Saturday, February 24, 2018
News Roundup

Kerry and Hagel defend U.S. global policy


Kerry and Hagel defend U.S. policy

In an unusual joint appearance overseas, Secretary of State John Kerry and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told European allies Saturday that Washington would depend more heavily on them to tackle a litany of political and security crises, even as the two pushed back against concerns that the Obama administration was abdicating leadership on the same issues.

They told a gathering of world leaders and business executives at the annual Munich Security Conference in Germany that a "trans-Atlantic renaissance" was necessary to confront an array of challenges, from climate change to violent extremism in the Middle East and collapsing states in Africa.

In contrast with past lectures from U.S. officials, Kerry and Hagel did not hector European countries to simply boost military spending. Instead, the U.S. leaders gently urged their European allies to work together to project their influence over Syria, Iran and Afghanistan.


Elections begin after a day of gunbattles

Thailand's tense national election got under way today amid signs of disruptions at several polling stations and fears of violence, a day after gunbattles between protesters and would-be voters broke out at a busy Bangkok intersection.

At least seven people were wounded in Saturday's clashes, including an American photojournalist, when gunbattles broke out at a busy Bangkok intersection between government supporters and protesters intent on derailing the polls.

The protesters are behind a monthslong campaign to overthrow Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra's government, which they accuse of corruption.


Russia faults West's stance on Ukraine

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov slammed Western support of Ukraine's opposition, suggesting Saturday that it is helping fuel the escalation of violence.

At a gathering of the world's top diplomats and defense officials in Munich, Germany, Lavrov took issue with what he said were "prominent European politicians actually encouraging such actions."

Ukraine has faced two months of major protests over policies of President Viktor Yanukovych.

New York

Molestation claim against Allen revived

Dylan Farrow renewed molestation allegations against Woody Allen, claiming the movie director sexually assaulted her when she was 7 after he and actress Mia Farrow adopted her.

In an open letter to the New York Times posted online Saturday, Dylan Farrow made her first public comments about the 1992 incident. In a letter to op-ed columnist Nicholas Kristof, she said she was moved to speak out because of Hollywood's continued embrace of Allen. Allen has long maintained his innocence.

Dylan Farrow said she now lives happily married in Florida under another name.

New York

Christie's office slams former ally in memo

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's administration struck back hard Saturday against a former ally who accused the governor of lying about how much he knew about the lane closings at the George Washington Bridge, a scandal that has become the biggest crisis in Christie's political career.

In a two-page memo obtained by Politico, and which it said was sent "from the governor's office," David Wildstein, a former high-ranking official at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, was portrayed as a loose cannon who was attacking Christie only in an effort to save himself and noted that he had been described in newspaper accounts in the past as "tumultuous" and someone "who made moves that were not productive."

The port authority operates the bridge. In September, Wildstein and a top Christie appointees at the authority ordered the lane closures, causing four days of gridlock in Fort Lee, apparently as retribution against the mayor for not endorsing Christie for re-election. Wildstein's lawyer did not respond to requests to comment.


Syria: U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon pressed the United States and Russia to help ensure that peace talks aimed at stemming Syria's civil war can soon resume, while Russia's foreign minister said Saturday that it was difficult to push Syrian President Bashar Assad's government to make concessions.

Chicago: Former Mayor Richard M. Daley, 71, was hospitalized in an intensive care unit Saturday after feeling ill the night before while returning to Illinois from a business trip in Arizona. He was being monitored and evaluated, a family statement said.

Indonesia: An active volcano on Sumatra Island unexpectedly erupted again Saturday, killing at least 14 people and spreading toxic clouds of hot ash that hampered search and rescue teams, officials said.

Times wires

Sheriff: Roads reopen after Tampa crash results in natural gas leak near Citrus Park Mall

Sheriff: Roads reopen after Tampa crash results in natural gas leak near Citrus Park Mall

TAMPA — Officials reopened roads near Citrus Park Mall Saturday evening that had been closed in the afternoon for a natural gas leak caused by a car crash, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said. The Sheriff’s Office and Hillsborough County Fi...
Updated: 22 minutes ago

boca ratonState lawmakerencourages Scott to remove sheriffA lawmaker is calling on Florida Gov. Rick Scott to remove Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel from office after the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. In a letter sent to ...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Two airlinescut ties withNRA aftershootings

The National Rifle Association lashed out at corporations rushing to abandon it on Saturday, as companies from United Airlines to Best Western have cut ties with the gun lobby organization.Without context, twin announcements from Delta and United air...
Updated: 1 hour ago

‘Up to States’ to armteachers, Trump tweets

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump appeared Saturday to begin refining his proposals for combatting school violence, tweeting that arming teachers as a deterrent against such often deadly violence — an idea he championed in recent days — is "Up to S...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Security Council demands30-day cease-fire in Syria

Security Council demands30-day cease-fire in Syria

UNITED NATIONS — The U.N. Security Council unanimously approved a resolution Saturday demanding a 30-day cease-fire across Syria "without delay" to deliver humanitarian aid to millions and evacuate the critically ill and wounded. U.N. humanitarian ch...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Updated: 2 hours ago
Call her more than just a survivor

Call her more than just a survivor

TAMPA — On the quiet morning of Oct. 8, 2011, a 30-ton freight truck ran a stop sign in the small town of Clinton, Conn.It ran over Colleen Kelly Alexander, who was riding a bicycle.The truck's front wheels crushed her, then spit her to the bac...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Police: Male motorcyclist crashed, then the driver was run over by two cars

Police: Male motorcyclist crashed, then the driver was run over by two cars

TAMPA — A male motorcyclist died early Saturday morning on the Courtney Campbell Causeway, the Tampa Police Department said.About 1:35 a.m., the victim rode his motorcycle west on the Courtney Campbell at high speeds, police said. The motorcycle stru...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Northeast High alumnus Jon Mott wins 3rd Gasparilla 15K crown

Northeast High alumnus Jon Mott wins 3rd Gasparilla 15K crown

TAMPA — Roughly 20 minutes into Saturday morning's Publix Gasparilla Distance Classic 15K, reigning champ A.J. Richmond glanced over his left shoulder to former college teammate Jon Mott and flashed a quick hand signal."He was telling me that t...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Broward sheriff’s office launches internal investigations amid questions after Parkland massacre

Broward sheriff’s office launches internal investigations amid questions after Parkland massacre

The Broward County Sheriff’s Office said it is investigating allegations that multiple deputies failed to enter Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, after the shooting rampage there, adding to the mounting internal probes examin...
Updated: 7 hours ago