WLRN's Five Most Popular Stories Jan. 27-31

Feb 3, 2014

Credit Tom Hudson

Modern-day slavery in Brazil, Bitcoin's rising popularity among South Florida merchants, rent spikes, human trafficking and a killer whale dominated the top stories this week.

Bitcoin in South Florida: Real Business Taking Virtual Money: Flower shops, burger joints and -yachts? The digital currency Bitcoin is gaining wider acceptance among merchants, including a few in South Florida.

Foreign Buys Drive Hopeful Homeowners To Spend More On Rent: Foreign investors are purchasing properties at an increasing rate. Reporter Wilson Sayre explores the growing trend and the effect it's having on families looking to buy a place of their own.

Domestic Violence Or Human Trafficking? The State Is Just Learning To Tell: Florida ranks third in the nation for number of calls to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center. Not all trafficking cases are international, 90 percent of cases are local according State Attorney for Miami-Dade County Katherine Fernandez's office.

Free Lolita? Feds Seek Public Comment On Miami's Captive Orca: The National Marine Fisheries Service is seeking public comment on a proposal to give Lolita endangered species status. Officials from Miami Sequarium and the Animal Legal Defense Fund have conflicting  declarations on Lolita's state of wellbeing.

Brazils Slaves Are Being Freed- But Are Its Slaveholders Being Punished?: Despite over a century of being outlawed, slavery is still practiced in Brazil. Promises of a good wage are what lure workers far from home. Once arrived the workers are thrown into a cycle of debt that they can't repay.