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Saturday, 7-Apr-2012 12:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Hiring of CEO revives Augusta membership debate

New Jordans 2012 For SaleThe stars are aligning. Phil Mickelson won at Pebble Beach, and Rory McIlroy reached No. 1 in the world. And, of course, there was Tiger Woods in Sunday red, a winner again at last on the PGA Tour.
It's Masters time.
But even as the azaleas start to bloom, a thorny issue has returned — the all-male membership at Augusta National Golf Club — thanks to another achievement that took place far away from the fairways and greens. Virginia Rometty officially took over Jan. 1 as CEO of IBM, the first woman to be chief executive in the 100-year history of Big Blue.
IBM is a longtime corporate sponsor of the Masters, and its last four CEOs have been invited to be members.
Next in line, though, is a woman.
For Martha Burk, who led an unsuccessful campaign 10 years ago for Augusta to admit a female member, the solution is simple.
"What IBM needs to do is draw a line in the sand — 'We're either going to pull our sponsorship and membership and any ancillary activities we support with the tournament, or the club is going to have to honor our CEO the way they have in the past,'" Burke said in a telephone interview.Cheap Air Jordans
"There's no papering over it," she said. "They just need to step up and do the right thing."
Club officials have declined comment, citing its policy that membership issues are private. At least there has been no mention of a "bayonet," the term used by former chairman Hootie Johnson that ignited this debate in the summer of 2002.
IBM has not returned phone calls seeking comment.
It would seem that something has to give — the club's recent history asking IBM chief executives to become members, or its history of never having a female member since it opened in 1933.
To be clear, Augusta allows women to play as guests during the eight months it is open (October to May).
And the exclusivity of the club is limited in practice. Johnson, during a 2002 interview with The Associated Press, said Augusta National holds four parties a year in which only the members are allowed.
Still, these aren't your ordinary businessmen. The members include Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, CEOs from major insurance companies, financial firms and media companies, including Brian Roberts of Comcast, which owns Golf Channel.
None are women.
What has become clear is that questions about the way Augusta National does business — and whom it invites — are sure to get as much attention as the return of Woods or the emergence of McIlroy.
Anticipation has shifted from who's going to win the green jacket to whether a woman will finally wear a green jacket.
One difference this time around is that Burk can put a face on the controversy, even though Rometty has not said whether she is interested in becoming a member. In fact, Rometty is said to be play golf sparingly. She is more passionate about scuba diving.
Fortune magazine listed her at No. 7 last year in its annual ranking of the "50 Most Powerful Women in Business." It was the seventh consecutive year she has been on the
Augusta never talks about its members, although they are seen in green jackets during the tournament. That's how it was discovered that former Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Lynn Swann was invited to join.
Johnson, and successor Billy Payne, made it clear that there is no timetable for inviting a woman to join, and if history is any indication, pressure from Burk or the media is not going to change that.
Burk worries that Rometty might feel pressure to avoid the all-male club, and says that's a much the fault of IBM as Augusta National.
"It does put IBM in a tough spot, but it's all their own making," Burk said Friday morning on CNN. "They have had nine years to help this club come into the 21st century. They've done nothing about it. Now, they're both in a bind.
"I wouldn't put this on the CEO to do," she said, referring to Rometty. "It is the board of directors' responsibility. Samuel Palmissano, who is a member of the club, has a great responsibility here as chairman of IBM. And they need to just step up and do the right thing and get this over with."
Rometty replaced Palmissano as CEO while he stayed on as chairman.
When Burk was leading her fight to open Augusta to women, the Masters did away with television sponsors for two years to keep them out of the fray. When corporate sponsorship returned for the 2005 Masters, only IBM came back. Coca-Cola and Citigroup did not.
Burk doesn't consider her campaign a complete failure, even though it fizzled at a protest during the third round of the 2003 tournament in a parking lot down the street from the club. Without that protest, "this wouldn't be on the table now."
Just like that, she is back in the news.Jordan Shoes
After CNN, she was to tape a segment for "NBC Nightly News" later Friday. She might get a phone call once a month on the Augusta membership, and now can't keep track of who's calling.
Augusta won the first battle. This time, Burk believes there potentially are two enemies of equal rights for women.
"The company has a huge responsibility here not to undermine its first female CEO," she said on CNN. "If they accept anything less than full membership — or resign their sponsorship, which is another option — they're going to undermine their new CEO. And they'll be making a statement that they don't consider her an equal to her predecessors."
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Saturday, 7-Apr-2012 12:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Oh baby! Great-grandchild for Queen Elizabeth II

Jordan Shoes For SaleLONDON (AP) — Buckingham Palace says Peter Phillips and his wife, Autumn, have had a baby girl — giving Queen Elizabeth II her second
Isla Elizabeth Phillips, born Thursday, weighed in at 7 pounds and 4 ounces (3.29 kilograms).
She will be 13th in line to the British throne, after her older sister Savannah.
The palace said Friday that the 85-year-old queen, her husband the Duke of Edinburgh, Princess Anne and Autumn's family are delighted by the news.Jordan Shoes
Peter Phillips is the son of Princess Anne. He married Montreal-born Autumn in May 2008.
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Saturday, 7-Apr-2012 12:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Young Syrian activists put life on hold in revolt

cheap jordansTRIPOLI, Lebanon (AP) — Last year, Khalid was a 19-year-old Syrian university student whose modest dreams were to land a job and earn enough to marry his girlfriend — not simple tasks given Syria's weak economy and his lack of connections to the ruling elite.
Since then, he's become a fugitive activist in the fight to topple President Bashar Assad. Khalid said he has been tortured by security forces and hasn't spoken to his loved ones in months for fear he'll endanger their lives.
Young people like Khalid have manned the front lines in the uprisings across the Arab world, organizing protests, documenting violence and taking up arms against government troops.
Analysts say youth frustration has proven to be a potent force in an area where some 60 percent of people are under 25 — making it one of the world's youngest regions.
Many youth activists say they had plenty to protest, facing adulthood in societies where decades of autocratic rule left them with limited freedom and constricted economies. For Khalid and other young Syrians, the uprising is about more than just toppling a dictator. It's a fight for their generation's dreams.
"I can't think about my own life now," said Khalid, now 20, after sneaking across the Syrian border into Lebanon. "All I can think about is working to make the revolution succeed because it will have a huge effect on the lives of all youth."
The young have been key players in Syria's uprising since its start in March 2011, when security forces arrested a group of teenagers who scrawled anti-regime graffiti on a wall in the southern city of Daraa, generating huge protests.
Assad's security forces violently cracked down, deploying tanks, snipers and thugs to quash the spreading dissent. Later, many civilians took up arms to defend their communities and attack security forces. The U.N. says more than 9,000 people have been killed, including at least 500 children. Hundreds more children have been injured, detained or abused.
As the death toll mounts, young activists acknowledge some naivete in their decision to challenge one of the region's most brutal police states. Their elders often tried to dissuade them, recalling how Assad's father and predecessor, Hafez, killed between 10,000 and 25,000 people while crushing a 1982 rebellion in the city of
"Many of them were scared. They saw what the regime can do and told us, 'We were there in 1982. You weren't.'" said Mustafa, 24, who fled the coastal city of Banias to Lebanon last year. Like Khalid, he asked only that his first name be used for fear of endangering relatives inside Syria.
Still, many have decided that a chance at better lives was worth dropping their studies, jobs and marriage plans.
Before the uprising, Khalid studied engineering at a university in the central city of Homs, even though he was interested in computers and wasn't sure he'd ever get a job. He dreamed of going to school abroad, but government scholarships went to students in the ruling Baath Party.
He never thought about politics, but began paying close attention when uprisings toppled dictators in Tunisia and Egypt last year. In March, security forces stopped an anti-regime demonstration on campus, then forced students to attend a pro-Assad rally.
In April, security forces killed protesters in his neighborhood, Baba Amr, then posted troops to deter future gatherings.
"That was the first time I got mad and decided I was against the regime," Khalid said.
Anger grew in the neighborhood as the regime crushed more protests and raided homes to arrest activists, sometimes detaining their parents, he said.
Khalid started a Facebook page to commemorate those killed while working with other activists to film protests to post online.
In October, security forces stopped him at a checkpoint and found a photo on his cellphone of a government sniper, Khalid said. At the police station, he was beaten with a mop handle until his back was numb, then locked with six others in a cell so small that only three people could sit down at a time, he added.
For 20 days, he was regularly beaten during interrogations and suspended by plastic strips around his wrists, he said. He finally escaped with the help of a sympathetic security officer.
"After that, I knew I'd never shut up," he said. "I wanted to do the impossible to make the revolution succeed."cheap air jordans
But first, he broke up with his girlfriend, worrying that their relationship would endanger her. She cried when he told her.
"I had to do it for her safety," he said. "I have set out on a martyr mission. As soon as you say, 'I'm an activist,' you know you could die."
At that time, Baba Amr was becoming a national symbol of the uprising. Army defectors has flocked to the area, making it harder for troops to come in, protests grew and the youth organized into media, medical and even trash pickup committees.
That defiance drew the regime's wrath, and in early February troops surrounded Baba Amr and shelled it daily. Khalid and the media team kept working, filming and uploading videos and communicating with journalists and other activists via Skype.
Despite the violence, there was youthful mischief. When an explosion near their makeshift media center silenced a rooster often heard in their videos, they commemorated him with his own Facebook page.
On Feb. 22, government rockets hit the media center, killing a number of activists and foreign journalists Marie Colvin and Remi Ochlik, who had sneaked into Syria. Government troops captured the area on March 1, after armed rebels and activists pulled out.
Khalid says he's seen the bodies of some of his relatives in activist videos from the neighborhood and hasn't spoken to his parents in two months.
None of the activists' claims could be independently verified. The Syrian government bars most media from operating inside the jordan shoes
Another Baba Amr activist who also fled to Lebanon said he passed up a chance to study medicine in Germany so he could work to topple Assad.
"I reached a point where I realized that Syria could have a good future," he said, declining to give his name for fear of reprisals against his relatives. "I used to want to go to a developed country, but someday, after Assad falls, Syria will be like that. But we'll build it ourselves."
While international condemnation of Assad has mounted, diplomacy has failed to stop the violence and many activists acknowledge that the conflict is unlikely to end soon.
Most are still driven by the hope of better lives in Syria.
"I want to go back and study, get a job in a company," said Mustafa, the activist from Banias, who was a barber before the uprising and now helps Syrian refugees settle in Lebanon.
He, too, put marriage plans on hold because of the uprising, but is still in touch with his girlfriend whom he hopes to marry someday.
"Perhaps the day after the regime falls," he said, laughing.
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Tuesday, 27-Mar-2012 12:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Another Japan reactor shuts down; only one left

www.forevercheapjordans.comTOKYO (AP) — Another Japanese nuclear reactor was taken off line for maintenance on Monday, leaving the country with only one of its 54 reactors operational following last year's devastating earthquake and tsunami.
The last reactor is expected to be shut down by early May, raising the possibility of power shortages across the nation as demand increases in the hot summer months.
The No. 6 reactor at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa complex was taken off line early Monday by the Tokyo Electric Power Co. The utility also runs the plant in Fukushima, northeast of Tokyo, that suffered meltdowns, explosions and radiation leaks after the March 11 quake and tsunami.
Japanese reactors are taken off line every 13 months for regular checks. With concerns over nuclear safety high following the Fukushima crisis, none of the reactors that have been shut down for checks, and none that were already off line at the time of the disaster, have been allowed to restart.
The last reactor, on the northern island of Hokkaido, will be shut down in May. The timing for when any reactors will be restarted remains unclear.
Before the crisis, Japan depended on nuclear power for one-third of its electricity. Japan's government wants to restart reactors as soon as "stress tests" prove they are safe, but faces strong public opposition. Local leaders, fearing a political backlash, are reluctant to give their jordans
Authorities have required all reactors to undergo the stress tests and make necessary modifications to improve safety. The stress tests, similar to those used in France and elsewhere in Europe, are designed to assess how well the plants can withstand earthquakes, tsunamis, storms, loss of power and other crises.
Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda has promised to reduce Japan's reliance on nuclear power over time and plans to lay out a new energy policy by the summer.jordan shoes
In the meantime, Japan has temporarily turned to oil and coal generation plants to make up for the shortfall, and businesses have been required to reduce electricity use to help with conservation jordans for cheap and free shipping

Tuesday, 27-Mar-2012 12:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Asia stocks stagnate amid uncertain global economy

Air Jordan ShoesHONG KONG (AP) — Asian stock markets drifted in lackluster trading Monday as investors evaluated the prospects of a global economic slowdown.
Japan's Nikkei 225 index rose 0.3 percent to 10,038.71 as the yen slipped against the dollar, helping the country's powerhouse export sector. Markets elsewhere had a tepid start to the week after reports in China and Europe last week pointed to a likely slowdown in those economies.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index was flat at 20,673.44 but property companies rebounded as investors shook off worries that the social reform policies promised by the city's next leader would hurt home prices.
South Korea's Kospi index fell 0.5 percent to 2,015.69. Australia's S&P ASX/200 rose less than 0.1 percent to 4,271.50. Benchmarks in Singapore, Taiwan and Indonesia also fell. New Zealand and mainland China were higher.
"The market is still lacking positive catalysts," said Jackson Wong, a vice president at Tanrich Securities, who noted that investors are hanging back as they await market-moving news.
Germany is set to release later Monday its monthly index of business confidence, a closely watched indicator for Europe's biggest economy. Earnings reports by Cheung Kong Holdings Ltd. and Hutchison Whampoa Ltd., controlled by Hong Kong's richest man, Li Ka-shing, are due Thursday.
Commodity-sector companies rose as the dollar weakened. Since commodities are priced in dollars, a weaker dollar makes them cheaper for traders who use other currencies. Jiangxi Copper Co. added 2 percent in Hong Kong. Energy Resources of Australia gained 1.9 percent.
Shares of Qantas Airways Ltd. rose 2.6 percent in Sydney after it announced plans to set up a Hong Kong-based discount airline with China Eastern Airlines Co.
Shares of China Construction Bank, one of China's four major state-owned lenders, fell 0.7 percent in Hong Kong even after reporting 2011 profit rose 25.5 percent despite government-imposed credit curbs and slowing economic growth.Jordan Shoes
Chinese auto and battery maker BYD Co. fell 5.6 percent in Hong Kong after it reported 2011 profit fell by nearly half as the country's booming auto sales slowed and competition intensified.
Big Hong Kong property developers rebounded on hopes that social reform policies espoused by Leung Chun-ying, who was selected Sunday to be Hong Kong's next chief executive and pledged to expand public housing, would not bring down house prices. New World Development Co. rose 4.8 percent, Sino Land Co. was up 4.3 percent and Henderson Land Co. climbed 2.8 percent.
"We reiterate our view that general property prices will not fall substantially on the simple theme of Leung taking office," Citigroup analysts said in a
The Dow closed up 0.3 percent at 13,080.73 Friday as investors shrugged off a Commerce Department report that sales of new homes fell 1.6 percent last month. Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 0.3 percent to 1,397.11. The Nasdaq composite climbed 0.1 percent to 3,067.92.
Benchmark oil for May delivery was down 26 cents to $106.56 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract was up $1.52 to end at $106.87 per barrel in New York on Friday.
The euro weakened to $1.3254 from $1.3263 late Friday in New York. The dollar rose to 82.70 yen from 82.49 yen.
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