Greg Allen

Scarcely a day goes by that Gov. Ron DeSantis isn't holding a news conference somewhere in Florida, talking about his policy of providing the COVID-19 vaccine to "seniors first." The state now leads the nation in vaccinating senior citizens. In a state with 4.5 million people 65 and over, that's good news. The bad news is that in Florida, as elsewhere, the demand far exceeds the supply of vaccine, creating a first-come-first-served process that has left some groups out.

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Miami is mourning the death of a legal pioneer, Osvaldo Soto. He helped Cuban Americans gain equal representation in government and fought for the repeal of an English-only law in Miami-Dade County. NPR's Greg Allen has this remembrance.

States are taking steps to tighten security at their capitol buildings following a warning by the FBI to prepare for armed protests in the days leading up to the the presidential inauguration on Jan. 20. Many state capitals have already seen protests by people upset by President Trump's loss in the election.

On Wednesday, the president put out a statement responding to reports of more demonstrations.

The FBI and Washington, D.C., Metro police are asking the public for help identifying some of the people involved in assaults, break-ins and vandalism at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. The FBI is asking anyone with information to submit it here, along with any photos or video.

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President Trump recently signed an order extending a ban on drilling in U.S. waters in the Atlantic. But in the Bahamas, a small company has received permission to begin doing exploratory drilling just 150 miles from the Florida coast.

From the Carolinas to Central America, many are glad to see the end of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season. It set a number of records, including the most named storms.

In Florida, this is the time of year for "snowbirds," people who flock south when the weather turns cold up north. Many own homes or condos. Others rent or come with their own RV's. But with COVID-19, this year, some of Florida's most faithful seasonal visitors — Canadians — are staying home.

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Cruise lines may begin sailing again from U.S. ports under rules released Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The federal agency is allowing a "No Sail" order to expire at midnight Saturday.

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Theme parks in California say new state guidelines will keep them closed indefinitely, affecting hundreds of thousands of workers and businesses across the state. The presidents of Disneyland, Universal Studios Hollywood and other theme parks say they're considering all options to speed their reopening, including potential legal action.

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Seven months after they shut down due to the coronavirus, California's theme parks remain closed. Today the state outlined guidelines for when they can eventually reopen. NPR's Greg Allen reports.

The disagreement among elected officials over how to respond to the coronavirus is playing out, not just in the nation's capital, but also in the states. In Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis surprised local officials last month when he lifted all statewide COVID-19 restrictions on businesses.

He said the peak of the state's COVID-19 cases were months in the past, and that measured steps to reopen the economy hadn't caused the spike many had predicted. That's why he said it's time to allow bars, restaurants, even movie theaters to open at full capacity.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has extended a ban on cruises from U.S. ports. The new "no sail" order, issued late Wednesday, expires Oct. 31.

Miami-Dade County says it will not fully comply with a decision by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to lift most restrictions aimed at controlling the spread of coronavirus, saying it's too soon to safely reverse the precautions.

County Mayor Carlos Gimenez, speaking Tuesday with local medical advisors, and in a conference call with White House Coronavirus Task Force Coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx and the nation's leading infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said that the number of COVID-19 cases in the county has declined because it has reopened very slowly.

Updated at 5:01 p.m. ET

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis says he is lifting all restrictions on businesses statewide that were imposed to control the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19. Most significantly, that means restaurants and bars in the state can now operate at full capacity.

Florida's attorney general is asking law enforcement agencies to open an investigation of a contribution made by billionaire and former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg to help pay the fines and court fees of felons.

Bloomberg this week raised some $16 million for a fund established by the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition to help felons who have completed their sentences vote in the upcoming election.

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The Miami Dolphins say 13,000 fans will be allowed in their home stadium when the NFL season begins next month. Miami is one of just a handful of NFL teams so far that have announced plans to allow fans to attend. The stadium also hosts the University of Miami Hurricanes, who have been cleared to play with fans present when their season begins on September 10.

Florida, where some 580,000 people have been infected by the coronavirus, ranks behind only California in the total number of cases. A new report describes the impact the pandemic is having on one of Florida's most important industries, tourism.

In the second quarter of the year — April, May and June — the state's tourism agency estimates 60% fewer people traveled to Florida compared to the same period a year earlier. That's a decline of almost 20 million visitors.

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For the fourth day in a row, Florida set a record for the number of COVID-19 deaths with 257 deaths reported Friday. A total of 6,843 people in Florida have died so far from the coronavirus.

Epidemiologists say that number will keep rising following the surge in cases seen over the past six weeks.

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