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Egyptian president frees editor who insulted him


morsi frees editor who insulted him

Wielding his extensive legislative powers for the first time, President Mohammed Morsi on Thursday outlawed the pretrial detention of people accused of press crimes, effectively freeing one of his toughest critics. Newspaper editor Islam Afifi faces charges that include insulting the president and disturbing the public order for articles and editorials that appeared in Al-Dustour. He was released from custody Thursday night, pending trial in September.


Raid cracks down on neo-Nazis

German authorities banned three neo-Nazi groups and raided dozens of members' homes and meeting places Thursday in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia in an effort to break up an aggressive network of far-right extremists. About 900 police officers carried out the raids, confiscating weapons, computers and other materials, including posters from the National Democratic Party, officials said. No arrests were made, but authorities said they could follow once the seized materials are examined.

south africa

Panel to look into miners' shootings

South Africa's President Jacob Zuma appointed a panel of judges Thursday to investigate the events that led up to the police shooting that killed 34 miners on strike at a platinum mine last week. The killings, which followed a week of violent protests by miners demanding that their wages be sharply increased, stunned South Africa. The panel will be able to subpoena witnesses and refer cases for prosecution.

san bernardino, calif.

Rodney King death ruled accidental

Rodney King was drinking and on drugs when he plunged into a swimming pool and drowned in June, a coroner's report released Thursday concluded. The report confirmed a previous police conclusion that King died by accident, and the case will be closed, Rialto police Capt. Randy DeAnda said. King's videotaped beating by Los Angeles police in 1991 led to deadly rioting.

pasadena, calif.

NASA posts new Mars landing video

Viewers can now relive the drama of the Curiosity rover's landing on Mars with a new NASA video detailing the final moments of touchdown. The space agency Thursday posted the video on its website embedded with audio from mission control. Curiosity is the first spacecraft to record a landing on another planet. The six-wheel rover arrived Aug. 5 on a two-year mission to examine whether the Martian environment was hospitable for microbial life.

Times wires

Egyptian president frees editor who insulted him 08/23/12 [Last modified: Thursday, August 23, 2012 11:05pm]
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  1. Hernando sheriff: Orlando mother turns in 18-year-old son in pawn shop burglary


    Times Staff Writer

    SPRING HILL — Hernando deputies have arrested a fourth person in connection with a pawn shop burglary, but they really didn't have to do anything to find him.

    Elijah Pickard, 18, of Orlando, was turned in by his own mother in connection with a pawn shop burglary, according to the Hernando County Sheriff's Office [Courtesy of Hernando County Sheriff's Office]
  2. Bob Buckhorn and Tampa council say county vote on Confederate statue doesn't speak for them


    TAMPA — It was the Hillsborough County Commission that voted not to remove a statue honoring the Confederacy, but Tampa officials are worried that the city, not the county, will pay the price.

    The Hillsborough County Commission voted 4-to-3 this week to leave in place a Confederate monument outside the old county courthouse. It was dedicated in 1911 with a speech calling African-Americans "ignorant and inferior'' and saying a president who would appoint a black resident to a job in the South "engenders sectional bitterness, encourages lynchings, injures the negro," and is "a traitor to the Anglo-Saxon race." CHRIS URSO   |   Times
  3. Who's behind the mysterious butt graffiti all over St. Petersburg?

    Human Interest

    ST. PETERSBURG — The first butts, perhaps, appeared in April on some steps behind the Sundial shopping plaza.

    A photo of the butt graffiti that has been cropping up around St. Petersburg in the past several months. [CHRISTOPHER SPATA | STAFF]
  4. During the most expensive mayoral election ever, St. Petersburg City Council wants to limit PAC money


    ST. PETERSBURG — In front of a large group of red-shirted campaign finance reform supporters, the St. Petersburg City Council on Thursday started the ball rolling on an ordinance that would limit individual campaign contributions to $5,000 from political action committees.

    A large crowd gathered Thursday to support passage of a controversial measure to limit campaign spending in city elections
  5. Minority business accelerator launch by Tampa chamber to aid black, Hispanic businesses


    A "minority business accelerator" program was launched Thursday by the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce geared toward helping black and Hispanic business owners identify and overcome barriers to grow their companies. The accelerator, known as MBA, will provide participants with business tools to cultivate opportunities …

    Bemetra Simmons is a senior private banker at Wells Fargo, The Private Bank. She is also chair of the new minority business accelerator program for the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce. [Photo, LinkedIn]