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Teachers stage protest at Puerto Rico's largest mall

San Juan, Mar 2 (EFE).- Dozens of teachers took part in a protest at Plaza Las Americas, Puerto Rico's largest mall, against planned pension system reforms. Saturday's protest was organized Broad Front for the Defense of the Teachers Retirement System, or FADSRM, which is calling on Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla's administration to scrap Law 160. The group contends that the legislation is "unnecessary" and will "destroy public education."

Teachers stage protest at Puerto Rico's largest mall

San Juan, Mar 2 (EFE).- Dozens of teachers took part in a protest at Plaza Las Americas, Puerto Rico's largest mall, against planned pension system reforms. Saturday's protest was organized Broad Front for the Defense of the Teachers Retirement System, or FADSRM, which is calling on Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla's administration to scrap Law 160. The group contends that the legislation is "unnecessary" and will "destroy public education."

Free tech training offered to Puerto Ricans to stop brain-drain

San Juan, Feb 22 (EFE).- A number of technology companies have decided to offer days of practical training to Puerto Rican youths interested in this field, in order to help them develop careers in the U.S. commonwealth, afflicted more every day by the exodus of qualified professionals. Coordinated by the Technology Professionals Association of Puerto Rico, or TRAPR, the initial training session was held Saturday for everyone who sees creating applications and digital art for mobile apps as an opportunity for professional development.

Puerto Rico pursues tax evaders, seeking to boost revenue as it grapples with heavy debt

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - Puerto Rico's government is cracking down on tax evaders to increase revenue and help pay off $70 billion in public debt after recent downgrades put the island's credit rating into junk status, officials said Tuesday. Treasury Secretary Melba Acosta said a task force has been set up to target both business owners and individuals, adding that authorities are investigating more than 100 cases and more are expected to follow.

Researcher: Puerto Rico labour market statistics to be revised upward

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - A researcher with New York's Federal Reserve Bank says Puerto Rico's labour market may not be as weak as previously believed. Jason Bram says upcoming revisions from the Bureau of Labor Statistics will likely show that job loss was lower than currently estimated. He said in a blog published Friday that a current estimate of 44,000 total jobs lost from June 2012 to June 2013 could be revised to some 10,000 total jobs lost.

U.S. senator presents Puerto Rico statehood bill

San Juan, Feb 12 (EFE).- The U.S. Senate received Wednesday for the first time a bill to make Puerto Rico the 51st state amid an economic crisis that many here blame in part on contention over the island's political status. The bill, submitted by Sen. Martin Heinrich, establishes the mechanisms whereby the United States would admit Puerto Rico as a state, assuming the island's citizens votes approve the idea in a binding referendum.

U.S. senator presents Puerto Rico statehood bill

San Juan, Feb 12 (EFE).- The U.S. Senate received Wednesday for the first time a bill to make Puerto Rico the 51st state amid an economic crisis that many here blame in part on contention over the island's political status. The bill, submitted by Sen. Martin Heinrich, establishes the mechanisms whereby the United States would admit Puerto Rico as a state, assuming the island's citizens votes approve the idea in a binding referendum.

Puerto Rico's governor seeks tax reform, government spending cuts to help boost economy

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - Puerto Rico's governor said Monday that he plans to boost the U.S. territory's economy by overhauling the tax system and reducing government spending after two credit rating agencies slapped the island with downgrades last week. Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla's message was aired on public TV and radio as Puerto Rico prepares to re-enter the bond market and seeks to reassure investors that it will not default on $70 billion in public debt accumulated for decades.

'Backdoor bailout' boosts Puerto Rico's revenues

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The second-largest revenue source for Puerto Rico last month was an excise tax that has been labeled a "backdoor bailout" for the struggling territory, preliminary estimates released on Monday showed. The federal government has stated repeatedly that it will not come to the rescue of the territory, whose credit rating was cut to junk last week by two of the three major rating agencies. But the island has few financial life preservers left as its population declines and its bills mount.

Puerto Rico to cut deficit, renegotiate debt

Puerto Rico said Wednesday it would further reduce its deficit and seek to renegotiate some of its debt, a day after seeing its credit rating cut to junk status. Responding to new pressure on its finances, Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla announced he would reduce the US territory's fiscal deficit by $170 million, slashing agency budgets by two percent and renegotiating tariffs and contracts with vendors.
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