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November 20-22, 2020

San Juan The

DAILY

Star 50¢

John O’Connor Didn’t Care About ‘The Crown’ Until He Became Prince P20

The End of an Era After 57 Years of Contributions to Science, World-Class Arecibo Observatory Telescope to Be Decommissioned Too Risky to Repair: Decision Shocks Scientists Around the World

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Election Dilemma Continues: General Scrutiny Might Begin Monday, Might Not P4

NOTICIAS EN ESPAÑOL P 19

Millions at Stake: Education Dept Has Not Finalized Required Federal Monitor Contract

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The San Juan Daily Star

November 20-22, 2020

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November 20-22, 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.

Education Dept. has not finalized contract for federal monitor

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en months after the Puerto Rico Department of Education (PRDE) hired the firm Alvarez & Marsal to serve as monitor of the agency’s federal funds as required by the U.S. Department of Education (USDE), the PRDE said Thursday that it is far from closing the deal with a contract. The contract is a requirement put on the agency by federal officials to stop it from losing $650 million this year. Federal education officials in June 2019 ordered the PRDE to hire a middleman for its federal funding after finding irregularities in its use of federal funds for educational programs. The PRDE hired Alvarez & Marsal in February but on Thursday officials said they have not completed the contract. Federal Education Affairs Coordinator Francisco Martínez said Alvarez & Marsal objects to the inclusion in the contract of terms required of all contracts by local laws. Martínez said the terms had to be included in the contract because the PRDE does not want to face the problems that Guam had with Alvarez & Marsal when it hired the firm as a federal monitor for its federal education funds. Martínez declined to provide details of the discrepancies in the negotiations for a contract to avoid putting the contract at risk. Guam’s education department had a hard time getting rid of the company, which for 10 years collected $3 million a year for the U.S. Pacific island territory to have access to $50 million in funds, Martínez said. “We don’t want the same thing to happen to us,” Martínez said Thursday during the fourth day of government transition committee hearings. Despite the dispute, Martínez and island Education Secretary Eligio Hernández Pérez pointed out that the agency is using an unidentified amount of unused federal funds from 2018 to 2020. Hernández Pérez, meanwhile, gave an overview of the state of the PRDE. He said the educational system has 858 public schools, distributed around the seven regional educational offices (OREs) between primary, secondary and other levels. The total PRDE workforce has decreased by 20 percent in the past four years, from 54,031 to 43,323 civil servants, who are distributed in the following categories and status: 75 trust positions, 36,341 regular positions, 5,422 temporary positions, 1,160 irregular positions and 325 part-time jobs. As part of the PRDE’s academic effort, textbooks and instructional materials were purchased for all core subjects. In addition, literary novels and career technical (vocational) education textbooks will be obtained. The total investment of the initiative is $76 million in Restart funds. Since March, classes have been held virtually. Through Microsoft Teams, live virtual workshops are being offered and support groups are being developed with program directors, teaching facilitators, and technology specialists located in each ORE. In turn, teachers provide academic support and offer their virtual classes. All of the 22,000

teachers, that is, 100 percent, have benefited from the initiative, the PRDE chief said. Hernández Pérez said that in response to the earthquakes, remedial modules were acquired to provide teaching and learning, with an investment of $385,000 in Restart funds. The head of the PRDE also recognized the importance of attending to students’ socio-emotional needs. The agency hired 857 psychologists with an investment of $30 million from a matching of 50 percent of federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds and commonwealth funds. The hiring, for this year, of 857 psychologists is in process, with an investment of $52 million in commonwealth funds, Hernández Pérez said. On the matter of rebuilding the schools after the destruction caused by hurricanes Irma and Maria and the earthquakes in January, the secretary emphasized that the obligation of funds authorized by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for Category B repairs amounts to $356 million, which is obtained through reimbursement, and 10 percent in commonwealth matching funds. The PRDE requested public assistance to repair the damages caused by tropical storms and hurricanes, Hernández Pérez said. Likewise, he said FEMA recently allocated $2.2 billion in permanent category (E, G) funds to restore the infrastructure of the entire system, taking into account current building codes, mitigating risks to natural disasters such as hurricanes and earthquakes, and demographics, among other factors. The implementation of the recovery plan is projected for a period of 10 to 15 years, he said. The earthquakes caused extensive damage to school buildings, mainly in the 14 municipalities that were declared disaster areas. As a result of the inspections conducted, a total of 53 sites were identified as unsuitable, or red, 253 sites as partially eligible, or yellow, and 551 sites as eligible, or green. FEMA approved the declaration of emergency for 157 school campuses in the 14 municipalities; however, FEMA has inspected only 72 schools, which has delayed the restoration process.


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November 20-22, 2020

The San Juan Daily Star

SEC chairman: General Scrutiny might begin Monday Rosado Colomer says process is on hold until SEC determines how to abide by Superior Court decision By PEDRO CORREA HENRY Twitter: @PCorreaHenry Special to The Star

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tate Elections Commission (SEC) Chairman Francisco Rosado Colomer said Thursday that the general scrutiny is on hold until Monday while the commission determines how to abide by San Juan Superior Court Judge Rebecca de León Ríos’ decision requiring the handing out of a list of voters who cast both early and absentee votes in the general elections. The ruling was issued as a result of a mandamus filed by Citizen Victory Movement (CVM) Electoral Commissioner Olvin Valentín. During a press conference at Roberto Clemente Coliseum in Hato Rey, Rosado Colomer said he first wanted to establish that de León Ríos was “induced to error.” In addition, he said that while he disagreed with the ruling, it did not mean he was not going to abide by it. “Here, the process of added by-hand voting is being mixed with the ordinary ballot container scrutiny process,” Rosado Colomer said. “What was the discussion that took place during the hearing that led the judge to think and conclude that the added by-hand voting process applies

to the opening of the briefcase [ballot container] in the ordinary procedure? I don’t know.” The SEC chairman said that according to the ruling, every party electoral commissioner must be handed the aforementioned lists before any ballot container can be opened. Moreover, Rosado Colomer said, the lists that the CVM electoral commissioner is requesting are “accessible.” He said that what the ruling requests is information that can be retrieved through depuration, which is a process that takes place in January or February. “If the commission were to comply with the ruling, the [general] scrutiny would take longer than Jan. 2,” he said. “There is no way. If the table officials are going to have to search the lists to see where the one who is excluded appears, that takes some time apart.” Meanwhile, Rosado Colomer said “there is no way that the lists can be printed in the time dictated by the judge’s sentence,” but later he told members of the press that the lists were being printed and “would be ready in three to four days.” “There are six early voting modalities. Those lists are not in Excel. There are no ways to produce them. So, for example, the only thing we can think of is the lists where the voters signed. … [W]hen they go to look for their vote, there is a list with their photo and it is signed,” he said. “That list is never, and I want to emphasize, it is never provided when the [ballot] container is opened. Why did the judge

conclude that? Because they [the petitioners] represented to the judge that the procedure was like this because there is a procedure called added by-hand voting that you have to look for on those lists.” As to what’s next for the SEC, Rosado Colomer said “to print copies.” He also said he would not be going to court to ask for reconsideration if he is able to have the lists available on Monday. By not complying with the ruling, the SEC chairman would be in contempt of court. “I can explain the consequences of the ruling for the judge to reconsider or I can ask for an appeal or a motion for compliance with the order,” Rosado Colomer said. “All those avenues are open. What is going to be done has not yet been decided.”

González Colón makes pitch for statehood on floor of Congress By JOHN McPHAUL jpmcphaul@gmail.com

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esident Commissioner Jenniffer González Colón made a pitch for statehood for Puerto Rico on the floor of Congress Thursday, saying that “on November 3rd, Puerto Rican voters made a clear choice to become a permanent part of this Union, to become a State on equal footing and with equal responsibility to the 50 states.” “As was done in Alaska and Hawaii, voters were asked a straightforward question: ‘Should Puerto Rico be admitted as a State of the Union?’ A majority, 623,000 of those who cast ballots, voted YES,” the resident commissioner said. “Statehood gained more votes than any candidate or party ticket on the island. I was the most voted-for candidate islandwide, and statehood still received well over a hundred thousand more votes.” González said the people of Puerto Rico have repeatedly voted to end the island’s territorial status. In 2012, voters answered “No” to the question on continuing the territorial status, and in all votes since then, the majority of ballots for a change have favored statehood. “Ms. Speaker, the people of Puerto Rico have democratically chosen what their future should be. What is Congress waiting for?” she said. “It is our duty to respect the will of Puerto Rico. This is a direct mandate to move to statehood and it is Congress’ responsibility to do it.”

González said Congress needs to respond to the Nov. 3 plebiscite vote to achieve the goal of getting Puerto Rico “a legal status where our American citizens stand on the same footing as those in the rest of the nation.” González said maintaining the current condition cannot be justified by any means. “There are a lot of assumptions and false claims being made on both sides of the aisle on the issue of Puerto Rico statehood -- claims that are mistaken and only try to invalidate the will of the people,” she said. “The American citizens in Alaska and Hawaii were not met with proposals to try some other different solution

or meet some special precondition, so why should we?” González said Congress needs to respond to the Nov. 3 plebiscite vote to achieve the goal of getting Puerto Rico “a legal status where our American citizens stand on the same footing as those in the rest of the nation.” “This is the right thing to do,” she said. “Inequality is not sustainable. For over a hundred years our young men and women have fought in America’s wars side by side with fellow citizens from all the states, under the orders of a commander in chief we cannot vote for. For decades, my predecessors and I, lacking a vote on the House floor, have had to plead, with no proportional delegation, against bureaucracy and against both open and tacit discrimination in federal programs and funding.” The resident commissioner said Puerto Ricans have been a part of the great American family for over 120 years. “Puerto Ricans are part of what makes the United States what it is today. At work and in schools, in literature, arts, sports, business, law, government, in communities in every state we contribute to the greatness of this nation, and we are proud of that Ms. Speaker -- we embrace being Americans, and we want to be looked at and treated as such by our own government system,” she said. “It is time to get to work to give the people of Puerto Rico the equality that has been long promised but denied. Let’s do it now.”


The San Juan Daily Star

November 20-22, 2020

5

Goodbye to a science giant, a piece of history, the Arecibo Observatory telescope The world-class 305-meter telescope will be decommissioned after a series of damages too risky to repair By THE STAR STAFF

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ollowing a review of engineering assessments that found damage to the Arecibo Observatory cannot be stabilized without risk to construction workers and staff at the facility, the U.S. National Science Foundation announced Thursday it will begin plans to decommission the 305-meter (1,000-foot, 7.87inch) telescope, which for 57 years has served as a world-class resource for radio astronomy, planetary, solar system and geospace research. The decision has devastated scientists around the world. “As someone who was inspired as a child by the observatory to reach for the stars, this is devastating and heartbreaking. I’ve seen how the observatory to this day continues to inspire my island,” wrote Edgard Rivera Valentín of the Lunar and Planetary Institute in a direct message on Twitter to National Geographic. The observatory not only survived hurricanes and earthquakes but was featured in movies such as “GoldenEye” and “Contact.” The decision comes after the NSF evaluated multiple assessments by independent engineering companies that found the telescope structure is in danger of a catastrophic failure and its cables may no longer be capable of carrying the loads they were designed to support. Furthermore, several assessments stated that any attempts at repairs could put workers in potentially life-threatening danger. Even in the event of repairs going forward, engineers found that the structure would likely present long-term stability issues. “NSF prioritizes the safety of workers, Arecibo Observatory’s staff and visitors, which makes this decision necessary, although unfortunate,” said NSF Director Sethuraman Panchanathan in a statement. “For nearly six decades, the Arecibo Observatory has served as a beacon for breakthrough science and what a partnership with a community can look like. While this is a profound change, we will be looking for ways to assist the scientific community and maintain that strong relationship with the people of Puerto Rico.” Engineers have been examining the Arecibo Observatory telescope since August, when one of its support cables detached. The NSF authorized the University of Central Florida, which manages the observatory, to take all reasonable steps and use available funds to address the situation while ensuring that safety remained the highest priority. UCF acted quickly, and the evaluation process was following its expected timeline, considering the age of the facility, the complexity of the design and the potential risk to workers.

Arecibo Observatory’s telescope consists of the radio dish with a 900-ton instrument platform hanging 450 feet above.The platform is suspended by cables connected to three towers. On Aug. 10, an auxiliary cable failed, slipping from its socket in one of the towers and leaving a 100-foot gash in the dish below. The NSF authorized Arecibo Observatory to take all reasonable steps and use available funds, which amounted to millions of dollars, to secure the analysis and equipment needed to address the situation. Engineers were working to determine how to repair the damage and determine the integrity of the structure when a main cable connected to the same tower broke on Nov. 6. The engineering teams had designed and were ready to implement emergency structural stabilization of the auxiliary cable system. While the observatory was arranging for delivery of two replacement auxiliary cables, as well as two temporary cables, the main cable broke. Based on the stresses on the second broken cable -- which should have been well within its ability to function without breaking -- engineers concluded that the remaining cables are likely weaker than originally projected. The second broken cable was unexpected -- engineering assessments following the auxiliary cable failure indicated the structure was stable and the planning process to restore the telescope to operation was underway. Engineers subsequently found that the 3-inch main cable snapped at about 60 percent of what should have been its minimum breaking strength during a period of calm weather, raising the possibility of other cables being weaker than expected. “Leadership at Arecibo Observatory and UCF did a commendable job addressing this situation, acting quickly and pursuing every possible option to save this incredible instrument,” said Ralph Gaume, director of the NSF’s Division of Astronomical Sciences. “Until these assessments came in, our question was not if the observatory should be repaired but how. But in the end, a preponderance of data showed that we simply could not do this safely. And that is a line we cannot cross.” Inspections of the other cables revealed new wire breaks on some of the main cables, which were original to the structure, and evidence of significant slippage at several sockets holding the remaining auxiliary cables, which were added during a refit in the 1990s that added weight to the instrument platform. Thornton Tomasetti, the engineering firm of record hired by UCF to assess the structure, found that given the likelihood of another cable failing, repair work on the telescope -- including mitigation measures to stabilize it for additional work -- would be unsafe. Stress tests to capture a more accurate measure of the remaining cables’ strength could collapse the structure, Thornton Tomasetti found. The firm recommended a controlled demolition to eliminate the danger of an unexpected collapse.

“Although it saddens us to make this recommendation, we believe the structure should be demolished in a controlled way as soon as pragmatically possible,” said the recommendation for action letter submitted by Thornton Tomasetti. “It is therefore our recommendation to expeditiously plan for decommissioning of the observatory and execute a controlled demolition of the telescope.” UCF also hired two other engineering firms to provide assessments of the situation. One recommended immediate stabilization action. The other, after reviewing Thornton Tomasetti’s model, concurred that there is no course of action that could safely verify the structure’s stability and advised against allowing personnel on the telescope’s platforms or towers. “Critical work remains to be done in the area of atmospheric sciences, planetary sciences, radio astronomy and radar astronomy,” UCF President Alexander N. Cartwright said. “UCF stands ready to utilize its experience with the observatory to join other stakeholders in pursuing the kind of commitment and funding needed to continue and build on Arecibo’s contributions to science.” After receiving the contracted assessments, the NSF brought in an independent engineering firm and the Army Corps of Engineers to review the findings. The firm the NSF hired concurred with the recommendations of Thornton Tomasetti and expressed concern about significant danger from uncontrolled collapse. The Army Corps of Engineers recommended gathering additional photographic evidence of the facility and a complete forensic evaluation of the broken cable. Given the fact that any stabilization or repair scenario would require workers to be on or near the telescope structure, the degree of uncertainty about the cables’ strength and the extreme forces at work, the NSF accepted the recommendation to prepare for controlled decommissioning of the telescope. The scope of the NSF’s decommissioning plan would focus only on the telescope and is intended to safely preserve other parts of the observatory that could be damaged or destroyed in the event of an unplanned, catastrophic collapse. The plan aims to retain as much as possible of the remaining infrastructure of Arecibo Observatory, so that it remains available for future research and educational missions. The decommissioning process involves

developing a technical execution plan and ensuring compliance with a series of legal, environmental, safety and cultural requirements over the coming weeks. The NSF has authorized a high-resolution photographic survey using drones, and is considering options for forensic evaluation of the broken cable -- if such action could be done safely -- to see if any new evidence could inform the ongoing plans. This work has already begun and will continue throughout the decommissioning planning. Equipment and other materials will be temporarily moved to buildings outside the danger zone. When all necessary preparations have been made, the telescope would be subject to a controlled disassembly. After the telescope decommissioning, the NSF would intend to restore operations at assets such as the Arecibo Observatory LIDAR facility -- a valuable geospace research tool -- as well as at the visitor center and offsite Culebra facility, which analyzes cloud cover and precipitation data. The NSF would also seek to explore possibilities for expanding the educational capacities of the learning center. Safety precautions due to the COVID-19 pandemic will remain in place as appropriate. Some Arecibo operations involving the analysis and cataloging of archived data collected by the telescope would continue. UCF secured enhanced cloud storage and analytics capabilities in 2019 through an agreement with Microsoft, and the observatory is working to migrate on-site data to servers outside of the affected area. Areas of the observatory that could be affected by an uncontrolled collapse have been evacuated since the November cable break and will remain closed to unauthorized personnel during the decommissioning. The NSF and UCF will work to minimize risk in the area in the event of an unexpected collapse. The NSF has prioritized a swift, thorough process with the intent of avoiding such an event. The NSF recognizes the cultural and economic significance of Arecibo Observatory to Puerto Rico, and how the telescope serves as an inspiration for Puerto Ricans considering education and employment in STEM. The NSF’s goal is to work with the Puerto Rican government and other stakeholders and partners to explore the possibility of applying resources from Arecibo Observatory for educational purposes. “Over its lifetime, Arecibo Observatory has helped transform our understanding of the ionosphere, showing us how density, composition and other factors interact to shape this critical region where Earth’s atmosphere meets space,” said Michael Wiltberger, head of NSF’s Geospace Section. “While I am disappointed by the loss of investigative capabilities, I believe this process is a necessary step to preserve the research community’s ability to use Arecibo Observatory’s other assets and hopefully ensure that important work can continue at the facility.”


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The San Juan Daily Star

November 20-22, 2020

Rights groups call for ‘collective outcry’ at Capitol to commemorate lost trans lives By PEDRO CORREA HENRY Twitter: @PCorreaHenry Special to The Star Content warning: This article mentions violence against trans people and femicides.

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rans-feminist organizations are calling for a “collective outcry” today starting at 4 p.m. in front of the Capitol to commemorate the trans lives violently cut short as a result of transphobia throughout 2020. As part of demonstrations that will take place during International Trans Day of Remembrance, collectives such as La Sombrilla Cuir, Pólvora Colectiva Cuir, the Trans Collective, and March 8 Coalition invite members of the LGBTQIAP+ community and allies to join and advocate for better welfare for the trans community. La Sombrilla Cuir member Marielle de León told the Star that the name of the event comes from the “feelings of frustration and anger amid the moments we have faced throughout this year.” “This year has been the most violent that I have seen toward the trans community,” de León said as she mentioned the names of Neulisa “Alexa” Feliciano

Ruiz, Yampy Méndez Arocho, Michellyn Ramos Vargas, Penélope Díaz Ramírez, SerenaVelázquez Ramos and Layla Peláez Sánchez, who were slain due to their gender identity. Meanwhile, the event will also commemorate survivors of transphobia such as Nicole Pastrana, who was beaten and stabbed by two 18-year-old men in Río Piedras on Oct. 8. De León said the event will also have a space to include “invisible” members within the conversations that will take place in front of the home of the Puerto Rico Legislature in Puerta de Tierra. She said the event will bring light to issues that face trans men, and non-binary and intersex people on the island. “Although trans women have always been the most violated in our society, we want to raise awareness on more invisible communities that also tend to be violated in different ways,” she said. “We’re a very diverse group that will try to deliver the message to the rest of the people.” The member of La Sombrilla Cuir added that the event will also include performances to demand justice and respect, and for the island government to

take concrete actions “that are aimed at guaranteeing civil and human rights for trans people.” “Not only will we be there to call for justice, we will be protesting against the lack of action from the government,” de León said. “There hasn’t been an arrest in Alexa’s murder, or in Michellyn orYampy’s case. There were some arrests for Serena and Layla’s murders, but that’s because the FBI intervened; and in Penelope’s case,

although we know who killed her in jail, which was her cellmate, we must point out that a person like Penelope was not supposed to be incarcerated in a men’s detention center, which endangered her life.” Meanwhile, Pólvora Colectiva Cuir member Steph Guzmán Piñero said via a written statement that other demands made at the event will be for “access to quality health services that take into account our needs and identities, public policies that really protect us from labor discrimination, public policies that facilitate the change of name and gender in official documents, access to safe housing, and access to accessible, quality education that puts gender perspective into practice, among others.” According to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), 37 transgender and gendernon-conforming people have been fatally shot or killed by other violent means. HRC reports that the majority of the deaths were Black and Latine transgender women. “Since HRC began tracking this data in 2013, advocates have never seen such a high number at this point in the year,” the organization said.

UPR to hold annual ‘Giving Tuesday’ By JOHN McPHAUL jpmcphaul@gmail.com

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he University of Puerto Rico (UPR) will participate Dec. 1 in Giving Tuesday, a global fundraising event that will be used by the university to develop special projects, and scholarships for students, as well as to

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support research conducted by academics and students, the UPR announced Thursday in a written statement. “As the main teaching and scientific center in Puerto Rico, and in the historical context that we are experiencing, from the university we are continuously identifying resources and projects to support our students to enhance their maximum development and promote entrepreneurship, innovation and research,” UPR president Jorge Haddock said. “Through initiatives like this one, the UPR receives new external funds thanks to the solidarity and altruism of graduates and citizens who recognize the achievements that are being made from the public university system.” Haddock added that, as part of his work plan, the university team develops philanthropy initiatives to identify new sources of income that allow the development of projects. Those who wish to donate can do so on the UPR’s official website at the following link: https://www.upr. edu/donaciones/ The UPR’s vice president of philanthropy, professor Wilma L. Santiago Gabrielini, specified that the donations will only go to accounts destined for the 11 campuses and units of the university system, as well as for research projects. Participants can select the unit or program to

donate to and assign the amount they want to give. “We ask our graduates, all Puerto Ricans and the public to join in this great effort and make their donation,” Santiago Gabrielini said. “We aspire, in the same way, to increase scholarships for students to enter or continue their studies in the main and most important institution of higher education on the island.” Giving Tuesday is celebrated annually on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving and its main purpose is to highlight “the positive impact that organizations, educational entities, among other groups, have with the altruism and philanthropy of citizens,” according to the UPR statement.


The San Juan Daily Star

November 20-22, 2020

7

Threats and tensions rise as Trump and allies attack elections process By NICK CORASANITI, JIM RUTENBERG and KATHLEEN GRAY

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resident DonaldTrump’s false accusations that voter fraud denied him reelection are causing escalating confrontations in swing states across the country, leading to threats of violence against officials in both parties and subverting even the most routine steps in the electoral process. In Arizona on Wednesday, the Democratic secretary of state, Katie Hobbs, issued a statement lamenting the “consistent and systematic undermining of trust” in the elections and called on Republican officials to stop “perpetuating misinformation.” She described threats against her and her family in the aftermath of Joe Biden’s victory over Trump in her state. In Georgia, where Biden holds a narrow lead that is expected to stand through a recount concluding Wednesday night, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, has said he, too, received menacing messages. He also said he felt pressured by Sen. Lindsey Graham, a close Trump ally and the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, to search for ways to disqualify votes. In Pennsylvania, statehouse Republicans on Wednesday advanced a proposal to audit the state’s election results that cited “a litany of inconsistencies” — a move Democrats described as obstructionist and unnecessary given Trump’s failure to present any evidence in court of widespread fraud or other problems. Republicans in Wisconsin filed new lawsuits Wednesday in the state’s two biggest counties, seeking a recount. Biden reclaimed both states after Trump won them in 2016. Nowhere was the confusion and chaos more evident than in Michigan on Tuesday night, when two Republican members of the canvassing board in Wayne County, which includes Detroit, initially refused to certify election results, pointing to minor recording discrepancies. It was a stunningly partisan move that would have potentially disenfranchised hundreds of thousands of voters from a predominantly Black city, and after a stream of public backlash, the two board members reversed their votes and agreed to certify. “You could see the racism in the behavior last night,” Mike Duggan, the Democratic mayor of Detroit, said at a news conference Wednesday, condemning Republican efforts to block the voting results. “American democracy cracked last night, but it didn’t break. But we are seeing a real threat to everything we believe in.” Late Wednesday, in yet another about-face, the two Republican election board members said they were rescinding their votes to certify the results. In affidavits, they effectively said that they had been bullied into voting for the certification and that they

did not believe the Democrats on the board were following through with their promise to ensure an independent audit of the Wayne County results. Jonathan C. Kinloch, the vice chair and one of the two Democratic members of the Wayne County canvass board, said in an interview that the vote to certify remained binding. In courtrooms, statehouses and elections board meetings across the country, the president is increasingly seeking to force the voting system to bend to his false vision of the election, while also using the weight of the executive office to deliver his message to lower-level election workers, hoping they buckle. The effort has been joined by surrogates like Graham, who has used his visibility as a senior U.S. senator to make false claims about vote processing in Nevada; forward disputed accusations about mail ballots in Pennsylvania to the Justice Department; and level unsubstantiated accusations about supposedly fraudulent votes for Biden. Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker, and Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer and the former mayor of New York, have made blanket attacks against cities with large Black populations like Atlanta, Detroit and Philadelphia, painting those places in evidence-free tirades as too corrupt to be trusted to hold honest elections. The extraordinary assault on the voting system by the president and his allies has taken on added intensity as the deadlines for certifying results in several states approach. Once certified, final tallies will further forestall Trump’s attempt to overturn his loss. Barring some breakthrough in the president’s legal push, his strategy appears to center on disrupting the process through which states finalize their vote counts and submit their delegate slates to the Electoral College. Republicans’ attempts to follow his lead in Wayne County failed in the face of Detroit residents who were outraged by what they saw as an open attempt to disenfranchise them. A public comment session with hundreds of voters and civil rights leaders rippled into a three-hour uproar, as they condemned the fact that two white officials were threatening the voting rights of hundreds of thousands of Black voters. The two Democratic members of the Wayne County canvassing board, Jonathan C. Kinloch and Allen Wilson, reacted with similar shock and anger at the initial refusal to certify the votes. After the two Republican members reversed course and voted to certify, the process moves to the Board of State Canvassers, where the results are to be finalized by Nov. 23. Dana Nessel, the Democratic attorney general of Michigan, said she had kept a wary eye on the Wayne County proceedings, and was

A woman drops her ballot in a dropbox in downtown Detroit, Sept. 24, 2020. Confrontations have escalated in swing states, with elections officials in both parties facing threats of violence, as the president and other Republicans try to subvert the country’s voting system. particularly worried about any potential litigation stemming from a canvass fight. “I keep hoping we’ll see a light at the end of the tunnel,” she said. “But it was obvious that these are plans that have been in place for a long time and it’s just a matter of how far the Republicans will take this.” The announcement late Wednesday about the Republican board members’ attempt to rescind their certification votes arrived in a news release from a public affairs firm based in Leesburg, Virginia, called ProActive Communications, which has done consulting work for Trump’s campaign and whose founder, Mark Serrano, has been a frequent television defender of the president’s. Trump’s 2020 operation paid the firm more than $2 million for its consulting services, according to records kept by the campaign finance website OpenSecrets. The Wayne County canvassing board’s reversal on Tuesday was a distillation of these waning days of the Trump presidency — a clash over an attempt by Trump to present once more an alternative version of reality. With only minor irregularities reported, the two Democratic members were prepared to accept that Michigan had conducted a smooth election and to certify the results despite some minor errors, a routine step in the process. The Republican members, William Hartmann and Monica Palmer, had made clear in the days leading up to the meeting that they were prepared to accept Trump’s assertions that Democrats were stealing his presidency.

Palmer had raised questions on social media about Biden’s lead in the race in the days after the election, searching for discrepancies in online data from the secretary of state’s office. She also queried Republicans who had applied to be poll challengers at the TCF Center in Detroit, where absentee ballots were counted, seeking examples of the party’s monitors being denied access. Hartmann had filled his Facebook page with false allegations and conspiracy theories that the vote was manipulated against the president. One post included allegations about malfeasance in Detroit that a judge has called “not credible” and another that featured a video promoting a cornucopia of fraud allegations — including against Detroit — that have unraveled in court or been debunked by election officials. Hartmann also promoted a video from the right-wing cable network One America News that Facebook flagged as having “false information” about the coronavirus death rate. Tuesday’s inflammatory meeting also drew attention to Hartmann’s social media feeds, where old posts showed racist depictions of President Barack Obama, whom Hartmann once referred to as a “Muslim President” (Obama is Christian). Neither Palmer nor Hartmann responded to requests for comment, but Mike Shirkey, the Republican leader of the state Senate, said in a statement Wednesday that there had been “disturbing reports of individuals who allegedly threatened the children of members of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers.”


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The San Juan Daily Star

November 20-22, 2020

With Senate control hanging in balance, ‘crazytown’ cash floods Georgia By SHANE GOLDMACHER

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he two Georgia runoff elections that will determine control of the Senate, and much of President-elect Joe Biden Jr.’s ability to enact a Democratic agenda, are already drawing enormous sums of cash, with more than $125 million pouring into the state in only two weeks. The two Democratic challengers, the Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, have each raised huge amounts since Nov. 3, with Warnock collecting around $40 million and Ossoff a little less than that, according to two people familiar with their fundraising hauls. The Senate arm of the Republican Party and the two Republican incumbents, Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, announced they had pulled in $32 million in just the first six days after the election. And Loeffler, one of the wealthiest members of Congress who spent $23 million of her own money to make the runoff and can inject millions more at a moment’s notice, has already booked $40 million in television time. Super PACs on both sides are racing to lock up a shrinking supply of television airtime as ad rates in the Atlanta market skyrocket, with prices this week already higher than in some of the top presidential battlegrounds in October. The twin Georgia races have swiftly taken center stage in American politics, with campaign visits by potential 2024 Republican candidates like Sens. Tom Cotton and Marco Rubio and Vice President Mike Pence. Biden himself is planning a trip closer to the Jan. 5 runoffs, as both parties vie for supremacy in a state that voted for a Democratic presidential candidate for the first time since 1992. If both Democrats win the runoffs, they would pull the Senate into a 50-50 tie, which would give Democrats de facto control of the chamber because Kamala Harris, as vice president, would cast the tiebreaking vote. Even the narrowest of Democratic majorities would considerably ease Biden’s path to confirming his Cabinet picks, appointing judges and advancing his policies. Conversely, a Republican majority would give Sen. Mitch McConnell, the GOP leader, an effective veto over many of Biden’s ambitions. “This is for all the marbles,” said Steven Law, the president of the Senate Leadership Fund, the leading Senate Republican super PAC, which has reserved at least $9 million in ads with allied groups, a sum seen as just a down payment. “Usually, the last thing you want to do is ask for money right after an election, but the donors are unbelievably revved up and ready to give again.”

Supporters of President-elect Joe Biden celebrate his victory on Nov. 7, 2020, in Atlanta. Biden became the first Democratic presidential candidate to win the state since 1992. Political strategists say they cannot recall any modern time when so much was on the line in a runoff election in a single state. Major Democratic and Republican donors alike are responding by opening their checkbooks, and small donors are rushing to contribute online, officials said. The result is a financial arms race unlikely to have a clear winner — except perhaps the local TV stations cashing the checks. “It’s the Super Bowl of American politics,” said Ralph Reed, the founder of the Georgia-based Faith and Freedom Coalition, a conservative group that is planning to visit 500,000 homes in the coming weeks and follow up with digital ads, phone calls and texts. “Everybody’s hopped up with the U.S. Senate on the line and in many ways the fate of the presidency and the courts,” said Reed, who predicted with more than a little hyperbole that $500 million could be spent on the election. “It’s crazytown.” Unrelenting waves of negative ads have already begun. Roughly $135 million has already been booked in television spending during the nine-week sprint — even as some of the biggest expected spenders have not yet reserved time beyond the next week. Loeffler alone has about $40 million reserved, so far mostly attacking her opponent, Warnock. “The commercials are running nonstop 24/7 on all the stations,” said Michael Thurmond, a Democrat and the chief executive of DeKalb County in the Atlanta area. “But what’s different is what you can’t see yet and you can feel: that the armies are being built, the resources are being stored up, you can feel the anticipation and excitement.” Biden won Georgia by a little over 14,000 votes out of nearly five million cast, with the At-

lanta suburbs delivering huge Democratic margins compared with 2016. But the political dynamics are expected to be very different in January. Republicans are hoping to duplicate their turnout in rural and conservative-leaning areas, despite not having President Donald Trump on the ballot to pull his impassioned supporters to the polls. And Democrats worry that Black voters will not come out in the same numbers as they did this month — turnout in runoffs almost always falls sharply — and that white suburban voters around Atlanta, who rejected Trump so resoundingly, will not be as eager to deliver a Democratic Senate to Biden. “There will be some dissipation of the antiTrump venom in Georgia,” Perdue predicted in a private call last week with donors and Loeffler, according to someone on the call who shared details of what was said. Some elements of the call were first reported by The Washington Post. In a sign of the uphill fight for Democrats, Ossoff received nearly 100,000 fewer votes than Biden on Nov. 3, while his opponent, Perdue, received 700 more votes than Trump. Closing that gap is one reason Ossoff recently aired an ad linking himself to Biden, promising to work with the president-elect on issues like managing the coronavirus pandemic. Some major Democratic donors, who requested anonymity to speak candidly, are downbeat on their party’s chances. Despite out-raising Republicans across most of the Senate map in 2020, Democrats lost several key races on Nov. 3 that party strategists had seen as winnable, including in Iowa, Maine, North Carolina and Montana. Yet those same donors said they were continuing to contribute to the Georgia contests because of the sheer significance of the outcome. “The result of these two races is going to determine the majority in the United States Senate, which is going to determine the success or failure of the Biden policies in the next four years,” said Saxby Chambliss, a Republican former senator from Georgia. “You can’t spend enough money if you’re a Republican or a Democrat to ensure your side wins.” Chambliss is familiar with the spotlight of a Georgia runoff. In 2008, he won one to deny Democrats a 60th Senate seat and a filibusterproof majority after he campaigned calling himself “the firewall.” Now Chambliss predicted that a similar message promising to be a Republican check on the most liberal impulses of the left would prove persuasive. “People like divided government,” he said. Karl Rove, the veteran Republican strategist who is overseeing Republican fundraising

efforts for the two campaigns and the party, made a similar case in the donor call last week with Loeffler and Perdue. “This is the last line of defense for conservatives,” Rove said. But Trump’s continued refusal to concede has complicated that messaging, since it depends on accepting his loss. Perdue and Loeffler, in a move widely seen as currying the president’s favor, recently demanded the resignation of Brad Raffensperger, Georgia’s Republican secretary of state, which has spurred something of a Republican civil war in the state Nationally, the Georgia races offer Republicans a chance to bring together both more establishment-aligned contributors, who were cool to the departing president, and pro-Trump financiers. One upcoming fundraiser is being organized by Stephen Schwarzman, the chief executive of Blackstone, who gave about $30 million to Republican candidates and super PACs this cycle, mostly focused on the Senate, according to a person familiar with the matter. The National Republican Senatorial Committee has already invested in a presidential-level ground operation in the state, putting 1,000 paid staff members on the ground and divided into 21 regions. Republicans across the ideological spectrum are involved in the Rove-led “Georgia Battleground Fund” fundraising effort, including former Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, the former United Nations ambassador Nikki R. Haley and Nick Ayers, a Georgia Republican who served as chief of staff to Pence. “Democrats had a significant financial advantage down the homestretch during this election season,” said Jesse Hunt, the communications director for the NRSC. “The entire Republican ecosystem is working together to ensure the tables are turned.” Democrats are hoping the political organization and movement created by Stacey Abrams, who nearly won her race for governor in 2018 by driving up turnout among the party’s base, will recapture that energy and especially help mobilize Black voters. In only four days, Abrams spearheaded an effort that raised nearly $10 million online for Ossoff, Warnock and a voting rights group she founded, Fair Fight. On Tuesday, she headlined a virtual fundraiser for larger donors to both candidates, who are doing much of their fundraising in tandem. On the donor call, Rove said that he had heard a friendly complaint by a donor that the twin runoffs were “going to cost me a fortune.” “Just think about it as protecting your pocketbook — the rest of your pocketbook,” Rove replied.


The San Juan Daily Star

November 20-22, 2020

9

Subway service could be cut 40% if no federal aid arrives By CHRISTINA GOLDBAUM

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ubway service in New York City slashed by 40%. Bus routes eliminated and service on the rest cut by a third. Service on two of the country’s busiest commuter rails reduced by half. This is the sober scenario the Metropolitan Transportation Authority laid out Wednesday as the agency faces a deadline to balance its budget while grappling with an enormous multibillion-dollar financial hole caused by the pandemic and little prospect of any immediate relief from Washington. Transit officials say their doomsday plan is a worst-case scenario made necessary because even with President-elect Joe Biden assuming office in January, it is unclear if there will be a breakthrough in Congress on another stimulus package. The MTA, the nation’s largest transit agency — which operates the subway, buses and two commuter rails — is seeking $12 billion in federal aid, an outcome that is far less likely if Republicans retain control of the Senate. Without federal help and with the state and city facing their own financial emergencies, the agency said it would be forced to impose some version of its proposed cuts, a move that would damage the region’s lifeline and undermine New York’s recovery from the pandemic. “New York was already going to have a difficult time,” said Nick Sifuentes, executive director of the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, an advocacy group. “But these cuts on transit are like doubling down on the difficulty level of New York getting back on its collective feet again. What might have taken a couple of years could now potentially take decades.” In recent months, the MTA, which received $4 billion in an earlier federal stimulus bill, has painted increasingly grim pictures of the transit system’s future as part of a strategy to pressure Congress into providing more support. But with a looming Dec. 31 deadline for passing next year’s budget, transit officials have been forced to provide some more details about what the sweeping cuts they first announced in August might include, alarming riders, union officials and elected leaders. The agency is expected to provide more specifics next month before adopting its

Riding a Manhattan bound number 2 train in Brooklyn on Nov. 12, 2020. 2021 budget. On Wednesday, the agency said subway weekend service would be hit hardest by cuts, with 15-minute wait times between trains and some lines eliminated entirely. Service cuts for buses would affect up to a quarter of all bus routes — especially those with low ridership — though no bus riders would be more than half a mile from another bus line or subway station. And on the Long Island Rail Road and Metro North commuter rails, service could be reduced on some lines while others eliminated entirely on weekdays and weekends. Transit officials also announced that they would slash 9,367 jobs from the transit workforce, nearly half of which would come from the division that runs bus service. Union leaders warned that such a drastic step would provoke a fiery response from their members, including a work slowdown that would worsen service even before any official cuts were made. “The New York City Transit workforce will correctly view this as the greatest betrayal of their careers,” said John Samuelsen, the international president of the powerfulTransit Workers Union. “There will be a rank-and-file rebellion, which will lead to chaos. It will lead to a disruption in service.”

“MTA workers control production maintenance and on-time performance on buses and the subway,” he added. “They don’t need to strike to make their voices heard.” Transit officials portrayed their proposal as a response to two bleak realities — the agency’s $16.4 billion deficit through 2024 and a ridership that has stalled at around 30% of pre-pandemic levels. The latest analysis of MTA finances and ridership by the consulting giant McKinsey & Co. projects that even in the best-case scenario, ridership will not reach 80% of prepandemic levels before 2024. “We’re going to have to match our service structure and service schedules to equal rider demand,” Robert Foran, the agency’s chief financial officer, said at the MTA board meeting Wednesday. “This is just ugly. This though is something we have to consider, you know, if we’re going to survive.” On Wednesday, the agency also moved forward with plans to borrow $2.9 billion from the Federal Reserve’s emergency program in an effort to stave off cuts and shore up the agency’s finances. “We are fighting very, very hard to get mass transit funding into the next COVID relief bill. We know how vital it is for New York,” Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., the minority leader, said in an interview Wednesday. “Some in the Senate have resisted, but we have overcome that resistance in the past and I am hopeful we will overcome it again.” Biden, who has been a regular commuter on Amtrak between his homes in Delaware and Washington, is considered a strong advocate of public transit. Major transit agencies across the country have been decimated as ridership collapsed during lockdowns. The full scope of the MTA’s plan to reduce costs is expected to emerge in a few weeks when the board, which is controlled by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, votes on a budget. “Transit is the lifeblood of the city, the ease of getting to work and moving around helps the city’s dynamism and helps its growth. It makes it attractive,” said Andrew Rein, the president of the Citizens Budget Commission, a fiscal watchdog. “We need to see the details in order to determine whether the severity of these cuts will be so painful that they are a drag on the economy.”


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The San Juan Daily Star

November 20-22, 2020

About that maligned Christmas tree (and that owl) at Rockefeller Center By ED SHANAHAN

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t would be hard to find anyone in New York who has had an easy time of it in 2020. With the coronavirus surging, the mayor shut the city’s schools down again. The governor set limits on the size of family gatherings as the holidays approach. Transit officials said that subway service could soon be cut nearly in half. And that was just the past week or so. So when this year’s Rockefeller Center Christmas tree went up last weekend, maybe it made sense for some commenters on social media to pounce on what they perceived as the huge Norway spruce’s unusually scraggly state, and to see it as emblematic of the year overall. “If it was a beautiful tree, that would have been surprising,” said Emily Brandwin, a podcaster, describing her immediate reaction to seeing an image of the tree. “2020 is a trash can, and it’s like, of course we can’t have nice things.” Brandwin was among many with something to say about the tree. On Twitter, users wrote that the tree looked like it “had cut its own hair” and had “just like the rest of us, really been through things.” Another, echoing Brandwin, said it was “a metaphor for 2020.” No, actually. Although despair, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder, the 75-foot, 11-ton evergreen that arrived in Midtown Manhattan this year after a 200-mile trip from upstate Oneonta looked the same as its predecessors had in past years when they were being installed, said EB Kelly, a managing director at Tishman Speyer, the real estate firm that owns Rockefeller Center. Workers had wrapped the tree tightly before making the long drive, Kelly said, and

it would take the branches time to settle back into their usual position after the tree was unwrapped and placed upright. What people were seeing, she said, were the “normal effects” of that process. She rejected the idea the tree was any kind of metaphor for 2020. “It is beautiful and full,” Kelly said. People would not be disappointed by the tree’s appearance, she added, when it was lit up on Dec. 2 in this year’s version of one of the city’s most enduring holiday traditions and, in typical times, one of its major tourist attractions. Al Dick, whose Oneonta property the spruce came from and who donated it for the Christmas duty, also scoffed at the suggestion that the tree was somehow dispiriting in the same way the year had been. “It was absolutely beautiful,” said Dick, who noted someone connected to Rockefeller Center had first spotted the tree about four years ago while passing through the Oneonta area and that others had visited regularly to check on it before it was cut down last Thursday. “That’s why they took it. You know how many people they had check that tree out?” Brandwin, who acknowledged that the tree’s appearance would surely improve in the days after it was erected, was one of many who likened it to the scrawny evergreen that figures prominently in the 1965 “Peanuts” holiday special, “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” Anyone who has watched that special to the end, of course, knows that Charlie Brown’s “Peanuts” pals transform the sad sapling into something much more cheerful, which is what Rockefeller Center promised in response to naysayers. “Wow, you all must look great right after a two-day drive, huh?” the property wrote on its Twitter account Wednesday. “Just wait until

The Norway spruce arriving at Rockefeller Plaza and being craned into place on Saturday. I get my lights on. See you on December 2!” Unlike the tree, though, the lighting ceremony will feel 2020’s effects: The public will not be allowed to attend in person. Those who want a close-up look will be able to get one after that until early January, although under more controlled circumstances than usual. Those logistics are still being worked out, Kelly said. Online interest in this year’s tree took a more positive turn Wednesday when it emerged that one of the workers who had helped transport and install the tree had found a small owl in its branches. A message posted on the Facebook page of the Ravensbeard Wildlife Center in Saugerties, New York, said that the center had been contacted by the worker’s wife, who said that her husband was on his way home with the

owl “in a box tucked in for the long ride.” The woman subsequently delivered the bird to an employee at the center, who identified it as a saw-whet owl. Center employees were giving the owl, which they named “Rockefeller,” fluids and “all the mice he will eat,” the Facebook post said. They planned to release him “to continue his wild and wonderful journey” once he received “a clean bill of health.” Ellen Kalish, the Ravensbeard center’s director, said the circumstances under which the owl had arrived were “very unusual.” “I’ve been doing this 20 years and I’ve never had a case like this,” she said. Had the owl traveled with the tree from Oneonta to Midtown? Kelly, the Tishman Speyer executive, was skeptical. She said that the workers who wrap and transport Rockefeller Center’s trees are careful to make sure there is no wildlife in the boughs before a trip begins. She said the owl had probably flown into the tree in Manhattan. Rita McMahon, the director of the Wild Bird Fund rehabilitation center in Manhattan, said that was possible. Saw-whet owls, she said, sometimes pass through the city while migrating south around this time of the year. She said the Wild Bird Fund was currently tending to one that had hurt itself crashing into a window. Kalish said that she believed the owl had made the 200-mile trip south because “he was very hungry and dehydrated” when he got to the center. But Dick said he also thought it was possible that the owl had started out in Oneonta. “At night,” he said, “we have them hooting all over the place.” Maybe the hoot is mightier than the tweet.


The San Juan Daily Star

November 20-22, 2020

11

Second Epstein investigation begins at Victoria’s Secret, but what’s changed? By SAPNA MAHESHWARI, KATHERINE ROSMAN, JESSICA SILVER-GREENBERG and JAMES B. STEWART

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t has been more than a year since L Brands, owner of Victoria’s Secret, said it was hiring a law firm to investigate its billionaire founder Leslie Wexner’s close ties to the convicted sex criminal Jeffrey Epstein, but no findings have been made public and the review has seemed to fade from view. Maybe a new law firm will fare better. After Epstein’s July 2019 arrest, revelations about his sweeping power over the retail magnate’s fortune and how he may have used his link to the lingerie giant to prey on women prompted the company to swiftly declare that it had hired lawyers to conduct a “thorough review” of the matter. The company enlisted Davis Polk & Wardwell, the whiteshoe law firm that it had relied on for legal counsel for years, and which once employed Wexner’s wife, Abigail. But nothing about the scope of the investigation has been released since, and many former Victoria’s Secret employees, including two who had interacted with Epstein, said they were never contacted by lawyers. Now, a second inquiry has begun at the company. A shareholder lawsuit filed in May suggested Davis Polk was too close to L Brands to be truly independent. The shareholder said they asked the board in February to replace Davis Polk or hire another firm as a “check” for its review of Wexner and Epstein’s relationship. Last month, at least five current and former Victoria’s Secret employees were surprised to hear from a new lawyer with no affiliation to Davis Polk. Sarah Eddy, a partner in the litiga- A boarded-up Victoria’s Secret store in New York on July 29, 2020. Victoria’s Secret was set to be sold to a tion department of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, said she was private-equity firm this year before the pandemic scuttled those plans. commencing a separate investigation on behalf of two independent L Brands board members: Sarah Nash, who became its on its management and the board of L Brands, which also owns tion to address the company’s workplace culture. Bath & Body Works. In February, L Brands announced a plan to sell a majorichairwoman this year, and Anne Sheehan. Wexner, 83, has sought to distance himself from Epstein, ty stake in Victoria’s Secret to the private-equity firm Sycamore In an email obtained by The New York Times, Eddy said her firm was investigating “allegations raised in shareholder who died in prison last August in what was ruled a suicide. But Partners, whittling the public company down to Bath & Body demand letters and civil complaints concerning, among other L Brands has also faced intense scrutiny about its workplace en- Works. Once the sale closed, Wexner planned to step down as things, connections between L Brands and Jeffrey Epstein.” The vironment. An article by The Times in February showed that CEO and chairman of L Brands but remain on its board. Then the pandemic hit, dealing an outsize blow to mall former employees, who spoke on the condition of anonymity Wexner and his former chief marketing officer, Ed Razek, prechains, especially apparel sellers, and Sycamore backed out of sided over an entrenched culture of misogyny, bullying and haciting fear of retribution, all said they had received similar calls the deal after some legal wrangling. In May, there was a marassment at L Brands and Victoria’s Secret. and emails. Shareholder complaints have also raised concerns Wexner stepped down as CEO and chairman of L Brands nagement shuffle at Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works, about allegations of misconduct and a culture of harassment and misogyny at L Brands and its lingerie powerhouse, suggesting in May, but nearly all of Victoria’s Secret’s remaining top leaders which are still being run as separate companies within the publiare men he hired or promoted, including the brand’s interim cly traded L Brands, and Nash replaced Wexner as board chair. that the new investigation could be looking into those issues. Nash, a former executive at JPMorgan Chase and CEO of CEO, who was appointed to that role despite an extramarital Wexner and his wife remain on the board but three directors Novagard Solutions, and Sheehan, an expert in corporate gover- affair with a subordinate that became widely known inside the retired, including a former Ohio State president as well as two nance, joined the L Brands board last year after an activist inves- company. The scarcity of women in the highest ranks of the who had served for more than three decades. Morale has been low in a difficult year that has included tor pushed for more diversity and fewer directors with business company has frustrated some employees. hundreds of layoffs in New York and Columbus, Ohio tied to “This year, we have amended our board governance, made and social ties to the Wexners. the pandemic. significant policy changes, initiated a robust diversity and incluEddy declined to comment. A representative for Davis While L Brands’ shares soared 92% this year through sion strategy, and greatly enhanced associate communication,” Polk did not respond to requests for comment. The new investigation is the latest jolt for L Brands and Nash said in a statement. “It’s truly a new day for L Brands and Monday, they remained 64% below a 2015 peak. On Wednesday, L Brands reported net sales for the quarter Victoria’s Secret, and comes months after the pandemic foiled a I’m excited about the progress we continue to make for our assothat ended Oct. 31 had increased 14% to $3 billion, driven by ciates, customers and communities we serve around the world.” plan to sell the lingerie brand to a private-equity firm. Even befothe performance of Bath & Body Works. The company swung to She said she was proud that half its board was now women. re the revelations about Epstein, Victoria’s Secret was battling a a net profit of $331 million in the period, compared with a $252 Two current employees said they were cautiously optimisdecline while facing criticism that its lingerie-clad models were million loss a year earlier. tic that Wachtell’s independence could allow the new investigaout of step with current views of beauty. That put fresh attention


12

The San Juan Daily Star

November 20-22, 2020

How the out-of-control pandemic is speeding the hunt for vaccines By REBECCA ROBBINS

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he coronavirus is spreading out of control in the United States, overwhelming health systems and killing more than 1,100 Americans a day. But there is a slender silver lining: It is hastening the testing of vaccines that could eventually end the pandemic. The surging virus has already allowed Pfizer and Moderna to accelerate the testing of their vaccines, which appear to be very effective at preventing COVID-19. And if, as seems inevitable, the virus continues to proliferate — it is spreading faster than ever in the United States and some other countries — it is likely to speed the evaluations of promising vaccine candidates from other pharmaceutical companies. “We are seeing something apocalyptic play out in terms of the level of transmission in the country right now,” said Dr. Peter Hotez, a vaccine scientist at the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine. “Unfortunately, this pandemic is still raging, and that affords lots of opportunities to look at vaccine efficacy.” Over the past week, an average of more than 158,000 new coronavirus cases have been confirmed each day in the United States. More than 159,000 were reported Tuesday. In late-stage vaccine trials, the faster that participants get sick, the faster that drug developers gain enough data to know whether their vaccines are effective. Researchers determine how well a vaccine works by comparing the rate at which volunteers who receive a placebo get sick versus

Cars in lines for Covid-19 testing in Los Angeles on Saturday. More than 155,000 new U.S. cases a day, on average, were confirmed during the last week. the rate for those who receive a vaccine. If the vaccine offers strong protection, the number of people who get the placebo and then fall ill will far exceed the number of vaccinated people who get sick. The trials are designed so that once a certain number of participants contract COVID-19, an independent panel of experts will conduct a preliminary examination of the data. (Other factors, such as how much time has passed since participants have been vaccinated, can factor into that timing, too.) The trial ends after a certain number of cases — around 150

to 170 — have accrued. That number is chosen to make sure the results have sufficient statistical power to tell how well the vaccine works. Pfizer announced Wednesday that its vaccine was 95% effective and had no serious side effects. The company, along with its German partner BioNTech, reached those findings after 170 participants in its trials — the vast majority having received a placebo — contracted COVID-19. The news came barely a week after a preliminary analysis found Pfizer’s vaccine to be more than 90% effective. That data was analyzed after 94 participants caught COVID-19, nearly three times the number that the company had originally planned would set off an early look to gauge the vaccine’s efficacy. The same phenomenon aided Moderna, which announced Monday that an early analysis had found its vaccine to be 94.5% effective. The company had planned on needing only 53 cases of COVID-19 to turn up in its trial before experts would take a first look at the data. But the nationwide surge in infections helped Moderna blow past that number: The results were based on 95 sick participants. In the coming weeks and months, the worsening pandemic could make results from other closely watched trials, such as one for a vaccine developed by Johnson & Johnson and another by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford, available sooner and with greater statistical power. The fast-growing pandemic could also

speed up trials of treatments for COVID-19. The drug company Regeneron, for example, is testing the antibody treatment that President Donald Trump received after he caught COVID-19. A company spokeswoman said enrollment in its trial — participants are COVID-19 patients who have not been hospitalized — had accelerated slightly this month. Even if the grim U.S. situation ultimately helps vaccines and treatments become available sooner, the country would have been much better off if it had kept the pandemic under control, public health experts said. “This is not how anyone would want it to play out,” said Natalie Dean, a biostatistician and an expert in vaccine trial design at the University of Florida. “I’d rather be South Korea,” which has kept the virus at bay since early in the year, she said. Vaccines are unlikely to be widely available for months. By then, the coronavirus will likely have cost the lives of tens of thousands of additional Americans. Pfizer and Moderna, whose vaccines appear effective, have been waiting to see if side effects pop up in participants before the companies submit their data to the Food and Drug Administration for authorization to distribute the vaccines. Once the FDA gives them the green light, manufacturers will have to ramp up production and work with governments to distribute the vaccines. Shots will initially be available only for health care workers and other vulnerable groups. When vaccines do become widely available, it is not clear if their protection will last for months, years or decades. Hoping to fast-track their testing, drugmakers have been setting up trials in COVID-19 hot spots all over the world — not just in the United States. In China, where the virus was rampant early this year, new cases have slowed to a trickle. As a result, Chinese vaccine makers are running late-stage trials of their candidates in countries like the United Arab Emirates, Morocco, Argentina and Peru. Vaccine developers select different parts of the world to conduct their trials for several reasons. They need to ensure that the vaccine has been tested on populations that reflect the world’s diversity. They also must make sure they can enroll participants in regions where the virus is spreading. “What is a hot spot initially will not necessarily stay a hot spot,” said Dean of the University of Florida, who has studied how to make clinical trials flexible enough to work during epidemics.


The San Juan Daily Star

November 20-22, 2020

13 Stocks

S&P 500, Dow slip as labor market recovery falters T he S&P 500 and the Dow slipped on Thursday as U.S. coronavirus infections surged and investors weighed the timeline of the mass roll-out of an effective vaccine. New York became the latest state to introduce social distancing restrictions on Wednesday, as new infections in the country surged above 100,000 for an eighth consecutive day. The blue-chip Dow dropped 0.5% as industrial and financial companies sensitive to economic growth fell, with Boeing Co and Goldman Sachs down about 2% each. Airlines and cruise operators, among the hardest hit by the outbreak, also fell. The S&P 1500 airlines index declined 0.5%, while Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd dropped 1% and Carnival Corp tumbled 3.7%. Wall Street’s three main indexes have climbed between 8% and 10% in less than two weeks on prospects of measured industry regulation from a potentially divided Congress, as well as an encouraging update from a late-stage coronavirus vaccine trial. “The focus has shifted back from politics, election, stimulus to where it was before, the virus and its economic impact,” said Keith Buchanan, senior portfolio manager at Globalt Investments in Atlanta. “Given the fact that the virus spread is more geographically diverse than it was in the summer and early in spring, it is causing some alarm in the public health community and policy makers have started to think if restrictions can be effective and how to go about implementing them.” Latest data showed U.S. jobless claims fell to a sevenmonth low last week, but the pace of job recovery slowed as fiscal stimulus waned and further improvement could be limited by a raging pandemic. At 11:23 a.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 134.81 points, or 0.46%, to 29,262.82 and the S&P 500 lost 10.87 points, or 0.30%, to 3,561.79. The Nasdaq Composite gained 16.52 points, or 0.14%, to 11,802.93. Amazon.com Inc, Netflix Inc and Microsoft Corp edged higher, adding to gains from the previous session. These companies, which have logged strong demand during the work-from-home shift, fell sharply earlier this week as investors rotated to value stocks on hopes of a faster economic rebound following positive COVID-19 vaccine data. Among the biggest boosts to the Nasdaq was a 20% surge in the U.S.-listed shares of Chinese e-commerce company Pinduoduo Inc, after it reported better-than-expected quarterly revenue. Rival JD.com Inc’s shares also climbed 7%. Financials and energy posted the sharpest percentage losses among major S&P sectors, while technology and communication services were the only two indexes posting gains. Moderna Inc added 4% after the drugmaker said it had enough data for a first interim analysis of the late-stage trial of its experimental COVID-19 vaccine. It did not say when it plans to release the data. Walt Disney Co and network gear maker Cisco Systems Inc slipped ahead of their quarterly results due after markets close.

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November 20-22, 2020

The San Juan Daily Star

The coronavirus is airborne indoors. But we’re still scrubbing surfaces.

People buying disinfectant at a shopping mall in Hong Kong. By MIKE IVES and APOORVA MANDAVILLI

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t Hong Kong’s deserted airport, cleaning crews constantly spray baggage trolleys, elevator buttons and check-in counters with antimicrobial solutions. In New York City, workers continually disinfect surfaces on buses and subways. In London, many pubs spent lots of money on intensive surface cleaning to reopen after lockdown — before closing again in November. All over the world, workers are soaping, wiping and fumigating surfaces with an urgent sense of purpose: to fight the coronavirus. But scientists increasingly say that there is little to no evidence that contaminated surfaces can spread the virus. In crowded indoor spaces like

airports, they say, the virus that is exhaled by infected people and that lingers in the air is a much greater threat. Hand washing with soap and water for 20 seconds — or sanitizer in the absence of soap — is still encouraged to stop the virus’s spread. But scrubbing surfaces does little to mitigate the virus threat indoors, experts say, and health officials are being urged to focus instead on improving ventilation and filtration of indoor air. “In my opinion, a lot of time, energy and money is being wasted on surface disinfection and, more importantly, diverting attention and resources away from preventing airborne transmission,” said Dr. Kevin P. Fennelly, a respiratory infection specialist with the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

A false sense of security Some experts suggest that Hong Kong, a crowded city of 7.5 million residents and a long history of infectious disease outbreaks, is a case study for the kind of operatic surface cleaning that gives ordinary people a false sense of security about the coronavirus. The Hong Kong Airport Authority has used a phone-booth-like “full-body disinfection channel” to spritz airport staff members in quarantine areas. The booth — which the airport says is the first in the world and is being used in trials only on its staff — is part of an all-out effort to make the facility a “safe environment for all users.” Such displays can be comforting to the public because they seem to show that local officials are taking the fight to COVID-19. But Shelly Miller, an expert on aerosols at the University of Colorado Boulder, said that the booth made no practical sense from an infection-control standpoint. ‘Hygiene theater’ A range of respiratory ailments, including the common cold and influenza, are caused by germs that can spread from contaminated surfaces. So when the coronavirus outbreak emerged last winter in the Chinese mainland, it seemed logical to assume that these socalled fomites were a primary means for the pathogen to spread. In July, an essay in The Lancet medical journal argued that some scientists had exaggerated the risk of coronavirus infection from surfaces without considering evidence from studies of its closely related cousins, including SARS-CoV, the driver of the 2002-03 SARS epidemic. “This is extremely strong evidence that at least for the original SARS virus, fomite transmission was very minor at most,” the essay’s author, the microbiologist Emanuel Goldman of Rutgers University, said in an email. “There is no reason to expect that the close relative SARS-CoV-2 would behave significantly different in this kind of experiment,” he added, referring to the new coronavirus. A few days after Goldman’s Lancet essay appeared, more than 200 scientists

called on WHO to acknowledge that the coronavirus could spread by air in any indoor setting. Bowing to enormous public pressure over the issue, the agency acknowledged that indoor aerosol transmission could lead to outbreaks in poorly ventilated indoor places like restaurants, nightclubs, offices and places of worship. By October, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which had maintained since May that surfaces are “not the primary way the virus spreads,” was saying that transmission of infectious respiratory droplets was the “principal mode” through which it does. But by then, paranoia about touching anything from handrails to grocery bags had taken off. And the instinct to scrub surfaces as a COVID precaution — “hygiene theater,” as The Atlantic magazine called it — was already deeply ingrained. “My tennis partner and I have abandoned shaking hands at the end of a match — but, since I’ve touched the tennis balls that he has touched, what’s the point?” Geoff Dyer wrote in a March essay for The New Yorker magazine that captured the germaphobic zeitgeist. What about the air? Hong Kong’s COVID-19 burden — more than 5,400 confirmed cases and 108 deaths — is relatively low for any city. Yet some experts say it has been slow to address the risks of indoor aerosol transmission. Early on, officials required Hong Kong restaurants to install dividers between tables — the same sort of flimsy, and essentially useless, protection used at the U.S. vice-presidential debate in October. But as the Hong Kong authorities have gradually eased restrictions on indoor gatherings, including allowing wedding parties of up to 50 people, there is a fear of potentially new outbreaks indoors. Some experts say they are especially concerned that coronavirus droplets could spread through air vents in offices, which are crowded because the city has not yet developed a robust culture of remote work.


The San Juan Daily Star

November 20-22, 2020

15

Mexico, outraged at arrest of ex-official, threatened to toss U.S. agents By ALAN FEUER and NATALIE KITROEFF

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rom the moment U.S. federal agents arrested a former Mexican defense minister last month on drug trafficking charges, the highest levels of the Mexican government were outraged at being kept in the dark about the case, seeing it as an egregious breach of trust between allies. Those emotions reached a peak in recent days, as Mexico City issued an unheard-of warning to its counterparts in Washington: If the United States did not rethink its pursuit of Salvador Cienfuegos Zepeda, Mexico would consider expelling U.S. federal drug agents from the country, jeopardizing a decades-long partnership that has helped bring several top drug lords to justice, according to three people in the United States who are familiar with the case. That threat appeared to work. On Wednesday, at the request of Attorney General William Barr himself, a federal judge in Brooklyn said she would formally dismiss the charges against Cienfuegos, a former army general. The Justice Department’s reversal stunned officials in the State Department and in Congress, who said Cienfuegos’ release would be an abrupt departure from the Trump administration’s aggressive pursuit of organized crime and drugs from Mexico. The dismissal was said to especially anger officials with the State Department’s Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, which oversees Mexico policy. Seth DuCharme, a former top aide to Barr who now serves as the acting U.S. attorney in Brooklyn, sought to explain the move, saying that by releasing Cienfuegos he was seeking to protect “the United States’ relationship with Mexico,” particularly where joint law enforcement matters were concerned. But that explanation did not satisfy Sen. Bob Menendez, DN.J., chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, who said both Barr and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo needed to explain what had gone wrong. “There is no explanation for Attorney General Barr’s decision to abruptly drop drug trafficking charges against General Cienfuegos,” Menendez said in a statement. “Cooperation with the Mexican government is essential for upholding our national security, and those bilateral ties must be built on common respect for our own rule of law and due process.” In the past, U.S. authorities worked with their Mexican counterparts in capturing major drug trafficking suspects, who are often arrested in Mexico, by Mexican forces. Barr visited Mexico City twice last winter to discuss with Mexican officials closer cooperation on gang violence, drug trafficking and immigration. But in this case the Justice Department quietly indicted Cienfuegos last year, did not alert Mexican officials, and waited until he visited the United States to take him into custody. It is not clear what led the department to forgo Mexican cooperation, angering an important ally and leading to the embarrassing setback of dropping the case. The release of Cienfuegos — who arrived back in Mexico on Wednesday, with no guarantee that he would ever face charges — illustrates how foreign policy can interfere with the day-to-day prosecution of the drug war. Prosecutors acknowledged the challenges in a letter to the Judge Carol B. Amon, of U.S. District Court in Brooklyn, saying they had dropped the charges because of “sensitive and important foreign policy considerations.” Amon, in dismissing the indictment, appeared to agree that

Attorney General William Barr during a discussion hosted by President Donald Trump, with State Attorneys General at the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020. there was little else to do about the charges. “Although these are very serious charges against a very significant figure, and the old adage ‘a bird in the hand’ comes to mind,” she said, “still I have no reason to doubt the sincerity of the government’s decision.” One official familiar with the decision to drop the case cast doubt on the Justice Department’s claims that Cienfuegos’ release was the result of a formal policy between the United States and Mexico. Word of the dismissed indictment was hailed as a triumph by the government in Mexico, where President Andrés Manuel López Obrador thanked the United States for “listening to our position and rectifying.” The U.S. ambassador had informed the Mexican foreign minister of Cienfuegos’ arrest soon after he was apprehended at the Los Angeles airport, sparking an uproar inside López Obrador’s nationalist administration. In the days following the arrest, high-ranking officials gathered for a flurry of meetings in which they expressed fury at having been blindsided by one of their closest allies and strategized how to respond, according to two people familiar with the matter. The feeling in the room was not that Cienfuegos should have been spared prosecution, but that U.S. law enforcement had violated their trust by keeping Mexico unaware of the investigation of such an important figure, the people said. The military, one of the most powerful institutions in the country and a close ally of the president’s, was particularly livid at what was viewed as a violation of Mexican sovereignty. Enraged military officials pushed the government to take action. Cienfuegos, who had served as Mexico’s defense minister from 2012 to 2018, was charged in Brooklyn in October with laundering money and trafficking heroin, cocaine, methamphetamines and marijuana from late 2015 through early 2017 on behalf of the

H-2 drug cartel, an offshoot of a larger and older criminal mafia, the Beltrán-Leyva organization. The charges were the result of a multiyear inquiry that investigators called Operation Padrino, or Godfather — a reference to what they claim was Cienfuegos’ nickname in the underworld. The investigation, which began in late 2013, was bolstered, court papers say, by a sprawling wiretap that covertly captured thousands of BlackBerry messages, some of which are said to implicate Cienfuegos in chatting and orchestrating meetings with cartel leaders. Officials say that Cienfuegos helped the H-2 cartel, which has committed horrific acts of violence as part of its smuggling business, with its maritime shipments. In exchange for lucrative payouts, the officials say, Cienfuegos also directed military operations away from the cartel and toward its rivals. At the court hearing Wednesday, DuCharme said his office remained confident in the strength of its investigation and “stands behind the case.” But under questioning by Amon, he admitted that the decision to drop the charges against Cienfuegos had been made “at the highest level of the Justice Department,” identifying Barr by name. One of the people familiar with the matter said that the prosecutors who had built the case against Cienfuegos were “devastated” that their superiors had decided to drop the pursuit of him in U.S. courts. Though Barr suggested in a news release Tuesday that Cienfuegos would be “investigated and, if appropriate, charged” in Mexico, it remained unclear what would happen. Edward Sapone, Cienfuegos’ lawyer, said that he and partners had believed from the start of the case that their client’s arrest was unjust because it violated a treaty under which the U.S. government had agreed to notify the Mexican government in advance about the arrest of any high-level suspect.

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16

November 20-22, 2020

Pompeo visits West Bank settlement and calls boycott of Israel anti-Semitic By DAVID M. HALBFINGER and ISABEL KERSHNER

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ecretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday became the most senior U.S. official to visit an Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank and handed Israel two more coveted policy shifts shortly after he declared that the Trump administration now viewed an international campaign to boycott Israel as anti-Semitic. The secretary’s day was a whirlwind of what the Trump administration is portraying as a victory lap over its policy toward Israel and the Palestinians and of photo opportunities that could be highly useful for Pompeo, particularly with the evangelical Christian voters he has long courted, if he were to seek the Republican nomination for president in 2024. “We want to stand with all other nations that recognize the BDS movement for the cancer that it is,” Pompeo said on the second day of a visit to Israel, referring to the campaign to boycott, adding that the United States would deny government support to groups that participated in the movement. He made the pronouncements as he stood alongside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who called the decision “simply wonderful.” Modeled on the fight against apartheid in South Africa, the BDS movement seeks to mobilize international economic and political pressure on Israel in solidarity with the Palestinians. In addition to a boycott, it calls for divesting from Israel and imposing sanctions on it and its supporters include some large U.S. church groups and a variety of liberal advocacy groups. Pompeo drove Thursday from Jerusalem to an Israelicontrolled baptism site on the banks of the Jordan River near Jericho in the West Bank. From there, he flew by helicopter to the visitor center of the Psagot winery in a Jewish settlement near the West Bank city of Ramallah. On Thursday afternoon, he also planned another first for a U.S. secretary of state: He will take a helicopter up to the long-disputed Golan Heights, along Israel’s frontier with Syria. Israel annexed that territory in 1981, a move that the U.N. Security Council rejected in a resolution based on the principle that “the acquisition of territory by force is inadmissible.” But President Donald Trump recognized Israel’s authority over the Golan in March 2019.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, left, visited the Golan Heights on Thursday, making him the most senior U.S. official to visit the area along Israel’s frontier with Syria. “The people of the book have not had a better friend,” Netanyahu told him. Most of the world considers Jewish settlements in the West Bank, which Israel captured from Jordan in the 1967 war, a violation of international law. Pompeo’s visit, which had not been announced in advance, drew rebukes from some Palestinians. “I’m not only astonished but also very angry,” said Munif Treish, a 70-year-old Palestinian-American who said his family owned several plots of land in Psagot. “By law, Pompeo is supposed to protect the property and interests of American citizens all over the world. But he is coming here to give legitimacy to the Israeli settlers who are trespassing, grabbing and cultivating our land illegally,” he said. “As secretary of state, he’s the one who should he upholding all the values of the United States — human rights and freedom. What happened to all of that? That’s what’s really disgusting. Is he looking for a prize? Is he here to get some political gains?” With Netanyahu at the King David Hotel, Pompeo smiled as the Israeli leader ticked off many of the actions taken by the Trump administration on Israel’s behalf. They included recognizing Jerusalem as its capital and moving the U.S. Embassy there from Tel Aviv; pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal, which Israel opposed as too lenient; imposing “crippling sanctions” on Tehran; and

killing Gen. Qasem Soleimani, the leader of a network of Iranian militias. Netanyahu also mentioned the U.S. proposal for what he called the “first truly realistic plan for peace” between Israel and the Palestinians, although the Palestinians immediately rejected it; and the Trump administration’s help in brokering diplomatic accords between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan. In another dramatic last-minute gift to Israel, Pompeo announced that the State Department was introducing new guidelines to ensure that all goods produced within the 60% of the West Bank where Israel exercises full control would be required to be marked as produce of “Israel” or as “Made in Israel” when exporting to the United States. Since 1995, in the wake of the Israeli-Palestinian Oslo peace accords, the requirement had been to label the origin of such produce as the West Bank. Pompeo said the decision to label settlement produce as “Israeli” was consistent with the administration’s “realitybased foreign policy approach.” The producers “operate within the economic and administrative framework of Israel and their goods should be treated accordingly,” he added in a statement. The new policy could, however, have broader implications. Israel suspended plans to annex West Bank territory in return for its normalization deals with the Gulf states. But designating settlement produce as Israeli is also consistent with the vision laid out in the Trump administration’s peace plan, which would ultimately grant Israel sovereignty over all the settlements in return for a truncated, barely contiguous Palestinian state. It was not immediately clear what, if any, practical effect Pompeo’s announcement on the new BDS policy might have on the BDS movement in the waning days of the Trump administration. Many who embrace it see it aimed primarily at ending Israel’s occupation of the West Bank. But its opponents say the movement’s real goal is the elimination of Israel as a Jewish state. The Israeli government has, over the years, allocated budgets to combat BDS, describing the movement as a grave threat that delegitimizes Israel abroad, while at the same time dismissing its economic impact on the country as marginal.


The San Juan Daily Star

November 20-22, 2020

17

Australian troops unlawfully killed 39 Afghans, report finds By YAN ZHUANG

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ustralian troops unlawfully killed 39 civilians and prisoners in Afghanistan over an 11-year period, the country’s military said Thursday, offering an extraordinary public accounting of abuses that often remain hidden in distant war zones. The killings were the result of a “distorted culture” and “toxic competitiveness” that took root among some of Australia’s most elite soldiers as they prepared to join U.S. forces in Afghanistan, according to a report by the inspector general of the Australian Defense Force. It paints a damning portrait of a cavalier and deceitful atmosphere in which commanders ordered junior soldiers to shoot prisoners so that they could record their first “kill,” then invented cover stories to deflect scrutiny. The inspector general said that all 39 killings, including of adolescents and noncombatants like farmers, had taken place in circumstances that were clearly outside the “heat of battle.” The report stopped short of calling the killings war crimes, but it recommended that 19 soldiers be referred to the police for criminal investigation and that the Australian government pay compensation to the families of the Afghan victims. Before the report’s release, Prime Minister Scott Morrison wrote to Afghanistan’s government Wednesday to express his “deepest sorrow” over the troops’ misconduct. On Thursday, the Australian defense chief, Gen. Angus Campbell, who said he accepted the findings of the four-year inquiry, called the episodes described in the report “deeply disturbing” and “unreservedly” apologized to the Afghan people.

“Today, the Australian Defense Force is rightly held to account for allegations of grave misconduct,” he said as he announced the findings. Campbell said that a “self-centered warrior culture,” fostered by commanders within the army’s elite Special Air Service Regiment, had eroded military discipline on the battlefield. “It’s alleged that some patrols took the law into their own hands, rules were broken, stories concocted, lies told and prisoners killed,” he said. “Those who wished to speak up were allegedly discouraged, intimidated and discredited.” Australia is not the only country where troops have been accused of unlawful killings in Afghanistan, with investigations also undertaken in the United States, Britain and New Zealand. In some cases, those inquiries have examined actions only at individual levels, where the insular nature of elite troops can make it hard to gather facts. John Blaxland, a defense expert at the Australian National University, said that the scope of Australia’s inquiry was unprecedented, given that it did not simply look at specific units but also addressed more broadly the military hierarchy and the nation’s approach to defense strategy. “Some countries will probably try to wield this as a diplomatic stick against us, but if they’re honest, they’ll recognize Australia is being searingly tough on itself,” he said, noting that the inquiry had been initiated from within the defense force. The report documents a wide range of misconduct among Australia’s special forces. Some members carried weapons or equipment that could be planted on corpses to make them look like legitimate targets. This practice most likely originated from a desire to avoid scrutiny when soldiers killed legitimate but unarmed

enemy combatants, but “evolved to be used for the purpose of concealing deliberate unlawful killings,” the report found. It also presents a scathing assessment of a culture of unquestioning loyalty in the special forces in which superiors were considered “demigods” who could make or break someone’s career. That meant low-ranking soldiers did not question commands, even unlawful ones. The report placed the most responsibility on a small number of midlevel sergeants and their protégés for instigating and covering up the activities. It suggested that their motives included a desire to outscore other patrols in the number of enemy combatants killed, to clear at all costs the battlefield of people believed to be insurgents and to initiate new soldiers into a brotherhood of combat. Higher-level commanders bore responsi-

bility for the culture that developed and for the abuse that happened on their watch, but criminal behavior was largely concealed from them, the report said. Blaxland said the report’s findings reflected an ill-conceived national policy governing Australia’s involvement in Afghanistan that bred cynicism among some soldiers. Australia had committed “military forces to open-ended missions without compelling strategy that made an erosion of moral compass possible,” he said. “Of fundamental importance is the recognition by Australian politicians and the public writ large that we cannot take a cavalier approach to the deployment of armed forces and expect to sustain that over a decade without moral injury,” Blaxland added.

Australian defense chief, Gen. Angus Campbell

Dublin Zoo pleaded for pandemic help. Supporters gave $1.2 million in hours. By MEGAN SPECIA

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mid a second pandemic lockdown in Ireland, many businesses are struggling to stay afloat, with funds dwindling and no end of the coronavirus in sight. Among them is Dublin Zoo, which issued a fundraising appeal this week to prevent it from permanently closing its doors. By Wednesday evening, just hours after making the plea for support, the zoo had received more than 1 million euros (about $1.2 million) in donations from the public, in addition to pledges from the government. “We find ourselves closed for a second time this year and we’re sad to say the future of Dublin Zoo is uncertain,” read a post on the zoo’s

Facebook page, accompanied by a video of staff members asking for donations. The zoo has been closed for five months this year. The nationwide closures have had a devastating impact on Dublin Zoo, where the care for its 400 animals costs upward of 500,000 euros a month. The 70-acre zoo, inside Phoenix Park, is a major attraction, with more than 1.2 million people visiting last year. Since opening in 1831, it has become something of a national treasure, staking its claim as Ireland’s third-most-visited attraction and a regular destination for families. The zoo is also a registered charitable foundation that partners with other wildlife centers

worldwide and helps fund several international conservation projects. For an island nation with a population of 5 million people, the response has been immense. Dublin’s mayor, Hazel Chu, was among those in the city who donated, and posted on Twitter about sponsoring a baby elephant. Irish celebrities and politicians have also thrown their support behind the campaign, writing lovingly of adopting giraffes and orangutans in the zoo’s care. Thousands of people also shared memories of childhood visits to the zoo, under the hashtag #SaveDublinZoo. But the campaign also prompted calls from political parties for the government to come up with a long-term funding solution. Prime Minister Micheal Martin told the

government Tuesday that additional funding could be made available for the zoo and that the government was working to ensure its survival for “generations to come.” The government has already begun working toward a sustainable solution. Malcolm Noonan, the minister who oversees heritage in Ireland, said in a tweet that he had met with representatives from Dublin Zoo and Fota wildlife park, a zoo in County Cork, to assess the scale of their funding challenges. He said he was hopeful that his ministry could offer short-term financial support to “help tide the two main zoos past this immediate challenge,” and that the public donations were “testament to the high regard that these places have in our public consciousness.”


18

November 20-22, 2020

The San Juan Daily Star

NEW YORK TIMES EDITORIAL

Barr the bad or rudy the ridiculous? By GAIL COLLINS

W

hen grad students of the future write dissertations on the worst presidential transitions in American history, I have a feeling 2020 will get a lot of attention. True, nobody seceded from the union. But it’s a bad sign when the president refuses to admit he’s lost reelection, then abruptly fires the defense secretary and a top cybersecurity official. The incoming Biden administration has been frozen out of ... just about everything. Most of the top guys on the Trump team are keeping a low profile. Those who aren’t remind us every day why we should be very, very worried about who’s in charge. Rudy Giuliani is supposed to be leading the fight to keep Donald Trump in office despite the minor detail of his having lost the election. Challenging the vote count in Pennsylvania, Giuliani told a judge that the plaintiffs were “denied the opportunity to have an unobstructed observation and ensure opacity.” Tick tock. “I’m not quite sure I know what opacity means,” the president’s top lawyer continued. “It

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probably means you can see, right?” “It means you can’t,” the judge responded. Details, details. “Big words, Your Honor,” Giuliani said. Sounds like a Worst winner, right? Actually, few of the more than 3,000 voters picked Rudy as the Worst member of the Trump orbit despite his very high entertainment quotient. Our discerning readers are less disturbed by the incompetent fools Trump surrounds himself with than the thin line of appointees efficient enough to actually do some damage. And the winner is ... Attorney General Bill Barr! “Didn’t Barr win this last time?” wrote Terence, a reader in Portland. Well, actually his other victories were in the Worst Cabinet Member competitions. But there’s definitely something that distinguishes Barr from the rest of the pack. “Although not the craziest, he is definitely the most dangerous,” as Terence put it. Barr is a big, big advocate of presidential authority. (Perhaps you remember his efforts to undermine the Mueller report.) His first response to Trump’s suggestion that he hadn’t really lost the election was to call on his own department to investigate claims of voter fraud. The underling given the job quit immediately. Second Worst place went to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who got particular mention for his response to a question about whether State is preparing to work with the Biden transition team. “There will be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration,” Pompeo said, grinning, during a briefing last week. “All right? We’re ready.” “Ordinarily I would go with Barr,” wrote Carole from Lake Worth, Florida. “But I am switching my vote

to Pompeo this time. Just because of that stupid smirk. And the destroying democracy thing.” Emily Murphy, the head of the General Services Administration, is most definitely a new face in the Worst Olympics, but she won a place in the finale by refusing to sign the required paperwork that Joe Biden had won the election. Without her cooperation, the incoming administration can’t get funds for transition or access to federal agencies where it will work. Murphy came in third, a stellar achievement for a federal official who’s never been in contention for Top Awful before. Michael McAllister of New York felt Murphy was mainly an example of missed opportunity. “Unencumbered by any adolescent male macho thought disorder and lacking the public notice the others have accrued, she could have quietly done the right thing. It would be a welcome irony to have the only woman in the list show some courage and integrity.” The Trump team does not do irony. “It is always nice to see a Cinderella story of a scrappy newcomer rocketing to the top of the corruption heap,” mused Dan from Madison. Following Murphy — by write-in vote! — was Mitch McConnell. There’s something about the Senate majority leader that drives a lot of people crazy, and I’d be willing to predict that if the Republicans maintain a tiny majority in the Senate, McConnell will be the obsession of every American who voted for Biden. Giuliani came in only fifth. But canny Times readers are aware that his awfulness is matched only by his ineptitude. The fact that Trump has put him in charge of his fight against the election results is ... very good news for people who want to keep the election results. Rudy is reportedly asking for $20,000 a day for his efforts, which is quite a hunk of money for a guy whose highest-profile recent business venture was pushing a brand of cigars. Seeing him fight with Trump over the bill would make the president’s retirement extra satisfying. Mike Pence came in way down at the bottom with only 5% of the votes. But he still has his advocates. “For his rictus smile, his wax museum poses, his performance at the solo debate, his LEADERSHIP of the COVID task force, his 20% approval rating in Indiana before the election, his Baghdad Bob imitation, and for just being Mike Pence,” wrote Johnnyd from Pennsylvania. And finally, thanks to all the readers who wrote in to say that picking the Worst of the Trump gang was impossible. “This is like trying to pick the best Beatles song,” protested a voter in Phoenix.


The San Juan Daily Star

November 20-22, 2020

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Federales desarticulan organización criminal que operaba en Santa Isabel Por THE STAR

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l fiscal federal, W. Stephen Muldrow junto al administrador de la Agencia Federal Anti Drogas (DEA, por sus siglas en inglés), Timothy Shea, informaron el jueves sobre la desarticulación de una ganga delictiva que operaba en Santa Isabel en la que se encausaron a 20 personas. “El lunes, 9 de noviembre, un Gran Jurado Federal emitió una acusación contra 20 miembros de una organización de tráfico de drogas por conspirar para distribuir heroína, crack, cocaína y marihuana. Esta ganga operaba desde el año 2015 desde los residenciales públicos Rincón Taíno y Pedro Descartes y otras áreas del municipio de Santa Isabel”, dijo Muldrow en conferencia de prensa. En el operativo participaron la DEA, la Policía de Puerto Rico (Strike Force de Ponce), FBI y los Alguaciles Federales junto al ICE-HSI. “Los 20 acusados actuaron en diferentes roles para promover los objetivos de su organización. A saber, líderes, dueños de puntos de drogas, ga-

tilleros, corredores, vendedores y facilitadores. 15 de los acusados enfrentan un cargo de posesión de armas de fuego durante la comisión de un delito de narcotráfico. Este caso de Santa Isabel sigue un caso que anunciamos el mes pasado. El 15 de octubre llevamos a cabo un operativo en el Residencial Luis Palés Matos en Guayama”, abundó el fiscal federal para el Distrito de Puerto Rico. “Estas son grandes noticias para el pueblo de Puerto Rico. Los operativos en Rincón Taíno, Barranquitas y Guayama provocarán que los ciudadanos puedan descansar tranquilos pues esta

organización de narcotráfico fue desarticulada. Quiero agradecer al fiscal federal W. Stephen Muldrow y al resto de los componentes de seguridad para hacer esta operación una realidad”, dijo Shea. Muldrow especificó que el líder de la organización criminal fue identificado como David Pacheco. El operativo produjo 19 arrestos. Sin embargo, Muldrow especificó que aún falta un arresto. Detalló que la organización criminal tenía movimientos de dinero y armas en Orlando y Tampa, en Florida. “Lo que nosotros vemos en mucho de esos casos es que hay muchas conexiones entre Puerto Rico y otros estados y Orlando y el Distrito de la Florida que incluye Tampa y Orlando, siempre nosotros vemos movimiento de droga desde aquí hacia allá y el movimiento de armas de fuego desde allá hasta acá”, dijo Muldrow. Explicó que 10 de los acusados enfrentan cargos de posesión de armas de fuego durante la comisión de un delito de narcotráfico y enfrentan de 10 años en prisión.

Pierluisi asegura promoverá a que se celebre en Puerto Rico los Juegos Centroamericanos y del Caribe en el 2022 Por THE STAR

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l gobernador electo Pedro Pierluisi dijo el jueves, que se reunió con Sara Rosario, presidenta del Comité Olímpico de Puerto Rico (COPUR), Felipe Pérez y Jorge Sosa, ambos directivos de la Fundación 2010, con relación a la solicitud del Comité COPUR a Centro Caribe Sports para que se considere a Puerto Rico como sede de los Juegos Centroamericanos y del Caribe en el 2022. “Este tipo de evento es de gran envergadura y trae consigo múltiples beneficios para el deporte, nuestros atletas y nuestra economía”, dijo Pierluisi en declaraciones escritas.

“En principio, veo con buenos ojos endosar la petición, aunque reconozco que nuestra Isla atraviesa una situación fiscal muy complicada y que tendremos que explorar todas las alternativas de financiamiento disponibles, incluyendo la utilización de fondos federales para las mejoras necesarias a la infraestructura del área oeste”, añadió. Detalló que el próximo paso es que el COPUR y la Fundación se reúnan con el personal de la Junta de Supervisión para que ésta pueda evaluar el potencial impacto fiscal, así como los beneficios económicos, que tendría un evento de esta magnitud. “El COPUR y la Fundación podrán contar con mi cooperación en este proceso”, acotó.


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November 20-22, 2020

The San Juan Daily Star

Josh O’Connor didn’t care about The Crown until he became a prince By KATHRYN SHATTUCK

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uch has been made of the royal proportions of Josh O’Connor’s ears: Like those of Prince Charles, whom he plays in “The Crown,” they

stick out. But ears do not a king-in-waiting make. Rather, the actor concluded, it’s his posture. Mostly upright when he debuted in Season 3, playing Charles as a Cambridge student, O’Connor has since charted the prince’s emotional state through a progressively pronounced stoop, inching his neck forward as expectations from the House of Windsor gnawed at Charles’ contentment. By the time Mummy — Queen Elizabeth II, played by Olivia Colman — places the coronet upon her son’s head at his investiture as the Prince of Wales, you wonder if he has the strength to support it. “It has to do with the more weight on his shoulders, the more it brings him down, the more his neck comes out,” O’Connor said. “By the end he’s pathetic, sort of like a crumpled man.” It gets even worse in Season 4 of “The Crown,” now on Netflix, which brings a less sympathetic Charles, surly and sniveling as he bridles at his marriage to the limelight-stealing Princess Diana (Emma Corrin) while not so secretly yearning for Camilla Parker Bowles (Emerald Fennell), the love that never quite got away. (And who will presumably marry Charles in some future season, as she did in real life in 2005.) For O’Connor, 30, this season is the end of his run in a role he never really sought. A self-described liberal left-winger, the actor declined to read for Charles when he was initially asked. “I thought, I can’t add anything to this,” he said in a video call from London. “I’m a republican. I’m not interested in the royal family.” But he eventually acquiesced, and Peter Morgan, the show’s creator and writer, presented him with a scene. In it, Charles compares himself to a character in Saul Bellow’s “Dangling Man,” waiting to be drafted because going to war will give his life meaning. “And then he says, ‘I’m essentially waiting for my mother to die in order for my life to take meaning,’” O’Connor said. “I read that line and I was like, ‘Well, that’s enough to get your teeth into.’” The current season finds the prince increasingly exasperated with these circumstances, in terms of both the unhappy marriage that was thrust upon him and his continuing insignificance within the realm. “We were telling a kind of unheard, voiceless Charles,” O’Connor said. “But that’s the beauty of it, that’s where he struggles: He doesn’t feel listened to.” Charles isn’t imagining things. As his mother icily informs him in one gutting encounter, no one wants to

Josh O’Connor at his home in London on Nov. 3, 2020. As Prince Charles on “The Crown,” O’Connor the selfdescribed liberal left-winger has thrived in a role he never really sought. hear his voice. No one. O’Connor and Colman had a running joke that all of their scenes together were variations on the same sad theme. “Charles comes in, says, ‘Mummy, I need to talk to you,’ and she says, ‘No,’ and then he leaves,” he explained. Over and over. As the queen, Colman said, “my job was to be quite strong, but I found it quite hard not to give him a cuddle.” Method actors they were not. “The second they’d say cut, we’d go: ‘Should we have a cup of tea? There are biscuits on the craft table!’ We’d much rather have a giggle.” “He’s one of the most beautiful actors to work opposite,” she added. “He’s out there with the greats, in my mind.” O’Connor grew up happily as the middle of three brothers in Cheltenham, a spa town on the edge of the Cotswolds. He trained at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, whose alums include two of his idols, Pete Postlethwaite and Daniel Day-Lewis. “Maybe it was a match made in heaven, I don’t know,” he said. “But I did love it.” Not long after graduation, small TV roles in “Peaky Blinders” and “Ripper Street” trickled in. Eventually he snagged a lead as the oldest son in “The Durrells in Cor-

fu,” a period drama by ITV and Masterpiece, about a British family’s move to the titular Greek island in the 1930s. But his real breakthrough came in Francis Lee’s 2017 feature debut, “God’s Own Country.” O’Connor is scarcely recognizable as Johnny Saxby, a gay, brooding binge drinker toiling on his family’s Yorkshire farm, whose calcified heart is pried open by a Romanian migrant worker. Lee had invited O’Connor to audition based on a photograph. “I liked his ears a lot,” he said. But the tape O’Connor sent was worrisome. “He delivered this incredibly brilliant portrayal of an emotionally repressed and difficult man, and I thought he must just be playing himself,” he said. “And that concerned me slightly.” When the two finally met, Lee was shocked “because in walks this incredibly funny, upbeat, polite, middle-class boy, which was a million miles away from the character that he was going to play,” he said. “He’s one of those rare actors that is a real shape-shifter.” “God’s Own Country” earned O’Connor a British Independent Film Award for best actor in 2017. Two years later, he won another for “Only You,” about a couple struggling with infertility. O’Connor debuted in “The Crown” in late 2019. Morgan can’t recall having considered anyone else for this iteration of Charles — or noticing O’Connor’s ears, although he imagines he must have. Rather, “I was drawn to his sensitivity and the fact that he was complex but likable, and I just felt instantly intrigued,” Morgan said. “And the minute he started doing some readings for us, it was a no-brainer. He was a list of one.” O’Connor had watched “The Crown” in support of his good friend Vanessa Kirby, who played Princess Margaret in Seasons 1 and 2. “And then I became a loyal fan,” he said. While he has difficulty aligning his belief in a classless society with the royal family, he doesn’t think “The Crown” glamorizes them, despite its pageantry and splendor. “What Peter does is he strips all that back,” he said. “It’s about humans who struggle and have very odd relationships with their parents and power and politics. That’s the juice. “But I think you can have those beliefs and have great respect and affection and love even for these people. I think the queen is an extraordinary woman. Time after time, lots of men have failed, and this one woman in power has been consistent and remained dutiful and generally apolitical. “In that sense, I have huge respect for her — and for Charles, to be honest. I mean, Charles is another level of someone who’s literally been waiting his entire life for this moment that still hasn’t come.”


The San Juan Daily Star

November 20-22, 2020

21

‘Harry Potter’ and the prisoners of quarantine By LENA WILSON

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aroline Chou, 19, pins a green screen to the goldenrod walls of her childhood bedroom in San José, California. She’s already changed into her uniform: a white button-down shirt, pleated skirt and green striped tie. A wand and heavy tome lie on the bed, in case she needs props. Chou, who would normally be on campus at the University of California, Los Angeles, has adjusted to a new normal during the coronavirus pandemic. She spends her weeks clicking between online college courses and two remote, part-time jobs. And on the weekends, she slips away to Hogwarts. Chou is one of many Gen Zers who has found her niche on Harry Potter TikTok, a corner of the app devoted to remixing, reliving and affectionately roasting the perennially popular franchise. Harry Potter TikTokers produce and devour their own fancam videos, memes, dances and trends. But millions of views go to videos like Chou’s, where fans — predominantly girls and women — are editing themselves into the movies. These edits frequently give creators a chance to romance their favorite characters, a la Wattpad fan fiction. With strategic cuts or more advanced editing, users can star as “Harry Potter” protagonists, whose love interests include everyone from the Weasley twins to Luna Lovegood to — overwhelmingly — Draco Malfoy. Self-insert videos also offer young fans, many of whom grew up with Harry Potter, comfort and escapism during the pandemic. After online classes, they can go to a potions lesson. Separated from their usual social lives, they can befriend other Potterheads on TikTok. And queer people and people of color, who have been notably marginalized in the Harry Potter universe, can finally become protagonists in the stories they’ve long adored. Setup and costuming are just two steps in Chou’s production. As she builds her universe over a Zoom interview, the Slytherin scours YouTube for clips from the “Harry Potter” movies, choreographs her scenes and films herself. Later, she’ll use Adobe Premiere Pro to bring herself out of her green-screened bedroom and onto the Hogwarts campus through keying, masking and color correction. The end result is a 12-second mon-

Marjorie Law always wished she could go to Hogwarts. “With the magic of technology, I can see myself there,” she said. She and other fans have found a niche on TikTok. tage of her admiring five of the “Harry Potter” boys. The whole process takes about two hours, but some of her videos — which can be as long as 60 seconds — have taken up to 10. Marjorie Law, a 22-year-old Slytherin in Santa Clarita, California, is similarly meticulous. In October, she spent about 10 hours editing herself into Harry’s place in an early “Half-Blood Prince” scene, invisibility cloak and all. For Chou and Law, Harry Potter edits double as wish fulfillment and professional practice. Chou, a film student who wants to be a director, got into TikTok after one of her professors encouraged her to stay creative during quarantine. Law studies digital media at Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles and hopes to work in visual effects. Like most Harry Potter fans, they both grew up wishing they could attend Hogwarts. “Now that I’m older, with the magic of technology, I can see myself there,” Law said. Creators like Chou, who is TaiwaneseAmerican, and Law, who is Chinese Ameri-

can, also add more racial diversity to the movies. “It’s a great opportunity for any person of color,” said Belle Miranda, a 19-year-old TikToker and one of Law’s nearly 80,000 followers. “I can write my own spinoff: What if a Latina Ravenclaw was inserted in the series?” Emelee Chanthabury, 22, received multiple comments comparing her to Cho Chang, the only notable Asian character in the “Harry Potter” series, when she first started editing herself into the movies. Chanthabury, like Cho Chang, is a Ravenclaw who fancies Cedric Diggory. But the two look nothing alike: Chang is of Chinese descent, whereas Chanthabury is Laotian and white. “It was weird, because I never saw myself as different; I never saw myself as a side character,” Chanthabury explained. “I’m seeing myself as a main character in the story.” The experience has introduced Chanthabury to a community of fans like her. “When I go through my followers and my comments, it’s all Asian women, and it

brings me so much joy,” she said. Erin McDonald, 19, has relied heavily on these friendships in the past few months. Her parents moved from her home state of Virginia to San Luis Obispo, California, during her first semester of college. So when quarantine forced McDonald to move back home, she found herself across the country from her childhood friends. McDonald found solace in TikTok, quickly gaining more than 120,000 followers for her videos romancing the Quidditch captain Oliver Wood. She and Chanthabury have an ongoing video series with their friend, Mia Oberholzer, 19, a Slytherin from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Another of McDonald’s TikTok friend groups, the “Harry Potheads,” is comprised mostly of younger teenagers. They call her Papa Ernie, and the group meets on Zoom every night. Ever the Hufflepuff, McDonald said her favorite thing about Harry Potter TikTok was its overwhelming positivity. When she found herself unwittingly at the center of some fandom drama in October, the issue was resolved with no hard feelings. On another account, she posts “Harry Potter” scene edits in which various characters encourage her eating disorder recovery. As a bisexual woman, McDonald said she also wanted to create more space for fans like her, especially given what some see as “Harry Potter” author JK Rowling’s feeble attempts at gay representation. Rowling’s recent comments about transgender people have likewise spurred legions of fans to make “Harry Potter” their own. While other fans thirsted over Malfoy, McDonald was one of the first users to edit herself into a relationship with Hermione Granger. Multiple creators followed suit, including Beth McAlpine, a 16-year-old Hufflepuff from London. “It’s like fixing a part of your childhood that was missing,” McAlpine said. The pull of childhood comforts is especially strong for young Americans today, with coronavirus cases climbing, a contentious presidential election just barely in the rearview mirror and an upcoming holiday season mired in travel restrictions. In the face of overwhelming uncertainty, Gen Z is fleeing our world for the safety of Harry Potter’s. Of all the videos that Oberholzer has made for her over 226,000 followers, the most-viewed shows her spending Christmas with the Weasleys.


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The San Juan Daily Star

November 20-22, 2020

From Lebanon, bottles that reward diving below the surface By ERIC ASIMOV

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or decades, as Lebanon has endured persistent strife and discord, the story of Lebanese wine has been the industry’s ability to rise above the violence and dysfunction. It’s a remarkable tale of triumph over adversity, of courage and perseverance. Yet, while this framing is integral to the narrative of Lebanese wine, how is it expressed in the wines themselves, if at all? Here at Wine School, we believe that good wines have stories to tell. But as with any good writing, wine appeals to multiple levels of perception. How deeply you choose to go is a personal decision. On the most obvious level, wine is a beverage that people consume with enormous pleasure. It tastes good and feels delightful. That’s one way to approach it. You could simply sip the wine, noting its aromas and flavors, its texture, whether it goes well with what you are eating, whether you like it, whether you think it’s a good value. These are important elements of evaluation, and are satisfying in their own right. You could stop right there if you liked. But good wines have subtexts. They evoke emotions and inspire questions that reward exploration. It’s our firm belief at Wine School that the more you know about a wine, the deeper and richer the experience of drinking it can be. But it also requires attention and interest, so it’s a matter of choice. In “Wine and War,” a remarkable new documentary that examines the Lebanese wine industry over a conflictridden history stretching back more than 5,000 years to the Canaanites, writer Elizabeth Gilbert tells the story of a day she spent in that country with Serge Hochar, the philosophical head of Chateau Musar, who guided the winery through 15 years of civil war and effectively put Lebanese wine on the map around the world. According to Gilbert, Hochar, who died in 2015, invited her to join him on his balcony one afternoon with a bottle of Musar ’72, and told her that they were going to consume it over an afternoon and evening. They would drink a little, she said, talk a little, watch the light change in the sky and the wine change in the glass. All along, she said, he told her not to judge the wine prematurely and not to reach conclusions, but to remain open to what it was making her feel and think. “Just like people,” she said he told her, “wine is something you cannot judge until you’ve seen it through every season of its being.” This sort of tantric wine drinking is not for everybody, nor is it generally practical. But it’s an ideal, a hyperattentive way to observe the story of a wine unfold, develop and change, like a sunset or a baseball season. You would not want to try this with just any bottle. Mass-market wines that have been processed to achieve certain predetermined taste profiles will not evolve in the glass. They are essentially inert, and will be just as uninteresting at the end of the bottle as they were at the beginning. But a living wine, the sort that can change incremental-

Through decades of persistent strife and discord in Lebanon, the story of its wine has been the industry’s ability to rise above the violence and dysfunction. ly over years in the bottle as well as minutes in the glass, well, that is a wine worth considering in all its microscopic details. We don’t often get quite so granular in Wine School, but it’s the reason we recommend drinking wines over the course of a meal with care and deliberation. This is especially so for the wines of Lebanon, which we have been studying over the last month. We focused on reds. As usual, I recommended three bottles to drink. They were: Massaya Bekaa Valley Le Colombier 2018, Chateau Musar Bekaa Valley Musar Jeune 2018 and Domaine des Tourelles Bekaa Valley Cinsault Vieilles Vignes 2017. Judging by the labels, the influence of France is clear. Lebanon was essentially a French colony from roughly the end of World War I to the end of World War II, and France has played a crucial role in the evolution of the modern Lebanese wine industry. French is the second language of Lebanon, after Arabic, and many Lebanese winemakers trained or worked in France. The components of these wines also seem to be derived largely from France. The Tourelles is made entirely of cinsault, and the Musar Jeune of cinsault, syrah and cabernet sauvignon, all grapes common in southern France. The Massaya is made of cinsault, along with grenache — also typically southern France though it originated in Spain as garnacha — and tempranillo, a Spanish

grape that is also seen in southern France. Yet these wines don’t seem French at all. The Massaya smells of sweet, dark fruit with touches of anise and sarsaparilla. It tastes just as it smells, the flavors dry and focused, and it goes down easily. For a $15 bottle, this is a fine value. It’s straightforward but enticing, soft and delicious. Does it enhance any impressions to know that the Ghosn brothers, Sami and Ramzi, who, with partners from Bordeaux and the Rhône Valley, own Massaya, faced terrible challenges in 2006? Back then, Israel and Hezbollah, a group backed by Iran, fought through the month of July, the conflict spilling over into the Bekaa Valley near the border with Syria, the main grape-growing region. The Ghosns both appeared in the “Wine and War” film. Ramzi Ghosn recalled how, rather than leave the region during the fighting, he spent a month in his vineyard, ready should the need arise to protect it. He said in the film that the violent experience of war had changed the way he thought about winemaking. “I want it now, rather than in 10 years,” he said of his wines. Maybe the wine is more complex than I thought. Ramzi Ghosn was kind enough to chime in to Wine School. “Lebanon will rise again because our heritage is anchored in this wine heritage of hard work, tolerance, generosity and perseverance,” he said. Musar Jeune, a more immediately accessible bottle than Chateau Musar’s flagship wine, which requires aging, was also easy to drink now, though it had a classic dry austerity that the easygoing Massaya did not. I felt the syrah component immediately, with savory, spicy olive notes in the aromas. On the richly flavored palate, the syrah harmonized with the fruitiness of the cinsault and the tannins and herbal flavors of the cabernet. Perhaps I’m too open to suggestion, but I couldn’t help sensing a flavor of za’atar, a Middle Eastern blend of thyme, sumac and sesame seeds. The Tourelles, made entirely of cinsault, stood out from the other two wines for its elegance and subtlety. Though a year older than the others, it was the least ready to drink, with fine but apparent tannins. Still, its aromas and flavors were complex and floral, with a touch of salinity. It was lovely with a dish of chicken shawarma, and it will age well. Tourelles is one of the oldest wineries in Lebanon, founded by a Frenchman in the 19th century, although run by the Issa family since 2003. The winemaker, Faouzi Issa, studied and worked in France before returning to Lebanon. “Although we are in the middle of a war zone, we are lucky people,” he said in the movie. Readers were almost entirely enthusiastic about these wines. Joseph in the Île de France drank the Tourelles, finding that it offered a great first impression and concluding that it deserved contemplation. Rob D. of New Jersey rightly pointed out that these were classic dry wines that demanded food. “I doubt that this wine would be a crowd pleaser at a cocktail party,” he said.


The San Juan Daily Star

November 20-22, 2020

23

Progress in kidney care starts at home By PAULA SPAN

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ome January, there may be many more people like Mary Prochaska. Prochaska, 73, a retired social worker in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, has advanced chronic kidney disease and relies on dialysis to filter waste from her blood while she awaits a kidney transplant, her second. But she no longer visits a dialysis center three times a week, the standard treatment. There, nurses and technicians monitored her for four hours while a machine cleansed her blood. Instead, she has opted for dialysis at home. “It’s easier on your body and better for your health,” she said. “And far better than exposing yourself to whatever you might get from being in a group of people” at a treatment center during a pandemic. With her husband’s help, Prochaska performs peritoneal dialysis; after a surgeon implanted a tube in her side, her abdominal lining acts as the filter. She received training for a couple of weeks and then began using a home machine called a cycler to remove excess fluid and impurities. “It automatically does the pumping in and pumping out, five times a night, while you sleep,” she said. “When you get up, you’re done. It’s like having a normal life.” So far, her only unpleasant side effect is fatigue, sometimes requiring afternoon rests. A company called TruBlu Logistics delivers the cases of solution, tubes and other supplies, and Medicare covers the costs, which are considerably lower than for incenter dialysis. In 2017, according to the United States Renal Data System, 14.5% of Medicare beneficiaries had chronic kidney disease, rising sharply with age from 10.5% of people 65 to 74 to almost a quarter of those over 85. Nearly half of dialysis patients were older than 65. For decades, health advocates and many nephrologists have encouraged more patients to consider home dialysis. But in 2017, of 124,500 patients with newly diagnosed advanced kidney disease (also called end-stage renal disease), only 10% began peritoneal dialysis as Prochaska did. Another 2% turned to at-home hemodialysis, removing wastes with machines adapted from those used in centers. Everyone else starting dialysis went to a dialysis center, probably owned by one of the two corporations that dominate the industry, DaVita or Fresenius. This fall, however, Medicare announced a mandatory program intended to transform that system, covering about 30% of beneficiaries with advanced chronic kidney disease, close to 400,000 people. Starting Jan. 1, it will use payment bonuses — and later, penalties — to try to increase the proportion of patients using home dialysis and receiving transplants. Even experts with no love for the departing administration have called this approach the biggest change for kidney patients since 1972, when President Richard M. Nixon signed legislation providing Medicare coverage for those in kidney failure, regardless of age.

Mary Prochaska with her home dialysis cycler at her home in Chapel Hill, N.C., Nov. 11, 2020. A new Medicare program aims to increase the proportion of patients using home dialysis and receiving transplants. “This is bold,” said Richard Knight, a transplant recipient and president of the American Association of Kidney Patients. “There are a lot of incentives for providers to do things they have not traditionally done.” “I think it’s going to have a really profound impact on kidney care,” said Dr. Abhijit Kshirsagar, a nephrologist and the director of the dialysis program at the University of North Carolina. Studies have found that home dialysis patients report a greater sense of independence and autonomy, with more flexible schedules that make it easier to work or travel. They experience a better quality of life. So why do so few choose it? Some patients begin dialysis when a health crisis sends them to an emergency room. With scant time to explore the decision or undergo the necessary training to dialyze at home, they wind up at centers. But many don’t seem to know they have alternatives. In a 2016 study, almost half the patients receiving in-center hemodialysis said it had not been their choice. “There are patients who don’t know they could do dialysis at home,” said Dr. Suzanne Watnick, chief medical officer of Northwest Kidney Centers in Seattle. “To me, that’s a travesty. Patients who’ve gotten education about the different modalities have a markedly higher rate of participation in home dialysis.” But the training that physicians receive may not emphasize that option. Moreover, once patients grow accustomed to a center, “where everything is done for you, you’re not likely to take on the responsibility of doing it at home,” Knight said. Home

dialysis can seem daunting or frightening, and neither medical practices nor for-profit centers have had much motivation, at least financially, to promote it. Thirty percent of them soon will. Medicare will increase its monthly payments for each patient who receives home dialysis, starting at 3% the first year, decreasing thereafter. Practices and dialysis clinics will also have their reimbursements adjusted up or down depending on their total rates of home dialysis and transplantation. Several new voluntary programs will increase incentives, too. Starting in April, Medicare will pay providers a $15,000 bonus, over three years, when a patient receives a successful kidney transplant. Another measure provides greater support for living kidney donors. Whether such incentives will substantially increase home dialysis and transplants remains an open question. Some providers, noting that the penalties could outweigh the bonuses, aren’t pleased to fall into the 30% of covered practices or centers, randomly assigned by ZIP code. “The average nephrologist is going to have a pay cut,” Watnick said. Moreover, not all older kidney patients can or want to dialyze at home. “They may have some degree of cognitive impairment” or be too frail to lift bags of solution, said Dr. Gerald Hladik, chief of nephrology at the University of North Carolina. They need room to store supplies and a clean, private dialysis space. Even with ample discussion and education, it’s unclear what proportion might eventually choose home dialysis. Perhaps 25% to 50%, Watnick suggested — “but we don’t know.”


24 cuenta (26.50) metros, con el solar nUmero ciento sesenta y ESTADO LIBRE ASOCIADO DE nueve (#169), por el Sur, en veinPUERTO RICO TRIBUNAL DE tiséis punto cincuenta (26.50) PRIMERA INSTANCIA CENTRO metros, con el solar nUmero JUDICIAL DE SAN JUAN SALA ciento sesenta y tres (#163), por SUPERIOR. el Este, en trece (13.00) metros, BAUTISTA REO PR CORP. con Ia calle número tres (#3) y por el Oeste, en trece (13.00) Demandante V. VICENTA SOTO BELTRÁN metros, con el solar número ciento sesenta y ocho (#168). ContieDemandada. CIVIL NUM. KCD2012-1423 ne casa. Que con el importe de (902). SOBRE: COBRO DE DI- dicha venta se habrá de satisfaNERO Y EJECUCION DE HIPO- cer a Ia parte demandante las TECA POR LA VIA ORDINARIA. cantidades adeudadas, según AVISO DE VENTA EN PUBLICA Ia Sentencia dictada en el caso SUBASTA. Yo, PEDRO HIEYE de epígrafe, por el Tribunal de GONZALEZ, Alguacil de Ia Di- Primera Instancia, Sala de San visión de Subastas del Centro Juan. El tipo mínimo para Ia suJudicial de San Juan, a los de- basta será Ia suma de tasación mandados y al público en gene- pactada, Ia cual es $255,000.00 ral les notifico que, cumpliendo para Ia propiedad descrita. Si no con un Mandamiento que se produjere remate o adjudicación ha librado en el presente caso Ia primera subasta, se procepor el Secretarlo del Tribunal de derá a una segunda subasta y epígrafe con fecha 7 de noviem- servirá de tipo mínimo de 2/3 bre de 2018 y para satisfacer Ia partes del valor de Ia tasación, Sentencia por las cantidades de $170,000.00. Si tampoco hubiere $240,999.18 de principal más in- remate ni adjudicación en esta tereses a razón de 7.50% anual, segunda subasta, se procederá los cuales continuan acumulán- a una tercera subasta, en ésta el dose hasta el saldo total de Ia tipo mínimo será de Ia 1/2 del vadeuda; $1,604.70 por concepto lor de Ia tasación, $127,500.00. de gastos por mora y $1,124.24 La primera subasta se llevara a por concepto de de balance cabo el 9 de diciembre de 2020, reserva o cuenta “escrow” los a las 10:00 de Ia mañana. De cuales continuan acumulándose no comparecer postor alguno hasta el pagó total de Ia deuda, se llevará a efecto una segunda $10.00 por concepto de otros subasta el 16 de diciembre de gastos, más los intereses que 2020, a las 10:00 de Ia mañana. se acumulen hasta el pago total De no comparecer postor alguno de Ia deuda, más costas, gastos se llevará a cabo una tercera suy honorarios de abogados pac- basta el 13 de enero de 2021, a tados en 10% del principal del las 10:00 de Ia mañana. La supagare, dictada en el caso de basta o subastas antes indicadas autos el 5 de febrero de 2013, se llevarán a efecto en mi oficina, notificada y archivada en autos el localizada en el Tribunal de Pri6 de febrero de 2013, procederé mera Instancia, Sala Superior de a vender en pública subasta, al San Juan. Del Estudio de Título mejor postor en pago de contado reciente no surge ningún gravayen moneda del curso legal de men preferente al que será objelos Estados Unidos de America, to de ejecución por esta subasta. mediante efectivo, giro o cheque Del Estudio de tItulo reciente certificado a nombre del Alguacil tampoco surge ningún gravamen de este Tribunal todo derecho, posterior a ser cancelados. Se titulo e interés que hayan tenido le advierte a los licitadores que tengan o puedan tener los deu- Ia adjudicación se hará al mejor dores demandados en cuanto a postor, quien deberá consignar Ia propiedad localizada en el Mu- el importe de su oferta en el nicipio de San Juan, Puerto Rico, mismo acto de Ia adjudicación el bien inmueble se describe a en moneda de curso legal de los continuación: Urb. El Comandan- Estados Unidos de Norteaméte, 952 Calle Carmen Hernandez, rica y para conocimiento de Ia San Juan----------- Consta inscrita parte demandada y de toda(s) a finca número mil setecientos aquella(s) persona(s) que tengan setenta y uno (1771), inscrita al interés inscrito con posterioridad folio seis (6) del tomo cuarenta a Ia inscripción del gravamen que y uno (41) de SABANA LLANA; se está ejecutando, y para conoSECCION QUINTA (V) DE SAN cimiento de los licitadores y el JUAN. URBANA: Solar marcado público en general y para su pucon el número ciento sesenta y blicación en un periódico de cirsiete (167) del bloque C guión culación general, una vez por sesiete (C-7) del pIano de inscrip- mana durante el término de dos ción de Ia Urbanización El Co- (2) semanas consecutivas con mandante, radicado en el barrio un intervalo de por lo menos siete Sabana Llana del sitio denomina- (7) días entre ambas publicaciodo Río Piedras del término muni- nes, y para su fijación en tres (3) cipal del Gobierno de Ia Capital lugares públicos del municipio en de Puerto Rico, con un area su- que ha de celebrarse Ia venta, taperficial de trescientos cuarenta les como, Ia Alcaldía, el Tribunal y cuatro punto cincuenta (344.50) y Ia Colecturía y se le notificara metros cuadrados. En lindes por además a Ia parte demandada el Norte, en veintiséis punto cin- vía correo certificado con acuse

LEGAL NOTICE

@

de recibo a Ia última dirección conocida. Se les advierte a todos los interesados que todos los documentos relacionados con Ia presente acción de ejecución de hipoteca, así como Ia de Ia subasta, estarán disponibles para ser examinados en Ia Secretaria del Tribunal. La propiedad a ser ejecutada se adquirirá libre de cargas y gravámenes posteriores, previa orden judicial dirigida al Registrador de Ia Propiedad de Ia sección correspondiente para Ia cancelación de aquellos posteriores. Se entenderá que todo licitador acepta como bastante Ia titulación y que las cargas y gravámenes anteriores y los preferentes, si los hubiere al crédito de ejecutante, continuarán subsiguientes entendiéndose que el rematante los acepta y queda subrogado en Ia responsabilidad de los mismos, sin destinarse a su extinción el precio del remate. Y para conocimiento de los demandados, de los acreedores posteriores, de los licitadores, partes interesadas y público en general, expido el presente Aviso para su publicación en los lugares públicos correspondientes. Librado en San Juan, Puerto Rico, a 9 de noviembre de 2020. PEDRO HIEYE GONZALEZ, ALGUACIL. *****

Friday, November 20, 2020

ROOSVELT MARGINAL, SAN JUAN PR 00926-0000

POR LA PRESENTE se le emplaza para que presente al tribunal su alegación responsiva 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, 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. Representa a la parte demandante, la representación legal cuyo nombre, dirección y teléfono se consigna de inmediato: BUFETE FORTUÑO & FORTUÑO FAS, C.S.P. LCDO. JUAN C. FORTUÑO FAS RUA NUM.: 11416 PO BOX 9300, LEGAL NOTICE SAN JUAN, PR 00908 ESTADO LIBRE ASOCIADO DE TEL: 787- 751-5290, PUERTO RICO TRIBUNAL DE FAX: 787-751-6155 PRIMERA INSTANCIA SALA SUE-MAIL: PERIOR DE FAJARDO. ejecuciones@fortuno-law.com Expedido bajo mi firma y sello SCOTIABANK DE del Tribunal, hoy 12 de agosto de PUERTO RICO 2020. Wanda I Segui Reyes. Sec DEMANDANTE VS. Regional. Linda I Medina Medina, HÉCTOR MARTÍNEZ Secretaria Aux el Tribunal I.

TORRES, SU ESPOSA MILDRED GERTRUDIS GRAULAU RIVAS Y LA SOCIEDAD LEGAL DE BIENES GANANCIALES COMPUESTA POR AMBOS

DEMANDADOS CIVIL NÚM.: FA2019CV01560. SOBRE: COBRO DE DINERO Y EJECUCIÓN DE HIPOTECA. EMPLAZAMIENTO POR EDICTO. ESTADOS UNIDOS DE AMERICA EL PRESIDENTE DE LOS EE. UU. EL ESTADO LIBRE ASOCIADO DE P.R. ss.

LEGAL NOTICE Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico TRIBUNAL GENERAL DE JUSTICIA Tribunal de Primera Instancia Sala Superior de FAJARDO.

BOSCO IX OVERSEAS, LLC BY FRANKLIN CREDIT MANAGEMENT CORPORATION AS SERVICER Demandante v.

JAYLINN MARTINEZ RAMOS, ET AL Demandado(a)

A: HÉCTOR MARTÍNEZ Civil: Núm. FA2018CV00015. Sobre: COBRO DE DINERO Y TORRES, por sí y EJECUCIÓN DE HIPOTECA. como miembro de la NOTIFICACIÓN DE SENTENCIA Sociedad Legal de Bienes POR EDICTO. Gananciales compuesta A: MIGUEL ANGEL RIOS con Mildred Gertrudis MONTES, NORAIMA Graulau Rivas PEREZ MORALES- Y COND. OCEAN CLUB AT LA SOC. LEGAL DE SEVEN SEAS BIENES GANANCIALES APT. CC-401 COMPUESTAS POR FAJARDO PR 00738; AMBOS. P O BOX 725 DIRECCIÓN de Mildred PUERTO REAL PR 00740Gertrudis Graulau Rivas: 0725 COND. CARIBBEAN (Nombre de las partes a las que se SEA, APT. 502, 105 AVE. le notifican la sentencia por edicto)

staredictos@thesanjuandailystar.com

(787) 743-3346

EL SECRETARIO(A) que suscribe le notifica a usted que el 10 de agosto 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 12 de noviembre de 2020. En FAJARDO, Puerto Rico , el 12 de noviembre de 2020. WANDA SEGUI REYES, Secretaria. F/ KATHERINE ROBLES TORRES, Sec Auxiliar.

LEGAL NOTICE Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico TRIBUNAL GENERAL DE JUSTICIA Tribunal de Primera Instancia Sala Superior de GUAYNABO.

ORIENTAL BANK Demandante vs.

JOSE ALBERTO ROQUE TORRES; JOHN DOE Y RICHARD ROE

Demandados Civil. GB2020CV00423. SALA 201. Sobre: SUSTITUCION DE PAGARE HIPOTECARIO. NOTIFICACION DE SENTENCIA POR EDICTO.

A: JOHN DOE Y RICHARD ROE

(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 septiembre 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 fa fecha de la publicación de este edicto. Copia de esta notificación ha sido archivada en los autos de este caso, con fecha de 12 de NOVIEMBRE de 2020. En GUAYNABO, Puerto Rico, el 12 de NOVIEMBRE de 2020. LCDA. LAURA I SANTA SANCHEZ, Secretaria Regional II. F/DIAMAR GONZALEZ BARRETO, Sec Auxiliar.

The San Juan Daily Star LEGAL NOTICE Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico TRIBUNAL GENERAL DE JUSTICIA Tribunal de Primera Instancia Sala Superior de CAGUAS.

LUNA ACQUISITION, LLC Demandante v.

OMAR CAMACHO NOGUES

Demandado(a) Civil: Núm. CG2019CV02916. Sobre: COBRO DE DINERO Y EJECUCION DE HIPOTECA. NOTIFICACIÓN DE SENTENCIA POR EDICTO.

DESCONOCIDA CON POSIBLE INTERÉS EN LA OBLIGACIÓN CUYA CANCELACIÓN POR DECRETO JUDICIAL SE SOLICITA

CIVIL NUM. SJ2020CV05079 (802). SOBRE: CANCELACIÓN DE PAGARÉ EXTRAVIADO. NOTIFICACIÓN DE SENTENCIA POR EDICTO POR SUMAC.

A: JUAN DEL PUEBLO Y JUANA DEL PUEBLO Y CUALESQUIER PERSONA DESCONOCIDA CON POSIBLE INTERÉS EN A: OMAR CAMACHO LA OBLIGACIÓN CUYA NOGUES, 26 EUGENIO LIME RESIDENTIAL LTD CANCELACIÓN POR Demandante v. MARIA DE HOSTOS DECRETO JUDICIAL SE PAN AMERICAN ST. SECTOR CAMPO SOLICITA FINANCIAL ALEGRE, BO. TURABO, EL SECRETARIO (A) que suscriCORPORATION, CAGUAS PR; 1011 be le notifica a usted que el 16 CITIBANK N.A., BOWMAN ST. READING, de NOVIEMBRE de 2020, este CITIMORTGAGE INC., DLJ PENNSYLVANIA 19605; Tribunal ha dictado Sentencia, Sentencia Parcial o Resolución MORTGAGE CAPITAL, 787-484-6557 JANE DOE, JOHN DOE (Nombre de las partes a las que se en este caso, que ha sido debidaLEGAL NOTICE

Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico TRIBUNAL GENERAL DE JUSTICIA Tribunal de Primera Instancia Sala Superior de FAJARDO.

Demandado(a) Civil: Núm. RG2020CV00169. Sobre: SUSTITUCION DE PAGARE EXTRAVIADO. NOTIFICACIÓN DE SENTENCIA POR EDICTO.

A: PAN AMERICAN FINANCIAL CORPORATION, JOHN DOE Y JANE DOE, como posibles tenedores desconocidos del pagare extraviado DIRECCION DESCONOCIDA

(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 13 de noviembre 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 13 de NOVIEMBRE de 2020. En FAJARDO, Puerto Rico, el 13 de noviembre de 2020. WANDA I SEGUI REYES, Secretaria. ZULMA I RIVERA VEGA, Sec Auxiliar I.

le notifican la sentencia por edicto) EL SECRETARIO(A) que suscribe le notifica a usted que el 12 de noviembre 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 13 de NOVIEMBRE de 2020. En CAGUAS, Puerto Rico, el 13 de noviembre de 2020. F/ CARMEN ANA PEREIRA ORTIZ, Secretaria. F/CYNTHIA GARCIA DEL VALLE, Sec Auxiliar.

LEGAL NOTICE Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico TRIBUNAL GENERAL DE JUSTICIA Tribunal de Primera Instancia Sala Superior Municipal de San Juan.

mente registrada y archivada en autos donde podrá usted enterarse detalladamente de los términos de esta. Esta notificación se publicará una sola vez en un periódico de circulación general en la Isla de Puerto Rico, dentro de los diez (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 noviembre de 2020. En San Juan, Puerto Rico, el 16 de noviembre de 2020. GRISELDA RODRÍGUEZ COLLADO, Secretaria Regional. f/ DENISE M. AMARO MACHUCA, Secretario (a) Auxiliar.

LEGAL NOT ICE Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico TRIBUNAL GENERAL DE JUSTICIA Tribunal de Primera Instancia Sala Superior de AGUADILLA.

REVERSE MORTGAGE FUNDING, LLC DEMANDANTE vs

VIG MORTGAGE CORP; SUNWEST MORTGAGE COMPANY, INC; INMOBILIARIA HIPOLITO GONZALEZ CAMPO RICO, INC. VS TORRES T/C/C HIPOLITO BANCO POPULAR GONZÁLEZ; EDGARDO DE PUERTO RICO; GONZÁLEZ GARCÍA POR FIRSTBANK PUERTO SÍ EN REPRESENTACIÓN RICO; JUAN DEL PUEBLO DE L A SOCIEDAD LEGAL Y JUANA DEL PUEBLO Y DE GANANCIALES CUALESQUIER PERSONA COMPUESTA CON


The San Juan Daily Star

MIRIAM HILDA CRUZ QUIÑONES; MIRIAM HILDA CRUZ QUIÑONES POR SI Y EN REPRESENTACIÓN DE LA SOCIEDAD LEGAL DE GANANCIALES COMPUESTA POR EDGARDO GONZÁLEZ GARCÍA; FULANO DE TAL Y SUTANA DE TAL COMO POSIBLES TENEDORES DEL PAGARÉ EXTRAVIADO Y CUYA IDENTIDAD SE DESCONOCE AL PRESENTE

DEMANDADO Civil Núm. AG2019CV01528. Sobre: SUSTITUCION DE PAGARE EXTRAVIADO. NOTIFICACIÓN DE SENTENCIA POR EDICTO.

A: HIPOLITO GONZALEZ TORRES T/C/C HIPOLITO GONZALEZ; EDGARDO GONZALEZ GARCIA POR SI EN REPRESENTACION DE LA SOCIEDAD LEGAL DE GANANCIALES COMPUESTA CON MIRIAM HILDA CRUZ QUIÑONES, MIRIAM HILDA CRUZ QUIÑONES POR SI Y EN REPRESENTACION DE LA SOCIEDAD LEGAL DE GANANCIALES COMPUESTA POR EDGARDO GONZALEZ GARCIA; DIRECCION: SR 459 KM 15.5 INT. 5 MIRADOR DEL CIELO DEV. BAJURAS WD., ISABELA PR 00662; P/C LCDA. GENEVIEVE LOPEZ STIPES GLS LEGAL SERVICES, LLC PO BOX 367308 San Juan PR 00936

(Nombre de las partes a las que se les notifica la sentencia por edicto) EL SECRETARIO(A) que suscribe le notifica a usted que el 10 de noviembre 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

Friday, November 20, 2020

de este edicto . Copia de esta notificación ha sido archivada en los autos de este caso, con fecha de 13 de noviembre de 2020. En AGUADILLA, Puerto Rico, 13 de noviembre de 2020. SARAHI REYES PEREZ, Secretario (a). ARLENE GUZMAN PABON, Secretario (a) Auxiliar.

LEGAL NOTICE Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico TRIBUNAL GENERAL DE JUSTICIA Tribunal de Primera Instancia Sala Superior de Ponce.

REVERSE MORTGAGE SOLUTIONS, INC. Demandante Vs

MERCEDES QUIÑONES QUIÑONES, T/C/C MERCEDES ORTIZ, T/C/C MERCEDESQ UIÑONES POR SI Y COMO MIEMBRO DE LA SUCESION DE AUGUSTO ELIAS ORTIZ BRITO; FULANO DE TAL Y SUTANO DE TAL COMO MIEMBROS DE LA SUCESION DE AUGUSTO ELIAS ORTIZ BRITO, CENTRO DE RECAUDACIONES DE INGRESOS MUNICIPALES Y A LOS ESTADOS UNIDOS DE AMERICA

miento 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 ele esta notificación ha sido archivada en los autos ele este caso, con fecha de 17 de noviembre de 2020. En Ponce, Puerto Rico, el 17 de noviembre de 2020. LUZ MAYRA CARABALLO GARCÍA, Secretario(a) Regional. f/EREINA AGRONT LEON, Secretaria(a) Auxiliar.

LEGAL NOTICE Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico TRIBUNAL GENERAL DE JUSTICIA Tribunal de Primera Instancia Sala Superior de CAGUAS.

BOSCO IX OVERSEAS, LLC., BY FRANKLIN CREDIT MANAGEMENT CORPORATION AS SERVICER

(Nombre de las partes a las que se les notifica la sentencia por edicto) EL SECRET ARIO(A) que suscribe le notifica a usted que 10 de noviembre 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 representado usted una parte en el procedi-

LEGAL NOTICE Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico TRIBUNAL GENERAL DE JUSTICIA Tribunal de Primera Instancia Sala Superior de BAYAMON.

E.M.I. EQUITY MORTGAGE INC Demandante Vs

EDUARDO TORRES CARRERO Y OTROS

Demandado Civil Núm.: BY2020CV002911. SALA: 504. Sobre: EJECUCION DE HIPOTECA “IN REM”. NOTIFICACIÓN DE SENTENCIA POR EDICTO.

FIDEICOMISO BOSCO CREDIT II TRUST SERIES 2017-1, LLC Demandante v.

ELBA LUIS LUGO t/c/c ELBA LUGO APONTE por sí y en cuanto a la cuota viudal usufructuaria; La Sucesión de RALPH CHRISTIANSEN McCONNIE; STEPHANIE CHRISTIANSEN McCONNIE; FULANO DE TAL y FULANA DE TAL como herederos desconocidos; DEPARTAMENTO DE HACIENDA DIVISION DE CAUDAL RELICTO; CENTRO DE RECAUDACION DE INGRESOS MUNICIPALES (CRIM)

Demandados A: EDUARDO TORRES CARRERO, MARISELA CIVIL NÚM.: KCD2013-0441 SOBRE: COBRO DE FRANCO PEREZ Y LA (506). DINERO Y EJECUCIÓN DE HISOCIEDAD LEGAL DE POTECA. AVISO DE PÚBLICA BIENES GANANCIALES SUBASTA. Demandante Vs COMPUESTA POR A: LOS CODEMANDADOS SUCESION CARLOS AMBOS DE EPIGRAFE Y AL SAMUEL RIVERA REYES (Nombre de las partes a las que se COMPUESTA POR JOHN les notifica la sentencia por edicto) PÚBLICO EN GENERAL: El Alguacil que suscribe por la DOE Y JANE DOE COMO EL SECRETARIO(A) que suscri- presente anuncia y hace consbe le notifica a usted que 13 de POSIBLES HEREDEROS tar que en cumplimiento de una noviembre de 2020, este Tribunal Sentencia Sumaria Enmendada DESCONOCIDOS; ha dictado Sentencia, Sentencia Nunc Pro Tunc dictada en el caso CENTRO DE Parcial o Resolución en este de epígrafe el día 17 de junio de caso, que ha sido debidamente RECAUDACIONES 2020, notificada el 9 de julio de registrada y archivada en autos DE IMPUESTOS 2020 y de un Mandamiento de podrá usted enterarse MUNICIPALES (CRIM) donde Ejecución emitido el día 9 de detalladamente de los términos

Demandado Civil Núm.: PO2019CV03752. Salón: 406. Sobre: COBRO DE DINERO Y EJECUCION DE HIPOTECA POR LA VIA ORDINARIO. NOTIFICACIÓN DE SENDemandado TENCIA POR EDICTO. Civil Núm.: CG2020CV00271. MERCEDES QUIÑONES Sobre: COBRO DE DINERO Y EJECUCION DE HIPOTECA. QUIÑONES, T/C/C NOTIFICACIÓN DE SENTENCIA MERCEDES ORTIZ, POR EDICTO.

T/C/C MERCEDES QUIÑONES; FULANO DE TAL Y SUTANO DE TAL COMO MIEMBROS DE LA SUCESION DE AUGUSTO ELIAS ORTIZ BRITO Y/O COMO CUALQUIER OTRA PERSONA CON INTERES EN ESTE CASO PARA SER NOTIFICADO POR EDICTO P/C: LIC GENEVIEVE LOPEZ STIPES PO BOX 367308 SAN JUAN, PR 00936

ción de este edicto. Copia ele esta notificación ha sido archivada en los autos ele este caso, con fecha de 13 de noviembre de 2020. En CAGUAS, Puerto Rico, el 13 de noviembre de 2020. F/ CARMEN ANA PEREIRA ORTIZ, Secretaria. f/MARTA E. DONATE RESTO, Secretaria(a) Auxiliar.

A: JOHN DOE Y JANE DOE COMO POSIBLES HEREDEROS DESCONOCIDOS DE LA SUCESION DE CARLOS SAMUEL RIVERA REYES

(Nombre de las partes a las que se les notifica la sentencia por edicto) EL SECRETARIO(A) que suscribe le notifica a usted que 12 de noviembre 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 representado 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 publica-

septiembre de 2020, que le ha sido dirigido por la Secretaria del Tribunal de Primera Instancia, Sala de San Juan, procederá a vender en subasta, por separado, y al mejor postor con dinero en efectivo, cheque de gerente o letra bancaria con similar garantía, todo título, derecho o interés de los demandados de epígrafe sobre el inmueble que adelante se describe. Se anuncia por la presente que la primera subasta habrá de celebrarse el día 11 de enero de 2021, a las 9:30 de la mañana, en mi oficina localizada en el edificio que ocupa la Sala del Tribunal de Primera Instancia, Sala Superior de San Juan, sobre el inmueble que se describe a continuación: URBANA: PROPIEDAD HORIZONTAL: Condominio Fortaleza 254 de San Juan Antiguo. Apartamento: Cabida de 380.0186 metros cuadrados. El edificio consta de 3 apartamentos, escalera, patio interior, patio trasero, pasillo lateral exterior LEGAL NOTICE (en el segundo piso) y azotea. ESTADO LIBRE ASOCIADO DE Colinda por el NORTE, que es PUERTO RICO TRIBUNAL DE su frente con la calle Fortaleza, PRIMERA INSTANCIA SALA SU- por donde están cada uno de los PERIOR DE SAN JUAN. apartamentos del condominio; por el OESTE, que es por el lado FRANKLIN CREDIT derecho entrando, con casa #37 MANAGEMENT Salvador Calaf, actualmente CORPORATION, COMO de con casa #254; por el SUR, que AGENTE DE SERVICIOS es su fondo con casa de la suDE WILMINGTON cesión de Don Luis Bozzo; por el SAVINGS FUND SOCIETY ESTE, que es su lado izquierdo entrando, con la casa #41, hoy, 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 representado 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 ele esta notificación ha sido archivada en los autos ele este caso, con fecha de 13 de noviembre de 2020. En BAYAMON, Puerto Rico, el 13 de noviembre de 2020. F/ LAURA I SANTA SANCHEZ, Secretaria. f/VIVIAN J. SANABRIA, Secretaria(a) Auxiliar.

FSB, SINDICO DEL

25

252 de Antonio Moreno Santi, antes, después Jacinto Texidor y hoy Juan Hernández López. La cabida del apartamento del tercer piso es de 4089.00 pies cuadrados, equivalentes a 380.0186 metros cuadrados. Finca Número 4643, inscrita al folio 6 del tomo 176 del Registro de la Propiedad de Puerto Rico, Sección I de San Juan. Dirección Física: 254 Fortaleza St. Old San Juan, San Juan PR 00901. El siguiente pagaré consta inscrito en la propiedad antes mencionada y es el que se pretende ejecutar: HIPOTECA: A favor de Doral Bank, por la suma de $636,000.00 con intereses al 6.95% anual y vencimiento el 1 de diciembre de 2032. Así resulta de la escritura número 1020, otorgada en San Juan el 25 de noviembre de 2002, ante el notario Diana M. Ruiz Hernández. Inscrita el 4 de octubre de 2004 al folio 1 del tomo 185, inscripción 3ra. La referida hipoteca grava el bien inmueble antes descrito. Que según surge del estudio de título, la propiedad se encuentra afecta a los siguientes gravámenes posteriores: HIPOTECA: Por $225,000.00, con intereses al 6.50% anual y en caso de mora a 200 puntos base en garantía de un pagaré a favor de Doral Bank, o a su orden, vencedero a la presentación. Según escritura #6, otorgada en San Juan, el 29 de abril de 2005, ante José Fernando Rovira Rullán, inscrita al tomo 165 del tomo 195 de San Juan, inscripción 4ta. bis. AVISO DE DEMANDA: Dictada en el Caso Civil KCD2013-0441 en el Tribunal de Primera Instancia, Sala de San Juan, seguido por Scotiabank de Puerto Rico (demandante) vs. Elba Luis Lugo también conocida como Elba Lugo Aponte, Ralph Christiansen y la Sociedad Legal de Gananciales, compuesta por ambos (demandados). Se reclama el pago de la deuda garantizada con la hipoteca de la inscripción 3ra., reducida a $605,273.32, más intereses y otras sumas o la venta de esta finca en pública subasta. Anotado al folio 165 del tomo 195 de San Juan, Anotación A con fecha de 10 de mayo de 2013. AVISO DE DEMANDA: Dictada en el Caso Civil KCD07-0863, en el Tribunal de Primera Instancia, Sala de San Juan, seguido por Doral Bank Corporation (demandante) vs Elba Lugo Aponte, Elba Luis Lugo, la Sucesión de Ralph giles Christiansen Santaella, compuesta por sus hijos: Ralph Christiansen, Stephanie Christiansen, Fulano de Tal, Fulana de Tal, Sutano de Tal Sutana de Tal, A, B y C como herederos desconocidos, Juan C. Puig Morales en su carácter oficial como Secretario de hacienda (demandados). Se reclama el pago de la deuda garantizada con la hipoteca de la inscripción 4ta., por $225,000.00, reducida a $221,165.28, mas intereses y otras sumas o la venta de esta finca en pública subasta. Anotado al tomo Karibe de la Sección I de San Juan, finca #4643-Bis, anotación B y última, con fecha de 12 de septiembre

de 2018. La subasta se llevará a cabo para con su producto satisfacer al demandante, total o parcialmente según sea el caso, de la referida sentencia que fue dictada por las siguientes sumas: $605,273.35 de principal, intereses pactados y computados sobre esta suma al tipio de 6.95% anual desde el 1ro. de diciembre de 2006 y hasta su total y completo pago, contribuciones, recargos y primas de seguro adeudados y la suma de $63,000.00 por concepto de costas, gastos y honorarios de abogado. Y PARA CONOCIMIENTO DE LAS PARTES INTERESADAS y del público en general, se advierte que los autos de este caso y demás instancias están disponibles para ser inspeccionadas en la Secretaría del Tribunal de Primera Instancia Sala Superior de San Juan, durante las horas laborables. Se entenderá que todo licitador acepta como bastante la titularidad del inmueble y que las cargas y gravámenes anteriores y los preferentes al crédito del ejecutante, incluyendo el gravamen por las contribuciones sobre la propiedad inmueble adeudadas, si los hubiere, continuarán subsistentes, entendiéndose que el rematante los acepta y queda responsable de los mismos sin destinarse a su extinción el precio del remate. La propiedad a ser ejecutada se adquirirá Libre de Cargas y Gravámenes posteriores. Los tipos mínimos a utilizarse para la subasta son los siguientes: El inmueble antes descrito ha sido tasado en la suma de SEISCIENTOS TREINTA Y SEIS MIL DOLARES ($636,000.00) para que dicha suma sirva de tipo mínimo en la primera subasta a celebrarse. De no producirse remate ni adjudicación en la primera subasta del antedicho inmueble, se celebrará una segunda subasta en el mismo lugar antes mencionado, el día 19 de enero de 2021, a las 9:30 de la mañana, sirviendo como tipo mínimo para dicha segunda subasta, una suma equivalente a las dos terceras (2/3) partes del tipo mínimo pactado para la primera subasta, o sea, la suma de CUATROCIENTOS VEINTICUATRO MIL DOLARES ($424,000.00) para la finca antes descrita. De no producirse remate ni adjudicación en la segunda subasta del antedicho inmueble, se celebrará una tercera subasta en el mismo lugar antes mencionado, el día 26 de enero de 2021, a las 9:30 de la mañana, sirviendo como tipo mínimo para dicha tercera subasta, una suma equivalente a la mitad (1/2) del tipo mínimo fijado para la primera subasta, o sea, la suma de TRESCIENTOS DIECIOCHO MIL DOLARES ($318,000.00) para la finca antes descrita. En testimonio de lo cual, expido el presente aviso, el cual firmo y sello, hoy 10 de noviembre de 2020, en San Juan, Puerto Rico. Hola!! Es Edwin López Mulero, Alguacil Auxiliar

LEGAL NOTICE

ESTADO LIBRE ASOCIADO DE PUERTO RICO TRIBUNAL DE PRIMERA INSTANCIA SALA DE CAGUAS/

ALEJANDRO ANTONIO ORIZONDO ALVAREZMENA DEMANDANTE VS.

AMARIS URBINA ECHEVARRIA DEMANDADA

CARMEN DORIS PAGAN SEDA; FERNANDO JAVIER ORIZONDO ALVAREZ-MENA

DEMANDADOS INVOLUNTARIOS CIVIL NUM. CG2020CV01973. SOBRE: REINVINDICACIÓN DIVISIÓN Y LIQUIDACIÓN DE COMUNIDAD DE BIENES. EMPLAZAMIENTO POR EDICTO. ESTADOS UNIDOS DE AMERICA EL PRESIDENTE DE LOS ESTADOS UNIDOS ESTADO LIBRE ASOCIADO DE PUERTO RICO.

A: CARMEN DORIS PAGAN SEDA PO BOX 190998 SAN JUAN, PR 00919-0998

POR LA PRESENTE se le notifica que ha sido presentada en este Tribunal por la parte demandante una demanda sobre reinvindicación, división y liquidación de comunidad de bienes, cuyos hechos se. detallan en la misma, la cual puede ser examinada en la secretaría de este Tribunal. REPRESENTA a los demandantes el bufete RIVERA COLON, RIVERA TORRES & RIVERA RIOS (Lcdo. Víctor M. Rivera Torres) con dirección en Avenida Fernández Juncos #1420, Santurce, Puerto Rico 00909, teléfonos (787) 727-5710, fax (787) 268-1835, e-mail: victor. riverarcrtrblaw.com. Se le advierte que este edicto se publicará en un periódico de circulación general una sola vez y que si no comparece en el término de treinta (30) días desde su publicación, los querellantes podrán solicitar que se dicte sentencia en rebeldía, declarándose con lugar la querella, sin más citarle ni oírle. EXPEDIDO, bajo mi firma y el sello del Tribunal, hoy día 7 de octubre de 2020. CARMEN ANA PEREIRA ORTIZ, SECRETARIO (A). GLORIMAR RIVERA RIVERA, Sec Auxiliar del Tribunal I.

LEGAL NOTICE ESTADO LIBRE ASOCIADO DE PUERTO RICO TRIBUNAL DE PRIMERA INSTANCIA SALA DE CAGUAS/

ALEJANDRO ANTONIO ORIZONDO ALVAREZMENA DEMANDANTE VS.

AMARIS URBINA ECHEVARRIA DEMANDADA

CARMEN DORIS PAGAN SEDA; FERNANDO JAVIER ORIZONDO ALVAREZ-MENA


26 DEMANDADOS INVOLUNTARIOS CIVIL NUM. CG2020CV01973. SOBRE: REINVINDICACIÓN DIVISIÓN Y LIQUIDACIÓN DE COMUNIDAD DE BIENES. EMPLAZAMIENTO POR EDICTO. ESTADOS UNIDOS DE AMERICA EL PRESIDENTE DE LOS ESTADOS UNIDOS ESTADO LIBRE ASOCIADO DE PUERTO RICO.

A: FERNANDO JAVIER ORIZONDO ALVAREZMENA PO BOX 368108 SAN JUAN, PR 00936

POR LA PRESENTE se le notifica que ha sido presentada en este Tribunal por la parte demandante una demanda sobre reinvindicación, división y liquidación de comunidad de bienes, cuyos hechos se. detallan en la misma, la cual puede ser examinada en la secretaría de este Tribunal. REPRESENTA a los demandantes el bufete RIVERA COLON, RIVERA TORRES & RIVERA RIOS (Lcdo. Víctor M. Rivera Torres) con dirección en Avenida Fernández Juncos #1420, Santurce, Puerto Rico 00909, teléfonos (787) 727-5710, fax (787) 268-1835, e-mail: victor. riverarcrtrblaw.com. Se le advierte que este edicto se publicará en un periódico de circulación general una sola vez y que si no comparece en el término de treinta (30) días desde su publicación, los querellantes podrán solicitar que se dicte sentencia en rebeldía, declarándose con lugar la querella, sin más citarle ni oírle. EXPEDIDO, bajo mi firma y el sello del Tribunal, hoy día 7 de octubre de 2020. CARMEN ANA PEREIRA ORTIZ, SECRETARIO (A). GLORIMAR RIVERA RIVERA, Sec Auxiliar del Tribunal I.

FULANO DE TAL - CALLE ISABEL ANDREU #107 HATO REY, PUERTO RICO 00918 / PO BOX 1008 SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO 00908 A: FULANO DE TAL POR SI Y EN REPRESENTACIÓN DE LA SOCIEDAD LEGAL DE GANANCIALES QUE COMPONE JUNIO A IVONNE GÓMEZ RODRIGUEZ - CALLE ISABEL ANDREU #107 HATO REY, PUERTO RICO 00918 / PO BOX 1008 SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO 00908

POR LA PRESENTE se le emplaza y requiere para que conteste la demanda dentro de los treinta (30) días siguientes a la publicación de este Edicto. Usted deberá presentar su alegación responsiva a través del Sistema Unificado de Manejo y Administración de Casos (SUMAC), la 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 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 sin más citarle ni oírle, si el tribunal en el ejercicio de su sana discreción, lo entiende procedente. El sistema SUMAC notificará copia al abogado de la parte demandante, el Lcdo. José F. Aguilar Vélez cuya dirección es: P.O. Box 71418 San Juan, Puerto LEGAL NOTICE Rico 00936-8518, teléfono (787) ESTADO LIBRE ASOCIADO DE 993-3731 ala dirección jose.aguiPUERTO RICO TRIBUNAL DE lar@orf-law.comy a la dirección PRIMERA INSTANCIA CENTRO notificaciones@orf-law.com. EXJUDICIAL DE SAN JUAN. TENDIDO BAJO MI FIRMA y el PR RECOVERY AND sello del Tribunal, en San Juan, DEVELOPMENT JV, LLC Puerto Rico, hoy día 10 de noviembre de 2020. En San Juan, DEMANDANTE VS. Puerto Rico, el 10 de noviembre IVONNE GÓMEZ de 2020. Griselda Rodriguez CoRODRIGUEZ H/N/C llado, Secretaria. Nancy I. García THE GRAPES Figueroa, Secretaria.

RESTAURANT AND BAR, FULANO DE TAL & LA SOCIEDAD LEGAL DE GANANCIALES COMPUESTA POR AMBOS

DEMANDADOS CIVIL NÚM.: SJ2020CV04573. SOBRE: COBRO DE DINERO. EMPLAZAMIENTO POR EDICTO.

A: IVONNE GÓMEZ RODRIGUEZ H/N/C THE GRAPES RESTAURANT AND BAR POR SI Y EN REPRESENTACIÓN DE LA SOCIEDAD LEGAL DE GANANCIALES QUE COMPONE JUNTO A

LEGAL NOTICE ESTADO LIBRE ASOCIADO DE PUERTO RICO TRIBUNAL DE PRIMERA INSTANCIA SALA SUPERIOR DE BA Y AMÓN.

ZAIDA HELBETTIA PÉREZ GUZMÁN Demandante Vs.

ÁNGEL MANUEL SANTOS RAMOS

The San Juan Daily Star

Friday, November 20, 2020 DEMANDADA: ÁNGEL MANUEL SANTOS RAMOS URB. DOS RÍOS #37 URB. VILLA LOS PESCADORES VEGA BAJA PR 00693

Por la presente se le notifica que ha sido presentada en este Tribunal una Demanda en su contra. Se le emplaza y requiere para que, dentro del término de treinta (30) días contados a partir de la publicación del edicto, presente a este Tribunal su alegación responsiva a dicha demanda , radicando el original de la misma en este Tribunal , a través del Sistema Unificado de Manejo y Administración de Casos (SUMAC), al cual puede acceder utilizando la siguiente dirección electrónica: https://unired.ramajudicia l.pr, y enviando copia de su alegación responsiva a la Leda. Rosa L. Vázquez López, 379 Calle César González , Hato Rey, P.R. 00918. Tel.: (787) 766-0949 ; salvo que se represente por derecho propio, en cuyo caso deberá presentar su alegación responsiva en la secretaría de este Tribunal. De no hacerlo, se le anotará la Rebeldía y se dictará Sentencia en su contra concediendo el remedio solicitado en la Demanda sin más citarle ni oírle. EXPEDIDO bajo mi firma y sello de este Tribunal, en Bayamón, Puerto Rico, hoy 10 de noviembre de 2020. LCDA. LAURA I SANTA SANCHEZ, Sec Regional. Nitza Resto Rodriguez, Sec Auxiliar.

LEGAL NOTICE Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico TRIBUNAL GENERAL DE JUSTICIA Tribunal de Primera Instancia Sala Superior de CAROLINA.

LOURDES LÓPEZ QUIÑONES Demandante v.

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 12 de NOVIEMBRE de 2020. En CAROLINA, Puerto Rico, el 12 de noviembre de 2020. Marilyn Aponte Rodriguez, Secretaria. Jannette Ramirez Bernard, Sec Auxiliar.

LEGAL NOTICE ESTADO LIBRE ASOCIADO DE PUERTO RICO TRIBUNAL DE PRIMERA INSTANCIA SALA SUPERIOR DE CAROLINA.

COOPERATIVA DE AHORRO Y CREDITO DE MEDICOS Y OTROS PROFESIONALES DE LA SALUD (MEDICOOP) Demandante vs.

SUCESION DE LUIS R. BETANCOURT OLIVERO compuesta por LUIS RAUL BETANCOURT AGOSTO; ERNESTO RODRIGUEZ SUAREZ; SUCESION DE ERNESTO RODRIGUEZ SUAREZ compuesta por LILISBETH RODRIGUEZ; JOHN DOE y FULANO DE TAL corno posibles herederos desconocidos; CENTRO DE RECAUDACION DE INGRESOS MUNICIPALES “CRIM”

Demandados CIVIL NUM. CA2019CV00217 (404). SOBRE: COBRO DE DINERO Y EJECUCION DE HIPOTECA. EDICTO DE SUBASTA.

SOUTHERN MORTGAGE Al: Público en General INC.; JOHN DOE, A: SUCESION DE LUIS R. RICHARD ROE Demandado(a) BETANCOURT OLIVERO Civil: Núm. CA2020CV01911 compuesta por LUIS (406). Sobre: CANCELACIÓN RAUL BETANCOURT DE PAGARÉ EXTRAVIADO. AGOSTO; ERNESTO NOTIFICACIÓN DE SENTENCIA RODRIGUEZ SUAREZ; POR EDICTO. SUCESION DE A: SOUTHERN MORTGAGE INC.; JOHN ERNESTO RODRIGUEZ SUAREZ compuesta DOE, RICHARD ROE (Nombre de las partes a las que se por LILISBETH le notifican la sentencia por edicto) RODRIGUEZ; JOHN EL SECRETARIO(A) que suscriDOE y FULANO DE TAL be le notifica a usted que el 12 de noviembre de 2020 este Tribunal como posibles herederos ha dictado Sentencia, Sentencia desconocidos; CENTRO Parcial o Resolución en este DE RECAUDACION DE caso, que ha sido debidamente INGRESOS MUNICIPALES registrada y archivada en autos donde podrá usted enterarse “CRIM”; ESTADO LIBRE detalladamente de los términos ASOCIADO DE PUERTO de la misma. Esta notificación se RICO-DEPARTAMENTO publicará una sola vez en un peDE HACIENDA, por tener riódico de circulación general en embargo anotado a su la Isla de Puerto Rico, dentro de los 10 días siguientes a su notififavor por la suma de cación. Y, siendo o representan$12,840. 92

Demandado Civil Núm.: BY2020RF01373 (4002). Sobre: DIVORCIO (RUPTURA IRREPARABLE). EMPLAZAMIENTO POR EDICTO. ESTADOS UNIDOS DE AMÉRICA EL PRESIDENTE DE LOS ESTADOS UNIDOS EL ESTADO LIBRE ASOCIADO DE PUERTO do usted una parte en el proce- Yo, Manuel Villafañe Blanco, Aldimiento sujeta a los términos de RICO. guacil de este Tribunal, a la parte la Sentencia, Sentencia Parcial A LA PARTE demandada y a los acreedores

y personas con interés sobre la propiedad que más adelante se describe, y al público en general, HAGO SABER: Que el día 12 de enero de 2021 a las 11:00 de la mañana, en mi oficina, sita en el Tribunal de Primera Instancia, Sala Superior de Carolina, Carolina, Puerto Rico, venderé en Pública Subasta la propiedad inmueble que más adelante se describe y cuya venta en pública subasta se ordenó por la vía ordinaria al mejor postor quien hará el pago en dinero en efectivo, giro postal o cheque certificado a nombre del . o la Alguacil del Tribunal de Primera Instancia. Los autos y todos los documentos correspondientes al procedimiento incoado, estarán de manifiesto en la Secretaría del Tribunal de Carolina durante horas laborables. Que en caso de no producir remate ni adjudicación en la primera subasta a celebrarse, se celebrará una segunda subasta para la venta de la susodicha propiedad, el día 19 de enero de 2021 a las 11:00 de la mañana,; y en caso de no producir remate ni adjudicación, se celebrará una tercera subasta el día 26 de enero de 2021 a las 11:00 de la mañana, en mi oficina sita en el lugar antes indicado. La propiedad a venderse en pública subasta se describe como sigue: URBANA: Solar marcado con el número seis (6) del bloque “UU” de la Urbanización Lomas de Carolina, localizado en el Barrio Trujillo Bajo del Municipio de Carolina, Puerto Rico, con un área de CUATROCIENTOS TREINTA Y SIETE METROS CUADRADOS CON CUARENTA Y OCHO CENTESIMAS DE OTRO (437.48mc). En lindes por el NORTE: en trece metros con diecinueve milésimas de otro (13.019m), con la Comunidad Buenaventura; por el SUR: en trece metros (13.00m), con la calle número tres (3); por el ESTE: en treinta y tres metros con sesenta centésimas de otro (33.60m), con el solar número siete (7) del bloque UU; y por el OESTE: en treinta y tres metros con trescientos veintiséis milésimas de otro (33.326m), con el solar número cinco (5) del bloque UU. Contiene una casa de concreto para una familia. Consta inscrita al folio 197 del tomo 859 de Carolina, finca número 34,563, Registro de la Propiedad de Carolina, Sección Segunda. La subasta se llevará a efecto para satisfacer a la parte demandante la suma de $80,538.86 de principal, intereses al 6.00% anual, desde el día 1ro. de marzo de 2018, hasta su completo pago, más la cantidad de $10,800.00 estipulada para costas, gastos y honorarios de abogado, y recargos acumulados, todas cuyas sumas están líquidas y exigibles. Que la cantidad mínima de licitación en la primera subasta para el inmueble será la suma de $108,000.00 y de ser necesaria una segunda subasta, la cantidad mínima será equivalente a 2/3 partes de aquella, o sea, la suma de $72,000.00 y de ser necesaria una tercera subasta, la cantidad mínima será la mitad del precio pactado, es

decir, la suma de $54,000.00. La propiedad se adjudicará al mejor postor, quien deberá satisfacer el importe de su oferta en moneda legal y corriente de los Estados Unidos de América en el momento de la adjudicación y que todo licitador acepta como bastante la titularidad y que las cargas y gravámenes preferentes, si los hubiese, al crédito del ejecutante continuarán subsistentes, entendiéndose que el rematante los acepta y queda subrogado en la responsabilidad de los mismos, sin destinarse a su extinción el precio del remate. La propiedad hipotecada a ser vendida en pública subasta se encuentra afecta a los siguientes gravámen preferente: Embargo Federal a favor de los Estados Unidos de América, por la suma principal de $9,603.77 contra Luis R. Betancourt, Seguro Social número xxx-xx-9040, Notificación No. 683828510, presentado el 12 de agosto de 2010, anotado al folio 4, asiento número 1 del libro número 6 de Embargos Federales. Registro de la Propiedad de Carolina, Sección Segunda. La propiedad hipotecada a ser vendida en pública subasta se encuentra afecta a los siguientes gravámen posterior: Embargo a favor del Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico, por la suma de $12,840.92 contra Luis R. Betancourt Olivero, seguro social número xxxxx-9040, según Certificación del día 4 de mayo de 2017, embargo número CAR-17-091, anotado al Asiento 2017-003547-EST del Sistema Karibe, Registro de la Propiedad de Carolina, Sección Segunda. La propiedad a ser ejecutada se adquirirá libre de cargas y gravámenes posteriores. EN TESTIMONIO DE LO CUAL, expido el presente Edicto para conocimiento y comparecencia de los licitadores, bajo mi firma y sello del Tribunal, en Carolina, Puerto Rico, a 10 de noviembre de 2020. Manuel Villafañe Blanco, ALGUACIL TRIBUNAL SALA SUPERIOR DE CAROLINA.

DESCONOCIDOS; CENTRO DE RECAUDACION DE INGRESOS MUNICIPALES

Demandados CIVIL NUM. MT2020CV00304. SOBRE: COBRO DE DINERO Y EJECUCION DE HIPOTECA. EMPLAZAMIENTO POR EDICTO. ESTADOS UNIDOS DE AMERICA EL PRESIDENTE DE LOS ESTAD EL ESTADO LIBRE ASOCIADO DE PUERTO RICO. SS.

A: HECTOR ANIBAL MAISONET RUIZ; JOHN DOE Y JANE DOE COMO POSIBLES MIEMBROS DESCONOCIDOS DE LA SUCESIÓN ZAIDA IVETTE RUIZ LOURIDO

POR LA PRESENTE se le emplaza para que presente al Tribunal su alegación responsiva a la demanda dentro de los treinta (30) días a partir de la publicación de este edicto. Usted deberá presentar su alegación responsiva a traves del Sistema Unificado de Manejo y Administración de Casos al cual puede acceder utilizando la siguiente dirección electrónica: http://unired.ramajudicial.pr salvo que se represente por derecho propio, en cuyo caso deberé presentar su alegación responsiva e la secretaria 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 la demanda, o cualquier otro, si el tribunal, en el de su sana discreción, lo entiende procedente. Greenspoon Marder, LLP Lcda. Frances L. Asencio-Guido R.U.A. 15,622 TRADE CENTRE SOUTH, SUITE 700 100 WEST CYPRESS CREEK ROAD FORT LAUDERDALE, FL 33309 Telephone: (954) 343 6273 Frahces.Asencio@gmlaw.com Expedido bajo mi firma y sello del Tribunal, en Manatí, Puerto Rico, hoy 15 de octubre de 2020. LEGAL NOTICE VIVIAN Y FRESSE GONZALEZ, ESTADO LIBRE ASOCIADO DE Sec Regional. Saray Salgado, PUERTO RICO TRIBUNAL DE Sec Auxiliar del Trib I. PRIMERA INSTANCIA SALA SULEGAL NOTICE PERIOR DE MANATI. ESTADO UBRE ASOCIADO DE BOSCO CREDIT X, PUERTO RICO TRIBUNAL DE LLC, BY FRANKLIN PRIMERA INSTANCIA SALA DE CREDIT MANAGEMENT SAN JUAN.

CORPORATION AS SERVICER

ROSANNA ELlZABETH FERNANDEZ BUENO

RECTOR RADAMES MAISONET PEREZ POR SI Y EN LA CUOTA VIUDAL USUFRUCTUARIA; SUCESION ZAIDA IVETTE RUIZ LOURIDO COMPUESTA POR DAGMAR MAISONET RUIZ, JUAN JOSE MAISONET RUIZ y HECTOR ANIBAL MAISONET RUIZ, JOHN DOE Y JANE DOE COMO POSIBLES HEREDEROS

CARLOS IGNACIO RODRÍGUEZ RÍOS

Demandante vs.

DEMANDANTE vs.

DEMANDADO CIVIL NÚMERO: SJ2020RF00934. SOBRE: DIVORCIO (RUPTURA IRREPARABLE). EMPLAZAMIENTO POR EDICTO. ESTADOS UNIDOS DE NORTEAMERICA EL PRESIDENTE DE LOS EE.UU. ESTADO LIBRE ASOCIADO DE PUERTO RICO. ss

A: Sr. Carlos Ignacio Rodríguez Ríos 833 SW Ave. J, Belle Glade

Florida, USA 33430

Se le notifica a usted que se ha radicado en esta Secretaría la solicitud del epígrafe. Se le emplaza y requiere que radique en esta Secretaria el original de la contestación a la Demanda de Divorcio y que notifique con copia de dicha contestación a la Lcda. María Pagán Hernández, P.O. Box 21411, San Juan, Puerto Rico 00928-1411, teléfono 787-282-6734, abogada de la parte demandante, dentro de los treinta (30) días siguientes a la publicación de este Edicto. Si dejare de hacerlo, podrá dictarse contra usted sentencia en rebeldía concediéndole el remedio solicitado en la demanda. EXPEDIDO bajo mi firma y sello e este Triburial Superior de Puerto Rico, Sala de San Juan, Puerto Rico a 7 de octubre de 2020. Griselda Rodriguez Collado, Sec Regional. Vivian Castro Sanchez, Sec Serv a Sala.

LEGAL NOTICE Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico TRIBUNAL GENERAL DE JUSTICIA Tribunal de Primera Instancia Sala Superior Municipal de San Juan.

BANCO SANTANDER PUERTO RICO VS

JOHN DOE Y RICHARD ROE COMO POSIBLES TENEDORES CON INTERÉS

CIVIL NUM. SJ2020CV04407 (602). SOBRE: CANCELACIÓN DE PAGARÉ EXTRAVIADO. NOTIFICACIÓN DE SENTENCIA POR EDICTO POR SUMAC.

A: JOHN DOE Y RICHARD ROE COMO POSIBLES TENEDORES CON INTERÉS

EL SECRETARIO (A) que suscribe le notifica a usted que el 10 de NOVIEMBRE 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 esta. Esta notificación se publicará una sola vez en un periódico de circulación general en la Isla de Puerto Rico, dentro de los diez (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 10 de noviembre de 2020. En San Juan, Puerto Rico, el 10 de noviembre de 2020. GRISELDA RODRÍGUEZ COLLADO, Secretaria Regional. f/ DENISE M. AMARO MACHUCA, Secretario (a) Auxiliar.


The San Juan Daily Star

November 20-22, 2020

27

NFL Week 11 predictions: Our picks against the spread By BENJAMIN HOFFMAN

A

aron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers take on one of the NFL’s most stifling secondaries. Tennessee and Baltimore face off in a battle of struggling contenders. Kansas City looks for revenge against Las Vegas, and Pittsburgh tries to get to 10-0 for the first time in franchise history. There is a lot to like about this week’s schedule. Here is a look at NFL Week 11, with all picks made against the spread. All times are Eastern. Last week’s record: 8-5-1 Overall record: 72-71-4 SUNDAY’S BEST GAMES Green Bay Packers at Indianapolis Colts, 4:25 p.m., Fox No team has allowed fewer yards per game than the Colts (6-3), who have also allowed the fourth fewest points per game among the NFL’s 32 teams. Indianapolis has limited opposing quarterbacks to a passer rating of 78.9 — the best mark in the league — and has pulled down 11 interceptions. Only two teams have averaged more points a game than the Packers, who are enjoying a magical season from their quarterback. Aaron Rodgers has thrown for 26 touchdowns against just three interceptions, leading to an NFL-leading passer rating of 116.4. Strength against strength is always an intriguing matchup, and this game certainly qualifies. The path to victory for Green Bay is fairly straightforward: Give Rodgers some time in the pocket and let him find wide receivers Davante Adams and Marquez Valdes-Scantling for a few home run throws. For Indianapolis, the key to keeping those wide receivers quiet is putting Rodgers on his back early and often. It would be inaccurate to say the Colts’ offense and Packers’ defense are irrelevant in this game, and a few breaks for either of those units could go a long way to deciding the game. But the headliners in this game are clear, and you won’t want to miss any of Green Bay’s passing downs, no matter how things go. Line: Colts -2. Total: 51.5. Pick: Colts -2. Tennessee Titans at Baltimore Ravens, 1 p.m., CBS In the closing scene of “Fight Club,” as a series of buildings tumble to the ground, the narrator looks at Marla and rather optimistically says, “You met me

at a very strange time in my life.” That’s the general feeling as the Titans (6-3) visit the Ravens (6-3), with both teams hoping to brush off some recent failure and get back to being top contenders. Baltimore has lost two of its three games since its bye week and the team’s juggernaut of an offense has been held to 24 or fewer points in each game. Tennessee has lost three of four, with quarterback Ryan Tannehill having seen the most pronounced downturn of his tenure with the Titans. What does that mean going forward? Potentially nothing. Baltimore still has a ton of talent on both sides of the ball, and there is little reason to believe that Tennessee’s offense can’t return to a level of productivity that makes its mediocre defense largely irrelevant. But this week’s game will come down to which team can best emerge from its funk. That could easily go either way, but with the Ravens playing at home, they are the safer bet. Line: Ravens -6.5. Total: 49. Pick: Ravens -6.5. Kansas City Chiefs at Las Vegas Raiders, 8:20 p.m., NBC The last time these teams met, the Raiders (6-3) shocked the Chiefs (8-1) by beating them, 40-32, in Kansas City. It was a classic case of a top-rated team looking past a scrappy challenger, and Las Vegas made its division rival pay dearly for that indifference. The odds that Patrick Mahomes and his fellow defending Super Bowl champions make the same mistake again are slim. “Any time you lose to anyone, the next time you play them, you want to win the football game,” Mahomes told reporters this week. “We’ll be ready to go, I promise you that.” The Raiders are coming off the most complete win of their season last week against the Broncos and in an ideal circumstance might have been a real challenger for Kansas City in this one. But with the bulk of Las Vegas’ defense being forced to sit out the week of practice because of COVID-19 close contact protocols, slowing down the Chiefs seems like an impossible task. Line: Chiefs -7. Total: 56.5. Pick: Chiefs -7. Pittsburgh Steelers at Jacksonville Jaguars, 1 p.m., CBS Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin described this as a “trap game” and said he has

Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers and Aaron Jones have spent a great deal of the season celebrating their team’s many touchdowns. Scoring may be far more limited in a tough matchup with Indianapolis. a “ridiculous level of respect” for Jacksonville. So should anyone expect this to be a good game? No. The Steelers (90) are dominating on both sides of the ball, while the Jaguars (1-8) have an inept defense and a rookie quarterback in Jake Luton who was not even expected to play this season. So why make this one of the best games of the week? Because Pittsburgh stands a good chance of becoming the NFL’s first 10-0 team since 2015. Only 26 teams have begun a season with 10 straight wins. Six went undefeated for the regular season. Five finished with just one loss, nine with two losses and five with three losses. The worst a 10-0 team has ever finished was the 2015 Patriots, who went 12-4. Line: Steelers -10. Total: 47.5. Pick: Steelers -10

SUNDAY’S OTHER GAMES Miami Dolphins at Denver Broncos, 4:05 p.m., CBS Five straight wins for the Dolphins (63) has Miami in line for a playoff spot, and the team seems to get more impressive on a weekly basis. Last week’s win over the Los Angeles Chargers was unexpectedly powered by rookie running back Salvon Ahmed, and Miami could be even stronger this week if Matt Breida is able to return from a hamstring injury. The Broncos (3-6), after a brief flirtation with relevance, have dropped three of their past four games while allowing an average of 36 points a game in that stretch. Visiting Denver is never easy, but Miami’s surge should continue. Line: Dolphins -3. Total: 45. Pick: Dolphins -3

Continues on page 28


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The San Juan Daily Star

November 20-22, 2020

From page 27 New England Patriots at Houston Texans, 1 p.m., CBS This is one of the hardest games of the week to peg. The Patriots (4-5) are coming off a shockingly convincing win over Baltimore that has upended the general view that the team is a disaster. Was that a one-off? Is that game, combined with a fairly close win over the New York Jets the week before, enough to say New England is hot? Even a blowout win in this game wouldn’t truly answer that question as the Texans (2-7) have beat only lowly Jacksonville. Deshaun Watson is so good that it’s impossible to rule out a dominant performance in which he drags his teammates kicking and screaming to victory. But that is slightly less likely than Cam Newton and the Patriots grinding out a fairly close win on the road. Line: Patriots -2. Total: 48. Pick: Patriots -2. Dallas Cowboys at Minnesota Vikings, 4:25 p.m., Fox Andy Dalton has cleared the NFL’s concussion protocol and been taken off the COVID-19 reserve list, and his punishment for that good fortune will be having to start for the Cowboys (27). There remains a lingering belief that Dalton, who was at one point a borderline star for Cincinnati, could take advantage of his team’s riches at wide receiver and lead Dallas back to something near mediocrity. And there are few defenses more willing to make a quarterback look good than the unit for the Vikings (4-5). Minnesota is the better team here, is playing at home and could actually get better by emphasizing wide receivers Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson even more. If this game were in Dallas you might expect it to be close, but in Minnesota the Vikings should romp. Line: Vikings -7. Total: 48. Pick: Vikings -7. Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints, 1 p.m., Fox Jameis Winston is many things, but the veteran quarterback is no bystander. He wins games and he loses games, and he does it in a way that is fascinating to watch regardless of the result. Winston’s 33-touchdown, 30-interception season last year in Tampa Bay was a thing of legend, and while it’s highly unlikely that the Saints (7-2) will allow him to be anywhere near as reckless with their offense, his presence in place of the injured Drew Brees at least adds an element of uncertainty to a game

against the Falcons (3-6) that would otherwise look like an obvious blowout in favor of New Orleans. A conservative approach that focuses on running back Alvin Kamara is the safe way to handle things. But when has Winston ever been safe? Line: Saints -4.5. Total: 51. Pick: Saints -4.5. Philadelphia Eagles at Cleveland Browns, 1 p.m., Fox Carson Wentz has never been the same since a knee injury ended his 2017 season early. He wasn’t bad over the past two seasons, but any mention of his name and the MVP award became a distant memory. This year he has taken a very long step in the wrong direction and by virtually every measure has been objectively bad. It wouldn’t be fair to blame everything on Wentz, as injuries and ineptitude have been a total team effort. But Philadelphia’s grip on the NFL’s worst division is loosening, and if the Eagles are caught by the New York Giants, that would be fairly embarrassing. The Browns (6-3) would do well to just run the ball all day with Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt and let their defense take advantage of a few mistakes. Keep the score low and tack on another victory, just as Cleveland did last week against Houston. Line: Browns -3.5. Total: 45.5. Pick: Browns -3.5. Detroit Lions at Carolina Panthers, 1 p.m., Fox Panthers quarterback Teddy Bridgewater injured a ligament in his knee during last week’s loss to Tampa Bay, but currently it appears as if he will be able to start for the Panthers (3-7). That’s welcome news for a team that had been building some momentum heading into last week and looked great until the game went sideways in the second half. Matthew Stafford is also expected to start for the Lions (4-5) despite having injured the thumb on his throwing hand. The uncertainty with both quarterbacks makes this a tossup, with the advantage going to whichever team can keep their guy on the field longest. Line: Panthers -1.5. Total: 49. Pick: Panthers -1.5. Cincinnati Bengals at Washington Football Team, 1 p.m., CBS A pair of No. 1 overall picks, separated by more than a decade of experience, will face off when Joe Burrow and the Bengals (2-6-1) visit Alex Smith and the Footballers (2-7). Burrow clearly has a bright future, and Smith has had a ter-

Arizona’s DeAndre Hopkins pulled down an unbelievable Hail Mary in the game’s final seconds to help the Cardinals steal a win from Buffalo in Week 10. rific career, but this game may be decided by the health of Bengals running back Joe Mixon. If Cincinnati gets its top runner back, the team’s offense could overwhelm Washington and pick up a win on the road. If the Bengals once again have to rely on Mixon’s backups, things get far more complicated. Line: Footballers -1.5. Total: 46.5. Pick: Bengals +1.5. New York Jets at Los Angeles Chargers, 4:05 p.m., CBS The Chargers (2-7) have struggled to close out games this season, regardless of how good the offense has occasionally looked, and it would be hard to say the team hasn’t underperformed a bit compared to its preseason expectations. There are plenty of areas for concern, and with it still unclear if Joey Bosa will be cleared from the NFL’s concussion protocol, the team’s defense could be considerably less intimidating than it normally is. All of those would be concerns in another week, when Los Angeles isn’t playing the Jets (0-9). A win for the Chargers is overwhelmingly probable, but the team’s noted late-game troubles make a large point spread risky. Line: Chargers -8.5, Total: 47. Pick: Jets +8.5.

MONDAY’S MATCHUP Los Angeles Rams at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 8:15 p.m., ESPN Anyone who claims to know what is coming from the Buccaneers (7-3) each week is lying. Tampa Bay followed up a 3-point performance against New Orleans by scoring 46 against Carolina. In those games, Ronald Jones II went from three carries for 9 yards to 23 for 192. This year was supposed to be about suffocating defense and offensive consistency, but instead it has been defined by several weeks where the Buccaneers looked unbeatable and two where they looked truly awful. The Rams (6-3) don’t have as high a gear as Tampa Bay, but they are considerably more consistent. You can reasonably expect Los Angeles to get a fair amount of yards, both through the air and on the ground, and for the team’s defensive attack — led by Aaron Donald — to put significant pressure on the opposing team’s quarterback. Would that be enough to beat Tampa Bay? Sometimes. Line: Buccaneers -3. Total: 47.5. Pick: Rams +3.


The San Juan Daily Star

November 20-22, 2020

29

Sudoku 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

Crossword

Answers on page 30

Wordsearch

GAMES


HOROSCOPE Aries

30

The San Juan Daily Star

November 20-22, 2020

(Mar 21-April 20)

Feel side-lined by someone in authority? If so, it may seem they have little interest in you or your progress. Is this true though? An awkward but temporary aspect between Venus and Saturn, suggests this might be due to unnecessary fears. A more constructive way of dealing with this, is to own your power and do what you have to do, which is better than being too indecisive, Aries.

Libra

(Sep 24-Oct 23)

If it seems that you are not seeing eye-to-eye with family members, don’t let it weigh on your mind. Be as tactful and diplomatic as you can in the circumstances, as over coming days things could shift to the positive. Rather than focus on any disagreements, it might help to emphasise those areas where you do share an understanding, as this can assist with healing.

Taurus

(April 21-May 21)

Scorpio

Gemini

(May 22-June 21)

Sagittarius

(Nov 23-Dec 21)

Capricorn

(Dec 22-Jan 20)

Feelings of insecurity could leave you wondering if you are doing the right thing, Taurus. As Venus your guide planet forges an awkward angle with Saturn, it may be a fear of failure that causes you to hold back. Another more positive angle, suggests the right encouragement from the right person might help counteract this, as you just need a little push to get you on the move.

The intensity you may have felt over past days continues, and you might be tempted to forgo your duties and responsibilities, and instead do something more enjoyable. The catch is that others could be relying on you, so you have no choice but to knuckle down, even if you don’t feel up to it. On the plus side, an opportunity can bring rewards if you are willing to have a go, Gemini.

Cancer

(June 22-July 23)

The awkward Venus/Saturn tie could leave you feeling shut out of vital talks, but it might be because this temporary aspect causes you to feel isolated. A much more positive alignment hints that trusting your instincts might lead to a potential romance, or to passions being reignited. A change of attitude may be all it takes to encourage a change of heart in you and others.

Leo

(July 24-Aug 23)

On the lookout for activities and opportunities that might add more excitement to the day? If you are unfulfilled by your daily schedule, seeking out new interests and friendships could go a long way to filling this gap. A determined attitude may find you ready to make lifestyle changes that can boost wellbeing and energy levels. Build up any new disciplines slowly and surely, Leo.

Virgo

(Aug 24-Sep 23)

A cash flow issue could delay plans to invest in a new hobby, or other activity you might enjoy. Rest assured Virgo, that this is a temporary issue, and you may find that with some lateral thinking, there are ways around this. While the coming days can see you working hard, you stand to gain so much from taking charge of a creative project or showcasing your work to others.

(Oct 24-Nov 22)

People can surprise you, as you may have found out. As a result, you might hold back from getting someone’s agreement for a plan or project, because you aren’t certain how they will respond. Embrace this opportunity to talk, as with logical Mercury forging a lingering link with innovative Uranus, they may contribute a brilliant idea and their insights could be golden.

People may have advice to share, but how much of it is really that helpful, Archer? You could be showered with ideas that represent a wide range of opinions, and yet find it hard to believe in any of them. If it is a deeply personal matter, then involving close ones might not feel right either. Is there one person you can trust enough to talk this over with? If so, it may help you immensely.

You may be impressed with someone’s energy and determination to succeed. If they show signs of wanting to take your relationship further, you might jump at the chance to make friends with a kindred spirit. The Moon in your sign means your feelings can be more to the fore, highlighting your hopes and fears. Still, don’t let this stop you from moving ahead, Capricorn.

Aquarius

(Jan 21-Feb 19)

Doubts might crop up, but this is not the time to entertain them, Aquarius. Instead, a realistic Sun/Saturn aspect encourages you to persevere regardless, as this can pave the way for constructive progress. With the Moon aligning with key planets in a private sector, certain issues may seem bigger than they really are, and gaining a sense of perspective could be crucial.

Pisces

(Feb 20-Mar 20)

Changes to your circumstances can begin with a shift in your understanding, and with a willingness to embrace more of yourself and more of life. This could be your choice over coming days, as a potent influence encourages you to step out of your comfort zone. A missed opportunity might show up again Pisces, and making the most of it may be a game-changer.

Answers to the Sudoku and Crossword on page 29


November 20-22, 2020

31

CARTOONS

Herman

Speed Bump

Frank & Ernest

BC

Scary Gary

Wizard of Id

For Better or for Worse

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Ziggy


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November 20-22, 2020

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