Post-Fiona fuel disruptions spark fear in Puerto Rico
A growing number of businesses including grocery stores and gas stations are temporarily closing across Puerto Rico as power outages caused by Hurricane Fiona drag on in the U.S. territory, sparking concern about the availability of fuel and basic goods.
Puerto Rico reopens public schools amid COVID-19 fears
Students arrive at the Ramon Marin Sola primary school for the first time in nearly a year amid the COVID-19 pandemic as some public schools reopen in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Wednesday, March 10, 2021. (AP Photo/Danica Coto)SAN JUAN – Parents across Puerto Rico knelt down on Wednesday to adjust their children's face masks and backpacks as public schools reopened for the first time in nearly a year despite the pandemic, with officials reporting scarce attendance amid COVID-19 concerns. Among them was the Ramón Marín Solá primary school in Guaynabo, where parents checked their children’s face masks before hugging them goodbye. AdFor now, only kindergarteners, special education students and children in first, second, third and 12th grades are allowed to return to school. Union leaders and some parents and teachers have called on Pierluisi’s administration to wait until August to reopen schools, noting the U.S. territory has not seen a significant decrease in COVID-19 cases.
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(AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)MEXICO CITY — Mexico reported a near-record 1,707 confirmed coronavirus deaths Wednesday, as the country runs out of vaccines. Ad___THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:Spain surpasses 60,000 confirmed virus deaths. British officials say Oxford study backs up their decision to delay second vaccine shot for up to 12 weeks. Ad___OKLAHOMA CITY -- About 11,500 doses of the coronavirus vaccine will be shipped to pharmacies across Oklahoma next week, state health officials said. ___MANAGUA, Nicaragua — Nicaragua’s government says it has approved Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine for emergency use.
Puerto Rico to get billions for storm aid, reconstruction
FILE - In this May 28, 2020 file photo, the home of 85-year-old Carmen Lacen, sits inhabitable after the passing of Hurricane Maria partially covered by a torn, blue tarp, in Loiza, Puerto Rico. The U.S. territory is slated to receive more than $6 billion in federal funds to help prepare for future hurricanes and other disasters, officials said Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021. (AP Photo/Carlos Giusti, File)SAN JUAN – Puerto Rico is slated to receive more than $6 billion in federal funds to help prepare the U.S. territory for future hurricanes and other disasters, officials said Tuesday. In addition, Puerto Rico now has access to $3.2 billion to continue rebuilding from hurricanes Irma and Maria, said Pierluisi, who praised the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden for acting quickly. Congress had assigned $67 billion to help with reconstruction efforts after the hurricanes devastated the island in September 2017, but of the $43 billion obligated, Puerto Rico has only received $18 billion amid concerns over how the money would be spent.
Puerto Rico to reopen beaches, relax coronavirus curfew
Puerto Ricos new governor Pierluisi announced Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021, that he will reopen beaches, marinas and pools, eliminate a Sunday lockdown and shorten a curfew that has been in place since the pandemic began to control the number of COVID-19 cases. (AP Photo/Carlos Giusti, File)SAN JUAN – Puerto Rico’s new governor announced Tuesday that he will reopen beaches, marinas and pools, eliminate a Sunday lockdown and shorten a curfew that has been in place since the pandemic began to control the number of COVID-19 cases. Meanwhile, the new curfew will run from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. and face masks remain mandatory. The announcement was cheered by many across Puerto Rico who have long sought to visit the U.S. territory’s beaches that had remained off limits to all except those doing exercise. Carlos Mellado, Puerto Rico's designated health secretary, said he expects 40,000 vaccine doses to arrive on the island every week.
New governor sworn in as a wary Puerto Rico demands changes
(AP Photo/Carlos Giusti)SAN JUAN – Pedro Pierluisi vowed to achieve statehood for Puerto Rico and fight against poverty, corruption and COVID-19 after he was sworn in Saturday as the U.S. territory’s new governor. “I need everyone to battle our common enemies.”Saturday’s ceremony marked the end of a chaotic four-year period in which Puerto Rico had three governors, including Pierluisi himself briefly after former Gov. Congress created the board in 2016, a year after Puerto Rico declared its more than $70 billion public debt unpayable, an amount accumulated in part by previous administrations borrowing money to cover budget deficits. At the time she was the island’s justice secretary, but since there was no secretary of state at the time, Puerto Rico’s constitution dictated she assume the governorship. A new legislature also was sworn in on Saturday, marking the first time that the majority of Puerto Rico’s Senate is female.
Pedro Pierluisi wins gubernatorial race in Puerto Rico
Pedro Pierluisi, gubernatorial candidate with the New Progressive Party (PNP), arrives at Vivo Beach Club to celebrate a slim lead of the pro-statehood party in the Puerto Rican general elections, in Carolina, Puerto Rico, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020. Pierluisi briefly served as governor following last year's massive protests that led to the resignation of former Gov. (AP Photo/Carlos Giusti)SAN JUAN – Pedro Pierluisi of Puerto Rico’s pro-statehood New Progressive Party won a majority of votes to become the U.S. territory’s next governor, according to official preliminary results released late Saturday. Pierluisi received nearly 33% of the votes with more than 406,800 ballots, compared with nearly 32%, or more than 389,800 votes, obtained by Carlos Delgado of the Popular Democratic Party, which supports the current territorial status, with 100% of precincts reporting. The results come four days after Puerto Rico held general elections, an unusual delay blamed on a record number of early and absentee votes that overwhelmed officials.
Puerto Ricans in unfamiliar territory as vote count delayed
Voters across Puerto Rico are choosing new leaders they believe would help heal a U.S. territory wracked by corruption, hurricanes, earthquakes and the pandemic. “There’s still a lot at play.”Another hotly contested race is that for mayor of Puerto Rico’s capital. The elections commission has not certified any winners in those races or others. The president of Puerto Rico’s elections commission, Francisco Rosado, said he wasn’t satisfied with the job that the administrative board responsible for counting those votes is doing. “The elections commission was one of the few institutions that had credibility,” he said.
Puerto Rico awaits final result in tight gubernatorial race
(AP Photo/Carlos Giusti)SAN JUAN – People across Puerto Rico awaited final results Wednesday of elections that saw long lines of voters and produced a tight gubernatorial race in the U.S. Caribbean territory. Meanwhile, Jenniffer González, Puerto Rico’s current representative in U.S. Congress and Pierluisi's running partner, easily won a second term. The race to become mayor of Puerto Rico's capital also was extremely tight, with only hundreds of votes separating two candidates, including one from a new party. Pierluisi briefly served as governor following last year’s protests and previously represented Puerto Rico in Congress for eight years. “Puerto Ricans have a short memory,” he said, adding that he remains hopeful a non-traditional party will eventually lead Puerto Rico.