Monday, November 20, 2017
News Roundup

Hagel: Defense budget cuts will affect readiness

RECOMMENDED READING


Washington

Hagel: Cuts will affect readiness

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said Wednesday that the military faced one of two options in order to meet mandatory budget cuts: chopping the number of personnel or limiting its technological edge. That might mean reducing as much as 29 percent of soldiers, 18 percent of Marines and three Navy carriers through 2019. The budget cuts have forced the Pentagon to craft contingency plans, all of which Hagel says will affect readiness. On Wednesday, Hagel said there was a tradeoff between cutting either the number of personnel or modernization capabilities. They must consider "what's preferable, what are the threats, what are the resources on capability versus capacity," Hagel said. "As I said, no decisions have been made." There are about 535,000 Army personnel, 182,000 Marines and 11 Navy carriers. The review suggests cutting that to as few as 380,000 Army personnel, 150,000 Marines and eight Navy carriers.

Baghdad

Shootings, bombings leave 26 dead in Iraq

Attacks including bombings of Shiite and Sunni mosques left 26 dead in Iraq, the latest in a surge of bloodshed that is raising fears of a return to widespread sectarian killings, officials said Wednesday. Most attacks on Shiites are presumed to be carried out by the country's branch of al-Qaida, which claimed credit on Tuesday for a wave of bombings the day before that killed at least 58 people. It said the attacks were carried out on behalf of "oppressed Sunnis," suggesting the group is trying to capitalize on Sunnis' complaints of being treated as second-class citizens by the Shiite-dominated government. The uptick of violence is dampening hopes for a return to normal life nearly two years after the last U.S. forces withdrew from the country.

New Orleans

Halliburton to plead guilty in BP oil spill

A federal judge has scheduled a hearing on Sept. 19 for Halliburton Energy Services to plead guilty to destroying evidence after BP's 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The company was arraigned Wednesday ion a misdemeanor charge. Although company attorneys entered a plea of not guilty during the arraignment, Halliburton has agreed to plead guilty to one count of destruction of evidence in a deal with the Justice Department. Halliburton was BP's cement contractor on the drilling rig that exploded, triggering an explosion that killed 11 workers and spilled millions of gallons of oil into the gulf.

Cleveland

Kidnapped Ohio women kept diaries

Three women held captive in a run-down home for a decade kept diaries documenting the physical and sexual abuse they suffered, prosecutors said Wednesday. The women's kidnapper, Ariel Castro, lured one of them into his Cleveland home with the promise of a puppy for her son and later locked all of them in a vehicle in his garage for three days when someone visited him, prosecutors said. Castro claimed he didn't have an exit strategy from his complicated double life and finally gave the women a chance to escape by leaving a door unlocked, they said in a court document. Castro has pleaded guilty to 937 counts, including kidnapping, rape, assault and aggravated murder. He's being sentenced today.

Elsewhere

WASHINGTON: Members of Congress gathered in the stately Statuary Hall to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington in 1963, which helped to pressure Congress to pass the Civil Rights and Voting Rights acts.

Times wires

Comments

Chase by Lakeland police ends in crash on I-4; suspect still sought

Lakeland police were pursuing suspects wanted on felony charges when the suspects sped onto Interstate 4 headed west toward Tampa, the Florida Highway Patrol said.The suspects’ vehicle crashed near the 50th Street overpass and they fled the scene, th...
Updated: 11 minutes ago
Buccaneers-Dolphins Turning Point, Week 11: Cool, calm Fitzmagic

Buccaneers-Dolphins Turning Point, Week 11: Cool, calm Fitzmagic

On Sunday, the Buccaneers and Dolphins played one of those football games that gets only an obligatory mention at the end of highlight shows. In that spirit, this week’s Turning Point will focus mostly on the final three minutes of Tampa Bay’s 30-20 ...
Updated: 25 minutes ago
‘He’s going to come back and finish me off,’ Adam Matos victim told her boss

‘He’s going to come back and finish me off,’ Adam Matos victim told her boss

NEW PORT RICHEY — At a hearing to decide whether he should live or die, Adam Matos smiled at family members Monday.He saw them sitting in a Pasco County courtroom as his sentencing for four murders began. A bit later, a witness reminded jurors of the...
Updated: 28 minutes ago

Deputies: Port Richey woman arrested for hitting boy, 4, with hanger

PORT RICHEY — A Port Richey woman was arrested on a charge of felony child abuse after a 4-year-old boy in her care told deputies she hit him with a clothes hanger, leaving bruises, the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office said.Teresa White-Fry, 38, was arr...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Largo police active shooter training ‘a sign of the times’ for participants

Largo police active shooter training ‘a sign of the times’ for participants

LARGO — The classroom was full, but the chatter was quiet as the students picked at doughnuts and sipped coffee from paper cups.Many were strangers to each other, but the reason they showed up at the Largo Police Department on a sunny Saturday mornin...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Top 5 at noon: Adam Matos sentencing begins; Seminole Heights thanks first responders; and more

Top 5 at noon: Adam Matos sentencing begins; Seminole Heights thanks first responders; and more

Here are the latest headlines and updates on tampabay.com:SENTENCING PHASE CONTINUES IN TRIAL OF ADAM MATOS, FOUND GUILTY IN MURDER OF FOURThe sentencing phase begins Monday in the trial of Adam Matos, convicted Friday of first degree murder in the ...
Updated: 1 hour ago

St. Petersburg pedestrian fatally struck in Osceola County

A pedestrian from St. Petersburg was killed Sunday night when he was struck by an SUV in Osceola County.According to the Florida Highway Patrol, 24-year-old Matthew Mitchell was struck along on U.S. 192 at Pine Grove Road in St. Cloud around 7 p.m.Tr...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Vermont man, 51, struck and killed walking across SR 54 in New Port Richey

Times Staff WriterA 51-year-old Vermont man died Sunday night after he was struck by a car on State Road 54 east of Pecan Drive in New Port Richey, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.Howard Leach Jr., of Enosburg Falls, was trying to cross all s...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Tampa Electric, contractor fined $43,000 in gas leak

Tampa Electric, contractor fined $43,000 in gas leak

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration fined Tampa Electric $18,108 and gave the company two "serious" citations for its response to a gas leak at the Big Bend Power Station in May, the agency announced late Friday.The May 23 incident invo...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Most air travelers say taking off your shoes is okay. An etiquette expert disagrees

Most air travelers say taking off your shoes is okay. An etiquette expert disagrees

Unless you are ensconced in first class, sleeping on a plane is as intimate as dozing off in a waiting room on jury duty — everyone on the aircraft knows the decibel level of your snoring and the sad state of your socks.To gauge how passengers percei...
Updated: 1 hour ago