President Barack Obama and Vice President-elect Mike Pence were on Capitol Hill today in a showdown over Obamacare, the president's signature health care overhaul. Sixteen days before leaving the White House, Obama spoke with Democratic lawmakers and urged them to remind voters of how the statute has helped them. Pence said President-elect Donald Trump's team was already working with GOP congressional leaders on plans to undo the law with legislation and executive action. House Speaker Paul Ryan told reporters the actions would involve "transition relief."
MAN DIES AS POLICE STRUGGLE TO ARREST HIM NEAR IN ST. PETERSBURG
A man died this morning after a violent struggle with police officers who were trying to arrest him on a sidewalk near a group of homeless shelters in downtown St. Petersburg, authorities said. Police said they received a tip about drug-related activity and confronted the man before the struggle ensued.
LIVE UPDATES: INSTALLATION OF BISHOP GREGORY L. PARKES
Gregory L. Parkes will be presented as the next bishop of the Diocese of St. Petersburg during an installation ceremony at 2 p.m. today at the Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle in St. Petersburg. The Mass is not open to the public and is by invitation-only, but it will be televised live on WTTA-Ch. 38. Check out the Times' live blog later today for updates.
'THE NICEST GUY IN SPORTS'
Bill Hancock, the executive director of the College Football Playoff, is one of the most powerful people in sports. He has been for decades, having overseen the NCAA men's basketball tournament Final Four for 13 years and then as executive director of the Bowl Championship Series. Some people hated the BCS. Nobody hated Bill Hancock. He's your first-ballot Hall of Fame next-door neighbor. And Monday, after Clemson and Alabama play for the national championship at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Hancock will smile and hand the winning coach the trophy and then quietly, comfortably blend backing back into the crowd.
YOU DON'T NEED TO A TICKET TO WATCH WITH A CROWD
Can't make it to Monday night's College Football Playoff National Championship at Tampa's Raymond James Stadium? No problem. You can still scream your head off for Clemson or Alabama with like-minded fans at Tampa Bay's many sports bars. Check out our list of 10 favorites. And if these don't work, check out our list of more than 80 in our database.
STATE SUPREME COURT: THERE'S NO DEATH PENALTY IN FLORIDA RIGHT NOW
The Florida Supreme Court has made it clear that there is no law on the books in the state allowing prosecutors to seek the death penalty in murder cases. In a 5-2 ruling, the court today rejected a request by Attorney General Pam Bondi to clarify an October decision that said juries must make a unanimous vote to sentence someone to death. It threw out a law passed last spring that required a 10-2 supermajority by the jury.
'GMA' WANTS YOU FOR A LIVE SEGMENT BEFORE MONDAY'S GAME
Good Morning America is putting out the call for Clemson and Alabama fans to get up early Monday and join Jesse Palmer, the former Florida Gators quarterback turned football analyst, at Raymond James Stadium for a live morning segment ahead of the College Football Playoff National Championship. But if you want to be on TV, you'll need to dress the part.
GOV. SCOTT TO HIRE COUNTERTERRORISM AGENTS
Florida Gov. Rick Scott wants to spend nearly $6 million to boost the number of state agents dedicated to counterterrorism efforts. Sparked by last year's attack on the Pulse nightclub that left 49 dead, Scott will ask legislators to include enough money in the annual budget to hire agents who will be stationed in seven regions across the state.
HILLSBOROUGH'S TEACHER OF THE YEAR FINALISTS WILL BE NAMED TODAY
Twelve finalists for this year's Hillsborough County's Excellence in Education awards will be announced later today. The list includes three diversity educators, three support employees and six finalists for the coveted prize of Teacher of the Year. Come back to tampabay.com at 4 p.m. today for a list.
ASSURANT ACQUIRES GTI FROM WALTER INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT
Long-troubled mortgage banking firm Walter Investment Management Corp. is selling off its insurance business, Green Tree Insurance Agency, to Assurant, Inc. for $125 million. The sale comes after shares of Walter tumbled 67 percent in 2016 to make it the worst-performing local stock of the year.
'LOVE IS LOVE' COMIC PAYS TRIBUTE TO PULSE VICTIMS
The most jarring page in the Love Is Love comic contains no comics at all. It's a white page marked only by a small, circular rainbow illustration. And a list of the 49 names of those killed in June at Pulse nightclub in Orlando. Love Is Love was created by Marc Andreyko, who reached out to writers, artists and celebrities to contribute work that would speak to the tragedy.
REVIEW: 'HIDDEN FIGURES' AN ENTERTAINING, IMPORTANT HISTORY LESSON
Invaluable contributions by African-American women to NASA's earliest missions are spotlighted in the book and film Hidden Figures. The title they share carries double meaning: a scientific mystery solved by marginalized people. Hidden Figures is rise-up storytelling at its glossiest, an easy, entertaining history lesson to swallow. Read a review by Times movie critic Steve Persall.
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