The Florida Roundup

Fridays at noon on WLRN 91.3FM

Each week a panel of journalists from South Florida and around the state discuss the week in news. 

Listeners can join the conversation by:

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Ramon Espinosa / Associated Press

“The year 2015 has seen more firsts than in 50 years,” says Tom Hudson, WLRN’s Florida Roundup host.

 

He spoke with WLRN’s Tim Padgett and Fusion’s Latin America editor Tim Rogers to discuss the pathway to normalizing U.S.-Cuba relations, the migrant crisis in Central America and Venezuela’s crumbling economy.

The Florida Roundup: Politics In 2015

Dec 30, 2015
Andrew Harnik / Associated Press

Before ringing in the New Year, we take a look back at 2015 national politics and politics in the Sunshine State.

 

It was a critical year for Democrats and Republicans running in the presidential race. From spring through summer, more than 20 major party candidates started campaigning as presidential hopefuls. Four of them have personal connections to Florida: Jeb Bush, Donald Trump, Marco Rubio and Ben Carson.

 

“Hello there” - the email started. “There is something you should know about, taking place tomorrow of 12-17-15 - Thursday.”

That was the email message received by the Houston Independent School District. A similar email came into the inboxes of school officials here in South Florida.

The emails threatened to blow up school buildings with pressure cookers bombs.

Florida Roundup: Property Claims In Cuba And U.S.

Dec 11, 2015
Ramon Espinosa / AP

The U.S. and Cuba may have embassies in each other’s countries, but relations are far from normal. Human rights, basic freedoms and an open economy continue to be major areas of friction between the two.

For the first time, negotiators tackled the contentious issue of reparations this week. American companies and Cubans in America want billions for property confiscated two generations ago when Fidel Castro and the communists seized power. Homes, businesses, shops, factories, farms -- they were all just taken by the revolution.

Jim Wyss / Miami Herald

In response to the Paris attacks one week ago, Florida Gov. Rick Scott joined more than half of the nations governors who called for "extensive" screening of Syrian migrants entering the United States.

One of the attackers who carried out the terrorist attacks in Paris that left more than 120 people dead appeared to be using a fake Syrian passport.

Courtesy All Aboard Florida

All Aboard Florida officially revealed models of its trains, with a new name: Brightline.

Those models are expected to become life-size and run from Miami to West Palm Beach in mid-2017 and farther north to Orlando later that year.

Brightline's yellow-streaked cars will offer food and drinks, facilities to transport pets, free wi-fi and power outlets at every seat.

But not everyone is on board with the rail link.

PATRICK FARRELL / Miami Herald

Criticism of Miami-Dade's public bus system can now be quantified -- in 27,000 complaints. 

According to a Miami Herald investigation that analyzed the high volume of complaints spanning the last 18 months, the most common question bus riders ask themselves is "Where's my bus?"

Other common infractions: Rude drivers, overcrowded routes and dirty busses. Really dirty -- roach-level dirty. 

Mark J. Terrill / AP

When Marco Rubio was asked at Wednesday's Republican presidential debate about the South Florida Sun Sentinel's editorial that called for his resignation as Senator, Rubio was prepared.

"I read that editorial with great amusement," Rubio said. The editorial board slammed Rubio for a poor voting record at Capitol Hill, which is among the lowest this year.

Walter Michot / Miami Herald

Few details have emerged about the police-involved shooting of Corey Jones in Palm Beach Gardens, as family, friends and supporters seek answers.

Jones, a South Florida drummer, was on his way home from his band’s gig when his car broke down on I-95. As he waited for a tow-truck, Palm Beach Gardens officer Nouman Raja pulled over in an unmarked department-issued car to inspect the vehicle, which he says he thought was abandoned.

Florida Roundup: Managing Rising Seas In South Florida

Oct 16, 2015
Climate Central

A new interactive map shows coastal cities like Miami could potentially be submerged within this century if carbon emissions worldwide continue “business as usual,” says Ben Strauss.

Strauss is vice president of sea level and climate impact at the research nonprofit Climate Central, which published the map.

It illustrates the effect of carbon emissions on sea-level rise through the year 2100.

In South Florida’s case, “the projections are difficult and unfortunate,” says Strauss.

Bar Jack / Flickr

Following two weeks of nationwide gun violence on school campuses, guns are becoming part of the conversation in Florida, too -- but in the form of legislation. 

 

This week, a bill was filed in Tallahassee to allow concealed weapons permit holders to carry guns in public.  

 

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

A Super Blood Moon, king tide and Hurricane Joaquin all came together this week to flood South Florida.

The king tide and Sunday's supermoon brought several inches of water to Key West, Miami Beach and Fort Lauderdale. Meanwhile, Hurricane Joaquin continues to rough up the surf off the coast of South Florida.

Walter Michot / Miami Herald Staff

Miami-Dade Commissioner Jose “Pepe” Diaz was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol last weekend in Key West – and the traffic stop was captured on video via body cameras.

Key West cops began using the cameras this summer. Miami-Dade County was recently awarded funds from the Department of Justice to kickstart the program.

Alessandra Tarantino / AP

Just as Cuba prepares for its first papal visit in 17 years -- one laden with questions of human rights, religious devotion and the future of normalizing relations -- the Obama administration released a new set of trade rules Friday morning in an effort to further thaw in U.S.-Cuba relations.

The rules will take effect Monday, and aim to weaken the U.S. trade embargo imposed on the island nation since 1962.

CREDIT DAVID SANTIAGO / EL NUEVO HERALD

Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz recently announced that she will back President Obama’s Iran nuclear arms deal.

The deal would lift the sanctions on Iran and, in return, international inspections would keep tabs on Iran’s nuclear sites.

“It’s rather absurd that there’s [objection] to the deal. This will enable us to bring peace globally and since Israel is on this planet, it would benefit them not to have war.” -Jessica (Coral Springs)

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