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Princess Cruise Lines Pleads Guilty To Probation Violation

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MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) – Princess Cruises pleaded guilty Wednesday to violating its probation related to previous environmental crimes.

Company officials signed a plea agreement in Miami federal court, according to court records.

READ MORE: Doral Police Make Arrest In CityPlace Parking Garage Shooting

The company must pay a $1 million criminal fine and undertake remedial measures to ensure that it and its parent company, Carnival Corporation, establish and maintain an independent internal investigative office.

“Just like individual defendants, corporate defendants must also comply with court orders. They are not above the law,” U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida Juan Antonio Gonzalez said in a statement.

“The corporate defendant here ignored the court, choosing instead to thwart the compliance plan that was put in place to protect our environment.”

READ MORE: Two Cold Fronts In Four Days Bring The Chill To South Florida

Princess was fined $40 million in 2017 after pleading guilty to felony charges stemming from its deliberate dumping of oil-contaminated waste from one of its vessels and intentional acts to cover it up.

As part of its probation, all Carnival-related cruise ships that used U.S. ports were required to comply with a supervised environmental compliance plan.

Princess was convicted of six probation violations in 2019 and fined an additional $20 million.

A joint factual basis for Wednesday’s guilty plea said Princess admitted that internal investigators had not been allowed to determine the scope of their investigations, and that draft internal investigations had been impacted and delayed by management.

MORE NEWS: Miami-Dade State Attorney: 3 South Florida Police Officers Charged In Separate Incidents

(© Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

CBSMiami.com Team

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Storms on Friday?

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High uncertainty regarding the forecast late week into weekend. However, strong to severe storms possible Friday.

Small little wrinkle in the atmosphere is producing a few showers this morning with most areas remaining dry. However, chance for rain is up to a 30% having us trade the sweaters for the umbrellas today. Temperatures will be seasonable.

By Friday, models are in better agreement that a cold front moves through South Florida on Saturday. The uncertainty is on timing the rain.

As low pressure tracks Northeast and out to sea, front sags South through the Florida Peninsula. This will help warmer and humid air to filter into South Florida, so with the daytime heat showers and storms could develop. A few isolated to severe producing strong gusty winds and small-size hail could be possible. Lingering clouds and rain showers likely early Saturday until front completely clears.

It should be nicer and cooler Sunday. Chilly (low 50’s) on Monday!

Showers and spotty storms move in ahead and near a cold front through Saturday night. Then behind that front will be dry and cool conditions, but this cool down is expected to be short-lived. pic.twitter.com/rPda3cViFd

— Jackson Dill (@Jackson_Dill) January 20, 2022

Vivian Gonzalez

Meteorologist, AMS Certified

WSVN Channel 7

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Jury selection to start in federal trial over Floyd’s death

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Jury selection is scheduled to begin Thursday in the federal trial for three former Minneapolis police officers who are charged with violating George Floyd’s constitutional rights while fellow Officer Derek Chauvin used his knee to pin the Black man to the street.

J. Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao are broadly charged with depriving Floyd of his civil rights while acting under government authority. Separately, they are charged in state court with aiding and abetting both murder and manslaughter.

Legal experts say the federal trial will be more complicated than the state trial, scheduled for June 13, because prosecutors in this case have the difficult task of proving the officers willfully violated Floyd’s constitutional rights — unreasonably seizing him and depriving him of liberty without due process.

“In the state case, they’re charged with what they did. That they aided and abetted Chauvin in some way. In the federal case, they’re charged with what they didn’t do — and that’s an important distinction. It’s a different kind of accountability,” said Mark Osler, a former federal prosecutor and professor at the University of St. Thomas School of Law.

As Phil Turner, another former federal prosecutor, put it, prosecutors must show the officers should have done something to stop Chauvin, rather than show they did something directly to Floyd.

Would-be jurors have already answered an extensive questionnaire. Starting Thursday, they will be brought into a federal courtroom in St. Paul, where U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson will question them in groups. The process will continue until a group of 40 is chosen. Then, each side will get to use their challenges to strike jurors. In the end, 18 jurors will be picked, including 12 who will deliberate and six alternates.

Magnuson said he thought the process could be done in two days, unlike the state trial for Chauvin, where the judge and attorneys questioned each juror individually and spent more than two weeks picking a panel.

Floyd, 46, died on May 25, 2020, after Chauvin pinned him to the ground with his knee on Floyd’s neck for 9 1/2 minutes while Floyd was facedown, handcuffed and gasping for air. Kueng knelt on Floyd’s back and Lane held down his legs. Thao kept bystanders from intervening.

Chauvin was convicted in April on state charges of murder and manslaughter and is serving a 22½-year sentence. In December, he pleaded guilty to a federal count of violating Floyd’s rights.

Federal prosecutions of officers involved in on-duty killings are rare. Prosecutors face a high legal standard to show that an officer willfully deprived someone of their constitutional rights; an accident, bad judgment or negligence isn’t enough to support federal charges.

Essentially, prosecutors must prove that the officers knew what they were doing was wrong, but did it anyway.

Kueng, Lane and Thao are all charged with willfully depriving Floyd of the right to be free from an officer’s deliberate indifference to his medical needs. The indictment says the three men saw Floyd clearly needed medical care and failed to aid him.

Thao and Kueng are also charged with a second count alleging they willfully violated Floyd’s right to be free from unreasonable seizure by not stopping Chauvin as he knelt on Floyd’s neck. It’s not clear why Lane is not mentioned in that count, but evidence shows he asked twice whether Floyd should be rolled on his side.

Both counts allege the officers’ actions resulted in Floyd’s death.

Federal civil rights violations that result in death are punishable by up to life in prison or even death, but those stiff sentences are extremely rare and federal sentencing guidelines rely on complicated formulas that indicate the officers would get much less if convicted.

“This trial is going to present an evolutionary step beyond what we saw at the Chauvin trial because we’re not looking at the killer, but the people who enable the killer. And that gets a step closer to the culture of the department,” Osler said.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Student shoots, wounds another teen at Florida high school

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SANFORD, Fla. (AP) — A 16-year student at a central Florida high school shot another student three times Wednesday, sending the campus into lockdown, officials said.

The suspect was taken into custody after a brief search on the campus of Seminole High School by officers and deputies, and the 18-year-old victim was taken to a hospital for treatment, Sanford police Chief Cecil Smith said at a news conference. The victim was in stable condition, according to a police department news release.

Preliminary information suggested that the shooting centered on “a dispute over a young lady,” Smith said.

“We are grateful that there was no loss of life today,” the police chief said.

The department plans to pursue charges against the suspect, Smith said.

Serita Beamon, superintendent of Seminole County Public Schools, described the shooting as “an isolated event” between the two students.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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