Monday, March 26, 2012

12:57 PM 3/26/2012

Mike Nova's starred items - 12:57 PM 3/26/2012

 

Census: PR’s urban population drops over past decade, rural living on rise. Read...

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For long-unemployed, hiring bias rears its head. Read more: http://ow.ly/9QbIv h...

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Census: PR’s urban population drops over past decade, rural living on rise. Read...

via Puerto Rico Business News's Facebook Wall by Puerto Rico Business News on 3/26/12

Census: PR’s urban population drops over past decade, rural living on rise. Read...

Census: PR’s urban population drops over past decade, rural living on rise. Read...
Census: PR’s urban population drops over past decade, rural living on rise. Read more http://ow.ly/9SNd0 http://ow.ly/i/wVHQHootSuite Photos

This Time, Miami's Cubans Are (Mostly) Supportive Of The Pope's Island Visit

via Latino Voices on HuffingtonPost.com by Carlos Harrison on 3/26/12

Things have changed in Miami.

In 1998, when Pope John Paul II made his historic visit to Cuba, thousands of protesting exiles took to the streets in Miami, forcing the Roman Catholic Archdiocese to cancel plans to send a cruise ship with 800 pilgrims to Havana.

Carlos Saladrigas was one of the protest organizers then. Today, as a group of 320 Catholics head to Cuba for Pope Benedict XVI's visit to the island, he's traveling with them.

"When I actually saw what happened" during the previous papal visit, Saladrigas told The Huffington Post, "when I actually saw the innocence of the pope in Cuba, when I saw the Cuban people en masse out on the streets for the first time ever, not required to go by the government but there because of their faith, and when I heard the things that were said, that made a difference ... that was the genesis of my transformation."

This time, as the pope visits Cuba on a trip coinciding with the 400th anniversary of Cuba's patron saint -- the Virgin of Charity (la Virgen de la Caridad del Cobre), a statue of the Virgin Mary found floating in the sea off Cuba -- there are no protests in Miami. The public reactions have been relatively mild, largely confined to a few denunciations on Spanish-language radio and letters to the archdiocese.

"I get more than that if I show up late for a confirmation," Miami Archbishop Thomas Wenski told Reuters.

At least for some, the emotions remain raw, as evidenced in a letter from Sylvia Iriondo, president of Mothers & Women Against Repression (M.A.R. por Cuba), that was published in the Miami Herald:

"Once again we are confronting the actions of a Catholic hierarchy in Miami -- represented by Archbishop Thomas Wenski -- intent on serving as a travel agent and catalyst of the false projection of normalcy in a country where nothing is normal, where nothing essential has changed and where power arbitrarily remains in the hands of an illegitimate communist regime that continues to violate each and every one of its citizens' human rights."

But the muted reaction in Miami is evidence that times and strategies have changed, said Jaime Suchlicki, director of the University of Miami's Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies.

"One, because they're getting old, and two, because they don't think that demonstrations and burning tires on Eighth Street is going to do anything," Suchlicki said. "The tactics are different. The tactics are work with the dissidents in Cuba, talk quietly, get organized. Not necessarily demonstrating in the streets."

Cuba, however, has seen protests, which the government has been quick to quash. Police swooped in to detain dozens of members of the Ladies in White when they marched through Havana last week. And Cuban Cardinal Jaime Ortega angered Miami exiles when he recently asked police to remove 13 dissidents who had occupied a downtown Havana church to demand political reforms.

"In Miami it may be a little calmer, but in Cuba there's a lot of effervescence with the visit," Suchlicki said. The exiles' reaction, he added, is "not as vociferous, but there is a nasty mood underneath the surface here."

In a pilgrimage organized by the archdiocese, more than 800 pilgrims, including an untold number of Cuban exiles, are going to the island for the papal visit. Wenski is leading more than 300 of them on a flight from Miami early Monday. Close to 500 more are expected to travel on separate charter flights.

Plans include the celebration of mass officiated by the pope in Santiago, Cuba, later Monday afternoon. Wenski will officiate at a mass in Havana's historic cathedral on Tuesday. And Wednesday, thousands are expected to be on hand in Havana as the pope conducts mass in the Plaza de la Revolucion.

"The Pope is traveling to Cuba to honor Cuba's patron saint, Our Lady of Charity, during the jubilee year of the 400th anniversary of her presence on the island nation," Wenski wrote in a statement announcing the trip in January. "We travel in solidarity with the Church in Cuba -- and in response to their invitation to share with them this historic event."

"The Pope travels to Cuba as a pilgrim of charity," Wenski continued. "We go to Cuba in the same spirit."

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) has decried the pilgrimage. "It's a trip that gives legitimacy to the dictatorship," she said.

In a statement in Congress last week, Ros-Lehtinen called on the pope to use his visit to bring attention to conditions on the island. "It is my hope that Pope Benedict will meet with these brave dissidents and shine a light on the struggles of the Cuban people who are living under the rule of the oppressive Castro brothers," she said.

Among the pilgrims are some who oppose travel to Cuba under any other circumstances, such as Republican lawyer Luis Andre Gazitua, but who have high hopes for the trip's impact.

"I wouldn't go unless I was going under the banner with the pope, with the Vatican," Gazitua said. But he added, "If there could be a healing of the spirit of those people or an energizing just by being around us, us being around them, I think it's worth the trip. This trip really could lead to a spiritual, cultural and -- I don't want to say political -- but a political renaissance in Cuba."

In Miami, Saladrigas already sees one.

"It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that after 53 years of a failed policy, you ought to try something different," he said. "People in Miami are beginning to realize that for way too long we have allowed our passion to drive our thinking and that it is time to allow our brain to drive our strategies."

Perhaps some of their prayers for Cuba have already been answered. On a flight from Rome to Mexico on Friday, Pope Benedict told reporters that communism no longer works and the church wants to help the island make a "peaceful transition."

"Today it is evident that Marxist ideology, in the way it was conceived, no longer corresponds to reality," the pope said. "We want to help in a spirit of dialogue to avoid traumas and to help move forward a society which is fraternal and just, which is what we desire for the whole world."

Cuban Catholics Await Pope

via Latino Voices on HuffingtonPost.com by AP on 3/26/12

SANTIAGO, Cuba — This sun-scorched city is accustomed to playing second fiddle to Havana at the other end of Cuba. On Monday, though, Santiago comes first as Pope Benedict XVI arrives and brings the world's gaze with him.

Authorities have raised huge steel arches in the shape of a papal miter above a blue-and-white altar where Benedict will celebrate Mass on Monday and urge residents of this communist-run country to seek salvation in faith.

Roman Catholic youth held a prayer vigil Sunday night to celebrate the pontiff's arrival, and workers buzzed about Revolution Square putting final touches on the stage, testing power cables and setting out chairs under the direction of priests. Some people hung welcome posters for the pope in their windows.

"As a Santiagan, I am very proud to be able to receive him with joy," said 35-year-old Luzmilka Barza. Although she described herself as only "a little bit Catholic," she said that "it will be something that moves us all for a person such as him to visit."

Cuba's second city has been overshadowed by the more-storied Havana ever since the Spaniards moved the colonial capital there, even though Santiago is considered the cradle of the revolution and was an intellectual and artistic center long before Fidel and Raul Castro were born.

Fidel Castro proclaimed the triumph of his 1959 revolution from the balcony of Santiago's city hall on Jan. 1, 1959, but promptly set out for the capital to claim power. Havana now dominates Cuban industry and politics and occupies a singular space in the imaginations of people around the world, even those who have never strolled its famed seafront.

Pope John Paul II visited Santiago 14 years ago, but he began and ended his Cuban journey in Havana.

While Cuba is Latin America's least Roman Catholic country, the faithful in Santiago have eagerly awaited the arrival of the city's most prominent visitor since that last papal trip.

"I hope that after this visit the Cuban people have more faith," said an emotional Mayra Corona, 63, who along with a dozen other people worked for weeks readying the ornaments, vestments and sacred utensils to be used by priests during the Mass.

Benedict will bring "peace, tranquility, forgiveness," she said.

The pope chose Santiago as his first stop because of the nearby sanctuary of the Virgin of Charity of El Cobre, dedicated to Cuba's patron saint. Benedict has cited the 400th anniversary of the icon's discovery as the main reason for his trip to the island.

Cuban authorities have given the sanctuary a $236,000 makeover of everything from its drainage system to the stained glass. Workers even built a humble but air-conditioned house where the pope will spend the night. It is made with reinforced concrete designed to withstand a magnitude-8 earthquake.

But most of the action ahead of the pope's visit has centered on Revolution Square, which Catholic Church officials say can hold as many as 100,000 people.

The pope's backdrop there will be a a 50-foot (16-meter) statue of independence hero Antonio Maceo on horseback, arm outstretched as if beckoning his countrymen to follow him to battle. Twenty-three rust-colored machetes spike into the air commemorating the 23rd of March, 1878, an important date in Cuba's struggle to break free from Spanish colonial rule.

Havana at the western end of Cuba has also been busy sprucing up to host Benedict after he leaves Santiago.

A huge altar on the capital's own Revolution Square is finished, and workers have been making 11th-hour touchups to deteriorating streets. Prominent avenues were resurfaced, and potholes filled. Workers repainted faded curbs, and many streets got fresh striping over the weekend.

Authorities put on a show of lights, music and slides projected onto the facade of the cathedral in colonial Old Havana on Sunday evening. They also took down the scaffolding that for months shrouded a Christ statue overlooking the bay.

Officials say 797 journalists for 295 media outlets in 33 countries have been granted visas to cover the visit.

"It is a great privilege to have the pope visit us," said Graciela Hernandez, a 59-year-old retiree in the capital. "For me, as a Catholic, it's something that moves me, and the most important thing is that the pope comes with a message of love, peace and brotherhood."

___

Associated Press writer Anne-Marie Garcia in Havana contributed to this report.

___

Andrea Rodriguez on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/ARodriguezAP

Yoani Sanchez: The Pope in Cuba: The Wind, the Sheep and the Shepherd

via Latino Voices on HuffingtonPost.com by Yoani Sanchez on 3/26/12

In that January of 1998, at the end of John Paul II's Mass in the Plaza of the Revolution, a fresh wind swept over the vast esplanade. My son was sitting on the shoulders of his father and the breeze swirled his hair. The Pope had already ended his homily, but still, he picked up the microphone again and dedicated several words in Latin to that naughty streak that ruffled all of us. "Spiritus spirat ubi vult et vult Cubam*," he said. We came home a while later, squeezed among thousands of people dressed in white and yellow. Since then, I have the feeling that the gale has not stopped beating on us, that this gust has blown across the island, shaking all our lives.

Benedict still has yet to arrive Cuba and already part of this whirlwind is agitating us. Among the Catholic faithful, joy is seen for the papal visit, and expectations that this will contribute to widening the role of the Church in our society. For those who had to keep their crucifixes hidden for decades for fear of radical atheism, the gradual elimination of religious intolerance comes as a relief. That Masses have already been broadcast on official television, and processions through the streets carrying the image of the Virgin of Charity are permitted, to many seem sufficient ground gained. However, for every minute in the mass media achieved by the Church hierarchy and every word exchanged with the government at the negotiating table, there has been a corresponding share of loss and defeat. Because, let's not fool ourselves, the clandestine nature of the catacombs is more consistent with the discourse of Christ than is the comfortable proximity to the throne.

Less than 24 hours before the Pope arrives in Cuba, the script of his stay among us is already written, and not precisely by the delegation from the Vatican. Raul's government has undertaken an "ideological cleansing" to prevent activists, dissidents, opponents, independent journalists, alternative bloggers and other malcontents from even reaching the plazas where His Holiness will speak. Threats to not leave their homes, disproportionate operations, arrests, cut telephone lines, people deported from the east of the country to prevent their being in Antonio Maceo Plaza this coming Monday. A roundup of intransigence that recalls those times of ripped scapulars and cassocks spit upon by the fanatic sons of a Revolution that declared itself materialistic and dialectic. It is true they no longer chase after rosaries, but they continue to relentlessly pursue opinions. Now, having a picture of the Sacred Heart of Jesus will not cost anyone their job, but to believe that a free Cuba is possible is to be made to suffer the stigmatization and the Calvary. We can now pray out loud, but to criticize the government is still a sin, blasphemy.

It now remains in the hands and voice of Benedict XVI whether to allow his visit to be hijacked by the intentions of a Party that remains committed to the Marxist-Leninist doctrine. In his eyes is the ability to notice that among the faithful gathered in the plazas, numerous sheep of the Cuban herd have been prevented from reaching even the vicinity of his staff. In his ears is the decision to hear other voices beyond the official or the strictly pastoral. With that ancient wisdom that the Church calls on before every obstacle, the Pope should know that on this visit a part of the presence and influence of the Catholic faith in the national future is decided. In his hands, in his voice, in his ears, it is left, then, to confirm to us that he understands the transcendence of this moment.

It may happen that a playful wind escapes control, mocks the political police and blows over the multitude. A free breeze in a gagged country that brings even the papal eardrums themselves its vibrations, the phrases that we can only whisper.

*Translator's note:
At the end of his homily Pope John Paul II added some extemporaneous words: This wind today is very significant because wind symbolizes the Holy Spirit. "Spiritus spirat ubi vult; Spiritus vult spirare in Cuba". My last words are in Latin, because Cuba also has a Latin tradition: Latin America, Latin Cuba, Latin language! "Spiritus spirat ubi vult et vult Cubam"! Goodbye.
The Latin, roughly, means: The spirit spreads wherever it wants; it wants to spread in Cuba... The spirit spreads wherever it wants and to Cuba.

Yoani's blog, Generation Y, can be read here in English translation.
Translating Cuba is a compilation blog with Yoani and other Cuban bloggers in English.
Yoani's new book in English, Havana Real, can be ordered here.

Exiles And Their Children Head Back To Cuba For Pope Benedict XVI

via Latino Voices on HuffingtonPost.com by AP on 3/26/12

MIAMI -- Natalia Martinez speaks with a clinical distance when discussing her family's decision to leave Cuba two decades ago. But the graduate student's cool demeanor falls away when she speaks of returning to her homeland for the first time this week during Pope Benedict XVI's historic visit.

"I am excited. I am nervous, and I'm anticipating confusion," Martinez, 25, said with an anxious laugh.

She could be speaking for many of the more than 300 Cuban-Americans who will form a delegation to Cuba led by Miami's Roman Catholic Archbishop Thomas Wenski. Some of those making the pilgrimage Monday fled the island half a century ago. Some grew up with only the stories their exile parents told them of the island 90 miles (145 kilometers) across the Florida Straits.

What unites these pilgrims is the attachment they feel to the country their families left years ago, even those who have long opposed Fidel and Raul Castro and the communist government they ushered in 53 years ago.

Travel to Cuba is always controversial among Cuban-Americans and the half-century-old U.S. embargo of the island severely limits trips there. In the 1970s, those who visited were often blacklisted in South Florida. A few faced violence upon their return. These days, newer Cuban immigrants often visit relatives on the island. But the issue is still a requisite topic for politicians campaigning in Florida.

It has only been magnified in the run up to the pope's visit.

At least half a dozen older exiles who are returning for the first time to the island declined to be interviewed by The Associated Press because of concerns about the reaction their words might cause in Miami or in Havana.

Many exiles who fled during the early days of the revolution see little reason to return. Cubans are the only group of immigrants who are almost always granted what amounts to political asylum when they reach U.S. soil. Older exiles say travel to the island cheapens legitimate claims for asylum, and they complain that delegations such as Wenski's prop up the Cuban government, which has a stake in all of the country's hotels and tourism services.

Those traveling to Cuba argue more interaction can only help open up the island. Businessman Carlos Saladrigas, 61, is among this group. But it took him years to reach that conclusion.

Saladrigas came to Miami at the age of 12 on the so-called Pedro Pan flights that the Church organized in the early 1960s to bring Cuban children to the U.S. His parents reunited with him a year later. An outspoken critic of the Castro government, Saladrigas helped lead a successful effort to stop a similar archdiocese pilgrimage from going to Cuba during Pope John Paul II's trip there in 1998. That visit was the first by a pope since the Cuban Revolution.

Saladrigas says that experience was a turning point.

"I saw for the Cuban people how it became a great image for change and hope," he said. "And it quickly dawned on me that an isolated Cuba is the most counterproductive thing we can do."

Saladrigas is now co-chairman of the business-led Cuba Study Group. The nonprofit organization advocates for political and economic change on the island but also encourages more exchanges. He returned for the first time last year as part of his work with the Catholic charitable order known as the Knights of Malta.

"But I think this will feel different. I think this is going to be an historic moment," he said.

He is passionate about celebrating not only the pope's visit but also the 400th anniversary of the appearance of the Virgin of Charity of Cobre, Cuba's patron. The statue is housed in a church in an old copper mining town on the southeastern coast of Cuba, where Benedict will pray.

"More than a religious symbol, she is a patriotic symbol that brings Cubans together like nothing else can," he said.

John De Leon, president of the Greater Miami chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, says the historic and religious significance of the pope's trip moved him to go too.

"I am totally in solidarity with Catholics here and Catholics on the island, so I think anything that can foster that solidarity on both sides of the ocean is important," he added.

De Leon grew up in Miami and traveled for the first time to Cuba in 1993 as part of an academic mission, prompting his staunchly anti-Castro exile parents not to speak to him for months. He has returned on several occasions since then, but the last time was nearly a decade ago.

"There was a certain excitement when I went the first time" he said, "but then that sort of faded during the Bush years. There was a clamping down on any meaningful exchange."

President George W. Bush limited cultural and academic trips and prohibited Cuban-Americans from visiting the island more than once every three years. The Obama administration has since relaxed those limitations.

Now De Leon said he is interested in seeing the effects of recent economic changes instituted by Raul Castro, who took over from his ailing brother in 2006.

De Leon said his decision to go was unaffected by the Cuban government's crackdown on dissidents in advance of the pope's arrival. Cuban officials recently removed 13 people from a local church at the behest of Havana Cardinal Jaime Ortega. The group had demanded the pope air a list of their grievances during his trip. Meanwhile, dozens of activists who march weekly in Havana following Sunday masses were detained last weekend and told there would be no more public protests ahead of or during the pope's visit. The opposition group Ladies in White was able to hold its weekly peaceful protest Sunday.

"Obviously it's of concern when there is oppression anywhere of individuals' civil rights," he said. But De Leon said he was not surprised about the stepped-up tensions.

"I think that's what dissidents should be doing, highlighting the problems and their cause, and the best time to do that is when the international spotlight is on the island. And I believe the pope's visit is bringing some kind of hope and expectation," he said.

For Martinez, the visit is less about religion and history than it is about rediscovering her own story.

Her family left when she was 6, while her father was working in Mexico. And her memories from the island are mere snapshots: growing a lima bean shoot in elementary school, her grandmother sneaking a cigarette on the patio of her parents' home, the difficulty some days of finding eggs at the store.

For years she followed her physicist father's creed of always looking forward, never back. But she has long felt something was missing and yearns for a glimpse of her childhood home.

She will be traveling with friends from the nonprofit Roots of Hope, which seeks to connect Cuban youth in the U.S. with those on the island.

"I have wanted to go for a while," she said. "I think I was waiting for the right time and the right group of people."

____

Alex Aldana: Queer and Undocumented: I Am Walking From San Francisco To Washington D.C. For The DREAM Act

via Latino Voices on HuffingtonPost.com by Alex Aldana on 3/26/12

Sometimes, I feel excluded even within the LGBTQ community. I remember the gay clubs in West Hollywood that would deny my friends and I entrance because of our Mexican matriculation. And I remember the faces they would give me, one of confusion and then of disgust that seemed to be thinking: "Mexican, Illegal, Fake."

How are we fighting for acceptance in the LGBTQ community when many do not accept their queer brothers and sisters who are also oppressed as undocumented immigrants? It was a night like this when I decided to go to the one club in downtown Los Angeles where queer, undocumented, heterosexuals, drag queens and artists are welcome: Mustache Mondays. That night changed my life completely because I met Nicolas Gonzales.

It was a week after my birthday when we finally went out for lunch. He pulled a plastic bag from his backpack with 4 hard shell tacos and condiments, homemade Serrano spicy sauce, sour cream and Oaxacan cheese. He had already conquered my heart.

But what happens when two undocumented queers fall in love with each other?

What followed was not only a new kind of empowerment for myself, but a new commitment to my community.

I decided to come out of the shadows on January 24th, 2012 by taking part in an act of civil disobedience in protest of anti-immigrant laws in San Bernardino County. I was arrested and taken to a detention center. I was asked to confirm if I was a homosexual and was segregated from the other arrested protesters on the assumption that I had AIDS. Being in detention for only a few hours reinforced my decision to continue working for immigrant's rights. I have never felt so moved to stand up for something that I had always been proud about: Being undocumented.

I joined the Campaign for an American DREAM as a guest walker to bring a message of hope and inclusively to LGBTQ members within the immigrant rights movement. Currently, my partner Nicolas and I are walking from San Francisco to Washington D.C. in order to raise awareness and urgency for passage of the federal DREAM Act.

My struggle and voice as an undocumented Latino gay man hopes to bring together not only my LGBTQ community of color but to show how crucial it is for both movements to accept the fact that LGBTQ issues are irrefutable immigrant rights issues. Alone, we're vulnerable. Together, we are stronger. To ostracize one from another is something we can no longer afford to do.

I decided to leave everything behind to support the person I am in love with. Just like my mother and father had the courage to bring me to this country. Thanks to my partner, I saved myself from living in the shadows.

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Link | 10:50 AM 3/26/2012 | Jack Delano's Photos–NYT | Puerto Rico News - Archive Links | Puerto Rico News

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Puerto Rico News - Archive Links. Jack Delano's Photos - NYT. Share · Puerto Rico News - Archive Links shared a link. A Masterwork Spanning 40 Years and One Island. lens.blogs.nytimes.com. The Far...

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The Farm Security Administration sent Jack Delano on a side trip to Puerto Rico. A visit of "a few days" turned into a life's work.

SBA now says CNMI ineligible for STEP grant

via Puerto Rico Newswire on 3/26/12

... defines "State" as any of the several States of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, any territory or possession of the United States. The letter further stated that since the Northern Mariana Islands fit ...

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via Puerto Rico Newswire on 3/19/12

... giant strip malls with a Home Depot on one end and a Target on the other. Thursday, March 22, 2012 SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) - At El Sendero De La Cruz evangelical church, Rick Santorum sought prayers along with votes. Wednesday, March 21, 2012 ...

Del Rio & Rodriguez Team Up, Brodus vs. Miz, More

via Puerto Rico Newswire on 3/17/12

- Alberto Del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez teamed up at Saturday night's WWE RAW live event in San Juan, Puerto Rico. They lost to WWE Tag Team Champions Primo & Epico plus the team of Zack Ryder & Mason Ryan in an Elimination Match. After Ryan and ...

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State Farm Glorification of Bullying is Shameful - Fox News

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State Farm Glorification of Bullying is Shameful
Fox News
Coach Knight mocked the incident and was quoted in Sports Illustrated making harsh racist comments. He said of Puerto Ricans: "F-'em, f-'em all....They only thing they know how to do is grow bananas." • In February 1985, Knight threw a chair across the ...

Burnaby club sending three wrestlers to London Olympics - Victoria Times Colonist

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Burnaby club sending three wrestlers to London Olympics
Victoria Times Colonist
In this case, we're talking amateur sport - freestyle wrestling, to be specific. And three guys who were born elsewhere but now proudly wave the Canadian Maple Leaf qualified Sunday for the London Olympics, hoping they might be this generation's Daniel ...
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Report: American Eagle plans to end operations in Puerto Rico next year - Washington Post

via puerto rico business - Google News on 3/25/12

Report: American Eagle plans to end operations in Puerto Rico next year
Washington Post
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — A Puerto Rican newspaper says the regional affiliate of American Airlines is planning to suspend its operations in Puerto Rico next year as it tries to shave $75 million per year from labor costs. El Vocero reported Sunday that ...
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Boxer fights for abandoned dogs - Sydney Morning Herald

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Boxer fights for abandoned dogs
Sydney Morning Herald
Then she wiped her eyes, thanked her white-shirted entourage and got down to business: keeping tabs on the procession of crates streaming into the arrival hall. Inside were 17 satos — Puerto Rican slang for mongrels — 16 of which Christina Beckles ...
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Williams & Williams Launches New Sell Your Home Solution for Homeowners Nationwide - SYS-CON Media (press release)

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Williams & Williams Launches New Sell Your Home Solution for Homeowners Nationwide
SYS-CON Media (press release)
Williams & Williams has auctioned more than 65000 properties valued at over $7 Billion across all 50 states, DC and Puerto Rico. It's the only auction company to combine the proven effectiveness of live, at-the-property auctions with the global reach ...

Affordable Care Partners with Viva Learning™ For New Dental CE Website - PR Web (press release)

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PR Web (press release)

Affordable Care Partners with Viva Learning™ For New Dental CE Website
PR Web (press release)
Built on the Viva e-learning platform, the new website will deliver live and on-demand CE webinars and product training to more than 180 affiliated practices operating in 38 states and Puerto Rico. I am confident that this program will deliver clinical ...

Puerto Rico: “National Day of Salsa” in the Conservatory - Global Voices Online

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Puerto Rico: “National Day of Salsa” in the Conservatory
Global Voices Online
Every year, on the third Sunday of March, the National Day of Salsa takes place in Puerto Rico. However during the entire month there are a variety of events related to this important celebration. This was the case on Sunday, March 11th at the Puerto ...

The Universal Notebook: Wave a flag for the state of Puerto Rico - The Forecaster

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The Forecaster

The Universal Notebook: Wave a flag for the state of Puerto Rico
The Forecaster
The other day my Uncle Bill asked me what I thought of statehood for Puerto Rico. I had to tell him I'd never really thought about. After giving the matter some thought, I guess, like President Obama, I'd leave it up the people of Puerto Rico to decide ...

Boxer fights for abandoned dogs - Sydney Morning Herald

via puerto rico - Google News on 3/26/12

Boxer fights for abandoned dogs
Sydney Morning Herald
But when American Airlines Flight 648 from San Juan, Puerto Rico, touched down and a small, tanned woman wearing a white fedora and blue sweat pants emerged from customs, the group snapped to attention. Christina Beckles, 39, a former Golden Gloves ...
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Affordable Care Partners with Viva Learning™ For New Dental CE Website - San Francisco Chronicle (press release)

via puerto rico - Google News on 3/26/12

Affordable Care Partners with Viva Learning™ For New Dental CE Website
San Francisco Chronicle (press release)
Built on the Viva e-learning platform, the new website will deliver live and on-demand CE webinars and product training to more than 180 affiliated practices operating in 38 states and Puerto Rico. (PRWEB) March 26, 2012 Learn HealthSci Inc. announced ...
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Link | 9:39 AM 3/26/2012 | Fotos de Hoy | Mike Nova's starred items

via Puerto Rico News by Mike Nova on 3/26/12

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9:39 AM 3/26/2012 | Fotos de Hoy | Mike Nova's starred items

Dentro de los temas que publico en su mayoría son fotos casuales donde la foto me encuentra a mí en vez de yo buscarla y bien pueden ser fotos de la ciudad, de mi casa o donde quiera que me encuentre ...

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9:39 AM 3/26/2012 | Fotos de Hoy | Mike Nova's starred items | Puerto Rico News

The artist and producer Jose Marti (@Jose_Marti) has shot one picture a day for the past two years as part of his online project “Fotos de Hoy” (Photos of Today).

Romney, Santorum head to Ill., next battleground - Houston Chronicle

via Gov. Louis Fortuño - Google News on 3/17/12


CBC.ca

Romney, Santorum head to Ill., next battleground
Houston Chronicle
Photo: Evan Vucci / AP Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks during a campaign stop on Saturday, March 17, 2012, in Bayamon, Puerto Rico. At left is Puerto Rican Gov. Luis Fortuno, and at right is Ann Romney.
Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum Head To Illinois Ahead Of State's Critical 2012 GOP ...Huffington Post
Puerto Rico votes Sunday, but Romney, Santorum head to Ill., Tuesday's big ...Newser
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9:39 AM 3/26/2012 | Fotos de Hoy | Mike Nova's starred items

via Puerto Rico News by Mike Nova on 3/26/12

Mike Nova's starred items - 9:39 AM 3/26/2012

Taken with Instagram at Dos Hermanos Bridge

via Fotos de Hoy on 3/24/12

Taken with Instagram at Dos Hermanos Bridge

Puerto Rico: Life One Photo a Day

via Global Voices » Puerto Rico (U.S.) by Firuzeh Shokooh Valle on 2/10/12

The artist and producer Jose Marti (@Jose_Marti) has shot one picture a day for the past two years as part of his online project “Fotos de Hoy” (Photos of Today).

He explains:

Dentro de los temas que publico en su mayoría son fotos casuales donde la foto me encuentra a mí en vez de yo buscarla y bien pueden ser fotos de la ciudad, de mi casa o donde quiera que me encuentre por que en realidad lo importante es expresar algo sobre el momento, donde estoy, que estoy haciendo, etc. Ese es el elemento que me ha llevado ha constantemente publicar en Fotos de Hoy, el poder visualmente resumir semanas y diversas experiencias en un compilado accesible por internet.

They are mostly casual photos, where the photograph finds me instead of me looking for the photograph, and they may well be pictures of the city, my home or wherever it finds me because what is really important is to express something about the moment, where I am, what I'm doing, etc.. That is the element that has led me to constantly publish in “Photos of Today,” to be able to visually summarize weeks and diverse experiences that are accessible online.

I have selected some of his pictures of Old San Juan, the colonial city of the capital of San Juan, Puerto Rico (all photos are republished with his permission). You can follow his visual life daily at Fotos de Hoy.

City with a View.

San José Church.

The window.

Beach El Escambrón.

Fort El Morro.

Bar El Batey.

Luna Street.

Written by Firuzeh Shokooh Valle · comments (0)
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Taken with Instagram at Cuartel De Ballaja

via Fotos de Hoy on 3/12/12

Taken with Instagram at Cuartel De Ballaja

#minimal (Taken with Instagram at Froyo World)

via Fotos de Hoy on 3/24/12

#minimal (Taken with Instagram at Froyo World)

Taken with Instagram at La Catedral De San Juan

via Fotos de Hoy on 3/25/12

Taken with Instagram at La Catedral De San Juan

5:30am cndo salí a correr (Taken with Instagram at Viejo San...

via Fotos de Hoy on 3/17/12

5:30am cndo salí a correr (Taken with Instagram at Viejo San Juan)

Taken with instagram

via Fotos de Hoy on 3/17/12

Taken with instagram

@ar0n :) (Taken with instagram)

via Fotos de Hoy on 3/19/12

@ar0n :) (Taken with instagram)

Taken with Instagram at Calle San Sebastian

via Fotos de Hoy on 3/22/12

Taken with Instagram at Calle San Sebastian

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Taken with Instagram at Iglesia San Jose

via Fotos de Hoy on 3/23/12

Taken with Instagram at Iglesia San Jose

*

Puerto Rico: 365 Photographs

via Global Voices » Puerto Rico (U.S.) by Firuzeh Shokooh Valle on 2/25/12

The photographer José Rodrigo Madera [es] shot one photograph a day during two years, as part of his project “365.” His photos were only visible to his friends on Facebook, until the magazine Revista Cruce [es] published 20 of them for everyone to enjoy.

José Rodrigo Madera describes himself as:

…fotógrafo de profesión y nunca estudió Artes. Estudió Comunicaciones en la Universidad Interamericana y quiere enseñar fotografía. Cree en el matrimonio y se considera de izquierda. Dedica todo su trabajo al hombre de su vida, Emil Alejandro, y a la mujer de su vida, Penelope.

…a professional photographer who never studied Art. Studied Communications at the Universidad Interamericana, and wants to teach photography. Believes in marriage and considers himself a Leftist. Dedicates all of his work to the man of his life, Emil Alejandro, and the woman who is the love of his life, Penelope.

Here is a selection of some of his beautiful photographs.*

Pitcher: 1. Individual who, for one reason or another, does not follow through with an obligation or commitment proposed by himself. 2. Person who does not return calls.

Watch.

Child in red pants.

Breakfast.

Agostini prepares for a shot.

Ghost cloud.

Sorely laughs.

Spiral.

Eye.

The mother of "azul."

*All photographs are republished with the permission of the photographer and Revista Cruce. The captions have been translated from the original (except some that were English).

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Puerto Rico: “Ilegal” death of Filiberto Ojeda Ríos

via Global Voices » Puerto Rico (U.S.) by Firuzeh Shokooh Valle on 3/6/12

The Center for Investigative Journalism has posted the Civil Rights Commission's report [es] on the death of the pro-independence leader Filiberto Ojeda Ríos, killed by the Federal Investigation Bureau (FBI) on September 23, 2005.

Written by Firuzeh Shokooh Valle · comments (0)
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Puerto Rico: Gender and Causality

via Global Voices » Puerto Rico (U.S.) by Firuzeh Shokooh Valle on 3/6/12

Guillermo Rebollo Gil offers a legal analysis [es] on the media framing of the murder of women victims of intimate partner violence.

Written by Firuzeh Shokooh Valle · comments (0)
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Op-Ed: Political Suspense in Jamaica

via Caribbean Journal by admin on 3/25/12

By Ramesh Sujanani
Op-Ed Contributor

It is now the eve of parish council elections in Jamaica. This time it is concurrent with the General Elections in which the PNP (People’s National Party) surprisingly won a mandate over the JLP (Jamaica Labour Party) with skill and political management.

The new government is headed by Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller, a seasoned leader and experienced member of Parliament, ably assisted by Peter Philips the new Minister of Finance..

As the Government has just completed a review with the IMF for new banking arrangements, the results and effects of which have not yet been put to the people, it is expected that there will be stringent economic measures placed on life in Jamaica. It is clear that these measures will not be announced until after elections, when it would not make any serious changes to the balance of power. Announcements before would easily upset the status quo.

The state of the economic ratings of the country will decline, and we expect the exchange rate of the Jamaican dollar to erode.

But it is not unusual for many countries to be in financial problems at this time. In fact, many large countries are carrying serious budget and cash deficits, and it is up to their trading partners to work this out with them.

As for smaller countries, they have to pull in their belt and work solutions, with a tourism product among other solutions, possibly with a mentor: Jamaica has to rely on its neighbor the United States.

But some good seems to have happened to Jamaica lately, as is evident by conversations with the State Department. Its relationship with Jamaica now is very sound and positive.

In the recent past, Jamaica’s Security Positions, Police, Military and other Authorized Security apparatus were in confrontation mode over the “Dudus” affair, with Christopher “Dudus” Coke being the head of criminal activities in Kingston’s Tivoli Gardens and around Jamaica.

The crime situation in Jamaica, with the influence of drug trafficking, arms imports, human trafficking, and consequent criminal activity, was very serious; the Authorities in the US wanted Dudus to be extradited and stand trial in America on drug and other felonies.

Jamaica, on the other hand, under the JLP government of the past, did not want to let him go, for whatever reason.

This led to a growing mistrust between Jamaica and the USA, and the relationship became cool.

The new positive relations between the two entities promise support for the security administration, training for security personnel and control of arms supplied and exported. It involves support for energy projects solar and wind, led by the US business sectors with Governmental backing.

It augurs well for the financial future of Jamaica, and the success of the new PNP Administration.

Note: the opinions expressed in Caribbean Journal Op-Eds are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Caribbean Journal.

Panama and Costa Rica’s Presidents Talk Drug Fight in Guatemala

via Caribbean Journal by admin on 3/25/12

Above: The meeting in Antigua (Photo: OP)

By the Caribbean Journal staff

Panama President Ricardo Martinelli and Costa Rica President Laura Chinchilla met in Antigua, Guatemala Saturday to analyze strategies on the fight against drug trafficking in the region.

The two leaders were joined by representatives from Honduras, Belize, El Salvador and Nicaragua at the meeting, which was hosted by Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina.

A major point of discussion was Molina’s recent proposal to decriminalize drugs in a bit to reduce drug-related crime.

In a speech, Martinelli said Molina’s proposal was one that had opened a large debate that deserved discussion and analysis.

He also said it was important the Central America’s countries must discuss strategies to combat drug trafficking, with Panama continuing to invest resources in the fight.

Panama’s delegation included Foreign Minister Roberto Henriquez, Vice Minister of Security Alexander Garuz and Panamanian Ambassador to Guatemala Irving Centeno.

Op-Ed: Kathie Klarreich: Investigative Reporting on Haiti, by Haitians

via Caribbean Journal by admin on 3/25/12

By Kathie Klarreich
Op-Ed Contributor

For nearly two years, the battle cry over what is happening to the billions of dollars of aid money earmarked for Haiti’s reconstruction has resounded on the front pages of some of the world’s most prestigious papers — and on the airwaves — attempting to delineate where things went wrong.

These stories are important, and they need to be told. But not just by the foreign press, which is, at best, fickle – stories run at the whim and convenience of the editors. These stories need to be reported by Haitian journalists, who inherently understand what it means when aid money is misappropriated, squandered, or even worse — disappears.

Investigative reporting, however, is an anomaly in a country where transparency is anything but. Access to information, sources, statistics and, at times, seemingly banal information hinders daily reporting. These factors are exponentially more difficult for a reporter asking anything but the basics.

Over the past few decades, when reporters have investigated political and economic corruption, they’ve been targeted and killed, their assassins still at large. Older career reporters with the skill, education and experience to do hard-hitting investigations have either left the country, opened their own media, or opted for a higher-paying salary with an international non-governmental organization (NGO), the UN or the Haitian government.

The new crop of journalists is all but married to a daily routine which looks something like this: in the morning, a newsroom meeting (if there is one), where the editor (if there is one) leafs through a stack of press releases and decides who is going where and for how long (one reporter may be assigned to two or three stories). By mid-afternoon, the reporter returns and has just a few hours to write and record a script (often in both French and Creole) and insert the sound bites for the late afternoon/evening news. There is no time to do research, supporting or opposing interviews, or even to fact check.

The next day is a repeat. Reporters rarely have a chance to dig deeper, and when they do, it’s usually in the form of an interview, which limits the listener’s perspective. The vast majority of news in Haiti is delivered by radio (50 stations in the capital alone); there is only one daily newspaper, Le Nouvelliste, and the circulation is almost exclusively in the capital.

This is the environment I began working in when I started to teach investigative journalism as part of my Knight Fellowship in Haiti in July 2010. But now, 20 months later, reporters are beginning to understand what an investigation means, and are making a case to their newsroom editors to be allowed the time and resources they need to do investigations.

Knowing that these are two serious limiting factors, I reached out and got financial support from several non-profit organizations (the International Center for Journalists and International Media Support), and, along with colleague Jane Regan (Haiti Grassroots Watch), launched the Fund for Investigative Journalism in Haiti.

FIJH provides financial support and coaching to reporters whose investigations are accepted by a three-panel jury. Just this month, the first of the seven investigations by 13 journalists hit the airwaves. We’re hoping this has set a new bar for reporting.

An article by two Le Nouvelliste reporters (and reprinted in Caribbean Journal) explored the overall sanitation situation for the displaced.

Some 11,000 portable latrines were installed by the international community in tent camps after the earthquake.

Because there were so many NGOs financing the cleaning of these latrines, and each had its own budget, it was next to impossible to discern how much has been spent. What the journalists did discover, however, was that as these NGOs began to wind down their programs in Haiti, and as the number of displaced in camps dropped from 1.5 million to less than half a million, the funds for cleaning the latrines dried up. That still leaves more than 400,000 people without a place “to go.”

An investigation by Haiti Grassroots Watch reported on an Irish NGO, Concern Worldwide, which built 534 homes in a metropolitan suburb, each with an ecological toilet. Residents not only rejected these Urinary Diversion Toilets on the grounds that they were smelly and invited all kinds of unwelcome creatures, but they tore them up and dug holes to install flush toilets. The byproduct risks contaminating the ground water table.

Yet another investigation was done by three journalists who examined housing donated to residents in an area south of the capital which revealed that many of the $3,000 homes were either uninhabited, had been given to someone who had already received a home or were being rented.

These stories demonstrate that Haitians can, and should, take the lead in investigations. They know these stories better than anyone else, and are the best ones to tell them. They hope it will make organizations more accountable. They also hope that, eventually, investigative reporting will spread beyond the capital, and then beyond its own borders, to become the catalyst for an investigative fund in the Caribbean.

Kathie Klarreich developed the Fund for Investigative Journalism in Haiti. She has covered Haiti for major media organizations including the New York Times, National Public Radio and Time Magazine. She is also the author of a Haiti-based memoir: Madame Dread: A Tale of Love, Vodou and Civil Strife.

Note: the opinions expressed in Caribbean Journal Op-Eds are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Caribbean Journal.

Operation paws

via Puerto Rico News on 3/26/12

NEW YORK >> On a Sunday morning in March, the cavernous arrival hall at Terminal 8 at Kennedy International Airport was virtually deserted save for a cluster of people wearing white T-shirts with black "Sato Project" logos huddled near the cargo entrance.

Operation paws

via Puerto Rico Newswire on 3/26/12

... black "Sato Project" logos huddled near the cargo entrance. But when American Airlines Flight 648 from San Juan, Puerto Rico, touched down and a small, tanned woman wearing a white fedora and blue sweat pants emerged from customs, the group snapped ...

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Williams & Williams Launches New Sell Your Home Solution for Homeowners Nationwi...

via Puerto Rico Business News's Facebook Wall by Puerto Rico Business News on 3/26/12

Williams & Williams Launches New Sell Your Home Solution for Homeowners Nationwide - SYS-CON Media (press release)
Williams & Williams Launches New Sell Your Home Solution for Homeowners Nationwide - SYS-CON Media (press release)
Williams & Williams Launches New Sell Your Home Solution for Homeowners NationwideSYS-CON Media (press release)Williams & Williams has auctioned more than 65000 properties valued at over $7 Billion across all 50 states, DC and Puerto Rico. It's the only auction company to combine the proven effectiveness of live, at-the-property auctions with the global reach ...

Operation paws - Honolulu Star-Advertiser

via Puerto Rico Business News's Facebook Wall by Puerto Rico Business News on 3/26/12

Operation paws - Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Operation paws - Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Operation pawsHonolulu Star-AdvertiserThen she wiped her eyes, thanked her white-shirted entourage and got down to business: keeping tabs on the procession of crates streaming into the arrival hall. Inside were 17 satos — Puerto Rican slang for mongrels — 16 of which Christina Beckles ...

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