Sunday, April 22, 2018
News Roundup

Senator vows to block Iran's choice of envoy

Washington

Senator vows to block Iran's choice of envoy

Iran has chosen a former hostage-taker involved in the 1979 seizure of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran to serve as its ambassador at the United Nations, Sen. Ted Cruz said Tuesday in vowing to bar him from entering the United States. Cruz said it was outrageous that Iran had selected Hamid Aboutalebi, who was a member of a Muslim student group that held 52 Americans hostage for 444 days, and was seeking a visa for him. The Texas Republican said he was offering legislation to ensure that Aboutalebi would be prevented from entering the country. "This person is an acknowledged terrorist." Cruz said in a speech on the Senate floor. Hamid Babaei, a spokesman for Iran's Mission to the United Nations, had no comment Tuesday on his government's choice for ambassador. Cruz said Aboutalebi has insisted his involvement in the group was limited to translation and negotiation.

Arlington, Wash.

Mudslide toll climbs to 28

The official death toll from Washington state's mudslide has increased to 28, the Snohomish County Medical Examiner's Office said Tuesday. Of the 28 victims, 22 have been identified. Officials said the number of people who are missing now stands at 20. Receding floodwaters near the rural community of Oso are helping in the search for human remains by exposing more sites that can be examined, officials said.

Lebanon

Syria war toll put at 150,000

The Syrian civil war has claimed the lives of at least 150,344 people, most of them rebel or government fighters, as it enters its fourth year, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights announced Tuesday. According to the observatory, an organization based in Britain that collects information from monitors deployed around Syria, 51,212 civilians have died since the violence started in March 2011. That's 34 percent of the total.

Elsewhere

Washington: In a letter to Sen. Ron Wyden released Tuesday, director of national intelligence James Clapper acknowledged that the National Security Agency has searched for Americans' communications without warrants in databases that gather emails and phone calls of foreign targets. He did not provide the number of searches.

San Francisco: Pacific Gas and Electric Co. was charged Tuesday with federal felony counts involving safety violations linked to a natural gas pipeline blast in the San Francisco area that killed eight people in 2010.

Guinea: An outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in the West African nation of Guinea has reached the crowded capital, Conakry, prompting new fears about its spread, health officials said Tuesday.

Times wires

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Updated: 10 minutes ago
Rays’ Carlos Gomez hits two-run walkoff homer to beat Twins for series sweep

Rays’ Carlos Gomez hits two-run walkoff homer to beat Twins for series sweep

ST. PETERSBURG — With every swing, there is a chance Carlos Gomez is going to do something extraordinary with the baseball bat.He may swing so violently that he spins himself into the ground as if he were an oil drill. Or, you could see him sna...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Islamic State suicide bomber kills 57 in Afghan capital

Islamic State suicide bomber kills 57 in Afghan capital

Associated PressKABUL, Afghanistan — An Islamic State suicide bomber carried out an attack at a voter registration center in the capital Kabul on Sunday, killing 57 people and wounding more than 100 others, said officials from the Afghan interior and...
Updated: 1 hour ago
China, feeling left out, has plenty to worry about in North Korea-U.S. talks

China, feeling left out, has plenty to worry about in North Korea-U.S. talks

BEIJING — As North Korean leader Kim Jong Un prepares for his meetings with the presidents of South Korea and the United States, China has found itself in an unaccustomed place: watching from the sidelines.Worse, many Chinese analysts say, North Kore...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Deputies: Florida man on LSD knocks out teen girl at RaceTrac while her parent pumps gas

Deputies: Florida man on LSD knocks out teen girl at RaceTrac while her parent pumps gas

ST. PETERSBURG — A man punched a 13-year-old girl inside a RaceTrac convenience store Saturday, knocking her unconscious as her parent pumped gas outside, Pinellas deputies reported.Kolbe Wayne Smith, 27, of St. Petersburg now faces charges of aggrav...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Developer Bill Bishop created

Developer Bill Bishop created "walkable communities"

Bill Bishop was a developer by definition, but those who know him best considered him to be an artist whose canvas was Hillsborough County.Among the communities he created from scratch are Pebble Creek, Westchase, Waterchase and Highland Park. He als...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Dozens of businesses looted amid Nicaragua unrest

MANAGUA, Nicaragua — Dozens of shops in the Nicaraguan capital of Managua have been looted as protests and disturbances sparked by government social security reforms continued into Sunday. Human rights groups say at least 26 people have been killed i...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Scientists say global warming damage to Great Barrier Reef is irreversible; suicide bomber kills at least 57 in Kabul; more in world news

Scientists say global warming damage to Great Barrier Reef is irreversible; suicide bomber kills at least 57 in Kabul; more in world news

AustraliaReef’s damage is irreversibleAn underwater heat wave that damaged huge sections of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef two years ago spurred a die-off of coral so severe that scientists say the natural wonder will never look the same again. Scien...
Updated: 3 hours ago
4 dead in Nashville Waffle House shooting; suspect sought

4 dead in Nashville Waffle House shooting; suspect sought

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A nearly naked gunman wearing only a green jacket and brandishing an assault rifle stormed a Waffle House restaurant in Nashville early Sunday, shooting four people to death before a customer rushed him and wrestled the weapo...
Updated: 3 hours ago
District softball schedules for Tampa Bay

District softball schedules for Tampa Bay

Class 9A-8 (higher seed hosts)Tuesday: No. 3 Alonso at No. 2 Palm Harbor University, 4; No. 4 Sarasota Riverview at No. 1 Newsome, 7Thursday: Final, 4 or 7 (depending on who hosts)Class 8A-4 at Strawberry Crest Tuesday: No. 1 Wharton vs. No. 4 Wiregr...
Updated: 3 hours ago