Politics

The Florida Roundup
9:00 am
Fri September 20, 2013

Was The Miami Trial Of The Cuban Five Fair?

Credit Elaine Chen

On a special edition of The Florida Roundup, we discuss the controversial case of the Cuban Five, Cuban agents who were convicted in 2001 of espionage along with other charges.

In Cuba, they are called heroes, their faces on billboards across the island country. In the U.S., they are relatively unknown spies.  

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Transportation
6:30 am
Fri September 20, 2013

How Hailing A Cab In Miami-Dade May Be About To Change

Miami-Dade taxis servicing two of the county's tourist hubs, MIA and PortMiami, could soon be required to take credit cards.
Credit John Davey/Flickr

Miami-Dade commissioners want to make some big changes to the county’s taxi industry.

A slew of reforms are on the table, and county leaders are going to be taking a hard look at them on Tuesday.

Here’s the rundown on what might change:

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Health Care
8:12 am
Thu September 19, 2013

Sobel, Hudson Debate Obamacare Concerns Before Congress

State Sen. Eleanor Sobel, D-Hollywood, and state Rep. Matt Hudson, R-Naples.
Credit news-press.com

Two Florida lawmakers --- one who supports the 2010 federal health-care law and one who opposes it --- testified in a congressional hearing about problems that states are confronting as a Oct. 1 deadline approaches for implementing a key part of the law known as Obamacare.

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Americas
7:00 am
Wed September 18, 2013

New Book Explains Why Simón Bolívar Is Both Deified, Demonized

The cover of Arana's new book on Bolivar.
Credit mariearana.net

Click the play button above to hear the radio version of this post.

During his glorious military career he logged 75,000 miles on horseback. Some might slyly suggest he also logged 75,000 lovers.

But as "The Liberator" that his admirers call him, or as the libertine that his detractors call him, Simón Bolívar’s life was epic – and so were the paradoxes that marked that life. Was South America’s 19th-century independence hero, best known to Americans as the George Washington of Latin America, the founder of his continent’s democracy? Or was he the archetype of its long line of dictatorial caudillos?

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Americas
2:54 pm
Tue September 17, 2013

Brazilian Leader Postpones State Visit Over Spying Concerns

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff attends the first working meeting of the G-20 summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, on Thursday.
Handout Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 7:16 pm

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said Tuesday that she would not travel to the United States for a state visit on Oct. 23.

It is the first concrete diplomatic consequence of the revelations made by NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who revealed widespread spying by the U.S. government on foreigners.

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Americas
4:18 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

Venezuelan Opposition Leader Capriles Delivers Message To Supporters In Miami

Henrique Capriles Radonsky waves to supporters gathered at the James L. Knight Center following a speech in which he urged Venezuelans living in the United States to continue working for a Democratic change in Venezuela.
Credit JOSE A. IGLESIAS / El Nuevo Herald Staff

Former Venezuelan presidential candidate Henrique Capriles — who has been criticized by certain segments of the opposition that would like to see him take a more radical position against Nicolás Maduro’s regime — came out Sunday to convince nearly 5,000 people at a Miami convention hall that he knows exactly what he’s doing.

Capriles, who ran against the late Hugo Chávez in an election in October and then did it again versus Maduro in April, said he feels that change will come soon to his country and called on Venezuelans to continue supporting him and join the fight.

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Police
8:30 am
Mon September 16, 2013

Why The City Of Miami Finds It Hard To Hire New Cops

Miami City Hall
Credit Wikimedia Commons User Dtobias

The Miami City Police Department is having trouble hiring new police officers.

The city's police department has had its share of recent challenges: criticism over the number of civilian deaths, questions about civil rights violations and ongoing monitoring by the U.S. Justice Department.

And city commissioners are worried. For the past three years, the police department has been operating with 40 to 100 fewer officers than what the city commission has budgeted. Currently, 1,100 of 1,144 police positions are filled.

The Problem

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Law
7:00 am
Mon September 16, 2013

How Florida Could Save The U.S. Equal Rights Amendment

Suffragist Alice Paul wrote the Equal Rights Amendment. It was introduced in every session of Congress from 1923 until 1972, when it finally passed.
Credit Network 355/flickr

The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) may be making a comeback.

A proposed resolution filed in Tallahassee asks lawmakers to ratify a proposed U.S. constitutional amendment stating that civil rights may not be denied based on one's sex.

For now, the move is largely symbolic.

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Public Services
7:00 am
Fri September 13, 2013

What Does The Future Hold For Miami-Dade Libraries?

Librarians and their supporters dogged Mayor Gimenez, budget meeting after budget meeting.
Credit Arianna Prothero/WLRN

The libraries in Miami-Dade County have had a roller-coaster ride this summer. In July, the county decided to not raise taxes even at the expense of closing down 22 libraries. Over time, the number of libraries slated for closure grew smaller until it arrived at zero, but the system still faced cuts to staffing and hours of operation.

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Urban Planning
4:05 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

Miami Approves Joint Plan To Develop Historic Overtown Neighborhood

Miami's Overtown neighborhood has been targeted for revitalization by developers who see value.
Credit Creative Commons via Flickr / Shawn Walton

After a period of economic decline, Miami's Overtown is getting a booster shot.

On Thursday, the city's Southeast Overtown / Park West Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) approved a joint plan that would cede two city blocks to a team of developers in the hopes of rejuvenating a stretch of land in one of Miami's core neighborhoods.

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Finance
8:40 am
Thu September 12, 2013

5 Years After Financial Crisis, Are Big Banks Still A Threat?

The headquarters of Lehman Brothers in Times Square in 2008, the year the financial services firm filed for bankruptcy.
Hiroko Masuike Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 11:30 am

It's been five years since Lehman Brothers collapsed and touched off a banking crisis that is still being felt by the global economy. Today, the banking industry is a lot stronger than it was, but some critics say efforts to reform banking regulations have fallen short of their potential.

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Flawed But Fabulous
7:00 am
Thu September 12, 2013

Why The Arrest Of 3 South Florida Mayors Is Our Fault

Disgraced Homestead Mayor Steve Bateman in court.
Credit CBS4

Three South Florida mayors were accused of corruption in August, offering up a salient, cautionary tale for anyone who puts their faith in Miami's elected officials. The mayors from Sweetwater, Miami Lakes, and Homestead represent a triumvirate of questionable behavior, a triple threat of public office tomfoolery and a real world trifecta of tropical sleaze.

I ran an informal poll of friends and acquaintances and the major takeaway and dominant response is that nobody is shocked. This is where we are in Miami politics:

"I'm not surprised."

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Americas
10:45 am
Fri September 6, 2013

The Other G-20 Drama: Obama And Brazilian President Rousseff

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff attends the first working meeting of the G-20 summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, on Thursday.
Handout Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 7:49 pm

While everyone has been focused on Syria, including the dramatic meeting of two world leaders at odds over the situation, there was another bit of drama unfolding Thursday at the G-20 summit in St. Petersburg, Russia:

President Obama was late to dinner apparently because he was busy trying to smooth over a conflict with Brazil.

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Americas
7:00 am
Fri September 6, 2013

How Venezuela's Maduro Mess Keeps Getting Worse

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro (right) next to an image of the late Hugo Chavez.
Credit aim.org

I’m becoming more certain that leftist Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro keeps a Ouija board on his desk at Miraflores Palace in Caracas.

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Community Contributor
7:00 am
Thu September 5, 2013

Opinion: Sex Offense Recidivism Is Rare, Shouldn't Determine Policy

A total of 594 sex offenders were convicted for committing new sex crimes after being screened and then released by the state. To find out more, go to http://www.sunsentinel.com/SexPredators
Credit Sun Sentinel

Editor's Note: This is a community contributor post.  The views expressed here are those of the author and not WLRN or WLRN-Miami Herald News.  

The crimes featured in a recent Sun Sentinel investigation were tragic. The newspaper found that in Florida, for every one sex offender who was committed to a sex predator treatment center, “nearly two others were released and then arrested on a sex charge.”

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