The Tampa Bay Times won two Pulitzer Prizes on Monday for investigations that exposed rampant indifference and inequity in five predominantly African-American Pinellas County schools and neglect in Florida's state-run mental health system.
Reporters Cara Fitzpatrick, 35, Lisa Gartner, 28, and Michael LaForgia, 32, won the Pulitzer award for local reporting. Combining data and powerful narrative accounts, the reporters detailed how the Pinellas County School Board's 2007 decision to abandon integration followed by years of neglect turned five once-average St. Petersburg schools into some of the worst in the state of Florida....
PolitiFact Florida: Trump attack inaccurately implies Rubio traded auto insurance vote for house sale03/13/16 State Roundup
Billionaire Donald Trump likes to talk about his money-making prowess, but lately, he's taken to the airwaves to imply GOP presidential primary rival Marco Rubio has cut deals of his own as a Florida lawmaker.
In an ad we first saw March 7, Trump's campaign said Rubio had a history of shady shenanigans as Florida's House speaker. The commercial included a dig about Rubio suspiciously changing his stance on an issue after money changed hands....
02/26/16 State Roundup
Trailing in the polls, Sens. Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz took turns Thursday hammering at billionaire Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump at the CNN debate in Houston.
Rubio repeatedly brought up the downsides of Trump's business record: starting a "fake university," declaring bankruptcy four times and employing undocumented immigrants to work on Trump projects.
"He hired workers from Poland, and he had to pay a million dollars or so in a judgment," Rubio said. "That's a fact. People can look it up. I'm sure people are Googling it right now, 'Trump Polish workers.' You'll see $1 million for hiring illegal workers on one of his projects. He did."...
New polls that show Ben Carson leading Donald Trump in Iowa have put Trump on the defensive in recent days, subtly questioning Carson's Seventh-day Adventist religion and Carson's energy to lead the country.
On ABC This Week Sunday, Trump described comments over the weekend that he doesn't "know about" Seventh-day Adventists as a statement of unfamiliarity and not criticism.
"I know nothing about it, really. I'm a Presbyterian and I had mentioned that, and I did say I don't know about it. And in fact, those are my exact words," Trump said. "So I just really don't know about the Seventh-day Adventists."...
PolitiFact's Truth-O-Meter is coming to Arizona, Nevada, Colorado and Ohio.
PolitiFact and the E.W. Scripps Co. are partnering to provide local fact-checking in four key 2016 battleground states.
Scripps television affiliates in Ohio (WEWS in Cleveland and WCPO in Cincinnati), Colorado (KMGH in Denver), Arizona (KNXV in Phoenix and KGUN in Tucson) and Nevada (KTNV in Las Vegas) will create PolitiFact websites to hold state and local politicians accountable....
Some of the most conservative members of the U.S. House are being criticized for hijacking the election of John Boehner's replacement as House speaker.
But are some congressional Republicans going as far as to call for members of the Freedom Caucus to be kicked out of the party?
That's a claim one member of the Freedom Caucus, Rep. Dave Brat of Virginia, made Sunday on Meet the Press. Brat was debating who the next speaker should be with Rep. Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania. ...
Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina seized her moment on stage at the second Republican debate, launching a passionate attack against Democratic policies on abortion and Planned Parenthood.
Fiorina said defunding Planned Parenthood should be a priority since videos about fetal tissue procurement have been publicized.
"I dare Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama to watch these tapes," she said at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library on Wednesday night. "Watch a fully formed fetus on the table, its heart beating, its legs kicking, while someone says, 'We have to keep it alive to harvest its brain.' This is about the character of our nation, and if we will not stand up and force President Obama to veto this bill, shame on us."...
Seventeen candidates, five moderators, two debates, one Donald Trump. All of it kept the fact-checkers busy Thursday.
Let's start with Trump.
Early in the prime time Republican presidential debate, Fox News moderator Chris Wallace pressed Trump on some of his past statements about undocumented immigration — the signature issue of Trump's campaign.
Wallace asked Trump, "What evidence do you have, specific evidence, that the Mexican government is sending criminals across the border?"...
MOSTAR, Bosnia and Herzegovina
The scars of war remain around every corner in this tranquil river valley town, though they can be easy to miss amid the sea of camera-carrying tourists.
The European waiter who says he hasn't been on a train in 25 years. The "I (heart) Mostar" mural trying, and failing, to cover up bullet holes on a concrete wall. The manicured hillside graveyard with the rows of white marble tombstones that nearly all read 1993. ...
A clause about abortion funding in an otherwise noncontroversial sex trafficking bill has stopped the Senate from voting to confirm Loretta Lynch, President Barack Obama's nominee for attorney general.
On Fox News Sunday, liberal Juan Williams and conservative Karl Rove debated who's to blame.
Here's the relevant part of the back-and-forth between Williams and Rove. Rove claimed that Republicans are simply trying to extend a prohibition against using federal funding for most abortions that has been in place for nearly 40 years....
At least five times Sunday, ABC This Week host George Stephanopoulos asked Indiana Gov. Mike Pence a variant on a simple question about Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act: "If a florist in Indiana refuses to serve a gay couple at their wedding, is that legal now in Indiana?"
And at least five times, Pence would not answer.
Instead, the first-term Republican governor defended Indiana's new and controversial law as providing a legal framework if government infringes on someone's freedom of religion. He also noted that the very same law has been supported by Democrats in other places, including President Barack Obama....
Did Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu flip-flop on the creation of a Palestinian state as part of a peace deal in the Middle East to help secure re-election?
That's at least the suggestion floating around in the days after Netanyahu's Likud Party won enough seats to retain coalition control of Israel's government.
"On the final day of his re-election campaign, Benjamin Netanyahu said that as long as he serves as prime minister of Israel, there will not be an independent Palestinian nation," read the top line of a Washington Post news report....
People defending Hillary Rodham Clinton on Sunday over revelations that she used a private email account as secretary of state offered a novel piece of evidence to bolster their argument.
While the State Department has asked all previous secretaries to turn over their private emails, only Clinton has complied, they claimed. "The State Department asked all secretaries of state to send their emails over, and she's the only one who's done it," Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said on CBS' Face the Nation....
House Republican leaders fanned out across the Sunday shows to defend their attempts to overturn President Barack Obama's executive actions on immigration through a funding bill for the Department of Homeland Security.
The group came armed with the same talking point and a very specific claim.
"The president chose to use an authority that he said 22 separate times that he didn't have the authority to do," Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., told Meet the Press' Chuck Todd....
The staff of PunditFact flipped the script last week at the National Press Club. Instead of fact-checking pundits, we hosted a roundtable of talking heads to discuss how they operate on television, and how we affect (or don't affect) their lives.
Pundits punditing about PunditFact.
"I thought that was a brilliant idea when I first read about PunditFact. I thought that's great, we really need that," said Kathleen Parker, a Pulitzer Prize-winning syndicated columnist and Meet the Press regular. ...