Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Syrian rebels seize oil field, storm base

BEIRUT, LEBANON

Syrian rebels seize oil field, storm base

Syrian rebels captured most of an eastern oil field and stormed a military base in the south, anti-regime activists said Thursday, further chipping away at President Bashar Assad's hold on the country's hinterlands. Though Assad's regime does not appear on the brink of collapse, rebels have scored a string of strategic victories in the past week, also seizing a large dam and the defenses around a major airport. These and other blows have shrunk the part of the country that Assad effectively governs and could deprive his regime of resources necessary for its survival.

Springfield, Ill.

Ill. Senate passes gay marriage bill

Illinois moved closer Thursday to becoming the 10th state where same-sex couples can legally wed as the Senate voted to lift a ban on gay marriage. Senators voted 34-21 to approve the measure, sending it to the state House where Democrats also hold a majority. Gov. Pat Quinn, a Chicago Democrat, has said he will sign the bill if the House approves it.

Washington

Sen. Lautenberg won't run again

Facing a fight for his seat from within his own party, Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., said Thursday he will retire rather than seek a sixth term next year. Lautenberg, at 89 the oldest member of the Senate and its only remaining veteran of World War II, told his staff of his decision and was to announce it formally today in Paterson, where he grew up the son of poor immigrant parents. His decision to retire has been complicated by an open challenge by Newark Mayor Cory Booker, 43, a popular Democrat.

Seoul, South Korea

South Korea shows its military might

South Korea flexed its military muscle Thursday by staging large military drills and disclosing a new cruise missile capable of hitting any target in North Korea, as the North became candid about its intentions to build intercontinental ballistic missiles tipped with nuclear warheads. "If the imperialists have nuclear weapons, we must have them, and if they have intercontinental ballistic missiles, we must have them, too," the North's state-run Rodong Sinmun newspaper said in a commentary Thursday. "Anger seeks weapons." North Korea uses "imperialists" to refer to the United States.

Washington

Social Security said hurt by neglect

Outgoing Social Security Commissioner Michael J. Astrue says Congress, the White House and advocates for seniors have all "really walked away from Social Security," leaving the program "fraying." Instead of making hard choices to fix its financial problems, policymakers "use it as a tool of political rhetoric," Astrue said. Astrue, 56, has headed the program since 2007.

Washington

Crackdown coming on tour buses

Responding to recent deadly tour bus accidents, teams of federal inspectors will target companies with a history of problems as part of a crackdown aimed at weeding out unsafe operators, the government said Thursday. In the next two months, inspectors will examine troubled companies and physically inspect buses when they visit, officials of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration said.

Times wires

Syrian rebels seize oil field, storm base 02/14/13 [Last modified: Thursday, February 14, 2013 11:07pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Ousted to political Siberia by Corcoran, Kathleen Peters sets sights on Pinellas Commission

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — The perks of power in Tallahassee are a coveted chairmanship, a Capitol office in a prime location and a prominent seat on the House floor. Now Rep. Kathleen Peters has lost all three, but here's the twist: Her trip to "Siberia" might actually help her reach the next step on the Tampa Bay political …

    Rep. Kathleen Peters, R-South Pasadena, has been relegated to the back row in the State House chamber, moved to a fouth floor office and stripped of her job as chairwoman of a House subcommittee after a series of disagreements with House Speaker Richard Corcoran. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]
  2. What do kids need to stay away from deadly auto theft epidemic?

    Public Safety

    ST. PETERSBURG — More than a dozen black teenagers told U.S. Congressman Charlie Crist on Wednesday that children need stronger mentors and youth programs to steer clear of the auto theft epidemic plaguing Pinellas County.

    Congressman Charlie Crist (center) listens as Shenyah Ruth (right), a junior at Northeast High School, talks during Wednesday's youth roundtable meeting with community leaders and kids. They met to discuss the ongoing car theft epidemic among Pinellas youth and how law enforcement, elected officials, and community organizations can work together to put an end to this dangerous trend. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]
  3. Manahattan Casino choice causes political headache for Kriseman

    Growth

    ST. PETERSBURG — Days before the mayoral primary, Mayor Rick Kriseman's decision to let a Floribbean restaurant open in Midtown's historic Manhattan Casino has caused political angst within the voting bloc he can least afford to lose: the black community.

    Last week Mayor Rick Kriseman chose a Floribbean restaurant concept to fill Midtown's historic Manhattan Casino. But that decision, made days before next week's mayoral primary, has turned into a political headache for the mayor. Many residents want to see the building's next tenant better reflect its cultural significance in the black community. [JAMES BORCHUCK   |   Times]
  4. Bucs talk social issues, protests at team meeting

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Each time Dirk Koetter walks through the door of his office at One Buc Place, he passes by the only jersey framed on his wall.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans (13) wears custom cleats to represent Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE) as part of the NFL???‚??„?s "My Cause, My Cleats Campaign" before the start of a football game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, Calif., on Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016.
  5. UPS relocates express operations from St. Pete-Clearwater to TIA

    Airlines

    TAMPA — United Parcel Service Inc. is switching airports for its express air operations. Beginning in October, UPS will relocate from St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport to Tampa International Airport.

    Beginning in October, UPS will move from St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport to Tampa International Airport. [Associated Press file photo]