Politics

Latin America Report
7:36 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Colombia's Peace Crisis: Pres. Santos Confronts The Skeptics – And The Spies

Credit El Nuevo Herald

This week’s Colombian voter poll had to feel like a back-handed compliment for President Juan Manuel Santos.

The new survey by the Bogotá research firm Ipsos-Napoleón Franco shows Santos with a 17-point lead over his closest competitor in his bid to win re-election in May. But Santos garners just 25 percent of the vote. Half of those polled said they were undecided or intend to cast a blank protest ballot. That’s hardly cause for cumbia dancing at the Casa de Nariño presidential palace.

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Politics
7:57 am
Mon February 3, 2014

Florida Gubernatorial Candidates Take Digs At Competitors

Polls show Gov. Rick Scott trailing Democratic challenger and former Gov. Charlie Crist in a head to head race.
Credit Florida Governor's Office

Gloves are off in the race for Florida governor. The three top candidates for the office met with reporters in Tallahassee Wednesday, and all took verbal shots at their competitors.

Gov. Rick Scott was the first speaker at the annual meeting hosted by the Associated Press. He announced his fourth budget recommendation as governor. It’ll be his last unless he is re-elected.

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The Florida Roundup
12:08 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

Medical Marijuana Question Goes To Florida Voters This November

How might the medical marijuana ballot question affect voter turnout this fall?
Credit “Caveman Chuck” Coker / Creative Commons/Flickr

On The Florida Roundup: The Florida State Supreme Court allows a proposal to legalize medical marijuana to appear on the November ballot. We’ll see how that could affect the governor’s race.

Governor Rick Scott has a $72.4 billion dollar spending plan for the state: the biggest cut was to the state agency that runs the Medicaid program because the state won’t be receiving federal money under the Affordable Care Act. What will that mean for the approximately 3 million Medicaid recipients in Florida?

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State of South Florida
7:53 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Obama's Immigration Remarks In State Of The Union Not Enough, Locals Say

Immigration reform leaders gathered at La Pupusa Factory in Little Havana to watch the State of the Union.
Credit Laguardia Cross / 1Miami

 

More than a dozen people crowded the Salvadorean restaurant La Pupusa Factory in Little Havana to hear President Obama's remarks on immigration reform during his State of the Union address Tuesday.

They were part of a community forum with a focus on immigration reform and equal rights. After the address, there was mostly disappointment among the crowd.

"There was barely a mention of immigration reform. ... There was nothing that he said that pointed in that direction and we are all very disappointed about it," said Camilo Mejilla, one of the organizers. 

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Latin America Report
5:58 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

Brazil's Slaves Are Being Freed – But Are Its Slaveholders Being Punished?

An enslaved worker hauling charcoal for pig-iron production in rural Brazil.
Credit Chernush / Free the Slaves

I bought Francisco Lima his first taste of freedom in decades.

A cheeseburger.

It was 2004, and Brazil was starting to confront one of its most distressing problems: slavery. I was in northern Pará state, in the Amazon, observing a special police unit that raided slave-holding farms and firms and liberated workers like the 74-year-old Lima.

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A Look At The Strategy
7:48 am
Mon January 27, 2014

How The Fight For Gay Marriage In Florida Began

Credit freedigitalphotos.net

This week’s (Jan. 21)announcement that six Florida gay and lesbian couples were going to court to try to reverse the state ban on same-sex marriage has its roots in the 2008 election.

  That was when Amendment Two passed, defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman.

That’s when Equality Florida began looking at the court system as a strategy.

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The Florida Roundup
12:59 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

A Ban On Same-Sex Marriage, And A Miami Beach Tech Hub Is "The Dumbest Idea"

Above, the six couples and their attorneys at a press conference announcing the lawsuit challenging the state's same sex marriage ban.
Credit WALTER MICHOT / MIAMI HERALD STAFF

On The Florida Roundup: six gay couples in South Florida sue over the state's constitutional provision, passed by referendum in 2008, limiting marriage to a man and woman.

We then look at the American Dream for another national minority group: Latino-Americans. Two new polls examine the outlook and views of Latinos.

And Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine causes a furor with his comment that trying to make his city a high-tech hub is "the dumbest idea in the world."  The mayor will join us to explain why he's standing by that assessment.

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Latin America Report
10:37 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Alan Gross And The Vatican: Could The Keys Of St. Peter Unlock A Cuban Jail Cell?

Alan Gross, left, with his wife and two daughters at his Maryland home before his 2009 arrest in Cuba.
Credit Gross family

Can the Vatican free Alan Gross in Cuba? It helps first to consider how the Roman Catholic Church freed itself in Cuba.

Cuba has seen surprising turns in recent years. Fidel Castro handing the communist dictatorship to his younger brother Raúl. Raúl decreeing capitalist reforms to save the communist dictatorship.

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The Florida Roundup
7:02 am
Mon January 20, 2014

DCF, Shakespeare And The Lieutenant Governor

“What’s important is to have a great lieutenant governor,” Governor Scott said at a press conference announcing the appointment of Miami-Dade Property Appraiser Carlos Lopez-Cantera as lieutenant governor. But, Scott added, “I love the fact he’s Hispanic.”
Credit WALTER MICHOT / MIAMI HERALD STAFF

On The Florida Roundup: After a nine-month vacancy, Gov. Rick Scott picks a new lieutenant governor.  Miami-Dade property appraiser Carlos Lopez-Cantera becomes the first Hispanic to hold the position.   

The governor’s other announcement this week was a $40 million increase for the Department of Children and Families and child abuse investigations, after the deaths of dozens of children who had contact with the agency. But is money the issue? Or the constant turnover in who leads DCF, which still has an interim secretary?

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Commentary
6:19 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

Holy Hispaniola! New Haitian Cardinal Rises While Old One Next Door Stumbles

Bishop Chibly Langlois, Haiti's first Roman Catholic cardinal.
Credit haitilibre.com

Pope Francis didn’t have to say it. He let the timing say it for him.

The pope this week named Haitian Bishop Chibly Langlois as one of 19 new cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church. In the process, he all but declared a shift in clerical power on the large Caribbean island of Hispaniola. And he may also have delivered a rebuke to the Dominican Republic, the country that shares that isle with Haiti, and to the D.R.’s controversial cardinal, Nicolás López.

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Politics
6:24 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Florida Senate President Considers Proposal To Legalize Marijuana Strain

A strain of marijuana that doesn't get users high has been found to help children who suffer from chronic seizures. The strain, known as Charlotte's Web, is currently available only in Colorado. Lawmakers are considering a proposal to make the strain legal in Florida.
Credit tylerericsson1/flickr

Desperate pleas from parents of sick kids got the attention of legislative leaders in the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee last week.  

“We just need solutions quickly. We don’t have time. Time is not on our side,” said Seth Hyman from Weston. “Rebecca unfortunately could have a seizure today back in our hotel and die.”

“All the medications he’s on – it’s not a guarantee. He’s actually suicidal right now,” said Renee Petro from Uthia, talking about her son Branden. “He wants to kill himself. He’s 12.”

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Politics
8:08 am
Wed January 15, 2014

More Tanning Salons Than McDonald's: Why The Tanning Bed Bill Is Back

Credit Newtown graffiti / Flickr CC

  

The World Health Organization lists tanning beds among the most dangerous forms of cancer-causing radiation.

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Latin America Report
7:22 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

U.S. Aid Official: 'We Have To Change The Way We Do Business In Haiti'

USAID Haiti mission director John Groarke visits Haitian farmers.
Credit haiti.usembassy.gov

Right after Haiti’s catastrophic 2010 earthquake, which killed more than 200,000 people, I rode in a U.S. Army helicopter ferrying food and medical supplies into demolished Port-au-Prince neighborhoods.

As we descended near the suburb of Pétionville, and as corpses became visible amid the ruins and campfire smoke billowed up in our faces, the pilot said he couldn’t put us down. Too many people were running to the landing spot, and they risked being killed by the chopper rotors.

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Session 2014
7:00 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

Keys Lawmaker Takes On Lobster Mobsters

The penalties may get tougher for illegally catching large numbers of spiny tailed lobsters.
Credit Richard Elzey/Flickr

It’s illegal to take lobsters out of season or out of traps that don’t belong to you. But Keys State Representative Holly Raschein (R-Monroe County) says the issue is that the penalty for stealing three lobsters is the same as stealing 300.

RELATED: Inside The Life Of A Florida Keys Lobster Catcher 

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The Florida Roundup
12:12 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Slot Machines In Downtown Miami?

The Genting Resort World, which owns the former site of the Miami Herald, hopes that by down-scaling to include only slot machines, it can increase its odds.
Credit Credit Lynn Kelley Author / Creative Commons/Flickr

Place your bets.  A new push is on for new gambling in South Florida. We look at the new idea that could bring slot machines to the bay front in Miami.  

Also, Florida is the first state to execute a prisoner in 2014 with the killing of Thomas Knight, one of the longest-serving inmates on death row.

And fifty years after declaring war on poverty: how much is enough to live on in South Florida?

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