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Latest Florida News Jul 15

By: AP
By: AP

FLORIDA-VOTER LIST PURGE

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The federal government has agreed to let Florida use a law enforcement database to challenge people's right to vote if they are suspected of not being U.S. citizens.
The agreement comes in a letter to Florida Gov. Rick Scott's administration that was obtained by The Associated Press.
The agreement grants the state access to a list of resident noncitizens maintained by the Department of Homeland Security. The Obama administration had denied Florida's request for months, but relented after a judge ruled in the state's favor in a related voter-purge matter.
Voting rights groups have expressed alarm about using such data for a purpose not originally intended -- purging voter lists of ineligible people. They say purges less than four months before the election might leave insufficient time to correct mistakes.

UNDERWATER MUSIC

BIG PINE KEY, Fla. (AP) -- About 300 snorkelers and divers have submerged to listen to a local radio station's music broadcast beneath the sea in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.
The quirky Lower Keys Underwater Music Festival, at Looe Key Reef Saturday, featured four hours of commercial-free music especially programmed for the subsea listening experience.
The theme from the "Little Mermaid," the Beatles' "Octopus's Garden" and Jimmy Buffett's "Fins" were among songs played along with public service announcements that encouraged coral reef protection.
Participants described listening to music underwater as ethereal and said they could feel the sound within their bodies.
Some divers were costumed and pretended to play a metal artist's sculpted instruments.
The event was organized by Keys radio station WWUS and the Lower Keys Chamber of Commerce.

ANTHROPOLOGY MAJORS

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Florida State University trustees are expected to reinstate the school's anthropology program after it was cut in 2009 during campus-wide belt tightening.
The Tallahassee Democrat reports the university's anthropology major could be back on the books in time for the spring 2013 semester.
The university stopped offering the major in the wake of dramatic state funding cuts. But FSU has continued to offer anthropology courses and two of the department's longstanding tenured professors were reinstated in 2010.
Gov. Rick Scott brought anthropology into the national spotlight last year when he quipped that Florida didn't need any more anthropology majors.
FSU President Eric Barron made the case for bringing the major back at a trustees workshop in June. Trustees will vote on the decision in September.

FRANCE-PLANE CRASH

PARIS (AP) -- An aviation company says that three Americans who died when a private plane crashed in southern France were the plane's crew.
Universal Jet Aviation, which is based in Boca Raton, Fla., said Saturday that it would not release the names of the dead until their families had been notified.
The three -- two men, aged 60 and 24, and a 30-year-old woman -- died in the crash while their plane was landing Friday at Le Castellet airport in southern France.
The American company said there were no passengers on board.
An investigation into the cause of the crash has been opened.

TROPICAL WEATHER

MIAMI (AP) -- Forecasters say Hurricane Fabio is maintaining its strength over the Pacific but will not threaten land.
The National Weather Service in Miami says Fabio has maximum sustained winds of 90 mph (145 kph) and is about 540 miles (869 kilometers) south-southwest of the southern tip of Mexico's Baja California. It is moving west-northwest at 10 mph (16 kph) and is expected to stay on this course.
Fabio is still a Category 1 hurricane and is the season's fifth hurricane. It is expected to start weakening late Saturday or early Sunday.
Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Emilia, farther out in the Pacific, is moving westward and is expected to continue weakening.
Once a hurricane, Emilia now has maximum sustained winds of 50 mph (80 kph) and is 1485 miles (2390 kilometers) west-southwest of the southern tip of Mexico's Baja California. It is moving west at 15 mph (24 kph).


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