years to 56.8; and CBS's "Young & The Restless" added 2.0 years to 57.0.

"Theoretically, it doesn't make sense," says Jon Currie, president of Currie Communications, a Pacific Palisades, Calif. TV research company. "Shows shouldn't grow [in median age] by two years--unless there are many new viewers coming into all these shows. It seems like it's a sampling issue."


Sterling Bank's 5th Annual San Jacinto Event to Offer Preview of Dallas Historical Society's 'Texas Heroes' Exhibit

Display of Rare Artifacts About Texas Independence Opens April 21 at Sterling's Greenville Avenue Office; 'Alamo Images' Debuts at Bank's New Uptown Location

An exhibit of rare artifacts related to six heroes of Texas independence will open April 21, San Jacinto Day, at Sterling Bank, 4849 Greenville Ave. Sterling and the Dallas Historical Society will expand the exhibit May 27 through Aug. 31 at the Hall of State in Fair Park to explore the lives of these heroic figures and other Texans from historic and modern times in a new exhibition, "Courage, Honor, and Dignity: Defining Texas Heroes."

The Hall of State opened in 1936 as the centerpiece to the state's Centennial Exposition. Six larger-than-life bronze statues there honor early heroes of the Texas Republic -- Stephen F. Austin, Sam Houston, William B. Travis, James Fannin, Thomas Rusk and Mirabeau B. Lamar.

Visitors to Sterling Bank's office at Greenville and University Boulevard can preview the "Texas Heroes" exhibit and see documents and personal items connected to these six historical figures. One of the rarest artifacts in the exhibit, which runs through May 19, is Mexican Gen. Santa Anna's headquarters flag captured at the Battle of San Jacinto, the final event in the war for independence from Mexico, which established the Texas Republic.

The flag was in poor condition until it was restored recently with funds provided by The Oaks Bank & Trust Co., which merged with Sterling Bank last year.

The annual San Jacinto Day Exhibit is a project of the bank's "Lex Johnston Republic of Texas Collection," which includes documents, flags, maps, art and other items relating to the decade before Texas statehood and named in honor of Oaks Bank's co-founder. Max Wells, who established the bank with Johnston, was recognized by the Texas Bankers Association with its 2005 "Cornerstone Award" for the bank's efforts to preserve and promote Texas history.

"The 'Texas Heroes' exhibition will provide a modern perspective on men whose names are well known, but whose lives and accomplishments are perhaps less so. Sterling is proud to continue the bank's collaboration with the Dallas Historical Society and offer the public a rare glimpse at some of the most important artifacts of our state's history," said Clinton Dunn, regional CEO of Sterling Bank.

Other items in the bank's exhibit are the only signed copy of Gen. Sam Houston's San Jacinto Battle Report and a letter from future Texas revolutionaries Robert McAlpin Williamson and William Barrett Travis. The letter addresses the Austin colony council and the Mexican Congress after Stephen F. Austin was imprisoned while delivering the Convention of 1833 entreaty to the Mexican government. The entreaty called for Texas statehood and several other petitions.

In addition to the "Texas Heroes" exhibit, Sterling Bank's Uptown office at 2525 McKinnon St. (at Cedar Springs across from the Crescent) will have the Humanities Texas exhibit "Alamo Images" during the same dates.

The exhibition was created by the DeGolyer Library at Southern Methodist University to celebrate the Texas Sesquicentennial. Through photographic images and words, it explores what the Alamo means to Texans, the role of Mexican-Texans in the Revolution, and reasons why the Alamo story continues to fascinate people of all ages. Featuring more than 150 photographs, the exhibit traces the history of the Alamo as mission, fort, and shrine; the drama of its siege and fall in March 1836; and the recreation of this drama in poems, plays, novels, games, toys, comics, television programs, films, documents, paintings, and monuments.

Both exhibits are free and open to the public during the bank's business hours Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information or to arrange group or class tours, please call 214-678-8602. Support for these exhibits has been provided by the Friends of the San Jacinto Battleground and the law firm Munsch, Hardt, Kopf and Harr.

Sterling Bank's permanent Republic of Texas collection can be seen year- round with items on display at each of the bank's seven North Texas locations in Dallas, Duncanville and Richardson.

About Sterling Bank

Sterling Bank is a leader in banking for business owners in Texas with 40 offices serving the metropolitan areas of Houston, San Antonio and Dallas. Sterling Bank has earned FORTUNE Magazine's Best Places to Work recognition three times. In 2005, Sterling received its second "Best" Award from the American Society of Training and Development. Sterling has grown to $3.7 billion in assets since going public in 1992 with assets of $265 million. It is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sterling Bancshares, Inc. , which trades its common stock through the Nasdaq National Market System under the symbol SBIB. For more information, please visit


savings time are playing their usual havoc with some TV shows.

Big syndication barter shows sank by almost three million viewers for the week ending April 2. Cable shows also sank somewhat from standard time program airings. Viewers typically move outdoors with more daylight hours and spend less time indoors watching television, according to analysts.

For the week ending April 9, only one cable show--USA Network's "WWE Entertainment"--grabbed 5 million or more total average viewers, getting to 5.3 million. Two weeks before, four cable shows made it north of 5 million--Disney Channel's "Cow Belles," the 10 p.m. Wednesday airing on "WWE Entertainment," Disney Channel's "Hannah Montana," and the 9 p.m. Wednesday edition of "WWE Entertainment."

Syndication core daytime afternoon some also took it on the chin. Of the 11 talk shows, only three witnessed gains versus the week before--Buena Vista Television's "Live With Regis and Kelly" grew 3 percent to a 3.3 household rating from a 3.2 household; NBC Universal Television Distribution's "Maury" was up 8 percent to a 2.8 from a 2.6; sister NBC Universal show "Starting Over" improved 10 percent to a 1.1 from a 1.0.

All seven court shows were down but one--Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution's "The People's Court" rose 8 percent, to 2.8 versus a year ago.

Warner Bros.' "Friends" was somewhat unfriendly this particular week, sinking 30 percent to a 4.6 rating. "Friends" benefited from a big-time TBS weekend marathon that was included in the ratings the week before, where it earned a 6.6 rating. For the year, it's off 12 percent. Also cooling off was Warner Bros.' rookie syndication show "Sex and the City;" it sank to a season low 1.9 rating from a 2.1 the week before.

Some shows bucked the daylight saving time trend.

On the upward swing, Paramount Domestic Television's "Entertainment Tonight" gained 8 percent to a 5.2, now up 2 percent for the year over last year's 5.1 season-to-date numbers. King World's "Everybody Loves Raymond" improved 3 percent to a 6.3--but is still down 7 percent versus last year's season-to-date rating.

Game shows also witnessed climbs--although many are still down versus year-ago numbers. King World's "Jeopardy!" was 1 percent more to a 7.2; Buena Vista's "Who Wants To Be a Millionaire?" saw a 3 percent hike to a 3.4; Tribune Entertainment's "Family Feud" grew 5 percent from a 2.2.

Mobile Media Now™

a leading global production company for the mobile video experience, today announced at the CTIA convention in Las Vegas that it has launched a weekly sports lifestyle video channel, 6Degrees Action Sports, on 3 UK.

VidZone Digital Media, one of Europe’s leading mobile content providers, will represent 6Degrees Action Sports to 3 UK as well as provide video ringers to the network. 6Degrees Action Sports officially launches on April 7th.

6Degrees Action Sports represents the largest weekly video channel running currently on any global carrier, and highlights Mobile Media Now’s innovative production strategy, which develops and produces high-quality, low-cost digital video content for mobile delivery, including ringtones, wallpaper and screensavers, as well as video ringers, video downloads and streaming content. Mobile Media Now owns all of its content and, as with the 6Degrees Action Sports network, produces original music for each hour-long program.

“6Degrees Action Sports is the first global mobile video channel produced solely for the global active lifestyle, and we have gathered some of the top brands, athletes, producers, photographers and promoters in this area to create fresh, topical and meaningful programming for the growing community of lifestyle enthusiasts,” said Jimbeau Andrews, founder and CEO of Mobile Media Now. “From surfing and wakeboarding to snowboarding, skateboarding and Motocross, 6Degrees clearly embodies the intensity and dedication of the sports that it captures, and we are pleased to debut this channel with 3 UK.”

Juniper Research Juniper predicts that there will be more than 210 million users of mobile sports services worldwide by 2009, including 120 million in Asia.

“The quality of Mobile Media Now’s programming offers the ideal mix of timely, topical content for one of the most desirable niche audiences – extreme sports – for the mobile platform,” said Adrian Workman, CEO of VidZone Digital Media. “The 6Degrees Action Sports network will help define original mobile sports video programming, given the incredible breadth of content and the style with which Mobile Media Now produced these shows.”

The weekly segment packages that Mobile Media Now will deliver to VidZone Digital Media include pre-recorded events, athlete/celebrity expose stories, How-To and Hot Tips features, pre-packaged video from library archives, and special opinion-leader segments.

“We’re not your Dad’s ESPN -- we’re a mobile lifestyle channel that today’s kids relate to well. The audience for 6Degrees Action Sports is powerful, and boasts highly desirable demographics, in the 12-34 age group said John Taglioli, president of sales and marketing for Mobile Media Now.

As with the 6Degrees Action Sports channel, Mobile Media Now is actively signing key brands, athletes, producers, and celebrities in a variety of its targeted categories, enabling compelling opportunities for long-format content development and production.

The 6Degrees Action Sports Network includes the following renowned action sports stars:

§ Skateboarding

· Justin Blake 14-year-old #1 rated Amateur Skater in California

· Van Wastell New School Future star rated 32 most exposed in TWS

§ Surfing

· Chris Ward 5th most exposed Pro surfer in 2005

· Josh Sleigh Aerial Pioneer and _Expression Session Champion

· Karina Petroni High profile female surfer and model – future world champ

· Titus Kinimaka Legendary Hawaiian Waterman

§ Snowboarding

· Tyler Flanagan Emerging 14-year-old with three 1st place finishes in 05

· Sean Palmer Legendary Snowboard Pioneer X Games Gold Medalist

§ Wakeboarding

· Parks Bonifay 5 Time World Wakeboard Champion

· Shane Bonifay Highly exposed Pro rider - Wake Skate Innovator


· Stephen Murray X-Games and Gravity Games Gold Medals – 1st double


§ Moto-X

· Kenny Bartram Gravity Games Gold Medalist and IFMA World Champ

· Seth Enslow Big Air Daredevil and High Profile Motocross Jumper

Andrews is the founder of Aloha Films Group, Inc a successful high-definition production and post-production media production firm, focused on the Action Sports and Music industries. He is also the founder of the International Freestyle Motocross Association, The Freeride Watercraft Association, The Association of Professional Towsurfers and former Marketing Director of the U.S. Amateur Snowboard Association and The International Snowboard Federation. Andrews is credited with producing the first-ever Freestyle Motocross event and sanctioned series.

MobileMediaNow is a fully-integrated audio visual production company focused on original wireless content. Headed by Jimbeau Andrews, Mobile Media Now combines the technical, managerial and marketing expertise of Andrews and the company’s other founders, including Nicholas Farr, John Taglioli and Rick Riccobono.

The company produces unique, topical sports and lifestyle content for mobile carriers and portals worldwide. Mobile Media Now’s wireless record label produces exclusive downloadable music and represents some of the world's top independent artists and producers. Based in Laguna Beach, California, the company currently provides content for such leading aggregators and carriers as Zingy, Wider Than, Minick, VidZone, Sprint Nextel, Alltel, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless, Cingular Wireless, Dobson, and 3 UK. Founded in 2003, Mobile Media Now is comprised of sports and entertainment industry veterans with a wide range of production and marketing capabilities. For more information, visit the company Web site at www.mobilemedianow.com.

About VidZone Digital Media

VidZone Digital Media is the UK’s leading Independent mobile content provider distributing content to 4 UK mobile networks (3, Vodafone, Virgin Mobile and O2). VidZone Digital Media operates two B2C music websites. VidZone, a music video subscription service can be viewed at www.vidzone.tv VidZone has over 5,000 music videos available and can be accessed via Real Networks, Windows Media.com, NTL Broadband Plus, Wanadoo, Blueyonder and in Ireland on Eircom. VidZone Mobile is the company’s new direct to consumer mobile website and is available at www.vidzonemobile.com



if not a smackdown, but a public debate among representatives of the leading ad-supported media trade associations proved to be more of a lovefest for one medium: the Internet. Traditional media executives feigned not to be competing with each other, and said they all were adapting the Internet as a new distribution channel for their own medium. That point was underscored by Greg Stuart, president-CEO of the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), responding to a question from the event's moderator, Group M Futures Director Adam Smith, about what medium was best suited for a hypothetical new campaign intended to raise global youth awareness for Group M client HP's brand.

"I think that question is probably best answered by the other panelists, because now everyone has a Web presence," Stuart quipped. Audience members attending Monday night's so-called "Battle Of The Media Heavyweights," the third annual cross-media industry debate to be sponsored and hosted by researcher Dynamic Logic, appeared to agree. Utilizing an instant polling devices, 109 audience members cited the Internet as the ideal medium for HP's campaign, vs. only 30 for magazines, 28 for broadcast TV, 17 for radio, 13 for cable TV, 10 for newspapers, 10 for outdoor and nine for direct marketing.

"You're looking for a technology audience, right?" concluded the IAB's Stuart, "If there's ever a case where 'the medium is the message,' this is it."

But Stuart may not have needed to pitch the virtues of the Internet. The other panelists seemed more than happy to do that for him.

With the exception of Stephen Freitas, CMO of the Outdoor Advertising Association of America, all other panelists cited the Internet, as not just a compliment, but central part of successfully integrated advertising campaigns.

Sean Cunningham, president-CEO of the Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau, advocated an approach that would "drive productive needs to the Web," explaining "I would just like to have the last two seconds - you can have the first 28, I just need the last two" to affix a web-related message.

Mike Shaw, president of sales and marketing at ABC, and the de facto representative of the broadcast TV business, touted parent Walt Disney Co.'s plan to make complete episodes of hit series like "Lost" available free on the Web beginning May 1.

Alan Kuritsky, senior vice president and CMO of the Direct Marketing Association, asserted that getting customers to the Internet is now a critical component of direct marketing campaigns.

"Once you get them to the website ... talk to them about things that are relevant to them... get them information but at the same time show them HP products in many different social situations, in different meaningful ways."

When not gushing over their connection to the Internet, the media reps also made nice with each other, making the "battle" look more like a mutual admiration society.

And when the audience was polled a second time about the ideal medium for a different kind of product - packaged goods brand Ocean Spray - the audience was also far more ecumenical. Newspaper led that poll with 71 votes, followed by magazine (56), Internet (41), cable (40), radio (22), broadcast (20), and outdoor (11).

Not surprisingly, Jason Klein, president-CEO of the National Newspaper Network, used that as an opportunity to pitch the importance of looking beyond the obvious and digging into the merits of each medium.

"I think the important thing is for people in the media industry to go out there and really get under this research," he said, adding, "The data is there."

Other heavyweights participating in the debate included: Ellen Oppenheim, executive vice-president and CMO of the Magazine Publishers of America; and Mary Bennett, executive vice president of marketing for the Radio Advertising Bureau.


Oakland Dodger Baseball

Texas 4, Oakland 5

TEX HR - P. Nevin (3)
OAK HR - M. Bradley (2) E. Chavez (6) N. Swisher (4) F. Thomas (3)

P. Nevin (3) M. Bradley (2) E. Chavez (6) N. Swisher (4) F. Thomas (3)

San Francisco 1, Los Angeles 3 at Dodger Stadium
Los Angeles Record: (6-6)

Winning pitcher - Odalis Perez (2-0)
Losing pitcher - Jason Schmidt (0-2)
SV - Danys Baez (3)

at Dodger Stadium (6-6) - Odalis Perez (2-0) - Jason Schmidt (0-2) - Danys Baez (3)


Toyota Camry Wins the Edmunds' Inside Line Six-Cylinder Family Sedan Comparison Test

Inside Line, Edmunds.com's high-speed online car magazine, today announced that the 2007 Toyota Camry won the latest six-cylinder family sedan comparison test, which is described in full at V6 Family Sedan Comparison Test:



The Inside Line editorial team recently compared three 2006 six-cylinder sedans to the 2007 Camry V6 newcomer. Each promises functionality and value: the Ford Fusion SEL V6, with an MSRP of $25,650, a 221-horsepower engine and six-speed automatic transmission; the Hyundai Sonata V6, with an MSRP of $24,895, a 235-horsepower engine and five-speed automatic transmission; the Honda Accord EX V6 sedan, with an MSRP of $29,850, a 244-horsepower engine and five-speed automatic transmission; and the Toyota Camry, with an MSRP of $30,840, a 268-horsepower engine and six-speed automatic.

"The Camry's point total edged out the Accord's by 0.64, but there really was no dispute as to which of these four cars should win the comparison," reports Chief Road Test Editor Chris Walton. "The 2007 Camry is a do-it-all automobile, the one that pleases Mom and Dad and impresses the boss without embarrassing the kids. The V6 Camry makes the dash to 60 mph in less time than a recent BMW 330i did, it was nearly as quiet as a Bentley Flying Spur at idle and wide-open throttle, and its 22 city/31 highway fuel economy rating matches that of a four-cylinder Honda Civic Si. Pretty impressive stuff to say the least."

The Honda Accord came in second and was praised for its feature content, conservative styling, solid performance, undeniable reliability and competitive pricing. The Hyundai Sonata took third place and was particularly impressive on the highway, where it delivers a quiet and luxurious ride. The Ford Fusion, landing in fourth place, offers "bold Buck-Rogers-meets-the-American-family styling...a welcome breath of fresh air in the me-too world of back-swept pointy-tipped headlamps and 'four-door coupe' rooflines," according to Walton. -0-

Vehicle Rankings from V6 Family Sedan Comparison Test

1. 2007 Toyota Camry XLE V6

2. 2006 Honda Accord EX V6

3. 2006 Hyundai Sonata LX V6

4. 2006 Ford Fusion SEL V6

To read the review and to get more information on the editors' evaluation and rankings, visit V6 Family Sedan Comparison Test:



About Edmunds.com, Inc.

Edmunds.com is the premier online resource for automotive information. Its comprehensive set of data, tools and services is generated by Edmunds.com Information Solutions and is licensed to third parties and used by over 15,000 cars dealers including 98 of the 100 dealers named to the Ward's Dealer Business "e-Dealer 100" list. Perhaps the most popular consumer product, Edmunds.com True Market Value(R) pricing, is relied upon by millions of people seeking market-reflective valuations for new and used vehicles. The company also supplies content for the auto sections of NYTimes.com, AOL, CNN.com and About.com; provides weekly data to Automotive News; and delivers monthly data reports to Wall Street analysts. In addition, Edmunds.com publishes Inside Line (http://www.insideline.com), a free high-speed online magazine for auto enthusiasts, and CarSpace (http://www.carspace.com), an automotive lifestyle social networking Web site for anyone with an interest in automobiles. Edmunds.com was named "Best Car Research Site" by Forbes ASAP, has been selected by consumers as the "Most Useful Web Site" according to every J.D. Power and Associates New Autoshopper.com Study(SM), was ranked first in the Survey of Car-Shopping Web Sites by The Wall Street Journal and was rated No. 1 in Keynote's study of third-party automotive Web sites. The company is headquartered in Santa Monica, California, and maintains a satellite office in suburban Detroit.


Auto Club: The Key to Saving Money is to Save Gas

Conserving Two Gallons Can Make a Difference

E-mail inboxes have been filling with forwarded messages encouraging motorists to boycott certain brands of gasoline as a response to rising gas prices. The messages claim that consumer backlash against oil producers will force them to lower pump prices. But a reduction of miles driven has proven to be a more effective way of saving money and can help prices to drop, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California.

Statewide, the average price of regular self-serve is $2.91 per gallon, 14 cents below the all-time record high of $3.04 set on Sept. 9, 2005. Los Angeles/Long Beach has an average price of $2.93; Orange County records an average of $2.90; the Inland Empire has an average price of $2.95 and San Diego residents are paying an average of $2.94 per gallon.

"We've seen boycotts encouraged in the past and they have not been successful in moving prices lower," said Auto Club spokesperson Carol Thorp. "Our prices are high for a variety of reasons, not least of which is that demand for gasoline is higher than last year and refiners haven't been able to keep up.

"Californians use 2 million gallons more of fuel every day than we produce in the state. Oil companies have to buy gas from other sources just to keep even with demand," Thorp said. "If every motorist were to save two gallons every week, that would put our demand more in line with our state production."

The average vehicle achieves 22 miles per gallon. A savings of two gallons per week means 44 fewer miles driven weekly. There are about 22 million licensed drivers in California. Conservation by only 5 percent of them would balance the state's supply and demand.

In recent years, 2002-2005, gasoline prices peaked in March and April. New record-high prices were set in each of those seasonal peaks. When record highs were achieved, consumer demand for gas dropped off and prices began to decline.

In addition to supply and demand imbalance, gas prices are rising because of uncertainty about supplies later this spring and because crude oil prices are near an all-time record high of $69.81 per barrel.

The Auto Club recommends the following steps to save on gas:

-- Ride Share. You can reduce miles and cut your fuel expenses by up to 50 percent by sharing commuting expenses with one other person.

-- Plan ahead. Make a list of everywhere you need to go and arrange your route in a circle to save miles.

-- Use an efficient vehicle. Two-car families can save money by using the one vehicle that gets the best fuel efficiency.

-- Check your tire pressure. Under-inflated tires can cut fuel economy by up to 2 percent per pound of pressure below the recommended level.

-- Slow down, accelerate and brake gently and anticipate driving conditions. By going easy on the gas pedal and brake, you can change your ride from a jerky one to a smooth one. That can add up to 15 percent improvement in fuel efficiency.

-- Clean the junk out of the trunk. Some people carry hundreds of pounds of unnecessary items in their trunk. The more weight the car carries, the harder the engine has to work and the fewer miles per gallon you will get.

-- Shop aggressively for the lowest prices. You can save by paying attention to the prices of stations along your route. But don't go too far out of your way to save a few cents on gasoline, because you'll waste more money than you save. Shopping around encourages retailers to be more competitive.

Credit cards that offer rewards points can help save money. AAA Platinum Visa gives a 5 percent rebate on gasoline purchases made at the pump.

The Automobile Club of Southern California, the largest affiliate of the AAA, has been serving members since 1900. Today, the Auto Club's members benefit by roadside assistance, insurance products and services, travel agency, financial products, automotive pricing and buying programs, automotive testing and analysis, trip planning services and highway and transportation safety programs. Information about these products and services is available on the Auto Club's Web site at http://www.aaa.com.

Automobile Club of Southern California


Parity adds to the racing excitement, Sharp enjoys the 'vacation'

Delphi Fernandez Racing’s Scott Sharp grew up in Connecticut and now calls Jupiter, Fla., home. The 11-year veteran, who won the first IndyCar Series race at Twin Ring Motegi in 2003 and was runner-up last year, has seen and done just about everything in auto racing. He briefly talks about the weeklong trip:

“It's just a great trip. Growing up, I enjoyed Japanese cuisine. My dad a long time ago was a Datsun dealer. I guess I always figured at some point I'd go to Japan. Certainly back in '03 was my first time to go there. Just the outpouring of support we get from the Japanese fans, it's pretty amazing how knowledgeable they are when we all race in their country one time a year. They're so enthusiastic. They're there so early in the morning. It's tremendous.”

Away from the race track, which is at the top of a mountain, social gatherings with principals from sponsors occupy much of his off time.

“There's obviously a large amount of Japanese influence in our series, of course from Honda and Firestone. Certainly on our car, Delphi has a large presence in the Asia/Pacific rim. That's a real flourishing area of the world for them. Futaba is a Japanese company. It's always a really important trip for us.

“I think when we had the chance to go over there and win for our first time out there, that just got everyone super excited, including myself, but it certainly gives you such great feelings about coming back there. I know all of the sponsors I just mentioned got a lot of great publicity and a lot of talk about our win after that event.

“Within our company's ties and our team's ties, it really creates a lot of buzz every time we come back.”


Before the season, everyone talked about potential parity in the IndyCar Series with all cars using Honda engines that teams are not allowed to tweak. Through the first two races, that prognostication is being fulfilled.

Seven teams were represented in the top 10 of the Toyota Indy 300 on the Homestead-Miami Speedway oval and the temporary street course of the Honda Grand Prix of St. “I think certainly the competition level keeps rising, no doubt,” Sharp said. “We've all talked about what a great on-track product we have, especially at so many of the high-banked tracks, the bigger tracks. To think we're going to take that kind of a package and make it even more equal for this year, there's going to be some pretty eye-opening races, that's for sure.”

Now you know the rest of the story

Some IndyCar Series drivers answer some of the most asked questions:

What are some of your favorite films?

Sharp: “I would say ‘Gladiator’ because it’s a great comeback story and ‘John Q’ because it shows what a man would do for his own child.”
Sam Hornish Jr.: “My favorite movie would be either ‘Rounders’ or ‘Pulp Fiction.’ My favorite actor is Samuel L. Jackson.”

“I would say ‘Gladiator’ because it’s a great comeback story and ‘John Q’ because it shows what a man would do for his own child.” “My favorite movie would be either ‘Rounders’ or ‘Pulp Fiction.’ My favorite actor is Samuel L. Jackson.”

Buddy Lazier has the state flag of Colorado on his helmet. How did that come about?

“When I am on the track I am representing the state of Colorado, and I am very proud that I am the only Indy 500 winner who was born and raised in Colorado.”

Helio Castroneves, what’s in your garage in Coral Gables, Fla.?

“A 2006 Acura RL, a 2004 Lamborghini Gallardo, the 2001 Indianapolis 500 Pace Vehicle Oldsmobile Bravada, and a 50th Anniversary Special Edition Chevrolet Corvette that I received for winning the 2002 Indianapolis 500.”

©2006 Indy Racing League, LLC. all rights reserved. INDY RACING LEAGUE, INDYCAR® & INDY PRO SERIES™ are trademarks of Brickyard Trademarks, Inc. and/or licensed to IRL for use.


Two Marines died and 22 were wounded

due to enemy action while operating in Iraq's Anbar province April 13, military officials reported, and the Defense Department has identified several other servicemembers who died earlier.

One Marine died at the scene of the Anbar province attack. Another died later at a medical facility in Taqqadum.

Dead are: - Cpl. Salem Bachar, 20, of Chula Vista, Calif. Bachar was assigned to Headquarters Battalion, 1st Marine Division, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif. - Lance Cpl. Stephen J. Perez, 22, of San Antonio. Perez was assigned to 1st Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif.

Eight wounded Marines, all assigned to Regimental Combat Team 5, were evacuated by air to a medical facility in Balad. Two were listed in critical condition. Six were listed in stable condition. Ten wounded Marines, all assigned to Regimental Combat Team 5, were evacuated to a medical facility at Camp Fallujah.

Four were being held for observation. Six were treated and returned to duty. Four other Marines assigned to Regimental Combat Team 5 received minor wounds. "Our hearts go out to the families of the dead and wounded Marines," said Marine spokesman Lt. Col. Bryan Salas. "Our wounded Marines are receiving the best care available, and we look forward to their speedy recovery." Meanwhile, the Defense Department has identified several earlier casualties: - Army Spc. Andrew K. Waits, 23, of Waterford, Mich., died April 13 in Baghdad when a roadside bomb detonated near his Humvee during combat operations. Waits was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Divison (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky. - Two soldiers died of injuries suffered in Misiab on April 12, when a roadside bomb detonated near their Humvee during combat operations. Spc. Scott M. Bandhold, 37, of North Merrick, N.Y., and Pfc. Roland E. Calderon-Ascencio, 21, of Miami, Fla., were assigned to the 1st Battalion, 67th Armored Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Hood, Texas. - MarineLance Cpl. Marcus S. Glimpse, 22, of Huntington Beach, Calif., died April 12 as the result of a roadside bomb while conducting combat operations in Anbar province. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif. - Three soldiers died of injuries suffered in Taji on April 11 when a roadside bomb detonated near their Bradley fighting vehicle and they came under small-arms fire during combat operations. Cpl. Joseph A. Blanco, 25, of Bloomington, Calif.; Pfc. James F. Costello III, 27, of St. Louis, Mo.; and Pfc. George R. Roehl Jr., 21, of Manchester, N.H., were assigned to the 7th Squadron, 10th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Hood, Texas. - Marine Lance Cpl. Philip J. Martini, 24, of Lansing, Ill., died April 8 of a gunshot wound while conducting combat operations in Anbar province. Martini was assigned to 1st Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif. - Marine Lance Cpl. Eric A. Palmisano, 27, of Florence, Wis., died April 2 after the truck he was riding in rolled over in a flash flood near Asad. The incident also resulted in the death of six other Marines. Palmisano was listed in "Whereabouts Unknown" status until his body was recovered April 11. He was assigned to 1st Transportation Support Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif. Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Marcques J. Nettles, 22, of Beaverton, Ore., is still listed as "Whereabouts Unknown" as a result of the incident, and search efforts continue.

A Marine assigned to 1st Marine Logistics Group died in a motor vehicle accident

yesterday in Iraq's Anbar province, military officials reported, and tips from Iraqi citizens continue to result in captured insurgents and weapons. The death was not a result of enemy action, officials said. The Marine's name is being withheld pending notification of next of kin. In other news, a tip from an Iraqi motorist led to the capture of a kidnapper and the freeing of a woman and her four children April 13, officials in Tikrit said. The motorist stopped at a checkpoint and told soldiers from the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, that a man in a vehicle behind him had kidnapped a family. The Task Force Band of Brothers soldiers identified the kidnapper's vehicle and detained the suspect and freed the kidnap victims.

The suspect was turned over to the local police. Also on April 13, three suspected insurgents, including two believed to be part of a document forging operation, were captured during a Task Force Band of Brothers raid in Samarra. An Iraqi civilian provided soldiers from the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, information about the insurgents' locations. The two suspected forgers were found at a house where soldiers seized $2,050 in U.S. currency, more than 500,000 Iraqi dinars, 125 various forms of identification, fake stamps for the IDs and an AK-47 assault rifle. In the Baghdad area, joint patrolling U.S. and Iraqi soldiers captured a wanted terrorist in western Baghdad April 13. The Iraqi soldiers are members of the 2nd Battalion, 9th Iraqi Army Division. The U.S. soldiers are assigned to Multinational Division Baghdad's 1st Battalion, 66th Armor, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division.

While searching an abandoned house, members of the patrol noticed three suspicious men atop a building suspected to be an insurgent stronghold. Realizing they had been seen, the men fled. The patrol gave chase and captured two men, one of whom has alleged links to recent terrorist attacks. A third man surrendered as the Iraqi soldiers were detaining the others. A vehicle approached while the soldiers surrounded the building, and when the driver saw the other three suspects in custody, he tried to flee. An Iraqi soldier stopped the vehicle with a warning shot, and the two vehicle occupants were detained for questioning.

Four U.S. Marines were killed in action

yesterday in Iraq's Anbar province, military officials in Baghdad
announced today.

Three of the Marines were assigned to Regimental Combat Team 5, and the
fourth was assigned to the 2/28 Brigade Combat Team.

Officials provided no other details. The Marines' names are being
withheld pending notification of next of kin.

Family, Heroes, Knights Bid Medal of Honor Recipient Farewell


Six Medal of Honor recipients and the Army Parachute Team, the Golden Knights, were among those gathered at Arlington National Cemetery here yesterday to pay their last respects to retired Army Chief Warrant Officer Michael J. "Mike" Novosel, a Medal of Honor recipient and former Golden Knight. "It was an honor and a privilege to pay homage to an American hero who served in this unit," said Army Sgt. Maj. Mike Eitniear, Golden Knights sergeant major. Novosel was a pilot for the team following his return from Vietnam in 1970. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for his bravery and tenacity during the Vietnam War. On Oct. 21, 1969, Novosel received word of wounded South Vietnamese soldiers pinned down by a large enemy force. Flying without air cover, he encountered ground fire so intense it forced him away six times. Despite the ground fire, he completed 15 hazardous extractions. On the last, just as a wounded soldier was pulled into the aircraft, the enemy unleashed a hail if fire directly at Novosel. Wounded, he momentarily lost control of the aircraft, but recovered and flew to safety. In all, he saved 29 men, according to the Medal of Honor Web site.

He took the pilot position on the Army parachute team at Fort Bragg N.C., in April 1970, according to his book, "Dustoff, the Memoir of an Army Aviator." In June 1971, while he was on the team, he received a call informing him that he and his family were to travel to the White House to meet President Richard M. Nixon for him to receive the Medal of Honor. Novosel served with the Knights until 1972, flying them all over the country to perform parachute demonstrations. "Thank you so much for coming," his son, Mike Novosel Jr., told members of the Knights in attendance at the funeral. "Dad loved the team and loved his time at Fort Bragg. I'm honored that the team would travel here today to pay their respects to my dad." Following his retirement from the Army, Novosel spent a lot of time on the lecture circuit, talking about the book and Army aviation. In all that time, he never wavered in his support of the Army or its troops - not even when he became ill with cancer. "Even when he was in bad health, he would constantly honor those calls for appearances and speaking engagements," said Skippy Cassel, a former Golden Knight skydiver and Army pilot. "You'd never know anything was wrong.

He was really an ambassador for Army aviation. He just loved Army aviation." Throughout his long fight, he continued to be an ambassador for the Army, and in his last days at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, he was an inspiration to the wounded troops recuperating there. "He took time during his own battle to serve others," Cody noted. "He is the reason we wrote the Warrior Ethos." The Warrior Ethos is a set of four statements every soldier is expected to live by: I will always place the mission first. I will never accept defeat. I will never quit. I will never leave a fallen comrade.


Knights of Columbus agree upon immigration legislation

The Board of Directors of the Knights of Columbus has called upon Congress and the President to “agree upon immigration legislation that not only gains control over the process of immigration, but also rejects any effort to criminalize those who provide humanitarian assistance to undocumented immigrants.” It further calls for “providing these immigrants an avenue by which they can emerge from the shadows of society and seek legal residency and citizenship in the United States.”

The board addressed the issue in a resolution adopted at its quarterly meeting in Charleston, S.C., April 7-9, 2006. The statement noted that “the vast majority of undocumented Mexicans and other Latin Americans in the United States are simply trying to build better lives for themselves and their families, but must struggle to do so from the margins of American society.”

The board declared that “legitimate concerns regarding sovereignty and the lawful and orderly control of cross-border travel must not be the only concerns addressed by a new immigration law.”

The resolution stated that the Knights of Columbus “is an international Catholic lay organization that has proudly included brother Knights in Mexico for more than a hundred years, and has thousands of members throughout the countries of Central America and the Caribbean.” It recalls that at the 1997 Synod for America, held in Mexico City, the assembled bishops of the Catholic Church “stressed the solidarity and the common destiny of all of the peoples of the Western Hemisphere” and points out that in his first encyclical, Deus Caritas Est, Pope Benedict XVI “stresses the centrality of charity in the pursuit of justice. And charity – the product of Christian love – is the first principle of the [Knights of Columbus].”

The Knights of Columbus is the world’s largest Catholic lay organization, with more than 1.7 million members in North America, Asia and Europe.

La Junta Directiva de Los Caballeros de Colón, ha hecho un llamado al Congreso y al Presidente de los EE. UU.

con vistas a “lograr un consenso con respecto a la ley de inmigración que no sólo gane el control del proceso inmigratorio, sino que también rechace cualquier iniciativa de castigo a quienes proporcionan ayuda humanitaria a inmigrantes indocumentados”. El llamado solicita además “que se proporcione a estos inmigrantes una vía mediante la cual puedan salir de las sombras de la sociedad, y buscar la residencia legal y la ciudadanía de los Estados Unidos”.

La Junta abordó el tema en una resolución suscrita y aprobada en su reunión trimestral, que se llevó a cabo en la ciudad de Charleston, Carolina del Sur, del 7 al 9 de abril. Dicha resolución destaca que “la gran mayoría de mexicanos y otros latinoamericanos indocumentados en los Estados Unidos, está tratando simplemente de crear una vida mejor para ellos y sus familias respectivas; pero para lograrlo, deben luchar desde la marginalidad de la sociedad estadounidense”.

Asimismo, la Junta declaró que “las preocupaciones legítimas con respecto a la soberanía y el control apropiado del cruce de la frontera, no deben ser los únicos problemas a los que se les dé solución con una nueva ley de inmigración”.

La resolución patentizó además que Los Caballeros de Colón “constituyen una organización católica laica internacional que tiene el orgullo de contar, desde hace más de un siglo, con Caballeros hermanos en México, y con miles de miembros en las naciones de Centroamérica y el Caribe”; y recuerda que en el Sínodo para América, que se llevó a cabo en la Ciudad de México en el año 1997, los obispos de la Iglesia Católica congregados en el mismo “pusieron de manifiesto la solidaridad y el destino común de todos los pueblos del Hemisferio Occidental”. Asimismo, destacó que el Papa Benedicto XVI, en su primera encíclica, titulada Deus Caritas Est, (“Dios es caridad”), “insiste en la posición central de la caridad en la búsqueda de la justicia. Y la caridad—producto del amor cristiano—es el principio fundamental [de Los Caballeros de Colón]”.

Los Caballeros de Colón conforman la principal organización católica laica en el mundo, y cuenta con más de 1.7 millones de miembros en Norteamérica, Asia

Hundreds of libraries will showcase their multicultural programs and services this April

As the nation’s population continues to become more diverse, hundreds of libraries will showcase their multicultural programs and services this April 30th during national El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children's Day/Book Day). This year marks the 10th anniversary of the observance also known as Día, and libraries across the country will host Día celebrations with family programs, including bilingual story hours, book giveaways, and other literacy events.

Sponsored by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association, Día celebrates the importance of advocating literacy for every child, regardless of linguistic and cultural background. It is a celebration of children, families, culture, and reading and is held annually on April 30.

Through literacy events and programs like Día, libraries are working with parents and caregivers to raise avid readers. Current research on early literacy and brain development indicates that it is never too early to prepare children for success as readers.

“Día spreads ‘bookjoy’ by linking children from all languages and cultures with books,” said Kathleen T. Horning, ALSC president-elect. “Libraries are the perfect family destination, offering parents and children an opportunity to explore the world through multicultural book collections, diverse cultural programs and free access to the Web.”

Libraries in nearly 40 states have community-wide Día celebrations planned this year. Maricopa County Library District in Arizona, for example, will host a Día festival offering games, crafts and the viewing of “Tomás and the Library Lady,” a play based on the book by children’s author Pat Mora. The Washoe County Library in Reno, Nev., will offer musical programs that will discuss the history, culture, geography, traditional instruments, music and dances of the Andes and Latin America, and the Des Plaines (IL) Public Library will offer bilingual Spanish and English storytelling.

Día honors children, their languages and culture; encourages reading and literacy; and promotes library collections and programs that reflects the country’s changing populations. For multicultural book lists, Día brochures and tips on how to encourage children to read please visit the Día Web site at http://www.ala.org/dia.

ALSC is the national center for Día. Through a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, ALSC is working with other national organizations, such as REFORMA: the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish-Speaking, to initiate communication and education efforts that promote Día to families across the United States.

En momentos en que la población de la nación se hace más diversa

, cientos de bibliotecas mostrarán sus programas y servicios multiculturales el próximo 30 de abril, durante la celebración nacional de “El día de los niños/El día de los libros” (Children's Day/Book Day). Este año marca el décimo aniversario de una festividad a la cual también se le conoce con el nombre de “Día”. Las bibliotecas de todo el país llevarán a cabo celebraciones con programas familiares, incluyendo “horas del cuento” bilingües, obsequios de libros y otros eventos de promoción de la lectura.

El “Día”, patrocinado por la Asociación de Servicios de Bibliotecas a la Niñez (Association for Library Service to Children, ALSC), división de la Asociación de Bibliotecas de los Estados Unidos; celebra la importancia de la promoción del alfabetismo para todos los niños, independientemente de su procedencia lingüística y cultural. Es una celebración de los niños, las familias, la cultura y la lectura que se realiza anualmente cada 30 de abril.

A través de eventos y programas de alfabetismo como el “Día”, las bibliotecas trabajan conjuntamente con los padres y el personal de atención a los niños para fomentar el surgimiento de ávidos lectores. Las investigaciones acerca del alfabetismo a temprana edad y el desarrollo cerebral indican que nunca es demasiado pronto para preparar a los niños con vistas a su éxito como lectores.

“El ‘Día’ difunde la ‘alegría de los libros’ vinculando a niños de todos los idiomas y culturas con los libros”, expresó Kathleen T. Horning, presidenta electa de ALSC. “Las bibliotecas son el sitio familiar perfecto, y ofrecen a padres y niños la oportunidad de explorar el mundo a través de colecciones multiculturales, programas culturales múltiples y acceso gratuito a Internet”.

Este año, las bibliotecas de aproximadamente cuarenta estados tienen planificadas celebraciones comunitarias del “Día”. Por ejemplo, la Biblioteca Distrital del Condado de Maricopa, en Arizona, celebrará un festival del “Día” ofreciendo juegos, artes manuales y la presentación de “Tomás and the Library Lady”, obra teatral basada en el libro de la escritora de literatura infantil Pat Mora. Por su parte, la Biblioteca del Condado Washoe de Reno, Nevada, ofrecerá programas musicales que tratarán acerca de la historia, cultura, geografía, instrumentos tradicionales, música y danza andina y del resto de Latinoamérica; y la Biblioteca Pública de Des Plaines, Illinois, ofrecerá narraciones de cuentos bilingües, en español e inglés.

El “Día” rinde homenaje a los niños, a sus idiomas y cultura; estimula la lectura y el alfabetismo, y promueve colecciones y programas de biblioteca que reflejen las cambiantes poblaciones de la nación. Para tener acceso a listados de libros multiculturales, folletos del “Día” y consejos para estimular a los niños a leer, visite el sitio Web del “Día”, http://www.ala.org/dia.

ALSC es el centro nacional del “Día”. A través de una subvención de la Fundación W.K. Kellogg, ALSC está trabajando conjuntamente con otras organizaciones nacionales como REFORMA: the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish-Speaking (REFORMA: Asociación Nacional de Promoción de Servicios de Bibliotecas e Información a Latinos e Hispanoparlantes) con el propósito de llevar adelante iniciativas de comunicación y educación que promuevan el “Día” entre las familias de toda la nación.






On Sunday, 9 April, the Holy Father presided at Holy Mass in St Peter's Square for Palm Sunday, also World Youth Day.

The Pope began with a tribute to his Predecessor, the Servant of God Pope John Paul II, who started the tradition of World Youth Day in 1984, and before the final Blessing, a group of young Germans consigned the World Youth Day Cross to young people from Australia, where the next international World Youth Day will be celebrated in 2008. Referring to Jesus' fulfilment of the Old Testament prophecies, the Holy Father focused on the Cross, which he called the "new weapon that Jesus places in our hands", "God's new, true rainbow", "the great "Yes'" and "the true tree of life". The Pope also highlighted three outstanding aspects of Our Lord's Kingship: he was King of the poor, King of peace and a universal King. The following is a translation of the Holy Father's Homily, given in Italian.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

For 20 years, thanks to Pope John Paul II, Palm Sunday has become in a special way a day for youth - the day on which all young people across the world go to meet Christ, eager to accompany him to their cities and their countries, so that he may be among us and establish his peace in the world. However, if we want to encounter Jesus and then to walk with him on his path, we must ask: on what path does he want to lead us? What do we expect of him? What does he expect of us?

To understand what happens on Palm Sunday and to know what this means, not only for that hour but for all time, one detail has proved to be important; it also became the key to understanding the event for his disciples too, when they looked back after Easter with new eyes at those tumultuous days.
Jesus entered the Holy City riding on a donkey, that is, the animal of the simple, common country people, and moreover, it was an ass that did not belong to him but one he had asked to borrow for the occasion.
He did not arrive in an ostentatious royal carriage or on horseback like the great figures of the world, but on a borrowed donkey. John tells us that at first the disciples did not understand his action. Only after Easter did they realize that Jesus, by so acting, was fulfilling what the prophets had foretold: that his action derived from God's Word and was bringing it to fulfilment.

It should be remembered, John said, that in the Book of the Prophet Zechariah we read: "Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold, your king is coming, sitting on the colt of an ass" (Jn 12: 15; cf. Zec 9: 9). To understand the significance of the prophecy and, consequently, of Jesus' behaviour, we must listen to the whole of Zechariah's text, which continues thus: "He shall banish the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem; the warrior's bow shall be banished, and he shall proclaim peace to the nations. His dominion will be from sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth" (cf. 9: 10).
With that, the Prophet says three things about the future king.

A King of the poor

In the first place he says that he will be a king of the poor, a poor man among the poor and for the poor. In this case poverty is meant in the sense of the anawim of Israel, of those believing and trusting souls that we meet around Jesus - in the perspective of the first Beatitude of the Sermon on the Mount.

A person can be materially poor yet his heart can be full of greed for wealth and for the power that derives from it. The very fact that he lives with envy and covetousness shows that, in his heart, he is one of the rich. He wants to reverse the division of goods so that he himself can take over the situation that was previously theirs.

The poverty that Jesus means - that the prophets mean - presupposes above all inner freedom from the greed for possession and the mania for power. This is a greater reality than merely a different distribution of possessions, which would still be in the material domain and thereby make hearts even harder. It is first and foremost a matter of purification of heart, through which one recognizes possession as responsibility, as a duty towards others, placing oneself under God's gaze and letting oneself be guided by Christ, who from being rich became poor for our sake (cf. II Cor 8: 9).

Inner freedom is the prerequisite for overcoming the corruption and greed that devastate the world today. This freedom can only be found if God becomes our richness; it can only be found in the patience of daily sacrifices, in which, as it were, true freedom develops. It is the King who points out to us the way to this goal: Jesus, whom we acclaim on Palm Sunday, whom we ask to take us with him on his way.

A King of peace

The second thing the prophet shows us is that this king will be a king of peace: he will cause chariots of war and war horses to vanish, he will break bows and proclaim peace.
This is brought about in Jesus through the sign of the Cross. The Cross is the broken bow, in a certain way, God's new, true rainbow which connects the heavens and the earth and bridges the abysses between the continents. The new weapon that Jesus places in our hands is the Cross - a sign of reconciliation, of forgiveness, a sign of love that is stronger than death.
Every time we make the Sign of the Cross we should remember not to confront injustice with other injustice or violence with other violence: let us remember that we can only overcome evil with good and never by paying evil back with evil.

A universal King

The third affirmation of the prophet is the preannouncement of universality.
Zechariah says that the kingdom of the king of peace extends "from sea to sea... to the ends of the earth". The ancient promise of the earth, made to Abraham and to the Fathers, is replaced here by a new vision: the domain of the Messianic King is no longer a specific country that would later necessarily be separated from other countries and hence, inevitably, would take a stance against them. His country is the earth, the whole world.
He creates unity in the multiplicity of cultures, overcoming every boundary. By perceptively penetrating the clouds of history that separated the Prophet from Jesus, we see in this prophecy, emerging from the distant horizon of prophecy, the network of Eucharistic communities that embraces the earth, the whole world - a network of communities that constitutes Jesus' "Kingdom of peace", which extends from sea to sea, to the ends of the earth.

He comes in all cultures and all parts of the world, everywhere, in wretched huts and in poor rural areas as well as in the splendour of cathedrals. He is the same everywhere, the One, and thus all those gathered with him in prayer and communion are also united in one body. Christ rules by making himself our Bread and giving himself to us. It is in this way that he builds his Kingdom.

This connection becomes quite clear in the other words from the Old Testament which characterize and explain the Palm Sunday liturgy and its special atmosphere. The crowds acclaim Jesus: "Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord" (Mk 11: 9; Ps 118[117]: 25ff.). These words are part of the rite of the Feast of Tabernacles, during which the faithful move in a circle around the altar, holding in their hands branches of palm, myrtle and willow.

Now, their palms in their hands, the people raise this cry before Jesus, in whom they see the One who comes in the name of the Lord. The phrase: "He who comes in the name of the Lord", in fact, had long before become the designation of the Messiah.

In Jesus, they recognize the One who truly comes in the name of the Lord and brings God's presence among them. In the Church, this cry of hope of Israel, this acclamation of Jesus during his entry into Jerusalem, has with good reason become the acclamation of the One who comes in the Eucharist to meet us in a new way. We greet with the cry of "Hosanna!", the One who brought God's glory to the earth in flesh and blood.
We greet the One who came yet always remains, the One who is to come. We greet the One who, in the Eucharist, always comes to us again in the name of the Lord, thus joining the ends of the earth in God's peace.

This experience of universality is an essential part of the Eucharist. Since the Lord comes, we emerge from our exclusive forms of particularism and enter into the great community of all who are celebrating this holy sacrament. We enter his Kingdom of peace and in him, in a certain way, we greet all our brothers and sisters to whom he comes, to become truly a kingdom of peace in the midst of this lacerated world.
All three characteristics announced by the Prophet - poverty, peace, universality - are summed up in the sign of the Cross. Therefore, with good reason, the Cross has become the centre of the World Youth Days.

There was a time - and it has not yet been completely surmounted - in which Christianity was rejected precisely because of the Cross. The Cross speaks of sacrifice, it was said, the Cross is the sign of the denial of life. Instead, we want life in its entirety, without restrictions and without sacrifices. We want to live, all we want is to live. Let us not allow ourselves to be limited by precepts and prohibitions; we want richness and fullness - this is what was said and is still being said.

All this sounds convincing and seductive; it is the language of the serpent that says to us: "Do not be afraid! Quietly eat the fruit of all the trees in the garden!".

Palm Sunday, however, tells us that the great "Yes" is precisely the Cross, that the Cross itself is the true tree of life. We do not find life by possessing it, but by giving it. Love is a gift of oneself, and for this reason it is the way of true life symbolized by the Cross.
Today, the Cross that was recently the focus of the World Youth Day in Cologne is being consigned to a special delegation so that it may begin the journey to Sydney, where in 2008 the youth of the world are planning to meet again around Christ to build with him the Kingdom of peace.

From Cologne to Sydney - a journey across continents and cultures, a journey through a world torn and tormented by violence! Symbolically, it is like the journey the prophet pointed out from sea to sea, from the river to the ends of the earth. It is the journey of the One who, in the sign of the Cross, gives us peace and makes us become messengers of reconciliation and of his peace.

I thank the young people who will now carry this Cross, in which we can as it were touch the mystery of Jesus on the highways of the world. Let us pray that at the same time, it will touch us and open our hearts, so that by following his Cross we will become messengers of his love and his peace. Amen.


Nous saluons Celui qui est venu au nom du Seigneur
pour annoncer un Royaume de paix»

Dans la matinée du dimanche 9 avril 2006, Dimanche des Rameaux et de la Passion du Seigneur, XXI Journée mondiale de la Jeunesse, le Pape Benoit XVI a présidé une Concélébration eucharistique Place Saint-Pierre. Selon la tradition, le rite a commencé au centre de la Place, au pied de l'obélisque, et s'est poursuivi par une procession solennelle avec les branches d'oliviers et de palmiers, jusqu'au parvis de la Basilique. Parmi les milliers de pèlerins étaient présents des représentants de l'archidiocèse allemand de Cologne, qui a accueilli la Journée mondiale de la Jeunesse en août 2005, ainsi que des représentants de l'archidiocèse australien de Sydney, où se tiendra la prochaine JMJ. Nous publions ci-dessous l'homélie prononcée par le Saint-Père à cette occasion:

Chers frères et soeurs,

Depuis vingt ans, grâce au Pape Jean-Paul II, le Dimanche des Rameaux est devenu de façon particulière le jour de la jeunesse, le jour où les jeunes du monde entier vont à la rencontre du Christ, désirant l'accompagner dans leurs villes et leurs pays, afin qu'Il soit au milieu de nous et puisse établir sa paix dans le monde. Si nous voulons aller à la rencontre de Jésus et marcher avec Lui sur sa route, nous devons toutefois nous demander: Sur quelle voie désire-t-il nous guider? Qu'attendons-nous de Lui? Qu'attend-il de nous?

Pour comprendre ce qui a eu lieu au cours du Dimanche des Rameaux et savoir ce que cela signifie, non seulement à cette époque, mais aussi en tout temps, un détail se révèle important, qui devint également pour ses disciples la clé pour comprendre l'événement lorsque, après Pâques, ils reparcoururent avec un regard nouveau ces journées tumultueuses. Jésus entra dans la Ville Sainte à dos d'âne, c'est-à-dire l'animal des gens simples et ordinaires de la campagne, et en plus sur un âne qui ne lui appartenait pas, mais qu'II avait emprunté pour l'occasion. Il n'arrive pas sur un magnifique char royal, ni à cheval comme les grands de ce monde, mais sur un âne emprunté. Jean nous raconte que, dans un premier temps, les disciples ne le comprirent pas. Ce n'est qu'après Pâques qu'ils s'aperçurent que Jésus, agissant ainsi, accomplissait l'annonce des prophètes, que son action dérivait de la Parole de Dieu et la menait à bien. Ils se rappelèrent, dit Jean, que dans le prophète Zacharie, on lit: "Sois sans crainte, fille de Sion: voici que ton roi vient, monté sur un petit d'ânesse" (Jn 12, 15, cf. Zc 9, 9). Pour comprendre la signification de la prophétie et, ainsi, de l'action même de Jésus, nous devons écouter le texte tout entier de Zacharie, qui continue ainsi: "Il retranchera d'Ephraïm la charrerie et de Jérusalem les chevaux; l'arc de guerre sera retranché. Il annoncera la paix aux nations. Son empire ira de la mer à la mer et du Fleuve aux extrémités de la terre" (9, 10). A travers ces paroles, le prophète fait trois affirmations sur le roi à venir.
En premier lieu, il dit qu'il sera le roi des pauvres, un pauvre parmi les pauvres et pour les pauvres. La pauvreté doit être comprise dans ce cas dans le sens des anawim d'Israël, ces âmes croyantes et humbles que nous rencontrons autour de Jésus - dans la pers-pective de la première Béatitude du Discours de la Montagne. Une personne peut être matériellement pauvre, mais avoir le coeur empli de soif de richesse matérielle et du pouvoir qui dérive de la richesse. C'est précisément le fait qu'une personne vit dans l'envie et dans l'avidité qui prouve qu'au plus profond de son coeur, elle appartient au monde des riches. Elle désire renverser la répartition des biens, mais pour arriver à être elle-même dans la situation des riches d'avant.

La pauvreté dans le sens où Jésus l'entend - et dans le sens des prophètes - présuppose surtout la liberté intérieure de l'avidité de possession et de la soif de pouvoir. Il s'agit d'une réalité plus grande que la simple répartition différentes des biens, qui resterait toutefois dans le domaine matériel, rendant même les coeurs plus durs. Il s'agit avant tout de la purification du coeur, grâce à laquelle on reconnaît la possession comme responsabilité, comme devoir envers les autres, en se plaçant sous le regard de Dieu et en se laissant guider par le Christ qui, étant riche, est devenu pauvre pour nous (cf. 2 Co 8, 9). La liberté intérieure est le présupposé pour dépasser la corruption et l'avidité qui désormais dévastent le monde; cette liberté ne peut être trouvée que si Dieu devient notre richesse; elle ne peut être trouvée que dans la patience des sacrifices quotidiens, dans lesquels elle se développe comme une véritable liberté. Le Dimanche des Rameaux, c'est Lui, le roi qui nous indique la voie vers cet objectif - Jésus -, que nous acclamons; nous Lui demandons de nous prendre avec lui sur son chemin.



En second lieu, le prophète nous montre que ce roi sera un roi de paix: il fera disparaître les chars de guerre et les chevaux de bataille, il rompra les arcs et annoncera la paix. Dans la figure de Jésus, cela se concrétise à travers le signe de la Croix. Celle-ci représente l'arc brisé et d'une certaine façon le nouveau, véritable arc-en-ciel de Dieu, qui unit le ciel et la terre et jette un pont sur les abîmes et entre les continents. La nouvelle arme que Jésus dépose entre nos mains est la Croix, signe de réconciliation, de pardon, signe de l'amour qui est plus fort que la mort. Chaque fois que nous faisons le signe de la Croix, nous devons nous rappeler de ne pas opposer à l'injustice une autre injustice, à la violence une autre violence; nous rappeler que nous pouvons vaincre le mal uniquement par le bien et jamais en répondant au mal par le mal.

La troisième affirmation du prophète est l'annonce anticipant l'universalité. Zacharie dit que le royaume du roi de la paix s'étend "de la mer à la mer... jusqu'aux extrémités de la terre". L'antique promesse de la terre, faite à Abraham et aux Pères, est ici remplacée par une nouvelle vision: l'espace du roi messianique n'est plus un pays déterminé qui se séparerait ensuite des autres et qui prendrait donc également inévitablement position contre d'autres pays. Son pays est la terre, le monde entier. En franchissant chaque limite, dans la multiplicité des cultures, Il crée l'unité. En pénétrant du regard les nuées de l'histoire, qui séparaient le prophète de Jésus, nous voyons ici apparaître de loin dans la prophétie le réseau des communautés eucharistiques qui embrasse la terre, le monde entier - un réseau de communautés qui constituent le "Royaume de la paix" de Jésus s'étendant d'une mer à l'autre, jusqu'aux extrémités de la terre. Dans toutes les cultures et dans toutes les parties du monde, partout dans les cabanes misérables et dans les pauvres campagnes, ainsi que dans la splendeur des cathédrales, Il vient. Il est partout le même, l'Unique, et ainsi toutes les personnes rassemblées en prière, dans la communion avec Lui, sont également unies entre elles dans un unique corps. Le Christ domine en se faisant Lui-même notre pain et en se donnant à nous. C'est de cette façon qu'il construit son Royaume.

Cette liaison devient tout à fait claire dans l'autre parole vétérotestamentaire qui caractérise et explique la liturgie du Dimanche des Rameaux et son climat particulier. La foule acclame Jésus: "Hosanna! Béni soit celui qui vient au nom du Seigneur" (Mc 11, 9; Ps 117 [118], 25sq). Ces paroles font partie du rite de la fête des tentes, au cours de laquelle les fidèles marchent autour de l'autel, tenant entre les mains des rameaux composés de branches de palmiers, de myrtes et de saules.

Or, les gens élèvent ce cri avec les rameaux dans les mains devant Jésus, en qui ils voient Celui qui vient au nom du Seigneur: cette expression "Celui qui vient au nom du Seigneur", était en effet devenue depuis longtemps la façon de désigner le Messie. En Jésus, ils reconnaissent Celui qui vient vraiment au nom du Seigneur et apporte la présence de Dieu parmi eux. Ce cri d'espérance d'Israël, cette acclamation faite à Jésus lors de son entrée à Jérusalem, est devenue à juste titre dans l'Eglise l'acclamation à Celui qui, dans l'Eucharistie, vient à notre rencontre de manière nouvelle. Nous saluons avec le cri "Hosanna" Celui qui, de chair et de sang, a apporté la gloire de Dieu sur la terre. Nous saluons Celui qui est venu et qui toutefois demeure toujours Celui qui doit venir. Nous saluons Celui qui, dans l'Eucharistie, vient toujours à nouveau à nous, au nom du Seigneur, réunissant ainsi dans la paix de Dieu les extrémités de la terre. Cette expérience de l'universalité fait partie de manière essentielle de l'Eucharistie. En raison de la venue du Seigneur, nous sortons de nos particularismes exclusifs et nous entrons dans la grande communauté de tous ceux qui célèbrent ce saint sacrement.

Nous entrons dans son royaume de paix et nous saluons également en Lui, d'une certaine manière, tous nos frères et soeurs, vers lesquels Il vient, pour devenir véritablement un royaume de paix au milieu de ce monde déchiré.

Les trois caractéristiques annoncées par le prophète - pauvreté, paix, universalité - sont résumées dans le signe de la Croix. C'est pourquoi, à juste titre, la Croix est devenue le centre des Journées mondiales de la Jeunesse. Il y a eu un temps - qui n'est pas encore entièrement terminé - où l'on refusait le christianisme précisément à cause de la Croix. La Croix parle de sacrifice, disait-on, la Croix est le signe de la négation de la vie. Nous, en revanche, nous voulons la vie tout entière sans restrictions et sans renoncements. Nous voulons vivre, rien d'autre que vivre. Nous ne nous laissons pas limiter par des préceptes et des interdictions; nous voulons la richesse et la plénitude - ainsi disait-on et dit-on encore.

Tout cela nous apparaît convaincant et séduisant; c'est le langage du serpent qui dit: "Ne vous laissez pas intimider! Mangez tranquillement de tous les arbres du jardin!". Cependant, le Dimanche des Rameaux nous dit que le véritable grand "oui" est précisément la Croix, que la Croix est précisément le véritable arbre de la vie. Nous ne trouvons pas la vie en nous emparant d'elle, mais en la donnant. L'amour, c'est se donner soi-même, et c'est pourquoi le chemin de la vraie vie est symbolisé par la Croix. Aujourd'hui la Croix, qui a dernièrement été au centre de la Journée mondiale de la Jeunesse à Cologne, est remise à une délégation désignée à cet effet pour commencer son chemin vers Sydney, où, en 2008, la jeunesse du monde entend se rassembler à nouveau autour du Christ pour construire avec Lui le royaume de la paix. De Cologne à Sydney - un chemin à travers les continents et les cultures, un chemin à travers un monde déchiré et tourmenté par la violence! Symboliquement, il est le chemin indiqué par le prophète, le chemin d'une mer à l'autre, du fleuve jusqu'aux extrémité de la terre. C'est le chemin de Celui qui, sous le signe de la Croix, nous donne la paix et nous fait devenir des porteurs de la réconciliation et de sa paix. Je remercie les jeunes qui porteront à présent cette Croix sur les routes du monde, dans laquelle nous pouvons presque toucher le mystère de Jésus. Prions-le, afin que, dans le même temps, Il nous touche et ouvre nos coeurs, afin qu'en suivant sa Croix, nous devenions des messagers de son amour et de sa paix. Amen.

Pope Benedict ushered in Easter services late Saturday with a dramatic candlelit vigil

in St. Peter's Basilica in which he reminded the faithful of Jesus' resurrection.

Benedict entered the darkened basilica in silence, holding in front of him a single white candle. Its flame was then shared with others until slowly the whole basilica began to twinkle with candles held by the thousands of faithful gathered for the service.

The vigil came hours before Benedict celebrates Easter mass in St. Peter's Square, the most joyous day on the Roman Catholic church's calendar of liturgical celebrations when the faithful celebrate the resurrection of Jesus after his crucifixion on Good Friday.

The crowd is likely to number in the tens of thousands. This year, Easter also coincides with Benedict's 79th birthday.

After mass in the square Sunday, Benedict will move to the central balcony of the basilica to deliver the traditional Urbi et Orbi speech - Latin for "to the city and to the world" - and give a blessing and greetings.

His predecessor, John Paul II, who died six days after Easter last year, used the Urbi et Orbi speeches to denounce conflicts around the world and press for peace.

Italy's head of state, President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, sent Benedict Easter and birthday wishes in which he praised the pontiff for his work "in radiating spiritual strength for all, believers and non-believers."

Easter "finds the international community in search of solid reference points in the face of the tumult of a world in rapid transformation, in the face of risks that international tensions weigh on stability and security," Ciampi said in his message.

Closer to home, Italy's politics are up in the air, following the refusal of Premier Silvio Berlusconi to concede defeat as demanded by his election rival Romano Prodi after very close April 9-10 parliamentary elections. The Vatican wields considerable influence in Italian politics.

Benedict's vicar for Rome, Camillo Cardinal Ruini, was outspoken during the campaign, pressing the church's opposition to any efforts to legalize gay marriage as well as pushing church teaching against embryo research, euthanasia and abortion.

Benedict led a Good Friday Way of the Cross evening procession at Rome's Colosseum in which he denounced "threats" to the institution of the family and lamented the divide between the world's rich and poor.

The ceremonies are Benedict's first since being elected Pope a few weeks after Easter in 2005.

Last year, the ailing John Paul II was forced to sit out Easter ceremonies for the first time in his papacy, which began in 1978. John Paul tried to speak but failed from his window overlooking the square on Easter 2005. In one of his last public gestures, he blessed the faithful with his hand but was unable to utter a word.

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