December 31 , 2018
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Tuesday, January 01
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Wednesday, January 02 of people, from children, the elderly, pregnant
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Important news for important people
www.dedicatedpress.com Volume 3412 Monday December 31, 2018
International Business Sports
The disgraced former bodyguard of The paralysis triggered by the US The Houston Texans finally clinched Cabo San Lucas
French President Emmanuel Macron government shutdown could have un- the AFC South division title that had Partly cloudy (day)
admitted Sunday he had used his dip- expected consequences, such as mud- long seemed theirs for the taking with Sunrise: 7:00 AM
lomatic passports “for personal con- dying economic statistics just as the a 20-3 win over Jacksonville on the fi- Sunset: 5:45 PM
venience” after being... P.2 markets are extremely... P.3 nal Sunday of the NFL... P.5 Humidity: 45% 62-69 F
“Illegal immigrants, overwhelmingly, are not bad people” Lookout duty
White House chief: Trump not building a ‘wall’ US flag flies in Syria’s Man-
bij despite pullout notice
announcement on December 18 that The Stars and Stripes fluttered above
the US was ready to offer $4.5 billion four US armoured vehicles driving
in investment in Central America and through drizzle in the Syrian city of
southern Mexico, and that the admin- Manbij Sunday, each visibly carrying
istration was requesting an additional an armed soldier on lookout duty.
$180 million in assistance to the re- The US patrol inside the strategic
gion. On Saturday Trump blamed city near the Turkish border comes
opposition Democrats “and their pa- despite President Donald Trump’s
thetic immigration policies” for the shock announcement this month that
deaths of two Guatemalan children he is pulling American troops out of
who crossed the border illegally with the war-torn country.
relatives who were taken into custody Almost eight years into Syria’s civ-
by US Border Patrol. il war, a Kurdish-led alliance called
In a departure from the stance tak- the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)
en by his boss, Kelly said the way to controls a large swathe of territory
halt illegal immigration was to “stop in the country’s northeast, including
US demand for drugs, and expand Manbij.
economic opportunity” in Central The unexpected US pullout an-
America. nouncement left Syria’s Kurds scram-
Kevin McAleenan, the commis- bling to find a new ally in the Damas-
sioner of US Customs and Border cus regime, as they feared losing US
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly (Photo AFP) Protection, said on ABC’s “This support would leave them exposed to
Outgoing White House chief John A former Marine general who led Week” that investment in Central a long-threatened Turkish assault.
Kelly said in an interview published the military command responsible for America was one element of a “multi- But inside Manbij on Sunday,
Sunday that he had “nothing but com- Latin America, Kelly was Trump’s faceted problem” that also requires American troops did not appear to
passion” for undocumented migrants Homeland Security secretary before funding border security. have left yet, an AFP correspondent
crossing into the US, and undercut becoming White House chief of staff He called for a “sober-minded said, and residents were relieved to
President Donald Trump’s claims to in July last year. His relationship with non-partisan look at our immigration have spotted at least two US patrols.
be building a “wall” at the Mexico the president reportedly deteriorated, laws” as part of the solution to an up- “The Americans’ presence is reas-
border. however, and he is to be replaced at surge in family and child arrivals. suring for people, as the situation has
As a partial government shutdown the end of the year by Mick Mul- “We’ve asked for about 1,000 become tense since we heard about
entered a ninth day due to an impasse vaney, the current budget director. miles of wall... And what we’re talk- their decision to withdraw,” said Mo-
over Trump’s demands for fund- “Illegal immigrants, overwhelm- ing about is not just a dumb barrier,” hammed Ahmad, a 28-year-old shop
ing the US-Mexico border barrier, ingly, are not bad people,” Kelly told McAleenan said. “We’re talking owner. On Sunday, men and women
the president’s chief of staff told the the LA Times, adding that many had about censors, cameras, lighting, ac- milled between stalls at a nearby veg-
Los Angeles Times: “To be honest, been manipulated by traffickers. cess roads for our agents, a system etable market, wearing coats to keep
it’s not a wall.” “The president still “I have nothing but compassion for that helps us secure that area of the out the rain.
says ‘wall.’ Oftentimes frankly he’ll them, the young kids.” border.” The Democrats are refusing A woman clutched a toddler on
say ‘barrier’ or ‘fencing,’ now he’s The remarks were in sharp contrast to provide billions for Trump’s border her hip, while another appeared to be
tended toward steel slats,” Kelly said. to the rhetoric of the president who wall project and the president insists carrying a baby swaddled in a thick
“But we left a solid concrete wall regularly appeals to his overwhelm- he will not fully fund the government blanket.
early on in the administration, when ingly white political base by taking a unless he gets the money. “The presence of the US-led coali-
we asked people what they needed hard line on immigration. As long as the debate holds up ap- tion is a strength for Manbij,” Ahmad
and where they needed it,” he added. Trump has spoken of an “invasion” proval of a wider spending bill, about said. “If they do pull out, the (Syr-
Building a solid “wall” along the of migrants and complained of “many 800,000 federal employees are not ian) regime’s return to the city would
2,000-mile (3,200-kilometer) US- gang members and some very bad getting salaries and non-essential be better” than pro-Turkish rebels,
Mexico frontier was a central plank people” among a thousands-strong parts of the government are unable to added the young man, whose shop
of Trump’s 2016 election campaign, caravan of immigrants that traveled function. sells warm socks and other winter ac-
and he has tweeted about it almost to the US in October. Kellyanne Conway, a close Trump cessories.
100 times this year alone. Migrants from Central America advisor, said on “Fox News Sunday” In a war that has killed more than
“Either we build (finish) the Wall say they want to reach the US to es- that whether the border barrier was a 360,000 people, the Damascus re-
or we close the Border,” Trump -- cape poverty and gang violence. “wall” or not was “a silly semantic gime -- long on the back foot -- has
who has adopted the 2020 re-election Trump has threatened to end aid argument,” adding that the president wrested back control of almost two-
mantra “promises made, promises to Guatemala, Honduras and El Sal- had already compromised, since he thirds of the country since Moscow
kept” -- posted as recently as Friday. vador, despite a State Department had originally asked for $25 billion. intervened in its favour in 2015.
Page 2 Monday December 31, 2018
European Capital of Culture “I may have been wrong to use these passports”
Italy’s city of shame Matera Macron ex-bodyguard admits using diplomatic passports after dismissal
becomes Europe’s pride
Fifty years after Italy’s Matera was The disgraced former bodyguard of
a national embarrassment because of French President Emmanuel Macron
its extreme poverty, the city is rescu- admitted Sunday he had used his
ing its dignity, baroque palaces and diplomatic passports “for personal
cave churches to become a European convenience” after being fired in Au-
Capital of Culture. gust, a day after investigators opened
“Yes, it’s true, we went from shame a probe into his failure to return the
to glory,” Matera mayor Raffaello De documents.
Ruggieri told journalists ahead of the Alexandre Benalla, a former cam-
southern city’s year-long stint as a paign bodyguard who got a senior job
European Union-designated cultural following Macron’s election victory
crossroads in 2019. last year, has been dogged by scandal
In the 1950s, prime minister Alcide since July when accusations emerged
De Gasperi, one of the EU’s founding he had roughed up protestors.
fathers, was outraged by Matera’s un- Macron’s office and Benalla
derdevelopment, where many lived in clashed this week over accusations
ancient limestone caves without elec- that he used two diplomatic passports
tricity or running water, lives ravaged after his dismissal, which the foreign
by malaria. Now, the city in the Ba- ministry said would be a crime.
silicata region on the instep of Italy’s Criticism over the presidency’s
boot, is hoping to draw thousands handling of the issue has been grow-
of visitors for cultural and heritage ing since local media reported Be- France’s president Emmanuel Macron (Photo AFP)
events, many inside the same caves, nalla met with African presidents, in Benalla said he had returned the Benalla’s passports, which it said
now renovated. what officials fear was an attempt to passports at the end of August but were assigned only for work in his
“We want people who decide to profit from his former insider status. added that they were handed back official capacity.
come to Matera to live an experi- In an interview published Sunday, to him along with other personal be- Benalla was at the centre of a
ence,” said Paolo Verri, director of Benalla acknowledged using the longings by a “presidential aide” in major scandal this summer after ac-
the Matera-Basilicata 2019 Founda- passports for private travel but said October. cusations emerged he had beaten up
tion. he would return them to the foreign “Insofar as they were given back to demonstrators at a May Day rally in
The city, one of the world’s old- ministry “within days”. me, I didn’t see any reason not to use Paris while he was wearing a police
est, is known as the “Jerusalem of the “I may have been wrong to use them,” he told the paper. helmet. He was working for the presi-
West” thanks to its position perched these passports,” he told French Prosecutors on Saturday opened a dency at the time.
on limestone rocks and ravines and newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche. preliminary investigation for “abuse He was not fired until after the
its famous “sassi” cave homes “But I did it for personal con- of trust”, the illegal use of profes- media revelations, prompting a wave
“Archaeological remains show venience to facilitate my passage sional documents and other charges. of accusations from government op-
that people have been here for 8,000 through airports. Under no circum- Macron’s office said this week it ponents that Macron’s office covered
years,” said mayor De Ruggieri. stances did I used them for business.” had no information about the use of it up.
“That’s why we want ‘slow’ tour-
ism,” said Verri, rejecting the mass Organisers also needed more time to recruit staf
tourism of a one-day camera snap-
ping visit in favour of getting art and Afghan presidential election delayed until July 20
culture lovers to come for longer Afghanistan’s presidential election of Afghanistan in April, the expense time for Afghanistan as the Taliban
spells. To achieve that, around 300 will be postponed until July 20, an of holding four separate elections and step up their bloody offensive and
cultural performances, workshops, official said Sunday, as US-led ef- the complication of deploying secu- President Donald Trump’s plan to
exhibitions and conferences are be- forts to end the 17-year war with the rity forces to protect different ballots. slash American troop numbers casts
ing organised, from music to food to Taliban gather steam. Organisers also needed more time a shadow over US-led peace efforts
readings. The three-month delay, announced to recruit staff, train them in the use that have gathered pace in recent
“Everyone can bring something, by the Independent Election Com- of biometric verification devices, months.
such as a book, and explain why they mission (IEC), comes after weeks of and resolve other problems that had While there has been no official
want to improve European culture,” speculation that the vote would be plagued the legislative vote. announcement of a US drawdown,
said Verri, who hopes the result will put off to create more space for peace “Based on the lessons we have the mere suggestion of the United
be a vast library of European heri- talks with Afghanistan’s largest mili- learned from the previous election States reducing its military presence
tage. tant group. and to allow time for reforms, we had has rattled the Afghan capital and
Visitors pay 19 euros (around 22 The presidential ballot was origi- to review the decision of the previous raised fears of even more bloodshed
dollars) to become “temporary citi- nally scheduled for April 20, which election date,” Sayyad said. in 2019.
zens” of Matera, around 400 kilome- many observers had considered unre- Sayyad said the new date and the Trump’s decision to pull out some
tres (250 miles) south of Rome, for a alistic given the IEC was still final- decision to hold the four elections of the 14,000 American forces appar-
year. The relatively isolated city, with ising results of October’s shambolic on the same day were reached after ently came as US peace envoy Zal-
no airport, high-speed train station or and bloody parliamentary elections. two weeks of “extensive talks” with may Khalilzad met with the Taliban
even a motorway, hopes visitors will Provincial and district council elec- political leaders, security agencies in Abu Dhabi earlier this month, part
be inspired by the mystical atmo- tions, as well as a previously post- and the government. The IEC’s an- of efforts to bring the militants to the
sphere to write, sculpt and create mu- poned parliamentary vote in Ghazni nouncement comes at a sensitive negotiating table with Kabul.
sic or installations which will in turn province, will be held on the same
become an exhibit. day, IEC chief Abdul Badi Sayyad
Many films set in the early days of told reporters.
Christianity have been filmed in these A spokesman for President Ashraf
narrow, historic streets, including Mel Ghani, who plans to seek re-election,
Gibson’s “The Passion of Christ” and welcomed the new timeline.
Pier-Paolo Pasolini’s “The Gospel “The Afghan government respects
According to St Matthew”. the decision by the IEC and is pre-
Ariane Bieou, a Frenchwoman pared to cooperate with the commis-
who helped Marseille put some of sion in holding the election in July,”
its more gangsterish stereotypes be- Haroon Chakhansuri said in a state-
hind it when it was cultural capital in ment.
2013, admits her job in Matera will Official reasons for the delay in-
be “a challenge”. cluded the cold weather across much
Page 3 Monday December 31, 2018
These furloughs also have unexpected consequences for the private sector Wall Street Indexes
Prolonged US shutdown threatens to unsettle economy Dow Jones 23062.4 - 0.33%
S&P 2485.74 - 0.12%
The paralysis triggered by the US on construction expenses, such as mildly negative impact on economic Australia International Stock Indexes + 1.02%
government shutdown could have industrial orders, and on trade -- due growth, even though it’s more tangi- Frankfurt 10558.96 + 1.71%
unexpected consequences, such as January 8 -- which is critical for mar- ble in the US capital, where affected Italy 18324.03 + 1.44%
muddying economic statistics just as kets just as the Trump administration government workers won’t get paid. London 6733.97 + 2.27%
the markets are extremely reactive to is involved in a full-fledged trade war “Thousands of federal workers Madrid 8493.7 + 1.55%
any whiff of uncertainty. with some US allies. would either be furloughed or work Paris 4678.74 + 1.74%
More than a week into the game of The closely watched employment without pay for the duration of the Tokyo 20014.77 - 0.31%
chicken between President Donald figures for November, usually pub- shutdown,” Oxford Economics said. Toronto
Trump and Democrats in Congress, lished the first Friday of the month, “While the economic impact of Latin-American Stock Indexes
the publication and recording of sta- are set to be released on January 4 two-week partial shutdown would be Bogota 1325.93 + 0.07%
tistical indicators are being delayed. on schedule because the Labor De- minimal -– less than 0.1 percent of Buenos Aires 30292.55 + 2.62%
With the lack of an agreement on partment still has funds to keep run- GDP growth -– it would add political Lima 19305.02 + 0.52%
Trump’s much-promised wall on the ning its operations. In addition to the uncertainty at an inopportune time. Mexico 41459.15 + 0.1%
border with Mexico, thousands of publication of data, the very process “Among other things, a shutdown Panama 450.93 - 1.09%
government workers are forced to of collecting this information is also would affect the release of economic Santiago 5105.43 + 0.69%
stay home or work without pay due beginning to be compromised. indicators and disrupt the start of the Sao Paulo 87887.26 + 2.84%
to budget shortages that are also ham- “Odds are that it’ll continue into 2019 tax filing season.” Washington Venezuela 1605.26 + 12.53%
pering the publication of certain gov- January,” Grant Thornton chief econ- Mayor Muriel Bowser urged Trump Most Active Stocks
ernment indicators. omist Diane Swonk said in a tweet. to find a solution to end the stalemate, 3D Systems Corp 10.1 + 1%
“There will be no lockups for Cen- “The impasse is already cutting noting the capital’s 170,000 federal 3M Co 189.37 - 0.7%
sus or BEA (Bureau of Economic into the supply of something that is workers “pay the highest price.” Alcoa 26.6 - 2.06%
Analysis) and no posting of lockup essential to just about every market “Very disappointingly, flood insur- Amex 94.42 - 0.27%
data from either of those organiza- out there: federal economic data. ance has not been available during the AT&T 28.46 + 1.1%
tions because of the government That could have an impact on mar- government shutdown... which means B. of America 24.39 + 0.08%
shutdown affecting those agencies,” kets going forward and also what the that roughly 40,000 homes may not Boeing 316.38 - 0.24%
said Labor Department spokeswom- Federal Reserve decides to do with get transacted because it requires flood Caterpillar 125.61 - 0.84%
an Suzanne Bohnert, whose agency interest rates in 2019.” insurance in order to get a mortgage,” Chevron 108.65 - 0.61%
oversees the release of those indica- With financial markets already NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun Cisco Systems 42.77 - 0.33%
tors under embargo. extremely volatile and amid worries said. “Any time there is a government Coca Cola 47.2 - 0.69%
The release of data on new home over tariffs with China and the Fed’s shutdown, consumer confidence may Exxon Mobil 68.17 - 1.12%
sales is so far the only indicator to monetary policy, the shutdown could be dampened, so even if they have the General Electric 7.51 + 3.3%
have been delayed. But if the shut- add yet another layer of uncertainty. cash, they may not spend the money, H.P. 20.34 - 0.2%
down is still in effect after January 1, The partial paralysis of administra- and that will hold back economic Home Depot 170.22 - 0.06%
it could impact the release of figures tive services will likely only have a growth, so it’s bad news all around.” IBM 113.03 - 0.66%
Intel 46.75 + 0.84%
The two sides imposed tit-for-tat tariffs on more than $300 billion worth of goods this year Johnson & Johnson 127.27 - 0.11%
China’s top court to handle intellectual property appeals JPMorgan 96.83 - 0.22%
Kraft Heinz Co
China’s top court will rule on intel- tit-for-tat tariffs on more than $300 tion for foreign companies operating McDonalds 175.56 - 0.09%
lectual property cases for the first billion worth of goods this year, be- in China. Merck & Co 75.37 - 0.01%
time from January 1, the government fore agreeing to a 90-day truce on Deputy Chief Justice Luo Dongch- Microsoft 100.39 - 0.78%
said, elevating the handling of an is- December 1. uan said Saturday that from the start Pfizer 42.96 + 0.26%
sue that has become a key complaint The United States, along with of 2019 the Supreme Court would Procter & Gamble 91.18 - 0.91%
in the trade war with the US. the European Union, has long com- begin handling appeals on intellec- Travelers Cos 118.24 - 0.36%
Washington and Beijing are cur- plained about lax enforcement of tual property rights cases, state-run United Tech. 105.34 - 0.4%
rently in talks to resolve a bruising intellectual property rights in China. Xinhua news agency reported. Such Verizon 55.27 + 0.22%
trade spat that has spooked markets Forced technology transfers have cases were previously handled by Wal-Mart 92.13 + 0.59%
worldwide. The two sides imposed been another major bone of conten- provincial-level high courts. Walt Disney 107.3 + 0.73%
When Aleph’s co-founder Celine Haeri uses her software to search for “Glock”
French start-up offers ‘dark web’ compass, but not for everyone
For years criminal websites shrouded like Tor or I2P. These sites can’t be customer satisfaction,” Hernandez of all the hidden sites, Hernandez
in secrecy have thrived beyond the found by searching: instead, users said. Over the past five years Aleph said.
reach of traditional search engines, have to type in the exact URL string has indexed 1.4 billion links and Haeri, at the time a teacher, asked
but a group of French engineers has of often random characters. 450 million documents across some for their help in merging blogs by her
found a way to navigate this dark web In an authoritarian regime, a pro- 140,000 dark web sites. colleagues opposed to a government
-- a tool they don’t want to fall into test movement could use the secrecy As of December its software had reform of the education system.
the wrong hands. to organise itself or connect with the also found 3.9 million stolen credit The result became the basis of their
“We insist on this ability to say outside world without fear of discov- card numbers. mass data collection and indexing
‘no’,” Nicolas Hernandez, co-found- ery. But the dark web is also ideal “Without a search engine, you software, and the three created Aleph
er and CEO of Aleph Networks, says for drug and weapon sales, people- can’t have a comprehensive view” in 2012.
at the company’s offices near Lyon, smuggling and encrypted chat-room
in the heart of France’s Beaujolais communications by terrorists.
wine country. When Aleph’s co-founder Celine Foreign Exchange
He said Aleph refused 30 to 40 Haeri uses her software to search for
percent of licensing requests for its “Glock”, the Austrian pistol maker, EURO USA CAN UK AUS SWISS H.KONG JAP
“Google of the dark web,” based on several sites offering covert gun sales EURO - 1.15 1.56 .90 1.61 1.12 9.00 127.00
reviews by its ethics committee and instantly pop up. USA .87 - 1.35 .79 1.41 .98 7.81 111.11
input from its government clients. A search for Caesium 137, a radio- CAN .64 .74 - .58 1.04 .70 5.80 81.00
Most web users never venture be- active element that could be used to UK 1.11 1.27 1.72 - 1.79 1.25 9.90 141.00
yond the bounds of sites easily found create a “dirty” nuclear bomb, reveals AUS .62 .71 .96 .56 - .70 5.50 78.00
and accessed with casual web surfing. 87 dark web sites, while another page SWISS .89 1.02 1.43 .80 1.43 - 8.00 113.00
But people and sites seeking ano- explains how to make explosives or H.KONG .11 .13 .17 .10 .18 .12 - 14.20
nymity can hide behind layers of se- a homemade bazooka. “Some even JAP .01 .01 .01 .01 .01 .01 .07 -
crecy using easily available software advertise the stars they’ve gotten for
Page 4 Monday December 31, 2018
British minister “There were days when I did not come across anyone” Start of a revival
Brexit ‘50-50’ if May’s deal Spanish ‘ghost towns’ slowly come to life Iran sees ‘revival’ of
voted down Concrete skeletons still haunt Spain, investment in services such as a new imperilled Lake Urmia
10 years after the 2008 global eco-
sports complex which opened last
Britain’s chances of leaving the Euro- nomic crisis caused a housing boom year had been the key to success. It is one of the worst ecological disas-
pean Union are only “50-50” if MPs to crumble, bankrupting developers A primary school which closed in ters of recent decades, but the shrink-
reject Prime Minister Theresa May’s and dotting the landscape with unfin- 2013 reopened four years later and ing of Iran’s great Lake Urmia finally
Brexit deal, a senior minister warned ished projects. now has 300 students. appears to be stabilising and officials
Sunday. But buoyed by an economic recov- “It’s not as isolated as before,” see the start of a revival.
Liam Fox, the international trade ery, some “ciudades fantasma”, or said Luis Miguel Cobo, who in 2015 A rusty cargo ship and a row of co-
secretary and a vocal Brexit cam- “ghost towns”, are gradually reviv- founded a football club in Valdeluz, a lourful pedal boats lying untouched
paigner during the 2016 referendum, ing, such as Valdeluz near Guadala- project he says would have been im- on the bone-dry basin are a sign of the
warned colleagues planning on vot- jara, around 60 kilometres (40 miles) possible before due to a lack of play- devastating loss of water in what was
ing against May that her plan was the northeast of Madrid. ers and infrastructure. once the largest lake in the Middle
only way to be “100 percent certain” Valdeluz was designed as a dormi- “Before we had to leave Valdeluz East.
that Britain would leave. tory town for 30,000 residents near a by car to buy anything. Today there Situated in the mountains of north-
“If we were not to vote for that, I’m new station where high-speed trains is a supermarket, two grocery stores, west Iran, Lake Urmia is fed by 13
not sure I would give it much more linking the Spanish capital to the a pharmacy, a veterinary and three rivers and designated as a site of in-
than 50-50,” he told The Sunday northeastern region of Catalonia stop, bars,” he added. ternational importance under the UN
Times. May’s government is trying but the lead developer went bankrupt Valdeluz’s mayor wants to estab- Convention on Wetlands that was
to persuade a sceptical British parlia- shortly after the crisis hit. lish an technological industrial zone signed in the Iranian city of Ramsar
ment to endorse a broad withdrawal When Almudena Castillo moved in next year to attract a major com- in 1971.The lake has been shrink-
deal she struck with European leaders to a flat there 11 years ago, she said pany that would bring in even more ing since 1995, according to the UN
last month. she had “a maximum of eight neigh- residents. The situation is not as Environment Programme, due to a
But the bill’s passage is far from bours”. encouraging in nearby Yebes how- combination of prolonged drought,
certain, with May having to pull an “There were days when I did not ever, where about 50 empty flats in a over-farming and dams.
initial vote with a crushing defeat come across anyone,” she recalled. neighbourhood dubbed “sector 10” is By August 2011 the lake’s surface
looking, rescheduling it for the week Valdeluz is now home to 4,000 a cause of concern for local residents. was 2,366 square kilometres (914
beginning January 14. people as banks have gradually sold Anca Bejan bought her first home square miles) and shrank drastically
Pro-Brexit supporters are particu- apartments they reclaimed from there a year ago, a 170-square-metre to just 700 km2 in 2013, according to
larly concerned about the deal’s so- bankrupt developers. (1,830-square-foot) flat for which she the United Nations.
called “backstop” provision, which Spain’s economic rebound, which paid just 60,000 euros ($68,000). The catastrophe has threatened the
could keep Britain locked in a cus- began in 2014, and the fact that But every morning she wakes up habitat of shrimp, flamingos, deers
toms union with the EU in order to Valdeluz is located near an economic to a view of empty buildings with and wild sheep and caused salt storms
avoid a “hard” border between Brit- axis between Madrid and Guadalaja- closed shutters. that pollute nearby cities and farms.
ish province Northern Ireland and the ra has helped breathe new life into the “When I arrived, these houses were That finally triggered a coordinated
Republic of Ireland. But Fox urged town, Jose Luis Ruiz Bartolome, the in better shape. But with time people effort to save the lake in 2013 -- with
his colleagues to “put their own pride author of a book on the rise and fall came and began to steal everything. a joint programme between Iran and
behind them” and take what was on of Spain’s property market, told AFP. As long as we cannot find their own- the UN Development Programme
offer. “The worst possible outcome of Jose Miguel Cocera, the mayor er, as long as we don’t decide whether funded by the Japanese government.
this process would be no Brexit,” he of Yebes, which is administratively or not to demolish them, we have to The project became a priority for
told the paper. responsible for Valdeluz, said that live with them,” Bejan said. the incoming administration of Presi-
dent Hassan Rouhani.
“It’s not a question of ‘if’ but of ‘when’” “One of my promises was to revive
Urmia lake, and I am still committed
Brazil embassy move to Jerusalem a question of ‘when’ not ‘if’: Netanyahu to that promise,” Rouhani said during
Brazil will definitely move its embas- sy move could threaten $1 billion in ists shortly afterward, however. Nor a recent visit to the region.
sy in Israel to Jerusalem, with only exports to Arab countries. did they post anything on it on their Some positive results are finally
the date of the transfer to be decided, Those countries, and Palestinians, Twitter accounts, despite Bolsonaro emerging and the lake’s surface area
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Ne- view east Jerusalem as the capital of in particular being a fervent social reached 2,300 km2 last year, accord-
tanyahu said Sunday during a visit to a future Palestinian state. media user. ing to UN Development Programme
Rio de Janeiro. But Israel asserts all of Jerusalem Instead Netanyahu said he had ex- figures. “This is the beginning of the
“It’s not a question of ‘if’ but of is its capital and is keen to see embas- tended an invitation to Bolsonaro to lake’s revival,” said Abolfazl Abesht,
‘when’,” Netanyahu told members of sies move there to bolster that claim. visit Israel, which was accepted. who heads the wetlands unit of Iran’s
Rio’s Jewish community, his office Most countries however back Is- In the statement Sunday from his environment department.
said in a statement. raeli-Palestinian negotiations to settle office, Netanyahu said Bolsonaro’s He warned it would take “decades”
He said Brazil’s president-elect Jerusalem’s status as part of a wider trip would happen before March to return to the 5,000 km2 it once
Jair Bolsonaro assured him of the peace deal. 2019. covered, but at least “now the trend
move in a meeting on Friday. Trump broke with that consensus On Tuesday, the Israeli prime has stopped”. Rising temperatures
He pointed to US President Donald a year ago, and in May this year the minister is to meet US Secretary of and reduced rainfall have been a ma-
Trump going through with his prom- US embassy was established in Je- State Mike Pompeo for talks on the jor factor in the lake’s decline, experts
ise to move his country’s embassy rusalem. Guatemala followed suit sidelines of Bolsonaro’s inaugura- say. So, too, was the construction of
and said “Bolsonaro will also do so.” two days later. Bolsonaro has said he tion. a causeway in 2008 to shorten driving
The issue of the embassy has been wants closer ties with the US and Is- Israel, and other US allies, were times between Urmia and the nearby
hovering over Netanyahu’s visit to rael, breaking with decades of center- caught by surprise by Trump’s abrupt city of Tabriz that cut the lake in two.
Brazil, the first-ever by an Israeli left policies which sought to position decision this month to pull American But people were also a major part
prime minister. Brazil as a Latin American power troops out of Syria, where they had of the problem due to a rapid rise in
He arrived on Friday and went nurturing relations with all countries. been fighting remnants of the Islamic the population and farming around
straight into his meeting with far- Netanyahu had told reporters as he State group. the lake, which provides a livelihood
right Bolsonaro, who is to be sworn- flew in to Rio that he was going to Israel fears the vacuum will allow to some six million people.
in in a ceremony in Brasilia on raise the embassy topic as a priority arch-foe Iran to make greater inroads The rejuvenation effort therefore
Tuesday, with Netanyahu among the when he met Bolsonaro. into Syria, where it is allied with focused on redirecting rivers to ir-
foreign dignitaries attending. In their discussion Friday, Bolso- President Bashar al-Assad. rigate farmland, thus avoiding use
Bolsonaro said in early November naro and Netanyahu talked up their Netanyahu’s Brazil trip came at a of water from the lake, and the pro-
he intended to follow Trump’s lead in budding “brotherhood” which they sensitive time for the leader, who is motion of more sustainable farming
moving his country’s embassy from said would boost military, economic, maneuvering to stay in power despite methods. “Almost 85 percent of the
Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. But then he technological and agricultural coop- a slew of corruption allegations. water is used for agriculture, and we
backtracked, saying “it hasn’t been eration. Israel’s parliament last Wednesday are trying to help farmers reduce us-
decided yet.” Brazil’s important meat Neither man raised the embassy approved his government’s decision age through cheap and effective tech-
producers are worried that an embas- issue when they spoke to journal- to call early elections for April 9. niques,” said Abesht.
Page 5 Monday December 31, 2018
“We showed some resiliency,” he said. “We’re going to need that going forward” Tennis
Texans clinch AFC South title, Patriots earn first-round bye German stars shine
The Houston Texans finally clinched Star duo Angelique Kerber and Al-
the AFC South division title that had exander Zverev made encouraging
long seemed theirs for the taking with starts to their Australian Open prepa-
a 20-3 win over Jacksonville on the ration as Germany cruised to a 3-0
final Sunday of the NFL regular sea- win over Spain at the mixed teams
son. Hopman Cup in Perth Sunday.
Deshaun Watson threw for 234 The top 10 pair, beaten finalists in
yards and ran for a touchdown and the previous edition of the tourna-
DeAndre Hopkins had 147 receiv- ment, were too good in their singles
ing yards for the Texans, who roared matches against Garbine Muguruza
back from an 0-3 start to the season and David Ferrer.
with a nine-game winning streak but Just over two weeks out from
had lost two of their last three. the year’s first Grand Slam, Kerber
As teams jockeyed for playoff posi- edged past Muguruza in three sets to
tion on an action-packed day the New open the tie, while a misfiring Zverev
England Patriots -- playoff bound for was given a scare by the veteran Fer-
a record 10th straight season -- se- rer before also winning in three.
cured a ninth straight first-round bye In the dead mixed doubles rubber,
with a 38-3 rout of the New York Jets. the Germans made it a clean sweep
New England’s superstar quarter- with a straight sets win.
back Tom Brady threw three of his Kerber won all four of her singles
four touchdown passes in the first Deshaun Watson #4 of the Houston Texans (Photo AFP) matches without dropping a set at
half as the Patriots finished the season Brady said it was satisfying to contest locked into the fourth seed in the last Hopman Cup, as part of a
unbeaten at home. close out the regular season with the NFC, quarterback Dak Prescott 14-match winning streak that was
They are assured of at least one back-to-back victories after two played throughout, connecting with only snapped in the Australian Open
post-season game at home in Fox- straight defeats. Cole Beasley for a touchdown with semi-final by Simona Halep.
boro, and they could capture the “We showed some resiliency,” he 1:12 remaining before finding Mi- That proved to be the start of a pro-
top seed in the AFC and home field said. “We’re going to need that going chael Gallup with the game-winning ductive year for a resurgent Kerber,
throughout the playoffs should Kan- forward.” conversion. who won at Wimbledon and climbed
sas City and the Los Angeles Char- The playoff-bound Dallas Cow- The Green Bay Packers’ season back to number two in the world.
gers both falter later Sunday. boys will take some momentum ended on a low note. Already elimi- Hoping for a similar start to the
“We had a great opportunity for it,” into the post-season after captur- nated from playoff contention, the new season under new coach Rainer
Brady said of grabbing the bye. “I’m ing a 36-35 victory over the New Packers saw quarterback Aaron Rod- Schuttler, Kerber took the first set
just glad we could close it out. You York Giants thanks to a two-point gers depart with a concussion in the against Muguruza comfortably in the
hate to have that opportunity and not conversion in the final minute. Al- second quarter of a 31-0 loss to the battle of the two former world number
handle what we needed to handle.” though the Cowboys went into the Detroit Lions. ones. However the Spaniard wasn’t
going to let her own five-match win-
“It was very good, I came out of the blocks quick” ning run against the German go eas-
Federer off to another flyer ily, and took the second set.
A break of serve in the fourth game
Roger Federer made an almost flaw- happy with all aspects of my game. semi-final by Simona Halep. That of the third set was enough to ensure
less start to his Australian Open prep- “The footwork, the offensive play, proved to be the start of a productive Kerber maintained her perfect record
aration with a superb straight-sets serve, return, it was all there, so I year for a resurgent Kerber, who won in Perth, winning 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.
win over Cameron Norrie as defend- think it was a great match for me.” at Wimbledon and climbed back to Kerber conceded Muguruza had
ing champions Switzerland beat Brit- The 37-year-old Federer was un- number two in the world. proven a historically difficult oppo-
ain in the mixed teams Hopman Cup beaten in singles at the previous Hop- Hoping for a similar start to the nent and she was pleased to begin her
in Perth Sunday. man Cup earlier this year, when he new season under new coach Rainer Australian Open preparation with a
Federer, who has won the past two teamed with Bencic to win the title. Schuttler, Kerber took the first set win. “The first match you never know
Australian Opens off opening his The four singles matches in Perth against Muguruza comfortably in the how you will feel on court,” she said.
season in Perth, made an early state- were part of a 21-match winning battle of the two former world num- “I was trying to find the rhythm and
ment in dismantling Norrie 6-1, 6-1 streak to start the year, including a ber ones. I am very happy about how I played.
in under an hour in the men’s singles, second successive Australian Open However the Spaniard wasn’t go- “I was trying not to think about the
before Belinda Bencic secured the tie title in Melbourne. ing to let her own five-match winning head to head.”
for the Swiss with a 6-2, 7-6 (7/0) win Germany’s stars shine run against the German go easily, and Zverev started well against Fer-
over Katie Boulter. Earlier in the day, Germany’s star took the second set. rer and cruised through the first set,
The Swiss won the mixed doubles duo Angelique Kerber and Alexander A break of serve in the fourth game but then grew increasingly frustrated
to complete a clean sweep of the tie. Zverev also made encouraging starts of the third set was enough to ensure with his own game as the determined
The 91st-ranked Norrie was com- to the new season. Kerber maintained her perfect record Spaniard fought back, breaking the
ing off an impressive win over world The top 10 pair, beaten in the Hop- in Perth, winning 6-2, 3-6, 6-3. German’s serve with a sublime fore-
number 15 Stefanos Tsitsipas the man final by Federer and Bencic in Zverev started well against Fer- hand passing shot in the 10th game to
previous day, but had no answer to January, were too good in their sin- rer and cruised through the first set, claim the second set.
the brilliance of the Swiss maestro, gles matches against Spain’s Garbine but then grew increasingly frustrated There was little between the pair
ranked third in the world. Muguruza and David Ferrer. with his own game as the determined in the third set until Zverev surged
Two breaks of the serve in each set World number two Kerber edged Spaniard fought back, breaking the in the tiebreak to take the match 6-4,
were enough for the 20-time Grand past the 18th-ranked Muguruza in German’s serve with a sublime fore- 4-6, 7-6 (7/0).
Slam winner to win 6-1, 6-1 in just three sets to open the tie, while a mis- hand passing shot in the 10th game to Although Zverev is ranked fourth
57 minutes, just over two weeks out firing Zverev was given a scare by the claim the second set. in the world and Ferrer 126th, the
from the year’s first Grand Slam. veteran Ferrer before also winning There was little between the pair German said he expected nothing less
Federer said he’d been in good in three. In the dead mixed doubles in the third set until Zverev surged from the Spaniard, who has retired
touch in practice and was pleased to rubber, the Germans made it a clean in the tiebreak to take the match 6-4, from Grand Slam tennis.
see that form carry through to his first sweep with a straight sets win. 4-6, 7-6 (7/0). “He is the greatest fighter, maybe
official outing of the new season. Kerber won all four of her singles Although Zverev is ranked fourth we have ever seen in tennis,” Zverev
“It was very good, I came out of matches without dropping a set in in the world and Ferrer 126th, the said. Zverev received attention for a
the blocks quick,” he said. Perth at the start of the year, as part of German said he expected nothing less right leg problem during the mixed
“I wasn’t missing my rhythm and a 14-match winning streak that was from the Spaniard, who who retired doubles, but played out the match
it was perfect conditions, and I was only snapped in the Australian Open from Grand Slam tennis. without apparent discomfort.
Page 6 Monday December 31, 2018
The aim of the game is to fill a 9x9 grid (81 squares) that is subdivided into 3x3 “sub-squares, with each of the numbers one through nine, besides
the ones that are already filled with numbers.
The rule is that each number appear only once per row, once per column, and only once per sub-square. It is rather easy to solve, in fact no math-
ematical knowledge is required. The solutions are indicated below.
3 9 1 2 7 5 8 6 3
2 1 7 6 3 5
5 1 4 8 9 5
3 7 1 5 6 7 9 4
4 9 7 3 8 6
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12
1 3 9 7 5 8 1 3
14 15 16 17 18
4 5 8 7 3 6
19 20 21 22
23 24 25
4 1 5 9 8 7
26 27 28
9 1 3 2 6 3 9 1 8
31 32 33 34 35
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 ACROSS DOWN
1 Scale note after mi 1 Seeking victory by delay
10 11 12
3 Taps 2 Entirely outstanding performers (2
10 Brew wds.)
13 12 Rib joiners 4 Freak
13 Bacon-lettuce-tomato sandwich 5 Neuter pronoun
14 15 16 17 18 14 Abraham's son 6 Atlanta location
16 Scarlet 7 Oregon (abbr.)
19 By 8 Nashville locale
19 20 21 22
20 Humble 9 Gloomy
23 Kenya capital 11 Airport abbr.
23 24 25 25 Virginia (abbr.) 15 Skilled gymnast
26 River (Spanish) 17 Emergency room
27 Radiuses 18 That divides in math
26 27 28
30 American sign language 21 Hug upon greeting
31 Phony 22 Grabbed
35 Garden tool 24 Caesarʼs two
36 Taken of 28 Telegraphic signal
31 32 33 34 35 37 Road (abbr.) 29 Spiritedness
32 Sun god
33 Strontium (abbr.)
DEDICATED PRESS sales
P A R T O O K
ACROSS 9 3 5 1 6 4 7 2 8 DOWN 7 5 4 6 2 1 8 H O E E R S A T Z (52)8183105037
A S L
DEDICATED PRESS editorial
R A D I I
R I O
1 Scale note after mi 1 8 3 2 7 6 9 4 5 1 Seeking victory by delay V A N A I R O B I [email protected]
C H A G R I N
3 Taps 6 9 4 5 1 8 2 7 3 2 Entirely outstanding performers (2 Agence France-Presse (AFP)
Printed and distributed locally in each hotel.
I S A A C
R E D
All rights reserved.
10 Brew 3 5 9 6 4 7 1 8 2 5 1 wds.) 9 7 4 3 6 2 D O Y S T E R N A B L T A L E Reproduction in whole or in part by any printed
or electronic without permission of the publisher.
12 Rib joiners 7 2 1 9 8 5 4 3 6 4 Freak 6 8 1 4 7 5 S P I G O T S F A
13 Bacon-lettuce-tomato sandwich 5 Neuter pronoun Solution:
14 Abraham's son 6 Atlanta location
16 Scarlet 7 Oregon (abbr.)
19 By 8 Nashville locale
20 Humble 9 Gloomy
23 Kenya capital 11 Airport abbr.
25 Virginia (abbr.) 15 Skilled gymnast
26 River (Spanish) 17 Emergency room
27 Radiuses 18 That divides in math
30 American sign language 21 Hug upon greeting
31 Phony 22 Grabbed
35 Garden tool 24 Caesarʼs two
36 Taken of 28 Telegraphic signal
37 Road (abbr.) 29 Spiritedness
32 Sun god
33 Strontium (abbr.)
QUESTRO HOTELS RATES
November 1st, 2018 – May 15th, 2019.
Cabo Real Club Campestre Puerto Los Cabos
Green Fee San José
Public Public Public
-18 Holes $245.00 $200.00 $190.00 $150.00 $285.00 $230.00
-Early Twilight 12:00p $200.00 $160.00 $160.00 $130.00 $230.00 $185.00
-Twilight 1:30p $175.00 $140.00 $135.00 $110.00 $205.00 $165.00
Includes Food & Beverages
FORE FOR 4 PROMO
(After 11:00 am) $660.00 $500.00 $760.00
Rates per foursome Includes Food & Beverages
2 ROUND PASS 3 ROUND PASS 5 ROUND PASS
$370.00 USD $510.00 USD $800.00 USD
*Rounds may be played at any of our three courses.
*Each pass used at Puerto Los Cabos will incur a $20 USD surcharge due to all-
inclusive food and beverage palapas.
*Golf pass is personal, non-transferable.
Golf Pass is valid for 14 days, once initial round is played.
All rates and promos are valid up to 12 golfers. Group service fee will apply to all groups larger than 12.
QUESTRO GOLF POLICIES
• Cancelation Policy: Our cancellation policy is 24 hours in advance. If you need to
change or reduce the number of players in your group, please do so at least 24
hours prior to your tee time. Failure to do so will result in a full charge.
• Green Fee includes: 18 holes, one shared golf cart per round, use of driving range
prior to round and bottled water.
• Our Pace of Play is 4 hours, 30 minutes. By booking this reservation you are in
agreement and acknowledgement of our pace of play requirements.
• Dress Code (Golfers and Riders): Appropriate golf attire is required. Collared golf
shirts and Bermuda / golf style shorts are allowed. Please note that denim,
swimwear, cut-offs, t-shirts, halter tops, tank tops, and flip flops are not
• Outside food and beverage is not permitted
• Riders are permitted based on availability of golf carts and cannot be guaranteed
in advance. Please contact the golf course the same day of play, to confirm
availability. Rider fees are $45 USD at Puerto Los Cabos and $35 USD at Cabo Real
& Club Campestre San José.
Available for $55.00 USD
Prices subject to change