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06 Febrero de 2008 PRENSA INTERNACIONAL PERIODICO TITULAR McCain Beats Romney in Crucial States; Clinton Takes 3 Big Northeastern States Senator John McCain picked up several crucial victories on Tuesday over his chief rival, Mitt Romney, as he leapt to an early lead on a potentially decisive night in the Republican nominating race. Mr. McCain, who is hoping to solidify his front-runner status by the end of the evening, is poised to capture New York and its winner-take-all haul of over 100 delegates. With an expected victory in Illinois, a delegate-rich Midwestern battleground, the Arizona senator has already pocketed two of the night’s biggest contests. Mr. Romney’s night has gone quite differently. So far, he is projected to win in Massachusetts, where he served a term as governor. The Associated Press also projected he would win in Utah, which has a large population that shares Mr. Romney’s Mormon faith. The disappointing results so far came despite a frenetic final round of campaigning aimed at attracting the Republican party’s conservative base. Many of those voters, particularly evangelical Christians, appear to have sided with former Gov. Mike Huckabee, who captured primary victories in Alabama and his home state of Arkansas, according to The A.P. Earlier in the day, he won a handful of delegates in a vote by the West Virginia Republican state convention. Democrats fight on as McCain holds lead Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were locked in a close race for the Democratic presidential nomination after Mr Obama took an early gain in the “Super Tuesday” primaries. The Illinois senator saw convincing victories in Georgia and his home state of Illinois, while Mrs Clinton won her home state of New York and neighbouring New Jersey. Exit polls showed Mrs Clinton winning the symbolically important state of Massachusetts, which would be taken as a slap in the face for Edward Kennedy, the senior senator for that state who last week endorsed Mr Obama. But in early counts on Tuesday, Mr Obama was projected to win Delaware and Alabama, and was ahead of Mrs Clinton in Connecticut. Polls had yet to close in the important state of California, which contibutes more than a fifth of the delegates necessary to become the nominee and where polls showed the two candidates were neck and neck. However, Mrs Clinton was on course to win New Jersey, which sends the third-largest number of delegates of the states voting on Tuesday. El duelo demócrata polariza EE UU La rivalidad entre Clinton y Obama desata una movilización sin precedentes - McCain aporta también un mensaje de renovación para los republicanos En la concurrida esquina de Hollywood Boulevard con Highland Avenue hubo durante todo el día de ayer turnos de jóvenes partidarios de Barack Obama recordando a los transeúntes que los independientes podían votar en las primarias demócratas en California y explicando cómo hacerlo. Unas manzanas más al sur, una mesa de mujeres repartía los últimos panfletos a favor de Hillary Clinton. Cientos de estudiantes de la Universidad de California en Los Ángeles participan en equipos 06 Febrero de 2008 de encuestas y propaganda de uno y otro candidato. De Misuri, de Arizona, de Minnesota, de todo el país llegan historias semejantes, historias que confirman una movilización política sin precedentes en la memoria reciente. Obama Shows Strength in Deep South; Clinton Wins New York, Massachusetts Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, each seeking to make history, picked up early victories tonight in coast-to-coast contests, with their fight for the Democratic presidential nomination far from settled. Mr. Obama, looking to become the nation's first black president, showed strength in the Deep South, with wins in Georgia and Alabama, in addition to his home state of Illinois, Delaware and Utah. Mrs. Clinton, seeking to become the first woman in the Oval Office, answered with victories in Oklahoma, Tennessee, New Jersey, her home state of New York and her one-time home of Arkansas. Mrs. Clinton also won in Massachusetts, a state where she long led but where Mr. Obama was hoping for an upset. A cadre of the state's leaders, led by Democratic icon Sen. Edward Kennedy, had endorsed Mr. Obama in the days before the Super Tuesday showdown. Her win there was a sign of resilience for the woman who once held a huge lead in national and most state polls. Clinton Wins in Northeast to Take Early Lead Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton scored a series of wins in the Northeast - including New Jersey and Massachusetts - to claim an early advantage over Sen. Barack Obama in a Super Tuesday Democratic battle over 22 states. In addition to her victories in the northeast, Clinton won a string of bordering southern states from Tennessee in the east through Arkansas and Oklahoma. Obama won convincingly in Georgia and Alabama, and claimed victories in North Dakota, Delaware, Minnesota, Kansas and his home state of Illinois. Clinton's campaign hailed her victory in Massachusetts as "the upset of the night" in light of the high-profile endorsements Obama received last week from Caroline Kennedy and Sens. Edward Kennedy and John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick. Obama's campaign insisted that the Illinois Democrat had impressively closed the gap with Clinton in the Bay State in recent weeks and that his apparent narrow loss was a sign of strength, not weakness. 06 Febrero de 2008 PRENSA INTERNACIONAL / REVISTAS * REVISTA NOTA TITULAR The Resurrection of John McCain In war and in politics, John McCain has endured more than his share of near-death experiences. He's been shot out of the sky and held captive, hung from ropes by his two broken arms and beaten senseless. This is his second run for President; he lost before, has nearly lost again and has been all but disowned by his party. So on the night of South Carolina's Republican primary, when the victory he needed to keep his campaign alive seemed as if it might be slipping away once again, McCain stood silent amid the chaos of his crowded hotel suite, his eyes fixed on the television screen. The normally loquacious Senator, who is rarely silent and hates to miss a punch line, was tuning the rest of the room out. Rumors that the primary was about to be called for McCain had fizzled, supplanted by whispers that Mike Huckabee had taken a slim lead in the ballot count. For a moment, it all seemed as though it were going to fall down again. But the announcement came: "McCain wins South Carolina!" The room erupted in cheers; McCain's wife Cindy dissolved into tears; and the candidate's pale, scarred, 71-year-old face spread into a triumphant grin. The U.S. Economy Faces the Guillotine America is on the road to recession, and many predict a worldwide slowdown. But it's a new economic order, and the emerging markets could take the lead. When a group of community volunteers rang the bell to signal the close of trading at the New York Stock Exchange last Friday, it brought to a close one of the most tumultuous weeks in global markets since the fall of 2001. On Tuesday, the Dow Jones industrial average, already down 9 percent in 2008 on glum economic news, plummeted nearly 600 points (5 percent) before rallying after the announcement of an emergency three-quarter-point interest-rate cut by the Federal Reserve, the biggest such reduction in 24 years. Wednesday was like Groundhog Day, with the Dow falling more than 3 percent before closing with a gain. "Yesterday was a s––t storm and today really isn't any better," said a glum broker in a green trading jacket outside the New York Stock Exchange. Cari Maher, who works in an office building on Wall Street across from the exchange, noticed a sign of market stress—an unusual number of nervous smokers outside, huddling on the cold sidewalk. It's rough out there Panic in the markets is scary. Among policymakers it only makes things worse THE financial storm that blew up in America's subprime mortgage market last year has become a hurricane. The ill wind from reckless property lending blasted first the market in asset-backed securities, then banks' balance sheets and, most recently, stockmarkets. Across the globe, more than $5 trillion has disappeared from the value of public companies in the first three weeks of January. Many markets are 20% or more below their highs, the informal definition of a bear market. On January 21st share prices plunged from Brazil to Britain in the worst day of trading since September 11th 2001. 06 Febrero de 2008 Although America's exchanges were closed that day, its policymakers' response was more than commensurate. Before Wall Street opened on January 22nd the Federal Reserve announced an unscheduled rate cut of three-quarters of a percentage point, to 3.5%, its fastest easing in a quarter of a century. On the Run In a sweltering, claustrophobic chamber the size of a storage closet, a sweat-glazed man in a running top pounds away on a treadmill in the Nike Sports Research Lab in Beaverton, Ore. Wires attached to thermal sensors sprout from his body. Heat lamps beat down on him. Moist air blasts through an overhead vent. The room temperature is 95 degrees Fahrenheit. The humidity is 40%. For seven days the runner, compensated only with a Nike store credit, has come in to run for 90 minutes in these conditions, created to mimic a sweltering August afternoon in Beijing, site of this year’s Summer Olympics. At Nike it’s all in the details: The running shirt, a prototype for the Chinese track and field teams, is being tested for its ability to wick away sweat. Nike, the largest sports footwear and apparel company in the world, lives and dies on fine engineering points and microscopic differences. It is not, in the way that Apple or Wal-Mart is, a mass marketer. It is more a collection of micromarketers, aiming to prove to this population of Chinese runners or that subset of American skateboarders that it has just the right shirt or sneaker for their sports. Melinda Gates goes public ... about living with Bill, working with Warren Buffett, and giving away their billions. (Fortune Magazine) -- Years before Melinda French met and married Bill Gates, she had a love affair - with an Apple computer. ¶ She was growing up in Dallas in a hard-working middle-class family. Ray French, Melinda's dad, stretched their budget to pay for all four children to go to college. An engineer, he started a family business on the side, operating rental properties. "That meant scrubbing floors and cleaning ovens and mowing the lawns," Melinda recalls. The whole family pitched in every weekend. When Ray brought home an Apple III computer one day when she was 16, she was captivated. "We would help him run the business and keep the books," she says. "We saw money coming in and money going out." Of all the tricks that life can play, it's hard to imagine any stranger than what befell Melinda French. Today she is living in a gargantuan high-tech mansion on the shores of Lake Washington, married to the richest man in America - and giving billions of dollars away. When she married Bill Gates 14 years ago, she bought into a complex bargain. On the one hand, she became half of what has turned out to be the world's premier philanthropic partnership. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has assets of $37.6 billion, making it the world's largest. In that total is $3.4 billion that Warren Buffett has already given, and still to come are nine million Berkshire Hathaway B shares, currently worth $41 billion, that he has pledged to contribute in coming years. How Real Was the Prosperity? We're just beginning to figure out how much of the nation's recent growth was the result of a credit-induced frenzy. Here are some guideposts Mark it down. Clear the slate. Get it all behind us. That's what the big banks are trying to do now. With their massive write-offs, Citigroup (C), Merrill Lynch (MER), and the other big financial 06 Febrero de 2008 institutions hope to take all of their pain at once. In toto, Wall Street firms have taken roughly $100 billion in losses on their investments. Yet investors around the world are still remarkably skittish. On Jan. 21 they sent markets in Asia and Europe plunging. The decline was halted— perhaps temporarily—by the Federal Reserve's 0.75 percentage point surprise cut in rates the next morning, and the promise of more to come. It's possible the combination of Fed rate cuts and quick fiscal stimulus from Washington could keep the U.S. economy out of recession. The Fed originally was created to deal with just this kind of financial crisis, and it's capable of pumping enormous amounts of money into the financial system if needed. "I have a basic faith in the Fed," says Christina D. Romer, an economist at the University of California at Berkeley. "We don't make the kind of mistakes that we used to." 06 Febrero de 2008 INDICE GENERAL TEMA Storms in China Reveal An Economy Under Strain WSJ Despite Some Hiccups, US Super Tuesday Voting Goes Smoothly WSJ UK Govt Grp To Probe Anticompetitive Energy Mkt Activity WSJ ACS reconoce conversaciones con EDF sobre Iberdrola El Pais ELECTRICIDAD Industria destina 37 millones de euros a sustituir 100.000 semáforos para ahorrar energía El Pais How the Presidential Candidates Stand on Technology WPost Kazakhmys pays $1.5bn in power and coal move FT Platinum hits record high but base metals fall FT Chasing Iberdrola FT Warning on ‘green’ energy tariffs FT 06 Febrero de 2008 PRENSA INTERNACIONAL ELECTRICIDAD Storms in China Reveal An Economy Under Strain By GORDON February 6, 2008 FAIRCLOUGH in Shanghai and LORETTA CHAO in Beijing Transport and power disruptions caused by unusual winter storms across much of China's heartland are beginning to ease, but the scale of the problems showed how close the country's racing economy is to hitting its physical limits. Economists say problems caused by the severe weather, which blanketed much of eastern, central and southern China with ice and snow in the past three weeks, appear increasingly unlikely to cause lasting economic damage. Electricity is slowly being restored, and road and rail links have been reopened. The jolt delivered by the bad weather revealed how little slack there is in a Chinese economy dependent on just-in-time deliveries of coal and other commodities to fuel its rapid expansion. The economy grew 11.4% last year, its fastest rate since 1994. Economists say growth may slow somewhat this year as global demand slackens. China has been hard-pressed to build the infrastructure and acquire the fuels necessary to sustain this galloping pace, despite enormous investments in highways, railroads, power stations and the electricity-transmission grid. "Electricity consumption has been growing rapidly," Tan Rongyao, a spokesman for the State Electricity Regulatory Commission, said during a news conference in Beijing yesterday to discuss the weather disaster. "The shortage of power-generating coal has become enormously acute." Gu Junyuan, chief engineer of the electricity commission, said total demand for electricity in China increased 20.2% annually between 2001 and 2007. Installed generating capacity, on the other hand, grew by about 18.5% a year over the period. When snow and ice started falling in mid-January, high-tension wires and pylons were downed, leading to power outages. The bad weather also delayed shipments of coal to the generating stations that were still online, and electricity shortages spread. Coal inventories at electric companies were already low -- the result, in part, of government price- control policies. Power producers must buy coal at international market prices, which have risen sharply, but the rates they can charge for electricity are capped, a situation that encourages them to limit output. Another complication: Cold temperatures sharply boosted electricity demand, as Chinese households that still had power switched on electric heaters to stay warm. Millions of households remain without power. The city of Chenzhou in Hunan, with 4.6 million people, has been blacked out for 12 days, with diesel generators supplying emergency power to the main hospital and some large markets. 06 Febrero de 2008 Aluminum smelters and other metals companies that use large amounts of power are among the manufacturers that have felt the pinch most severely. China's largest copper producer by output, Jiangxi Copper Co., said its smelters have been operating at 60% to 70% of capacity since Feb. 2. --Ellen Zhu in Shanghai contributed to this article Despite Some Hiccups, US Super Tuesday Voting Goes Smoothly By Deborah Hastings February 5, 2008 8:27 p.m. Of THE ASSOCIATED PRESS NEW YORK (AP)--Scattered voting problems, including machine glitches and long lines, emerged in some states on the biggest Super Tuesday ever held in the U.S. But overall, voting appeared to go smoothly. A record turnout was expected as an unprecedented 24 states held primaries and caucuses to narrow the field for the Democratic and Republican presidential nominee. Eight precincts in Chicago had minor problems and a ninth was expected to stay open for several extra hours after misplaced voting equipment caused a nearly two-hour delay in opening the polls. Cook County Clerk David Orr said no major problems had been reported. "We had other calls that the polls were slow, one precinct opened at 6:15 (instead of 6 a.m.), and another where they were missing a certain kind of ballot ... but we don't think we lost any voters," he said. Some votes were apparently lost, however, when about 20 folks at a Chicago precinct were given styluses designed for touch-screen machines instead of ink pens. When voters complained the devices made no marks on their paper ballots, a ballot judge told them the markers were full of invisible ink. "After 20 people experienced the same problem, somebody said 'Wait, we've got 20 ballots where nobody's voted for anything,"' said Board of Elections spokesman Jim Allen. Officials were trying to contact the voters; Allen said the both the voters and the judge believed the invisible ink theory. In Georgia, where voters are now required to present photo identification, wait times in some areas were as long as 90 minutes because for the first time in a major election, poll workers had to compare IDs against computerized registration records. A spokeswoman for Democratic hopeful Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., said the campaign was considering asking Georgia officials to keep at least one Atlanta precinct open late because it didn't open on time. Heavy turnout and sporadic computer problems may prompt additional requests for extended poll hours, said Obama spokeswoman Adora Andy. "That (comparison) process with the computer terminals is very slow, and that can create some long lines," said Clare Schexnyder of Election Protection, a national election monitoring group. "We're finally figuring out that it's not that there are not enough voting machines, it's the check-in process." 06 Febrero de 2008 By its nature, electronic voting is prone to both manmade and technical glitches. "Voting machines are always going to have issues. That's inevitable," said Tova Wang of The Century Foundation think tank. "They're machines that are operated by human beings. The question is whether the poll workers are trained and have everything they need. If the machines malfunction, do they have paper ballots and do they have enough of them?" Weather was a concern in some states. Snow or rain fell in states including Connecticut, Illinois, Kansas and Massachusetts, and elections officials worried that might discourage some voters. Tornadoes were reported in Tennessee and Arkansas, and power failures were reported in some outlying areas of Memphis. There were no immediate reports of effects on voting. Some Tennessee school districts, including Memphis, dismissed students early so students could get home before bad weather hit. Nonetheless, polls were scheduled to remain open statewide until 8 p.m. EST. The state's electronic voting machines have emergency battery power if storms knock out electricity, and precincts can also use paper ballots, according to state Election Coordinator Brook Thompson. In Arizona, where voting activists feared a controversial photo ID rule could cause confusion, things were apparently fine. "People are walking up to the polls with their drivers' licenses in their hands," said Mindy Moretti, who was monitoring voting in the Phoenix and Scottsdale areas for the watchdog group electiononline.org. "People seem ready for it. No one seems to be upset." In the lead-up to Super Tuesday, voting advocates worried that long lines, high turnout and record numbers of mail-in ballots in states such as California could drag out the counting process for days. Across the country, election officials have estimated that mail-in ballots may account for as much as 50% of the vote in some areas. More than 5 million people have requested mail-in ballots in California, where there are 15.7 million registered voters. Election officials in the most populated and delegate-rich state in the country have said results may not be available until Wednesday or later. As much as 25% of the overall vote may go uncounted Tuesday night, officials said. A major cause of expected delays is late-arriving mail-in ballots, which will be counted only after precinct votes are tallied. Polls close at 8 p.m. PST. Another element is the state's recent switch from electronic voting machines to paper ballots. Four of California's most populous counties - Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego and Santa Clara - must count votes at centralized locations because there aren't enough optical scanners for every precinct. Los Angeles and Sacramento will also haul their paper ballots to a single location, where they will be tallied electronically. "We're working as late as we can to get all of them counted," said San Bernardino registrar Kathi Payne. 06 Febrero de 2008 UK Govt Grp To Probe Anticompetitive Energy Mkt Activity DOW JONES February 5, 2008 12:58 p.m. NEWSWIRES LONDON (Dow Jones)--The U.K.'s Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Committee said Tuesday it will investigate possible anticompetitive behavior in the U.K.'s retail gas and electricity market as part of a full-scale inquiry into the structure of the energy market. The announcement follows the raising of gas and electricity prices over the past few weeks by four of the country's largest utility companies by around 15% to 20%. "The continuing controversy over energy prices is an issue that demands to be addressed. It is a complex but vital question and one that affects everyone in the country - individual consumers and households, small businesses and major energy users alike," said Peter Luff, the chairman of the committee. The U.K. consumer watchdog Energywatch welcomed the inquiry into the U.K.'s energy market. "This is a sensible step and we hope that it will convince government to make a referral to the competition commission," said Energywatch campaign director Adam Scorer. According to Energywatch, the average annual gas bill has almost doubled to GBP600 since 2003 and the average electricity bill has increased almost two-thirds to GBP388 over the same period. Last week, the U.K. gas and electricity markets regulator Ofgem, which has the power to refer cases to the Competition Commission, said it hadn't been presented with any evidence of anticompetitive behavior. Ofgem's comments came after Scottish Power said on Friday it would raise U.K. household electricity prices by 14% and gas prices by 15% on average from Feb. 2, blaming rising wholesale coal and gas prices. Scottish Power is a subsidiary of Spain's Iberdrola SA (IBE.MC) Other U.K. utilities Centrica PLC (CNA.LN), EDF Energy, a subsidiary of Electricite de France SA (1024251.FR), and Npower, a subsidiary of Germany's RWE AG (RWE.XE) posted price rises of between 15% and 20% in January. Scottish and Southern Energy PLC (SSE.LN) said it won't raise its prices this winter and last week E.ON U.K., a subsidiary of Germany's E.ON AG (EOA.XE) said it had no plans to increase its prices. The BERR Committee's full-scale inquiry into the structure of the energy market will include the implications of growing consolidation in the wholesale markets for gas and electricity, the interaction between the U.K. and European energy market and the effectiveness of regulatory oversight of the market. ACS reconoce conversaciones con EDF sobre Iberdrola EFE - Madrid La compañía de Florentino Pérez asegura en una nota a la CNMV que no hay "ningún tipo de 06 Febrero de 2008 acuerdo" El grupo constructor y de servicios ACS ha reconocido hoy ante la Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores (CNMV) que ha mantenido conversaciones con la empresa pública francesa EDF sobre el sector energético europeo y su interés por Iberdrola y el mercado español. En una nota en la que ha respondido a un requerimiento del supervisor bursátil, la compañía que preside Florentino Pérez ha explicado que en estas conversaciones, que ha calificado de "normales entre operadores energéticos", no se ha concretado "ningún tipo de acuerdo", por lo que es un asunto que no se ha sometido al Consejo de Administración. Esta mañana, el presidente de Banca March, Carlos March, propietario del 22% de ACS a través de Corporación Financiera Alba, ha afirmado en una conferencia de prensa que ACS había mantenido contactos con EDF y otras compañías, entre las que ha citado a Gas Natural, Repsol YPF, RWE y E.ON, sobre una hipotética operación corporativa sobre Iberdrola. Corporación Financiera Alba también ha enviado una comunicación a la CNMV en la que ha puntualizado que "ni sus administradores ni sus representantes" han mantenido conversaciones sobre una posible OPA para hacerse con Iberdrola ni acerca de la reordenación del sector en España y, por tanto, no ha participado "en acuerdo alguno". Alba ha puntualizado que su presencia en el sector energético es "indirecta". "Un gran grupo energético español" ACS ha indicado a la CNMV que su estrategia es "la consolidación de un gran grupo energético español" donde ACS pueda ser protagonista "junto al resto de sus socios" y con respeto "a todos los accionistas, grandes y pequeños". No obstante, la compañía ha precisado que sus planes están condicionados al cumplimiento de la política energética del Gobierno y a asegurar que la mayoría de los activos energéticos del futuro grupo estén en manos de accionistas españoles. La constructora que preside Florentino Pérez es accionista de Unión Fenosa, con el 45% de su capital, y de Iberdrola, donde controla un 7,7% de forma directa y otro 5% mediante derivados financieros. Las cajas de ahorros de Castilla y León cuentan con el 4,7% del accionariado de Iberdrola, una compañía presidida por el salmantino Ignacio Sánchez Galán. Iberdrola tiene en Castilla y León buena parte de su división de generación de electricidad, en centrales como la nuclear de Garoña (Burgos), la térmica de Velilla del Río Carrión (Palencia), embalses en Salamanca y en Zamora, centrales minihidráulicas y parques eólicos en varias zonas de la Comunidad. Industria destina 37 millones de euros a sustituir 100.000 semáforos para ahorrar energía AGENCIAS - Madrid La tecnología LED con que se dotará a los semáforos permite ahorrar un 80% de consumo eléctrico 06 Febrero de 2008 El Instituto para la Diversificación y el Ahorro de Energía (IDAE), organismo dependiente del Ministerio de Industria, Turismo y Comercio, destinará 37 millones de euros -17 más del presupuesto inicial- a la sustitución de cerca de 100.000 semáforos convencionales (el 30% de los existentes) por otros con tecnología LED, con objeto de ahorrar energía. Los semáforos dotados con la tecnología LED, actualmente sólo un 15%, permiten ahorrar un 80% de consumo eléctrico, equivalente a un ahorro anual de 90.000 megavatios (MWh) de electricidad, o lo que es lo mismo, el consumo eléctrico de más de 22.000 hogares. Asimismo, permitirán también reducir la demanda de petróleo en más de 20.462 toneladas anuales y evitar la emisión a la atmósfera de unas 58.000 toneladas anuales de CO2 (dióxido de carbono). La iniciativa se enmarca en el Plan de Acción de la Estrategia de Ahorro y Eficiencia Energética 2008- 2012 y se ejecutará este año. Una vez completado, el plan beneficiará a 27 millones de ciudadanos de 584 ayuntamientos, que recibirán gratuitamente la tecnología del IDAE y que serán los encargados de efectuar la sustitución y el montaje de los semáforos. En España existen actualmente cerca de 300.000 semáforos cuyo consumo de energía final se estima en 350 gigavatios/año (Gwh), equivalente a la electricidad que pueden consumir un conjunto de más de 150.000 hogares. Los semáforos han de funcionar de forma permanente, lo que origina ese elevado consumo ya que están equipados con lámparas incandescentes o halógenas. How the Presidential Candidates Stand on Technology PC World From broadband speeds to patent reform, lots of important technology issues face the United States. Here's your guide to how the presidential candidates view the major questions. Tuesday, February 5, 2008; 12:19 AM Health care. Iraq. The economy. All of the presidential candidates have ready-made talking points and stump speeches that detail how they, as president, would handle these important issues. So where does technology fit in? The Oval Office's approach to tech matters may not be as critical as solving the health care crisis, but such issues are still important. We dug around to discover where candidates stand on major tech questions, searching through their policy statements, Web sites, interviews, and other available information. Some have extensive plans; others, perhaps tellingly, hardly mention tech at all. The main issues most of the candidates address are: As the Internet becomes ever more integral to our daily lives,we're slipping behind other developed nations in the speed and ubiquity of broadband access--down to fourteenth place, according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. 06 Febrero de 2008 Several of the large companies that control the Internet are considering giving priority to some data over other types, in some cases charging extra for preferential treatment. Some threats to privacy are indisputable--nobody supports identity thieves or companies that handle private data sloppily. But the situation isn't as clear-cut when the government is monitoring communications in an attempt to find terrorists. As other nations start to catch up to in technological prowess, the United States has to consider whether the government should play a role in sparking research and development. We know what the candidates say about these issues, but we'd like to hear what you think as well. Take a moment to , and we'll report on the results soon. Democratic Candidates Finding out where the two remaining Democratic candidates stand on tech wasn't hard. Both have a list of technology concerns and promises on their respective Web sites, and various interviews, speeches, and other sources make their positions clear. Proposes a"Connect America" planto use federal tax incentives to encourage broadband deployment in underserved areas. The plan also proposes financial support for state and local broadband initiatives. SupportsNet neutrality, and cosponsoredSenate legislationto "require all broadband providers to treat all Internet traffic equally." Opposes the Bush administration's use of warrantless wiretaps and e-mail and phone record collection in pursuit of terror suspects. Inone 2006 speechshe said, "At all levels, the privacy protections for ordinary citizens are broken, inadequate and out of date... If we want to protect our safety and our privacy, we need clear guidelines and we need to get smart about technologies." Proposes toincrease the research budgetsat the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy's Office of Science, and the Defense Department by 50 percent over the next ten years. Proposes a 50 percent bump for the National Institutes of Health budget over five years, and to double it over ten years. Says she will triple the number of National Science Foundation fellowships and increase each award by a third. Promises totreat broadband as an essential, universal service: "We have ensured that every American has access to telephone service and electricity, regardless of economic status, and [he] will do likewise for broadband Internet access." Also says he will "demand a review of existing uses of our wireless spectrum" and "create incentives for smarter, more efficient and more imaginative use of government spectrum." "Barack Obama stronglysupports the principle of network neutralityto preserve the benefits of open competition on the Internet." Also supports patent and copyright reform to "promote civic discourse, innovation and investment while ensuring that intellectual property owners are fairly treated." 06 Febrero de 2008 OpposesHomeland Security wiretapping, and "would adhere to Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) rules for the surveillance of any Internet and telephone communications, and would establish strict procedures for the use of any PATRIOT Act powers, especially national security letters." Says he will "strengthen privacy protections for the digital age," requiring thatparents have the option of receiving parental-controls software(though Obama's site doesn't specify who would supply the software), and increasing the FTC enforcement budget tocombat international Internet crime. Proposesdoubling federal funding for basic researchand making the Research and Development tax credit permanent. How do you stand on technology issues?, and we'll report on the results soon. Republican Candidates Judging by their Web sites and available information, the Republican candidates as a whole don't place as much emphasis on technology issues as their Democratic counterparts do. Few make much, if any, mention of tech concerns on their campaign sites, and some have been largely unaware of issues such as Net neutrality. Here's what we were able to find. Sponsored the Southern Governors Association resolution in 2001 that supported "legislation and regulations that willspeed the deployment of broadband, [and] high speed Internet networking throughout the nation." In response toa blogger's question about Net neutrality, he said, "The Internet is a highway and we don't restrict highways to 18-wheelers ... if it's a car, an SUV, or a truck, you use the same highway." However, the blogger, Kevin Tracy, writes that Huckabee was unfamiliar with the issue before the question, and based his answer only on Tracy's description. Writes in his 2007 book,From Hope to Higher Ground, "Read the Bible more; blogs less." Acknowledges a "growing gap between the haves and the have-notsin America" when it comes to Internet access, and says "there's lots of ways that you can encourage corporations" to act in their own self-interest, with tax benefits and other credits to improve access. Opposesgovernment regulations enforcing Net neutrality. At a technology conference, he said, "When you control the pipe, you should be able to get profit from your investment." Said that we need toreform copyright laws, but that the effort needs to be carefully thought through because "some in Congress don't understand the complexity of these issues." And when asked if people should be jailed for illegal music downloads, he said, "I can't see myself doing that, unless of course they listen to some of the abominable music that tops the charts today." Expresses strong support for combating terrorism, but says that "Whencompanies provide private recordsof Americans to the government without proper legal subpoena, warrants, or other legal orders, their heart may be in the right place, but their actions undermine our respect for the law." In 2000, he cosponsored theConsumer Internet Privacy Enhancement Actto improve online-consumer privacy. Says that he and his wife have been identity theft victims, and that every company has tomaintain 06 Febrero de 2008 security policiesto deal with the ID threat and provide notice to consumers when data breaches happen. Proposes to make theResearch and Development tax creditpermanent. The National Journal quotes a Paul spokesman as saying that when it comes to broadband access, the digital television transition, and competitiveness, "Rep. Paul does not think the federal government has a role in any of these issues. They should beleft to the free market." Ina recent Tech Crunch interview, Paul said that Net neutrality is "something that I have an open mind to." A spokespersontold the National Journalthat "Paul thinks the federal government's role incombating file-sharingshould be limited." Has come out strongly against government surveillance without warrants. On his site, he says "Recent revelations that the National Security Agency has conducted broad surveillance of American citizens' emails and phone calls raise serious questions about the proper role of government in a free society ... We must drastically limitthe ability of government to collect and store dataregarding citizens' personal matters." Regardingidentity theft, he says "there is definitely a responsibility for government to be involved." Paul told TechCrunchthat "the federal government has no legal responsibility or authority to [help improve math and science education] ... We need more local control. We need the families and parents in charge and I think we would solve a lot of these problems." The National Journal quotes a Romney spokesperson as saying that Romney believes "we shouldstrengthen intellectual property protectionsgenerally, including streamlining the patent application process and making patent lawsuits less burdensome." The352media group's new issue sitelists him as supporting Homeland Security wiretapping. On his Web site, Romney proposes a"One-Strike and You're Ours" policywith "new, tougher federal penalties for first-time offenders who use the Internet to sexually assault children, including stiff mandatory jail time to be followed by lifetime tracking by Global Positioning Satellite (GPS)." Also says he will work with companies to ensure that all new computers ship with optional parental-control software filters. On his Web site, he says "it is time toinvest substantially in technologiesrelated to power generation, nanotechnology, and materials science." However, while that section of the site is still accessible with a direct URL, it is no longer reachable through site navigation. How do you stand on technology issues?, and we'll report on the results soon. Other Resources National Journal's Campaign 08 Tech Profiles: Details on each candidate's tech-related legislation (where applicable), supporters, and positions. 06 Febrero de 2008 TechCrunch Tech President Primaries: Extensive coverage of the candidates' positions on tech issues, including direct interviews with some of the candidates. The site also offers itsendorsements of one Democratic candidate and one Republican candidatebased on their tech positions. TechPresident.com: Excellent bipartisan site with a wealth of information. It grades each candidate's tech policies under "Resources." Politico.com: More political news, video, and analysis than you can shake a mouse at. Includes links to each candidate's Facebook, MySpace, and YouTube site. Be sure to check out its imaginative and funinteractive map of the political blogosphere. Ontheissues.org: Tracks candidate quotes and positions on all kinds of issues, from abortion to health care to infrastructure and technology. CNet candidate interviews: Questionnaire responses on tech issues from Clinton , John Edwards , McCain , Obama , and Paul. 352media.com: This interactive site allows you to select your positions on a variety of issues to see which candidates agree with you. Requires Internet Explorer. Glassbooth.org: Rate 14 issues in order of importance in this interactive quiz to discover which candidate comes closest to your views. Kazakhmys pays $1.5bn in power and coal move By Toby Shelley Published: February 6 2008 02:00 | Last updated: February 6 2008 02:00 Kazakhmyshas announced a move into the power supply market with the $1.5bn (£765m) acquisition of a power plant and captive coal mine in Kazakhstan from AES, the US power group. The deal continues the copper miner's strategy of diversification, offering its first commercial exposure to the power market as a supplier and the coal market as a buyer. It has long produced coal and electricity to power its own operations. In the past year, Kazakhmys' cash pile has grown and it has taken a 15 per cent stake in fellow Kazakh miner ENRC, giving it indirect exposure to chrome, iron ore, alumina and coal. It also bought Eurasia Gold in July and announced an oil and gas project in March. The Ekibastuz power plant is Kazakhstan's biggest and has capacity of 2,250 megawatts, only 45 per cent of which is used. Kazakhmys plans to raise capacity to 4,000MW during the next five years with $650m of capital expenditure on refurbishment and will increase utilisation to 80 per cent. Kazakhstan recently de-regulated the electricity industry and demand growth is running at 5.2 per cent a year. The coal mine at Maikuben has an expected life of another 30 years and produces 3.1m 06 Febrero de 2008 tonnes a year, about 20 per cent of Ekibastuz's needs. The rest of the requirement will be sourced domestically on term contracts. London-listed Kazakhmys will finance the acquisition through a new debt facility of $2.1bn, managed by Deutsche Bank. There will be an initial cash payment of $1.1bn with further payments of up to $381m, assuming profitability targets are met. AES will continue to manage the facility under contract until the end of 2010. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter. Shares in Kazakhmys closed 38p lower at £12.24. They have risen 15 per cent in the past year. Platinum hits record high but base metals fall By Chris Flood Published: February 6 2008 02:00 | Last updated: February 6 2008 02:00 Platinum continued its record-breaking run yesterday but oil and base metals fell as fears over a possible US recession were amplified by an unexpectedly sharp fall in January's ISM non- manufacturing survey. Platinum hit a record $1,809 a troy ounce on continuing concerns about production in South Africa, which accounts for 80 per cent of global supplies, before slipping 1.5 per cent to $1,763 a troy ounce on profit-taking. Following last week's electricity supply crisis in South Africa, power has been restored to mines but only at 90 per cent of normal requirements. Mining companies have been unable to resume production at full capacity and the outlook for the country's platinum output remains uncertain as power rationing appears likely. Gold consolidated below $900, easing 1.4 per cent to $891.70 a troy ounce, after reaching a record $936.50 on Friday. Nymex March West Texas Intermediate crude oil fell $1.61 to $88.41 a barrel while ICE March Brent lost $1.65 at $88.82 a barrel on recession fears. The latest US weekly inventories data is due for release today and the market appears to be anticipating further evidence of demand softening. US refineries were expected to have reduced consumption for a fourth week with refinery utilisation expected to drop 0.2 percentage points to 84.8 per cent, according to a preliminary poll of analysts by Reuters. US crude stocks were forecast to rise 2.2m barrels while distillate stocks (incl-uding heating oil) were exp-ected to continue their seasonal decline with a fall of 2.1m barrels. Gasoline inventories were expected to rise for a thirteenth week with an increase of 1.9m barrels. Nymex March heating oil slipped 3.6 cents to $2.4474 a gallon while Nymex March RBOB unleaded gasoline fell 5.2 cents to $2.2603 a gallon. 06 Febrero de 2008 Trading in base metals was brisk in spite of the start of the new year break in China where producers have suffered upset to production due to severe winter weather and power supply disruptions. Jiangxi Copper, China's largest producer by volume, said much of its production activities in Jiangxi province had stopped due to recent snowstorms. In Chile, no impact was reported on the Collahuasi copper mine, which produces 8.2 per cent of the country's copper, after an earthquake struck the north on Monday. In London, copper fell 2 per cent to $7,115 a tonne. Citigroup cut its 2008 copper price forecast 12 per cent to $6,790 a tonne but raised its 2009 forecast 16.7 per cent to $7,716 a tonne. John Hill said there would be contagion effects from the sharp slowdown in the US economy to China at a macro level but there had been no sign of this affecting metal markets so far. Mr Hill said US metals demand had been weak since mid 2006 but it was now much less important as a consumer, accounting for 12 per cent of global copper demand and 16 per cent for aluminium compared with 20 per cent and 25 per cent respectively eight years ago. "Especially important for commodity markets is that [Chinese] infrastructure spending is likely to climb, prompting upward revision to forecasts of fixed asset investment growth," he said. Zinc dropped 3.9 per cent to $2,372.5 a tonne; aluminium lost 1.6 per cent to $2,623.5 a tonne; and nickel eased 1.1 per cent to $26,800 a tonne. Chasing Iberdrola LEX Published: February 6 2008 02:00 | Last updated: February 6 2008 02:00 Has the impending takeover of Endesa by Italy's Enel and Spain's Acciona created a bridgehead for other companies keen to buy Spanish utilities? The latest two companies keen to find out are France's EDF and domestic construction group ACS, which are interested in buying Iberdrola. The Spanish government grudgingly agreed to Enel and Acciona buying Endesa as a less bad option than a takeover by Germany's Eon. Even so, its imposition of onerous conditions on the deal is being challenged by European regulators. Even sweetened with a Spanish partner, the government will not view favourably a takeover by state-controlled EDF of its largest utility. There is no doubt that ACS, which already owns an 8 per cent direct stake in Iberdrola, would love a deal. It could pick up Iberdrola's renewables business and some hydro plants, then merge them with Unión Fenosa, of which it owns 45 per cent. But politics is not the only obstacle. ACS and Iberdrola are fierce rivals domestically, reportedly fuelled by animosity among senior managers. For ACS to take on Iberdrola, worth four times its own equity value, is simply a pipe dream. Goldman Sachs estimates that ACS, with an enterprise value of €38bn, would need to raise €36bn to buy half of Iberdrola's assets. Yet ACS is already financially overstretched, with estimated net debt of four times 2008 earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation. 06 Febrero de 2008 Meanwhile, EDF, with its €125bn market capitalisation and relatively healthy balance sheet, would love to get its hands on Scottish Power and a share of Spain's electricity market. The hurdles could, however, prove insuperable. Iberdrola's management, backed by "poison pill" voting rights and takeover rules, would resist any approach, and EDF has said it would not make a hostile bid. Politics, personalities and balance sheets conspire to make a deal unlikely. Warning on ‘green’ energy tariffs By Fiona Harvey, Published: February 5 2008 20:34 | Last updated: February 5 2008 20:34 Environment Correspondent Businesses should beware of the “green tariffs” offered by some electricity suppliers as they may be less green than they appear, industry experts have warned. Businesses are increasingly seeking to burnish their environmental credentials by signing up for the tariffs, under which electricity companies promise to derive a certain proportion of the electricity they sell from renewable or other low-carbon sources. Demand for the deals, which often charge users a significant premium for the cleaner energy, has outstripped supply in the past year. Household names such as BT, HSBC and Marks and Spencer are among companies that have signed up. But Harry Morrison, senior strategy manager at the Carbon Trust, a government-funded body charged with helping companies cut their greenhouse gas output, told the Financial Times that many so-called green tariffs could include a high proportion of “brown” energy derived from fossil fuels. Mr Morrison advised businesses to examine their use of the tariffs carefully to avoid possible reputational damage from making green claims based on false information. He said: “We say be aware of the problems and if you intend to use these tariffs to make an environmental claim you are taking a risk, as maybe your tariff is not as green as you thought it was.” There was also concern that electricity suppliers might be “double counting” their renewable energy – in effect, selling the same megawatt hours of renewable energy to more than one customer, Mr Morrison said. Ofgem, the power industry regulator, is expected to publish a set of voluntary guidelines for the electricity industry, which would give green tariffs an “energy rating” depending on the mix of brown and green electricity they supplied. Meanwhile, businesses face continuing uncertainty over the tariffs. Francis Sullivan, sustainability adviser to HSBC, said he found the UK the most difficult country in which to source renewable electricity “because of the labyrinthine definitions of green tariffs”. Some suppliers offered the tariffs on a premium rate to customers without disclosing that the renewable electricity they generated was simply to fulfil legal requirements under the government’s renewable obligation, he said. “Sometimes you are paying more for what the generator had to 06 Febrero de 2008 generate anyway.” RWE Npower said electricity for its “Juice” green energy product was included in its renewable obligation commitment, but that it did not charge extra for it. By opting for the product, customers were providing a signal to the market of their support for renewables, the company said. Other companies are seeking novel solutions to their green energy dilemmas. For example, British Sky Broadcasting has signed an agreement with Scottish and Southern Energy to derive half its power needs for the next 10 years from a wind farm on the Isle of Skye. Ben Stimson, head of corporate responsibility for BSkyB, said the deal was intended to improve the “transparency” of the company’s supply.
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