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Russia’s president seeks ‘harsher’ tactics after bombings

MOSCOW — President Dmitri Medvedev, trying to demonstrate the government’s resolve after a spate of terrorist bombings, made a surprise visit on Thursday to one of the most tumultuous areas of Russia and called for “harsher” tactics to combat the insurgency.

Medvedev convened a meeting of regional leaders and senior security advisers in Dagestan, a predominantly Muslim republic near Chechnya that has faced sustained violence in recent years, including a double suicide bombing on Wednesday that killed 12 people.

The troubles in the Caucasus have taken on a new urgency with the suicide bombings in the Moscow subway on Monday, which killed 39 people and set off alarms that extremists wanted to revive efforts to strike Russia’s major cities.

Ratings fall for newscasts at ABC and CBS, as NBC climbs

With buyouts and layoffs in progress, the mood at ABC News cannot be good. It was probably not enhanced by the ratings report for the first quarter of the year showing that the network’s evening newscast, “World News,” had sunk to the lowest numbers the program has had in a first quarter since the People Meter was introduced by Nielsen in 1987.

The same situation prevailed at CBS, where the “Evening News” also hit a new low for the months of January through March.

The beneficiary was NBC, where “Nightly News” scored its best first-quarter numbers since 2005.

Overall, the numbers were: 9.92 million viewers for NBC, 8.27 million for ABC and 6.45 million for CBS.

Federal agencies set new rules for emissions and fuel economy

WASHINGTON — The federal government took its first formal step to regulate global warming pollution on Thursday by issuing final rules for greenhouse gas emissions for automobiles and light trucks.

The move ends a 30-year battle between regulators and automakers but sets the stage for what may be a bigger fight over climate-altering emissions from stationary sources like power plants, steel mills and refineries.

The new tailpipe rules, jointly written by the Department of Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency, set emissions and mileage standards that would translate to a combined fuel economy average for new vehicles of 35.5 mpg by 2016.

Some TV networks and Netflix set to offer apps for iPad

Television networks are taking sharply different approaches to the iPad.

One network, ABC, has readied a fully functional app for the eagerly awaited Apple tablet. Another, NBC, has ditched its plans to stream full television episodes onto the device.

From MSNBC.com to People.com, buyers of the iPad will be able to watch plenty of ad-supported video despite Apple’s decision to ban Flash, the dominant software for online video viewing, from the device.

Many Web sites have raced to convert their video files from Flash to HTML5, a different computing standard.