Saturday, January 20, 2018
News Roundup

Ex-Blackwater guard testifies against former colleagues

Washington

Ex-Blackwater guard testifies for prosecution

A former Blackwater security guard testified Wednesday that he and two colleagues shot their weapons into a car in Nisoor Square in Baghdad, part of a barrage of gunfire that claimed the lives of a mother and her son and led to the shootings of 30 other Iraqis. In a calm voice, Jeremy Ridgeway told a jury that what started as "just another day at the office" in Baghdad suddenly erupted in fire from automatic weapons aimed at a car moving toward the heavily armored convoy of Blackwater guards. Ridgeway is the prosecution's chief cooperating witness in the case focusing on the 2007 shootings. Four Blackwater guard defendants say they were taking incoming gunfire from insurgents and they fired in self-defense. Federal prosecutors say the guards were unprovoked.

Tunis, Tunisia

Thousands flee Libya fighting

Up to 6,000 people have fled Libya into neighboring Tunisia in the past few days, the Tunisian foreign minister said Wednesday, the biggest influx since Libya's 2011 civil war. It's a sign of the spiraling turmoil as rival militias have battled for weeks over control of the airport in Tripoli. The fighting is the worst violence in the capital since the war. Nearly 100 people have been killed, 400 others wounded, and much of the airport has been destroyed. A huge fire has been raging for three days after shelling hit airport oil depots, forcing nearby residents to evacuate, with firefighters largely unable to put it out because of clashes. Many diplomats, including the U.S. ambassador, have left the country.

Columbia, S.C.

Drone crashes outside S.C. prison

A drone carrying cellphones, marijuana and other contraband crashed in bushes outside the walls of the maximum-security Lee Correctional Institution in Bishopville, and authorities said Wednesday they are looking for one of two people accused of trying to sneak it in. One person has been arrested in the April attempt. Corrections Department spokeswoman Stephanie Givens said officials aren't sure exactly where the drone would have gone if it made it over the 12-foot-high razor wire fence.

Elsewhere

Washington: Johnson & Johnson is asking surgeons not to use a line of devices for removing growths from the uterus amid regulators' growing concern that the electronic surgical tools raise the risk of spreading cancer to other parts of the body. It had suspended sales of the devices in April.

Washington: The Justice Department on Wednesday sided with challengers of voting laws in Wisconsin and Ohio, saying in court filings that measures in those states unfairly affect minority voters.

South Korea: North Korea fired four short-range projectiles toward the ocean off its east coast on Wednesday in its latest in a series of missile and artillery tests, South Korea officials said.

Times wires

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U.S. government shuts down; Democrats, GOP blame each other

U.S. government shuts down; Democrats, GOP blame each other

WASHINGTON — The federal government shut down at the stroke of midnight Friday, halting all but the most essential operations and marring the one-year anniversary of President Donald Trump’s inauguration in a striking display of Washington dysfunctio...
Updated: 3 hours ago

High school scoreboard for Jan. 19

Friday’s scoreboardBoys soccerIndian Rocks Christian 2, Lakewood 1Lennard 3, Spoto 0Girls soccerPCAC Championship: Largo 3, Osceola 1Lennard 8, Spoto 0
Updated: 4 hours ago

Four people linked to Tampa carjacking captured hours later

TAMPA — It took officers just 27 minutes Friday night to capture four people who they said stole a car from its owner.The incident started outside the Ybor Coffee Shop at 5:45 a.m. A group approached the driver as he sat in his 2010 Toyota Corolla. T...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Inspector General launches investigation into Tampa Bay’s local career centers

Inspector General launches investigation into Tampa Bay’s local career centers

The state has opened an investigation into CareerSource Pinellas and CareerSource Tampa Bay, days after the Tampa Bay Times asked about whether the two regional job centers were inflating the number of people they had helped get hired. The agencies, ...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Florida National Guard soldier killed, five injured in Sebring crash

SEBRING — A soldier with the Florida National Guard was killed and five others were hospitalized after a multi-vehicle crash on Friday, officials said.The crash took place at about 1 p.m. at the intersection of U.S. 27 and Hammock Road.The soldiers ...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Two New Port Richey men accused of stealing $11,000 in cellphone merchandise

Two New Port Richey men accused of stealing $11,000 in cellphone merchandise

NEW PORT RICHEY — Two New Port Richey men face charges after Pasco County deputies say they stole about $11,000 worth of cellphones and cellphone equipment at a Metro PCS store on State Road 54.Robert Jackson and Ronald Hartshorn were arrested Wednes...
Updated: 7 hours ago
U.S. Attorney: Tampa woman uses soul food restaurant as part of scheme to steals thousands

U.S. Attorney: Tampa woman uses soul food restaurant as part of scheme to steals thousands

TAMPA — The owner of a soul and seafood restaurant is facing more than 10 years in federal prison for filing dozens of false tax returns and stealing thousands of dollars, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.Natalie Rene Panko, 57, owner of Ladie...
Updated: 7 hours ago
That noise you hear from MacDill is low-flying A-10 Warthogs in training

That noise you hear from MacDill is low-flying A-10 Warthogs in training

TAMPA — If you hear loud noises coming from MacDill Air Force Base over the next few days, don’t be alarmed.It’s the sound of flying hogs.A squadron of A-10C Warthogs, beloved by troops in the field for their ability to swoop low and slow and tear ap...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Autopsy: drugs found in MLB star Roy Halladay’s system after plane crash

Autopsy: drugs found in MLB star Roy Halladay’s system after plane crash

When former Major League Baseball pitcher Roy Halladay died in a plane crash in November, he had amphetamines, morphine and the sleep aid zolpidem in his system, according to an autopsy report.Halladay, 40, died from blunt force trauma with drowning ...
Updated: 7 hours ago
USF leaders move to calm fears over consolidation plan

USF leaders move to calm fears over consolidation plan

ST. PETERSBURG — Holding a piece of computer paper and a microphone, the leader of the University of South Florida St. Petersburg began a Friday afternoon forum by repeating the USF administration’s new mantra.He reassured the crowd before him that t...
Updated: 7 hours ago