Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Russia steps up diplomacy in Syrian conflict

Russia

moscow steps up diplomacy in syria war

Russia has shown a burst of diplomatic energy before talks in Moscow today with the U.N. envoy, Lakhdar Brahimi, on the Syrian conflict. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Friday made his first overtures toward the largest exile Syrian opposition coalition, saying that he had requested a meeting with its leader. The United States, Britain and several Persian Gulf nations have recognized the coalition as the sole representative of the Syrian people. Though Moscow opposes any international effort to force out Syrian President Bashar Assad, in recent days it has expressed increasing support for beginning a political process that would draw in both sides in the conflict.

WEBSTER, N.Y

Woman charged in 2 firemen deaths

The neighbor of a convicted felon who ambushed firefighters on Christmas Eve, killing two, bought the guns for him and lied to the seller, authorities said Friday. William Spengler of Webster, N.Y., had picked out the semiautomatic rifle and shotgun used in the ambush and went to the sporting goods store with the neighbor when she bought them for him, U.S. Attorney William Hochul said. The neighbor, Dawn Nguyen of Rochester, was arrested Friday. She faces a federal charge of knowingly making a false statement for signing a form indicating she would be the legal owner of the guns, Hochul said. She also was charged with a state count of filing a falsified business record, state police said. Spengler, 62, killed himself.

HOUSTON

Bush doing better, spokesman says

Former President George H.W. Bush remained in intensive care at a Houston hospital on Friday but his condition continues to improve, a spokesman said. "The President is alert and, as always, in good spirits — and his exchanges with doctors and nurses now include singing," family spokesman Jim McGrath said in a statement. Bush, 88, was admitted at Methodist Hospital on Nov. 23 because of a bronchitis-related cough. He later developed a fever.

Central African Republic

Neighbors pledge help against rebels

Central African Republic's neighbors agreed on Friday to dispatch a contingent of soldiers to intervene in the country, where a coalition of rebel groups is seeking to overthrow the president of nearly a decade. Representatives from the 10-nation Economic Community of Central African States meeting in Gabon, though, did not specify how many troops they could contribute, nor did they outline how quickly the military assistance would arrive. President Francois Bozize had pleaded for international help Thursday as fears grew that the rebels would attack the capital, Bangui.

Elsewhere

Little Rock, Ark.: About 100,000 customers of Entergy Arkansas remained without power on Friday, down from 194,000 on Tuesday after a winter storm, the utility said.

Mexico: Mexican authorities have discovered a sophisticated smuggling tunnel equipped with electricity and ventilation not far from the Nogales port of entry into Arizona, U.S. and Mexican officials said Friday.

Iraq: Tens of thousands of Sunnis angry over perceived second-class treatment by the Shiite-led government massed along a major western highway and elsewhere in the country Friday for the largest protests yet in a week of demonstrations.

Times wires

Russia steps up diplomacy in Syrian conflict 12/28/12 [Last modified: Friday, December 28, 2012 10:12pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Photo gallery: Florida High School Track & Field State Championships, May 6, 2017

    Blogs

    View a gallery of images from Saturday's Florida High School Track & Field State Championships in Bradenton.

    Jefferson High sprinters Eyekeyle Gardner, 17, left, and Kourtney Lawton, 15, compete in the Girls 2A 4x400 Meter relay during the FHSAA Track & Field Finals held at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida on Saturday, May 6, 2017.
  2. Police: 8 dead in Mississippi shooting, including deputy

    Nation

    BROOKHAVEN, Miss. — Authorities in Mississippi say a suspect is in custody after eight people were killed in a shooting, including a sheriff's deputy.

  3. Photos: 97X BBQ brings Grouplove, Coin, Milky Chance, more to Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg

    Blogs

    Alternative rock fans got a jump start on Memorial Day partying on Saturday at the annual 97X BBQ, which brought Grouplove, Milky Chance, K. Flay, Coin and more to Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg. Kasamba Kokayi was there snapping photos; click the headline of this post for a slideshow.

    Grouplove performed at the 97X BBQ at Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg on May 27, 2017.
  4. Winner and loser of the week in Florida politics

    Blogs

    Winner of the week 1: 'Liquor wall’ proponents. Gov. Rick Scott’s veto of a bill to allow Walmart, Target and other big box stores to sell liquor was a victory for an array of groups, from smaller merchants and Publix (which has stand-alone booze shops near its stores) to those who feel the hard stuff …

  5. Review / photos: Sunset Music Festival brings Major Lazer, safety upgrades to Raymond James Stadium in Tampa

    Blogs

    Somewhere beyond the barricades and mountainous LED stages of the Sunset Music Festival, there had to be worry. There had to thousands of parents in parking lots and empty kitchens, anxiously distracting their minds, every now and then checking their phones.

    Major Lazer headlined the Sunset Music Festival on May 27, 2017 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.