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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

EU takes steps to unify banks, assist Greece 12/13/12 [Last modified: Thursday, December 13, 2012 10:56pm]
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  1. Trump condemns killing of pair who tried to stop racist rant

    Nation

    President Donald Trump on Monday condemned the fatal stabbing of two good Samaritans trying to help a pair of young women targeted by an anti-Muslim tirade on a Portland, Ore., light rail train.

    Coco Douglas, 8, leaves a handmade sign and rocks she painted at a memorial in Portland, Ore., on Saturday for two bystanders who were stabbed to death Friday while trying to stop a man who was yelling anti-Muslim slurs and acting aggressively toward two young women. From left are Coco's brother, Desmond Douglas; her father, Christopher Douglas; and her stepmother, Angel Sauls. [Associated Press]
  2. What major sporting event could Tampa Bay land next?

    Lightning Strikes

    We are on quite a roll as a community. First, we had a Super Bowl drop from the storm clouds into our lap. It just reaffirms the fact that Tampa Bay is great at lap. And Monday it became official: Next year's NHL All-Star Game will be held at Amalie Arena. The best in the world will be here to shoot and score. And …

    MVP Wayne Gretzky is congratulated at the 1999 NHL All-Star game, the last time the event was in Tampa Bay. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times file]
  3. How the 2018 NHL All-Star Game reflects Jeff Vinik's vision for Tampa

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — There were several reasons the NHL announced Monday that Tampa will host the 2018 All-Star Game on Jan. 28.

    This was the  logo for the 1999 NHL All-Star game played Sunday, Jan 24, 1999 at the Ice Palace in Tampa Bay. (AP Photo)
  4. Photo gallery: Nation pays respects to America's war dead on Memorial Day

    Human Interest

    At Memorial Day ceremonies in Tampa Bay area and around the country, Americans paid tribute to the men and women who gave their lives in service to their country.

    Eight-year-old Piper St. Jean, of Tampa, uses a brush to clean the grave of her grandfather, Henry St. Jean, who served with the United States Air Force during the Korean and Vietnam wars. at Curlew Hills Memory Gardens on Monday moments after the conclusion of their 31st annual Memorial Day Service on Monday (5/23/17) in Palm Harbor. The event featured guest speakers, live choral performances by the Palm Harbor United Methodist Church choir and live music by Bones South, an area trombone ensemble with rhythm section. On Saturday local Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops placed flags on veterans???‚??„? graves prior to the event. This is an annual tradition of Curlew Hills' Memorial Day services and helps the Scout troops achieve merit badges. The event is free and the public is invited to attend.
  5. Protest sparks Texas lawmaker threats of gun violence

    National

    AUSTIN, Texas — Hundreds of protesters opposing Texas' tough new anti-"sanctuary cities" law launched a raucous demonstration from the public gallery in the Texas House on Monday, briefly halting work and prompting lawmakers on the floor below to scuffle — and even threaten gun violence — as tense …