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  1. USF basketball rallies past Albany for first win; Kentucky next


    TAMPA — USF heads into Friday afternoon's neutral-site encounter with No. 1 Kentucky lacking an outside threat, solid depth and, according to most, a prayer. But at least one intangible won't be lacking.


  2. A more conservative church awaits Pope Francis in Africa


    NAIROBI, Kenya — Headlines here call him the "Pope of Hope." Because of him, Kenyans say they are more enthusiastic about going to church, praying regularly and treating others kindly. They want him to preach about corruption, living in peace and governing fairly.

    A poster welcoming Pope Francis to Kenya is pictured in the Kangemi slum on Tuesday in Nairobi, Kenya. [Nichole Sobecki | Getty Images]
  3. Steven Stamkos scoring more and Lightning needs it more than ever

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — You can count on one hand the number of players in the world who can score a goal like Steven Stamkos did in Saturday's second period.

    Okay, maybe two fingers.

    Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos (91) celebrates his first of two second period goals during Saturday's (11/21/15) game at Amalie Arena in Tampa.
  4. Man charged in Halloween murder of Brandon woman


    BRANDON — The man named as an early suspect in the Halloween night murder of a Brandon mother outside her home was arrested late Tuesday.

  5. USF, FSU, Florida having good times with right football coaches


    It's great to be a Florida Gator.

    And a Florida State Seminole.

    And a USF Bull.

    In Florida, it's great to be a college football fan. Unless you're UCF or Miami, but we'll get to those guys later.

    You like winners? You like bowl games?

    USF coach Willie Taggart, under fire less than two months ago, has led the Bulls to bowl eligibility.
  6. Less than two years after Fiesta Bowl win, UCF football bottoms out



    It's hard to spend much time around UCF without seeing reminders of the football program's peak — the 2014 Fiesta Bowl. A sign commemorating that 52-42 win over Baylor even sits on the scoreboard at Bright House Stadium. • To see how far the Knights have fallen in the 22 months since then, pan …

    Times photo illustration, photo by Getty Images
  7. Bucs' Winston, Martin up for weekly NFL awards


    TAMPA — Sunday's record-breaking performances by Bucs QB Jameis Winston and RB Doug Martin have both in contention for the NFL's top weekly honors.

    Jameis Winston could win a third rookie of the week award after tying a rookie record with five TD passes.
  8. GOP lawmaker proposes plan to open solar market in Florida

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — State Rep. Fred Costello is having his Ormond Beach home fitted with solar panels. He has invested in a company that is seeking a patent on new energy generation technology. He considers himself an energy wonk.

  9. Despite talk, Willie Taggart still calling plays for USF offense



    A series of recent sound bites, from commentators and coaches alike, has ignited speculation over who has orchestrated the Bulls' staggering offensive resurgence.

    USF coach Willie Taggart lines up with his team to take the field for their game against Syracuse at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Saturday 10/10/2015.
  10. Pinellas deputies, firefighters deliver Thanksgiving meals

    Public Safety

    Many people pray before meals. On Tuesday, the prayers came before the meals were delivered.

    Father Jon Roberts from Calvary Episcopal Church prays with Pinellas deputies and Indian Rocks firefighters before they load up Thanksgiving meals for families in need on Tuesday afternoon. [JIM DAMASKE | Times]
  11. Protesters march after video showing Chicago officer shooting teen is released (w/video)


    CHICAGO — A white Chicago police officer who shot a black teenager 16 times last year was charged with first-degree murder Tuesday, hours before the city released a video of the killing that many people fear could spark unrest.

    Chicago officials released dash-cam video Tuesday of the 2014 shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald by police Officer Jason Van Dyke. Van Dyke was charged with first-degree murder. [Image from video]
  12. Police: Man shot by Belleair police officer was carrying BB gun


    BELLEAIR — Police officer Roy Olsen feared for his life when he saw Jamaal Bishop's weapon Monday, according to an arrest affidavit.

  13. Paris attacks organizer was planning more carnage, prosecutor says


    PARIS — The man believed to have planned the Nov. 13 Paris attacks that killed 130 people and wounded hundreds more had likely planned to carry out another suicide bombing days later in the French capital's business district, the Paris prosecutor said Tuesday.

    A soldier patrols at the Christmas market along the Champs Elysees avenue in Paris on Tuesday. French authorities on Tuesday questioned a top suspect linked to attackers who terrorized Paris, while Belgium's capital remained locked down under threat of a possible similar attack. [Associated Press]
  14. Turkey shoots down Russian jet it says violated its airspace


    MOSCOW — Turkey shot down a Russian warplane on Tuesday that it said ignored repeated warnings and crossed into its airspace from Syria, killing at least one of the two pilots in a long-feared escalation in tensions between Russia and NATO. Russian President Vladimir Putin denounced what he called a "stab in the …

    Russian President Vladimir Putin has called Turkey's decision to down a Russian warplane near the Syria border a "stab in the back." [Maxim Shipenkov | pool photo via AP]