Sunday, May 27, 2018
News Roundup

Afghan council says U.S. deal should be signed by year-end

KABUL, Afghanistan — In a face-to-face rebuke to Afghan President Hamid Karzai, a grand council of Afghan dignitaries voted Sunday to recommend approval of a proposed 10-year security agreement with the United States by the end of the year, agreeing to an American-imposed deadline.

The chairman of the advisory council, or loya jirga, told Karzai he miscalculated by threatening a signing delay until next spring. Chairman Sibghatullah Mojaddedi lectured Karzai, warning that if he delays signing, "I'll resign and leave the country."

"If he had listened to my advice, we wouldn't have this problem today," Mojaddedi, 89, a former Afghan president and longtime confidant and mentor to Karzai, said as the president sat stiffly a few paces away.

But Karzai remained adamant that he — or his successor — will not sign the accord until after the Afghan presidential election in April. That stance has infuriated U.S. officials, who on Friday imposed a Dec. 31 deadline.

Karzai asked the loya jirga, whose recommendations are not legally binding, for more time to negotiate. "We'll try to bargain more with the Americans on your behalf" and then sign the agreement months later, he said.

The Afghan president is notorious for ultimatums and delaying tactics that seek to extract concessions and keep himself at the center of events. With his term ending in April, he is about to enter a lame-duck period — especially if he signs the accord soon.

The loya jirga's bold defiance of Karzai presents an opportunity for the mercurial president to save face and back down from the brinkmanship that has put the security deal in jeopardy. Mojaddedi assured Karzai: "If there is a problem in the future" with the pact, "the jirga is responsible."

Most U.S. forces are expected to leave Afghanistan by the end of next year, but as part of the security agreement the White House has been pushing to keep an estimated 5,000 to 10,000 troops in the country for counterterrorism missions and to help train and equip the Afghan military.

Comments
Rays bats come alive with six-run rally to beat Orioles 8-3

Rays bats come alive with six-run rally to beat Orioles 8-3

ST. PETERSBURG — If you think the Rays are holding their pitching staff together with baling wire, duct tape and by wearing out the shuttle to Triple-A Durham, a bigger story might be how their bats keep producing runs no matter who is swinging...
Updated: 9 minutes ago
A solemn display

A solemn display

Associated PressVisitors to Boston Commons in Boston last week pass 37,000 American flags planted to honor every Massachusetts resident killed in war dating to the Revolutionary War. The "flag garden" idea on Memorial Day started in Boston about a de...
Updated: 18 minutes ago
Troopers looking for driver in New Port Richey fatal hit-and-run

Troopers looking for driver in New Port Richey fatal hit-and-run

NEW PORT RICHEY — The driver Florida Highway Patrol troopers say struck and killed a bicyclist then drove from the scene turned herself in Sunday afternoon.Shanna Marie Rampino surrendered a 2000 Toyota pickup with damage consistent with the evidence...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Former President George H.W. Bush hospitalized in Maine

Former President George H.W. Bush hospitalized in Maine

BIDDEFORD, Maine — A spokesman for former President George H.W. Bush says the 93-year-old was experiencing low blood pressure and has been hospitalized. Spokesman Jim McGrath tweeted just after 2 p.m. Sunday that Bush will likely remain in the hospit...
Updated: 3 hours ago
None injured in Trinity rehab center fire

None injured in Trinity rehab center fire

TRINITY — No one was hurt Sunday morning after a fire broke out at a rehabilitation center.According to Pasco County Fire Rescue, Trinity Regional Rehab Center at 2144 Welbilt Blvd. is running on generator power after the blaze broke out about 10:30 ...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Part of Tampa’s Bayshore Boulevard closed through at least 5 p.m.

Part of Tampa’s Bayshore Boulevard closed through at least 5 p.m.

Both southbound lanes of Bayshore Boulevard between W. Barcelona and W. Rubideaux streets are closed while the Tampa Water Department repairs a water main break.The repair and roadway restoration work is expected to be completed by 5 p.m. Sunday but ...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Meteorologists are calling Alberto a ‘subtropical storm.’ What the heck is that?

Meteorologists are calling Alberto a ‘subtropical storm.’ What the heck is that?

We’re all waking up to the impacts of Alberto: dreary rain, gusty wind, the reluctant change of Memorial Day plans.But while the effects are routine for storm-weathering Floridians, the category of storm Alberto falls into is a little less familiar. ...
Updated: 4 hours ago

Temple Terrace applauds progress on downtown project

TEMPLE TERRACE — A round of applause from the audience followed the recent vote by the Temple Terrace City Council to negotiate a contract with a company that plans to build and manage luxury apartments in the long-idle downtown redevelopment area.Th...
Updated: 6 hours ago
FHP: 30-year-old motorcyclist killed in Hudson crash

FHP: 30-year-old motorcyclist killed in Hudson crash

HUDSON — A 30-year-old man died after he was struck by a car and thrown off the motorcycle he was riding.According to the Florida Highway Patrol, Derek Fingerle, of Hudson, was traveling south on U.S. 19 in the center lane about 8:20 p.m. Saturday. M...
Updated: 8 hours ago
A wet Memorial Day weekend continues as Alberto treks north

A wet Memorial Day weekend continues as Alberto treks north

Subtropical Storm Alberto continued its trek north-northeast overnight and is expected to make landfall in the northern Gulf Coast late Monday.The storm was about 85 miles north of the Dry Tortugas as of Sunday morning, producing winds up to 40 mph a...
Updated: 10 hours ago