Venezuelan President Claims an American-Linked Plan To Bomb His Palace Was Foiled

Photo by Agência Brasil/WikiCommons
Nicolás Maduro
Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro doesn't quite have the same knack for constantly antagonizing America in all the attention-getting ways as his predecessor, Hugo Chavez, but he does occasionally like to make claims that the U.S. is behind some sort of supposed coup or another.

Just yesterday, Maduro claimed that an American-linked plan to bomb his presidential palace was foiled.

See also: Federal Cases Show Miami's Cocaine, Ecstasy Coming From Venezuela

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Chikungunya Still Ravaging the Caribbean -- Not So Much Miami-Dade

via Shutterstock
The current American hemisphere outbreak of Chikungunya is spread by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes
In December of 2013, the American hemisphere was hit for the first time by an outbreak of a mosquito-borne disease that, although rarely fatal, causes acute fever, bright red rashes, and excruciating joint pain that can last for months.

By last summer, Chikungunya was devastating the Caribbean. Hundreds of thousands had been hit with the disease, particularly in the Dominican Republic and Haiti; when two locally-acquired cases were announced in South Florida in mid-July -- marking the first time the disease had been contracted from North American mosquitoes -- local health officials were preparing for a potential outbreak. It still hasn't happened.

See also: Mosquito-Borne Chikungunya Virus Invades America

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Swiss Leaks Expose Bank Accounts of Miami Celebrities Elle MacPherson and Christian Slater

Eva Rinaldi via Wikimedia Commons
Elle Macpherson
On Sunday, an international coalition of media published a damning investigation into British bank HSBC. Files leaked by an HSBC employee show that its Swiss branch helped conceal billions of dollars of assets belonging to convicted felons and arms traffickers.

Almost ten percent of the suspect accounts belonged to Americans. Several of those named in reports have ties to South Florida.

Unsurprisingly, the two Miami residents mentioned are celebrities: Elle MacPherson and Christian Slater.

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Boat Full of Immigrants From All Over the World Comes Ashore on Miami Beach

Immigrants winding up on the shores of South Florida is not an uncommon occurrence, but a boat full of nine people from literally all over the world that came ashore on Miami Beach this morning has authorities scratching their heads.

The boat included nine people, eight men and one women, and included passengers from the Bahamas, Jamaica, Haiti ... and even India.

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Fidel Castro Is Still Alive, Releases Statement Praising Diplomacy but Slamming Bill Gates

Fidel Castro is alive.
Fidel Castro is not only still alive but also still cranky.

Earlier this month, false rumors of Castro's death spread like wildfire on the internet. The former Cuban leader hadn't been seen in more than a year, the argument went, and some dudes were cleaning a cemetery in Havana. So surely it was time for South Florida to celebrate El Comandante's demise.

Nope. The Cuban government dismissed the rumors. Now Granma, the state-run newspaper, has released Castro's first public statement in three months.

See also: Fidel Castro Is Dead, According to Viral Twitter Rumors

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Charlie Hebdo: Actually, It's Not About Ethics in Satire Journalism

In the wake of the massacre at the offices of the French satire magazine Charlie Hebdo, the American media, both mainstream and social, has almost become a satire of itself. We have a media landscape in which everyone feels the need to say everything there is to say about an event within the first few days afterward, and which rewards those with the loudest voices and the hottest and most controversial takes. Americans who had surely never even read an issue of Charlie Hebdo decided to twist what the magazine stood for to fit their predetermined agendas based on what seems like a few Google image searches for a small sample of its cartoons.

To some, they were the bad boy defenders of free speech who were really righteously sticking it to those reactionary Muslims. To others, they became a racist magazine who used their satire to punch down. We are in the somewhat surreal situation of using the chilling murder of satirists to discuss ethics in satire journalism.

This has lead to an frankly bizarrely earnest hashtag war between #JeSuisCharlie and #JeNeSuisPasCharlie.

If ever you've doubted American media and discourse is going down the toilet in the internet age, then there is no better evidence than the fact that we've responded to a major tragedy that could have far reaching effects across the globe by arguing over the proper use of Twitter hashtags to represent how we feel about silly cartoons.

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Fidel Castro Is Dead, According to Viral Twitter Rumors

Photo by Antônio Milena/ABr - Agência Brasil, via Wikimedia Commons
No one has died more times than Fidel Castro.

But yesterday, rumors began flying anew in the Cuban-American community -- and, of course, on Twitter -- that the Cuban leader has finally bitten the dust and that a possible news conference today will announce his demise. Could the speculation finally be true this time?

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Former New York Governor Mario Cuomo, Liberal Icon, Dies

Wikimedia Commons
Mario Cuomo speaking at a rally June 20, 1991.
Former New York Governor Mario Cuomo passed away due to heart failure Thursday evening, just hours after his son, Andrew Cuomo, delivered a speech at a ceremony kicking off his second term as governor of New York. The elder Cuomo had been hospitalized for heart issues in November, and reports surfaced that he looked frail attending his son's re-election party November 4.

Mario Cuomo, a Democrat, served three terms from 1983 to 1994. He was touted as "a progressive giant," "a soaring intellect," and "a man of unwavering principle" during his time in office and is perhaps best known for a powerful speech he delivered at the 1984 Democratic National Convention, where he spoke passionately and memorably about issues such as poverty and inequality.

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Miami-Dade Court Awards $191.4 Million in Seized Assets to Family of Colombian Man Killed in 1999

Photo by Brian Turner via Wikipedia Commons
The family of Carlos Octavio Caballero Cormane, a Colombian politician whose 1999 murder was believed to be carried out by coke smugglers and radical groups, has been awarded $191.4 million by a Miami-Dade judge.

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Obama Reportedly to Announce Thaw in Embargo as Alan Gross Freed From Cuban Prison
Alan Gross before his capture in 2009.

Update: The White House confirms it plans to normalize trade and travel to Cuba, saying, "It is clear that decades of U.S. isolation of Cuba have failed." In Little Havana, the news has yet to stir any real protests as TV crews far outnumber a handful of sign-waving protesters.

American contractor Alan Gross was released from Cuban prison this morning, according to ABC.

Gross, a USAID employee caught in 2009 distributing satellite equipment that is banned in Cuba, was in declining health. According to ABC, Gross' release is part of a prisoner swap that will see the three remaining members of the "Cuban Five" spy ring returned to the island.

Word is now bubbling that the move might just be the first step in a much bigger announcement. President Obama will speak at noon and reportedly may announce plans to thaw the Cuban trade embargo.

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