Saturday, May 26, 2018
News Roundup

Presbyterians back protest against Israel

Detroit

Presbyterians back protest against Israel

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) on Friday became the most prominent religious group in the United States to endorse divestment as a protest against Israeli policies toward Palestinians, voting to sell church stock in three companies whose products Israel uses in the occupied territories. The General Assembly voted 310-303 to sell stock in Caterpillar, Hewlett-Packard and Motorola Solutions. Two years ago, the General Assembly rejected a similar divestment proposal by two votes. The American Jewish Committee, a policy and advocacy group based in New York, said the vote was "driven by hatred of Israel." But Heath Rada, moderator for the church meeting, said after the vote that "in no way is this a reflection of our lack of love for our Jewish brothers and sisters." The decision comes as the broader movement known as BDS — or boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel — has gained some momentum in the United States, Israel's closest ally.

Washington

Marriage benefits extended to gays

The federal government on Friday announced regulatory changes to extend a wide range of marriage benefits to same-sex couples, making good on a promise by President Barack Obama after the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act last year. The Labor Department said it would clarify that federal employees will be able to take leave from their jobs to care for a same-sex spouse, something that has long been limited to heterosexual married couples. The Social Security administration and the Veterans Affairs Department said they would also expand benefits for same-sex couples, subject to some legal restrictions. The actions extend the changes that have been made at other agencies in the year since the marriage act was declared unconstitutional.

Geneva

Refugee levels are highest since WWII

The number of people displaced by violent conflict hit the highest level since World War II at the end of 2013, the head of the U.N. refugee agency said in a report released Friday. Pushed up by the war in Syria, the number of people displaced by violence reached more than 51 million, the report said. This included 33.3 million who fled violence but remained in their own country and 16.7 million who fled to neighboring countries.

Elsewhere

Lebanon: Lebanese security forces arrested 17 men in two Beirut hotels on Friday on suspicion that they were plotting to assassinate a prominent Lebanese Shiite leader, a government official said, describing an attack that could inflame sectarian conflict across the Mideast.

Washington: The National Park Service announced Friday that it is taking steps to ban drones from 84 million acres of public lands and waterways, saying the unmanned aircraft annoy visitors, harass wildlife and threaten safety.

Israel: Israeli troops killed a Palestinian youth before dawn Friday and seriously injured several adults in their sweeping arrest campaign in the West Bank following last week's disappearance of three Israeli teenagers.

Washington: The Army announced Friday that it is reducing the rank of Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair by two grades after he pleaded guilty at a court-martial to adultery and conducting inappropriate relationships. The move slashes his benefits and forces him to retire as a lieutenant colonel.

Times wires

Comments
Thomas Bassinger’s takeaways from Saturday’s Rays-Orioles game

Thomas Bassinger’s takeaways from Saturday’s Rays-Orioles game

Interesting decision by the Rays to start RH reliever Ryne Stanek on Saturday. The Orioles' Nos. 1 through 5 hitters were righties, and Stanek came in allowing a 1.228 OPS against righties and a .592 OPS against lefties. It ended up working.How ...
Updated: 22 minutes ago
Hernando officials seize 36 neglected dogs from sanctuary

Hernando officials seize 36 neglected dogs from sanctuary

WEEKI WACHEE — A woman who runs an animal sanctuary will face dozens of animal cruelty charges after Hernando County animal enforcement officers said they found dogs, equine, pigs, cats and chickens housed in poor conditions on her property.Animal of...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Rays journal: After Alex Colome trade, Rays’ closer situation is fluid, Kevin Cash says

Rays journal: After Alex Colome trade, Rays’ closer situation is fluid, Kevin Cash says

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays have had to get creative in how they start games. Now, after Friday's trade of closer Alex Colome, they might have to get creative in how they finish them.How they handle the ninth inning going forward will be a fluid ...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Police investigating shooting outside nightclub

ST. PETERSBURG — Police are investigating a fatal shooting that occurred outside a south St. Petersburg nightclub early Saturday morning.Brennan-Aire D. Williams, 28, was pronounced dead shortly after arriving by cab at Bayfront Health. Police invest...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Vegas envy: Is Tampa Bay ready for a Vegas’ birth-to-best story?

Vegas envy: Is Tampa Bay ready for a Vegas’ birth-to-best story?

What in the name of the 0-26 Bucs is going on here?The breathtaking Vegas Golden Knights are the greatest expansion team in professional sports history. They are the best (or worst) thing to ever happen to our games, having won 51 times during the re...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Rays jump on Orioles early, coast to 5-1 win

Rays jump on Orioles early, coast to 5-1 win

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays cruised to a 5-1 victory over the Orioles on Saturday at Tropicana Field.In his first career start, Ryne Stanek pitched 1⅔ scoreless innings for Tampa Bay, retiring all five batters he faced. His fastball sitting...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Woman dies in Plant City after SUV flips off road

PLANT CITY — A Seffner woman died Saturday from injuries sustained when her sports utility vehicle flipped off the road and crashed into a fence near the intersection of Tanner Road and State Road 574.Amanda K. Cepeda-Duque, 21, was traveling west on...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Her husband wouldn’t apologize to her father — so she shot him, police say

Her husband wouldn’t apologize to her father — so she shot him, police say

RIVERVIEW — A Riverview woman shot and killed her husband Saturday because he punched her father and wouldn’t say sorry, the Hillsborough Sheriff’s Office said.Sabrina Michelle Hendley, 40, faces a first-degree murder charge in the death of Mark A. H...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Updated: 2 hours ago
An American Airlines passenger was refused beer - so he screamed, fought and spit blood, FBI says

An American Airlines passenger was refused beer - so he screamed, fought and spit blood, FBI says

It began, as so many plane debacles seem to, with strange sounds in the bathroom.They were the noises of Jason Felix, one of the passengers on Wednesday’s American Airlines flight out of Saint Croix, according to a FBI affidavit recounting events lea...
Updated: 3 hours ago