politics

Cuba Travel
12:00 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

Here's What The New U.S.-Cuba Rules Mean For Travelers

Credit freedigitalphotos.net/Arvind Balaraman

A promise that travel to Cuba would be easier for Americans was part of President Obama’s historic announcement this week that he’s taking steps to normalize relations.

What will the easing of sanctions against Cuba mean for the average traveler -- as well as for people who want to do business there?

We asked reporter Mimi Whitefield, who covers the Latin American economy for the Miami Herald.

Here are a few things you need to know.

Below is an edited transcript.

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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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Opinion
12:37 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

The Cuba Illusion Has Vanished – And Now The Embargo Should Too

Cuban women walk by wall graffiti in Havana.
Credit Flickr

In the wake of the historic Cuba policy changes President Obama ordered yesterday, Congress will now debate whether to scuttle the failed, 52-year-old trade embargo against the communist island.

Capitol Hill should indeed ditch it – and if it’s looking for reasons, it should consider some of the repulsive folks Washington has had to engage this year.

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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
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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News
12:52 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

Seismic Shift In U.S. Policy Toward Cuba Involved Pope And An Unknown Spy

Alan Gross was arrested in Cuba in 2009. He was released today and returned to the United States.
Credit AP

The most tectonic shift in U.S.-Cuba relations in half a century – and the release of a U.S. citizen from a Cuban prison – were brought about thanks largely to the most famous man in the world (the Pope) and to a man whose identity we may never know.

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News
9:26 am
Wed December 17, 2014

Everything You Need To Know About Alan Gross And U.S.-Cuba Relations Now

Alan Gross was released from a five-year imprisonment in Cuba on Wednesday, Dec. 17.
Credit Jeff Flake

U.S. government contract worker Alan Gross was released Wednesday morning after a five-year imprisonment in Cuba.

The 65-year-old, now in poor health, was sentenced to 15 years in prison by a Cuban court in 2011 for bringing telecommunications devices onto the island.

WLRN has reported on Gross' trajectory with the Cuban government and you can read those stories here.

At noon Wednesday, President Barack Obama also announced his new approach in U.S.-Cuba relations.

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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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News
4:12 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Will Haiti PM's Resignation Defuse The Political Crisis? Don't Count On It

At the time this photo was shot, Jan. 8, 2014, Haiti's then-Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe talked about the many challenges ahead for his country.
Credit Patrick Farrell / Miami Herald

Yesterday’s resignation of Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe was supposed to help end Haiti’s long and sometimes violent political crisis. Don’t get your hopes up.

Most Haitians weren’t even awake when Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe’s taped resignation speech was televised at 2 a.m. Sunday morning. The government blamed technical difficulties for the delay.

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The End of the Road
5:29 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

I-95: America's 2,000-Mile Political Lens?

Tennessee governor Bill Haslam, head of the Republican Governors Association, recently claimed that the GOP was becoming the party of I-95. While it's not unheard of to use Interstates as a political lens, using an entire 2,000 mile Interstate is a little strange.
Credit Graphic by Kenny Malone

You’ve heard of “big tent” political parties. How about “big overpass” parties?

Is GOP the party of Interstate 95?” read a headline from McClatchy Newspapers last month.

About two weeks after the November midterm elections, the Republican Governors Association met in Boca Raton. During a press conference, newly appointed chairman -- and Tennessee governor -- Bill Haslam told a group of reporters about a recent revelation.

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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
7:50 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

Fact-Checking the Popularity of Amendment Two

Originally published on Wed November 19, 2014 2:36 pm

In the midterm elections earlier this month in Florida, the constitutional amendment to allow for the distribution of medical marijuana needed 60 percent of the vote to pass.

Amendment Two received 57.6 percent.

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