Thursday, April 19, 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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The Daystarter: Lightning one win away from advancing; Steve Persall rides off into retirement; talking ‘St. Pete Pier’ funding; meet the Times’ new business columnist

The Daystarter: Lightning one win away from advancing; Steve Persall rides off into retirement; talking ‘St. Pete Pier’ funding; meet the Times’ new business columnist

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what to know today.• It’s more of the same with sunny skies and warm temperatures today. It’ll be a bit cooler at the beaches around the mid-70s, but east of Interstate 75 it will be in the mid to upper 8...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Hillsborough targets bilingual teachers’ aides in latest school cuts

Hillsborough targets bilingual teachers’ aides in latest school cuts

TAMPA — The Hillsborough County School District, with a large and growing population of children from foreign cultures, is reducing the ranks of teachers’ aides who help them master the English language.Next year’s workforce will have about 164 fewer...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Everybody loses in a trade war, Canadian chamber CEO warns Tampa officials

Everybody loses in a trade war, Canadian chamber CEO warns Tampa officials

TAMPA — President Donald Trump has tweeted "trade wars are good, and easy to win."Don’t believe it, the president of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce told Tampa business and political leaders on Wednesday."We share more with you than with anybody els...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Trademark makes it official: Call it the St. Pete Pier

Trademark makes it official: Call it the St. Pete Pier

ST. PETERSBURG — Today the City Council is set to approve a $15 million construction contract and additional money for the next phase of the new Pier District expected to open in the fall of 2019.But even as council members get ready to commit hundre...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Downtown’s success creates noisy problem for St. Petersburg

Downtown’s success creates noisy problem for St. Petersburg

Times Staff Writer ST. PETERSBURG — Downtown’s rapid growth has not been without tension between its residents and the businesses and events that draw exuberant crowds.The city, which has been attempting to amend its noise ordinance over the past few...
Published: 04/19/18
Teen, 16, killed in Hernando crash; 17-year-old critically injured

Teen, 16, killed in Hernando crash; 17-year-old critically injured

BROOKSVILLE — A 16-year-old boy was killed and a 17-year-old boy critically injured after their car was struck by a pick-up truck at the intersection of U.S. 19 and Country Road on Wednesday afternoon, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.The cras...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Lightning stands up to Devils, pushes its way to 3-1 series lead

Lightning stands up to Devils, pushes its way to 3-1 series lead

NEWARK, N.J. — Bachman-Turner Overdrive's Taking Care of Business shook the walls of the Lightning locker room not long after it dispatched the Devils in Wednesday's Game 4 of their first-round playoff series.The 3-1 win was sparked by Nikita K...
Updated: 7 hours ago

High school scoreboard for April 18

Wednesday’s scoreboardSoftballAdmiral Farragut 2, Boca Ciega 1Springstead 10, Nature Coast 4
Updated: 7 hours ago
Lightning-Devils: How Tampa Bay worked its way to a 3-1 series lead

Lightning-Devils: How Tampa Bay worked its way to a 3-1 series lead

Times columnist Tom Jones gives his thoughts while watching the broadcast of Game 4 of the series between the Lightning and Devils:Hard work beats everythingWe watch the Lightning all season long and marvel at its skill. Nikita Kucherov, Steven ...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Political skirmish erupts over plan to revamp Hillsborough commission

Political skirmish erupts over plan to revamp Hillsborough commission

TAMPA — A political fight over the makeup of Hillsborough County government could be heading to voters to decide.After a discussion divided along party lines, commissioners voted 5-2 Wednesday to move ahead with a plan to overhaul the structure of th...
Updated: 8 hours ago