Tuesday, August 21, 2018
News Roundup

Morning Watch: After cease-fire declared in Syria, Putin says Russia will scale down operations

Here's what's new around the bay area this morning.

The Syrian army has announced a nationwide cease-fire as of midnight tonight. In a statement carried by state news agency SANA, the military command "declares a comprehensive nationwide cessation of hostilities as of midnight." State TV says the cease-fire paves the way for reactivating negotiations to end the conflict.

WHILE OBAMA-NETANYAHU RELATIONS HIT ROCK BOTTOM, TRUMP PROMISES DIFFERENT STANCE WITH ISRAEL

It took eight years of backbiting and pretending they got along for relations between President Barack Obama's administration and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government to finally hit rock bottom. Though they've clashed bitterly before, mostly notably over Iran, the two governments seemed farther apart than ever after a speech Wednesday by Secretary of State John Kerry and last week's United Nations resolution.

RUSSIAN PLANE CRASH PROBE RULES OUT EXPLOSION, BUT TERROR STILL A POSSIBILITY

Flight recorders revealed no evidence of an explosion on board a Russian plane that crashed into the Black Sea, killing all 92 on board, but investigators haven't ruled out foul play, a military official said.

TAMPA POLICE TO DISCUSS COLLEGE FOOTBALL SECURITY

Tampa Police and Tampa Fire Rescue will hold a 10 a.m. news conference to discuss preparations for the upcoming 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship. Many public events are planned in the downtown corridor leading up to the game at Raymond James Stadium on Jan. 9, and first responders are preparing for the anticipated influx of visitors to Tampa next week. Follow Tony Marrero on Twitter @TMarreroTimes for updates.

ROMANO: TAMPA BAY'S PRACTICALLY PLAUSIBLE YEAR IN REVIEW, PART I

What were the top stories in Tampa Bay in 2016? Columnist John Romano offers his rundown.

TWO-WEEK DOG SHOW IN HERNANDO TO DRAW COMPETITORS FROM AROUND THE WORLD

[BRENDAN FITTERER | Times]

Brittany Cipriotti of Warrenton, Va., puts her 15-month-old Great Dane, Cricket, through the paces during judging at the 2016 Florida Gulf Coast Clusters dog show.

As primped and proper canines from around the globe put their best paws forward at the 2017 Florida Gulf Coast Clusters dog show, a pair of decidedly local fancier groups of man's best friend will make their debuts. The two-week extravaganza, which takes place at Florida Classic Park, east of Brooksville, begins Jan. 7 and runs through Jan. 22.

HENDERSON: TAKE 2017 ONE BREATH AT A TIME

Welcome to the day of extravagant promises, an unpainted canvas known as New Year's Day, Joe Henderson writes. You didn't hear this from me, but even if we keep our vow to lose 20 pounds and train for a half-marathon, most of us eventually will find those missing pounds stocked next to the cold cuts in the refrigerator. He whittled his resolution for the coming year to this simple rule: Take it slow.

WE'RE LIVE FROM THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF MEDIA DAYS

It's media day at the Peach and Fiesta bowls, and the Times coverage teams will be providing updates throughout the day. Be sure to follow Tom Jones and Matt Baker from Atlanta for Alabama-Washington, while Martin Fennelly and Joey Knight will be in Arizona for Ohio State-Clemson.

FENNELLY: EX-TEXAS COACH BROWN CAN RELATE TO GRIND SABAN, MEYER ARE LIVING EVERY DAY

[Associated Press]

Alabama head coach Nick Saban, left, speaks with Florida head coach Urban Meyer after posing with the SEC trophy during a news conference in Atlanta, Friday, Dec. 4, 2009.

Mack Brown, 65, spent 16 seasons at Texas. The Longhorns had nine consecutive seasons of double-digit wins. So, Martin Fennelly said, he can definitely understand the pressure uber-successful coaches Nick Saban and Urban Meyer feel as they gun for the national title.

REVIEW: ROXANE GAY'S 'DIFFICULT WOMEN' OFFERS STORIES WITH RANGE AND INSIGHT

iStockphoto

The stories in Difficult Women range in length from a couple of pages to 20 or more. Some of the longer stories layer multiple characters and plots, like the title story, a catalog of "difficult" women and how they got that way.

Fans of writer Roxane Gay won't be surprised to hear that her new short story collection, Difficult Women, deals with such subjects as sexual relationships, motherhood and body image, or that the stories' tones range from comic to harrowing, sometimes in a paragraph or two, book editor Colette Bancroft writes. But they might be surprised that, though many of the stories are realistic, quite a few venture into the territory of magical realism.

TAMPA BAY'S TOP CONCERTS OF 2017: BRUNO MARS, TOM PETTY, VAN MORRISON, THE WEEKND AND MORE

Truth be told, you could compile a list of Tampa Bay's most anticipated concerts of 2017 entirely from the calendar of Amalie Arena, Jay Cridlin writes. Tampa's biggest venue has an utterly dynamite slate already lined up for 2017, including shows by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Eric Church, Neil Diamond, Bon Jovi, Roger Waters, Soundgarden and Shawn Mendes — and those are the shows we DIDN'T pick for this list.

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Got an Instant Pot? Here’s a beginner’s guide to pressure cooking, and our favorite starter recipes

Got an Instant Pot? Here’s a beginner’s guide to pressure cooking, and our favorite starter recipes

It’s becoming a regular routine for me after Amazon Prime Day — another batch of my friends snag a deal on the Instant Pot pressure cooker, so I send out another batch of my favorite recipes.Welcome to the cult, folks. I never meant to join the more ...
Updated: 8 minutes ago
Mayor Rick Kriseman didn’t tell commissioners that ferry riders will have parking issues

Mayor Rick Kriseman didn’t tell commissioners that ferry riders will have parking issues

CLEARWATER –– When Mayor Rick Kriseman asked Pinellas County commissioners last month for $150,000 to pay for the CrossBay Ferry, he didn’t disclose potential parking challenges.Unlike in 2016 when the service was introduced, the ferry will dock near...
Updated: 9 minutes ago
Rays firing blanks, take 23-inning scoreless streak into play tonight

Rays firing blanks, take 23-inning scoreless streak into play tonight

The Rays go into play tonight against the Royals having thrown back-to-back shutouts and with a streak of 23 consecutive scoreless innings.The team record for consecutive scoreless innings is 27, set from Sept. 12-15, 2013, against the Red Sox and Tw...
Updated: 9 minutes ago
FDLE agents raid office of St. Petersburg attorney Mark Stopa

FDLE agents raid office of St. Petersburg attorney Mark Stopa

ST. PETERSBURG — Agents of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement raided the St. Petersburg office of suspended foreclosure defense attorney Mark Stopa this morning.As of 11 a.m., several agents could be seen walking in and out of his office on t...
Updated: 15 minutes ago
A priest fathered a child with a teen. He then worked at a Tampa Bay church for 6 years

A priest fathered a child with a teen. He then worked at a Tampa Bay church for 6 years

Six of the more than 300 priests that a Pennsylvania grand jury said sexually abused more than 1,000 children had ties to the Diocese of Venice, according to the Florida diocese. They include a priest who fathered a child with an underage girl, befor...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Animal crackers repackaged, cages removed after PETA pressure

Animal crackers repackaged, cages removed after PETA pressure

After more than a century behind bars, the beasts on boxes of animal crackers are roaming free.Mondelez International, the parent company of Nabisco, has redesigned the packaging of its Barnum’s Animals crackers in response to pressure from People fo...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Autistic visitors can proceed with lawsuits against Disney

Autistic visitors can proceed with lawsuits against Disney

ORLANDO — Visitors with severe autism can move ahead with their lawsuits claiming Disney’s U.S. parks didn’t do enough to accommodate their need for scheduled routines and no waits on its rides, according to a federal appeals court. The 11th U.S. Cir...
Updated: 1 hour ago
HomeTeam 15: Volleyball power rankings

HomeTeam 15: Volleyball power rankings

A look at the top teams in Tampa Bay from week to week.Title aspirations1. Plant (19-6, Class 8A region finalist)Up next: Thursday at WhartonLast season did not end as planned with a 3-0 loss to Oviedo Hagerty in the region final. But many of the key...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Vital part of Tarpon Springs’ football program missing this fall

Vital part of Tarpon Springs’ football program missing this fall

TARPON SPRINGS — For more than a decade, Tarpon Springs High School football coach George Kotis followed the same pregame ritual with his wife, Artemis.The two would eat lunch together at school. Then Artemis would shave her husband's head.Last...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Bucs’ Donovan Smith suffers what could be a serious knee injury

Bucs’ Donovan Smith suffers what could be a serious knee injury

Donovan Smith prides himself on having started every regular season game for three seasons. But that 48-game streak may be in jeopardy for the Bucs left tackle.Smith suffered what appeared to be a fairly serious knee injury during an 11-on-11 period ...
Updated: 1 hour ago