Monday, December 11, 2017
News Roundup

Senate confirms 2 under new filibuster rules

Washington

Senate confirms 2 under new filibuster rules

The Senate on Tuesday confirmed Patricia Millett for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and Rep. Mel Watt, D-N.C., to lead the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the first nominees approved since the filibuster rules were changed. Millett and Watt were among several high-profile nominees whose confirmation had been delayed for months due to Republican threats to filibuster, meaning their supporters needed 60 votes rather than a mere majority. Last month, frustrated Democrats, with the president's blessing, changed Senate rules to prevent the tactic from being used to block most judicial and executive nominees, except the Supreme Court. Now, a simple majority will suffice.

Washington

Papers: Panetta spoke on bin Laden raid

Newly declassified documents showed Tuesday that former CIA director Leon Panetta revealed secret information to Zero Dark Thirty scriptwriter Mark Boal when Panetta gave a speech at CIA headquarters marking the raid that killed Osama bin Laden. Panetta said through a spokesman that he didn't know Boal was in the room. "I had no idea that individual was in the audience," Panetta said in a statement. "To this day, I wouldn't know him if he walked into the room." Panetta spokesman Jeremy Bash said Panetta assumed everyone in the audience had the proper clearance to hear the speech.

Uruguay

Lawmakers vote to legalize marijuana

Lawmakers in Uruguay voted Tuesday to legalize and regulate marijuana, going further than any other country in the world toward decriminalizing the plant. With the move, Uruguay leaps to the forefront of nations that have sought alternatives to criminal anti-narcotics enforcement.

Dallas

Woman pleads guilty to ricin-laced letters

A Texas woman pleaded guilty Tuesday to sending ricin-laced letters to President Barack Obama and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, under a deal that her attorney has said would cap prison time at 18 years. Shannon Guess Richardson, 35, a former actor, entered her plea in federal court in Texarkana, Texas, to a federal charge of possessing and producing a biological toxin. Richardson was arrested in June after authorities said she tried to implicate her estranged husband, Nathan Richardson, after he had filed for divorce. Prosecutors say Shannon Richardson mailed three letters from New Boston, outside Texarkana, then went to police and claimed that her husband had done it.

Chicago

Judge overturns man's rape conviction

A judge Tuesday overturned the conviction of a man who spent 30 years in prison for a rape he says he falsely confessed to after being tortured by police. Cook County Judge Richard Walsh ordered that Stanley Wrice, 59, be released from prison, saying officers lied about how they treated him. The decision was just the latest development in one of the darkest chapters of Chicago Police Department history, in which officers working under former Lt. Jon Burge have been accused of torturing suspects into false confessions and torturing witnesses into falsely implicating people in crimes.

Elsewhere

Lebanon: Razan Zaitouneh, 36, one of the most prominent figures in the peaceful protest movement that swept Syria early in the country's uprising, was reported missing Tuesday from a rebel-controlled suburb of Damascus.

Boston: Democrat Katherine Clark easily defeated three opponents Tuesday to win a vacant congressional seat and become the fifth woman to represent Massachusetts in the U.S. House.

China: Authorities say an overnight fire at a farmers' market in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen has killed at least 15 people and injured five.

Times wires

Comments
Veteran 3B Evan Longoria as uncertain as anyone about Rays’ plans

Veteran 3B Evan Longoria as uncertain as anyone about Rays’ plans

LAKE BUENA VISTA — Uncertain with all the talk about potentially rebuilding if the Rays would go as far as trading franchise cornerstone 3B Evan Longoria?So is he."I don’t know what to think, really,’’ Longoria said via text message Sunday night as t...
Updated: 6 hours ago

Sunny day floods become new norm

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Updated: 6 hours ago
Tiny snowmen appear in Florida as Sunshine State gets snow

Tiny snowmen appear in Florida as Sunshine State gets snow

The "Welcome to Florida" sign in the northwest part of the state was covered in light snow as winter weather dipped into the Sunshine State. It was part of a winter storm that hit the Deep South over the weekend and left thousands of people without p...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Florida professional wrestler arrested, charged with battery of his wife, also a professional wrestler

Florida professional wrestler arrested, charged with battery of his wife, also a professional wrestler

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Wrestler Rich Swann is being held without bail in a Florida jail after he was arrested and charged with battery and false imprisonment. Swann, who is 26 and a former WWE cruiserweight champion, was arrested Saturday. According to ...
Updated: 6 hours ago

Updated: 6 hours ago
Getting around Cuban customs control

Getting around Cuban customs control

HAVANA, CUBA — Ernesto Machado will never forget that cold morning in 1968 at José Martí International Airport in Havana, when an immigration official seized his parents’ gold wedding bands and ripped up his passport."This is property of the revoluti...
Updated: 7 hours ago
FSU beats Tulane in Tampa, stays unbeaten in basketball

FSU beats Tulane in Tampa, stays unbeaten in basketball

Updated: 7 hours ago
Struggling Florida citrus growers face tough decisions

Struggling Florida citrus growers face tough decisions

WINTER HAVEN — Although the 2017-18 citrus harvest has barely begun, growers are already planning for the 2018-19 season, and they have critical decisions to make in the coming months that will affect next season’s crop and perhaps others in years to...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Bucs-Lions journal: Backup lineman was most unlikely of targets

Bucs-Lions journal: Backup lineman was most unlikely of targets

TAMPA — The Bucs’ unlikely comeback to erase a 14-point deficit in the fourth quarter was capped by the most unlikely of targets. Tampa Bay tied the game when Jameis Winston threw a 2-yard pass to 305-pound Leonard Wester, a backup lineman who lined ...
Updated: 8 hours ago
New normal: Firefighting at Christmas; U.S. homeless population increases 1st time since 2010; Athletes, celebrities rally for bullied boy; more in U.S. news

New normal: Firefighting at Christmas; U.S. homeless population increases 1st time since 2010; Athletes, celebrities rally for bullied boy; more in U.S. news

CaliforniaNew normal: Christmas firefightingA flare-up on the western edge of Southern California’s largest and most destructive wildfire sent residents fleeing Sunday. Fire crews saved several homes as unpredictable gusts sent the blaze churning dee...
Updated: 8 hours ago