- - Monday, March 26, 2012

CANBERRA — Australia has banned Chinese technology giant Huawei from bidding to help build a nationwide high-speed Internet network because of concern about cyberattacks traced to China.

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard said Monday that the move was among “prudent decisions” to ensure that the planned network functions properly.

The ban highlights concern about Beijing’s cyberwarfare efforts, a spate of hacking attempts aimed at Western companies and the role of Chinese equipment providers, which are expanding abroad.

Huawei Technologies Ltd. is one of the world’s biggest producers of switching equipment that forms the hearts of phone and data networks. The company rejected suggestions that it might be a security risk and said it has won the trust of global telecommunications carriers.

Beijing’s relations with Western governments have been strained by complaints about hacking traced to China and aimed at oil, technology and other companies. A U.S. congressional panel has said it will investigate whether allowing Huawei and other Chinese makers of telecommunications gear to expand in the United States might aid Chinese spying.


Revel resort gets green light to open casino in Atlantic City

ATLANTIC CITY — Revel, the $2.4 billion Atlantic City casino resort that almost didn’t get built, cleared its final major hurdle Monday.

The New Jersey Casino Control Commission approved a casino license for the resort, which will become the city’s 12th casino when it opens next week.

Gambling is only part of the resort; it also has a luxurious spa, 14 restaurants, 10 pools and a theater with 5,050 seats that will host singer Beyonce on Memorial Day weekend.

“We’ve convinced people for 30 years that if you’re not a gambler, you can’t come here,” said Kevin DeSanctis, Revel’s president and CEO. “We want to convince them you can. We’d love to have you.”

The project ran out of money during the recession, but resumed last year with the help of state tax incentives. Original backer Morgan Stanley pulled out of the project and took a $1.2 billion loss on it. Mr. DeSanctis said much of the remaining financing came from JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Located at the extreme northern end of the Boardwalk, next to the Showboat Casino Hotel, Revel is the first casino to open since its main rival, the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, debuted in 2003. With its angular slanted roof and its giant white light-up ball atop the 47-story structure - the second-tallest in New Jersey at 710 feet - Revel is already an iconic presence in the nation’s second-largest gambling market.

Gadget owners on planes could face turn-off fines

NEWARK — The agency that operates the New York City area’s three major airports wants passengers who don’t turn off their cellphones or tablets before takeoff to pay up or go to court.

The executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said Monday the agency is considering levying fines that could reach tens of thousands of dollars for behavior that causes flight delays.

The issue of electronic devices on planes received national publicity in December when actor Alec Baldwin was ousted from a New York-bound flight in Los Angeles for refusing to turn off his cellphone.

The use of electronic devices on planes generally is prohibited during takeoffs and landings, and passengers are warned by public announcements. The Port Authority initiative is believed to be the only one of its kind being contemplated at a domestic airport, but it’s unclear whether the agency would have the power to implement it. News of the Port Authority’s plans was first reported in the New York Post.

According to Foye, Port Authority police last year responded to about 400 calls involving passengers who refused to turn off their electronic devices at John F. Kennedy International, LaGuardia and Newark Liberty International airports.

Last week, the Federal Aviation Administration announced it is looking at ways to test devices to see if they are safe for passengers to use during critical phases of flights such as takeoffs and landings.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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