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Puerto Rico National Guard begins cleanup work on Vieques

San Juan, Jan 23 (EFE).- A group of 30 experienced Puerto Rico National Guard engineers has launched a cleanup effort focused on areas of ecological and tourist interest on the island of Vieques, which the U.S. Navy used as a bombing range for more than 40 years. Lt. Col. Ruth Diaz Calderon, spokeswoman for that military force, a component of the U.S. National Guard, told Efe that the group of experts began working Tuesday on the project and that their goal is to establish an eco-tourism project in a 393-hectare (970-acre) area of the island-municipality.

Puerto Rico National Guard begins cleanup work on Vieques

San Juan, Jan 23 (EFE).- A group of 30 experienced Puerto Rico National Guard engineers has launched a cleanup effort focused on areas of ecological and tourist interest on the island of Vieques, which the U.S. Navy used as a bombing range for more than 40 years. Lt. Col. Ruth Diaz Calderon, spokeswoman for that military force, a component of the U.S. National Guard, told Efe that the group of experts began working Tuesday on the project and that their goal is to establish an eco-tourism project in a 393-hectare (970-acre) area of the island-municipality.

White House not mulling Puerto Rico bailout, U.S. official says

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House is not currently considering a bailout for Puerto Rico, where chronic financial challenges have raised the specter of a Detroit-like bankruptcy, a White House official said on Wednesday. "The President's Task Force continues to partner with the Commonwealth to strengthen Puerto Rico's economic outlook and to ensure that it is taking advantage of all existing federal resources available to the Commonwealth," White House spokeswoman Katherine Vargas said in an email.

Puerto Rico's Arecibo Observatory expected to reopen this week

San Juan, Jan 19 (EFE).- The Arecibo Observatory, located on Puerto Rico's north coast and the site of one of the world's largest radio telescopes, will reopen this week after a review undertaken as a result of the earthquake that hit the northern part of the Caribbean island last week, officials said Sunday. "What we're inspecting is a cable that suffered some kind of damage. The cable is one of the ones that supports the telescope ... which is very heavy," Carlos Padin, chancellor of the island's Metropolitan University, told Efe.

Puerto Rico's Arecibo Observatory expected to reopen this week

San Juan, Jan 19 (EFE).- The Arecibo Observatory, located on Puerto Rico's north coast and the site of one of the world's largest radio telescopes, will reopen this week after a review undertaken as a result of the earthquake that hit the northern part of the Caribbean island last week, officials said Sunday. "What we're inspecting is a cable that suffered some kind of damage. The cable is one of the ones that supports the telescope ... which is very heavy," Carlos Padin, chancellor of the island's Metropolitan University, told Efe.

U.S. approves funds for referendum on Puerto Rico's status

San Juan, Jan 16 (EFE).- The U.S. House of Representatives' approval of a budgetary line item to provide funding for a referendum supervised by Washington on Puerto Rico's status is considered historic by pro-statehood parties here. Puerto Rico's representative in Washington and the head of the main opposition PNP, Pedro Pierluisi, told Efe on Thursday that this is "an unprecedented act." Pierluisi, whose party is in favor of making Puerto Rico the 51st state, said that late Wednesday evening the House approved the allocation of $2.5 million to organize the referendum.

U.S. approves funds for referendum on Puerto Rico's status

San Juan, Jan 16 (EFE).- The U.S. House of Representatives' approval of a budgetary line item to provide funding for a referendum supervised by Washington on Puerto Rico's status is considered historic by pro-statehood parties here. Puerto Rico's representative in Washington and the head of the main opposition PNP, Pedro Pierluisi, told Efe on Thursday that this is "an unprecedented act." Pierluisi, whose party is in favor of making Puerto Rico the 51st state, said that late Wednesday evening the House approved the allocation of $2.5 million to organize the referendum.

Calle 13's Residente joins teachers on picket line in Puerto Rico

San Juan, Jan 14 (EFE).- Residente, the singing half of the rap duo Calle 13, on Tuesday joined the protests thousands of Puerto Rican teachers are staging against an overhaul of their retirement pensions. "My grandmother was a teacher for 30 years. I'm representing her as one more militant and doing my part as a common citizen," Rene Perez told Efe at the doors of historic Central High in San Juan's Santurce neighborhood.

Strong offshore quake causes minor damage in Puerto Rico

San Juan, Jan 13 (EFE).- A magnitude-6.4 earthquake struck early Monday off the northern coast of Puerto Rico and was felt throughout the island, but caused only minor damage. The temblor occurred shortly after midnight Sunday at a depth of 28 kilometers (17.4 miles) and was followed by dozens of aftershocks. The epicenter lay 57 kilometers (35 miles) north of the coastal town of Hatillo, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Strong offshore quake causes minor damage in Puerto Rico

San Juan, Jan 13 (EFE).- A magnitude-6.4 earthquake struck early Monday off the northern coast of Puerto Rico and was felt throughout the island, but caused only minor damage. The temblor occurred shortly after midnight Sunday at a depth of 28 kilometers (17.4 miles) and was followed by dozens of aftershocks. The epicenter lay 57 kilometers (35 miles) north of the coastal town of Hatillo, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
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