Sunday, April 22, 2018
News Roundup

Venezuelan polls show narrowing race for president

CARACAS, Venezuela — Nicolas Maduro hopes to ride a tide of grief into Venezuela's special presidential election today and win voters' endorsement to succeed the late Hugo Chavez.

That will mean inheriting both a loyal following among the poor and multiple problems left behind by Chavez, troubles that have been harped on by opposition challenger Henrique Capriles.

Although he's still favored, Maduro's early big lead in opinion polls sharply narrowed in the past week as Venezuelans grappled with a litany of woes many blame on Chavez's mismanagement of the economy and infrastructure: chronic power outages, double-digit inflation, food and medicine shortages. Add to that rampant crime — Venezuela has among the world's highest homicide and kidnapping rates.

Maduro, a former union activist with close ties to Cuba's leaders who was Chavez's longtime foreign minister, hinted at feeling overwhelmed during his closing campaign speech to hundreds of thousands of red-shirted faithful Thursday.

"I need your support. This job that Chavez left me is very difficult," said Maduro, who became acting president after Chavez died of cancer March 5. "This business of being president and leader of a revolution is a pain in the neck."

Capriles, a 40-year-old state governor who lost to Chavez in October's regular presidential election, hammered away at the ruling socialists' record of unfulfilled promises as he crisscrossed Venezuela. His campaign libretto included reading aloud a list of unfinished road, bridge and rail projects before asking what goods were scarce on store shelves.

Maduro, 50, hewed to a simple message, a theme of the October presidential campaign: "I am Chavez. We are all Chavez." He promised to expand a myriad of anti-poverty programs created by the man he called the "Jesus Christ of Latin America" and funded by $1 trillion in oil revenues during Chavez's 14-year rule.

His campaign mobilized a state bureaucracy of nearly 2.7 million workers that was built up by Chavez while he cemented a near-monopoly on power, using loyalists in the judiciary to intimidate and diminish the opposition, particularly its broadcast media.

Comments
Rays’ Carlos Gomez hits two-run walkoff homer to beat Twins for series sweep

Rays’ Carlos Gomez hits two-run walkoff homer to beat Twins for series sweep

ST. PETERSBURG — With every swing, there is a chance Carlos Gomez is going to do something extraordinary with the baseball bat.He may swing so violently that he spins himself into the ground as if he were an oil drill. Or, you could see him sna...
Updated: 1 hour ago

nationwideTravelers face delays as jet engines inspectedScores of Southwest Airlines travelers were facing delays or cancellations Sunday due to emergency inspections following the mid-air explosion of an engine on one of the airline’s 737s last week...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Waffle House hero says shooter would’ve had ‘to work to kill me’; another crude Theta Tau frat video surfaces at Syracuse; more in U.S. news

Waffle House hero says shooter would’ve had ‘to work to kill me’; another crude Theta Tau frat video surfaces at Syracuse; more in U.S. news

TennesseeShooter had ‘to work to kill me’The man who wrestled the gun away from the nearly naked Waffle House shooter in Nashville said Sunday if he were going to die, the gunman would "have to work to kill me." Police and Waffle House CEO Walter Ehm...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Lottery resultsNumbers drawn after 9 p.m. are no longer available by our deadlines. For results, please go to tampabay.com/lottery.Pick 2, 3, 4, 5Sun., April 22, midday:2-2 7-3-9 4-4-6-8e_SRit3-8-8-6-0Sun., April 22, evening:6-2 8-6-0 8-3-9-8e_SR...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Islamic State suicide bomber kills 57 in Afghan capital

Islamic State suicide bomber kills 57 in Afghan capital

Associated PressKABUL, Afghanistan — An Islamic State suicide bomber carried out an attack at a voter registration center in the capital Kabul on Sunday, killing 57 people and wounding more than 100 others, said officials from the Afghan interior and...
Updated: 2 hours ago
China, feeling left out, has plenty to worry about in North Korea-U.S. talks

China, feeling left out, has plenty to worry about in North Korea-U.S. talks

BEIJING — As North Korean leader Kim Jong Un prepares for his meetings with the presidents of South Korea and the United States, China has found itself in an unaccustomed place: watching from the sidelines.Worse, many Chinese analysts say, North Kore...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Deputies: Florida man on LSD knocks out teen girl at RaceTrac while her parent pumps gas

Deputies: Florida man on LSD knocks out teen girl at RaceTrac while her parent pumps gas

ST. PETERSBURG — A man punched a 13-year-old girl inside a RaceTrac convenience store Saturday, knocking her unconscious as her parent pumped gas outside, Pinellas deputies reported.Kolbe Wayne Smith, 27, of St. Petersburg now faces charges of aggrav...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Developer Bill Bishop created

Developer Bill Bishop created "walkable communities"

Bill Bishop was a developer by definition, but those who know him best considered him to be an artist whose canvas was Hillsborough County.Among the communities he created from scratch are Pebble Creek, Westchase, Waterchase and Highland Park. He als...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Dozens of businesses looted amid Nicaragua unrest

MANAGUA, Nicaragua — Dozens of shops in the Nicaraguan capital of Managua have been looted as protests and disturbances sparked by government social security reforms continued into Sunday. Human rights groups say at least 26 people have been killed i...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Scientists say global warming damage to Great Barrier Reef is irreversible; suicide bomber kills at least 57 in Kabul; more in world news

Scientists say global warming damage to Great Barrier Reef is irreversible; suicide bomber kills at least 57 in Kabul; more in world news

AustraliaReef’s damage is irreversibleAn underwater heat wave that damaged huge sections of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef two years ago spurred a die-off of coral so severe that scientists say the natural wonder will never look the same again. Scien...
Updated: 5 hours ago