The biggest lesson of Puerto Rico’s bankruptcy, in my opinion, is: “Thou shall not steal”! | 11:22 AM 2/20/2018 – Puerto Rico’s grid recovery, by the numbers | Neglect, Corruption Left Puerto Rico’s Power Grid Ripe for Failure … Voice of America–Nov 30, 2017

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 “An individual with personal knowledge of PREPA’s workings, who declined to be identified while talking about company-employee relations, described

systemic corruption that has allowed critical equipment to deteriorate while highly paid and underperforming employees are protected.

Reports that date back over 25 years, prepared by engineers charged with overseeing the corporation’s operations, show that PREPA employees on average perform only two hours of useful work per day. Yet a menial custodial position can pay upward of $90,000 a year with generous benefits.” 

Neglect, Corruption Left Puerto Rico’s Power Grid Ripe for Failure … – Voice of AmericaNov 30, 2017

Image result for PUERTO RICAN SOCIALISM

PUERTO RICAN SOCIALISM – GS 

Puerto Rican Socialist Party – Wikipedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puerto_Rican_Socialist_Party

 

The Puerto Rican Socialist Party (Spanish: Partido Socialista Puertorriqueño, PSP) was a Marxist and pro-independence political party in Puerto Rico seeking the end of United States of America control on the Hispanic and Caribbean island of Puerto Rico. It proposed a “democratic workers’ republic”.

History · ‎Development · ‎1970s · ‎1980s

Category:Socialism in Puerto Rico – Wikipedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Socialism_in_Puerto_Rico

 

Category:Socialism in Puerto Rico. … Socialism is an economic system characterised by social ownership and control of the means of production and cooperative management of the economy, and a political philosophy advocating such a system.

How Socialism Destroyed Puerto Rico, and How Capitalism Can Save …

www.europac.com/…/how_socialism_destroyed_puerto_rico_and_how_capitalism_ca…

 

Jul 15, 2015 – While Greece is now dominating the debt default stage, the real tragedy is playing out much closer to home, with the downward spiral of Puerto Rico. As in Greece, the Puerto Rican economy has been destroyed by its participation in an unrealistic monetary system that it does not control and the failure of …

The Puerto Rican Socialist Party in the United States | NACLA

https://nacla.org/article/puerto-rican-socialist-party-united-states

 

A discussion on the fight for environmental justice, sustainable energy, and a livable future across borders—from New York, to Houston, Oaxaca, and Puerto Rico. The Latin East: New Perspectives on Latin America-Middle East Ties. An international conference convened by NACLA, MERIP, and Jadaliyya April 27 – 28 …

The biggest lesson of Puerto Rico’s bankruptcy (opinion) – CNN

https://www.cnn.com/2017/05/17/opinions/puerto-rico-progressive…/index.html

May 17, 2017 – Alice Stewart: Puerto Rico’s fiscal crisis, on display as bankruptcy proceedings begin, is a warning to US territories and states about the risks of big government. … Between Puerto Rico and Venezuela, it’s absolutely obvious that leftist/socialist/progressive economics are ultimately a disaster. On a gentler … 

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Thou shall not steal!

Whatever the causes and the reasons are, and whoever is “at fault”: “greedy bankers” or the saboteurs (as hypothetically possible in the recent blackout of 2.11.18), I think it becomes obvious to everyone willing to keep their eyes open, that 

The “Puerto Rican Socialism” came to its end.

It is amazing (0r maybe not amazing at all, but logical and customary in the post-Obama, transitional world), that the “Voice of America” and the “World Socialist Web Site” sing in the unison, and they name the most likely culprits: “Neglect, Corruption, and “years of Mismanagement”. I put these words in the capital letters, because they sound like the cardinal sins in today’s America and anywhere, and maybe rightly so. 

The “Puerto Rican Socialism” went properly and irreversibly bankrupt.

And now the Islanders face the task of the economic and political reconceptualizations, and rebuildings, which are many and in many areas, including the mentality and psychology, which might be the toughest to change. 

Thou shall not steal!

This old one shines the first among the new ways and solutions. 

This dictum does have the direct connection with the present situation: do we know, what amount of electricity had been and still is stolen, in many ways, tricks, and modes, by those who feel that they are entitled to it, and are not willing to pay for it? 

Was this question even asked? (“Oh, it is so embarrassing…”) 

Shouldn’t we try to ask and answer these “Preguntas inconvenientes (Inconvenient Questions)” also, among the others?

Dr. Marxuach, what do you think about it? 

Michael Novakhov 

12:57 PM 2/20/2018

Rebuilding Puerto Rico 

Neglect, Corruption Left Puerto Rico’s Power Grid Ripe for Failure …

Voice of AmericaNov 30, 2017

Puerto Rico grid map. Map credit: Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority

Puerto Rico’s grid as of 2010. Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority

HURRICANE MARIA | Trump admin takes over Puerto Rico grid recovery | Peter BehrRod Kuckro and David Ferris, E&E News reporters | 

Puerto Rico’s electric grid recovery map – GS

Puerto Rico power outage map today – GS

https://www.eenews.net/stories/1060074219

Data from Puerto Rico’s power company show that while repair of the transmission network has made unwavering progress, the recovery of substations has flattened. Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority/Energy Department (data); E&E News (chart) 

puerto rico electricity – Google News: Judge Grants $300M Loan for Puerto Rico Power Company – NBC New York
 


NBC New York
Judge Grants $300M Loan for Puerto Rico Power Company
NBC New York
A federal judge on Monday approved a $300 million loan for Puerto Rico’s power company that officials say will help keep the troubled agency operating until late March. The ruling comes just days after the judge had rejected an initial $1 billion loan 
Puerto Ricans Finding Innovative Ways to Cope Without ElectricityVoice of America
Puerto Rico pitches for investment after hurricaneFinancial Timesall 35 news articles »

Story image for Puerto Ricos electric grid recovery map from Voice of America

Neglect, Corruption Left Puerto Rico’s Power Grid Ripe for Failure …

Voice of AmericaNov 30, 2017
But former and current officials of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) say a decades-long culture of neglect and corruption had left the … PREPA executives and other analysts pointed to several long-standing problems that contributed to the system’s collapse and painfully slow recovery 
See also:

By Matthew Taylor
13 February 2018

An explosion ripped through the Monacillo power plant outside of San Juan, Puerto Rico Sunday night, causing large-scale blackouts in the capital city. More than 175,000 residents temporarily lost power. The San Juan International airport, the University of Puerto Rico’s San Juan college and Centro Medico, the region’s largest hospital, were all left without power for several hours. There were no reported casualties from the explosion.

While the cause of the explosion is still unknown Angel Figueroa Jaramillo, union leader for the Puerto Rican Electrical Power Authority (PREPA), told reporters that a breaker should have prevented the blackout and that it was too early to determine if mechanical failure was the problem given the decrepit state of the islands power plants.

Sunday’s blackout illustrates the precarious state of the electrical infrastructure in Puerto Rico nearly five months after Hurricane Maria destroyed the island’s power grid, plunging the entire country into darkness and worsening the already impoverished conditions that the majority of Puerto Rico’s citizens live in. To date, 30 percent of the island is still without power, encompassing some 1 million people. Where power has been restored, primarily in the urban areas, it is unreliable and subject to failure…

The power plant explosion occurred in the wake of the announcement by the island’s governor, Ricardo Rosselló, that his government would seek to privatize PREPA,

the largest public utility company in the United States. In June of last year, the utility had already filed for a form of bankruptcy protection under Title III of the Promesa law, a law passed by Congress in 2016 to impose austerity measures upon the island’s population and ensure the payments of its debts to Wall Street. To carry out this task the law created an unelected eight-person body known as the Financial Oversight and Management Board.

Staffed by bankers and other social parasites who had driven the island to insolvency through various deals with hedge funds and wealthy investors, the board voted in June of last year to sell PREPA to private interests.

Sunday’s incident will undoubtedly be used to bolster the governor’s argument that the island’s electricity needs can be better served by private business interests.

The privatization of PREPA has been a long-held goal of Puerto Rico’s elite and the Wall Street interests they represent and serve. Just as on the mainland, and throughout the world, publicly held utilities and their potential to generate vast profits through providing the vital necessities of life—clean water, electricity, trash removal, etc.—are an irresistible target for the capitalist class. Natural disasters are used frequently as the pretext for the transfer of publicly held assets to the private sector.

Hurricane Maria was the catalyst for the sell-off, the groundwork for which has been laid by years of under-funding, corruption, and mismanagement.

It is a widely held belief among Puerto Rico’s electrical workers that the disrepair of the system is the outcome of a deliberate policy intended to smooth the transition to privatization…

There have also been indications that the directors of PREPA have deliberately slowed recovery efforts post-Maria. In January, the Intercept published an article describing the armed seizure by FEMA and the US Army Corp of Engineers of a warehouse in Palo Seco, owned by PREPA, where the utility company had been hoarding equipment used in repairing the power grid. Discovered in the raid were hundreds of high tension steel sleeves, which are required to build new power lines along with “2,875 pieces of critical material to contractors.” USACE and FEMA reportedly started distributing the seized equipment to contractors immediately, and the story was buried by the media.

In addition to hoarding needed equipment, PREPA has also come under criticism for its corrupt contracting process. Most notably, they awarded a $300 million no-bid contract for repairs to Whitefish Energy, a company of two employees founded in 2015 with connections to the Trump administration. The founder of the company, Andy Techmanski is close friends with the Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Zinke. Whitefish’s primary investor, HBC Investments, was founded by Joe Colloneta, a major donor to the 2016 Trump campaign.

The no-bid contract was awarded due to an executive order issued by Rosselló in the aftermath of Maria, which lifted all standard processes and restrictions for awarding government contracts. Included in the contract was a clause that prohibited government auditors from examining the labor costs and profits from the project.

Rosselló was forced to cancel the contract after news reports detailing its corruption became widespread and resulted in public outrage. Among the more notable discoveries was that Whitefish was charging PREPA $319 per hour for its linemen, roughly 17 times what linemen in Puerto Rico earn. Meanwhile, PREPA’s subcontractors, who had been recruited from several large Florida utility companies, were paid $63 per hour, just one-fifth of the total per hour charged by Whitefish to the government of Puerto Rico. The FBI is said to be investigating the awarding of the contract.

The drive toward privatization and the austerity measures imposed by the Financial Oversight and Management Board will deepen the social crisis that Puerto Rican workers have suffered under for years. The US colony has been in recession for the last 11 years and 45 percent of the island’s population lives below the poverty line. Many Puerto Ricans, facing unendurable hardship, have migrated to the mainland, a process that has greatly accelerated since the hurricane. An estimated 300,000 Puerto Ricans have made the move to Florida alone.

Puerto Rico’s grid recovery, by the numbers – Tuesday, February 20, 2018 — www.eenews.net

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Five months ago today, Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico, leading to the worst blackout in American history and a costly, complicated attempt to rebuild its electric grid. How is that effort going?

According to data compiled by E&E News, there is much left to do. After making strides in late 2017 to restore major chunks of infrastructure and get the lights back on, the repair endeavor has entered a plateau. While most have electricity, it is unclear how much longer those in the dark will have to wait.

The transmission network, nearly destroyed by the hurricane, has made steady gains. Meanwhile, one kind of substation is crawling back into service, while another has seen no progress in months.

“The bulk of the work that is left is the hardest, requiring helicopter support and long commutes to remote, hard-to-access job sites,”

said Jay Field, a spokesman for the Army Corps of Engineers, which was assigned by the Trump administration to lead the recovery. “Weather is also an issue due to rain and heavy winds.”

Last week, the island’s unified grid-restoration command said that it expects to have 90 to 95 percent of the territory’s power restored by March 31.

It estimates that the hard-hit municipality of Arecibo will have its electricity restored by mid-April, and the municipality of Caguas by late May. It provided no timeline for other municipalities that are also lagging in energy recovery.

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The command is made up of the Army Corps; the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which directs the island’s overall disaster recovery; and the island’s monopoly power company, the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA).

The graphs that accompany this story are compiled from regular updates from the U.S. Department of Energy, based on data from PREPA.

The pace of recovery has been complicated by overlapping lines of authority and Puerto Rico’s bankruptcy. While the Army Corps is in charge of overall recovery, much of the repair work is being done by PREPA, which is $9 billion in debt.

A new strain of uncertainty arrived last week, when the federal judge overseeing Puerto Rico’s bankruptcy proceedings, Laura Taylor Swain, rejected PREPA’s plea for a $550 million loan and asked it to look for other sources of funds.

In response, PREPA said it would start reducing output at some of its power plants because it couldn’t afford fuel. The utility told the court in a filing that the scenario “exacerbated the risk to an already fragile system and leaves it vulnerable to outages and resulting in brownouts on the island.”

The data tell a lot about the pace of recovery but not the whole story.

Most importantly, they don’t reveal the status of the distribution network, which delivers electricity to neighborhoods and buildings. It is vast and was severely damaged by wind and falling trees. Fixing it is the focus of most of the nearly 6,000 repair workers now on the island, but they keep finding new problems.

It’s hard to draw lessons from the numbers because there are so many things that make Puerto Rico an outlier. There’s never been a storm that wreaked this much damage, on an island this large and heavily populated, that also happens to be a thousand miles away from help.

Asked to analyze the numbers, Andrew Phillips, the director of transmission and substations for the Electric Power Research Institute, politely declined.

“It’s really hard for me to answer that question because it’s so different than what we see in the U.S.,” he said. “It’s very hard to compare this recovery to a normal recovery.”

Here’s what the numbers say about this rebuild that is anything but normal.

Customers without power

The number that matters most to Puerto Ricans — how many homes and businesses actually have grid electricity — has been steadily rising, though there is a long way to go.

As of last Wednesday, 343,000 electricity customers were without grid power, the lowest number yet. Immediately after the storm, nearly 1.6 million customers were experiencing a blackout.

The return to normal has followed a tortured path. Many gains have been followed by drops, as PREPA’s old and fragile grid has occasionally failed and sent swaths of newly restored customers back into darkness.

Most recently, a fire at a substation on Feb. 11 caused a blackout across much of the capital of San Juan.

[+] As Puerto Rico has restored more of its ability to generate and deliver electricity, the number of customers without power has declined.

The gap in the dark-blue line is where no customer service data were available.

As of last week, 343,000 customers, representing an unknown number of individuals, were still without power. Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority/Energy Department (data); E&E News (chart)

But that 343,000-customer number understates how many actual Puerto Ricans are living without grid electricity. A “customer” is a residence or business, and so each likely represents multiple individuals, perhaps many. No one has yet tried to estimate how many people are living or working in a state of blackout.

Many Puerto Ricans have resorted to running their own generators to get the lights on.

Thousands of homes and businesses are running either full or part time on backup diesel generators. Those running the generators have to pay for fuel, and the neighbors — who get none of the electricity — must contend with the roar of engines and the smell and particulates of burning fuel. The generators also produce carbon emissions that compound climate change.

Even knowing how many customers are without grid power has been a challenge.

From the storm’s passage until early November, PREPA gave a rough estimate and then stopped trying. So extensive was the damage to the grid that it couldn’t tell how many of its customers were drawing electricity. To date, it hasn’t provided a hard number.

However, in early January, PREPA started reporting its percentage of “normal peak load” that had been restored. DOE used PREPA’s percentage and applied it to PREPA’s total number of customers to arrive at the customer number.

Peak load

While less useful to the average Puerto Rican, PREPA’s updates to its normal peak load is an important barometer of how close the utility is to getting to the power levels it had before the hurricane hit.

This percentage of power restored has risen a great deal, from 19 percent in early October to almost 84 percent last week. But it has been a bumpy ride.

Here’s what “normal peak load” means: “Peak load” measures the amount of electricity that a grid system uses at its height of consumption during a certain time period. PREPA “normalizes” that peak load by taking the maximum megawatts consumed in a time period since the storm — say, January 2018 — and dividing it by the peak load in the same month a year earlier — January 2017.

The resulting percentage of “normal peak load” reveals how close, or far, Puerto Rico is from the normal.

PREPA’s electric grid is one of the least reliable in the United States and had numerous failures even before the hurricane. The recovery made the grid far less reliable.

Though parts of PREPA’s grid have crashed on numerous occasions during the recovery, only a few of those outages are shown by the data. That’s because power was often restored within hours or days and wasn’t captured in the weekly snapshots.

The losses it did reveal were a plunge in normal peak load of nearly 7 megawatts in mid-December and drops of 1 MW or fewer in January and February.

Repair workers

Puerto Rico has seen an influx of electricity repair workers from the mainland, supplementing PREPA’s crews. The total number of workers rose from just over 3,300 in early December to more than 5,800 as of last week.

That number may decline soon. The spokesman for Puerto Rico’s governor said yesterday that the Army Corps’ main contractor, Fluor Corp., which has received $1.3 billion in federal contracts, would soon wrap up the work of 1,800 workers, according to a report in the island newspaper El Vocero.

[+] Since early December, when data were first available, the number of workers helping to repair the Puerto Rico grid rose from just over 3,000 to almost 6,000. Fluor Corp./Army Corps of Engineers (photo); Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority/Energy Department (data); E&E News (chart)

Fluor declined to comment on those worker numbers yesterday.

On the other hand, other crews continue to arrive. The first barge of equipment from Exelon Corp., which in its entirety includes 77 vehicles, arrived in Puerto Rico this weekend. It is meant to support about 140 workers from the Chicago-based power company.

The outside assistance would have arrived sooner but for an odd standoff between PREPA and the mainland electricity industry.

After the storm, mainland crews were eager to come to Puerto Rico’s aid. But PREPA’s then-CEO, Ricardo Ramos, declined to activate a mutual-aid agreement with them because he was worried that his bankrupt company couldn’t afford to pay them back.

The problem was resolved after the Trump administration assigned FEMA to bear all the costs of the grid rebuild for six months. PREPA signed the mutual-aid agreement on Oct. 31.

A small army of about 1,500 workers has come from U.S. investor-owned and municipal utilities, according to Scott Aaronson, secretary of the Electricity Subsector Coordinating Council, which synchronizes activities between the U.S. government and the country’s power companies.

Line crews have scrambled from Sacramento, Calif., to New York, and even from the Northern Mariana Islands, a U.S. territory in the western Pacific that is closer to China than it is to North America. It sent a five-man crew last month.

The Army Corps currently has 254 staff on the ground, while its principal contractor, Fluor, has just over 3,300 and another, PowerSecure International Inc., has 755, according to Army Corps spokesman Field.

Transmission lines

Maria did an astonishing level of damage to Puerto Rico’s transmission network. But now, after hundreds of millions of dollars and a major scandal, it is coming back online faster than other parts of Puerto Rico’s grid.

In early October, only 20 percent of these cables were functioning, and the rest were either damaged or laid flat across the jungle landscape. As of the last week of January, the number of functioning lines had risen to 92 percent. (DOE did not provide more recent numbers.)

Transmission lines do the long-haul delivery of electricity from power plants to users, and the hurricane laid bare some deep problems with Puerto Rico’s.

Many are vulnerable because they traverse the entire island, from generation plants in the south to San Juan in the north, crossing mountainous, roadless terrain. Due to staffing shortages at PREPA, no one had been cutting back the urgent jungle growth. When Maria’s 155-mph winds tore through, the combination of long distances, inaccessibility, wind damage and tree damage converged to cause a crisis of unparalleled scope.

PREPA rushed to right the transmission system, but on the way stumbled into a political scandal.

Desperate to find a contractor that would tolerate the utility’s tottering finances, PREPA turned to Whitefish Energy Holdings LLC, a tiny and unknown Montana company, for a $300 million deal to restore the transmission system. The contract’s strange circumstances raised suspicions of incompetence and cronyism at PREPA. After outcry from both Puerto Ricans and members of Congress, the contract was canceled and PREPA’s CEO, Ramos, was forced to resign.

The Army Corps has received a total of $1.9 billion to rebuild Puerto Rico’s electric grid.

Substations

A laggard in the recovery is substations, which are responsible for stepping electrical voltage up or down.

For the territory’s 342 distribution substations, which convert power from transmission to distribution use, improvement has occurred slowly since November and has been basically flat in 2018.

[+] Data from Puerto Rico’s power company show that while repair of the transmission network has made unwavering progress, the recovery of substations has flattened. Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority/Energy Department (data); E&E News (chart)

Meanwhile, the grid’s 56 transmission substations have seen no improvement since December. These stations step up voltage for long-distance delivery or prepare it for transport along transmission lines of different voltages.

Fernando Padilla, a senior adviser to PREPA’s leadership, said in an email that damage to the substations still offline was so devastating that they need to be rebuilt from the ground up.

“A portion of the substations, specifically those that are close to where the eye of the hurricane passed, remain totally destroyed. Those require complete reconstruction (engineering, design, mitigation, etc.),” he said.

He added that he thinks the island can be restored to 100 percent power even if they don’t come online soon.

“The PREPA system has points of interconnection that permit energy to be carried through various zones without having to pass by these particular substations,” he wrote. “This isn’t the norm, and it augments the risk to the reliability of the system. But in general, it can be done.”

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mikenova shared this story from Puerto RicoâÂÂs electric grid recovery map – Google News.

Story image for Puerto Ricos electric grid recovery map from Ars Technica

Project Loon team gave Puerto Rico connectivity—and assembled a …

Ars TechnicaFeb 18, 2018
The routine Ramírez Lugo shared highlighted another crucial (re)building block for disaster recovery, one that has now joined general infrastructure and health needs: connectivity. With the vast amount of electrical grid and ground towers damaged, FEMA estimates put cell service availability at a mere 60 …

Story image for Puerto Ricos electric grid recovery map from Nonprofit Quarterly

Two Philanthropic Approaches to Strengthening Puerto Rico

Nonprofit QuarterlyFeb 13, 2018
NPQ recently talked to two foundation executives in Puerto Rico about philanthropic investments on the island, especially post-Hurricane Maria, and found that while both are focused on strengthening the … Another is creating access to the power grid, education, and health in a sustainable manner. Special …

Story image for Puerto Ricos electric grid recovery map from Washington Post

Parts of Puerto Rico have been in the dark for 152 days, 14 hours …

Washington PostOct 11, 2017
Residents have relied on portable generators as workers across the island try to repair the damaged electrical grid. In the days after Maria, many … Vehicles travel along a dark street in an area without electricity after Hurricane Maria in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on Sept. 27. (Alex Wroblewski/Bloomberg News).

Story image for Puerto Ricos electric grid recovery map from Voice of America

Neglect, Corruption Left Puerto Rico’s Power Grid Ripe for Failure …

Voice of AmericaNov 30, 2017
But former and current officials of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) say a decades-long culture of neglect and corruption had left the … PREPA executives and other analysts pointed to several long-standing problems that contributed to the system’s collapse and painfully slow recovery:.
Meet the man bringing power back to Puerto Rico
<a href=”http://Marketplace.org” rel=”nofollow”>Marketplace.org</a>Dec 1, 2017

Story image for Puerto Ricos electric grid recovery map from IEEE Spectrum

Logistics Complicate Puerto Rico’s Electric Grid Recovery

IEEE SpectrumSep 27, 2017
Like a careless driver in a fast car, Hurricane Irma plowed through the Leeward Islands in early September. It sideswiped Puerto Rico, knocking out electric power to 1 million people. It ran over Caribbean resort islands including Saint Kitts and Saint Martin, then skidded north at Key West. Careening up the …
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It has been 68 days since Hurricane Irma took down much of Puerto Rico’s aging power grid and 54 days since Hurricane Maria finished the job, leaving nearly all …. a subsidiary of Oklahoma City–based Mammoth Energy, $200 million even though the small firm has little experience with disaster recovery.

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On Tuesday, in a tense hearing about the the island’s slow recovery, he told lawmakers that the Isla del Sol now wants solar energy to provide as much … The utility spiraled in debt and barely kept up with maintaining the power grid, let alone modernizing Puerto Rico’s energy system, as outlined in a 2016 …

Story image for Puerto Ricos electric grid recovery map from TIME

Puerto Rico Could Be Left Without Electricity for Months. Here’s …

TIMESep 20, 2017
The entire island is now in a total blackout as a result of the storm, with recovery in some parts not expected for an extended period of time. “Once we’re able to go outside, … Puerto Rico’s power grid was already in bad shape even before the 2017 hurricane season. PREPA’s power plants are 44 years old …
Puerto Rico’s grid recovery, by the numbers — Tuesday, February 20, 2018 — www.eenews.net

Puerto Rico’s Population after Hurricane Maria – Google Search

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Federales con “recursos limitados” para encarar la corrupción en la isla

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Por <a href=”http://Primerahora.com” rel=”nofollow”>Primerahora.com</a> 02/13/2018 |08:08 a.m.

El director del Negociado Federal de Investigaciones (FBI) en Puerto Rico, Douglas A. Leff, reconoció que hay pocos recursos para combatir la corrupción en Puerto Rico.

En entrevista con Radio Isla, Leff dijo que en la isla existe una cultura de corrupción que es comparable a otras jurisdicciones.

“Es una combinación de nuestros recursos limitados en Puerto Rico y hay una cultura aquí muy similar a la de Nueva York pero en Nueva York hemos tenido bastante éxito después de muchos años de trabajo”, dijo Leff.

Preguntado porque la situación de corrupción en Puerto Rico es mayor que en Nueva York, el director en la isla del FBI dijo que hay varias razones, y enfatizó que en esa jurisdicción hay más personal, como dos fiscales federales, cinco fiscales municipales y un fiscal estatal y todos tienen un gran equipo de investigadores dándole apoyo.

“Aquí en Puerto Rico tenemos muchos menos recursos”, dijo Leff.

Asimismo, dijo que hay muchos casos de fraude con fondos federales que estaban destinados a ayudar a damnificados.

En esas pesquisas se investigan tanto a funcionarios como contratistas, agregó Leff.

The Chamber will analyze the lack of property titles

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As soon as the Resolution of the 760 Chamber is before the consideration of the Housing and Urban Development Commission, its president, representative Luis Pérez Ortiz, will cite the Secretary of Housing, Fernando Gil Enseñat, to investigate what the future of the thousands of families Who lost their homes because of Hurricane Maria and did not receive federal aid because they do not have property titles.

“There was a group of lawyers drafting an alternative document to achieve that channeling that aid so that they comply with what the process demands.” We said to know what status he is and what they are doing with people, “said Pérez Ortiz.

According to expressions of the Secretary of Housing, only in the villages of Canovanas, Carolina and Loíza live about 11,000 people on land over which they have no ownership. Meanwhile, the Association of Builders estimated that 55% of housing units in the country do not have a permit.

Yesterday, the Commission held an executive hearing to approve the report that will allow the measure to be considered by the Housing Commission. The measure seeks to auscultate the alternatives for families affected.

Meanwhile, tomorrow begins the views of the Joint Resolution of House 237, authored by Joel Franqui Atiles, which orders Housing to conduct census on the number of vacant residences as a result of foreclosures.

Head bowed, Florida shooting suspect returns to court for hearing – Google Search

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Explosion causes massive blackout in Puerto Rico

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Mourning the government of Puerto Rico after deadly shooting in Florida

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In solidarity with the victims of the shooting in a school in Florida , Governor Ricardo Rosselló Nevaresdecreed five days of mourning today .

According to the order issued, the flags in Puerto Rico will fly at half mast from today until Monday, February 19.

La medida la tomó el ejecutivo para unirse al decreto emitido por el presidente de los Estados Unidos, Donald Trump, en respeto y solidaridad con las víctimas del ataque perpetrado ayer en la escuela secundaria Marjory Stoneman Douglas en Parkland, Florida. En el mismo murieron 17 personas y otras 15 resultaron heridas.

The alleged perpetrator,  Nikolas Cruz, was charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder .

In reaction to the tragedy, Rossello Nevares said in a press release that “our prayers are with the families of the victims of this terrible attack and the affected community. We express our solidarity with the people of Florida in this moment of sadness. ”

The government of Puerto Rico and that of Florida, led by Rick Scott , maintain close ties of cooperation, especially after the devastating passage of Hurricane Maria on the island. As reported, over 300,000 Puerto Ricans have migrated to that state since last September.

Además, Scott se ha encargado personalmente de coordinar la ayuda que desde Florida se ha enviado a Puerto Rico como parte de los esfuerzos de recuperación.

Puerto Rico to slash energy reserves amid cash shortfall – The Washington Post

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February 18 at 6:47 PM

 Puerto Rico’s power company said Sunday that it will reduce its operating reserve to save money amid a cash shortfall as officials warned that the move could destabilize the U.S. territory’s fragile electrical grid.

William Rios, director of generation at Puerto Rico’s Electric Power Authority, said a plan to reduce its reserve by 450 megawatts will not affect customers and will help save $9 million a month.

Public Affairs Secretary Ramon Rosario said that although the measure is needed, it could affect a grid still experiencing frequent blackouts as nearly 250,000 customers remain without power more than five months after Hurricane Maria. The Category 4 storm destroyed two-thirds of the power distribution system and caused the longest blackout in U.S. history.

Why does restoring full power in Puerto Rico seem like a never-ending task?

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About a third of Puerto Rico’s residents — over 900,000 — are still living without electricity five months after Hurricane Maria battered the island on Sept. 20th of last year.

As power restoration efforts continue against all odds, it’s still hard for officials to say when the power will be fully restored — the question on everyone’s mind.

“I would hesitate to give you a date,” said Lt. Col. John Cunningham of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the deputy commander for the Task Force Power Restoration on the island. “We would like to go faster, but right now we’re going as fast as we can.”

“The largest challenge has been logistics: getting the materials we need,” Cunningham told NBC News. “Because it is a tropical island, they need specific conductors and materials that can resist the tropical weather and there’s a limited number of suppliers available to purchase specific materials for the island.”

Puerto Ricans are dying. These volunteers are trying to change that. 5:04

autoplay autoplay

After Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, getting access to those materials is even harder.

About 1,200 temporary generators and seven microgrids are powering key areas near important buildings such as schools and hospitals. In addition, teams from utility companies from the mainland U.S. have made their way to Puerto Rico to support personnel sent to the island to help restore power.

After Hurricane Maria left the entire island without power, the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, or PREPA, needed at least about 53,000 poles, a little over 17 million conductors and 184,750 insulators.

Related: Anger grows and hope fades as Puerto Rico’s ground zero remains without power

So far, 5,072 transformers have arrived in Puerto Rico in addition to about 31,500 poles and about 2,613 miles of conductor cables already on the island, PREPA said in a statement.

In the next two weeks, Puerto Rico should receive 80 containers with additional equipment.

Restoring power amid funding woes

One of the reasons for a lack of inventory in the first place is PREPA’s financial woes. While a Category 5 hurricane like Maria was expected to cause massive damage, Puerto Rico’s bankrupt and greatly indebted public utility had not kept up with upgrading and modernizing its four-decade-old power plants, which mostly produce energy from burning imported oil.

Puerto Rican government leaders went to federal court in New York on Thursday to request a $1 billion emergency loan to finance operational costs and avoid running out of cash. Though the request was not approved, U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain gave Puerto Rico’s lawyers the chance to submit another motion for a $300 million emergency loan, understanding that “the lights cannot go off in Puerto Rico.” The motion was filed early Friday and Judge Swain approved it on Monday.

To reduce costs and avoid a shutdown, Puerto Rico has activated a contingency plan that consists of reducing power to energy reserves that handle generation failures like the one that took place on Feb. 12 in northern Puerto Rico. Government officials said Sunday it should not affect customers.

PREPA is currently the government agency with the biggest share of Puerto Rico’s $72 billion public debt. In part, PREPA’s $9 billion debt is due to unpaid electricity bills from public entities in Puerto Rico.

Liquidity issues around Puerto Rico’s power company go back decades. Through Puerto Rico’s fiscal agency AAFAF, most PREPA projects get funded through the issuance of bonds.

Image: Municipal workers install power polesCritics say past projects illustrate a history of costly mistakes.

Francisco Lopez, an engineer and PREPA employee for 36 years and now an independent energy consultant, had pitched a project in 2010 called Via Verde that consisted of a natural gas pipeline across the island.

Because the governor at the time, Luis Fortuño, had signed an executive order declaring a “state of emergency” around electric power generation, the project was approved and bonds were issued before any public hearings.

Photos: 100 days in the dark leave Puerto Ricans with glimmer of hope

PREPA had done a study that showed that revenues from Via Verde would be enough to pay back bondholders. “It would have taken, like, five years,” said Lopez.

But the $350 million Via Verde project never came to life after strong opposition from community members and environmentalists. With no project, there was no revenue, but PREPA still had to pay bondholders back as well as the already-hired contractors. Lopez said situations like this have contributed to the utility’s debt.

Amid criticism, a promise to restore power

As PREPA grapples with financial issues, it has also faced strong questions about its actions following the hurricane.

A former supervisor and chemist at PREPA, Carlos Velez, was critical of the government’s initial handling of its equipment and restoration needs.

Related: FEMA under scrutiny over botched contract to provide meals for Puerto Rico

“In a situation where PREPA lacks inventory, the usual procedure is to ask the American Public Power Association (APPA) for what’s needed,” said Velez. APPA is a not-for-profit organization that serves U.S. public utilities; it has worked with PREPA on previous post-hurricane efforts.

Instead, PREPA came under fire after signing a $300 million contract with Whitefish, a small Montana-based firm. The contract was eventually terminated after questions emerged following a Washington Post report about the company and the contract.

Image: PUERTORICO-US-ELECTRICITYIt wasn’t until the end of October, more than a month after the hurricane, that APPA received Puerto Rico’s petition asking for help. It still remains unclear why APPA’s help was requested so late.

FEMA deputy administrator Ahsha Tribble, who has been working on the island for months, said in an Oversight Board hearing that PREPA’s bureaucracy has slowed down restoration efforts. “When you have eight layers of approval to get something done, it’s not working for us,” said Tribble.

PREPA has also been dealing with changing leadership. In November, its executive director Ricardo Ramos stepped down and Gov. Ricardo Rosselló called for Justo Gonzalez’s appointment as interim director.

“When you put an interim director in the middle of a disaster, it’s hard. It’s very difficult to begin to make decisions,” said Tribble.

The spotlight on PREPA after the devastating storm and the financial crisis may result in significant changes. Gov. Rosselló announced a plan last month to move toward privatizing the utility, pledging a more “financially viable,” consumer-centered model.

While there is debate over the plan, consumer watchdogs and analysts have long called for changes to PREPA. In addition, the utility’s finances and debt are now being scrutinized by a financial oversight board started under President Barack Obama as well as Judge Swain.

In the meantime, the start of the next hurricane season is just four months away.

“I want to assure all clients still without electricity, that we have you in mind. We know our work is not over and we are prioritizing restoration for this population,” said Justo Gonzalez, PREPA’s interim director, in a statement. “No one deserves to be without electricity, so we appreciate your patience. ”

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Head bowed, Florida shooting suspect returns to court for hearing

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (Reuters) – A former student accused of last week’s deadly shooting at a Florida high school returned to court for a hearing on Monday in a case that has galvanized advocates of stricter gun control, including many of the rampage survivors.

Nikolas Cruz, his head bowed, hands shackled at his waist and wearing a red, jail-issued jumpsuit, showed no emotion during the procedural session in Fort Lauderdale.

The hearing ended with Broward Circuit Court Judge Elizabeth Scherer ruling that a defense motion filed last week remain sealed from public view. The content of the motion, sealed by another judge, was not described in the hearing.

In a second hearing, Broward Circuit Court Judge Charles Greene ordered the release of parts of a mental health assessment of Cruz by the Florida Department of Children and Families in November 2016. The report has already been leaked to South Florida’s Sun Sentinel newspaper.

Cruz, who did not attend the second hearing, is facing 17 counts of premeditated murder after the attack on Wednesday at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, near Fort Lauderdale. It is the deadliest shooting ever at a U.S. high school.

The suspect, whose mother died in November, was investigated by authorities after videos surfaced on the social media platform Snapchat showing him cutting himself, the assessment by the Department of Children and Families said.

“Mr. Cruz has fresh cuts on both his arms. Mr. Cruz stated he plans to go out and buy a gun. It is unknown what he is buying the gun for,” the released report said.

In a statement, department secretary Mike Carroll said the records showed Cruz was getting mental health services before, during and after the assessment. Cruz was living with his mother and attending school when it concluded, he said.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has acknowledged it failed to act on a tip called in last month warning that Cruz possessed a gun and the desire to kill.

Greene agreed to the request by Cruz’s team of public defenders to release the assessment. But he stopped short of allowing the release of details of Cruz’s mental health history and child abuse records.

Student survivors gathered with teachers and gun safety advocates to plan a visit to the state capital of Tallahassee on Wednesday. They will demand state lawmakers enact a ban on the sale of assault weapons in Florida.

The White House said on Monday that President Donald Trump supports efforts to improve federal background checks for gun purchases. Trump angered some students by suggesting in a tweet on Saturday that the FBI had missed signs that the shooter was troubled because it was distracted by its investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election.

Additional reporting by Jonathan Allen in New York; Writing by Frank McGurty and Ian Simpson; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Leslie Adler

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nato russia trump 2014 – Google Search

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Story image for nato russia trump 2014 from Observer

Trump Gets Caught in His Own Web of Lies

ObserverFeb 18, 2018
Back in the spring of 2014, a European intelligence service, a NATO ally of the United States, received a top-secret report that the Russians would back Donald Trump for the White House in the next election. The source was a mid-level Russian intelligence official who had plausible access to secret …

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11:11 AM 2/20/2018 – “[Puerto Ricans] want everything done for them…” – Twitter Search / lgbtpr

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Twitter Search / lgbtpr 11:11 AM 2/20/2018

Twitter Search / lgbtpr

“[Puerto Ricans] want everything done for them

when it should be a community effort” @realDonaldTrump #NotMyPresident #NeverAPresident pic.twitter.com/dE4EU9Pqph

Según un informe del Human Rights Watch publicado hoy, en ausencia de sólidas salvaguardas contra la discriminación, las leyes de “libertad religiosa” son una licencia para discriminar y deben ser derogadas. http://bit.ly/2BAEkFb  #LGBT #ReligiousFreedompic.twitter.com/oel5FBttzp
“Dont let any more children suffer like us. Dont continue this cycle. This may not seem relevant to you. But next time it could be your family, your friends, your neighbors. Next time, it could be you” Christine Yared, survivor #Parkland #GunControlNow https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/18/opinion/florida-school-shooting-guns.html 
pic.twitter.com/LDQo9AwO2Q
My Seoul mate! So happy to have my bf, my family and some amazing friends here in Korea to cheer me on! Tomorrow’s the big day (tonight for y’all in the US) and win or lose I just wanna thank you all SO much for your support and encouragement. I wouldn’t be here without you.pic.twitter.com/XwqWKldwbN
.@guskenworthy #itsGusBitch @britneyspears #Olympics #PyeongChang2018 #LGBT pic.twitter.com/QszYVqMrnz
13 named in Russia indictment by special counsel in first charges on 2016 election interference. #Resist http://nyti.ms/2Byn7vV pic.twitter.com/Awa7S3vbG5
After winning two Emmys for their first season on VH1, @RuPaulsDragRace #10 has a release date. Viacom announced today that the popular reality series will premiere on Thursday, March 22 and the episodes will be 90 minutes long! You betta werk! #LGBT #Rupaul #DragRace pic.twitter.com/EABCM5ZguQ
Después de ganar dos premios Emmy por su primera temporada en VH1, @RuPaulsDragRace #10 tiene fecha de estreno. Viacom anunció hoy que la popular serie de reality estrenará el jueves 22 de marzo y los episodios serán de 90 minutos. ¡You betta werk! #LGBT #Rupaul #DragRace pic.twitter.com/4NEOdjnKkt
.@Amazon despidió ayer oficialmente a Jeffrey Tambor de la serie “Transparent” tras finalizar la investigación sobre las acusaciones de acoso sexual en contra del actor. http://bit.ly/2C2wGoa  #LGBT #Transparent #Amazonpic.twitter.com/raNkVTdSUT
Puerto Rico suspends $133M contract awarded to firm of Trumps failed FEMA nominee. #PuertoRico #SOSPuertoRico – http://nbcnews.to/2EwVxC0 
Regardless of the fact that the @MissUniverse organization allows trans women, the organization in Puerto Rico, directed by ex Miss Universe 2001 Denise Quiñones, demands contestants are born biologically a woman. #LGBT #MissUniverse @muniversepr @DeniseQuinones9pic.twitter.com/EWyDHCJ9d9
A pesar de que la organización de @MissUniverse permite que mujeres trans, la organización de Puerto Rico, dirigida por la ex Miss Universe 2001 Denise Quiñones, exige que hayan nacido mujer biológicamente. #LGBT #NoMásDiscriminación #MissUniverse @muniversepr @DeniseQuinones9pic.twitter.com/Q6o4vgqIHU
As Republicans begin heaping thoughts and prayers on the families of the 17-plus people killed at a high school in #Parkland Florida, a writer for @jimmykimmel made sure to note how much each had taken from the @NRA. #GunControlNow – http://bit.ly/2GeYaos pic.twitter.com/phExCWEYKD
#Parkland #GunControlNow pic.twitter.com/vmPDgz1R60
Que viva el amor, en todas sus formas y colores. #lgbt #sanvalentín #valentinesday #amoresamor #loveislovepic.twitter.com/4b9Yspbk1O
.@Adaripp #Olympics  #PyeongChang2018  #LGBT pic.twitter.com/rPnAwXsGQy
El atleta canadiense Eric Radford hizo historia en los Juegos Olímpicos, convirtiéndose en el primer atleta abiertamente gay en ganar una medalla de oro en los Juegos de Invierno. #Olympics #PyeongChang2018 #LGBT pic.twitter.com/c9JkLTp9v5
Kehinde Wiley became the first African American #LGBT artist to create an official portrait of a former president, commissioned by the Smithsonian. The portrait of @BarackObama is displayed starting today in the Washington Presidential Gallery. #obamaportrait #MyPresidentpic.twitter.com/eyCaVJ4Ibt
Kehinde Wiley se convirtió ayer en el primer artista afroamericano #LGBT en crear un retrato oficial de un ex Presidente, comisionado por el Smithsonian. El retrato de @BarackObama se exponen desde hoy en la galería presidencial de Washington. #obamaportrait #MyPresidentpic.twitter.com/MzR8lfYNdI
Hoy a las 6pm en @california #Afrofeminism #Lesbian #Resistance #Poetry @Afrofeminas @LetrasUmet @lgbtpr @LazyPublisher @editorialegales @MiliBerkanapic.twitter.com/x6aU7p4oNr

 

Twitter Search / lgbtpr
“[Puerto Ricans] want everything done for them when it should be a community effort” @realDonaldTrump #NotMyPresident #NeverAPresident pic.twitter.com/dE4EU9Pqph
Sat, 30 Sep 2017 15:00:46 +0100

“[Puerto Ricans] want everything done for them when it should be a community effort”   🖕🇵🇷

Según un informe del Human Rights Watch publicado hoy, en ausencia de sólidas salvaguardas contra la discriminación, las leyes de “libertad religiosa” son una licencia para discriminar y deben ser derogadas. http://bit.ly/2BAEkFb  #LGBT #ReligiousFreedompic.twitter.com/oel5FBttzp
Mon, 19 Feb 2018 17:35:35 +0000

Según un informe del Human Rights Watch publicado hoy, en ausencia de sólidas salvaguardas contra la discriminación, las leyes de “libertad religiosa” son una licencia para discriminar y deben ser derogadas.http://bit.ly/2BAEkFb    

“Dont let any more children suffer like us. Dont continue this cycle. This may not seem relevant to you. But next time it could be your family, your friends, your neighbors. Next time, it could be you” Christine Yared, survivor #Parkland #GunControlNow https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/18/opinion/florida-school-shooting-guns.html 
Sun, 18 Feb 2018 21:53:40 +0000

“Don’t let any more children suffer like us. Don’t continue this cycle. This may not seem relevant to you. But next time it could be your family, your friends, your neighbors. Next time, it could be you” —Christine Yared, survivor  https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/18/opinion/florida-school-shooting-guns.html …

pic.twitter.com/LDQo9AwO2Q
Fri, 16 Feb 2018 17:59:52 +0000

My Seoul mate! So happy to have my bf, my family and some amazing friends here in Korea to cheer me on! Tomorrow’s the big day (tonight for y’all in the US) and win or lose I just wanna thank you all SO much for your support and encouragement. I wouldn’t be here without you.pic.twitter.com/XwqWKldwbN
Sat, 17 Feb 2018 15:05:08 +0000

My Seoul mate! So happy to have my bf, my family and some amazing friends here in Korea to cheer me on! Tomorrow’s the big day (tonight for y’all in the US) and win or lose I just wanna thank you all SO much for your support and encouragement. I wouldn’t be here without you. 

.@guskenworthy #itsGusBitch @britneyspears #Olympics #PyeongChang2018 #LGBT pic.twitter.com/QszYVqMrnz
Sun, 18 Feb 2018 01:03:30 +0000

   ❤️🌈  🥉 

13 named in Russia indictment by special counsel in first charges on 2016 election interference. #Resist http://nyti.ms/2Byn7vV pic.twitter.com/Awa7S3vbG5
Fri, 16 Feb 2018 21:13:47 +0000

13 named in Russia indictment by special counsel in first charges on 2016 election interference.  ✊🏽 http://nyti.ms/2Byn7vV  

After winning two Emmys for their first season on VH1, @RuPaulsDragRace #10 has a release date. Viacom announced today that the popular reality series will premiere on Thursday, March 22 and the episodes will be 90 minutes long! You betta werk! #LGBT #Rupaul #DragRace pic.twitter.com/EABCM5ZguQ
Fri, 16 Feb 2018 19:57:56 +0000

After winning two Emmys for their first season on VH1,  #10 has a release date. Viacom announced today that the popular reality series will premiere on Thursday, March 22 and the episodes will be 90 minutes long! You betta werk!    👠💄

Después de ganar dos premios Emmy por su primera temporada en VH1, @RuPaulsDragRace #10 tiene fecha de estreno. Viacom anunció hoy que la popular serie de reality estrenará el jueves 22 de marzo y los episodios serán de 90 minutos. ¡You betta werk! #LGBT #Rupaul #DragRace pic.twitter.com/4NEOdjnKkt
Fri, 16 Feb 2018 19:56:49 +0000

Después de ganar dos premios Emmy por su primera temporada en VH1,  #10 tiene fecha de estreno. Viacom anunció hoy que la popular serie de reality estrenará el jueves 22 de marzo y los episodios serán de 90 minutos. ¡You betta werk!    👠💄

.@Amazon despidió ayer oficialmente a Jeffrey Tambor de la serie “Transparent” tras finalizar la investigación sobre las acusaciones de acoso sexual en contra del actor. http://bit.ly/2C2wGoa  #LGBT #Transparent #Amazonpic.twitter.com/raNkVTdSUT
Fri, 16 Feb 2018 17:05:14 +0000

 despidió ayer oficialmente a Jeffrey Tambor de la serie “Transparent” tras finalizar la investigación sobre las acusaciones de acoso sexual en contra del actor. http://bit.ly/2C2wGoa    

Puerto Rico suspends $133M contract awarded to firm of Trumps failed FEMA nominee. #PuertoRico #SOSPuertoRico – http://nbcnews.to/2EwVxC0 
Thu, 15 Feb 2018 23:44:52 +0000

Puerto Rico suspends $133M contract awarded to firm of Trump’s failed FEMA nominee.  – http://nbcnews.to/2EwVxC0 

Regardless of the fact that the @MissUniverse organization allows trans women, the organization in Puerto Rico, directed by ex Miss Universe 2001 Denise Quiñones, demands contestants are born biologically a woman. #LGBT #MissUniverse @muniversepr @DeniseQuinones9pic.twitter.com/EWyDHCJ9d9
Thu, 15 Feb 2018 20:29:17 +0000

Regardless of the fact that the  organization allows trans women, the organization in Puerto Rico, directed by ex Miss Universe 2001 Denise Quiñones, demands contestants are born biologically a woman.    

A pesar de que la organización de @MissUniverse permite que mujeres trans, la organización de Puerto Rico, dirigida por la ex Miss Universe 2001 Denise Quiñones, exige que hayan nacido mujer biológicamente. #LGBT #NoMásDiscriminación #MissUniverse @muniversepr @DeniseQuinones9pic.twitter.com/Q6o4vgqIHU
Thu, 15 Feb 2018 20:21:34 +0000

A pesar de que la organización de  permite que mujeres trans, la organización de Puerto Rico, dirigida por la ex Miss Universe 2001 Denise Quiñones, exige que hayan nacido mujer biológicamente.     

As Republicans begin heaping thoughts and prayers on the families of the 17-plus people killed at a high school in #Parkland Florida, a writer for @jimmykimmel made sure to note how much each had taken from the @NRA. #GunControlNow – http://bit.ly/2GeYaos pic.twitter.com/phExCWEYKD
Thu, 15 Feb 2018 17:32:34 +0000

As Republicans begin heaping “thoughts and prayers” on the families of the 17-plus people killed at a high school in  Florida, a writer for  made sure to note how much each had taken from the  – http://bit.ly/2GeYaos  

#Parkland #GunControlNow pic.twitter.com/vmPDgz1R60
Wed, 14 Feb 2018 20:59:23 +0000

  😢 

Que viva el amor, en todas sus formas y colores. #lgbt #sanvalentín #valentinesday #amoresamor #loveislovepic.twitter.com/4b9Yspbk1O
Wed, 14 Feb 2018 19:42:37 +0000

Que viva el amor, en todas sus formas y colores. 💜💙💚💛❤️     

.@Adaripp #Olympics  #PyeongChang2018  #LGBT pic.twitter.com/rPnAwXsGQy
Wed, 14 Feb 2018 03:03:09 +0000

 ❤️🌈      🥉 

El atleta canadiense Eric Radford hizo historia en los Juegos Olímpicos, convirtiéndose en el primer atleta abiertamente gay en ganar una medalla de oro en los Juegos de Invierno. #Olympics #PyeongChang2018 #LGBT pic.twitter.com/c9JkLTp9v5
Tue, 13 Feb 2018 22:52:45 +0000

El atleta canadiense Eric Radford hizo historia en los Juegos Olímpicos, convirtiéndose en el primer atleta abiertamente gay en ganar una medalla de oro en los Juegos de Invierno.  🥉 

Kehinde Wiley became the first African American #LGBT artist to create an official portrait of a former president, commissioned by the Smithsonian. The portrait of @BarackObama is displayed starting today in the Washington Presidential Gallery. #obamaportrait #MyPresidentpic.twitter.com/eyCaVJ4Ibt
Tue, 13 Feb 2018 19:57:23 +0000

Kehinde Wiley became the first African American  artist to create an official portrait of a former president, commissioned by the Smithsonian. The portrait of  is displayed starting today in the Washington Presidential Gallery. ✊🏽🌈  

Kehinde Wiley se convirtió ayer en el primer artista afroamericano #LGBT en crear un retrato oficial de un ex Presidente, comisionado por el Smithsonian. El retrato de @BarackObama se exponen desde hoy en la galería presidencial de Washington. #obamaportrait #MyPresidentpic.twitter.com/MzR8lfYNdI
Tue, 13 Feb 2018 19:54:08 +0000

Kehinde Wiley se convirtió ayer en el primer artista afroamericano  en crear un retrato oficial de un ex Presidente, comisionado por el Smithsonian. El retrato de  se exponen desde hoy en la galería presidencial de Washington. ✊🏽🌈  

Hoy a las 6pm en @california #Afrofeminism #Lesbian #Resistance #Poetry @Afrofeminas @LetrasUmet @lgbtpr @LazyPublisher @editorialegales @MiliBerkanapic.twitter.com/x6aU7p4oNr
Tue, 13 Feb 2018 16:21:22 +0000

Hoy a las 6pm en           


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7:08 AM 2/20/2018 – Rick Scott pide al FBI que revele su fallida gestión contra Nikolas Cruz | Five Months After Maria, San Juan Mayor Decries ‘Disaster Capitalism’ & Privatization in Puerto Rico

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Policía investiga si una mujer fue enterrada viva en Brasil | http://bit.ly/2GujuGA  @LaPerlaPRpic.twitter.com/lZ1tLNKAkS

Policía investiga si una mujer fue enterrada viva en Brasil | http://bit.ly/2GujuGA  

 

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Policía investiga si una mujer fue enterrada viva en Brasil | http://bit.ly/2GujuGA  @LaPerlaPRpic.twitter.com/lZ1tLNKAkS
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President Trump blames former President Obama for inaction over Russia meddling http://cnn.it/2EFKyWY pic.twitter.com/nwABFv7VqB
Russia and the U.S. just defused a potential crisis in Syria and showed us how to back away from a war
The places that will decide the 2018 midterm elections – CNN
Campaigners Warn Reported Sex Crimes Against Children at Record High
Majority polled says Trump, Congress not doing enough to stop mass shootings
Trump Tries to Shift Blame to Obama for Not Countering Russian Meddling

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The Brooklyn News – bklynnews.com – Brooklyn N.Y. News | The Brooklyn Bridge 

Puerto Rico News – pr-us.org – News and Reviews in English and Spanish

News and Times – Last Page Design Update – 12:00 PM 1/22/2018

February 20, 2018 | The Puerto Rico News & Times

Rick Scott pide al FBI que revele su fallida gestión contra Nikolas Cruz http://bit.ly/2FexF3a 

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Funcionarios implicados en escándalo de la CEE no serán destituidos http://bit.ly/2EE1GbC pic.twitter.com/FZproZzoV6
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Autorizan préstamo de $300 millones a compañía eléctrica de Puerto Rico – El Nuevo Herald
Líderes de eBay, Paypal y Upwork aconsejan a emprendedores boricuas http://bit.ly/2ETFuO3 pic.twitter.com/KDaZbocWIJ
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efe’s YouTube Videos: Autoridades colombianas incautan bienes a presuntos testaferros de las FARC
Federal Judge Approves $300 Million Loan for Puerto Rico Utility – Wall Street Journal
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Colorful murals brighten Puerto Rico – CNN International
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Funcionarios implicados en escándalo de la CEE no serán destituidos http://bit.ly/2EE1GbC pic.twitter.com/FZproZzoV6
 

Funcionarios implicados en escándalo de la CEE no serán destituidos http://bit.ly/2EE1GbC 

Una imitación del anillo de Tom Brady se vende en precio récord http://bit.ly/2CwRxvl pic.twitter.com/Fd96HhBNvi
 

Una imitación del anillo de Tom Brady se vende en precio récord http://bit.ly/2CwRxvl 

Autorizan préstamo de $300 millones a compañía eléctrica de Puerto Rico – El Nuevo Herald
 


El Nuevo Herald
Autorizan préstamo de $300 millones a compañía eléctrica de Puerto Rico
El Nuevo Herald
Un juez federal aprobó el lunes un préstamo por $300 millones para la compañía eléctrica de Puerto Rico que, de acuerdo a las autoridades, mantendrá a la agencia en operaciones hasta finales de marzo. El fallo se presenta días después de que el mismo 
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En esta clínica para millonarios tratan la adicción al celular http://bit.ly/2EOgFDh 

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Puerto Rico Electricity from mikenova (3 sites): puerto rico electricity – BingNews: Five Months After Maria, San Juan Mayor Decries ‘Disaster Capitalism’ & Privatization in Puerto Rico

As this week marks five months since Hurricane Maria battered the island of Puerto Rico, more than a quarter of the island remains without power, marking the longest blackout in U.S. history. While the official death toll is just 64, it is believed that … puerto rico electricity – BingNews Puerto Rico Electricity from mikenova (3 sites)
efe’s YouTube Videos: Quinamayó, el pueblo colombiano que festeja la Navidad en febrero
 

From: efe
Duration: 01:14

Quinamayó (Colombia), 19 feb (EFE).- (Imágenes:Ernesto Guzmán)Los habitantes de Quinamayó, una pintoresca población de descendientes de esclavos negros del suroeste de Colombia, adoran una figura del Niño Dios negro, el eje central de la Navidad que para ellos es el 16 de febrero y no el 25 de diciembre. La celebración comenzó anoche, dos días más tarde de lo habitual por la lluvia, con un colorido recorrido del pueblo que lleva en andas un Niño Dios negro, al que colman de cantos y bailes tradicionales. En el desfile, la figura es acompañada por cantoras, ángeles y soldados, cuya labor es “custodiarlo durante el desfile para que llegue sano y salvo”, contó a Efe el coordinador del evento, Holmes Larrahondo.

Palabras clave: efe,colombia,navidad,niño negro,quinamayo.

 efe’s YouTube Videos

efe’s YouTube Videos: Autoridades colombianas incautan bienes a presuntos testaferros de las FARC
 

From: efe
Duration: 01:51

Bogotá, 19 feb (EFE).- Las autoridades colombianas capturaron a tres presuntos testaferros de la desmovilizaba guerrilla de las FARC e incautaron bienes valuados en 650.000 millones de pesos (unos 230 millones de dólares), entre ellos 60 supermercados, informaron hoy fuentes oficiales.

IMÁGENES DE LA FISCALÍA DE COLOMBIA.
RECURSOS DE LA INCAUTACIÓN.

Palabras clave:
efe,colombia,justicia,incautacion,testaferros,farc

 efe’s YouTube Videos

Federal Judge Approves $300 Million Loan for Puerto Rico Utility – Wall Street Journal
 


Wall Street Journal
Federal Judge Approves $300 Million Loan for Puerto Rico Utility
Wall Street Journal
A federal judge approved an emergency $300 million loan that will keep Puerto Rico’s troubled electric utility in operation, averting a threat of more power outages at a time when the island is trying to recover from last summer’s devastating 
efe’s YouTube Videos: Sindicalistas realizan protestas en Sao Paulo contra reforma de las pensiones
 

From: efe
Duration: 01:09

Sao Paulo, 19 feb (EFE), (Imágenes: Alex Mirkhan).- La Central Única de los Trabajadores (CUT, mayor unión sindical de Brasil) y movimientos sociales realizan hoy una jornada de huelgas y protestas en Sao Paulo contra la polémica reforma de las pensiones, cuyo trámite está paralizado en el Congreso desde hace meses.
“La huelga general fue planificada durante meses y fue muy exitosa hasta ahora, porque logramos frenar la votación hasta este momento. La verdad es que, ahora mismo, el presidente y sus aliados fueron derrotados”, declaró a Efe el presidente de la CUT, Vagner Freitas, quien agregó que las manifestaciones dan “aliento” al trabajador para “seguir luchando”.

Palabras clave: efe,brasil,protesta,sindicatos,pensiones,jubilacion,cut

 efe’s YouTube Videos

Colorful murals brighten Puerto Rico – CNN International
 

Colorful murals brighten Puerto Rico
CNN International
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carlos cases fbi – Google News: In wake of Parkland massacre, police chiefs again call for assault-weapons ban – Miami Herald
 


Miami Herald
In wake of Parkland massacre, police chiefs again call for assault-weapons ban
Miami Herald
Like all the rest of the cases, it was out there. According to Oates, a psychiatrist who had been treating Holmes told a university police department that her patient had been fantasizing about killing lots of people. The police chose not to Baker Act 

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Puerto Rico Infrastructure – BingNews: Over 94% of Puerto Rico’s mobile towers back in service

Puerto Rico has repaired over 94 percent of its mobile towers after the islands telecommunications infrastructure was devastated by hurricanes Irma and Maria in September, reports EFE, citing an assessment by the countrys regulator JRT. The … Puerto Rico Infrastructure – BingNews
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Continúa la búsqueda del avión accidentado en las montañas de Irán http://bit.ly/2FgvNqS pic.twitter.com/ySl85eEOds
 

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efe’s YouTube Videos: Quinamayó, el pueblo colombiano en el que se celebra la Navidad en febrero
 

From: efe
Duration: 01:06

Quinamayó (Colombia), 19 feb (EFE).- (Imágenes:Ernesto Guzmán)Los habitantes de Quinamayó, una pintoresca población de descendientes de esclavos negros del suroeste de Colombia, adoran una figura del Niño Dios negro, el eje central de la Navidad que para ellos es el 16 de febrero y no el 25 de diciembre.
La celebración comenzó anoche, dos días más tarde de lo habitual por la lluvia, con un colorido recorrido del pueblo que lleva en andas un Niño Dios negro, al que colman de cantos y bailes tradicionales.

Palabras clave: efe,colombia,navidad,niño negro,quinamayo.

 efe’s YouTube Videos

Los maestros piden que los escuchen http://bit.ly/2sEPFRT pic.twitter.com/SHvmgWRltg
 

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Puerto Rico Electricity from mikenova (3 sites): puerto rico electricity – Google News: Puerto Rico loses power again: Explosion and fire cut electricity to 10 municipalities – Medill Reports: Chicago
 


Medill Reports: Chicago
Puerto Rico loses power again: Explosion and fire cut electricity to 10 municipalities
Medill Reports: Chicago
An explosion and fire at the Monacillo power station in San Juan caused power outages across 10 municipalities late at night on Feb. 11, a reminder that even in areas where the grid has been fixed since Hurricane Maria, the island’s electric  
Puerto Ricans Finding Innovative Ways to Cope Without ElectricityVoice of America
Judge Grants $300M Loan for Puerto Rico Power CompanyNBC Southern Californiaall 50 news articles » 

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Rosselló no avalará el proyecto para flexibilizar las licencias de armas http://bit.ly/2C8FbOo pic.twitter.com/iPqIl5aQrf
 

Rosselló no avalará el proyecto para flexibilizar las licencias de armas http://bit.ly/2C8FbOo 


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6:35 AM 2/20/2018 – Puerto Rico’s Population after Hurricane Maria – Puerto Rico Report | Federal Judge Approves $300 Million Loan for Puerto Rico Utility – Wall Street Journal

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Image result for Puerto Rico's Population after Hurricane Maria

Puerto Ricos Population after Hurricane Maria – GS 

Puerto Rico’s Population after Hurricane Maria – Puerto Rico Report

https://www.puertoricoreport.com/puerto-ricos-population-after-hurricane-maria/ 

5 hours ago – Puerto Rico has received federal disaster recovery funding in the most recent budget bill passed by Congress. In addition to rebuilding from the catastrophic damage caused by the hurricanesof 2017, Puerto Rico needs economic growth over the long term. The Congressional Task Force on Economic …

Estimates of Post-Hurricane Maria Exodus from Puerto Rico | Centro …

From 2017 to 2019, we estimate that Puerto Rico may lose up to 470,335 residents or 14% of the population.

In other words, Puerto Rico will lose the same population in a span of a couple of yearsafter Hurricane Maria as the island lost during a prior decade of economic stagnation. Our projections indicate that Florida is …

Puerto Rico news: 100,000 have left the island after Hurricane Maria …

https://qz.com/…/puerto-rico-news-100000-have-left-the-island-after-hurricane-maria/

Nov 8, 2017 – It’s been more than six weeks since hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico, and life in the island is still filled with uncertainty: How many people died? When will power come …

From 2006 to 2015, more than 400,000 Puerto Ricans moved to the mainland, reducing the island’s population to 3.4 million. 

________________________________
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Puerto Rico has received federal disaster recovery funding in the most recent budget bill passed by Congress. In addition to rebuilding from the catastrophic damage caused by the hurricanes of 2017, Puerto Rico needs economic growth over the long term.The Congressional Task Force on Economic Growth in Puerto Rico recommended a number of actions in their final report, submitted to Congress over a year ago. These actions included equal treatment under federal healthcare funding and individual tax credit programs, improvements in energy production and distribution, equity in Small Business Administration benefits (including those related to disasters), better data collection, increased local agricultural production, and many more practical tactics for economic development. Little progress has been made on this list.At the same time, the report alluded to Puerto Rico’s “staggering  population loss as one of the challenges facing Puerto Rico’s economy. The description was quoted from a research report describing the accelerating loss of population on the Island and saying, “[S]uch a large outflow of potentially productive workers and taxpayers is an alarming trend that is likely to have profound consequences for the Island for years to come.” This report was written well before the hurricane season of 2017, and Puerto Rico had already seen the greatest loss in population in its recorded history.Estimates of Puerto Rico’s population loss in the decade preceding Hurricane Maria suggests that the territory lost 10% of its residents — half a million people.Fewer workers, fewer taxpayers, fewer business investors, and fewer consumers — all these losses will affect Puerto Rico’s economy.

How has Hurricane Maria affected Puerto Rico’s population?

There is still uncertainty over the death toll from the hurricanes; data on the number of people who have left Puerto Rico are equally uncertain. Much of the early reporting relied on airline passenger figures, which may have included not only residents of Puerto Rico but also journalists and rescue workers.

Six weeks after Hurricane Maria made landfall, it was reported at a Congressional hearing that 100,000 individuals had left Puerto Rico.

Whatever degree of confidence we put in the early figures, they don’t tell the whole story. Some people left as soon as they could after the hurricanes, but many more have left since then, while some from the first wave of evacuees may have returned to Puerto Rico by now.

Future net migration

Net migration — the number of people who leave, subtracted from the number who arrive — is another story. Puerto Rico’s current residents may continue to leave at the same rate as before Hurricane Maria, or at a higher rate. At the same time, depending on circumstances, newcomers may arrive, drawn by the opportunities created by rebuilding.

The Center for Puerto Rican Studies estimates that “Puerto Rico may lose up to 470,335 residents or 14% of the population. In other words, Puerto Rico will lose the same population in a span of a couple of years after Hurricane Maria as the island lost during a prior decade of economic stagnation.”

Population scientist Lyman Stone, who recently spoke at a PROMESA Fiscal Oversight Board meeting, sees the

possibility of Puerto Rico’s population diminishing by as much as 41%.

Lyman ran statistical models with a wide range of assumptions, and the Center for Puerto Rican Studies’s

14% is at the low end of all the possibilities.

Lyman fears that Puerto Rico’s population story may be worse than that of Ireland during the Great Famine, when more than 1.5 million Irish immigrants came to the United States. Ireland’s population has not yet recovered, 163 years later.

Will evacuees return to Puerto Rico?

One of the big questions is this: will hurricane evacuees return to Puerto Rico?

One survey found that roughly half of the evacuees from Puerto Rico have not yet decided whether to return to the Island. One third intend to do so, while fewer than 20% of those surveyed last fall plan to stay in the State where they are currently living.

Access to basic amenities like drinkable running water and electricity could be part of the decision making. The longer residents of Puerto Rico remain in crisis, the more likely it is that people who left after the hurricane will settle into their new stateside homes.

However, returning by ship from America to Ireland was far more difficult in 1858 than returning from Miami to Puerto Rico is in 2018. The data from Hurricane Katrina might be instructive.

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina destroyed much of the Crescent City, population was at 80% of the pre-Katrina figures. Some two thirds of the people who had left after the hurricane had returned.

Other factors

Lyman points out that Puerto Rico has an aging population and, as of this writing, the lowest birth rates anywhere in U.S. States and territories. Certainly these factors are at least in part the result of the large numbers of young working people and families leaving the territory.

But the changes in Puerto Rico’s population must be taken into account as plans are made for the Island’s economic future.

Plans that rely on a large, educated workforce will only be practical if the population can be stabilized and schools get their lights turned back on.

The post Puerto Rico’s Population after Hurricane Maria appeared first on Puerto Rico Report.

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Puerto Ricos Population after Hurricane Maria
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Head bowed, Florida shooting suspect returns to court for hearing – Reuters

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efe’s YouTube Videos: Quinamayó, el pueblo colombiano en el que se celebra la Navidad en febrero
 

From: efe
Duration: 01:06

Quinamayó (Colombia), 19 feb (EFE).- (Imágenes:Ernesto Guzmán)Los habitantes de Quinamayó, una pintoresca población de descendientes de esclavos negros del suroeste de Colombia, adoran una figura del Niño Dios negro, el eje central de la Navidad que para ellos es el 16 de febrero y no el 25 de diciembre.
La celebración comenzó anoche, dos días más tarde de lo habitual por la lluvia, con un colorido recorrido del pueblo que lleva en andas un Niño Dios negro, al que colman de cantos y bailes tradicionales.

Palabras clave: efe,colombia,navidad,niño negro,quinamayo.

 efe’s YouTube Videos

 

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efe’s YouTube Videos: Quinamayó, el pueblo colombiano en el que se celebra la Navidad en febrero
Los maestros piden que los escuchen http://bit.ly/2sEPFRT pic.twitter.com/SHvmgWRltg
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Aumento al pago estudiantil http://bit.ly/2EQ9TwB pic.twitter.com/GUtiChSM1d
alejandro garcia padilla – Google News: Promesa: De doble guiso – El Vocero de Puerto Rico
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News and Times – Last Page Design Update – 12:00 PM 1/22/2018

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PREPA reduces more than 30 percent of its reserves http://bit.ly/2EDKzGX pic.twitter.com/TGx04goSrS
 

PREPA reduces more than 30 percent of its reserves http://bit.ly/2EDKzGX  

 

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PREPA reduces more than 30 percent of its reserves http://bit.ly/2EDKzGX pic.twitter.com/TGx04goSrS
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Los maestros piden que los escuchen http://bit.ly/2sEPFRT pic.twitter.com/SHvmgWRltg
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Puerto Ricos Population after Hurricane Maria

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Federal Judge Approves $300 Million Loan for Puerto Rico Utility – Wall Street Journal


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Federal Judge Approves $300 Million Loan for Puerto Rico Utility
Wall Street Journal
A federal judge approved an emergency $300 million loan that will keep Puerto Rico’s troubled electric utility in operation, averting a threat of more power outages at a time when the island is trying to recover from last summer’s devastating 

 

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5:56 AM 2/20/2018 – Aumento al pago estudiantil | Las “Visiones de la Tierra” del brasileño Luis Pablo Montenegro, en Madrid | The Chamber will analyze the lack of property titles

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Aumento al pago estudiantil http://bit.ly/2EQ9TwB  

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efe’s YouTube Videos: Las “Visiones de la Tierra” del brasileño Luis Pablo Montenegro, en Madrid
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PRN-Video from mikenova (37 sites): efe’s YouTube Videos: Las “Visiones de la Tierra” del brasileño Luis Pablo Montenegro, en Madrid
 

From: efe
Duration: 01:16

Madrid, 20 feb (EFE),(Imágenes-Ramón Ayala).- La Sala de Arte Santander se convierte en un “museo contemporáneo que cubre 100 años de arte” con la exposición “Visiones de la Tierra. El Mundo planeado”, una muestra que exhibe por primera vez mundialmente 217 obras de las 500 que conforman la colección privada del brasileño Luis Pablo Montenegro.
Desde mañana y hasta el 10 de junio la sala de arte de la Ciudad Campo Santander (Boadilla del Monte, Madrid) acogerá esta exposición en la que el visitante podrá ver, por primera vez en el mundo, parte de la colección de arte contemporáneo y moderno que a lo largo de 19 años ha ido haciendo este empresario brasileño, que por primera vez ha permitido que estas piezas salgan de su casa.
“Espero que con esta exposición los europeos puedan apreciar el arte brasileño (…) Coleccionar es un acto de amor y también un proceso de aprendizaje. Luis Pablo que empezó a coleccionar en 1999 no es el mismo de hoy. Empecé con artistas brasileños, luego pasé al arte latinoamericano y luego llegué a Europa”, ha expresado Montenegro durante la presentación de la muestra.
Y ahora, según ha bromeado durante su intervención, “gracias al Banco Santander”, ha tenido sus “15 minutos de gloria, como dijo Warhol”. Porque, según ha añadido, “nunca” imaginó que su colección iba a llegar a Madrid.
La exposición, articulada en 10 apartados, trae a España un 65% de obras de artistas brasileño, y un 35% de otras nacionalidades, por lo que junto a obras de Alfredo Volpi, Lygia Clark o Ernesto Neto o también se podrán ver piezas de Alexander Calder, Andy Warhol, Kooning o Torres García.
En palabras del comisario, el brasileño Rodrigo Moura, “Visiones de la tierra. El mundo planeado” ha sido un “desafío” porque su intención ha sido “hacer una exposición que pudiera presentar una visión muy comprensiva” de la colección del empresario brasileño, vicepresidente y socio del Grupo IBOPE (Instituto Brasileño de Opinión Pública y Estadística).
“La imagen que tengo de esta exposición es un museo contemporáneo que cubre 100 años de arte”, ha matizado sobre este trabajo que reúne el trabajo de 106 artistas.
“Visiones de la tierra. El mundo planeado” alude a los dos principales ejes en los que se pueden encuadrar las obras de la colección. Es decir, en la primera parte se podrán contemplar las obras de arte brasileño y latinoamericano, entre las que se encuentran las primera que adquirió Montenegro.
Mientras, la segunda parte, “El mundo planeado”, reúne las obras de las vanguardias neoconstructivistas brasileñas de la década de 1950 que determinaron su interés por el constructivismo a escala global.
“Fui un privilegiado porque el arte brasileño estaba muy encerrado en su propio país, pero gracias al empeño de varios artistas pasó a ser percibido en el universo de las artes plásticas”, ha comentado el empresario.
La muestra da la bienvenida con la sección llamada “Opinión”, donde se hace un homenaje al Instituto Brasileño de Opinión Pública

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The Chamber will analyze the lack of property titles

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As soon as the Resolution of the 760 Chamber is before the consideration of the Housing and Urban Development Commission, its president, representative Luis Pérez Ortiz, will cite the Secretary of Housing, Fernando Gil Enseñat, to investigate what the future of the thousands of families Who lost their homes because of Hurricane Maria and did not receive federal aid because they do not have property titles.

“There was a group of lawyers drafting an alternative document to achieve that channeling that aid so that they comply with what the process demands.” We said to know what status he is and what they are doing with people, “said Pérez Ortiz.

According to expressions of the Secretary of Housing, only in the villages of Canovanas, Carolina and Loíza live about 11,000 people on land over which they have no ownership. Meanwhile, the Association of Builders estimated that 55% of housing units in the country do not have a permit.

Yesterday, the Commission held an executive hearing to approve the report that will allow the measure to be considered by the Housing Commission. The measure seeks to auscultate the alternatives for families affected.

Meanwhile, tomorrow begins the views of the Joint Resolution of House 237, authored by Joel Franqui Atiles, which orders Housing to conduct census on the number of vacant residences as a result of foreclosures.

Head bowed, Florida shooting suspect returns to court for hearing – Google Search

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Explosion causes massive blackout in Puerto Rico

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Mourning the government of Puerto Rico after deadly shooting in Florida

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In solidarity with the victims of the shooting in a school in Florida , Governor Ricardo Rosselló Nevaresdecreed five days of mourning today .

According to the order issued, the flags in Puerto Rico will fly at half mast from today until Monday, February 19.

La medida la tomó el ejecutivo para unirse al decreto emitido por el presidente de los Estados Unidos, Donald Trump, en respeto y solidaridad con las víctimas del ataque perpetrado ayer en la escuela secundaria Marjory Stoneman Douglas en Parkland, Florida. En el mismo murieron 17 personas y otras 15 resultaron heridas.

The alleged perpetrator,  Nikolas Cruz, was charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder .

In reaction to the tragedy, Rossello Nevares said in a press release that “our prayers are with the families of the victims of this terrible attack and the affected community. We express our solidarity with the people of Florida in this moment of sadness. ”

The government of Puerto Rico and that of Florida, led by Rick Scott , maintain close ties of cooperation, especially after the devastating passage of Hurricane Maria on the island. As reported, over 300,000 Puerto Ricans have migrated to that state since last September.

Además, Scott se ha encargado personalmente de coordinar la ayuda que desde Florida se ha enviado a Puerto Rico como parte de los esfuerzos de recuperación.

Puerto Rico to slash energy reserves amid cash shortfall – The Washington Post

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February 18 at 6:47 PM

 Puerto Rico’s power company said Sunday that it will reduce its operating reserve to save money amid a cash shortfall as officials warned that the move could destabilize the U.S. territory’s fragile electrical grid.

William Rios, director of generation at Puerto Rico’s Electric Power Authority, said a plan to reduce its reserve by 450 megawatts will not affect customers and will help save $9 million a month.

Public Affairs Secretary Ramon Rosario said that although the measure is needed, it could affect a grid still experiencing frequent blackouts as nearly 250,000 customers remain without power more than five months after Hurricane Maria. The Category 4 storm destroyed two-thirds of the power distribution system and caused the longest blackout in U.S. history.

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Why does restoring full power in Puerto Rico seem like a never-ending task?

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About a third of Puerto Rico’s residents — over 900,000 — are still living without electricity five months after Hurricane Maria battered the island on Sept. 20th of last year.

As power restoration efforts continue against all odds, it’s still hard for officials to say when the power will be fully restored — the question on everyone’s mind.

“I would hesitate to give you a date,” said Lt. Col. John Cunningham of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the deputy commander for the Task Force Power Restoration on the island. “We would like to go faster, but right now we’re going as fast as we can.”

“The largest challenge has been logistics: getting the materials we need,” Cunningham told NBC News. “Because it is a tropical island, they need specific conductors and materials that can resist the tropical weather and there’s a limited number of suppliers available to purchase specific materials for the island.”

Puerto Ricans are dying. These volunteers are trying to change that. 5:04

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After Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, getting access to those materials is even harder.

About 1,200 temporary generators and seven microgrids are powering key areas near important buildings such as schools and hospitals. In addition, teams from utility companies from the mainland U.S. have made their way to Puerto Rico to support personnel sent to the island to help restore power.

After Hurricane Maria left the entire island without power, the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, or PREPA, needed at least about 53,000 poles, a little over 17 million conductors and 184,750 insulators.

Related: Anger grows and hope fades as Puerto Rico’s ground zero remains without power

So far, 5,072 transformers have arrived in Puerto Rico in addition to about 31,500 poles and about 2,613 miles of conductor cables already on the island, PREPA said in a statement.

In the next two weeks, Puerto Rico should receive 80 containers with additional equipment.

Restoring power amid funding woes

One of the reasons for a lack of inventory in the first place is PREPA’s financial woes. While a Category 5 hurricane like Maria was expected to cause massive damage, Puerto Rico’s bankrupt and greatly indebted public utility had not kept up with upgrading and modernizing its four-decade-old power plants, which mostly produce energy from burning imported oil.

Puerto Rican government leaders went to federal court in New York on Thursday to request a $1 billion emergency loan to finance operational costs and avoid running out of cash. Though the request was not approved, U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain gave Puerto Rico’s lawyers the chance to submit another motion for a $300 million emergency loan, understanding that “the lights cannot go off in Puerto Rico.” The motion was filed early Friday and Judge Swain approved it on Monday.

To reduce costs and avoid a shutdown, Puerto Rico has activated a contingency plan that consists of reducing power to energy reserves that handle generation failures like the one that took place on Feb. 12 in northern Puerto Rico. Government officials said Sunday it should not affect customers.

PREPA is currently the government agency with the biggest share of Puerto Rico’s $72 billion public debt. In part, PREPA’s $9 billion debt is due to unpaid electricity bills from public entities in Puerto Rico.

Liquidity issues around Puerto Rico’s power company go back decades. Through Puerto Rico’s fiscal agency AAFAF, most PREPA projects get funded through the issuance of bonds.

Image: Municipal workers install power polesCritics say past projects illustrate a history of costly mistakes.

Francisco Lopez, an engineer and PREPA employee for 36 years and now an independent energy consultant, had pitched a project in 2010 called Via Verde that consisted of a natural gas pipeline across the island.

Because the governor at the time, Luis Fortuño, had signed an executive order declaring a “state of emergency” around electric power generation, the project was approved and bonds were issued before any public hearings.

Photos: 100 days in the dark leave Puerto Ricans with glimmer of hope

PREPA had done a study that showed that revenues from Via Verde would be enough to pay back bondholders. “It would have taken, like, five years,” said Lopez.

But the $350 million Via Verde project never came to life after strong opposition from community members and environmentalists. With no project, there was no revenue, but PREPA still had to pay bondholders back as well as the already-hired contractors. Lopez said situations like this have contributed to the utility’s debt.

Amid criticism, a promise to restore power

As PREPA grapples with financial issues, it has also faced strong questions about its actions following the hurricane.

A former supervisor and chemist at PREPA, Carlos Velez, was critical of the government’s initial handling of its equipment and restoration needs.

Related: FEMA under scrutiny over botched contract to provide meals for Puerto Rico

“In a situation where PREPA lacks inventory, the usual procedure is to ask the American Public Power Association (APPA) for what’s needed,” said Velez. APPA is a not-for-profit organization that serves U.S. public utilities; it has worked with PREPA on previous post-hurricane efforts.

Instead, PREPA came under fire after signing a $300 million contract with Whitefish, a small Montana-based firm. The contract was eventually terminated after questions emerged following a Washington Post report about the company and the contract.

Image: PUERTORICO-US-ELECTRICITYIt wasn’t until the end of October, more than a month after the hurricane, that APPA received Puerto Rico’s petition asking for help. It still remains unclear why APPA’s help was requested so late.

FEMA deputy administrator Ahsha Tribble, who has been working on the island for months, said in an Oversight Board hearing that PREPA’s bureaucracy has slowed down restoration efforts. “When you have eight layers of approval to get something done, it’s not working for us,” said Tribble.

PREPA has also been dealing with changing leadership. In November, its executive director Ricardo Ramos stepped down and Gov. Ricardo Rosselló called for Justo Gonzalez’s appointment as interim director.

“When you put an interim director in the middle of a disaster, it’s hard. It’s very difficult to begin to make decisions,” said Tribble.

The spotlight on PREPA after the devastating storm and the financial crisis may result in significant changes. Gov. Rosselló announced a plan last month to move toward privatizing the utility, pledging a more “financially viable,” consumer-centered model.

While there is debate over the plan, consumer watchdogs and analysts have long called for changes to PREPA. In addition, the utility’s finances and debt are now being scrutinized by a financial oversight board started under President Barack Obama as well as Judge Swain.

In the meantime, the start of the next hurricane season is just four months away.

“I want to assure all clients still without electricity, that we have you in mind. We know our work is not over and we are prioritizing restoration for this population,” said Justo Gonzalez, PREPA’s interim director, in a statement. “No one deserves to be without electricity, so we appreciate your patience. ”

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Head bowed, Florida shooting suspect returns to court for hearing

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (Reuters) – A former student accused of last week’s deadly shooting at a Florida high school returned to court for a hearing on Monday in a case that has galvanized advocates of stricter gun control, including many of the rampage survivors.

Nikolas Cruz, his head bowed, hands shackled at his waist and wearing a red, jail-issued jumpsuit, showed no emotion during the procedural session in Fort Lauderdale.

The hearing ended with Broward Circuit Court Judge Elizabeth Scherer ruling that a defense motion filed last week remain sealed from public view. The content of the motion, sealed by another judge, was not described in the hearing.

In a second hearing, Broward Circuit Court Judge Charles Greene ordered the release of parts of a mental health assessment of Cruz by the Florida Department of Children and Families in November 2016. The report has already been leaked to South Florida’s Sun Sentinel newspaper.

Cruz, who did not attend the second hearing, is facing 17 counts of premeditated murder after the attack on Wednesday at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, near Fort Lauderdale. It is the deadliest shooting ever at a U.S. high school.

The suspect, whose mother died in November, was investigated by authorities after videos surfaced on the social media platform Snapchat showing him cutting himself, the assessment by the Department of Children and Families said.

“Mr. Cruz has fresh cuts on both his arms. Mr. Cruz stated he plans to go out and buy a gun. It is unknown what he is buying the gun for,” the released report said.

In a statement, department secretary Mike Carroll said the records showed Cruz was getting mental health services before, during and after the assessment. Cruz was living with his mother and attending school when it concluded, he said.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has acknowledged it failed to act on a tip called in last month warning that Cruz possessed a gun and the desire to kill.

Greene agreed to the request by Cruz’s team of public defenders to release the assessment. But he stopped short of allowing the release of details of Cruz’s mental health history and child abuse records.

Student survivors gathered with teachers and gun safety advocates to plan a visit to the state capital of Tallahassee on Wednesday. They will demand state lawmakers enact a ban on the sale of assault weapons in Florida.

The White House said on Monday that President Donald Trump supports efforts to improve federal background checks for gun purchases. Trump angered some students by suggesting in a tweet on Saturday that the FBI had missed signs that the shooter was troubled because it was distracted by its investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election.

Additional reporting by Jonathan Allen in New York; Writing by Frank McGurty and Ian Simpson; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Leslie Adler

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nato russia trump 2014 – Google Search

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Story image for nato russia trump 2014 from Observer

Trump Gets Caught in His Own Web of Lies

ObserverFeb 18, 2018
Back in the spring of 2014, a European intelligence service, a NATO ally of the United States, received a top-secret report that the Russians would back Donald Trump for the White House in the next election. The source was a mid-level Russian intelligence official who had plausible access to secret …
There’s Still Time to Act Against Russian Interference
In-DepthThe Atlantic20 hours ago

Iran, Deeply Embedded in Syria, Expands ‘Axis of Resistance’

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But as the rebels have lost ground and no clear threats to Mr. Assad’s rule remain, Iran and its allies have stayed, shifting their focus to creating an infrastructure to threaten Israel, analysts say. Iran continues to train and equip fighters while strengthening ties with allies in Iraq and Lebanon, in hopes of building a united front in the event of a new war.

“The ultimate goal is, in the case of another war, to make Syria a new front between Israel, Hezbollah and Iran,” said Amir Toumaj, a research analyst at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies who studies Iran. “They are making that not just a goal, but a reality.”

Iranian leaders speak openly of their work to build this axis of resistance against Israeli and American influence. A key to Iran’s strategy, analysts and officials say, is to rely not on conventional military hardware or control of territory, which Israel can easily bomb, but on building ties with local forces who share its goals and benefit from its financing and expertise.

That approach has enabled Iran to amplify its power in the Arab world while decreasing the threat to its own forces and homeland. It has also created a problem for countries including the United States, Israel and Saudi Arabia, who fear Iran’s growing influence but have struggled to come up with ways to stop it.

Some people in Israel have started referring to a potential “First Northern War,” meaning that Israel will have to fight across both the Lebanese and Syrian frontiers. And many Israelis say the danger is not just from the new Iranian-backed militias, but also from the Iranian efforts to give advanced, high-precision weapons capable of hitting sensitive infrastructure to Hezbollah, Iran’s most powerful and experienced external force.

Israeli officials have said that Iran and its allies are seeking to establish a land corridor from Iran to the Mediterranean, via Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, to ease the transportation of such weapons and to build underground factories to manufacture them in Lebanon and Syria. Israel has been bombing convoys in Syria that are believed to be carrying advanced arms to Hezbollah, but the group’s covert nature makes it hard to determine which arms have slipped through and whether its arms factories are functioning.

Such arms, coupled with heavy barrages from the more than 100,000 rockets and missiles without high-precision targeting capability that Israel says Hezbollah already has, could overwhelm Israel’s defenses.

“Israel will face not only quantity, but the threat to vulnerable strategic sites,” said Yaakov Amidror, a former Israeli national security adviser and now a fellow at the Jerusalem Institute for Strategic Studies. Referring to the combination of more precise weapons and a new front, he added: “Each one is problematic; together, they are devastating.”

Iran’s moves in the region have alarmed the United States. “What’s particularly concerning is that this network of proxies is becoming more and more capable as Iran seeds more and more” of its “destructive weapons into these networks,” Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, President Trump’s national security adviser, said at a security conference in Munich on Saturday. “So the time is now, we think, to act against Iran,” General McMaster added.

In expanding its influence in Syria in recent years, Iran has followed a standard template. In Lebanon in the 1980s, it helped create Hezbollah, which has since evolved into the country’s predominant military force and a regional power in its own right, joining the wars in Syria, Iraq and Yemen. In Iraq, Iran has sponsored a range of militias while developing deep ties to the Iraqi economy and political system.

The war in Syria gave Iran a new opportunity to advance that project by linking its allies across the Levant together.

Fighters from Hezbollah routed Syrian rebels near the Lebanese border and Iran sent advisers to help Mr. Assad’s beleaguered forces during the early years of the war.

But by 2013, Mr. Assad’s forces were on the verge of collapse, and Iran intervened more forcefully, undertaking an extensive regional operation to train, arm and transport thousands of Shiite militiamen from abroad to Syria to fight the rebels and the jihadists of the Islamic State.

Estimates of the number of Iranian military personnel in Syria today range from the high hundreds to the low thousands. While some directly participate in combat, most are trainers, commanders or experts who advise the Syrian military and oversee militias. It is these militias, which could have as many as 20,000 fighters, that give Iran its true muscle.

Those fighters include about 6,000 from Hezbollah. Most of the rest of the militia members — who come from Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Pakistan and elsewhere — have been enticed to fight in Syria with money and appeals to their Shiite faith. Indeed, most see the war in Syria in religious terms, as a jihad against enemies of their religion.

Ali Alfoneh, a researcher at the Atlantic Council who tracks reports of foreign militia fighters killed in Syria, said the number of deaths reported had decreased substantially as those fighting for Mr. Assad have gotten the upper hand in the war. But instead of leaving the country, he said, the militias appeared to be shifting their sights toward Israel.

“Iran has realized that it is actually possible to maintain a front against Israel where there is no war but also no peace,” Mr. Alfoneh said.

In his research, Mr. Alfoneh said he had identified three main Iranian bases that oversee operations in large parts of Syria — one near Aleppo in the north and two south of the capital, Damascus — as well as seven smaller tactical bases near active front lines where Iran and its proxies have a presence.

The idea of a permanent Iranian presence in Syria worries Israel, which fears that it could face a threat there similar to that posed by Hezbollah in Lebanon. Analysts close to Iran and its proxies say that is exactly the idea.

“It’s like a replication of the Hezbollah model,” said Ali Rizk, a Lebanese analyst who writes for Al Monitor, a news website focused on the Middle East. Iran is already training fighters in southern Syria, he said, so that if Hezbollah draws down its presence there, as its leaders have vowed to, it will leave behind a Syrian prototype.

In recent months, at least two Iraqi militia leaders have visited the Lebanon-Israel border with Hezbollah, and militia members say the visits have included developing plans for how they might collaborate in a future conflict.

Life has returned to normal in the Israel-controlled Golan Heights since the day of battle on Feb. 10, and the ski resort on Mount Hermon has been operating as usual. There was no immediate sense among Israelis of being on a war footing.

But Israelis and many Lebanese have long worried that another war across their border is inevitable. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ratcheted up the rhetoric on Sunday at the security conference in Munich, warning Iran’s leaders not to test Israel’s resolve and pledging that if pushed, Israel would act “not only against Iranian proxies that are attacking us, but against Iran itself.”

Both sides say they do not want war, and the fear of extensive destruction and civilian deaths has deterred new hostilities since the last war between Israel and Hezbollah in 2006. But the more entrenched Iran’s allies become, the greater the pressure Israeli leaders could face to launch a strike — and the greater the chances that a miscalculation or mistake by either side could provoke new hostilities.

Some analysts have expressed hopes that Russia, which also intervened in Syria on Mr. Assad’s behalf, could serve as a check on Iran’s ambitions. Russia has cooperated with Iran during the war but also seeks to maintain good relations with Israel.

Notably, Russia has not publicly complained when Israel has bombed convoys believed to be bound for Hezbollah. Others question to what degree the Syrian population will buy into Iran’s ideological project, noting that only a tiny portion of Syrians share Iran’s Shiite faith.

Much remains unclear about Iran’s intentions. Days after Israel destroyed the drone, Israeli military officials said they were still not sure whether it had been armed, had been sent on a surveillance mission or was merely a test of Israel’s defenses.

“It is very important for us to understand its mission,” Brig. Gen. Tomer Bar, the chief of staff of the Israeli Air Force, told reporters. “We have to understand it and we will investigate it till the end.”

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Russia In Latin America – Google Search

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Story image for Russia In Latin America from Washington Examiner

Russia mocks Monroe Doctrine, plans military sales to Latin America

Washington ExaminerFeb 16, 2018
Russia plans to continue building military relationships in Latin America despite a warning from Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that the U.S. would work to combat Russian and Chinese influence in the hemisphere. “Military cooperation is a common form of interaction between countries,” Alexander …

Russia In The World – Russia In Latin America Part II

Middle East Media Research InstituteFeb 18, 2018
Russia’s relations with Latin American countries are based on substantial shared interests, such as the commitment to the principles of multilateral diplomacy embodied in the UN’s activities, protection and assertion of national sovereignty, and promotion of sustainable development. Russia and Latin …

Story image for Russia In Latin America from Middle East Media Research Institute

Russia In The World – Russia In Latin America

Middle East Media Research InstituteFeb 12, 2018
On February 2, 2018, while on a Latin American tour, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson warned Mexico to look out for Russian meddling in the July 1 presidential elections. Last December, Washington warned that it had detected signs of Russian interference in the Mexican presidential elections. “We can …

Story image for Russia In Latin America from The Straits Times

Roles of China, Russia in Latin America ‘alarming’

The Straits TimesFeb 2, 2018
AUSTIN (Texas) • US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has warned that China and Russia are assuming “alarming” roles in Latin America and urged regional powers to work with the United States instead. “China’s offer always comes at a price,” Mr Tillerson said in a major policy address on Thursday at the …
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Opinion: Munich Security Conference – the end of diplomacy? | Opinion | DW

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There were years in which the Munich Security Conference transmitted signs of understanding and hope. None of that was evident during this, the 54th such security conference. This year’s motto “To the Brink – and Back?” seemed an apt description of the situation that the world finds itself in today.

Read more: Iran and Saudi Arabia need a ‘fresh security architecture’

After three days of discussions, one thing seems crystal clear: All indications point to further conflict, and the motto’s question mark, sadly, must remain. Once again, the conference proved itself to be a place where the world’s many problems are put on the table, called by name and analyzed.

Yet, it seems as if diplomacy has reached the end of the road. Although conference leader Wolfgang Ischinger deserves a great deal of praise for bringing various representatives from many different camps together at one venue, the conference hall itself appeared to have been reduced to a stage for contradictory, isolated and seemingly irreconcilable narratives. Those looking for earnest signs of understanding and constructive proposals for solutions to thorny areas of conflict found none here.

Read more: Israel’s Netanyahu warns Iran: ‘Don’t test our resolve’

Matthias von Hein wearing a red shirt and blue jacket.DW’s Matthias von Hein

That was most apparent on the final day of the conference. Reciprocal recriminations set the tone of statements delivered by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir. Moreover, Zarif and Al-Jubeir’s statements were starkly reminiscent of last year’s statements, and thus another sign of just how intractable the situation has become.

Even conference leader Ischinger – as a diplomat, a man generally obliged to at least cautious optimism – could do no more than to state that participants heard far too little about concrete steps toward mitigating the world’s many security problems.

Harsh words rather than clever interaction

Another example was the fact that Turkey’s release of the imprisoned Turkish-German journalist Deniz Yücel dominated sideline discussions throughout the course of the first day of the conference. The following day illustrated just how uncompromising the positions of Turkish and German politicians can be.

As chance would have it, German Green Party politician Cem Özdemir happened to be staying in the same hotel as Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim. Since Yildirim’s bodyguards regard Özdemir as a terrorist, the German was put under police protection during his stay. The rough behavior of Turkish bodyguards is known to all, at least since the fiasco that ensued during President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s most recent visit to the USA.

The situation was not made better when Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu later accused Özdemir of being a liar. It seems no wonder then, that Turkish politicians such as Yildirim and Cavusoglu would be so unbending in their defense of Turkish military offensives against Syrian Kurds.

The demise of diplomacy as the art of skillfully crafted language was also put on full display by Polish President Mateusz Morawiecki. When asked by reporters about Poland’s new “Holocaust law,” Morawiecki conceded that there had indeed been Polish perpetrators who denounced Jews and committed crimes against them during the Second World War, only to add: “Just as there were Jewish perpetrators, Russian perpetrators and Ukrainian perpetrators and not just German perpetrators.”

Difficult relations among Western countries were also dominated by unforgiving reciprocal blame rather than diplomacy. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, for instance, portrayed Russia as the source of all of Europe’s ills. He demanded more pressure on Moscow, came out against any loosening of sanctions and expressed his desire that Ukraine be quickly admitted to the EU and NATO.

In response, the visibly annoyed Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused Europe of returning to the Nazi era, dismissed American cries of election interference as “blabber” and explained that Washington’s recent announcement of its intent to strengthen its nuclear arsenal would leave Russia with no other option than to do the same.

The US delegation – with the exception of former Secretary of State John Kerry – thought itself safely situated on the moral high ground. Never lacking self-confidence, the Americans did not even bother to show understanding for dissenting opinions while railing against Russia and Iran. They were content to put their confidence in applying more pressure, and in US military strength.

Europeans repeatedly complained about the fact that diplomacy seems to mean little in Washington these days, a fact clearly evidenced by the Trump administration’s drastic budget cuts to the State Department. The main complaint was that if talks – should they even take place – are undertaken solely from the standpoint of military superiority, then they are not talks at all, but rather dictates.

One bright spot is that beyond the 30 or so panel discussions that took place during the conference, more than 1,000 bilateral discussions took place in rooms at the Bayerischer Hof hotel. Wolfgang Ischinger compared the official conference itself to the “tip of an iceberg.” One can only hope that the tip is not representative of what is submerged.

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Russian ‘troll factories’ explained by whistle blower | DW English – YouTube

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Russian ‘troll factories’ explained by whistle blower | DW English

Spain Demands Prison Terms for 18 Gangsters linked to Russian Mafia

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Spanish prosecutors have demanded prison terms for 18 Russian and Spanish nationals suspected of mafia ties after a decade-long criminal investigation.

Previous investigations into Russian mafia activities in Spain have featured high-ranking Russian officials, including some of President Vladimir Putin’s closest allies. One of the Russian mafia’s leaders in Spain is the infamous Tambov gangster Gennady Petrov, who was twice arrested in the country but never returned after being granted permission to leave for Russia in 2012.

State Duma deputy Vladislav Reznik, among a dozen Russians targeted in a 2016 arrest warrant in Spain, claimed innocence at Monday’s court hearing.

“I came to the session because I’m not guilty of anything and I trust the Spanish justice system,” the state-run RIA Novosti news agency cited Reznik as saying in Madrid.

Prosecutors seek prison sentences for the 18 Russian and Spanish suspects ranging from 1.7 years to 5.6 years, and fines from 26,000 euros to 100 million euros on criminal charges including money laundering and fraud, RIA Novosti reported.

Prosecutors also asked to sentence Petrov, the Tambov mafia chief, to 8.5 years in a separate case. Spain does not try defendants in absentia.

State Media: Iranian Rescue Teams Locate Wreckage of Plane Crash 

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Iranian rescue teams, battling weather and mountainous terrain, have located the wreckage of a plane that crashed with 65 people on board, Iran’s official IRNA news agency reported Monday. The Aseman Airlines flight left Tehran Sunday morning for the city of Yasuj in Isfahan province, but went down in the Zagros mountains. Officials fear all those on board were killed. The search effort was initially delayed due to dense fog, high winds and snow that made it impossible for…

FINAL IMPRESSIONS OF SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO (117 Days after Hurricane Maria) – YouTube

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FINAL IMPRESSIONS OF SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO (117 Days after Hurricane Maria)

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello On Island’s New Fiscal Plan And Hurricane Relief (Full) | CNBC – YouTube

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Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello On Island’s New Fiscal Plan And Hurricane Relief (Full) | CNBC

Coast To Coast AM – February 16, 2018 Strange Happenings in Puerto Rico – YouTube

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Sale of Puerto Rico company that worked in the electrical system

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Fluor was hired by the Corps of Engineers for over one billion dollars.

Fluor was hired by the Corps of Engineers for over one billion dollars.

Company that worked in the electrical system will cease its work in Puerto Rico

The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) informed the Government of Puerto Rico that the Fluor Corporation, hired by more than a billion to work on the repair of the island’s electrical system, will cease its work soon.

The information was provided to this newspaper by a source close to La Fortaleza who did not want to be identified, who also established that USACE will later issue a press release. The source speculated that it could be argued that the cap on funds intended to pay for the company’s efforts was reached.

Metro contacted Preston Chasteen, public affairs officer of the USACE to confirm the information, but at the close of this edition the official did not provide a response.

When we contacted a spokesperson in Puerto Rico of the company Flour, they told us that “the contract with Fluor has not been canceled. However, the Corps of Engineers can offer an official response on this matter. ” The Communication Office of the Electric Power Authority also sent us to the military to obtain official statements as the entity that issued the contract.

Our source, meanwhile, said: “We were notified orally and we were told that there will be a press release soon.” He assured that the departure of the company arises due to lack of production and execution, although he estimated that there will be no statement in that sense, but will be based on the fact that the use of the entire budget for the company’s contract had already been reached.

Fluor Corporation, a Texas-based company, won the contract with USACE after the devastation of the electrical system due to Hurricane Maria.

On the other hand, the expressions of the Metro source coincide with some complaints from the mayor of Aibonito, Willie Alicea, who said that USACE brigades left their town last Sunday. Although he did not detail in his expressions to the INS agency which private contractor he was, the mayor maintained that the explanation he received from the military group was that “they are in the process of reallocating American companies, which are waiting for additional personnel and materials to arrive” .

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Puerto Rico to slash energy reserves amid cash shortfall

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Rebuilding Puerto Rico

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Announce energy reduction due to lack of money in P. Rico | News

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The Electric Power Authority (AEE), Puerto Rico’s state power company , announced that it will reduce its reserve generation to save due to lack of money, the time the authorities warned that the measure could destabilize the fragile energy network in the country. island.

Nearly 250,000 people remain without power  after five months of receiving the lashes of Hurricane Maria that landed on the island, becoming a category four storm that destroyed two thirds of the electricity distribution system.

The Puerto Rican government decided to reduce the generation of reserves days after Judge Laura Taylor rejected from New York the petition for a loan of 1,000 million dollars for PREPA, noting that there was not enough evidence to show the need for financing of the Electric company.

Given this, officials from Puerto Rico and the federal board that oversees the island’s finances reduced the order to $ 300 million on Friday, but warned that that amount would only allow PREPA to continue operating until March.

>>  Electrical system reaches third municipality of Puerto Rico. 

The governor of the island, Roberto Roselló, blamed the Department of the Treasury for the possible fall of the electricity system due to lack of financing. PREPA has a debt of $ 9,000 million and is waiting for $ 4,900 million for disaster loans.

Netanyahu to Iran: ‘Do Not Test Israel’s Resolve’

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, who spoke at the Munich Security Conference in Germany, on Sunday, brandished a remnant of what he said was an Iranian drone shot down in Israeli airspace.

‘Time is now’ for action against Iran, McMaster urges

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US National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster warned Saturday against increased Iranian efforts to support its proxies in the Middle East, saying the “time is now” to act against Tehran.

“What’s particularly concerning is that this network of proxies is becoming more and more capable, as Iran seeds more and more… destructive weapons into these networks,” McMaster said at the Munich Security Conference, according to Reuters.

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“So the time is now, we think, to act against Iran” he said.

His warning came on the heels of Iran’s piloting a drone into Israel last week from a base it has established in Syria.

The Iranian drone, which entered northern Israel from Syria near the Jordan border, was shot down by an attack helicopter. In response, Israeli jets attacked the mobile command center from which it was operated, the army said.

During the reprisal raid, one of the eight Israeli F-16 fighter jets that took part in the operation was apparently hit by a Syrian anti-aircraft missile and crashed. The Israeli Air Force then conducted a second round of airstrikes, destroying between a third and half of Syria’s air defenses, according to IDF spokesperson Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus.

US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said Wednesday the drone incident was a “wake-up call” to the world regarding Iranian efforts to cement its presence in Syria.

“The drone flight this week is a wake-up call for all of us. Iran and Hezbollah are making plans to stay in Syria,” she said during a meeting of the UN Security Council.

“Iran was once again doing what it does – risking conflict and testing the will of its neighbors and opponents to resist its aggression. Israel rightly took action to defend itself,” said Haley.

The hostilities marked the first direct clash in Syria between Israel and Iran, after repeated warnings by Israeli leaders that Iran is working to establish a new front on the northern border.

The mobile command center from which Israel says an Iranian operator flew a drone from Syria into Israeli airspace, on February 10, 2018. (Israel Defense Forces)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned Israel would take military action to prevent Iran’s military entrenchment in Syria, as well against its Lebanese-proxy Hezbollah.

Foreign media reports have attributed dozens of airstrikes in recent years against weapons convoys destined to Hezbollah and other strategic targets in Syria to Israel.

At the UN, Haley said the Syrian government is acting as a “front” for Iran to sow instability in the region.

“The Assad regime has become a front for Iran, Hezbollah, and their allies to advance the irresponsible and dangerous agenda for the Middle East,” said Haley.

“When we look out across the Middle East, we know one thing for certain. When Iran and Hezbollah move in, instability always follows,” she added.

McMaster’s also singled out Iran’s growing support for the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah.

Fighters from the Hezbollah terror group are seen at a rally marking the 11th anniversary of the Second Lebanon War, in the village of Khiam in southern Lebanon, on August 13, 2017. (AFP Photo/Mahmoud Zayyat)

In Lebanon, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Thursday accused Hezbollah of threatening Lebanon and the region, and called for it to end its activities in Syria, where it is fighting on behalf of the Syrian government.

Tillerson’s visit to Beirut came at time of tension between Lebanon and Israel, notably over the role of the Shiite Hezbollah — which controls a militia of tens of thousands of men and has already fought one war with Israel in 2006 and threatens to wage another — that dominated much of the conversation.

A powerful force in Lebanon’s political sphere through its presence in Hariri’s government, Hezbollah is an arch-foe of Israel and considered a terrorist organization by the United States.

It is a key ally of Lebanon’s President, Michel Aoun, and of Syrian President Bashar Assad. It has fighters on the ground in Syria supporting Assad’s regime.

Aoun asked Tillerson, during a meeting at the presidential palace, for US help in preventing what he said were ongoing Israeli violations of Lebanon’s sovereignty on the ground, at sea, and in the air.

His call coincides with heightened tensions between Lebanon and Israel over contested rights to offshore natural gas exploration in the Mediterranean, and Israel’s construction of a border wall that Lebanon says encroaches on its territory. Lebanon is also protesting Israeli violations of its airspace, often to bomb Iranian or Syrian targets inside neighboring Syria.

Lebanese President Michel Aoun, right, shakes hands with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson at the presidential palace in Baabda, east of Beirut, Lebanon, on February 15, 2018. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

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2/20/2018 – Why does restoring full power in Puerto Rico seem like a never-ending task? | Puerto Rico to slash energy reserves amid cash shortfall – The Washington Post

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The Puerto Rico News & Times

Image: Municipal workers install power poles

Why does restoring full power in Puerto Rico seem like a never-ending task? – NBC News

Why does restoring full power in Puerto Rico seem like a never-ending task? | Puerto Rico to slash energy reserves amid cash shortfall – The Washington Post

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Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks – 3:41 AM 2/20/2018

Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks
Mourning the government of Puerto Rico after deadly shooting in Florida
Head bowed, Florida shooting suspect returns to court for hearing
nato russia trump 2014 – Google Search
Iran, Deeply Embedded in Syria, Expands Axis of Resistance
Russia In Latin America – Google Search
Opinion: Munich Security Conference the end of diplomacy? | Opinion | DW
Russian ‘troll factories’ explained by whistle blower | DW English – YouTube
Spain Demands Prison Terms for 18 Gangsters linked to Russian Mafia
State Media: Iranian Rescue Teams Locate Wreckage of Plane Crash
Coast To Coast AM – February 16, 2018 Strange Happenings in Puerto Rico – YouTube
Sale of Puerto Rico company that worked in the electrical system
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‘Time is now’ for action against Iran, McMaster urges
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Explosion causes massive blackout in Puerto Rico
 

mikenova shared this story from Comentarios en: Explosión causa apagón masivo en Puerto Rico. 

 

Mourning the government of Puerto Rico after deadly shooting in Florida
 

mikenova shared this story .

In solidarity with the victims of the shooting in a school in Florida , Governor Ricardo Rosselló Nevaresdecreed five days of mourning today .

According to the order issued, the flags in Puerto Rico will fly at half mast from today until Monday, February 19.

La medida la tomó el ejecutivo para unirse al decreto emitido por el presidente de los Estados Unidos, Donald Trump, en respeto y solidaridad con las víctimas del ataque perpetrado ayer en la escuela secundaria Marjory Stoneman Douglas en Parkland, Florida. En el mismo murieron 17 personas y otras 15 resultaron heridas.

The alleged perpetrator,  Nikolas Cruz, was charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder .

In reaction to the tragedy, Rossello Nevares said in a press release that “our prayers are with the families of the victims of this terrible attack and the affected community. We express our solidarity with the people of Florida in this moment of sadness. ”

The government of Puerto Rico and that of Florida, led by Rick Scott , maintain close ties of cooperation, especially after the devastating passage of Hurricane Maria on the island. As reported, over 300,000 Puerto Ricans have migrated to that state since last September.

Además, Scott se ha encargado personalmente de coordinar la ayuda que desde Florida se ha enviado a Puerto Rico como parte de los esfuerzos de recuperación.

Puerto Rico to slash energy reserves amid cash shortfall – The Washington Post
 

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February 18 at 6:47 PM

 Puerto Rico’s power company said Sunday that it will reduce its operating reserve to save money amid a cash shortfall as officials warned that the move could destabilize the U.S. territory’s fragile electrical grid.

William Rios, director of generation at Puerto Rico’s Electric Power Authority, said a plan to reduce its reserve by 450 megawatts will not affect customers and will help save $9 million a month.

Public Affairs Secretary Ramon Rosario said that although the measure is needed, it could affect a grid still experiencing frequent blackouts as nearly 250,000 customers remain without power more than five months after Hurricane Maria. The Category 4 storm destroyed two-thirds of the power distribution system and caused the longest blackout in U.S. history.

 

Why does restoring full power in Puerto Rico seem like a never-ending task?

 

mikenova shared this story .

About a third of Puerto Rico’s residents — over 900,000 — are still living without electricity five months after Hurricane Maria battered the island on Sept. 20th of last year.

As power restoration efforts continue against all odds, it’s still hard for officials to say when the power will be fully restored — the question on everyone’s mind.

“I would hesitate to give you a date,” said Lt. Col. John Cunningham of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the deputy commander for the Task Force Power Restoration on the island. “We would like to go faster, but right now we’re going as fast as we can.”

“The largest challenge has been logistics: getting the materials we need,” Cunningham told NBC News. “Because it is a tropical island, they need specific conductors and materials that can resist the tropical weather and there’s a limited number of suppliers available to purchase specific materials for the island.”

Puerto Ricans are dying. These volunteers are trying to change that. 5:04

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After Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, getting access to those materials is even harder.

About 1,200 temporary generators and seven microgrids are powering key areas near important buildings such as schools and hospitals. In addition, teams from utility companies from the mainland U.S. have made their way to Puerto Rico to support personnel sent to the island to help restore power.

After Hurricane Maria left the entire island without power, the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, or PREPA, needed at least about 53,000 poles, a little over 17 million conductors and 184,750 insulators.

Related: Anger grows and hope fades as Puerto Rico’s ground zero remains without power

So far, 5,072 transformers have arrived in Puerto Rico in addition to about 31,500 poles and about 2,613 miles of conductor cables already on the island, PREPA said in a statement.

In the next two weeks, Puerto Rico should receive 80 containers with additional equipment.

Restoring power amid funding woes

One of the reasons for a lack of inventory in the first place is PREPA’s financial woes. While a Category 5 hurricane like Maria was expected to cause massive damage, Puerto Rico’s bankrupt and greatly indebted public utility had not kept up with upgrading and modernizing its four-decade-old power plants, which mostly produce energy from burning imported oil.

Puerto Rican government leaders went to federal court in New York on Thursday to request a $1 billion emergency loan to finance operational costs and avoid running out of cash. Though the request was not approved, U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain gave Puerto Rico’s lawyers the chance to submit another motion for a $300 million emergency loan, understanding that “the lights cannot go off in Puerto Rico.” The motion was filed early Friday and Judge Swain approved it on Monday.

To reduce costs and avoid a shutdown, Puerto Rico has activated a contingency plan that consists of reducing power to energy reserves that handle generation failures like the one that took place on Feb. 12in northern Puerto Rico. Government officials said Sunday it should not affect customers.

PREPA is currently the government agency with the biggest share of Puerto Rico’s $72 billion public debt. In part, PREPA’s $9 billion debt is due to unpaid electricity bills from public entities in Puerto Rico.

Liquidity issues around Puerto Rico’s power company go back decades. Through Puerto Rico’s fiscal agency AAFAF, most PREPA projects get funded through the issuance of bonds.

Image: Municipal workers install power polesCritics say past projects illustrate a history of costly mistakes.

Francisco Lopez, an engineer and PREPA employee for 36 years and now an independent energy consultant, had pitched a project in 2010 called Via Verde that consisted of a natural gas pipeline across the island.

Because the governor at the time, Luis Fortuño, had signed an executive order declaring a “state of emergency” around electric power generation, the project was approved and bonds were issued before any public hearings.

Photos: 100 days in the dark leave Puerto Ricans with glimmer of hope

PREPA had done a study that showed that revenues from Via Verde would be enough to pay back bondholders. “It would have taken, like, five years,” said Lopez.

But the $350 million Via Verde project never came to life after strong opposition from community members and environmentalists. With no project, there was no revenue, but PREPA still had to pay bondholders back as well as the already-hired contractors. Lopez said situations like this have contributed to the utility’s debt.

Amid criticism, a promise to restore power

As PREPA grapples with financial issues, it has also faced strong questions about its actions following the hurricane.

A former supervisor and chemist at PREPA, Carlos Velez, was critical of the government’s initial handling of its equipment and restoration needs.

Related: FEMA under scrutiny over botched contract to provide meals for Puerto Rico

“In a situation where PREPA lacks inventory, the usual procedure is to ask the American Public Power Association (APPA) for what’s needed,” said Velez. APPA is a not-for-profit organization that serves U.S. public utilities; it has worked with PREPA on previous post-hurricane efforts.

Instead, PREPA came under fire after signing a $300 million contract with Whitefish, a small Montana-based firm. The contract was eventually terminated after questions emerged following a Washington Post report about the company and the contract.

Image: PUERTORICO-US-ELECTRICITYIt wasn’t until the end of October, more than a month after the hurricane, that APPA received Puerto Rico’s petition asking for help. It still remains unclear why APPA’s help was requested so late.

FEMA deputy administrator Ahsha Tribble, who has been working on the island for months, said in an Oversight Board hearing that PREPA’s bureaucracy has slowed down restoration efforts. “When you have eight layers of approval to get something done, it’s not working for us,” said Tribble.

PREPA has also been dealing with changing leadership. In November, its executive director Ricardo Ramos stepped down and Gov. Ricardo Rosselló called for Justo Gonzalez’s appointment as interim director.

“When you put an interim director in the middle of a disaster, it’s hard. It’s very difficult to begin to make decisions,” said Tribble.

The spotlight on PREPA after the devastating storm and the financial crisis may result in significant changes. Gov. Rosselló announced a plan last month to move toward privatizing the utility, pledging a more “financially viable,” consumer-centered model.

While there is debate over the plan, consumer watchdogs and analysts have long called for changes to PREPA. In addition, the utility’s finances and debt are now being scrutinized by a financial oversight board started under President Barack Obama as well as Judge Swain.

In the meantime, the start of the next hurricane season is just four months away.

“I want to assure all clients still without electricity, that we have you in mind. We know our work is not over and we are prioritizing restoration for this population,” said Justo Gonzalez, PREPA’s interim director, in a statement. “No one deserves to be without electricity, so we appreciate your patience. ”

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Head bowed, Florida shooting suspect returns to court for hearing

Head bowed, Florida shooting suspect returns to court for hearing – Google Search

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (Reuters) – A former student accused of last week’s deadly shooting at a Florida high school returned to court for a hearing on Monday in a case that has galvanized advocates of stricter gun control, including many of the rampage survivors.

Nikolas Cruz, his head bowed, hands shackled at his waist and wearing a red, jail-issued jumpsuit, showed no emotion during the procedural session in Fort Lauderdale.

The hearing ended with Broward Circuit Court Judge Elizabeth Scherer ruling that a defense motion filed last week remain sealed from public view. The content of the motion, sealed by another judge, was not described in the hearing.

In a second hearing, Broward Circuit Court Judge Charles Greene ordered the release of parts of a mental health assessment of Cruz by the Florida Department of Children and Families in November 2016. The report has already been leaked to South Florida’s Sun Sentinel newspaper.

Cruz, who did not attend the second hearing, is facing 17 counts of premeditated murder after the attack on Wednesday at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, near Fort Lauderdale. It is the deadliest shooting ever at a U.S. high school.

The suspect, whose mother died in November, was investigated by authorities after videos surfaced on the social media platform Snapchat showing him cutting himself, the assessment by the Department of Children and Families said.

“Mr. Cruz has fresh cuts on both his arms. Mr. Cruz stated he plans to go out and buy a gun. It is unknown what he is buying the gun for,” the released report said.

In a statement, department secretary Mike Carroll said the records showed Cruz was getting mental health services before, during and after the assessment. Cruz was living with his mother and attending school when it concluded, he said.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has acknowledged it failed to act on a tip called in last month warning that Cruz possessed a gun and the desire to kill.

Greene agreed to the request by Cruz’s team of public defenders to release the assessment. But he stopped short of allowing the release of details of Cruz’s mental health history and child abuse records.

Student survivors gathered with teachers and gun safety advocates to plan a visit to the state capital of Tallahassee on Wednesday. They will demand state lawmakers enact a ban on the sale of assault weapons in Florida.

The White House said on Monday that President Donald Trump supports efforts to improve federal background checks for gun purchases. Trump angered some students by suggesting in a tweet on Saturday that the FBI had missed signs that the shooter was troubled because it was distracted by its investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election.

Additional reporting by Jonathan Allen in New York; Writing by Frank McGurty and Ian Simpson; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Leslie Adler

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Trump Gets Caught in His Own Web of Lies

ObserverFeb 18, 2018
Back in the spring of 2014, a European intelligence service, a NATO ally of the United States, received a top-secret report that the Russians would back Donald Trump for the White House in the next election. The source was a mid-level Russian intelligence official who had plausible access to secret …
There’s Still Time to Act Against Russian Interference
In-DepthThe Atlantic20 hours ago
Iran, Deeply Embedded in Syria, Expands Axis of Resistance
 

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But as the rebels have lost ground and no clear threats to Mr. Assad’s rule remain, Iran and its allies have stayed, shifting their focus to creating an infrastructure to threaten Israel, analysts say. Iran continues to train and equip fighters while strengthening ties with allies in Iraq and Lebanon, in hopes of building a united front in the event of a new war.

“The ultimate goal is, in the case of another war, to make Syria a new front between Israel, Hezbollah and Iran,” said Amir Toumaj, a research analyst at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies who studies Iran. “They are making that not just a goal, but a reality.”

Iranian leaders speak openly of their work to build this axis of resistance against Israeli and American influence. A key to Iran’s strategy, analysts and officials say, is to rely not on conventional military hardware or control of territory, which Israel can easily bomb, but on building ties with local forces who share its goals and benefit from its financing and expertise.

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