News

World
12:12 pm
Tue July 2, 2013

Nelson Mandela's Prison Adventures

Near the end of his 27 years in prison, Nelson Mandela was taken to secret meetings with government officials and for drives around Cape Town. Here, he returned to his Robben Island prison cell for a visit in 1994, shortly before he became South Africa's first black president.
Louise Gubb Corbis

Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 7:15 pm

On Christmas Eve 1986, a South Africa prison commander responsible for watching over Nelson Mandela casually asked the world's most famous prisoner, "Mandela, would you like to see the city?"

Mandela was completely surprised, but agreed. The prison commander, Lt. Col. Gawie Marx, promptly put Mandela in his car for a leisurely drive around Cape Town, one of the world's most scenic cities.

Read more
Zimmerman Trial
10:57 am
Tue July 2, 2013

The Secret History Of The Word 'Cracker'

Fun with homonyms!
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed July 3, 2013 10:21 am

As you might have gathered from our blog's title, the Code Switch team is kind of obsessed with the ways we speak to each other. Every Monday in "Word Watch," we'll dig into language that tells us something about the way race is lived in America today. (Interested in contributing? Holler at this form.)

Read more
Transportation
10:10 am
Tue July 2, 2013

I-95 Sign Maker In Arkansas Misspells Florida, Twice

Originally published on Tue July 2, 2013 8:36 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm David Greene. Florida's Department of Transportation ordered a new sign for Interstate 95. It read: Exit 344, University of Florida, Florida State College South Campus. Only one issue. Both times, Florida was spelled wrong. It read: Flordia. The sign manufacturer in Arkansas made that mistake. According to First Coast News, the company has agreed to fix the sign for free. They also might want to get off at that exit and head back to school.

Weird Florida
6:00 am
Tue July 2, 2013

New Blog To Cover Florida's Ironic (But Hilarious) Shortcomings All Month Long

The Mosely Flag: The flag was hoisted by Governor William D. Moseley on March 3, 1845 when Florida became the 27th state. It never became an official state flag because of controversy about the motto "Let us alone".
Credit http://dhr.dos.state.fl.us/

Did you know that the first flag to fly over Florida's capitol after admission into the Union read "Let Us Alone?"

Yes. That's right. Neither did we.

But thanks to a blog that Slate is starting with the help of Tampa Bay Times Reporter Craig Pittman, there will be plenty more where that came from.

All this month Pittman will be running a Florida blog for the website, highlighting all the strange and spectacular things that make this the best place to be a journalist.

Read more
Politics
1:50 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

Here Are New Florida Laws Taking Effect July 1

Florida Capitol
Credit StateImpact Florida

The state's $74.1 billion budget, which will fund 114,481 positions, 3,955 more than in the current fiscal year, kicks in on Monday.

The fiscal package also includes the first raise those workers will see in seven year.

Read more
Cuba
12:05 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

'Technological Disobedience': How Cubans Manipulate Everyday Technologies For Survival

A Cuban rikimbili-- the word for bicycles that have been converted into motorcycles. The engine of 100cc's or less typically is constructed out of motor-powered, misting backpacks or Russian tank AC generators.
Credit rikimbili.com

Read more
Environment
10:13 am
Mon July 1, 2013

Why Invasive Lionfish Are So Hard To Eradicate From South Florida Waters

The latest tool in the battle against Florida's lionfish invasion is the Antipodes, a five-person manned submersible operated by OceanGate, Inc.
Credit OceanGate, Inc.

A team of scientists from  around the country recently spent two days off the coast of South Florida to investigate the explosion of lionfish.

What they found was shocking. Why?

Because there’s a war going on and the indomitable lionfish are winning.

These voracious predators are known to invade the shallows of coral reef.  They’re dangerous because they ruin the habitat and eat juvenile spiny lobsters, snappers, groupers, tarpon and bonefish - all valuable marine species humans rely on.

Read more
Health Care
6:41 am
Mon July 1, 2013

You Ask, We Answer: Demystifying The Affordable Care Act

Families soon will be able to sign up for new health insurance options through the Affordable Care Act. In Washington, D.C., Dr. Cheryl Focht of Mary's Center performs a checkup of Jayson Gonzalez, 16, while his mother, Elizabeth Lopez, looks on.
Heather Rousseau NPR

Originally published on Tue July 2, 2013 10:25 am

The biggest changes in health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act are set to begin less than three months from now. Oct. 1 is when people can start signing up for coverage in new state health exchanges. The policies would kick in on Jan. 1, 2014.

It can all be a little confusing, we agree. So two weeks ago, we asked what you wanted to know about the health law.

Read more
Religion
1:38 pm
Fri June 28, 2013

Dedication Of Nation's First Atheist Monument Saturday In Starke

Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 2:17 pm

The first monument to atheism ever erected on government property in the U.S. will be dedicated Saturday in Starke.

The monument will be in close proximity to a black granite display of the Ten Commandments installed in the courtyard of the Bradford County Courthouse last year.  

American Atheists sponsored the display after losing a lawsuit to get the Ten Commandments removed.

Read more
Business
12:49 pm
Fri June 28, 2013

How The University Of Miami Lures Biotech Startups To South Florida

Robert Chavez, executive director of a new seed accelerator called ProjectLift Miami, works with companies in the Miami Innovation Center at the University of Miami Life Science & Technology Park.
Credit Alex M. Sanchez/Miami Herald Staff

Many U.S. cities are competing to bring biotech companies and jobs to their communities, places like Phoenix, Buffalo, Gainesville and of course, Miami.

They all want to develop an industry cluster, and while cities like San Diego and Boston have already successfully grown theirs, Miami’s efforts are still somewhat nascent.

Read more
Sports
4:20 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

Two Heat Championships Later, All Of Florida Becomes A Basketball Town

Two championships apparently helped this plate sell.

There’s now proof that South Florida has become a basketball town. In fact, after two Miami Heat championships, all of Florida seems to be smitten by LeBron’s team.

That’s at least according to data released today on the number of Florida specialty plates. It shows that the Miami Heat tag has surpassed the plates for all other Florida pro sports teams.

In 2011, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had more specialty plates issued than any other pro sports team in the state, according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

Read more
Business
3:22 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

U.S. Businessman Trapped By Chinese Workers Is Freed

American Chip Starnes, co-owner of Specialty Medical Supplies, spoke to the media Tuesday from a window at a factory on the outskirts of Beijing.
Andy Wong AP

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 2:49 pm

American businessman Chip Starnes finally left his factory in China on Thursday after he and a union negotiator worked out severance payments for Chinese employees.

Starnes had been stuck inside his medical supply parts factory since last Friday. That's when workers, fearing they were all going to be laid off and that the company wasn't going to compensate them fairly, blocked all of the exits out of the plant. Starnes couldn't get out.

Read more
Zimmerman Trial
10:20 am
Thu June 27, 2013

Key Witness In Trayvon Martin Case Returns To The Stand

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 5:24 am

Wednesday marked the third day of testimony in the murder trial of George Zimmerman. The neighborhood watch volunteer is accused of killing unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin. Among those testifying was a key witness: Rachel Jeantel. She testified that she was on the phone with Martin when he was attacked.

Agriculture
8:05 am
Thu June 27, 2013

New Bugs In Florida Stymie Researchers, Threaten Crops

The psyllid, discovered eight years ago in Florida citrus groves, has been problematic for researchers and farmers alike.
University of California, Davis AP

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 5:34 am

With its pleasant climate, Florida has become home to more exotic and invasive species of plants and animals than any other state in the continental U.S. Some invasive species have been brought in deliberately, such as the Burmese python or the Cuban brown snail. But the majority of species are imported inadvertently as cargo.

Amanda Hodges, who heads the biosecurity research lab at the University of Florida, says that until recently, scientists saw about a dozen new bugs arrive in Florida each year.

Read more
Americas
7:50 am
Thu June 27, 2013

Amid Construction Boom, Migrants Flow Into Brazil

Construction is underway on the Itaquerao stadium in Sao Paulo, shown here June 12. The stadium will be the venue for the opening ceremony and game of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, and many migrants are among the laborers working on the project.
Sebastiao Moreira EPA/Landov

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 5:34 am

Brazil is in the midst of a building boom as it constructs stadiums across the country in preparation for the World Cup it will host next year. In Sao Paulo, hundreds of workers are building a massive arena that will take many more months to complete.

But not all of the workers are Brazilian.

Marie Eveline Melous, 26, arrived from Haiti just a few months ago because life was so difficult, especially after the huge earthquake in 2010. "It's hard to find work. I came to Brazil to help my situation," she says.

Read more

Pages