Tuesday, February 20, 2018
News Roundup

2012 in review: Troubles in Syria, Egypt and Iran

Do you remember that moment nearly two years ago when popular revolts were going off like a string of Independence Day firecrackers throughout the Arab world? Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Yemen. Syria.

Nearly 40,000 dead civilians later, Syria looks like the place the Arab Spring came to die. Cities shelled into rubble by a regime whose eye doctor-turned-dictator has vowed never to surrender power. Refugees flooding by the hundred thousand across borders of worried neighbors. Rumors of chemical weapons spreading as governments once friendly to Bashar Assad acknowledge a possible future in which he doesn't feature. Nothing is getting better quickly there, or anywhere else in the Middle East for that matter.

Iran's regime clings to its nuclear program even as economic sanctions and international isolation do their work. But can they achieve their goals before Israel strikes pre-emptively?

And Egypt, that freely elected its first president, Mohamed Morsi in June, watched in dismay last month as he granted himself sweeping emergency powers. Thousands of protesters have flooded back into the streets, decrying what they call Morsi's bid to be a new "pharaoh." He insisted he had to suspend democracy to guarantee passage of the constitution, ratified in controversial voting this month. Still, Morsi brokered a cease fire between his Islamist allies in Hamas and Israel. He rebuked Syria to the consternation of Iran. So what will we think of Egypt a year from now — an evolving success or a squandered opportunity? What, for that matter, will we say about the Middle East?

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Officers: When an active shooter attacks, survive by taking action

Officers: When an active shooter attacks, survive by taking action

LARGO — An Illinois teacher used confrontation. A campus safety monitor in Seattle attacked with pepper spray and physical force. An assistant football coach in Indiana shouted as he chased him into the woods.All were civilians who took down an activ...
Updated: 22 minutes ago
Florida lawmaker’s aide fired after saying outspoken Parkland students are actors

Florida lawmaker’s aide fired after saying outspoken Parkland students are actors

It bubbled up from the darkest online corners then began to take off: conspiracy theories about Parkland students who’ve spent the past week on TV demanding action on the gun violence that killed 17 and reawakened a national debate.By late Tuesday af...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Under a new law, some public schools will be managed by companies. Pinellas is getting ready

Under a new law, some public schools will be managed by companies. Pinellas is getting ready

LARGO — Pinellas County School Board members are not happy about the prospect of having to hand over academic control at three struggling schools to a private company, and paying the firm up to $2 million on top of it. But that’s the course they must...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Career Q&A: Nut allergy is a serious workplace concern

Career Q&A: Nut allergy is a serious workplace concern

Q: My manager has recently started eating nuts at her desk, which is located right next to mine. Unfortunately, I have a serious nut allergy, so any contact with them could produce a life-threatening reaction. Even foods which contain tiny pieces of ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Lawsuit accuses FSU fraternity, national chapter of negligence in pledge’s death

Lawsuit accuses FSU fraternity, national chapter of negligence in pledge’s death

The parents of Andrew Coffey, the Florida State University student who died from alcohol poisoning after an apparent hazing episode last year, have sued the national Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity and nine of its members for their son’s death.Coffey, who wa...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Cracking the peanut allergy; Clooneys inspire $2M celebrity donations to March For Our Lives; lawyer admits lying to Mueller team; more in U.S. news

Cracking the peanut allergy; Clooneys inspire $2M celebrity donations to March For Our Lives; lawyer admits lying to Mueller team; more in U.S. news

NationCracking the allergyThe first treatment to help prevent serious allergic reactions to peanuts may be on the way. California’s Aimmune Therapeutics said Tuesday that its daily capsules of peanut powder helped children build tolerance in a major ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
St. Petersburg regatta to Havana again buffeted by politics

St. Petersburg regatta to Havana again buffeted by politics

The 2017 St. Petersburg-Habana Yacht Race was celebrated as more than a competitive regatta to Cuba’s capital city of Havana.The relaunch of the maritime competition canceled since 1959 was hailed as a reflection of the detente started under former P...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Fingerprint on Gatorade bottle leads to arrest of man, 23, in sexual assault of 71-year-old woman

Fingerprint on Gatorade bottle leads to arrest of man, 23, in sexual assault of 71-year-old woman

NEW PORT RICHEY — The 23-year-old man wanted in connection with sexually assaulting a 71-year-old woman on Monday left behind the clue that deputies said led them right to him: A fingerprint on a Gatorade bottle.Deputies said that and other evidence ...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Yes, we have some bananas: Port Tampa Bay welcomes first shipment in 21 years

Yes, we have some bananas: Port Tampa Bay welcomes first shipment in 21 years

TAMPA — More than two decades after the last bunch arrived on shore, bananas are back at Tampa’s port. More than 3,900 pallets of Chiquita bananas from Ecuador arrived last week at the new Port Logistics Refrigerated Services warehouse.It was the fir...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Pasco County loans $500,000 for neighborhood rebuild

Pasco County loans $500,000 for neighborhood rebuild

NEW PORT RICHEY – West Pasco Habitat for Humanity’s new partner opened its checkbook Tuesday to help redevelop the Van Doren Avenue and Leisure Lane neighborhood west of U.S. 19.Pasco commissioners agreed to lend $500,000 from a reserve account to th...
Updated: 5 hours ago