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Morning Watch: The scene from Trump Tower; Florida faces wildfire threat; 'Lion' will make you cry

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

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A VISIT TO TRUMP TOWER, NEW YORK'S NEW TOURIST ATTRACTION

On Fifth Avenue, between 56th and 57th streets, in the heart of Manhattan, in a skyscraper that once drew Gucci shoppers but now struggles with demand for $30 Make America Great Again hats, the Trump show goes on. Amid the glass, gold and marble of the city's new landmark — Trump Tower — supporters, detractors and curious tourists crowd around to get a look, as an army of journalists keep tabs on who comes and goes and regular New Yorkers deal with the nuisance.

DRY FLORIDA FACES A NEW THREAT: WILDFIRES

Florida was drenched by two hurricanes in 2016, yet it faces a completely different problem in 2017: an increased risk of wildfires this winter. Already the drought that's been plaguing the rest of the Southeast U.S. — and sparking a massive blaze in Gatlinburg, Tenn., that killed 14 people — is creeping into Florida.


TAMPA WON'T STEER TAX REVENUE FROM DOWNTOWN TO YBOR

In late 2015, business leaders in Ybor City proposed that the city redraw some lines to transfer the oddly named Gas Worx property — 7.6 acres that's ripe for redevelopment — out of the downtown community redevelopment area and into the CRA for Ybor City. The idea that provoked a tug-of-war between boosters for downtown and Ybor City has died a quiet death.

Associated Press

MICHELLE OBAMA TELLS OPRAH THAT 2016 ELECTION 'WAS PAINFUL'

Michelle Obama sat down with Oprah Winfrey at the White House for an hourlong special that was broadcast Monday on CBS. On the topic of the recent campaign she said: "This past election was challenging for me as a citizen to watch and experience. It was painful."

TRUMP BLAMES TERRORISTS FOR KILLINGS IN TURKEY, BERLIN

Without backing up his claim, President-elect Donald Trump is blaming Islamic terrorism for deadly violence in Turkey and Germany and vowing anew to eradicate their regional and global networks. Authorities in both countries were still investigating Monday when Trump issued a pair of statements condemning the incidents. Meanwhile police in Germany are not sure if they have arrested the right suspect in the Berlin attack, and Russia and Turkey have vowed to cooperate after the killing of a Russian ambassador to Turkey.

CLENDENDIN, DEFEATED IN HILLSBOROUGH VOTE, MOVES AWAY TO PURSUE DEMOCRATIC PARTY BID

Veteran Democratic activist Alan Clendenin of Tampa is back in the turbulent race for chairman of the state Democratic Party, but to do it he had to move to Hampton — a town just east of U.S. 301 near Starke with an estimated population of 488 and a reputation as a speed trap.

REVIEW: BRING YOUR KLEENEX FOR THE POWERFUL TEARJERKER 'LION'

The season's warm fuzzy at multiplexes is Lion, a true story inspiring two movies in one. Like its hero, Garth Davis' directing debut is divided between the culture Saroo Brierley was born to and another that adopted him, dovetailing in a tearjerking climax.

Weinstein Co.

Nicole Kidman and Sunny Pawar in "Lion."

 

Police stand guard outside Trump Tower in New York. [Alex Leary  |  Times]

Police stand guard outside Trump Tower in New York. [Alex Leary | Times]

Morning Watch: The scene from Trump Tower; Florida faces wildfire threat; 'Lion' will make you cry 12/20/16 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 20, 2016 9:09am]
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  1. Tampa officer treated for knee injury after police truck, police SUV collide

    Accidents

    Times staff

    TAMPA — A Tampa police officer was treated and released for a knee injury after an unmarked police truck collided with his patrol SUV while following a stolen car, a police spokesman said.

  2. Waiting for the eclipse: 'Everyone thinks this is cool'

    Human Interest

    ST. PETERSBURG — Hunter Holland came to school Monday with a NASA space T-shirt and solar viewers in his button-up shirt pocket. But he'd rather be in Missouri.

    Jayda Hebert (front, center), 11, uses her protective glasses to watch Monday's solar eclipse with her cousin, Judah Adams (back left), 11, and her brother Jake Hebert (right), 9, while with their family at St. Petersburg Beach. "We're skipping school for the eclipse," her mom, Sarah Hebert, said. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]
  3. Second person resigns from Hillsborough diversity council after Confederate activist appointed

    Blogs

    TAMPA — A second person has resigned symbolically from the Hillsborough County Diversity Advisory Council after the appointment of a known activist of Confederate causes to the panel. 

    Two people have resigned from the Hillsborough County Diversity Advisory Council after the inclusion of David McCallister, a leader of the local branch of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.
  4. Everyone on Twitter is making this same eclipse joke

    Blogs

    Today's total solar eclipse is, of course, a social media event as much as it is a natural phenomenon. Twitter even rolled out an #eclipse hashtag that automatically adds an eclipse emoji.

    The solar eclipse is inspiring Twitter humor.
  5. Video: See how the solar eclipse unfolded across the country

    Space

    Americans gazed in wonder through telescopes, cameras and disposable protective glasses Monday as the moon blotted out the midday sun in the first full-blown solar eclipse to sweep the U.S. from coast to coast in nearly a century.

    The moon is seen as it starts passing in front of the sun during a solar eclipse from Ross Lake, Northern Cascades National Park, in Washington on Monday, Aug. 21, 2017. [Bill Ingalls | NASA via AP]