Associated Press

The Associated Press is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering, supplying a steady stream of news to its members, international subscribers and commercial customers. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, it's a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members.

Patrick Farrell / Miami Herald

The Florida Democratic Party Chairman  Stephen Bittel resigned after anonymous allegations of sexually inappropriate behavior, a decision he made Friday after four candidates for governor said he should step down over the report.

The party posted on Twitter a brief statement from Bittel, who had held the position since January.

Yaneli Gonzalez / WLRN News

Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine, who built a cruise ship media company worth hundreds of millions of dollars, entered Florida’s Democratic primary for governor Wednesday, joining an already crowded field hoping to replace outgoing Republican Gov. Rick Scott.

He’s been building toward the announcement for months, hiring a team of political advisers and touring the state to meet with Democrats and other groups. He even did a five-day bus trip around Florida for SiriusXM to highlight the state’s lifestyle and attractions.

Associated Press

Major contenders running for Florida governor are getting a chance to give their campaign pitch to reporters and editors from across the state.

The Associated Press is holding its annual pre-session planning day on Thursday at the Capitol. The session starts in January.

Three Democrats and two Republicans running for governor in 2018 are scheduled to appear.

Gov. Rick Scott is leaving office in early 2019 due to term limits.

 

AP

WASHINGTON — The head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency says there was “a lot wrong” with a $300 million no-bid contract awarded to a tiny Montana company to aid Puerto Rico.

FEMA Administrator Brock Long tells Congress that FEMA officials only learned about the contract awarded to Whitefish Energy Holdings after it had been signed by the board of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority.

The head of the troubled utility said Sunday he would seek to cancel the contract, amid scrutiny from multiple federal and congressional investigations.

Florida health officials are reporting the state's first case this year of the Zika virus transmitted by a mosquito.

Mike Stocker / Sun-Sentinel

A statue honoring a former governor whose segregationist comments recently came to light will be removed from a Florida courthouse.

But Broward Mayor Barbara Sharief said Tuesday that the county also named after Napoleon Bonaparte Broward isn’t likely to be renamed.

News outlets report the decision to remove the statue comes after commissioners in Hollywood, one of Broward County’s largest cities, agreed to renamed streets named after Confederate soldiers. Similar issues have arisen across the South.

Associated Press

The Trump administration is considering closing down the recently reopened U.S. Embassy in Havana following a string of unexplained incidents harming the health of American diplomats in Cuba, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Sunday.

Tillerson's comments were the strongest indication to date that the United States might mount a major diplomatic response, potentially jeopardizing the historic restart of relations between the U.S. and Cuba. The two former foes reopened embassies in Washington and Havana in 2015 after a half-century of estrangement.

National Hurricane Center

MIAMI (AP) — The latest on tropical weather in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans (all times local):

11:10 a.m., Sunday, Sept. 17

The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Hurricane Jose is growing stronger off the East Coast of the U.S., with maximum sustained winds of 90 mph (150 kph).

Forecasters say the storm is expected to cause dangerous surf and rip currents.

Associated Press

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Brock Long says the government response to Hurricane Irma has shifted from saving lives to one of beginning the long recovery process.

Long said at a briefing Friday that good progress is being made in getting people back into their homes or into temporary housing such as apartments or hotels. About 10,000 people in Florida remain in emergency shelters.

As if loss of air conditioning and refrigeration weren't bad enough, widespread power outages in hurricane-battered Florida are teaming with structural failures to cause another headache: sewage overflows.

Local governments have submitted well over 100 "notices of pollution" to the state Department of Environmental Protection since Hurricane Irma struck, some involving multiple spills and releases of millions of gallons of wastewater in various stages of treatment.

Evan Vucci / AP

The Miami Heat Charitable Fund, Carnival Corporation and the Micky and Madeleine Arison Family Foundation said Thursday they are giving up to $10 million in Hurricane Irma relief efforts across Florida and the Caribbean.

The pledge starts with an immediate $2.5 million donation by the Arison family to Direct Relief, UNICEF and the United Way of Miami-Dade County. Carnival Foundation and the Heat Charitable Fund are each pledging to raise a combined $5 million, and the Arison Foundation will match those efforts up to $5 million in total.

NASA/NOAA via AP

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Workers in the northeast Caribbean cleared drains and pruned trees as authorities urged islanders to prepare for Hurricane Irma, a Category 3 storm that grew stronger Monday and was forecast to begin buffeting the region the following day.

Associated Press

WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump is expected to announce that he will end protections for young immigrants who were brought into the country illegally as children, but with a six-month delay, people familiar with the plans said Sunday.

 

AP

A Florida prosecutor says she will comply with a state Supreme Court decision and seek the death penalty in future cases if it is unanimously recommended by a panel of her assistant prosecutors.

Orlando-area state attorney Aramis Ayala previously announced she would stop seeking the death penalty altogether. An angry Republican Gov. Rick Scott reassigned her death penalty-eligible cases to another state prosecutor. The governor’s move was upheld by the court Thursday.

The court said Ayala was wrong to have a blanket policy of not seeking the death penalty.

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