Thursday, April 26, 2018
Editorials

Editorial: Philippines disaster calls for global response

The destruction that Typhoon Haiyan left in the Philippines is almost unimaginable. Up to 10,000 feared dead. Entire cities leveled. Hundreds of thousands of survivors without clean water, food, electricity or any way to communicate with the outside world. It will take a heroic and sustained effort by the United States and the global community to keep this tragedy from mushrooming into an even worse humanitarian disaster in the coming days and weeks. The U.S. government should lead by providing essential support and relief. And Americans should look to donate to established charities working on the ground.

Authorities said the typhoon, whose winds were among the strongest ever recorded, affected some 10 million people, or one-tenth of the population, when it roared ashore Friday. Haiyan hit the country's eastern seaboard before moving rapidly across the central islands, with wind gusts of nearly 185 mph and a storm surge in excess of 13 feet. In Tacloban, a city of 220,000 that took the brunt of the storm, a U.S. Marine general reported that "every single building, every single house" was damaged. The U.S. military dispatched water, generators, heavy equipment and other material to Tacloban, and placed a Marine contingent in the city. But the scope of the task is only now becoming clear as rescuers begin to reach the more remote areas affected by the storm.

Secretary of State John Kerry sent a sign of encouragement Monday by pledging the nation's full commitment to the recovery effort. The American military is unique in its ability to manage the logistics of moving aid and rescue personnel where they are needed, given the destruction to roads and ports and the lack of communications and electricity in the ravaged areas. The administration should be prepared to broaden its role in the coming days as the demand for water, housing and sanitation become increasingly important for containing the public health crisis.

The administration needs to work with the Philippines in organizing the global relief effort. Getting aid to the affected areas will require not only the massive resources of the U.S. military but smaller assets, from boats and trucks to temporary housing, that other international partners can bring to the table. The global community should also be open to playing a security role. That is key to maintaining public order and getting supplies into the right hands. And private donors should give early and stick with known charities to ensure the money gets to those in need. This is a tragedy of a global scale that calls for a global response.

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Editorial: It’s up to Florida’s voters to restore felons’ civil rights now

The disappointing ruling Wednesday by a federal appeals court should erase any doubt that the decision on restoring voting rights for felons rests solely on the conscience of Florida voters. A tortured ruling by the minimum majority of a three-judge ...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Editorial: St. Petersburg’s waste-to-energy to wastefulness project

Editorial: St. Petersburg’s waste-to-energy to wastefulness project

A St. Petersburg waste-to-energy plant now under construction has been billed for years as an environmentally friendly money saver. Now it looks more like a boondoggle, with the cost and mission changing on the fly. It’s yet another example of a city...
Published: 04/25/18
Updated: 04/26/18

‘Happy hour’ tax cuts may result in hangovers

Evidence is mounting that the $1.5 trillion tax-cut package enacted in December by congressional Republicans and President Donald Trump was a bad idea, not only for the long-run health of the economy but for the short-term political prospects of the ...
Published: 04/25/18
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...
Published: 04/23/18
Updated: 04/25/18

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