Tuesday, February 20, 2018
News Roundup

Congolese rebels, army clash at edge of key city

congo

rebels, army clash at edge of city

Heavy shelling and gunfire Monday broke a tense standoff between rebels on the outskirts of the eastern Congolese city of Goma and government soldiers backed by U.N. troops who were hunkered down inside.

The Congolese government rejected an ultimatum made by rebels Sunday night to withdraw from Goma and accused Rwanda, which a U.N. panel has said has links to the March 23 rebels, of sending two battalions over the border into Congo to fight on their behalf.

Rwanda has called the accusations "absolutely false" and said it was "exercising restraint as of now," according to a military spokesman, Brig. Gen. Joseph Nzabamwita.

The capture of one of the largest cities in eastern Congo could drag the giant Central African nation back into war.

Colombia

Cease-fire statement by rebels is ignored

Colombia's main rebel group announced a unilateral cease-fire on Monday as it began peace talks, but the Bogota government responded that it would continue military operations.

Top rebel negotiator Ivan Marquez said the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia would halt all acts of sabotage and attacks against government and private property through Jan. 20. He made the announcement as negotiators for both sides began the peace talks in Havana.

INDIANAPOLIS

Home explosion now homicide investigation

Authorities launched a homicide investigation Monday into the house explosion that killed two people and left numerous homes uninhabitable in an Indianapolis neighborhood.

Indianapolis Homeland Security director Gary Coons made the announcement after meeting with residents affected by the Nov. 10 blast and just hours after a funeral for the husband and wife who were killed.

Authorities did not indicate if investigators had any suspects.

China

Another Tibetan sets self on fire in protest

A Tibetan died after setting himself on fire to protest Chinese rule, a rights group said Monday.

The Washington-based International Campaign for Tibet said a 24-year-old man set fire to himself Saturday in front of a government building in Zeku county in western China's Qinghai province.

Dozens of ethnic Tibetans have self-immolated since March 2011. Activists say a recent increase in protests is apparently aimed at sending a message to China's new communist leadership, named last week.

Elsewhere

SEATTLE: Rain and wind pounded Washington state and Oregon on Monday, snarling the commute and causing road closures and power outages. One person killed by a falling tree.

Chile: The remains of Salvador Allende's vice president, Jose Toha, were reburied Monday in Santiago after an official autopsy that found he was murdered and did not commit suicide nearly four decades ago. He was taken prisoner during the Sept. 11, 1973, coup that toppled Allende.

Times wires

Comments

High school scoreboard for Feb. 20

Tuesday’s scoreboardSoftballAdmiral Farragut 17, St. Petersburg Cath. 0BaseballGulf Coast HEAT 9, Canterbury 4Calvary Chr. 6, Lakeland Chr. 1
Updated: 18 minutes ago
Officers: When an active shooter attacks, survive by taking action

Officers: When an active shooter attacks, survive by taking action

LARGO — An Illinois teacher used confrontation. A campus safety monitor in Seattle attacked with pepper spray and physical force. An assistant football coach in Indiana shouted as he chased him into the woods.All were civilians who took down an activ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Florida lawmaker’s aide fired after saying outspoken Parkland students are actors

Florida lawmaker’s aide fired after saying outspoken Parkland students are actors

It bubbled up from the darkest online corners then began to take off: conspiracy theories about Parkland students who’ve spent the past week on TV demanding action on the gun violence that killed 17 and reawakened a national debate.By late Tuesday af...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Under a new law, some public schools will be managed by companies. Pinellas is getting ready

Under a new law, some public schools will be managed by companies. Pinellas is getting ready

LARGO — Pinellas County School Board members are not happy about the prospect of having to hand over academic control at three struggling schools to a private company, and paying the firm up to $2 million on top of it. But that’s the course they must...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Career Q&A: Nut allergy is a serious workplace concern

Career Q&A: Nut allergy is a serious workplace concern

Q: My manager has recently started eating nuts at her desk, which is located right next to mine. Unfortunately, I have a serious nut allergy, so any contact with them could produce a life-threatening reaction. Even foods which contain tiny pieces of ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Lawsuit accuses FSU fraternity, national chapter of negligence in pledge’s death

Lawsuit accuses FSU fraternity, national chapter of negligence in pledge’s death

The parents of Andrew Coffey, the Florida State University student who died from alcohol poisoning after an apparent hazing episode last year, have sued the national Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity and nine of its members for their son’s death.Coffey, who wa...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Cracking the peanut allergy; Clooneys inspire $2M celebrity donations to March For Our Lives; lawyer admits lying to Mueller team; more in U.S. news

Cracking the peanut allergy; Clooneys inspire $2M celebrity donations to March For Our Lives; lawyer admits lying to Mueller team; more in U.S. news

NationCracking the allergyThe first treatment to help prevent serious allergic reactions to peanuts may be on the way. California’s Aimmune Therapeutics said Tuesday that its daily capsules of peanut powder helped children build tolerance in a major ...
Updated: 3 hours ago
St. Petersburg regatta to Havana again buffeted by politics

St. Petersburg regatta to Havana again buffeted by politics

The 2017 St. Petersburg-Habana Yacht Race was celebrated as more than a competitive regatta to Cuba’s capital city of Havana.The relaunch of the maritime competition canceled since 1959 was hailed as a reflection of the detente started under former P...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Fingerprint on Gatorade bottle leads to arrest of man, 23, in sexual assault of 71-year-old woman

Fingerprint on Gatorade bottle leads to arrest of man, 23, in sexual assault of 71-year-old woman

NEW PORT RICHEY — The 23-year-old man wanted in connection with sexually assaulting a 71-year-old woman on Monday left behind the clue that deputies said led them right to him: A fingerprint on a Gatorade bottle.Deputies said that and other evidence ...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Yes, we have some bananas: Port Tampa Bay welcomes first shipment in 21 years

Yes, we have some bananas: Port Tampa Bay welcomes first shipment in 21 years

TAMPA — More than two decades after the last bunch arrived on shore, bananas are back at Tampa’s port. More than 3,900 pallets of Chiquita bananas from Ecuador arrived last week at the new Port Logistics Refrigerated Services warehouse.It was the fir...
Updated: 5 hours ago