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Explosions rock Syrian capital as Trump announces strikes The Damascus sky lights up missile fire as the U.S. launches an attack on Syria targeting different parts of the capital early Saturday, April 14, 2018.

By BASSEM MROUE Associated Press DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Loud explosions rocked Syria’s capital and filled the sky with heavy smoke

early Saturday after U.S. President Donald Trump announced airstrikes in retaliation for the country’s alleged use of chemical weapons.

Syrian air defenses responded to the joint strikes by the United States, France and Britain. Associated Press reporters saw smoke rising from east

Damascus and the lit-up sky turning orange for the blasts. A huge fire could be seen from a distance to the east. Syrian television said the attacks targeted

Associated Press

a scientific research center in Barzeh, near Damascus, and an army depot near Homs. Continued on Page 3


Saturday 14 April 2018


Watchdog report: Ex-FBI deputy director misled investigators BY ERIC TUCKER and MARY CLARE JALONICK Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — Andrew McCabe, the fired FBI deputy director, misled investigators and his own boss about his role in a news media disclosure about Hillary Clinton just days before the 2016 presidential election and authorized the release of information to “advance his personal interests,” according to a Justice Department watchdog report. President Donald Trump, already furious over a forthcoming book from fired FBI Director James Comey, lashed out after the report’s release by saying McCabe had “LIED! LIED! LIED!” The inspector general report concludes that McCabe allowed FBI officials to disclose nonpublic information to a Wall Street Journal reporter for a story about an investigation into the Clinton Foundation, violating agency rules, and then misled FBI officials when questioned about it. It also reveals starkly contradictory accounts from McCabe and Comey about how the conversations with the reporter had come to take place. McCabe, who was fired two days before his scheduled retirement last month, denied the report’s allegations in a detailed rebuttal statement. He said that when he believed his answers to the inspector general were misunderstood, he went back and tried to correct them. McCabe’s statement noted that as deputy director he had full authority to authorize sharing information with the media and said he permitted subordinates to do so in this case to correct a false narrative that he had tried to stymie an FBI probe into the Clinton Foundation. The conversation “was done to protect the institutional reputation of the FBI as a non-political and professional investigative agency, and therefore was squarely within the public interest exception to the FBI’s prohibition on shar-

In this June 7, 2017 file photo, then-acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe appears before a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing about the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act on Capitol Hill in Washington. Associated Press

ing sensitive material,” the statement said. McCabe has also said his dismissal was part of the Trump administration’s “ongoing war” on the FBI and special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, adding that he was singled out because of the “role I played, the actions I took, and the events I witnessed in the aftermath” of Comey’s firing. The inspector general report does not square with the Republican narrative of the FBI as a politically biased institution, since the Oct. 30, 2016, story contained derogatory information about Clinton and underscored FBI interest in investigating her foundation. But its conclusion may also be hard for Democrats to embrace, given its harshly critical suggestion that McCabe had put his personal reputation above the interests of the FBI. Regardless, the report immediately provided fodder for Trump’s public attacks on McCabe, a longtime target of the president’s ire,

especially because of revelations that his wife, during a failed state Senate run, had accepted campaign contributions in 2015 from the political action committee of then-Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a close Clinton ally. The president has made a concerted, Twitter-driven effort to impugn McCabe as a partisan hack, accusing him of covering up unspecified “lies and corruption” at the FBI and calling his firing a “great day for Democracy.” On Friday, Trump said the inspector general’s report was a “total disaster” for McCabe and asserted “McCabe is controlled by Comey.” “No collusion, all made up by this den of thieves and lowlifes!” Trump tweeted. A lawyer for McCabe, Michael Bromwich, said he was considering filing a defamation lawsuit against Trump and his “colleagues.” He responded to Trump’s tweet by sarcastically thanking him for “providing even more material” for such a lawsuit.

The inspector general report was sent to congressional committees and obtained by The Associated Press. Rep. Trey Gowdy, the Republican chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said the report showed the firing was justified. But Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, called the firing “overtly political.” The findings, which had trickled out in news reports over the last month, led FBI disciplinary officials to recommend that the Justice Department fire McCabe. Attorney General Jeff Sessions dismissed him for what he described as a lack of candor. McCabe, appointed deputy director in 2016, had been a close Comey ally and passionately defended him in a congressional hearing soon after his firing. He could be an important witness for Mueller, who is investigating Trump for possible obstruction of justice,

including his motivation for firing Comey last May. Yet the report makes clear that the McCabe and Comey were at odds over how the conversations with the reporter unfolded and exactly how it had been approved. McCabe told the inspector general that he had told Comey the day after the story was published that he had authorized officials to share details of a conversation he had with a top Justice Department official about the Clinton Foundation investigation. The conversation involved an encounter in which McCabe confronted the official over the suggestion that the FBI should not be taking overt investigative actions against the Clinton Foundation during the course of the election by asking, “Are you telling me that I need to shut down a validly predicated investigation?” The official replied, “Of course not,” according to the Wall Street Journal story.q


Saturday 14 April 2018

Explosions rock Syrian capital as Trump announces strikes Continued from Front

Syrian media reported that air defenses had hit 13 incoming rockets south of Damascus. After the attack ceased and the early morning skies went dark once more, vehicles with loudspeakers roamed the streets of Damascus blaring nationalist songs. “Good souls will not be humiliated,” Syria’s presidency tweeted after airstrikes began. Syrian state TV called the attacks a “blatant violation of international law and shows contempt for international legitimacy.” Trump announced Friday night that the three allies had launched military strikes to punish Syrian President Bashar Assad for the alleged chemical weapons use and to prevent him from doing it again. The U.S. president said Washington is prepared to “sustain” pressure on Assad until he ends what the president called a criminal pattern of killing his own people with internationally banned chemical weapons. It was not immediately clear whether Trump meant the military operation would extend beyond an initial nighttime round of missile strikes. The Syrian government has repeatedly denied any use of banned weapons. U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis said there were no reports of U.S. losses during the initial airstrikes. “Right now this is a onetime shot,” he said but did not rule out further attacks. He said the airstrikes were launched against several sites that helped provide Assad’s ability to create

chemical weapons. Britain’s defense ministry said that while the effectiveness of the strike is still being analyzed, “initial indications are that the precision of the Storm Shadow weapons and meticulous target planning have resulted in a successful attack.” British Prime Minister Theresa May describes the attack as neither “about intervening in a civil war” nor “about regime change” but a limited and targeted strike that “does not further escalate tensions in the region” and does everything possible to prevent civilian casualties. “We would have preferred an alternative path. But on this occasion there is none,” May said. The decision to strike, after days of deliberations, marked Trump’s second order to attack Syria; he authorized a barrage of Tomahawk cruise missiles to hit a single Syrian airfield in April 2017 in retaliation for Assad’s use of sarin gas against civilians. Trump chastised Syria’s two main allies, Russia and Iran, for their roles in supporting “murderous dictators,” and noted that Russian President Vladimir Putin had guaranteed a 2013 international agreement for Assad to get rid of all of his chemical weapons. He called on Moscow to change course and join the West in seeking a more responsible regime in Damascus. Russia’s U.S. embassy released a statement warning that the airstrikes will “not be left without consequences.” It said that “all responsibility” rests with Washington, London and Paris. The allied operation comes

a year after the U.S. missile strike that Trump said was meant to deter Assad from further use of chemical weapons. Since that did not work, a more intense attack would aim to degrade his ability to carry out further such attacks, and would try to do this by hitting Syrian aircraft, military depots and chemical facilities, among other things.q

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, joined by Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford, speaks at the Pentagon, Friday, April 13, 2018, on the U.S. military response, along with France and Britain, in response to Syria’s chemical weapon attack on April 7.​ Associated Press

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Saturday 14 April 2018


Trump vows to back law to protect marijuana industry By NICHOLAS RICCARDI Associated Press DENVER (AP) — President Donald Trump has promised to support legislation protecting the marijuana industry in states that have legalized the drug, a move that could lift a threat to the industry made by the U.S. attorney general just three months ago. Republican Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado said Friday that Trump made the pledge to him in a Wednesday night conversation. It marked the latest flip by the president who pledged while he was campaigning to respect states that legalized marijuana but also criticized legalization and implied it should be stopped. Gardner has been pushing to reverse a decision made by Attorney General Jeff Sessions in January that removed prohibitions that kept federal prosecutors from pursuing cases against people who were following pot laws in states such as Colorado that have legalized the drug. Marijuana has been fully le-

In this Jan. 1, 2018 file photo, different types of marijuana sit on display at Harborside marijuana dispensary in Oakland, Calif. Sen. Associated Press

galized in eight states, and 24 states allow some form of marijuana use. White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Gardner’s account was accurate and the president supported states’ rights in the matter. Gardner hopes to introduce bipartisan legislation keeping the federal gov-

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ernment from interfering in state marijuana markets. Marijuana legalization advocates were ebullient. “We may now be seeing the light at the end of the tunnel,” said Mason Tvert, who spearheaded the 2012 ballot measure legalizing recreational marijuana in Colorado. “This is one more step toward ending the irrational policy of marijuana prohibition, not only in Colorado but throughout the country.” Other marijuana supporters were wary given the president’s record of reversing positions and pledges of legislative support. “This cannot be another episode of @realDonaldTrump telling somebody whatever they want to hear, only to change directions later on,” U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, a Democrat, wrote on Twitter. Opponents of legalization said they were concerned. “We hope the president -- who doesn’t want to be known as the ‘Pot President’ -- will reverse course

soon,” said Kevin Sabet, founder of Smart Approaches to Marijuana. “This reckless plan will not go unanswered.” During his campaign, Trump said states should be able to chart their own course on marijuana. “I’m a states person, it should be up to the states, absolutely,” he told one television interviewer in Colorado in 2016. However, at the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2015, Trump said he supported medical marijuana but called recreational pot “bad.” He singled out Colorado, the first state in the nation to allow recreational marijuana sales. “They’ve got a lot of problems going on right now in Colorado - some big problems,” Trump told the crowd. When he selected Sessions, a former federal prosecutor and U.S. senator from Alabama, as his attorney general, marijuana supporters girded themselves for a crackdown. But Gard-

ner said Sessions had promised him he’d do nothing to interfere with Colorado’s robust marijuana market. Gardner said he was blindsided when Sessions made his announcement in January regarding pot prosecutions. In retaliation, Gardner used his power as a senator to prevent consideration of any nominees for the Department of Justice — an extraordinary step for a senator to use against an administration run by another member of his party. Some of Gardner’s fellow GOP senators groused at the impact of the hold, and Gardner allowed some nominees to proceed in a “good-faith” gesture last month. On Friday, he said he was fully releasing his holds on Department of Justice nominations. The action came amid widespread speculation that Trump will remove Justice officials overseeing the Russia investigation. Replacements of any of those officials would require new nominations. Gardner and the Department of Justice have been in discussions for months to get the holds lifted. Gardner has met with Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the official overseeing the Russia probe who has been the target of Trump’s ire. Legislation to protect states where marijuana is legal is still being drafted. It may be modeled on a 2014 budget amendment that prevented the Department of Justice from spending money to enforce federal laws against marijuana users and businesses in states that legalized the drug and were following all applicable state laws.q


Saturday 14 April 2018

Teacher victory: Kentucky lawmakers override budget veto By BRUCE SCHREINER and ADAM BEAM FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — With the chants of hundreds of teachers ringing in their ears, Kentucky lawmakers voted Friday to override the Republican governor's veto of a two-year state budget that increases public education spending with the help of a more than $480 million tax increase. The votes came as thousands of teachers rallied inside and outside the Capitol, forcing more than 30 school districts to close as Kentucky continued the chorus of teacher protests across the country. The rally took on a festival-like atmosphere in Kentucky as some teachers sat in lawn chairs or sprawled out on blankets. Crosby Stills, Nash and Young's hit "Teach Your Children" bellowed from the loud speakers. Republican Gov. Matt Bevin noticed the teachers, too. He told reporters he saw them hanging out with their shoes off, smoking and "leaving trash around." He bemoaned the "hundreds of thousands of children" he says were likely left home alone because schools were closed and some parents likely did not have time to find child care. "I guarantee you somewhere in Kentucky today a child was sexually assaulted that was left at home because there was nobody there to watch them," Bevin said, according to a video posted to Twitter by a reporter for WDRB-TV. "I guarantee you somewhere today a child was physically harmed or ingested

poison because they were home alone because a single parent didn't have any money to take care of them. I'm offended by the idea that people so cavalierly and so flippantly disregarded what's truly best for children." A spokesman for the Kentucky Education Association declined to comment on Bevin's remarks. Stephanie Ikanovic, who has been a teacher for 21 years, said earlier in the day she did not want to be out of her classroom, but said she felt compelled to come to Frankfort to advocate for her students. "I want to be in my classroom instructing future citizens, but I'm afraid that spending at the state level is getting worse and worse, and we need those dollars for a 21st century education," she said. The two-year state operating budget includes record new spending for public education, fueled by a 50cent increase in the cigarette tax and a 6 percent sales tax on some services including home and auto repair. But Bevin vetoed both the budget and the money in it, calling the bills "sloppy" and "non-transparent." He said they would not raise enough money to cover the new spending. The veto put Republican lawmakers in a tough position, asking them to vote a second time on a tax increase in an election year. But 57 House Republicans, later joined by just enough Senate Republicans, voted to override, asserting their independence after a tumultuous year marred by a

Teachers from across Kentucky gather outside the state Capitol to rally for increased funding and to protest changes to their state funded pension system, Friday, April 13, 2018, in Frankfort, Ky. Associated Press

sexual harassment scandal. "You can stand here all day and act like you are all for (education) until it comes time to pay for it. Well, that's a coward," said Republican Rep. Regina Huff, a middle school special education teacher. "We have to have this revenue to fund our schools." Democrats sided with the governor, but for different reasons. They said the tax increase disproportionately harms the poor while benefiting the wealthy. They wanted the vetoes to stand, forcing the governor to call a special session of the state legislature to pass a new budget. The House voted 57-40 to override the veto of the tax increase and 66-28 to override the veto of the budget. Later, without a vote

to spare, the Republicancontrolled Senate voted 20-18 to override the tax increase veto. In a dramatic moment, Senate President Robert Stivers cast the decisive vote for the override. The Senate later voted 2612 to override the budget veto. The unrest comes amid teacher protests in Oklahoma and Arizona over low funding and teacher pay. The demonstrations were inspired by West Virginia teachers, whose nine-day walkout after many years without raises led to a 5 percent pay hike. In Arizona, after weeks of teacher protests and walkout threats across the state, Gov. Doug Ducey promised a net 20 percent raise by 2020. In Oklahoma, teachers ended two weeks

of walkouts Thursday, shifting their focus to electing pro-education candidates in November. Gov. Mary Fallin signed legislation raising teacher salaries by about $6,100 and providing millions in new education funding, but many say schools need more money. Kentucky teachers haven't asked for a raise. They are instead focused on education funding and a battle over their pensions. Kentucky has one of the worstfunded pension systems in the country, with the state at least $41 billion short of what it needs to pay retirement benefits over the next 30 years. Earlier this month, lawmakers voted to pass a bill that preserves benefits for most workers but moves new hires into a hybrid plan.q

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Saturday 14 April 2018


AP sources: U.S., Emirates near deal to solve air subsidy spat By JOSH LEDERMAN, Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States and the United Arab Emirates are nearing a deal to resolve a years-old spat over alleged government subsidies to Emirati airlines that the major U.S. airlines claim have tilted the competition against them, four individuals familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press. Under the budding deal, Dubai-based Emirates and Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways would agree to voluntarily open up their accounting books, long accused by the U.S. airlines of obscuring billions in subsidies. The airlines will also assert to the United States that they currently have no plans to add additional flights to the United States from Europe or other destinations outside of the United Arab Emirates. The deal will closely mirror one reached in January between the U.S. and Qatar, the individuals said. Despite years of rancorous debate, that deal was broadly embraced both by the Qataris and by the big U.S. airlines, making it an attractive model to replicate. The individuals weren’t authorized to discuss the deal ahead of its completion and requested anonymity. Although the deal has yet to be finalized and formally adopted, both sides have agreed to the broad outlines of the deal, the individuals said. It was unclear exactly when it would be completed. The State Department official overseeing the issue, Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs Manisha Singh, is in Peru this week as part of Vice President Mike Pence’s delega-

In this May 4, 2014 file photo, an Etihad Airways plane prepares to land at the Abu Dhabi airport in the United Arab Emirates. Associated Press

tion to the Summit of the Americas. The State Department said “discussions are ongoing” but declined to confirm the details of the emerging deal, adding that there was “nothing to report at this time.” The White House did not respond to a request for comment, and the Emirati Embassy in Washington had no comment. The three major U.S. carriers — Delta Air Lines, American Airlines and United Airlines — have spent huge sums over the last three years pressing the Obama administration and Trump administration for tough action, and have been eager to show a win on the issue. The airlines have hoped that if they have more visibility into the finances of the state-owned Emirati airlines, the Emiratis will no longer be able to get away with unfair subsidies. Both of the Emirati airlines

have long denied receiving unfair government subsidies, as has Doha-based Qatar Airways. But the U.S. airlines claim that the Gulf airlines have managed to mask payments to their airlines through creative accounting, such as catering contracts arranged at far below market rates. It was unclear precisely what transparency measures the Emiratis will agree to in the deal. But in the Qatari arrangement, Qatar agreed within one year to releasing audited financial statements for Qatar Airlines “in accordance with internationally-recognized accounting standards.” Within two years, Qatar Airways is to disclose any transactions with other state-owned entities, such as caterers or other companies that support airline operations. The other major concern of the U.S. airlines regards start

so-called “Fifth Freedoms” flights — routes that go from third countries, such as those in Europe, directly to the United States. Emirates Airline currently offers “Fifth Freedom” flights in which passengers can fly from New York-area airports to Milan, Italy or Athens without ever setting foot in the UAE. The U.S. carriers claim those flights offered by flag carriers of the UAE undercut the flights they offer on the same routes. But the Gulf airlines have pointed out that some of the U.S. carriers also offer flights that never set foot in their home country, such as Delta’s direct flight from Manila, Philippines, to Tokyo. Under the scenario U.S. airlines fear, Emirates or Etihad could expand their offerings by adding flights from Abu Dhabi or Dubai to, say, Paris or London, stop to

pick up more passengers, then fly on to New York. The U.S. airlines had sought a “freeze” — a binding commitment that they wouldn’t offer any more Fifth Freedom flights — from the Gulf airlines, but appear to have fallen short. Instead, they are likely to receive a side-letter or similar document that states that as of now, there are no plans to offer any more such flights, at least partially addressing the U.S. concerns. The side document is still being drafted, several individuals briefed on the discussions said. Though on the same side of the airline dispute, Qatar and the UAE oppose each other in a bitter, unrelated standoff. Last year, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf nations blockaded Qatar after accusing it of supporting extremism and fomenting dissent throughout the region.q


Saturday 14 April 2018

Friends separated by the Holocaust reunite in California By JOHN ROGERS Associated Press LOS ANGELES (AP) — When Alice Gerstel bid an emotional farewell to her family’s closest friends in October 1941, she was hopeful she’d see “Little Simon” Gronowski again. And she did — 76 years later and half a world away from where they were separated in Brussels. Gerstel and her Jewish family had hidden in the Gronowskis’ home for nearly two weeks before her father sent word from France that he had reached a deal with a smuggler who would get her, her siblings and their mother safely out of Nazi-occupied Belgium. The Gronowskis, also Jewish, decided to stay. They hid for 18 months until the Nazis came knocking at the family’s door and put Simon, his sister and mother on a death train to Auschwitz. “I thought the entire family was murdered. I had no idea,” Gerstel (now Gerstel Weit) said Wednesday, the day after their tearful reunion. She and her friend clutched hands at the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust as they recounted their story. “You didn’t know that I jumped off the train?” asked Gronowski, now 86. “No, no. I didn’t know anything,” his 89-year-old friend replied. The two will return to the museum Sunday to recount to visitors how the Holocaust ripped apart a pair of families that had become fast friends after a chance meeting at a Bel-

In this Wednesday, April 11, 2018, photo, childhood Holocaust survivors Simon Gronowski and Alice Gerstel Weit exchange photographs they haven’t seen in decades, at the Los Angeles Holocaust Museum memorial. Associated Press

gian beach resort in 1939. How it led an 11-year-old boy to make one of the most daring escapes of the war. How it put the other family on a perilous journey through occupied France that reads like a scene from the film “Casablanca.” And, finally, how those separate journeys culminated three-quarters of a century later in a joyful, tear-streaked reunion in Los Angeles just before Yom HaShoah or Holocaust Commemoration Day. “I didn’t recognize him at all. I don’t see Little Simon,” Gerstel Weit said Wednesday of her previous day’s reunion with the now-bald, white-bearded man who sat next to her chuckling. “But he’s here. Little Simon is here,” she added, her voice breaking as she put

her hand over Gronowski’s heart. There was much hugging, kissing and crying Wednesday as the two old friends held hands tightly while sitting outside on a museum patio to share memories from a long-ago past. It was a past that began idyllically before turning nightmarish after the Nazis invaded Belgium in 1940 and began rounding up Jews. Gerstel Weit’s father, a diamond dealer with a wife and four children, decided to flee in 1941. He turned his diamonds into cash, bought nine visas that got his family and brother’s family through Nazi-occupied France and to the French-controlled Moroccan city of Casablanca. There they boarded a ship

bound for Cuba. Gronowski’s father believed naively he and his family would be safe hiding in Brussels. “My father was not very conscious to tension. My father was not political. He was a poet. He wrote in six languages,” Gronowski said, pausing to wipe away tears. “And like so many of the families he remember in Brussels,” he continued in Dutch-accented English, “he cannot believe that in Europe of the 20th century, of that civilization, he cannot believe that Germany can fall into barbarism.” When the Nazis arrived, Gronowski’s father was in a hospital. His wife quickly lied, telling them he was dead and sparing him from Auschwitz.

It was on a train to that death camp a few weeks later that she saved her son, pushing him toward the door of the boxcar they were in and telling him to jump. After the war he reunited with his father and eventually moved back to the apartment where he grew up. He rented out the other units and used the money to pay for law school. He is a practicing attorney in Brussels. Gerstel Weit’s family immigrated to the United States, where she married, had two sons and eventually settled in Los Angeles and a career in real estate. Immediately after the war, her family tried to locate their friends. Gronowski eventually wrote back to Gerstel Weit’s late older brother Zoltan, telling him his sister and mother had died at Auschwitz and his father had since passed away. For some reason, Zoltan never told his family “Little Simon” survived. She learned he was alive six months ago when her nephew searched her maiden name online looking for more family history. He came across Gronowski’s 2002 memoir, “The Child of the 20th Train,” in which her family is mentioned prominently. Gronowski says he believes Gerstel Weit’s brother was too distraught to say much about his family. His 18-year-old sister, Ita, had been Zoltan Gerstel’s girlfriend in Belgium, and he had professed his love for her repeatedly in wartime letters, including some she never lived to see.q


Saturday 14 April 2018


Canadian pharmacy fined $34 million for illegal imports By MATT VOLZ Associated Press HELENA, Mont. (AP) — An online pharmacy that bills itself as Canada’s largest was fined $34 million Friday for importing counterfeit cancer drugs and other unapproved pharmaceuticals into the United States, a sentence that one advocacy group called too light for such a heinous crime. Canada Drugs has filled millions of prescriptions by offering itself as a safe alternative for patients to save money on expensive drugs, and its founder, Kris Thorkelson, has been hailed as an industry pioneer for starting the company in 2001. But U.S. prosecutors say Canada Drugs’ business model is based entirely on illegally importing unapproved and misbranded drugs not just from Canada, but from all over the world. The company has made at least $78 million through illegal imports, including two that were counterfeit versions of the cancer drugs Avastin and Altuzan that had no active ingredient, prosecutors said. After more than two years of struggling to get the international company to appear in U.S. court to face the felony charges, Canada Drugs and Thorkelson, struck a plea deal with prosecutors late last year. On Friday, a judge in Mis-

soula, Montana, approved federal prosecutors’ recommended sentences that include $29 million forfeited, $5 million in fines and five years’ probation for Canada Drugs. U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen also sentenced Thorkelson to six months’ house arrest, five years’ probation and a $250,000 fine. Canada Drugs also will permanently cease the sale of all unapproved, misbranded and counterfeit drugs and will surrender all of the domain names for the myriad websites it used to sell the drugs, under the deal. An advocacy group had urged the judge to impose harsher penalties to deter future crimes. “Counterfeiting oncology medications is a nearly untraceable and heinous health care crime,” Shabbir Imber Safdar, executive director of the Partnership for Safe Medicines, wrote in a letter to the judge. “You put saline in a bottle, and when the cancer patient takes it, there is no evidence in the patient of the crime.” After the sentencing, Safdar called the penalties “a slap on the wrist and an insult to the victims of Canada Drugs’ crimes.” Safdar said Thorkelson should receive prison time and that Thorkelson’s and Canada Drugs’ pharma-

In this Nov. 12, 2003, file photo, Director of Pharmacy Robert Fraser, left, takes Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, second left, on a tour of the Internet pharmacy in Winnipeg, Manitoba in Canada. Associated Press

cy licenses should be surrendered. The group also wants Canada Drugs to give up all of its internet domain names, including ones not named in the plea deal, to prevent the company from continuing to sell misbranded and counterfeit medicine. Canada Drugs’ and Thorkelson’s attorneys did not return messages seeking comment. Federal prosecutors wrote in court documents that the recommended sentence is appropriate. U.S. Attorney for Montana Kurt Alme

said after the sentencing that Thorkelson and Canada Drugs jeopardized the health and safety of Americans by circumventing the Food and Drug Administration’s approval process. “As this case shows, American providers and consumers need to beware when purchasing drugs on the internet,” Alme said in a statement. The case is being handled in the U.S. state of Montana, where Canada Drugs bought another company for its drug inventory and customer list when it was

expanding in 2009. Canada Drugs continued to deposit money into that company’s Montana bank account from doctors’ purchase of the illegally imported drugs before the proceeds were shipped to offshore accounts in the Caribbean, prosecutors said. The company and two overseas subsidiaries pleaded guilty to introducing misbranded drugs into interstate commerce, and the subsidiaries also agreed to plead guilty to selling counterfeit drugs.q

Man linked to Toronto alleged serial killer identified

In this artist’s sketch, Bruce McArthur, facing several murder charges, makes an appearance via video in a Toronto courtroom, Wednesday, April 11, 2018. Associated Press

TORONTO (AP) — A man believed to be another

victim of alleged serial killer Bruce  McArthur  has

been identified after investigators released his photograph and appealed to the public for help, Toronto police said Friday. McArthur currently faces seven counts of first-degree murder. In early March, police released a photograph of a bearded, dark-skinned man believed to be another one of the 66-yearold landscaper’s alleged victims an effort to identify him, and they released an enhanced version of the photo this week. On Friday, police said they had been able to identify him. They said they would not release the man’s name

or details on whether new charges will be laid until the man’s next of kin were notified. Police found the dismembered remains of at least seven individuals this year in large planters at a home where McArthur did landscaping work and stored objects. Many of the alleged victims have been darker skinned and of South Asian or Middle Eastern descent, and they frequented the “Gay Village” area of Toronto. Police just charged McArthur on Wednesday in the death of a seventh man. The sprawling police investigation, which the lead

detective has previously described as unprecedented in size and scope, is now also scrutinizing 15 unsolved homicides that took place between 1975 and 1997. There is no current evidence linking McArthur to the cold cases. q


Saturday 14 April 2018

French riot police oust Sorbonne protesters; trains halt By ANGELA CHARLTON PARIS (AP) — Paris riot police ousted students seeking to occupy Sorbonne university and strikes Friday shut down the Eiffel Tower and two-thirds of French trains — all part of a season of simmering national discontent. Much of the anger centers on President Emmanuel Macron, but he went on national TV on Thursday to declare that strikes and protests won't prevent him from overhauling France's economy so it can better compete on the global stage. Rail workers resumed a strike Friday that will disrupt travel off-and-on through June. But the number of striking workers was down from previous actions, and international trains largely went through. National railway authority SNCF said 80 percent of Eurostar trains between

Paris and London will run on Saturday, and the Thalys trains between France, Belgium and the Netherlands are expected to run normally. But only one-third of France's high speed and regional trains will run. The Eiffel Tower announced it was closed to the public Friday because of a strike by security personnel. Their demands were not immediately clear. The Sorbonne announced that its iconic Left Bank site was closed Friday for security reasons after the Thursday night police operation. While about 200 students were evacuated, a few hundred others gathered outside, chanting angrily at police. The site was a nucleus of student protests 50 years ago in May 1968, when strikes and university occupations paralyzed France's economy in a pivotal moment in modern French his-

Commuters arrive at Gare de Lyon train station, in Paris, Friday, April 13, 2018. Associated Press

tory. Students at campuses around France are now protesting admissions reforms that they fear threaten access to public university for all French high school graduates. Macron on Thursday dismissed the student protesters as "professional agitators" and ridiculed some of their de-

mands. While the protesters in 1968 were seeking to overturn old ways, today's workers and students are fighting to maintain the status quo — including worker rights that Macron says are incompatible with today's global economy. The 40-year-old French leader said Thursday he's

determined to push ahead with reforms to the SNCF railway, to prepare it to open up to competition. Commuters squeezed into scarce trains Friday and electronic display boards showed disrupted traffic as SNCF workers kicked off a new two-day strike. "We have to leave earlier, we arrive late at work. We have no choice. I'll have to leave earlier this evening to catch a train," said commuter Sandra Loretti at the Gare Saint-Lazare station in northwest Paris. "We take the car. Extra journey, extra time, extra tiredness." Hospital staff, retirees, lawyers and magistrates are also protesting reforms by Macron's government. To explain his positions, Macron will go on national television again Sunday to answer questions for two hours from BFM television and the investigative website Mediapart.q

In Greek city, Syrian refugees line up _ to get arrested By COSTAS KANTOURIS Associated Press THESSALONIKI, Greece (AP) — Several hundred refugees and migrants have gathered outside a police station in Greece's second largest city, waiting for hours to be formally arrested in order to gain temporary residence in the European Union country. Families, including many from Syria, sat on the sidewalk outside the police building for hours Friday after crossing illegally from Turkey. Police in northern Greece have reported a surge in illegal land crossings following Turkey's military offensive in northern Syria and capture of the town of Afrin from Kurdish fighters.

Among them was 24-yearold Mohammed Basil who fled Afrin with his wife and spent several days at a state-run hostel on the Greek-Turkish border before being allowed to leave and travel to Thessaloniki. "We escaped from the war, and we have identification papers. Now we are waiting to be taken somewhere to stay," Basil told The Associated Press. The huge line formed for a second day as many slept on the ground outside the police building or looked for a nearby park to rest. Although the arrest is considered a formality for refugees, many use the procedure as the fastest method to start their paperwork. Most families are request-

ing placement at refugee camps around Greece that were set up after a European crackdown on migration two years ago. Refugees from Syria and other war-torn countries are usually granted the right to stay in Greece for at least 30 days. Dimitris Beliakidis, a police spokesman, said there had been a spike in arrivals in the city over the last few days. They coincided with renewed tension in Syria over the possibility of Western military intervention. New arrivals have mostly crossed the Evros River, which forms a natural border between Greece and Turkey, as migrants mostly try to avoid the Greek islands where strict controls

Migrants sleep outside the police headquarters at the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki, Friday, April 13, 2018. Associated Press

on movement have been imposed and refugee camps are overcrowded. Separately Friday, several thousand protesters gathered outside the U.S. Embassy in Athens in a rally

against possible strikes in Syria. Organizers said protests are also planned on the island of Crete where a deep-water port at Souda Bay is used by the U.S. military.q


Saturday 14 April 2018


Officials: 1 Palestinian killed, 223 wounded by Israeli fire By FARES AKRAM and MOHAMMED DARAGHMEH, Associated Press GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Thousands of Palestinians, some burning Israeli flags and torching tires, staged a mass protest on Gaza’s sealed border with Israel for a third consecutive Friday, as part of a pressure campaign to break a decade-old blockade of their territory. Israeli live fire from across the border fence killed a 28-year-old Palestinian man and wounded at least 223, Gaza health officials said. The death brought to 28 the number of protesters killed in two weeks, with more than 1,500 wounded by Israeli fire since March 30, they said. The marches have been organized by Gaza’s Hamas rulers, but large turnouts on two preceding Fridays were also driven by desperation among the territory’s 2 million residents who have been enduring a crippling border closure by Israel and Egypt since 2007. “We want to live like everyone else in the world,” said 37-year-old construction worker Omar Hamada, an unemployed father of eight. “We came here so the world can see us and know that life here is miserable, and that there should be a solution.” On Friday, the turnout seemed to be significantly lower than on previous Fridays — some 10,000 protesters according to the Israeli military — raising questions about the organizers’ goal of keeping the mass marches going until mid-May. Gaza’s Health Ministry said that 969 people were hurt Friday, including 223 by live fire and the rest by tear gas, rubber-coated steel pellets or shrapnel. Fifteen of the wounded were in serious conditions, including a Gaza journalist. The count also included 67 minors and 20 women, health officials said. Rights groups have described the Israeli military’s open-fire regulations as unlawful, saying they permit soldiers to use potentially

Palestinian protesters evacuate a wounded man during a protest at the Gaza Strip’s border with Israel, Friday, April 13, 2018.

lethal force against unarmed protesters. Israel has accused Gaza’s Islamic militant Hamas rulers of using the protests as a cover for attacks and says snipers only target the main “instigators.” On Friday, most of the demonstrators assembled at five tent camps located several hundred meters (yards) from the border fence. Smaller groups moved closer to the fence, throwing stones, torching tires and burning large Israeli flags, U.S. flags, as well as posters of Israel’s prime minister and defense minister. Large plumes of black smoke from burning tires rose into the sky. Israeli forces fired tear gas, rubber-coated steel pellets and live rounds. Military spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus said that Palestinians repeatedly tried to damage the border fence, throwing several explosives and fire bombs at it. Footage distributed by the military showed an area of the fence made up of several layers of barbed wire coils. Protesters stuck a Palestinian flag into the fence and affixed a rope, using it

to tug at the coils. One man threw a burning tire into the fence, while another was seen walking nearby with the help of a crutch. Gaza has endured a border blockade by Israel and Egypt since Hamas overran the territory in 2007, a year after winning Palestinian parliament elections. The blockade has driven Gaza deeper into poverty, with unemployment approaching 50 percent and electricity available for less than five hours a day. The marchers are protesting against the blockade, but are also asserting what they say is a “right of return” of Palestinian refugees and their descendants to what is now Israel. Hamas leaders have sent mixed signals about whether they plan an eventual mass breach of the border fence. The protests are to culminate in a large rally on May 15, the 70th anniversary of Israel’s creation. Palestinians mourn the event as their “nakba,” or catastrophe, when hundreds of thousands were uprooted in the 1948 war over Israel’s creation. Several thousand people

gathered Friday at one of the tent camps, east of Gaza City. The camp was decked out in Palestinian flags. At the entrance, organizers had laid a large Israeli flag on the ground for protesters to step on. Hamada, the construction worker, was critical of Hamas, saying the group has set back Gaza by decades, but added that “this is the reality and we have to deal with it.” Critics argue that Hamas’ refusal to disarm is a key reason for the continued blockade. One path toward lifting the blockade would be to have Hamas’ political rival, West Bankbased Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, take over the Gaza government, but recent Egypt-led talks on such a deal appear to have run aground. The debate over Israel’s open-fire regulations has intensified with a rising number of dead and wounded since the first protests on March 30. In all, 35 Palestinians were killed in the past two weeks, 28 during protests. Seven were killed in other circumstances, including six mili-

Associated Press

tants engaged in apparent attempts to carry out attacks or infiltrate Israel. The Israeli military has argued that Gaza militant groups are trying to turn the border area into a combat zone, and said it has a right to defend its sovereign border. Conricus said Friday that the military is trying to minimize Palestinian casualties, but hadn’t changed open-fire regulations. Yair Lapid, the leader of Israel’s centrist Yesh Atid party, called Hamas a “despicable terror organization” and accused it of exploiting civilians. He said the Israeli military is “operating against it (Hamas) with determination and according to international law.” Human rights groups have reiterated that soldiers can only use lethal force if they face an apparent imminent threat to their lives. The Israeli rights group B’Tselem said Friday that open-fire policy must not be dictated by worst case scenarios, such as a feared mass breach of the border. “An order to open live fire at unarmed protesters is manifestly unlawful,” it said.q


Saturday 14 April 2018

India’s nationalist lawmaker arrested on rape allegation By BISWAJEET BANERJEE Associated Press LUCKNOW, India (AP) — A governing Hindu nationalist party lawmaker was arrested after being accused of abducting and raping a teenage girl last year, officials said. Kuldeep Singh Sengar denies the allegation. He was arrested Friday after questioning in Lucknow, the capital of northern Uttar Pradesh state, said Abhishek Dayal, a spokesman for the federal Central Bureau of Investigation. The teen also accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party of shielding the lawmaker and police of delaying his prosecution. Violent crimes against women have been on the rise in India despite tough laws enacted in 2013. In 2012, the fatal gang rape of a young woman in the heart of India’s capital prompted hundreds of thousands of Indians to take to the streets to demand stricter rape laws. The outrage over the New Delhi attack spurred quick action on legislation doubling prison terms for rapists to 20 years and criminalizing voyeurism, stalking and the trafficking of women. Indian lawmakers also voted to lower to 16 from 18 the age at which a person can be tried as an adult for heinous crimes. The Associated Press generally does not name people who say they are a victim of a sex crime. The girl told reporters Thursday that Sengar was known to her family because they were from the same village in Uttar Pradesh state. She accused Sengar of raping her in June last year when she went to his home in Unnao district, 40 kilometers (25 miles) from Lucknow. Federal investigators said the teenager’s family also accused four other people of kidnapping and raping her. Police are investigating the complaint. The girl said she protested to state authorities in August last year, but nothing happened. She and her family moved to New Delhi because they felt threatened by the lawmaker and his supporters and she sent petitions to India’s president, the prime minister and the state police chief seeking help. Last week, she visited the state’s top elected official, Yogi Adiyanath’s office in Lucknow. When she was denied meeting with state officials, she took out kerosene and tried to set herself on fire. The lawmaker’s brother, Atul Sengar, and his supporters have been accused of beating up the girl’s father and Atul Sengar was arrested this week for causing the father’s death.q

Myanmar military put on U.N. blacklist for sexual violence

António Guterres, right, Secretary-General of the United Nations, speaks during a Security Council meeting, Friday, April 13, 2018, at United Nations headquarters. Associated Press

By EDITH M. LEDERER Associated Press UNITED NATIONS (AP) — A new U.N. report puts Myanmar’s armed forces on a U.N. blacklist of government and rebel groups “credibly suspected” of carrying out rapes and other acts of sexual violence in conflict for the first time. An advance copy of Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ report to the Security Council, obtained Friday by The Associated Press, says international medical staff and others in Bangladesh have documented that many of the almost 700,000 Rohingya Muslims who fled from Myanmar “bear the physical and psychological scars of brutal sexual assault.” The U.N. chief said the assaults were allegedly perpetrated by the Myanmar Armed Forces, known as the Tatmadaw, “at times acting in concert with local militias, in the course of military ‘clearance’ operations in October 2016 and August 2017.” “The widespread threat and use of sexual violence

was integral to this strategy, serving to humiliate, terrorize and collectively punish the Rohingya community, as a calculated tool to force them to flee their homelands and prevent their return,” Guterres said. Buddhist-majority Myanmar doesn’t recognize the Rohingya as an ethnic group, insisting they are Bengali migrants from Bangladesh living illegally in the country. It has denied them citizenship, leaving them stateless. The recent spasm of violence began when Rohingya insurgents launched a series of attacks last Aug. 25 on about 30 security outposts and other targets. Myanmar security forces then began a scorchedearth campaign against Rohingya villages that the U.N. and human rights groups have called a campaign of ethnic cleansing. “Violence was visited upon women, including pregnant women, who are seen as custodians and propagators of ethnic identity, as well as on young children, who represent the future of the group,” Guterres said.

“This can be linked to an inflammatory narrative alleging that high fertility rates among the Rohingya represent an existential threat to the majority population.” The report, which will be a focus of a U.N. Security Council meeting Monday on preventing sexual violence in conflict, puts 51 government, rebel and extremist groups on the list. They include 17 from Congo including the armed forces and national police, seven from Syria including the armed forces and intelligence services, six each from Central African Republic and South Sudan, five from Mali, four from Somalia, three from Sudan, one each from Iraq and Myanmar, and Boko Haram which operates in several countries. “As a general trend,” Guterres said, “the rise or resurgence of conflict and violent extremism, with its ensuing proliferation of arms, mass displacement, and collapsed rule of law, triggers patterns of sexual violence.” This was evident in many places in 2017 as insecurity spread to new regions in Central African Republic, violence surged in eastern and central Congo, conflict engulfed South Sudan, violence wracked Syria and Yemen, and “’ethnic cleansing’ in the guise of clearance operations unfolded in Northern Rakhine State, Myanmar,” he said. Guterres said most victims are “politically and economically marginalized women and girls” concentrated in remote, rural areas with the least access to services that can help them, and in refugee camps and areas for the displaced. q


Saturday 14 April 2018


Pence urges Latin American allies to isolate Venezuela By KEN THOMAS Associated Press LIMA, Peru (AP) — Showing solidarity with opposition leaders, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence urged Latin American allies on Friday to further isolate Venezuela, suggesting the Trump administration would seek additional sanctions to counter the country’s political crisis. Pence, in Lima for the Summit of the Americas, announced that the U.S. would provide nearly $16 million in humanitarian assistance to Venezuelans who have fled their country under the rule of President Nicolas Maduro. “We want one message to be clear: We are with the people of Venezuela,” Pence said at the U.S. ambassador’s residence, seated with a group of Venezuelan opposition leaders. The vice president called Maduro’s government a “dictatorship” and said the U.S. would continue to push a hard line against the country’s leadership. “The U.S. and our allies, I believe, are prepared to do much more,” Pence said, accusing Maduro of “refusing humanitarian aid to be delivered to Venezuela.” He said the U.S. would push “additional sanctions, additional isolation and additional diplomatic pressure — beginning in our hemisphere but across the wider world.”

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, center, speaks with Venezuelan opposition leaders Carlos Vecchio, left, Julio Borges, David Smolansky and Antonio Ledezma during a meeting at the residence of the US ambassador, in Lima, Peru, Friday, April 13, 2018. Associated Press

Pence is subbing for President Donald Trump after the president pulled out of his first planned visit to Latin America to manage the U.S. response to an apparent chemical weapons attack on civilians in Syria. The White House said Pence would sit down Saturday with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, who has yet to meet with Trump in an impasse over the wall Trump has pledged to build along the U.S.-Mexico border. Pence’s meeting with Pena Nieto will follow Trump’s calls to send National Guard troops to the border. That adds fur-

ther tensions as the neighbors, along with Canada, work to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement. In a series of meetings with Latin American leaders, Pence plans to promote good governance and democratic institutions and urge allies to maintain pressure on Maduro. The U.S. has sanctioned Maduro and dozens of top officials, accusing the country of human rights abuses and sliding into a dictatorship. With the White House’s encouragement, Maduro has been barred from the summit over his plans to hold a

presidential election that the opposition is boycotting and that many foreign governments consider a sham. During the meeting with four opposition leaders, Pence listened as they described their once-prosperous country devolving into chaos. Antonio Ledezma, the former mayor of Caracas, pleaded with Pence through a translator to bolster sanctions against Maduro, asking for “not only humanitarian aid but humanitarian intervention.” The Trump administration is considering imposing an oil embargo on the OPEC nation, while Panama re-

cently said it would pursue sanctions of its own — the first Latin American nation do so — by blacklisting dozens of Venezuelan officials from doing business in the Central American country. Ana Quintana, a senior policy analyst on Latin America and the Western Hemisphere for the Heritage Foundation, said Pence would seek to “continue the momentum” of U.S. policy on Venezuela. She said the “vast majority of the region’s democratic leaders have been so united on addressing the crisis.” Pence will also aim to counter China’s attempt to exert more economic influence in the Americas at a time when the Trump administration has been embroiled in a trade dispute with the Chinese. White House officials said the vice president would emphasize the U.S. as the “partner of choice” in Latin American trade, noting that nearly half of the U.S. trade agreements are based in the Western Hemisphere. Yet the timing of the trade pitch will be delicate. Pence landed in Peru shortly after Trump signaled his interest in possibly rejoining negotiations in the TransPacific Partnership, the Pacific Rim trade pact he frequently blasted during the 2016 campaign, injecting a dose of uncertainty among U.S. trading partners. q

Leading candidate in Brazilian election charged with racism By MAURICIO SAVARESE Associated Press SAO PAULO (AP) — One of the front-runners in Brazil’s presidential campaign was charged with racism on Friday by the country’s top prosecutor. Attorney General Raquel Dodge charged conservative deputy Jair Bolsonaro for statements comparing members of rural settlements founded by the descendants of slaves to animals. Members of the settlements are called “quilombolas” in Brazil.

Dodge said Bolsonaro promotes hate speech by attacking blacks, women, foreigners, native Brazilians and homosexuals, dealing a major blow to a politician polling second ahead of October’s presidential elections. Jailed former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva currently leads the preferences, but could be barred from running by Brazil’s electoral authorities. “This unacceptable statement on quilombolas is aligned with the regime of slavery in which blacks

were treated as merchandise and with the idea of inequality between human beings,” Dodge said. “After that, the accused said quilombolas don’t do anything and are unfit even to breed, deprecating them emphatically and absolutely for who they are.” Brazilian politicians have a special jurisdiction in the country’s top court, which will later decide whether Bolsonaro will have to stand trial. If convicted, Bolsonaro could be jailed for up to

Demonstrators opposed to Brazil’s former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva have their picture taken with Lawmaker Jair Bolsonaro, the main right-wing candidate for the October presidential election, during a protest in Brasilia, Brazil, Wednesday, April 4, 2018. Associated Press

three years. Dodge also wants him to pay about $120,000 in collective damages. A Datafolha poll published

in the end of January showed Bolsonaro leading in Brazil’s presidential race if da Silva is not allowed to run.q


Saturday 14 April 2018

Students University of Aruba (UA) are Certified Incentive Specialist (CIS)

tificate is part of the course MICE Management under the guidance of Mrs. JoAnne Croes.

ORANJESTAD – The Faculty of Hospitality and Tourism Management Studies (FHTMS) offers a specialized program called ‘Certified Incentive Specialist (CIS)’ and just recently a group of students graduated from the course. Two full days it was all about the incentive industry and incentive groups.

How to create an incentive program, how to stimulate a person to go that extra mile in the job and the positive effect of an incentive program within an organization and/or company. Every year professionals within the industry: members of the Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE) from around the world

gather for a three days conference. This conference covers several topics on educational field that are specific for the industry of incentive groups. One of the instructors of SITE, Sr. Jim Skiba travelled to Aruba by invitation of ECO DMS, a Destination Management Company, to participate in the incentive program of the university. The cer-

The 19 students that are certified are: Karel Arends, David Carache, Marylaine Feliciana, Asanya Foster, Marrion Kock, Zarianni Larmonie, Zoë Loefstok, Jennifer Perez, Maria Perez, Alfonso Rey Canal, Sabina Rey Canal, Jeni de la Rosa, Edward Schoop, Victoria Sequera, Sarah van der Steen, Nathania Taylor, MaryJoan Wardlaw and Annabel Westerop. The faculty would like to thank Maoreen Every, Di-

rector of Operations of ECO DMS and her team to give this opportunity to the students. Also thanks to Marriott Resort Aruba Stellaris Casino, Aruba Airport Authority N.V., Holiday Inn Resort Aruba, Elite Productions & Entertainment, ABC Tours Aruba, One Happy Photographer, Fofoti Tours & Transfers, Pelican Adventures and Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort & Casino. Decan John Wardlaw mentioned: “In a relative short period our partners within the tourism industry gathered to create this program for our students. Incentives make up for more than 70 % of the business for the MICE market (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences & Exhibitions) in Aruba. The industry and our faculty acknowledge the importance to work together in order to create profesionals in the field of MICE. Our goal as faculty is to identify the needs in the industry and prepare our students to be professionals with the knowledge and necessary skills to be leaders in the hospitality and tourism area. We have the advantage that we have the university in Aruba and projects like this where we work together with the industry for sure fortify the level of our graduates who will eventually enter the labor market. A thank you to all who made this project possible.”q


Saturday 14 April 2018


WITH A GLOW IN THE DARK ZUMBA EVENT PALM BEACH, ARUBA – April 10, 2018 – Aruba Marriott recently organized a Glow in the Dark Zumba event for its associates and their families, in an effort to promote associate wellbeing and happiness. At Marriott, taking care of their associates involves providing programs and resources that help them in their careers and life, including tools to manage their personal wellbeing such as workout classes, nutritional guidance and financial management workshops to mention a few. The Glow in the Dark Zumba event was held in the parking lot of the Grand Ballroom and a total of 120 participants were present which consisted of associates and their families. Zumba was provided by Step Up Zumba Fitness with instructor Nelly who made sure the attendees were having a good time while working out. To add the glow in the dark factor to the event, attendees were body painted with neon color paint by Lila’s Face and Body Creations. Additionally, raffle prizes were given to the lucky participants. Aruba Marriott organized this workout event as part of Marriott International’s efforts to promote wellbeing and happiness among associates through the Marriott Take Care Program, which is an initiative that supports Marriott International’s Putting People First culture. This includes physical, emotional, career and financial wellbeing. Through the Take Care Wellbeing Program, Marriott helps their associates focus on their health and the importance of taking care of themselves, just as they take care of their guests. For those interested in starting their career at the Aruba Marriott please visit to review current job opportunities. q


Saturday 14 April 2018

Congrats to a Goodwill Ambassadors Family EAGLE BEACH - Recently the Aruba Tourism Authority honored Goodwill Ambassadors visitors of Aruba as a token of appreciation for visiting the island for more than 20 and more consecutive years. Honorees were: Remy & Josie Richard resident of Canada Chester Basin Nathalie Richard resident of Halifax Canada Ms. Darline de Cuba representing the Aruba Tourism Authority, together with Gloria Janga, Miriam Rodriquez and Lina at Costa Linda bestowed the certificate of the Ambassadors and handed some presents to the honorees and thanked them for choosing Aruba as their vacation destination and as their home away from home for so many years on behalf of the Government of Aruba. The visitors love Aruba for the perfect vacation weather, the gorgeous white sand, the refreshing

turquoise water, the kind and welcoming locals and the absolute relaxation. Family Richard’s story: In 1995, Josie was going through a difficult time after losing two of her sisters to cancer, and a third sister had what turned out to be less than two years to live. Her husband Remy felt she was in dire need of a getaway and started to think about where he could whisk her off to from their home in Halifax, Canada. They had already spent winter vacations in many other Caribbean islands and Remy was looking for a place they have not been to. Having just recently watched Miss Universe, and admiring Miss Aruba’s beauty, he decided that they would check out this island. Upon arriving to Aruba, they weren’t too pleased with the hotel they had originally selected and within two days, they moved to La Cabana

and spent the rest of their week there. They enjoyed Eagle Beach so much that they purchased a double unit for one week at La Cabana that same week. Little did they know that this was just the beginning. The following year they returned to Aruba and while walking along the beach one morning, Josie spotted Costa Linda and knew she had to show her new find to her husband. They were both immediately impressed and bought a week there as well! In 1997, their daughter Nathalie came to Aruba for the first time as her university graduation gift. Right away, she understood how her parents had fallen in love with the island so quickly! Since then, she has returned to Aruba yearly and has been sharing her island photos with people from all around the world. Over the years, they slowly purchased additional weeks at Costa Linda and

on three separate occasions, guests they have brought to Aruba have also purchased their own weeks! Remy and Josie are now proud owners of four weeks in one of Costa Linda’s gorgeous brand new Frangipani Suites. Not only is 2018 a special year in terms of their new weeks in the Frangipani Suite but,

while here, Josie is joyfully celebrating her 75th birthday with friends and family. Later this year, Remy and Josie will also celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary - an eventful year indeed! Congratulations for this special family from Aruba Today’s team. q


Saturday 14 April 2018

App to check consumer prices ORANJESTAD – A new app has been introduced to Aruba where prices of consumer products can be checked. The Minister of Finances Xiomara RuizMaduro (MEP) presented the app yesterday to the public. This app will assist consumers to check upon the prices for products that are part of the elementary package. These products have fixed prices and consumers can use the app to check whether this is the actual price that has to be charged. Also the prices of diesel and gasoline are to be checked with this app. Important is to inform if prices are not correct, there is a telephone number available for this and a complaint can be done. 11 products have fixed prices, set by the government like milk, cooking oil, baby milk powder, sugar,

rice and coffee. The past month a research was done to do inventories on the prices and products

and this input was used for the app. The app is created by students of the University of

Aruba: Nicolette Habibe and Xavier Boekhoudt, faculty Organization, Governance and Management

(OGM). Xavier Boekhoudt is an intern within the Department of Economics at this moment.q


Saturday 14 April 2018

Cowboys release Dez Bryant, look to catch salarycap relief By SCHUYLER DIXON AP Pro Football Writer FRISCO, Texas (AP) — Dez Bryant never lived up to the big contract he signed with the Dallas Cowboys when he was among the best receivers in the NFL. If the franchise leader in touchdown catches is going to find his 2014 All-Pro form again, it will be with another team. The Cowboys released Bryant on Friday, deciding salary-cap relief and declining production from one of their biggest stars outweighed the risk of him proving them wrong by becoming a Pro Bowl player again somewhere else. And Bryant used Twitter to make it clear that he will be trying. "If I didn't have my edge, I've got it now," he wrote among a flurry of tweets over two days, starting the day before a meeting where owner and general manager Jerry Jones told him he was being released. "It's very personal." The 29-year-old Bryant signed a $70 million, fiveyear deal after leading the NFL with 16 touchdowns in 2014. But he didn't have a 1,000-yard season in three years under the big contract, and just played all 16 games without a 100-yard day for the first time in his eight-year career. Bryant was owed $12.5 million on each of the last two years of his deal, with a $16.5 million salary cap hit both times. The release clears about $8.5 million in cap space. Continued on Page 21

In this March 28, 2018, file photo, Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James (23) dunks past Charlotte Hornets' Dwight Howard (12) during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Charlotte, N.C.


Saturday 14 April 2018

Ken Hitchcock, 3rd in NHL wins, retiring after 22 years By SCHUYLER DIXON AP Sports Writer FRISCO, Texas (AP) — Ken Hitchcock wasn't sure how long he would coach the Dallas Stars the second time around after 15 years away. Turned out to be one season. The coach who led Dallas to its only Stanley Cup championship retired Friday, ending a 22-year career as the third-winningest coach in NHL history. The 823 wins are behind only Scotty Bowman (1,244) and Joel Quenneville (884). He's fourth in total games with 1,536. The 66-year-old Hitchcock will become a consultant for the Stars. "I have contemplated this since our last game and I came to the conclusion that now is the right time to step away and let the younger generation of coaches take over," said Hitchcock, who last year signed a multiyear contract that included the stipulation of becoming a consultant when he was finished

In this Feb. 11, 2018, file photo, Dallas Stars head coach Ken Hitchcock talks to the media prior to an NHL hockey game against the Vancouver Canucks, in Dallas. Associated Press

coaching. Hitchcock returned to Dallas after 14 seasons elsewhere, including stops in Philadelphia, Columbus and St. Louis. General manager Jim Nill hoped Hitchcock could get the Stars back to the playoffs, but a late-season

slump kept them out for the second straight year and the eighth time in 10 seasons. "We were honored to have Ken as our head coach and it was fitting that he finished his coaching here," Stars owner Tom Gaglardi said. "He is a certain Hock-

ey Hall of Fame coach and he left a lasting legacy wherever he went." The Stars went to the Stanley Cup Final in consecutive seasons, beating Buffalo for the title in 1999 before losing to New Jersey in six games. Those are the only times Hitchcock or the Stars

have made it to the final. Dallas also won five straight division titles under Hitchcock, who was fired from his first head-coaching job with the team sliding in January 2002. He coached the Flyers from 2002-06, followed by the Blue Jackets (2006-10) and the Blues (2011-17). St. Louis made the playoffs in each of Hitchcock's five full seasons, reaching the Western Conference finals in 2016 after beating top seed Dallas in seven games in the second round. The Blues abruptly fired Hitchcock in February last year, cutting short what was already going to be his last season with the Blues after their fifth loss in six games. "To each and every player that I coached, I wish I could do it all over again," said Hitchcock, a Canadian whose record is 823-506 with 88 ties and 119 losses in overtime or a shootout. "You guys were the main reason for the all the wins, and I enjoyed coaching each and every one of you."q

DeChambeau shoots career-best 64 to take Harbour Town lead By PETE IACOBELLI HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (AP) — Bryson DeChambeau shot a career-best 7-under 64 on Friday to take the lead into the weekend at the RBC Heritage Classic. DeChambeau's first event as a pro was at Harbour Town Golf Links in 2016. Two years later, he posted his lowest ever on the PGA Tour to get to 10-under 132, one ahead of red-hot Ian Poulter and Si Woo Kim. Poulter showed he's not done playing high-level golf with a bogey-free 64. Kim, The Players Championship winner, had a 65 that included a two-shot penalty for touching sand after a bunker shot. Two shots behind DeChambeau were Chasson Hadley (68), past RBC Heritage winner Brandt Snedeker (64), Luke List (64) and first-round leader Rory Sabbatini (70).

World No. 1 Dustin Johnson shot a second straight 69 and was tied for 26th, six shots off the lead. DeChambeau, 24, jump started his round with an eagle on the par-5 and took over the lead with birdies on the 13th, 15th, 16th and 17th holes. He made a knee-knocking, 12-footer for par on the 18th hole after his approach landed in a frontside bunker. DeChambeau pumped his fist when the ball curled in, as pleased with his improved putting as his composure at rallying late to the lead. "Two years, it's time," DeChambeau said. He won for the first time on tour last summer, shooting a pair of 65s on the way to taking the John Deere Classic. He's had three top 10s this season, including a second last month at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. DeChambeau's certain

his play at Harbour Town is simply the next step in his progress to the top. "I'm figuring out a lot of great things that are helping me on the golf course," he said. Poulter's learned plenty the past few weeks. He was the talk of golf two weeks back with his stunning playoff win at Houston Open where he made a 20-foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole to force a playoff, then beat Beau Hossler on the first extra hole to gain entrance to Augusta National. After an opening 69 at Harbour Town, Poulter put on a dazzling second-round, bogey-free display. Poulter briefly took the lead alone with a 16-foot birdie on the par-3 seventh. He had a chance to reach 10-under, but lipped out an 8-footer on his final hole, the ninth. Poulter has shot five sub-70 rounds in his last six times around

Harbour Town. Poulter said his Houston victory wiped away any concerns holding him back. "The win helps a lot," he said. "I can free myself up in my mind. I can start attacking pins and just play free golf. And when you're in that position, sometimes the game feels easy when sometimes it isn't." Even more remarkable than Poulter's play may have been Kim's scoring. He posted nine birdies along with a triple-bogey 6 on the par-3 14th where he was assessed a two-stroke penalty for touching the sand when he scrubbed the fringe of a bunker following a shot. Kim quickly erased the error from his mind — and the scorecard — with birdies on the next three holes to regain his lost shots. "This might be the first time that I've played so well with a triple bogey," Kim said.

"But I'm having great feel around the greens and I feel really confident." Johnson again played simply and steadily in his first Harbour Town appearance in nine years. His game remains good, his confidence high despite so many golfers between him and the lead. "I feel like I'm playing really solid," he said. "I'm giving myself some chances and looking forward to the weekend." Much of the field thrived in mild, sunny conditions where even the course's typically difficult closing stretch of No. 16, No. 17 and No. 18 along windy Calibogue Sound played much tamer than a typical round. Japan's Satoshi Kodaira followed his 73 on Thursday with the lowest round of the tournament so, a 63, on Friday. Michael Kim went from an opening 76 to 66 in the second round.q


Saturday 14 April 2018

Artemi Panarin lifts Blue Jackets past Capitals in OT By The Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — Artemi Panarin scored 6:02 into overtime to give the Columbus Blue Jackets a 4-3 victory over the Washington Capitals on Thursday night in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series. Panarin made an incredible individual move to drive by fellow Russian Dmitry Orlov and went backhand-to-forehand to beat Philipp Grubauer top shelf. Game 2 is Sunday night in Washington. Alexander Wennberg, Thomas Vanek and Seth Jones scored in regulation, and Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 27 shots for Columbus, which got two power-play goals to continue a strong trend since the trade deadline. Wennberg left the game with an upper-body injury in the third period and didn't return. Jones, son of former NBA player Popeye Jones, drew a penalty late in the third period, almost put the puck in his own net and tied it on the ensuing power play with 4:26 left in regulation to send the game to overtime. Washington got two power-play goals from Evgeny Kuznetsov on Josh Anderson's five-minute major penalty for boarding Michal Kempny and an evenstrength goal on the rush in the third period by Devante Smith-Pelly. Grubauer, who got the nod to start over 2016 Vezina Trophy-winning goaltender Braden Holtby, made 23 saves in his second career playoff start. LIGHTNING 5, DEVILS 2 TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Tampa Bay got early goals from four players — none of them named Nikita Kucherov or Steven Stamkos — before holding off New Jersey in Game 1. Ondrej Palat, Tyler Johnson and Yanni Gourde scored, helping the Lightning build a 3-0 lead that New Jersey trimmed to one goal before Alex Killorn and Kucherov, who added an empty-netter, finished off the win. Taylor Hall scored an unassisted goal in the second period, then assisted on

Travis Zajac's power-play goal that cut it to 3-2 midway through third against Andrei Vasilievskiy. Killorn's shot over the glove of goalie Kevin Kincaid's glove restored a two-goal lead before Kucherov, who led the Lightning with 100 points this season, ensured there would be no comeback. Vasilievskiy made 29 saves. Game 2 is Saturday at Amalie Arena. SHARKS 3, DUCKS 0 ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Evander Kane scored two goals in his first career playoff game, Martin Jones made 25 saves and the Sharks beat the Ducks in their first-round series opener. Brent Burns also scored and captain Joe Pavelski had two assists during a threegoal second period to help the Sharks easily take early control in the series between California rivals. San Jose and Anaheim have been regular playoff teams for the past 15 years, yet are meeting in the postseason for only the second time. John Gibson stopped 30 shots for the Ducks, who lost a series opener at home in their third consecutive playoff series. Anaheim had won seven straight home games down the regular-season stretch, losing in regulation at home just once in 17 games since late January. Game 2 is Saturday night at Honda Center. BRUINS 5, MAPLE LEAFS 1 BOSTON (AP) — Brad Marchand, David Backes and David Krejci each scored a power-play goal, and Tuukka Rask stopped 26 shots in Boston's Game 1 victory over Toronto. David Pastrnak also scored for Boston, and Sean Kuraly bunted one out of the air and into the net over goalie Frederik Andersen to make it 4-1 with seven minutes gone in the third period. Krejci bounced it in off Andersen from behind to make it 5-1 after Toronto's Nazem Kadri was thrown out of the game and given a five-minute major for an elbow to Tommy Wingels'

head. Zach Hyman scored Toronto's only goal, and Andersen made 35 saves. Game 2 is Saturday night in Boston. PREDATORS 5, AVALANCHE 2 NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Filip Forsberg scored twice in the third period and Nashville rallied to beat Colorado in Game 1 of the firstround Western Conference series. Pekka Rinne made 25 saves, including a handful on Colorado's Hart Trophy candidate Nathan MacKinnon. Austin Watson had a goal and an assist for Nashville, which has won 11 straight over Colorado. Craig Smith and Colton Sissons scored a goal apiece, and Ryan Johansen had two assists.q

Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Artemi Panarin (9), of Russia, vies for the puck against Washington Capitals goaltender Philipp Grubauer (31), of Germany, during the third period in Game 1 of an NHL first-round hockey playoff series, Thursday, April 12, 2018, in Washington. Also seen is Capitals left wing Andre Burakovsky (65). The Blue Jackets won 4-3 in overtime. Associated Press


Saturday 14 April 2018

Prime time: LeBron defying age, better than ever at 33

In this March 28, 2018, file photo, Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James goes up to dunk against the Charlotte Hornets during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Charlotte, N.C. Associated Press

By TOM WITHERS AP Sports Writer CLEVELAND (AP) — LeBron James emerged from a chaotic, complex season unscathed — better than ever. Still the NBA's undisputed king. Despite no longer having Kyrie Irving at his side. Despite an injury-riddled season in which the Cavaliers' roster morphed twice and despite being surrounded by a supporting cast that included rookies and just three holdovers from Cleveland teams he dragged to three straight NBA Finals, James played every game and powered through his 15th pro season like it was another helpless defender in the lane. By investing millions into maintaining his body and with a work ethic that has pushed him since childhood, James seems intent on challenging basketball's natural cycle of aging. At 33, and on the eve of making a run at his eighth straight Finals, James is not slowing down. He remains the game's best all-around

player, most dominant force. Still, the one to beat. Still, the player most capable of carrying a team to playoff victories. Still, the most likely player — sorry Messrs. Westbrook, Harden, Curry and Durant — to make a play that wins a game or a series. "It doesn't seem like he gets old," said Philadelphia 76ers coach Brett Brown. "He just doesn't go away." While Cleveland's season was highly irregular, James had another brilliant one. He averaged 27.5 points — his highest total since 2010 — and established career-highs in assists (9.1), rebounds (8.6) and played the full slate of games for the first time. He led the league in total points, minutes played, surpassed 30,000 career points, recorded 18 triple-doubles and was the league's second-leading scorer in the fourth quarter (7.5 points). The three-time champion also extended his record of scoring at least 10 points to 873 games, a mark once owned by Michael Jordan

(862), the player James has spent his entire adulthood being compared to and the one he has equaled on many measures. Jordan was not done at 33, winning three more titles. But his game aged differently. Jordan relied more on jumpers as he got older and ceded tough defensive assignments to other Bulls. James continues to take over games physically, particularly late, and he never hesitates to defend the opponents' toughest scorers. And the Bulls never counted on their general to rebound or dish out assists as the Cavs lean on James. James has done it all amid a strange, soap-operalike season for Cleveland, which endured injuries, illnesses, trades and tribulations from late last summer until early spring. "As the Land Turns is what I call it," said Cavs coach Tyronn Lue, who returned from an illness just last week. Following Wednesday's regular-season finale, James stamped this as-yetunfinished season a person-

al triumph. "It's the best I've felt all season and I've got the numbers to back it up and I've got the wins to back it up as well," he said. "I've just tried to be available to my teammates every single night and do everything that I could to win ball games. Either by scoring, by rebounding, by defending, by assisting, taking charges, whatever the case may be. Statistically it all speaks for itself." While amassing those numbers, James has seemingly paused the aging process. Of course, it helps that he has a nutritionist, personal trainer, masseuse, cryogenic chamber and 21st century technology to keep him one step ahead of Father Time. Cavaliers forward Kendrick Perkins, who was drafted in 2003 after James, is awed by his friend's commitment and dedication. Perkins was stunned to learn James invests upward of $2 million per year on his body. "It's crazy. I watch how he takes care of his body, I watch how he gets treat-

ment around the clock," said Perkins. "But it shows and that's why he's able to do what he's been doing at this age. Everybody will be like, 'Man, 'Bron got to be doing something,' and I'm like, 'No, he actually put in the groundwork and everything you see is because he sacrificed.' It's amazing to watch." James isn't done, not even close, and earlier this season he described re-writing the narrative that players in their early 30s have reached their prime. "Hopefully I can break the mold, so when the next guy comes, he can still get $200 or $300 million and be 33 years old," he said. "I'm serious. This is the mold I'm trying to break. It's not just about me, it's for the next crew. I want it all." And what James wants, he usually gets. He has meticulously worked at his craft, refining his game, adding weapons. This season, James posted a career-high in 3-pointers, and according to , he made a higher percentage of shots from beyond 28 feet than any player — including Stephen Curry — since 2001. As far as Brown's concerned, James is the new standard. "I don't see any decline athletically and then watch it, the trend that he's now shooting and making 3s, so you feel that he just keeps getting better," Brown said before James scored 44 with 11 rebounds and 11 assists against the Sixers. "The fact that he can play that many minutes, that many games, seemingly not missing a beat. He is amazing. "In my opinion, he is the best player to have ever played our sport. And he just keeps getting better. And I say that with tremendous respect to lots of other people. That's a hell of a comment that I don't throw out recklessly. And I just feel like his body of work makes me feel very confident and comfortable saying that. He's playing arguably his best basketball."q


Saturday 14 April 2018

DEZ BRYANT Continued on Page 17

"This was not an easy decision," Jones said. "It was made based upon doing what we believe is in the best interest of the Dallas Cowboys. We arrived at this crossroad collectively with input from several voices within the organization." Jones' statement was more fodder for Bryant, who tweeted, "Key words in this statement.. Several input.. something I already knew." Bryant and Jones had a unique relationship because of the trouble that surrounded the receiver early in his career. Off-field concerns were the reason the Cowboys got him; he slid to near the bottom of the first round of the 2010 draft. Dallas traded up three spots to get him. Before the three most prolific seasons of his career, when Bryant averaged 1,312 yards and nearly 14 touchdowns per year, he got tangled in lawsuits over unpaid jewelry bills and had a baggy pants incident with police at an upscale Dallas mall. The most serious problem was a domestic incident involving his mother in 2012, with Bryant pleading guilty and eventually having the charge dismissed when he stayed out of trouble for a year. Bryant also was a distraction throughout his career with sideline rants, even admitting late last season that he let frustrations affect him during perhaps his most difficult year in the league. He said some of the frustration was rooted in the offensive scheme. "He will always be a valued member of our family,"

In this Nov. 30, 2017, file photo, Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant (88) catches a pass for a touchdown over Washington Redskins cornerback Bashaud Breeland (26) in the second half of an NFL football game, in Arlington, Texas. Associated Press

Jones said in his statement. "Dez and I share a personal and professional relationship that is very strong, and he is one of just a handful of players with whom I have become that close to over the past 30 years." With 73 touchdown catches, Bryant tops a Dallas list that includes Hall of Fame receivers Bob Hayes (71) and Michael Irvin (65). Tight end Jason Witten, who is getting ready for his 16th season, has 68 career TD catches. A dramatic dip in production started when Bryant broke his foot in the opener in 2015, a year after he helped the Cowboys win

the NFC East and just their second playoff game since the last of the franchise's five Super Bowls following the 1995 season. Bryant battled injuries each of the past two years as well, but when healthy he wasn't the same receiver who had the famous catch that wasn't against Green Bay in a loss that kept the Cowboys out of the NFC championship game three years ago. He was second in the NFL with 11 drops last season, according to sportradar. After getting 56 of his touchdowns in his first five seasons, Bryant had 17 his last three with the Cowboys.

Bryant never found the same on-field rapport with Dak Prescott that he had with Tony Romo, who lost his job during Prescott's remarkable rookie season after Romo injured his back in the preseason in 2016. Romo was released last offseason and retired. "Cowboy nation I need you to know this wasn't my decision.. I will always love y'all... forever Dallas in my heart," Bryant wrote in one post, which came only minutes after he tweeted, "let's start the process" in a reference to free agency. The Cowboys left little doubt they were in the market for receivers in free

agency, adding Allen Hurns after the four-year pro was released by Jacksonville. Six-year journeyman Deonte Thompson was another addition. While Hurns is the most likely candidate to be the No. 1 receiver, the Cowboys could take a wideout in the first round for the first time since getting Bryant. "No one will understand the love and the passion you have for the game," DeMarcus Lawrence wrote as one of several now-former teammates to reach out to Bryant on Twitter. "Wish you nothing but the best! I know you'll be throwing up the X soon enough!"q


Saturday 14 April 2018

Cardinals' 13-4 win extends Reds' worst start since 1955 CINCINNATI (AP) — Jose Martinez drove in six runs and Yadier Molina homered in his return from a one-game suspension, powering St. Louis to a victory that left Cincinnati mired in its worst start since 1955. The Cardinals homered a season-high four times while piling up a season high in runs. The Reds helped by walking 11 batters, three of them with the bases loaded. The Reds fell to 2-10, the worst record in the majors and their worst start since an identical mark in 1955. Infielder Cliff Pennington pitched the ninth for Cincinnati and gave up a pair of walks and Martinez's second RBI single of the game. Paul DeJong's solo shot deep into the upper deck in center off Austin Brice (02) snapped a 4-4 tie in the sixth. Martinez and Molina hit back-to-back drives in the seventh, when St. Louis put it away with seven runs. Michael Wacha (2-1) went five innings and extended his streak of beating Cincinnati. PIRATES 6, CUBS 1 CHICAGO (AP) — Gregory Polanco homered twice to help back a third straight solid start by Trevor Williams, and Pittsburgh pulled away

St. Louis Cardinals' Jose Martinez watches his solo home run off Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher Zack Weiss during the seventh inning of a baseball game Thursday, April 12, 2018, in Cincinnati. Associated Press

from Chicago. Francisco Cervelli lined a three-run shot in the seventh off Justin Wilson as Pittsburgh scored four times in the inning to break open a tight game. Adam Frazier also went deep for Pittsburgh, which improved to 9-3. Kyle Schwarber homered, doubled and singled for three of the Cubs' seven hits. Chicago's Ian Happ

had his first two-hit game this season. Williams (3-0) was a bit better than Kyle Hendricks (0-1) in what began as a pitchers' duel following Chicago's 13-5 rout of Pittsburgh on Wednesday night. Williams yielded one run and four hits through six innings. Hendricks allowed two runs and five hits in six innings. ROCKIES 5, NATIONALS 1

WASHINGTON (AP) — DJ LeMahieu hit two home runs and drove in a careerhigh four runs, powering Colorado to the victory. Chad Bettis (2-0) allowed one run and three hits over seven innings as Colorado took the opener of a fourgame series. LeMahieu's four-hit game matched a career high. He provided most of the offense, starting with the

game's first at-bat. The second baseman sent Washington starter Gio Gonzalez's third pitch into the Colorado bullpen in left. LeMahieu added an RBI double in the second off Gonzalez (1-1). In the sixth, he smacked a two-run homer to center off Matt Grace to make it 5-1. GIANTS 7, PADRES 0 SAN DIEGO (AP) — Chris Stratton and Derek Law combined on a one-hitter, and Hunter Pence's broken-bat, two-run bloop single highlighted a threerun first inning for San Francisco. Stratton (1-1) kept the Padres mostly off the bases through seven innings. He allowed their only hit, a one-out single in the third by pitcher Clayton Richard, who was hitting for starter Bryan Mitchell (0-2). Richard was doubled off after Franchy Cordero lined out to shortstop. Stratton struck out four, walked three and retired his final eight batters. The only time a runner got into scoring position against him was when he walked Freddy Galvis and Carlos Asuaje with one out in the fifth.Law, recalled from Triple-A Sacramento before the game, threw two perfect innings.q

Rockies' Arenado, Padres' Perdomo suspended 5 games apiece NEW YORK (AP) — Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado has been suspended five games for charging the mound after Luis Perdomo threw a pitch behind his back, inciting a benches-clearing brawl during Wednesday's game against the San Diego Padres. Major League Baseball announced Friday that Perdomo was also suspended five games for intentionally throwing at the All-Star third baseman. "Five games is a lot of games," Arenado said before Friday night's game. "I just defended myself." Rockies outfielder Gerardo Parra was suspended four games for fighting.

Colorado Rockies' Nolan Arenado, front right, is restrained by Carlos Gonzalez, center, as Gerrardo Parra, left, keeps an eye on the San Diego Padres dugout after Arenado rushed the mound following getting hit by a pitch from Padres starting pitcher Luis Perdomo in the third inning of a baseball game Wednesday, April 11, 2018, in Denver Associated Press

"As of now, I think both are appealing," Rockies manager Bud Black said. "That could change." Both Arenado and Parra were in the lineup for Colorado against the Washington Nationals on Friday night. Padres pitcher Buddy Bauman got a one-game suspension for fighting. The suspended players were also fined. Padres catcher A.J. Ellis and infielder Freddy Galvis and Rockies right-hander German Marquez were fined but not suspended. Arenado swung wildly at Perdomo after he reached the mound, but none of his punches landed squarely. "It's hard not to react a cer-

tain way when you know someone's trying to do something on purpose. It is what it is," Arenado said. "Obviously, five games — you don't want to fight. That's not why we're playing this game. But 96 (mph) at you on purpose, you get frustrated." The brawl came during a tense series that included three batters being hit by pitches before the benches-clearing incident. San Diego's Manuel Margot was hit first and ended up on the disabled list. The suspensions were effective Friday, pending appeals by the players. The Padres hosted the San Francisco Giants on Friday night.q


Saturday 14 April 2018

Ohtani's 3-run triple leads Angels to win over Royals By The Associated Press KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Shohei Ohtani hit a basesloaded triple in Los Angeles' five-run seventh inning, helping the Angels beat the Kansas City Royals 7-1 on Thursday night for their fifth straight victory. Ian Kinsler homered on his first swing in his return to the Angels' lineup, and Nick Tropeano (1-0) pitched shutout ball into the seventh for his first major league win since 2016. Los Angeles has won eight of nine. Ohtani drove a 1-2 pitch from Brandon Maurer to right-center, scoring Kole Calhoun, Andrelton Simmons and Luis Valbuena. The Royals walked Ohtani intentionally in the sixth with first base open and Simmons on second. Ohtani is tied with Mike Trout for the Angels' lead with 11 RBIs in 26 at-bats. Trout went 3 for 4 with his fifth home run. Kinsler led off the game with a home run for the 47th time in his career, driving a 1-0 pitch from Ian Kennedy (1-1) out to left. Kinsler missed the previous 11 games with an adductor strain. RED SOX 6, YANKEES 3 BOSTON (AP) — Rick Porcello pitched seven scoreless innings and Mookie Betts drove in two runs, leading Boston to the victory. Porcello (3-0) stayed in after a 45-minute rain delay and was working on a nohitter before Aaron Judge's leadoff double in the seventh. The 2016 AL Cy Young Award winner struck out six and walked none in his third straight win to begin the year. Andrew Benintendi and Mitch Moreland each had two hits and drove in a run. Craig Kimbrel got three

Los Angeles Angels' Shohei Ohtani (17) slides past Kansas City Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas after hitting a three-run triple during the seventh inning of a baseball game Thursday, April 12, 2018, in Kansas City, Mo. Associated Press

outs for his fourth save. Yankees starter Sonny Gray (1-1) was pulled after a leadoff single by Moreland in the fourth. It was the seventh hit allowed by Gray, who also threw three wild pitches and hit a batter. He was charged with six runs and seven hits. TWINS 4, WHITE SOX 0 MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Joe Mauer reached 2,000 career hits, Jose Berrios struck out 11 in seven innings and Minnesota earned its third straight win. Mauer had two hits and three RBIs. Berrios (2-1) tied a career high with 11 strikeouts and

allowed just three hits for the second time in three starts this season. The righthander is 4-1 with a 1.67 ERA in five starts against Chicago. Lucas Giolito (0-2) pitched 6 1/3 innings for the White Sox, giving up four runs, three earned, and five hits with five walks. He struck out three. INDIANS 9, TIGERS 3 CLEVELAND (AP) — Francisco Lindor hit a leadoff homer and drove in three runs, helping Cleveland to its 11th consecutive victory against the Tigers. The Indians completed a four-game series sweep

and improved to 31-10 against their AL Central rival since 2016. Jose Ramirez hit a two-run homer, and Trevor Bauer (1-1) struck out seven while pitching seven innings of two-run ball. Lindor, who entered the night batting .184 with one RBI, hit his fourth career leadoff homer off Michael Fulmer (1-2). He added a two-run double in the second and also scored three of Cleveland's season-high nine runs. Jason Kipnis and Bradley Zimmer each had three hits for the Indians. Kipnis added two RBIs and Zimmer robbed Dixon Machado of

an extra-base hit with a diving catch in the seventh.q


Saturday 14 April 2018

Bovines online: Farmers are using AI to help monitor cows By RYAN NAKASHIMA SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Is the world ready for cows armed with artificial intelligence? No time to ruminate on that because the moment has arrived, thanks to a Dutch company that has married two technologies — motion sensors and AI — with the aim of bringing the barnyard into the 21st century. The company, Connecterra, has brought its IDA system , or "The Intelligent Dairy Farmer's Assistant," to the United States after having piloted it in Europe for several years. IDA uses a motion-sensing device attached to a cow's neck to transmit its movements to a program driven by AI. The sensor data, when aligned repeatedly with real-world behavior, eventually allows IDA to tell from data alone when a cow is chewing cud, lying down, walking, drinking or eating. Those indicators can predict whether a particular cow is ill, has become less productive, or is ready to breed — alerting the farmer to changes in behavior that might otherwise be easily missed. "It would just be impossible for us to keep up with every animal on an individual basis," says Richard Wat-

In this undated photo provided by Google, a person uses a phone to monitor a cow's IDA, or “The Intelligent Dairy Farmer’s Assistant,” device in a pasture on Seven Oaks Dairy in Waynesboro, Ga. Associated Press

son, one of the first four U.S. farmers to use IDA since it launched commercially in December. Watson, who owns the Seven Oaks Dairy in Waynesboro, Georgia, says having a computer identify which cows in his 2,000-head herd need attention could help improve farm productivity as much as 10 percent, which would mean hundreds of thousands of dollars to his family. "If we can prove out that these advantages exist

from using this technology ... I think adoption of IDA across a broad range of farming systems, particularly large farming systems, would be a no-brainer," Watson says. Dairy farming is just one industry benefiting from AI, which is being applied in fields as diverse as journalism, manufacturing and self-driving cars. In agriculture, AI is being developed to estimate crop health using drone footage and parse out weed killer be-

tween rows of cotton. Yasir Khokhar, the former Microsoft employee who is the founder and CEO of Connecterra, said the inspiration for the idea came after living on a dairy farm south of Amsterdam. "It turns out the technology farmers use is really outdated in many respects," he says. "What does exist is very cumbersome to use, yet agriculture is one of those areas that desperately needs technology." Underlying IDA is Google's

open-source TensorFlow programming framework, which has helped spread AI to many disciplines. It's a language built on top of the commonly used Python code that helps connect data from text, images, audio or sensors to neural networks — the algorithms that help computers learn. The language has been downloaded millions of times and has about 1,400 people contributing code, only 400 of whom work at Google, according to product manager Sandeep Gupta. He says TensorFlow can be used by people with only high-school level math and some programming skills. "We're continuing this journey making it easier and easier to use," Gupta says. TensorFlow has been used to do everything from helping NASA scientists find planets using the Kepler telescope, to assisting a tribe in the Amazon detect the sounds of illegal deforestation, according to Google spokesman Justin Burr. Google hopes users adapt the open-source code to discover new applications that the company could someday use in its own business. Even without AI, sensors are helping farmers keep tabs on their herds.q

Russian court blocks popular messaging app in privacy row

The website of the Telegram messaging app is seen on a computer's screen in Moscow, Russia, Friday, April 13, 2018. Associated Press

MOSCOW (AP) — A Russian court on Friday ordered that a popular messaging app, Telegram, be blocked after the company rejected to share encryption data with authorities. The Moscow court ruled in favor of the Russian communications watchdog, which had demanded that

Telegram be blocked in Russia until it hands over the keys to its encryption. The ban comes after a protracted dispute between Telegram and Russian authorities, who insist they need access to the encryption keys to investigate serious crimes, including terrorist attacks. Telegram

is arguably the first widely popular means of communications in Russia that has been officially banned. Telegram, which was developed by Russian entrepreneur Pavel Durov, argues that Russia's FSB intelligence service is violating consumer rights, while authorities say the app has been used by violent extremists. Durov had asked his lawyers not to attend Friday's court hearing because he said he saw the verdict as a foregone conclusion. Pavel Chikov, one of Telegram's lawyers, said in a

post on his Telegram channel that the company would not back down in the face of the Russian intelligence services because the court hearing, which lasted about 20 minutes, showed that the case against Telegram is politically motivated. "It is impossible to make any concessions or accept any agreements in this situation," he said. Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for President Vladimir Putin, whose team uses Telegram to arrange briefings for reporters, said on Friday that it is not the Kremlin's place

to comment on court rulings. Telegram was still available late Friday afternoon in Russia, several hours after the court ruling. Durov in a social media post on Friday called on Telegram users in Russia not to delete the app and keep downloading updates, promising that the latest version will have "built-in" features that will be able to circumvent the ban. "Privacy is not for sale, and human rights should not be compromised out of fear or greed," he said. q


Saturday 14 April 2018

This April 5, 2018, photo shows part of the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange. The U.S. stock market opens at 9:30 a.m. EDT on Friday, April 13. Associated Press

Tumbling banks hold back S&P 500 as earnings season launches By STAN CHOE NEW YORK (AP) — Bank stocks buckled on Friday, even after several reported fatter profits than analysts expected, and the sharp declines overshadowed gains elsewhere in the market to drag the S&P 500 lower. JPMorgan Chase and several other financial titans marked the unofficial start of the earnings reporting season, and expectations were high for them, as they are for most major companies. Wall Street is forecasting the strongest growth in seven years for S&P 500 companies, and the hope has been that healthy profit reports in coming weeks will steady the market following a rough couple of months. But high expectations can be as much a burden as cause for optimism. JPMorgan Chase reported its biggest-ever profit and topped analysts' expectations. But investors were already anticipating the good news that it delivered, such as healthier trading revenue, and took note of things like an increase in charge-offs for credit cards. JPMorgan Chase's shares fell 2.7 percent to $110.30 to lop off most of the big gains it had made earlier in the week. The S&P 500 fell 7.69 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,656.30. The loss pared the index's gain for the week to 2 percent. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped

122.91, or 0.5 percent, to 24,360.14, and the Nasdaq composite lost 33.60, or 0.5 percent, to 7,106.65. As a group, financial stocks in the S&P 500 fell 1.6 percent, more than double the loss for any of the other 10 sectors that make up the index. PNC Financial Services Group had one of the biggest losses in the S&P 500 after reporting first-quarter results that fell short of some analysts' expectations. It dropped 4.1 percent to $145.46. Wells Fargo fell 3.4 percent to $50.89, and Citigroup dropped 1.6 percent to $71.01 even though both reported profits that beat expectations. The possibility of a big settlement with federal regulators hung over Wells Fargo's results. After weeks where fears about a possible trade war dominated the market, many analysts along Wall Street were expecting strong profit reports to divert investors' attention. Over the long term, stock prices tend to track the progress of corporate profits.Expectations for profit growth this year may have climbed so high, particularly following Washington's recent overhaul of the tax code, that they may be setting the stage for future disappointment, said Matthew Watson, portfolio manager at James Investment Research.q

In this June 19, 2017, file photo, President Donald Trump, left, and Satya Nadella, Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft, center, listen as Jeff Bezos, Chief Executive Officer of Amazon, speaks during an American Technology Council roundtable in the State Dinning Room of the White House in Washington. Associated Press

Q&A: Trump, the post office and Amazon By JOSEPH PISANI NEW YORK (AP) — A task force will study the U.S. Postal Service under an executive order from President Donald Trump, who has spent weeks criticizing online retailer Amazon and accused it of not paying enough in shipping costs. The order doesn't mention Amazon by name, but Trump has tweeted that the company should pay the post office more for shipping its packages. "Only fools, or worse, are saying that our money losing Post Office makes money with Amazon. THEY LOSE A FORTUNE, and this will be changed," he tweeted earlier this month. The U.S. Postal Service has indeed lost money for years, but package delivery has actually been a bright spot. Here's what you need to know about Trump's order, Amazon and the post office: Q: What does the executive order do? A: It creates a task force to look into the post office's finances and costs, including its pricing in the package delivery market. Trump asks the task force, which

will be led by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, to offer recommendations and possible changes. "The USPS is on an unsustainable financial path and must be restructured," Trump said in the order. Q: Is this task force related to Amazon? A: Amazon is not named, but Trump has said he wants the company to pay more in shipping costs. In a tweet last month, for example, Trump wrote, "This Post Office scam must stop. Amazon must pay real costs." Q: What does Amazon pay the U.S. Postal Service? A: The details of its contract are not publicly known, and both Amazon and the post office have declined to comment. Amazon executive Jay Carney said this week at a Yale University event open to the public that the company's contract is profitable for the post office and that it is renewed and reviewed every year. Carney, who oversees Amazon's public and government relations, didn't comment on Trump's tweets, saying: "We're focused on what we do every day, on our customers,

on the responsibilities we have." Q: Is the U.S. Postal Service losing money? A: Yes, the post office has been losing money every year for more than a decade, adding up to $65 billion in losses, as Trump's executive order states. In its most recent year, its losses narrowed to $2.7 billion from the year before as it paid less in retiree health benefits during that time; its losses in the previous year were more than double that number. Q: Is the post office losing money because of Amazon? A: The U.S. Postal Service's finances have mainly been hurt by high pension and health care costs for its workers, as well as declines in revenue from first-class letters and other mail. Revenue from shipping and package services, which includes boxes from Amazon and other e-commerce companies, rose 12 percent to $19.5 billion in fiscal year 2017 compared with the previous year. First-class mail revenue fell 7 percent to $25.6 billion in the same period.q


Saturday 14 April 2018


Conceptis Sudoku

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Saturday 14 April 2018

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In this Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018, file photo, women fill out job applications at a JobNewsUSA job fair in Miami Lakes, Fla. Associated Press

U.S. job openings decline in February from record level

By CHRISTOPHER RUGABER AP Economics Writer WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. businesses posted fewer open jobs in February than the previous month when openings reached a record level, though layoffs fell. The Labor Department said Friday that openings fell 2.8 percent to 6.05 million, down from 6.23 million in January, the most on record dating back to 2001. Layoffs dropped a steep 7.7 percent, to 1.65 million. The figures suggest a healthy job market tilting in favor of job seekers. There are nearly as many job openings as there are unemployed people. Businesses have complained they can’t fill jobs, and many are feeling pressure to raise pay to attract and keep workers. There are now just 1.08 unemployed people, on average, for every available job. When the Great Recession ended, there were 6.7 people out of work for every opening. The shortage of available workers is also likely why companies are laying off relatively few people. Job cuts topped 2.5 million a month in early 2009, at the depths of the recession. That’s roughly 50 percent higher than February’s total. The figures, from the Labor Department’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover survey, or JOLTS, add color to the government’s monthly jobs report. In February that report showed

that employers added a net total of 326,000 jobs, the most in 18 months. Yet overall hiring slipped that month, from 5.6 million, to 5.5 million, the JOLTS report shows. That means the big net gain mostly reflected the drop in job cuts. As the supply of unemployed dwindles, companies are also pulling some workers who had given up on their job hunts off the sidelines. The proportion of Americans in their prime working years — aged 25 to 54 — who are working or looking for work has increased in the past year. And fewer Americans are citing disability as a reason for not working, according to research by Ernie Tedeschi, an economist at ISI Evercore.q


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Saturday 14 April 2018

More organic than thou? Rebel farmers create new food label By LISA RATHKE THETFORD, Vt. (AP) — Was your tomato grown in dirt or water? Organic shoppers might notice additional labels this summer that will give them the answer — and tell them whether their choices align with what a rebellious group of farmers and scientists deem the true spirit of the organic movement. About 15 farmers and scientists from around the country met in Vermont late last month to create the standards for an additional organic certification program, which they plan to roll out nationally to between 20 to 60 farms as a pilot this summer. Under the current U.S. Department of Agriculture program, the organic label means that your tomato has been produced without synthetic substances — with some exceptions — and without certain methods, like genetic engineering. The additional label, which does not yet have a name or wording, would indicate that a tomato, for example, has been grown in soil, and that meat and dairy products came from farms that pasture their animals. An inspector would certify that the farm has complied with the new standards, and the farms — not distributors — would add the label. The move comes five months after the National Organic Standard Board, which advises the U.S. Department of Agriculture, voted against a proposal to exclude from the USDA's organic certification program hydroponics — raising plants with water but no soil — and aquaponics, in which plants and aquatic animals, such as fish, are

In this April 2, 2018, photo, Dave Chapman, owner of Long Wind Farm, checks for insects on organic tomato plant leaves in his greenhouse in Thetford, Vt. Associated Press

grown within one system. "I think that a lot of farmers, especially young farmers, feel that the organic label no longer describes the way they farm, and we're trying to recapture that," said Linley Dixon, a vegetable farmer in Durango, Colorado, and senior scientist for Cornucopia Institute, who is also on the standards board of the Real Organic Project. The group creating the new label, which calls itself the Real Organic Project, said it has not abandoned the National Organic Program, which is the federal standard, and is not attacking organic farmers. "Some of the cornerstones of what organic means are being taken away, and we're concerned about how creaky that makes the whole thing," said Dave Chapman, a member of the executive and standards board of the Real Organic Project and owner

of an organic tomato farm in Thetford. He believes the cornerstone of being organic is growing in soil and improving its fertility. To Dixon, "organic" means a very diversified operation, rotating animals and crops and planting cover crops to control erosion, increase organic matter in the soil and manage weeds, among other things. The new label would exclude from certification hydroponic farming and large livestock farms that don't pasture their animals, known as contained animal feeding operations or CAFOs. The hydroponic industry argues another label would mislead and confuse consumers and is a way for the traditional organic farmers to try to get a competitive edge. "It's a competition because field farmers can't produce the volume that hydroponics can," said Dan

Lubkeman, president of the Hydroponic Society of America. While shopping at Hunger Mountain food cooperative in Montpelier, Jessica Manchester, of Worcester, agreed labeling is getting confusing for the average consumer but in the long

run thinks it's good to know where food comes from. She said she prefers produce grown in soil. "I'm just in favor of plants growing in their natural way and being in connection with the microbes in the soil and the interactions those microbes have with the plant roots," Manchester said. But fellow shopper Laurie Griggs, of Calais, said she doesn't buy totally organic and doesn't mind if vegetables or berries are raised hydroponically. "I just think we need new ways to grow things," she said. "We've got a lot of people and farming's really hard on the land, and if we can find ways to lighten our impact on the land and grow healthy food for people, I have no problem with it." The farmers involved want a more transparent label and will not see an economic benefit at first, Chapman said. The program is now being funded by contributions. Farmers would pay a fee to be certified, but he doubts that would cover the cost of the program.q

Number, severity of brain injuries raises dementia risk By CARLA K. JOHNSON AP Medical Writer SEATTLE (AP) — A large study offers more evidence of a link between traumatic brain injuries and dementia later in life, with repeated injuries and severe ones posing the greatest danger. Researchers analyzed 36 years of health records of 2.8 million people in Denmark, where a national health system makes it possible to explore connec-

tions in a far-reaching way. Overall, the risk was small. About 95 percent of people who suffered a brain injury never developed dementia. But a single severe brain injury increased the risk of later dementia by 35 percent compared with a person who never had brain trauma. A mild brain injury increased the risk by 17 percent. Each additional brain injury added to the danger. Overall, the risk of dementia was 24 percent higher for people with a traumatic brain injury compared with people without one. The study was published Tuesday in the journal Lancet Psychiatry. A study of 3.3 million people in Sweden earlier this year showed similar results.q

PEOPLE & ARTS A29 Showtime's 'Circus' returns with new co-host Alex Wagner

Saturday 14 April 2018

By DAVID BAUDER NEW YORK (AP) — A lot has changed since the three hosts of Showtime's "The Circus" shared duck at Washington's Momofuku restaurant at the end of the show's last season. Seemingly half of the White House staff, for one thing. More importantly for the political series, Mark Halperin was dropped because of sexual misconduct reports from when he worked at ABC News. Alex Wagner of CBS News and The Atlantic has replaced him, joining series veterans John Heilemann and Mark McKinnon. The show's third season begins Sunday at 8 p.m. Eastern and Pacific time. While there was some doubt publicly about whether the show would go on without Halperin, there didn't seem much within "The Circus." The show has established itself as a documentarystyle review of a week in politics and government, an attempt to get behind the headlines and talk that preoccupy cable television news. "I think if I got hit by a bus tomorrow on the West Side highway," said Heilemann, in a telephone interview while he was actually riding on that road, "that 'The Circus' is something that Showtime could still produce and would still produce." Heilemann and Wagner wouldn't talk about Halperin in interviews, and the show isn't expected to address his absence. For all the camaraderie of

Heilemann, Halperin and McKinnon, they are three white men similar in age (McKinnnon is 62, Heilemann 52 and Halperin 53). Wagner is 40 and a new mother. She has just written a book about immigration and a search for identity involving her Burmese mother and American father. "I bring a different perspective on all of that and a lot of zeal," Wagner said. "And I think we're also talking a lot about gender, particularly in politics and the workplace. It's good to have a woman who has a firsthand knowledge and interest in that, not to say that it's just a woman's issue. But we're tackling that and talking about it in a way that we weren't in the last news cycle. It seems like fortuitous timing." The attitudes of women and young people also promise to be key in the midyear elections, which a significant portion of "The Circus" will focus on this season. Wagner is not a complete newcomer to the team; she did some reporting for two episodes in its first season. "The Circus" had plans for her to do more this year even before Halperin's exit. "She's going to bring a different perspective because of her biography and she's going to bring a different perspective because of the kinds of things that excite her about political commentary and about political coverage," Heilemann said. "I think the show will have a different flavor to it and a different

texture, but it will still be recognizably 'The Circus.'" There was some thought that "The Circus" would have less excitement without the pulse of campaigns. But the pace of news has hardly let up with Donald Trump in office, giving them plenty of material. It also makes it harder to discuss in advance topics that will be covered this season, although the upcoming midterms will provide fodder. "It's an incredibly ambitious program because it's incredibly responsive to the news cycle," Wagner said. "You can start out on Monday having an idea of what the show is going to be, and by Friday it's something else. That's only increased in the current media environment, where the lead story changes throughout the day." Heilemann said Trump makes it harder than any other president he's covered to distinguish between the urgent and the important. Both are proud, however, of how "The Circus" has been able to bring the strengths of a documentary to day-to-day news. "'The Circus' is essential because it essentially takes the week that was and distills it into, OK, here's what mattered," Wagner said. "That's needed now more than ever. It's never going to be a policy show, but we often lose sight in the palace intrigue and the political rat-a-tat of the big seismic shifts in terms of policy and how that is actually affecting people."q

Tambor accuser says she hopes 'Transparent' comes back By NICOLE EVAT Associated Press BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — A transgender actress who accused "Transparent" star Jeffrey Tambor of sexual misconduct says she's grateful for the support

she's received and hopes the show is able to continue without the Emmy-winning star. Trace Lysette is one of two women who came forward last year and accused Tambor of sexual harass-

ment. Tambor has denied the allegations. Lysette says she's grateful for the support she's received since coming forward with her claim. Lysette said she’s hopeful the show will return. q

This image released by Showtime shows, from left, Alex Wagner, John Heilemann and Mark McKinnon from the series, "The Circus: Inside the Greatest Political Show on Earth." Wagner joins the show as a permanent host this season, premiering Sunday, April 15. Associated Press


Saturday 14 April 2018


Horror, cheap and in-demand, comes to Hollywood's rescue By JAKE COYLE NEW YORK (AP) — Finding dependable, bankable box-office hits for anything without a superhero has been a downright scary proposition for Hollywood. The solution, it turns out, is a nightmare, too. Horror has emerged as one of the most lucrative and in-demand genres in Hollywood, a box-office success story as well as — thanks to a new generation of ambitious genre filmmakers — a creative one. Like perhaps never before, horror is hot. For an industry that has struggled to find areas of growth outside of the pages of comic books, it's now hailing slashers as saviors. "Right now it's pretty obvious what audiences want," says Jeff Bock, senior boxoffice analyst for Exhibitor Relations. "People want their horror fast and cheap. And that should be music to the ears of studios." It certainly was to Paramount Pictures — the most hit-starved of the major studios — when John Krasinski's "A Quiet Place" last weekend blew away expecta-

This image released by Paramount Pictures shows Noah Jupe, from left, Millicent Simmonds and John Krasinski in a scene from "A Quiet Place." Associated Press

tions to debut with $50.2 million. Despite costing only $17 million to make, the expertly sound-designed suspense film may pass $100 million over this weekend. For the ascendant genre, this Friday the 13th will be a victory lap. Also opening will be "Truth or Dare," the latest from Blumhouse

Productions, the horror factory that has done more than any other to lead today's renaissance. As the producer of dozens of lowbudget, often social provocative horror releases, it has blazed the path for the 21st century horror film. Blumhouse, which has a distribution deal with Universal Pictures, was behind two of 2017's biggest hits. There was "Split," by M. Night Shyamalan, a veteran of the last horror craze in 1999 when his "The Sixth Sense" was released along with "The Blair Witch Project." And, of course, Jordan Peele's "Get Out," a $5 million movie that grossed $255 million worldwide, earned four Oscar nods (and won for Peele's script) and stoked more discussion than any other movie in 2017. "I am convinced that budgetary boundaries created better, more original, more subversive movies," Blum said last fall while accepting an honorary Gotham Independent Film Award. "Lower budgets allow us to take risks, to make movies no one imagined would get made." While the economics of horror have been appreciated by the movies since at least "Frankenstein" and "Dracula" almost a century ago, Blumhouse has reinvigorated the genre by pairing $5 million-or-less

budgets with filmmakers eager to push the genre forward. That's a drastically different strategy in tentpoleobsessed, risk-adverse Hollywood. The goliath of the industry, the Walt Disney Co., doesn't even make horror films, making it one of the few movie realms its intellectual propertybacked blockbusters don't dominate. In a movie industry where bigger is presumed to be better, lowbudget horror has proven an exception. "Making low-budget horror movies has always been a pretty good idea. Blumhouse just sort of upped the game a little bit by getting really, really talented people to get on board and make some cool stuff," said Steven Soderbergh, who brought a new (and inexpensive) perspective to the psychiatric hospital nightmare by shooting his March release "Unsane" with iPhones. Depending on what you classify as horror, the genre last year accounted for about $800 or $900 million in domestic box office, one of the highest totals in decades if not ever. New Line and Warner Bros.' "It" became the highest grossing horror film of all time ($327.5 million domestically, $700.4 million worldwide), though 1973's "The Exorcist" still has

it handily beat when accounting for inflation. A sequel to "It" will shoot this summer. The success of "A Quiet Place" confirms that horror is still surging. That's good news for upcoming releases like A24's Sundance sensation "Hereditary" (June 8); "The First Purge: The Island" (July 4); the latest "Conjuring" spinoff, "The Nun" (July 13); Screen Gems' "Slender Man" (August 24); David Gordon Green's "Halloween" (October 19) from Blumhouse; and the anticipated "Suspiria" remake from "Call Me By Your Name" filmmaker Luca Guadagnino. The once-ghettoized genre is more mainstream than ever before. On TV, "Stranger Things," ''American Horror Story" and "The Walking Dead" have been among the most popular series in recent years. At the movies, films like Robert Eggers' "The Witch," Jennifer Kent's "The Babadook" and David Robert Mitchell's "It Follows" have heralded the breakouts of some of the most promising young filmmakers. Krasinski, the former "Office" actor, acknowledges he wasn't "a horror guy" before making "A Quiet Place," but he promises he's been converted. "The thing I learned most from watching all these horror movies to catch up was how ignorant I was to stay away from them," says Krasinski. "You realize that some of the best films are being made in the genre space. From 'Get Out,' to 'The Babadook,' to 'The Witch' to 'Let the Right One in' — I mean, these movies are just phenomenal. "I might be late to the party but I want to stay," he adds. "I want to stay as late as they'll have me." Kyle Davies, distribution chief for Paramount, believes the success of "A Quiet Place" — like "Get Out" and "It" before it — has less to do with its genre than its story. At its core, "A Quiet Place" is about trying to keep a family together with mysterious, unknowable threats all around.q

PEOPLE & ARTS A31 Trial begins in civil case focused Video: Will Ferrell treated after rollover on David Copperfield show freeway crash Saturday 14 April 2018

ALISO VIEJO, Calif. (AP) — Video shows actor Will Ferrell was treated by paramedics after sustaining minor injuries from a rollover crash on a Los Angeles-area freeway. The video by OnScene.TV showed the 50-year-old Ferrell sitting on the side of the highway talking to a firefighter shortly after the Thursday night crash. Another video by showed Ferrell talking on a cellphone as he sits on a stretcher and firefighters load him into an ambulance. Ferrell is believed to have been in a limousine SUV with three other people when a 2007 Toyota veered into their lane on Interstate 5, according to a California Highway Patrol report. The Toyota hit the rear right side of the SUV, causing it lose control, hit the center divider and overturn. Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Larry Kurtz said the three men in the SUV had minor injuries, while a 27-year-old woman had critical injuries. The driver of the Toyota was not hurt. The highway patrol said the woman was the only one not wearing a seatbelt. The crash was under investigation.

In this March 14, 2012 file photo Actor Will Farrell arrives at a premiere in Los Angeles.

Ferrell's manager did not immediately return phone and email messages seeking comment. Before the crash, Ferrell was appearing at an event in character as Ron Burgundy, the buffoonish 1970s news anchor from "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy," according to posts on social media by people at the event and its host, Funny or Die. Comedian and actor Billy Eichner, who also appeared at the event, tweeted about the crash on Friday. "I wasn't in the car," Eichner wrote. "Will and everyone are OK. Very scary but very thankful everyone is OK." "Quick healing, Godspeed," he wrote.q

By REGINA GARCIA CANO LAS VEGAS (AP) — The tricks behind a disappearing act that magician David Copperfield performed for years in Las Vegas were revealed in court Friday, the first day of trial in a civil case brought by a British tourist who claims he slipped, fell and was injured after he was randomly selected from the audience to participate in the show. Attorneys for tourist Gavin Cox, Copperfield, the MGM Grand casino-resort, which hosts the show, and others detailed the route that randomly selected audience members follow during the trick in which Copperfield supposedly makes them disappear from a platform on stage and gets them to reappear in the back of the theater. Cox was injured along the route in a 2013 show. Attorney Benedict Morelli, who represents Cox and his wife, told the jury during opening statements that the illusion known as the Thirteen was "an accident waiting to happen" and "obviously dangerous." He added that his client was never warned about a possible injury if he participated in the illusion. "Quite the contrary, he and possibly all of the other participants had an expectation of safety," Morelli said.

Illusionist David Copperfield, center, appears at the Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas before opening statements in a civil trial on Friday, April 13, 2018. Associated Press

"So, Mr. Cox (said) 'OK. I guess I'm going to be OK. Why would David Copperfield, who is so famous, select me and not protect me?'" Cox filed the lawsuit in 2014 months after he was randomly selected to participate in the final trick of Copperfield's show on Nov. 12, 2013. Attorneys on Friday described how Cox sat on a platform on stage and later followed a route that took him through hallways and an outdoor area near a door that would have led him back inside. But it was at that point when he hit the floor. Morelli argued that the audience doesn't get to see the "chaos" going on behind the scenes, where

people are hurried. He said a confluence of events caused his client to fall and be injured — running in a dark area, following an unknown route, encountering an unknown incline, and dust and debris due to construction in the area. MGM Grand's attorney Jerry Popovich told the jury that Cox simply missed a step when he fell and did not slip. He explained that the site where the accident happened, about 22 feet before reaching the door to re-enter the casino, is essentially level with only a 1-degree drop. "Mr. Cox did not slip, he tripped," Popovich said. Cox in his lawsuit argues he has spent more than $400,000 on medical care and treatment. q

Meaghan O'Connell book on motherhood is funny and sarcastic By TRACEE M. HERBAUGH, Associated Press Having a baby — especially before you're ready — is no small task. Just ask author Meaghan O'Connell, who chronicled the time she unexpectedly got pregnant in her new memoir, "And Now We Have Everything: On Motherhood Before I Was Ready." She was an idealistic 20-something, living and working in New York City and engaged to her boyfriend of a couple of years. They had big plans to travel the world after their nup-

tials. O'Connell wanted to write a novel. One day she started feeling a little funny. So she took a pregnancy test. It came back positive. "Motherhood was the farthest thing from the lives we were living but still out there waiting for us," O'Connell writes. "Of course, we had more important things to do, or that was the party line. We had our careers." It's a story many women will relate to — goals and life getting circumvented by happenstance. Throughout the book, there are the usual quandaries

that couples face after being put in such a situation. Should we keep the baby? Do we have enough money for daycare? Will our relationship and careers suffer once the baby is here? Will I get the epidural? O'Connell does a fine job at putting the reader in her shoes, including the scene leading up to giving birth. "I had wanted a 'natural labor and birth' for reasons that, now that I was actually living through natural labor, I no longer related to," she writes. "I had drunk the Kool-aid." The book is funny and sar-

castic, and readers will appreciate O'Connell's passion on the subject, which is evident in the prose.q

This cover image released by Little, Brown and Company shows "And Now We Have Everything: On Motherhood Before I Was Ready," by Meaghan O'Connell. Associated Press

April 14, 2018  
April 14, 2018