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Tourism Talk Tuesday

March 6, 2018 T: 582-7800 | F: 582-7044

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Wild Weather

Push is On to Restore Power with 2nd Storm on the Way Kaylee Collin, right, and Spencer Stone walk through water along North Avenue in Camp Ellis in Saco, Maine. Hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses from Virginia to New England remained without power Monday, several days after a major nor'easter struck the East Coast, and with another storm bearing down. (Gregory Rec/Portland Press Herald via AP) Page 5


Tuesday 6 March 2018


Judge, police temporarily oust Trump Hotels from Panama property By JEFF HORWITZ MARK STEVENSON JUAN ZAMORANO PANAMA CITY (AP) — Workers pried President Donald Trump's name from signs outside his family company's luxury hotel in Panama on Monday, as Trump's executives were ousted from their management offices in a business dispute under orders from Panamanian officials. Trump's security guards also left. The end to a 12-day standoff over control of the property came early in the day when a Panamanian judicial official and police officers backed the hotel's majority owner, Orestes Fintiklis, as he took possession of the offices. The Trumpaffiliated management and security officials then left the 70-story, waterfront high-rise. "This was purely a commercial dispute that just spun out of control," said Fintiklis, a Miami-based private equity investor and head of the hotel owners' association. "And today this dispute has been settled by the authorities and the judges of this country." The episode was a rare occasion when a foreign government has stood up against the operations of one of Trump's family busi-

A man removes the word Trump, off a marquee outside the Trump Ocean Club International Hotel and Tower in Panama City, Monday, March 5, 2018. Escorted by police officers and a Panamanian judicial official, the owner of the Trump Panama City hotel has taken control of the property. A team of Trump security officials left the property. (AP Photo/Arnulfo Franco)

nesses, and it was unclear whether Trump might consider retaliating diplomatically. The Panamanian Embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment. U.S. government officials referred questions to the Trump Organization, which did not respond to phone messages and emails requesting comment. A Panamanian judicial official told The Associated

Press a statement would come later in the day. The Trump Hotel's website had ceased offering direct bookings at the hotel by early Monday afternoon. "We apologize," the site said. "There are no available rooms for your requested stay." The judicial intervention resolved the most contentious part of the dispute between Trump’s hotel business and Fintiklis, who

sought to take physical control of the property on behalf of the hotel owners. Though the owners tried to fire Trump’s company last year, the Trump Organization had disputed the termination as legally invalid. As part of his fire sale purchase of 202 of the hotel’s 369 units, Fintiklis signed a February 2017 agreement not to challenge Trump’s management contract — a deal the Trump Organiza-

tion considers binding. Fintiklis quickly changed course after the deal closed in August, arguing that alleged mismanagement by Trump’s staff and the deterioration of the Trump brand rendered keeping the property in Trump hands impossible. In late December, Trump’s management team ran off a team of Marriott hotel executives visiting the property at Fintiklis’ invitation. “Our investment has no future so long as the hotel is managed by an incompetent operator whose brand has been tarnished beyond repair,” Orestes wrote to his fellow hotel owners in a January email obtained by the AP. The most recent and intense feuding began Feb. 22, when Fintiklis came to the property with termination notices for Trump’s management team. Trump hotel officials turned away Fintiklis and his entourage, refusing to let him check into any of his private equity fund’s 202 hotel rooms. A legal complaint filed by Fintiklis said that, late that same evening, he and others in his party witnessed Trump’s management team destroying hotel documents, which Trump officials have denied.q

Seoul envoys meet North Korea's Kim during Pyongyang trip By FOSTER KLUG SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korean leader Kim Jong Un held an "openhearted talk" with envoys for South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Monday, the North said Tuesday, the first time South Korean officials have met with the young North Korean leader in person since he took power after his dictator father's death in late 2011. North Korea's state media said in a dispatch that Kim expressed his desire to "write a new history of national reunification" during a dinner the night before. Given past bloodshed, North Korean weapons tests and threats of war over the past year, there is considerable skepticism

South Korea's national security director Chung Eui-yong, center, National Intelligence Service Chief Suh Hoon, second left, and other delegators pose before boarding an aircraft as they leave for Pyongyang at a military airport in Seongnam, south of Seoul, Monday, March 5, 2018. (Jung Yeon-je/Pool Photo via AP)

over the Koreas' apparent warming ties. But each new development also raises the possibility that the

rivals can use the momentum from the good feelings created during North Korea's participation in the

South's Pyeongchang Winter Olympics last month to ease a standoff over North Korea's nuclear ambitions and restart talks between Pyongyang and Washington. The North Korean dispatch sought to make Kim look statesmanlike as he welcomed the visiting South Koreans, with Kim offering views on "activating the versatile dialogue, contact, cooperation and exchange." He was also said to have given "important instruction to the relevant field to rapidly take practical steps for" a summit with Moon. Kim was said to have "repeatedly clarified that it is our consistent and principled stand and his firm will to vigorously advance the north-south rela-

tions and write a new history of national reunification by the concerted efforts of our nation to be proud of in the world." The role of a confident leader welcoming visiting, and lowerranking, officials from the rival South is one Kim clearly relishes. He took photos with the South Koreans and held forth in what was described as a "co-patriotic and sincere atmosphere." But many in the South and in the United States will want to know what he plans do about the barrage of weapons tests over the last year that has raised fears of war. Chung’s trip is the first known high-level visit by South Korean officials to the North in about a decade.q


Tuesday 6 March 2018

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Trump, Ryan face off in rare public GOP clash over tariffs By KEN THOMAS Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — In a remarkably public confrontation, House Speaker Paul Ryan and other Republican allies of President Donald Trump pleaded with him Monday to back away from his threatened international tariffs, which they fear could spark a dangerous trade war. Trump retorted: "We're not backing down." The president said U.S. neighbors Canada and Mexico would not be spared from his plans for special import taxes on steel and aluminum, but he held out the possibility of later exempting the longstanding friends if they agree to better terms for the U.S. in talks aimed at revising the North American Free Trade Agreement. "We've had a very bad deal with Mexico; we've had a very bad deal with Canada. It's called NAFTA," he declared. Trump spoke shortly after a spokeswoman for Ryan, a Trump ally, said the GOP leader was "extremely wor-

A welder fabricates a steel structure at an iron works facility in Ottawa, Ontario, Monday, March 5, 2018. President Donald Trump insisted Monday that he's "not backing down" on his plan to impose stiff tariffs on imported steel and aluminum despite anxious warnings from House Speaker Paul Ryan and other congressional Republicans of a possible trade war. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press via AP)

ried" that the proposed tariffs would set off a trade war and urged the White House "to not advance with this plan." Likewise, Republican leaders of the House Ways and Means Committee circu-

lated a letter opposing Trump's plan, and GOP congressional leaders suggested they may attempt to prevent the tariffs if the president moves forward. Trump's pledge to implement tariffs of 25 percent

on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum imports has roiled financial markets, angered foreign allies and created unusual alliances for a president who blasted unfavorable trade deals during his 2016 cam-

paign. Union leaders and Democratic lawmakers from Rust Belt states have praised the planned tariffs, joining with advocates within the administration including Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and White House trade adviser Peter Navarro. But the president has been opposed internally by Defense Secretary James Mattis and White House economic adviser Gary Cohn, who warned against penalizing U.S. allies and undercutting the economic benefits of the president’s sweeping tax overhaul. Likewise, the statement from Ryan’s office said, “The new tax reform law has boosted the economy, and we certainly don’t want to jeopardize those gains.” Asked about that public rebuke, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, “Look, we have a great relationship with Speaker Ryan. We’re going to continue to have one, but that doesn’t mean we have to agree on everything.”q

Ex-Trump aide plans to defy Mueller, says 'arrest me' By JILL COLVIN TOM LoBIANCO Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — A former Trump campaign aide promised to defy a subpoena from special counsel Robert Mueller and unloaded on President Donald Trump and his campaign in a series of stunning interviews Monday. Sam Nunberg said he thinks Mueller may already have incriminating evidence on Trump directly, although he would not say what that evidence might be. He also

said the president probably knew about the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting between his top campaign staff and a team of Russians. Shortly after he lobbed that allegation, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders rebuffed him during the White House press briefing. "I definitely think he doesn't know that for sure because he's incorrect. As we've said many times before, there was no collusion with the Trump campaign," Sanders said. "He hasn't worked at

the White House, so I certainly can't speak to him or the lack of knowledge that he clearly has." Nunbert also said he thinks former Trump foreign policy adviser Carter Page worked with the Kremlin. "I believe that Carter Page was colluding with the Russians," Nunberg said on CNN. "That Carter Page is a weird dude." Page called Nunberg's accusations "laughable" in a comment to The Associated Press. Page also has figured in the

Russia investigation. The Justice Department and FBI obtained a secret warrant in October 2016 to monitor his communications. His activities during the presidential campaign that raised concerns included a July 2016 trip to Moscow. Nunberg did not respond to requests for comment from the AP. A spokesman for the special counsel's office declined comment. During his afternoon tirades, Nunberg detailed his interview with Mueller's investigators, mocking them

for asking questions like if he had heard Russian being spoken in Trump Tower. He then said he would reject a sweeping demand from Mueller for communications between him and top Trump advisers. "I think it would be funny if they arrested me," Nunberg said on MSNBC. He later added on CNN: "I'm not going to the grand jury. I'm not going to spend 30 hours going over my emails. I'm not doing it. Why do I have to do it? ... I'm not cooperating. Arrest me."q

A4 U.S.

Tuesday 6 March 2018


Dems head into primaries with a bumper crop of candidates

Rep. John Culberson, R-Texas, left, speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington. Two years ago, just one Texas Democrat volunteered to run against Culberson in a metro Houston congressional district. This year, not even that failed Democrat’s double-digit loss could scare seven Democrats away from jumping in the race. As primary season opens in Texas on Tuesday, Democrats across the country are enjoying a bumper crop of candidates. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

By BILL BARROW ATLANTA (AP) — Two years ago, just one Texas Democrat volunteered to run against Republican Rep. John Culberson in a metro Houston congressional district. This year, not even that failed Democrat's double-digit loss could scare

seven Democrats away from jumping in the race. As primary season opens on Tuesday with the Texas vote, Democrats across the country are enjoying a bumper crop of candidates. It's the latest sign of enthusiasm — like massive women's marches and vic-

tories in state races around the country — heading into midterm elections that look increasingly hopeful for the opposition party. But the abundance of volunteers also comes with a reality check: The crowded primaries are giving the party's ideological divide a

full public airing and could give party leaders less control over who carries the mantle in November. Conversations with more than a dozen Democratic candidates, party officials and strategists found confidence that a glut of crowded primaries won't damage the party's overall prospects for a big November. Yet Democrats acknowledged the lively nomination fights could result in victories for candidates with little experience, scant scrutiny or political views that are out of step with general electorate. That's largely because it's the party's left flank that has provided much of the enthusiasm since President Donald Trump's election capped nearly a decade of Democrats' losing more than 1,000 federal and state offices. "Just any blue won't do," says Nina Tuner, a former Ohio legislator who leads Our Revolution, the spinoff of Sen. Bernie Sanders' 2016 presidential campaign. Like Sanders, the group calls for a $15 minimum wage, free public university tuition and a national health insurance

plan. “People are not just voting for people because they are Democrats,” Turner adds. “They want to vote for people who are fighting for their values.” In Washington, though, there’s a hint of worry about what kinds of candidates can win in Republican-leaning areas Democrats may need to regain majorities on Capitol Hill and dent GOP advantages in some statehouses. Even in Democratic strongholds, where partisan control isn’t at play, the battles will help determine the direction of the party. The tensions will get their next test in Texas with primaries Tuesday. The party has candidates in every Texas congressional district — 36 of them — for the first time in 24 years. There are 25 contested Democratic primaries, including in each of the five districts that appear on national Democrats’ target list of 98 GOP-held seats. Democrats need to flip 24 seats to win control of the House. “We all agree that our opponent is John Culberson.”q

Roles reduced, Kushner and Ivanka Trump's fate uncertain By JONATHAN LEMIRE CATHERINE LUCEY Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — They spent their first year in Washington as an untouchable White House power couple, commanding expansive portfolios, outlasting rivals and enjoying unmatched access to the president. But Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump have undergone a swift and stunning reckoning of late, their powers restricted, their enemies emboldened and their future in the West Wing uncertain. Kushner, long the secondmost powerful man in the West Wing, is under siege. President Donald Trump's son-in-law has lost influential White House allies. He remains under the shadow of the Russia probe and has seen his business dealings come under renewed scrutiny. He has been stripped

In this photo taken Friday, March 17, 2017, Ivanka Trump, the daughter of President Donald Trump, and her husband Jared Kushner, senior adviser to President Donald Trump, attend a joint news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

of his top security clearance, raising questions how he can successfully advance his ambitious agenda — including achieving Mideast peace, a goal that has eluded presidents for generations. Kushner's most powerful patron, the president himself, has wavered recently on whether his daughter and son-in-law belong in the White House anymore. A frustrated Trump has griped about the wave of bad headlines generated by probes into Kushner's business dealings and the status of his security clearance, according to two people familiar with the president's thinking but not authorized to publicly discuss private conversations. The president also has wondered aloud if the couple would be better off returning home to New York.q


Tuesday 6 March 2018

Push is on to restore power with a 2nd storm on the way BOSTON (AP) — Hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses from Virginia to New England remained without power Monday, several days after a major nor'easter struck the East Coast, and with another storm bearing down. Residents faced a massive cleanup Monday following the storm, which was blamed for nine deaths, including two children struck by trees. The storm downed trees and power lines, flooded coastal towns and forced schools to cancel classes. Utility crews worked around the clock to restore power to the roughly 440,000 customers still without electricity Monday afternoon. At the height of the storm, more than 2 million homes and businesses were without electricity. Some coastal communities in Massachusetts were

An electrical worker for INTREN, a electric company from Chicago that drove two days to get to Philadelphia to help PECO restore power, walks by a damaged vehicle on in Bryn Mawr, Pa., that was crushed by a falling tree on Friday. (Michael Bryant/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP)

bringing in heavy equipment to clear sand, rocks, trees and other debris

blocking waterfront neighborhoods. Fierce winds and high tides

damaged dozens of homes in Scituate, where on Monday water still filled yards

and rocks blocked streets. Quincy is sending trash trucks through the hard-hit neighborhoods all week to pick up trash. Even as the cleanup is underway, another storm is headed to the region Wednesday, albeit a much different beast. "There's going to be a lot more snow over a wider area," said National Weather Service meteorologist Lenore Correia, in Taunton, Massachusetts. The forecast is for 8 to 12 inches of snow west of Boston and south into Rhode Island and Connecticut, she said. The good news is that the winds won't be as strong and there is less risk of coastal flooding. The Mid-Atlantic states will likely see some precipitation starting late Tuesday and continuing through Thursday.q

Utica College lifts lockdown after investigation of threat UTICA, N.Y. (AP) — Students locked themselves in classrooms and hid under desks at a college in upstate New York on Monday after the school received a threatening message about someone armed with a weapon. The lockdown at Utica College in central New York ended after about six hours, with authorities saying there were no reports of shots or injuries. The college sent messages on social media late Monday morning asking students to shelter in place

after the school "received threats from an individual who stated that he was armed with a weapon," according to Utica police. By late Monday afternoon, campus officials said all buildings had been searched and students and staff had been escorted to the student center or athletic center. The lockdown was lifted around 5 p.m. and students were allowed to leave campus or return to their dorms. "They told us to leave everything in the class. ... They were going to clear

all bags and pat each student down," student Noah Britt told the Observer-Dispatch of Utica via text message. "Six officers all with rifles walked us to (another building) ... a secure place for everyone on campus." Britt said he was locked in a classroom for about two hours. Entrances to the college campus, 50 miles (80 kilometers) east of Syracuse, were blocked off by police. Friends and family of students gathered on the sidewalks nearby to wait for news.

"My daughter's been texting me ... I'm in shock," Joanne Hajec, of Whitesboro, told the ObserverDispatch. Student Marangely Delgado told the Syracuse PostStandard she had spent 3 ½ hours in the dark in the financial aid office. Two people were sleeping, she said. McKenzie Lowden told the Post-Standard she was in English class when the lockdown was announced. She said students barricaded the door with desks and turned the lights off.

Lowden said she was terrified. "Florida just happened. Las Vegas just happened," Lowden said. "The world we live in is just really crazy ... You never know where you're safe." State police, the Oneida County Sheriff's Office and Utica City Police were on the scene. The small, private college, founded in 1946, enrolls more than 5,000 full- and part-time students on its 128-acre campus and online, according to its website. It has seven residence halls and 138 fulltime faculty members.q

A6 U.S.

Tuesday 6 March 2018


Victims' families support Florida governor's safety proposal

In this Feb. 27, 2018 photo, Florida Gov. Rick Scott talks alongside Andrew Pollack, right, whose daughter Meadow was murdered in Parkland during press conference at Miami-Dade Police Department in Doral, Fla. (C.M. Guerrero/Miami Herald via AP)

By B. FARRINGTON TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Families of the 17 Florida high school massacre victims called on the state's Legislature Monday to pass a bill they believe will improve school security. Reading a statement outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Broward County, Ryan Petty

implored legislators to pass Gov. Rick Scott's proposal to add armed security guards, keep guns away from the mentally ill and improve mental health programs for at-risk teens. "We must be the last families to lose loved ones in a mass shooting at a school. This time must be different and we demand ac-

tion," said Petty, reading from the group statement. Petty's 14-year-old daughter, Alaina, was killed in the Feb 14 shooting, along with 13 schoolmates and three staff members. Scott's proposal and the House and Senate bills have significant differences. Scott wants to put more sheriff's deputies in schools. Legislators'

bills would allow trained teachers to carry concealed weapons, which Scott opposes. Scott's plan also goes significantly further in preventing people who show signs of violent behavior or mental illnesses to obtain guns. The Florida Senate is expected to vote on its version of the school safety bill Monday. Senators began debating the 100-page bill about 3:15 p.m. in a discussion that could take hours. The Senate amended its bill to limit which teachers could volunteer to go through law enforcement training and carry guns in schools. Any teacher who does nothing but work in a classroom would not be eligible for the program, but teachers who perform other duties, such as serving as a coach, and other school employees could still participate. Other exceptions would be made for teachers who are current or former law enforcement officers, members of the military or who teach in a Junior Reserve Officer's Training Corps program. The amendment also names the program for slain assistant football coach

Aaron Feis, who has been hailed as a hero for shielding students during the school attack. The 37-yearold graduated from Stoneman Douglas in 1999 and worked mainly with the junior varsity, living in nearby Coral Springs with his wife and daughter. Republican Sen. Bill Galvano said he asked for and received the approval of Feis' family before proposing the amendment. Although lawmakers are proposing language to prevent people showing signs of violence or mental illness from having guns, Scott's proposal would let relatives and roommates petition courts to bar potentially dangerous people from having guns; lawmakers' proposals would not. Ultimately, lawmakers and not Scott will decide what the legislation looks like before the annual legislative session ends Friday, but Scott could veto a bill and call lawmakers back to a special session to address the issue. He said the group is supporting Scott’s plan because “it is the minimally acceptable effort that can get passed in Florida. Right now, it is just the way it is.”q

Senators want alerts when gun buyers fail background checks PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A bipartisan group of U.S. senators want state law enforcement to be alerted when someone who isn't allowed to buy a gun tries to purchase one. U.S. Sens. Pat Toomey and Chris Coons on Monday said they will introduce a bill that requires federal authorities to notify states when a felon or a fugitive attempts to buy a firearm but fails the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

Toomey, a Pennsylvania Republican, and Coons, a Delaware Democrat, said the legislation is a commonsense way to keep people trying to illegally buy guns on the radar of state law enforcement while ensuring Second Amendment rights. "That's the focus: Common ground, respecting the Second Amendment but making it more difficult for people who shouldn't have firearms to obtain them," Toomey said at a press con-

ference in Philadelphia. The senators said only 13 states run their own background checks using the federal system, making them better equipped to investigate people who illegally try to buy firearms. The remaining 37 states and the District of Columbia rely on the FBI to run the checks, the senators said, leaving them without "critical law enforcement intelligence that they could use to try to keep their communities safe."

A bill to strengthen the background checks law, called "Fix NICS," has gained bipartisan backing and support from the NRA. It's unclear if the Toomey and Coons bill will be added to Fix NICS or other legislation. U.S. Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, the No. 2 Republican in the chamber and the lead sponsor of Fix NICS, is a co-sponsor of the CoonsToomey bill. The proposed legislation is one of a slew of gun bills

Congress is considering in the wake of the Florida high school massacre that killed 17 people. A spokeswoman for Cornyn declined to comment Monday on whether the Coons-Toomey proposal or any other legislation will be added to the Fix NICS measure. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican from Kentucky, said no gun-related legislation would be heard in the Senate this week.q


Tuesday 6 March 2018

Jury finds German man was sane who set California fires LOS ANGELES (AP) — A German man who set dozens of fires across Los Angeles during several nights of terror six years ago to avenge his mother's deportation was sane at the time, a jury decided Monday. Harry Burkhart, 30, was previously found guilty of nearly 50 arson counts for fires he set around New Year's 2012. Burkhart made good on threats to "roast America" following his mother's extradition to Germany on fraud charges, prosecutors said. He placed fire-starting devices under cars in Hollywood, the San Fernando Valley and West Hollywood on three different nights, authorities said. Some vehicles were in carports and in 19 cases the fires spread to homes and apartments. No one was seriously injured during the fires that caused an estimated $3 million in damage, but the blazes ignited widespread fear. A surveillance video captured an image of the suspect and a deputy U.S. marshal recognized Burkhart as a man who had made an anti-American outburst during his mother's 2011 detention hearing. He was arrested after a volunteer sheriff's deputy pulled over a van that matched the description of the vehicle the suspected arsonist was seen driving. Defense attorney Steve Schoenfield argued that Burkhart was seriously mentally ill and asked jurors to find him insane. He said medical records from doctors in Germany, where Burkhart had lived in Frankfurt, had documented mental illness symptoms over many years. Schoenfield said Burkhart believed his separation from his mother meant the world was coming to an end. Burkhart was convicted of the arsons in September 2016, but the jury couldn’t reach a verdict during the sanity phase of the trial.q

Judge orders 'Pharma Bro' to forfeit $7.3 million By TOM HAYS Associated Press NEW YORK (AP) — "Pharma Bro" Martin Shkreli will have to forfeit more than $7.3 million in assets that include his one-of-a-kind Wu-Tang Clan album as part of his punishment in his securities fraud case, a judge ruled

Monday. U.S. District Judge Kiyo Matsumoto issued the order against the jailed Shkreli four days before he is to face sentencing for his conviction last year on charges he cheated wealthy investors in two failed hedge funds he was managing.

Along with the Wu-Tang Clan "Once Upon a Time in Shaolin" album that Shkreli has boasted he bought for $2 million, he would have to give up $5 million in cash in a brokerage account. He also would be forced to forfeit other valuables including a Picasso painting

and another unreleased recording that he claims he owns, "Tha Carter V" by Lil Wayne. The judge said the assets won't be seized until Shkreli has a chance to appeal. His lawyer didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.q

$7M settlement proposed in jail death from Arpaio era

In this 2013 photo, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio pauses as he answers a question during a news conference at Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Headquarters in Phoenix. The family of a mentally ill man who alleges he died after being beaten and shot with a stun gun by law enforcement officers in one of the Phoenix-area jails run by former Sheriff Joe Arpaio could receive $7 million in a lawsuit settlement. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

By JACQUES BILLEAUD PHOENIX (AP) — The family of a mentally ill man who alleges he died after being beaten and shot with a stun gun by law enforcement officers in one of the jails in Phoenix run by former Sheriff Joe Arpaio could receive $7 million in a lawsuit settlement. The case is one of many lawsuits filed against Arpaio, now a candidate for a U.S. Senate seat, over the treatment of inmates in county jails during his 24 years as metro Phoenix's top law enforcer. Excluding the $7 million from the proposed settlement to be voted on this week, Maricopa County has paid $33 million in jail-related legal claims that were filed during Arpaio's six terms as sheriff. Lawyers previously disclosed that Maricopa County had tentatively resolved the lawsuit in the death of Ernest Atencio, but the pay-

out amount wasn't publicly revealed until it was listed on a Board of Supervisors agenda posted Friday. The settlement is scheduled for a vote Wednesday. The deal will resolve legal claims against Arpaio and his jail officers, but the Phoenix Police Department, whose officers arrested Atencio and were involved in his booking at the jail, would remain as a target of the lawsuit. The trial is scheduled to start May 15. Arpaio, reached by phone Monday, was reluctant to talk about the settlement, saying only that, "It's the Board of Supervisors' decision." Arpaio's jailing of inmates in outdoor tents and other get-tough tactics made him popular with many voters, but critics say he created a culture of cruelty within the jails that took the lives of inmates and proved costly to the county.

In one case, the county and its insurance carrier paid $8.25 million to settle a lawsuit that alleged some of Arpaio's detention officers had forced inmate Scott Norberg into a restraint chair and pushed his head into his chest after his arrest on suspicion of aggravated assault. Norberg's 1996 death was ruled accidental by asphyxiation. Attorney Mike Manning, who represents the Atencio family and has filed lawsuits over other deaths in county jails, said the culture in the county’s jails started to change after Arpaio was voted out office in November 2016. “I can say that this is a cruel end to the Arpaio era,” Manning said. Atencio, 44, was arrested in December 2011 by Phoenix police on a misdemeanor assault charge after they say he frightened a woman by yelling at her and kicking at her apartment door.

The officers who arrested him had had an encounter with Atencio earlier that day at a convenience store, where they concluded his erratic behavior was the result of mental illness, not intoxication. The lawsuit accuses a Phoenix police officer of attacking Atencio at the jail after he refused to take off one of his shoes. It alleges that Arpaio’s officers joined in and formed a “dog pile” atop the inmate. A sheriff’s officer shot Atencio with a Taser, and another later struck him as other officers held him down, according to the suit. Earlier, while being booked at a jail in downtown Phoenix, Atencio was seen talking to a container of peanut butter as if it were a person, even offering to give up his jacket to the container, police said. His lawyers have said he wasn’t acting aggressively toward the officers. At the time he died, the sheriff’s office had said Atencio was combative when police brought him to jail. The lawsuit alleges that the officers taunted Atencio for not being able to follow directions and encouraged him to make funny faces while his mug shot was taken. One officer allegedly said authorities should make it the “Mug Shot of the Week,” referring to a contest in which people can vote on their favorite booking photo. Daniel O’Connor Jr., an attorney who represents Maricopa County, declined comment on the case Monday, while attorney Kathleen Wieneke, who represents the city of Phoenix, didn’t immediately respond to a phone call and email seeking comment.q


NEWS Populist parties surge in Italy vote, mainstream suffers Tuesday 6 March 2018

By COLLEEN BARRY NICOLE WINFIELD Associated Press ROME (AP) — Two populist and stridently anti-European Union parties surged in Italy's parliamentary election at the expense of the country's traditional powers, but neither attracted enough support to govern alone, near-final results showed Monday. With no faction winning a clear majority in Sunday's vote and the leaders of the rival populist parties both claiming victory, the election was expected to produce a hung Parliament and long, fraught negotiations to form a new government. "Ungovernable Italy," read the headline in La Stampa daily. The Milan stock exchange closed down .4 percent, with the Mediaset media company of one of the election's biggest losers, three-time Premier Silvio Berlusconi, down 5.5 percent. According to the results released by Italy's interior ministry, a center-right coalition that included Berlusconi's Forza Italia party and the anti-immigrant League won about 37 percent of

Leader of the League party, Matteo Salvini, smiles before casting his ballot at a polling station in Milan, Italy, Sunday, March 4, 2018. More than 46 million Italians were voting Sunday in a general election that is being closely watched to determine if Italy would succumb to the populist, antiestablishment and far-right sentiment that has swept through much of Europe in recent years. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

the vote. The anti-establishment 5-Star Movement came in second with 32 percent. The center-left coalition that has governed Italy since 2013 trailed badly at 23 percent. In an upset, the populist and right-wing League party led by Matteo Salvini surpassed the longtime anchor of the center-right,

surpassed Forza Italia. The League captured around 18 percent of the vote, while Forza Italia had less than 14 percent, according to the ministry's results. A triumphant Salvini celebrated the victory of the center-right bloc, saying it had won the "right and the duty to govern." He said his party would lead that effort, with Berlusconi as

coalition partner. The two met Monday at Berlusconi's Milan residence, where the three-time premier congratulated Salvini, Forza Italia said. "I am and will remain a populist," Salvini said. He repeated his belief that joining the common euro currency was a mistake for Italy, but said financial markets shouldn't fear his

party's leadership. The League leader's suggestion that the election had produced a clear path to putting him in the premier's office was challenged by the rival 5-Stars, the highest vote-getter of any single party. The movement's leader, Luigi Di Maio, immediately asserted his right to govern Italy. Di Maio noted Monday that no campaign bloc had obtained a majority and said the 5-Stars had strong showings from north to south, even though their main victories were in the south. "The fact that we are representative of the entire nation projects us inevitably toward the government of the country," Di Maio said at a news conference in which he took no questions. "Today, for us, it is the start of the Third Republic. And the Third will finally be the republic of citizens." Besides confirming the upswing for populist, rightwing and euroskeptic forces in Europe, the election verified the weakened status of the two political parties that have dominated Italian politics for decades — Forza Italia and the center-left Democrats.q

Merkel welcomes German govt deal, wants to dive into work By KIRSTEN GRIESHABER BERLIN (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday welcomed the Social Democrats' vote in favor of a new ruling coalition and said "it's important that as government we start quickly with our work." Merkel spoke to reporters in Berlin a day after the center-left Social Democrats voted overwhelmingly to remain in a coalition with Merkel's conservatives, giving her the support needed to secure a fourth term as the leader of Europe's most powerful economy. Parliament is expected to meet March 14 to re-elect Merkel as chancellor, ending the longest time Germany has been without a new government after an election in its postwar his-

German Chancellor and chairwomen of the German Christian Democratic Union (CDU), Angela Merkel, addresses the media during a statement at the party headquarters in Berlin, Germany, Monday, March 5, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

tory. The national election was Sept. 24. "Almost six months after election day, the people in Germany have the right that something is happen-

ing and that we implement what we have said we would do," Merkel said. Merkel also stressed that it was important for Europe to have a functioning Ger-

man government again. "Every day we see, every day we hear that Europe is needed and that a strong, united voice of Germany and France and other member countries is needed," Merkel said. In a veiled reference to the United States under President Donald Trump, Merkel also cited the threat of protectionism as well as trade competition with China and the war in Syria as challenges the 28-nation bloc must face. "Whether it's the question of international trade policy, which is for example a very up-to-date issue — many jobs are dependent on that — whether it's the question of open competition with China, or whether it is questions of peace and war, as the situation in Syria shocks

us every day," Merkel said, citing issues that need to be tackled quickly. Merkel, who has proved herself a shrewd international negotiator during more than 12 years in office, faced her greatest challenge at home after deciding to allow over a million asylum-seekers into Germany since 2015. An anti-migrant party came in third in last year's election, upending Germany's traditional coalition calculus. The Social Democrats were initially reluctant to extend their coalition with Merkel, but eventually agreed to a deal that gives them control of the foreign, labor and finance ministries — three major portfolios — in return for supporting some curbs on immigration.q


Tuesday 6 March 2018

Turkey detains 4 IS suspects in probe of US embassy threat By SUZAN FRASER Associated Press ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkish police detained four Islamic State suspects as part of an investigation into a possible attack on the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, the country's state-run news agency reported on Monday. The arrests came as the embassy was closed on Monday over an unspecified security threat. The Anadolu Agency said police detained four Iraqi nationals in connection with the threat against the embassy. Two of them were detained on a bus at a security check on a highway linking the Black Sea city of Samsun to Ankara. Two others were detained in Samsun by police acting on information they provided, the report said. The agency identified the suspects by their first names

only. Security was high outside the U.S. embassy on Monday, and police searched pedestrians before allowing them to enter the street where the embassy and other buildings are located. The U.S. embassy said on its web page late on Sunday that the mission would be closed due to a security threat, and urged U.S. citizens to avoid the embassy as well as large crowds. It also advised citizens to "keep a low profile." Embassy spokesman David Gainer said the mission would open on Tuesday but would not provide visa services or services to American citizens — in an apparent measure aimed at limiting visits and minimizing risks to the public. "We appreciate the continuing strong support we receive from the Turkish National Police and Turkish

A banner emblazoned with the Turkish flag hangs on a building across from the U.S. embassy, right, and reads: "No force can block our struggle against terrorism," in Ankara, Turkey, Monday, March 5, 2018. Turkish police detained four Islamic State suspects as part of an investigation into a possible attack on the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, the country's state-run news agency reported on Monday. The U.S. Embassy was closed on Monday over an unspecified security threat. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)

security services in making our facilities as safe as possible," Gainer said. Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag said the

U.S. embassy had shared intelligence with Turkey's intelligence and security authorities, leading to "important results.

" He said the U.S. diplomatic missions in Istanbul and the southern city of Adana remained open for business.q

British media say former Russian spy in critical condition By RAPHAEL SATTER JO KEARNEY SALISBURY, England (AP) — British media reported Monday that a former Russian spy was in critical condition after coming into contact with an "unknown substance," a case that immediately drew parallels to the poisoning of former Russian agent Alexander Litvinenko. Authorities did not identify the man, saying only that he and a woman were found unconscious Sunday afternoon on a bench in a shopping mall in Salisbury,

an English city about 90 miles (145 kilometers) west of London. British media identified him as Sergei Skripal, 66, who was convicted in Russia on charges of spying for Britain and sentenced in 2006 to 13 years in prison. Skripal was freed in 2010 as part of a U.S.-Russian spy swap. Wiltshire Police, which is responsible for the Salisbury area, only identified the man and woman by their approximate ages and said they appeared to know one another and "did not have any visible injuries."

"They are currently being treated for suspected exposure to an unknown substance. Both are currently in a critical condition in intensive care," police said in a statement. The discovery of the unconscious pair led to a dramatic decontamination effort. Crews in billowing yellow moon suits worked into the night spraying down the street, and the Salisbury hospital's emergency room was closed. The BBC, which first identified Skripal as one of the victims, quoted eyewitness

Freya Church as saying it looked like the two people had taken "something quite strong." "On the bench there was a couple, an older guy and a younger girl. She was sort of leaned in on him. It looked like she had passed out, maybe," Church said. "He was doing some strange hand movements, looking up to the sky," she said. Public Health England said in a statement that it had only limited information about the patients, but there "doesn't appear to

be any further immediate risk to public health." "PHE understands that those exposed to the substances have been decontaminated," the health agency said. Public records list Skripal as having an address in Salisbury. Skripal served with Russia's military intelligence, often known by its Russianlanguage acronym GRU, and retired in 1999. He then worked at the Foreign Ministry until 2003 and later became involved in business.q


Tuesday 6 March 2018


Oil giants Shell, Eni on trial in Nigerian bribery case

Eni CEO Claudio Descalzi appears at an Eni investor meeting, in Milan, Italy. A corporate bribery trial billed as the biggest in history is opening Monday, March 5, 2018 in Milan against the Shell and Eni oil companies as well as former and current executives, all charged in a $1.1 billion scandal to win control of one of Nigeria’s most lucrative oil blocks. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

By COLLEEN BARRY MILAN (AP) — A corporate bribery trial billed as the biggest in history opened Monday against the Shell and Eni oil companies as well as former and current executives, all charged in a $1.1 billion scandal to win control of one of Nigeria's

most lucrative oil blocks. The size of the two oil companies makes the trial the biggest ever, according to anti-corruption campaigners, who also say it is unprecedented that Eni's current CEO, Claudio Descalzi, remains in his post while he faces such serious charges.

"We have never seen a sitting CEO of an oil major go on trial for bribery," said Barnaby Pace, a campaigner with activist group Global Witness. The trial was later postponed until May 14 for technical reasons. The Nigerian government and

four non-governmental organizations, including Global Witness, submitted requests to be considered damaged parties in the proceedings, which would allow them to participate in the prosecution. The organizations all worked together to get documents to prosecutors in Milan, as well as in other jurisdictions, that helped bring to the Nigerian case to trial. Descalzi is one of 13 individuals charged in the case involving the 2011 purchase of the OPL245 block. Other defendants include his predecessor, Paolo Scaroni, two former top Shell executives, a former Nigerian oil minister, and a series of middlemen and advisers. The companies themselves are also corporate defendants. Milan prosecutors allege that $520 million of the $1.1 billion paid into an escrow account was converted into cash and distributed as bribes, while several hundred million more went to a former oil minister. Both companies are also under investigation in the case in the Netherlands and face charges in Nigeria.q

Egypt seeks closer ties during visit by Saudi prince

In this Sunday, March 4, 2018 photo, Egyptian President AbdelFattah el-Sissi, right, greets Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Cairo, Egypt. (Fady Fares, MENA via AP)

By BRIAN ROHAN CAIRO (AP) — Egypt gave a warm welcome to Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Monday, with military fanfare and a trip to the Suez Canal meant to underline a growing strategic part-

nership. It is the first trip abroad for the 32-year-old Salman since he became heir to the Saudi throne, and comes after a tumultuous year in which he consolidated power by sidelining rivals, vowed to modernize

the country and stepped up its rivalry with Iran. Posters featuring Salman alongside President AbdelFattah el-Sissi lined major roads in central Cairo, where Salman later met with Egypt's Coptic Pope Tawadros II in the first such visit by a Saudi official to the spiritual center of the country's Orthodox Christian community. He also met Egypt's top Islamic official, Ahmad al-Tayyeb, and saw a performance at the Cairo Opera. Salman will travel to Britain and the United States later this week. The prince and el-Sissi travelled through one of the new tunnels being built under the canal, before boarding a boat from a red-carpeted dock as an army band played marching music. He later cut the ribbon at a ceremony to

inaugurate a nearby armybuilt resort. Egypt seeks investment from oil-rich Saudi Arabia to help develop the area, where Cairo wants to establish an international transport, logistics and production hub. On the first day of the three-day visit, the two signed agreements on common investment funds and environmental protection, the Saudi news agency SPA reported. The leaders are also expected to discuss the ongoing wars in Syria and Yemen, as well as their joint boycott of tiny Gulf nation Qatar, which they accuse of fomenting extremism across the region. The government insists the islands were always part of Saudi Arabia, and that Egypt only assumed temporary custodianship of them in the 1950s at a time of soaring Arab-Israeli tensions.q

Aide turns state witness as Israeli PM travels to US By JOSEF FEDERMAN Associated Press JERUSALEM (AP) — A confidant of Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday agreed to turn state's witness in a burgeoning corruption case, becoming the third former aide to testify against the Israeli leader in a series of scandals and casting a shadow over a high-profile visit to the White House. Police confirmed that longtime Netanyahu family spokesman Nir Hefetz had agreed to turn state's witness, but would not elaborate further as a gag order has been imposed on the case. Hefetz was arrested two weeks ago on suspicion of helping promote regulation worth hundreds of millions of dollars to Israel's Bezeq telecom company in return for favorable coverage of Netanyahu and his family by the company's popular news website. Israeli media reported that he signed the agreement in return for full immunity. The Haaretz newspaper said he will deliver recordings of the prime minister and his wife as part of the agreement. Hefetz was released on Sunday, a day before Monday's dramatic development. Shlomo Filber, another long-time confidant to Netanyahu, has also agreed to be a state witness in the case. Netanyahu has denied any wrongdoing and has not been named a suspect in the case, but he was questioned by police on Friday ahead of his trip to Washington. The White House meeting with Trump provides a welcome diversion for Netanyahu and a chance to shore up his base, which remains firmly behind him. But even with an embrace from Trump, and an expected warm welcome at the pro-Israel lobbying group AIPAC's annual conference on Tuesday, Netanyahu will have a difficult time escaping the growing scandals back home.q


Tuesday 6 March 2018

Pragmatic candidate livens up Venezuela's presidential race By J. GOODMAN S. SMITH CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — In another year, Henri Falcon might be just another middle-of-the-pack presidential candidate in Venezuela. He's far from the most popular opposition leader. He's a dull speechmaker. The parties that back him are small. He's managed to irritate both the left and the right. But a boycott of the race by Venezuela's biggest parties means Falcon is by far the most prominent option on the May 20 ballot for those who want to unseat socialist President Nicolas Maduro — and polls indicate that is the majority in a country with spreading hunger and an almost worthless currency. Some of the same polls even have the former governor as the front-runner, with a double-digit lead over Maduro. The big question is whether that will matter. Most of Venezuela's opposition, joined by the U.S. and much of the international community, is convinced it won't — that the fix is in. The government long ago stacked the electoral council and judiciary with its supporters and has ignored the opposition-dominated congress that was chosen in 2015 in the country's last relatively contested vote. The opposition's most combative leaders are banned from participating, imprisoned or in exile. The presidential election, normally held late in the year, has been moved forward to the spring, leaving Maduro's squabbling opponents little time to prepare. In response, the main op-

position coalition has refused to field a candidate. Last week's registration deadline passed with just Falcon and four relatively obscure figures signing up to challenge Maduro. Falcon, 56, lacks the flair of many Venezuelan political figures. Maduro, a former bus driver and frustrated rock 'n' roller, mimics the impassioned, flamboyant speaking style of his mentor, the late President Hugo Chavez, who enthralled Venezuelans as he led the country on an oil boomfueled march toward his version of socialism. Other more fiery opposition figures like Henrique Capriles and Leopoldo Lopez have galvanized huge anti-government street demonstrations. By contrast, Falcon comes across as a cerebral, competent manager driven more by pragmatism than ideology. Even while in the ruling socialist movement, he kept lines open to the business community that was be-

In this 2013 photo, Lara Gov. Henry Falcon, left, and opposition presidential candidate Henrique Capriles, greet supporters at the closing campaign rally in Barquisimeto, Venezuela. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

ing pummeled by much of the government. Now as an opponent, he calls for preserving generous social

programs and subsidies started under Chavez. He has urged seeking help from the International Mon-

etary Fund, a boogeyman to most of Latin America’s left, and his most noted economic adviser, Wall Street analyst Francisco Rodriguez, has called for adopting the dollar as the national currency as a way to halt the hyperinflation that has devastated the economy. The son of a school teacher and smalltime farmer father, Falcon choked to the verge of tears remembering his humble origins at an event with investors in New York in 2016. The lawyer with four children often rises before dawn and laces up his running shoes to hit the streets in his hometown of Barquisimeto, a farming hub and Venezuela’s fourth largest city, where he served two terms as mayor. He was a non-commissioned officer in 1992, but wasn’t part of the failed coup led that year by the paratrooper officer Chavez, though he soon joined the Chavista political movement and rose through its ranks.q

‘Carlos the Jackal’ back on trial over Paris attack PARIS (AP) — The Venezuelan extremist known as Carlos the Jackal went back on trial Monday for a deadly 1974 grenade attack on a Paris shopping arcade. A Paris court convicted Carlos, whose real name is Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, last year and handed him a life sentence. He appealed — even though he's already serving two life sentences for murders and attacks he was convicted of perpetrating or organizing in the 1970s and 1980s on behalf

of the Palestinian cause, or of communist revolution. One of his lawyers, Isabelle Coutant-Peyre, said Carlos hadn't been able to see the case dossier for the appeals trial, and might ask for a delay in Monday's opening proceedings. Carlos, now 68, has long denied involvement in the attack on the Drugstore Publicis shopping center in the French capital's Latin Quarter, which killed two people and injured 34. The case was initially dis-

missed for lack of evidence. Carlos, the only defendant in the original trial, was found guilty of throwing the grenade. Lawyer Francis Vuillemin said the defense team will plead for acquittal. "It's a very tough fight but the hardest battles are sometimes the most beautiful," he said. "Ilich Ramirez Sanchez is still his old self, in great shape, despite being 68 years old. He is going to fight like he always does, at each trial."

Ramirez Sanchez was once the world's most-wanted fugitive, before intelligence agents captured him in Sudan in 1994 and smuggled him to France in a sack. In one of his most dramatic operations, he led a commando that attacked a meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries in Vienna, Austria, in late 1975. He took more than 60 hostages, including 11 OPEC ministers, and three people were killed.q


NEWS Gunmen kill suspected drug lord at hospital in Cancun Tuesday 6 March 2018

By MARK STEVENSON MEXICO CITY (AP) — Four gunmen burst into a hospital in the Mexican resort of Cancun and shot to death a drug gang suspect and his wife, officials in the Caribbean coast state of Quintana Roo said Monday. The suspected drug trafficker was Alfonso Contreras Espinoza, alias "El Poncho," according to a state official who was not authorized to be quoted by

name. Contreras Espinoza was arrested in July on weapons charges, but had been allowed out of a local prison under guard for treatment at a hospital for leg problems. He was believed to head the Cancun operations of the Gulf drug cartel. The hyper-violent Jalisco cartel has been moving into the resort city over the last year, pushing out other gangs. The state prosecutor's of-

fice said the four assailants overpowered one of the hospital guards and went to the area where Contreras Espinoza was being treated, killing him and his wife before escaping. State police said in a statement that the attack "was a possible settling of accounts between drug gangs." The private hospital is located not far from Cancun's tourist zone. The incident was the third

troubling event in the state in less than two weeks. On Thursday, undetonated explosive devices were found on a tourist ferry that runs between the Caribbean resorts of Playa del Carmen and the island of Cozumel. A Feb. 21 blast shook another ferry plying the same route, injuring 19 Mexicans and at least five U.S. citizens. The U.S. Embassy in Mexico barred its workers from taking any tourist ferries on the

line because of the explosive devices found in the latest incident. Cancun, which is a popular travel destination, has been largely spared the violence plaguing the rest of Mexico. But in January 2017, gunmen attacked the state prosecutors' office in Cancun, killing four people. A day earlier, a shooting at a music festival in Playa del Carmen left three foreigners and two Mexicans dead.q

Mexican writers, intellectuals demand end to political probe

In this 2014 photo, then Mexican House of Deputies President Ricardo Anaya, left, and Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto, attend a signing ceremony enactment of political reforms at Chapultepec Castle in Mexico City. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)

MEXICO CITY (AP) — A group of influential Mexican intellectuals and writers penned an open letter to President Enrique Pena Nieto, asking him to ei-

ther bring charges or drop what is widely seen as a politicized investigation of an opposition presidential candidate. In a letter posted Sunday,

the group said prosecutors' attempts to pursue a money-laundering investigation against an alleged associate of candidate Ricardo Anaya "have further

eroded the authority of the institutions that make up Mexican government." The letter was signed by former government officials like Jorge Castaneda and Arturo Sarukhan and intellectuals including Jose Woldenberg and Enrique Krauze. The group stressed they weren't supporting Anaya — just asking authorities not to politicize law enforcement. "If there is firm evidence of any offense committed by Ricardo Anaya, we demand judicial authorities act on that," the letter said. "But if that is not the case, the use of the Attorney General's Office to persecute an opposition leader puts Mexico on the same level as authoritarian regimes." Anaya, the candidate of the conservative National Action Party, is running second in polls for the July 1 presidential race behind leftist Andres Manuel Lopez

Obrador. The candidate of Pena Nieto's Institutional Revolutionary Party, Jose Antonio Meade, is in third. Last week, the Attorney General's Office posted a CCTV tape of Anaya entering the office's headquarters in Mexico City along with his lawyers and supporters. The tape is unremarkable, though someone in the group is heard uttering a curse. Acting Attorney General Alberto Elias Beltran appeared to release the tape precisely because authorities wanted people to hear the swearing. "There were insults against the employees of the Attorney General's Office," Beltran said later in explaining the video. Anaya and the others seemed unaware they were being recorded. Taping lawyer-client meetings, or having people taped by a third party without their consent, is prohibited in Mexico.q

Huge waves slam into Puerto Rico, force evacuations By DANICA COTO SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Waves nearly 30 feet (9 meters) high from a U.S. winter storm slammed into Puerto Rico on Monday, forcing authorities to evacuate dozens of families and close roads and schools across the U.S. territory. Huge waves downed palm trees, knocked over cement benches and forced curious crowds to flee as

saltwater flooded streets and homes along Puerto Rico’s northern and western coasts. More than a dozen streets remained closed, along with several beaches and two dozen schools in low-lying areas, a move that affected more than 6,000 students. The swell is the largest to hit Puerto Rico in more than a decade, and it is generating waves bigger than

those produced by Hurricane Maria when it hit nearly six months ago as a Category 4 storm, said Gabriel Lojero, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in San Juan. “It continues to be very dangerous,” he told The Associated Press. The U.S. Coast Guard said it rescued an unidentified boogie boarder who apparently broke his wrist

while surfing Sunday along Puerto Rico’s northwest coast. Government officials said another three people were rescued from a flooded motel in the northern town of Hatillo. The heavy swell also destroyed several docks and part of a governmentowned boat terminal in Catano that provides ferry service to the historic part of Puerto Rico’s capital

known as Old San Juan. Ferry service to the popular nearby islands of Vieques and Culebra also was cancelled. The ongoing damage comes as Puerto Rico struggles to recover from Hurricane Maria, which caused up to an estimated $94 billion in damage. Forecasters said the swell also is affecting the U.S. Virgin Islands and is expected to last through Wednesday.q


Tuesday 6 March 2018

Time Share Tourism Significant Social Value for Aruba ORANJESTAD – With hurricane Irma passing through St. Maarten the main economic pillar of the island was severely damaged: tourism. The time share owners did not think twice and went to ‘their island’ to give a helping hand. This is a phenomenon that was highlighted various times during the 19th International Shared Ownership Investment Conference at Miami in October 2017 to indicate the importance of this segment of the tourism industry: time share. Aruba Today and Bon Dia were both present during the 19th International Shared Ownership Invest-

ment Conference by invitation of one of the main sponsors of this event: Interval International. This company sets up programs for memberships and provides services for her clients, time share owners, worldwide. Interval International has 32,000 time share resorts in her portfolio, spread out over 80 countries worldwide. One of the striking points that came out during the different sessions is the loyalty of the time share owner to the destination, referring to St Maarten after hurricane Irma destroyed the island on a large scale. St. Maarten likely Aruba has a

large time share segment and what happened after the disaster was that time share owners went back as soon as possible. Not only to see what happened to their time share accommodation, but also to help the island and especially the local people. This shows that this segment of tourism also has a social value for destinations, besides the economic contribution. There is a strong bonding between the time share owner and the destination with regards to the local inhabitants, local community and environment. Global Developments During the general session

of the conference it became clear that globally visitors wish to contribute to the local community while on vacation. There is a need of having social value to the destination and do something for a good cause. The message of the session presented to the participants, consisting of many time share owners, time share sellers, time share promoters and time share developers, was that volunteer tourism can be a tool for sales and promotion/marketing. Worldwide time share revenue was set for 20 billion Dollars (based on the last numbers from the report

2016 ARDA American Resort Development Association) in 2015. The numbers show an increase of 11.5% compared to the previous year, 2014. Globally there are almost 5,400 time share resorts, divided over 121 countries with more than 527,000 accommodations. The growth of this market is an average of 5% from 2013 on. Worldwide the occupation rate is 76% in 2014, also increased to 79% in 2015. In 2017 there were 91 new time share resorts opened (7,300 accommodations). Continued on Page 14


Tuesday 6 March 2018

Time Share Tourism Significant Social Value for Aruba Continued from Page 13

New, fast-growing markets in the time share industry would be Mexico/Latin America, Asia and big cities. The latter is a very new development in the market where tourists buy a room/ apartment for time share in a big city like New York, Paris, Singapore etc. Another remarkable point is that the membership programs are upcoming where you can interchange your time share in Aruba Marriott with a Marriott in New York for example. Or even more adventurous: a trip in nature or a cruise vacation. Who is the Time Share Owner? It was stated during the conference that it is a misinterpretation that all time share owners are of older age. Time share owners go as far as 19 years of age, but the majority are families and people of 55 years old and up. The average time share owner has a higher education level and is an affluent traveler. The average income is $93,000 per year, the type of visitor the Aruba Tourism Authority has characterized as their target market. The Caribbean is the largest

destination market when it comes to time share. For decades the region is dominating, especially for the American buyers as the Europeans target South European countries like France and Spain. Several speakers during the conference marked the Caribbean as one of the most attractive regions in the world. “There are even a lot of Americans who prefer the Caribbean over their own country, like for example Miami. This is largely for safety reasons.

They also consider the Caribbean safer than Europe, moreover because of the terrorism threat. Competition Airbnb The competition of Airbnb and other similar accommodations for the hotels and resorts is bigger in the last few years. Time share feels this competition too, it was said during the conference. There were no clear answers or solutions expressed by the speakers of the conference how to

convince the visitor to buy time share, but more focus on the details of the time share itself in the sense of value and points programs. So in that sense a time share can offer the same flexibility as alternative accommodations, with the membership programs you can change destinations as desired. For Aruba we can see a loyal time share owner that likes to stick to the destination and in the end will

pass it on to their children. The memories and bonding with the island make them loyal to the destination. They consider it their second home. Sustainability Neil Kolton, Director of Resort Sales & Marketing and colleague Samy Gonzalez, Region Manager Resort Sales & Service for Interval International, talked to Aruba Today about the developments within the Caribbean region, specifically the time share in small islands like Aruba. The impact on tourism in general came to the table: more construction of time share resorts, more traffic, more pressure on our beaches and nature, public health and the import of foreign labor to be able to offer the requested services in the industry. Both acknowledged the fact that there are limitations to the growth of time share on small islands, but at the same time they stress the fact that time share owners bring another kind of sustainability to the islands like for example what happened in St. Maarten. “The time share owners may be considered as temporarily local and that makes them conscious of the environment and the effect of tourism on the island.�q


Tuesday 6 March 2018

Success & Failure One seems to be pursuing this thing called success at almost every waking instant. The pursuit of success doesn’t really come with a risk of failure. And within the seed of failure lies opportunity of success. One does not exist without its opposite polarity. Both are experienced on shaky grounds, one is not experienced without the other eventually surfacing.

When one gets fixated only on one and does not realize that without the other polarity, none exists. Like climbing a ladder or stepping down a ladder, both are unstable, but when one is always on the ground of humility, one does not see success neither failure but just is gratified for being on steady grounds and that is true success.q

Suresh Mirchumal is a spiritual writer. “Well, you can categorize it like that, although I don’t call myself one. These thoughts come in effortlessly.” His aim is in a way to reach out to whoever gets inspired or has an eye opening event within them that may transcend their current state of consciousness. “Or let’s say current emotional state too. If one in a thousand benefits, that is already great.” Due to the current world state, lots of struggles and stresses, we seem to lose touch with that inner peace that we long for, Suresh explains. “I wish to ease that through these small articles or tidbits.” You will find his tidbits in Aruba Today from now on, like a sunray of the day.


Tuesday 6 March 2018

Aruba Honors Loyal Visitors at Renaissance Ocean Suites

ORANJESTAD - Recently the Aruba Tourism Authority honored a group of loyal visitors as Goodwill Ambassadors of Aruba as a token

of appreciation for visiting the island for 20-to-34 consecutive years. The




Vincent and Mrs. Jeanne Petrasca of Rhode Island, and Mr. Donald and Mrs. Roberta Rissmeyer of New Jersey.

Ms. Darline de Cuba representing the Aruba Tourism

Authority and members of Renaissance Ocean Suites bestowed the certificates on the Ambassadors and handed some presents to the honorees and thanked them for choosing Aruba as their vacation destination and as their home away from home for so many years on behalf of the Government of Aruba. These loyal guests say they love Aruba because the people are very welcoming, the beauty of the island, the beaches, the excellent cuisine, and because it’s truly their home away from home.q


Tuesday 6 March 2018

Phil Mickelson, of the U.S., poses with his Mexico Championship trophy at the Chapultepec Golf Club in Mexico City, Sunday, March 4, 2018. Associated Press


Phil Mickelson a winner again and wants more By DOUG FERGUSON AP Golf Writer MEXICO CITY (AP) — Phil Mickelson knew this was coming, even when he had so little to show for it. Mickelson had gone 101 tournaments around the world since he last won at Muirfield in the 2013 British Open, which moved him to No. 2 in the world and gave him the third leg of the career Grand Slam. In more than two decades on the PGA Tour, he had gone only two seasons without winning. And then it was up to four straight years and counting. There was more frustration than self-doubt. And with Mickelson, even at age 47, there was never a loss of confidence. "I knew that wasn't going to be my last one, no," he said Sunday. "And this isn't either." The most recent one came in the high altitude of the Mexico Championship, and it was another pulsating performance, as often is the case with Mickelson. Five birdies in the opening 10 holes gave him the lead. Continued on Next Page

Predators beat Avalanche 4-3 in OT for 8th straight victory Nashville Predators left wing Austin Watson celebrates after scoring a goal against the Colorado Avalanche in the first period of an NHL hockey game Sunday, March 4, 2018, in Denver. Associated Press Page 19


Tuesday 6 March 2018

Canelo Alvarez tests positive for banned drug, blames meat LOS ANGELES (AP) — Middleweight boxer Canelo Alvarez has tested positive for a banned drug, and his promoters blame contaminated meat. A voluntary test showed Alvarez had traces of clenbuterol. A statement from Golden Boy Promotions said the amount was consistent with meat contamination that has impacted athletes in Mexico and China. Daniel Eichner, director of the World Anti-Doping Agency-accredited laboratory that conducted the test, wrote Monday: "These values are all within the range of what is expected from meat contamination." Alvarez is scheduled for a rematch with middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin on May 5 in Las Vegas, a highly anticipated fight after their draw last year. Alvarez will move his training camp from Mexico to the United States and submit to additional tests, Golden Boy said. Clenbuterol, often used by PHILMICKELSON Continued from Page 17

Right when he was on the verge of taking control, he went for the green on the par-5 11th hole only for the shot to carom off a tree and into the bushes near the edge of Chapultepec Golf Club. Deep in the bushes, he blasted out and hit the crowd. He wound up making bogey. Then came another wild drive that bounced along the cart path, forcing him to scramble for par. Three groups ahead of him, Justin Thomas delivered the shot of the tournament. Eleven shots behind going into the weekend and suddenly tied for the lead, Thomas holed out from 119 yards on the final hole for eagle to cap off a 62-64 weekend as he went for his second straight victory. "I didn't know that he holed out," Mickelson said. "I just saw that he finished at 16 under when I was playing the 15th, and that meant that I needed to birdie two to get even with him."

In this Sept. 15, 2017 file photo, Canelo Alvarez poses on the scale during a weigh-in, in Las Vegas. Associated Press

asthmatics, has fat burning properties and athletes have been known to use it to help them drop body fat and weight quickly. Among those who have tested positive for it are baseball And that's what he did. A perfect drive and a 6-iron for a two-putt birdie, and then a 20-foot birdie on the 16th. Mickelson closed with a 66 and headed to a sudden-death playoff with Thomas, a duel between players separated by 23 years of age. Missing from the group was Tyrrell Hatton, who delivered his own charge with four straight 3s on his card, the last one an eagle to tie for the lead. But he missed the 18th green with a wedge, chipped strong and missed the par putt. The suddendeath playoff ended quickly. Thomas went long with a gap wedge to the par-3 17th and chipped to 10 feet short of the hole. Mickelson hit the green, narrowly missed the birdie putt and walked off a winner — finally — when Thomas missed his putt. The disappointment was tempered by the guy who beat him. Mickelson took interest in Thomas before he even reached the PGA Tour. They

players Raul Mondesi and Guillermo Mota, champion cyclist Alberto Contador, and a number of participants in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. "I am an athlete who re-

spects the sport and this surprises me and bothers me because it had never happened to me," Alvarez said. "I will submit to all the tests that require me to clarify this embarrassing

Phil Mickelson, of the U.S., lines up his putt on the 16th hole in the third round of the Mexico Championship at the Chapultepec Golf Club in in Mexico City, Saturday, March 3, 2018. Associated Press

played a practice round at the 2014 U.S. Open, and Mickelson said that day to the media, "You'll get to know Justin Thomas soon enough." Thomas, the PGA Tour player of the year last season and already a two-time winner this season, moved to No. 2 in the world. He is the type of player — along with Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Jon Rahm, Jason Day and Rory McIlroy — who represent a power-

ful young generation that Mickelson now has to beat if he wants to reach one of his goals. Mickelson, who captured his third World Golf Championship, now has 43 victories on the PGA Tour. The first was in 1991 — before Thomas, Spieth and Rahm were even born — when he was an amateur. He has long said he wants to get to 50. The more pertinent number might be 48. That's how old Mickelson will be

situation and I trust that at the end the truth will prevail." Alvarez, 27, of Mexico, and Golovkin, from Kazakhstan, are among the best active boxers. Alvarez, whose given name is Saul, is 49-1-2 with 34 knockouts. He relinquished his previous belts before meeting Golovkin last September, when Alvarez won on one card 118110, lost 115-13 on another and third judge had it 114114. "It's tough to comment on it, we're waiting for the Nevada commission to do their due diligence," Tom Loeffler, Golovkin's promoter, told The Associated Press. "We would like the fight to continue if there is any way for that to happen. "Triple G always has wanted to undergo testing because he hits so hard and is so well-conditioned, he didn't want there to be any questions on his side. He had wanted both fighters to undergo testing to make for a level playing field as much as possible."q in June. No one has won more than five times on the PGA Tour after turning 47. "Oh, I will," Mickelson said about reaching 50 titles. "I'll get there." That's not all he wants. One of his chief goals for the year was to be on his 12th consecutive Ryder Cup team for a chance to win in Europe, which he has never done. The victory should be enough to move him to No. 4 in the standings. Given his value in the team room, winning the Mexico Championship makes it hard to overlook Mickelson. Left unsaid is the U.S. Open, the only major keeping him from the career Grand Slam. It returns this summer to Shinnecock Hills, where Mickelson was on the cusp of winning the last two times in 1995 and 2004. For now, the focus is on the Masters and a chance to add a fourth green jacket. "I needed to get a win before Augusta so I wasn't trying to win for the first time in four-and-a-half, five years at that event," he said.q


Tuesday 6 March 2018

Filip Forsberg scores in OT, Predators beat Avalanche 4-3 By The Associated Press DENVER (AP) — Filip Forsberg scored at 1:07 of overtime and the Nashville Predators matched the franchise record with their eighth straight victory, beating the Colorado Avalanche 4-3 on Sunday. Nashville has won nine in a row against Colorado, including three this season. Nashville's Ryan Ellis tied it with 1:06 left in regulation with goalie Pekka Rinne off for an extra attacker. Austin Watson and Kyle Turris also scored, and Rinne made 22 saves. Nikita Zadarov, Matt Nieto and Mikko Rantanen scored for Colorado. DUCKS 6, BLACKHAWKS 3 ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Jakob Silfverberg and Corey Perry each scored twice and Anaheim earned points at home for the eighth game in a row, beating Chicago. Rickard Rakell scored for the third straight game, Marcus Pettersson had his first career goal, and John Gibson made 37 saves. The Ducks moved into third place in the Pacific Division, a point ahead of Los Angeles. They improved to 6-0-2 in their last eight games at home and 6-1-1 in their last eight overall. Nick Schmaltz had two goals, and Tomas Jurco scored for the Blackhawks. They are 1-7-1 in their last eight road games. Anton Forsberg gave up four goals on 21 shots before getting pulled midway through the second period, and Jean-Francois Berube

Nashville Predators left wing Filip Forsberg, front right, follows the flight of his winning goal past Colorado Avalanche goaltender Semyon Varlamov, back, as defenseman Tyson Barrie trails the play in overtime of an NHL hockey game Sunday, March 4, 2018, in Denver. Associated Press

made eight saves in relief. PANTHERS 4, FLYERS 1 SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — Evgenii Dadonov scored twice, Roberto Luongo made 39 saves and Florida beat Philadelphia for its season-best sixth straight victory — all at home. Aleksander Barkov scored his 25th goal of the season and had an assist, and Jonathan Huberdeau added a goal. The Panthers are in the final Eastern Conference playoff position. Travis Konecny scored for the Flyers, and Petr Mrazek made 22 saves in his sixth straight start. Philadelphia has lost three straight after winning six in a row.

GOLDEN KNIGHTS 3, DEVILS 2 NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Trading deadline acquisition Tomas Tatar scored his first goal with Vegas and the Golden Knights beat New Jersey to avoid their first four-game losing streak. Deryk Englland and David Perron also scored for the Golden Knights. Marc-Andre Fleury, who stopped a half-dozen excellent chances in the first period, made 33 saves, including a last-second shot by Kyle Palmieri to win for the 22nd time in 33 games. Taylor Hall had a goal and an assist for New Jersey to extend his points streak to

a league-best 19 games. He has a point in the last 25 games he has played. He missed three games with an injury, so the personal streak is longer than the league-recognized run. Sami Vatanen also scored for the Devils. JETS 3, HURRICANES 2 RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Patrik Laine scored twice for the second straight game and extended his points streak to eight in Winnipeg's victory over Carolina. Laine had his third multigoal game in the last four games and has seven multi-point nights during his streak. He has 10 goals and six assists in the eight-game

stretch, and 35 goals overall. Paul Stastny had a goal and an assist, and Connor Hellebuyck stopped 33 shots for the Jets. Teuvo Teravainen scored for the fourth straight game for the Hurricanes. Jordan Staal also scored. BLUE JACKETS 4, SHARKS 2 SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Artemi Panarin scored two goals and Columbus ended its California swing with the victory over San Jose. Nick Foligno and Sonny Milano got Columbus started with first-period goals and Sergei Bobrovsky made 34 saves to help the Blue Jackets salvage the final game of their three-game trip. They remained a point ahead of Florida for the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. Evander Kane scored his first goal since joining the Sharks, and Joonas Donskoi also scored. WILD 4, RED WINGS 1 ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Eric Staal and Zach Parise scored in the second period, Jason Zucker added two late goals and Minnesota beat Detroit. Devan Dubnyk made 28 saves to help Minnesota rebounds from consecutive road losses at Arizona and Colorado. Staal and Parise scored in a 2:57 span to erase a 1-0 deficit. The goals came shortly after rookie Nick Seeler traded punches with Detroit’s Luke Witkowski on a delayed penalty. Justin Abdelkader scored for Detriot.q

Wild wins 3rd title as Dutch dominate track championships

World champion Kirsten Wild of The Netherlands celebrates winning the women's points race at the World Championships Track Cycling in Apeldoorn, eastern Netherlands, Netherlands, Sunday, March 4, 2018. Associated Press

APELDOORN, Netherlands (AP) — Kirsten Wild has won her third title of the week on the final day of the world track cycling championships with a victory in the points race on Sunday. The 35-year-old Dutchwoman also took gold in the scratch race and the omnium. Elinor Barker was defend-

ing the points race title she won in Hong Kong 12 months ago but the British rider could only manage 12th place, continuing a frustrating few days after she crashed in the women's omnium. Wild dominated the race Sunday to score 49 points with Jennifer Valente of the United States taking sil-

ver and Canadian Jasmin Duehring getting bronze. Dutch rider Jeffrey Hoogland produced a powerful ride to win the men's kilo, before collapsing as he got off his bike. He recovered in time to collect his medal. In the last race, Germany's Roger Kluge and Theo Reinhardt won the Madison.q


Tuesday 6 March 2018

Raptors beat Hornets 103-98 for 11th victory in 12 games. By The Associated Press TORONTO (AP) — DeMar DeRozan scored 19 points, Jonas Valanciunas had 18 points and 13 rebounds and Toronto beat the Charlotte Hornets 103-98 on Sunday night, the Raptors' 11th victory in 12 games. Serge Ibaka scored 17 points, and Kyle Lowry had 14 to help the Eastern Conference-leading Raptors complete their first season sweep of Charlotte since 2006-07. Toronto improved to 26-5 at Air Canada Centre, the best home record in the NBA. Kemba Walker scored 27 points for Charlotte. PACERS 98, WIZARDS 95 WASHINGTON (AP) — Victor Oladipo scored 33 points, Bojan Bogdoanovic added 20 and Indiana beat Washington to overtake the Wizards by a half-game for fourth place in the Eastern Conference. Myles Turner added 12 points and 13 rebounds for Indiana, which almost gave away a 17-point lead but never trailed. Bradley Beal scored 22 points and had a career-high 11 assists for Washington. PELICANS 126, MAVERICKS

Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry (7) makes a pass around Charlotte Hornets center Dwight Howard (12) and forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, March 4, 2018, in Toronto. Associated Press

109 DALLAS (AP) — Jrue Holiday scored 30 points, Nikola

Mirotic added 24 in a rare start and New Orleans won its eighth in a row, beating

Dallas. Anthony Davis had 23 points and 13 rebounds, scoring most of his points from inside 5 feet. Dirk Nowitzki scored a season-high 23 points for the Mavericks, passing Elvin Hayes for eighth on tyhe career field goals list with 10,980. BUCKS 118, 76ERS 110 MILWAUKEE (AP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 35 points and Milwaukee snapped a four-game losing streak, scoring 36 points off Philadelphia's seasonhigh 26 turnovers. Eric Bledsoe added 22 points, and Jabari Parker had 13 to keep Milwaukee in seventh place in the Eastern Conference — a half-game game behind the sixth-place 76ers. Dario Saric scored 25 points, Joel Embiid had 19, and JJ Redick 17 for the 76ers. HAWKS 113, SUNS 112 ATLANTA (AP) — Taurean Prince hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with 7.6 seconds remaining and finished with 22 points in Atlanta’s victory over Phoenix. Devin Booker’s potential winner for Phoenix, a 15foot shot from the right

baseline, bounced off the rim with Tyler Dorsey defending as time expired. T.J. Warren had 35 points, and Elfrid Payton had 11 points, 10 rebounds and a season-high 14 assists for the Suns. Booker had 20 points, ending a streak of four straight games in which he had at least 30. KINGS 102, KNICKS 99 SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Skal Labissiere made a 3-pointer with 1.6 seconds left and Sacramento beat New York after blowing a 19-point lead in the fourth quarter. New York trailed 92-73 early in the fourth quarter and appeared headed for a lopsided defeat before rallying to tie it at 97 on Michael Beasley’s short turnaround jumper with 1:08 left. Bogdan Bogdanovic led the Kings with 22 points. Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 24 points for New York. CLIPPERS 123, NETS 120 LOS ANGELES (AP) — Austin Rivers scored 27 points, Tobias Harris added 26 as Los Angeles handed Brooklyn its ninth consecutive road loss. The Nets have lost 10 of their last 11 overall.q

Former Lakers star Kobe Bryant wins Oscar for animated short

Vanessa Laine Bryant, left, and Kobe Bryant arrive at the Oscars on Sunday, March 4, 2018, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. Associated Press

By BETH HARRIS LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kobe Bryant is a winner in retirement, too. The former Los Angeles Lakers star won an Oscar in the animated short category for "Dear Basketball," a poem he wrote after ending his 20-year career on

the court in 2016. He'll add it to an already jammed trophy collection that includes five NBA championships with the Lakers, two Olympic gold medals, NBA Finals most valuable player awards, a league MVP award and four All-Star game MVP

awards. Backstage, Bryant looked lovingly at the statue cradled in his hands and mouthed, "My God." "I feel better than winning championships," he said, a smile never leaving his face. "This is crazy, man, it's crazy." As executive producer of the six-minute film, Bryant accepted his golden Oscar statue from "Star Wars" star Mark Hamill on Sunday night. He shared the award with Disney animator Glen Keane. "You don't have to sit in a tub of ice," Keane told Bryant backstage. Among those offering their congratulations via Twitter were Hall of Famers Magic Johnson, Bill Russell and Shaquille O'Neal, Bryant's former Lakers teammate who admitted, "I'm jealous

lol." Since hanging up his basketball shoes, Bryant has delved into business (a new Nike shoe) and various forms of storytelling. The 39-year-old sports superstar believed the nomination validated that he could succeed off the court. "I mean, as basketball players we're really supposed to shut up and dribble but I'm glad we do a little bit more than that," Bryant said on stage. Bryant said he heard dismissive comments like "That's cute" when he told people he wanted to become a storyteller in retirement. "The hardest thing when you start over, you have to quiet the ego and begin again. You have to learn the basics of things," he said.

From the stage, Bryant thanked his wife, Vanessa, and three daughters, naming each of them. He spoke a few words of Italian — a language he learned as a child growing up in Italy — and closed by telling them, "You are my inspiration." Backstage, Bryant credited Oprah Winfrey and writerproducer Shonda Rhimes for sharing their knowledge of the entertainment business. "When you have mentors like that in your life, everything tends to work itself out," he said. Bryant's honor comes in the midst of the #MeToo and Time's Up movements to expose abuse and harassment. In 2003, Bryant was accused of raping a 19-yearold hotel employee in Colorado. q


Tuesday 6 March 2018

Kevin Harvick dominates Vegas for back-to-back NASCAR wins By GREG BEACHAM LAS VEGAS (AP) — From his dynamic opening laps to his comfortable cruise to the checkered flag, Kevin Harvick was the safest bet in Sin City this weekend. Harvick's air of inevitability increased with each lap around the Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday, and the rest of the NASCAR Cup field must be a bit worried about how they're going to catch up this year. Harvick raced to his second straight NASCAR Cup win with a dominant performance in Vegas on Sunday, earning his 100th career win across the three national series. "There was no catching that 4 (car)," second-place finisher Kyle Busch said. "He was on rails, and lights out." Harvick followed up his stellar performance last weekend in Atlanta with another victory in his Stewart-Haas Racing Ford. He led a trackrecord 214 of the 267 laps, won all three stages and capably held off Busch's late hometown charge to win in Vegas for the second time in four years. "These last two weeks, we've just hit on everything we needed to," said Harvick, who cruised home 2.9 seconds ahead of Busch. "My (team has) done their homework on a number of things. Just really proud of everybody." Busch got close to his second career victory in his hometown with his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, but couldn't overcome the dominant leader. Kyle Larson finished third after winning the Xfinity Series race

on Saturday, while defending champion Martin Truex Jr. was in fourth and polesitter Ryan Blaney in fifth. Harvick has already matched his Cup win total from last season in three races — and he's headed to Phoenix, where he has won five times since 2012. Harvick also took a moment to savor a milestone. Only Richard Petty, Kyle Busch and David Pearson have won more races across the three national circuits than Harvick, the 42-year-old Californian with plenty of good years left on his tires. "It's been a lot of years accumulated with a lot of great race teams and people and situations," Harvick said. "When you tag that triple-digit number to it, it really lets you realize that you've been fortunate to accomplish a lot of things." Not many wins are more emphatic than Harvick's 100th. Harvick led 144 of the first 160 laps and comfortably won the first two stages. He was fourth out of the end-of-stage caution after Stage 2, with Joey Logano getting in front with an exceptional pit stop. But Harvick reclaimed the lead off another restart with 73 laps to go after Kurt Busch wrecked along with Chase Elliott. Harvick emerged from his last pit stop with a three-second lead on Brad Keselowski, and Busch couldn't catch up. Here are more things to know about the race on the Strip: DOING RECON: For the first time, NASCAR is return-

Kevin Harvick performs a burnout after winning a NASCAR Cup series auto race Sunday, March 4, 2018, in Las Vegas. Associated Press

ing to Vegas in the fall for a second race, which will also be the playoff opener. Teams used this trip to gather data and information for the return trip in September, although the temperature could easily be 50 degrees higher than the balmy 53 degrees at Sunday's race. "The adjustments we made today are going to help in the fall," Kyle Busch said. "(Although) I think the track is going to be a lot slower with the heat." KUBU CAN'T DO: Kurt Busch's career-long victory drought in his hometown continues. Busch lost control and ran Elliott into the wall shortly after a restart early in the final stage. The crash necessitated a long

caution for fluid cleanup. The 39-year-old Busch has never won at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, which was built while he grew up in town. Kurt Busch failed to win the Cup race in Vegas for the 17th time. He has started on the pole twice, but has only one top-five finish here despite calling it a top priority in his career. WINNING BIG: Harvick was even more dominant in Vegas than Truex was last year. Truex led all three stages and 150 laps last year on his way to a victory that propelled him into his championship season. THREE STRIKES: The car chiefs for Jimmie Johnson and Ross Chastain were ejected after their cars

failed inspection three times during the pre-race checks. Johnson had to start at the back after his chief, Jesse Saunders, got the gate. Johnson also will have practice time taken away next week in Phoenix. The seven-time champion still rallied to finish 12th. COMEBACK STORY: Josh Frankos, the tire-changer on Darrell Wallace Jr.'s Richard Petty Motorsports team, injured his hand while preparing for the Vegas race and was sent to a hospital on Sunday morning. Michael Hubert filled in for him on pit road. The injury couldn't keep Frankos down, however: He returned to the track for the race.q


Tuesday 6 March 2018

Expansion Los Angeles FC beats Seattle 1-0 in opener

Los Angeles goalkeeper Tyler Miller, center, leaps to punch out the ball during the second half of an MLS soccer match against the Seattle Sounders, Sunday, March 4, 2018, in Seattle. Los Angeles won 1-0. Associated Press

By The Associated Press SEATTLE (AP) — Diego Rossi scored in the 11th minute off a pass from Carlos Vela and expansion Los Angeles FC beat the Seattle Sounders 1-0 on Sunday in the opener for both teams. Major League Soccer's 23rd franchise got off to a sterling start in coach Bob Bradley's first league match since 2006. Rossi, who turns 20 on Monday, showed his scoring skill by one-timing the pass from Vela 20 yards from goal and curling a shot past Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Frei. It was a stunning strike, topped only by LAFC playing the final 79 minutes without giving up an equalizer. Tyler Miller, a former backup goalkeeper in Seattle and Los Angeles' first pick in the expansion draft, made

several key stops, including deflections of shots by Nouhou Tolo in the first half and a header by Cristian Roldan midway through the second half. WHITECAPS 2, IMPACT 1 VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Seventeenyear-old Alphonso Davies scored his first career Major League Soccer goal and set up another by striker Kei Kamara in Vancouver victory over Montreal in the opener for both teams. Davies, who doesn't turn 18 until November but is already in his third season with the Whitecaps, scored in the 70th minute off a pass from Cristian Techera. Impact goalkeeper Evan Bush got his fingers on the ball, but it rolled into the net. Kamara opened the scor-

ing seven minutes earlier on a header. Acquired in an offseason trade from New England, Kamara was mobbed by his teammates and made the sign of a heart to the cheering crowd of 27,837 at BC Place Stadium. Matteo Mancosu scored in the 81st minute for Montreal. GALAXY 2, TIMBERS 1 CARSON, Calif. (AP) — Newcomer Ola Kamara and Romain Alessandrini scored two minutes apart in the first half and Los Angeles spoled Giovanni Savarese’s Portland coaching debut. Kamara’s 35th career goal came in the 32nd minute. Jonathan dos Santos’ cross was headed across goal by Rolf Feltscher and Kamara chested it home. q

Wilder survives pummeling to stop Ortiz in 10th By BARRY WILNER AP Sports Writer NEW YORK (AP) — Deontay Wilder was out on his feet. Forget defending his WBC heavyweight title, Wilder was lucky to find his corner when the seventh round concluded. About 10 minutes later, he was strutting around the Barclays Center ring, his belt secure, but his reputation as being untouchable

severely tarnished. Wilder survived a pummeling from Luis Ortiz, then knocked out the challenger in the 10th round Saturday night to retain his crown. Befitting the undefeated champion from Alabama, it was a wild affair for the final few rounds after a dull series of pawing and gesturing by Wilder gave Ortiz a solid lead. "A true champion always Deontay Wilder, left, follows through on a punch to Luis Ortiz during the 10th round of the WBC heavyweight championship bout Saturday, March 3, 2018, in New York. Wilder stopped Ortiz in the 10th round.

finds a way to come back and that's what I did tonight," Wilder said. "Luis Ortiz is definitely a crafty guy. He put up a great fight. We knew we had to wear him down. I showed everyone I can take a punch." Well, yeah — Wilder certainly took his share of them. Even after Wilder knocked down Ortiz in the fifth round, the bout remained in the Cuban's favor. Then, in the seventh, Wilder was dazed and confused

by Ortiz's assault. Though he never hit the canvas, he stumbled to his corner when that round ended. The end seemed near. "I almost had him and I think I would've if there were a few more seconds in the round," Ortiz said. "Wilder was definitely saved by the bell. I thought I had him out on his feet. But you have to give him credit, he weathered the storm." Instead of folding, Wilder closed the ninth with two hard rights, and then a se-

ries of vicious combinations in the 10th started Ortiz's downfall. It was over with 55 seconds to go in the 10th after Ortiz went down for the second time in the round from a right uppercut and referee David Fields stopped it. "I just had to get my range back and my fundamentals back," Wilder said. "And I was able to do that. I showed I was a true champion tonight." Wilder, 32, is 40-0 with 39 knockouts. This easily was his toughest bout. Somehow, he was ahead on all three judges' scorecards. The Associated Press had it 86-83 for Ortiz heading into the 10th. Ortiz, 38, is 28-1. He couldn’t have come much closer to becoming the first Cuban heavyweight belt holder after finally getting his match with Wilder. Their initially scheduled bout was in November, but Ortiz twice tested positive for a banned substance, a diuretic. He was ready Saturday, but not quite resourceful enough.q


Tuesday 6 March 2018

Investigation: Drug enhanced Wiggins performance in Tour win By ROB HARRIS AP Sports Writer LONDON (AP) — Bradley Wiggins used a banned powerful corticosteroid to enhance his performance while preparing to win the Tour de France in 2012, a British parliamentary committee said in a doping investigation report that accuses Team Sky of crossing an "ethical line" after preaching zero tolerance. The legislators said they received evidence that shows Team Sky sought a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) for Wiggins to take triamcinolone "not to treat medical need" — asthma — "but to improve his power to weight ratio." "We believe this powerful corticosteroid was being used to prepare Bradley Wiggins, and possibly other riders supporting him, for the (2012) Tour de France," the House of Commons select committee said in the report published Monday. "He benefited from the performance-enhancing properties of this drug during the race." In a statement, Wiggins denied "any drug was used without medical need." Team Sky defended its reputation in a statement criticizing "the anonymous and potentially malicious claim" by members of parliament. But the report from a committee established in 2015 to investigate doping casts doubt on the team's use of medication and failure to keep accurate medical records. Team Sky general manager "David Brailsford must take responsibility for these failures, the regime under which Team Sky riders trained and competed and the damaging skepticism about the legitimacy of his team's performance and accomplishments," the

report states. TEAM ACCUSED Brailsford, who directed Britain's breakthrough success at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, established Team Sky in 2009 with the financial backing of satellite broadcaster Sky, whose largest shareholder is Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox. The stated mission was to cleanly produce Britain's first Tour de France champion as cycling was trying to rebuild its reputation after years of scandals. The publication of the parliamentary report comes with Team Sky's four-time Tour de France champion, Chris Froome, under investigation by cycling's world governing body for failing a doping test. Froome has been ordered to explain why a urine sample he provided at the Spanish Vuelta in September showed a concentration of the asthma drug salbutamol at twice the permitted level. Froome denies any wrongdoing. Wiggins was Team Sky's first Tour de France champion, emerging victorious in 2012 before cementing his status as Britain's most decorated Olympian at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games by taking his haul to eight medals before retiring. Tour de France organizers told The Associated Press on Sunday that they have no comment to make on the issue. MYSTERY PACKAGE Investigations into Wiggins began later in 2016 following a leak to a newspaper about a medical package delivered to the rider at the 2011 Dauphine Libere race in France, a key preTour event. The mystery deepened as Team Sky declined for two months to say what substance was in the bag dispatched from

In this July 21, 2012 file photo, Bradley Wiggins of Britain, wearing the overall leader's yellow jersey, celebrates as he crosses the finish line of the 19th stage of the the Tour de France cycling race in Chartres, France. Associated Press

the shared British CyclingTeam Sky medical facility in Manchester. There was no paper trail or written evidence to substantiate a claim by Brailsford that the product couriered was Fluimucil , a brand name for a legal decongestant containing acetylcysteine used for clearing mucus. The committee now says that Team Sky doctor Richard Freeman, who failed to log Wiggins' use of an unlicensed product, can no longer confirm it was Fluimucil and he was "the only reported source of this information." The U.K. Anti-Doping Agency said in November that its investigation into whether the product was in fact the corticosteroid triamcinolone was hampered by a lack of accurate medical records but it decided not to issue charges . UKAD said it would re-open the investigation if new evidence emerged. CORTICOSTEROIDS ... TO LEAN DOWN

The parliamentary committee said it received material from a "well-placed and respected source" about the use of triamcinolone, specifically that "Wiggins was using these drugs beyond the requirement for any TUE," which allows athletes to use otherwise-banned substances because of a verified medical need. Wiggins and a smaller group of riders trained away from the rest of Team Sky while preparing for the 2012 season, according to the legislators, who report: "The source said they were all using corticosteroids out of competition to lean down in preparation for the major races that season." The digital, culture, media and sports select committee said it was told in writing by Wiggins' former coach, Shane Sutton, that "what Brad was doing was unethical but not against the rules" by taking triamcinolone. OPEN TO ABUSE A leak by the Russian-linked

hackers Fancy Bears in 2016 showed that Wiggins gained a therapeutic use exemption to have the anti-inflammatory drug triamcinolone injected on three specific occasions before the 2011 and 2012 Tours and the 2013 Giro D'Italia. The British legislators found the TUE system was "open to abuse" by using products "to achieve a peak level of physical condition in the athlete, rather than returning them to a normal state of health." While Wiggins' use of a TUE "does not constitute a violation of the WADA code," the report said, "it does cross the ethical line that David Brailsford says he himself drew for Team Sky. "In this case, and contrary to the testimony of David Brailsford in front of the committee, we believe that drugs were being used by Team Sky, within the WADA rules, to enhance the performance of riders, and not just to treat medical need."q


Tuesday 6 March 2018

AI has a dirty little secret: It's powered by people By RYAN NAKASHIMA AP Technology Writer SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — There's a dirty little secret about artificial intelligence: It's powered by hundreds of thousands of real people. From makeup artists in Venezuela to women in conservative parts of India, people around the world are doing the digital equivalent of needlework —drawing boxes around cars in street photos, tagging images, and transcribing snatches of speech that computers can't quite make out. Such data feeds directly into "machine learning" algorithms that help selfdriving cars wind through traffic and let Alexa figure out that you want the lights on. Many such technologies wouldn't work without massive quantities of this human-labeled data. These repetitive tasks pay pennies apiece. But in bulk, this work can offer a decent wage in many parts of the world — even in the U.S. And it underpins a technology that could change humanity forever: AI that will drive us around, execute verbal commands without flaw, and — possibly — one day think on its own. For more than a decade, Google has used people to rate the accuracy of its search results. More recently, investors have poured tens of millions of dollars into startups like Mighty AI and CrowdFlower, which

This undated combo of images provided by CrowdFlower shows before and after renderings from CrowdFlower’s Human-in-theLoop technology, which provides sophisticated tools that enable a person to label and structure every part of a normal photo and convert it into structured "training data” that an AI system can understand and interpret. Associated Press

are developing software that makes it easier to label photos and other data, even on smartphones. Venture capitalist S. "Soma" Somasegar says he sees "billions of dollars of opportunity" in servicing the needs of machine learning algorithms. His firm, Madrona Venture Group, invested in Mighty AI. Humans will be in the loop "for a long, long, long time to come," he says. Accurate labeling could make the difference between a self-driving car distinguishing between the sky and the side of a truck — a distinction Tesla's Model S failed in the first known fatality involving self-driving systems in 2016. "We're not building a sys-

tem to play a game, we're building a system to save lives," says Mighty AI CEO Daryn Nakhuda. ___ Marjorie Aguilar, a 31-yearold freelance makeup artist in Maracaibo, Venezuela, spends four to six hours a day drawing boxes around traffic objects to help train self-driving systems for Mighty AI. She earns about 50 cents an hour, but in a crisiswracked country with runaway inflation, just a few hours' work can pay a month's rent in bolivars. "It doesn't sound like a lot of money, but for me it's pretty decent," she says. "You can imagine how important it is for me getting paid in U.S. dollars."

Aria Khrisna, a 36-year-old father of three in Tegal, Indonesia, says that adding word tags to clothing pictures on websites such as eBay and Amazon pays him about $100 a month, roughly half his income. And for 25-year-old Shamima Khatoon, her job annotating cars, lane markers and traffic lights at an allfemale outpost of datalabeling company iMerit in Metiabruz, India, represents the only chance she has to work outside the home in her conservative Muslim community. "It's a good platform to increase your skills and support your family," she says. The benefits of greater accuracy can be immediate. At InterContinental Hotels Group, every call that its digital assistant Amelia can take from a human saves $5 to $10, says information technology director Scot Whigham. When Amelia fails, the program listens while a call is rerouted to one of about 60 service desk workers. It learns from their response and tries the technique out on the next call, freeing up human employees to do other things. When a computer can't make out a customer call to the Hyatt Hotels chain, an audio snippet is sent to AI-powered call center Interactions in an old brick building in Franklin, Massachusetts. There, while the customer waits on the

phone, one of a roomful of headphone-wearing "intent analysts" transcribes everything from misheard numbers to profanity and quickly directs the computer how to respond. That information feeds back into the system. "Next time through, we've got a better chance of being successful," says Robert Nagle, Interactions' chief technology officer. ___ Researchers have tried to find workarounds to human-labeled data, often without success. In a project that used Google Street View images of parked cars to estimate the demographic makeup of neighborhoods, thenStanford researcher Timnit Gebru tried to train her AI by scraping Craigslist photos of cars for sale that were labeled by their owners. But the product shots didn't look anything like the car images in Street View, and the program couldn't recognize them. In the end, she says, she spent $35,000 to hire auto dealer experts to label her data. Trevor Darrell, a machine learning expert at the University of California Berkeley, says he expects it will be five to 10 years before computer algorithms can learn to perform without the need for human labeling. His group alone spends hundreds of thousands of dollars a year paying people to annotate images.q


Tuesday 6 March 2018

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Trader Tommy Kalikas works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Monday, March 5, 2018. Stocks shook off morning losses on Monday and surged in the afternoon to send the Standard & Poor's 500 index to its best day in a week. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Stocks power higher in latest market shift By STAN CHOE AP Business Writer NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks shook off morning losses on Monday and surged in the afternoon to send the Standard & Poor's 500 index to its best day in a week. It's the latest turn for a market suddenly prone to quick shifts not only day to day but also hour to hour, as investors question whether President Donald Trump will really risk a trade war. The S&P 500 lost as much as 0.6 percent shortly after trading began, only to finish the day 1.1 percent higher after rising 29.69 points to 2,720.94. It's reminiscent of what happened Friday, when stocks reversed course on speculation that Trump was only making an opening bid when he promised to impose stiff tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, rather than a final offer. The Dow Jones industrial average jumped 336.70, or 1.4 percent, to 24,874.76, and the Nasdaq composite gained 72.84, or 1 percent, to 7,330.70. Both came back from earlymorning losses. Trump took to Twitter again on Monday to defend the tariffs, which have riled trading partners around the world and already sparked talk of retaliation to heighten the worries about a possible trade

war. He highlighted trade deficits with Canada and Mexico, and he said tariffs "will only come off if" a new free-trade agreement between the three countries is signed. Later in the day, House Speaker Paul Ryan said that he is "extremely worried" about the consequences of a global trade war and urged the White House "to not advance with this plan," according to a statement issued by his office. “It’s incredibly difficult to try to understand the whims of this current administration and to try to make forecasts,” said Emily Roland, head of capital markets research for John Hancock Investments. If a trade war does occur, it would hurt the global economy and the healthy profit growth that companies have been producing, two of the big drivers for the market. “But right now, we think the impact should continue to be modest, as long as it’s all talk and no action,” she said. Boeing offered a good example of how quickly the market shifted. The aerospace giant got the majority of its revenue from outside the United States last year, so it would be hurt if countries put up more barriers to global trade. Boeing was down as much as 2.3

percent in the morning before ending the day up 2.3 percent. From its low point of the day to its high, the S&P 500 index carried investors through a swing of 1.9 percentage points. It’s the fifth straight day with a gap of more than 1.5 percentage points, as trading has become much more wild since the market’s placid, record-setting run from 2017 into January. During that period, the typical day saw the S&P 500 drift just 0.5 percentage points from its low point to high. The biggest gain in the S&P 500 came from XL Group, which surged after AXA said that it will acquire the insurance and reinsurance company for $15.3 billion.q

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Tuesday 6 March 2018


Conceptis Sudoku

6 Chix


Mother Goose & Grimm

Baby Blues


Yesterday’s puzzle answer

Sudoku is a number-placing puzzle based on a 9x9 grid with several given numbers. The object is to place the numbers 1 to 9 in the empty squares so that each row, each column and each 3x3 box contains the same number only once. The difficulty level of the Conceptis Sudoku increases from Monday to Sunday.


Tuesday 6 March 2018

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Tuesday 6 March 2018

Welcome snow slows California's plunge back to drought By ELLEN KNICKMEYER and RICH PEDRONCELLI PHILLIPS STATION, Calif. (AP) — California water officials tromped through long-awaited fresh snowdrifts in the Sierra Nevada mountains Monday, but a welcome late-winter storm still left the state with less than half the usual snow for this late point in the state’s important rain and snow season. Runoff from snow in the mountains historically provides Californians with nearly a third of their water for the whole year. Monday’s snow surveys in the mountains by state water officials, with news crews in tow, is one of several closely watched gauges of how much water California cities and farms will have. Plunging a rod into a snow drift, snow-survey chief Frank Gehrke measured 41.1 inches (104.4 centimeters) of snow Monday, almost all of it laid down by a heavy winter storm that rolled in Wednesday. On Monday, the Phillips Station measuring location was up to 39 percent of the historical average for the date, compared to just 7 percent of its usual snow before the storm dropped

In this Feb. 1, 2018 file photo, Frank Gehrke, chief of the California Cooperative Snow Surveys Program for the Department of Water Resources, leaves a snow covered meadow after conducting the second snow survey of the season near Echo Summit, Calif. Associated Press

up to 8 feet 2.4 meters) of snow, Gehrke said. Across the Sierra, the state was at 37 percent of normal snowfall as of Monday. “Of course we don’t know what the rest of the month is going to bring,” Gehrke said. “But it is a much rosier, happier picture than it was a week ago.” California had accumulated less than a quarter of its normal snowpack for

the year before last week’s storm. By February, most of Southern California was back in drought, owing to a dud of a rain and snow season so far this year. It would take six more storms to bring the state up to its normal winter precipitation by April. The odds of that happening are about onein-50, the National Weather Service cautioned. March is typically the last

month of the rain and snow season in the state. California emerged only last year from a historic fiveyear drought that forced mandatory water conservation for cities and towns, dried wells, and caused massive die-offs of trees and many other native species. The Los Angeles-based Metropolitan Water District, the country’s largest urban

supplier of water, plans to vote in April on increased funding for conservation programs, spokeswoman Rebecca Kimitch said. “One storm isn’t going to ... make up for what has been a very dry few months,” Kimitch said. California’s rainy season is often this kind of a cliffhanger, Daniel Swain, a climate scientist at the University of California, Los Angeles, said last month. The state is dependent on a handful of significant storms for its water, so things can turn around quickly, he said. California’s reservoirs are at 106 percent of their historical average for this point in the year thanks to last year’s rains, said Chris Orrock, a spokesman for the state Department of Water Resources. While the heavy snows in the Sierra Nevada are the main gift from the latest storm, it helps that arid Southern California got doused as well, Orrock said. Rain in Southern California rain means reservoirs get filled and vital below-ground natural reservoirs depleted during the drought are replenished.q

Monarch butterfly numbers off for 2nd year in Mexico

In this March 13, 2005 file photo, Monarch butterflies gather on a tree at the El Rosario Butterfly Sanctuary near Angangueo, Mexico. Associated Press

By CHRISTOPHER SHERMAN Associated Press MEXICO CITY (AP) — The number of monarch butterflies wintering in Mexican forests declined for a second consecutive year, a government official said Monday. Alejandro Del Mazo, Mexico's commissioner for protected areas, said the monarchs clumped in trees covering about 6.12 acres

(2.48 hectares) this winter. That was down about 14.7 percent from the 7.19 acres (2.91 hectares) the previous winter. The monarch butterflies' migration is measured by the area they cover in pine and fir forests west of Mexico City. Millions of the butterflies make the 3,400-mile (5,500-kilometer) migration from the United States and Canada each year.

Jorge Rickards, director of the World Wildlife Fund in Mexico, which participated in the annual study, said a particularly busy hurricane season across the insects' migration route could have been a factor. "These climate phenomena without a doubt have an impact on the migration," Rickards said. He also mentioned a March 2016 wind storm and cold snap that devastated the core of the butterfly reserve. Monarch expert Lincoln Brower, a biology professor at Sweet Briar College in Virginia who co-authored a report about the 2016 storm, pointed to the effects of that storm's felling of thousands of trees. q


Tuesday 6 March 2018

Guillermo del Toro talks honoring his roots after Oscar wins By JOCELYN GECKER LOS ANGELES (AP) — Guillermo del Toro paid tribute to Mexico, to immigrants and to the borderless "world of filmmakers" as he accepted Oscars for best director and best picture Sunday night. Del Toro's "The Shape of Water," a sumptuous, sensual fairytale that is a Technicolor ode to outsiders, was the evening's top winner with four Academy Awards. It also won best original score and production design. "Growing up in Mexico, I thought this could never happen," del Toro said. "It happens." Del Toro's win marks the fourth time in five years that a Mexican director has walked away with the best director awards. Del Toro's friends and countrymen Alfonso Cuaron won for "Gravity" in 2014 and Alejandro Inarritu won back-to-back Oscars for "Birdman" in 2015 and "The Revenant" in 2016. Del Toro called his fellow directors "my compadres," saying he was an immigrant like them and had spent the last 25 years living "in a country all of our own" — partly in America, partly in Europe and elsewhere. "I think that the greatest thing our art does and our industry does is to erase the lines in the sand. We should continue doing that when the world tells us to make

them deeper," Del Toro said. Then he thanked Fox Searchlight for accepting his "mad pitch" to make a fairytale that was both a musical and a thriller about an amphibious creature and a mute woman falling in love. "The Shape of Water" tells the story of a mute cleaning lady, Eliza (Sally Hawkins) who conspires with her gay friend and neighbor (Richard Jenkins) and her co-worker (Octavia Spencer) to rescue a muscular merman that is being held captive in a secret Cold War-era government laboratory. It is a love story between the two voiceless creatures that includes messages of tolerance and insurrection. "I want to dedicate this to every young filmmaker ... in every country in the world," del Toro said, encouraging filmmakers to use fantasy to tell the world about things that are real. Some mainstream moviegoers were turned off by the film's fantastical premise — a woman's love affair with a fish-like monster — but the Academy awarded del Toro for creating a technical masterpiece that is also an homage to cinema. Del Toro's film manages to be both nostalgic for the feel of another era and also expose its nastiness. "The Shape of Water" was

Guillermo del Toro, winner of the awards for best director and best picture for "The Shape of Water," poses in the press room at the Oscars on Sunday, March 4, 2018, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. Associated Press

considered a front-runner for best director but faced a tight field of competitors whose wins would have also carried strong storylines. In the director category, he beat out Jordan Peele ("Get Out") who would have been the first AfricanAmerican to win the award and Greta Gerwig ("Lady Bird") who would have been the second woman in the Oscars 90 year history

to win it. Other nominees were Christopher Nolan ("Dunkirk) and Paul Thomas Anderson ("Phantom Thread"). Backstage, del Toro clutched his two golden statues — one in each hand — and spoke about the importance of honoring your roots. "I think every time we can demonstrate in any form — be it sport, science, art, culture, anywhere — what we

have to bring to the world discourse, to the world conversation, it is extremely important. And it is extremely important when we do it, to remember where we're from. Because it's honoring your roots, honoring your country." "My next stop, I'm going to see my mom and my dad this week," del Toro said, holding up both Oscars. "I'm going back home with these two babies."q

Alison Gaylin's 'If I Die Tonight' tells poignant story By OLINE H. COGDILL Associated Press "If I Die Tonight" (Morrow), by Alison Gaylin Crimes aren't committed in a vacuum but have the potential to cause ripples throughout a community. And that community can quickly turn on one of its own, needing someone, or something, to blame. Those connections are the bedrock of Alison Gaylin's superb standalone, "If I Die Tonight." Gaylin delves deep to explore her characters, who want more than what their lives have brought. It

also succinctly touches on parental issues, teenage angst, loneliness, the seductiveness of fame and the pitfalls of when that acclaim is a thing of the past. Each plot point weaves perfectly for a poignant story strengthened by its attention to characters. Single mother Jackie Reed is barely able to juggle all the aspects of her life, including her job as a realtor in the tightknit town of Havenkill, New York; her sons Wade, 17, and Connor, 13; and her own depression. Connor is smart, popular and always trying to make

things easier for his mother. Wade, however, has been distant, holing up in his room, disappearing for hours and nearly ostracized from his classmates. Wade becomes the likely suspect when high school football star Liam Miller is left in a coma while trying to prevent a carjacking. Former pop star Amy Nathanson, who had one mega-hit as singer Aimee En during the 1980s, claims Liam was trying to protect her and keep her vintage Jaguar from being stolen. As the community reels from the crime, Havenkill police of-

ficer Pearl Maze sharpens her investigative skills, while dealing with her own dark side. Gaylin ladles the poignant "If I Die Tonight" with surprises while never succumbing to the obvious or cliched. Each character is believable, and their flaws and fears add to their humanity. Wade's isolation isn't just a family matter; the suspicion that falls on him also affects Jackie, Connor and Noah, who is Connor's best friend. The crisp dialogue and insightful look at life in a small town become fodder for the suspenseful story.q

This cover image released by William Morrow shows "If I Die Tonight," by Alison Gaylin. Associated Press


Tuesday 6 March 2018


Andrew Lloyd Webber, turning 70, looks back and forward By MARK KENNEDY NEW YORK (AP) — Andrew Lloyd Webber's 70th birthday is coming up and it turns out there is something the composer really wants on his special day. More work. The man behind such blockbuster shows as "Cats," ''The Phantom of the Opera" and "School of Rock" has shows in London's West End, Broadway and on tour, but he'd like to be composing another one. "The biggest birthday present to me would be to know that I've found another subject. Genuinely, that's what I would most want for my 70th birthday: To know I'm writing," he said. Lloyd Webber may actually be close to another musical subject but doesn't want to jinx it by revealing details. "Knowing me, I'll find some speed bump along the line," he said. It's typical of this restless, self-described perfectionist that he's looking forward as his past is being celebrated in words, performances and music. His autobiography, "Un-

In this Jan. 28, 2018 file photo, Andrew Lloyd Webber arrives at the 60th annual Grammy Awards in New York. Associated Press

masked," is being released this month, along with a massive, four-CD collection of his songs, performed by the likes of Barbra Streisand, Lana Del Rey and Madonna. NBC plans a primetime tribute March 28. The Lloyd Webber-mania also includes an upcoming

live televised NBC version of "Jesus Christ Superstar" starring John Legend and Sara Bareilles, and a new musical featuring his songs at the Paper Mill Playhouse in New Jersey in September. He was the subject of a Grammy Awards tribute, and winter Olympic fans would have noticed Lloyd Webber soundtracks for several skaters. The book, which he jokingly refers to as a "medium sized doorstop," covers the years from his birth to the birth of "The Phantom of the Opera." It's honest and very funny. "I just hope it shows a little more about me to people who perhaps don't know me," he said in his apartment overlooking Central Park. "I just hope I've told some of the funniest stores and they're not too boring for people." Readers will learn how close he was to being cast as Mozart in the Oscar-winning film "Amadeus," the time he scribbled the title song in "Jesus Christ Superstar" on a paper napkin, how Judy Garland inspired "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" and the moment he accidentally exploded a bottle of Champagne all over Barbra Streisand's hors d'oeuvres. He also corrects the record about his first meeting with

mega-producer Cameron Mackintosh. They did not consume four bottles of burgundy over a long lunch. "It was three bottles and two kirs," he writes. One of the book's most fascinating sections involves the troubled creation of "Cats," which became a global phenomenon. Lloyd Webber had to put his own money into the show and watched its progression nervously. There were warning signs: The show was his first without lyricist Tim Rice, with whom he's had success with "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" and "Evita." He was working with a then-unknown producer in Mackintosh and a director who'd never done a musical. Lyrics came from a dead poet, T.S. Eliot. The musical director resigned after having a nervous breakdown. "We were asking people to believe that human beings were cats. It appeared to have no story-line," Lloyd Webber said. "There was not one ingredient that anybody could see was anything other than a recipe for the worst disaster that had ever happened in the history of musical theater." Lloyd Webber is positive he'd be unable to get backing for a show like that on Broadway to-

day, though he cheers the imagination of current hits like "Hamilton," ''Dear Evan Hansen," ''Come From Away" and "The Band's Visit." None seem safe bets: "Every single one of those four would be considered to be written by somebody who terminally insane," he said, laughing. His 480-page autobiography ends in 1986 with "Phantom": "I resembled a jelly about to enter a pizza oven." But he doubts he'll write a second volume. By the end of the first, several key relationships have frayed and betrayal is felt. "On the way down sometimes is when you see peoples' true colors. I don't want to write about that. I never want to write about the bad side of people or things," he said. Jonathan Burnham, the book's editor at HarperCollins, said the book offers charming anecdotes along with Lloyd Webber's thinking about music, including the mechanics of putting on musicals. "What makes the book so valuable and entertaining is his voice, which is unshackled," Burnham said. "It's like spending a delightful series of evenings with a witty friend who's lived lots of interesting experiences." The CD collection of 71 songs proves Lloyd Webber's range, including a song he wrote for Elvis Presley, orchestral suites, and tunes performed by everyone from Donny Osmond to Beyonce. Lana Del Rey performs "You Must Love Me" and Nicole Scherzinger does "Memory." "I'm rather unfashionable now because I'm not sure that melody is as fashionable as it was," he says. "What I do is melody and I still believe there's a place for that." With that, one of music history's most successful composers is itching to get to the airport, and back to work in England. "I've already said I'm the most boring person I've ever met. I do not intend to bore people any further," he said. "I just want to get to the theater and get on with the next case."q


Tuesday 6 March 2018

Founder of transformative Tower Records chain dies at 92 By KATHLEEN RONAYNE SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Russell Solomon, founder of the Tower Records chain that became a global phenomenon and changed the way people consumed music, has died. He was 92. Solomon died Sunday night of an apparent heart attack while drinking whiskey and watching the Oscars, said his son, Michael Solomon. Russell Solomon first began selling music in 1941, at age 16, out of his father's Sacramento drug store inside the historic Tower Theater building. The makeshift record shop officially became Tower Records in 1960. Solomon, who preferred jazz, country and classical music, offered something other stores didn't: A place to sift through every genre of music in one place, with the help of employees who loved music even more. Solomon expanded to San Francisco in 1968, then to Los Angeles and eventually all across the world, with Tower Records operating 271 stores and selling $1 billion worth of records at its height in the 1990s. Michael Solomon said his father's theories about what a music store should be were simple: Large inventories, long and late

In this undated file photo, Tower Records founder Russ Solomon poses for a picture at the company's corporate headquarters in West Sacramento, Calif. Associated Press

hours, and control by local managers about artists and records each individual store should stock. The company's more than 8,000 employees were music lovers who wore their clothes and hair however they wanted and showed up to work because they loved music as much as Solomon did. "I'm sure he'll go down in history as having the greatest record store chain in the world," Michael Solo-

mon said. Solomon and Tower Records were the subject of a 2015 documentary by actor Colin Hanks that examined its iconic role in music in the 1970s and 1980s, with stars like Elton John and Bruce Springsteen talking about their love of the store. Solomon, who never graduated high school, eventually rose to be number 335 on the Forbes' list of the 400 richest Americans, accord-

ing to the Sacramento Bee. He delighted in the challenges of expanding his business worldwide, to England, Japan and beyond. In 1985, he nearly went to jail after opening his store in London on Sundays, not knowing labor laws prohibited it. "It's like climbing up a mountain. It's a little bit dangerous to do; a lot dangerous. But risk is part of the adventure," he told The Associated Press in a 1988 in-

terview about his business expansion. Those risks are part of what made it difficult for Tower Records to survive when technology began to drastically change the music business in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Consumers began to shift to the internet to download music or to buy it from retailers such as Walmart, who offered lower prices in exchange for a less intimate customer experience than what Tower provided. Russell Solomon said in interviews years later than the debt from earlier expansions helped lead to the company's downfall, the Bee reported. Michael Solomon took over the business in 1998, with Russell remaining chairman of the board. The financial pressures eventually became too great in 2004, when Tower Records first filed for bankruptcy before closing its doors in 2006. But Russell Solomon had always resisted retiring — “What would I do if I retire?” he said in 1988 — and wasn’t yet done with music. He re-entered the music business just months after Tower Records folded, opening another music store in the original drugstore location. It lasted only three years.q

San Francisco will remove pioneer statue some call racist By JANIE HAR SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A 19th century statue that some say is degrading to Native Americans will be removed from its touristy public spot near San Francisco's City Hall, joining a growing list of historic markers being ousted under pressure from the public.The San Francisco Arts Commission voted unanimously Monday to remove the "Early Days" sculpture, which depicts a Native American at the feet of a Spanish cowboy and Catholic missionary. It is part of the Pioneer Monu-

ment cluster that depicts the founding of California. People in the audience who had lobbied for the statue's removal cheered at the vote. "It definitely feels like a long time coming," said Barbara Mumby, an arts commission employee who is descended from Native tribes in California and New York. "I think some people may not understand how big of a symbol it is to be able to take this down."The issue has been percolating for decades but the San Francisco Arts Commission

started the removal process in October after demonstrators clashed over the removal of a Confederate statue in Charlottesville, Virginia, last August. San Francisco's Historic Preservation Commission agreed in February to the statue's removal with the condition that a plaque be placed to explain why it was removed. Critics of removal say the public shouldn't erase what happened, even if the history is ugly. The Ohlone inhabited the San Francisco area before they were driv-

This Friday, March 2, 2018 photo shows a statue of a Native American, bottom, with Sir Francis Drake, top left, and Father Junipero Serra in San Francisco. Associated Press

en out by Spanish settlers. Tom DeCaigny, who oversees the arts commission as the city's cultural affairs director, said the commission wasn't trying to forget or revise history. “It’s the

right thing to do,” he said. “I think we heard loud and clear from the community and from diverse stakeholders that this was not a monument that reflected San Francisco’s values.”q


Tuesday 6 March 2018

Cambodian genocide documented in victims' preserved clothes By SOPHENG CHEANG and GRANT PECK, PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — As a leader in the field of textile conservation, Julia Brennan has worked to preserve many glamorous and historic articles of clothing, from a kimono presented to Babe Ruth, to singer James Brown's jumpsuit, to a British aristocrat's coronation gown. Her profession, however, has also brought her into contact with humanity's darkest moments, including genocides in Rwanda and Cambodia. Brennan recently began a project at the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum in Cambodia's capital, Phnom Penh, where the Khmer Rouge in the late 1970s tortured as many as 17,000 men, women and children before killing them. The museum's macabre artifacts include torture devices and displays of skulls. The most haunting display comprises photo portraits that were kept as part of the meticulous record-

In this Feb. 5, 2018, photo, leading textile conservationist Julia Brennan holds a scarf from a victim of the former Khmer Rouge as she inspects artifacts at the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Associated Press

2014. The 59-year-old Brennan was born to American parents in Indonesia, where her father was on a Jesuit scholarship teaching at universities and doing research. She was raised in northern Thailand, where

In this Feb. 5, 2018, photo, a tourist views piles of clothing from the victims executed by the Khmer Rouge regime at the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Associated Press

keeping ordered by Tuol Sleng's Khmer Rouge commander, who in 2012 was sentenced to life in prison for crimes against humanity, murder and torture. But only a small amount of victims' clothing is displayed; most was stowed away in nooks and crannies, untouched since the museum was established in 1980. Museum director Chhay Visoth felt it was urgent to register and preserve these holdings, and he sought Brennan's help in

her father worked for the U.S. government, and when he later worked on a European Union arms control project in Cambodia, Brennan became acquainted with that country's culture. Brennan was keenly interested in the Tuol Sleng project, and the U.S. Embassy in Phnom Penh eventually gave a $55,000 grant to support it. She then began her work to jump-start the preservation of 3,000-5,000 articles of prisoners' clothing and

train Cambodian staff to care for them. Brennan worked on a similar project for the past two years in Rwanda, where long-standing rivalries between two tribes led to the killings of an estimated 800,000 people in 1994. She helped to preserve clothing at the Nyamata church, where more than 10,000 people were slaughtered as they sought shelter from marauding mobs. The church is now a memorial site, with the clothing an integral part of its exhibition. The power of clothing in documenting genocide is widely recognized by experts. The collection at the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum in Poland includes 390 striped inmates' uniforms and 246 Jewish prayer shawls, according to Pawel Sawicki, a press officer for the memorial. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., holds a variety of items of clothing as well. One of the most striking exhibits is of 4,000 shoes from some of the victims of the Majdanek concentration camp in Poland. "The exhibit very simply shows the magnitude of Nazi murder while simultaneously allowing the viewer to individualize the horror," Jane Klinger, the Holocaust

museum's chief conservator, said in an email. Brennan, who since 1996 has had her own company, Caring for Textiles, in Washington, D.C., made a similar point during an interview at Tuol Sleng. "You're not going to necessarily cry or have memories when you see a skull, but when you see a skirt that's the same pattern as your mother's, then that's going to bring these memories that are so palpable, and this is so powerful," she said. Less is more in conservation, according to Brennan, "because we want to keep the associated dirt and stains and particles as part of the context and information of the artifact." So for Tuol Sleng's artifacts, she said she has been

teaching half a dozen Cambodian colleagues to photograph a piece to identify it for inventory, "then just to surface clean carefully with a vacuum or a soft brush, and then the dirt can be saved as part of the record and some of the surface soiling will be loosened." Treatment doesn't end there. In tropical places like Cambodia, there's a lot of mildew and mold as well as live insects to deal with. To try to protect the material for the long term, it is put into "micro climates" in which the relative humidity can be reduced. Brennan said she developed this system during her work in Rwanda, putting the items in dry storage boxes with desiccants, pellets normally used in the agriculture industry. Kho Chenda, a 28-year-old staff member at Tuol Sleng, has taken Brennan's preservation lessons to heart. She said what she's learned is vital because of the museum's mission to teach the horrific legacy of the Khmer Rouge. "If that clothing gets too old and worn out, then the evidence it offers will be gone, and when you talk to the younger generation, they will not believe you," she said. Kong Kuntheary, another of Brennan's students, echoed the sentiment. "This clothing is really important evidence, so we have to preserve it to make sure that even in 100 or 200 years, it will not have disappeared," said the 52-yearold employee of the National Museum in Phnom Penh.q

In this April 9, 2015, file photo, tourists view portraits of victims executed by the Khmer Rouge regime at the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Associated Press

March 6, 2018  
March 6, 2018