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USA Today December 09 2017

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SATURDAY
AN EDITION OF USA TODAY
Detectives from
‘Psych’ are back,
fistbumps and all
12.09.17
Long-running USA dramedy returns for a
reunion movie, which the stars hope
turns into a regular thing. In Life
ALAN ZENUK/USA NETWORK
IN BRIEF
U.S. flu season gets early start;
widespread activity in 7 states
This year’s flu season is off to a
quick start.
Health officials say the flu vaccine
seems well matched to the viruses
making people sick, but it’s too early to
tell how bad this season will be. The
main flu bug tends to cause more
deaths and hospitalizations, and vaccines tend not to work as well against
it.
By the end of last week, seven
states reported widespread flu activity: Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana,
Massachusetts, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Virginia.
Trump’s tweets about Muslims
taint travel ban, judges say
President Trump’s travel ban ran
into a familiar problem in a federal
court Friday: President Trump.
A majority of judges on the Virginia-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of
Appeals repeatedly cited the president’s tweets about Muslims as evidence that his decision to ban most
travelers from countries that are home
to 150 million Muslims was based on
religious animus.
The judges also voiced concern that
the third version of Trump’s travel ban,
issued Sept. 24 and allowed to take full
effect by the Supreme Court this week,
bans travelers indefinitely.
“The president is not lying about
what he said,” Judge James Wynn told
deputy assistant attorney general
Hashim Mooppan at the two-hour
hearing. “If anything, he’s one individual who’s saying exactly what he
means.”
Dick Marsala looks through what’s left of his home Friday after a wildfire roared through the Rancho Monserate Country
Club retirement community in Fallbrook, Calif. GREGORY BULL/AP
Unpredictable winds
stoke California fires
Progress reported in fighting Thomas fire, but it’s only 10% contained
Wendy Leung
Trump signs 2-week spending bill
to avoid government shutdown
Ventura County (Calif.) Star
USA TODAY NETWORK
President Trump on Friday signed a
spending bill to avoid a government
shutdown and keep the federal government running through Dec. 22.
The president signed the two-week
spending measure in private at the
White House after the House and Senate acted to prevent a government
shutdown this weekend. The funding
reprieve comes as the White House
and congressional leaders are negotiating a longer-term agreement.
VENTURA, Calif. – There’s one
thing constant as the ever-growing
Thomas Fire entered its fifth day Friday — relentless winds.
Santa Ana winds continued to
14 UN peacekeepers killed,
53 wounded in Congo attack
make the 132,000-acre — or 206.5square miles — fire more dangerous,
spreading flames north of Ojai city limits, past La Conchita and into Santa Barbara County.
Wind speeds were expected to average 15 to 30 mph, with gusts up to 45
Kay Wilson-Bolton
See FIRES, Page 2T
Chaplain with the Ventura County Fire Department
Fluctuating tolls manage highway traffic
You can pay more ($40!) for
the privilege of driving faster
Bart Jansen
USA TODAY
In the deadliest single attack on a
United Nations peacekeeping mission
in recent memory, rebels in eastern
Congo killed at least 14 peacekeepers
and wounded 53 others in an assault
on their base that was launched at
nightfall and went on for hours.
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio
Guterres expressed “outrage and utter
heartbreak” and called the attack a
war crime, urging Congolese authorities to swiftly investigate. The State
Department’s Bureau of African Affairs said it was “horrified.”
The peacekeepers killed were from
Tanzania. Three remained missing,
the U.N. said.
Staff and wire reports
“It’s a lesson on how we
should hang on to things
on earth very loosely.”
WASHINGTON – Tolls that began
this week along Interstate 66 near the
nation’s capital illustrate a choice that
states and local governments increasingly offer to manage traffic congestion: Pay more during busy parts of the
day for the privilege of driving faster.
Forty jurisdictions nationwide have
adopted tolls that fluctuate depending
on traffic congestion since Southern
California adopted the first one in 1995.
Transportation officials said dynamic tolls allow motorists to avoid
traffic jams, often by allowing solo
drivers to enter lanes usually designated for cars with two or more people.
The fees can be set in schedules
Motorists in Northern Virginia along
Interstates 95 and 495 have the option
to pay tolls for express lanes; tolls
were added Dec. 4 to Interstate 66.
H. DARR BEISER/USA TODAY
that look like checker boards. The highest rates are for the busiest times of day.
Or tolls can be left uncapped to fluctuate
with changing traffic, as they do along
the 10-mile stretch of I-66, where the toll
spiked to $40 at 8:06 a.m. Tuesday.
“We don’t know that that was actually paid,” Virginia Transportation Secretary Aubrey Layne said.
Radio host Toby Knapp called the
new tolls “craptastic” in a tweet.
The goal of fluctuating tolls is to keep
traffic moving swiftly along those lanes
while giving commuters the choice to
stay in crowded regular lanes or switch
to mass transit. “It’s becoming an accepted and reliable way that state, city
and county governments are using to
manage their congestion,” said Patrick
Jones, CEO of the International Bridge,
Tunnel and Turnpike Association.
Tolls have long been used to help pay
for or expand state and local roads. Congress banned tolls on federally funded
highways but later gradually allowed
them to pay for new or expanded lanes.
“No one has to pay a toll,” Layne said.
“They can simply get somebody else in
their car with them.”
USA SNAPSHOTS©
71%
of holiday shoppers admit they
spend the most time and money
finding the perfect gift for mom.
SOURCE eBay Holiday Shopping Survey
of 1,000 U.S. adults
MIKE SMITH, PAUL TRAP/USA TODAY
Supersized old black hole challenges astronomers
Doyle Rice
USA TODAY
The most distant and oldest supermassive black hole ever seen has been
discovered, astronomers announced
in a study published this week.
The black hole resides in a quasar,
and its light reaches us from when the
universe was only 5% of its current age
— more than 13 billion years ago, or
“just” 690 million years after the Big
Bang.
Quasars are among the brightest
and most-distant known celestial objects and are crucial to understanding
the early universe, study co-author
Bram Venemans of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Germany said.
The discovery of a massive black
hole so early in the universe may provide key clues on conditions at that
time, which allowed for huge black
holes to form. It’s gargantuan, some
800 million times the mass of our sun.
The size amazed and puzzled astronomers.
“This black hole grew far larger than
we expected in only 690 million years
after the Big Bang, which challenges our
theories about how black holes form,”
study co-author Daniel Stern of NASA’s
Jet Propulsion Laboratory said.
Study lead author Eduardo Bañados
of the Carnegie Institution for Science
said that “gathering all this mass in fewer than 690 million years is an enormous challenge for theories of supermassive black hole growth.”
Another study author, Robert Simcoe
of MIT, said “this is the only object we
have observed from this era. It has an
extremely high mass, and yet the universe is so young that this thing
shouldn’t exist. ... It’s very puzzling.”
Even older examples could be discovered, scientists said. The study was
published in the British journal Nature.
2T
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2017 ❚ USA TODAY
Fires
Continued from Page 1T
mph, according to the National Weather
Service. By Friday evening, winds are
expected to drop to around 15 mph.
However, winds remain in the forecast
through Saturday night, along with single-digit relative humidity and aboveaverage temperatures, leading the National Weather Service to extend its redflag fire warning for the county through
Sunday. The Ventura County, Calif., fire
is now 10% contained.
Friday, President Trump approved an
emergency declaration for California. In
a statement, the declaration orders
“Federal assistance to supplement
State, tribal, and local response efforts
due to the emergency conditions resulting from wildfires beginning on Decem-
Corrections & Clarifications
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accuracy. To reach us, contact
Standards Editor Brent Jones at
800-872-7073 or e-mail
accuracy@usatoday.com. Please
indicate whether you’re
responding to content online or in
the newspaper.
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John Zidich
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ber 4, 2017, and continuing.”
The declaration enables the Federal
Emergency Management Agency to
provide assistance “to lessen or avert
the threat of a catastrophe in the counties of Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Santa Barbara and Ventura.”
California Gov. Jerry Brown had requested the emergency declaration.
New developments of the fire had authorities concerned most of Thursday,
not just because of the expansion but its
trajectory into dry fuel beds.
Cal Fire Capt. John Clingingsmith
said the Ojai Valley and La Conchita
haven’t had a history of fires.
“There’s a lot of dead fuels up there,”
Clingingsmith said. “And when we have
no fire history, that could be decades
worth of dead slash and trees and brush
and everything.”
New fire activity continued throughout the county, including in a remote
area near Fillmore and Santa Paula that
produced big plumes of smoke. By late
Thursday, authorities said they were
able to get a handle on much of the fire
perimeter and make progress on mopping up problem areas.
Strong winds, which haven’t taken a
break since the fire started near Santa
Paula on Monday, have limited aircraft
deployment as well as the possibility of
displaced residents being allowed to return soon.
Officials said there has been a lack of
qualified damage-assessment teams
available in recent days to quantify the
number of homes destroyed by the fire.
Officials announced that 439 structures
had been destroyed and 85 damaged.
Gabriela Gutierrez was among those
who lost her home. Gutierrez and her
husband and their two young children
evacuated their home in a Santa Paula,
Calif., mobile home park Monday night.
The first warning was a call from the
family’s baby sitter saying some people
were being evacuated. Then a security
guard knocked on their door encouraging them to pack essentials.
“I couldn’t believe it until I went outside and I saw flames, and there was
some smoke,” she said.
On Thursday morning, Gutierrez
stopped in at the Santa Paula Community Center, one of six evacuation centers set up in Ventura and Santa Barbara
counties. For days, people had been
dropping off donations of water, food
and clothing. Kids played cards and
video games as adults rested on cots.
Jennifer Day volunteers to save a chicken along Rice Road in Ojai, Calif., on
Thursday. JUAN CARLOS/VENTURA COUNTY (CALIF.) STAR VIA USA TODAY NETWORK
Fire crews
search for
hot spots
among
destroyed
homes in
the Rancho
Monserate
Country
Club
community
in Fallbrook,
Calif.
GREGORY
BULL/AP
Kay Wilson-Bolton, a chaplain with
the Ventura County Fire Department
who also works with area homeless
people, said the outpouring of charity
means basic needs are being met. What
will be needed next, she said, are places
for displaced people to eat a homecooked meal or take a shower, the things
that will help them feel normal again.
“It’s a lesson on how we should hang
on to things on earth very loosely,” Wilson-Bolton said. She evacuated her
home Tuesday and has been sleeping at
her office. Her home survived.
The unpredictability of the wind
seems to be the overarching theme of
this massive fire, which Thursday
Jerusalem
decision
skirts some
capital-size
questions
Trump says
he’ll pursue
Wells Fargo
fraud fines
Gregory Korte
USA TODAY
On maps, passports, the
ancient city is stateless
Gregory Korte
USA TODAY
WASHINGTON – President Trump
recognized Jerusalem as the capital of
Israel on Wednesday — but on Thursday, State Department officials stopped
short of saying whether the U.S. believes that Jerusalem is actually in Israel.
That seemingly contradictory policy
demonstrates just how difficult it will be
for the Trump administration to implement what the president called a “recognition of reality.”
Trump’s decision to move the U.S.
Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem upended decades of American
foreign policy, delighted conservatives
in both countries, ignited protests in the
West Bank and cast the future of peace
talks into doubt.
But it also left any number of political, diplomatic and practical issues unresolved: How will U.S. passports identify people born in Jerusalem? How will
the city appear on maps? What’s the future of the Consulate General in Jerusalem? And where will the U.S. pay for and
build a new embassy in a city where historic, political and security considerations so often intersect?
All those questions may be beside the
point.
“It’s pretty clear the embassy is not
going to move to Jerusalem in the foreseeable future, so it’s a moot point for
the time being,” said James B. Cunningham, a former U.S. ambassador to Israel
and a fellow at the Atlantic Council.
“The political situation will outrun the
technical details of how to move the embassy in the long run.”
moved toward Las Padres National Forest. The winds are expected to weaken
but they’re not going away.
In semirural San Diego County, at
least 65 structures had been destroyed.
Cal Fire said there’s still no containment
of the fire early Friday.
That fire exceeded 3,840 acres, or 6
square miles in a matter of hours Thursday and burned dozens of houses as it
tore through the tightly packed Rancho
Monserate Country Club community in
the small city of Fallbrook.
Contributing:
Barrett
Newkirk,
Megan Diskin and Christian Martinez,
Ventura County (Calif.) Star; The Associated Press.
Our embassy in Tel Aviv won’t move to Jerusalem overnight. ABIR SULTAN/EPA-EFE
“We’re not taking any position on overall boundaries.”
State Department spokeswoman
Heather Nauert
For now, State Department officials
said, there will be no practical change in
how the U.S. deals with the city’s status.
A 2015 Supreme Court decision, for
example, upheld the longstanding practice of omitting the country on passports for people born in Jerusalem, effectively giving it a stateless status.
That won’t change, officials said.
“There has been no change in our policy with respect to consular practice or
passport issuance at this time,” said
acting Assistant Secretary of State David Satterfield on Thursday. U.S. government maps also won’t change for
now, he said.
“The president’s decision speaks for
itself,” he said. “He didn’t go beyond
that, and I’m not going to go beyond
that.”
While Israel sees Jerusalem as its undivided and “eternal” capital, the Palestinians also claim east Jerusalem as the
capital of their future state. Previous
presidents have said that the decision
on Jerusalem’s capital must come from
a negotiated agreement between the Israelis and Palestinians.
But even after Trump’s decisive foreign policy pronouncement, State Department spokeswoman Heather
Nauert declined to say what country
Jerusalem is in.
“What country was the president in
when he prayed at the Western Wall?”
an Associated Press reporter asked.
“We’re not taking any position on
the overall boundaries. We are recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” Nauert responded. “There are
some questions that you will rightfully
have about passports, for example,
about maps. Some of those things, we
are still working out.”
Another question: Whether the
president’s directive to move the embassy can be completed during his
presidency.
“We are not going to be doing that
quickly,” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Thursday. “We have to acquire a site. We have to develop building plans. We’ll have to construct the
building. So this is not something that
will happen overnight.”
The two most comparable embassies now under construction — in Beirut, Lebanon and Islamabad, Pakistan
— are expected to cost more than $1
billion each. The Beirut embassy broke
ground in 2011 and is scheduled to
open next year. Construction on the Islamabad embassy started last year
and isn’t expected to be completed until 2022.
WASHINGTON – President Trump
promised Friday to pursue banks
found to have committed fraud against
their customers, disputing reports that
his administration would backtrack on
a $100 million fine levied against banking giant Wells Fargo.
“Fines and penalties against Wells
Fargo Bank for their bad acts against
their customers and others will not be
dropped, as has incorrectly been reported, but will be pursued and, if anything, substantially increased,” he
tweeted. “I will cut Regs but make penalties severe when caught cheating!”
Trump’s statement follows a report
by Reuters news agency, quoting three
anonymous officials, that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
was reconsidering the $100 million
fine levied against the San Franciscobased bank.
The consumer watchdog agency is
undergoing an upheaval after its Obama-appointed director, Richard Cordray, resigned to run for Ohio governor
last month.
Trump installed his budget director,
Mick Mulvaney, as the agency’s acting
director.
Mulvaney is a longtime critic of the
agency, complaining that it was set up
by Congress to be unaccountable to
elected officials.
But on his first day at the CFPB last
month, he said he was also committed
to enforcing the law.
“I was disturbed by what’s happening with Wells Fargo,” Mulvaney said.
“CFPB gets a lot of credit for fining
Wells Fargo. My question is, why did
they miss it?”
In September, the CFPB fined the
nation’s third-largest bank for secretly
opening new accounts for customers,
often charging them fees for products
they never ordered or agreed to.
The agency found that the illegal
sales practices began in 2011.
3T
USA TODAY ❚ SATURDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2017
No Trump
speech for
civil rights
ceremony
Sam R. Hall
The Clarion Ledger
USA TODAY NETWORK
Ben Platt uses a surfboard to sled down a hill at Cole Park after snow blanketed Corpus Christi, Texas.
COURTNEY SACCO, CORPUS CHRISTI CALLER-TIMES VIA USA TODAY NETWORK
Snowstorm socks southern
states, targets East Coast
First blast of season snarls
roads, closes some schools
Doug Stanglin
USA TODAY
A band of cold air that delivered a
rare blanket of snow to parts of southern Texas rolled through the Deep South
on Friday bringing threats of more
weekend snow, sleet and dicey travel
conditions from the Mid-Atlantic to
New England.
Parts of Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana
and Mississippi reported snow flurries
before dawn. In Georgia, nearly two
dozen school systems closed ahead of
the wintry weather.
“It’s the first snow of the season, and
any time you even mention snow in the
South, you’re going to get people a little
panicky,” said David Nadler, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service
office south of Atlanta.
This first taste of winter will vary
along the path across the South, with
sleet and snow expected — but not certain — in much of Virginia, but likely
producing snow in larger amounts farther north in New York City, Massachusetts and Maine.
The National Weather Service said a
half-inch to an inch of snow is forecast
across many areas of the South by Friday night. Winter weather advisories
have been posted for parts of Louisiana,
Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and the
Carolinas.
Meanwhile, a second storm moving
across the upper tier of the United
States out of the Midwest could bring
patchy snow and the chance of a small
accumulation to parts of the interior
Northeast, AccuWeather says. The
amount and intensity of snow activity
depends on if and when the northern
storm merges with the southern band
and how much moisture it carries as it
gets closer to the Atlantic Ocean.
The storm’s unpredictable nature
was on display in Texas, particularly
near the Gulf Coast, as a band of heavy
snow slowly moved over Austin and
San Antonio on Thursday, eventually
reaching Houston and Corpus Christi.
Contributing: The Associated Press
JACKSON, Miss. – President Trump
will not speak publicly when he visits
the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum
as part of the grand opening celebration.
Gov. Phil Bryant’s office announced
late Thursday night that the president
would take a tour of the museum Saturday morning before
speaking inside to an
audience of “civil rights
veterans, museum patrons and elected officials.” Trump will not
address the general
public as part of the President
larger grand opening Trump
celebration.
The White House confirmed
Wednesday that the president would
visit Mississippi as part of the state’s
bicentennial celebration.
While no plans had been publicly
announced, Trump was expected to
speak as part of the public celebration,
including the grand opening of the
Mississippi History Museum and the
Mississippi Civil Rights Museum.
The announcement of Trump’s visit
set off a firestorm of protests and
counterprotests. Several civil rights
veterans, elected officials and highprofile visitors announced they would
not attend Saturday’s festivities because of Trump’s participation, citing
past remarks that many considered insensitive toward minorities or supportive of racist groups.
U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., was
the highest profile official to cancel an
appearance. He and Rep. Bennie
Thompson, D-Miss., made a joint
statement Thursday announcing their
decision. Former U.S. Navy Secretary
and governor Ray Mabus also said he
would not attend.
Kim’s heated talk masks cold calculation
Nuclear program gives
him deterrent, leverage
North
Koreans
attend a
mass rally
in Kim
Il-Sung
Square in
Pyongyang
to
celebrate
the
country’s
claim that
it had
achieved
full nuclear
statehood
on Dec. 1.
Jim Michaels
USA TODAY
North Korea’s latest threat of nuclear
war is another salvo of incendiary rhetoric from the rogue nation, but it’s also
part of a calculated power move by leader Kim Jong Un.
Experts say Kim’s fiery talk and defiance of the international community
masks a core fact: His pursuit of a nuclear program is designed to establish the
legitimacy of his regime inside North
Korea and to gain international stature.
CIA Director Mike Pompeo said last
week that the consensus in the intelligence community is that Kim is “rational” — even though some comments
from North Korea may not seem so.
The joint military exercises being
conducted by the United States and
South Korea involving hundreds of warplanes “are creating a touch-and-go situation on the Korean Peninsula,” North
Korea’s foreign ministry said late
Wednesday. “The remaining question
now is: When will the war break out.”
Kim has had a lengthy exchange of
personal insults with President Trump,
and North Korea’s many missile
launches prompted Trump to call Kim
“rocket man.”
“Kim certainly is acting rationally
and predictably if his objective is to secure his hold on power,” said Sheila Miyoshi Jager, a professor at Oberlin College and author of Brothers at War: The
Unending Conflict in Korea.
North Korea’s test last month established that the isolated nation had built
a missile capable of reaching Washington, D.C., and other East Coast cities.
Both its missile and warhead technology are advancing rapidly, as Pyongyang shows no sign of backing off its
pursuit of nuclear weapons.
Kim believes nuclear weapons serve
as a deterrent and provide economic leverage for North Korea, Jager said. Kim
fears he will go the way of Iraq’s Saddam
Hussein and Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi
— both gave up their nuclear weapons
programs and were overthrown.
If North Korea does eventually come
KIM WON-JIN,
AFP/GETTY
IMAGES
South
Korea and
U.S.
fighter jets
fly over
the Korean
Peninsula
during
combat
exercises
Wednesday,
despite
North
Korea’s
objections.
GETTY
IMAGES
to the negotiating table, it would rather
be as an established nuclear power so it
could make economic demands in return for curtailing its program or signing
non-aggression treaties.
In 1994, for example, the United
States agreed to provide North Korea
with so-called light water reactors and
provided other economic incentives in
return for abandoning its nuclear program. The deal eventually fell apart, but
North Korea would still be interested in
similar economic incentives today.
Kim also believes that the threat of a
nuclear attack on the United States
might force Washington to rethink its
commitment to defend South Korea if
attacked. North Korea’s ultimate goal is
to reunify the peninsula.
“Would the U.S. trade destruction of
L.A., Seattle or Chicago (in order) to defend Seoul?” Jager asked. “Perhaps, but
from Kim’s perspective, it’s definitely
worth pursuing, because it is the only
realistic way to achieve the ‘final victory.’ ”
Even Kim’s brutality against his own
people is calculated. He was relatively
unknown and untested when he came
to power in 2011 and not yet 30 years old.
He is the third generation of his family
to rule the country.
“Many people thought he was too
young and inexperienced to rule,” Jager
said. “He came into power with something to prove.”
He turned to violence to quickly
prove himself.
“He’s vengeful, ruthless and knows
how to wield power through terror,” Jager said. “Kim plays by his own rules.”
4T
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2017 ❚ USA TODAY
CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES
A Ventura
home
becomes
a raging
inferno as
the
Thomas
fire
descends
from the
hills. JUAN
CARLO/
Fire crews
attempt to
save what
remains of
this home
in the
upscale
Bel Air
Estates
area of
Los
Angeles.
VENTURA
DAN
COUNTY STAR
MACMEDAN/
VIA USA
USA TODAY
TODAY
NETWORK
NETWORK
Greg Smith stands amid the ruins of his home after the Thomas fire swept through Ventura. Continuing winds hampered containment efforts. DANIEL DREIFUSS/AP
‘Pandemonium’ hits
people, horses alike
The terror of a wildfire isn’t limited to people.
About 25 race horses were killed when flames
engulfed eight barns at a training center in
San Diego County, the California Horse Racing Board said. Other horses in surrounding
pastures remained unaccounted for. Nearly
500 horses were stabled at the San Luis Rey
Downs training center when the fire erupted
Thursday, and workers risked their lives to
free horses from stalls and herd them to safe
areas. Horses worth hundreds of thousands
of dollars that are usually carefully walked
from place to place were simply set free and
even encouraged to run off as flames engulfed
the center. It was “total pandemonium when
several hundred horses were cut loose,” said
Mac McBride, who worked with the trainers.
Trainer Cliff Sise told KFMB-TV that he saw
about 10 horses die, including his filly. “It was
dark, everything was hot and she wouldn’t
come out. I opened the pen and tried to get
behind her. ... She burned to death that
quick.” – The Associated Press
Dense vegetation along canyon walls fueled the fires
even with constant helicopter flights making water
drops. DAN MACMEDAN/USA TODAY NETWORK
5T
USA TODAY ❚ SATURDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2017
MONEYLINE
Economy
added
228,000
jobs in
November
GET STARBUCKS CHRISTMAS
TREE FRAPPUCCINO NOW
Starbucks launched the Christmas
Tree Frappuccino on Thursday. The
concoction is the latest
in the coffee chain’s
line of limited-edition frappuccinos. The
drink is a Peppermint
Mocha Crème Frappuccino topped
with matcha
whipped cream styled
to look like a Christmas tree, and it’s decorated with caramel
drizzle, candied
cranberries and a
strawberry. It’s available
through Monday at participating stores.
Report supports a likely
Fed rate hike next week
Paul Davidson
USA TODAY
STARBUCKS
FINANCIER SAM ISALY EXITS
AMID SEXUAL ALLEGATIONS
SUSAN TOMPOR/DETROIT FREE PRESS VIA USA TODAY NETWORK
Samuel Isaly, co-founder of one of the
biotech industry’s most influential
hedge funds, is retiring from his role
as managing partner of OrbiMed Advisors following allegations of sexual
harassment. The New York City-based
hedge fund characterized the departure as a routine leadership change,
saying in a statement that Isaly was
leaving “pursuant to years-long succession planning discussions.”
FORD OFF OF MSNBC UNTIL
ALLEGATIONS RESOLVED
Susan Tompor
Detroit Free Press
USA TODAY NETWORK
Former congressman Harold Ford Jr.
will not be a contributor on MSNBC’s
“Morning Joe” program until allegations of misconduct against him are
resolved. The announcement comes a
day after Ford was fired by Morgan
Stanley amid a report by HuffPost that
a woman alleged that Ford forcibly
grabbed her several years ago, engaging in harassment and intimidation.
Ford has denied the allegations.
DELTA ADDS CHECKED-BAG
FEE TO SOME EUROPE FARES
Delta Air Lines plans to start charging
basic economy passengers checked
baggage fees on flights to Europe:
$60 for the first bag and $100 for the
second, a change that will apply to
tickets bought after Dec. 6 for flights
departing April 10 and beyond.
Dow Jones Industrial Avg.
24,350
24,320
117.68
24,290
4:00 p.m.
24,329
24,260
24,230
24,200
9:30 a.m.
24,211
FRIDAY MARKETS
INDEX
CLOSE
Nasdaq composite
S&P 500
T-note, 10-year yield
Oil, light sweet crude
Gold, oz. Comex
Euro (dollars per euro)
Yen per dollar
6840.08
2651.50
2.378%
$57.34
$1245.20
$1.1768
113.51
CHG
x
x
x
x
y
y
x
27.24
14.52
0.02
0.75
0.60
0.0006
0.38
SOURCES USA TODAY RESEARCH, MARKETWATCH.COM
USA SNAPSHOTS©
24%
of companies plan to
eliminate desk phones soon.
SOURCE MOBI Enterprise Mobility in 2017 and
What Comes Next survey of 300 information
technology decision-makers
JAE YANG, VERONICA BRAVO/USA TODAY
December a
cool month for
hot car deals
Shoppers who missed out on
Black Friday sales can hit a restart
button when it comes to sweet car
deals in December.
The ads might be labeled as a
“Year-End Sales Event,” “Holiday
Sale” or “December to Remember,”
instead of Black Friday.
But many rebates and special incentives are at their best levels of
the year now and some regional incentives could be added before
Dec. 31, according to Brad Korner,
general manager of Cox Automotive
Rates & Incentives in Ann Arbor,
Mich. Cox owns car-shopping websites including Kelley Blue Book and
AutoTrader. “You’re going to see a
lot of these go away in January,”
Korner predicted.
Shoppers who think the end of
the month is a great time to buy a
car have grown accustomed to anticipating even better prices at the
end of the year, too.
“It’s like buying Christmas paper
in January,” said James Dollinger, a
Flint, Mich.-area auto dealer. “Traditionally, my biggest months have
always been December.”
Car companies are concerned
about clearing out inventories —
and holding onto market share. U.S.
auto sales are likely to be down for
2017, the first decline since 2009
when both General Motors and
Chrysler ended up in bankruptcy.
Shoppers should expect:
Generous rebates
and cash incentives
Carmakers cranked out plenty of
incentives for December to unload
outgoing 2017 models. Many 2018
models have rebates, but the better
deals tend to be on the older inventories. Chevrolet, for example, has
added “Employee Pricing for All” in
December — the best incentives of
the year for all Chevy vehicles in inventory, Korner said.
In December, bigger rebates are
likely to be on slow-selling luxury
cars, sedans, hybrids and electric
vehicles. A 2017 Ford Taurus, for example, has up to $6,750 in incentives for those who qualify. That includes a $4,000 cash incentive plus
$1,250 in bonus cash — and a $1,500
bonus for a customer financing
through Ford Credit.
In addition, some customers
could qualify for another $500 military bonus or a $500 bonus for college students and recent graduates.
Many car companies offer extra,
conditional incentives for college
grads, military experience, union
members — even Uber drivers.
Tip: Before heading to a dealership, research incentives and rebates online at sites such as Kelley
Blue Book at www.kbb.com and Edmunds at www.edmunds.com.
Incentives can apply to specific
models, too. Unlike years past, incentives aren’t across the board.
0% financing
Federal Reserve policymakers
are likely to raise rates at their
meeting next week. But most experts anticipate that 0% financing
will continue to be offered through
the automakers.
Some promotions, such as on
most 2018 Chevy Cruz models, are
limiting 0% financing to 60
months. Ford has 0% for
72 months on many
2017 models. Many
people who do not
have excellent credit
will not qualify for
0%. Typically, consumers need a credit
score around 710 to 720
to qualify for 0%, says Matt
Jones, senior consumer advice editor for Edmunds.com. Some exceptions apply.
Consumers should get preapproval on a car loan before heading to a
dealership in order to compare financing options. It’s a good idea to
get a free copy of your annual credit
report at www.annualcreditreport.com to catch any signs of identity
theft before you apply for a car loan.
Lease deals and lease
pull-ahead programs
Mark Montante, general manager for Taylor Chevrolet in Detroit,
said Chevy’s lease loyalty program
more than doubled to up to $3,500
on many vehicles in December,
compared with last month’s discount up to $1,500. The discount is
used toward the down payment.
To qualify, a buyer must currently lease a Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac,
GMC car or light-duty truck. This
incentive is transferable within the
same household. The lease loyalty
program can apply to some 2017 and
some 2018 models.
Employers added 228,000 jobs last
month in a sign the labor market is
healthy despite worker shortages and
two months of hurricane-related volatility. Wage growth, however, remained tepid.
The unemployment rate, which is
calculated from a different survey, was
unchanged at 4.1%, the Labor Department said Friday. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg forecast 195,000
employment gains in November.
Businesses added 221,000 jobs, lifted by hiring in professional and business services, health care and manufacturing. Federal, state and local governments added 7,000.
Job gains for September and October were revised up by a total 3,000.
September’s was upgraded to 38,000
from 18,000 and October’s was revised
down to 244,000 from 261,000.
Average hourly wages rose 5 cents
to $26.55, nudging annual gains to
2.5% from 2.4%. Pay increases have
been stuck at about 2.5% for more than
a year. Economists have expected an
acceleration in light of the low unemployment rate that’s making it harder
for employers to find workers.
Some economists say the government’s measure of average earnings
growth may be skewed downward by
the retirements of higher-paid Baby
Boomers and the entry into the labor
force of lower-paid Millennials. Some
other readings of the salaries of the
same workers over time show faster
raises. And while the Federal Reserve
is seeking sharper wage gains to underpin its plan to gradually increase
interest rates, the generally strong report supports an anticipated quarterpoint rate hike at Wednesday’s Fed
meeting. It would be the third such
increase this year.
“The solid report gives the (Fed)
the green light,” Gus Faucher, chief
economist of PNC Financial Services Group, wrote in a note to clients.
The Fed continues to expect worker
shortages to eventually drive wages
higher. But, “if (modest pay increases)
continue into next year, that argument
is going to wear thin,” says Scott Anderson, chief economist of Bank of the
West. He’s predicting just two rate
hikes in 2018, below Fed policymakers’
median forecast of three.
Job creation, meanwhile, “is firing
on all cylinders,” Anderson says. Hurricanes Harvey and Irma suppressed
job growth in September because
many workers stayed home, leading to
an increase in October as most of them
returned to job sites. But as many as
50,000 more employees in Texas, Florida and Georgia were not back in time
to be counted in October and could
have bolstered payrolls in November,
Goldman Sachs economists said.
Also, the economy grew at more
than a 3% annual rate in the second
and third quarters, its best six-month
stretch in three years, as consumer
and business spending continued to
strengthen and an improving global
economy aided manufacturers.
Some hot deals the week
after Christmas
“That last week of the year, it can
be a sales monster,” Jones said.
Most shoppers, though, would
be wise to do a test drive and research the features before waiting
until the last week of December.
You want to make sure the car and
the deal are right for you.
“We do get caught up in sale hysteria at some times,” Jones said.
Job fairs such as this one in Sweetwater, Fla., in October helped push
November’s 228,000 jobs increase. AP
6T
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2017 ❚ USA TODAY
MONEY
Bitcoin crash
among 2018
worries,
bank warns
Kevin McCoy
USA TODAY
The bull market continues rising,
and the economy added a healthy
228,000 jobs last month, so what
could possibly spoil the celebrations
for consumers and investors in 2018?
A “Bitcoin crash,” rising inflation,
danger from North Korea and results
from special counsel Robert Mueller’s
investigation of Russian meddling
with the 2016 presidential election are
among 30 risks for financial markets
next year, Deutsche Bank says in a report on Friday.
The risks could boost market volatility and cause growth that is faster or
slower than the German bank previously forecast, wrote Torsten Slok, the
company’s chief international economist.
As for the recent surges and drops
in Bitcoin, “you wonder where prices
will even be by the end of 2017,” Slok
said during an appearance on CNBC’s
Trading Nation broadcast.
Slok said questions about Bitcoin
regulation, transparency and disclosure issues remain unanswered.
Topping Deutsche Bank’s worry list
is the potential for U.S. inflation rates
to move higher in 2018.
Low
national
unemployment,
growth projections for the nation’s
gross domestic product, and other financial measures signal a potential
rise, Slok said.
Uncertainty about North Korea’s
test launches of longer-range nuclear
missiles also could roil financial markets. Slok cited fear that we could have
a “further escalation of the situation.”
Cover your online shopping tracks
Marc Saltzman
USA TODAY
You might enjoy hearing an excited
“Oh honey, you shouldn’t have!” from
your life partner after ripping open the
box of a sweet pair of wireless headphones.
But chances are you’d prefer it on
Christmas morning, by the tree — instead of on Dec. 19, on your doorstep, in
front of the delivery person.
Alas, the popularity of online shopping has added a new wrinkle when it
comes to buying gifts for loved ones —
especially those living under the same
roof — and so we’re now forced to intercept packages from couriers, bury
email receipts, scrub our Web history
and pay with gift cards to avoid curious charges on a credit card bill.
That’s a change from the old days,
when you may have paid cash for your
partner’s present in a mall and then
hid it in the home until Dec. 25.
If you’re unsure how to cover your
technological tracks, the following are
a few suggestions.
Shop on your smartphone
While you might share a personal
computer at home, you probably have
separate smartphones, locked with a
PIN or biometrics login (such as using
your fingerprint, iris or face). Therefore, use your mobile Web browser, or
an app, to secretly buy the family gifts.
GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCKPHOTO
address, for online shopping. This way,
emailed receipts only go to this account
installed on your phone.
Scrub your history
Your online activity follows you
around, so it’s important to clear your
history and cache often — especially if
you’re sharing the laptop or desktop
with your significant other (and attentive kids).
Otherwise, if you’re researching a
new 4K TV to surprise the family, everyone who browses the Web (or uses a
search engine) after you may see gratuitous advertisements for televisions —
and thus, connect the dots.
The option to clear history and cache
will be in the Settings or Options area of
your Web browser, usually accessible in
the top right of the page. Some browsers
offer a “private” or “incognito” browsing
option, too.
Gift cards, secondary accounts
Retail solutions
If you don’t want to use gift cards to
cover your tracks — which you can
purchase at gas stations and convenience stores — you can also create a
separate credit card or bank account to
avoid ruining the surprise. Some savvy
(nay, sneaky) shoppers set up a free
webmail account, too, such as a Gmail
Some online stores and marketplaces
are helping shoppers keep a secret.
Amazon Prime members, for example, could set up Amazon Household,
which allows everyone in the home —
up to two parents and up to four kids —
to each have their own respective shop-
AMERICA’S MARKETS
DJIA
+117.68
DOW JONES
INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE
CLOSE: 24,329.16
%CHANGE: +0.5%
YTD % CHG: +23.1%
SPX
+14.52
S&P 500
STANDARD & POOR'S
CLOSE: 2,651.50
%CHANGE: +0.6%
YTD % CHG: +18.4%
S&P 500’S BIGGEST GAINERS/LOSERS
A FOOLISH TAKE
GAINERS Company (ticker symbol)
COMP
+27.24
Alexion Pharma (ALXN)
% Chg
+7.2
-6.4
+4.0
+19.9
+4.0
-13.0
+4.0
-36.6
+4.0
-29.2
+.57
+4.0
-38.3
171.65 +6.30
+3.8
-25.6
63.79 +2.30
+3.7
+49.5
53.22 +1.91
+3.7
-43.5
+3.5
+94.9
Price
$ Chg
114.46 +7.68
Western Digital (WDC)
81.47 +3.12
L Brands (LB)
57.28 +2.18
Apparel maker trades higher on upbeat analyst reports.
Foot Locker (FL)
44.97 +1.75
Retailer stock still benefiting from positive Q3 results.
Noble Energy (NBL)
26.94 +1.04
Energy stock regaining some of value lost during 2017.
More than 174 million Americans
bought goods in stores or online from
Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday, according to the National Retail Federation.
The organization reported average
spending per person during that period
was $355.47, with three-quarters of that
total ($250.78) spent on holiday gifts.
The popularity of clothing bodes well
CenturyLink (CTL)
14.67
+1.25
CLOSE: 6,840.08
%CHANGE: +0.4%
YTD % CHG: +27.1%
YTD
% Chg
Telecom regaining some value after rough November.
RUSSELL
RUT
COMPOSITE
Rumors of a truce with Toshiba send tech stock higher.
The Motley Fool
To avoid the family seeing their gifts
as parcels on the porch, choose to deliver the packages to an alternate address,
such as a workplace, neighbor’s house,
another family member or opt for a buyonline-and-pick-up-in-store option.
If you’re shopping on Amazon, you
can also ship to a nearby Amazon Locker, which are self-serve delivery kiosks
located in more than 2,000 spots across
the country. Arrange to ship your gifts
there and then discretely pick it up
when you have the time.
NASDAQ
Hedge fund urging pharma company to explore a sale.
Leo Sun
Ship it elsewhere
ALL THE MARKET ACTION IN REAL TIME
MARKETS.USATODAY.COM
THE MOTLEY FOOL
Retailers get
off to robust
holiday start
ping history, wish lists and notifications. Amazon Household also lets you
share Amazon Prime perks and your library of purchased digital content (between adults).
Non-Amazon Prime members, on the
other hand, can also “archive” an order,
which will hide gift purchases from your
order history (look under the “Your Orders” section). Similarly, Amazon has a
“don’t spoil my surprises” option for its
wish list feature, as it’ll mark bought
items as unpurchased.
Another Amazon tip: Go to “Your
Browsing History” section, then click
“Remove all items.” Or turn off your account’s Browsing History entirely by
clicking on “Turn off browsing history.”
RUSSELL 2000 INDEX
CLOSE: 1,521.72
%CHANGE: +0.1%
YTD % CHG: +12.1%
MARKET PERFORMANCE BY SECTOR
Sector
Close
Chg.
4wk 1
YTD 1
Technology
Financials
Health care
Industrials
Materials
Consumer discret.
Utilities
Consumer staples
Telecom
Energy
63.60
28.01
83.01
74.69
59.43
97.25
55.87
56.59
61.22
69.28
+0.30
+0.17
+0.92
+0.32
...
+0.46
+0.18
+0.15
+0.35
+0.63
+0.2%
+7.4%
+2.2%
+5.1%
+2.3%
+5.3%
+0.6%
+4.3%
+4.8%
-0.5%
+31.5%
+20.5%
+20.4%
+20.0%
+19.6%
+19.5%
+15.0%
+9.4%
+4.2%
-8.0%
TOP 10 MUTUAL FUNDS
Fund, ranked by size
Vanguard 500IdxAdmrl
Vanguard TtlSMIdxAdmrl
Vanguard InsIdxIns
Vanguard TtlSMIdxInv
Vanguard TtInSIdxInv
Vanguard TtlSMIdxIns
Vanguard InsIdxInsPlus
Fidelity Contrafund x
Vanguard TtInSIdxInsPlus
Vanguard WlngtnAdmrl
NAV
245.75
66.42
242.46
66.38
17.94
66.43
242.48
121.93
120.03
75.25
Chg.
+1.37
+0.35
+1.35
+0.35
+0.12
+0.35
+1.35
-6.27
+0.77
+0.32
4wk 1
+2.5%
+2.6%
+2.5%
+2.5%
-0.5%
+2.6%
+2.5%
+1.1%
-0.5%
+1.7%
YTD 1
+20.7%
+20.0%
+20.7%
+19.9%
+24.1%
+20.0%
+20.7%
+31.7%
+24.3%
+13.7%
1 – CAPITAL GAINS AND DIVIDENDS REINVESTED
Acuity Brands (AYI)
Stock jumps as hedge fund sells stake in electronics firm.
Best Buy (BBY)
Improved analyst perception giving stock a boost.
Signet Jewelers (SIG)
What shoppers bought
Jeweler stock recovers a bit after rough early December.
Percentage of shoppers who bought gifts (by
category) during the Black Friday weekend:
Clothing-accessories
58%
Toys
38%
Books, other media
31%
Electronics
30%
Gift cards
23%
Investor sentiment is up on pharmaceutical company.
Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX)
LOSERS
Company (ticker symbol)
Cooper (COO)
143.61 +4.83
Price
$ Chg
226.56 -12.24
YTD
% Chg % Chg
-5.1
+29.5
Medical device company down big in active trading.
SOURCE National Retail Federation
Ball (BLL)
for apparel retailers, which have struggled with competition from fast fashion
and e-commerce, as well as market saturation. Robust sales of toys are a bright
sign for toymakers Hasbro and Mattel,
but the fate of brick-and-mortar toy retailers remains murky after the bankruptcy of Toys R Us.
Electronics specialist Best Buy remains relatively healthy as it matches
Amazon’s prices and expands its ecommerce capabilities. But Gift Card
Granny recently reported that Amazon
gift cards are still the most popular in
America — another indication of the online superstore’s growing dominance.
John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods
Market, an AMZN subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Leo Sun owns shares of AMZN. The
Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends AMZN and HAS.
Analyst downgrade dings canning product manufacturer.
21st Century Fox A (FOXA)
39.60
33.30
-1.21
-3.0
-.88
-2.6
+18.8
-.80
-2.4
+21.0
-.35
-2.3
-45.4
107.16 -2.45
-2.2
+44.8
-.87
-1.7
+59.4
259.91 -3.98
-1.5
+47.0
-.99
-1.5
-1.5
-.86
-1.5
-9.6
32.97
Rumors of asset sale to Disney continue to affect stock.
Mattel (MAT)
15.04
Concerns that stock price is inflated hit toy manufacturer.
Autodesk (ADSK)
Restructuring woes ding software company’s stock price.
Applied Materials (AMAT)
51.43
Stock hit following bad news involving former engineers.
Broadcom (AVGO)
ETF, ranked by volume Ticker
SPDR S&P500 ETF Tr
SPY
SPDR Financial
XLF
iShs Emerg Mkts
EEM
Barc iPath Vix ST
VXX
PowerShs QQQ Trust
QQQ
ProShs Ultra VIX ST
UVXY
VanE Vect Gld Miners
GDX
CS VelSh 3xLongNatGs UGAZ
iShares EAFE ETF
EFA
iShares Rus 2000
IWM
Close
265.51
28.01
45.94
30.33
154.70
12.06
21.68
6.45
69.84
151.41
Chg.
+1.44
+0.17
+0.53
-1.03
+0.68
-0.87
+0.10
+0.06
+0.37
+0.14
% Chg
+0.5%
+0.6%
+1.2%
-3.3%
+0.4%
-6.7%
+0.5%
+0.9%
+0.5%
+0.1%
%YTD
+18.8%
+20.5%
+31.2%
...%
+30.6%
...%
+3.6%
-86.0%
+21.0%
+12.3%
INTEREST RATES
MORTGAGE RATES
Type
Prime lending
Federal funds
3 mo. T-bill
5 yr. T-note
10 yr. T-note
Type
30 yr. fixed
15 yr. fixed
1 yr. ARM
5/1 ARM
Close 6 mo ago
4.25%
4.00%
1.16%
0.91%
1.27%
0.99%
2.14%
1.76%
2.38%
2.19%
Close 6 mo ago
3.80%
3.83%
3.14%
3.03%
3.42%
3.02%
3.54%
3.16%
SOURCE: BANKRATE.COM
COMMODITIES
Rumors of asset sale to Disney continue to affect stock.
21st Century Fox B (FOX)
TOP 10 EXCHANGE TRADED FUNDS
Commodities
Close
Prev.
Cattle (lb.)
1.16
1.16
Corn (bushel)
3.40
3.39
Gold (troy oz.)
1,245.20 1,249.80
Hogs, lean (lb.)
.64
.64
Natural Gas (Btu.)
2.77
2.76
Oil, heating (gal.)
1.93
1.90
Oil, lt. swt. crude (bar.) 57.36
56.69
Silver (troy oz.)
15.74
15.72
Soybeans (bushel)
9.90
9.92
Wheat (bushel)
3.92
3.94
Chg.
unch.
+0.01
-4.60
unch.
+0.01
+0.03
+0.67
+0.02
-0.02
-0.02
% Chg.
-0.0%
+0.4%
-0.4%
+0.2%
+0.3%
+1.7%
+1.2%
+0.1%
-0.2%
-0.6%
% YTD
-2.9%
-3.4%
+8.3%
-3.8%
-25.6%
+13.2%
+6.8%
-1.3%
-0.7%
-3.9%
FOREIGN CURRENCIES
Currency per dollar
Close
British pound
.7464
Canadian dollar
1.2868
Chinese yuan
6.6226
Euro
.8498
Japanese yen
113.51
Mexican peso
18.9359
Prev.
.7427
1.2861
6.6132
.8493
113.13
18.9482
6 mo. ago
.7726
1.3502
6.7936
.8911
109.94
18.2005
Yr. ago
.7946
1.3191
6.8792
.9422
114.07
20.3380
Innovation concerns related to Qualcomm buy ding stock.
Qualcomm (QCOM)
64.24
Innovation concerns related to Broadcom deal ding stock.
General Mills (GIS)
55.83
Analyst forecasts give small ding to food manufacturer.
SOURCE Bloomberg and The Associated Press
FOREIGN MARKETS
Country
Close
Frankfurt
13,153.70
Hong Kong
28,639.85
Japan (Nikkei) 22,811.08
London
7,393.96
Mexico City
47,572.86
Prev. Change
13,045.15 +108.55
28,303.19 +336.66
22,498.03 +313.05
7,320.75
+73.21
46,987.02 +585.85
%Chg.
+0.8%
+1.2%
+1.4%
+1.0%
+1.3%
YTD %
+14.6%
+30.2%
+19.3%
+3.5%
+4.2%
SOURCE Morningstar, Dow Jones Indexes, The Associated Press
7T
LIFELINE
USA TODAY ❚ SATURDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2017
TELEVISION
TWEET TALK
STARS SOUND OFF
ON TWITTER
@mariashriver:
Thank you all for
keeping those of
us near the fires
in your thoughts.
Our area remains
on alert. Bags
still packed. So
Maria Shriver
grateful for fireMICHAEL KOVAC
fighters who are
working to get the fires contained.
Others have not been as lucky.
@lionelrichie: Due to the devastating
California Wildfires, and helping family
evacuate to a safer place, I unfortunately have to cancel my show tonight. I look forward to returning to
the stage this weekend and performing for my fans.
“They’re still doing
crazy stuff, in their
same crazy way.”
@LeahMichele: Praying for everyone
in LA ... grabbed what I loved most
this morning and so grateful to my
friends for taking us in.
Dulé Hill
James Roday, left, and Dulé Hill hope to make “Psych” reunions a regular thing. PHOTOS BY ALAN ZENUK/USA NETWORK
‘Psych’ stars are back on
the beat in reunion movie
But this time the detectives are sleuthing in San Francisco — fistbumps and all
Brian Truitt
USA TODAY
Gal Gadot
JON KOPALOFF/
FILMMAGIC
STYLE STAR
Gal Gadot proved that superhero
red is her color, stepping out at
the ‘GQ’ Men and Women of the Year
party Thursday.
GETTY IMAGES
IT’S YOUR BIRTHDAY
WHO’S CELEBRATING TODAY
❚ Kirk Douglas is 101.
❚ Beau Bridges is 76.
❚ Judi Dench is 83.
USA SNAPSHOTS©
79%
of Americans plan
to add healthy
items to their
loved ones’
holiday stockings
this year.
SOURCE Arm & Hammer Spinbrush
survey of 1,000 adults
MIKE B. SMITH, KARL GELLES/USA TODAY
Absence makes the fistbumps fonder.
USA’s Psych: The Movie (streaming
online now) brings the long-running
detective dramedy’s stars James Roday and Dulé Hill back together for the
first time in three years, and there are
many familiar aspects for their devoted “Psych-O’s,” none more than their
signature exultation.
“Even though the skin around our
fists are getting thinner and wrinklier,
it’s still one of the great joys of my life
being back on a set with him and acting a fool,” Roday says of working
again with Hill. But that’s maybe not
the best word: “You can’t call it work.
It’s never been work.”
For eight seasons, Roday starred as
fake psychic detective Shawn Spencer
and Hill as his loyal best friend/partner Burton “Gus” Guster, and the twohour TV movie picks up with them in
real time and in a new city (trading
Santa Barbara for San Francisco) but
with the same old foibles.
Shawn still can’t commit to his fiancée Jules (Maggie Lawson), though
he’s trying to find the engagement ring
that a thief absconded with in the 2014
Psych series finale. Gus has a new
pharmaceutical sales gig but still is being roped regularly into Shawn’s shenanigans. And there’s still trouble to
be had, with the fistbumping, “Suck
it”-singing duo needing to find the villain who has targeted someone close
to them.
“They’re still doing crazy stuff, in
their same crazy way,” Hill says.
“That’s true of life, too. For myself, if
somebody hadn’t seen me in three
years and saw me now, they’d see
some evolution.”
New love interest Selene (Jazmyn Simon, Dulé Hill’s real-life fiancée) proves a
challenge for Gus in the “Psych” reunion.
Roday, who co-wrote the movie with
Psych creator/director Steve Franks,
adds that he always figured the characters would return at some point — and
were approached by USA to do it earlier.
“We were hopeful because it was an
amazing experience for all of us that
changed our lives, and the opportunity
to basically write a love letter to our fans
for keeping us on the air for eight years
was something we were really psyched
to do. No pun intended.”
In addition to the ubiquitous running
gag with pineapples, the gang has mostly returned, including Corbin Bernsen
as Shawn’s father and John Cena as
Jules’ brother — Timothy Omundson,
who had a stroke earlier this year, has a
cameo as lovably embattled cop (and
Shawn’s frequent foil) Carlton Lassiter.
As for the big changes, Roday likes
the move to San Francisco, where
Shawn has set up an office that’s the
replica of the strange antique shop from
Gremlins.
“The idea that we could open up the
world a little bit in a much larger city
with a lot more people, that felt like a
fresh start and a fun way to reboot the
show,” he says.
And Gus gets a love interest in Selene
(Hill’s real-life fiancée Jazmyn Simon),
who rocks his world by being aggressively flirtatious. “Gus has been doing
that for eight years and is always striking out, but he thinks he’s the smoothest dude on the planet,” Hill says. “When
it happens to him, he’s appalled.”
Both stars want to make Psych reunions a regular thing. “Maybe we do
Halloween next, and then we’ll do Easter,” Hill says. “Anytime we have a chance
to step back and fistbump, it will always
be that much more special.”
AWARDS
‘Wonder Woman’ among AFI’s best movies of ’17
Andrea Mandell
USA TODAY
Wonder Woman is the comic book
movie that could end up at the Oscars.
The massively successful film starring Gal Gadot continued earning
marks in the awards race Thursday,
landing a spot on the American Film
Institute’s list of the top movies of the
year. Jordan Peele’s Get Out also was
named, giving the social thriller its lat-
est accolade.
The AFI Awards don’t crown a winner
but instead honor 10 films and 10 television programs they deem “culturally
and artistically significant.”
Lady Bird, The Shape of Water, The
Post and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri were included in AFI’s 10
best films this year, as were the gay romance Call Me By Your Name and the indie The Florida Project. Summer hits
The Big Sick and Dunkirk rounded out
their picks.
On the TV side, Big Little Lies continued its post-Emmys reign, as did The
Handmaid’s Tale, Master of None,
Stranger Things 2 and This Is Us. AFI
also honored Game of Thrones, The
Crown, Insecure, Feud: Bette and Joan
and The Good Place.
A special award went to Ken Burns’
PBS documentary The Vietnam War.
A luncheon honoring the projects will
be held Jan. 5 in Los Angeles.
8T
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2017 ❚ USA TODAY
AWARDS
‘Shape of Water’ tops Critics’ Choice nominees
The Associated Press
LOS ANGELES – Guillermo del Toro’s Cold War fantasy tale The Shape of Water is the leading nominee at
the Critics’ Choice Awards .
It received 14 nominations, including for best picture, best actress for Sally Hawkins and best director
for del Toro. Call Me By Your Name, Dunkirk, Lady Bird
and The Post each earned eight nominations, including for best picture. Blade Runner 2049 earned seven
nominations, followed by The Big Sick and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri with six each and Get
Out and I, Tonya with five. Also up for best picture: The
Big Sick, Darkest Hour, The Florida Project, Get Out
and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.
Daniel Day-Lewis is nominated for best actor in
what’s expected to be his final role in Phantom Thread.
The leading television nominee is FX’s Feud: Bette
and Joan, which focused on the rivalry between actresses Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. It earned six
nominations, and HBO’s Big Little Lies and FX’s Fargo
series each earned five. Netflix series earned a leading
20 nominations, followed by HBO with 15.
Multiple award nominees were led by Kumail Nanjiani with three, who with his work on The Big Sick and
Silicon Valley is competing in both film and TV categories. He’s up for best original screenplay alongside
wife Emily V. Gordon, and best actor in a comedy for
The Big Sick, as well as best supporting actor in a comedy series for Silicon Valley.
The winners will be announced at a Jan. 11 gala that
will be televised on The CW (8 p.m. ET/PT).
Contributing: Kim Willis
Above, Elisa (Sally
Hawkins) shares a
moment with her
beloved amphibian man
(Doug Jones) in
Guillermo del Toro’s “The
Shape of Water.”
KERRY HAYES
Left, Offred (Elisabeth
Moss) and Nick (Max
Minghella) in “The
Handmaid’s Tale.” HULU
Right, Chris (Daniel
Kaluuya) spends a
strange weekend at the
family home of his
girlfriend Rose (Allison
Williams) in “Get Out.”
UNIVERSAL STUDIOS
Gal Gadot cries, Timberlake
is ‘arm candy’ at breakfast
LISTEN UP
Andrea Mandell
SONG OF THE WEEK
USA TODAY
LOS ANGELES — Jennifer Lawrence
fangirled over Wonder Woman, Justin
Timberlake got roasted by Angelina Jolie, and Sarah Silverman addressed the
elephant in the room.
Such highlights abounded at The
Hollywood Reporter Women in Entertainment breakfast, where A-listers
and powerful producers gather annually to support each other and award
scholarships to underprivileged young
women.
As the token male on stage, Timberlake cut a joke. “I’d like to say to all of
the women — strong, beautiful souls —
I’m happy to be here to be your arm
candy,” he said to laughter. “Angelina
warned me that I was basically only
here to be objectified. I said that’s absolutely fair.”
The fires raging around the city were
also top of mind; it was announced
honoree Amy Pascal couldn’t attend
because of area closures.
Silverman dryly addressed the omnipresent topic of sexual harassment in
Hollywood when she opened up the
breakfast. “I just want to say before I
start that I’ve been asked about my
stance on sexual assault in Hollywood,”
she said from the podium. “And this is
as good a time as any to express exactly
how I feel on it. (Pause) I’m against it.
OK — hello!”
Indeed, the tone seems to have shifted from sharing personal stories, as
seen at events of late, to overarching
messages of larger solutions while
striving for equality and progress.
When Jolie took the stage, she began
on a lighter note, riffing that like many,
her morning began with typical mom
stuff, like overseeing “last-minute
homework ... and debating the importance of brushing teeth.”
But she ultimately implored those in
the room to aid oppressed women
around the world to tell their stories.
“We have a level of freedom that is unimaginable for millions of other women
around the world,” Jolie said. “Women
who live with conflict and terrorism
and displacement and poverty. Whose
voices are always silenced.”
Sufjan Stevens, ‘Tonya Harding’
Sufjan Stevens is going into Oscar season as a serious contender for best original song, thanks to his
two exquisite compositions for the Call Me By Your
Name soundtrack, Mystery of Love and Visions of
Gideon. This week, the singer/songwriter shared an
additional song he submitted to a 2018 Oscars contender: Tonya Harding, an ode to the figure skater
at the center of the new biopic I, Tonya. The plaintive track didn’t make it into the film, but that hasn’t
lessened Stevens’ appreciation for the tragic figure
at its center. – Maeve McDermott
Gal Gadot and Justin Timberlake
share a laugh at “The Hollywood
Reporter” Women In Entertainment
breakfast on Wednesday.
JESSE GRANT/GETTY IMAGES
Later, while announcing scholarships from the stage, Timberlake was
visibly moved by the teary excitement
of the gathered 18 young women who
had been mentored by Hollywood professionals. Each was given a $10,000
scholarship, and four women were
awarded full rides to Loyola Marymount University. “Oh, my God, I’ve got
to have a daughter,” he said. “I’m ruined
after today.”
Then came Gadot, who strode in
mid-breakfast surprising with a new
Wonder Woman scholarship furnished
by Warner Bros. She wiped tears from
her eyes after young student Carla
Arellano was awarded funds to finish
her schooling.
J-Law geeked out over Gadot, just a
little. “She truly is Wonder Woman,” the
actress said on stage. “She came up to
me at an awards show, and I just went
(speechless). She was so gorgeous. I
didn’t recognize her. I was like who is —
what is that?”
Lawrence, who received the Sherry
Lansing Leadership Award, ended the
breakfast saying she was determined to
use her voice for good and recited an
Elie Wiesel quote.
“It’s not easy to speak out,” she said.
“It’s not easy to face criticism on a global scale. But the fact is, I’ve been given a
platform, and I feel that if I don’t use it, I
don’t deserve it.”
“Let’s be outspoken,” Lawrence said.
“Let’s be resilient. Let’s all be silence
breakers.”
PLAYLIST
Santa Claus is
Coming to Town
Burl Ives
I have a video of my 4-year-old daughter
and I singing this classic ... and boy does
she steal the show! – JO
The Christmas
Song
Nat King Cole
Simply nostalgia at its finest. To me, the
best Christmas songs are ones that are
classics, and there’s no song out there
more classic or honeyed in nostalgia than
this one. – JB
In the Bleak
Midwinter
Susan Boyle
If only Jeff Buckley covered this poetic
masterpiece. – JO
Christmas Time
is Here Vince
Guaraldi Trio
Any song from Vince Guaraldi’s iconic
Peanuts Christmas album can be found on
my playlist 365 days a year. – JB
Blue Christmas
Elvis Presley
The all-time shining example of how to
perform and conceive a rock & roll Christmas song. Combined with its vintage
sound and Elvis’ vocals, this song is a
Christmastime essential. – JO
Rudolph
Burl Ives
Nothing better for medley long car rides to
Grandma’s house. – JO
Ave Maria
The Carpenters
It’s Karen Carpenter ... what more could
you ask for? I love the entire Carpenters
Christmas Collection, and this song in
particular is a great Americana-flavored
version of an international classic. – JB
White
Christmas
Bing Crosby
Bingo! – JO
Sleigh Ride
Leroy Anderson
Sleigh Ride wasn’t originally written with
lyrics, and as an often instrumental-only
songwriter, I feel the need to defend Leroy
Anderson’s work! This song is a musical
sleigh ride all on its own. – JB
The Most Wonderful Time of
the Year Johnny
Mathis
Besides being an iconic musician, personal
idol, and (amazingly) a collaborator of
mine, Johnny’s version of this song has
always managed to get me into the holiday
spirit. – JB
Jim Brickman and John
Ondrasik
DUSTON TODD
Grammy-nominated
artists John Ondrasik
(aka Five For Fighting)
and Jim Brickman have
teamed up to send a message of love and support
to the troops this holiday
season with their new
holiday song, Christmas
Where You Are. To celebrate the song’s release,
Ondrasik and Brickman
collaborated on a holiday
playlist for USA TODAY,
featuring Christmas classics and newer favorites.
9T
USA TODAY ❚ SATURDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2017
MOVIES
In theaters this weekend
A Bad Moms Christmas
eeEE
Plot: A trio of underappreciated women have
their holidays turned upside
down when their own bad
moms come to town.
Directors: Jon Lucas and
Scott Moore
Compiled from reviews by USA TODAY film critics
1 hour, 44 minutes
It
Rating: R
Upside: Kathryn Hahn singlehandedly keeps the sequel
entertaining with over-the-top
crassness.
Downside: It’s missing a lot of
the cleverness and rebellious
nature of the hit original.
Plot: A band of small-town
teenagers must stave off
the return of a dark force
manifesting itself as an
evil clown.
Director: Andy Muschietti
eeeE
eeeE
Plot: TWA pilot Barry Seal
(Tom Cruise) gets involved
in gun running and drug
smuggling while working
for the CIA and the
Medellín cartel.
Director: Doug Liman
1 hour, 55 minutes
Justice League
Rating: R
Upside: Cruise is full of his
usual charisma but gives his
embattled pilot a needed and
hilarious sense of desperation.
Downside: The action is
well-paced, but the
momentum derails when
Barry’s family gets sucked into
his illegal dealings.
Plot: Batman (Ben Affleck)
and Wonder Woman (Gal
Gadot) gather a group of
superhumans to face an
invading alien threat.
Director: Zack Snyder
2 hours, 44 minutes
Murder on the Orient Express
Rating: R
Upside: A super-stylish and
deeply human sequel that
outclasses the original sci-fi
classic.
Downside: The runtime is a bit
staggering, but at least it’s
never boring.
Plot: A detective (Kenneth
Branagh) has to question
a slew of suspects when
a murder occurs on a
luxury train.
Director: Kenneth Branagh
eeeE
eeee
Plot: A futuristic cop (Ryan
Gosling) unearths a discovery
that could throw the balance
between mankind and
bioengineered beings
into chaos.
Director: Denis Villeneuve
eeeg
Plot: A Mexican boy (voiced
by Anthony Gonzalez) has
musical dreams that lead him
to visit his deceased family in
the Land of the Dead.
Directors: Lee Unkrich and
Adrian Molina
1 hour, 49 minutes
Only the Brave
Rating: PG
Upside: Pixar’s most songfilled effort to date is a joyful
tale about identity and love
for family.
Downside: It’s unabashed in
its emotional manipulation,
though you won’t mind by the
time you realize it.
Plot: The true story of the
Granite Mountain Hotshots,
the elite firefighting unit that
lost 19 members in a 2013
Arizona wildfire.
Directors: Joseph Kosinski
Plot: Dads Dusty (Mark
Wahlberg) and Brad (Will
Ferrell) are back with new
headaches — their own
visiting fathers (Mel Gibson
and John Lithgow).
Director: Sean Anders
1 hour, 40 minutes
Thor: Ragnarok
Rating: PG-13
Upside: Branagh is solid on
both sides of the camera,
especially as the awesomely
mustached supersleuth.
Downside: The all-star cast
is wasted on an overly
complicated, ponderous
murder mystery.
2 hours, 13 minutes
Rating: PG-13
Upside: Josh Brolin smolders
as supervisor Eric Marsh, who
makes a family of his crew,
played by James Badge Dale,
Taylor Kitsch and Miles Teller.
Downside: Kosinski pulls no
punches in the emotional
ending, which will bring tears
to the hardest of viewers.
Rating: PG-13
Upside: Like all dysfunctional
holidays, this unfunny, crude
movie eventually ends and
everyone goes home.
Downside: Gibson is the
absolute wrong choice to play
Wahlberg’s womanizing,
boozing father.
Plot: Thor (Chris Hemsworth)
rounds up a squad to keep
the goddess of death (Cate
Blanchett) from taking over
the realm of Asgard.
Director: Taika Waititi
eeeE
2 hours, 10 minutes
Rating: PG-13
Upside: Hemsworth gets
a chance to showcase his
comedic muscles along with
his beefy biceps.
Downside: The movie
struggles with tone and leans
zany to a fault.
MARVEL STUDIOS
PARAMOUNT PICTURES
eeeE
Plot: A struggling actor
(Dave Franco) helps his
eccentric filmmaker friend
(James Franco) see his vision
through on his dream film,
“The Room.”
Director: James Franco
1 hour, 54 minutes
SONY PICTURES
eEEE
The Disaster Artist
eeEE
eeeg
PIXAR
Daddy’s Home 2
Rating: PG-13
Upside: The A-list movie does
justice to its comic-book
characters and offers quite a
bit of underlying emotion.
Downside: A bad CGI villain,
narrative issues and a lack of
character development don’t
do the film any favors.
20TH CENTURY FOX
WARNER BROS.
Coco
1 hour, 59 minutes
WARNER BROS.
UNIVERSAL PICTURES
Blade Runner 2049
Rating: R
Upside: The movie offers a
talented young cast and an
emphasis on heart rather
than all horror.
Downside: A long runtime
and unnecessary subplots
upend the grand ambitions.
WARNER BROS.
STX ENTERTAINMENT
American Made
2 hours, 15 minutes
1 hour, 45 minutes
Wonder
Rating: R
Upside: James Franco is
hilarious and fantastic as
the eccentric indie director
at the heart of the film.
Downside: Some of the film’s
funniest moments might be
lost on those who haven’t seen
cult hit “The Room.”
Plot: Life for the Pullmans
orbits around Auggie (Jacob
Tremblay), a child with extreme facial irregularities.
When his parents (Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson) decide it’s
time to stop home-schooling
him, they pray the world will
welcome their son.
Directors: Stephen Chbosky
AP
eeeE
1 hour, 53 minutes
Rating: PG
Upside: Fifth grade can
be a treacherous place,
but the good guys outrun
the school bullies in this
heartwarming tale.
Downside: There is no
downside. We could all use a
dose of goodness right now.
LIONSGATE
Irresistibly athletic.
Irresistibly lucrative.
Download our free app, now with virtual reality.
Feed your inner fan with in-depth player interviews,
up-to-the-minute scores, and the most thrilling moments in sports.
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10T
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2017 ❚ USA TODAY
Angels pull off stunner,
win Ohtani sweepstakes
Bob Nightengale
Columnist
USA TODAY
We don’t even know him, but we’re
mesmerized by him.
We’ve never seen him play, but we’re
fascinated by him.
Come on, has there ever been a free
agent in baseball history that has captivated Major League Baseball like Shohei
Ohtani, stunning us with every single
move he made.
Ohtani, the Babe Ruth of Japan, saving his latest trick for last, made the
staggering decision Friday announcing
that he will be sign with the Los Angeles
Angels.
Really.
The ugly step-sister of the Los Angeles market, the team that L.A. has forgotten, suddenly just cold-cocked the powerful New York Yankees, Los Angeles
Dodgers and Chicago Cubs to bring Ohtani to little ol’ Anaheim, Calif.
This is the Angels’ greatest free-agent
heist since they signed Reggie Jackson.
They have the greatest player in the
game in Mike Trout, a shoo-in Hall of
Famer in Albert Pujols, a power-hitter in
Justin Upton, a Gold Glove whiz in Andrelton Simmons, and now have the
most fascinating player in all of baseball.
Shohei Ohtani is about to become a
household name in the U.S., and he belongs to the Angels, who gets the man
every single team coveted.
Trout may be getting married Saturday, but no one is going to provide a
greater present than GM Billy Eppler
who delivered Ohtani.
Instantly, the Angels are a legitimate
AL West contender.
“Awesome,’’ Pujols said.
The Angels not only get a two-way
player who immediately becomes their
ace, and a potential force in their lineup,
but he also becomes the biggest gate attraction in the game.
Forget Disneyland, Angel Stadium is
now the Happiest Place on Earth.
Really, you can’t help but be happy for
the Angels, who haven’t won a playoff
game since 2009, for simply signing a
23-year-old kid with the innocence of a
Japanese star Shohei Ohtani has agreed to sign with the Angels. KAZUHIRO NOGI KAZUHIRO NOGI, AFP/GETTY IMAGES
6-year-old seeing his first bicycle under
the Christmas tree.
You’ve got to admire a guy who ignores the idea of waiting two years to
sign a $200 million contract as a free
agent, snubs all of the big-market clubs,
and signs with the Angels where he
hopes to simply blend into Orange
County as one of Trout’s co-workers.
He’s a small-time kid with huge values. He didn’t care about the marketsize. Branding. Or Hollywood.
This is a guy who had a $200 million
lottery ticket, ripped it up, and decided
to go to work at the nearby McDonald’s.
How can anyone begrudge an athlete
like this?
Ohtani just wants to play baseball,
and it was baseball that attracted him to
the blue-collar Angels.
“While there has been much specula-
tion about what would drive Shohei’s
decision,’’ agent Nez Balelo said, “what
mattered to him most wasn’t market
size, time zone or league, but that he felt
a true bond with the Angels.
“He sees this as the best environment
to develop and reach the next level and
attain his career goals.
“More than ever, I believe this is not
only a special talent but a man of special
character, and I’m like everyone else, I’m
excited to see him in Major League Baseball.’’
And there’s where you’ll see him, on
the playing field, each and every day for
the Angels, whether he’s on the mound,
at the plate, or on the field.
The Angels shouldn’t have to ever
worry about this small-town kid falling
in love with the limelight, and going off
the deep end at night.
Ohtani would rather be riding the tea
cups at Disneyland every afternoon
than driving across town to the Playboy
Mansion at night.
Then again, considering he still
doesn’t have a driver’s license, he may
not be going anywhere besides his home
and Angel Stadium, anyways.
In time, we’ll see what kind of player
he develops into as he becomes acclimated to life in the big leagues. We’ll find
out whether he can really become a 20game winner, a consistent 30-homer/30-stolen base player, and a Gold
Glove outfielder.
He could be a star in the making, or a
kid who had no chance to live up to the
hype.
But no matter what happens, the kid
has got our attention.
Oh, boy, does he ever.
Bradley seeks title after World Cup miss
Martin Rogers
USA TODAY
Michael Bradley still wrestles with the
disappointment of missing out on the
World Cup, and there is no shortage of reminders. The draw for next summer’s
tournament was last week. Fox is beginning to crank out its promo segments.
And he gets asked about the USA failing
to qualify — a lot.
Yet while Saturday’s MLS Cup final
provides the U.S. captain with the chance
to end the domestic season on a high
note, by leading Toronto FC to its first
Major League Soccer title since the club
was formed in 2007, it would do little to
erase the memories from Oct. 10.
That was when the Americans went
down to Trinidad and Tobago and fell to a
2-1 defeat against the bottom team in the
CONCACAF regional qualifying pool,
condemning themselves to an empty
summer in 2018.
“They are two completely different
things,” Bradley told USA TODAY in a
telephone interview, when asked if taking Toronto all the way would soothe his
lingering annoyance. “That goes for both
the good times and the bad times. When
you play on a national team you have a
responsibility to focus on the task at
hand. It is important to switch gears
quickly and not let that emotion carry
over. I know that when I came back to Toronto, I had to make sure none of the frustration of what happened transmitted itself.”
Bradley is not the only MLS Cup finalist in a similar position. His Toronto
teammate Jozy Altidore also played in
Trinidad. From the Seattle Sounders
team they will face, Clint Dempsey came
on as a substitute in Trinidad while Jordan Morris was absent that night but
played a significant role during the
doomed qualifying campaign.
All of them expected to progress in the
tournament. Not only had the USA
reached the previous seven World Cups
in a row, but during that period it also had
established itself, with Mexico, as one of
two dominant forces in its region. Staying home, while Panama goes to the
World Cup for the first time and Honduras came close in a playoff, stings.
However, Bradley has an important
task at hand and has come to cherish life
in Toronto since moving back to MLS
from Europe in 2014. The club enjoys the
fulsome support of its city, and after
struggling in the early years, Toronto is
now reaping some of the benefits of prolonged player investment.
Winning the Supporters Shield, given
to the team with the best regular-season
record, was a major step forward for a
team that missed out on the playoffs in
each of its first eight seasons. But what
everyone truly craves is a championship,
especially after the pain of losing on penalty kicks to Seattle in last year’s final.
“This is a sports-mad city,” Bradley
added. “I have learned that from living
here, and you come to understand the
history and what it means. But I learned
even more and felt even closer because of
what happened last year.
“It is not normal for a fan base to suffer
such disappointment and heartache and
to respond to it by giving such love like
they showed us. It was so powerful. They
Toronto FC midfielder Michael Bradley
(4) battles for the ball with Columbus
Crew midfielder Will Trapp (20) during
the Eastern Conference championship
Nov. 29. DAN HAMILTON/USA TODAY SPORTS
could have been angry or pointed fingers,
but they did the opposite. It makes us so
much more motivated to give them a time
to celebrate to the fullest, because they
deserve that.”
Toronto put together one of the most
dominant regular seasons in MLS history
this year, losing just five times across the
campaign and finishing well clear of the
pack. That run, combined with narrow
playoff victories over the New York Red
Bulls and the Columbus Crew, means it
has the right to host Saturday’s showdown. Seattle, however, thrives in big
games, is coming off a resounding victory
over the Houston Dynamo in the Western
Conference final and is full of confidence.
Dempsey won the MLS Comeback
Player of the Year award for his successful return from a layoff caused by a heart
condition and is hungry for success.
“Last year it was tough not being on
the field and being able to battle with the
guys,” Dempsey said. “The longer the
game went the more nervous I got.”
However, his medically enforced absence from soccer has provided a further
spur to clinch more silverware as his career approaches its twilight.
“You start enjoying it more,” Dempsey
added, talking about his feelings since
coming back. “You are still able to compete at a high level doing what you love. I
have never been a guy who took things
for granted too much. I really don’t now.”
USA SNAPSHOTS©
276 miles
Combined distance1
of all tee shots hit
by Mac Hughes
in the 2016-17
PGA Tour season,
nearly equal to the
length of Pennsylvania
(283 miles) from
east to west.
1 –Hughes tallied a combined 485,366 yards on
his par-3, par-4 and par-5 tee shots.
SOURCE PGA TOUR
ELLEN J. HORROW, JANET LOEHRKE/USA TODAY
11T
USA TODAY ❚ SATURDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2017
ARMY VS. NAVY
Monken fuels Knights’ resurgence
Army has 16 wins
in last 2 seasons
Paul Myerberg
USA TODAY
Every time Army football players enter
the team’s meeting room they pass a picture commemorating last year’s win
against Navy, a not-so-subtle reminder
of the Cadets’ one-game winning streak
in the series. Maybe it’s not the longest
winning streak in the history of college
football’s national rivalry. But after more
than a decade of losing to the Midshipmen, Army won’t argue about the semantics.
“It’s a great memory for our program,”
Army head coach Jeff Monken said. “It’s
different maybe from any other game.
There is such a great sense of pride in
winning this game.”
It’s easy to point to that win, the
team’s first against Navy since 2001, as
the turning point for a program quickly
gaining steam. After reaching a bowl
game last fall, Army enters Saturday’s
matchup with Navy already having
matched last year’s eight-win total. Not
since 1990 had the Cadets notched backto-back winning seasons, and not since
1984-85 had they won as many games in
a two-year span. But the reality is that
last year’s win was long coming — Army
was knocking on Navy’s door in both
2015 and 2014, losing both games by a
single possession. The narrow setbacks
hurt, as rivalry losses tend to do, but they
came with a message: Army was closing
the gap.
“Every one of these games that I’ve
been a part of us has been special,” Monken said. “It’s two teams that will battle it
out as hard as they can on every snap for
60 minutes. It’s truly a privilege for all of
us in this game to represent the people
that we do. I think that’s the thing that
makes this rivalry the best, not the game
itself but all those it represents.”
It might have seemed impossible just
three seasons ago, or at best improbable
— such was Navy’s seemingly insurmountable edge in the rivalry. But ending
its long losing streak was just the first
step for Army, which under Monken’s direction has turned from national hasbeen to annual bowl participant. And the
Army coach Jeff Monken celebrates with players after defeating Duke Nov. 11 in West Point, N.Y. DANNY WILD/USA TODAY SPORTS
Cadets might be only getting started.
A victory against Navy would give the
Cadets four wins against bowl-eligible
competition, with one, against Duke in
November, coming against a member of
the Power Five. A win would hand the Cadets undisputed claim to the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy, an award signifying
the winner of the academies’ triangular
series, for the first time since 1996.
“You can’t get too complacent,” senior
running back John Trainor said. “It’s
about getting better, because you can always get better at what you’re doing.”
It might have taken a coach with Monken’s background to reverse Army’s nearly 20-year run among the weakest programs in the Football Bowl Subdivision,
which saw the Cadets cycle through five
head coaches and nearly as many failed
offensive schemes. While Army struggled, Monken was learning the option offense from the source: Beginning at Georgia Southern in 1997, he spent more than
a decade as an assistant under current
Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson —
including six seasons as the running
backs coach at Navy.
It took the right coach with the right
offense at the right time, and more than a
little bit of patience. The Cadets won just
six games in Monken’s first two seasons,
due in no small part to an inconsistent
running game, but the offense has since
turned the corner: Army ranked second
nationally in rushing yards per game last
season and enters Saturday leading the
entire FBS, one spot above Navy, and
ranks fourth in yards per carry.
In the standings, at least, the arrow is
pointing up. Having already booked a
spot in the Armed Forces Bowl, a matchup with San Diego State, the Cadets need
to win one of their final two games to exceed last year’s win total. The results are
uniformly positive: Army is winning
games at a clip unmatched in years.
But the next step is the hardest. Much
like Navy before them, the Cadets successfully have reversed an extended
stretch of mediocrity, if not worse. The
Midshipmen then took the next step,
earning a national ranking in 2004,
notching a perception-changing win
against Notre Dame in 2007 and not
missing a beat when Johnson was replaced by Ken Niumatalolo a year later —
Navy has won at least eight games in
eight of the last nine seasons.
“Our main goal is just to win every single game,” Trainor said. “Not look forward to any other game, just focus on the
next week, next day, next practice, and at
the end of the day just look up at the
scoreboard and hopefully end up on the
winning side.”
Army enters Saturday knocking on
the door of that next step. Having already
moved into the small class of Group of
Five programs capable of annual bowl
appearances, the next rung on the ladder
is double-figure wins and borderline
top-25 contention — a strong possibility
with wins against the Midshipmen and
San Diego State to end the season.
Navy’s Jasper balances job, son’s health issues
You need to get here.” Ivin arrived less
than an hour later, in time to hear another update: “We’re doing all we can for
him.”
“You hear that in the movies sometimes,” he says. “I don’t ever want to hear
those words, ‘We’re doing all we can for
him.’ What do you mean? He came in,
there’s nothing wrong with him. ‘We’re
doing all we can for him.’ They’re talking
like he’s not gonna make it. I cannot believe this. That was the worst day. It was
when our life changed.”
George Schroeder
USA TODAY
ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Outside the comfortable two-story house at the end of a
quiet cul de sac, a simple metal sign proclaims: “BEAT ARMY.” It is the only evidence of the most important goal, ever
and always, for anyone associated with
Navy football — and until now, that has
included the Jasper family.
“This game,” Donna Jasper says, “as
long as you win, all the little ups and
downs we had all year long — it will take
them all away and it will make the season
better.” And Ivin Jasper, Donna’s husband and Navy’s longtime offensive coordinator, acknowledges: “We’re not
having the year we want to have. But one
week can change everything.”
One phone call, too.
Jasper got one Wednesday afternoon,
just before practice. It wasn’t the one he
has been waiting on for so many months
now. But he dropped evething and left,
uncertain when he might return.
To beat Army means everything —
until it means nothing. For the Jaspers,
what matters is a teenage son with big
dreams and a bad heart.
Jarren Jasper is 14. He needs a heart
transplant, which is why Ivin and Donna
keep their phones very close at all times.
When a call comes, they check for area
code 202 and prefix 476 — hoping it’s
from Children’s National Medical Center
in Washington, D.C., and praying it’s a
heart. “Is this it?” Ivin wonders. “But it’ll
be confirming his appointment.”
Wednesday when his phone rang, it
was something else. Jarren had gone in
for tests. Doctors didn’t like what they
saw. Ivin didn’t like what he heard.
Thursday afternoon, the Jaspers returned home. Ivin went to practice. More
tests are scheduled for Friday morning.
No one is certain whether he will coach
Saturday against the Black Knights.
Football? Beating Army?
“Really, none of that matters,” Navy
coach Ken Niumatalolo says. “Your kids,
‘Next big coaching job’
Navy offensive coordinator Ivin Jasper poses with his son, Jarren, who is waiting
for a heart transplant. JASPER FAMILY PHOTO
your family — lives are what matters.”
‘When our life changed’
Giant photos of the Jaspers’ three children playing sports adorn the walls of
their home, as well as Ivin’s office at the
Naval Academy. Dallas, their daughter, is
a junior volleyball player at Saint Leo
University in Florida. Jaylen is a freshman volleyball player at Stanford. Jarren,
who was a fixture at Navy football practices since before he could crawl, is a very
good athlete, too.
And although his best sport might be
basketball, he has played football since
kindergarten — first at running back,
then later receiver and quarterback —
and was looking forward to playing on
the freshman team at Broadneck High
School last fall.
Then during a routine physical exam
last summer, a doctor detected an irregular heartbeat. A visit to a cardiologist
followed, then to an electrophysiologist.
And then Aug. 4, Jarren underwent a
catheter ablation, in which doctors attempt to destroy tiny portions of the
heart muscle to arrest the irregular heartbeat. No one was especially concerned.
Ivin Jasper had a similar procedure because of similar symptoms years earlier,
when he was a teenager.
The procedure took longer than expected. And then Jarren’s heart swelled.
And then it stopped.
A nurse emerged from the operating
room to provide a vague but troubling
update: “We’re having a little difficulty.”
Donna called Ivin: “Something’s wrong.
On Oct. 5, after two months in the hospital, Jarren went home with a left ventricular assist device (LVAD), which was
implanted to do the heart’s work. It’s battery-powered or plugged into the wall.
Even so, life has settled into a routine.
He struggles to walk because of nerve
damage related to the placement, during
those first days in the hospital, of an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation
(ECMO) device, which took over Jarren’s
heart function until the LVAD replaced it.
But he rarely dwells on his situation.
“I just kind of try to think about other
things,” Jarren says. “I don’t want to be
sitting here just thinking about that and
keep waiting and waiting.”
When Ivin left the office that day in
August, he didn’t really return for several
weeks. When Jarren’s status stabilized,
he began spending more time with the
team. Ivin has mostly worked regular
hours, up and out of the house early and
back late. He says the season has been a
release for him. When the season ends,
Ivin plans with Niumatalolo’s blessing to
take some time away from football.
His goal will be to help Jarren back to
health. And he dreams of a day when Jarren has that new heart and father and
son take an RV across the country, taking
detours to sight-see, finishing in California where they’ll visit Jaylen.
“That’s my next big coaching job,” Ivin
says, “is to get him back.”
12T
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2017 ❚ USA TODAY
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36/22sn
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40/22s
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50/25s
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