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Thursday's Afternoon Update

Department of Labor blasts Florida's unemployment aid program

Florida's requirement to file online and take a skills test to receive initial unemployment benefits, is a violation of federal civil rights, the Department of Labor has said in an initial determination, the Miami Workers Center said Thursday. More at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel and the Times/Herald.


Florida becomes first state in the nation to ban drones

Florida became the first state in the nation to ban law enforcement agencies from using drones to spy on citizens except in emergencies. Gov. Rick Scott signed into law the "Freedom from Unwarranted Surveillance Act" today. There are exceptions to the new law, namely if U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security decides a high risk of a terrorist attack, or if Sheriffs, police or other law enforcement agencies first obtain a search warrant. The law goes into effect on July 1. More at the Palm Beach Post


Florida online school target of cuts from legislators

Business Profile

Filastruder

filastruder
It’s a classic story in the world of startups: A guy has an idea for a better way of doing things. Guy gets to work raising funds for the idea. Guy raises nearly $200,000 in two weeks. Not so typical? Neither is the idea.

» Full story from the Gainesville Business Report

Florida's highly-successful online school is battling proposed cutbacks at a time when state legislators are bragging about boosting money for schools by more than $1 billion. Supporters of the Florida Virtual School warn the cuts could affect the quality of operations at the school, which offers courses to nearly 150,000. More at the AP.


Royal Caribbean quarterly profit sails past expectations

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., the world's second largest cruise line, posted a 62 percent jump in first-quarter profit as ticket revenue rose and passengers spent more on drinks, spa treatments and other extras. The results beat Wall Street expectations and sent shares up more than 7 percent in morning trading to $36.86. More at the Miami Herald.


Miami Marlins tickets for sale? Try "on sale"

The Marlins had originally hoped for average attendance in the range of 33,000-35,000 when they moved from Sun Life Stadium to Little Havana, where capacity is 37,500, but those numbers proved far too optimistic, and this year is expected to be worse. Read more at the Miami Herald.

Out of the Box
Florida waterfront condos literally create their own weather

condo fogHow would you like to live in a place that not only has a stunning view of the Gulf of Mexico, but creates its own weather? Check out this photo of individual fog wisps climbing over a line of tall waterfront condos, taken Sunday afternoon by JR Hott of Panhandle Helicopter in Panama City, Florida. What you are seeing is what happens when moist, warm air blows in off the Gulf of Mexico.

» Full story from KATU