Tuesday, December 28, 2004


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Ap
Business | Entertainment | Headlines | Hitech | Sports

Business  (top)

Consumer Confidence Highest in 5 Months
NEW YORK - A widely watched indicator of consumer confidence jumped in December, reversing four months of declines and reaching the highest level since July, a private research group reported Tuesday.

Transportation Exec Orders Airline Probe
PHILADELPHIA - The nation's top transportation official ordered an investigation of two airlines that canceled hundreds of flights over the holiday weekend because of computer and staffing problems, stranding thousands of travelers.

Consumer Confidence Sends Stocks Higher
NEW YORK - A sharp jump in consumer confidence pushed stocks higher Tuesday, offsetting concerns about the weakening dollar overseas. All three major indexes surpassed their 2004 highs in light trading.

Retailers Get Their Pre-Christmas Boost
NEW YORK - Retailers benefited from a last-minute holiday shopping spree, putting them on track to meet modest seasonal sales goals, two groups that track consumer spending reported Tuesday.

Blockbuster to Make Hollywood Hostile Bid
DALLAS - Blockbuster Inc. said Tuesday it will launch a hostile bid for Hollywood Entertainment Corp. next month if the rival's directors won't negotiate a deal.

Crude Futures Rise Toward $42 a Barrel
Crude futures bounced higher Tuesday following a 6 percent drop the day before as forecasts for warmer weather in the U.S. eased worries about tight supplies of winter fuel.

Top Edward Jones Executive Stepping Down
ST. LOUIS - Edward D. Jones & Co. LP's top executive is stepping down at the end of next year, agreeing to pay about $3 million of a $75 million settlement with the Justice Department over claims tied to the company's mutual fund sales practices.

U.S. Dollar Sinks to New Low Against Euro
BERLIN - The U.S. dollar slid to a new low Tuesday against the euro, which rose to $1.3643 in thin post-holiday trading.

Munich Re: Tsunami Exposure Is Limited
BERLIN - The world's biggest reinsurer said Tuesday that the deadly Indian Ocean tsunamis likely will cost it less than 100 million euros ($136 million), saying its exposure to the extensive damage would be limited by low insurance coverage.

Pritzkers to Get Millions in Settlement
CHICAGO - The Pritzker family, which co-owned a suburban Chicago bank that failed three years ago, appears set to receive tens of millions of dollars in a settlement involving the bank's collapse.

Entertainment  (top)

Author and Activist Susan Sontag Dies
NEW YORK - Susan Sontag, the author, activist and self-defined "zealot of seriousness" whose voracious mind and provocative prose made her a leading intellectual of the past half century, died Tuesday. She was 71.

Czech Supermodel Injured in Tidal Wave
LONDON - Czech supermodel Petra Nemcova, who appeared on the cover of 2003 Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, was injured and her photographer boyfriend is missing after the pair were caught up in the Asian tsunami disaster, a spokeswoman for the boyfriend said Tuesday.

Back Pain Sidelines Lane in 'Producers'
LONDON - Back problems have forced Nathan Lane to quit the London West End run of "The Producers" almost two weeks earlier than planned.

Reports: Jet Li Escapes Maldives Flooding
HONG KONG - Vacationing action star Jet Li injured his foot as he protected his daughter from tsunami waves that flooded his hotel in the Maldives, Hong Kong newspapers reported Tuesday.

Movie Review: 'Love Song for Bobby Long'
Battered and deep-fried wasn't enough for "A Love Song for Bobby Long."

Liza Minnelli Hospitalized After Fall
NEW YORK - Actress Liza Minnelli was hospitalized early Monday after falling out of bed at her residence, police said.

Cold War-Era Films Added to U.S. Archive
WASHINGTON - Films teaching Cold War children to "duck and cover" and describing how Oskar Schindler saved thousands of Jews from the Holocaust are being added to the National Film Registry. Also being preserved: Elvis Presley and Rin Tin Tin.

Arquette Plays Psychic on NBC's 'Medium'
LOS ANGELES - In 1987's "A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors," Patricia Arquette played someone with psychic powers. Now, she'll do it on a weekly basis.

'Fat Albert' Star Hopes to Avoid Typecast
LOS ANGELES - Kenan Thompson, who plays the title role in the new "Fat Albert" movie, hopes he doesn't get typecast.

Man Auctions Water From Cup Elvis Used
BELMONT, N.C. - Wade Jones is a fan of Elvis Presley, but says he's not a fanatic. That's why _ after a grilled cheese sandwich said to bear the image of the Virgin Mary sold on eBay for $28,000 _ he decided to sell three tablespoons of water from a cup that Jones said was used by Presley during a 1977 concert.

Headlines  (top)

Asia Struggles to Cope With 44,000 Dead
BANDA ACEH, Indonesia - Mourners in Sri Lanka used their bare hands to dig graves Tuesday while hungry islanders in Indonesia turned to looting in the aftermath of Asia's devastating tsunamis. Thousands more bodies were found in Indonesia, dramatically increasing the death toll across 11 nations to around 44,000.

WHO: Disease Could Double Asia Death Toll
GENEVA - The World Health Organization warned on Tuesday that disease in the aftermath of southern Asia's tsunami disaster could kill as many people as the deadly waves and earthquake have.

24 Die in String of Iraq Insurgent Attacks
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Insurgents launched multiple attacks on Iraqi police across the dangerous Sunni Triangle on Tuesday, killing 24 people _ including 19 policemen _ a day after the major Sunni Muslim political party pulled out of the Jan. 30 elections citing the deteriorating security situation.

Transportation Exec Orders Airline Probe
PHILADELPHIA - The nation's top transportation official ordered an investigation of two airlines that canceled hundreds of flights over the holiday weekend because of computer and staffing problems, stranding thousands of travelers.

Ukraine Premier Urged to Accept Defeat
KIEV, Ukraine - Europe's human rights watchdog on Tuesday urged Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych to accept defeat in Ukraine's presidential elections, while the apparent winner, Western-leaning reformer Viktor Yushchenko, said his first mission once in office would be to mend ties with Moscow.

Consumer Confidence Highest in 5 Months
NEW YORK - A widely watched indicator of consumer confidence jumped in December, reversing four months of declines and reaching the highest level since July, a private research group reported Tuesday.

NASA Rolls Out Improved Rocket Fuel Tank
WASHINGTON - In a major step toward resuming launches of the space shuttle, NASA officials said Tuesday they have completed improvements that will prevent the falling debris problem that destroyed space shuttle Columbia and killed seven astronauts.

Author and Activist Susan Sontag Dies
NEW YORK - Susan Sontag, the author, activist and self-defined "zealot of seriousness" whose voracious mind and provocative prose made her a leading intellectual of the past half century, died Tuesday. She was 71.

Consumer Confidence Sends Stocks Higher
NEW YORK - A sharp jump in consumer confidence pushed stocks higher Tuesday, offsetting concerns about the weakening dollar overseas. All three major indexes surpassed their 2004 highs in light trading.

Nuggets Fire Coach Jeff Bzdelik
DENVER - The Denver Nuggets fired coach Jeff Bzdelik on Tuesday on the heels of a six-game losing streak and a lackluster start to the season.

HiTech  (top)

AOL Reports Drop in Spam Messages
NEW YORK - The world's largest Internet service provider believes spammers are starting to give up _ at least when it comes to sending junk to its subscribers.

Japan Slow to Catch on to Smart Transport
TOKYO - Japan has some of the most congested, confusing and cramped streets in the world. It also boasts some of the latest technology in zapping computerized data to millions of cars, delivering what may be the world's smartest way to drive.

Amazon.com Tops Record for One-Day Sales
SEATTLE - Amazon.com Inc. on Monday said sales of consumer electronics surpassed book sales for the first time and was its largest sales category over the Thanksgiving weekend, launching the online retailer's busiest holiday selling season in 10 years.

Some Fear Virus Threat to Cell Phones
STOCKHOLM, Sweden - Malicious programs that can delete address books. Junk messages that flood a cell phone's inbox. Stealthy code that uses Bluetooth wireless technology to sneak onto handsets. Scared yet? Security experts say plagues like these will target mobile phones, but others contend cell phone viruses are the tech equivalent of smallpox: To the best of anyone's knowledge, they exist only in labs.

Europe May Be Gaining in Smart Home Tech
BARCELONA, Spain - From the outside, it looks like just another house on an upscale residential street outside Barcelona. But inside this "smart house," its creators say, is the most advanced domestic technology in Europe.

Hackers Aim to Sabotage Holiday Computing
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Hackers, spammers and spies go into overdrive in December and January, when unsuspecting neophytes unwrap new computers, connect to the Internet, and, too often, get hit with viruses, spyware and other nefarious programs.

LAPD Studies Facial Recognition Software
LOS ANGELES - The Los Angeles Police Department is experimenting with facial-recognition software it says will help identify suspects, but civil liberties advocates say the technology raises privacy concerns and may not identity people accurately.

Military Seeks Tech Tools to Train MDs
LOS ANGELES - Hollywood visual effects wizards and video game programmers: U.S. military doctors want you.

Ambulances May Get Virtual Doctors
PITTSBURGH - Researchers are developing technology for ambulances to improve communications and perhaps more importantly, place virtual doctors inside in transit.

Groups Debate Use of Digital Information
NEW YORK - As more of our personal lives go digital, family members, estate attorneys and online service providers are increasingly grappling with what happens to those information bits when their owners die.

Sports  (top)

Nuggets Fire Coach Jeff Bzdelik
DENVER - The Denver Nuggets fired coach Jeff Bzdelik on Tuesday on the heels of a six-game losing streak and a lackluster start to the season.

Sorenstam Is AP Female Athlete of Year
She won early and often, and often by overwhelming margins. She won on four continents _ in Australia, Sweden and Japan and in six of the 50 United States. She won a major, the most money and a remarkable 10 times in just 20 starts worldwide.

Rams Clobber Eagles 20-7
ST. LOUIS - The Rams desperately needed a win and played like it. The Eagles desperately wanted to stay healthy and played like it.

Cowboys' Woodson Headed to Retirement
IRVING, Texas - The Cowboys are ready to bid farewell to Darren Woodson, the last player left from their teams that won three Super Bowls in the mid-1990s.

Suns Face Big Test in San Antonio
PHOENIX - The Phoenix Suns have won 11 in a row, and 20 of 21. Their 24-3 record dwarfs the NBA competition.

Yankees' Luxury Tax Exceeds Tampa Payroll
NEW YORK - The Yankees are paying more in luxury tax than the Tampa Bay Devil Rays spent on their payroll. New York is required to pay $25,026,352, according to a Dec. 21 memorandum that was sent to all major league teams.

Armstrong Chosen AP Male Athlete of Year
AUSTIN, Texas - Even by his lofty standards, Lance Armstrong's return to the mountaintop in 2004 was pretty special. The question now facing Armstrong and his legion of fans is whether he'll return to challenge the Pyrenees and the French Alps again in 2005.

Dead Mourned at Soccer Game in Indonesia
JAKARTA, Indonesia - In a soccer tournament overshadowed by the deadly earthquake and tsunami, Malaysia defeated Indonesia 2-1 Tuesday in a game in which the teams wore black arm bands in tribute to those killed in both countries.

Fresno State Beats Virginia in MPC Bowl
BOISE, Idaho - Fresno State coach Pat Hill cringes when anyone applies the "mid-major" label to his Bulldogs or the Western Athletic Conference.

Shaq Leads Heat to 12th Straight Victory
Shaquille O'Neal is going to stick with his new look for a while.

Business  (top)

Consumer Confidence Highest in 5 Months
NEW YORK - A widely watched indicator of consumer confidence jumped in December, reversing four months of declines and reaching the highest level since July, a private research group reported Tuesday.

Transportation Exec Orders Airline Probe
PHILADELPHIA - The nation's top transportation official ordered an investigation of two airlines that canceled hundreds of flights over the holiday weekend because of computer and staffing problems, stranding thousands of travelers.

Consumer Confidence Sends Stocks Higher
NEW YORK - A sharp jump in consumer confidence pushed stocks higher Tuesday, offsetting concerns about the weakening dollar overseas. All three major indexes surpassed their 2004 highs in light trading.

Retailers Get Their Pre-Christmas Boost
NEW YORK - Retailers benefited from a last-minute holiday shopping spree, putting them on track to meet modest seasonal sales goals, two groups that track consumer spending reported Tuesday.

Blockbuster to Make Hollywood Hostile Bid
DALLAS - Blockbuster Inc. said Tuesday it will launch a hostile bid for Hollywood Entertainment Corp. next month if the rival's directors won't negotiate a deal.

Crude Futures Rise Toward $42 a Barrel
Crude futures bounced higher Tuesday following a 6 percent drop the day before as forecasts for warmer weather in the U.S. eased worries about tight supplies of winter fuel.

Top Edward Jones Executive Stepping Down
ST. LOUIS - Edward D. Jones & Co. LP's top executive is stepping down at the end of next year, agreeing to pay about $3 million of a $75 million settlement with the Justice Department over claims tied to the company's mutual fund sales practices.

U.S. Dollar Sinks to New Low Against Euro
BERLIN - The U.S. dollar slid to a new low Tuesday against the euro, which rose to $1.3643 in thin post-holiday trading.

Munich Re: Tsunami Exposure Is Limited
BERLIN - The world's biggest reinsurer said Tuesday that the deadly Indian Ocean tsunamis likely will cost it less than 100 million euros ($136 million), saying its exposure to the extensive damage would be limited by low insurance coverage.

Pritzkers to Get Millions in Settlement
CHICAGO - The Pritzker family, which co-owned a suburban Chicago bank that failed three years ago, appears set to receive tens of millions of dollars in a settlement involving the bank's collapse.

Entertainment  (top)

Author and Activist Susan Sontag Dies
NEW YORK - Susan Sontag, the author, activist and self-defined "zealot of seriousness" whose voracious mind and provocative prose made her a leading intellectual of the past half century, died Tuesday. She was 71.

Czech Supermodel Injured in Tidal Wave
LONDON - Czech supermodel Petra Nemcova, who appeared on the cover of 2003 Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, was injured and her photographer boyfriend is missing after the pair were caught up in the Asian tsunami disaster, a spokeswoman for the boyfriend said Tuesday.

Back Pain Sidelines Lane in 'Producers'
LONDON - Back problems have forced Nathan Lane to quit the London West End run of "The Producers" almost two weeks earlier than planned.

Reports: Jet Li Escapes Maldives Flooding
HONG KONG - Vacationing action star Jet Li injured his foot as he protected his daughter from tsunami waves that flooded his hotel in the Maldives, Hong Kong newspapers reported Tuesday.

Movie Review: 'Love Song for Bobby Long'
Battered and deep-fried wasn't enough for "A Love Song for Bobby Long."

Liza Minnelli Hospitalized After Fall
NEW YORK - Actress Liza Minnelli was hospitalized early Monday after falling out of bed at her residence, police said.

Cold War-Era Films Added to U.S. Archive
WASHINGTON - Films teaching Cold War children to "duck and cover" and describing how Oskar Schindler saved thousands of Jews from the Holocaust are being added to the National Film Registry. Also being preserved: Elvis Presley and Rin Tin Tin.

Arquette Plays Psychic on NBC's 'Medium'
LOS ANGELES - In 1987's "A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors," Patricia Arquette played someone with psychic powers. Now, she'll do it on a weekly basis.

'Fat Albert' Star Hopes to Avoid Typecast
LOS ANGELES - Kenan Thompson, who plays the title role in the new "Fat Albert" movie, hopes he doesn't get typecast.

Man Auctions Water From Cup Elvis Used
BELMONT, N.C. - Wade Jones is a fan of Elvis Presley, but says he's not a fanatic. That's why _ after a grilled cheese sandwich said to bear the image of the Virgin Mary sold on eBay for $28,000 _ he decided to sell three tablespoons of water from a cup that Jones said was used by Presley during a 1977 concert.

Headlines  (top)

Asia Struggles to Cope With 44,000 Dead
BANDA ACEH, Indonesia - Mourners in Sri Lanka used their bare hands to dig graves Tuesday while hungry islanders in Indonesia turned to looting in the aftermath of Asia's devastating tsunamis. Thousands more bodies were found in Indonesia, dramatically increasing the death toll across 11 nations to around 44,000.

WHO: Disease Could Double Asia Death Toll
GENEVA - The World Health Organization warned on Tuesday that disease in the aftermath of southern Asia's tsunami disaster could kill as many people as the deadly waves and earthquake have.

24 Die in String of Iraq Insurgent Attacks
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Insurgents launched multiple attacks on Iraqi police across the dangerous Sunni Triangle on Tuesday, killing 24 people _ including 19 policemen _ a day after the major Sunni Muslim political party pulled out of the Jan. 30 elections citing the deteriorating security situation.

Transportation Exec Orders Airline Probe
PHILADELPHIA - The nation's top transportation official ordered an investigation of two airlines that canceled hundreds of flights over the holiday weekend because of computer and staffing problems, stranding thousands of travelers.

Ukraine Premier Urged to Accept Defeat
KIEV, Ukraine - Europe's human rights watchdog on Tuesday urged Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych to accept defeat in Ukraine's presidential elections, while the apparent winner, Western-leaning reformer Viktor Yushchenko, said his first mission once in office would be to mend ties with Moscow.

Consumer Confidence Highest in 5 Months
NEW YORK - A widely watched indicator of consumer confidence jumped in December, reversing four months of declines and reaching the highest level since July, a private research group reported Tuesday.

NASA Rolls Out Improved Rocket Fuel Tank
WASHINGTON - In a major step toward resuming launches of the space shuttle, NASA officials said Tuesday they have completed improvements that will prevent the falling debris problem that destroyed space shuttle Columbia and killed seven astronauts.

Author and Activist Susan Sontag Dies
NEW YORK - Susan Sontag, the author, activist and self-defined "zealot of seriousness" whose voracious mind and provocative prose made her a leading intellectual of the past half century, died Tuesday. She was 71.

Consumer Confidence Sends Stocks Higher
NEW YORK - A sharp jump in consumer confidence pushed stocks higher Tuesday, offsetting concerns about the weakening dollar overseas. All three major indexes surpassed their 2004 highs in light trading.

Nuggets Fire Coach Jeff Bzdelik
DENVER - The Denver Nuggets fired coach Jeff Bzdelik on Tuesday on the heels of a six-game losing streak and a lackluster start to the season.

Hitech  (top)

AOL Reports Drop in Spam Messages
NEW YORK - The world's largest Internet service provider believes spammers are starting to give up _ at least when it comes to sending junk to its subscribers.

Japan Slow to Catch on to Smart Transport
TOKYO - Japan has some of the most congested, confusing and cramped streets in the world. It also boasts some of the latest technology in zapping computerized data to millions of cars, delivering what may be the world's smartest way to drive.

Amazon.com Tops Record for One-Day Sales
SEATTLE - Amazon.com Inc. on Monday said sales of consumer electronics surpassed book sales for the first time and was its largest sales category over the Thanksgiving weekend, launching the online retailer's busiest holiday selling season in 10 years.

Some Fear Virus Threat to Cell Phones
STOCKHOLM, Sweden - Malicious programs that can delete address books. Junk messages that flood a cell phone's inbox. Stealthy code that uses Bluetooth wireless technology to sneak onto handsets. Scared yet? Security experts say plagues like these will target mobile phones, but others contend cell phone viruses are the tech equivalent of smallpox: To the best of anyone's knowledge, they exist only in labs.

Europe May Be Gaining in Smart Home Tech
BARCELONA, Spain - From the outside, it looks like just another house on an upscale residential street outside Barcelona. But inside this "smart house," its creators say, is the most advanced domestic technology in Europe.

Hackers Aim to Sabotage Holiday Computing
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Hackers, spammers and spies go into overdrive in December and January, when unsuspecting neophytes unwrap new computers, connect to the Internet, and, too often, get hit with viruses, spyware and other nefarious programs.

LAPD Studies Facial Recognition Software
LOS ANGELES - The Los Angeles Police Department is experimenting with facial-recognition software it says will help identify suspects, but civil liberties advocates say the technology raises privacy concerns and may not identity people accurately.

Military Seeks Tech Tools to Train MDs
LOS ANGELES - Hollywood visual effects wizards and video game programmers: U.S. military doctors want you.

Ambulances May Get Virtual Doctors
PITTSBURGH - Researchers are developing technology for ambulances to improve communications and perhaps more importantly, place virtual doctors inside in transit.

Groups Debate Use of Digital Information
NEW YORK - As more of our personal lives go digital, family members, estate attorneys and online service providers are increasingly grappling with what happens to those information bits when their owners die.

Sports  (top)

Nuggets Fire Coach Jeff Bzdelik
DENVER - The Denver Nuggets fired coach Jeff Bzdelik on Tuesday on the heels of a six-game losing streak and a lackluster start to the season.

Sorenstam Is AP Female Athlete of Year
She won early and often, and often by overwhelming margins. She won on four continents _ in Australia, Sweden and Japan and in six of the 50 United States. She won a major, the most money and a remarkable 10 times in just 20 starts worldwide.

Rams Clobber Eagles 20-7
ST. LOUIS - The Rams desperately needed a win and played like it. The Eagles desperately wanted to stay healthy and played like it.

Cowboys' Woodson Headed to Retirement
IRVING, Texas - The Cowboys are ready to bid farewell to Darren Woodson, the last player left from their teams that won three Super Bowls in the mid-1990s.

Suns Face Big Test in San Antonio
PHOENIX - The Phoenix Suns have won 11 in a row, and 20 of 21. Their 24-3 record dwarfs the NBA competition.

Yankees' Luxury Tax Exceeds Tampa Payroll
NEW YORK - The Yankees are paying more in luxury tax than the Tampa Bay Devil Rays spent on their payroll. New York is required to pay $25,026,352, according to a Dec. 21 memorandum that was sent to all major league teams.

Armstrong Chosen AP Male Athlete of Year
AUSTIN, Texas - Even by his lofty standards, Lance Armstrong's return to the mountaintop in 2004 was pretty special. The question now facing Armstrong and his legion of fans is whether he'll return to challenge the Pyrenees and the French Alps again in 2005.

Dead Mourned at Soccer Game in Indonesia
JAKARTA, Indonesia - In a soccer tournament overshadowed by the deadly earthquake and tsunami, Malaysia defeated Indonesia 2-1 Tuesday in a game in which the teams wore black arm bands in tribute to those killed in both countries.

Fresno State Beats Virginia in MPC Bowl
BOISE, Idaho - Fresno State coach Pat Hill cringes when anyone applies the "mid-major" label to his Bulldogs or the Western Athletic Conference.

Shaq Leads Heat to 12th Straight Victory
Shaquille O'Neal is going to stick with his new look for a while.








Copyright © 2004Bogalusa Daily News.