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February 16, 2017 T: 582-7800 | F: 582-7044

Spieth aims to continue winning ways at Riviera Page 17

Warming Ties

Trump, Netanyahu Meet, Signaling Renewed Comity President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the East Room of the White House, Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

VIVIAN SALAMA Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — Charting a striking new course for the Middle East, President Donald Trump on Wednesday withheld clear support for an independent Palestine and declared he could endorse a one-nation solution to the long and deep dispute between Palestinians and Israel. The American president, signaling a new era of comity between the U.S. and Israel after rocky relations under President Barack Obama, said he was more interested in an agreement that leads to peace than in any particular path to get there. Standing beside

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Trump broke not only with recent U.S. presidents but also distanced the United States from the prevailing position of much of the world. While Trump urged Netanyahu to “hold off” on Jewish settlement construction in territory the Palestinians claim for their future state, he offered unwavering support for Israel, a pledge he appeared to substantiate with his vague comments about the shape of any agreement. While it once appeared that a two-state solution was the “easier of the two” options for the Palestinians and Israel, Trump said he’d be

open to alternatives. “I’m looking at two-state and one-state, and I like the one that both parties like,” he told reporters. “I can live with either one.” The United States has formally backed the two-state solution as official policy since 2002, when President George W. Bush said in the White House Rose Garden that his vision was “two states, living side by side in peace and security.” In practice, the U.S. already had embraced the policy informally. President Bill Clinton, who oversaw the Oslo Accords in the 1990s that were envisioned as a stepping stone to Palestinian statehood, said before leaving

office that resolution to the conflict required a viable Palestinian state. Separately on Wednesday, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas called on Netanyahu to end settlement building and expressed “willingness to resume a credible peace process “ Also on Wednesday, CIA chief Mike Pompeo secretly held talks in the West Bank with Abbas, the first high-level meeting between the Palestinian leader and a Trump administration official, senior Palestinian officials said. The White House wouldn’t comment on the meeting All serious peace negotiations in recent decades have assumed the emer-

gence of an independent Palestine. The alternatives appear to offer dimmer prospects for peace, given Palestinian demands for statehood. Dozens of countries, including the U.S., reaffirmed their support for a two-state accord at an international conference in Paris last month, before Trump’s inauguration. In Cairo on Wednesday, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said: “There is no Plan B to the situation between Palestinians and Israelis but a two-state solution. ... Everything must be done to preserve that possibility.” Continued on Page 3


Thursday 16 February 2017


Pentagon boss to NATO nations: Increase military spending LOLITA C. BALDOR Associated Press BRUSSELS (AP) — In an ultimatum to America’s allies, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told fellow NATO members Wednesday to increase military spending by year’s end or risk seeing the U.S. curtail its defense support — a stark threat given Europe’s deep unease already over U.S.-Russian relations. Echoing President Donald Trump’s demands for NATO countries to assume greater self-defense responsibility, Mattis said Washington will “moderate its commitment” to the alliance if countries fail to fall in line. He didn’t offer details, but the pressure is sure to be felt, particularly by governments in Europe’s eastern reaches that feel threatened by Russian expansionism. Trump’s Russia policy remains a mystery for many of America’s closest international partners. As a candidate, the Republican president steered clear of criticizing Moscow for its 2014 annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region and repeatedly praised Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying he wanted a new era of cooperation between the former Cold War foes. But that possibility grew murkier this week as Trump fired his national security adviser, Michael Flynn, over the retired Army lieutenant general’s communications with Russia before Trump took office. The departure of Flynn, who also pro-

moted the idea of working with Moscow, has added to speculation about how the U.S.-Russian relationship might evolve. Amid the uncertainty from

values,” Mattis told the alliance’s 27 other defense ministers, according to a text of his remarks. “Americans cannot care more for your children’s future secu-

that sets dates for governments to meet a military funding goal of 2 percent of gross domestic product. He called the funding increase a “fair demand” based

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, right, and U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis prepare to address a media conference at NATO headquarters in Brussels on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017. For U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, the next few days will be a reassurance tour with a twist. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

Washington, the Kremlin may be testing the West’s resolve. A U.S. defense official said this week that Russia has deployed a cruise missile in violation of a Cold War-era nuclear arms control treaty. And violence has sporadically re-ignited in eastern Ukraine, where the U.S. and its partners say Moscow continues to back a separatist insurgency. “No longer can the American taxpayer carry a disproportionate share of the defense of Western

rity than you do.” The entire alliance seemed to hang on Mattis’ every word Wednesday. Officials crowded around televisions at the NATO meeting in Brussels to watch the retired general’s initial appearance with SecretaryGeneral Jens Stoltenberg. Defense ministers clustered around Mattis as he entered the meeting room. Citing danger from Russia, Mattis told the closed meeting of ministers they must adopt a plan this year

on the “political reality” in Washington, an apparent reference to Trump’s past criticism of NATO as “obsolete” and his much-touted “’America First” mantra. Noting the threat posed by the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria, Mattis said: “Some in this alliance have looked away in denial of what is happening.” “We have failed to fill gaps in our NATO response force or to adapt,” he added. Trump has challenged the alliance to take on a great-

er share of military costs, even rattling European nations by suggesting the U.S. might not defend allies unwilling to fulfill their financial obligations as NATO members. Mattis didn’t go that far, and Wednesday’s focus appeared to be on simply increasing military funding if not fully reaching the target. Many European governments face hostility to more military spending, especially as their slow economic recoveries force belt-tightening elsewhere. The United States is by far NATO’s most powerful member, spending more on defense than all the others combined. It devoted 3.61 percent of American GDP last year to military spending, according to NATO estimates — a level that has somewhat tapered off in recent years. Germany, by contrast, spent 1.19 percent of its overall budget on defense. Ten countries commit even less, and seven — including Canada, Italy and Spain — would have to virtually double military spending to reach the target. Luxembourg would require a fourfold increase to get close. Along with the U.S., the other countries that do reach NATO’s benchmark for military spending are Britain, Estonia, Poland and debtridden Greece. British’s defense chief, Michael Fallon, said Mattis appeared to welcome a British proposal to create a road map for increased spending.q

Secretary of State Tillerson on the spot on 1st foreign trip MATTHEW LEE AP Diplomatic Writer BONN, Germany (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has his work cut out for him. On his first overseas trip as America’s top diplomat this week, Tillerson will face a blizzard of questions about the Trump administration’s foreign policy from nervous Asian and European allies. And there will be penetrating inquiries from America’s watchful rivals like Russia

and China, who will be eager to seize on miscues or gaffes for their own advantage. Tillerson arrived in Germany late Wednesday for a meeting of the foreign ministers of the Group of 20 nations. He will be playing defense amid the chaos and turmoil caused by the firing of national security adviser Michael Flynn for misleading officials about his contacts with Russia. In Bonn, the Cold War capital of the former West Ger-

many, Tillerson will come face-to-face on Thursday with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, a seasoned and wily diplomat who sparred, often successfully, with past U.S. secretaries of state. President Donald Trump chose Tillerson for the job in part because of his business experience and relationship with Russia while he was CEO of oil giant Exxon Mobil. His meeting with Lavrov will be a first test of

whether that business acumen — which led to great profits for Exxon and Russian President Vladimir Putin bestowing a friendship award upon him — can translate into success in a high-stakes diplomatic arena. Tillerson has taken a low-key and reserved approach in his first two weeks on the job and declined the opportunity to speak with reporters traveling with him. As America’s top diplomat, he has yet to comment publicly on

developments with Russia, its alleged meddling in the 2016 presidential election or its actions in Syria and Ukraine. Nonetheless, the eyes of many will be focused on Tillerson’s meeting with Lavrov for clues as to how the Trump administration intends to deal with Russia, particularly given the revelations about Flynn and the various U.S. investigations into Russian activity before the presidential election.q


Thursday 16 February 2017

Trump charts new Mideast course; maybe no separate Palestine Continued from front

At one point Wednesday, Trump noted the need for compromise in achieving any Mideast peace. Netanyahu interjected: “Both sides.” On terrorism and other matters, there appeared little daylight between the leaders. Echoing language used by Trump over a need to combat “radical Islamic extremism,” Netanyahu said that for peace to be sustainable, two “prerequisites” must be met: “Recognition of the Jewish state and Israel’s security needs west of the Jordan” River. While a two-state solution would involve Israel ceding occupied territory that is strategically and religiously significant, many in the country believe a single binational state would be even more difficult to maintain. It would mean

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump greet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara at the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

granting millions of Palestinians citizenship and voting rights, threatening Israel’s Jewish majority and its Jewish character. Trump’s campaign plat-

form made no mention of a Palestinian state, and his inner circle included allies of the West Bank settler movement. A delegation of settlement leaders was

invited to Trump’s inauguration. But after weeks of dancing around the issue of expanded Israeli settlement construction, Trump asked

Netanyahu to “hold back on settlements for a bit.” In recent weeks, Netanyahu has approved construction of more than 6,000 new settler homes in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, territories Israel seized in the 1967 Mideast War. He also allowed Parliament to pass a law retroactively legalizing some 4,000 settlement homes built on private Palestinian land. Still, Netanyahu indicated he was open to some sort of arrangement. “We’ll work something out but I’d like to see a deal be made. I think a deal will be made,” he said. And Naftali Bennet, the head of Israel’s pro-settler Jewish Home Party, hailed the new atmosphere between Trump and Netanyahu, saying: “The Palestinian flag was today lowered from the mast and replaced with the Israeli flag.”q

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Thursday 16 February 2017


As thousands become citizens in Los Angeles, some talk Trump AMANDA LEE MYERS Associated Press LOS ANGELES (AP) — Some wiping tears from their eyes, thousands of people became U.S. citizens Wednesday during a Los Angeles ceremony where President Donald Trump wasn’t far from many of the immigrants’ thoughts. Shortly after posing in front of a massive American flag, 21-year-old Iranian immigrant Erik Danialian said he was relieved to become a U.S. citizen in the wake of Trump’s ban on travelers from seven predominantly Muslim nations, including Iran. “I feel safer,” said Danialian, whose mother and sister also became citizens during the ceremony. “I hope whoever deserves it gets a fair chance to come

People wave U.S. flags during a naturalization ceremony at the Los Angeles Convention Center, Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017, in Los Angeles. About 3,000 people took the oath in the morning and more than 3,500 others were expected during an afternoon ceremony, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services officials. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

to America.” Sofian Haikal of Syria said he also felt relieved to become a citizen after living in Los Angeles for four years, though he’s worried his parents won’t get permission to come the U.S. to meet their 3-month-old grandson. “We are suffering from ter-

rorism and there are bad people in our own country, and we wouldn’t like to be considered one of them,” said Haikal, a 36-year-old financial adviser. “There are a lot of good people over there that can participate in the growth of this country.” Haikal said he felt proud to become an American. “It’s one of the best countries in the world,” he said. “I like to be a citizen of a country that has lots of freedom, democracy and equal rights.” Gevorg Ishkhanyan, an Armenian who became a U.S. citizen with his wife at the ceremony, said he supports the travel ban and Trump. “Too many people want to live here,” said the 39-yearold. “There are countries that have dangerous people.” His wife chimed in with a different opinion. “Being an immigrant and saying there are too many people, it’s kind of unfair to other immigrants,” said Ana Ishkhanyan. “It’s unfair that people are being judged by other people from their countries.”q

Immigrant workers, families to protest by staying home ERRIN HAINES WHACK Associated Press PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Organizers in cities across the U.S. are telling immigrants to miss class, miss work and not shop on Thursday as a way to show the country how important they are to America’s economy and way of life. “A Day Without Immigrants” actions are planned in cities including Philadelphia, Washington, Boston and Austin, Texas. The protest comes in response to President Donald Trump and his 1-monthold administration. The Republican president has pledged to increase deportation of immigrants living in the country illegally, build a wall along the Mexican border, and ban people from certain majorityMuslim countries from coming into the U.S. He also has

blamed high unemployment on immigration. Employers and institutions in some cities were already expressing solidarity Wednesday with immigrant workers. Washington restaurateur John Andrade said he would close his businesses Thursday, and David Suro, owner of Tequilas Restaurant in Philadelphia and a Mexican immigrant, said he also planned to participate. The Davis Museum at Wellesley College in Massachusetts said it would remove or shroud all artwork created or given by immigrants to the museum through Feb. 21. In New Mexico, the state with the largest percentage of Hispanic residents in the nation, school officials worried that hundreds of students may stay home on Thursday.q


Thursday 16 February 2017

2 New England states battle more snow after nonstop storms DAVID SHARP Associated Press Two New England states battled more snow Wednesday after several days of practically nonstop storms. Maine and New Hampshire residents faced the prospect of more than a foot of snow after a week of storms left accumulations up 58 inches in Jonesboro and 50 inches in Eastport, both in Maine. New Hampshire officials warned that heavy snow and ice buildup could put roofs in danger of collapse, and Fire Marshal William Degnan urged property owners to clear snow and ice from chimneys and vents to prevent carbon monoxide buildup. Amid the warnings, some stores were running low on snow blowers, shovels and roof rakes. At Ace Hardware Store in Falmouth, Maine, the

rakes-and-shovels aisle was empty except for four pink shovels. “This was full of shovels before the big blizzard came. Within a day or two, it was pretty much like this — wiped right out,” store worker Mark Dwyer said, referring to Monday’s blizzard. At Mainely Small Engines, in Westbrook, Maine, Randy Shaffer had bad news for customers with broken snow blowers: His mechanics were backed up three to four weeks. Amid a cacophony of engines and incessantly ringing telephones, customers desperately sought his counsel. “It’s us  who has the desperation, as a rule,” he joked. “We’re just trying to do what we can do. With the phones ringing off the wall, and us backed up for service, they have to wait in line.” The forecast called for 10

Ryan Jussif shovels out a front porch and walkway in Derry, N.H. Two New England states battled more snow Wednesday after several days of practically nonstop storms. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

inches of snow for most of Maine and part of New Hampshire before the storm ends Thursday morning, John Jensenius of the National Weather Service said. Some cities — Fryeburg and Bridgton in Maine and Conway in New Hamp-

shire — may get covered over by up to 20 inches. Portland, Maine, could see another 10 inches after accumulations of 34.1 inches over the seven-day stretch, he said. Manchester, New Hampshire, may get about 6 inches of snow.

The good news is next week’s forecast is stormfree. “We’ve got a nice break where there are no big storms through late next week — or longer,” said Mal Walker of the weather service in Caribou, Maine.q

California officials rush to drain lake as new storms begin

J. COOPER PAUL ELIAS Associated Press OROVILLE, Calif. (AP) — Officials raced to drain more water from a lake behind battered Oroville Dam as new storms began rolling into Northern California on Wednesday and tested the quick repairs made to damaged spillways that raised flood fears. The three storms were expected to stretch into next week. Forecasters said the first two storms could drop a total of 5 inches of rain. However, the third storm, starting as early as Monday, could be more powerful. “There a potential for several inches,” National Weather Service forecaster Tom Dang said. “It will be very wet.”

Nonetheless, California Department of Water Resources chief Bill Croyle said water was draining from the reservoir at about four times the rate that it was flowing in. and the repairs should hold at the nation’s tallest dam. He said work crews had made “great progress” cementing thousands of tons of rocks into holes in the spillways. “We shouldn’t see a bump in the reservoir” from the upcoming storms, Croyle said. The reservoir has dropped 20 feet since it reached capacity Sunday. Croyle said officials hope it falls 50 feet by this Sunday. Still, officials warned residents who have returned to their homes that the area downstream of the

dam remained under an evacuation warning and they should be prepared to leave if the risk increases. Some 200,000 people were allowed to return home Tuesday after being ordered to evacuate Sunday. Sandra Water, 42, of Oroville initially fled her home with little more than the clothes she was wearing. Now, she’s preparing for the possibility of another evacuation by gathering food, clothing and sentimental items like photographs. “You are always cautious when you live under a big dam, but we’ve always been pretty confident that it was safe and that it wasn’t going to fail,” she said. Butte County Sheriff Kory

Honea said some homes in the evacuation zone had been burglarized and deputies had made of arrests. He also called on private drone operators to refrain from flying their devices over the dam. Private drones can interfere with the repair work, which includes helicopters, he said. The 770-foot-tall dam is located in Oroville, a small Gold Rush-era town along the Feather River in the Sierra Nevada foothills. The region is largely rural, with its politics dominated by rice growers, orchard operators and other agricultural interests. It’s dogged by the high unemployment rates endemic to farming communities. Dump trucks and helicopters dropped thousands of tons of rocks and sandbags

to shore up the spillways over the weekend and avoid what could be a catastrophic failure and flood. The swollen lake reached its capacity over the weekend and spilled down an unpaved emergency spillway for nearly 40 hours, leaving it badly eroded. The problem occurred six days after engineers discovered a growing hole in the dam’s main concrete spillway. Croyle said teams were working on plans for permanent repairs to the dam’s main spillway that could cost as much as $200 million. As state officials puzzle through how to repair it, federal regulators have ordered California to figure out what went wrong.q

A6 U.S.

Thursday 16 February 2017


Penn State ex-officials seek appeal as criminal trial nears MARK SCOLFORO Associated Press HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Three former Penn State administrators facing child endangerment charges for their handling of the Jerry Sandusky molestation scandal have asked a judge for permission to pursue an appeal, barely a month before their scheduled trial. Penn State ex-President Graham Spanier, former Vice President Gary Schultz and former Athletic Director Tim Curley filed  nearly identical requests this week that asked the trial judge to let them appeal his recent decision keeping in place felony charges of endangering the welfare of children. The filings were unsealed Wednesday. The defendants made several arguments, including that too much time has elapsed under the statute of limitations; they did not provide direct care for children; they are accused of actions that occurred before the law was changed; and prosecutors should not be allowed to add a conspiracy charge. Spanier’s lawyers wrote that an immediate appeal to Superior Court could result in dismissal of all charges, which would make a

trial unnecessary. The trial is scheduled to begin with jury selection on March 20. “A ruling on these controlling questions of law would not require the resolution

His order also did not directly address a request by state prosecutors to add a conspiracy charge related to the child welfare accusation.

“In either case, at a minimum, there is substantial ground for difference of opinion as to whether Mr. Schultz can be subjected to trial on a conspiracy

This file combination photo shows former Penn State Vice President Gary Schultz, left, former Penn State Director of Athletics Tim Curley, right, and former Penn State president Graham Spanier, center, in Harrisburg, Pa. Three former Penn State administrators are headed for trial next month on criminal charges related to how they handled the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal. (AP Photos/File)

of any disputed factual issues,” they told Judge John Boccabella. “Thus, these issues are particularly appropriate for resolution by the Superior Court prior to trial.” On Feb. 1, Boccabella threw out charges of failing to properly report suspected abuse, but the judge denied requests to have other charges dismissed.

Superior Court last year threw out charges of perjury, obstruction and conspiracy against the defendants. Schultz’s lawyer said in his filing that it was not clear whether prosecutors consider the child-endangerment conspiracy charge to be part of the case or whether they can add it.

charge following the appellate court’s dismissal of that charge,” wrote attorney Tom Farrell. The attorney general’s office said it was reviewing the defense filings, and defense lawyers for the three men declined to comment further. Curley, Schultz and Spanier fielded a complaint in 2001

by a graduate assistant who says he saw retired defensive football coach Sandusky sexually abusing a boy in a team shower. They did not report the matter to police or child welfare authorities, but told Sandusky he was not allowed to bring children to the campus and notified his charity for children, The Second Mile. Schultz and Curley were arrested in 2011, Spanier in 2012. Their case has dragged on for years because of a dispute about their representation during a grand jury appearance by Penn State’s then-chief counsel. That legal fight prompted the Superior Court decision that threw out many of the more serious charges. The case was further delayed when Judge Todd Hoover, who handled the case before Boccabella, contracted a fatal illness. Sandusky, 73, is serving a 30- to 60-year state prison term after being convicted in 2012 of 45 counts of sexual abuse of 10 boys. Shortly after his arrest, the university’s trustees fired then-head coach Joe Paterno, who died of lung cancer about two months later. Sandusky maintains he is innocent and is pursuing appeals.q

Man dubbed ‘Porn’s New King’ sentenced to 11 years for fraud LARRY NEUMEISTER Associated Press NEW YORK (AP) — A Los Angeles man once dubbed “Porn’s New King” was sentenced to over 11 years in prison Wednesday by a judge who said he lived the high life with luxury homes on both coasts as he defrauded dozens of investors of tens of millions of dollars. Jason Galanis, 46, insisted he has turned his life around before U.S. District Judge P. Kevin Castel imposed an

11-year, 3-month sentence, citing the loss of between $25 million and $65 million by 60 investors. The Manhattan jurist said anyone who saw Galanis before his 2015 arrest would have been impressed that he owned a $7 million Bel Air mansion, an 8,000-square-foott $10 million Manhattan residence and drove a Bentley worth over $100,000. But the judge said Galanis had built his fortune with

fraud “either for the thrill of the game, being on top of the world in terms of the trappings of wealth, or for his own self-esteem and feelings of accomplishment.” Galanis apologized and said he had changed since he was detained without bail last May after he was charged in a separate scheme with cheating a Native American tribe and investors out of $60 million. He has pleaded guilty in that scheme and is

awaiting sentencing. He said he had concluded while behind bars that “there’s something in my decision making process that is deeply flawed.” “My moral compass is not broken,” he added. “I’ve ignored it. I’ve ignored it willfully at times.” He said he understands his life in business is over and that he has become “radioactive,” a word he said financial professionals use  to describe some-

one to be avoided. Attorney Assistant U.S. Brian Blais said the case stemmed in part from the manipulation of the market for a publicly traded company, Gerova Financial Group Ltd., from 2009 to 2011. Galanis was portrayed as the ringleader of a multimillion-dollar fraud scheme that secretly acquired shares of Gerova and then manipulated the market by cashing out.q


Thursday 16 February 2017

American Humor:

Hey, Mr. President: It’s time to make spellcheck great again

NANCY BENAC Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — Time to make spellcheck great again. The mangled spellings that were a staple of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign are flourishing in the White House. It started on Trump’s first full day in office, when he described himself as “honered” to serve as the 45th president. (Tweeted at 12:02 p.m.; deleted and replaced at 12:11 p.m.) This was probably not a typo: Trump had used the same spelling a year earlier, when he tweeted that it was an “honer” to win postdebate polls. But on to more serious matters, such as foreign affairs. Trump’s first presidential visit with a foreign leader was with British Prime Minister Theresa May in January. The White House schedule twice referred to the British leader as “Teresa May” — who happens to be a British topless model and porn star. Vice President Mike Pence’s office made the same mistake. (To be fair, so did the British Embassy in Washington a month earlier. And the AP itself at times has botched the spelling.) This month brought serial spelling malfunctions when the White House released a list of 78 terrorist attacks that it said had been under-reported by the media. The list misspelled “attaker” 27 times. San Bernardino came out “San Bernadino.” Denmark came out “Denmakr.” Over the weekend, Trump tweeted that he “playef golf” with the Japanese prime minister, then quickly

deleted and fixed the typo. On Monday, a White House release on the president’s phone call with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos referred to the country at one point as “Columbia.” Just nitpicking? Does it really matter? “It really goes to the heart of credibility,” says Sue Burzynski Bullard, a board member at the American Copy Editors Society and a professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. “If you can’t get basic spelling and grammar right, people start to wonder what else you got wrong.” Little details count, she says, pointing out Trump’s errant use of a hyphen in a Wednesday morning tweet in which he referred to “this Russian connection nonsense.” “Where does that come from?” she asked. Her advice to the Trump White House: “They need to slow down and edit themselves, or hire some editors.” She does allow that everyone makes the occasional typo and that people “get a little more license on Twitter.” Other spelling aficionados are less concerned. No less an authority than Jacques Bailly, the University of Vermont professor who once a year calls out the words at the Scripps National Spelling Bee, isn’t too bothered. “I can’t take it very seriously that somebody doesn’t know how to spell,” he says. “Spelling is not unimportant, but there are a lot more important things, like how you use the words and the content of them.” But Bailly also offers this: “There are ways to cor-

rect this, and perhaps that would be a good idea.” Spellcheck would help a lot, he says, adding, “A lot of these words aren’t rocket science.”

The Trump administration’s spelling challenges extend beyond the White House. The Education Department last week made a double gaffe when it tweeted a

campaign and transition. In December, he referred to the Chinese seizure of a U.S. Navy drone as “unpresidented.” The tweet was deleted and the word

Misspelled words are highlighted in this photograph made in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017, of a Feb. 6, 2017 White House press release on terror attacks. Time to make spellcheck great again. The mangled spellings that were a staple of Trump’s presidential campaign are flourishing in the White House. (AP Photo/J. David Ake)

The White House stressed it has put out nearly 400 press releases, statements and fact sheets as well as many more social media posts, and said it was “constantly updating processes to ensure we are communicating the president’s agenda as articulately as possible.” While its spelling issues were far more limited, the Obama White House had its own bobbles. February came out as “Feburary” on a few press schedules in 2015. And President Barack Obama memorably dropped an important “E’’ in praising Aretha Franklin as the queen of soul in 2014: He was talking about her signature song and said that Franklin “told us  what R-S-P-E-C-T meant to her.”

quotation from W.E.B. DuBois that spelled the African-American sociologist’s last name with an “E.” It later updated the post and offered “apologizes for the earlier typo.” The mistakes were blamed on a longtime employee. The Library of Congress recently posted sales marketing material for an inauguration poster that included a Trump quotation that said, “No dream is too big, no challenge is to great.” That should have been “too great.” The mistake was attributed to a thirdparty vendor. The administration’s outsized share of spelling mistakes shouldn’t come as a surprise, given Trump’s track record during the

corrected to “unprecedented.” During the presidential campaign, Trump ridiculed GOP rival Marco Rubio as a “leightweight chocker,” faulted Ted Cruz for “L-YE-N’,” and tweeted that commentator Lawrence O’Donnell was “one of the dummer people on television.” Obama’s first name came out as “Barrack” in a Trump tweet, famed basketball coach Bobby Knight morphed into “Bobby Night” and the city of Phoenix became “Phoneix.” Perhaps Trump can get some advice from the next winner of the spelling bee: Seven presidents, including Obama, have met with spelling champs.q


Thursday 16 February 2017


Russians remain patient for thaw with US under Trump V. ISACHENKOV Associated Press MOSCOW (AP) — As questions over the Trump administration’s contacts with Russia roil U.S. politics, the Kremlin is taking a decidedly measured approach, carefully weighing what it says to avoid jeopardizing a chance for better relations between Moscow and Washington. This same patience is evident in Russian state media, helping to temper public expectations of the man who entered the White House with a friendly posture toward President Vladimir Putin. Opinion polls have shown that the initial public euphoria in Russia after President Donald Trump’s victory has given way to a more sober mood. Last week, Putin used a visit by the president of Slovenia to raise the possibility of meeting Trump in the homeland of his wife, Melania. But he acknowledged it will take time for Trump to finish forming his team before both sides can set a time and place for such a summit. “No one here is losing patience, because there haven’t been any excessive expectations,” said Alexander Baunov, an analyst with the Carnegie Moscow Center. “No one expected Trump to make some incredible moves on the Russian track in two or three weeks. Things here are viewed from a far more pessimistic, temporizing perspective.” State-controlled broadcasters have dampened public anticipation of a warming in Russia-U.S. ties with daily reporting on a host of challenges for Trump, including the resignation of National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. Yelena Sizova, a 47-year-old teacher, said she believes any possible steps toward a rapprochement with the U.S. will be blocked by Trump’s foes in Congress. “My feeling is that we won’t get anything good from him,” she said. Russia-U.S. relations plunged to their lowest point in decades under former President Barack Obama because of the crisis in Ukraine, the war in Syria and the allegations of Russia’s hacking of the Democrats. Compared with Hillary Clinton’s hawkish tone on Russia during the campaign, Trump’s promises to repair relations and cooperate with Moscow on fighting international terrorism have fueled expectations of a positive change. Baunov argues it’s wrong to assert that there is widespread adulation of Trump among ordinary Russians. “There is no great enthusiasm about him; there is just a feeling of relief,” he said. “While in the United States he is perceived as a conduit of Russian influence, no one in Russia sees him as such.” Maria Katasonova, a pro-Kremlin political activist, said many Russians shuddered at the prospect of a Clinton victory because they hold her responsible for the breakdown in ties as secretary of state. “Her policy has led to the worst period in Russia-U.S. relations since the Cold War,” Katasonova said. “That’s why people have pinned big hopes on Trump. The Russians who are interested in politics and geopolitics see Trump as a person with whom it will be possible to try to improve relations between our countries.” But even as Putin and his lieutenants hope for warmer ties with the U.S., they are fully aware of the strong resistance in Congress and U.S. political circles. Members of the Russian political elite reacted with apparent shock to Flynn’s resignation.q

Bucking Trump’s anti-trade trend, European Union clears trade deal with Canada RAF CASERT ELENA BECATOROS Associated Press BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union and Canada on Wednesday cast their newly-approved trade deal as a much-needed

pagne during a visit to Brussels coinciding with the approval. “Canada and Europe, I am glad to say, came up to this challenge and sent a very strong signal to the world.” The future of global trade

ci, the EU’s economic and financial affairs chief. “That means that the international trading and security architecture to which we owe our unprecedented peace and prosperity is also threatened as never

Demonstrators march against the so-called CETA trade deal near the European Parliament in Strasbourg, eastern France, Wednesday, Feb.15, 2017. The European Union’s parliament approved a trade deal with Canada, extolling the pact as a sign of cooperation at a time when many political forces, including U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration, are trying to halt globalization. (AP Photo/Jean-Francois Badias)

beacon for cooperation, with the EU criticizing President Donald Trump’s protectionist bent as a threat to the continent’s prosperity. After about seven years of negotiations, the EU parliament approved on Wednesday a deal with Canada that will eliminate most tariffs for business between the EU’s economy of half a billion people and Canada’s 35 million. Though critics claim it will mainly help large companies, proponents say it will create jobs and wealth. And, they argue, it is a sorely needed reminder of the world’s capacity to cooperate at a time when political forces, even within the EU, want to bring back national barriers to migration and trade. “This is the vote that the world was waiting today to hear — whether there will be a progressive voice in the world,” said Canadian International Trade Minister Francois-Philippe Cham-

was put in doubt after Trump nixed a trade deal with Pacific countries, threatened to get tough on China  and renegotiate a free trade pact with Mexico and Canada. In Europe, political parties opposed to the EU’s message of shared markets and open borders for workers are doing well in the polls ahead of elections in countries like the Netherlands and France. The EU parliament approved the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement with Canada by a wide margin of 408 for, 254 against with 33 abstentions, allowing for its provisional entry into force as early as April. At the same time as the EU lawmakers were voting, the bloc’s executive also took aim at Trump. “While we do not yet know the details of the policies the Trump administration will pursue, we do know that their instincts will be protectionist more than ever,” said Pierre Moscovi-

before. So let us mobilize” Moscovici said at the University of Athens. The belligerent mood was also palpable at the EU’s legislature in Strasbourg, France. “President Trump has given us another good reason to intensify our links with Canada — while Trump introduces tariffs, we are not only tearing them down but also setting the highest progressive standards,” said Guy Verhofstadt, the leader of the EU parliament’s ALDE liberal group. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is set to address the EU legislature on Thursday. The EU vote should close the drawn-out approval process across the 28 member states, where some governments and legislations had tried to modify or scupper the deal. The Netherlands could conceivably still hold up the deal if it demands an advisory national referendum.q


Thursday 16 February 2017

Jordan commander: IS expands hold in border camp for Syrians KHETAM MALKAWI OMAR AKOUR Associated Press JORDAN-SYRIA BORDER (AP) — Armed Islamic State extremists are expanding their influence in a sprawling camp for displaced Syrians on Jordan’s border, posing a growing threat to the U.S.-allied kingdom, a senior Jordanian military commander said. Brig. Gen. Sami Kafawin, chief of Jordan’s border forces, spoke to The Associated Press during a tour of the remote desert area, just west of where Jordan, Syria and Iraq meet. The Islamic State group seized parts of Syria and Iraq in 2014, and still holds territory there, including areas abutting Jordan, despite recent military setbacks. A flight in a Jordanian military helicopter on Tuesday offered a view of the Rukban camp, an expanse of tents and makeshift shelters housing tens of thousands of stranded Syrians. Conditions in Rukban and the smaller Hadalat camp deteriorated sharply after Jordan sealed its border in June, following a crossborder IS car bomb attack

A Jordanian soldier stands at the north eastern border with Syria, close to the informal Rukban camp. The commander of Jordan’s border guards says Islamic State extremists are expanding their influence in the sprawling border camp for tens of thousands of displaced Syrians, posing a growing threat to the U.S.-allied kingdom. (AP Photo/ Raad Adayleh)

that killed seven Jordanian border guards. The closure disrupted what until then had been fairly regular distributions of food and water by Jordanbased international aid agencies. In recent months, there had been mounting reports of lack of clean water, the rise of malnutrition among children and the spread of

disease. Late last year, after months of negotiations, U.N.-led aid groups and Jordanian officials worked out a new arrangement for the camps, located between two low miles-long mounds of earth, or berms, that straddle the Syrian-Jordanian border. A food distribution center was set up several miles

west of Rukban, while U.N. mobile health clinics consisting of several trailers were established on Jordanian territory, near the southernmost berm. Aid officials said tribal leaders help organize the distributions, despite concerns by aid agencies that this will lead to unfair allotments and black marketeering. In a joint statement on

Wednesday, U.N. agencies in Jordan said conditions still “present a survival challenge,” while acknowledging the Jordanian military’s efforts to coordinate aid shipments. “Delivery of humanitarian aid experienced serious delays and interruptions due to logistical and security constraints over the past months,” the statement said. “Only one distribution cycle of a month’s worth of food rations and essential items, including blankets, warm clothes and plastic sheeting, was made possible to those living at the berm between November 2016 and January 2017.” The statement said water has been delivered regularly and that U.N. health services were able to provide life-saving care, with the most serious cases referred to Jordan for further treatment. On Tuesday, an AP team visited one of the health clinics, where pregnant women and young children were receiving treatment. Patients were transported from Rukban to the clinic by ambulance after security vetting.q

UN temporarily pausing aid to eastern Mosul due to security BRAM JANSSEN Associated Press HASSAN SHAM CAMP, Iraq (AP) — The United Nations said Wednesday it was temporarily pausing aid operations to neighborhoods in the eastern half of the Iraqi city of Mosul as attacks by the Islamic State group continue to inflict heavy civilian casualties there. Lise Grande, the U.N. Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq, said U.N. agencies “made the decision that

until security improves, it will be difficult for us to provide assistance.” She spoke during a visit to a camp for Iraqis displaced from Mosul on Wednesday. Iraq declared Mosul’s eastern half “fully liberated” last month, and a semblance of normalcy returned to many areas, with schools, shops and restaurants reopening. But some neighborhoods continue to be hit by insurgent attacks. The IS group is still firmly in control of western Mo-

sul, across from the Tigris River, which runs through the heart of Iraq’s second largest city. Iraqi forces are moving into position ahead of an anticipated assault on Mosul’s western half. “We have every confidence that the authorities will provide security. As soon as it improves, the United Nations agencies will be there to deliver assistance,” Grande said. An IS suicide bomber struck a recently reopened restaurant in eastern Mosul on

Friday, killing four people. A clinic in Mosul’s Zahra neighborhood said it continues to receive dozens of wounded civilians every day from mortar and IS drone attacks. Thousands of people living in eastern Mosul lack access to drinking water and fuel for cooking and heating. Elsewhere in Iraq on Wednesday, a car bomb killed at least 17 people and wounded 45 others in the capital, Baghdad, ac-

cording to a police officer and a medical official. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief reporters. IS captured Mosul in the summer of 2014 when it swept across much of northern and central Iraq. The militants have suffered several battlefield defeats since then, but have continued to carry out large attacks in Baghdad and other areas far from the front lines.q


Thursday 16 February 2017


Malaysian police: Woman arrested in the killing of North Korean leader’s half brother, Kim Jong Nam EILEEN NG Associated Press KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysian police arrested a woman Wednesday in the apparent assassination of Kim Jong Nam, the North Korean leader’s exiled half brother who South Korean spies say once begged his sibling to spare his life. The astonishing killing, which reportedly came at

diplomacy, the elder Kim died en route to a hospital on Monday after suddenly falling ill at the budget terminal of Kuala Lumpur International Airport. He told medical workers before he died that he had been attacked with a chemical spray, the Malaysian officials said. Multiple South Korean media reports, citing unidentified sources, said two women

attacked. It was not immediately clear whether the passport was genuine. She was identified using earlier surveillance video from the airport, police said. Still photos of the video, confirmed as authentic by police, showed a woman in a skirt and long-sleeved white T-shirt with “LOL” across the front. Police said they were hunting for more suspects. No

This combination of file photos shows Kim Jong Nam, left, exiled half-brother of North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un, in Narita, Japan, on May 4, 2001, and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on May 9, 2016, in Pyongyang, North Korea. Kim Jong Nam, 46, was targeted Monday, Feb. 13, 2017, in a shopping concourse at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Malaysia, and died on the way to the hospital, according to a Malaysian government official. (AP Photos/S. Kambayashi, W. Maye-E)

the hands of two female assassins, set off waves of speculation over whether North Korea  had dispatched a hit squad to kill a man known for his drinking, gambling and complicated family life. Kim Jong Nam, who was 45 or 46, was estranged from his younger brother, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, and had been living abroad for years. He reportedly fell out of favor when he was caught trying to enter Japan on a false passport in 2001, saying he wanted to visit Tokyo Disneyland. According to two senior Malaysian government officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the case involves sensitive

believed to be North Korean agents killed him with some kind of poison before fleeing in a taxi. Malaysia started an autopsy Wednesday to determine the cause of death. But a Malaysian government official, who also demanded anonymity because of the case’s sensitivity, said North Korea objected to the procedure because they wanted the body back. But the Malaysian official said the autopsy was still continuing. Also Wednesday, Malaysian police arrested a woman carrying Vietnamese travel documents bearing the name Doan Thi Huong at the Kuala Lumpur airport budget terminal, where Kim Jong Nam was

further details were released. Since taking power in late 2011, Kim Jong Un has executed or purged a number of high-level government officials in what the South Korean government has described as a “reign of terror.” South Korea’s  spy agency, the National Intelligence Service, said Wednesday that North Korea had been trying for five years to kill Kim Jong Nam. The NIS did not definitively say that North  Korea  was behind the killing, just that it was presumed to be a North Korean operation, according to lawmakers who briefed reporters about the closed-door meeting with the spy officials. q

Mongolia nationalizes a mine; prompts warning on investors GRACE BROWN Associated Press ULAANBAATAR, Mongolia (AP) — Mongolian lawmakers have told the government to revoke a private company’s purchase of a stake in a major copper mine, a move the president warned could scare away investors at a time when the economy is already struggling. The move highlights the political sensitivity of Mongolia’s copper, gold and other mineral wealth, the source of more than 90 percent of the North Asian country’s export revenues. Legislators approved a resolution Friday calling on Prime Minister Jargaltulgyn Erdenebat to revoke a Mongolian investor’s $400 million purchase of a Russian state company’s 49 percent stake in Erdenet Mining Corp. They want the government, which owns the rest of Erdenet, to take full control. Complaints that too little of Mongolia’s abundant mineral wealth makes its way to the poor majority have long complicated the role played by foreign mining companies. Weak global demand for Mongolia’s minerals dragged down growth to a 1.6 percent contraction in the latest quarter, adding to those pressures. Mongolia’s national debt stands at about $23 billion, or twice the annual economic output, and a $580 million payment to foreign bondholders is due March 21. Mongolian leaders are deciding whether to pursue a potential emergency loan from the International Monetary Fund. Last week’s vote followed a change of government in June elections and a parliamentary inquiry that concluded the real buyer was a Mongolian bank that violated lending rules by hiding how much money it put up. It was the first time parliament has called for the government to take over a company since the end of Soviet-

style communist rule in the early 1990s, when Mongolia sold off state assets. Approval of the Erdenet sale was announced June 28 by then-Prime Minister Chimediin Saikhanbileg. But the next day, his Democratic Party lost control of parliament to the rival Mongolian People’s Party in national elections. It was unclear whether Erdenebat was obliged to act on parliament’s demand, but President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj, a Democratic Party member, warned the vote might hurt the economy. “The resolution could drive away foreign investors and entrepreneurs” and “further isolate Mongolia,” Elbegdorj said in a statement. Still, Elbegdorj said authorities should root out the “hidden and illegal business operations” of Erdenet. Earlier, global miner Rio Tinto Ltd. delayed development of a gold and copper mine, Oyu Tolgoi, due to disagreements over revenue sharing and the foreign role in mining. After that dispute was settled, Rio Tinto announced last May it was ready to go ahead with a $5.3 billion expansion. Saikhanbileg said that showed Mongolia was “back to business.” Erdenet, Mongolian for “Treasure,” operates a mining complex about 150 miles (240 kilometers) northwest of the capital, Ulan Bator. Until last year’s sale, it was one of Russia’s biggest assets in Mongolia. Controversy over the sale was fueled by complaints a Mongolian bank, Trade Development Bank LLC, was the real buyer and violated lending rules by financing the acquisition. The purchase was led by a 28-year-old lawyer, Tsooj Purevtuvshin, owner of Mongolian Copper Corp. Purevtuvshin, also known by the nickname Tush, said MCC bought Erdenet using financing from a group of investors.q


Thursday 16 February 2017

7 Kenya medics unionists freed; strike continues TOM ODULA Associated Press NAIROBI,Kenya (AP) — A Kenyan court on Wednesday released seven doctors who are officials in the medics’ union and who were jailed earlier this week for not calling off a strike by doctors working in public hospitals and other institutions. About 1,000 doctors outside the court celebrated the officials’ release and held a peaceful march to Parliament and Nairobi’s Freedom Park. More than 5,000 doctors from public hospitals are on strike for a 180 percent pay raise and to protest Kenya’s dilapidated health care system. At least a dozen people have died due to lack of medical care since the strike started early December over the government’s fail to implement a collective bargaining agreement it agreed upon in 2013. The decision to free the seven was made by three judges of the appellate court. Health minister Dr. Cleopa Mailu told the Senate committee for health that he supported their release to encourage negotiations to end the strike. Pressure had been mounting on government after the seven doctors were jailed Monday. A peaceful vigil by their colleagues was dispersed by paramilitary police. Doctors from private hospitals protested the imprisonment of the seven by calling a 48-hour strike that started Wednesday and has paralyzed Kenya’s health care. The Kenya Medical Association de-registered the health minister and the principal secretary in the health ministry for a year for “disgracing the organization.”q

British FM: Gambia to return to Commonwealth

Britain’s Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson speaks to media before meeting with Gambian President Adama Barrow for talks in Banjul, Gambia, Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017. (AP Photo/ Kuku Marong)

ABDOULIE JOHN Associated Press BANJUL, Gambia (AP) — Gambia will soon return to the Commonwealth under its new government, Britain’s foreign secretary said this week after meeting with President Adama Barrow and pledging London’s support for this small West African nation following the departure of its

leader of 22 years. Barrow has vowed to reverse actions taken by his predecessor, Yahya Jammeh, who announced last year that Gambia would withdraw from the International Criminal Court. Three years earlier Jammeh withdrew Gambia from the Commonwealth, a 52-nation group made up mostly of former British colonies.

“We are here to help. The United Kingdom has a close relation with The Gambia,” British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said after his private meeting with Barrow. The visit comes after longtime ruler Jammeh flew into exile last month under international pressure and the threat of a regional military intervention after refusing to accept his December

election loss to Barrow. Jammeh, who seized control in a bloodless coup in 1994, is accused of overseeing an administration that tortured and imprisoned opponents. Barrow’s new government promises democratic reforms, freeing political prisoners and a truth commission. Johnson said after meeting with Barrow that the countries would “build on longstanding friendship and partnership.” He said key areas such as education, health and security would take center stage. Last week, the European Union announced an $80 million package of support for Gambia as nations warm to the new government. The United Nations has received the Gambia government’s formal notice reversing the country’s withdrawal from the International Criminal Court, deputy U.N. spokesman Farhan Haq announced earlier Tuesday. Gambia was one of three African countries that informed the U.N. chief last year that they were withdrawing from the court. The others were South Africa and Burundi.q

WHO declares end to yellow fever outbreak in Congo, Angola CARLEY PETESCH Associated Press DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — The World Health Organization has declared an end to the yellow fever outbreak that killed about 400 people in Congo and Angola, calling it “one of the largest and most challenging” in recent years. The outbreak, first detected in Angola in late 2015, caused 965 confirmed cases and thousands of

suspected cases in both countries, the WHO said in a statement Tuesday. Neither country has reported a new confirmed case in the past six months. Angola in late December declared an end to its outbreak, and Congo made its announcement Tuesday. The global health agency said more than 30 million people were vaccinated in emergency campaigns to control the outbreak in

the two neighboring countries, which have among the world’s weakest health systems. “This unprecedented response exhausted the global stockpile of yellow fever vaccines several times,” the WHO statement said. Regional Emergency Director Dr. Ibrahima Soce Fall warned such outbreaks could become more frequent unless coordinated

responses are taken “to vaccinate the population at risk across the region.” There is no known cure for the mosquito-spread virus, which is easily prevented with vaccines. Once infected, people often fall ill with fever and muscle pain, but many recover after several days. The more toxic phase includes possible bleeding from the eyes, ears and nose, jaundice and organ failureq


Thursday 16 February 2017


Guatemala’s indigenous seek recognition for justice system

Residents listen to indigenous authorities acting as judges during a hearing related to a territorial limit conflict in their community, at the Indigenous City Hall in the Indian town of Solola, Guatemala. Here justice works as it has for centuries: Townsfolk bring grievances and local authorities make rulings, usually with a speed unheard of in a country where justice is often delayed, if it comes at all. (AP Photo/Moises Castillo)

SONIA PEREZ D. Associated Press SOLOLA, Guatemala (AP) — The law works as it has for centuries in the Guatemalan indigenous community of Solola: Townsfolk bring grievances and local authorities make rulings, usually with a speed unheard of in a country where justice is often delayed, if it comes at all. At one recent weekly court session, Maria Micaela Pan-

joc, baby in arms, came with a request for paternity payments. Others sought help with land disputes. Andres Xelp wanted the judges to force his son to move back home. The generally non-partisan leaders of local Mayan communities hear the cases, trying to find quick resolutions when they can and sometimes passing cases over to formal prosecutors when they cannot — as in

the case of a young woman speaking the Kaqchikel language who said she’d been raped. The Solola court alone handled 3,000 cases last year. For generations, outsiders have looked down on indigenous law courts, as they have on the native cultures themselves. Some 40 percent of Guatemala’s 17 million people identify themselves as indigenous and they are pushing for

wider respect for the traditional ways in which their cultures deal with their differences, though opposition remains strong within the country’s non-indigenous communities. Guatemala’s Constitutional Court already has accepted some rulings by indigenous courts and there’s a move to formally amend the country’s constitution to recognize them. An earlier measure to do that came two votes short in congress, with opposition coming from conservatives and from business interests that said they feared legal confusion if different systems co-exist. Members of congress on Wednesday are scheduled to discuss the proposed constitutional amendment to recognize indigenous justice as part of the country’s judicial system. At least 105 of 158 legislators must approve the proposal for it to pass. The idea has gained support from national Attorney General Thelma Aldana, as well as Ivan Velaszuqez, who heads the U.N. Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala that has been assisting in corruption investigations in the country. “Guatemala has to be a place where all its inhabitants belong,” said

Venezuela suspends CNN in Spanish after criticizing story CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuela’s government has suspended CNN in Spanish, shutting off the news channel after a report on fraudulent passports that drew angry criticism from officials.

The country’s National Telecommunications Commission announced Wednesday that it initiated the “administrative sanction” because of news stories it considered “direct aggressions” against Venezuela.

It did not specifically mention the passport story, but earlier in the day other government officials held a news conference to dispute the CNN story. CNN aired a report on Feb. 6 based on a whistle-

blower’s allegations that Venezuelan officials had been selling passports from the country’s embassy in Iraq to people of Middle Eastern origin, including a few members of terrorist groups.q

Velazquez, who visited Solola to view the court process. The formal legal system has often exploited or ignored indigenous Guatemalans, who were legally required to perform forced labor well into the 20th century and who generally found it nearly impossible to pay for lawyers. Even now, only 10 percent of the country’s townships have prosecutors’ offices. In Solola, Mayor Tomas Saloj presided over hearings in a town hall decorated with the 20 figures representing the Mayan calendar — 20 days per month, 18 months per year. On the table that served as the judge’s bench were a candle and a glass of water, an invitation for the wisdom of dead ancestors to enter. Punishments can include restitution, community labor, banishment or whippings: Two braided leather whips hang in the Solola town hall as a reminder. Agustin Bocel, a town spokesman, recalled a case of attempted rape in which the attacker was sentenced to nine lashes of a whip — at the insistence of his own mother, one for each month she carried him, to remind him of the shame he caused her. Bocel said the man has never caused problems again. Tomas Guarcas, the mayor of nearby Pixabaj, defended the practice. “Whipping is a punishment that is like educating children, without violating human rights,” he said, adding that the punishment is usually applied by “by one of the offender’s relatives, the mother, father or inlaws.”q


Thursday 16 February 2017

Paseo Herencia Was a Great Place for Lovers on Valentine’s Day PALM BEACH - Many couples decided to spend their special evening at the Paseo Herencia Shopping Mall located in Palm Beach, once again the center did their utmost best to make Valentine’s Day memorable. Those looking for a romantic dinner, but were on a budget, found the gourmet delights of The Lazy Turtle were specially bargained priced for this special occasion. Not to mention the fabulous Argentine tavern at Ché Bar and Grill, this also offered TWO complimen-

tary glasses of wine with dinner. What would a special meal be without a decadent dessert? TGI Friday’s fully understands how important that sweet finish could be and offered it complimentary with the romantic dinner. Virtuoso concert Violinist Angela Flores also set the mood with a set of romantic music, underlining the “Raining Love” Valentine’s Day theme by “Setting Fire to the Rain,” while performing a full medley of other

stock up on quality sports apparel at DLG and Aruba Rocks!, which also offered substantial discounts. Paseo Herencia offers a one-stop dining, shopping and entertainment destination on Aruba. Their diverse selection of eateries, stores, and of course, the fabulous Wet Bar & Lounge, a perfect place to be while away from home. The comfy couches under the stars make it the ideal place to spend an evening, especially on a holiday!q

pop and classic favorites. The audiences in the Plaza Padu were thoroughly charmed. For those seeking a beautiful last minute gift for their significant other, particularly if they are female, the Murano store had a stunning selection of intricate glass jewelry at substantial discounts. Little Switzerland had a stupendous raffle, with a great prize of a $250 gift certificate. Shoppers were also sure to


Thursday 16 February 2017

USA Today Ranks Tierra Del Sol in the Top 10 Caribbean Golf Courses

NOORD, ARUBA - Tierra del Sol Resort & Golf in Aruba has been named one of the “Top 10 Best Caribbean Golf Courses” by USA Today” as part of their 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards.USA Today 10Best asked a panel of golf and Caribbean travel experts to nominate their favorite Caribbean golf courses. Nominees were chosen by a panel of relevant experts which included a combination of editors from USA

TODAY; editors from 10Best. com; expert contributors; and sources for both these media and other Gannett properties. After the nominees were carefully chosen by the expert panel, the list was turned over to the readers to select the 10 best winners. The top 10 were voted on during the month of January by USA Today readers in an online poll at 10Best. com. Tierra del Sol, an

18-hole course designed by Robert Trent Jones II, placed #7 in final voting and is in exclusive company with some of the top golf courses in the world. Professionally managed by Troon Golf, the par-71 Tierra del Sol course measures 6,811 yards and offers dramatic ocean views on nearly every hole. Aruba’s amazing natural beauty with exotic plants, birds and rock formations are interwoven throughout

the course. In addition to receiving international accolades, Tierra del Sol recently hosted the inaugural Aruba Cup. This PGA Tour sanctioned event was played this past December, featuring top players from the Mackenzie Tour - PGA Tour Canada competing against top players from PGA Tour Latinoamérica. The Aruba Cup was featured on the following television networks: TSN2

and Global TV, ESPN, Golf Channel, Fox Sports and Claro Sports. The three-day, match play event included fourball, foursomes and singles matches. The second annual Aruba Cup will be played in December 2017 at Tierra del Sol. View the exciting highlights of the Aruba Cup on Youtube by searching: “2017 This is The Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada: Aruba Cup.”q


Thursday 16 February 2017

Loyal Guests Honored at the La Cabana Beach Resort

EAGLE BEACH - Recently the Aruba Tourism Authority had the great pleasure of honoring a very nice couple as Goodwill Ambassadors, at the La Cabana Beach Resort. The symbolic honorary title is presented in the name of the Minister of Tourism as a token of appreciation to guests who

visit Aruba for 20-to-34 consecutive years. The honorees were Mr. Allan and Mrs. Gerri Christie from Vancouver, Canada. Allan and Gerri are loyal members of the La Cabana Beach Resort and they love Aruba very much because of the friendly people, the climate, beaches, restau-

rants, relaxation and being on Aruba and staying at the La Cabana Beach Resort is like being home for them! The certificate was presented by Mr. Ricardo Croes representing the Aruba Tourism Authority together with associates from the La Cabana Beach Resort.


Thursday 16 February 2017

Loyal Guests Honored at the Tropicana Resort & Casino

EAGLE BEACH - Recently the Aruba Tourism Authority had the great pleasure of honoring a very nice couple as Goodwill Ambassadors, at the Tropicana Resort & Casino. The symbolic honorary title is presented in the name of the Minister of Tourism as a token of appreciation to guests who visit Aruba for 20-to-34 consecutive years. The honorees were Mr. Jerry and Mrs. Filena Stefanuto from Ontario, Canada, celebrating their 21st consecutive annual visit to Aruba!

For reservations: 525-4000 ext. 172 or through @ Paradise Beach Villas

Jerry and Filena are loyal members of the Tropicana Resort & Casino and they love Aruba very much because of the friendly people, the climate, beaches, restaurants, relaxation and being on Aruba and staying at the Tropicana Resort & Casino is like being home for them! The certificate was presented by Ms. Marouska Heyliger representing the Aruba Tourism Authority together with associates from the Tropicana Resort & Casino.q


Thursday 16 February 2017

The stars are out at Riviera DOUG FERGUSON AP Golf Writer LOS ANGELES (AP) — Gone are the days when some of golf’s best players felt the PGA Tour season didn’t really begin until it reached Florida. There is no shortage of star power in LA. And it wasn’t that much different across the West Coast Swing, which started in Kapalua and ends this week at Riviera at the Genesis Open with a field that features eight of the top 10 in the world. And it would have been nine of the top 10 if Rory McIlroy were not recovering from a rib injury. Riviera has a lot do with that. “It’s my favorite golf course on the PGA Tour, so I’m very excited to start my season here like I have a few times in the past, and hopefully kind of pick up where I left off here last year,” said Adam Scott, who makes his American debut this week. Scott finished one shot behind last year, then went to Florida and won the next two events. He also was the wrong guy to ask about the importance of getting off to a good start in a week where the forecast is ominous. Rain is expected to be heavy and steady Friday, with traces still lingering on the weekend. Scott’s only “victory” at Riviera still doesn’t count. That was in 2005, when it rained so hard that the field managed only 36 holes, and Scott won in a playoff on Monday. He received the money and got his name on the trophy, though the tour requires at least 54 holes to be completed to count it as official. Continued on page 18


James, Irving help Cavs pull away from T-wolves Minnesota Timberwolves’ Karl-Anthony Towns, left, and Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James battle for the rebound during the second half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017, in Minneapolis. The Cavaliers won 116-108. Associated Press Page 19


Thursday 16 February 2017 Continued from page 17 “I’m determined to get an official win here, and hopefully, it’s this week,” he said. It won’t be easy. Jordan Spieth is coming off a four-shot victory at Pebble Beach in which he found the right recipe for putting on poa greens. Spieth is concerned only with the speed of the putt, not whether it goes in. He took only 23 putts in the third round when he built a big lead, and played the final 28 holes without a bogey. So when he was practicing at Riviera on Tuesday and was on the putting green, he couldn’t help but notice the number of players watching him. Spieth is regarded among the best putters on tour, anyway, but there was special attention paid because of the poa greens. “Putting on poa annua greens, you see guys get so frustrated and they start second-guessing themselves,” Spieth said. “You

Jordan Spieth follows his drive from the 11th tee of the Spyglass Hill Golf Course during the second round of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am golf tournament Friday, Feb. 10, 2017, in Pebble Beach, Calif. Associated Press

see more putter changes in the West Coast Swing, probably double than you see the rest of the year. So just experience of recognizing that you’re going to hit good putts that don’t necessarily go in because the type of grass is a little stickier and the footprints are more significant and it can kind of shoot balls offline easier.”

For all the stars at Riviera — British Open champion Henrik Stenson is the only other player from the top 10 not at the Genesis Open — the tournament lost a little buzz from Tiger Woods withdrawing with recurring back problems. Woods was supposed to play his hometown event for the first time since 2006, a product of his foundation

taking over as the host organization under. Even before that, Riviera typically had the strongest field of an increasingly strong West Coast because of the fabled golf course. But the entire West Coast has shown more signs of a youth movement. The last seven PGA Tour events have been won by players in their 20s. And unlike a few generations ago, when the likes of Greg Norman, Nick Price and even Curtis Strange never really got going until Florida, there have been pockets of great players competing the last six weeks. Justin Thomas swept Hawaii. Hideki Matsuyama won again in Phoenix. Sergio Garcia, who also makes his American debut this week, won two weeks ago in Dubai. And now they have congregated off Sunset Boulevard. “It speaks about the quality of the golf course, the

quality of the event, and it’s as simple as that,” Garcia said. “For the top players, at the end of the day your try to look for tournaments that fit your schedule, but at the same time, tournaments that you think the course is a good, solid test. Riviera is definitely one of those.” Jason Day, the No. 1 player in the world, is at Riviera for the first time since 2012. He could lose the No. 1 ranking this week if Matsuyama or Dustin Johnson were to win. Spieth can only go as high as No. 2 without another victory, and he’s as confident as anyone in the field. Spieth has only won backto-back weeks once in his career. That was at the end of 2014, when he won the Australian Open and then flew halfway around the world to Florida and won the Hero World Challenge. This was only a short flight down the coast.q


Thursday 16 February 2017

NBA Capsules

LeBron James helps Cavaliers to win over Timberwolves The Associated Press MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — LeBron James had 25 points, 14 assists and eight rebounds to turn back a charge from Andrew Wiggins and help the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 116-108 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday night. Channing Frye had 21 points and 10 rebounds while starting for All-Star Kevin Love, who will miss at least the next six weeks after having surgery on his left knee. Kyre Irving scored 25 points for the Cavs and James sealed the victory with a stepback 3-pointer with two minutes to play. Wiggins scored 41 points against the team that drafted him and Karl-Anthony Towns scored 26 for the Wolves, who finished a six-game homestand at 2-4. The Wolves allowed Cleveland to shoot 51 percent and hit 13 3s. BULLS 105, RAPTORS 94 CHICAGO (AP) — Doug McDermott scored 20 points, All-Star Jimmy Butler had 19 points and 12 assists in his return to the lineup,

and Chicago beat Toronto for the 11th straight time. Taj Gibson had 14 points and Rajon Rondo added 12 for the Bulls, who led by as many as 23 points and never trailed in the final three quarters to snap a three-game skid. Toronto’s last win in the series was Dec. 31, 2013. Kyle Lowry scored 22 points to lead the Raptors, who lost their third straight and fell one-half game behind idle Atlanta for the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference. DeMar DeRozan was limited to 18 points — 10 below his season average. He was whistled for his second technical found in the final minute and ejected from the game. KINGS 97, LAKERS 96 LOS ANGELES (AP) — DeMarcus Cousins had 40 points and 12 rebounds, and Sacramento held on for its fourth straight win. Lou Williams scored 29 points off the bench to lead the Lakers, who rallied from 13 down early in the fourth quarter and tied the game 91-all on his 3-point-

er with 1:31 to play. Los Angeles pulled even twice more, including on another 3 by Williams, but couldn’t overcome Cousins, who scored the final 10 points for Sacramento. Williams’ potential gamewinning 3 went wide right of the basket at the buzzer. He was 4 of 11 from long range. The Lakers got within two in the third only to have the Kings run off nine points in a row and extend their lead to 68-57. Williams made a 3 and another basket, and Larry Nance Jr. scored to cut Sacramento’s lead to 70-64 heading into the fourth.q

Minnesota Timberwolves’ Andrew Wiggins, left, shoots as Cleveland Cavaliers’ Derrick Williams races in during the second half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017, in Minneapolis. Associated Press


Thursday 16 February 2017

Oh no! Short-side goals rise as shooters adjust to goalies STEPHEN WHYNO AP Hockey Writer It’s the kind of goal that makes fans groan because the goalie probably should’ve stopped it. A shooter skating down the wing or even behind the net fires the puck between a goaltender and the near post for a short-side goal. It looks like it shouldn’t go in, but it has been happening a lot more this season as players figure out what goalies are doing ... or at least trying to do. “Those goals, they don’t look good, but I think if people knew how hard it was to do that maneuver, they might be a little less quick to jump to judgment on the goalies,” Chicago Blackhawks goalie Scott Darling said. That maneuver is called the “Reverse VH” and it’s the most widespread way for goalies to cover the post and not allow soft goals to be scored. An opposite of the previously-used “VH” stance, it means a goalie’s pad against the post is horizontal along the ice while the back leg is vertical. The Reverse VH is more ef-

Anaheim Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm (47), of Sweden, scores a goal against Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby, bottom, during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017, in Washington. Associated Press

fective than its predecessor, but as NHL Network analyst and former goaltender Kevin Weekes has said :

Short side has become the new five hole. And everyone in hockey knows it. Brian Boucher, another re-

tired goalie turned analyst, said you can’t go two or three nights without seeing a short-side goal somewhere around the league . As recently as Thursday night, Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog  went short side  on Stanley Cup-winning Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Matt Murray on a textbook sharp-angle shot that looks like a bad goal but is more the product of shooters understanding techniques. “Guys are realizing that the sharp-angle shots are extremely difficult to stop,” Vezina Trophy-winning goalie Braden Holtby of the Washington Capitals said. “You do see more and more guys trying it because it’s a high-quality scoring chance. Guys figure out trends now. They kind of figure them out a little quicker than they used to, which isn’t great for us.” Jonathan Quick led the Los Angeles Kings to two Cups by using the Reverse VH and taking advantage of his Gumby-like athleticism. The stance, which originated in Sweden a few years before, took off in the NHL

after Quick won the Cup in 2012 and now it’s a go-to for most goalies. Goaltending analyst Justin Goldman points out that when a skater is coming down the ice, there’s actually more room for the puck on the short side than the far side because there’s less distance for it to travel. More short-side goals isn’t a result of the Reverse VH being a bad stance, but instead he believes it’s goalies overusing it and losing the cat-and-mouse game between them and shooters. Too often goalies drop to their knees into the Reverse VH and become sitting ducks for Alex Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby, Joe Pavelski and some of the best snipers around. “The shooter knows the goalie’s going to drop into this stance, which means he can release a puck a half a second or a half a step sooner than usual and he knows what his target is before he even looks up and sees where the goalie is,” Goldman said. “They’re almost over-anticipating what a shooter is going to do before he actually does it and the shooter has the capacity now, he has the wherewithal and he has the accuracy to pick that spot.” Darling thinks some goalies are still mastering the relatively new Reverse VH, and 2006 Cup-winner Cam Ward of the Carolina Hurricanes acknowledged he still uses the old VH style because he’s more comfortable in it. Ward looks at Tuukka Rask of the Boston Bruins as someone who can push side-to-side with power out of the Reverse VH, and Goldman called 2013 Vezina winner Sergei Bobrovsky of the Columbus Blue Jackets the “posterchild” for doing it right. “It’s a tough position to get fully square, but when the puck’s behind the net it gives you good coverage for pass outs and things like that,” Philadelphia goaltender Steve Mason said. “It’s complicated, but I think sometimes it can be overused.”q


Thursday 16 February 2017

NHL Capsules

Crosby gets 999th career point as Penguins beat Canucks

The Associated Press PITTSBURGH (AP) — Evgeni Malkin had a goal and an assist in his return from a lower-body injury and Sidney Crosby got his 999th career point with an assist as the Pittsburgh Penguins rolled by the Vancouver Canucks 4-0 on Tuesday night. Phil Kessel, Jake Guentzel and Matt Cullen also scored for the defending Stanley Cup champions. Matt Murray stopped 29 shots for his third shutout this season and the fourth of his career. Pittsburgh broke it open with three third-period goals past Ryan Miller. Crosby fed a streaking Guentzel down the slot 2:27 into the third to make it 2-0 and pull Crosby within a point of becoming the 86th player in NHL history to reach 1,000. Miller made 38 saves while under siege for most of the night as the Penguins remained unbeaten in regulation since the All-Star break (5-0-2). DUCKS 1, WILD 0 ST. PAUL, Minnesota (AP) — John Gibson made 37 saves for his fourth shutout of the season, rookie Joseph Cramarossa scored his fourth goal and Anaheim blanked Minnesota. Gibson stalled the league’s fourth-highest scoring team, beating Minnesota and former coach Bruce Boudreau for the first time in three meetings. The Wild were 0 for 5 on the power play and lost in regulation for the first time in six games and the fifth time since the start of December, a span of 34 games. Devan Dubnyk made 22 saves. Cramarossa scored for the

pick in that year’s draft. Ryan O’Reilly also scored for the Sabres. Bobby Ryan ended a fivegame run without a point by getting a goal and an assist for the Senators. Dion Phaneuf also scored, and Craig Anderson made 22 saves. JETS 5, STARS 2 WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) — Patrik Laine got his third hat trick of the season, including the go-ahead goal with 5:07 left to lift Winnipeg over Dallas. The Finnish rookie has 26 goals, including two in the third period as the Jets broke open a tight game. Joel Armia and Blake Wheeler also scored to help Winnipeg snap a fourgame skid. Pittsburgh Penguins’ Sidney Crosby looks to pass to Jake Guentzel, ending up with an assist on Jamie Benn and Tyler Guentzel’s goal during the third period of the team’s NHL hockey game against the Vancouver Seguin scored in the secCanucks in Pittsburgh, Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017. It was the 999th point of Crosby’s NHL career. The ond period for the Stars to Penguins won 4-0. erase a two-goal deficit. Associated Press Connor Hellebuyck made first time in 16 games 4:38 Nazem Kadri and William Jeremy Smith stopped 37 34 saves in his third straight Nylander each had a goal shots in his NHL debut after start for the Jets since Oninto the first period. MAPLE LEAFS 7, ISLANDERS and an assist. Tyler Bozak seven seasons in the minor drej Pavelec sustained a and Matt Hunwick also leagues. Recent waiver lower-body injury. 1 TORONTO (AP) — Auston scored for the Maple Leafs. pickup Mark Barberio and Antti Niemi stopped 19 of Matthews scored twice, Jason Chimera scored on a Mikhail Grigorenko scored 22 shots for Dallas. Frederik Andersen earned penalty shot for New York. for Colorado, which has The victory ended a fivehis 100th NHL win and To- Thomas Greiss and Jean- lost four straight and is 4-22- game home losing streak ronto routed New York in a Francois Berube combined 1 in its last 27 games. for the Jets, and Dallas took game with playoff implica- to give up seven goals on The win was only the Devils’ its sixth loss in seven games. second against the Ava- OILERS 5, COYOTES 2 41 shots. tions. lanche in 11 meetings. The Maple Leafs set a sea- DEVILS 3, AVALANCHE 2 EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) son high for goals and won NEWARK, New Jersey (AP) SABRES 3, SENATORS 2 — Leon Draisaitl and Oscar Devils defenseman OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — Klefbom each had a goal for the third time in nine — games. They moved three Andy Greene scored the Robin Lehner made 39 and two assists as Edmonpoints ahead of the Island- go-ahead goal on a pow- saves against his former ton overcame a slow start ers for the second wild card er play and Kyle Palmieri team, and Matt Moulson to beat Arizona. in the Eastern Conference. converted on an odd-man and Justin Bailey scored in Matt Hendricks, Mark LetesNew York fell to 10-4-2 in its rush with Taylor Hall to lead the third period to rally Buf- tu and Patrick Maroon also New Jersey over struggling falo past Ottawa. past 16 games. scored for the Oilers, who Lehner is 4-0-2 against the won for the second time in Matthews increased his Colorado. rookie total to 27 goals and Cory Schneider made 28 club that selected him in six games. Cam Talbot finAndersen stopped 33 shots. saves and Pavel Zacha the second round of the ished with 23 saves. Josh Leivo had a career- added a goal as New Jer- 2009 NHL draft. He was Josh Jooris and Martin high three points with one sey won for the fourth time traded away with David Hanzal had the goals for goal and two assists for To- in six games (4-1-1) in its Legwand in June 2015 to the Coyotes, who won their Buffalo for the 21st overall previous two.q push to make the playoffs. ronto.


Thursday 16 February 2017


Study of footballers’ brains highlights dementia concerns ROB HARRIS AP Global Soccer Writer LONDON (AP) — The degenerative damage potentially caused by repeated blows to the head in soccer has been highlighted by a rare study of brains of a small number of retired players who developed dementia. Fourteen former players were part of the research that began around 40 years ago and six brains, which underwent post-mortem examinations, had signs of Alzheimer’s disease. Four brains were found to have chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) pathology, a possible consequence of repeated impacts to the brain, including heading the ball and concussion injuries from head-to-head collisions. A previous study of 268 brains from the general population in Britain found a far lower CTE detection rate of 12 percent. The small sample size of former footballers prevented researchers from University College London and Britain’s National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery from drawing any conclusions about the dangers posed by playing soccer as they released their research.

Consultant psychiatrist Dr. Don Williams speaks to the Associated Press in his office in London, Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017. Associated Press 

But researchers hope the findings provide the impetus for more substantial studies in conjunction with soccer authorities. The researchers require current or retired players to be willing to take part of investigations that could take decades to produce conclusions. “Our findings show there is a potential link between repetitive head impacts from playing football and the later development of CTE,” lead author Dr. Helen Ling of the UCL Institute of Neurology told The Associated Press. “This will support the need for larger scale studies of a larger number of footballers who need to be fol-

lowed long term, looking at various aspects in terms of their mental functions, imaging of the brain and also markers that might identify neurological damage.” England’s Football Association said it is committed to “independent, robust and thorough” research, which it is jointly funding with the players’ union. The Alzheimer’s Society maintained that the latest “results do not provide proof that heading a football, or sustaining a head injury by any other means during the sport, is linked to developing dementia.” “Exercise is one of the best ways to reduce your risk of dementia and it’s impor-

tant to ensure that people playing any kind of sport are able to do so safely,” Dr. James Pickett, research head at the Alzheimer’s Society, said. Concerns have grown in Britain about the impact of head injuries after campaigning by the family of former England striker Jeff Astle, whose death at age 59 in 2002 was attributed to repeatedly heading heavy, leather balls. Astle’s daughter, Dawn, is urging “current footballers or families of footballers to pledge the brain” for medical research. “If we hadn’t donated dad’s brain, we wouldn’t know what we know now — we wouldn’t know what had killed him,” Dawn Astle said. “It’s too late for dad. The research is so important for current players and for future players. That’s why we need it. “I think that’s what is so very frustrating — the fact that it’s nearly 15 years since my dad died. And the fact that nothing from any footballing authorities has been done. It is really indefensible and disgraceful.” At least four members of England’s 1966 World Cupwinning squad have developed dementia or memory loss. In the United States, there

has been a $1 billion settlement between the NFL and thousands of its former American football players who have been diagnosed with brain injuries linked to repeated concussions. In 2015, the U.S. Soccer Federation recommended a ban on headers for players 10 and under in a bid to address concerns about the impact of head injuries. The British soccer research was instigated by consultant psychiatrist Dr. Don Williams, who started to monitor former players who were diagnosed with dementia from 1980. From Swansea in south Wales, Williams monitored the retired players and collected data on their playing and concussion history. “In 1980 the son of a man with advanced dementia asked me if his father’s condition had been caused by heading the ball for many years as a powerful center half,” Williams said. “As the brain is a very fragile organ, well protected within the skull, this was a constructive suggestion. “As a result I looked out for men with dementia and a significant history of playing soccer, followed them up and where possible arranged for post-mortem studies to be carried out.”q

LJ Hoes suspended 50 games for drug of abuse NEW YORK (AP) — Former big league outfielder L.J. Hoes has been suspended for 50 games under baseball’s minor league drug program following a second positive test for a drug of abuse. St. Louis left-hander Corey Littrell, a grandson of former big league infielder Jack Littrell Sr., also was banned 50 games following a second positive test for a drug of abuse, the commissioner’s office said Wednesday. Colorado infielder Yeremi Rosario was suspended 72 games after a positive test for the performance-enhancing drug Tamoxifen; Atlanta infielder Gabe Howell was penalized 68 games

after a positive test for the performance-enhancing drug Hydrochlorothiazide; and Arizona catcher Ryan January was suspended 50 games after a positive test for the banned stimulant Amphetamine. Hoes, who turns 27 next month, hit .237 with four homers and 22 RBIs in 112 games for Baltimore (201213) and Houston (201315). He batted .242 with six homers and 33 RBIs last year for the Norfolk, the Orioles’ team in the Triple-A International League. Corey Littrell, who turns 25 next month, was 1-0 with a 1.72 ERA in 13 relief appearances last year at Double-A Springfield of the

Texas League and 1-4 with a 4.56 ERA in one start and 39 relief appearances at Triple-A Memphis. He was acquired from Boston in July 2014 along with pitcher John Lackey in the trade that sent outfielder Allen Craig and right-hander Joe Kelly to the Red Sox. Corey Littrell’s father, Jack Littrell Jr., pitched in the minor leagues for the Los Angeles Dodgers and Montreal from 1977-80. Jack Littrell Sr. pitched for the Philadelphia and Kansas City Athletics and the Chicago Cubs from 1952-57. There have been 11 suspensions this year under the minor league drug program.q

In this July 20, 2014, file photo, Houston Astros’ L.J. Hoes hits an one-run double against the Chicago White Sox during the seventh inning of a baseball game in Chicago. Associated Press


Thursday 16 February 2017

From protests to ‘pussy hats,’ Trump resistance brews online BARBARA ORTUTAY AP Technology Writer NEW YORK (AP) — The revolution may not be televised — but it apparently will be tweeted. And Facebooked. And Instagrammed. Not long after President Donald Trump  temporarily barred  most people from seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the U.S., social activist Dex Torricke-Barton took to Facebook. “I’m thinking of organizing a rally,” he posted. Within a few hours, more than 1,000 people expressed interest. The resulting protest a week later, in front of San Francisco’s City Hall, drew thousands more. Torricke-Barton is far from alone. From organizing protests on the fly to raising money for refugee and immigrant rights groups, people have been using social media to fuel the resistance against Trump in ways their organizing predecessors from the 1960s could have hardly imagined. ROOTS OF PROTEST In Queens, New York, for instance, a group of 27 women met up to write postcards to their state and local representatives during a “Postcard-Writing Happy Hour” organized through Facebook. And on Ravelry, the social network for knitters and crocheters, members have been trading advice and knitting patterns for the pink “pussy hats” that emerged as a symbol during the  Women’s March on Washington  and similar protests elsewhere after Trump’s inauguration. “This is an incredible project because it’s mixed between digital and physical,” says Jayna Zweiman, one of the founders of the Pussyhat Project. “We harnessed social media for good.” In 1969, activists planned massive marches around the U.S. to protest the war in Vietnam. The protests, called the Moratorium, drew millions of people around the world. But “it took months, a lot of effort, a national office of the or-

In this Jan. 21, 2017, file photo, demonstrators march along Fifth Avenue during a women’s march, in New York.

ganization to get it off the ground,” says Christopher Huff, a Beacon College professor focused on social movements of the 1960s. “The women’s march was achieved at a much larger scale at a fraction of the time.” This immediacy is both an asset and a disadvantage. While online networks help people rally quickly around a cause, Huff says, they don’t necessarily help people grasp the “long-term effort” required to sustain a movement. ONLINE, THEN OFF In Silicon Valley and across the tech world, Trump’s travel ban created a stir that went well beyond the industry’s usual calls for deregulation and more coding classes for kids. Between aggregating donations, issuing fiery statements, and walking out of work in protest, tech company executives and employees took up the anti-Trump cause at a scale not seen in other industries. New York-based Meetup, for instance, broke with nearly 15 years of helping people form and join interest groups on a nonpartisan basis. “We’re vital plumbing for democracy,”

the company wrote in a Medium post  this week. “But after Donald Trump’s order to block people on the basis of nationality and religion, a line had been crossed.” So Meetup held a company-wide “resist-a-thon” — a riff on the hackathons tech companies hold to devise new  technologies  — to help people get involved in the anti-Trump movement known as “the resistance.” It then unveiled more than 1,000 new “#resist” Meetup groups that people can join for free (it’s normally $15 a month to run a group). As of Wednesday, some 35,000 people had joined the #resist Meetup groups, and scheduled 625 events around the world. Torricke-Barton, who in earlier incarnations wrote speeches for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Alphabet Chairman Eric Schmidt, said he and two sisters of Iranian descent organized their last-minute protest using Facebook groups and Messenger. That’s quite a contrast to Torricke-Barton’s earlier experience protesting violence in Darfur more than a decade ago.

Back then, “lawyers, marketers, communications people would help you get (the protests) off the ground ... networks had to be created in advance,” he said. “Now, protests can start without any kind of infrastructure.” FOLLOW THE MONEY Shortly after Trump’s order, the venture capitalist Bijan Sabet tweeted a link to the fundraising platform Crowdrise alongside an explanation of his support for the American Civil Liberties Union— and then asked his followers to do the same. Sabet figured it might take as long as two months to reach his $50,000 goal. It took three days. That weekend, the ACLU raised $24 million, far more than the $4 million it receives in a typical year. Sabet, whose father is from Iran, says he’s seeing civic involvement “level up,” and that social media is pushing that along. Previously, he said, people would maybe say, “yeah, I’m a bit frustrated, but I don’t have all the information, I don’t know how to get involved.” Now, there’s no excuse. LITTLE THINGS

Associated Press

The effects of social media aren’t limited to huge efforts. A week or so after the election, Marisa Frantz, an art director in Cerrillos, New Mexico, teamed up with her sister-in-law Sarah Bailey Hogarty to create a private Facebook group called “America is Watching.” To join, all people had to do was comment “yes.” If they then posted their zip code in comments, Frantz would send them contact information for their senators and representative, Hogarty explained in an email. “Like many of us, I was floundering around feeling terrible and afraid,” said Hogarty, a digital producer for the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. “I wanted to do something, but I had no idea where to start.” Hogarty called the group her “foothold to resistance.” Now, the group has more than 1,000 members across the U.S. and organizes weekly “calls to action,” such as contacting senators and representatives about a particular issue determined by a poll of the group.q


Thursday 16 February 2017

Health insurer Anthem fires back at Cigna over buyout fallout TOM MURPHY AP Health Writer INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Health insurers Anthem and Cigna are now trading lawsuits instead of working together to salvage a shaky $48-billion buyout agreement. The Blue Cross-Blue Shield carrier Anthem said

Wednesday that it is seeking a restraining order to block its smaller rival from terminating their deal, which has already been blocked by a federal judge. Cigna announced Tuesday that it was suing Anthem and seeking more than $13 billion in damages for what it says were Anthem’s

breaches of the merger agreement. The two companies announced Anthem’s plan to buy Cigna in 2015 a few weeks after two other insurers, Aetna Inc. and Humana Inc., announced a separate deal. Anthem and Aetna had touted their huge acquisi-

tion bids as a way to grow enrollment, cut costs and reap savings that they would then pass on to consumers. They also said the deals, which would have consolidated the nation’s five largest insurers into three, would help stabilize business  on the Affordable Care Act’s public in-

surance exchanges. But the deals drew concern over their potential impact on prices and competition in insurance markets. The Department of Justice sued last summer to stop both acquisitions, and separate federal judges recently rejected them after trials held late last year.q

Softbank adds Fortress Investment to growing empire YURI KAGEYAMA AP Business Writer TOKYO (AP) — The $3.3 billion acquisition by SoftBank Group Corp., the Japanese telecommunications, internet and solar energy giant, of Fortress Investment Group marks tycoon Masayoshi Son’s latest step in building an investment empire. Son said the deal, announced by both sides Wednesday, will immediately contribute to his strategy for growth and complement his Softbank

Vision Fund plan for investing in leading technologies

including artificial intelligence and the “internet of

Things,” which links devices through the Internet.

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A shopper standing on an escalator passes by the company logo of SoftBank at an electronic shop in Tokyo. The $3.3 billion acquisition by SoftBank Group Corp., the Japanese telecommunications, internet and solar energy giant, of Fortress Investment Group marks tycoon Masayoshi Son’s latest step in building a technology investment empire. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

“Fortress’ excellent track record speaks for itself, and we look forward to benefiting from its leadership, broad-based exper-

tise and world-class investment platform,” Son said in a statement. Tokyo-based Softbank has been aggressive in global acquisitions and has been seeking partners for its private fund for technology investments that it says may grow to $100 billion. Son appears determined to deliver on his promise to President Donald Trump to invest $50 billion in U.S. startups and create 50,000 jobs. In buying New York-based Fortress, he is betting more on Fortress’s wide ranging expertise and heft in global investment than on gaining any edge in the technology sector: the U.S. investment house has largely focused on finance and real estate, leisure industries, transport and other infrastructure. Private equity accounts for nearly two-thirds of the company’s investments. Softbank’s shares jumped 1.6 percent Wednesday in Tokyo trading. Shares in Fortress were up 6.5 percent late Tuesday. q

Dutch bank ABN Amro sees profits grow in fourth quarter THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Dutch bank ABN Amro says its underlying net profit, which strips out exceptional items, rose 23 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016 to 333 million euros ($351 million). The bank, which has been restructured and re-privatized following its bailout by the Dutch government in 2008 during the global finan-

cial crisis, said Wednesday that operating income for the fourth quarter rose 7 percent to 2.2 billion euros ($2.3 billion). CEO Kees van Dijkhuizen says that in the last quarter the bank “achieved loan growth in all of our major loan books: we were the number one provider of new mortgages in the Netherlands for the second consecutive year.”q


Thursday 16 February 2017

As economy cruises,

Bond yields rise and stocks push to records STAN CHOE AP Business Writer NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks and bond yields punched higher Wednesday, and U.S. indexes set records again, following more encouraging news on the U.S. economy. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 11.67 points, or

half of the gain coming since Election Day. Such a performance would rank among the best calendar years the index has had in the last three decades. On Wednesday, reports showed that retailers had stronger sales in January than economists expected, and inflation at the

be prudent to hike sooner rather than later,” said Brian Jacobsen, chief portfolio strategist at Wells Fargo Funds Management. Treasury yields jumped as investors sold off bonds. The 10-year Treasury yield rose to 2.50 percent from 2.47 percent late Tuesday. The 30-year yield rose to 3.08

Traders work the floor at the New York Stock Exchange. Stocks and bond yields punched higher Wednesday, and U.S. indexes set records again, following more encouraging news on the U.S. economy. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

0.5 percent, to 2,349.25. It’s the seventh straight gain for the index and its longest winning streak in three and a half years. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 107.45 points, or 0.5 percent, to 20,611.86. The Nasdaq composite rose 36.87, or 0.6 percent, to 5,819.44. Seven stocks rose on the New York Stock Exchange for every five that fell. It’s a striking reversal for the market from a year ago, when stocks around the world were tumbling on worries that another recession was on the way. Since then, the economy and job market have continued to improve, along with corporate profits. And the market got a jolt of adrenaline in November, when Donald Trump’s surprise White House victory raised hopes for tax cuts and other business-friendly policies from Washington. The S&P 500 is up nearly 26 percent over the last 12 months, with more than

consumer level was the highest in years. Consumer prices rose 2.5 percent in January from a year earlier, the highest rate since March 2012. The data give the Federal Reserve more encouragement to raise interest rates, and economists said the possibility is increasing that it may happen at the central bank’s next meeting in March. Fed Chair Janet Yellen indicated in testimony before a Congressional committee that the central bank will likely accelerate its pace of increases if the job market remains healthy and inflation keeps climbing. The Fed has raised rates just twice in the last two years, after holding rates at nearly zero from late 2008 to help lift the economy out of the Great Recession. “What really stuck out to me in Yellen’s testimony was her adding emphasis to the idea that as things currently stand, even without fiscal stimulus, it would

percent from 3.06 percent. When bonds pay more in interest, it can mean less demand from income investors for stocks that pay big dividends. Utility stocks in the S&P 500, which are some of the biggest dividend payers, fell 0.4 percent. Airline stocks cruised higher after Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway disclosed that it added to its investments in several of them. Southwest Airlines rose $1.98, or 3.6 percent, to $57.29, United Continental rose $2.01, or 2.7 percent, to $75.75, Delta Air Lines rose $1.31, or 2.6 percent, to $51.17 and American Airlines rose 97 cents, or 2.1 percent, to $47.54. Procter & Gamble rose $3.26, or 3.7 percent, to $91.12 after activist investor Nelson Peltz’s Trian Fund Management disclosed in a regulatory filing that it owns a stake in the company.q


Thursday 16 February 2017


Conceptis Sudoku

6 Chix


Mother Goose & Grimm

Baby Blues


Yesterday’s puzzle answer

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


Thursday 16 February 2017

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Time Share Resale Dutch Village studio week 8 room #133 $7000 17 weeks remain on the contract 7 can be accelerated 1 Br week 8 room #94 $8500 25 weeks remain on the contract 8 can be accelerated Call:(297)744-1351 or 564-2136 ________________________________206884

Time Share Resale Divi Links Golf 2 Bedroom Week 5 room #2222/2223 32 weeks remain on the contract Price $18,000 Call:(297)744-1351 or 5642136 _________________________________206884

Time Share Resale Caribbean Palm Village 1 BR Week 6 Room #203 $7500 1 BR Week 7 Room #204 $7500 2 BR Week 6 Room #202 $9000 Call:(297) 744-1351 or 564-2136 _________________________________206884

Time Share Resale Paradise Beach Villas 2 Bedroom Pent House week 6 and 7 Room #217 Pool/Ocean View Price :$25 K each Call:(297)744-1351 or 564-2136 _________________________________206884

Time Share Resale Marriott Surf and Ocean Club All Season + Weeks Available 1,2,3, Bedrooms, All Views week 7 Garden View $20K week 7 Ocean Side $45K Even Value for Less $$$ Call:(297) 744-1351 or 564-2136 _________________________________206884

Time Share Resale Renaissance Suites (Private Island ) 1 BR Week 7 and 8 Room # 2304 Garden View Friday Check In Price : $9000 each Call: (297) 744-1351 or 564-2136 _________________________________206884

FOR SALE BY OWNER Divi Village Golf and Beach Studio week 7 room 7302 ocean view 21 weeks on the contract price $7,500 email: 914 715 2151 _________________________________206874

FOR SALE Tropicana - 1st floor wks 4-5-6-7-8 1 bed / 2 queen beds $6,500 per wks contact USA 609 350 5461 _________________________________206875

TIME SHARE BY OWNER DIVI ARUBA PHOENIX 1 Bedroom Unit 706 Sunset Views Week 6 (24 YEARS LEFT) $15,000 USD Call: 1-760-825-9112 Email: _________________________________206784

TIME SHARES FOR SALE Caribbean Palm Village Weeks week 7 $6,500.00 week 8 $6,000.00 week 26 $2,000.00 All are 2 beedroom all are garden view Casa del Mar week 25 $8,000.00 ocean front E-mail: Call: 609 775 3836 _________________________________206891

For Sale Motivated Owner: Casa del Mar 2B/2B Suites. Wk. 1/1408($20,000); Wk. 2/1113($20,000); Wk. 5/1315($22,500) & 1521($25,000); Wk. 6/1315($22,500) & 1521($25,000); Wk. 7/1308 & 1408($22,500); Wk. 8/1113, 1408 & 1409($22,500); Wk. 9/1218($18,500); Wk. 10/1207($18,500); Wk. 11/1419($18,500); Wk. 12/1419($18,500); Wk. 13/1509($15,000); Wk. 14/1308($15,000); Wk. 15/1217($13,000). U.S.(860) 992-3890.

________________________206879 DIVI VILLAGE GOLF LINKS 1 br week 6 Rm 2201 Remaining weeks 22 newly renovated corner unit on infinity pool $11,000 or B.O. Contact 297 741 6830 until feb 20, 2017 or USA 508 776 0831 (cell) after feb 21, 2017 ____________________________________206882

TIMESHARE FOR SALE RENAISSANCE week room price wk 13 &14 337 $11,500 wk 14 340 $5,000 wk 35 314 $4,000 wk 29 332 $3,000 wk 27 103 $3,500 wk 25 522 $4,500 wk 22 338 $3,800 wk 44 332 $3,000 wk 45 128 $3,000 wk 47,48,49,50 203 $4,500each wk 49 344 $3,500 wk 51 315 $8,000 wk 51 542 $8,000 Contact Brian Cell: 593 0200 _________________________________206876

TIME SHARE SALE BY OWNER Divi Aruba Phoenix 1 bdrm Unit 633 week 1+2 deed, 36 weeks $35,000 for 2 weeks Call: 215 906 7397 email:

Dr. Britt-Croes Tel. 584 1984



100 527-3140 527-3200 527-2900 584-5000 11141 115 582-1108 527-4000 587-9850 582-1234 524-8833

Women in Difficulties

PHARMACY Oranjestad: Sta. Anna Tel. 586 8181 San Nicolas Aloe Tel. 584 4606


FOR SALE Tropicana weeks 2 and 3 deeded newly renovated 1 br 2 dbl beds-sleps 6 $8,000/week e-mail: ________________________________206855

FOR SALE By owner Divi Village week 7- unit 8107 1 bedroom/ 2 bath 34 weeks remain asking $12,500 845 416 4351 ________________________________206863

PROFESIONAL MASSAGE with miracle hands For: Sport massage Relaxing massage Foot Reflexology We go to your hotel or at you house Call us at: 562 6172 / 741 0368 ____________________________________206877

Time Share Resale Free (NON Exclusive Listings) Free Appraisal Report Rent, Sell, and Buy 31 Years Doing Honest Business Call:(297) 744-1351 or 564-2136 ________________________________206884

TIME SHARE FOR SALE. TROPICANA week #5. 2nd floor, 2 beds and pull out Couch. $5000.00. Contact ________________________________206885

INFORMATION 118 TAXI-TAS 587-5900 PROF. TAXI 588-0035 TAXI D.T.S. 587-2300 SERVICE AUA 583-3232 A1 TAXI SERVICES 587-8850 280-2828


February 16 Carnival Vista February 18 Zuiderdam

Aruba Airport 524-2424 American Airlines 582-2700 Avianca 588-0059 Aruba Airlines 583-8300 Jet Blue 588-2244 Surinam 582-7896 Venezolana 583-7674

Aruba Foundation For those Visually Incapasitated Tel. 582-5051 AL-ANON group Sabana Liber #8, Noord Tel. 736-2952 or 593-7081

FUNDACIONS Respetami Tel. 582-4433 Centro Diabetic Arubano Tel. 524-8888 Narcotics Anonymous Tel. 583-8989 QUOTA Club Tel. 525-2672 Women in Difficulties Foundation Tel. 583-5400 Bloodbank Aruba Tel. 587-0002


Thursday 16 February 2017

Armyworm invasion threatening southern Africa’s crops

Colorado has 834 million dead trees; fires could get worse In this June 24, 2013 file photo, fire-promoting beetle-killed trees mix with live trees as a wildfire burns west of Creede, Colo. Associated Press

DENVER (AP) — Officials say Colorado has about 834 million standing dead trees, threatening to worsen wildfires and degrade vital water supplies that flow from forested mountains. The Colorado State Forest Service said Wednesday that the number of dead trees has risen nearly 30 percent in seven years. They are most visible in forests infested by the moun-

tain pine beetle and the spruce beetle, which have together attacked more than 7,900 square miles in Colorado. Dead trees can burn more intensely than living ones. They can also worsen erosion, contaminating runoff from rain and melting snow. Officials say 80 percent of the state’s population relies on runoff from forested watersheds. q

A woman holds an army worm she found feeding on her maize crop at a Farm on the outskirts of Harare, Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017. Associated Press

FARAI MUTSAKA Associated Press HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — An invasion of armyworms is stripping southern Africa of key food crops and could spread to other parts of the continent, experts warned Tuesday at an emergency meeting of 16 African nations. South Africa, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Zambia are among the countries where the fall armyworm has invaded fields of maize, a staple crop throughout the region. The fall armyworm is a new threat in southern Africa. It is mostly associated with the Americas, where it has been since 1957, said Da-

vid Phiri, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization coordinator for the region. The pest is devastating to crops and so far impossible to eradicate. “They have not managed to control it because it keeps evolving,” Phiri said. “But we have to find a plan for managing it.” Food insecurity will worsen without a solution, he said. “What is of particular concern is that the pest has affected countries that are the main producers of maize.” South Africa’s agriculture ministry early this month said little was known about how the armyworms ar-

rived or what their longterm effects will be. “It may become a migratory pest similarly to the African armyworm and may migrate in large numbers from one area to another, causing great damage.” Affected crops also include sorghum, soybeans, groundnuts and potatoes, the ministry said. The region already has been struggling with what the United Nations has called its worst drought in more than three decades. Zimbabwe, once prosperous and an exporter of maize, already has been battling food shortages for years. q


Thursday 16 February 2017

AP Interview: Pullman reveals ‘His Dark Materials’ follow-up

JILL LAWLESS Associated Press LONDON (AP) — Here are words millions of readers have waited many years to hear: Lyra Belacqua, and her daemon, are back. The irrepressible young heroine of Philip Pullman’s fantasy trilogy “His Dark Materials” returns in a new novel being published in Britain and the U.S. on Oct. 19, the first part of a new threebook series collectively entitled “The Book of Dust.” For readers and booksellers, this is news to rival the discovery of a new Harry Potter story. “His Dark Materials” has sold more than 17.5 million copies around the world. It spawned a Hollywood movie, “The Golden Compass,” and a hit stage adaptation. Published between 1995 and 2000, the first three novels — “Northern Lights,” ‘’The Subtle Knife” and “The Amber Spyglass” — took Lyra from her home at Oxford University’s ancient Jordan College to the North Pole and into parallel worlds on a twisting, hazardous quest. (The first book was retitled “The Golden Compass” in North America). In Lyra’s intriguingly unfamiliar world, Victorian-style technology mixes with advanced science  and society is overshadowed by an oppressive religious hierarchy known as the Magisterium. Humans live alongside witches and armored polar bears, and every person is accompanied by an animal companion known as a daemon (pronounced demon) — essentially their soul made flesh. Yet the 70-year-old Pullman hesitates to call his books fantasy. “I prefer to think I am writing realism,” he said. “I’m writing realism about a different place.” Speaking to The Associated Press from his home in Oxford, Pullman scrupulously guards the secrets of the new book. Even its title has yet to be disclosed. The new book begins a decade before the start of the original trilogy, but Pullman says is not a prequel.

Nor is it a sequel. Pullman prefers to call it an “equel,” or companion story. “The first part will deal with something that happened when Lyra was less than 1 year old,” he said. “So in that sense she’s the center of the story, but she’s not actually an agent in the story. She is acted upon, so to speak, by other people who are very important. “The second part, which will come out later, will deal with events when Lyra is about 20.” There’s a new hero — a boy readers have encountered before “if we were paying attention” — and “a terrifying adventure that takes him into a new world.” Multiple worlds abound in Pullman’s complex, philosophically rich fictional multiverse. And Pullman says we will learn a lot more about the nature of Dust, a mysterious substance loathed by the religious authorities in “His Dark Materials.” “The Book of Dust,” published in the U.S. by Random House Children’s and in the U.K. by Penguin Random House Children’s and David Fickling Books, is likely to be one of the autumn’s biggest sellers. James Daunt, managing director of Britain’s Waterstone’s book store chain, says Pullman ranks with J.K. Rowling in his impact on publishing and reading. Daunt said a generation of young readers “read first Harry Potter, then the complex, gripping and provocative ‘His Dark Materials.’” “Other books, other authors make claims and bring huge rewards, but these two imprint on everyone who calls themselves a reader,” Daunt said. For fans, the mischievous Lyra is one of fiction’s great child characters, up there with Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn and Scout Finch from Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird.” Pullman calls her “this awkward, difficult, prying, nosy, lying, greedy, untrustworthy child.” “She’s not a special child,” he said. “She’s not divinely gifted or anything like that. But she does have certain

In this Jan. 11, 2017 photo provide by Penguin Random House, author Philip Pullman poses for a photograph outside of Worcester College, in Oxford, England. Associated Press

characteristics that lead her into trouble and which help her get out of trouble.” Some critics have ranked Pullman’s trilogy alongside

J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy saga “The Lord of the Rings,” though he doesn’t particularly like the comparison. In Tolkien’s Middle Earth, he

says, “what’s good is good and what’s bad is bad and there isn’t very much discussion about it.” Pullman prefers fantasy which wrestles with moral ambiguity and has “one foot firmly in this world.” He is also often contrasted with C.S. Lewis, whose saga “The Chronicles of Narnia” has large doses of Christian allegory. Pullman has called himself an atheist, and some Christian groups have objected to his negative depiction of organized religion. “His Dark Materials” has been pulled from some Catholic school library shelves in Canada and the United States over the years. Pullman says he thinks most objections to his books come from people who haven’t read them. q


Thursday 16 February 2017


2 tough guys meet their match in Maggie Siff on ‘Billions’ FRAZIER MOORE AP Television Writer NEW YORK (AP) — Last season,  “Billions”  performed a delicate balancing act. Chuck Rhoades, the pow-

In this image released by Showtime, Maggie Siff portrays Wendy Rhoades in a scene from the series, “Billions,” airing Sundays at 10 p.m. EST on Showtime. Associated Press

erful and perverse U.S. Attorney (played by Paul Giamatti), was locked in a legal cage match with hedge-fund titan Bobby “Axe” Axelrod (Damian Lewis). But through it all, Wendy Rhoades kept a foot planted in both worlds: as the wife of Chuck and top aide to Axe. Now, in this Showtime drama’s sophomore season, the equilibrium is shattered. Wendy has separated from her husband and bolted from Axe’s firm, leaving those combatants to clash even more ferociously. The only sure thing about the narrative shakeup: Wendy Rhoades can take care of herself, and, when necessary, cut Chuck and Axe down to size. On a show that pits two Alpha Males against each other, Wendy stands tall as a reigning Alpha Woman. “This season you see her trying to walk a line with each of them while she maintains her dignity and distance,” says Maggie Siff, who brings Wendy vibrantly to life. “To find her own moral center, she had to shed the two of them.” On the premiere (Sunday at 10 p.m. EST), you’ll see Wendy spurn Bobby Axelrod’s overtures to return as the in-house psychotherapist and performance coach. “There’s this thing that happens when we’re in a room together,” she says sharply as he works his charm. “But I’m shutting it off. I HAVE shut it off.” And you’ll see her stand up

to Chuck when he rages, “I always knew I’d end up smeared by Axelrod’s poison,” for which he blames his wife as having served as the carrier: “Proximity is enough.” “I no longer have proximity to it,” she sneers, “and YOU no longer have proximity to ME.” Wendy is an unusual character for series TV, and a distinctly different character than Siff has played in the past. And yet all her women share a common bond: They’re strong, smart and commanding even in a crowd dominated by men. For six seasons on FX’s hit drama “Sons of Anarchy,” Siff played Tara Knowles, the physician wife of a motorcycle-gang leader who could hold her own, and then some, in that wild-and-woolly world. (At least, until she was stabbed to death in her kitchen with a barbecue fork by, ironically, another woman: her mother-in-law and the club’s grande dame.) “When we first started that series (in 2008) I didn’t expect it would become the sensation it did,” says Siff in her quiet, thoughtful way, “but it tapped into something tribal in the audience’s psyche. It was so pulpy in its violence, yet also had this operatic family drama at its center even when the violence crossed the line — MY line, at least. There were scenes I couldn’t watch!” Siff came to “Sons” from her brief but emblematic stint early in “Mad Men,” where she played Rachel Menken, the bold heiress and boss of a New York department store who became romantically involved with ad man Don Draper. Unlike so many of his conquests, Rachel soon recognized that their relationship was not one for the ages. She cut her ties with Don, this caddish married man and dad, when he proposed they leave it all behind and run away to-

gether. Years later, Don (and the audience) would learn that Rachel had died of leukemia — but not before she made a brief comeback. Siff was pleased to shoot this fleeting encore for the series’ final season. “I always wanted Rachel to circle back through that world,” she says. But the one-minute scene she was asked to play (the only portion of the script she was privy to) made no sense to her, especially after series star Jon Hamm tipped her off that her character was dead. “I said to (series creator) Matt (Weiner), ‘What’s going on?’ He said, ‘It’s a dream. Just do a dream!’” She did, with a chinchilla coat obscuring tell-tale evidence that she was pregnant with Lucy, now 2½, by her husband, design consultant Paul Ratliff. “I had no idea how the scene lived inside the episode until I saw it on TV along with everybody else,” she says. A woman who began her career in experimental theater in Philadelphia and then off-Broadway, the Bronx, New York native, now 42, admits to surprise at her repeated success in TV drama. But surprise has been a driving force in her career, she explains: “You have to surrender yourself to what finds you in this life.” Despite no sign of surrendering, she finds herself now in an acclaimed drama alongside two leading men she calls “phenomenal actors and phenomenal human beings. “Damian is so subtle but so precise as an actor,” she says, “while Paul charges out of the gate with so much life. Their energies are very different. It’s fun to float between them as scene partners.” And for “Billions” viewers, there’s more fun ahead watching Siff power between them as the forceful link in this tangled tale.q


Thursday 16 February 2017

Report: Harrison Ford has jet run-in at California airport SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — Actor Harrison Ford had a potentially serious run-in with an airliner at a Southern California airport, NBCTV reported. Ford, 74, was told to land his single-engine plane on a runway at John Wayne Airport in Orange County on Monday, but he mistakenly landed it on a parallel taxiway, passing over an American Airlines jet holding nearby, NBC reported. “Was that airliner meant to be underneath me?” Ford is heard asking air traffic controllers in a recording, NBC reported Tuesday. American Airlines Flight 1456, with 110 passengers

and six crew, departed safely for Dallas a few minutes later. Ford’s publicist, Ina Treciokas, declined comment Tuesday afternoon. Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor couldn’t confirm that Ford was piloting the Aviat Husky that overflew the Boeing 737, but he said the pilot received and had read back the proper landing instructions. He didn’t indicate how high the plane was when it flew over the jetliner. The FAA is investigating, Gregor said. Ford collects vintage planes and has a long and

good record as an aviator. But he has had several close calls. In March 2015, Ford was seriously injured when his World War II-era trainer crashed on a Los Angeles golf course when it lost power shortly after takeoff. In 1999, Ford crash-landed his helicopter during a training flight in which he and an instructor were practicing auto rotations in Ventura County, northwest of Los Angeles. Ford and the instructor were unhurt. Ford was flying a Beechcraft Bonanza in 2000 when wind shear forced him to

In this Jan. 10, 2016 file photo, Harrison Ford arrives at the 73rd annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, Calif. Associated Press

make an emergency landing at Lincoln Municipal Airport in Nebraska. Ford and his passenger were

uninjured when the plane clipped the runway, but its wing tips were damaged, officials said.q

Disney ends deal with YouTube star over anti-Semitic stunt

Kate Upton arrives at the MusiCares Person of the Year tribute honoring Tom Petty at the Los Angeles Convention Center on Friday, Feb. 10, 2017. Associated Press 

Kate Upton three-peats as SI’s swimsuit queen NEW YORK (AP) — Kate Upton is so nice she’s made the Sports  Illustrated swimsuit cover thrice. Upton has become only the fourth woman to grace the cover three times. This year, she’s making the splash with three different covers. Other women who did the cover three times include Tyra Banks, Heidi Klum and Christie Brinkley, who also is

featured in this year’s edition with her two daughters. Elle Macpherson holds the record with five cover appearances. Other notables in this year’s edition include former cover girl Chrissy Teigen, an expectant mother and athletes including tennis champ Serena Williams and Olympic gold medal gymnast Simone Biles. The issue hit newsstands on Wednesday.q

In this Oct. 28, 2013 file photo, Felix “PewDiePie” Kjellberg’s arrives at the Los Angeles premiere of “Ender’s Game” at TCL Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles.  Associated Press

MAE ANDERSON AP Technology Writer NEW YORK (AP) — Disney’s Maker Studios and Google’s YouTube are distancing themselves from a top YouTube star after he

made jokes construed as anti-Semitic and posted Nazi imagery in his videos. Felix Kjellberg, known online as PewDiePie, has the most popular YouTube channel, with more than 53 million

subscribers. The Swedish YouTube star rose to fame by posting videos of him playing and commenting about video games. More recently, he branched out into non-gaming videos that show him performing skits, stunts or making jokes. Disney, whose Maker Studios runs Kjellberg’s channels and network, said he crossed the line with some of his videos. One video from January shows two Indian men paid by Kjellberg to hold up a sign that says “Death to all Jews.” Kjellberg said the video was meant to demonstrate how far people will go if they get paid to do something, but he didn’t think they would actually do it. Other videos show Nazi imagery in a satirical way. In blog post  Kjellberg said he was making jokes, but realizes now that they were offensive. Kjellberg’s channel was already part of Maker Studios when the Walt Disney Co. bought Maker in 2014 for $675 million. Maker contracts with individuals such as Kjellberg to produce videos for various YouTube channels.q


Thursday 16 February 2017

Ice climbing: Part adrenaline rush, part puzzle-solving test ROBERT F. BUKATY Associated Press HART’S LOCATION, N.H. (AP) — Chuck Monjak was partway up his first-ever attempt at a nearly vertical ice formation when he found himself in a terrifying predicament. With his weight supported only by the tips of his crampons, he had to figure out how to get around a bulging column of ice. He thought about giving up. But he kept his cool. “It’s both an adrenaline rush and it’s a puzzle-solving test. A lot of engineers, technical people get into this because of the problem-solving abilities necessary to do vertical ice,” said Monjak, an optical systems engineer for a semiconductor firm. If the location’s name

In this Sunday, Feb. 6, 2017 photo, Darwin Castillo, of Washington, D.C., drives the pick of his axe into the ice while climbing “Dracula,” a 100-foot tall ice formation on Frankenstein Cliff in Hart’s Location, N.H. Associated Press

In this Sunday, Feb. 6, 2017 photo, Yuki Fujita, 69, packs his gear after a uplifting day of ice climbing on Frankenstein Cliff in Hart’s Location, N.H. Associated Press

where Monjak was learning to ice climb didn’t evoke a sense of horror — Frankenstein Cliff — then one look at the route he was attempting certainly did. Dracula, a 100-foot ice fall, is one of the most challenging of the more than two dozen ice climbing routes that attract thrill-seekers to New Hampshire’s Crawford Notch State Park each winter. Frankenstein Cliff was not named for the monster story, but for a 19th-century German landscape

In this Sunday, Feb. 6, 2017 photo, a climber kicks the front points of her crampons into the ice while working her way up a route on Frankenstein Cliff in Hart’s Location, N.H. Associated Press

In this Sunday, Feb. 6, 2017 photo, Chuck Monjak, of Dedham, Mass., climbs “Chia,” an ice formation on Frankenstein Cliff in Hart’s Location, N.H. Associated Press  In this Sunday, Feb. 6, 2017, photo, a large chuck of ice crashes by as Carlos Olascoaga, of Mexico City, sets an ice screw while climbing on Frankenstein Cliff in Hart’s Location, N.H.  Associated Press

painter who was attracted to the beauty of the cliffs. Groundwater seeping out of the granite freezes each

gerous. Earlier this month, an ice climber had to be rescued after falling 50 to 60 feet on Cannon Cliff in New Hampshire. In upstate New York, a woman survived a 70-foot spill at Kaaterskill Falls, and another climber tumbled nearly 40 feet at Platte Clove, both on the same day in late January. Monjak, a rock climber turned ice climber, said the key is to stay within one’s abilities. “We’re not new to the terrors of the heights or the predicaments we put ourselves in. The new part is working your way through that terror. It’s just you got a new set of tools and a new set of obstacles,” he said. On Dracula, Monjak trusted his life to a rope being belayed by his partner,

winter to create extraordinary icefalls. Climbing such ice structures is thrilling — and dan-

Yuki Fujita, who has been climbing Frankenstein’s ice for nearly 50 years. Fujita, 69, a retired nuclear engineer, climbed the route first. Elsewhere in the park is Arethusa Falls, where a 60-foot pitch attracts climbers. In late January, Akiko Kawai, 51, of Medford, Massachusetts, was climbing with two partners. As she packed her gear following several successful climbs, she said she doesn’t dwell on the sport’s dangers. “You can choose the level of risk,” she said. “The more informed you are about it the more you are aware of the level of what your comfort level is.”q

February 16, 2017  
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