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  1. Leaving Cuba: A father and son risk lives at sea


    MIAMI — It was hot and dark and mosquitoes bit at his skin as 23-year-old Jose Fuente Lastre boarded a raft with eight other men, intent on fleeing Cuba.

    Jose Fuente Lastre, from left, prepares a tamal as Maikel Villavicencio, Wilfredo Suarez, and Yanier Martinez Diaz, have fun during a gathering of rafters who came together risking their lives in the 110-mile journey at sea, in Miami. [Associated Press]
  2. Broadway in Havana: 'Rent' opens in Cuba, led by Miami director


    Broadway returned to Havana on Wednesday night for the first time in a half-century with a three-hour, invitation-only opening of the Tony Award winning musical Rent.

    The Broadway musical "Rent" in rehearsal at the Berthold Brecht Cultural Center in Havana directed by Miami native Andy Señor Jr. [Carlos Gonzalez]
  3. Support for Common Core could cost Jeb Bush in a GOP primary

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Jeb Bush never wavered in his support for the Common Core state standards — not even after the education benchmarks became a target for tea party groups decrying federal overreach in education.

    Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has played a key role in setting the nation’s education agenda since leaving the governor’s office.
  4. Polls show support for embargo, Cuba hardline is in minority

    State Roundup

    The polling is in: Cuban exile hardliners and Republicans are in the clear minority nationwide when it comes to the embargo and re-establishing ties with the island nation.

  5. Satanic Temple's holiday display at Florida Capitol damaged

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Florida's Capitol has displayed a Pabst Blue Ribbon Festivus pole, atheist banners and even a tribute to the Flying Spaghetti Monster. But a display showing an angel falling into flames with the message "Happy Holidays from the Satanic Temple" was too much for one woman, police said.

    John and Jean Porgal of the group American Atheists take photos Tuesday of damage to a Satanic Temple holiday display they installed the day before at the Florida Capitol in Tallahassee. A woman damaged the display.
  6. U.S. travel, trade with Cuba may start in 2015

    State Roundup

    With glasses raised, some Cuban exiles still hopefully toast "Next Year in Havana" as the clock strikes midnight on New Year's Eve.

    People wait Friday at Miami International Airport to check luggage and merchandise for an ABC Charters American Airlines flight to Havana. President Barack Obama’s decision to relax the U.S. policy toward Cuba may mean more travel between the countries.
  7. Satanic Temple holiday display arrives at Florida Capitol

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — The Satanic Temple, a New York group that doesn't really worship the devil, put up a crudely made diorama in the entry rotunda of Florida's Capitol on Monday.

    Installed in Tallahassee on Monday, it says “Happy Holidays from the Satanic Temple.”
  8. Bay area court clerks will not issue same-sex marriage licenses Jan. 6

    State Roundup

    Pinellas Clerk of Court Ken Burke expects same-sex couples will show up to his office Jan. 6 to seek a marriage license.

    Equality Florida CEO Nadine Smith challenges the clerks.
  9. PolitiFact Florida: Rubio largely right that Cuba promised no democratic reforms


    Sen. Marco Rubio has taken the lead opposing President Barack Obama's overhaul of U.S.-Cuba relations. His main complaint: The United States isn't getting enough out of the deal, especially when it comes to democratic reforms.

    Sen. Marco Rubio on Cuba: “The White House has conceded everything and gained little.”
  10. Petition drive for 2016 would make it easier for ex-felons to regain voting rights

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Civil rights and voting-rights groups have quietly launched a grass roots petition drive in Florida to make it easier for ex-felons to regain the right to vote.

    Lashanna Tyson joined in a silent protest of Florida’s restrictive clemency rules at the Dec. 9 meeting of Gov. Rick Scott and the Cabinet.