Archive for June 2012

Jerry Sandusky’s defense could be histrionic personality disorder

Tuesday, June 12, 2012 · Posted in

Is Jerry Sandusky a predatory pedophile or just an affectionate guy who needs to be the center of attention?

As his alleged victims take the stand to claim the former Penn State football coach sexually molested them, Sandusky's defense attorneys are asking the court to let them present evidence that he has histrionic personality disorder.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, people with the disorder suffer from poor self-esteem and resort to dramatics to gain approval.

"They have an overwhelming desire to be noticed, and often behave dramatically or inappropriately to get attention," according to the clinic's website.

One of the symptoms is to exhibit inappropriately seductive or flirtatious behavior—a fact that may help Sandusky's defense team explain love letters he reportedly sent some of his alleged victims.

"These disorders can indeed be real, and sometimes they can be pathological, but you have to look at the context from where they occur," Dr. Carol Bernstein, associate professor of psychiatry at NYU Langone Medical Center, told ABC News. "If someone exhibits sexually inappropriate behavior and that's all they have out of the several characteristics, that's not a personality disorder. Any sexual predator exhibits sexually inappropriate behavior."

It could be a difficult defense to prove, a law professor told ABC.

"Typically, for an insanity argument, a person must be out of touch with reality at the time of the crime," said Elyn Saks, associate dean and professor of law, psychology, and psychiatry and the behavioral sciences at University of Southern California Gould Law School. "It is very strict. While personality disorders can have transient psychotic symptoms, this would be a stretch as a viable argument."

The former coach faces 52 criminal counts related to the alleged assaults of 10 boys. Prosecutors claim the abuse took place at Penn State, his home and other places over a 15-year period. Sandusky, who retired as the Nittany Lions' defensive coordinator in 1999, has maintained he's innocent.

'Gone With the Wind' actress Ann Rutherford dies

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Ann Rutherford, the demure brunette actress who played the sweetheart in the long-running Andy Hardy series and Scarlett O'Hara's youngest sister in "Gone With the Wind," has died. She was 94.

A close friend, Anne Jeffreys, said she was at Rutherford's side when she died at about 5:30 p.m. Monday at Rutherford's Beverly Hills home. She died of heart problems and had been ill for several months, Jeffreys said.

Rutherford's death was first reported by the Los Angeles Times ( ).

"She was a dear person, a very funny lady, wonderful heart, was always trying to do things for people," Jeffreys said.

Rutherford was a frequent guest at "Gone With the Wind" celebrations in Georgia and, as one of the few remaining actors from the movie, continued to attract fans from around the world, Jeffreys said.

"She loved it. It really stimulated the last years of her life, because she got thousands of emails from fans," Jeffreys said. "She was in great demand."

She was also known for the Andy Hardy series, a hugely popular string of comical, sentimental films, that starred Lewis Stone as a small-town judge and Mickey Rooney as his spirited teenage son.

Rutherford first appeared in the second film of the series, "You're Only Young Once," in 1938, and she went on 11 more. She played Polly Benedict, the ever-faithful girlfriend that Andy always returned to, no matter what other, more glamorous girl had temporarily caught his eye. (Among the other girls: Judy Garland and Lana Turner.)

It was said she won the part of Carreen — the youngest of the three O'Hara sisters in "Gone With the Wind" — because Judy Garland was filming "The Wizard of Oz."

Rutherford told the Times in 2010 that MGM head Louis B. Mayer was going to refuse her the role, calling it "a nothing part." But Rutherford, who was a fan of the novel, uncharacteristically burst into tears and he relented.

Rutherford plays the sister who, early in the film, begs to be allowed to go to the ball at Ashley Wilkes' plantation. "Oh, Mother, can't I stay up for the ball tomorrow? ... I'm 13 now," she says in a sweet voice.

In 1989, she was one of 10 surviving "GWTW" cast members who gathered in Atlanta for the celebration of the film's 50th anniversary.

"Anyone who had read the book sensed they were into something that would belong to the ages, and everyone was in a frenzy to read the book," she said.

"The specialness of this is with each generation of young people who are touched by 'Gone With the Wind,'" she said. "As long as there are little children, there will always be a Mickey Mouse. ... On an adult version, 'Gone With the Wind' does that."

Rutherford concurred with other cast members that no matter what else they had done, "Our obituary will say we were in 'Gone With the Wind' and we'll be proud of it."

In a 1969 Los Angeles Times interview, she lamented that the "permissive generation" of the 1960s wasn't getting the old-fashioned parenting that the fictional Andy Hardy got.

"Someday someone will have to sit down with today's youth and give them a man-to-man talk," she said.

She also joked that "my life has reached the point where I'm now 'camp.'"

Rutherford was born in 1917, according to the voter records reviewed by The Associated Press. Some sources give other dates. The daughter of an opera tenor and an actress, she began performing on the stage as a child.

She launched her movie career in Westerns while still in her teens, often appearing with singing cowboy hero Gene Autry and sometimes with John Wayne.

She joined MGM in 1937, playing a variety of roles for several years before leaving the studio to freelance.

Among her other films: "Whistling in the Dark," with Red Skelton, 1941, and its two sequels, "Whistling in Dixie" and "Whistling in Brooklyn"; "Orchestra Wives," with bandleader Glenn Miller, 1942; and "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty," with Danny Kaye, 1947.

She largely retired from the screen in 1950, but appeared in a couple of films in the 1970s, "They Only Kill Their Masters," 1972, and "Won Ton Ton — The Dog Who Saved Hollywood," 1976.

Her first marriage, to David May in 1942, ended in divorce; they had two children. In 1953, she married producer William Dozier, a union that lasted until his death in 1991. He was best known as the producer of the "Batman" TV series.

Vivien Leigh, who played Scarlett O'Hara, died in 1967. Evelyn Keyes, who played the middle O'Hara sister, Suellen, died in July 2008.

Rutherford recalled that the night of the "Gone With the Wind" premiere in Atlanta, author Margaret Mitchell invited the cast, including Leigh and co-star Clark Gable, to her home for scrambled eggs. Gable and Mitchell disappeared.

"Clark Gable and Margaret were hiding in the bathroom, Clark on the edge of the tub and Margaret you know where, just talking," she chuckled. "They had to get away from the photographers."

Japanese man climbs all world's 14 tallest peaks

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A Japanese climber who was nearly killed by an avalanche in 2007 has become his country's first person to scale the world's 14 tallest mountains, completing his latest climb in Nepal, mountaineering officials said Monday.

The Nepal Mountaineering Association said Hirotaka Takeuchi scaled the 8,167-meter-high (26,788-foot-high) Mount Dhaulagiri on May 26 to finish his 17-year mission. He was nearly swept to his death five years ago on Mount Ghashabrum.

"I have always wanted to climb mountains as long as I remember," Takeuchi said in an interview in Katmandu. "It was always my childhood dream to scale high peaks."

All the top 14 peaks — including Everest, K2 and Kanchenjunga — are located in the Himalayan or Karakoram ranges of Asia. Takeuchi became the 30th person to climb all of them, and the first climber from Japan, Nepal Mountaineering Association official Deebash Bikram Shah said.

Takeuchi said he plans to return to the Himalayas to climb another peak next year.

"I will continue to climb as long as my body will allow me," he said.

Takeuchi's mission almost ended in 2007 when an avalanche on Mount Gashabrum swept him some 300 meters (1,000 feet) and buried him completely in snow. Two German climbers were killed in the avalanche, and a third was injured badly. Takeuchi was dug out by other mountaineers and rescued by helicopter.

Govt to build 33 more gas stations

Monday, June 11, 2012 · Posted in

The government plans to build 33 more gas stations (SPBGs) at a cost of Rp2 trillion this year to support a fuel-to-gas conversion program, an Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry official said.

The gas stations would be built in Jakarta, Banten, West Java and East Java provinces, the ministry`s director general of oil and gas, Evita Legowo said here on Thursday.

"With the addition of 33 SPBGs, the number of SPBGs will reach 54 by the end of this year," she said.

The government had allocated Rp2 trillion in funds for the construction of SPBGs, she said.

The government hoped a tender for the construction of the new SPBGs could be completed in thee months` time and the SPBGs could be built starting October 2012, she said.

Evita said gas producers were ready to supply 23.1 mmscfd of gas to Jakarta and its surrounding areas, 10.2 mmscfd to Surabaya, Gresik and Sidoarjo in East Java, and 2.2 mmscfd to Palembang in South Sumatra.

"The Memorandum of Understanding with gas suppliers has been signed," she said.

She said gas sale purchase agreement with gas suppliers could hopefully be signed at the end of August 2012.

"There are several things we still need to solve. We have set ourselves the target of solving the matter at least by the end of August 2012," she said.

The matters included tax, gas price at upstream level, and gas transport cost, she said.

The government aims to save 8,000 kiloliters of gas through the fuel-to-gas conversion program this year.

Indonesia, India can become trendsetters for developing world

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The close cooperation between Indonesia and India is expected to become a trendsetter for the developing world, said the newly appointed Indian ambassador to Indonesia, Gujrit Singh.

"India and Indonesia have worked together to achieve their own targets and become trendsetters for the developing world; we always have a common goal, and we believe that there should be greater equality in the international world," Singh remarked.

According to the Indian ambassador, Indonesia and India should work together in almost all international sectors to bring equality to the world.

"So whether it`s in the United Nations (UN) or in newly emerging areas, such as the India-ASEAN cooperation or other forms of cooperation, I think that India-Indonesia have found that they are on the same stage regarding world issues," Singh observed.

He added that ASEAN is one of the most hardworking and well-organised regional organisations in the world, comprising a group of countries wherein Indonesia has played the role of a pioneer.

"The more harmony there is in ASEAN, I think the more the business India can do in a more unified region," Singh declared.

The ambassador explained that Indonesia and India have set a trade target of US$25 billion by 2015. Since the value of this year`s trade has reached US$20 billion, Singh pointed out that both countries need to do more in order to realise the target.

"Greater investment will eventually boost the trade value between Indonesia and India," he asserted.

Singh expressed India`s interest in assisting Indonesia to realise its target of producing more value-added goods in the future.

"I think that the development of business potential requires greater investment and the development of services," he stated.

Before his appointment as India`s ambassador to Indonesia, Singh was heading the East and Southern Africa Division in India`s Ministry of External Affairs.

Singh has studied at Mayo College in Ajmer and St. Xavier`s College in Kolkata; he completed his post-graduation in International Studies at JNU.

Appointed to the Indian Foreign Service in 1980, he has served in the Indian missions in Tokyo (twice), Colombo, Nairobi and Rome. He has been India`s ambassador to Ethiopia and Djibouti as well as India`s representative in the African Union.

He is proficient in Japanese and published "The Abalone Factor: An Overview of India-Japan Business Relations" in 1997, which won him the Bimal Sanyal Award for Research by a Foreign Service Officer.

His paper titled "India and Africa: A Response to African Institutionalism in the 21st Century" was published in November 2006 in the book "Indian Foreign Policy: Challenges and Opportunities."

Mind, body rest tied to concussion healing

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Taking a week off from nearly all mental and physical activity - including television, talking on the phone and visiting with friends - was linked with improved mental performance and fewer symptoms in people who had suffered a concussion, a study said.

A week of total rest still had benefits even months after the injury, according to a report in the Journal of Pediatrics.

"That`s really important because very often we see patients with post-concussion syndrome months after their injury," said Rosemarie Moser, director of the Sports Concussion Center of New Jersey and lead author of the study.

Post-concussion syndrome involves headaches, mental fogginess, fatigue and difficulty concentrating or sleeping, among other symptoms.

Typically, rest is the main treatment, Moser said, but it`s not systematic or comprehensive and varies according to how the different practitioners define rest. The study aimed to test the results of intensive rest.

Moser`s group ordered 49 high school- and college-age patients to rest for a full week. The rescription was strict: they could not go to school or work, talk on the phone, exercise, watch TV, socialize or work at a computer.

Fourteen of the patients started the rest within a week of their injuries. Another 22 patients began resting within a month of the concussion, and 13 patients began the week of rest between one and seven months after the concussion.

At the beginning of the study, all of the patients had concussion-related symptoms, such as headaches and trouble concentrating - but all saw improvement after the week of rest.

Athletes who began the rest within a week of their concussion saw their symptoms fall from a score of 22 on a 132-point scale, to seven. Those who began their rest more than a month out saw symptoms drop from 28 to 8.

"All of those symptoms improved dramatically. Qualitatively, you feel better," Moser said.

Moser`s group also had participants take mental tests - measuring memory, processing speed and reaction time - before and after they rested, and found that patients did better on all the mental exams after the rest.

The researchers did not compare the participants` improvement to other people with concussions who got no special rest period, or who got some rest but less than the total rest that they prescribed.

"The study provides some evidence to back up a recommendation that`s already out there," said Willem Meeuwisse, a professor at the University of Calgary and a physician specializing in sports injuries who was not part of the study.

But he said it was not clear if the rest needs to be as intensive as it was in the study to provide benefits.

Google touts maps amid reports of Apple setback

Sunday, June 10, 2012 · Posted in

Google's digital mapping service will get several new features in hopes of becoming more convenient, comprehensive and compelling as it braces for a potential loss in traffic from Apple's hot-selling mobile devices.

Wednesday's preview of the mapping service's coming attractions seemed timed to blunt the blow from the loss of a prized perch as the built-in navigation service on Apple's iPhone and iPad. Apple Inc. intends to end its five-year partnership with Google's mobile maps next week when it will unveil its own service, according to recent reports in The Wall Street Journal and the technology blog 9to5.

Brian McClendon, a Google Inc. vice president who oversees the mapping service, wouldn't directly address reporters' questions about the possible Apple setback. "We will continue to make GoogleMaps available as widely as possible," he said.

Apple Inc. spokeswoman Trudy Muller declined comment Wednesday.

If Apple ousts Google Maps from the prominent spot on the iPhone and iPad, it would be the latest fissure between two former allies. Their relationship has been degenerating into a bitter rivalry sinceGoogle's 2008 release of Android to compete the iPhone. Since then, both companies have increasingly been encroaching on each other's turf.

Processing the mobile mapping requests from users of Apple's devices has provided Google with valuable insights into people's whereabouts and preferences. That, in turn, has helped Google sell more ads to local businesses.

None of the new features touted Wednesday by Google will be available for at least several more weeks. The upcoming options include maps that can be downloaded on mobile devices for offline access and more three-dimensional imagery — the latter coming from its own fleet of planes.

Google devoted much of Wednesday's presentation to a dissertation on all the technological wizardry that it has poured into its maps during the past seven years. The service now attracts more than 1 billion users around the world.

Without directly saying so, Google seemed to be trying to convey how difficult it will be for Apple or any other newcomer to build maps that include as many useful tools.

Besides providing 26 million miles of driving directions, Google's maps now include imagery of most of the world's neighborhoods. McClendon bragged that 75 percent of the global population can now call up a high-resolution image of their home on Google's maps, up from 37 percent six years ago.

Google also has traversed 5 million miles to take ground-level photos of communities for a feature called Street View. The company has raised privacy concerns by posting photographs that include people in unflattering situations and, at one point, including equipment that vacuumed up personal emails sent over wireless networks that weren't protected with a password.

Google plans to embellish its maps with even more photos from remote areas, such as hiking trails in the Grand Canyon, with new equipment showcased Wednesday. The photos will be taken from specially designed equipment attached to a hiker's backpack. This gear will supplement photo-snapping bicycles that Google already has been dispatching to areas that can't be easily accessed by cars.

The company also disclosed that its planes will photograph swaths of major cities to conjure more realistic three-dimensional views of metropolitan landscapes in the Google Earth version of its maps. The photos taken by the planes are automatically converted into 3-D replicas using technology thatGoogle developed for the project.

San Francisco will be one of the first cities to feature the more vivid 3-D imagery. Google didn't identify other cities on its 3-D list, but said the improvements will span communities with a combined population of about 300 million.

"We are trying to create magic here," said Peter Birch, a Google Earth product manager. "We are trying to create the illusion that you are flying over the city, almost as if you are in your own personal helicopter."

The option to download mobile maps for specific cities so they can be reviewed offline later initially will only be available on smartphones and tablet computers running on Google's Android software.

Google's maps have typically offered more tools on Android devices, including turn-by-turn directions spoken aloud. According to published reports, the bias contributed to Apple's decision to try to come up with a better alternative for its mobile platform.

London cabbies have ‘more fun’ with Philippine slogan

Saturday, June 9, 2012 · Posted in

Marck Acres, who drives a London cab bearing the Department of Tourism’s (DOT) “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” slogan, said the digital ad has caught the attention of some of his passengers.

"Passengers ask about it,” Acres told the Philippine Daily Inquirer in an interview at the parking lot of a London hotel on Tuesday.

Acres said the 30-second digital advertisement, peppered with faces of smiling children, has even got him interested in visiting the country "because it speaks of lots of sunshine and happy people,” he added.

Acres’ taxi was one of 50 London cabs and 25 double-decked buses fitted with the “more-fun” slogan in time for the Queen’s Jubilee celebration, London Olympics and the 2012-2013 season of the Fulham Football Club of the English Premier League.

President Benigno Aquino, who was visiting the United Kingdom, gave the campaign a boost by posing in front of one such double-decker and with some of the cabs called in for a photo shoot at the Intercontinental London Park Lane Hotel on Tuesday.

Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez, who was beside Mr. Aquino and other Cabinet members waving more-fun flags during the shoot, said the UK is the country’s largest Philippine market for European tourists.

Eddie Read, driver of a double-decker which also bears the DOT ad, said he had in fact visited the Philippines and tells his passengers about it.

"I tell them about how I enjoyed the karaoke and that I intend to go back there to go to Boracay,” the bus driver said.

Jimenez, in an interview at the sidelines of a Filipino community gathering Tuesday, said the President’s visit certainly boosts the tourism campaign which was timed for big events to generate more awareness of the Philippines as a top destination in Asia,” Jimenez said

Aquino, in his speech at that gathering, said he was confident that tourist arrivals (numbering about 400,000 a month since the start of the year) would be sustained. With the campaign in place, it is expected to reach 4.8 million in 12 months.

The president was also hopeful that with every tourist arrival, a job for every Filipino would also be created.

The intensive tourism campaign, Jimenez said, shows the seriousness of the government about it.

"The world will now start to see that ‘It’s more fun in the Philippines’ is not just words on a streamer,” Jimenez said.

The campaign is expected to enhance the country’s image as a top destination in Asia.

With London’s population of about 7.5 million and 1.5 million international visitors every year, “the Philippines is certainly generating awareness not only among the British population, but also among visitors to UK,” Jimenez said.

"Philippine tourism is poised to surge forward as we launch more aggressive initiatives to reinvigorate the industry and work towards achieving our 10 million target by 2016,”Jimenez said.

China to sell regional aircraft to Ukraine

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Chinese state media say a domestic manufacturer will sell three regional aircraft to a Ukraine-based airline.

The official Xinhua New Agency reported Saturday that Xi'an Aircraft International Corp. had inked a deal to sell three twin-turboprop MA60 aircraft to Kiev-based MARS. It did not disclose the value of the deal.

Xinhua says this is the first time for China-made civil regional aircraft to enter the European market.

XAIC, a subsidiary of state-owned China Aviation Industry Corporation, calls the deal with the Ukrainian airline a "breakthrough" on its official website.

China's inflation eases, giving room for stimulus

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China's inflation fell further in May, giving Beijing more room to fight a deepening economic slump following this week's interest rate cut.

Consumer prices rose 3 percent, down from April's 3.4 percent rate, while politically volatile food price inflation eased to 6.4 percent from the previous month's 7 percent, data showed Saturday. The government's target is 4 percent for the year.

That reduces the risk Beijing might set off more price spikes as it unveils new measures almost daily to reverse a downturn that raises the threat of job losses and unrest. The slump comes at a sensitive time for the ruling Communist Party, which is preparing to hand power to a younger generation of leaders this year.

"Receding consumer price inflation frees up much-needed space for policymakers to loosen credit and roll out investment plans," IHS Global Insight analyst Alistair Thornton said in a report.

Growth in the world's second-largest economy fell to a nearly three-year low of 8.1 percent in the first quarter. Analysts expect it to decline further before a possible rebound late this year.

In May, growth in factory output reached 9.6 percent, up from April's 9.3 percent — the lowest rate since the 2008 crisis — but well below last year's levels. Growth in spending on factories and other fixed assets edged down.

The government cut interest rates Thursday for the first time in nearly four years and cut gasoline and diesel retail prices on Friday. It has promised to pump money into the economy with spending on low-cost housing, airports and other projects.

Analysts said the rate cut suggested authorities might have been spurred to greater urgency because May trade and industrial data were weak.

Worsening strains in Europe, China's biggest export market, "highlight the significant downside risks to the outlook," said David Lipton, a deputy managing director of the International Monetary Fund, in a written statement during a visit to Beijing.

"China again has space for a forceful response if necessary," Lipton said.

Communist leaders spent two years tightening lending and investment curbs to cool an overheated economy after its rebound from the 2008 crisis. Inflation climbed to a three-year peak of 6.5 percent last July before declining.

Beijing started to reverse course late last year after a plunge in global demand battered exporters. Communist leaders have moved cautiously after their huge stimulus in response to the 2008 crisis fueled inflation and a wasteful building boom.

The May data still showed signs of price pressures, with the cost of fresh vegetables rising 31.2 percent over a year ago.

May wholesale prices fell for a second month, declining 1.4 percent compared with the same month last year. That suggested factories and other suppliers have a glut of goods and must cut prices charged to retailers.

"China's producers are seeing sharp deflation, pointing to a worrying lack of final demand," said Thornton. "Both should act as a spur for the government to move more aggressively."

Samsung expects big changes under new number two man

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Samsung Group’s new corporate strategy office chief Choi Gee-sung is expected to bring a bundle of changes to the country’s largest conglomerate as he is recognized for his aggressive business tactics.

With the appointment considered to be one of the most notable events in the conglomerate’s history, Choi remained calm and modest on his first day of work as the chief of the firm’s de facto control tower on Friday.

He did not say much, only bowed and asked for a warm welcome to reporters who were waiting for him in the company’s lobby at around 7:40 a.m.

Choi, however, has a number of big issues that he needs to tackle as soon as he gets settled in his position. Such issues include chairman of Samsung Electronics Lee Kun-hee’s inheritance suit with his siblings, the ongoing patent battle with U.S.-based tech giant Apple Inc., and the creation of the post-Lee Kun-hee era.

The naming of a new strategic planning chief comes at a time when its chairman Lee pointed to the need for a “revolution change that could open a new business era” following his three-week long business trip in Europe.

The appointment also takes place 19 years after the chairman declared a new business era to overcome the global financial crisis during his meeting with Samsung executives in Frankfurt, Germany on the same day.

“The Samsung Electronics chief executive was picked for his global mindset in devising business tactics, fast decision-making skills and his ability to efficiently run the organization,” said the group’s chief communications officer Rhee In-yong on Thursday.

Considering that Samsung Group is currently facing severe competition from foreign players, with them keeping the Korean firm in check, Choi’s charisma and strong driving force is projected to help the conglomerate gain an upper hand in going forward with its projects and nurturing future growth engines amid the sluggish global economy, especially in Europe, according to industry sources.

The 61-year-old new chief of staff at Samsung, who was hired back in 1977, is known as a “go-getter” who did not hesitate to travel hundreds of miles to sell semiconductor parts to European electronics firms. He was then serving as the head of Samsung Electronics’ one-person European office.

Choi is also known for his close ties with Samsung heir apparent Lee Jay-yong, guiding the only son of chairman Lee through business operations during his time as CEO of the electronics arm. Lee Jay-yong is currently the chief operating officer at Samsung Electronics.

Buoyed by increasing semiconductor sales figures and his experience in the group’s top secretary office, the vice chairman took over the flagship electronics arm’s television business in 2003.

With Sony far outpacing Samsung in the TV sector at the time, the Korean tech firm rolled out the Bordeaux TV in 2006, taking over the world’s No. 1 spot for the first time following the launch.

He then took charge of the firm’s mobile communications business four years later in 2007, once again grabbing the leading positions in handsets as well as monitors for personal computers.

Since being seated as the chief executive of Samsung Electronics in December 2010, he recently was engaged in the first-ever face-to-face meeting with Apple’s CEO Tim Cook to discuss the ongoing patent battle between the two rivals.

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