Thursday, June 27, 2013

Only PR able to manufacture at India prices with US quality, governor - CB

Only PR able to manufacture at India prices with US quality, governor

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Only PR able to manufacture at India prices with US quality, governor says

SANTANDER, Spain — Gov. Alejandro García Padilla touted his administration’s eff ...

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Jettisoning diversity visa program hurts African emigrants

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While it is the Latino community most affected by our broken immigration system, we recognize that African and Caribbean immigrants will also be significantly affected by any changes to that system.

While some changes will work for the common good, others have potential to exacerbate already widening racial, ethnic, and cultural disparities. As black and Latino faith leaders, we are concerned for all God’s children no matter the color of their skin or their nation of origin. We write to you today, members of Congress, because our faith has compelled us to collaborate to do our part to help solve this serious issue.

Losing the Global Fight for Women's Health - New York Times (blog)

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Losing the Global Fight for Women's Health
New York Times (blog)
NEW YORK— Sometimes it does seem there's a war over women's bodies, and nowhere does this seem more dangerous than in the large number of regions where abortion is illegal, unsafe and life-threatening. In the United States, anti-abortion ... In deeply ...

A federal wireless policy built on carrots, not sticks

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It was forty years ago when the first mobile wireless call was made.  Marty Cooper took to the sidewalk in New York.  He held to his head what looked like a 10-inch brick, a clunky device that weighed over two pounds.  He spoke, the call went through, and he made history.

Four decades hence, look what that one call wrought.  We are now a nation with more mobile phones than people.  Half of those phones are smartphones.  Add to this the tablets that one in three adults in the U.S. now owns—a number that is growing especially fast.

Grijalva is the best choice for Ranking Member of House Natural Resources Committee

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Late last week the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) unanimously approved a resolution calling on Members of Congress to support Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) in his bid to become Ranking Member of the House Natural Resources Committee.

Hoy Puerto Rico Gana 

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Según todo el gobierno de Alejandro Garcia Padilla el PPD ¿Hoy Puerto Rico Gana? Jay Fonseca explica en detalle $1490 millones en Nuevos Impuestos que TU pa...
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Snowden may head to Latin America 

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BOGOTA, Colombia — The three Latin American countries said to be helping Edward Snowden flee from American authorities are united in their opposition to the Obama administration and pursue foreign policy objectives designed to counter
U.S. influence.
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Through Snowden, Ecuador seeks fight with U.S. 

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BOGOTA, Colombia — If Edward Snowden, the former intelligence contractor on the run from American officials,
receives sanctuary in tiny Ecuador, he will be welcomed by a brash populist leader who savors tussling with the United States.
Read full article >>

Speech to the LULAC National Convention on Immigration Reform and Puerto Rico's Political Status 

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View the speech here:  Speech to the LULAC National Convention on Immigration Reform and Puerto Rico's Political Status

Statement of the Resident Commissioner Regarding the Supreme Court's Ruling in United States v. Windsor 

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Washington, DC—"In light of my belief that marriage ought to be regulated at the state and territory level, I am supportive of the Supreme Court's decision in Windsor.  Pursuant to the Court's ruling, going forward, the federal government will recognize same-sex marriages validly performed in those states and territories that authorize such marriages, which strikes me as just and reasonable."    

Puerto Ricans Don't Want to Become US State, Governor Says

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SANTANDER, Spain – Puerto Rico Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla said on Wednesday that “Puerto Ricans don't want to be a U.S. state.” “We want to continue being Puerto Ricans, since we've voluntarily decided to have a relationship of ...

U.S. Senate Staff Suggest Limiting Federal Rum Tax Grant Subsidies 

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The staff of the U.S. Senate committee with jurisdiction over taxes has included  limiting subsidies that Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands can give producers of rum as a possible provision for a reform of the Federal tax system.
Many in official Washington, including Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Montana) and House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Michigan), want a reform law this Congress.  Others think that a major overhaul will take longer but expect one eventually.
The joint Democratic and Republican staff options list suggested inclusion of a bill sponsored during the last Congress by Senator Bob Menendez (D-New Jersey) and Florida’s senators, Marco Rubio (R) and Bill Nelson (D).
They sponsored the bill at the request of Puerto Rico’s representative to the Federal government, Pedro Pierluisi (statehood/D), and then Governor Luis Fortuno (statehood/R).  Pierluisi led eight other members of the U.S. House of Representatives from both national political parties in sponsoring a similar bill.
The bills would have limited subsidies to companies producing rum to 15% of Federal rum tax grants to the territories.
The Federal tax on liquor is $13.50 per gallon of alcoholic content.  Ongoing law gives the territories $10.50 of Federal collections of the tax on rum produced in the islands and in Caribbean Basin countries and sold in the States.  Temporary law that will expire at the end of this year if not extended again gives an additional $2.75.
When the temporary increase was initiated, the Ways and Means Committee chairman insisted on the Federal government keeping 25 cents for each gallon to rebut claims from some islanders that the revenue was insular money the  islands were entitled by their political relationships with the Federal government.  This was a particular claim of Puerto Rico commonwealthers.
Federal withholding of the money is evidence that the “compact” which provides the current governing arrangement for Puerto Rico can be unilaterally changed by the Federal government, contrary to “commonwealth” claims.
That the arrangement can be changed without Puerto Rico’s consent was also proven during the 1980s when the tax was increased from $10.50 to $11.50 and then $13.50 and Congress declined to give the additional $1 and $2 to the territories.
The proposed legislation would underscore that the revenue is Federal money and can be granted as determined by the Federal government.
The $10.50 on locally produced rum was given to both territories as subsidies for local government costs when their economies were much less developed and they, therefore, lacked a tax base large enough to afford all of the expenses of government.
The $10.50 on foreign Caribbean Basin rum was a congressional addition to President Reagan’s Caribbean Basin Initiative.  The “CBI” eliminated customs duties on foreign Caribbean rum.  The tax on that rum was given to the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico because it was feared that sales in the States of their rum -– and, thus, Federal rum tax grants — would drop due to increased sales of foreign Caribbean rum since it would no longer carry the cost of customs duties.
President Clinton originally obtained the grant of the $2.75 per gallon on a temporary basis to help Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands recover from a devastating hurricane.
The grants have been major sources of revenue for the territories.  In Federal Fiscal Year 2012, the amount for Puerto Rico was $376 million and for the Virgin Islands $256 million.  In Fiscal Year 2009, it was $473 million for Puerto Rico and $110 million for the Virgin Islands.
The recent increase in grants to the Virgin Islands and decrease in grants to Puerto Rico is due to the Virgin Islands taking production by the world’s largest liquor company, Britain’s Diageo, away from Puerto Rico when commonwealther Anibal Acevedo Vila was Governor of Puerto Rico.  It did this by agreeing to give the company up to 47.5% of the Federal tax grants on Diageo’s rum.
For many years, the Government of Puerto Rico spent $25 million a year to promote Puerto Rican rum, about 6% of its Federal rum tax grants.  After subsidizing its longtime rum producer to the extent of 7% of the grants, the Virgin Islands increased the percentage to 30%.  It, then, agreed to give Diageo 47.5% if it would move and, subsequently, agreed to give its original sole producer (now Beam Inc.) 46.5%.
The Virgin Islands subsidies prompted Puerto Rico under Fortuno to reluctantly agree to assistance of up to 46.5% of the grants to Puerto Rico’s remaining rum producers, such as Bacardi, after first seeking Federal legislation to limit subsidies.
The subsidies are now under attack by Caribbean Basic rum producing countries as prohibited by international trade rules to which the U.S. has agreed.  The foreign governments are considered to have a good claim in the World Trade Organization that could ban any assistance to rum companies.
The foreign governments did not object when the assistance to rum producers in the territories was 6% and 7% of Federal rum tax grants but say that their companies cannot compete with 47.5% and 46.5% — Fortuno’s original complaint.
The administration of Fortuno’s “commonwealth” party successor has said that it will not seek to limit the subsidies. Secretary of Economic Development and Commerce Alberto Baco Bague has said that it will, instead, try to get rum companies to hire more people in the territory.
Read the whole story

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MC Gonzalez Noguera Joins White House Staff

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First Lady Michelle Obama’s new communications director is Puerto Rican Maria Cristina “MC” Gonzalez Noguera. Gonzalez Noguera will also serve as  special assistant to President Obama.
Maria Cristina “MC” Gonzalez Noguera was born in San Juan and earned her degree at Tufts University. She was managing director for the Washington, D.C., strategic communications firm Chlopak, Leonard, Schechter & Associates and is currently the global vice president of corporate communications for Estee Lauder. Forbes described her as a “rising Latina Star.” Forbes is suggesting that the Obamas realize this is a good time, politically, to have Hispanic staffers in the White House. In fact, the article goes on to say that Gonzalez Noguera “she is Puerto Rican, which could matter in the next few years as Congress begins readdressing the question of Puerto Rico’s status.”
Gonzalez Noguera has been active in matters related to corporate responsibility at Estee Lauder, and a statement from the East Wing described her as being very committed to the family issues on which Michelle Obama focuses in her public life.
Governor Garcia Padilla sent congratulations to Gonzalez Noguera, expressing hope that she will continue to be an excellent role model for the young people of Puerto Rico.

NEW SCARE CITY: Why did Ivan Illich leave Puerto Rico?

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I knew that I was sacrificing any possibility of doing anything publicly in Puerto Rico for many years without being mixed up with the memories of that political intervention. Posted by Winslow at 1:51 PM · Email ThisBlogThis!

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