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Florida Senate Democratic leader from Broward stripped of committee chair, Miami Republican takes spot

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Senate President Wilton Simpson on Thursday removed Senate Democratic Leader Sen. Lauren Book from a chairmanship role, a change that comes less than two weeks before the start of legislative committee hearings.

In a memo circulated to senators, Simpson said Sen. Ileana Garcia, R-Miami, would replace Book as chair of the Senate Committee on Children, Families and Elder Affairs, a committee the Plantation Democrat has led since 2018.

Garcia was already a member of the committee.

Simpson said the change was due to “significant challenges” that can come about having dual leadership responsibilities as chair of a committee and leader of Senate Democrats.

Book, who Simpson described as a “tireless advocate for children,” will remain on the committee as vice chair.

Read more from the Miami Herald.

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New January 6 footage shows police opening doors of U.S. Capitol to peaceful protesters, not ‘rioters’ as previously reported by media

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Newly released January 6 footage shows police letting peaceful pro-Trump supporters enter the United States Capitol without incident, directly contradicting government and media allegations of how law enforcement was overwhelmed by an unruly mob.

The footage, that the Department of Justice (DOJ) fought to keep hidden, captured activity by two security cameras – that face opposite directions – in a small hallway on the upper west side terrace from 2:25 pm to around 3:00 pm.

The full two 40 minute videos were originally posted on BuzzFeed Monday morning.

This footage is just a small fragment of the 14,000 hours of surveillance that Joe Biden’s DOJ are fighting to keep hidden, Julie Kelly of American Greatness reports:

The footage, a slice of the 14,000 hours of surveillance video that the Justice Department and Capitol Police want kept under strict protective orders, clearly contradicts many of the government’s allegations about what happened on January 6. Hundreds of January 6 defendants have been charged with trespassing or “parading” in the Capitol when this video clearly proves law enforcement held open doors and did not stop protesters from coming inside.

This story is developing. More new security footage will be added here at the Miami Standard.

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FBI in Haiti after 16 American missionaries visiting an orphanage kidnapped by gang

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The abduction of 16 American missionaries and one Canadian in Haiti by a notorious armed gang known for extorting businesses and ransoming kidnapped victims catapulted the Caribbean nation’s insecurity crisis into the global spotlight Sunday as FBI agents arrived in Port-au-Prince to help with negotiations to liberate the hostages.

FBI agents arrived on an aircraft chartered by the U.S. government hours after reports confirmed that 17 Christian missionaries including five children had been taken hostage Saturday in the area of La Tremblay in Ganthier, just east of the capital.

A group of American missionaries have been kidnapped in Haiti, allegedly by the same gang that kidnapped a group of Catholic clergy in April of this year.

A State Department official, confirming the kidnappings, said the welfare and safety of U.S. citizens abroad is one of the highest priorities of the Department of State.

“We have been in regular contact with senior Haitian authorities and will continue to work with them and interagency partners,” the official added.

Read more from the Miami Herald.

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‘Money plays a big part’: Audio reveals Miami Beach mayor, developers planning re-do of Ocean Drive

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MIAMI BEACH, Fla.  Miami Beach voters are being asked to stop alcohol sales at 2 a.m. instead of 5 a.m.

Proponents of the measure backed by Mayor Dan Gelber link the three-hour rollback with stopping crime and chaos on South Beach.

But, in a private Zoom call last month, Gelber met with developers to court their support for a wholesale re-do of Ocean Drive and the entertainment district.

Spearheading the meeting and solicitations for money was former Miami Beach mayor and businessman Philip Levine.

Read more from ABC Miami.

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