Thursday, June 18, 2020
San Juan The
Aunt Jemima’s Name and Logo to Say Goodbye
UPR President Rejects Bankruptcy
Haddock: Title III Budget Cuts Not Called For; University Is Paying Its Debt P3
Under Pressure: Court Rules 313 LLC Chief Must Attend House Hearing P5
NOTICIAS EN ESPAÑOL P 19
Trump Under Fire for Another Revealing Book P10
The San Juan Daily Star
Thursday, June 18, 2020
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June 18, 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 president opposes Title III bankruptcy, more budget cuts
By THE STAR STAFF
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niversity of Puerto Rico (UPR) President Jorge Haddock, expressed his opposition to the island’s main public university availing itself of Title III of the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA), saying he considered it extremely dangerous and unnecessary. Haddock said the UPR has paid off its debt so far and it does not pose a risk to the university. Therefore, regardless of existing debt, bankruptcy could lead to the ultimate loss of federal funds for student scholarships, research, and permanent improvements, he said. Likewise, the accreditation that was renewed nine months after Haddock took office, thanks to the efforts that are part of his work plan, would be risked. Title III would also represent an excessive additional cost in terms of legal and financial advice. “Bankrupting the university is not an option,” Haddock said. “Title III is not only unnecessary for UPR, but would also jeopardize access to federal funds that benefit the majority of our students. In addition, it would affect the accreditation that it took us so much effort to obtain and maintain, thanks to the control and austerity measures that we have implemented in such a short time.” Haddock highlighted the delivery of financial statements before the deadline as a demonstration of the changes that have already been implemented. “We are taking great strides in the right direction,” he said. “The transformation of the [UPR] progresses without pause. We have created a culture of responsibility and compliance, kept the budget balanced and created a new budget model. … However, the Financial Oversight and Management Board does not recognize it because it already has an agenda for the university. They have wanted to force the dismissal of employees and the closure of campuses from the beginning. This is contrary to our public policy, and we have shown that we can achieve results without having to implement such drastic measures. This strategy is very common in universities in the states, but it is contrary to the humanity that characterizes our island and institutional culture.” “The Fiscal Plan carried out and certified by the Financial Oversight and Management Board does not reflect the reality of the UPR, nor the work that we have done in the past two years,” said Haddock, who has spent more than four decades creating efficient operations and sustainable organizational cultures in various educational, private and non-governmental organizations around the world. “It shows ignorance of the operation and governance of a university like the UPR. Transformations, to create long-term sustainable change, require time and cultural change.” Haddock noted that eliminating 10,300 positions, as the oversight board claims, “is not feasible and much less sustainable since it would affect the academic quality that distinguishes the UPR and has led to the success of our
graduates.” “Furthermore, the board seems to be unaware that UPR administrative staff fulfill a valuable role in supporting teaching and academia,” he said. “With everything the island has gone through since Hurricane Maria, the earthquakes and the current pandemic, laying off employees would be extremely insensitive and would [negatively] impact on the island’s economy.” Haddock pointed out that the UPR Governing Board, [which has] fiduciary [responsibility for] the Retirement Plan, has presented different proposals to modify the plan without changing the pension benefits of retirees. Likewise, Haddock said he considers the statements of oversight board Executive Director Natalie Jaresko to be irresponsible because they hamper both the accreditation and the student recruitment processes. “At this time … in Puerto Rico, due to the pandemic and the fiscal crisis, the board should avoid adding uncertainty that may generate discomfort in our population,” the UPR president said. “We know that they are called, by the PROMESA law, to create fiscal responsibility on the island, but there is a social and human responsibility that must prevail in our considerations.” Haddock denied meanwhile that the institution has only disbursed $4 million of the federal CARES Act funds, insisting that the UPR has distributed the funds in compliance with the instructions of the U.S. Department of Education. Of the funds received in the first phase, almost $30 million has already been awarded to almost 35,000 students, he pointed out. Now the university is preparing to begin the second phase, to complete the disbursement of the $81 million assigned to the 11 UPR campuses, he said. Jaresko said June 16 she had no reason to believe the University of Puerto Rico will go into Title III bankruptcy under the federal Promesa law but saw it as “a potential tool for pension reform” to reduce the $200 million in annual contributions the university system must make to the pension system. The oversight board executive director said she did not believe bankruptcy will hurt UPR’s accreditation because the bankruptcy-like process under PROMESA is viewed as separate from the regular bankruptcy process. “Title 3 is not traditional bankruptcy. It is being viewed differently,” she said.
The San Juan Daily Star
Thursday, June 18, 2020
Senate president on appointed Labor secretary: ‘Bring me the proof of racism and I will hang the nomination’ By THE STAR STAFF
Leo Aldridge, lawyer of Alma Yadira Cruz Cruz
enate President Thomas Rivera Schatz asked on Wednesday, amid ongoing Appointments Committee hearings on the nomination of Carlos Rivera Santiago as secretary of the Department of Labor and Human Resources, that evidence of racism on the part of the nominee be brought forward for his consideration. If that is done and the evidence is conclusive, the Senate leader said, he will “hang” Rivera Santiago’s nomination. “Some people here have wanted to turn this into a case of racism. And I want someone to tell me what the act of racism that Mr. Carlos
Rivera Santiago committed consists of,” Rivera Schatz said during questioning of Leo Aldridge, the lawyer representing Alma Yadira Cruz Cruz. “Because I assure you, attorney, that if someone presents direct evidence of an act of racism or discrimination against him, I will hang [the nomination] immediately.” “I am concerned as a prosecutor that no one objected [to the accusations of racism],” the Senate leader added. “Nobody said a word. Nobody, and now some allegations are emerging through the media.” Aldridge said “the purpose of coming is to expose the procedural record of what happened and you decide if that blemish, which in my opinion is a large blemish in the file, is
or is not enough to deny a second time at bat.” “That decision is yours,” the attorney said. “I was not elected. You were all elected and have to make the decision.” “It does seem to me that the past of that person in their professional and government positions is worthy of being scrutinized,” Aldridge added. “[That is] what they are doing in this [public] hearing. Yes, I am going to tell you, senator, that in this particular case the discourse of law and order and efficiency was not demonstrated. It is not a protection of law and order to follow only the laws because, as I said in my presentation, the law and order was once that blacks were counted as three-fifths of a human being.”
Bill aims to extend anti-discrimination protections By JOHN McPHAUL email@example.com
en. William Villafañe Ramos introduced Senate Bill 1634 on Wednesday to extend certain protections against discrimination based on physical characteristics, sexual orientation, ethnic origin, or place of residence. The amendment to the Puerto Rico Civil Rights Act also seeks to expand protections against discrimination, segregation, and groundless accusation. “The update that we have [filed] on this law takes into account considerations that can affect a person’s life but that can ordinarily go unnoticed: people with tattoos, obese people, the disease and disabilities such as dwarfism, albinism, deafness, blindness and vitiligo [a disease that causes the skin to lose color in patches],” the senator said. “... [W]e present this legislative amendment to strengthen the rights and protections of our citizens.
We must continue to focus on improving the quality of life for those people who still experience different types of discrimination. There is still a long way to go and this measure is a step in the right direction.” The legislation seeks to increase applicable fines, expand the responsibilities of public officials regarding the duty to enforce the civil rights law and provide consequences for non-compliance. The amendment would also apply the revocation of permits, franchises and licenses to any business that repeatedly violates the law. In Puerto Rico, prior to the establishment of the Bill of Rights of the commonwealth Constitution, the Puerto Rico Civil Rights Act was adopted, through which discriminatory practices for religious, political, racial, color or sex aspects were prohibited. Over time, it has been found that the range of meanings by which society can exclude certain vulnerable or disadvantaged groups or sectors is wider. For this reason, the courts have interpreted modalities on which to extend the original protections. As an example, the United States Supreme Court found in favor of the application of protections against discrimination by sex in cases of unequal treatment based on the sexual orientation or gender of the injured party. The legislative revision introduced by Villafañe Ramos provides that people from outside Puerto Rico are not discriminated against because of their origin, culture, language, clothing and other traditions that distinguish them. Villafañe Ramos pointed out that the protections of the civil rights law covers any discrimination against people for their sexual orientation. Likewise, segregationist practices would be prohibited, without affecting commercial freedom regarding the defi-
nition of markets and pricing; and capricious complaints, claims and denunciations based on discrimination and prejudice would be restricted. The piece of legislation proposes to prevent officials who administer justice in the government from carrying out investigations, cases or prosecutions against people -- in which evidence arises that could corrupt or make them unlawful -- for political or religious reasons, or reasons based on race, color, sex, sexual orientation, ethnic origin or place of residence. These discriminatory reasons would be taken into account even when they do not come from public officials.
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The San Juan Daily Star
Thursday, June 18, 2020
Superior Court judge issues ultimatum to 313 LLC president to attend House hearing By THE STAR STAFF
uerto Rico Superior Court Judge Anthony Cuevas Ramos on Wednesday gave 313 LLC President Ricardo Vázquez Hernández three days to appear before the Health Committee of the island House of Representatives following a request from House Speaker Carlos “Johnny” Méndez Núñez. The committee, under House Resolution 1741, is investigating the management and distribution of resources by central government agencies during the existing emergency in Puerto Rico due to the coronavirus pandemic. “In keeping with the current rule of law and by virtue of the authority conferred on the House of Representatives by the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, as well as the aforementioned provisions of the Political Code of Puerto Rico, the Petition is granted and this order addressed to Mr. RicardoVázquez Hernández, ‘Managing Member’ of 313 LLC is issued,” the order states. “So that, within the term of 3 days from the notification of this Order, he appears to testify before the Health Committee. Mr. Vázquez is advised
that, in accordance with the provisions of article 34a (2) of the Political Code of 1902, failure or disobedience to the order issued herein will be punished by this Court as civil contempt of court.” Vázquez has been summoned several times to appear before the House committee. During the lockdown of non-essential businesses, which began on March 15, the government tried to purchase some $40 million in equipment from firms that had no experience manufacturing medical supplies. The contracts were subsequently cancelled. Published reports noted that the owners of the companies were also political donors of the governing New Progressive Party and may have been favored. U.S. District Court Judge Laura Taylor Swain also on Wednesday referred to U.S. Magistrate Judge Judith Dein the suit brought by the Financial Oversight and Management Board to compel the government to provide documents regarding the procurement and negotiation of contracts to purchase COVID-19 testing equipment and other medical supplies during the state of emergency. The oversight board sued the govern-
Rep. Juan Oscar Morales, president of the Health Committee of the House ment on June 8 to obtain information on the multi-million-dollar contracts with Apex General Contractors, 313 LLC and others in order to understand the processes under which the contracts were negotiated. “The rules for how the government spends money must be clear and transparent at all times, including under the immense pressure of emergencies,” said the oversight board’s executive director, Natalie Jaresko, in a statement at the time.
“Contracts of this magnitude must be fair and free from any doubt.” Considering the coronavirus pandemic, the oversight board agreed to temporarily relax certain contracting procedures for the procurement of certain items, but the government was supposed to provide a copy of each contract to the board. Generally, contracts of more than $10 million must be submitted to the oversight board.
Hospital giant being silently squeezed past its limits amid pandemic By THE STAR STAFF
he severe drop in overall patients and the loss of revenue as a result of the novel coronavirus pandemic has caused private hospitals across the island to furlough nurses and doctors, but Grupo HIMA San Pablo, Puerto Rico’s No. 2 hospital chain, announced the deepest cuts of all, according to a report in the Huffington Post. In late April, the company, which operates five hospitals across the island’s populous northeast, said it would lay off or reduce hours for 2,000 of its 4,900 employees. The decision ― ultimately dialed back to 10 percent of its workers ― came just two weeks after a pediatrician at its medical center in the town of Caguas, south of San Juan, became the first doctor in Puerto Rico to die of COVID-19. The lockdown of non-essential businesses also forced hospitals to cancel many procedures. People also have a fear of visiting hospitals because of the coronavirus.
Grupo HIMA blamed the commonwealth government for failing to deliver on extra stimulus funding it promised to keep hospitals afloat during the crisis, and said its struggles are no different from other health care providers across the country. By June, the company said it rehired most of its furloughed workers through a federal Paycheck Protection Program loan, according to the Huffington Post. But the reprieve is temporary. A HuffPost review of financial disclosures and regulatory filings indicates Grupo HIMA is past due on paying off nearly $20 million to WhiteHorse Finance, the lending subsidiary of Miami-based private equity giant HIG Capital, whose $34 billion portfolio includes major investments in for-profit prisons and immigrant detention centers. While Grupo HIMA appears to also owe money to other lenders, watchdog groups say the spending cuts track with the private equity playbook and mirror similar attempts by the industry to squeeze profits out of health
care companies amid a historic pandemic. “We’re scared,” one employee, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of being fired, told the Huffington Post. “We’re scared for our jobs. We’re scared we might get infected at any moment. And we’re scared about the hospital falling into these creditors’ hands.” The situation within Grupo HIMA represents what some see as a philosophical debate unfolding in Puerto Rico, as the business class seeks to restore the island’s creditworthiness through tough choices, and workers, bearing the brunt of those decisions, feel pushed to their limits. Yet it may also offer another example of how the private equity industry, whose cut-throat profit squeezing earns frequent comparisons to birds that subsist on the carcasses of others, has inflamed a devastating public health crisis. Grupo HIMA has not yet submitted its 2019 audit to the island’s regulators and, as a private company, it does not release its
quarterly earnings to the public. But WhiteHorse’s quarterly reports show Grupo HIMA owed the final payments on its two loans in July 2018 and April 2019, respectively. But recent filings list a new May 2019 acquisition date on one of the loans, suggesting Grupo HIMA refinanced the deal. Grupo HIMA Vice President Heidi Rodríguez Benítez acknowledged to the Huffington Post that “that loan expired” but declined to comment on the deal, stating the company’s “relationship with the lenders” is “confidential” and she was “not at liberty to speak about individual lenders.” But she said “decisions regarding our workforce and the times when we have made a determination to reduce the workforce are all decisions that the hospital has made,” and while “we discuss these topics with our lenders, we do not allow them to intervene in those decisions.” “We’re having all of the costs without any of the returns,” she said during the first interview in April. “It’s just simple math.”
Thursday, June 18, 2020
The San Juan Daily Star
Court rules licensing of engineers and land surveyors is unconstitutional By THE STAR STAFF
through the Board of Examiners of Engineers and Surveyors of Puerto Rico that it is possible to safeguard that public interest and not through compulsory membership.” The court’s decision stems from the lawsuit filed on July 16, 2019 by a group of eight licensed surveyors, arguing that forced membership in the Engineers and Land Surveyors Association violated their fundamental right to freedom of association, enshrined in the Puerto Rio Constitution. Del Valle Muñoz pointed out that the judgment issued by the Superior Court is consistent with the rule of law established by the island Supreme Court in Rodríguez Casillas v. ELA, in which case the mandatory registration of automotive technicians and mechanics was declared unconstitutional. “The moment is opportune for the Legislature to proceed once and for all with the approval of the bills introduced by the representative José Aponte in September 2018, which provide for the elimination of compulsory membership in the rest of the professions,” the attorney said. “Doing nothing sends the wrong message to citizens.”
he San Juan Superior Court has issued a judgment in which the compulsory membership of engineers and surveyors in a professional association was declared unconstitutional, attorney Armando del Valle Muñoz said Wednesday. Del Valle Muñoz, as attorney for the appellant, challenged the constitutionality of Law 319-1938 regarding the imposition of compulsory membership as a condition for practicing professional engineering and surveying in Puerto Rico. “Compelling the plaintiffs to belong to an association that does not represent them, with whose actions and institutional statements they differ, constitutes a violation of their constitutional rights,” del Valle Muñoz said in a written statement. He also noted that, although the regulation of engineering and surveying is a matter of social importance, “it is
Lawmaker: P3 plan for cruise piers looks to be on the rocks By JOHN McPHAUL email@example.com
ep. Ángel Matos on Wednesday characterized insistence on the privatization of the cruise ship piers in San Juan as a failure, given the change in attitude of Global Port Holdings, the company the Puerto Rico government is in talks with to improve and manage the piers. “This pandemic has demonstrated the true intentions of the Ports Authority and the privatization company,” Matos said in a written statement. “It was enough for 90 days of temporary closure and the alleged $300 million and construction plans disappeared.” He said in a radio interview Wednesday that Ports Authority Executive Director Joel Pizá Batiz acknowl-
edged that the public and private alliance for the cruise ship docks has collapsed in the face of the cruise tourism industry’s performance on the world stage. “I am surprised by the stubbornness and insistence of the executive director of the Ports Authority, who still hopes that this bad business for the country will stop,” Matos said. “My call to all sectors of the tourism industry is to maintain vigilance and opposition to this, since in a very short time circumstances can change and an illegally signed contract can appear.” Last year the government started negotiations with Global Port Holdings as the preferred proponent. The company submitted to the government a proposal to repair, design, build, finance, maintain and operate the docks for a 30-year period. Under the proposal the company would invest $250 million, an estimate from a study by the United States Maritime Administration. In its first stage, the company was supposed to repair piers 11 and 12, which have been closed for a decade because of deterioration, and build another new pier to be used to dock cruise ships. In addition, under the contract, the company was also supposed to repair the Pan American dock structure that is currently being used by Royal Caribbean cruise line since the dock’s foundations are in an advanced state of disrepair.
The San Juan Daily Star
Thursday, June 18, 2020
How black NYPD officers really feel about the Floyd protesters By ASHLEY SOUTHALL and EDGAR SANDOVAL
dwin Raymond, a black lieutenant in the Police Department, heard racial insults — “Sellout!” and “Uncle Tom!” — rising above protesters’ chants as he helped to control the crowds at recent demonstrations in Brooklyn against police brutality and racism. He said he understood the words were aimed at black officers like him. He tried not to take them personally, but the shouts were particularly painful, he said, because he has long been an outspoken critic of what he sees as racial discrimination within the department. “I’m not blind to the issues, but I’m torn,” Raymond said. “As I’m standing there with my riot helmet and being called a ‘coon,’ people have no idea that I identify with them. I understand them. I’m here for them. I’ve been trying to be here as a change agent.” Raymond, 34, is one of hundreds of black and Hispanic officers in New York City who have found themselves caught between competing loyalties. Many said they sympathized with protesters across the city and the country who have turned out en masse to demonstrate against police brutality in the wake of George Floyd’s death at the hands of a white officer in Minneapolis. The officers said they had experienced racism and share the protesters’ mission to combat it. Still, the unrest offers painful reminders that many black and Hispanic New Yorkers see them as enemies in uniform, worsening the internal tug-of-war between their identity and their badges. Since Mayor Bill de Blasio took office in 2014, the Police Department has become “majority-minority”: White officers now make up less than half of the 36,000 uniformed members of the force. The number of Hispanic officers has grown to make up 29% of the force, while the percentage of Asian officers in the force doubled to 9%, according to the department’s data. (In the 2010 census, about 29% of city residents were Hispanic and 14% Asian.) But the department has struggled to boost the ranks of black officers. Black people make up about 24% of the city but only 15% of the force, a number that has remained flat since 2014. And even though more black and Hispanic chiefs have been elevated to leadership roles under de Blasio, two-thirds of the officers in the department’s top ranks, from lieutenant to chief, are still white, the data show. In the wake of Floyd’s death on May 25, some black officers felt a duty to speak out. Two days later, Dmaine Freeland, a black detective in Brooklyn, put on his uniform, sat at his kitchen table, clasped his hands and recorded a video on his cellphone. The detective denounced the officer who had knelt on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes while three other officers watched. He called him an “enemy” and asked “every good cop to speak up.” Then he posted the two-minute video on Facebook. “I just spiritually felt the need to speak for good cops out there,” Freeland, 44, said in an interview, so “that we don’t get bunched in with the actions of one or four bad cops.” Sgt. Khadijah Faison, a black officer in Jamaica, Queens, took a public step of another kind: She knelt with protesters in
Detective Dmaine Freeland posted a video denouncing the role of police officers in the death of George Floyd. a gesture of solidarity. Faison had been working at a midday protest on May 31 near the 103rd Precinct station, where she is part of the community affairs unit. The demonstrators formed a circle and beckoned her and other officers to join them for prayer. She said she felt moved to do so. “If you are asking to pray, you kneel. So I kneeled too,” she said. “I think we were all looking for a sign.” Two other officers also decided to kneel next to her, including her commanding officer, who is white. The department frowns on officers’ making political statements in uniform, but the Floyd protests have created a different dynamic, as top police officials and union leaders have condemned the officers in Minneapolis. The police commissioner, Dermot F. Shea, shared a NY1 News reporter’s photos of the moment Faison knelt, writing: “We need more of this, to see and hear each other, to work together, to recognize that our differences are our strength.” The next day, Chief Terence A. Monahan, the department’s highest-ranking uniformed officer, also knelt with protesters in Manhattan, and other officers have followed suit. Black and Hispanic officers said the show of support from white officers and commanders like Monahan was one of the ways the current protests have been different from past
demonstrations over police killings. Several of the officers said they were disappointed by the looting and violence that has occurred during and after some protest marches, including instances of unnecessary force used by police against demonstrators. Some said they were shocked that some protesters had hurled Molotov cocktails at officers and a police car. But they have also been heartened that the crowds marching after Floyd’s death are bigger and more racially diverse than those that turned out after the death of Eric Garner, a Staten Island father who died after he was put in an illegal chokehold by a New York police officer in 2014. “You’d think that would be the big one,” said Officer Pedro Serrano, who works in the South Bronx, referring to the Garner case. “But police departments across the world are showing time and time again that people of color, they don’t matter. So I’m glad to see that more and more people are speaking up and seeing what’s really happening.” Serrano said recent measures passed by the state Legislature aimed at addressing some problems raised by Floyd’s death — a statewide ban on police chokeholds and the repeal of a statute that kept officer misconduct secret — were small improvements. But he said they fail to address the main issue, which, in his view, is the racial biases of the Police Department’s leaders. “If you have a racist leadership who is never held responsible, nothing’s going to happen,” he said. “You’re putting Band-Aids instead of fixing what the problem is.” Shea has defended his department’s record on race and diversity. He has pointed out that the department in the last six years has moved away from flawed strategies like “stop and frisk,” which a judge found disproportionately affected black and Hispanic residents and ruled unconstitutional. They have also steadily reduced arrests and summonses. Protesters have seemed to ignore the possibility black officers might by sympathetic to their cause. On another night, two black officers tried to get protesters to move from the street onto the sidewalk in front of the Barclays Center. A white woman gave one of them a hard time, but he remained polite. Then a white man walked up behind him and yelled, “He wants to stomp on your neck and kill you!” The officer flashed a look of exasperation before turning around and asking the woman, again, to move toward the sidewalk. Other protesters have tried to make black officers feel guilty, suggesting they are insufficiently upset about Floyd. “They’ll say, ‘How do you feel if it was your child? If that was your husband or that was your father?’” Faison, in Queens, said. “It’s not about a side. I experience the same pain that you experience.” Officer Oriade Harbor, 38, a transgender black man assigned to Police Headquarters, said that even though he often speaks out against what he sees as social injustice, when he does police work he is still seen as “part of a system that is oppressive to black people.” “People treat me different in uniform, because they only see the uniform,” he said. He added, “At the end of the day I am a black person who dons a blue uniform. I am a trans male. I walk in all of these worlds.”
Thursday, June 18, 2020
The San Juan Daily Star
From Columbus to Confederates, anger about statues boils over By SARAH MERVOSH, SIMON ROMERO and LUCY TOMPKINS
he boiling anger that exploded in the days after George Floyd gasped his final breaths is now fueling a national movement to topple perceived symbols of racism and oppression in the United States, as protests over police brutality against African Americans expand to include demands for a more honest accounting of all American history. In Portland, Oregon, demonstrators protesting against police killings turned their ire to Thomas Jefferson, toppling a statue of the Founding Father who also enslaved more than 600 people. In Richmond, Virginia, a statue of Italian navigator and colonizer Christopher Columbus was spray-painted, set on fire and thrown into a lake. And in Albuquerque, New Mexico, tensions over a statue of Juan de Oñate, a 16th-century colonial governor exiled from New Mexico over cruel treatment of Native Americans, erupted in street skirmishes and a blast of gunfire before the monument was removed Tuesday. Across the country, monuments criticized as symbols of historical oppression have been defaced and brought down at warp speed in recent days. The movement initially set its sights on Confederate symbols and examples of racism against African Americans but has since exploded into a broader cultural moment, forcing a reckoning over such issues as European colonization and the oppression of Native Americans. In New Mexico, it has surfaced generations-old tensions among indigenous, Hispanic and Anglo residents and brought 400 years of turbulent history bubbling to the surface. “We’re at this inflection point,” said Keegan King, a member of Acoma Pueblo, which endured a massacre of 800 or more people directed by Oñate, the brutal Spanish conquistador. The Black Lives Matter movement, he said, had encouraged people to examine the history around them, and not all of it was merely written in books. “These pieces of systemic racism took the form of monuments and statues and parks,” King said. The debate over how to represent the uncomfortable parts of American history has been going on for decades, but the traction for knocking down monuments seen in recent days raises new questions about whether it will result in a fundamental shift in how history is taught to new generations. “It is a turning point insofar as there are a lot of people now who are invested in telling the story that historians have been laying down for decades,” said Julian Maxwell Hayter, a historian and associate professor at the University of Richmond. He said that statues removed from parks and street corners could be teaching points if they are placed in museums, sideby-side with documents and first-person accounts from the era. “Let’s say you put a Columbus statue in a museum and you show students the way Columbus was lionized in a history textbook and you have them read ‘Devastation of the Indies’ by de Las Casas,” he said. “Then you have to ask, why were people invested in telling this particular version of Christopher Columbus’ history?” The calls to bring down monuments have spanned far and wide, in large cities like Philadelphia and rural places like Columbus, Mississippi, touching both relatively obscure historical figures and deeply revered cultural symbols.
Workers remove the statue of Juan de Oñate from outside the Albuquerque Museum in Albuquerque, N.M. In Raleigh, North Carolina, the statue of a former newspaper publisher who was also a white supremacist was removed on Tuesday. In Sacramento, a tribute to John Sutter, a settler famous for his role in the California gold rush who enslaved and exploited Native Americans, was taken down this week. And in Dallas, construction crews recently removed a statue of a Texas Ranger, long seen as a mythical figure in Texas folklore, amid concerns over historical episodes of police brutality and racism within the law enforcement agency. The push has largely been welcomed by activists from the Black Lives Matter movement who see Confederate and other monuments as reminders of the oppressive history that created the reality they are battling today. But some of them worried that the focus on historic symbols would do little to keep attention on the more pressing issue of ending the brutal treatment of many African Americans by the police. “I don’t know if I would say a distraction, because I think people definitely have the ability to be nuanced,” said Alisha Sonnier, a 24-year-old mental health advocate from St. Louis who is concerned that taking down statues could be an “easy appeasement.” “The statue being removed is not going to keep anyone from dying,” she said. “It’s not going to save a life.” Cleon Jones, a 77-year-old activist in Africatown, Alabama, formed on Mobile Bay by the last known shipment of slaves to the United States from Africa, said he felt frustrated by the notion that progress toward equality could be stalled by rancor over Confederate monuments. “We’ve got to move forward, not look back,” he said. “As long as we are dealing with these statues, we’re not moving forward.” The focus on removing statues has revealed deep civil divisions far outside the Black Lives Matter movement that are hundreds of years in the making. It has spurred a backlash among Italian Americans who have long regarded Columbus as a point of pride,
and also among some Hispanics in New Mexico, who celebrate an era when Anglos did not dominate public life in New Mexico. “We need to have a broader discussion about our history,” said Christine Flowers, a 58-year-old Italian American immigration lawyer, who was among a group that gathered to protect a statue of Columbus in Philadelphia. But she added, “It is indefensible to try to erase that history by pulling down something that is very dear and very symbolic for the culture of Italian Americans in Philadelphia.” In Columbus, Mississippi, a largely African American town, county officials voted Monday to keep a towering monument to Confederate soldiers — “our heroes,” it calls them — on the courthouse lawn despite mounting calls for its removal. “It’s a good time to learn some history,” said Trip Hairston, a white county supervisor who opposed removing the monument. “I don’t agree with all that history, of course, but it is what it is — it’s history.” It was an argument that left many of those pushing to remove the statue perplexed. “It’s commemorating and celebrating a lost battle — I don’t understand,” said David Horton, 28, a lifelong resident of Columbus who first fought against a Confederate monument as a seventh grader at Robert E. Lee Middle School. “These are things I have to endure all my life as a young African American man living in Mississippi,” he said. “It’s always made me feel inferior, it’s always made me feel like I shouldn’t hold my head up.” The statues debate has once again focused attention on Columbus, the voyager who emerged as a symbol of Italians’ contribution to American history in the late 1800s, a time when discrimination against Italians was rampant. But many in recent days are also talking about how his arrival signaled the beginning of a violent European colonization that resulted in a crossAtlantic slave trade and the genocide and displacement of many indigenous peoples. In Philadelphia, supporters went to court to block the removal of a Columbus statue after another statue, of Frank Rizzo, a former mayor known for discriminatory policies, was removed by the city this month in the middle of the night. “You just can’t let the mob rule,” said George Bochetto, a lawyer who filed the petition. In Minneapolis, where the demonstrations over Floyd’s death ignited new protest movements in dozens of cities, many said they never expected them to grow into an international reckoning over racist symbols. Still, they said, it was only a matter of time before the latest police killing of a black man led to something more lasting than previous protests. “It’s kind of like a wound that has a scab,” said Teron Carter, 49, standing across the street from Cup Foods, the deli near Floyd’s fatal encounter with the police. “A wound that has a scab is still a wound, it’s just that the scab is on top. And if you scrape that scab a certain way, it reopens the wound.” He attributed the scope of the burgeoning movement to built up grief and to the energy of young people who simply are not willing to put up with walking by Confederate and other statues each day. “It’s not just an isolated city event,” Carter said. “Now everybody saw the opportunity and said, ‘If we don’t get in there and talk like Minneapolis is talking, then we aren’t going to be heard.’”
The San Juan Daily Star
Thursday, June 18, 2020
CIA failed to defend against theft of secrets by insider, report says By JULIAN E. BARNES
he 2016 theft of secret CIA hacking tools by an agency officer, one of the largest breaches in agency history, was partly because of failures to install safeguards and officials who ignored the lessons of other government agencies that saw large breaches when employees stole secrets, according to an internal CIA report released on Tuesday. The CIA fostered an innovative culture within its hacking team, which took great risks to create untraceable tools to steal secrets from foreign governments. But that team and its overseers were focused on building cuttingedge cyberweapons and spent too little energy protecting those tools, failing to put in place even common security standards like basic monitoring of who had access to its information, the report said. The agency should have known better, the report concluded, given that the theft came years after highly public disclosures by the former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning, who stole data from the Pentagon and State Department, and the former contractor Edward Snowden, who took information from the National Security Agency. Both helped expose those secrets. In March 2017, WikiLeaks published some of the CIA’s most valuable hacking tools, which it called Vault 7. The WikiLeaks disclosure revealed some of the ways that the CIA could break into foreign computer networks or activate the camera or microphone on electronic devices to eavesdrop on adversaries. In the wake of that breach, Mike Pompeo, then the CIA director, ordered a secret review of the leak and why the agency had not detected it. The report said that because of a lack of safeguards or activity monitoring, the agency could not determine the precise scope of the loss. The CIA’s WikiLeaks task force, not the agency’s independent inspector general, compiled the report. The task force was assembled to examine the theft of the hacking tools and develop procedures to prevent future leaks. The report had been partially declassified for the trial this year of Joshua Schulte, a former CIA officer accused of giving the information to WikiLeaks. During the trial, defense lawyers read excerpts from the report but were not allowed to release even the redacted pages. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore. and a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, made the report public on Tuesday, and The Washington Post first reported a fuller version of its findings. The CIA declined to comment directly on the report. Timothy Barrett, the agency spokesman, said the CIA was working to “incorporate best-in-class technologies to keep ahead of and defend against ever-evolving threats.” The report said the theft was the greatest data loss in the agency’s history. As much as 34 terabytes of information — up to 2.2 billion pages — were stolen, revealing the CIA’s secret hacking methods.
The CIA seal on the floor at the agency’s headquarters in Langley, Va. Security on the elite hacking team was lax. Team members shared administrator passwords, and blocks on removable media, like thumb drives or writable discs, were ineffective. Those vulnerabilities made it easier for an insider to steal the CIA’s data. The loss to the agency was enormous. When WikiLeaks released the information, foreign governments were able to quickly fix vulnerabilities, kicking the CIA out of their networks and cutting off its ability to listen surreptitiously to some devices. But it is difficult to assess the precise loss to the CIA’s hacking team. The report did say that the agency had moderate confidence that WikiLeaks did not get all of its hacking tools. Some were better protected on a socalled “Gold folder.” The report was heavily redacted and had at least 30 missing pages. Schulte’s defense had to fight the government to see even a portion of the report and was not allowed to release the document during the trial, said Sabrina Shroff, his lawyer. Ultimately, she said, she saw only about a quarter of the report. “From the beginning of this case, the government sought to hide this report,” she said. “We had to litigate and claw our way to get an extra word made available to the defense. To this day, I have not seen the entirety of the report.” Insider threats are almost impossible to eliminate. But
security measures can make it more difficult for disgruntled employees to steal classified information. By 2017, the threat of WikiLeaks should have been plain to anyone in an intelligence agency, the report said. “For nearly a decade WikiLeaks has exploited the digital realm to profoundly reshape opportunities for individuals sworn to protect our nation’s secrets to leak classified or sensitive information,” the report said. The report outlined a system where different arms of the agency developed their own information technology capabilities and systems of policing themselves. That culture of “shadow IT” created “unacceptable risk” for the CIA. The hacking team’s tools were on computer systems that lacked the ability to audit the information stored on them. The CIA, according to the report, did not learn about the loss until a year after it occurred, when WikiLeaks announced in March 2017 that it had the Vault 7 data. In a letter to John Ratcliffe, the director of national intelligence, Wyden said the report suggested that Congress’ decision to exempt intelligence agencies from federal cybersecurity requirements was a mistake. Wyden said that vulnerabilities remained within the intelligence community’s information technology. “The lax cybersecurity practices documented in the CIA’s WikiLeaks task force report do not appear limited to just one part of the intelligence community,” Wyden wrote.
Thursday, June 18, 2020
The San Juan Daily Star
Trump administration sues to try to delay publication of Bolton’s book
John Bolton, then the national security adviser, during a meeting between President Donald Trump and Romanian President Klaus Iohannis in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. By MAGGIE HABERMAN and KATIE BENNER
he Trump administration sued the former national security adviser John Bolton on Tuesday to try to delay publication of his highly anticipated memoir about his time in the White House, saying the book contained classified information that would compromise national security if it became public. The book, “The Room Where It Happened,” is set for release on June 23. Administration officials have repeatedly warned Bolton against publishing it. Bolton made clear in a statement this week that his book contained explosive details about his time at the White House. He and President Donald Trump clashed on significant policy issues like Iran, North Korea and Afghanistan, and in his book, Bolton also confirmed accusations at the heart of the Democratic impeachment case over the president’s dealings with Ukraine, according to details from his manuscript previously reported by The New York Times. The Justice Department accused him of short-circuiting a government review that he had agreed to participate in for any eventual manuscript before even accepting the post in 2018. Bolton is breaking that agreement, “unilaterally de-
ciding that the prepublication review process is complete and deciding for himself whether classified information should be made public,” department lawyers wrote in a breach of contract lawsuit against Bolton filed in federal court in Washington. The book’s publisher, Simon & Schuster, has already printed and distributed copies, and the lawsuit did not name it as a party, in an apparent nod to the constitutional and practical impediments to trying to stop it. Instead, the Justice Department asked a judge to seize Bolton’s proceeds from the book deal and to order him to try to persuade Simon & Schuster to pull back the book and dispose of copies until the review is completed. Bolton’s lawyer, Charles J. Cooper, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. He has said that his client acted in good faith and that the Trump administration is abusing a standard review process to prevent Bolton from revealing information that is merely embarrassing to Trump, but not a threat to national security. A spokesman for Simon & Schuster called the lawsuit “nothing more than the latest in a long-running series of efforts by the administration to quash publication of a book it deems unflattering to the president.” While insider books vex many administrations, it is rare for one to sue to delay it before publication. Several former White House lawyers said they could not recall a similar legal effort to stop a book by a former White House official. Bolton grew convinced that the prepublication review was no longer on the level, if it ever was, after he agreed to make the changes he was asked to make but the White House still gave him no written confirmation that the review was complete. The White House has now taken longer to review the book than Bolton did to write it after he resigned in September. On Monday, Trump accused Bolton of violating policies on classified information by moving ahead with the book. The president also threatened Bolton with criminal charges for moving ahead, though there is no indication that federal prosecutors plan to pursue any. The Justice Department did accuse Bolton in the lawsuit of leaking the manuscript, which contained classified information, without approval. Disclosing classified information is a federal crime. But in a further sign that the Justice Department is not mounting a serious bid to try to block the book’s imminent release, the complaint does not seek a temporary restraining order — a legal step to freeze an action so the court can evaluate disputes — to block any further distribution of copies, Richard Hasen, a law professor at the University of California, Irvine, said on Twitter. Trump also faces the prospect of unfavorable revelations from a forthcoming book on another front. A niece of his, Mary Trump, plans to divulge damaging information about him in a book to be published next month, also by Simon & Schuster, the publisher said this week. Bolton submitted the manuscript to the administration for review in January. At the time, the impeachment
trial was underway into whether Trump’s dealings with Ukraine constituted an abuse of power. Democrats asked Bolton to testify voluntarily in the House impeachment inquiry, but he declined, and they never sought a subpoena, fearing a protracted court fight. Bolton never testified in House impeachment proceedings, infuriating Democrats, but offered to testify in the Senate trial if subpoenaed only to have Republicans block such a request and ultimately the president was acquitted. Trump has been enraged about Bolton’s pending book for months, and has told his advisers he wanted to try to stop it. On Monday, Attorney General William Barr criticized Bolton for publishing a book while the president he served under was still in office, erroneously calling it unprecedented. Other officials, including Robert Gates, a former defense secretary and CIA director under presidents of both parties, have published books while the administration they worked in was still in power. The government’s system for reviewing books and other material by former officials was created to ensure that classified and other sensitive information remained secret. Officials must agree to submit any works to the review process in order to obtain a security clearance. Bolton submitted his materials to the National Security Council, which found “significant quantities of classified information,” the Justice Department said in its complaint. According to the complaint, a security council official reviewing it told Bolton in April that it did not contain classified information. But she also told Bolton that the review was ongoing. A second review by Michael Ellis, the council’s senior director for intelligence, began in May. Ellis said in a letter this month to Cooper that the manuscript still contained classified information, that Bolton “himself classified and designated for declassification only after the lapse of twenty-five years” and that the book could not be published and distributed, the complaint said. Cooper replied in a letter that “the book has now been printed, bound, and shipped to distributors across the country,” the lawsuit said. Rather than wait for the government to complete the review, the Justice Department said, Bolton “decided to take matters into his own hands” and decide with his publisher to disclose last week that the book would be published this month, without giving notice to the National Security Council. The lawsuit filed on Tuesday gestured at blocking publication, but it seemed more squarely focused on seizing Bolton’s profits. Filed against Bolton — not Simon & Schuster — it asked for the court to take control of the money he made from the book, and to order that he “instruct or request his publisher, insofar as he has the authority to do so,” to retrieve and dispose of current copies of the book and further delay its release “until completion of the prepublication review process.”
The San Juan Daily Star
Thursday, June 18, 2020
Aunt Jemima brand to change name and image over ‘racial stereotype’ By TIFFANY HSU
unt Jemima, the popular syrup and pancake-mix brand that marketed itself with imagery of the slaveryera South, will get a new name and image after Quaker Oats, its parent company, acknowledged that its origins were “based on a racial stereotype.” On Wednesday, the company, owned by PepsiCo, said it was taking “a hard look at our portfolio of brands” as it worked “to make progress toward racial equality through several initiatives.” Packaging changes, first reported by NBC News, will appear toward the end of the year, with the name change coming soon after. The Aunt Jemima brand, founded in 1889, was built on images of a black female character that promoted a false and nostalgic view of slavery in the United States. A former slave portrayed the character at the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago, and a white actress known for performing in blackface played Aunt Jemima on a radio series in the 1930s. In magazine advertisements throughout much of the 20th century, the character was shown serving white families. Aunt Jemima went through several redesigns over the decades. In 1989, Quaker Oats substantially revised the character’s look, adding pearl earrings and a lace collar. “While work has been done over the years to update the brand in a manner intended to be appropriate and respectful, we realize those changes are not enough,” Kristin Kroepfl, Quaker’s chief marketing officer, said in a statement. PepsiCo bought Quaker Oats in 2001, inheriting the Aunt Jemima brand. Ramon Laguarta, the chief executive of PepsiCo, wrote in an article in Fortune this week that “the journey for racial equality has long been part of our company’s DNA.” Amid the worldwide protests against racism and police brutality prompted by the killing last month in Minneapolis of George Floyd, a black man who died after being pinned to the ground by a white police officer, many companies have rushed to express solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, often running into ac-
A bottle of Aunt Jemima brand pancake syrup in New York on April 3, 2020. cusations of hypocrisy. PepsiCo was already familiar with the fallout: In 2017, after a backlash, it apologized for running a commercial that showed Kendall Jenner, a white model, delivering a can of Pepsi to a white law enforcement officer at a Black Lives Matter protest. The Aunt Jemima brand has its roots in a 19th-century blackface minstrel song, “Old Aunt Jemima,” that expressed nostalgia for the South in the slavery era. The character “is commodified racism,” one of “many racialized caricatures” that were “the creation of the white imagination” during the rise of the marketing industry, said Gregory D. Smithers, an American history professor at Virginia Commonwealth University. “Marketing companies used racism to sell everything from soap, children’s board games and food,” said Smithers, who wrote a book about the use of racist imagery in popular media. “So ubiquitous did racism become in marketing and popular culture
that it naturalized oppression in American society and shaped white privilege in the twentieth century and beyond.” But now, he said, corporate executives “are doing their projections and the calculations don’t look pretty.” “We’re in a moment where the rejection of systemic racism is so broad-based — cutting across racial, ethnic, religious and political lines — that ignoring the politics of the moment would be ethically callous and economically foolish,” he added. Riché Richardson, an associate professor of African American literature at Cornell University, said she welcomed the move by Quaker Oats. “I’m hopeful that this is really the gateway for more and more reflection on this topic and the catalyst for increasing change,” she said. Richardson, who called for an end to the Aunt Jemima character in a 2015 opinion piece in The New York Times, added that the image is “maybe not as obviously
linked to Southern violence, racism and terror as the Confederate flag, but it is still heavily weighted by the history of slavery and Jim Crow.” She added, “It is a symbol that is rooted in the ‘Mammy’ stereotype, that is premised on notions of black otherness and inferiority, that harkens back to a time when black people were thought of and idealized mainly in relation to servant positions. They were lovable and acceptable as long as they stayed in their place.” On Monday, the singer Kirby described the history of the brand in a TikTok video that has been viewed more than 1.8 million times. The video, titled “How to Make a Non Racist Breakfast,” ends with her pouring a box of Aunt Jemima pancake mix into a sink. Alexis Ohanian, the Reddit co-founder, amplified Kirby’s message the next day on Twitter, where he has 334,000 followers. “How is Aunt Jemima not canceled??” he wrote, linking to the TikTok video. (Ohanian recently resigned from Reddit’s board with a request to be succeeded by a black replacement.) Other major U.S. food brands, including Cream of Wheat, Land O’Lakes and Uncle Ben’s, gained popularity in the 20th century by marketing themselves with racist stereotypes. After the Quaker Oats announcement Wednesday, the food and candy giant Mars, the owner of Uncle Ben’s, said it was “evaluating all possibilities” concerning the brand. Mars said it did not yet know the changes it would make or when they would go into effect, but added that it had a responsibility “to take a stand in helping to put an end to racial bias and injustices.” “As we listen to the voices of consumers, especially in the Black community, and to the voices of our Associates worldwide, we recognize that now is the right time to evolve the Uncle Ben’s brand, including its visual brand identity, which we will do,” Mars said in a statement. Land O’Lakes removed stereotypical Native American imagery from its products before the recent protests.
The San Juan Daily Star
Thursday, June 18, 2020
S&P closes lower as new COVID-19 cases surge
he S&P 500 closed lower on Wednesday as news of spiking pandemic data and the prospect of a new round of economic lockdowns dampened investor optimism over signs of economic recovery. The S&P 500 and the Dow reversed earlier gains to snap a three-day winning streak. Tech shares led the Nasdaq to a modest gain. Worries over a resurgence in the pandemic’s spread persisted, as new coronavirus cases hit a record in Oklahoma just days before President Donald Trump’s expected campaign rally in Tulsa. The numbers of new cases are rising sharply in about six U.S. states, according to a Reuters analysis, and authorities in Beijing have ramped up mobility restrictions in their efforts to contain a new COVID-19 outbreak. “There are periodic points of news flow where the positive news will carry the market and negative news will pressure the market,” said Joseph Sroka, chief investment officer at NovaPoint in Atlanta. “It’s a return of health concerns versus economic optimism.” “There’s a tug of war with headlines,” Sroka added. Indeed, the indexes were up earlier in the session on news than an inexpensive, common steroid called dexamethasone can help save critically ill COVID-19 patients, according to a clinical trial in Britain, a development that prompted the World Health Organization to update its treatment guidelines. U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell wrapped up two days of congressional testimony, during which he pledged the central bank will use its “full range of tools” to help that recovery along. But Powell added, “It would be a concern if Congress were to pull back on the support that it’s providing, too quickly.” On the economic front, while housing starts increased at a slower-than-expected pace in May, building permits saw a more robust rebound and applications for loans to purchase homes surged last week to a near 11-1/2-year high last week, according to separate reports from the U.S. Commerce Department and the Mortgage Bankers Association. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 170.37 points, or 0.65%, to 26,119.61, the S&P 500 lost 11.25 points, or 0.36%, to 3,113.49 and the Nasdaq Composite added 14.67 points, or 0.15%, to 9,910.53.
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The San Juan Daily Star
Thursday, June 18, 2020
President of Honduras tests positive for Coronavirus T By FRANCES ROBLES
he president of Honduras has announced that he tested positive for the coronavirus, joining a small group of world leaders infected in the pandemic that has swept the globe and reached into the halls of power of several governments. In a televised statement late Tuesday, President Juan Orlando Hernández said his wife and two of his two aides had also become infected. He said that he began feeling unwell over the weekend, and that the diagnosis was confirmed Tuesday. Hernández said he had been receiving treatment, was well enough to continue working remotely and would be examined to determine the next steps. Doctors recommended rest, he added. He said his wife, Ana García, was positive but asymptomatic. “I feel enough strength and energy to continue forward and beat this pandemic,” he said. “We are going to get ahead of this. I trust in God, Honduran doctors and medicine.” He also urged Hondurans to continue to follow social-distancing guidelines, as he had not been able to. “Because of my job I have not been able to stay 100% at home,” he said. As the virus has ricocheted around the globe, the Americas have become an epicenter
of the outbreak, with Brazil reporting the highest number of deaths after the United States, and nations like Peru, Chile and Mexico collectively reporting hundreds of thousands of confirmed cases. The president of Guatemala, Alejandro Giammattei, writing on Twitter, expressed solidarity with Hernández and wished him a “speedy recovery.” Honduras has confirmed more than 9,000 cases of the coronavirus, with 322 deaths, according to the Pan American Health Organization. The country was battered by a dengue epidemic last year that sickening more than 100,000 people and left 180 dead. The country — which closed its borders, mandated a blanket curfew and severely restricted the ability of people to leave their homes because of the coronavirus pandemic — began reopening its economy last week after nearly three months of a shutdown. About half a million jobs were lost or suspended, according to estimates by the business sector. Hernández joins a small number of world leaders who have announced that they have contracted COVID-19. Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain tested positive in March and spent three nights in intensive care. Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin of Russia said he tested positive in April, and Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan of Armenia said
President Juan Orlando Hernández of Honduras addressing the nation on the pandemic, last month. he and his family caught the virus in early June. Several wives of top global leaders have also been infected, including Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, the wife of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada; Olena Zelenska, the wife of President Volodymyr Zelenskiy of Ukraine; and Begoña Gómez, the wife of Prime Minister Pe-
dro Sánchez of Spain. Iran is believed to have among the highest number of government officials infected by the coronavirus, including Vice President Masoumeh Ebtekar, President Hassan Rouhani’s deputy for women’s affairs and the highest-ranking woman in the government.
Coronavirus outbreaks at border put Haitian migrants at risk A By DAVID WALDSTEIN
s the coronavirus spreads across Latin America and the Caribbean, public health officials are flagging outbreaks cropping up in several border regions, particularly the one between Haiti and the Dominican Republic. The Pan American Health Organization said on Tuesday that it was focusing its efforts in these rural frontier areas, where populations are on the move and medical facilities are lacking. Indigenous people and migrants, vulnerable under normal circumstances, face even greater risks now. “The increase of transmission in these areas is cause for serious concern and immediate action,” Dr. Carissa F. Etienne, the director of the PAHO, said. In addition to the Haiti and the Dominican Republic, Etienne cited spikes in other border areas, including the one between Costa Rica and Nicaragua and the Amazon region that Brazil shares with its neighbors.
The Dominican Republic has seen a large outbreak of the coronavirus with 23,686 total cases, according to a New York Times database, and 615 deaths. Haiti has reported 4,441 cases and 76 deaths. Many Haitians live and work in the Dominican Republic, but after the outbreak there, thousands lost their jobs and moved back to Haiti. Some may have brought the virus with them. According to the International Organization of Migration, there were more than 278,000 border crossings from March 17 to June 7, with a total of 51,000 going to Haiti, an unusually high number, according to Giuseppe Loprete, the IOM’s chief of mission in Haiti. He added that the weekly average of 4,000 crossings is about double the normal figure. Etienne said that many migrants are day laborers or work in the so-called informal economy, without access to housing or protections against losing their jobs. She said they were not only among the most vulnerable, but also the least likely to have access to health care.
The overall number of cases in the Americas has risen to 3.8 million with almost 204,000 deaths, Etienne said. Fifty-four percent of those cases were reported in the United States and 21% in Brazil. Etienne said the PAHO has worked to put in effect more robust safety and surveillance measures in these frontier areas. The PAHO has established screening and quarantine centers at border crossings in the region; the organization also provides training, equipment and staff to supplement local medical services that can often be overwhelmed in the small border towns. She noted that these remote areas often lack adequate medical facilities and struggle to provide essential tools in the fight against the coronavirus, like testing and surveillance. For many migrants, the stigma associated with the disease has made some of those safeguards, like contact tracing, even more difficult. Loprete said that many people returning to Haiti leave inaccurate contact numbers because they do not want community members to treat them
as sick. “The stigma is high,” he said. Dr. Jean William Pape, who is a co-head of a presidential commission to fight the virus in Haiti, said there were 269 points of entry into Haiti from the Dominican Republic and only four formal border checkpoints, making screening, quarantines and treatment especially difficult. He said that in Haiti, 80% of the initial reported cases were in the West of the country, but now they are seeing cases all over. He is heartened that there have not been as many deaths as might have been expected. But he thinks the number could be even lower. He said that misinformation spread on social media has dissuaded infected people with symptoms from seeking health, fearful that they will be injected with a fictitious vaccine that could kill them. “It is very disturbing,” Pape said. “There are young people waiting six days with severe breathing problems before they come in. If these people come to in sooner, we can save them.”
Thursday, June 18, 2020
The San Juan Daily Star
As Kim Jong Un turns hostile to South Korea, his sister does the talking
Kim Yo-jong, the sister of North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, stands behind Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen Pence at the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea By CHOE SANG-HUN
hen North Korea decided to join the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea and kick off a giddy period of rapprochement on the peninsula, its charm offensive was fronted by a smiling face: Kim Yo Jong, the only sister of the North’s top leader, Kim Jong Un. Now, as Kim threatens to extinguish the fragile détente with a new cycle of bellicose actions and military provocations, it’s his sister who is again speaking for the nation, this time heaping scorn on South Korea — a signal of her deepening clout in the hereditary regime. “It was sickening to listen to his speech,” Kim Yo Jong said of the South’s leader, Moon Jae-in, in a statement Wednesday, referring to his message this week calling for peace on the Korean Peninsula. “He seems to be insane, though he appears to be normal outwardly.” “So I decided to prepare a bomb of words to let it known to our people,” she said. In North Korea, few leaders other than Kim Jong Un can issue first-person statements like that. But Kim Yo Jong, 32, who is her brother’s top spokeswoman and policy coordinator, wields far more power than is suggested by her age and meager titles: first deputy departmental chief in the ruling Workers’ Party and an alternate — not a regular — member of its Politburo.
Her influence in a hierarchy studded with aging generals and party secretaries derives from the “revolutionary blood” coursing through her body. She is a granddaughter of Kim Il Sung, North Korea’s founder, who is still revered as a godlike figure in the North. That makes her a potential candidate — even in the North’s deeply patriarchal culture — to replace her brother, who is believed to be 36, should he die or become incapacitated. Kim Yo Jong’s systematic rise adds a sense of continuity to North Korea’s succession plans, analysts said. In North Korea, future top leaders must build credentials as someone who can stand up against South Korea and the United States. “What we see right now is North Korea working out a contingency succession plan in case Kim Jongun’s health goes bad,” said Yoo Dong-ryul, a North Korea specialist at the Korea Institute for Liberal Democracy in Seoul. “The problem with Kim Yo Jong as successor is that she is a woman and is still too young,” he added. “So her brother is helping her lead the offense against South Korea and establish her leadership so she can dissipate any reservations the hard-line stalwarts in the military and party might have about her.” Kim Jong Un’s long absences from public view in recent months have spurred speculation about
whether he was seriously ill, what might happen to the North’s nuclear arsenal and who would succeed him if he became incapacitated. If he had to give up power, none of his three children — all believed to be preteens — are old enough to take over. Kim has an older brother, Kim Jong Chol, who is said to have been considered by their father to be too effeminate to lead the highly militarized country. He has never been seen in public with his younger brother. In 2017, Kim had his half brother, Jong Nam, assassinated in Kuala Lumpur. He also executed his uncle Jang Song Thaek. Kim has another uncle, Kim Pyong Il, 65, who was recalled home last year after decades of serving as a low-key ambassador to Eastern European countries. But after being away for so long, he has no power base in Pyongyang. Kim’s aunt, Kim Kyong Hui, Jang’s wife, is ailing. All this leaves Kim Yo Jong the most likely hereditary successor if her brother dies before his children grow up, analysts said. Since last week, North Korea’s state news media has depicted her as the orchestrator of a rapid-fire series of statements and moves that have raised tensions on the Korean Peninsula. On Tuesday, the North blew up the inter-Korean liaison office in the border city of Kaesong, and a day later, the North Korean military threatened to resume drills along the disputed western sea border with the South. Kim Yo Jong’s offensive claimed a first political casualty in South Korea on Wednesday. The unification minister, Kim Yeon-chul, stepped down, taking responsibility for the deterioration in relations with the North, which has followed the South’s failed efforts to mediate between North Korea and the United States. The North’s sudden turn toward animosity with the South — and, by extension, the United States — may reflect a desire to unify the country in the face of an economy further hobbled by the coronavirus pandemic and of a deepening need to push for concessions on international sanctions, said Leif-Eric Easley, a professor of international studies at Ewha Womans University in Seoul. Placing Kim Yo Jong up front in North Korea’s growing confrontation with Seoul and Washington may also give Kim “diplomatic flexibility” if he wants to change course, Easley said. Whatever the motivation behind the growing tension, it has made one thing clear: Kim Yo Jong’s consolidation of her position as the true No. 2 in her brother’s government, said Lee Seong-hyon, an analyst at the Sejong Institute, a research center in South Korea. “As she leads the offense against South Korea like a general, it silences those old hard-liners in the Politburo who may think she cannot be the leader,” Lee said.
The San Juan Daily Star
Thursday, June 18, 2020
India-China border dispute: A conflict years in the making By RUSSELL GOLDMAN
he most violent encounter in decades between the Chinese and Indian armies arrayed along a disputed border high in the Himalayas did not involve any exchange of gunfire. Instead, soldiers from the two nuclear armed nations fashioned weapons from what they could find in the desolate landscape some 14,000 feet above sea level. They wielded fence posts and clubs wrapped in barbed wire. Soldiers squared off under a moonlit sky along jagged cliffs soaring high above the Galwan Valley, fighting for hours in pitched hand-to-hand battles. Some Indian soldiers died after tumbling into the river in the valley below. Others were beaten to death. Initial reports that one Indian officer and two soldiers died were updated after another 17 soldiers died from injuries compounded by the effects of high-altitude exposure. The medieval struggle, in one of the most forbidding landscapes on the planet, was a startling culmination of months of building tension and years of dispute. The fact that Chinese and Indian soldiers were not allowed to carry guns was a reflection of the depth of the bad blood that courses through the forces squared off in a territory that has been disputed for decades. Military leaders of both nations agreed that troops should not be armed for fear that any miscalculation could quickly spiral out of control and risk a broader conflict. While world leaders urged calm, the brutal deaths of 20 Indian soldiers, and the prospect that more might have been captured, triggered a national outcry, with the Indian media filled with anguished accounts from the families of those killed. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the country wanted peace but was capable of a “befitting reply” and promised that those killed did not “die in vain.” The deadly encounter comes at a fraught moment, with the world focused on battling the coronavirus and the leaders of both nations — which together are home to some 2.6 billion people — eager to flex their muscles and stoke nationalist fervor. Here’s a look at how both nations arrived at this juncture, the battles that came before and how The New York Times covered the conflict. 1914 A Border China Never Agreed To The conflict stretches back to at least 1914, when representatives from Britain, the Republic of China and Tibet gathered in Simla, in what is now India, to negotiate a treaty that would determine the status of Tibet and effectively settle the borders between China and British India. The Chinese, balking at proposed terms that would have allowed Tibet to be autonomous and remain under Chinese control, refused to sign the deal. But Britain and Tibet signed a treaty establishing what would be called the McMahon Line, named after a British colonial official, Henry McMahon, who proposed the border. India maintains that the McMahon Line, a 550-mile frontier that extends through the Himalayas, is the official legal border between China and India. But China has never accepted it.
1962 India and China Go to War In 1947, India declared its independence from Britain. Two years later, the Chinese revolutionary Mao Zedong proclaimed an end to his country’s Communist Revolution and founded the People’s Republic of China. Almost immediately, the two countries — now the world’s most populous — found themselves at odds over the border. Tensions rose throughout the 1950s. The Chinese insisted that Tibet was never independent and could not have signed a treaty creating an international border. There were several failed attempts at peaceful negotiation. China sought to control critical roadways near its western frontier in Xinjiang, while India and its Western allies saw any attempts at Chinese incursion as part of a wider plot to export Maoist-style Communism across the region. By 1962, war had broken out. Chinese troops crossed the McMahon Line and took up positions deep in Indian territory, capturing mountain passes and towns. The war lasted one month but resulted in more than 1,000 Indian deaths and over 3,000 Indians taken as prisoners. The Chinese military suffered fewer than 800 deaths. By November, Premier Zhou Enlai of China declared a ceasefire, unofficially redrawing the border near where Chinese troops had conquered territory. It was the so-called Line of Actual Control. 1967 India Pushes China Back Tensions came to a head again in 1967 along two mountain passes, Nathu La and Cho La, that connected Sikkim — then a kingdom and a protectorate of India — and China’s Tibet Autonomous Region. A scuffle broke out when Indian troops began laying barbed wire along what they recognized as the border. The scuffles soon escalated when a Chinese military unit began firing artillery shells at the Indians. In the ensuing conflict, more than 150 Indians and 340 Chinese were killed. The clashes in September and October 1967 in those passes would later be considered the second all-out war between China and India. But India prevailed, destroying Chinese fortifications in Nathu La and pushing them farther back into their territory near Cho La. The change in positions, however, meant that China and India each had different and conflicting ideas about the location of the Line of Actual Control. The fighting was the last time that troops on either side would be killed — until the skirmishes in the Galwan Valley on Tuesday. Indian news outlets reported that Chinese soldiers had also been killed, but Beijing was tight-lipped. 1987 Bloodless Clashes It would be 20 more years before India and China clashed again at the disputed border. In 1987, the Indian military was conducting a training operation to see how fast it could move troops to the border. The large number of troops and material arriving next to Chinese outposts surprised Chinese commanders — who responded by advancing toward what they considered the Line of Actual Control. Realizing the potential to inadvertently start a war, both India
and China de-escalated, and a crisis was averted. 2013 Push Comes to Shove in Daulat Beg Oldi Cat-and-mouse tactics unfolded on both sides. After decades of patrolling the border, a Chinese platoon pitched a camp near Daulat Beg Oldi in April 2013. The Indians soon followed, setting up their own base fewer than 1,000 feet away. The camps were later fortified by troops and heavy equipment. By May, the sides had agreed to dismantle both encampments, but disputes about the location of the Line of Actual Control persisted. 2017 Bhutan Gets Caught in the Middle In June 2017, the Chinese set to work building a road in the Doklam Plateau, an area of the Himalayas controlled not by India, but by its ally Bhutan. The plateau lies on the border of Bhutan and China, but India sees it as a buffer zone that is close to other disputed areas with China. Indian troops carrying weapons and operating bulldozers confronted the Chinese with the intention of destroying the road. A standoff ensued, soldiers threw rocks at each other and troops from both sides suffered injuries. In August, the countries agreed to withdraw from the area, and China stopped construction on the road. 2020 Brawls Break Out In May, melees broke out several times. In one clash at the glacial lake Pangong Tso, Indian troops were badly inured and had to be evacuated by helicopter. Indian analysts said Chinese troops were injured as well. China bolstered its forces with dump trucks, excavators, troop carriers, artillery and armored vehicles, Indian experts said. President Donald Trump offered on Twitter to mediate what he called “a raging border dispute.” What was clear was that it was the most serious series of clashes between the two sides since 2017 — and a harbinger of the deadly confrontation to come.
Soldiers from the Indian Border Security Force on Wednesday guarding a highway leading toward Leh, near the border with China.
Thursday, June 18, 2020
George Floyd protests stir a difficult debate on race in France By NORIMITSU ONISHI
uc Pechangou had never joined a protest before, not even when his own neighborhood just outside Paris was convulsed with anger over the violent arrest of a young black man from the area in 2017. It was instead the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis that led him to join an anti-racism rally and, he said, see things more clearly in France, his own country. “It was the shock that I needed to finally wake up,” Pechangou, 20, said. “White privilege is real. Whites have access to employment. They’re not stopped by the police. They don’t have to worry about what they’re wearing or if they have their ID cards. “But we, as blacks, have to worry every day,” said Pechangou, who was born in Cameroon, a former French colony in central Africa, and lives in Hector Berlioz, a sprawling subsidized housing complex in Bobigny, just northeast of Paris. “People look at us suspiciously. They ask us what we’re doing. When I take public transportation, I have to show what’s in my backpack. It’s not right to have to live like that.” In the wake of Floyd’s killing, agonizing reflections on race have spread far beyond the United States. In France, they have set off an unexpected reckoning in a country that has long sought social justice through a commitment to universal ideals like equality and secularism, arguing that an emphasis on diversity, ethnicity or race would undermine unity and the social fabric. Many black and Muslim French in the younger generation — by now often from third-generation immigrant communities — are pressing for a new model that takes account of racial differences and discrimination. They are challenging a founding ideal of modern France, drawing inspiration from the U.S. movements that seek to remedy the racism that has metastasized in state structures. In the past, perceived challenges to French tenets — like the wearing of Muslim head scarves that some see as a threat to France’s secularism — have been soundly beaten back. The political establishment, left and right, remains fiercely opposed to what it regards as an American-inspired threat to their worldview.
A woman waits to receive food at a donation outpost in Clichy-sous-Bois, an eastern suburb of Paris.
But even many in the political class acknowledge that the nation has failed to integrate nonwhite and Muslim immigrants and their descendants from its far-flung former colonies. Christiane Taubira, who was the first black woman named justice minister in France, serving from 2012 to 2016, said that a “structural discrimination” has prevented nonwhite minorities from finding their place in French society. Not enough has changed since 2005, when two teenage boys fleeing police officers were fatally electrocuted, setting off weeks of rioting in the poor suburbs of Paris and focusing attention on France’s racial fissures, she said. “They tried to enter the republic through the door, the window, the basement, but they failed,” Taubira, now retired, said in a phone interview from French Guiana, an overseas department on the north coast of South America. Rejected in France, they were seeking a form of “refuge” by looking to the United States, she added. Protests in France have been led by the family and supporters of Adama Traoré, a 24-year-old man who died in police custody in 2016. In Paris, as many as 20,000 demonstrators, including a visible percentage of white participants, have assembled in a series of protests, despite concerns about the coronavirus. Their formal demands of the government have focused on reopening the investigation into the death of Traoré. But the demonstrators’ comparisons between France and the United States, expressed passionately at the rallies, have angered many French, who have denied that racism is as deeply rooted in France and have accused protesters of advancing their own political agenda. The protests appeared to have taken aback a government already grappling with the pandemic and an economic crisis. President Emmanuel Macron, after several days of silence, seemed to nod to both sides, saying “racism” was a “betrayal of universal republicanism.” On Sunday, in a national address devoted to the pandemic, Macron also vowed to remain “uncompromising” against racism. But he warned this “noble fight’’ is “unacceptable’’ when it is “taken over by separatists” who want to divide French society. France’s reluctance to discuss or even acknowledge race has served as an obstacle to integration and change, argue some French, especially those belonging to a younger generation of activists or intellectuals. “When you talk about questions of race or racialization, many people in France are shocked and think that you’re the racist one,’’ said Pap Ndiaye, a historian at Sciences Po who, after studying in the United States in the 1990s, led efforts to establish black studies as an academic discipline in France. “So those who talk about it are definitely not in the majority.” The debates over race follow a two-month lockdown that laid bare the enduring racial inequalities in France. Just as black and Hispanic Americans were disproportionately affected by the virus, Seine-Saint-Denis — the poorest department in France, located just north of Paris and home to large nonwhite populations — was hit hard economically and suffered one of the country’s highest mortality rates.
Although authorities and the news media focused on the virus’s impact on Seine-Saint-Denis, they avoided looking at it in racial terms, Ndiaye said. In France, it is illegal to keep racial, ethnic or religious statistics. Without data, it is impossible to understand the scale of the problems, Ndiaye said, adding: “Progress won’t be made just with code words. We have to be able to say things.” But others say that an overemphasis on racial identities invites a pushback, including from the extreme right, because it goes against France’s founding principles. In recent days, leaders on the extreme right have seized on the protests to argue for the rights of white French — further example of what the French mainstream regards as corrosive identity politics. While the older immigrant generations in Seine-SaintDenis were hesitant to speak out about racism, their children had higher expectations from the only country they knew, said Yancouba Diémé, 30, a writer who grew up in the department and still lives there. “In France, they want us to stay locked inside SeineSaint-Denis,” said Diémé, whose novel, “Boy Diola,” recounts his father’s emigration to France from Senegal, a former colony in West Africa. “When we try to go to a nightclub in Paris on a Saturday just like anybody else, sometimes we’re stopped by a police cordon. They don’t want to see us. They want us to stay home, keep our mouths shut and remain like our parents — invisible.” Norman Ajari, a French philosopher who specializes in race and teaches at Villanova University, said that the failure to integrate communities like Seine-Saint-Denis underscored the failure of France’s universalism. “The French model has been discredited,” Ajari said. “Now the debate has shifted to whether we should demand the abolition of the police and what we should demand of the state. “This obsession with universalism is politically useless and prevents us from seeing the stakes in this fight, which are concrete,” Ajari added. But most in France, including its political mainstream, remain committed to its universalist tradition. American concepts like white privilege and affirmative action are political non-starters, said Corinne Narassiguin, the No. 2 official in France’s Socialist Party. In its years in power, the party failed to help integrate nonwhite groups because it had relied exclusively on economic and social policies, said Narassiguin, who lived in the United States for 13 years and is from Réunion, the French department in the Indian Ocean. It is necessary, she said, to tackle discrimination and racism directly: for example, by reforming police identity checks that the government has acknowledged unfairly target black and Arab youths, or by raising awareness in employee training and human resources in the private sector. “We gave the impression to a whole generation of young people in France that we didn’t understand the reality of discrimination in France and the violent racism they experienced every day,” Narassiguin said. “So we drove them to seek other solutions.’’
The San Juan Daily Star
Thursday, June 18, 2020
Is Trump trying to spread COVID-19? By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN
hen the full record of the coronavirus in America is written, historians may argue that President Donald Trump’s biggest mistake was not what he failed to do in early 2020, when the right strategy for combating the virus was widely debated, unproven and hard. No, they will point to what Trump failed to do in June 2020, when the right strategy was clear, proven and relatively easy. No doubt, this virus is inscrutable. It pops up, it disappears, it reappears, some people are symptomatic, some asymptomatic, some seem to have natural immunities to it that we don’t understand, and once it infects people it hits in radically different ways: It comes in the equivalents of decaf, regular and double macchiato — and you never know if you’re going to get the mild or the extra-strength version. But there is so much that we do know now that could make this post-lockdown phase so much less dangerous and so much more economically viable than it is. We know that countries where everyone wears a mask outside the home sharply reduce the spread and that people who practice strict social distancing infect fewer people and are infected less often. And we know that people who avoid “superspreading” events — large, prolonged social gatherings, religious services and crammed nightclubs and workplaces, where one highly contagious person can quickly spew the virus to many others — are less likely to get infected. Top government expert Dr. Anthony Fauci has pointed out that taking just these relatively easy steps, plus testing, tracing chains of transmission and quarantining the infected, would tamp down what appears to be a brewing, post-lockdown resurgence and limit the number of people needing hospitalization as we await a vaccine. And yet we have a president who, instead of wearing a mask, turns defiance of mask-wearing into a heroic act of defiance against liberals; who forces 1,100 West Point cadets to travel back to campus, and quarantine for two weeks, so he can get a photo op addressing their graduation; who is planning a mass rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Saturday — where the most notable precaution is that you sign a legal disclaimer that you “voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19 and agree not to hold Donald J. Trump for President Inc.” liable — and who hails governors who open bars and restaurants for people to crowd together. It is absolutely devilish — like Trump wakes up every morning and asks himself: What health expert’s advice can I defy today? What simple gesture to reduce the odds that the coronavirus continues to surge, post-lockdowns, can I ignore today? What quack remedy can I promote today? I’ve argued from the onset of this pandemic that our goal had to be a sustainable strategy that maximizes saving lives and livelihoods, and I’ve been stunned by the criticism that anyone talking about saving lives and jobs in the same breath is an unfeeling capitalist. That’s crazy. We now have 40 million
Americans unemployed. The physical and mental health consequences of that number, if it continues for six more months, will be devastating. But Trump wants as many Americans back to work now, and the stock market to rise now, without asking Americans to take even easy precautions. That’s not just cynical, it’s incredibly stupid — if you’re Trump. Because people are not going to go back to work or out to dinner if they see lots of family, co-workers and friends getting sick and dying, no matter what he says. If a nationwide resurgence of COVID-19 hospitalizations meets crowded, intense social protests against police killings — particularly by black and brown Americans who have also been disproportionately harmed by the coronavirus — meets stubborn mass unemployment, meets an exhausted nation being ordered into a second round of lockdowns, watch out. What would a real president be urging governors to do today? Prepare detailed plans to get people back to work on a risk-stratified basis with proper protections, along the lines recently proposed by public health experts Dr. Darria Long and Dr. David Katz. “The data are now overwhelming, from here in the U.S. and all around the world, that this infection is a grave threat to the elderly and chronically ill but generally mild for younger, generally healthy people,” said Katz in an interview. It’s also clear that “many of the worried projections about social determinants of health and the consequences of mass unemployment are confirmed. We have, indeed, seen rising rates of addiction, domestic violence and mental duress.” We also know much more now, Katz continued, “about the risks of exposure. This virus is not transmitted all that easily. … Many people with transient, ordinary exposures don’t get infected because of low exposure dose, partial resistance to this pathogen, or both.” All of this provides actionable intelligence, Katz argued. We can and must do a far better job of protecting the frail and elderly, especially in nursing homes, and all of those with serious chronic disease, he said. “Then the rest of us can go about our business, but with policies in place to regulate any interactions we might have with higher-risk people, so we protect them, and with reasonable precautions for our own sakes, like wearing masks, practicing social distancing and avoiding crowded
indoor settings, that limit exposure to high doses of coronavirus and our ability to pass it along.” We also can see now — with cases spiking in locations around the country that did not experience an early wave of infection and are now opening up haphazardly — “how right it was to warn about the dangers of just flattening the curve without a risk-stratification strategy,” Katz added. “A flattened curve delays cases, it does not prevent them, because no immunity has been developed.” To get back to normalcy requires widespread immunity to the coronavirus, which happens in only two ways. One is a vaccine that is safe, effective, mass produced and universally distributed. That would be the best solution, and God willing, a vaccine will come in the fall and everyone can get back to work safely in subsequent months. But it may not, and we can’t just keep the economy on hold. “The other,” said Katz, “is natural herd immunity, achieved by those of us at low risk for severe infection, who can most safely go back to work and school and life as we knew it, while taking the right, reasonable protections. Meanwhile, we should guard those most vulnerable until we can sound the all-clear. Only this kind of thoughtful, risk-stratified approach can allow for herd immunity with maximal safety and minimal total harm from infection and the consequences of prolonged lockdown alike.” Our current haphazard approach is just begging for trouble.
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The San Juan Daily Star
Thursday, June 18, 2020
NEW YORK TIMES EDITORIAL
New boss may test Voice of America’s credibility By THE NYT EDITORIAL BOARD
ounded in 1942, the Voice of America was never meant to be a megaphone for the American government. The concept was the opposite: A federally funded broadcaster would showcase American values around the world by offering unbiased news and a true picture of American life. That mission is enshrined in what the VOA calls its “firewall,” which “prohibits interference by any U.S. government official in the objective, independent reporting of news.” So it’s worrisome that the Senate confirmation of the Trump administration’s pick to head the VOA and several allied broadcasters was followed by the resignations of the two top VOA executives, both experienced, respected and independent journalists. The people who listen to the news service around the world — more than 280 million in 40 languages and on every media platform — are, for the most part, people who can’t abide the propaganda of their rulers and turn to the world’s premier democracy to hear the truth. If they thought VOA was also feeding them propaganda, they’d change the station, and probably their image of the United States. The value of such journalism should be self-evident to any believer in the value of a free press. It is not to President Donald Trump nor to his erstwhile strategist Steve Bannon. It was Bannon, then head of the far-right website Breitbart, who more than two years ago tried to put his man, Michael Pack, at the helm of VOA. But the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, first under Bob Corker, a Tennessee Republican and Trump critic, and then under the more Trump-friendly Jim Risch of Idaho, was in no rush to confirm Pack until something prodded Trump to launch an attack on VOA two months ago. In its evening newsletter then, the White
House blasted the service under the headline “Amid a Pandemic, Voice of America Spends Your Money to Promote Foreign Propaganda.” The crime, as described by Dan Scavino, Trump’s social media director, was positive reports on how China had handled its coronavirus outbreak. Trump promptly picked up the chorus. “If you heard what’s coming out of the Voice of America, it’s disgusting,” he told a White House news briefing April 15. “What things they say are disgusting toward our country. And Michael Pack would get in and do a great job.” What evidently rankled the White House was a clip showing people celebrating the lifting of the lockdown in Wuhan, which accompanied a straightforward account by The Associated Press. VOA officials were dumbfounded. “It just came out of the blue,” said Amanda Bennett, a Pulitzer Prize-winning veteran of Bloomberg News, The Wall Street Journal and The Philadelphia Inquirer, who announced her resignation Monday as director of the VOA. The deputy director, Sandy Sugawara, formerly of The Washington Post and United Press International, also resigned. Bennett and Sugawara did not link their departures to the long-delayed confirmation of Pack, who becomes head of the U.S. Agency for Global Media, the parent organization of the VOA, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and some regional foreign broadcasters. In her farewell message, Bennett assured VOA staffers that “Michael Pack swore before Congress to respect and honor the firewall that guarantees VOA’s independence, which in turn plays the single most important role in the stunning trust our audiences around the world have in us.” It may be that Pack will respect the firewall he is sworn to maintain. His past is patchy — he hired Bannon, an icon of the altright, as a consultant on two documentaries, including one about Adm. Hyman Rickover.
A Voice of America studio in Washington in 2018. He is also under investigation by the District of Columbia attorney general for possibly channeling money from a nonprofit group he oversees to his for-profit film production company. And he was confirmed along party lines. Before that, he had worked at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the National Council on the Humanities and served as president of the conservative Claremont Institute. None of that confirms that if left to his own judgment, Pack would do Trump’s or Bannon’s bidding, especially if it meant flouting the VOA’s legally mandated independence. What is certain, given Trump’s record and his statements about VOA, is that this is what the administration expects and will for-
cefully demand. Trump wants a bullhorn, not a diplomatic instrument, and he insists on loyalty. The specter of turning VOA into a propaganda tool of the White House should be frightening to all Americans, regardless of political leanings. America’s image abroad has already been battered under this administration, making an independent global broadcaster all the more essential as a voice of the integrity and fairness that are still at the core of American values. The responsibility of the senators who confirmed Pack is not over. It is their duty to ensure that he does not violate the oath he took.
The San Juan Daily Star
Thursday, June 18, 2020
Puertorriqueño oficializa su candidatura al Congreso
Por THE STAR
l puertorriqueño Julio Pabón oficializó el miércoles frente a la Fortaleza su candidatura al Congreso de los Estados Unidos por el sur del Bronx para, según expresó, ser la voz de los puertorriqueños en el Congreso. “Los puertorriqueños necesitan tener una
voz en el Congreso, una voz boricua que conoce las necesidades de la isla y que está listo para representar a todos los puertorriqueños en Nueva York y en la isla también”, dijo Pabón. Pabón, quien aspira a representar el distrito urbano en Nueva York más pobre y con más puertorriqueños, explicó la importancia
de que se discuta y se señale en el Congreso la manera en que se trata a Puerto Rico y la disparidad que existe en las ayudas y beneficios que recibe la isla. “Todos sabemos que a la Isla no se le da el mismo trato que se les da a los demás territorios de Estados Unidos. Hay una gran disparidad con los fondos que se asignan a Puerto Rico, lo vimos con los huracanes, los terremotos y ahora con la epidemia del COVID-19. Los puertorriqueños necesitamos más voces en el Congreso y la mía será una de ellas”, puntualizó. De igual forma, Pabón, quien también es cofundador del movimiento “Respect & Justice 4 PR”, recalcó la importancia y urgencia de eliminar las Leyes de cabotaje. “El tema de las la ley Jones es uno que hay que abordar con seriedad y con la importancia que necesita. Los puertorriqueños no podemos seguir viendo cómo las corporaciones estadounidenses están utilizando las Leyes de cabotaje como mecanismo internacional de manipulación de precios en Puerto Rico. Esto no se puede seguir permitiendo”, sentenció.
APPU exige salida inmediata de Alomar y Buxó de junta de gobierno de la UPR Por THE STAR a Asociación Puertorriqueña de Lexigió Profesores Universitarios (APPU) el miércoles, la salida inme-
diata del licenciado Walter Alomar y la licenciada Zoraida Buxó de la Junta de Gobierno de la Universidad de Puerto Rico. “Desde que llegaron a la Junta de Gobierno de la UPR han estado trabajando a favor de intereses que son contrarios al desarrollo de una universidad democrática, accesible y de calidad. Ya la paciencia de los/ as universitarios/as se agotó. Queremos que estos dos entes disociadores, que no han hecho otra cosa que intentar trastocar las bases de lo que debe ser la Universidad de Puerto Rico salgan de ahí de manera inmediata”, dijo Ángel Rodríguez Rivera, presidente de la APPU en comunicación escrita. Buxó y Alomar fueron nombra-
dos/as a la Junta de Gobierno de la Universidad de Puerto Rico por el renunciante gobernador Ricardo Rosselló Nevares. Su nombramiento significó la intervención en la UPR de la política de desmantelamiento y corrupción de instituciones públicas que son importantes para el desarrollo del país. “Alomar y Buxó han estado impulsando una agenda consistente con la visión de Rosselló y de la Junta de Control Fiscal de desmantelar la Universidad Pública. No solo nunca defendieron el presupuesto de la UPR, sino que han objetado el reclamo de los universitarios de la restitución de fondos a la UPR”, señaló el presidente de la APPU. “El interés de estas dos personas nunca ha sido el bienestar de la UPR. Su agenda ideológica y político partidista siempre ha estado en contra de los mejores intereses de la comunidad universitaria y el país.
Por eso mismo el pueblo de Puerto Rico sacó a su jefe político, Ricardo Rosselló, y por eso los vamos a sacar a ambos de la universidad”, agregó Rodríguez. Explicó que desde la llegada de Alomar y Buxó a la Junta de Gobierno de la UPR, se han aprobado un sinnúmero de medidas que afectan negativamente su funcionamiento y producción académica. En los pasados tres años la Universidad ha tenido un aumento vertiginoso en el costo de estudios, empeoramiento de las condiciones de trabajo del sector docente y no docente y reducción en la aportación al plan médico de los/as empleados/as. “No hay una sola política impulsada por Alomar y Buxó que resultara en una mejoría de la universidad. Cuando tuvieron la oportunidad de defender la UPR ante la Middle States Commission on Higher Education no lo hicieron, añadió Rodrí-
guez. Mencionó que en el medio de la pandemia por el COVID-19 la Junta de Gobierno, impulsada por Alomar y Buxó y con el voto en contra de los senadores estudiantiles y claustrales, intentaron desmantelar el Sistema de Retiro de la Universidad. La propuesta de Alomar y Buxó contemplaba la eliminación del sistema de beneficios definidos y su sustitución por uno de aportación definida. También se aprobó un aumento sustancial en los costos de las Escuelas Laboratorio de la UPR que limita grandemente el acceso a estudiantes de familias de escasos recursos y las coloca prácticamente al nivel de los costos de colegios privados. “Estas dos personas no demuestran ninguna sensibilidad. Se intentaron aprovechar de la pandemia para impulsar medidas a espaldas de la comunidad universitaria” dijo Rodríguez.
Thursday, June 18, 2020
The San Juan Daily Star
So you want to be a socially distanced orchestra By THE NEW YORK TIMES
ahler’s “Symphony of a Thousand” might not be a great idea. Schoenberg’s “Gurrelieder,” with 150 instrumentalists and even more singers? Ditto. As the coronavirus pandemic endures, much of the attention in resuming the performing arts has been on the size and density of audiences. But symphony orchestras are often just as packed onstage as in their auditoriums. If concerts are to go forward with social distancing restrictions in place, they will have to include not just fewer listeners, but also fewer players. What will those fewer players play? Chamber standbys, surely: the original 13-person “Appalachian Spring”; string-ensemble works like Barber’s Adagio and Tchaikovsky’s Serenade; Bach’s “Brandenburg” Concertos. But what about more varied fare? Schott/EAM, a publisher of contemporary composers, recently posted an inspiring list of works from its catalog appropriate for social distancing. Universal Edition put out an intriguing selection of opera and symphonic reductions. In a livestreamed panel discussion on Thursday, several innovative chamber orchestras will share repertory ideas. We have followed their lead with our own playlist of pieces, old and new. Our size criteria are vague, in keeping with the broad strokes with which health advice has been drawn. But we’ve assumed that with 6 feet or so between string players — and rather more for winds and brasses — our hypothetical distanced orchestra couldn’t be bigger than about 40 musicians. (My pick would be Pierre Boulez’s lambent “Éclat,” for just 15.) It may be wishful thinking that even reduced, distanced concerts will be widespread, at least among American ensembles that lack European levels of government funding. On Friday, the Nashville Symphony announced that it was canceling all its performances through July 2021; it likely won’t be the last fullseason loss. But orchestras that are able to muster even a smattering of music in the coming months would do well to use those events as opportunities for depth and diversity — not merely as proof of bare survival. — ZACHARY WOOLFE Ethel Smyth: Serenade in D The old argument that programming risks can’t be taken for fear of losing ticket sales makes even less sense given curtailed capacities and audiences desperate for live music. Time, then, to rectify the balance: Step forward Ethel Smyth, the English suffragist and composer who was, alas, the only woman to have her work put on at the Metropolitan Opera before 2016. Her 1890 Serenade has striking vigor in its outer movements, balanced by charm and lightness in between. — DAVID ALLEN Julius Eastman: ‘The Holy Presence of Joan of Arc’ Minimalism, expressionist harmonies and punk rock energy blend to combustible effect in this high-octane piece for 10 cellos. They start out in unison, laying down a propulsive rhythm that runs like a news ticker through the 20-minute piece. Individual voices break free in yearning, sometimes anguished arcs as the texture grows ever more
A reduced and distanced Berlin Philharmonic performed in an empty hall on May 1. complex, insistent and fierce. — CORINNA da FONSECA-WOLLHEIM Mozart: Notturno for Four Orchestras Keep the quotient of strings low and you could play most of Mozart’s ensemble music with distanced players, but distance is an inherent part of this piece. He clearly intended the four string sections, each joined by two horns, to sit apart, toying with space in echoes and overlapping phrases. Like so many of the serenades and divertimentos that Mozart turned out to accompany Salzburg’s social events, it’s an unbridled joy. — DAVID ALLEN Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber: ‘Battalia’ Brash, zesty and confrontational, Biber’s 1673 battle piece for 10 players has always been one of the gems of Baroque music. With groups of musicians facing off like combatants, it also lends itself wonderfully to spatially distanced staging. Its eight short movements sketch various martial situations in confident strokes and a sprinkling of special effects — like the rendition of eight different campsite songs played in seven different keys. — CORINNA da FONSECA-WOLLHEIM Alvin Singleton: ‘Again’ This 1979 piece for 14 players is more opulent than its slender requirements suggest. Winds, brasses, strings, piano and percussion cycle through chattering yet softly voiced motifs — until Singleton punctuates the mist with sinuous solos or dramatic eruptions. (Listen for the trumpet launching to the top of the ensemble’s textures shortly after six minutes and 30 seconds have passed in the London Sinfonietta’s recording.) Singleton’s work for orchestras is not played often enough; this piece could help bring his voice into more regular circulation. — SETH COLTER WALLS Olga Neuwirth: ‘Lost Highway Suite’ This suite is an adaptation of an adaptation, drawn from Neuwirth’s 2003 opera “Lost Highway,” based on the David Lynch film. Of the three, it’s the most distilled version of this enigmatic and nightmarish story. Scored for six soloists and an ensemble, and incorporating live electronic processing, it conjures a funhouse of sounds — some eerie slow dance, some noir — that fade in and out like road signs passed on a night drive. — JOSHUA BARONE
Schoenberg: Chamber Symphony No. 1 Just 21 minutes long and played without break, Schoenberg’s restless Chamber Symphony No. 1 (1906) is like an intensely compressed five-movement symphony. Its harmonic language clings to late-romantic richness while inching toward atonality. Scored for just 15 instruments, this thick-textured piece might actually benefit from a performance where players are spaced apart a little, so that you can really hear the intricate individual lines, which do pile up. — ANTHONY TOMMASINI Kurt Weill: Concerto for Violin and Wind Orchestra Pick a Kurt Weill piece from the 1920s, and it could probably fit onto this list. Weill was a master orchestrator, scoring his works for only the instruments he felt each needed: no more, no less. His violin concerto — written in 1924, with a young composer’s nods to Mahler and Stravinsky — pairs the soloist with a small ensemble of winds, percussion and bass. Balancing the sound isn’t easy, but when it happens, the music rings with inevitability. — JOSHUA BARONE Strauss: ‘Metamorphosen’ Strauss was 81 and ailing, and Europe lay in ruins, in March 1945, when he began work on his seething, elegiac “Metamorphosen.” Written for 23 string players, it has generated many interpretations. Is it a memorial to a culture irretrievably lost? An indictment of war? The mea culpa of a bystander to Nazi crimes? What’s certain is that the music immerses the listener in a web of complicated beauty. — CORINNA da FONSECA-WOLLHEIM Anthony Braxton: ‘Composition No. 147’ Once a group devotes the time to learn this composer’s language — which embraces both traditional notation and improvisation — it can play his complex scores without his direct involvement. In this 1989 composition for 29 players, the clarinets channel the excitability of Braxton’s own playing on reed instruments. Meantime, the mutating writing for strings — droning one second, quickly marching the next — reveals Braxton’s agile moves between mystery and whimsy. — SETH COLTER WALLS Wagner: ‘Siegfried Idyll’ Wagner wrote the “Siegfried Idyll” as a birthday present for his wife, Cosima, after the birth of their son Siegfried. Scored for 13 players, the piece was first performed on Christmas morning in 1870, with the musicians arrayed on the stairs of the composer’s villa in Lucerne, Switzerland, awakening Cosima in her bedroom. Themes from the piece wound up in Wagner’s “Siegfried,” and though he later wrote an orchestral version of the “Idyll,” the original has lucid beauty. — ANTHONY TOMMASINI Haydn: Symphony No. 45, ‘Farewell’ Getting musicians on and off the stage safely while following social distancing protocols is a particular challenge. But the finale of Haydn’s “Farewell” Symphony has a built-in solution, at least for exiting. During the last long section, Haydn, an inveterate musical jokester, instructs certain musicians to stop playing and, one by one, walk off the stage, until only the first violinist remains. — ANTHONY TOMMASINI
The San Juan Daily Star
Thursday, June 18, 2020
Asian Art Museum to remove bust of Patron. That’s just a start. By CAROL POGASH
or 48 years, visitors to this city’s Asian Art Museum have had to pass the bust of Avery Brundage, its towering patron, an industrialist and former president of the International Olympic Committee. The museum, a jeweled attraction at Civic Center Plaza, was established in 1966 to house his nearly 8,000 art pieces. But Brundage was also dogged by accusations that he was a Nazi sympathizer and a racist — something that has not escaped critics. After the museum posted a message about Black Lives Matter, Chiraag Bhakta, a Bay Area artist and designer, taunted its officials on Instagram with a selfie in front of Brundage’s bust and the added text: “Helllooo … Anyone home?” When the museum reopens this summer, as the city relaxes its coronavirus quarantine, the bust prominently displayed in its foyer will be tucked into storage, the museum’s director and chief executive, Jay Xu, announced June 10 at a meeting of the board and commissioners. And that may be only the start. Calls to remove the bust have gone further, to the heart of longtime discontent by some Asian American artists, who argue that the museum presents Asian art from a mostly white perspective. “Historically, at this institution, there’s been a white gaze defining what ‘Asia’ means,” said Scott Tsuchitani, an Asian American artist. In an emailed response to The New York Times Sunday, Xu, the first Chinese American to lead the museum, said, “The Brundage collection was indeed formed by a white collector and reflected a fetishization of the ‘Orient’ that was common among white collectors of the time.” However, he added, his curators “present the collection to the public through multiple perspectives.” The museum has grown to include 18,000 artworks. In the museum’s numerous responses to the racial justice protests, it is addressing some of these more sensitive issues. “We must contend with the very history of how our museum came to be,” Xu wrote in a “Dear All” letter to the public on June 4. He said that Brundage “espoused racist and antiSemitic views,” and that the museum is struggling to respond to “a society structured around white supremacy.” In a telephone interview last week, Xu said Brundage “was a hateful person.” Xu questioned how Brundage acquired some of his art pieces. In a later statement, the director said the museum would hold public programs to critically examine Brundage and his legacy, “as well as questions around provenance and restitution.” Gregory Levine, a professor of Buddhist Visual Cultures at the University of California, Berkeley, who has done research on the history of looted Chinese Buddhist sculpture, said, “Opening up the restitution issue is a huge deal.” The Asian Art Museum, the largest institution of exclusively Asian arts in the United States, attracts 300,000 visitors annually and has a $30.8 million budget, a portion of which comes from San Francisco. It has a $56 million endowment. If not for the coronavirus, the museum would be celebrating the opening of its $38 million Akiko Yamazaki & Jerry Yang Pavilion, named for the co-founder of Yahoo and his wife, who has completed her third term as chairwoman of the Asian Art Museum
Foundation and the Asian Art Commission. At the June 10 meeting on Zoom, Xu said, the museum “must start by looking within ourselves” and “how our museum came to be.” Xu did not acknowledge Bhakta’s post about Brundage’s dark history on the museum’s Instagram page next to its commitment to fight racism. But the director said, “We are keenly aware and attuned to public responses.” Tsuchitani, the artist, objected to the racial impact of the culture of the museum. He said that over many years, the museum has exhibited “a pattern of repeatedly exoticizing, hypersexualizing, playing dress-up with Asian cultures.” In 2004, Tsuchitani parodied the museum’s “Geisha: Beyond the Painted Smile” exhibition using postcard photos of himself dressed as a geisha, which he surreptitiously placed in the museum’s rack cards. He pointed to the title of a 2015 exhibition at the museum, “Seduction: Japan’s Floating World.” Its promotional literature invited people to “dive into this hotbed of hedonism.” At the opening party, guests came in what he called “yellow face” — made up to look Asian — and were entertained by belly dancers and burlesque performers. Xu said the term “Seduction” was apt, that it was meant to expose the ways in which works of art (especially seductive images of women) “were used to feed a market for Edo-period brothels, where women often served under brutal conditions.” As for the entertainment, “it was meant to be inclusive of San Franciscans and their tastes and performing styles,” Rose, the museum spokesman, said. “What does it take to decolonize an art museum when it
has a history of pandering to the popular, lowest-common-denominator stereotypes of geishas, yoga and maharajahs?” asked Levine, the Berkeley professor. He questioned how the museum conceptualizes blockbuster exhibitions, and whether artists and community leaders are part of the initial conversations. “That’s the horizontal redistribution of power that can get at structural racism,” he said. Jeff Kelley, the museum’s consulting curator for contemporary art from 1998 to 2008, said, “In this time of toppling statues, it’s not surprising that artists and activists claim that the Asian Art Museum has been a preserve of wealthy industrialists who see ‘Asia’ as a misty colonial realm.” He added that the current debate helps move the museum “away from its Orientalist roots.” The museum’s recent original exhibitions include the popular “Lost at Sea: Art Recovered From Shipwrecks,” Philippine art — which Brundage never collected, art and electronic literature by Korean and American artists, as well as traditional arts from the National Palace Museum in Taipei. Mark Johnson, an art professor at San Francisco State University, who has curated shows at the Asian Art Museum, said that while historically the museum was focused on a white perspective of Asian culture, it has made “incredible strides, diversifying its staff, board and curators,” adding that the curators are largely nonwhite. The museum’s staff is 50% white, 27% Asian, 12% Latino and 7% black. (Some people identified as two or more races.) The board is about half Asian and Asian American, and 73% of its curators are Asian and Asian mixed race. “We certainly recognize that there is always room for improvement,” Xu said.
Its founding patron Avery Brundage, an industrialist and former president of the International Olympic Committee, was dogged by accusations that he was a Nazi sympathizer and a racist.
The San Juan Daily Star
Thursday, June 18, 2020
Review: ‘Frontline’ traces the footsteps of COVID-19
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A new “Frontline” report examines the missteps of the American government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
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he Virus: What Went Wrong?,” a 90-minute installment of PBS’ “Frontline” premiering Tuesday, resurfaces the story of the pandemic that felt like an inescapable catastrophe just three weeks ago. Making no mention of protests or police, it’s like a courier with an urgent message who lost his place in line. This is the third consecutive “Frontline” film about COVID-19, following “Coronavirus Pandemic” and “Inside Italy’s COVID War.” (They can be streamed at the “Frontline” website.) The Italian episode, an intimate, hit-andrun portrait of doctors and nurses at a hospital in Cremona, was a moving example of one “Frontline” approach. “The Virus” exemplifies another: the sweeping synthesis, a digestible chronological overview of a complicated and still evolving story. Appropriate to its subject, the episode is shot inside a Catskills house, where interview subjects like Dr. Robert R. Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and health care expert Jeremy Konyndyk appear on the computer screen of correspondent Martin Smith. (Sharing writing and directing credit, as well as the house, is Smith’s wife, “Frontline” producer Marcela Gaviria.) If “The Virus” doesn’t grab hold like some other “Frontline” tick-tocks — “America’s Great Divide: From Obama to Trump” being a good recent example — it may be because we followed the coronavirus news as it happened more closely than we did less immediately dangerous events like transfers of power and impeachment trials. There isn’t a lot in the report that a relatively attentive person won’t already know. (There’s also no practical information on face masks or immunity
or how to social distance.) The reminders are valuable and often absorbing in their own right, though. Along with Redfield and Konyndyk, Smith enlists several doctors and a couple of New York Times reporters in recounting the COVID-19 story, beginning with its appearance in Wuhan, China, fatefully timed to the mass migrations of the Lunar New Year. Short segments cover the contrasting Chinese and South Korean responses to the disease and the deadly outbreaks in Iran and Italy. But the focus is on America, and on a series of missteps whose familiarity makes it no less tragic and maddening. Months of inaction by the government; the botching of test kits by the CDC and their continuing unavailability; dismissive and contradictory statements by President Donald Trump and his minions — it’s all there, just as we lived through it. “The Virus” is judicious in its use of footage from Trump’s formerly daily news briefings. Hydroxychloroquine and detergent aren’t mentioned. There is a clip of the classic couplet: “What do you say to Americans who are watching you right now who are scared?” “I say that you’re a terrible reporter.” And there’s Trump’s false claim March 6 that COVID-19 tests were widely available, which becomes one of Smith’s several opportunities to put Redfield on the spot. “I’m not going to comment on what I think the president believed or didn’t believe” may be Redfield’s lowest moment, rivaled by his bizarre decision to quote Theodore Roosevelt with regard to the administration’s efforts: “At worst we’ll fail by daring greatly.” The absurd theater of the briefings is a sideshow, however, to the real tragedy, which the show places back in January and February, when virtually no preparations were being made in Washington despite the alarming news coming out of Wuhan and other parts of the world. The real story of COVID-19 in America, “The Virus” posits, was a lack of leadership that took the form of a failure of imagination. It was mediocrity rather than malfeasance. A quick programming note: ABC will carry a documentary about the 1992 Los Angeles riots while “The Virus” makes its national premiere Tuesday night. The other major networks, meanwhile, have scheduled “World of Dance,” “Gordon Ramsay’s 24 Hours to Hell and Back” and a rerun of “FBI.” Anyone looking for coverage of the ongoing protests will have to look outside network prime time — apparently the revolution still isn’t being televised there.
The San Juan Daily Star
Thursday, June 18, 2020
Relearning how to breathe By JANE E. BRODY
tarting with the first reports of breathing difficulties among people who contracted COVID-19 and extending now to those wearing masks to limit the risk of acquiring or unwittingly transmitting the virus, the ability to breathe normally has become a common concern. Some worry: Are we taking in enough oxygen to adequately supply our muscles, organs and especially our brains? (I’m among many who purchased a pulse oximeter to do daily checks of my blood’s oxygen level.) Are the masks we wear interfering with our breathing? As I walk and cycle in my Brooklyn neighborhood, I see many people with masks under their chins who pull them over nose and mouth only when they’re about to pass another person. Believe me, I understand and empathize. Walking around with half one’s face under layers of cloth, neoprene or some other protective covering is neither attractive nor comfortable, even more so now with summer heat approaching. This is especially challenging for people who must wear masks throughout their workday, as well as those with preexisting respiratory problems and people with poor hearing who now struggle to participate in maskmuffled conversations without the added assist of lip reading. Alas, this is a fact of life we will most likely have to endure for many more months, perhaps even years, until an effective vaccine against this deadly virus can be developed and administered widely. There are ways, though, to maintain and even improve respiratory health while following the important guidelines for wearing masks issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to curb the spread of COVID-19. But first, we could all benefit from a better understanding of a bodily function most of us have long taken for granted and learn how to maximize its efficiency and life-sustaining benefits. Based on the research I’ve done for this column, it’s apparent that even without a mask as an impediment, many people breathe in ways that compromise their well-being. “Doctors who study breathing say that the vast majority of Americans do it inadequately,” James Nestor, author of a new book, “Breath: The New Science of a Lost
Art,” wrote recently in The Wall Street Journal. “How we breathe matters,” he said, “and our attention to it is long overdue.” For example, Nestor noted, “nose breathing is better than mouth breathing” because it’s protective; the nose filters, heats and treats raw air. “Inhaling through the nose stimulates the release of hormones and nitric oxide, which helps to regulate vital functions like blood pressure and increase oxygenation throughout the body,” Nestor said in an email. Given that most of us take about 25,000 breaths a day and breathing properly is critical to how well our bodies function, we should try to get the most benefit we can from this life-sustaining activity, with or without a mask. So, in addition to Nestor’s comprehensive treatise on breathing, I consulted an unusual expert, Paul DiTuro, a former professional athlete and special forces medic in the U.S. military who is now a performance breathing specialist for a company called PN Medical, which makes devices to help train respiratory muscles for people with conditions like emphysema as well as professional athletes. Breathing done properly keeps the body in acid-base balance, which enables tissues to get the amount of oxygen they need to function optimally, DiTuro explained. This balance is achieved by maintaining an ideal level of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the blood. Too little CO2, which can happen when breathing is rapid and shallow, impedes the release of oxygen to body tissues and can cause anxiety, irritability, fatigue and lack of focus, DiTuro said. Rapid, shallow breathing keeps the body in a high state of alert and engages the sympathetic nervous system, an adaptation that is useful in times of danger but counterproductive to feeling calm and relaxed the rest of the time. Even during normal times, many people breathe too fast and through their mouths, perhaps because of chronic stress or noses made stuffy by allergies or a deviated septum. I noticed that I tended to do the same when I was wearing a mask, and now consciously remind myself to breathe more slowly, inhale through my nose and exhale through my mouth, especially when I’m out exercising. Without much effort, you can retrain how you breathe — with or without a mask — so that it is physiologically benefi-
Even without a mask as an impediment, many people breathe in ways that compromise their well-being. cial when you’re not being chased by a tiger. Rapid breathing uses neck and chest muscles instead of the diaphragm, which is innervated by the vagus nerve responsible for calming the body. DiTuro said, “Lack of diaphragmatic breathing makes it harder to mentally relax.” Coincidentally, shortly before the pandemic struck, a physical therapist hoping to minimize back pain taught me diaphragmatic breathing, an ancient technique that quiets the body and mind by engaging the parasympathetic nervous system. It’s widely used by opera singers, actors and meditators, among others. I was told to inhale through my nose and exhale slowly through my mouth. But instead of my chest expanding as my lungs fill when I inhale, my diaphragm — the dome-shaped muscle under my lungs — should contract and drop down toward my stomach. Respiratory therapists teach diaphragmatic breathing to people with lung problems, and you can strengthen this important though neglected muscle on your own. Lie on your back, knees bent, and breathe in slowly and deeply through your nose as your belly rises but your chest remains still. Then tighten your abdominal muscles and exhale through pursed lips. Doing five minutes of respiratory muscle training every morning and every night can help you learn to breathe more
effectively at all times without having to think about it. Having stronger respiratory muscles may also facilitate an effective battle against the coronavirus. At the very least, they can make living healthfully through the COVID-19 pandemic while breathing through a mask less challenging. A small investigative trial DiTuro conducted with assistance from colleagues at the Mayo Clinic and other labs around the country suggests that over prolonged periods, N95 masks, the kind worn by doctors caring for virus-infected patients, “do have the potential to alter respiratory patterns enough to cause negative physical and mental effects.” While more research on the possible effects of masks on breathing patterns is needed, DiTuro suggests that in addition to respiratory training, some simple steps may help make wearing a mask easier. Just before putting on your mask, take five “quality” breaths. With each breath, inhale through the nose for four seconds, exhale through the mouth for six seconds, then rest for two seconds. Repeat these five breaths as soon as you put on the mask, and again after you remove it. If, for example, you are a teacher, medical worker or checkout clerk who must wear a mask for an extended period, take periodic breaks when you can safely remove the mask and breathe normally.
Thursday, June 18, 2020
The San Juan Daily Star
The return of the platypuses By DAVID MAURICE SMITH AND BROOKE JARVIS
he platypus, liberated from the pillowcase in which it had been traveling, headed straight for water. Sarah May, watching, marveled at its glossy coat and the smoothness of its movement. It was like a Slinky, she said: “It almost poured over the ground.” The platypus reached the still pond, slid in, and was gone. May had been anticipating this moment for months, but now that it had arrived, she found herself surprised at just how deeply moved she felt. The glossy platypus, along with two others, arrived at Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, a 45-minute drive from the Australian capital of Canberra, on April 30. They had been away for four months, sheltering at a zoo in Sydney. The cold, wet and windy day of their release could not have been more different from the day in late December when they had left the reserve. Back then, Tidbinbilla was parched from extreme heat and drought and menaced by an approaching bush fire. May, the wildlife team leader for the reserve, and her crew were working long hours in thick smoke, trying to protect their lungs with face masks, their eyes red and burning. It was a grim and apocalypticfeeling time, she said: “Fires had taken over everybody’s psyche.” But the team worried most about their animal charges, the rare, endangered and iconic wildlife that make the reserve their home. Tidbinbilla encompasses a eucalyptus forest, a broad valley full of emus and kangaroos, and a large wetland of ponds protected by a predator-proof fence. But in December the wetland, known as the Sanctuary, no longer resembled its name. Animals came to drink and forage from shrinking, muddy ponds, which were surrounded by large areas of dried, cracked earth. May watched as water birds tried to swim through mud but ended up walking: The ponds were shallower than their legs were long. She feared that only a few days or weeks of water remained. The reserve contacted Taronga Zoo, in Sydney, asking if it had space to shelter its platypus population, aware that the animals would be unable to survive without their ponds. Taronga, which lists the platypus as one of the “legacy species” it considers crucial to protect, was fielding similar requests from other conservation agencies, as well as farmers and landowners who saw platypuses struggling in drying creeks and ponds. “We were inundated,” Phoebe Meagher, the zoo’s wildlife conservation officer, said — but unfortunately, there was only so much space to house them. The zoo agreed to send a rescue mission to Tidbinbilla. Because platypuses are active at dusk and at night, the team worked in darkness; the smoke was so thick that it was hard to breathe and the beams from flashlights looked like lightsabers. After hours of trapping, they had caught seven platypuses. “The rest would have to take their chances,” May said. In the following weeks, as the fires moved toward Tidbinbilla, the reserve looked for other temporary refuges to which it could evacuate its animals. Eventually, it moved six koalas; nearly 1,000 endangered northern corroboree frogs; 22 especially precious brush-tailed rock wallabies, whose genetics are key to a breeding program meant to reestablish a population that is nearing extinction in the wild, and 26 endangered eastern bettongs, which already went extinct on the mainland but are being
A female platypus receives a physical at the Taronga Wildlife Hospital in Mosman, New South Wales, Australia reintroduced. (In the end, the reserve did not burn.) At Taronga Zoo, keepers were careful to keep the relocated platypuses wild: limiting their interactions with people, making sure they still had to burrow and catch their own food. The zoo also began to make plans for housing larger numbers of platypuses, should the need for evacuation arise again soon — something that climate projections suggest is likely. And then, at last, rains returned, although they came so heavily that flash floods tore through fencing at the top of the Sanctuary. The ponds of Tidbinbilla refilled. The reserve tested the quality of the water to make sure it was not contaminated with fire retardants, and did surveys to make sure the ponds still held enough food. Finally, it was time to release the first round of platypuses and watch how they fared. The platypuses arrived in a van and were checked by a vet. Then the zoo keepers who had taken care of them for the months of their exile released them into full ponds, edged with
greenery, that looked little like the ones they had left. Just before the release, the rain and wind stopped and the clouds parted to let sun shine on the water. The returned platypuses were plumper, and different in another way as well: They had been implanted with tracking devices as part of a study to better understand how platypuses behave, how they respond to changes in their habitats, and how they are faring in Australia — which is still a very open question, explained Gilad Bino, a researcher at the University of New South Wales who will be monitoring the Tidbinbilla platypuses. “Everyone seems to assume that if it’s out of sight it’s probably doing OK,” he said. But his research suggests that platypuses, thanks to unsustainable water use and climate-driven drought, are actually in considerable trouble: extinct in 40% of their historical range, with bigger losses coming as climate change intensifies. Tahneal Hawke, another University of New South Wales researcher, recently analyzed nearly 26,000 records of interactions with platypuses, going back to 1760: newspaper articles, explorers’ journals, books of natural history. The results, for modern platypus researchers, make for surreal reading. Bino was struck to read about people seeing (or shooting) platypuses by the dozen, or using terms like “mob” or “migration.” “I would never, in our years of studying platypuses, describe them that way,” he said. The final four platypuses returned to Tidbinbilla on June 5. Their receivers, Meagher reported, “are tracking them happily moving about the ponds.” People who saw the platypuses slip into their recovered habitats described doing so with a feeling of relief, even of magic, after a painful summer. But May can’t shake the memory of those desperate days in December, when the air was orange and the bush crackled with dryness. And Bino warns that the story of happy news disguises a more alarming larger picture. “Rescuing platypuses from drying ponds is not really a viable strategy” for the species’ survival, he said. But the way things are going, he is sure that more rescues will be necessary.
Claudia Bianchi, a keeper at the Taronga Zoo, releases a female platypus at the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve outside Canberra, Australia
The San Juan Daily Star dirección conocida: 4104 Calle Gallardía, Ponce, PR 00728; ESTADO LIBRE ASOCIADO PO Box 336562, Ponce, PR DE PUERTO RICO TRIBU- 00733-6562. EXPEDIDO bajo NAL DE PRIMERA INSTANCIA mi firma y el sello del Tribunal SALA DE PONCE. en Ponce, Puerto Rico, hoy día 10 de febrero de 2020. Luz MaORIENTAL BANK, yra Caraballo Garcia, Sec ReDemandante, V. gional. Giselle Gutierrez Leon, CARLOS L. RAMOS Sec Auxiliar del Tribunal I.
SANCHEZ, MARTA PEREZ NAVARRO y la Sociedad Legal de Gananciales compuesta por ambos,
Demandados CIVIL NUM.: PO2019CV03775. SOBRE: COBRO DE DINERO, POR LA VÍA ORDINARIA . EMPLAZAMIENTOPO R EDICTO. ESTADOS UNIDOS DE AMERICA EL PRESIDENTE DE LOS EE. UU. EL ESTADO LIBRE ASOCIADO DE PUERTO RICO. SS.
A: MARTA PEREZ NAVARRO, por sí y como miembro de la Sociedad Legal de Gananciales compuesta con CARLOS L. RAMOS SANCHEZ
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 cual puede acceder utilizando la siguiente dirección electrónica: https://unired.ramajudicial. pr/sumac/, salvo que se represente por derecho propio, en cuyo caso deberá presentar su alegación responsiva en la Secretaría del Tribunal. Si usted deja de presentar su alegación responsiva dentro del referido término, el tribunal podrá dictar sentencia en rebeldía en su contra, y conceder el remedio solicitado en la Demanda, o cualquier otro, si el tribunal, en el ejercicio de su sana discreción, lo entiende procedente. Se le advierte que dentro de los diez (10) días siguientes a la publicación del presente edicto, se le estará enviando a usted por correo certificado con acuse de recibo, una copia del emplazamiento y de la demanda presentada al lugar de su última
LEGAL NOTICE ESTADO LIBRE ASOCIADO DE PUERTO RICO TRIBUNAL DE PRIMERA INSTANCIA CENTRO JUDICIAL DE BAYAMÓN SALA SUPERIOR DE TOA ALTA.
EDNA IVETTE BURGOS ORTIZ
ERNESTO JOSE HERNANDEZ MAGAÑA
Thursday, June 18, 2020 gado de la demandante. Si dejare de hacerlo, podrá dictarse Sentencia en Rebeldía contra usted, concediéndose el remedio solicitado en la moción, sin más citarle ni oírle. Este aviso se publicará una sola vez, dándose cumplimiento así a lo dispuesto en la Regla 4.6 de Procedimiento Civil de Puerto Rico. Dentro de diez (10) días de haberse publicado el presente Edicto, se remitirá copia de la moción y del Edicto por correo certificado con acuse de recibo, a la última dirección del demandado ERNESTO JOSE HERNANDEZ MAGAÑA, cuya última dirección física y postal de éste conocida es Urb. Levittown 6ta Sección, FR 50 Calle Liorens Torres Apt #2, Toa Baja, Puerto Rico 00949. EXTENDIDO BAJO MI FIRMA y el sello de este Tribunal, en Toa Alta, Puerto Rico, hoy 6 de mayo de 2020. Lcda. Laura I Santa Sanchez, Sec Regional. Liriam Hernandez, SubSecretaria.
DEMANDADO CIVIL NUM. BY2020RF00581 (202). SOBRE: DIVORCIO (RUPTURA IRREPARABLE). EDICTO. ESTADOS UNIDOS DE AMERICA EL PRESIDENTE DE LOS ESTADOS UNILEGAL NOTICE DOS EL ESTADO LIBRE ASOCIADO DE PUERTO RICO. ESTADO LIBRE ASOCIADO SS. DE PUERTO RICO TRIBUNAL DE PRIMERA INSTANA: ERNESTO JOSE HERNANDEZ MAGAÑA CIA SALA SUPERIOR DE RIO GRANDE EN FAJARDO.
Urb. Levittown 6ta LIME RESIDENTIAL, LTD Sección FR 50 Calle Demandante Llorens Torres Apt #2 PAN AMERICAN Toa Baja, Puerto Rico 00949 FINANCIAL Se le notifica a usted que se CORPORATION, ha radicado en esta Secretaría CITIBANK N.A., una demanda de divorcio por ruptura irreparable, en el caso CITIMORTGAGE INC., DLJ de epígrafe, en la cual la deMORTGAGE CAPITAL, mandante EDNA IVETTE BURJANE DOE, JOHN DOE GOS ORTIZ está solicitando se declare roto y disuelto por rup- como posibles tenederos tura irreparable el vínculo madel pagaré extraviado trimonial entre la demandante y el demandado. Este Tribunal ha ordenado que sé le notifique a usted por edicto que se publicará una sola vez en un periódico de circulación general. Se le emplaza y requiere que dentro de los treinta (30) días siguientes ala publicación de este edicto, excluyendo el día de la publicación de este edicto, conteste la demanda. Usted 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/, salvo que se represente por derecho propio, en cuyo caso deberá presentar su alegación responsiva en la secretaría del tribunal. Si comparece por derecho propio y no radica por SUMAC debe enviar copia de la Contestación de la Demanda al Lcdo. Osvaldo Aponte Del Valle, lcdoosvaldoaponte@ gmail.com, P.O. Box 6314, Bayamón, Puerto Rico 00960; tel. (787) 799-2740; quien es abo-
inscrita al folio hoja móvil 464 de Rio Grande, finca número 22186. La hipoteca fue constituida sobre la siguiente propiedad (en adelante “Propiedad”): URBANA: Solar marcado con el número 63 del bloque “V’ de la Urbanización Río Grande Estates, radicada en el Barrio Zarzal del término municipal de Río Grande, Puerto Rico, con una cabida superficial de 300.15 metros cuadrados. En lindes por el NORTE, con el solar número 62 en una distancia de 23.00 metros; por el SUR, con el solar número 64, en una distancia de 23.00 metros; por el ESTE, con los solares número 70 y 71 en una distancia de 13.05 metros; y por el OESTE, con la Calle Número 25, en una distancia de 13.05 metros. Contiene una casa de concreto reforzado diseñada para una familia. FINCA: 22186 INSCRITA AL FOLIO 90 DEL TOMO 362 DE RIO GRANDE, REGISTRO DE LA PROPIEDAD DE CAROLINA, SECCION TERCERA. Podrán ustedes enterarse de los pormenores del caso examinando el expediente obra en la Secretaria a mi cargo. Deberán ustedes contestar o presentar alegaciones dentro de treinta (30) días contados a partir de la publicación de este edicto, radicando el Original con este Tribunal y sirviendo copia a la Lcda. Edmy Cortijo Villock, R.U.A. 18,126, Tromberg Law Group, 1515 South Federal Highway, Suite 100, Boca Ratón, FL 33432, 561338-4101. De así no hacerlo, se les anotará la rebeldía y se dictará la sentencia que en derecho proceda, sin más citarle ni oírle, según solicitado por la parte demandante. En Fajardo, Puerto Rico, hoy día 10 de junio de 2020. Wanda I Segui, Secretaria del Tribunal. Amarilis Marquez, Sec Trib I.
Demandados CIVIL NUM. RG2020CV00169. SOBRE: SUSTITUCIÓN DE PAGARÉ EXTRAVIADO. EDICTO. ESTADOS UNIDOS DE AMÉRICA EL PRESIDENTE LEGAL NOTICE DE LOS E.E.U.U. EL ESTADO LIBRE ASOCIADO DE P.R. SS. Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico TRIBUNAL GENERAL A: PAN AMERICAN DE JUSTICIA Tribunal de PriFINANCIAL mera Instancia Sala Superior CORPORATION, JOHN de CAROLINA.
DOE Y JANE DOE, como PROGRESSIVE FINANCE posibles tenedores & INVESTMENT, CORP. Demandante v. desconocidos del pagare CM PARIS TRUCKING, extraviado: Queden emplazados y notifiLLC Y OTROS cados que en este Tribunal se ha radicado Demanda sobre Sustitución de Pagaré Extraviado. El día 27 de septiembre de 2002 en Rio Grande, Puerto Rico, se suscribió un pagaré hipotecario a favor de Pan American Financial Corporation, o a su orden, por la suma de $107,100.00, devengando intereses al 6.50000% anual, vencedero el 1 de octubre de 2032 constituida mediante la escritura número 462, ante el notario Antonio J. Cruz Bonilla
Demandado(a) Civil: CA2019CV01015. SALA: 404. Sobre: COBRO DE DINERO. NOTIFICACIÓN DE SENTENCIA POR EDICTO.
A: CM PARIS TRUCKING, LLC; CARLOS E. PARIS GUZMAN
(Nombre de las partes a las que se le notifican la sentencia por edicto) EL SECRETARIO(A) que suscribe le notifica a usted que el 10 de marzo de 2020, este Tribunal ha dictado Sentencia,
25 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 establecerse recurso de revisión o apelación dentro del término de 30 días contados a partir de la publicación por edicto de esta notificación, dirijo a usted esta notificación que se considerará hecha en la fecha de la publicación de este edicto. Copia de esta notificación ha sido archivada en los autos de este caso, con fecha de 11 de junio de 2020. En CAROLINA , Puerto Rico, el 11 de junio de 2020. LCDA MARILYN APONTE RODRIGUEZ, Secretario(a). MARICRUZ APONTE ALICEA, Secretario(a) Auxiliar.
LEGAL NOTICE Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico TRIBUNAL GENERAL DE JUSTICIA Tribunal de Primera Instancia Sala Superior de CAROLINA.
BANCO POPULAR DE PUERTO RICO Demandante v.
SHARON BURGOS GONZALEZ Y LUCIA RIVERA TORRES
Demandado(a) Civil: CA2019CV03731. SALA: 408. Sobre: COBRO DE DINERO. NOTIFICACIÓN DE SENTENCIA POR EDICTO.
A: SHARON BURGOS GONZALEZ Y LUCIA RIVERA TORRES
(Nombre de las partes a las que se le notifican la sentencia por edicto) EL SECRETARIO(A) que suscribe le notifica a usted que el 16 de junio 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 establecerse recurso de revisión o apelación dentro del término de 30 días contados a partir de la publicación por edicto de esta notificación, dirijo a usted
esta notificación que se considerará hecha en la fecha de la publicación de este edicto. Copia de esta notificación ha sido archivada en los autos de este caso, con fecha de 16 de junio de 2020. En CAROLINA , Puerto Rico, el 16 de junio de 2020. LCDA MARILYN APONTE RODRIGUEZ, Secretario(a). F/DAMARIS TORRES RUIZ, Secretario(a) Auxiliar.
LEGAL NOTICE ESTADO LIBRE ASOCIADO DE PUERTO RICO TRIBUNAL DE PRIMERA INSTANCIA SALA SUPERIOR DE GUAYNABO.
DLJ MORTGAGE CAPITAL INC.
Parte Demandante Vs.
DORAL MORTGAGE LLC, ahora BANCO POPULAR DE PUERTO RICO; John Doe y Richard Doe, Como posibles tenedores desconocidos
Parte Demandada CIVIL NUM: GB2020CV00005. SOBRE: CANCELACION DE PAGARE EXTRAVIADO. EMPLAZAMIENTO POR EDICTO. ESTADOS UNIDOS DE AMÉRICA EL PRESIDENTE DE LOS EE. UU. EL ESTADO UBRE ASOCIADO DE PUERTO RICO. SS.
A: JOHN DOE Y RICHARD ROE como posibles tenedores desconocidos
POR LA PRESENTE se les emplaza y requiere para que conteste la demanda dentro de los treinta (30) días siguientes a la
publicación de este Edicto. Usted deberá radicar su alegación responsiva a través del Sistema Unificado de Manejo y Administración de Casos (SUMAC), al cual puede acceder utilizando la siguiente dirección electrónica: http://unired.ramaiudicial.pr/ sumac/, salvo que se presente por derecho propio, en cuyo caso deberá radicar el original de su contestación ante el Tribunal correspondiente y notifique con copia a los abogados de la parte demandante, Lcdo. Orlando Camacho Padilla, al PO BOX 7970, Ponce, P.R. 00732; Teléfono: 787-843-4168. En dicha demanda se tramita un procedimiento de cancelación de pagare extraviado. Se alega en dicho procedimiento que se extravió un pagaré hipotecario suscrito por Sandra Miranda Medina suscrlbió un pagare hipotecario a favor de Doral Mortgage LLC., ahora Banco Popular de Puerto Rico, o a su orden, por la suma de $767,840.09, vencedero el primero de enero de 2017 según escritura número 529, otorgada en San Juan, Puerto Rico el 15 de diciembre de 2011, ante la notario Magda V. Alsina Figueroa. Inscrito folio siete (7) del tomo mil doscientos cuarenta y seis (1246) de Guaynabo, finca número dieciséis mil ochocientos ocho (16,808). Inscripción 18a. Que grava la propiedad que se describe a continuación:. URBANA: Solar marcado con el número ocho guion 8(8-8) del Plano de Inscripción Torrimar, ubicada en los barrios Pueblo Viejo y Juan Domingo del término Municipal
de Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, con un área superficial de novecientos uno punto cuarenta y siete (901.47) metros cuadrados por el NORTE, veintinueve punto noventa (29.90) metros con el solar ocho guion A (8-A) de la misma urbanización; por el ESTE, en treinta punto diez (30.10) metros con la calle once (11) de la urbanización ; por el SUR, en veintinueve punto noventa y uno (29.91) metros con otra propiedad; por el OESTE, en treinta punto dieciocho (30.18) metros con otra propiedad de la misma urbanización. En la propiedad antes descrita se encuentra enclavada un a casa de concreto. reforzado que consta de dos (2) garajes, un (1) porcho de entrada, vestibulo, tres (3) ormitorios, dos (2) baños, sala, comedor, sala de estar, cocina, dos (2) terrazas cubierta, cuarto de lavandería, cuarto de servicio con medio (1/2) baño. Inscrita al folio ciento ochenta (180) del tomo trecientos tres (303) de Guaynabo, finca número dieciséis mil ochocientos ocho (16,808) del Registro de la Propiedad de Guaynabo. SE LES APERCIBE que, de no hacer sus alegaciones responsivas a la demanda dentro del término aquí dispuesto, se les anotará la rebeldía y se dictará Sentencia, concediéndose el remedio solicitado en la Demanda, sin más citarle ni oírle. Expedido bajo mi firma y sello del Tribunal en Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, a 3 de marzo de 2020. LCDA. LAURA I. SANTA SANCHEZ, Sec Regional.
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The San Juan Daily Star
Thursday, June 18, 2020
Swabs and sensors: Memos offer details of life in NBA ‘bubble’ By MARC STEIN
hen NBA teams arrive at the Walt Disney World Resort next month for the resumption of the 2019-20 season, every player and team staff member will be expected to stay on the campus at nearly all times. Confirmation of that rule was among the standout disclosures that teams and players received earlier this week in the most detailed look yet at what life will look like at the complex in Florida. Two memorandums — one from the league office to teams, and the other from the players union to agents — highlighted many of the key guidelines and restrictions that the league will enforce. A complete, 113-page guidebook of health and safety protocols that the league and the players union are expected to formally sign off on this week was also sent to teams Tuesday night. To try to reduce the risk of exposure to the coronavirus from the surrounding community, any player or staff member who leaves the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex near Orlando, Fla., without approval and wishes to return will face a quarantine period of “up to 10 or more days,” according a league memo viewed by The New York Times. Delegations capped at 35 people per team for the 22 clubs that have been invited to the NBA’s planned restart will thus be largely limited to shuttling back and forth among their assigned team hotels, seven practice facilities and the three arenas used for games at the complex. A 33-page player handbook sent to teams Tuesday also included many details about an array of entertainment options, recreational activities and personal services that will be provided to try to ease the rigors of a grind that is scheduled to last three months for the two teams that reach the NBA Finals. The union memo, also viewed by The Times, referenced the imminent completion of the 113-page document as a “robust health and safety manual” that has been the subject of negotiations involving officials from the NBA, Disney and the players union, with input from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and various health officials and medical experts. Players and team staffers will be required to register two negative coronavirus tests when they arrive with their teams July 7 to 9 and will quarantine in their
Family and friends will not be allowed into the N.B.A.’s isolated environs at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex near Orlando, Fla., until the second round of the playoffs. hotel rooms for 36 to 48 hours. With no family members or friends allowed into the bubble until the second round of the playoffs, players on teams that advance that far will have to brace for more than 50 days in the tightly controlled environment before having any in-person contact with individuals from the outside world. The distribution of both memos was first reported by The Athletic. Among the most notable disclosures: — Players who elect not to play in the restart — because of safety concerns, reservations about NBA bubble life or a reluctance to return to work in the midst of the Black Lives Matter movement that has attracted passionate participation from many key figures around the league — have until June 24 to notify their teams. Players would not be sanctioned in such cases but would have to surrender up to 14 games worth of salary. — The Toronto Raptors, the NBA’s defending champions, are scheduled to begin using Florida Gulf Coast University in Naples, Fla. as their practice facility later this month because of government travel restrictions that mandate a 14-day qua-
rantine for people entering Canada. (Some Raptors players are currently in the United States, making it easier for the team to congregate in Florida than in Toronto.) — Players will be asked to wear an optional “proximity alarm” that would notify the player if he spends more than five seconds within 6 feet of another person wearing an alarm. The device will only be mandatory for team and league staff members, according to the union memo, which also states that players will be given the option of wearing “an Oura smart ring” that tracks temperature, respiratory and heart rate and other health measures, and may help with coronavirus protection. — Six feet of social distancing is encouraged at all times, entering another guest’s hotel room is forbidden, and face coverings will be mandatory for everyone on campus, according to the union memo, except when eating, in individual rooms or while engaged in a physical activity outdoors. — Random anti-drug testing will resume July 7 but only for performance-enhancing drugs and diuretics. Although no testing would be done for recreational sub-
stances, the union memo noted that players remain subject to discipline for possession or use of prohibited recreational substances including marijuana, which is not legal in Florida for recreational use. — Both the league and the union said frequent coronavirus testing would be done with a shallow nasal swab and a mouth swab (known as a COVID-19 PCR test) and a blood draw (serology/antibody test). The union said that the more invasive full nasal swab (nasopharyngeal) widely known to cause discomfort will not be used — except as a re-entry measure for those who leave the campus without prior approval. — Hotel assignments will be based on the standings when the season was paused, with the top four seeds in each conference (Milwaukee, Toronto, Boston, Miami, Denver, Utah and both Los Angeles teams — the Lakers and the Clippers) bound for the Gran Destino luxury tower, which opened in 2019. The bubble experience “may not be for everyone,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said Monday night on ESPN. “It will entail enormous sacrifice on behalf of those players and for everyone involved.”
The San Juan Daily Star
Thursday, June 18, 2020
Welcome back to football (terms and conditions apply) By BILLY WITZ
ou can say this about the college football industrial complex: It knows how to take care of its own. Iowa rid itself of its longtime strength and conditioning coach Chris Doyle earlier this week after a long line of former players accused him of abusive behavior, including racist comments. To make him go away, the university on Monday sent Doyle off with a $1.1 million parting gift (with 15 months of health benefits) — quite a bit more than the $15,000 settlement it paid one of the 13 players who ended up hospitalized in 2011 after one of Doyle’s punishing winter workouts. As for taking care of the unpaid help, that continues to be a different story. For all the seeming loosening of rules that would allow athletes to profit from their own fame, and the sudden leap to the side of players who want to see social justice reforms, there is no shortage of reminders that athletic and university leaders treat the concerns of athletes as secondary. That became increasingly clear as football players returned to their campuses this month for workouts. At Ohio State, The Columbus Dispatch reported, that meant signing a waiver acknowledging the risk of returning during the coronavirus pandemic. It is called “The Buckeye Pledge,” although a more accurate title might be: “Don’t Blame Us.” The idea came from Indiana University, whose meticulously detailed 17-page document includes which worker will be responsible for maintaining protocols at specific workout stations and what brands of disinfectant the university is using. It also includes a waiver that athletes are required to sign that alerts them that if they do not follow guidelines — like self-quarantining after a positive test or practicing social distancing — they can be dismissed from the team. The rough translation: Wear a mask in public or lose your scholarship. Those guidelines, however, were warm and fuzzy compared with those laid out by Southern Methodist, which requires its athletes to absolve the university or its employees from any legal claims related to the virus. And, by the way, if there is a lawsuit, SMU is claiming home-court advantage by declaring Texas courts as “the exclusive forum.” (A copy of the release at SMU, which as a private institution is not obligated to
At Ohio State and other universities, athletes coming back to play football are being met with coronavirus waivers. make it public, was obtained by The Dallas Morning News.) Whether or not such waivers would carry any legal weight — Ohio State Athletic Director Gene Smith said, “I’m not sure it would stand up in a court of law” — they are part of a trend among universities attempting to shift responsibility to their athletes rather than providing them safer conditions, said Dr. Kathleen Bachynski, an assistant professor of public health at Muhlenberg College. In this case, athletes who cannot join the team if they do not sign the waiver could be particularly vulnerable to coercion. “Their enrollment in college is so deeply tied to football that a student might feel obligated to sign whatever they’re handed so they can keep playing football,” said Bachynski, who added that similar pressures are why concussion symptoms are underreported in football. It is hard to know just how many universities are requiring such waivers — a Pacific-12 Conference official said it was necessary to check with each one — but it figures to be many of the 130 that play in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) if the practices mirror the way that universities are treating coronavirus testing data. Thus far, about a dozen universities
have announced how many athletes or staff members have tested positive for the coronavirus since June 1, when the NCAA allowed colleges to open their facilities for workouts if allowed under local health guidelines. After six University of Houston football players tested positive for the virus last week, the university announced that it was halting voluntary workouts. At Iowa State, 10 athletes, including two football players, have tested positive. At Alabama, eight football players were in quarantine last week after testing positive. (For those checking the Iron Bowl scoreboard, Auburn announced last week it had three positive cases.) But don’t expect anything near a full accounting. The Associated Press reported on Sunday that more than half of the 66 FBS universities that responded to a query said they would not disclose testing data, cloaking themselves in privacy laws that prohibit the release of personal information like individual names but say nothing about making public the raw numbers of tests and positive results. This lack of transparency came as athletes reported to campus amid spikes in coronavirus cases in 21 states — mostly across the southern United States — in-
cluding Texas, Florida and Arizona. Many universities have students arriving from different regions. Notre Dame, for example, began testing on Monday for a return to campus for its players, who hail from 29 states; Washington, D.C.; and Germany. (Thus far, Houston is the only institution to report that its cases were symptomatic.) “It’s not just your broken ankle,” Bachynski said. “You might have come into contact with people you’re spreading that risk to. A pandemic that’s killed more than 100,000 Americans is clearly a situation where ethically you’d need to be sharing the basic numbers as a matter of public health and public safety.” Of course, ethics and the business of college sports often have difficulty occupying the same space. Consider how many coaches sit in a recruit’s living room and tell a mother he’ll look after Junior like he’s his own son. What does that look like at Ohio State, which for nearly 20 years did nothing to stop a team doctor from fondling athletes during annual physicals? Or whose current athletic director, Smith, was suspended for failing to alert others that the police were investigating domestic violence allegations against an assistant football coach? At the moment, it looks like this: being required to sign a “pledge” of all the things you will agree to do — monitor yourself for symptoms, quarantine after a positive test, follow the medical staff’s instructions, stay home if feeling sick, frequently sanitize your hands and keep personal and shared spaces clean. Nowhere does the two-page document detail any steps that are required from the university — like how a player in isolation would receive food or medical treatment, or how frequently he and his teammates will be tested. Also, Ohio State is among those not releasing any testing data to the public. But the document does say that the virus is highly contagious and that Ohio State, which has opened its campus for essential programs like elective medical procedures, dental training, research and football, is following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. Still, near the end, it cautions, “I can never be completely shielded from all risk of illness caused by COVID-19 or other infections.” In other words: Sign here, you’re on your own.
The San Juan Daily Star
Thursday, June 18, 2020
Locker rooms are petri dishes. Can the NFL clean up before training camp?
This week, the agent for Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott confirmed his client had tested positive for the coronavirus. Other members of the Cowboys and players for the Texans have also reportedly tested positive. By KEN BELSON
n this most unusual offseason roiled by the coronavirus pandemic, the NFL has adapted by conducting business (mostly) as usual. Free agency, the college draft, rookie camp and voluntary workouts were all held on time, albeit remotely instead of in person. The league may have a harder time sticking to its plan to open training camps at their usual time in late July. While the NFL and the NFL Players Association have created guidelines that let coaches and team staff return to their offices, they have yet to figure out how several thousand players can attend training camps safely even as confirmations of infected players emerge. This week, the agent for Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott confirmed that his client had tested positive for the virus. Other members of the Cowboys and players for the Houston Texans have also reportedly tested positive. Though the league in early June expanded on an earlier memo detailing plans to fully reopen team facilities, at least one coach, John Harbaugh of the Baltimore Ravens, called them impossible to follow. The players’ union on Monday told agents there were still no guidelines
established for testing protocols or rules on distancing and equipment for players’ mandatory return to training camps, according to a source who participated and spoke on condition of anonymity. The lack of guidance on the swift-approaching return has left many in football unsure about safety in an environment that requires contact on nearly every play and cramped quarters in locker rooms. “The disease is airborne, so it can come from anywhere, and you have to keep people away from each other, but the game is literally sweating, bleeding, spitting on each other all the time,” said D.J. Reader, a nose tackle who signed a free-agent contract with the Cincinnati Bengals this offseason. “Everyone wants to play, but nobody has any answers.” The union declined to comment about the status of negotiations with the league on the next round of guidelines. But the rules for allowing coaches and staff to work in team facilities, which the league released in May and expanded upon last week, are complicated enough. Employees must be divided into three tiers, each with a different level of access to locker rooms, weight rooms and other places. Teams must follow guidelines for providing meals and medical services, cleaning their facilities and
testing employees. Coaches have been slow to return to their offices. Last week, the union’s president, J.C. Tretter, told players they should listen to the union for guidance, a suggestion that coaches, doctors and team staff may be providing conflicting information. The guidelines are bound to become more complicated when 90 players for each team show up for training camp and locker rooms are filled to capacity. “I’m pretty sure the huddle is not going to be six-feet spaced,” Harbaugh said in an interview with a Baltimore radio station. “Are guys going to shower one at a time all day? Are guys going to lift weights one at a time all day? These are things the league and the PA needs to get a handle on and needs to get agreed with some common sense so we can operate in a 13-hour day in training camp that they’re giving us and get our work done.” The league’s goal of opening training camps on time has become more complex because of the surge in COVID-19 virus infections in Arizona, Florida, Texas and other states where NFL teams are based. The league has said that it will open all training camps simultaneously to preserve competitive balance, and that teams must train in their own facilities, preventing any from moving camps to states where infection rates are lower. The publicly confirmed cases of coronavirus in the league are thought to have been transmitted outside NFL facilities. In March, New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton was the first known member of the NFL community infected, after attending a horse race in Arkansas. In April, Von Miller, the Denver Broncos linebacker, said he had also tested positive for the virus. On Monday, Roger Goodell, the league commissioner, told ESPN that some players were bound to test positive. “The issue is, can we obviously prevent as many of those from happening, but treat them quickly, isolate them and prevent them from directly impacting our player personnel?” he said. If college football is any guide, the number of infections may surge when NFL players report to camp. Last week, the University of Houston suspended voluntary workouts after six players tested positive for the virus. Athletes at Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Iowa State, Marshall and Oklahoma State have also tested positive. The NFL and the union agreed in March to jointly develop procedures for the offseason, and their partnership has been largely cooperative. But most of the guidelines they have developed have applied to nonunion members, like coaches and front office staff, reporting to facilities. Guidelines for players largely pertained to how they worked at home. Finding a way to reduce the risk of infection for the players will be harder because of the sheer volume of people who will have to share many common spaces, like locker rooms and weight rooms. “It’s a petri dish, football locker rooms,” said James Acho, a lawyer who has represented retired NFL players in health disputes with the league. “These guys are going to be on top of each other. It’s almost humanly impossible to physically distance.”
The San Juan Daily Star
Thursday, June 18, 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
The San Juan Daily Star
Thursday, June 18, 2020
(Mar 21-April 20)
Marching to the beat of your own drum is lots of fun. For many years, you yearned to fit in with the crowd. Recently, you’ve discovered how much fun it is to flaunt your distinctive style. Feel free to adopt a quirky look. A caring email or text from a friend warms your heart. It’s good to know that you are adored. Play this experience forward by checking on an elderly neighbour. Drop off a bouquet of flowers or some delicious takeaway.
(Sep 24-Oct 23)
Your ambitions have changed over the years. That’s perfectly fine. Be open to setting new goals. Someone with your sharp intellect is bound to cultivate fresh interests at every opportunity. If you’ve been thinking of inventing some new recipes, go for it. You have a great palette. Experimenting with ingredients can take your mind off mundane problems. Whenever anxiety sets in, exercise your imagination. Inventing new ways of doing things nearly always releases tension for you. Draw on your well of creativity.
(April 21-May 21)
(May 22-June 21)
(Nov 23-Dec 21)
(June 22-July 23)
(Dec 22-Jan 20)
Marching to the beat of your own drum is lots of fun. For many years, you yearned to fit in with the crowd. Recently, you’ve discovered how much fun it is to flaunt your distinctive style. Feel free to adopt a quirky look. A caring email or text from a friend warms your heart. It’s good to know that you are adored. Play this experience forward by checking on an elderly neighbour. Drop off a bouquet of flowers or some delicious takeaway. There’s nothing wrong with being a loner. Working on your own clarifies your vision. Instead of being distracted by other people’s opinions, you’ll learn the courage of your convictions. You’ve been blessed with a powerful intuition. Use it to make creative choices and monetary decisions. A lucrative opportunity is worth checking out. Apply for this position as quickly as possible even though you’ll have to wait for current restrictions and regulations to ease before you can fully move forward. Some free-thinking friends may accuse you of being narrowminded. Let them introduce you to different ways of thinking and living. Some of these attitudes will continue to offend you, but others will grow on you. Some modern trends are worth following. This is a terrific time to promote your personal agenda. Investigate opportunities to make an interest or hobby bring in a little extra income. People love your clever way with words.
(July 24-Aug 23)
Have you grown bored with the way you are living your life? Take this opportunity to develop an idea for an innovative product or service. If you’re unable to make changes just at the moment, you can start thinking of ways to boost your financial freedom. Rather than acting hastily in the hope of dealing decisively with a problem, adopt a wait and see attitude. By assuming everything will work to your advantage, a solution to this dilemma will present itself.
(Aug 24-Sep 23)
A friend may seek your advice, and it’s clear to you what needs to be done. Before finally rendering your opinion, think carefully about what effect it might have. It’s possible to be firm but compassionate. There’s nothing worse than having your bubble burst by someone you love and admire! Furthermore, you may want to think about whether taking a risk could be to their benefit. Some people thrive on change. Make allowances for differences in temperament. What’s good for the goose isn’t necessarily all that good for the gander.
(Oct 24-Nov 22)
Unexpected changes to a partnership are bound to be good for both of you. It isn’t realistic to expect your union to remain preserved in amber. People are always growing and evolving. By encouraging each other to explore new vistas, you’ll remain close and affectionate. Developing a bold art project will fill you with pleasure. It’s fun to create new worlds from the comfort of your own home. Carve out a study or studio space where you can work without being interrupted. It can be done. People shake their heads with bewilderment when they hear your colourful stories. It takes a special person to thrive in this environment. Money from an investment or inheritance will allow you to buy some property. Checking out the chances of purchasing a home or holiday spot near the water will give you something positive to think about. When current restrictions ease you can negotiate a good price and make a special dream come true without breaking the bank. Charm works better than insults. Getting drawn into an unconventional romance will be entertaining. You’ll enjoy falling in love with someone enjoys poking fun at the status quo. Thanks to their influence, you’ll start questioning authority and following wild impulses. It will be a change for the better. This is a good time to sign an agreement. Not only will you get the compensation you deserve, but you’ll feel respected by the other party. Anyone who tries making you feel guilty about your demands should be challenged.
(Jan 21-Feb 19)
If you know people who worry about your safety, devise a system for checking in with them. Your loved ones won’t cling too tightly if you are considerate about their concerns. Get into the habit of calling or texting each day, just to put them at ease. Working for a family-based business can be creatively fulfilling. Instead of having to follow some predictable corporate model, you’ll be able to innovate systems, products and services. You’d much rather set trends than follow them.
(Feb 20-Mar 20)
You have an unusual outlook that attracts lots of attention. Conventional types enjoy arguing with you, trying to make you feel foolish. After trying to mock you, these critics walk away feeling humiliated. That’s because you have a great command of reliable facts and figures. Drawing on this information helps you to create unique artwork. Whether you write stories, paint murals or make clothes, your style gets attention. Launching a website or promotional campaign will help you sell your handiwork.
Answers to the Sudoku and Crossword on page 29
Thursday, June 18, 2020
Frank & Ernest
Wizard of Id
For Better or for Worse
The San Juan Daily Star
The San Juan Daily Star
Thursday, June 18, 2020
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