Politics

Community Contributor
11:22 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Study: Interrogations Can Lead To False Confessions By Juveniles

Credit krystian_o / Flickr

Juveniles may be particularly vulnerable to falsely admitting guilt, according to a study led by Florida International University psychologist Lindsay C. Malloy.

The findings were published recently in the American Psychological Association’s journal Law and Human Behavior.

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Health Care
9:11 am
Wed October 23, 2013

States' Refusal To Expand Medicaid May Leave Millions Uninsured

Protesters fill the Miami office of state Rep. Manny Diaz Jr. on Sept. 20 to protest his stance against expansion of health coverage in Florida.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 12:12 pm

President Obama on Tuesday appointed one of his top management gurus, Jeffrey Zeints, to head the team working to fix what ails HealthCare.gov, the troubled website that's supposed to allow residents of 36 states to enroll in coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

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Americas
6:00 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Why Dilma's Doldrums Nixed Her State Visit To Washington

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff attends a recent meeting of the G-20 in St. Petersburg, Russia

Click the play button above to hear the radio version of this post by WLRN Americas Editor Tim Padgett.

Washington was supposed to fete Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff today. But she canceled her formal state visit, the only one the White House had scheduled for a foreign head of state this year.

By now most people know why. Rousseff is protesting revelations that the U.S. National Security Agency spied on her personal phone calls and e-mails.

“Without respect for sovereignty,” she said in a blistering speech last month at the United Nations aimed at the Obama Administration, “there is no basis for relationships among nations.”

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Americas
3:48 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Cuba To Phase Out Two-Peso Currency System

A woman displays Cuban pesos, or CUP (right) and the more valuable convertible pesos, or CUC (left), in Havana Tuesday. Raul Castro's government announced that it will begin unifying the two currencies.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 4:09 pm

Cuba will end the two-currency system it has used for nearly 20 years. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Cuba has used either American currency or a peso that's pegged to the dollar alongside its national peso.

The monetary unification will phase out a system that has become a symbol of exclusivity and foreign wealth. Many products that are imported into the country can be bought only with the dollar-based convertible peso. But most Cubans are paid in the standard peso, which is worth just a fraction of the other currency.

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Civil Rights
8:16 am
Tue October 22, 2013

Getting Federal Benefits To Gay Couples: It's Complicated

A gay rights activist waves a rainbow flag in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in June, a day before the ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 9:54 am

It has been four months since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a law that defined marriage as between a man and a woman. The ruling paved the way for thousands of same-sex married couples to receive federal benefits, and a special group of government lawyers has been working to make that happen.

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Health Care
7:50 am
Tue October 22, 2013

How Much Would It Cost To Legalize Medical Marijuana In Florida?

Credit Vlado / Flickr CC

The state is starting the process of figuring out how much it would cost to legalize medical marijuana. Private groups are gathering petition signatures to put a proposed constitutional amendment on next year’s ballot.

All citizen initiatives that propose changes to the Constitution must undergo a financial review.

Economists for the Florida Legislature will spend the next few weeks running the numbers.

Vesselka McAlarney with the Office of Demographic and Economic Research looked at data from other states that have legalized the drug. 

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Americas
11:37 am
Mon October 21, 2013

A Look Back At The Protests That Have Bedeviled Brazil And Dilma Rousseff

Demonstrations in Fortaleza, Brazil, part of a movement that began against bus fare increases and expanded to include spending on soccer stadiums for the 2014 World Cup.
Credit Semilla Luz/Flickr

Preocupado, sim. Surpreendido, não.

Worried, yes. Surprised, no.

That’s how most Brazilians in South Florida are reacting to the sudden and sometimes violent outburst of protests sweeping their home country this week. While they’re obviously concerned to see hundreds of thousands of people taking to the streets in Brazil’s major cities, including São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, they’ve long seen the frustrations bubbling beneath the surface of the nation’s waning economic boom.

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Obamacare
7:22 am
Mon October 21, 2013

Enrollments For Health Care Exchanges Trickle In, Slowly

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 3:37 pm

The Obama administration's hopes ran high that millions would flock to enroll for health insurance on state and federal exchanges established under the Affordable Care Act.

Those exchanges went online Oct. 1. The administration projected that half a million individuals or families would enroll within 30 days, according to The Associated Press.

But three weeks in, the data suggest the actual number of enrollments is lagging far behind that number.

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The Florida Roundup
9:00 am
Fri October 18, 2013

Common Core Town Halls Bring Out 'Obama-Ed' Critics

In public forums on Common Core this week, the education standards were labeled things like “Obama-Ed” and “Communist Core.” We’ll dissect the biggest misconceptions and look at why the standards are prompting such vitriol.

Sunrise police bring an end to their strategy of luring cocaine dealers to the city and then busting them after a Sun-Sentinel newspaper investigation. But there have been only a few reprimands from city leaders. 

And a poisonous park in Coconut Grove exposes Miami’s neglect of other contaminated parks.

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Economics
7:24 am
Fri October 18, 2013

Economists Fear 'Flying Blind' Without Government Data

The Federal Reserve headquarters in Washington, D.C., where the federal government shutdown left policymakers without key economic data.
J. David Ake AP

Originally published on Thu October 17, 2013 4:51 pm

Talk to economists about the government shutdown's impact on their forecasts and you'll hear this phrase again and again:

Flying blind.

For economists and investors, "at this moment, we are flying blind," said Alan Greenspan, former chairman of the Federal Reserve and now president of Greenspan Associates LLC, a consulting firm.

Greenspan is not alone in feeling a little lost without the compass of government reports.

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Education
2:56 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

How The NRA's Role In Florida Extends Way Beyond Gun Lobbying

Paul Wages, a senior firearms instructor at Defensive Solutions in Powell, Tennessee, shoots a target at a local gun range.
Credit ManOnPhl / Flickr

The National Rifle Association has helped shape Florida gun policy for a long time, most visibly by helping to craft the state's now famous Stand Your Ground law.

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The Florida Roundup
9:00 am
Fri October 11, 2013

How The Federal Shutdown Affects South Florida

Payday comes and goes with pinched paychecks for thousands of federal government workers, as the partial U.S. government shutdown continues. We look at how South Florida, from Palm Beach to the Keys, is dealing with it.

Fail once, try, try again. The state takes a second swing at purging voter rolls.

And in this odd-year election season, we look at some local races and ballot questions - and the big drama at Doral City Hall.

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If I Were Mayor
4:30 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

Why Doesn't Miami Have A Competitive Mayoral Race?

Miami residents will be voting in a mayoral election on November 5, and it looks like Mayor Tomas Regalado will skate to an easy win. Except for three unknown challengers, the popular Regalado will be alone on the ballot.
Credit Flickr

Let's start with a smaller story about wasted words. Barry University political science professor Sean Foreman is editing a collection of articles by big city professors about mayoral campaigns in their own cities.

It's for a book he's writing called "The Keys to City Hall." Foreman wrote the Miami mayoral story himself. It starts like this:

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Americas
8:27 am
Thu October 10, 2013

Activists Sue U.N. Over Cholera That Killed Thousands In Haiti

Haitians protest against United Nations peacekeepers in Port-au-Prince in 2010.
Hector Retamal AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 8:32 am

Human rights activists are suing the United Nations on behalf of five Haitian families afflicted by cholera — a disease many believe U.N. peacekeeping troops brought to Haiti in the aftermath of the devastating 2010 earthquake there.

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Environment
8:05 am
Thu October 10, 2013

Whatever Happened To The Deal To Save The Everglades?

Mechanical harvesters cut sugar cane on U.S. Sugar Corp. land in Clewiston, Fla., in 2008, the same year the state struck a deal to buy most of the company's Everglades holdings.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 11:49 am

South of Florida's Lake Okeechobee, hundreds of thousands of acres of sugar cane thrive in the heart of one of the world's largest wetlands. The Everglades stretches from the tip of the peninsula to central Florida, north of Lake Okeechobee.

"The Everglades actually begins at Shingle Creek, outside of Orlando," says Jonathan Ullman of the Sierra Club.

That's nearly 200 miles north of the agricultural land that Ullman and other environmentalists say is crucial to state and federal efforts to restore the wetlands area to a healthy ecosystem.

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