Miami

Arnulfo Franco / AP via Miami Herald

Not surprisingly, the Panama Papers controversy that erupted this week is shining a renewed spotlight on the financial practices of…Panama. Money-laundering experts say that's a good thing – and it just might be a good thing for South Florida too.

The massive leak of documents confirms at least two things:

Panamanian law firms are very prolific at creating offshore firms where clients can secretly park vast sums of money.

Tim Padgett / WLRN.org

Polls show most Cuban-Americans agree with President Obama’s normalization of relations with Cuba. But many are nonetheless wary of the historic visit he’s making there this month.

Which is why a top White House official came to Miami today to hear their concerns.

Tim Padgett / WLRN.org

Colombians are the largest non-Cuban Latino group in South Florida. And what do they miss most about home? It might not be their world-famous coffee. In fact, their love for soccer is making history this week in Miami.

When you're talking about Colombian soccer, you're really talking about Cali and Medellín. The cross-town rivalries between the professional teams in each of those cities – Deportivo vs. América in Cali and Independiente vs. Nacional in Medellín – are some of the most celebrated in South America.

 

 

It feels like a high-speed chase west on the ironically named Dolphin Expressway, veering south on what follows as a seamless string of highway on the "Palmetto," the Don Shula Expressway and the Ronald Reagan Turnpike, all certifiable assaults on the nervous system.

Carl Juste / Miami Herald

In a 2008 interview, then Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva offered me his formula for success: “I allow the rich to earn money with their investments and I allow the poor to participate in that economic growth.”

Lula’s capitalist-socialist policies, and soaring commodities prices, led Brazil to an astonishing boom in the 2000s. By 2010, as Lula was leaving office, the country was the world’s sixth-largest economy, and 40 million people were added to its middle class.

It was a confident global player.

Now it’s a foundering cautionary tale.

Jayme Gershen/Eve Mosher/flickr

Twenty university professors, including a few from Florida, sent a letter to the White House in September asking for an investigation of corporations that deny - and simultaneously profit from - the effects of climate change. The group says the actions of these organizations have been extensively documented in peer reviewed academic research.

Fantasy Springs/flickr

The best selling rap artist once referred to as Mr. 305 is now a paid ambassador for Visit Florida, the state's tourism marketing corporation. Rapper Pitbull is working on a music video showcasing the state.

Pitbull’s real name is Armando Christian Pérez. He’s a Miami native; his parents emigrated from Cuba. Now he calls himself Mr. Worldwide – since he’s become an international star. Pitbull’s more than 100 million social media followers make him an attractive partner for Visit Florida.

 

Pedro Portal / El Nuevo Herald

Pope Francis’ visit to Cuba this weekend showcases the island’s Roman Catholic recovery after half a century of communism.

But that narrative is misleading. In reality, Catholicism wasn’t all that vibrant in Cuba before communism.

Enrollment Ends For MDX Toll Reimbursement Program

Aug 31, 2015
C.M. Guerrero / El Nuevo Herald Staff

Regular commuters have until the end of the day Monday to register for the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority’s new toll reimbursement program.

The Cash Back Toll Dividend Program allows MDX to give some commuters a percentage of their tolls back if the organization is running a budget surplus.


“There’s definitely going to be a dividend declared,” says MDX spokesman Mario Diaz. “What we’re looking at is, and we have to finalize those numbers and the board has to finalize, but it appears that it’ll be somewhere around $3 million this year.”

Sonora Carruseles / Facebook

Maybe you’ve never heard of the Miami salsa band Sonora Carruseles. But President Obama has. This week he put one of the group’s songs on his summer playlist – and the Colombian-American ensemble is obscure no more.

Ginger Photography Inc. / Locust Projects

A group of Florida teens is embracing their inner "Florida Man" with an art exhibition at Miami's Locust Projects which, every summer for the last six years, has handed its gallery over to high-schoolers for the Locust Arts Builders program.

Tim Padgett / WLRN.org

Five years ago today, Wyclef Jean – the Haitian-American hip-hop star whose 2004 hit song mused, “If I was President” – revealed in an interview with me that he was actually running for President. Of Haiti.

Peter Andrew Bosch / Miami Herald

As recently as just a few years ago, this would have been unthinkable: A U.S. presidential candidate coming to Miami and calling for an end to the U.S trade embargo against Cuba. But Hillary Clinton did just that on Friday.

In a speech at Florida International University, the Democratic president front-runner said U.S.-Cuba relations are at a "crossroads," and that she'll "double down" on President Obama's policy of engaging the communist island: “The Cuba embargo," Clinton declared, "needs to go once and for all.”

Marco Ugarte / AP

COMMENTARY

Once again, Donald Trump’s got it all wrong.

Mexican immigrants aren’t the problem. Mexican officials are.

Especially all the Mexican officials who live deep inside the pockets of Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, the world’s richest and most wanted drug kingpin. Thanks to them, El Chapo, or “Shorty,” was able to waltz out of Mexico’s most secure penitentiary through a mile-long escape tunnel that’s already being called one of the country’s engineering marvels.

Al Diaz / AP

It was the first major story I ever covered here in Miami.

The first – and quite possibly the worst. But it’s worth recalling because it led us to the Cuba moment Miami is living right now.

This Sunday marks the 15th anniversary of the end of the Elián González drama – the ugly international custody battle that gave the cable news networks bizarre fodder for seven long months in 1999 and 2000.

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