News

Geology
9:23 am
Mon August 12, 2013

Resort Villa Collapses Into Sinkhole Near Disney World

An aerial view of the Summer Bay Resort in Clermont, Fla., shows a villa that collapsed into a sinkhole Sunday night.
WFTV AP

Originally published on Mon August 12, 2013 11:49 am

Vacationers staying in a luxury villa in central Florida awoke to creaking and crashing sounds Sunday night, as the three-story building they were staying in began to collapse. A large portion of the structure was pulled into a sinkhole at the Summer Bay Resort near Disney World. It seems the process was slow enough that it allowed everyone in the building to get out safely.

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Americas
7:18 am
Mon August 12, 2013

Mexican Court Frees Drug Lord Convicted In Killing DEA Agent

Mexican federal police patrol Friday near Puente Grande State prison (background) in Zapotlanejo, Jalisco state, Mexico, where former top Mexican cartel boss Rafael Caro Quintero was released.
Hector Guerrero AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon August 12, 2013 8:28 am

A Mexican court has thrown out the conviction of infamous drug lord Rafael Caro Quintero, 28 years after he was convicted and imprisoned for the 1985 kidnapping and murder of U.S. DEA agent Enrique Camarena.

Quintero had been serving a 40-year sentence for torturing and killing Camarena, but the court voided the sentence on a technicality — saying he should have been tried in a state court instead of the federal court where he was convicted.

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Science
7:16 am
Mon August 12, 2013

New Muscle Drugs Could Be The Next Big Thing In Sports Doping

Belgian Blue bulls look like they are made of muscle because they have a mutation in the gene that codes for the protein myostatin. In humans, as in other types of cattle, myostatin normally limits the number of muscle fibers that form before birth and then limits the growth of those fibers later on.
Courtesy of Se-Jin Lee and Alexandra McPherron PNAS

Originally published on Mon August 12, 2013 11:03 am

Research intended to help people with muscle-wasting diseases could be about to launch a new era in performance-enhancing drugs.

The research has produced several muscle-building drugs now being tested in people with medical problems, including muscular dystrophy, cancer and kidney disease. The drugs all work by blocking a substance called myostatin that the body normally produces to keep muscles from getting too big.

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Social Media
2:34 pm
Fri August 9, 2013

I Just Killed My Wife, Miami Man's Facebook Page Says

Derek Medina in a booking photo taken by the Miami-Dade Police Department.
handout Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 10:10 am

"I'm going to prison or death sentence for killing my wife. Love you guys. Miss you guys. Take care. Facebook people you'll see me in the news."

The Miami Herald and other news outlets are reporting that 31-year-old Derek Medina of South Miami apparently posted that Facebook message Thursday morning, along with a photo of a woman's "twisted, bloodied body lying on a linoleum floor."

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Politics
11:45 am
Fri August 9, 2013

South Florida Mayors’ MMA Fight Called Off After Pizzi’s Arrest

The charity fight between former Miami Lakes Mayor Michael Pizzi and Hialeah Mayor Carlos Hernandez has been called off due to Pizzi’s arrest Tuesday.

Pizzi was arrested Tuesday morning on bribery charges stemming from an FBI sting investigation, along with Sweetwater Mayor Manuel "Manny" Maroño.

Hernandez called the arrests “a very unfortunate event for not only Miami Lakes and Sweetwater, but all of South Florida.”

He is also disappointed that he won’t be able to duke it out with Pizzi in the octagon.

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Americas
8:31 am
Fri August 9, 2013

Unease In Sprawling Rio Slum Ahead Of Police 'Pacification'

A police officer patrols the rooftop of a school at the Rocinha slum in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Sept. 20, 2012, where a "pacification" anti-crime effort was underway. Rio police are now going to attempt a similar pacification in another huge slum, Mare.
Silvia Izquierdo AP

Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 12:06 pm

Brazilian police are preparing to occupy one of the deadliest shantytown complexes in Rio de Janeiro, hoping to drive out drug gangs ahead of next year's World Cup and the 2016 Olympics.

It's the latest "pacification" effort in a Rio slum, and the city's new chief of police says he'll need some 1,500 cops to secure this one, called Mare.

Police in the past would typically stage raids, but then withdraw from the dangerous shantytowns, known here as favelas. But under the pacification program, they now set up shop inside the favelas.

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Photography
6:36 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

This Is Not Just A Story About Prostitution

Because of Eden's unconventional work schedule, she takes frequent naps throughout the day in order to get rest. Her cellphone is always within reach so she doesn't miss a customer's call.
Courtesy of Alicia Vera

Originally published on Wed August 7, 2013 3:45 pm

First, a word of warning: This story features photos about prostitution. But under the surface, it's more than that. It's a story about photographic access, and how a friendship led to an intimate portrayal of a taboo subject. These are not just photos about prostitution; they're photos about a woman who goes by the name Eden. Taken by Alicia. Her friend.

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Public Services
1:34 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

Miami-Dade School District May Ease Impact Of Library Closings

Credit Save the Miami-Dade Public Libraries / Facebook

Hoping to soften the blow of expected library closings due to county budget cuts, the Miami-Dade School Board may open some of the district’s facilities after hours to fill at least part of the coming void.

Some 14 Miami-Dade libraries are slated to close as County Mayor Carlos Gimenez grapples with tight finances.

The issue has been among the most scrutinized aspects of Gimenez’s 2014 budget proposal, which won’t be set until September.

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Americas
8:17 am
Thu August 8, 2013

Working To Save The Painted 'Zonkeys' Of Tijuana

Victor Reyes has been photographing tourists atop Tijuana's "zonkeys" since he was 12, and says at one time he could earn $150 a day. Now, he's lucky to earn $15, he says. Here, Reyes poses with his donkey, Ruben.
Amy Isackson NPR

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 3:23 am

Ruben prances across the street one recent morning on his way to work on a corner of Tijuana's famous tourist strip, Avenida Revolución.

Ruben's hair is freshly dyed. His nametag is shiny.

But both he and his boss, Victor Reyes, have long faces.

Ruben, well, he's a donkey, (a "zonkey" in local parlance).

As for Reyes, his business — taking photos of tourists atop Ruben — has stumbled on hard times.

'Old Mexico'

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Technology
1:07 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

A Patch Designed To Make You Invisible To Mosquitoes

Researchers have come up with an innovative patch to help you win the war against mosquitoes.
AP

Originally published on Wed August 7, 2013 12:47 pm

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Tourism
12:45 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

Oh Snap! U.S. Tourist Breaks Finger Off 600-Year-Old Statue

A close-up of the damaged statue at Florence's Museo dell'Opera del Duomo.
Maurizio Degl' Innocenti EPA/LANDOV

Originally published on Wed August 7, 2013 5:23 pm

Add this to the list of damages done in recent years to important pieces of art:

"An American tourist in Italy has generated shock and outrage by snapping the finger off a 600-year-old statue at a museum in Florence." (NBC News)

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Politics
8:28 am
Wed August 7, 2013

Florida's Vetoed Alimony Bill Likely To Return In 2014

Rep. Ritch Workman (left) chats with Rep. Doug Broxson in the House chamber.
Credit Mark Foley/myfloridahouse.gov

A bill that would have ended permanent alimony in Florida was vetoed by Gov. Rick Scott a few months ago. But plans are already being made to bring it back next year.

Members of the group Family Law Reform will hold a summit and fundraiser in Orlando on August 17, focused on reforming what they say are outdated permanent alimony laws.

Rep. Ritch Workman, R-Melbourne, told a House Committee last March it's not about getting rid of alimony – it's about being fair.

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Crime
5:31 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Governor, Cabinet Approve Search For Bodies At Dozier

Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., talks to reporters at the closed Dozier School for Boys in March with University of South Florida forensic anthropologist Erin Kimmerle (left) and Wansley Walters, secretary of the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice.
Credit Bill Cotterell / Reuters/Landov

As expected, Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Cabinet on Tuesday authorized a year-long dig for human remains at a closed Panhandle reform school, saying the state cannot ignore abuse that went on for decades.

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Environment
5:12 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Earth Scientists Pin Climate Change Squarely On 'Humanity'

Pedersen Glacier, 1917
Louis H. Pedersen climate.gov/National Snow and Ice Data Center

Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 8:12 pm

The weather is one of those topics that is fairly easy for people to agree on. Climate, however, is something else.

Most of the scientists who study the Earth say our climate is changing and humans are part of what's making that happen. But to a lot of nonscientists it's still murky. This week, two of the nation's most venerable scientific institutions tried to explain it better.

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National Security
4:40 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Japan Shows Off Largest Warship In 60 Years

Japan's new warship, the Izumo, draws a crowd for its launch ceremony at the port in Yokohama Tuesday. At 248 meters (814 feet) in length, the flat-topped ship has been called a destroyer, or a helicopter carrier.
Toshifumi Kitamura AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 12:12 pm

It's being called a destroyer, or perhaps a helicopter carrier. But by any name, Japan's new warship, unveiled Tuesday, is the largest it has built since World War II. The ship was shown to the public on the anniversary of the 1945 atomic bombing of Hiroshima, and at a time of escalating tensions with China.

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