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Open House Monday

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White House: No Exemptions from Steel, Aluminum Tariffs By KEVIN FREKING ZEKE MILLER Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump’s administration appears unbowed by broad domestic and international criticism of his planned import tariffs on steel and aluminum, saying Sunday that the president is not planning on exempting any countries from the stiff duties. Speaking on CNN’s “State of the Union,” White House trade adviser Peter Navarro said: “At this point in time there’s no country exclusions.” Trump’s announcement Thursday that he would impose tariffs of

25 percent and 10 percent, respectively, on imported steel and aluminum, roiled markets, rankled allies and raised prospects for a trade war. While his rhetoric has been focused on China, the duties will also cover significant imports from Canada, Mexico, South Korea, Japan and the European Union. The Pentagon had recommended that Trump only pursue targeted tariffs, so as not to upset American partners abroad. But Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Sunday that was not the direction the president would take. Continued on Page 3

People walk by the U.S. Capitol in Washington. President Donald Trump’s administration appears unbowed by broad domestic and international criticism of his planned import tariffs on steel and aluminum, saying Sunday that the president is not planning on exempting any countries from the stiff duties. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

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Monday 5 March 2018


US, Afghan leaders agree on peace push, Taliban don’t By MAT PENNINGTON Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — Despite U.S. support, the Afghan government’s surprising new peace offer to the Taliban is immediately running into a wall. The insurgents show no sign of shifting from their demand that talks for a conflict-ending compromise take place with Washington, not Kabul. The impasse is blocking a diplomatic path out of America’s longest-running war and could prove as fateful as fortunes on the battlefield. The Trump administration says it’s escalating pressure on the Taliban to advance a negotiated solution to the fighting. But diplomacy is a distant second to military efforts right now, and the U.S. isn’t offering carrots of its own to persuade the insurgents to lay down their arms. Laurel Miller, who until last June was a senior American diplomat for Afghanistan and Pakistan, said the U.S. should be clearer about what it’s willing to negotiate on, including

Taliban fighters react to a speech by their senior leader in the Shindand district of Herat province, Afghanistan. With U.S. support, the Afghan government has made a surprising new peace offer to the Taliban, only to immediately run into a wall. (AP Photos/Allauddin Khan)

when it might start pulling forces from Afghanistan. “That could set the stage for talks,” she said. Such a timetable seems a remote prospect, and President Donald Trump has consistently railed against the idea of telling the en-

emy when the U.S. might leave. The U.S. involvement in the Afghan conflict is now in its 17th year, and 10,000 Afghan civilians were killed or wounded in 2017 alone. All sides are hung up on even the format for potential negotiations. The

Obama administration’s peace push, which relied heavily on Afghanistan’s neighbor Pakistan, floundered in 2015. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s new effort, announced at an international conference in Kabul this

China looks to defuse trade tensions, asks US for talks

By GERRY SHIH Associated Press BEIJING (AP) — President Xi Jinping’s top economic adviser told U.S. business leaders in Washington that China hopes the White House will revive high-level dialogue on economic disputes and name a new chief liaison to defuse mounting trade tensions, a person briefed on the matter said. The adviser, Liu He, said he will take charge of reform efforts this month and wants a list of U.S. demands

for what China can do to ease tensions, according to the person, who requested anonymity to discuss a confidential meeting. Liu was speaking at an event with executives including former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and the CEOs of JP Morgan Chase and chipmaker Qualcomm. The requests were part of the conciliatory message that Liu was tasked with bringing this past week to the United States, China’s largest trading partner.

Instead, his trip was overshadowed by President Donald Trump’s announcement Thursday of new tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. In public pronouncements and meetings with U.S. delegations since 2013, China’s ruling Communist Party has repeatedly pledged to allow free market competition to play a “decisive role” in China’s economy as a guiding principle — something Liu reiterated this past week in Washington.

But U.S. officials and companies have been frustrated by a lack of implementation. They point to scarce progress China has made opening up sectors like financial services to foreign players, Chinese industrial policies that favor domestic firms and a yawning trade deficit that amounted to $375 billion in 2017. The U.S.-China Comprehensive Economic Dialogue mechanism that China is seeking to revive has largely been dormant under Trump.q

past week, includes incentives for insurgents that join negotiations and enter the political mainstream. The government would provide passports and visas to Taliban members and their families, and work to remove sanctions against Taliban leaders, he said. The Islamist group could set up an office. Alice Wells, America’s top diplomat for South Asia, endorsed the overture and said the “onus” was on the Taliban to demonstrate they’re ready to talk, “not to me or the United States, but to the sovereign and legitimate government and people of Afghanistan.” With wounds and emotions still raw in Kabul after a wave of brutal Taliban attacks in Kabul in late January, Ghani’s offer was a significant olive branch. Still, it’s one unlikely to change the calculus of hard-line insurgents, said Michael Kugelman, senior associate for South Asia at the Wilson Center think tank. And Barnett Rubin, a New York University expert on Afghanistan who advised the Obama administration, said: “The trouble is that the major issue the Taliban is interested in talking about is the one he has no control over — the presence of American troops in Afghanistan.” Top Afghan security officials maintain back-channel discussions with Taliban, The Associated Press has learned, but the officials’ efforts are not coordinated and more formal talks are impeded by the Taliban’s insistence that its “Islamic Emirate,” ousted in a U.S.led invasion in 2001 for hosting al-Qaida, remains Afghanistan’s legitimate government. q


Monday 5 March 2018

White House: No exemptions from steel, aluminum tariffs “This wave of globalization has wiped out totally, totally our middle class,” Trump told voters in the hard-hit steel town of Monessen, Pennsylvania, during one of his campaign stops. “It doesn’t have to be this way.” Trump’s criticism of trade agreements and China’s trade policies found support with white workingclass Americans whose wages had stagnated over the years. Victories in big steel-producing states such as Ohio, Pennsylvania and Indiana President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump walk across the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Saturday, March 3, 2018, as they return from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) Continued from Front tween a president and his

“He’s talking about a fairly broad brush,” Ross said on ABC’s “This Week.” He rejected threats of retaliation from American allies as “pretty trivial.” Few issues could blur the lines of partisanship in Trump-era Washington. Trade is one of them. Labor unions and liberal Democrats are in the unusual position of applauding Trump’s approach, while Republicans and an array of business groups are warning of dire economic and political consequences if he goes ahead with the tariffs. Trade politics often cut along regional, rather than ideological, lines, as politicians reflect the interests of the hometown industries and workers. But rarely does a debate open so wide a rift be-

party — leaving him almost exclusively with support from his ideological opposites. “Good, finally,” said Sen. Sherrod Brown, an Ohio Democrat and progressive as he cheered Trump’s move. Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, a Democrat who has called for Trump to resign, agreed. “I urge the administration to follow through and to take aggressive measures to ensure our workers can compete on a level playing field,” Casey tweeted. This moment of unusual alliance was long expected. As a candidate, Trump made his populist and protectionist positions on trade quite clear, at times hitting the same themes as one of the Democratic presidential candidates, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

demonstrated that his tough trade talk had a receptive audience. Both candidates in a March 13 House election in Pennsylvania have embraced the president’s plans for tariffs. They addressed the topic Saturday in a debate that aired on WTAE in Pittsburgh. “For too long, China has been making cheap steel and they’ve been flooding the market with it. It’s not fair and it’s not right. So I actually think this is long overdue,” said Democratic candidate Conor Lamb.q

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Monday 5 March 2018


‘Trump slump’ in gun sales continues despite control debate By ANDREW HUGGINS Associated Press COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Gun store owners called it the “Trump slump.” Sales of firearms slowed dramatically after the election of Donald Trump as president in 2016 allayed fears of a Democratic crackdown on gun owners. That trend has continued in recent weeks even with talk of gun control in Congress and among business leaders following

the Feb. 14 massacre of 17 people at a Florida high school. In the past, gun massacres generally led to an uptick in sales as people worried about the government restricting access. But with Parkland, things are different. “The day after the election, it’s just like somebody turned a faucet off,” said David Dobransky, 67, who owns Dobransky Firearms, a small gun shop in North

Canton, Ohio. Since then, sales there have been cut in half, and nothing the president or Congress has done or said following the Florida shooting has improved business. Gun owners apparently have faith that Trump won’t impose more restrictions, gun show owners say. That’s even with the confusing messages Trump has sent in the past week. He has cast himself as a Wes Morosky, owner of Duke’s Sport Shop. left, helps Ron Detka as he shops for a rifle on Friday, March 2, 2018, at his store in New Castle. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

strong supporter of the National Rifle Association but on Wednesday criticized lawmakers for being too fearful of the NRA to take action. He also reaffirmed positions opposed by the NRA, such as banning gun sales to those under 21. Then the next day, Trump met with NRA officials and tweeted they’d had a “Good (Great) meeting.”

The NRA’s executive director, tweeting about the same meeting, said Trump and Vice President Mike Pence “don’t want gun control.” At Rapid-Fire Firearms in Rapid City, South Dakota, business is “just like normal,” owner Robert Akers said Thursday, contrasting business with the panic buying under President Barack Obama.q

After his debut, Trump says Gridiron gala was ‘great fun’ By ZEKE MILLER JILL COLVIN Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — It was an enjoyable presidential debut at the Gridiron Club’s annual dinner for Donald Trump, who dished out pointed one-liners and endured some barbs from political rivals and the press. The gala was “was great fun,” he tweeted on Sunday. “I am accomplishing a lot in Washington and have never had a better time doing something, and especially since this is for the American People!” During his remarks Saturday night, the president largely put aside his criticism of the media. “Nobody does self-depre-

cating humor better than I do,” said Trump, who skipped last year’s bash. He also said: “I was very excited to receive this invitation and ruin your evening in person. That’s why I accepted.” The annual dinner of the Gridiron Club and Foundation, now in its 133rd year, traces its history to 1885, when President Grover Cleveland refused to attend. Every president since has come to at least one Gridiron. “Rest assured, Mr. President, this crowd is way bigger than Cleveland’s,” Club President David Lightman, congressional editor for McClatchy News, told the white-tie audience.q


Monday 5 March 2018

Family friend: Son of parents slain in dorm a ‘good kid’

Central Michigan University President George Ross speaks during a news conference at Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant, Mich., on Saturday, March 3, 2018. James Eric Davis Jr, a 19-year-old student suspected of killing his parents at the university dormitory had just been picked up from a hospital where campus police had brought him because of suspected drug abuse, authorities said Saturday. Central Michigan University police Chief Bill Yeagley also told reporters that the gun used in the killing was registered to the suspect’s father. (Casey Sykes/The Grand Rapids Press via AP)

By COREY WILLIAMS Associated Press DETROIT (AP) — A suburban Chicago couple whose 19-year-old son allegedly shot them to death at his college dormitory in Michigan raised him and their two other children well, a family friend said Sunday. James Eric Davis Sr. — who went by his middle name — and his wife, Diva, were “doting parents” and raised James Eric Davis’ Jr. “phenomenally,” said Jordan Murphy, who worked from 2004 to 2008 with Davis Sr. in Chicago as Illinois Army National Guard re-

cruiters. The parents were slain Friday morning in Davis Jr.’s Campbell Hall room at Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant. Davis Jr. fled and was arrested Saturday morning. He faces murder and gun charges. “I’ve known him since he was 4 or 5,” Murphy said of Davis Jr. “From knowing the family ... something out-ofcharacter occurred. Something external affected the situation that caused this unfortunate tragedy to occur.” Davis Jr.’s parents had just picked him up from

a hospital, where he was brought for suspected drug abuse a day earlier after campus police officers said he was acting erratically, university police Chief Bill Yeagley has said. They took him to his dorm to pack up for spring break when they were shot with a gun that belonged to Davis Sr. Authorities have not said whether drugs were found in Davis Jr.’s system. The family is from Plainfield, Illinois. Davis Sr. was a parttime police officer in Bellwood, Illinois. He also had been a longtime member of the Illinois Army National

Guard, serving in the Iraq War. Murphy, 41, said the couple has an older son and younger daughter. They were “loving, ever-present doting parents” to the children, he added. “They couldn’t brag on their children enough,” he said. “This was a nuclear family — mother and father together, raising their children with values.” Murphy said his family lived within 2 miles (3.2 kilometers) of the Davis family in Plainfield before relocating to St. Johns, Florida. “Junior is a good kid. He’s a great young man,” Murphy said of Davis Jr. “He’s the kind of young man who would hold the door and step aside for adults.” Davis Jr. was taken to a hospital after his arrest and was expected to be moved to a jail once he’s discharged. It was not immediately clear Sunday when he would make his first court appearance. Central Michigan’s campus is in Mount Pleasant, about 155 miles (249 kilometers) northwest of Detroit. The campus was on lockdown Friday and officials canceled events and activities that evening. The school is on “spring break all of this week so classes will resume as scheduled” on March 12, university spokeswoman Heather Smith said Sunday. “Other university operations will resume as normal (Monday) morning.” q

Police ID man who killed self near White House

Law enforcement officers photograph the area in front of the White House in Washington, which is close to pedestrian traffic, Saturday, March 3, 2018. Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Authorities have identified the man who fatally shot himself in front of the White House. Police say it was 26-year-old Cameron Ross Burgess, recently of Maylene, Alabama, who approached the fence along the north side of the White House and fired several rounds from a handgun shortly before midday Saturday. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump were in Florida

at the time, and the Secret Service says no member of the first family was at the White House then. Authorities say none of the shots appeared to have been directed toward the White House. An Auburn University spokesman told that Burgess graduated from the school in 2013. The newspaper reports that state records show for Burgess revealed no criminal history.q

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Monday 5 March 2018


West Virginia teachers: No raise, no school; strike goes on

Parry Casto, a fifth grade teacher at the Explorer Academy in Huntington, W.Va., dressed in an Uncle Sam costume leads hundreds of teachers in chants outside the state Senate chambers at the Capitol in Charleston, W.Va. (AP Photo/John Raby)

By MICHAEL VIRTANEN Associated Press Unions representing West

Virginia teachers and service personnel say they will stay out on strike after the

state Senate voted to cut the 5 percent pay raise they had negotiated with

the governor. A joint legislative committee has been formed to address differences in the pay raise bills of the state Senate and House. In a joint statement Saturday, the American Federation of Teachers-West Virginia, West Virginia Education Association and the School Service Personnel Association said Senate President Mitch Carmichael and his leadership team had left them with no choice after they voted to reduce the raise to 4 percent. The statement said all public schools in West Virginia would be closed again Monday “and remain closed until the Senate honors the agreement that was made.” Teachers walked out of classrooms statewide starting Feb. 22. The Republican-controlled Senate voted Saturday evening to approve the lower pay raise, bucking

teachers, Republican Gov. Jim Justice and the Republican-controlled House, which approved the 5 percent raise Wednesday. House of Delegates spokesman Jared Hunt said Sunday no meeting had been scheduled yet of the conference committee. It wasn’t yet clear when it would meet. The committee will include Delegates Bill Anderson, RWood, and Brent Boggs, DBraxton, and House Education Chairman Paul Espinosa, R-Jefferson; and Senate Majority Leader Ryan Ferns, R-Ohio, Senate Finance Chairman Craig Blair, RBerkeley, and Sen. Robert Plymale, D-Wayne. The Senate’s vote came as the teachers’ strike rolled into its second weekend. Republican Sen. Greg Boso of Nicholas introduced the amendment to lower the raise, which the full Senate adopted by a vote of 1915.q

Alabama’s ‘Bloody Sunday’ racial violence of 1965 remembered SELMA, Ala. (AP) — Several members of Congress

joined civil rights activists and others Sunday after-

noon for the annual commemoration of a day of racial violence in Selma dating to 1965. A bipartisan group including Rep. John Lewis of Georgia led the crossing of the Edmund Pettus Bridge. It was to recall “Bloody Sunday,” when voting rights protesters were attacked by police as they attempted to cross the bridge. “It’s very meaningful to come back here, to come back to this historic site and be here with so many wonderful people. It’s a beau-

tiful day here today in Selma,” Lewis said as he was surrounded by his peers, the Selma Times-Journal reported. Lewis, then a young organizer, was among those injured then. That violence set the stage for the Selmato-Montgomery march, which helped build support for congressional approval of the Voting Rights Act months later. Sen. Kamala Harris from California, who spoke at the Martin and Coretta King Unity Breakfast, said she felt a mixture of emo-

tions walking across the bridge. “It’s bittersweet,” Harris said. “It’s sadness and pain at the thought of what they endured 53 years ago, but it’s also inspiration about again fighting for the best of who we are and honoring those who have been heroes and are still heroes.” The annual celebration drew tens of thousands of people in 2015, when thenPresident Barack Obama spoke near the base of the bridge as former President George W. Bush listened.q



Monday 5 March 2018

After Parkland, even idle school threats get tough response

Police officers stand guard as Orono High School students arrive for school, one day after a threat was posted, causing the school to go on lockdown in Orono, Minn. An autistic Orono High School student whose alleged threat led to a six-hour lockdown is in juvenile court. He’s received an outpouring of sympathy, and donations for his family. The Feb. 14 killings of 17 people in Parkland, Fla., ignited the usual copycat threats. (David Joles/Star Tribune via AP)

By STEVE KARNOWSKI Associated Press MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Fifteen students in one Florida school district are facing felony charges and prison time for making alleged threats since the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre. Meanwhile, an autistic Minnesota high school student whose alleged threat led to a sixhour lockdown is in juvenile court and has received an outpouring of sympathy. The Feb. 14 killings of 17 people in Parkland, Florida, have ignited a wave of copycat threats, as happens after nearly every high-profile school shooting. Most prove unfounded, but cause big disruptions to schools while tying up police for hours or even days. Experts say authorities’ swift responses are underscoring a climate in which even idle threats will result in serious consequences. “Kids make bad decisions and I think that in decades past those decisions would have been addressed behind closed doors with the principal and parents,” said Ken Trump, president

of National School Safety and Security Services, a Cleveland-based consulting company. “Now they’re being addressed behind closed doors in the police station and the courtroom.” The Volusia County Schools system in east-central Florida isn’t taking chances. Sheriff Michael Chitwood made it clear he had a zero-tolerance policy as threats began after Parkland. On Thursday, he went further, saying students or their families would have to pay the costs of the investigations — at least $1,000 and sometimes much more. District spokeswoman Nancy Wait said the message is clear: We’re not joking around. “Unfortunately that word didn’t get to the students and we started seeing more students making threats in the classroom, and that was frightening to their classmates,” she said. “Most of the time these students didn’t have access to weapons, but they were still making threats to shoot up their schools.” Don Bridges, president of

the National Association of School Resource Officers and a veteran of 16 years on duty at Franklin High School in suburban Baltimore, said the number of threats goes down when districts send a strong message that they won’t be tolerated. The Educator’s School Safety Network, which tracks reports of school threats and violent incidents across the country, has documented

a spike since Parkland. The Ohio group counted 797 as of Sunday. Most (743) were for threats of various kinds, including gun and bomb threats. The threats were made mostly via social media (331) and verbally (119). That amounts to about a sevenfold increase in the usual rate, director of programs Amy Klinger said. “The mentality has shifted in a very short period of

time from kids being kids to this is very serious stuff,” she said. She expects consequences of post-Parkland threats to be harsher than before. “They almost have to be,” she said. “Do we want to do this for the rest of the school year? Do we want to have this constant chaos and fear, and people being upset? How much learning is going on?”q


Monday 5 March 2018


Merkel in line for a fourth term after months of uncertainty By FRANK JORDANS Associated Press BERLIN (AP) — Germany ended months of political uncertainty Sunday when Chancellor Angela Merkel gained the support needed to preserve her governing coalition and secure a fourth term as leader of Europe’s most powerful economy. The center-left Social Democrats voted overwhelmingly to remain in a coalition with Merkel’s conservative bloc, after difficult and drawn-out negotiations triggered by September’s elections, which saw the rise of a new right-wing force in German politics and raised questions about Merkel’s future. Parliament is expected to meet March 14 to re-elect Merkel as chancellor, ending the longest time Germany has been without a new government after elections in its postwar history. Merkel has drawn flak from both left and right for maintaining an unabashedly centrist course since taking office in 2005. With the coalition approved, she can now turn her attention to tackling rising anti-immi-

German Chancellor and party chairwoman Angela Merkel smiles at the party convention of the Christian Democratic Union CDU in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Feb. 26, 2018. The delegates voted for the coalition agreement on forming a new German government. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

grant sentiment in Germany while pushing forward efforts to reform the stumbling European Union. “I congratulate the SPD on this clear result and look forward to continuing to work together for the good of our country,” she said on Twitter. Merkel’s survival drew cheers from her allies at home and abroad, with

French President Emmanuel Macron declaring it “good news for Europe.” “France and Germany will work together in the coming weeks to develop new initiatives and advance the European project,” Macron said in a statement. Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel expressed hope that the end of Germany’s six-month political

limbo would allow the EU to step up efforts to deal with such issues as immigration, security and trade. In a veiled reference to the United States under President Donald Trump, Michel cited the threat of protectionism, the weakening of international cooperation and the issue of climate change as challenges the 28-nation bloc must face.

Merkel, who has proved herself a shrewd international negotiator during more than 12 years in office, faced her greatest challenge at home after deciding to allow over a million asylum-seekers into Germany since 2015. An anti-migrant party came in third in last year’s election, upending Germany’s traditional coalition calculus. With Merkel’s bloc and the second-place Social Democrats in government, the right-wing Alternative for Germany, or AfD, now represents the biggest opposition party in Parliament, giving it a prominent platform to attack the chancellor. Its leaders have vowed to “hunt” Merkel, though so far AfD’s novice lawmakers have stood out mainly by failing to grasp parliamentary procedures and putting forward motions all other parties reject. The Social Democrats were initially reluctant to extend their coalition with Merkel but eventually agreed to a deal that gives them control of the foreign, labor and finance ministries — three major portfolios — in return for supporting curbs on immigration.q

UK leader tries to ease concerns of banks in Brexit talks By DANICA KIRKA Associated Press LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Theresa May is trying to ease bankers’ concerns after she torpedoed one of their biggest demands for Brexit during a speech on the country’s future relationship with the European Union. The prime minister, in a BBC interview broadcast Sunday, said both sides must recognize the “very important role” that Britain’s financial services industry

plays for the EU and the U.K. That came two days after May rejected calls for a “passporting” agreement, which would let bankers and other professionals work in the EU with their UK qualifications — and vice versa. Such an arrangement would force Britain to accept rules made elsewhere, and that is unacceptable, she said. “What we are looking at ... is a new relationship on financial services based on this concept of mutual

recognition,” May said. “Given the sums of money involved, given the importance of financial stability, given the risk that, actually, the UK bears ... it’s important that we do that on the basis of recognized regulatory standards. But we can’t just accept rules made elsewhere without us having a say in them.” The comments were recorded Friday, the same day May delivered a major speech in which she told

the British people they had to face “hard facts” about Brexit and warned that the U.K. will have less access to EU markets once it leaves the bloc. May’s speech was meant to answer critics who argued that she had failed to face up to the realities of the leaving the 28-nation bloc. The U.K. is due to leave the EU on March 29, 2019, but the two sides have yet to negotiate new arrangements for trade, security,

aviation and a host of other issues. Britain and the bloc have promised there will be no customs posts or other impediments along the 310mile (500 kilometer) border. May said Friday that a “hard” border can be avoided through technological solutions and placing no new restrictions on smaller businesses, which account for 80 percent of the trade between Northern Ireland and the Republic.q


Monday 5 March 2018

Exit poll gives center-right bloc the edge in Italy election By FRANCES D’EMILIO COLLEEN BARRY Associated Press ROME (AP) — A center-right coalition had a slight edge over an anti-establishment party in Italy’s election Sunday, an exit poll by RAI state TV found. The same poll found former Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi dueling for the centerright’s leadership with antimigrant party leader Matteo Salvini; their respective Forza Italia and League parties were running nearly neck-and-neck. Whichever party dominates the coalition would be better poised to make a bid for the premiership should the coalition muster enough support in Parliament to support a government. But no party alone was taking enough seats to govern alone, the exit poll by the Piepoli polling agency found. The exit poll put the center-right-coalition, which includes a smaller far-right party, with 33 percent to 36 percent of the vote, compared with the antiestablishment 5-Star Movement’s 29.5 percent to 32.5

percent. The center-left coalition that currently governs Italy and led by the Democratic Party was lagging at 24.5 percent to 27.5 percent, according to the exit poll. The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percent. The first projections based on an initial vote count were expected early Monday. How the actual votes stack up could determine if Italy is swept up in the euroskeptic and far-right sentiment that has emerged in much of Europe. The campaigning in Italy was marked by neo-fascist rhetoric and anti-migrant violence that culminated in a shooting spree last month that targeted African migrants and injured six. But the 5-Star Movement’s principle of not allying with any party - its supporters consider themselves part of a non-party - could complicate deal-making to form a new government if Salvini’s populist-leaning League ends up seeking a partner that’s not Berlusconi’s more moderate party. Hedging his bets, the

Italian former premier and leader of Forza Italia (Let’s Go Italy) party Silvio Berlusconi listens to reporters at a polling station in Milan, Italy, Sunday, March 4, 2018. More than 46 million Italians were voting Sunday in a general election that is being closely watched to determine if Italy would succumb to the populist, anti-establishment and far-right sentiment that has swept through much of Europe in recent years. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

5-Stars’ candidate for premier, 31-year-old Luigi Di Maio, has shown some openness to potential partners. With Salvini gunning for the premiership himself, some pro-European analysts envisioned a possible “night-

mare scenario” of an extremist alliance among the 5-Stars, the League and the right-wing Brothers of Italy. Steve Bannon, right-wing populist architect of Donald Trump’s White House campaign, was in Rome this weekend, cheering on

the populists. “I think if they create a coalition among all the populists it would be fantastic, it would terrify Brussels and pierce it in its heart,” Bannon was quoted as saying in Sunday’s Corriere della Sera newspaper.q

Spanish unionist rally mocks Catalan separatist movement By JOSEPH WILSON Associated Press BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Thousands of Spaniards joined a rally in Barcelona on Sunday in response to a call by a grassroots group that uses humor to mock Catalonia’s separatist push. The group facetiously calls for the division of Cat-

alonia into two parts. One would be for separatists who want to leave Spain and the other for those who want to remain a part of Spain, which would include the cities of Barcelona and Tarragona where unionist support is strong. Miguel Martinez, the presi-

dent of the “Platform for Tabarnia” association, said that the movement is “a serious joke, a parody.” It began with jokes on social media that went viral. “We won’t let the secessionists lead Catalonia to disaster,” Martinez told the Europa Press news agency. “We will never take the ini-

tiative and we will never become a political party, but we will always be there to push back.” The group’s barbs include the slogan “Barcelona is not Catalonia,” which twists the separatist slogan “Catalonia is not Spain.” It has also named political satirist Albert Boadella as

“Tabarnia’s president in exile,” making light of former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont, who has fled to Belgium to avoid a court probe into his role in a failed secession bid. Along with Spanish flags, many rally-goers carried “Tabarnia” flags created by the group. q


Monday 5 March 2018


Syrian troops advance in rebel-held region near capital

This photo shows Syrians walking between destroyed buildings in Douma, after airstrikes and shelling by Syrian government forces hit in the eastern Ghouta region near Damascus, Syria. Thousands of residents are huddling underground in basements and tunnels, hiding from the horror raining down from Syrian army jets that almost never leave the skies. (Ghouta Media Center via AP)

By SARAH EL DEEB Associated Press BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian President Bashar Assad vowed Sunday to continue with a military offensive in a rebelheld region near the capital, as troops and allied militias captured a number of villages and towns in the largest advance since a wide-scale operation began last month. Speaking to a small group of reporters in Damascus,

Assad said the five-hour daily “humanitarian pause” in eastern Ghouta would continue, to allow for any civilians wishing to leave the area to do so. “There is no contradiction between the truce and the military operation,” he added. Assad also denied that the Syrian government carried out toxic gas attacks, describing such reports as part of the western coun-

tries’ “dictionary of lies.” Meanwhile, the United Nations said it planned to deliver aid to a total of 70,000 people in the stricken region starting Monday after it received approval from the government to move in. U.N. officials had said lack of approvals and consensus among the warring parties, as well as the limited duration of the five-hour Russian-ordered humanitarian pause, had made

aid delivery impossible. Syria’s Central Military Media said government forces captured at least six villages and towns along the edge of eastern Ghouta in the advance that began late Saturday. The Central Military Media later said the troops continued their movement, reaching the outskirts of Mesraba, in central Ghouta. The military advances come amid reports of wide-scale internal displacement as civilians flee government forces. A reporter from state-run Al-Ikhbariyah TV accompanied the troops and broadcast from Nashabiyah, a village on the southeastern edge of eastern Ghouta. The reporter said the Syrian troops had crossed a “moat” and seized around 12 square kilometers (4.6 square miles). The advance was backed by intense shelling and airstrikes. Rebel factions said they launched a counteroffensive Sunday, sending fighters behind government lines in a series of attacks. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the rebels regained control of at least one town and fighting continued. The Observatory and the Syrian Civil Defense said ci-

Saudi’s powerful crown prince visits Egypt CAIRO (AP) — Saudi Arabia’s powerful crown prince has arrived in Egypt for a visit meant to deepen the alliance between two of the region’s powerhouses. Soon after Prince Mohammed bin Salman touched

down in Cairo Sunday, Egyptian President AbdelFattah el-Sissi’s office also said “regional issues” and Egypt’s fight against Islamic militants were discussed by phone with U.S. President Donald Trump. Saudi Arabia has given

generous financial and political support to el-Sissi since he led the 2013 military ouster of Islamist president Mohammed Morsi. Egypt is a member of a Saudi-led coalition fighting Iranian-backed Shiite rebels in Yemen. Last year,

el-Sissi ratified the handover of two strategic Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia, triggering rare protests in Egypt. Relations were briefly strained in late 2016 over differences related to the Syrian war.q

vilians had fled their homes because of the advancing troops, with many of them taking cover in underground shelters. “It is a scorched-earth policy,” said Ghouta-based activist Nour Adam. “People are moving out because of the relentless bombing.” Eastern Ghouta, home to some 400,000 people, has been under a crippling siege and daily bombardment for months. More than 600 civilians have been killed in the last two weeks alone. Hamza Beriqdar, spokesman of the main rebel faction in Ghouta called the Army of Islam, said in an audio recording shared on social media that the opposition fighters had to retreat from some areas in eastern Ghouta amid a hail of fire from artillery shelling, airstrikes and helicopter attacks, also calling it a “scorched earth policy.” He said the rebels are regrouping and will continue to fight, and he called on civilians in Ghouta not to lose faith or criticize rebel fighters to keep a unified front and maintain morale. Meanwhile, no civilians have left Ghouta through a humanitarian corridor set up by Russia and the Syrian government nearly a week ago. Russia has accused the rebels of preventing civilians from leaving, which insurgents have denied. The rebels say the humanitarian corridor is part of government efforts to forcibly displace the population, and have called on government forces to implement a full cease-fire adopted by the U.N. Security Council. q


Monday 5 March 2018

Ex-Burkina Faso soldier may have been in extremist attacks jured more than 80. French military experts are expected in Ouagadougou to help with the probe, according to a government statement. One of the killed soldiers is believed to have been fired from the army after a 2011 mutiny and may actually have been an assailant, a person close to the investigation told The Associated Press. Many of the attackers were wearing army uniforms, according to witnesses, and some were from Burkina Faso, including two men

Security forces outside the General Staff of the Armed Forces building in central Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. A former Burkina Faso soldier may have participated in Friday’s simultaneous attacks by al-Qaida-linked extremists on the army headquarters French Embassy in the capital. (AP Photo/ Ludivine Laniepce)

By B. OUEDRAOGO Associated Press OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso (AP) — A former Burkina Faso soldier may have

participated in Friday’s simultaneous attacks by alQaida-linked extremists on the army headquarters and heavily-guarded French

Embassy in the capital. The government has launched an investigation into the attacks which killed eight soldiers and in-

Modi’s party notches win in key state By ASHOK SHARMA Associated Press NEW DELHI (AP) — Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist party ended 25 years of uninterrupted communist party rule in a northeastern state and consolidated its position in two other states in key provincial elections. Saturday’s impressive win is expected to boost the prospects of Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party when it seeks a second term in national elections next year. The BJP

has been riding a wave of rising Hindu nationalism in the country. As his supporters beat drums and danced with joy, Modi tweeted that the people of India were reposing their faith in the positive and developmentoriented agenda of his party. “People do not have the time or respect for negative, disruptive and disconnected politics of any kind,” he said. With results announced for all 59 seats in Tripura’s state legislature, the BJP had won a big ma-

jority to form a government on its own in the state, replacing the Communist Party of India (Marxist), or CPI (M). It also looked like it could win a majority with support from other groups in Meghalaya and Nagaland states. The BJP won 35 seats in Tripura’s state legislature against the CPI (M)’s 16 seats, according to India’s Election Commission. The remaining eight seats went to a regional group, the Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura. q

arrested in connection with the attack, said the official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not permitted to speak to the press. The attack on the army headquarter was aimed at a conference room, narrowly missing a meeting of top officers, which would have “beheaded” the military leadership, according to Security Minister Clement Sawadogo. An al-Qaida-linked group based in Mali claimed responsibility Saturday for the dual attacks.q


Monday 5 March 2018


Dam executive arrested in death of Honduran activist By FREDDY CUEVAS Associated Press TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras (AP) — Honduran authorities arrested an executive with a dam development company Friday in the 2016 killing of indigenous and environmental activist Berta Caceres, calling him an intellectual author of a crime that sparked an international outcry. Roberto David Castillo Mejia, who at the time of the slaying was executive president of the company Desarrollos Energeticos SA, or DESA, was detained at an airport in San Pedro Sula as he was about to fly to Houston, Texas, said Jorge Galindo, a spokesman for the prosecutors’ office. It was the ninth arrest in the killing of Caceres, a Goldman Environmental Prize winner who was shot to death two years ago after attackers barged into her home in La Esperanza. Castillo is charged with being an “intellectual author” in the crime, which generally applies to someone alleged to have been involved in a crime but not at

Roberto David Castillo, center, is taken into custody by the police as he is walked to the Technical Investigation Agency in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Friday, March 2, 2018. A Public Ministry statement identifies Castillo in the 2016 killing of indigenous and environmental activist Berta Caceres, calling him an intellectual author of a crime that sparked an international outcry. (AP Photo/Fernando Antonio)

the scene. Two others have been arrested for allegedly impeding the investigation. The Public Ministry alleges Castillo was “the person in charge of providing logistics and other resources to one of the material authors

already being prosecuted for the crime.” In a statement, DESA defended Castillo and its employees as innocent, saying they were “totally unconnected” to the crime and calling the “unjust detention” the result of “interna-

tional pressure and campaigns by diverse NGOs to discredit the company.” DESA questioned the coincidence that the arrest came on the second anniversary of Caceres’ killing as her supporters held a protest in Honduran capital

of Tegucigalpa. Caceres’ relatives said they were certain of Castillo’s guilt. “There is no doubt that he was one of the material authors of Berta’s death,” said her ex-husband, Salvador Zuniga. “The owners of DESA killed my mother,” said Caceres’ daughter Olivia Zuniga Caceres, who is now a lawmaker with the Liberty and Refoundation Party. She said she was promoting a parliamentary initiative to cancel the construction of the Agua Zarca dam. Caceres and her organization known as Copinh opposed DESA’s Agua Zarca hydroelectric project, which is on her Lenca indigenous people’s lands. She was recognized with the prestigious Goldman award for her activism in 2015. Last October, an international team of lawyers issued a report saying her killing was the product of a coordinated plot four months in the making involving company employees, state and private security forces, and officials.q

4 killed, 24 injured in Poland apartment building collapse By M. SCISLOWSKA Associated Press WARSAW, Poland (AP) — An apartment building collapsed Sunday in Poland’s western city of Poznan, killing four people and injuring 24 others, officials said as firefighters and rescuers with dogs combed the rubble in search of more victims. The building contained 18 apartments and housed 40 residents, according to firefighters’ spokesman Sla-

womir Brandt, who gave the death toll. Polish TV channel TVP INFO showed part of a four-story building in a heap and rescuers checking the debris in sub-freezing temperatures. The search was expected to continue until Monday. Police and prosecutors questioned witnesses at the site. “We heard this loud bang and then terrible cries from people ‘Save us! Save

us!,’” ground floor resident Krzysztof Sledz told state news agency PAP. “My wife and I dressed and left the apartment to help the neighbors.” Sledz said they pulled their neighbor’s 2-yearold daughter from a bed strewn with rubble. “I thought she was dead, she was blue. But they say she is in hospital,” Sledz said. Hospital spokeswoman Urszula Laszynska said one

young girl was hospitalized in stable condition, while two other children were dismissed after being treated for bruises. Displaced residents were offered shelter and food at a nearby hotel. Officials said the remaining part of the building was unsafe and would be torn down. The government has promised shelter and financial support for the residents. Regional governor Zbig-

niew Hoffman said it was too early to determine the cause of the collapse, but added that a gas explosion was one possible explanation. Gas service to the site was cut off, and the remaining part of the building closed. Last April, six people were killed and four injured when a gas explosion caused a small apartment building to collapse in the southwestern Polish town of Swiebodzice. q


Monday 5 March 2018

Open House at University of Aruba, 24th of March:

Let’s meet Social Work & Development!

By Linda Reijnders ORANJESTAD – The date of 24th of March is a special one for the University of Aruba. Not only is it their Open House Day, but last year on this exact day the NVAO (Dutch-Flemish Accreditation Organization) gave their positive advice on the quality of the HBObachelor program Social Work and Development, Faculty of Arts & Sciences. 4th year student Tracey Werleman and lecturer Clementia Eugene are very clear about their passion for social work and Aruba Today is happy to share their words with you. Clementia: “We have 36 students in our program now for all 4 years. The studies offer a generalist orientation, upon graduation our students are capable of working in a wide variety

of social service agencies. That’s said that our students do their internships in all the agencies that you can think of in Aruba. We have students at SABA, a senior home where they work with elderly people, at the hospital as a medical social work student, at PAAZ as a mental health social workers, at SVGA where our students work with people that have limitations, at Social Affairs which is the government department where they work in different fields like youth, welfare, older persons, and we also have students at Heart Centered Leadership Foundation which is a foundation that works towards empowering young people at risk, either at their job or at school. We also have students working at the schools as social workers and at CEDHM, Centre for Women and De-

velopment. It is very broad indeed and students get to choose what they like based on their interest and specialization. They have three opportunities to explore where their interest is strongest.” 4 years program They have a competency based program meaning the combination of knowledge, skills and attitude are integrated. The 1st year enhances a lot of knowledge courses like psychology role, critical thinking, and sociology, introduction to social work, academic reading and writing. The 2nd year courses include more skills like counseling, social work, gerontology and social practices on children and youth, while the 3rd year you learn to do social work in groups, community empowerment

and managing social services. The 4rd year the courses move away from individuals and communities to look at the macro level of policy and advocacy. “We want our students not only to graduate and knock on somebody’s door but be able to work independent and have their own business”, says Clementia. There are 16 parttime lecturers teaching the students. Unpayable Rewarding Tracey: “A lot of people think that social work is only on a micro level like coun-

seling, but you can also work with governments, work on community programs or create company policies. You can be a core, medical or company social worker, it is so broad! My passion for this work is to feel that you make a difference in someone’s life, it is not all about money! Clementia agrees: “This profession may not be that rewarding for the pay check at the end of the month, but the fact that you can help transform the life of somebody, give them a second change and help them get insight into the challenges they have so that they can enjoy a better quality of life: that role of the social worker is unpayable rewarding.” We cannot underestimate the fact that there is the One Happy Island part, but also a lot of social issues from child abuse to domestic violence to poverty to abuse of alcohol and drugs or gambling. “Even suicidal issues, depressions, mental health problems are growing, so we need a category of social help workers to help give those individuals the coping strategies, the skills they need and the hope that they can live a better quality life.” Clementia emphasizes that the faculty welcomes everybody to come and talk to students and lecturers on March 24th. “We need to interest men and foreign students too. And we will, so they can see that social work is changing to another dimension.”q


Monday 5 March 2018

40 years of Time Share: Aruba Shows World Leader Role from Beginning ORANJESTAD – The University of Aruba (UvA) together with Aruba Tourism Authority (ATA) and Aruba Timeshare Association (ATSA) recently organized a conference where not only the celebration of 40 years of the time share industry in Aruba took place, but also important research information was shared, carried out by students of the Faculty of Hospitality and Tourism Management Studies (FHTMS). One of the most appreciated persons in our time share industry sector and tourism in general, Jan van Nes, was honored during the interesting event. President of ATSA, Ursell Arends, mentioned during his dynamic speech that there is a new role for the social aspect within the time share sector, among others to strengthen bonds with the Red Cross and stimulate sports for young children and teens within football club SV Britannia. The coming five years ATSA will support these organizations. There is also a new collaboration with Centro pa Desaroyo Aruba (CEDE)


who launched a complete new foundation, called Happy Community Fund. Among others they will contribute to an affordable and quality children’s care for locals. Last but not least ATSA works together with the university and supports them with funds for education. Arends emphasizes that the

students are the next generation and they are needed in the sector of tourism. However, a lot of students express that they find working in tourism unattractive due to the long hours and working on weekends/holidays. He states that it is significant for the time share sector to focus on this fact and make the work more appealing to the young

generation. Time Share & Local Economy CEO of ATA, Ronella Tjin Asjoe-Croes, presented information and data that showcase the importance of the time share industry in Aruba. The concept of time share started in the island in 1977 with Aruba Beach Club as pioneer, followed by Playa Linda Beach Resort and many others in the 80’s and 90’s. Time share visitors cover 26% of the total stayover visitors in Aruba during the last 20 years between 1977 and 2017. The average growth of the industry was 3.4% (5% worldwide from 2013). With regards to the affluent visitors, specifically those coming from the United States, it can be stated that there was a growth of 5.7% in 2017 compared to the year before. The market share of this group counts for 57% of the total visitors coming to Aruba between 2013 – 2017, meaning that we have an average increase of 4% between 2013 and

The effect of time share on our economy turns out to be 20% of the GDP (Gross Domestic Product). Both the inventory of time share rooms as well as the quantity of visitors/owners of weeks for time share are stable. Aruba represents the highest percentage of repeated visitors in the region of the Caribbean, time share owners are the biggest contributors to this fact. The category where to belong the time share owner is called the ‘baby boomer’ (65 years old and up). Many bring along their families and all together contribute to our economy. Another interesting fact that was shown by the research is that almost all Time Share owners visit our island for over 10 years. They feel that Aruba is their second home and praise the friendly locals and beautiful beaches. University Research A group of students of the university Faculty of Hospitality and Tourism Management Studies (FHTMS) carried out profound research with regards to the time share industry under the guidance of Professor Robin di Pietro (University South Carolina) and deacon John Warlaw. The outcome was presented by the professor and showed that the majority of the tourists in Aruba are in the age category of 50-years-old and up. The motive for visitors to purchase a time share is the satisfaction with the resort they are staying in. A time share owner shows repeated visits to the island: 70% is coming for over 10 years to the island with an average stay of 12,5 days. Continued on Page 16


Monday 5 March 2018

Loyal Visitor Honored at the Casa Del Mar Beach Resort These special guests love Aruba very much because of the friendly people, the weather, the beaches, the restaurants, the Casinos, and just about everything else! They say being on the island is like being in paradise and that Aruba is truly their ‘home-away-from-

EAGLE BEACH - Recently the Aruba Tourism Authority had the great pleasure of honoring a very special couple as Emerald Ambassadors of Aruba at the Casa Del Mar Beach Resort. The

symbolic honorary title is presented in the name of the Minister of Tourism as tokens of appreciation to guests who visit Aruba for 35-or-more consecutive years.

The honorees for Emerald Ambassador were Mr. Robert and Mrs. Carolyn Scholl, celebrating their 35th consecutive annual visit to Aruba!

home.’ The certificate and commemorative emerald coin were presented by Ms. Emely Ridderstaat representing the Aruba Tourism Authority, together with General Manager Mr. Bob Curtis from the Casa Del Mar Beach Resort.q


Monday 5 March 2018

40 years of Time Share: Aruba Shows World Leader Role from Beginning Continued on Page 16

And, as ATA also confirmed, they bring their family members along. Their perception of the experience of the time share scores very high. The service, accommodation, environment, beaches, local people and climate are all factors that contribute to this high satisfactory score. Different Experiences Now with the climbing age of the time share owner in

mind, the professor hinted that there is need for different experiences. The children of the time share owners will take over one day and expectations of the vacation experience will therefore change. The beaches, weather and people will not be sufficient anymore to make the difference. Aruba would need to look further and offer different experiences. The average sum of spending per day of the time share guests is $ 112.05. An ad-

vice that came out of the research is for time share resort owners to look for collaborations with other sectors to offer the guests a variety of experiences. That will attract new potential buyers too. Work on your marketing, as the professor stated. “Put a tent at the carnival parades where your guests can enjoy this local cultural phenomenon or set up a dinner with locals on the beach, just to name some ideas.”q

Loyal Visitor Honored at the Playa Linda Beach Resort were presented by Ms. Emely Ridderstaat representing the Aruba Tourism

PALM BEACH - Recently the Aruba Tourism Authority had the great pleasure of honoring a very special couple as Emerald Ambassadors of Aruba at the Playa Linda Beach Resort. The symbolic honorary title is presented in the name of the Minister of Tourism as tokens of appreciation to

guests who visit Aruba for 35-or-more consecutive years. The honorees for Emerald Ambassador were Mr. Marc and Mrs. Agnes Cabot, celebrating their 51st consecutive annual visit to Aruba! These special guests love Aruba very much because

of the friendly people, the weather, the beaches, the restaurants, the Casinos, and just about everything else! They say being on the island is like being in paradise and that Aruba is truly their ‘home-away-fromhome.’ The certificate and commemorative emerald coin

Authority, together with associates from the Playa Linda Beach Resort.q


Monday 5 March 2018 Aruban born and bred Steve Francees has a passion for photography. Being a local photographer he knows the hidden gems of this island and captures them in an amazing way. As a Family and Landscape photographer Steve is ready to create your next ‘vacation memories’, morning and/or sunset shots. T: (297) 738-0777, M:, and

Kids Photos


Every family wants pictures of their kids and here are some tips. Use sunglasses when taking pictures on the beach. The sun here in Aruba is very bright and affect the eyes especially kids with the result that they will close their eyes. Secondly, let the kids be kids by capturing them playing on the beach and having fun. They don’t need to look at the camera all the time when taking pictures. Use the beach and sea as second in the scene. This a picture I took last week of a very lovely family with two adorable kids.

Cas di Cunucu On the west coastline at Malmok there are many cliffs, they are very good for awesome pictures. Here is a picture I took of my niece Daniela. I’ve been taking pictures of her since she was two months old and recently she moved to Chile as a pro-model and photographer.

Boca Druif

At Rooi Lamunchi (on the road to Bushiribana Goldmine) you will see a lot of native traditional houses. This is one of them, surrounded by cactus. Many of them still have goats, chickens and two dogs (don’t ask me why). They are mostly owned by real Arubans that have been living in that area for many years. Many areas have these very nice houses that are built years ago and still are in very good shape. Most are painted in yellow color, the same color as the Kibrahacha tree or Yellow Poui (Taberbuia Billbergii).

One of the most photographed images of Aruba is the remains of an old pier of the ‘Arend(Eagle) Petroleum Maatschappij’ that started operations in 1928. The refinery was part of the Royal Shell Group and was very successful, but during WW2 they stopped all their activities for safety reasons. After the war the refinery was closed and dismantled completely, but the last pier can still be seen until today as the Pelican Poles.


Monday 5 March 2018

PHIL’N GOOD In this May 6, 1954 file photo, Britain's Roger Bannister hits the tape to break the fourminute mile in Oxford, England. Associated Press

Roger Bannister, first to run sub 4-minute mile, dies at 88

By CHRIS LEHOURITES AP Sports Writer LONDON (AP) — It was a typical British afternoon in early May: wet, cool and blustery. Not exactly the ideal conditions for running four laps around a track faster than many thought humanly possible. A lanky Oxford medical student named Roger Bannister looked up at the white-and-red English flag whipping in the wind atop a nearby church and figured he would have to call off the record attempt. But then, shortly after 6 p.m. on May 6, 1954, the wind subsided. Bannister glanced up again and saw the flag fluttering ohso gently. The race was on. With two friends acting as pacemakers, Bannister churned around the cinder track four times. His long arms and legs pumping, his lungs gasping for air, he put on a furious kick over the final 300 yards and nearly collapsed as he crossed the finish line. The announcer read out the time: “3...” Continued on Page 23

Mickelson’s drought ends at WGC-Mexico Championship Phil Mickelson, of the U.S., approaches the green on the 1st hole in the the final round of the Mexico Championship at Chapultepec Golf Club in Mexico City, Sunday, March 4, 2018. Associated Press Page 20


Monday 5 March 2018

Wie clinches LPGA Singapore event for first win since 2014 SINGAPORE (AP) — Michelle Wie holed a 36-foot putt from off the green on the final hole to win the Women's World Championship by one stroke on Sunday and capture her first LPGA tournament since the 2014 U.S. Women's Open. With four players in contention to win on the last hole, Wie managed to separate herself from the pack when she drained her lengthy birdie putt on the 72nd hole at the Sentosa Golf Club for a final round of 7-under 65 to finish at 17-under 271. The 28-year-old Wie, who led the tournament after three rounds a year ago before fading on the last day, leaped into the air and clenched her fist in celebration as the ball disappeared into the bottom of the cup. But she still faced an anxious wait before being declared the champion. "Winning is everything. I mean, there is no better feeling than when you think you sink that winning putt. It's a high, for sure," Wie said. "You go out there, and it's this feeling that gets you going. It's this feeling that makes you practice. It's that winning putt that makes you practice for hours and hours and hours, and even the hard times, it gets you going back. You know that good feeling is on the other side." Third-round leader Nelly Korda parred her last 8 holes in a row. The 19-yearold, who only joined the LPGA Tour last year, hit a superb approach into the 18th to set up a birdie opportunity that would have forced a playoff but missed her 8-foot putt and settled for a final-round 71.

"I had a bunch of putts that were really close and a lot of them lipped and burned edges. It definitely hurts, but that's golf," Korda said. "There's going to be another tournament. There's going to be another feeling like this. Just have to keep going forward". Danielle Kang, last year's Singapore winner, parred her last 14 holes and was unable to drain a longer birdie putt on the last to miss out on a playoff as she closed with a 70. Korda and Kang finished in a four-way tie for second at 16-under, alongside Jenny Shin (65) and Brooke Henderson (67). "I couldn't capitalize on those holes, which was kind of disappointing," Kang said. "But other than that, struck the ball well and I hung in there. So she (Wie) dropped the bomb on the last. I heard it from a hole back." Shin held the outright lead when she teed off at the last after reeling off eight birdies between the sixth and 16th holes, but she dropped back to 16-under when she made her only bogey of the day on the final hole. "The nerves got me, maybe," Shin said. "Not sure if I would have made that mistake on many other holes. Oh, well." Henderson birdied four of her first eight holes to move up the leaderboard but could not get another birdie putt to drop in until the final hole when it was too late for her to catch Wie. Plagued by injuries since capturing her first major at Pinehurst, North Carolina in 2014, Wie started Sunday's final round five strokes off the pace and needing to shoot low after Sei Young

Kim set the bar high, flirting with a 59 before settling for a course record of 10-under 62. Wie made a strong start with three birdies on the front nine then added three more in her first five holes after the turn before saving her best for last when the pressure was at its most suffocating.q

In this Aug. 16, 2017, file photo, United States' Michelle Wie walks off the 18th tee during practice for the Solheim Cup golf tournament in West Des Moines, Iowa. Associated Press


Monday 5 March 2018

Mickelson ends longest drought with playoff win in Mexico By DOUG FERGUSON AP Golf Writer MEXICO CITY (AP) — Phil Mickelson ended the longest drought of his career with a playoff victory Sunday over Justin Thomas in the Mexico Championship, capping off a final round of lustrous cheers in thin air that included Thomas holing a wedge for eagle on the final hole of regulation. Mickelson, who closed with a 5-under 66, won for the first time since the 2013 British Open at Muirfield, a stretch of 101 tournaments worldwide. "I can't put into words how much this means to me," Mickelson said. "I knew it was going to be soon — I've been playing too well for it not to be. But you just never know until it happens." Thomas was coming off a playoff victory at the Honda Classic last week, and he delivered the biggest moment at Chapultepec Golf Club. Tied for the lead, his shot to the 18th from 119 yards landed in front of the pin and spun back into the hole for an eagle and a 64. It almost was too good to

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

be true. Thomas, who said Thursday he had never felt worse over the ball, had a 62-64 weekend and suddenly had a two-shot lead. Mickelson, who turns 48

in June, responded with a two-putt birdie on the par-5 15th and a 20-foot birdie putt on the 16th to tie Thomas. Tyrrell Hatton, playing in

the final group with Mickelson, was stride for stride. He capped off a 3-3-3-3 stretch on the back nine with an eagle at the 15th. But on the final hole, Hatton missed the green to the right, chipped 10 feet by and missed the par putt for a 67 to fall out of a playoff. The sudden-death playoff — the sixth in eight PGA Tour events this year — didn't last long. Thomas went long on the par-3 17th hole and chipped to just inside 10 feet. Mickelson's 18-foot birdie putt for the victory swirled around the cup, more agony for a 47-yearold who has seen plenty of it since his last victory. Thomas, however, never got his par attempt on the right line. They finished at 16-under 268. Mickelson won his third World Golf Championships title and, just a month after being on the verge of falling out of the top 50 in the world for the first time in two decades, moves to No. 18 in the world. Shubhankar Sharma, the 21-year-old from India who started with a two-shot lead, didn't make his first birdie until the 12th hole.

He finished with consecutive bogeys for a 74, six shots behind in a three-way tie for ninth. That will leave him on the bubble at No. 66 in the world for making it back to the next World Golf Championship, the Dell Match Play, in three weeks in Texas. Sharma first flies home for the Hero Indian Open next week. Hatton tied for third with Rafa Cabrera Bello, who holed a bunker shot for eagle on the opening hole and was among six players who had at least a share of the lead. Mickelson was the first player who appeared to seize control with a birdie on No. 10 to take the lead, and facing a reachable par 5 and a drivable par 4. Instead, Lefty made it as entertaining as ever. Going for the green in light rough with the ball below his feet, he hooked it deep into the bushes right of the green, and played his next one when he could barely see the golf ball. That stayed in the trees, and his fourth shot narrowly missed another tree before settling 10 feet away. He made bogey, and just like that, it was a sprint to the finish 7,800 feet above sea level. Brian Harman and Kiradech Aphibarnrat both had chances until dropping shots at the wrong time. Thomas made a bogey on the 17th hole twice on Sunday. He missed a 5-foot par putt in regulation that dropped him out of the lead, only to respond with the perfect shot at the right time. It just wasn't good enough. Mickelson, now with 43 victories on the PGA Tour and 46 around the world, made good on his pledge earlier this year that more victories were in store for him. He has four consecutive top 10s for the first time since 2005. That also was the last time he had won in a playoff. It all seems so long ago — playoffs, trophies, consistent play. Now he's just more than a month away from the Masters, and feeling invigorated. And feeling like a winner. q


Monday 5 March 2018

Poland sets world indoor record in 4x400-meter relay, US 2nd By DANIELLA MATAR Associated Press BIRMINGHAM, England (AP) — Poland set a world indoor record in the 4x400meter relay on Sunday at the world indoor athletics championships, with the United States also inside the old mark. The Polish team of Karol Zalewski, Rafal Omelko, Lukasz Krawczuk and Jakub Krzewina won in 3:01.77. That shaved 0.36 seconds off the previous record of 3:02.13, which was set by the U.S. in 2014. "It is a big shock and surprise for us," Omelko said. "We were targeting the European record but really did not expect a result like this and never dreamed about the world record." The U.S. team of Fred Kerley, Michael Cherry, Aldrich Bailey Jr. and Vernon Norwood finished 0.2 seconds behind Poland in 3:01.97, also beating the previous record by a different U.S. team. "I think the last lap with Jakub Krzewina was the crucial one," Omelko said. "He pushed it so hard and he is very, very strong this year. He helped us to win the most." It appeared as if the Americans would take victory — and the record — but Krzewina surged past Norwood in the final straight in Birmingham. "The team did a great job, but no comment on my last leg," Norwood said. Belgium was third, with the three Borlee brothers and Jonathan Sacoor, setting a national record with

3:02.51. The American women fared better, winning their 4x400 relay in a championship record of 3:23.85, but faced an anxious wait as the jury reviewed a series of appeals. The team of Quanera Hayes, Georganne Moline and individual 400 gold and silver medalists, Courtney Okolo and Shakima Wimbley, dominated with the second-fastest indoor time ever — less than half a second off the world indoor record of 3:23.37. "We came together as a team as we always do," Hayes said. "We don't train together during the normal season. But as soon as we put USA across our chest, everything else goes out of the window." Jamaica crossed the line in second place but was soon disqualified with an athlete in the incorrect order when waiting to receive the baton. That saw Poland claim the silver with a national indoor record of 3:26.09 with Britain third in 3:29.38. The race triggered a blizzard of appeals. Jamaica appealed against its disqualification, while Ukraine asked for Poland to be disqualified and Poland claimed the U.S. should be as well — both for stepping on the kerb. All three appeals were rejected with the final order of U.S., Poland, Britain, Ukraine and Italy. Britain was initially disqualified for obstruction but successfully appealed. Elsewhere, world record

Poland's Jakub Krzewina celebrates after winning the gold medal in the men's 4x400-meter relay final at the World Athletics Indoor Championships in Birmingham, Britain, Sunday, March 4, 2018. Associated Press

holder Renaud Lavillenie won the world indoors pole vault for a third time, but it was his first significant title in two years after an injury-hit season last year. Lavillenie was clearly emotional on the podium after being the only competitor to clear 5.90 meters. American Sam Kendricks was second, ahead of Poland's Piotr Lisek after both cleared 5.85 in a competition which lasted more than three hours. The U.S. was also narrowly beaten to the title in the 60-meter hurdles, with Britain's Andrew Pozzi edging out Jarret Eaton by 0.01 to win his first global title. Pozzi and Eaton waited side-by-side after crossing the line to see which one of them had won. Eaton real-

ized first, when the photo of Pozzi's dive for the line appeared on the big screen, and tapped his rival on the arm in congratulations. "I knew at the fourth hurdle I was behind," Pozzi said. "I can't describe how much I wanted it. I threw everything at the line hoping to get there and I just about got there." Earlier, there was a tribute to Roger Bannister on the big screen at Arena Birmingham to remember the first runner to break the 4-minute barrier in the mile. Bannister died Saturday at age 88 in Oxford. Also, Samuel Terefa became the youngest ever winner of the world indoor 1500 title. The 18-year-old Ethiopian won in 3:58.19, beating Po-

land's Marcin Lewandowski and Abdelaati Iguider of Morocco. Teammate Yomif Kejelcha successfully defended his 3,000 title ahead of another Ethiopian, Selemon Barega, and Bethwell Birgen of Kenya. Kejelcha's winning time of 8:14.41 was the slowest in the 32-year history of the championships by more than 10 seconds. Francine Niyonsaba of Burundi also successfully defended her title, in the 800, beating American Ajee Wilson — just as she had done in Portland two years ago. Shelayna Oskan-Clarke took bronze. In a reversal of the top two long jump places in Portland, Serbia's Ivana Spanovic beat Brittney Reese. q


& ARTS Hirscher wins slalom to lock up record 7th overall title Monday 5 March 2018

KRANJSKA GORA, Slovenia (AP) — Marcel Hirscher capped his stellar season by securing an unprecedented seventh overall World Cup title on Sunday. Dominating the penultimate slalom of the season, the two-time Olympic champion from Austria stretched his lead over his only remaining rival, Henrik Kristoffersen, to 289 points. The Norwegian, a specialist in technical races, cannot overtake Hirscher because he will only compete in two more events this season. "This is so surreal, I can't believe it," said Hirscher, who also locked up the slalom and GS titles this weekend, two weeks before the season-ending races in Sweden. "Now I am going for one week vacation to Are," he quipped. "That is always really nice because the stress has gone away." Building on a big first-leg lead of 0.82-seconds over Kristoffersen, Hirscher did not hold back in his final run and extended the margin to 1.22 seconds, a country mile in the sport. Ramon Zenhaeusern of Switzerland was 1.61 behind in third, while Olympic champion Andre Myhrer, who was third after the opening run, dropped to 24th. Shortly after finishing and with his skis still clipped on, Hirscher fell on his back and celebrated the victory. "Incredible. You can't believe it's possible," he said after becoming the first skier in the 51-year history of the World Cup to win seven

Austria's Marcel Hirscher speeds down the course during an alpine ski, men's World Cup slalom in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia, Sunday, March 4, 2018. Associated Press

overall titles. No other male skier has won more than five, and fellow Austrian Annemarie Moser-Proell won six times on the women's circuit in the 1970s. Sunday's victory also gave Hirscher this year's slalom title with a race to spare, a day after he also locked up the season-long title in the giant slalom. "With all the problems before the season started, with the broken ankle, it is... I can't find the right words. It is very surreal," said Hirscher, who missed all of his pre-season preparation after fracturing his ankle

while straddling a gate on his first training day on snow in August. "The summer really wasn't easy. It went from a possible end of career to my best season," Hirscher said after Sunday's win, his 12th of the World Cup season and 57th overall. Last month in Pyeongchang, Hirscher crowned his illustrious career by adding the only prize he was missing — Olympic gold. He won the combined event and the giant slalom, but came up short as clear favorite in the slalom, where he went out

in the opening run. "I don't know, to be honest," Hirscher said when asked about his next goals. "I am happy to go home now and enjoy this. I have to make up my mind where my journey goes next." Hirscher said the ongoing rivalry with Kristoffersen, who beat the Austrian for the slalom title two years ago, has enabled him to further raise his level. "Hats off, the future belongs to this young man," Hirscher said about the 23-year-old Norwegian. "He has made it really tough. He performed, performed, performed,

and made no mistakes so I had to bring something extra all the time." Kristoffersen, who performed a deep bow to Hirscher at the prize giving ceremony after Sunday's race, called the Austrian "the best ski racer in the world." "So it's OK for me to be second. At the moment he is just better, so it's OK when he wins the slalom globe, the GS globe, the overall globe," Kristoffersen said. The men's World Cup continues with a downhill and a super-G in Kvitfjell, Norway, next weekend.q

France plays to 1-1 draw with the U.S in the SheBelieves Cup By The Associated Press Eugenie Le Sommer scored just before halftime and France finished with a 1-1 draw against the U.S. women's national team on Sunday in the SheBelieves Cup at Red Bull Arena. Mallory Pugh had put the United States in front in the 35th minute with her ninth international goal. Goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher made a pair of big saves with France pressing late in the game. The gold medal-winning

U.S. women's hockey team was honored before the match in Harrison, New Jersey. The United States, the topranked team in the world, was coming off a 1-0 victory over Germany in the tournament opener in Columbus, Ohio, on Thursday. France, ranked sixth, won the SheBelieves Cup last year, but dropped the opening match against England 4-1. U.S. coach Jill Ellis made a few changes in the starting

lineup following the opener against Germany. She rested veteran Carli Lloyd as well as Julie Ertz, paving the way for Andi Sullivan and Morgan Brian to start. Lloyd came in as a sub in the 72nd minute. She needs just two goals to reach 100 for her career. The Americans were without several key players for the tournament, including veteran defender Becky Sauerbrunn, who is recovering from a foot injury, and midfielder Tobin Heath,

who had ankle surgery. Both were starters on the 2015 World Cup-winning team.U.S. defender Casey Short injured her ankle late in the game and left the field on a stretcher. France, coming off a rough outing against England in its opener, started veteran Sarah Bouhaddi in goal. It was her 128th appearance for the national team. It was clear from the start on Sunday that the team had regrouped under new coach Corinne Diacre,

a former defender who played for the national team from 1993-2005. Both teams are preparing for next year's World Cup in France. Les Bleues have already qualified for the tournament as hosts, while the defending champion United States will attempt to qualify this fall. Secondranked Germany and thirdranked England were set to meet in the late game on Sunday. The tournament concludes on Wednesday night in Orlando, Florida.q


Monday 5 March 2018

BANNISTER Continued from Page 18

The rest was drowned out by the roar of the crowd. The 3 was all that mattered. Bannister had just become the first runner to break the mythical 4-minute barrier in the mile — a feat of speed and endurance that stands as one of the seminal sporting achievements of the 20th century. The black-and-white image of Bannister, eyes closed, head back, mouth wide open, straining across the tape at Oxford's Iffley Road track, endures as a defining snapshot of a transcendent moment in track and field history. Bannister died peacefully in Oxford on Saturday at the age of 88. He was "surrounded by his family who were as loved by him, as he was loved by them," the family said in a statement Sunday. "He banked his treasure in the hearts of his friends." British Prime Minister Theresa May remembered Bannister as a "British sporting icon whose achievements were an inspiration to us all. He will be greatly missed." Bannister's time of 3 minutes, 59.4 seconds captured the world's imagination and buoyed the spirits of Britons still suffering through post-war austerity. "It's amazing that more people have climbed Mount Everest than have broken the 4-minute mile," Bannister said in an interview with The Associated Press in 2012. Bannister followed up his 4-minute milestone a few months later by beating Australia's John Landy in the "Miracle Mile" or "Mile of the Century" at the Empire Games in Vancouver, British Columbia with both men going under 4 minutes. Bannister regarded that as his greatest race because it came in a competitive championship against his

In this file photo dated Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014, former British athlete Roger Bannister poses for a picture during the launch of the Westminster Mile run, to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Bannister's record of being the first man to run a sub-four minute mile in May 1954, at Paddington Recreation Ground in London. Associated Press

fiercest rival. While he will forever be remembered for his running, Bannister considered his long medical career in neurology as his life's greatest accomplishment. "My medical work has been my achievement and my family with 14 grandchildren," he said. "Those are real achievements." The quest to break the 4-minute mile carried a special mystique. The numbers were easy for the public to grasp: 1 mile, 4 laps, 4 minutes. When Sweden's Gunder Hagg ran 4:01.4 in 1945, the chase was truly on. But, time and again, runners came up short. The 4-minute mark seemed like a brick wall that would never be toppled. Bannister was undaunted. "There was no logic in my mind that if you can run a mile in 4 minutes, 1 and 2/5ths, you can't run it in 3:59," he said. "I knew enough medicine and physiology to know it wasn't a physical barrier, but I think it had become a psycho-

logical barrier." Bannister was born on March 23, 1929, in the London borough of Harrow. At the outbreak of World War II, the family moved to the city of Bath, where Bannister sometimes ran to and from school. Bannister's passion for running took off in 1945 when his father took him to a track meet at London's White City Stadium, which was built to host the 1908 Olympics. They watched British middle-distance star Sydney Wooderson, who had emerged as a rival to the trio of Swedish runners who had taken the mile world record down close to the 4-minute mark. "I made up my mind then when I got to Oxford, I would take up running seriously," Bannister said. As a first-year student on an academic scholarship at Oxford, Bannister caught his coaches' attention while running as a pacemaker in a mile race on March 22, 1947. Instead of dropping out of the race as pacers normally do, he kept run-

ning and beat the field by 20 yards. "I knew from this day that I could develop this newfound ability," he reflected in later life. With the 1948 London Olympics approaching, Bannister was running mile times of around 4:10. The 19-year-old was selected as a "possible" for the British Olympic team, but decided he wasn't ready and focused on preparing for the 1952 Helsinki Games. By then, Bannister was a full-time medical student and had to juggle his studies with his training. By modern standards, his daily half-hour workout was remarkably light. Bannister was considered the favorite for the Helsinki gold in the 1,500 meters — the shorter metric mile distance run in the Olympics. Just before the games, he learned that organizers had added an extra round of heats, meaning he would have to run on three consecutive days. With his rhythm thrown off, Bannister finished fourth in a

final won by Josy Barthel of Luxembourg. Had he won Olympic gold that day, Bannister almost certainly would have retired. But, criticized by the British media and disappointed in his own performance, he decided to keep running, dedicating himself to beating the 4-minute mile and winning gold at the '54 Empire Games. By 1954, Hagg's record mile time had stood for nine years. Bannister, Landy and American miler Wes Santee were all threatening to break the mark and it became a matter of who would get there first. "As it became clear that somebody was going to do it, I felt that I would prefer it to be me," Bannister said in an AP interview. He also wanted to deliver something special for his country. "I thought it would be right for Britain to try to get this," Bannister said in 2012. "There was a feeling of patriotism. Our new queen had been crowned the year before, Everest had been climbed in 1953. Although I tried in 1953, I broke the British record, but not the 4-minute mile, and so everything was ready in 1954." Bannister scheduled his attempt for May 6 during a meet between Oxford and the Amateur Athletic Union. He started the day at the St. Mary's Hospital lab in London, where he sharpened his spikes and rubbed graphite on them so they wouldn't pick up too much of the track's cinder ash. He took a midmorning train from Paddington Station to Oxford. The weather was dank and miserable. Bannister's Austrian coach, Franz Stampfl, told him this might be his best chance. When the flag started to billow gently, he decided it was now or never.q


Monday 5 March 2018

Twitter CEO asks for help on ‘civility’; YouTube stumbles By RYAN NAKASHIMA AP Technology Writer Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is asking for help improving the openness and civility of conversation on Twitter, saying the company failed to prevent misinformation, echo chambers and abuse of its global messaging service. In a series of tweets , Dorsey said Twitter was committing “to help increase the collective health, openness, and civility of public conversation” and needs to re-engineer the service to encourage more healthy debate. The company is now soliciting proposals for measuring the healthiness of conversation on the service in order to improve it. “We aren’t proud of how people have taken advantage of our service, or our inability to address it fast enough,” he tweeted, adding that the request for proposals due in midApril would eventually create metrics against which it could be held accountable. “We simply can’t and don’t

This combo photo of images shows the Twitter app and YouTube logo.

want to do this alone.” Dorsey isn’t alone with his social-media mea culpa. In January, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced he would de-

vote 2018 to fixing similar problems at Facebook; the company has since reoriented its news feed to encourage “meaningful” interactions with family and

friends over passive scrolling through posts and videos. In a related development, YouTube said its effort to crack down on misinformation with more human moderators hit some snags, acknowledging mistakes in deleting some channels in the wake of the Florida school shooting. YouTube’s reversal of several enforcement actions against video creators are a sign of growing pains at the video service, which aims to hire several thousand moderators this year to deal with fake news, conspiracy theories and offensive videos. It aims to have 10,000 people checking videos for compliance with YouTube’s standards by the end of the year. Last week, several channels said YouTube shut them down after their coverage of the shootings, including Defango , Charles Walton , Bombard’s Body Language and others. Infowars, the conspiracy website run by Alex Jones, said it received a second

strike from YouTube, which would have frozen new uploads, only to have it reversed hours later. Several channels were subsequently reinstated. YouTube said Thursday that as it adds moderators, newer hires may “misapply some of our policies resulting in mistaken removals.” Mandy O’Brien, who runs Bombard’s Body Language, said in an email she had three strikes issued against her channel in the last week accusing her of bullying and harassment, including for a video in which she scrutinized the expressions of Florida shooting survivors in TV interviews. Her channel was deleted, she said, but reinstated as of Wednesday after she appealed.q


Monday 5 March 2018

Funds expert Q&A: Gold is good hedge to volatility in 2018 By ALEX VEIGA AP Business Writer Gold has traditionally been considered a refuge for investors seeking shelter from a volatile stock market, though the big market tumble this month may have been an exception. Despite the market’s first correction, or drop of at least 10 percent from a recent peak, in two years, there wasn’t much of a flight to gold or other safehaven assets. In fact, the price of gold pulled back somewhat along with the drop in stocks, though it has held above $1,300 an ounce this year. The precious metal is up 7.5 percent over the past 12 months. One reason the steep market sell-off may not have spurred a big move to gold is many economists and Wall Street experts still project strong global economic growth and improved company earnings this year. Still, many market strategists also expect that Wall Street’s long period of relative calm is at an end. Unlike 2017, investors are now increasingly jittery about the possibility that inflation could begin rising this year and lead the Federal Reserve to speed its timetable for interest rate hikes, concerns that have driven bond yields sharply higher lately. Commodities like gold tend to act as good hedges against inflation and the weak dollar, which has been relatively softer since last year. In light of that tug-of-war between a strong market outlook and concerns that inflation could stage a comeback, what are the prospects for further gains in gold funds? Tushar Yadava, investment strategist for US iShares

Q: How is the market for gold faring this year in light of the recent market correction? A: Gold as a portfolio hedge and as hedge in terms of signs of stress is doing exactly as advertised. It’s delivering that diversification benefit, and it has done that, especially through the volatility over the last couple of weeks. What we do find maybe interesting or slightly different is the long-term outlook here. When you’re in an environment where equities sold off, in part, because of a shock to real rates or interest rates or the inflation outlook as a whole, typically that’s not the best environment for gold overall. But it’s working as a great diversification benefit at the moment.

This photo Tushar Yadava, investment strategist for US iShares at BlackRock. Gold has traditionally been considered a safehaven for investors seeking shelter from a volatile stock market. Yadava weighed in on how investors should think about gold in 2018 during an interview with the AP. (BlackRock via AP)

at BlackRock, weighs in. BlackRock’s funds include the iShares Gold Trust ETF, or exchange-traded fund,

which invests in physical gold. Answers have been edited for clarity and length.

Q: Many economists expect interest rates to rise this year. How is that likely to affect the gold trade? A: What I would say is, gold doesn’t have any cash flows. It is purely a stored value over time, so it is

susceptible to inflationary trends and it is susceptible to when real rates are rising, maybe losing some of its relative attractiveness. At any point in time when you’re a holder of gold, you’re holding it to diversify away from the current environment. That is a factor that’s out there, obviously, relative to if the economy is doing really, really well, real rates are rising and earnings for equities are increasing over time. So it might not be the best relative holding over that period of time. Q: The 2018 outlook for the U.S. economy and company earnings remains strong. At the same time, there’s a likelihood of higher interest rates and more market volatility. Where does a gold hedge fit into this? A: We think the global economy has room to run, even though a lot of that expansion occurred in 2017. We think there’s room to run in an expansionary outlook, but we also think inflation is probably making a comeback. q


Monday 5 March 2018


Conceptis Sudoku

6 Chix


Mother Goose & Grimm

Baby Blues


Saturday’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.


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Monday 5 March 2018

A new "Kraken" arises? Russians eager to name doomsday arms By VLADIMIR ISACHENKOV MOSCOW (AP) — In just one day, the suggestions have been pouring in: "Kraken" for a new underwater drone capable of blasting coastlines with a powerful nuclear explosion. "Balalaika" for a futuristic nuclearpowered cruise missile capable of circling the globe. Russians are showering the Defense Ministry with proposed names for the country's new nuclear weapons, relishing the online contest announced by President Vladimir Putin in his state-ofthe-nation address Thursday. Many of the entries Friday reflected the wry dark humor Russians are known for. Someone suggested calling the missile "Sanction," an apparent reference to Western economic sanctions against Russia for its support of separatists in Ukraine. Another proposed calling it "Thaw," adding in a note of sarcasm that it would finally help warm the ties between Russia and the U.S. The kraken — a fictional gigantic Arctic sea monster that was made popular by the "Pirates of the Caribbean" film series — seemed to reflect the nature of the nuclear-powered drone intended to sneak close to the shore unnoticed and slam a heavy nuclear warhead into the coast. And naming the stealth atomic-powered cruise missile after a Russian folk musical instrument tapped into a long Russian tradition of giving innocuous names to some of the deadliest weapons. There were quite a few four-letter entries as well. Many others were driven by patriotic feelings, suggesting that the weapons be named after legend-

In this video grab provided by RU-RTR Russian television via AP television on Thursday, March 1, 2018, a computer simulation shows a Russian nuclear-powered underwater drone being released by a submarine. Associated Press

ary Russian warriors or Putin himself. The regional leader of the province of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, proposed calling the nuclear-powered cruise missile "Palmyra," after the historic heritage site in Syria that was taken back from the Islamic State group under the Russian air cover. The site suffered extensive damage in the fighting. "The missile's name should honor our guys who died in Syria," Kadyrov said. "The Russian victory in Palmyra marked a turning point in the fight against the IS." Russian diplomats have sought to spread the contest beyond Russia's borders, with the Russian Embassy in Washington tweeting a link to the Defense Ministry's web site. Speaking Friday at a public forum in Kaliningrad, Putin again boasted about the new weapons, saying that the still-anonymous underwater drone, the nuclearpowered cruise missile and

the intercontinental hypersonic strike vehicle called Avangard border on science fiction. He said the underwater drone "goes faster than any surface ship that exists today, I wouldn't even tell you the speed, it's incredible."

The hypersonic vehicle "flies at a speed 20 times the speed of sound ... and it can maneuver thousands of kilometers up and down and right to left," Putin said, gesticulating energetically. "It's like science fiction." He said the Avangard's development had become

possible thanks to the creation of new materials. "We have been working on them for quite a long time," he said. "Other countries also have tried but apparently so far have failed to make them, and we succeeded thanks to new materials." As the weapon name contest went on, Russian officials and lawmakers insisted that Putin's speech wasn't an announcement of a new arms race but a warning to Washington to treat Russia as an equal partner. "Russia has no intention of entering an arms race," Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters Friday, adding that the weapons presented by the Russian leader aimed to maintain a "strategic parity, which is essential for maintaining peace and stability." The Pentagon on Thursday dismissed Putin's boasts about developing a new array of nuclear weapons, saying America's missile defense is ready to protect the nation but is not directed at Russia.q

U.S. considers protected status for wild spring Chinook

In this Sept. 23, 2015, file photo, a spring chinook salmon reaches the end of the run at the McKenzie Hatchery, where mature fish are gathering in an annual fall ritual east of Springfield, Ore. Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Federal fisheries officials said Tuesday they will consider putting the Pacific Northwest's once-flourishing wild spring-run Chinook salmon on the list of threatened or endangered species. The National Marine Fisheries Services plans a 12-month review on whether to give protected status to the salmon in and around the Klamath River. Spring Chinook, historically the first Chinook salmon to return from the ocean

each winter, were once one of the most abundant salmon of the Pacific Northwest, important to tribes, fishermen and wildlife. California's Kuruk tribe, which joined the Salmon River Restoration Council environmental group in petitioning for more protections for the fish, say the species is nearly extinct throughout much of its range in Oregon and Northern California. The tribe blames Klamath River dams for blocking the fish from their spawning grounds. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is expected to decide in 2019 whether to approve a deal among tribes, damowner PacifiCorp utilities company, and others to remove the dams and reopen hundreds of miles of river to the migrating salmon. q


Monday 5 March 2018

Ex-radio host Keillor hopes sex harassment charges will fade PRESCOTT, Ariz. (AP) — Former radio host Garrison Keillor said he hopes the sexual allegations against him are fading and believes Minnesota Public Radio made a grave mistake when it cut ties with him. Keillor's comments followed his first appearance before an audience since the controversy erupted in November, The Daily Courier in Prescott, Arizona, reported. MPR has said that a woman who worked with the station as a freelance contributor accused Keillor of dozens of sexually inappropriate incidents over several years. During Keillor's Wednesday night show at Yavapai College in Prescott, the ex-host of the once popular "A Prairie Home Companion" joked about how the allegations against him must have been contagious in light of other scandals involving former Rep. Al Franken, Charlie Rose and Har-

vey Weinstein. He said the controversy made him appreciate his friends. "In the newspaper, they refer to you as a disgraced broadcaster. They refer to this as a scandal, but your true friends, and you don't need that many of them, but you find out for absolute sure who they are in the first two weeks after all of this happens," he said. In an extensive interview with The Associated Press last month, Keillor described several sexually suggestive emails he exchanged with the woman — a former freelance researcher for his show — as "romantic writing" that never resulted in a physical relationship. He also rejected the idea that because he was her boss, and the driving force of a hugely popular radio program, it could be interpreted as sexual harassment. The woman responded

In this July 20, 2015, file photo, Garrison Keillor, creator and host of "A Prairie Home Companion," appears during an interview in St. Paul, Minn. Associated Press

to the AP via her attorney and said that Keillor's power over her job made her afraid to say no to him. The Associated Press does not typically name alleged victims of sexual harassment unless they have chosen to

go public. Keillor told the Courier said that since November, he's written a western play, a Lake Wobegon screenplay and a novella called "Unseemly Behavior," based on events surrounding the

harassment allegations. MPR announced in November it would stop distributing Keillor's program "The Writer's Almanac" and would no longer rebroadcast "The Best of A Prairie Home Companion."q


& ARTS 'Black Panther' is box-office king for third straight week Monday 5 March 2018

By ANDREW DALTON LOS ANGELES (AP) — Wakanda's reign shows no signs of waning. "Black Panther" is king of the box office for the third straight weekend. The release from Marvel and Disney brought in $65.7 million domestically this weekend, easily outpacing new releases "Red Sparrow" and "Death Wish," according to studio estimates Sunday. "Black Panther" has now grossed $500 million domestically after three weeks of release. It's the third fastest film to reach the $500 million plateau. "Disney is clearly on a roll with 'Black Panther' showing incredible strength as it posts the third biggest thirdweekend gross of all time," said Paul Dergarabedian,

This image released by Disney shows Chadwick Boseman in a scene from Marvel Studios' "Black Panther." Associated Press

senior media analyst for comScore, "and most notably becomes the 10th highest grossing movie of all time in North America after just 17 days in theaters." Fox's "Red Sparrow," featuring Jennifer Lawrence as a

Russian ballerina-turned-super-spy, earned $17 million in its first weekend. Another new release, "Death Wish," MGM's reboot of the Charles Bronson action franchise starring Bruce Willis, was third

with $13 million. "Both newcomers performed to expectations but had to compete in a marketplace totally dominated by 'Black Panther,'" Dergarabedian said. The totals come on a weekend when all industry eyes are on the Academy Awards, which will be handed out in Hollywood later Sunday. None of the major nominees remain in the box office top 10, though some continue to bring in receipts. "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" reached $52 million domestically through Sunday, and "The Shape of Water" passed $57 million. "Black Panther," directed by Ryan Coogler and starring Chadwick Boseman and Michael B. Jordan, has

become a groundbreaking cinematic phenomenon, giving unprecedented representation for a film of its kind to Africans and African-Americans while winning over every corner of the culture. It should soon shoot past the billion-dollar mark worldwide. Wakanda's king may finally be knocked from his boxoffice throne next weekend with the release of director Ava DuVernay's "A Wrinkle in Time," another Disney film that gives groundbreaking representation to AfricanAmericans on both sides of the camera. "Disney wins no matter how you slice it with that film expected to have a strong debut as 'Black Panther' continues to draw big crowds," Dergarabedian said.q

Razzie Awards name 'The Emoji Movie' worst film of 2017 By ANDREW DALTON LOS ANGELES (AP) — Maybe it was destiny for a movie with a pile of poop as a central character. "The Emoji Movie" has re-

ceived Hollywood's most famous frown, the Razzie Award , for worst picture of 2017, making it the first animated feature in 38 years to earn the top dishonor.

"Leading this year's list of movie-misfires is the emoticon-based, talking poop opus," the Razzies said in a statement announcing the recipients, saying the film came in a year when "Hollywood's recycled trash heap attained an all-time high" and saw a "toxic-level lack of originality." The annual awards bestowed on the worst the movie business has to offer were announced Saturday in their traditional spot, the day before the Academy Awards. "The Emoji Movie" landed four of the 10 Razzies given out this year, also taking worst screenplay, worst director, and worst screen combo, which was given to "any two obnoxious emojis" from the movie. Tom Cruise's attempted reboot of the "Mummy" franchise landed him worst ac-

This file image released by Sony Pictures shows Gene, voiced by T.J. Miller, center, in Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animation's "The Emoji Movie."

tor. He now has no Oscars after three nominations, but two Razzies. Cruise and Brad Pitt won for worst screen couple for 1994's "Interview with the Vampire." Tyler Perry took worst actress for "Boo 2! A Madea Halloween," the director's 10th time donning a dress and playing his signature white-wigged matriarch. Kim Basinger took worst supporting actress for "Fifty Shades Darker," putting her

in the special company of Faye Dunaway, Liza Minelli and Halle Berry as actresses who have won both a Razzie and an Oscar. Mel Gibson, who last year won the "Redeemer" award for getting an Oscar nomination just a few years after getting a Razzie nomination, is back at the bottom again as far as the Razzies are concerned, taking worst supporting actor for "Daddy's Home 2."q


Monday 5 March 2018

In this Oct. 22, 1981, file photo, Jamie Farr, from front left, plugs his ears as cast members of the "M.A.S.H." television series cast Harry Morgan, Loretta Swit, William Christopher and, from back from left, Mike Farrell, Alan Alda and David Ogden Stiers celebrate during a party on the set of the popular CBS program in Los Angeles. Associated Press

'M.A.S.H.' actor David Ogden Stiers dies at age 75 LOS ANGELES (AP) — David Ogden Stiers, a prolific actor best known for playing a surgeon on the "M.A.S.H." television series, has died. He was 75. The actor's agent Mitchell Stubbs confirmed Saturday night in an email that Stiers died after battling bladder cancer. No additional details were provided, but Stubbs' agency tweeted that Stiers died at his home in Newport, Oregon, on Saturday. In addition to playing the aristocratic Maj. Charles Winchester III on "M.A.S.H." beginning in its sixth season, replacing Larry Linville after he left the series. Stiers' character, while arrogant,

also showed an empathy and wit his predecessor lacked. Stiers did voice acting in several Disney animated films, voicing the character Cogsworth in "Beauty and the Beast" and played characters in "Lilo & Stitch" and "Pocahontas." He was also the voice of an announcer in George Lucas' 1971 feature directorial debut, "THX 1138." Stiers received two Emmy nominations for his work on "M.A.S.H." He had more than 150 film and television credits, including appearances on the "Mary Tyler Moore Show" and several Perry Mason television movies.q


This Oct. 6, 2017 photo provided by the Kennedy Center, shows Q-Tip performing at the Kennedy Center in Washington. Associated Press

Next up at the Kennedy Center? A new focus on hip-hop By ASHRAF KHALIL WASHINGTON (AP) — It was late October 2017 and a packed house of VIPs had gathered at Washington's Kennedy Center to watch David Letterman receive the Mark Twain award for a career in comedy. A stream of comedians took the stage to sing Letterman's praises, and several couldn't resist taking goodnatured shots at the crowd. Martin Short deadpanned, "It says a lot about America when people from different white backgrounds can gather together like this." Jimmie Walker — J.J. from the 1970s sitcom "Good Times" — put it more bluntly: "Look at the diversity in this crowd! I feel like Ben Carson at a Trump Cabinet meeting." Walker may have been going for the easy joke there, but he spoke to a deeper belief — that the Kennedy Center exists to serve an elite white audience despite its presence in a largely black city. That perception may linger for a while, but the reality is changing. One of America's pre-eminent performing arts institutions, the Kennedy Center is embracing hip-hop culture in a major way. The center has gradually introduced rap music into its programming, with rappers like Nas

and Kendrick Lamar performing with the National Symphony Orchestra. Hiphop has also been showcased regularly at the center's daily Millennium Stage concerts. The process is accelerating. The center has tapped two members of hip-hop royalty to act as bridges into the rap world. Q-Tip from A Tribe Called Quest has been named artistic director for hip-hop culture. Last year, LL Cool J became the first rapper inducted into the elite ranks of Kennedy Center Honors recipients. "I consider them as important to our culture as Bach or any other composer," said pianist Jason Moran, the center's artistic director for jazz. Moran is credited with pushing for this change. He was part of the committee that chose Q-Tip to found the hip-hop department. "He's the perfect person to advocate for us," Moran said. "It had to be someone from the bedrock of hiphop." Equally important was the hiring of a full-time staffer, Simone Eccleston, as director of the new hip-hop culture department. "This is not a diversity effort. We're not just checking boxes," Eccleston said. "This is a firm commitment

to having hip-hop as an ongoing program." Last year's Kennedy Center Honors program — an annual centerpiece event — may have been one of the blackest nights in the history of the institution. In addition to LL Cool J — whose program included a speech by Queen Latifah and a performance by rapper Busta Rhymes — the honorees included African-American singer Lionel Richie and dancer Carmen De Lavallade. Cuban-American singer Gloria Estefan was also saluted. The only white honoree was TV producer Norman Lear, the man who helped bring black family life into mainstream culture with shows like "Good Times" and "The Jeffersons." The 2017-18 season, Q-Tip's first at the helm, kicked off with a performance by him and Moran. The veteran rapper calls it "just a flash of our potential." He plans to appoint a "brain trust" council of fellow rappers and says the real impact will be felt around year four or five when both sides are more comfortable with each other. "I have to grow into the position and the Kennedy Center has to get acclimated to the nuances that exist in our thing," Q-Tip said.q


Monday 5 March 2018

Google expansion plans helping to turn NYC into tech hub By KAREN MATTHEWS Associated Press NEW YORK (AP) — As New York City waits to hear whether it’s been chosen as the site for Amazon’s second headquarters, recent moves by another tech giant, Google, to expand its footprint in the city are helping to legitimize New York’s claim to be Silicon Valley East. Google is reportedly close to a reaching a $2.4 billion deal to add a landmark Meatpacking District building to its already substantial New York campus. The building, a block-long former Nabisco factory named after its groundfloor upscale food mall, Chelsea Market, sits across the street from Google’s current New York City headquarters, a massive, art deco, former shipping terminal that also occupies an entire city block. Google already leases space in Chelsea Market, which also contains offices for Major League Baseball and the local cable news channel NY1, among other tenants. If the sale goes through, it would be among the priciest real estate transactions for a single building in city history. It would also give Google a remarkable Manhattan campus to supplement its still-growing main headquarters in Mountain View, California. Representatives for Google did not respond to requests for comment about the company’s New York expansion plans. Google already occupies another former Nabisco cookie factory just west of Chelsea Market. And, across the street from that factory, it has also announced plans to lease another 320,000 square feet of space at Pier 57, an office and retail complex built on a pier over the Hudson River. A New York Post real estate writer this week dubbed Google’s slice of Manhattan “Alphabet City,” a reference to the name of both Google’s parent company and a neighborhood on Manhattan’s east side.

In this Dec. 4, 2017, file photo, people walk by the the Google office building on Ninth Avenue in New York. 

The pending Chelsea Market deal was first reported by the real estate publication The Real Deal. The Google expansion comes as other tech companies, including Amazon, Facebook and Spotify, are also growing in the city. In addition to considering New York among the 20 finalists for its new eastern U.S. headquarters, Amazon recently signed a deal to bring 2,000 employees to a building, formerly occupied by The Associated Press, on Manhattan’s far

west side. New York has been pitching itself as an alternative to Silicon Valley for years. And while tech many never rival financial services and Wall Street as the most important private-sector employer and economic driver in New York, it has established a legitimate footprint that goes beyond a few big-name companies. A report by state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli found that New York City had 7,600 tech firms in 2016, an increase of 23 per-

cent since 2010. The report found that the average salary for tech employees in the city was $147,300. Julie Samuels, executive director of TechNYC, a trade association of New York tech companies, said the presence of large companies like Google and Amazon has created “a robust ecosystem” where young engineers and others move to New York to work for the large companies and then leave after a few years to found startups. Tasso Argyros, the founder

In this May 15, 2012, file photo, visitors walk through archways carved out of the brick walls at New York’s landmark Chelsea Market building in the Meatpacking District.  Associated Press

Associated Press

of three-year-old startup ActionIQ, agreed. “One of the best things that happened for New York was when Google opened up their office here,” he said. Argyros said people in Silicon Valley told him he was “a little bit crazy” when he moved to New York in 2013. But his data-focused marketing company seeks to attract big companies as clients and it’s helpful to be in the New York area with its high concentration of Fortune 500 companies. “It’s much easier to be close to your customers,” he said. Samuels and Argyros said another advantage to New York is that tech isn’t the only game in town. Samuels said she was pleased to learn that she and her husband are the only parents in her 3-yearold son’s preschool class who work in tech. “That would never happen in San Francisco,” she said. When she lived in the city by the Bay, “everyone I knew was in tech.” Argyros said there’s “a little bit of groupthink in Silicon Valley. There’s a lot of people who have similar jobs, they read similar things. But New York is really too big to be dominated by one industry.”q

March 5, 2018  
March 5, 2018