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January 13, 2017

Column: Mayweather in search of attention, not a fight

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Obama Awards Biden Presidential Medal of Freedom Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama awarded Vice President Joe Biden with the highest civilian honor Thursday, commemorating an “extraordinary man with an extraordinary career in public service.” A teary-eyed Biden accepted the Presidential Medal of Freedom at a ceremony at the White House dedicated to honoring the outgoing vice president. Obama said he is bestowing the honor on Biden for “faith in your fellow Americans, for your love of country and a lifetime of service that will endure through the generations.” Biden praised his wife and children for their support throughout his career, and praised the Obama family for their dedication to country and service. “I was part of the journey of a remarkable man who did remarkable things,” Biden said. Speaking ahead of Biden, Obama said the tribute will give the Internet one last chance to joke about the “bromance” the two share.

President Barack Obama presents Vice President Joe Biden with the Presidential Medal of Freedom during a ceremony in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

He called Biden the “best possible choice, not just for me, but for the American people.”

Obama commended the “Biden heart,” listing the influences in Biden’s life, from the nuns who taught him in

grade school, to his Senate colleagues, to his parents. Noting that Biden’s career is “nowhere close to

finished,” Obama said his vice president will go on to have an impact in the U.S. and abroad.q


Friday 13 January 2017


Trump’s Pentagon pick cruises toward likely confirmation

Defense Secretary-designate James Mattis prepares to testify on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017, at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

ROBERT BURNS Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — Retired Gen. James Mattis on Thursday cruised toward likely confirmation as Donald Trump’s defense secretary, easily prevailing in a Senate vote granting him an exemption to run the Pentagon as a recently

retired officer. At his confirmation hearing, he called Russia the nation’s No. 1 security threat, accusing its leader of trying to “break” NATO. The Senate voted 81-17 to approve legislation overriding a prohibition against former U.S. service members who have been out

of uniform less than seven years from holding the Defense Department’s top job. The restriction is meant to preserve civilian control of the military. The House Armed Services Committee backed the waiver in a 3428 vote; the full House will take up the matter Friday. Mattis, 66, spent four de-

cades in uniform, retiring in 2013 with a reputation as an effective combat leader and an astute strategist. Separate from the override legislation, the Senate will vote later on Mattis’ nomination and will almost certainly confirm him. The only other exception to the seven-year rule was made for the legendary George Marshall in 1950, the year Mattis was born. Even some of Trump’s strongest critics have supported the waiver for Mattis, arguing that his experience and temperament can serve as a steadying influence on a new president with no experience in national security. It was unclear if President Barack Obama would sign the legislation allowing Mattis to take up the post, or if it would fall to Trump after his inauguration. At an uncontentious confirmation hearing, Mattis sketched an international security scene dominated by dark images of an aggressive Russia, resurgent China and violent Mideast. He described Iran as a major destabilizing force, called North Korea

a potential nuclear threat and said the U.S. military needs to grow larger and readier for combat. “We see each day a world awash in change,” Mattis said. “Our country is still at war in Afghanistan and our troops are fighting against ISIS and other terrorist groups in the Middle East and elsewhere. Russia is raising grave concerns on several fronts, and China is shredding trust along its periphery.” Mattis portrayed Russia as an adversary and said the history of U.S.-Russian relations is not encouraging. “I have very modest expectations for areas of cooperation with Mr. Putin,” he said, delivering an assessment strikingly dissonant with that of his potential commander in chief. Trump has repeatedly praised Putin, even as  U.S. intelligence agencies have accused the Russian leader of orchestrating a campaign of interference in the 2016 U.S. election. Of Putin, said Mattis, a former NATO military leader: “He is trying to break the North Atlantic alliance.”q

GOP leaders look to early health care bill, details vague ALAN FRAM Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — Under mounting pressure from Donald Trump and rank-and-file Republicans, congressional leaders are talking increasingly about chiseling an early bill that dismantles President Barack Obama’s health care law and begins to supplant it with their own vision of how the nation’s $3 trillion-a-year medical system should work. Yet even as Republicans said they will pursue their paramount 2017 goal aggressively, leaders left plenty of wiggle room Thursday about exactly what they will do. Their caution underscored persistent divisions over how to recraft a law they’ve tried erasing since its 2010 enactment, plus their desire to avoid panicking the 20 million people who’ve gained coverage under Obama’s overhaul or unsettling health

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky. pauses during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. Under mounting pressure from Donald Trump and rank-and-file Republicans, congressional leaders are talking increasingly about chiseling an early bill that dismantles President Barack Obama’s health care law. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

insurance markets. In an interview with conservative radio host Mike Gallagher, House Speaker Paul

Ryan, R-Wis., said the initial repeal and replace legislation will be “the primary part of our health care policy” and

would be followed by other bills. Later, he told reporters at the Capitol that while Republicans will work quickly,

“We’re not holding hard deadlines, only because we want to get it right.” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said the early repeal bill would “begin to make important progress.” He said Republicans “plan to take on the replacement challenge in manageable pieces, with step-by-step reforms.” He set no timetable. “Repealing and replacing Obamacare is a big challenge. It isn’t going to be easy,” McConnell added. The leaders spoke a day before the House plans to give final approval to a budget that would shield the forthcoming repeal-andreplace bill from a Democratic filibuster in the Senate. Stripping Democrats of their ability to endlessly delay that bill — a tactic that takes 60 votes to thwart — is crucial for Republicans, who have just a 52-48 edge in the Senate. q

A4 U.S.

Friday 13 January 2017


Winter storm to bring crippling ice, rainfall to central US TIM TALLEY Associated Press OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A winter storm that brought heavy snow and rainfall to northern California was bearing down on the southern Plains on Thursday, and forecasters said crippling ice accumulations and heavy rain could cause widespread power outages and flooding this weekend. The National Weather Service issued an ice storm warning for northwestern Oklahoma beginning Friday morning as well as a winter storm watch for much of the rest of Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri along with parts of Illinois and Texas. Forecasters said the potential for a significant ice storm is increasing and the region could see up to 1 inch of ice. Storms are also expected Saturday and Sunday. “We could see some fairly significant ice accumulations,” said Kevin Brown, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Norman, Oklahoma. “Enough ice accumula-

tions to cause a lot of problems with trees and power lines and power interruptions.”

disruptions. “They’re grabbing generators, and I’m sold out,” said Raymond Bopp, assistant

electrical power was interrupted for three or four days, Bopp said. Residents who recall the inconve-

Tribune Strong winds and ground blizzard conditions greeted motorists on Interstate 94 around sunrise, Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017, west of Mandan, N.D. An Arctic cold front entered the state with winds gusting to 55 mph reducing visibility along the interstate and causing hazardous travel conditions and dangerous wind chills. (Tom Stromme/The Bismarck Tribune via AP)

In northwestern Oklahoma, where the forecast calls for up to an inch of accumulated ice, residents Thursday were snatching up flashlights, batteries and alternative energy sources in anticipation of power

manager of the Woodward Ace Hardware store in Woodward, Oklahoma, about 140 miles northwest of Oklahoma City. The last time the area experienced a significant ice storm was in 2001, when

nience were taking no chances. “They’ve been buying a lot of flashlights,” Bopp said. Propane containers, kerosene and lamp oil also were selling well as the storm neared. The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management was assembling generators and supplies for temporary shelters across northwestern and northern Oklahoma, said spokeswoman Keli Cain. “If there’s a need for additional generators, we want them to be available,” Cain said. In Kansas, up to 1 inch of ice was expected to fall in “multiple rounds” of freezing rain between Friday and early Monday in parts of the state, including Wichita, Kansas’ largest city. The weather service said the potential impact will be power outages, slick roads and accidents. In Missouri, forecasters were calling for up to three-quarters of an inch of freezing rain over the weekend, potentially more in the southwestern part of the state. Concern about the storm prompted Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens to activate the state Emergency Operations Center in Jefferson

City. Greitens told reporters at the center Thursday that he called a state of emergency and said the Missouri Transportation Department had started pretreating roads and would continue to do so throughout the storm. “We’re going to be prepared for whatever the storm brings,” Greitens said. The new governor asked people in the storm’s path to stay off roads late Thursday and Friday, both for safety and to allow emergency responders to work. He said he might ask businesses to shorten hours Friday. More than 3,500 responders started working 12hour shifts, and the state’s Public Safety Department preemptively placed generators across the state for use in areas hit the hardest, he said. Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin declared a disaster emergency for all 77 counties in the state in advance of the storm and issued an executive order suspending size and weight regulations for oversized vehicles to expedite relief efforts. The declaration states that Oklahoma’s Emergency Operations Plan has been activated and the resources of all state departments and agencies will be available to meet the winter weather emergency. “Emergency personnel are coordinating with state and local officials to ensure we are prepared and ready for whatever comes our way,” Fallin said in a statement. In California, the storm brought heavy snowfall in higher elevations and led thousands of people to evacuate as rivers surged. Brown said the Pacific Ocean moisture that helped feed the storm has shifted south, creating the potential for ice and heavy rainfall in southern Oklahoma, Arkansas and Texas. “We’re still going to have plenty of moisture to deal with. We could see some pretty strong storms as well,” Brown said. He said severe storms are possible south of the Red River.q


Friday 13 January 2017

Police: Suspect in officer’s killing was wearing body armor

Orlando Police Chief John Mina speaks during a news conference concerning the fatal shooting of Orlando police officer Debra Clayton in Orlando, Fla. A manhunt continues for the suspect. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

MIKE SCHNEIDER Associated Press

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A fugitive who is the focus of

Lawmaker drops loaded gun on floor near children at a hearing KATHLEEN RONAYNE Associated Press CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A lawmaker rushing to take her seat at the Statehouse for a public hearing on the merits of full-day kindergarten dropped her loaded gun on the floor near some children, but it didn’t fire and nobody was hurt. Rep. Carolyn Halstead, a Republican, said the gun fell off her waistband Thursday as she was trying to settle in at the House Education Committee meeting. She said her backpack caught on the gun as she took it off. She said she quickly grabbed the gun and put it into her bag. Witnesses said several children were seated nearby but the hearing carried on with little disturbance. It’s not the first time something like this has happened at the Statehouse: Another lawmaker, Republican then-Rep. Kyle Tasker, dropped his gun onto the floor during a 2012 hearing. Still, Halstead is facing admonishment from the House speaker. “I have impressed upon her that,

while no harm came from this incident, her lack of control is unacceptable,” Speaker Shawn Jasper, also a Republican, said in a statement. Halstead, a second-term representative from Milford, said she always practices gun safety and was “mortified” by what happened. She said multiple safety features were set so the gun would not have gone off. “I’m still unnerved,” she said, later adding, “I don’t want people to be afraid.” It’s legal to carry a gun on the Statehouse grounds, and Halstead said she’s licensed to carry her gun concealed. Gun rights have been the topic of hot debate at the Statehouse in recent years. A Senate committee this week approved legislation that would remove the licensing requirement for carrying hidden guns. Gov. Chris Sununu, a Republican, is likely to sign it if it reaches his desk. The Republicanled House also allows members to carry concealed guns inside the chamber on session days. q

a four-day manhunt was wearing a bulletproof vest when he fatally shot an Orlando police sergeant earlier this week, Orlando’s police chief said Thursday. Investigators found clothing belonging to 41-yearold Markeith Loyd that suggests Master Sgt. Debra Clayton returned fire after she was shot, but that a bulletproof vest protected the suspect, Orlando Police Chief John Mina said. Clayton was killed Monday morning after approaching Loyd in the parking lot of a Wal-Mart store. He was wanted at the time for the murder of his pregnant exgirlfriend in mid-December. The fugitive shot Clayton several times, even when she was on the ground, the

chief said. Police arrested a former supervisor at the fried-chicken restaurant where Loyd worked, an ex-girlfriend and a niece on Tuesday and Wednesday on charges of helping him in the weeks after Loyd’s ex-girlfriend was fatally shot. Mina said they haven’t been cooperative in locating him. “If there is anyone who is harboring, aiding, abetting him in any way, they will be arrested as we’ve seen with the past three arrests,” Mina said. Hundreds of deputies and officers have searched almost 100 places since Monday, and they’ve received more than 800 tips. The searches have been lower-profile compared to Monday’s

door-to-door search of an Orlando apartment complex, and searchers have cast a broader net in central Florida, Mina said. The crime-tip service Crimeline is offering a $100,000 reward for a tip that leads to Loyd’s arrest. “Anybody who makes a phone call is valuable to us at this point,” said Barb Bergin, the local Crimeline’s executive director. After Clayton was shot, many of her colleagues immediately joined the pursuit. Among them was sheriff’s Deputy First Class Norman Lewis, who died when he was thrown from his motorcycle in an accident. Funerals were planned for Lewis for Friday and Clayton for Saturday.q

A6 U.S.

Friday 13 January 2017


6 children killed in house fire; Mom, 3 kids injured BRIAN WITTE Associated Press BALTIMORE (AP) — Six children were killed in a massive house fire in northeast

body before they begin searching for clues about the fire’s cause. Firefighters encountered heavy flames coming from

Associated Press that he was not home at the time of the fire because he was at work for a restaurant. He said one of the three chil-

Fire officials stand at the scene of an early morning house fire in Baltimore, Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017. A woman and several children in the house were injured and multiple other children in the family are unaccounted for, a fire official said Thursday. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Baltimore early Thursday, while their mother and three of her other children were able to escape the blaze but were injured, a fire official said. All six bodies have been recovered from the home and everyone has been accounted for, said fire department spokesman Chief Roman Clark. Earlier Thursday, Clark said the presumed dead were two boys, ages 9 months and 2 years; 3-year-old twin girls; and two girls, ages 10 and 11. Clark said investigators at the scene had been awaiting recovery of the last

all three floors of the home when they answered the call about 12:30 a.m. Thursday, and they attacked the blaze from outside, Clark said. The third floor collapsed and the second floor partially collapsed. The children’s mother and two boys, ages 4 and 5, are in critical condition at a hospital. Clark said an 8-year-old girl who helped rescue her younger brothers was in “good shape.” William Malone said all nine are his children with Katie Malone, who’s a staff member for Rep. Elijah Cummings’ district office. William Malone told The

dren taken to the hospital after the blaze has since been released. “I’m still in shock to be honest,” said Malone, who was reached by phone at a relative’s home. He said he doesn’t know what may have caused the fire. Cummings said Katie Malone has worked as a special assistant in his Catonsville office for nearly 11 years. “My staff is a family and this unimaginable tragedy is shocking and heartbreaking to us all. I again ask for your prayers,” Cummings said in a statement. Neighbor Robert Spencer said he looked out his

window to see the house across the street in flames. “The flames was coming out on every side, and that’s when the mother was coming around the side of the house,” Spencer said. “I heard the kids crying. My daughter heard them. They said: ‘Help, help,’ and you know, couldn’t save them, couldn’t save them,” he said. “There was just too much fire there.” Michael Johnson, 55, who lives a block away and can see the house from his home, described it as a complete inferno. “Fire was coming out of every window, and as they sprayed it, it seemed like the fire was fighting back or something. It just kept coming and coming and coming. Fire was actually coming out of the sides of the house. I’ve never seen anything like that in my life,” Johnson said. Johnson, who didn’t know the family, added that he was praying for the people inside. “It was just so intense,” he said. “I didn’t think anyone would be able to survive it at all.” WJZ-TV showed two small children sitting up as they were wheeled away on a stretcher and a woman on a stretcher with an oxygen mask over her face. Images from the scene show firefighters dousing the charred shell of the first two stories of the home between two other large three story single-family homes. q

3 charged in shooting deaths of 2 Cuban brothers SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — Two men and a 17-year-old girl were charged with fatally shooting two Cuban-born teenage brothers in what police believe was an attempted robbery set up by the girl, authorities said Thursday. The two men and the girl were arrested Wednesday and were charged with murder and attempted robbery, Syracuse police Chief Frank Fowler said. They’re accused of gunning down 17-year-old Daniel Diaz-Marrero and

19-year-old Ismael DiazMarrero on Tuesday evening on the city’s west side. The shootings occurred during a robbery attempt set up when the 17-yearold girl, Sheahonni Davis, contacted the brothers and asked them to meet her. Police said 19-yearold Toriano Newson and 23-year-old Curtis L. Paige III approached the brothers when they arrived and tried to rob them. Newson opened fire, hitting both siblings, Fowler said. Ismael Diaz-Marrero died at

the scene, police said. His brother died soon after at a hospital. Police said the brothers had a slight acquaintance with Davis. They were still trying to determine why the brothers agreed to meet her. The Post-Standard newspaper reported the brothers, their father and their younger sister arrived in the United States from Cuba after their mother died about five years ago. The older brother was a sophomore at Le Moyne College, in suburban De-

Witt. The younger brother was a senior at a Syracuse high school. Scores of people, including some of the brothers’ teachers and professors, gathered Wednesday for a memorial service in an auditorium at Le Moyne, a private Jesuit college. Friends described the siblings as hardworking and well-liked. Le Moyne Dean Jim Joseph told the newspaper that Ismael Diaz-Marrero was working two jobs, including one at the college, to put himself through school.q

Georgia gun store owner shoots, kills robber with gun KATE BRUMBACK Associated Press MABLETON, Ga. (AP) — A Georgia gun store owner’s quick reflexes and skilled marksmanship may have saved his life and others when armed robbers came calling. Surveillance video  shows Jimmy Groover, owner of Dixie Gun and Pawn, turning around when two suspects walk into his store on Dec. 26. Another employee raises his hands as the suspects charge in. At least one is wearing a mask and has a gun drawn, pointed in the direction of Groover and his employee. Groover wedged himself behind a gun safe in the back of the store. He said he heard one of them say, “Get on the ground. I’m going to kill you.” “I saw the mask and the gun at the same time, and I knew it was him or me,” Groover told The Associated Press on Thursday, adding that he acted to protect himself, his employee and two customers who were in the store. The suspect draws a second gun and Groover fires at least two shots at the first suspect, who immediately falls to the floor on his back, both guns falling from his hands. As the suspect fell, he fired a bullet that shattered the counter’s glass case and lodged in a door just inches from where Groover was standing, he said. Groover appears to fire several shots toward the other suspect, as he turns and flees. Smoke from the gunshots fills the store. The suspect who was shot, 30-year-old Donovan Chopin, died at the scene, police said. The investigation into attempted robbery is ongoing and the second suspect has not been caught, Cobb County police Officer Alicia Chilton said. Groover doesn’t face any charges, Chilton said. In the 30 years that Groover, 64, has owned a gun store, this was the first time he’s been present when someone tried to rob him. q


Friday 13 January 2017

On the Money:

American car buyers will find good deals throughout 2017

DEE-ANN DURBIN AP Auto Writer DETROIT (AP) — U.S. car shoppers will find plentiful deals, relatively low interest rates and lots of hightech choices in the market this year. “It’s a good time to buy a car now, and it should be for the rest of the year,” says Jessica Caldwell, an analyst with the car-shopping site New-vehicle sales hit a record of 17.55 million in the U.S. last year. While they’re not expected to top that this year, demand is still strong. Many of the factors that fueled sales last year are still in place, like solid consumer confidence and low gas prices. New technology like Apple CarPlay and automatic emergency braking is luring buyers. And many people still need to replace aging cars. The average age of a vehicle on U.S. roads is climbed to 11.6 years in 2016. Here are some things to watch in the car market this year: PRICES: The average price people pay for a new car rose to $32,000 in December, a monthly record, according to the consulting firm LMC Automotive. Analysts say new-vehicle prices will continue to rise in 2017. There are two main reasons: More customers are buying SUVs, which are pricier than cars, and they’re loading them up with features, like the premium audio and automatic liftgate package that adds $940 to the cost of a Toyota RAV4 SUV. As a result, more buyers are leasing, which helps lower the monthly payment. The average monthly lease payment for a new car is currently $405; the average monthly loan payment is $495, according to Experian Automotive. Buyers are also lengthening the terms of their car loans to lower their payments. The average new-vehicle loan term is now 68 months, up from 62 months in 2009. About 1 percent of loans stretch

New cars might have the latest technology, but a certified-pre-owned car might offer perks like free maintenance or a few months of OnStar or satellite radio. The current average monthly payment on a used car is $362, Experian says, up only slightly from a year ago. One downside for consumers: Falling used-car values mean they’ll get less for vehicles that they’re trading in, says Patrick Min, a senior industry analyst at the car-buying site

Alton John, left, from Kittanning, Pa., gets the keys to his new 2015 Ford F-150 Supercab 4x4 pickup truck from salesman Robert Myers as he takes delivery at Butler County Ford in Butler, Pa. U.S. car shoppers will find plentiful deals, relatively low interest rates and lots of high-tech choices in the market in 2017. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

out 85 months or more. INCENTIVES: Prices may be at record levels, but — luckily for consumers — deals are, too. Automakers were offering around $4,000 per vehicle in incentives at the end of 2016, and that could inch up even further this year, says Jesse Toprak, CEO of the car-shopping site CarHub. com. Deals are coming in the form of bonus cash — like a current $1,000 offer from Chevrolet — and low-interest financing, such as Subaru’s zero-percent financing offer on the Outback and Forester SUVs. Look for some of the highest incentives on slow-selling small and midsize cars, like the Toyota Camry and Chevrolet Sonic, as well as hybrids like the Ford CMax. Incentives will likely pick up in March and April, when more buyers tend to head to dealerships. Analysts say automakers are trying to be smarter with incentives, having been burned in the past. Deals are targeted at specific vehicles, regions and even individual dealerships. Incentives could also taper off a bit if automakers cut car production to match the lower demand.

USED CARS: A big supply of vehicles leased two or three years ago is returning to the market. Prices for used SUVs and trucks, which are in high demand, will likely stay stable this year, but

used car prices will fall, says Michelle Krebs, a senior analyst with AutoTrader. com. Krebs says buyers will have to do their homework to see if they should buy a new or a nearly-new car.

GAS PRICES: Low gas prices have fuel the U.S. SUV boom, and that’s likely to continue. Gas prices — which ended 2016 at $2.25 per gallon — are expected to average $2.38 per gallon this year and $2.41 in 2018, according to the U.S. Energy Department. INTEREST RATES: The Federal Reserve boosted its benchmark rate by a quarterpoint last month, to a stilllow range of 0.5 percent to 0.75 percent.q


Friday 13 January 2017


US troops enter Poland, 1st deployment at Russia’s doorstep

The official welcome ceremony for the US troops convoy in Zagan, Poland, Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017. First U.S. troops arrived at the Zagan base in western Poland as part of deterrence force of some 1,000 troops to be based here and reassure Poland that is worried about Russia’s activity. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

VANESSA GERA Associated Press WARSAW, Poland (AP) — American soldiers rolled into Poland on Thursday, fulfilling a dream some Poles have had since the fall of communism in 1989

to have U.S. troops on their soil as a deterrent against Russia. Some people waved and held up American flags as U.S. troops in tanks and other vehicles crossed into southwestern Poland from

Germany and headed toward the town of Zagan, where they will be based. Poland’s prime minister and defense minister will welcome them in an official ceremony Saturday. “This is the fulfilment of a

dream,” said Michal Baranowski, director of the German Marshall Fund think tank in Warsaw. “And this is not just a symbolic presence but one with a real capability.” U.S. and other Western nations have carried out exercises on NATO’s eastern flank in past years, but the new deployment — which includes some 3,500 U.S. troops — marks the first-ever continuous deployment to the region by a NATO ally. It is part of a larger commitment by President Barack Obama to protect a region that grew deeply nervous when Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and then began backing separatist rebels in Ukraine’s east. There are fears, however, that the enhanced security could eventually be undermined by the pro-Kremlin views of President-elect Donald Trump. Poland and the Baltic states also feel threatened by Russia’s recent deploy-

ment of nuclear-capable Iskander missiles in Kaliningrad, the Russian territory wedged between Poland and Lithuania. But Russia says it’s the one who is threatened. “These actions threaten our interests, our security,” President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Thursday. “Especially as it concerns a third party building up its military presence near our borders. It’s not even a European state.” Worries about the permanence of the new U.S. security commitments are rooted in a tragic national history in which Poland has often lost out in deals made by the great powers. Poles still feel betrayed by Obama’s “reset” with Russia early on in his administration, which involved abandoning plans for a major U.S. missile defense system in Poland and replacing it with plans for a less ambitious system, still not in place.q

Netanyahu says Paris peace meeting ‘rigged’ against Israel TIA GOLDENBERG Associated Press JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel’s prime minister said Thursday that an upcoming conference in Paris aimed at reviving peace talks with the Palestinians was “rigged” and that Israel was not bound by anything decided there. Dozens of countries are set to attend the conference on Jan. 15, where they may endorse an international framework for peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vehemently opposes such a move, saying it would undermine the negotiating process. “It’s a rigged conference, rigged by the Palestinians with French auspices to adopt additional anti-Israel stances,” Netanyahu said during a meeting in Jerusalem with Norway’s foreign minister. “This pushes peace backwards. It’s not going to obligate us. It’s a relic of the past.”The conference

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, center, arrives at his office in Jerusalem. Netanyahu said Thursday that an upcoming conference in Paris aimed at reviving peace talks with the Palestinians was “rigged” and that Israel was not bound by anything decided there. (Abir Sultan, Pool via AP)

comes days before U.S. President Barack Obama hands off to President-elect Donald Trump, who is expected to be much more sympathetic to Netanyahu’s government than

the outgoing administration was. French President Francois Hollande said Sunday’s conference aims at ensuring the support of the international community for the two-state solution

as a reference for future direct negotiations. “I cannot accept the status quo, letting people think that the conflict would resolve itself. It is not true. That is why France took the

initiative of a conference on the Middle East,” Hollande said in a speech to diplomats, adding that ultimately peace can only be achieved through bilateral negotiations. French diplomats said the timing of the conference — days before Trump’s inauguration — is intentional and is meant to present the new president with a collective international push for peace once he takes office. The diplomats spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media about the event. French authorities expect 72 countries to attend. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Netanyahu have been invited to come to France after the conference to be informed of its conclusions. Netanyahu has declined the invitation. Abbas is expected to visit the French capital at the end of the week on the sidelines of the conference. q


Friday 13 January 2017

Abe pledges investments, speedboats to China-friendly Manila

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, center, and President Rodrigo Duterte, left, review the troops during welcoming ceremony at the Malacanang Palace grounds Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017, in Manila, Philippines. Abe arrived Thursday for a two-day official visit that includes a visit to Duterte’s hometown of Davao city in southern Philippines. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

TERESA CEROJANO Associated Press MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday pledged $8.7 billion worth of business opportunities and private investments along with speedboats and other counterterrorism equipment to the Philippines, whose president has boosted ties with China. Following talks with President Rodrigo Duterte in Manila, Abe welcomed the Philippine leader’s efforts to improve Manila’s ties with Beijing “in light of the arbitral award,” referring to the Philippines’ victory in an arbitration ruling declaring  China’s  claims to the South  China Sea in-

valid. China has refused to recognize the July 12 arbitration decision and has warned the United States and other countries not involved in the territorial row not to meddle in the disputes, which Beijing wants to be settled through oneon-one negotiations with other rival claimant countries like the Philippines. Abe, however, said “the issue of the South China Sea is linked directly to regional peace and stability and is a concern to the entire international community.” His two-day visit to Manila aims to further solidify relations with the Philippines at a time when Duterte is cozying up to  China  and

AP: Hong Kong’s No. 2 official resigns, plans a leadership bid KELVIN CHAN Associated Press HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong’s No. 2 government official said Thursday that she was resigning to prepare for a leadership bid for the southern Chinese city’s top job. Chief Secretary Carrie Lam said she tendered her resignation to Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying and asked him to submit it to Beijing for approval. Lam, 59, is the third person to announce plans to

join the contest for the job of leading the former British colony, the scene of increasingly bitter political divisions between pro-democracy activists and Beijing loyalists. “There’s only one reason for me to resign at this juncture and that is, if my resignation is approved by the central people’s government, I intend to prepare to contest in the upcoming chief executive election,” Lam said she wrote in her letter.

Russia while taking a hostile stance toward Tokyo’s main ally, the United States. Japan is among the top trading partners of the Philippines and one of its largest aid providers. The Philippines is Abe’s first stop in a four-nation swing as he presses efforts to boost Japan’s trade and security engagements amid China’s  rise to Asian dominance. He will later travel to Australia, Indonesia and Vietnam. Accompanied by his wife and a business delegation, Abe is the first head of state to visit since Duterte took office in June. It’s an important affirmation of Duterte’s leadership at a time when he faces domestic and international criticism for a brutal crackdown on ille-

gal drugs that has claimed more than 6,000 lives. Japan will help the Philippines fight illegal drugs by helping formulate treatment programs and improve facilities, Abe said. In a bid to foster Philippine development, he said Japan “will create business opportunities through Official Development Assistance and private sector investments which, together, will be in the order of one trillion yen ($8.7 billion) over the next five years.” Abe and Duterte witnessed the signing of a number of agreements and the exchange of documents, including a Japanese grant of 600 million yen ($5 million) for boats and other counterterrorism equipment for the Philippine coast guard.


Friday 13 January 2017


In eastern Mosul, small signs of progress amid the fighting MSTYSLAV CHERNOV Associated Press MOSUL, Iraq (AP) — Small stalls and carts have sprung up outside the bombed-out buildings in eastern Mosul, selling meat and vegetables, cigarettes and cellphones to the thousands of civilians still living in neighborhoods where the Iraqi military has driven out the Islamic State group. As the grinding military operation enters its fourth month, about a third of the northern city is under government control. While more than 100,000 people have fled the fighting, many have remained despite no electricity or running water. Zaid Khaled sells frozen chicken from a stall in the main traffic circle in the Zahour neighborhood. Every morning, he takes a bus to the easternmost edge of Mosul to buy the poultry in a market. Because there’s no power, he must sell his whole supply each day or lose money. “Slowly, as people are able to go back to work, life will return to normal, step by step,” he said. On the edge of the neighborhood, hundreds of people must cross a makeshift bridge to buy food and water, or reach medical aid. Isam Fathi Younis lives just a few blocks from the front line. He wheeled his elderly mother across the bridge Thursday in search of a doctor after she began to have trouble breathing. His family waited in their home for days before fighting subsided enough to venture out on the streets, he said. On Tuesday, Lt. Gen. Talib Shaghati told The Associated Press the whole city could be recaptured from IS in another three months, or less. When the operation began in October, Iraqi leaders had predicted they would retake the city before 2017 began, but progress has been slow amid fierce counterattacks from the extremists. Although buses, taxis and private cars have begun to clog the streets, armored military vehicles wind through the traffic in a reminder that the battle is not far away. One group of soldiers carried a metal chair — a seemingly ordinary object until a closer look revealed that cuff-like restraints had been welded to its arms and legs. The soldiers said they said they recovered it from an IS prison. “They used this for torture,” said special forces Col. Ali Kenani. “The clamp was used to hold a finger like this,” he said, slipping his hand into the vice on the end of one of the arms. “Finding things like this in Mosul is normal.” Shoppers and merchants said the signs of life returning to some of the streets were precarious: Markets like this one still get hit by mortar rounds, and the entire city is without essential government services. Khaled, the young man selling chicken, said that three days ago, a shell landed a block from where he was standing and killed three people. The Iraqi military enforces a strict curfew at sundown. The uncertain security situation and the limited access to food and water in Mosul still forces thousands of people to flee each week. Hundreds of people were massed Thursday in far eastern Mosul, undergoing a strict screening process before being shuttled to nearby displacement camps. Anwar Ali Hussein initially fled to a nearby neighborhood after airstrikes and mortar rounds began hitting the streets outside her home. She tried to wait out the fighting, but the few safe districts quickly filled up.q

Airstrikes escalate despite Syria cease-fire PHILIP ISSA JAMEY KEATEN Associated Press BEIRUT (AP) — The U.N. envoy for Syria said Thursday that a cease-fire was “largely holding with some exceptions,” as opposition activists reported a mounting number of government airstrikes, including a raid in the northern Aleppo prov-

The leader of one of Syria’s largest rebel factions, the ultraconservative Ahrar alSham, said in remarks aired Thursday that the violence in the valley and daily airstrikes on rebel-held areas “are signs of a collapsing truce.” De Mistura said five villages in the Wadi Barada area have reached an “ar-

raid and others like it in the Aleppo countryside. Syrian and Russian aircraft regularly bombed the province before the cease-fire went into effect. The U.S. is believed to be behind a series of strikes in the neighboring Idlib province that activists say have killed several AlQaida-linked militants. The Britain-based Syr-

Staffan de Mistura, UN Special Envoy for Syria speaks during a news conference about the International Syria Support Group’s Humanitarian Access Task Force at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017. (Laurent Gillieron/Keystone via AP)

ince that killed at least six civilians. Speaking to reporters in Geneva, Staffan de Mistura said he was concerned that fighting northwest of Damascus that has cut off the capital’s clean water supply would further escalate and derail proposed negotiations between the government and the opposition in Astana, Kazakhstan, later this month. The talks are sponsored by Russia and Turkey, which support opposing sides of the Syrian civil war. But the status of the meeting, planned for Jan. 23, is not clear. Rebels say the government’s continued campaign for the Barada Valley, the capital’s main source of water, has cast the talks in doubt. The U.N. says the capital has suffered from a water shortage affecting 5.5 million consumers since December 22.

rangement” with the government, but two villages, including one which holds the source of water, al-Fijeh, have not. “There is a danger, a substantial danger, imminent danger, that this may develop into a further military escalation,” further imperiling the water supply, he said. He also said the cease-fire, which came into effect Dec. 30, should widen humanitarian access to besieged areas, but that “unfortunately, that is not the case.” The opposition-run Syrian Civil Defense, a search and rescue group also known as the White Helmets, said its workers pulled the bodies of three children and three adults from the rubble of an airstrike on the village of Babka in the opposition-held countryside west of the once-contested city of Aleppo. It was not clear who was behind the

ian Observatory for Human Rights reported four children among the dead. The raid followed a day of strikes on two opposition pockets outside the capital, Damascus. The strikes on the Ghouta region, where pro-government forces are waging a ground offensive against rebels, were the first since the cease-fire came into effect, according to the Observatory. Another six civilians were killed in an airstrike on the Barada Valley Wednesday. In Damascus itself, a suicide bomber killed at least seven people near a sporting club in an upscale neighborhood housing security offices, Syrian state TV reported. The target of the attack was not immediately known. It is not clear how the ongoing violence may affect the talks expected on Jan. 23 in Astana, Kazakhstan. q


Friday 13 January 2017

Brazil gang at center of prison killings gets power in jails MAURICIO SAVARESE PETER PRENGAMAN Associated Press RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazil’s most powerful criminal gang, First Command, is exploiting overcrowding and squalid conditions in the country’s penitentiaries to expand its reach across the national prison system, an incursion at the center of massacres that have left nearly 100 inmates dead in the new year. Some prisoners were beheaded or had their hearts and intestines ripped out in two recent prison massacres in northern Brazil, one launched by inmate members of the First Command and the other directed against them by a rival gang trying to stop the expansion. Legal and security experts say the government’s failure to improve conditions that make Brazil’s prisons seem more like dungeons has only strengthened the First Command, based in the southern city of Sao Paulo and known by the Portuguese acronym PCC. “The state has lost control over prisons,” said Claudio Lamachia, who has visited many penitentiaries as chairman of Brazil’s bar association. Inside the lockups, survival often depends on gang protection and financial help. A slow legal system means a large percentage of prisoners wait years for their cases are heard. Meanwhile, First Command recruits new members, orders hits on rivals and runs drugtrafficking operations both inside and outside prisons even though many of its leaders are in maximum security penitentiaries in Sao Paulo state. “Death is often the only alternative for an inmate

Heavily armed police officers walk outside the Agricultural Penitentiary of Monte Cristo, after dozens of inmates were killed, in Boa Vista, Roraima state, Brazil, Friday, Jan. 6, 2017. (Rodrigo Sales/Futura Press via AP)

who doesn’t want to cooperate with gangs like PCC,” said Lamachia. The recent string of violence began on Jan. 1-2, when 56 inmates were killed in the northern state of Amazonas. Authorities said that the Family of the North gang targeted PCC members in a clash over control of drug-trafficking routes in northern states. It’s not yet known how many died from each gang, but many of those killed were beheaded and dismembered. Then on Jan. 6, in the neighboring state of Roraima, 33 prisoners were killed, many with their hearts and intestines ripped out. Uziel Cas-

tro, Roraima state’s security secretary, said First Command members instigated the bloodshed against other prisoners for motives not entirely clear. “There was no confrontation; this was a killing spree. It was barbaric,” said Castro, adding that the Agricultural Penitentiary of Monte Cristo was built for 700 prisoners but housed 1,500. Between Jan.2-9, another 10 inmates were killed in smaller prison clashes in Amazonas and the northeastern state of Paraiba. On Monday, the federal government sent 200 soldiers to prisons in Amazonas and Roraima states. Several other states have

requested similar help. President Michel Temer, who was criticized for a slow response and calling the first massacre “a terrible accident,” has since announced plans to build five new prisons. But Temer has not provided details, and it could take years to build new facilities. “The penitentiary system has been in crisis a long time and gotten worse in the last 10 years,” Justice Minister Alexandre de Moraes said recently, noting there has been a lack of investment amid a ballooning prisoner population. Brazil had 233,000 prisoners in 2000, compared to 622,000 in 2014, according

to Ministry of Justice data. The prisons combined were built to house roughly half that current number. First Command was founded after a 1992 riot-turnedmassacre when heavily military police stormed a prison, killing at least 111. Since then, the gang’s rise has paralleled a deteriorating prison system. Police investigators say the gang controls Rio de Janeiro’s largest slum even though the city is home to the rival gang Red Command. Called “the party” by its members, First Command also has operations in Paraguay, Bolivia and Peru, according to Brazilian federal authorities. Journalists are rarely given access to prisons, but photos and video shot with inmates’ cellular phones show cells so packed there is little room to move around. Toilets and showers are filthy. There are often infestations of scorpions, poisonous centipedes and rats in the tropical heat. Recent transfers of prisoners to avoid more riots have exacerbated bad living conditions inside the lockups, making it more difficult for inmates to get medical care, said Marlon Barcellos, legal coordinator for prisoner representation in Rio de Janeiro state. He gave the example of a prisoner who had trouble changing his colostomy bag after a recent transfer.q

El Salvador records rare day without a single homicide SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador (AP) — El Salvador, one of the world’s deadliest countries, has recorded a rare day without a single homicide. National Civil Police commissioner Howard Cotto said at a news conference Thursday that no murders

were reported the previous day in the gang-plagued Central American nation. The last time the country went a full day without any killings was Jan. 22, 2015, according to records kept by The Associated Press. It also happened once in 2013 and on two days the

year before that. The nation of about 6 million people averaged 14.4 murders a day last year. Killings peaked at 104 per 100,000 residents in 2015, the highest rate for any nation not in open war that year. Homicides fell by about 20

percent in 2016, but it was still one of the most violent countries with 81.2 murders per 100,000 residents. Warring gangs known as “maras” are involved in drug trafficking, organized crime and extortion rackets in the country.q


Friday 13 January 2017


Mexico president tries again to calm anger over gas hike C. SHERMAN Associated Press MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico’s president tried again on Thursday to calm anger over the big jump in gasoline prices this month amid a historically weak currency and continued threats by Donald Trump to steer manufacturers back to the United States. In his latest speech, the deeply unpopular President Enrique Pena Nieto

outlined measures that he said would help families mitigate the impact of the price hike. Yet steps like notifying more than 3 million Mexicans older than 65 that they have money in government retirement accounts seemed unlikely to dissipate the outrage that led to widespread looting in parts of the country and marches calling for his resignation. Earlier this week, Pena Nie-

to promised to police price increases for staple goods and invest in modernizing public transportation. But it was difficult to see how any of that could make up for the overnight 20 percent increase in the price of gasoline when the government ended price controls. After days of seeking ways to strike a calming chord, Pena Nieto tried taking a more relaxed posture Thursday, leaning casually on

the podium, cracking jokes — and telling Mexicans to suck it up. “It is a difficult step that we have to adapt to,” he said. He spoke a day after the peso fell below 22 to the dollar as the U.S. presidentelect again promised to make Mexico pay for a new border wall. The interbank rate strengthened some Thursday to close at 21.70 to the dollar, but retail customers were still paying

22 pesos per dollar at exchange houses. Jose Antonio Gonzalez Anaya, head of the stateowned oil company Pemex, said Thursday that the previous system of having the government set the price for gasoline across Mexico made it unattractive to bring more gas to various parts of the country and to invest in infrastructure such as fuel pipelines to move fuel. q

Haitians pause to remember dead on 7th anniversary of quake DAVID McFADDEN Associated Press PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Many Haitians lit candles and offered prayers Thursday to remember relatives and neighbors who died in a catastrophic earthquake that struck near the Caribbean nation’s capital seven years ago. Hairdresser Nerlande Voltaire, Bible in hand, attended a church service in Port-au-Prince to honor her mother, who was crushed by a building reduced to rubble. She said her mother, Merisier, died trying to get a stranger’s child away from a collapsing wall when the magnitude 7.0 quake hit on Jan. 12, 2010, during her walk home from work. “This day will always be very difficult for me,” said Voltaire, who dressed entirely in white, a color associated with mourning in Haiti. Haiti’s government has said more than 300,000 people died in the disaster, but the exact toll is unknown as there was no systematic effort to count bodies in the chaotic days following the

Haiti’s Interim President Jocelerme Privert, center, arrives with his wife Ginette Michaud, right, for a memorial service marking the seventh anniversary of the 2010 earthquake, north of Port-auPrince, Haiti. Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017. The earthquake caused major damage in Port-au-Prince, Jacmel and other settlements in the region killing tens of thousands. (AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery)

quake. Some 1.5 million people were displaced. At a mass burial site north of the capital that is an official memorial for those killed, interim President Jocelerme Privert presided over a brief wreath-laying

commemoration. He later held another ceremony on the grounds of the National Palace, one of numerous buildings that damaged during the quake’s violent jolts. His government an-

nounced that Jan. 12 will be a national day of “reflection and awareness on the vulnerability of Haiti” when it comes to disasters and improving risks. But some Haitians dismissed the declaration, arguing

the government and its international partners need to reflect less and achieve more after a piecemeal reconstruction effort. “These people love to talk but they don’t take responsibility,” said law school student Puriste Chevalier at a downtown Catholic church that was so packed that congregants spilled into the street. European Union Ambassador Vincent Degert commended Haitian authorities for encouraging reflection on risks in the disasterprone country, saying “the question is unfortunately not whether another earthquake will hit Haiti — but when.” For most Haitians, however, it was a day to briefly pause and mark the terrible events of seven years ago that still rends hearts. “I still have nightmares about that day, about seeing all the bodies and all the destruction,” said Yolande Robert, who sells food items at a roadside market along a bustling corner. “We can never forget it.”q

Venezuela arrests opposition lawmaker and critical general CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuelan officials jailed a second opposition figure Thursday as tensions mounted in the economically struggling South American country. Officials re-arrested former Gen. Raul Baduel, saying he had been conspiring to overthrow the government. Baduel was once a high-ranking member of the administration of late

President Hugo Chavez, but later became critical of the socialist party. Baduel was freed from prison in 2015 after serving six years on corruption charges. On Wednesday, officials arrested substitute lawmaker Gilber Caro from a hardline opposition party on weapons charges. The arrests come as a fledgling “anti-coup” unit inside the government tar-

gets what it calls renewed opposition attempts to destabilize the country. Human rights groups said the arrests go against the government’s recent freeing of several jailed activists as part of Vatican-sponsored mediation effort. The opposition is asking the government to free dozens of prisoners widely considered political prisoners as part of the dialogue pro-

cess. The government said Baduel had violated the terms of his parole. Baduel and members of the opposition have always maintained that initial arrest for corruption was a ploy to punish him for speaking out against the government. His son Adolfo Baduel said on Twitter Thursday that his father had not violated any conditions of his parole.

Caro was arrested at a highway toll station after police said they found a gun and explosives in his car. His Popular Will party said the weapons were planted to frame him. On Thursday, the opposition coalition rejected a ruling by the Supreme Court overturning congress’ declaration that President Nicolas Maduro had abandoned his post.q


Friday 13 January 2017

Emerald Ambassadors Honored at the Marriott Ocean Club EAGLE BEACH - Recently the Aruba Tourism Authority had the great pleasure of honoring two very special guests whom are loyal and friendly visitors of Aruba, as Emerald Ambassadors at the Marriott Ocean Club. The symbolic honorary title is presented in the name of the Minister of Tourism as a token of appreciation to guests who visit Aruba for 35-or-more consecutive years. The honorees were Mr. Mark and Mrs. Deborah Friess, who have been visiting Aruba for more than 36 consecutive years! They shared that their very first visit was in 1960, and they stayed at the Caribbean Hotel & Casino! Mark and Deborah are loyal members of the Marriott Ocean Club and they love Aruba very much because of the friendly people, the climate, the beaches, the restaurants, and for just about everything else! They tell us Aruba feels like a second home, the people are like a family to them and the Marriott Ocean Club is their vacation ‘home-away-from-

home.’ The Emerald Ambassador certificate and commemorative Emerald Ambassador coin were presented

by Mr. Ricardo Croes representing the Aruba Tourism Authority together with associates from the Marriott Ocean Club!q


Friday 13 January 2017

Loyal and Friendly Visitors Honored at Casa del Mar Resort

EAGLE BEACH - Recently, the Aruba Tourism Authority had the great pleasure of honoring a group of loyal and friendly visitors of Aruba at Casa del Mar, as Distinguished Visitors and

Goodwill Ambassadors. The symbolic honorary titles are presented in the name of the Minister of Tourism as a token of appreciation to guests who visit Aruba for 10-to-19 and 20-to-34 con-

secutive years. The honorees for Distinguished Visitors were Mr. John and Marie Sellers of Cinnaminson, New Jersey, and the honorees for Goodwill Ambassadors

were Mr. Walter and Mrs. Terry Pecevich of Quincy, Massachusetts. The honorees are members of Casa del Mar and they love Aruba very much because of the friendly people, the climate, beaches, restaurants and casinos. They say Aruba feels like a

second home. The people are like family to them and Casa del Mar is truly like paradise. The Certificate was presented by Ms. Darline S. de Cuba representing Aruba Tourism Authority in presence of Mr. Bob Curtis, General Manager of Casa del Mar.


Friday 13 January 2017

Loyal Visitors Honored by ATA at La Quinta Beach Resort EAGLE BEACH - Recently, the Aruba Tourism Authority had the great pleasure of honoring a pair of loyal and friendly visitors of Aruba at La Quinta Beach Resort, as Distinguished Visitors. The symbolic honorary title is presented in the name of the Minister of Tourism as a token of appreciation to guests who visit Aruba for 10-to-19 consecutive years. The honorees for Distinguished Visitor were Mr. James and Mrs. Shawna Russo Baffone. James and Shawna are regular guests of La Quinta Beach Resort and they love Aruba very much because of the friendly people, the climate, beaches, restaurants and casinos. They say Aruba feels like a second home. The people are like family to them and La Quinta Beach Resort is truly like paradise. The certificate was presented by Mr. Ricardo Croes representing Aruba Tourism Authority together with Ika from La Quinta Beach Resort.


Friday 13 January 2017

Bring on the Bling!

Paseo Herencia Welcomes Signature Carmen Steffens Designer Shop

PALM BEACH - Paseo Herencia management is very proud to welcome Aruba’s first Carmen Steffens store as of December 23. This popular, exclusive Brazilian designer brand is known for its flippant and fun styles,

which are quality handcrafted of fine materials such as pure silk. The creative director at Carmen Steffens is Monalisa Spaniol, the visionary behind the design house initiatives and has lead the entire product

design team since 1994. The charming new shop now features their Spring/ Summer collection for

2017, one of 11 annual collection issuances by the energetic company. Ideal resort wear, the current collection features fabulous sandals and shoes with complimentary handbags, casual wear, and stunning dresses for both breezy, romantic dinners on the beach or formal events. The shop also has a complete inventory of attractive and distinctly tropical jewelry, wallets, handbags, and belts; even bejeweled cell phone cases that will get you noticed and silk throw pillows to enhance your home decor. Carmen Steffens owns one of the largest leather tan-

neries in Brazil. If you love your leather handbags and comfortable, quality shoes, you will find them here. Judging by the extensive and playful collection of footwear, one need not sacrifice style and glitz for comfort! The newest shop is making a splash at Paseo Herencia Shopping Mall in Palm Beach, and customers agree it was a great start to the New Year. Come meet their very amiable and accommodating staff Monday through Friday from 10am to 10pm and Sundays from 5 to 10pm. Be prepared to be dazzled!q


Friday 13 January 2017

MEMPHIS BLUES United States’ Lindsey Vonn smiles as she holds her dog Lucy during a news conference in Altenmarkt-Zauchensee, Austria, Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017. Associated Press

Lindsey Vonn to take ‘lot of risk’ with broken arm ERIC WILLEMSEN Associated Press ALTENMARKT-ZAUCHENSEE, Austria (AP) — Lindsey Vonn is taking “a lot of risk of doing more damage” to her right arm when she returns to World Cup skiing this weekend, nine weeks after breaking her right upper arm. Surgery has made the arm more vulnerable to another fracture if she has to break a fall, the four-time overall champion said on Thursday. “For the rest of my career there will definitely be a lot of risk,” Vonn said. “The plate is stable but obviously above the plate my arm is susceptible to another fracture. As I have already a plate in there, it becomes a very complicated surgery if I were to do that.” Vonn would have to fly back immediately to the clinic in Vail, Colorado, where she underwent surgery in November, in case it happens. Continued on Page 18

Westbrook ties last year’s mark with 18th triple-double Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook passes between Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol (33) and guard Vince Carter (15) during the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017. Westbrook posted his 18th triple-double of the season, and the Thunder won 103-95. Associated Press Page 19


Friday 13 January 2017

Best day ever: Destanee hits with Serena, her inspiration JOHN PYE AP Sports Writer MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Last week, Destanee Aiava became the first player born this millennium to win a main draw match at a WTA event. Next week, the 16-year-old Australian will be the first player born in the 2000s to play in the main draw at a Grand Slam tournament, thanks to a wild-card entry to the Australian Open. This week, the highlight has been hitting with Serena Williams, the 22-time Grand Slam champion and the inspiration for Aiava’s career. Aiava was 5 when she watched one of the Williams’ matches on TV, and told her parents that tennis was going to be her career. Her parents took her seriously, and her mother became her learn-as-shegoes coach. On Thursday, the 35-yearold Williams did a promotional appearance for her racket sponsor on Margaret Court Arena, including a hit up against the Melbourne schoolgirl. Asked what it was like to

Williams is seeded No. 2 at Melbourne Park, where she lost the final last year to Angelique Kerber. She lost the French Open final to Garbine Muguruza before winning Wimbledon to equal Steffi Graf’s Open Era record of 22 major titles.

Aiava, who was born on May 10, 2000, and was No. 386 at the start of the season, has already met the long-retired Graf, her prize for winning the Longines Future Tennis Aces tournament in Paris in 2012. After her first-round win in Brisbane last week, she lost to two-time Grand Slam winner Svetlana Kuznetsova. So she’s getting more comfortable in elite tennis company. The arena where she hit with Williams carries the name of the woman who holds the record for most Grand Slam singles titles — Margaret Court won 24 from 1960 to 1973 in a career that spanned the amateur and Open eras. Williams is aiming for 23 when the Australian Open starts Monday and, with her competitive spirit, there’s little doubt there’s another target for her in the future. For now, though, she’s not prepared to mention those milestones. “I’m not talking about that,” Williams said Thursday, despite some extra urging. “I said I’m not talking about that, move on.”q

ruary. Late Wednesday, Vonn revealed she struggled with nerve damage so severe she couldn’t even move her fingers soon after the surgery in November. She posted a 5 1/2-minute video on her Facebook page which showed glimpses of her nine-week rehab. The video had more than one million views the following day. Vonn said on Thursday she was “very scared” whether she would be able to use her hand in a normal way again. Two months later, she was still hampered in daily life by its reduced mobility, but was able to hold her ski pole as “the grip is strong.” In races, she was not planning to wear special protection except for double paddings under her race suit. “It’s certainly not going to be aerodynamic but it will

be protective somewhat,” Vonn said. A record 76-time winner, Vonn’s return was postponed for a day after downhill training was canceled on Thursday because of bad weather. The final training was scheduled for Friday, though more snowfall was forecast. “I am going crazy if we are not able to race,” said Vonn, who was accompanied by one of her dogs, spaniel Lucy, during a news conference. As it was broadcast live on Austrian TV, she answered most questions in German. Asked about her goals, Vonn said she believed she could still win the downhill and super-G title despite missing half of the season. “I really look at it with the perspective of last year,” she said. “I won the downhill title and I didn’t finish in two races and I missed one.q

United States’ Serena Williams, left, talks with Australian player Destanee Aiava during a promotional event on Margaret Court Arena ahead of the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017. Aiava will be the first player born this century to play in the main draw match at a tennis major. Associated Press

hit with the six-time Australian Open winner, Aiava paused for a while before Williams chimed in with an answer for her: “Great.” Aiava laughed, admitting she was more nervous meeting Williams than she had been playing in an ex-

hibition tournament earlier in the day. “It’s actually one of the best days of my life,” she said. “I’ve had a lot of fun today, getting to hit with Serena. Hopefully there’ll be more opportunities like this in future.”

Vonn Continued from Page 17

United States’ Lindsey Vonn holds her dog Lucy during a news conference in Altenmarkt-Zauchensee, Austria, Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017. Associated Press

“They have to be either taking out the plate and do another plate, or two plates on top of each other,” the American said. “That is a very complicated surgery.” Vonn suffered the injury in a training crash on Copper Mountain, Colorado, while recovering from a left knee injury that ended her last season prematurely in Feb-


Friday 13 January 2017

NBA Capsules

Westbrook makes history with his 18th triple-double OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Russell Westbrook posted his 18th triple-double of the season, and the Oklahoma City Thunder defeated the Memphis Grizzlies 103-95 on Wednesday night. Westbrook finished with 24 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists for the 55th tripledouble of his career. He already has matched his triple-double total from last season less than halfway through this one, and last season’s total was the most for an NBA player since Magic Johnson had 18 during the 1981-82 season. Enes Kanter scored 19 points and Victor Oladipo added 16 for the Thunder, who won their third straight and avenged their worst loss of the season. Oklahoma City lost 11480 in Memphis on Dec. 29, a game Westbrook was ejected from. Mike Conley scored 22 points for the Grizzlies. TIMBERWOLVES 119, ROCKETS 105 MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Andrew Wiggins scored 28 points, Karl-Anthony Towns had 23 points and 18 rebounds, and Shabazz

Muhammad scored 20 to help Minnesota beat Houston. James Harden had 33 points and 12 assists for the Rockets, who had their nine-game winning streak snapped. Ricky Rubio tied his own franchise record with 17 assists to go with 10 points for the Timberwolves, who used a 17-4 run to build an 89-77 lead after three quarters. CELTICS 117, WIZARDS 108 BOSTON (AP) — Isaiah Thomas scored 20 of his 38 points in the fourth quarter and Boston pulled away late to beat Washington. Al Horford added 16 points and nine rebounds for the Celtics, who won for the fifth time in six games and ended Washington’s threegame winning streak. Jae Crowder scored 20 and Terry Rozier had 11. Bradley Beal led the Wizards with 35 points. Otto Porter Jr. scored 20 and Markieff Morris finished with 14. Boston held John Wall to a season-low nine points. The star guard did have 10 assists for the Wizards, who fell to 19-19 a day after

moving above .500 for the first time since November 2015. 76ERS 98, KNICKS 97 PHILADELPHIA (AP) — T.J. McConnell hit a baseline jumper at the buzzer to give Philadelphia a victory over New York. Joel Embiid had 21 points and 14 rebounds, and Ersan Ilyasova added 16 points to help the 76ers rally from a 17-point deficit. Derrick Rose returned from a one-game hiatus and scored 25 points for the Knicks. Carmelo Anthony had 28. Rose showed why New York needs him on the court, two days after an unexcused absence. He missed Monday night’s loss to New Orleans when he traveled home to Chicago without informing the team first. TRAIL BLAZERS 102, CAVALIERS 86 PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — CJ McCollum had 27 points and Portland shook off fatigue caused by weather-related travel delays to beat defending NBA champion Cleveland. Allen Crabbe added 24 points off the bench for the Trail Blazers, who have won four straight home games against the Cavaliers. Portland led by as many as 24. LeBron James had 20

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook celebrates after a dunk during the fourth quarter of the team’s NBA basketball game against the Memphis Grizzlies in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017. Oklahoma City won 103-95. Associated Press

points and 11 rebounds for Cleveland (28-10). McCollum scored 21 points in the second half. He has had seven straight games with 25 or more. A snowstorm that dumped as much as 14 inches on parts of Portland caused travel problems for both teams late Tuesday. CLIPPERS 105, MAGIC 96 LOS ANGELES (AP) — J.J. Redick had 22 points and Los Angeles hit five 3-pointers in the fourth quarter to hold off Orlando, improving to 5-0 in the new

year. Marreese Speights scored 10 of his 13 in the fourth, including three 3-pointers, on a night when the Clippers committed 21 turnovers. DeAndre Jordan grabbed 20 rebounds (to go with 10 points) for his NBA-leading sixth game with 20 or more. Aaron Gordon had 28 points, 18 in the first half, to lead Orlando, which has lost four in a row and six of seven. Nikola Vucevic had 16 points and 12 rebounds.q


Friday 13 January 2017

Fresh off a victory, Justin Thomas joins the 59 club DOUG FERGUSON AP Golf Writer HONOLULU (AP) — Fresh of his victory on Maui, Justin Thomas became the seventh player to join the “59 Club” on the PGA Tour when he made a 15-foot eagle putt on his last hole Thursday at the Sony Open for an 11-under 59. Thomas thought his hopes at a 59 were over when his drive on the par-5 ninth hole at Waialae Country Club was a foot from clearing a fairway bunker on the left and rolled back into the sand. He figured he couldn’t reach the green until realizing Daniel Berger hit 4-iron from the bunker onto the green. Thomas figured “this wasn’t a time to lay up.” He hit 5-iron clean and pure, and it settled 15 feet below the cup. Wasting little time over the putt, he poured it in for 59 and lightly pumped his fist. The excitement came from Berger and Jordan Spieth, and only when Thomas looked at their reaction did it begin to sink in. “I got more excited from seeing them get excited,” he said. Jim Furyk was the last player with a sub-60 round when he closed with a record 58 at the Travelers Championship last summer. Furyk also had a 59 in 2013 at the BMW Championship, joining the exclusive group that includes Al Geiberger (1977 Memphis Classic), Chip Beck (1991 Las Vegas Invitational), David Duval (1999 Bob Hope Classic),

Justin Thomas hits his ball out of a green side bunker on the 10th green during the first round of the Sony Open golf tournament, Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017, in Honolulu. Associated Press

Paul Goydos (2010 John Deere Classic) and Stuart Appleby (2010 Greenbrier Classic). This was special because he made it look so easy. Thomas, a 23-year-old with enormous power for his 145-pound frame, never hit more than a 7-iron into the par 4s at Waialae on a perfect day for scoring — very little breeze, fast fairways and soft greens. That 7-iron was chipped under the trees and into a bunker on No. 8 when he was trying to save par. His only bogey came on his second hole,

the par-3 11th, when his tee shot went into a bunker and he missed an 18-foot par putt. Duval was the only other player to shoot 59 with an eagle on the last hole. Furyk at Conway Farms is the only other player to shoot 59 with a bogey. Spieth, best friends with Thomas since they were 13, was more nervous than Thomas and far more demonstrative. Thomas had a 30-foot birdie putt on No. 7 that looked good even when it was inches from the cup until burning the edge.

Spieth clutched the back of his neck and was still asking how the putt didn’t fall when he walked onto the next tee. He was talking to himself, of course. He gave Thomas his space. “It’s like sitting on the bench with a teammate throwing a perfect game,” Spieth said. “It was awesome. What an awesome last five rounds he’s had.” Just four days ago, Thomas closed birdie-birdie for a 69 to win the SBS Tournament of Champions at Kapalua. He started his round Thursday at Waialae by pitching in from 35 yards for an eagle on the short 10th hole. And he was off. “All my birdies were easy,” Thomas said. He was smashing drives when he could, especially on the par-5 18th hole when he found an extra long tee and hammered a high hook that left him only an 8-iron into the green. He narrowly holed that for eagle, settling for a 29. Then, he went birdie-birdie to start the front nine, and when he hit 7-iron to 5 feet for birdie on the par-3 fourth hole, the race was on to hit golf’s magic number. “He had full control of his golf swing,” Spieth said. Spieth and Berger were along for the ride. They all graduated high school in 2011 and grew up in junior golf. They were together a few weekends ago at a resort in Maui ahead of the Tournament of Champions. And they put on quite a show, with Spieth and Berger each shooting 65. On

only three holes — No. 15, 5 and 8 — did someone in the group not make birdie or better. Their best-ball score was 17 under. The best part for Berger and Spieth was standing to the side of the 18th green to watch Thomas get his share of history, and delivering. Berger raised his arms in the air. Spieth gave it a left-handed fist pump. “The coolest part for me was how excited they were for me on 18,” Thomas said. “To do that with two of your best friends out here and two of your friends that you played with for so long ... those are people that I’m going to be playing with and hanging out with for the next 20, 25 years out here. I’ll have that on them for now but that was a lot of fun.” Goydos was the only other player to shoot 59 in the first round. He was runner-up that year to Steve Stricker. Maybe that’s what allowed Thomas to keep his emotions in check. He said he thought about the 59 as he walked up to his final green. “I’m like, ‘If I make it, what am I going to do?’ It’s not like winning a tournament,” Thomas said. “You have three days left to try to play well.” Even so, he was keenly aware of the feat. Thomas keeps a golf ball from all his victories dating to his days in junior golf. There will be special place for this one. His parents, Mike and Jani, walked the entire round with him. Mike Thomas already had the ball in his pocket.q

LPGA, Champions players set for Diamond Resorts Invitational ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Brooke Henderson did a question-and-answer session with actor Jack Wagner and former pitcher Mark Mulder. On Friday, the Canadian star will tee off alongside Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson and former hockey star Mike Modano. Henderson and fellow LPGA Tour players Lexi Thompson, Brittany Lang and Brittany Lincicome are joining PGA Tour Champi-

ons players and celebrities in the Diamond Resorts Invitational. “It’s really exciting to meet actors like Jack and get to meet awesome athletes,” Henderson said. “It’s kind of eye-opening for me to see the different talent and how they can go from their careers and go to golf, which is secondary to them, but they’re really, really good. I’m excited for the week.” The women will play from the same tees as the senior

professionals in the modified Stableford event at Tranquilo at Four Seasons Resort Orlando. The LPGA Tour and PGA Tour Champions players are competing for a $750,000 purse, and the celebrities are playing for $500,000. John Daly will open with signers Jake Owen and Colt Ford. “To be able to play with Colt Ford and Jake Owen tomorrow is awesome,” Daly said. “They are good

buddies, and we’re going to have a nice time. That’s kind of what it’s all about.” Colin Montgomerie, Kenny Perry and Mark Calcavecchia are among the 27 PGA Tour Champions players in the field. The celebrity field includes Larry Fitzgerald, Patrick Peterson, Justin Verlander, John Lester, John Lackey, Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux, John Smoltz, Denny Hamlin, Michael Waltrip and Larry the Cable Guy.

“Whenever you have the opportunity to give back and show others that you care about them and playing golf  for a great cause, you can’t beat it,” said Peterson, who will open with Arizona Cardinals teammate Fitzgerald alongside Perry. “I’m happy that I got the invite. Wish I was playing (football) this weekend, but it’s a great getaway to kind of relax and let the football life go for a couple weeks.”q


Friday 13 January 2017

Ovechkin scores twice, passes 1,000 points as Caps beat Pens WASHINGTON (AP) — Alex Ovechkin scored twice to reach and exceed the 1,000-point plateau, leading the Washington Capitals to a 5-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday night. Becoming the 84th player in NHL history to hit the milestone, Ovechkin put the team on his back as Washington won its seventh consecutive game and snapped Pittsburgh’s winning streak at five. Justin Williams, Nicklas Backstrom and Lars Eller also scored, and Braden Holtby made 30 saves. Evgeni Malkin, who was picked second behind Ovechkin in 2004, and Patric Hornqvist scored for Pittsburgh. PANTHERS 2, ISLANDERS 1 NEW YORK (AP) — Jason Demers scored the tiebreaking goal early in the second period, Roberto Luongo stopped 29 shots and the Florida Panthers held on against the New York Islanders.

Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (8), of Russia, celebrates his goal during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Pittsburgh Penguins, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017, in Washington. Ovechkin didn’t wait long to hit another milestone in his illustrious career, becoming the 84th player in NHL history to record 1,000 points. Associated Press

Predators claim forward Derek Grant off waivers from Sabres NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Nashville Predators have claimed forward Derek Grant off waivers from Buffalo. The Predators announced the move Wednesday. Grant, 26, has three assists in 35 games for Buffalo this season, and he has six assists in 75 career NHL

games with Ottawa, Calgary and Buffalo. But the 6-foot-3 Grant played only 4:07 in a 4-3 win over Winnipeg on Saturday and hasn’t scored a point since an assist Dec. 5 in a 3-2 overtime loss at Washington. The native of Abbotsford, British Columbia, was an

AHL All-Star in 2015-16 with Stockton when he lead the Heat with 27 goals and 18 assists in 36 games. He was drafted No. 119 overall in the fourth round of the 2008 by Ottawa before playing two seasons at Michigan State between 2009 and 2011.q

Keith Yandle also scored for Florida, which won for the fourth time in six games. Nick Leddy had the Islanders’ goal and Thomas Greiss finished with 22 saves. New York, in the midst of a stretch of seven of eight on the road, lost for the fourth time in five games (1-2-2). The Islanders have managed just one goal in each of their last three games. The Panthers made their first visit to Brooklyn since losing to the Islanders in the second overtime of the series-clinching Game 6 of the first round of the play-

offs last April 24. CANADIENS 7, JETS 4 WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) — Phillip Danault and Artturi Lehkonen each scored twice and the Montreal Canadiens dominated the Winnipeg Jets. Tomas Plekanec and Sven Andrighetto, with his first of the season, also had goals for the Canadiens. Shea Weber had a pair of assists, and Al Montoya, playing against his former team, made 22 saves. Connor Hellebuyck allowed three goals on seven shots in his sixth straight start before being replaced by Michael Hutchinson late in the first period. Hutchinson stopped 19 of the 23 shots he faced. Mark Scheifele scored twice, Mathieu Perreault had a goal and assist and Bryan Little had his seventh of the season for Winnipeg. FLAMES 3, SHARKS 2 CALGARY, Alberta (AP) — Dougie Hamilton scored at 17:41 of the third period to lead the Calgary Flames over the San Jose Sharks. Hamilton and rookie Matthew Tkachuk each finished with a goal and an assist for the Flames, and Michael Frolik also scored. Mikael Backlund added a pair of assists. Making his third straight start for the Flames, Chad Johnson stopped 25 shots to pick up his 15th win of the season. Brent Burns had a goal and an assist for the Sharks, while Logan Couture also scored. Making just his sixth start of the season, San Jose’s Aaron Dell made 25 saves in the loss.q


Friday 13 January 2017


Column: Mayweather in search of attention, not a fight TIM DAHLBERG AP Sports Columnist Floyd Mayweather Jr. wants attention more than he wants a fight. And, really, let’s be truthful here. It wouldn’t be much of a fight if Mayweather and Conor McGregor met in a boxing ring. Put them in a UFC cage and it might be different. Mayweather has never had to fight while rolling around on the canvas and his shoulder roll defense wouldn’t be terribly effective against an experienced MMA fighter going after an arm bar submission. But that wasn’t on Mayweather’s radar when he went on ESPN’s “First Take” on Wednesday and said he was open to coming out of retirement if McGregor wanted a boxing match and was willing to let Mayweather both promote it and write the terms of the deal. “Bring him over to the boxing world, and I’ll show him what it’s like,” Mayweather said. Don’t worry about trying to find $99.95 for the pay-perview just yet. The chances of Mayweather and McGregor actually meeting in a boxing ring are about as good as Mayweather fighting Ronda Rousey, a laughable match that some in the MMA community were taking seriously not so long ago. A bit of a shame, though not because a match between the two men would be worth anyone investing their time and money into. The trash talking and

In this Oct. 30, 2015, file photo, boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. talks to a fan while sitting court side during the first half of an NBA basketball game between the Orlando Magic and the Oklahoma City Thunder in Orlando, Fla. Associated Press

showmanship would be championship caliber, as befits two fighters who both know something about selling tickets. McGregor showed as much when he tweeted a drawing of him standing over a knocked out Mayweather, with a line beneath it referencing Mayweather’s domestic abuse issues from a few years back. No, Mayweather and McGregor is a match destined never to happen, no matter how much money could conceivably be at stake. For that, both boxing and MMA fans should be grateful, because as good

as McGregor is at what he does, he wouldn’t stand a chance against a star fighter who was throwing punches before he learned how to walk. “Let him step into a boxing ring with Floyd Mayweather because everyone knows what the outcome would be,” longtime Mayweather confidante Leonard Ellerbe said last month. “He would get his ass beat from pillar to post.” Surely, McGregor understands that, even if he fancies his ability to hit people in the head. The UFC’s biggest star applied for a boxing license in California last

month, but there’s no indication he’s serious about switching fighting disciplines. There’s also no indication that either UFC chieftain Dana White or the Hollywood types who recently paid $4 billion for the company would allow it to happen. With Rousey exposed by losses in her last two fights, McGregor is the UFC’s biggest attraction by far and they’re not going to risk his marketability by getting him beaten up in a boxing match. Besides, what Mayweather is suggesting isn’t for negotiations for the two to fight.

It’s a take it or leave it offer, with his guarantee starting at around $100 million against $15 million for McGregor. “They know what my number is,” Mayweather said. “My number is a guaranteed $100 million. That was my number.” Mayweather was making the rounds trying to promote a fight card this weekend in New York when he made the comments about McGregor. He succeeded in making a splash and getting people talking about him again, so he did his job. It helps that he has an easy crowd to play to. Boxing fans tend to be gullible when it comes to fanciful matchups, and UFC fans tend to even more gullible when it comes to their sport. They believe any match can be made, even one between a retired 39-year-old boxer and a UFC fighter who has never faced anyone with professional boxing skills. Still, give Mayweather credit for putting himself in the conversation again, more than a year after his retirement. And there was some real news to it, with Mayweather saying he had no interest in returning to face Manny Pacquiao once again. Now Mayweather can turn his attention to the other fight everyone is talking about. He claims to be promoting a celebrity boxing match between rapper Soulja Boy and singer Chris Brown. Finally, a fight worth paying for.q

MLS will play again during World Cup qualifying NEW YORK (AP) — Major League Soccer  will play again during World Cup qualifying but with a reduced schedule. Three games each are scheduled during the June and September international fixture periods and two in October, the league said Thursday. National

teams have the right to players during those dates, meaning clubs may be without stars. The U.S. hosts Trinidad and Tobago on June 8 and plays at Mexico three days later. On June 10, Atlanta is at Chicago, Montreal is at Kansas City and Dallas is at Portland.

Qualifying in the North and Central American and Caribbean region resumes when the U.S. hosts Costa Rica on Sept. 1 and plays at Honduras four days later. On Sept. 2, the New York Red Bulls are at Dallas and Chicago is at Montreal. Kansas City is at New York City on Sept. 6.

The hexagonal concludes with the U.S. at home against Panama on Oct. 6 and at Trinidad four days later. The MLS schedule has Kansas City at expansion Minnesota and Vancouver at the Red Bulls on Oct. 7. MLS will break between July 6 and 19 for the group stage of the CONCACAF

Gold Cup. Atlanta, the league’s other expansion team, hosts Orlando on July 30 in the first sporting event at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Wanting to avoid heat, the league reduced matches on summer early afternoons from 15 to nine.q


Friday 13 January 2017

DirecTV Now: A trial is free, but it’s a hard sell for some TALI ARBEL AP Technology Writer NEW YORK (AP) — AT&T says the market for its new internet cable service , DirecTV Now, could be as large as 20 million households. To put it to the test, I farmed out part of this review to several friends and relatives. It’s TV, it’s fun, it’s a free trial with no hassle. Why wouldn’t people jump at the chance to try something new? As it turned out, almost nobody did. This could have been my fault. December is a busy month. Maybe I wasn’t a persuasive enough saleswoman or didn’t nag people artfully enough. And maybe my picks, while a diverse bunch, just aren’t “early adopters” — those who jump to try out new technology. But their hesitation might also foreshadow some challenges for AT&T. Most of my friends and family are happy enough with their current TV options that they felt no need to try something different, even when it was free. (DirecTV Now costs $35 and up after a one-week free trial.) OBSTACLES FOR STREAMING CABLE The appeal of services like DirecTV is simple: You can watch scores of live TV channels online for less than you’d pay for a typical cable subscription. These services are aimed at the legion of “cord cutters” who are abandoning expensive, inflexible cable packages for other options. My testers, not all of whom had cut the cord, were pretty happy with the streaming services they already have, like Netflix and Amazon. Several said they had access to plenty of TV.

In this Monday, May 19, 2014, file photo, traders gather at the post that handles AT&T on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. AT&T says the market for its new internet cable service, DirecTV Now, could be as large as 20 million households. Associated Press

Others lacked the extra gadgets needed to watch DirecTV Now on a TV set, though they could use phones or tablets. One friend who tried the service protested the commercials and frequent bugs. Only one said he might become a customer in the future. My testers didn’t even mention the viewing restrictions that bedevil live internet TV. For example, NFL games are blacked out on mobile, the Golden Globes award show wasn’t available, and a lot of people can’t get the major broadcasters to begin with because of rights issues like these. Such issues might help explain why customers remain scarce, nearly two years after DirecTV Now rivals Sling TV and PlayStation Vue launched. Neither releases customer numbers, but Sling, thought to be the more popular service, is estimated to have fewer than a million subscribers. Here are some of our re-

viewers’ stories. TOO MUCH TV — My sister: Dana Arbel, 27, yoga teacher and volunteer coordinator for an education nonprofit. Lives with my parents and her dog in Phoenix. She relies on Netflix and Amazon and found it hard to break her existing habits. “(I) don’t watch live TV,” she said via WhatsApp. “Go for movies or old shows. Mostly.” — My college friend: Pooja Chitneni, 32, doctor. Lives with roommates in Boston, with cable and access to Netflix, the commerciallight version of Hulu and HBO Go. Although she was excited to try DirecTV Now, she kept forgetting to start it up with so much else to watch. “There’s no void,” she said. — My college friend: Celina Montoya, 33, nonprofit consultant. Lives with her husband and two children in San Antonio. She’s been cable-free since 2006, but uses Hulu, Amazon and Netflix, has a TV antenna

for local channels and visits friends or relatives to watch basketball games. She forgot all about DirecTV Now. It “didn’t have any sense of urgency for me,” she texted me. “(I) don’t feel like I’m missing out on any programming.” THE TECH’S NOT RIGHT — My mother: Ana Arbel, 60, program manager for a nonprofit. Lives with my father and my sister in Phoenix. My parents pay for cable, watch Netflix on their TVs and catch overseas shows on a computer. “Sorry Tali, too much technology, that’s hard for me,” my mother said of DirecTV Now. “I want somebody to organize everything for me and explain and I only do the click and watch.” — My high-school friend: Rebecca Kaufman, 32, nurse. Lives with her husband and two daughters in Tucson, Arizona, where they haven’t had cable for 5 years. Although eager to try DirecTV Now, she couldn’t — the ser-

vice doesn’t work with her streaming gadgets, an Xbox and a PlayStation, and her family doesn’t stream much to phones or computers. When I told her the price, she also said it wasn’t worth it. — My college friend: Soni Obinger, 32, graphic designer. Lives with her husband and toddler near San Francisco. She’d been thinking of canceling cable and wanted to try DirecTV Now as a substitute, but it didn’t happen because the service didn’t work with her Roku streaming device. (AT&T says DirecTV will be on Roku by March.) — My co-worker: Barbara Ortutay, 38, tech reporter. Lives with her boyfriend, toddler, mother-in-law and cat in New York City. A recent cord cutter, she watches Netflix and free local channels. She passed on DirecTV Now because she couldn’t watch it on her TV. “Why would I watch TV on my phone? It’s too small and I can’t check Facebook while I watch,” she said. WATCHING IS A CHORE — Me: Tali Arbel, 32, journalist. Live with my cat in NYC. I use Netflix, Amazon and watch some broadcast and cable TV shows on network apps, although I rarely watch live TV. I hated the fact that DirecTV Now doesn’t have a DVR that stores live shows for later viewing (AT&T says it’s coming). I’m also used to binge-watching full TV seasons commercialfree; DirecTV Now’s stock of “on-demand” video, by contrast, was underwhelming. Playback also occasionally froze up while watching on-demand episodes. — My friend: John Bega, 37, ad producer.q


Friday 13 January 2017

Nevada casinos turn profit in fiscal 2016; first since 2008 KEN RITTER Associated Press LAS VEGAS (AP) — Nevada’s biggest casinos combined to turn a profit in fiscal 2016 for the first time in eight years, but it wasn’t due to gambling winnings, according to an annual report by state regulators. Room rentals and fees helped resorts generate income of almost $979 million from total revenues of $25.2 billion in the year ended last

June 30, the state Gaming Control Board said. That compared with a net loss of almost $662 million on revenues of $24.6 billion a year earlier. Casinos across the state recorded net income for the first time since fiscal 2008, board analyst Michael Lawton said Thursday, amid a trend that continues to tilt away from gambling and toward restaurant, retail, entertainment and room

rental business. “It’s been a long road to get back in the black,” Lawton said. “It’s good not only because it’s net income for the first time, but because it’s net income in all areas across the board.” The revenue figure came in just 0.1 percent below the record $25.3 billion in total recorded in fiscal 2007, Lawton added. The comprehensive annual report, dubbed the

Gaming Abstract, was made public Wednesday. It includes more than 200 pages of data about 273 casinos in the state that grossed $1 million or more in gambling revenues. Topics include number of employees, room occupancy rates and gambling revenue per square foot of casino space. The report found that 70 casinos owned by public companies statewide ac-

counted for 78 percent of the total. The report came amid reports of growth from Las Vegas tourism and airport officials. McCarran International Airport was on pace in December to top the record 45 million passengers handled in 2015. The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority reported a record number of tourists, 42.9 million, in 2016.q

Amazon plans to hire 100,000 over the next 18 months MAE ANDERSON AP Technology Writer NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon plans to hire 100,000 full time workers over the next 18 months, highlighting its ambitious expansion plans — and the sharp contrast the e-commerce powerhouse strikes against traditional brick-and-mortar retailers, many of which are  cutting jobs and closing stores . Amazon has long been known for investing the money it makes back into its  businesses, and it’s doing that with a vengeance. The new hires will largely support new Amazon fulfillment centers in states such as Texas and California, expanded delivery capabilities and its money-minting Amazon Web Services cloud computing business. The numbers are generally in line with Amazon’s past hiring plans. Amazon, which had a total of 306,800 full-time and parttime employees globally at the end of September,

Miracle Stewart, right, an employee of Amazon PrimeNow, prepares bags to fill with orders from customers making purchases, at a distribution hub in New York. Amazon said Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017, that it plans to hire 100,000 people across the U.S. over the next 18 months. The online retailer says they are full-time jobs that come with benefits. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

hired a total of 123,700 globally during the 15 months ended in September, according to quarterly filings. AMAZON HITS THE GAS Amazon said Thursday its U.S. workforce has grown

from 30,000 in 2011 to over 180,000 at the end of 2016. By comparison, Walmart — the world’s largest retailer — employs about 2.4 million people worldwide, including 1.5 million workers in the U.S.

Baird analyst Colin Sebastian said the announcement shows that Amazon’s hiring appears to be accelerating. “We view this announcement positively in terms of the current trajectory of

Amazon’s businesses, as well as management’s confidence in the longterm outlook,” he said. “The hiring is consistent with our view that Amazon will continue to invest aggressively in its retail, media, technology and logistics businesses.” TRUMP OR NO TRUMP? The news comes a month after President-elect Donald Trump met with tech leaders, including Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. Throughout the presidential election campaign Trump and Bezos clashed after Trump attacked Bezos and The Washington Post, which Bezos owns. But they appeared to  make nice when Bezos attended the meeting in December. Sean Spicer, the incoming White House press secretary, noted in a call with reporters on Thursday that Amazon made the announcement after the meeting, when Trump urged tech leaders to keep jobs in the U.S.q

Big business of footwear on display at outdoor retail expo BRADY McCOMBS Associated Press SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Footwear’s position as the second largest segment in lucrative outdoor retail industry is on full display at a trade expo in Salt Lake City this week with a wide array of colors, prints and designs of sandals, shoes and boots that companies promote as being lighter and more versatile.

The basic designs of different types of footwear have stayed largely the same for years, so companies try to pique interest among retailers with fashionable designs or new technology innovations. One company has a long block of ice at its booth at the Outdoor Retailer show to demonstrate a special sole designed to prevent slipping on ice. Retail stores are looking for

footwear that strikes the right balance between performance and fashion, said Julia Clark Day, executive director of business development for the sports division of the market research firm NPD Group. Hikers want a shoe that won’t give them blisters while on the trail but still look good while getting drinks afterward, she said. Footwear has long been

a key segment in the industry, and sales in recent years have held steady. It accounted for $4.7 billion in sales 2016, second only to outerwear within an industry that did $18.8 billion in sales last year, according to data from the NPD group. Running shoes make up more than half of the sales. The winter version of the world’s largest outdoor

retail show brings about 22,000 people for a business-to-business expo that allows store owners to meet with manufacturers and preview products that will reach the retail market soon. “These footwear companies recognize this is a great show to go because they are going to get in front of a varied group of retailers,” Clark Day said. q

BUSINESS A25 Financial companies lead US stocks lower; oil rises Friday 13 January 2017

ALEX VEIGA AP Business Writer Banks and other financial companies led U.S. stocks modestly lower Thursday, wiping out much of the market’s gains from a day earlier. Phone companies, real estate, utilities and health care stocks eked out gains. Energy, technology and other stocks that posted big gains in the weeks after the November election lost ground. Hess slumped 4.8 percent and chipmaker Micron Technology fell 2.1 percent. Banks, which moved sharply higher through much of the postelection rally in November and December, were hurt by a drop in bond yields, which can push down interest rates on loans, squeezing banks’ profits. “The market has been running pretty nicely this year, so this is just a little bit of a pullback, a little bit of a consolidation,” said Troy Logan, managing director at Warren Financial Service. The Dow Jones industrial average slid 63.28 points, or 0.3 percent, to 19,891. The average had briefly been down more than 183 points. The Standard &

Poor’s 500 index lost 4.88 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,270.44. The Nasdaq composite snapped a sevenday winning streak that

quarterly results. That begins Friday, when several major banks are due to report earnings, including Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase

Beyond that, some traders may have also been selling bank stocks to lock in the sector’s recent gains ahead of Friday’s earnings

Specialist Peter Mazza works at his post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017. Banks and other financial companies led U.S. stocks modestly lower Thursday, wiping out much of the market’s gains from a day earlier. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

delivered five consecutive record highs. On Thursday, the index fell 16.16 points, or 0.3 percent, to 5,547.49. The market’s slide came as investors looked ahead to several weeks of companies reporting their latest

and Wells Fargo. The latest drop in bond yields weighed on bank stocks Thursday. The yield on the 10-year Treasury slipped to 2.36 percent from 2.37 percent late Wednesday.

releases, Logan said. “Tomorrow is the big day for a lot of the big banks,” he said. “They’ve run up pretty nicely postelection and through this year.” PNC Financial Services Group lost $2.85, or 2.4

percent, to $117.93, while Zions Bancorporation fell 95 cents, or 2.2 percent, to $42.97. JPMorgan Chase shed 84 cents, or 1 percent, to $86.24. Companies issuing earnings forecasts also grabbed investors’ attention Thursday. Hess slid 4.8 percent after the oil company said it will take a $3.8 billion charge in the fourth quarter. The stock fell $2.99 to $58.85. Other companies making news also lost ground. Mylan fell 1.4 percent on news that rival CVS slashed its price on a generic version of Adrenaclick, a lesser-known treatment similar to EpiPen, which can cost more than $600. The version that CVS will is selling costs about a sixth of the price of Mylan’s EpiPen. The stock shed 51 cents to $36.77. Fiat Chrysler tumbled 10.3 percent after the U.S. government accused the automaker of violating vehicle emission laws. The Environmental Protection Agency said Thursday that Fiat Chrysler failed to disclose software in some of its vehicles with diesel engines that allows them to emit more pollution than allowed under the Clean Air Act. Shares in Fiat slid $1.14 to $9.95.q

Transcripts show Fed divided in 2011 over bond purchases MARTIN CRUTSINGER AP Economics Writer WASHINGTON (AP) — Newly released transcripts show Federal Reserve officials were sharply divided in 2011 over whether the central bank should launch a program aimed at pushing long-term interest rates lower to spur economic growth. The transcripts released Thursday show that some officials worried the effort could lead to inflation risks. Others argued that the bigger danger was that the country could topple into a new recession. The central bank ended up adopting the program, dubbed “Operation Twist,” at its September 2011 meeting by a 7-3 vote after what the transcripts showed was a lengthy and at times contentious de-

bate. Under the program, the Fed sold $400 billion in short-term U.S. government debt and used the money to buy longer-term debt as a way to lower long-term rates and spark economic growth. The 2011 transcripts, released with the usual fiveyear delay, showed a central bank still struggling to come to grips with the aftermath of the worst recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s. In urging the action, Janet Yellen, now the Fed chair but then the vice chair, argued, “I’ve become increasingly concerned that the economy is near stall speed and could easily slip into recession.” However, other Fed officials worried that inflation had started to rise, and

that increasing fuel for the economy could end up causing inflation problems in the future. Some officials also questioned whether the new program would have much impact. “Right now we have little left in our holster,” said Richard Fisher, then president of the Fed’s Dallas regional bank. “We are shooting BBs, not bullets.” Fisher argued that a better approach than deploying the new program would be to develop strategies for what the Fed might need to do if more “dire circumstances” were to prevail. Among those possibilities, Fisher cited the “debacle that might ensue in Europe,” which was struggling to contain a debt crisis triggered by problems in

Greece. Charles Plosser, then president of the Fed’s Philadel-

phia regional bank, expressed concerns about the rise in inflation.q


Friday 13 January 2017


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.


Friday 13 January 2017

dOCTOR ON DUTY Oranjestad

Dr. V. Trigt Tel. 582 2991 FOR SALE Phoenix wk 3 unit 624, one bed in new towers. XL patio ovrlook the pool. 34 weeks left $12,000. Phoenix wk 2 - studio #404 bi annual next use 2019 - 15 uses avail in odd years $3500 Divi Links - wk 4 - 2316 - 30yrs left - 1 bed 2 bath - $7000 contact Mary, or 610-724-6323 in USA

FOR SALE Phoenix wk 3 unit 624, one bed in new towers. XL patio ovrlook the pool. 34 weeks left $12,000. Phoenix wk 2 - studio #404 bi annual next use 2019 - 15 uses avail in odd years $3500 Divi Links - wk 4 - 2316 - 30yrs left - 1 bed 2 bath - $7000 contact Mary, or 610-724-6323 in USA



FOR SALE Casa del Mar wk 1 +deed 2bedroom and 2 bath #1313 Presidential / ocean view e-mail: _________________________________206761

TIMESHARE FOR SALE RENAISSANCE week room price wk 13 &14 337 $11,500 wk 35 314 $4,000 wk 29 332 $3,000 wk 27 103 $3,500 wk 25 522 $4,500 wk 22 338 $3,800 wk 44 332 $3,000 wk 45 128 $3,000 wk 47,48,49,50 203 $4,500each $3,500 wk 49 344 wk 51 315 $8,000 wk 51 542 $8,000 Contact Brian Cell: 593 0200


TIME SHARES FOR SALE Divi Aruba Golf Beach Studio unit 1AE ground floor great location flooting wks. 51 to 17 $ 5200 BO Also wk 50 studio unit 2314, 30 wks left on contract $4350 E-mail: 508 651 0016 _________________________________206405

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FOR SALE Divi Village wk 52 spacious unit 1 bdr/2b $11,000 wk 1 studio for $5,000 both units Call 297 741 9945 or e-mail: ________________________________206444

TIME SHARE SALE BY OWNER Divi Aruba Phoenix 1 bdrm Unit 633 week 1+2 deed, 36 weeks $40,000 for 2 weeks Call: 586 6066 ext 4633 or email:


GOLD COAST VILLAS For Rent 2 Bd / 3 Bath Call for viewing availability pricing Full club house / gym/ 3 pools/ restaurant 586 6330 short/ long term _________________________________206517

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Friday 13 January 2017

Polar bear plan doesn’t seek direct action on climate change DAN JOLING Associated Press ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Five years ago, in a meeting room in Alaska, two dozen federal wildlife biologists joined other experts to begin formulating a recovery plan for polar bears because the animals’ primary habitat, sea ice, was melting beneath their feet in summer. The planning came with a caveat: It was beyond their control, members said, to recommend rules addressing climate warming — the main threat to the animals — because the agency that oversees polar bears, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, had no jurisdiction over greenhouse gas emissions linked to the warming. The agency on Monday released the final polar bear recovery plan, which includes provisions for tertiary threats, such as oil spills and excessive hunting. However, it does not push for any action to cut greenhouse gas emissions and bluntly acknowledges the likely outcome for polar bears.

In this Sept. 5, 2012, file photo, Ahpun, a female polar bear, strolls around her cage at the Alaska Zoo in Anchorage, Alaska.  Associated Press

“Short of action that effectively addresses the primary cause of diminishing sea ice, it is unlikely that polar bears will be recovered,” the plan states. Jenifer Kohout, co-chair of the recovery team, said telling the story of the polar bear’s plight and the connection to climate warming is the main thrust of the plan.

“In order to recover polar bears, we believe that we have to address the climate change problem over the long-term,” she said. The recovery plan notes positive signs such as emission goals for individual countries expressed in the Paris climate agreement. However, reduction of emissions in the U.S. is in question under a Trump administration that has vowed to revitalize the coal industry and suggested the country should withdraw from global climate accords. The world’s population of polar bears is currently estimated at 22,000 to 31,000. Two of the 19 subpopulations — the southern Beau-

fort Sea off Alaska’s north coast and Canada’s Western Hudson Bay — are in decline because of sea ice loss. Shaye Wolf, climate science  director for the Center for Biological Diversity, which filed the petition to list polar bears as endangered in 2005, said it was commendable that the plan acknowledges polar bears’ dismal future. However, the crucial step of cutting large-scale greenhouse gas pollution should have been included in criteria for recovery, she said. The Fish and Wildlife Service may not regulate emissions, Wolf said, but it consults with other agency that do, such as the Environmental Protection Agency. “A recovery plan should lay out the steps that the Fish and Wildlife Service and other agencies should take to allow a species to recover,” she said. “That includes, in this case, rapid cuts in greenhouse gas emissions and it should be the cornerstone of this recovery plan.” Polar bears use sea ice for breeding and hunting. They can go for months without eating but in late spring gorge on ice seals, especially ringed seals, when those animals give birth in snow caves dug on sea ice. Ringed seals themselves were declared threatened in December 2012 because of sea ice loss brought on by

climate warming. Polar bears were listed as endangered in 2008 by Dirk Kempthorne, the Interior secretary under then-President George W. Bush, amid the alarming loss of summer sea ice in recent decades and climate models indicating the trend would continue. In the announcement, however, Kempthorne said the Endangered Species Act would not be used to regulate the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions. While drafting the polar bear recovery plan, Fish and Wildlife Service officials said it differed from other recovery plans that could link specific harmful actions to a threatened species, such as manure from a dairy farm entering a stream and killing endangered trout. Kohout said there continues to be no clear connection to establish that a pollution source in Pennsylvania or elsewhere is the direct cause of ice loss in the Arctic. Wolf called that argument outdated. Federal scientists, she said, estimate each metric ton of carbon dioxide emission results in a loss of 3 cubic meters of September Arctic sea ice. The average American emits 16.4 metric tons of CO2 per year. “We can make our direct link to CO2 emissions,” she said.q


Friday 13 January 2017

Study: Just 7 percent of top films in 2016 directed by women JAKE COYLE AP Film Writer NEW YORK (AP) — A new study finds that just 7 percent of the 250 highestgrossing films of 2016 were directed by women. The Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University on Thursday issued  the 19th annual edition of its report, titled “The Celluloid Ceiling,”  authored by the center’s ex-

ecutive director, Martha M. Lauzen. The rate of female directors was down 2 percent from last year. Despite widespread attention in recent years to gender inequality in the film industry, the study found not only that opportunities aren’t improving, but are getting slightly worse. Nearly 20 years ago, in 1998, 9 percent of the top films were directed by women. Researchers found the dis-

Natalie Portman says co-star Kutcher paid 3 times as much This Jan. 7, 2017 file photo shows director Ava DuVernay at the 2017 Film Independent Filmmaker Grant and Spirit Award Nominees Brunch in West Hollywood, Calif.  Associated Press

In this Jan. 7, 2011, file photo, actor Ashton Kutcher, left, and actress Natalie Portman, from the film “No Strings Attached” pose for a portrait in Beverly Hills, Calif. Associated Press

The Associated Press Natalie Portman says Ashton Kutcher was paid three times as much as her for co-starring in 2011’s “No Strings Attached.” Portman tells Marie Claire she knew about the pay difference at the time the film was being made, but wasn’t as miffed as she should have been. She tells the magazine, “we get paid a lot, so it’s hard to complain, but the disparity is crazy.” The 35-year-old says she doesn’t “think women and men are more or less capable. We just have a clear issue with women not having opportunities.” She says women need to “be part of the solution, not perpetuating the problem.” Kutcher’s representatives didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment.q

parity across the board. In 2016, women comprised 17 percent of all directors, writers, producers, executive producers, editors and cinematographers in the top 250 domestic-grossing films. That also is a decline of 2 percent from 2015. In recent years, gender inequality in Hollywood has drawn increased scrutiny,

including an ongoing investigation by the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Numerous stars have also spoken out about pay disparity. Most recently, Natalie Portman, who last year released her directorial debut, “A Tale of Love and Darkness,” told Marie Claire that she was paid three times less than co-star Ash-

ton Kutcher in 2011’s “No Strings Attached.” The center’s study also showed the trickle-down effect of hiring female directors. In analyzing the top 500 films, researchers found that on films with female directors, women accounted for 64 percent of writers. On male-directed films, just 9 percent were women.q


Friday 13 January 2017


Willie Nelson wants Loretta Lynn to try pot again

In this Jan. 7, 2017 photo, Willie Nelson performs in Nashville, Tenn. The 83-year-old outlaw country icon wants to help a lot of people give marijuana a try. Associated Press

KRISTIN M. HALL Associated Press NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Willie Nelson wants his friend Loretta Lynn, who recently revealed that she tried marijuana for the first time at the age of 84 for her glaucoma but didn’t like it, to give pot a second chance. “She’s got a lot of guts,” Nelson said during a recent interview with The Associated Press in Nashville, Tennessee. “She’ll try anything. Maybe I should help her.” The 83-year-old outlaw country icon actually wants to help a lot of people give marijuana a try. He’s attached his name to a line of legal marijuana being sold in Colorado and Washington called “Willie’s Reserve,” after decades of personally advocating for the legalization of marijuana. The incoming administration under President-elect Donald Trump has some advocates fearful of a federal crackdown on the states that have legalized marijuana for medical or recreational purposes. Trump’s nominee for attorney general, Jeff Sessions, has said weed should not

be legalized. But the “Crazy” songwriter remains hopeful for his latest business venture under the new Trump administration. “I think people would be smarter than that,” Nelson said. “You look and see the benefits. You weigh them against the things that might possibly happen. I think marijuana is probably the safest medicine you can take. These new guys that are coming in there trying to shut it down, I don’t think they will be successful. People will say, ‘Hey wait a minute. Heroin, cocaine, OK. But it grows in the ground. It seems to be normal. Let it alone.’” The singer-songwriter behind hits such as “On the Road Again” and “Always On My Mind” will have a new album out this spring called “God’s Problem Child,” with his longtime producer Buddy Cannon. The album features a song written by Cannon’s 92-year-old mother and includes some of the last recordings by musician Leon Russell, who died in November. Because Nelson maintains a rigorous touring schedule

throughout the year, Nelson and Cannon co-write their songs via text messages. “I can come up with a few lines, send them to him and he’ll come up with another one,” Nelson said. “The next thing you know, he’ll go into the studio and put a melody to it and record it and then put his voice on there. Then when I get a chance, I put my voice on there and it seems to be working.” In the meantime, fans can hear a new song from Nelson in a film he’s starring in called “Lost in London LIVE,” directed by and also starring Nelson’s friend, Woody Harrelson. The roughly two-hour film will be shot in multiple locations in London in a single take and will be live-streamed in real time to over 500 movie theaters in the United States on the evening of Jan. 19, the first time a film has been live-streamed to movie theaters as it’s being shot. Nelson said he’ll be performing the song live during the film. “He has some idea about doing it live,” said Nelson. “That’s pretty ballsy, I think.”q

Alec Baldwin considering other venues for Trump impression NEW YORK (AP) — Alec Baldwin may be taking his Donald Trump act on the road. Baldwin tells ABC News that he is “in discussions” with other venues for his impression of the president-elect besides NBC’s “Saturday Night Live.” The 58-year-old actor has played Trump on SNL since last year. He says he will continue to play Trump on the late-night comedy show while also looking for other opportunities to spoof the incoming Republican president. Baldwin says he is “not really influencing anybody’s political opinions.” But he says playing Trump is “one of the most fun things” he’s ever done. Trump has complained about Baldwin’s SNL appearances on Twitter. He said last month that “the Baldwin impersonation just can’t get any worse.” Baldwin is also hosting the game show “Match Game” on ABC.q

In this Jan. 13, 2015 file photo, actor Alec Baldwin attends a special screening of his film “Still Alice” in New York. Associated Press

PEOPLE & ARTS A31 Prize-winning book chronicles history of racist thinking Friday 13 January 2017

This March 14, 1972 file photo shows Karen Carpenter, left, and Richard Carpenter, of The Carpenters, posing with their award for best pop vocal per during the 14th annual 1971 Grammy Awards in New York. Associated Press

Surviving Carpenters member sues over digital royalties

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Grammy winner Richard Carpenter sued Universal Music Group on Wednesday for millions in royalties he contends are owed from licensing Carpenters songs for online services such as Apple’s iTunes. Carpenter’s lawsuit seeks more than $2 million in royalties and is also being filed on behalf of the estate of his sister, Karen Carpenter, who died in 1983. The Carpenters won three Grammy Awards in 1970 and 1971, including for their song “Close to You.” The suit, which also names Universal subsidiary A&M Records, is one of a number of lawsuits filed after a 2010 appellate court ruled in a case involving Eminem’s record label that music downloads from services such as iTunes should result in higher payments to artists. That ruling called for artists to receive substantially higher royalty payments for digital downloads of their music than they do when a physical recording is sold. Carpenter says he has been unable to resolve the dispute without suing. “The Carpenters recordings are among the best sellers in the history of popular music and after 48 years continue to contribute a substantial amount to UMG/A&M’s annual bottom line,” he wrote in a statement. “It seems only fair that these companies account fairly to my sister’s estate and to me.” An email message to Universal Music Group was not immediately returned. Carpenter has hired attorney Larry Iser, who has represented numerous artists in disputes over licensing and use of their music. “”It is unfortunate that the Carpenters were forced to file this lawsuit primarily over an issue that has already been resolved by the courts — but which these record companies still refuse to acknowledge — that digital downloads occur pursuant to license and are not sales of records,” Iser said.q

HILLEL ITALIE AP National Writer NEW YORK (AP) — “Stamped from the Beginning,” winner of the National Book Award winner for nonfiction, is a work of history very much rooted in recent events. Ibram X. Kendi’s 600-page narrative traces the origins and justifications for racism in the U.S. from colonial times to the present. Kendi began working on the book shortly before the killing of Trayvon Martin in 2012, and he felt a special urgency to write about what he calls “stimulations,” individuals “who believe that black people were culturally or behaviorally inferior.” “There are notions that scientists, and journalists, and scholars can be objective,” he says. Kendi, an assistant professor of African American History at the University of Florida, structured “Stamped from the Beginning” around five people, ranging from Thomas Jefferson to Angela Davis, and around the efforts to combat racism, whether the self-help ethic of Booker T. Washington or the moral persuasion of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. The book’s title comes from a speech by Jefferson Davis, given the year before he became president of the Confederate states. “This country was created by white men for white men, and inequality between the white and black races was stamped from the beginning,” Davis said. In a recent interview with The Associated Press, Kendi discussed his findings on racist ideas, why some breakthroughs in American history were not such breakthroughs after all and whether he would have made any major changes had he completed the book after the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States. ON THE ORIGINS OF RACIST IDEAS: “I chronicle a history in which we’ve been taught this notion that it’s ignorance and hate that lead to racist ideas about black people, and then it’s these people with these racist

This cover image released by Nation Books shows, “Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America,” winner of the National Book Award, by Ibram X. Kendi. Associated Press

ideas that are the people who create racist policies. And I actually find, through my research, that that line of thinking is ahistorical, and it’s actually been quite the opposite. Racist policies have been created typically out of self-interest and those policies have bred racist ideas to justify those policies, and then the circulation of those racist ideas has led to ignorance and hate.” ON WHY BROWN V. BOARD OF EDUCATION, THE SUPREME COURT DECISION THAT DEEMED SEGREGATION IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS UNCONSTITUTIONAL, WAS ALSO AN AFFIRMATION OF RACIST THINKING: “Most Americans have not read the actual majority opinion written by Chief Justice Warren, and in that opinion, he states very clearly, and I’m quoting him, that ‘The segregation of the white and colored children in public schools has a detrimental effect upon colored children,’ and not white and colored children, but colored children, and his decision was based on all of these psychological and social science studies that were making the case that segregational poverty was literally making black children inferior. ... These studies then suggested that what black children need is to be closer to white children.” ON SIMILARITIES HE SEES BETWEEN TODAY AND THE

EARLY 20TH CENTURY: “One hundred years ago a wealthy New Yorker by the name of Madison Grant published a best-selling book called ‘The Passing of the Great Race,’ and this book was translated into several languages, including German, and it became the bible of somebody by the name of Adolf Hitler, and this ‘Passing of the Great Race’ author made the case that the ‘great race,’ of course an Anglo-Saxon white race, was basically under attack by everyone else. By immigrants from Eastern Europe and Southern Europe, by non-white immigrants, by civil rights activists ...” ON WHETHER HE WOULD HAVE WRITTEN THE BOOK’S OPTIMISTIC CONCLUSION, IN WHICH HE WONDERS IF “MAYBE THE TIME IS NOW” FOR REAL PROGRESS AGAINST RACISM,” HAD HE FINISHED IT AFTER THE ELECTION OF TRUMP: “I would say that in order for anybody to bring about change you have to believe that change is possible, and so first and foremost that epilogue, and that ending, is coming from that perspective. And then, secondly, being an historian, I know that changes have usually come as a result of people feeling and recognizing that things are pretty bad. And so it would not surprise me if we are able to create an anti-racist America in the near future ...”q

January 13, 2017  
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