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Laila Abdelaziz

Wael Odeh fights Islamophobia as he vies for a Temple Terrace City Council seat

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Civil engineer Wael Odeh had been campaigning for months in his effort to win one of the two open seats on the Temple Terrace City Council on Nov. 8 when his candidacy became a national story last week, thanks to an anonymous letter designed to sow doubts about his character because of his Muslim beliefs. The 56-year-old Odeh was born in East Jerusalem in the Palestinian territories and moved to the U.S. at the age of 18, where he attended…

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Legislature bans state from doing business with companies that boycott Israel

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A bill that bans the state of Florida from doing business with any company that boycotts the nation of Israel has passed through both houses of the Legislature, and will soon go to Governor Rick Scott’s desk. The legislation is a shot at at the growing international movement to boycott, divest and sanction (BDS) the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories. The movement is particularly strong on college campuses, including USF in Tampa. Lawmakers claim the BDS movement is anti-Semitic and anti-Jewish,…

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Florida committee passes bill that aims to ban Syrian refugees

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In the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris last November, Florida Gov. Rick Scott joined over two dozen other governors around the nation in saying he didn’t want any refugees fleeing war-torn Syria coming into his state. He also said that the federal government wasn’t providing him any information about who was coming in, or where they might being placed in the state. Jacksonville Republican Lake Ray‘s “Prevention of Acts of War” bill (HB 1095) would attempt to address that issue. The bill…

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Hillsborough County Young Democrats discuss and criticize Tampa’s Citizen Review Board

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With Mayor Bob Buckhorn naming his selections to the Tampa citizen police review board (CRB) earlier this week, the City Council needs to select its four members before the new agency meets for the first time in December. Don’t think, however, that the activists who pushed for its creation in the first place are at all satisfied with the model that city leaders have produced. Tuesday night at CoWork Ybor on Seventh Avenue, two members from Tampa for Justice, the group formed…

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Mitch Perry Report for 10.9.15 — 1st chapter in Tampa citizens review board saga ends

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The activists went home unhappy last night, but their goals were never the same as the majority on the Tampa City Council when it came to the creation of a citizens review board to review the Tampa Police Department. The Council voted 5-2 Thursday evening for a compromise proposal on who gets to select the members of the nine-member board and two alternates; Mayor Bob Buckhorn will get five choices, the Council four, and the mayor still gets to pick the two alternates that were…

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Jeff Vinik says it’s no sure thing that MOSI will move downtown

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After their dramatic unveiling of their billion-dollar project to redevelop 40 acres of real estate in the Channelside District last December, Jeffrey Vinik’s Strategic Property Partners group has been relatively quiet in terms of news about what will actually be housed there. In recent months there has been discussion about the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) moving from its current North Tampa location across the street from USF to “Vinikville.” Though Hillsborough County officials have expressed excitement about the…

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Tampa citizens gather to present their version of a police civilian review board

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Early next month, Tampa Police Chief Eric Ward will present to the Tampa City Council the results of his research about a model for a civilian review board to oversee Tampa Police operations. City Attorney Julia Mandell will also brief the council about her own research into the city’s charter to determine who has the authority — the mayor or the council — to create such a board. Tampa is actually in the minority of big cities in the United States in…

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