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Thursday, 10-May-2012 09:01 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Barcelona to clash with Chelsea

Chelsea are bracing for a Barcelona onslaught on Tuesday as the wounded Catalans bid to recover from domestic disappointment by reaching their third Champions League final in four seasons.
The holders -- stunned 1-0 by Chelsea in last week's semi-final first leg -- completed a week to forget on Saturday when a 2-1 defeat to Real Madrid at Camp Nou effectively handed the domestic title to their bitter rivals.
Chelsea will hope to exploit any lingering hangover from Saturday's traumatic reverse to Real as they attempt to avenge their agonising elimination to Barca at the same stage three years ago. <a href="http://www.franklinandmarshallvente.com/">Franklin Marshall Outlet</a>
Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola refused to hit the panic button after his side's loss to Real, expressing confidence that his players would be able to raise themselves again for the visit of Chelsea.
"We'll see on Tuesday if these two defeats have affected us, we have to rest now and then pick oursleves up and see if we can find a way to beat such a physical side as Chelsea," Guardiola said.
Guardiola acknowledged however that Chelsea, who rested eight members of the side which started the first leg in Saturday's 0-0 draw with Arsenal, were likely to be the fresher of the two teams.
"They have managed to rest some players and we have not, but as I say we'll get some rest and start again," Guardiola said.
"I have not been disappointed with our play in these two defeats and we'll forget them now and prepare well for Tuesday."
Chelsea, too, are unlikely to lose sight of the fact that they were comprehensively outplayed for much of the first leg.
Barcelona enjoyed 70 percent possession, hit the woodwork twice and carved out three other scoring chances that they would normally have expected to convert with ease. <a href="http://www.ropafranklinandmarshall.com/">Franklin Marshall Vente</a>
Chelsea's lone shot on target proved to be Didier Drogba's first-half winner, scored on the counter-attack after a mistake by Lionel Messi.
Interim Chelsea coach Roberto Di Matteo is under no illusions about the scale of the task in front of his side.
"It's going to be a high-intensity game, mentally as well, with pressure," Di Matteo said. "Every player that's going to go on the pitch is at risk."
Yet Di Matteo is hopeful that the drive of Chelsea's senior citizens -- John Terry, Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole, Petr Cech and Drogba were all outstanding in the first leg -- augurs well for Tuesday.
"The personal ambition of these players comes through in these games," Di Matteo said. "You can see the drive and also quality that these players have.
"They want to show it and I think there is a good group of players here that have shown it in the past and are now continuing to show their great strength." <a href="http://www.franklin-marshallvente.com/">Franklin et Marshall Pas Cher</a>
Another standout performer in the first leg was Gary Cahill, who is finally starting to show the sort of form which persuaded the club to sign him from Bolton in January for around £7 million.
Cahill and Terry have conceded just one goal in the five games the two have started together in central defence, with another clean sheet coming against Arsenal at the Emirates on Saturday.
Cahill is delighted with his form but expects he will need to raise his game to another level to withstand Barcelona's relentless pressure on Tuesday.
"I think we require similar to the home leg: a little element of luck, defensively as a whole unit everyone sticking to their task and the concentration level," Cahill said.
"The other night, I think physically I've run more in games, but the concentration level had to be unbelievably high and that's what all the lads did. So we need that again," said Cahill, who has never played in the Camp Nou.
"Obviously, I haven't played there yet, but the lads tell me that the pitch is massive," he said.
"It's tough because there'll be a lot of space there and fantastic players filling it. We know how tough it's going to be but we go there to give it our all and with a good start."

Thursday, 10-May-2012 09:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Heavy rains to continue in central, E. China

BEIJING, April 24 (Xinhua) -- China's meteorological authority said Tuesday that rain in central and eastern China will gain strength until Wednesday. <a href="http://www.franklinandmarshallvente.com/">Franklin Marshall Outlet</a>
Most regions in central and eastern China will experience rainstorms into Tuesday night, and torrential rains of 50 mm to 130 mm will hit some regions, the National Meteorological Center (NMC) said. <a href="http://www.ropafranklinandmarshall.com/">Franklin Marshall Vente</a>
The heavy rain and a cold front will bring down temperatures by 4 to 8 degrees Celsius in northern and northeastern China, as well as regions along the Yellow River and the Huaihe River, while some parts of northern China will see temperatures fall by up to 12 degrees, the NMC said. <a href="http://www.franklin-marshallvente.com/">Franklin et Marshall Pas Cher</a>
The NMC warned people in regions affected by the rain to take precautions against disasters, such as urban waterlogging, lightning, torrential flooding, landslides and mudslides.
The rain will gradually weaken starting Wednesday, according to the NMC.

Thursday, 10-May-2012 08:59 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Dow, S&P rise on earnings, Apple jumps late

The Dow and the S&P 500 rose on Tuesday after strong earnings and upbeat outlooks from big manufacturers like 3M Co , but Apple's slide ahead of its results drove the Nasdaq down.
Shares of Apple Inc , however, reversed course after the bell when the iPad maker reported quarterly revenue that handily beat Wall Street's estimates. Apple's stock jumped 6.9 percent to $599 in extended trading after closing at $560.28, down 2 percent. <a href="http://www.franklinandmarshallvente.com/">Franklin Marshall Outlet</a>
The stock of the world's most valuable company has fallen in recent weeks after its huge run higher. At the close on Tuesday, Apple's stock was up 38 percent for the year - in contrast with earlier this month, when it was up nearly 60 percent for the year to date.
During the regular session, 3M reported an increase in quarterly profit and slightly lifted its full-year outlook, helping the Dow, along with AT&T Inc .
The earnings season so far has been stronger than analysts expected. With results in from 153 S&P 500 companies, more than three-fourths have topped analysts' estimates, according to Thomson Reuters Proprietary Research.
"U.S. corporate earnings are actually coming in pretty strong," said Natalie Trunow, chief investment officer of equities at Calvert Investment Management in Bethesda, Maryland, whose firm manages about $13 billion in assets.
"Negatives are being paid attention to more at the moment than the positives, but the positive earnings reports are providing some support here."
The Dow Jones industrial average gained 74.39 points, or 0.58 percent, to close at 13,001.56. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose 5.03 points, or 0.37 percent, to 1,371.97. But the Nasdaq Composite Index slipped 8.85 points, or 0.30 percent, to 2,961.60.
Adding to weakness in tech, Netflix Inc shares sank 13.9 percent to $87.68, a day after it forecast slower subscriber growth this quarter. <a href="http://www.ropafranklinandmarshall.com/">Franklin Marshall Vente</a>
Texas Instruments Inc forecast second-quarter revenue growth above estimates, signaling the end of a prolonged inventory-related decline in demand, but the results weren't enough to counter the broader weakness in tech. Its stock slid 1.7 percent to $31.36.
Many analysts have cautioned that a correction is near, given the stock market's sharp rally since October. The S&P 500 is up 9.1 percent so far for the year.
"When you see the big spread between the Dow and the Nasdaq, you know that there's a bit of a flight to safety there, so people are leaving the over-the-counter stocks and buying the higher quality securities. So New York didn't look as strong as it might have appeared," said Douglas Davis, chief executive officer of Davis-Rea in Toronto.
But the S&P 500 should hold near-term support at 1,340 in the current retreat before rallying again, according to Brown Brothers Harriman analysts. The index held at 1,340 during a pullback in early March, which coincides with a 23.6 percent retracement of the rally from October.
AT&T advanced 3.6 percent to $31.72, while 3M gained 1.6 percent to $88.49. Shares of United Technologies , which also reported results that beat forecasts, edged up 0.1 percent to close at $79.85.
Economic data took a backseat to earnings news. <a href="http://www.franklin-marshallvente.com/">Franklin et Marshall Pas Cher</a>
U.S. single-family home prices rose for the first time in 10 months in an encouraging sign the battered sector was starting to stabilize, according to the latest S&P/Case-Shiller report.
Separately, the government said single-family home sales sagged to their lowest level in four months, but sales in the previous three months were revised higher than initially thought. U.S. consumer confidence edged slightly lower in April, according to a report from the Conference Board, a private research group.
About 6.2 billion shares changed hands on the New York Stock Exchange, the Nasdaq and NYSE Amex, below the 6.8 billion average daily volume so far this year.
Almost two issues rose for every one that fell on the NYSE. And despite the Nasdaq's decline, advancers also outpaced decliners by a ratio of about 2 to 1.

Thursday, 10-May-2012 08:57 Email | Share | | Bookmark
US company unveils plan to mine asteroids for riches

Space-faring robots could be extracting gold and platinum from asteroids within 10 years if a new venture backed by two Silicon Valley titans and filmmaker James Cameron gets off the ground as planned.
Outside experts are skeptical about the project because it would probably require untold millions or perhaps billions of dollars and huge advances in technology. But the same entrepreneurs pioneered the selling of space rides to tourists — a notion that seemed fanciful not long ago, too. <a href="http://www.franklinandmarshallvente.com/">[b]Franklin Marshall Outlet[/b]</a>
"Since my early teenage years, I've wanted to be an asteroid miner. I always viewed it as a glamorous vision of where we could go," Peter Diamandis, one of the founders of Planetary Resources, told a news conference Tuesday at the Museum of Flight in Seattle. The company's vision "is to make the resources of space available to humanity."
The inaugural step, to be achieved in the next 18 to 24 months, would be launching the first in a series of private telescopes that would search for the right type of asteroids.
The plan is to use commercially built robotic ships to squeeze rocket fuel and valuable minerals out of the rocks that routinely whiz by Earth. Company leaders predict they could have their version of a space-based gas station up and running by 2020.
Several scientists not involved in the project said they were simultaneously thrilled and wary, calling the plan daring, difficult — and very pricey. They don't see how it could be cost-effective, even with platinum and gold worth nearly $1,600 an ounce. An upcoming NASA mission to return just 2 ounces (60 grams) of an asteroid to Earth will cost about $1 billion.
But the entrepreneurs behind Planetary Resources Inc. have a track record of profiting off space ventures. Diamandis and co-founder Eric Anderson pioneered the idea of selling rides into space to tourists, and Diamandis' company offers "weightless" airplane flights. <a href="http://www.ropafranklinandmarshall.com/">[b]Franklin Marshall Vente[/b]</a>
Investors and advisers to the new company include Google CEO Larry Page and Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt and Cameron, the man behind the blockbusters "Titanic" and "Avatar."
Anderson said the group will prove naysayers wrong. He said asteroids will be mined for water, as well as precious metals. Extracting water is key to deep space exploration, as well as for driving costs down, he said.
The water can be used for drinking and growing food but also for fuel, which is made by separating the hydrogen and oxygen, Anderson said.
He acknowledged the many potential pitfalls.
"There will be times when we fail. There will be times when we have to pick up the pieces and try again," Anderson said.
The mining, fuel processing and later refueling would all be done without humans, Anderson said.
The target-hunting telescopes would be tubes only a couple of feet long, weighing only a few dozen pounds and small enough to be held in your hand. They should cost less than $10 million, company officials said.
The idea that asteroids could be mined for resources has been around for years. Asteroids are the leftovers of a failed attempt to form a planet billions of years ago. Most of the remnants became the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, but some pieces were pushed out to roam the solar system.
Asteroids are made mostly of rock and metal and range from a couple of dozen feet wide to nearly 10 miles long. The new venture targets the free-flying asteroids, seeking to extract from them the rare Earth platinum metals that are used in batteries, electronics and medical devices, Diamandis said.
Water is very expensive to get off the ground so the plan is to take it from an asteroid to a spot in space where it can be converted into fuel. From there, it can easily and cheaply be shipped to Earth orbit for refueling commercial satellites or spaceships from NASA and other countries.
In the past couple of years, NASA and other space agencies have shifted their attention from the moon and other planets toward asteroids. Because asteroids don't have any substantial gravity, targeting them costs less fuel and money than going to the moon, Anderson said.
There are probably 1,500 asteroids that pass near Earth that would be good initial targets. They are at least 160 feet (50 meters) wide, and Anderson figures 10 percent of them have water and other valuable minerals.
"A depot within a decade seems incredible. I hope there will be someone to use it," said Andrew Cheng at John Hopkins University's Applied Physics Lab, who was the chief scientist for a NASA mission to an asteroid a decade ago. "And I have high hopes that commercial uses of space will become profitable beyond Earth orbit. Maybe the time has come." <a href="http://www.franklin-marshallvente.com/">[b]Franklin et Marshall Pas Cher[/b]</a>
Diamandis and Anderson would not disclose how much the project will cost overall. By building and launching quickly, their company hopes to operate much more cheaply than NASA.
Harvard's Tim Spahr, director of the Minor Planet Center, said getting drilling equipment into space and operating safely sounds "expensive and difficult."
"It would be awfully hard to make money on it," Spahr said.
Richard Binzel, professor of planetary science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said the effort "may be many decades ahead of its time. But you have to start somewhere."
Anderson said the benefit to humanity — and investors — is worth it.
"We do understand that the pot of gold at the end of this rainbow, if it's successful, will be big."[youtube]


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