Politics

Cuba
9:16 am
Fri December 26, 2014

While Poll Supports New U.S.-Cuba Relations, Political Hurdles Remain

Cars in Havana, Cuba.
Credit Nina Hale / Flickr

About 60 percent of Americans agree with the President’s decision on Cuba, according to a new poll this week from CNN and Opinion Research Corporation.

Almost as many said the U.S. trade embargo against Cuba, which only Congress can overturn, should be lifted. And two-thirds want U.S. tourist travel to the island restored as well.

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Politics
12:15 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

Legislature Says Fair Districts Amendment Is "Unenforceable"

Lawyers for the Legislature say Amendment 6 in the Florida Constitution conflicts with the U.S. Constitution.
Credit apalapala/flickr

Lawyers for the Legislature told the Florida Supreme Court in a brief filed late Friday that part of a state ban on political gerrymandering violates the U.S. Constitution.

The filing is the latest chapter in a long-running battle over whether lawmakers rigged congressional districts during the 2012 redistricting process to benefit Republicans. Voting-rights organizations argue that the maps were influenced by politics, contrary to an amendment to the Florida Constitution approved by voters in 2010.

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Politics
11:52 am
Tue December 23, 2014

Competing Greyhound-Racing Bills Filed In Tallahassee

Florida is among a handful of states that still allow greyhound racing.
Credit B Breland Photograhy/flickr

The first bill expected to pass quickly when the Legislature opens in March would force dog tracks to report greyhound injuries within seven days.

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Cuba
10:18 am
Mon December 22, 2014

Older Cuban-Americans Protest Obama, But Poll Suggests Younger Generation Approves

Cuban exile protesters at a rally in Little Havana hold up a sign that says in Spanish: "We are all part of the resistance."
Credit Roberto Koltun / El Nuevo Herald

  President Obama's decision last week to normalize relations with Cuba was bad news for Cuban exiles who oppose engagement with the communist island. And a new poll released over the weekend doesn't give them a lot of future comfort, either.

The survey by the Bendixen and Amandi International firm, conducted for the Miami Herald, El Nuevo Herald and Tampa Bay Times, shows Cuban-Americans are split on President Obama’s new Cuba policy: 48 percent say they disagree with it while 44 percent agree.

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Politics
7:18 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

Proposed Law Would Further Limit Drone Surveillance

Lawmakers are preparing legislation to address the potential abuse of surveillance technology. Sen. Dorothy Hukill says the technology for drones and tracking devices is becoming more affordable and easy for anyone to obtain.
Credit David Rodriguez Martin/flickr

The Florida Legislature passed a bill in 2013 that limits the government’s ability to use drones for unwarranted surveillance. Now, a new proposal would give people greater privacy rights on their own property.

The proposed legislation would take surveillance restrictions on drones a step further than last year’s law.

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#CubaPolicy
10:23 am
Thu December 18, 2014

How Social Media Reacted To The Cuba Announcement

Lazaro Lozano, center, protests against President Obama's decision to normalize relations between Cuba and the United States while at Versailles Restaurant on Calle Ocho in Miami on Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014.
Credit Al Diaz / Miami Herald

President Barack Obama shook up a half-century of U.S.-Cuba relations Wednesday, announcing the two countries had agreed to start normalizing relations. Obama wants to set up an embassy in Havana, loosen travel restrictions and allow more trade between the two countries.

South Florida's Cuban-American delegation in Congress criticized the announcement -- calling Obama the "Appeaser-in-Chief." Protesters shouted down the president in Little Havana.

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Politics
7:35 am
Thu December 18, 2014

New Era For Cuba? Voices From Miami And Havana

Anti-Castro protester Lazaro Lozano (left) argues with an unidentified pro-Obama supporter in the Little Havana area of Miami on Wednesday.
Alan Diaz AP

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 12:22 pm

Just hours after the United States and Cuba announced they were moving toward normalizing relations, crowds gathered in Havana and Miami trying to come to grips with a historic shift.

NPR covered the reaction in those two places with two pieces on Morning Edition.

NPR's Greg Allen reported from Miami:

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Politics
6:17 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

Cubans On The Island See New U.S.-Cuba Relations As A Major Breakthrough

President Barack Obama announced a new approach to U.S.-Cuba relations on Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014.
Credit Julio Cortez / AP

Earlier today, President Barack Obama proclaimed that the policies toward Cuba over the past 50 years have not worked and announced major changes in U.S.-Cuba relations.

Obama reiterated that opening travel, financial exchanges, and telecommunications between the two nations will allow American values to be more easily shared with the Cuban people.

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Cuba 2014
5:55 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

Tell Us What You Think About U.S. Plans To Normalize Relations In Cuba

President Barack Obama spoke to the nation today about U.S.-Cuba relations.
Credit YouTube

Fill in this form to share your take with us. We're compiling local reactions for WLRN programming and Miami Herald reports.

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Politics
5:43 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

Live Chat: Special Program On U.S.-Cuba Relations Post-Alan Gross

Tonight at 6 p.m., WLRN-Miami Herald News will host an hour-long special program on President Obama's announcement regarding normalizing diplomatic relations with Cuba.

You can participate in the live chat below and listen live on 91.3 FM, WLRN.org, the official WLRN app in the App Store, or by listening to the show through iTunes.

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Politics
5:49 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Florida Files Petition to Keep Gay Marriage Ban

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 9:14 am

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi filed an emergency petition on Monday seeking to keep the state's ban on gay marriage in place past Jan. 5.

Bondi and attorneys in her office filed the request with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Thomas oversees emergency appeals from Florida, Alabama and Georgia.

The move by Bondi comes after a federal appeals court in Atlanta refused to keep on hold a ruling that declared Florida's ban on gay marriage unconstitutional. That decision brought same-sex weddings one step closer to reality in the state.

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Politics
1:58 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

What Jeb Bush's Announcement Means For The 2016 Race

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said on Facebook Tuesday that he was considering a presidential run in 2016.
Credit CM Guerrero / El Nuevo Herald

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is basically running for president now, giving him instant frontrunner status and implicitly pressuring other Republicans to decide whether to run for the White House against him in 2016.

“I have decided to actively explore the possibility of running for President of the United States,” the Republican said on Facebook and Twitter Tuesday morning.

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Politics
4:56 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Fort Lauderdale Mayor Speaks Up About Homeless Debate

Arnold Abbott cited for breaking Fort Lauderdale ordinances on feeding the homeless.
Credit Lynne Sladky / El Nuevo Herald

Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler is adamant about the city's ordinances relating to homeless issues. He has said, as have other city commissioners, that the laws are for public safety.

That hasn't softened the blow of the international scrutiny from social media as well as the late night shows, including The Colbert Report.

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Politics
4:24 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Jobs, Education, Tax Cuts Top Priorities In Gov. Rick Scott's Second Term

Gov. Rick Scott greets supporters at a campaign event at Orlando Harley-Davidson in November.
Credit Scott For Florida

Gov. Rick Scott’s inauguration is less than a month away. Scott is only the second Republican governor in Florida history to win reelection. Jeb Bush was the first.

Scott told reporters at the Capitol this week he'll focus on education and tax cuts, as well as growing jobs during his second term. 

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Politics
4:41 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Gov. Rick Scott Faces New Complaint After Release Of Private Emails

Gov. Rick Scott waves to supporters during a campaign stop last month in Lakeland.
Credit Scott For Florida

Gov. Rick Scott could face sanctions over his use of a private email account now that a judge in Tallahassee has given the okay for an additional complaint against Scott relating to public records. 

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