MIAMI (Reuters) – Venezuelans who fled to the United States under President Hugo Chavez’s rule celebrated and expressed cautious optimism on Tuesday that the death of the firebrand populist leader may lead to political change in their homeland.
After the government announced the 58-year-old leftist died, ending his 14 years in power, Venezuelans crowded into Venezuelan-themed restaurants in Miami, home to the largest expatriate community in the United States.
By Kevin Gray
(Reuters) – Declaring war against invasive brown tree snakes infesting the Pacific U.S. territory of Guam, wildlife officials plan this spring to bomb the island with dead baby mice stuffed with a common pain-killing medicine that is poisonous to the reptiles.
Brown tree snakes, believed to have been inadvertently carried to Guam around the end of World War Two aboard U.S. military vessels, have become major pests blamed for wiping out native bird populations on the island.
MIAMI (Reuters) – Senator Marco Rubio is looking to sell his house in the Miami neighborhood he cited in his closely watched response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech.
The first-term Republican senator from Florida played up his humble upbringing when he delivered the Republican Party rebuttal to Obama’s address on Tuesday, pointing to a Miami neighborhood where he was born and raised and now resides.
MIAMI (Reuters) – A Florida judge has approved the adoption of a 22-month-old baby girl that will list three people as parents on her birth certificate — a married lesbian couple and a gay man.
The decision ends a two-year paternity fight between the couple and a friend of the women who donated his sperm to father the child but later sought a larger role in the girl’s life.
MIAMI (Reuters) – John McAfee arrived in Miami on Wednesday night after Guatemala deported the computer software pioneer who is wanted for questioning in Belize over the murder of a fellow American, according to fellow passengers on the American Airlines flight.
McAfee, 67, was escorted from the plane by airport security officers, passengers said. He had been held for a week in Guatemala, where he surfaced after evading police in Belize for nearly a month following the killing of American Gregory Faull, his neighbor on the Caribbean island of Ambergris Caye.
MIAMI (Reuters) – A Miami businessman once named “Entrepreneur of the Year” by tax and consulting firm Ernst & Young was arrested on Friday and accused of leading a $40 million investment fraud linked to a company he owned that promoted a cutting-edge design to build low-cost houses.
Claudio Osorio, 54, the former president of InnoVida Holdings, and the firm’s former chief financial officer were indicted on two counts of wire fraud and one count of major fraud, among other charges, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Miami said in a statement.
MIAMI (Reuters) – With almost all ballots in Florida counted, U.S. media on Saturday projected President Barack Obama the winner in that state four days after he won Tuesday’s national election.
Florida brings his total of electoral votes to 332 versus 206 for Republican challenger Mitt Romney.
(Reuters) – A former Swiss banker pleaded guilty to fraud on Tuesday almost two years after the U.S. government placed him under limited home confinement as part of a long-running investigation of Swiss banks and American tax dodgers.
In federal court in Florida, Christos Bagios pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to defraud the U.S. government of just over $1 million while employed at UBS AG (UBSN.VX: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz).
WEST PALM BEACH, Florida (Reuters) – A former Swiss banker pleaded guilty on Tuesday to helping Americans hide millions of dollars from U.S. tax authorities, and a judge noted the banker has aided investigators in a broad U.S. probe of tax evasion that has put Swiss banks on the defensive.
Christos Bagios, formerly employed by Swiss financial giants UBS AG and Credit Suisse Group AG, changed his earlier plea from not guilty in the U.S. District Court for Southern Florida. The change of plea had been expected.
MIAMI (Reuters) – Tropical cyclone Sandy revved back up to hurricane strength on Saturday as it churned toward the U.S. northeast coast where it threatens to become one of the worst storms in decades.
The late-season storm has been dubbed “Frankenstorm” by some weather watchers because it will combine elements of a tropical cyclone and a winter storm and is forecast to reach the U.S. coast close to Halloween.