Friday, February 23, 2018
News Roundup

Israel shelves plan to free prisoners as Mideast talks stall

Jerusalem

Israel shelves plan to release prisoners

Mideast peace talks remained in crisis Thursday as Israel froze plans to release Palestinian prisoners and officials threatened sanctions after the Palestinian Authority's request to join multiple international conventions. The impasse deepened into a crisis just as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was working on a three-way deal that would extend talks and allow the prisoner release. Kerry canceled his planned return to the region Wednesday, and negotiating teams met with an American mediator overnight for a long session that local media described as particularly stormy.

Geneva

U.N.: South Sudan needs urgent help

South Sudan needs $230 million in international aid in the next 60 days or it will face the worst starvation in Africa since the 1980s, when hundreds of thousands of people died in Ethiopia's famine, the U.N. official coordinating humanitarian aid in the country warned Thursday. About 3.7 million people, close to a third of the total population, are at severe risk of starvation, a crisis ranked by the United Nations on par with Syria's, Toby Lanzer said.

Huntsville, Texas

New drug supply used for execution

A serial killer was put to death Thursday in Texas after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected his lawyers' demand that the state release information about where it gets its lethal injection drug. Tommy Lynn Sells, 49, was the first inmate to be injected with a dose of newly replenished pentobarbital that Texas prison officials obtained to replace its expired supply.

London

England choked by two days of smog

Schools closed playgrounds and ambulance staff reported a surge in breathing problems as smog blanketed parts of England a second day Thursday. Air pollution hit the top level of 10 in London and the southeast. The haze is a mix of local pollution, European emissions and Sahara sand. Atlantic winds are expected to bring relief today.

Times wires

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Tampa Downtown Partnership gets initial city okay to expand north

Tampa Downtown Partnership gets initial city okay to expand north

TAMPA — The Downtowner may be heading to Tampa Heights — but not until Oct. 1.That’s because the nonprofit Tampa Downtown Partnership this week won initial City Council approval to expand into Tampa Heights."Tampa Heights is becoming an important gat...
Updated: 7 minutes ago
Edward Peachey demands severance from CareerSource before stepping down

Edward Peachey demands severance from CareerSource before stepping down

Edward Peachey, the leader of Pinellas and Hillsborough career centers under multiple investigations over the way they report job placement figures, says he has no intention of stepping down unless he is paid a severance.In a letter from his attorney...
Updated: 9 minutes ago
Live Coverage: Rick Scott, Republican leaders announce school safety proposals

Live Coverage: Rick Scott, Republican leaders announce school safety proposals

The Florida Senate’s own polling shows strong support for an assault weapons ban among Florida residents. But Republicans say their proposals won’t include that. What will it include?Follow live.[ TEXT OF SPEECH: Gov. Scott proposes $450 ...
Updated: 9 minutes ago
Realtors are ‘every 10 feet’ in Florida but more want in the business

Realtors are ‘every 10 feet’ in Florida but more want in the business

ST. PETERSBURG — Tired of working as a yacht captain, Pancho Jiminez decided to get into real estate even though he knows it’s a highly competitive field in Florida."Realtors are every 10 feet around here," he says.Nonetheless, Jiminez is among 30 st...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Winn-Dixie sells 8 stores after report says owner could close 200 locations

Winn-Dixie sells 8 stores after report says owner could close 200 locations

A week after Bloomberg reported that Southeastern Grocers — the Jacksonville retailer that owns Winn-Dixie and other chains — could be closing up to 200 stores, the company announced it was selling off eight of its Louisiana locations.Texas’ Brooksh...
Updated: 1 hour ago

One killed, two injured as boats collide on Little Manatee River

RUSKIN — Two boats collided on the Little Manatee River east of the Shell Point Marina early Friday, killing one person and injuring two others, according to Hillsborough County Fire Rescue.The two who were injured are being treated at a hospital. Th...
Updated: 1 hour ago

School District demands students leave backpacks at home due to threats

Middle school and high school students across Manatee County have been asked to leave their backpacks at home Friday in response to "an excessive number of threats."The Manatee County School District announced its decision through telephone calls and...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Rays holding their breath

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Rays holding their breath

Rays top pitching prospect Brent Honeywell left practice Thursday after throwing a handful of pitches, and the fear (now confirmed) is he might need Tommy John surgery, ending his season before it begins.In his lastest podcast, Rick Stroud has the la...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Forecast: Tampa Bay’s week of record-breaking highs coming to an end

Forecast: Tampa Bay’s week of record-breaking highs coming to an end

As the week closes out, Tampa Bay can expect continued abnormally high temperatures, a lot of sunshine and just a slight chance of scattered showers.But at least the heat isn’t expected to be record-breaking.For the past four days, the bay area set r...
Updated: 3 hours ago
‘The sound of death:’ Deadly tornadoes ravage Central Florida in dark (from 1998)

‘The sound of death:’ Deadly tornadoes ravage Central Florida in dark (from 1998)

EDITOR’S NOTE: While many of us were asleep, a string of deadly tornadoes tore through east-central Florida on Feb. 22-23, 1998, destroying homes and resulting in 42 deaths and more than 260 injuries. On the 20th anniversary of that tragedy, here is ...
Updated: 4 hours ago