Sunday, January 21, 2018
News Roundup

Terror threat closes U.S. diplomatic missions in Mideast

Terror threat shuts missions

A terrorism threat has prompted the United States to close dozens of American diplomatic missions in the Middle East, North Africa and elsewhere through the weekend, U.S. officials said Thursday. Officials gave few details about what prompted the move to close an unusually large number of U.S. missions, but said there was "credible" information that an al-Qaida regional affiliate might be plotting an attack sometime in the coming days. Officials said the State Department was planning to have nearly all U.S. diplomatic facilities in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia closed through the weekend, including missions in Egypt, Iraq, Israel, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

Iraq toll highest in five years

More than 1,000 people were killed in Iraq in July, the highest monthly death toll in five years, the U.N. said Thursday. The grim figure shows rapidly deteriorating security as sectarian tensions soar nearly two years after U.S. troops withdrew from the country. Violence has been on the rise all year, but the number of attacks against civilians and security forces has spiked during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, which began early last month. The increased bloodshed has intensified fears Iraq is on a path back to the widespread chaos that nearly tore the country apart in the aftermath of the U.S.-led invasion that ousted Saddam Hussein in 2003.

Berlusconi's sentence sticks

For the first time in decades of criminal prosecution, a conviction against former Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi finally stuck Thursday, leaving the media mogul with a four-year prison sentence for tax fraud with all of his appeals exhausted. But it's highly unlikely the man who long was Italy's most powerful politician will serve out the sentence behind bars. Experts said that at 76, Berlusconi would more likely face house arrest or community service.

Disputed poll poses divisions

Allegations of vote-rigging flowed Thursday in Zimbabwe with reports of fake registration cards, voters turned away from the polls and people appearing on voters' lists four times with different IDs. Even before results were announced, the main opposition camp said longtime President Robert Mugabe stole the election, which his supporters denied. Either way, the country faces fresh political uncertainty. Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, Mugabe's main challenger, said the elections Wednesday were "null and void" due to violations, and a poll monitoring group also said the poll was compromised by a campaign to stop voters from casting ballots.

Times wires

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Add swagger to Lightning’s loss column

Add swagger to Lightning’s loss column

CHICAGO — It didn’t take the sound of a door slamming in the visitor’s dressing room Saturday night to sense this Lightning team is frustrated.Tampa Bay believed it had worked hard against the Wild — at least, harder than it did in Thursday’s letharg...
Updated: 22 minutes ago

nationResearchers work to avoid another 1918 super-flu The descriptions are haunting. Some victims felt fine in the morning and were dead by night. Faces turned blue as patients coughed up blood. Stacked bodies outnumbered coffins. A century after on...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Hillsborough diver who died in Eagle’s Nest Cave was adventurous but experienced

Davin Brannon was a pilot, a spearfisherman, an avid cave and open-water diver and an experienced all-around adventurer, said those close to him ."I guess you could say he died doing what he loved," his cousin Pam Kirven said. "But I also know he’d n...
Updated: 1 hour ago
‘Three Billboards’ sweeps female-focused SAG Awards

‘Three Billboards’ sweeps female-focused SAG Awards

LOS ANGELES — The Western-inspired revenge tale Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri swept the female-focused and led Screen Actors Guild Awards Sunday with wins for best ensemble, best actress for Frances McDormand and best supporting actor for...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Shutdown opens week

Shutdown opens week

Associated PressWASHINGTON — The government shutdown will extend into the workweek as the Senate appeared to inch closer to ending a partisan stalemate late Sunday but fell short of agreement. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his Democratic...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Record number of inmates died in Florida prisons last year. And they died younger than past years.

Record number of inmates died in Florida prisons last year. And they died younger than past years.

More inmates died in Florida prisons last year than in any other year on record, leaving the state scrambling to identify causes and find solutions. The tally, 428 inmate deaths in 2017, was released late Friday by the Florida Department of Correctio...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Oxfam highlights sharp inequality as Davos elite gather

DAVOS, Switzerland — A CEO from one of the world’s top five global fashion brands has to work for just four days to earn what a garment worker in Bangladesh will earn in an entire lifetime, campaigning group Oxfam International said Monday. In advanc...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Amazon opens cashier-less store in Seattle

SEATTLE — Amazon employees have been testing it, but is the public ready for a cashier-less store? More than a year after it introduced the concept, Amazon is opening its artificial intelligence-powered Amazon Go store today in downtown Seattle. The ...
Updated: 3 hours ago
At second St. Petersburg Women’s March, 5,000 focus on

At second St. Petersburg Women’s March, 5,000 focus on "what we can do"

ST. PETERSBURGNear Mirror Lake, as protesters posed for pictures, hung signs on their dogs and distributed chant scripts just after noon Sunday, Linda Pair and her friend Beth Gavin arrived to march.Asked why she came out, Pair, 72, of Largo put it b...
Updated: 3 hours ago
USF women blow late lead, lose at Wichita State

USF women blow late lead, lose at Wichita State

WICHITA — USF led by eight points in the fourth quarter but went cold, and Wichita State pulled off the upset 64-56 Sunday afternoon in a potentially costly loss for the Bulls.USF (15-5, 5-2 American Athletic Conference) missed 14 of its last 15 fiel...
Updated: 4 hours ago