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News at noon: Iraq and Syria Q&A; Delegate meeting in Tampa; 'Hamilton' has 16 Tony Award nominations; Options other than brunch with mom this Sunday

Iraqi security forces participate in a March 2015 drill as U.S. forces train them in Taji, north of Baghdad. No one disputes that U.S. military forces are fighting in combat in Iraq and Syria - except maybe President Barack Obama and some members of his administration. The semantic arguments over whether there are American "boots on the ground" muddy the view of a situation in which several thousand armed U.S. military personnel are in Iraq and Syria. [Associated Press]

Iraqi security forces participate in a March 2015 drill as U.S. forces train them in Taji, north of Baghdad. No one disputes that U.S. military forces are fighting in combat in Iraq and Syria - except maybe President Barack Obama and some members of his administration. The semantic arguments over whether there are American "boots on the ground" muddy the view of a situation in which several thousand armed U.S. military personnel are in Iraq and Syria. [Associated Press]

• No one disputes that U.S. military forces are fighting in combat in Iraq and Syria — except maybe President Barack Obama and some members of his administration. Iraq and Syria Q&A: When is a U.S. 'boot on the ground' not a 'boot on the ground'?

• A jury in St. Louis has ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $55 million to a South Dakota woman who claimed the company's talcum powder caused her to develop ovarian cancer.

• Florida GOP officials will select target="_blank">15 at-large delegates next weekend in Tampa, part of a two-day quarterly meeting that will feature a presentation from Google, a "next generation GOP roundtable" and breakfast with Dan Bongino. Several U.S. Senate candidates are expected to attend the May 13-14 meeting at the Doubletree on W Cypress Street in Tampa.

• Democratic state Rep. Dwight Dudley six days ago surprised a ton of people by announcing that he would not seek reelection to his Democratic-leaning south Pinellas state House seat. Two things happened quickly.

• Children in the Hillsborough County public schools can look forward to less testing in the coming year as the district responds to a backlash that has existed nationwide for years. Teachers and principals will be able to choose which tests to administer, how to use them, and when to schedule them.

• Brunch on the water. Flowers. A spa day. There's nothing wrong with any of it. But, just like dads with their grilling and sports and gadgets, moms can fall victim to a sea of well-meant cliches. Moms are actually complex, interesting individuals who just happened to give birth. Maybe she does want brunch and flowers. But maybe she wants to try something new this year. Our critics and writers have offered up a host of Mother's Day ideas for the not-so-average woman in your life.

• The megahit musical Hamilton has grabbed a record-breaking 16 Tony Award nominations, the biggest haul in Broadway history and another notch in the show's march into theatrical history.

The Maids, Jean Genet's superior piece of art, still wears well. The 90-minute one-act, which opened in 1947 in Paris, keeps getting performed because the issues it raises remain touchy and up-to-the-minute. The current production at Jobsite Theater is a straightforward representation of Genet's work, with good results.

• Aerosmith may or may not be plotting a farewell tour, and it may or may not make its way to Florida. But with or without his bandmates, Steven Tyler is coming to town.

• The Bucs' battle for a fourth tight end is a complicated one -- first, whether they'll carry one -- but one challenger to veteran Brandon Myers and practice-squad prospect Tevin Westbrook is undrafted rookie free agent Tim Brown of West Chester in Pennsylvania. Meet the Bucs rookies: West Chester TE Tim Brown

News at noon is a weekday feature from tampabay.com. Check in Monday through Friday for updates and information on the biggest stories of the day.

News at noon: Iraq and Syria Q&A; Delegate meeting in Tampa; 'Hamilton' has 16 Tony Award nominations; Options other than brunch with mom this Sunday 05/03/16 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 3, 2016 1:04pm]
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