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    The 21st century left some parts of Cuba behind, so Vismay Delis Guibert has been in the business of repairing old phones for about six years. 

    Cellphones have slowly become an integral part of life in the central city of Ciego de Avila, where sending text messages is cheaper than making a call.

    Guibert and a friend work as street-level techies at their Clinica del Celular. Without a storefront, they install apps, update software, and buy and sell second-hand devices.

    "The Cell Clinic, Maintenance and Repairs - phones, headsets, chargers, batteries, cases," reads the sign at Guibert's business.

    The demand for cell phones went up on the island after the government announced last year that there was a goal to increase mobile access to e-mail and Internet. The latest promise: 35 areas of public access to WiFi through a contract with Nauta, Cuba's e-mail service. This is good for businessmen like Guibert and others who specialize on hardware.

    The Cuban government -- which runs one of the last telecommunication-sector monopolies in the world -- reported earlier this year that the island's mobile phone market has at least 3 million users. At Ciego de Avila, according to a government newspaper, there were about 125,000 users this month.

    'EXPANDING' INDUSTRY

    Huawei, a Chinese telecoms equipment company, is moving forward with deals to sell phones in Cuba, according to Brics Post. Meanwhile, the Cuban government's Cubacel sells a French Alcatel cell phone with a touch screen and an Android operational system for about $7, when a government employee makes about $20 a month.

    But to get one when there is "a special," Cubans have to make long lines and they are only allowed to buy one at a time, according to CubaNet, an independent news site. The most popular appears to be the OT-1060x, CubaNet reports, which has a camera, but doesn't have internal memory.

    For the few with cash, there are cellphones for sale on Habana.PorLaLivre.com, a free market site that functions much like Craigslist, a classified advertisement site based out of San Francisco. And for the few who own a reliable device, Cubacel's coverage remains unavailable in areas all over the country.

    Telecommunication giants such as AT&T and Verizon want the U.S. embargo lifted. They are interested in both cellphone penetration rate and Internet connectivity, which the International Telecommunication Union classified last year as one of the most expensive in the world, as it maintainssome of the cheapest fixed-telephone services in the world.

    MEASURING REPORT The ITU reported that at 18 percent, Cuba "still has a very low mobile-cellular penetration," was "seriously lagging behind" and had a "very low" household Internet access. Lack of international connectivity would be an issue for future broadband adoption.

    Verizon was allowed to offer roaming wireless service. Sprint was getting ready to sign an agreement with La Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Cuba, ETECSA, the government's telecommunications company.

    The announcement was made at EXPOCUBA, an international business fair, in Havana, although they had signed an agreement in September that involved  ALBA-1, a submarine fiber-optic link cable hooked up to Venezuela in 2011.

    Officials allow very few users to have access to the Internet from home, and have set up a few WiFi locations. Hotels have connections billed by time that are very slow. And despite that, The Miami Herald's Mimi Whitefield recently reported on savvy developers, who have dreams of owning a start up company. There was one running a Yelp-like application known as Alamesa, which lists about 620 restaurants. But with the limitations on hardware and Internet access they maybe ahead of their time.

    UNDERGROUND CULTURE

    Without ample access to the Internet, resourceful Cubans find ways to get access to content. There is a black market in Cuba for content ranging from pornography to soap operas and foreign news and movies.

    Some use SIM cards, a portable memory chip used to hold data. Others use Flash USB drives and ".Zip files" they call "paquetes" to download enough content to last them for a week or  month. Some make money renting the memory cards and drives with music and videos.

    Downloads

    PHOTOGRAPHY: View 'The Cuban hipster' slide show

    The memory cards require unlocked cell phones. And while it remains challenging for users to buy new phones and there is a need to unlock the phones they have, Guibert will continue to have good business. He is the affordable hardware magician.

    As he was welding an antenna, which he said Ciego de Avila cellphone owners break off frequently, he added that there is growing demand for his services. New cellphones are not easy to get.

    The devices "get wet, fall down, get scorched," he said.

    He started working at 8 a.m. and was going to close shop at 6 p.m. A handful of people were standing in line waiting for him to troubleshoot their phones. His competition is government-run stores that don't have a selection of smartphones.

    Guibert, a Cuban who is of Jamaican and Haitian descent, has headphones and chargers. He fixes batteries for about $10 and replaces broken screens for $25. He said he takes $200 to $300 a month.

     But "you have to invest a lot of money as well," he said.

    Telecommunications infrastructure

    Local 10 News reporter Michelle Lacamoire and photojournalist Mario Alonso contributed to this story.

    Follow Local 10 News reporter Hatzel Vela on Twitter @HatzelVela


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    The U.S. Coast Guard said they have crews searching for a woman who fell from a cruise ship Thursday approximately 22 nautical miles off the coast of Cuba.

    According to officials, the 7th District Command Center received the report around 7 p.m. from the crew of the Norwegian Pearl that the woman had fallen from the deck of the ship.

    A statement from officials with the cruise line said the woman was seen intentionally going overboard while the ship was in the Yucatan Channel.

    "The circumstances of her ending up in the water are still very unclear, but that’s something we’re working with the cruise ship crew to actually help with," said Petty Officer 1st Class Stephen Lehmann. "We don’t have a lot of information pertaining to her, her age, her name, her condition entering the water. These are all things we are slowly piecing together as we investigate it."

    "The ship’s crew immediately initiated rescue measures, including deploying three rescue boats and notifying the Coast Guard and other relevant authorities," the statement said.

    They added that the ship and charter company are providing support to the family and all impacted guests.

    Crews continue now searching for the woman.

    Watch Local 10 News and refresh Local10.com for updates on this developing story.

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10


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    Take a look at Box Office Mojo's list of the top 20 highest-grossing movies worldwide.


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    Julien Pearce, a radio reporter that witnessed the terrorist attack at a Paris theater tells CNN's Wolf Blitzer chilling details of the attack.


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    Presidential candidates took the stage in Orlando Friday for the Sunshine Summit


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    A Pompano Beach teenager has been arrested in connection with a series of vehicle burglaries in two Oakland Park communities last month.

    Residents of the La Estancia and Lake Emerald communities woke up one morning in late October to find their vehicles' windows shattered.

    Broward Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Gina Carter said detectives found blood at the Lake Emerald crime scene that was left behind by a burglar who cut himself on one of the smashed windows. She said DNA evidence showed that the blood was linked to Tyric Prince.

    Prince, 17, was arrested Thursday. Carter said Prince told detectives he climbed over the communities' walls to burglarize the vehicles.

    The teen faces 21 counts of burglary conveyance, 20 counts of criminal mischief, one count of grand theft, four counts of petit theft and violation of probation. Carter said he has an extensive criminal history, including charges of robbery, burglary, grand theft and battery.

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10


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    More than 50 Russians and Europeans come to South Florida to have their babies delivered.


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    A Miami man opened fire at a group of people using a gun he stole during a burglary, police said.

    Sweetwater police said Neisser Lezcano, 18, fired five shots at a group of men during an altercation Wednesday. Police said Lezcano ran off, but one of the victims chased after him, so Lezcano turned around and fired another shot at him.

    According to a police report, Lezcano confessed to stealing the gun after he and four others broke into a home through an unlocked sliding-glass door.

    Police said the gun used during the shooting was the same one reported stolen from the home in September.

    Lezcano faces multiple charges, including aggravated assault with a firearm and grand theft.

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10


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    Campus protests in Missouri resonate for some students at South Florida universities who feel that racism still exists in their own backyard.


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    The murder trial for a South Florida man who claims that he killed his wife in self-defense before posting a photo of her corpse on Facebook continued Friday as the lead crime scene investigator showed the jury some of the key pieces of evidence.

    Derek Medina is accused of fatally shooting Jennifer Alfonso, 27, in the kitchen of their South Miami townhouse in August 2013. Police said Medina uploaded a photo of Alfonso's body on Facebook after the shooting.

    Lead crime scene investigator Yvonne Garcia provided jurors with an up-close look at the gun that Medina used to shoot his wife, as well as the shell casings collected at the scene. She also showed jurors the knife that Medina claims Alfonso used to threaten him.

    Jurors also listened to testimony from Miami-Dade police firearms expert Megan Roberts and lead Detective Jonathan Grossman, who recalled the recorded conversation that he had with Medina hours after the fatal shooting and the condition of the body.

    "She was bent at her knees," Grossman testified. "The arches of her feet were flat on the ground, she was leaning backwards and her head was up against the cabinet doors."

    Jurors watch Derek Medina interrogation video in Facebook murder trial

    Jurors also got to watch the interrogation interview after Medina surrendered to police. In the video, Medina said Alfonso was throwing things at him, prompting him to pull out the gun.

    "I'm not a killer," Medina said in the video. "It was self-defense."

    During his testimony, Grossman said he remembered Medina telling him that he took the picture of Alfonso's body and left her 10-year-old daughter hiding upstairs.

    In the video, Grossman asked Medina why he took the picture.

    "So the family would know and be notified and they can rush over there and get my stepdaughter," Medina said.

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10

    Many faces of Derek Medina


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    A woman who made her flight from Paris to Miami International Airport just learned about the tragedies happening back in her home. She said she needed to run as she was frantically searching for her phone.

    "I'm still shocked because why France? Why are they attacking France?" she asked.

    Oliviere, who was heading to the airport, says he got the fanatic call from friends who witnessed some of those attacks.

    "It's like a war scene," he said. "There were people lying on the floor."

    It is a call he says he won't forget. Like many who were waiting, he's anxious to fly back home.

    "The information right now that the borders are closed from the French president, so right now we don't know what to do," said Laurent Sauvent, who was trying to get to Paris. "We are going to London to stop there."

    One group from Paris gathered to share information, learning about the carnage on the streets as gunmen hit multiple targets. Simultaneous attacks were reported at multiple scenes.

    At least one explosion was reported. As the death toll kept rising, France's president shut down the borders. 

    Some of those trying to get back to Paris are now dealing with delays. At least one at the airport said they will still operate. 

    Follow Andrew Perez on Twitter @PerezLocal10

    Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10


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    William Navarro, 25, said he can spot a foreigner in Camaguey in a second. He has been treating them as opportunities to make quick cash for five years, he said. 

    Navarro is the version of a concierge with a covert financial interest. If he manages to convince a tourist to stay at a specific home, he will get a commission. Navarro said he doesn't view his trickery as a crime or as fraud. It's not punishable by law, he said, so he stays friendly and appears helpful -- just waiting for that lost tourist.

    Here is a list of scams used to target tourists in Cuba:

    The "Casa Particular" scam

    In following the tradition of the bed and breakfast, many families are renting sections of their homes to foreigners. There are opportunists in town who look for tourists in hope of earning a commission if they decide to stay at a particular B&B. To do so, Navarro is one of many who will pretend they are ready to guide or give directions.

    Think before you gift

    If someone at a store approaches you alleging they are in need of food, think twice. It is not uncommon for someone to make a deal with a store clerk. Once you have paid for what you think is powdered milk for a baby and step away, they may split the money or exchange the goods. If you want to help, you are better of doing your research and helping an organization that helps the poor or a specific family.

    The fake cigar

    The romanticism of the Cuban cigar is often exploited on the streets. There is a black market for counterfeit Cubans and this includes the Cohiba Explendido, which can be easily faked and sold outside of the Cuban cigar stores, where fraudsters look for tourists. Look for the Cuban warranty seal, a hologram and a bar code.

    The "take home" music scam

    The container in front of performers asking for a contribution is on every street corner that tourists frequent. Most recently, some musicians have opted for also selling a $10 home-burnt CD. Don't expect to get good quality. And do expect an empty CD or a noisy unrelated beat in some cases.

    The Santeria divination scam

    After reading your future, they will try to sell you overpriced tonics. The real practice of the religion is traditionally secretive and having access to a Babalawo, a Santeria priest certainly doesn't happen through a recruiter on the street. 

    Currency exchange scam

    The socialist island has a dual currency system and remains mostly a cash country. To avoid becoming a victim of this scam, recognize the difference between the CUC and the CUP.  Check your change when you are out shopping. The Banco Central de Cuba posts daily currency exchange rates on their website.

    Dual currency explained

    ________________

    .

    Follow Local 10 News reporter Hatzel Vela on Twitter @HatzelVela


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    Find registered sex offenders in your neighborhood.


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    Allegations of widespread doping in Russian athletics is just the latest scandal to hit the world of sports. From questionable wins to murder, here's a look at sports scandals that shocked the world.


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    A woman from Jupiter survived Friday's terror attacks in Paris.

    Jennifer Tilton arrived in Paris on Monday.

    The Suncoast High School graduate hid under a restaurant table during one of the attacks.

    Tilton said she was able to speak to her family after the attacks and let them know that she was safe.


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    Sean Maguire came off the bench to rally No. 19 Florida State to a 34-17 victory over North Carolina State on Saturday.

    The Seminoles (8-2, 6-2 ACC, No. 16 CFP) trailed 17-7 in the second quarter when Maguire replaced Everett Golson. The junior then then led them to four straight scoring drives (two field goals, two touchdowns) to take control.

    Maguire, who had started the past two games, was 18 of 28 for 231 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. Golson had turnovers on three of five drives and finished 5 of 9 for 52 yards and two interceptions.

    Dalvin Cook, who set Florida State's single-season rushing record, had 138 yards on 22 carries, including a 30-yard touchdown.

    Jacoby Brissett accounted for 236 all-purpose yards for N.C. State (6-4, 2-4 ACC). He was 27 of 47 for 209 yards and a touchdown along a rushing touchdown.


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    North Carolina's season-long ascent is picking up speed.

    Marquise Williams accounted for four touchdowns and Ryan Switzer had a 78-yard punt return for a score, leading the 17th-ranked Tar Heels' dominating performance in a 59-21 win against Miami in Saturday's home finale.

    Williams ran for 101 yards and three touchdowns and threw for a TD for the Tar Heels (9-1, 6-0 Atlantic Coast Conference, No. 23 CFP), who won their ninth straight to stay alone atop the Coastal Division and move within a victory of a berth in the league championship game.

    "This team's playing as a team," coach Larry Fedora said. "Everybody's there to pick each other up ... they're doing the things that a team does. And this is a damn good football team."

    Elijah Hood ran for 132 yards and a score for UNC, which didn't put up the gaudy yardage numbers from last week's 66-31 rout of Duke. But the Tar Heels took advantage of penalties, turnovers and mistakes by the Hurricanes (6-4, 3-3) to turn the game into a romp — complete with Williams and Switzer commandeering Miami's "The U" hand sign in mocking celebrations of first-half scores.

    UNC has scored a program-record 125 points in its last two games, and hasn't committed a turnover in three straight games while notching seven takeaways in that span — three coming against Miami. UNC quickly converted two of those into touchdowns.

    "I think it says a lot about not just the older guys but the younger guys, to not get caught up in success and know we've got to keep consistently bringing it the same way we have every week," senior offensive guard Landon Turner said. "Because nothing should change."

    North Carolina came into Saturday with a chance to qualify for the ACC title game, though that ended when Pittsburgh won at Duke in a game that started 3 1/2 hours earlier.

    Now the Tar Heels can earn a date with top-ranked Clemson on Dec. 5 with a win in either of their last two games — road dates with Virginia Tech and rival North Carolina State — or a Pittsburgh loss in either of its last two games.

    The Tar Heels already have more wins than in any season since Mack Brown left to coach Texas in 1997. UNC is also 6-0 in the ACC for the first time since winning its last ACC crown in 1980.

    Brad Kaaya threw for 326 yards and a score for Miami, which lost for the first time in three games under interim coach Larry Scott. Miami was still alive in the Coastal but ended up flirting with the worst loss in program history for the second time in four games.

    "Everything we asked them to do they did, and they did it well," Scott said of Miami's preparation. "We practiced hard. We felt that when we came into this game that we would be ready to go. Obviously the results didn't lend to that."

    Three weeks after losing 58-0 at home to Clemson in a game that led to the firing of coach Al Golden, the Hurricanes trailed 31-0 at halftime, and then watched the Tar Heels quickly tack on two more touchdowns to make it 45-0 with 10:26 left in the third.

    Miami finally scored on Kaaya's 8-yard TD throw to Lawrence Cager with 6:30 left in the third, almost a perfect mirror to last year's meeting when Miami led 44-6 with 7:12 left in the third of a blowout win.

    Miami finished with 12 penalties for 103 yards, continuing its trend as one of the nation's most penalized teams.

    Switzer's TD return was the seventh of his career, one shy of tying the NCAA record.

    ___

    Follow Aaron Beard on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/aaronbeardap and the AP's college football site at http://collegefootball.ap.org .


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    A 63-year-old South African accountant has won the men's half-marathon title at the Key Largo Bridge Run in the Florida Keys.

    Johannesburg resident John Woodnutt completed the Saturday race in one hour, 34 minutes and 42 seconds.

    "I have raced around the world, including the tip of South Africa," Woodnutt told the Florida Keys News Bureau. "So it seemed fitting to run here in Key Largo, at the (southeast) tip of America."

    Helena Bursa of Big Pine Key, Florida, 40, ran 1:31:38 to win the women's division.

    Overall 10K winners were Port Orange, Florida, resident Patrick Currier, 33, with a time of 49:01, and Ormond-by-the-Sea, Florida, resident Rashida Hakeem, 43, at 52:40.

    Men's and women's 5K winners, Steve Brenner, 49, of Sterling, Illinois, and Tequesta's Erinn Cowell, 39, posted times of 18:29 and 22:21 respectively.

    The race, which is over parts of the Florida Keys Overseas Highway, attracted 533 competitors from the U.S., Canada, Germany, United Kingdom and South Africa.


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    Authorities say a Tampa Bay area woman killed her husband's parents following an argument over an upcoming court date for their son.

    The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office reports that deputies found 70-year-old Virgil Best and 69-year-old Shirley Best dead in their Riverview home Thursday morning after receiving a call from the couple's son.

    Detectives learned that 30-year-old Marisol Best had been at the victims' home Wednesday. She told detectives she became angry with the couple because they were negative about her husband's upcoming court date.

    According to a news release, Best told investigators that she retrieved a handgun from her vehicle, returned to the house and shot both victims.

    Best was arrested and charged with two counts of first-degree murder. She was being held without bail. Jail records didn't list an attorney.


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    Authorities have suspended the search for a woman they say intentionally went overboard from a cruise ship that had been chartered for an electronic dance party.

    The U.S. Coast Guard and officials from Norwegian Cruise Line say Kaylyn Rose Sommer, 24, of Charleston, South Carolina, went overboard from a deck of the Norwegian Pearl around 7 p.m. Thursday as the ship was about 22 miles off the coast of Cuba.

    The cruise line said the cruise was chartered for the Mad Decent Boat Party event, sailing from Miami to Cozumel from Wednesday to Sunday.

    Officials say the woman was observed "intentionally going overboard while the ship was sailing the Yucatan Channel."

    Authorities said Saturday they had suspended the search after searching more than 600 square nautical miles.


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