President Obama

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Don McDougall / flickr Creative Commons

Most South Florida lawmakers cringed when they saw President Obama shake hands with Raul Castro at the Summit of the Americas. But the momentary cringe turned into revulsion when the president shared to Congress his intent to remove the island nation from the state sponsor of terrorism list.

South Florida Republican Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen speaks for many in the delegation.

Jenny Staletovich / Miami Herald / Twitter

EVERGLADES--This was President Obama's first trip to the Everglades. In a speech that lasted about 15 minutes, the president reiterated his administration's stance on preserving fresh water and reducing carbon emissions.

Seemingly in response to Florida Gov. Rick Scott's purported ban on the phrase "climate change," the president said, "(climate change) can't be edited out." Gov. Scott has denied any such ban exists.

Gov. Rick Scott To Sue Feds Over Hospital Funding, Medicaid Expansion

Apr 16, 2015
Flickr/Creative Commons

Republican Gov. Rick Scott plans to sue the federal government for allegedly coercing Florida to expand Medicaid, his office said Thursday.

"It is appalling that President Obama would cut off federal healthcare dollars to Florida in an effort to force our state further into Obamacare," Scott said in a statement.

The announcement is but the latest round in an ongoing spat between Scott and the feds.

Cuba's Next Communists: Why Obama Needs Them To Make Engagement Work

Apr 15, 2015
Tim Padgett / WLRN.org

Cuban President Raúl Castro was the longest speaker at last weekend’s Summit of the Americas in Panama. At age 83, he was also the oldest.

And that matters as the U.S. and Cuba normalize relations after a half century of cold war – a process that on Tuesday led President Obama to remove Cuba from the State Department’s list of terrorism sponsors.

It matters because President Obama says his new engagement policy isn’t meant to change Cuba overnight. It’s meant to help the U.S. influence democratic change once Castro’s generation of hardline communists is gone.

Nina Hale / Flickr

About 60 percent of Americans agree with the President’s decision on Cuba, according to a new poll this week from CNN and Opinion Research Corporation.

Almost as many said the U.S. trade embargo against Cuba, which only Congress can overturn, should be lifted. And two-thirds want U.S. tourist travel to the island restored as well.

Pattrik Simmons

At 19 years old, Jose Machado has already been living without his mother for several years. She was deported back to Nicaragua, where he was born, for driving without a license.

“The state was not aware that we were here without any parents. They were not aware about our living conditions. So I presented myself to the authorities, the process began, and I ended up in a Jewish foster home,” Machado said.

C.M. Guerrero / El Nuevo Herald

South Florida is seeing a larger influx of undocumented immigrants, especially Central Americans fleeing violence in their home countries. As a result, Miami’s Roman Catholic Archbishop Thomas Wenski joined leaders from the Florida Immigrant Coalition Thursday morning at the downtown Freedom Tower. 

He urged President Obama to keep his pledge and stop deporting law-abiding undocumented immigrants in this country – at least until Congress acts on immigration reform.

“To alleviate the sufferings of untold millions," Wenski said, "we call on the President to provide relief.”

It's crunch time for campaign workers across the country. With the midterm elections just one day away, Republicans and Democrats are scrambling to turn out every possible vote.

President Obama spent the weekend rallying supporters in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Connecticut.

The last-minute swing was unusual for a president who's kept a relatively low profile on the campaign trail this year. But whether he wants to or not, Obama is playing an outsized role in shaping the political landscape.

How A Presidential Visit Affected Coral Reef High School

Mar 10, 2014
Walter Michot / Miami Herald

Students and teachers at Coral Reef High School can't pinpoint when they first heard the news that President Obama was coming to speak. He and the First Lady visited the south Miami-Dade school on Friday to ask students to apply for free federal student aid before they graduate.

Rumors had been floating around the high school since the previous week because of some strange things they saw. 

"Students started observing secret service around the building, so they started making comments, asking teachers," says chemistry teacher Stefano Pagani. 

Walter Michot / Miami Herald

President Obama told Coral Reef High School students Friday that last year, Florida left one-hundred million dollars in federal pell grants untouched.

"A hundred million dollars that could've helped Florida students help pay for college was just left on the table," says the president. 

He says it was the result of Florida's graduating seniors last year who failed to fill out the free federal financial aid form, which was about half.

This was news to Coral Reef chemistry teacher Stefano Pagani.

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