Saturday, June 23, 2018
News Roundup

Ready or not, Russia welcomes world to Winter Games

SOCHI, Russia — Despite all the anxiety over terrorism threats and criticism for anti-gay laws, poisoned stray dogs and unfinished media hotels, the sun shined brightly Thursday on this temperate resort town, known as the "Russian Riviera," sandwiched between the snowy peaks of the Caucasus Mountains and the pebble beaches kissing the Black Sea coastline.

The Olympic flame traveled to outer space and the North Pole, and now, ready or not, the 2014 Sochi Olympics are here.

The Games will not officially begin until the opening ceremony tonight, but competition got under way 32 hours earlier, with Thursday qualification rounds in snowboard slopestyle, ladies' moguls and the opening night of team figure skating.

Russian organizers and leaders of the U.S. Olympic Committee were hoping the storylines would switch to the athletes now that competition has begun, but questions about security continued Thursday morning as news broke that the U.S. Homeland Security Department warned airlines flying directly to Russia that terrorists may try to smuggle explosives on board hidden in toothpaste tubes.

The agency on Thursday banned all liquids from carry-on luggage for nonstop flights from the U.S. to Russia. Yet six Associated Press employees arriving in Moscow from across the world or beginning their journey there passed through security without having to remove toothpaste, hand lotion or water bottles from their carry-on luggage.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak said Sochi is ready for a safe Olympics, and that the "security level in Sochi is equitable with New York, London, Boston and any other world spot as terror threat has no limits," he said.

Islamic insurgents nearby have threatened to disrupt the Games, so the Sochi area has been turned into a fortress with 40,000 law enforcement officers and troops — seven times the number at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, a city much larger than Sochi. Two U.S. Navy warships — the USS Mount Whitney and the USS Taylor — are stationed in the Black Sea in case of emergency.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

Comments
Rays team up to beat Yankees again 4-0

Rays team up to beat Yankees again 4-0

ST. PETERSBURG — With all that's been said, tweeted, ranted and written on these pages and elsewhere about the Rays' odd, unorthodox, weird and some days downright wacky pitching plan, this might be the craziest thing yet:It's working.Like, rea...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Greg Auman answers your questions about NFL’s investigation into Jameis Winston

Greg Auman answers your questions about NFL’s investigation into Jameis Winston

There are many unanswered questions and discrepancies about the story of Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston and the March 2016 Uber ride in Arizona that has led to his upcoming three-game suspension for violating the NFL's conduct policy.The Bucs won't ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Will this be Jameis Winston’s last season in a Bucs uniform?

Will this be Jameis Winston’s last season in a Bucs uniform?

A t his introductory news conference after being drafted No. 1 overall by the Bucs in 2015, Jameis Winston said to judge him on his actions moving forward."Actions speak so much louder than words, or what they may have read or what they may have hear...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Rays Tales: Why ‘trades’ and ‘prospects’ are always in same conversation

Rays Tales: Why ‘trades’ and ‘prospects’ are always in same conversation

Besides the continual evolution of their intriguing pitching plan, the primary topics of conversation for the Rays over the next several weeks will be trades and prospects. And not mutually exclusively.Some sooner than others, the Rays are going to c...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Former Mitchell High player Nathan Smith taken in NHL draft by Jets

Former Mitchell High player Nathan Smith taken in NHL draft by Jets

It's rare to see an NHL draft pick with Tampa Bay ties, but the Jets used a third-round pick Saturday on center Nathan Smith, 19, who played for Mitchell High School in Trinity and most recently for the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders of the USHL.Smith was ...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Report: Lightning to talk to John Tavares during free-agent courting period

Report: Lightning to talk to John Tavares during free-agent courting period

Despite limited salary-cap room, the Lightning is among at least five teams expected to talk with Islanders All-Star center John Tavares, who can be a free agent July 1, when the courting period begins Sunday, ESPN reported.Tavares also is expected t...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Strangers are coming together to honor two killed in Bayshore crash

TAMPA — John Reisinger has seen miracles since his niece and 21-month-old grand-niece were killed while trying to cross Bayshore Boulevard 30 days ago. Some, he says, are too painful to talk about. Others he’s still trying to make sense of, such as h...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Rays journal: New confidence carries over for Willy Adames

Rays journal: New confidence carries over for Willy Adames

ST. PETERSBURG — The key to SS Willy Adames rapping two of the biggest hits in the Rays' 4-0 win Saturday actually took place the night before.An RBI single that snapped an 0-for-12 and a second hit two winnings later in Friday's game restored ...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Another small, quick forward headlines Lightning’s draft picks

Another small, quick forward headlines Lightning’s draft picks

Even without a first-round pick, the Lightning wrapped up its draft with seven picks Saturday, starting with Gabriel Fortier, an undersized 18-year-old forward from Quebec in the second round."They were guys that we really wanted," Lightning director...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Saturday’s Rays-Yankees game

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Saturday’s Rays-Yankees game

INF Daniel Robertson has only played two games after a short DL stint, but it seems like he has already made a half dozen great plays. Willy Adames and Jake Bauers get the attention, but Robertson has the skills to steal the show any night.It is obvi...
Updated: 3 hours ago