Archive for December, 2008

Ballard Confirms Close of Transaction to Strengthen Balance Sheet Through C$41M Non-Dilutive Financing

December 31, 2008

VANCOUVER, Dec. 31 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ – Ballard Power Systems Inc. (TSX: BLD)(NASDAQ: BLDP) confirmed that the previously announced transaction with Superior Plus Income Fund (TSX: SPF.UN)(www.superiorplus.com) to reorganize the Company’s business, resulting in a non-dilutive financing with net cash proceeds of approximately C$41 million (US$33 million), has closed and will take effect at 11:59 p.m. today.

John Sheridan, Ballard’s President and CEO commented that “the closing of this transaction is very important for Ballard, as it completes a year of transformational progress for our company, in three fundamental areas:

    -  Re-vectoring our strategic direction with the automotive transaction,
       which closed on January 31, 2008, with a US$97 million gain recorded
       in the first quarter;

    -  Accelerating fuel cell product adoption, as evidenced by the ACME
       Telepower supply agreement announced on October 9, 2008; and

    -  Strengthening the company's financial position with this non-dilutive
       financing, bolstering an already strong balance sheet with significant
       cash reserves and no debt. The net proceeds will augment Ballard's
       cash reserves of $57.1 million as reported at September 30, 2008.

Mr. Sheridan reiterated that “the proceeds from this transaction, which was approved by a 98.3% shareholder vote, will allow Ballard to continue to execute its growth plan without any need for public market financing for the foreseeable future.”

About Ballard Power Systems

Ballard Power Systems (TSX: BLD)(NASDAQ: BLDP) is recognized as a world leader in the design, development, manufacture and sale of clean energy fuel cell products. Ballard’s mission is to accelerate fuel cell product adoption. To learn more about what Ballard is doing with Power to Change the World(R), visit http://www.ballard.com.

This release contains forward-looking statements that are based on the beliefs and assumptions of Ballard’s management and reflect Ballard’s current expectations as contemplated under section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Such assumptions relate to our financial forecasts and expectations regarding our product development efforts, manufacturing capacity, and market demand. These statements involve risks and uncertainties that may cause our actual results to be materially different, including, without limitation, the rate of mass adoption of our products, product development delays, changing environmental regulations, our ability to attract and retain business partners and customers, our access to funding, increased competition, our ability to protect our intellectual property, changes in our customers’ requirements, and our ability to provide the capital required for product development, operations and marketing. Readers should not place undue reliance on Ballard’s forward-looking statements and Ballard assumes no obligation to update or release any revisions to these forward looking statements. For a detailed discussion of the risk factors that could affect Ballard’s future performance, please refer to our most recent Annual Information Form.

The securities to be issued in connection with the transaction have not been and will not be registered under the United States Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or any state securities laws and may not be offered or sold within the United States unless an exemption from such registration requirements is available.

Ballard, the Ballard logo and Power to Change the World are registered trademarks of Ballard Power Systems Inc.

[Via http://www.prnewswire.com]

Waste Industries Implements Succession Plan

December 31, 2008

RALEIGH, N.C., Dec. 31 /PRNewswire/ — Waste Industries USA, Inc., a
regional, non-hazardous solid waste services company, announced today
effective January 1, 2009, Ven Poole will become the Chief Executive Officer
of Waste Industries, succeeding Jim W. Perry who has held the role of
President and CEO since July 2002. Mr. Poole has served in various senior
management capacities since 1990 and most recently as Vice President of
Corporate Development. Mr. Poole is a 1985 graduate of North Carolina State
University with a BS in Aerospace Engineering.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20081231/CLW016-a )

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20081231/CLW016-b )

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20081231/CLW016-c )

Mr. Perry will succeed Lonnie C. Poole, Jr. as Chairman of the Company’s
Board of Directors. Mr. Poole will continue to serve as a Director on the
Waste Industries Board.

In addition to these changes, Harry Habets will assume the role of
President and Chief Operating Officer. Mr. Habets joined the Company in 2002
and has served as the Company’s Vice President of Operations and Chief
Operating Officer since that time.

Mr. Perry stated, “The changes outlined above are part of an orderly
succession plan that was contemplated as part of the Company’s recent decision
to once again become a private company. I am very confident that under the
leadership of Ven and Harry, Waste Industries will continue its tradition of
growth and service, not only to our customers, but to our industry.”

Waste Industries USA, Inc. is a vertically integrated solid waste services
company that provides collection, transfer, disposal and recycling services to
commercial, industrial and residential customer locations in the states of
North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, Georgia and Mississippi.

[Via http://www.prnewswire.com]

Waste & Recycling Industry Hit by Recession, Too; EIN News’ Waste Management & Recycling Today Offers Extended Coverage

December 31, 2008

WASHINGTON, Dec. 31 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — From California to Taiwan, from Guam to Britain, countless media reports tell the same story: the global recession has driven down the cost of recyclables while driving up recycling costs. Unable to cover these costs with revenue, independent collectors, brokers or recycling factories are calling for government assistance to help them weather out the difficult times.

Responding to a growing number of requests for a news website on this hot topic, EIN News has launched Waste Management & Recycling Today to cover the global news on all kinds of waste & recycling issues that have both consumers and producers watching. From technology to transportation, and from the United States to the United Arab Emirates — Waste Management & Recycling Today puts the news into a format that all concerned communities, individuals and business professionals can use every day.

See:

http://wastemanagement.einnews.com/

For a free trial to Waste Management & Recycling Today, go to:

http://www.einnews.info/news_publications.php

To start receiving our free daily news alerts, go to:

http://einnews.info/news_alerts.php

The publisher of Waste Management & Recycling Today, EIN News, was established in 1995, and through the years has built more than 200,000 news feeds organized within 50 individual news sites. The company has launched the well-known “Russia Today” brand and opened internet news access to China with “Inside China Today.”

Offering a unique combination of human editing and proprietary scanning software, EIN News won Europe’s coveted Momentum Award as the most innovative internet company on the continent. Serving thousands of customers daily, the company distributes its feeds via email or mobile news alerts, online and other channels such as Newsfeedmaker.com.

Contact us at:

EIN News

http://www.einnews.info

[Via http://www.prnewswire.com]

China BAK Announces Conference Call to Discuss First Quarter FY 2009 Results

December 31, 2008

SHENZHEN, China, Dec. 31 /PRNewswire-Asia-FirstCall/ — China BAK Battery
Inc. (Nasdaq: CBAK), one of the largest lithium-ion battery cell manufacturers
in the world, as measured by production output, will host a conference call at
7:00 pm Eastern Time on Friday, January 23, 2009, to discuss results for the
first quarter of fiscal year 2009.

China BAK’s senior management team, led by Xiangqian Li, China BAK’s
President and Chief Executive Officer, will present at the conference call and
answer questions.

To participate in the conference call, please dial the following number
approximately fifteen minutes prior to the scheduled conference call time:
888-482-0024. International callers should dial (617) 801-9702. The pass
code for the call is 525-335-07.

If you are unable to participate in the call at this time, a replay will
be available on Friday, January 23 at 9:00 pm ET, through Saturday, February 7,
at 9:00 pm ET. To access the replay, please dial 888-286-8010. International
callers should dial (617) 801-6888 and enter the pass code 639-38-928.

This conference call will be broadcast live over the Internet and can be
accessed by all interested parties on the CBAK website at
http://www.bak.com.cn/ . To listen to the live webcast, please go to the CBAK
website at least fifteen minutes prior to the start of the call to register,
download, and install any necessary audio software. For those unable to
participate during the live broadcast, a replay will be available shortly
after the call on CBAK’s website for one year.

About China BAK Battery Inc.

China BAK Battery, Inc. is one of the largest manufacturers of
lithium-based battery cells in the world, as measured by production output.
It produces battery cells that are the principal component of rechargeable
batteries commonly used in cellular phones, notebook computers and portable
consumer electronics, such as digital media devices, portable media players,
portable audio players, portable gaming devices and personal digital
assistants (or PDAs), and other applications, such as cordless power tools and
minings lamp. China BAK’s 3.0 million square feet of facilities are located
in Shenzhen and Tianjin, PRC, and have been recently expanded to produce new
products. More information about China BAK (Nasdaq: CBAK) is available at
http://www.bak.com.cn/ .

Safe Harbor Statement

This press release contains forward-looking statements, which are subject
to change. The forward-looking statements are made pursuant to the safe
harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.
All “forward-looking statements” relating to the business of China BAK Battery,
Inc. and its subsidiary companies, which can be identified by the use of
forward-looking terminology such as “believes,” “expects” or similar
expressions, involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties which could
cause actual results to differ. These factors include but are not limited to:
risks related to China BAK’s business and risks related to operating in China.
Please refer to China BAK’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year
ended September 30, 2008, for specific details on risk factors. Given these
risks and uncertainties, you are cautioned not to place undue reliance on
forward-looking statements. China BAK’s actual results could differ
materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements. China BAK
undertakes no obligation to revise or update its forward-looking statements in
order to reflect events or circumstances that may arise after the date of this
release.

[Via http://www.prnewswire.com]

A-Power Energy Provides Updates on 2008 Fourth Quarter Guidance

December 30, 2008

SHENYANG, China, Dec. 30 /PRNewswire-Asia-FirstCall/ — A-Power Energy
Generation Systems, Ltd. (Nasdaq: APWR) (“A-Power” or the “Company”),
announced today updates on its fourth quarter guidance for the period ending
December 31, 2008.

For the 2008 fourth quarter, the Company now expects revenue to be
approximately $76 million and net income to be approximately $5 million. Both
revenue and net income guidance are now lower than previous guidance of $158
million and $15.5 million, respectively.

Mr. Jinxiang Lu, A-Power’s Chairman and CEO, commented, “Due to the
unusual current macro economic conditions, a few of our key potential
contracts, which we expected to close in the fourth quarter, were postponed.
As our projects are highly capital intensive, we always require a sizeable
down payment as a key component of our standard contract. Under today’s
environment, we believe that it is even more important to exercise prudence on
customers’ payment terms and to continue to focus on our cash flow management.
Entering into 2009, we remain confident with a positive outlook for China’s
wind energy market as both government and enterprises have a strong commitment
for renewable energy development, and we maintain a leading position in the
marketplace, where the barrier to enter is high. As a result, we continue to
expect profitable growth in 2009.”

As of September 30, 2008, the Company’s cash and cash equivalents totaled
$59.7 million compared with $35.8 million as of December 31, 2007. Bank loans
were zero compared with $0.96 million as of December 31, 2007. Working
capital as of September 30, 2008 was $95.8 million compared with $38.0 million
as of December 31, 2007.

The Company continues to conduct search for qualified CFO. The Company
also believes that current economic condition creates more opportunities and
options for A-Power to locate the most suitable candidate.

About A-Power

A-Power Energy Generation Systems, Ltd., through its PRC operating
subsidiaries, is the largest provider of distributed power generation systems
in China and entered into China’s wind energy market in 2008. The Company is
also focused on developing and commercializing additional renewable energy
technologies and has strategic relationships with both Tsinghua University in
Beijing and the China Academy of Sciences in Guangzhou.

This press release contains forward-looking statements. These statements
are made within the “safe harbor” provisions of the U.S. Private Securities
Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements can be
identified by terminology such as “will,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “future,”
“intends,” “plans,” “believes,” “estimates,” and other similar statements.
Statements that are not historical facts, including statements relating to
anticipated future earnings, margins, and other operating results, future
growth, construction plans and anticipated capacities, production schedules
and entry into expanded markets are forward-looking statements. Such forward-
looking statements, based upon the current beliefs and expectations of our
management, are subject to risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual
results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements, including
but not limited to, the risk that: a decrease in the rate of growth of China’s
industry and economy may lead to a decrease in our revenues because industrial
companies in China are our principal source of revenues; decreases in the
price of oil and gas could reduce demand for our distributed power energy
generation and wind turbine systems; we may experience construction and
development delays in our projects which could adversely affect our financial
condition and operation results; our revenue depends on gaining new customers
and we do not have long-term purchase commitments from our customers; a
significant reduction in government subsidies and economic incentives could
have a material adverse effect on the results of our operations; inclement
weather conditions could delay our construction schedules and affect our
operating results in particular quarters and/or fiscal years; fluctuations in
general customer demand could negatively impact our financial results, as well
as other relevant risks detailed in our filings with the Securities and
Exchange Commission, including those set forth in our annual report filed on
Form 20-F for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2007. The information set
forth herein should be read in light of such risks. We assume no obligation
to update the information contained in this press release, except as required
under applicable law.

    For more information, please contact:

     A-Power Energy Generation Systems Ltd.
     John Lin
     Tel:   +1-626-636-6366 (US)
     Email: john@apowerenergy.com

     Union Investor Relations
     Ian Shanno
     Tel: +1-310-928-3780

[Via http://www.prnewswire.com]

American Greetings Announces Plans to Acquire Recycled Paper Greetings

December 30, 2008

CLEVELAND, Dec. 30 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — American Greetings
Corporation (NYSE: AM) today announced it has reached an agreement to acquire
Recycled Paper Greetings, Inc.

American Greetings has agreed to purchase Recycled Paper Greetings, Inc.
(“Recycled Paper”). Recycled Paper is a Chicago-based preeminent creator and
designer of humorous greeting cards with annual net sales of approximately $80
million. Recycled Paper’s humor cards are distributed primarily through mass
retail partners, drug stores and specialty retail stores. The transaction is
subject to various closing conditions including a Chapter 11 reorganization
process being successfully completed for Recycled Paper and other closing
conditions.

The agreement providing for the acquisition contemplates that the
transaction will be effected pursuant to a so-called “pre-packaged” Chapter 11
reorganization. The reorganization plan is supported by Recycled Paper’s
secured creditors. Trade creditors are expected to be paid in full under the
plan. The parties hope to complete the Chapter 11 reorganization process by
the end of American Greetings’ first fiscal quarter, although there can be no
assurance that this will be the case. Consideration for the acquisition will
include a combination of $ 54.7 million of new 7.375% notes due in 2016 and up
to $18.4 million of cash in addition to the $44.2 million investment ($67.1
million of principal) previously made by American Greetings during July 2008.
The anticipated Chapter 11 reorganization process of Recycled Paper is
expected to provide American Greetings meaningful tax benefits compared to
alternative acquisition structures. American Greetings has also agreed to
provide up to $10 million Debtor in Possession (DIP) financing to Recycled
Paper Greetings.

The acquisition of Recycled Paper enhances American Greetings’ humor and
alternative greeting card offerings. American Greetings plans to continue to
use the Recycled Paper Greetings name.

Chief Executive Officer Zev Weiss said, “The acquisition of Recycled Paper
Greetings will be an excellent addition to our current product offering. This
transaction will give American Greetings an enlarged product design capability
and a compelling product offering that is expected to delight consumers and
enhance productivity for our retail partners.”

Advisors to American Greetings for this transaction included Imperial
Capital, LLC and Jones Day.

About American Greetings Corporation

For more than 100 years, American Greetings Corporation (NYSE: AM) has
been a manufacturer and retailer of innovative social expression products that
assist consumers in enhancing their relationships. The Company’s major
greeting card brands are American Greetings, Carlton Cards and Gibson, and
other paper product offerings include DesignWare party goods, American
Greetings and Plus Mark gift-wrap and boxed cards and Date Works calendars.
American Greetings also has the largest collection of electronic greetings on
the Web, including cards available at AmericanGreetings.com through AG
Interactive, Inc., the Company’s online division. AG Interactive also offers
digital photo sharing and personal publishing at PhotoWorks.com and
Webshots.com and a one-stop source for online graphics, animations, and more
at Kiwee.com. In addition to its product lines, American Greetings also
creates and licenses popular character brands through the American Greetings
Properties group. Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, American Greetings
generates annual revenue of approximately $1.8 billion, and its products can
be found in retail outlets domestically and worldwide, including Company-owned
American Greetings and Carlton Cards stores. For more information on the
Company, visit http://corporate.americangreetings.com .

Certain statements in this release may constitute forward-looking
statements within the meaning of the Federal securities laws. These statements
can be identified by the fact that they do not relate strictly to historic or
current facts. They use such words as “anticipate,” “estimate,” “expect,”
“project,” “intend,” “plan,” “believe,” and other words and terms of similar
meaning in connection with any discussion of future operating or financial
performance. These forward-looking statements are based on currently available
information, but are subject to a variety of uncertainties, unknown risks and
other factors concerning the Company’s operations and business environment,
which are difficult to predict and may be beyond the control of the Company.
Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from
those suggested by these forward-looking statements, and that could adversely
affect the Company’s future financial performance, include, but are not
limited to, the following:

    -- a weak retail environment and general economic conditions;
    -- the ability to achieve the desired benefits associated with its cost
       reduction efforts;
    -- the ability to close the acquisition of Recycled Paper, including, if
       we are unable to acquire Recycled Paper, whether we will be repaid our
       recent investment in its first-lien distressed debt securities;
    -- retail consolidations, acquisitions and bankruptcies, including the
       possibility of resulting adverse changes to retail contract terms;
    -- competitive terms of sale offered to customers;
    -- if the Company determines additional retail store closures are
       necessary;
    -- the timing and impact of investments in new retail or product
       strategies as well as new product introductions and achieving the
       desired benefits from those investments;
    -- consumer acceptance of products as priced and marketed;
    -- the ability to successfully integrate acquisitions, including Recycled
       Paper;
    -- the impact of technology on core product sales;
    -- the timing and impact of converting customers to a scan-based trading
       model;
    -- escalation in the cost of providing employee health care;
    -- the ability to identify, complete, or achieve the desired benefits
       associated with productivity improvement projects;
    -- the ability to successfully implement, or achieve the desired benefits
       associated with any information systems refresh the Company may
       implement;
    -- whether the Company executes share repurchase programs or the ability
       to achieve the desired accretive effect from any such share
       repurchases;
    -- the Company's ability to comply with its debt covenants;
    -- the Company's ability to successfully complete, or achieve the desired
       benefits associated with, dispositions, including the sale of the
       Strawberry Shortcake and Care Bears properties;
    -- fluctuations in the value of currencies in major areas where the
       Company operates, including the U.S. Dollar, Euro, U.K. Pound Sterling,
       and Canadian Dollar; and
    -- the outcome of any legal claims known or unknown.

Risks pertaining specifically to AG Interactive include the viability of
online advertising, subscriptions as revenue generators, the public’s
acceptance of online greetings and other social expression products, and the
ability to gain a leadership position in the digital photo sharing space.

In addition, this release contains time-sensitive information that
reflects management’s best analysis as of the date of this release. American
Greetings does not undertake any obligation to publicly update or revise any
forward-looking statements to reflect future events, information or
circumstances that arise after the date of this release. Further information
concerning issues that could materially affect financial performance related
to forward-looking statements can be found in the Company’s periodic filings
with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the “Risk Factors”
section of the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended
February 29, 2008.

[Via http://www.prnewswire.com]

Energy Focus, Inc. Provides Energy Saving EFO(R) LED Lighting Solutions for Shipboard Use

December 30, 2008

SOLON, Ohio, Dec. 30 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Energy Focus, Inc., a
global leader in energy efficient lighting solutions, today announced that the
company has installed high efficiency lighting fixtures to retrofit 100% of
the high-bay lighting in a hangar deck on board an Arleigh Burke class
Destroyer. The new EFO LED lights are part of a continuing effort to reduce
energy and maintenance costs. The fixtures and underlying technology were
developed under the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) High
Efficiency Distributed Lighting (HEDLight) program. This installation follows
a year-long demonstration on board naval vessels that replaced existing
fluorescent, incandescent, and halogen lighting with various HEDLight lighting
solutions.

The developed lighting solutions incorporate solid state lighting
technology. The fixtures include long life high efficiency light emitting
diodes (LED) globe fixtures with a power savings of up to 87%, and LED berth
lights for general berthing compartments, which provide a 14% power savings.
All fixtures were designed to be direct replacements to eliminate retrofit
concerns and reduce installation costs.

“The improvement in visibility and amount of light in the work area is as
impressive as the energy and maintenance savings,” said Roger Buelow, CTO of
Energy Focus, Inc. “These 60 lumen per watt fixtures, operating at more than
four times the efficiency of the ones they replaced, give the sailors more and
better light to work under. In addition we expect the new LED lights to
continue working without failure for many years to come. DARPA’s support was
instrumental in accelerating this technology to allow us to help the Fleet
reduce its maintenance woes and fuel costs while improving the sailor’s
visibility.”

“Our nation’s Fleet is currently illuminated with 1950’s lighting
technology. LED lighting on this Arleigh Burke class Destroyer is an
important step towards the Navy’s beginning to retrofit the entire fleet,”
said Joe Kaveski, CEO of Energy Focus, Inc.

About Energy Focus, Inc.

Energy Focus, Inc. (Nasdaq: EFOI), designs, develops, manufactures and
markets lighting systems for wide-ranging uses in both the general commercial
and the pool and spa lighting markets. Energy Focus EFO(R) systems offer
energy savings, heat dissipation and maintenance cost benefits over
conventional lighting for multiple applications. The Company’s headquarters
are located at 32000 Aurora Rd., Solon, Ohio. The Company has additional
offices in California, the United Kingdom, and Germany. Telephone:
(440) 715-1300. For more information, see http://www.energyfocusinc.com.

Forward-looking statements in this release are made pursuant to the safe
harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.
Such forward-looking statements include statements regarding the business
outlook for 2008 and thereafter, future pool market sales, and the potential
growth of EFO sales based upon its energy savings over halogen and fluorescent
lights. Investors are cautioned that all forward-looking statements involve
risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially from the
results predicted. Risk factors that could affect the Company’s future
include, but are not limited to, a slowing of the U.S. and world economies and
its effect on Energy Focus’ markets, failure to develop marketable products
from new technologies, failure of EFO or other new products to meet
performance expectations, unanticipated costs of integrating acquisitions into
the Energy Focus operation, delays in manufacturing of products, increased
competition, other adverse sales and distribution factors, and greater than
anticipated costs and/or warranty expenses. For more information about
potential factors which could affect Energy Focus financial results, please
refer to the Company’s SEC reports, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K
for the year ended December 31, 2007, and its quarterly reports on Form 10-Q.
These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date hereof. Energy
Focus disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any
forward-looking statements.

[Via http://www.prnewswire.com]

James Hansen Selected as EarthSky Scientist Communicator of the Year

December 30, 2008

AUSTIN, Texas, Dec. 30 /PRNewswire/ — EarthSky – a clear voice for
science heard around the world – and more than 600 scientists today announced
James Hansen’s selection as the EarthSky Scientist Communicator of the Year.

Dr. Hansen, a physicist, now heads the NASA Goddard Institute for Space
Studies in New York City. He is an outspoken authority on climate change.
Hansen was elected as EarthSky Scientist Communicator of the Year after
EarthSky asked its 600+ Global Science Advisors to nominate and vote on which
scientists had best communicated with the public about vital science issues or
concepts during 2008. Dr. Hansen’s name rose to the top from a wide field of
prestigious figures in science.

“Jim Hansen was the first leading scientist to explain global warming to
the U.S. Congress and the American people,” said Jeffrey Sachs, director of
the Earth Institute at Columbia University. “His warnings proved to be
accurate and prescient. When he came under political attack, he bravely and
successfully defended his freedom to speak out. His fortitude has made him not
only a great scientist, but a great scientist-statesman, one who plays a
unique role in helping all of us understand the dire risks of man-made climate
change and how to address them.”

EarthSky is featuring Dr. Hansen in an 8-minute EarthSky Clear Voices for
Science podcast, speaking on the role of science in the coming century.
Listen to the podcast: http://www.earthsky.org/james-hansen .

EarthSky – producer of the internationally syndicated Earth & Sky science
podcast series – serves as a platform for scientists to speak on important
issues facing the 21st century. Through its global broadcast network and
online outlets, EarthSky creates 14 million media impressions for science and
scientists every day. In other words, people hear, watch or read the words of
scientists – via EarthSky – that often every day.

The EarthSky promise: “To bring the ideas, strategies and research
results of scientists to people around the world, with the goal of
illuminating pathways to a sustainable future.”

[Via http://www.prnewswire.com]

AUO Takes Major Leap Into Green Energy Business

December 30, 2008

HSINCHU, Taiwan, Dec. 30 /PRNewswire-Asia-FirstCall/ — AU Optronics Corp.
(“AUO” or the “Company”) (TAIEX: 2409; NYSE: AUO) today announced the
establishment of its “Energy Project Office” directly under the supervision of
the President’s office, marking an official statement of its holistic approach
to green energy solutions. Extending from manufacturing green panels, AUO’s
“Energy Project Office” will devote efforts in green energy solutions and
plans to set up a pilot line in AUO Taichung site, in a bid to proactively
fulfill the Company’s corporate social responsibility by striving for a better
living environment for future generations.

Ever since disclosing “AUO Green Solutions” early this year, AUO has
registered remarkable records in seven major areas: Green DNA, Green
Innovations, Green Procurement, Green Production, Green Logistics, Green
Service and Green Recycling. In addition, AUO’s new vision for the next decade
“Bright Innovation, Amazing Life” also acts as a catalyst to inspire employees
to create amazing lives for people by innovative thinking, and to love our
planet by fulfilling “AUO Green Solutions”. The establishment of AUO’s
“Energy Project Office “marks another proactive move in protecting the
environment by offering green energy solutions in addition to the Company’s
longstanding efforts in reducing waste and energy consumption. The office
represents a major leap forward in realizing this vision.

To address global warming issues that have been induced by traditional
fossil-fuel energy, AUO, thus, proactively seeks solutions in clean energy as
one of its main future businesses. The advantages of solar electric systems
include zero green house emissions, convenience for households to install, and
significant increases in energy transmission efficiency by smart grid
distribution and energy storage. With its sound technology basis in the
TFT-LCD sector and compatibility in numerous manufacturing processes, as well
as technology maturity in thin film solar power, (converting efficiency has
improved from 5-8% in the first generation to 8-10% in the second generation
and even reached 10% and beyond in the third generation), AUO sees this as the
right time to establish its “Energy Project Office”. The Company will begin
implementing these initiatives with third generation technology directly,
starting with a pilot line in its Taichung site in 2009. This also marks a new
forward-looking innovative operation model since the Company was founded 12
years ago.

“AUO has been working diligently in providing consumers quality visual
amusement. In addition to its ongoing efforts in TFT-LCD technology, AUO is
now extending its innovations into the clean energy industry, seeking a
win-win situation for CSR fulfillment in protecting the environment and
promising green business opportunities for the TFT-LCD industry,” said Dr. LJ
Chen, President and COO of AUO. “We also welcome more people and companies to
join us. Together, we can strive to advance Taiwan’s green energy industry
toward a more international level.”

In related news, AUO successfully hosted a week-long “2008 AUO
Photovoltaic Forum” in early December. The forum invited international and
domestic renowned solar energy experts to share and exchange views with the
AUO task force, resulting in constructive and diversified discussions, as well
as many forward-looking ideas. AUO expects that these advances will in the
near future help facilitate consumers to live a more advanced and eco-friendly
green lifestyle.

ABOUT AU OPTRONICS

AU Optronics Corp. (AUO) is the worldwide top 3 manufacturer* of thin film
transistor liquid crystal display panels (TFT-LCD). AUO is able to provide
customers a full range of panel sizes and comprehensive applications, offering
TFT-LCD panels in sizes ranging from 1.5 inches to greater than 65 inches. AUO
generated NT$480.2 billion (US$14.8 billion) in sales revenue in 2007 and now
houses a staff of more than 40,000 employees throughout its global operations
spreading across Taiwan, Mainland China, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, the
U.S., and Europe. Additionally, AUO is the first pure TFT-LCD manufacturer to
successfully list at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). For more information,
please visit AUO.com.

    * DisplaySearch 3Q2008 WW Large-Area TFT-LCD Shipment Report dated October
      29, 2008. This data is used as reference only and AUO does not make any
      endorsement or representation in connection therewith. 2007 year end
      revenue converted by an exchange rate of NTD32.43:USD1.

Safe Harbour Notice

AU Optronics Corp. (“AUO” or the “Company”) (TAIEX: 2409; NYSE: AUO), the
worldwide top three manufacturer of large-size TFT-LCD panels, today announced
the above news. Except for statements in respect of historical matters, the
statements contained in this Release are “forward-looking statements” within
the meaning of Section 27A of the U.S. Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E
of the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934. These forward-looking statements
were based on our management’s expectations, projections and beliefs at the
time regarding matters including, among other things, future revenues and
costs, financial performance, technology changes, capacity, utilization rates,
yields, process and geographical diversification, future expansion plans and
business strategy. Such forward looking statements are subject to a number of
known and unknown risks and uncertainties that can cause actual results to
differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements,
including risks related to the flat panel display industry, the TFT-LCD market,
acceptance and demand for our products, technological and development risks,
competitive factors, and other risks described in the section entitled “Risk
Factors” in our Form 20-F filed with the United States Securities and Exchange
Commission on June 4th, 2008.

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Coca-Cola’s Landmark Billboard in Times Square Goes Green

December 29, 2008

Wind Will Power the Way This New Year’s Eve; Move Followed by 100 Percent of Neighbors

NEW YORK, Dec. 29 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — The Coca-Cola Company’s iconic red billboard in New York City’s Times Square is going “green” in time for New York’s famous New Year’s celebration. Coca-Cola is leading a unanimous eco-friendly shift to wind power among 30 billboards that tower over the world’s most recognizable intersection.

Coca-Cola was the first company to select clean, renewable wind power to light up their billboard located at 47th and Broadway. After Coca-Cola made their commitment, all of the neighboring billboards on three buildings around Times Square joined the movement through an electric supply agreement with ConEdison Solutions and the building management company.

Collectively, the group’s volunteer move will prevent the release of 1,866 metric tons of carbon dioxide each year. On its own, Coca-Cola’s pioneering move to 100 percent wind power for its billboard will have the equivalent effect of removing 75 passenger automobiles from the road for one year or converting 38 households to wind power for one year. The “greening” of the Coca-Cola billboard is also equivalent to reducing 376 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually or planting 471.5 acres of trees.

“Coca-Cola has always held a historic place in Times Square, where we’ve been one of the longest continuous billboard advertisers, starting in 1932, and we are proud to lead this renewable energy movement on the Great White Way,” said Dana Barba, Assistant Vice President Portfolio Operations, Coca-Cola North America.

“Renewable power is good for our climate and our economy, and helps make America more self-reliant in terms of energy supplies,” said Jorge Lopez, president and CEO of ConEdison Solutions. “We applaud Coca-Cola for its leadership in turning the Great White Way green.”

Fittingly, the newest ad on the billboard, starting on New Year’s Eve, will be Coca-Cola’s “Refresh. Recycle. Repeat.” touting the Company’s long-term goal to recycle or reuse 100 percent of the aluminum beverage cans and PET plastic bottles it sells in the U.S.

The recycling theme will be brought directly to consumers in New York City’s Bryant Park early next year. The Coca-Cola Recycling team will be in the park outside the famous New York Public Library’s main branch on January 10th from 12-8 p.m. and January 11th from 12-5 p.m. Pedestrians can come and learn about recycling, play trivia and interactive games, see items made from recycled bottles and learn what they can do to keep the earth clean.

This voluntary action is the latest example of Coca-Cola’s commitment to Live Positively, an operating philosophy that guides the Company’s service to its customers, consumers and communities. This guiding philosophy is the basis for the Company’s consumer-focused programs, products and packaging, and efforts to help the environment. To learn more about Live Positively and Coca-Cola’s efforts to support recycling, the environment and sustainable energy, visit the new Web site http://www.livepositively.com.

About The Coca-Cola Company

The Coca-Cola Company is the world’s largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 450 sparkling and still brands. Along with Coca-Cola(R), recognized as the world’s most valuable brand, the Company’s portfolio includes 12 other billion dollar brands, including Diet Coke(R), Fanta(R), Sprite(R), Coca-Cola Zero(R), vitaminwater, POWERade(R), Minute Maid(R) and Georgia(R) Coffee. Globally, we are the No. 1 provider of sparkling beverages, juices and juice drinks and ready-to-drink teas and coffees. Through the world’s largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy the Company’s beverages at a rate of 1.5 billion servings a day. With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, our Company is focused on initiatives that protect the environment, conserve resources and enhance the economic development of the communities where we operate. For more information about our Company, please visit our website at http://www.thecoca colacompany.com.

[Via http://www.prnewswire.com]