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By Nicole Acevedo

Sixteen months after Hurricane Maria ravaged Puerto Rico, residents like Tati Morales in the Cercadillo neighborhood of Cayey, Puerto Rico are still struggling to get reliable access to potable water, phone service and a secure home.

“We almost have no lighting in our public roads, risking accidents,” said Morales. “The infrastructure in general is still very weak — many streets in our neighborhood collapsed and they’re still like that.”

Morales said she hopes the reports that President Donald Trump could use $2.5 billion set aside to finance reconstruction projects in the island to pay for a U.S.-Mexico border wall are “really some sort of publicity and that is not going to become a reality.”

The alternative is too alarming.

“It’s barbarous and another way to hit us,” she said in Spanish. “What more can we take?”

Like other communities across the island, residents in Cercadillo have been working with nonprofits trying to rebuild before hurricane season starts this summer.



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BORIS JOHNSON is topping the Tory leadership race after receiving 114 votes in the first ballot last week and will be hoping to keep his lead during the second vote on Tuesday. But who are the former Foreign Secretary’s children and how old are they?

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Supreme Court denies Flint officials’ request to block lawsuit over water crisis

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WASHINGTON — Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor on Friday denied a request from four Flint, Michigan officials who asked the U.S. Supreme Court to block lower court rulings that said they could be sued over lead contamination in the water supply.

Their motion was directed to Justice Sotomayor, who handles such appeals from that region. Without explanation, as is the usual practice, she denied their request.

The officials involved in the water crisis argued that they should be immune from a liability suit brought by a Flint woman, Shari Guertin, who said she and her minor daughter suffered injuries from drinking and bathing in water contaminated with lead. After a federal judge refused to throw the lawsuit out, the officials appealed.

A three-judge panel ruled against them in January, saying the officials “created the Flint Water environmental disaster and then intentionally attempted to cover up their grievous decision.” The full Sixth Circuit declined last month to take the case, leaving the panel decision intact.

The four asked the Supreme Court Thursday to put a hold on those rulings, which would have blocked the lawsuits while they pursued a full-blown Supreme Court appeal. It is that request that Justice Sotomayor denied.

The civil lawsuit is separate from any criminal cases. On Thursday, Michigan prosecutors dropped all pending charges against a group of state and local officials accused of a variety of crimes arising from the water crisis.



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SNP MEP forced to pay up after branding Brexit Party a front for ‘money laundering’

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