Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Editorials

Editorial: Egypt teeters on edge of abyss

The security situation in Egypt spiraled into a crisis Wednesday after the generals who ousted that country's first freely elected president killed scores of protesters whose crime was demanding a return to democracy. The killings end any pretense that the overthrow of Mohammed Morsi was anything but a coup, that the military has any intention of yielding power unilaterally and that any path to reconciliation will be quick, easy or bloodless. President Barack Obama refused to denounce the coup when it mattered, and now he has limited leverage in shaping a better path ahead.

Riot police backed by snipers, armored vehicles, helicopters and bulldozers swept through two encampments of pro-Morsi supporters, unleashing fierce street battles in Cairo and other Egyptian cities. Nationwide, more than 270 people were killed and more than 2,000 injured. At least two journalists were killed in the violence, which sparked condemnation by the United States, Turkey, Europe, the United Nations and others. The military-installed interim government declared a state of emergency, ordered a nighttime curfew in major cities and rounded up Morsi supporters. The crackdown was as senseless as it was brutal, and the protest resignation by Vice President Mohamed ElBaradei, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate, reflects how the government alienated secular professionals who are key to keeping Egypt from sliding into the abyss.

The immediate task for the government is to refrain from further violence, and for the opposition, which is building by the day, to continue to seek a peaceful path to democracy. The military's obsession with leveling Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood as a political force and its makeshift approach to governing, together with the scale of Wednesday's violence, may make this farfetched. But all sides have a clear interest in containing the crisis, preserving regional stability and moving forward on the 2011 revolution that removed from power autocratic ruler Hosni Mubarak.

The Obama administration needs to move beyond condemning the violence and call on the interim government to demonstrate its commitment to a peaceful way forward. That must include an end to Morsi's detention and the harassment of the Brotherhood, a timetable for returning a civilian government, and real protections that ensure full and open participation in the drafting of a new constitution. Otherwise the violence will only continue, driving all sides to the extremes. Obama doesn't have the strongest voice in this crisis, but he should use what he has while he has it.

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Editorial: As USFSP consolidation task force meets, openness and collaboration are key

Editorial: As USFSP consolidation task force meets, openness and collaboration are key

Writing a new law that phases out separate accreditation for the University of South Florida St. Petersburg and folds it back into the major research university was the easy part. The hard work starts today when a new consolidation task force holds i...
Updated: 11 hours ago

Correction

CorrectionCircuit Judge John Stargel of Lakeland is a member of the Florida Constitution Revision Commission who voted against a proposed amendment that would have stopped write-in candidates from closing primary elections. An editorial Saturday inco...
Published: 04/23/18
Editorial: Pruitt sets new low for ethics at EPA

Editorial: Pruitt sets new low for ethics at EPA

Not too many people took then-candidate Donald Trump seriously when he famously campaigned to "drain the swamp" as president. But that shouldn’t give this administration a free pass to excuse the behavior of Scott Pruitt, the administrator of the Env...
Published: 04/22/18
Updated: 04/23/18
Editorial: Allegiant Air still has safety issues

Editorial: Allegiant Air still has safety issues

Allegiant Air’s safety record remains troubling, and the Federal Aviation Administration’s reluctance to talk about it is no more encouraging. Those are the key takeaways from a 60 Minutes report on the low-cost carrier’s high rate of mid-flight brea...
Published: 04/21/18

Editorial: Women’s work undervalued in bay area

Even a strong economy and low unemployment cannot overcome the persistent pay gap affecting full-time working women in Florida. A new report shows women in Florida earned 12.5 percent less on average than their male counterparts, and the disparities ...
Published: 04/21/18
Editorial: Florida’s death penalty fading away on its own

Editorial: Florida’s death penalty fading away on its own

Florida lawmakers may never take the death penalty off the books, but stronger forces are steadily eroding this inhumane, outdated tool of injustice. Court rulings, subsequent changes to law and waning public support have significantly suppressed the...
Published: 04/20/18
Updated: 04/24/18

Editorial: A missed chance for open primary elections

The Florida Constitution Revision Commission did a lot of things wrong this week by combining unrelated or unpalatable provisions into single amendments that will appear on the November ballot. It also wasted an opportunity to do one thing right. The...
Published: 04/20/18
Updated: 04/23/18
Editorial: New Cuba president is chance for new start

Editorial: New Cuba president is chance for new start

For all the symbolism, Raul Castro’s handoff of the Cuban presidency this week amounts to less than meets the eye even if his handpicked successor, the Communist Party functionary Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez, is the first person not named Castro to le...
Published: 04/20/18
Editorial: When they visit Nature’s Classroom, kids are right where they belong

Editorial: When they visit Nature’s Classroom, kids are right where they belong

The Hillsborough school district planted a fruitful seed with the opening of Nature’s Classroom five decades ago on the cypress-lined banks of the Hillsborough River northeast of Tampa. • The lessons taught there to some 17,000 sixth graders each yea...
Published: 04/20/18

Editorial: Equality pays off on Southwest Flight 1380

The passengers of Southwest Flight 1380 can be thankful that, 33 years ago, the U.S. Navy took the lead on equal opportunity.Capt. Tammie Jo Shults was piloting the flight from New York to Dallas on Tuesday when an engine exploded, blowing out a wind...
Published: 04/19/18
Updated: 04/20/18