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Puerto Ricans Turn to the Black Market for Power After Hurricane Irma

Reporters who covered both Harvey and Irma from the eye of the storm compare their damage

Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma are the only Category 4 Atlantic storms to ever hit the United States in the same year—let alone the same two weeks.

Their landfalls turned the past few weeks into an emotional maelstrom of displacement, property damage, and conversations about climate change. While the full impact of the two storms is still being tallied up, journalists who were on the scene to cover both believe the back-to-back disasters also serve as a testament to the overwhelming…


The resilience of our liberalism: on the right to privacy

Anchored in constitutional scholarship, history and international law, the celebrated privacy judgment (K.S. Puttaswamy, 2017) attests to the resilience of our dignitarian liberalism. The unanimous judgment of nine distinguished judges, who held that privacy is integral to human dignity and not a constitutional largesse to be withdrawn at will by the state, elevates privacy to the pinnacle in the hierarchy of human rights.

“Privacy”, said the court, “ensures the fulfillment of dignity and is a core value which the protection of life and liberty is intended to achieve”. The court explained that “privacy with its attendant values assures dignity to the individual, and it is only when life can be enjoyed with dignity can liberty be of true substance” (per Justice Chandrachud). In reaffirming the coalescence of fundamental rights to life and liberty…


Puerto Ricans Turn to the Black Market for Power After Hurricane Irma

black market

Without a decade of maintenance, the grid failed despite only a brush with the storm. People are resorting to illegal linemen and shopping malls for juice. Image:

More and more people are losing patience with Puerto Rico’s Power Authority more than a week after Hurricane Irma knocked out electricity across the island.

About 80,000 of the island’s customers are still without electricity, according the power authority, PREPA. Earlier this week it was 200,000, according to PREPA’s executive director Ricardo Ramos Rodríguez. People are so desperate for electricity that they’ve gone to shopping malls for refuge and resorted to black-market electricians. It’s all the result of an electrical grid that has had little maintenance in the past decade as Puerto Rico drifted towards bankruptcy.

“We have definitely seen an increase of visitors wandering, not shopping, but taking advantage of the free wi-fi, and others surprisingly come to self-medicate,” said a security guard who estimated the number of visitors to be as many as 100 during lunch hour….



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This entry was posted on 19/09/2017 by in Uncategorized and tagged , .



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