Thursday, February 22, 2018
News Roundup

U.N. panel cites crimes against humanity in North Korea

WASHINGTON — A U.N. panel has found that crimes against humanity have been committed in North Korea and will call for an international criminal investigation, the Associated Press reported Friday, citing details from a report that is to be released Monday.

The report is the most authoritative account yet of rights violations by North Korean authorities, and it is likely to infuriate the country's unpredictable leader. But justice remains a distant prospect, not least as North Korea's ally, China, would be likely to block any referral to the International Criminal Court.

The commission, which conducted a yearlong investigation, has found evidence of an array of crimes, including "extermination," crimes against humanity against starving populations, and a widespread campaign of abductions of individuals in South Korea and Japan.

Its report does not examine in detail individual responsibility for crimes but recommends steps toward accountability. It could also build international pressure on North Korea, whose dire rights record has drawn less censure at the U.N. than its nuclear and missile programs have. North Korea's hereditary regime has shrugged off years of continuous outside pressure, including tough U.N. and U.S. sanctions directed at its weapons programs.

An outline of the report's conclusions was provided to the AP by an individual familiar with its contents who was not authorized to divulge the information before its formal release and who spoke on condition of anonymity. A U.S. official, speaking anonymously for the same reason, confirmed the main conclusions.

The three-member commission, led by retired Australian judge Michael Kirby, was set up by the U.N.'s top human rights body last March in the most serious international attempt yet to investigate evidence of systematic and grave rights violations in the reclusive, authoritarian state, which is notorious for its political prisons camps, repression and famine that claimed hundreds of thousands of lives in the 1990s.

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Pastor invites public to service at Manhattan Casino

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rev. Basha Jordan, grandson of St. Petersburg’s pioneer African-American businessman Elder Jordan, who built the historic Manhattan Casino, is inviting the community to join him and other pastors for a service at the facility on ...
Updated: 6 minutes ago

Celebration at Enoch Davis Center is Friday

ST. PETERSBURG — The Enoch Davis Center will host a free Black History Month celebration Friday. The program, which will run from from 6 to 8 p.m., will include activities for the entire family and food, entertainment, music and prizes. There will a...
Updated: 9 minutes ago
Man rescued after boat swept away, capsizes in Little Manatee River

Man rescued after boat swept away, capsizes in Little Manatee River

RUSKIN — A man was rescued early Thursday morning after Hillsborough County deputies say his boat was swept away by a strong tide and capsized in the Little Manatee River.According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, a 911 call was received ...
Updated: 10 minutes ago

Crescent Heights neighborhood working to save historic church

ST. PETERSBURG — The Crescent Heights Neighborhood Association says it wants to save one of the area’s historic buildings from demolition.The association says the American Baptist Church of the Beatitudes, at 2812 Eighth St. N, is being sold to a loc...
Updated: 12 minutes ago
Goalie Maddie Rooney delivers gold medal performance for U.S.

Goalie Maddie Rooney delivers gold medal performance for U.S.

GANGNEUNG, South Korea — Maddie Rooney couldn’t stop smiling. She was on top of her game, and it didn’t seem to matter that it was a shootout against the powerhouse Canadians. The first shootout in an Olympic women’s final. ...
Updated: 17 minutes ago
It turns out flamingos may have once called Florida home

It turns out flamingos may have once called Florida home

In 2015, Conchy the flamingo showed up at Florida’s Naval Air Station Key West, and he wouldn’t leave. Normally managers on the grounds lethally remove feathered troublemakers — it can be very dangerous with birds flying around million-dollar fighter...
Updated: 20 minutes ago
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Rays are adding players?

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Rays are adding players?

The Rays signed veteran outfielder Carlos Gomez to a one-year contract one day after trading Steven Souza Jr. to Arizona. In his latest podcast, Rick Stroud discusses reaction to the moves from players, as well as super fan Dick Vitale.Plus, the Bucs...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Amy Poehler, ‘Parks and Rec’ team in Twitter tussle with NRA and its ‘pro-slaughter agenda’

Amy Poehler, ‘Parks and Rec’ team in Twitter tussle with NRA and its ‘pro-slaughter agenda’

The NBC sitcom "Parks and Recreation" was a show about the power of community and civic engagement that was created and run by outspoken gun lobby critic Michael Schur.It’s arguably not the best show for the National Rifle Association to reference on...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Outback Steakhouse owner Bloomin’ Brands beats Wall Street forecasts

Outback Steakhouse owner Bloomin’ Brands beats Wall Street forecasts

TAMPA — Bloomin’ Brands this morning beat Wall Street expectations in reporting fourth-quarter net income of $16.4 million, after reporting a loss in the same period a year earlier.The Tampa-based restaurant chain group — which includes Outback Steak...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Guest column: The time I asked Billy Graham if he ever gets sick of the Bible

Guest column: The time I asked Billy Graham if he ever gets sick of the Bible

The interview was not going well.There I was, in a coveted one-on-one meeting with Billy Graham in his home in Montreat, N.C., in August 1998. It took months to get this interview for the Tampa Tribune and WFLA-TV. The newspaper and the TV station ha...
Updated: 1 hour ago