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China rejects clean energy probe, calls US unfair

BEIJING – A senior Chinese official rejected a U.S. trade complaint about Beijing's clean energy policy and said Sunday that Washington might be improperly supporting its own industry.

The U.S. government said Friday it would investigate complaints by a labor union that Beijing unfairly subsidizes its producers of wind and solar equipment.

"Chinese subsidies to new energy companies are much smaller than those of the U.S. government," said Zhang Guobao, director of the Cabinet's National Energy Administration, at a news conference. "If the U.S. government can subsidize companies, then why can't we?"

The complaint by the United Steelworkers adds to strains between Washington and Beijing over trade in tires, steel, chicken, movies and other goods. It says Chinese producers can sell wind and solar equipment at lower prices abroad because they get subsidies that are prohibited by global trade rules.

Zhang countered that Washington might be improperly supporting its own industry. He cited what he said were rules on spending of U.S. government money for solar energy that require equipment to be domestically made.

"If what I said is right, it is the United States that should be sued, not us," he said.

The unusually prompt, high-level Chinese response reflects Beijing's growing confidence in rejecting U.S. pressure over trade and other issues, as well as its determination to develop high-tech industry.

The communist government is aggressively promoting wind, solar and other renewable energy to curb surging demand for imported oil and gas. It is trying to build up Chinese equipment suppliers to capture the economic benefits of a fast-growing industry.

In a statement Saturday, the Commerce Ministry said Washington's complaint signals the U.S. does not support China's efforts at improving the environment.

Zhang said 50 percent of clean energy equipment installed in China last year was imported and suppliers such as General Electric Co. have made substantial sales.

"Once we reveal these facts to the world, the (U.S.) complaint will be shown to be groundless, and all the American subsidies will be exposed," he said.

If the U.S. investigation finds the union complaint true, the Obama administration could sue China in the World Trade Organization. A favorable WTO ruling would allow Washington to impose penalties on Chinese imports unless Beijing repealed any support deemed to be improper.

Foreign business groups have long complained that in wind, Beijing is improperly supporting fledgling domestic clean energy producers by restricting access to its market. They say global suppliers of wind turbines are shut out of projects paid for by the central government, which picks equipment based only on its upfront price rather than the long-term cost, which for more durable foreign equipment is much lower.

Zhang rejected their complaints: "Those foreign companies didn't win the bid because their prices are much higher than Chinese prices."

In solar power, China's Suntech Holdings Ltd. is one of the biggest global equipment producers and several other companies also are major suppliers.

In wind, Chinese producers are only starting to export. Industry analysts say they lag in technology but offer prices up to 50 percent lower than foreign rivals.

One turbine maker, Goldwind Science & Technology Ltd., installed three windmills in a Minnesota farmer's field last year in the first effort by a Chinese producer to break into the U.S. market.

Zhang questioned how such a small market presence abroad could threaten American companies.

"We've only exported three windmills to the United States," he said. "What impact does this have?"


Obama seeks to delay lifting of US gay military ban

WASHINGTON (AFP) – US President Barack Obama sought Thursday to delay the lifting of a ban on gays serving openly in the military, arguing that his review should be completed first so the transition can be "orderly."

Obama has long said he plans to scrap the controversial military policy known as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," which requires gay and lesbian service members to stay quiet about their sexuality or face being kicked out.

But Virginia Phillips, a federal judge in California, stole his thunder on Tuesday, ordering the government to immediately suspend the policy.

The Justice Department reacted on Thursday, saying it was applying for a stay that would suspend the legal order until an expected appeal can be heard.

Obama made it crystal clear in a message on the micro-blogging site Twitter that the legal maneuvers did not mean he was altering his position.

"Anybody who wants to serve in our armed forces and make sacrifices on our behalf should be able to. DADT will end & it will end on my watch," he promised.

Critics say the law, a 1993 compromise aimed at resolving a long-thorny issue, violates the rights of gay military personnel and has harmed US national security by forcing out some 14,000 qualified troops.

Obama has ordered a year-long review of the implications of ending the ban, which is due to be completed in December and which will help draw up new rules of military service.

Later in a television interview with the US cable channels Black Entertainment Television, MTV and Country Music Television, the president spelt out his thinking.

"This is not a situation in which, with a stroke of a pen, I can simply end the policy. It has to be done in a way that is orderly, because we are involved in a war right now.

"This policy will end, and it will end on my watch. But I do have an obligation to make sure that I'm following some of the rules," he said.

"I can't simply ignore laws that are out there. I've got to work to make sure that they are changed."

As the Obama administration weighed an appeal, the Pentagon said Thursday it had issued guidance to troop commanders to obey the court order.

"The Department (of Defense) will abide by the terms in the court's ruling, effective as of the time and date of the ruling," said Colonel David Lapan, a Pentagon spokesman.

Lapan said an email had been sent from the legal branch of each of the military services to legal advisers in the field informing them of Tuesday's injunction.

"The email noted that the US government is contemplating whether to appeal and to seek a stay of the injunction," Lapan added in a statement.

In the run-up to crucial November mid-term elections, polls have shown overwhelming US public support for ending the policy, while Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, have both backed lifting the ban.

Gates on Wednesday, however, said it was a complicated step that should be taken by Congress instead of the courts. Republicans blocked an attempt to end the ban last month.

Speaking to reporters on his plane en route to Brussels, Gates said ending the ban on gays serving openly in uniform "requires careful preparation, and a lot of training and a lot of revision of regulation."

If the ban is lifted, the Pentagon would have to look at changing the way benefits are handed out for troops and their families as well as possible changes to barracks or buildings at bases, he said.

"It has enormous consequences for our troops and as I had said from the very beginning I think there should be legislation," he said, without commenting directly on the court decision.


Franklin Electronic Publishers Launches Roadie™ Portable Speaker System ~Tunes to Go~

On October 1st, 2010, Franklin Electronic Publishers, known for their innovative travel solutions, will release its new “Explorer” line of ROADIE Portable Speaker System: a small, portable, powered 3-module speaker system and 2-way communicator for mobile professionals and today’s on-the-go generation.

(PRWEB) September 29, 2010 -- On October 1st, 2010, Franklin Electronic Publishers, known for their innovative travel solutions, will release its new “Explorer” line of ROADIE Portable Speaker System: a small, portable, powered 3-module speaker system and 2-way communicator for mobile professionals and today’s on-the-go generation.ROADIE Portable Speaker Systems use revolutionary technology that turns any hard flat surface into the speaker itself, minimizing the footprint while delivering the thunderous sound of much larger conventional speakers: a solution that finally allows portability to not compromise sound.

The three-piece modular design allows the user to stack and tailor the device to their specific needs regardless of location.

-   The base ROADIE speaker, USB powered with a built-in microphone for VoIP, plugs into any audio device such as a mobile phone, MP3 player, computer, etc.

-   A second module consisting of rechargeable battery, SD card slot, and MP3 Player for a self-contained listening experience not requiring any separate audio device.

-   A third module consists of an equalizer and a hi frequency tweeter plus AC power to enable a second amplifier stage for an even more thunderous sound.

On its own, the base ROADIE Portable Speaker System EVS-2000 will retail for US$49.99.Combined with the second center module, ROADIE Unplugged Portable Speaker System EVS-3000 will retail for US$79.99.And all three modules together, ROADIE Amp’d Portable Speaker System EVS-4000 will be sold for US$99.99.

Franklin’s Explorer line up of ROADIE Portable Speaker Systems overcomes the shortfalls typically inherent in single speaker system as it radiates the sound 360 degrees!

“At Franklin, we have always been known for our development of innovative travel products such as translators. We’re always thinking about how we can better serve our travelers.This flexible, robust, and portable communication system is our answer” says Barry J. Lipsky, Franklin’s president and chief executive officer. “It not only means I can take my audio tunes with me be it music or movies but I can use it with my weekly SKYPE conference calls as a portable speaker phone.”

With the traveler in mind, Franklin designed this modular product to save space and to allow the traveler to take only what is needed on the road.The system is source agnostic (i.e., not just built for the iPod) and enhances the experience for a traveler with multiple sound sources such as VoIP, multimedia presentations, MP3 player, etc.Franklin’s new line of “Explorer” Products built for the mobile professional is spearheaded by this innovative, rugged, aluminum constructed system, built to last even through the expected wear and tear of business travel.The ROADIE system comes with a carrying case and a variety of cables and international adapters to allow its use no matter where one might be “Explorer” of.

Franklin’s ROADIE Portable Speaker System is perfectly suited for travelers, college dorm rooms, multi-media presentations, parties, and much more.Not only does the ROADIE system bring sound performance to the user; it brings sound performance WITH the user.

For more information about Roadie, please visit: .For any press inquiries please contact Alyson Campbell at AMP3 Public Relations via 646.827.9594 or roadie(at)AMP3PR(dot)com.

About FranklinFranklin Electronic Publishers Incorporated is a world leader ielectronic handheld devices, having sold approximately 42,000,000 electronic books.Current titles available directly or through partners number more than 116,000 in sixteen languages, under license from world-class publishers such as Merriam-Webster, Oxford University Press, Larousse, Langenscheidt, PONS, and HarperCollins, and are focused in four areas: language expansion, language learning, reading enhancement, and writing enhancement.The Company also licenses its underlying technology to an array of partners, which include Adobe and Sun Microsystems. Franklin's products are available at 49,000 retail outlets worldwide, through catalogs, and online at .


AMP3 Public RelationsAlyson Campbell646-827-9594Trackback URL: