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FOXNews.com – Quality of Nuclear Devices Questioned – Politics | Republican Party | Democratic Party

All rights reserved. For years, however, testing the warhead’s components to ensure the weapon produces the intended blast instead of a fizzle has been complicated by a lack of replacement plutonium triggers.

Last summer, the first replacement plutonium trigger in 18 years received “diamond stamp” approval signaling it was ready for use in a warhead. The bottom line _ the pits produced meet all functional quality requirements for use and are fully accepted by NNSA.”

WASHINGTON – 

Resting atop the Trident II missile, the W88 warhead is among the mainstays of the country’s submarine-based nuclear arsenal. To scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, that was a milestone to celebrate. So far, nine have earned the “diamond stamp” from the National Nuclear Security Administration, which oversees the lab’s programs. The result is a a massive hydrogen blast.

The agency acknowledged there were “more than 70 engineering authorizations” _ as it characterizes the waivers _ approved in the new W88 pit certification and that this was a “relative high number.”

Project on Government Oversight: http://www.pogo.org

Raymond Jeanloz of the University of California at Berkeley, a longtime adviser to the government on nuclear weapons issues, said in an interview he is not surprised there have been some modification in the W88 warhead, but that does not mean it is less reliable.

In an e-mail response to the watchdog group’s claims, Bernard Pleau, a spokesman for the agency’s office at Los Alamos, said the changes do not “compromise the integrity of the parts. At Los Alamos, it has cost an estimated $430 million over 10 years to certify the first trigger. halted in 1992, and through a different process than the replacements. The last of the original triggers were manufactured in the late 1980s.

At least one other replacement pit required 71 specification waivers, a Los Alamos scientist indirectly involved in the production process told The Associated Press. The scientist spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the issue.

Any variation or flaw in the pit could cause a warhead not to detonate properly or to detonate with less explosive power than expected.

Officials say the cost figures reflect the fact that new facilities and a new process for making the replacement triggers had to be developed. The original triggers were made with the benefit of underground nuclear testing, which the U.S. no longer conducts underground nuclear tests, the Los Alamos scientists had to rely on other sources to replicate the original triggers and guarantee that the replacements would be as reliable as the old. Such approval means they are ready to use.

National Nuclear Security Administration: http://www.nnsa.doe.gov/

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. These means included small-scale plutonium tests, technical data from past underground tests, and computer codes and models.

Since last summer’s announcement, the Los Alamos lab has made 10 additional W88 triggers. This process is viewed by metallurgists as producing a stronger product.

“With this large number of waivers, how is it possible to objectively tell whether the pit will even work?” said Danielle Brian, executive director of the group that monitors nuclear weapons-related activities. That, in turn, creates the high temperatures and pressure to ignite a “secondary” nuclear component. Scientists at Los Alamos and at the government’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California concluded the change did not degrade the reliability of the triggers, according to NNSA.

The government will not say how many W88 warheads it has. That required extensive computer modeling and testing to assure precise shape, size and weight and that the triggers meet performance requirements.

The Project on Government Oversight says it was told by some Los Alamos scientists that the trigger certified last July and known as the W88 pit needed 72 waivers from the specifications used for the original triggers, including 53 engineering-related changes.

Precise manufacture of the trigger is essential.

“The manufacturing process for the W88 has been incredibly, thoroughly vetted,” said Jeanloz. It meant the warheads, after testing that makes the original trigger unsuitable for reuse, could be reassembled with a new trigger and put back into service.

Kevin Roark, a spokesman for the Los Alamos weapons program said the changes in specifications “have been fully explored, fully vetted and fully accepted by NNSA and engineering analysis (conducted) by us.”

The change in manufacturing process, from wrought to cast, has been a subject of debate and extensive analysis among those involved in nuclear weapons. The number has been estimated at about 400, in addition to an estimated 3,200 W76 warheads that also are designed for the submarine-based Trident II missile.. She posed that question in a letter last Friday to Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman.

In a warhead’s detonation, a conventional explosive packaged around the pit compresses the plutonium inward, creating enough pressure for an atomic chain reaction. That difference in cost was noted by Brian in the letter to the energy secretary.

The new ones were made by using a mold to cast the grapefruit-size plutonium sphere. JOSEF HEBERT, Associated Press Writer

Because the U.S. He was on a panel that last year concluded the plutonium in warhead triggers is much sturdier than previously thought, with a life span of as much 100 years.

By H. A watchdog group now is raising questions about whether the replacement triggers, also known as pits, can be guaranteed to be as reliable as those already in some 400 W88 warheads. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

The government acknowledges differences between the old triggers and their replacements.

On the Net:

Los Alamos National Laboratory: http://www.lanl.gov/

FOXNews.com – Quality of Nuclear Devices Questioned – Politics | Republican Party | Democratic Party | Political Spectrum

But Los Alamos and agency officials bristle at suggestions that the new triggers might be less reliable or have flaws that could affect their performance.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

___

A single trigger made at Rocky Flats cost less than $4 million. The original triggers, all made at the now-closed Rocky Flats facility in Colorado, were hammered into precise form

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COPYRIGHT 2006 Washington Monthly Company

No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.

In the long and storied history of bureaucratic infighting, few contests have been more vitriolic than the one between our two major nuclear weapons design labs, Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore. This infuriated scientists at Los Alamos, who had in fact run the thermonuclear tests that had helped pave the way for the bomb. All rights reserved. Oppenheimer remained more cautious, and Teller soon became convinced that Los Alamos, whose director, Norris Bradbury, was an Oppenheimer ally, was insufficiently dedicated to the H-bomb project. From the start, scientists at Los Alamos felt undermined by and resentful of Teller and his new facility, which they saw as radical and potentially dangerous. They concluded, wrongly as it turned out, that the design was unsafe, and advised against building it, a judgment that was received at Los Alamos as a slap in the face.

When the H-bomb was eventually produced, Livermore was given most of the credit. ‘And if I want to hear what’s wrong with the DAHRT at Los Alamos, I’ll go to people at Livermore.”

Copyright 2006, Gale Group.

The bureaucratic competition is not always productive, however. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

The ultimate truth, say historians, is that the rancor was probably worth it: Thanks to competition between the two labs, America more quickly produced the H-bomb, and therefore had a more effective deterrent against the Soviet Union sooner.

If elected officials ever get around to consolidating our weapons complex, they’ll have to decide whether to also consolidate the design labs.

The antagonism has its roots in the relationship between the two fathers of the atomic program, Edward Teller and Robert Oppenheimer. Livermore scientists, for their part, saw their counterparts at Los Alamos as stodgy and risk-averse. The question will be whether these advantages will outweigh the benefits of competition. But some members of the task force privately support such a step–which would almost certainly mean shuttering Livermore, the smaller of the two. But having separate design labs, and a relationship of competition–even antagonism–between them, does make it easier for outsiders to gain access to information about their shortcomings.” If I want to hear what’s wrong with the NIF at Livermore, my best option is to go to people at Los Alamos,” says Hugh Gusterson, an MIT anthropologist who studies the culture of the weapons labs. At the end of the Cold War, Livermore scientists reviewed the Los Alamos design for the W88 warhead. With the help of Ernest Lawrence, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist and California scientific entrepreneur, Teller persuaded Congress to create a second design lab in Livermore, Calif., which would go full-speed ahead on the H-bomb project. Doing so would not only provide the cost and security improvements associated with consolidation of special nuclear material, k would also, in all likelihood, make it easier to reduce the number of weapons scientists employed by the complex–and therefore the amount of federal money for “make-work” designed solely to keep those scientists busy. (The production facilities largely work on separate aspects of the process, so there’s no real competition taking place.) The Overskei report neither recommended nor discouraged consolidating the two labs into one. In the late 1940s, Teller began advocating the immediate development of a hydrogen bomb, in response to the news that Russia had built an atomic weapon.

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Page 6: ‘This Week’ Transcript: Sen. Ted Cruz

I suppose you can say that Putin did not do what he did because of the American president.

(CROSSTALK)

NAVARRO: He’s the most successful non-political politician that there is in the world. And so

you know the latest story and it is what it is. There are a host of things we can do. I have seen a different thing here in Washington. So how would you stand up? What would you do? Military action?

RADDATZ: Pope Francis this morning at the Vatican getting ready to mark the first anniversary of his papacy. Gorbachev, tear down this wall,” those words changed the course of history. The latest news is President Obama now saying if you like your plan, you can keep it for two more years. I think that’s making a huge difference. And I think that has bolstered his ability to try to be, you know, a little bit out of the box when he does something like put troops in the Crimea.

NAVARRO: Oh, I think there’s been criticism…

Of course, that humility is partly what people respond to, his modest apartment, his old jalopy, and his message to church officials who have been steeped in luxury: live simply, do for others, champion the poor.

RADDATZ: It’s not the most exciting job in the military.

ZELENY: It was 2,000 pages. It’s a day-to-day story. You’ve got some problems with sanctions and how that works out and how they can go forward without screwing up their own economy.

CASTRO: Nixon. That’s my idea of a family reunion.

(voice-over): But if the president gave the word, they would be ready.

CRUZ: Well, Jon, I will tell you, you’ve actually become somewhat of a folk hero back in Texas. Bush was president. And that is something that I haven’t seen that for a long time.

KARL: Obama didn’t invent Putin’s aggression.

I think what he was part of, this CPAC thing, Paul Ryan and with Rand Paul, what struck me so much the past week is the intellectual diversity, the diversity of stands and stances, and how everybody, pretty peacefully, often with good nature, was debating each other and trying to figure out the actual meaning, currently, of Republicanism.

PEGGY NOONAN, “THE WALL STREET JOURNAL”: It’s hard to say as you look at him. And that was very strange to see. I think U.S. Thanks to you all. And I think that’s pretty much right on.

(CROSSTALK)

CASTRO: And he’s in year one.

No, it’s an acknowledgment that some folks had plans that they wanted to keep. Number one, don’t demonstrate weakness for five years. And I think people like me who were disengaged, disenfranchised, and felt very disappointed with the hierarchy and the structures of the church, but we still believed in God, now have a voice that is drawing us back, because he…

We shouldn’t underestimate the kinds of things that he will do that he thinks is in Russia’s best interests. Pope Francis, 84 percent favorable Twitter mentions, it was 30 percent for Benedict. There is this clear division over foreign policy. You know, not — not…

Rick Perry got a comeback. When you kill Americans and nobody pays a price, you invite this type of aggression.”

I really think Obamacare as a domestic public policy event is

even huger than all of us think. I think up to date, we thought it was a different century and the administration thought well, if we — you know, if we just act nice, everyone will act nice with us. I think it has among young people. Thanks to you all. You heard if from Ted Cruz who is essentially the leader of the Tea Party.

CASTRO: People are benefiting from it.

RADDATZ: All in the family at CPAC there, according to Paul Ryan.

CRUZ: Every single word.

KARL (on camera): OK. Obama now.

NAVARRO: And everybody was saying their piece and got a pretty good reception.

CRUZ: Well, but — but, look…

(CROSSTALK)

NAVARRO: Absolutely.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(CROSSTALK)

CRUZ: The Affordable Care Act that will destroy…

CASTRO: I don’t think they have. TIME’s person of the year. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: Every single word.. PAUL RYAN (R), WISCONSIN: The way the left tells it, the Republican Party is in this big massive civil war. It would have been so much better for him if he had.

CRUZ: A critical reason for Putin’s aggression has been President Obama’s weakness. And, you know, there was a very telling picture that was Tweeted out of a panel about minority engagement and minority outreach. But it is early days, his first time as pope leading this season of sacrifice. Behind blast doors, inside five foot thick concrete walls, launch officers have their fingers on the nuclear trigger.

CRUZ: Absolutely, yes. Many women too are eager to see major reforms.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KARL: Sanctions? Would you do sanctions?

NOONAN: He has removed some of the stigmas that the church was carrying with it, which has allowed young people to give it a look, and people who had never looked at it with anything but disregard, they’re being able to give it a look. That’s the biggest point here, that the biggest point. It is.

But, look, there is a healthy debate going on inside the Republican Party. I think this is just something to turn up the heat. He’s utterly unfazed by the return fire he’s taking from those who say he’s hurting the party with his brand of no-compromise politics.

GANYARD: Right. That Putin fears no retribution. You feel like, you know, any moment you’re going to pick up the phone and he’s going to be on the other line.

RADDATZ: Conservative all-stars headlining this week’s CPAC convention, where a big question seems to be what will it take for the GOP to unite? Some key stars looking to take the party in different directions, including the top two finishers in Saturday’s straw poll: Rand Paul; and our next guest, Ted Cruz, who in less than two years has shot from obscurity to Republican star.

RADDATZ: Now we honor our fellow Americans who serve and sacrifice. If not, we’ll do it in 2017.

RADDATZ: I want to move to the Obamacare delay. But just the overall enthusiasm, even amongst non-Catholics in the world for the church has grown.

RADDATZ: Peggy, is it an…

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

RADDATZ: Why the excitement?

NOONAN: But is there still a law? Is there still an Obamacare law? It’s been changed in 25 ways.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROBERTS: The big change I’m looking for from this pope is how he puts his words into actions.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

CRUZ: It is the most unpopular law in the country. And when the United States doesn’t speak for freedom, tyrants notice.

GANYARD: I think this is just more saber-rattling by the Russians. It’s very powerful and I think it’s very real.

RADDATZ: OK, thank you very much for joining us this morning, Mr. He’s doing it as he reads Mr. He and I are good friends. This pope, it seems to me, (INAUDIBLE) the greatest teaching of Jesus Christ was the Beatitudes: blessed are the poor. He said, “It started with Benghazi. There’s infighting, conflict, back biting, discord.

Here’s Jon Karl.

RADDATZ: OK.

RADDATZ: Then the powerhouse “Roundtable” with instant analysis of Cruz. I think Francis’s two predecessors, John Paul and Benedict, felt, because of the pressures of various emerging questions, that they had to stand as the church in contradiction to modernity and the modern world.

KARL: With Obama in the White House?

ZELENY: … The woman running this booth has a new favorite, Ted Cruz.

RADDATZ: President Nixon, President Nixon. Is this another example of the law not being ready for prime time? Hit you with that.

KARL: Well, it is.

And now back with the “Roundtable.” The perfect “Roundtable” for this subject since all of our panelists are Catholic.

NOONAN: I have been struck, actually, when it comes to criticizing President Obama, he, it doesn’t seem to me, in some respects, is acting like there is an air of crisis or urgency here. They don’t to want improve it.

When you are going like this at the world, the world can spoof you. Right away, the Republicans jumped on the president, when this should have been a moment that the country was really rallying around the United States and coming together. And I agree with him that we should be very reluctant to deploy military force aboard. And you know what else? And he likes people. So we are really — we’re rattling a saber so far away that the Russians will never hear it.

DAVID WRIGHT, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: At the start of lent last year, Jorge Mario Bergoglio was just a face in the crowd. Sometimes he seems to be a guy who wants to be president and is putting himself forward. This week the Pentagon released the name of one marine killed in Afghanistan.

When Ronald Reagan called the Soviet Union an “evil empire,” when he stood in front of the Brandenburg Gate and said, “Mr. CPAC is, you know, it’s part political convention…

It’s also significant, I think, that the president had every chance in the past year, Republicans were coming to him and saying, please, hold this off. There was one of every type of (INAUDIBLE) that was in the Republican Party. And do we really want to go and rattle saber in the face of the Russians? The things that we have done, we’ve put six more F-16s, if we look at the map, up in Lithuania. The United States has a responsibility to defend our values.

Welcome to all of you — and, Jeff Zeleny, I want to start with you, because you were there this week at CPAC.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

And later, the Francis effect. But the mission goes on.

So I think those…

(END VIDEOTAPE)

I thought Senator Rubio again distinguished himself by basically saying now is not the time to criticize President Obama. I’ll be there to introduce her for this well-deserved salute. JOAQUIN CASTRO (D), FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE: I think…

SEN. That’s the Russians’ perspective, which would allow them, under their interpretation of the law, to have a vote to secede the Crimean Peninsula, to secede from the Ukraine. And so some are charging that the Ukrainian overthrow in Kiev was illegal. More recently, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has opened up a new line of attack for Cruz against President Obama.

JONATHAN KARL, ABC CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: So you honestly think there’s a chance that you could get Obamacare repealed? Every word, as you’ve said.

NOONAN: I mean, oh, my goodness. It is politics no question.

KARL: CPAC brings together the right and far right: libertarians, gun enthusiasts, tea partiers. I would also say that, you know, him being Latino and Hispanic…

(END VIDEO CLIP)

So tell me, have you considered that?

KARL (voice-over): If Republicans win back the Senate this fall, he vows to push even harder.

Let’s see who knows their history — Ana.

NOONAN: Yes.

WRIGHT: He has kept the hard line on contraception and abortion, but asked about gay priests, he famously said, who am I to judge? The church still vehemently opposes gay marriage, but just this week, Francis signaled an openness to the idea of civil unions.

RADDATZ: Did the Republicans really expand their brand?

So I think that’s a bit of it.

(voice-over): We traveled to missile sites and training facilities to see how the Air Force maintains the nuclear arsenal. CONFERENCE OF CATHOLIC BISHOPS: He’s not asking us to change the teachings of our church, but he is saying let’s not get so pigeonholed.

NOONAN: Yes.

RADDATZ: You don’t have to raise your hand.

RADDATZ: Back with more about the current pope and the Francis effect right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

RADDATZ: Colonel Steve Ganyard is back with us now.

KARL: Cruz led the fight over Obamacare that shut the government down last fall. But essentially, the nuclear warhead is just 10 feet below me.

We are back in just two minutes with Jon Karl’s exclusive interview with tea party star and Republican lightning rod Ted Cruz.

SEN. He was a virtual unknown just a year ago. It’s Tea Party versus establishment, libertarians versus social conservatives. He started wearing tortoise shell glasses and got…

RADDATZ: Quickly, Mr. But there was one of everything.

NAVARRO: Yes.

WRIGHT: According to the Pew poll, the Francis effect hasn’t yet translated into higher attendance in church. He did that in ’08 at the end of the Bush era, when Bush was weak. All our anecdotal evidence aside, that it’s not really bringing people out to church. Their policy has been to alienate and abandon our friends and to coddle and appease our enemies.

Actually, to me, one of the takeaways was that Ted Cruz was not the story out of this CPAC. And right now, Washington isn’t listening to those people. So this is not…

CRUZ: All of us remember President Dole, and President McCain, and President Romney. Just days before Putin invaded Crimea, Paul said: “I think we need to have a respectful, sometimes adversarial, but a respectful relationship with Russia.”

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am a gay man. When you are embracing the world, the world loves it. Thanks for sharing part of your Sunday with us. There was social conservatives, libertarians, foreign policy hawks, foreign policy doves.

(CROSSTALK)

So what’s next? The roundtable weighs in after ABC’s David Wright.

KARL: But upsetting well-established Republicans is precisely how Cruz quickly became one of the right’s biggest, most controversial stars. This pope says no, no, no, I don’t stand in contradiction to, we embrace. He’s not being judgmental.

RADDATZ: I want to move to the politics of Ukraine crisis. There is no retribution.

RADDATZ: — why was he wearing tortoiseshell glasses?

CRUZ: It is…

ROGERS: And now you have a whole new different set of laws we’re going to have to unwind in order to see what — where we can go, from an international perspective.

ZELENY: It is. That’s how we win elections and that’s also how we repeal ObamaCare.

NAVARRO: Frankly, that he’s focusing on the people. President, what the hell are we paying you for?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Initiate.

KARL: And once again, the old guard fired back.

Then you have this — the notion of if they do that, now you have this different legal status. That’s his mentality.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Even if it’s going to hurt him politically, he will stand behind his principles. Three days of music and tough talk.

What do we know about him?

I think there’s a stark difference between when we are under attack and when we are a third party to an international crisis as far as criticism. Chairman.

SEN. I see younger people in the pews. You can dislike his foreign policy, but he is not why Putin is doing this. We’ll weigh in on the first year for Pope Francis.

but But now our “Powerhouse Puzzler.” This week’s question, everybody, “who was the first president to meet with the pope at the

Vatican?” Back in only two minutes to see if the roundtable, and you, can guess the answer.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Step one launch is started.

And so Putin — you better believe Putin sees in Benghazi four Americans are murdered and nothing happens. I mean — but we did see sort of a difference in who was willing to criticize the president.

Then, how the pope became a rock star, as Francis marks his first anniversary.

RADDATZ: Thanks, Jon.

KARL: I mean, let’s not forget that they invaded Georgia when George W. I go to different Masses around town sometimes. Take a look at some of the headlines.

NAVARRO: You think George W. That’s a problem. He’s focusing on what the church should focus on: serving the poor, serving the needy. You know, I think that he has been a voice for unity, of compassion, of service, of paying attention to the most vulnerable in society. 71 percent see major change.

(CROSSTALK)

Those were the big things I saw at CPAC.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RADDATZ: OK, thank you all.

CASTRO: Well, not at the beginning. That’s where the pope puts his embrace, in the poor, in many ways, the lonely, the imprisoned.

KARL (voice-over): In other words, expect an even feistier Ted Cruz if Republicans win big in the fall.

CASTRO: You saw from the very beginning how this was all about politics. Texas Democratic Congressman Joaquin Castro, Peggy Noonan from “The Wall Street Journal,” ABC’s senior Washington correspondent, Jeff Zeleny, and Republican strategist and ABC News contributor, Ana Navarro.

Look, I’m Irish. The answer President Woodrow Wilson met the pope in 1919 during a tour of Europe following World War I.

Look, you can always criticize an American president, particularly on this case. This week, he’s been called a Catholic rock star, pumping new life into the church right when it seemed to need it most.

RADDATZ: And some people are saying…

And, Steve, what about these threats to not allow nuclear inspections?

That ICBM, though unarmed, an especially sharp reminder that America still remains on alert for nuclear war.

(CROSSTALK)

RADDATZ: That’s pretty heavy stuff.

The roundtable is here. He got a big applause line.

But Putin sometimes makes his moves when he perceives an American president to be weak. Forty percent of Catholics are praying more, 68 percent say he’s making a major change for the better in the church.

That’s all for us today. And some of the criticisms are very valid. This week survivors of priestly sexual abuse were outraged by his remark that the church is unfairly under attack. No, look, not at all.

RADDATZ: — irrelevant, right?

Now we are where we are, and I think it’s time that people get together and what the actions should be, what the sanctions need to be and where we go forward.

RADDATZ: OK, so who was the first president to meet with the pope at the Vatican?

WRIGHT: But plenty of other constituencies remain skeptical. And just this weekend, a new reminder — a Russian military official hinting the Ukraine crisis may lead them to consider suspending inspections of the Russian nuclear arsenal.

CASTRO: Their only approach has been repeal. Bush would agree with that?

We’re back in just two minutes with the roundtable’s instant analysis of Senator Cruz and those Republican risks heading into 2016.

(on camera): You could drive by this remote site and have no idea there was a nuclear missile silo here. The nuclear force has been plagued with scandals: cheating, drugs, alcohol abuse, gambling. And go to church.

KARL: With Obama in the White House?

NAVARRO: And it really looked like a Noah’s Ark. There’s a contingent patrolling the Baltics up there.

You know, Germany has — is so tied to the Russian economy, both from energy and direct business connections back into Russia. We have seen historically over and over again tyrants respond to weakness.

(CROSSTALK)

I mean it’s happened before.

So I was struck by how focused on foreign policy CPAC was, just because it’s coming at this big moment.

RADDATZ: Even though it comes with an unbelievable responsibility. And that’s just, unfortunately, not way that Putin and the Russian Federation sees the rest of the world.

What is he trying to prove?

I want to look down at a few other numbers from this Pew poll. Congratulations, Robin.

CASTRO: Oh, I think so. To me, the big takeaways were that Chris Christie got a very good and warm reception.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Most of us here think about that pretty much every time we’re on alert.

NAVARRO: It’s part revival, it’s part carnival scene. Chairman, I was there this week. So I feel — I never felt like I had a spiritual home like growing up. I really do.

CASTRO: Thank you.

Another said Putin basically came to the conclusion after Benghazi, Syria, equipping, everything Obama has been engaged in, he’s a weak, indecisive leader.”

KARL: It is a bizarre proposition.

Lots more round table ahead. When the protests began in Ukraine, the president should have stood unapologetically, emphatically for freedom. And I don’t think we’ve seen something like it in the past.

SEN. Vladimir Putin test firing an intercontinental ballistic missile.

(CROSSTALK)

And Rand Paul, you know, he may not say his views are isolationist, but that’s how a lot of Republicans hear them.

(CROSSTALK)

RADDATZ: And Representative Castro, do you think they expanded their brand, as a Democrat looking there…

NAVARRO: OK, this is a total guess, but I’m going with Nixon for $400.

He’s such a normal guy. I mean, what the heck is it?

REP. I’ll go with Nixon.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It’s also an acknowledgment that some Democrats are in huge trouble in Senate races and they really are hoping for some relief.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He did.

RADDATZ: The young officers are on alert duty eight times a month, all alone, underground for 24 hours.

RADDATZ: Thanks, David.

(CROSSTALK)

NOONAN: Oh, I see a change in the tone and the feel of things. And if enough Congressional Democrats realize they either stand with ObamaCare and lose, or they listen to the American people and have a chance at staying in office, that’s the one scenario we could do it in 2015. are important.

Right back in just two minutes.

KARL (voice-over): The Conservative Political Action Conference, CPAC, like Woodstock for right-wingers. If there’s one things that unifies politicians of both parties, you know, their top priority is preserving their own hide. The Turks aren’t going to let us put anything. And if you look at the way they try to do it, it’s just repeal or it’s nothing. These are not best plans on the market, but I think it’s an acknowledgment by the administration that some folks do want to keep them.

They did that. So that’s a good thing.

GOV. And they work less now than ever before.

ARCHBISHOP JOSEPH KURTZ, PRESIDENT, U.S. sending fighter jets to Eastern Europe. And the room was literally empty. But I think there is a vital role, just as Ronald Reagan did.

NAVARRO: You know, I talked to priests in Florida, and they tell me the same thing, that he has brought more people to church. Come on, we’re in Washington, D.C.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

MAJ. That is part of what is going on here. Plus what’s next for Republicans after this week’s conservative all-star bash?

RADDATZ: But let’s talk about the show of force in the region, what can we do militarily? John Kerry was very careful this week when I was with him really not to talk about any show of force, particularly, but…

RADDATZ: But, Peggy, is this just rhetoric? Some of it. Way too many Nixons, way too recent history. And that strikes a chord with millions and millions of American Catholics. So I think he has been a very good voice and it has spilled over into politics.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That signal means to stop whatever you are doing and get to the nearest safe place fast.

What’s your take, impressions, different tone?

RADDATZ: Yeah, is this all about politics?

NOONAN: Yes.

ZELENY: Yes, it has spilled over into politics. And have a great day.

CRUZ: Yes, I’ll give you one scenario where it could. And Russia has already said in their parliament that they would accept them.

CRUZ: But I will tell you when Mitt Romney talked about Putin expanding his sphere of influence, Obama mocked him, said, the Cold War has been over 20 years, nothing to be worried about.

But, oh, by the way, Crimea is in the Black Sea, so we’re patrolling the wrong sea with our airplanes. Or is there really going to be a change? Do you see a future of change?

ZELENY: I’m saying Reagan.

You better believe that Putin sees that in Syria, Obama draws a red line and ignores the red line.

(CROSSTALK)

NOONAN: What happens next?

(on camera): Senator Rand Paul said: “Some on our side are so stuck in the Cold War era, they want to tweak Russia all the time, and I don’t think that’s a good idea.” What’s your reaction to that?

COKIE ROBERTS, ABC POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: He has become a celebrity, and he’s clearly uncomfortable with that to some disagree.

CRUZ: I’m a big fan of Rand Paul. He would not play ball with them. Each missile silo is connected, along with nine others, to a control capsule nearby, buried 60 feet underground. But one thing I picked up by watching his speech, he’s more serious about running for president than he lets on. He’s a man of principles.

CRUZ: Because…

KARL (voice-over): Senator Paul agreed to be interviewed on THIS WEEK to give his perspective, but at the last minute he backed out. You can’t cancel it, but delay it for a year, do this, do that. There’s been a lot of vacillation, lack of clear direction, blinking by this administration.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) initiate.

RADDATZ: That very real threat of nuclear war seems a long time ago. But it’s also on foreign policy and the crisis in Russia. Chris Christie top of the list. We’ll be right back after this.

What is Ted Cruz up to?

Across the frozen plains of our country are scattered 450 of them — nuclear-tipped missiles that could destroy the world, still manned every hour of every day.

(voice-over): We caught up with Senator Cruz at CPAC. But this is a most extraordinary failure by an administration that put all of its chips on it working and it is not.

RADDATZ: Certainly politics in everything. GEN. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: If that is your attitude, Mr. That excitement is because he has brought a fresh air to the Catholic Church. The cover of Rolling Stone, now there’s even a Francis fanzine.

KARL: So you honestly think there’s a chance that you can get ObamaCare repealed, every word, as you say?

WRIGHT: According to a new Pew poll, 85 percent of Catholics view him favorably. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MINORITY LEADER: The president of the United States is treating our Constitution worse than a placemat at Denny’s.

RADDATZ: But what gave you that voice? Why is it so different?

(on camera): So The Wall Street Journal called you a “minority-maker.” And I took a little heat for saying…

He’s just asking people to be part of the church family and that he’s leading by example. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: I wonder if he thinks that Bob Dole stood for principle on that hilltop in Italy when he was so gravely wounded.

(LAUGHTER)

CRUZ: — “every single word of ObamaCare.”

(CROSSTALK)

But a lot of time for comebacks and reintroductions. But watching developments this week, it was hard not to think about those bad old days of the cold war. And if he has to do it through brute force, he’s going to do it. Not when it started. So there’s still…

So his latest delay in fully implementing the law will allow insurers to offer health plans that do not meet the minimum coverage requirements for another two years. I want to read something that Senator Lindsey Graham Tweeted. It’s just sort of the…

RADDATZ: OK. He’s sort of off for the weekend in a way that startles me in the middle of a crisis.

NAVARRO: — it’s part…

KARL: It’s the year’s biggest gathering of possible Republican presidential candidates.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think he’s done a lot to shake up things.

(on camera): You had a very big applause line out here. And I like him.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

What’s going on with him?

KARL (on camera): How’s it going?

Politicians would kill for those numbers.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, ma’am.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Two, one, (INAUDIBLE).

We can’t get ships, we couldn’t put an aircraft carrier by treaty into the Black Sea. We probably won’t be too concerned about it. I think it’s making a difference with how people feel about their relationship with the church and with this pope because he’s just so accessible.

RADDATZ: And that is dangerous in itself.

JEFF ZELENY, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: I mean, Paul Ryan is right, there are a lot of different views. Today, Pope Francis is the most talked about person on the worldwide web, almost single-highhandedly redefining the Catholic brand.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

For THIS WEEK, David Wright, ABC News, Los Angeles.

But I’m not sure that this Pew poll — it says hasn’t brought all that many more people into the pews. It really doesn’t do any good. Not anymore.

NOONAN: It’s also an acknowledgment that this whole thing didn’t work from the day the website was unveiled.

ANA NAVARRO, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: I think you’re absolutely right. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: The policies they pursue have never worked. Paul Ryan has said he has breathed new life into the debate about poverty.

ROGERS: Well, listen, you know, well, domestically, he doesn’t have a lot going on. So it’s as if the party has not moved forward at all with that since 2012.

(CROSSTALK)

NAVARRO: Marco Rubio owns the foreign policy mantel amongst the new generation of Republicans.

NOONAN: They did delay.

RADDATZ: All right. I’m having a hard time keeping track of what…

NAVARRO: That there hasn’t been criticism?

RADDATZ: Congressman Castro, could his rhetoric about unbridled capitalism, social inequality ever really have actual influence on policy?

NAVARRO: You know, I think it’s making a difference with people on the inside. One year after becoming pope, are big changes ahead for the church?

So he talks the talk, he walks the walk. You know, and every year, CPAC really is a demonstration of their extremism. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: I believe what you do on your cell phone is none of their damn business.

KARL (voice-over): Cruz’s approach stands in stark contrast with fellow tea partier Rand Paul. And before we go, a special word about the executive at the helm of this program, Washington bureau chief Robin Sproul, she’s being honored this week with a First Amendment Service Award from the Radio Television Digital News Association. That he’s being inclusive, not exclusive. And this signals a — I guess, a break that the old adage that the politics stops at the water’s edge is completely out the window. These treaties have been on the Cold War downhill for a while.

KARL: We can acknowledge that that’s not going to happen while Barack Obama is president, right?

NAVARRO: But this last announcement about this new delay is that I think there’s almost a numbing to all these delays and exceptions. That pressure has been overwhelming for some. Sometimes he acts like a guy who, ah, I don’t want to be president, meaning he doesn’t do some standard peaceful party embracing and bringing people together.

CRUZ: You know, what’s funny, Jon, is the media treats that as a bizarre proposition.

We heard Jon’s report, his take.

REP. Russian troops on the march, the U.S. He is scoring huge points on his foreign policy. Now look, those are good men, they’re decent men, but when you don’t stand and draw a clear distinction, when you don’t stand for principle, Democrats celebrate.

CASTRO: It’s either for them it’s either all or nothing. He’s talking about income inequality, yes, but he has also gotten rid of the throne and gotten rid of the Prada slippers and lives in humility.

NAVARRO: There’s been plenty of criticism.

(LAUGHTER)

Don’t forget “World News with David Muir” tonight. So I feel very welcome here.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RADDATZ: Thanks, Steve.

NAVARRO: OK, that was a hard one.

CRUZ: No. The Pope, he said, is a man who laughs, cries, sleeps soundly, and has friends just like everyone else. Millions of people have lost their jobs, have lost their health care, have been forced into part-time work, have their premiums skyrocketing. We’ve seen a huge division here.

For THIS WEEK, Jonathan Karl, ABC News, Washington.

He’s kind of a rock star.

RADDATZ: All right, we’re going to come back to foreign policy in a second and those splits.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ROGERS: Thanks.

RADDATZ: Russian and American leaders squaring off, echoes of the dramatic cold war confrontation that had both countries on edge for decades. A normal person.

That Tuesday lunch they have, every Tuesday? He is going to need a food-taster.

NOONAN: They asked for a delay.

RADDATZ: Let…

GANYARD: It is. It’s really because it’s limited. This seems like this is going to go on for a very long time.

NAVARRO: He did a great job on his speech.

But you mentioned Vladimir Putin.

ZELENY: What this means, is voters will not get cancellation notices a month before the midterms. Let’s rewind the clock a little bit. I mean, his name is mentioned again and again in policy debates. On stage, Cruz also blasted fellow Republicans he sees as too wishy-washy, including three of the biggest GOP names over the last three decades.

And we keep making that mistake with Putin. It makes us look, I think, rather foolish to put airplanes a thousand miles away.

SEN. leadership is critical in the world. Putin is a KGB thug. JACK WEINSTEIN, COMMANDER, 20TH AIR FORCE: The system is safe 24 hours a day. I sleep well at night knowing the people we have out there. We went back and I had multiple gatherings where people came up and actually asked if they could serve as the food tasters.

But Peggy Noonan, who made the biggest impression on you?

RADDATZ: But the polling says it really isn’t making a difference with people. I don’t agree with him on foreign policy. And you brought that up, Jeff. You said, “We will repeal…

Pretty incredible Tweets there.

RADDATZ (on camera): So it would only take four people to launch a nuclear weapon?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He seems to be very popular. For many, a welcome change.

RADDATZ: — is it an appropriate time to be criticizing foreign policy?

I do think that he wants to be back on the world stage, he wants to be a world influence. So that’s one quick takeaway.

ZELENY: What it means?

WRIGHT: This week Francis told an Italian newspaper he’s neither a star nor a superman

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ASIANOW – Is sun setting on Stanley Ho’s regional empire?

HKT (0209 GMT)

Various news agencies have reported that calls for

competition within the industry have been growing, and there

has been speculation Beijing could impose tight controls on

the sector to combat gang violence, which many have suggested

is an offshoot of gambling.

Ho’s gambling monopoly in the region, which he won in

1961, is set to expire in 2001 and his friend Edmund Ho, who

will become the enclave’s first chief executive on December

20, hasn’t said if that license will be renewed.

He won the trust of his employers and was named a partner

within the year. He had fled his home after Hong Kong

fell to the Japanese in 1941.

“There is too much economic power concentrated in the hands

of STDM,” Macau legislator Ng Kuok-cheng told the Review. He controls Sociedade de Turismo e

Diversoes de Macau (STDM), an umbrella company for many of his holdings.

The 78-year-old, self-made billionaire, who sat on many

important committees created to oversee Macau’s return to

China, could lose his grip on the region’s economy and power

players.

Macau Handover

Stanley Ho, who has enjoyed a monopoly on Macau’s gaming

industry for more than 35 years, may soon find himself facing

the greatest odds of his career.

December 18, 1999

Web posted at: 10:09 a.m. “Most Macau people feel there should be more

competition.”

The Far Eastern Economic Review reported in its December 9 edition that Ho is nervous about Macau’s return to China. This would be dangerous,” Stanley Ho, who is not related to the chief executive, told the Far East Economic Review.

Ho has investments in North Korea, Vietnam and the

Philippines.

Higher unemployment, he added, would also occur as casinos

cut staff to spend more money on incentives for gamblers.


Ho — commonly referred to as “Sun Gor,” or “big brother Sun”

– is one of Asia’s wealthiest men. He also owns several of Macau’s landmarks —

including casinos, hotels and the complex that houses the territory’s largest department store — as well as large stakes in the horse racing and lottery action.

The company, later named STDM, won the bid with the highest

offer plus promises to promote tourism and build

infrastructure. Ho reportedly earned $29 million in dividends in 1997 and $14 million in 1998.

“If there is more than one licensee, there will be fighting

between the two licensees. In 1961, his brother-in-law, Teddy Yip,

offered him a partnership in a company set up to bid for a

casino franchise in Macau.

. He also owns the

world’s largest fleet of jetfoils, which is used as a ferry

shuttle service between Macau and Hong Kong.

STDM recorded $231 million in net profits in 1998, a 50

percent drop from 1997, the Review reported.

He also told the Review greater competition within the

industry would cut deeply into government revenues because

the casinos would slash betting prices to attract customers. Ho developed the new harbor and helped shape

Macau’s reputation as a gateway to neighboring economic zones

in China.

The Review reported Edmund Ho is expected to renew Stanley Ho’s gambling license, perhaps to 2010, to ensure government revenues aren’t reduced, and to allow the region’s government time to ensure the competence of potential operators.

Stanley Ho, born into a distinguished family in 1921 in Hong

Kong, started working as a clerk in a Japanese-owned import-

export firm in Macau. His net worth is

estimated at $2.8 billion. Ho’s business interests outside Macau are managed by Shun Tak

Holdings, which is listed in Hong Kong. The company’s revenues fell 18 percent to $2 billion — attributed in part to the Asian financial crisis — during the same period