AMY BETH BENNETT / South Florida Sun Sentinel via Miami Herald

'Let's See What Florida Has To Say': Aunt Of Slain Parkland Student Leads Assault Weapon Ban Effort

On Thursday, Feb. 14, Gail Schwartz drove to the Star of David Memorial Gardens Cemetery in North Lauderdale to visit the grave of her nephew, Alex Schachter. Schachter was one of the 17 people killed in the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School one year ago. He was 14 years old.

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Fernando Llano / AP via the Miami Herald

From massive shortages of food and medicine to an interim president and possible U.S. intervention, the situation in Venezuela has been complex and fast moving in recent months.

We asked readers and listeners to share their questions about what's going on in Venezuela to let us help you make sense of it all.  

Here are some of the frequently asked questions, answered by WLRN's Latin American correspondent Tim Padgett. 

Q: Why does it matter to America what happens in Venezuela?

DeSantis Pursues New School Voucher Program

14 hours ago
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Gov. Ron DeSantis said Friday he wants to create a new “equal opportunity” voucher program to eliminate a waiting list of about 14,000 low-income students seeking to use state-backed scholarships to attend private schools.

The governor is asking lawmakers to create a “supplement” to the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program, the state’s largest voucher-type program, which serves nearly 100,000 students but has about 14,000 others stuck on a waiting list.

Katie Lepri / WLRN

One year ago, a gunman entered Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and, within six minutes, took the lives of 17 people and injured 17 others.

In the following months, survivors turned into activists, rallying Florida and the country to get serious about gun control.

“Never again” was the rallying cry.

In 2016, the World Health Organization triumphantly declared the Americas to be the first region on the globe to eradicate measles. One year later, a measles outbreak erupted in Venezuela.

"And consequently, since June of 2017 we've seen upwards of almost 6,500 cases [in Venezuela]," says Robert Linkins from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Linkins is the branch chief of Accelerated Disease Control and Vaccine Preventable Disease Surveillance at the CDC, and in that role he's the CDC's top person on measles globally.

"Do not travel to Haiti due to crime and civil unrest," the U.S. State Department says, urging Americans to avoid the country that is wracked with violent protests against President Jovenel Moise. The State Department is pulling all nonemergency U.S. personnel and their family members from the country.

Two Crises In One: As Drug Use Rises, So Does Syphilis

22 hours ago

Public health officials grappling with record-high syphilis rates around the nation have pinpointed what appears to be a major risk factor: drug use.

“Two major public health issues are colliding,” said Dr. Sarah Kidd, a medical officer at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and lead author of a new report issued Thursday on the link between drugs and syphilis.

Bill Would Let Schools Have Opioid-Countering Drugs

23 hours ago

A Senate Democrat on Thursday filed a proposal that would allow public schools to buy a type of drug that is used to treat people who have overdosed on opioids. 

Updated at 6:15 p.m. ET

Calling it "a great thing to do," President Trump declared a national emergency on Friday in order to help finance a long-promised wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. It's a highly unusual move from an unconventional president.

Sam Turken / WLRN

As cars whizzed by and the sun faded, more than 80 people crowded together Thursday afternoon near a garden outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. One by one, students recited poems they wrote about love, friendship and innocence lost.

Marisol Garrido remembered Helena Ramsay, who died trying to save another student.

“I am older than you will ever be now. But I still think of you as a friend who was a little bit more like a mom—always caring, always smiling, always giving me a hug in the hallway when I needed one. Helena, right now I need one,” she read.

Katie Lepri / WLRN

They came to pay their respects, to find community, to look for meaning. They brought bundles of flowers, hand-lettered posters, prayers written on paper hearts.

On Thursday night, thousands of people came to Pine Trails Park to hold vigil on the anniversary of the shooting that killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

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