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Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Puerto Rico News Digest For May 6, 2015


From The San Juan Daily Star:

"The government is planning to reduce public workers’ hours and
cut non-essential services as part of a plan to avoid a shutdown
and a default on debt payments, House Treasury Committee Chairman
Rafael Hernández said. “We may reduce hours. … We still don’t exac-
tly know the plan because some [agencies] work 24 hours,” he said
in a radio interview. “We are also going to combine jobs to avoid
duplication, simplify the system. … We are talking about a cut that
is going to be aggressive.” Office of Management and Budget Di-
rector Luis García said there will be cuts in nonessential services,
but did not dismiss cuts in essential services such as education or


As reported this morning by El Nuevo Dia, a 911 call early this
morning alerted police to a vehicle in flames under a bridge on
Road PR-951 in Canóvanas. Firefighters arrived at the scene,
and once the fire was put out, discovered two dead bodies inside
the car. One of the bodies was found in the back seat, while the
other was wedged between the two front seats of the SUV. Inves-
tigators from the Carolina jurisdiction are in charge of the case.
The victims have not yet been publicly identified.


Volaris, the Mexican low-cost carrier, announced yesterday the
introduction of new international service from Cancun, Mexico to
San Juan, Puerto Rico, effective July 2nd. Volaris will be opera-
ting two flights per week. During a press conference, Volaris CEO,
Enrique Beltranena, addressed the importance of including San Juan
in the Volaris destination roster and informed the carrier is the
only one to connect Mexico with this important Caribbean island in
the last 15 years. "Volaris' arrival to Puerto Rico is part of con-
certed efforts by the Puerto Rico Tourism Company to extend access
to our destination. With this flight, we are restoring direct co-
nnection from our Island to Mexico, which is the Latin American
country sending the highest number of visitors to Puerto Rico,"
said Ingrid I. Rivera Rocafort, Executive Director of the Puerto
Rico Tourism Company. "Now, arriving in San Juan will be much
easier and affordable for tourists who visit us from Mexico,"
she added.


From ABC News:

Among Hispanic groups in the United States, Puerto Ricans appear to
have the worst health, according to a government report released
Tuesday. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued its
most comprehensive report on Hispanic health, drawing from earlier re-
search. But it also offered new details on differences among Hispanic
populations in the U.S. Among the findings: Puerto Ricans have higher
rates of cancer and heart disease than Mexican-Americans, Cuban-Ameri-
cans, or those with roots in Central or South America.


From Caribbean Business:

Smoking marijuana for medicinal purposes will not be allowed in Puerto
Rico, but cannabis derivatives could be consumed in other ways, govern-
ment officials said Tuesday as they provided more details on the gover-
nor's weekend executive order on cannabis use. Justice Secretary César
Miranda told The Associated Press that the government would allow pa-
tients access to cannabis derivatives that would be inhaled or used
orally, such as potions or pills. "Smoking marijuana is not being cont-
emplated as part of a medical treatment," he said. Advocates say mari-
juana helps with conditions like chronic pain, glaucoma, anxiety, and
nausea from chemotherapy or drugs to combat HIV. Gov. Alejandro García
Padilla issued an order late Sunday directing the island's health de-
partment to authorize the use of some or all controlled substances or
derivatives of the cannabis plant for medical use.

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