Monday, December 11, 2017
News Roundup

Obama calls Rubio, other GOP senators on immigration

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama took to the phones Tuesday to quell rising tensions with Senate Republicans after a draft of a White House immigration plan was somehow leaked to the media.

Obama spoke with Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and John McCain of Arizona and Marco Rubio of Florida — three of the four Republican members of a Senate bipartisan group of eight seeking to create a legislative compromise on overhauling the nation's immigration system.

The White House said Obama called the senators to discuss "their shared commitment to bipartisan, common-sense immigration reform." The fourth Republican member of the group, Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona, was traveling, but the White House said that Obama hoped to talk to him in the near future.

Obama's calls represented at least a tacit acknowledgment that the White House had been laggard in its political outreach to the Senate Republicans who are part of the bipartisan group, and that it was beginning to pay a political price.

"The president reiterated that he remains supportive of the effort under way in Congress, and that he hopes that they can produce a bill as soon as possible that reflects shared core principles on reform," the White House said in a statement. The statement also reiterated that the president "is prepared to submit his own legislation if Congress fails to act." A leaked draft of the White House immigration plan, which includes an eight-year pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants — with none of the border security triggers that most Republicans favor — set off a round of Republican recriminations last weekend. Rubio called the president's plan "half-baked and seriously flawed," as well as "dead on arrival." (The White House said Tuesday that the leak "was not an intentional release.")

Comments
Veteran 3B Evan Longoria as uncertain as anyone about Rays’ plans

Veteran 3B Evan Longoria as uncertain as anyone about Rays’ plans

LAKE BUENA VISTA — Uncertain with all the talk about potentially rebuilding if the Rays would go as far as trading franchise cornerstone 3B Evan Longoria?So is he."I don’t know what to think, really,’’ Longoria said via text message Sunday night as t...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Sunny day floods become new norm

WASHINGTON — The tide watchers start patrolling whenever the celestial forces align. From coast to coast, hundreds of tide watchers come out with their cameras to record the latest ‘‘king tides,’’ brief episodes of tidal flooding that could become th...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Tiny snowmen appear in Florida as Sunshine State gets snow

Tiny snowmen appear in Florida as Sunshine State gets snow

The "Welcome to Florida" sign in the northwest part of the state was covered in light snow as winter weather dipped into the Sunshine State. It was part of a winter storm that hit the Deep South over the weekend and left thousands of people without p...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Florida professional wrestler arrested, charged with battery of his wife, also a professional wrestler

Florida professional wrestler arrested, charged with battery of his wife, also a professional wrestler

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Wrestler Rich Swann is being held without bail in a Florida jail after he was arrested and charged with battery and false imprisonment. Swann, who is 26 and a former WWE cruiserweight champion, was arrested Saturday. According to ...
Updated: 6 hours ago

Updated: 6 hours ago
Getting around Cuban customs control

Getting around Cuban customs control

HAVANA, CUBA — Ernesto Machado will never forget that cold morning in 1968 at José Martí International Airport in Havana, when an immigration official seized his parents’ gold wedding bands and ripped up his passport."This is property of the revoluti...
Updated: 7 hours ago
FSU beats Tulane in Tampa, stays unbeaten in basketball

FSU beats Tulane in Tampa, stays unbeaten in basketball

Updated: 7 hours ago
Struggling Florida citrus growers face tough decisions

Struggling Florida citrus growers face tough decisions

WINTER HAVEN — Although the 2017-18 citrus harvest has barely begun, growers are already planning for the 2018-19 season, and they have critical decisions to make in the coming months that will affect next season’s crop and perhaps others in years to...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Bucs-Lions journal: Backup lineman was most unlikely of targets

Bucs-Lions journal: Backup lineman was most unlikely of targets

TAMPA — The Bucs’ unlikely comeback to erase a 14-point deficit in the fourth quarter was capped by the most unlikely of targets. Tampa Bay tied the game when Jameis Winston threw a 2-yard pass to 305-pound Leonard Wester, a backup lineman who lined ...
Updated: 8 hours ago
New normal: Firefighting at Christmas; U.S. homeless population increases 1st time since 2010; Athletes, celebrities rally for bullied boy; more in U.S. news

New normal: Firefighting at Christmas; U.S. homeless population increases 1st time since 2010; Athletes, celebrities rally for bullied boy; more in U.S. news

CaliforniaNew normal: Christmas firefightingA flare-up on the western edge of Southern California’s largest and most destructive wildfire sent residents fleeing Sunday. Fire crews saved several homes as unpredictable gusts sent the blaze churning dee...
Updated: 8 hours ago