Wednesday, June 20, 2018
News Roundup

Gay marriage bill passes in Rhode Island House

Providence, R.I.

Gay marriage bill passes in state house

The Rhode Island House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed legislation Thursday to allow gays and lesbians to marry in the only New England state where they can't. The House voted 51-19 after an often emotional debate that touched on civil rights, religion and the nature of marriage. The bill now moves to the Senate, where both supporters and opponents say its fate is difficult to predict.

Beirut, Lebanon

Syria bombs rebel areas near capital

Syrian warplanes bombed rebel areas near Damascus on Thursday as President Bashar Assad's troops battled opposition fighters for control of the road linking the capital to the country's largest airport. Though the capital remains secure, conditions have worsened with prices for basic goods rising and fuel in short supply. U.S. officials said Thursday they think Assad's sister and mother have left the country, suggesting hardship has reached even the leadership's families. France's foreign minister, meanwhile, suggested Assad's fall was not imminent, a stark admission by a country that ardently supports the rebels.

Los Angeles

Principal failed to report abuse claim

A now-retired principal twice failed to report accusations of sexual misconduct by a teacher arrested this week on suspicion of molesting 19 students at a Wilmington, Calif., elementary school, officials said. In 2002 and 2008, principal Irene Hinojosa was told that teacher Robert Pimentel, 57, inappropriately touched a student. But the principal failed to tell law enforcement authorities, as required by law, L.A. schools superintendent John Deasy said. Police began investigating Pimentel only last year when they learned of more recent allegations. Detectives will investigate whether Hinojosa should face charges.

Sana, Yemen

Al-Qaida's No. 2 in Yemen is killed

Saeed Ali al-Shihri, Al-Qaida's No. 2 in Yemen, died of wounds sustained in a U.S. drone attack Oct. 28 in southern Yemen, the country's official news agency and a security official said Thursday. The SABA news agency said he had been in a coma since then. The CIA and Pentagon recently have escalated drone strikes against militants. Separately, a U.N. panel began investigating drone warfare and targeted killings.

New Delhi

Five go on trial in brutal gang rape

The trial of five men accused in the gang rape of a 23-year-old woman on a New Delhi bus and her later death began Thursday in a special fast-track court. The presiding judge said there would be a blanket ban on reporting on the trial. If convicted, the five could be hanged.

Segou, Mali

Islamic militant group splits in two

Ansar Dine, one of the main Islamic militant groups fighting to control Mali, split in two Thursday when one of its leaders said in a statement published by Radio France International that he would form his own group to seek negotiations to settle the country's crisis. The new group calls itself the Islamic Movement for the Azawad and is led by Alghabass Ag Intalla, a prominent leader of the Tuareg ethnic group. It becomes at least the sixth group fighting to control northern Mali.

Times wires

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Hillsborough commissioners approve referendum on making county officers non-partisan

Hillsborough commissioners approve referendum on making county officers non-partisan

TAMPA — The debate over whether "Rep" or "Dem" should be on the ballot alongside the name of candidates for sheriff or property appraiser is now in the hands of Hillsborough County voters.Hillsborough County commissioners voted 5-2 Wednesday to hold ...
Updated: 19 minutes ago
Seminole Heights restaurant Mortar & Pestle files for bankruptcy reorganization

Seminole Heights restaurant Mortar & Pestle files for bankruptcy reorganization

TAMPA — Mortar & Pestle, a fledgling Seminole Heights eatery with a mom-and-pop pharmacy theme, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization. Seacoast Bank was listed as the creditor with the largest unsecured claim: $1.4 million.The restaurant...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Column: It’s time for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to process concealed weapons licenses

It is hard to believe that the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Affairs didn’t discover for a year that an employee could not log into an account needed to see results of background checks that examined, among other things, whether applicants f...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Column: I survived a suicide attempt and here’s what you should know

Column: I survived a suicide attempt and here’s what you should know

Twenty-five years ago, I was a reporter at WTSP-TV, out in the field covering Tampa Bay’s Independence Day celebrations. I expected an easy assignment talking about families and fireworks. Then the newsroom called with an urgent message: I needed to ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
For starters: Rays at Astros, with a different look

For starters: Rays at Astros, with a different look

Rays manager Kevin Cash's commitment to rest players and rotate playing time resulted in an unusual lineup combination for tonight's series and roadtrip finale vs. the Astros.Such as having rookie Willy Adames at second base, Joey Wendle at third, Ca...
Updated: 2 hours ago
15 arrested in Hillsborough construction fraud sting, one for the eighth time

15 arrested in Hillsborough construction fraud sting, one for the eighth time

TAMPA — The contractors arriving at the Brandon home thought they were meeting with a potential customer. They were wrong.In fact, the would-be clients were undercover detectives and the contractors, lacking a license to ply their trade, left the hom...
Updated: 2 hours ago
As Border Patrol searches its buses, Greyhound is pulled into immigration uproar

As Border Patrol searches its buses, Greyhound is pulled into immigration uproar

He was a 12-year Miami resident originally from Trinidad, taken off a Greyhound bus in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, by U.S. Border Patrol agents in January.She was a 60-something Jamaican national who had just met her granddaughter for the first time, w...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Phil Mickelson apologizes four days after hitting moving ball at U.S. Open

Phil Mickelson apologizes four days after hitting moving ball at U.S. Open

NEW YORK — Phil Mickelson has apologized four days after intentionally violating golf rules by hitting a moving ball on the green at the U.S. Open, saying his frustration got the best of him. The apology came Wednesday in a statement released by his ...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Could Lucky’s Market move in to Clearwater’s old Albertsons?

Could Lucky’s Market move in to Clearwater’s old Albertsons?

Lucky’s Market is considering a move in to the old Albertsons box space in Clearwater, according to preliminary plans filed with the city. Lucky’s master broker, Rick Lewellyn, was listed on an agenda as discussing renovating the existing property wi...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Couple leased someone else’s home to 12 families at same time, Largo police say

Couple leased someone else’s home to 12 families at same time, Largo police say

LARGO — At least 12 families leased the same Largo home at the same time and lost as much as $4,300 each in a fraud scheme run by a couple who portrayed themselves as owners of the property, Largo police said.Police learned of the scheme Tuesday afte...
Updated: 3 hours ago