Miami developer hires governor’s pal; Scott, Cabinet green light Watson Island project

Lobbyist William "Billy" Rubin, left, and Gov. Rick Scott

By Francisco Alvarado
BrowardBulldog.org
In late March, state emails show, Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection was poised to pull the plug on a long-delayed, contentious plan to build a resort and mega-yacht marina on Miami’s Watson Island. But developer Flagstone Island Gardens had an ace in the hole. A month earlier, the company hired Fort Lauderdale lobbyist William “Billy” Rubin, a longtime personal friend, business associate and political supporter of Gov. Rick Scott.

Scott campaign ad touting jobs record stars convicted smuggler

A Rick Scott television ad features the governor shoulder to shoulder with flag-waving smuggler Maikel Duarte-Torres

By Francisco Alvarado
BrowardBulldog.org
A Cuban-born grocery store owner starring in a Rick Scott Spanish language television campaign ad touting the governor’s job creation record was convicted on human smuggling charges in St. Maarten four years ago. THIS STORY HAS BEEN UPDATED

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Hunger Strikes and Indefinite Detention: A Rundown on What’s Going on at Gitmo

By Coral Currier
ProPublica
It’s been 11 years since the first detainees were brought to Guantanamo Bay. But the future of the prison, and the fate of the men inside it, is far from certain. With 59 detainees at Gitmo currently on hunger strike, by the military’s count, here’s a primer on what’s going at the island prison.

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Did the 9/11 hijackers have accomplices? Once secret FBI records spark push to find out

By Dan Christensen and Anthony Summers
BrowardBulldog.org
New FBI records connecting Saudis who lived in Sarasota before 9/11 to “individuals associated with the terrorist attacks” have spurred a renewed push to find out whether the al Qaeda suicide hijackers who killed nearly 3,000 people had help.

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FBI records say Sarasota Saudis who fled home had “many connections” to individuals tied to 9/11

By Dan Christensen and Anthony Summers
BrowardBulldog.org
©2013 Broward Bulldog, Inc.
A Saudi family who “fled” their Sarasota area home weeks before September 11th had “many connections” to “individuals associated with the terrorist attacks on 9/11/2001,” according to newly released FBI records.

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Hallandale Beach turns tables, accuses Broward Inspector General of “factual inaccuracies”

By William Gjebre
BrowardBulldog.org
Hallandale Beach officials have fired back at county investigators who last month found “gross mismanagement” of tax funds at the city’s Community Redevelopment Agency, accusing them of “numerous factual inaccuracies” and challenging their legal authority.

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Children “pay with their lives” for lead exposure in older homes; Toxic metal’s toll still plagues U.S.

By Lilly Fowler
FairWarning.org
Lead poisoning has been recognized as a major health problem in this country since at least the 1930s, but it continues to threaten many Americans, particularly children. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new guidelines last week estimating that roughly 535,000 youngsters may have unsafe levels of the toxic metal in their blood.

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Voter information wars: Will the GOP team Up with Wal-Mart’s data specialist?

By Lois Beckett
ProPublica
The Republicans have admitted it: They need to get serious about collecting and analyzing voter data. Well, you can’t get much more serious than talking to Teradata, the “data warehousing” company that helps Wal-Mart, Apple and eBay store massive amounts of information about the behavior of their customers.

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Inside the global offshore money maze

By Gerard Ryle, Marina Walker Guevara, Michael Hudson, Duncan Campbell, Stefan Candea and Nicky Hager
International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and the Center for Public Integrity
A cache of 2.5 million files has cracked open the secrets of more than 120,000 offshore companies and trusts, exposing hidden dealings of politicians, con men and the mega-rich the world over.

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Coconut Creek police probe of officer in bathtub Taser incident missed facts, short on answers

By Dan Christensen
BrowardBulldog.org
An internal police investigation of a Coconut Creek officer who pulled his Taser while interrogating a frightened theft suspect in a bathtub omitted relevant facts and did not follow department policy.

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Hallandale city managers erased millions in code violation fines with little oversight

By William Gjebre
BrowardBulldog.org
Nearly $11 million in fines imposed for property code violations in Hallandale Beach in the past five years have been excused by city managers without the city commission’s review or approval, according to city records. The city collected only a fraction of the total.

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