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House approves aid for churches damaged by Hurricane Sandy

Washington

House okays aid for churches hit by Hurricane

The House of Representatives has overwhelmingly approved legislation that would allow the use of federal money to rebuild churches and synagogues damaged by Hurricane Sandy, despite concern that such aid could violate the doctrine of separation of church and state. The bill, approved last week 354-72, had support from Roman Catholic and Jewish organizations. It was opposed by 66 Democrats and six Republicans. The prospects for the bill in the Senate are uncertain. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has generally refused to provide money to rebuild houses of worship. The House bill adds houses of worship to the list of private nonprofit organizations eligible for disaster relief.

Denver

Colo. House passes gun-control bills

Universal background checks and limits on the size of ammunition magazines passed the Colorado House on Monday as lawmakers tried to address recent mass shootings. The bills were among four that the Democratic-controlled House passed amid strong resistance from Republicans. The other bills would ban concealed firearms at colleges and stadiums, and require that gun purchasers pay for their own background checks. The bills now go to the Democratic-controlled Senate.

Russia

Lawmaker's body found in barrel

The body of a Russian lawmaker was found cemented in a barrel, and a former government official has been accused of ordering the killing over an $80 million debt, officials said Monday. Mikhail Pakhomov, 37, disappeared last week. He was a member of the local legislature in Lipetsk, a city about 215 miles south of Moscow. Authorities said Yevgeny Kharitonov, a former deputy minister for housing and utilities services in the Moscow region, is being held on suspicion of ordering the killing of Pakhomov.

Germany

Amazon fires firm after documentary

Online retailer Amazon reacted to criticism Monday by firing a security company named in a German TV documentary about alleged mistreatment of foreign temporary workers. An Amazon spokeswoman in Germany said in an email to the Associated Press that the company had ended its relationship with Hensel European Security Services. The documentary showed staff of the security company — whose initials spell out the surname of Adolf Hitler's deputy Rudolf Hess — wearing clothes linked to the neo-Nazi scene. The documentary interviewed temporary workers for Amazon who said they were intimidated by security guards.

Elsewhere

Nigeria: A little-known Islamic extremist group, Ansaru, claimed responsibility Monday for the kidnapping of seven foreign workers in northern Nigeria, threatening their safety if anyone tried to free them.

Times wires

House approves aid for churches damaged by Hurricane Sandy 02/18/13 [Last modified: Monday, February 18, 2013 11:15pm]
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  1. Wrestling to return to old Tampa armory — but just for one night

    Human Interest

    TAMPA — For the first time in decades, wrestling will return to the old Ft. Homer W. Hesterly Armory with a reunion show scheduled for late September.

    For the first time in decades, wrestling will return to the old Ft. Homer W. Hesterly Armory with a reunion show scheduled for late September.
Now named the Bryan Glazer Family JCC, the armory regularly featured stars such as Dusty Rhodes and Jack Brisco. On September 26, it will host a one-time only reunion night. [JAMES BORCHUCK | Times file photo (2016)]
  2. Wanted: New businesses on Safety Harbor's Main Street

    Local Government

    SAFETY HARBOR — A green grocery store, a hardware store, restaurants, boutiques and multi-use buildings are all wanted downtown, according to discussion at a community redevelopment workshop held last week. And to bring them to the Main Street district, city commissioners, led by Mayor Joe Ayoub, gave City Manager …

    Whistle Stop Bar & Grill is one of the main stops on Main Street in Safety Harbor. [LUIS SANTANA | Times]
  3. John Morgan intends to pressure every Florida politician to fund wage initiative

    Blogs

    John Morgan, the publicity-loving personal injury lawyer/entrepreneur who spearheaded the successful medical marijuana initiative, soon plans to start collecting signatures for a 2020 ballot initiative raising Florida minimum wage. He plans to "spend millions of my own money" on the effort, but he also intends to …

  4. Westbound traffic on Courtney Campbell blocked after crash

    Accidents

    Westbound traffic on the Courtney Campbell Causeway is being diverted following a crash early Thursday morning.

  5. Q&A: A business leader and historian jointly delve into Tampa's waterfront

    Business

    TAMPA — As a native of Tampa, Arthur Savage has always had a passion for his hometown's history. And as a third-generation owner and operator of A.R. Savage & Son, a Tampa-based shipping agency, his affinity for his hometown also extends to its local waterways.

    Arthur Savage (left) and Rodney Kite-Powell, co-authors of "Tampa Bay's Waterfront: Its History and Development," stand for a portrait with the bust of James McKay Sr. in downtown Tampa on Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017. McKay, who passed away in 1876, was a prominent businessman, among other things, in the Tampa area. He was Arthur Savage's great great grandfather. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]