News

News
3:25 pm
Fri March 27, 2015

This musician has a half-billion video views. So who the hell is he?

So who the hell is Stromae?

If you'd been at the South By Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, last week, you’d be asking the same question. There were posters everywhere asking "Who The Hell is Stromae?"

Well, we found him — and we asked him: “My real name is Paul Van Haver and my stage name is Stromae," he says. "I'm 30 years old, and I'm a singer and composer."

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News
1:34 pm
Fri March 27, 2015

Nigeria's choices for president: a former military ruler or a corrupt incumbent

Fourteen candidates are vying for Nigeria's presidency, including incumbent Goodluck Jonathan. His People's Democratic Party has dominated Nigerian politics since civilian rule was restored in 1999, but now faces its toughest-ever election challenge from the All Progressives Congress, led by former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari.

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News
12:12 pm
Fri March 27, 2015

Ultra Fans Looking To Bring In Molly Will Find New Barriers

Pressed pills and capsules of "molly," the common name for MDMA, a drug popular among festivalgoers.
Credit Source / Courtesy

During his sophomore year of high school, Topher started listening to electronic music in the vein of dubstep and drum and bass. Soon he got hooked onto the rest of the electronic musical tree.

Now he's a 21-year-old psychology student at Florida International University. He asked that we not use his full name, because during this year's Winter Music Conference, he plans on rolling. 

"Rolling" commonly refers to consuming molly, a hallucinogenic amphetamine-like drug marketed as MDMA. At least that’s what it’s supposed to be.

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Politics
9:04 am
Fri March 27, 2015

Florida Roundup: Fort Lauderdale Police's Zero Tolerance For Racism

An undated set display at Ultra in downtown Miami.
Credit Sammy Mack

  This week on the Florida Roundup, we discuss the week's news with the area's top journalists.

LEGISLATIVE SESSION

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News
12:47 am
Fri March 27, 2015

Local Pension Overhaul Ready For Full Senate Vote

Lawmakers are working on legislation to bolster underfunded local pension plans for police and firefighters. Senate staffers say about 350 local government plans around Florida would be impacted.
Credit americanmag/flickr

An effort to overhaul police and firefighter pensions is ready for consideration by the full Senate.

The bill, SB 172, changes the way state insurance premium tax revenues are used to fund local pension plans. It essentially enables local governments to use the money as they wish.

The bill is sponsored by lawmakers from both parties, including Sen. Rob Bradley (R-Fleming Island).

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Social Services
4:45 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

Miami Metro Ranks Second Only To Detroit In U.S. Food Stamp Use

The Miami metro area has some of the highest rates of food stamp usage in the country.
Credit Gregg Avedon / Flickr

The Miami metro area has a higher percentage of households relying on food stamps than nearly every other major metropolitan area in the country, according to new data from the U.S. Census.

In 2012 and 2013, 17.5 percent of households in the Miami metro received food stamps, or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. Only the Detroit metro area ranked higher with 18.5 percent.

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Sunshine Economy
1:06 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

Start-Up City Miami: Podcasts About Local Entrepreneurship

South Florida ranks high for entrepreneurial activity.
Credit Tom Hudson

Higher than New York, Chicago and Dallas. Better than Atlanta, Seattle and Houston. South Florida's entrepreneurial activity is third highest among the nation's largest metropolitan areas.  Only San Francisco and Los Angeles ranked higher in the group's annual index of entrepreneurial activity.

Why Miami?

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News
10:38 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Mali's Songhoy Blues are making music in exile

Life is filled with happy accidents.

Just last week, I experienced one in the backseat of a minivan driving through a suburb in Austin, Texas.

Through a comedy of errors with a phone app I'm not familiar with, I accidentally booked a taxi cab pool service to get me across town.

When the driver arrived, he explained that we would be picking up more passengers heading my direction.

Ugh. This was bad news. I was in a hurry. Actually, to be honest, I was already late.

But hey, it was my mistake so I had only myself to blame.

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News
9:59 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Houthis in Yemen: Who are they and why is everybody out to get them?

So who are the Houthis? Right now they control all of Yemen's major cities. They are also under attack by the Saudi air force and a coalition of Gulf states, reportedly with US assistance. How they swept to power is a study in Yemeni politics — and did not include, at least at first, the Sunni-Shiite split that world media has focused on.

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#MB100
12:42 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Which One Is Better: Miami Or Miami Beach?

Credit Photo on left by Wyn Van Devanter, right by Katie O'Connor / Flickr (https://flic.kr/p/5idr27)

Miami Beach is celebrating its centennial on Thursday with a giant concert with performances by Gloria Estefan, Andrea Bocelli and Flo Rida.

And while non-South Floridians and some sports anchors might not realize there's a difference between Miami and Miami Beach, people who live in each city hold a lot of pride for their hometowns. And sometimes, it leads to rivalry.

So my colleague John O'Connor and I each took up the cause for our side of the causeway. Take a listen for what lovers of each city had to say:

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News
8:06 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

Broward College Conference Highlights Haiti's Attempts To Curb Child Slavery

A panel discuss child slavery in Haiti at Broward College. From left to right, Maurice Middleberg, Free The Slaves executive director, Smith Maxime, Free The Slaves Haiti Director, Diem Pierre, Haiti Government Institute For Social Welfare and Research.
Credit Nadege Green / WLRN

For years, Marie Alina Cajuste did not know her real name. The family she worked for in Haiti called her Ti Bebe, or Little Baby.

She shared her experience as a restavec at a day-long conference about human trafficking at Broward College Thursday.

“It’s slavery,” she said. “I couldn't sleep in the same house with the family, I was the first person to wake up and buckets of clothes waiting for me to wash by hand.”

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Business
8:00 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

Social And Anti-Social Trends In Customer Service

Not too long ago, good customer service meant a warm welcome and personal attention. Today, great customer service can mean leaving the customer alone to fend for themselves. That shift is thanks, in part, to technology.

It’s the smartphone that allows customers to be simultaneously social and anti-social in how they relate to and interact with service staff. Websites like TripAdvisor, OpenTable and Yelp have given customers a voice, and restaurants and hotels are listening -- and responding.

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News
7:18 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

How returning home after years in the US gets complicated

Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula juts into the Caribbean like a defiant fist and, 3,000 miles away, the San Francisco Bay Area looks like a miniature version of it.

The two may be separated by distance, but they depend on each other. The Yucatán needs the work and San Francisco needs the workers. Their decades-long relationship has developed into something of a love affair, which returning migrants find hard to forget.

But for the migrants' relatives who've stayed behind, the benefits of immigration have begun to lose their luster.

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News
6:23 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

A crash in Europe lays bare some of aviation's myths

A teddy bear wearing a shirt with the word "flight attendant" is placed between flowers and candles outside Germanwings headquarters at the Cologne Bonn airport on March 25, 2015.

Wolfgang Rattay/Reuters

Officials are still trying to figure out why an Airbus A320 flown by discount airline Germanwings slammed into the French Alps on Tuesday, killing all 150 passengers on board.

One possible explanation for the crash is that something went wrong with the highly automated jet's computers, but not everyone thinks that's the key to unlocking this mystery. 

"Computers are not flying your plane," says airline pilot Patrick Smith. "Pilots are flying your plane through the automation, and the automation is only as good as the pilots controlling it."  

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News
5:56 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

'They didn't just see a wrestler die, they watched a superhero die'

Wrestling superstar Perro Aguayo, Jr. was part of the sport's royalty in Mexico, the son of another superstar wrestler from the 1970s. Both men were known for "La Lanza," a double-footed stomp that devastated opponents. But we'll never see La Lanza again.

Aguayo died early Saturday morning, after a match on Friday night, sending shockwaves through Mexico.

"It was something very, very tragic," says fellow wrestler Marco Corleone of Mexico City. "The whole world watched him die in front of our eyes. That's the weirdest part of it all."

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