FBI slams own 9/11 document; New report discounts Sarasota Saudis ties to hijackers

From left to right, Georgetown University professor Bruce Hoffman, former Attorney General Edwin Meese, FBI Director James D. Comey and former Congressman Tim Roemer at a Wednesday press conference

By Dan Christensen
FloridaBulldog.org
A report that lauds the FBI for making “great strides” in protecting the nation from terrorists in the past decade also says the Bureau produced and made public bad information linking Saudis in Sarasota to 9/11 terrorists.

A Broward tale: Property taxes, politics and conflicting interests

Martin Kiar being sworn in as Broward Vice Mayor last year by his father Monroe Kiar. Photo: Mark O’Loughlin, TheWoodlandsTamarac.com

By Dan Christensen
FloridaBulldog.org
Broward Vice Mayor Martin Kiar is beginning to look a lot like the county’s next property appraiser, but his political ambition already has created an apparent conflict of interest at the board that decides property tax appeals by homeowners and businesses.

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The admission arms race: Six ways colleges game their numbers

By Marian Wang
ProPublica
As college-bound students weigh their options, they often look to the various statistics that universities trumpet — things like the high number of applications, high test scores, and low acceptance rate. But students may want to consider yet another piece of info: the ways in which schools can pump up their stats.

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Gun groups, defense contractors and Facebook increase spending on lobbyists

By Dave Levinthal
Center for Public Integrity
Gun groups, defense contractors, oil companies and the world’s largest social network increased their spending on lobbying last quarter, bucking an overall downward trend, newly filed congressional disclosures show.

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Broward Inspector General: Hallandale leaders don’t know what they’re talking about

By William Gjebre
BrowardBulldog.org
The Broward Inspector General’s final report on the “gross mismanagement” of millions in tax dollars by Hallandale Beach is sharply critical of city leaders it says have shown a “basic misunderstanding” of what’s gone wrong.

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Popular, but flawed novelty helmets account for hundreds of motorcyle deaths; regulators don’t act

By Rick Schmitt
FairWarning
The results were tragic, but not surprising, last May when Suzanne Randa and her fiance, Thomas Donohoe, crashed while riding Donohoe’s Harley Davidson on Highway 79 near the Southern California city of Loma Linda. Donohoe, who was wearing a helmet meeting federal safety standards, escaped injury and walked away from the accident. Randa, 49, who wore a so-called novelty helmet that was cheap and stylish but offered but no real protection, died at the scene

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Hunger Strikes and Indefinite Detention: A Rundown on What’s Going on at Gitmo

By Coral Currier
ProPublica
It’s been 11 years since the first detainees were brought to Guantanamo Bay. But the future of the prison, and the fate of the men inside it, is far from certain. With 59 detainees at Gitmo currently on hunger strike, by the military’s count, here’s a primer on what’s going at the island prison.

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Did the 9/11 hijackers have accomplices? Once secret FBI records spark push to find out

By Dan Christensen and Anthony Summers
BrowardBulldog.org
New FBI records connecting Saudis who lived in Sarasota before 9/11 to “individuals associated with the terrorist attacks” have spurred a renewed push to find out whether the al Qaeda suicide hijackers who killed nearly 3,000 people had help.

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FBI records say Sarasota Saudis who fled home had “many connections” to individuals tied to 9/11

By Dan Christensen and Anthony Summers
BrowardBulldog.org
©2013 Broward Bulldog, Inc.
A Saudi family who “fled” their Sarasota area home weeks before September 11th had “many connections” to “individuals associated with the terrorist attacks on 9/11/2001,” according to newly released FBI records.

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Hallandale Beach turns tables, accuses Broward Inspector General of “factual inaccuracies”

By William Gjebre
BrowardBulldog.org
Hallandale Beach officials have fired back at county investigators who last month found “gross mismanagement” of tax funds at the city’s Community Redevelopment Agency, accusing them of “numerous factual inaccuracies” and challenging their legal authority.

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Children “pay with their lives” for lead exposure in older homes; Toxic metal’s toll still plagues U.S.

By Lilly Fowler
FairWarning.org
Lead poisoning has been recognized as a major health problem in this country since at least the 1930s, but it continues to threaten many Americans, particularly children. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new guidelines last week estimating that roughly 535,000 youngsters may have unsafe levels of the toxic metal in their blood.

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