Thursday, April 19, 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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2018 NFL draft countdown: Bucs GM Jason Licht speaks

2018 NFL draft countdown: Bucs GM Jason Licht speaks

We're a week away from the NFL draft in Dallas …Bucs general manager Jason Licht will speak to the media at 11:30 a.m. today at One Buc Place in Tampa. He'll take questions for about 20 minutes and use a lot of words to say nothing.That's the g...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Joe Henderson: Boycott Starbucks? Take a deep breath, folks

Joe Henderson: Boycott Starbucks? Take a deep breath, folks

A couple of weeks ago I received a call from someone doing job-related background checks on a friend of mine. He wanted to meet face-to-face, so we did what many other people do in that situation. We picked a Starbucks that was near to both of us. I’...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Forecast: Clear skies for Tampa Bay lead to a hot, humid and rainy weekend

Forecast: Clear skies for Tampa Bay lead to a hot, humid and rainy weekend

Expect warm weather, clear skies and a slight increase in humidity across Tampa Bay in the next few days, before an incoming cold front raises the chance for rain.Temperatures this morning are in the low 60s with a little bit of damp air. The dry air...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Downtown’s success creates noisy problem for St. Petersburg

Downtown’s success creates noisy problem for St. Petersburg

Times Staff Writer ST. PETERSBURG — Downtown’s rapid growth has not been without tension between its residents and the businesses and events that draw exuberant crowds. The city, which has been attempting to amend its noise ordinance o...
Updated: 2 hours ago
NASA team finds massive Everglades mangrove damage from Irma. Can it recover?

NASA team finds massive Everglades mangrove damage from Irma. Can it recover?

Last spring, a team of NASA scientists looking at South Florida’s dwindling wetlands flew over the Everglades hoping to use aerial 3D imaging and data from the planet’s longest orbiting satellites to plot changes. Then Irma hit.In a matter of hours, ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
The Daystarter: Lightning one win away from advancing; Steve Persall rides off into retirement; talking ‘St. Pete Pier’ funding; meet the Times’ new business columnist

The Daystarter: Lightning one win away from advancing; Steve Persall rides off into retirement; talking ‘St. Pete Pier’ funding; meet the Times’ new business columnist

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what to know today.• It’s more of the same with sunny skies and warm temperatures today. It’ll be a bit cooler at the beaches around the mid-70s, but east of Interstate 75 it will be in the mid to upper 8...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Hillsborough targets bilingual teachers’ aides in latest school cuts

Hillsborough targets bilingual teachers’ aides in latest school cuts

TAMPA — The Hillsborough County School District, with a large and growing population of children from foreign cultures, is reducing the ranks of teachers’ aides who help them master the English language.Next year’s workforce will have about 164 fewer...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Everybody loses in a trade war, Canadian chamber CEO warns Tampa officials

Everybody loses in a trade war, Canadian chamber CEO warns Tampa officials

TAMPA — President Donald Trump has tweeted "trade wars are good, and easy to win."Don’t believe it, the president of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce told Tampa business and political leaders on Wednesday."We share more with you than with anybody els...
Published: 04/19/18
Trademark makes it official: Call it the St. Pete Pier

Trademark makes it official: Call it the St. Pete Pier

ST. PETERSBURG — Today the City Council is set to approve a $15 million construction contract and additional money for the next phase of the new Pier District expected to open in the fall of 2019.But even as council members get ready to commit hundre...
Published: 04/19/18
Tampa Bay disciples of ‘Wild Wild Country’ guru remember Oregon commune

Tampa Bay disciples of ‘Wild Wild Country’ guru remember Oregon commune

SPRING HILLJoe Lemieux sat on the cream sofa near several relics from another era in his life, out of place in this retiree’s pastel-tinged living room and brought into the morning light specifically for this occasion.There was a beaded necklace hold...
Published: 04/19/18