Local News

Obama, Francis find common ground -- and divisions

Face to face for the first time, President Barack Obama and Pope Francis focused publicly on their mutual respect and shared concern for the poor on Thursday. But their lengthy private discussion also highlighted the deep differences between the White House and the Catholic Church on abortion and birth control. …read more Source: Miami Herald     ...
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Local News

Michel Escoto struggles to formulate questions in murder trial

A man accused of killing his wife less than a week after they were married struggled to formulate questions as he defended himself in his murder trial Thursday. Michel Escoto is accused of using a tire iron to bludgeon his new bride, Wendy Trapaga, in 2002 to collect her $1 million life insurance policy. Escoto, who is acting as his own attorney, had a difficult time getting through his cross examination of a crime scene technician. That’s because his line of questioning — when he was able to get his words across — led to more sustained objections than he could handle. “I’m having a hard time, judge, sitting here and thinking this is normal,” Escoto said. Assistant state attorney Gail Levine appeared flustered by every question Escoto asked. Gail Levine flustered Already, Escoto has cross-examined his former mother-in-law and ex-girlfriend, who testified that she helped Escoto plan to kill his wife. Prosecutors offered her immunity in exchange for her testimony. Defense attorney Mark Eiglarsh told Local 10 he has a theory as to why Escoto would defend himself. “His ego continues to tell him that he’s a veteran trial lawyer and he has those abilities,” Eiglarsh said. “The problem is his ego is not his amigo.” Escoto, who …read more Source: WPLG Local News     ...
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PortMiami's World Trade Center vision collides with David Beckham's soccer stadium dream

David Beckham continued to share his excitement Thursday over plans to build a waterfront open-air soccer stadium on Dodge Island’s southwest corner. His main allies were entertainment entrepreneur Simon Fuller, local billionaire Marcelo Claure and Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez. The world’s second-largest cruise-ship company, Royal Caribbean Cruises, shun on the plan. Miami soccer stadium renderings Gimenez’s spokesman said rumors that the mayor was going to remove PortMiami’s leadership to make way for a team that would be more amicable to Beckham’s vision were unfounded. PortMiami Director and World Trade Center Miami chairman “Bill Johnson has a reputation for tackling difficult assignments,” county mayor spokesman Fernando Figueredo said. “That is why the mayor is considering him” for the opening of water-and-sewer director. Earlier this year, Johnson promoted the World Trade Center Miami complex featuring a hotel, a convention center, retail space and a mega yachts’ marina — but not a stadium. In September, more than $700 million in debt downgraded the port’s credit rating. The port is in need of allies with deep pockets. Johnson wanted to find a developer to design, build, finance, maintain and operate the complex under a 75 year term. His “trip to Asia—part of trip to meet with PortMiami …read more Source: WPLG Local News     ...
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