government

impeachment
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

At Nova High School in Davie, the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump is proving an urgent, engaging lesson for the eleventh- and twelfth-graders in Richard Judd’s Advanced Placement U.S. Government and Politics class. 

"A lot of them are just starting to form their own political awareness," Judd said. "So being able to bring in what's happening helps illuminate their own little discoveries as they're learning about the world around them."

Even by the secretive standards of U.S. national security, the court that oversees government surveillance in terrorism and espionage investigations is cloaked in mystery.

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, also known as the FISA Court — for the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which governs it — operates completely out of sight.

That means secrecy surrounds every case in which the FBI goes to the court to get approval to wiretap an American — or foreigner — on U.S. soil who's suspected of spying for a foreign power or belonging to a terrorist group.

About 100 educators and community leaders rose to their feet and applauded Governor DeSantis as he entered the North Collier Regional Park's community center in Naples Tuesday afternoon.


Juan Matos / Courtesy of Department of Reflection

The newest department in the City of Miami Beach is something of a work of art. And, as such, you won't find it in in City Hall but rather closer to the arts. 

Kate Stein / WLRN

Days after eight kids sued the state of Florida for policies they say contribute to climate change, a coalition of environment groups has launched a statewide campaign to get Floridians engaged on the issue.

Alex Azar’s job hop from drug-maker Eli Lilly to the Trump administration reflects ever-deepening ties between the pharmaceutical industry and the federal government.


Isabella Cueto / WLRN News

More than 500 Latin American officials gathered downtown this week for the annual Inter-American Conference of Mayors and Local Authorities.

 

The conference, which is hosted at the Hilton Downtown, includes panels and workshops about how to create sustainable development in Latin American municipalities by decentralizing government.

 

The ransomware attack on worldwide computer networks earlier this month largely spared those of the federal government. While the government dodged a bullet this time, experts say, its systems are still vulnerable — although perhaps less so than in the past.

When the global malware attack — dubbed "WannaCry" — was first detected, a government cybersecurity response group moved quickly.

Refugees make headlines. Internally displaced people don't.

Maybe their plight eludes the limelight because, unlike refugees, they don't cross international borders ... or seek to enter the United States or Western Europe, where people debate how many of them to let in ... or undertake harrowing voyages across the Mediterranean.

And maybe it's because of their official label. "Internally displaced persons" (also known as IDPs) sounds vague and a bit confusing, as if they were lost inside themselves.

As Trump appointees take their new positions in the federal bureaucracy, a legal battle is escalating over alleged intimidation of the civil servants who make the government function.

This Tax Day, former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer launched a new tool designed to make government spending and revenue more accessible to the average citizen.

The website — USAFacts.org — has been slow and buggy for users on Tuesday, apparently due to the level of traffic. It offers interactive graphics showing data on revenue, spending, demographics and program missions.

Every recent president has promised to innovate the way government works, and this week, the Trump administration announced its plan to do the same.

The initiative is called the White House Office of American Innovation. Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law and senior adviser, will lead a team that includes business executives with little or no government experience. The Trump team says its agenda includes "modernizing government services" and "creating transformational infrastructure projects."

President Trump's budget blueprint calls for eliminating dozens of government programs and zeroing out funding for 19 independent agencies. And that may only be a preview of things to come as the Trump administration seeks to reorganize the executive branch.

No matter who wins the presidential election on Tuesday, it's nearly certain Congress will be more narrowly divided come January.

And with no clear mandate likely coming out of 2016, there is little reason to be overly optimistic that the next Congress can escape the cycle of unproductivity and polarization that has gripped Washington in recent years.


The 115th Congress: Political Dynamics

With little chance of a Democratic House takeover in the 2016 election, the two likeliest scenarios are:

Screengrab Miami new financial website

The City of Miami is making it much easier for you to see how it spends your tax dollars.

Miami debuted a website today that will allow you to dive into the fine details of every department's spending.

For example, you can see  how much commissioners spend on traveling, how much the city spends on public safety and how much each department spends on salaries.

Miami City Manager Daniel Alfonso said this a valuable tool for the public that also promotes government transparency.

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