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Lydia Martin, Miami journalist and fiction writer

This week on The Florida Roundup ...

After weeks of private negotiations, Senate Republicans unveiled their Better Care Reconciliation Act, their proposal to replace the Affordable Care Act. Florida has more at stake in this debate than any other state and South Florida alone has more than 600,000 people signed up for individual coverage through the ACA this year. 

Courtesy of Simone Dinnerstein

An orchestra from Cuba is making its South Florida debut amidst changing relations between it and the U.S.

The Havana Lyceum Orchestra is on its first tour throughout the U.S. and will be performing Friday at the New World Center in Miami Beach.

The orchestra is one of the country’s most prominent classical music groups composed of conservatory students, graduates and music teachers.

With about half of the members of the orchestra, violinist Maiin Hau has been touring the east coast: New York, Philadelphia, Boston, now Miami Beach.

U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency

Accidental opioid overdoses by first responders are an alarming phenomenon.

 

Now the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency is warning police and firefighters to take special precautions in case they encounter synthetic opioids like fentanyl. The drugs can cause overdose just from contact with skin.

[Read more: Sunny Daze, Inside South Florida's Opioids Crisis]

Dani Moschella is with the Delray Beach Police Department. She said the department tightened their procedures a year ago.

Thirteen chefs divide into teams and begin to prepare appetizers, salads, mains and sides, and desserts. At their disposal are 300 pounds of "ugly" produce just rescued from local farms: purple cauliflower, cherries, shiitake mushrooms, pears, fingerling potatoes, shallots, kale and carrots.

Most of it looks super-fresh, though in some cases the produce is dinged or oddly colored enough to be unappealing to distributors.

Today we're going to update a story we first brought you back in 2004. That September, NPR set out to document what may be the most important day in any young child's life — the first day of kindergarten. For parents it's a day filled with hope, anxiety and one big question: Is our child ready?

The answer back then, as far as 5-year-old Sam Marsenison was concerned, was, "No, no, no!"

Thirty years after Chinese Communist Party Chairman Mao Zedong labeled golf a sport for the bourgeois and banned it from his worker's paradise, his successor gave the sport another try.

In ordinary times, New York-based Vornado Realty Trust would be a natural candidate to take on a major construction project such as the long-awaited rebuilding of FBI headquarters.

As with so much about the Trump era, however, the ordinary rules don't apply.

A commercial real estate firm, Vornado is widely reported to be a finalist to build a new campus for the FBI somewhere in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. But its financial ties to President Trump are raising concerns about conflicts of interest.

Monroe County Sheriff's Office

Two body camera videos from the same Monroe County sheriff's sergeant recently garnered national attention. In the Keys, they have ignited a conversation about how undocumented immigrants may face differing approaches to enforcement on the same island.

Olga Yakovleva / Miami Herald

Last summer Eli Nektalov, CEO of Big International Realty, was optimistic a Trump presidency would improve US-Russia relations--and the local real estate business. 

Nektalov, whose company serves many Russian clients, is still waiting for President Trump to relax the sanctions imposed on Russia by the U.S. and its European allies after Moscow's failure to comply with the 2015 ceasefire agreement in Crimea. 

"There is not too much change," he said. "We'd been expecting, of course, much more."

Two government watchdog groups, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and the National Security Archive, filed a lawsuit Thursday against President Trump and the Executive Office of the President.

A federal appeals court has upheld a lower court ruling that the confession of Brendan Dassey, whose case was part of the Netflix documentary series Making a Murderer, was involuntary. Dassey was found guilty of helping his uncle kill a young woman in 2005, and has been held in a Wisconsin prison.

Federal regulators on Thursday said they've identified "the perpetrator of one of the largest ... illegal robocalling campaigns" they have ever investigated.

The Federal Communications Commission has proposed a $120 million fine for a Miami resident said to be single-handedly responsible for almost 97 million robocalls over just the last three months of 2016.

Officials say Adrian Abramovich auto-dialed hundreds of millions of phone calls to landlines and cellphones in the U.S. and Canada and at one point even overwhelmed an emergency medical paging service.

Creative Commons via Flickr / Wonderlane (https://flic.kr/p/7euNF1)


America's diversity remains on the rise, with all racial and ethnic minorities growing faster than whites from 2015 to 2016, the U.S. Census Bureau says in a new snapshot of the national population. The agency also found the U.S. median age has risen to nearly 38.

Asian and mixed-race people are the two fastest-growing segments of the U.S. population, the U.S. Census Bureau says. Both groups grew by 3 percent from July 2015 to July 2016. In the same 12 months, the non-Hispanic white population grew by just 5,000 people.

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