Friday, December 15, 2017
News Roundup

Dry brush, wind boost fires in Southern Calif.

Los Angeles

Dry brush, wind boost fires in Southern Calif.

Fueled by dry brush, shifting winds and drought-like conditions, several wildfires continued to burn across Southern California on Friday. Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency in Riverside County, as one blaze about 90 miles east of Los Angeles in the San Jacinto Mountains, known as the Silver Fire, swelled to 17,500 acres. More than 1,600 firefighters worked to keep the flames out of the tiny community of Snow Creek, about 10 miles north of Palm Springs. Some of the 1,500 people who had been evacuated began returning to their homes. But 26 homes have been destroyed and six people injured — five firefighters and a civilian — since the blaze began Wednesday.

New York

Student sentenced in terrorism plot

A Bangladeshi student who came to the United States intending to commit jihad was sentenced Friday to 30 years in prison after pleading guilty to terrorism charges for trying to blow up the Federal Reserve Bank in New York. The plot was a phony operation engineered by undercover agents. "I'm ashamed. … I alone am responsible for what I've done. Please forgive me," Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, 22, said before his sentence. He had faced up to life in prison.

Lebanon

Two Turkish pilots seized in Syria war

Gunmen abducted two Turkish Airlines pilots in the Lebanese capital of Beirut on Friday, Turkish and Lebanese officials said, in an apparent escalation in a series of tit-for-tat kidnappings linked to the war in neighboring Syria. The kidnappers demanded the release of nine Lebanese hostages held in Syria in exchange for the men, Lebanon's official National News Agency reported. Turkey's support of the Syrian rebels has proved controversial in Lebanon, where the country is divided by the conflict.

Elsewhere

Israel: An Israeli drone strike in the Sinai Peninsula — carried out in coordination with Egypt's military — killed five suspected Islamist militants and destroyed their rocket launcher, Egyptian security officials said.

Egypt: Tens of thousands of supporters of Egypt's ousted president marched Friday on the streets of Cairo and across the country, leading to clashes with opponents and security forces that injured dozens.

Times wires

Comments

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Updated: 1 hour ago
Tillerson retreats on offer of unconditional N. Korea talks

Tillerson retreats on offer of unconditional N. Korea talks

WASHINGTON — America’s top diplomat stepped back Friday from his offer of unconditional talks with North Korea, telling world powers that the nuclear-armed nation must earn the right to negotiate with the United States. Secretary of State Rex Tillers...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Judge signals release of ex-Trump chair Paul Manafort to Florida home under curfew and GPS monitoring

Judge signals release of ex-Trump chair Paul Manafort to Florida home under curfew and GPS monitoring

A federal judge Friday said a bail package has been put together that would release former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort from home confinement in his condominium in Virginia and allow him to reside at his house in Palm Beach Gardens, but unde...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Deputies: Plant City men fled in stolen car, shot dog, hid in swamp

Deputies: Plant City men fled in stolen car, shot dog, hid in swamp

DOVER — Two Plant City men who ran from deputies and shot a dog were captured after a brief pursuit Thursday, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.They ditched a stolen car, ran away on foot, crossed through several yards and then tr...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Fueled by indulgence and machismo, restaurants are a hotbed for sexual harassment

Fueled by indulgence and machismo, restaurants are a hotbed for sexual harassment

When Brenda Terry was 16 and living in St. Louis, she was a hostess and food runner at a sports bar where female employees wore cute, little cheerleading skirts. One night, she said, a patron grabbed her crotch. She ran to her management team and the...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Tampa bicyclist, 52, dies after being rear-ended by vehicle; no charges

TAMPA — A 52-year-old man riding a bicycle was killed early Friday when he was struck from behind by a car in Seminole Heights, according to Tampa police.The incident took place at about 12:15 a.m. Wayne Kersh, 52, was riding his bicycle in the eastb...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Pinellas sheriff’s investigator fired, could face criminal charges for involvement in child custody battle

Pinellas sheriff’s investigator fired, could face criminal charges for involvement in child custody battle

LARGO — A Pinellas sheriff’s child protective investigator has been fired and could face criminal charges after an investigation found she made a child custody recommendation to a judge as a favor to a friend.Jayne Johnson, who has worked for the She...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Pinellas jury: Clearwater man representing himself is guilty of killing his mother

Pinellas jury: Clearwater man representing himself is guilty of killing his mother

LARGO — A jury found Daniel Richards guilty of second-degree murder on Friday for the fatal beating of his 83-year-old mother.Richards, a 61-year-old who represented himself during his trial, was sentenced to life in prison.On the night of July 17, 2...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Top USF Health official leaves amid questions of assistant’s special treatment

Top USF Health official leaves amid questions of assistant’s special treatment

TAMPA — A high-ranking University of South Florida Health official has resigned amid internal concerns that he was giving special treatment to his assistant.After an internal investigation, USF System President Judy Genshaft was poised last month to ...
Updated: 2 hours ago

HomeTeam Hot Shots: Male nominations for Dec. 9-15

Each week, our HomeTeam staffers nominate male Hot Shots from each of the counties we cover. Then we turn the voting over to readers. These nominations span Saturday, Dec. 9-Friday, Dec. 15. Read up on all of our nominees then vote until noon Monday....
Updated: 3 hours ago