News

Obamacare
9:03 am
Wed October 2, 2013

Tech Problems Plague First Day Of Health Exchange Rollout

Heavy Internet traffic and system problems plagued the launch of the new health insurance exchanges on Tuesday.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 10:35 am

Many Americans got "please wait" messages Tuesday when they tried to start shopping for health coverage on the federal government's new health insurance website, healthcare.gov. A series of technological glitches, delays and crashes kept people from getting to several of the 16 state exchanges, too.

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Politics
7:00 am
Wed October 2, 2013

U.S. Shutdown Leaves Local Taxpayers Out In The Cold

Visitors to Broward County's main IRS office are greeted with locked doors and signs referring them to the agency's website.
Credit C. DiMattei

South Florida branches of the Internal Revenue Service are among the agency offices being affected by the current U.S. government shutdown.

And the situation is leaving some local taxpayers angry and frustrated.

Seventy-one-year old Alfonso Valencia of Sunrise said he was summoned by letter to the IRS' Plantation office several days ago to settle a real estate tax matter in person.  

When told that the office is closed until further notice, he took it in stride. Nevertheless, he stomped his foot down on the pavement -- hard.

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Energy
2:11 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

Are FPL Customers Paying $43M For Nuclear Projects That May Never Happen?

FPL's Turkey Point nuclear power plant.
Credit www.fpl.com

Florida Power & Light customers will pay nearly $43.5 million next year for nuclear-power projects, including $16.2 million for a plan to eventually build two new reactors in Miami-Dade County, state regulators decided Tuesday.

The project costs will have relatively little impact on customers' monthly bills. A residential customer who uses 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity a month will pay about 46 cents.

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Obamacare
1:58 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

Exchange Shopping Starts Now, But No Need To Rush

Stephanie Groover of Independence Blue Cross provides information about coverage to commuters in Philadelphia on the opening day of the health insurance exchanges.
Matt Rourke AP

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 5:26 pm

Well, today's the day health insurance marketplaces open for business. And despite a partial shutdown of the federal government and some technical jitters, they're available for insurance shoppers.

While Oct. 1 is a milestone in the implementation of the health law, other dates are likely more critical for consumers planning to shop for health insurance on their state marketplace.

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Politics
8:15 am
Tue October 1, 2013

A Look At The Impact Of The U.S. Shutdown On South Florida

Social Security checks will still be mailed and the exchanges that are central to the the new health care law will still kick into gear Tuesday. But an estimated 800,000 federal employees are being told they can't work because the politicians haven't been able to agree on a way to fund the government.
Credit Fang Zhe /Xinhua/Landov

Much of South Florida may not notice that large parts of the federal government shut down early Tuesday, but Washington’s budget stalemate promises to bring a list of challenges for the region.

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Politics
7:37 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Economists Say Shutdown Will Hurt, But Hard To Add It Up

Government workers protest the possibility of a federal shutdown in Chicago. Nearly 100 employees from federal agencies including the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Housing and Urban Development rallied in a downtown plaza Monday.
M. Spencer Green AP

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 5:14 am

After weeks of wondering what would happen, Americans now know:

1. Congress missed the midnight funding deadline for the new fiscal year, triggering disruptions in government operations.

2. That will slow economic growth, at least in the short term.

But just how far the damage will go is far from clear. Economists say they can't refine their predictions because they have no idea how long the shutdown might last or how many federal workers may be furloughed.

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Politics
10:21 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

The Shutdown: A Guide To What Would And Wouldn't Close

If Congress does not reach a budget agreement and the government shuts down, the U.S. Postal Service is one agency expected to remain in operation.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 8:05 pm

With House Republicans and Senate Democrats still miles apart on a budget deal, the federal government appears headed for a shutdown at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday.

Here's a quick breakdown of what government agencies and programs would and would not remain operational in the event of a shutdown:

What Stays Open

  • The Postal Service would continue to deliver mail on its regular schedule.
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Obamacare
3:30 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

How A Tax On Medical Devices United Political Rivals

U.S. House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor (center) and colleagues gather before a Sunday vote on Capitol Hill. The House passed two new provisions to a federal spending bill to delay Obamacare for a year and to repeal the medical device tax.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 5:26 pm

As the federal government lurches toward a shutdown, there's one thing a lot of people in Congress actually agree on.

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Business
11:20 am
Mon September 30, 2013

More Than 7 Months After Triumph Fire, Carnival Tries To Correct Course

CEO Arnold Donald of Carnival Corp is the new CEO in the post-Triumph, post-Micky Arison-as-CEO era. He faces the issues rehabilitating it's image and getting customers and travel agents back on its side.
Credit C.W. Griffin / Miami Herald Staff

Smiling children wave. A happy couple dances by the pool. Family members play miniature golf with a view of the ocean, and a man asks a woman to be his wife. There are sunsets, kisses and giant ships serving as backgrounds for vacation snapshots.

“We never forget the moments that matter,” a woman’s voice says. “We hang them on our walls. We share them with everyone we know and hold on to them forever.”

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Americas
11:18 am
Mon September 30, 2013

Canada To Launch Billion-Dollar Marijuana Free Market This Week

A new free market for medical marijuana in Canada will replace small growers with large-scale indoor farms.
Menahem Kahana AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 1:53 pm

Canada is ushering in what it projects to be a $1.3 billion medical marijuana free market this week, as it replaces small and homegrown pot production with quality-controlled marijuana produced by large farms. The market could eventually serve up to 450,000 Canadians, according to government estimates.

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Health Care
11:14 am
Mon September 30, 2013

South Florida Insurance Rates Will Be Among Lowest In State, Report Says

With more Affordable Care Act health insurance prices available, Broward County residents look to pay the least in the state.
Credit Carl Juste / MIAMI HERALD STAFF

Miami-Dade and Broward County residents who buy health insurance through federally run online marketplaces opening Tuesday will be paying some of the cheapest rates available in Florida, according to federal data released Wednesday.  

A report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services shows how many insurance issuers will be offering plans in each county, what tiers those plans will be on and how much the average resident would pay before tax credits in certain tiers.

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Transportation
10:50 am
Mon September 30, 2013

Florida's New Texting While Driving Ban Takes Effect Oct. 1

Experts say that texting while driving makes you 23 times more likely to get into an accident.
Credit IntelFreePress/Flickr

It's official. No more texting and driving in the state of Florida.

Gov. Rick Scott was in South Florida on Tuesday to sign SB 52, legislation championed by Sen. Nancy Detert (R-Venice) for the last four years. 

Under the new law, Florida will join a large majority of states in prohibiting texting while driving. As a secondary offense, however, drivers must be stopped for a separate alleged traffic violation before being ticketed for texting while driving. 

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Religion
10:42 am
Mon September 30, 2013

Popes John Paul II, John XXIII To Become Saints Next April

Pope John Paul II in 1982
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 11:06 am

The Vatican said Monday that it has set April 27, 2014, as the date that popes John Paul II and John XXIII will be "raised to sainthood."

Their canonization will come on "the Second Sunday of Easter and Divine Mercy," the Holy See added.

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Health Care
7:56 am
Mon September 30, 2013

What You Need To Know About The New Affordable Care Act Marketplace

The new Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, requires most people to get health insurance or pay a fine.

The Affordable Care Act Marketplace opens October 1. Despite considerable opposition from some residents and lawmakers, Floridians will be able to shop online for health insurance and compare rates for different levels of coverage.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) – also known as Obamacare - is for people who don’t have health insurance or those who buy insurance on their own instead of getting coverage through an employer.

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Americas
7:39 am
Mon September 30, 2013

Mexican State's Anti-Corruption Plan: Hire Female Traffic Cops

Dressed in the black and neon orange colors of the new transit police, these women are slated to replace a force of notoriously corrupt traffic cops in Mexico State.
Edith Chapin NPR

Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 7:25 pm

In the central State of Mexico, officials are trying a new approach to fight corruption.

Authorities have hired hundreds of women and put them in charge of issuing all traffic violations. They're trying to crack down on the famous mordida, or bribe — a favorite among Mexico's crooked traffic cops.

Authorities say women are more trustworthy and less corrupt than men. But the plan has run into a few snags.

Choosing Female Cops

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