Monday, June 15, 2020
San Juan The
In the Mind of Living Legend Bob Dylan
Nieves: Forget PREPA’s Needs, Lobbyist’s Mission Is Statehood
Education Dept Graduations to Be Broadcast on WIPR Friday P5
Senate Hopeful Says Securing Federal Funds for Electrical Utility Is No. 2 on Chris Christie’s List of Goals P4
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UPR FY2021 Budget Excludes Tuition and Fees
The San Juan Daily Star
Monday, June 15, 2020
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June 15, 2020
The San Juan Daily Star, the only paper with News Service in English in Puerto Rico, publishes 7 days a week, with a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday edition, along with a Weekend Edition to cover Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
UPR FY2021 budget to be delivered today, tuition and fees excluded
By THE STAR STAFF
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niversity of Puerto Rico (UPR) President Jorge Haddock will deliver to UPR’s governing board today the budget for fiscal year (FY) 2021, which does not contain tuition hikes and fees for the fall semester to take into account the economic impact the novel coronavirus pandemic has had on students. “I have determined to exclude from the budget the scheduled increase in tuition and fees costs,,” Haddock said in a written statement. “Due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we believe that it is prudent to keep tuition and fees costs free of increases. This determination is in addition to the measures that we have authorized to continue supporting the students at this historic time.” UPR is slated to get $559 million from the central government, of which $501 million is for the university’s operations. Haddock said the model he developed for UPR’s budget incorporates the principles of a zero base budget and seeks to “encourage the generation of income, the increase in the number of students and savings in the campuses and units of the university system.” Likewise, he clarified that the budget creation process began in July 2019 through all the venues and units. “As an administration, we developed a work plan to prepare the institutional budget from the beginning of the fiscal year,” Haddock said. “However, according to our university governance, the process is different from other government entities.” In keeping with the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Act, the UPR budget must be prepared based on the premises of the institutional fiscal plan approved by the governing board and certified by the Financial Oversight and Management Board according to the latter’s income projections. While the budget was developed in accordance with the fiscal plan approved by the governing board and presented to the oversight board on March 30, the fiscal plan was subsequently revised to include the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. However, the revised plan did not obtain a favorable vote from the majority of governing board members. Still, Haddock said he was determined to
exclude budget increases. He said the central government’s fiscal plan maintained the allocation of $501 million for UPR and did not move forward with a proposed $71 million for FY 2021. The institution is preparing the estimates internally, taking into account the information provided by the central government within its certified fiscal plan. For its part, the governing board must provide the revenue projection that will be used in the budget for FY 2021, Haddock said. “We will continue to attend to this matter responsibly in accordance with our university governance,” Haddock said.
The San Juan Daily Star
Monday, June 15, 2020
Is Christie’s mission with PREPA or with statehood? Ex-Sen. Ramón Luis Nieves claims the former NJ governor went to DC to lobby in favor of funds for the November referendum By JOSÉ A. SÁNCHEZ FOURNIER Special to The Star @SanchezFournier
he signing of former New Jersey governor Chris Christie as a lobbyist for the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) is raising serious questions in local political circles. Christie, who also led President Donald J. Trump’s transition team following the New Yorker’s victory over Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton in 2016, has been enlisted by PREPA to help secure federal funds for the embattled public corporation that is still recovering from the monumental damage it suffered under Hurricane Maria in 2017 and during the earthquakes that hit the western part of the island early this year. However, Senate hopeful Ramón Luis Nieves maintains that Christie’s public mission with PREPA might be a subterfuge for a secondary goal with partisan undertones. “Christie is lobbying to get additional funds for Governor Wanda Vázquez Garced’s planned statehood vote this November,” Nieves told The San Juan Daily Star on Sunday afternoon, prior to his press conference detailing his findings on the matter. “They are using our hard-earned dollars earmarked for PREPA’s expenses, to lower our monthly bills, and using them to pay for partisan political lobbying to get the governor her statehood referendum,” added Nieves, an attorney by trade and former senator with the Popular Democratic Party from 2013 to 2017. The Senate hopeful said Christie and attorney Steven Kupka, from the law offices of King & Spalding, were in Washington meeting with federal government figures during the past week. But the topic at hand was not PREPA, Nieves said. “I have information about the meeting, and they were not trying to get funds for the Power Authority, they were trying to get them to authorize $2.5 million originally allocated
by the Obama administration for a status referendum, to fund her [Vázquez’s] ‘statehood yes or no’ referendum,” said Nieves, who was one of the first politicians to publicly underscore the potential criminal actions surrounding the granting of a $38 million contract with Apex General Contractors for the procurement of 1,000,000 COVID-19 test kits. That contract, and the actions of those involved in its approval, are currently under investigation by the island Legislature, as well as by local and federal law enforcement agencies. “According to [PREPA Executive Director] José Ortiz, Christie was brought into the fold to lobby for the release of funds assigned to Puerto Rico by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to be used by PREPA,” Nieves said. “But the government is using them to lobby for Vázquez Garced’s pro-statehood referendum.” When the $2.5 million was originally earmarked by the Obama administration, included were a series of requirements for the money to be released, among them preapproved definitions for the options in the ballot. “That money has never been used,” Nieves said. “But the referendum is supposed
to comply with White House requirements stated in the order assigning the funds.” Christie’s contract is for $28,750 monthly, for a total of $201,250. It was signed on May 29 and will be in effect until Dec. 31. Christie had a previous contract with PREPA, for $86,250, according to government records. “I verified and I think the original contract was signed in February,” Nieves added. Nieves believes that it is time for the PREPA chief to explain what the real mission for Christie with the agency is. “He has to tell the country what their [PREPA’S] lobbyist is doing in Washington campaigning for statehood for Puerto Rico,” Nieves said. Nieves also had a special request for Senate President Thomas Rivera Schatz. “I ask him to do what he has not done during this whole term: investigate PREPA and the many contracts that have landed in the lap of many dear friends of the current administration,” Nieves said. “As a matter of fact, he has had on his desk since September 23, 2019 a Senate resolution to investigate all contracts granted by PREPA during this term. All he has to do is sign the bill.”
Christie has had previous dealings related to Puerto Rico. During his last term as governor of New Jersey, he was embroiled in an investigation into whether he took retaliation against mayors who did not align with his policies. According to the investigation and press reports, the Christie administration would close important traffic lanes in those cities, causing traffic jams in townships that did not bend to the governor’s will. During part of the 2014 investigation that resulted in the firing or resignation of several of his closest advisers, Christie was seen vacationing in Puerto Rico with his family.
The San Juan Daily Star
Monday, June 15, 2020
Graduations to be broadcast on WIPR this Friday By JOHN McPHAUL email@example.com
ducation (DE) Secretary Eligio Hernández Pérez announced on Sunday that for the first time, graduation events will be held for all eighth and 12th grade classes with a television broadcast on WIPR (Channel 6) on Friday at 5 p.m. “Due to the pandemic caused by COVID-19 this year, graduations have not been carried out in a traditional way. Although the DE requested that schools carry out local graduations, there is a great diversity [of ceremonies] such as, for example, graduations in parking lots, virtual graduations, caravans, among others,” Hernández Pérez said in a written statement. “However, in Education we want to recognize in an official event the almost 43,000 young people who are graduating. It will be a simple broadcast that will be made with great enthusiasm for a tribute to our graduates, their families and the school communities,” He said the event will also be the first time that modified and
alternate diplomas have been awarded to students located full time in special classrooms and to those who, due to the severity of their condition, receive their education at home or in hospitals. With the certificate, students who have been in the public system for more than 12 years will be able to complete their time at school with a diploma that will allow them to enter the workforce. The official added that the 2020 collective graduation also will recognize the students with the highest scores on the College Board test, and those with academic excellence in their high school, along with the traditional delivery of grades and the declaration ceremony for graduates. Puerto Rico Corporation for Public Broadcasting President Eric Delgado said that “at WIPR we are very proud to be part of this emotional ceremony and that through our screen hundreds of young people and their families will share this experience.” “We wish them a lot of success in their futures and we hope that soon they will be among the entrepreneurs who are making their way in our country,” he said.
According to data from the DE’s Division of Transformation, Planning and Performance, there are 22,085 eighth and 20,598 12th grade students who are candidates for graduation this school year 2019-2020. The graduation will also be broadcast on the Education Facebook page (@educacionpr).
Education secretary asked for data on August school opening By JOHN McPHAUL firstname.lastname@example.org
enate Appointments Committee Chairman Héctor Martínez Maldonado asked Education (DE) Secretary Eligio Hernández Pérez on Sunday for specific data on the measures being considered for the start of the new academic year in August. In a letter sent at the end of last week, the atlarge senator emphasized the need to know the actions the DE is taking to serve students in August,
and also proposed that mayors help in the process of academic reintegration. “We wish to know all the measures that are being considered to safeguard social distancing, academic load, working hours, working conditions for teachers, the schools to be used, virtual noncontact education and all those other actions that allow innovation and health security in the face of the pandemic,” the senator said in his letter. “This is the precise purpose of this letter, to unite wills for the well being of our students and to seek their optimal development given the new realities facing the country,” Martínez Maldonado added. “I bring to your attention the concern expressed by dozens of parents and families with whom we have spoken as part of our legislative work.” The senator said the coronavirus pandemic has brought new challenges that demand new visions, affirmative actions and determinations in time and space, but which cannot be delayed or postponed. “We have already seen in the private education sector that actions and measures are being initiated to make it possible for the start of the school year to be tempered by the new normality imposed by the pandemic,” Martínez Maldonado said. “Meanwhile, even though you could be sketching
out and analyzing advanced actions so that the new school year provides students with the tools for their future, our interest is to ensure that these actions translate into success of their management at the head of the Department.” Martínez Maldonado also recommended that Hernández visualize mayors as an element of support for the restart of classes.
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The San Juan Daily Star
Monday, June 15, 2020
Transportation chief summoned to explain restart of services By JOHN McPHAUL firstname.lastname@example.org
opular Democratic Party (PDP) Reps. Luis Vega Ramos and Rafael “Tatito” Hernández Montañez summoned on Sunday Transportation and Public Works (DTOP by its Spanish acronym) Secretary Carlos Contreras to explain what plans, if any, are being implemented for the restart of services to citizens, scheduled for Sept. 1, in view of the handling of the coronavirus pandemic. “This has the potential to become the next chaos, like the one we’ve been experiencing in the Labor Department with the handling of unemployment insurance claims,” Vega Ramos said in a written statement. “It is a risk, both for citizens and for DTOP employees. That is why we are asking, in time, that the contingency plans be adopted and published and that explanations be given to the people.” Hernández Montañez said meanwhile that he is concerned that the necessary safeguards are not being taken, as well as the adoption of a comprehensive plan, to prevent the reactivation of DTOP services to citizens from becoming a repetition of the situation in the Department of Labor and Human Resources. The PDP legislators sent a letter to the DTOP secretary in which they stated the information they are seeking. In the same report that accompanied Resolution 2020-11 of May 23, 2020, the secretary ordered “to extend until August 31, 2020, the term of validity and in turn, the term of renewal and/or to take the exams corresponding for the change of category, as applicable, of the following documents whose expiration date corresponded to the months of March, April, May, June, July and
August 2020: driver’s licenses in all categories; ID cards; cards in the form of a removable sign for parking in areas designated for people with disabilities; tint exemption permits on motor vehicle glass; manager and/or agency licenses, including the certification of their authorized agents; and licenses or permits to operate driving schools,” the lawmakers said. “Likewise, that resolution established that the validity and extension of all motor vehicle licenses and tags that expired in the aforementioned period would remain in force until June 30, 2020,” they added. “Subsequently, the secretary issued additional regulations for the processing of emergency applications, particularly of identification cards for those who have to leave Puerto Rico.” The legislators said that when promulgating these regulations of Resolution 2020-11 during the month of May, Contreras estimated the number of expired driver’s licenses at around 165,000 and that when extrapolating the number of expiring licenses during the months of June, July and August, no doubt would remain that the number of these renewal transactions
alone will exceed 250,000. “When we add up all the other transactions, requests and exams carried over by Resolution 2020-11, it seems clear that the total number should exceed one million transactions and/ or exams,” the legislators warned. “There is no doubt that the DTOP will not be in a position to handle all this accumulation of applications, exams or this volume of work by September 1, a date that is less than three months away.” In their letter, the minority lawmakers requested that the secretary provide, in a period of no less than three days, the following information: What training and security measures are being implemented to protect the health of DTOP employees and citizens who come to carry out the aforementioned transactions? What cost or investment is being allocated for these purposes? What citizen orientation plans are being prepared for when the process of these services resumes? Is a phased renewal schedule being contemplated or organized or is it still contemplated that on Sept. 1 all expirations between March and August are processed simultaneously? What role is contemplated, and at what cost to the treasury, that independent contractors will play in the implementation of the plan? “Specifically, we want to inquire about the increase in the contract with the security company Alpha Guard, which has practically doubled its contract, exceeding $14 million, and that apparently it has been assigned functions and tasks beyond the security area and into what is [normally] the responsibility of DTOP employees,” the legislators said.
Guajataca water plant Recreation & Sports Dept. issues regulations for operating at low production
activities allowed in third phase of reopening
By THE STAR STAFF
ymnasiums will only be allowed to operate at 50 percent capacity and athletes will not be able to have contact with each other as part of the limitations that will be in effect when the third phase of business reopenings goes into effect in Puerto Rico on Tuesday. Recreation and Sports Secretary Adriana Sánchez Parés issued a memo over the weekend spelling out the rules and regulations around the performance of physical and athletic activities that will be allowed under the new executive order that will go into effect Tuesday. “As indicated by the governor, we issue this Internal Memo with the sports and recreational activities that will be allowed starting Tuesday, June 16,” Sánchez Parés said. “It is important to emphasize that, although group training of a maximum of six participants with a coach will be allowed, this flexibility does not mean that sporting events will be allowed, or the close gathering of people.” Some of the most important data detailed in the internal memo is that under no circumstances will physical contact between athletes be allowed. Athletes can only practice sports skills through simulations and must stay six feet apart at all times, among other directives. Additionally, if the training is in a closed place, a person in charge must always be present to ensure compliance with the provisions of the safety protocols.
“The clubs, leagues, sports managers and coaches will be responsible for providing athletes and their assistants with the necessary hygiene supplies while they are carrying out the sports activity,” the memo says. The new order authorizes gymnasiums to open, but only at 50 percent capacity. Shower areas must remain closed and both the gym and its trainers must present their protection protocol to the Recreation and Sports Department. In the case of the Olympic Committee and sports federations, once their protocols have been presented and approved, their group training can begin. There must be a maximum of six participants, a coach, an assistant coach, a physical trainer and a doctor or therapist. One of the points of the memo touches on practices involving minors, who may not be accompanied by their parents. “Minors will be accompanied by one person only. The father, mother, custodian or guardian of the minor must remain outside the training area,” the memo states. “Under no circumstances will the public or parents be allowed in the training area.” The secretary emphasized that “any entity or organization that is interested in conducting the practices authorized in this Order, must present its anti-COVID protection protocol to the Department.” “The same must be sent, as soon as possible, to info@drd. pr.gov,” Sánchez Parés said in the memo. “Otherwise, they cannot operate until they are duly authorized by the Department.”
By JOHN McPHAUL email@example.com
ectors of San Sebastián and the Planas de Isabela neighborhood have been experiencing low water pressure or interruption of their water service due to the fact that the Guajataca Filter Plant is operating at low production, said Nelson Saavedra Barreto, director of the Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority (PRASA) in the Aguadilla area. Along with Barrio Planas in Isabela, the affected areas in San Sebastián are the Hoyamala, Aibonito Guerrero, Aibonito Beltrán, Cibao, Guajataca and the upper parts of the Robles neighborhoods. The official said the low production is due to operational problems caused by manganese in the untreated water. Personnel are working to increase production as the presence of the mineral decreases. Manganese does not affect health or quality parameters, but does impart color to the water, Saavedra Barreto said. Given the possibility of turbidity when restoring service, the PRASA official recommended boiling water intended for human consumption for three minutes. For more information, subscribers can contact the Customer Service Telephone Center at (787) 882-2482 or access the website www.acueductospr.com. They can also access information through social networks Twitter and Facebook: @Acueductospr.
The San Juan Daily Star
Monday, June 15, 2020
A black man was found hanging from a tree, and a community demands answers By MICHAEL LEVENSON and JENNY GROSS
ity officials in Palmdale, California, said Saturday that they support calls by activists and residents who have demanded an independent investigation into the death of a 24-year-old black man who was found hanging from a tree in a public square this past week. The death of the man, Robert Fuller, which officials initially deemed a suicide, has deeply shaken the city in northern Los Angeles County and has reverberated far beyond amid nationwide protests against racism that were set off by the death of George Floyd. At a rally for Fuller on Saturday, his sister, Diamond Alexander, said that the initial determination by officials that her brother hanged himself did not make sense. “Everything that they’ve been telling us has not been right,” she said, according to video of the rally in Palmdale. “We’ve been hearing one thing. Then we hear another. And we just want to know the truth.” She added: “My brother was not suicidal. He wasn’t.” Hundreds of people marched and held signs that read, “Justice for Robert Fuller” and “Black Lives Matter.” Protesters called out: “Say his name!” and the crowd chanted, “Robert Fuller.” A passerby found Fuller’s body hanging from a tree in Poncitlán Square, across from Palmdale City Hall, at around 3:39 a.m. Wednesday, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Personnel from a nearby fire station responded and determined that Fuller was dead, the department said. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau and the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office also responded. “Although the investigation is ongoing, it appears Mr. Fuller, tragically, committed suicide,” the Sheriff’s Department said in a statement Friday, adding that a full autopsy was expected soon. The city of Palmdale said in a statement Saturday that it was “officially supporting the call for an independent investigation and an independent autopsy” of Fuller. “The city of Palmdale is joining the family and the community’s call for justice, and we do support a full investigation into his death,” the statement said. “We will settle for nothing less than a thorough accounting of this matter.” Deputy Sheriff Eric Ortiz, a department spokesman, said Saturday that the agency had no immediate response to the call by city officials and activists for an independent investigation. He said the homicide bureau was continuing to investigate. The county coroner’s office did not immediately respond to messages Saturday. After officials released their account of Fuller’s death, it was immediately challenged by activists, residents and people on social media. At a news conference called by officials at Palmdale
Protesters observed a moment of silence for Robert Fuller on Saturday in the park where he was found hanging from a tree this week. City Hall on Friday, residents said they had no faith in local authorities to properly investigate Fuller’s death and wanted complete transparency and an independent review. “Why was it right here in public, in front of City Hall, next to a church, in front of a library?” one woman said. “Why was it like that? Who would do that? No black man would hang himself in public like that.” Others demanded to know if there were video cameras in the area and to know who found Fuller. The Palmdale city manager, J.J. Murphy, said that the city was working with authorities to identify footage from cameras around the area. There are no city cameras in the park, he said. Some said authorities had rushed to judgment without gathering all of the facts. “That’s a lie!” several people shouted after Capt. Ronald Shaffer of the Sheriff’s Department said it appeared that Fuller died by suicide. “Can I also ask that we stop talking about lynchings?” Murphy said at another point during the news conference, prompting people in attendance to respond, “Hell no!”
Kim Kardashian West, a reality TV star, weighed in on Twitter on Friday, urging her more than 65 million followers to sign a petition to demand a thorough investigation. “This was not a case of suicide but murder,” reads the petition. The NAACP’s Antelope Valley branch said in a statement that law enforcement needed to provide answers. “A grieving family deserves to know if foul play was involved,” the statement said. Mayor R. Rex Parris of Lancaster, a nearby city, said that law enforcement officials told him Friday that all signs pointed to a suicide and that there were no signs indicating any other cause of death. “There were apparently scars on his body consistent with previous attempts,” Parris said. In a Facebook post Thursday, Alexander included a link to a local news story about the body found hanging from a tree. “Words can’t describe how much my family is hurting right now,” she said in a separate post Thursday. Alexander asked for the public’s help, urging anyone who had seen anything to “please come forward.”
The San Juan Daily Star
Monday, June 15, 2020
Atlanta Police chief resigns after officer shoots and kills a black man
Protesters confronted police officers outside the Wendy’s restaurant in Atlanta where Rayshard Brooks was shot and killed in the parking lot. By RICHARD FAUSSET, JOHNNY DIAZ and NICHOLAS BOGEL-BURROUGHS
ess than 24 hours after a white police officer shot and killed an African American man outside a fast-food restaurant, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms of Atlanta announced Saturday that the city’s police chief had resigned. Early Sunday morning, Sgt. John Chafee, a spokesman for the Atlanta Police Department, said the officer who shot the man had been fired. The shooting left many in the city once again incensed by the death of another black man at the hands of the police — and nervous about the potential for more destructive flare-ups. By Saturday night, protesters had blocked roads and an interstate near the restaurant, a Wendy’s, and apparently set it on fire, according to news reports, with police firing tear gas and flash grenades to try to disperse the crowd. Authorities said the man, Rayshard Brooks, 27, had run from police Friday night after failing a sobriety test and grabbing a Taser from an officer during a struggle with him. Bottoms said that security footage appeared to show that Brooks had fired the Taser toward the officer, who was chasing him before he was killed, but that she did not consider that a justification for the shooting. “While there may be debate as to whether this was an appropriate use of deadly force, I firmly believe that there is a clear distinction
between what you can do and what you should do,” Bottoms said. “I do not believe that this was a justified use of deadly force.” Chafee identified the officer in the shooting as Garrett Rolfe and said he had joined the department in October 2013. The other officer on the scene, Devin Bronsan, was placed on administrative duty, he added. Bottoms’ rapid response to the fatal shooting signaled the heightened scrutiny facing law enforcement as a wave of protest against police violence continues in many cities around the country — a movement that has already prompted a number of changes to local police policies, as well as a broader conversation about the ongoing racism that people of color experience in the justice system and nearly every other facet of American life. In the past, police shootings have rarely prompted such swift and dramatic responses. It is more common for city leaders to stand with the police and urge patience as prosecutors and the police departments themselves conduct reviews. The moves by Atlanta officials Saturday may have been taken with an eye to the streets, in the hope of dampening a potentially explosive reaction like those that have engulfed many cities over the last several weeks. The resignation of Atlanta’s police chief, Erika Shields, who is white, was the latest in a series of shake-ups at several large police
departments amid the protests after the May 25 killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer. In Portland, Oregon, Chief Jami Resch, who is white, stepped down this past week, saying she wanted a top black lieutenant to replace her. And earlier this month, the mayor of Louisville, Kentucky, terminated the city’s police chief after his officers were among those who fired at the owner of a barbecue restaurant, who was black. In Atlanta, a few nights of looting, destruction and tense standoffs with the police followed Floyd’s death, including an incident in which two college students were pulled by police officers from their car and tased, an encounter that was captured on video. But more recently, the protests in the Southern city, as in much of the country, have been mostly peaceful, if no less spirited. Antonio Brown, an African American city councilman, has spent days organizing and leading peaceful protests through the city. “It’s like, all the work we’ve done — and then this happens,” Brown said. The encounter at the Wendy’s began around 10:30 p.m. on Friday when police officers were called to the restaurant because Brooks had fallen asleep in his vehicle, which was parked in the drive-thru, causing other customers to drive around him, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said in a statement. Brooks failed a sobriety test, authorities said, and then struggled with officers as he was being arrested. A video posted on social media showed him grappling with the two officers who were trying to arrest him. One officer appeared to try to stun him with a Taser after Brooks threw a punch at him. As Brooks ran away, appearing to hold the Taser, one officer chased after him, holding another stun gun. Then, in one video, several gunshots were heard. Brooks was taken to a hospital, where he died after surgery, authorities said. One officer was treated at a hospital for an injury and was later released. L. Chris Stewart, a lawyer who was hired by the Brooks family, said repeatedly at a news conference Saturday night that a Taser was not considered a deadly weapon and that there was no justification for the police to shoot Brooks just because he had one in his hands. He also said that the police could have instead cornered Brooks and arrested him, instead of chasing him and shooting him. “His life was not in immediate harm when he fired that shot,” Stewart said of the officer. He said that the officers put on plastic gloves
and picked up shell casings before rendering first aid to Brooks and did not check his pulse for more than two minutes after he was shot. Brooks’ half sister, Kiara Owens, 26, said in a phone interview that Brooks had been working a construction job and had five daughters, including two who were stepchildren, and a sixth daughter on the way. “All he wanted to do is work and come home to his kids,” she said. “The kids have been asking like, ‘Is Daddy coming home?’ And I can’t tell the kids nothing. I can’t tell them.” The killing was particularly painful for a city sometimes called America’s Black Mecca for its cultural and economic importance to the lives of African Americans, and its stature as one of the great spiritual and organizing centers of the civil rights movement. Atlanta remains a majority-black city with significant African American political representation and a large number of black police officers. That has created a complex interplay between protesters and city authorities as recent protests have unfolded. Bottoms, who is African American, earned widespread praise for her response to the unrest early on, speaking passionately about her role as a black mother and her fears for her black son. Her eloquence elevated her national stature, and put her on a list of potential vice-presidential picks for former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee. Shields had also earned praise for her response to the street protests after Floyd’s death. Early on, she went out into the streets to speak — and listen — to demonstrators. But the city’s response has also been marked by controversy and embarrassment, including an incident in which a young black man and black woman were tased and violently dragged from their cars by Atlanta police officers as protests raged downtown. The episode, on May 30, was captured by television reporters and transmitted live as it unfolded. Two of the officers involved in that incident were fired, and four others were placed on administrative leave. Soon after, the local district attorney, Paul Howard, brought criminal charges against all six officers — a move that Shields criticized in a departmental email that referred to Howard’s reelection bid, according to The Associated Press. Shields, who was sworn in as chief in 2017, will be replaced by Rodney Bryant, a black man who has served as a top police deputy and recently took over as the interim head of the city’s jails, Bottoms said, adding that the city will launch a national search for a permanent replacement.
The San Juan Daily Star
Monday, June 15, 2020
Health care advocates push back against Trump’s erasure of transgender rights By SHEILA KAPLAN
ealth advocates representing American hospitals, medical groups, insurers and civil rights associations condemned the Trump administration on Saturday for rolling back protections for transgender patients, and for doing so amid a global pandemic. The new rule, long sought by conservatives and the religious right, narrows the legal definition of sex discrimination in the Affordable Care Act so that it omits protection for transgender people. It also opens the door for health care providers to refuse to treat patients who have had abortions. The move is part of a broad set of policy changes that weaken safeguards for transgender people across multiple sectors, including education, employment and housing. The changes to the Affordable Care Act, often referred to as Obamacare, were proposed last year. “This is a sad day,” Ricardo Lara, California’s insurance commissioner, said in a statement on Friday evening. “The Trump administration has once again sacrificed the health and safety of vulnerable Americans.” Lara, who had written a letter signed by 18 state insurance commissioners urging the administration to reject the proposal, criticized the president for releasing the rule during June, which is Pride Month, and on the fourth anniversary of the massacre at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, where 49 people were killed and more than 50 wounded on June 12, 2016. “Eliminating health protections for LGBTQ people is a license to deny lifesaving care,” Lara said. Spokesmen for the American Medical Association; the American Hospital Association; America’s Health Insurance Plans, known as AHIP; and the American Medical Student Association all opposed the change, as did human rights associations.The Human Rights Campaign, the American Civil Liberties Union and Lambda Legal’s Transgender Rights Project each said they planned to sue the government to reverse the policy. Jason Starr, litigation director for the Human Rights Campaign, said that he had heard scores of cases of health care discrimination against transgender people and that he feared that this reversal would
An empty hallway filled with gurneys at a hospital in Queens, on May 8, 2020. The Trump administration on Friday. hurt those seeking health care. “The stories we hear give real life to the objective data,” Starr said. He emphasized that transgender women of color were especially anxious about seeking medical care. He said: “They wonder, ‘What is going to happen when I go to the doctor? Am I going to be mis-gendered? Am I going to be mocked or ridiculed? Is my doctor going to actually listen and respect my knowledge about my own body and my health?’” When the Department of Health and Human Services proposed the rule last year, nearly 160,000 people weighed in with written comments. Many of the writers were affiliated with the Family Research Council, the American Civil Liberties Union, or other organizations. Others were individuals whose affiliations were not noted. One doctor, Terry McDole, typified the view of physicians who supported the proposal.
“The issue is not providing patient care, but whether or not the government can coerce me into abandoning my ethical commitments and medical judgment and force me to participate in certain controversial procedures and prescriptions,” McDole wrote. “Many health professionals like me who adhere to moral and ethical principles, which often reflect deeply held faith values, already face significant pressure and discrimination. The pressure to conform to abortion and transgender ideology can be particularly intense.” The religious community is not a unified voice on this issue, however. The Catholic Health Association of the United States, which represents the largest nonprofit provider of health care services in the country, opposes the rule. “While we welcome the efforts to reaffirm the unique mission of faith-based health care providers,” Sister Mary Haddad, president and chief executive of the asso-
ciation, said in a statement, “refusing to provide medical assistance or health care services merely because of discomfort with or animus against an individual on the basis of how that person understands or expresses gender or sexuality is unacceptable.” Nearly all the nation’s medical organizations, as well as insurance groups, objected to the final rule. Matt Eyles, president and chief executive of America’s Health Insurance Plans, said, “Health insurance providers will continue to work with other health care leaders to eliminate barriers that stand between Americans who identify as a member of the LGBTQIA community and their better health.” In a statement, Dr. Susan R. Bailey, president of the American Medical Association, said that the organization’s long-standing policy bars discrimination based on race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or a woman’s decisions about pregnancy, including termination.
Monday, June 15, 2020
The San Juan Daily Star
Guaranteed ingredient in any Coronavirus vaccine? Thousands of volunteers shy of 50 and healthy, she qualified. A shot with computer-engineered DNA Two weeks later, Ervin was injecting Wiley just beneath the skin of her upper arm with a transparent liquid containing the experimental vaccine. The solution contains a computer-engineered DNA sequence, which includes genetic instructions for building the spike that makes the coronavirus so superb at entering its host’s cells. Cells are equipped to read genetic instructions. When these instructions arrive, the cells follow them and make the very same spike protein present on the surface of the coronavirus now wreaking havoc on the world. The immune system responds to these spike proteins, now being manufactured by the body, and mounts a defense. These spike proteins are harmless; they are not attached to a virus. But the hope is that in the future, should a virus wearing spikes with that same genetic code attempt to invade, the immune Heather Wiley, left, and Ellie Lilly outside Ms. Wiley’s home in Independence, system’s arsenal would be prepared. Inovio researchers engineered the vaMo. “I’m not a health care worker; I’m not an essential worker,” Ms. Wiley said of ccine in just three hours, according to Kate joining a vaccine trial. “But I’m healthy, so I can do this.” Broderick, the company’s senior vice president for research and development. Or, Should one end up in doctors’ offices amid rather, their computer algorithm did: On Jan. By HEATHER MURPHY the rush to shield billions from COVID-19, it 10, when Chinese researchers released the ot long after researchers completed would represent a new chapter for vaccine genetic code of the novel coronavirus, the their work with mice, guinea pigs, development. team ran the sequence through its software, Though vaccine research has never which popped out a formula. ferrets and monkeys, Human Subject 8, an art director for a software company in moved this quickly — potentially meaning The timeline struck some in the finanMissouri, received an injection. Four days la- enhanced risks for volunteers — it has never cial sector as too good to be true. Citron Reter, her sister, a schoolteacher, became Sub- been easier to recruit subjects, according to search, which advises investors on compaDr. John E. Ervin, who is overseeing the DNA nies to bet on, called Inovio “the COVID-19 ject 14. Together, the sisters make up about 5% vaccine trial at the Center for Pharmaceutical version of Theranos,” referring to the bloodof the first ever clinical trial of a DNA va- Research in Kansas City, Missouri, in which testing device company that imploded as its ccine for the novel coronavirus. How they the sisters are involved. For the Phase 1 trial supposedly revolutionary product was rerespond to it will help determine the future of the vaccine, which was developed by Ino- vealed to be a hoax. of the vaccine. If it proves safe in this trial vio Pharmaceuticals, 90 people applied for “Much like Theranos, Inovio claims to and effective in future trials, it could become the 20 slots in Kansas City. have a ‘secret sauce’ that, miraculously, no not only one of the first coronavirus vaccines “We probably could charge people to pharma giant has been able to figure out,” but also the first DNA vaccine ever approved let them in and still fill it up,” he said. (In fact, Citron Research wrote. “This is the same for commercial use against a human disease. the participants were paid per visit.) ‘secret sauce’ that supposedly developed a Hundreds of experimental vaccines for The art director, Heather Wiley of In- vaccine for COVID-19 in just three hours.” the new coronavirus are being developed dependence, Missouri, said that realizing she There are several reasons that vaccine across the world. The vaccines’ ability to ad- would make around $1,000 for her partici- scientists are skeptical that we will ever see a vance will depend not only on science and pation was a bonus, not her primary moti- DNA vaccine for the coronavirus. But speed funding but also on the willingness of tens vation. is not one of them. of thousands of healthy people to have an “I’m in the middle of the country trying “That’s the beauty of these DNA vacunproven solution injected into their bodies. to process 100,000 dead and how all those cines,” said Wolfgang W. Leitner, the chief of In many of these studies, the vaccine people died alone,” she said. Her fears for her the innate immunity section at the National recipe isn’t the only thing on trial. Gene- family left her so anxious she couldn’t sleep. Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. based vaccines — and at least 20 coronaWhile looking up vaccines, she stum- “They are simple and fast in terms of devevirus vaccines in development fall into this bled on Ervin’s trial, which was recruiting vo- lopment.” category — have yet to make it to market. lunteers just 20 miles from her. Two months Nor are vaccine scientists concerned
about the supposed “secret sauce.” In fact, it’s quite the opposite: They are skeptical precisely because the technology behind DNA vaccines has been around for decades and has been applied toward so many infectious diseases — HIV, the flu, malaria — yet none of the vaccines have made it to market. They believe that this approach is capable of producing immunity. Already, DNA vaccines have been licensed for use in pigs, dogs and poultry. But the big if, according to Dr. Dennis M. Klinman, a vaccine scientist who worked at the Food and Drug Administration for 18 years, is whether one will ever be able to generate strong enough an immune response in humans. Wait for side effects Wiley spent the next couple of hours after her injection watching “The King’s Speech” as researchers monitored her for an adverse response. But she felt only relief at being useful in some way. “I’m not a health care worker; I’m not an essential worker,” she said. “But I’m healthy, so I can do this.” Soon her sister Ellie Lilly, 46, a seventhgrade history teacher in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, had enrolled as well. Four weeks after their first injections, the sisters returned for their second and final doses. Wait to see if it’s deemed safe, and whether it did anything The first hint of whether anyone in the trial developed the coveted antibodies, which would suggest that the vaccine might be helping the immune system, won’t come until Inovio releases that data this month. That report will include findings from both the Kansas City trial and a simultaneous trial of 20 volunteers in Pennsylvania. The data will influence whether the vaccine dies in the first stage, as most do, or whether it moves on. The Phase 1 trial has already been expanded to include older patients at a third location. If everything goes as hoped, the FDA has granted the company permission to start testing effectiveness in the community, according to Inovio. At that point, researchers would inject thousands of people with the vaccine and thousands more with a placebo. No one would be intentionally exposed to the coronavirus, but by studying rates of infection of the two groups, the researchers could draw conclusions about the effectiveness of the vaccine.
The San Juan Daily Star
Monday, June 15, 2020
The economy is reeling. The tech giants spy opportunity. By MIKE ISAAC
ven as Facebook grappled this month with an internal revolt and a cascade of criticism over its refusal to take action on President Donald Trump’s inflammatory posts, the social network was actively making other bets behind the scenes. Late one Tuesday, as attention was focused on how Facebook might handle Trump, the Silicon Valley company said in a brief blog post that it had invested in Gojek, a “super app” in Southeast Asia. The deal, which gave Facebook a bigger foothold in the rapidly growing region, followed a $5.7 billion investment it recently pumped into Reliance Jio, a telecom giant in India. The moves were part of a spending spree by the social network, which also shelled out $400 million last month to buy an animated GIF company and which is spending millions of dollars to build a nearly 23,000-mile undersea fiber-optic cable encircling Africa. On Thursday, Facebook confirmed that it was also developing a venture capital fund to invest in promising startups. Other technology giants are engaging in similar behavior. Apple has bought at least four companies this year and released a new iPhone. Microsoft has purchased three cloud computing businesses. Amazon is in talks to acquire an autonomous vehicle startup, has leased more airplanes for delivery and has hired an additional 175,000 people since March. Google has unveiled new messaging and video features. Even with the global economy reeling from a pandemic-induced recession and dozens of businesses filing for bankruptcy, tech’s largest companies — still wildly profitable and flush with billions of dollars from years of corporate dominance — are laying the groundwork for a future where they will be bigger and more powerful than ever. Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google and Microsoft are aggressively placing new bets as the coronavirus pandemic has made them near-essential services, with people turning to them to shop online, entertain themselves and stay in touch with loved ones. The skyrocketing use has given the companies new fuel to invest as other industries retrench. The expansion is unfolding as lawmakers and regulators in Washington and Europe are sounding the alarm over the tech giants’ concentration of power and how that may have hurt competitors and led to other issues, such as spreading disinformation. This past week, European Union officials were preparing antitrust charges against Amazon for using its e-commerce dominance to box out smaller rivals, while Britain began an inquiry into Facebook’s purchase of the GIF company. Some of the tech behemoths have made little secret of their intention to forge ahead in a recession that has put more than 44 million Americans out of work and that officials warn will be protracted. “I’ve always believed that in times of economic downturn, the right thing to do is keep investing in building the
Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google and Microsoft are aggressively placing new bets as the coronavirus pandemic has made them near-essential services, and the skyrocketing use has given the companies new fuel to invest as other industries retrench. future,” Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, said in an investor call last month. “When the world changes quickly, people have new needs, and that means there are more new things to build.” In doubling down on growth in a time of economic pain, the largest tech companies are continuing a pattern. In previous recessions, those that invested while the economy was at its most vulnerable often emerged stronger. In the 1990s, IBM used a recession to reorient itself from a hardware company into a software and services company. Google and Facebook both rose out of the dot-com bust about 20 years ago. Apple, whose iPhones now dominate their market, doubled its research and development budget for two years during the downturn in the early 2000s. That led the company, which nearly went bankrupt in the late 1990s, to create its iPod music player and iTunes music store — and eventually the iPhone, the App Store and an unbridled growth streak, said Jenny Chatman, a professor at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley. Ranjan Roy, a tech commentator for The Margins, an internet industry blog, said it was clear that the tech behemoths were unafraid to get more aggressive now and that the power they were accruing should give people pause. “Without any pushback from regulators, big tech companies would almost unquestionably come out of the pandemic more powerful,” he said. “So many additional parts of our daily lives are becoming dependent on their products, or they could just buy or copy the services they don’t yet
deliver.” Still, the companies are taking risks by spending in an uncertain period, said John Paul Rollert, a professor at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. “To double and even triple down when the casino is on fire is a remarkable move, because they may not even be able to cash in their chips later on,” he said. Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google and Microsoft, which declined to or did not respond to requests for comment, have plenty of cash. Combined, they are sitting atop about $557 billion, enabling them to maintain a pace of acquisitions and investments similar to last year’s, when the economy was humming, according to a tally of financial disclosures. They have been among the top corporate spenders on research and development for most of the past decade, according to the accounting firm PwC. The companies have ramped up their activity since March, when shelter-in-place orders began. As Amazon, Facebook and others adapted to their employees working from home, they experienced a spike in use. Messaging and other teleconferencing software soared in popularity. That created opportunities. Microsoft, for one, started promoting its Teams videoconferencing service, which allows people to talk and collaborate online. Microsoft also snapped up three cloud computing companies in the past few months — Affirmed Networks, Metaswitch Networks and Softomotive — to offer more technology to businesses. Google, too, updated products that people can use to work from home. In April, it said that its video chat service, Google Meet, would be easily available inside people’s Gmail windows and free to anyone with a Google account. It also said it would start making listings in its shopping search results mostly free, instead of having merchants pay for all their products to appear in the results, to bolster ecommerce searches. Last month, Facebook bought the GIF company Giphy for an estimated $400 million. Giphy is to be integrated with Instagram, the photo-sharing app owned by Facebook. And last week, the social network invested millions in Gojek. Based in Jakarta, Indonesia, Gojek makes an app for digital payments, transportation and other services that is used by more than 170 million people in Southeast Asia. Facebook is now working on the new venture fund, which will help it spot new popular apps. The fund was reported earlier by Axios. In driving the activity, Zuckerberg may be taking a cue from a Facebook board member, the venture capitalist Marc Andreessen. In April, Andreessen wrote a blog post titled “It’s Time To Build” and said, “We need to demand more of our political leaders, of our CEOs, our entrepreneurs, our investors.” Less than two weeks later, Zuckerberg said on the investor call that he was doing exactly that: building. He said he felt “a responsibility and duty to invest” and added, “We’re in a fortunate position to be able to do this.”
The San Juan Daily Star
Monday, June 15, 2020
Renewed U.S.-China trade tensions push down Wall Street
all Street’s major indexes dipped on Wednesday as inflamed trade tensions between the United States and China weighed on investor senti-
ment. A day after Washington’s temporary easing of curbs against Huawei Technology Co Ltd provided respite to U.S. stocks, reports that the White House could impose restrictions on another Chinese technology company rattled U.S. stocks anew. Media reports on Wednesday said the Trump administration was considering sanctions on video surveillance firm Hikvision. Fears that tit-for-tat tariffs and other retaliatory actions by the United States and China will hamper global growth have kept investors on edge, putting the S&P 500 on track to post its first monthly decline since the December selloff. “Business between the U.S. and China is not going to be what it was two months ago,” said Jim Awad, senior managing director at Clearstead Advisors in New York. “They’re going to tighten the screws, and we’re going to tighten the screws.” “The market is attempting to reset U.S. profit growth expectations in light of that,” he said. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 100.72 points, or 0.39%, to 25,776.61, the S&P 500 lost 8.09 points, or 0.28%, to 2,856.27 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 34.88 points, or 0.45%, to 7,750.84. A tumble in shares of Qualcomm Inc and Lowe’s Companies Inc helped drag down the benchmark S&P 500 index. A federal judge ruled that Qualcomm illegally suppressed competition in the market for smartphone chips by threatening to cut off supplies and extracting excessive licensing fees. The chipmaker’s shares plunged 10.9%. Lowe’s shares dived 11.8% after the home improvement chain cut its full-year profit forecast. Another retailer, Nordstrom Inc, also reduced its sales and profit forecasts. Nordstrom shares dropped 9.2%. However, shares of Target Corp jumped 7.8%, the most among S&P 500 companies, after the retailer’s quarterly same-store sales and profit beat estimates. The release of minutes from the Federal Reserve’s latest policy meeting, in which officials agreed that their patient approach to setting monetary policy could remain in place “for some time,” had little impact on Wall Street’s major indexes. Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.71-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.94-to-1 ratio favored decliners. The S&P 500 posted 28 new 52-week highs and eight new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 43 new highs and 121 new lows. Volume on U.S. exchanges was 6.00 billion shares, compared to the 6.94 billion average for the full session over the last 20 trading days.
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The San Juan Daily Star
Monday, June 15, 2020
Beijing shuts down seafood market after dozens test positive for Coronavirus By VIVIAN WANG and ELAINE YU
eijing authorities shut down a major seafood and produce market and locked down several residential complexes Saturday after 53 people tested positive for the coronavirus in the city, renewing fears that China’s grip on the pandemic is not yet secure. Nearly everyone who tested positive had worked or shopped at the Xinfadi market, a wholesale market on the city’s south side that sells seafood, fruit and vegetables, according to the Beijing health commission. More than 10,000 people work at the market, which supplies 90% of Beijing’s fruits and vegetables, according to the state media. The virus was reportedly detected on cutting boards for imported salmon there. The developments prompted the authorities to temporarily shut down the market, to partly or completely close five others in the capital, and to lock down 11 nearby residential communities and nine schools that had reopened after lockdowns that were put in place to curb the virus. State media outlets described the effort as a “wartime mechanism.” Beijing is also tightening traffic controls into and out of the city, barring interprovincial tour groups and suspending sporting events, according to official announcements and local news reports. Officials had already said Friday that they would suspend plans for students in first, second and third grade throughout the city to return to school Monday. The stakes for the city and the country are high. A renewed outbreak in Beijing could undermine not only China’s public health but also its geopolitical ambitions. China was the site of the first major coronavirus outbreak, but as the pandemic has ravaged the rest of the world, authorities in China have loudly promoted their apparent success in controlling its spread as proof of the superiority of their top-down political system. They have taken aggressive steps to prevent a second wave, including testing almost all of the 11 million residents of Wuhan, the central Chinese city where the outbreak began. The authorities appear to be especially wary of an outbreak in the capital city; even after other cities began welcoming domestic travelers, Beijing for a time maintained stricter requirements for new arrivals. Before the new cluster of cases, Beijing had not reported any new locally transmitted cases for eight weeks. China’s wet markets — where vendors sell fresh meat, seafood and produce — have come under scrutiny in recent months, because many of the first reported cases in Wuhan were tied to a seafood market there that has since been permanently closed. Epidemiologists have not arrived at a consensus on whether the market was the source of the virus. Seven of the 53 people who tested positive over the
Police officers guarding the entrance to the closed Xinfadi market in Beijing on Saturday. previous three days had shown symptoms, while 46 were asymptomatic, according to Beijing health officials. Of the seven people with symptoms, six had not left Beijing in the previous two weeks, officials said. The Beijing health commission said that at least three of the seven were employees of the Xinfadi market, including a 50-year-old purchaser for the market who was in serious condition and a 35-year-old salesman. Another three had visited the market, according to the state media. Officials did not announce any connection for the
High school students in Beijing on Friday.
seventh person. The asymptomatic cases were all market employees, with the exception of one who had been in close contact with a Xinfadi worker. They were discovered after health officials tested hundreds of workers en masse after the first cases were reported. Officials also collected environmental samples and tested meat and seafood from the market, some of which came back positive, suggesting that workers could have been infected either through contact with an infected person or simply by visiting the market, said Pang Xinghuo, the deputy director of the Beijing Center for Disease Control and Prevention. After the virus was detected on cutting boards for imported salmon, supermarket chains throughout the city discarded their stocks of salmon, according to the local news media. Officials said they would set up temporary openair trading posts to maintain the availability of fruit and vegetables. All 10,000 workers at the Xinfadi market will eventually be tested, according to The Beijing News, a statecontrolled newspaper. Officials have already tested more than 1,900 workers at markets across the city, according to the city’s health commission.
The San Juan Daily Star
Monday, June 15, 2020
Brazil president embraces unproven ‘cure’ as pandemic surges
Demonstrators clash with police at an anti-Bolsonaro protest in São Paulo. By ERNESTO LONDOÑO and MARIANA SIMOES
he coronavirus was taking root in Latin America when President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil startled the medical community with a claim: A miracle drug was on hand. “God is Brazilian, the cure is right here!” the president exclaimed in late March to a throng of supporters. “Chloroquine is working everywhere.” Since then, the virus has ripped through Brazil. More than 41,000 people have died — Brazil has now passed Britain and has recorded more fatalities than any country other than the United States — and the daily death toll is now the highest in the world, bucking the downward trend that is allowing other major economies to reopen. Experts point to Bolsonaro’s rejection of the emerging scientific consensus on how to fight the pandemic — including his promotion of unproven remedies such as chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine — as one of the factors that helped tilt the country into its current health crisis. Bolsonaro ordered the armed forces to mass produce it in the military’s pharmaceutical laboratory and ordered a large supply of the drug’s ingredients from India. “Decisions are being made not based on evidence and empirical data but rather on anecdotal reports,” said Denise Garrett,
a Brazilian-American epidemiologist who worked at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more than 20 years. “Bolsonaro invested a huge amount of money into an action that has not been proven to be effective at the expense of increasing testing and contact tracing.” Between February, when Brazil identified its first coronavirus case, and June, when Brazil’s coronavirus caseload topped 828,000, lagging only behind the United States, the country had months to learn from other nations that had been ravaged by the virus and prepare for the pandemic. Instead, Bolsonaro has led the country down what health experts call a perilous path: He sabotaged quarantine measures adopted by governors, encouraged mass rallies and repeatedly dismissed the danger of the virus, asserting that it was a “measly cold” and that people with “athletic backgrounds,” like himself, were impervious to serious complications. Last week, Bolsonaro’s administration stopped disclosing comprehensive coronavirus statistics, leaving Brazilians without an official tally showing the trajectory and scope of the outbreak. The data was restored after the Supreme Court ordered the ministry to resume publishing it. Under his tenure, decisions about medical and scientific protocols became measures of political loyalty. As the coronavirus crisis worsened, Bolsonaro leaned on the
health ministry to embrace widespread use of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, straining his relationship with the two physicians who have served as health ministers. One was fired in April and the other one lasted less than a month on the job. Their successor, an active duty general with no medical experience, agreed to issue guidance encouraging doctors to prescribe the drug widely for COVID-19 patients. Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine are both anti-malaria drugs but they have distinct secondary uses; hydroxychloroquine also treats lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. Both drugs are among the pharmaceuticals being studied as potential remedies for COVID-19, but neither drug has been approved as a reliable treatment for COVID-19 patients. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned against use of the two drugs in COVID-19 patients outside of hospital settings because they can cause heart problems. Margareth Dalcolmo, a prominent pulmonologist and researcher at Fiocruz, a government agency that does health care research in Rio de Janeiro, said Brazil’s embrace of the drug set a dangerous precedent — and is hampering the necessary research. “Today chloroquine became a political panacea, which is harmful for science,” she said in an interview. “What we have, as I see it, is an unfortunate politicization of pharmaceuticals.” The controversy over hydroxychloroquine has also reverberated outside Brazil. In mid-May, President Donald Trump said he had begun taking the drug as a preventive measure, which generated consternation among doctors. Later that month, the White House announced it was donating 2 million doses of the drug to Brazil so it could be used “to treat Brazilians who become infected.” Rep. Eliot Engel, the New York Democrat who chairs the House Foreign Affairs Committee, called that decision appalling. “It’s irresponsible that President Trump and Jair Bolsonaro have put politics over science,” he said in a statement on Twitter. In Brazil, the battle over hydroxychloroquine began in March as doctors were preparing for a crush of patients and testing a variety of drugs based on treatment protocols that had shown promise in other countries. Marcelo Kalichsztein, a prominent pulmonologist in Rio de Janeiro, began prescrib-
ing hydroxychloroquine to coronavirus patients soon after they developed symptoms, along with the antibiotic azithromycin and a zinc supplement. He did so having found the research of the French microbiologist, Dr. Didier Raoult, persuasive. But Raoult’s research was discredited, and the scientific group that published it said later that the paper had not met its standards. “This is a brand-new disease and we don’t have a silver bullet,” Kalichsztein said. “We were all searching for a medication that would stop the virus in the very first stage.” Kalichsztein, who contracted the virus in early April and took hydroxychloroquine, said the treatment had been effective in preventing the disease from reaching an inflammatory stage among more than 100 patients whose care he oversaw. Doctors began sharing their experiences with the drug and tips on how to mitigate the risk of heart complications in Zoom meetings and group chats on WhatsApp. While these discussions were happening out of sight, Nise Yamaguchi, a São Paulo immunologist and oncologist, emerged as a high profile champion for the drug, arguing in television interviews that it had the potential to prevent patients from becoming sick enough to require hospitalization. Yamaguchi, who caught Bolsonaro’s attention and was summoned to meet with him, said she never intended to become embroiled in the heated political debate that has added to Brazil’s polarization. “The doctors and scientists that act based on academic research can’t allow themselves to be guided by political matters, since the health of the patient is paramount,” she said in an email. But by mid-April, hydroxychloroquine became something of a litmus test among Brazilians who revere and loath the far-right president, who has invested a lot of political capital — and public funds — in the drug. The charged political debate surrounding the use of the drug could interfere with ongoing trials, said Garrett, the former CDC expert. “Either volunteers won’t want to be part of it because they are contaminated by the political debate or the ones who will be part of it may be doing it driven by political ideology,” she said. And that, she said, would be “very unfortunate for public health.”
The San Juan Daily Star
Monday, June 15, 2020
Far-right groups push back as protesters rally in Europe By ILIANA MAGRA, ELIAN PELTIER and CONSTANT MÉHEUT
housands of people rallied against police brutality and racism in European cities Saturday, punctuating a week of protests across the continent, but far-right demonstrators also emerged in large groups for the first time — particularly in London — leading to sometimes violent confrontations that included attacks on police officers. The anti-racism marches and rallies in Europe, energized by demonstrations in the United States in the aftermath of the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, have led to the destruction of statues linked to slavery and demands for a reckoning with racial discrimination. European protesters have denounced the bigotry within their own countries and demanded that authorities address it. But Saturday was the first day when far-right groups and protesters, most of them white, fiercely pushed back. The situation grew especially tense in London, where crowds of white male counterprotesters clashed repeatedly with police. Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain, who just a day earlier had criticized the anti-racism demonstrations and exhorted Britons to avoid them, denounced the farright attacks on police as “racist thuggery.” Johnson said the protest marches had been subverted by violence and declared that “racism has no place in the U.K.” The Metropolitan Police said in a statement that more than 100 people had been arrested by day’s end for offenses that included “breach of the peace, violent disorder, assault on officers, possession of an offensive weapon, possession of class-A drugs, and drunk and disorder.” The protest and counterprotest came to an explosive head in Trafalgar Square, when small numbers of Black Lives Matter supporters and their antagonists threw bottles and booming fireworks against one another while police tried to separate them. Parliament Square, where thousands of Black Lives Matter protesters had gathered just a week ago, was filled Saturday with hundreds of overwhelmingly white male counterdemonstrators. Many said they had assembled to prevent attacks targeting the statues in the square, especially that of Winston Churchill. “People are defacing my history and my culture,” said Dave Allen, a 30-year-old lawyer from London who had joined the counterprotest. “That’s why these people are here, because we feel we’re getting attacked.” Videos shared on social media showed mounted police officers standing guard in Parliament Square in front of boarded-up statues and repelling far-right protesters who threatened and punched them. The confrontations in London came days after racism protesters tore down a statue of Edward Colston, a 17thcentury slave trader, in Bristol, and others scrawled “racist” on a Churchill statue in Parliament Square. The statue of Churchill, a usually revered figure in
Black Lives Matter activists in Trafalgar Square in London on Saturday. Britain who steered the country through World War II, was later covered to protect it. Johnson called the episode “absurd and shameful” in a Twitter posting Friday in which he acknowledged Churchill had “sometimes expressed opinions that were and are unacceptable to us today, but he was a hero, and he fully deserves his memorial.” In Paris, some 15,000 people rallied to demand justice for Adama Traoré, a 24-year-old who died in 2016 after police had arrested him. Amid the overwhelmingly young crowds, demonstrators waved signs reading “No justice, no peace” and “Black Lives Matter,” less than two weeks after 20,000 protesters had assembled in front of a Paris court for Traoré. The Saturday protests were organized by The Truth For Adama, an advocacy group led by Traoré’s sister, Assa Traoré. The rally remained largely peaceful, although police officers threw tear gas and clashed with protesters in the late afternoon. “In France, we have a tendency to deny thorny issues like race,” said Isabelle Blanche, a 41-year-old black protester who came with her brother. She said that it had taken Floyd’s death in the U.S. “for people to finally wake up.” Wearing a black T-shirt bearing the inscription “Justice for Adama,” Océane Loimon, an 18-year-old black protester, blamed French authorities for refusing to address police brutality, but as she pointed to the crowds on the plaza, she said, “They cannot ignore it anymore.” As in London, the atmosphere in Paris had grown tense earlier in the afternoon when far-right activists un-
furled a large red banner reading “White Lives Matter” on the roof of a building of the plaza. The crowd below chanted, “No justice, no peace,” in response and later cheered residents who tore down the lower part of the banner with chisels and knives. Some threw fireworks at the far-right activists, who were later chased off the roof by a handful of protesters. Police in Paris reminded the public that gatherings of more than 10 people were forbidden, and they asked businesses and restaurants to close near the Place de la République, where thousands remained Saturday in defiance of police barricades leading to the plaza. Many protesters were unfazed by the warnings. “I’m less afraid of the coronavirus than I’m afraid of being killed by the police,” said Cécilia Ranguin, a 20-year-old law student, who is black. Saturday evening, France’s highest administrative court, the Conseil d’Etat, reestablished the right to protest, provided that protesters respect health measures like maskwearing and social distancing and that the gathering does not exceed 5,000 people. In London, police urged people to avoid demonstrating in the city and set a 5 p.m. deadline for all protesters to leave the defined demonstration routes. “I absolutely understand why people want to make their voices heard,” Bas Javid, the Metropolitan Police commander, said in a statement. “But the government direction is that we remain in a health pandemic, and people are asked not to gather in large groups.”
Monday, June 15, 2020
U.N. expresses horror at mass graves in Libya By DECLAN WALSH
he United Nations chief expressed horror at the discovery of at least eight mass graves in Libya in recent days and called for a prompt and transparent investigation into possible war crimes. The graves were uncovered after fighters loyal to Khalifa Hifter, whose 14-month campaign to capture Tripoli, Libya, collapsed in recent weeks, retreated from Tarhuna, Libya, 40 miles southeast of the capital. The mass graves were a grim reminder of the atrocities on all sides of Libya’s chaotic war, a conflict fed by foreign powers seeking strategic advantage or a share of the country’s vast energy reserves, but which is led by lawless Libyan militias that behave with impunity. Since he launched himself into the war in 2014, Hifter,
who is backed by Russia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, has sought to present himself as the leader of a disciplined, national military force. But his troops have faced accusations of serious crimes. U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he was “deeply shocked” by the discovery; and he called on the Tripoli government to secure the graves, identify victims, establish causes of death and return the bodies to their next of kin. Pictures circulating on social media showed bodies heaped in the ground, tangled in plastic, or buried in pits in the desert outside Tarhuna. Separately, government officials found dozens of bodies in the town morgue as well as stacked inside a shipping container. Investigators in plastic suits began the work of cataloging the decomposing bodies and said they would use DNA samples to assist with identification.
The reported site of a mass grave in the town of Tarhuna on Thursday.
One of Hifter’s top commanders, Mahmoud al-Werfalli, has been sought by the International Criminal Court since 2017 for a series of public killings of dozens of people in the eastern city of Benghazi, Libya. As they retreated from the front lines around Tripoli in recent weeks, Hifter’s fighters and allied Russian mercenaries left behind explosive devices in suburban homes. Photos circulating on social media showed bombs tied to children’s toys, and munitions with Russian markings. Tarhuna was Hifter’s final stronghold in western Libya, and after it fell last week the government’s Turkish-backed forces initially faced accusations of human rights abuses. Government troops looted stores, burned buildings and carried out revenge killings against supporters of al-Kaniyat, the Hifter-allied militia that had fled Tarhuna days earlier. At least 16,000 people in Tarhuna and southern Tripoli were forced to flee their homes, the U.N. said. Then the focus turned on Hifter’s side, with the discovery of mass graves. The interior minister, Fathi Bashagha, said Friday that dozens of bodies had been found in at least eight graves. Some victims appeared to have been buried alive. Separately, investigators found a shipping container filled with charred bodies, possibly of detainees. Bashagha accused al-Kaniyat of “heinous crimes.” The militia has long had a reputation for harsh treatment of perceived dissenters. It is unclear when the killings took place. In August 2018, al-Kaniyat allied with a faction from the town of Misrata, now on the government side, to mount a brief assault on Tripoli. In April 2019, al-Kaniyat switched sides and joined Hifter in his assault on Tripoli. Rights monitors said it was vital that international investigators are allowed immediate access to Tarhuna to determine how and when the people in the mass graves died. David Schenker, a senior State Department official, told reporters Thursday that he was “troubled” by the discovery of the graves as well as by the reports of land mines and other explosive devices left behind by Hifter’s forces. U.S. officials have become notably more outspoken in their criticism of Hifter in recent weeks, ever since Russia stepped up its involvement in the war by sending at least 14 warplanes to defend Hifter’s retreating troops, according to the Pentagon.
The San Juan Daily Star
Monday, June 15, 2020
Nations may be safer under women By NICHOLAS KRISTOF
re female leaders better at fighting a pandemic? I compiled death rates from the coronavirus for 21 countries around the world, 13 led by men and eight by women. The male-led countries suffered an average of 214 coronavirus-related deaths per million inhabitants. Those led by women lost only one-fifth as many, 36 per million. If the United States had the coronavirus death rate of the average female-led country, 102,000 American lives would have been saved out of the 114,000 lost. “Countries led by women do seem to be particularly successful in fighting the coronavirus,” noted Anne W. Rimoin, an epidemiologist at UCLA. “New Zealand, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Norway have done so well perhaps due to the leadership and management styles attributed to their female leaders.” Let’s start by acknowledging that there have been plenty of wretched female leaders over the years. Indeed, according to research I once did for a book, female leaders around the world haven’t been clearly better than male counterparts even at improving girls’ education or reducing maternal mortality. There has been solid research that it makes a difference to have more women on boards and in grassroots positions, but evidence that they make better presidents or prime ministers has been lacking — until COVID-19 came along. It’s not that the leaders who best managed the virus were all women. But those who bungled the response were all men, and mostly a particular type: authoritarian, vainglorious and blustering. Think of Boris Johnson in Britain, Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in Iran and Donald Trump in the United States. Virtually every country that has experienced coronavirus mortality at a rate of more than 150 per million inhabitants is male-led. “I don’t think it’s a coincidence that some of the best-run places have been run by women: New Zealand, Germany, Taiwan,” mused Susan Rice, who was national security adviser under President Barack Obama. “And where we’ve seen things go most badly wrong — the U.S., Brazil, Russia, the U.K. — it’s a lot of male ego and bluster.” I think the divergence has a great deal to do with that ego and bluster. “We often joke that men drivers never ask for directions,” observed Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel of the University of Pennsylvania. “I actually think there’s something to that also in terms of women’s leadership, in terms of recognizing expertise and asking experts for advice,
President Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan at a military base this spring amid the coronavirus pandemic. and men sort of barreling ahead like they got it.” He has a point. Those leaders who handled the virus best were those who humbly consulted public health experts and acted quickly, and many were women; in contrast, male authoritarians who botched the response were suspicious of experts and too full of themselves. “I really get it,” Trump said when he visited the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in March. Surrounded by medical experts, he added, “Maybe I have natural ability,” and he wondered aloud if he should have become a scientist. (Given that Trump said in January that COVID-19 was “totally under control,” he has his answer. And peer review might not have been kind to his ideas about bleach.) While women have generally outshone men as international leaders, that does not seem true within the United States. Some female governors have done better, others worse, so there isn’t an obvious gender gap at home. It’s also possible that this isn’t about female leaders but about the kind of country that chooses a woman to lead it. Companies with more female executives on average perform better than those with fewer women, but analysts think that the reason isn’t just the brilliance of female leaders. Rather, companies that are culturally open to having senior women are also more willing to embrace other innovations, and it may be this innovative spirit that leads to higher profitability. Likewise, countries willing to elect female prime ministers may be those more inclined to listen to epidemiologists. Yet I think that there’s also a difference in the leadership itself. “Women lead often in a very different style from
men,” said Margot Wallstrom, a former Swedish foreign minister, citing examples from Norway, Germany and New Zealand of women with low-key, inclusive and evidence-based leadership. Wallstrom also noted that public health is a traditional “home turf” concern for many female leaders. Grant Miller, an expert in health economics at Stanford University, found that as states, one by one, granted the vote to women in the late 19 th and early 20th centuries, those states then also invested more in sanitation and public health — saving some 20,000 children’s lives a year. Boys were thus huge beneficiaries of women’s suffrage. One trap for female politicians is that brashness can be effective for male candidates, but researchers find that male and female voters alike are turned off by women who seem self-promotional. That forces women in politics to master the art of communicating effectively in a low-key way — just what’s needed in a pandemic. “Perhaps the skills that have led them to reach the top,” said Rimoin, the UCLA epidemiologist, “are the same skills that are currently needed to bring a country together.”
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NEW YORK TIMES EDITORIAL
It’s Trump’s revolution By ROSS DOUTHAT
n 1804, the Corsican upstart Napoleon Bonaparte crowned himself as France’s emperor. His mother, born Letizia Ramolino, did not attend the coronation. Informed of her son’s self-elevation, she is said to have remarked coolly: “Let’s hope it lasts.” In conversations with conservative friends about the Trump presidency these last three years, I often found myself thinking about Mother Bonaparte. Before Donald Trump’s election I made a lot of dire predictions about how his mix of demagoguery and incompetence would interact with real world threats: I envisioned economic turmoil, foreign policy crises, sustained domestic unrest. Having lived through the failed end of the last Republican presidency, I assumed Trump’s administration would be a second, swifter failure, with dire consequences for both the country and the right. In 2017, 2018, 2019, those predictions didn’t come to pass. Trump was bad in many ways, but the consequences weren’t what I anticipated. The economy surged; the world was relatively stable; the country was mad online but otherwise relatively calm. And as the Democrats shifted leftward and Trump delivered on his promised judicial ap-
pointments, many conservatives who had shared my apprehensions would tell me that, simply as a shield against the left, the president was doing enough to merit their support in 2020. To which I often murmured something like, “let’s hope it lasts.” It hasn’t. Now we are in the retreat-from-Moscow phase of the Trump presidency, with crises arriving all together — pandemic, recession, mass protests — and the president incapable of coping. If the election were held today, the result could easily resemble 2008, the closest thing to a landslide our divided system has recently produced. Meanwhile across corporate and journalistic and academic America, a 1968-ish spirit is pulling liberalism toward an uncertain destination, with what remains of conservatism turtled for safety or extinct. In this environment, few conservatives outside the MAGA core would declare Trump’s presidency a ringing success. But many will stand by him out of a sense of selfprotection, hoping a miracle keeps him in the White House as a firewall against whatever post-2020 liberalism might become. This is a natural impulse, but they should consider
President Donald Trump holds a bible, for a photo opportunity, as he stands outside the boarded up St. John’s Church, which was damaged during a night of unrest, near the White House in Washington.
another possibility: That so long as he remains in office, Trump will be an accelerant of the right’s erasure, an agent of its marginalization and defeat, no matter how many of his appointees occupy the federal bench. In situations of crisis or grave difficulty, Trump displays three qualities, three spirits, that all redound against the movement that he leads. His spirit of authoritarianism creates a sense of perpetual crisis among his opponents, uniting left-wingers and liberals despite their differences. His spirit of chaos, the sense that nothing is planned or under control, turns moderates and normies against him. And finally his spirit of incompetence means that conservatives get far less out of his administration than they would from a genuine imperial president, a man of iron rather than of pasteboard. You can see the convergence of these spirits in the disaster at Lafayette Park, where an authoritarian instinct led to a chaotic and violent police intervention, a massive media freakout, blowback from the military — and left the president with an impious photo op and control of six blocks around the White House to show for it. That last image, the president as a dictator of an island and impotent beyond it, seems like a foretaste of what would await conservatives if Trump somehow slipped through to a second term. Maybe he would get to replace another Supreme Court justice — maybe. (In a Democratic Senate, not.) But everything else the right needs would slip further out of reach. Conservatism needs a response to the current movement for social justice that answers just claims and rejects destructive ones. Trump delivers a conservatism of Confederate war memorials that vindicates the left. Conservatism needs new ideas about how to use power, a better theory of the relationship between state, economy and culture than the decadent Reaganism that Trump half-overthrew. Trump offers only a daily lesson in how to let power go to waste. Conservatism needs a way to either claim more space in America’s existing elite institutions, or else a path to building new ones. Trump offers a retreat to the fortresses of OANN, TPUSA, QAnon. Above all, conservatism, now a worldview for old people and contrarians in a country trending leftward, needs a mix of converts and sympathizers to be something other than a rump. Trump did win some converts in 2016, but he has spent four years making far more enemies, and their numbers are growing every day. What we are seeing right now in America, an accelerated leftward shift, probably won’t continue at this pace through 2024. But it’s likely to continue in some form so long as Trump is conservatism, and conservatism is Trump — and four more years of trying to use him as a defensive salient is not a strategy of survival, but defeat.
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Monday, June 15, 2020
Solicitan investigación del presidente de la CEE por publicación en Twitter Por THE STAR representante del Partido Popular Democrático (PPD), EunalCarlos Bianchi Angleró informó el domingo que radicó querella contra el presidente de la Comisión Estatal
de Elecciones (CEE), Juan Dávila por posibles violaciones al Código Electoral y la Ley de Ética Gubernamental, así como a los cánones de ética judiciales, por el reenvío de mensajes en su cuenta de Twitter para supuestamente favorecer a un líder del Partido Nuevo Progresista (PNP). “Estamos solicitando a la Comisión Estatal de Elecciones que active los mecanismos de investigación por un Panel de Jueces del Tribunal Superior como establece la Ley para que investigue al presidente por este haber utilizado y manifestado parcialidad hacia un líder político del PNP a través de sus redes sociales. Igualmente, estamos pidiendo que se ordene la inhibición de Dávila Rivera de cualquier asunto relacionado al Partido Popular Democrático”, explicó Bianchi Angleró en una comunicación escrita. Indicó que en la querella se desprende que el pasado 10 de junio el presidente de la CEE publicó en su cuenta personal de la red social Twitter @juandavilacee, un “reenvío” de Jesús Vélez @jesusvelez, que según alegó es un activista del PNP. “Cuando los medios de comunicación se percataron de la situación, Dávila aseguró que se trataba de un error y señaló como responsable a un contratista de la Comisión. El cargo de Presidente de la CEE representa al interés público y por lo tanto, sus acciones y decisiones deben ser imparciales y sujetas al estricto cumplimiento de la ley. Aquí hay uso de fondos públicos para una cuenta privada del presidente de la CEE”, sostuvo el representante. “La evidente parcialidad del presidente de la CEE
a favor de un líder y exaspirante a un cargo electivo del PNP ponen en entredicho su capacidad para manejar los asuntos relacionados al proceso electoral del país. Por esto, también estamos pidiendo con carácter de urgencia que se ordene a Dávila la entrega de toda información relacionada a la contratación del personal en la CEE para el manejo de su cuenta
personal en Twitter”, expresó Bianchi. Por último, el legislador popular no descartó que Dávila también haya incurrido en violación a los cánones de ética judiciales, al alegar que cuando éste fue confirmado como presidente de la CEE, también fue confirmado como Juez Superior del Tribunal de Primera Instancia.
Denuncian nombramientos ilegales en el Departamento de Educación Por THE STAR representante popular Jesús Manuel Ortiz denunció el Elesldomingo la supuesta otorgación de permanencias ilegaa nuevos directores escolares en el Departamento de
Educación (DE). Indicó que el artículo 4.01 (b) de la Ley 85-2018, según enmendada, conocida como “Ley de Reforma Educativa de Puerto Rico” dispone que, sin perjuicio de la posición de carrera que ya ostentan algunos directores de escuela, cuyos derechos serán respetados, los nuevos directores de escuela serán nombrados por el Superintendente Regional. Asimismo, establece que el nombramiento del Director de Escuela será por el término de un año y será renovado por un término de tres años adicionales, sujeto al resultado de las evaluaciones correspondientes y al desempeño de la escuela. “La ley aprobada en esta administración dispone claramente que los directores de escuela nombrados con posterioridad a la misma no serán permanentes en dicho puesto. De hecho, se establece el plazo de tres años tras preocupaciones planteadas por la Asociación de Maestros durante el
proceso legislativo. El gobierno tiene que explicar cuál es la base jurídica que está utilizando para hacer estos nombramientos permanentes que claramente están prohibidos en ley”, indicó Ortiz González en una comunicación escrita. El aspirante a la Cámara de Representantes por Acumulación y exadministrador de Vivienda Pública, Gabriel López Arrieta, se unió al reclamo. Éstos se refirieron a acciones del DE luego de que la propia gobernadora, Wanda Vázquez Garced anunciara el pasado 16 de abril que otorgará 706 plazas regulares a empleados transitorios en dicha agencia. Las permanencias serían para 621 maestros, 19 consejeros escolares, 26 directores escolares tres y 40 trabajadores sociales. “Esta administración ha estado jugando con la educación del país a través de todo el cuatrienio. Sea por el robo de fondos públicos como ahora al intentar violar su propia Ley 85-2018 que elimina la figura de la permanencia en el caso de los directores. ¿Acaso estamos ante un intento de ‘atornillar’ colabores incluso en contra de la ley? El gobierno tiene cesar esta práctica ilegal al tratar de otorgar la permanencia a 26 nuevos directores escolares”, concluyó López Arrieta.
Monday, June 15, 2020
The San Juan Daily Star
Bob Dylan has a lot on his mind
Bob Dylan’s “Rough and Rowdy Ways” is his first album of original songs since 2012. By DOUGLAS BRINKLEY
few years ago, sitting beneath shade trees in Saratoga Springs, New York, I had a two-hour discussion with Bob Dylan that touched on Malcolm X, the French Revolution, Franklin Roosevelt and World War II. At one juncture, he asked me what I knew about the Sand Creek Massacre of 1864. When I answered, “Not enough,” he got up from his folding chair, climbed into his tour bus and came back five minutes later with photocopies describing how U.S. troops had butchered hundreds of peaceful Cheyenne and Arapahoe in southeastern Colorado. Given the nature of our relationship, I felt comfortable reaching out to him in April after, in the midst of the coronavirus crisis, he unexpectedly released his epic, 17-minute song “Murder Most Foul,” about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Even though he hadn’t done a major interview outside of his own website since winning the Nobel Prize in literature in 2016, he agreed to a phone chat from his Malibu, California, home, which turned out to be his only interview before the release Friday of “Rough and Rowdy Ways,” his first album of original songs since “Tempest” in 2012.
Like most conversations with Dylan, “Rough and Rowdy Ways” covers complex territory: trances and hymns, defiant blues, love longings, comic juxtapositions, prankster wordplay, patriotic ardor, maverick steadfastness, lyrical cubism, twilight-age reflections and spiritual contentment. In the high-octane showstopper “Goodbye Jimmy Reed,” Dylan honors the Mississippi bluesman with dragonfierce harmonica riffs and bawdy lyrics. In the slow blues “Crossing the Rubicon,” he feels “the bones beneath my skin” and considers his options before death: “Three miles north of purgatory — one step from the great beyond / I prayed to the cross, and I kissed the girls, and I crossed the Rubicon.” “Mother of Muses” is a hymn to the natural world, gospel choirs and military men like William Tecumseh Sherman and George Patton, “who cleared the path for Presley to sing / who cleared the path for Martin Luther King.” And “Key West (Philosopher’s Pirate)” is an ethereal meditation on immortality set on a drive down Route 1 to the Florida Keys, with Donnie Herron’s accordion channeling the Band’s Garth Hudson. In it he pays homage to “Ginsberg, Corso and Kerouac.” Perhaps someday he’ll write a song
or paint a picture to honor George Floyd. In the 1960s and 1970s, following the work of black leaders of the civil rights movement, Dylan also worked to expose the arrogance of white privilege and the viciousness of racial hatred in America through songs like “George Jackson,” “Only a Pawn in Their Game” and “The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll.” One of his most fierce lines about policing and race came in his 1976 ballad “Hurricane”: “In Paterson that’s just the way things go / If you’re black you might as well not show up on the street / Unless you want to draw the heat.” I had a brief follow-up with Dylan, 79, one day after Floyd was killed in Minneapolis. Clearly shaken by the horror that had occurred in his home state, he sounded depressed. “It sickened me no end to see George tortured to death like that,” he said. “It was beyond ugly. Let’s hope that justice comes swift for the Floyd family and for the nation.” These are edited excerpts from the two conversations. Q: Was “Murder Most Foul” written as a nostalgic eulogy for a long-lost time? A: To me it’s not nostalgic. I don’t think of “Murder Most Foul” as a glorification of the past or some kind of send-off to a lost age. It speaks to me in the moment. It always did, especially when I was writing the lyrics out. Q: “I Contain Multitudes” has a powerful line: “I sleep with life and
Dylan received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Barack Obama in 2012.
death in the same bed.” I suppose we all feel that way when we hit a certain age. Do you think about mortality often? A: I think about the death of the human race. The long, strange trip of the naked ape. Not to be light on it, but everybody’s life is so transient. Every human being, no matter how strong or mighty, is frail when it comes to death. I think about it in general terms, not in a personal way. Q: There is a lot of apocalyptic sentiment in “Murder Most Foul.” Are you worried that in 2020 we’re past the point of no return? That technology and hyperindustrialization are going to work against human life on Earth? A: Sure, there’s a lot of reasons to be apprehensive about that. There’s definitely a lot more anxiety and nervousness around now than there used to be. But that only applies to people of a certain age like me and you, Doug. We have a tendency to live in the past, but that’s only us. Youngsters don’t have that tendency. They have no past, so all they know is what they see and hear, and they’ll believe anything. In 20 or 30 years from now, they’ll be at the forefront. When you see somebody that is 10 years old, he’s going to be in control in 20 or 30 years, and he won’t have a clue about the world we knew. Young people who are in their teens now have no memory lane to remember. So it’s probably best to get into that mindset as soon as we can because that’s going to be the reality. As far as technology goes, it makes everybody vulnerable. But young people don’t think like that. They could care less. Telecommunications and advanced technology is the world they were born into. Our world is already obsolete. Q: A line in “False Prophet” — “I’m the last of the best — you can bury the rest” — reminded me of the recent deaths of John Prine and Little Richard. Did you listen to their music after they passed as a kind of tribute? A: Both of those guys were triumphant in their work. They don’t need anybody doing tributes. Everybody knows what they did and who they were. And they deserve all the respect and acclaim that they received. No doubt about it. But
The San Juan Daily Star Little Richard I grew up with. And he was there before me. Lit a match under me. Tuned me in to things I never would have known on my own. So I think of him differently. John came after me. So it’s not the same thing. I acknowledge them differently. Q: You honor many great recording artists in your songs. Your mention of Don Henley and Glenn Frey on “Murder Most Foul” came off as a bit of a surprise to me. What Eagles songs do you enjoy the most? A: “New Kid in Town,” “Life in the Fast Lane,” “Pretty Maids All in a Row.” That could be one of the best songs ever. Q: You also refer to Art Pepper, Charlie Parker, Bud Powell, Thelonious Monk, Oscar Peterson and Stan Getz in “Murder Most Foul.” How has jazz inspired you as a songwriter and poet over your long career? A: Maybe Miles’ early stuff on Capitol Records. But what’s jazz? Dixieland, bebop, high-speed fusion? What do you call jazz? Is it Sonny Rollins? I like Sonny’s calypso stuff, but is that jazz? Jo Stafford, Joni James, Kay Starr — I think they were all jazz singers. King Pleasure, that’s my idea of a jazz singer. I don’t know; you can put anything into that category. Jazz goes back to the Roaring ’20s. Paul Whiteman was called the king of jazz. I’m sure if you asked Lester Young, he wouldn’t know what you’re talking about. Has any of it ever inspired me? Well, yeah. Probably a lot. Ella Fitzgerald as a singer inspires me. Oscar Peterson as a piano player, absolutely. Has any of it inspired me as a songwriter? Yeah, “Ruby, My Dear” by Monk. That song set me off in some direction to do something along those lines. I remember listening to that over and over. Q: What role does improvisation play in your music? A: None at all. There’s no way you can change the nature of a song once you’ve invented it. You can set different guitar or piano patterns upon the structural lines and go from there, but that’s not improvisation. Improvisation leaves you open to good or bad performances, and the idea is to stay consistent. You basically play the same thing time after time in the most perfect way you can. Q: “I Contain Multitudes” is surprisingly autobiographical in parts. The last two verses exude a take-no-prisoners stoicism, while the rest of the song is a
Monday, June 15, 2020
humorous confessional. Did you have fun grappling with contradictory impulses of yourself and human nature in general? A: I didn’t really have to grapple much. It’s the kind of thing where you pile up stream-of-consciousness verses and then leave it alone and come pull things out. In that particular song, the last few verses came first. So that’s where the song was going all along. Obviously, the catalyst for the song is the title line. It’s one of those where you write it on instinct — kind of in a trance state. Most of my recent songs are like that. The lyrics are the real thing, tangible; they’re not metaphors. The songs seem to know themselves, and they know that I can sing them, vocally and rhythmically. They kind of write themselves and count on me to sing them. Q: Charlie Sexton began playing with you for a few years in 1999 and returned to the fold in 2009. What makes him such a special player? It’s as if you can read each other’s minds. A: As far as Charlie goes, he can read anybody’s mind. Charlie, though, creates songs and sings them as well, and he can play guitar to beat the band. There aren’t any of my songs that Charlie doesn’t feel part of, and he’s always played great with me. “False Prophet” is only one of three 12-bar structural things on this record. Charlie is good on all the songs. He’s not a showoff guitar player, although he can do that if he wants. He’s very restrained in his playing but can be explosive when he wants to be. It’s a classic style of playing. Very old school. He inhabits a song rather than attacking it. He’s always done that with me. Q: How have you spent the last couple of months home-sheltered in Malibu? Have you been able to weld or paint? A: Yeah, a little bit. Q: Are you able to be musically creative while at home? Do you play piano and tool around in your private studio? A: I do that mostly in hotel rooms. A hotel room is the closest I get to a private studio. Q: Does having the Pacific Ocean in your backyard help you process the COVID-19 pandemic in a spiritual way? There is a theory called “blue mind” which believes that living near water is a health curative. A: Yeah, I can believe that. “Cool Water,” “Many Rivers to Cross,” “How Deep Is the Ocean.” I hear any of those
songs, and it’s like some kind of cure — I don’t know what for, but a cure for something that I don’t even know I have. A fix of some kind. It’s like a spiritual thing. Water is a spiritual thing. I never heard of “blue mind” before. Sounds like it could be some kind of slow blues song. Something Van Morrison would write. Maybe he has, I don’t know. Q: It’s too bad that just when the play ”Girl From the North Country,” which features your music, was getting rave reviews, production had to shutter because of COVID-19. Have you seen the play or watched the video of it? A: Sure, I’ve seen it, and it affected me. I saw it as an anonymous spectator, not as someone who had anything to do with it. I just let it happen. The play had me crying at the end. I can’t even say why. When the curtain came down, I was stunned. I really was. Too bad Broadway shut down because I wanted to see it again. Q: Do you think of this pandemic in almost biblical terms — a plague that has swept the land? A: I think it’s a forerunner of something else to come. It’s an invasion for sure, and it’s widespread, but biblical? You mean like some kind of warning sign for people to repent of their wrongdoings? That would imply that the world is in line for some sort of divine punishment. Extreme arrogance can have some disastrous penalties. Maybe we are on the eve of destruction. There are
numerous ways you can think about this virus. I think you just have to let it run its course. Q: Out of all your compositions, “When I Paint My Masterpiece” has grown on me over the years. What made you bring it back to the forefront of recent concerts? A: It’s grown on me as well. I think this song has something to do with the classical world, something that’s out of reach. Someplace you’d like to be beyond your experience. Something that is so supreme and first-rate that you could never come back down from the mountain. That you’ve achieved the unthinkable. That’s what the song tries to say, and you’d have to put it in that context. In saying that, though, even if you do paint your masterpiece, what will you do then? Well, obviously, you have to paint another masterpiece. So it could become some kind of never-ending cycle, a trap of some kind. The song doesn’t say that, though. Q: How is your health holding up? You seem to be fit as a fiddle. How do you keep mind and body working together in unison? A: Oh, that’s the big question, isn’t it? How does anybody do it? Your mind and body go hand in hand. There has to be some kind of agreement. I like to think of the mind as spirit and the body as substance. How you integrate those two things, I have no idea. I just try to go on a straight line and stay on it, stay on the level.
From left, George Harrison, Dylan, Little Richard and Mike Love at the 1988 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
The San Juan Daily Star
Monday, June 15, 2020
For much of Europe, reopening day is here By EMILY PALMER
s the world slowly reopens to tourism, Monday — or, in some cases, Tuesday — has emerged as a significant day, especially in Europe, where the European Union plans to lift many internal borders. Additional waves of reopenings are expected later in the summer, but for now, visitors from the United States aren’t typically on the invite list. Some European countries, including Greece, Croatia and Portugal, have started reaching out to tourists, as have a few Caribbean island nations, including St. Lucia. In other regions, the pace is slower. Tourism remains banned across much of the African continent, as it is in many parts of South America. In Asia, Vietnam continues to ban all travel unless it is for “official or diplomatic purposes.” Japan has maintained a widespread travel ban, listing more than 100 countries, including the United States, whose citizens cannot enter. New Zealand remains closed to almost all international travel. Instead, on Monday, the nation plans to celebrate its successful elimination of the virus. Similarly, Australia is not yet permitting much international travel. Varying government policies, morphing “travel bubbles” and frequently canceled flights will continue to complicate international travel, but starting Monday and Tuesday, here are some of the places — again, many still not open to U.S. residents — that are tentatively putting out a welcome mat. Austria Permitted nationalities: Austrian Airlines resumes flights Monday. The following day, visitors from member states of the European Union, except Sweden, Spain and Portugal, can enter Austria without a medical certificate or quarantining. Travelers from Britain are prohibited. (Austria opened its borders to Germany, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Slovakia, Czech Republic and Hungary on June 4.) But other “cross-border travel is still strongly discouraged or impossible,” according to Austria’s Official Travel Portal. With rare exceptions, Americans are prohibited from traveling to Austria, which is listed as a State Department Travel Advisory Level 4 “Do Not Travel” country. Restrictions: Visitors from other countries must submit a medical certificate confirming a negative test result from within four days of entering Austria. Citizens of the European Union,
On June 15 and 16 of 2020, a tentative welcome mat is being laid out for visitors in many European countries, including the Czech Republic, and a few Caribbean islands amid the coronavirus pandemic. European Economic Area, Switzerland and Britain, as well as others traveling from within the Schengen area, may commit to a 14-day home quarantine in lieu of the test. Diners in restaurants will not have to wear masks, starting Monday. Information: You can track the country’s gradual reopening at metropole.at/coronavirusin-austria. Belgium Permitted nationalities: Belgium welcomes travelers from within the European Union, as well as Britain, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Iceland and Norway, as of Monday. Restrictions: Supervised sports and cultural activities cannot exceed 20 people in June and 50 in July. Cafes and bars have been open as of June 8 and may remain open until 1 a.m. Tables are 1.5 meters (about 5 feet) apart with no more than 10 people per table. Waiters must wear masks, and customers must stay seated at their tables. Cinemas, casinos and banqueting and reception halls with a maximum of 200 attendees will reopen July 1. Nightclubs will not reopen until at least the end of August. Information: For more on the reopening, including precautions within the country, go to www.belgium.be/en/corona. Czech Republic Permitted nationalities: Citizens and resi-
dents of 20 European countries will be allowed entry, with restrictions guided by a color-coded system based on the severity of the outbreak in those countries. Restrictions: Visitors from low-risk “green” countries may enter the Czech Republic without documentation of testing, quarantine or purpose of travel. Citizens and residents of “orange” and “red” countries are banned from entry, unless exempted by the Ministry of Health Protective Measure, and with the submission of a medical certificate. (Medical certificates and other forms necessary for cross-border travel can be found at www.mvcr.cz/mvcren/.) Borders between the Czech Republic, Germany and Austria will include police spotchecks to ensure compliance with the health ministry’s measure. Restaurants, cafes, bars and other dining facilities, as well as hotels, have been fully reopened with heightened sanitary measures since May 25. (More information about safety procedures at restaurants and hotels may be found at koronavirus.mzcr.cz/wp-content/ uploads/2020/06/Specification_2505-engchecked.pdf.) Masks are required inside all public buildings, as well as on public transit and in areas with at least two people where social distancing is not possible. Inside restaurants, servers must wear masks, and customers
must wear masks when not seated at the table. Social distancing is required at hotels, and guests must be provided with information about safety procedures and have access to disinfectant. Information: For more on restrictions, go to www.vlada.cz/en/. Denmark Permitted nationalities: Starting Monday, travelers from Germany, Norway and Iceland may visit with documentation of a valid booking for a stay of at least six nights. Those visitors may also stay overnight in Copenhagen, following the same booking requirements. Restrictions: Quarantine is not a legal requirement in Denmark, but travelers from cities with populations larger than 750,000 in Norway, Germany and Iceland are advised to do so, according to the Foreign Ministry and the official police site. Visitors from Sweden, which has a significantly higher death rate per capita than the rest of the Nordic region, are prohibited from entering the country without daily commuter restriction exemptions. The Danish government announced Wednesday, though, that it was exploring options to allow visitors from Finland and the south of Sweden. Additionally, business travel across the Nordic region opened June 1. Restaurants and cafes have been open with distance and hygiene restrictions since May 18. Information: For more about how Denmark is handling the outbreak, go to the Danish Health Authority website: www.visitdenmark. com. Faroe Islands, Denmark Permitted nationalities: Tourists with residency in Denmark, Greenland, Norway, Germany and Iceland may travel to the Faroe Islands starting Monday. Visitors from other countries are “still strongly advised to self-quarantine for 14 days,” according to government guidelines. Restrictions: Visitors from the approved countries do not need to self-quarantine but must have a medical certificate showing a negative COVID-19 test taken within five days of arrival. The government recommends that people remain at least 1 meter — or just over 3 feet — apart in public spaces, and keep 2 meters, or about 6 1/2 feet, away where risk of infection is considered greater. Bars, restaurants and other venues are advised to close by 10 p.m. Information: can be found at the government’s official website: corona.fo.
The San Juan Daily Star Germany Permitted nationalities: At midnight Tuesday, borders will open and restrictions will ease for travelers from the European Union, Britain, Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland. Germany excludes citizens and residents from countries with large-scale lockdowns and entry bans. Visitors from Sweden may not enter, and those from Spain will be excluded until June 21. On Wednesday, the German Cabinet extended travel warnings for visitors from more than 160 countries, most outside Europe. Restrictions: Larger-venue events, including concerts, festivals and spectator sports, have been banned until at least Aug. 31. The reopening process varies across Germany, with the country’s 16 governors determining when certain places reopen, including cinemas, tattoo parlors and brothels. Information: For rules regarding Germany’s reopening and for travel information, go to www.bundesregierung.de/breg-en. More information on foreign travel can be found at auswaertiges-amt.de/en. American travelers can also visit the embassy website: de.usembassy.gov. Greece Permitted nationalities: As of Monday, Greece is allowing visitors from the following 29 countries: Germany, Austria, Denmark, Norway, Cyprus, Israel, Switzerland, Japan, Malta, Bulgaria, China, Croatia, Australia, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Albania, Estonia, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Hungary, South Korea, Serbia, Montenegro, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Czech Republic and Finland. Restrictions: According to Greece’s Civil Aviation Authority, some travelers may be required to quarantine or take COVID-19 tests. Random visitor tests will be conducted, and the list of acceptable countries for travel will be updated again before July 1. Indoor-dining restaurants, fast-food spots, bars, internet cafes and open-air nightclubs have been open since June 6. As of Monday, seasonal hotels, museums, historic buildings and areas, theme and entertainment parks, gyms, saunas, spas and thermal springs will be open to visitors. Information: Greece’s tourism website is a good resource for dates and restrictions: www.visitgreece.gr. The Netherlands Permitted nationalities: After Monday, visitors from 30 countries may visit. Visitors from Sweden and Britain are prohibited. Restrictions: Travelers from high-risk areas noted on this list are required to complete a health screening form and encouraged to self-quarantine for 14 days. Face masks are
Monday, June 15, 2020
not required at Dutch airports, and temperature screenings are not typical. Tourists must have proof of hotel or lodging reservations to cross the border. Travel within the Netherlands is not restricted, although tourists are urged against going to busy locations. Tourists who do not follow local rules may be fined. Social distancing and good hygiene rules apply, and public transportation is only allowed for essential travel — which does not include tourism. Face masks must be worn on mass transit. If you prefer to eat inside a restaurant or cafe, as opposed to outside, you must make a reservation. Diners must be seated and keep 1.5 meters, or about 5 feet, away from people not within their own household. Information: Go to this website — www.netherlandsandyou.nl — for additional information about the Netherlands’ response to COVID-19. Switzerland Permitted nationalities: On Monday, Switzerland will open borders with Austria, France and Germany, “thereby abolishing all travel restrictions to these countries and reestablishing the free movement of persons,” according to a government news release. The country will keep its borders with Italy closed, although Italy opened its own borders June 3. Restrictions: The country’s Federal Department of Home Affairs maintains the right to “order a medical examination at the border for certain groups of people, including a temperature reading, a health questionnaire or quarantine, for any person from a high-risk country listed in the COVID-19 Ordinance who wishes to enter Switzerland.” Restaurants have been open for about a month, with social distancing measures in place. Information: For more on COVID-19 travel measures in Switzerland, go to www. sem.admin.ch/sem/en/home.html. Turkey Permitted nationalities: In June, Turkey will resume flights to and from 40 countries, with 17 of those locations added Monday, according to Adil Karaismailoglu, the transport minister. By that day, people from the following places will be among those who can visit: Austria, Bahrain, Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, Greece, Northern Cyprus and Singapore. Later in June, travelers may come from additional locations, including Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway and South Korea. Restrictions: The Turkish Ministry of Health may require individuals to quarantine for 14 days if they have symptoms of COVID-19, according to the U.S. Embassy & Consulates in Turkey. Face masks must be worn
anywhere people are “collectively located,” including in private cars with two or more people. “Local authorities may put in place additional COVID-19 restrictions, including curfews, with little or no advance notice,” the U.S. Embassy and Consulates note. The Turkey Tourism Promotion and Development Agency is tracking restaurants and accommodations voluntarily certified as “Safe Tourism” locations, based on intensive sanitation and social-distance measures taken. (The U.S. Embassy announced Friday that Turkish Airlines plans to resume direct flights to the United States from Turkey on June 19. Several airlines are also resuming international flights, mostly into Europe, and the embassy said U.S. citizens may book these flights on routes returning to the United States “starting immediately.”) Information: Turkey’s response to COVID-19 can be found at tga.gov.tr/home. Jamaica Permitted nationalities: Jamaica will welcome international visitors Monday, according to Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett’s Facebook post. The U.S. Bureau of Consular Affairs keeps Jamaica at a Level 2 travel advisory — exercise increased caution, with a Global Health Advisory warning people against the effects of such travel on the pandemic. Restrictions: At Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, Health Ministry officials will conduct on-site health screenings, including thermal temperature checks. Anyone deemed ill must quarantine. At the airport, visitors are instructed to socially distance and will be monitored to ensure compliance. Ticketing counters will include plexiglass
screens. Face masks are mandated inside the airport, in taxis and at hotels. Safety protocols will be revised every two weeks. Information: A pre-travel screening questionnaire is “coming soon” to Jamaica’s tourism website, www.visitjamaica.com. Aruba Permitted nationalities: The island will reopen its borders to visitors from Bonaire and Curaçao on Monday. Starting July 1, visitors from most of the Caribbean (but not the Dominican Republic or Haiti), as well as Canada and Europe, will be admitted. Americans can visit starting July 10. Restrictions: Travelers without medical certificates showing negative COVID-19 results before arriving in Aruba must take a test upon arrival and undergo a 24-hour quarantine at their accommodations while the test is being assessed. Travelers with medical certificates will have their temperatures checked and undergo a health interview, which, if clear, will enable travelers to continue on without additional testing or quarantine. Those with positive results must isolate at a government-specified location until testing negatively. Travelers must wear masks on flights to Aruba, and they are encouraged to continue wearing them while on the island. With the exception of 24-hour pharmacies, “all establishments” close by 10 p.m., and casinos, bars and nightclubs will not be open. The government website says that all open establishments must “adhere to the rules and regulations of the New Normal,” which include proper hygiene and social distancing standards. Information: COVID-19 restrictions in Aruba can be found at www.arubacovid19.org.
According to Greece’s Civil Aviation Authority, some travelers may be required to quarantine or take COVID-19 tests.
Monday, June 15, 2020
The San Juan Daily Star
Jupiter’s biggest moons started as tiny grains of hail By SHANNON STIRONE
onstantin Batygin did not set out to solve one of the solar system’s most puzzling mysteries when he went for a run up a hill in Nice, France. Batygin, a researcher at the California Institute of Technology, best known for his contributions to the search for the solar system’s missing “Planet Nine,” spotted a beer bottle. At a steep, 20-degree grade, he wondered why it was not rolling down the hill. He realized there was a breeze at his back holding the bottle in place. Then he had a thought that would only pop into the mind of a theoretical astrophysicist: “Oh! This is how Europa formed.” Europa is one of Jupiter’s four large Galilean moons. And in a paper published May 18 in the Astrophysical Journal, Batygin and a co-author, Alessandro Morbidelli, a planetary scientist at the Côte d’Azur Observatory in France, present a theory explaining how some moons form around gas giants like Jupiter and Saturn, suggesting that millimeter-sized grains of hail produced during the solar system’s formation became trapped around these massive worlds, taking shape into the moons we know today. Batygin and Morbidelli say earlier theories explain only a part of how the solar system’s many objects formed. They set out to present the rest of the story with equations explaining how a new planet transitions from being surrounded by its disk of matter, to creating satellite building blocks, to the formation of moons like Europa. When Batygin and Morbidelli ran computer simulations of their proposed theory, they found that they had accidentally re-created Jupiter’s small innermost moons as well as the four Galilean satellites, much as we see them today. The equations amount to a recipe for how to make a moon. It starts with a mix of hydrogen and
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helium gas raining down onto Jupiter from above. Some of the gas gets swept out and away, spreading viscously as it goes into orbit around Jupiter. At this point in Jupiter’s formation, the only solid particles that orbited it were smaller than 1 millimeter across. Because this dust is very small — tiny grains about two parts ice to one part rock — it can couple itself to the gas washing away from Jupiter. As this material builds up over the course of about a million years, Batygin said, it eventually reaches a mass that approximately matches Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto today. In a photo from NASA Goddard, from left, Europa, Callisto and Io, three of the four largest moons of Jupiter, and their shadows crossing the red giant in an image captured by the Hubble Space Telescope in 2015.
When coral’s colorful show is a sign that it is sick By DAVID WALDSTEIN
hen certain species of coral flash a shimmering palette of vibrant pinks, reds, blues, purples and yellows, they are not simply showing off. This coral is attempting to recover the algae they cannot live without, according to a study published May 21 in the journal Current Biology. Coral depends on a remarkable symbiotic relationship with algae, which lives inside the organism’s tissue. When the algae-coral partnership is thriving, many coral display a healthy brown hue. Sometimes, after environmental stress, such as a spike in seawater temperature, the algae dies, or the coral expels it. Without that brownish internal photosynthetic factory pumping out meals for the coral, the underlying skeleton shines through the translucent coral flesh as bleach white, and the coral is at risk of starving to death. But the scientists found that in order to get the algae back, some species envelop themselves in bright, sometimes fluorescent colors, which mitigate intense light reflections through the coral and create conditions for the light-sensitive algae to return. “They produce their own sunscreen, these colorful pigments,” said Jörg Wiedenmann, professor of biological oceanography at Southampton Uni-
versity in England, who led the study. “They do it on a regular basis as a survival technique.” Some healthy corals display vivid colors, and many experts wondered if the color bleaching process was just a matter of visibility. Perhaps the brownish algae masked other coral’s pigments. Or, perhaps the coral and algae were competing over blue light rays, and once the algae were gone, the coral flexed its fluorescent muscles under all the extra blue light. But Wiedenmann said their study determined that the process is actually an optical feedback loop that helps restore the symbiotic relationship. In the first stage of this loop, the algae are lost and the coral turns bleach white. That causes more light to reach and bounce off the reflective coral skeleton. Within two or three weeks of the original stress incident, the extra light triggers genes in the coral to manufacture the color pigments. The more sunlight they take in, the more pigment they produce. The pigments block certain wavelengths of light, making it possible for the algae to safely recolonize the coral. “The optical feedback loop is a beautiful example of how nature regulates processes,” Wiedenmann said. “The corals are changing their physiological setup and are responding to an environmental cue.”
The San Juan Daily Star LEGAL NOTICE Estado Libre Asociado de Puer-
Monday, June 15, 2020
dirijo a usted esta notificación de
que se considerará hecha en la Este apartamentotieñe un área
25 Fernandez Campos, Santurce, EXTENDIDO BAJO MI FIRMA DE AMÉRICA EL PRESIDEN- en la Urbanización Río Grande
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COBRO DE DINERO Y EJECUCION DE HIPÓTECA POR
LA VIA ORDINARIA. NOTIFICACIÓN DE SENTENCIA POR EDICTO.
autos de este caso, con fecha deros por el NORTE, en 397u, SALA DE SAN JUAN. JARDO, Puerto Rico, el 11 de pared medianera que lo separa
junio de 2020. WANDA SEGUI del apartamento 1201 y de la REYES, Secretaria Regional. escalera de salida que es área
f/LINDA I MEDINA MEDINA, común; por el SUR, en 36’-3”, Secretario(a) Auxiliar.
cribe le notifica a usted que
20 de MAYO de 2020 , este Tribunal ha dictado Sentencia, Sentencia Parcial o Resolución
en este caso, que ha sido debidamente registrada y archivada
en autos donde podrá usted enterarse detalladamente de
los términos de la misma. Esta notificación se publicará una
sola vez en un periódico de circulación general en la Isla de Puerto Rico, dentro de los
10 días siguientes a su notificación. Y, siendo o representando
usted una parte en el procedimiento sujeta a los términos de la Sentencia, Sentencia Parcial o Resolución, de la cual puede
de revisión o apelación dentro
del término de 30 días contados a partir de la publicación por edicto de esta notificación,
AMADA D. MORAO ORTIZ, Demandada
equivalente a 11.05 metros con CIVIL NUM.: SJ2019CV11472. pared exterior que lo separa del SOBRE: COBRO DE DINE-
DE PUERTO RICO TRIBU- el ESTE, en 36’-0”, equivalente TO. ESTADOS UNIDOS DE NAL DE PRIMERA INSTANCIA a 10.97 metros con pared ex- AMERICA EL PRESIDENTE SALA SUPERIOR DE SAN terior que lo separa del área DE LOS EEUU EL ESTADO LIJUAN.
A: EDNA LUZ ESCOBAR Demandante vs. FLORES T/C/C EDNA BANÓO POPULAR DE L. ESCOBAR FLORES, PUERTO RICO, FULANO POR SI Y COMO DE TAL Y FULANA DE CÓNYUGE SUPÉRSTITE TAL, posibles tenedores DEL FINADO EDWIN desconocidos del pagaré MEDIAVILLA COLON, extraviado FULANO DE TAL, Demandados SUTANO DE TAL, CIVIL NUM. SJ2019CV10710. MENGANO DE T AL, SOBRE: SUSTITUCIÓN DE PERENCEJO DE TAL PAGARÉ EXTRAVIADO. EDICDENOMINADOS ASI TO. ESTADOS UNIDOS DE AMÉRICA EL PRESIDENTE FICTICIAMENTE POR DE LOS E.EU.U. EL ESTADO DESCONCERSE SU VERDADERA IDENTIDAD LIBRE ASOCIADO DE P.R. SS. A: PROFESSIONAL COMO HEREDEROS CLOSING SERVICES, Y MIEMBROS posibles tenedores de DESCONOCIDOS DE LA pagaré extraviado: SUCESION DEL FINADO Se les notifica por este medio EDWIN MEDIAVILLA que en el caso del epígrafe COLON se solicita la canceIaci5n del CALLE 1 #35 RIO GRANDE siguiente pagaré: El día 30 de PR 00745 Y/O CALLE agosto de 2007 en San Juan, 1 SOLAR 35 BARRIO Puerto Rico, se suscribió un GUZMAN ABAJO, RIO pagaré hipotecario a favor de Citimortgage Inc., o a su orden, GRANDE PR 00745
EL SECRETARIO(A) que sus-
área común limitada correspon- RO POR LA VIA ORDINARIA. ESTADO LIBRE ASOCIADO diente a este apartamento; por EMPLAZAMIENTO POR EDIC-
DITECH FINANCIAL LLC
(Nombre de las partes a las que se le notifican la sentencia por edicto)
común limitada correspondien- BRE ASOCIADO DE PUERTO te a este apartamento; y por el RICO. OESTE, en 36’-0”, equivalente
a 10.97 metros con pared exterior que lo separa del área exterior común y de la e,scalera
de salida que es un área común. Este apartamento consta de vestíbulo de entrada, sala,
comedor, balcón, cocina, área de lavandería con linen closet,
baño, dormitorio, closet, dormitorio master, baño master, vanity y closet vestidor. Este apartamento goza una exclusiva de
un patio que es elemento común limitado, el cual esta delimitada por vergas según surge
del plano del proyecto. A este apartamento le corresponde los
estacionamientos 187 y 188 en el área de estacionamientos del
Condominio frente a este edificio D. A este apartamento le corresponde una participación de
0.5694% en los elementos comunes generales del Condominio; Finca 18734 inscrita al folio 49 del torno 777 de Rio Piedras
Sur, Registro de la Propiedad
A: AMADA D. MORAO ORTI Z
POR MEDIO del presente edicto se le notifica de la radicación
de una demanda en cobro de
dinero por la vía ordinaria en la que se alega que usted adeuda
a la parte demandante, Oriental
Bank, ciertas sumas de dinero,
y las costas, gastos y honorarios de abogado de este litigio.
El demandante, Oriental Bank,
ha solicitado que se dicte sentencia en contra suya y que se le ordene pagar las cantidades
reclamadas en la demanda.
POR EL PRESENTE EDICTO
se le emplaza para que presente al tribunal su alegación responsiva a la demanda dentro
de los treinta (30) días de haber sido diligenciado este emplazamiento, excluyéndose el
día del diligenciamiento. Usted deberá presentar su alegación
responsiva a través del Sistema
Unificado de Manejo y Administración de Casos (SUMAC), al
por la suma de $210,000.00: de San Juan, Sección Cuarta. cual puede acceder utilizando devengando intereses al Podrán ustedes enterarse de la siguiente dirección electróni5.87500% anual, vencedero él los pormenores del caso exaca: https://unired.ramajudicial. I de septiembre de 2037 cons- minando el expediente que pr/sumac/, salvo que se repretituida mediante la escritura obra en la Secretaria a mi carsente por derecho propio, en número 16942, ante el notario go. Deberán ustedes contestar cuyo caso deberá presentar su lrmarie Rivera Miranda inscrita o presentar alegaciones dentro alegación responsiva en la Seal folio 49 del tomo 777 de San de treinta (30) días contados a cretaría del Tribunal. Si usted Juan, finca número 18734. La partir de la publicación de este deja de presentar su alegación hipoteca fue constituida sobre edicto, radicando el original con responsiva dentro del referido este Tribunal y sirviendo copia la siguiente propiedad (en adetérmino, el tribunal podrá diclante “Propiedad”): URBANA: a la Lcda. Yelissa Caraballo Del tar sentencia en rebeldía en su Valle, R.U.A. 15,069, Tromberg PROPIEDAD HORIZONTAL. contra, y conceder el remedio Apartamento número 1202 del Law Group, LLC., 1515 South solicitado en la Demanda, o Federal Highway, Suite 100, Condominio Paseomonte, mocualquier otro, si el tribunal, en dulo 12 del Edificio D, situada Boca Raton, FL 33432, 561el ejercicio de su sana discre338-4101 De así no hacerlo, en la Avenida Las Cumbres, ción, lo entiende procedente. en el Barrio Cupey del térmi- se les anotará la rebeldía y se Se le advierte que dentro de los dictará la sentencia que en deno municipal de San Juan, diez (10) días siguientes a la Puerto Rico. Este apartamento recho proceda, sin más citarle publicación del presente edicto, ni oirle, según solicitado por está construido de hormigón se le estará enviando a usted reforzado. Tiene un nivel con la parte demandante. En San por correo certificado con acuJuan, Puerto Rico, hoy día 28 una puerta de entrada desse de recibo, una copia del emde la escalera por el lindero de febrero del 2020. Griselda plazamiento y de la demanda Rodriguez Collado, Secretaria Oeste, ‘y por e!la se sale al presentada al lugar de su última puénte que conduce al área del Tribunal. Carmen Molina dirección conocida: 1052 Calle Garcia, Sec Servicios a Sala.
CARTAGENA RUA 20300 379 Calle Cesar González Hato_Rey, San Juan, PR 00918 Tel (787) 766-0949 / Fax (787) 771-2425 Email: vazquezyasociadospr@ gmail.com
CIVIL NÚM. FA2020CV00055 (307).
CIÓN DE PAGARÉ EXTRAVIADO POR LA VÍA JUDICIAL.
EDICTO. ESTADOS UNIDOS
Río Grande, Puerto Rico, con el número, área y colindancias
que se relacionan a continuación; que contiene una casa de concreto reforzado diseñada
para una familia, construida de acuerdo con los planos y especificaciones
por la Junta de Planificación de Puerto Rico y otras agencias
gubernamentales: Número del solar: 14 del Bloque “Z”. Área
del solar: 398.53 metros cuadrados. En lindes por el NORTE, en arco de 14.50 metros, con la calle No. 21; por el SUR,
en arco de 12.75 metros, con el
solar No. 22; por el ESTE, en 29.32 metros, con el solar No. 15; y por el OESTE, en 29.32 metros, con el solar No. 13.
La propiedad y la escritura de hipoteca constan inscritas al folio 188 del tomo 317 de Rio
Grande, Finca 20517. Registro de la Propiedad de Carolina,
Sección III. Inscripción primera. La escritura de modificación de
hipoteca consta inscrita al folio
189 del tomo 317 de Rio Grande, Finca 20517. Registro de la Propiedad de Carolina, Sección
III. Inscripción segunda. La
parte demandada deberá presentar su alegación responsiva
a través del Sistema Unificado de Administración y Manejo de
Casos (SUMAC), al cual puede acceder utilizando la siguiente
dirección electrónica: https:// unired.ramajudicial.pr,
que se represente por derecho
propio, en cuyo caso deberá
presentar su alegación responsiva en la secretaría del Tribunal. Se le advierte que, si no
contesta la demanda, radicando el original de la contestación
en este Tribunal y enviando copia de la contestación a la abogada de la Parte Demandante,
Lcda. Belma Alonso García,
cuya dirección es: PO Box 3922, Guaynabo, PR 009703922,
Teléfono y Fax: (787)
789-1826, correo electrónico: oficinabelmaalonso@gmail.
com, dentro del término de
treinta (30) días de la publicación de este edicto, excluyéndose el día de la publicación,
se le anotará la rebeldía y se le
dictará Sentencia en su contra,
concediendo el remedio soli-
citado sin más citarle ni oírle. garantía de un pagaré por la EXPEDIDO bajo mi firma y el suma de $42,000.00, a favor de sello del Tribunal, hoy 8 de juEstados Unidos de América o nio de 2020, en Fajardo, Puerto a su orden, con intereses al 11 Rico. Wanda I. Seguí Reyes, 7/8% anual y vencedero en 33 SECRETARIA. Sheila Robles años, sobre la siguiente propie- Hernández, Sec. Auxiliar I. dad: URBANA: Solar radicado
The San Juan Daily Star
Monday, June 15, 2020
As money squabbles delay MLB, many workers ‘just get steamrolled’ By JAMES WAGNER
ike thousands of minor league baseball players, Zack Kelly knew May 31 was an important date. With professional baseball on pause because of the pandemic, MLB had ensured minor leaguers would be paid $400 a week through the end of the month — and Kelly had a hunch that some players would be released as that expiration date approached. He just didn’t think he would be one of them. Kelly, a right-handed pitcher, wasn’t a first-round pick or a notable prospect, but he was progressing steadily through the Los Angeles Angels’ farm system. Last season, at 24, he performed solidly at Class AA Mobile, a level where players typically earn about $9,300 a season. An elbow injury during spring training slowed him and he was awaiting surgery, but Kelly was looking forward to returning to the mound. Then came the news on May 29 that he was among the 39 minor league players released by the Angels. “It’s kind of frustrating because I felt like I had a career that wasn’t worthy of getting released at this point,” he said. Much of the baseball world has been focused on the bitter back-and-forth between MLB and the major league players’ union as they try to hash out their differences on pay in order to play some semblance of a season in 2020. But as MLB’s revenue has dried up significantly with the game on pause, much of the financial pain has also been felt by the vast constellation of club employees, minor league players and stadium workers who depend on the sport for their livelihood. Unlike the big-league players fighting to preserve their salaries, much of that workforce lacks a union, or has a much smaller safety net. “Sports are really a microcosm of society in a lot of ways, and one being that groups of workers who lack representation just get steamrolled when things like this happen,” said Garrett Broshuis, a former minor league pitcher who is now a lawyer and has been leading a class-action lawsuit against MLB teams over minor league wages since 2014. On March 31, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred announced that the stipends for roughly 8,000 minor league players would continue until May 31 or until the start of their season, whichever came first. Three weeks later, Manfred sent a
Grounds crew members worked at the Seattle Mariners’ T-Mobile Park last month. M.L.B. still has no formal plans to begin its 2020 season. memo to the nearly 9,000 team employees governed by the uniform employee contract — which includes major and minor league coaches, scouts, trainers and some front office staffers — telling them that their contracts would be suspended as of May 1 because of the national emergency and lack of revenue. This gave teams the authority to enact furloughs, pay cuts and layoffs. Most clubs committed to paying their employees through May. But their plans diverged abruptly beginning June 1. With the minor league season unlikely to happen this year, each MLB organization had to decide individually whether to continue the weekly stipend to their 200-plus minor league players. All did so, besides a holdout from the Oakland Athletics — who reversed course last week after widespread criticism. Owner John Fisher issued an apology. “I concluded I’d made a mistake,” Fisher told the San Francisco Chronicle. In an industry where team owners are billionaires and the league itself took in more than $10 billion in revenue last year, some clubs have drawn praise for supporting their workers, while others have been denounced for doing much less. The Chicago White Sox, Minnesota Twins and St. Louis Cardinals, for example,
guaranteed employment and full salaries to their baseball operations employees for at least June. (The White Sox even committed to paying their released minor league players this month.) The Kansas City Royals and Twins pledged not to release any minor leaguers. But some teams, including big-market clubs like the Angels and the Athletics, slashed their costs. Royals general manager Dayton Moore, who took a pay cut to help prevent layoffs, noted that even players who peak at low levels of the minor leagues help contribute to the long-term growth of the sport. “Those individuals go back into their communities and teach the game, work in academies, are JUCO coaches, college coaches, scouts, coaches in pro baseball,” Moore told reporters. Normally, each major league franchise releases about two dozen minor league players during the spring, according to numbers tallied by Baseball America. The numbers appear to be higher this year — the Arizona Diamondbacks recently released at least 62 players, and the New York Yankees cut 45. The lack of minor league games wasn’t the only factor: New rules to go along with this year’s reduced, fiveround draft and the prospect of MLB cutting at least 40 minor league teams next season have also led some teams to cut more aggressively. “I feel for some of those guys,” said Kelly, adding that the Angels’ minor league players released were a mix of experienced, young and injured. He added: “It’s unfortunate and it stinks that it has to come down to a financially based motive.” The Angels — owned by Arte Moreno, who has an estimated net worth of over $3 billion — implemented some of the most drastic cost-cutting of any MLB team. They have released over 50 minor league players since March and instituted furloughs that gutted nearly every department of the organization, including trimming their amateur scouting group days before the draft began last Wednesday. The Angels said they had donated $1 million to an employee relief fund. According to details of the program sent to employees, they could apply for an immediate one-time $500 grant or submit a more detailed application for a needs-based grant. “We, like businesses throughout the United States, are making difficult decisions to protect our long-term stability,” Angels spokeswoman Marie Garvey said in a sta-
tement in late May. Up the highway in Los Angeles, the Dodgers, owned by billionaire Mark Walter, implemented a tiered system of pay cuts to avoid furloughs and layoffs. Fulltime employees making at least $75,000 a year saw a reduction, while those making more had their pay cut by up to 35 percent. Front office employees and minor league players aren’t represented by unions, leaving them up to the whims of their employers. Many stadium workers have unions, but they are subcontracted hourly workers and have had mixed results getting aid from teams. Major league players, on the other hand, agreed in March to be paid only for games played, and their union has resisted owners’ calls for deeper cuts. While no decision has been made on the length of a potential 2020 major league season, MLB has told the players’ union that teams would lose an average of $640,000 per game over an 82-game campaign played in empty stadiums if players were paid their full, prorated salaries, according to an Associated Press report last month — though the union is skeptical of the league’s accounting and has requested financial documents. David Carter, a professor of sports business at USC’s Marshall School of Business, said that while owners are indeed wealthy, they “aren’t necessarily liquid the way you or I might think a billionaire is.” Many owners are less concerned about yearly losses than they are with growing their team’s valuations so that they can net large profits from a later sale. Fewer workers are needed with no games happening, of course, but Carter argued that owners — and major league players — are not sympathetic figures in the current economic climate, with more than 20 million people unemployed in the United States. “That’s probably been the single area where there’s been bad public relations, bad messaging and ownership of the issue with franchise owners that have not come across very strong because they are perceived as this really elite business crowd,” he said. “You have people who are relying on minimum wage and that job at the arena as their second position to help put food on the table, and now they’re getting cut back — but, ‘Wait a minute, you’re still CEO of what company?’”
The San Juan Daily Star
Monday, June 15, 2020
The NFL embraces progressive action, but not yet Kaepernick By KEN BELSON
n the wake of the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, the NFL, a league that has wrestled with racial issues for years, has shown unusual unity. Players, coaches, league officials and owners have expressed sadness, remorse and a commitment to seek solutions to police violence against African American people and other forms of social injustice. Yet the specter of Colin Kaepernick still looms large over any conversation of football and race. As the league grapples with next steps to take, many players say that the NFL must address Kaepernick, who in 2016 began kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality toward African Americans, if its newfound progressive stance is to be viewed as legitimate. “It’s definitely a different social climate now, and I’m praying it’s not going to be lip service,” said Chris Conley, a wide receiver on the Jacksonville Jaguars who helped organize a march of players, coaches, staff and their families from the team’s stadium to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s office last week. “A lot of balls were dropped in 2016, and people realized things could have been handled better. There’s a feeling we didn’t do enough last time.” Seattle Seahawks running back Carlos Hyde told reporters Monday, “If they sign Kap back, it’ll show they are really trying to move in a different direction, because Kap was making a statement four years ago about what’s going on in today’s world and the NFL didn’t bother to listen to him then.” After opting out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers and finding no team willing to sign him, Kaepernick in 2019 won a multimillion-dollar settlement of his claim that the league blackballed him because of his protests. In November, the league organized a tryout for Kaepernick that ended in a dispute over the ground rules. Kaepernick held his own workout for a half dozen NFL scouts, but no team offered him a contract. But when Commissioner Roger Goodell said last week in a video statement that the NFL was wrong not to listen to players and encourage those who were protesting, he did not name Kaepernick. Until he does, players say the league’s efforts to fight the issues he raised will be viewed as insincere. “They should mention him,” said Devin McCourty, a safety on the New England Patriots and a member of the Players Coalition. “This was the one guy who did
A man wearing a Colin Kaepernick jersey marched in Minneapolis to protest the death of George Floyd. something, and when you came out and talked about peaceful protest, it started with one guy.” Other players want more than an apology — they want a team to sign Kaepernick. Malcolm Jenkins, a safety on the New Orleans Saints, last week called for the league to apologize and assign Kaepernick to a team. That will be tricky, requiring a coach and team owner willing to absorb the inevitable news media attention that would follow and even potential criticism from President Donald Trump, who has reiterated that players should stand for the anthem. “Is there an NFL owner willing to take the chance and break ranks?” said Charles K. Ross, director of the African American Studies program at the University of Mississippi and the author of “Outside the Lines: African Americans and the Integration of the NFL.” “I know NFL owners are really focused on playing football, but there are some larger issues at stake.” Recognizing Kaepernick is seemingly the only concrete action that has widespread agreement among players. With
momentum built, less fear of reprisal from owners, the league or fans, and an unusual amount of time away from the field because of stay-at-home restrictions, players want to get more involved in societal change. The only question is: What’s next? Some want to double down on the many initiatives already established. In 2019, the league started a program called Inspire Change that directs millions of dollars in donations to groups focused on “police-community relations, criminal justice reform, and education and economic advancement.” Last Thursday, the NFL said it was nearly tripling the size of its commitment to the program, pledging to spend up to $250 million over 10 years. (The league has already distributed $44 million.) Goodell announced in a memo Friday that the league would observe Juneteenth, which celebrates the end of slavery in America, this year, closing its offices on June 19. The Players Coalition, which split progressive players when it began in 2017, has drawn widening support for justice reform measures in recent months. Tampa Bay
Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady, who has been friends with Trump for many years, last month added his name to the group’s call for Attorney General William Barr to investigate the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery. The Players Coalition amassed 1,400 signatures to a letter urging Congress to pass a bill that would end qualified immunity for public officials, including police officers. The signees included Saints quarterback Drew Brees, who last week reversed course on his condemnation of players protesting during the national anthem. Players on other teams have focused on increasing their work on the local level, through their teams’ social justice committees. The Minnesota Vikings, for instance, have in the past accompanied students to Washington, D.C., to visit the Holocaust Museum and the National Museum of African American History and Culture, and work with All Square, a group in Minneapolis that helps people leaving jail find work. Last Wednesday the team announced that it had established a college scholarship in Floyd’s name for African American students, helped clean neighborhoods hit by destructive protests and met with the city’s police chief. Ameer Abdullah, a Vikings running back, on Wednesday told reporters that he expected players to encourage citizens to vote in the presidential elections in November. Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who took part in a player-led video that pushed the NFL to support their protest and include “Black Lives Matter” messaging in its statement, said he and his teammates would meet this week to come up with ways to increase voter registration. He said they wanted to “get as many people registered to vote so they can go and try to affect change in every way they feel possible.” Other players, including some on the Denver Broncos and the Jaguars, have attended protests. Justin Simmons, a Broncos safety, encouraged a crowd in downtown Denver on Saturday to discuss the racism that African Americans face, no matter how uncomfortable. “We as a black community need our white brothers and sisters to explain to the rest of the white brothers and sisters out there what it means for black lives to matter,” Simmons said. “It doesn’t matter your platform, your sphere of influence in your life — the people around you matter. Those are tough conversations to have, but they need to be had.”
The San Juan Daily Star
Monday, June 15, 2020
Tommie Smith’s fist is still raised: ‘We still need to fight’
“It takes me right back to the victory stand in Mexico City because those were the same feelings I had then. I still have those feelings, and it’s terrible that these feelings I had then are playing out now. By KEN BELSON
n 1968, Tommie Smith and John Carlos stepped to the podium at the Olympics in Mexico City to receive their medals in the 200-meter dash. Wearing black socks and no shoes to represent poverty and black gloves to signify black power and liberation, the sprinters raised their fists. The silent protest, which Smith, 76, called “a cry for freedom,” effectively ended their running careers. But it remains one of the most iconic images in the history of sports, and it continues to resonate after the death of George Floyd in police custody and the subsequent protests of racially driven violence against African American people. Athletes who protest, including Colin Kaepernick, the NFL quarterback who knelt during the national anthem before games in the 2016 season to raise awareness of police brutality, are often shouted down. But this time, some of the nation’s
biggest sports stars — as well as their teams and leagues — have called for an end to racism and the need for police reform. Smith lives in Georgia after a long career teaching at Santa Monica College in Southern California and at Oberlin College in Ohio. He rarely speaks publicly these days, but in an interview conducted last week he talked about the current climate of protest and the slow process of change. This interview has been condensed and lightly edited for clarity. Q: What was your reaction to the death of George Floyd? A: It’s that things change, they go speeding a bit, then they slow down to a cold stop. There were players taking a knee, then there was a soccer player with a knee, and then there were murders, and then there were deaths. It takes me right back to the victory stand in Mexico City because those were the same feelings I had then. I still have those feelings, and
it’s terrible that these feelings I had then are playing out now. Q: Were you surprised at the reaction to Colin Kaepernick’s protest four years ago? A: I said when I first saw it, ‘Oh my goodness gracious, this young man is going to have a whole plethora of TV cameras in his face sooner or later.’ And there it was, all over, this disenfranchising, this ‘He’s dishonoring the flag; he’s not doing his job on the field.’ But he was only saying what I already said years ago. I said, my lord, it continues to happen. It moves on and on, but we still need to fight. We cannot stop. Q: Have you spoken with Kaepernick? A: I spoke to him once in person and quite a few times with text messages. But there’s no telling where he is because he is physically moving around trying to explain situations and trying to build programs, which are very much needed. I was very happy to see Commissioner Roger Goodell make the statement that they should have made years ago. It cost the kid his professional football career. Q: How will athletes keep the momentum once the games return? A: In a car or anything you have that’s going to get moving, the most momentum it takes is to start, to start the movement. Once the momentum is started, I’m hoping it continues, and it has to continue not in the streets, because it’s already set a foundation; it has to go into the jurisdiction to get to the jurisprudence to get to the White House. We have steps to go. We just can’t stop with walking the streets because they will only go as far as the streets. We have to do it through the paperwork. Q: What do you say to people who don’t have patience for that process? A: That’s one of the biggest problems. You’ve got the city, the state, and they all have representatives, and that’s where it gets stuck — going through the process of making it a law. The streets are one thing. I know about that because I was in the streets a lot myself back in the day. So I know how these youngsters feel out there in the streets. Yes, it’s moving forward, but mighty slowly.
Q: What makes you hopeful this time is different? A: Getting young folks involved and voting will change the course of what America is. Shooting people in the streets, or killing people by police brutality. This is furthering the emphasis on life. Q: The NFL is the country’s biggest sports league. Are you encouraged by how many players are speaking out now? A: We have to take the good and move it forward because there is going to be difficulties no matter what Commissioner Goodell says. But he gave the freedom to act, to move. With Colin Kaepernick, he stopped everybody. The players can see they have a choice now. They didn’t have a choice last year, especially around Colin’s time four years ago. They had to go by a rule which they couldn’t see or understand. They played because the money was good, not because their heart was in it. Q: Were you surprised by how quickly Drew Brees was criticized? A: He didn’t understand the appalling situation black people are in. But he rescinded what he said because he saw what most everyone else understood before he got there: that it wasn’t about the flag. I didn’t wave my fist because of the flag. The flag is the country; the flag is where my family is, my relatives fought for. Q: Are you surprised that your protest at the Olympics continues to resonate? A: Each person who saw it had an explanation of their own for why it had to be done. You can see it very plainly now why that move had to be done because it was more than Tommie Smith on that victory stand. All I did was stand there with a fist in the air. It was a cry for freedom. And now people are beginning to throw a right fist up and throw it up for different reasons, but now they have the freedom to do it. It was a small crack so all generations are moving through with a form of thanks in their hearts. That’s the way I have to see it because so many people have died because they raised a fist in their hearts or took a knee in their souls to eradicate the knee to the neck.
The San Juan Daily Star
Monday, June 15, 2020
How to Play:
Fill in the empty fields with the numbers from 1 through 9. Sudoku Rules: Every row must contain the numbers from 1 through 9 Every column must contain the numbers from 1 through 9 Every 3x3 square must contain the numbers from 1 through 9
Answers on page 30
(Mar 21-April 20)
A loving message will reach you, filling you with happiness. Feeling cherished gives you an extra boost of energy. Don’t be surprised when you’re inspired to write a screenplay, novel or song. Get to work right away; time is of the essence. As far as you’re concerned, life is an adventure. Every chance you get to explore unfamiliar territory fills you with excitement. Turn a deaf ear to people who criticise your plans, claiming you lack the necessary experience to succeed. You know better.
(April 21-May 21)
Are you looking for ways to make a loved one’s life more special? Make them a gift with your own two hands. Using your artistic talent to create something unique will be a touching gesture that is greatly appreciated and treasured forever. There’s nothing wrong with seeing the world through rose-tinted glasses. Adopting an optimistic outlook will increase your luck. Instead of imagining disastrous outcomes, assume everything will work to your advantage and see what happens.
(May 22-June 21)
You’re flirtatious and fun loving. It’s no wonder you attract romance at every turn. If you’re in a relationship, your amour will be eager to wait on you hand and foot. Don’t stop them. Are you single? Enjoy flirting with people online. Disagreements don’t turn you off. On the contrary, they excite your imagination. You know you’re on the right track when you join forces with someone who challenges your assertions and forces you to reconsider your opinions. You fare best with people who make you think.
The San Juan Daily Star
Monday, June 15, 2020
(June 22-July 23)
(Sep 24-Oct 23)
When you’re happy in love, you become very boisterous. You crack jokes, break into song and perform impromptu dances. Your nearest and dearest shake their heads and laugh at your antics, but secretly, they are jealous. Your capacity for joy is rare and precious. Balance, harmony and domestic tranquillity are important to you. Once you’ve found someone who shares your goals, get busy creating a household together. It will be surprisingly fun to find a new place and collaborate on its decoration.
(Oct 24-Nov 22)
A deep desire for sensual satisfaction informs everything you do. Take this opportunity to enjoy some intimate moments with your amour, ask them for a massage or luxuriate in a scented bath. Any activity that brings physical pleasure is good; your body is yearning for pleasing engagement. Giving someone practical help will be more appreciated than offering advice. Whether this means running an errand, cooking a meal or paying a bill is unimportant. Do what will bring the most relief to a relative.
(Nov 23-Dec 21)
(Dec 22-Jan 20)
Someone who admires you is tender, romantic and considerate. Allow them to lavish you with affection. Usually, you prefer to serve yourself. By basking in another person’s attention, you’ll feel like royalty. It’s a wonderful sensation that gives you courage to take creative risks. Your confidence paves the way to success. Take this opportunity to tackle a plan that was once intimidating. Your newly found courage will drive you across the finish line in record time. Give yourself a reward for taking this risk.
Spending time on your own is refreshing. You’re always looking for ways to care for others. Putting your own needs first will restore balance to your life. Instead of resenting your nearest and dearest, you’ll remember their best qualities. Stubbornly pursuing a professional goal will pay off handsomely. Stop worrying about your odds of succeeding in a highly competitive field. Your chances of landing your dream position will be much stronger when you cultivate confidence.
When it comes to love, you’re highly selective. Settling for second best simply won’t do. Others think you’re too demanding, but you’ll have the last laugh when you find a partner who meets all your qualifications. Keep your eyes open for someone with classic taste. Trust your intuition when it comes to family matters. A relative who feels neglected will benefit from some outings that get them out of the house. They’ll perk up from the attention like a freshly watered plant.
(July 24-Aug 23)
(Jan 21-Feb 19)
Powerful emotions erupt, possibly because someone has betrayed your trust. Despite having had several conversations about this issue, a loved one will go against your wishes. You’ve got to decide whether you want to continue this relationship. Don’t be afraid to embrace your freedom. Pursuing a childhood dream is strongly advised. It doesn’t matter if you want to act, play music or write stories. Make time every day for artistic pursuits. They fill you with youthful enthusiasm.
Your animal magnetism is very strong. Use it to win hearts and favours. If you are looking for love, flirt like mad with someone whose glamour fills you with excitement. Do you want a grant, loan or scholarship? Apply now; you’ll get what you want. A sharp intellect allows you to invent products and devise solutions. It’s no wonder you’re in demand. Working on your own is the best arrangement for an independent soul like you. The ability to pick and choose clients fills you with satisfaction.
(Aug 24-Sep 23)
Working hard for the benefit of your amour comes naturally to you. If you’re single, you will do everything in your power to make yourself a desirable catch. Although having a big income is desirable, it’s more important to be a giving partner. You’ve got a phenomenal memory. Use it to absorb a great deal of information. Passing a test with flying colours will fill you with pride. Don’t be surprised if you get the top marks in the class. Your proficiency paves the way to professional opportunities.
(Feb 20-Mar 20)
When it comes to love, you’re highly sentimental. There’s a good chance you’ve saved everything your amour has ever given you. Instead of keeping these treasures in a dusty box, put them on display. Catching sight of them will fill you with happiness. Don’t be shy about pursuing creature comforts. Possessing beautiful clothes, furniture and artwork fills you with happiness. It also makes you more magnetic to other forms of abundance.
Answers to the Sudoku and Crossword on page 29
Monday, June 15, 2020
Frank & Ernest
Wizard of Id
For Better or for Worse
The San Juan Daily Star
The San Juan Daily Star
Monday, June 15, 2020
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