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Beyond Tampa Bay: Feb. 5

Animal rights activists say SeaWorld is thwarting their efforts to put to shareholders a resolution to create a coastal sanctuary for retired orcas. PETA said on Monday that SeaWorld is invoking a Securities and Exchange Commission rule to prevent its shareholders from learning about the proposal. PETA owns a small number of SeaWorld shares. Under PETA's proposal, SeaWorld would develop coastal sanctuaries where the company's orcas could retire.

The federal government says it will temporarily suspend sales of U.S. Treasury securities to state and local governments starting at noon Friday, its first step to avoid breaching the nation's borrowing limit this year. The move, announced Tuesday by Treasury officials, will be followed by other bookkeeping maneuvers with the goal of keeping the government functioning until Congress decides to raise the borrowing limit. Last October, the government temporarily suspended the borrowing limit, but that ends this Friday.

A major fraud ring that staged fires and floods at South Florida homes to collect millions of dollars in claims from insurance companies has been broken up with charges against 22 people, authorities said Tuesday. The alleged ringleader, Jorge Fausto Espinosa, is a licensed public adjuster whose job involves representing people pursuing damage claims with their insurers, said Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle. Instead, she said Espinosa used his position to fleece companies out of at least $7.6 million.

Gov. Rick Scott today urged House Speaker John Boehner to take up legislation to provide relief to Florida homeowners getting rocked by higher flood insurance rates. "For too long, Florida has been a donor state to the National Flood Insurance Program by contributing $16 billion over the last three decades, which is nearly four times the amount Florida homeowners have received back in claims," Scott said in a statement. The move is a bit of a shift for Scott, who had basically ignored Congress and tried to press President Obama to take executive action.

tHE BOTTOM LINE: Morgan Stanley said Tuesday that it has agreed to pay $1.25 billion to resolve a lawsuit over mortgage securities with the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the regulator that oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac … Google is awarding $100 million worth of equity to Eric Schmidt, plus a $6 million cash bonus in recognition of the executive chairman's contributions to the company's performance in 2013.

Beyond Tampa Bay: Feb. 5 02/04/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, February 4, 2014 10:06pm]
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