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Top 5 at noon: Manafort, Gates indicted on charges of conspiracy, money laundering; Lennar's $5.7 billion deal for CalAtlantic will create nation's largest homebuilder; and more

Here are the latest headlines and updates on tampabay.com:

MANAFORT, GATES INDICTED ON CHARGES OF CONSPIRACY, MONEY LAUNDERING

President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, and a former Manafort business associate, Rick Gates, were indicted today on felony charges of conspiracy against the United States, acting as an unregistered foreign agent, and several other financial counts involving tens of millions of dollars routed through offshore accounts. The indictments, the first arising from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's sprawling investigation into possible coordination between Russia and Trump's 2016 election effort, bring the probe into a new phase and pose the threat of a years-long prison sentence for the man who once led the president's campaign. In other news, George Papadopoulos, a former Trump campaign aide, has pleaded guilty to lying to federal agents working for special counsel Robert Mueller as part of his probe into possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia.

NBC FIRES MARK HALPERIN AFTER SEXUAL HARASSMENT ACCUSATIONS

BC News says it has terminated its contract with Mark Halperin, the political journalist who was accused of sexual harassment by several women when he worked at ABC News more than a decade ago. At NBC News, Halperin was a contributor who was most visible as a regular panelist on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

LENNAR'S $5.7-BILLION DEAL FOR CALATLANTIC WILL CREATE NATION'S LARGEST HOMEBUILDER

Miami-based Lennar is buying CalAtlantic Group in a $5.7 billion deal that will create the nation's largest homebuilder as sales of new homes reach levels not seen in a decade. The acquisition, which is worth more than $9 billion if $3.6 billion in debt is included, creates a company with a footprint in 21 states. The companies had $17 billion in revenue over the last 12 months.

THE FLORIDA GATORS' NEXT COACH SHOULD BE ...

The Florida Gators need a football coach who will reinvigorate the program, excite the recruits and revitalize the fan base. If you want to blow this thing up and build it back right, you bring in a coach who does two things that Florida craves, Tom Jones writes. Someone who wins and wins with offense.

311 VOCALIST TALKS MEDICAL MARIJUANA AND HIS MOM'S CANCER SCARE

There's more to 311 singer/guitarist Nick Hexum's interest in marijuana than catching a buzz. When the rap-rock-reggae group comes to Tampa this weekend to celebrate the release of Beautiful Disaster, they'll also headline a fundraiser for the Moffitt Cancer Center at the Cuban Club. Hexum is a big believer in the health benefits of medical marijuana on cancer patients, especially when it comes to CBD, a cannabis extract whose psychoactive properties differ from those of THC. Hexum's stance on legal weed evolved heavily from personal experience, as he explained in our interview.

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