COACH OF THE YEAR
WEDNESDAYJULY 11, 2018
TEXAS’ PIERCE EARNS HONOR, A8
FOURTH COURT OF APPEALS
DA retains $1.7M seized in raids Merits of illegal gambling case have yet to be decided by court By Joana Santillana ZA PATA T I ME S
An appellate court order released Monday reaffirmed Zapata County prosecutors’ right to retain $1.7 million worth of property and cash, obtained during a slew of maquinita raids in January, until they rule on the merits of the case. A combined $1.9 million was seized after au-
thorities raided Hilda Villarreal’s home in Zapata as well as six 8-liner establishments in Laredo, Zapata and Falcon Heights. Villarreal’s daughter, Rebecca Villarreal Lopez, along with Miriam Sanchez and Lucio Saldivar, were also arrested in connection to the illegal gambling case. Villarreal was charged with money laundering and could face up to life
in prison if convicted. The rest are all facing charges of gambling promotion and engaging in organized criminal activity. Villarreal Lopez is also charged with keeping a gambling place. Last month, Judge Susan Reed ruled that the 49th District Court in Zapata did not have jurisdiction to hear the case. This was all apparently due to a supposed filing
error, according to the defense. Reed gave prosecutors five H. days to Villarreal return all the seized items belonging to Villarreal, including $1.7 million, a watch, a rope necklace, a bracelet, two costume jewelry rings and five silver bars. After the judge made her ruling, the Webb and Zapata County District Attorney’s Office said that all of the documents filed
in relation to the case were identified and captioned as being filed in Zapata County. The office said the forfeiture petition, in compliance with the court’s order, was delivered to presiding Judge Sid Harle at his Bexar County office for record-keeping purposes, not because it was filed in that county. The prosecution then filed a notice of appeal, effectively putting a hold on the time-sensitive order. Their office said they would file the appeals brief within the next few weeks.
District Attorney Isidro “Chilo” Alaniz said they would now wait for the appellate court to notify them as to whether they will have to go before the court to present oral arguments or if the court will review the records of the trial court. “This case is far from over,” he said. “We still stand by our position that we followed proper procedure in filing the case with the specially appointed judge. And that it was done in the proper jurisdiction.” Silverio Martinez, the Court continues on A11
AGENTS SEIZE 151 BUNDLES OF MARIJUANA
LCC is now Laredo College ZAPATA TIME S
Border Patrol / Courtesy photo
Border Patrol displays more than 1,700 pounds of marijuana that was recently seized near the Rio Grande in Zapata.
Estimated value of seizure listed at $1,379,392 ZA PATA T I ME S
Laredo Sector Border Patrol agents recently seized 1,724 pounds of marijuana after responding to suspicious activity near the Rio Grande in Zapata. Agents seized one vehicle, an en-
closed trailer, and 151 bundles of marijuana worth an estimated value of $1,379,392. The driver of the vehicle absconded from the scene. The marijuana was turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration. “The Border Patrol is always vigilant
in trying to prevent the flow of illegal drugs into the United States. It is only through the hard work and dedication of our agents that we do continually and successfully do so,” said Laredo Sector Acting Deputy Chief Patrol Agent Anthony S. Good.
It’s official. Laredo Community College has transitioned to its new name, Laredo College, or LC. “The new college name will align Laredo College to the continuous changes occurring in higher education and remain competitive in our region,” LC said Tuesday. “As the name reflects that role, it also demonstrates a continuation of the essential character and values our college was built on.” In late May, LC trustees voted unanimously to drop “community” from the college’s name. Trustee Gilberto Martinez proposed the name change in January. LC says its new name reflects the educational institution’s evolving place in the world. It is also symbolic of what the college is destined for in the future, trustees said. Other two-year colleges throughout the state have modified their names to omit the word “community” as well. Nine similar-sized schools still bear the words “community” or “junior” in their names. “Right now we’re serving Jim Hogg, Zapata and Webb counties, but with this change it gives us more competitiveness in offering online courses to other parts of the state, so really it’s the technology aspect that is changing the times of our college and academics, vocational and continuing education programs,” said Rodney Rodriguez, LC executive director of strategic and external initiatives LC President Ricardo Solis said in May that four-year degree plans was something the college could potentially College continues on A11
In Brief A2 | Wednesday, July 11, 2018 | THE ZAPATA TIMES
AROUND THE NATION
TODAY IN HISTORY
WEDNESDAY, JULY 11
A S S O C I AT E D P R E S S
First United Methodist Church Vacation Bible School Raging River Rampage. 9 am – 1 pm. 1220 McClelland Ave. Church’s Fellowship Hall. Bible stories, singing, dancing and crafts. Refreshments will be served. For children in kindergarden through sixth grade. 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, JULY 12 First United Methodist Church Vacation Bible School Raging River Rampage. 9 am – 1 pm. 1220 McClelland Ave. Church’s Fellowship Hall. Bible stories, singing, dancing and crafts. Refreshments will be served. For children in kindergarten through sixth grade. Healthy Lifestyle Luncheon. 12 p.m. Laredo Medical Center invites adults who are 50 or better to have lunch and listen to a presentation on Cooking Connection preparing healthy meals for the summer. To reserve a space, call 956-796-2007 or stop by the Senior Circle at LMC, Tower B. Tiny Toes Super Milk Class – Spanish. 6-7 p.m. This class offers mothers-to-be all the information they need before their baby’s birth to ensure a successful breastfeeding experience. To reserve a space, call 956-796-4019 or visit www.laredomedical.com/tiny-toes.
FRIDAY, JULY 13 6th U.S. – Mexico Regional Binational Health Conference. 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. UT Health Regional Campus Laredo. 1937 Bustamante St. For more information, call the Area Health Education Center at 956-712-0037. First United Methodist Church Vacation Bible School Raging River Rampage. 9 am – 1 pm. 1220 McClelland Ave. Church’s Fellowship Hall. Bible stories, singing, dancing and crafts. Refreshments will be served. For children in kindergarden through sixth grade.
Missoula County Sheriff's Office / AP
This photo shows a 5-month-old infant with dirt under its fingernails after authorities say the baby survived about nine hours being buried under sticks and debris in the woods.
BABY SURVIVES 9 HOURS BURIED IN WOODS MISSOULA, Mont. — A 5-month-old infant who miraculously survived more than nine hours being buried under a pile of sticks and debris in the woods of western Montana suffered only minor injuries despite wearing wet and soiled clothes in cold weather, authorities said Monday. The baby boy is otherwise in good condition, authorities said. Missoula County Sheriff’s deputies were called about 8 p.m. Saturday about a man threatening people in the Lolo Hot Springs area of the Lolo National Forest. Deputies apprehended the man, who in-
dicated that a baby was buried somewhere in the woods. The sheriff’s office hastily put together a search crew of federal, state and local officials that combed the forest outside the hot springs for six hours before a deputy heard a baby’s cry at about 2:30 a.m. Sunday. He found the baby face-down under the pile of sticks and debris, dressed only in a wet and soiled onesie in the 46-degree weather. The baby was taken to a hospital. Custody of the child has been referred to the state Division of Child and Family Services. — Compiled from AP reports
SUNDAY, JULY 15 Grease Monkey Fundraiser: Summer Nights Car Show. Noon to 9 p.m., 2518 Bob Bullock Loop in front of Academy. Proceeds from raffle of refurbished 2005 Acura sports car will benefit Habitat for Humanity. Information call (956) 319-9871 or (956) 324-2432.
MONDAY, JULY 16 Youth Health Service Corps. 9 a.m. 2 p.m. UT Health Regional Campus Laredo, 1937 Bustamante St. A leadership and service learning/ethical and legal issues. To register: http:// yhsc2018.eventbrite.com
TUESDAY, JULY 17 Tiny Toes Virtual Tour – English. 11 a.m.-12 p.m. 1700 East Saunders. Tower B, 1st floor. The virtual tour gives mothers-to-be detailed information about what to expect upon arrival and during their stay at Laredo Medical Center. To reserve a space, call 956-796-4019 or visit www.laredomedical.com/tiny-toes. Tiny Toes Prenatal Class – English. 6-7:30 p.m. This class gives mothersto-be the most important information to help them deliver a healthy, fullterm baby from the start of labor until birth. To reserve a space, call 956796-4019 or visit www.laredomedical.com/tiny-toes.
WEDNESDAY, JULY 18 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. Domestic Violence Coalition Meeting. 12 p.m. 1700 East Saunders. Tower B, 1st floor. The Webb County Domestic Violence Coalition holds its monthly meeting. The luncheon is open to those interested in learning more about resources available to help victims and their children who find themselves in dangerous situations. For more information, call Sister Rosemary Welsh at 956-718-6810. Blood Drive. 12-5:30 p.m. 1700 East Saunders. Tower B, 1st floor. The South Texas Blood and Tissue Center hosts a Blood Drive at Laredo Medical Center. The public is invited to donate blood. For more information, call Liza Guzman at 956-763-7783. Joint Replacement Surgery Seminar. 6 p.m. Learn more about this innovative program, offered by the Laredo Bone and Joint Center at Laredo Medical Center. To reserve a space, call 956-796-3009 or 7963223. Weight Loss Surgery Seminar. 6:30 p.m. Learn more about this innovative program, offered by Laredo Medical Center’s Weight Loss Program. To reserve a space, call 956-796-3223.
THURSDAY, JULY 19 Blood Drive. 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m. 1700 East Saunders. Tower B, 1st floor. The South Texas Blood and Tissue Center hosts a Blood Drive at Laredo Medical Center. The public is invited to donate blood. For more information, call Liza Guzman at 956-763-7783. Tiny Toes Prenatal Class – Spanish. 6-7:30 p.m. 1700 East Saunders. Tower B, 1st floor, 956-796-4019.
Uber to invest in scooter-rental business Uber is getting into the scooter-rental business. The ride-hailing company said Monday that it is investing in Lime, a startup based in San Mateo, California. “Our investment and partnership in Lime is another step towards our vision of becoming a one-stop shop for all your transportation needs,” Rachel Holt, an Uber vice president,
said in a statement. Uber will add Lime motorized scooters to the Uber mobile app, giving consumers another option for getting around cities, especially to and from public transit systems, Holt said. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed. Lime co-founders Toby Sun and Brad Bao wrote in a blog that Uber’s “sizable investment” is part of a $335 million fund-raising round led by GV, the venture-capital arm of Google parent Alphabet Inc. They said Alphabet is among several
new investors. The money will help Lime expand and develop new products. According to the company website, customers can rent Lime scooters in more than 70 locations in the U.S. and Europe and leave them parked for the next customer to ride. The company is looking to buy tens of thousands of motorized foot-pedal scooters to expand its reach. The scooters aren’t without their critics, however, who consider them a nuisance and a hazard to pedestrians. — Compiled from AP reports
AROUND THE WORLD Entire Thai soccer team out of cave MAE SAI, Thailand — A daring rescue mission in the treacherous confines of a flooded cave in northern Thailand has saved all 12 boys and their soccer coach who were trapped deep within the labyrinth, ending a grueling 18-day ordeal that claimed the life of an experienced diver and riveted people around the world. Thailand’s Navy SEALs, who were central to the rescue effort, said on their Facebook page that the remaining four boys and their 25-year-old coach were all brought out safely by early Tuesday evening. Several hours later, a medic and three SEAL divers who had stayed for days with the boys in their tiny refuge in the cave also came out. Eight of the boys were rescued by a team of Thai and international divers on Sunday and Monday.
Ye Aung Thuye / AFP/Getty Images
Volunteers celebrate in Mae Sai district of Chiang Rai province Tuesday after twelve boys and their coach were rescued.
“We are not sure if this is a miracle, a science, or what. All the thirteen Wild Boars are now out of the cave,” the SEALs said, referring to the name of the boys’ soccer team. “Everyone is safe.” Cheers erupted at a local government office where dozens of volunteers and journalists were awaiting news of
whether the intricate and highrisk rescue mission had succeeded. Helicopters transporting the boys roared overhead. People on the street cheered and clapped when ambulances ferrying them on the last leg of their journey from the cave arrived at a hospital in Chiang Rai city. — Compiled from AP reports
AROUND THE STATE Mom says officer choked boy before aiming gun at kids DALLAS — Court documents obtained Monday reveal inconsistencies between a police account and a viral video that shows a West Texas officer pointing a gun at a group of children before arresting a teenager recording the confrontation. The video, which has been viewed millions of times online,
shows an El Paso officer briefly pointing his weapon at a group of boys. One boy is heard cursing at the officer right before the officer draws his gun, points the weapon at the group and says, “Back up, (expletive).” An internal investigation into the incident is ongoing and the officer remains on desk duty, said El Paso police spokesman Sgt. Robert Gomez on Monday. He did not identify the officer. Elizabeth Flores told the El Paso Times the video started after the officer choked one of
Today is Wednesday, July 11, the 192nd day of 2018. There are 173 days left in the year. Today's Highlight in History: On July 11, 1804, Vice President Aaron Burr mortally wounded former Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton during a pistol duel in Weehawken, New Jersey. (Hamilton died the next day.) On this date: In 1767, John Quincy Adams, the sixth president of the United States, was born in Braintree, Massachusetts. In 1798, the U.S. Marine Corps was formally re-established by a congressional act that also created the U.S. Marine Band. In 1937, American composer and pianist George Gershwin died at a Los Angeles hospital of a brain tumor; he was 38. In 1952, the Republican National Convention, meeting in Chicago, nominated Dwight D. Eisenhower for president and Richard M. Nixon for vice president. In 1955, the U.S. Air Force Academy swore in its first class of cadets at its temporary quarters at Lowry Air Force Base in Colorado. In 1960, the novel "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee was first published by J.B. Lippincott and Co. In 1972, the World Chess Championship opened as grandmasters Bobby Fischer of the United States and defending champion Boris Spassky of the Soviet Union began play in Reykjavik, Iceland. (Fischer won after 21 games.) In 1977, the Presidential Medal of Freedom was presented to polio vaccine pioneer Dr. Jonas Salk and (posthumously) to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. by President Jimmy Carter. In 1979, the abandoned U.S. space station Skylab made a spectacular return to Earth, burning up in the atmosphere and showering debris over the Indian Ocean and Australia. In 1995, the United States normalized relations with Vietnam. Ten years ago: Oil prices reached a record high of $147.27 a barrel. IndyMac Bank's assets were seized by federal regulators. A North Korean soldier fatally shot a South Korean tourist at a northern mountain resort, further straining relations between the two Koreas. Dr. Michael E. DeBakey, the cardiovascular surgeon who pioneered such procedures as bypass surgery, died in Houston, Texas, at age 99. Five years ago: In a potential setback for George Zimmerman, the jury at the neighborhood watch captain's second-degree murder trial in Sanford, Florida, was given the option of convicting him on the lesser charge of manslaughter in the shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. (Zimmerman ended up being acquitted of all charges.) Tens of thousands of workers across Brazil walked off their jobs in a mostly peaceful nationwide strike, demanding better working conditions and improved public services in Latin America's largest nation. One year ago: Emails released by Donald Trump Jr. revealed that he'd been told before meeting with a Russian attorney during the presidential campaign that the Russian government had information that could "incriminate" Hillary Clinton. MSNBC "Morning Joe" host and former Republican congressman Joe Scarborough announced that he was leaving the Republican party, partly because of its loyalty to President Donald Trump. Seattle's Robinson Cano homered off Cubs closer Wade Davis leading off the 10th inning and the American League beat the National League 2-1 in the All-Star game. Today's Birthdays: Actor Tab Hunter is 87. Actress Susan Seaforth Hayes is 75. Singer Jeff Hanna is 71. Ventriloquist-actor Jay Johnson is 69. Actor Bruce McGill is 68. Singer Bonnie Pointer is 68. Actor Stephen Lang is 66. Actress Mindy Sterling is 65. Boxer Leon Spinks is 65. Actress Sela Ward is 62. Reggae singer Michael Rose is 61. Singer Peter Murphy is 61. Actor Mark Lester is 60. Jazz musician Kirk Whalum is 60. Singer Suzanne Vega is 59. Rock guitarist Richie Sambora is 59. Actress Lisa Rinna is 55. Rock musician Scott Shriner is 53. Actress Debbe Dunning is 52. Actor Greg Grunberg is 52. Wildlife expert Jeff Corwin is 51. Actor Justin Chambers is 48. Actress Leisha Hailey is 47. Actor Michael Rosenbaum is 46. Pop-rock singer Andrew Bird is 45. Country singer Scotty Emerick is 45. Rapper Lil' Kim is 43. Actor Jon Wellner is 43. Rock singer Ben Gibbard is 42. Rapper Lil' Zane is 36. Thought for Today : "Those people who think only of themselves, are hopelessly uneducated. They are not educated, no matter how instructed they may be." — Nicholas Murray Butler, educator (1862-1947).
CONTACT US her sons and forced him to the ground. Flores said the video also shows two of her sons, Julian Saucedo and Jacob Saucedo, being taken into custody. The confrontation began after officers were dispatched for a criminal trespass call. Police received information that a large group of children might have been inside a vacant apartment without the owner’s permission, according to a complaint affidavit obtained Monday. — Compiled from AP reports
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THE ZAPATA TIMES | Wednesday, July 11, 2018 |
City of San Ygnacio gets new medication drop box S P ECIAL T O T HE T I ME S
Serving Children and Adults in Need and the Zapata County Community Coalition said it would like to thank Constable Danny Arriaga for helping them set up a brand new Medication Drop Box in the neighboring community of San Ygnacio. Residents of San Ygnacio will now have access to their very own drop box, which is located at the Zapata County Constable’s Office at 1103 U.S. 83 in San Ygnacio. Office hours are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For questions comments or concerns, call Berta or Sonia at 956-765-3555 or speak to Constable Danny Arriaga. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 20
Laredo Sector Border Patrol agents assigned to the Zapata Station seized 60 bundles of marijuana after responding to suspicious activity near the river.
Border Patrol agents intercept marijuana load ZAPATA TIME S
Constable Danny Arriaga and SCAN representative are pictured with the new medication drop box.
people in the U.S. (age 12 or older) have reported using prescription pain-
killers for non-medical reasons in the past month.
Crime Stoppers issues alert for wanted suspects ZA PATA T I ME S
The Zapata Crime Stoppers is requesting the community’s assistance in locating Juan Carlos Salazar. A warrant has been issued for his arrest for Class A misdemeanor theft of property. The Zapata Crime Stoppers is also requesting the community’s assistance in locating Gerardo Gonzalez. A warrant has been issued for his arrest for failure to appear/seconddegree felony possession of controlled substance.
All callers will remain anonymous. The Zapata Crime Stoppers will pay a reward for anonymous tip
that leads to his arrest. To submit a tip, call 956-765TIPS (8477) or the Zapata County Sheriff’s Office 956-765-9960
On July 6, Laredo Sector Border Patrol agents assigned to the Zapata Station seized 664.5 pounds of marijuana after responding to suspicious activity near the Rio Grande in Zapa-
ta. Agents seized one vehicle and 60 bundles of marijuana worth an estimated value of $532,246. The marijuana was turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration. “The men and women
of the United States Border Patrol work daily to ensure that our communities are kept safe by disrupting and deterring illicit activity throughout our border,” said Laredo Sector Acting Deputy Chief Patrol Agent Anthony S. Good.
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A4 | Wednesday, July 11, 2018 | THE ZAPATA TIMES
Democrats are botching high court politics By Albert R. Hunt B L OOM BE RG NEWS
As President Donald Trump prepares to name his Supreme Court nominee on Monday, disgruntled Democrats are carping at Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell for his cheap politics in denying even a vote on their highly qualified pick in 2016. They also need to look in the mirror. Democrats set the stage for their powerlessness to affect the court choice, and their reaction just deepens their political anguish. A year ago, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer spearheaded a filibuster against Neil Gorsuch, nominated by Trump to succeed the late Justice Antonin Scalia. Predictably, McConnell changed the rules on a party line vote, so that Gorsuch could be confirmed by a majority vote instead of needing 60 supporters as the Senate had previously required. If Democrats had bowed to the inevitable Gorsuch confirmation, allowing a doctrinaire conservative to replace another doctrinaire conservative, they would now be in a stronger position to block a replacement for the retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy, the court’s swing vote. Had the old rules been left in place, one Republican defector would have the power to stop the change needed to confirm a justice by simple majority. Democrats also paved the way for McConnell’s gambit in 2013, when they held a Senate majority. That was when Democratic leader Harry Reid changed the rules to let a majority vote confirm lower-court and executivebranch appointees. That made it possible for Democrats to curtail endless Republican filibusters against nominations by President Barack Obama, but it also opened a door for McConnell. The result is likely to be a Supreme Court dominated by conservatives for a decade or more. Democrats are compounding their past miscalculations by making today’s fight almost exclusively about abortion. This diminishes other critical issues like voting rights, affirmative action, partisan gerrymandering, disability rights and a check on executive excesses. Democratic strategy amounts to hoping that they can persuade the Maine Republican senator and abortion-rights supporter Susan Collins to vote against a nominee who would overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision giving abortion constitutional
protection. This is delusional. Collins will not be the 50th vote against a Trump nominee. And no nominee will provide the ammunition Collins would need for such a vote by saying in public how he or she would rule on Roe v. Wade or any other specific case. Further, a new conservative court majority intent on restricting abortion wouldn’t need to overturn Roe, which would leave abortion laws to the states, but could effectively end abortion rights by approving restrictions that limit availability and set up medical and emotional roadblocks for doctors and women. The latest data available, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a research and policy advocate for reproductive rights, shows that threequarters of women getting abortions live below or near the poverty level, and three in five are members of minority groups. These are the ones who would be most affected by a harsher crackdown on abortion rights, which would accelerate trends that make it easy to get an abortion for those who have money yet harder and harder for those who don’t. By making abortion the centerpiece of a campaign against the Trump nominee, the advantage of energizing the party’s liberal base is offset by putting some of the Senate’s most endangered Democratic incumbents on the spot. They’re the ones representing conservative states where antiabortion politicians tend to do well. The Gallup poll over the last dozen years has consistently shown that a majority of Americans want abortions to be legal, but with conditions. On average, a little more than one-fourth favor unrestricted abortion rights and about 20 percent want to ban all abortions. Abortion politics has distorted Senate confirmation rules, which deserve reconsideration irrespective of any particular issue. In the 1970s, the Senate changed the threshold for ending a filibuster from two-thirds to 60 votes in the 100-person body, a constructive change. There’s a good argument for requiring only a majority vote for confirmation of executivebranch appointees, whose activities and budgets are subject to congressional oversight. But federal judges are lifetime appointments with little accountability. They should face a higher confirmation bar, especially Supreme Court nominees. Albert R. Hunt is a Bloomberg News columnist.
Any excuse given for littering is garbage By Bill Torpy COX NEWSPAPERS
The other day, I watched a driver in front of me toss a fast-food cup out the window. I started to try to catch up to and scold this fool. But I remembered half of Georgia is packing, so I bit my tongue and eased off the accelerator. That some lazy, inconsiderate boob is using our public space as a garbage can is not necessarily unusual. But you’re less likely to catch them in the act these days. I suppose litterbugs are a bit more sly, knowing it has become a social taboo — kind of like letting your kids smoke when they are not buckled into their car seats. Society has come a long way since the ‘60s and early ‘70s, when a kid could earn pocket change collecting discarded pop bottles and returning them for deposit. Littering was an inherent part of life. Sure, thoughtful people didn’t litter, and your mom always instructed you to find a garbage can. But folks weren’t always thoughtful, nor did they always listen to mom. An episode of the series “Mad Men” captures the casual nature of littering during the 1960s when Don Draper tossed a can in the park and his wife shook loose onto the ground a picnic blanket full of trash as they packed up to leave. A 2009 national survey from the folks at Keep America Beautiful found that 15 percent of Americans admitted they littered, compared to 50 percent in 1969. The operative word here is “admitted,” because that same survey said there were an estimated 51
billion pieces of trash along the nation’s highways, including 4.6 billion pieces larger than 4 inches long. So, obviously someone’s doing it. According to that study, 36 percent of the visible trash is cigarette butts. That’s like 18.6 billion butts, give or take a carton or two. Fastfood or snack packaging makes up about 40 percent of the 4-inch-long trash. Retired Sandy Springs, Georgia, police Capt. Steve Rose said he probably wrote two dozen or more littering tickets throughout his career because, well, it bothered him. “It’s rude and it’s sloppy,” he said. “What gets me is when they throw cigarette butts out the window.” Yep, to many smokers the world is their ashtray. Rose said you don’t often see people casually toss stuff from cars. But, he added, “people still do it. You see the evidence everywhere.” Littering has long been a pet peeve of mine, but it’s one of those societal ills that a person can actually do something about. Stopping crime can be dangerous, keeping government honest is timeconsuming, and saving trees in Atlanta is almost futile. But bending over to pick up a plastic bottle and chuck it into a garbage can doesn’t take much effort. And you see an immediate benefit — a sidewalk that no longer has a Wendy’s bag flapping in the wind. For the past year or so, I’ve been picking up trash while walking my dog. I was already carrying a couple of Kroger bags for the poop, so why not bend over a few more times?
Near my home is a grass triangle of land that serves as a magnet for detritus. Once a month or so, I’ll fill a bag or two. Interestingly, the largest collection of trash isn’t on the main roads fronting the grassy triangle. Instead, it’s found on the quiet side street used as a cut-through. I guess the slobs figure there are fewer eyeballs along that stretch. The MARTA stop on the triangle is also a source of trash (there is no garbage can there). I suppose bus patrons have a better reason for littering than do motorists. A driver can just toss the can or bag in the back seat and dump it off at a gas station or at home. Bus riders don’t want to carry their garbage aboard and then bring it home. So they must gulp down their Gatorade or gobble up their Cheetos before the bus arrives. Peggy Denby is executive director of Keep Atlanta Beautiful Inc., an org that used to get garbage cans for communities and arrange trash pickups. (The city took over those duties three years ago.) “The presence of litter brings more litter,” said Denby, who for years led a neighborhood watch in the Ponce de Leon/Midtown area. “It builds on itself.” To turn it around, “You have to start at the bottom. Pick things up,” she said. “Once you have a neighborhood start looking better, people think differently about it. But you can’t go into someone else’s neighborhood and clean it up. It has to be organic.” She added, “There should be a hotline to the city where people can say, ‘I just saw someone
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DOONESBURY | GARRY TRUDEAU
throw trash on the road.’” However, cops have enough to do and the logistics and reality of such a system would be troublesome. Cop to driver: “Someone reported you tossing a KFC bucket out the window.” Driver licking his greasy fingers: “Prove it!” There is a site online that does do this: “16 oz soda bottle (Sprite or Mountain Dew) thrown from the window of a black Chevrolet Silverado,” complete with the offender’s license plate number. This doesn’t really get anyone in trouble, but I suppose it gives uptight people like me something to do. An article in Atlantic magazine quoted Arizona State University psychology professor Robert Cialdini saying collective peer pressure does the trick. “One of the things that’s fundamental to human nature is that we imitate the actions of those around us,” said the prof, who has conducted studies in littering and litter prevention. The article said those studies show “people are likely to do what they think is expected of them.” Interestingly, instead of picking up all the trash, leave a single wrapper on the curb. “If there is one piece, you are least likely to litter,” Cialdini said. “If you see one piece, it reminds you that most people are not littering here.” And it tells you that you’re a jerk if you drop the second piece. Bill Torpy is a Atlanta Journal-Constitution columnist.
THE ZAPATA TIMES | Wednesday, July 11, 2018 |
Frontera A6 | Wednesday, July 11, 2018 | THE ZAPATA TIMES
RIBEREÑA EN BREVE SERVICIOS DE GENEALOGÍA 1 ¿Quiere conocer sobre sus raíces familiares? Visite el centro Roma Birding Center/ Computer Lab en Roma, cada martes a las 6:30 p.m., para obtener información. CLASE DE ZUMBA 1 El Departamento de Bomberos del Condado de Zapata invita a la Clase Maestra de Zumba para gastos médicos y de viaje de Ike Gutiérez, el 14 de julio, en Muscle & Fitness Center, 5500 Tesoro Plaza en Laredo, de 10 a.m. a 12 p.m. VERANO SOCIAL 1 Sabor de verano en Dairy Queen, Hwy 83 N., disfrute de un sundae gratis en Zapata DQ el jueves 9 de agosto de 3 a 5 p.m. todas las edades están invitadas. Habrá estaciones para hacer tu propio sundae, premios, souvenir bowls y diversión familiar. LOGIA Nombramiento de oficiales 2018-2019 de la Logia Masónica de Zapata y la Logia Masónica de Laredo 547 el 21 de julio de 6 a 9 p.m. en la Logia Masónica de Zapata 1402, ubicada en 14th Street, Zapata. ZAPATA HS CLASE DE 1993 1 Reunión de la generación de 1993 de Zapata High School, celebrarán su 25 aniversario en Patno’s Patio Bar & Grill, 313 Lake Shore Dr., el sábado 11 de agosto a las 8 p.m. Solo estudiantes y sus parejas. 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 956-849-1411 BOTES DE BASURA 1 La Ciudad de Roma informa a la comunidad que sólo estará recolectando basura contenida en botes propiedad de la ciudad. Informes al 849-1411 PAGO DE IMPUESTOS 1 Desde diciembre, los pagos por impuestos a la propiedad de la Ciudad de Roma deberán realizarse en la oficina de impuestos del Distrito Escolar de Roma, localizado en el 608 N. García St. PAGO EN LÍNEA 1 La Ciudad de Roma informa a sus residentes que a partir de ahora el servicio del agua puede pagarse en línea a cualquier hora las 24 horas del día. LLENADO DE APLICACIONES 1 La Ciudad de Roma ofrece el servicio de llenado de aplicaciones para CHIP, Medicaid, SNAP, TANF, Chip, Prenatal y otros. Contacte a Gaby Rodríguez para una cita en el centro comunitario o en su domicilio al 956246-7177.
NUEVO LAREDO, MÉXICO
Reportan tiroteo Encuentro entre militares y sospechosos armados deja heridos TIEMP O DE ZAPATA
Un incidente entre una organización del tráfico de drogas y tropas militares mexicanas afuera de una popular plaza comercia en Nuevo Laredo, México fue grabado por varios usuarios de redes sociales y compartido en redes, la horrífica escena llega a menos de dos días después que el director de la presión de la ciudad fuera baleado a muerte en la calle. De acuerdo con reportes preliminares obtenidos por el sitio de noticias Sin Embargo, al menos cinco personas fueron heridas. El intercambio de balas entre los militares y un grupo de sospechosos armados comenzó alrededor de las 4 p.m. en diferentes colonias de la Ciudad Hermana como Infonavit, Issste, Benito Juárez y en el Boulevard Colosio, el periférico que conecta los puentes internacionales con la Carretera Nacional a Monterrey. Como es visto en diferentes videos que circulan en redes, la lluvia de balas puede ser escuchada desde varios puntos alrededor de la Plaza la Alameda —un lugar popular en donde los residentes de la ciudad van a caminar y correr con
normalidad. Los videos muestran a la gente aterrorizada tirada en el pizo de la plaza, o detenidos en el trafico en la Avenida Reforma esperando a que cese el fuego. De acuerdo con Sin Embargo, un supuesto sicario afiliado al Cartel del Noreste entró a la plaza comercial Paseo Reforma e hirió a una persona. El ejercito mexicano logró “neutralizar” una persona. Las autoridades estatales no han comentado sobre el incidente. Al momento del cierre de esta edición, la Procuraduría General de la Justicia de Tamaulipas no había contestado a llamadas por comentarios. El sábado por la noche, el director de la prisión de Nuevo Laredo, México, fue muerto a tiros por un grupo de atacantes que lo sorprendió mientras circulaba por las calles de la vecina ciudad. Edgar Humberto Vega Ávalos, director del Centro de Ejecución de Sanciones (CEDES), viajaba en su vehículo por la calle Cerro del Cubilete de la Colonia Enrique González, cuando fue atacado con armas de fuego alrededor de las 8:30 p.m., de acuerdo a la Procuraduría General de
ZAPATA CRIME STOPPERS
Foto de cortesía/ Frontera al Rojo Vivo
Unidades militares se enfrentaron a un grupo de sospechosos armados en las calles de Nuevo Laredo, México el lunes por la tarde.
Justicia de Tamaulipas (PGJE). El periódico mexicano Reforma reportó que Personal de Servicios Periciales y un agente del Ministerio Público del fuero común, hicieron acto de presencia en el
lugar de los hechos y la PGJE estableció que sea abrió una investigación en este caso. En el 2011, otra directora de CEDES, Rebeca Nicasio Vázquez, fue muerta en el interior del reclusorio a manos del
reo Pedro Hernández Marcial, también conocido como Pedro Bernabé Hernández, cuando realizaba un recorrido. De acuerdo a la PGJE, el recluso de 24 años, le dio muerte propinándole varias cuchilladas.
Piden ayuda de comunidad para localizar hombres TIEMP O DE ZAPATA
Zapata Crime Stoppers se encuentra pidiendo la ayuda de la comunidad para localizara a Juan Carlos Salazar. Una orden ha sido emitida para su arresto por un crimen menor Clase A de robo de propiedad. De igual manera, la dependencia se encuentra requiriendo la asistencia de la comunidad para localizar a Gerardo González. Una orden ha sido emitida para su arresto por no ir a comparecer/ felonía de segundo grado posesión de una sustancia controlada.
Todas las llamadas permanecerán anónimas. Zapata Crime Stoppers pagará Salazar una recompensa por una pista anónima que lleve a su arresto. Para emitir una pista o información, llame al 956-765TIPS (8477) González o a la Oficina del Alguacil de Zapata al 956-765-9960.
Border Patrol / Courtesy photo
Border Patrol displays more than 1,700 pounds of marijuana that was recently seized near the Rio Grande in Zapata.
Incautan 1 millón en droga TIEMP O DE ZAPATA
Agentes del Sector Laredo de la Patrulla Fronteriza recientemente incautaron 1.724 libras de marihuana después de responder a actividad sospechosa cerca del Río Grande en Zapata. Agentes incautaron un vehículo, un tráiler y 151
paquetes de marihuana con un valor estimado de 1.379.392 dólares. El conductor del vehículo huyó de la escena. La marihuana fue entregada a la Administración del Control de Drogas (DEA por sus siglas en inglés). “La Patrulla Fronteriza siempre está vigilante
tratando de prevenir el flujo ilegal de drogas hacia los Estados Unidos. Es solo a través del duro trabajo y dedicación de nuestros agentes que continua y exitosamente lo hacemos”, dijo el Jefe Interino de la Patrulla Fronteriza del Sector Laredo Anthony S. Good.
Benito Juárez entra triunfante a Ciudad de México Por Raúl Sinencio Chávez E SPECIAL PARA TIEMP O DE ZAPATA
Aun en la Ciudad de México el verano deja sentir fuertes calores. Desafiándolos, el regocijo se dispara al paso de modesto vehículo por las calles principales. Con apenas dos acompañantes y el chofer, a bordo va Benito Juárez García. Rumbo al Zócalo lo saludan desde aceras, portales y azoteas. Las señoras lanzan flores. Impera el júbilo, la esperanza. Atrás quedan escabrosos momentos, retos inconmensurables. Los esfuerzos por fin rinden frutos. Sobre el poderoso
ejército invasor de Napoleón III, que con la complicidad de los reaccionarios locales pretendiera imponernos al emperador Maximiliano de Habsburgo, se restaura el orden republicano, definido por la progresista carta magna de 1857. Brazo en alto, durante el trayecto Juárez agradece las muestras de apoyo. Repasa mientras las palabras que lleva por escrito para más tarde pronunciarlas. “Mexicanos,el gobierno nacional vuelve hoy a la Ciudad de México, de la que salió hace cuatro años. Llevó entonces la resolución de no abandonar jamás el cumplimiento de sus deberes, los cuales ha cumplido sin contraer
ningún compromiso que pudiera perjudicar en nada la independencia y la soberanía de la República”. Firmeza, aplomo, constancia distinguen a Juárez en horas críticas. Hombre de principios, tiene bastante claras las responsabilidades que le toca atender. Padece en carne propia sinsabores y penurias, extendidas de manera trágica a la familia. “Hubo la segura confianza de que el pueblo mexicano lucharía sin cesar en defensa de sus derechos y de su libertad. El triunfo lo han alcanzado los buenos hijos de México, combatiendo solos, arrostrando todos los sacrificios. En nombre
de la patria agradecida, tributo el más alto reconocimiento a los buenos mexicanos que la han defendido”, dijo Juárez. El Benemérito de las Américas –título de reciente factura dominicana—encuentra repleto de gente el Zócalo. Ahí de nueva cuenta iza la bandera republicana, sube a los balcones del Palacio Nacional y en voz alta lee el manifiesto. “No ha querido antes el gobierno”, dice a la concurrencia. “Y menos debiera en la hora del triunfo completo dejarse inspirar por sentimientos de pasión contra los que lo han combatido”. Dada la apremiante tarea de restablecer la unidad del país, ofrece
“moderar en lo posible el rigor de la justicia, conciliando la indulgencia con el deber de que se apliquen las leyes para afianzar el porvenir de la nación”. Posterior amnistía beneficia por ende a criminales de guerra. Evidenciándose altura de miras, convoca, “Hemos alcanzado el mayor bien que podamos desear, viendo consumada por segunda vez la independencia de nuestra patria. Cooperemos todos para legarla a nuestros hijos en camino de prosperidad. Ahora que el pueblo y el gobierno respeten los derechos de todos. Entre los individuos, como entre las naciones, el respeto al derecho ajeno es la paz”.
THE ZAPATA TIMES | Wednesday, July 11, 2018 |
US moves to unite migrant kids with parents by deadline By Elliot Spagat A S S OCIAT E D PRE SS
SAN DIEGO — Immigrant children around the U.S. left shelters with their backpacks and a tender goodbye hug from staff members as the Trump administration began reuniting dozens of youngsters with their parents Tuesday under a court-ordered deadline. It was the largest single effort to date to undo the effects of President Donald Trump’s zerotolerance policy of separating families who try to slip across the Mexican border into the country. More than 50 children under age 5 could be back in the arms of their parents by the deadline at the end of the day, the Justice Department said. Authorities gave few details on where the reunions would be held, and many were expected to take place in private. Government attorneys returned to federal court in San Diego on Tuesday to seek an extension for releasing 20 other children under 5, saying officials need more time to track down parents who have already been deported or released into the U.S. Asked about the missed deadline, Trump said: “Well, I have a solution. Tell people not to come to our country illegally. That’s the solution.” Meanwhile, the administration faces a second, bigger deadline — July 26
— to reunite thousands of older children who were also separated from their families at the border in the past few months. Staff members at a nonprofit organization that has been housing many of the youngest children “made sure every backpack was full and every child got a hug and a goodbye,” Southwest Key CEO Juan Sanchez said. Most of the parents will be released into the U.S. from immigration detention centers, and the children will be freed from government-contracted shelters. The adults may be required to wear ankle monitors while their cases wind through immigration court, a process that can take years. More than 2,000 children were separated from their parents by U.S. immigration authorities at the border this spring before Trump reversed course on June 20 amid an international outcry. Late last month, U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw in San Diego set a 14-day deadline to reunite children under 5 with their parents and a 30day deadline for older children. In trying to meet the first deadline, the government began with a list of 102 children potentially eligible to be reunited and whittled that to 75 through screening that included DNA testing done by swabbing the
inside of the cheek. The government defended its screening, saying it discovered parents with serious criminal histories and one case of credible child abuse. “Our process may not be as quick as some would like, but there is no question it is protecting children,” said Chris Meekins, a Health and Human Services Department official helping to direct the process. In fact, through DNA testing, two adults who apparently thought they were parents of a child were determined not to be, he said. “If we find out they are not the legal parent, then clearly we are not going to reunite them,” Meekins said. In ordering an end to the separation of families, the president said they should instead be detained together. But the government does not have the room: Immigration and Customs Enforcement has three family detention centers with space for 3,000 people, and they are already at or near capacity, though the Trump administration is trying to line up space at military bases. Also, on Monday, a federal judge in Los Angeles emphatically rejected the Trump administration’s efforts to detain immigrant families for an extended period. A longtime court settlement says children who cross the border illegally cannot be detained for more than 20 days.
A8 | Wednesday, July 11, 2018 | THE ZAPATA TIMES
NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION: SAN ANTONIO SPURS
NBA: HOUSTON ROCKETS
Belinelli ready for second stint with San Antonio Veteran looks to rekindle championship magic By Tom Orsborn SA N A N TONI O E XPRE SS-NEWS
SAN ANTONIO – Not a day goes by that Marco Belinelli doesn't think about "The Beautiful Game" style of play the Spurs exhibited while defeating LeBron James and the Miami Heat in the 2014 NBA Finals. The tattoo of the Larry O'Brien trophy on his left bicep helps keep those memories fresh. "The basketball we played was amazing," said Belinelli, who counts the clutch 3pointer he hit in Game 3 of the Spurs' five-game victory as the biggest shot of his career. "There was no selfishness, everybody moving the ball. "Winning a championship with that great team was
amazing. Nobody is going to take that away from me." The 32-year-old sharpshooting guard hopes to rekindle the magic of that championship season in his second stint with the Spurs. He agreed to terms on a twoyear, $12 million deal with the club at the start of free agency. "When I heard about this opportunity to return to San Antonio, I didn't think twice about it because I knew it would be great to come back," Belinelli said Tuesday via phone from his home in Bologna, Italy. "It will be a great fit, a great situation. I really am excited about it. I can't wait to play with LaMarcus (Aldridge)." Belinelli said Manu Ginobili was one of the first people to text him after the news
Charles Rex Arbogast / Associated Press file
Gerald Green is remaining with Houston next year after signing a one-year, $2.4 million contract to remain in his home city.
Edward A. Ornelas / San Antonio Express-News file
Marco Belinelli is back in San Antonio next year after signing a two-year, $12 million deal this offseason.
broke of the deal. "He was really happy about it," Belinelli said. So should that be taken as a sign that Ginobili will re-
turn for a 17th season? "We didn't talk about that, but I can say he was really happy about me coming back," Belinelli said.
NCAA BASEBALL: TEXAS LONGHORNS
COACH OF THE YEAR Texas' David Pierce honored by Baseball America By Nick Moyle SA N A N TONI O E XPRE SS-NEWS
AUSTIN – Texas coach David Pierce on Tuesday was named Baseball America's 2018 college coach of the year. In his second season, Pierce steered UT to its first Big 12 title since 2011 and first trip to the College World Series since 2014. Under Pierce, who was also named Big 12 coach of the Year, Texas hosted both a regional and super regional at DischFalk Field for the first time since 2011. The Longhorns dropped Game 1 of the super regional to Tennessee Tech, but rebounded to take the next two and advance to the CWS for a record 36th time. Though Texas was swiftly eliminated after falling to Arkansas and Florida, Pierce lauded his team for vastly exceeding preseason expectations. "There's nobody in this room and nobody in this country expected this team to be here," Pierce said on June 19. "And they did a heck of a job
Nati Harnik / Associated Press file
Texas head coach David Pierce was named Baseball America's 2018 college coach of the year after leading the Longhorns to their first Big 12 title since 2011 as well as another College World Series appearance.
from the start to finish, from the fall ball into early spring. The things that they had to accomplish to get here is incredible. "And I can only say how proud we are as coaches and the effort that they gave us and the way they represented the University of Texas." Texas has gone 81-47 in two seasons under Pierce, and
despite losing slugger Kody Clemens and a slew of pitchers, it has its sight set on another astonishing run to Omaha in 2019. "When you get a taste of this, it makes you hungry," Pierce said. "And what we'll talk about here shortly is understand your own strengths, understand your own weaknesses and what do you have
to do, first of all, to make the team next year. Secondly, what do you have to do to be a role player, an everyday player? "And this motivates you and this builds a culture of expectation from our program. And that's the beauty of it. Their accomplishments were great, but what they've done for Texas athletics and Texas baseball is tremendous."
NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE: DALLAS COWBOYS
Cowboys’ White faces assault charges for brandishing gun in road rage incident By Drew Davison FO RT WORT H STAR-T E LE GRAM
Dallas Cowboys cornerback Marquez White is facing a second-degree felony charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, according to Collin County court records. White, 23, was indicted June 7 on one count and is currently free on a $7,500 bond. The charge stems from a road rage incident on the Dallas North Tollway in Plano on Oct. 20 in which White brandished a gun at a fellow driver.
But his attorney, Dallasbased Toby Shook, is confident the charge will be dropped. "Marquez did everything legally," Shook said. "He displayed a gun, but didn’t point it at this individual because he was very concerned with how this individual was making threats. I’m hopeful that this case can be dismissed because I don’t think he violated the law." The Cowboys do not have a comment "at this time." An NFL spokesman has yet to return a request for comment.
White made a court appearance last week and the next date is scheduled for Aug. 10, the day after the Cowboys’ preseason opener against the San Francisco 49ers. Shook said the delay from when the incident happened, Oct.20, to the indictment, June 7, is unusual, but White had moved in that time and changed his number. "There was a series in breakdown in communications," Shook said. "He didn’t have notice that hearing was going on and was shocked to
learn this warrant came out months later. It’s a bit unusual. It was an unfortunate series of miscommunication." If convicted, White could face a penalty of two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. White joined the Cowboys as a sixth-round pick out of Florida State in 2017. He didn’t make the 53-man roster and spent the season on the practice squad. White has a chance to make the 53-man roster this season with a strong training camp.
Rockets announce signing of Green By Jonathan Feigen HOUSTON CHRONICLE
As much as Gerald Green reveled in every step that assured he would remain with the Rockets, from the agreement in the first hours of free agency to his giddy visit at summer league where he joined Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta and his family at the Rockets’ game on Monday, there was one formality left to complete. Green signed his contract on Monday at Thomas & Mack Arena, with general manager Daryl Morey holding it in the stands through the game and his appearance on NBA-TV before it was approved and officially announced Tuesday morning. “For all the hard work I’ve been putting in and all my dreams, it felt good,” Green said Monday morning of reaching a deal on his one-year, $2.4 million contract. “Everybody knows in my heart where I wanted to be. It’s tough to leave my home.” Green averaged 12.1 points in 22.7 minutes in his 41 games with the Rockets last season. He averaged 2.7 3-pointers made in 22.7 minutes per game, becoming the only player in NBA history to averaged more than 2.5 3s in fewer than 25 minutes in a season. Luc Mbah a Moute leaves Rockets, signs with Clippers For the second time since free agency began, the Rockets lost a key part of their 65-win rotation, with forward Luc Mbah a Moute agreeing to a one-year deal to return to the Los Angeles Clippers. Just days after Trevor Ariza officially signed his one-year, $15 million deal with the Suns, Mbah a Moute accepted a one-year, $4.3 million contract with the Clippers. ESPN was the first to report the agreement. The Rockets are optimistic that they can sign 10-time All-Star Carmelo Anthony when he becomes a free agent, two individuals with knowledge of the team's thinking said late on Monday. But with Mbah a Moute and Ariza both gone from a team that improved to sixth defensively, the Rockets are likely to also seek a young prospect with strong potential defensively. The Rockets have shown interest in James Ennis, who has played for four teams in four seasons, most recently the Pistons; Treveon Graham, a free agent who played sparingly for the Charlotte Hornets last season, and James Nunnally, an outstanding shooter with defensive ability that played in Turkey. They could have offered Mbah a Moute up to $5.3 million, their taxpayer mid-level exception, but could have sought to save that, or much of it for Anthony. His one-year deal with the Rockets, if they were not using their mid-level exception, would have been worth $2.9 million, but would have given him early Bird right next summer to exceed the salary cap to re-sign with the Rockets. Instead, while still trying to get a deal with center Clint Capela, the Rockets will be trying to make up for summer losses with the "run it back" plan taking a second major hit.
THE ZAPATA TIMES | Wednesday, July 11, 2018 |
Stocks up as trade-war worries take a back seat By Stan Choe A S S OCIAT E D PRE SS
NEW YORK — Never mind the trade war. Here comes earnings season. U.S. stocks climbed with other markets on Monday as concerns about trade tensions between the United States and the rest of the world took a back seat. The calendar for upcoming weeks is full of companies telling investors how
much profit they made during the spring, and the expectation is for another quarter of gangbusters growth. That plus Friday’s report showing U.S. hiring remains strong have helped to support markets despite the world’s two largest economies imposing dueling tariffs on each other at the end of last week. The S&P 500 rose 24.35 points, or 0.9 percent, to
2,784.17. The Dow Jones industrial average jumped 320.11, or 1.3 percent, to 24,776.59, and the Nasdaq composite gained 67.81, or 0.9 percent, to 7,756.20. It’s the third straight day that the S&P 500 has climbed at least 0.8 percent. It follows a rocky few months where some investors sold stocks on the assumption that a full-blown, harmful trade war was a certainty. Others still expect negotiated
settlements to be the final result. “The market in the second quarter tried to price in this whole thing, and it was probably a little too fast for that,” said Matthew Miskin, market strategist with John Hancock Investments. “There still are a lot of negative developments happening here, but before earnings season typically tends to be a sweet spot for the market.
“ Stocks often rise in anticipation of healthy earnings reports, Miskin said, and the results for this latest quarter are forecast to be much stronger than usual for companies this many years into an economic expansion. Across the S&P 500, analysts are calling for 19 percent growth in earnings per share from a year earlier, according to S&P Global Market Intelli-
gence. Lower tax rates and stronger revenues are helping to drive the gains. The growth may be peaking, however. Perhaps more important than the numbers for last quarter will be what CEOs say in conference calls about how much the trade tensions will hurt their profits later in the year. “It’s hard to not see it being an issue that hurts margins,” Miskin said.
Consumer borrowing up $24 billion in May ASSOCIATED PRE SS
Richard Drew / AP
The Twitter logo is shown above a trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Twitter shares tumbled Monday after a news report quantified its purge of fake and malicious accounts.
WASHINGTON — Americans increased their borrowing in May at the fastest pace in a year and a half, boosted by a big increase in credit card borrowing. Consumer debt rose $24.5 billion in May after an increase of $10 billion in April, the Federal Reserve reported Monday. It was the biggest monthly increase since a rise of $24.8 billion in November 2016. The category that includes credit cards climbed $16.3 billion in
May after increasing by $5 billion in April. Consumer borrowing trends are closely monitored for clues they can provide about the willingness of consumers to borrow more to support their spending. Consumer spending accounts for 70 percent of U.S. economic activity. The overall economy, as measured by the gross domestic product, grew at a lackluster annual rate of 2.2 percent in the January-March quarter. But economists are forecasting a sizable rebound in the just-completed
David Goldman / AP
Credit card logos are posted on the front door of a business in Atlanta. On Monday, the Federal Reserve reported that consumer debt rose $24.5 billion in May after an increase of $10 billion in April.
April-June quarter, based on reports that consumer spending has picked up again after a winter slowdown. The hefty gain in consumer credit in May pushed borrowing to a total $3.90 trillion on a
seasonally-adjusted basis. The Fed’s monthly borrowing report does not include mortgages or any other debt secured by real estate, such as home equity lines of credit.
Twitter’s fake account Starbucks is ditching plastic straws purge drags stock lower By Candice Choi ASSOCIATED PRE SS
A S S OCIAT E D PRE SS
NEW YORK — It’s no secret that Twitter has been purging fake and malicious accounts in an attempt to make its platform more welcoming for real people. But when a Washington Post report put an actual number on the effort — 70 million accounts deleted in May and June — the company’s shares tumbled. Investors worried that the removals could put a dent in the company’s reported user figures. As of the first three months of this year, Twitter had 336 million monthly users. The San Franciscobased company’s stock plunged as much as 9 percent Monday before
closing down $2.51, or 5.4 percent, at $44.14. But Twitter Chief Financial Officer Ned Segal says most of the removed accounts haven’t been active for 30 days or more. As such, they don’t count in Twitter’s monthly user numbers. His comments helped the stock recover a bit midday Monday. “If we removed 70M accounts from our reported metrics, you would hear directly from us,” he tweeted . Twitter said in May that its systems found nearly 10 million “potentially spammy or automated accounts per week.” At that rate of fake-account detection, the 70 million could even be conservative.
NEW YORK — Starbucks will eliminate plastic straws from all of its locations within two years, the coffee chain announced Monday, becoming the largest food and beverage company to do so as calls for businesses and cities to cut waste grow louder. While the straws account for a small percentage of the pollution that ends up in the ocean, they’ve become a flashpoint because they’re seen as an easy way to reduce waste. “There are several of these single-use items the public is realizing, hey, we don’t actually need these,” said Denise Hardesty, a scientist with Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation who studies plastic pollution. A week after its hometown of Seattle banned
Eva Hambach / AFP/Getty Images
This photo shows a Starbucks plastic cup. Starbucks announced Monday that it plans on phasing out all plastic straws from its 28,000 stores worldwide by 2020.
plastic drinking straws and utensils, Starbucks said Monday that by 2020, it will use straws made from biodegradable materials such as paper and specially designed lids. The company already offers alternative straws in Seattle. Straws often become trash because their small size makes them difficult
to recycle. Other cities, like Fort Myers Beach in Florida, have banned plastic straws, and similar proposals are being considered in New York and San Francisco. The push to ban the straws gained traction after a viral video in 2015 showed rescuers removing a straw from a sea turtle’s nose in graph-
ic detail. The issue of waste more broadly is coming up in company boardrooms. In February, Dunkin’ Donuts said it would eliminate polystyrene foam cups from its stores by 2020. McDonald’s said it would switch to paper straws in the United Kingdom and Ireland by next year and test alternatives to plastic straws in some U.S. locations. The burger chain also said this year it would use only recycled or other environmentally friendly materials for its soda cups, Happy Meal boxes and other packaging by 2025. Plastic drinking straws make up only about 4 percent of plastic trash by number of pieces, and far less by weight. Straws add up to about 2,000 tons of the nearly 9 million tons of plastic waste that ends up in waters around the globe each year.
A10 | Wednesday, July 11, 2018 | THE ZAPATA TIMES
Court nominee begins making his case to senators By Lisa Mascaro and Catherine Lucey A S S OCIAT E D PRE SS
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, mapped out strategy with Republican leaders Tuesday, launching a fierce confirmation battle that could remake the court for decades and roil the midterm elections in the meantime. Kavanaugh, a favorite of the GOP establishment, first huddled with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. Joining him were Vice President Mike Pence and former Sen. Jon Kyl. He also met for roughly 30 minutes with Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, chairman of the Judiciary Com-
mittee that is taking the first close look at the nomination. While Republicans have set a goal of confirming Kavanaugh this fall, Grassley said speed isn’t the goal. The vetting process, he said, is “going to be thorough and going to be done right.” He did not offer a timeline for confirmation hearings. Republicans have reacted positively to Trump’s pick, but McConnell has little margin of error for the final vote unless a few Democrats can be brought onboard. Republicans hold a slim 51-49 Senate majority, but they hope to gain support for Kavanaugh from a handful of Democrats who are up for re-election in states where Trump is popular.
McConnell called Kavanaugh “one of the most thoughtful jurists” in the country and blasted Democrats as “eager to try and turn judicial confirmations into something like political elections.” The GOP leader warned against engaging in “cheap political fear-mongering.” “We’ll hear all kinds of fantastic stories about the pain and suffering that this perfectly qualified, widely respected judge will somehow unleash on America if we confirm him to the court,” McConnell said. Pence called Kavanaugh a “good man.” Democrats are uniting behind a strategy to turn the confirmation fight into a referendum on conservatives’ efforts to undo
abortion access and chip away at other health care protections under the Affordable Care Act. Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of New York is vowing to fight the nomination “with everything I have.” Schumer warned, “In selecting Judge Kavanaugh, President Trump did exactly what he said he would do on the campaign trail — nominate someone who will overturn women’s reproductive rights and strike down health care protections for millions of Americans.” The Democrats have turned their attention to pressuring two Republicans, Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, to
oppose any nominee who threatens the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision. The two have supported access to abortion services. “We’ve got some due diligence that we’ve got to do,” Murkowski said Tuesday. Collins said Kavanaugh is “clearly qualified” but other issues also will come into play for her, specifically “judicial temperament” and “judicial philosophy.” Kavanaugh in the past has made statements about respecting precedent that could help in winning over Murkowski and Collins. In his 2006 confirmation hearing to become a federal judge, Kavanaugh said, “I would follow Roe
v. Wade faithfully and fully” because it’s “binding precedent” that has been “reaffirmed many times.” Yet there’s little doubt that Kavanaugh, a solidly conservative, politically connected judge, would shift the nation’s highest court further to the right. A product of the Republican legal establishment in Washington, Kavanaugh, 53, is a former law clerk for retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy. Like Trump’s first nominee last year, Justice Neil Gorsuch, Kavanaugh would be a young addition who could help remake the court for decades with rulings that could restrict abortion, expand gun rights and roll back key parts of” Obamacare.”
THE ZAPATA TIMES | Wednesday, July 11, 2018 |
FROM THE COVER
In addition to the new seal, pictured top left, Laredo College has created four new logos, one of which will be selected with the assistance of the community by casting a vote. The logo that receives the most votes will be the Laredo College official logo. To vote, visit https://www.research.net/r/LaredoCollegeLogo
COLLEGE From page A1 pursue. Laredo College was created as Laredo Junior College on Sept. 28, 1946. Since 1947, the old fort has been home to the city’s oldest institution of higher education. Recent history saw the name of Laredo Junior College changed to Laredo Community College in 1993. The new college name will not affect tuition, financial aid, state funding, admission, benefits
COURT From page A1 attorney representing the Villarreal family, had initially asked for the case to be dismissed because the prosecutors filed the civil action in San Antonio. He said he objected to the venue because it was outside of Bexar County’s jurisdiction to hear the case. Reed agreed with him and granted the order in Villarreal’s favor. Martinez said he filed a motion for summary judgment and a counterclaim to the forfeiture petition, asking for the
or the student body,” LC said. “This name change will allow us to present ourselves as a transformative global institution of higher learning, providing comprehensive educational opportunities to a broader population outside our college district using technology and providing innovative programs for the students, the industry and the entire region. Our mission and commitment remains the same with our students and partners being our highest priority.”
In addition to the new college seal, Laredo College will welcome the addition of a college logo for the first time in its history. As part of this new initiative, Laredo College has created four new logos, in which one will be selected with the assistance of the community by casting a vote. The proposed college logo selected with the most votes will be the Laredo College official college logo. To vote, visit https:// www.research.net/r/LaredoCollegeLogo
property back, saying that it was not a product of money laundering, but of a legitimate business. In a one-sentence order, Justice Luz Elena D. Chapa from the Fourth Court of Appeals denied the defense’s motion to dismiss the appeal. But the defense is not discouraged. “The only standing order is the order that says we win,” Martinez told Laredo Morning Times on Tuesday. He said although his request to have the appeal dismissed was denied by the higher court, he was looking forward to argu-
ing the merits of the case. Even if the appellate court sides with the defense and decides to reverse and remand it back to the trial court, Martinez said his case is strong enough to emerge victorious. “Once we argue the appeal, based on the merits, I still think we’ll win,” he said. “If we were to lose at the appellate level, we would come back to the state court and argue the motion for summary judgment.” Joana Santillana may be reached at 956-728-2528 or email@example.com
A12 | Wednesday, July 11, 2018 | THE ZAPATA TIMES
President Trump pardons two Oregon ranchers By Andrew Selsky and Jill Colvin A S S OCIAT E D PRE SS
SALEM, Ore. — Two imprisoned ranchers who were convicted of intentionally setting fires in 2012 on public land in Oregon will be freed after President Donald Trump pardoned them on Tuesday. The move by Trump raised concerns that others would be encouraged to actively oppose federal control of public land. The imprisonment of Dwight and Steven Hammond prompted the armed occupation of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon in 2016, led by two sons of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy. Jamie Rappaport Clark, president of the group Defenders of Wildlife, noted that the Hammonds were convicted of arson, a serious crime. “Whatever prompted President Trump to pardon them, we hope that it is not seen as an encouragement to those who might use violence to seize federal property and threaten federal employees in the West,” Clark said. The dozens of armed people who occupied the refuge near the Hammond ranch for 41 days said the Hammonds were victims of federal overreach. They changed the refuge’s name to the Harney County Resource Center, reflecting their belief that the federal government has only a limited right to own property within a state. Bundy and his sons Ammon and Ryan faced trial themselves after an armed standoff at their Nevada ranch in 2014 that was sparked by land-
grazing fees. A federal judge in January dismissed the charges against them. Cliven Bundy said he was glad Trump pardoned the Hammonds. “Finally, an elected official did something,” Bundy said. “He can’t give them back their life. They’re going to go back to ranching and put their lives together the best they can.” The Hammonds were being held at a federal detention center south of Los Angeles. It wasn’t immediately clear when they’d be released. The Hammond family, well-known in eastern Oregon, had been embroiled for years in a
legal dispute over several fires that damaged federal property. Dwight and his son Steven Hammond were convicted of arson and faced a mandatory minimum sentence of five years, mandated by the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996. U.S. District Judge Michael R. Hogan said such a lengthy sentence “would not meet any idea I have of justice, proportionality ... it would be a sentence which would shock the conscience to me.” Hogan instead sentenced Dwight Hammond to three months in prison and Steven Hammond to
a year and one day. However, in October 2015, a federal appeals court ordered them to be resentenced to the mandatory minimum. In a statement Tuesday, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders called that decision “unjust.” “The Hammonds are devoted family men, respected contributors to their local community, and have widespread support from their neighbors, local law enforcement, and farmers and ranchers across the West,” she said. “Justice is overdue for Dwight and Steven Hammond, both of whom are entirely deserving of these Grants
of Executive Clemency.” The occupation of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge ended shortly after occupier LaVoy Finicum was shot to death by Oregon State Police at a roadblock and Ammon and Ryan Bundy were arrested. The brothers and five other defendants were acquitted in 2016 by a federal court jury in Portland on charges stemming from the takeover. Republican U.S. Rep. Greg Walden of Oregon, who lobbied the White House for the pardon of the Hammonds, said Trump’s decision was “a win for justice, and an acknowledgement of our unique way of life in the
high desert, rural West.” The pardons are the latest in a growing list of clemency actions by Trump. He has said he’s considering thousands of other cases —famous and not. Aides say Trump has been especially drawn to cases in which he believes the prosecution may have been politically motivated — a situation that may reflect his own position at the center of the ongoing special counsel investigation into election meddling by Russia. Many people believe the president as sending a signal to former aides and associates caught up in the probe.
THE ZAPATA TIMES | Wednesday, July 11, 2018 |
‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ stings with $75.8M opening A S S OCIAT E D PRE SS
NEW YORK — Marvel Studios landed its 20th straight no. 1 box-office debut with an uncharacteristically small superhero for the swaggering comic-book juggernaut. “Ant-Man and the Wasp” opened with $75.8 million, according to final studio figures Monday. While not approaching the heights accustomed to by Thor or Captain America, Disney’s “AntMan” sequel easily surpassed the $57 million debut of the 2015 original. Befitting the summer season, the weekend’s top five films were all sequels. The films that trailed “Ant-Man” hit milestones. Disney’s “Incredibles 2” passed “Finding Dory” to become Pixar’s top-grossing film domestically, not accounting for inflation. Universal’s “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” crossed $1 billion worldwide. The weekend’s other new wide release was Blumhouse Productions’ “The First Purge,” the fourth film in the lowbudget horror franchise about an annual 12-hour period of lawlessness. It took in $31.3 million over five days since opening
on July 4th. The top 20 movies at U.S. and Canadian theaters Friday through Sunday, followed by distribution studio, gross, number of theater locations, average receipts per location, total gross and number of weeks in release, as compiled Monday by comScore: 1. “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” Disney, $75,812,205, 4,206 locations, $18,025 average, $75,812,205, 1 Week. 2. “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom,” Universal, $28,632,375, 4,349 locations, $6,584 average, $333,390,040, 3 Weeks. 3. “Incredibles 2,” Disney, $28,406,423, 4,113 locations, $6,906 average, $503,767,837, 4 Weeks. 4. “The First Purge,” Universal, $17,374,280, 3,031 locations, $5,732 average, $31,280,225, 1 Week. 5. “Sicario: Day of the Soldado,” Sony, $7,624,500, 3,055 locations, $2,496 average, $35,626,570, 2 Weeks. 6. “Uncle Drew,” Lionsgate, $6,606,643, 2,742 locations, $2,409 average, $29,930,263, 2 Weeks. 7. “Ocean’s 8,” Warner Bros., $5,067,750, 2,604 locations, $1,946 average,
Disney/Marvel Studios / AP
This image shows a scene from "Ant-Man and the Wasp. Marvel Studios landed its 20th straight no. 1 box-office debut with a small superhero. “Ant-Man and the Wasp” opened with $75.8 million.
$126,533,978, 5 Weeks. 8. “Tag,” Warner Bros., $3,029,790, 2,157 locations, $1,405 average, $48,255,471, 4 Weeks. 9. “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” Focus Features, $2,571,210, 893 locations, $2,879 average, $12,362,937, 5 Weeks. 10. “Deadpool 2,” 20th Century Fox, $1,675,074, 1,267 locations, $1,322 average, $314,546,474, 8 Weeks.
11. “Sanju,” Fox International Productions, $1,281,466, 359 locations, $3,570 average, $5,995,791, 2 Weeks. 12. “Whitney,” Roadside Attractions, $1,274,051, 451 locations, $2,825 average, $1,274,051, 1 Week. 13. “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” Disney, $1,071,432, 778 locations, $1,377 average, $210,931,529, 7 Weeks. 14. “Hereditary,” A24,
$1,025,174, 744 locations, $1,378 average, $41,885,804, 5 Weeks. 15. “Avengers: Infinity War,” Disney, $936,335, 506 locations, $1,850 average, $674,865,809, 11 Weeks. 16. “Sorry To Bother You,” Annapurna Pictures , $727,266, 16 locations, $45,454 average, $727,266, 1 Week. 17. “Three Identical Strangers,” Neon Rated,
$684,773, 51 locations, $13,427 average, $1,009,720, 2 Weeks. 18. “Superfly,” Sony, $626,383, 535 locations, $1,171 average, $19,834,783, 4 Weeks. 19. “Book Club,” Paramount, $433,208, 374 locations, $1,158 average, $67,172,334, 8 Weeks. 20. “Leave No Trace,” Bleecker Street, $403,010, 37 locations, $10,892 average, $781,675, 2 Weeks.
Crew member says Depp punched him on film set By Andrew Dalton ASSOCIATED PRE SS
Jefferson Siegel/New York Daily News / TNS
Harvey Weinstein appears at his arraignment in Manhattan Supreme Court on Monday. Weinstein was arraigned on three new charges involving a third female accuser. Standing at right is his attorney, Ben Brafman.
Weinstein lawyer says emails, witnesses show he’s innocent By Michael R. Sisak A S S OCIAT E D PRE SS
NEW YORK — Moving beyond rote denials, Harvey Weinstein is playing a leading role in shaping what his lawyer said Monday will be an aggressive defense to sexual assault charges that could put him in prison for the rest of his life. Lawyer Ben Brafman said the movie mogulturned-#MeToo villain is essentially working as his paralegal and that they’re stacking up “overwhelming evidence” from email traffic and witness accounts to refute allegations that, so far, have led to criminal charges involving three of the dozens of women who’ve accused Weinstein of wrongdoing. “I can tell you that we are no longer simply relying on Mr. Weinstein’s denials,” Brafman said outside a New York City courthouse after Weinstein pleaded not guilty to new charges alleging he performed a forcible sex act on a woman in 2006. “We have corrobora-
tive evidence in the form of witnesses, we have corroborative evidence, overwhelming evidence, in the form of email traffic. And the suggestion that Mr. Weinstein raped anyone, just based on what I’ve seen, just based on the evidence I’ve seen, is just a preposterous allegation,” Brafman said. “So far, everything he has told us to look for we have found. And his denials are in my judgment being confirmed everyday by a lot of evidence we are finding that is independent of Mr. Weinstein.” A judge released Weinstein on the same $1 million bail he posted at his first arraignment involving two other accusers and was allowed to return to his Westport, Connecticut home. He’s due back in court on Sept. 20. Brafman said he expects more criminal charges to be filed later, but didn’t elaborate. Weinstein previously forfeited his passport and is fitted with an electronic monitoring bracelet. He’s also been ordered to stay away
from the three women. Prosecutors, saying the new charges were “significantly more serious,” had sought to have Weinstein forced to move to Manhattan and placed on house arrest. “We fight these battles one day at a time, and today we won this round,” Brafman said afterward. Weinstein, 66, hobbled into the courtroom with his hands cuffed behind his back. He was uncuffed for the proceeding and didn’t say much other than entering his plea. He left court a few minutes later, trailed by a bulky bodyguard. Weinstein suddenly turned back in a panic about the whereabouts of his wallet. Brafman later said he’d found it. Weinstein’s new charges include two counts of predatory sexual assault, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison upon conviction. Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. said they are “some of the most serious sexual offenses” that exist under state law.
LOS ANGELES — A film crew member says in a lawsuit that Johnny Depp twice punched him on the set of a movie about the killing of the Notorious B.I.G., and that he was fired from the production when he refused to promise not to sue over the incident. Location manager Greg “Rocky” Brooks is also suing the film’s director and producers for unspecified damages in the lawsuit filed Friday in Los Angeles County Superior Court. In the movie, “City of Lies,” set for U.S. release Sept. 7, the 55-year-old Depp plays a Los Angeles police detective who for years investigated the still-unsolved 1997 death of the rapper Notorious B.I.G., also known as Biggie Smalls, whose real name is Christopher Wallace. Brooks alleges that in April 2017, when the film was shooting in downtown LA, he informed the director Brad Furman that an upcoming take featuring Depp would
Vianney Le Caer/Invision / AP
have to be the last outdoor shot of the night because of legal permits. The lawsuit says Furman forced Brooks to go beyond his duties and tell Depp himself that shooting had to end. Brooks said he was seeking out the off-duty sheriff’s deputy serving as set security when Depp found him first. Brooks said Depp smelled of alcohol and appeared intoxicated as he shouted obscenities then “angrily and forcefully” punched Brooks twice in the rib cage.
Depp then yelled “I will give you one hundred thousand dollars to punch me in the face right now!” at Brooks when he showed little reaction, according to the lawsuit, before the actor’s bodyguards pulled him away. Brooks said he returned to work the following Monday and was asked by a producer to write and sign a declaration saying he wouldn’t sue over the incident. Brooks says he was fired on the spot when he refused.
Actor George Clooney hurt in motorbike crash ASSOCIATED PRE SS
ROME — Actor George Clooney was taken to the hospital in Sardinia and released after being involved in an accident while riding his motor scooter on the Italian island Tuesday, hospital officials said. “He is recovering at his home and will be fine,” Clooney spokesman Stan Rosenfield told The Associated Press in an email. The John Paul II hospital in Olbia confirmed Clooney was treated there and released after Tuesday’s accident. Local media representatives who had gathered at the hospital said Clooney left in a van through a side exit. Daily newspaper La Nuova Sardegna said the 57-year-old Clooney was
Mario Chironi / AP
Ambulance personnel tend to actor George Clooney after a scooter accident in the near Olbia, on the Sardinia island, Italy on Tuesday. Clooney was taken to the hospital in Sardinia and released.
heading to a film set a car hit his motorbike. The accident occurred near Costa Corallina, in the province of Olbia. Clooney reportedly was in Sardinia filming a
television miniseries adapted from Joseph Heller’s World War II novel “Catch-22.” Clooney has a home on Lake Como, which is on the Italian mainland.
A14 | Wednesday, July 11, 2018 | THE ZAPATA TIMES
Trump lands in Europe for NATO, Putin meetings By Jill Colvin and Jonathan Lemire A S S OCIAT E D PRE SS
BRUSSELS â€” With Europeâ€™s wary eyes upon him, President Donald Trump launched a weeklong trip there on Tuesday with harsh criticism for NATO allies and predicted the â€œeasiestâ€? leg of his journey would be his scheduled sitdown with Russian President Vladimir Putin. As he departed the White House for a fournation European tour, Trump did little to reassure allies fretting over the risk of damage he could do to the 69-yearold trans-Atlantic mutual defense pact and his potential embrace of Putin during a summit in Helsinki. Trump said Tuesday
he â€œcanâ€™t say right nowâ€? if Putin is a friend or foe, but called him a â€œcompetitor.â€? The U.S. intelligence community has concluded that Russia interfered in the 2016 election to boost Trumpâ€™s candidacy, and warns of further attempts at interference both in the 2018 midterms and in European elections. Trump arrived in Brussels on the eve of the NATO summit after repeated attacks on the pact. He told reporters in Washington before leaving that â€œFrankly it helps them a lot more than it helps usâ€? and then later tweeted from Air Force One that he may demand reimbursements from the European member nations. Trump has been pressing NATO coun-
tries to fulfill their goal of spending that 2 percent of their gross domestic products on defense by 2024. During his presidential campaign, he suggested he might only come to the defense of NATO nations that fulfilled their obligation. And a year ago, during his first visit to its Belgium headquarters, Trump initially declined to explicitly support the organizationâ€™s defense agreement. Trump, who landed in Belgium during the middle of the soccer-mad nationâ€™s World Cup semifinals match, will later head to London, where Prime Minister Theresa Mayâ€™s government is in turmoil over her plans for exiting the European Union.
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The Zapata Times 7/11/2018