Friday, January 19, 2018
News Roundup

Iran criticizes missile request in Syria fighting

Iran criticizes missile request in Syria fighting

Iran lashed out Friday at Turkey for requesting that NATO supply it with Patriot surface-to-air missiles to deploy along the border with Syria. Ali Larijani, the speaker of the Iranian parliamentary, made the remarks after a visit to Damascus. "The internal crisis in Syria cannot be solved through the deployment of such weapons," Larijani, who is close to Iran's supreme leader, said at a news conference in Beirut, Lebanon, where he went after leaving Syria. Turkey's request earlier this week follows several incidents in which violence has spilled across the border from the civil war in Syria, frequently mortar rounds falling a short distance inside. Patriots would be useful in intercepting ballistic missiles — a much more serious but still hypothetical threat.

BEAUMONT, Texas

Inquiry continues in interstate pileup

Texas authorities on Friday continued their investigation into the chain-reaction wreck that killed a couple and injured at least 80 other people during heavy fog along Interstate 10 near Beaumont. The pileup on Thursday involved more than 100 vehicles, many of which were left twisted on top of each other. Twelve people remain hospitalized, the Texas Department of Public Safety said Friday. Sgt. Chuck Havard told KFDM-TV that investigators will determine whether any drivers will face charges.

Congo

Army fails to halt advance by rebels

Congolese rebels beat back a government counteroffensive and slowly pushed toward another big city Friday. For the past week, a group of a few thousand well-disciplined rebel fighters, widely believed to be covertly supported by neighboring Rwanda, has captured a string of towns in eastern Congo, including Goma, a provincial capital. Their advance has raised serious questions about the stability of the country.

China

Tibetan man sets himself on fire

A Tibetan man has died after setting himself on fire in northwest China's Qinghai province, state media reported Friday, in the latest in a series of protests against Chinese rule. The Xinhua News Agency said Libong Tsering, 19, self-immolated in Tongren county on Thursday. Two days earlier, Xinhua reported two Tibetan herdsmen died after setting themselves on fire. The latest death brings to at least 78 the number of Tibetans who have self-immolated since 2009 in protest against what overseas supporters say is China's strict control over Tibetan Buddhist culture.

Elsewhere

New Orleans: A worker who was critically burned when an offshore oil platform caught fire has died of his injuries, officials said Friday. The fire on Nov. 16 killed one man and the search for another was called off.

South Korea: Ahn Cheol Soo, a millionaire software mogul who was seen as a top contender in the presidential election in December, unexpectedly withdrew his candidacy on Friday. His exit turns the campaign into a close two-way race between Moon Jae In of the liberal opposition party and Park Geun Hye of the governing conservative party.

Russia: A court on Thursday dismissed a lawsuit that sought millions of dollars in damages from Madonna for allegedly traumatizing minors by speaking up for gay rights during a concert in St. Petersburg. The ruling came after a hearing that bordered on the farcical.

Times wires

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Inspector General launches investigation into Tampa Bay’s local career centers

Inspector General launches investigation into Tampa Bay’s local career centers

The state has opened an investigation into CareerSource Pinellas and CareerSource Tampa Bay, days after the Tampa Bay Times asked about whether the two regional job centers were inflating the number of people they had helped get hired. The agencies, ...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Florida National Guard soldier killed, five injured in Sebring crash

SEBRING — A soldier with the Florida National Guard was killed and five others were hospitalized after a multi-vehicle crash on Friday, officials said.The crash took place at about 1 p.m. at the intersection of U.S. 27 and Hammock Road.The soldiers ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Two New Port Richey men accused of stealing $11,000 in cellphone merchandise

Two New Port Richey men accused of stealing $11,000 in cellphone merchandise

NEW PORT RICHEY — Two New Port Richey men face charges after Pasco County deputies say they stole about $11,000 worth of cellphones and cellphone equipment at a Metro PCS store on State Road 54.Robert Jackson and Ronald Hartshorn were arrested Wednes...
Updated: 2 hours ago
U.S. Attorney: Tampa woman uses soul food restaurant as part of scheme to steals thousands

U.S. Attorney: Tampa woman uses soul food restaurant as part of scheme to steals thousands

TAMPA — The owner of a soul and seafood restaurant is facing more than 10 years in federal prison for filing dozens of false tax returns and stealing thousands of dollars, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.Natalie Rene Panko, 57, owner of Ladie...
Updated: 2 hours ago
That noise you hear from MacDill is low-flying A-10 Warthogs in training

That noise you hear from MacDill is low-flying A-10 Warthogs in training

TAMPA — If you hear loud noises coming from MacDill Air Force Base over the next few days, don’t be alarmed.It’s the sound of flying hogs.A squadron of A-10C Warthogs, beloved by troops in the field for their ability to swoop low and slow and tear ap...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Autopsy: drugs found in MLB star Roy Halladay’s system after plane crash

Autopsy: drugs found in MLB star Roy Halladay’s system after plane crash

When former Major League Baseball pitcher Roy Halladay died in a plane crash in November, he had amphetamines, morphine and the sleep aid zolpidem in his system, according to an autopsy report.Halladay, 40, died from blunt force trauma with drowning ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
USF leaders move to calm fears over consolidation plan

USF leaders move to calm fears over consolidation plan

ST. PETERSBURG — Holding a piece of computer paper and a microphone, the leader of the University of South Florida St. Petersburg began a Friday afternoon forum by repeating the USF administration’s new mantra.He reassured the crowd before him that t...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Family: Tom Petty died of accidental drug overdose

Family: Tom Petty died of accidental drug overdose

LOS ANGELES — Rocker Tom Petty died last year from "multisystem organ failure" caused by accidental drug toxicity, the Los Angeles County Coroner said Friday.An autopsy found that Petty had several drugs in his system including fentanyl, oxycodone, t...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Tech firm TranferWise moves to Ybor City, illustrating a new chapter in Tampa’s business history

Tech firm TranferWise moves to Ybor City, illustrating a new chapter in Tampa’s business history

TAMPA — You could sketch an economic history of the city of Tampa — and maybe get a glimpse of its future — just by looking at the old J. Seidenberg & Co./Havana-American Cigar Factory.It opened in 1894, making it Ybor City’s second-oldest brick ciga...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Want to buy into an exchanged-traded bitcoin fund? You might have a long wait

NEW YORK — It may be a while, if ever, before investors can buy an exchange-traded fund made up of bitcoin and other digital currencies. Federal regulators have a long list of questions they want answered before they’ll approve a digital currency fun...
Updated: 4 hours ago