Monday, December 11, 2017
News Roundup

ISIS, Sunni fighters hold towns south of Baghdad

IRBIL, Iraq — Iraq's dire situation has gone from bad dream to nightmare in two weeks of fighting that have seen Sunni Muslim gunmen assert control over a growing area, including, Kurdish officials said Tuesday, at least two towns that lie on a crucial supply route linking Baghdad with the mostly Shiite Muslim south.

The fall of towns in an area that American troops knew as the "Triangle of Death" because of its propensity for violence provided an ominous signal, the Kurdish officials said, that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria and its Sunni allies are working to encircle Baghdad.

"The picture is no longer scary," said Shafin Dizayee, the spokesman for the autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government in Irbil. "It has become close to a nightmare scenario, where we see Daash expanding and taking control of its borders." "Daash" is the Arabic acronym for ISIS.

Another Kurdish official, Jabbar Yawar, the spokesman for the Kurdish peshmerga militia, said ISIS fighters apparently had seized control of the towns of Iskandariyah and Mahmudiyah, south of Baghdad, and were reported in some instances to be just 6 miles from Baghdad.

Southern Iraq is mostly Shiite, and it supports the embattled government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Malaki. Thousands of young men from the south have flocked to Baghdad to bolster the flagging army, and many observers have assumed that the flow of southern militiamen would help stem an ISIS advance that's captured much of northern and central Iraq in the weeks since the city of Mosul fell under ISIS control June 10.

But the loss of the southern approaches to the capital would change that calculus and add to the sense that Baghdad was gradually being isolated.

Comments
Official: Device explodes on New York City subway platform

Official: Device explodes on New York City subway platform

NEW YORK — A law enforcement official says what is believed to be an explosive device has been set off on Manhattan subway platform.The explosion happened around 7:30 a.m. Monday. Details were still developing.A person was arrested and has non-life-t...
Updated: 21 minutes ago
Will misconduct scandals make men wary of women at work?

Will misconduct scandals make men wary of women at work?

NEW YORK — Some women, and men, worry the same climate that’s emboldening women to speak up about sexual misconduct could backfire by making some men wary of female colleagues. Forget private meetings and get-to-know-you dinners. Beware of banter. Th...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Firefighters brace for second week of California wildfires

Firefighters brace for second week of California wildfires

LOS ANGELES — As Southern California enters its second week engulfed in flames, fire officials anticipate more growth and danger due to continued strong wind gusts, no rain and decades-old dry vegetation. A powerful flare-up on the western edge of th...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Final push for Moore and Jones in Alabama Senate race

Final push for Moore and Jones in Alabama Senate race

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Alabama Democrats see Tuesday’s special Senate election as a chance to renounce a history littered with politicians whose race-baiting, bombast and other baggage have long soiled the state’s reputation beyond its borders. Many Repu...
Updated: 1 hour ago

No injuries as fire destroys St. Petersburg home

ST. PETERSBURG — A fire destroyed a home in St. Petersburg on Sunday afternoon.St. Petersburg fire officials say the fire occurred some time before 3 p.m. at 1225 21st St. S.The homeowner discovered the fire and was able to escape safely, officials s...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Forecast: Freeze warning for some Tampa Bay residents, but warmer weather coming

Forecast: Freeze warning for some Tampa Bay residents, but warmer weather coming

Portions of the Tampa Bay area under a freeze warning as this weekend’s cold blast extends into the start of the workweek.10News WTSPFeels-like temperatures around the Tampa Bay area That wintry feel, however, is coming into an end as conditions beg...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Reasons elusive as Pinellas EMS demand skyrockets

Reasons elusive as Pinellas EMS demand skyrockets

When the fire chief asked if anyone in the room had fallen before, a few in the gray- and white-haired crowd raised their hands. One woman lost her footing as she was answering the phone. Another saw a palmetto bug, sprayed it with repellent, then s...
Updated: 3 hours ago
PolitiFact Florida: Does Andrew Gillum want to make Florida a sanctuary state?

PolitiFact Florida: Does Andrew Gillum want to make Florida a sanctuary state?

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam is using the controversial topic of sanctuary cities to drum up Republican support in his bid for governor.At a campaign stop in Jacksonville, Putnam warned voters that one of his Democratic opponents want...
Published: 12/11/17

Hooper: Yacht StarShip weathers the storm

At the height of the economic downturn, Yacht StarShip owner Troy Manthey said he and his wife, Jill, worried about the company’s survival."We were counting ice cubes," Manthey said.But they made it. The dining cruise business that sails out of the C...
Published: 12/11/17
St. Pete takes small steps on the way to sustainability

St. Pete takes small steps on the way to sustainability

BY CHARLIE FRAGOTimes Staff WriterST. PETERSBURG — It was a big promise made by Mayor Rick Kriseman more than two years ago: Get the Sunshine City to eventually run on 100 percent renewable energy.In a few months, the city will take small but tangibl...
Published: 12/11/17