Defense Asking For Delay In Mass Murder Trial


The judge overseeing the case of Florida school shooting defendant Nikolas Cruz said Tuesday she will consider a defense request to delay the start of trial beyond late January.  Broward Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer set a Dec. 19 date for arguments on the motion by defense lawyers who claim the case is moving much too swiftly and runs the risk of legal errors. That could mean a conviction of Cruz might be reversed on appeal, sending it back for another high-profile trial.

A Florida Senate panel Tuesday approved a bill that would require minors to obtain permission from their parents before having abortions. The vote was 6-3 and followed 90 minutes of testimony which was sometimes heated.  Florida law already requires parents to be notified if their daughters plan to have abortions.

Flight training has been suspended for more than 300 Saudi Arabian students at three bases in Florida in the wake of the deadly shooting by a Saudi Air Force officer on Friday, the U.S. Navy said Tuesday.  The Navy said classroom training is going to start again this week, and flight training for other students will resume. But the Navy on Monday evening ordered that Saudi students at three bases in northern Florida be restricted from flying for an undetermined period of time.

If you’re flying somewhere for the Christmas holiday, it’s gong to be busy. Airlines are looking forward to  3% more people flying in the U.S. than during last year’s holiday stretch.  47.5 million people are expected to fly over an 18-day period from Dec. 19 through Jan. 5.  The busiest days are forecast to be the Friday and Saturday before Christmas and the Thursday and Friday after Christmas, which falls on a Wednesday this year.

Tea Party Republican Congressman Ted Yoho had promised when elected to office that he would serve no more than four terms.  But in recent weeks, Yoho had waffled on that pledge and was considering a fifth term, even filing paperwork and re-establishing his election committee.  Now Yoho says he will retire at the end of his fourth term which ends in January of 2021.  Yoho made the announcement on Facebook.

Federal officials announced plans Monday to raise $100 million to fund projects to restore seven significant coral reef sites in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.  “Mission: Iconic Reefs” calls for restoring nearly 70 acres  of the Florida Reef Tract, one of the largest strategies ever proposed for coral restoration.  The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said the organization will work with partners to secure public and private funds.

The state attorney’s office says it will not pursue charges against a 69 year old man who was arrested for having sex with a 16 year old girl.  The incident reportedly occurred in December two years ago.  But the state attorney says there are now issues with the alleged victim and witnesses.  Bobby Gadson’s attorney was notified of the decision.  Gadson said at the time, the girl told him that she was 19 years old.

A new report obtained by the Washington Post shows that the U.S. government across three White House administrations misled the public about failures in the Afghanistan war, often suggesting success where it didn’t exist. The revelation was discovered in thousands of pages of reports obtained by the paper. The documents reveal deep frustrations about America’s conduct of the Afghanistan war, including the ever-changing U.S. strategy, the struggles to develop an effective Afghan fighting force and persistent failures to defeat the Taliban and combat corruption throughout the government.

House Democrats have reached a tentative agreement with labor leaders and the White House over a rewrite of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade deal that has been a top priority for President Donald Trump.  That’s according to a Democratic aide not authorized to discuss the talks and granted anonymity.  Details still need to be finalized

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio has asked the Bureau of Prisons to conduct a thorough review of Florida’s Coleman Federal Correctional Complex following reports of sexual abuse of female inmates by male staff at the facility. Rubio called the allegations “simply abhorrent”  A lawsuit was filed last week on behalf of 14 women seeking compensation and prison improvements. Seven of the women are still incarcerated at the facility.