Saturday, December 16, 2017
News Roundup

U.S. envoy in Kenya who advised Obama quits

KEnya

U.S. envoy who advised obama quits

President Barack Obama's ambassador to Kenya announced his resignation on Friday ahead of the publication of a U.S. government audit that will be critical of his leadership of the most important embassy in East Africa.

Ambassador Scott Gration, a former campaign adviser to President Barack Obama, appears to have been forced to step down by how critical the audit will be. Gration said he was resigning because of differences in priorities between him and Washington.

State Department officials said an internal audit of the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi to be released next month will be highly critical of Gration's leadership and management of the embassy, said the officials, who spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the audit is still confidential.

washington

Five more waivers on No Child Left Behind

Five more states have been granted relief from key requirements of the Bush-era No Child Left Behind law, bringing the total to 24 states, including Florida, given waivers, the Education Department said Friday.

Arkansas, Missouri, South Dakota, Utah and Virginia will be freed from the law's requirement that all students test proficient in math and reading by 2014, a goal the nation remains far from achieving.

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C.

Commander reported killed by soldier

The officer shot and killed by a soldier at Fort Bragg, N.C., on Thursday afternoon was the shooting suspect's battalion commander, according to two network TV reports that cited unnamed Pentagon officials.

NBC News and CNN reported that the suspect, who Fort Bragg officials said turned his weapon on himself after shooting the officer, was not expected to survive his wounds. The soldier was in critical condition, according to a statement released by Fort Bragg officials Friday afternoon. Neither the suspect nor the victim has been identified.

South Korea

Signing of pact with Japan is postponed

Faced with mounting political pressure at home, the South Korean government Friday postponed the signing of its first military cooperation pact with Japan since World War II.

The fate of the pact in an election year has become uncertain.

COLUMBIA, S.C.

Inquiry exonerates governor in lobbying

Gov. Nikki Haley was cleared of wrongdoing Friday by state lawmakers who investigated assertions that she had violated ethics rules when she was a state representative by lobbying on behalf of two businesses she worked for.

Haley, a Republican, was accused by an influential Republican fundraiser of blurring the lines between her political and business roles.

NEW YORK

Flight attendant loses cool on delayed plane

A flight attendant on a weather-delayed plane yelled at passengers and challenged them to leave the plane if they dared before he was removed and the flight was canceled.

The incident, involving American Eagle flight attendant Jose Serrano, was caught on video. Flight 4607, from LaGuardia Airport to Raleigh-Durham, N.C., was delayed for more than seven hours on Monday before being canceled. Police were called to the plane, but there were no arrests.

Elsewhere

China: A strong earthquake jolted China's far-western frontier today, shaking buildings and cutting off electricity in the mountainous area. At least 17 people were injured, the state-run Xinhua News Agency said.

UNITED NATIONS: The Security Council on Friday endorsed an African Union force to capture warlord Joseph Kony and neutralize his Lord's Resistance Army in central Africa.

Times wires

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Trump defends tax plan, proclaims economy set ‘to rock’

Trump defends tax plan, proclaims economy set ‘to rock’

WASHINGTON — Closing in on the first major legislative achievement of his term, President Donald Trump on Saturday defended the Republican tax cut as a good deal for the middle class while boldly suggesting it could lead to explosive economic growth....
Updated: 1 hour ago
Aquarium reopens to divers

Aquarium reopens to divers

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Updated: 1 hour ago
Florida moves to control booming, invasive iguanas

Florida moves to control booming, invasive iguanas

MIAMI — With burrowing iguanas showing up in people’s toilets and damaging expensive sewer lines, Florida wildlife managers are stepping up efforts to control the state’s booming population of the wild, invasive reptiles. The Florida Fish and Wildlif...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Fan helps fund Miami Stadium’s historic marker

MIAMI — For thousands of kids who grew up in Miami, going to the old Miami Stadium in the Allapattah neighborhood was a part of coming of age. Opened on Aug. 31, 1949, with a game between the Miami Sun Sox and Havana Cubans, two Class B Florida Inter...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Florida man sues for $2.8 million fishing tournament prize money

Florida man sues for $2.8 million fishing tournament prize money

OCEAN CITY, Md. — Phil Heasley of Naples caught the fish of his life, but the $2.8 million in tournament prize money got away. Heasley reeled in a 6-foot white marlin last year off Maryland’s coast. But in a sign of how concerned some big money tour...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Romano: Some bullies survive beyond the schoolyard

Romano: Some bullies survive beyond the schoolyard

Sometime soon, members of the Florida House will be asked to consider a solution for bullying in public schools. It’s a dubious idea based on the premise that students should flee their tormenters, and use voucher funds to attend a private school of ...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Two die in head-on crash on Gunn Highway in Odessa

ODESSA — Hillsborough County deputies are investigating a head-on crash on Gunn Highway that killed two and sent a child to the hospital Saturday afternoon.About 12: 45 p.m., Terry Lee Bronschidle, 70, of Tampa was driving his Chevy Traverse south on...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Q&A with Syracuse coach Benoit Groulx about the Lightning’s next generation

Q&A with Syracuse coach Benoit Groulx about the Lightning’s next generation

DENVER — There might be one team in hockey hotter than the Lightning.It is Tampa Bay’s AHL affiliate, Syracuse.The Crunch has won 10 straight after Friday’s victory over Providence. Why is this important? While the AHL is a developmental league, the ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Firefighters injured after early-morning blaze at Tampa strip mall

Firefighters injured after early-morning blaze at Tampa strip mall

TAMPA — Three firefighters were injured early Saturday morning while battling a fire at a strip mall on W Waters Avenue, according to Tampa Fire Rescue.Firefighters said the blaze started around 2:45 p.m. in the attic of L.A. Nail Supply, located at ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Rays’ trade silence likely a short-lived phenomenon

Rays’ trade silence likely a short-lived phenomenon

LAKE BUENA VISTA — There were a lot of reasons the Rays didn’t start the process of trading some of their bigger-name, higher-paid players at last week’s winter meetings.Most obvious was them not finding the just-right deal to move closer Alex Colome...
Updated: 5 hours ago