Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

DayStarter: Foggy, then beautiful; Apple's fights the feds over privacy vs. security, and Florida's Powerball winners step forward today

It should be another gorgeous day with afternoon temperatures in the mid 70s. The weekend is looking just as nice, with temperatures in the 60s and 70s, coupled with a light breeze, according to 10Weather WTSP.

• Twitter unloaded on Jeb Bush on Tuesday when he tweeted a photo of a new pistol given to him during a campaign visit to FN Manufacturing, a major firearms maker in Columbia, S.C.

• As South Carolina takes center stage in the 2016 election, Times political editor Adam C. Smith and Washington bureau chief Alex Leary are on the road with the candidates. Follow their reporting ahead of Saturday's Republican primary with our live blog.

• The Florida Highway Patrol is investigating whether Allison F. Huffman, 36, of Riverview was drinking before an accident that killed a tow truck driver early Monday on the Howard Frankland Bridge. The two people Rogelio Perez-Borroto was helping were sitting in the cab of the truck when they said they heard a boom, felt a crash and saw a black car speeding past. One of them got out of the truck, saw a shoe in the road and then spotted Perez-Borroto's body, about 50 feet away. They called 911.

• Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook says his company will fight a federal magistrate's order to hack its users in connection with the investigation of the San Bernardino shootings, asserting that would undermine encryption by creating a backdoor that could potentially be used on other future devices. Cook's ferocious response, posted this morning on the company's website, came after an order from U.S. Magistrate Judge Sheri Pym that Apple Inc. help the Obama administration break into an encrypted iPhone belonging to one of the shooters in the December attack. The first-of-its-kind ruling was a significant victory for the Justice Department in a technology policy debate that pits digital privacy against national security interests.

• A champion is chosen. CJ, a German shorthaired pointer, was named Best in Show at the 140th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show Tuesday night in New York.

• Foreign Minister Wang Yi sought this morning to downplay reports that China had positioned antiaircraft missiles on a disputed South China Sea island, accusing the media of hyping the issue and saying more attention should be paid to what he called "public goods and services" provided by China's development of its maritime claims. Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense said in a statement it had "grasped that Communist China had deployed" an unspecified number of missiles on Woody Island in the Paracel group. The Philippines said the development increased regional tensions. The move would follow China's building of new islands in the disputed sea by piling sand atop reefs and then adding airstrips and military installations.

• Florida Lottery officials plan to announce the names of the people who won a share of that giant $1.6 billion Powerball Jackpot. You may recall that three tickets matched the numbers drawn on Jan. 13: one in California, one in Tennessee and one in Florida. The winning Florida ticket was sold at a Publix grocery store in Melbourne Beach. The Florida winners are to be announced at 1:30 p.m. today.

• A St. Petersburg business will drop the gavel on an 'outrageous' collection of items linked to Scott Rothstein in a few months in an effort to recompense the victims of the biggest Ponzi scemes in American history.

• The United States signed a deal for regularly scheduled passenger flights to Cuba yesterday, which could be a boost for Tampa International Airport.

• A professor is trying to figure out what it is that's brought thousands of blacktip sharks to Florida's coastline just in time for spring break.

• Four of the most advanced U.S. fighter jets flew over South Korea this morning in a clear show of force against North Korea, a day after South Korea's president warned of the North's collapse amid a festering standoff over its nuclear and missile ambitions. The stealthy, high-tech F-22 planes capable of sneaking past radar undetected landed at Osan Air Base near Seoul after the flyover escorted by other U.S. and South Korean fighter jets.

• The Vatican has a message for Donald Trump: Pope Francis is not an instrument of Mexico's immigration policy and his concern about migrants is global, not just about the ones entering the United States. Last night's comments came in response to Trump criticizing the pope's plan to visit the border wall that separates Ciudad Juarez from El Paso, Texas, today to put a focus on the plight of migrants. Trump said in an interview with Fox that he doesn't think the pope understands the danger to the U.S. of an open border with Mexico. In Trump's words: "I think Mexico got him to do it because they want to keep the border just the way it is. They're making a fortune, and we're losing."

• Gambling, school choice and campaign finance are on the agenda in the state Legislature. A Senate committee takes up whether to renew the gaming compact between the state and the Seminole Tribe of Florida. In the House, members will debate bills dealing with school choice and "best and brightest" teacher scholarships. The Florida Elections Commission, meanwhile, weighs whether to impose more than $73,000 in fines on Thaddeus Hamilton, who faces 73 specific counts of campaign finance irregularities. Follow the latest at

• Iran snubbed a proposal today that had been agreed to by four influential oil producers to cap crude output if others do the same, with a senior Oil Ministry official saying Tehran has no intention of freezing oil output levels. Mahdi Asali, Iran's OPEC envoy, said his country will in fact keep increasing its crude exports until it reaches levels attained before international sanctions were imposed on Tehran over its nuclear program. Saudi Arabia, Russia, Venezuela and Qatar had conditionally agreed yesterday to cap their output at last month's levels in order to halt a slide that has pushed oil prices to their lowest point in more than a decade. Oil prices recently plummeted below $30 a barrel, the lowest in 13 years.

• Here are the top things to do today around Tampa Bay, including a show by pop star Carly Rae Jepsen of Call Me Maybe fame. Check our Soundcheck blog later for pop music critic Jay Cridlin's review of the show.

• We will be at Busch Gardens this morning for a sneak peek at the construction of Cobra's Curse, the Tampa theme park's new spinning coaster set to open soon. The cars will spin randomly, guided by the weight distribution of its riders. Here's what we know so far about the new ride in the Egypt section of the park. Follow @SharonKWn on Twitter as she takes a hard hat tour.

• American Stage just announced a new season, one that will focus on "newer works that are creating a real buzz in a couple of cities across the country."

• He's 6-feet-10 with a stride that can cover a lot of Publix Gasparilla Distance Classic ground. But oh, that Bayshore Boulevard wind! Read about Luke Beevor this morning at

[10Weather WTSP]

[10Weather WTSP]

DayStarter: Foggy, then beautiful; Apple's fights the feds over privacy vs. security, and Florida's Powerball winners step forward today 02/17/16 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 17, 2016 10:35am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Georgia man drowned at SeaWorld Aquatica water park

    Public Safety

    ORLANDO — The water was only about 3 feet deep where Michael Stone, wearing a life vest, drowned in a water park ride at Aquatica this summer after apparently passing out face down, Orange County Sheriff's Office reports show.

  2. Bicyclist killed in hit-and-run crash on I-4 exit ramp in Tampa


    TAMPA — The Florida Highway Patrol is investigating after a bicyclist was killed in a hit-and-run crash on an Interstate 4 exit ramp early Wednesday.

  3. Cookbook review: ‘Cherry Bombe: The Cookbook' is like a friend who always has a good recipe up her sleeve


    Cherry Bombe is a biannual indie magazine, weekly radio show/podcast and annual conference that celebrates women and food. And this month's release is a cookbook, a compilation of tried-and-true recipes from women who are famous both in the food world and other industries. Think model and cookbook author …

    By Kerry Diamond 
and Claudia Wu Clarkson Potter, 256 pages, $35
  4. Beautiful Hong Kong is pulsating with life and culture



    “Ah money, money, money!" the cabdriver exclaimed with no small sense of sarcasm in his Cantonese-accented English as he waved in the direction of the spectacular skyline of Hong Kong, a city that revels in its reputation as an international financial capital.

    The Hong Kong skyline, seen here from Victoria Peak, the highest point in the city at 1,800 feet, is a sight to behold.
  5. How to pick the perfect fall six-pack of beer

    Bars & Spirits

    With each fall comes another opportunity to assemble the perfect seasonal six-pack. Of course, this is often a six-pack in name only, as many of the latest seasonal brews come in large- format bottles (with a price tag to match). That just means that you'll need to assemble some friends and family to share with, and who …

     Abita Pecan Harvest Ale: As the name suggests, this toasty amber ale is brewed with roasted Louisiana pecans. The base beer is fairly neutral, allowing the sweet and nutty pecan character to stand front and center. It drinks not unlike a liquid pecan pie — though it’s a bit less sweet, thankfully.