Thursday, June 21, 2018
News Roundup

Missouri executes man in 1995 triple killing

Bonne Terre, Mo.

Man is executed in triple killing

A former methamphetamine dealer was executed Wednesday for killing three people in remote northern Missouri out of fear they would report his drug activity to police. John Middleton, 54, died Wednesday night from an injection of pentobarbital, the sixth execution in Missouri this year. Only Florida and Texas, with seven each, have had more executions. Middleton maintained to the end that someone else was responsible for the 1995 slayings he was convicted of.

La Quinta, Calif.

Judge rejects Calif. death penalty

A federal judge ruled Wednesday that California's death penalty system is so arbitrary and plagued with delay that it is unconstitutional. The decision is expected to inspire similar arguments in death penalty appeals across the country. The state has placed hundreds of people on death row but has not executed a prisoner since 2006. That sense of uncertainty, wrote Judge Cormac J. Carney of U.S. District Court, "violates the Eighth Amendment's prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment."

Washington

Obama may look to extend Iran talks

President Barack Obama said Wednesday he thinks the United States has "a credible way forward" in nuclear negotiations with Iran, and suggested that after consulting with Congress, which has threatened more sanctions, he would seek to extend the talks beyond Sunday's deadline. "There are still some significant gaps between the international community and Iran," he said, "and we have more work to do." Iran has signaled it wants more time to negotiate, but Obama is almost certain to run into opposition on Capitol Hill if he agrees. Republicans and even some Democrats say Tehran is simply stalling.

Kabul, Afghanistan

Gunmen attack airport in Kabul

Gunmen used rockets to attack the Kabul International Airport in the Afghanistan capital before dawn today, a senior military official said. The gunmen occupied two buildings under construction 700 yards north of the airport and were using them as a base to fire rockets and gunfire toward the airport and ISAF jet fighters flying over Kabul, said Afzal Aman, a general in the Afghan army in Kabul. Aman said several rockets hit the airport but no planes were immediately damaged. He said two attackers had been killed by Afghan forces.

Washington

Senate GOP blocks bill on birth control

Senate Democrats suffered what looked like a setback on birth control Wednesday, but they hope it pays political dividends in November. Republicans blocked a bill that was designed to override a Supreme Court ruling and ensure access to contraception for women who get their health insurance from companies with religious objections.

Elsewhere

Syria: In a lavish ceremony, President Bashar Assad was sworn in for a third seven-year term on Wednesday.

Egypt: Seven men were sentenced Wednesday to life in prison for sexual assaults on women at public rallies in Cairo's Tahrir Square, the first heavy sentences since a vowed crackdown on sexual violence.

Washington: A wildfire is threatening hundreds of homes in central Washington state, about 10 miles north of Leavenworth.

Times wires

Comments
The Daystarter: CareerSource used credit cards to boost hiring totals; report says Winston suspension coming; Hedman wins Norris Trophy; get ready for Pride

The Daystarter: CareerSource used credit cards to boost hiring totals; report says Winston suspension coming; Hedman wins Norris Trophy; get ready for Pride

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what to know today.• Today is also the official start of summer, not that anyone will be able to tell. It will be hot and muggy with just a 30 percent chance of rain heading into Friday, according to 10We...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Rays journal: 7 pitches, 3 straight homers prove too much in loss to Astros

Rays journal: 7 pitches, 3 straight homers prove too much in loss to Astros

HOUSTON — The Rays were engaged in a third straight tight, go-either-way battle with the defending champ Astros on Wednesday.Until they were not.A brutal seven-pitch sequence by starter Nathan Eovaldi changed everything, as he gave up three con...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Romano: Intrigue behind all those manicured lawns

Romano: Intrigue behind all those manicured lawns

I’ve always thought homeowners associations had a lot in common with cops.People love to complain about them and often accuse them of abusing their power. And yet as soon as a neighbor paints his house a hot shade of fuchsia, you’re screaming for the...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Daniel Ruth: Florida should consider taking back its outsourced foster care services

Daniel Ruth: Florida should consider taking back its outsourced foster care services

We hear a great deal about how government is the source of all evil, a wasteful, incompetent coven of lazy paper-pushing bureaucrats.That is why the heavens open and the angels sing and all is right with the world whenever we can wrest away various s...
Published: 06/21/18
A tight supply cuts into Tampa Bay home sales while prices keep rising

A tight supply cuts into Tampa Bay home sales while prices keep rising

Tampa Bay’s two largest counties showed anemic home sales in May as prices continued to rise due to a tight supply. In Pinellas, sales of single-family home plunged nearly 12 percent from the previous May, the second-worst showing in a year. P...
Updated: 19 minutes ago
Could Lucky’s Market move in to Clearwater’s old Albertsons?

Could Lucky’s Market move in to Clearwater’s old Albertsons?

Lucky’s Market is considering a move in to the old Albertsons box space in Clearwater, according to preliminary plans filed with the city. Lucky’s master broker, Rick Lewellyn, was listed on an agenda as discussing renovating the existing property wi...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Clearwater wants $40 million from the county for a stadium. But there’s not $40 million to give.

Clearwater wants $40 million from the county for a stadium. But there’s not $40 million to give.

CLEARWATER —The city’s proposed $79.7 million overhaul of the Philadelphia Phillies’ spring training facilities depends on getting $40 million in bed taxes from Pinellas County.But records show even if county officials wanted to bankroll the Phillies...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Police: Couple leased someone else’s home to 15 families at same time

Police: Couple leased someone else’s home to 15 families at same time

LARGO — Vanessa Rodriguez thought she found the right house for her three kids, in the right neighborhood, for the right rent. She signed the lease for April 30, sent a $2,300 money order and planned to move in June 1.Then the delays started. She sai...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Rays see the results of keeping a good, young core group together

Rays see the results of keeping a good, young core group together

HOUSTON — The Rays saw a lot on the weeklong trip that ended with Wednesday's game against that Astros, beyond the street hustlers prowling in Times Square and the urban cowboys and girls parading through H-town.There was an impressive debuting...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Kevin Knox poised to become Tampa Bay’s highest NBA draft pick

Kevin Knox poised to become Tampa Bay’s highest NBA draft pick

Kevin Knox Sr. was watching the NFL draft 24 years ago when the phone rang. Buffalo coach Marv Levy was on the other line."Marv said they were taking me," said Knox Sr., a standout receiver at FSU.Soon after, Knox Sr. saw his name scroll across ESPN'...
Updated: 7 hours ago