TEXAS ON THE BUBBLE LONGHORNS AWAITING NCAA TOURNAMENT
SATURDAY MARCH 10, 2018
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Two people die in small plane crash Pilot reported smoke coming from engine before impact By César G. Rodriguez LA R ED O MORNI NG T I ME S
Two people died in a plane crash Thursday at the Laredo International Airport after the pilot reported smoke coming from an engine. Webb County Medical Examiner Corrine Stern confirmed on Friday that Kelle David Hein, 56, was one of the two people killed in the crash. The second identity has yet to be released. It was the first fatal plane crash in Laredo since 1996, according to National Transportation Safety Board records. Robert R. Marshall, of Bruni, and his wife, Amy Marshall, are the registered owners of the aircraft, according to Federal Aviation Administration records. He is the CEO and president of Marshall Aviation, an on-demand charter service for passengers and freight aircraft. The Marshalls are also members of the Webb Consolidated ISD school board. A person who answered a phone call to Marshall Aviation refused to comment on the crash to the Laredo Morning Times. The Marshall Aviation website was taken offline sometime early Thursday afternoon. Laredo Police and Fire departments received reports of a downed plane at 10:39 a.m. Authorities found the crash site behind Iglesia Cristiana Emmanuel and Quality Reflections Glassworks in the 6400 block of Polaris Drive. A man said he was leaving his workplace when he noticed a small aircraft flying low in the area and struggling to
Carolina Martinez / Courtesy photo
Flames are extinguished after a small plane crashed at the Laredo International Airport near Polaris Drive on Thursday.
Crash continues on A3
STATE OF TEXAS
ELECTION RESULTS FOR CONTESTED PRIMARY RACES
Jobless rate up slightly at 4 percent
Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace Eliza Yvonne Garcia - 236 votes, 33.71% Anna Munoz Guerra - 464 votes, 66.29%
240,500 seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs added this year
Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace: Raymond Bruni – 211 votes, 24.71% Viviana Moncivais-Johnson - 10 votes, 1.17% Juana Maria B. Gutierrez – 478 votes, 56.04%
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Kim Brent / /The Enterprise/AP
Henry Marte, of Port Arthur who did three tours in Iraq while serving in the Army, signs up for job updates in this file photo at the Bob Bower Civic Center in Port Arthur. The unemployment rate rose slightly in January to start the year at 4 percent reported the Texas Workforce Commission on Friday.
AUSTIN — The Texas unemployment rate rose slightly in January to start the year at 4 percent, the Texas Workforce Commission on Friday reported . The December statewide jobless rate was 3.9 percent. Nationwide unemployment held steady in February at 4.1 percent. Texas jobless figures for February will be released on March 23, according to the Texas Workforce Commis-
sion. The Midland area had the lowest unemployment in Texas during January at 2.4 percent. The McAllenEdinburg-Mission area had the state’s highest unemployment during January at 7.6 percent, agency officials said. The Texas economy has added 240,500 seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs over the year, including 16,000 jobs added in January. Annual employment growth for Texas was 2
Hector I. Garcia Jr. – 155 votes, 18.15% Precinct 4 Justice of the Peace Ramon R.Benavides - 307 votes, 55.22% Diego Gonzalez Jr. - 249 votes, 44.78%
STATE OF TEXAS
Jobless continues on A3
Erich Schlegel / Dallas Morning News
The Texas Department of Safety will record the height, weight and waistlines of about 4,000 troopers during physical readiness tests.
U.S. accused of separating families
Department of Public Safety tracking troopers' weight, waistlines
ACLU files a class-action lawsuit By Nomaan Merchant A S S OCIAT E D PRE SS
HOUSTON — The American Civil Liberties Union filed a class-action lawsuit Friday accusing the U.S. government of broadly separating immigrant families seeking asylum.
The lawsuit follows action the ACLU took in the case of a Congolese woman and her 7-year-old daughter, who the group said was taken from her mother “screaming and crying” and placed in a Chicago facility. While the woman was released Tuesday from a
ASSOCIATED PRE SS Elliot Spagat / AP
case is emblematic of the approach taken by President Donald Trump’s administration. The lawsuit, filed in federal district court
DALLAS — The Texas Department of Public Safety will begin recording the height, weight and waistlines of its more than 4,000 troopers during their routine physical readiness tests. The Dallas Morning News reports that the measurement recording starting this month is part of the department's new obesity data collection program. Department official Skylor Hearn wrote to officers last week that obesity "significantly detracts from an officer's command pres-
Lawsuit continues on A3
Troopers continues on A3
A vehicle drives into the CCA detention center in San Diego, California. The ACLU filed a class-action lawsuit Friday accusing the U.S. government of broadly separating immigrant families seeking asylum.
San Diego detention center, the girl remains in the facility 2,000 miles (3,200 kilometers) away. Immigrant advocates say the mother and daughter’s
In Brief A2 | Saturday, March 10, 2018 | THE ZAPATA TIMES
AROUND THE NATION
TODAY IN HISTORY
SATURDAY, MARCH 10
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National Women and Girls HIV/ AIDS Awareness Day 2018. 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Gateway Community Health Center, 1515 Pappas St. Event is free and open to the community. Call Gabriela Perez, SCAN, 956-7243177 or Julie Bazan, AHEC, 956-7120037 for more information.
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 14 First United Methodist Church Used Book Sale. 1220 McClelland Ave. 10 a.m. to noon. Hard cover $1, paperbacks $0.50, magazines and children’s books $0.25. Public is invited. Proceeds are used to support the church’s missions.
MONDAY, MARCH 19 Ray of Light Anxiety and Depression Support Group Meeting in Spanish. 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Holding Institute, 1102 Santa Maria Ave., classroom #1. The support group welcomes adults suffering from anxiety and/or depression to participate in free and confidential support group meetings. Contact information: Anna Maria Pulido Saldivar, firstname.lastname@example.org, 956-307-2014
Richard B. Levine / TNS
A sign in the window of DaVinci art supplies in New York advertises for workers. U.S. employers went on a hiring binge in February, adding 313,000 jobs, reported Labor Department on Friday.
US EMPLOYERS ADD 313,000 JOBS
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 21 First United Methodist Church Used Book Sale. 1220 McClelland Ave. 10 a.m. to noon. Hard cover $1, paperbacks $0.50, magazines and children’s books $0.25. Public is invited. Proceeds are used to support the church’s missions.
THURSDAY, MARCH 22 Spanish Book Club meeting. 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Joe A. Guerra Public Library off Calton Road. Meeting will feature PowerPoint presentation on Bosnia, Croatia and Slovenia. For more info, call Sylvia Reash at 763-1810.
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 28 First United Methodist Church Used Book Sale. 1220 McClelland Ave. 10 a.m. to noon. Hard cover $1, paperbacks $0.50, magazines and children’s books $0.25. Public is invited. Proceeds are used to support the church’s missions.
THURSDAY, MARCH 29 Villa San Agustin De Laredo Genealogical Society Meeting, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Joe A Guerra Public Library- Calton, speaker are Lola O Norris- General Alonso De Leon's Expeditions Into Mexico and Booksigning For more information, call Sylvia Reash at (956) 763-1810.
SATURDAY, APRIL 7 First United Methodist Church Used Book Sale. 8:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. 1220 McClelland Ave. Hard cover $1, paperback $0.50, magazines and children’s books, $0.25. Public is invited. Proceeds are used to support the church’s missions.
SATURDAY, APRIL 14 Habitat for Humanity Laredo major fundraiser Golfing For Roofs golf tournament. Max A. Mandel Municipal Golf Course. Hole sponsorships are title $10,000, platinum $5,000, diamond $2,500, gold $1,500, silver $1,000, bronze. For information, call 724-3227.
SATURDAY, MAY 5 First United Methodist Church Used Book Sale. 8:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. 1220 McClelland Ave. Hard cover $1, paperback $0.50, magazines and children’s books, $0.25. Public is invited. Proceeds are used to support the church’s missions.
SATURDAY, JUNE 2 First United Methodist Church Used Book Sale. 8:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. 1220 McClelland Ave. Hard cover $1, paperback $0.50, magazines and children’s books, $0.25. Public is invited. Proceeds are used to support the church’s missions.
SATURDAY, JULY 7 First United Methodist Church Used Book Sale. 8:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.
WASHINGTON — U.S. employers went on a hiring binge in February, adding 313,000 jobs, amid rising business confidence lifted by the Trump administration’s tax cuts and a resilient global economy. The robust hiring, reported by the Labor Department on Friday, was the strongest in 11/2 years. It was accompanied by the biggest surge in 15 years in the number of people either working or looking for work. That kept the nation’s unemployment rate unchanged for a fifth straight month at 4.1
Florida’s governor signs compromise school safety bill TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Flanked by family members of students who were killed during a mass shooting just over three weeks ago, Florida Gov. Rick Scott on Friday signed a $400 million school safety bill in response to the tragedy that killed 17 people at a high school. He said the bill, which was written since the shooting, balances “our individual rights
percent. At the same time, average wage growth slowed to 2.6 percent in February from a year earlier. That was down from January’s revised pace of 2.8 percent, which had spooked investors because it raised fears of inflation. The hiring boom surprised many economists, who expected a smaller — though still healthy — increase. Job gains typically slow as the unemployment rate falls, because companies run out of workers to hire.
with need for public safety.” “It’s an example to the entire country that government can and has, moved fast.” The bill isn’t what many of the shooting’s survivors, or the school’s students, wanted — they said it doesn’t go far enough. It also marks Scott’s break with the National Rifle Association, and the group’s powerful lobbyist called the bill “a display of bullying and coercion” that would violate Second Amendment rights and punish law-abiding citizens. It raises the minimum age to
buy rifles from 18 to 21 and creates a waiting period on sales of the weapons. It also creates a so-called “guardian” program that enables teachers and other school employees in participating districts to carry handguns if they complete law enforcement training. “I’m glad however, the plan in this bill is not mandatory,” he said, adding that the program will be up to local officials to implement. He said he’s signing the legislation because it makes schools safer. — Compiled from AP reports
AROUND THE WORLD Aid delivered to Syria’s Ghouta amid renewed violence BEIRUT — An aid convoy crossed into the embattled rebel-held suburbs of Damascus Friday, delivering desperately needed aid despite heavy fighting that broke out “extremely close” to the convoy and renewed airstrikes by the Syrian government. The International Committee of the Red Cross said the closerange fighting came despite security guarantees from the parties involved in the conflict that humanitarian aid could enter the town of Douma, in eastern Ghouta. “We were taken aback by the fighting that broke out despite guarantees from the parties involved in this conflict that humanitarians could enter Douma, in Eastern Ghouta,” said ICRC regional director Robert Mardini. “As more aid is needed in the
Syrian Red Crescent / AP
A Syrian Red Crescent truck convoy caring humanitarian aid to be distributed in Douma arrives in eastern Ghouta.
coming days, it is absolutely critical that these assurances be renewed and respected in the future,” Mardini said. “Aid workers should not have to risk their lives to deliver assistance.” Late Friday, Syrian state TV said a group of opposition fighters and their families managed to reach areas controlled
by the government. State TV showed 13 bearded men it said had earlier handed themselves over to authorities boarding a bus. It added that they were searched by troops before being taken to where journalists and paramedics were gathering near the bus. — Compiled from AP reports
Today is Saturday, March 10, the 69th day of 2018. There are 296 days left in the year. Daylight saving time will begin Sunday at 2 a.m. local time. Today's Highlight in History: On March 10, 1876, Alexander Graham Bell's assistant, Thomas Watson, heard Bell say over his experimental telephone: "Mr. Watson — come here — I want to see you" from the next room of Bell's Boston laboratory. On this date: In 1785, Thomas Jefferson was appointed America's minister to France, succeeding Benjamin Franklin. In 1848, the U.S. Senate ratified the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which ended the Mexican-American War. In 1933, a magnitude 6.4 earthquake centered off Long Beach, California, resulted in 120 deaths. In 1959, the Tennessee Williams play "Sweet Bird of Youth," starring Paul Newman and Geraldine Page, opened at Broadway's Martin Beck Theatre. In 1969, James Earl Ray pleaded guilty in Memphis, Tennessee (on his 41st birthday) to assassinating civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. (Ray later repudiated that plea, maintaining his innocence until his death.) In 1973, the Pink Floyd album "The Dark Side of the Moon" was first released in the U.S. by Capitol Records (the British release came nearly two weeks later). In 1988, pop singer Andy Gibb died in Oxford, England, at age 30 of heart inflammation. In 1993, Dr. David Gunn was shot to death outside a Pensacola, Florida, abortion clinic. (Shooter Michael Griffin is serving a life sentence.) In 2003, shortly before the start of the Iraq war, Natalie Maines, lead singer of the Dixie Chicks, told a London audience: "Just so you know... we're ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas." (Maines later apologized for the phrasing of her remark.) Ten years ago: A suicide bomber killed five U.S. soldiers as they chatted with shop owners while on a foot patrol in central Baghdad. New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer apologized after allegations surfaced that he had paid thousands of dollars for a high-end call girl; he did not elaborate on the scandal, which drew calls for his resignation. Democrat Barack Obama ridiculed the idea of being Hillary Rodham Clinton's running mate, saying in Columbus, Mississippi, that voters had to choose between the two for the top spot on the fall ticket. Five years ago: The president of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai (HAH'mihd KAHR'-zeye), accused the Taliban and the U.S. of working in concert to convince Afghans that violence would worsen if most foreign troops left — an allegation the top American commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Joseph Dunford, rejected as "categorically false." One year ago: The Labor Department reported that U.S. employers added 235,000 jobs in February 2017 as the unemployment rate dipped to 4.7 percent from 4.8 percent. President Donald Trump chose Scott Gottlieb, a conservative doctor-turned-pundit with deep ties to Wall Street and the pharmaceutical industry, to lead the Food and Drug Administration. Two girls, ages 10 and 3, were killed in a fire in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, blamed on an exploding hoverboard; a firefighter died in a traffic accident en route to the blaze. South Korea's Constitutional Court formally removed impeached President Park Geun-hye from office over a corruption scandal. Death claimed "Bridges of Madison County" author Robert James Waller at age 77 and Joni Sledge, a member of the group Sister Sledge, at age 60. Today's Birthdays: Talk show host Ralph Emery is 85. Bluegrass/country singer-musician Norman Blake is 80. Actor Chuck Norris is 78. Playwright David Rabe is 78. Singer Dean Torrence (Jan and Dean) is 78. Actress Katharine Houghton is 76. Actor Richard Gant is 74. Rock musician Tom Scholz (Boston) is 71. Former Canadian Prime Minister Kim Campbell is 71. TV personality/businesswoman Barbara Corcoran (TV: "Shark Tank") is 69. Actress Aloma Wright is 68. Blues musician Ronnie Earl (Ronnie Earl and the Broadcasters) is 65. Producer-directorwriter Paul Haggis is 65. Alt-country/ rock musician Gary Louris is 63. Actress Shannon Tweed is 61. Pop/jazz singer Jeanie Bryson is 60. Actress Sharon Stone is 60. Rock musician Gail Greenwood is 58. Magician Lance Burton is 58. Movie producer Scott Gardenhour is 57. Actress Jasmine Guy is 56. Rock musician Jeff Ament (Pearl Jam) is 55. Music producer Rick Rubin is 55. Britain's Prince Edward is 54. Thought for Today : "Show me a man who claims he is objective and I'll show you a man with illusions." — Henry R. Luce, American magazine publisher (1898-1967).
1220 McClelland Ave. Hard cover $1, paperback $0.50, magazines and children’s books, $0.25. Public is invited. Proceeds are used to support the church’s missions.
AROUND THE STATE
SATURDAY, AUG. 4
Rescued Beluga calf moved to SeaWorld San Antonio
First United Methodist Church Used Book Sale. 8:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. 1220 McClelland Ave. Hard cover $1, paperback $0.50, magazines and children’s books, $0.25. Public is invited. Proceeds are used to support the church’s missions. Submit calendar items by emailing email@example.com with the event’s name, date and time, location, purpose and contact information for a representative. Items will run as space is available.
An endangered beluga whale calf rescued off Alaska’s coast was swimming in his new home Friday at SeaWorld San Antonio after a cross-country flight. The whale named Tyonek was less than a month old when he became stranded in Alaska’s Cook Inlet last fall. Now 5 months old, the calf
has been cared for by the Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward, Alaska, until beginning his 4,000-mile (6,500-kilometer) journey to Texas on Thursday. According to a statement Friday from Orlando-based SeaWorld, Tyonek is the first Cook Inlet beluga calf to be successfully rescued and rehabilitated. Tyonek will remain behind the scenes at the park’s zoological support area for several weeks as he acclimates to his new home. Roughly 330 beluga whales
CONTACT US live in Alaska’s Cook Inlet, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The population is listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. Tyonek’s mother likely abandoned him or died, experts from the Alaska SeaLife Center said. The calf could not be released to the wild because he lacks the survival and social skills needed to thrive on his own, NOAA officials said in a statement last month. — Compiled from AP reports
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THE ZAPATA TIMES | Saturday, March 10, 2018 |
FROM THE COVER
Judge reduces Police: Remains are those of TROOPERS bond for couple in a woman missing since 2014 kidnapping case From page A1
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HOUSTON — A federal judge has reduced by $1 million the cash bond for a Brazilian couple accused of helping their daughter kidnap their grandson from Texas and keep him in Brazil for the last five years. Carlos and Jemima Guimaraes were granted
LAWSUIT From page A1 in San Diego, asks a judge to declare family separation unlawful and says hundreds of families have been split by immigration authorities. The lawsuit also raises the case of a Brazilian woman who the ACLU says was separated from her 14-year-old son after they sought asylum in August. The ACLU says the woman was given a roughly 25-day sentence jail sentence for illegally entering the country and then placed in immigration detention facilities in West Texas, while her son was taken to a Chicago facility. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has not announced a formal policy to hold adult asylum seekers separately from their children. But administration officials have said they are considering separating parents and children to deter others from trying to enter the U.S. The department declined to comment Friday on the lawsuit. DHS acting press secretary Tyler Houlton, in an earlier statement on the case of the Congolese woman and her daughter, said government officials have to verify that children entering the U.S. are not victims of traffickers and that the adult accompanying them is actually their parent.
JOBLESS From page A1 percent in January, marking 93 consecutive months of annual growth, state figures show. “Texas’ private-sector employers contributed to another successful month of growth by adding 12,400 jobs in January,” said Commissioner Ruth R. Hughs. “This growth reflects our state’s strong ability to continuously attract more employers and workers.”
a $2 million bond Thursday. Last week, a different judge had ordered a $3 million bond for the couple. But that order was stayed pending an appeal this week by prosecutors. Prosecutors had asked that the couple be held without bond, alleging they’re a flight risk.
PLANO, Texas — Plano police have announced skeletal human remains found in a brush area along a creek in nearby Anna, Texas, are those of Christina Morris, a 23year-old Fort Worth woman who’s been missing since 2014. Police Chief Gregory Rushin’s Thursday announcement comes one day after a construction
In separate court papers filed Wednesday, the U.S. government said it is awaiting the results of DNA testing to confirm the woman is the girl’s mother. “We ask that members of the public and media view advocacy group claims that we are separating women and children for reasons other than to protect the child with the level of skepticism they deserve,” Houlton said. It’s hard to determine how often parents and children are placed in separate facilities after they seek asylum, which is granted to people who have a credible fear of persecution if they are forced to return to their home country. Different government agencies are responsible for holding adults and children. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detains adults accused of immigration violations, while the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services cares for unaccompanied immigrant children. Immigration advocates criticized President Barack Obama’s administration for opening new family detention facilities in Texas and called for parents and children to be released. The two Texas facilities that it opened were found by a federal judge in 2015 to violate a long-standing 1997 settlement requiring children be released or otherwise
held in the “least restrictive setting” available. That settlement set other standards for the detention of children. The Trump administration has called for ending the settlement as part of its demands for changes to immigration laws. Top administration officials have said they believe the asylum process is overwhelmed and challenged by people making frivolous claims. Advocates have also accused border agents of unlawfully turning away people who are seeking asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border. Michelle Brané, director of the migrant rights and justice program for the Women’s Refugee Commission, said that through attorneys and social service organizations, she had identified at least 426 immigrant adults and children who had been separated by authorities since President Donald Trump took office in January 2017. Brané said she did not have a comparable figure for Obama’s administration. But Brané said since the new administration began, her office has received far more reports of adults being held in ICE facilities without knowing where their children are. “A lot of these kids are already afraid because they’re fleeing something and they know they’re fleeing something,” Brané said. “And to have them pulled away, that can be devastating for a parent.”
The education and health services industry added 2,800 jobs during January in Texas. Manufacturing added 2,400 positions, according to
the TWC. Mining and logging added 3,300 jobs during the first month of 2018, according to the TWC.
crew discovered the remains. Morris had been missing since Aug. 30, 2014, when surveillance video showed her and longtime friend Enrique Gutierrez Arochi walk into a parking garage at an upscale Plano shopping and restaurant complex. Police were notified three days later when family and friends couldn’t contact Morris after the long Labor Day weekend. Her
vehicle was found still in the parking garage. Plano police arrested Arochi 3½ months after Morris’ disappearance. He was later convicted, based partly on DNA samples, of aggravated kidnapping and sentenced to life imprisonment two years after her disappearance. Arochi, who turns 27 next Thursday, isn’t eligible for parole until 2044.
ence and negatively impacts their overall effectiveness." Texas requires law enforcement officers to pass a physical test, but individual agencies can set their own standards. Some officers are concerned the data collection is an attempt to push out older troopers by adding fitness requirements. But department spokesman Tom Vinger says the measurements don't change the fitness requirements, which are tiered based on gender and age.
Danny Zaragoza / Laredo Morning Times
Laredo firefighters and Webb County Medical Examiner Corinne Stern look through the wreckage of a small plane that crashed at the Laredo International Airport on Thursday.
CRASH From page A1 stay in the air until it crashed and exploded. Purported videos of the crash went viral. They showed the aircraft nosediving into the ground and bursting into flames upon impact. The twin-engine Piper PA-31 was attempting to return to the runway after smoke was reported coming from the aircraft's
left engine, according to Lynn Lunsford, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman. Airport firefighters responded to the blaze within seconds of the crash, said Investigator Joe E. Baeza, Laredo Police Department spokesman. There were initial reports that three people may have been killed in the crash. But authorities later confirmed there were two fatalities.
Authorities closed down the airport as per protocol while the investigation took place. It was re-opened later in the day. Loved ones arrived at the scene as Baeza spoke to the media near the scene of the crash. They could be heard crying in disbelief from several feet away. The National Transportation Safety Board will be the lead investigating agency.
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A4 | Saturday, March 10, 2018 | THE ZAPATA TIMES
He saved the lives of fellow students By Nicholas Kristof N EW YORK T I ME S
When a gunman rampaged through a high school in Parkland, Florida, three weeks ago, a 15-year-old soccer player named Anthony Borges showed undaunted courage. Anthony, who is of Venezuelan descent, apparently was the last of a group of students rushing into a classroom to seek refuge. He shut the door behind him and frantically tried to lock it, but in an instant the gunman appeared on the other side. Instead of running for cover, Anthony blocked the door to keep the shooter out. He held his ground even as the attacker opened fire. “I asked him why he would do that,” his lawyer, Alex Arreaza, told me. “He said, ‘What’s so hard to understand about what I did?’ He had no issue with risking his life.” Shot five times in the legs and torso, Anthony phoned his father to say that he had been wounded. He was rushed to a hospital and survived: Photos show him with wires and tubes snaking from him. He still can’t walk — it’s unclear if that is just temporary — but fellow students say he saved their lives. No one else in that classroom was shot. The world turned upside down: Armed law enforcement officers dawdled outside during the shooting, but a 15-year-old kid without any weapon at all used himself as a human shield to protect his classmates. More broadly, the Florida high school students have argued maturely for sensible gun laws, while Florida state legislators have acted like frightened toddlers, first passing a two-year moratorium on sales of AR-15 rifles and then undoing it 15 minutes later. And now it seems that the grown-up world is again going to fail Anthony and other young Americans. Congress and President Donald Trump have stalled on a push to pass meaningful gun legislation that has overwhelming public support. The grown-ups are once more loitering in a crisis, leaving kids to be shot. Trump said that if he had been on the scene, he would have rushed into the building to confront the shooter. “I’d run in there even if I didn’t have a weapon,” he said. Really? Even though when he is armed with the power of the White House he still doesn’t have the guts to confront the NRA in a sustained way? Given that gun owners largely trust Trump, he could hammer out a bipartisan deal for universal background checks — the single step that would make the most difference, one supported overwhelmingly even by gun
owners — but the White House is AWOL on the issue. Congress may pass “Fix NICS” legislation to improve the FBI database used to screen gun buyers, and maybe the federal government will ban “bump stocks.” But those are baby steps that probably won’t have a measurable impact on American mortality (right now, one American dies every 15 minutes from a gun, including murders, accidents and suicides). Incredibly, Congress seems as likely to ease gun laws as to tighten them. One measure backed by Donald Trump Jr. would legalize silencers, which have been rigorously controlled since the 1930s. Advocates had the gall to call it the Hearing Protection Act. “It’s about safety,” Trump Jr. explains in a video. “It’s about hearing protection. It’s a health issue, frankly, for me. Getting little kids in the game.” In fact, the unmuffled crack of a gunshot is a warning of danger and draws the police; silencers would be a gift to criminals. Even worse, the NRA is pushing concealed-carry reciprocity, allowing people to carry concealed guns with them from places that permit them, like Alaska or Wyoming, to any other part of the country, regardless of local prohibitions. This measure has already passed the House of Representatives, but attorneys general are fighting it. They warn that it would let a stalker, domestic abuser or suspected terrorist from a low-regulation state tote concealed weapons at will around the country. All this is infuriating. But even if the federal government won’t pass meaningful new gun laws, states are doing so. Polls show that voters overwhelmingly favor universal background checks, a 21-year-old age restriction on buying firearms and a ban on high-capacity magazines. Since the 1970s, the U.S. has engaged unintentionally in an international experiment, relaxing gun laws as the rest of the world has tightened access. Gun advocates argued that more guns would make us safer, but instead the U.S. now has 25 times the gun murder rate of other advanced countries. Indeed, since 1970, more Americans have died of gun violence, including murders, suicides and accidents (1.4 million), than in all the wars in American history (1.3 million). Whenever there is a mass shooting, there are inspiring individual stories like Anthony’s. Nicholas Kristof is a New York Times columnist.
The Stormy Daniels scandal gets serious By Michelle Goldberg NEW YORK TIME S
In January we learned, thanks to The Wall Street Journal, that Michael Cohen, a lawyer for Donald Trump, arranged a $130,000 hush money payment to the pornographic film star known as Stormy Daniels in the closing days of the 2016 presidential campaign. The payment was to stop Daniels from speaking out about an alleged affair she’d had with Trump shortly after Melania Trump, his third wife, gave birth to their son, Barron. With any previous president the story would have been explosive, but with this one, it felt relatively minor. The real scandal, it seemed, was that there was no scandal, because no one expects any better of Trump. The religious right was willing to give him a “mulligan,” in the words of Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council. Liberals rolled their eyes at right-wing hypocrisy, but ranked the affair fairly low on the list of Trump outrages. But Daniels — whose real name is Stephanie Clifford — is a clever capitalist who’s been determined to force the story of her relationship with Trump into the public eye. She has parlayed her new notoriety into a series of strip-club appearances, including two in South Florida on Friday and Saturday. More significantly, her lawyer has filed a lawsuit arguing that the nondisclosure agreement she signed is null and void because Trump himself never signed it. The suit, ingeniously, has given Daniels’s lawyer a pretext to make that agreement public. As this drama unfolds, it’s becoming clear that,
for all its sordid details, it isn’t really a sex scandal. It’s a campaign finance scandal, a transparency scandal and potentially part of an ongoing national security scandal. It’s salacious and absurd, but we should take it seriously. Trump’s team certainly seems to; Cohen recently obtained a temporary restraining order to silence Daniels. Let’s start with the campaign finance piece. On Jan. 22, the nonpartisan government watchdog group Common Cause filed complaints with the Federal Election Commission and the Justice Department claiming that the $130,000 payment to Daniels constituted an in-kind contribution to Trump’s presidential campaign, in violation of federal campaign law. In response, Cohen claimed that the payment was a private transaction that he was able to “facilitate” with his own personal funds. (It was made through a limited liability company Cohen created called Essential Consultants.) “Neither the Trump Organization nor the Trump campaign was a party to the transaction with Ms. Clifford, and neither reimbursed me for the payment, either directly or indirectly,” Cohen said in a statement to The Times. Paul Seamus Ryan, vice president for policy and litigation at Common Cause, told me that even if Cohen didn’t tell Trump what he did, Trump was still responsible, since “the actions of agents are attributable to their principals.” But the release of the NDA makes clear that Trump himself was a party to the agreement. If Trump authorized the $130,000 payment, it’s harder to explain away his campaign’s failure to disclose it, as required by law. The White House press
secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, all but confirmed Trump’s involvement Wednesday, when she said that a recent arbitration proceeding — the one that resulted in the temporary restraining order — was “won in the president’s favor.” Norman Eisen, chairman of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and Barack Obama’s former ethics czar, points out another potential violation on Trump’s part. He calls it the “Al Capone problem.” The Daniels NDA refers repeatedly to “property” she agreed to turn over to Trump, including video images, still images, emails and text messages. Eisen argues that Trump was required to report ownership of this property, as well as any obligations he might have had to reimburse Cohen for the $130,000, in his federal financial disclosure forms. “The asset here is this incredibly valuable agreement with Stormy,” Eisen told me. “Imagine what she could get if she has texts or images. Imagine the millions she could command! So there’s this incredibly valuable agreement, and the LLC, Essential Consultants, which Trump now appears to be a beneficiary of. That’s an asset.” But it’s an asset Trump didn’t reveal. Finally, the Daniels story is germane to the overriding scandal of the Trump administration, the one involving Trump’s relationship with Russia. Christopher Steele, the British ex-spy who compiled an infamous dossier of opposition research on Trump, wrote that Russia could blackmail Trump with evidence of his “sexual perversion.” Nothing we know of Daniels confirms the dossier’s outré claims about what such perversion entailed. The NDA does, however, show
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that Trump was susceptible to blackmail. Indeed, Daniels isn’t the only woman who was allegedly paid off after an encounter with Trump. The former Playboy model Karen McDougal, who claims she had an affair with Trump, was paid $150,000 by a media company closely aligned with the president, which quashed her story. Steve Bannon told “Fire and Fury” author Michael Wolff that another Trump lawyer, Marc Kasowitz, “took care” of “a hundred women” during the campaign. “It all kind of fits together in a way,” Nick Akerman, a former Watergate prosecutor, said of the Daniels scandal and the Russia one. “It’s really blackmail over sex.” Ultimately, the details of Trump’s relationship with Daniels will likely come out. David Super, a professor at Georgetown University Law Center, told me he was surprised by how legally strong Daniels’ lawsuit seems, due to the way the original NDA was written. “Any halfway competent lawyer could have drafted the contract so that he didn’t need to sign it,” Super said of Cohen and Trump. “But they didn’t do it that way.” Should Daniels prevail in court, we might learn interesting information about the president. Among other things, the NDA forbids her from discussing Trump’s “alleged children” or “paternity information.” But the scandal will lie less in the details of Trump’s degeneracy than in the steps he and his lawyers took to cover it up. “This is early days yet in the unfolding of this scandal,” said Eisen. Like Trump himself, it’s preposterous, but it’s not going away. Michelle Goldberg is a New York Times columnist.
THE ZAPATA TIMES | Saturday, March 10, 2018 |
Frontera A6 | Saturday, March 10, 2018 | THE ZAPATA TIMES
RIBEREÑA EN BREVE Feria del Condado de Zapata 1 Asista con su familia al Desfile de la Feria del Condado de Zapata, el sábado 10 de marzo. 1 Subasta de ejemplares en la Feria del Condado de Zapata, el sábado 10 de marzo. 1 Presentación de los grupos Pesado, Ramón Ayala y sus Bravos del Norte y el grupo Palomo, el sábado 10 de marzo.
Horario de verano 1 El domingo 11 de marzo entrará en vigor el horario de verano por lo que deberá adelantar una hora su reloj. El horario de verano estará vigente hasta el 4 de noviembre.
Vacaciones de primavera 1 El distrito escolar Zapata County Independent School District anuncia el periodo de vacaciones por primavera del 12 al 16 de marzo en todos sus campus. Las clases reiniciarán el 19 de marzo.
Genealogía 1 ¿Desea saber más sobre su historia familiar? ¿Necesita ayuda para iniciar su genealogía? Venga y reciba ayuda personalizada para investigar a sus ancestros utilizando recursos en línea. Voluntarios entrenados le ayudarán, este martes 13 de marzo de 6:30 p.m a 8 p.m., en Roma Birding Center. Evento gratuito patrocinado por la Iglesia de Jesús de los Santos de los Últimos Días.
Ofrecen servicios gratuitos de VITA
Disminuyen reportes de impuestos a la venta Nota del editor: Esta es la segunda parte de dos notas en relación con la seguridad en Tamaulipas Por Olivia P. Tallet HOUSTON CHRONICLE
Paz en McAllen Sin embargo, el crimen no se ha extendido al lado tejano de la frontera con Tamaulipas, dijo Wolfram Schaffler González, director del Centro Fronterizo de Desarrollo Empresarial y Económico de Texas A&M International University. "De hecho, los condados fronterizos del sur (Texas) tienen la tasa de crimen más baja en el estado", dijo. Sin embargo, la violencia en Tamaulipas ha afectado notablemente las condiciones comerciales en McAllen ya que los visitantes evitan la ciudad a favor de Laredo, dijo Steve Ahlenius, presidente de la Cámara de Comercio de McAllen. "La violencia en Reynosa está teniendo un impacto económico en el sentido de que está deteniendo o redirigiendo a los ciudadanos mexicanos que viajan desde Tamaulipas y Monterrey a McAllen", dijo. El presidente de la Cámara de Comercio de Laredo, Miguel Conchas, está de acuerdo.
En Tamaulipas hay ciertos puntos donde la violencia esta más concentrada, y Reynosa es el más popular en este momento, dijo. "Odiamos ver más tráfico a expensas de alguien más", dijo Conchas. Pero notaron que los reportes de impuestos a la venta de McAllen disminuyeron durante el año pasado, mientras que los de Laredo disminuyeron muy levemente debido a la devaluación del peso. Y durante la temporada de Navidad, Laredo contó con un flujo considerable de mexicanos en la ciudad, mientras que ese no fue el caso de McAllen, dijo Conchas. La gente siente que la carretera entre Laredo y Monterrey es más segura que otras carreteras en Tamaulipas, dijo. Conchas incluso ha oído hablar de mexicanos que aunque se dirigen a McAllen cruzan por los puentes de Laredo y luego viajan por las carreteras de Texas porque creen que es más seguro. Aileen Ramos, directora de la Oficina de Turismo de Laredo, dijo que durante el año pasado hubo un aumento en la ocupación hotelera de Laredo. Esto no solo proviene de los visitantes de México, aunque han notado un aumento en los fines de
semana y en las vacaciones mexicanas, dijo. Ella dijo que ha escuchado relatos anecdóticos de personas que viajan a Laredo en lugar de a McAllen, pero no tiene ningún dato oficial que lo respalde. Las empresas en el lado tejano de la frontera han experimentado una disminución en los ingresos, particularmente en las industrias hotelera y restaurantera que dependen de los visitantes de México que realizan compras y viajes comerciales transfronterizos. Después de años de continuo crecimiento económico, la economía del área metropolitana de McAllen disminuyó en 2017 y "ha estado en un estado de estancamiento general" respecto al año anterior, según el informe del Índice Económico de McAllen. El número de cruces fronterizos también disminuyó durante el año. Otras ciudades de Texas que comparten frontera con Tamaulipas, como Laredo y Brownsville, no experimentaron la misma recesión económica. Pero la tasa delictiva en sus vecinas ciudades mexicanas, Nuevo Laredo y Matamoros, no era tan alta como la de Reynosa. Reputación empañada Para McAllen, la rep-
utación es vital para su prosperidad económica, dicen los expertos. “Esta clasificación tiene un efecto absolutamente negativo para los empleadores en ambos lados de la frontera”, dijo Aaroon Holt, un abogado de Houston especializado en derecho laboral con el bufete de abogados internacional de Cozen O'Connor. Holt dijo que las ciudades fronterizas en ambos lados han prosperado al capitalizar una dinámica atractiva para los inversionistas: el bajo costo de la mano de obra en el lado mexicano y la proximidad geográfica a la gran base de consumidores en los Estados Unidos. "Si no se puede mantener la seguridad, entonces el encanto de las ganancias se esfuma rápidamente con el riesgo asociado a la seguridad, lo que hace que estas compañías elijan simplemente otra área más estable para sus inversiones", dijo. Mientras tanto, los dueños de negocios fronterizos están atrapados entre la violencia en México y un problema de publicidad provocado por la alerta de viaje del Departamento de Estado. "Tenemos que seguir adelante", dijo Ahlenius. “Esperar y orar por lo mejor".
ANTIGUO PUENTE COLGANTE
CELEBRAN 90 AÑOS
1 El Consulado de México en McAllen invita al evento Consulado Móvil en Roma, el sábado 17 de marzo, en el Centro Mundial de las Aves, ubicado en Portscheller St., y avenida Convento de 8 a.m. a 1:30 p.m. Prepare sus documentos y haga una cita en consulmex.sre.gob.mx/ mcallen/
Impuestos 1 Voluntarios de VITA estarán asistiendo de forma gratuita a aquellas personas con ingresos menores a 66.000 dólares y que deseen presentar su declaración de impuestos. La cita es el 24 de marzo en Zapata County Technical and Advanced Education Center, en la Carretera 83 y 7th Street. Foto de cortesía
Huevos de Pascua 1 Evento de Búsqueda de Huevos de Pascua en su sexta edición, organizado por la Ciudad de Roma, de 10 a.m. a 12 p.m., en Roma Texas Municipal Park, el sábado 24 de marzo.
Aviario 1 La Ciudad de Roma invita a visitar el aviario Roma Bluffs World Birding Center en el distrito histórico de Roma. El aviario estará abierto desde el jueves a domingo de 8 a.m. a 4 p.m. hasta enero. Mayores informes al 956-8491411
Botes de basura 1 La Ciudad de Roma informa a la comunidad que sólo estará recolectando basura contenida en botes propiedad de la ciudad.
El Antiguo Puente Colgante es considerado Monumento Artístico Nacional, además de ser un ícono emblemático para todos los habitantes de Miguel Alemán y Roma. El puente en suspensión se inauguró el 1 de marzo de 1928 en San Pedro de Roma (hoy Miguel Alemán) y Roma. El puente permanece cerrado desde 1986.
E SPECIAL PARA TIEMP O DE ZAPATA
Laredo Community College está invitando a la comunidad de Zapata a utilizar los servicios gratuitos de VITA para la presentación de la declaración de impuestos correspondientes al año fiscal 2017. La asistencia en la preparación de impuestos es para personas con ingresos menores a 66.000 dólares. La preparación de impuestos se llevará a cabo el sábado 24 de marzo en Zapata County Technical and Advanced Education Center, ubicado en Highway 83 y 7th. Street, de 10 a.m. a 2 p.m. Voluntarios certificados por el IRS ofrecerán ayuda tanto en inglés como en español. No es necesario hacer citas. Se recomienda a los contribuyentes traer consigo los siguientes documentos: 1 Prueba de identidad 1 Tarjeta de Seguro Social, del contribuyente,su cónyuge y sus dependientes y/o una carta de verificación del número de seguro social emitida por la Administración del Seguro Social 1 Fecha de nacimiento del contribuyente, de su cónyuge y de los dependientes que aparecen en la delcaración de impuestos. 1 El paquete tributario del año en curso, si usted recibió uno. 1 Comprobante de salario e ingresos en Formularios W-2, W-2G, 1099-R, de todos sus empleadores. 1 Estados bancarios de intereses y dividendos (Formulario 1099). 1 Número de ruta bancaria y número de cuenta para depósito directo. 1 Monto total pagado a proveedores de cuidado en guardería y el número de identificación tributaria del proveedor (el número de seguro social del proveedor o el número de identificación del empleador del negocio). Para presentar electrónicamente una declaración de impuestos conjunta, ambos deben estar presentes para firmar. Para mayores informes llame al 956307-8138 o escriba a firstname.lastname@example.org
Un fantasma recorre México Por Raúl Sinencio Chávez E SPECIAL PARA TIEMP O DE ZAPATA
De páginas escasas, compone delgado folleto. Pese a estas características, el “Manifiesto del Partido Comunista” adquiere vibrante fama e impacta la conciencia de sucesivas generaciones y culturas. Enmarcada por el ascendente régimen de burgueses y proletarios, señala al principio la obra: “Un fantasma recorre Europa: el fantasma del comunismo. ¿Qué partido de oposición no ha sido motejado de comunista por sus adversarios en el poder? El comunismo está ya reconocido como una fuerza” y “es hora de
que los comunistas expongan a la faz del mundo entero sus conceptos, sus fines y sus tendencias; que opongan a la leyenda del comunismo un manifiesto del propio partido”. Acuerda lanzarlo en realidad la denominada Liga de los Comunistas. Reunida en Londres, así lo resuelve a fines de 1847. Atienden enseguida la tarea de redactarlo Carlos Marx y Federico Engels. “Los filósofos –había postulado Marx—no han hecho sino interpretar de diversos modos el mundo: ahora se trata de transformarlo”. En resumidas cuentas, sientan las bases del comunismo científico, nueva corriente de
ideas avanzadas. Circula por Europa a partir de 1848, en varios idiomas. Pronto alienta luchas obreras que buscan profundos cambios; al declinar estas últimas, el impreso decae también y aun se prohíbe difundirlo. Al correr 1885, en Madrid aparece la versión española. Pero el año previo se adelanta México a publicarlo. Dedicándole la portada del jueves 12 de junio de 1884, lo reproduce íntegro “El Socialista”, periódico capitalino. Prevalece entretanto la dictadura porfiriana. Contra ella, hasta donde sabemos, ninguna bandera marxista se alza.
No obstante, derrocado Porfirio Díaz e instalada nueva asamblea constituyente, aparecen indicios domésticos capaces de asombrarnos. Reclama en 1848 el “Manifiesto”, entre otras cosas, “educación pública y gratuita de todos los niños; abolición del trabajo (fabril) de éstos … tal como se practica hoy”. Primera a escala mundial que reconoce los derechos sociales, la carta magna de 1917 consagra mediante el artículo tercero la gratuidad de “la enseñanza primaria” en los “establecimientos” públicos; el artículo 123 complementa: “El trabajo de los niños menores de doce años no podrá ser objeto de contrato”.
THE ZAPATA TIMES | Saturday, March 10, 2018 |
NCAA BASKETBALL: TEXAS LONGHORNS
Texas awaits NCAA Tournament fate after early Big 12 tourney loss Longhorns on the bubble after losing to No. 14 Texas Tech By Nick Moyle SA N ANT ONI O E XPRE SS-NEWS
AUSTIN – With his orange tie discarded and neck freed from his dress shirt's restrictive top button, Shaka Smart stood in the center of Texas' locker room Wednesday night and lauded the Longhorns for beating Iowa State in the first round of the Big 12 tournament. "The energy is in there," Smart explained, motioning to his chest. "The spirit is in there. The fight is in there. Y'all got it done tonight. Now we get to play tomorrow. Let's go after it." Sophomore guard Jacob Young took the message to heart, but the coach's speech seemed not to affect all of his teammates in a similar fashion. If Texas (19-14, 8-10 Big 12) had a few more Youngs on Thursday, it likely would not have lost to 14th-ranked Texas Tech (24-8, 11-7), 73-69, in the tournament's quarterfinals at the Sprint Center in Kansas City. Young erupted for a career-high 29 points, 20
in the second half, on 11-of-17 shooting. He hit 6 of 7 from 3-point range and completed a 4-point play for good measure. He was the same fearless spirit as always, only this time he played with a bit more restraint and poise. But Texas couldn't get away from its unfortunate penchant for digging an early hole. It started 0 of 9 from the field and 1 of 14 overall. On the other side, coach Chris Beard's motion offense kept UT in a tizzy. Tech capitalized on the occasional confusion to build a 13-point lead, aided greatly by seven first-half 3-pointers. The return of Mo Bamba (sprained toe) helped extinguish some of that fire. Coming off the bench for the first time in his college career, the big man flashed an occasional grimace, but otherwise moved around well. He finished off a 9-3 UT run with a buzzer-beating three to cut Tech's lead down to a more manageable seven points at intermission. Bamba played 14 minutes – four more than the team trainer recom-
mended – and finished with 10 points, four rebounds and one block. "I thought Mo played well," Smart said. "He was back and forth whether he was going to be able to play. And then he went through a workout today, it went pretty well. The way he played, we'd love to have him for 29, 30 minutes." Bamba's minutes restriction and the struggles of bigs Jericho Sims and Dylan Osetkowski left the task of carrying UT to Young and Matt Coleman. The two scored 30 of UT's 41 second-half points, and while the freshman point guard was impressive in his own right, Young had the arena hanging on every shot. During one stretch Young scored 12 straight points, and an ensuing Coleman layup got UT within one with 7:55 remaining, the tightest margin of the entire evening. "He does that all the time in practice," Smart said of Young. "That was the guy we recruited a couple years ago. It's funny, because when we lost last year up here, it
Jamie Squire / Getty Images
Following a close 73-69 defeat in the Big 12 Tournament quarterfinals to No. 14 Texas Tech, Texas is hoping to receive a bid into the NCAA Tournament.
was our last game, a couple media members said, 'Is he a big 12 player?' Because he had struggled his freshman year. "He was tonight. Pretty damn good Big 12 player tonight." But the game's elder statesman – as far as guards were concerned, anyway – wouldn't be upstaged. Senior Keenan Evans scored 18 of his 25 points in the second half and connected on four free throws with under two minutes remaining to clinch the wire-towire win.
NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE: DALLAS COWBOYS
COWBOYS CHASING CHAMPION EAGLES Hill Jr.: Philadelphia getting better, Dallas still inactive
Now Texas will spend the weekend rooting against conference tournament upsets and hoping its season-long resume, which includes six RPI top-50 wins, holds up. The NCAA tournament selection committee is still expected to let the Longhorns slide in, though they might have to take a trip to Dayton, Ohio, and win a play-in game to get into the actual dance. "We've had a really good year," Smart said. "We've had a ton of ups and downs in terms of adversity we've been hit
with. I think our guys have responded with great resolve, great togetherness, great fight. I think when you come out of this league, obviously you go through the fire. And we have." Texas nearly emerged from the fire unscathed one more time Thursday night. If only there were a few more Jacob Youngs in burnt orange. "If our whole team had the competitive spirit that he had in that game," Smart said, "we're in here feeling really good about ourselves."
NCAA FOOTBALL: TEXAS A&M AGGIES
A&M coach Fisher offers different perspective on recruiting
By Clarence E. Hill Jr. FORT WORT H STAR-T E LE GRAM
FRISCO, Texas — Less than a week before the start of the free agency, the Dallas Cowboys are seemingly at a crossroads in their attempt to run down the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles. Owner Jerry Jones readily acknowledges that the Eagles and their recent Super Bowl success are a legitimate measuring stick for his franchise. The Cowboys have only two playoff wins since 1997 and no championship game appearances since its last Super Bowl title in 1995. In Jones’ own words, the Eagles have raised the bar for the Cowboys. And that was before Philadelphia shocked the NFL on Wednesday by trading a fifth-round pick and an undrafted free agent receiver to the Seattle Seahawks for Pro Bowl defensive end Michael Bennett. The Eagles used the draft, free agency and trades to build a Super Bowl team last season and are not resting on their laurels, trading for a veteran pass rusher to get better heading into 2018. Every team in the NFC East has already made moves to get better since the end of the season. All, that is, save for the Cowboys. The Washington Redskins started things with their trade with the Kansas City Chiefs for quarterback Alex Smith, giving them a leading man they can count on for years to come and ending the yearly uncertainty with Kirk Cousins. The New York Giants joined the trade bandwagon on Wednesday by acquiring linebacker Alec Ogletree from the Los Angeles Rams. Meanwhile, the Cowboys remain stuck in neutral with the possibility of going in reverse. They released defensive end Ben-
Michael Ainsworth / Associated Press file
After the Eagles surprisingly won the Super Bowl without their starting quarterback, the champions have only gotten stronger this offseason while the Cowboys have yet to make any significant moves this offseason.
son Mayowa on Wednesday to create cap room and face a difficult decision with receiver Dez Bryant regarding a potential pay cut or release. Regarding making moves to get better? Nada. Is getting running back Ezekiel Elliott back for 16 games, making the offense better around quarterback Dak Prescott and adding a bunch of rookie draft picks enough to close the gap on the repeat-seeking Eagles? That seems folly at this point. So far the plan remains the same, especially with the Cowboys so tight against the salary cap. The main priorities of the offseason have been to remake the coaching staff, make a decision on
Bryant, secure defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence and signing guard Zack Martin to a long-term deal. And they still hope to make a run at keeping linebacker Anthony Hitchens. Free agency starts next week. Look for the Cowboys to punt as usual during the early part of the process when the difference-making players are available. The ugly bottom line is the Cowboys have preferred to shop at the discount rack in free agency and this method has not proved fruitful. What they need not do is limit their options when it comes to improving the team. The draft is the foundation as it should be. With 10 picks in the 2018 NFL draft, the Cowboys have ammunition to add to the team.
By Brent Zwerneman
Fisher, hired from Florida State in December, reiterated that he understands where recruits are coming from, in wanting to see new places. “It doesn’t make them bad kids,” he said. “You have to look at it from their perspective.” On another subject, Fisher said all position battles are wide open headed into spring drills, and they would be even if he had coached at A&M last year. He made sure and mention freshman Connor Blumrick of Pearland as part of the quarterback battle, as well, along with incumbent starters Nick Starkel and Kellen Mond, both sophomores. Finally, Fisher was a part of the Houston Rodeo festivities this week, and looked like a natural riding a horse. There’s a reason. He grew up riding horses back home in West Virginia, in fact he said his parents met while riding horses at a county fair – his dad rode up to his mom to say hello (and the rest is history). A&M opens spring drills on March 20, and the annual Maroon & White spring game is set for April 14, and is free for fans for the first time in memory.
COLLEGE STATION – Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher understands when a recruit verbally pledges to play for his program but then Fisher also wants to continue taking visits to other universities. “How many of y’all wouldn’t go on five different free vacations?” a smiling Fisher asked a handful of print reporters who sat down with him for a time in the Bright Football Complex on Thursday afternoon. “You can’t stop them from taking visits,” Fisher said, “but you also have to be aware that you can’t quit recruiting other kids, either. If you quit, we quit. It’s not a threat, but it’s a part of what we have to do.” Fisher then dropped the line of the day in relaying the anecdote he uses on recruits concerning the matter. “I always ask them this, ‘When you want to get married and she says she’ll marry you, but then says she wants to go on two more dates … are you going to let her?’” Fisher said with a chuck-
A8 | Saturday, March 10, 2018 | THE ZAPATA TIMES
Cigna buying Express Scripts for about $52B By Tom Murphy ASSOCIATED PRE SS
Seth Wenig / AP
A sold sign is displayed in front of a new development in Woodcliff Lake, N.J. Long-term U.S. mortgage rates climbed this week to their highest average in more than four years.
US mortgage rates climb to 4-year high By Josh Boak A S S O CIAT E D PRE SS
WASHINGTON — Long-term U.S. mortgage rates climbed this week to their highest average in more than four years, ratcheting up affordability pressures at the start of the traditional spring home buying season. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rate on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages climbed to 4.46 percent this week from 4.43 percent last week. This marks the highest average since January 2014. The 30-year rate
averaged 4.21 percent a year ago. The average rate on 15-year, fixed-rate loans rose to 3.94 percent from 3.90 percent last week. Higher mortgage rates appear to be weighing on home sales, since buyers are facing higher borrowing costs. Home purchases slumped 3.2 percent from December to January, according to the National Association of Realtors. On a yearly basis, home sales have fallen 4.8 percent, the sharpest annual decline since August 2014. Relatively low mortgage rates had helped to ease
the financial pressures from home prices rising faster than wages and the worsening shortage of properties listed for sale. But rising rates are slowly hurting affordability. Mortgage rates have been heading upward for the past nine weeks. The interest rates charged on home loans usually hew close to changes in inflation and the interest paid on U.S. government debt. But the recent increases in mortgage rates have come even as the yield on the 10-year Treasury note has stayed below its two-week high of 2.95 percent.
The insurer Cigna will spend about $52 billion to acquire the nation’s biggest pharmacy benefit manager, Express Scripts, the latest in a string of proposed tie-ups as health care’s bill payers attempt to get a grip on rising costs. Including $15 billion in debt, the proposed $67 billion acquisition follows a deal announced late last year in which the drugstore chain CVS Corp. said it will spend around $69 billion on the insurer Aetna Inc. Insurers and pharmacy benefit managers — which run drug plans for insurers and employerbased plans — have struggled to corral spiraling costs and the industry that was jolted by the Affordable Care Act, which reshaped the individual insurance market and expanded the stateand federally funded Medicaid program. In that environment the ultimate disruptor, Amazon.com, said this year that it wanted to get involved in health care as well in a collaboration with billionaire Warren Buffett and JPMorgan Chase. No one knows what that means yet, but it sent a shudder through the sector. Insurers and others say they want to get more
Wilfredo Lee / AP
Express Scripts prescription medication bottles are shown in this photo. Health insurer Cigna announced Thursday it is spending about $52 billion to acquire Express Scripts.
involved in patient care, to supplement what a regular doctor provides and keep people healthy and on their medications. They are especially focused on those with chronic conditions, like diabetes patients who need regular blood sugar monitoring. They say they want to change a system that generally waits until people get sick before treating them. Aetna and CVS have said they hope to create “front doors” to health care through 9,800 stores run by CVS. That deal could turn many of the chain’s stores into onestop-shop locations for an array of health care needs like blood work and eye or hearing care, in addition to their traditional role of filling prescriptions. UnitedHealth Group Inc., which runs the nation’s largest insurer, is spending almost $5 billion
to buy nearly 300 primary and specialty care clinics and some urgent care and surgery centers. That push will help the company steer patients away from expensive hospital care. Another insurer, Humana Inc., is making a separate deal to better manage the care of its Medicare Advantage patients. Cigna CEO David Cordani said Thursday that the combined company will make health care more simple for customers. The deal announced Thursday consists of $48.75 in cash and a portion of stock in the combined company for each share of St. Louis-based Express Scripts Holding Co. Cordani will lead the combined company, with his Express Scripts counterpart, Tim Wentworth, staying on as a president.
Stock market climbs on strong jobs report By Marley Jay A S S OCIAT E D PRE SS
NEW YORK — U.S. stocks are rising sharply Friday following strong jobs figures, while investor concerns about inflation eased as wage growth slowed down slightly. Technology companies are setting more records as the Nasdaq composite regains the last of its losses from one month ago. Banks are rising in tandem with interest rates and industrial and health care companies are also climbing. The S&P 500 index climbed 40 points, or 1.5 percent, to 2,778 as of 2:45 p.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 369 points, or 1.5 percent, 25,265. The Nasdaq composite jumped 110 points, or 1.5 percent, to 7,538. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks picked up 23 points,
or 1.5 percent, to 1,595. U.S. employers added 313,000 jobs in February. Perhaps more importantly for Wall Street, wages didn’t rise as much as investors had fared. Hourly wages grew 2.6 percent compared to a year ago, less than the 2.9 percent the government reported a month ago. Investors worried that that was a sign inflation was going to start rising at a faster pace. If so, the Federal Reserve would likely raise interest rates more rapidly in response, which could slow down economic growth. January’s wage figure was also reduced slightly on Friday. Katie Nixon, chief investment officer for Northern Trust Wealth Management, said the combination of strong job gains and a slightly slower increase in pay was exactly what Wall Street wanted. “I think the fears of
wages getting out of control in this point in the cycle ... were squashed,” she said. Facebook rose $2.62, or 1.4 percent, to $184.96 and Google’s parent company Alphabet added $24.11, or 2.1 percent, to $1,153.49. Technology companies have led the market’s rally over the past year. The S&P 500 is still about 3 percent below its highest close, which came on Jan. 26, and none of the other major sectors have recovered all of their early February losses. Bond prices dropped. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.89 percent from 2.85 percent. That helps banks, because it allows them to charge higher interest rates on mortgages and other kinds of loans. Highdividend stocks like utilities and phone companies fell. Those stocks are often
compared to bonds and they tend to fall when yields move higher, as higher yields make them less appealing to investors seeking income. Toymakers fell after
Reuters reported that Toys R Us is getting ready to liquidate its U.S. operations. Reuters said the chain, which filed for bankruptcy protection, has been unable to find a
buyer or restructure its debt. Despite its struggles, it’s still a major retailer of toys. Hasbro dropped $1.71, or 1.8 percent, to $91.67 while Mattel sank $1.16, or 6.3 percent, to $14.81.
Published on Mar 10, 2018