Tuesday, January 16, 2018
News Roundup

EU takes steps to unify banks, assist Greece

London

EU takes steps to unify banks, assist Greece

European officials Thursday took two more steps in their fight against the region's lingering debt crisis, agreeing to put big banks under the oversight of a single supervisor and releasing desperately needed loans for Greece to pay its mounting bills. The plan to have the European Central Bank supervise the eurozone's major financial institutions lays the foundation for a deeper "banking union" across the 17-nation currency bloc, or a harmonization of rules governing the finance sector. Officials say its stronger central oversight would help stave off future banking crises.

Washington

Fertility care for vets passes Senate

Wounded veterans and their spouses who want to have children could get the government to pay for fertility treatments such as in vitro fertilization under legislation moving through Congress. By voice vote, the Senate passed a bill Thursday to update the Veterans Affairs Department's medical coverage for soldiers who suffer trauma to their reproductive organs. A similar bill is pending in the House. Supporters said the Senate action raises its chances of becoming law before Congress adjourns.

Caracas, Venezuela

In surgery, Chavez had complications

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez suffered bleeding during his cancer surgery in Cuba that required "corrective measures" to stanch the flow, his government said Thursday. But in the latest of a series of unusually frank reports about the president's delicate condition, Information Minister Ernesto Villegas also said Chavez has been making a "progressive and favorable" recovery after the complications of Tuesday's surgery.

London

Killed Russian was U.K. spy: lawyer

Alexander Litvinenko, the former Russian agent-turned-Kremlin critic, was working for Britain's foreign intelligence agency when he was mysteriously poisoned, a lawyer representing his widow said at a hearing Thursday. Another lawyer said the U.K. has evidence the Russian government was behind Litvinenko's death. He died in November 2006 after drinking tea laced with the rare radioactive isotope polonium-210 at a London hotel. British officials are reopening the investigation. A public inquest is expected to start in May.

Chicago

Man taking photo falls in smokestack

A man trying to take a photo from the top of the Intercontinental Hotel died Thursday after falling down a smokestack, authorities said. It took rescue crews four hours to remove Nicholas Wieme, 23, who had fallen 22 feet down a 6-foot-wide smokestack and was wedged where the chute angled before dropping 42 floors. A "confined space rescue" brought 30 companies and about 125 firefighters and paramedics to the scene. Rescuers lost contact with Wieme about two hours into the operation.

New York

Mayor signs law on pedicab fares

Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed into law Thursday a measure to restrict pedicab fares. A spokeswoman said Bloomberg decided it would create a reasonable fare system and increase protections for passengers in the tricycle taxis. The measure requires pedicab drivers to charge by the minute, with the timer clearly visible.

Times wires

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Help wanted: Seminole Hard Rock in Tampa has 250 jobs to fill

Help wanted: Seminole Hard Rock in Tampa has 250 jobs to fill

TAMPA — Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino is holding a hiring event next week to fill more than 250 positions. The event will take place in the Hard Rock Cafe from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Jan. 24. Available positions include culinary, beverage, hotel, spa, ...
Published: 01/16/18
Thanks to Hurricane Irma, you need a boat to get to Shell Key again

Thanks to Hurricane Irma, you need a boat to get to Shell Key again

AT THE SHELL KEY PRESERVE — From a boat puttering along in the water, the sandy beach seems to go on and on. Then, abruptly, it ends at a mass of tangled, overturned mangroves where a great blue heron sits on an exposed root.And there, stretching for...
Published: 01/16/18
Bill to ban orca breeding filed in House faces pushback from SeaWorld

Bill to ban orca breeding filed in House faces pushback from SeaWorld

A bill that would outlaw the breeding and performing of killer whales in Florida has cleared the initial hurdle that kept it off the table last year: getting a lawmaker to file it in the first place. In an effort to solidify a voluntary policy change...
Published: 01/16/18
Vultures drawn by fish killed during cold snap pose hazard for MacDill flights

Vultures drawn by fish killed during cold snap pose hazard for MacDill flights

TAMPA — The recent cold snap has been more than just an inconvenience for Floridians. It’s been tough on fish and potentially hazardous to flights at MacDill Air Force Base.The National Weather Service says temperatures in early January fell to as lo...
Published: 01/16/18
Editorial: Balancing the playing field for workers’ compensation

Editorial: Balancing the playing field for workers’ compensation

For the longest time, injured workers in Florida were basically at the mercy of the whims of employers to treat them fairly. A 2003 law aimed at reducing the cost of workers’ compensation coverage for businesses had the desired impact, but it also di...
Published: 01/16/18
Review: Truth and lies are the focus of ‘The Assassination of Gianni Versace’

Review: Truth and lies are the focus of ‘The Assassination of Gianni Versace’

Maybe Jack Nicholson was wrong. We can handle the truth.The #MeToo movement is giving a microphone to once unheard voices. Political lies are constantly challenged. At the Golden Globes, Oprah’s rousing speech asserted "the most powerful tool is spea...
Published: 01/16/18
Gary Trent, Duke rally past Miami with 18-0 run

Gary Trent, Duke rally past Miami with 18-0 run

CORAL GABLES — Gary Trent scored a season-high 30 and No. 5 Duke needed less than three minutes to erase a 13-point second-half deficit, scoring 18 consecutive points to overtake No. 25 Miami 83-75 on Monday night. The Blue Devils scored 15 in six po...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Mother of two, 42, identified as casualty after Port Richey boat fire

Mother of two, 42, identified as casualty after Port Richey boat fire

PORT RICHEY — As the boat disappeared in smoke and flames Sunday, as people leapt into the cold waters below, the neighborhood rallied. Residents helped the survivors ashore, gave them blankets and opened their homes to keep them warm.The neighbors o...
Updated: 8 hours ago

Lottery resultsNumbers drawn after 9 p.m. are no longer available by our deadlines. For results, go to tampabay.com/lottery.Pick 2, 3, 4, 5Mon., Jan. 15, midday:40 098 2397e_SRit98281Mon., Jan. 15, evening:14 345 3173e_SRit61471Fantasy 5Mon., Jan. 15...
Updated: 8 hours ago
On King’s birthday, Tampa Bay parties, marches, reflects

On King’s birthday, Tampa Bay parties, marches, reflects

ST. PETERSBURGTeenagers dunked on 8-foot basketball hoops, parents feasted on hot dogs and snow cones and gospel music blared from a wall of speakers in Tropicana Field’s parking lots.While thousands buzzed around them on Monday, Destiny and Dameka R...
Updated: 8 hours ago