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In Orlando today, Obama arguing for women’s educational opportunity

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President Barack Obama is arguing that women need better educational opportunities as he raises political money in Florida. Obama has been focusing on women’s economic issues in this midterm election year and plans to focus on higher education in a visit Thursday to Orlando’s Valencia College. Democrats are hoping that women will turn out in support of their candidates in November and say Obama’s economic message appeals to them. Florida has one of the country’s most competitive gubernatorial races. Obama…

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Jack Daniel’s opposes changing U.S. whiskey law

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If it isn’t fermented in Tennessee from mash of at least 51 percent corn, aged in new charred oak barrels, filtered through maple charcoal and bottled at a minimum of 80 proof, it isn’t Tennessee whiskey. So says a year-old law that resembles almost to the letter the process used to make Jack Daniel’s, the world’s best-known Tennessee whiskey. Now state lawmakers are considering dialing back some of those requirements that they say make it too difficult for craft distilleries…

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Obama: Enough have enrolled for stable health care

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President Barack Obama says enough people have signed up for health care to make his signature law work. Obama tells medical web site WebMD that the 4.2 million people enrolled for this year, quote, “is already large enough that I’m confident the program will be stable.” The president acknowledges in an interview posted Friday that the mix of people who sign up is actually more important than the number. More young and healthy people need to enroll to offset the…

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Good news for Tampa Bay: Congress clears bill to ease flood insurance hikes

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Congress is sending President Barack Obama a bill to ease big flood insurance premium increases faced by hundreds of thousands of homeowners and allow below-market rates to be passed on to people buying homes with taxpayer-subsidized policies. The measure breezed through the Senate and on to Obama’s desk Thursday on a 72-22 vote. The House passed it last week. The legislation significantly rewrites a major overhaul of the flood insurance program passed two years ago. The 2012 changes were aimed at weaning hundreds of…

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Former Governor Reubin Askew dies

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Former Florida Gov. Reubin Askew, who guided the state through a period of school busing to achieve integration in the 1970s, died early Thursday. He was 85. Askew died surrounded by family members at Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare, Ron Sachs, a former aide and family spokesman, told The Associated Press. Askew was admitted to the hospital Saturday, his family said. Over the past three months, he has suffered from aspiration pneumonia, hip surgery and, most recently, a stroke. Askew rose from…

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No jury duty for Marco Rubio

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Sen. Marco Rubio reported for jury duty at a Miami-Dade County courthouse but was not called to serve on a panel. A Rubio spokesman says the case the Florida Republican was impaneled for Wednesday did not go to trial. That meant Rubio and the other potential jurors were all excused. Rubio spent a little over three hours at the Richard Gerstein Justice Building. Spokesman Alex Conant says Rubio will be back in Washington in time for Senate business Thursday morning.…

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Crist defends President Obama, blasts Scott

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Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist on Sunday stuck to his support of President Barack’s health care overhaul, saying “it’s been great” for the state despite a difficult rollout. In an interview with CNN’s “State of the Union” Crist said Obama has a “compassionate heart” and predicted the public would eventually embrace the health care law. “At the end of the day this is going to be a very popular program because it’s doing the right thing for the people of…

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