Tuesday, December 12, 2017
News Roundup

Syrian military tries to oust rebels near capital

Syria

Military tries to oust rebels near capital

Syria's military was mounting what opposition activists said was the largest incursion in months on a rebellious suburb of Damascus on Monday, in an effort to drive back rebel forces that have taken up positions within miles of the center of the capital. At least three people were killed in the fighting in the suburb, Daraya, southwest of Damascus, which was a focal point for the protest movement early in the uprising against President Bashar Assad and later became a stronghold for fighters trying to topple him. In one of the deadliest episodes of the war, hundreds of people, including many civilians, were killed in August when the military stormed Daraya in an operation using troops and attack helicopters.

Iraq

Dozens killed in series of attacks

At least three dozen people were killed in a string of attacks Monday in Iraq, the police said, signaling a bloody end to a year of rising ethnic, political and sectarian troubles that showed little sign of easing. While violence has been less frequent and widespread in Iraq than it was at the height of the insurgency, rebels have continued to strike at a variety of targets, with the apparent intent of exploiting sectarian and cultural divides.

Iran

Naval exercise tests missiles

Iranian forces fired what military officers said was a new generation of surface-to-air missiles Monday during a naval exercise that focused on striking hypothetical unmanned aircraft and vessels in international waters to the south of the country, Iranian media reported. The missiles were fired on the fourth day of a six-day naval exercise that started Friday.

Elsewhere

Texas: The state can cut off funding to Planned Parenthood's family planning programs for poor women, a state judge ruled Monday, requiring thousands to find new doctors for their annual exams.

Times wires

Comments

Plant City boy, 12, dies in Mulberry crash as car turns into path of semi

MULBERRY — A 12-year-old Plant City boy died Tuesday when the car he was riding in turned into the path of a semitrailer on State Road 60, authorities said. Miguel Resendiz was riding in an eastbound BMW 328xi when its driver, 29-year-old Maricela Re...
Updated: 7 minutes ago
Buchanan Middle aide used Instagram to seek nude photos, sex from students, deputies say

Buchanan Middle aide used Instagram to seek nude photos, sex from students, deputies say

TAMPA — A 24-year-old aide at Buchanan Middle School was arrested Monday and charged with using Instagram to ask for sex and nude photos from female students at the school, deputies said.Between Sept. 1 and the time of his arrest, Quinton J. Bradford...
Updated: 10 minutes ago
Editorial: Tax cuts aren’t worth harm to Tampa Bay

Editorial: Tax cuts aren’t worth harm to Tampa Bay

As congressional negotiators hammer out the details on an enormous, unnecessary tax cut, the potential negative impact on Tampa Bay and Florida is becoming clearer. The harmful consequences stretch far beyond adding more than $1.4 trillion to the fed...
Updated: 12 minutes ago
Tampa Bay’s mortgage delinquency rate crept up in December

Tampa Bay’s mortgage delinquency rate crept up in December

Times Staff WriterThe percentage of Tampa Bay homeowners who are late on their mortgage payments rose slightly in September, probably due to Hurricane Irma. According to CoreLogic, 7 percent of bay area mortgages were delinquent by at least 30 days c...
Updated: 15 minutes ago
Unusual paddle design earns worldwide market

Unusual paddle design earns worldwide market

Paddling on the heels of the last supermoon of 2017, Phil Hughes navigated an uncommonly low tide off Dunedin through St. Joseph Sound on an effortless but lengthy glide.This is not easy water, nor an easy paddle, and could be especially daunting for...
Updated: 23 minutes ago
Nicko’s Fine Foods, classic diner and Seminole Heights icon, closes after six decades

Nicko’s Fine Foods, classic diner and Seminole Heights icon, closes after six decades

Nicko’s Fine Foods, known as the place Elvis Presley ate following a 1956 concert and Tampa’s last classic prefabricated diner, has shut down after more than 60 years in business.Owners Karen and Nicholas Liakos could not be reached for comment but w...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Tampa memorial for

Tampa memorial for "Fight Doctor" Ferdie Pacheco to be held Thursday

TAMPA — A memorial service for "The Fight Doctor" Ferdie Pacheco will be held Thursday from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Centro Asturiano, 1913 N Nebraska Ave.He died in his Miami home on November 16 at the age of 89.Born and raised in Ybor City, Pache...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Pinellas construction board prepares to lose independence

Pinellas construction board prepares to lose independence

LARGO –– In January, members of the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board cried foul when elected officials wanted to fold the board under county government.The objections didn’t surface at Monday’s board meeting.That’s when the interim execut...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Punit Shah’s Liberty Group building new Channel District hotel with Jameis Winston as limited investor

Punit Shah’s Liberty Group building new Channel District hotel with Jameis Winston as limited investor

TAMPA — Punit Shah’s Liberty Group announced plans Tuesday to start construction in January on a Channel District project that will include a Hampton Inn and Home2 Suites, both by Hilton, plus a Starbucks Coffee.Financing for the $40 million project ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Democrats say Trump’s tweets about Gillibrand sexist, unsavory

Democrats say Trump’s tweets about Gillibrand sexist, unsavory

WASHINGTON — Plowing into the sexual harassment debate in a big way, President Donald Trump laced into Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand on Tuesday, tweeting that the New York Democrat would come to his office "begging" for campaign contributions and "do anyth...
Updated: 3 hours ago