The Chinese targets (Good news): early completion of post-quake rebuilding

BEIJING - China had invested 360 billion RMB (about US$52.7 billion) in post-earthquake reconstruction as of April, one-third of the planned total, and hoped to complete all work within two years, a government official said on Friday.
In the opinion of Mu Hong, vice director of China's National Development and Reform Commission, most rebuilding of the basic housing and infrastructure had begun and shown planned progress.
The government planned to complete reconstruction before September 2010, after starting in September last year. The target was about one year earlier than it was previously expected.
"Reconstruction work has gotten off to a good start, as one-third of the plan has been completed in one-fourth of the scheduled time," Mu said.
On the other hand, the planned investment totaled about 1 trillion RMB, covering more than 200,000 projects, which included 300 billion RMB of direct investment from the central government, of which 154 billion RMB had been already put into the rebuilding, Mu said.
With sufficient funding, reconstruction of essential infrastructure, such as railroads, highways and airports, was able to be completed and the facilities returned to service, he said.
What is more! Up to 95.7 percent of the reconstruction for rural houses had started, 76.6 percent of which had been finished, according to Mu.
Tang Kai, director of the urban planning department of the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, said rural residents in Sichuan Province's quake zone would be back in permanent houses by this winter.
Urban residents would be in new homes before September 2010, as 48.9 percent of urban houses had been reinforced and reconstruction of 40.1 percent of the destroyed houses had begun, with 8.9 percent finished.
He said as it was expected that 98 percent of the factories and 95 percent of the shops had re-opened.

Schools had also been a focus of the rebuilding, as 70 percent of the students were back in their schools, and the government vowed to have all students in their schools by next spring, according to Mu.



Zhang Ziyi and her prospective husband Vivi Nevoattended the wonderful and romantic wedding of Salma Hayek

Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi and her prospective husband Vivi Nevo came to Venice (Italy) for the wedding of the actress Salma.
Mexican actress Salma Hayek and her husband, French billionaire Franois-Henri Pinault, tied the knot for the second time on April 25, in a star-studded ceremony in Venice, Italy, foreign media reports.

Hayek married French businessman Francois-Henri Pinault at the City Hall in Paris on February 14 this year in a low-key service.

Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi and her prospective husband Vivi Nevo were in attendance, along with other celebrity friends of the couple, including Penélope Cruz, Edward Norton, Woody Harrelson, Olivier Martinez and former French President Jacques Chirac.

The wedding was a black tie affair. Zhang Ziyi and Neno were spotted hand-in-hand wearing black as they arrived for the nuptials.

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Obama's newest policy today: Budget, education, and Russian relations

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama will discuss about how much of the taxpayers' money he plans not to spend in the first budget of his young administration this morning.

Obama has signed off on 121 cuts totaling $17 billion in his 2010 budget, which is about one-half of 1 percent of the $3.4 trillion budget Congress has approved for next year.

After his budget remarks, Obama will return to the White House for a meeting on education reform with the Rev. Al Sharpton, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

Later, the president will meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in the Oval Office.

In the end, the president will sign a proclamation for the National Day of Prayer on this Thursday.

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The Dell Inspiron 6000 is a very nice compromise between the different extremes of the laptop market. Weighing over 3 kg it is not an ultra-light machine, but it isn't a huge desktop replacement PC either. Instead it offers a bit of both, decent performance even with games, while still portable.Thanks to its ATI Radeon Mobility X300 128 MB graphics card, which is an optional upgrade, the Dell Inspiron 6000 in this configuration scores a nice 3DMark03 benchmark of 2536, which is pretty much identical to an older desktop I have with a Radeon 9600 Pro. That means you can get all games to at least run on this laptop, even if the framerates in Doom 3 won't be nothing to write home about. It is also more than sufficient to watch DVDs on, although the DVD / CDRW drive is a bit on the noisy side.The Dell Inspiron 6000 comes normally with a 6-cell battery. So I ordered a second battery, a 9-cell one, and for some reason unknown to me Dell decided to make both batteries 9-cell, instead of giving me a small and a big one. Nice, two of these 80 Wh batteries will last a complete transatlantic flight, each one giving up to 5 hours of power.The laptop comes with a modem, ethernet card, and WiFi, of which I am using the latter. That was very easy to set up, I just needed to type in the WEP-key which I use to prevent others from surfing on my connection, and I was ready to go. You can also get Bluetooth, but I didn't take this optional extra.The Dell Inspiron 6000 does not have a "stick" for mouse control, only a touchpad. A Kensington Pocket Mouse is a recommended extra. Having only used desktop keyboards before, a laptop keyboard takes time getting used to, but the keys are big enough and have enough "depths" to give a real typing feeling.Up to now I only used the laptop at home, where he does everything I wanted him to do. The real test will come once I travel with it, because I mainly bought it for being able to work, play games, and surf the net, while on the move.

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May 5, 2009 Rockets beaten the Lakers, leading 1-0

LOS ANGELES -- The final stats didn't tell the whole story. They never do with the Rockets, a team that has shined since losing its leading scorer (Tracy McGrady) and is captained by a player (Shane Battier) who averages around seven points and five rebounds a game.

As Rockets coach Rick Adelman stood outside the visitor's locker room before his team shocked the Lakers 100-92 (RECAP BOX) to take Game 1 of their Western semifinal, he smiled and shook his head when reminded that his team wasn't able to beat the Lakers in the regular season, losing all four games. It was the look of a man who knew there were more to those results than the final box score.

"The only thing that was consistent in those games was in the fourth quarter they hurt us," said Adelman. "In the fourth quarter, Kobe generally came out and took over that quarter or at least controlled it and they turned their defensive intensity up. They really took us out of things and we really showed our youth."

It was a point of emphasis for Adelman before the game, who reminded his players they were in position to beat the Lakers in all four games, leading in two and being within two possessions in the others, before being outscored 127-80 in the final period.

With that in mind, the Rockets knew they couldn't have picked a better time to play the Lakers. Not only was Los Angeles coming off a one-week layoff after beating Utah, but it was winning games by compiling big leads and fading at the end. Adelman told his Rockets, if they could "stay within shouting distance" of the Lakers, things would be different this time around. This Lakers team wasn't closing out games like they had during the season.

He was right. The Rockets not only lead for most of the game but finally outscored the Lakers 30-25 in the fourth quarter, while never trailing late in the game.

The game plan for the Rockets was simple. Even Battier, who shadowed Kobe Bryant for most of the game, used one of Phil Jackson's favorite words in describing their style. "We are not going to run with these guys, they are so good offensively that we had to muck it up," he said. "We did a great job of controlling the tempo."

The Rockets wanted to force the Lakers into taking tough shots from the perimeter by playing aggressive defense. They wanted the Lakers to earn their points and not compile 20-plus points from the free throw line -- like they did against Utah. They also wanted to put Bryant (25 points, 27 field goal attempts) in a situation where he felt the need to do too much, and thus, try to take over the game.

As the game progressed, it was becoming clear the Lakers were stuck in the Rockets' trap and would never be able to break away.

"We understood that [Bryant] wasn't going to be making any more plays for the guys around him," said Rockets guard Brent Barry. "I think he decided to put the team up on his shoulders and we've seen that time and time again from Kobe Bryant and we decided to tighten the screws. It was a credit to Shane, every time he's turning around he's seeing No. 31."

At that moment, Barry turned around and saw Battier, who had just gotten out of the shower and was changing in the locker next to him.

"See, he's all over the place," he said. 'He's even right behind me, as I speak."

Stud of the Night
Yao Ming. The sight of Ming going down and grabbing his right knee after being bumped by Bryant late in the game, no doubt caused everyone in Houston to collectively hold their breath. After all, it was the same knee Ming broke a couple years ago, causing him to miss 34 games. But this was a different Ming. As he was being helped off the court and into the locker room by trainer Keith Jones, he refused to go into the corridor, wincing as he tried to prove that he was fit to play. He quickly turned around as Keith pleaded with him to get it checked and instead checked himself back into the game. He then proceeded to hit a jump shot and four free throws to put the game away. It was an emotional finish to what was a stellar game for Ming, who had a team-high 28 points and 10 rebounds.

Dud of the Night
Lamar Odom. He might not be a starter against the Rockets as he was at the end of the Jazz series (Andrew Bynum will start against Yao), but the Lakers will need more from Odom than nine points and five rebounds if they are going to beat Houston. Not only do they need more from their third-best player but they need a boost from their bench, which only had nine points from four players outside of Odom.

Under the Radar
Shane Battier. The final stats never do Battier (six points, three rebounds) any justice. He is a tenacious defender and is able to get through to his teammates and into the heads of his opponents. Bryant, who was battling the flu, elbowed Battier after the ball was stolen from him and looked frustrated the whole game. "He did a fantastic job on Kobe, he was always there," said Barry. "He was on him the whole night, finding out what flavor gum he was chewing."

Stat of the Night
25 to 12. The Rockets were able to make 25-of-29 free throw attempts, including 10-of-10 from Ming, while the Lakers only made 12-of-19 attempts from the charity stripe, their fewest of the post-season. Aside from a 13-point difference, the disparity showed the Rockets were willing to fight for their points and make contact while the Lakers settled for bad shots from the perimeter far too often.

Courtside Confidential
Last year around this time, the Lakers were gathered together in a Los Angeles hotel as Kobe won his first MVP. This year, the honor went to LeBron James, as Bryant finished a distant second in voting. Odom thinks that Bryant should have won the MVP and the Lakers could have helped his chances if they had the best record in the league, instead of finishing a game behind Cleveland in the standings. "We let some games slip away, and I think if we would have had the best record I think we would have given Kobe a better opportunity to win it," said Odom. "Every year I've been in the league, he's had an MVP year; but I think everyone just expects that from him." Odom thinks the voting media usually has their favorites and that it's not always the best player who wins the award. "No offense to you guys, but you might have a different reason for voting for a guy," he said. "One guy might be great in an interview and the other one is not, you're going to vote for the one who's a great interview."

Looking Ahead
Before the game, Phil Jackson stressed the importance of winning series openers. He should know. When a Jackson coached team wins Game 1, they are 42-0. When they don't? Well, they are 6-8. The Lakers will try to make that 7-8 now after losing home-court advantage and dropping their first home game of the postseason. Surprisingly, Jackson and some Lakers actually took some solace in the fact that they nearly won a game they had no business being in at times; promising things would be different in Game 2. "That wasn't a surprise to us, not to me at least," said Jackson. "The outcome of that game is not as bad as it seems. We're OK. We feel confident we'll come back and give a good effort on Wednesday night."

Cheers for the winning of the Rockets

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Some Tips about How to Buy Good Portable MP3 Player

As it is known to the Digital fans, Digital MP3 players are the latest craze and absolute popular products among the music lovers, the old and the young .Small, easy to use and carry, portable MP3 players undoubtedly offer a great experience to those who love listening to song, music and video music, Though small, a portable MP3 player, can store a lot of songs and allows anybody to listen for his favorite music. This cool gadget has so many features which usually supports various music formats. It can play music; images and videos. Some of them also built in microphones and FM stereo systems. With a variety of portable MP3 players on the market, it is sometimes normal that you confuse which one to buy.


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