Wednesday, February 21, 2018
News Roundup

Suicide blasts near Iran Embassy in Beirut kill 23

BEIRUT, Lebanon — Two suicide bombers detonated explosions outside the Iranian Embassy in a mainly Shiite district of the Lebanese capital on Tuesday, killing 23 people, including the Iranian cultural attache, apparently in retaliation for the Lebanese group Hezbollah's support of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

The bombings appeared to be another strike in an intensifying proxy battle over Syria's civil war that is rattling its smaller neighbor Lebanon. An al-Qaida-linked Sunni extremist group, the Abdullah Azzam Brigades, claimed responsibility for the attack, saying more would follow unless the Iranian-backed Shiite Hezbollah withdraws fighters that have helped Assad's military score key victories over Syrian rebels.

The midmorning blasts hit the upscale neighborhood of Janah, a Hezbollah stronghold, leaving bodies and pools of blood on the glass-strewn street amid burning cars. More than 140 people were wounded, officials said.

A Lebanese security official said the first suicide attacker was on a motorcycle that carried 4.4 pounds of explosives. He blew himself up at the large black main gate of the Iranian mission, damaging the three-story facility, the official said.

Less than two minutes later, a second suicide attacker driving a car rigged with 110 pounds of explosives struck about 10 yards away, the official said. He spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.

The bombing was one of the deadliest in a string of attacks that have targeted Hezbollah strongholds in Lebanon in recent months in a campaign of retaliation by Sunni radicals over its backing of Assad in Syria's bloody conflict, now in its third year.

Senior Hezbollah official Mahmoud Komati told reporters at the scene that the attacks were a direct result of the "successive defeats suffered by (extremists) in Syria."

He described the blasts as a "message of blood and death" to Iran and Hezbollah for standing by Syria, vowing they would not alter their position.

Lebanese Health Minister Ali Hassan Khalil said the explosions killed 23 and wounded 146.

Comments
The Daystarter: Kucherov gets it in gear; student protestors reach Tallahassee; and St. Petersburg’s black pioneers get their own documentary.

The Daystarter: Kucherov gets it in gear; student protestors reach Tallahassee; and St. Petersburg’s black pioneers get their own documentary.

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.• For the latest legislative coverage from Tallahassee, keep checking The Buzz, which is updated throughout the day by the reporters of the Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau.• Re...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Documentary pays homage to St. Pete’s black pioneers (w/video)

Documentary pays homage to St. Pete’s black pioneers (w/video)

ST. PETERSBURG — In the 1940s, David and Archie Boston grew up together in the Gas Plant neighborhood and hung out together on 22nd Street S, where black residents created their own main street, their own haven, in the midst of a segregated city.The ...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Today’s WriteLane podcast: Narratives off the news

Today’s WriteLane podcast: Narratives off the news

Today’s WriteLane is about finding narratives off the news.The weekly podcast features Lane DeGregory, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter at the Tampa Bay Times, discussing her stories and answering questions. The focus is on craft.In this week’s epis...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Florida lawmaker’s aide fired after saying outspoken Parkland students are actors

Florida lawmaker’s aide fired after saying outspoken Parkland students are actors

It bubbled up from the darkest online corners then began to take off: conspiracy theories about Parkland students who’ve spent the past week on TV demanding action on the gun violence that killed 17 and reawakened a national debate.By late Tuesday af...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Updated: 5 hours ago

High school scoreboard for Feb. 20

Tuesday’s scoreboardSoftballAdmiral Farragut 17, St. Petersburg Cath. 0BaseballGulf Coast HEAT 9, Canterbury 4Calvary Chr. 6, Lakeland Chr. 1
Updated: 6 hours ago
Officers: When an active shooter attacks, survive by taking action

Officers: When an active shooter attacks, survive by taking action

LARGO — An Illinois teacher used confrontation. A campus safety monitor in Seattle attacked with pepper spray and physical force. An assistant football coach in Indiana shouted as he chased him into the woods.All were civilians who took down an activ...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Under a new law, some public schools will be managed by companies. Pinellas is getting ready

Under a new law, some public schools will be managed by companies. Pinellas is getting ready

LARGO — Pinellas County School Board members are not happy about the prospect of having to hand over academic control at three struggling schools to a private company, and paying the firm up to $2 million on top of it. But that’s the course they must...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Career Q&A: Nut allergy is a serious workplace concern

Career Q&A: Nut allergy is a serious workplace concern

Q: My manager has recently started eating nuts at her desk, which is located right next to mine. Unfortunately, I have a serious nut allergy, so any contact with them could produce a life-threatening reaction. Even foods which contain tiny pieces of ...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Lawsuit accuses FSU fraternity, national chapter of negligence in pledge’s death

Lawsuit accuses FSU fraternity, national chapter of negligence in pledge’s death

The parents of Andrew Coffey, the Florida State University student who died from alcohol poisoning after an apparent hazing episode last year, have sued the national Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity and nine of its members for their son’s death.Coffey, who wa...
Updated: 8 hours ago