WASHINGTON – The White House said Sunday that President Barack Obama was being kept up to date on the investigation into the apparent car bomb found in New York City’s Times Square.White House spokesman Nick Shapiro said in a statement that Obama,
who attended an annual gala dinner Saturday night for White House news correspondents, praised the quick and effective response by the New York Police Department.New York City police removed bomb-making materials from a parked sports utility vehicle in Times Square, including propane tanks and a clock suspected to be a timing device. They also removed gasoline and explosive powders from the vehicle.Police said an officer noticed smoke coming from the SUV around 6:30 p.m. Saturday and police cleared the streets of thousands of theatergoers and tourists from the vicinity.Shapiro said that Obama ordered his homeland security and counterterrorism adviser, John Brennan, to advise New York officials that the federal government was prepared to provide support.Brennan and others will keep the president informed of progress made in the investigation, Shapiro said.Police were investigating a report that someone was seen running from the vehicle, a Nissan Pathfinder, at some point and were reviewing security videotapes, a police spokesman said.Obama takes direct aim at anti-government rhetoric By PETE YOST and MARK S. SMITH, Associated PressANN ARBOR, Mich. – In a blunt caution to political friend and foe, President Barack Obama said Saturday that partisan rants and name-calling under the guise of legitimate discourse pose a serious danger to America’s democracy, and may incite „extreme elements” to violence.The comments, in a graduation speech at the University of Michigan‘s huge football stadium, were Obama’s most direct take about the angry politics that have engulfed his young presidency after long clashes over health care, taxes and the role of government.Not 50 miles from where Obama spoke, the GOP’s 2008 vice presidential nominee, Sarah Palin, denounced his policies as „big government” strategies being imposed on average Americans. „The fundamental transformation of America is not what we all bargained for,” she told 2,000 activists at a forum in Clarkston, sponsored by the anti-tax Americans for Prosperity Foundation.Obama drew repeated cheers in Michigan Stadium from a friendly crowd that aides called the biggest audience of his presidency since the inauguration. The venue has a capacity of 106,201, and university officials distributed 80,000 tickets — before they ran out.In his 31-minute speech, Obama didn’t mention either Palin or the tea party movement that’s captured headlines with its fierce attacks on his policies. But he took direct aim at the anti-government language so prevalent today.”What troubles me is when I hear people say that all of government is inherently bad,” Obama said after receiving an honorary doctor of laws degree. „When our government is spoken of as some menacing, threatening foreign entity, it ignores the fact that in our democracy, government is us.”Government, he said, is the roads we drive on and the speed limits that keep us safe. It’s the men and women in the military, the inspectors in our mines, the pioneering researchers in public universities.The financial meltdown dramatically showed the dangers of too little government, he said, „when a lack of accountability on Wall Street nearly led to the collapse of our entire economy.”But Obama was direct in urging both sides in the political debate to tone it down. „Throwing around phrases like ‘socialists’ and ‘Soviet-style takeover,’ ‘fascists’ and ‘right-wing nut’ — that may grab headlines,” he said. But it also „closes the door to the possibility of compromise. It undermines democratic deliberation,” he said.”At its worst, it can send signals to the most extreme elements of our society that perhaps violence is a justifiable response.”Passionate rhetoric isn’t new, he acknowledged. Politics in America, he said, „has never been for the thin-skinned or the faint of heart. … If you enter the arena, you should expect to get roughed up.”Obama hoped the graduates hearing his words can avoid cynicism and brush off the overheated noise of politics. In fact, he said, they should seek out opposing views.His advice: If you’re a regular Glenn Beck listener, then check out the Huffington Post sometimes. If you read The New York Times editorial page the morning, then glance every now and then at The Wall Street Journal.”It may make your blood boil. Your mind may not be changed. But the practice of listening to opposing views is essential for effective citizenship,” he said.The speech was part of a busy weekend for the president: the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner Saturday evening near the White House and visit the Gulf Coast on Sunday morning for a firsthand update on the massive oil spill.Obama’s helicopter landed on a grass practice football field next to the stadium on a damp, overcast day. Students and their families had been streaming in since early morning, many toting rain gear.The president’s appearance in Michigan — a battleground in the 2008 White House race that’s likely to play a big role in the fall congressional campaign — comes as the state struggles with the nation’s highest unemployment rate, 14.1 percent. It’s also has an unhappy electorate to match.In the Republican’s weekly radio and Internet address, Rep. Pete Hoekstra, R-Mich, said Obama’s visit was a chance „to show the president, firsthand, the painful plight of the people of Michigan.”Many of the graduates Obama addresses will soon learn how tough it is to find a job in this economy, Hoekstra said, adding that the share of young Americans out of work is the highest it’s been in more than 50 years.Speaking before Obama was Gov. Jennifer Granholm, who’s known to be on his short list of possible Supreme Court nominees. She said Michigan residents owe him thanks for „delivering on health care reform” and „for supporting our auto industry. General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, they all have bright futures now, where a year ago, much darker clouds than these loomed overhead.”Obama’s speech was the first of four he is giving this commencement season.On May 9, he’ll speak at Hampton University, a historically black college in Hampton, Va., founded in 1868 on the grounds of a former plantation.He’s also addressing Army cadets at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., on May 22, continuing a tradition of presidents addressing graduates at the service academies. He announced his Afghanistan troop surge at West Post last December. Also this year, for the first time, Obama plans a high school commencement. It’s part of his „Race to the Top” education initiative, with its goal of boosting the United States’ lagging graduation rate to the world’s best by 2020.High schools across the country have competed for the honor, submitting essays and videos. A vote on the White House website yielded three finalists, and Obama will choose among them next week.Smith reported from Washington. Associated Press writers Kathy Barks Hoffman in Ann Arbor and Corey Williams in Clarkston contributed to this report.Bomb-making materials taken from Times Square car By TOM HAYS and CRISTIAN SALAZAR, Associated PressNEW YORK – New York City police have removed bomb-making materials from a parked sports utility vehicle in Times Square, including propane tanks and a clock suspected to be a timing device.Top police spokesman Paul Browne says investigators have also removed gasoline and explosive powders from the vehicle. An officer noticed smoke coming from the SUV around 6:30 p.m. and cleared the streets of thousands of theatergoers and tourists from the landmark.Browne says police are investigating a report that someone was seen running from the vehicle at some point and are reviewing security videotapes. He says the Nissan Pathfinder’s license plates do not match the car’s registration.THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.NEW YORK (AP) — Police found a suspected car bomb in a parked sport utility vehicle Saturday evening in New York City‘s Times Square, then evacuated buildings and cleared streets of thousands of tourists in the landmark known as the „Crossroads of the World.”A mounted police officer noticed smoke coming from the SUV at 6:30 p.m., police said. Bomb investigators found propane tanks, powder and an apparent timing device inside, according to a law enforcement official who wasn’t authorized to release the information and spoke on condition of anonymity.Police evacuated several residential and commercial buildings and cleared the streets of people. Police were deployed around the area with heavy weapons on empty streets in the heart of midtown Manhattan that normally teem with thousands of theatergoers and tourists.Some tourists reported hearing a small explosion hours after the car was first located.Shelly Carlisle, of Portland, Ore., said police crowded into her Broadway theater after the curtain closed on „Next to Normal,” a show on the same block where the SUV was found.”At the end of the show, the police came in. We were told we had to leave,” Carlisle said. „They said there was a bomb scare.”The car was parked on 45th Street, and the block was closed between Seventh and Eighth avenues as a precaution, police said. Times Square lies about four traffic-choked miles north of the site where terrorists bombed the World Trade Center in 1993, then laid waste to it on Sept. 11, 2001.FBI agents are on the scene with the New York Police Department, and the matter is being taken seriously, said Paul Bresson, head of the FBI’s public affairs office at bureau headquarters in Washington.The Homeland Security Department is aware of the situation, but the NYPD has it under control and is investigating, said a Homeland Security official who spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is in progress.The block that was closed is one of the prime blocks for Broadway shows, with seven theaters housing such big shows as „Billy Elliot” and „Lend Me a Tenor.”The curtain at „God of Carnage” and „Red” opened a half hour later than usual, but the shows were not canceled, said spokesman Adrian Bryan-Brown.Katy Neubauer, 46, and Becca Saunders, 39, of Milwaukee, were shopping for souvenirs two blocks south of the SUV when they saw panicked crowds.”It was a mass of people running away from the scene,” Neubauer said.Said Saunders: „There were too many people, too many cops. I’ve never seen anything like it.” Mayor Michael Bloomberg left early from the White House correspondent’s dinner Saturday night. A news conference was planned in New York for early Sunday.In December, a van without license plates parked in Times Square led police to block off part of the area for about two hours. A police robot examined the vehicle, and clothes, racks and scarves were found inside.In March 2008, a hooded bicyclist hurled an explosive device at a military recruiting center in the heart of Times Square, producing a flash, smoke and full-scale emergency response. No suspect was ever identified. In December, police evacuated thousands of holiday tourists from Times Square after finding a white van that had been parked there for days without license plates and blacked-out windows. No bombs were found, and police later said they overlooked the van because it contained a parking placard for a nonprofit police group. Police have spent years trying to crack down on street hustlers and peddlers preying on tourists. But there have been two major instances of gunfire in recent mnonths. A street hustler armed with a machine pistol exchanged shots in December, shattering a Broadway theater ticket window, before police fatally shot the man. Four separate shooting incidents and more than 50 arrests on a mile-long stretch of Manhattan last month around Times Square prompted the mayor to call the mayhem „wilding.”Contributing to this report were AP Washington bureau chief Ron Fournier, and Associated Press writers Eileen Sullivan and Pete Yost in Washington and Michael Kuchwara in New York.Russian resupply ship docks at space station with sweets By AFPMOSCOW (AFP) – A Russian cargo spaceship on Saturday docked at the International Space Station, authorities said, three days after launching from Kazakhstan with supplies that included sweets and chocolate.The Progress M-05M docked manually at 1835 GMT after the automatic systems did not work, a Russian Mission Control Centre spokesman said in a report by the Interfax news agency.The space craft had carried about 2.6 tonnes of freight including water, food, medicines, fuel and „psychological support” that included sweets, caramels and chocolates for the station’s international crew.It launched on Wednesday from the Baikonur space centre in Kazakhstan.Three Russian cosmonauts, two US astronauts and a Japanese crew member currently occupy the orbiting science laboratory.Russian Cargo Ship Docks at Space Station Despite Malfunction By Tariq Malik SPACE.comA new unmanned cargo ship loaded with tons of supplies successfully docked at the International Space Station Saturday despite a last-minute failure that forced a Russian cosmonaut to take control and guide the robotic freighter in manually.Russian space station commander Oleg Kotov took manual control of the automated cargo ship, called Progress 37, while it hovered about 3,280 feet (1,000 meters) away from the orbiting lab with 2.6 tons (2,359 kg) of supplies onboard.Kotov, a colonel in the Russian Air Force, used a remote control station set up inside the station to guide the 24-foot (7.4-foot) long spacecraft into a Russian docking port on the Earth-facing side of the orbiting laboratory. With deft hands, Kotov flew the Progress 37 in to a 2:30 p.m. EDT (1830 GMT) docking as the space station flew 220 miles (354 km) over southern Russia.”I found the station and I’m going to bring it into the center of the field of view,” Kotov told Russian Mission Control in Moscow. Flight controllers kept close tabs on Kotov’s progress. „I’m just going really slow and taking it very easy,” the cosmonaut said.Kotov took control of Progress 37 after it failed to return to the proper docking orientation following a series of thruster firings. Kotov and two other Russian crewmates monitored the cargo ship’s approach using the station’s Telerobotically Operated Rendezvous Unit (TORU) system.NASA officials called Kotov’s manual docking „flawless.” He even docked it five minutes earlier than planned.Russian Mission Control gave the station crew hearty congratulations and said Kotov’s Progress 37 rendezvous work may have set a new record.”You brought it in from close to 1,000 meters,” Mission Control said. „That’s a first time in history.”The Progress 37 cargo ship, also known as M-05M, is the latest in a series of robotic Russian spacecraft to haul vital supplies to the International Space Station. The spacecraft blasted off from the Central Asian spaceport of Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Wednesday.Progress spacecraft are made up of three different modules and resemble Russia’s Soyuz spacecraft – which ferry astronauts and cosmonauts to and from the station. Both are designed to fly and dock autonomously. But instead of the Soyuz’s crew capsule, Progress vehicles carry a tank of propellant to feed the space station’s rocket thrusters.Progress freighters are also expendable, and are routinely intentionally destroyed at the end of their missions. Last week, the Progress 35 spacecraft undocked from the station’s Pirs docking port – where the new Progress 37 parked today. That older spacecraft burned up over the Pacific Ocean on Tuesday.NASA officials have said Progress 37 is hauling 1,918 pounds (870 kg) of propellant, 110 pounds (50 kg) of oxygen and air, 220 pounds (100 kg) of water, and about 3,301 pounds (1,497 kg) of experiment hardware and spare parts.Progress 37’s arrival marks the start of a busy May for the International Space Station.In upcoming weeks, another old unmanned cargo ship, Progress 36, is due to depart the space station. Soon after, NASA’s space shuttle Atlantis is due to launch on its final spaceflight ever on May 14 to deliver a new Russian science module to the space station.It will be one of NASA‘s three final shuttle missions before the three-orbiter fleet retires in November.Progress 37 carried more than just standard supplies and food for the station crew. It also delivered much-anticipated personal items for the space station’s six-person crew. In addition to Kotov, there are two other Russian cosmonauts, two American astronauts and Japanese astronaut living on the station today.Candy, books and movies are just some of those goodies, according to Russian news reports.NASA Finds Signs of Life … on Earth By SPACE.comIf alien life is ever discovered, scientists expect it will most likely be of the simple, microbial variety. And now they’ve found some serious signs of such life, right here on Earth. And the clues and the methodology could help researchers find life on Jupiter’s moon Europa.In a pair of images released today — one from NASA‘s EO-1 satellite and a closer one taken from a helicopter — NASA researchers explained their examination of a glacier-carved valley that is like none other on Earth. The spot, high in the Canadian Arctic on Ellesmere Island, is called Borup Fiord Pass. It is the only known place on our planet where sulfur from a natural spring is deposited over ice. The sulfur leaves a pale yellow stain on the ice, and scientists say it’s a clear sign of biological activity.The sulfur stain, clearly visible in the helicopter image, is not visible by regular satellite photography. But another sensor on the satellite, called Hyperion, makes measurements in wavelengths of light we can’t see. Using this hyperspectral data from Hyperion scientists were able to map the location of sulfur deposits. In effect, they’ve seen clear signs of life from space.What they learn from all this may help us find life elsewhere in the solar system, according to a statement from NASA.At the Borup Pass spring, hydrogen sulfide gas in the water is converted to sulfur, the most common material in the deposit, or gypsum. The process is complex, but it most often occurs when microbes, such as bacteria, are present, scientists explained.On Jupiter’s moon Europa, scientists have found dark stains on the ice that have them wondering if they might be caused by a similar process. Europa is covered in a shell of water ice that’s thought to hide an ocean of liquid water below. Liquid water is a key ingredient for life as we know it.Now NASA has measurements, from Borup Pass pass, that the agency says could help researchers determine if the Europa stains were created by life.”An orbiting sensor like Hyperion could be used to identify chemicals in Europa’s non-ice deposits that may be a sign of extraterrestrial microbial life,” NASA states.Hundreds of thousands march to mark Cuba’s May Day By WILL WEISSERT, Associated PressHAVANA – Hundreds of thousands of Cubans marched through the sprawling, concrete expanses of Revolution Plaza on Saturday in annual May Day celebrations that the government said prove the island supports its communist system even amid mounting international criticism over human rights.The turnout has long been massive for International Workers’ Day, but this year officials assigned the event special meaning, saying it was Cuba’s response to Washington, the European Union and international journalists who have conspired to tarnish its reputation after the February death of a jailed dissident hunger striker and a protest by another opposition activist who has refused food for weeks.Pro-government crowds dispatched in well-organized shifts also blocked a small, weekly march by a women’s group supporting political prisoners for three weeks running in Havana.But there was no sign of discontent among the islanders who thronged the plaza, with lead demonstrators carrying a giant banner reading „Unified in Duty.”It was „the most energetic and firm response to those who, from the centers of power in the United States and the European Union, backed by tiny mercenary groups, try to discredit us with false slanders,” said Salvador Valdes Mesa, secretary-general of the nearly 3 million-strong Cuban Workers Confederation.Some marchers sang, others waved cardboard signs declaring „We are the people of Fidel and Raul” or decrying the United States. A few screamed „Long Live Fidel!” until they lost their voices.Wearing a straw hat and white dress shirt, President Raul Castro grinned and waved from a high wooden podium as marchers streamed past.His older brother Fidel has not been seen in public since undergoing emergency intestinal surgery nearly four years ago and it was no surprise he didn’t show, though organizers used loudspeakers to blast past recordings of his voice. He also failed to issue a written statement in the pre-dawn hours before this year’s march, as he had done the three previous May Days.Officials at government schools, offices and factories that employ that vast majority of Cuban workers strongly urge everyone to attend the yearly rallies and organize transportation.The march was over in barely two hours, far less time than it used to take Fidel Castro to get through one of his May Day speeches of years past.This time only Valdes spoke, urging Cubans to be more productive despite average state salaries worth only about $20 per month. He struck a somber tone, warning that Cuba would have to „confront realities” economically that could make life even tougher for many who are already grindingly poor.The government dismisses the island’s small political opposition community as paid mercenaries of Washington, and Valdes denunciation likely referenced the Damas de Blanco, or Women in White, wives and mothers of 75 community organizers, independent journalists and political activists who were imprisoned during a sweeping government crackdown on dissent in March 2003. Fifty-three remain behind bars.Nearly every Sunday for seven years, the women dressed in white and marched — usually without incident — along leafy Fifth Avenue in Havana’s swank Miramar district, far from the Revolution Plaza area.But counter-protesters and international media appeared in March, when the group held a week of demonstrations in other parts of the city. Officials and counter-demonstrators have blocked their last three demonstrations.Special attention has been focused on human rights in Cuba since the Feb. 23 death of Orlando Zapata Tamayo, the first island opposition figure to die after a hunger strike in nearly 40 years, sparking outcry in the U.S. and Europe.Another dissident, Guillermo Farinas is not in prison but says he will keep refusing food and water until he dies — though he has received nutrients intravenously at a hospital near his home in the central city of Santa Clara.Pope to name envoy to lead discredited Legionaries By NICOLE WINFIELD, Associated PressVATICAN CITY – Pope Benedict XVI cracked down Saturday on the scandal-plagued Legionaries of Christ, announcing that a papal envoy would take over and reform the conservative order that has been discredited by revelations that its founder sexually abused seminarians and fathered at least one child.Benedict also ordered a special commission to study the Legionaries constitutions and said a Vatican expert would investigate its lay arm, Regnum Christi.The decisions were made after five Vatican investigators reported back to Benedict and other Vatican officials about an eight-month global inquiry into the order to determine its future after its founder was so thoroughly discredited by revelations of his double life.In a statement, the Vatican excoriated the Rev. Marcial Maciel for creating a „system of power” built on silence, deceit and obedience that enabled him to lead a double life „devoid of any scruples and authentic sense of religion” and allowed him to abuse young boys unchecked.”By pushing away and casting doubt upon all those who questioned his behavior, and the false belief that he wasn’t doing harm to the good of the Legion, he created around him a defense mechanism that made him unassailable for a long period, making it difficult to know his true life,” the Vatican said.But rather than closing the order down, which some critics had called for, the Vatican assured the Legion’s current members that it would help them „purify” what good remains in the order and would not be left alone as they undergo the „profound revision” necessary to carry on.The pope’s response to the Maciel scandal is being closely watched because the Vatican is facing mounting pressure to aggressively confront clerical abuse. The Maciel case has long been seen as emblematic of Vatican inaction on abuse complaints, since Maciel’s victims had tried in the 1990s to bring a canonical trial against him but were shut down by his supporters at the Vatican.In the end, it was only in 2006 — a year into Pope Benedict XVI‘s papacy — that the Vatican ordered Maciel to lead a „reserved life of penance and prayer,” making him a priest in name only. He died in 2008 at age 87.The Vatican statement was remarkable in its tough denunciation of Maciel’s crimes and deception, but it placed the blame almost entirely on him. It made no mention of any complicity on the part of Vatican officials who had held up Maciel as a model for the faithful.The Vatican said the system of power, obedience and silence Maciel created had kept „a large part” of the Legionaries in the dark about his double life. That did raise questions about what would become of the current Legionaries leadership since many have questioned how they couldn’t have known of his misdeeds.Jason Berry, who co-authored the initial reports in 1997 in Connecticut’s Hartford Courant detailing the allegations of abuse against Maciel, said the statement was strong but left unresolved whether Benedict would eventually confront Vatican complicity in Maciel’s misdeeds.In addition, he said, „The Legion is riddled with materialism and disinformation. Preserving the organization is clearly a risk,” he said.The Vatican ordered an investigation into the order in 2009 after the Legionaries acknowledged that Maciel had fathered a daughter who is now in her 20s and lives in Spain. But it was only in March of this year that the Legionaries acknowledged that Maciel had also sexually abused seminarians and that two men are claiming to be his sons.The late Pope John Paul II had long championed the Legionaries for their orthodoxy and ability to bring in vocations and money. Berry has recently written in the U.S. Catholic publication National Catholic Reporter of how the late pope’s secretary and No. 2 allegedly intervened to protect Maciel and accept donations on his behalf.The main U.S. clerical abuse victim’s group expressed disappointment that „the Vatican refused to admit its own complicity in concealing Maciel’s crimes, which have been well-documented for more than 12 years.””The Vatican’s lengthy cover-up and foot-dragging, and now its disingenuous denunciation of Maciel, is every bit as ‘immoral’ as the horrific child sex crimes by Maciel himself,” said David Clohessy, executive director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.The Vatican set out an initial course of action: the pope would name a personal delegate to lead the order and a commission of study to review the order’s founding constitutions. In addition, the Vatican said the pope would name a special investigator to look into the order’s lay arm, Regnum Christi, at the lay members’ request.It wasn’t clear what powers the delegate would have, however, and what would become of the current leadership. Maciel founded the Legion in his native Mexico in 1941 and the order’s culture was built around Maciel. His photo adorned every Legion building, his biography and writings were studied, and his birthday was celebrated as a feast day. Until recently, Legion members took a vow not to criticize their superiors, including Maciel.The order now claims a membership of more than 800 priests and 2,500 seminarians in 22 countries, along with 70,000 members in Regnum Christi. It runs schools, charities, Catholic news outlets, seminaries for young boys, and universities in Mexico, Italy, Spain and elsewhere. Its U.S. headquarters are in Orange, Connecticut.Nigerian court jails six Ghanaians, Nigerian for oil theft: official By AFPLAGOS (AFP) – A Nigerian court on Friday sentenced six Ghanaians and a Nigerian to eight years in prison each after they were found guilty of stealing 4,000 tonnes of oil products, anti-graft agency EFCC said.The Ghanaians, identified as Frank Opoku Anim, Ernest Anim, Wellington Adobah, Kwesi Eminsang, Seth Kpodisime and Abraham Yao Ahiador, as well as a Nigerian accomplice, Ochuko Omoreode, were found guilty of each of the two charges, EFCC said in a statement.They were arrested in December 2008 along Chanomi Creek, near Escravos, in southern Delta State and arraigned in court on February 24 last year „on a two-count charge of conspiracy and illegal dealing in bunkering (oil theft in Nigerian parlance) of 4,000 metric tonnes of petroleum products„, it said.Presiding judge Mohammed Idris of the Federal High Court in Benin City said he found all of them guilty on each of the two charges and sentenced them to eight years imprisonment on each of the two charges, with no option of fine, it added.The sentences will run concurrently.The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said that a group of 14 Filipinos had earlier been sentenced to 65 years in prison for committing a similar offence in 2008Crowds endure waits as Shanghai’s Expo opens By CHRISTOPHER BODEEN, Associated PressSHANGHAI – A steady flow of visitors joined long lines in sweltering heat at the Shanghai World Expo 2010 on Sunday, a day after organizers said visitor numbers were just more than half of what was expected.Organizers say they are still grappling with estimates about just how many people will attend the massive event aimed at showcasing China’s rise as a modern industrial power. Early estimates put the number of visitors over the six-month run of the World Expo at 70 million, the vast majority of whom are expected to come from China.High temperatures and bottlenecks at security checks and long waits to enter the various pavilions are challenging organizers. On Saturday, when the event opened, organizers said about 350,000 tickets had been sold for Day 1, but about 200,000 people attended.Events on Saturday continued well into the evening, with people still lining up at midnight to visit pavilions. The European pavilions, which offer a wide range of entertainment, drink and dining, seemed to be attracting the largest crowds.Tempers sometimes flared in the long lines and the tedious wait for security checks, but the head of the Expo’s coordinating committee said there were no major problems. „We need to adopt new policies to deal with higher temperatures as the weather changes,” Hong Hao told reporters.China is splashing out 28.6 billion yuan ($4.2 billion) on the Expo itself, and many billions more on improvements such as public transit for this city of 20 million people.The event involves massive security, though commercial-minded Shanghai has kept measures low-key compared with the lockdown imposed for the Beijing Olympics, when tourist visas were canceled and the capital was cleared of migrant workers.China’s hall, with its massive vermillion roof in the form of an upside-down pyramid, evokes power and grandeur, while Holland’s invited whimsy, with brightly colored panels and plastic sheep statues.Many exhibits display environmental technologies: Japan‘s has a lavender covering embedded with solar cells, while Brazil‘s was finished in recyclable wood strips. Many have roof gardens, in contrast with the huge expanses of asphalt and concrete at the pedestrian level.Iceland‘s pavilion was among the more modest, its space halved and its budget cut even more, to $2 million, because of the financial crisis that struck last year. Private industry funded it rather than the government.The U.S. pavilion, which got no government funding, also struggled to raise financing but succeeded in the end with the help of Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who won over many of its sponsors.Associated Press researcher Ji Chen contributed to this report.Spanish crisis met with muted popular response by Fabien Zamora AFPMADRID (AFP) – A deep recession that has led to soaring unemployment and austerity cuts has failed to spark popular anger in Spain, where the unions are reluctant to put pressure on the government, analysts say.Although May Day rallies drew tens of thousands of people protesting the crisis, they were not on a scale or intensity that could alarm the government.Certainly, they were nothing like the violent demonstrations that erupted in debt-ridden Greece on Saturday.”The (Spanish) trade unions have been quiet for the past several years, and now it’s difficult to get the engines started,” said Cayo Laro, the secretary general of the United Left coalition.Spain suddenly found itself in recession in late 2008 after several years of strong economic growth based on its booming property sector.Since then, any possible motives for public anger have grown steadily.Official data on Friday showed that the jobless rate had soared to over 20 percent, double the eurozone average; the government this year launched an austerity plan to rein in the public deficit that includes tax rises; labour reforms are being studied and the government plans to raise the legal retirement age.But unlike in Greece and Portugal, two eurozone countries also under pressure over their public deficits, reaction on the streets has been relatively subdued.”There have not been any really unpopular measures taken for the moment,” said Gayle Allard, an economist at the IE business school in Madrid.Unlike Athens and Lisbon, the socialist government of Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has thus far shied away from freezing salaries.In addition, „the system of unemployment benefits is much more generous” than in other countries,” said sociologist Fermin Bouza.”Perhaps when the benefits run out, we are going to see something,” said Allard.But there are deeper reasons for the popular apathy.For one thing, the unions do not want to step up popular pressure on the government.”They think hard before sending people onto the streets,” said Bouza.For Allard, it’s because they are „very politicised”, close to the socialist government, subsidised and „not very representative.””Spain is a country of small- and medium-sized businesses where it is much more difficult to have union representation,” said Cristina Bermejo, secretary general of the youth wing of the CCOO union.Another factor is family solidarity. „The family is very strong here, each member helps others” when they are in financial trouble, said Allard. The underground economy is also extensive, and a large number of the 4.6 million people who are officially unemployed are not in fact jobless, said both Bouza and Allard. Allard estimated that almost 1.4 million of them work in the underground economy. But unions put the government on notice at Saturday’s May Day rally that things could change.”We don’t know what imposing a restrictive budget for the year 2011 will mean,” said UGT leader Candido Mendez. „If that means reducing the guarantees for unemployment benefits, we will have a major labour conflict.”Greece to announce more spending cuts to get aid By DEMETRIS NELLAS, Associated PressATHENS, Greece – Greece is announcing a new round of sweeping spending cuts through 2012, just hours before an emergency meeting of euro-zone finance ministers Sunday that is expected to approve the EU’s contribution to an international loan package worth about euro120 billion ($159 billion) over the next three years.The socialist government’s negotiations with representatives from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund, which had begun on April 21, went down to the wire and were not finalized until shortly after 9 p.m. (1800 GMT, 2 p.m. EDT) Saturday.Prime Minister George Papandreou’s Cabinet will meet 9:30 a.m. (0630 GMT, 2:30 a.m. EDT) Sunday to approve the measures. Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou will announce the measures immediately afterward and then depart for Brussels where the 16 euro-zone finance ministers will meet at 4 p.m. (1400 GMT, 10:00 a.m. EDT).The measures are expected to include further hikes in consumer taxes, and deeper cuts in pensions and public service pay. The EU and especially the IMF also demand a significant overhaul of the civil service.The government will submit special emergency legislation to Parliament that was agreed upon with the EU and the IMF at Saturday’s negotiating session. The Parliament is expected to approve the measures by Friday.Furious unions oppose the measures which they have called disastrous and a serious rollback of employee rights. Tens of thousands of demonstrators, including an estimated 17,000 in Athens, protested during annual May Day demonstrations Saturday against what they portrayed as Greece’s capitulation to the IMF.The protests were largely peaceful but were marred toward the end when hundreds of youths rioted, throwing Molotov cocktails and stones at police who responded with tear gas. A state TV van was burned and several storefronts, mostly banks, were damaged. Police made at least nine arrests, including six people suspected of looting a shop. Seven officers were injured along with two demonstrators.Leftist and anarchist demonstrators heckled and threw plastic water bottles at former parliamentary speaker Apostolos Kaklamanis, a governing Socialist lawmaker, after spotting him among pedestrians on the sidelines of the Athens march. Kaklamanis, 73, was hit and kicked but was not seriously injured and was eventually whisked away by police.