Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Majority of Americans Would Opt to Whiten Their Teeth to Enhance Their Smile

Dr Ann Demarais

Majority of Americans Would Opt to Whiten Their Teeth to Enhance Their Smile

All About Whitening

Get It Right! Educational Campaign to Highlight Importance of Involving a Dental Professional in Teeth Whitening for a Whiter Smile

CULVER CITY, CA, September 27, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Philips, the makers of Sonicare power toothbrushes and Zoom whitening, announced today the launch of a new educational campaign called Get It Right!, which encourages people to engage a dental professional in the teeth whitening process to ensure a healthy smile worthy of a great first impression. Smiling is an instinct that starts as early as one month of age and as we grow it becomes one of our most important social assets. “Smiling affects not only how someone feels, but also how others perceive that person,” said psychologist, executive coach and author Ann Demarais, Ph.D. “In fact, research suggests there are a number of benefits to smiling – from a mood enhancer to being more socially appealing.”

Dr Bill Dorfman

The majority of Americans agree. A recent telephone survey conducted by Harris Interactive, and commissioned by Philips as part of the Get It Right! campaign, found that 89 percent of adults agree that a bright or white smile makes a good first impression and 55 percent believe a person’s smile is the best physical indicator of someone’s friendliness. Given this, it is no surprise that the survey also found that more than half (53 percent) of adults say if they could enhance one thing about their smile it would be the whiteness of their teeth, more than the straightness of their teeth or any other cosmetic feature.¹

The survey also revealed that while most adults feel that a smile is important for how a person is perceived, there is a gap between the positive perception towards teeth whitening and the action that people take. Only 20 percent of adults have had their teeth whitened by in-office treatments² despite the fact that more than three quarters (77 percent) of adults agree that a white smile is best achieved by seeing a dental professional. Findings further support that 57 percent of adults do not believe over-the-counter (OTC) products are as effective as professional teeth whitening and 29 percent do not believe OTC products work at all.

“Teeth need care and attention like any other part of the body and teeth whitening could play an important role in teeth maintenance,” explained Dr. Bill Dorfman, DDS, one of the creators of Zoom whitening and best-selling author. “However, many factors must be considered when whitening a smile, such as teeth sensitivity or a medical condition. No one knows more about oral health than a dental professional who can help advise patients about whitening options, including professional treatments, to ensure safe results for an optimal smile.”

There are numerous causes of discolored teeth, including age, genetic factors, food and beverage consumption, tobacco use, poor dental hygiene, disease, medication use and tooth trauma.³ Given all of the causes of discolored teeth, it is no surprise that teeth whitening has evolved into one of the most popular aesthetic dental treatments. And consumers have many whitening options available to choose from, including toothpastes, whitening strips and professional treatments administered by a dental professional, including a dentist, hygienist or dental assistant, such as light-activated whitening conducted in the dental office.

With the Get It Right! campaign, The American Dental Hygienist Association (ADHA) emphasizes the importance of speaking with a dental professional to get advice on the best whitening option. “Questions about whitening come up during dental hygiene appointments every day and too often, patients may not be informed about all of their options,” said ADHA president, Pamela Quinones, RDH, BS. “Consulting a dental professional from the beginning before a patient starts any whitening treatment and having them remain involved throughout the whitening process can ensure that the patient is receiving the treatment that is right for his or her situation.”

For more information about Get It Right! including a tool to find a dental professional near you, visit The website also contains a report by Dr. Demarais, “The Power of a Smile,” that examines the evolution and power of a smile and provides tips on how people can maximize their smile power. Visitors to the site will also find links to the campaign Facebook and YouTube pages.

About the Survey
Harris Interactive conducted a telephone survey within the United States for the Get It Right! educational campaign, commissioned by Philips, between August 5-7, 2011 among a nationwide cross section of 1,006 adults aged 18 and older to identify perceptions of smiles and teeth whitening. Figures for age, sex, race, region and education were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population.

About Royal Philips Electronics
Royal Philips Electronics of the Netherlands (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHI) is a diversified health and well-being company, focused on improving people’s lives through timely innovations. As a world leader in healthcare, lifestyle and lighting, Philips integrates technologies and design into people-centric solutions, based on fundamental customer insights and the brand promise of “sense and simplicity”. Headquartered in the Netherlands, Philips employs 119,000 employees in more than 60 countries worldwide. With sales of EUR 25.4 billion in 2010, the company is a market leader in cardiac care, acute care and home healthcare, energy efficient lighting solutions and new lighting applications, as well as lifestyle products for personal well-being and pleasure with strong leadership positions in flat TV, male shaving and grooming, portable entertainment and oral healthcare. News from Philips is located at

# # #

¹ Harris Interactive. Smile Survey. August 2011.
² Harris Interactive. Smile Survey. August 2011.
³ Williams, Darren. Dental Health and Tooth Discoloration. WebMD. Retrieved July 26, 2011 from

For media inquiries, please contact:

Gonzalo Condés de Bethencourt
Head of Brand & External Affairs
(310) 845-8202

Monday, September 26, 2011

USA / Background Briefing: Preview of High-Level Meeting on Somalia

Terrorists in Somalia. Photo Credit: Foreign Policy

In al-Shabab-controlled regions of Somalia, anything deemed un-Islamic is outlawed. This includes mustaches, the World Cup, wearing bras, and dancing at weddings. The militant Islamist group recently added something new to that list: Samosas.
~ Sophia Jones Wednesday, July 27, 2011 - 2:18 PM.

26 Sep 2011 08:35 Africa/Lagos

USA / Background Briefing: Preview of High-Level Meeting on Somalia

WASHINGTON, September 26, 2011/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- Special Briefing

Senior Senior Official, Office of the Spokesperson

Washington, DC

September 23, 2011

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: Good morning, everybody. Sorry for the delay. We have two background briefs this morning. The first is to read out the Secretary's meeting with the EU – with her EU counterparts from the transatlantic dinner last night, and then when [Senior State Department Official One] arrives, we will preview the Somalia-Horn of Africa meeting later today. We're just flipping the order because [Senior State Department Official One] is running a little bit late.

So with regard to the U.S.-EU ministerial last night, the Secretary met with EU High Representative Ashton and the 27 member states of the European Union. You won't be surprised that meeting focused on the Middle East. They discussed the Arab Spring and the need for the U.S. and the EU to work together to support transitions in the Middle East. The Secretary also underlined that unity of the U.S. and the EU against the continuing brutality of the Syrian regime has been very important in tightening the noose on Asad, and she thanked the EU for its seventh round of sanctions a couple of weeks ago.

The Secretary and EU foreign ministers also discussed the way ahead on Israeli-Palestinian issues, and they all agreed that a negotiated settlement is the only way to a durable peace. As you know, Quartet envoys are meeting again this morning to see how we can help the parties back to the negotiating table.

The Secretary then went into the traditional annual dinner of transatlantic allies and partners. This brings together the foreign ministers of all of the NATO and EU countries. It's informal and very small. She used that opportunity, obviously, to reinforce the importance of close cooperation on all the pressing security challenges of the day. She and her counterparts took stock in particular of where we are in Libya and reaffirmed their commitment to protecting civilians and continuing to support the TNC as Libya goes through its transition. They also noted that NATO has an indispensible role in supporting the Libyan people and must continue to stay engaged.

The Secretary expressed our view that the integration of the Western Balkans into the Euro-Atlantic institutions remains unfinished business. The ministers stressed their commitment to supporting their efforts towards reform and further dialogue to achieve regional security and stability. As you know, the Secretary meets later today with the Serbian foreign minister. She met earlier this week with the Kosovo leadership.

And finally, the Secretary noted that the United States is pleased to be hosting the next NATO summit, which will be May 20 to 21, 2012 in Chicago.

QUESTION: Is the Quartet meeting – that's envoys, when does it start, or has it actually begun?

MODERATOR: Quartet envoys are meeting this morning. I believe they started at 9 o'clock, continuing to try to be supportive to the Israelis and the Palestinians in getting them back to the negotiating table.

QUESTION: [Senior State Department Official Two], did they meet last night? (Inaudible) came out last night and said they might meet again last night and then again tomorrow? Did they meet last night and now it's again this morning?

STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: They didn't sit in Quartet format last night. What they did instead was have small meetings in different formations to try to work through ideas and preparations for this morning's meeting.

QUESTION: Were the U.S.-Russian meetings last night?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: I can't speak to that, but I do know that David Hale was in contact with his Russian counterpart last night. I don't know whether they sat down or just spoke on the phone.

Okay. We are delighted to have with us this morning [Senior State Department Official One], hereafter known as Senior Administration Official Number One – Senior State Department Official Number One – to talk to us about the Secretary's activities on Africa this week, but also to preview the high-level meeting on Somalia later today.

Senior Official Number One.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE: Okay. Thank you very much. It's – glad to be here. This afternoon, the Secretary will participate in a meeting hosted by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on the political and security situation in Somalia. As you all know, the Horn of Africa is the most complex, volatile, and climatically challenged region in Africa today. Somalia is at the center of these many challenges and faces a humanitarian crisis, a security crisis, and a political set of challenges.

This afternoon's meeting will focus largely on two things: how well the AMISOM and TFG forces are doing in carrying out their UN Security Council mandate to protect TFG officials, to protect and defend TFG institutions, and to train and strengthen the TFG as TFG military. It will also focus on how effectively the TFG has been operating as a government. The meeting will also highlight the recent Mogadishu Accord that was signed by the TFG and a number of other political forces inside of Somalia, and witnessed and also signed by the secretary general's special representative.

That accord is particularly important for advancing the political agenda in Somalia. It calls on the TFG to carry out elections before August 2012, to complete a new constitution by (inaudible), and to make progress in the political, security, governance, and reconciliation arenas. The Mogadishu Accord has specific goals and timelines, and there will be many in the room, including Secretary Clinton, who will endorse the significance and importance of this Mogadishu Accord, and will urge all Somali political parties to live up to it, complete it in accordance to the roadmap – the Mogadishu Roadmap – and will call on the international community to continue to provide support.

This session this afternoon will not deal very much with the humanitarian crisis. That will be dealt with largely tomorrow at a session on humanitarian affairs in which AID Administrator Raj Shah will be in the chair for the Administration. All of you know that the crisis on the ground is enormous. Some 750,000 Somalis are threatened over the next four months with the possibility of loss of life, and there are some 4 million people who are in serious need in the region out of some 14 million. We continue to believe that it is al-Shabaab which is causing the greatest hardship there because of their refusal to allow international aid groups to come in in the past. We note that if they had been cooperative weeks and months ago, we would have – not have seen the mass exodus of Somalis into Kenya, Ethiopia, and into other parts of the region. We continue to appeal to al-Shabaab to let in groups and to stop their callous treatment of their own Somali neighbors and relatives.

Two other quick notes for me is that the Secretary has had two major bilaterals this week with African leaders. One was a meeting with Foreign Minister Mashabane of South Africa. It was a broad-ranging discussion covering a number of the political issues confronting the continent, but it was also an opportunity for the Secretary to reaffirm her desire to move forward with the Strategic Dialogue with South Africa, indicating that she might, in fact, if her schedule permits, travel to South Africa for the next round of dialogues sometime in 2012.

The Secretary also had an excellent meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan, the Nigerian president. Again, she had an opportunity to express her condolences to the Nigerian president on the destruction of the UN headquarters in Abuja some three and a half weeks ago, but also to discuss the Strategic Dialogue that we have with Nigeria. Our relations with Nigeria are excellent, and we consider them a strong partner.

I'll stop there.

QUESTION: I just have two things (inaudible), one on the Somalia, on – given the situation there, how realistic is it, I mean, to demand or call for them to have elections in 2012? I mean, is that feasible?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE: It is feasible. We believe that it is important that the Somali parties who have signed on to the Mogadishu Roadmap on September 6 live up to the commitments that they made in that document. That document has specific goals and timelines. We think those goals and timelines are reasonable and can, in fact, be met. We should not, some two weeks after signing that document, begin to question the feasibility of whether it can be implemented some 10 months from now. We are determined to work with the UN Special Representative Augustine Mahiga, the IGAD countries who are also signers and signatories to this, as well as the international community to do it.

I might underscore that these are not direct elections. These are not elections in which every Somali in every village will be able to walk into his or her neighborhood polling booth. These are indirect elections. They can be managed. They can be managed well. It is a timeline which is perfectly realizable, if Somalis and those in the region are determined to see it. Our desire – and you will hear that from the Secretary today – is to see that the roadmap is completed according to the way it has been drawn and the timelines that have been laid out.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: Let's take one more from the room. Then we have some folks on the phone. Anybody?

QUESTION: (Off-mike.)


QUESTION: It's just about the South Africa meeting. Did the Mideast come up in that at all?


QUESTION: Middle East?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE: There was very little on the Middle East in that discussion.

QUESTION: Did the Secretary raise the issue of the possibility of Security Council and make a case for South Africa to not support a full membership?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE: Let me just say that the – over the last few days in all of the conversations that we have had with senior African officials, presidents, and foreign ministers, this has been an important priority topic for every one of them. Sometimes it has been 15 or 20 minutes, sometimes it has been several sentences. But in each case, it has been made very clear what our position is. The President made that clear in his speech. It is something that the Secretary has iterated in her discussions with African leaders she's met and something that we continue to iterate as well. It is a priority for us. The Palestinian issue is a priority, and it is one of the things that is driving our discussions with everyone, whether it is President Goodluck Jonathan or South Africa. Both are members of the Security Council.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: From the – on the phone, anybody?

OPERATOR: I'm not showing any questions from the phone at this time. Once again, it is *1.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: Thank you. Anything else for [Senior State Department Official One]?

OPERATOR: We do have one question. Did you want to take that now?


OPERATOR: Indira Lakshmanan, Bloomberg News.

QUESTION: Hi, [Senior State Department Official Two]. This was actually a question for you regarding the first briefing. Do you want me to ask that now or after [Senior State Department Official One] leaves?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: Why don't we just make sure we use [Senior State Department Official One]'s time well. Anybody with a question for [Senior State Department Official One]? Okay. Thank you very much.


QUESTION: Thank you.



QUESTION: You were saying how the folks last night did not meet in Quartet format. By that, I guess you meant – you were talking about the foreign ministers and the Secretary. But what can you tell us about the Quartet meetings that did go on last night?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: No, Indira. What I meant was that envoys did not meet altogether last night.

QUESTION: On the what? I'm sorry. I couldn't hear you properly.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: That we are talking about Quartet envoys at the David Hale level. They met yesterday afternoon, as I read out yesterday, for nearly three hours. They then had smaller meetings and phone conversations in the evening in different formations in preparation for another Quartet envoy's meeting this morning.

QUESTION: Great. Okay. So what I was asking is could you give us a little more readout on the smaller meetings last night that were after the last briefing you told us about?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: Again, this is onward diplomacy effort to try to work towards a Quartet statement that will be helpful to getting the parties back to the negotiating table.

QUESTION: So when are you expecting that?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: When are we expecting what, Indira?

QUESTION: When are you expecting a Quartet statement? When are you aiming for that?



SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: Anything else from the room?

QUESTION: Well, I mean, just on that. I mean, if you could just – do you have any idea how close they are? I mean, is it (inaudible) distinct possibility at this point? Or is it – do things look good? What's –

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: I'm not going to get betting off, but we continue to believe that a statement is important, and we're continuing to work for it. We'll have more information for you later in the day if there's something to report.

QUESTION: Are you still hopeful that – well, if something is coming, then – I mean, this is basically just logistical and planning. If something –

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: After we finish here, let's do a little minute and –

QUESTION: That's fine.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: Yeah. Anything on anything else?

QUESTION: Forgive me for being late, but did you address Yemen already?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: I did not. What's the question?

QUESTION: The U.S. hasn't gotten any indication that his return (inaudible) is more inclined to begin the transition?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: Well, as you know, there have been meetings going on for a number of weeks between his vice president and the acting President Hadi trying to broker a deal. And as you know, the GCC envoy was there all this week trying to broker a deal. So we remain committed to a path forward for Yemen along the lines of the GCC proposal. So we want to see that go forward. Okay?

QUESTION: Question on Pakistan. Have there been any conversations between the U.S. and Pakistan since Admiral Mullen's testimony yesterday?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: Conversations with Pakistan continue at all levels, including with our Embassy out there. I think you know where we are on this issue, and you've seen a number of Administration principals have good exchanges, important exchanges, with their Pakistani counterparts. We do believe that Haqqani* Network was responsible for the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Kabul on ISAF headquarters and a number of other recent attacks. This is not a new concern of the United States, but it's obviously a greatly heightened concern after these recent attacks, and we are continuing intensive conversation with the Pakistani Government at all levels. As you know the Secretary met with her counterpart, and other senior officials have also been meeting with their counterparts.

QUESTION: Can you tell us – I mean, I asked the question of the briefer right after the Pakistani Meeting on Sunday night, whether the Secretary had presented intelligence about that attack to the foreign minister during that meeting. And he said, oh I can't talk about intelligence. And I'm not asking him or you to talk about the intelligence itself. What I am trying – what I would like though is, did the Secretary actually present such intelligence or evidence as you may have about this during that meeting?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: Again, I'm not going to comment on intelligence. I will say, as our briefer said, last – earlier in the week, that they had a very full and candid and clear exchange about our concerns about the Haqqani Network, and our sense – our shared sense that we've got to work together on this.

Go ahead.

QUESTION: How is it that – one last question. And I realize this is a difficult one for you to answer, but – how is it possible for you to do business with a government, one of who's arms you believe has encouraged a direct attack on one of your diplomatic facilities?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: The President, Secretary, other officials have spoken to this over the last number of months. The U.S. and Pakistan have a vital interest in continuing to work on these problems together. These are problems that threaten both of us. We have had some counterterrorism successes. We need to continue to fight this battle together, and we will.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: Can I just do something else here, or do you want to continue on this?

QUESTION: No, no. I want to go back to the (inaudible).

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO: Back on background on a second subject. We've had a number of questions over the last couple of days on the U.S. role in working for and supporting the release of Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal from Iran. I just want to underscore here that we in the State Department, throughout this ordeal, used all of our diplomatic tools to seek their release.

The President and the Secretary made more than 10 public statements calling for their release, making this case a priority for the United States. Both the President and Secretary raised their cases with a wide range of world leaders during their imprisonment, who we felt could have influence on the Iranian Government. We used our Persian social media sites to raise awareness in Iran, linking the news of their plight and statements made by other world leaders.

We were in continuous contact with the Swiss Protecting Power to demand consular and legal access to them, and we remained in continuous contact with their families as we sought their release, including personal contact by the Secretary.

We are very grateful for all the efforts of those who worked for their release, particularly the Swiss protecting power in Tehran, the Omani Government, the Iraqi Government, and many other world leaders who have raised their voices in support, as well as those inside Iran who pushed for justice.

Okay. That's it for me.

Source: US Department of State

Friday, September 23, 2011

Happy 50th Birthday, Wynton Marsalis -Swinging Into The 21st

23 Sep 2011 17:17 Africa/Lagos

Happy 50th Birthday, Wynton Marsalis -Swinging Into The 21st

Box set available at or starting October 18, 2011, through Columbia/Legacy
ALSO: 14-track SELECTIONS FROM SWINGING INTO THE 21st single CD available on same date

PR Newswire

NEW YORK, Sept. 23, 2011

NEW YORK, Sept. 23, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- As Pulitzer and 9-time Grammy Award®-winner Wynton Marsalis eases into his 50th birthday on October 18, 2011, he casts his memory back a dozen years to 1998-99. With the new millennium on the way, Wynton began to lay plans with Columbia Records and Sony Classical for an unprecedented release of nine major album projects that would eventually span 1999 and 2000. A timely name was given to the campaign, "Swinging into the 21st!" and the artist dedicated himself to the immense task ahead.


Now in honor of Wynton's 50th birthday, those nine albums – plus his career-defining masterpiece All Rise (a double-CD, recorded in Los Angeles three days after 9/11, and released in 2002) will be packaged together in a deluxe box set as an extremely limited edition direct-to-consumer exclusive. SWINGING INTO THE 21st will be available at and in advance of the October 18th release date through Columbia/Legacy, a division of SONY MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT.

From chamber music to studio and live dates with his septet, jazz and blues tributes, film music, scores for ballet, modern classical and orchestral works, to some bonafide swing, Wynton's musical universe opens up on SWINGING INTO THE 21st. Individually, the 10 album titles are as follows:

* A FIDDLER'S TALE (released March 1999);
* BIG TRAIN (July 1999);
* STANDARD TIME, VOL. 6 – MR. JELLY LORD (September 1999);
* REELTIME (November 1999);
* THE MARCIAC SUITE (August 2000);
* ALL RISE (October 2002).

"That entire year," Wynton writes of 1999 in his illuminating liner notes essay, "from January 1st to the performance of All Rise with the New York Philharmonic on December 29th, I worked every day from 5 in the morning until 1 or 2 the next morning. I was music, music, music."

In conjunction with the box set, a special 14-track single-CD sampler will also be issued, with selections personally chosen by Wynton. SELECTIONS FROM SWINGING INTO THE 21st will be available through all standard retail outlets on the same date as the box.

All the motifs that are found throughout SWINGING INTO THE 21st are ideas that had been explored in one way or another during Wynton's first two decade period with Columbia Records and Sony Classical. Indeed, since his signing to CBS Records in 1981, and virtually single-handedly commandeering the new 'Young Lions' school of jazz neo-traditionalists, Wynton had covered enormous territory. By the time he parted with Sony Music in 2002, he had released over 40 jazz albums on Columbia and nearly 20 titles on the classical side. No major artist, hands down, has ever come close to that output.

Yet, as prolific as Wynton was – and still is – there were many projects that could not be accommodated with an album release. The "Swinging into the 21st!" campaign was a high-profile method of bringing a bounty of those projects to his public, in what turned out to be less than 18 months' time. (Hard-core fans could obtain a specially-printed d.i.y. cardboard box to house eight of the first nine titles, with their contiguous spine designs.)

"Each release featured a different ensemble and style of music," Wynton goes on to write, "and a unique set of musical challenges. The one unifying factor was jazz, which is the foundation of all that I do and hope to do." Most of the works had one fact in common: they had been performed in concert at least one time before the studio recording. STANDARD TIME, VOL. 6 – MR. JELLY LORD, for example, the Jelly Roll Morton tribute, was a theme-time concert first presented at Jazz at Lincoln Center in 1989, long before it was recorded in 1999. At The Octoroon Balls was premiered on May 7, 1995 at Alice Tully Hall by the Orion String Quartet, prior to its 1998 recording. A brief recap of each album title follows, with more detailed track listing and personnel information at the end:

A FIDDLER'S TALE: This two-part suite is based on 20th century classical composer Igor Stravinsky's L'Histoire du Soldat, which Wynton confesses, "I have loved since first hearing it as a 15 year old." Where Stravinsky's soldier sold his soul, Wynton re-casts the main character as a young violinist who sells her soul (to a record company!). Wynton's story line is scripted by the eminent Stanley Crouch, and narrated by the multi-talented Andre De Shields. To create the same small ensemble as Stravinsky, Wynton employs members of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center (which included Edgar Meyer and Stefon Harris back in 1998, when this was recorded). Says Wynton: "This composition demonstrates the kinship between Stravinsky's harmonic and rhythmic language and the language of modern jazz with a New Orleans accent."

STANDARD TIME, VOL. 4: MARSALIS PLAYS MONK: The fourth entry in Wynton's popular Standard Time series is a straight-ahead tribute to jazz pianist-composer Thelonious Monk. It was recorded in sessions with Wynton's [now all-star] septet lineups of 1993-94 (see below), with whom he had toured "all over the world." To his credit, he does not cover 'Monk's greatest hits,' but instead delves deeper into his repertoire. "A good example," Wynton notes, "is 'Evidence,' which uses the syncopation of broken silences to feature the always inventive [drummer] Herlin Riley."

AT THE OCTOROON BALLS - A FIDDLER'S TALE SUITE: As described, Wynton's first composition for string quartet, At The Octoroon Balls, recorded in 1998 by the "fabulous" Orion String Quartet, "explores the American Creole contradictions and compromises – cultural, social, and political – exemplified by life in New Orleans." The liner notes essay by Leon Wieseltier (literary editor of the New Republic) elaborates: "The balls that give their name to these stringent, voluptuous movements were institutions of old New Orleans, at which Creole men chose Octoroon women for their mistresses – vivacious rituals of mixture, in which the terribilities of race collided jubilantly with the terribilities of sex." At The Octoroon Balls shares this CD with the instrumental (no narrations) version of A Fiddler's Tale, recorded at the same sessions as the full-length version above.

BIG TRAIN: It's no secret that Wynton hates flying, and would rather hop a train like all the great bandleaders used to – Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and the big Trane, John Coltrane, that is. Wynton composed and recorded this collection in 1998 for his son Jasper who was living in Los Angeles at the time, while Wynton lived in New York. As the website notes, "spiritual engineers and conductors, Wynton and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra invite you to join their gang of rail riders on a journey that crisscrosses the landscape of America transported by its greatest art form, jazz."

SWEET RELEASE & GHOST STORY: Here are scores for two ballets from "totally different choreographers." Sweet Release was composed for Judith Jamison with the world famous Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and was recorded at Tarrytown (NY) Music Hall in 1996 with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, among whose members are Wynton's septet mates. It tells the story "of a man and a woman, represented by the trombone and trumpet, and the temptations that threaten their romance." Ghost Story was commissioned for Zhongmei Li's (then) newly established dance company, who wanted a more spare, minimalist work. It was recorded in 1998 at Lincoln Center's Rose Studio by a hand-picked quintet who, as Stanley Crouch's liner notes affirm, "aptly describe a protean ghost, a fore of trickery and an agent of the heartbreak that from having been duped all the way to the bottom of the bucket of the blues."

STANDARD TIME, VOL. 6 – MR. JELLY LORD: Similar to Standard Time, Vol. 4 (above), this is a straight-ahead tribute to the songs and wit of Jelly Roll Morton, beloved icon to the New Orleans-raised (or influenced) cats in Wynton's inner circle. The genesis was a concert Wynton played at Jazz at Lincoln Center in 1989; this album has the distinction of being the first in the box set actually recorded in 1999 (January). Wynton brought a handful of New Orleans veterans to join his quintet for the sessions – Lucien Barbarin, Michael White, Donald Vappie, and check out Harry Connick, Jr. on "Billy Goat Stomp"! The closing "Tom Cat Blues" was actually recorded on century-old equipment at New Jersey's Thomas Edison Laboratories, a National Historic Site.

REELTIME: "In essence," Wynton says, "what many writers have discovered is that when you look closely at a small town, you will see the human species at its best and brightest and darkest and lowest." The ever-observant Wynton applied his talent to the Rosewood massacre of 1923, when a primarily black Florida town was razed to the ground by white racists bent on lynching. At least six blacks were killed and their town was abandoned and forgotten until the 1980s, leading to state reparations and the 1997 film by John Singleton. Wynton's evocative score, recorded in 1996, includes bluesy vocals by Cassandra Wilson on the title track, a gospel choir fronted by Shirley Caesar, bluegrass fiddling by virtuoso violinist Mark O'Connor, a taste of Claude Williams' New Orleans fiddle, the cool jazz of Miles & Gil, and much more. The score was not used for the film, but fortunately was preserved as an important entry in Wynton's discography.

SELECTIONS FROM THE VILLAGE VANGUARD BOX: The '90s proved that there was a vigorous jazz market for multi-disc anthologies devoted to one artist, especially live material. Released December 1999, Wynton's 7-CD box set Live at the Village Vanguard might have been sub-titled A Week at the Village Vanguard because of its CD sequencing. That is, Monday on CD 1, Tuesday on CD 2, and so on. In fact, it melded material recorded by three Septet lineups at sold-out gigs in the jazz club during 1990-94, so that each CD was a multi-year entity unto itself. In March 2000, this single-CD compilation captured the seven-night feel, and became the first of the year 2000 releases in the "Swinging into the 21st!" campaign.

THE MARCIAC SUITE: Wynton's Septet was an established presence at the annual summer jazz festival in the beautiful medieval town of Marciac, France, long before he decided to record this tribute. Like he showed on the Rosewood score, Wynton is expert at capturing the essences of small town life, the characters and situations, flavors and aromas that make it special. With colorful titles like "Jean-Louis Is Everywhere,' "Mademoiselle D'ascony," "Armagnac Dreams," "Marciac Moon," "D'Artagnan," "Guy Lafitte," and "B Is For Boussaget (and Bass)," you can practically inhale the fragrance of Marciac. Recorded in February, this was the second of the "Swingin'" projects to actually be recorded in 1999, after Standard Time, Vol. 6 (above); and the second of only two albums to be released by Wynton in 2000 (after Selections From The Village Vanguard Box, above).

ALL RISE: It's all here in Wynton's penultimate masterwork, and his swan song at Columbia Records. Echoes of Ellington, Mingus, Stravinsky, and Copland inform the piece, profoundly American in its scope, from blues and gospel to New Orleans and New York. The 2-CD, 106-minute opus spreads over 12 tracks, 12 movements that emulate the 12-bar blues. It is an extraordinary work on the scale of Wynton's Pulitzer Prize-winning oratorio of 1997, Blood On The Fields. The grandeur of All Rise is best introduced by Wynton's own massive 4,200-word annotation and Stanley Crouch's 1,100-word liner notes essay. Historically, All Rise was commissioned by the New York Philharmonic and premiered at Lincoln Center in December 1999. Almost two years later, it was set to be performed at the Hollywood Bowl on September 14, 2001, by Wynton, the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic with Esa-Pekka Salonen conducting, and three choirs totaling 100 voices. The events of 9/11 turned All Rise's performance and recording that week into a national elegy.

After the performance and recording in Los Angeles, the suspension of air travel forced Wynton and his LCJO crew into a bus for a 27-hour schlep to Seattle, for their next show. "Our concert was scheduled to begin at 7:00 p.m.," Wynton writes. "We entered the city limits at 7:00 p.m. Out on the stage we received an extended standing ovation from a sold-out house that had waited patiently to be, in the words on one patron, 'reminded of who we are.' The LCJO was back on the road. We heard that some acts chose to cancel their tours following September 11th. We chose, and still choose, to swing."

SOURCE Legacy Recordings

CONTACT: Tom Cording at Legacy Media Relations, +1-212-833-4448,

Web Site:

Almost Half of Americans Do Not Think President Obama Will be Re-elected

22 Sep 2011 16:43 Africa/Lagos

Almost Half of Americans Do Not Think President Obama Will be Re-elected

Approval ratings unchanged from lows of last month

PR Newswire

NEW YORK, Sept. 22, 2011

NEW YORK, Sept. 22, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- After a spirited speech to Congress and presenting his jobs bill President Obama starts the fall with the same approval ratings he had at the end of the summer. This month, exactly the same as in August, just one-third of Americans (32%) give the president positive ratings on the overall job he is doing while two-thirds (68%) give him negative ratings.

(Logo: )

These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 2,462 adults surveyed online between September 12 and 19, 2011 by Harris Interactive.

Looking at the ratings on a partisan level, it's not shocking that almost all Republicans (96%) and nine in ten Conservatives (90%) give the President negative marks, but so do seven in ten Independents (71%) and almost two-thirds of Moderates (64%). While majorities of Democrats (58%) and Liberals (53%) still give the President positive marks, large enough numbers of both groups of the President's traditional supporters (42% of Democrats and 47% of Liberals) give him negative ratings, giving the White House and the re-election team a bit to be concerned about.

While the President's ratings may continue to be at his lowest, one small piece of comfort he has is that he is doing a better job than Congress. Right now, almost all Americans (94%) have a negative view of the overall job Congress is doing and just 6% give them positive ratings. This low rating transcends party lines as only 7% of both Democrats and Republicans and 5% of Independents give Congress positive marks.

What has bounced back just slightly from last month is the number of people who think the country is going in the right direction. This month, 22% think the country is heading in the right direction while 78% think things have gotten off on the wrong track. While still low, this is better than in August when only 16% thought things were going in the right direction and 84% said they were going off on the wrong track.

One reason for all the negativity is the concern over economic issues. When asked what the two most important issues for the government to address are, half of Americans (50%) say it is employment and jobs. Another quarter say the government needs to address the economy (27%), while 17% say healthcare, 13% say the budget deficit, 11% say the budget and government spending and 7% each say taxes and social security.

Looking to next November

Even more disturbing for the White House are the numbers on likelihood of voting for President Obama. If the election for president were to be held today, over half of Americans (53%) say they would be unlikely to vote for Barack Obama while 39% say they would be likely to vote for him. Almost half (47%) say they would be very unlikely to vote for President Obama. Looking at this on a partisan level, nine in ten Republicans (92%) say they are unlikely to vote for President Obama as are three in five Independents (59%). Even among the two groups who are the President's more staunch supporters over one in five of both Liberals (23%) and Democrats (21%) say they are unlikely to vote for the President if the election were to be held today.

What is another concern is something that could become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Just three in ten Americans (30%) think President Obama will be re-elected while almost half (47%) do not think he will be re-elected; one-quarter (23%) are not at all sure. While 51% of Democrats believe President Obama will be re-elected, one-quarter do not (24%) and one-quarter are not at all sure (24%).

So What?

As multiple political commentators have said, the 2012 general re-election campaign began with President Obama's recent address to Congress. Yes, the Republicans still have to pick their candidate, but the President is starting to push forward the agenda he hopes to work his re-election campaign around next year. If he doesn't do something and stays mired in these low approval numbers and negative re-elect numbers, this election may be over before it even starts. The only consolation is that the GOP primary looks like it may be a long one and the eventual Republican candidate may emerge tired and possibly wounded after a blistering primary.

Click here for the full report.

2012 U.S. Presidential Election.

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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Human Rights Leader Faults Obama Administration for Failure In Sudan

Human Rights Leader Faults Obama Administration for Failure In Sudan – Could Cost Thousands Of Lives

Rejects Current “Normalization” Approach for Tough Sanctions against Indicted War Criminal

(Washington, DC) – United to End Genocide President Tom Andrews today urged policymakers to mandate increased U.S. sanctions and other actions to help halt escalating ethnic-based attacks on civilians in South Kordofan and Blue Nile by forces backed by Sudan’s president Omar al-Bashir. Andrews testified at a House of Representatives’ Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission hearing, “Sudan: The Ongoing Humanitarian Crisis in South Kordofan and Continuing Human Rights Violations in Darfur.”

Omar al-Bashir

“Omar al-Bashir is repeating the targeted ethnic attacks of Darfur in South Kordofan and Blue Nile where his forces have already killed thousands and left hundreds of thousands displaced with little food and no access to humanitarian aid,” stated Andrews. “Unfortunately, the Obama Administration, by failing to demand accountability and leaving the option open for normalized relations with Sudan, is allowing Omar al-Bashir to get away with murder.”

In his testimony, Andrews called on the Obama Administration to:

• Expand current sanctions on Bashir and other individuals responsible for atrocities throughout Sudan, as current sanctions are specific to Darfur alone;

• Make saving live in Sudan a high priority in dealings with China and other nations that can exert leverage on Bashir and his regime; and

• Expend political capital necessary to pass a United Nations Security Council resolution that would expand individual sanctions for perpetrators, expand the existing arms embargo on Darfur to incorporate all of Sudan, expand the mandate of the International Criminal Court to cover the entire country, and authorize an international civilian protection force with the mandate and capacity to accomplish its mission.

Andrews thanked the Lantos Human Rights Commission for helping to raise the alarm about ongoing atrocities in Sudan. “The American people need to know the truth about Omar al-Bashir and the atrocities he continues to commit, and this hearing is an important step,” stated Andrews. “I urge your leadership in considering legislation that would mandate increased U.S. sanctions and other actions to hold Omar al-Bashir accountable for his heinous actions and protect the millions of men, women and children in South Kordofan and Blue Nile whose lives are at risk right now.”

The Save Darfur Coalition and Genocide Intervention Network are now United to End Genocide. The organization remains committed to its work to end the crisis in Darfur and bring peace to all of Sudan as well as to end violence in other areas of mass atrocities. The merger creates the world’s largest anti-genocide organization, with a membership base of hundreds of thousands of committed activists globally, an unparalleled nationwide student movement, more than 190 faith-based, advocacy and human rights partner organizations, and a network of institutional investors collectively representing more than $2 trillion in assets under management.

Ann Brown,, 301-633-4193

Wikileaks Cables Expose Chevron’s Desperation over $18b Environmental Case

Wikileaks Cables Expose Chevron’s Lobbying of Ecuador Government to Kill $18b Environmental Case

Newly Released Cables Raise Questions About Chevron Ties to U.S. Embassy and Misrepresentations

Amazon Defense Coalition
, 21 September 2011, FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE,
 Contact: Karen Hinton at 703-798-3109 or

New York -- Chevron engaged in a clandestine lobbying campaign of Ecuador's government to improperly shut down the historic environmental case brought by thousands of indigenous persons where the oil giant was found to have contaminated the rain forest and ordered to pay $18.2 billion to clean up the damage, according to a series of cables written by U.S. government officials and recently disclosed by Wikileaks.

The diplomatic cables (see here, here, here and here) also reveal that Chevron and U.S. embassy officials in Ecuador enjoyed such a close relationship that the oil giant's lawyers were tipping off U.S. ambassadors about their legal strategy before it would be revealed in court, said Karen Hinton, the U.S. spokesperson for the 30,000 Ecuadorians who recently won an $18.2 billion judgment for clean-up, despite efforts by Chevron to undermine the case.

The Ecuador court found that Chevron, from 1964 to 1992, dumped billions of gallons of toxic waste onto the ancestral lands of indigenous groups, causing an outbreak of cancer and other oil-related diseases.

Ecuador's Constitution prohibits government interference in the judiciary, so Chevron's lobbying in effect was trying to coax Ecuador's President Rafael Correa to violate the country's laws to benefit the oil giant in a private litigation. The company offered to fund "social projects" in exchange for a government agreement to shut down the trial.

"These diplomatic cables reveal a shocking level of misconduct on the part of Chevron's lawyers to undermine the rule of law in Ecuador," said Hinton. "They also demonstrate the company’s extremely close ties to U.S. embassy officials in Ecuador who seemed open to helping Chevron shut down the legal case.”

The Wikileaks cables reveal that Chevron left no stone unturned in its efforts to stop the proceedings, which represented the only hope for indigenous groups and farmer communities to secure a clean-up after decades of stonewalling by the oil giant.

The cables, primarily authored by U.S. Ambassador Linda Jewell or U.S. Ambassador Heather Hodges, reveal that:

• In April of 2008 Chevron tipped off U.S. embassy officials that during the ongoing trial it had offered to set up social programs in the Amazon "in exchange for GOE [Government of Ecuador] support for ending the case". Chevron consistently tried to end-run the plaintiffs and settle the case directly with Ecuador's government, despite Ecuadorian laws prohibiting government officials from settling private claims, said Hinton. Chevron convinced Jewell to attempt to intervene on behalf of two Chevron employees who faced a criminal investigation for signing off in 1998 on a sham remediation of oil sites in exchange for a government release from liability. Jewell said the embassy "will consider how it can help Chevron resolve" the case, and that she contacted a former Supreme Court President of Ecuador as part of that strategy. The charges against the two, Richard Reis Veiga and Rodrigo Perez Pallares, were later dismissed on a technicality despite overwhelming evidence of fraud, said Hinton.

• In August of 2009, Chevron lawyer Ricardo Reis Veiga called the then-U.S. ambassador to provide a "heads up" that the company was releasing secret videotapes taken by Chevron contractor Diego Borja that the company claimed implicated the judge in a bribery scandal. The move backfired after it became clear that the tapes did not actually show the judge taking a bribe and after Borja later admitted to being Chevron’s “clandestine operative” in Ecuador, and that Chevron paid him for his work, said Hinton.

• The cables also suggest that Chevron officials were misrepresenting facts about the Lago Agrio case to embassy officials. In a cable written in September 2009 by Ambassador Heather Hodges, Chevron claimed it had not sought the Borja tapes when in fact Borja worked for Chevron and was meeting with Chevron lawyers in the United States about the entrapment of the judge in Ecuador, said Hinton.

• Another cable from March of 2006, written by Charge d'Affairs Jefferson Brown, said that Chevron executive Jamie Varela told embassy officials that "Chevron had not had any real complaints about the judge” or the "administration of the case" in Lago Agrio. Chevron later argued before various U.S. courts that Ecuador's judicial system was unfair at that time, contradicting these private statements to the embassy, said Hinton.

• Varela also tipped off Brown that Chevron was planning on filing an international arbitration case against the Government of Ecuador in a move to gain leverage over the Lago Agrio case, according to the cables. Varela also indicated that Chevron would not publicly disclose the filing for fear the plaintiffs would use it against the company.

• Additionally, Brown wrote that U.S. embassy officials were "surprised" that Varela did not ask for U.S. government "intervention in the case" to help Chevron, as had other Chevron officials. Nevertheless, Brown wrote that the embassy "will continue to raise the [Chevron] matter with [Ecuador's government] when we discuss other commercial disputes" but he also concluded that Chevron's complaints were "being fairly and adequately addressed in the courts or in arbitration and require no direct [U.S. government] action at this time."

"Chevron was sharing intimate details of its supposedly private legal strategy with the U.S. embassy," said Hinton. "Chevron lawyers clearly felt that embassy officials were part of their team. We find it disturbing that U.S. embassy officials in Ecuador were willing to do the bidding of an American oil company that committed environmental crimes that have literally decimated the lives of thousands of people," said Hinton.

The U.S. State Department should make it clear that no U.S. embassy official should interfere with ongoing private lawsuits brought by local residents against American corporations that commit environmental or human rights abuses in their countries. Hinton said such actions "have the effect of undermining a primary objective of U.S. foreign policy which is to support the development of democratic institutions and the strengthening of civil society."

The trial against Chevron in Ecuador began in 2003 in the town of Lago Agrio and ended in February of this year with the judgment, which both sides are appealing. Chevron had heaped lavish praise on Ecuador's court system to move the case to Ecuador out of federal court in New York, where the action was filed in 1993.

During the Ecuador trial and in recent legal efforts in the U.S. to stop enforcement of the judgment, Chevron has characterized meetings between the Ecuadorian citizens suing Chevron and their government officials as a “criminal conspiracy” even though the newly released cables and other memos prove that Chevron also met repeatedly with numerous Ecuadorian government officials to pressure them to illegally intervene in the lawsuit.

On multiple occasions since 2006, Chevron has tried to interfere with the environmental case by using its Washington lobbyists to try to press the Bush and then Obama Administrations to cancel Ecuador's trade preferences in retaliation for the lawsuit, even though Chevron wanted the case to be held in Ecuador.

Chevron’s efforts to undermine the case were extraordinary, Hinton added. During the nine years of litigation in Ecuador, Chevron also sought to recuse every judge who presided over the case, threatened judges with jail time if they did not rule in favor of the company, and took out paid newspaper advertisements criticizing judicial officers and adversary counsel.

Two Chevron lawyers were also sanctioned for filing frivolous motions, including 18 in one 30-minute period in 2010.

In recent years the company has stripped all assets from Ecuador, forcing the plaintiffs to consider lawfully enforcing their judgment in the many countries around the world where the oil giant operates. On Monday, a U.S. federal appeals court in New York lifted an injunction barring Americans from enforcing the Ecuador judgment, clearing the way for collection actions to commence if the Ecuador appellate court affirms the trial court judgment.


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