Tuesday, May 22, 2018
News Roundup

Your DayStarter: Today's weather (still hot, likely rainy), medical marijuana and 'stand your ground' debates in Tallahassee and concert announcements

Keep an umbrella handy because there is a 50 percent chance of rain from afternoon showers or thunderstorms, according to WTSP 10Weather. And yes, it's still hot.

• State lawmakers will consider legalizing medical marijuana by expanding a program meant to provide low-THC cannabis to people suffering from certain illnesses, such as children with severe epilepsy. Follow @MichaelAuslen from the hearings in Tallahassee at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.

• Elsewhere in the state Capitol, lawmakers will consider putting more oomph behind Florida's controversial "Stand Your Ground" law. Some Republicans want to strengthen the law in response to a 5-2 ruling by the Florida Supreme Court in July, which affirmed that the defendant bears the burden of proof in demonstrating they acted in self-defense. House Bill 169, introduced by Rep. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala, gets its first hearing before the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee at 9 a.m. The Senate version gets its second vetting before that chamber's Criminal and Civil Justice Appropriations Subcommittee Wednesday. Keep an eye on tampabay.com/buzz for the latest news out of Tallahassee.

• The Florida Public Service Commission meets has called a special conference in Tallahassee at 9:30 a.m. to consider Duke Energy Florida's plan to issue $1.3 billion in bonds to cover the cost of closing its Crystal River nuclear power plant. Follow @Times_Levesque

• President Barack Obama is due to land in the Philippines today amid a fresh crisis — a reminder of the trouble that has dogged his "Asia rebalance" from its inception. The terrorist attacks in Paris and talk of reprisals for the Islamic State quickly threatened to overshadow Obama's good-news tour to the Philippines and Malaysia this week.

• Beat writers Rick Stroud and Greg Auman catch you up on the latest Bucs news and look ahead to this weekend's road trip to Philadelphia in the latest Bucs Cannon Fodder podcast. Look for it by lunchtime at tampabay.com/bucs.

• Our movie critic Steve Persall says Spotlight, the film about the Boston Globe's investigation of the Catholic Church, is a rare movie about the profession — and just enough about people in it — that simply feels right, speaking from the inside.

• We have lots of concert announcements today on our Soundcheck blog, including the Dixie Chicks coming to Tampa next summer and the juicy lineup for the Florida Strawberry Festival (The Band Perry, Donny and Marie Osmond, Josh Turner, Martina McBride, Cheap Trick and Echosmith).

• And we found out rock queens Pat Benatar and Melissa Etheridge are coming to Clearwater in separate appearances in February. Find out when tickets go on sale.

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