June 2007 Archives

By Lisa Crutchfield, Richmond Times-Dispatch, Va.

U2's "Gloria" poured from the speakers. The pews were packed.

And the newly consecrated bishop coadjutor of the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia was pumped.

"This is the way church ought to feel every time it starts," said the Rt. Rev. Shannon S. Johnston.

"You couldn't have kept me away from this."

"Unforgettable Fire: A Eucharist for Social Justice" was held Thursday evening at the Church of the Holy Comforter (Episcopal), on Monument Avenue in Richmond. The service was held in conjunction with St. Stephen's Episcopal Church.

The U2charist blended traditional liturgy with music not usually associated with church.

The customary elements -- Gospel reading, sermon, prayer and Communion -- were there.

But the Rev. Abbott Bailey wore flip-flops and a ONE T-shirt.

In place of hymns and organ music, U2 songs played loud but not begging for earplugs. The message was to wage war against poverty, disease, injustice and preventable suffering, all part of the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals.

Photos are courtesy of Fabrizio Bensch, Jim Young, Christophe Ena (Reuters); Odd Anderson (AP); Torsten Silz (AFP).

Bono Helps Bail Out Palm

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Palm Inc.'s financial future looked a little more secure Monday as private-equity firm Elevation Partners said it will pump US$325 million into the mobile device manufacturer.

In recent months, rumors have swirled that Palm would be acquired by either Motorola Inc. or Nokia Corp. as the company faces increasingly aggressive competition in the smartphone market.

The recapitalization plan will see Elevation take a 25 percent equity stake in Palm, valuing the company at $8.50 per share, a premium of around 16 percent compared with the stock's performance over the last 10 trading days. Elevation is a $1.9 billion private-equity firm and one of its five partners is Bono, the lead singer of Irish rock band U2. The investment in Palm is by far the largest the firm has ever made.

The device maker has also secured $400 million and a $40 million revolving credit facility. Palm will use the proceeds from the sale of its stock and the proceeds from the new debt to fund a $9 per share cash distribution to its shareholders, excluding Elevation. The total amount of money shareholders will receive will be around $940 million. Palm expects the move will leave it with more than $300 million of cash on its balance sheet.

Subject to shareholder approval and other closing conditions, Palm expects to complete the recapitalization in the third quarter of this calendar year.

Once the deal closes, there will also be changes in Palm's board of directors.

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