Thursday, April 19, 2018
News Roundup

In a rarity, Queen Elizabeth II to miss Commonwealth event

In a rarity, queen to miss Commonwealth event

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II will skip the Commonwealth heads of government meeting in Sri Lanka this fall — the first time she has missed the biennial gathering since 1971.

The queen, 87, has long been a major supporter of the 54-nation Commonwealth. Her decision, announced Tuesday, to send Prince Charles to the Nov. 15-17 meeting appears to be part of efforts to reduce her long-distance journeys.

It will also allow her to avoid attending the controversial summit, which has been under fire by rights activists concerned about Sri Lanka's wartime record of alleged abuses.

The monarch was briefly hospitalized for a stomach illness this year, and did not attend the Commonwealth Day Observance service at Westminster Abbey on March 11. She has rarely taken time off for illness, having carried out more than 400 official engagements in 2012 — ranging from private meetings with the prime minister to ceremonial gatherings.

The Commonwealth summit brings together dozens of presidents and prime ministers from Britain's former colonies — many of which were part of the British empire in the queen's youth.

Her father, King George VI, was emperor of India and the organization means a great deal to her, said Philip Murphy, director of the Institute of Commonwealth Studies and a professor at the university of London.

Although the queen's decision does not aim to make a political statement, it will allow her to graciously sidestep the controversy over the alleged wartime abuses in Sri Lanka's long civil war, Murphy said.

Associated Press

Comments
Hundreds mourn Durant High athlete killed at Brandon gas station

Hundreds mourn Durant High athlete killed at Brandon gas station

PLANT CITY — Many remembered Durant High School football player Grover Wills, 18, for his talent on the field, but almost as many remembered his penchant for bursting into dance and song. After practice or on team trips, Wills would mesmerize those a...
Updated: 9 minutes ago
Tech Data names Rich Hume to take over as CEO

Tech Data names Rich Hume to take over as CEO

CLEARWATER — A longtime IBM executive is becoming the new leader of Tampa Bay’s largest public company. Tech Data announced Richard "Rich" Hume as its new CEO effective June 6. Hume joined Tech Data two years ago and is currently the chief operating ...
Updated: 9 minutes ago
Bay area has ‘hit show’ again, thanks to USF

Bay area has ‘hit show’ again, thanks to USF

For the first time since its season commenced, the USF baseball team enters a weekend as the Bulls' feature sports attraction.Basketball ended last month, and spring football ended last Saturday, meaning would-be baseball fans no longer have reason t...
Updated: 13 minutes ago
St. Petersburg police remove disabled adults from ‘deplorable’ assisted living facilities

St. Petersburg police remove disabled adults from ‘deplorable’ assisted living facilities

Two assisted living facilities in St. Petersburg have been closed by local police because of "deplorable conditions," including no running water. St. Petersburg Police shut down facilities run by Tampa Bay Behavioral Health, located at 3434 Second Av...
Updated: 21 minutes ago
Hernando County Commissioner arrested on prostitution charges

Hernando County Commissioner arrested on prostitution charges

BROOKSVILLE — Hernando County Commissioner Nick Nicholson, 71, was arrested midday Thursday by the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office on multiple prostitution charges.Nicholson was booked into the Hernando County Detention Center on one count of operat...
Updated: 23 minutes ago
The Mallex Smith effect can take effect for Rays

The Mallex Smith effect can take effect for Rays

ST. PETERSBURG — Mallex Smith has style.Effervescent personality. Pop culture hipness. Sense of fashion with accoutrements.Now the Rays are going to find out if he has game.More specifically, enough game to be a front-line outfielder, even an i...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Column: Some facts and figures you might not know about civil rights restoration in Florida

After U.S. District Judge Mark Walker ruled Florida’s process for restoring felons’ civil rights was unconstitutional in early February, he allowed me to file a friend of the court brief to assist the court as it considered possible solutions. The br...
Updated: 1 hour ago
LA Fitness tones up Hillsborough location

LA Fitness tones up Hillsborough location

When LA Fitness on West Hillsborough Ave. reopens mid-summer, it will have undergone a $5 million renovation and a complete transformation. Closed since November 2017, the 10-year-old facility was completely torn down and is still undergoing construc...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Kids have fun and gain coding skills at Code Ninja in Westchase

Kids have fun and gain coding skills at Code Ninja in Westchase

A new program that teaches coding to kids is coming to the Tampa Bay area. Code Ninjas is a Houston-based franchise that is opening its first location in Westchase in early May. There are plans for other centers in Carrollwood, South Tampa, New Tampa...
Updated: 1 hour ago
On 4/20, a Tampa distillery is releasing hemp-infused Touch Vodka

On 4/20, a Tampa distillery is releasing hemp-infused Touch Vodka

TAMPA — Appropriately enough, a local distillery is releasing a hemp vodka on Friday, 4/20.After more than a year of planning and research, Fat Dog Spirits — the parent company of Touch Vodka — is releasing its new Nirvana vodka.Served in 750-millile...
Updated: 1 hour ago