Paradise Lost

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As California once again reels from the fires, many are warning this is climate change in action

As the deadliest wild-fires ever to hit California continue to rage, an estimated 31 people are known to have died, with over 200 still missing. Some 250,000 have been forced to flee their homes. Over 100,000 acres of land has been burnt, including luxury homes in Malibu.


As California once again reels from the fires, many are warning this is climate change in action.

The town of Paradise in Northern California, home to 23,000 people, has effectively been destroyed by what is known as the “Camp Fire”, and is now described as a ghost town. The grim headline in the Guardian said: “Only bones and fragments”.

At one stage the fire that engulfed Paradise traveled 11 miles in 11 hours or 80 acres a minute. One fire-fighter who had been involved in trying to put out the blaze, observed: “It’s devastation, total devastation, it’s pretty incredible something like this occurred,” “We’ve gone through lots of wildfire over the years, this is the worst I’ve seen personally.”

More from Common Dreams

Posted by Libergirl


Needs go unmet 6 months after Maria hit Puerto Rico

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Generators are still humming. Candles are still flickering. Homes are still being repaired.

Puerto Rico was hit by Hurricane Maria exactly six months ago, and the U.S. territory is still struggling to recover from the strongest storm to hit the island in nearly a century.

“There are a lot of people with needs,” said Levid Ortiz, operating director of PR4PR, a local nonprofit that helps impoverished communities across the island. “It shouldn’t be like this. We should already be back on our feet.”

Some 250 Puerto Ricans formed a line around him on a recent weekday, standing for more than two hours to receive bottles of water and a box of food at a public basketball court in the mountain town of Corozal. Many of those waiting were still without power, including 23-year-old Keishla Quiles, a single mother with a 4-year-old son who still buys ice every day to fill a cooler to keep milk and other goods cold amid rising temperatures.

“Since we’re a family of few resources, we have not been able to afford a generator,” she said. “It’s been hard living like this.”

Crews already have restored water to 99 percent of clients and power to 93 percent of customers, but more than 100,000 of them still remain in the dark and there are frequent power outages. Justo Gonzalez, interim director for Puerto Rico’s Electric Power Authority, said he expects the entire island to have power by May, eight months after the Category 4 storm destroyed two-thirds of the island’s power distribution system — and just as the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season is about to start.

More from the Washington Post via Google News 

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Puerto Rico: Another Victim of the Clintons

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You’ve probably been hearing a lot about Puerto Rico’s crushing debt, here is where it all started…Libergirl

On May 1, 2016 Puerto Rico’s Government Development Bank (GDB) defaulted on a $389,000,000 bond payment.

The GDB, which according to recent financial disclosures shows less than $600,000,000 in total assets was subjected recently to capital controls via executive order issued by Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla that have frozen almost all withdrawals, while also suspending lending.

The default immediately closed the island’s access to capital markets and simultaneously halted the issuance of almost 1 billion in tax revenue anticipation notes the Puerto Rican Government was expected to issue through the end of 2016.

The Puerto Rican economy was forecast to be somewhat compromised by provisions in the North American Free Trade Agreement(NAFTA) which was agreed upon and ceremoniously signed on December 17, 1992, by Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, Mexican President Carlos Salinas, and U.S. President George H.W. Bush.

These provisions, which were officially signed into law by President Bill Clinton on Dec. 8, 1993, would go into effect on Jan. 1, 2014 taking away a key trade advantage held by the island over many Latin American countries with regard to duty-free imports to the U.S.

Further exacerbating the potential for economic stagnation were the federally mandated minimum wage laws, which gave non-minimum wage countries in the Caribbean a pronounced economic advantage over the commonwealth.

With those factors in play, the Clinton administration made a shortsighted decision to increase revenue intended to reduce the federal deficit by proposing elimination of Section 936 of the Internal Revenue Code, which gave mainland U.S. companies an exemption from federal taxes on income earned in Puerto Rico.

More from NewsMax

Posted by Libergirl





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Image: AP

Hurricane Sandy leaves surreal scenes in its wake.

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