News & Public Affairs

Thursday October 2, 2014

HAS THE WORLD TURNED ITS BACK ON AFRICA SINCE 9/11?

Minister Abdul Akbar Muhammad is the representative of the Nation of Islam to Accra, Ghana. During this interview he said that U.S. support for economic development in Africa has dropped since the terror attacks. Akbar says that Americans should be more involved in helping Africa develop. He'll be speaking in Tampa on 5/5 - this is a preview of his talk.

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SECOND CLASS TREATMENT FOR IMMIGRANT WORKERS

Solomon Garcia of Michoacan, Mexico fractured his back when the scaffolding he was working on in Orlando collapsed. This was eight months ago. Initially, his employer did not mention that his medical bills and lost wages were covered by worker's compensation. It was only when organizers from the Carpenters Union suggested he apply for worker's comp that he was able to get financial help.

In a few weeks immigrant workers will rally for their rights and Solomon will take part in the rall...

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AL FRANKEN

Comedian Al Franken discussed his new book OH, THE THINGS I KNOW: A Guide to Success, Or, Failing That, Happiness (Dutton). Franken also discussed the outcome of the 2000 presidential election, the war in Afghanistan, USO tours, George W. Bush's handling of the presidency, Al Gore's comedic skills, graduation speeches and more.

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STRAIGHT INC. SURVIVORS

Hundreds of people who were placed in the STRAIGHT Inc. drug treatment program in the 1970s and 1980s have come forward to say they were humiliated, abused and treatment was administered by non-professionals. Three people who say they were adversely affected by STRAIGHT were the guests today: Mike and Chris preferred not to use their last names; Wes Fager of Virginia says his son was abused while in the STRAIGHT program. They are organizing a STRAIGHT Survivors' conference June 8th and 9th in...

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THE COMPASS PROJECT

The Compass Project is a new group devoted to encouraging better leadership in the Hillsborough County Commission. Scott Paine, one of the co-founders of the group, described his group's commitment to better planning, health care, housing and transportation.

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FIRED FOR FREE SPEECH?

Former Hillsborough County employee Gary Mitchell was fired last week for giving a tongue-in-cheek speech before the Hillsborough County Commission. Although he was not working at the time of the speech, he was fired by the county's communications director. He was told the talk angered Hillsborough County Commissioner Rhonda Storms and was an action that could not be tolerated. Mitchell today filed a lawsuit against the county alleging his free speech rights are being violated.

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FLORIDA: AMERICA IN EXTREMIS?

This past Sunday the New York Times magazine carried an article by Michael Paterniti who argued that as Florida goes, so goes the nation. In his interview with WMNF today he said Florida is a microcosm of the United States, a projection of our collective dreams and visions. He says the recent news stories emanating from Florida have been some of the most significant of the decade: the 2000 election debacle, Elian Gonzalez, and terrorist flight training.

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THE FLORIDA LEGISLATURE AND THE ENVIRONMENT

Several issues affecting the environment were dealt with during the Spring session of the state legislature. Suzie Caplowe, lobbyist for the Florida chapter of the Sierra Club and Denise Layne, president of the Lutz Civic association say the legislature made good strides on some growth issues. At the same time it passed legislation that encouraged urban sprawl and will limit citizen involvement in challenging large developments.

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AFFORDABLE HEALTH CARE

A LOCAL DEMONSTRATION IN FAVOR OF QUALITY, AFFORDABLE HEALTH CARE FOR ALL. Josh Miles of ACORN (the Association of Community Organizations for reform Now); Rick Smith, an organizer for the Service Employees International Union and Fred Winter of SEIU local 1220 discussed the upcoming rally for health care in St. Petersburg. They pointed out that per capita the U.S. spends more money (private and public) on health care than any other nation in the world. At the same time some 40 million Americ...

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MANATEE PROTECTION

Interview with Roger Schlickeisen, the president of Defenders of Wildlife, a national conservation organization. He spoke about efforts to save endangered species. In the case of the Florida manatee, he says the governor's office has backed away from establishing promised manatee protection zones in Brevard County.

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