BEND — It doesn't have a campus yet, but Oregon's newest four-year institution of higher education is recruiting its first freshman class, relying heavily on its Central Oregon setting.

BEND — It doesn't have a campus yet, but Oregon's newest four-year institution of higher education is recruiting its first freshman class, relying heavily on its Central Oregon setting.

A billboard promoting the Oregon State University-Cascades Campus deploys two images: One is a student is engaged in a small lab setting, the other a student stretching to grab his snowboard as he flies through a clear blue sky.

The university is set to become a four-year institution in fall 2015, The Bulletin newspaper in Bend reported. The campus's expanded location has not yet been announced.

OAKLAND, Calif. — This was not the opening state officials once envisioned, with little fanfare and no public celebration. But then, neither was this project — the new eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge finally opening years late and billions of dollars over budget.

As dignitaries gathered Monday to cheer completion of the most expensive public works project in California history, they did so at an invitation-only event with a stable of speakers, a reading by the state's poet laureate, and the ceremonial cutting of a chain.

Nearly a quarter-century after the Loma Prieta earthquake collapsed part of the old bridge, highlighting its weakness, the new $6.4 billion span opened Monday night, in time for the Tuesday morning commute.

Compiled from wire reports

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New Snowden documents allege US spying on Brazil, Mexico


By Vincent Bevins and Tracy Wilkinson

Los Angeles Times (MCT)

SAO PAULO, Brazil - New documents leaked by former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden allege that Washington spied on the presidents of Mexico and Brazil, further complicating relations weeks before Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff’s state visit to the United States.

After journalist Glenn Greenwald made the revelations on Brazil’s popular Globo TV network Sunday night, Rousseff called an emergency meeting with advisers and her government summoned U.S. Ambassador Thomas Shannon to explain the new allegations, which came after earlier reports of spying led Brazil to demand answers from a visiting Secretary of State John F. Kerry last month.

“This is an inadmissible and unacceptable violation of Brazilian sovereignty,“ said Brazilian Foreign Minister Luiz Alberto Figueiredo in a news conference Monday afternoon. “The Brazilian government wants prompt, formal explanations in relation to the facts revealed in the report.“

The Mexican government also summoned the U.S. ambassador to Mexico, Anthony Wayne, to protest the reported spying and delivered a diplomatic note demanding an exhaustive investigation.

“The government of Mexico rejects and categorically condemns any works of espionage against Mexican citizens in violation of international law,“ a statement from the Mexican Foreign Ministry said.

“Such practices are contrary to the United Nations Charter and the International Court of Justice.“

The statement did not mention President Enrique Pena Nieto by name or title, alluding only to reports of spying on “Mexican citizens.“

The Mexican government had been slow to respond in part because Pena Nieto on Monday was delivering his first state of the nation speech, a major event, and all officials seemed consumed by it and related activities.

A spokesman for the president declined to comment.

Pena Nieto did not allude to the reported spying in the speech, instead hailing a “new phase of understanding“ with the United States, based on a “new multi-themed agenda.“

The special report on Sunday night’s “Fantastico“ television program outlined how communications between Rousseff and her main advisers, as well as communications between those advisers and others, were allegedly monitored by the United States. In the case of Mexico, the documents showed how spying purportedly enabled the U.S. to glean the names of people whom Pena Nieto - who at the time, in mid-2012, was still a presidential candidate - planned to appoint to various ministries.

“It was very clear in these documents that they had already carried out the spying,“ Greenwald said on the television program, speaking in Portuguese. “They’re celebrating the success of the spying program.“

When Vice President Joe Biden visited Brazil in May and invited Rousseff to a night of pomp and circumstance at an official White House state dinner on Oct. 23, it was widely seen as a long-awaited recognition of Brazil’s status as a rising power and symbol of improved relations between the two countries.

But relations were strained when Brazil reacted negatively to revelations of U.S. spying on civilians throughout Latin America, broken by Greenwald in the O Globo paper with Snowden documents in July. And when Greenwald’s partner, who lives with him in Rio de Janeiro, was detained at London’s Heathrow Airport last month, Brazil’s Foreign Ministry strongly denounced an action believed to be linked to the possession of leaked documents from the U.S. National Security Agency.

An earlier report that the U.S. was spying on the Mexican Embassy in Washington drew a more muted response. Washington and Mexico City have enjoyed, at least until recently, a close relationship of sharing intelligence produced from various forms of surveillance, including wiretapping, in the fight against drug cartels. The Mexican government is probably reluctant to draw attention to any form of secret surveillance.

In addition to revealing presidents as stated targets, the new documents depict a different type of information-gathering, according to an expert cited on Sunday’s show. The spying was not aimed at protecting U.S. national security, but was allegedly meant to give Washington an upper hand in international meetings by knowing the other players’ “cards.“

Brazil’s communications minister, Paulo Bernardo, said the spying was “absurd.“ “This has nothing to do with national security,“ he said. “It’s snooping to gain advantages in industrial and commercial negotiations.“


Rousseff, who was tortured as a young guerrilla by a U.S.-backed military dictatorship that spied on activists, may also face more pressure for a stronger response to the U.S. from the base of her left-leaning party.

A spokesperson for Rousseff said she could not confirm local news reports that the president was considering canceling her trip to Washington if her government did not receive a satisfactory response.

Wellington Dias, leader of the ruling Workers’ Party in the Brazilian Senate, said it was “unacceptable that a nation which boasts so often about being the first constitutional democracy on the planet, and the guardian of democracy around the world, acts with complete disrespect for the minimum parameters of respect for the sovereignty of other countries.“


)2013 Los Angeles Times

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Distributed by MCT Information Services


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’Tobacco wars’ senators take aim at energy drinks


By Alexei Koseff

Tribune Washington Bureau (MCT)

WASHINGTON - They are all “veterans of the tobacco wars,“ as Sen. Richard J. Durbin of Illinois put it. Over the years, they have sponsored legislation to ban smoking on airplanes, led efforts to remove depictions of tobacco use in films and successfully sued the tobacco industry for misleading the public about the dangers of smoking.

And at a recent hearing, the trio of Democratic senators - Durbin, Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut - grilled executives from an industry they said was selling an unhealthy product and an unsafe message to young people.

But the subject of their ire was not tobacco. It was energy drinks - sweetened beverages with large doses of stimulants for quick energy boosts that have become increasingly popular over the last decade, particularly with high school and college students who often use them to study late into the night.

The hearing was the most notable battle so far in the senators’ latest campaign: to limit access by minors to the beverages. Energy drink companies contend the effort is misguided and overstates the health risk of caffeine to teenagers. But Durbin, Markey and Blumenthal are drawing upon their previous fights against the sale and advertising of cigarettes to children under age 18.

They have called upon the Food and Drug Administration to investigate the safety of energy drinks and urged high school and college sports organizations to educate their athletes on the risks of combining the beverages with physical activity. Now they are focusing their efforts on the industry’s marketing techniques, which they claim are targeting young consumers.

At a recent hearing, Markey displayed photos from energy drink companies’ Facebook pages that showed children posing with cans of their products at public events. He recalled the efforts of the tobacco industry to attract young smokers to replace older customers who were dying off.

“Hook ’em early, keep ’em for life,“ he said. “Makes a lot of sense to me as a marketing promotion.“

The campaign on energy drinks began early last year after the death of 14-year-old Anais Fournier. The Maryland teenager, who had a malfunctioning valve in her heart, went into cardiac arrest after she apparently consumed two 24-ounce cans of Monster energy drink in a 24-hour period.

Her death certificate cited “cardiac arrhythmia due to caffeine intoxication.“ The two drinks contained 480 milligrams of caffeine, equal to the amount found in about 14 cans of soda and five times the American Academy of Pediatrics’ daily recommended allowance for adolescents. Monster Beverage Corp. has repeatedly denied any link between its product and Fournier’s death.

“It struck me that we were back into the same problem“ with energy drinks as with cigarettes, Durbin said in an interview. Young customers were unaware the drinks “had never been tested for safety or effectiveness“ by the FDA.

The senators became especially concerned after a report from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration showed the number of emergency room visits involving energy drinks doubled to nearly 21,000 from 2007 to 2011. About 1,500 of those visits were by children ages 12 to 17.

Medical professionals tend to agree that energy drinks are unsafe for minors, who are more vulnerable to adverse health effects from large amounts of caffeine. The energy drink industry disputes those claims, arguing that caffeine has been studied for decades and is safe for consumption.

Rodney Sacks, chairman and chief executive of Monster Beverage, said during the Senate hearing that the company’s products contain about 10 milligrams of caffeine per ounce, about half the level of caffeine in most coffee served in coffee bars. He and other industry officials argued that teens consume far more caffeine from coffee, tea and soft drinks.

Blumenthal acknowledged in an interview that the threat from energy drinks was not as severe as from cigarettes.

“Tobacco kills the consumer,“ he said. “Energy drinks can be bad for kids, but they are not as lethal as tobacco. Nor are they as addictive.“

The senators are still disturbed by common promotional tactics of the energy drink industry: buying advertising on youth-oriented networks such as MTV, funding development programs for teenage athletes, and sponsoring concerts, sporting and gaming events that attract adolescents.

Blumenthal likened the strategy to tobacco companies’ use of mascots, such as cowboys and cartoon characters, that young people would find cool. For energy drink companies “to deny that they’re appealing to children, it’s more than a little disingenuous,“ he said.

Industry officials said at the Senate hearing that their target customers are men between 18 and 35. They argued that their advertising is aimed at sporting events with broad appeal, such as the X Games and NASCAR, and is not trying to target adolescents.


)2013 Tribune Co.

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Distributed by MCT Information Services


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Mexico’s Pena Nieto defends ’arduous’ reform agenda

By Richard Fausset

Los Angeles Times (MCT)

MEXICO CITY - Despite the massive street protests that forced him to change the venue of his first state of the nation speech, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto used the occasion Monday to defend his ambitious reform agenda, pledging to forge ahead with what he called the “grand transformation“ that his country requires.

“It’s a demanding, arduous road that requires of us great strength, but it’s the only one that will bring us the Mexico that we want to build,“ Pena Nieto said.

In an apparent reference to the street protests - which forced him to delay the speech, and move it from the National Palace to Los Pinos, the presidential residence, a few miles away-he said that resistance was “a natural consequence when one carries out great transformations. The important thing is to not lose sight of the objective, to move forward and not stop.“

The hourlong speech was delivered nine months after the telegenic 47-year-old’s inauguration, a moment that also marked the return to power of his Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, which had ruled Mexico as a virtual one-party state for much of the 20th century. Pena Nieto ran on a promise that he and his party “know how to govern,“ and his reform package seeks to improve the economy, reduce crime and overhaul Mexico’s underperforming schools, tax collection systems and state-run oil company.

His ambitions have been complicated, however, by recent bad news and a surge of vigorous political opposition. The national economy has stalled, and in some states “self-defense“ groups have taken up arms to defend their towns against organized criminals. Meanwhile, thousands of members of a radical teachers union have taken over downtown Mexico City to protest the president’s education reform package, and proposed tax and oil-sector reforms could bring even more opponents into the streets in the coming days.

But Pena Nieto’s clear, straightforward speaking style tends to focus on positive achievements and the building of momentum, and Monday was no exception. The speech noted that sugar cane production was up, and praised Mexican athletes’ recent successes on the world stage as examples of good news.

More substantively, he thanked the lower house of congress for passing, on Sunday evening, the legislation that creates a scheme for evaluating teacher performance - one of the elements of education reform most detested by the teachers union. He said he was confident that the law would be passed by the upper chamber soon.

He blamed recent disappointing economic news on the “exterior environment.“ The Mexican Finance Ministry recently slashed its growth forecast from 3.1 percent to 1.8 percent, and experts say that the slowdown is partially due to the sluggish economic performance of the U.S. and other key Mexican trading partners.

But Pena Nieto used the bad news to argue that reforms of the fiscal system, as well as the highly important oil and gas sector, could not wait. “The opportunity to accelerate our economy is inside of our country - it’s in the decisions that we will make as a nation,“ he said.

The president also touted changes in his security strategy, saying that “more and better“ intelligence has helped authorities neutralize more than half of the 122 most wanted criminals in the country.

But his government has said that it will not release the names on the most-wanted list. For this and other reasons, a number of independent security experts have cast doubt on figures that appear to show that violence is on the wane.

Still, Pena Nieto said that homicides were down 13.7 percent between December 2012 and July of this year, compared with a comparable period a year earlier. He said that those homicides linked to federal crimes - meaning, usually, crimes connected to organized crime - were down 20 percent.


)2013 Los Angeles Times

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Cops: Dad of NY tot shot in stroller likely target

AP Photo NYJM203, NYJM103, NYJM104, NYJM101, NYJM102, NYNYT201

Eds: Raises reference to dad’s criminal record. Updates with further efforts to contact boy’s parents. Trims. AP Video. With AP Photos.


Associated Press

NEW YORK — Police investigating the death of a 1-year-old boy shot in the head in his stroller said Monday they believe his father was the target.

Authorities have some leads in the killing of Antiq Hennis on a Brooklyn street on Sunday night and believe his death may be gang-related, police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said. Antiq’s father, Anthony Hennis, has a criminal record and wasn’t cooperating with police in their investigation, said Kelly, who didn’t elaborate.

Hennis, 21, had just gone to pick up Antiq at the home of the baby’s mother, Cherise Miller, and take him to visit Hennis’ grandmother, police said. Hennis put the boy in the stroller and was pushing him across a street in the Brownsville neighborhood when shots rang out, police said.

Hennis’ grandmother, Lenore Steele, said she heard shots before Hennis ran up to her.

“And he fell on the ground and said, ‘Grandma, my baby got shot! My baby got shot, Grandma!’” said Steele, flanked by community group leaders and mayoral candidate Bill Thompson. “He was such a beautiful little baby, smiling and talking to everybody.”

Grief and outrage over Antiq’s shooting loomed over the annual West Indian Day Parade about a mile and a half away, where Mayor Michael Bloomberg called the killing “a tragedy for his family, for this community, for the entire city” and political candidates talked about gun violence.

Four shots were fired, and one hit Antiq in the left side of his head; he was declared dead on arrival at a hospital.

Hennis and Miller couldn’t immediately be reached for comment Monday. Possible phone numbers for their homes were disconnected or rang unanswered, the offices of attorneys who may have represented Hennis were closed and activists who spoke at a news conference said Miller wouldn’t be making a statement Monday.

Bishop Willie Billips, who drove the parents to the hospital to identify the body of their only child, said, “The family is suffering right now.”

“To have to take a young couple to identify their baby’s body is horrible,” said Billips, of the Church of Faith, Hope and Charity.

While killings hit a record low in the city last year and are on track to drop further this year, Bloomberg said, “that is cold comfort to any grieving parent or friends.”

As of Aug. 25, killings and shootings were down about 26 percent compared to the same time last year, the mayor’s office said. In the police precinct that includes Brownsville, there had been seven killings this year, half as many as during the same period last year.

Brownsville is a struggling section of central Brooklyn, with a poverty rate about twice the citywide rate, according to a 2012 analysis of government data by New York University’s Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy.

Antiq’s killing was at least the second case of a toddler being shot to death in a stroller this year.

In March, a woman walking home from a post office in Brunswick, Ga., with her 13-month-old son was accosted by a gunman who demanded her purse and then shot her in the leg and fired a shot at the child in his stroller, killing him, authorities said.

In another case of violence toward toddlers in New York, a 3-year-old boy was shot in the head and wounded Aug. 24 as he slept in his family’s Brooklyn apartment.

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