Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Anderson Cooper Accuses Obama-Backed Suleiman Of Lying About Egypt Protesters

Last night's Anderson Cooper 360, his second since returning from Egypt this weekend, was especially passionate, causing a flurry of glowing tweets as he revealed reported lies and misinformation being released by the Mubarak regime.

"Look, I know you've seen pictures like these before, and maybe you think it's all starting to look the same, but this is not the same."

Coop went on to concentrate specifically on the words of vice president Omar Suleiman, accusing him of hypocrisy by blaming protestors and foreign journalists for creating a crisis.

"The government doesn't want to deal with Egyptian society with police tools," Suleiman said, which according Cooper is a veiled threat of further police action. He throws back the accusation to the Mubarak regime, and accuses them of lying as a further failed attempt to control the country.

At times Cooper came barely contain his emotion about the regime, which certainly adds intensity and emotion to the piece.

Here's where it's going to get interesting. If Cooper continues to devote his show to Egypt coverage and to 'fact-checking' Suleiman,he will not only make himself the go-to person in America for Egypt but will essentially put himself on a collision course with Obama who is currently endorsing Suleiman.

That would not only be an incredibly useful and necessary service but likely really good television. It goes without saying, now that Egypt is slipping out of the headlines, CNN's attention will be devoted to the latter.

FAMILY VALUES GOP? New York Congressman Resigns Over Shirtless Photo

Representative Chris Lee of New York, caught in the midst of a scandal involving a shirtless photo he reportedly e-mailed to a woman, has stepped down, according to a senior Congressional official.

Mr. Lee, a two-term Republican who is married, notified John A. Boehner, the Republican speaker of the House, of his decision in a letter he sent Wednesday afternoon after the scandal erupted.

Mr. Lee’s office released a statement late Wednesday in which he asks for forgiveness. “I regret the harm that my actions have caused my family, my staff and my constituents,’’ he said. “I deeply and sincerely apologize to them all. I have made profound mistakes and I promise to work as hard as I can to seek their forgiveness.’’

Mr. Lee won his district, located in Western New York, in 2008, when he ran in place of Thomas Reynolds, who had announced his retirement.

Last year, another upstate New York congressman, Eric J. Massa, a Democrat, resigned amid accusations that he had groped a male aide.

Mr. Lee’s decision to step down came after a photo of him without a shirt appeared on Gawker along with e-mail exchanges that reportedly took place between him and a 34-year-old woman from Maryland who had placed a personal notice in the “women seeking men” section of Craigslist.
The woman’s posting complained about the lack of attractive men on the Web site: “Will someone prove to me not all CL men look like toads?”

Mr. Lee responded, saying he was a lobbyist and a “fit fun classy guy.” He describes himself as 39 (he is 46) and divorced and writes, “I promise not to disappoint.”

When the woman asks if he routinely sends shirtless photos of himself to women on Craigslist, Mr. Lee responds, “Sorry, it’s all I had.” They later exchange e-mails discussing unsatisfying dates with others, and Mr. Lee mentions a woman who did not live up to her description. “She was not as advertised,” he says.

The woman told Gawker that she cut off communication after searching for Mr. Lee online and concluding that he had lied about his age and occupation.


MORNING JOE: Where Does Bill Maher Get Off Calling Bill O'Reilly Unpatriotic?!

Last night on Lawrence O'Donnell Bill Maher, in a sort of weird deviation from his usual habit of happily attacking everyone, declared that Bill O'Reilly was unpatriotic because he had interrupted Obama during their Super Bowl interview.

“I just feel like the most difficult part of his job must be to quelch the rage that somewhere must be inside him to say ‘I’m the President of the United States, you don’t talk to me like this.
I’m not some left – I’m not Al Sharpton you know, I won this job.’ And Bill O’Reilly who claims he’s such a patriot – how unpatriotic it is in my view to treat a President that way. How does that look to other countries when you’re interrupting and belittling?”

Oh my God, what will the French think. Also, that was a good interview. Also? I think Obama can handle it.

The Morning Joe team agree, and spent an entire segment this morning being outraged at Bill Maher.

"Hold on a second. All of the thing, the terrible, terrible things he said about George W. Bush, the horrible things, he's now saying you're not a patriot if you challenge the president. Are you serious? Come on, man!"

C'mon man! But yeah, quickest way to undermine your cred -- and don't kid yourself, Maher has some...primarily by dint of saying out loud what everyone is thinking -- is to rage of Fox, or anyone for that matter, for things they've actually done well.

Protest in Egypt Takes a Turn as Workers Go on Strike

CAIRO — Protesters demanding the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak appeared on Wednesday to have recaptured the initiative in their battle with his government, demonstrating a new ability to mobilize thousands to take over Cairo’s streets beyond Tahrir Square and to spark labor unrest.

As reports filtered in of strikes and unrest spreading to other parts of the city and the country, the government seemed to dig in deeper. Mr. Mubarak’s handpicked successor, Vice President Omar Suleiman, warned Tuesday that the only alternative to constitutional talks was a “coup” and added: “We don’t want to deal with Egyptian society with police tools.”

But the pressure on Mr. Mubarak’s government was intensifying, a day after the largest crowd of protesters in two weeks flooded Cairo’s streets and the United States delivered its most specific demands yet, urging swift steps toward democracy. Some of the protesters drew new inspiration from the emotional interview on Egypt’s most popular talk show with Wael Ghonim, the online political organizer who was detained for two weeks.

At dawn on Wednesday, the 16th day of the uprising, hundreds of pro-democracy demonstrators remained camped out at Parliament, where they had marched for the first time on Tuesday. There were reports of thousands demonstrating in several other cities around the country while protesters began to gather again in Tahrir Square, a few blocks from Parliament.

By midday, hundreds of workers from the Health Ministry, adjacent to Parliament and a few hundred yards from Tahrir Square, also took to the streets in a protest whose exact focus was not immediately clear, Interior Ministry officials said.

Violent clashes between opponents and supporters of Mr. Mubarak led to more than 70 injuries in recent days, according to a report by Al Ahram — the flagship government newspaper and a cornerstone of the Egyptian establishment — while government officials said the protests had spread to the previously quiet southern region of Upper Egypt.

In Port Said, a city of 600,000 at the mouth of the Suez Canal, protesters set fire to a government building and occupied the city’s central square. There were unconfirmed reports that police fired live rounds on protesters on Tuesday in El Kharga, 375 miles south of Cairo, resulting in several deaths. Protesters responded by burning police stations and other government buildings on Wednesday, according to wire reports.

On Tuesday, the officials said, thousands protested in the province of Wadi El Jedid. One person died and 61 were injured, including seven from gunfire by the authorities, the officials said. Television images also showed crowds gathering in Alexandria, Egypt’s second-largest city.

Before the reports of those clashes, Human Rights Watch reported that more than 300 people have been killed since Jan. 25.

Increasingly, the political clamor for Mr. Mubarak’s ouster seemed to be complemented by strikes in Cairo and elsewhere.

In the most potentially significant action, about 6,000 workers at five service companies owned by the Suez Canal Authority — a major component of the Egyptian economy — began a sit-in on Tuesday night. There was no immediate suggestion of disruptions to shipping in the canal, a vital international waterway leading from the Mediterranean to the Red Sea. But Egyptian officials said that total traffic declined by 1.6 percent in January, though it was up significantly from last year.

More than 2,000 textile workers and others in Suez demonstrated as well, Al Ahram reported, while in Luxor thousands hurt by the collapse of the tourist industry marched to demand government benefits. There was no immediate independent corroboration of the reports.

At one factory in the textile town of Mahalla, more than striking 1,500 workers blocked roads, continuing a long-running dispute with the owner. And more than 2,000 workers from the Sigma pharmaceutical company in the city of Quesna went on strike while some 5,000 unemployed youth stormed a government building in Aswan, demanding the dismissal of the governor.

For many foreign visitors to Egypt, Aswan is known as a starting point or destination for luxury cruises to and from Luxor on the Nile River. The government’s Ministry of Civil Aviation reported on Wednesday that flights to Egypt had dropped by 70 percent since the protests began.

In Cairo, sanitation workers demonstrated around their headquarters in Dokki.

While state television has focused its coverage on episodes of violence that could spread fear among the wider Egyptian public and prompt calls for the restoration, Al Ahram’s coverage was a departure from its usual practice of avoiding reporting that might embarrass the government.

In the lobby of the newspaper, journalists on Wednesday were in open revolt against the newspaper’s management and editorial policies.

Some called their protest a microcosm of the Egyptian uprising, with young journalists leading demands for better working conditions and less biased coverage. “We want a voice,” said Sara Ramadan, 23, a sports reporter.

The turmoil at the newspaper has already changed editorial content, with the English-language online edition openly criticizing what it called “the warped and falsified coverage by state media” of the protests in Tahrir Square and elsewhere.

The paper described how “more than 500 media figures” issued a statement declaring “their rejection of official media coverage of the January 25 uprising and demanded that Minister of Information Anas El-Fikki step down.”

Members of the Journalists Syndicate moved toward a no-confidence vote against their leader, Makram Mohamed Ahmed, a former Mubarak speech writer, the daily Al Masry Al Youm reported on its English-language Web site.

Several of the dozens of protesters occupying the lobby on Wednesday said the editor of the English-language division heads to the square to join the protests every night, joined by many of the staff.

The scattered protests and labor unrest seemed symptomatic of an emerging trend for some Egyptians to air an array of grievances, some related to the protests and some of an older origin.

The government’s bid to project its willingness to make concessions has had limited success. On Tuesday, Vice President Suleiman announced the creation of a committee of judges and legal scholars to propose constitutional amendments.

But all the members are considered Mubarak loyalists.

The Obama administration was continuing its efforts to influence a transition. Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. called Mr. Suleiman on Tuesday to ask him to lift the 30-year emergency law that the government has used to suppress and imprison opposition leaders, to stop imprisoning protesters and journalists, and to invite demonstrators to help develop a specific timetable for opening up the political process. He also asked Mr. Suleiman to open talks on Egypt’s political future to a wider range of opposition members.

Mr. Suleiman has said only that Egypt will remove the emergency law when the situation justifies its repeal, and the harassment and arrest of journalists and human rights activists has continued even in the last few days.

And while he raised the prospect of a coup, he also said, “we want to avoid that — meaning uncalculated and hasty steps that produce more irrationality.”

“There will be no ending of the regime, nor a coup, because that means chaos,” Mr. Suleiman said. And he warned the protesters not to attempt more civil disobedience, calling it “extremely dangerous.” He added, “We absolutely do not tolerate it.”

On Tuesday , young organizers guiding the movement from a tent city inside Tahrir Square, or Liberation Square, showed the discipline and stamina that they say will help them outlast Mr. Mubarak and Mr. Suleiman, even if their revolt devolves into a war of attrition.

Many in the crowd, for example, said they had turned out because organizers had spread the word over loudspeakers and online media for demonstrators to concentrate their efforts on just Tuesdays and Fridays, enabling their supporters to rest in between. And while Mr. Mubarak remains in office, they say, there is no turning back.

Many in the crowd said discussed the inspiration they drew from the interview with the freed organizer, Mr. Ghonim. A Google executive, he had been the anonymous administrator of a Facebook group that enlisted tens of thousands to oppose the Mubarak government by publicizing a young Egyptian’s beating death at the hands of its reviled police force.

In the tearful conversation on Egypt’s Dream TV, Mr. Ghonim told the story of his “kidnapping,” secret imprisonment in blindfolded isolation for 12 days and determination to overturn Egypt’s authoritarian government. Both Mr. Ghonim and his interviewer, Mona el-Shazly, appeared in Tahrir Square Tuesday to cheer on the revolt.

Some protesters said they saw the broadcast as a potential turning point in a propaganda war that has so far gone badly against them, with the state-run television network and newspapers portraying the crowds in Tahrir Square as a dwindling band of obstructionists doing the bidding of foreign interests.

Organizers had hinted in recent days that they intended to expand out of the square to keep the pressure on the government. Then, around 3 p.m., a bearded man with a bullhorn led a procession around the tanks guarding the square and down several blocks to the Parliament. Many of the protesters still wore bandages on their heads from a 12-hour war of rocks and stones against Mubarak loyalists a few days before.

“Parliament is a great pressure point,” said Ahmed el-Droubi, a biologist. “What we need to do is unite this protest and Tahrir, and that is just the first step. Then we will expand further until Mr. Mubarak gets the point.”

Back in Tahrir Square, more members of the Egyptian elite continued to turn up in support of the protestors, including the pop star Shireen Abdel Wahab and the soccer goalkeeper Nader al-Sayed. Brigades of university employees and telephone company employees joined the protests, as did a column of legal scholars in formal black robes.

Many at the protests buttonholed Americans to express deep disappointment with President Obama, shaking their heads at his ambiguous messages about an orderly transition. They warned that the country risked incurring a resentment from the Egyptian people that could last long after Mr. Mubarak is gone.


Lindsay Lohan charged with theft of necklace in LA

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Lindsay Lohan is due in court to face a new judge, and a new criminal charge, that could return the troubled starlet to jail rather than the big screen.

The "Mean Girls" star is due to be arraigned Wednesday afternoon on a felony grand theft charge that prosecutors say they will file over a $2,500 necklace reported stolen by an upscale jewelry store.

The charge is the latest — and most serious — legal problem for the actress, who remains on probation for a 2007 drunken driving case.

Police and prosecutors allege Lohan, 24, took the necklace from a store in the beachside community of Venice on Jan. 22, weeks after she was released from a rehab facility where she was also accused of misconduct.

Lohan's attorney has denied the actress stole the necklace.

"We vehemently deny these allegations and, if charges are filed, we will fight them in court, not in the press," attorney Shawn Chapman Holley said in a statement Saturday. Holley did not respond to requests for comment Tuesday.

The former Disney star has struggled with the terms of her probation, and was sentenced to rehab twice and jail twice last year.

She is expected to be booked on the theft charge after her court appearance, but her continued freedom will be up to Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Keith Schwartz, who will oversee Lohan's first appearance.

The judge will determine the actress' release conditions and whether she has violated the terms of her probation, which required her to obey all laws and submit to random drug and alcohol testing.

The jewelry case is not Lohan's only criminal concern. Prosecutors in Riverside County are still considering whether to charge the actress with battery for an altercation with a rehab worker at the Betty Ford Center in December.

The worker was fired after giving an on-camera interview to celebrity website TMZ, but district attorney's spokesman John Hall has said the allegations against Lohan was under review.

The threat of incarceration has hung over Lohan since May, when a judge handling her DUI case determined she violated her probation by missing weekly alcohol education classes.

Her three stints in jail in the past three years have all been shortened by overcrowding and the fact that she could not be held without bail on a misdemeanor.

Jets QB Mark Sanchez’s (JETS again!)

Not only did New York Jets NFL quarterback Mark Sanchez suffer a heartbreaking loss at the hands of the Pittsburgh Steelers in this year’s AFC Championship Game, denying him a trip to the Super Bowl, but he’s now the subject of a mini-scandal.

According to Deadspin, a 17-year-old girl—whom they call E.K. (later identified as "rich girl" Eliza Kruger)—reached out to tell them of her brief fling with the star QB.
The couple met on New Year’s Eve at the Manhattan nightclub Lavo, and exchanged numbers.
He then texted her—17 is the legal age of consent in New York—and provided her and her friends with tickets to the Jets/Bills regular season finale, before taking her to dinner at Nobu in Midtown.
The two eventually went back to Sanchez’s Jersey pad and hooked up.

Afterward, Sanchez would text her from time to time, but usually at 2 a.m. asking if she was out.
The unnamed girl provided Deadspin with text messages and photographs of Sanchez’s bedroom as evidence.

Top 10 most-ordered hotel movies in 2010

1. The Blind Side (Warner Bros. Pictures)
2. Couples Retreat (NBC Universal)
3. Date Night (20th Century Fox)
4. Robin Hood (NBC Universal)
5. 2012 (Sony Pictures)
6. It's Complicated (NBC Universal)
7. The Twilight Saga: New Moon (Summit Entertainment)
8. Sherlock Holmes (Warner Bros. Pictures)
9. Avatar (20th Century Fox)
10. Salt (Sony Pictures)

WHY DO WE KEEP REFIGHTING OLD BATTLES? Abortion debate heats up on Capitol Hill

A renewed - and heated - debate about abortion is underway one month into a congressional session that largely has devoted its energy to tackling economic issues.

At the core of the discussion this week are two House Republican proposals that would expand restrictions on federal abortion funding.

One, H.R. 3 - also known as the "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act" - would eliminate tax breaks for abortions and permanently prohibit taxpayer funding for abortions in all federal programs by codifying the Hyde Amendment, which typically is renewed annually. It also would reinstate a ban on abortion funding in the District, a move that some have contended would infringe on the city's right to self-government. The measure was sponsored by Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.).

The other, H.R. 358 - known as the "Protect Life Act" - would prohibit federal funding for abortions under the new national health-care law and also would prevent funding from being withheld from institutions that are opposed to providing abortions. It is sponsored by Rep. Joe Pitts (R-Pa.).

Abortion rights advocates contend that the proposals would allow hospitals to refuse to provide abortions in cases where the woman's life is threatened. They also argue that the bills go too far in prohibiting women from using their own money to obtain insurance that covers a range of reproductive care.

In addition, the Smith bill sparked controversy through its use of the term "forcible rape," which women's rights groups charged was an attempt to change the definition of rape. The term was dropped from the bill last week.

The heated emotions surrounding the abortion debate were on display Tuesday as lawmakers sparred ahead of - and during - a hearing on the bill by the House Judiciary Committee's Constitution subcommittee.

As the subcommittee hearing began, about a dozen activists from the organization DC Vote staged a silent protest against the reinstatement of the ban on D.C. abortion funding. Wearing red bandanas over their mouths, the protesters stood among the 70 or so people in the packed committee room for several minutes until they were silently escorted from the room by Capitol Police officers.

Testifying at Tuesday's subcommittee hearing were Richard Doerflinger, associate director of the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops; Sara Rosenbaum, professor of health law and policy and chairman of the Department of Health Policy at George Washington University's School of Public Health and Health Services; and Family Research Council senior fellow Cathy Ruse.

Kellie Fiedorek, a staff attorney for the antiabortion organization Americans United for Life, was among those attending Tuesday's hearing. She said that she believes the current debate over abortion funding is in tune with the debate over jobs and the economy.

"I think it's completely in line with the desire to focus on jobs, because we are in a financial crisis, so this ensures that federal taxpayer funds are going to things that are important to the American people and not to something like abortion," Fiedorek said.

Just before the hearing, Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee and representatives from several abortion rights groups held a news conference at which they denounced the Smith bill as an "unacceptable attack on a woman's right to choose and a distraction from the economic relief that Americans expect from Congress."

About a dozen activists from attended the event and presented a petition that they said contains more than 150,000 signatures from Americans opposed to the "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act."

At a separate news conference before the hearing, Sens. Barbara Boxer (Calif.), Frank R. Lautenberg (N.J.), Richard Blumenthal (Conn.) and other Senate Democrats took aim at the GOP proposals as "extreme" and charged that they are a distraction from Congress's top priority of kick-starting the economy.

Lautenberg said the Smith bill "sounds like a Third World country that's requiring women to wear head shawls, cover their faces, even if they don't want to do it."

On Wednesday, the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on health is slated to hold a hearing on the "Protect Life Act."

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) told reporters Tuesday that, so far, neither measure has been scheduled for a vote in the House, but that both "are obviously very important in terms of the priorities we set out initially in our Pledge to America.

"These are bills which have to do with the expenditure of government funds, taxpayer dollars for abortion, something that most Americans feel we should do without," Cantor said.

Washington Post

Ex-Scientologist Haggis Speaks Out on "Cult"

One of the Church of Scientology's most notable members - the Oscar- and Emmy-winning writer-director Paul Haggis ("Million Dollar Baby," Crash") - resigned from the church in 2009 out of anger over the church's implicit support of California's Proposition 8, the ban on same-sex marriage.

Now, in a lengthy New Yorker investigative article by Lawrence Wright, Haggis speaks publicly for the first time about the reasons behind his defection, including charges that the church - which he now describes as a "cult" - engages in practices that exploit minors.

Haggis, 57, had joined the church, founded on the teachings of science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, more than three decades ago. He thought of it less a practicing faith than as an "applied philosophy" towards enlightenment. Haggis ultimately rose to what was at the time the highest practicing level (Operating Thetan VII).

Haggis, who has worked as a fundraiser for Haitian quake victims and other causes, told Wright that his participation in the Church satisfied a desire to stand with the marginalized and oppressed: "I have a perverse pride in being a member of a group that people shun," he said. And the church has often made public statements supporting religious freedom and human rights.

But his participation ended when the Church tacitly backed the 2008 California ballot initiative that revoked homosexuals' right to marry and refused to take a stand against the discriminatory measure. He also felt church spokespeople had lied to the media when discussing church policies, such as denying the practice of disconnection (in which members cut off all contact with family or others who are considered threats to the church's teachings).

After a resignation letter he penned was circulated to other Scientologists, Haggis began searching out information about the church, including news of lawsuits or charges filed against it by former members - information Scientologists typically ignore.

In the New Yorker article, Haggis describes some of the activities that he uncovered - and which the FBI is also investigating - including the recruitment of children into a group called Sea Org. They serve basically as indentured servants - including maintaining the church's properties - for a small stipend, after having signed a contract for up to a billion years of service. If they marry, they cannot raise children while in Sea Org.

Haggis says children in the order receive no formal education, and if they try to leave Sea Org they are hit with a massive bill - as much as a $100,000 - and are left without the resources needed to function in society.

"I was in a cult for thirty-four years," Haggis said. "Everyone else could see it. I don't know why I couldn't."

The church claims it adheres to "all child labor laws," says Wright.

Apple's New iPad in Production

Apple Inc. has started manufacturing a new version of its iPad tablet computer with a built-in camera and faster processor, said people familiar with the matter.

The new iPad will be thinner and lighter than the first model, these people said. It will have at least one camera on the front of the device for features like video-conferencing, but the resolution of the display will be similar to the first iPad, these people said. It will also have more memory and a more powerful graphics processor, they said.

The new iPad will initially be available through Verizon Wireless and AT&T Inc., but not Sprint Nextel Corp. or T-Mobile USA in the U.S., according to some of the people familiar with the matter.

The production of the new iPad shows how Apple is moving forward in the wake of Chief Executive Steve Jobs's disclosure last month that he was taking a medical leave for an unspecified ailment. The iPad, which debuted last April, has opened a new market and is critical to Apple's success.

Since the iPad's release, Apple has sold 14.8 million units of the device. In Apple's December quarter, its most recent financial results, which it reported last month, the tablet contributed $4.6 billion in sales, or 17% of the company's overall revenue.

The new iPad is expected by Apple watchers to debut in the next couple of months at a similar price range as the current iPad, though exact details couldn't be learned. It currently costs between $499 and $829.

Piper Jaffray & Co. estimates Apple will sell 27 million iPads in 2011, and some investors expect as many as 35 million units in sales. "It's going to be a critical growth driver," said Gene Munster, an analyst with Piper Jaffray.

Like many of Apple's other products, Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., better known by its trade name Foxconn, is assembling the new iPad, the people familiar with the matter said.

Picture Brightens for RIM's PlayBook Access thousands of business sources not available on the free web. Learn More The tablet market has become more competitive since the iPad's arrival last year. Companies like Samsung Electronics Co., Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. and Research In Motion Ltd. are working on tablets with features the iPad won't have, such as support for high-speed high-speed 4G wireless networks.

Although the iPad dominates tablet sales now, research firm IHS iSuppli estimates that by 2013, the iPad's market share will decline to less than 50% of the overall market.

On Tuesday, Dell Inc. said it plans to release a 10-inch tablet that runs on Microsoft Corp.'s Windows 7 operating system later this year. Hewlett-Packard Co. is expected Wednesday to show off a tablet that runs the WebOS operating system it acquired along with Palm.

For mobile carriers, tablets like the iPad present a new revenue source. "Tablets are an important growth opportunity for wireless operators who are looking for new ways to drive data revenue," said Dan Hays, a partner with the consulting firm PRTM, adding that Sprint and T-Mobile could be significantly hurt again by being shut out from the market leading device.

All four carriers—AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile—currently sell Samsung's Galaxy Tab, a 7-inch tablet that sought to compete with the iPad. In early January, Samsung said it had shipped two million tablets but an executive revealed in the company's quarterly earnings call that those figures don't represent actual sales to consumers.

Verizon, a venture between Verizon Communications Inc. and Vodafone Group PLC, was late in getting its hands on the first iPad, but will be on equal footing with AT&T this time. The carrier started selling the iPad in October and will begin selling the iPhone this week.

The one feature in the new iPad that may disappoint consumers will be the lack of significant improvement in the resolution of the device's display. People familiar with the situation said Apple has had trouble improving the display technology, in part because of the iPad screen's larger size compared with the iPhone.

Wall Street Journal