Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Pakistan hit by deadly riots over anti-Muslim film

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan's "Day of Love for the Prophet" turned into a deadly day of gunfire, tear gas and arson.

Thousands angered by an anti-Muslim film ignored pleas for peaceful rallies and rampaged in several Pakistani cities Friday in battles with police that killed 19 people and touched off criticism of a government decision to declare a national holiday to proclaim devotion for the prophet Mohammed.

The film, which was produced in the United States and denigrates the prophet, has outraged many in the Muslim world in the 10 days since it attracted attention on the Internet, and there were new, mostly peaceful protest marches in a half-dozen countries from Asia to the Middle East.

But it is Pakistan that has seen the most sustained violence, driven by a deep well of anti-American sentiment and a strong cadre of hard-line Islamists who benefit from stoking anger at the U.S. So far 49 people — including the U.S. ambassador to Libya — have died in violence linked to the film around the world.

Analysts accused the Pakistani government of pandering to these extremists by declaring Friday to be an official holiday. Officials urged peaceful protests, but critics said the move helped unleash the worst violence yet caused by the film, titled Innocence of Muslims.

In addition to those killed, nearly 200 others were injured as mobs threw stones and set fire to cars and movie theaters, and battled with police who responded with tear gas and gunfire.

In an attempt to tamp down the anger, the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad purchased spots on Pakistani TV on Thursday that featured denunciations of the video by President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. But their comments, which were subtitled in Urdu, the main Pakistani language, apparently did little to moderate the outrage that filled the country's streets.

Police fired tear gas and live ammunition to push back the tens of thousands of protesters they faced in Islamabad, and the major cities of Lahore, Karachi and Peshawar. They were successful in preventing the protesters from reaching U.S. diplomatic offices in the cities, even though the demonstrators streamed over shipping containers set up on major roads to block their path.

Comments
For starters: Rays vs. Red Sox, with Archer facing Price

For starters: Rays vs. Red Sox, with Archer facing Price

UPDATE, 5:18: Ramos' bruised left thumb is feeling better and though he's not in the lineup Cash said he is available for emergency duty. … OF Carlos Gomez was set to run the bases today as the next test of his strained groin. … Cash said...
Updated: 4 minutes ago
Top things to do this weekend: Margarita Festival, Rays’ Kiermaier as Star Wars figure, Nintinder

Top things to do this weekend: Margarita Festival, Rays’ Kiermaier as Star Wars figure, Nintinder

LIME TIME: Tampa Bay Margarita Festival This year, there are twice the bartenders and a new RFID wristband system for less waiting at the two-day Tampa Bay Margarita Festival with a margarita flavor for every taste. Music headliners are the Wallflow...
Updated: 7 minutes ago
St. Petersburg’s Jabil expands in Israel with new innovation center

St. Petersburg’s Jabil expands in Israel with new innovation center

St. Petersburg-based contract electronics company Jabil announced Wednesday it has expanded in Israel by opening an Optics Technology Innovation Center.The 6,560-square-foot complex is in Haifa, Israel’s third-largest city. "Our Optics Innovation Cen...
Updated: 7 minutes ago
Mother fatally struck while pushing stroller on Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa

Mother fatally struck while pushing stroller on Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa

TAMPA — An Ohio mother was struck by a car and killed Wednesday while pushing a stroller across Bayshore Boulevard and her 21-month-old daughter was seriously injured, Tampa police said.The two were hit by a speeding northbound car around 11:43 a.m. ...
Updated: 7 minutes ago
Well, it's different: Porn stars are doing stand up comedy this weekend in St. Pete

Well, it's different: Porn stars are doing stand up comedy this weekend in St. Pete

Plus everything else to see on stage this week in Tampa Bay.
Updated: 8 minutes ago
Bill Nelson’s cash cows make another campaign appearance

Bill Nelson’s cash cows make another campaign appearance

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson has been many things over the years. State legislator. Congressman. Astronaut.* Insurance commissioner.In Brevard County, he is a gentleman farmer.Thanks to a half-dozen cows that graze Nelson's 55 acres on the Indian River, he ...
Updated: 9 minutes ago
Last chance to eat at Lee Roy Selmon's in Tampa

Last chance to eat at Lee Roy Selmon's in Tampa

The original location is closing as the chain phases out.
Updated: 11 minutes ago
Lightning coach Jon Cooper on Game 7s: ‘It’s like you’re writing history’

Lightning coach Jon Cooper on Game 7s: ‘It’s like you’re writing history’

TAMPA — Does it get any better than Game 7 in the NHL playoffs?Probably not.The Lightning and Capitals meet tonight at Amalie Arena in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final.RELATED: Sports Illustrated looks at some of the NHL's top Game 7sThis...
Updated: 15 minutes ago
John Fogerty, coming to Clearwater, isn't backing down on protest songs, Parkland and #MeToo

John Fogerty, coming to Clearwater, isn't backing down on protest songs, Parkland and #MeToo

It's been 50 years since John Fogerty wrote Fortunate Son, one of the most scathing protest songs from the Vietnam War era. Writing another one with that kind of impact has been a challenge ever since.
Updated: 15 minutes ago
A weekend of festivals: Sunset Music Fest, 97X Barbecue, WMNF's US Festival tribute

A weekend of festivals: Sunset Music Fest, 97X Barbecue, WMNF's US Festival tribute

So many music festivals in Tampa Bay this weekend.
Updated: 17 minutes ago