Politics

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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Politics
6:54 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

Group Of Foreign Policy Experts Call On President To Relax Cuban Embargo

Among the signers of a letter calling on the president to ease restrictions in the Cuban embargo are, clockwise, former intelligence chief John Negroponte, former foreign policy advisor Anne-Marie Slaughter, Related Group CEO Jorge Perez, former ambassador Paul Cejas and former Secretaries of the Interior Bruce Babbit and Ken Salazar.

A group of businessmen and former high-ranking U.S. officials is asking President Obama to relax the embargo on Cuba. They want the President to ease travel and investment restrictions to help Cubans with their economic and social needs.

A letter sent last week by the group had 44 signers including former intelligence chief John Negroponte, former foreign policy advisor Anne-Marie Slaughter, and Jorge Perez, CEO of the Related Group.

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Latin America
4:30 pm
Mon May 26, 2014

Colombia Election: Is President Santos On The Run-Off Ropes?

Challenger Zuluaga speaks in Bucaramanga, Colombia, in 2011.
Credit Wikimedia Commons / Archivo de Marco Antonio Melo

  It’s on to Round Two in Colombia. Challenger Oscar Iván Zuluaga, a right-wing former Finance Minister, pulled an upset over the incumbent, President Juan Manuel Santos, in Sunday’s presidential election. But Zuluaga didn't get a majority ­­­– far from it at 29 percent to Santos' 26 percent – so they'll go to a run-off on June 15. 

Colombia’s peace process hangs in the balance – but Santos has to counter growing skepticism about his ongoing peace talks with the country's Marxist guerrillas, the FARC. Zuluaga has pledged to halt those negotiations.

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The Florida Roundup
12:00 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

Can Beckham Bend It At A Boat Slip?

Miami Beckham United unveiled its drawings for the new site on Thursday.
Credit Miami Beckham United

On The Florida Roundup: Former soccer star David Beckham's team presents a new plan for a stadium and park at a boat slip by the American Airlines Arena after their vision for a facility at Miami's Port faced fierce opposition. 

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez got into office by touting his opposition to Marlins Park. But this week he was all over in the news for deals with sports teams, including the Miami Heat and Dolphins. What’s changed?

And a reporter spends eight months delving into the world of South Florida's Seminole and Miccosukee Indians.

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Opinion
8:20 am
Fri May 23, 2014

Venezuela's Socialist Millionaires May Be Appalling, But Can We Sanction Them?

Globovision co-owner Raul Gorrin steps into his Ferrari in Miami.
Credit El Nuevo Herald (courtesy)

El Nuevo Herald journalist Antonio Delgado reported something pretty nauseating this week.

In his excellent May 19 article, Delgado details the opulent Coral Gables lifestyle enjoyed by the new owners of the Venezuelan television news network Globovisión.

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Latin America Report
3:39 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

Could Trying To Forge Peace With Guerrillas Cost Colombia's President An Election?

Colombian presidential candidate Oscar Ivan Zuluaga (right) on video that allegedly shows him receiving hacked intelligence
Credit Semana

Any presidential election in Colombia these days is a matter of high stakes.

That’s because the country – now South America’s second-largest economy and the United States’ most important ally on that continent – is in the midst of peace talks with Marxist guerrillas known as the Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces, or FARC, to end a half-century-long civil war.

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The Florida Roundup
11:42 am
Fri May 16, 2014

The Florida Roundup: Is South Florida Going More Nuclear?

Credit Florida Power & Light

Governor Rick Scott and his cabinet approved two more nuclear reactors to the Turkey Point power plant on Biscayne Bay. But neighbors are worried about the construction of 88 miles of transmission lines, and environmentalists question why Florida Power & Light wants more nuclear facilities by the coast.

A ProPublica investigation reveals unusual billing patterns among Florida’s Medicare providers. We ask how this connects to Florida’s history of Medicare fraud.

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Politics
7:15 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

Conservatives: Support Immigration Reform, It Will Replenish The Workforce

ACCEPTANCE: Conservatives are sounding the all-clear for immigration reform and telling former opponents it would be good for the economy.
Credit Florida Immigrant Coalition

Citing a more tolerant political atmosphere and a developing need for workers, leading Florida conservatives are calling on Congress to support and pass comprehensive immigration reform.

One good reason:  It would renew the state's dwindling supply of warm bodies.

"Our birthrate is about 1.7 per couple. We're not even replacing ourselves now," warned Ed Moore, president of the Florida Center Right Coalition, one of three noted conservatives who joined former state GOP chairman Al Cárdenas in a conference call with state reporters.

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Politics
2:54 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

How South Florida Voters Are Changing Political Culture

The almanac includes insider information, like why so many domestic and foreign affairs are negotiated in Coral Gables.
Credit News Service of Florida

The Political Almanac of Florida 2014 gives us a detailed look at the state’s House districts -- all 120 of them.

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Bond Money
1:42 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

Homestead Earns $26 Million In Voter Trust

Former Homestead mayor Steve Bateman was one of three South Florida mayors arrested on corruption charges last August.

UPDATE 8 a.m., May 14: The City of Homestead reports voters overwhelmingly approved bond referendums Tuesday.

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Politics
11:26 am
Fri May 9, 2014

The Florida Roundup: Beckham Wants To Boldly Build Where No One Has Built Before

David Beckham told the Miami Herald editorial board that he wants to be ‘150 percent’ involved in his MLS team in Miami.
Credit C. M. Guerrero / El Nuevo Herald

    

In Miami, the debate over land for a Major League Soccer stadium now moves where there currently is no land -- a deep water boat slip next to the American Airlines Arena.

While the site doesn't have the same alliance of opponents -- unions, cruise lines and cargo carriers -- that opposed the PortMiami location, it comes with its own challenges.

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Politics
8:43 am
Fri May 9, 2014

In Washington, Millennial Lawmakers Are Reaching Across The Aisle

The four youngest members of the Washington legislature are two Democrats and two Republicans who find generational common ground in spite of their political differences. (Austin Jenkins/Northwest News Network)

Originally published on Thu May 8, 2014 4:17 pm

Nine of the 147 members of the state legislature in Washington are under 34 years old — putting them in the “millennial” generation.

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Politics
8:34 am
Thu May 8, 2014

Miami-Dade Panel Addresses Politics Of Race And Inclusion

Miami-Dade County commissioners argued over who built Miami. Now a different group is addressing those tensions.
Credit Ambro / freedigitalphotos.net

Miami-Dade County’s Black Affairs Advisory Board and Hispanic Affairs Advisory Board spent four hours talking race, diversity and inclusion yesterday.

The discourse was a response to a racially charged commission debate over a county contract last February.

Over the course of three panels, it was made clear that the February venom was just the most recent episode in a long history of unease between Miami’s black and Hispanic communities.

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