Thursday, June 21, 2018
Editorials

Editorial: Ukraine election's hopeful outcome

The election Sunday of Petro Poroshenko as president marks a new chapter for Ukraine and for East-West relations. The move should strengthen the central government in Kiev and pave the way for Ukraine and Russia to put relations on more stable footing. The United States and Europe should support the incoming government as it works to calm the biggest flash point in East-West ties since the end of the Cold War.

Poroshenko's victory in the first round of what international observers said was a fair and free election brings a new level of hope and stability to Ukraine after months of political turmoil and secessionist fighting. The pro-European billionaire and former government minister is a savvy, pragmatic veteran of Ukraine politics whose business interests in Russia should help reassure Moscow. While he ran on largely domestic promises to improve the economy and fight corruption, Poroshenko also vowed to push Ukraine toward a closer relationship with Europe and to reassert authority over its territory. These are the same direct challenges to Russia that sparked a crisis with Ukraine only months ago.

Poroshenko, though, started on the right note Monday by declaring his intention to calm tensions in the restive east and to work on repairing relations with Moscow. Russia welcomed the offer, and its expression of urgency is a hopeful sign that talks between the two sides will lead to a continued decrease in tension. Poroshenko also said the central government needs to act with resolve and speed to end the pro-Russia insurgency in the east. The president-elect faces a balancing act in enforcing order while dealing with secessionist fervor and Russian interference. But at least Ukraine has settled politically for the near term, and both sides have dialed back the rhetoric.

The environment is much improved from the raw climate in the spring, when Ukraine ousted its pro-Russian president and Moscow annexed Crimea. Still, these are uncertain times, and Russian President Vladimir Putin has sent conflicting signals about his end game in Ukraine. While Putin has tamped down Russia's overt ambitions in the past few weeks, the Russian leader has strained relations with the West by manufacturing the standoff with Ukraine.

The United States and Europe should remain clear in opposing any further Russian land grab, and they should be ready to further tighten sanctions on Moscow if it persists in interfering with Ukraine's internal affairs. The West also needs to support Ukraine as the new government takes office, and help Poroshenko achieve his goal of integrating Ukraine with European political and economic institutions. Sunday's election provides some hope that this crisis will not spiral out of control, and that's real progress from only months ago.

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Editorial: A court victory for protecting Florida’s environment

Editorial: A court victory for protecting Florida’s environment

A Tallahassee judge has affirmed the overwhelming intent of Florida voters by ruling that state lawmakers have failed to comply with a constitutional amendment that is supposed to provide a specific pot of money to buy and preserve endangered lands. ...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/20/18
Editorial: Trump should stop taking children away from parents at the border

Editorial: Trump should stop taking children away from parents at the border

Innocent children should not be used as political pawns. That is exactly what the Trump administration is doing by cruelly prying young children away from their parents as these desperate families cross the Mexican border in search of a safer, better...
Published: 06/17/18
Updated: 06/19/18

Editorial: ATF should get tougher on gun dealers who violate the law

Gun dealers who break the law by turning a blind eye to federal licensing rules are as dangerous to society as people who have no right to a possess a firearm in the first place. Yet a recent report shows that the federal agency responsible for polic...
Published: 06/17/18
Updated: 06/18/18
Editorial: Encouraging private citizens to step up on transit

Editorial: Encouraging private citizens to step up on transit

The new grass-roots effort to put a transportation package before Hillsborough County voters in November faces a tough slog. Voters rejected a similar effort in 2010, and another in 2016 by elected officials never made it from the gate. But the lates...
Published: 06/15/18
Editorial: 40 years later, honoring remarkable legacy of Nelson Poynter

Editorial: 40 years later, honoring remarkable legacy of Nelson Poynter

Forty years ago today, Nelson Poynter died. He was the last individual to own this newspaper, and to keep the Times connected to this community, he did something remarkable. He gave it away.In his last years, Mr. Poynter recognized that sooner or lat...
Published: 06/15/18

There was no FBI anti-Trump conspiracy

The Justice Department released Thursday the highly anticipated report on the FBI’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email probe and other sensitive issues in the 2016 election. It is not the report President Donald Trump wanted. But there is enough i...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Voter purge may be legal, but it’s also suppression

The Supreme Court’s ruling last Monday to allow Ohio’s purging of its voter rolls is difficult to dispute legally. While federal law prohibits removing citizens from voter rolls simply because they haven’t voted, Ohio’s purge is slightly different. T...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Editorial: Free rides will serve as a test of whether the streetcar is serious transportation

Who wouldn’t jump at the chance to ride for free?This fall, the TECO Streetcar Line eliminates its $2.50-a-ride-fare, providing the best opportunity yet to see whether the system’s vintage streetcar replicas can serve as a legitimate transportation a...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

AT&T and the case for digital innovation

A good way to guarantee you’ll be wrong about something is to predict the future of technology. As in, "One day, we’ll all …" Experts can hazard guesses about artificial intelligence, driverless cars or the death of cable television, but technologica...
Published: 06/14/18
Editorial: State, nonprofits share obligation to help Hillsborough’s foster kids

Editorial: State, nonprofits share obligation to help Hillsborough’s foster kids

The Florida Department of Children and Families has correctly set a quick deadline for Hillsborough County’s main child welfare provider to correct its foster care program. For too long the same story has played out, where troubled teens who need fos...
Published: 06/14/18