Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump says he's postponing his trip to Israel and will schedule a meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu "at a later date after I become President of the U.S." Trump's announcement follows days of condemnation by rival candidates and world leaders of his proposal to temporarily ban foreign citizens who are Muslim from entering the U.S. after recent terrorist attacks.
In a poll taken largely before his proposal on Muslims, Trump commands the support of 35 percent of Republican primary voters, leading his closest competitors, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas (16 percent) and Ben Carson (13 percent) by a more than 2-to-1 margin. Sen. Marco Rubio's support stands at 9 percent, with the rest of the candidates at 4 percent or less.
That is one huge jet. One of the world's largest planes, an Antonov An-124, is taking off from Tampa International Airport today to make a delivery to Denmark.
A St. Petersburg City Council committee asked the county to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana this morning — but also authorized city attorneys to draft a municipal ordinance in case the county doesn't act. "If the county says no, I'm still going to say yes," said council member Steve Kornell, a school guidance counselor, who proposed the city ordinance. His proposal would allow police to give a ticket with a fine to someone possessing 20 grams or less of marijuana — about ¾ of an ounce.
The case against fired Tampa cops Eric and LaJoyce Houston may be growing. A federal grand jury indicted the Houstons in October, alleging they enriched themselves by at least $239,117 through stolen identity tax refund fraud, while conspiring with a police informer and a community service officer. Today, prosecutor Mandy Riedel told U.S. District Judge Richard A. Lazzara that she anticipates filing of a superseding indictment, with additional counts, in January.
Tampa police are investigating the death of 26-year-old Ricardo D. McCalop, who was found late last night with "upper body trauma" at his north Tampa home. He died later.
A decadeslong wait to redevelop a key block on St. Petersburg's Central Avenue might be nearing an end after a city commission approved the demolition of most of the historic 89-year-old Union Trust bank building. The redevelopment of the block downtown was a priority for Mayor Rick Kriseman.
In entertainment news, Carol, Spotlight and The Big Short lead the Golden Globes film nominations. The TV nominations had some surprises, with shows from streaming services like Netflix and Amazon, pulling in multiple awards.
The Serial podcast is back with a second season. This season focuses on Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.
The Rays lost two players in today's Rule 5 draft — OF Tyler Goeddel was taken first overall by the Phillies and OF Joey Rickard by the Orioles with the No. 15 pick.
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