"Great Rotation"- A Wall Street fairy tale?

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wall Street's current jubilant narrative is that a rush into stocks by small investors has sparked a "great rotation" out of bonds and into equities that will power the bull market to new heights.


That sounds good, but there's a snag: The evidence for this is a few weeks of bullish fund flows that are hardly unusual for January.


Late-stage bull markets are typically marked by an influx of small investors coming late to the party - such as when your waiter starts giving you stock tips. For that to happen you need a good story. The "great rotation," with its monumental tone, is the perfect narrative to make you feel like you're missing out.


Even if something approaching a "great rotation" has begun, it is not necessarily bullish for markets. Those who think they are coming early to the party may actually be arriving late.


Investors pumped $20.7 billion into stocks in the first four weeks of the year, the strongest four-week run since April 2000, according to Lipper. But that pales in comparison with the $410 billion yanked from those funds since the start of 2008.


"I'm not sure you want to take a couple of weeks and extrapolate it into whatever trend you want," said Tobias Levkovich, chief U.S. equity strategist at Citigroup. "We have had instances where equity flows have picked up in the last two, three, four years when markets have picked up. They've generally not been signals of a continuation of that trend."


The S&P 500 rose 5 percent in January, its best month since October 2011 and its best January since 1997, driving speculation that retail investors were flooding back into the stock market.


Heading into another busy week of earnings, the equity market is knocking on the door of all-time highs due to positive sentiment in stocks, and that can't be ignored entirely. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.spx> ended the week about 4 percent from an all-time high touched in October 2007.


Next week will bring results from insurers Allstate and The Hartford , as well as from Walt Disney , Coca-Cola Enterprises and Visa .


But a comparison of flows in January, a seasonal strong month for the stock market, shows that this January, while strong, is not that unusual. In January 2011 investors moved $23.9 billion into stock funds and $28.6 billion in 2006, but neither foreshadowed massive inflows the rest of that year. Furthermore, in 2006 the market gained more than 13 percent while in 2011 it was flat.


Strong inflows in January can happen for a number of reasons. There were a lot of special dividends issued in December that need reinvesting, and some of the funds raised in December tax-selling also find their way back into the market.


During the height of the tech bubble in 2000, when retail investors were really embracing stocks, a staggering $42.7 billion flowed into equities in January of that year, double the amount that flowed in this January. That didn't end well, as stocks peaked in March of that year before dropping over the next two-plus years.


MOM AND POP STILL WARY


Arguing against a 'great rotation' is not necessarily a bearish argument against stocks. The stock market has done well since the crisis. Despite the huge outflows, the S&P 500 has risen more than 120 percent since March 2009 on a slowly improving economy and corporate earnings.


This earnings season, a majority of S&P 500 companies are beating earnings forecast. That's also the case for revenue, which is a departure from the previous two reporting periods where less than 50 percent of companies beat revenue expectations, according to Thomson Reuters data.


Meanwhile, those on the front lines say mom and pop investors are still wary of equities after the financial crisis.


"A lot of people I talk to are very reluctant to make an emotional commitment to the stock market and regardless of income activity in January, I think that's still the case," said David Joy, chief market strategist at Columbia Management Advisors in Boston, where he helps oversee $571 billion.


Joy, speaking from a conference in Phoenix, says most of the people asking him about the "great rotation" are fund management industry insiders who are interested in the extra business a flood of stock investors would bring.


He also pointed out that flows into bond funds were positive in the month of January, hardly an indication of a rotation.


Citi's Levkovich also argues that bond investors are unlikely to give up a 30-year rally in bonds so quickly. He said stocks only began to see consistent outflows 26 months after the tech bubble burst in March 2000. By that reading it could be another year before a serious rotation begins.


On top of that, substantial flows continue to make their way into bonds, even if it isn't low-yielding government debt. January 2013 was the second best January on record for the issuance of U.S. high-grade debt, with $111.725 billion issued during the month, according to International Finance Review.


Bill Gross, who runs the $285 billion Pimco Total Return Fund, the world's largest bond fund, commented on Twitter on Thursday that "January flows at Pimco show few signs of bond/stock rotation," adding that cash and money markets may be the source of inflows into stocks.


Indeed, the evidence suggests some of the money that went into stock funds in January came from money markets after a period in December when investors, worried about the budget uncertainty in Washington, started parking money in late 2012.


Data from iMoneyNet shows investors placed $123 billion in money market funds in the last two months of the year. In two weeks in January investors withdrew $31.45 billion of that, the most since March 2012. But later in the month money actually started flowing back.


(Additional reporting by Caroline Valetkevitch; Editing by Kenneth Barry)



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Spring Is Near! Punxsutawney Phil Doesn’t See His Shadow






From the perch of “Gobbler’s Knob,” a local hillside in Punxsutawney, Penn., a famous, roly-poly rodent named Phil has predicted an early spring, or put another way, the groundhog did not see his shadow today (Feb. 2), Groundhog Day.


Every year, the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club rises early with their charge and takes Phil the groundhog, a rodent that usually lives in an enclosure in the Punxsutawney Memorial Library, to Gobbler’s Knob for the weather-prediction ceremony. This year is Phil’s 127th prognostication.






“Punxsutawney Phil, the King of the Groundhogs, Seer of Seers, Prognosticator of Prognosticators, Weather Prophet without Peer, was awakened from his borrow at 7:28 a.m. with a tap of the President’s cane,” announced the Groundhog Club. The statement went on to say, “And so ye faithful, there is no shadow to see an early Spring for you and me.


Legend has it if Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow, six more weeks of winter weather are in store; if he doesn’t see a shadow, spring is around the corner.


How much stock should we put into Phil’s forecast? His handlers say the furball makes accurate predictions 100 percent of the time. Statistics tell a slightly different story: According to the Groundhog Club’s records, Phil has predicted about 99 long winters and 15 early springs, with nine years of records lost. Those predictions have been right only 39 percent of the time — 36 percent if you look at post-1969 predictions, when weather records are more accurate.


“He sees his shadow about 80 percent of the time and the other 20 percent he doesn’t,” Bill Deeley, who was one of Phil’s handlers, taking care of the groundhog for about 16 years, told LiveScience in 2010. “He’s pretty darn accurate,” said Deeley, who is now president of the Groundhog Club’s Inner Circle. The president is responsible for translating Phil’s proclamation of whether or not he saw his shadow.


So how did Phil become such a prestigious prognosticator?


The legend of the groundhog’s forecasting powers arguably dates back to the early days of Christianity in Europe when clear skies on the holiday Candlemas Day, celebrated on Feb. 2, meant an extended winter. The tradition was then brought to Germany, with the German twist being that if the sun made an appearance on Candlemas, a hedgehog would cast its shadow, thus predicting six more weeks of bad weather. More specifically, the legend states: “For as the sun shines on Candlemas Day, so far will the snow swirl in May …”


As some of Pennsylvania’s earliest settlers were German, they continued the tradition upon noticing a large population of groundhogs, which resemble the European hedgehog.


Phil’s kin in the wild are likely still snoozing. For these groundhogs, hibernation generally begins in October and ends in March or April (not on Feb. 2). During this deep sleep, groundhogs curl up into tight balls with their heads tucked between their hind legs. Their heartbeats slow from some 100 beats a minute to as few as 15; the body temperature drops from 95 degrees Fahrenheit (35 degrees Celsius) to 46 degrees Fahrenheit (8 degrees C); and breathing slows. This depressed state allows animals to conserve energy and live off their fat stores during the harsh winter months when food is scarce. [Sleep Tight! Photos of Snoozing Animals]


Even though pampered Phil doesn’t go into a deep sleep like his outdoor pals, the groundhog does begin to slow down on eating and activities as the days get shorter. “Our groundhog will eat 12 months out of the year,” Deeley said in 2010. “He’s like an eating machine from April until September 15,” before he starts to slow down.


Follow LiveScience on Twitter @livescience. We’re also on Facebook & Google+.


Copyright 2013 LiveScience, a TechMediaNetwork company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Science News Headlines – Yahoo! News





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Why is Beckham sitting on the bench for nothing?


PARIS (AP) — David Beckham has won league championships in three countries on two continents, earns millions of dollars in endorsements and his name is practically synonymous with celebrity itself. He has his own cologne, for goodness sake. So why is he even bothering to sit on the bench for the Paris Saint-Germain football club?


His royal highness of football doesn't need the money — and he's said he'll donate his PSG salary to charity — but he does need to start thinking about life after the game. At 37, Beckham is practically a dinosaur for the sport, and he acknowledged in his welcoming press conference on Thursday that he probably won't be in the team's starting lineup.


Instead, Beckham may be beginning to put in place a plan for life after the final whistle. Ellis Cashmore, a sociologist who writes about sports and media culture at Staffordshire University, said that prolonged exposure is always useful to celebrities building empires. In that way, the deal with PSG does double work: It keeps his name in lights for longer and also garners extra attention for the charitable contribution.


"When he does stop playing, which is going to be quite soon, his overall brand appeal will inevitably decline because we will inevitably forget about this guy," he said. "I think he's probably thinking, I want to stay in the shop window for a bit longer."


But Cashmore also cautioned against being too cynical in assessing Beckham's motives: "The guy is an athlete. He wants to do what he loves to do."


Bruno Satin, an independent players' agent who was with IMG for a decade, also said that the move to PSG — even if it's to sit on the bench — is a step up for Beckham.


"For him, to be on the PSG team, it's a higher level than being on the Los Angeles Galaxy," he said. "For the world of football, for real football, the Los Angeles Galaxy is nothing on the map of football."


Some wondered if Beckham was trying to avoid the notoriously sticky fingers of the French state with his plans to donate his salary.


But Sandra Hodzic, a tax lawyer with Salans, said the deduction an individual can take on such contributions is limited. Instead, it would be smarter for PSG to directly donate the salary — and take a big tax break in the process.


Doing so would have an added benefit for the club: UEFA, the governing body for European football, mandates that clubs break even. The donation could allow PSG to essentially write off Beckham's entire salary — a huge help for a team notorious for mega-contracts.


Beckham, meanwhile, would be better off trying to avoid becoming a French tax resident at all. So far, Hodzic said, he is making all the right moves: His family is staying in London, he plans to live only part-time in the country for less than six months, and his primary source of income —whether or not he donates his salary — isn't being earned in France.


Beckham's agent did not return calls for comment on specifics of the contract.


Still, the charitable contribution has raised the question about what Beckham is getting out of the deal. For one, he likely is still getting a cut of rights to his image. Jerseys with his name on them were already selling out at the PSG store on the Champs-Elysees on Friday.


Cashmore, who wrote a book called "Beckham," calls him a "marketing phenomenon" and estimates that about 70 percent of Beckham's income comes from endorsement deals — with Adidas, for instance. That makes salary almost irrelevant — especially for a man estimated by the Sunday Times Rich List to be worth 160 million pounds ($253 million).


But the football feeds the endorsements, Cashmore says.


"It makes an awful lot of business sense to perpetuate, to prolong his active competitive football career," he said, especially with a team that's doing fairly well this year. "It makes an awful lot of sense for him to showcase himself because it will generate more income from his various other sponsorship and licensing activities."


But certainly this move, as any at this late-stage in his playing career, is being made with an eye on what will come next. Cashmore said that when Beckham signed with the L.A. Galaxy, there was an understanding that he would eventually become an ambassador for American soccer. That plan clearly fell by the wayside — perhaps because Major League Soccer decided it was just too expensive to keep on the star after his presence on American soil failed to generate more interest in the game.


It's possible, Cashmore said, that Beckham is looking for a similar deal after his stint at PSG, which is Qatari-owned. The tiny, wealthy nation is hosting the World Cup in 2022, and Beckham's contract with PSG will establish a relationship with it; from there, a role as, say, an ambassador for the tournament would seem more natural.


"For his after-career conversion, it's important to have links with major actors in the world of sports," said Satin. And Qatar is certainly one. It has poured money into PSG, drawing major names like striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic. It also funds the satellite network Al Jazeera, which could provide Beckham with a platform. And then there's the World Cup.


In the end, though, Satin said the clue to Beckham's thinking may be as simple as the eternal draw of Paris.


"PSG has become a glamorous club, a pretty nice club in a beautiful city," said Bruno Satin, an agent. "It's just two hours on the Eurostar (train) from London."


____


AP Sports Writer Rob Harris contributed to this report from London.


____


Follow Sarah DiLorenzo at http://www.twitter.com/sdilorenzo


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Hillary: Secretary of empowerment




Girls hug U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during a 2010 tour of a shelter run for sex trafficking victims in Cambodia.




STORY HIGHLIGHTS


  • Donna Brazile: Clinton stepping down as Secretary of State. Maybe she'll run for president

  • She says as secretary she expanded foreign policy to include effect on regular people

  • She says she was first secretary of state to focus on empowering women and girls

  • Brazile: Clinton has fought for education and inclusion in politics for women and girls




Editor's note: Donna Brazile, a CNN contributor and a Democratic strategist, is vice chairwoman for voter registration and participation at the Democratic National Committee. She is a nationally syndicated columnist, an adjunct professor at Georgetown University and author of "Cooking with Grease." She was manager for the Gore-Lieberman presidential campaign in 2000.


(CNN) -- As Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton steps down from her job Friday, many are assuming she will run for president. And she may. In fact, five of the first eight presidents first served their predecessors as secretary of state.


It hasn't happened in more than a century, though that may change should Clinton decide to run. After all, she has been a game changer her entire life.


But before we look ahead, I think we should appreciate what she's done as secretary of state; it's a high profile, high pressure job. You have to deal with the routine as if it is critical and with crisis as if it's routine. You have to manage egos, protocols, customs and Congress. You have to be rhetorical and blunt, diplomatic and direct.



CNN Contributor Donna Brazile

CNN Contributor Donna Brazile



As secretary of state you are dealing with heads of state and with we the people. And the president of the United States has to trust you -- implicitly.


On the road with Hillary Clinton


Of all Clinton's accomplishments -- and I will mention just a few -- this may be the most underappreciated. During the election, pundits were puzzled and amazed not only at how much energy former President Bill Clinton poured into Obama's campaign, but even more at how genuine and close the friendship was.


Obama was given a lot of well-deserved credit for reaching out to the Clintons by appointing then-Sen. Hillary Clinton as his secretary of state in the first place. But trust is a two-way street and has to be earned. We should not underestimate or forget how much Clinton did and how hard she worked. She deserved that trust, as she deserved to be in the war room when Osama bin Laden was killed.


By the way, is there any other leader in the last 50 years whom we routinely refer to by a first name, and do so more out of respect than familiarity? The last person I can think of was Ike -- the elder family member who we revere with affection. Hillary is Hillary.


It's not surprising that we feel we know her. She has been part of our public life for more than 20 years. She's been a model of dignity, diplomacy, empathy and toughness. She also has done something no other secretary of state has done -- including the two women who preceded her in the Cabinet post.


Rothkopf: President Hillary Clinton? If she wants it



Hillary has transformed our understanding -- no, our definition -- of foreign affairs. Diplomacy is no longer just the skill of managing relations with other countries. The big issues -- war and peace, terror, economic stability, etc. -- remain, and she has handled them with firmness and authority, with poise and confidence, and with good will, when appropriate.


But it is not the praise of diplomats or dictators that will be her legacy. She dealt with plenipotentiaries, but her focus was on people. Foreign affairs isn't just about treaties, she taught us, it's about the suffering and aspirations of those affected by the treaties, made or unmade.








Most of all, diplomacy should refocus attention on the powerless.


Of course, Hillary wasn't the first secretary of state to advocate for human rights or use the post to raise awareness of abuses or negotiate humanitarian relief or pressure oppressors. But she was the first to focus on empowerment, particularly of women and girls.


She created the first Office of Global Women's Issues. That office fought to highlight the plight of women around the world. Rape of women has been a weapon of war for centuries. Though civilized countries condemn it, the fight against it has in a sense only really begun.


Ghitis: Hillary Clinton's global legacy on gay rights


The office has worked to hold governments accountable for the systematic oppression of girls and women and fought for their education in emerging countries. As Hillary said when the office was established: "When the Security Council passed Resolution 1325, we tried to make a very clear statement, that women are still largely shut out of the negotiations that seek to end conflicts, even though women and children are the primary victims of 21st century conflict."


Hillary also included the United States in the Trafficking in Person report. Human Trafficking, a form of modern, mainly sexual, slavery, victimizes mostly women and girls. The annual report reviews the state of global efforts to eliminate the practice. "We believe it is important to keep the spotlight on ourselves," she said. "Human trafficking is not someone else's problem. Involuntary servitude is not something we can ignore or hope doesn't exist in our own communities."


She also created the office of Global Partnerships. And there is much more.


She has held her own in palaces and held the hands of hungry children in mud-hut villages, pursuing an agenda that empowers women, children, the poor and helpless.


We shouldn't have been surprised. Her book "It Takes a Village" focused on the impact that those outside the family have, for better or worse, on a child's well-being.


As secretary of state, she did all she could to make sure our impact as a nation would be for the better.


Follow us on Twitter @CNNOpinion


Join us on Facebook/CNNOpinion


The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Donna Brazile.






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Murderer back in custody spends less than 2 minutes in court

The convicted murderer who was mistakenly allowed to leave Cook County jail is now back in custody. (WGN - Chicago)









Convicted murderer Steven Robbins is back in Indiana this afternoon, three days following his mistaken release from the Cook County Jail after being brought to Chicago to dispose of an old case against him, according to the Cook County sheriff's office.


As of about 2 p.m. Robbins was handed over to authorities in Michigan City, Ind., where he will resume serving his 60-year murder sentence at the Indiana Department of Correction, according to Frank Bilecki, a spokesman for Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart.


Before being driven to Indiana Robbins appeared midday at the Leighton Criminal Court Building court for less than two minutes before Judge Edward Harmening.








Robbins, wearing a black zip-up North Face jacket over a gray hoodie sweatshirt, dark blue jeans, and black and green gyms shoes, did not address the judge but leaned over a couple of times to whisper into Asst. Public Defender Todd Chatman’s ear. His hands were cuffed in front of him.


During the hearing Chatman emphasized to Harmening that Robbins was inadvertently let go, not that he escaped on his own accord.


“He had no intention to attempt to escape,’’ Chatman told the judge in open court.


Though an escape charge was dropped, the judge ruled the arrest warrant would stay on his record. Two sheriff’s deputies accompanied Robbins before the judge.


He was taken back into custody in Kankakee Friday night and on Saturday morning Robbins was held at the Cook County Sheriff's police lockup in Maywood prior to his court hearing, said Bilecki.


Robbins, 44, who was serving a 60-year sentence for murder in Indiana, was apprehended "without incident" about 10:55 p.m. Friday in the 400 block of Fraser Avenue in Kankakee, according to Bilecki.


“He was found at the home of an acquaintance, watching TV,’’ said Bilecki. “They caught him totally off guard.''


Robbins was wearing a wig while watching television and had also just gone grocery shopping,  according to Bilecki.


Once they got into the home, sheriff’s authorities were trying to keep everyone calm, including a couple of young children who were there with Robbins.


Bilecki said Dart was on the scene and assisted in the arrest.


Authorities tracked Robbins through interviews with family and friends who helped provide his location, according to the sheriff's office. 

Earlier, Dart took responsibility for mistakenly letting Robbins walk out of County Jail after a local charge against him was dismissed.


“We let people down, no mistake about it,” Dart said in an interview at sheriff’s offices in Maywood. “Our office did not operate the way it should have, clearly.”


The FBI, the U.S. Marshals Service and Cook County Crimestoppers had raised $12,000 as a reward for information leading to Robbins’ capture, he said.


Dart said his office is still looking at where and how the system broke down to allow Robbins’ mistaken release from the jail,  but he said that officials at the  jail had no paperwork showing he was serving time in an Indiana prison for murder.


Like other indigent people, Robbins was outfitted with clothing from Goodwill – a long-sleeve brown shirt and brown pants – before being released out the front entrance, Dart said. He also likely was given bus fare.


Dart said the sheriff’s office uses an archaic system – entirely paper-driven – in handling the movement of an average of about 1,500 inmates every day. Some are entering the jail after their arrest and others are being bused to courthouses around the county for court appearances.


The sheriff said the warrant for Robbins’ arrest should have been quashed by prosecutors when armed violence charges were dismissed against him in 2007. In addition, he said prosecutors signed off on the sheriff’s office traveling to Indiana to pick up Robbins at the prison in Michigan City and bring him back on the outstanding warrant.





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Turkey says tests confirm leftist bombed U.S. embassy


ISTANBUL (Reuters) - A member of a Turkish leftist group that accuses Washington of using Turkey as its "slave" carried out a suicide bomb attack on the U.S. embassy, the Ankara governor's office cited DNA tests as showing on Saturday.


Ecevit Sanli, a member of the leftist Revolutionary People's Liberation Army-Front (DHKP-C), blew himself up in a perimeter gatehouse on Friday as he tried to enter the embassy, also killing a Turkish security guard.


The DHKP-C, virulently anti-American and listed as a terrorist organization by the United States and Turkey, claimed responsibility in a statement on the internet in which it said Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan was a U.S. "puppet".


"Murderer America! You will not run away from people's rage," the statement on "The People's Cry" website said, next to a picture of Sanli wearing a black beret and military-style clothes and with an explosives belt around his waist.


It warned Erdogan that he too was a target.


Turkey is an important U.S. ally in the Middle East with common interests ranging from energy security to counter-terrorism. Leftist groups including the DHKP-C strongly oppose what they see as imperialist U.S. influence over their nation.


DNA tests confirmed that Sanli was the bomber, the Ankara governor's office said. It said he had fled Turkey a decade ago and was wanted by the authorities.


Born in 1973 in the Black Sea port city of Ordu, Sanli was jailed in 1997 for attacks on a police station and a military staff college in Istanbul, but his sentence was deferred after he fell sick during a hunger strike. He was never re-jailed.


Condemned to life in prison in 2002, he fled the country a year later, officials said. Interior Minister Muammer Guler said he had re-entered Turkey using false documents.


Erdogan, who said hours after the attack that the DHKP-C were responsible, met his interior and foreign ministers as well as the head of the army and state security service in Istanbul on Saturday to discuss the bombing.


Three people were detained in Istanbul and Ankara in connection with the attack, state broadcaster TRT said.


The White House condemned the bombing as an "act of terror", while the U.N. Security Council described it as a heinous act. U.S. officials said on Friday the DHKP-C were the main suspects but did not exclude other possibilities.


Islamist radicals, extreme left-wing groups, ultra-nationalists and Kurdish militants have all carried out attacks in Turkey in the past.


SYRIA


The DHKP-C statement called on Washington to remove Patriot missiles, due to go operational on Monday as part of a NATO defense system, from Turkish soil.


The missiles are being deployed alongside systems from Germany and the Netherlands to guard Turkey, a NATO member, against a spillover of the war in neighboring Syria.


"Our action is for the independence of our country, which has become a new slave of America," the statement said.


Turkey has been one of the leading advocates of foreign intervention to end the civil war in Syria and has become one of President Bashar al-Assad's harshest critics, a stance groups such as the DHKP-C view as submission to an imperialist agenda.


"Organizations of the sectarian sort like the DHKP-C have been gaining ground as a result of circumstances surrounding the Syrian civil war," security analyst Nihat Ali Ozcan wrote in a column in Turkey's Daily News.


The Ankara attack was the second on a U.S. mission in four months. On September 11, 2012, U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three American personnel were killed in an Islamist militant attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.


The DHKP-C was responsible for the assassination of two U.S. military contractors in the early 1990s in protest against the first Gulf War, and it fired rockets at the U.S. consulate in Istanbul in 1992, according to the U.S. State Department.


It has been blamed for previous suicide attacks, including one in 2001 that killed two police officers and a tourist in Istanbul's central Taksim Square. It has carried out a series of deadly attacks on police stations in the last six months.


Friday's attack may have come in retaliation for an operation against the DHKP-C last month in which Turkish police detained 85 people. A court subsequently remanded 38 of them in custody over links to the group.


(Writing by Nick Tattersall; Editing by Mark Heinrich)



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Wall Street surges to five-year highs; Dow ends above 14,000

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Stocks rose to five-year highs on Friday, with the Dow closing above 14,000 for the first time since October 2007, after jobs and manufacturing data showed the economy's recovery remains on track.


The S&P touched its highest since December 2007 after a 5 percent gain in January, which was its best start to a year since 1997. The index is now just about 60 points away from its all-time intraday high of 1,576.09.


Employment grew modestly in January, with 157,000 jobs added. That was slightly below expectations, but Labor Department revisions showed 127,000 more jobs were created in November and December than previously reported.


Analysts attributed the market's robust showing so far this year partly to a deluge of cash flowing into equities.


Investors poured $12.7 billion into U.S.-based stock mutual funds and exchange-traded funds in the latest week, concluding the strongest four-week flows into stock funds since 1996, data showed on Thursday.


"There is a lot of money looking for a home, and people are finally deciding the bond market is done and moving money into equities," said Edward Simmons, managing director and partner at HighTower in Portland, Maine.


"I see the rotation (of assets) pushing the market up in the face of not-massive amounts of good news," he said. "People are overlooking the higher risk in equities."


Other reports released Friday showed the pace of growth in the U.S. manufacturing sector picked up in January to its highest level in nine months, U.S. consumer sentiment rose more than expected last month, while December construction spending also beat forecasts.


"All the data seems to keep pointing to a slowly, steadily improving economy," said Eric Kuby, chief investment officer at North Star Investment Management Corp in Chicago.


The Dow Jones industrial average <.dji> was up 149.21 points, or 1.08 percent, at 14,009.79. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.spx> was up 15.06 points, or 1.01 percent, at 1,513.17. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.ixic> was up 36.97 points, or 1.18 percent, at 3,179.10.


With the day's gains, major equity indexes rose five straight weeks.


More than 600 stocks on the NYSE and the Nasdaq combined hit 52-week highs on Friday, including Google which rose as high as $776.60, before closing at $775.60, up 2.6 percent.


Investors were also attuned to corporate earnings, with a trio of Dow components reporting profits that beat expectations.


Exxon Mobil ended flat at $90.04 after reporting results while Chevron added 1.2 percent to $116.50.


Drugmaker Merck & Co fell 3.3 percent to $41.83 after a cautious 2013 outlook.


Generic drugmaker Perrigo reported a better-than-expected second-quarter profit and its shares jumped 4.7 percent to $105.28.


Of the 252 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported earnings so far, 69 percent have exceeded expectations, according to Thomson Reuters data. That is a higher proportion than over the past four quarters and above average since 1994.


Overall, S&P 500 fourth-quarter earnings are estimated to have grown 4.4 percent, according to the data, up from a 1.9 percent forecast at the start of the earnings season but well below a 9.9 percent profit growth forecast on October 1.


Dell Inc gained 2.9 percent to $13.63 after sources said the company was nearing an agreement to sell itself to a buyout consortium led by its founder, Michael Dell, and private equity firm Silver Lake Partners.


(Reporting By Angela Moon; Editing by Kenneth Barry)



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NFL's Goodell: Proper tackling, HGH key issues


NEW ORLEANS (AP) — NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says the league needs to make football safer by doing more to eliminate blows to the head and knees and by suspending players for illegal hits.


During his annual news conference two days before the Super Bowl, Goodell also said Friday he wants a "new generation" of the Rooney Rule because "we didn't have the outcomes we wanted" when none of 15 recent coach and general manager jobs were given to a minority candidate.


Goodell hopes and expects testing for human growth hormone to start next season, even though the league and the players' union are still at an impasse after 18 months of back-and-forth.


He vowed to be "relentless" about keeping pay-for-pain bounties out of the game.


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Exclusive: Obama leaning toward picking McCarthy for EPA chief – sources






WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama is leaning toward choosing Gina McCarthy, a top official in charge of air quality at the Environmental Protection Agency, to run the EPA in his second term, according to two sources familiar with the matter.


McCarthy, currently the assistant administrator for the EPA Office of Air and Radiation, would take on the top job as the agency leads Obama’s push for measures to fight climate change.






McCarthy would replace current EPA chief Lisa Jackson, who said in December she planned to step down.


A final decision has not been made, and one source cautioned that Bob Perciasepe, Jackson’s deputy, was still in the mix for the administrator post.


An announcement could still be a couple weeks away.


McCarthy would bring more gender equality to Obama’s revamped cabinet. The president has faced criticism for appointing white men to vacancies at the departments of state, defense, and treasury.


McCarthy has served previously as commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection.


Asked for reaction, a White House spokesman said he did not have any personnel announcements to make.


(Editing by Alistair Bell and Sandra Maler)


Weather News Headlines – Yahoo! News





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Hillary: Secretary of empowerment




Girls hug U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during a 2010 tour of a shelter run for sex trafficking victims in Cambodia.




STORY HIGHLIGHTS


  • Donna Brazile: Clinton stepping down as Secretary of State. Maybe she'll run for president

  • She says as secretary she expanded foreign policy to include effect on regular people

  • She says she was first secretary of state to focus on empowering women and girls

  • Brazile: Clinton has fought for education and inclusion in politics for women and girls




Editor's note: Donna Brazile, a CNN contributor and a Democratic strategist, is vice chairwoman for voter registration and participation at the Democratic National Committee. She is a nationally syndicated columnist, an adjunct professor at Georgetown University and author of "Cooking with Grease." She was manager for the Gore-Lieberman presidential campaign in 2000.


(CNN) -- As Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton steps down from her job Friday, many are assuming she will run for president. And she may. In fact, five of the first eight presidents first served their predecessors as secretary of state.


It hasn't happened in more than a century, though that may change should Clinton decide to run. After all, she has been a game changer her entire life.


But before we look ahead, I think we should appreciate what she's done as secretary of state; it's a high profile, high pressure job. You have to deal with the routine as if it is critical and with crisis as if it's routine. You have to manage egos, protocols, customs and Congress. You have to be rhetorical and blunt, diplomatic and direct.



CNN Contributor Donna Brazile

CNN Contributor Donna Brazile



As secretary of state you are dealing with heads of state and with we the people. And the president of the United States has to trust you -- implicitly.


On the road with Hillary Clinton


Of all Clinton's accomplishments -- and I will mention just a few -- this may be the most underappreciated. During the election, pundits were puzzled and amazed not only at how much energy former President Bill Clinton poured into Obama's campaign, but even more at how genuine and close the friendship was.


Obama was given a lot of well-deserved credit for reaching out to the Clintons by appointing then-Sen. Hillary Clinton as his secretary of state in the first place. But trust is a two-way street and has to be earned. We should not underestimate or forget how much Clinton did and how hard she worked. She deserved that trust, as she deserved to be in the war room when Osama bin Laden was killed.


By the way, is there any other leader in the last 50 years whom we routinely refer to by a first name, and do so more out of respect than familiarity? The last person I can think of was Ike -- the elder family member who we revere with affection. Hillary is Hillary.


It's not surprising that we feel we know her. She has been part of our public life for more than 20 years. She's been a model of dignity, diplomacy, empathy and toughness. She also has done something no other secretary of state has done -- including the two women who preceded her in the Cabinet post.


Rothkopf: President Hillary Clinton? If she wants it



Hillary has transformed our understanding -- no, our definition -- of foreign affairs. Diplomacy is no longer just the skill of managing relations with other countries. The big issues -- war and peace, terror, economic stability, etc. -- remain, and she has handled them with firmness and authority, with poise and confidence, and with good will, when appropriate.


But it is not the praise of diplomats or dictators that will be her legacy. She dealt with plenipotentiaries, but her focus was on people. Foreign affairs isn't just about treaties, she taught us, it's about the suffering and aspirations of those affected by the treaties, made or unmade.








Most of all, diplomacy should refocus attention on the powerless.


Of course, Hillary wasn't the first secretary of state to advocate for human rights or use the post to raise awareness of abuses or negotiate humanitarian relief or pressure oppressors. But she was the first to focus on empowerment, particularly of women and girls.


She created the first Office of Global Women's Issues. That office fought to highlight the plight of women around the world. Rape of women has been a weapon of war for centuries. Though civilized countries condemn it, the fight against it has in a sense only really begun.


Ghitis: Hillary Clinton's global legacy on gay rights


The office has worked to hold governments accountable for the systematic oppression of girls and women and fought for their education in emerging countries. As Hillary said when the office was established: "When the Security Council passed Resolution 1325, we tried to make a very clear statement, that women are still largely shut out of the negotiations that seek to end conflicts, even though women and children are the primary victims of 21st century conflict."


Hillary also included the United States in the Trafficking in Person report. Human Trafficking, a form of modern, mainly sexual, slavery, victimizes mostly women and girls. The annual report reviews the state of global efforts to eliminate the practice. "We believe it is important to keep the spotlight on ourselves," she said. "Human trafficking is not someone else's problem. Involuntary servitude is not something we can ignore or hope doesn't exist in our own communities."


She also created the office of Global Partnerships. And there is much more.


She has held her own in palaces and held the hands of hungry children in mud-hut villages, pursuing an agenda that empowers women, children, the poor and helpless.


We shouldn't have been surprised. Her book "It Takes a Village" focused on the impact that those outside the family have, for better or worse, on a child's well-being.


As secretary of state, she did all she could to make sure our impact as a nation would be for the better.


Follow us on Twitter @CNNOpinion


Join us on Facebook/CNNOpinion


The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Donna Brazile.






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Reward increased to $30,000 in Hadiya Pendleton slaying

The best friend of Hadiya Pendleton talks about the moments before her friend was shot in Chicago on January 31, 2013. (Heather Charles, Chicago Tribune)









As community members marched in memory of Hadiya Pendleton today, officials announced the reward for information in the slaying of the King College Prep sophomore has been increased to $30,000.


Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy and other police officials were expected to join several pastors at her high school, King College Prep, to announce the increased reward. After that, an anti-violence march in Hadiya's honor started at King, 4445 S. Drexel Blvd.


Hadiya had just finished her final exams at King College Prep, and was hanging out with friends from the school's volleyball team when she was gunned down Tuesday in Harsh Park, in the 4400 block of South Oakenwald Avenue. Thursday afternoon, police announced the reward for information leading to an arrest in the shooting had increased to $24,000, up from $11,000 announced Wednesday.








Dozens of adults and children marched this afternoon from King Prep High School to Harsh Park, the scene of the shooting.

They were escorted by at least six police vehicles as the crowd chanted, urging anyone with information about Pendleton's slaying to come forward.

"If you know who did this, turn them in!" shouted Melvin, a man who led the march but did not want to provide his last name out of fear of retaliation. "If you don't support this, next it might be you!"

When the march reached Harsh Park, Melvin urged Chicago police to hire more new officers, not just redistribute desk workers.


Raven Barnes, 18, a King College Prep senior who was friends with Hadiya, said she "always had a smile on her face."
 
"I never thought it would happen to Hadiya because she's one of the nicest people," Barnes said. "She didn't deserve it."
 
Hadiya recently broke up an "altercation" between Barnes and another girl, Barnes recalled. She said Hadiya convinced her to avoid the conflict and swear off fighting with other girls for good.
 
"She just was a person who hated violence," Barnes said. "She didn't want any violence ... ever. It's just so sad that violence took her life."


Darcell Igbo, who was Hadiya's volleyball coach since her freshman year, remembered her as "goofy" and always having a positive attitude. "She was one of the nice kids," he said.

Igbo recalled one game where he hollered Hadiya's name from the sidelines, and she looked toward him just before the ball smacked her in the leg.
 
"She just kind of shook it off," he said, chuckling. "She laughed at it. We all laughed at it."
 
Igbo said he hopes Hadiya's death raises awareness for the "senselessness" of the gun violence plaguing Chicago streets.
 
"I don't know how many more lives it's going to take," he said, tears streaming down his face. "It should only take one."


Hadiya and the others had sought shelter from a rainstorm under a canopy at the park around 2:20 p.m. Tuesday when a gunman jumped a fence, ran toward them and opened fire, police said.

As the teens scattered, Hadiya and two teenage boys were shot. Hadiya was hit in the back and pronounced dead at Comer Children's Hospital less than an hour after the shooting. The wounds suffered by the boys were not life-threatening.


Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy stressed that neither Hadiya nor anyone in the group she was with were involved with gangs. But it appears the gunman mistook the students for members of a rival gang, he said. The shooter was last seen fleeing in a white Nissan.

“These were good kids by everything that I learned," McCarthy said at a Wednesday news conference. "Wrong place at the wrong time.”


Pastor Courtney Maxwell, the family’s pastor, has offered $6,000, increasing the reward to $30,000, according to the statement. 

Hadiya was shot a little more than a week after performing with the King College Prep band in the Washington, D.C. area during President Barack Obama's inauguration festivities. The shooting occurred in a park about a mile north of Obama's Kenwood home.

The shooting has drawn the attention of both the White House, which is pushing for national gun control, and City Hall as Chicago closes on a violent January. Hadiya was the 42nd homicide victim this year in the city, where killings last year climbed above 500.

Hadiya's father, Nathaniel Pendleton, pleaded for someone to step forward and bring the 15-year-old's killer to justice.

"She was destined for great things," he said.

Hadiya was a majorette with the band at King, one of the city's elite selective-enrollment schools. She dreamed of going to Northwestern University and talked about becoming a pharmacist or a journalist, maybe a lawyer.

Police have reported no arrests.


Chicago Tribune reporter Patrick Svitek contributed.


chicagobreaking@tribune.com





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Suicide bomber kills guard at U.S. embassy in Turkey


ANKARA (Reuters) - A far-leftist suicide bomber killed a Turkish security guard at the U.S. embassy in Ankara on Friday, officials said, blowing open an entrance and sending debris flying through the air.


The attacker detonated explosives strapped to his body after entering an embassy gatehouse. The blast could be heard a mile away. A lower leg and other human remains lay on the street.


Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said the bomber was a member of the Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C), a far-left group which is virulently anti-U.S. and anti-NATO and is listed as a terrorist organization by Washington.


The White House said the suicide attack was an "act of terror" but that the motivation was unclear. U.S. officials said the DHKP-C were the main suspects but did not exclude other possibilities.


Islamist radicals, extreme left-wing groups, ultra-nationalists and Kurdish militants have all carried out attacks in Turkey in the past. There was no claim of responsibility.


"The suicide bomber was ripped apart and one or two citizens from the special security team passed away," said Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan.


"This event shows that we need to fight together everywhere in the world against these terrorist elements," he said.


Turkish media reports identified the bomber as DHKP-C member Ecevit Sanli, who was involved in attacks on a police station and a military staff college in Istanbul in 1997.


KEY ALLY


Turkey is a key U.S. ally in the Middle East with common interests ranging from energy security to counter-terrorism and has been one of the leading advocates of foreign intervention to end the conflict in neighboring Syria.


Around 400 U.S. soldiers have arrived in Turkey over the past few weeks to operate Patriot anti-missile batteries meant to defend against any spillover of Syria's civil war, part of a NATO deployment due to be fully operational in the coming days.


The DHKP-C was responsible for the assassination of two U.S. military contractors in the early 1990s in protest against the first Gulf War and launched rockets at the U.S. consulate in Istanbul in 1992, according to the U.S. State Department.


Deemed a terrorist organization by both the United States and Turkey, the DHKP-C has been blamed for suicide attacks in the past, including one in 2001 that killed two police officers and a tourist in Istanbul's central Taksim Square.


The group, formed in 1978, has carried out a series of deadly attacks on police stations in the last six months.


The attack may have come in retaliation for an operation against the DHKP-C last month in which Turkish police detained 85 people. A court subsequently remanded 38 of them in custody over links to the group.


"HUGE EXPLOSION"


U.S. Ambassador Francis Ricciardone emerged through the main gate of the embassy shortly after the explosion to address reporters, flanked by a security detail as a Turkish police helicopter hovered overhead.


"We're very sad of course that we lost one of our Turkish guards at the gate," Ricciardone said, describing the victim as a "hero" and thanking Turkish authorities for a prompt response.


U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland condemned the attack on the checkpoint on the perimeter of the embassy and said several U.S. and Turkish staff were injured by debris.


"The level of security protection at our facility in Ankara ensured that there were not significantly more deaths and injuries than there could have been," she told reporters.


It was the second attack on a U.S. mission in four months. On September 11, 2012, U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three American personnel were killed in an attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.


The attack in Benghazi, blamed on al Qaeda-affiliated militants, sparked a political furor in Washington over accusations that U.S. missions were not adequately safeguarded.


A well-known Turkish journalist, Didem Tuncay, who was on her way in to the embassy to meet Ricciardone when the attack took place, was in a critical condition in hospital.


"It was a huge explosion. I was sitting in my shop when it happened. I saw what looked like a body part on the ground," said travel agent Kamiyar Barnos, whose shop window was shattered around 100 meters away from the blast.


CALL FOR VIGILANCE


The U.S. consulate in Istanbul warned its citizens to be vigilant and to avoid large gatherings, while the British mission in Istanbul called on British businesses to tighten security after what it called a "suspected terrorist attack".


In 2008, Turkish gunmen with suspected links to al Qaeda, opened fire on the U.S. consulate in Istanbul, killing three Turkish policemen. The gunmen died in the subsequent firefight.


The most serious bombings in Turkey occurred in November 2003, when car bombs shattered two synagogues, killing 30 people and wounding 146. Part of the HSBC Bank headquarters was destroyed and the British consulate was damaged in two more explosions that killed 32 people less than a week later. Authorities said those attacks bore the hallmarks of al Qaeda.


(Additional reporting by Daren Butler and Ayla Jean Yackley in Istanbul, Mohammed Arshad and Mark Hosenball in Washington; Writing by Nick Tattersall; Editing by Stephen Powell)



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S&P 500 posts biggest monthly gain since October 2011

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Stocks edged lower on Thursday on caution ahead of Friday's all-important jobs report, but the S&P 500 still posted its best monthly gain since October 2011.


The benchmark S&P 500 advanced 5.1 percent in January as investors cheered a compromise that temporarily postponed the impact of the "fiscal cliff" and fourth-quarter earnings were better than expected.


The S&P 500 registered its largest monthly advance since a rise of more than 6 percent in October 2011 and the best January showing since a 6.1 percent jump in 1997. For the month, the Dow gained 5.8 percent and the Nasdaq rose 4.1 percent.


Investors expect a pullback in equities after the recent gains, though they have bought on dips over the past four weeks. The largest daily decline on the S&P 500 so far in 2013 was Wednesday's 0.39 percent drop after data showed the economy contracted in the fourth quarter of 2012.


On Friday, the government is due to release January's employment figures at 8:30 a.m. (1330 GMT). Economists polled by Reuters expect non-farm payrolls to show employers added 160,000 jobs compared with a rise of 155,000 in December. The unemployment rate is likely to hold steady at 7.8 percent.


A survey by payroll processing company ADP on Wednesday showed private sector employment rose higher than expected last month, but the government's measure of jobless benefits claims increased last week.


"It's the calm before the potential storm. The uncertainty about tomorrow's numbers comes from that fact that we had a decent ADP report but the weekly claims were not so great," said Randy Frederick, managing director of active trading and derivatives for Charles Schwab in Austin, Texas.


In a separate report, the Commerce Department said American incomes rose 2.6 percent last month, the biggest increase since December 2004.


"We could see an overly sensitive market to a bad number tomorrow, given that we've been up without a major correction, and that makes the market sensitive to the downside."


Friday will also bring reports on consumer confidence, U.S. manufacturing, construction spending and car sales.


Limiting losses on the Nasdaq composite index, Qualcomm gained 3.9 percent to $66.02 after the world's leading supplier of chips for cellphones beat analysts' expectations for quarterly profit and revenue and raised its targets for the year.


Facebook shares fell 0.8 percent to $30.98 after falling as low as $28.74 a day after the social network company said it doubled its mobile advertising revenue in the fourth quarter. However, growth trailed some of Wall Street's most aggressive estimates.


The Dow Jones industrial average <.dji> was down 49.84 points, or 0.36 percent, at 13,860.58. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.spx> was down 3.85 points, or 0.26 percent, at 1,498.11. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.ixic> was down 0.18 points, or 0.01 percent, at 3,142.13.


UPS shares lost 2.4 percent to $79.29 after reporting fourth-quarter earnings that were below analysts' estimates on Thursday and forecasting weaker-than-expected profit for 2013.


Constellation Brands shares tumbled 17.4 percent to $32.36 after the U.S. Justice Department moved to stop Anheuser-Busch InBev from buying the half of Mexican brewer Grupo Modelo that it does not already own. Constellation would have distributed Corona beer in the United States if the transaction had been approved.


Thomson Reuters data through Thursday morning shows that of the 231 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported earnings this season, 69.3 percent have exceeded expectations, a higher proportion than over the past four quarters and above the average since 1994.


Overall, S&P 500 fourth-quarter earnings rose 3.7 percent, according to Thomson Reuters data. That's above a 1.9 percent forecast at the start of the earnings season but well below a 9.9 percent profit growth forecast on October 1.


(Reporting By Angela Moon; Editing by Nick Zieminski and Kenneth Barry)



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Gorillas to Be Protected with New Congo National Park






The Republic of Congo has declared a new national park that conservationists hope with protect a core population of western lowland gorillas, a critically endangered species, as well as other threatened species, the Wildlife Conservation Society announced today (Jan. 31).


The WCS discovered a population of 125,000 western lowland gorillas in the northern part of Congo in 2008. After the discovery, the Congolese government pledged to protect the area with a national park, the WCS said in a statement.






The Ntokou-Pikounda National Park was finally created by the government on Dec. 28, 2012. It covers an area of 1,765 square miles (4,572 square kilometers) and includes about 15,000 gorillas, 8,000 elephants and 950 chimpanzees, two other species threatened by human activities, according to the statement.


“The Republic of Congo has shown the world its commitment to protect the largest population of gorillas on the planet,” WCS president and CEO Cristi√°n Samper said in the statement. “We commend the Congolese government for its leadership and foresight to set aside lands so that wildlife can flourish.”


The new park includes an area named the “Green Abyss” by WCS researchers that has a rich population of gorillas, the WCS said. [Video: Congo western lowland gorillas.]


Gorillas across central Africa, including the western lowland gorillas, face threats from deforestation of their habitat, wars and poachers who hunt them for bushmeat, as well as the spread of the Ebola virus.


Western lowland gorillas are one of four gorilla subspecies; the other three are the mountain gorillas, the eastern lowland gorillas and the Cross River gorillas (the world’s rarest great ape). The eastern lowland gorilla is classified as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, while the other three subspecies are all listed as critically endangered.


Reach Andrea Thompson at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @AndreaTOAP. Follow OurAmazingPlanet on Twitter @OAPlanet. We’re also on Facebook and Google+.


Copyright 2013 OurAmazingPlanet, a TechMediaNetwork company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Green News Headlines – Yahoo! News





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Ready to rumble: Super Bowl fans get in the game


NEW YORK (AP) — You don't have to be a football player to be a part of the action on Super Bowl Sunday.


Coca-Cola is asking people to vote for an online match between three groups competing in a desert for a Coke on Game Day. Pepsi and Toyota are using viewers' photos in their ads. Audi let people choose the end of its Super Bowl ad, while Lincoln based its spot on more 6,000 tweets from fans about their road trips.


These are just some ways advertisers have found to get viewers involved in the excitement on Game Day by luring them online. And they're going well beyond encouraging fans to tweet or "like" their ads on websites like Twitter Facebook.


They're trying to get the most of their Super Bowl ads, which cost nearly $4 million for a 30-second spot, by drawing people online. Companies that advertise during the Super Bowl get a 20 percent increase in Web traffic on the day of the game, according to the analytics arm of software maker Adobe. They also have a higher online audience than average in the week after.


"We're seeing better and more unique ways of getting people involved," said Robert Kolt, an advertising instructor at Michigan State University. "You want people to be engaged."


PepsiCo, which is sponsoring the Super Bowl halftime show, said its goal was to create buzz online with a monthlong campaign that went well beyond a voiceover saying "brought to you by Pepsi."


For about two weeks, Pepsi asked fans online and via a digital billboard in New York's Times Square to submit their photos for a chance to appear in a 30-second "intro" spot to air right before the halftime show.


The company said the effort was more popular than it expected: Pepsi expected to get 2,000 photos, but got 100,000 instead. About 1,000 photos were chosen to be a part of the intro. They will be stitched together in a "flipbook" style video that appears to show one person jumping to the tune of "Countdown," a song by Beyoncé, who is performing during the halftime show.


"We don't just want (viewers) on pepsi.com, we want them telling their friends 'I just did something with Pepsi," said Angelique Krembs, vice president of trademark Pepsi marketing. "You want the friend to tell the friend about Pepsi. You don't want Pepsi to always be the one talking about Pepsi."


Ford Motor Co.'s Lincoln enlisted Jimmy Fallon, host of NBC's "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon," to sift through thousands of tweets submitted by fans about road trips for its Super Bowl spot.


The story line for the 30-second ad, which was developed from 6,117 tweets, features rapper Joseph "Rev Run" Simmons and Wil Wheaton, who acted in the iconic science-fiction series "Star Trek: The Next Generation."


"We drove passed an alpaca farm, a few of them were meandering on the highway and my sister screamed, "It's the Alpacalypse!," reads one tweet.


"Drove through a movie set in Palmdale, Calif., and didn't realize it. Got out and enjoyed the catered food," reads another tweet.


Coca-Cola created an online game that pits a troupe of showgirls, biker-style "badlanders" and cowboys against each other in a race to find a Coke in the desert. Viewers are encouraged to vote for their favorite group and set up obstacles that delay other groups on CokeChase.com. Obstacles include a traffic light or getting a pizza delivered, which waste time.


The game is alluded to in a Super Bowl ad and the winning group — which has the most "for" votes and the least "obstacle" votes will be announced after the game. Coke will also give the first 50,000 people who vote a free Coke. The campaign is more interactive than Coca-Cola's online effort last year, which featured a real-time animation of Polar Bears reacting to what was happening during the Super Bowl.


"Last year's effort was much more passive. It was you watching bears watching the game," said Pio Schunker, senior vice president of integrated marketing. "This year we thought, 'Can we up ante on the fun factor by handing the reins over to consumers?'"


Audi let viewers choose one of three possible endings for its Game Day spot by voting online on Jan. 25 for 24 hours.


The ad shows a boy who gets enough confidence from driving his father's Audi to the prom to kiss his dream girl, even though he is then decked by her boyfriend. Audi allowed people to vote for one of three potential endings for the ad.


In one possible ending, the boy drives home alone in triumphant. Another ending shows him palling around with friends. The third shows the boy going home and finding a prom picture of his parents in which his dad has a similar black eye.


The first ending, called "Worth it," won.


Audi, which declined to say how many people voted, said "Worth It," was by far the most popular, getting more than half of the total views and the most "thumbs up" out of all three versions


"This year, Audi wanted to elevate fan interaction by allowing them to take part in the creative process and have a voice in how our spot should end," said Loren Angelo, Audi's general manager of brand marketing. "


The strategy seems to be working. On YouTube, the Audi ad is the third-most viewed Super Bowl ad so far, with 2.5 million views, behind a Toyota ad staring Kaley Cuoco of CBS' "The Big Bang Theory" and a teaser for Mercedes-Benz featuring supermodel Kate Upton, according to YouTube.com


________


Online:


Coca-Cola "Coke Chase" campaign: www.cokechase.com


Pepsi's "Halftime" campaign: http://halftime.pepsi.com/


Toyota's "Wish Granted" ad: http://www.youtube.com/user/ToyotaUSA?feature=watch


Ford's Lincoln "Steer the Script" campaign: http://www.steerthescript.com/


Audi's "Prom" ad: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ANhmS6QLd5Q


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Fear and loathing in Egypt's Port Said

























Behind the mask


Scales of justice


Moment of truth


Fans celebrate


Armed and ready


Rally at the club


Portrait of the dead


ACAB


Down with Morsi


Army in control


Port Said women protest


Al Masry ultras


The sound of machine guns


Aftermath


Protest


Shots fired


Empty stands


Harrowing reminder





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STORY HIGHLIGHTS


  • Chaos erupted in Egypt after 21 people were sentenced to death following a football riot

  • More than 70 people died after match in Port Said between local club Al Masry and Al Ahly

  • Egyptian league was suspended and has yet to restart due to threats of further violence

  • Verdicts for 52 other defendants who were arrested after riot is expected March 9




(CNN) -- The faces of more than 70 young men and boys bore down on the crowd of thousands outside Al Ahly's training complex in Cairo.


As many as 15,000 members of the Ahlawy, the organized ultras fan group of Egypt's most popular soccer club, had gathered here early for the news they, and the country, had been waiting almost a year to hear.


At 10 a.m. a judge was to deliver a verdict on one of the darkest moments in the history of the game.


It happened on February 1, 2012, when more than 70 -- those young men and boys whose faces now appear on a billboard high above the entrance of the club -- lost their lives after a match in the Mediterranean city of Port Said, against local club Al Masry.


Most of the dead were crushed when the Al Masry fans stormed the pitch.








The players sprinted for their lives, finding sanctuary in the dressing room. And then the floodlights went out.


When the lights came back on 10 minutes later, the dead lay piled in a tunnel, in front of a locked, metal gate that had prevented escape before it collapsed under the weight of bodies.


Direct action


Seventy-three people were arrested, many accused of murder. They were mostly Al Masry fans, but included several members of the security forces.


The man allegedly responsible for cutting the power to the lights was also arrested. The Ahlawy suspected that a hidden hand was at work.


There were conspiracy theories, many asked questions: was this just a football rivalry gone very wrong? Or did police allow the violence as payback against the ultras for their part in the revolution?


Read: Clashes erupt after Egypt court sentences


The Ahlawy had played a crucial role in the revolution. They were an organized group of tens of the thousands of young men willing to fight the police -- as they had both inside and out of Egypt's soccer stadiums for the previous four years -- to make their voices heard.


The authorities denied any collusion. It was a tragic accident, they said. Hooliganism and ineptitude, no more, no less, no hidden hand.


But many of the Ahlawy fans were not convinced. The Egyptian soccer league was canceled and the Ahlawy waged a successful direct action campaign to prevent its restart until justice had been served.


The young men waited for the verdict on Saturday. Several had come armed, in anticipation of a further postponement or, worst still, a not guilty verdict. Some carried clubs, others homemade pistols and double-barreled sawn-off shotguns.


Tear gas


At 10 a.m. the judge rose on national television and delivered his verdict. Twenty-one of the accused were sentenced to death. The verdicts for the remaining defendants are expected March 9.


The news swept through the crowd, reducing those in its path to tears of joy; teenagers who had lost friends, mothers who had lost sons, wives who had lost husbands.











Scores dead in Egypt soccer riot














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"It's a very good decision by the court," said Mihai, a member of the Ahlawy who had come to hear the verdict. As with all the ultras, he declined to give his last name.


The guns that had been brought in anticipation of violence were fired into the sky in celebration.


One fan fired an automatic pistol until it jammed. He inspected the piece of failing, unfamiliar equipment. Unable to fix it, he tucked it into his belt and jumped into the sea of celebrating men.


"We hope it will be a perfect ending for this story. We have been waiting for this for so long. For 21 to get executed is a very good decision. So now we wait for the police decision. For sure it wasn't just them that made this," Mihai said.


Back in February, with the raw memories of Port Said just a few weeks old, the Ahlawy had demanded that those responsible should be put to death.


With the court verdict, they received their wish. Justice, they believed, had been served. At least partially.


"The police will be (put to) trial on March 9," said Mohamed, a founding member of the Ahlawy.


The previous night -- on the Egyptian revolution's anniversary -- Cairo was blanketed in tear gas as protesters roamed the streets surrounding Tahrir Square, venting their anger at President Mohamed Morsy and what they see as a lack of any real reforms.


Many, including the Ahlawy, expected further confrontations after the verdict.


But as the crowd moved inside the complex, holding a rally on the club's main soccer pitch, it became clear that no fighting would take place that day.


"I feel satisfied that some of those who committed what we suffered a year ago are going to face what they deserve," said Ahmed, another founding member of the Ahlawy who believed that the right decision had been made.


"It's a strong verdict but they don't deserve less than a strong verdict. Nobody ever wants to see someone dying but when someone kills he deserves a death sentence. He deserves that his life is taken. I don't see a way the police can get away with this."


Port Said ignited


Not everyone was happy, especially those who saw the verdict as a potential springboard to challenge Morsy, whom many of the Ahlawy view as no different from Hosni Mubarak, the former dictator who ruled Egypt for almost 30 years.


"They are giving us something of a painkiller to take out the anger from the young lads -- for me it is not enough," said Hassan, an Ahly fan standing on the training ground pitch.









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"All the other political movements and parties were looking at what was going to happen today. Everyone had their hopes for the ultras and now they have given us this painkiller and it has lost its momentum of something really happening against the new regime," he added.


But what had -- if only temporarily -- calmed the Ahlawy, it ignited Port Said.


The verdicts were greeted with astonishment, disbelief, and anger by Al Masry's fans and the families of the 73 accused who had gathered outside the prison in Port Said where the suspects were held.


Like the Ahlawy supporters in Cairo, they too had come prepared. Two policemen were shot dead as the relatives tried to storm the prison. The police fired back. At least 30 people were killed in clashes. Among them was a former Al Masry player.


President Morsy addressed the nation and announced a 30-day curfew, from 9 p.m. until 6 a.m. in the cities worst effected by the violence.


A few hours before the first curfew was due to fall, a storm rolled into Port Said. The streets were empty, the skies dark and pregnant with rain as 9 p.m. approached.


The only sound was the faint, periodic burst of gunfire. It emanated from near the Al Arab police station by the sea.


Smoldering barricades


On approaching it, the dead streets suddenly came alive, as if the entire energy of the city had been focused on one point. Barricades made from burning tires separated the police from groups of young men, exchanging rocks for gunfire.


The clashes had followed the funeral of more protesters, killed the day after the violence outside the prison.


"There are some injuries here," a member of the Red Crescent said as he sheltered from the gunfire in a side street. Ambulances flew by, their sirens blaring.


"We've seen gun bullets from the government. In four days we have seen more than 450 (injured)."


The prospects of a hastily arranged march to defy Morsy's curfew, looked bleak.


But at 8.30 p.m. a crowd of thousands gathered near the same spot the Red Crescent had been waiting to ferry the injured to hospital. They marched through the smoldering barricades towards where the gunfire had previously come from.


Now the army, not the police, was in charge.


Armored personnel carriers and armed troops were stationed on street corners and outside important military and civilian buildings.


At its core were the fans of Al Masry ultras group the Green Eagles. But they were by no means alone. The marchers had come from all sections of Port Said. Several hundred women marched together, denouncing Morsy and Cairo.


The curfew came and went, the crowd mocking its passing. "It's 9 o'clock!" they chanted as they passed the stationed troops.


But there was no animosity towards the army. The police was the enemy. Protesters took it in turns to hug and kiss the young soldiers.


Few would readily admit to being Al Masry fans, nor say whether they were there on that fateful night almost a year ago that set in motion this chain of deadly events.


Vendetta


What they would say is that they believed a miscarriage of justice had taken place, that Morsy had sacrificed Port Said to prevent chaos in Cairo, that traditional antipathy towards Port Said was at play.


"People are truly sure that these people (the 21 sentenced to death) didn't kill anyone. We didn't do it and they (the Ahlawy) don't believe we didn't do this," said Tariq Youssef, a 32-year-old accountant who was on the march with a friend.


"Al Masry will not be back for five years. I'm a big Masry fan. But I can't go anywhere. All the supporters for the big teams in Cairo or anywhere believe that Al Masry supporters did this."


For Tariq, admitting to being an Al Masry supporter outside of Port Said was impossible.


"They say, 'You killed them the Ahly supporters. You are like a terrorist.' Nobody believes us we didn't do anything here. There will be no football in the next five years."


As the march moved back towards the place it had started, machine gun fire rang out once again.


This time it was all around the march, front and back. The crowd scattered. A protester had been shot dead at the back of the march, next to the Al Arab police station.


"In three days we have lost 21 people, judged to be executed, and also about 39 murdered and many injured so there is no family which have not lost a friend, a colleague, a neighbor.


"You can consider this a sort of vendetta between the people and the police," said Muhammad el Agiery, an English tutor who had stayed until the end.


"People are going to stay out all of the night, every day for a month. They reject and refuse the curfew imposed by Morsy," he added.


The next morning the storm was gone and the sun was shining. But the cycle of violence continues. Another funeral march will begin, another barricade will likely be set on fire, and another curfew broken.







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