Tuesday, January 16, 2018
News Roundup

ISIS militants try to tighten grip in Iraq, Syria

BAGHDAD — Fresh from success in Iraq, a Sunni extremist group tried to tighten its hold Wednesday on territory in Syria and crush pockets of resistance on land straddling the border, where it has declared the foundation of an Islamic state.

Embattled Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki warned that the entire region is endangered by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, whose gunmen have rampaged across his country.

The militant group has fed off the chaos of Syria's civil war to seize control of a large amount of territory there. With its recent blitz across Iraq, it has expanded its gains while also effectively erasing the border between the countries and laying the groundwork of its proto-state.

Led by an ambitious Iraqi militant known as Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the group this week declared the establishment of an Islamic state, or caliphate, in the land it has seized. It also proclaimed Baghdadi the head of its new self-styled state governed by Shariah law and demanded that all Muslims pledge allegiance to him.

On Wednesday, nine Syrian rebel groups rejected Baghdadi's declaration of a caliphate and pledged to continue the fight.

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Tampa judge denies ‘stand your ground’ claim in Lyfe Coleman murder case

Tampa judge denies ‘stand your ground’ claim in Lyfe Coleman murder case

TAMPA — A judge has declined to grant immunity to Reginald Bowman, the man who admitted last month that he fatally shot 18-year-old Lyfe Coleman and invoked the state’s "stand your ground" law to argue it was self-defense.At a brief hearing Tuesday, ...
Updated: 17 minutes ago
St. Petersburg’s apartment boom is spreading west

St. Petersburg’s apartment boom is spreading west

ST. PETERSBURG — Still more apartments are coming to St. Petersburg, this time to the Edge and Grand Central Districts just west of downtown. The new projects, all by out-of-state developers and more moderately priced than those downtown, will...
Updated: 29 minutes ago
Hillsborough County firefighter gets the ax after investigators find ties to motorcycle gang

Hillsborough County firefighter gets the ax after investigators find ties to motorcycle gang

TAMPA — Hillsborough County officials fired a Fire Rescue medic Tuesday after an internal investigation concluded he had "unwavering loyalty" to the Outlaws Motorcycle Club — the state’s dominant biker gang. Clinton Neal Walker, 33, of Bradenton, is ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Florida raises insurance regulation grade from C to B

Florida raises insurance regulation grade from C to B

When it comes to regulating insurance, Florida is slowly improving. The Sunshine State raised its grade from a C in 2016 to a B in 2017 on the "R Street 2017 Insurance Regulation Report Card." It ranked No. 15 among all states.The annual report, writ...
Updated: 1 hour ago

US travel industry launches plan to reverse tourism decline

Associated PressNEW YORK — Travel industry representatives sounded an alarm Tuesday over declines in international tourism to the U.S. and announced plans to reverse the trend. Organizers of the new Visit U.S. Coalition portrayed the decline as long-...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Man shot, runs for help to Bahama Breeze with suspects following

TAMPA — Attackers shot a Tampa man Monday night as he sat in his car then chased him as he fled to a nearby restaurant to get help, Tampa police said.The victim was taken to a hospital with injuries that were not life threatening.The incident occurre...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Editorial: Tighten substitute teacher rules in Hillsborough

Editorial: Tighten substitute teacher rules in Hillsborough

A substitute teacher at a Plant City elementary school berated a class of fourth graders — and then the school principal. Another compared a student to a stripper. Others were caught napping, hitting children, making sexual remarks, giving students b...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Trump administration to take DACA repeal directly to the Supreme Court

Trump administration to take DACA repeal directly to the Supreme Court

SAN FRANCISCO — The Trump administration on Tuesday appealed a judge’s ruling temporarily blocking its decision to end protections for hundreds of thousands of young immigrants and announced plans to seek a U.S. Supreme Court review even before an ap...
Updated: 1 hour ago
How to protect your Florida plants during a freeze

How to protect your Florida plants during a freeze

With forecasts predicting freezing temperatures for much of the Tampa Bay area, you may want to protect sensitive plants.The National Weather Service says a freeze watch is in effect from Wednesday evening through Thursday morning for Hillsborough, P...
Updated: 1 hour ago

St. Pete officer suspended for month after pushing concert guard

ST. PETERSBURG — A police officer was suspended for a month after he pushed a security guard at a summer concert in Tampa while looking for his lost girlfriend and e-cigarette, according to St. Petersburg police.It could have been worse: Chief Tony H...
Updated: 1 hour ago