Monday, June 18, 2018
News Roundup

Haitian migrants drown; vaccines kill 8 in China

18 Haitians die when crowded boat capsizes

At least 18 migrants from Haiti died Wednesday when their overloaded sailboat capsized as it was being towed to shore in the Turks and Caicos Islands, officials in the British territory said. A marine unit of the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force had intercepted the packed sloop about two hours earlier and was escorting it to shore when it abruptly overturned, sparking a frantic search and rescue operation in the predawn darkness. Karlo Pelissier, the Haitian consul to the Turks and Caicos, said he was told by survivors that several migrants tried to jump off the 28-foot boat and flee to land as they neared the island of Providenciales and that the surge caused the overloaded sloop to overturn. Officials had not confirmed that as the cause of the capsizing. Authorities rescued 32 migrants, including one 12-year-old boy, and recovered the bodies of 18 people. Survivors were being detained at a migrant detention center in Providenciales, the most populated island in the chain southeast of the Bahamas, and there were no major injuries.

Houma, La.

Early Christmas fire kills 3, hurts 7

Louisiana officials say a mobile home fire has killed three children and injured seven other people. District Chief Lance LaMarca of the state Fire Marshal's Office said a 13-year-old girl, a 12-year-old boy and an 11-year-old boy died at the Whispering Oaks Trailer Park in Houma. Their parents and five other children were taken to a Baton Rouge burn unit. Houma Fire Inspector Mike Millet said the trailer was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived after 1:30 a.m. Wednesday. LaMarca said possible causes include space heaters, candles or electrical devices. He said 12 people were in the trailer because the parents and children were visiting from Alabama for Christmas.

St. Petersburg, Russia

Greenpeace crew charges dropped

Russian investigators have dropped charges against all but one of the 30 crew of a Greenpeace ship, who were accused of hooliganism following a protest outside a Russian oil rig in the Arctic, the group said Wednesday. Cristian d'Alessandro of Italy failed to get his criminal case closed due to the lack of an interpreter and will have to visit the St. Petersburg branch of Russia's Investigative Committee again today, said Violetta Ryabko, a Greenpeace spokeswoman. Criminal charges against the crew were closed under an amnesty seen by many as an attempt by the Kremlin to dampen criticism of Russia's human rights record before the Winter Olympics in Sochi in February.

Shanghai, China

Vaccines probed in 8 infant deaths

Health authorities in China are investigating one of the nation's biggest vaccine makers after eight infants died in the past two months after injections that were meant to immunize them against hepatitis B. The government said it had suspended the use of millions of doses of a hepatitis B vaccine produced by Shenzhen Kangtai Biological Products. Government inspectors have been sent to examine the company's facilities. Six of the deaths have been linked to vaccines produced by Shenzhen Kangtai; the two other infant deaths occurred recently after the use of a hepatitis B vaccine produced by another drugmaker, Beijing Tiantan Biological Products.

Times wires

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Forecast: Hot and humid across Tampa Bay, with potentially wet weekend

Forecast: Hot and humid across Tampa Bay, with potentially wet weekend

Summer officially doesn’t start for another three days, but that won’t stop the searing temperatures and stifling humidity from making for a hot and sticky week across Tampa Bay. Temperatures will climb well into the 90s — and feel...
Updated: 4 minutes ago
Clearwater and Tampa want to turn flushed water into drinking water. Is it safe?

Clearwater and Tampa want to turn flushed water into drinking water. Is it safe?

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Updated: 20 minutes ago
A sports story that we all can love

A sports story that we all can love

When we think of sports — hard-nosed, competitive sports — what words immediately come to mind? Tenacity. Grit. Guts. Perseverance. Courage. Intensity. Determination. You get the idea. Sports are usually cutthroat, give no quarter, sho...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Rays journal: Adeiny Hechavarria returns and plays short, but now what?

Rays journal: Adeiny Hechavarria returns and plays short, but now what?

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Updated: 2 hours ago
The Daystarter: Are Democrats nervous about Nelsonís chances versus Scott?; neo-Nazi leaderís video from prison causes concern;

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Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what to know today.ē Itíll be partly cloudy with scattered showers and thunderstorms during the afternoon, with highs in the upper 80s to lower 90s, according to the National Weather Serviceē Keep these l...
Updated: 2 hours ago
A St. Pete church opposes its own land deal. Will council go along?

A St. Pete church opposes its own land deal. Will council go along?

ST. PETERSBURG ó The Rev. Manuel Sykes wouldnít say last week whether he wanted City Council to reject a rezoning proposal that would let a developer build a drive-thru restaurant on his churchís land.He wouldnít mind, though, if a little divine inte...
Updated: 2 hours ago
At 61, he made his professional wrestling debut to help son cope with motherís death

At 61, he made his professional wrestling debut to help son cope with motherís death

A 16-foot wrestling ring and 150 rental chairs were set up on the basketball court of the Police Athletic League of St. Petersburg. Concessions were prepared in slow cookers.It was as far from the limelight as it was in distance from Madison Square G...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Ethan Hooper steps up with a salute to teachers

Ethan Hooper steps up with a salute to teachers

Editorís note: Ethan Hooper wrote todayís column to give Ernest Hooper Fatherís Day off.In May, I graduated from the University of Central Florida with a degree in elementary education, and I recently secured a job as a first-grade teacher with Orang...
Published: 06/18/18
Whereís the new VA clinic going? Not in the city of New Port Richey

Whereís the new VA clinic going? Not in the city of New Port Richey

NEW PORT RICHEY ó The federal governmentís search for a home for its new Veterans Administration community outpatient clinic is focusing on the Little Road corridor in west Pasco.Three locations in the running for the VA clinic are identified in the ...
Published: 06/18/18
Fatherís Day on the water

Fatherís Day on the water

Luis Santana | TimesBoaters take advantage of the calm seas and warm weather to enjoy the waters near the Dunedin Causeway on Fatherís Day. Dozens of boats were beached along the shores of Caladesi Island and Honeymoon Island State Park.
Published: 06/17/18