Sunday, May 20, 2018
News Roundup

Egypt court cuts sentences on Islamist women

CAIRO — Egyptian authorities released Saturday two dozen Islamist women and girls convicted for staging a street protest after an appeals court reduced their harsh penalties, including prison terms of 11 years, to suspended sentences.

The initial verdict handed down late last month caused an international and domestic outcry.

"This is God-given," Ola Alaa, an 18-year-old medical student who was initially sentenced to 11 years, told the Associated Press by telephone after reaching her home in the coastal city of Alexandria. "I think (the authorities) wanted to calm things down," she said.

The 21 defendants, who included seven teenagers, were held in custody for over a month.

The 14 women, mostly around the age of 20, were originally sentenced to 11 years in prison after being convicted in connection to an Oct. 31 protest in support of ousted President Mohammed Morsi. The minors were ordered held until they turned 18. The group faced charges including "thuggery" and the use of weapons, the latter for allegedly having thrown rocks.

Defense lawyer al-Shimaa Saad said women received one-year suspended sentences while the minors' sentences were reduced to three-month probation.

Human Rights Watch called the sentences "blatantly political" and said the court had violated the right to free trial, by failing to allow witnesses to testify in the women's defense, and providing little evidence for the charges they faced. Egyptian activists, including many critics of the Islamists, saw the sentences as evidence of the new military-backed government's intolerance for opposition.

Comments
Chief US hurricane forecaster: Education key to storm prep

Chief US hurricane forecaster: Education key to storm prep

WEST PALM BEACH — The new U.S. National Hurricane Center director says learning about specific storm hazards is key to preparing for the upcoming Atlantic hurricane season. Ken Graham leads the U.S. government’s hurricane forecasting hub in Miami. At...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Unveiling for

Unveiling for "Fortune Taylor Bridge" marker rained out, but celebration continues indoors

TAMPA — There’s a saying that everyone dies twice, Tampa City Council member Guido Maniscalco said Sunday: Once when they take their last breath. And again the last time someone mentions their name.So in this case, he said, the name "Fortune Taylor" ...
Updated: 2 hours ago

TALLAHASSEEFlorida districts fight charter school lawEleven school districts in Florida are refusing to give up their legal battle over an education law that steered more money to charter schools. A Leon County circuit judge in April threw out the la...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Taggart delivers a bolt to area

Taggart delivers a bolt to area

TAMPA — After spending four years as USF’s football coach, Willie Taggart knows what to expect this time of year in the area, so it’s no surprise how he began a chat with reporters Sunday before a booster stop at Armature Works."Go Lightning," he sai...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Willie Taggart: ‘Pretty cool’ to be back in Tampa as FSU coach

Willie Taggart: ‘Pretty cool’ to be back in Tampa as FSU coach

TAMPA – After spending four years as USF's football coach, Willie Taggart knows what to expect this time of year in the area, so it's no surprise how he began a chat with reporters Sunday before a booster stop at Armature Works."Go Lightning," ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Venezuela elections draw protests

Venezuela elections draw protests

Photos by Joe Raedle/Getty ImagesMarcos Carbono, center, joins with others in front of the Consulate General of Venezuela in Miami to protest the Venezuelan elections taking place on Sunday. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro seems to be set to win ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Romo not the reason, but Rays streak ends at 6 with 5-2 loss to Angels

Romo not the reason, but Rays streak ends at 6 with 5-2 loss to Angels

ANAHEIM, Calif.  – Doubling down on their innovativeness and starting veteran reliever Sergio Romo for a second straight day worked out fine for the Rays on Sunday.It was the less effective pitchers who followed, and the ineffectiveness of...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Rivers of molten rock

Rivers of molten rock

U.S. Geological Survey via APKilauea volcano, which began erupting more than two weeks ago on Hawaii’s Big Island and has burned dozens of homes and forced thousands of people to flee, has gotten more hazardous in recent days, with rivers of molten r...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Expansion Vegas advances to Stanley Cup final

Expansion Vegas advances to Stanley Cup final

WINNIPEG — Ryan Reaves scored the winning goal, Marc-Andre Fleury made 31 saves and the Vegas Golden Knights pushed their remarkable expansion season into the Stanley Cup final, beating the Winnipeg Jets 2-1 on Sunday in Game 5 of the Western C...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Lightning-Capitals: Familiar ground for Capitals as they face elimination

Lightning-Capitals: Familiar ground for Capitals as they face elimination

TAMPA – Capitals G Braden Holtby basically summed up playoff life for the Capitals after Saturday's Game 5 loss in the Eastern Conference final when he said the team never makes it easy for itself."No, we don't," coach Barry Trotz agreed Sunday...
Updated: 4 hours ago