Police Brutality Protesters Shut Down 195, March Through Wynwood (Livestream)

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photo via @PowerU305's Twitter
A protest against the lack of indictments in Ferguson and New York City -- as well as the killing of local teen Israel Hernandez by Miami Beach police -- quickly moved from Wynwood to the 195 expressway.

More than a hundred protesters have now shut down traffic in both directions, snarling cars for miles to the east and west as Art Basel week hits its peak.

Update: The protesters have left the highway and have now begun marching toward the heart of Wynwood, organizer Muhammed Malik tells Riptide. The crowd has grown to about 400 people. No arrests have been made, he says.

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Tonight's Wynwood Protest Aims to Inject Current Events Into Cushy Art Basel Weekend

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Photo by George Martinez/gmartnx.com
A protester last week in front of the Richard Gerstein Justice Building in Miami.
Has there ever been a stranger moment to be in Miami?

As grand juries across the country refuse to indict white cops for killing innocent black men, all Miami can talk about is Miley's killer concert. In New York, people are flocking to the streets and shutting down bridges. Here, celebrities are snapping up overpriced art and charging their phones in women's coochies.

If the cognitive dissonance is getting to you, there's a cure. Tonight, protesters will gather in Wynwood to demand justice for Mike Brown, Eric Garner, and Israel Hernandez.

See also: Miami All Quiet After Ferguson Grand Jury Decision Sparks Protests Across the Country

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Rick Scott Won't Get to Drug Test Poor People After All: Federal Court Rejects Welfare Testing

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Rick Scott's obsessive quest to drug test every man, woman and child in the state of Florida appears to be at an end.

Seven months after the Supreme Court declined to hear his administration's argument for drug testing state employees, the governor lost again yesterday when a federal appeals resoundingly rejected his attempts to drug test welfare applicants.

"We have no reason to think impoverished individuals are necessarily and inherently prone to drug use, or, for that matter, are more prone to drug use than the general population," the court ruled.

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Sime MIA Conference: From Fighting ISIS With Comic Books to Freeing Political Prisoners in Venezuela

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Courtesy of Sime MIA
Suleiman Bakhit during yesterday's Sime MIA speech
It's a busy week in Miami. Art Basel is upon us, of course. Design Miami as well. Then there are all the satellite fairs and the associated parties, concerts, and openings. Right now, Miami looks and feels like one giant, frantic party.

Amid the frivolity, however, at least 700 people are doing some serious work. That's the number of artists, tech geeks, and media moguls attending the second annual Sime MIA conference at the New World Center on Miami Beach. Among those speaking yesterday was Adriana López Vermut, sister of imprisoned Venezuelan politician Leopoldo López.

"The [Venezuelan] government is fighting old school media," she said. "There have obviously been amazing advances in social media, which are a tool, but I do think there is an opportunity at this time to come up with new ways of offering transparency and, more importantly, of offering independence of thought."

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Graffiti Artist Hid Overnight in Purdy Lounge's Bathroom, Tagged Entire Club

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Courtesy of Aron Epstein
Popular late-night South Beach spot Purdy Lounge has a new interior design -- one that not even the bar's owner knew was coming.

Last night a troublemaking artist hid in a bathroom until the lounge closed at 5 a.m. and then spent several hours painting enormous murals that now cover two of the bar's walls.

"It's an Art Basel terrorist artist," says the bar's general manager, Aron Epstein. "[But] he was meticulous. It's not like he was trying to ruin anything."

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Bath Salts Didn't Cause the Miami Cannibal Attack, Scientists Say

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via YouTube
In May 2012, the nation first caught wind of "bath salts" thanks to the "Miami Cannibal" attack. In the hours after Rudy Eugene chewed the face off homeless man Ronald Poppo near the MacArthur Causeway and was fatally shot by cops, a Miami Police spokesman speculated that the synthetic drug might have driven Eugene's madness.

The only problem is that bath salts were never found in Eugene's body in any postmortem exams. And last week, as scientists presented one of the most comprehensive reviews yet of the drug's effects on the human body, the evidence seems stronger than ever that bath salts aren't likely to cause a craving for human flesh.

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Cruise Ship Spa Company Accused of Discriminating Against HIV-Positive Applicant

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Chesipiero via Wikimedia Commons
Norwegian is one of many cruise companies that contract with Steiner
Daniel Dowd has lived with HIV for fifteen years. He has overcome the shock of diagnosis, the fear of death, and the mountains of pills. But it wasn't until he applied for a job with a Miami-based cruise ship contractor that Dowd says he faced open discrimination.

Dowd was poised to become a personal trainer for Steiner -- a company contracted to run the gym and spa aboard a Miami-based cruise ship -- when he was suddenly sacked after disclosing he was HIV-positive.

"You just can't do this in this day and age," he says. "It's discriminatory!"

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Miami All Quiet After Ferguson Grand Jury Decision Sparks Protests Across the Country

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Jamelle Bouie via Wikimedia Commons
Protesters in Ferguson, Missouri, earlier this year.
A grand jury's decision not to indict the cop who three months ago killed unarmed teenager Mike Brown sparked protests across the country last night.

Ferguson, Missouri, is still smoldering this morning after looting, teargas, arson, armored vehicles, and gunshots turned the St. Louis suburb into something resembling a war zone. Despite demonstrations in other major American cities, Miami remained calm, however.

"No, nothing," said a Miami Police sergeant reached at 1 a.m. "It's actually been very quiet."

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Marlins Stadium Workers Get Green Light to Sue as Judge Slams "Unremarkable" Team

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Photo by Ines Hegedus-Garcia via Wikimedia Commons
Taxpayers weren't the only Miami residents royally screwed in the Marlins Park deal, at least according to one group of workers who actually built the $2 billion fiasco. The workers say they were systemically underpaid by a contractor building the ballpark.

A federal judge recently gave them permission to go forward with a class-action claim, and he hilariously threw shade at the team -- and its "unremarkable record" -- in his ruling.

See also: Six Lies About the Marlins Stadium

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RIP, Gabe Cortez, Midtown Miami's Auto Mechanic Wizard

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Courtesy of Andrew Cortez
Gabe Cortez at Plaza Tire & Auto
The voice -- deep, sonorous, and slow -- rang out every time a customer called the shop: "Plaza Tire & Auto. Gabe Cortez speaking."

For more than 35 years, Cortez's humor, patience, and honesty have made life better for the untold Miamians who took their ailing cars to his midtown shop, Plaza Tire & Auto. Cortez, who was 77, died late Wednesday.

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