Tuesday, November 21, 2017
News Roundup

Morning briefing: Cool and windy; Making sense of N.H., a stolen Chihuly is returned, and a Diana Ross show

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Temps may not crack 60 today and it should remain windy, according to 10Weather WTSP. And it could get colder as the week progresses.

• Waking up from the New Hampshire primary and trying to make sense of it all? So are we. Times political editor Adam C. Smith and Washington bureau chief Alex Leary are tracking the news. Follow our live blog for the latest news from the presidential campaign trail.

• The piece stolen from the Chihuly Collection in downtown St. Petersburg turned up neatly bubble-wrapped and boxed yesterday near the entrance to the Morean Arts Center. "It's not every Tuesday morning you get to open a $25.000 Chihuly piece," said Jeannette St. Amour, the guest services manager who found the package and opened it. It's still not clear who took it, or why.

• Influential National Rifle Association lobbyist Marion Hammer escalated her feud with a Florida water agency yesterday, demanding that Gov. Rick Scott and the Legislature abolish the Southwest Florida Water Management District for what she called violations of the Second Amendment. Swiftmud has been fighting a shooting range near Sawgrass Lake Park over a million pounds of lead bullets and shot in the park and its lake.

• President Barack Obama's administration is vowing to press ahead with efforts to curtail greenhouse gas emissions after a divided Supreme Court put his signature plan to address climate change on hold until after legal challenges are resolved. Yesterday's surprising move by the court was a blow to Obama and a victory for the coalition of 27 mostly Republican-led states and industry opponents, who call the regulations "an unprecedented power grab."

• In the first attack in the Syrian capital to be claimed by the Islamic State, a car bomb tore up a vegetable market and a police officers' club in Damascus, the Syrian capital, yesterday, according to a witness and regional news reports, striking an area that had been quiet for about two years under a local agreement between the Syrian government and insurgents. Meanwhile, the moderate, secular Syrian opposition fighters and civilian groups who benefited from millions of dollars in aid from the United States and its allies — and risked their lives in the process — now say that investment risks going down the drain, and they see little urgency from Washington, diplomatic or military, to save it.

• It's Day 30 in the state legislative session — which means lawmakers have reached the midpoint of their 60-day annual gathering. And it's time for the Senate and House to turn their attention to the meatiest part of what they do: drafting a budget. Both chambers take up the proposed $80 billion spending plan at 1 p.m. Later today, finance reports should show much legislators and their political action committees pulled in through campaign donations before the session began. Keep up with the latest news at tampabay.com/politics

• China's first case of the Zika virus has been found in a 34-year-old man who recently traveled to Venezuela and is now making a speedy recovery, the government said today. The man from the southern city of Ganzhou had been treated in Venezuela on Jan. 28 before returning home on Feb. 5 via Hong Kong and the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen, the National Health and Family Planning Commission said in a statement.

• A midwinter heat wave baked Southern California again yesterday, breaking more February records as temperatures soared into the 80s and 90s even as the Santa Ana winds that stoked the atmosphere began to fade.

• Obama tackles America's divisive politics with an address to the Illinois legislature in Springfield, nine years to the day after he announced his presidential campaign a few blocks away and talked of bringing the country together. He's expected to make the case for how people of different views and parties can come together and make progress. Check back at tampabay.com later today for coverage.

Diana Ross performs at Ruth Eckerd Hall tonight. The Motown diva is 71, but you'd never know it from her jam-packed datebook. Her concert tonight at Ruth Eckerd Hall will be her fifth local show since 2010 — and that's not counting her trips to Universal Orlando, where she'll return for the park's Mardi Gras Concert Series on Feb. 13. We've got the ticket and concert info you need.

• Here are the top things to do today in Tampa Bay, including the Florida Orchestra coffee concerts under the direction of Stuart Malina, the orchestra's Viva Italia! program features Italian greats.

• With Valentine's Day coming, we put the brains of the Tampa Bay Times entertainment and lifestyle experts to work coming up with some original and lovey-dovey date ideas for this weekend or the rest of the year.

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