Monday, December 11, 2017
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?

Comments
Lions-Buccaneers Turning Point, Week 14: A coach's future hangs in the balance

Lions-Buccaneers Turning Point, Week 14: A coach's future hangs in the balance

TAMPA — The season started in August with “Hard Knocks,” packed bleachers at training camp and cheers for coach Dirk Koetter.It ended Sunday with a 24-21 loss to the Lions, a lot of empty seats and chants of “We want Gruden ba...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Updated: 9 minutes ago
Police make arrest in South Tampa home invasion of 77-year-old

Police make arrest in South Tampa home invasion of 77-year-old

TAMPA — Police have arrested a teenager in connection with an armed home invasion around the Hyde Park area.Leo W. Butler, 19, was arrested Friday and faces a charge of robbery of less than $300. He is being held on a $15,000 bond.According to Tampa ...
Updated: 19 minutes ago
Trump wants to send astronauts back to the moon then on to Mars

Trump wants to send astronauts back to the moon then on to Mars

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump wants to send astronauts back to the moon — and on to Mars. Trump signed a policy directive Monday instructing the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to "refocus America’s space program on human explorat...
Updated: 29 minutes ago
Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority plays beat the clock on GOP tax bill

Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority plays beat the clock on GOP tax bill

TAMPA — With the Republican tax bill poised to eliminate the opportunity, the Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority on Monday said it had refinanced a big chunk of its debt to save money in the future.The authority borrowed $152 million from the bo...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Alabama Senate race, unlikely nail biter, races to finish line

Alabama Senate race, unlikely nail biter, races to finish line

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — In a blur of television ads, conflicting polls and presidential tweets, Doug Jones and Roy Moore raced Monday to make their final pleas in Alabama’s special election for the Senate, with both candidates focused on turning out their...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Saturday’s sonic booms likely from F-15 fighters, NORAD says

Saturday’s sonic booms likely from F-15 fighters, NORAD says

Those sonic booms heard across the state Saturday afternoon were likely from two F-15 fighter jets protecting President Donald Trump during his visit to Florida, according to the North American Aerospace Defense Command.The jets, which belong to the ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
JW Marriott Clearwater Beach project still on target despite some bumps

JW Marriott Clearwater Beach project still on target despite some bumps

CLEARWATER BEACH — While Tampa is excited about its first JW Marriott hotel, plans are moving ahead for a $130 million JW Marriott property on Clearwater Beach, despite some hiccups. "We’ve done really well in our opinion," Uday Lele, developer of t...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Updated: 1 hour ago
Tree trimmer shocked by power line in Clearwater, authorities say

Tree trimmer shocked by power line in Clearwater, authorities say

CLEARWATER — A 38-year-old tree trimmer is in critical condition after he was shocked by a power line Monday, according to Clearwater Fire & Rescue.The trimmer, of Largo, was on a ladder cutting trees with a pole saw when he was shocked just before 1...
Updated: 1 hour ago