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  1. House intel chairman: Trump communications may have been 'monitored' (w/ video)


    WASHINGTON — Communications of Donald Trump's transition officials — possibly including the incoming president himself — may have been scooped up in legal surveillance but then improperly distributed throughout the intelligence community, the chairman of the House intelligence committee said …

    House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif. gives reporters an update about the ongoing Russia investigation adding that President Donald Trump's campaign communications may have been "monitored" during the transition period as part of an "incidental collection." [Associated Press]
  2. Gorsuch survives marathon, multi-day Supreme Court confirmation hearing


    WASHINGTON — Judge Neil M. Gorsuch has performed like a major-leaguer throughout his marathon Supreme Court confirmation hearing this week, setting him up to claim the position formerly held by the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

    Marie Louise Gorsuch, wife of Supreme Court Justice nominee Neil Gorsuch, talks to her husband during a break in testimony on Wednesday. [Associated Press]
  3. Man accused in death of Busch Garden flamingo ordered to in-home competency training


    TAMPA — The man accused of killing a beloved Busch Gardens flamingo drinks alcohol frequently, doesn't always take his psychiatric medication and has a history of trouble with the law, attorneys told a judge Wednesday.

    Joseph Corrao, who is accused of killing Pinky, a Busch Gardens flamingo, in August, is seen during his competency hearing at the Hillsborough Courthouse Annex in Tampa, Fla., on Friday, February 17, 2017. Corrao was found incompetent because of mental illness. (ANDRES LEIVA   |   Times)
  4. NATO says it will reschedule meeting so Tillerson can attend


    WASHINGTON — The head of NATO says he is certain a semiannual meeting of the alliance's foreign ministers can be rescheduled so U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson can attend.

    U.S. officials said this week that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was planning to skip next month's NATO meeting in Brussels. NATO says it will try to reschedule to meeting so Tillerson can attend. [Associated Press]
  5. Watch a small poodle in a tiny orange sweater get freed from a drain in Port Richey

    Public Safety

    PORT RICHEY — It was scary to be Taffy the dog on Wednesday morning.

    It took rescuers two hours and digging with a backhoe to rescue Taffy the poodle from a storm drain. (City of Port Richey)
  6. Trump praises black contributions before caucus meeting


    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump praised the contributions of African-Americans Wednesday during a meeting with black lawmakers, who planned to confront him on his Justice Department priorities and cuts in education funding — issues they said would hurt their constituents.

    President Donald Trump praised the contributions of black Americans, saying "they lifted up the conscience of our nation during the march toward civil rights, enriched the soul of America in their faith and courage, and they've advanced our country in the fields of science, arts and medicine."  [Associated Press]
  7. MacDill AFB authorities investigating Ocala man accused of going AWOL in 1972


    A man accused of going AWOL from the U.S. Air Force 45 years ago was arrested near his Ocala home on Tuesday by authorities from MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa and the Marion County Sheriff's Office.

  8. Editorial: A sick plan for health care


    If Republicans can round up enough support, the U.S. House plans to vote today to begin repealing the Affordable Care Act and replacing it with an inferior approach. The number of uninsured would rise. Costs for health coverage, particularly for older Americans, would increase. Medicaid spending for low-income residents …

    If Republicans can round up enough support, the U.S. House plans to vote today to begin repealing the Affordable Care Act and replacing it with an inferior approach.
  9. Tampa Bay Rays, Cross-Bay Ferry and PSTA offer Tampa fans a deal


    For one month, fans of the Tampa Bay Rays will have a new way to get to games.

    Passengers board the Cross-Bay Ferry near the Tampa Convention Center.  JAMES BORCHUCK   |   Times
  10. Plan your weekend: Tampa Pride, Disney on Ice, Tampa's Fourth Fridays, Drumline Live


    Plan your weekend


    Tampa Pride: Even though Tampa's modestly sized Pride parade and festival is affectionately known in the community as the "baby pride," this year's event is expected by organizers to top last year's crowd of 30,000. Things get started Saturday at the …

    Tod Macofsky and Gina Young in "It Gets Better" at The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on October 10th, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California.
  11. UN atomic chief: Iran inspections at risk without more money


    Associated Press

    WASHINGTON — The United Nations atomic chief is warning the nuclear inspections regimen in Iran is in jeopardy unless the U.S. and other nations contribute more money.

    Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency Yukiya Amano of Japan says inspections to closely monitor Iran's nuclear activity is in jeopardy unless the U.S. and other nations contribute more money. [Associated Press]
  12. Marco Rubio for governor? Nope, he says


    Sen. Marco Rubio says he won’t run for governor in 2018.

  13. Paul Manafort talks to reporters on the floor of the Republican National Convention at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland on July 17, 2016. Manafort, President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, secretly worked for a Russian billionaire to advance the interests of Russian President Vladimir Putin a decade ago and proposed an ambitious political strategy to undermine anti-Russian opposition across former Soviet republics, The Associated Press has learned. [Associated Press]
  14. GOP leaders need votes for health bill on eve of House showdown


    WASHINGTON — The long-awaited House showdown a day away, President Donald Trump and Republican leaders cajoled recalcitrant GOP lawmakers Wednesday to back their health care overhaul. Conservatives insisted they had the votes to torpedo the measure, leaving the party's top legislative priority dangling …

    After eight hours of debate, House Rules Committee chairman Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas, left, and Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., the vice chairman, listen to arguments from committee chairs as the panel meets to shape the final version of the Republican health care bill before it goes to the floor for debate and a vote. [Associated Press]