Wednesday, January 24, 2018
News Roundup

Ecuador quits U.S. trade deal to avoid 'blackmail' over Snowden

QUITO, Ecuador — Ecuador announced Thursday it was withdrawing from a 2-decade-old trade pact with the United States, saying the agreement left the South American nation vulnerable to "blackmail" as U.S. officials seek the return of fugitive Edward Snowden.

The trade agreement was already at risk of nonrenewal by Congress before Ecuador began weighing whether to grant asylum to Snowden, the former contract worker for the National Security Agency who this month revealed extensive U.S. tracking of telephone communications and then fled to Hong Kong.

Snowden faces felony espionage charges at home. The United States has demanded his extradition, first from Hong Kong, where he hid for several weeks, and now from Russia, where he arrived Sunday. He is thought to be holed up in the transit area of Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport while seeking a route to Ecuador or somewhere else that might grant him shelter.

President Barack Obama, meanwhile, sought to downplay the international chase for the man he called "a 29-year-old hacker" and lower the temperature of an issue that has raised tensions between the United States and uneasy partners Russia and China.

At an early-morning news conference, Ecuadorean Communications Secretary Fernando Alvarado said the decision to quit the Andean Trade Promotion and Drug Eradication Act accord was "irreversible" and was made to avoid Ecuador becoming vulnerable to pressure from the United States over Snowden.

Alvarado added that his government instead was offering the United States a subsidy of $23 million, which he said was the value of the benefits Ecuadorean traders received from the deal, to fund human rights training.

Alvarado also denied reports Wednesday that his government had already given Snowden temporary travel documents permitting him to travel to Ecuador.

Internet records were gathered: The Obama administration gathered U.S. citizens' Internet data until 2011, continuing a spying program started under President George W. Bush that revealed whom Americans exchanged emails with and the Internet Protocol address of their computer, according to documents disclosed Thursday in the Guardian of Britain and also recently in the Washington Post.

The National Security Agency ended the program that collected email logs and timing, but not content, in 2011 because it decided it didn't effectively stop terrorist plots, according to the NSA's director, Gen. Keith Alexander. He said all data was purged in 2011.

Information from Associated Press was used in this report.

Comments
Want to own St. Pete’s World Liquors sign? Let the bidding begin

Want to own St. Pete’s World Liquors sign? Let the bidding begin

ST. PETERSBURG — Want to own a piece of city history?Okay, the iconic World Liquors sign is, after all, a big sign for a liquor store. Still, it’s a historic liquor store sign, one that has stood at the corner of Central Avenue and 16th Street for 57...
Updated: 9 minutes ago
Starbucks gives workers raises, stock grants due to tax law

Starbucks gives workers raises, stock grants due to tax law

NEW YORK — Starbucks is giving its U.S. workers pay raises and stock grants this year, citing recent changes to the tax law.All employees can will soon be able to earn paid sick time off, and the company’s parental leave benefits will include all non...
Updated: 22 minutes ago
The Daystarter: Pasco man carries out execution; prepare for Carmageddon II in Tampa; own a piece of St. Pete history; Stamkos, Lightning come up big

The Daystarter: Pasco man carries out execution; prepare for Carmageddon II in Tampa; own a piece of St. Pete history; Stamkos, Lightning come up big

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.• It’s jacket weather this morning, but temperatures should warm up pleasantly, to the upper 60s, according to 10Weather WTSP. And we’re tracking the weather ahead of Gasparill...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Forecast: Cold front leaves clear skies, return to cooler conditions for Tampa Bay

Forecast: Cold front leaves clear skies, return to cooler conditions for Tampa Bay

Cooler weather takes hold across Tampa Bay as a cold front has moved south through the region, leaving behind drier air and bright sunshine.10News WTSPFeels-like temperatures around the Tampa Bay area Residents will notice the change when they step ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Sheriff: Two dead, one seriously injured in Hernando shooting

Sheriff: Two dead, one seriously injured in Hernando shooting

BROOKSVILLE — A suspect is in custody after a fatal shooting and standoff in Brooksville on Tuesday night.During a news conference Tuesday night, Hernando County Sheriff Al Nienhuis said two people were found dead in a house on Azen Loop, in the Hill...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Changing the shape of food

Changing the shape of food

Diners began with a warm hand towel sprayed lightly with a subtle lavender fragrance, a way to wake up the palate. From there, guests were presented with a white enamel spoon, an "amuse bouche" of blood orange sorbet, sweet and tangy.This was not lun...
Published: 01/24/18
Dan Ruth: Autopsy On A Stick? Six Feet Under Souffle? Welcome to the state fair!

Dan Ruth: Autopsy On A Stick? Six Feet Under Souffle? Welcome to the state fair!

Well it’s that time of year again, the arrival of the Florida State Fair, or as it might otherwise be known — the yearly gastronomical death march.As always, the fair, which runs from Feb. 8-19, will feature the usual assortment of thrill rides, carn...
Published: 01/24/18
Real, homemade lasagna is worth every minute of your time in the kitchen

Real, homemade lasagna is worth every minute of your time in the kitchen

I grew up on my mom’s lasagna alla Bolognese, composed of emerald green spinach noodles layered with robust ground meat sauce and creamy bechamel. To many Italian food lovers, this is the ideal against which all others are measured. But the world of ...
Published: 01/24/18
Lightning beats Predators in overtime

Lightning beats Predators in overtime

NASHVILLE — Steven Stamkos’ celebration said it all.The Lightning captain delivered an emphatic fist pump after his rocket one-timer clanked in off the crossbar, tying the score with just over two minutes left at Bridgestone Arena on Tuesday night. T...
Updated: 7 hours ago

High school scoreboard for Jan. 23

Tuesday’s scoreboardBoys basketballBoca Ciega 55, Canterbury 53Girls basketballBoca Ciega 65, Largo 19
Updated: 8 hours ago