Photo Credit: St. Petersburg Times

Deputy Dies in Car Chase

Sad story of Hernando Sheriff Deputy killed in high speed car chase in early morning on July 4th. Lot of death and destruction over the weekend with a murders of estranged wifes/girlfriends. Hopefully the Casey Anthony trial will end quickly this week as jury is in deliberations.

Rick Scott decides last Friday to allow Orlando to build a light rail system. Maybe unpopularity is getting to him? Minnesota shuts down its government after bickering over budget. I'm a little late on this one but Bob Buckhorn names a business advisory to help get economic development moving in the City of Tampa.

1. Hernando Deputy Killed in Chase

St. Petersburg Times: Hernando deputy, father of two, dies in crash during chase

"A Hernando County Sheriff's Office deputy died and another was injured in crashes during a high-speed chase Sunday morning that spanned four counties, starting in Brooksville and ending in St. Petersburg. Deputy John Mecklenburg , 35, died after losing control of his car and slamming into a tree along U.S. 41 in Pasco County. Mecklenburg was the married father of two and an Army veteran. "Hernando County lost a hero today," Sheriff Al Nienhuis said Sunday. "He made the ultimate sacrifice." The pursuit began after Brooksville police officers saw a car traveling the wrong way on U.S. 41 around 4:40 a.m. The man Mecklenburg was chasing — Michael James Anthony, 35, of Silver Springs — was arrested by the Florida Highway Patrol just after 5 a.m. when his car was spotted on the side of the road in Pinellas County. "
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2. Hugo Chavez Has Cancer

Christian Science Monitor: Hugo Chávez's triumphant return to Venezuela

"Caracas, Venezuela - For five minutes yesterday, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez stood on the balcony of his presidential palace in silence, lapping up the cheers of thousands of supporters ecstatic to see their hero back in town after a long – and uncharacteristically silent – period of convalescence in Cuba. Mr. Chávez's surprise return – just days after announcing that he had been undergoing treatment for cancer while in Cuba – comes just in time for the country’s bicentennial celebrations today. Street parties are planned across the nation and a military parade will wind through the capital, Caracas, to mark 200 years since Venezuela won its independence from Spain."
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3. Casey Anthony Trial Almost Over

Tampa Tribune: Casey Anthony jury deliberations resume in Orlando

"ORLANDO — Jurors from Pinellas County are back at it this morning, trying to decide whether Casey Anthony killed her daughter and dumped her body in the woods. The panel of seven women and five men is in the jury room after spending about a minute in the courtroom this morning before Judge Belvin Perry Jr. dismissed them to continue dissecting the case. "We'll be in recess subject to call," Perry said. Casey Anthony was in the courtroom. On Monday, the panel deliberated for just under six hours before Perry sent them home for the evening. Anthony is charged with first-degree murder and several other counts in the 2008 slaying of her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee. If convicted of first-degree murder, the jury will have to decide whether Anthony should pay with her life. The jury could find her guilty of lesser counts, as well, including manslaughter or second- or third-degree murder."
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4. Moodys Warns on Greek Bailout

Wall Street Journal: Moody's Gives Banks Greek Debt Warning

"LONDON—Banks rolling over some of their Greek debt into new instruments may have to take impairment charges, Moody's Investors Service said Tuesday, in another setback for efforts to involve private bondholders in a new international bail-out. Rival agency Standard & Poor's Corp. on Monday rocked plans to involve the private sector in giving Greece more time to work out its fiscal problems by saying a proposal being promoted by French banks would likely put the country in "selective default."
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For those who aren't subscribers to WSJ.com, you can read the full story by placing the headline in a Google Search Box and following the link presented.

5. Hackers Send Fox News Tweets

Los Angeles Times: Hackers announce fake Obama assassination through FoxNews Politics Twitter account

"Former Rep. Anthony Weiner falsely said his Twitter account was hacked just before Memorial Day weekend. But over the holiday weekend, it looks like real hackers attacked the @foxnewspolitics verified account, one of several Twitter accounts run by FoxNews.com. A group calling itself "ScriptKiddies" claimed responsibility for the hack and also declared it has ties to the international hacker collective Anonymous. The Tweets began appearing just after 2 a.m. ET on Monday, July 4, an hour and date likely calculated to maximize the time the Tweets were up before the account owner noticed or could do anything about it. The fake messages announced the assassination of President Obama during a visit to Iowa, but there were no links to news reports on the incident. More Tweets detailed the president's condition and promised the shooter would be found. The language of the messages did not match normal news style, sounding more like the amateur fiction it turned out to be."
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6. Minnesota Government Shuts Down

Christian Science Monitor: Minnesota budget impasse: What does the government shutdown mean?

"What does a "government shutdown" really mean? Residents of Minnesota are finding out, because a new fiscal year dawned Friday morning with no budget deal in sight. It's not really a total closure of the state government. A state judge has ruled that "essential" workers like highway patrol officers keep doing their jobs. But numerous government operations are on an indefinite hiatus as of 12:01am, July 1. Guarding prison inmates? That's considered essential. Ditto for medical care or providing emergency aid if a tornado or other disaster hits. Obtaining a fishing license? That's not essential. Even in the middle of summer vacation season. Even in Minnesota."
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7. Scott Approves Orlando Light Rail

Orlando Sentinel: Rick Scott made the right call in approving SunRail

"SunRail's heading to Central Florida — at last!

That welcome announcement from state Transportation Secretary Ananth Prasad on Friday came as a surprise to some in our region. They understandably feared Gov. Rick Scott would permanently dismantle the transit system after he suspended the project in January, ostensibly to review it. But Scott's decision shouldn't surprise anyone. The project simply had too much going for it. The region wanted SunRail; it made all the required stops along the way to approval; and blocking SunRail would have made Scott persona non grata in Central Florida. To their credit, the region's political and business leaders, and the public-at-large, made sure Scott knew that in exquisite detail."
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8. Buckhorn Names Business Advisory

Tampa Tribune: Buckhorn creates group to make Tampa more business friendly

"TAMPA Mayor Bob Buckhorn has created a committee to review the city's permitting and regulatory processes. The 18-member committee, comprised of business leaders, contractors, developers, land use attorneys and architects, will focus on reworking the city's permit process to improve the city's economic competitiveness and make it attractive to investment, the mayor said. "Now more than ever we need to make sure that Tampa is known as a place that is open for business," Buckhorn said. "This is the beginning, not the end of an ongoing process." On the campaign trial, candidate Buckhorn talked about how Tampa has a reputation as a difficult place to do business and vowed if elected to work on changing that image. One of the main complaints from developers is the city's permit process, which has been criticized by some, including Buckhorn, for being overly regulated and too cumbersome."
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9. Human Trafficking Increasing

Slate: U.S. Warns of Worsening International Human Trafficking Crisis

"The international fight against human trafficking and modern-day slavery is losing ground, the U.S. State Department said in a new report out Monday. The total number of countries that are not meeting international standards to stop human trafficking nearly doubled to 23, according to the department’s annual report. The worst offenders were the Republic of Congo, North Korea, Saudi Arabia and Iran. Another 41 countries were placed on the State Department's “watch list,” which could lead to sanctions unless their records improve, the Associated Press reports.“The problem of modern trafficking may be entrenched, and it may seem like there is no end in sight,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a statement. “But if we act on the laws that have been passed and the commitments that have been made, it is solvable.”
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10. Mormon Leaders Told No Politics

Christian Century: Mormon leaders told to stay out of politics

"SALT LAKE CITY (RNS) Mormon officials are telling their top, full-time leaders that they and their spouses should not participate in political campaigns, including making donations or endorsing candidates. However, part-time leaders — including local and regional congregational leaders — are still allowed to do that, but are cautioned to make clear they are acting as individuals and do not represent the church. Local leaders are also told not to engage in political fundraising or campaigning focused on members of congregations they oversee. The new, clarified written policy was sent in a June 16 letter from the church's First Presidency over the past week to church leaders. It comes as two Mormon Republicans are running for U.S. president — Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman — and amid division among some rank-and-file Mormons about church involvement in a Utah immigration bill and California's Proposition 8 to ban same-sex marriage. The policy shift will still allow Jon Huntsman Sr. — father of the presidential candidate, who is an area authority of the church, and one of Utah's larger political donors — to continue to contribute to his son and to campaign for him."
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