Saturday, December 16, 2017
News Roundup

Hot spots to watch around the Middle East

U.S. embassies across the world ramped up security Thursday as Muslims angry over an anti-Islam film stormed the U.S. mission in Yemen and clashed with police near the American mission in Cairo. President Barack Obama ordered increased security at U.S. sites worldwide. In the coming days, here are some key nations, and the organizations or individuals who may incite more violence.

Egypt

The protests at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo cast a new spotlight on U.S. relations with Egypt, a recipient of $1.3 billion annually in military aid. Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, who had been slow to speak out on Tuesday's assault on the embassy, promised Thursday that his government would not allow attacks on diplomatic missions. Morsi was quoted Thursday as saying the attacks on U.S. personnel were unacceptable, in an apparent effort to defuse the tension in Egypt. But he also warned against maligning Islam's founding prophet, Mohammed. "The prophet Mohammed and Islamic sanctities are red lines for all of us."

Major influence: The Muslim Brotherhood. Morsi came from the Brotherhood's ranks and was elected after the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak last year.

Afghanistan

Afghan President Hamid Karzi canceled an official visit to Norway amid concerns over the Mideast riots Thursday. Karzai also talked to President Barack Obama and expressed his condolences for the killing of the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans in Libya. Karzai has condemned the anti-Islam film Innocence of Muslims as "inhuman and insulting" and made by "extremists." In Kabul, Australian Army Brig. Gen. Roger Noble of the U.S.-led military coalition said Thursday that NATO has warned the international forces over the film. The alliance has also sought to deflect the potential for violence in Afghanistan because of the film.

Major influences: The Taliban. Leaders have called on their fighters to get revenge for the film by increasing attacks on foreign troops in Afghanistan.

Iraq

A Shiite militant group threatened U.S. interests in Iraq on Thursday as part of the backlash over the anti-Islam film it described as "heinous." A leading Iraqi lawmaker also called on Washington to punish the filmmakers. But Ali al-Alak, the Shiite head of Parliament's religious committee, urged Muslims worldwide to use "wise methods" in responding to it instead of turning to violence like the kind this week that killed four Americans at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. The U.S. Embassy in Baghdad remains the world's largest American diplomatic mission, with an estimated 15,000 employees.

Major influences: Anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, left, demanded the closure of the U.S. Embassy; Asaib Ahl al-Haq, or Band of the People of Righteousness, led deadly attacks against U.S. troops before the American military withdrew from the country last year.

Yemen

Yemen is home to al-Qaida's most active branch and the United States is the main foreign supporter of the Yemeni government's counterterrorism campaign. The government on Tuesday announced that al-Qaida's No. 2 leader in Yemen was killed in an apparent U.S. airstrike, a major blow to the terror network.

Major influences: Al-Qaida; Muslim cleric Abdul Majid al-Zindani, left, a onetime mentor to Osama bin Laden, was named a "specially designated global terrorist" by the U.S. Treasury Department in 2004. Sana residents said on Thursday that he urged followers to emulate the protests in Libya and Egypt.

Comments
Q&A with Syracuse coach Benoit Groulx about the Lightning’s next generation

Q&A with Syracuse coach Benoit Groulx about the Lightning’s next generation

DENVER — There might be one team in hockey hotter than the Lightning.It is Tampa Bay’s AHL affiliate, Syracuse.The Crunch had won nine straight heading into Friday’s game against Providence. Why is this important? While the AHL is a developmental lea...
Published: 12/16/17
Jones: Tony Dungy didn’t leave the Bucs on the clearance rack

Jones: Tony Dungy didn’t leave the Bucs on the clearance rack

It is and always will be the greatest debate in Tampa Bay sports history.Jon Gruden or Tony Dungy?You don’t even need to say anything more than that. Bucs fans already know what you’re talking about.Gruden or Dungy?Who was most responsible for the on...
Published: 12/16/17
Rays’ trade silence likely a short-lived phenomenon

Rays’ trade silence likely a short-lived phenomenon

LAKE BUENA VISTA — There were a lot of reasons the Rays didn’t start the process of trading some of their bigger-name, higher-paid players at last week’s winter meetings.Most obvious was them not finding the just-right deal to move closer Alex Colome...
Published: 12/16/17
Romano: Some bullies survive beyond the schoolyard

Romano: Some bullies survive beyond the schoolyard

Sometime soon, members of the Florida House will be asked to consider a potential solution for bullying in public schools. It’s a dubious idea based on the premise that students should flee their tormenter, and use voucher funds to attend a private s...
Published: 12/16/17

High school scoreboard for Dec. 15

Friday’s scoreboardGirls soccerCountryside 7, Clearwater 0Osceola 9, Bradenton Bayshore 0Palm Harbor U. 2, Plant 1Boys soccerPalm Harbor U. 0, Plant 0Lennard 4, Armwood 1
Updated: 11 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, 5Fri., Dec. 15, midday:01 563 0000e_SRit95765Fri., Dec. 15, evening:12 287 1492e_SRit04851Fantasy 5Fri., Dec. 15...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Gators play Nebraska, still seeking elusive volleyball title

Gators play Nebraska, still seeking elusive volleyball title

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — There is very little these days that can dampen the mood of Florida volleyball coach Mary Wise, whose Gators knocked off reigning national champion Stanford in Thursday’s NCAA semifinals and face Nebraska tonight for the title. Not...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Pinellas sheriff’s investigator fired, could face criminal charges for involvement in child custody battle

Pinellas sheriff’s investigator fired, could face criminal charges for involvement in child custody battle

LARGO — A Pinellas sheriff’s child protective investigator has been fired and could face criminal charges after an investigation found she made a child custody recommendation to a judge as a favor to a friend.Jayne Johnson, who has worked for the She...
Published: 12/15/17
Festivus 2017: Send us your best grievances

Festivus 2017: Send us your best grievances

Here's your chance. Tell us what annoyed you in 2017, and we'll share it with our readers.
Published: 12/15/17
Experts chart path for Hillsborough to grow smarter before sprawl takes over

Experts chart path for Hillsborough to grow smarter before sprawl takes over

TAMPA — Nearly 600,000 more people will live in Hillsborough County by 2040, and if elected officials and county planners don’t take bold steps now, the population boom will turn the county into the soulless sprawl of Anywhere, U.S.A.That’s the messa...
Published: 12/15/17