Politics

Politics
6:10 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

What We Learned From Our Innocents Lost Town Hall On The Child Welfare System

Democratic Sen. Eleanor Sobel and Republican Rep. Erik Fresen spoke at the WLRN and Miami Herald town hall on the child welfare system.
Credit HECTOR GABINO / EL NUEVO HERALD

For more than a year, the Miami Herald dug through Department of Children & Families records and police reports to find out how and why nearly 500 children died over the past six years after falling through the Florida Department of Children & Families’ protective net.  

The investigative series, Innocents Lost, uncovered the disturbing stories and found that the agency had embraced a family preservation philosophy without ensuring all the necessary social services were in place to keep children safe in troubled homes.  

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Legalizing
9:21 am
Mon April 21, 2014

Why Rep. Katie Edwards Supports Medical Marjiuana

Rep. Katie Edwards supports the research of marijuana for medicinal purposes.
Credit TheNewsHerald/Flickr

Before there was a constitutional amendment to legalize marijuana in Florida on this coming November ballot, there was West Broward Representative Katie Edwards.

She represents parts of Davie, Plantation and Sunrise.

A democrat from District 98 with a background in agriculture and applied economics -- along with a law degree -- Edwards first made a legislative effort to address the possibility of medical marijuana in 2013.

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Gabriel García Márquez
12:59 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Gabo And Gringos: Did Magical Realism Bridge Or Divide The Americas?

Gabriel García Marquez, 1927-2014
Credit Ricardo Timão / Flickr

Gabriel García Márquez, who died Thursday at age 87, provided one of the eerier moments of my journalism career.

In 1996, a colleague and I had been conducting a series of interviews with the Colombian Nobel laureate about his newest book, called “News of a Kidnapping.” It was a nonfiction work on his country’s violent drug-crime culture. Shortly after García Márquez sent the final proofs to his publisher, I called him at his Mexico City home and he sounded shaken.

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Venezuela Crisis
5:34 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Florida Senators In Doral To Make Stronger Call For Venezuela Sanctions

Florida Senators Bill Nelson (left) and Marco Rubio in Doral Thursday morning.
Credit C.M. Guerrero / El Nuevo Herald

Not one but both Florida Senators came to Doral Thursday morning to show solidarity with the state's large Venezuelan community.

In their bipartisan appearance at the Arepazo Dos restaurant, Democrat Bill Nelson and Republican Marco Rubio said U.S. sanctions against Venezuela's socialist government - which has been widely criticized for its heavy-handed response to anti-government protests - may be a stronger possibility now. 

Hear the full story below.

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Politics
1:54 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Concern For Public-Records Access As Florida Legislative Session Nears End

NOT-SO-PUBLIC RECORDS: Watchdogs say this year's Legislature could raise the total number of public records exemptions to nearly 1,100.
Credit freedigitalphotos.net

With two weeks to go in the lawmaking session, open government and ethics measures favored by watchdog groups are stalled in the Florida Legislature. There is a two-part concern about citizen access to public records.

The first worry is about the number of public-record exemptions that are pending this year. Barbara Petersen of the First Amendment Foundation says it's a dozen.

"It will be a record number of new exemptions and push the total number of exemptions to both the public records law and the open meetings law close to 1,100," Petersen said.

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Politics
7:13 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Lawmakers Ban Biometric Data Collection In Florida Schools

Kids won't get their eyes scanned or any other other biometric information collected at school under a bill approved by the Florida Legislature.
Credit dash.null/flickr

Schools won’t be able to collect the fingerprints or other biometric information of students under a bill approved by the Florida Legislature.

The new requirement is part of a broad package designed to protect kids’ privacy.

When lawmakers in Tallahassee talk about biometrics, they’re talking about hands and eyes being scanned or fingerprints being collected.

For Senator Dorothy Hukill, R-Port Orange, it’s a slippery slope.

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Innocents Lost Town Hall
3:18 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Former DCF Admin: System Suffers From Overload And Underfunding

A Miami Herald investigation found that 477 children had died in the past six years due to abuse or neglect, despite warnings to DCF about their situation.
Credit MIAMI HERALD STAFF

Join the Miami Herald and WLRN-Miami Herald News for a town hall on how to fix the child welfare system at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 17 at the Doral headquarters of the Herald. Learn more at MiamiHerald.com.

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Latin America Report
10:56 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Was "Cuban Twitter" Dumb Or Defensible? Or Both?

A Cuban state television camera at the Plaza de la Revolucion in Havana.
Credit cubadebate

Confession: When I criticized ZunZuneo as the story emerged earlier this month, I left something important unsaid.

I support its basic intent. That is, the effort to help Cubans or anyone else access news, information and opinions that authoritarian governments around the world try to block.

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Session 2014
10:26 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Surprise Amendment Could Change Jackson Contract Negotiations

A new bill could change the way union contracts are negotiated at Jackson.
Credit Salvatore Vuono / freedigitalphotos.net

TALLAHASSEE -- A high-profile healthcare bill moving through the Florida House could strip the Miami-Dade County Commission of its authority to make the final decision on labor union contracts at the county’s public hospital system.

The bill originally sought to create new rules for trauma centers, allow skilled nurses to practice independent of physicians, and pave the way for hospitals to use virtual healthcare services.

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Gaming
4:02 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

Gambling-Industry Speculates Gov. Scott's Seminole Deal

Credit HistoryMiami

In addition to legislation that won't go through, big players like Disney and the Seminole tribe are making sure the odds are against expanding Florida casino gambling.

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Politics
12:10 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

Plastic Bags Survive Another Year In Florida

This plastic bag washed ashore tangled in seaweed.
Credit Susan Ford Collins/flickr

"Paper or plastic?" is a question you’ll hear at grocery stores for at least another year because a South Florida lawmaker was unsuccessful in his attempt to help cities cut down on plastic bags.

A bill would prevent places like Publix and Walmart from using plastic carryout bags if local governments wanted to ban them. It would also require stores to provide customers with reusable bags.

Some members of the Senate Environmental Preservation committee didn’t like a provision that would force customers to pay 10 cents to put their groceries in a paper bag.

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The Florida Roundup
11:09 am
Fri April 11, 2014

Winners And Losers Halfway Through Session

Credit StevenM_61 / Flickr

Florida lawmakers are more than half finished with the legislative session. Will they deliver on Governor Scott’s goal of $500 million in tax cuts?  

Support has been building for allowing undocumented immigrants to pay in-state college tuition. And how are lawmakers responding to the deaths of hundreds of kids involved in the state child welfare system?

No one will mistake law writing for poetry, but April is National Poetry Month.  WLRN listeners celebrate our slice of the Sunshine State in verse for our This Is Where poetry contest.

 

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LGBT Rights
5:58 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Meet The New Leader Of Gay Advocacy Group SAVE

SAVE's TOGETHER Campaign Kickoff. March 29, 2014.
Credit SAVE

It's the largest advocacy group for gay rights in South Florida and it's once again known as SAVE -- Safeguarding American Values for Everyone.

Twenty-one years ago, SAVE was originally known as SAVE  -- and then it morphed into SAVE Dade.

It was started in 1993 by a small group of people who decided to fight against Anita Bryant’s anti-gay "Save our Children" campaign.

The Bryant campaign helped repeal Miami-Dade’s Human Rights Ordinance, the nation’s first county-wide ordinance that included banning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

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Latin America Report
6:40 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

Miami Shedding Its Tabloid Image, Gaining Int'l Respect – At Least In The Legal World

Miami hosted the prestigious International Council for Commercial Arbitration congress this week.
Credit ICCA

There’s never a shortage of unusual legal proceedings in Miami. It’s just that very few of them ever enhance the city’s image, as last month’s court hearings on Justin Bieber’s genitalia so charmingly reminded us.

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