Gov. Scott and GE: Jobs, incentives and investments in Scott’s oil & gas partnerships

Gov. Rick Scott with Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown and GE representatives on Friday

By Dan Christensen
When Gov. Rick Scott announced last week that GE Oil & Gas would open a $50 million manufacturing facility in Jacksonville he talked about how it would create 500 new jobs for Florida. Not mentioned in the hoopla: how another division of General Electric has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in publicly traded oil and natural gas partnerships in which Scott had a financial interest.

9/11 victims: Saudi Arabia’s ‘lavish sponsorship’ of al Qaeda made attacks possible


By Dan Christensen
As defense attorneys tried again last week to get Saudi Arabia dropped from a massive federal lawsuit accusing it of complicity in the 9/11 attacks, lawyers for those who survived, and relatives of the dead, filed a sweeping new statement of the evidence they are marshaling for trial.

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The Fix Isn’t In: Why a Safety Device That Can Stop Overdoses by Kids Isn’t Widely Used

Dr. Daniel Budnitz, at his office at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Ga. Budnitz has campaigned to have flow restrictors -- safety plastic devices fitted into the necks of medicine bottles to slow the release of fluid -- added to all liquid medicines, but so far he’s had limited success. Photo: Bryan Meltz for ProPublica

By T. Christian Miller and Jeff Gerth
This story was produced in collaboration with Consumer Reports…
Starting in 2007, Dr. Daniel Budnitz, a scientist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Medication Safety Program, began tracking an obscure but unsettling statistic about children’s health.

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Hallandale commissioners approve taking from the city, giving to themselves

Commissioners Anthony Sanders, Bill Julian and Michele Lazarow

By William Gjebre
Hallandale Beach city commissioners have created a new policy they can use to boost their take home pay by allowing them to pocket up to $10,000 a year in unspent funds from their individual travel accounts.

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9/11 “cover up” could collapse as Saudi Arabia restored to victims’ lawsuit, says Bob Graham


By Dan Christensen
With an unusual acknowledgment of a mistake in a high-profile case, a federal appeals court in New York City has restored Saudi Arabia as a defendant in a lawsuit brought by thousands of 9/11 victims, their families and others.

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Broward Commission skips bids, awards 15-year airport food contract to Delaware North


By William Hladky
Bypassing the county’s bidding process, the Broward County Commission earlier this month approved an Aviation Department recommendation to extend for 15 years Delaware North’s grip on food and beverage concessions in terminals three and four at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. The deal means Delaware North could remain in place until as long as 2032.

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How Washington starves its election watchdog; Bickering, backlogs – even Chinese hackers


By Dave Levinthal
Center for Public Integrity
Just after the federal government shut down Oct. 1, and one of the government’s more dysfunctional agencies stopped functioning altogether, Chinese hackers picked their moment to attack. They waylaid the Federal Election Commission’s networks. They crashed computer systems that publicly disclose how billions of dollars are raised and spent each election cycle by candidates, parties and political action committees.

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Peter Deutsch’s Ben Gamla charter schools win nod for new Hollywood high/middle school


By William Gjebre
Update: Dec. 20 – Former U.S. Representative Peter Deutsch won conditional approval early Friday morning from a key Hollywood board to build a controversial Ben Gamla middle and senior charter high school in a traffic congested neighborhood near City Hall.

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Broward Health commissioner upgrades unpaid post to well-paid lobbyist for hospital district

Clarence McKee, center, with  Gov. Rick Scott and former U.S. Rep. Allen West. Photo: McKee Communications

By Dan Christensen
When Clarence V. McKee quit his commissioner’s seat on the governing board of Broward Health in January, records show he urged his colleagues to keep an eye on consulting contracts doled out by the tax supported public health care system. But less than a month later and without any public discussion by his former colleagues, McKee upgraded his unpaid position to a lobbying contract worth $65,000.

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New push to release censored pages in Congressional report that detail 9/11 link to Saudi Arabia

The skyline of New York's Lower Manhattan and One World Trade Center.

By Jamie Reno
International Business Times
Since terrorists attacked the United States on Sept. 11, 2001, victims’ loved ones, injured survivors, and members of the media have all tried without much success to discover the true nature of the relationship between the 19 hijackers – 15 of them Saudi nationals – and the Saudi Arabian government.

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The nation’s state supreme court judges reveal scant financial information


By Reity O’Brien, Kytja Weir and Chris Young
Center for Public Integrity
Last December, the California Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal filed by a couple who had accused financial giant Wells Fargo & Co. of predatory lending. One justice, who owned stock in the bank, recused himself from the case. But Justice Kathryn Werdegar, who owned as much as $1 million of Wells Fargo stock, participated — and shouldn’t have.

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