Politics

Politics
4:16 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

How Did The Legislature Do On Water Issues This Session?

Rainbow Springs in northern Florida
Credit Florida Trend

According to a panel discussion last Friday, the Florida Legislature did a fair job handling water issues this year. 

Legislators gave millions of dollars for Everglades restoration projects, drinking-water issues and lake clean-ups.

The Arthur R. Marshall Foundation for The Everglades, the League of Women Voters of Palm Beach County and Oxbridge Academy hosted the discussion.

Todd Bonlarron handles legislative affairs for Palm Beach County. He says the one thing the Legislature didn’t pay enough attention to was the more than 900 Florida springs.

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Colombia
1:49 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

President Santos Is Colombia's Comeback Kid, Wins Re-Election

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos at the University of Miami last December.
Credit C.M. Guerrero / El Nuevo Herald

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos is back from the brink. Polls had indicated he could lose his re-election bid in Sunday’s presidential run-off vote. But he won another four years in office – and that also breathes new life into Colombia's peace process.

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Marijuana
1:40 am
Mon June 16, 2014

Jamaica Decriminalizes Marijuana: Is This A Hemispheric Trend?

A Jamaican man tends his marijuana crop.
Credit Greg Weeks / Flickr

First Uruguay, now Jamaica. Last week, the Caribbean island became the western hemisphere’s second country to make marijuana possession OK. Is this a trend?

Ganja, as Jamaicans call marijuana, has long been part of their culture. The island’s Rastafarian religious movement promotes it as a means of enlightenment. Still, marijuana has been illegal there. Now Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller says Jamaica will decriminalize small amounts of ganja – up to 57 grams, or 2 ounces. Other Caribbean governments look poised to follow suit.

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LGBT Rights
1:34 am
Mon June 16, 2014

Miami Beach Will Offer Transgender Benefits This Fall

Miami Beach joins a small group of just 5 percent of cities across the country that offer transgender benefits.
Credit digital_rex / Creative Commons/Flickr

The City of Miami Beach will be the first in the state to offer transgender benefits to city employees, starting this October. The Commission voted unanimously last Wednesday to offer the coverage.

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Transportation
12:39 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

County Commissioners Talk Taxis, Uber And Lyft

Credit Miami Herald

The Board of County Commissioner’s transportation and aviation committee met this week to talk taxis, Uber and Lyft. The ride-sharing apps have been facing resistance from the taxi industry and some county commissioners.

“I have a problem with companies coming into the area and setting up shop when they’ve been told that what they’re doing is illegal,” said Dennis Moss, chairman of the committee.

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The Florida Roundup
11:11 am
Fri June 13, 2014

The Florida Roundup: This Week In South Florida Sports

David Beckham's group hasn't said the rejection of its second site will end its efforts to bring professional soccer to Miami.
Credit C.M. GUERRERO / EL NUEVO HERALD

 

The search continues for a soccer stadium in Miami. The City of Miami tells David Beckham he cannot build on a bay front boat slip.  

But the beautiful game kicks off its quadrennial contest.  Has Brazil’s confidence on and off the field jeopardized success of the World Cup? And the Heat’s season is in jeopardy after losing two in a row to the Spurs.

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Sports
2:58 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

International Tweeters Use Hashtag To Protest The World Cup

A hashtag protests the World Cup on Twitter.
Credit Openclipart.org

Tweeters, mainly in Spain and Latin America, are using the hashtag #NoVoyABrasilPorque to state why they're not going to -- and some boycotting -- Brazil for the World Cup. The users are mainly protesting Brazil’s economic preference toward the tournament than many of its social issues.

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Transportation
10:36 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

Lyft Rep Says The Service Can Coexist With Taxis

Credit Jose A. Iglesias / el Nuevo Herald

Ride-sharing app Lyft has been operating illegally in Miami-Dade County for a little over two weeks now, and the app's directors and lobbyist Jorge Luis Lopez are trying to resolve their legality issue.

They are working on new model legislation that seeks to make room for apps like Lyft in county code. If the Board of County Commissioners approves, the service has the potential to become legal.

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Midterm Elections
12:05 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

Wasserman Schultz: GOP Relying On "Distractions" In November

Credit Debbie Wasserman Schultz / Courtesy

As chair of the Democratic National Committee, South Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz faces a tough task in November: Keeping her party from losing its U.S. Senate majority and keeping the GOP from enlarging its majority in the U.S. House of Representatives. Polls so far indicate both could happen.

But in an interview with WLRN, Wasserman Schultz says she's convinced voters will ultimately reject Republican "extremism" and what she calls the GOP's "distractions" strategy.

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Medical Marijuana
9:19 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

Why DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz Is Cautious On Medical Marijuana

U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz speaks during a recent visit to South Florida.
Credit Constanza Gallardo / WLRN

A new medical marijuana controversy erupted over the weekend when South Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz weighed in.

Wasserman Schultz chairs the Democratic National Committee. So last week, when she voted against legislation in the House that would prevent the federal government from interfering with state medical marijuana laws, Florida took notice. That's because Sunshine State voters will decide in November whether or not to legalize medical marijuana.

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Latin America
8:52 am
Fri June 6, 2014

Locked Up In Latin America: Why These Controversial Cases Are Hard To Resolve

Andrew Tahmooressi, while still a Marine, with his mother Jill Tahmooressi, who lives in Weston, Fla.
Credit Courtesy Jill Tahmooressi

There’s an old saying among Mexican officials when dealing with the United States: Always tell the gringos yes, but never tell them when.

That dance is the result of two centuries of tortured bilateral relations marked by U.S. insensitivity and Mexican hypersensitivity. And it’s most likely what’s playing out now as Washington and Mexico City haggle over the fate of a former U.S. Marine, Andrew Tahmooressi.

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Commentary
6:39 am
Wed June 4, 2014

How Central American Kids Gave Us An Immigration Reality Check

Migration of the Innocents: A Central American toddler migrant being lifted onto the Mexican train known as "The Beast."
Credit Keith Dannemiller / Photo courtesy of the International Organization for Migration. ©2014 IOM

We thought we had the border licked.

Both President Obama and his Republican opposition had been patting themselves on the back of late for making the 2,000-mile-long frontera between the United States and Mexico more forbidding for undocumented migrants. Fewer and fewer had been crossing each year, because of beefed-up border security and because Obama had made a policy of deporting indocumentados in record numbers.

And then a bunch of Central American kids had to spoil the celebration.

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Americas
11:32 am
Tue June 3, 2014

Jailing Of Florida's Aqua Quest Crew Raises Honduran Justice Issues

The Aqua Quest before it was impounded last month on Honduras' Miskito Coast
Credit Michael McCabe / Aqua Quest International

Six U.S. crew members of the Aqua Quest, a 65-foot ship out of Florida, have been sitting in a jungle jail in Honduras for almost a month now. The charge against them: bringing weapons into the violent Central American country illegally. But the case is questionable – especially since Aqua Quest International, the Tarpon Springs ocean exploration and recovery company that owns the vessel, was invited by Honduran officials to carry out development projects like river clearing.

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Politics
2:51 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Miami-Dade Has Most To Lose In State Budget

Widening of the Homestead extension of the Florida Turnpike is among hundreds of Miami-Dade projects slated for funding in the next state budget.
Credit Florida Turnpike

Miami-Dade County is eligible for more money than any other county in the state budget -- $1.8 billion. That makes the county more susceptible to budget vetoes before the budget goes into effect in July.

The Florida Legislature handed Gov. Rick Scott a record election-year budget of $77.1 billion. Scott has the final say over the budget and can cut funding for programs at will. Miami-Dade has more line items in the budget than any other county, but all of them could be slashed with the veto pen.

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Opinion
2:38 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Please Don't Call Yoani Sánchez A Hero If You Really Don't Want To Help Her

Yoani Sanchez working in Havana.
Credit Andre Deak / Flickr

It’s hard to tell what’s most striking these days: Yoani Sánchez’s heroism or America’s hypocrisy.

Last week, when communist authorities tried to block Sánchez’s new digital newspaper, 14ymedio, Florida Senator Marco Rubio called her “one of Cuba’s most courageous” dissidents. And rightly so.

But he also called the internationally acclaimed blogger “an aspiring Cuban media entrepreneur.” And that’s where the inconsistency starts.

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