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Investigation Into Fox News And Gov. DeSantis, On The Ground In Haiti, And Extending Produce Life

Joseph Odelyn
AP Photo
People walk past a home destroyed by the earthquake in Les Cayes, Haiti, Saturday, Aug. 14, 2021. A 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti on Saturday, with the epicenter about 125 kilometers (78 miles) west of the capital of Port- au-Prince, the US Geological Survey said.

A new investigation explores emails between Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office and producers at Fox News. An update from those on the ground in Haiti aiding recovery. Plus, a new technology that could add to the shelf life of your produce.

On this, Wednesday, Aug. 25, episode of Sundial. 

Investigation Into Fox News And Gov. DeSantis

Gov. Ron DeSantis has gained national media attention for his response to the coronavirus pandemic, critical race theory, immigration and more.

People have most likely heard the governor speak on Fox News or on shows that have used clips from his Fox News appearances.

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The cable news network and the governor’s office have a very close relationship, according to a new investigation from the Tampa Bay Times.

“We saw a lot of instances during the last nine months where the governor was not just going on a network, like a lot of Republicans do, but there were these events that he was holding where Fox News was allowed exclusive access," said Steve Contorno, political editor at the Tampa Bay Times. "He was more or less putting on programming for Fox News in the form of vaccinating seniors on television and doing a bill signing at one point and all of these events ... in the past Republican governors have made those types of things available to all press. This time around, they were for Fox News only.”

More than 1,000 pages of emails acquired by the newspaper between the cable news network and the governor’s office show that producers at the network favored DeSantis over most other Republicans.

“Fox News works to secure interviews daily with headliners across the political spectrum which is a basic journalism practice at all news organizations,” said Jessica Ketner, a spokesperson for Fox News.

Investigation Into Fox News And Gov. DeSantis

On The Ground In Haiti

It’s been 10 days since Haiti was hit by a devastating 7.2 magnitude earthquake that killed more than 2,200 people — and was followed only days later by a tropical storm.

The Caribbean country is still recovering from another catastrophic earthquake from 11 years ago.

“Ten days after, I have to tell you this, I'm a little bit dismayed that I don't see a lot of progress really happening," said Dr. Guerda Nicolas, who is a professor of psychology at the University of Miami and was visiting family in Haiti when the earthquake struck.

Nicolas is now on the ground helping aid relief efforts. She’s working with the Ayiti Community Trust, which she helped establish.

"Of course, the memory of 2010 starts, people start talking about their own reflections and flashbacks of where they were and so forth,” she said. “It's trauma over trauma, over trauma, over trauma that we are managing at this particular moment. And we cannot neglect the importance of addressing the mental health needs of these communities right now.”

Find ways to help those in Haiti here.

On The Ground In Haiti

Extending Produce Life

Food waste is a problem of epic proportions in this country.

In 2019, an estimated 80 million tons of food went unsold or uneaten — think of that avocado or mango sitting out that quickly went past its prime and had to be thrown in the trash.

There’s new technology that could dramatically improve how long our produce lasts. For the growers and distributors in Florida’s breadbasket that’s a game-changer.

The EPA-approved, one-inch sachet adheres to the produce and slows down the ripening process.

“It really prolongs the life of it. And although we have ice packs and all of that, it is very hot in South Florida, so hours can even make a difference. And for us, I mean, it can go to California, I can go to Texas, Utah, Arizona, and we really have seen a significant impact,” said Desire Morales, who is the vice president of WP Produce and the Tropical Fruit Box based in Miami.

They ship tropical and exotic fruits all around the country.

Extending Produce Life

Correction: An earlier version of the story said the technology was approved by the FDA. The EPA is responsible for approving the technology, not the FDA.

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Leslie Ovalle produces WLRN's daily magazine program, Sundial. She previously produced Morning Edition newscasts at WLRN and anchored the midday news. As a multimedia producer, she also works on visual and digital storytelling.