The Florida Roundup

Fridays at noon on WLRN 91.3FM

Each week a panel of journalists from South Florida and around the state discuss the week in news. 

Listeners can join the conversation by:

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Ccb621/flickr

Two big news stories in Miami-Dade County this past week will impact transportation and the homeless. The federal program for housing cut millions of dollars that Miami-Dade programs were counting on in homeless funding. Up to 700 beds for homeless people are at risk.

Miami Herald

We begin The Florida Roundup with corruption in Opa-locka. The Miami Herald uncovered a months-long investigation by the FBI that includes extortion and bribery in the city involving a commissioner, the city manager and a former cop.

everydayplus/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Cuba has changed its policy and will allow anyone born there to return to the island on a cruise ship or merchant vessel. Carnival had threatened to postpone its maiden voyage from Miami to Cuba if the rule wasn’t changed.

El Nuevo Herald

The Florida Roundup looks at Carnival’s Cuba controversy, management trouble at Broward Health, and modified mosquitoes in the Keys.

Cruise giant Carnival faces a lawsuit and protests over its plans to sail from Miami to Cuba starting May 1st - and its willingness to follow Cuban law by not allowing Cuban-born Americans to cruise.

Arnulfo Franco / File, Associated Press

The Pamana Papers have been making headlines around the world in just over a week.

And while it may be surprising news for most people, industry insiders say offshore corporations have been guilty of wrongdoing for a long time.

The leaked documents have raised the question of whether this scandal will finally change the way offshore companies operate and if regulators will push for more transparency.

Read the Miami Herald's full coverage of the Panama Papers

Al Diaz / Miami Herald

Miami Maj. Delrish Moss is set to become the top cop in an American town that's become synonymous with racial tension between black youth and police officers.

Officials in Ferguson, Missouri announced Thursday that Miami Police Maj. Delrish Moss will be its new police chief.

The move puts a black officer in charge of a mostly white department that serves a town where African-Americans make up two-thirds of the residents.

Violent racial struggles erupted in Ferguson two years ago after the police shooting death of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown.

Tom Hudson / WLRN

President Obama is going to Cuba this weekend.

WLRN's Tom Hudson and Tim Padgett are there awaiting Obama's visit. What is the mood in Havana ahead of the historic trip? And they're looking at the changes that have occurred since the two nations started talking again.

Donald Trump looks like the Republican nominee in this presidential election, while Florida's Senator Marco Rubio is back in the halls of the senate, now that’s he no longer running for president. But, what do we make of his claim that he won’t return to politics after January?

Courtesy of Portman Holdings

Voters in Miami Beach are deciding more who may run for the White House.

They also will decide if a new hotel should be built next to a renovated convention center.

The hotel would serve as headquarters for conventions. Supporters say it would bring more dollars to the city but opponents believe it would further overcrowd the city.

Plans for the hotel boast a modern 288-foot tall, 800-room building.

If voters approve the plan on March 15, the land would be leased to Portman Holdings. The developer says it will privately finance the $400 million project.

Ramon Espinosa / Associated Press

This week, the White House announced President Obama and the First Lady will visit Cuba.

The trip will include meetings with a Castro as well as with Cuban entrepreneurs.

The decision for a presidential trip to Cuba comes with all the historic overtones that have accompanied the changing relationship between America and Cuba since late 2014 when the president announced a new strategy of engagement. It also came with the familiar criticism of the efforts.  We discuss the history and controversy surrounding the trip.

Linnette Vasquez/flickr

It's a Valentine’s Day edition of the Florida Roundup featuring husband-and-wife media teams.

The Florida legislative session is at its midpoint. The death penalty remains on the agenda. The House and Senate are split over whether juries should agree unanimously in capital punishment cases.

Dale/flickr

The Florida Roundup looks at the death penalty, heavy rains, fracking and more this week.

The Florida Supreme Court stopped one execution as questions continue around the process of how Florida decides the death penalty. Dozens of inmates on death row could challenge their sentences.

South Florida is being drenched by historic rains in the midst of what is supposed to be the dry season. Lake Okeechobee is swollen, sending dirty water into rivers and raising worries about pollution.

Gage Skidmore/Flickr

This week, a group of 15 South Florida mayors, from West Palm Beach south to Cutler Bay signed a letter sent to Senator Rubio calling on him to "acknowledge the reality and urgency of climate change."

The mayors want Senator Rubio to address a federal plan regarding climate change and, specifically, the threat of rising sea level in South Florida.

tallahassee.com

For almost two years, Uber and and Lyft have all but ignored the rules regulating the taxi industry and operated anyway.

Last year, Palm Beach and Broward counties okayed a set of rules making transportation network companies -- as they call themselves --- legal. This week, Miami-Dade took the first step toward doing the same.

It's actually the second time the Miami-Dade commission has moved toward allowing Uber and others to operate legally. The first effort was successfully stopped by the taxi industry.

The U.S. Supreme Court says Florida’s practice of deciding if someone gets the death penalty is unconstitutional. What does this mean for the almost 400 people on Florida’s death row? Will the legislature try to change the process?

The first flight of Cuban migrants stuck in Costa Rica landed in El Salvador this week … as they hope to come to the U.S. In Washington, Senator and Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio filed legislation to change the benefits Cuban immigrants get when they make it to the U.S.

Florida Roundup: Florida Politics In 2016

Jan 8, 2016
flguardian2 / Flickr Creative Commons

An election year like this year means Florida’s politics will be on the national stage -- from our pivotal role in choosing the next president, to the balance of power in the United States Congress, to policy fights in the state Legislature.

All this political intrigue leads back to Florida voters.

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