The Sunshine Edition: The 2015 Florida Legislature

The gavel falls Tuesday in Tallahassee, when Florida lawmakers officially begin the 2015 legislative session. The one item they have to do is pass a state budget -- and this year they have a $1 billion surplus, a growing state economy and a governor fresh off a re-election win.Each spring for 60 days the Florida Legislature tackles a year's worth of state business. On the agenda this law-writing session are reforms to public-education testing, hundreds of millions of dollars of mandated...
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Scientists To Obama: Stop Atlantic Oil Exploration

Marine scientists from across the globe are joining a growing number of Floridians opposed to oil and gas exploration off the Atlantic coast.In a letter made public Thursday, the 75 scientists warn the seismic testing would have a widespread and long-lasting impact on marine life.
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Updated at 3:17 p.m. ET

The Justice Department is planning to bring corruption charges against Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., alleging that he did political favors for a friend and donor, NPR's Carrie Johnson has confirmed.

A person familiar with the case tells Carrie that a decision has been made to go forward with a prosecution.

"It is not clear how long it will take for actual criminal charges to emerge," Carrie says.

The case is being handled by the Justice Department's Public Integrity Section in Washington, she adds.

Customs authorities in Bangladesh would like to know what a top North Korean diplomat was doing with $1.4 million in gold hid in his luggage as he arrived on a flight from Singapore to Dhaka.

#NPRreads is a new feature we're testing out on Twitter and on The Two-Way. The premise is simple: Correspondents, editors and producers throughout our newsroom will share pieces that have kept them reading. They'll share tidbits on Twitter using the #NPRreads hashtag, and on occasion we'll share a longer take here on the blog.

This week, we bring you four reads that illuminate a bit of history or pieces of regulation you may not have known about.

Burrito

1 hour ago

The myriad of animals living on News-Press story teller Amy Bennett William’s rural Alva homestead frequently add context or humor to her essays. This week’s offering, though, places one particularly charismatic creature in the spotlight. It’s the story behind the family’s aged, outspoken and beloved donkey, who came to be known as, “Burrito.”

Three men, two from Vietnam and one from Canada, who allegedly participated in a scheme to harvest a billion email addresses have been charged in what the Department of Justice describes as the largest data breach in the history of the Internet.

The parent company of NBC, Comcast, has turned to a familiar figure to lead the network's troubled news division, naming Andrew Lack as chairman to shore up its credibility, its finances and its stability.

Albert Maysles, the father of the contemporary American documentary film who was behind such classics as 1970's Gimme Shelter, has died. He was 88.

Maysles, an Oscar-nominated director, died Thursday in New York, Erica Dilday at the Maysles Documentary Center confirmed.

NPR's Neda Ulaby is reporting on his death for our Newscast unit. She says:

"Albert Maysles with his brother David turned an unflinching cinematic eye on everything from door to door Bible salesmen to the most eccentric members of the East Coast elite. ...

It's the kind of moment rich with history – a moment to reflect on a searing date in the civil rights struggle, and to do so with the nation's first African American president taking center stage at the memorial ceremonies. It's a time and place to reflect on where we have been and where we have come as a nation. But also to ponder the future for Barack Obama and whether the discussion of race and inequality will become major themes of his post-presidency, which begins in less than two years.

"I have no one. I've lost everything. My children are gone, my parents are gone. My husband's family doesn't ask about me. They don't even look for me, they don't even know if I eat," says Manu Ghosh, 85.

That's her above, seen before and after the Hindu festival of Holi at her ashram in northern India.

Three Ferguson, Mo., employees who were responsible for emails that contained disparaging references to President Obama and African-Americans are no longer employed by the city, Mayor James Knowles tells The Associated Press.

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