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What you need to know for Monday, Aug. 22

You can expect partly cloudy skies today and highs in the mid 90s in some areas, according to 10Weather WTSP.

• If you're going to vote in the Aug. 30 primary, read our Know Your Candidates 2016 Election Guide. It's a handy, brief summary on more than 100 state and local candidates — in their own words — that will help make you a more informed voter.

• In a look at the Art of Politics, our arts critics look at how the rhetoric and endless slog of information get to us — really get to our hearts and minds. Like the origins of red and blue as political colors to the way Twitter has become the new water cooler these days. Check out the many ways film, books and fashion can influence the electorate.

• As a big conference for grocery stores, restaurants and other retailers heats up in Orlando this week, see what a retail insider has to say about the scene in Florida, especially in the increasingly hot and competitive grocery segment. The Q&A with business reporter Justine Griffin is online this morning at tampabay.com/money.

• President Barack Obama is back in Washington after a 16-day getaway to Martha's Vineyard, Mass., with his wife, Michelle, daughters Malia and Sasha, and their dogs. He can expect a busy fall season of campaigning for Hillary Clinton and more battles with Congress over Zika funding, the federal budget and $400 million the administration paid Iran this year for the never-completed sale of military equipment.

• Secretary of State John Kerry is in Kenya for talks on countering terrorism in East Africa, including dealing with the Islamic extremist group al-Shabab in Somalia. The group claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing on Sunday that killed at least 20 people.

• Plan your week! Here are the top things to do this week around Tampa Bay, including superstar Drake in a sold-out show at Amalie Arena and the Oddball Comedy Festival bringing Gabriel Iglesias, Hannibal Buress, Iliza Shlesinger and other comedy favorites to Tampa.

• There only four days left to play in 1.2 million balls set up in an all-white beach setting in Amalie Arena. Though online tickets have been snapped up, you can still get free walk-up tickets each day. Read our tips.

An overview of the Beach installation at the National Building Museum in August 2015 in Washington, D.C. The Beach is coming to Amalie Arena in August. (Getty Images)

An overview of the Beach installation at the National Building Museum in August 2015 in Washington, D.C. The Beach is coming to Amalie Arena in August. (Getty Images)

What you need to know for Monday, Aug. 22 08/22/16 [Last modified: Monday, August 22, 2016 9:23am]
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  1. No toll lanes north of downtown Tampa in three of four interstate proposals

    Transportation

    TAMPA — Express lanes may not be coming to downtown Tampa after all. Or at least not to the stretch of Interstate 275 that goes north through Bearss Avenue.

    Seminole Heights resident Kimberly Overman discusses the new interstate options with V.M. Ybor resident Chris Vela (left), Hillsborough County Commissioner Pat Kemp and HNTB consultant Chloe Coney during a Tampa Bay Express meeting Monday night at the Barrymore Hotel. [CAITLIN JOHNSTON  |  Times]
  2. No lack of issues facing St. Petersburg's six council candidates

    Elections

    ST. PETERSBURG — The six candidates for City Council gathered Monday evening in the very chamber to which they aspire to serve.

    St. Petersburg City Council candidates (from left)  Brandi Gabbard and Barclay Harless in District 2; Jerick Johnston and incumbent council member Darden Rice in District 4; and Justin Bean and Gina Driscoll of District 6. All six candidates appeared at Monday night's forum at City Hall sponsored by the League of Women Voters. [CHERIE DIEZ   |   Times]

  3. Iraq's Kurds vote on independence, raising regional fears

    World

    IRBIL, Iraq — Iraqi Kurds voted Monday in a landmark referendum on supporting independence, a move billed by the Kurdish leadership as an exercise in self-determination but viewed as a hostile act by Iraq's central government. Neighboring Turkey even threatened a military response.

    People celebrate Monday after voting closed in a referendum on independence in Irbil, Iraq.
  4. North Korean diplomat says Trump has 'declared war'

    War

    UNITED NATIONS — North Korea's top diplomat said Monday that President Donald Trump's weekend tweet was a "declaration of war" and North Korea has the right to retaliate by shooting down U.S. bombers, even in international airspace.

    North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho, center, speaks outside the U.N. Plaza Hotel in New York on Monday.
  5. Pinellas grants St. Pete's request to add millions to pier budget

    Local Government

    Times Staff Writer

    The Pinellas County Commission has granted St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman's request to dedicate millions more toward the city's new pier.

    The St. Petersburg City Council on Thursday  voted 7-1 to appropriate $17.6 million for the over-water portion of the Pier District. This is a rendering of what the new Pier District could look like. [Courtesy of St. Petersburg]