Thursday, February 22, 2018
News Roundup

Calif. ban on gay-to-straight psychotherapy upheld

San Francisco

Calif. ban on gay-to-straight therapy upheld

California can enforce a new law that prohibits mental health professionals from trying to change a minor's sexual orientation, a federal appeals court panel ruled Thursday. A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals concluded unanimously that the law does not violate the free speech rights of patients or professionals or the fundamental rights of parents. The state may prohibit treatment it deems harmful, the court said. The ban on so-called conversion therapy was supposed to have taken effect in January, but legal challenges blocked it. California was the first state in the country to pass such a ban, and New Jersey has since followed.

Billings, Mont.

Outrage roils over judge's comments

The mother of a 14-year-old girl who was raped by her teacher and later committed suicide appeared at a raucous Thursday protest against the judge who sentenced the man to a month in jail and said the victim was "older than her chronological age." She rejected Judge G. Todd Baugh's apology and criticized him for standing by the light sentence. Prosecutors are considering an appeal. The judge's actions have drawn condemnation from across the country. Montana's governor said Baugh's comments "made me angry."

Seoul, South Korea

N. Korea's Kim has 11 executed

A North Korean firing squad executed a former girlfriend of leader Kim Jong Un and 11 other entertainers for allegedly violating laws banning pornography, a South Korean newspaper reported Thursday. Chosun Ilbo, an English-language newspaper of a Seoul media conglomerate, deemed the reported Aug. 20 executions a death blow to expectations that Kim would oversee a transition of his isolated and tyrannized people into a more open era. The dozen performers were shot to death while their families and former band members were forced to watch.

Elsewhere

Egypt: The Muslim Brotherhood ramped up its calls for nationwide protests today against Egypt's military-backed government.

Congo: Fighting from the war in eastern Congo spilled over into Rwanda when 10 shells landed in a Rwandan border town and a nearby village Thursday, killing at least one person, authorities said.

Washington: The Obama administration said Thursday it has released two prisoners from Guantanamo Bay to Algeria, the first transfers from the prison in almost a year.

Times wires

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Polk deputies seek Pinellas man accused of pushing woman from speeding car

Polk deputies seek Pinellas man accused of pushing woman from speeding car

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office said an arrest warrant was issued for a Pinellas County man accused of beating and pushing a woman from a speeding car.The incident took place on Feb. 17, the Sheriff’s Office said. Remond Brown II, 26, was traveling ...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Updated: 1 hour ago
V.M. Ybor: That’s not cigar smoke you’re smelling

V.M. Ybor: That’s not cigar smoke you’re smelling

TAMPA — Across Interstate 4 from Ybor City’s nightlife another part of the historic neighborhood has an odor less nostalgic — and much less pleasant — than cigar smoke and roasting coffee beans.V.M. Ybor, named after the Spaniard who founded the city...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Dunedin man seriously injured in motorcycle crash

Dunedin man seriously injured in motorcycle crash

OLDSMAR — A 37-year-old Dunedin man was seriously injured in a high-speed motorcycle crash early Thursday morning, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.Deputies said Justin Kaune was riding southbound on Bayside Boulevard around 2:30 a.m...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Police seek machete-wielding suspect in Plant City robbery

Police seek machete-wielding suspect in Plant City robbery

PLANT CITY — Police are searching for a man armed with a machete accused of robbing a convenience store on Tuesday.The man arrived at the Circle K convenience store station at 1514 Alexander St. S at about 2:50 a.m. and demanded money from store empl...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Clearwater police chief forms special unit for repeat offenders

Clearwater police chief forms special unit for repeat offenders

CLEARWATER — Police Chief Dan Slaughter started this month a new unit to target repeat offenders and nuisance properties.The Special Enforcement Unit consists of six police officers and a sergeant from within the department to focus on the small grou...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Jolley Trolley offers free rides to Clearwater Beach

Jolley Trolley offers free rides to Clearwater Beach

CLEARWATER — Spring break kicked off this week with a program offering free rides on the Jolley Trolley between downtown and Clearwater Beach until April 29.The Park N Ride service will pick up riders at two lots downtown every 15 minutes and drop th...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Ruth Eckerd Hall asks Clearwater for $3 million toward renovations

Ruth Eckerd Hall asks Clearwater for $3 million toward renovations

CLEARWATER — Ruth Eckerd Hall is requesting a $3 million grant from the city to help complete the $21 million renovation of its facility on McMullen Booth Road.The Expanding the Experience project began in 2015 with a renovation of the Murray Theatre...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Tip leads police to find body inside van in Walmart parking lot

Tip leads police to find body inside van in Walmart parking lot

TARPON SPRINGS — Police are conducting a death investigation after a body was found Thursday in a van at a Walmart parking lot.Officers were dispatched to the store at about 1:30 p.m. when an employee reported that an older-model, white Ford E-150 va...
Updated: 1 hour ago
New maps show the utterly massive imprint of fishing on the world’s oceans

New maps show the utterly massive imprint of fishing on the world’s oceans

That startling statistic is among the findings of a unique, high-tech collaboration that is providing a massive amount of new data about global fishing operations. The results, published Thursday in the journal Science, offer a powerful glimpse of th...
Updated: 1 hour ago