Friday, January 14, 2011

(Reuters) - First lady Michelle Obama urged parents across the United States on Thursday to talk to their children about the Arizona shootings and use the event to teach them a lesson about American values.

Mrs. Obama joined her husband, President Barack Obama, at a memorial service in Tucson on Wednesday for the victims of Saturday's attack outside a supermarket, where a gunman killed six people and critically wounded Representative Gabrielle Giffords.

Obama said children would struggle with questions about what such an event says about the world.

"The questions my daughters have asked are the same ones that many of your children will have - and they don't lend themselves to easy answers," the first lady wrote in an "open letter" to parents on the White House website.

"But they will provide an opportunity for us as parents to teach some valuable lessons - about the character of our country, about the values we hold dear, and about finding hope at a time when it seems far away," she wrote.

Echoing themes that her husband touched upon in his speech at the memorial service on Wednesday, Mrs. Obama said parents could teach their children to be opened minded even with people whose opinions they don't share.

"We can teach them the value of tolerance - the practice of assuming the best, rather than the worst, about those around us," she wrote. "We can teach them to give others the benefit of the doubt, particularly those with whom they disagree."

The Obamas have two children. The first lady has made fighting child obesity one of her signature causes since coming to the White House.

(Reporting by Jeff Mason. Editing by Peter Bohan)
Wikipedia is too complicated for many people to modify despite billing itself as "the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit", its founder has said.

Jimmy Wales told BBC News the site wants a new generation of contributors, including more women.

The online encyclopedia, which is 10 years old on 15 January, is the world's fifth most popular site.

It aims to increase its users from 400m to 1bn by 2015. But growth requires a new interface, said Mr Wales.

"We have to support our old power users because they build the site," he said. "But we also need to have a ramp for new users."

He said a lot of people were "afraid" to contribute to the site by the sometimes complicated code - known as Wiki mark-up - needed to format entries.

"If you click edit and you see some Wiki syntax and some bizarre table structure - a lot of people are literally afraid.

"They're good people and they don't want to break something.

As well as initiatives such as "adopt a user", that allows experienced Wikipedians to take a new user under their wing, he said his for-profit company Wikia had been doing a lot of work designing simple "what you see is what you get" editing tools.

Mourners at the funeral of Christina-Taylor Green were greeted by more than a thousand sympathizers who lined North Shannon Road for a quarter-mile south of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church.

Many wore white, and many had responded to an Internet call to counter the possible appearance of an out-of-state hate group.

They arrived on nearly 200 motorcycles, on foot and on shuttle buses from area parking lots, some prompted into action by the anticipated presence of a group from Kansas that protests funerals of veterans and gay people. The group ended up not showing.

Many of the sympathizers who showed up wore white and stood quietly on either side of Shannon Road. Among them were 18 "angels" with giant wings made from plastic pipe and bedsheets, who stood side by side in silence less than a block from the church for an hour and a half.

Behind them, graffiti on a subdivision's block wall read: "Christina" and "Stop the Hate."

In the church parking lot, several firefighters and soldiers stood between two fire-ladder trucks, to hoist the 9/11 Flag at the church. The flag weighs 45 pounds.

The "New York Says Thank You Foundation" flew the flag to Tucson Wednesday to honor Christina-Taylor, 9, who was among six killed in Saturday's shooting at a northwest-side Safeway. She was born on Sept. 11, 2001.

The flag was flying at 90 West Street in New York when the twin towers went down. It is the same tattered flag seen in the iconic photo of ground zero.

(Reuters) - Shares in semiconductor companies jumped on Friday in Europe and Japan after strong earnings report from sector bellwether Intel, the world's largest chipmaker, defied a slowdown in PC sales.

Shares in British chip designer ARM were up 6.5 percent at a 10-year high, while the wider European technology sector was up 0.2 percent.

Intel, whose microprocessors are the brains in the bulk of the world's PCs, posted market-beating revenue and margins for the fourth quarter, and also gave a rosy outlook for early 2011 overnight.

"Intel's numbers beat most expectations by around 10 percent and so we are seeing investors connect the dots from Intel's earnings to other similar tech stocks trading in Europe to which this may paint a similarly rosy picture," said Joshua Raymond, market strategist at City Index.

Earlier this week, research firms IDC and Gartner said weak consumer demand coupled with a surge of tablet market capped the growth in global personal computer shipments at 3 percent in the fourth quarter.

RBS Capital Markets analyst Nick Hyslop said Intel's guidance was very strong for first quarter and the company did slightly better than expected in the fourth quarter, given a growing perception that Intel's position in tablets was weak.

(Fast Company) -- The iPad is changing how folks read stuff online -- no surprise if you think how different a gizmo it is to a PC.

But a new study shows it's moving online reading into primetime TV hours, which is big news. Is evening reading coming back, just in a digital style?

The study comes from internal data acquired by ReadItLater, a web service that lets users bookmark web content for perusal at a different time. Though you may think this slightly colors the dataset, the way this service works gives the company unique access to time-coded data on how iPad users (and traditional computer users) read content online.

By looking at how traffic moves through their servers, normalized for global time differences, the ReadItLater team worked out how traditional PC users spread their online reading out during the day.

Tucson, Arizona (CNN) -- Doctors could remove the breathing tube for U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords Friday as she continues on her "miracle" journey to recovery after an assassination attempt and mass shooting, her husband said.

Though the congresswoman had been shot in the head less than a week ago, she continued to make progress, her husband and doctors told CNN Thursday.

Her husband, Mark Kelly, told Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN's chief medical correspondent, that his wife is aware to some degree of what is going on around her.

"I think she realized the president of the United States was there, but I'm not sure she knew why," he told Gupta in his first interview since the tragedy.

Kelly also said his wife's breathing tube could be removed Friday -- a sign that she may be gaining strength.

Giffords' husband also told CNN how he first heard the terrible news. He was in Houston, he said, when he got a call saying that his wife had been shot. Worried that a commercial flight would take too long, Kelly, a NASA astronaut, flew in a friend's plane to Arizona and met Giffords in the intensive care unit after surgery.

The congresswoman's doctor, meanwhile, recounted her first moments in the hospital.

"My first response was I grabbed her hand, leaned into her and said 'Ms. Giffords, you're in the hospital, we're going to care for you, please squeeze my hand' and she did," Dr. Randall Friese, a trauma surgeon, told CNN in an exclusive interivew.

"I got the impression that she was trying to communicate but was frustrated by the fact that she couldn't communicate," he said.

Now, nearly a week later, she has made impressive progress.

The chief of neurosurgery at Tucson's University Medical Center said Giffords' eye movements suggest the congresswoman is experiencing "glimmers of recognition."

New Delhi, India (CNN) -- India plans to cut a fourth of its security forces in the Kashmir region under its control over the next 12 months, the country's home secretary said Friday.

G.K. Pillai said troop reduction will be carried out only in "populated areas" of the Himalayan territory, claimed in its entirety by India and Pakistan.

Security would not be scaled in zones such as along the borders, he said.

The Himalayan region, hit by a separatist revolt since 1989, is heavily guarded by Indian forces.

Last year, unrest flared when protesters pelted security forces with stones.

India approved an eight-point plan after violent street protests and appointed a group of interlocutors as part of confidence-building measures in Kashmir, its only Muslim-majority state.

"Space must be allowed for peaceful protests. Governance and delivery on the ground must improve. Visible presence of security forces must be reduced," the home ministry said in a statement after lawmakers met over Kashmir last month.

India, however, rules out any compromise with armed rebellion.

"The violence perpetrated by militants and infiltrators (from across borders) must be dealt with in a strong and resolute manner. On the other hand, the violence witnessed during protests by Jammu and Kashmir residents requires deft and sensitive handling," the statement said.

Most of the demonstrators want independence from India, while New Delhi has always said the unrest is fueled by Pakistani-sponsored extremists.

Claims on the Kashmir Valley have been a matter of dispute since the independence of India and Pakistan in 1947.

India deployed thousands of troops in Kashmir to guard against what it said was a Pakistan-backed insurgency that began in the late 1980s.

The insurgency, which claimed tens of thousands of lives, has waned but the troops have remained, fueling new waves of separatist unrest.