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Trump to work with  U.S. Congress on grants, loans for Puerto Rico

by UNTV   |   Posted on Friday, October 20th, 2017

US. President Donald Trump said on Thursday he will work with the U.S. Congress to approve grants and loans to help rebuild Puerto Rico after it was devastated by Hurricane Maria a month ago.

Speaking with reporters in the oval office, Trump did not give any specifics about how much money the government will give to the cash-strapped territory, home to 3.4 million U.S. Citizens.

“With that, I will say that I have given my blessing to Congress. And Congress is working with you and your representatives on coming up with a plan and a payment plan and how it’s all going to be funded,” said Trump.

A month after the hurricane laid waste to the island’s power grid, destroying homes, roads and other vital infrastructure, the bankrupt territory is struggling to provide basic services like running water and is in danger of running out of money by the end of the month.

“The response is there. Do we need to do a lot more? Of course, we do. And I think everybody over here recognizes there’s a lot of work to be done in Puerto Rico. But with your leadership Sir and with everybody over here, we’re committed to achieving that in the long run,” said Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello.

Private sector estimated of the damage run as high as $95 billion.

The Senate is expected to vote in the coming days on an aid package that includes $18.7 billion for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which has been helping Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands recover from three massive hurricanes. — Reuters

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Duterte, Trump to hold bilateral meeting in November

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, October 26th, 2017

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MANILA, Philippines — The much-awaited visit of U.S. President Donald Trump to the Philippines is set to happen this November for the 50th Anniversary of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations on the 12th and the ASEAN-US Summit on the 13th where he is expected to have a bilateral meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte.

“Between the President [Duterte] and President Trump, we’ve been arranging that and finding the common time and I think the presidential spokesman will announce it,” Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said.

Trump, however, will no longer attend the East Asia Summit (EAS) which will be held on November 14.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Allan Peter Cayetano said US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will represent Trump in the said event, instead.

“It would have been great if President Trump could attend all the activities but the reality is any world leader especially the United States cannot spend too much days outside the US,” Cayetano said.

The White House has earlier announced that Trump’s visit to the Philippines is part of his Asian tour that covers China, Japan, South Korea, and Vietnam, as well as Hawaii.

Meanwhile, President Duterte is also set to visit Japan on October 29 to 31.

This is after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe won the Japan National Elections once again.

President Duterte will meet the Prime Minister and other high-ranking Japanese Government officials as part of enhancing the bilateral relations of the two countries.

Other issues that will be discussed include regional developments such as peace and stability particularly in the Korean Peninsula as well as the Philippines Chairmanship in the ASEAN. – Rosalie Coz | UNTV News & Rescue

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Puerto Ricans wash clothes in rivers as utilities remain offline

by UNTV   |   Posted on Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017

Large parts of the U.S. territory are still without running water or electricity and are facing food shortages almost three weeks after Hurricane Maria made landfall there on September 20.

Still struggling without water or electricity, some of the families washing their clothes in the Anon River in ponce on the south side of the island.

They just say they are making the journey a family outing.

“So we’re taking advantage of the time to wash clothes because we have to do it and so we’re spending time with the kids and with the family. We brought stuff for a barbecue and we’re enjoying the day,” said Alexis Vega.

“We’re looking at it from a positive point of view and spending a lot of time with family. You have to do it. We have to. It’s going back to olden days,” said Heidi Vazquez.

President Donald Trump is scheduled to visit Puerto Rico on Tuesday in the US amid questions over whether his administration has acted with enough urgency in helping distribute emergency supplies throughout the island. — Reuters

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For desperate Puerto Ricans, fuel a precious commodity

by UNTV   |   Posted on Thursday, September 28th, 2017

With Puerto Rico’s electric grid in shambles after Hurricane Maria, gasoline and diesel have become liquid gold in this U.S. territory.

The island’s 3.4 million residents urgently need it to fuel their automobile tanks and power generators to light their homes and businesses.

But like so many other necessities in Puerto Rico, the distribution of fuel is reliant on a transportation network crippled by the storm.

The few gas stations operating in Puerto Rico have attracted miles-long lines of cars, where drivers wait seven hours or longer in queues that snake through neighborhoods, up highway exit ramps, and onto freeways.

Puerto Rico gets most of its fuel sent by ship from the United States. It has no operating refineries, as the last one idled in 2009.

The good news is that the port of San Juan, the island’s primary port, has experienced minimal damage.

“On Friday we had access to our terminal and we carried out an inspection and found that even though there was some damage to the terminal, it was functional,” said Puerto Rico Crowley Maritime Corp Chairman and Director General Jose Luis Ayala.

Large convoys of fuel trucks were seen traveling the highways on Monday, the first time in several days those vehicles were out in force. Hospitals and fuel stations are taking deliveries of diesel via trucks escorted by armed guards. — Reuters

 

 

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