Saturday, December 16, 2017
News Roundup

Taliban retreats on peace

Taliban retreats on peace

Afghanistan's Taliban have shuttered a newly opened office in Qatar, vowing to fight on against President Hamid Karzai's government while abandoning a diplomatic approach seen as the best hope of finding a political end to the 12-year war. Experts said Tuesday that the withdrawal of combat troops from Afghanistan in 2014 offered the Taliban the hope of a military victory while limiting their incentive for peace talks. The Taliban, they said, envisioned the talks more as a means of gaining legitimacy than as a road to peace. The Taliban office, which opened less than a month ago to facilitate peace talks with the U.S. and Afghan governments, was mired in controversy from the outset after the religious movement was accused of trying to set up a government-in-exile by identifying its office as the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. • A roadside bomb struck a motorcycle-drawn cart carrying women and children between two villages Tuesday in western Afghanistan, killing all 17 people on board.

Elsewhere

Canada: Canadian authorities said Tuesday that they have opened a criminal investigation into the fiery wreck of a runaway oil train in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, as the death toll climbed to 15, with dozens more bodies feared buried in the burned-out ruins.

UNITED NATIONS: Russia's U.N. ambassador said Tuesday that Russian experts determined that Syrian rebels made sarin nerve gas and used it in a deadly chemical weapon attack outside Aleppo in March. The rebels have blamed the government.

LEBANON: A car bomb exploded in a Hezbollah stronghold in the southern suburbs of Beirut on Tuesday, wounding at least 53 people in the most troubling sign yet that Syria's civil war is beginning to consume its smaller neighbor. Tensions have risen since Hezbollah fighters joined Syria's forces.

NEW ORLEANS: Natural gas leaked Tuesday from an old, nonproducing well at an oil and gas platform in the Gulf of Mexico about 75 miles off the Louisiana coast after a crew working to plug the well lost control of it, the Coast Guard said. Talos Energy of Houston said it expected to get the well under control today.

Times wires

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Bucs’ Gerald McCoy, Lavonte David out for Monday’s game vs. Falcons

TAMPA — As if containing All-Pro Julio Jones and the Falcons offense isn’t challenging enough, the Bucs will try to do so Monday night without perhaps their top defensive players, tackle Gerald McCoy and linebacker Lavonte David.On Saturday, Bucs coa...
Updated: 29 minutes ago
Trump defends tax plan, proclaims economy set ‘to rock’

Trump defends tax plan, proclaims economy set ‘to rock’

WASHINGTON — Closing in on the first major legislative achievement of his term, President Donald Trump on Saturday defended the Republican tax cut as a good deal for the middle class while boldly suggesting it could lead to explosive economic growth....
Updated: 1 hour ago
Aquarium reopens to divers

Aquarium reopens to divers

Florida Keys News BureauVisitors to Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters dive with among indigenous Keys fish Friday in Marathon. The attraction reopened Friday after closing just before Hurricane Irma hit the Florida Keys on Sept. 10. Although tourism f...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Florida moves to control booming, invasive iguanas

Florida moves to control booming, invasive iguanas

MIAMI — With burrowing iguanas showing up in people’s toilets and damaging expensive sewer lines, Florida wildlife managers are stepping up efforts to control the state’s booming population of the wild, invasive reptiles. The Florida Fish and Wildlif...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Fan helps fund Miami Stadium’s historic marker

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Updated: 2 hours ago
Florida man sues for $2.8 million fishing tournament prize money

Florida man sues for $2.8 million fishing tournament prize money

OCEAN CITY, Md. — Phil Heasley of Naples caught the fish of his life, but the $2.8 million in tournament prize money got away. Heasley reeled in a 6-foot white marlin last year off Maryland’s coast. But in a sign of how concerned some big money tour...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Romano: Some bullies survive beyond the schoolyard

Romano: Some bullies survive beyond the schoolyard

Sometime soon, members of the Florida House will be asked to consider a solution for bullying in public schools. It’s a dubious idea based on the premise that students should flee their tormenters, and use voucher funds to attend a private school of ...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Two die in head-on crash on Gunn Highway in Odessa

ODESSA — Hillsborough County deputies are investigating a head-on crash on Gunn Highway that killed two and sent a child to the hospital Saturday afternoon.About 12: 45 p.m., Terry Lee Bronschidle, 70, of Tampa was driving his Chevy Traverse south on...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Q&A with Syracuse coach Benoit Groulx about the Lightning’s next generation

Q&A with Syracuse coach Benoit Groulx about the Lightning’s next generation

DENVER — There might be one team in hockey hotter than the Lightning.It is Tampa Bay’s AHL affiliate, Syracuse.The Crunch has won 10 straight after Friday’s victory over Providence. Why is this important? While the AHL is a developmental league, the ...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Firefighters injured after early-morning blaze at Tampa strip mall

Firefighters injured after early-morning blaze at Tampa strip mall

TAMPA — Three firefighters were injured early Saturday morning while battling a fire at a strip mall on W Waters Avenue, according to Tampa Fire Rescue.Firefighters said the blaze started around 2:45 p.m. in the attic of L.A. Nail Supply, located at ...
Updated: 3 hours ago