Thursday, June 21, 2018
News Roundup

Suicide attack in Pakistan kills provincial official

PESHAWAR, Pakistan — A suicide bomber killed a senior provincial official and at least nine guests at the official's home in northwestern Pakistan on Wednesday, in the most high-profile political assassination by the Islamist insurgency there this year.

The official, Israr Gandapur, the law minister in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, was exchanging greetings with neighbors to mark the Eid al-Adha religious holiday at his village near Dera Ismail Khan, in the west of the province, when the bomber struck, provincial officials and the police said.

The attacker fatally shot a police guard outside the gate before rushing toward the room where the minister was receiving visitors. Gandapur, 38, and at least nine other people were killed in the explosion, and at least 30 people were wounded, the police said.

Witnesses described scenes of carnage as villagers dressed in new clothes to mark the holiday were either killed or badly wounded.

"There were arms, legs and heads everywhere," one witness, Haseeb Khan, told Reuters.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but government officials in Dera Ismail Khan blamed a local affiliate of the Pakistani Taliban, which was formed in the neighboring South Waziristan tribal district about seven years ago.

Gandapur was the most senior member of the Tehreek-i-Insaf party, led by former cricket star Imran Khan, to be killed since the party came to power in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa after the May elections.

Khan strongly supports peace negotiations with the Pakistan Taliban, a once-controversial position that has more recently become part of mainstream political thinking.

Khan has called for a cease-fire with the Taliban umbrella group, Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, and for the militants to be allowed to open a political office. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the army chief, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, also support talks.

But little progress has been made, and Wednesday's attack underscored the difficulty of negotiating with a group that seeks to violently upend the democratic process.

The Taliban say they want to overthrow the state and impose Islamic law, and have set the release of prisoners and an end to U.S. drone strikes as preconditions for any talks.

Comments
The Daystarter: CareerSource used credit cards to boost hiring totals; report says Winston suspension coming; Hedman wins Norris Trophy; get ready for Pride

The Daystarter: CareerSource used credit cards to boost hiring totals; report says Winston suspension coming; Hedman wins Norris Trophy; get ready for Pride

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what to know today.• Today is also the official start of summer, not that anyone will be able to tell. It will be hot and muggy with just a 30 percent chance of rain heading into Friday, according to 10We...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Rays journal: 7 pitches, 3 straight homers prove too much in loss to Astros

Rays journal: 7 pitches, 3 straight homers prove too much in loss to Astros

HOUSTON — The Rays were engaged in a third straight tight, go-either-way battle with the defending champ Astros on Wednesday.Until they were not.A brutal seven-pitch sequence by starter Nathan Eovaldi changed everything, as he gave up three con...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Romano: Intrigue behind all those manicured lawns

Romano: Intrigue behind all those manicured lawns

I’ve always thought homeowners associations had a lot in common with cops.People love to complain about them and often accuse them of abusing their power. And yet as soon as a neighbor paints his house a hot shade of fuchsia, you’re screaming for the...
Published: 06/21/18
Daniel Ruth: Florida should consider taking back its outsourced foster care services

Daniel Ruth: Florida should consider taking back its outsourced foster care services

We hear a great deal about how government is the source of all evil, a wasteful, incompetent coven of lazy paper-pushing bureaucrats.That is why the heavens open and the angels sing and all is right with the world whenever we can wrest away various s...
Published: 06/21/18
A tight supply cuts into Tampa Bay home sales while prices keep rising

A tight supply cuts into Tampa Bay home sales while prices keep rising

Tampa Bay’s two largest counties showed anemic home sales in May as prices continued to rise due to a tight supply. In Pinellas, sales of single-family home plunged nearly 12 percent from the previous May, the second-worst showing in a year. P...
Updated: 23 minutes ago
Could Lucky’s Market move in to Clearwater’s old Albertsons?

Could Lucky’s Market move in to Clearwater’s old Albertsons?

Lucky’s Market is considering a move in to the old Albertsons box space in Clearwater, according to preliminary plans filed with the city. Lucky’s master broker, Rick Lewellyn, was listed on an agenda as discussing renovating the existing property wi...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Clearwater wants $40 million from the county for a stadium. But there’s not $40 million to give.

Clearwater wants $40 million from the county for a stadium. But there’s not $40 million to give.

CLEARWATER —The city’s proposed $79.7 million overhaul of the Philadelphia Phillies’ spring training facilities depends on getting $40 million in bed taxes from Pinellas County.But records show even if county officials wanted to bankroll the Phillies...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Police: Couple leased someone else’s home to 15 families at same time

Police: Couple leased someone else’s home to 15 families at same time

LARGO — Vanessa Rodriguez thought she found the right house for her three kids, in the right neighborhood, for the right rent. She signed the lease for April 30, sent a $2,300 money order and planned to move in June 1.Then the delays started. She sai...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Rays see the results of keeping a good, young core group together

Rays see the results of keeping a good, young core group together

HOUSTON — The Rays saw a lot on the weeklong trip that ended with Wednesday's game against that Astros, beyond the street hustlers prowling in Times Square and the urban cowboys and girls parading through H-town.There was an impressive debuting...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Kevin Knox poised to become Tampa Bay’s highest NBA draft pick

Kevin Knox poised to become Tampa Bay’s highest NBA draft pick

Kevin Knox Sr. was watching the NFL draft 24 years ago when the phone rang. Buffalo coach Marv Levy was on the other line."Marv said they were taking me," said Knox Sr., a standout receiver at FSU.Soon after, Knox Sr. saw his name scroll across ESPN'...
Updated: 7 hours ago