Online Classified Ads: One of the Best Online Marketing Solutions for Small Businesses

A small business owner interested in doing some local Marketing should definitely consider advertising their business on online classified ads sites. There are many advantages to using this form of marketing and it is especially suited to meet the needs of small business owners who would like to get more customers to contact them. Here are some advantages of using online classified ads to advertise a local business:

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  • Low or No Cost

Unlike SEM methods where you would be paying for every click your ad that goes to your website, classified ads are either free or very cheap. For most categories of businesses, online classified ad sites allow a business owner to post an ad for free, but allow you to upgrade the ad for a few dollars. This upgrade gives things that vary from site to site, but they usually include things such as having the ad featured on top of all the other ones, having a colored border around it, allowing you to use bigger images in the ad, etc.

  • Can Generate Free Website Traffic

On most classified ads sites it is possible to include a link to your website in your ad. This can generate traffic in two ways. First, there is obviously users reading the ad and clicking on the link to proceed to your site. But there are also some SEO benefits to using these sites, as including a link to your URL in ads increases the number of backlinks that your website gets. If you don’t yet have a website for your business, you can ask a San Diego SEO company for information on getting one developed for you.

  • Provides High Quality, Targeted Traffic

Since classified ads are organized in specific categories, the people who are viewing your ads will generally have a strong interest in what you are offering. As long as you word your ad correctly and give all pertinent details in it, advertising on online classified ad websites will bring you targeted visitors to your website, many of who would be ready to make a purchase. After all, you need to consider that the people who are browsing a classified ad website are doing so mainly because they are interested in purchasing something and not just browsing the site for fun. Visitors who are in “buying mode” are definitely the best kind of traffic that you can get on your site, as they are much more likely to actually buy something from you.

What are Some of the Steps to US Naturalization

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There are many steps to US Naturalization that must be completed before you can be approved to become a US citizen. The normal processing time for naturalization is usually six months. Today, due to the extremely high applications sent by a Naturalization Lawyer to USCIS, the process can take 16 to 18 months. The first step you must take is determining if you’re eligible. In order to be eligible, you must be at least 18 years old and you must be a permanent resident for five years. If you leave for more than six months, it will delay the process. You only need to be a resident for three years if you are married and living with a US citizen. You also must be able to read, write and speak English and have an understanding of US history and government. Good moral character is also a requirement.

You must complete an application. The form is the N400. You have to be able to understand the questions on the application because you will be asked these questions in an interview. You want to be sure to include all the required documents. Make sure they are translated and that the translator includes a statement of credentials and certify the translations are correct. You will need to be fingerprinted as part of the application. Send these forms, along with $595 for the application and $80 for your fingerprints, to the Service Center.

You will be sent information on when and where your interview will take place. You want to be sure to take original copies of your documents with. You also need to bring your passport, permanent resident or alien resident card and any re-entry forms you have. You have to answer questions about yourself, family, employment and criminal background. You must also pass a 10 question civic test. You will receive Form N-652 that grants, continues or denies your residency. If granted, you will need to take the oath to become a citizen.

What Skills Should IT Monitoring Professionals Have?

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In applying for a job in IT Monitoring, the prospective employee is expected to possess certain qualities. Listed below are some skills that individual’s aspiring to be employed in IT Monitoring should have at his or her finger tips.

Do you want to have fun working and making money at the same time? Are you wanting to become a IT professional? Do you want to learn what it takes to become a professional IT guy? Research has shown that there are many salient things a professional must know about the IT industry if hoping to pursue a career in this industry. Here are some different skills you should have at your finger tips if you are hoping to become a IT Specialist:

  • KNOW HOW TO MAKE VARIOUS REPORTS

Hey! It’s not that serious, but you should know that successfulIT specialist rely solely on reports to enhance quality of their production. Developers and programmers will depend on report to find and repair glitches and bugs, so individuals should be skilled in drafting formal reports.

If you become a professional IT guy, you will be asked to deliver detailed reports, so as to communicate to others the problem, so that it can be fixed easily. The implication for aspiring technicians is that, if you are unable to create clear and professional reports, you will not be employed for long!

  • SHARPEN YOUR WRITNG SKILLS AND EYES.

One of the top skills you need to succeed is to have an eagle’s eye for details. You must be able to clearly see the details embedded in all the things. Even if you have great vision, you still need good writing skills to communicate your observation. Remember that your writing skill has to do with effectively communicating details by using good grammar and proper punctuation.

  • MYTHS ABOUT IT PROFESSIONALS

There is a school of thought that saying informational technologies requires advanced training. Becoming a professional in IT and IT management will surely require advanced training, but it is possible for you to train yourself for informational technologies – but also you will need a college education to be effective in this career.

Is it difficult to start? It might be if you do not know where and how to begin. Regarding where to get IT jobs, you should browse online, as there are many companies seeking skilled employees, and that can offer you a quality work environment where your skills will be valued and put to good use.

Egyptian Women Take to the Streets in Anger Over Violence

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Around 10,000 women marched through central Cairo demanding Egypt’s ruling military step down Tuesday in an unprecedented show of outrage over soldiers who dragged women by the hair and stomped on them, and stripped one half-naked in the street during a fierce crackdown on activists the past week.

The dramatic protest, which grew as the women marched from Tahrir Square through downtown, was fueled by the widely circulated images of abuses of women. Many of the marchers touted the photo of the young woman whose clothes were partially pulled off by troops, baring her down to her blue bra, as she struggled on the ground.

“Tantawi stripped your women naked, come join us,” the crowd chanted to passers-by, referring to Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, the head of the military council that has ruled Egypt since the Feb. 11 fall of Hosni Mubarak. “The daughters of Egypt are a red line,” they chanted.

Even before the protest was over, the military council issued an unusually strong statement of regret for what it called “violations” against women – a quick turnaround after days of dismissing the significance of the abuse.

The council expressed “deep regret to the great women of Egypt” and affirmed “its respect and total appreciation” for women and their right to protest and take part in political life. It promised it was taking measures to punish those responsible for violations.

The statement suggested the military’s fear that attacks on women could wreck its prestige at home and abroad, which has already been heavily eroded by its fierce, five-day-old crackdown on pro-democracy protesters demanding it surrender power. The ruling generals have campaigned to keep the public on its side in the confrontation, depicting the activists as hooligans and themselves as the honorable protectors of the nation, above reproach.

In unusually harsh words, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Monday accused the Egyptian security forces and extremists of specifically targeting women.

“This systematic degradation of Egyptian women dishonors the revolution, disgraces the state and its uniform, and is not worthy of a great people,” she said.

In a possibly significant hint of new flexibility, the council also said in its statement Tuesday that it was prepared to discuss any initiatives to help the security of the country. In recent days, a number of political factions have pressed the military to hand over power by February, rather than June, when it promised to hold presidential elections.

In the past, police in Mubarak’s regime were accused of intentionally humiliating women in protest crackdowns. But images of women being abused by soldiers were particularly shocking in a society that is deeply conservative and generally reveres the military. The independent press has splashed its front pages with pictures of soldiers chasing women protesters, including ones in conservative headscarves and full face-veils, beating them with sticks and clubs and dragging them by their hair. The crackdown has left 14 people dead – all but one by gunshots – and hundreds wounded.

The images of the half-stripped protester, whose identity is not known, clearly had a powerful resonance. A banner showing a photo of her on the asphalt – one soldier yanking up her black robes and shirt, another poised to stomp on her chest – was put up in Tahrir Square for passing drivers to see.

“The girl dragged around is just like my daughter,” said Um Hossam, a 54-year old woman in traditional black dress and a headscarf at Tuesday’s march. “I am a free woman, and attacking this woman or killing protesters is just like going after one of my own children.”

Ringed by a protective chain of men, the women marched from Tahrir to the Journalists’ Syndicate, several blocks away, chanting slogans demanding the military council step down.

Many accused the military of intentionally targeting women to scare them and their male relatives from joining protests against the generals. Previously, the military has implied women who joined protests were of loose morals. In March, soldiers subjected detained female protesters to humiliating tests to determine if they were virgins.

“They are trying to break women’s spirits, starting with the virginity tests. They want to break their dignity so that they don’t go out and protest,” Maha Abdel-Nasser, an engineer who joined the march, said.

Two sisters, Yomna and Tasneem Shams, said they never took part in previous protests because their parents wouldn’t allow them. But they happened to be downtown Tuesday and spontaneously joined the women’s march.

“No one should ever be beaten for expressing their opinion,” Yomna, 19, said. “I am proud I took part in today’s protest. I feel I can tell my kids I have done something for them in the future.”

Some also criticized Islamic parties, which stayed out of the antimilitary protests and did not participate in Tuesday’s march – even though religious conservatives often tout their defense of “women’s honor.” Pro-democracy activists accused them of being worried about anything that might derail ongoing, multistage parliamentary elections, which the fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood and the more conservative Al-Nour Party have dominated so far.

“This is a case of honor. But they clearly don’t care for honor or religion. They now care only about their political interests,” said Mohammed Fawaz, one of the men in the protective chain around the marching women.

The protest also is likely to deepen the predicament of the military as critics began to talk openly about putting them on trial for abuses, and politicians are floating ideas for their exit, perhaps in return for immunity.

Emad Gad, a newly elected lawmaker, said that without guarantees they would not be prosecuted, the generals won’t hand over power by the end of June as promised. Foremost on their minds, he said, was the fate of Mubarak, who ended in court facing charges that carry the death penalty after ruling Egypt for nearly 30 years.

“They didn’t get clear assurances and that is why they try diabolical tactics to make sure they get these guarantees,” he said, citing the military’s attempt to enshrine in the next constitution language that would shield it from civilian scrutiny.

“We have to address their fears, their interests and future role,” he said.

The public and many activists welcomed the military when it took power from Mubarak in February. But relations have deteriorated sharply since as the democracy activists accused the generals of hijacking their uprising, obstructing reforms, human rights abuses and failing to revive the ailing economy or restore security.

The most recent protests – and earlier round of protests that saw a deadly crackdown last month – have seen unprecedentedly bold ridiculing of the military, which for decades was considered a revered institution above criticism. Young protesters have heaped profanities into their antimilitary slogans, demanded the execution of Tantawi and taunted soldiers in Tahrir.

On Monday, a member of the military council, Maj. Gen. Adel Emara, took a hard-line in a press conference, denouncing the protests as a conspiracy to “topple the state” and accusing the media of fomenting sedition.

He defended the use of force by troops, saying they had a duty to defend the state’s institutions and declined to offer an apology for brutality toward female protesters. He did not dispute the authenticity of the image of the woman being dragged half naked by soldiers, but said Egyptians should not see it without considering the circumstances surrounding the incident.

The apparent change in attitude with Tuesday’s statement of regret left some women unimpressed.

Sahar Abdel-Mohsen, a 31-year old activist, doubted the promise to punish those responsible and said the statement was in response to the U.S. criticism. “This is an apology to one woman, Hilary Clinton.”

“This is like someone raping a girl, and then going to the police station to marry her (to avoid prosecution) and then divorce her as soon as he leaves,” she said. “It is an attempt to exonerate themselves after the deed is done, but with little accountability.”

ECB Cash To Give Indirect Boost Via Banks

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The European Central Bank’s offer of cheap long-term cash is an attempt to prevent a rapid bank deleveraging shock rather than U.S.-style money printing that will filter through to the real economy and leach into other markets.

Italian and Spanish government bonds may benefit a little from newly flush banks buying them. But the money is most likely to be used to help ease banks’ immediate refunding needs – they need to sell up to 3 trillion euros of assets to deleverage and meet strict new regulatory capital requirements.

On the other hand, the fact that a credit crunch has been averted and deleveraging can now happen more smoothly removes twin potential threats to Europe’s struggling economy.

And the ECB’s three-year ultra-cheap loans may ease a wave of capital outflows by U.S. money market funds from European banks, which has gummed up interbank lending.

The borrowing of 490 billion euros by over 500 banks – the largest ever amount of liquidity pumped into the financial system – represents nearly two thirds of all the European bank bonds maturing in 2012. It is almost 1-1/2 times the 2012 combined sovereign bond issuance of Spain and Italy.

The ECB will follow up with another similar operation in February in a move designed to directly help banks which need to raise capital.

But it is very different to the quantitative easing (QE) by the Federal Reserve which bought more than $2 trillion of Treasuries and other securities with new money to kick-start the U.S. economy in 2008-2010.

“Genuine QE creates money and buy assets, so there’s direct intervention in the financial market. What the ECB is doing is making liquidity available to banks against collateral. For some people that may give an empty feeling as it’s not the bazooka they were hoping for,” said William de Vijlder, chief investment officer at BNP Paribas Investment Partners.

“But with the liquidity available, banks also better manage their own balance sheets. That creates more flexibility. It’s a very important step in terms of liquidity. At some point in 2012 people will say this has contributed to a more positive market evolution.”

Whether or not it shores up banks and encourages them to lend, there is little prospect of the cash bleeding into commodities and emerging markets as much of the U.S. money did.

“I don’t think commodities are going to be their first priority. European banks and governments are like two drowning men clinging to one another trying to keep their heads above water,” said Sean Corrigan, chief investment strategist at Diapason Commodities Management, which has $8.5 billion worth of mostly long only commodity assets.

“SARKO” CARRY TRADE

With the ECB money borrowed cheaply at just 1 percent, banks can buy government bonds with the same maturities from troubled euro zone sovereigns, exploiting the difference in yields which could amount to more than 400 basis points.

But banking analysts estimate no more than 100 billion euros would be used to buy government bonds from countries like Spain or Italy, in a muted response to the call by French President Nicolas Sarkozy for banks to load up.

Italian and Spanish government bonds did rise on bank buying expectations before the ECB tender, only to quickly wipe out gains. The benchmark 10-year Italian debt is back at 6.8 percent, near the crucial 7 percent which other countries were forced to seek external help.

Mid-sized or small banks in Italy and Spain are the most likely buyers of this “carry trade.” Morgan Stanley estimates some 20-50 billion euros of Spanish bonds could be bought and there is potential for a similar amount in Italy which, to put it in context, must refinance about 150 billion euros of government debt in February-April alone.

With investors worried that banks are already over-exposed to government debt – plus Europe’s banking regulator forcing banks to mark down their sovereign holdings – few banks were expected to aggressively take on the bet.

“In a deleveraging world, we doubt that this will be used in any meaningful way to buy sovereign bonds. This is also likely to be the case given the amount of scrutiny under which banks are regarding their sovereign exposures,” said Nick Matthews, economist at RBS.

Banks are likely to have earmarked most of the cash they have taken to prepare for their own debt needs in the next three months. That should remove the risk that a bank could collapse due to a liquidity crisis and ease funding strains.

Banks face 725 billion euros of bank debt maturing next year, including a record 282 billion euros in the first quarter alone, according to Thomson NEWS.GNOM.ES data.

“It is really for the primary dealers, the regional banks and the rest of the banking sector, to ease the liquidity constraints they’ve got,” said Bayram Dincer, analyst at LGT Capital. “To get to the end user demand, it must go via bank lending to the private sector.”

MORE LENDING?

Banks might start lending a little more freely again, a direct help for a euro zone economy which looks destined to slide back into recession.

UniCredit (CRDI.MI) and Intesa Sanpaolo (ISP.MI) said they plan to use proceeds to fund Italian industry and families. Italian banks took 116 billion euros of the ECB cash.

That should slow a pullback in lending that is evident across Europe, including at big banks like BNP Paribas (BNPP.PA), Societe Generale (SOGN.PA) and Commerzbank (CBKG.DE).

France’s top banks are expected to use funds they took to increase lending or slow their deleveraging, rather than buy sovereign debt, French bankers said.

There is expected to be hefty demand at a second ECB offer of 3-year funding at the end of February. The risk, however, is that banks are becoming ever more reliant on the central bank.

To re-open wholesale funding markets, politicians must restore confidence in the underlying health of the euro zone and break the negative loop between banks and sovereigns.

One possible path to ease strains on the wholesale funding markets is the willingness of U.S. money market funds to come back to the European market as a result of the ECB operations.

U.S. money market funds, which form a giant $1.43 trillion industry, have been a key source of funding for European banks.

But their growing worries over the euro zone debt crisis have prompted them to reduce exposure to European banks – by a staggering 45 percent since end-May, according to Fitch Ratings.

Their exposure to French banks alone declined by 63 percent over the past month.

Starved of key funding from U.S. money market funds, European banks were forced to turn to the foreign exchange swap market to swap euros for dollars, causing a sharp widening of the dollar premium.

The premium for swapping euro LIBOR into dollar LIBOR over three months – known as the cross currency swap – stands at 133 basis points on Thursday, off a three-year high of 160 hit in November but ten times the level back in May.

Interesting Trends of Smartphone market in 2011

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The smartphone market evolved in a big way in 2011 and some new interesting trends can be witnessed after observing them closely. The first major trend was the use of dual cores and shifting to two cores was announced in January 2011 in CES. This has really helped to improve the performance of the smart phones and as a result of it, many features have been added in the future.

The visibility factor became very important as smartphones were being launched with larger screens. Apple was the first to bring out an iPhone with 3.5 inches screen and people were more than happy in using it. Later on, it was found that most of the middle level smartphones have a screen size of more than 4 to 4.5 inches.

Another interesting factor is the addition of more G. First, it was 3G and now, most of these smartphones are coming with 4G being added into it.

British Telecom Files Legal Suit Against Google

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British Telecom has filed a lawsuit against Google at a United States court over its Android mobile OS stating that it has infringed numerous important patents of the company. This lawsuit filed in Delaware State of the United States pertains to infringement of six British Telecom patents by Android products. Huge damages have been claimed against the same. If, BT wins this appeal, it will force Google to pay the telecom company royalties on all Android handsets sold till date, and also the ones that are going to be produced in the future. This could turn out to be quite an expensive proposition for Google. The same legal petition may also be filed in Europe in the near future. British Telecom has confirmed taking this legal step against Google to the Guardian. Google has also reacted stating that the claims were baseless, and that the company would strongly defend themselves against the same.

Haruvis buy lakefront Gordon home for $7.8 million

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The longtime lakefront home of the late real estate investor and philanthropist Robert “Bob” Gordon and his wife, Arlette, has changed hands for $7.8 million, according to the price recorded Wednesday on the warranty deed filed with the Palm Beach County Clerk’s office.

Palm Beachers Abe and Giovana Haruvi bought the five-bedroom house at 980 N. Lake Way, which was last marketed at $11.9 million, said Scott M. Gordon of Fite Shavell & Associates. Gordon listed the house for his parents and is the only one of the couple’s three sons to have lived there while growing up.

Although the Haruvis are just finishing work on an 11,000-square-foot, seven-bedroom custom home at 112 Via Palma, the deal for the North Lake Way house was just too good to pass up, said Abe Haruvi, a real estate investor who owns a number of properties in Palm Beach County and New York City.

“We always wanted to be on the water,” Haruvi said. “This was an opportunity I couldn’t resist. We’re very excited about the house.”

With a little more than 12,000 square feet of living space inside and out, the home on North Lake Way had at one point in early 2010 been listed for nearly $17 million but never sold. Bob Gordon had taken it off the market for much of last season, his son said.

“He loved that house and didn’t really want to sell it,” Scott Gordon said, explaining that by setting such a high price and refusing to negotiate, his father “could sell it but not sell it.”

After his father died in May, Scott Gordon put the house back on the market with an asking price of $13.9 million.

With 155 feet of lakefront, the North Lake Way house was designed by Ames Bennett and built in 1962 by the late developer Robert Gottfried in his signature Palm Beach Regency style on a lot that stands five streets north of the Palm Beach Country Club.

The Gordons bought the house in the early 1970s when Bob Gordon expanded his development interests into South Florida from Boston, according to a 2010 article about the house in the Shiny Sheet.

“My wife and I went down to Key West, stopping along the way, looking for a place to live. And then we arrived in Palm Beach,” Bob Gordon said in the article.

When the real estate agent opened the front door and the couple looked straight through the house to the lakefront, Bob Gordon was sold: “I remember that like it was yesterday. I said, ‘That’s where the boat is going to go.’”

After the Gordons moved in, they added a dock, which was replaced in 2009. Over the years, the Gordons carried out a variety of renovation projects, including an addition on the north side of the house. The layout includes a grand foyer, a great room, a conservatory-style sun room, a billiards room, a sauna and a staff suite. Outside are fountains, gardens, patios, a loggia and a slat house.

Arlette Gordon, meanwhile, has bought a condominium in the Palm Beach Biltmore. She was represented in the transaction by her son, who said the deal would close this week.

Bob Gordon developed a variety of apartment buildings between Boca Raton and Miami. Most recently, he joined his son, Lee Gordon, in developing three “spec” homes — since sold by son Scott — on the island with George L. Ford III of Leeds Custom Design in West Palm Beach.

Super Bowl to be Streamed Online, to Mobile Phones for First Time

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The biggest draw in television is going mobile.

The Super Bowl will be streamed online and to phones in the U.S. for the first time, the NFL said Tuesday. NBC’s broadcasts of wild card Saturday, the Pro Bowl and the Super Bowl will be available on the league’s and network’s websites and through Verizon’s NFL Mobile app.

The service will include additional camera angles, in-game highlights and live stats – and replays of those always popular Super Bowl ads.

NBC has been streaming its “Sunday Night Football” telecasts for four seasons, and what the network has found is it’s not just being used by fans who can’t get in front of a set. Many of the page views come from people using the service as a complement to watching the game on TV.

That certainly would seem likely for the Super Bowl on Feb. 5 from Indianapolis. The game is annually by far the biggest attraction on television, with last season’s Packers-Steelers matchup drawing a record U.S. audience for any show with 111 million viewers.

“Whether it’s just for a quarter if somebody has to run out to the store to get something they forgot, now they can stay connected to the game,” Hans Schroeder, the NFL’s senior vice president of media strategy and development, told The Associated Press. “With such a big television audience, it will be interesting to see the expanded reach.”

NBC’s streams on Sunday nights typically average 200,000-300,000 viewers, compared with 21 million for the telecasts. The network has seen no evidence it hurts the traditional broadcasts’ healthy TV ratings. If anything, the extra options online may help keep fans glued to the games on their sets.

“We don’t want to limit ourselves to people not in front of the TV,” said Rick Cordella, vice president and general manager for NBC Sports Digital Media.

“The playoffs are appointment viewing,” he added. “People schedule their day around it.”

The NFL and NBC will do extensive research to find out exactly how many people are watching the streams and how they’re using them. What number of fans want to watch the Super Bowl each year but aren’t in front of a TV for whatever reason?

Schroeder wonders had this been around for the Super Bowl three years ago, if fans at parties would have used the service to watch Santonio Holmes’ toe-scraping winning touchdown catch for the Pittsburgh Steelers over and over again.

Teen Smoking, Alcohol Use Down; Use of Marijuana Up

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Cigarette and alcohol use by US teenagers are at their lowest point since the mid-1970s, but marijuana use remains steady, according to the findings of a national survey released Wednesday.

Some 18.7 percent of grade 12 high school students, typically aged 17 or 18, reported smoking cigarettes in the latest Monitoring the Future, well down from a peak of 36.5 percent in 1997.

Among eighth-grade pupils, the proportion of smokers was 6.1 percent, down from 21 percent in 1996, the classroom survey of 46,773 students from 400 schools indicated.

“That cigarette use has declined to historically low rates is welcome news, given our concerns that declines have slowed or stalled in recent years,” said Nora Volkow of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, which funded the survey.

Some 63.5 percent of 12th graders and 26.9 percent of eighth graders consumed alcohol in the past year, down from peaks of 74.8 percent in 1997 and 46.8 percent in 1994 respectively.

Binge drinking, defined as five or more drinks in a row in the fortnight prior to taking the survey, saw a five-year decrease, reported by 6.4 percent of eighth graders, 14.7 percent of 10th graders and 21.6 percent of 12th graders.

On the other hand, use of marijuana “remains steady” after some increases in recent years, with 36.4 percent of 12th graders having used it once in the past year, and 6.6 percent on a daily basis.

Some 11.4 percent of 12th graders said they had used synthetic marijuana, known as K2 or spice.

Launched in 1975, Monitoring the Future is among three major surveys sponsored by federal health officials to take stock of substance abuse among American teenagers.

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