President Barack Obama

Bonnie Zerr / WJCT News

Welcome to Redux, a weekly newsmagazine from WJCT and the news podcast of the First Coast.

This week, President Barak Obama and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump were in Jacksonville in the days prior to Election Day. We also hear from Ken Babby, owner of Jacksonville's Class AA minor league baseball team that was recently renamed the Jumbo Shrimp; and we revisit the 2000 election to remind new voters how much every vote matters.


The White House

TALLAHASSEE — President Barack Obama — in what is becoming an all-too-familiar role as the consoler-in-chief — spent Thursday afternoon in Orlando, comforting the family members of victims and survivors of the Pulse nightclub massacre.

Howard Iken / Vimeo

George Zimmerman is seen defending his shooting and killing 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in a new video his attorney posted online Monday.  

A Central Florida jury acquitted the neighborhood watchman of murder in the 2012 killing, and just last month, the U.S. Justice Department said it lacks evidence to prosecute him for a hate crime.

In the video, Zimmerman's lawyer, Howard Iken, asks whether he regrets the shooting.

"Do you wish it had turned out different?" Iken asked.

WhiteHouse.gov

In his sixth State of the Union address Tuesday night, President Barack Obama made populist calls for increasing the minimum wage, instituting paid sick leave and passing equal pay legislation. He also pushed sweeping tax reform. We analyze the president's speech with Dr. Mike Binder, professor of political science and director Public Opinion Research Laboratory at UNF, and A.G. Gancarski, columnist for Folio Weekly.

Then Dr. David Zierden, state climatologist at FSU, joins us to discuss climate change concerns in Florida, as well as potential solutions.

The chances for another member of the Bush family to run for office may have increased, as former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush declared official interest by attacking President Obama’s stance on relations with Cuba.

Bush announced this week he will explore a run for presidency in 2016, as well as call for a stronger embargo against Cuba.

“I don’t think we should be negotiating with a repressive regime to make changes in our relations with them until there are substantive changes on the island,” Bush told Miami Herold reporter Marc Caputo Wednesday morning.

Republicans Blast Obama's Cuba Moves; Dems Cautious

Dec 18, 2014
The White House / YouTube

President Barack Obama's decision to re-establish diplomatic ties with Cuba sparked a firestorm of protest among Florida Republicans and caution among Democrats, proving that the future of America's dealings with the island nation 90 miles away remains a sensitive issue in the state.

Florida will go to court over President Obama’s recent order granting additional protections to millions of undocumented immigrants.

Florida attorney General Pam Bondi announced Friday the state will join with Texas to sue the Obama Administration over what it describes as an overreach. The move is a response to President Obama’s executive order which allowing millions of undocumented immigrants to remain in the United States without fear of deportation.

In a statement, Bondi says the lawsuit is not about immigration, but about laws.

WhiteHouse.gov

President Obama, Jameis Winston and Jacksonville's quality of life are making headlines this week.

National Endowment for the Humanities

President Obama recently awarded Krista Tippett, host of the public radio program "On Being," with the National Humanities Medal.

Duval County Public Schools / Facebook

Duval County is one of 60 urban school districts across the nation to join the first national pledge to boost academic success among young black and Hispanic men.

Patrick Donges / WJCT

Conflicting appeals court rulings over the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, have thrown the law’s future into an uncertain status.

Sgt. 1st Class Gordon Hyde / Wikimedia Commons

President Barack Obama on Wednesday called on Congress to approve nearly $4 billion meant to address the influx of child migrants crossing the southwestern border.

U.S. Supreme Court Justices
Steve Petteway / Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States

The U.S. Supreme Court's decision on whether for-profit businesses with religious objections can refuse to pay for birth control as part of their employee health benefits package has ignited national debate.

President Obama says the U.S. will send up to 300 military advisers to Iraq to help it cope with the Sunni extremist group ISIS, which has won several key battles in recent days.

Obama said Americans won't be taking up combat roles in the conflict — and he said the U.S. won't take actions "that support one sect inside of Iraq at the expense of another."

A new poll released on Tuesday shows a big shift in opinion by the Cuban-American community in South Florida: A majority (52 percent) of Cuban-Americans said the U.S. should end its embargo of Cuba.

The University of North Florida

Sailors from Naval Station Mayport were deployed to the Persian Gulf aboard the guided-missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea on Saturday as the situation in Iraq continues to intensify.

Pete Souza / Official White House Photo

President Obama has taken executive action to address the rising cost of student loan debt.

Wikimedia Commons/Sky News

Controversy continues to swirl over the White House prisoner swap that exchanged long-missing U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl for five Taliban prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay.

The move has unleashed a storm of criticism from lawmakers who’ve called President Barack Obama’s move reckless, and even lawless.

Embattled Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki has resigned his position, hours after saying he would work to fix "systemic" problems in the VA's health care system.

President Obama said Friday that the decision was made so Shinseki wouldn't be a "distraction" from efforts to address the agency's wide-ranging problems.

President Obama sought to recast if not reboot his overall approach to foreign policy with his graduation address at West Point on Wednesday.

In essence answering critics who have complained that his administration has lacked forceful responses to challenges in places such as Syria, Iran, Ukraine and Nigeria, Obama emphasized that "America must always lead on the world stage."

But he underscored that not every global problem has a military solution.

(This post was last updated at 3:00 p.m. ET.)

President Obama announced on Tuesday a plan to leave a residual force of 9,800 service members in Afghanistan beyond 2014. By 2016, most troops will be out of the country.

"It's time to turn the page on more than a decade in which so much of our foreign policy was focused on... wars in Afghanistan and Iraq," Obama said in the White House Rose Garden.

Anybody found to have manipulated or falsified Veterans Affairs records "will be held accountable," President Obama said Wednesday. The president condemned the reported widespread problems at the VA, defending Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki.

Obama spoke after he and Shinseki met in the Oval Office Wednesday morning with White House deputy chief of staff Rob Nabors, who since last week has been detailed to work with the VA. Neither of those men attended the president's news conference.

One Spark, pension reform, and the Florida Gators are in the headlines today.

The Jacksonville Retirement Reform Task Force, teacher scores, and Rick Scott are in the headlines today.

Pete Souza / Official White House Photo

President Obama’s reference to the popular television series Mad Men isn't the only topic being buzzed about after last night's State of the Union address.

With the country slowly digging itself out of recession, some of his legislative priorities buried under Washington's partisanship and his approval ratings at some of their lowest levels, President Obama called for "a year of action" during his fifth State of the Union address on Tuesday.

During the roughly one-hour speech, Obama tried to balance his impatience with Washington with a call for a truce for the good of the country.

But absent cooperation, Obama said he would take executive action if he had to.

The Washington Post's Bob Woodward will appear at the University of North Florida Tuesday night courtesy of the World Affairs Council of Jacksonville.

Penguin Group USA

The two writers responsible for one of the most revealing books on presidential campaigning ever published are back with their take on the 2012 election.

At one time, Area 51 was one of the most famous military installations in the world — a place widely talked about, yet so secret that the U.S. government refused to confirm its existence.

That's why President Obama's reference to the southern Nevada base Sunday raised eyebrows. It marked the first time a U.S. commander in chief has publicly acknowledged the facility that fueled countless conspiracy theories.

President Obama tried Wednesday to turn the conversation back to the economy, calling the growing income gap the "defining challenge of our time."

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