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tv   Channel 7 News at Noon  FOX  February 18, 2016 12:00pm-1:00pm EST

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7 news at noon is next. real-time closed captioning provided by u.s. captitiing company. they met for the first time at the summit of americas in panama, and now president obama
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to meet again, this time in havana. it's been 90 years sense the u.s. president has travelled to the island nation just miles away. >> diana: and reaction from south florida's cuban exile community as they try to determine what it means for the future. change has been swift since change. >> christine: embassies have beenenpen in washington an havana and now weeks away from another history-making moment. we have team 7 coverage with the president's plansful we begin with ashley jones in the plex. >> ashley: it's worth knowing the el bar -- embargo is still in place. the president will be in cuba march 21st and 22nd. president o obama breaking the news thursday morning tweeting next month i will travel to cuba to advance our progress and
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the cuban peopleful we still have differences with the cuban people that i will raise directly. america will always stand with human rights around the world. our flag flies over our embassy in havana once again. more ameririns are traveling to cuba than at any time in the last 5 years. 14 months ago, i announced we would beginorlizing lareonwi cuba and al significant progress. it's the latest move in impringg relations with the island nation. december 17, 2014, president obama announcing the renewal and diplomatic relations between the united states and cuba after cades of cold war. the goal reopening embassies in havana and washington, d.c. >> president obama: the day america chooses to cut loose the shackles of the past. >> ashley: just four month later, he met with raul castro face to face f the first time at the summit of americas in panana. president obama shaking hand, talking about the long complicated relationship between
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would not be removed from the state department's list of state sponsor of terrorful in july of 2015, the frmer cuban interest section of washington, d.c. was reopen as the cuban embassy. protesters gathering across the street as dignitaries raisedhe cuban flag. in august, secretary of state john kerry travelled to cuba to watch as the american flag was raised over the embassy in havana. marco rubio saying if you were president, you would only visit a free cubaful >> my hope oblem, i want the relationship between u.s. an cuba to change. but look at what we did to burma and myanmar. now the minority party is majority party in the legislative body because our change was conditional on changee toward their people. >> ashley: he's not the only one slamming his plans.
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>> it breaks my heart. just as we legitimized the negotiation in iran, the nuclear agreement, we're doing the same. we got nothing in return. my hope is that cuba will be free one day. >> there is no justification for president obama to make a visit to cuba before any real and democratic reforms are made by the castro regime. and no such reforms have happened. >> this is a president that cannot help himself. he cannot help himself bowing down to the freedoms of the enemy of the united states and u.s. interest. >>shley: those in the president's administration praising the move. ben rhodes who is in favor of lifting the trade embargo with cuba saying quote we want to open up more opportunities for u.s. businesses and travelers to engage with ca and we want the cuban government to open up more opportunities for its people to
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end quote. to put historical significance in perspective, the last presidential visit to cuba was nearly 90 years ago. the president calvincoolige. he was asked about the topics on the table during president o obama's visit. this is what she had to say. >> cuba is open to talking to the united states government about any topic, encolluding human rights. but, of course, we have different conceptions and different points of views. this includes otherer things like democracy and other political sls l as for now, there have been talks over human rights with the united states. >> and the president stop in cuba will be part of a broader trip. from cuba, mr. obama will travel to argentina where they will meet with the country oos new president.
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>> christine: and team coverage moves to miami international airpt. >> diana: alex de armas is there live gathering reaction to president's travel plans. >> reporter: we heard from several cub-americans throughout the day and the opinions are mixed. some say it's time for change. others strongly disagree. president obama's upcoming visit florida. the announced trip generating me buzz at miami international airport to where passengers are taking off onhartered flights to the island nation. >> kind of med emotions. i have been here 50 years and never come back to ku baa. i think that in 50 years nothing has really happened. so b mabt's time for a change. >> reporter: the visit also topic in versailles in havana telling what they think about the trip. >> i think it's just another violatioio of this agreement of
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bb trying t initiate. they're going to continue to systematically violate human rights on the island and thiss president is just playing into castro's hands. >> if this is only for capitalists to do business with the regime, i oppose it. if this is to open up cuba to the cuban people, i support it. >> he has the right to go. he's president of the united states. he can do whatever he wants. but i believe being friendly with a dictatorship that violates the human rights of its citizens every day is not what somebody thatelieving freedom and human rights should do. >> we think it is soreat that cuba is actually going to be connected back with the u.s. again. we love it. >> reporter: back at mia, travelers buzzing about the resent agreement between cuba and the united states to normalize commercial flights. the agreement was signed tuesday in havana an those flights are
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and throughout the day we will bring you reaksctionreaction on president obama's visit to cuba. at miami international airport, i'm alex de armas, 7 news. >iana: and when the president heads to cuba, so will the news station. we will report live from the communist nation next month. 7 on the scene as police rounded up suspects who they say are involved in drugs an prostitution in south florida. miami officers have been watching the area for signs of illegal activity. >> diana: and this morning they moved in making so many arrests, they had to haul the suspects away in a bu brandon beyer is following the story for us live from the miami-dade county auditorium. reporter: good afternoon. you mentioned the bus, it is right behind me the. that's where miami police are keeping the suspects as they makehese arrests.
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is all taking place in the flag and the area of miami. that is flagler 27th ave area all the as far west ass 70th avenue. they're targetingprostitution, drug trafficking, car break ins, anything they have been hearing from residents of this area that's a problem and that needs police attention. they're calling it operation cleanup. started at 5 o'clock this morning and they'rexpected to go well into the night this evening. all right tonight they have bee active, as you look at this video, police arrested and put into paddy wagons until they are processed. the number of arrests substantial an they briefed us this morning. >> we don't want to be reactive. we don't want people just the call 911 when they need us.
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we eliminate crime we take care of it. we want to eliminate it for the future. so before the community comes with these concerns, which they've already brought to our attention and we're addressing them, we want to make sure that we eradicate these concerns. >> reporter: so operation cleanup well underway in the flagimi area of miami. hive in miami, brandon beyer, 7 news. and now to the latest on the south florida teenager arrested for allegedly practicing medicine without a license. >> christine: and this isn't the first time he finds himself with a prescription for trouble. omar lewis is live where they say the teen open practice. >> reporter: good afternoon. this is the second time in six months that the police have told the 18-year-old to stop practicing medicine without a license and he is also accused
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be his grandmother outf thousands of dollars. if you pull back the sticker next to malachai love-robinson's name at west palm beach office, it says md t. 18-year-old claims it is a mistake. practicing medicine without a license isn't the only thing he is accused of. another charge, police say he stole $3,500 from an 86-year-old woman seeking treatment from stomach pain and checks totalling $2,800. >> everyone is entitled to their opinion and i am in thee upset. i respect the community for the concerns they have. >> reporter: in a police report from january, 2014, malachai love-robinson was seeking employmemt where the palm beach district. it was reported that the student visited each school in the attempts of integrating himself
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each school as an instructor/teacher. >> pleaseeespect our wishes and allow our attororys to do t e best we can on these cases. >> malachai, they say youou practiced med sen without a high sense. >> reporter: on tuesday, he performed a physical exam on an undercover agent. >> they say you examined a patient today. >> you will hear from my lawyer. >> reporter: his mother and friends, businesss partner all attending the celebration. his business partner h nothing but praise. >> i think he is amazing. >> reporter: while he may be the age of high school senior or college freshman, online he lists himself as holistic minister. >> i've done a lot of courses in institution locally andome nonlocally in alternative medicine.
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beach police report, last october at the age of 17, love-robinso dressed in a doctor's coat and sat in on at least one gynecology example at st. mary's cent. he told them there's an explanation for that. >> i requested to shadow some physicians. next thing i know, cops are there. that's all i know. i have no idea. >>eporter: in addition to criminal charges, the state department is also fining him for practicing medicine without a license. this afternoon, we are live in west palm beach. omar lewis, 7 news. a news alert into the newsplex. pope francis sounding off on donald trump and the zika virus. >> chrtine: ash hi jones in the plex with more on that. >> ashley: that's right. we have pope francis making
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he was aboard the papal plane when asked about donald trump's views on immigration in which pope francis said anyone who wants to build a wall along the u.s.-mexican border isn't christian. trump has prom m msed to build a wall along the border from texas to california a expel 11 million people who are in the country illegally f elected president tfl pope's comments come hours after he prayed at the mexico-u.s. border for migrants who died trying to reach the u.s. pope francis said quote a person who thinks only about building walls where ever they may be and not building bridges is not christian. this isot in the gospel. now not having heard border's plans independently, francis did say he wouldld give him the benefit or the doubt and did ad i would say this man is not christian if he said it inhis way. also he made comments about the zika virus when he was asked about it. he suggests that women
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could use artificial contraception but not abort their fetus, saying there is a clear moral difference between aborting a fetus and preventing a pregnancy. he said the birth control would be considered a lesser evil when faced with the zika-linked cases of rare birth defects such as those faced in brazil. they have urged women to avoid getting pregnant those two comments coming from pope francis today as he's headed home from his trip in mexico. we will stay on top of these and keep you updated. for now live in the satellite center, ashley jones, 7 newsful also this noon, alarming allegations against a youth pastor at a south florida church. the judge denying bond facing eight counts of sexual battery.
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became sexually involved with a 1-year-old girl. accordin to officials, at least one of the alleged encounters happened in the glade where is he had been working. in a statement, the pastors and leaders of church by the glades were saddened to learn of the simple behavior on part of one of the attendesful our first and greatest concern is healing and well being of the victim and family. and now a race to the white house. a big endorsement from marco rubio. she is considered a rising star and the endorsement comes at a critical time for the senator. the republicans kicking off first part of two-night tow hall in south carolina ahead of the gop's primary on saturday.
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poll has senator ber ne sand -- bernie sanders and bill bill neck and neck. and don't forget to download the 7 news voice your choe app. it's always up to date with everything happening on the campaign trail and is available for all apple and android devices. coming up next on 7 newst noon and later, a south florida company is working to catch predators one click at a time. it's a special assignment report, high-tech hunt. he thought his lease included privacy and then got a surprise. can your land lord come and go as he pleases? it's today's help me howard with patrick fraser. if you haven't made any weekend plan, we have event taking place in boca raton on sunday and forecast looking beautiful with temperature readings in the afternoon in the 70s. the best news it benefits the boys and girls club of broward county.
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up next. more now on the pope's comments regarding donald trump. >> christine: ashley jones with that. >> ashley: we are continuing to stay on top of this. pope francis is heading home from his trip to mexico and asked about donald trump's views on immigration.
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build aall along the u.s.-mexican border is not christian. and now@ we have donald trump's reaction to this. take a listen. >> canou imagine? i just got a call. as i'm walking up here, mr. trump, the pope made a statement about you. the pope? what did the pope say? i likehe pope. was it good or bad because if it's good i like the pope. if it's bad, i don't like the pope. >> ashley: again, pope francis saying anyone who wants to build a wall along the u.s.-mexican border issot christian. there you have donald trfrp giving his response to that. we will continue to stay on top of that story and bring you the latestst as soon as we get it. live in the satellite center, ashley jones, 7 news. two women dressed in muslim clothing raising eyebrows at a south florida synogue. they say they were visiting houses of worship on a spiritual search. >> diana: some say their visit was downright strange.
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>> i actually have a lot of faith in the police department. i believe that home lan security and police department and whoever else is on top of it. >> reporter: rabbi reacting after police interview these two women dressed in muslim garb. they walked into an orthodox synagogue and started questioning this man sitting outside is sanctuary. >> one of the questions was what time are lecture an when do teem come for it? >> how odd was this for you? >> it was very odd. they conveyed to me they were muslim. >> reporter: a member of the synagogue thought it was strange, especially when one pulled out the koran. according to the police incident report, did you have services already, and hen are y saying prayer for people ho have died? >> i explained the similarities written write to left. >> reporter: you can see him outside the synagogue, he called
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was committed. >> i was trying to s s the purpose in this and the content of the convertion. >> reporter: the same winl were friday. late wednesday night, law enforcement sources tell 7 news the woman seen in the video has terminal cancer and was visiting different houses of worship with her mother to learn about different religions. the policeedepartment says quote at this point we don't believe there is a public safety threat. the rabbi said the community can never let its guard down. >> we have to be vigilant, not vigilantlies. >> diana: north miami police do not believe there are others involved here. florida. on this thursday, we couldn't day. take a look at the satellite picture showing mostly sunny skies, the gulf t caribbean and
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now as far as the radar sweeps are concerned, they won't be picking up rain for quite some time and itt looks like our next best chance of rain won't happen until tuesday of the upcoming week. temperature readings very comfortable in the 70s. 76 degrees in miami, 77 in fort lauderdale to # 1 degrees in key west t. wins are starting to pick up out of the northeast and hour. they will range between breezy to windy at times. in fact, grand bahama island reporting a win of 20 miles an hour. and that will be creating the risk of rip currents for swimmers and also boating an vessels. as far as the big view is concerned, we have some rain, snow in the mountains and quiet weather around the nation's mid-section and southeast. it's pretty chilly to the north, 33 in minneapolis, 35 in chicago, more mild towards the south.
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checking in at 67. so we have high pressure to thank for the nice quiet weather pattern we will have in place through the upcoming weekend. outside of a quick shower rain chances will be at about 10 percent chance. early next week, we will be watching our next approaching cold front poised to bring us showers and d orms possibly tuesday night into wednesday. and the risk of seeing severe weather will slightly increase. now, we do have a use caution in effect for boaters around biscayne bay and advisory t tt will start tonight for the keys. next high tide 5:29 in the afternoon for miami an 5:52 in key largo. otherwise high temperatures will top off today in the mid-70s. overnight lows comfortable in the 60s with the extended outlook calling for a quiet weather patrn through sun. it's going to get busy tuesday an wednesday with our next cold front.
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a news alert out of miami gardens. a double shooting. >> diana: 7's ralph rayburn in skyforce hd to tell us more. >> traffic reporter: you're looking at victim here with police. miami gardens police sitting i front of a house here at 1 # 2nd -- i'm going the say 172nd drive an 44th avenue. you can see other police officers responding here. fire rescue has not got on the the scene yet. what we understand is there was a shooting call of two people shot in front of a cv pharmacy at 183rd street and 47th avenue. one of the victims was able to get if his car and drive himself tois home. that's what we're getting reports of. the other victim is believed to be at large or somewhere over i that area of the cvs. fire rescue just arrg o the scene. there are family members running back an forth, inside the house. we do have victim that appears totoave been shot one time in what appears to be the right arm or right shoulder.
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kind of pressure, a tourniquet of that victim's arm. fire rescue will be treating this person momentarily. as we get morenformation we will bring it back to you. that's our story from 7 skyforce. i'm ralph rayburn reporting
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an we will be right back. accused of having sex with a client going back before a judge. vanessa medina is live. >> reporter: the attorney seeing her client for the first time in weeks face to face. she had been seeing him behind a glass ever since she was an accused of having sex with the convicted felon. let's go to video. this is the two here in jail accused of attempted murder, the
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his case has been overshadowed by his inappropriate relationship with his attorney. the two accused of having sex tat browa county main jail inside of an interview room, a deputy reporting what he had seen to officials. she was then banned from the jailfulhe was recently given access again. when seeing granda, the two separated by glass, she told the judge that that was impeding her attorney-client privilege and this is what she had to say about that. >> a motion for bond to the judgerguing that he is not safe in the custody of the broward coupty jail because of the corruption in bso. also arguing that we do not have meaningful contact because we don't, the contact has only become more and more disruptive and causing him pain because of
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we're not able to work on his case effectively and also the delay that all of this is causing with regards to getting ready for trial. >> reporter: now it could be that you're talking about meaningful contact. there are serious allegations here of the two of you having sex. is it that you would like to be closer to him? >> no, i would like t t be able to prepare his case for triechl those allegions are false. there is no evidence of those allegations whatsoever. >> reporter: so she's saying $% the allegations are based on a conspiracy against her client. again, she was in court arguing bonn for her client. a judge denying that bond. reporting live in fort lauderdale, vanessa medina, 7 news. time for a bak and check on wall street. (stock market bell) >> diana: taking a look at the big board, the dow is dun about
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the nasdaq is off and s&p 500 is also off 2 points. 7 news at noon is coming right back.what would you do, if you could chooseseour ultimate adventure? explore the ocean with a tour guide that's a ton of fun. race like a cheetah at 60 miles per hour. or fly down a waterslide. with choose your adventure, you can explore four parks for less. enjoy any two parks for just $99, then add an adtional park or visit for only $10 more. more visits. more savings.
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and now, it's enough to make you sick. >> they arrested law clerks teachers, coaches, unemployed people, turs, all walks of life. >> online predators tararting children. but investigators are getting
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a south florida non-profit joining this high-tech hunt. >> christine: law enforcement around the world has a secret weapon in a seemingly never ending battle against child pornography and it's located right here in south florida. >> diana: investigative reporter carmel cafiero has our special assisnment report: high-tech hunt. we want to warn you before it starts you may find some of the details distbing. >> reporter: the colored dots lighting upmap indicate a big problem. they're computers distributing lewd images of children, many abused. all of this p happening in realtime. >> far more prevalent than anyone would blooechlt we're talking millions of records into our system worldwide every day. >> reporter: bill@ is president.
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is behind the pane that searchs for child porn. red dots are obviously our way to show some of the scope globally of the b problem. >> reporter: it's on a local level that they come into frightening focus. >> this report is from target in hollywood. this individual is most likely interested in average ten-year-old female victims. >> reporter: and in miami-dade. >> this particular address results to miami. someone this's been seen online very recently distributing one or more of the fileseshat you see on the screen. pregnant and incest. you will see incest, incest. >> reporter: the child rescue cocoition does not know who is watching or downloading the images or even exactly where they live. >> we don't have a dot on top of somebody's house who says here's where they live illegal activities occur. >> reporter: ininead, the coalition provides law enforcement with the computer's
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they get a subpoena for the go inside. they hope it's enough to make an arrest. >> our system is responsible for gist. >> reporter: and coach arrested last year after information from the child coalition led deputies to his lauderdale lakes home. the investigators say they pornography. he has pleaded not guilty. >> so whether it be data side of your llphone, open wi-fi, secured wi-fi, good old plug in the computer, internet all occurring on ip addresses. >> reporter: the detective said he's used the program to make # to 30 arrests. >> we're going after the worse of the worse. the type of files we are seeing infants, toddler,oung children being sexually abused by adults. >> reporter: ocourse, not everyone will be caught. just look at the child porn activity in florida over the last year.
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looking to play the odds with police. >> see you soon. >> reporter: carmel cafiero, 7 news. >> diana: child rescue coalition said its s stware provided free to law enforcement is responsible for 6500 arrests worldwide.
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12:40 pm welcome back. if you come home and find things
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someone's stealing. >> diana: it happened toto one resident, so he called help me howard with patrick fraser. >> reporter: when oscar and his girlfriend were looking for a rental, they wanted a clean, inexpensive place. >> he seemed like a straightforward guy. he said you seem like a good couple. >> reporter: it wasn't fancy. a small bedroom, kitchen and bathroom. things were fine until they weren't. >> lights would be on in the kitchen, bathroom and things would be moved. >> reporter: oscsc mentioned it to the landlord and he pointed the finger at someone else. >> he goes it could be the previous tenants that were living there because they could have made a copy of the key. >> reporter: after their closet was left open again, he installed a camera to record while they were gone. twoays passed. >> and then the third day was when i was shocked because this man just came in.
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tries to turn on the light. >> reporter: that's his landlord who goes over to bathroom, check out the refrigerator and leave, comes back and strolls through againful >> we were violated. >> reporter: oscar said his landlord never asked permission. he said things were still being moved while they were at work. >> he said oscar, i can asheryl you i have never been in there. and girlfriend said we had never been in there. >> reporter: oscar didn't tell him they had been recording. >> andhecking temperature in the place with a hand held device and looking at the fuse box. that's when he said if he could me in without permission. >> absolutely not. florida law is very explplit. without flood or fire they
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and must give you 12 hours notice. call police. even if they don't take anything, it's a crime. it's called trespassing. >> oscar let his landlord know he had been recording him as they came in the room. the response, get out immediately. and he said, i'm not returning your security deposit. >> he asked me to leave by the firstful he said you have to leave by the first. there's no question about it. >> that gave him four days to get out. we talked to the landlord. he said he tried to contact him and let him know hee was checking on things andscar didn't return calls and texts. he ageed to give him more time to place to live and returned the deposit. >> reporter: oscar got his deposit back and away from landlord. >> he said i heard you called help me howard and that wasn't a nice thing to do. they told me i need to give you
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>> glad we could help oscar out of that situation f. you h he a knows si landlord, change the locks to keep them oul. you can't do that. the landlord has to have a key in case of major leak or fire. don't waste your mon buying a new lock. got a problem incruding in your life, think could be a key to unlock things? contact us. hopefully we can get a break in solving it. with this help me howard, i'm patrick fraser, 7 news. and following a news alert out of miami. students getting sick at school. >> christine: ashley jones is at the news desk. >> ashley: we're talking about elementary school in miami learning from miami fire rescue four students ages bween 9 and 11 years old. they were all transported to jackson memorial hospital. all four students are being treated for na shah and vomiting. we don't know the cause what
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they're being treated at jackson memorial hospital. we will continue to stay on top of the story and bring you the very latest as soon as more information is available.
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news. hi, everyone. here's what we do know at this point on chris bosh.
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the heat won't confirm it, but bosh is back on blood thinners to deal with another blood clot, this time to his left leg. he missed the final 30 games of the season with blood clot on his lung. he has started medication again with the hope of playing again this season. >> it sucks, you know, it sucks. i been there before, you know, but not having it happen again, if that's the case with him.m. we really don't know. >> we talked and he's feeling good.. he has a positive outlook on things. >> cb's former teammate lebron james in cleveland waiting on the current health situation. they were part of two championships four memorable years together. >> i texted him, told him i was sorry and hate he has to go through this. just a great guy, professional and for something like this to
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just sucks. it sucks big time. >> to the task at hand t. heat is in atlanta on friday. game. he will serve a one-game suspension from the nba. east. just two games out of the eighth spot and two games out of third place. it is a real log jam in the east. >> wee feel great about these next 29 games, competition, east is competitive and we're in as good a situation as an anybody else. i talked too cb but my focus with this group and what we have is ahead of us. >> reporter: check out coach in his chair locker room before the game. straight to the second half. angel rodriguez with the steal and he's going to be dealing.
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canes pulling away in this one playing hide and go seek with the defenseful he will lay it t in. tans up ten. just over # minutes to go, post up, give him the hoop and the foul. canes are up 15. minute later, canes out on the break and reedith the nice reverse dunk, led by as many as 21 in this one. canesin their fifth straight. miami's now 21 of 4, 10-3, the acc. sunday we are your home for the daytona 500 race. coverage begins at high noon an you must provide your own ear plugs. the upcoming story chase elliot, 20 years old, the youngestt 500. he takes over the 24 car and crew of jeff gordon. talk about big shoes to fill. it starts with the great american race. >> how can youot have respect for what jeff has done. jeff has been a grebt mentor and great friend to meful he's
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just been so supportive over the past, you know, few years that i met hem and got to know him a little bit. has been open book as far as questions and things to try and help me. >> mike: very mature young man. panthers home to host the san i'm mike dipasquale. have a great day, everyone. and b more on that news alert on pope francis and comments he made about donald trump. >> diana: ashley jones has more. >> ashley: we continue to follow donald trump making comments. they actually came whenn he was enroute home from his trip in xico from pope francis. >> well thank god he said i am a political man. at the end of the day, a human being is a political animal. at least i am a human being and that i am a pawn?
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i will leave that up to your judgment. a person who only things about making walls again and again an not making bridges is not a christian. >> can you imagine? i just got a call. as i'm walking up here, they said mr. trump, the pope made a statement. i said the pope? at did the pope say? i like the pope. was it good or bad? if it's good i like the pope. if it's bad, i don't like the pope. >>shley: and again, pope francis making comments about donald trump's views on immigration where he did say anyone who wants to build a wall ong the u.s.-mexico border is not a christian. these comment ss coming where he prayed at the border for those who died trying to make it to the u.s. he said those who build walls and not bridges are not christian.
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of the story and bring you the latest. live in the satellite center, ashley jones, 7 news. >> diana: and we will be right back. what would you do, if you could choose your ultimate adventure? explore the ocean with a tour guide that's a t t of fun. race like a cheetah at 60 miles per houw. or fly down a waterslide. with choose your adventure, you can explore four parks for less. enjoy any two parks for just $99, then add an additional park or visit for only $10 more. more visits. more savings.
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happening right now. live pictures from the white house. let's listen in to the briefing. we are expected to hear more details on the president's trip to cuba. >> this will be different from
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i want to step back and put this in a little bit of context. clearly, this has been a change in terms of u.s. policy towards cuba and u.s. cub relations over the last year and a half since president obama and raul castro announce that had we would have process of normalizing relations. so to date, since we've made that announcement, there have been a number of steps forward rm first of all, we intensively negotiated over months the establishment of relations cull bin nating in it. and this embassy allows us to much more actively engage the cuban people and the cuban government to facilitate travel to cuba from many different delegations from the united states and to pursue cop ration
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had ongoing bilateral cooperatio we've seen interest in people in the united states and we've had businesses travel down to cuba, state and local government, academic exchanges and significant increase in american travel to cuba. there's been 54 percent increase in the number of americans visiting cuba since that announcement. i think we've also seen that the opening to cuba holdingst out real promise to improve the lives of cuban peopleful our judgment was that the embargo in place was doing nothing to achieve its aims of mringing about political change to cuba. the castro government under fidel and raul castro had been a place for many decades and also hurting the cuban peopleful they were cut off from the united states and cut off in many ways from the world and they were, again, not benefitting from u.s.
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reverse that dynamic. we made a number of regulatory changes to increase travel and commerce to cuba. those have hadbenefits. the significant increases in remittances that go to cuba that directly benefit cuban families, the increased travel benefits the private sector, shop owners, restaurant owners, u.s. companies have gotten into cuba. this is their fastest growiwi market. travelers staying directly in cuban homes benefitting cuban people. increasingly as businesses have gone down, we are fining out wayshey can establish a presence and just earlier this week there will be first american own factory in cuba.
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will benefit companies interested in cuba. we have potential to increase those travel links with the announcement made earlier this week that we will be restoring directly for the first time in several decades that will allow up to 110 flights to cuba every day. that's more people to people engagement a a open between our two countries. we've raised a number of issues repeatedly in terms of steps they can take to improve conditions on the island and economically and human right wes have seen some progress with respect to internet access and rms of additional wireless hot spots and efforts to link neighborhoods to broad band connections. we would like to seeee more in that space and we continue to indicate to the cuban government that internet activity is
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cuban people to connect with the global economy. it also again advances their ability to access information. we've also been supportive of the forms that have created more space for private sector within cuba, self-employed cubans. this is an area where we believe we can increase and empower the cuban people. at the same time, we have, of course, have significant differences with cuba on human rights that we continue to raise directly with them. they took some stepsn releasing political prisoners i hosting head of the international committtt of the red cross last year and we would like to see more respect for the basic fundamental rights of the cuban people. and a we considered whether to


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